Today, I was going through old photos of my dog -CoCo and my eyes stopped on this picture. This picture was taken by my brother while CoCo was tired of playing with water. Isn’t he adorably cute?
Quoting from Marley & Me –
“A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.“
To quench my intrigue I searched the deep meaning of this philosophical quote by Anthony De Mello, a spiritual healer. It states that we are like bears pacing in a cage. Even if the cage is removed, we keep pacing in the same timid limits. We are afraid to get out. And we think that the only way out is by endless striving and thinking. Through his book The Heart of the Enlightened, Anthony guide his readers with his short stories which touch on relationships, human nature, service, spirituality, and enlightenment.
This picture was shared to me by a friend and can’t agree more that it brings out most extreme emotions out of me.
This photograph is given the name of ‘A Final Embrace’ was taken by a Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter after the tragic collapse of a garment factory building in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh happened in April 2013. Along them died more than 750 people.
In this picture I don’t feel sympathetic towards the victims as they seem contented in dying in each other’s arms. The facial expression of the man seems so relieved like he has no complaints from anyone in this world as this world has not given him much. They lived a deprived life but there seems no dearth of compassion between the victims here.
This incident raises some serious questions to the authorities who thinks they rule the lives of people. Is a life of any human that cheap? Over 750 people died, and not due to some natural calamity but sheer human negligence. This incident could have been avoided but since the lives of poor are too cheap that nobody even bothered of those souls working there.
This photograph also questions my philosophical side. If such an incident is overlooked or avoided for any discussion, then we all need to relook or revisit ourselves to ask are we humans? And if yes, what makes a human?
This picture was taken at the ruins of Khaba village in Rajasthan, India. It is actually an abandoned village. There are around 84 abandoned villages in Rajasthan state in India. These villages were inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins clan. The story behind this abandoned village is that many years ago there was a shrewd tax collector (also a close associate of the king) who got smitten by a girl from Khaba village. He asked her father for her hand which was obviously refused due to different caste. The revengeful tax collector threatened to destroy the village if the girl was not given to him. It is understood that to save the honor, overnight the villagers abandoned the place.
A more generic version of the story which is applicable to other abandoned villages is that the tax collector and other officials of the king used to harass the villagers by asking them exorbitant taxes and monetary fines in order to fill the king’s coffers. Consequently, to save themselves from the harassment the villagers deserted the villages.
All these ruins now serve as photogenic tourist sites.
This photograph was taken enroute to Leh, Ladakh, India. This place is called ‘The Magnetic Hill’. It is located on Leh-Kargil-Srinagar national highway at an altitude of 11,000 ft. This place is really interesting especially for science lovers. Basically, the hills in and around this area are understood to have magnetic properties because of which the passing vehicles experience the magnetic pull. So, we did exactly as the hoarding in the picture says, stopped our car and it slowly moved backwards due to magnetic force. Somebody even told that the magnetic pull is actually so strong that even aircrafts passing over this area have to fly on increased altitude to avoid the effect. Now the twist is, I was really fascinated by this whole phenomenon so I googled it and found that actually there is no magnetic effect at this place but optical illusion (a phenomenon when the visually perceived images differ from the objective reality.) But I am pretty sure I saw the car moving backwards!!
This picture was taken at Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. This monument was built in 18th century. It is a five-storey building with 953 small windows. The purpose to build these windows was to let royal women enjoy the view of the market below the palace without being seen by public as the women used to follow strict ‘purdah’ system (face cover). Men!!
When I first watched this flick I actually wondered if finding a soulmate could be just an accident (as in a happy one). By the way I really liked the flick and spent futile hours fantasizing on if I can ever bump into a person like that in a departmental store and end up eating an ice-cream in a cafe, who would turn out to be my soulmate !! This looks all mushy and enchanting, is it not. But in reality if I ever come across an eligible guy like that in a store I will for once ignore the cupid bells ringing somewhere in the air, not because I’d be shopping rampantly (which woman observes men while shopping?) but it is too awkward to show interest in any random guy. These days it’s difficult to trust people whom you meet daily, a stranger is out of question.
In the movie, both the characters-Jonathan and Sara get stuck with the fate of finding the contact numbers written on a 5$ bill and a book – Love in the Time of Cholera. We cannot expect this much drama in real life. I am just trying to figure out how far it can go if I consider the proposition of serendipity. So, for instance I welcome the probability of some sparks happening between us and end up eating a dessert somewhere, then what? Is it an end. If, we exchange contact numbers, I am not somebody who contacts a stranger but if he tries to contact me, I think my mind will be filled with all sorts of doubts and pre-conceptions about the guy. What if he is a jerk or a rapist for that matter. Let say going by my instincts I accept to go out and spent a day with him. My experience and observations from others’ experiences says that initially you like everything about the person, even certain things you hate are ‘adorable’. After spending a day, I can definitely say I’ll be locked in a charade of who takes the next step first. Most of the times the romantic aspirations sublimes at this stage as this charade stretches a bit too far, thus losing interests. But in case if one of the partners is smart it may go forth and end up in a relationship (not marriage).
If we go by the movie Jonathan and Sara actually end up getting married. Not that easy practically. In reality you have to be really wide awake before getting married if you do not want a divorce later on. Back to the story, if I and that imaginable departmental store guy ever go into a relationship, after spending initial months we will get exposed to each other’s bad sides and gradually those ‘adorable’ characteristics will soon be pain in the ass. Subsequently, we will look for the reasons for not spending time with each other. And consequently we’ll repent of shopping at that departmental store and swear not to shop from there ever. It’s not difficult to guess what happens next to this relation, it dies. I am not being pessimist about this whole romantic serendipity concept, well the whole scene could be otherwise as well but has a 0.05% probability.
After all this happens what I’ll do and where I’ll be? Well I think I would still be shopping at that store (if they have good collection!) but this time i’ll make sure the cupids don’t ring the bells at all. And I’ll be just happy watching and fantasizing about serendipity concept on the big screen with nachos and popcorns.
This picture was taken in off track Thar desert region of India during the sunset. I am confused about the emotion this picture brings out of me, two thoughts strike me one after the another. First, this picture depicts the energy and zest contained in youth, that feeling of reaching to the sun and whole world clenched in your fist. Second thought is more personal, that how friends become family without even realizing the depth of bonding shared by them. And somehow the second thought overrides the first, may be because of the situation in which this photograph was clicked. It is usual to fight with friends, bitch about them sometime when it gets really intolerable but at the end they are the ones who understand you, like in and out when even your family may fail. Like in this picture we all may have different directions of thinking but it is not bound of any approval. I am lucky to have a pack of such friends in my life.
“But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
Like Robert Frost says certain obligations of life deter you to explore new lands. For some time of course!