Archive for the ‘ International ’ Category

Early morning or late evening?

It was bright and sunny. But it was difficult to predict whether it was morning or evening… yesterday or today! Even the birds could not make their presence felt. There were some people on the road but it was difficult to say whether they were on evening walk or morning walk. Anyway, I had just woken up and praised myself for getting up very early in the morning. And, as usual, I was getting ready to prepare my morning coffee when some one, at home, burst into laughter, saying that I was in utter confusion! “It is just a couple of hours since you had your supper”, but it appeared that a casual dream had put me in utter confusion!
Morning, afternoon, midnight… or just a dream!
After a couple of days, I managed to overcome the confusion and decided to avoid afternoon naps and other stupid things. But whenever I found myself in such a position, I made it sure to say every now and then, “Jet lag, Jet lag!”, though I am yet to overcome my utter confusion!

An Empire indeed!

Though the twelve months or rather, a year commencing from January to December is common to all, we can not ignore the years which are based on certain languages or regions.

Of course, the Jan – Dec period has established itself as an empire and the people all over the world are dependent on it for the purpose of celebrating birthdays or independence days or such important dates. Anyway, the regional years and dates are celebrated in many countries and do serve as a New year’s Day or Birthdays. But what is important is the annual festivals in temples as far as India is concerned.

In several states, most of the people have two birthdays! Those who visit India from other Countries may get some ideas about the importance of regional dates!

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

When the weather is unfavorable, one is reluctant to go out for walk. Even a short distance appears to be a Herculean task! But, the other day we managed to overcome the reluctance mainly because it was a trip to a temple and the short distance was not by walking but in a taxi cab!

But, soon I overcame the dull moments mainly because the ‘scenes’ unfolded on both sides of the road reminded me of the good old days when the villages we lived in were encircled by rivers and channels and palm trees.

On top of all these wonders, the atmosphere in the beautiful temple was a serene and inspiring!

Venerable Co-existance

Urbanization, invariably, results in construction of new houses in rural areas or even in agricultural lands available in urban areas. It is a clear indication that business is flourishing in and around such places. All these developments rob the charm of rural areas especially when trees and plants are mercilessly cut down.
Anyway, even now, there are still places where urbanization is not at the expense of charming trees and plants. The other day I happened to visit such areas where there are houses, houses all the way… big and small but they could not outshine the trees and meadows. Moreover, even the new houses looked more like the good old houses of yore!

Peaceful Co-existence

‘Old order changeth, yielding place to new…” The poet who wrote these lines would have taken into account the rapid changes that were taking place ever since stone age and the human capacity to bring about such changes but it is doubtful whether he would have foreseen the rapid unbelievable changes during the past 10 to 30 years. What seems to be wonders to elders are just ordinary day-to-day affairs even to kids.

But we must be thankful to certain no-changers who are of great help to average men and women. And the credit goes to those who manage the petty shops where things are available in small sachets even to the poor people. [You won’t find such shops in rich countries and their big cities] But such petty shops could be seen even in big cities in Asia. This is what we call peaceful co-existence.

How about a playful hide and seek

“I am the monarch of all I survey…”

“Uhm… I know the rest of those immortal lines… you need not repeat them here. Right now, you are the lord of fowl and brute… You can even add… and those majestic trees and the vast sky. But, don’t you think that you are, in fact, highlighting the dull part of the day or rather revealing your sadistic tendencies?”

“Be patient guys. What’ll happen if it were sunny days all through the year? Those of you who praise such days sky high also curse those hot days, especially when it is too hot and last till 9pm… let me ask you one more question” the rain seemed to ask… “what stupid pleasure do you guys get by singing that age-old song ‘Rain, Rain go away…?’ What will happen if I go away. What will be the fate of the lakes, rivers and other sources of water?”

“Ok boss”, I replied; “You are absolutely correct but could you please play hide and seek with the Sun for a couple of hours in the evening… it is my humble request Sir!”

Wherever your casual eyes are cast!

I don’t know how far those mountains are from where we stay, but they are ‘distracters’. You try to concentrate on what you read or write but you are tempted to have a look at them now and then. Does one of them look like a sleeping dame or an old guy relaxing on an easy chair? One is reminded of a couple of lines from a good old poem, “Wherever your casual eyes are cast…”

Below these mountains [Burnaby] are trees of various forms and several buildings. The other day we happened to visit an enchanting lake but not before missing the actual route to our destination.

Anyway, all our temporary hiccups withered into oblivion as soon as we reached the spot…the beautiful lake and the surrounding mountains. “Are you guys the self-same chaps who distract me most of the days?” I asked those mountains and the answer was “yeah…not exactly”. Sorry. I am disturbed by these mountains as I write this.

The art of settling down!

Back home after a gap of eight months is a strange experience. Off and on you are haunted by the happy-go-lucky experiences you had had, all these days, with your kith and kin. Simultaneously, you have to struggle a bit to regain the routine life.

Yeah, its calls for a lot of diplomacy and patience to get things done, one by one and to capture the ‘ at- home’ feeling. Just when we heaved a sigh of relief a couple of weeks after returning home, we felt as if somebody was asking us rather sarcastically, ” How do you feel now?. It was none other then winter which has already made its presence felt. But the smiling sun seemed to assure that it can tame the winter to some extent. And, at long last, I resumed my evening walk after some initial hesitation. The moment I reached my favorite path, I was given a warm welcome by the bushes and those tall trees. I could also hear the hushed voices of the birds. “Where was this chap all these days?” one of them seemed to ask.

I moved on and on, totally immersed in the enchanting surroundings till I was jerked by the thundering sound of the bursting crackers. ” Oh it’s Deepavali tomorrow”, I said to myself and returned home.


We were on an aimless evening walk. There were several new houses, big and small, in that area and we were at liberty to choose any path that served the purpose! A subway here and a bypass there, we moved on and on, saying “Hi, Hello” in response to greetings from strangers whom we met now and then.
Before long, the main road leading to the university was in sight and we proceeding along the sidewalk till we came across a narrow steep road. The board on the way said “Steep path ahead-proceed slowly”. After some hesitation, we decided to take that route and soon we found ourselves in an enchanting world which reminded us of similar places in our own native district back in India. There were huge trees all along the way and some of them were pretty old. The path was so steep that we were a bit scared but were overcome by the beauty of the jungle which also set in motion thoughts of ancestors who would have lost ways while discovering new places in those primitive days. And, to add to our joy there were tiny bays down below.
One more pleasant surprise was in store for me. While going through book review in BC Book world I saw on entitles “Unlearn, Rewild” by Miles Olsen. And, it is wrth quoting the relevant portion of the review: “Unlearn, Rewild invites you to step out of your comfort zone and consider a healthy, sane and self-reliant life that is not separate from nature. Combining philosophical exploration with a guide to endangered primitive and traditional skills, this entirely unique and unconventional book will make you question what it means to be civilized”.

Peaceful coexistence

I was half asleep when I saw the “full moon”. But, in a jiffy I became alert and asked myself, “full moon on new moon day?”. The bus in which I was travelling took a ‘U’ turn and the moon or sun disappeared from the scene. What I saw was a setting sun which looked smaller or rather, just as big as a full moon! The way and How about the unusual size of the sun had something to do with Netherlands where I had been recently for a month.
On bright and sunny days, rare though, Netherlands like any other European country is pleasant and glamorous and one is tempted to go out for a walk enjoying the beauty of canals across meadows and trees. A wide variety of birds ranging from wild ducks to pigeons could be seen here and there, but some of them see us as intruders and make strange sounds to warn us!
The country has all the ultra-modern facilities but not at the expense of old world charms. They have art galleries and museums and gigantic gardens.
An interesting incident took place while I was chatting with my folks over a cup of coffee at a restaurant. A young lady who introduced herself as a journalist asked us several interesting questions about our visit to Netherlands and what impressed us the most. She made us so comfortable and happy that we felt that this was one of the interesting parts of our visit to Netherlands.