Out of the ordinary

Most days we just go by life and everything else, on a kind of auto-pilot mode. Wake up, get ready, go to wherever you are supposed to go, come back, sleep and start all over again the next day (breathing, eating and drinking – that’s kind of necessary).

But some times, while you are on autopilot, something just jumps out from background to foreground, making you take notice. Those are moments which make you think a little, before you again go on with your routine.

Sometimes, I get to capture those moments when I have the camera, at other times not. For the former, it’s great because I can show the object of my surprise also to others. The latter ones are nice, and leave behind this longing to see it once again (happens often when the night sky has interesting positions of moon, planets and stars and I don’t have the right gear to shoot those scenes)!

Here are some of those moments that I found unusual and also managed to take a photo of, of course.

Have you seen a sleeping bird? I’d never seen one before this dude..
The swan that turned into a pumpkin! Could it be a curse of the magician that the swan was bothering?
The houses of this village had eyes! Some had one and some three..spooky

If you enjoyed this and want to see some more, then you can find other photographic interpretations of “unusual” here.


There were once three princes of Serendip who were asked by their father, the King, to get out of the country. The King was not punishing them although on the face it would appear that way. Instead, his hidden motive was to make his sons learn more about the world before they ascended the throne. So the princes did go out and made interesting experiences and also discovered a lot of things by accident. Well, so is the interpretation of the western authors that those were accidents. My interpretation would be that anything seems like an accident because one doesn’t expect it but aren’t most interesting discoveries like that? And another thing is – accident in my dictionary is a bad thing while discovery is usually good. If you find what you are looking for, then probably the term discovery won’t fit!

Anyway, so back to these princes and their discoveries. An author Horace Warpol coined the term Serendipity from this story which means “making fortunate discoveries by accident”.

I often feel like those princes of Serendip when I make these kind of discoveries with no plan whatsoever. (But I was not asked by my father to leave the country..that happened just as an outcome of some work related thing). So here I am today, on a warm summer day, sitting in the middle of a lovely village, having a sundae surrounded by interesting buildings and chatter of the locals.


And it was not planned at all. Yesterday, a very close friend of mine C and I sat down for lunch at work. She and I get to meet only every two weeks or so as she has a working schedule that gives her more time to be with her little daughter. So I was filling her in about my adventures from last weeks. Then we came on the topic of what I could do on this long weekend. And out of nowhere, we decided that I come with her to her home  – which is in a region where I had never been before. So after a long journey in which we chatted the whole time, we reached her home. She had told me that she needs to go to a nearby village for some work. I decided to come along instead of sitting at home. And it was a good decision. See for yourself.



I arrived at a place I would have never planned to come on my own but yet ended up at and then getting to enjoy the atmosphere with a nice big bowl of icecream on a warm summer day…

Now shouldn’t I call this Serendipity?


Somehow the word “solitude” translates to “tranquility” for me, instead of the “state of being alone”. The latter is usually associated with loneliness and has a kind of negative connotation. But I believe solitude is a very powerful thing, not because you are alone but because of what your mind is telling you when you are alone! For some that is a very scary thing and for some it is a very pleasant state of existence. Scary probably because of the social conditioning or the fear of the unknown and pleasant probably because one can be or do whatever one likes without the fear of being judged by fellow beings. Whatever it may be, I think everyone should have some time to be just with oneself. It does make you think a bit differently than usual, which I believe is a good thing. I think that is why the ancient people of India went to the forests to meditate, to be with themselves, to be with the nature, to learn something,  for all the answers are probably within us but we just don’t get to hear them in the humdrum of our mundane existence.

There is this one scene that I captured on my lens which brought on me the feeling of solitude – in the commonly understood meaning – that of being completely alone. 10275584_10153294403428217_8774058467903492262_o

For some more thoughts and interpretations of solitude from bloggers around the globe, check out this page Solitude.

The Journey

I often find myself taking lots of pictures on the road while travelling, despite the risk of the reflections from the glass windows of the vehicle. So most often than not, I just have to delete the pictures thus taken. But once in a while, I am pleasantly surprised by some scenes quite beautifully captured.

As my journey today is about to come to an end, here is a compilation from today. Tell me what do you think..

See more impressions from other travelers here.


It always fascinates me how an artist’s eyes see something that would appear mundane to others. Where most would see an empty wall, an artist would see a canvas that he can paint on, where most would see a lone piece of fruit, an artist would see a rose that he can carve, where most would see a big boulder, an attist would see the sculpture he can untrap from it..the list is endless. And that is exactly the meaning of transmogrify – something a bit more than transform – as if by magic!

Here is one such piece of work. What appears to be aliens looking around, showed on closer inspection to be transmogrified from some old hollow tree      stumps!

But nothing can beat Nature. The transmogrifications it does are just awe-inspiring – look at a small seed turning into an oak tree, water turning to fluffy clouds hanging like giant cotton balls, soil and stones forming mountains, bees converting flower juice to honey..another endless list.

Look here how the green hill has become vibrant with the colors as if someone came and painted it overnight..

If you are fascinated too, you can check out some more transmogrifications here.

Schlossbeleuchtung – illumination of the castle, Street Fests and Fireworks

In Germany, or let’s say in the Southern parts as I have no idea what happens in the Northern side, there are street fests which give people the opportunity to drink beer/wine and have schnitzel/wurst with their friends (which come to think of it, they do it even otherwise but this is more in a community way)..


For me the attraction is the live music – bands play all kinds of music – country, swing, rock and roll, jazz and sometimes even classical.


There are marching bands too!


Sometimes there are flea-markets where people can be seen buying and selling, interesting stuff – even bargaining – which you don’t see ever here in normal circumstances.

Yesterday was one of those days that there were two street fests taking place in two suburbs close to one another. I got the wind of it in the morning from a friend A. I wasn’t sure that I would be going but then after a chat with another friend C, I decided to go to one of the fests. But as it would turn out, I had also messaged another friend N in parallel but hadn’t received a response until the evening. So I went with my normal chores and just when I was dumping the grocery at home after a trip to the supermarket, I received the message from N that she was at the fest no. 1 and I could join her. So I started right away. On a side note, I have no idea why does it always happen – I forget about the nicer clothes and jewelry, that I buy like a shopaholic, lying in my cupboard and step out in the same clothes that I would wear at day time at home or for grocery-shopping or for any mundane stuff! Why do I even buy things if they never are destined to see the “tages-licht” as the Germans call their daylight! Was acutely aware of it when I saw people dressed up nicely at the fest.

Anyway, so here I was at the fest no. 1 but couldn’t find N and the band had started playing – so it was difficult to make a call. After some time, I managed to reach N on the phone and she said she was on her way back from the supermarket. Found a place to sit but then a man already sitting there said that he had reserved the spot for his family. I started to get up but understood from the gesture and my broken German that he was saying that I could sit until they came back. So I did. And then as his family came, I was getting up but while looking up in their direction, I didn’t pay attention to my back and upset the cocktail glass of his mom/aunt/mother-in-law in my hurry to make place for them. The lady was shocked for a minute but then when I apologized and offered her some tissue, she took it and laughed it off saying that (in German) that it was a warm day anyway!

Then when N arrived, we found a bench where we could sit and enjoy the band without being too close to the speakers. She had brought some drinks with her which she had while I had some water. We chatted for a while but then I wanted to eat something so I went in search of something I could eat. Came back with some stuff but as it took longer than expected, N was gone to get something – the fellow benchers told that she’ll be coming back. So I sat down and tried to open my bottle of Pepsi and as it was one of those days when I am being a “tollpatschig” (syn.: butter-fingers, clumsy), the Pepsi bubbled out of the bottle like crazy and I got some on my clothes before I held it away from myself. That was a very quick demonstration of the karma theory of what you give is what you receive (remember the cocktail spilling incident from a few minutes back?)! Then N came back and we finally relaxed, chatted, ate something and then she headed towards a bbq and I to the fest no. 2 to meet C.

On reaching the other suburb, I met C and we walked a bit. The fest here didn’t seem to be as big as the first one but this one had trampolines for kids which C was quite tempted to get on to. Sadly, it was only for kids! Find it in the pic below :).

We saw the band playing but went in ahead in search of A and found that she and another friend of hers N, were sitting on children’s swings in a school complex! C got happy seeing the swings and after swinging for a few minutes, her spirits were lifted :-). The best things in life are the simplest – isn’t it?

Ah and there are these sweets stalls that you would find at every fest in Germany, which have all the sinful candies that might have been used by the witch since old times to lure Hansel and Gratel!

Then we went back to the fest area and had something to drink. I had some fries and then while A and N were gone to fetch another friend of theirs E from the tram stop, I thought of trying out another fizzy drink – this time in a glass – and my clumsy day still far from being over, I again spilled some of the drink. Unbelievable – one would think – but what can you do about it?

Fast forward. The day was not over yet. I wanted to go see the fireworks and castle illumination (see heading of the post) which takes place three times every year in summer and I had missed the last two. A, N and E also planned to go there while C wanted to go back home. So the four of us, on finding that the tram was in 3 minutes, started running. Thankfully the first one that came was the one going to another destination. Then ours arrived and it was quite full – owing to the fact that everyone else too was going to see what we were going for! We reached the destination and after some confusion in the tram due to the road being closed for transport as people were already gathered on the bridge for the event, we finally found a place in the crowd to see some fireworks. The castle must have been already illuminated but we missed seeing it. There were some nice fireworks but they only for 15 minutes! But that was enough to give out the thick smoke that engulfed the hills like fog!

Then we started back like everyone else and I waited for my bus while the others decided to spend some more time there. And one last thing for the day was the crowd in the bus that reminded me of the buses in India (my experience is from Bangalore). After about 7 months, the scene from the volvo buses in Bangalore was recreated here in Heidelberg – it was so uncanny! But the difference was that the bus driver didn’t drive like crazy like in Bangalore! And then a funny thing happened. As the driver couldn’t see on one side due to so many people blocking his view, he asked before making a turn if some other vehicle was coming along and several people said in unison “nein, es ist frei” – “no, it is free” :-).

Finally reached home after the exciting day and to not tempt things further from spilling, breaking, falling – I decided to call it a day and went to sleep..

Until the next post..do some “tolpatschiging” of your own and let me know in the comments  :-)!

Hearts of Heidelberg

Hearts of Heidelberg on a sunny afternoon..

After so many years of seeing these lovely hearts, finally yesterday, thanks to my friend Federica, I got to speak with the artist – a really old lady (Federica wanted to buy one as a present for her mom and in the process also acted as my interpreter for the conversation). I had seen an old lady working once, two years back but before that I was always wondering who is creating these. Now that I look back on my pictures from the past visits to Heidelberg, I see that there is another old lady in that pic from two years back. Probably there are two artists – sisters, may be. The one I met yesterday,  is very modest and didn’t want her pic to be taken but was gracious to let me take the pics of her work!

(She was so considerate that she even asked us while we were leaving if we got the picture!).

Looking forward to serendipitous solving some more beautiful mysteries of Germany that have intrigued me over the years with the help of friends old and new!

And here are some pics from the past visits..

Fall of 2014
Fall of 2011