Weekly Photo Challenge: Resilient

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Age isn’t just a number; it’s a reflection of the hardships we’ve faced, the laughs we’ve shared, the times we’ve fallen, the tears we’ve shed. In essence, it is a true measure of one’s resilience.

 

Life is an obstacle course, a test of endurance, if you may; it has its highs and lows, twists and turns. Each day brings with it new battles to fight and new reasons to celebrate, a roller coaster of surprises both good and bad; every passing year makes you more resilient.

 

This photo is an homage to life in all its glory.
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Point and Shoot

RAW not War

Liebster Blog Award

Viv over at Viv’s View nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award sometime last year, but some pressing commitments prevented me from accepting this award until now. A big thank you to Viv for bestowing this honor upon me.

With accepting the award there are certain rules to be followed:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Answer the following 11 questions
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award and let them know they have been nominated

So without further ado, here are the answers to the questions:

1. The book that changed your life: A little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

This book taught me to never stop dreaming, no matter how difficult life may seem; God always has something good in store for us.

2. Your favorite author/writer: Enid Blyton

Growing up, I read a lot of Enid’s books and they really helped me survive a lot of tough times. I still have The Adventures of the Wishing Chair at my bedside.

Some may call these books childish, but honestly, this is where true creativity lies.

3. Your pet and its name: N/A

I don’t have any pets

4. The craziest thing you have done: Walked into a girl’s bathroom on a dare

Thankfully, it was deserted.

5. Your best friend: My wife

She’s my heart, my soul, my everything.

6. A childhood prank: Blaming my brother for something I had done

Every time my brother and I remember these incidents (I choose not to reveal these here as they are REALLY embarrassing), I beg for his for forgiveness; he’ll probably consider forgiving me by the end of 2013.

7. Favourite musician: N/A

I don’t listen to music.

8. A place you would love to visit: Lima, Peru

Ever since I saw this beautiful photo of some ruins taken from a mountain-top, I have dreamed of going there. I love walking down paths that people long before me used to tread along.

9. If you had just 5 minutes left to live what is the one thing you would do?

Minute 1: I’d tell my family not to worry too much and keep living life to the fullest.
Minute 2: I’d give all my passwords to my wife and tell her to inform all my friends about me imminent death.
Minutes 3 and 4: I’d spend these minutes with my children and ask them to be brave.
Minutes 5: Ask Allah for repentance and a place in the heavens; I don’t want to rot in hell for eternity.

10. Favorite sport: Badminton

Even though I haven’t played this sport in ages, I’d love to take it up again someday soon; God knows I desperately need the exercise.

11. How do you define love?

In my experience with love, I have come to realize one thing;

Love has the tendency to get you into trouble; PERIOD.

And now, some people I’d like to nominate for this award. All the bloggers mentioned here are truly amazing people and this award is a meager token of appreciation for all their contributions to the blogosphere. I love you all.

Dancing Antelope

Cristian Mihai

Mirth and Motivation

Daphnée

Abigail Lu

Ambreen

Seth

Sharon

Ioanna

The Retiring Sort

Nina

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

Even though I love doing all the weekly photo challenges, I particularly like the ones where you are SUPPOSED to post a gallery instead of a single entry; something about me being able to express my chaotic self in a better way.

Coming back to this week’s theme, Green. We are hard-wired to respond to this color; after all, it is all around us and kinda hard to miss. From the rain forests to the oceans, vegetables to fruits, I associate green with nature, with tranquility, with divinity.

So without further ado, here’s my humble submission for this week’s theme. Hope you enjoy it.

My First Ever Artist’s Statement

The Vase

Fairly recently, I submitted some of my artwork to a contest for a chance at global recognition on a very large scale, and guess what? I had to submit an Artist’s Statement. Having never had any formal art training (except up until middle school), I had no idea what it was. Turns out, it is a short essay that highlights your story and your passion as an artist. A few blogs back, I wrote a piece entitled ‘The Peace of Paper‘ and I instantly thought of incorporating some (OK, a lot) of those ideas into my statement. Here’s what I came up with. Hope my enthusiasm for art shines through in this from-the-heart statement. Enjoy!

Look around you: there’s despair everywhere. Entertainment just isn’t what it used to be back in the good old days. Watching television is like taking a depressant; a pill that drags you down into the abyss of melancholy, draining out all your optimism and leaving you with a sense of hopelessness. Same is the situation with other entertainment media; be it a viral Youtube video of two brothers being mercilessly beaten by a heartless mob or a newspaper article tallying the number of buses burned in the previous night’s riots. Sure, there are a few avenues promoting light entertainment, but invariably, you end up tuning into one of the news channels to verify whether there’s a strike tomorrow or not, or how many lives were extinguished in the city of lights (Karachi, Pakistan) today. We are so wrapped up in this entertainment revolution that we fail to recognize a multitude of activities that can help nurture our constructive side and even introduce a degree of calmness in our otherwise chaotic existence.

Paper is perhaps one of the most readily available materials on earth and believe it or not, can be used to make beautiful creations. The various sizes, colors, thicknesses, and textures of paper make it a unique medium to work with. As kids, most of us would have folded a boat using a sheet of square paper; that’s Origami (meaning ‘paper folding’). The main idea behind Origami is to take a flat sheet of paper and fold it into a finished sculpture using basic folding techniques. The use of any glue, threads or scissors to create/stabilize the sculpture is a taboo for Origami practitioners. A variation of Origami called Kirigami (meaning ‘paper cutting’) allows the use of scissors to create your sculptures. My most recent obsession these days, however, is Slice Forms; 3D models made using slices of card stock.

I started practicing Origami in1998, my inspirations being Tomoko Fuse and Robert Lang, but went on hiatus from 1999 to 2007.  It all changed in 2008 when I was inspired to fold a single paper crane after watching a TV show (Prison Break – no surprises there); and I haven’t looked back since. I started working on more complex and challenging designs and in most cases, finished off the models. I’ve made stars and center pieces, cubes and cranes, dodecahedrons and icosahedrons, arabesques and florals; I just can’t seem to get enough. Sparing free time gets increasingly difficult but I find an hour here, a minute there to work on my latest project. As a natural extension to my passion, I started working on Kirigami models too, copying the greats, never really creating something on my own.

I stumbled upon Scherenschnitte (the Gernan art of paper cutting) and Slice Forms in the mid of 2011, and like any hobbyist, I started off by imitating the greats, like Mashahiro Chatani, John Sharp, and Richard Sweeny, but somewhere on the road to self-contentment, I discovered my own distinct style. I started designing my own models with varying degrees of complexity. Once I start working on a model, I lose all track of time. An unnatural calm surrounds me; the only things I focus on are the slices and the cuts, taking each step carefully, making sure I don’t make any mistakes.

Art is something that comes naturally to me. I have never had any formal training in this area and am 100% self-taught. I’m also a self-taught graphics designer, a photographer, writer, playwright, poet and 3D modeler. I’m still but a novice and I still have miles to go, hoping that one day, my work will be available for all to see, to experience, to appreciate, and to love.

In this uber-destructive world we live in, we should promote constructive concepts. Paper art is just one road that can lead to inner peace and tranquility; there are other art forms that help take your mind off the current state of affairs. I think it is high-time we started talking about something other than all the negative bubbling around us. I don’t want my daughter to come up to me one day and say, “Papa! I want a gun that goes bang-bang-bang”; I’d rather she walks up to me and says, “Papa! I’m out of paper.”

Cold Fusion: Mission Earth

This here is the next installment in the Cold Fusion series. I call this ‘Mission: Earth’. Enough said, I’ll let the photo and the poem speak for themselves:

Mission: Earth
Our skin tones might be miles apart
But it’s only red we bleed
Hand in hand, O! my brethren
We’ll spread the word of peace
Plant trees, recycle, save the earth
Let’s atone for our past misdeeds! 

Tranquil Waters

Taken at Mamzar Beach, Dubai, this photo personifies exactly what a beach should be; tranquil, peaceful and empty – talk about having the entire beach to yourself!