Sunset


We are lounging on reclining beach chairs, staring at the ocean that stretches beyond one’s comprehension.

Waves vie with each other to play tag with the beach – the younger waves, smart and nimble, as they compete with each other in a race that has no end; the older waves, sedate.

The sun, which was a bright yellow ball till a few minutes back, slowly takes on a warm orange hue that defies description. Within this beautiful orange are a million shades of pink, red, yellow and orange.

The clouds form molten orange streaks across the sky, basking in the sun’s reflection. The sun’s outline can now be seen, a huge golden orb that is moving down the horizon.

Silhouettes of birds dot the sky. Faraway coconut and palm trees sway in the evening breeze.

The waves catch the reflection of the golden sun and throw up a stunning light display on the water’s surface. The play of colours is superlative.

We settle down with refreshing milkshakes; to ponder upon the mysteries of nature – of the indefatigable ocean and the dancing waves.

In a matter of minutes, the sun slips out of sight into oblivion, into other faraway lands. The crickets set up their nightly chorus.

The waves are calmer now, winding down for the day; for the same cycle will repeat tomorrow, and bring with it another day full of promise.

A view from the balcony


My living room clock shows 6.30 p.m. The day is winding down. Children, who have played outdoors all evening, are heading back to their homes. The birds have returned to their nests.

The world is still aglow, lit by the setting sun. There is a certain calm to this hour that you wouldn’t find at any other time during the day. People are getting back from work, a spring in their step; looking forward to an evening of being at home, in their own space, relaxing and unwinding from the stresses of yet another day. Pets greet their owners with absolute joy, children fling themselves at their dads and moms to be bearhugged and cuddled, or to be thrown up in the air and caught in a tumbling mass of giggles.

I go to my favourite spot – my balcony – and stop in amazement when I see this.

This building can be seen from our balcony. I am totally amazed by the fact that the molten sun is reflecting off only one of the numerous glass facades of the building.

There is something miraculous in this moment, a splash of vibrant orange against a backdrop of grey, a great moment in an otherwise ‘business as usual’ type of day.

From where I stand, the sun has already slipped out of sight. But I am lucky to have been a part of this moment of sheer golden bliss.

Another simple moment captured, and filed away.

The Wind


It is early evening, and the sun is still scorching away. As I work, I hear the kitchen door slam shut. I quickly rush to secure all the other doors, when I hear the tinkling music of my chimes. In all the three years that I have had these chimes, this is probably one of the few occasions when they have actually chimed. Yes, there is only a gentle breeze where I live, hardly any strong wind.

Today is obviously different. A strong wind seems to be blowing. With the sun shining bright, the leaves undulate and glisten as the wind rips through the trees. The bigger and older trees accept the wind’s force with a calm that befits their age and wisdom, while the smaller plants and young trees dance with abandon.

In the yard below, a few leaves are swirling in circles, rising up for a few moments, falling down again, and then rising up again, as the wind comes to play with them.

The tall buildings and construction site cranes are totally oblivious to the wind’s sudden enthusiasm. They watch in silence.

The birds seem more energized as they swoop from tree to tree. Crisp laundry on the neighbours’ clotheslines flutter in bursts. The wind whips my hair on my face. I enjoy this moment….and am reminded of a poem from my primary school days; a poem by Christina Rossetti.

Who has seen the wind?

Courtesy – http://www.pinterest.com

The Evening Gossip Brigade


The balcony of my mom’s living room overlooks a line of trees. Each time I visit my mom, I realize that the foliage has become thicker. The neighbourhood cricket training ground – that was once clearly visible – is now completely obscured from view.

But the trees provide their own entertainment.They host, what we call, the Evening Gossip Brigade.

My mom and I usually stand at the balcony at around 5.45 p.m. Hundreds of birds descend on these trees. Crows, mynas, sparrows and many more that we cannot see.  Squirrels also flit about from tree to tree, seemingly boneless.

By 6 pm, the cacophony starts. The Evening Gossip Brigade kicks into action. We wonder aloud about all the cawing and chirping. Maybe they gossip about their long day, the places they visited, the availability of food or the lack of it, general health issues, nest discussions, love, friendship, petty fights….!
Then again, if one observes closely, there are a few loners, who sit away from the Brigade, lost in thought. Is it age or loneliness? We wonder.

There is a lot of movement between the trees and the various branches. And slowly, as if by magic, the decibel levels drop. Another bird day ends. One by one the chirping birds quieten down for the night.  Except for a few birds that are clearly outlined, the arrival of twilight casts many shadows and the birds merge with the foliage.
Now and then, a small chirp or caw can be heard, maybe little baby birds asking for their moms.

The night is upon us. We wish our little birds a good night and head indoors.

A walk on the Scottish moors


We are in a small coastal town in the Scottish highlands. It is a warm and pleasant day. The sun is out on a blue sky, and the waves are gentle as they approach the shoreline. Small families are scattered on the beach, young kids with their spades and buckets, trying to build sand castles; busily carrying water back and forth.

Behind us, the moorlands stretch as far as the eye can see. We set off on a long walk. There is a roughly formed path-of-sorts. We set off, a few adults and a few children.

The beauty is simply breathtaking. There is blissful, golden silence; a silence so profound that one can actually feel the peace within.

There are merry little bunnies hopping about and a few birds, who are hidden but whose sweet music brings such joy to the listener.

Image copyrighted to Simple Moments of Life

Dandelion wands beckon to the kids. We walk up one hillock, come down and then climb another. Cheerful little silvery mountain streams give us company, as they make a gentle gurgling sound against the rocks.
The grass is green and lush. Gorse bushes abound, their yellow flowers lighting up the landscape. Then again, there are these absolutely tiny flowers in mauve and white, making one marvel at the sheer beauty of it all.

Not a word escapes our lips. For once, we are so overwhelmed that even the kids have nothing to say.

The breeze whips around us, perfectly gentle and cooling. When we reach the point where we want to turn back, we sit down to soak it all in.

We close our eyes, and it feels like we are in deep meditation. So much calm and peace. The real world drops away; for this moment nothing but ‘this exists’, this beautiful silence.

I can well imagine Wordsworth penning the lines of his famous poem The Solitary Reaper, after walking through these highlands.

We head back trying to carry the silence and the peace with us. 

The wait


There’s nothing as beautiful as the sky filled to the brim with silvery, grey clouds. The effect is beautified by the sliver of blue sky that can be seen below the layer of cloud.

The sun is still shining at the other end, and the contrast between the yellow and the grey is spectacular.

The clouds wait in suspense for a directive from the weather god to let go. A gentle, cool breeze swirls about, teasing the trees and the bushes.

I open my window in anticipation, to see this miracle unfold. It never ceases to amaze me.

In a few moments the drops fall in a gentle ‘plop-plop’ dance.  Sharing some pictures that I took from my window.

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An Unforgettable Train Journey


We reach the station in typical Bollywood climax style…with barely 10 minutes to spare. We’ve been looking forward to this 36 hour train journey, on the Rajdhani Express, from Delhi to Bangalore for a long long time. Water bottles, Tinkles & some magazines, and we are good to go. My husband and I have hyped it up a bit for the kids, loaded as we are with memories of our long train journeys as children.
The typical last minute chaos of the station fades away as the train slowly trundles out…..bringing into focus another ecosystem, the inside of the train.
I watch with interest, as people settle down. Strangely, most people are intently focused on their smart phones. Nobody talks or acknowledges their neighbours. So very different from when I was a child. Nobody has the ubiquitous junk food plastic bag from home filled with ‘thattais’, ‘murukkus’ and chips. I smile at this change…as I remember boarding the train and a mere five minutes into the journey the crunchy munching would start. People would talk loudly, share their food and a sense of camaraderie would prevail.
I look up to see what my children are making of this journey. They are very excited…each of them has made the berth their home and invite the other to visit. They do not seem to miss their electronic gadgets at all. They play noughts and crosses & ice cream soda on & off. They relish every meal…and wait for the next one. They like the excitement of cooping themselves inside their berths with the curtains and peeping out now & then to talk to us.
I look out of the window, small towns and villages breeze past. Dots on a map, now here, now gone…the enormity & beauty of our country hit me, as the long serpent chugs away relentlessly. Flashes of people, animals, level crossings …..life goes on outside at a steady pace. From within, they seem to happen in fast forward. I dream about everything and nothing, feeling philosophical and sleepy at the same time. I enjoy every moment, more so, because the children are having a great time.
I yearn for tamarind rice and idlis soaked in milagai podi, curd rice & pickle, another flash from memory.
Before we know it we are in Bengaluru, back to the real world!