Los Angeles Unplugged

One of the most iconic California cities, Los Angeles is like one of those fables of the grand central station—which talks about its spreading out in a very fairy-tale fashion and its losing of itself in every fold. Home of the Hollywood sign and studios such as Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers, it has been inviting multitude of aspirants from a very long time. With so many aspirants shooting in, it is also a home to a lot of creative energies and youth spirit.

Lights, Camera, Action

One of such upcoming actor who shot out of India’s capital is Kumar Sapra who completed his studies from NYFA and settled in LA, often filling in his roles on the base of his identity as a person of East Indian ethnicity. He has also worked many Hispanic roles as well.  Starting from the Indian theatre and his company called ‘Beyond exclamation’, he is now working on several mainstream acting projects and constantly exploring life in LA. He has worked on commercials such as Monster Headphones, Microsoft, Pond’s; has signed up  as the actor for series such as Derick La Porte ‘s “Southern Gents “, PSA’s for American army (operation gratitude) and is also taught by renowned directors of Los Angeles. He is currently being represented by a well-known agent JS REPRESENTS, LA.

“I feel great to be in LA as it has this liberal environment to create your own art and one is not restricted to show case their talents in any way.” Kumar Sapra talks about his experience in living in Los Angeles. He feels that having a lot of friends from all over the word who have the similar goals in their mind is really motivating. Further, he adds that the city being the entertainment capital of the world, it helps him to experience the global kindred and with that, an exposure to various kinds of international audience. “Some of the best things about LA, I enjoy a lot are the American film market, aids walk, Martin Luther king parade, Indian film festival, the Los Angeles film festival, the great American script fest and screening at warner brothers. On the other hand, being resident of Burbank California, it is so amazing to be connected to the Universal, Warner Brothers, and Nickelodeon within the 5 miles radius which feels like you’ve been finally let into the Charlie’s Chocolate factory after scoring a golden ticket.”

Los Angeles has then evolved and is most probably amongst the most evolving city of the US. It briefs us on the idea that home is where your passion lies.

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What Is Life

What is life? What is dance? What is music? What is love? What about passion? Achievement! Most important of all is the right to be happy without exception.

Life is a process of learning and enjoying the growth, acknowledging the growth. Sometimes these lessons take place at the most unexpected places.

Dancing once more taught me more than I expected. This month was phenomenal and every class there was something new to learn and take back.

The first thing we encountered was “hit it”. This is an easy application of how our body language drops down and just by saying hit it can change the perspective.

Second was about being centered and connected with our bodies. This is the one quality that can set us apart. Being centered physically and mentally reflects back and is very noticeable.

Spotting happens to be the core of street jazz. I discovered this a little late. But a spot can be a very powerful action to bring focus in our lives. In this world of hyper technology we all tend to multitask and easily get distracted. It’s getting harder to find a single minded laser sharp focus.

We all need to give a constant reminder to ourselves that we must be selfless beings. Just giving it to the other person whether it’s an audience, colleague, a family member, friend or a stranger can be so satisfying. Dancing can squeeze it all out from your inside and give it back to the outside. When we give our hundred percent we’ll realize that we’ll be fully aware and present. That takes us to having another trait: athleticism. I didn’t know such a word existed. But it does and can bring an instant alertness and uprightness to our bodies and further our attitude.

We were always told to go big in our dancing and I always thought that with short legs how big can I possibly go. But I was wrong, so wrong.  Going big in life is always about the feeling inside. If we feel big, we will surely look big.

Before I finish, life is mostly about experiences. Things remain static, but experiences can be moving. We need to have fun and feel the breath and going out of breath while dancing. If we don’t feel moved by dancing then we didn’t dance like we should. By closely going through the movement and rhythm of life if we experience breathlessness then we can say it’s the most beautiful gift to ourselves.

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70 days

I have often read about people who take challenges towards making their lives simpler. Some people believe in this theory whereas some believe in simply simplyfing without counting or setting targets. I am more like the second group, de-cluttering as much i can without bothering about how much i am actually letting go of. This also results in not knowing how easy or difficult it is to actually declutter.

For a refreshing change, i have decided to let go of 70 items in the next 70 days, starting today! The rate at which i am going, i might exceed 70 items. I will be listing down items as and when they leave my house. This rule does not restrict me to discarding 1 item daily, but 70 items over 70 days.

Why not 100 items, 100 days, or any other significant number? Will reveal that at the end of this 70 day mission. Looking forward to a lighter and spacious room.

Would you too like to join me in this self- imposed challenge and share your list of 70 items with me? Would love to have some company please 🙂

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The Guitar and Us


Music was a subject I always wanted to study in my school days. While I did not end up getting any formal education for the same, I started with learning the guitar. That’s where my husband and I met. I went to that music institute for about 2 years. I remember having the time of my life there. While I did my BA in math hons, the guitar was there to act like the biggest stress buster. I would come back home and play my guitar for hours sometimes. The classes were also fun with people around, all of us learning at a different pace. Then once we all performed at the opening of another branch of the institute. The extra classes for practice were so much fun. Once we all went to a coffee shop and just decided to go full out performing and expecting some free coffee in return 😉

Anyways then I went in for my masters and then a job. Life took a serious turn with so much work, assignments. When I started working there wasn’t much work to carry back home, but office somehow just drains you out. Sometimes there are late nights too. All of this just killed any time for my poor guitar which got ignored in a corner. Eventually it broke and very painfully I had to dispose it off.

Since the guitar is the common ground between my husband and me, about a year ago we went in and bought a new guitar. We have decided to renew this passion. This is where minimalism has really helped us streamline our mental time and space. As things and stuff are clearing out, we are aiming to remove unnecessary time commitments as well so that we can focus on things we love.

An interesting incident took place recently. We had three files of guitar chords. We went thru all the files and have pared it down to a single file of our favorite songs that we enjoy playing. I didn’t want just throw away the remaining chords. So I asked a colleague at work who is a musician if he would like to have them. He willingly agreed but said “I have nothing to give you in return”. I simply told him that he is actually giving me space. He got baffled at first. But then I explained how by taking away the chord sheets he was helping me create space in my house. I think he found that quite hilarious, but it is so true.

Anyways now we need to remove some time commitments to create a time space and a zone in which we both can get lost with our beloved guitar.


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People more important that stuff

There is a line I remember from the movie “Up In The Air”; George Clooney’s sisters to be husband is getting cold feet just before their wedding and Mr. Clooney asks him a question “when you look back at your most memorable times, what do you see, were you alone in those times or was it filled with people” and the answer was obvious. His most memorable times were with people around him. It was a small example to make us realize that without people the memories won’t be memorable.

If you look around you’ll see people slogging their butt off to earn a good living so that they can enjoy a comfortable life. While doing so they neglect people and are most happy buying and acquiring stuff instead.

After years pass by they are still not satisfied with life. Had they celebrated their success, happiness, small moment of victory with people around them, would they end up being more satisfied?

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Keep it simple silly :)

“All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players”

William Shakespeare

Life is so beautiful and fulfilling when we decide to take the simple way instead of complicating things.

I often remember the above phrase and it touches a chord within me. If we all start to treat this world as a stage and that our life stages are merely different roles that we need to play, the pain will ease.

While enacting a play we might play an angry role or a happy role. But we do not let that affect us, as we know that it’s just a role we need to play.  To an extent, life also needs to be taken with that kind of lightness.

Today morning as I drove to work, amongst a bad traffic jam, I saw this hoarding of a health insurance.

It made the whole proposition sound so ridiculous. Man himself is the creator of the many problems we face right now. Imagine if we all bicycled or took public transport to work instead of driving, there would be lesser road rage, better health, lesser stress. All this could lead to lesser dependence on health insurance. First we eliminate exercise and peace out of our lives and then invent health insurance.

Another ridiculous example is that of an advertisement I saw on television, about obesity rates being on the rise. It showed images of oversized people and then few people who were fit because they went for runs and exercised regularly.  It was a good ad, but only till it ended with the product it was advertising, some new baked chips.  If you are out of shape, you need to exercise and need to eat non-processed food. It’s so simple.

As we keep advancing into the new era, a lot of simple things have gotten complicated. One aspect is how we live, over-burdened with things. We keep buying to keep ourselves happy. But we fail to understand a simple thing that to be happy, out relationships is what we must focus on. If we are living with a happy atmosphere at home, the dependence on external things will go away. But if we are not able to receive love and happiness at home, we try to find that happiness through non-living objects like a designer handbag. Otherwise why would we like to collect so much stuff that it almost becomes a burden to take care of all our belongings?

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On Finding the Spark

I was just reading this article by Leo Babauta on Passionate people: http://zenhabits.net/surround/. The article got me so excited about life and adding that spark to life itself. I started visualizing a dream lifestyle and could picture most of it. I imagined waking up in the morning with that excitement that I normally only feel on weekends. I would love to wake up to a simple empty room with loads of greenery and sunshine pouring in instead of all the furniture. Morning would then become a treat everyday. I would love to open my tiny wardrobe with very few clothes but each piece my favourite so that dressing up will be exciting. I picture my bathroom having just 5-7 items of essential use.

I picture having an extremely exciting routine where there is room for passion, room for development, room to come up with great ideas. A place where i go and teach a bit, learn a bit, are in the company of great working minds, where time flows so quickly that i would need to remind myself to stop work and go back home. I visualize ample time for indulging in sports or activities so that I feel great on the inside and outside of my body. I would love to achieve the highest level of physical fitness, go beyond the limitations of my own body. Most importantly I visualize most evenings spent outdoor in the midst of nature.

Right now a lot of material clutter needs to leave my hands. I want to free myself of this responsibility of taking care of stuff. Next would be mental clutter, for which a lot of introspection will be required. I am finding my purpose in life. I am looking for a greater level of satisfaction from life and that will happen once I can feel the spark on a daily basis.

Time is running out and I do not want to look back at life and feel I wasted my energy in a corporate world, in a cluttered home, in not indulging into my passion, in letting my youth become stale or in simply living just for the weekends. I want to instead use this limited time to learn skills, sharpen my own brain and serve community. I want to feel proud of my contribution to a person, community or the world.

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Decluttering with a purpose

Hello folks…especially to those located in India. I have mentioned about this organization GOONJ before. GOONJ is a nationwide movement working on the issue of clothing. There is a special camp they are organizing from Feb 14th to Mar 3rd during which DHL (Courier Company) will come and collect the de-cluttered items from your homes and deliver it to GOONJ’s Mumbai warehouse, for distribution to the needy and poor. DHL can be contacted at 022-2658 5151 or  idonate@dhl.com

Items that can be donated are:

ü  CLOTHES (Old / New but in wearable condition)

ü  FOOTWEAR (in pairs – left and right tied together)


ü  STATIONERY (Old/new notebooks, text books, story books, school bags, lunch boxes, water bottles, Pen, pencil, sharpener, eraser, scale, crayons/ colours)

ü  PAPER (Newspapers, magazines, one side used paper)

ü  DRY RATION (pulses, spices, sugar, tea leaf, rice etc)





Guys lets use this as an opportunity for our homes to go from fat to fit. No one wants excess of anything be it body fat, stuff, free time, OR work. There is a beauty in being moderate.  Also look at the reward you get for donating your unwanted items.  There are 2 levels of benefit you get directly without spending a ruppee.

  1. You get to make your house look really pretty. Read a previous post on that topic: http://wp.me/pRXtZ-c
  2. You are doing charity work without spending a penny. You are simply collecting the unwanted items. Then calling or emailing the DHL service to get it picked up.


Aren’t these benefits good enough to already get you jumping out of your seat to gather items that are collecting dust or otherwise?

Let’s help GOONJ and de-clutter in the process. You can visit them at www.goonj.org

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The end of television

Definition of the black box:

“An addictive device which keeps the

lower classes subdued; a perpetuator

of violence and materialism; and a

silent destroyer of intellectualism.”


I read this definition of the television on a blog I was reading recently. I found it to be quite a strong statement but found myself agreeing to the above. TV can be very addictive. Action packed movies can spread the message that violence is a trendy trait to have. Advertising, which these days are shown much more than the actual content, does make you want to run after material things. The television also kills conversation time among family members, reading time, and time to pursue hobbies or sports.

How does the TV help us? There are a few who watch channels like discovery, national geographic etc. I also enjoy watching movies of interest but what about the masses?

We all tune into soap operas, family dramas, song and dance competitive shows, live shows. There are shows like “Big Boss” and “Maa Exchange” which could even have a negative influence.

 I am not saying TV is a complete no-no. I myself do watch a family drama show, but I know I cannot watch it for hours. It’s a slot of 30 minutes where I let my creativity go for a toss and enjoy with everyone.

On the other hand, when I am not watching TV, I find that time very relaxing, without the noise and the flickering screen. I prefer to put on some of my favorite music while de-cluttering in my room, or just dancing to the tunes or reading a book, or thinking and enjoying the calmness in the space, the stillness.

TV would destroy the beauty in that moment.  TV would also destroy the minimalistic look and feel to my space.

I am happy to announce that I am not addicted to the TV and could stay without one.

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Ode to Starbucks!

My most fave coffee shop is Starbucks. It’s probably not the coffee. It’s the shop. The ambiance they create, it’s like magic. I follow them on twitter and started learning more about them. They practice the ‘bring your own mug and get free coffee’ philosophy to promote lesser waste. My level of respect for them skyrocketed.

We just got a new vending machine in our office and I was thrilled as I am a coffee person. I took my own ceramic mug for the coffee and felt damn proud of myself. I had kept Starbucks in mind. But my reaction to the vending machine was mixed. I’d be exaggerating if I said 2 people were following that philosophy.

Why do we need rules to make us feel that we should not be doing something wrong? Isn’t this whole wide world ours and not just Starbuck’s? Then why doesn’t it occur to us that using a paper cup for 2 sips of coffee is utter selfishness.

Let’s just say that in-spite of the education and news all around us we are all sleeping beauties. We still need a kick in the butt for us to wake up and realize that time is slipping out and we better take some action TODAY.

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