Weekly Photo Challenge: Arranged

Ootucmund(Udagmandalam) boasts of a largest and oldest botanical garden. There are trees which are around hundred and more years, some very large span ferns, beautiful cacti. In this green house of the garden the flower pots are so arranged so that all varieties of flowers can be seen as a huge pyramid :

The lilies have been arranged in a wire mesh ball such that the roots and the bulbs grow inside the wire ball but flowers bloom outside giving it a look of yellow ball of lilies hanging in mid-air….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through

Life throws many challenges and we are constantly striving to pass through those tough times unscathed, unblemished, untarnished….. trying to win always! And with whatever knowledge that we gain by those experiences we try to make everything easy for our children…. guiding them away from difficulties.

But what do I do if my daughter has decided to pass through most weird pathways that come across when we are holidaying???

She saw this dried up tree root, hollow in the center propped up near another tree. She went through the hole many times just to prove that her clothes won’t get dirty if she crawls through it!!

Through the roots of a dried up tree...

Again at Ooty, she came across this gap in the fence and she squeezed through it …..her ways of adventure I guess!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

An unusual thought came to me……. what if I stopped participating in the weekly photo challenges? Will the recent friends that I have made in this world of blogging still visit my blog? Will the traffic that I have enjoyed since last few months continue to grow? Will whatever I write make it eligible ever for the “freshly pressed post”? Do people really enjoy reading what I write?

This train of thought sent its feelers into my other relationships too… My relation with fellow bloggers may take a downward slide off and on, but what about the people whom I have known all this time? Will my younger sister ever again need some advice and help from me? Will my husband always stand by me? Will my parents agree with my decisions? Will my daughter understand my concerns? Will my friends forgive my occasional annoyance? WILL I EVER KNOW WHETHER THEY REALLY NEED ME? IS MY PRESENCE OF ANY VALUE? DO MY OPINIONS COUNT? 

Will I be able to make a mark in my lifetime or will I be a faceless entity on mother earth like these :

It is unusual to sit like this with our eyes not knowing where the path leads and such people lose their identity…. lost on others, their absence not affecting people around them… No!! what would that life be? I do not want it  like that.

Amid all this depressing state of mind, a sudden query from my daughter :

“Mamma, why does God create difficulties for us? Doesn’t HE love us?”

And my reply brought some sense back to my disturbed mind. I told her that God always loves us but just keeps testing us about how we handle ourselves in different situations, whether we are prepared for much more difficult problems. Its our responsibility to emerge successfully from trying times all the while keeping faith in HIM that he will not let us falter. HE will find some way to make our existence useful. We will flourish and enjoy attention from our dear ones just like this unusual palm tree:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

We are surrounded by contrasts. If there is day, there is night, the peaks and valleys, deserts and seas,  summers and winters, rains and droughts, strength and weakness, happiness and sadness, pain and joy, love and hate, truth and lies……….

And we can cherish all the brightness because we have braved the dark some time, we can revel in peace because we have been in some strife, we feel the love because we have faced the hatred some time. And this is what life is….

“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”

This Cactus being so thorny doesn’t allow itself to be touched but once a year blooms with the most delicate flower. The cactus needs the harsh sun all the time but its flower blooms in night and withers away in the sun. A perfect example of contrasting features….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Distorted

Britishers came to India posing as innocent traders and slowly spread like cancer throughout the country silently taking control over so many small kingdoms and looting the property and killing innocent people. They thought the natives were uncouth, uneducated and uncivilized. Thus they took upon themselves to improve the natives disregarding the faith and emotions of people. They introduced the English language besides Christianityrailways, British architecture and systematic armed forces. In fact the English language also  has a lot many words with their origin in India. Jungle, jute, cummerbund, dacoit, curry, nirvana, guru, karma etc are few such words.

The people of India have always adopted and adapted to all sorts of influences and personalized it to great extent. Even words of English language have  taken an Indian twist.

However sometimes those who do not have the privilege of attending schools interpret English in their own way. This gives rise to some very weird, funny and distorted English…

Can you guess what this placard says??? I bet you will be surprised to know that it says:

“Chilled Fresh Juice”

The sign was displayed in a wayside kiosk. The owner with his limited knowledge of the language and phonetics put up the sign to attract foreign tourists…. he got the spelling of “juice” right though!!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

Once upon a time there was a little princess. She was the most obedient child her parents could ask for. Her teachers, neighbors, friends all adored her. Then one day she came up with a wish to visit an amusement park. Her doting parents made arrangements for the trip to “Essel World” in Mumbai. She was eagerly waiting for the weekend.

At last, the glorious Sun heralded the beginning of Saturday. The princess’s parents were usually careful about their daughter’s safety and food but they decided to keep their worries aside and really indulge her that day… And what a day it was!

First was the toy train. Sitting there on a slow-moving train with other kids, she was elated and kept waving every time she crossed the spot where parents were waiting to collect their kids. It was a small circular track and the train went around thrice on it. As a grown up it was difficult to imagine the fun, but the faces of children mirrored their joy…

Another similar ride which had small cars and jeeps mounted on a track was the next in order and again she went round and round on the track thrice, thoroughly enjoying the ride!

All kids’ ride happen to have only circular motion and kids tend to ride all similar ones one after another! Now this one had space ships attached to the giant arm which  lifted up in air. Round and round and round again….

A traditional Merry-go-round…

The sun blazed but she was all for more rides and fun. She tried her hand at the ” Go-Kart” and found it a bit difficult to maneuver but yet enjoyable…And little respite from the continuous circular motion. Just watching her go round and round made me….the mother of princess go dizzy!

Another car ride….the electric cars. She banged away happily, getting stuck in corner at times and driving well sometimes. She felt all grown up driving a car…

And the day ended with a big bear hug to the hatted guy who displayed a come again sign!

Indulge her, that we did and in the process learned a few things too!

  • It’s absolutely satisfying to see the kids smile and laugh….that is what parents aim for any ways.
  • Their joy is infectious and you just forget all your worries of the day!
  • The child within each adult gets to be free and relish childhood again.
  • Money spent doesn’t seem like a wastage!!

So go ahead and indulge yourself through your child. It’s worth it….

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

Mumbai or Bombay is the capital of state of Maharashtra. It is a city which has attracted almost everybody. Mumbai is called a city of dreams because everybody flocks to this city dreaming to make it big in life and most of the dreams do come true.

Mumbai has many things to offer from street food to expensive international cuisine, cheap imitation to brand items and what not. Among many attractions is Marine Drive. Evenings find people from all walks of life strolling hand in hand in the company of swaying palm trees, drinking the coconut water and  enjoying the fresh air and view of the setting sun.

Marine Drive or Queen’s Necklace is a 3-kilometre-long boulevard in Southern Mumbai. It is over reclaimed land facing west-south-west along the natural bay of the Arabian Sea. Marine Drive is a ‘C’ shaped concrete road along the coast. At night looking down from some elevated place the street lights look like shining pearls of a necklace and hence the name Queen’s Necklace. Post British era the official name was changed to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road which however is rarely used.

The city has always fascinated me with the never-say-die attitude of its populace. Looking down from an aircraft window its size overwhelms me……

And the night view( this Photo courtesy Google images):