My Realm

Meet me - know me - read my posts and try to figure me! Well I am someone who is always thirsty for adventure, someone who simply hates playing sheep(u know the types - follow the herd!). An enthusiastic trekker, who loves to travel and ever ready for one of those wierd new found sports- luv to make new friends and njoy being my family's pet :)!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Ganesh sculpting

Another year, and the festival for the elephant god would be back to entertain us for a fortnight. A couple of years back, I thought of doing something different and made a ganesha idol myself. At the time it was my first attempt and so the end result looked cartoony but wonderful too.

At my dad's 70th birthday celebrations, we had hired a photographer -Bharat- who later shared with me his interest in making idols for the festival and showed a picture of what he had made. This got me interested, got the needed information from him of where to get the raw materials (esp. Shaadu mud). 

In the first week of September, got off my slumber and walked down to Alaka talkies chowk to the idol makers shop and bought my self a couple of kilos of shaadu mitti. This mud was not very fine and had a few broken pieces of other idols, I was told by the shopkeeper to beat the mud fine before embarking on my attempt.

Back home, The process started with me first beating the mud very fine- this involved wrapping the raw mud in a rag and pounding it with a stone and eventually filtering the same. Once this was done, I got down to the next step of adding water and making a dough out of it. As it turned out this was a tough step and my hands hurt. Eventually with the dough ready I got down to work and a couple of hours had a good structure for the ganesha idol ready. The base platform, mouse and the turban too was moulded and they looked nice.


The next phase was to let the sculpture dry for over a week. My idea was to paint the same with natural colours and hence keep it as natural as possible. For this I decided to use multani mitti for the base coat and also the skin colour. Kumkum ,kajal, turmeric for other colours. 


To get a good colour bind for the multani colour, I had to mix the multani mitti with colour glue and water this ensured the final coat did not peel off. Once this was done, again left it to dry for a couple of days. Then started the first cot with kumkum, but this turned out disastrous, as the shade once dried did not look appealing at all. My idea was for the sculpture to be in multani brown with reddish-brown shades to mark the features and edges. But this did not look very good.

The following day, I decided to make use of fabric colours to paint the idol and do away with the shade approach. This process did not last too long, but was a little tedious, since, for one I am not a good painter and two the parts were small and the fine brushes I was using were too old and were misbehaving (the hair on the brush would not stick together ) at times. Lastly the most scary part of the idol was to paint the eyes. This is the most tricky and defining part for the sculpture. If the eyes don't look good, the whole sculpture no matter how wonderful would never look appealing. 


Finally with deep breaths took the plunge and started with the eyes. Sitting as close to the sculpture as possible and being as confident and tentative at the same time 'got the base colour of white done for defining the shape and background of the eye, then came the blue iris dotted with the black pupil. Finally came the outer eye shading followed by the eyebrow. The eyes looked nice, I was releaved. The mouse and turban were stuck in place with quick glue and walla! The idol was done!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blending Away

Since I was a kid, there was something about art that always fascinated me, was good at drawing/sketching craft etc. Later on I loved computer games at my aunt's house and always fancied me being a developer for one of those games. Time zipped by and in college days was always in love with Computer graphics and loved the 3D aspect of things. As fate had it I ended up working on Financial/Trading products and eventually on database related concepts.
The Graphics aspect never quit, I still continued playing games and kept sketching did some graphics programing and also got pretty comfortable with Adobe Photoshop, and then I stumbled upon Blender . I never really was a big fan of modeling 3 dimensional objects using tools since I believed anything could be created from code. But a few trials did convince me of the power this simple open source platform packed. As days went by I was regular at learning the various concepts of 3d art development and 3d in general and getting accustomed to the terms from the graphics industry. Having a PS3 at home and being an avid gamer got me more interested in the realism infused into the gaming world.

As time went by I was getting more and more comfortable developing such models- still life that is. BlenderGuru was one of my regular hunt spots and I would spend hours over the tutorials mimicking the same.

My aim, though, is to create natural human/life figures and get them animated in a realistic sequence. This would possibly take a long time to conceive.

For the time being enjoy a couple of renders I could manage from this fantastic software.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

To Ride A Dream...

The adrenalin was running high, the skies shone blue and the distant valley held a dried river. The black tarmac seemed never to end and the line of trucks ahead was never ending. Blaring the horn through my tight glove hurt my knuckles and overtaking from the blind lefts seemed pretty foolish. Soon Gautham steered slow and stayed back as I looked at him from the far curve ahead. The momentum refused to cease, the air blew hard and the sweat dared to take a trickle as I squint the eye and leaned to the left and took over a truck over a blind steep turn over a gorge. Trailing a white Innova, I honked and eventually got ahead and curved ahead to the right, the speedo read at 70 or so I guess. Soon got a clearing as I took a steep left and throttled to the steep right U turn ahead, the rubble at the crub was loose.. I braked and engine braked down to a dead 20 as I “hard” steered to the right but the momentum got the better of us over the curb as I skid and bang fell on my knee as I held the ground and bump over my helmet and lay bewildered on the black tarmac. The adrenalin took some time to retreat as my heavy breaths were the only audible notes in the shell. My knee hurt and I was sure of a bleed, but what worried me more was my machine as I instantaneously got up and made vein attempts to get the 180kg monster to its wheels. A few daring pushes and up she stood as I heard a screech behind. The Innova guys came rushing out "Drive slow on these roads sir... these loose pebbles on the side and along the road are very dangerous... you please overtake slowly" said the Tibet-ian driver "You ok Mate... you are bleeding... I see a fuel leak” said a concerned tourist who came running at me "I'm all right... all OK . The vehicle seems just fine... just a bend" I bluffed. My knee hurt and 'was all of a sudden too tired. Soon got over my steed and kicked her to life and rode on at a mellow 40 :).
A ride is for man and machine to be one ... that day I realized it to be true: a dent to machine meant a tear and bang for me :). The ride for over 2500 kilometers over the northern most borders of India is a dream for any adventurer at heart and for me too. Crossing green and beautiful valleys at Kashmir to the rugged landscapes around Ladkak to the "so said" world’s highest motor able road to the high saltwater lake divided between India and China. This was a ride to stay for long in my heart.

For those 15 days I rode my dream...."

na na na, I would not bore you with detailed accounts of the ride, for all I know... I don’t know what I am going to blog of this ride... possibly would end up with trip logs or nothing at all ... it’s just too difficult to get the volume of experiences to compact blogging data. It was my dream and I am happy I could live through it.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Shantaram

Reading novels/story books had re-caught my fancy after a long beak somewhere in 2005/6 I guess. Started with short stories, eventually could never keep my eyes off the fat book with a rusty-red and blue front cover.

My regular visits to crosswords would confirm two to three minutes spent near the shelf holding that book. Eventually one fine day, got it off the rack billed it home. The book was huge. My recent stints with Ayan Rand[1] were not so good- The Fountainhead completed halfway and Atlas Shrugged simply shrugged untouched in my book cabinet.

Before purchasing the same, a few reviews did catch my fancy. They spoke about a live story and always on the edge of your seat kind’ a read. I was a bit wary before starting it though- I mean it’s a fat book! Never before had I read -rather completed -anything that fat.

So I started following the footsteps of this Australian along the shores of Mumbai. Soon in about 2-3 hours a decent set of pages were flung left. I was fast. The story was well narrated and did seem lively. I was easy to imagine all the characters and the plot - like a movie/daily soap playing in front of your eyes.

In a few weeks I did cover good ground, and had no urge to let it down as my protagonist learnt the Marathi language and visited villages. I was good. Then out of habit, I started giving my sessions a pass... soon not a single page was flipped for over 2 weeks. But when I got back to it, it was all back like the soap played into the next episode.

Eventually my lethargy got me addicted to other books, weird but true. Read a few book in-between and eventually would be back to the novel in burst of 2 three sessions in a month or so. This went on… for over 3 years.

Eventually some 2 months back with over roughly three hundred pages left, I got on to it like a leach. And today it stands completed.

Marvelous, got to travel all over Mumbai to "Sunder" village to Goa to Pakistan to Afghanistan, then randomly to US UK Iran Spain etc... it was fabulous! One of the review said, "...was too quick to reach the end of the novel , that I deliberately slowed down and gave huge gaps in reading out of fear that the story might come to an end..." how true. Gripping and fantastic.

I always wanted to finish this novel before the movie was made.
Now I am happy.

Shantaram[1] is a beautiful piece of work and a standing ovation would be an understatement to the author Gregory D Roberts.

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Friday, March 05, 2010

Heavy Rain Demo

Heavy Rain was one of the most anticipated games since Uncharted2. Ravi spoke a lot about this game, Srib too was pretty exited to play that. Thus following the Playstation blogs etc finally the demo was launched mid of Feb. The demo took endless to download ~2 weeks with ~2hrs a day. 1.8GB does not come fast.

So eventually the download completed, ready to be played... how was it . Wonderful. Controls were cool, and it felt different from other games, not the usual point and shoot. It was more of an interrogative game, where you build conversations and piece up on evidence. Graphics were top notch... the low contrast played well for the reality factor.(It was too short though)

What I hated about the demo(Spoiler!): It reveals the murderer. At a crime scene you discover pollen and the other part of the demo shows one of the protagonist having heavy asthma... easy MATH.. hate it when such spoilers are loaded by the creators(Quantic Dream in this case)!
I really do'nt know if I'd buy this game now that I know who did it.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ride to Chikhaldara

As of 21st December we had been on a bike ride to Chikhaldara and back. Enroute we took a halt at the Lonar crater. The primary destination was the jungle and hill station at Chikhaldara and it was magnificent. This time around DaRomans rode in more style - we got ourselves a T-shirt printed, the design was so good it attracted cops. Have you ever heard of riding some 90kms just to fill petrol- yeah we did that! Lived in one of the worst hotels one could think of for the last day, one would go on to say staying under the sky would have been a better idea!
Nonetheless the ride was wonderful and eventful, sure we had a few slips and some fell sick on and off the ride but all was well and the ride went fantabulously well, 'cause "When in da Rome do da Romans" This ride was different from the previous ones, in the sense we took the interior route of Maharashtra- towards the central parts, the weather was one of the most striking differences we noticed.

The descriptions might be lengthy so make sure u get hold of a cup of tea as you scan through the pages....Day1: Pune-Lonar (383kms)
Day2: Lonar-Chikhaldara (305.9kms)
Day3: Chikhaldara (132.5kms)
Day4: Chikhaldara-Sillod (310.6kms)
Day5: Sillod-Pune (309.3kms)

This is the post by Nachiket and
this is what Amit had to say about the ride!

These are the snaps from my cam while
these are from Mandar's cam.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Bike ride to Chikhadara -Part 5

25th Dec:
The day started at roughly 7am with all of us lazing up to the morning blues. NEWS: No water! Dammm! This hotel was getting our nerves now. So as all were waking up, a couple of us with a neighboring guest went down to the reception area and kicked the couple of sleeping hotel staff awake and yelled like crazy at them. Soon they came off their slumber and said since the lights were off there was no water. They then started the generator and connected a pumping machine to some external water drums and pumped water to the tanks. But the process was slow and could easily take over 2 hours, we did not have that leisure. So took our buckets from the room to the tanks and got it filled in. Slowly we were done with our morning duties, and decided to skip bath for the day.

The neighboring guest guy started heating water in a metal container using some firewood and bricks, some of us gathered around the fire to warm ourselves. The bikes were wet with due, just to indicate how cold it was the previous night. Oddly though the rooms were warm. We then had another round of arguments with the manager of the hotel and paid them less of the non-service. Avoid this hotel "Hotel Yuraj" -Sillod affiliated to MTDC at all costs! Soon we blasted our steeds to life and roared off to a near by tea stall(1133kms, 9:32am).

The place was small tea shop with an adjoining dhaba and served an amazing snack only available in these parts - "bun wada" it was amazing just the reverse of a wada paav. The bun is covered in the dough and deep fried. The taste is awesome. Tea too was good -name of the hotel "Agarval tea house". Some of us tanked up at the petrol pump across the road. In about 30 minutes we were on our merry way towards Aurangabad. We decided on synching up some 10kms past Aurangabad.

Mandar was trailing me since the previous day and continued with the same technique (he actually was riding at ~40kmph). In a few kilometers we took a brief halt at an HP petrol pump where Amit an Maneesh tanked up. Post this it was the same blast and bang from my bike and I had my throttle at full and the bike would decide with the gradient and texture of the road weather to go at 50 or hit 70+. Nachiket too stayed behind for this leg, the worse hit part was when we had to ascent a mini ghat just past the Ajantha Caves bifurcation- the bike purred to a glorious 20kmph with blast and puffs as I overtook a couple of trailers! Weird man and really frustrating... So effectively we left my speed at the hands of the bike and no one tried to stop or slow me... it was a weird riding experience.

Eventually Mandar and me rode into Aurangabad city via Chikhalthana and had missed a bypass route(1201.7kms, 11:02am). This side of the city seemed to be pretty modern with malls and a couple of multiplexes. Eventually the city got crowded and post some inquiries we got the right direction, Mandar synched with rest of the gang who had taken the bypass route and we decided to meet in ~10kms. So on we went and rode past Aurangabad city. In some time, we took a halt near a tea stall and called up the others(1231.3kms, 11:44am). In a few minutes the 4 bikes came zooming in and we had our cups of tea. We decided on taking the next halt near Nevasa phata and possibly look for a mechanic there for the bike. In about 20 minutes we rode off.

The highway ride was the same repetition of what we experienced in the ongoing ride, Amit was in a hurry since it was his wedding anniversary and had to be home as soon as possible. Mandar, Nachi and me trailed the pack and the others took turns going ahead and at times trailing back. Effectively we rode at an average of 60kmph. In some time we took a halt at a petrol pump where a few of us tanked up and decided on trying to trouble shoot the bike issue(1260.3kms, 12:42pm). We checked the fuel flow from the petrol tank which was perfectly OK and also dried up the carburetor. I called the hero honda service center mechanic and he suggested changing the spark plug. We planned on getting the repairs done at around Ahmendnagar.

We got off on our merry way and rode off the little city. It was starting to be a pain to ride the coughing machine.. but we carried on. It would get frustrating when some slow vehicle would come infront of me or some one would try crossing the road and would make me slow down. The bike would cough like a maniac when trying to speed up. I still remember on the stretch in MP. where a dog crossed the road and as the bike farted it sprung to its feet in fear staring at me.

By now Amit, Dhanya and Maneesh had ridden off ahead and decided to check for mechanic shops at Ahmednagar. Soon the traffic starting piling up and we were negotiating a huge line of trucks. We were entering Ahmednagar city. We arrived at a turn in the city where Maneesh was waiting for us, Amit had gone in looking for a mechanic shop and Dhanya as usual rode off ahead (he too was looking for a mechanic he said later)(1316.1kms, 13:30pm). Amit returned and said there we many mechanics inside the lanes, soon Amit and me rode of on my bike into the crowded city. The area we went to resembled Nanapeth (in pune) here we bought a spark plug and took it to a HeroHonda authorized mechanic and he said the spark plug was wrong then I had to make 3 rounds to various shops to get the right spark plugs and return the wrong ones. Eventually he fitted the spark plug and checked the bike and said there was some issue with the pickup and starter coils, and denied to fix them soon as he had 3 other bikes in his hand. He said we take a break near Sarathwadi for the bike to cool down before going on. So much for that, we returned to the others and narrated the story and eventually decided to ride off(14:24pm).

We decided to stop at the next available good looking hotel. As we started riding off Dhanya joined us at the outskirt post a bridge. We went searching for a good hotel and eventually halted at one "Hotel Sagar" (1323.9kms, 14:45kms). Here we ordered pitla, methipitla, shengdana thecha and lots of bhakris with rice and daal. The food was amazing and lip smacking. Post lunch we rode off and decided to stop somewhere near Saratwadi (15:36pm).

The ride continued along the highway at gradual speeds. Puffing and chugging through as we rode via a couple of villages, and eventually rode past Saratwadi (via Hotel Navnath we had stopped for breakfast a few days back)(1375.6kms, 14:30pm). We took a brief halt but decided to carry on as everyone was in the groove of the ride. So on we rode and went past more smaller towns and eventually entered Shikrapur and took our routine tea halt(1399.9kms, 17:04pm).

Here we refreshed ourselves and decided to meetup next directly at Gunjan talkies (depart at 17:14pm). My fuel indicator was showing bad signs so fueled up at a pump in a couple of kilometers. Slowly rode ahead as the roads started getting crowded, I guess I was at Wagholi, by now everyone was far ahead and was the last one. Some big VIPs were around and had a huge ground setup for a public meet, lots and vehicles and police had clogged the place. Negotiating the traffic I eventually rode past Koregaon and soon came the traffic signals of Pune, post which all my compadres stood waving at me near Gunjan talkies. The ride had come to an end(1432.7kms, 18:00pm).

Here we exchanged high fives and chit-chatted for sometime. The 4 big tigers from Semadoh was still a topic for laughter at this point and so was Maneesh's "oo ooooooo oooooo". Eventually Dhanya and Amit took their luggage off the saddle bags and bid adeu... Mandar departed a few minutes later and finally Maneesh Nachi and me took off in the direction of BundGarden bridge. Eventually Maneesh rode off then Nachi parted ways near Kumbharwada as I "puffed" "bang" "chugged" the frustrating city traffic and my caughing steed back home(1441.3kms, 18:47pm).

It was a ride, quiet different from the previous ones. In a way that we went away from the coast and this time did not experience sweat or sore butts post riding :).

B.t.w the blasts from my bike were later rectified and corrected by the mechanic, who said it was nothing more than a loose contact of a couple of wires... @#$%$^&*(#@$!!!

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