PICTURES SPEAK LOUDER THAN ANYTHING ELSE

We came to the end of the this week discussing about our life, love, family, talents of people, travel stories and some motivational stuffs by posting beautiful pictures either captured by us or our friends and family members. Last 14 days were fun-filled and lot of things to learn.

To end this topic I thought of choosing 3 such videos from youtube which are presenting some amazing and thought provoking pictures either drawn, painted or captured by different artists.

I watched all three videos personally and really loved the pictures that were presented. I hope you all will love them.

So take a time out this time from reading and watch these videos: 

Have a Happy Weekend!!!

CAPTURED MEMORIES….

Today’s article is going to be my biggest article. You know why? Because it is said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” 🙂 Sometimes I wonder that pictures are such magic. I mean just think about a moment in the fabric of time that happened years ago is captured on film and we can just take a look at it and relive that memory again whenever we lay our eyes on it. I can see people who have left me forever; I can see my grandfather and grandmother smiling at me. I can see a little me in my father’s lap who has left for his heavenly abode. I can see my uncle in one of them, he is so happy and full of enthusiasm, though today he is a going through unfortunate and grave circumstances. I can see my mother in one of them with such calm on her face. When the last time I saw her this peaceful? Can’t remember.

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This is a picture of my father, this is how I remember him. Sitting behind a desk full of files and paperwork. Wearing a crisp shirt in whites with a tie and glasses. Happiest when he was working. I wish to be more like him, that dedicated and that perfect. He was the perfect example of Simple Living and High Thinking. He made me realise that I am better than billions and happiness can be found when I look at people below me not above me. That my task is to help the ones who are below and lift them, never considering what I don’t have and always being grateful for what all I already have.

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This is my grandfather, he is sitting on our balcony, peeling apples. He was a man who had seen wealth beyond means. His parents had carriage in silver. But then he saw destitution as well. Such poverty that his family(my father and his brothers and mother) ate chapati with salted water. But he never gave up, he taught them how to be happy in hard times and how to be satiated in less. Even when we were well-off, he bought things only after driving a hard bargain and cooking them with utmost love and care. He taught me never to waste money and that the value of Rs 100 depends on whether you have earned it or gonna spend it.

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This is my mother. This picture was taken on a trip to Jaipur, in a hotel called Ram Bagh Palace. She used to be a tomboy before marriage. She knew how to drive and did all household work usually done by men. She is now an entirely different person. One who has the very limited stamina and gets tires easily. But she is a rock of courage. The way she handles everything after my father’s passing, I never expected it from her. She showed she was made of solid Iron heart. The way she manages the house, money, health and me is incredible. Sometimes I look into her eyes and look for that tomboyish girl, and I smile cause that gal is still somewhere in there. She is a young at heart person, and that is what kept her going through all tough times. 

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She is my Grandma. I used to call her Amma. She was a woman beyond her years. She used to read newspaper and books. She had such powerful GK that she beat us all to random trivia. And she told beautiful stories. She lost two sons within two months. One was her strength and other her weakness. Her youngest son out of the three was Autistic and used to have fits. But she never gave up on him, she fought for him until his dying day. And when he passed, she shed tears just like she did for my father. She taught me that a mother’s love is for all her children. She loves them all equally, and she is the only one to whom their worldly achievements and name are of no relevance when it comes to caring and loving. I felt her pain in my heart when I used to see her cry for my sick uncle. Her grief was one of the utterly broken and miserable. 

I was asked to write an article on pictures. All the writers have given excellent write ups. But I chose to write about my family. I hope you all understood my reasons. I wanted to convey that a person’s first school of morals and values is her/his home. I shared with you the lessons and ethics given to me by them all. Hope I was able to reach out to you all. 

Love Your Family!

A PICTURE THAT SPOKE OUR DESTINY

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, but for us, a picture spoke our destiny. Yes, it was 10th May 2004, when I met Anuj for the first time at the marriage of my cousin sister Prabhjot’s friend’s brother. Yeah! A quite distant wedding to attend, but my sister coaxed me to meet her college mates there. We enjoyed ourselves, pulling each other’s legs and posing for the camera. Anuj and I didn’t have the slightest clue that just by standing next to each other would result in standing the same way for the rest of our lives.

When the photo prints were out, we were mocked, as everyone said that it seemed we two were getting married. Time passed and we began to like each other’s company and gradually became the best of friends. Anuj was always there to uplift my mood and guide me during the tough times. Going out on adventurous rides, hanging out with our common friends, everything was fun when he was around. The best part was that he accepted the way I was and vice- versa.

In October 2005, while I was getting frustrated with my life, searching for a job and my parents were doing groom hunt for me, Anuj asked me to come over to their college to celebrate my birthday. I am so glad that I agreed because that was my best birthday ever.

 I owe everyone in our circle for pampering me so much in that visit (especially Anuj). I really had a great time in their college and visiting so many places. And in this particular period, he cajoled me to agree with my parents, get married and search for a job later on. Strange? Yes, as marrying each other was nowhere on our minds at that time.

However, time flew and I got a job offer as Jewellery Designer in Delhi. Meanwhile, Anuj’s engineering was over and he was also there, searching and applying for IT jobs. After sometime (read after having many coffees together at Cafe Coffee Day), we finally realised that we were too fond of each other and so, decided to get married. Anuj got a job in Mysore and we kept the proposal of marrying each other in front of our parents. It was like a bomb blast and everyone was taken aback. As in a typical bollywood movie, there were counselling sessions and melodrama involved too. The funniest part of all was that no one in my family had any problem with Anuj. They knew he was smart and intelligent, but he was not a Punjabi guy. While we were managing our long distance relationship (thanks to Tata Indicom’s twin sim plan), our families thought that we will get over each other soon. Since we were confident of our choices, our relationship only grew stronger. Finally, my brother took a call and arranged a meeting for us with our families (in Cafe Coffee Day only).  For the last time, we were asked to go back over our decision, to which Anuj replied, “If we were to reconsider our decision, this meeting would never have happened.” Our families agreed and we tied the nuptial knot in 2008.

Now, years later, when we look back at our first picture clicked together, we realise it was predestined for us.

BASKING IN THE LAP OF NATURE

It was my first trip to mountain resorts – Nainital and Sattal in 2015. No doubt it was exciting, but more than that the sight of the lofty mountains all around simply took my breath away. (For the information of readers: Nainital is a Himalayan resort town in the Kumaon region of India’s Uttarakhand state, at an elevation of roughly 2,000m. Sattal or Sat Tal is an interconnected group of seven freshwater lakes situated in the Lower Himalayan Range near Bhimtal, a town of the Nainital district.)

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A view of Mt. Kailash

Though it is not visible in this picture, Mt. Kailash clad with snow (as was seen by a telescope) was a real treat to watch so much so that I couldn’t stop singing praises of the magnificent Creator in my heart all through.

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Fishes in Lake Naini

The clear cool waters of Lake Naini are thriving grounds for fishes, ducks and swans. It was so tempting to capture this photo before the fishes could swim downwards and vanish.

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A view of the mountain-town from the Lake Naini

While boating in the Lake Naini, one could have a view of the houses and habitation around. I wondered how amazingly these houses have been constructed and maintained!

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Night-view

This view was an absolute treat to capture – one of the best clicks of the trip! The white and yellow bright spots are the lights coming up in the houses in the mountain resort as darkness set in. The houses are all in varying elevation. This view could be got while exploring the Tibetan market.

It was an hour and a half’s descent from Nainital to Sat Tal. If you are a person who loves quiet serenity, Sat Tal is a must visit. It is a place where you can simply feel one with nature without any disturbance. No mobile networks penetrate into this area. No hustle-bustle of towns and markets.

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A view of the dense trees atop the mountains at Sat Tal

The lakes in Sat Tal are deeper than in Nainital. While boating across the lakes, when one turns around, it is overwhelming to see the dense trees atop the mountains surrounding the lakes. No matter in whichever direction you look, the view is almost the same – dense greenery – tall trees – lofty mountains – and the blue sky above!

This was my first tryst with nature and an unforgettable one. Even now as I remember those breath-taking views, I can only exclaim with wondrous admiration, “Oh God! How great thou art!”

Truly the Psalmist writes –

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

The lofty mountains, the dense trees, the blue skies, the cool clear lakes never utter a word. Yet they stand as silent testimonies to the Creator!

 

MY LOVE FOR MAPLE LEAVES !!!

People get confused well when they try to establish a pattern of my liking for colors with the way I dress to work .. Silly, isn’t it ? I love all the colors alike, life just gets boring with just black and white. May be, it is just a relevance of my love for colors that I like maple leaves. Maple tree is so special, a very well known species, the colors of the leaves range from green to bright red to burgundy.

For my love and madness for maple, I’ve got to travel at the right time of the year, fall season, to a country filled with loads of maple trees. Is there any thing more I can ask for ? Nopes. I was so enthusiastically waiting to get a glance of them. When I landed there it was only September, but fall has already started, most of the leaves have started turning yellow.

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The continual display of shades of green and yellow was so soothing to eyes. I have started to eagerly wait for the time to pass by for the leaves to blossom into different colors. It took a couple of weeks more for that to happen..

Hurray! I was literally jumping out of joy seeing all those colors and the transformations happen. How can anyone not fall in love with mother nature ?

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Early morning when I wake up the sun wishes me a warm “GOOD MORNING

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In the evening it rains damn heavily, with wind that can swirl me along with it, after all the drama of nature, this is how it looks.

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It’s getting so damn difficult for me to choose only a few pics from the whole lot of pics, but the exercise is all worth it. It has brought back tons of memories and made me refreshed in no time.

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See the reflection of the trees in the water, it looks so so so very beautiful. I spent a whole lot of time sitting on the banks of those lakes doing nothing but staring at them. It just teleports me into a different world and lets me enjoy the pleasure of the beauty of this nature. Probably we, the humans are very much blessed to be living on this earth, which is so very mesmerisingly beautiful.

I like space travel.. If I get a chance to travel and if I have to choose between earth or another planet, then the choice is very obvious, I would choose my home planet. Not because my friends and family live here but any other planet ( as far as I have seen in pictures) is not as beautiful as earth… 

I also find maple very interesting because of the analogy I derive between the maple leaf cycle and human life. Along with seasons, maple leaves grow, change their color and whither. So is our life, according to the situation we adapt, change, sacrifice. But in all this, one thing of maple that inspires me is the happiness it creates in all of us, just by the outward appearance.

I would wish to make others happy even when I am literally dying inside. To see that one smile on the face of a loved one I would go to any extent, to cheer-up my buddy I am always there irrespective of the storm inside me and the smile on my face would never fade away …

RANDOM HAPPINESS

In life, we crave certainty, surety and sameness of things. We mostly take decisions or make our moves cautiously. Randomness is equated with rashness, but sometimes, randomness can also lead to a happy ending.

When Chiradeep told me this week’s topic, I thought, “Gosh, I don’t have theme based pics at all”. He kindly pointed out to me that I could write on random as a topic, with pictures. It didn’t make sense to me at first, but as I frantically combed my store of pictures, I realised I did have a theme – Random Happiness. There are so many little moments in my life that have happened by sheer happenstance, on a random day. Nothing planned, nothing certain about them.

I’m sure there must be incidents in your life too when random acts or incidents have worked out. Like a random act of kindness to a beggar. Or a random prank on a friend turning into the best moment of your friendship. We all have an element of randomness in ourselves that we try to subdue. Indeed, we should take precautions and think rationally before we take decisions. But randomness needn’t be scary all the time.

Randomness can be rewarding at moments like these…

When a random walk in the neighbourhood brings you across such rare views.

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Stray cat lazing in the January sun’s warmth

I caught this kitty cat-napping sprawled across a car’s windshield. Fine place you picked, kitty-cat! Eating, napping and soaking up the sun should be our national pasttimes.

When random people on the road become friends.

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Neighbourhood strangers, now friends

These kids are from my neighbourhood. They both belong to less-fortunate backgrounds but their hearts are just as big. They met me and my daughter while we were walking one day and have been friends with her ever since.

When random incidents become etched in your memory for all the right reasons.

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Daughter caught at the right moment

I found my daughter reading her own baby book one day, rather pensively. I’m sure it must be the pictures that fascinated her, but the sheer coincidence of reading her own baby book made it special for me. Catching up with your own goings-on, eh, daughter dearest?

When random bouts of creativity make you aware of your own stupidity.

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Cardboard Airplane Fail

I don’t know what I was thinking! I saw a cute cardboard airplane on the internet and thought, “Huh! Looks easy enough”. I know better now. On the plus side, it earned us a lot of mommy-daughter time.

When random culinary experiments turn out to be the tastiest fail of your life.

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Happiness in a Bowl

This was a lazy, weekday attempt at making a soup that used up all the leftovers in the fridge. It looked like it woud fail miserably, but did not. Read about why here.

When random acts show you that you’re bringing up your child right.

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My daughter offering me a flower

My daughter offered me a flower because I lost my own while we were walking (she has a habit of picking up sticks, stones, flowers and whatnot when she’s taking a walk). She thought I’d be sad, so she wanted to give me her own.

And when random, seemingly bad pictures show you just what true happiness is.

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Me and Mine

My friend took this and didn’t want to share it with me because she thought it was a bad picture – too bright, overexposed. But it had all the good in all the right places.

 

The message in these pictures?

Don’t cringe from randomness. You never know what happiness it may bring you.

Pradita Kapahi.

thepraditchronicles.com

 

 

HOW YOU HANDLE AFTER YOU’RE BROKEN!!!

It was in the July of 2014 that I was fortunate enough to visit Darjeeling, the land of the thunderbolt. Mirik followed suit. A lover of scenic beauty that I am was enthralled at thought of capturing spectacular scenes of nature. When we arrived at this lake in Mirik I was completely bewitched by the surroundings that it had to offer. Amongst many other elements of nature that I came across at that destination I came upon this scene that stood out to in the midst of all the greenery.

Capturing our undivided attention here is the image of an almost fallen tree. A tree that has succumbed to the pressures of the change in the phenomenon and which looks like it has given up its life to fall to its death into the lake. It is this lone component in the entire forest-like backdrop that has fallen to its glory, an unprecedented survivor who seemed to have gone through a lot before submitting itself to the dominance of the stronger powers. The other trees around it are standing straight resembling each other in appearance and posture, showing no signs of uniqueness in them. It is this fallen tree that I assume tried to show its different nature and thus as a result has been stubbed to its end.

If we look closely we may find out that though the tree seems to have fallen, it has not stopped to thrive. Its leaves are as green as its straight colleagues. It still has life left. It still has a long way to go and survive. The very fact of its brokenness has made it stand out amongst others and has charmed viewers to praise its scenic beauty. The tree seems to be showing strength of character.

So relatable to most of us, isn’t it? Often we find ourselves in circumstances similar to that of this tree. We get eroded by numerous storms that are raging outside and try to burn us in the inside but we buckle ourselves up. Even though we feel broken we try to put up a fight like a warrior. We have to encounter numerous forms of discrimination while living in this present society. Racism, stereotyping, gender discrimination, and exclusion regarding disability, impairment, economic injustice, religious discrimination and what not we confront on a regular basis. I am sure you will be able to name quite a few other than this. Issues like this manipulate and manoeuvre us into thinking that we are its slaves. The prevalent systems of patriarchy and matriarchy (in some other places) make our lives all the more strenuous. Privately we wish for a change to sweep up our country and make life different for us. We view ourselves broken while fighting and battling against the torturous society and its filthy mentality. We feel defeated.

They say one who has the strength of character can withstand the fiercest of storms and thrive just like this tree along the Mirik Lake. It’s not about how you can handle before you break but about how you handle after you’re broken. Our brokenness should not be as such that kills us from within. But make sure the ones watching you see the light that is within through the cracks that have been formed. Imagine the life of this tree and how it is still thriving in spite of its brokenness. It is because the seedlings that are going to come from it may find a stronger ground to dwell upon. The seedlings that would thrive from the tree in future would use the moisture from the lake itself to strengthen themselves.

In the similar fashion when your situations make you fall to the ground use the very ground as a leverage to fly and soar high as an eagle. Keeping your head up in the present society is very necessary. The hardest battles are fought by the strongest soldiers.