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.