Travel – More is less

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Travelling has to be one of my top favorite things to do. I think travelling is such an enriching experience. Not only are you thrown out of your comfort zone, you’re also pushed beyond your boundaries. We’re more acceptable to change when subjected to sudden plan upsets. More agile, if i may use the word.

I read somewhere that if one has the money to spend and needs to choose between an expensive gift / holiday, then they must choose the latter. We pick up so much more in terms of culture, experiences and memories to relish. Plus for a photo freak like me – more chances to click pictures! I don’t think there is a line i would draw to the extent i wish to travel. In my case, more is less!

So here is a photo i clicked to capture the western ghats near mumbai 🙂

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Sunsets & Sunrises – Moving On

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Sunrises and sunsets. The normal day begins and ends with those. At the end of it, i wonder do we long more for what’s gone by or wait for what’s coming. When the lonely owl makes noises at night, is it because it doesn’t want the darkness to fade away. Or rather when birds sing in the morning, are they welcoming the day or happy that the night is over?

From the little bit of all that i know, i’m looking forward to the next day. As they say, it all gets better with time.

 

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Reminisce – Choose to remember

The digital camera is a great invention because it allows us to reminisce. Instantly. – Demetri Martin

I’ve been travelling and we’ve been going to different places to show my parents-in-law around the city. No trip is complete without photos and especially when it comes to a photo junkie like me, photos will be clicked. All of this makes for good reminiscing.

What’s remarkable from the quote above is the power that phones have put in our hands. Using an iPhone 5S, i simply take out my phone to snip, snap and shoot. At times, i let the dual flash do its trick. Few years back, i would have to roam with a point and shoot in hand worrying about rechargeable batteries. But today, technology has simplified all of it to the extent that we have several devices bundled in a single phone. Me and my father-in-law (we call him Babi) are photography enthusiasts. Babi had cultivated the hobby for several years and many of his photos have won awards over the years. In fact one of them was bought by a major automobile company. Babi owned several SLR cameras and lenses but uses a digital camera these days. Our techniques vary. Babi is patient, calculative and persistent when it comes to clicking photographs. On the contrary, I’m impulsive to the extent that i’d roll down the window and stick my phone out to capture an image.

Both the approaches bring out different strokes in the way our images turn out. The end results are always good. I once read that good photography is not what you see externally but its more of what is internal to the photographer. That brings me to the point where many of us are out clicking selfies, photobombing our friends snaps or posing awkwardly. Somehow what we yearn for most is to recollect and live the experience. It’s not always about the place we were at. Rather its what we choose to reminisce.

Gateway-minutelyinfinitePhoto credits: Pranab . K. Mookerjee (Image Copyright)

Outside the comfort zone

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Stepping out of the comfort zone is one of the hardest things to do for most. I face the struggles too no matter how much I motivate myself to be. Rigidity is what we partake as stability. Change is the hardest bit to deal with.

Maybe all we need to do is broaden our horizon and be open to newer experiences. At least that’s what one can believe in not knowing if they could be good or bad. But whatever they maybe they would bring a good amount of learning. Another important aspect is of trying out things that challenge / scare you. Personally I have read this tip and I’m yet too scared to try it out. But one bit at a time, I’m trying my best to make the change required.

Just like a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, we tend to soak in all the comfort of where we think we’re best accustomed. But there’s a whole world out there begging to be explored.

‘Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new’ –
Brian Tracy

Wanderers

Wanderers. That’s what describes our travel style. Nothing’s figured out and little of it all makes sense. Destinations are decided on impulses and intuition. When it comes to travel, isn’t it about where you long to be than where you want to be. After all, most of the decisions are made for your day in advance. You do know that you’ll be catching the ride, going to work and even how your day is planned out to what’s for dinner tonight.

But when it comes to setting out your travel plan. Shouldn’t you choose where you’d rather be. Also, ditch the itinerary. The travel break you much need isn’t another meeting with a pre-set agenda. So go with the flow, as my husband says. The end result, will be a basket full of experiences that will leave your more satisfied than surprised.

In the meanwhile, here is a pic from one of our random detours:

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Is home where the heart is?

The daily prompt got me reminiscing about home. In the past few years, i have shifted cities. Have traveled to all the four metros at different part of India. But when i probe my earliest memories about home, my mind races to the villa my family stayed at in Doha. I was born and brought up there. That makes it nearly 17 significant years of my life. Although i don’t really like looking back, but there were a few good things about it.

We stayed in a diverse neighborhood with very few indian families around us. While that made us feel isolated from our culture, there was a certain richness in the diversity too. The locality was also a quite one. Quiet enough to hear my own heartbeat at night. Being an early riser always glued to my books, it was the perfect environment to read diligently. I think by class 10, i had read up on astrophysics, quantum mechanics and the Bhagvad Gita in the peaceful mornings. The place was well connected to various important centers but quite far from my school. Life in Doha was quite slow as compared to the hustle and bustle of Mumbai. Festivals or occasions would come and pass us by quietly as people hardly celebrated unless it was in a cultural center of some sort. Here in Mumbai, i miss the calm but find order in the chaos. As i look outside my window and soak in the sounds and chants, i feel there is much more to see and explore as i move on. 

Here is a view from my window.

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Easy Friday: Hope

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This little fortune cookie sparked some hope in me as we were winding up a lazy lunch last week. Smooth seas, well don’t we all want to sail away and feel the breeze in our face? But then again, how long can we bask in our comfort zone i ask. It’s always good to get used to an idea or a notion but rarely do we appreciate a change in perspective. As we grow older, our ideas get set in stone. We rationalize by telling ourselves that these are the principles we want to live by.

We build a cocoon to make life peaceful and keep any distractions at bay. However in doing so, we keep hoping that nothing bad comes our way. Hope. A powerful word. Isn’t hoping for nothing bad to happen an indirect way of our subconscious telling us that you didn’t do enough or need to do more. On the contrary by hoping for the best, aren’t we tricking ourselves to make believe in things that are probably not possible in the first place? Maybe all we need is to be flexible to go with the flow and roll with the punches. Living, then wouldn’t seem so tough at all.

For this i would tend to side with Friedrich Nietzsche who said, “Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man”.

 

Easy Friday: Calm

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Calm. The feeling we eternally seek. Hold on, one sec. Breathe, slow down. Countless moments revolve around everyone through the day. Yet we find it so hard to center down on ourselves to feel that we’re in control. We constantly want to feel in control, in the know and able to deal with uncertainty. I feel its always better to look for specific times through the day when you’re most likely to loose grip. Counter that time with something that helps.

It could be doodling on your notepad or listening to music. Something as simple as a walk to soak in the sunshine. After all situations really play out on the way you respond rather than react. As this week winds up (been slightly sick through this one) i found my moment of calm in the early morning drizzle today. Looking outside the window, i caught a brilliant glimpse of the sky and that’s captured in the photo above. All in all, as eventful as the weekend will promise to be the mantra is to keep calm & bask in the gentle winter vibe around. Literally.

I think this track by Aphex Twin will go well with it.

Easy Friday: Ideas

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Ideas seem to flow in the most unexpected of situations. I was recently mulling over what brings forth a good or a bad idea. After all an ideator is someone who comes up with productive ideas or is a conceptualist according to Urban Dictionary. While some others just refer to it as an element of thought.

Maybe when we are at our most salient & relaxed state, that’s when the subconscious begins to function. That is when brain cells multiply to feed in to our thought processes. On the contrary, we are embroiled in everyday pursuits. A typical day is fraught with worries of the daily commute, wondering what’s new on the agenda to what’s the new hangout you’re going to hit later in to the night. As much as we want to try out new experiences to explore more about ourselves, the daily routine becomes just that. In the midst of all this, how do you start a loop for the best of ideas to be generated? Silent boardrooms won’t help & maybe brainstorming session would leave you quiet stoked for the rest of the day. I don’t have the answers, but it’s just a random thought i wanted to let out. There has to be more to quick fixes and short term solutions. I’m still figuring it out & when i do, this is where i will share the coming of the good ideas that stick through.

For now, here is a shot of my husband’s ancestral home in Kolkatta. It’s magnanimous, filled with heritage and a certain calm that is hard to find here in Mumbai.