Chai Noon is a weekly podcast hosted by Hanik and Kiran about the desi experience outside the realm of South Asia. I’ve been a fan of the show since they started. It’s relaxed, fun and they have a variety of interesting guests on each week.
Hanik and I had a great conversation that ranged from growing up in Durban to our love of the natural beauty of South Africa, our experiences of Diwali away from home and my experiences studying what’s often considered an unconventional degree within the Indian community in Durban. Of course, being Chai Noon, we had to talk about food – a lot. We also got to catch up and reminisce about the (still unfinished) animated film we were making back in Grade 4 with our friends (Mission to Mars).
This was my first experience being on a podcast and it’s inspired me to start seriously considering getting into the game. Watch this space 😉
The show comes out this week; I will be sure to link to it on the blog as soon as it airs.
Another year over, and another three month holiday begins. Being a bit more experienced at dealing with the longer year-end vacation that meets many a weary university student, I’ve decided to enter this period of respite well prepared.
Followers of Pixelated Thinking would’ve noticed the lack of updates here in the past few months; I’ve been really busy with coursework. Now that that nightmare is over, I’ll be back to my usual blogging ways, tapping away at the keyboard on new stories, blogs, thoughts and code.
A Tale of Two Cities
For the first time since I began studying in Cape Town, I decided to drive back to Durban. It was tiring, but also a great deal of fun (my cousins made the trek with me – read: they did most of the driving :P). Only when you make an arduous journey by land from city to city do you truly appreciate the beauty of your country. Yes, South Africa post-1994 isn’t the utopia everyone envisioned it would suddenly become. There’s still a lot to be done politically and culturally, but when you experience the country, truly seeing its magnificence manifest over 2000km of road, the bickering and trivialities of local politics fades away.
The South African landscape is remarkable. The stretch from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, shifting between coastal routes and more inland forays, paints a beautiful portrait of tree-lined highways. The vineyards and lush vegetation transitions almost seamlessly into futuristic, sci-fi-like open fields dotted with enormous wind turbines characteristic of the windy region that is the Eastern Cape. This again quickly gives way to the rolling hills of the KwaZulu-Natal topography, guiding one gently back to the eastern coast of this country. These rapid metamorphoses of the landscape are telling of the juxtapositions prevalent in South Africa, both physically and metaphorically. It’s difficult to imagine you’re still in South Africa at times. These places are hardly seen by the average South African, and my cousin Yajur was able to perfectly capture this beauty with his way-too-complicated-for-this-blogger-to-understand Nikon camera, in the photos below (and above).
Sunrise in Port Elizabeth
Cathedral in Grahamstown
Open roads between PE and Durban
Bridge between Cape Town and PE
After the long trip to Durban, I’ve begun planning the projects and books to be tackled in my free time. Look out for my annual Reading List in the next blog post, and my 2014 in Film overview of notable movies coming out next year.