Sunday, February 26, 2012

Here On Earth

I bought this book because it was (1) cheap at ten rupees, (2) selected for Oprah’s Book Club, and (3) the author, Alice Hoffman, had written Practical Magic, which though I haven’t read yet is the book behind the movie Practical Magic which I loved even though it's been a billion years since I’ve watched it.

Let’s dive straight into the book, shall we?

After living in the city for almost two decades, March Murray returns to her home town in Massachusetts to attend the funeral of the family housekeeper Judith Dale. Tagging along, unwillingly, is her 15 year old daughter Gwen.

The motherless March and her much older brother Alan Murray were brought up by Judith Dale, and when March was eleven, their father brought home an orphan from the streets of Boston, a wild mannerless boy named Hollis. We know something was going to happen when little March looked at him from her window and announced “From now on, he’s mine”. The rebellious Alan was jealous of the attention Hollis received from his father, even beating him up so badly one day that Hollis had to be hospitalised.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I am a big do-it-yourself person. If some household stuff is broken I try to repair it myself before calling the experts. A blocked drain, a broken fan, a fridge light that went out, those kind of things. Which is a part of my evolution as a human, I guess. Where does fixing things come in the evolutionary process, you may ask. I don’t know, I was just rambling.

Anyway, the DIY I'm really talking about is the kind of things, you know, like painting your old pair of jeans with REALLY big flowers, making your own calendar and writing love poems on it, sticking matchsticks on a chart paper you’ve put up on your wall, making your own envelopes with silly underwater designs, cutting up your old clothes to make bags out of them, buying buttons of all shapes and sizes and sewing them on on a purse you made yourself, and many more useless things.

I think every girl goes through a beadsy phase in her life. You know, collecting beads, making necklaces, bracelets, sticking them on clothes and bags. Why, I even made a beads bookmark. A string of beads hanging from a rather thick handmade paper. I bought a denim bag from the secondhand market in Aizawl, and that bag went through various stages in the evolutionary process before it exhausted its usefulness and was laid to rest in the garbage. Beaded, rebeaded, re-rebeaded, dyed, re-re-rebeaded, and then redyed. I'm sure that bag must have felt like a guinea pig, poor thing.

A friend and I got “inspiration” from a magazine, took out our old jeans and painted a big red rose on the right leg. People stared whenever we wore them, which for me was about two times. I still have that pair of jeans.

Remember when Mariah Carey cut off the waist band off her jeans? At around the same time I did the same thing (but I was unaware that the diva had done it) because I was getting less space inside the jeans, which was further mutilated (cut it off at the knees) and decorated with mediocre art (a design I copied from a bedsheet).

And fabric paint, oh fabric paint! I've lost count of the number of shirts I’d ruined because of this medium. Not only shirts, bags and shoes were also its victim. Wait, I still have a sample, let me take a picture for you.

                                                          (T-shirt art, circa 2007)
And altering clothes! This is not exactly craft-y, but very much DIY. Add/remove a sleeve here, raise the hemline there, cut off the leg, use ribbons and beads and other stuff for decoration, turn a frock into a skirt, a skirt into a bag, and so on.

I don’t know if cutting up magazines and pasting the pictures on a chart paper counts as DIY, but I did it myself heheh. Or doing the same thing with friends’ photos, garnish with a dialogue box and make them say things which we thought were really funny. Ha ha ha.

Long before we immersed ourselves in Facebook, we created our own “Walls”. A chart paper stuck on a wall, and our friends who came visiting would write whatever messages they wanted. A kind of Guest Book. And sometimes we write down the things we did (Eg: It’s 2 AM and XYZ is talking in her sleep).

What else…? Nothing came to mind. So here is the Mariah Carey video where we first saw the waist-band-less pair of jeans.