Friday, December 19, 2014

Want a world full of Children but Without Religion

Yeah it feels nice to have this ME time...all by myself doing what i like best...speaking it out...sharing my thoughts. The sound of the keyboard as i type feels soothing like my own quiet heartbeat...although nice is not exactly how i feel...

Thoughts...many...and yet none in particular...actually there is chaos...and every time there is chaos i just turn towards nature...Almighty
...Nature and Almighty are synonymous for me.
For those who view me from outside but can only judge me might think me to be a religious person but then i ask...what is religion? And am i truly religious? Seriously i feel like a sinner most times and hardly religious at all. For only i know that in my thoughts and deeds how much or up to what measure have i been on the right track which did not impinge upon any other's. i choose as it suits my convenience and comfort.  i guess most of those i have known to be deeply religious have done the same.
The worst aspect of human nature...the one responsible for most of our tragedies...our propensity for self deception.
Nature teaches us each day and guides us every moment but do we care or even listen...we do as we please just because we first deceive ourselves and later want it that way calling it OUR WAY...

What just happened in Peshawar...
i am thinking if i am clean...are my hands clean or am i too like Pilates washing my hands off it all ?

It does not seem to work...this count my blessing thing and hugging my own child tight. Well to me it doesn't. i feel just too frustrated, angry. At everyone and everything...even religion.
i feel angry at the world my own country too...
i feel angry for all the guns being supplied...all the funds being given...all in the name of Jihad and religion.
i feel angry at the world for just mouthing words and doing nothing and sometimes i feel like religion should be wiped out from planet earth. If it means killing each other then let us all go back to the time when we were neither Christians, nor Moslems , Hindus or any isms for that matter...
All the isms in this whole wide world and yet we remain a barbarian and those who are not actually spraying bullets just talk and empathize/sympathize, perhaps light candles and then life goes on. So what's the use of any religion.
Right from the time of the Holy Crusade...killing...killing...killing...
All in the name of religion.
Do we really need to have this religion???

i fail to understand...Which God in which religion has said, " Kill if they don't conform" !
i look around me and admire nature which i deem as my religion and this if it can be considered as a  religion if at all, teaches me, reminds each one of us each day and every moment to respect and celebrate LIFE and it's many varieties...all creatures great and small.
For all the governments, policymakers and all the authorities ruling here there and everywhere it should be thus. To celebrate and thus respect the gift of LIFE .

Well children don't choose place or religion. They are gifts of nature and are born where they are.
Now after exhausting ourselves or perhaps getting bored out of the harangued targeting monuments, buildings, social structures and even suicide bombing suits we humans are embarking on a novel way to prove how deeply religious we are ...kill the innocent best gifts of nature...the children...

Sometimes i feel just like the roads of Delhi is not safe for women to commute in the night,alone, so in the same way it is not safe to bring forth any child into this world any more.
What's the use...
We have killed many of the flora and the fauna...and chances are that just like the dodos and dinosaurs many of the going to be extinct soon creatures they shall be seeing only in pictures.
We have polluted the atmosphere...and are relentless at that. i can testify to a certain extent because just for status sake i see in Delhi many a family of six will actually be using six SUV'S adding not only to the emissions but also to the never ending traffic snarls ...and this is just one example...
About garbage generation and disposal it's a whole big story altogether rather sometimes i daydream and have visions of our earth turning into a huge ball of wasteland.
The educated class just wouldn't care and those who aren't don't know.
Then there are pedophiles lurking around to make a mess of our angels and if at all the angels escape these candy uncles and aunties there is no respite from the tough competition that awaits them at school, college and university so on and so forth. The competition never ends making life an ordeal than a beautiful pursuit of happyness.
Yeah! anyway the competition is killing them. To deal with and get into the race and emerge out a winner is stealing their carefree childhood away from them. i don't see children playing around anymore...those that play are all gearing up for some competition at some level and by play i mean the CHILD'S PLAY.
i see no child actually play the carefree, gay abandon cute, self devised... games anymore...
And now we are not even sure if they will return home to us safely from school.
In America, Europe and elsewhere some psychopath will take a gun and go on a random shooting spree or else the self proclaimed Jihadis might target our if they were sprinkling pesticides over a if it was a job to be done with in that stipulated hour...
BTW i want to know from these Jihadis if they have been as pure in their intentions as Abraham had been. Have they used their instrument to spray on their own child and thus splatter their own walls with the blood of their own and only?  That is if at all they did it for Kurbaani / Sacrifice sake in the name of religion.
Strange thing this kind of kurbaani is... strange...
Never understood this kind of sacrifice too.

If there is an option then i would prefer a world full of children but without religion. How's that !
What a wonderful world it would be. Like a lovely garden...and that garden would be ringing with the cheerful, carefree rippling laughter of the best gift of nature...children...

Maybe i would like to laugh too and stop with this thought...although an unreal fictional thought. But so what... i want to stop here with this thought simply because it is nice and warm and oh so secure... :)


Friday, September 19, 2014

In a Different Light

 Niyat Kitni Bhi Achi Ho Duniya
Apko Apky Dikhaway Say Janti Hai
Aur Dikhawa Kitna Bhi Acha Ho
ALLAH Apko Apki Niyaat Say Janta

i often hear him repeat these words in his programme Soul Yatra. Traslated it should mean something like this...The world knows you by your appearance but THE LORD knows you by your intentions. 
Whoa...what great thoughts and what a great way to start the day...
So here i go...

Every morning I watch you walk into the office
In your business suit and matching shoes
With your hair put up neatly you tug at your glasses
And you you sit down, just three desks down
And I watch you in the fluorescent glare
And my mind drifts away somewhere
And I see you in a different light
Your hair falling down, with love in your eyes
In my mind, you're a beautiful sight
I see you in a different light
Just the way I saw you last night
There's girls at the office the guys always notice
When they walk by, but you're not the type
They don't know what I know, how some things just don't show
Through tailored tweaks, and that's fine with me
Let them all think what they want to
As for me when I look at you
I see you in a different light
Your hair falling down, with love in your eyes
In my mind, you're a beautiful sight
I see you in a different light
Just the way I saw you last night
Baby it's you in a different light
Your hair falling down, with love in your eyes
In my mind, you're a beautiful sight
I see you in a different light
Just the way I saw you last night
It's you in a different light
Your hair falling down, with love in your eyes
In my mind you're a beautiful sight
Just the way I saw you last night

 Doug Stone - In A Different Light 

i do sincerely wish i was a composer, a poet and could compose something like this of what i saw when tired and hot i turned around to go downstairs to get myself a bottle of some chilled water and probably make myself a cup of some refreshing tea. Yeah i had hit the terrace right from six in the morn and heard Mr Sharath on Radio Fever enjoying the melodious and soulful selections of music and his anecdotes attending to my plants but there was lots in my to do list today and i was still not done. It was already 11 and the sun was up and bright and it sure had made me all hot and sweaty and i was very thirsty apart from being a bit low on my energy level. But it did soar up again when what i saw i wished i was a poet and could compose something like what i had heard Doug Stone sing when i used to play it on when i used to play it on...

The same plant that i had seen at the break of dawn in the natural light was now looking amazingly beautiful with the sun shining all bright and unbearably hot to sap the energy from me . My skin dry and itchy and as dry as a bone looking like a desert and here she was my Euphorbia cotinifolia looking like she has had a new avataar. So delectable...that i just kept staring as if not having enough and wanting the whole of hers to get imprinted on my soul...her radiance...her fullness...her entire freshness in that hot sun making the entire atmosphere feel like it was cloudy and cool all around...but of course one needs to have hot and sweated out worked out with the dirt and the greens body like mine and the soul too which once again finds it's solace again the same in which the body has been working for the planting of some... 

Uff... the sight i guess i went bonkers after that and just sat there in the shade literally lusting at this beauty like how street side romeos would stare at attractive girls passing by. Some of them noticing from top to bottom in admiration. In between i would just get up and peer at the various hues that i was seeing wondering if this was the color of the English fall that i was seeing in all that red, purple and brown. Then stared deeply at those reds which i thought was not red but something which we love calling ' Burnt Sienna' or some of us might say ' Rust'...
Purple leaves as well as being attractive in their own right also make other colors seem more bright apart from adding color contrasts to the foliage all around. But there is something special about Euphorbia cotinifolia. It loves to play with the sunlight. Looks quite a kid playful when the early rays of the sun kisses it and even when no fragrance emanates from it i imagined it to feel it citrus from a distance just looking at it. Couldn't resist so took a mobile click when i went for my morning walk....

And now because i have precisely the same, a couple in my own pots on the terrace i see this other vision that of her being at  the prime of her beauty, youthful in all her fullness stunningly beautiful in this broad daylight and so close to me that i can even touch her and feel her and even though no smell emanates from her even now yet i seem to get a whiff of some hints of rose ...
Couldn't help remembering her calm serenity when i had walked on to the terrace at 6 in the morn...the sun was still not there in the sky and she looked quiet silent as if in deep meditation...or perhaps she just waited for that signal from the sun to be her vivacious bubbly chirpy self... She smelt of dew then...of pure freshness...

And NOW because i have nothing else to say the Doug Stone song as i see her ...specifically those two lines... In my mind , you're a beautiful sight
        i see you in a different light....
Wished seriously i had that skill and that patience even to try...uff...for although i have the patience to do so many that others might wonder at the amount of patience  i can't seem to bring myself to even try to compose. Something...even a couplet at least for my spectacular and beautiful Euphorbia.  

This concluding part is specifically meant for my blogdosts Anita and Bikram who wanted my notes on photography. 
i hope they find this personal note of mine useful. But hey friends i am still a beginner at this and pls pls no Guru. All i can share is my journey and my experience. So here it is through this of mine. Of my Euphorbia cotinifolia...
Note no 1. Natural light is perhaps the single most important step one can take to improve the picture that you can take. Having a good natural lighting can even be more important than the choice of the subject itself. In my case for example i had no subject but the light made my subject actually. It made me alert , observe and give photographic attention to my Euphorbia...
The Euphorbia had the same light source...before the break of dawn ie the first picture...then when the first rays of the sun  touched it, those mobile clicks and finally those noon shots...
One needs to have patience enough to observe and be ready always to take a shot. 
i am learning and so would advise both of you to do as well . Try it and see...That is to achieve the right amount of light for the subject by utilizing the unique quality of the subject...focusing
 on that quality...bringing it out on to the fore in your picture...
Sometimes i wonder why people just click plain pics of flowers. Flowers will always look beautiful this way or that. i personally like to focus on a particular quality...i mean that is can choose something that suts your own temperament or what you would want to show in your pictures. Not necessary to follow what i generally want to do.
And yeah and for that sure the particular time of the day and the weather has to be considered....

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This is What Happens When It Happens

Some might call it escapism, others might say cowardice but i guess i don't care anymore. For i think i don't need to carry what does not nourish me anymore. Be it people and among them specifically those that we deem as friends even. And if it is these who in turn start calling me a recluse i don't mind it for i guess i am fed up. Fed up right from school days of the unnecessary criticisms which comes from quarters where you least expect. Which of course springs from jealousy and that we all know. What actually beats me is the question 'WHY'. For neither am i as beautiful as Ms Aishwarya Rai nor am i a master of words and presence as Ms Oprah Winfrey and as successful that the whole frigging world knows me. i am a normal common person who tries to remain happy against all odds. i am here living my life doing what i do trying to make a little difference in this world in the ways that is the best possible for me to do. Finding ways and means to maintain my joi de vivre and indulge in my creativity as i go about my day to day affairs. Nothing commercial here nothing in which i am minting money either. This creativity i am talking about is food for my soul in which i look for something within my reach to satisfy me and keep me thus ie HAPPY. Don't make targets or goals i can't achieve but small projects which i start all by myself, work my way to happiness to finish it all and the end result is not that bad. In doing so it takes time and effort and i try and remain as original as possible. Can't say very original because i don't believe in absolute originality because only THE Master Creator can be that. Ideas based on ideas is what we humans can carry forth. So that's what i do too in my own simple ways.
About my originality this needs a mention too-IT also extends to the way i dress up. i design my own clothes not fully but partially meaning i create patterns which i embroider on the Kurtas that i wear / wore. Of late of course this has taken backseat because my attention has diverted towards landscape designing. Yeah the forlorn patch of land that we have been blessed with rather which has been given to us courtesy The Government of India. Must mention though that learning is happening like never before and i am thoroughly enjoying this new education of mine. And then that itch is there too, to share...share this part of learning which is happening like lightening striking from the sky on a daily basis. i feel like a child who is amazed at all the wonders that my eyes are seeing for the first time in my life.
But in this too i often have my friends from school who just said on whatts app, '' Yeah being a homemaker you have all the time to do all that...i can't..."
i know so many office going women who have a passion for gardening and do indulge. But this word, 'Homemaker' now is slapped on to me at the drop of the hat not because of anything but because it displeases them to see me happy while they slog and still are so dissatisfied with their lives. i know it all but i am fed up that's why i've decided to drop them from my known list.

i remember when i was a teacher i took care to look fresh and presentable and not an old unkempt  hag as i went to school each day. For it was not that i was missing out on any of the work or duties assigned to me either as a homemaker or as a teacher but just that i took care that i devoted 10 minutes of my extra time each night to lay my clothes, accessories and also that my bag had all it needed  to of all the items that should see me sorted out for the day excepting my lunchbox which along with a bottle of water would go into it the following morn before i set out for school.
Can't remember if any of my colleagues in school ever gave me anything but always a strange glance and one left handed compliment for that but yes the parents and students were delighted to see me. The students complained about my subject Economics being dry but not me for all of them watched me attentively while i took class and the parents who greeted me after school said i looked as fresh as a daisy even at the end of the day. That felt good but it still hurt, those left handed compliments of my colleagues. i often asked then . Within myself as if talking to myself when i drove back home...i say nothing, comment nothing about my colleagues then why do they have to say...words...the eyes does it all...why hurt me more with words...why...why...

As a kid in school i never bothered but i was a victim always even then...but i remember innocence of childhood is such that it somehow also shields you from getting hurt from within. We easily forgive and forget. But the way the left handed compliment keeps repeating at all stages of my life now has all those moments of innocence also seeing a comeback... some of those that i can remember also hurt deeply as if it happened today. More so because i held malice towards none. Was magnanimous towards them. Helped them in whichever way i could. Did nothing to hurt them or said anything to cause hurt. Yet...

Unexpected quarters i even remember clearly as if it happened just yesterday. My school Principal Mrs Srinivasan whom i respected and admired so much commenting on me one day as i had gone into the office to submit the corrected Examination papers on her table, well that's what we were supposed to do put all our corrected papers before her with our maksheets neatly typed out giving the full data as to the top marks scored , and if there were any failures in the subject.  She in the garb of complimenting me on my self embroidered kurta that i wore that day had said, " My God! Shivani , it seems you have a lot of time at your disposal to do all this work... and then dress up tip top ...what time do you wake up...". Although i had just smiled then feebly though of course for i couldn't say or rather was not in a position to say anything i felt rather hurt at her comment.
At that time also the same question...Why...why am i feeling low about all these silly words like 'time' and 'all this work' and bla bla as if i am one who has no work at home but to sit with a needle and thread and as if 'all this work' which she hinted towards the handwork i take time out to churn out my creations is really such a waste of energy and time. And should not looking presentable also be every teachers duty just like how each child/ student is expected to wear a fresh clean and proper uniform??? Shouldn't i just shrug my shoulders and let it all pass...Maam's comments which did not sound very encouraging...rather it sounded like a criticism...why does it hurt...

i have been under this kind of attack right from the time when i was a school like i said before.  Thank God that it made me if not polished but sensitive enough not to perpetuate it. i am the type who will not although there are those who become more severe in their attitude and hence perpatuate with malice to the world what world has given them if they were made to be a victim of something. For i believe and sincerely try to follow the Sermon on the Mount  ' Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Of late i have been just too busy so much that i was not getting enough time to blog. But that share itch was always there. Have been practicing with my photo shooting as usual in that patch that i have been landscaping in my own capacity. But more than that i took on to studying photos posted by others on Facebook whenever i had some easy time on me. Photos of flowers, nature, landscapes...
Kept noticing and wondering at the various shots taken, some have touched my soul. Some of these shots don't feel like shots at all. They rather feel like a song or a poetry. Now i don't know about these virtual people who they are but i can imagine their prowess in their field. Their skills and their imaginations, their creativity in producing these shots.
As a beginner in handling manual shots my primary aim at the moment is to take clear shots at what i'm trying to see. Or through my picture what i'm trying to show. Sharing what generally misses the eye being my passion i was urged to share this on Facebook. Hoping that i will be guided by ace photographers...perhaps motivated or encouraged. Taking a shot and sharing takes very little time than actual blogging if you can understand what i mean especially when you are all bust with commitments and duties of all kinds. So this being my main aim i turned towards this page called Flower Lovers on Facebook. In this too i was sent an invite by a friend and i curse my stars why i even accepted it if at all i was in need of some real interaction. Because i cannot say for sure if everything is real out there. i was rubbed the wrong way for starters because a man wanted to get fresh with me and the second thing that started raining heavily was once again what i've been suffering all along. Stupid silly criticisms...that too from those who are my school mates. Also some whom i've met because of my husband holding an office so maybe friends that way.
Some examples of those criticisms which i have saved:
This one from the one who was my best friend in school once but now i am afraid i don't see any reason to even imagine her to be my friend. She lives in Florida never ceases to brag about her lifestyle and her Las Vegas Casino trips and other trips on Facebook. Desperately seeking attention, denounces India publicly and loves to pick up fights on the friends' timelines preferably those whom she deems to be less in status than hers.
i have maintained a quiet and low profile on Facebook for i don't post anything. Don't update my status. What i do is quietly see what my school friends have posted and if Facebook informs me then i wish those friends on their special days. That's all i used to do till for the last one month i have joined Flower Lovers and i have started posting my shots. That too only when my shots are clear enough to my satisfaction. Giving their names and a few characteristic interesting features that i have learnt in my nature learning. So this is what i had posted last.
Purple Wood Sorrel  Oxalis corniculata
On seeing the picture of my Wood Sorrel and the scientific name given for reference this school mate of mine had to say this which i am copy corrections just copy pasting what she wrote : "...u r 100 % of your kind... If I want I can go and take a few photography classes a buy a nice camera and start clicking myself but I have no interest as I am busy person and do job like your husband..."
Actually she did not say only this but much much more about her American lifestyle and standards and she also called all of us who have chosen to remain thus as ' LOSERS'
God alone knows what grudge was killing her and then i realized that just because i had mentioned about my choice of not being too keen on posting my personal stories of well being on Facebook was not taken in a positive manner and she was actually settling scores with me on my timeline. It was her choice to post her pictures and it was my choice of posting my nature pictures. How am i responsible if i get more likes and comment than hers. She the Grand successful Indian Lady who is an American now who owns a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi and a spa and despite all her efforts at announcing to the world on Facebook on her Timeline that,
- her son who resembles Ranbir Kapoor is studying in Harvard and is a genius
- who participated in Spain's Tomatino festival and came out unscathed
Despite all those desperate attempts of seeking attention if she doesn't get happiness how am i responsible for that.
In all my honesty and friendliness i have liked all her postings and shown the utmost respect for whatever she has posted no matter how bad the picture quality was.
Again that question arises...Why....
After all these years...i beat her in studies at school but she should let that pass by now cause she has it all, a rich lifestyle to boast of, a career in which she gets sufficient time to be on Facebook as well as do her globetrotting and casino hopping in which she does not mind losing out on her dollars which also she announces as a status update and plus the only son who a genius goes to world's prestigious institution has the kind of looks which makes girls flock like bees after a beautiful flower ( This too with great pride she announces on Facebook with pics). When she has it all yet after all these years first seeking me out...coming to meet me at my residence in her wannabe like a teenager dress trying to impress my husband and me with her incessant bragging which both of us suffered through with grace and silence...after all these years why now nitpick at such a trivial issue a picture of a flower...why...and why the hell i am getting hurt with this behavior of hers...why...

Then there is this who also belongs to this 'friends' category as being the wife of my husband's colleague, meaning we met and became friends in the same Government Service where her husband and my husband worked although the Departments were different but it happens in social circles. Isn't it thus the procedure usually in social circles. Of  meeting and becoming friends even when interests don't match or perhaps if you spend enough time together you might realize there is nothing there that actually is very ' FRIENDLY' , i quote her words too which was posted on my timeline : " Shivani it seems to me that u r too obsessed with ur knowledge of botany ( esp. flora). Please i'd request u to give vent to other topics as well , of which there is no dearth. I'm afraid i have not so much interest in acquiring floral knowledge..."
Oh just like how i told about my best friend a little bit needs to be told about her too. She loves flaunting her knowledge of the newly learnt language called ' ENGLISH'. At least it seems so from all that words she seems to use in her comments. Nothing simple there but words dropped to impress. Another thing which she loves posting on a daily basis is all those self improvement words of wisdom which are freely available in those share boxes. In between some selfies of hers which i'm afraid are okie dokie but her Aunt acid mug joke pic shares are good. They make me laugh and remind me just of how much she has started resembling that Aunt acid on the mug. Truly,  same curly white hair...and same manner of acrimonious speech for anything...anyone.

i have heard which i for reasons best known to me would prefer call them to be rumors about her because i believe in the essential goodness of man. But it still beats me what gives a person that amount of depression or sadness that for no rhyme or reason he or she should want to just inflict it on others the same sadness the same depression. And out of the blue just like that. i mean first you send a friend request. Then do this on your timeline ???

i could've reacted by pointing out to all my other interests that i have posted which she has not bothered to glance at because she was busy either with what she was doing on Facebook or Playing Candy Crush Saga but decided to talk to her instead so i pinged her because i had her phone number too and showed my hurt side to her. This time i asked her WHY...
Her answer flustered me more..." Okay i shall go and apologize on your timeline... i made a candid suggestion so take it light..." she said.
i felt so annoyed that i spoke but controlling myself of all that was pent up inside me, " There is exactly no need for you to do that if you don't feel what you have done is not the proper thing to do...if at all you had to make this candid could've done it in my message box. Why on my timeline...???
 Henceforth XYZ i want no correspondence from you."
Once again she wanted to show that she knew GOOD words. This is what she said, " Okay , I TRUNCATE my correspondence with you."
We hung up. Sigh !!

That particular evening all i could do to nurse my hurt was to deactivate my Facebook account. But the question was was i at peace. No i wasn't.
It for starters did not feel like a peaceful exit. Felt more like,
Nikalnaa Khuld Se Aadam Ka Suntey Aaye Thhey Lekin,
Bade Be-Aabru Hokar Terey Koochey Sey Hum Nikley.

We have heard about the dismissal of Adam from Heaven,
With a more humiliation, I am leaving the street on which you live...

Then for all the new flowers i was seeing on a daily basis...all those brilliant shots i was being keeping myself bereft of. And that unhappiness welling inside now the chores had started instead of giving me a sense of satisfaction and pride started giving me some irritation too because i was not at peace with myself. And then i decided to speak to my son. Maybe God Almighty was on my side and he was free to talk to me for i caught him just when he had his break hour.
i cried and cried my heart out...poured it all out. He listened in absolute silence over that phone and the first thing he told me was, " Ma don't quit...get back on. Let all who want to talk yap their guts out...You do what you want to do. i enjoy your pics...Varun my friend loves your pics and u r doing great with that gadget of flower a day...i see it and smile...don't worry...cheer up. And next time Ma don't wait and simmer so to me. Will talk more when i get back...''. So saying he hung up. i guess my peace hour had approached. i decided to get back on maybe not immediately but yes not to quit Facebook but quit when i want to not because of some silly yapping by some silly friends of mine.

i guess he was right and then that evening while on his way back he purchased two new Blu-ray movies for me to watch. Both great movies and i guess in my next post i shall blog about it. But i can't quit without mentioning that in one of the movies there was this beautiful speech at the fag end of the movie and i want to produce the essence of that speech that perhaps was specifically meant for me. "...but it wouldn't be real life or the fairy tale if there was someone trying to destroy it or crush it simply because it doesn't please them or simply because they think they can and i know some of you think  it is their right to do so. But i don't think anyone should have the right to crush happiness or beauty when they see it. It was not how i was raised..."

Just two days back Mr Sharath on Soul Yatra Radio Fever spoke on a similar issue. But he talked about a Zen Master who on being falsly accused of the worst possible crime of passion time and again by the village folks would just utter two words, '' Aisa Kya'' meaning, "Is it so'' and fall silent. i wish i could do so. Actually it is the best thing to do instead of defending yourself. But i'd rather follow Aristotle way.
 Right now seeing this movie and listening to words of wisdom i am making myself a bit steadier to take another onslaught. Hope when it comes i am able to stand and face it with some bright smart erudition on my part instead of getting hurt. i have nevertheless posted my question to Mr Sharath and when/if he answers i will definitely share it with one and all. And before i quit since i don't like keeping anything under wraps i must mention that i don't care for what the tabloids say or what the ratings are for a particular movie for i loved this movie Grace of Monaco and that last part where the speech was that was where i found my peace. Nicole Kidman as Princess Grace delivers her speech at the Red Cross Ball in Monaco on 9th October 1962. She delivers with considerable skill her message which is the essence.  That being the message of love and peace in her defense of '' Happiness and Beauty ".
Fantastic...felt like i was speaking it...or anyone who does not get a doctored speech...anyone who believes in peace and love would speak it. But of course that's where the good raising up part comes in of shows when you speak...and for that simplicity is all that is required and truthfulness. i hope i could tell XYZ that...

P.S My story i have bared it all not to downsize anybody or to uplift myself but just to tell how this growth...this personal growth just seems to have stopped. We in whichever capacity we are, are leaving no stone untouched to hurl and perhaps crush Happiness when we see it. Isn't it time we ask ourselves why. Isn't it time that we slow down and indulge into that which really pleases us rather than being hell bent on impressing the world by posting pictures and status updates on Facebook which in a way only conveys more our loneliness and insecurities only. Why are we drifting apart when technology was/is supposed to bring us closer. It's high time we begin to question this and perhaps we might be able to answer it ourselves because THE ANSWER...well, it is there in all of us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Can We Just Stop it by Speaking Out

i have been busy with Independence day.

Image:Jotirmoy Das 2014 Flag at Rajiv Chowk CP N.Delhi posted on Facebook for all...
Then with my favorite God. Thank God i was independent enough to enjoy my National festival and the God festival both of which gave me flavors which i relished much to my delight.

But there was something that lurked in between and i asked it to stay put where it was...till i had done to my heart's content with all i wanted to do with my Krishna. Well Krishna is never over...not with me for i seek Him more often than ever now. But what i meant of the flavor was the special decorations and Pooja preparations that i do my way for Shri Krishna Janmashtami. No strict adherence of rules here but a lot of convenience and some creativity which actually takes care of my personal satisfaction . Don't really know if Krishna was satisfied or not but in doing what i was doing what irritation/frustration/disgust/bitterness that lurked inside was forgotten and for two days i was very joyous. For all i have chosen just the Prasadam pictures...because creativity is not what i feel like doing today. 

What brought it all out was this article that i identified every bit with and the pain of having gone through with it passed over me once again although i have discarded being into that rut long time back understanding the futility of it all. It does not matter to me if in official circles i am sort of alienated because i know i have my own charisma and presence. For where ever i go i do get people who accept me with open hearts and arms.

What frustrated me most was this malaise which perhaps has also been like a British legacy and followed by the  Indian Army Wives Organisation has very diligently been copied by all and sundry in the garb of such a noble task as 'Charity'. i know i am not making sense so please have a look at the article that was published in The Hindu on 16 Aug 2014.

 i take back my words is born free but he or she is everywhere in chains. Can we contradict this by Jean Jacques Rousseu?  Are we really independent then if we are chained to phony duties which we are subjected to not because we lack in merit or intellect but just by dint of age and experience are as belonging to a class called ' Juniors' ?
The article opened a whole big Pandora box of my own personal memories...painful memories which included the one in which i had officially given a written resignation letter denouncing to be a member of any such NGO which asks me to stay away from home for long hours leaving my toddler baby at the mercy of a strange baby sitter who i had no inkling of. For some music practice from nine in the morning till late noon for an assortment of selected songs in different dialects chosen by the First lady of the organisation of course as it being a National Integration song. This was supposed to be presented by our NGO organisation when flag was hoisted on 26th January our Republic Day. i think more than it being a National Integration song the First lady wanted to make an impression on the public of Chennai as to how much deep into it she was, after all. The music first and yeah the National Integration too... . Well it all boils down to that. Isn't it. More than the real thing to advertise and show...proclaim to the world...Hail I the GREAT am here now!!.

It's like a game actually we all play...everybody is hell bent on recognition, fame. Everybody is after this creating an impression. i just keep thinking today even if she didn't people would have genuflected...cause she was the First lady.

i need to tell my story to reiterate that the poor Army wife's story...that Ms Karajagi is not lying and the three issues raised by her are very justified. And it's high time that all this bullying should be questioned and made to stop once and for all. i am here to join hands and say that all of it and more happens and it's true. Resentment has always been there. It gets subsided because of those crumbs that are thrown in the form of return favors. Those crumbs assume various forms...choice postings in a choice place and in a department of one's personal choice being the most sought after. Although by rule it's a transferable job but then there are people who have been stuck to the Capital for ages does it all happen then...there are other murky ways and i'd rather not go into it but this also being one most important and easiest one to follow.
Please the top boss and then get what you want.

After my resignation of course i was left free to take care of my child and home but my husband was not spared either. Officially the Top boss tormented him as is usual of all the Hari Sadu bosses. Which includes insults and transfers to ' Go Where No One Has Gone Before' types. But we took it in our stride with my husband and me serving our respective duties silently just biding our time maybe because we knew very well that in time there will be an end to all that. The tenure for all top bosses is a short one Thank God for that !

There there was the other.
i mean First lady for they come and go as they have their terms and tenure. So while one made me write a written resignation letter another made me knit, plant, shop, do dry arrangement and cook too.
But this one was a Master in the art of Deceiving to make one agree to get what she is striving at. Well my story is interesting and you must listen to this. People who know it will all agree because they know it's true. They were there and they saw it happen. Some who empathized were the tormented ones others who got jealous because of the attention they thought i was unduly recieving from the echelon of the top seat of power and so thus they gave me, phrases as trophies, names as rewards,  ' Boss kee Chamchee' , 'Chaploos'...
It was not that i was impervious but i would cry and just somehow console myself. There just was no way out. i was stuck knee deep into it already. There was no one to pull me out. No one.
When the pull out happened it happened out of my own accord. And yes my teaching Economics to Higher Secondary students also became a big huge legible excuse to stay way from it all.
i did pull out of it totally and completely out. Which is now. Not then when all this happened.

Then it happened like this...
One morning i was carrying with my domestic chores when a Maroon Mercedes stopped in front of my house and a uniformed driver in an immaculate white dress and a braided cap and all that finery rang the doorbell of my house. i was aghast when he said that the new First Lady had paid me a visit, she was waiting in the car and whether it was okay if she could come inside. i was feeling more than honored i actually was feeling sort of flattered. The neighbors had started peeping too. A vague feeling of some pride like i have won some trophy of some kind was making my cheeks flushed with anxiety and nervousness combined. While outside some crowd was also gathering to greet the lady. So i went ahead and ushered the First Lady home into my humble living room, at the moment feeling quite on top of the world. Greetings and pleasantries being over as we sat down, she posed the most equally flattering request to me. i still remember it. Can i ever forget being i was silkily they flowed those thin lips...or rather how judiciously they were create a web of sorts.

" Shivani, i have been told by my Secretary that you have exquisite taste and you know a few art joints here in Chennai, so why don't you accompany me to one, i have to buy a piece for the Minister as a memento. I am new to this place and have visited Poompoohar but i was looking for something within my budget. Would you be knowing of any other place where i can get something unique which has the feel of The South yet not very expensive ? ... I see that you have done your house pretty well..."

i was like blown...completely blown. Thrown off track. Imagine a First Lady asking you to accompany her in her Mercedes. A FIRST LADY!! . She has a whole battalion to tell her, guide her, take her places and she chooses ME.
So while i served her snacks i asked her if she can give me some time to change i would be more than delighted to help her select and take her to one that has a wide variety at affordable rates but then we would have to finish the buying and be back home before my son was back from school.
Seemed like she had come fully prepared. She agreed readily. And after i had freshened and changed we both set out in that Mercedes to Victoria Technical Institute on Mount Road, Anna Salai. i kept suggesting stuff but sitting next to her i realized her mind was preoccupied.
Then after i fell silent in a matter of fact manner pretending to have a heart to heart conversation with me she then asked me to give reasons explaining why i had resigned from ' HER' Welfare Organization. Not before addressing me as an ' INTELLIGENT' and 'TALENTED' lady.
Not least bit suspicious or acting rather foolish and impulsive i narrated my angst, my whole story and fell silent because i was preventing the tears that had gathered and were ready to tumble down as i was reliving my husband's sufferings too.
Don't know if she saw my tears for both of us were actually staring straight towards the Chennai roads rather anxious for VTI. Victoria Technical Institute didn't arrive soon enough but before that the bomb was hastily dropped on me.

" I promise i will never ask you to stay way from home or leave your child, you will attend the meetings and those meetings won't be long, besides if you are not free you may choose to stay away. I am looking for a good Treasurer for my Organisation and no one seems suitable but you. Why don't you join back..."

Better late than never...

i received ENLIGHTENING after all sitting next to that overflowing, voluminous smiling Buddha in  Blue. Yeah it was what she wore that day...a Mysore printed Crepe Silk Saree. Blue it was.
Enlightenment indeed !!!
In a plush air conditioned seat of smelling of that phoren perfume that my Buddha was wearing which pervaded the entire of that Maroon Mercedes. Yes it was maroon and not Burgundy!!

All this First lady visit...exquisite taste... help buying memento...all BULL SHIT...forgive me from using that language but that's what it was. i was being ROPED IN or i got TRAPPED...once again.
Did i fall for it...
Tragedy is...i did...i did.

Then after, not only did i do meetings, practices for songs and dances at the cost of home and family but i also cooked and knitted and embroidered and made pots, plant pots...what not...
She made us do all that. Me and the rest of my kind juniors way way below in that hierarchy ladder. Meaning if she knew a particular junior was good at making Papads that junior would be asked to make quite a quantity of Papads ( crackers) that could be sent to Toronto or perhaps to Mumbai. Or if someone knew a particular embroidery that ' Talented' one would be singled out to embroider a suit or Saree to be sent either to her daughter in Toronto or her daughter in law in Mumbai. Maybe some talented ones did receive a chance posting to hometown as a return favor. As for me i didn't even get a bungalow peon to help me assist. i continued juggling chores and dancing to the tunes of my Budhha's whims and fancies all with pleasant smiles lest my husband was shunted again to go where no man wants to go.
All these were we made to do but ' Pyaar Sey, Puchkaar Kar'. ( Something like placate and get work done). Personal gains at our cost.
Sometimes we had to wake up nights to finish the work. At least i had to because she would call up and say, '' Someone is leaving for Toronto day after tomorrow so pls finish the sweater and send me tomorrow..."

Yeah knit for her and cook for her visiting relatives too, local forgotten cuisines, sometimes even shop for her each time i went home to Patna. Which perhaps in my naivety i did. Like i said knitting God alone knows how many sweaters for the First Lady of the organisation so that she could send those sweaters to her own grandsons in Toronto and Mumbai. This when my son was only four months old and i had no help in hand.
Then buying Madhubani paintings in cloth, canvas and silk, even local Bihar pickle an assortment of sorts of mango chillies and lime, Thandai for Holi and savories too... i did all that because not only did i know how to refuse politely i actually did not know if a First lady can be NO ed to. i don't know still if they can be even today. Or perhaps i was a gutless junior officer's wife who was also scared like others that if i don't make the top bosses wife happy my husband shall be transferred to a silly non metro where my child's education might become a major problem and life would not be as fine as the metro promises for it to be. Education, Medical facilities, Entertainment, Transportation...all that jazz...

There were these endless dance practices, fashion show practices, Fund Raising, Farewell, Thanksgiving Evening practices...i'd rather restrain from making a list because parties are things that happen at the drop of the hat but who suffers the brunt of it all is the junior officers wives. They, who have toddlers and infants, school going kids, meaning all the youngsters who actually have more than they can handle at the moment. The senior officer wives at best sit in their air-conditioned homes, prepare a song or two but all the hard work, staying away from home, neglecting husband and family, the suffering, trauma and pain of all is borne rather very brilliantly and stoically by the junior officer's wives. Trust me on this, any such function in it's grand finale day is enjoyed eventually but while it is going on in it's preparation stages there is not a single woman who does not complain and crib. That's just another matter no one not a single one can muster enough courage to speak up against all the injustice that they suffer at the hands of the senior officers wives. In between the carpooling creates another hassles of sorts that are not only hilarious but equally pathetic. Junior officer wives are often battered by HOD's if any wife is picked up before or after...
This way or that battering keeps happening because of the SUPER BLOATED EGOS of the wives of the Head Of The Departments too. All relentless...with a never say die attitude so far as egos are concerned.

Not until now this lady from the army has decided to speak up. She is actually speaking on behalf of many others. i sincerely salute her courage. i am with her in her battle. My hands are raised.

Initially when i was flowing with the tide and doing all that singing and dancing i thought it was good for me for not only will i get to learn but i will be rewarded with BLESSINGS of elders in return. But i was wrong.
The motive here is just USE and THROW.

Nobody blesses anyone. Rather i am seeing seniors rather feeling jealous of junior these days. Or else how do you explain all that sizing up that is generally done in social gatherings of a smart junior who walks in and all eyes turn to look at her because she is actually stealing the show with her grace and elan. Or how do you explain that India vs Pakistan seating arrangement in social gatherings where senior ladies seat all bunched up in their high horses and even when they know the junior officer's wives no new junior is introduced to any senior? They won't even indulge in conversations with those they know from ages. They will remain bunched together stealthily eyeing the other party.
The senior officers wives will just pass you by without even nodding or saying a hello. 
How do you explain this?
Some social gathering this...
No wonder then i have developed an intense allergy of some kind for these. i choose Theater, Plays, movies or just plain window shopping instead.

People have become just too depraved in Egos and moreover in their greed for things. All the hidden dormant desires come to the fore when they assume that the time is ripe for them and they make use of it that's all. No blessings are imparted. Juniors are just used. That's the whole truth.
i remember how the same Smiling Buddha in Blue went to her same Secretary's a simple Mangalore family's Dinner party and later made a whole lot of fun in a crowd about the poor junior's cuisine calling it '' Poor Presentation'', ''Tasteless'' and ''Bland''. That junior was her husband's Secretary's wife who in the honor of the Smiling Blue Buddha had prepared all that she knew of her Mangalorean cuisine and had invited us too along with a few others. She and her Secretary to the Top Boss husband had put in a lot of effort into it and i know it because we were friends and we shared recipes. The food was tasty and well thought out only thing it was not a ostentatious display of cutlery and food decoration that this Buddha was used to.
But just a few days later the same lady who was laughed at for her poor cooking skills and simplicity was asked to prepare her special Mangalorean '' Bland Chicken Stew'' and" Dosas" for the whole family once again for the First lady's daughter in law when the daughter in law came visiting and felt like eating authentic Mangalorean cuisine. The food had to be prepared and nicely packed and sent to the BIG BUNGALOW.
How cheap and crass is that !!

That's why i say no one blesses anyone these days even. People are used for personal gain and then the poor one is at best laughed and sniggered at and what to talk of blessing not even efforts are appreciated. Rather simplicity is damned.
Even that day when my friend was sniggered at i writhed in anger and disgust. i had remembered Krishna that day too. i had remembered Him simply because He had snatched and eaten the three morsels of coarse rice that Sudama was hiding out of sheer embarrassment and shame. Krishna had understood that it was an offering lovingly packed by Sudama's wife. He had then showered His pauper friend Sudama with three blessings which took care of Sudama's poverty, homelessness and unemployment for the rest of Sudama's life .

But who remembers those examples set by the Lord anymore. i mean not of the blessings let alone but also of sharing the simple offerings of a friend even.
i wished i had the guts to speak the story...maybe wrap it up like how they coat bitter pills with a sweet coating. i wish ...i wish...

Just because they know they cannot be refused, they put forth these requests which are like polite commands and like i said because one is afraid of so many reasons and wants the top boss to remain happy he or she obliges.
Sad, pathetic it is.

There is a lot of cross cutting , a lot of politics, back biting and as for growth not much of it happens in these organisations. Mine never had book reading, or lectures that are major eye openers. Or even certain drives that can improve the condition of your own locality.
What really happened was competitions of all kinds. Like cooking, vegetable carving, Henna, dance, singing so on and so forth. Which actually gave rise to a lot of unhealthy jealousy.
The aftermath of the entire i could feel was manipulation, personal gains in the form of choice postings and related to that all that sycophancy and genuflection.
Definitely i can't deny there are people who love all that atmosphere. Because the world is full of people who look for shortcuts to success. If by pleasing the boss and his wife it is then so be it. But i was not raised that way.
That is where the buck stops .
Maybe i was raised to be a problem child.
Today however i don't think of that to be a 'Problem' anymore. i suffered maybe because i thought that i was a problem child after all. When others were happy doing it why was i the one to feel so bad about it.
i am relieved today because of an enlightenment that comes with age. No Buddha does it to you but probably your sum total of your own experiences and your own up bringing combined does it to you. A friend had shared this poster on Facebook which says it all and i would love to use it here.

i was raised as a bureaucrat's daughter where i received an entirely different education. My education consisted of the following.
a) Respect all elders irrespective of their post or designation, so even to our staff whom the office gives the designation as 'Peon' i was raised never to address him or her by his stand alone name but add a Jee to it. Thus Heera Jee or Meena Jee....
b) The staff was strictly advised not to do our personal chores, which meant we had to polish our own shoes and carry our own school bags.
d) Official vehicle and stationery strictly not to be used for domestic purposes.
d) It is not proper for any lady to address any man no matter who he might be as 'Sir'. A lady should NEVER sir anybody even if he is the President of America. Mr Obama he would be or Mr President...
c) A lady should be escorted to any social function by her husband/ fiance and that she should not go there alone. Especially to one in which there are drinks and cocktails.
                                                          And the most important,
d) Office matters are dealt and wrapped up in the Secretariat/ Office never to be discussed at home and the wife is never to know anything of what's happening in that office of her husband. She should take care of his food and home and kids. By choice she should remain blissfully ignorant of the postings, designations and all that jazz. She should meet one and all with the same simplicity and clarity with which she meets her neighbors and talk of general affairs. And if there is nothing she can contribute in parties where such talks go on then she should keep quiet and listen the jibber jabber with one ear and filter it out from the other...

Seriously, i saw this and grew up in such a surrounding where i did not see my father use my Ma either as an arm candy for parties nor did he ask her to throw innumerable dinner parties for his bosses. Time bound promotion, his sincerity, hard work, knowledge about his region, it whatever he moved up without having to suck up to anyone. Not even any political big wig. Had he wanted any prized posting, not that i am not aware of . Did he lose out on anything while his colleagues those who did suck up gained i am not sure of. For all i know everybody has their highs and lows. Because i believe that's nature's way. Some amount of sun and some rain all have it in their share. Those who do suck up and those who don't. i mean i read the same newspaper and see the TV news which informs me of these raids that happen to people who have sucked up and made crores and have huge properties and their wives are always seen on page three in the trendiest of clothes holding the wine glasses. So basically my point is there is no need actually to suck up. How far can one go. There comes a point even with all that sucking up that you come down and fall flat. Sensible approach would be to walk head held high where you can look one straight in the eye and talk with conviction.

There's just another point that hurts me actually which i must stress lest it loses it's importance. All this NGO business happening in the various organisations an aping of the army procedure i suppose, i consider it to be a farce. Although Army Officer's Wives Associations are doing commendable community service and i can't deny that. But the problem with copycat ing is that only superficial is copied. If at all you got to copy why can't you look into the sorry plight of the widows of your own organisation ? Or can you claim to have outstanding schools the kinds run by Army officer's wives? No. Truth is Welfare Organisations of all kinds have just mushroomed in all departments. These again are all done with vested interests. Money is made and some amount of that money made donated, pictures taken and then published. It beats the entire essence of this noble gesture of charity where even the left hand should not know what the right hand is giving. No body discusses how that huge amount of money is generated and there is no transparency either of where or how it is spent. Some jiggery pokery is done to show some audit crap which is a known and accepted fact.

Besides charity actually begins at home. What kind of charity calls for ignoring principles, family and then stressing oneself out to do fashion show for the entertainment purpose for an evening get together where booze would flow and men would be a bit loose. i fail to understand this.

Then coming back to my own experience in my own organisation when i was dancing to that tune i had mooted the idea of helping to manage the supervision for bettering some of whatever we could in our spare time of our own.
i had read in Reader's Digest about the Army Officer's wives doing splendid jobs in a specific region of Pakistan and converting that area of theirs where nothing grew into a beautiful colony well landscaped with flowers of all kinds and thus citing that example i had made one suggestion.
This being that crores of rupees are spent in the construction of rest houses for officers who travel on duty. But the maintenance as is with all government department is very poor. i admitted that even when i traveled i preferred to spend money and abstain from using those rest houses myself because the bed sheets stank , the toilets were bad, the TV's/ Ac's in the room would not be functioning and the floors in the room would be having an inch of dust and cobwebs. i had suggested that apart from donating a wheel chair here and a TV there we must as wives take this up and on a roster basis look into the maintenance of the rest houses in our jurisdiction. Maybe just supervise on a weekly basis. Likewise whatever belongs in our purview we must first fix our own home areas first. This was the idea i had mooted but i got no response from those who should have pushed the initiative, taken it up and given it a full monty GO. But that was then when i was dancing to their tunes.

But it still tears my heart apart to see the condition of these rest houses. And not only that but the rest of all that belongs to the Govt. Because what belongs to the Govt actually really is OURS because it is from our own tax money. But who cares who understands. For people own home means, their own private apartment/ bungalow or villa. Anything that belongs to the Govt is not people's is it ?
i have an analysis about why rest houses/ Bungalows are in sorry state of affairs. Only for the Top Bosses visit/stay everything is made spic and span and another magic also happens in these rest houses. The whitest of white fresh towels also suddenly materialize the dearth of which is often seen in these rest houses. That makes the top bosses stay very comfortable. After that the top bosses don't bother so why should anybody. It belongs to the government...govt  rest houses are all like that...haaah...dust...cobwebs... paan spittle...bad towels...
Chalta hai..
In all cases that's how it works. Who ever reaches the top is happy and content to see that his/ her house, his or her life. travel, is comfortable well taken care of. They are just not bothered if it is trickling down to the rest in the chain.
That's why Government property is always poorly maintained. Not unless it is some top official's or a politician's house.

The army lady officer's wife who has spoken up on behalf of so many has raised an issue. But i know it will all be hushed up. As it is this was published in the Comment section of 'The Hindu' and relegated to the 9th page. i just wished it was put on the first page. Perhaps then it would've grabbed the attention of the nation. But there is another thing. She and i might be a tiny minority. The way the world is aiming for short cuts to success who is there to listen to our cries for help which will haplessly be silenced in the party all night party all night at the cost of others din.

One day i am going to be the senior most officer's wife too.
i hope so.
Not unless Krishna takes me out of this messy state of affairs and puts me along side with Him. But O God i am such a sinner and no Meera either so i guess i am going to be one. i shall remember not to utilize the talents of any junior officer's wife for any personal gain not even if she knows how to do a Kerala Mural. Gosh i love that art...and it's so expensive if you have to buy it...

But my prayer at the moment to my Lord is not one but two...
1) This issue which has been raised by the lady... that it be heard by one and all and also believed too and that people should come to their senses and stop this nonsensical NGO ing of this sort once for all. Freedom is the birthright of one and all. Let those who are happy doing it do and the rest should not be punished /penalised/ pulled up/ insulted/ alienated...
2) And Dear Dear Lord Krishna The Savior, when and if i am one such Senior which makes me sit on that Maroon Mercedes don't give me those HORNS. Yeah those invisible horns that perhaps has that spell to size up junior officer wives in the most sad manner and sometimes go to the sorry lengths of ignoring them completely. Krishna you know it... that's why i hate all these parties...where a sad case of seating arrangement is made and you are made to feel ' NOT BELONGING' even when it is supposed to be a social evening and there is nothing absolutely nothing official about it.

But on second thoughts O' Krishna wouldn't it be better if you could actually listen to this song...because it is my song too... not for now and not for this alone but i think for quite some time now...pls's my song too. Help me i can't compose like Meera did...

"Tum suno Tum suno
Tum suno dayal mhaari arjee
Mhaari arjee Mhaari arjee
Suno dayal mhaari arjee
Mhaari arjee Mhaari arjee

Bhavsaagar mein bahee jaat hoon
Kaadho na kaadhoo
Thaari Marjee
Kadhoo na Kadhoo ji
Kadhoo na Kadhoo
Thaari marjee thaari marjee
Mhaari arjee mhaari arjee

Inn sansaar sagga naahin koi (3)
Saanchaa sadaa Girdhar jee
Saancha sadaa Girdhar jee
Mhaari arjee Mhaari arjee (4)
Tum suno dayal...

Maata pitaa aur kutumb kabilon (4)
Sab Matlab kay garjee
Mhaari arjee Mhaari arjee (3)

Meera, Meera, Meera key, Meera key Prabhu Arjee suniya
Charna lagawo tharee marjee
Mhaari arjee Mhaari arjee...''
Tum Suno Suno Re...
Tum Suno Dayal....

Amen !!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Brand New Eyes

It's the start of the week and i will want to start with the letter A.
A stands for APPRECIATION.

i guess once you become a shutter bug you learn to appreciate better. And in this i would be a fake if i don't give due credits to my tutor Mr Jyotirmoy Das of Delhi School of Photography for bringing it on me not with full force but rather as a matter of fact ly . When i had no idea about the gadget or anything and when i was a point and shoot cybershot woman he was the one who patiently taught an ignoramus like me not to be afraid to shoot manually apart from teaching me the three most important cornerstones of photography for beginners and everybody else. Yeah basically , The Aperture, The Shutter Speed  and The ISO.

Telling the truth is not only painful and but quite embarrassing too but i will speak it. Fact is that i am almost six months old now when i was in my beginner's class for two weeks but still grappling with those three corner stones and they feel like major issues to me each time i pick up my DSLR and thus i improvise each and every time. i have decided to carry on with the rest of the learning on my own not getting flabbergasted with that chart half of which i never seem to remember correctly and it makes me so nervous that i start steaming so much that the viewfinder becomes foggy with my breath. So just like everybody else does it i too am now doing it all by the time tested trial and error method. Those three and all those lectures in that 2 weeks of theory class, can't say i remember them all but some of it has stayed and they sure do help yet some are like etched into the brain.
i hear him speaking...i see him...tall, elegant, gym worked out slender frame standing in front of the class , his muffler carelessly wrapped around his neck, and from behind his spectacles his eyes looking straight into my eyes telling me, '' You have to show what the eyes would've missed seeing... "

i think i am crazy about photographers...for their eyes see what we normal non photographer mortals don't. A bird as common as crow then becomes novel, original, fresh, firsthand, contemporary, unfamiliar, additional, just starting out...
Sometimes words won't suffice and other times you have one specific word for the picture.
But the best aspect that i love about photographers and the art of photography is how they teach you to appreciate the mundane and then go for it. Keep trying for that, ' Out of the box' shot, a picture which is worth a thousand words.
Thus photography as a passion/ career/ hobby is great because it not only teaches the art of seeing things in a new perspective but also to appreciate what is.
i must admit though that it was the desire to use my own pictures for blogging that i took up photography. Seriously, because neither did i have it as a hobby earlier nor do i remember of me having any passion for it. i am at the moment just learning to focus then and focus well and clear as what i am seeing or how and what i am seeing and thus through my pictures what i would love to make others see as well .

Thus it happened with me.
Although i love nature i had not fully appreciated the beauty of this particular plant because i was seeing it in plenty around me. Just like plain common grass. It could be that maybe excess of anything for that matter does not bring worthiness nor honor.  Well the adage was used for love but it can be applied to anything and everything. However in Economics we have a great principle which puts this across with the help of figures and diagrams. The Law Of Diminishing Returns. Well, Whatever...

Not until i came upon this picture. It was posted by someone and i hope that someone would not mind me using it as a reference here. i have forgotten the URL from where i had copied and saved it. And although i can search it which i will later and post it as giving due credits to the master of this brilliant shot i was in a hurry to do my Monday post because i did not want my thought to become a memory of words that i can't retrieve. It happens, you know when you are in the mood to do it, you just do it that way right then. Next time the same sincerity of words might elude you and even your own thought process may be roaming elsewhere. It might've hitched itself to another star. Today my star is my Sir and his teaching. He gave me my brand new eyes !!
And with that i see everything as new...novel...firsthand...unfamiliar...original...
That...about the sight ...about appreciating the mundane and the most common ...
Definitely this picture was like a catalyst to all of Sir's teaching to me. As i looked into into it Sir's words made real sense. " OMG...the flower is so pretty! ",  i said to myself ," How could i not notice it before???"
Had it not been for this picture i would've never stopped to look at the tiny blooms that appear occasionally in this rambling ground cover bush called Purple Hearts. Yesterday as i went for my walk i was taking in the beauty of all that the season had in store for me. The skies looks overwhelmingly beautiful with the profuse blooms of Crepe Myrtles both pink and white against the azure/ blue/  background. The intermediate earth of that between the ground and the skies lush in their greenery with clusters of scarlet and vermilion blooms of Peregrina ( Jatropha integerimma) and the Firebush the name of which says it all of Hamelia patens, the Oleanders pink ,white and yellow, the Hibiscus scarlet, white and hybrid blooms of breathtaking colors... . Then as the eyes gradually move below in rhythm and harmony what do i see apart from the usual striking green and yellow foliage of the Duranta hedges ...
Purple Hearts here, Purple Hearts there and yes they were in bloom everywhere.
Had it not been for this particular picture i would not have halted my walk, bent down rather squatted on the ground to admire the pure pristine beauty of the tiny blooms. Noticed the three petaled lilac flower the tips of which had the purest white like a fairy had left her speck of fairy dust carefully on each one of them choosing just the right median tip spot.

Purple Hearts are succulents that grow vigorously and require very little maintenance. Although they look attractive because of their deep purple foliage they are not in bloom always. But even without the blooms they look attractive provided one is not bored of it's too many of it factor and has used it along with some contrasting foliage plants. Mostly because of it's vigorous growth people get fed up and start removing them not unless winter sets in for then the plant itself dies out. The blooms appear now and then but they are tiny.

tradescantia pallida, purple heart plant

Tradescantia pallida 

Also known as Setcreasea pallida

There was no way i could match the talent of the master who made me stop and look to see the beauty of my favorite color tiny flower which also had white dots on the tips of the three petals but i tried my exercise in photography inspired by that master shot remembering what Jyotirmoy Sir was telling me to do. So here is my that i saw them...and then the shots i took...but before i leave i must say the one i found most alluring of them all was that one which i thought was reaching out to the world with it's loudest HELLLOOUW !!...behind a netted veil.
The netted plastic which was supposed to protect it from God alone knows what...and for a moment i had that desire to bring it's face out of that veil...but then i controlled myself. Lest my mere touch should damage the pure pristine skin of this tiny cutie, hearty, lilakie, beauty.

Before i quit i want to say a bit more. Much that i want my tutor to see this post of mine i am not sure if he is following my work for he all he would know and i have told him so that i will be sincere in my commitment towards my gadget and my learning and that i shall do my exercise on a regular basis. For this reason although i am much against all this postings on facebook where much is done mainly for self promotion and less for real learning i have been posting some of my nature pictures on facebook for him to see. He is there...and so is his Institute informing me of all the gala strides the students in the advanced course are making. i wish them well and feel amazed at all the work that i see. Feel proud too that i know the person behind all that work and in my heart i wish him more and more success.

As for me i am just too grateful to my tutor. He has no idea what he did for me...his golden words...right from the names that dropped like hail on my bald of photography knowledge head. Of Henry Cartier Bresson to Steve Mc Curry and his various anecdotes on photo shoots did to me. 
He, more than teaching me basics taught me to appreciate the mundane and see what i was not seeing before.
And for that too i am extremely grateful and highly indebted to him. i don't have better words to express but yes there was just another thing a hunch i have about photographers which i did not ask him although i wanted to. Do they ( Photographers) look right inside you...for when i see some pictures i am able to feel that, sense that.
Now that sometimes scares me because i wouldn't want anyone to look right inside me but just me and my own soul should know me that well. No one should be able to decipher me completely. Maybe a photographer can bring out the best aspect of my personality and i am okay with that...i guess i want to be like that enigma wrapped in a mystery kinda person. Point is can i be the one...hahahaha that is one aspect i need to work on. Till then...have a good purposeful week. Will be back with more and i hope Jyotirmoy Sir you are able to recieve my sincere gratitude...Thank You So Much.