March 27, 2010

I woke up this morning around 5:30 in order to catch a bus around 5:40 to the city. The sky, dark purple, showing first glimpses of daylight. The streets, quiet, empty, except for the dogs who patrol through the night. I sat at the bust stop, waiting for the massive green vehicle to turn the corner. Settling in, I dozed off and got off at Mehkri circle. Here, I met Gounder and we went for breakfast- a huge breakfast of Idli, Rice, and vada (?). This idli was better than any I have had this whole trip! It was soaking in sombra(?).

Originally, it took me some time to get used to breakfast consisting of lunch and dinner. It seemed that most food could be eaten for any of the three meals without someone-eyebrow raised-questioning, “your eating CEREAL for dinner?”

This was a small but very busy place, with tall metal tables for people to stand at while enjoying their breakfast before hurrying off some place.

Before entering the park, we stopped at the fruit market. Conveniently, this was located directly outside of the gardens. Again, Jackfruit confronted me, large and round in shape, with a spikey, sharp exterior. The inside consisted of yellow fruit that came out in separate pieces, each containing a large seed. Finally, I got to try a piece, and having really enjoyed it, took some along.

Gounder said goodbye, and I entered the gardens at the West Entrance. I took a left, and began exploring. Startled by the number of others visiting the park, and by the enormous trees I passed, I walked. People were jogging, walking, sitting on the benches that were scattered around the grassy fields, playing games, and just enjoying the morning air and the beautiful scenery.

I walked all over, amazed by the size of these trees. I would stop and just stare at the sky. There was a rose garden, a tree fossil, an enormous glass house, a magnolia garden, a bonsai garden, and on and on and on.

Bonsai Garden

Glass house.

The place was incredible, and upon completing the loop, a lake jumped out in front of me. A huge lake, which apparently attracted the monkeys, too.

These guys are great, I love monkeys, I have been seeing a lot more of them lately and everyone seems to have monkey stories.

Around 10:30 I sat outside the garden, and was approached by an old couple from Tennessee, who came to chat about the garden, and then about where I should travel while in Europe. We decided upon a lot of places my dad will hate, but Corey being in Ohio, I really have to pick up the slack in providing two daughter’s worth of anxiety-corey you owe me :).

The gardens were incredible, I sat and drew for awhile under a jackfruit tree. A tree that literally looks like fruits are oozing from the bark. I passed women meditating, and many runners and walkers. Lots of families strolled the paths together, and others sat in the shade reading or writing.

After the gardens, and my short chat with the couple about Europe, I found Gounder and we stopped at Java City. We visited the church because I wanted to see it, and then made way for the temple. The colors constantly impress me, and I find myself completely distracted by my surroundings. I watch every face that passes, the expressions, the age, the conversation, the relationships. I observe every sound, the drums, chants, bells, cracking of the fire. I am persuaded by an older man to move to the front so I can see.

An old and a young man sit side by side in front of a fire. Behind them, the deity- dressed and decorated in flowers and bright color. Two blankets outstretched on the floor, welcome the men to one side, the women to another to sit while others stand in the back. The colors and the sounds are constant and can put one into a sort of trance. A woman holding a coach purse in one arm and a child in the other, sits near to me. Distracted from the flames and chanting, I lock eyes with the baby. Just for a little while.

Food is served again, on banana leaves, and a little trading occurs in order for us to finish the generous amount of food provided for us.

Another incredible day, I return to Yelahanka to finish up some work.


March 29, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


So… we had a day off, and we used the night before to play. We literally collected everything in the house we could use to paint with, and went a little bit over board. I have never done anything like that, and it was super refreshing.

Bug spray, body wash, soap, inks, beverages, spices, oils, lotions, mouth wash, dayquil, it was very exciting.

March 23, 2010. Tags: . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.


A few weeks ago, while I sat down to work at Cafe coffee day in Yelahanka (which I do rarely- but I needed to treat myself and really get some work done), I found this guy. Well, to be completely honest, he found me. He found me sitting at my computer stressed out and annoyed. He poked his head in, curiously as though he were surveying the situation and what potential consequences of his entrance would be. Watching him, I laughed out loud and looked around to see of other people noticed this, nothing. Conversation continued as normal, no one even gave a second glance.

It’s startling, the power of a cow on my mood these days.

Another moment like this occured while I walked to school. I spoke to my dad on the phone, and I say spoke but I mean-vented. I was really annoyed and a bit upset about the interactive design class- I was going going going, and I turned the corner to find a cow standing in a trash dump eating. Aboard his long long spotted back, sat a small bird. Again, I noticed a startling change in my mood, and with that, my complaints were done and my bad mood dissipated.

March 23, 2010. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

March 23, 2010

Last night, Rima and I had a night out. We deserved it. We went to town to the apple store. This store was located in a disgustingly over the top mall with versacci and louis vutton and all sorts of stores I should not even be allowed in. They ran some diagnostics on my computer only to tell me exactly what I told them-“it’s a battery problem”, but they were extremely friendly and pleasant-none the less. I did notice, however, that unlike the apple store in Chicago, the people running the store were dressed conservatively, no fancy colored hair, mohawks or piercings I can’t say I was surprised.

From there, we went for ice cream- natural ice cream, no artificial anything, and real fruit. It was incredible… a good appetizer before dinner a bit later. We explored and almost died crossing the street a few times… We went for South Indian food at an incredible place.

South Indies, in a hotel downtown Bangalore. This place was beautiful. Me and Rima, jeans, and backpacks, walked in and were treated no differently than had we walked in dressed in gowns, hair done up and the works. The service was wonderful and I ordered a…chutney marry which is similar to a bloody marry, only instead of tomato JUICE, they use tomato CHUTNEY- nice twist haha. Rima ordered a number of dishes, and we sat for a very long time enjoying the place. A rooftop place which was both open and closed. Open, in the sense of windows with no glass, just fresh air and the city. Closed in the sense that some of the windows were made of glass and were the pathway for a constant stream of running water. This place was wonderful, and without the fancy cocktail, dinner came to about 400 rps, about nine dollars.

Most importantly, I get to sit and talk with Rima and not think about time or work!

We grabbed an auto home and upon reaching Yelahanka, I walked up to house #97 and found the door standing open. I went in and started getting my things out to work… When I realized no one was there… and so I explored- just like they do in the scary movies that you watch and you yell at the girl for being stupid because you should never explore-right!?- anyways no one was around, so I locked the door on my way out and went back to find Rima. It was very creepy, but surprisingly, all the computers people had out and valuables they had sitting out, were left alone- I don’t think anyone even entered the house, I am more surprised we didn’t find any dogs inside.

Rima and I stayed up working for a long while before calling it a night

and falling asleep.

On a different note, the fact that I will be a senior in a few months is really scaring me, especially upon opening mail about my IP professors and such. I am 100% not ready to be in my last year of college. I like college, and I don’t know what I could possible dedicate one year of my time working on- project wise, I guess I don’t have a choice!

March 23, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

I found heaven

just behind that tree

Dear home,

8:30 am. The alarm has gone off so obnoxiously, so loudly, so repetitively, that you manage to pull yourself out from under the covers of your comfortable bed, place both feet upon the cool floor, and welcome another day. A shower to clean and awaken, brushed teeth for those you will encounter, clothes to express/to fit in/or to stand out, and breakfast to get you going. Lets not forget some sorta stimulant-americano, latte, expresso, tea, whatever it is that gets you through the first hour or so of your day…

While in this hour or so of your morning, while the light threatens the darkness just outside your windows, have you wondered-from where is the sun is coming?


India, the sun is just saying it’s final farewell to all the folks in the East in order to greet you this fine day. I have to say, the farewell ceremony, recognized by a vibrantly colorful sky, is more incredible over here than in Ann Arbor. Every time I witness a sunset here, I have to stop walking, working, talking, and stare


March 21, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

long overdue-arduino

Our first of many(?) successes a button!

There it is. Why use an IR trip sensor you ask!? We needed a sensor to judge the proximity of a person to the focal point. After attempting to work with proximity sensors, and looking into the limitations and requirements when it comes to the code, we decided to use an IR sensor. We would use three per person, so that with each triggering, a different movie would play on the N810. Our group was five people, each with three videos. So we still had to decide how the machine would know which series of movies to play through.

One big issue we had with the IR’s, however, was their range. The goal was to have a person walk in between them, therefor triggering a movie. After making one, however, we found out that the range is closer to an inch… we had to keep brainstorming. We started testing the IR’s using reflection by instead of placing the components across from each other, they would both face the same direction. This means no movie would play until a person walked by and the light being emitted would reflect off the person, allowing the detection of the light and the triggering of a movie to play.

The project for this class had group and individual elements. Individually, each student was to make a move using TYPE-not text- using after effects. This meant that we all needed to learn the software, and then produce something beautiful. The morning class periods provided us with basic knowledge with after effects, and provided us time to work on our videos. The afternoons and majority of the class was spent working with our groups on the arduino piece. We had to pick a sensor, learn how to arrange and code it, and create an installation.

This task proved extremely difficult due the unfamiliarity most people had with sensors and arduinos. We researched a lot and made many trips to SB road to by electronics.

In the end, I have a very negative look on the class. My expectations were high, I felt a class using arduino, flash, and after effects had a lot of potential especially considering the last and only class I had taken with arduinos. Issues with the group as well as the instruction were daily, and the end result was less than impressive.

Now, this was something I could be proud of. Mahima and I wired up one successful IR sensor and had everyone duplicate it once so there were now five working IR’s, I then wired all of these up to one board and then into the arduino. I labeled the wires to try and keep organized, and we were set… so we thought.

In the end, after spending days trying to understand why these boards that were wired exactly the same as the working one refused to function. FINALLY the third full night spent on new campus, increased stress and irritability due to exhaustion and heat pushed us to go up to the terrace and work up there… Afterall-if the heat was affecting us so negatively, we wondered if that could have anything to do with the sensors.

We used aluminum to try and increase the reflection… still no luck

On the terrace- everything worked perfectly, much better than we even expected, the range was much greater.

After a great deal of pain…

Tanuja and Chandini did the visuals, the rest of us did all the wiring, coding, etc. We each had a box with a breadboard in it, some graphics, and the N810. When a person approached, he or she would pick which of the five to view and sit down in front of the sign and graphics pertaining to that theme. The viewer would watch the first video which plays while the N810 is nearest to the individual, and in moving the N810 further from the body, the sensor would trigger a different movie to play.

In the end, the sensors changed to using one sensor per person which was based on proximity. We set the range, and that was that!

As I previously mentioned, I was extremely disappointed with the class overall, and cannot believe that this is all we could produce in a five week course that meets monday-thursday. I can’t help but think smart surfaces (scroll down) was a 7 week final project and just one class out of 5, but circumstances are different.

March 21, 2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

March 18, 2010

It has been a long while since I have written. This is partially due to the fact that with each day I don’t write, I feel as though the task grows enormously due to the catching up that now must be done.

I am taking a break from work and using blogging as a break.

We are in the last few days of our illustration class. Our last assignment consisted of working with a partner to create a magazine spread. Each of us acted as an art director for one article while the other was our illustrator and visa versa. The articles were different and I had a hard time telling another student to do work for me…it was strange, but a really good assignment.

The next assignment is our last for the class and due saturday. We have been working like crazy to accomplish SOMETHING presentable, and at this point (the 8:09 the night before it’s due), I can say it is going to be another long night. Not because I have been slacking, just because I have lots to do.

Lucky for me, and unlucky for my classmates, they are in the same boat and are at the school with me. Makes for a much nicer experience and a lot less lonely. Productivity is difficult at home when everyone is sleeping soundly in the dark and you are the only one up, this is a much safer option, the option of sleep means on a desk- not so comfortable.

(today is now the 20th)

We stayed up all night at new campus, a large group of us. Literally, I sat in front of my computer from 7 am until 1pm the next day, barely getting up for anything. Even having worked so much, I don’t like my project, so I will keep working on it after a take a small break.

Crits began around 2 and we got home around 7, it took forever, but it was nice to see the work and some people really did nice projects. Illustration is great, I just have to keep making projects for myself, or start sketching all the time to get in the habit…

Sorry it has taken so long to write! I have been super busy. In the last week, I worked a lot, and the weather has surprisingly cooled off. I will walk out the front door expecting to be slammed with the heat of the indian sun, and will find myself pleasantly greeted by a cool morning. Breakfast has been dosas and idly lately- which I much prefer to the chipati and curd… although I will eat it, I am not sure I will ever crave it.

The sugary milk of a coffee concoction that they served here as a source of caffeine is making me like my black coffee less-imagine that. Although- a really lovely discovery was putting a packet of via in one of the tiny coffee cups before I use the coffee machine at school- its my fix for strong coffee!

I went to the city at the beginning of the week and got to hang out with Gounder a bit. We ate a bunch of food and tried a bunch of new things (I did). I also asked for tons of explanations about food, and gender roles, and nose piercings, and everything i could think of. I consider time spent with Gounder, extremely educational.

On my bus ride home I saw a family on a moped, with the youngest girl in the front behind her father. She had fallen asleep, limbs hanging off the sides, head flat against a bag placed   the front of the bike. How this girl could sleep so soundly on a motorcycle speeding along the highway with four people on board…I will never know.

March 21, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

March 10, 2010


We have begun a new class- illustration with Rustam and Matt. I already love it. They make us sit in class and draw- all day long- which is exactly what I need to do. Rustam assigned each student a word and we had to produce 50 sketches based on the word. My word: work.

For homework, we were to pick  three to render. I went home and worked all night. I really loved this assignment, and illustrating, although have a lot of work to do before I am at all decent.

When I left class, I walked home debating on a coconut or a papaya… I happened to pass a friend who was buying chicken for dinner and I got to go inside and watch. A store front divided from the place of slaughter by a window similar to windows at a ticket office. The man doing all the work was standing on a metal crate. He held what was a bird in his left hand while he chopped it into small pieces on a huge tree trunk before piling it a bag and placing it in the hands of a purchaser.

That would be dinner tonight at Aunties.

We walked home, and said goodbye until dinner. In turning the corner and heading to my house, I ran into another friend, and agreed to go for a walk to get juice. This juice stand I had visited once in the past, the day Mahima, Emma, and I went to the hospital.

Day was transforming into night, and a young boy sat on the counter of the juice stand with a big glass much and a colorful straw. He had a “milk” mustache of sorts, and his mother stood near to keep him steady. We got Chikoo juice and sat on a bench watching people go by.

Evenings in Bangalore are incredible, early mornings too. The stretch from 8am-8pm, however, are intensely hot. The house is always hot, even when outside is cool, however we cannot really go out much after dinner.

March 11, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

March 8, 2010

Interactive type design as exploded.  A lot of bad things have taken place, and now my entire group has disbanded and given up.

We have spent 3 days this week up at new campus until 7 am. We spend that time staring at sensors, typing code, pressing reset, and removing and replacing different colored wires. Dipti and Palash spent a lot of time with us, Palash is the most patient man I have ever known, and answered questions from everyone, calmly and efficiently.

There were ups- like when we found out the sensors didn’t work due to the heat, for starters. A pleasant evening when Mahima and I went to Little Chef with Dipti and Palash and got food cooked and served outside of the mess..

There were downs- the screaming bouts, the disrespect, the tardiness, and the failure.

There were ups- today, when the class ended. Today, when we got our project working and set up, when we got our project working and set up in a way that no one noticed the “dirty” tables. Today, when Babs-bubbar-mrinalini-and I went to the market for delicious Chaat, fresh juice, a walk, and a coconut…

The end of a five week class that I thought had incredible potential.

Tomorrow, Rustam and Matt for illustration. (Editorial illustration…?) Given I am completely incapable of drawing in the least, this should be interesting.

March 8, 2010. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

House #97

House #97 has been having some issues.

Last week was brutal on the house. I got home from an exhausting day of arduinos, IR’s, and failure to be welcomed by…

1-refrigerator. Melting. I actually could relate to this, with the heat of the Indian sun and breath taking temperatures the envelope my body even when indoors.

1- shower that still remained lightless. A concrete cell with a shower spout, now thrown into complete darkness with the closing of the door. Sacrifice privacy or visibility…or cleanliness- your call.

2-broken toilets-out of the two working toilets we once possessed.

Only, none of this is really an issue, and nothing seems too disruptive. One notices such a thing, steps over the puddle, and goes back to bed. Or walks from one toilet to the other, with increasing frusteration- turns around and goes back to working.

We have been having a grand reappearance of coackroaches these days, and thousands and thousands of ants. Tons of stories circulate about Macs that had been left on a desk for a few days, and broken when the owner returned. At the apple store, upon dissection, an aunt colony discovered.

While I brushed my teeth this evening, I pressed a switch and was excited to find that a once useless light- NOW had a working lightbulb. This was great, in that it allowed my focus to shift to the corner of the room, where there were a number of aunt colonies. Who knew- lots of happy “fellows” here in House #97.

March 8, 2010. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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