IN SEARCH OF TALENT

When we are in our twenties, we run after our dreams. Thirties also pass in a whirlwind of responsibilities. By the time we touch forty I guess we start to realise how fast the time is passing us by and then comes the part where we introspect and try to understand how and where our life is headed and does it need a course correction?

Well all may not agree with me but this is how I am feeling, this year in July I turn 40. A big milestone I guess. Well forty sounds very old to me but frankly I don’t feel that old.

When I look back, though I don’t know if I put my years on this earth to good use or not. My biggest achievement is raising my kiddos who have come a long way from this – 

To this…

There are so many things that I could have done differently. But I guess my life has turned out just fine. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, a sister etc. These are the tags I carry with pride. But there is a tag in my life which always used to pinch me the tag of being a ‘housewife’ or ‘homemaker’ as it is being called now. I felt a bit less worthy than the females who go out to work.

But was I right? I guess not. Even though I still admire the ladies who go out for a full time job and manage their household also such efficiently. I don’t weigh the housewives any less. There may be various reasons we are not going out to work, but we don’t lack in talent.

I did not have to go far to corroborate my theory. I just looked around me and found so many examples for my notion.

I have a friend Nidhi. She is such an efficient home maker. Seriously every time I meet her I get a feeling that I need to take a lesson in time management from her. And she is a self-learned artist.

I just can’t help going gaga over her mesmerising paintings.

Then there is the case of Riddhi a home maker who painstakingly designed and made dresses for her daughter for a special wedding function. The love and effort that went into it was commendable. And the smile and confidence on her daughter’s face was absolutely worth it.

There is another dear friend Meeta who opted to be a homemaker so that she could spend more time with her kids during their growing up stage. She started a small business of gifting ideas. I must say I am so impressed by her cool ideas and the way they have become popular.

The list is endless. I can go on about the talented ladies I have come across. I am not showcasing my friends’ talents, only trying to put across a point that the housewife is a housewife because of her choice not because of lack of talent or will.

Cheers to all the homemakers!

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WHERE DOES MY HELP COME FROM?

I am not much of a photographer. So it took me quite some time to search through the pictures and get this one. This picture was captured by my brother almost 5 years back. He gave me the idea to pose this way and just look at the background doesn’t it make a beautiful picture?

Yesterday when I was scanning through the pictures I got struck in this one for some time and I was reminded of a beautiful verse from the Bible written by the great poet King David.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.

    From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

    who made heaven and earth.

 He will not let your foot be moved;

    he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;

    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

 The sun shall not strike you by day,

    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;

    he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep

    your going out and your coming in

    from this time forth and forevermore”

Life on Earth is never a smooth sailing. The storms rise high above us at times, waiting to crush us down, to leave us with no hope. Our problems stand against us as giants to break us down. And even though sometimes I have no courage to face them and I simply want to quit, those verses above give me hope and  the courage to rise and get my armour on and face the challenge. My help comes from GOD who will not let my foot be moved which means He will not let me be defeated. He will never sleep but will protect me from all evil and guard my life.

If anyone of you reading this article is going through some tough times, take it to God, the creator of Heaven and Earth, He will not fail you but will keep you and exalt you above your problems.

God bless you through this article!

A QUEEN IN THE HILLS

Last August when I visited Cherrapunji, locally know as Sohra I knew I was in for a visual treat. But what I beheld was   beyond my imagination. I simply marveled at the creation of The Creator. The “Noh-Ka-Likai” (This Khasi name translates to “The fall of Ka-Likai”) falls held me captive to its surreal beauty and the entire scenery in an around the place made me feel as I have been transported into a mystical land.

                                                                        

The waterfall, the clouds, the gentle breeze, and that vast landscape of rolling hills seemed to have an aura around them and I came up with this small poem to better express the sight I was blessed enough to experience.

Amidst the mist, under the skies,

Lays her abode in the hills so high.

When I get a glimpse through the window

Oh! I wonder, I sigh! I sigh!

 

The clouds play above her,

The trees grow around her,

Miles she must have travelled,

Pushing through   the mighty rocks,

And then comes her moment of leap.

 

She falls in joy, draped in pristine white,

With nature’s blessings she turns green,

When I look at her from the cliff

My eyes behold what a sight!

 

Her beauty so serene,

A queen! A queen!

I can keep looking at her for ever

With a beauty so great, the danger that high

I can admire her only from a distant side.

 

YOUR TIME – THE BEST GIFT TO YOUR CHILD

Hello Everyone,

This is my question to all the parents out there.  What was your gift to your kids (children or might be even adults but they remain kids to parents like forever, isn’t It?) on their last birthday?  A doll, a bicycle, a football, a book, a new dress, an I-phone and so on.  How happy they were to receive the gifts?  Can you measure the degree of their happiness or otherwise in relation to the gifts you get them every year?  How would you know if they are happy or not with their gifts at first place – smile on lips, sparkle in eyes or a tight hug?

I know it is difficult to assess than to decide and purchase the gift.  But we still do it simply because we “Love” them.  We go to the extent of depriving ourselves with our comforts – read rest and our own wishes, to get them the object of their desire.  And for how long these materialistic stuffs can give them happiness or stay useful to them?  Few days, weeks, months or few years? Don’t know, can’t say.

So what could be the most precious gift you could give them day after day that they could treasure for lifetime?  It’s Your Time.  Yes that’s not a typing error.  I mean it.  Give your time to them, play with them, talk to them and most importantly listen to them.

It seems pretty clichéd, right?  But truth nevertheless.  Let me present you a broader picture of the current scenario: there’s a race in a pretty much competitive world out there and parents are not untouched by this.  They toil hard to get everything under the sun for their kids and that too branded! That makes a whole lot of difference and a point too.  Best education, best clothes, best gadgets, best vacations and what not.  And best comes with a price.  Correction – a hefty price.  And for that price parents prefer to work tirelessly leaving their kids under nanny care coupled with companionship of tech updated gadgets.

Result:

  • They are missing out kids’ childhood.
  • Kids miss their parents and their own childhood. Maturity or better say loss of innocence is something which is strikingly evident these days.
  • Complicated relationships:  If you don’t have time to talk your concerns and listen to issues, misunderstanding is bound to crop up complicating the relationships leaving them strained.  And parenting has a lot to do with understanding and empathizing. Don’t  you agree?

Spend as much time as possible with kids.  When they are tiny tots they question a lot.  Give your time to answer their questions. I do that always as a mother. The picture I posted above is captured by one of us, either by me or my husband. And through that picture I wanted to depict that how TIME can be so important for my kids. I am very careful about how much time I give. And all these pictures always remind me that my children need my time always.

Just think about our parents when we were kids….  Most of us never had everything best we desired for but we have the best parents who gave their “Time” to us and those moments are still treasured and prized processions.  And we are happy too with absolutely no complains, isn’t it?

LOVERS TALKING… 💞

I thank Rajnandini for this wonderful idea of reflecting on our own captured pictures. Actually being an artist  I love to interpret the pictures that I capture. She asked me yesterday, “Bhai, you asked all to write in a short time… this topic needs little time…” I replied to her if nobody writes this week I will write everyday interpreting my pictures and I would seriously love doing that. Now let me stop talking too much and start reflecting on something I love.

A fruitful tree…

This particular coconut tree was visible where we used to stay 2 years ago. This could be easily seen from our window and I kept exploring my camera as well as my photography skills by capturing literally everything that I happened to see. There is a joy that bubbles inside me when I capture something which my heart says to capture. As you see this tree was so fruitful, leaves are there and the eagles have made their nest in there… But soon it simply withered… We were wondering what happened to that tree…

Withering away slowly…
Completely withered except the trunk standing tall…
The dried out tree trunk in the evening…

When I started reflecting on these transition of the tree I felt it happens in our lives as well. We grow rapidly sometimes and stay successful and flaunt around at times and then the next moment we fall down, loosing everything that we have. The tree had lost its glory but I still used to find the beauty in it… yes, in that dried coconut trunk.

At around 5 PM in the evening…

Then one day when I was looking outside of my window and watching this beautiful moon rising up in the sky I found it wonderful to look at. I quickly took out my camera and started capturing pictures after pictures aiming at the same dried trunk.

Can you tell me what made the dried tree so intriguing?

It is that MOON on its background that made it so intriguing and beautiful to look. God started to speak to me. He prompted in my heart that, “You will look always intriguing if you keep me at your background though you feel dry and dead at times.” I nodded in love and agreement to what He told me. 

Its getting darker slowly…

I sat down with my camera for next 2 hours capturing pictures of the same objects at different times of the evening and I presented the best ones here for all of you to see. 

Lovers Talking… ❤

Finally, I came up with the BEST CAPTURE of that evening. I uploaded it on one of the popular photography site: “500px“. The response was great for my shot titled as “Lovers Talking

When people those who connect with me praise me for my mindset and will power. Fine, I appreciate it. But the truth about me is very clear. I know I am weak in every way whether it is physically or emotionally or spiritually. What makes me beautiful and praise worthy is my background, who is constantly at work within me and through me to make me beautiful and worthy of Him and His created human beings.

If you want to fine tune your life then keep God at your background…

Stay Blessed!!!

THEIR HAPPINESS INSPIRES ME …

Photographing kids is so much fun. One needs to have abundance of patience to be able to capture the right moments when they look so very cute. It is a challenge on it’s own. So far, I had the passion of capturing only nature and kids, but both of these are restricted. When I used to travel out of country or some scenic places, I loved capturing some of the nature’s superb creations. I feel so satisfied when I see what I captured.

When it comes to capturing pictures of kids, I had a different challenge. Whom should I photograph ? I have requested a couple of my colleagues that I would photograph their kids, but who would have time and why should they entertain my request ?

While I was stuck with these difficulties, I had an opportunity to travel to some place in Tamil Nadu along with my other friends from a travel group. One of them is Ambi, who is a passionate photographer too. Travelling with them is always fun. While we were returning back from the dam, he requested me to capture the picture of a small girl.

Because of my past experience I was very apprehensive to even ask. If my friends and colleagues cannot accept my request, why would any one else accept. I took a back step. Ambi is from Tamil Nadu and knows Tamil, so he said, “I will ask her, get your camera, let’s try. There is nothing wrong in trying.” The girl was crying so badly, I had no clue on what I should expect from the click. As we were approaching, to my surprise the girl stopped crying. She grew curious looking at the camera.

Before even Ambi asked for it, the mother of the baby was ready to pose and was so happy to be captured by the lens. I took a couple of pictures of them and we were ready to move on. She showed us the house they live in. I requested Ambi to remember the route to this house.

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We went to a shop for laminating the picture and gave it for lamination. The next day when we went to their house to give the lamination, the family was so happy to have that lamination. They had only a hut, the husband works for daily wage in a paddy field. The happiness on their faces is priceless. The satisfaction is out of this world.

All my friends or colleagues are very well equipped with multi “Mega Pixel” smart phones if not DSLRs. They can also afford to hire a photographer when in need. So, they absolutely don’t have to bank on someone like me. Thanks to Ambi and also the idea of getting the picture laminated, I found a better inspiration of why I should be capturing the innocent smiles of those kids. I continue to take similar pictures wherever people are willing to pose, not that I get every photo printed, but the happiness they get of being part of our memories itself is bliss.

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The satisfaction of seeing an entire family smiling while they pose for me is something I would be very happy about. Their innocence and friendliness makes it so comfortable to be capturing them with my camera, which I would have found with my own family or friends.

A picture can speak a thousand words; Each of these pictures is equal to thousand pictures …

MY SILLY SEARCH FOR ADVENTURES

I was a huge fan of “Famous Five” series as a child. It was a series of novels written by a British author named “Enid Blyton”. The stories revolved around 4 kids who were cousins and their dog. Every novel used to describe their summer vacations together at countryside of Britain. It was always a mysterious story where the five would go out on adventures and figure out something unusual which could be anything ranging from an illegal activity to haunted places. The five of them were always brave and ready to take on challenges. They had their cycles that they would use to go around places and they all loved their dog – Timmy.

Over the years of reading these stories, I felt so connected with these 5 characters. I used to think about them, dream about them and talk about them almost endlessly with one of my friends (Nupur) who was also a “Famous Five” fan.

We were living in colony of Government quarters then – IIP Colony. IIP is the name of institute where my dad worked. It was one of best places for kids to grow up. At outskirts of the city – surrounded by green trees, acres and acres of tea plantation around and the best part was that our colony’s boundary wall was adjacent to Rajaji National Park. So just a few kilometers away, we could reach a proper jungle that had real animals.

Me and my friend Nupur always used to talk about the Famous Five adventures and kept dreaming of having one such adventure ourselves. My dad was very fond of taking all the kids of our colony on excursions inside the jungle early in the morning. It used to be like project and it was a lot of fun. We used to go deep inside the jungle then used our sense of direction to get back home.

Nupur and I in a hope to find an adventure used to take our cycles up to the nearest point of jungle boundary wall and after jumping the wall – we used to cover some extent of the jungle. Just the two of us! But unfortunately (or fortunately) we never found anything illegal happening there or never encountered any animals or ghosts. Now when I think back – it was quite dangerous because in no time the jungle used to get really deep and anybody could get lost there. But we were just so eager to encounter an adventure – that we never thought of any of this.

Those were the stories that I grew up with and that I believed was a reality in some part of the world. Later our adventures completely stopped because there was news of spotting leopard around the jungle boundary. Security was tightened around the boundary wall to ensure the safety of residents and that brought all our hopes of finding an adventure and solving it on our own to a complete halt.

I believed that Famous Five actually did exist and Enid Blyton wrote their stories. I wanted to be famous like them, so famous that someday some author would also write about my adventures too.