Sunday, November 19, 2017

Port Douglas - Tropical Paradise

We stayed at Port Douglas for a couple of days. I fell in love with the 4 mile beach (My love for waves and water bodies is quite well documented I think)

The sun hiding behind the clouds, playing hide and seek, but not really to hiding from me.. look at how the water sparkles.. 


I found this couple walking all over the beach.. Could not resist capturing them for eternity. I dont know anything about them, but as far as this blog is concerned, I snuck a peek into two people having an idyllic romantic get away..

These flowers caught my fancy. Loved their color especially against the green I so love.

Lastly, coconuts by the beach. Cairns is such a tropical paradise.. I wondered if there will ever be a possibility of coconut lying around like this in India. I love tender coconut and I go hunting for good ones quite often here.. That day,there were so  many lying around, but I could not pick one and have it. :) 


Daintree Rain Forest

Cairns was a very beautiful place (is rather, but I am not there now)

We visited the Daintree Rainforest and did a dream walk (Ngadiku dream walk) with the aborigines and I really loved the forest. I was transported to an era where,

Man could spend time in water like this, currents or alligators could kill him too, so he was a careful swimmer.

He spent a lot of time making instruments like these with beautiful carvings to fight
 and once he/she was of age, got married under rocks.. ( I found this concept super romantic)

The best part for me was watching her make paints out of natural materials and paint herself and explain the colors and their significance. I have been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo and I was wondering how would I paint myself? What holds the most significance to me? I couldnt get an answer I was able to resonate with.

Our guide also demonstrated how a stone was once an extremely valuable commodity. It was quite tiny, but had an impression of a seed on it. The early settlers would take plain stones and over a period of time, by virtue of breaking seeds in it, create an impression of a seed, making it easier to break. When neighbouring tribes came, they would try to steal the stone away, hence the stone was always kept upside down, to prevent it from being stolen away. :)

Our guide gave us this amazing leaf that when applied on the head could take our headaches away. It smelt like amrutanjan.

Somethings change, somethings dont. The aborigines didnt believe in owning land and were comfortable moving across the forest, living off the land and as a part of it, as a community, as family was essential for survival then. Now, I read research which says that millenials dont believe in buying property but there is a rise of existentialism - importance to experiences than anything else..

Somewhere, there is a connect - dont you think? 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Everywhere and Nowhere

I fell not in love with you,
but with life itself.

The thoughts I harbour about you,
the time you spend in my head,
How can I not compare it to an avalanche?
Unsuspecting small start,
uncontrollable till the very end?
I can only hope to look for stable ground,
as my life turns - upside down.

That sparkle in your eyes,
the way they light up when you are delighted,
How can I not compare it to the starlit sky
I stare at right now?
Different levels of brightness, these stars seem to have,
Maybe a map I can plot of the eyes,
I want to lose myself in, everyday.

That billion dollar smile of yours,
The million pictures I have of you in my head,
How can I not compare it to, the radiance of the sun,
The very one I hide from, 
with those funky sunglasses?
Funny how I shy away from one light, available
and strive to create the same one, elsewhere.

The gentle sound of your footsteps,
One I imagine to be yours, when you would knock on my door..
Right now darling, the wind against my window,
Is all I have to compare.
The gentle brush,
confused perhaps, about the rightness of the destination,
Inevitable hopefully, maybe, for none can really control destiny..

The peace I feel when I hear your voice,
Conscious in my dreams,
the one I hope to sleep for,
How can I not compare it to the waves
I so adore?
Relentless in their transience,
Beautiful and full of life,
Despite the transience.

You might not know today,
You might never accept ever,
but you my love,
have made me see the world,
for you through my eyes - 
brighter, sharper, more beautiful.

You are in me, in ways I never thought possible
and I am lost in the idea
of what could be,
Even if that, is the only thing,
that can ever really be. 

The next big goal

So, here is my next big goal. One without a timeline. I want to drive down this road.. From Cairns to Port Douglas.. Or the Great Ocean Road near Melbourne. Someday.. Soon...

I was in love with the route and I couldn't take my eyes away. Mountain, sky, water - three things I can never seem to have enough of.

Funnily the driver of the vehicle kept telling me stories of how people in Sydney and other parts of Australia tell wild stories of what happens in Queensland. His stories, were scary enough with Crocodiles and other creatures popping up and disappearing with people. One or two only, exaggerated in the media, according to him. But, they seemed so beautiful in a way. Man and Nature living harmoniously. It did not scare me off the beaches there though. 




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

First glimpse of Paradise

My first glimpse of Cairns.. I honestly think this is how close we will be to glimpsing paradise. Water and mountains together.. cannot get better. 


These were taken from the window of the aeroplane. :) How I wish this was a permanent view for me.. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Accidental witness

I chanced upon this view last Friday as I was walking around my favorite haunt. Funnily, I had been cribbing to a friend earlier in the day about missing beautiful places. As if to remind me of beauty around, this view greeted me. Unexpected, accidental and very very precious. No filters applied. Unedited.

Beauty in the eyes of the beholder, beauty for the ones that relentlessly seeks it. Peace too perhaps. Sunsets - the necessary ending.


Wash away..

Wash away, my sins, my thoughts.. Wash away, all the pointlessness. Flowing water is such a powerful metaphor. Water that doesnt stink, water that gives life effortlessly. A collation of all the flowing water pictures from the Blue Mountains.

The origin of power.. The observed origin rather.


An attempt to capture the flow of water.. Manual mode.. Sigh.

I managed to climb to the middle of this place. My personal success story. :) I am so scared of heights and slipping as i am a klutz in the true sense of the word.

Sky full of trees

Sparse, yet full. A sky full of trees, a dream i hold close to my heart as the concrete jungle swallows me alive and spits me out everyday. I want to see the sky through trees.. just that, everyday. Someday. Blue Mountains, Australia. 






Invincible

I remember writing about the bond humans seem to form with mountains. Perhaps the sheer size of them makes us look for divinity. Makes us believe in divinity rather. I feel closer to heaven, as though I have glimpsed paradise from the top of mountains I scale. (Few and far between, I suck at climbing)

A few shots from the Blue Mountains near Sydney

The grey clouds loom, but the mountains stand firm in their resolve to last forever.


I love the interplay of white and the shades of blue in this picture. Cloud photography and stories of clouds are my favorite past time with kids.. :)

A different view, without the storm clouds, but with a lot of green. Is this eternity in a way? The cycle of green, brown and green?

Clearer skies, brighter picture.. Sometimes, all i need is a different perspective?
I feel invincible this second as I realize I am part of a much bigger whole. I immortalize that feeling in the only way i know how, in this blog.. Data never dies. It is born again in a different form. Or hidden somewhere in the deep web. Scary and powerful thought. 

The Road Less Travelled

I loved Road not taken as a kid. For someone who takes the road most taken usually, it is a good inspiration.

Today, is about the road less travelled. Literally. The population in Australia is much lower than most places I have been to.. The blue mountains near Sydney were breath taking. A few more pictures from the place, but from the point of view of a path, than anything else..

First one, a view I remember vividly, of this jumpy stone pathway (for lack of a better word). I literally jumped and hopped over a few stones as they inspired me to do that..



The next one, a curvy, windy stretch of road... seemingly endless but quite short. A reflection of some of the supposedly never ending complex struggles in life. Long from a certain perspective as we are stuck and we dont move forward. Moving on makes even the longest of roads extremely short I think. 

This stranger, I know nothing about. Why the path with respect to her? She was deep in thought and looking at her, the only thing that stuck me was that she was someone carving her own path and lost in the beauty around her. Perhaps, I am projecting? :)

The Three Sisters

We went up to the blue mountains near Sydney. I loved the trek near the three sisters.

Australia to me, was the country full of untouched beauty. Every where I turned, I found something unique. So much so, that I cannot really tell you what I loved the most about the place. Everything was special, everything was different.

A post dedicated to the three sisters. I didnt know how they got that name. Why not three brothers or the three defenders? I can imagine a city in their midst, one forgotten, one claimed back by the land and the three defenders froze solid as they could not continue to fight any longer.. Perhaps they lost someone valuable in the battle.. I dont know.

This was the castle in the middle of nowhere.. a remnant from the time the defenders fought..


When rocks tell you stories - 2

One more post on the Jenolan caves.. This time the theme is, what if it were Indian mythology.. This is my tribute to the mythology I so love about India.

I loved these striations on the rock.
My story for this, is from Ramayana. Ram, after his beloved was taken away, was lost in thoughts of Sita as he sat on a shore.He ran his fingers on the rock, thinking it was her hair and it became fluid enough all of a sudden to have this shape..


The one below, my story for it, a gopika was carrying a lot of milk thinking of Krishna and offering it to him, when she stumbled on a rock and the pot went flying.. Rather than let it go to waste, Krishna froze it and created this beautiful view, so the loving gift from his devotee could be immortalized. 


This one, is a different view of the Nandi.. So perhaps, story from Shaivism. A devotee once asked Shiva, how does Kailash look like and he created this place to show how unadulterated beauty would look like..

This is one of my favorite pictures..

I feel that this is a mountain that Krishna would have made for Arjuna to donate.. To the uninitiated, there is my favorite story (thanks to the conversation with my mom) the one where Arjuna asked Krishna why people found Karna generous.
Krishna immediately created two mountains, one of gold and another of some other precious metal and asked Arjuna to donate it before sun down. Arjuna spent the whole day cutting the mountain to pieces and donating it, but it hardly dwindled. At sun down, Karna came by and Krishna gave him the same task. Karna gave one mountain each to the next couple of people who came by.. I have a lot of arguments when I hear this story, largely around how I think Arjuna's approach to give it to more people was actually a better one, but for today, I wondered, what would Karna have done when he saw this.. would he have treated each teeth as one or would he have demarcated chunks to donate? Or would he have just stopped and given it all away as one for it is too beautiful to cut?

Namma Bangalore

This is but the city of dust and grime..
One were plastic dreams are made and remade, everyday.
I breathe in the smoke,
my senses so used to it,
the cancer, probably growing slowly, somewhere,
I know it will hit me someday.
Sooner or later, I know not.

The land that smelt of jasmines and roses,
was this the one?
Or was it a distant memory,
forcefully created-
to mimic what paradise might be like?
I know not anymore.
I wonder if I ever knew.

Today I watch - again, just another afternoon ritual,
insulating myself inside an Uber,
Asking the driver to switch on the AC,
as though, the circulation can prevent 
that dirt from creeping in.
The dirt that puts me off,
The same dirt, my life has created, effortlessly.

I try to insulate, listening to music,
again, refusing to accept the meaninglessness…
The meaninglessness of it all, the chase, the dust,
the life or the lack of it.

The words garble, but confident I am,
in their superiority,
to whatever fare, free media might dish out.

A sudden break rips me out of my bubble.
I sit up, hearing my driver moan,
“It ran under the wheel, not me”
As though, the cost of life, was just an excuse..
I remember two pairs of eyes back home,
left alone and unwittingly tears come..
For the life I never saw..
The life of just another dog, roadkill, sans empathy.

I turn back, before I get out, promising myself to save you
or give you a burial at least,
and I see you run..
A white ball on four legs, tiny, way too tiny..
howling your heart out,
I know not what wounds you sustained,
you disappeared before I could react..
Before I could protect, unsuccessfully,
for life and the dust always get their due.

And I wonder, if that is how I define my life,
by moments of inaction
where my heart stopped,
not out of beauty,
but out of pure shock..
At what we have become…

At what I am becoming..

Pandoras Gift

I hate those days,
I wake up sweating despite the cold..
Those days when I go to bed,
hoping for a dream,
hoping for quiet
after all the noise..

Those days when they creep in,
beautiful, peaceful dreams,
full of so much desire and longing..

Those days, when they can change,
from a dream to a nightmare..
as I watch, unable to take my eyes away,
like every human, drawn to gore.

Those days that remind me, 
of the permanence that is transience.

Anything and everything,
seen through the lens of change..
Immutable, permanent change.

Do I hate them or love them?
These dreams I collect and store away,
Everyone of them special,
Everyone of them distinct,
A thing of directional beauty,
distorted beyond imagination,
transforming slowly, 
seen but never really observed,
known but never truly acknowledged..

I try to build dams,
Hoping to influence the outcome,
Hoping to change the direction of the tides of desire,
Hoping that they craft the banks I want,
and not the ones, they are destined to.

Hoping like a fool, as I believe in my head,
That anything is possible.
Anything another illusion.
Perhaps I am a silly child at best,
Without the innocence that marks one.
Perhaps I am an illuminated soul,
wiser than my years, stuck in a younger body.

I think I am a nurse,
A woman who loves to nurse dreams..
Knowing the futility,
Knowing the outcome
and still hoping.


Hope, perhaps, not the best thing Pandora gave me. 

The memory maker

Do you even know, how much you've traveled? 
As I carried you around, like some sacred weight, 
Wherever I went? 

I carried you in my heart, as I witnessed 
The beauty that is Paris 
Imagined your hands in mine as we looked out, 
Wondering if the fear of heights I felt,
Was yours - secretly transferred to me.
Wondering, if you would smirk as I bit into, 
An utterly sinful croissant.

You were there, darling,
With every breath I took as I snorkeled around the reef, 
I knew not if you could swim, 
Though I could hear your remarks about fresh food,
From the ocean being appealing..
I knew you'd flash that grin, 
If you had seen the feast I never touched. 

I saw the empire state light up,
And felt your breath on my cheek. 
Just a vivid imagination for even touched me,
You really have not. 
That nameless couple in central park, 
Immortalised in my memory card, 
Now, just for my eyes only.

All those steps I took, 
Walking around gardens by the bay, 
Holding you close, 
The secret thought I couldn't share, as I looked away, 
Not into oblivion but into an image 
Perhaps of what could be, 
Maybe of what could never be too..

Do you even know how much you have seen, 
The idea of you, 
I hold so dear? 

Do you even know you exist? 
This beautiful, perfect thought in my head 
Manifesting in non existent faces around. 

Is it a shame that you persist no matter where? 
Is it a shame that everything beautiful 
Inspires in me, seconds of deep longing?
Is it a shame that you know not I exist? 
Is it a shame that you do and still don't know? 

Or is this meant to be? 
Longing so I belong, even more to everything around? 
That I notice all that I do, hoping to share, 
But experiencing life a lot more than I otherwise would? 
Are you then, the memory maker? 
The world through my eyes, not for you, 
But for me? 
This love I feel, meant to make me experience, 
Longing and perhaps my ability to give? 

I can only wonder and continue to be, 

The memory maker.

When rocks tell you stories

The Jenolan caves were my best surprise in Australia. 

To say that they are mindblowing or beautiful is actually a waste of breath. 

It was one of those places, where even I was stunned to silence. I think that is how I can best describe it. Wherever I turned, there was something to see and we had trekked down Lucas Cave, one of the biggest caves in the collection there. 

I imagined being the first person to have stumbled upon it. How would she have felt? 

I imagined the dwarves from the fantasy books I read, hard at work in the corners.

I imagined a different life unfolding in front of me, where millions of years of water works led to such a beautiful image. I have way too many images there, some of them not that great, but a few taking my breath away. For the purposes of this post, just four pictures. 

I love this one as the shape in the bottom looks like a Nandi. I once spent a few weekends trying to go and visit all the monolithic Nandis near me and this one was mocking at me, saying there are shapes I can never imagine that can co-exist with a Nandi. 

This below, looks like a crown. One so heavy that I can actually die if I try wearing it. Arent some burdens we take on ourselves like this crown? A thing of beauty when left untouched, but completely unsuitable otherwise?

I imagined this place without the lights. Dark, perfect hiding place for something without life. Not eerie, but acceptable. I dont know why I like this picture, but it is one of my favorites of the cave.

Lastly, one of the most famous picture spots - the broken teeth. It reminds me of a break in continuity, when you least expect it in life. The break giving the structure more identity than the idea of a whole. Is that what defines some of our lives? What is not, making things seem more majestic?

Frozen


Some memories, should be frozen. This first glimpse of the jacaranda I hope is one such thing.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Peace - Safety in a perch

Hopefully the last post about Featherdale..

I found these birds resting in their perches. I know the pictures are not of the best quality, but what struck me was the tranquility they experience. The ability to just sit and sleep on a perch.. Is this how they rest in forests? Hiding perhaps from predators, but otherwise, this peace - is that a sanctuary thing?

This one looked like a wise old man.. I almost expected the bird to open its eyes and speak.


The red crowns.. The focus is on the plant in the front, but he color combination was fantastic.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Tapestry of mirages

What is this world, but a mirage?
A mirage of joy,
A mirage of sorrow,
A mirage of laughter,
A mirage of love,
A mirage of emotions
A mirage of perceptions,
those perfect little scenes enacted,
with elaborate detail in one head
after another and another 
Every single day.

I wonder if all i have done,
is to believe in what did not exist.
All my lovely life..
Deluding myself with illusions,
that seemed perfect
from the outside.
Deluding myself with longing
for all that could never be,
when all they were,
Were illusions.
Illusions - something that never even was, 
in the first place.
A detailed tapestry of mirages,
my eternal companions.

I mock at my younger self,
Innocent, that seeing, is believing.
When seeing is but just a sense
and senses can perhaps perceive
different biases.

If I cannot trust my senses,
what do i have,
that I can actually trust?
What is the core of me?
Is that but another mirage?

Can something solid arise,
from things that just are not?
If they are not, then how are they?
Who am I, to pass judgement 
on how real reality is,
when all i know for sure,
is that I don’t know what I don’t know?
I recognise longing,
I label this emotion rather, as longing.
A longing to belong
A longing to be understood,
A longing perhaps to feel that love, 
that poets seem to love..

A longing, to find those that see the same mirage,
Those that believe in similar mirages rather, 
even if not the same one..

Perhaps, together, we will make it real,
For what is reality,
but the manifestation of belief?

I long for the pieces,
that would fit seamlessly,
complete my tapestry,
the one I will hang and disappear into
Some day..

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

V for Vendetta

We are told to remember the idea and not the man. Because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten. But 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I have witnessed firsthand the power of ideas. I've seen people kill in the name of them. But you cannot kiss an idea... cannot touch it or hold it.
Ideas do not bleed. They do not feel pain. They do not love.

These words have the power to make me stop in my tracks. Every single time. I don't know what Alan Moore was thinking about when he wrote them.. I firmly believe though that, "You and I are but ideas and ideas never die.."

I am going to watch V for Vendetta again!!!

Just another evening

My weighing scale reminds me,
Its white digits, growing brighter 
in my active imagination,
Of my mortality.. Again.

The mindless reruns 
and the comfortable couch beckon,
I yearn to join them,
seconds of life extension be damned.

Two pairs of eyes look up,
Eight legs ready to jump down and run along
I call upon the Gods I know,
Hoping to resist, the siren’s wail,
the comfort mirage..
Wanting to be responsible,
by running away, 
out the door.

Leading my faithful companions.
Warrior princess I cannot be,
That is not my role this evening..

Maybe, for today, we will be,
A group of scavengers, 
the human with the mismatched clothing,
and the unkempt hair,
The canines, big, seemingly intimidating,
their ears dancing in the wind,
tongues lolling and noses actively looking,
for the tiniest forgotten crumb. 

We could perhaps,
trudge along unexplored avenues,
Pretending to be explorers..
Lost in familiarity,
as we sometimes can be.

Their trust in me, 
and my blind confidence
pulls me along,
despite the gathering storm clouds. 

How can it rain, I ask myself,
When I am meant to be fit?
Meant to walk to wear my shoes down…
Meant to walk to lose that obstinate fat..
Meant to walk to avoid messy cleaning up..

The clouds disagree, while I try to bargain,
“Fifteen minutes more, I will be home, warm and dry”
The clouds disagree, loud and clear,
As if to send a message,
I am greeted by fury.
It aint raindrops, but a bloody down pour..

I scramble for cover,
In the treeless concrete jungle,
Cursing my fate,
Cursing the timing,
Cursing the city,
Cursing the choices I make..
Cursing everything I possibly can…
I look for the tiniest space to squeeze into..

I bend down to check,
panicking for them..
Unconcerned, I see her pause, 
to lap down the rain water..
She shakes it off her fur and continues to explore,
Imploring with those chocolate brown eyes.

Resist them, I cannot,
and we continue to walk,
Drenched scavengers,
Walking the fat away,
Maybe, the rain is covering every single inch of me,
to suck it all away..

I see a flash then,
of a day not too far away,
when it will not be just us
and I wonder,
how many legs
will our companion have?
Two, three or four?

Penguins in Australia

I didnt know that was possible. (I dont know a lot of things in life.) I saw Penguins in Australia, walking outside, not inside a ice cage like in Monterey or in Singapore.

Here they are, fitting in, still out of place in a way.



Feathered friends

I thought I would just stick to one post about the birds in Featherdale, but I found a few more really nice pictures I wanted to remember from the place. So here it is.. Majestic birds, caged still free.


My favorite Brahminy Kite. Looks similar but there is a slight difference..

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Thor - Ragnorak

Long story short - WATCH IT! I absolutely loved the movie. It has an amazing mix of all things right. It also reminded me it is high time I got myself a Thor action figure. 

If not me..

What would I be, 
if i was not me?
I wonder often as I sit and stare.

Would I like to be a bird?
I would love the skies, 
The feeling of wind on my face,
like sky diving, only I would not hurtle down,
But I would continue to float, flap my wings
and see the world…
A birds eye view wouldn’t do though. 
The landscapes would be pretty, no doubt,
But the details would disappear in seconds 
and perhaps, I would be in trouble
if i lingered too long..

Would I like to be a fish?
I would love the water
and the many places I could hide,
Down in the reef,
the one I managed to get a sneak peek into,
as I snorkelled down..
I would have to give up food I like,
Perhaps, I might develop a new taste instantly.
But, would I remember the past? I wonder..
How does a fish experience life?
Would there be more to se,
than a small piece of the wide world?
Also, I would not want to be an accompaniment,
to the best of chips, any day. 

Would I like to be a tree?
One of those in a protected rain forest,
Watching the landscapes change,
but timeless as ever,
adored, worshipped?
The sedentary life would appeal not,
and for someone who loves words, 
the silences, could perhaps become scary.
Maybe, I would get used to it, 
but that is definitely a risk, 
One I would rather not take.

I want to be nobody else but me,
for I am a product, of my circumstances
and my decisions, 
Love and hate them as much as I might..

I am a product of my time,
a beautiful jigsaw, in my head,
created by a zillion choices..
I think I would just be me, for now and maybe forever,
With a constant change,

In my definition of me.

Unboxed

Where do they go? 
Those forgotten memories?
Forcefully put in a box and hidden away,
into a dark corner
When lives change?
When something, the only thing that mattered rather,
ceases to exist, 
not like a carpet being pulled from beneath,
but like the gentle course correction of a river,
not over centuries, but in months,
the river of life, changing course and flowing into 
a completely different, unchartered terrain..

Where do they go?
Those huge boxes,
precious & perhaps, still priceless,
in an alternate reality,
One where those unsaid words were said,
One where more memories were added,
One where those tears shed were received,
Embraced?
Were there seismic shifts in that one? 
Or were there just empty words and unhappy silences,
Wounds that continued to fester perhaps,
leading to a volcanic eruption, 
and complete destruction? 

Where do they go? 
All those things, the knick knacks from far and wide,
Loved, despite the chipped corners,
Loved, perhaps because of the chipped corners..
Loved and polished, decorating the walls of a house well lived..
Loved and looked at, stories told, bigger and better each time?
Or are they being thrown away there? 
Broken carelessly, the precious color, glittering
Not even noticed?

Where do they go?
These moments, these memories,
these validations, we so carefully gather?
Where do they go, 
when there is nothing left to be said?
When all that there is to do, is to press the restart button?
Where do they go?

How I would hate to be stuck,
inside one of those boxes,

No matter, how wonderful, thoughtful those days were,
No matter how precious the things they hold are,
No matter how much it hurts to let go..

I prefer the now, in the middle of nowhere,
getting to know myself,
accepting reality, uncomfortable as it  might be,
and moving forward.

Free as the water that flows,
taking various shapes, various forms, 
but still, a force to be reckoned with. 
I am the water sprite, with boxes, forgiven,
Pondering about them, 
Always, an impassioned observer,
of her own life,
On restful Friday afternoons. 
Still, with a smile.