Did you watch the Super Blue Blood Moon this week? It was beautiful, wasn’t it? The teen and I took some time out to do moon watching that evening although we didn’t manage to get any decent phone captures that I could share over here. Continue reading
For those who love Nature, beauty is everywhere and although we humans are messing up with Mother Nature big time, there are moments when we all watch in awe the surreal and the ethereal happenings which the spectacles of Nature bring into our lives. Continue reading
“With a bound, the sun of a molten fiery red came above the horizon, and immediately thousands of little birds sang out for joy, and a soft chorus of mysterious, glad murmurs came forth from the earth; the low whispering wind left its’ hiding-place among the clefts and hollows of the hills, and wandered among the rustling herbs and trees, waking the flower-buds to the life of another day.”
― Elizabeth Gaskell
For Skywatch this week, I bring you a shot of a deep blue sky taken from the flight, just before the descent to Bangalore was announced by the pilot! This was at the wee hours of dawn, when the first rays of the rising sun were beginning to light up the dark skies. Continue reading
How have you all been? It has been just a week but seems to me a very long time as I have been away from active blogging all this while and I’m missing it. There wasn’t much I could do about it because sometimes, life takes precedence and that is okay too! Autumn skies are very beautiful in the eastern Indian state of Bengal. In the south of the country, where I’m presently based, the sky brings in plenty of rain and some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. It might have been a dull grey cloudy sky if not for the streak of sunshine spreading across to make it a dramatic one. I watched another beautiful day unfold right before my eyes and felt a silent prayer rising within me, thankful for the sight.
I’ve been very busy this past week, as we celebrated Durga Puja, the biggest festival mostly for the Bengali community, although many in North and East India also follow it. But for the Bengalis, Durga Puja is that time of the year when they long to go back to their roots and their traditions to be part of the five-day festivities.
The dates for the festival are decided by the almanac and this year luckily two of the five main days fell on a weekend, which meant most people could join in, without having to take leave from work, which was a big relief for many! Thanks to the good weather, there were no rains to act spoilsport as the ladies donned their best silks and crisp cottons and the men dressed in smart block-printed kurtas and little girls and boys a little too conscious of their new attires, as they joined in the festive mood and enjoyed being part of the milieu. The festival days flew by in a jiffy! The mornings and the evenings were completely dedicated to enjoying the sounds of the “dhaak“ and the “dhol” and offering flowers at the feet of the deity for “pushpanjali” amid the chanting of the mantras, to be followed by visiting other pandals in the other parts of the city (‘pandal-hopping’.)
There were almost 35 pandals in Bangalore this year and that gives everyone an idea about how widely it is celebrated here. In the afternoons all devotees were provided free lunch in all the pandals. This comprised of a traditional “bhog“, that included khichdi, a medley of vegetables called “labda“, chutney made of ripe tomatoes and “payesh” (kheer). In the evenings, it was an amazing experience to watch the “arati” by the priest. With the camphor wafting in the air as the men and women did the “dhunuchi“dance, one was reminded of one’s childhood and the feverish excitement of the puja days in the years gone by. It was as if, stirred by the sights, sounds and the drum beats one was transported to another world. On most evenings there were cultural programmes, comprising of skits, classical dance performances, songs, often including local and outstation performers to entertain the public.
As all good things must come to an end, so did those magical days of the puja. But, not without leaving us happier, albeit a little mellow; recharged and rejuvenated nonetheless.
As my twelve-year-old enjoys his last few days of the vacation, reading story books and getting ready for another busy term, I am hopeful I will be able to bring in some much-needed changes to my writing and life, in general.
That’s all from my end. I’d love to hear about you and what has been keeping you busy over the week. As another weekend approaches, I’m sure you all are looking forward to something different or perhaps, something special. Do share your thoughts in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you. See you again soon!
When I woke up this morning, at the crack of dawn, my first thought was to look out of the window and see what kind of day was lying ahead of me. Everyone else was fast asleep and I did not have to rush to get on with the chores, as I normally do on a Monday morning, as the school holidays were still on! Having woken up early, I knew I was going to have an extra hour all to myself, so I hurried off to the kitchen, put the kettle on and decided to step out for my early morning walk. For the past four weeks, I have been listening to my body and regularly going for a 3 km walk every day. I cannot describe the joy that comes from doing this without fail every day. The sound of silence has been my constant friend at this hour and as the morning progresses, the stillness fills up slowly by the rhythms of an action-filled day, the call of birds, the shuffling of leaves, amid the varying pace of other walkers in the park, who also come to savour the silence, without fail, walking to their own beats, humming along or listening to their headphones.
It is that time of the day when I am usually at peace with myself and my surroundings, as it happens to be the most profoundly silent of all my waking hours! I have never felt more alive as in these quiet mornings.
These are my moments of absolute quiet, when speech no longer exists, all noise is filtered out and a peaceful vacuum comes to rest between me and my chores. I guess this is perhaps because I have always loved silence. Having grown up in a quiet hill town, and spent most of my childhood listening to nature and the occasional barking of a dog in the neighbourhood, I have grown up to appreciate that stillness, which some people find absolutely unbearable.
To those who hate silence, this might appear to be sheer torture but to me, this is nothing short of a boon – the fact that I enjoy the absence of words and experience a sudden rush of thoughts that makes my mornings beautiful! I savour that vast emptiness of the hour to welcome dawn as the sky changes colours from dark to a splash of gold and crimson.
I am thankful that I happen to live in a quiet part of a very busy city and although it is far removed from the kind of quietness I have grown up with, I am happy to savour whatever peace comes by, before a lazy morning starts and noise takes over.