Focal Point

I often am fascinated by the human body – what a marvelous work of engineering! Today am admiring the wonderful sense of sight – the eyes. It’s raining out here and I am just looking out at the scene through the glass window with a cup of coffee. With my eyes, I can see everything so clearly even outside but the camera can focus only on what’s closest to it. 

In this photo, you can see my coffee in focus and the chaos outside, even if it’s blurred. So I am very thankful for the camera because that’s possibly the only way I can capture and share the moments that I like, visually, with everyone, for lack of that kind of artistic talent which also requires time and effort to master. 

Coffee on a rainy day

For more photos about interpreting Focus, you can look here

And here is the photo of the same place after it has stopped raining.

Serendipity

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.

Sundae

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.

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Church

 


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?

Magical creatures are everywhere!

Every time I see these mice at the bridge, I imagine that that one day they were scuttling away and a magician threw some star dust on them and they froze like this! What could the story be? Was there a lovely but poor maiden who had these mice as friends and one day the evil magician came and took her away or was there a town troubled by the mice and the magician was called to get rid of them? Was there a prince and his loyal friend who were turned to mice by the magician to take over the kingdom or were there two conspirators who wanted to capture the kingdom and the king’s wizard friend came along just in time? The magic is in the possibilities – isn’t it?

Tuxpi photo editor: https://www.tuxpi.com

If you’d like to know about other thoughts on magic, you can take a look here.

Capturing the Ephemeral

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How interesting is it that the wordpress photo-challenge theme for this week is the same as the theme of my blog – reflection – former is literal and latter is metaphorical – but reflection nonetheless! Here is a pool or a well, that is considered to be the origin of the river Danube in a place called Donaueschingen in the Black Forest region of Germany, reflecting the skies and the beautifully constructed wall around it.

Waters of the Danube or the Ganges or a small puddle, water in any case would have been the first mirror that made human beings start understanding how others saw them and hence, to get the desire to start grooming themselves so as to look like they would want others to see them. Must’ve been quite a discovery..isn’t it?

With that thought, I will let you reflect on your own thoughts…

Other great entries for the challenge can be found 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)..

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

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There are marching bands too!

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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  :-)!

Looking up

As I was coming to work this morning, these guys caught my attention – soaring up and looking so happy! Seeing them immediately lifted my mood. I think the inventor of the balloons was a genius – he/she knew how to bring a smile to a child’s face with the simplest thing – air :-)!

What is more amazing is – it’s a timeless and boundary-less thing – don’t children across the world love balloons? And  when they are grown-ups, then the balloons bring back the memories of childhood with the birthday parties and fetes and of a time with may be simpler cares.

(Incidentally, today’s Daily Post’s photo challenge is about Looking Up. How apt!)

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..

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Fall of 2014
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Fall of 2011