Category Archives: Nature

Gazing up….twinkle, twinkle little star !!

Many a time, even words fail to describe the splendor of the skies; from the time the sun rises to sets; the breaking of the dawn and the whispering of the moon in the night. Though tonight, what has kept me in awe of are, the night skies. Sitting on the lawn and gazing up, the skies are speckled with glistening dots arrayed randomly and in patterns.

Today Orion winked above, and so did Little Dipper!! Though what makes it most fascinating to watch the night sky are the two favorite stars of the navigators and sky-watchers, are the Polaris and less commonly known, Sigma Octantis. Both are never together but, the best part is that, either one of them are always there to give a hand.

And for an experimental photography, I tried out a star trail. Unfortunately, it’s not yet perfect, but it’s fun. It is supposed to look something like the shot below.

Getting immersed in the skies is fun. Think of the large number of explorers, adventurers, hikers; think of the known and unknown, the skies have a lot to teach us.

Especially the belief that we can always find our way back even in the stormy seas and the windy days.

All we need to look for are our familiar indicators, our goals, dreams and hopes; and the people who love us and have put their faith in us, and then eventually get back on track.

And that’s what I say, Life and the skies are all about!!

Enjoy the starry skies !!

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Ringing in autumn…

And it’s the month of October and here comes, Autumn.

“O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained

With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit

Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayest rest

And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,

And all the daughters of the year shall dance!

Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers. – William Blake”

We all have our special seasons. Seasons that bring out the best in us. That gives us the happy feeling even on the sour, dry days. And no matter how maddening it may get, the smile doesn’t fade.

Autumn has always cast a hypnotic spell on me.

To me, it signals the changing times. It brings out the transition between the sunny summers and crisp winters. A time to mull over life and get philosophical. A time for reflections, surprises and self-realizations.

One of the best times to watch the changing hues of nature and what it teaches man about life and attitude.

Agreed, it marks the beginning of the cold, dreary wind-blown days…..

Yet take a minute to feel the wind, to watch the colors at play, to listen to the raindrops, to listen to the new sounds and the closing music before the silent music…

As said, “Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.  ~Carol Bishop Hipps”

To take anything in the positive vein or “mis-sense”, it all depends on the way one looks at it.

Attitude.

It’s the attitude which underlines the demeanor and the outlook. And which gives rise to new chances and new realizations to self.

If the attitude is turned off from start, imagine what’s being missed in life.

The surprises, the moments, the memories and the lessons on the road.

And at times, second chances don’t come soon enough. So why miss them, as they come along ?

As for me, I know I’m in love with autumn…

And that’s my special season…What’s yours ?


End of the days of summer…

Last week had been one of downpours. It felts like the monsoons along with summer in tow, were bidding an adieu. Frankly speaking, it’s kind of hard to believe that summer is getting over. For me, it was a wet rainy summer towards the second half, though once a while the clear skies did have a say. Yet in spite of the unpredictability of the weather, I had a wonderful summer.

Summer.

Agreed, most of the time, it’s searing hot and very often, I wish that I could simply live in the pool. Yet, there is something about summer. May be it’s the time when nature is at it’s best, or it’s the time when work is side-lined and the holidays start, or maybe it’s because it’s just the right time of the year to sit back and enjoy the waves and nature in full glory. As Longfellow puts it across, the essence of summer as,

That beautiful season the Summer!
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;
and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
–   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Alas, it’s the end of summer days.

Somehow, I can never seem to know when summer is ending, until I certain signs (not as eerie as in “The Signs”!), like:

The Evening Walkers: Finally the evening is back to a pleasant swing. No longer hot and sweltering, evening walkers soon take up the pavement space. It would be a welcome change from the confines of the gym. For anyone who says, get up in the morning and go for a walk. That’s in the middle of summer. End of summer, to get up in the morning when the evening no longer tortures you, seriously?!

Invitation for the Summer Parties: Towards the end of August and beginning of September, does the mailbox suddenly feel full? Amidst the letters, bills and notices; (the latter two the most dreaded) lie some of the colorful invites I have seen this year. Aha, yes it’s the end-of-summer parties. The must-do rite of bidding an end to summer.

Rush hour: the restaurant and Café’s. Now when isn’t it ever rush hour out there? Factually speaking never, unless the Old Man Winter has decided to call in the troops. Yet, towards the end of summer days, the sidewalks suddenly seem full and café’s are booming. And restaurant reservations have to be made at least a day before. Guess summer evenings and the dinners have to end in style at the end of summer.

Picnics and beach madness. About the picnics, summer doesn’t end them (as I personally feel), though for the studying “lot”, (middle school, high school , college or university) and for those on vacations, yes it’s the end of them. Fall is nice, but not the same. As for the beaches, yes it’s the last days for the sunbathing, tanning, loafing around and not to miss out, the waves. No it’s not that the waves are saying goodbye, they are still there around, though it feels like an end of the days of fun and frolic.

Summer sales. Ah, no end of summer days, is complete without them. They signal that alright summer is ending soon, the sales have arrived. Whether it is the yard sales, sales of the summer-spring collections, sales at the local stores, the malls; it would be a sin not to even give them a passing look !! Besides, who would ever give up on discounted prices, the best deals, forgo the window shopping and walk away? Not me.

And so my indicators of end of summer have started blinking. Well here in the tropics, it’s really difficult to demarcate summer and fall; but hey the signs really help.

As once put across the web by anonymous, to quote:

Summer is like the ultimate one-night stand.. hot as hell, totally thrilling, and gone before you know it.

So here it is, goodbye summer. Hopefully, next year around it’ll be more of you and less of your nemesis, the rain.

Yet before I finish off, let me thank you summer.

Thank you for the sun sprinkled drives, hours of sunbathing, for the golden skies (whenever you could scare the dark clouds away), the waves, the lazy afternoons and the days of holidaying. And most of all, thanks for the memories.

 

The precious memories and moments of summer.

 


Unpredictable as always…

Almost nearing towards the end of June, it would have been the ideal start to the rains, the monsoons. But as usual, being unpredictable as ever, is its charm. It had to start right away, at the end of May. And since then it’s been a fight for the skies, of the rain and the sun. After all, regularly irregular is in vogue for Mr. Weather at the moment. Apparently, his turf is not only in England.

Monsoons. Ah, interesting topic of discussion, but after hiding the sun for two days at a stretch, it deserves a word of appreciation at the least, hence the post.

I’ve heard of rainy days and sunny days, but of a sunny rainy day!! Well now I have. The most irritating part is that one minute you are on the road, next minute you are wading through the muddy waters. No, I don’t live in a swamp nor did I enter the forest area. You see, it just rained.

Rains. Or rather, the monsoons. I love it. It brings me back to nature.  Especially, the fresh smell of earth, jumping in mud puddles, setting the paper boats on sail, and of course, getting drenched. And not to forget, the hot cup of tea or coffee, while watching the rain at work. The rainy days have some of the best moments.

But not, when I have to go for work. En route to work, after wading in muddy ponds and walking in slosh, my attire becomes a piece of modern art. Worse is the mud splashes greeting us, the pedestrians. Forget covering the distance from my quarters to the hospital on wheels, by the time I beat the traffic, it would be mid-day.

And to add to it, the tireless chore of getting rid of mud prints on the floor; it’s a mix of paw prints and foot-prints!!! And of course, with the sun in hiding, trying to get the clothes sun-dried is almost next to impossible.

Worst of the worse, is allergies. Well, I beat Rudolph this time.

Anyways, no matter how tedious rainy days may be, they have their own importance in a special way. I guess, it’s just a matter of getting used to the changing weather. So at present, here I am on my day off,  after battling today’s rain along with the hours of traffic and the roads, finally at home.

Hopefully, tomorrow the rains will ease up a bit for the sun to come out from hiding. Then, it’s a maybe again. No point in trying to predict the unpredictable. Just trying to enjoy the moments as they happen. Happy monsoons !!!


Play of The Colours

Seems as though the heat has been stalled for a couple of days in the tropics. It’s been raining like cats and dogs for the past few days. Yet not so terrible, looks as though they are taking turns, the clouds and the sun.

The smell and feel of rain is quite awesome, especially when you are in the city.Agreed it’s highly polluted and not same as the country, but still I eagerly await the rains any day. After a downpour, the air smells of fresh earth, wet grass and all the birds creep out to say a hello around. And nature wrecks havoc on my senses, the rich colours come back to life. Here in the tropics, there is no real distinction between spring and the summer save for the rains. Downpours are common during summer, though this time it is way early. Discussing the weather seems like a weird post, but let me go beyond that.

Nature plays with colours. Metaphorically speaking, it plays with our journey on the road, coloring it up, giving it dark shades and light shades, special colours, sad colours, beautiful colours and sometimes, colours which only we can see and experience, that nobody else would be able to. But when nature plays with colours, it doesn’t alert us with alarms or ding-dong bells !! It starts it’s work and gives us the option of seeing the colours as they are coming along the way. Unfortunately, what most of us do, including me, is to crib unceasingly about our misfortunes and downfalls in life; little looking around and appreciating how lucky we are when compared to many. Sometimes, I often wonder why we are given so many chances in spite of how hopeless we perceive life. Maybe it’s because of the amazing grace that is given to all of us. Maybe there is still hope that we,people would change for the better.

The Colours of Life by Leonid Afremov

That’s what the rains tell us, to pause and appreciate life, it’s beauty and grace. To take each day as it comes. To hope for the best; yet be prepared for the worst. To take pitfalls as they come, in stride. To say a daily prayer of thanks . To explore life. To enjoy and learn from experiences, be it good or bad. To inspire us to do something different, unique to each individual. To give something back to this world. Or what I perceive most importantly, to throw ourselves in the riot of colours of life, losing ourselves in the joy of living , and when we fall or stumble, to pick ourselves and  move on.


Going beyond the Hour: Earth Hour

Ever since the entire civilization has been set off on the industrial growth phase, with the ever-expanding phase of modern technology and higher standards of living; we have lost sight of the bigger picture, the real future that we ideally are supposed to hand over to the coming generations – the preserved resources of nature.  As years went by, there has been an increasing awareness and more about the environment and conservation of energy. This is what brings me to this post, Earth Hour which was observed here on March 26, 8:30 to 9:30 and hopefully beyond that.

What humbled me, was that this news reached even the remote areas. Forget the fact that there are major power-outbreaks , that the humidity has set in and the heat is simply unbearable, or there are areas where it was still snowed in. Lights still went off 26th evening and the trend of conservation of energy was spread and discussed about. Major hospitals and the minor ones like where I work, efforts were taken to avoid the unnecessary use of electricity. Though no drastic measures were taken, the small efforts of the various households combined across the country would have a tremendous impact.

True, it doesn’t make any sense in doing this all for one day. Yet looking beyond, the idea of awareness had taken root leading to a growing concern for our resources. These baby steps would definitely go a long way. It sensitizes the community and major cities taking efforts to adapt to a more reasonable consumption of energy. To bring about this awareness, there is no need to burn down oil companies or hold demonstrations in front of the major power houses or factories. Rather, it starts at the very grass-root level of conservation and wise living. At home itself, simple measures can be used to conserve energy and that is where the actual fruitful steps begin. It just involves sitting down and making  list of steps which can be taken. In my hospital, the list has been started and steps are in-place.

From 2007, the WWF‘s Earth Hour has gone a long way and maybe there is still hope out there for sustaining Nature and her beauty for the future. The fact that there has been a massive surge in the involvement of people in this venture globally, and active participation of the people at the local and international level proves that the message is being passed around loud and clear. And by now, hopefully, for many it would be going beyond this Earth Hour, beyond the entitled period of one hour and carry out the message in the remaining days of the year.