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.

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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?

Solitude

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.

Wishes and Dreams

I often wonder about this process of wishing and dreaming. Is this something that only humans can or animals also have these kind of thoughts? Anyway, for the purpose of this post, let’s see how we make our wishes. More often than not, they are given as an appeal to the gods in whom we may have faith and wait for them to be fulfilled.

Here’s a lady lighting incense at a Buddhist temple probably wishing for the well-being of her loved ones.

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And here are the locks that we see on the bridges (I don’t know who started the trend) put there by couples who wish to “lock” their love forever and throw the key :).

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And here are the wishes that people of the erstwhile East Germany had (now painted on an artistic graffiti wall).

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It’s quite a coincidence that very recently I learnt (not yet completely though) the sentence formations for wishes and dreams in German. Oh yes, there is a lesson about that too in the curriculum! I don’t remember having been taught that in English or Hindi as a theme :-). But then nobody says German is an easy language to learn. I can only wish that I can learn it!

If the theme made you wish for more, then you can check out the thoughts of bloggers from across the world here.

The Sunshine

It was a cold Monday in the beginning of autumn when the temperatures suddenly dropped, when I found myself at the lake. I had been walking for a long time and was tired. So it was quite nice to find a place sit in the sun watching the swans and ducks. The sun rays dancing on the water made everything look so much more beautiful than if it was cloudy. It was a lovely day..

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You can check other shining entries here.

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!)

Rain

As I am sitting here in my office room, and it is raining outside, all I am wishing is for the rain to stop so that I can go home and start my weekend.IMG_0590

But it used to be so different in India..where the rains were always welcome on hot days and the drops brought out the scent of the soil parched by the brutal sun. It was like the earth was thanking the rains by giving out that beautiful scent. But now that I am not there, I don’t know if I will ever enjoy the rains in the same way as I did when I was in India with the ubiquitous chai-pakoras with friends and family. For those who don’t know about the Indian street food, chai-pakoras (tea and fritters) is a fare that you will find throughout India with variations – from small make-shift stalls to big restaurants but of course, the best ones are at the homes!

May be need to find new friends and invite them over for a rainy evening and recreate the magic of Indian summer and the rain. In this new place which yet doesn’t feel like home, there will be times like these which will bring back memories from back home and make me want to fly back in time…I know I have to move on and make a new home here but I can be nostalgic from time to time and that’s when I will make chai-pakoras and soothe the yearnings of the heart with the taste on the tongue!

 

The concept of time

  As I was waiting at the bus stop in the evening and wondering what the time was (was too cold to get the hands out of the pocket),the church bells startled me.  There were some kids on the street who appeared to be calling it a day and heading home on hearing the bells. I wondered that in Europe, probably the church bells were the only means for the common people to know the exact hour of the day. In India, there used to be clock towers or rather Bell Towers (“ghanta-ghar”) for this “time business” in some cities which I assume were constructed during the colonial times. Indians who were keen on exact time invented the sun dials as there was plenty of sun around all the time. The peasants could tell the hour just by looking at the shadows. And after sun down, who wanted to know the time? Sunrise meant start and Sunset meant stop. Life was so much simpler!

Back to the church bells – it is interesting that though so much time has passed since those old days and so much technology is there, the church bells are still tolled. Probably that is one of the connections from this time to a time long ago. How many generations have grown up and died hearing these bells and how many more will continue to hear them! It is one of the characteristic features of Europe – especially in small villages.

Anyway, if useful for nobody else, at least they are for children who can understand when it is time to go back home after playing with their friends :). And for people like me who want to know the hour without having to take out the hands from the pocket…

Hope

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Today I received an email from a friend which asked me to send an inspiring quote to the person whose name was mentioned in the email even if I didn’t know that person. It is going to be a chain mail sort of thing but without the warning that “if you don’t send it to 20 people within 5 days you will be doomed” ;). It is supposed to inspire people. Let’s see how this progresses. The quote I sent is what I myself received on a day when I was feeling particularly low. It says:

Never stop believing in hope because miracles happen every day!”

Time…where are you flying to?

Time is a very skilled juggler. It can make something reach a pinnacle and then ravage it as if there never was anything…and we humans think we can be immortal or make something that will remain forever even if we are gone. But Time doesn’t agree to it. It flies and takes away everything that was and will also take what will be…yet..nobody knows why and where!

Here’s a picture from a temple in India, constructed centuries ago..the corroded statues telling the story of impermanence of everything…
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For more interpretations of time, do visit the Daily Post’s photo challenge Time.