Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sight is a faculty; seeing an art.
Nature springs surprises in myriad ways and mostly these delight the heart and refresh the mind. My last rendezvous with the twin concretes had left me feeling lonely and banished the erstwhile complacency i had.
And maybe it will sound incredible and like i'm making it up... spinning a drama out of nothing. But this is no such story. This is the truth and nothing but the whole truth. About personal experiences and just like always i'd love to share this too.

Sometimes certain things looks beautiful instantaneously. Other times things start looking appealing on repetitive sightings. i have had this feeling when at first sight a particular thing or person i am detached and least bit inclined but then regular encounters instills attachments  to such an extent that i chide myself at missing all that beauty before and not having admired or appreciated  in the first instance. How easy it is to overlook the endearing aspects and search instead for projections of your own falsified wants.
Let me simplify this thought by asking a question. Has it ever happened to you when on first sight you have rejected a particular color?  But later found the same color attractive when you saw it again and again ?

 "Look around, pause and linger and then you will find beauty in everything you see"  i remember the words i had read somewhere. Even the most repulsive to you will definitely have something which you might be lacking in and it could be anything physical...eyes, hands, hair or even some attribute that deserves credit and much applause. Patience, humility, or a particular skill that one can never imagine of having... so it could be anything. i don't know if this happens with others but generally we accept and reject on impulse. Mostly becoming judgmental even before knowing anything or anyone properly. 
 i am trying to improve upon that and i sincerely feel that nature is providing me with enough support by bestowing all the valuable lessons in it's humbly effective way.

Apart from the other two cases of instant attraction and  attraction on repetition, rarely there could be instances when behind the most ordinary you find something extraordinary. Rather this experience tells me that everything is special and nothing actually is ordinary. Maybe things are common but everything is special just like i am. As a species i am as common as a crow but also very special and there is none like me.

Thus the four days i spent in that part of the city in that particular township which had beautiful houses and well manicured lawns and posh exteriors i never missed a single day to take time out of my itinerary and indulge in solitary walks. Even if it meant getting up early at the crack of dawn when the body is stubborn to lift itself from the comfortable bed and fight the deep restful slumber.

And it was on one such dawn when nature whispered the most amazing discourse which i'm so eagerly yapping about. 
i passed the twin concretes and looked at them again. i was still in my night pajamas and was just too conscious to feel anything but the morning freshness as i glanced alternating my sights to the twin houses, other houses, the trees, the blossoms and the trendily dressed morning walkers who wiz passed me .
Something caught my attention, a wisp of green, magenta fluttering out from one of the parallel walls of the concrete twins. The arrow in the picture should be able to guide as to precisely from where what fluttered in the morning breeze and caught the attention of my wandering eye.
The nameless of the twins had a man sitting at what i presume should be the entrance to the living room of the house. i went a little closer to the gate and sought his permission to come inside the house so that i could have a better look at what had caught my attention. The man would have nodded but since his face was in the dark all i could make out was his pleasant voice which said, '' Haan jee jaroor aa jayeye aur acchi tarah dekh lijiye." ( Hindi language that oozed respect for a stranger and said, "Yes please do come inside, and feel comfortable as you see to your heart's content.")
What i saw was something i had never seen before. For sometime i stood stunned, speechless in admiration and awe. Nature had not only surprised me pleasantly but also aroused a certain amount of pride which is associated with discovery. i felt like a naturalist who has stumbled upon something unique. i was bombarded with a flood of emotions and thoughts and this time i felt my eyes watering with joy unlimited. 

Stuck on the white concrete was the prettiest grass that i had ever seen. Grass! that's what i called it then.
          NO, ordinary grass this but a pretty flowering one. 
i was lost in oblivion, as i soaked in the beauty and was happy dwelling in this wonderland where something as common as grass, hidden from common sight looked towards the walls of the nameless house extending a wondrous wreath/ bouquet of happiness and friendship. i am sure that along with the silent happy wall the occupants of that house would be receiving pleasure and warmth too whether wittingly or unwittingly.
Jolted rudely out of my reverie, i sensed the vibrating mobile ringing in my clutched palm and for yet another time i wished i was mobile less.  i peered into the screen to see my husband calling me. i attended his call and pleaded him to come and share the joy with me.
i was desperete to share the hidden beauty with apparently grass like foliage and white veined with purple/magenta-pink flower having erect five lobed center which in itself looked like a minute flower in the middle of another.
During the day as i went on with my affairs of sightseeing the beauty lingered in my minds eye and i also remembered what William Wordsworth had once said upon sighting  a host of Daffodils.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
in such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
what wealth the show to me had brought:

 For oft, when on my couch I lie
 In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

The discourse also rang inside me. Maybe some times you don't have to wander over hills, valleys or lakes for nature to delight you. Beauty that invigorates and rejoices is around us if only we care. Also you don't need numbers in plenty to give you bliss in solitude. For even when you are not in vacant or in pensive mood some visions do give you pleasure nevertheless. Because a thing of beauty is joy forever. Even a single is enough to give you delight every time you have flashes of that. Definitely it could be something that is not discernible at first but nature has bestowed its bounty among all and sundry and therefore everything and everyone is special and unique." To look at a thing is very different from seeing it." (Oscar Wilde)

i guess i understand somewhat now what it means when it is said, '' Sight is a faculty; seeing an art. "

My Botanica listing A-Z of 10,000 species gave me no clue about this grass maybe because it enlists 10,000 and not all. But an intensive search  for approximately five days although not full days but intermittently typing colors, foliage, type on the internet did provide me with sufficient identification. 
Rosy Milkweed Vine
Later i spoke to my one and only naturalist friend and sent him the picture through mail and he confirmed that the grass i had sighted was not actually a grass but a vine/ creeper known as Rosy Milkweed Vine. He also congratulated me for my sighting because he said that he has not seen it ever and was seeing it for the first time in my picture. Needless to say then i was on cloud nine...and remained so for the rest of the few days.
For the rest of the days through my lows and highs the vision lingered with me as a "jocund company" not only to bring me cheer and pride but more to remind me what they call in photography jargon as using the OUTDOOR EYE. " You already have certain moments when you use your Outdoor just have to learn how to use your Outdoor Eyes all the time." Although this was voiced as an important diktat for On-The-Go ie OTG  photography yet the essence of this can be applied to the way we see things generally.
Mostly we agree and are okay with all our tunnel visions. It is not surprising then we miss out on the most amazing opportunities,"To see a world in a grain of sand / And a heaven in a wild flower, / Hold infinity in the palm of your hand / And eternity in an hour." (William Blake)
Linear Lance like leaves

Botanical name: Oxystelma esculentum    Family: Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed family)
10-15 cm flowers

In order to bring all together i must say that i am deeply in reverence to that energy out there, that magnetism, that force which made me find beauty where i least expected it to the gaps.
Some worship the energy and call it God. Even i do but i must say there are times i start having doubts.
Then something in nature brings me around and i see the essence of God in nature. The simplest things have the most profound beauty.

i want to make some necessary changes in myself and i have realized that in order to bring these changes i have to learn to accept people as they are. If and when i find gaps i have to remind myself that it is in the gaps that sometimes beauty is found
"Compassion is a better vehicle for change than judgment."
i wish this today not only for me but for all who like me want this perception to remain constant rather than it being a transient one like always.

i am also glad that i took a decision long time back when i decided to slow down, forgive myself , count the blessings and enjoy each moment of my new found profession.

Okay time for me to stop the Ml ( moral lecture) and remember that it is Saturday and the color for Saturday is Purple or Black. Since i have already delivered purple maybe i'll go for Black this time.

Black Calla Lilies
"Black calla lilies are head-turning flowers. Mysterious and elegant, they are a real fantasy. Although not true black in color, the maroon and deep purple shades are very similar to the pure black. Black calla lilies are rarer than the traditional white calla lilies and maybe this is why they are so searched for by gardeners and so appreciated by flower lovers."

My sincere thanks to Karthik of  and .  Had it not been for my friend and this internet site i would still be calling the Rosy Milkweed vine/ creeper that also has another variety with plain white flowers as, "just a flowering grass".