Each era is different and each has its own charm. I guess I have entered the hallowed portals of ‘Alas! Those were some days!’ phase of my life. So, with the summer vacations all around, I drift quite a few decades back to the vacations of our times. Continue reading →
We came across this statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a place of pilgrimage. A few things, like the silver color of statue, absence of any platform or plinth etc. appeared odd. We clicked the picture.
The Surprisepart came a bit later, when the ‘statue’ moved. It was no statue, but a man who had applied sliver paint all over his body, put on the garb of the Father of Nation and was standing still as a statue for as long as he could.
Things people have to do to earn their daily bread!
For the past three-four months, I have been staying in a newly developed area of Bangalore. And during this period, I have not seen a single star. Sounds too dramatic? Something that is said just for effects? But this is true.
Actually I, too, had not noticed this. Then a few weeks ago, a message made rounds on the social media, ‘Tonight, the moon and its star,Alfa touri or Alde baran (locally, we call it Star Rohini) would be closest possible to each other. So don’t forget to see this.’ At night, I watched the sky curiously; I did see the moon, but no sign of Alfa tauri. Then my son pointed out, haven’t you realized it, no stars are seen, at least not in this part of the city sky.
Well, that was true. I tried to keep a watch and see if any stars are seen. I couldn’t find a single. The sky could be cloudy sometimes or may be hazy on few other days, but for all four months?!
This is what the air pollution and smog are doing to our skies. I know this is a little bit of deviation from out topic of #DarknessForStars and light pollution. But even when there is darkness (due to frequent power failures), the sky still remains bleak, dull gray — and blank, totally devoid of any specks of twinkling light.
Agreed, there is an excess of bright light around, especially in the cities. Added to that, every person is attracted, like pins to a magnet, to various ‘enlightened’ screens — be it a mobile, a computer screen or a television screen. So majority of the population has neither time nor inclination to have a look outside to find out what is there in our surroundings, leave alone bother about the far off skies.
Even when people step outside, there are innumerable glittering things around to arrest their attention; so star-gazing is a thing of past. (Or may be it has acquired a new meaning in the new world of metropolises).
So along with the light pollution caused by numerous bright lights, neon signs reflecting to create a sky-glow, we also have to consider the curtain of air pollution / smog that seems to have swallowed up our shiny friends up there. It appears that we have created an additional layer of atmosphere that has blotted out the glittering specks in the sky. The new-age tiny-tots wouldn’t even know the meaning of their nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle twinkle little star….’
[Despite the light around us in cities, we cannot see the most beautiful wonders of all- A glittered night sky. What are your views on light pollution, and memories of those wonderful starry nights? #DarknessForStars ]
This is an outer fence wall of a temple (Sri Venketeshwara Temple, Bangalore). On the four corners of the temple wall, four statues are installed, to guard or protect the temple premises. These statues are of Lord Hanuman (the Monkey God), Garuda etc. The one seen here is that of Garuda or the Eagle, who is also the conveyance of Lord Vishnu. He is there to ensure the Securityof the lord’s abode.
This is not any country-side scene, but a busy office area of a metropolitan city. However, the office buildings, which are just a few meters further away, are completely shrouded in a curtain of morning fog (in the month of Feb.).
Lingered a bit, staring at the big cone of ice-cream,
and at the young boy enjoying it……..
His mother hastily pulled him back,
away from her eye, and closed window glass.
The cars revved up, ready to move,
she retreated to the safe harbour of her nook.
Pursed her dried lips in an attempt to moisten,
as the cars raced past hundreds in numbers.
Glitzy, shiny cars — always in a rush,
for more speed, more money, more comforts.
Lifting her eyes against the harsh sun,
squinted at the figure up amidst the mad rush.
The lady’s lips ready to blow the whistle,
alert eyes watchful to catch rule-breakers.
THIS is it!
No more dreams of riding a car,
no more wish to own it.
Controlling hundreds of them
would be more like it!
A slow smile dissolved
in the dimples of the tiny girl.
Brightened her eyes with a twinkle,
as her mind was finally made up!
[Children, even at a young age, are aware of their circumstances. They also understand the futility of dreaming for the impossible and know the importance of aiming for something that could be achievable]
I had never imagined that I would take up an office job — that too, after being only a home-maker for twenty eight long years.
It was not a conscious decision just to break away from the comfort zone. But it definitely was a big step, because it is not easy to take up a 9 to 5 job after spending 28 years in the confines of the four walls.
Someone informed about a vacancy in a science academic institute, and I thought of giving it a try. Almost all the family responsibilities were fulfilled by then, so why not? Of course, only my decision did not count here. I had already crossed 50, so any employer would have thought twice (or more) before appointing someone nearing retirement age. Luckily, they too did not have any issue with a 50+ worker.
Thus started a new phase of my life — balancing household work with an eight hour job. It surely wasn’t easy. The house-work, purchasing daily requirements etc., which earlier I could comfortably spread over a span of 8 to 10 hours, now I had to cramp it all within one and a half hour in the morning and 2 – 3 hours in the evening. This, while managing a demanding job in the 8 – 9 hours in between.
Along with the time crunch, the other major hurdle was commuting in Mumbai’s notoriously crowded local trains and buses, at the peak rush hours. It was difficult, however, I did manage, not for just days or weeks, but for four years.
The job itself wasn’t a cake-walk; it would have been foolish to expect it to be so. Though I had a masters degree in science, I had never put it to academic use. It was not just brushing up my knowledge, but also to learn many things anew. New type of work, new people and to learn and adjust to all this new environment — each thing was a challenge.
At 52, I was the oldest among all (including the employers), yet I was well-accepted by all; but still, there was quite some resistance and feeling of rivalry from a few whose work profile was similar to mine. Some even tried to create trouble for me. But things changed and later we all became so friendly that now years after me quitting the job, they are still in touch with me.
All in all, it was a great experience. I learnt a lot, I enjoyed even more. Most important, this experience helped boost my self esteem.
I would have missed out on all this, had I not taken the risk of stepping out of my comfort zone.