The better half


The sun was a bright orange orb, already quite low in the sky and sapped of most its intense heat, as I walked home yesterday. Silhouetted birds were already heading back to their nests.

My muscles ached, and I was eager to get back home and take a cold shower, but the last leg of my walk still remained. As I cut across the beautiful park, I saw that a wedding photography shoot was underway.

The bride’s gorgeous white gown was beautifully arranged on the lawn, as she looked up at her life partner with a smile. The photographer asked the couple to move this way and that till he got ‘that’ perfect angle for the shot; a picture that would be talked about and remembered for many, many years.

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The bride and groom were lost in their own magical world, as they navigated the photo shoot in the real world. They caught me staring, and I waved out and wished them. They waved back with huge smiles.

And as I walked back, I thought about what a beautiful journey this young couple was about to embark on, and all that this journey would entail.

This also made me remember another very sweet old couple in their eighties, who visited our condo last year. Every morning, when I stood on the balcony to catch my breath after my kids and husband had left, I would watch them as they ambled over to the small exercise park that is directly below our home.

The sweet old lady would usually sit down on one of the benches. Her loving husband would then help her settle down, and also help her roll up her sleeves to allow the morning rays of the sun to warm her bones. He would then start walking around the park. Once he was done, he would join his wife. On some days, they would just sit in companiable silence, while on other days they would talk and laugh. Once the sun moved away from the park, the couple would slowly head homeward.

I come back to the now, and compare the two couples – one pair which is just beginning married life, while the other is enjoying the many memorable years together.

And between these two points, life happens – love, romance, petty fights, the big fights, hugs, cuddles, kids, milestones, vacations, hospital visits, ageing parents, laughter, grey hair, compromise..and lots more.

Each couple’s journey is different, but in the sunset years, I would consider it a blessing to have my spouse next to me, on a park bench, sharing the golden silence of a beautiful life lived together.

A simple filter


I am home by 7 pm most evenings, when my family envelops me and becomes my world – where my routine revolves around school work, dinner and banter.

But over the last few days, I have been out later than usual, and have been in the central business district on some errand or the other.

Daylight is breathtakingly beautiful, twilight and the star-studded sky are both stunning, but man-made skyscrapers glittering like jewels at night, their backs tall and proud, astound me. I am enticed by this shimmering spectacle of buildings, their reflections bouncing and gently undulating in the water in the bayfront.

Joggers are pounding the pavement, people are heading home from work, tourists are caught up in the magic, and their cameras go click, click, click.

Christmas decorations are everywhere. Twinkling baubles of red and green, silver and blue. There is magic and hope in the air.

The world is alive and bustling. I am so caught up in all the bustle. Cars are like streamers on the road; and people are walking, talking into their phones.

There is a lone bicycle parked on the pavement. The benches are wet, testimony to the heavy rain that lashed all afternoon.

I keep taking pictures. I click this one.

I change the filter on my phone camera to black and white, and click again. The scene transforms into something even more magical.

There is only black and white. The same scene, but so different. I keep looking at the colour image and then the black and white.

While the colour image is vibrant and lively, the black and white image is somehow simpler and clearer.

And, as I head back, I liken these two images to our life. Sometimes it is so difficult to cut through all the noise and colour in our lives, to clearly see what matters.

Maybe we just need a simple filter to see things clearly in black and white, cut out all the things that do not matter and focus on the things that really do!

Just a speck


My husband and I are in a restaurant, on the 64th floor of a building. The restaurant boasts of a wonderful view of the city.

After we finish dinner, we go up to the rooftop viewing deck. The sky looks a hazy grey, with silver clouds floating about lazily. The moon keeps moving between layers of cloud – now here, now gone.

We stand transfixed. The whole city is throbbing with life and lights. The main roads and expressways are sheer golden streaks of light – ‘all-important’ arteries that connect everything.

The vehicles are like glow worms, crawling towards their destination. Far away is the ocean, where small boats and ferries bob about like shimmering jewels.

Life seems to be happening at a frenetic pace in the city. Everything seems to be moving. All the buildings are lit up, with signboards visible at many places.

Standing here, it seems like magic. I feel disconnected from reality. I feel like an observer from another world. From here, as I see the big picture, everyday worries and problems seem minuscule. Looking up at the sky, I am struck by its immensity. I imagine what space would look like, and what the planets would be doing now – revolving and rotating, I guess; in no hurry to finish, taking their time and doing what they are supposed to.

Peace and quiet above, constant movement and noise below. From where I stand, I enjoy both. I love the pulsating city, filled with interesting people, who have big dreams. I love the lights and the water. I love the sky and the clouds.

Very soon, an elevator will take me down, and I will join the sea of humanity below – becoming just another speck in the vast canvas of time.

But while I am still here, I soak it all in.

Unexpected visitor


The afternoon heat is stifling. All the fans are churning out hot air, in varying degrees of aggravation. The aircon is  lifeless. The leaves are still, glistening in the sun. The few pigeons that are sitting on the ledges of the building seem worn out by the heat and seem too tired to move. They sit patiently, their wait punctuated only by the occasional flapping of their wings.

I decide to open the balcony door fully, not sure if it will help in any way. I look at the sky. A perfect, blue sky with cotton-puff clouds looks back at me.

I stand on the balcony, staring at everything and nothing.

I look at my plants. They need more water. And as I look at my hibiscus plant, I see a bud that is just about to bloom. I can see just a hint of red peeping out of green. Maybe another two days. I smile. My smile widens as I see that we have a surprise visitor.

A beautiful dragonfly is visiting our hibiscus plant – elegantly poised on the thin branch, perfectly balanced, the gossamer-like wings glinting in the afternoon sun. He is oblivious to my presence, and is busy taking a breather.

The faintest breeze causes the dragonfly’s wings to flutter just a tiny bit.

I stand completely awed. Such detailing and such perfection in this small creature. He is obviously there for a reason, known only to himself.  Nothing seems to disturb his tranquility. He sits there for a long time.

I go inside to get a drink, he has still not moved an inch. Looks like he is in deep meditation.

I move closer and take a few pictures.  My chores beckon, and I go indoors, forgetting the hot sun and only remembering those glistening wings.

When I come back after sometime, my visitor is gone. Sharing some pictures that I took…

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‘Colour’ & ‘Black & White’


A couple of days ago, I took this shot of a temple’s gopuram (tower), for it looked so majestic against the blue sky.

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I came home and played about with the photo on my photo editor and gave the picture a sepia tone. And this is how it looked.

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On seeing the image, I was immediately transported to a long-ago time, where monochrome ruled our lives.

Of old albums with lacquer covers, and black mounting sheets, on which fathers and moms, meticulously captured family history, baby photo-diaries and lots more.

Where there was no ‘digital’, only ‘physical’.  Photos that aged with a yellow sepia tone, capturing moments from our childhood – big ribbons and pretty frocks, sometimes dressed exactly like our siblings. Seeing a younger version of our parents and a time in their lives before ‘us’, their children.

I am sure most homes have at least one of these old albums, which captured family history and memories.

We will never know the colour in those pictures, but we do have a strong emotional connect with them. In our album we have many such wonderful photos – there is a photo of my husband and his brother on a scooter, my dad and his friend standing on our lawn, with a guitar, my sisters and I, dressed in identical skirts, and smiling at the camera!

The culture of physical albums is fast fading; now, it is all about digital archiving, and having the flexibility to edit memories and tell whatever stories one wants!

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Of Bird Watching and Halloween


Just got back after a long day at the local bird park. It was a hot and humid day, but we did see some lovely and exotic birds. We walked around the park taking in all the sites and sounds of the various birds. From colourful, squawking macaws and wetlands birds, to birds of prey, we saw them all.

I had my bit of Halloween spookiness at the bird park today. I love taking pictures of flowers, plants and animals. So, there were these beautiful bunches of baby pink flowers hanging from a small tree. I zoomed in to click, when the flowers shook suddenly.  There was no breeze. The shaking stopped as suddenly as it had started. I focussed again on the flowers, and would you believe it, the flowers shook again, more violently this time.

 

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                 The shaking flowers

My son shouted from behind me, “Mom there are two Iguanas above you.”

                 

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                  Mr.Iguana Shaker 1

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                  Mr.Iguana Shaker 2

Ha ha….nothing spooky there! We had a good laugh. Here are some pictures I took today.

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        All images are copyrighted to
  http://www.simplemomentsoflife.wordpress. 
com