Monday Motivation

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it”- Helen Keller

 

It does become tough at times to hold on to hope and keep believing that things will get better and no matter how hard we fight, we feel broken and lost…we are only human after all. But that’s our superpower as well, I feel. We are resilient and we cling on to that hope with all that we have and work hard to dispel the gloom. Change takes time but we surely can’t give up on ourselves thinking otherwise.

 

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Happy Monday everybody and thanks for stopping by!

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge-Between The Lines

Here’s another wonderful prompt from the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by AmandaSnow and Manja! 

‘Between the Lines’- can be interpreted in as many ways as photographer may wish to and for amateurs like me, this becomes all the more lucid. So, here I go with my interpretation of this week’s theme- some are literal and some are abstract and some are just special moments in our pocketbook of memories that tell a story.

 

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Clinton, NJ

 

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Ocean City, MD

 

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Camden, NJ

 

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Frozen clotheslines , Minneapolis

 

 

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Home

 

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NJ

 

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NJ

 

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Home

 

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Princeton, NJ

 

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Home

 

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Princeton, NJ

 

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NJ

 

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Somewhere en route Ladakh, India (photo taken by my younger brother during his visit)

 

 

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Lake George, NY

 

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One of my favorite gifts ever…my little boy who was two and half at the time, painted this as my birthday present. It means nothing to anybody but these random brush strokes on a simple paper now framed never fail to put a smile on my face. And what makes it extra special is this-  after he finished this, he said he should draw one for his dad too as otherwise his Baba might feel left out and sad. He used to be such a sweet little boy and he still he but now that he is growing up, I feel that unadulterated innocence  is getting replaced by some well thought out mischief! I enjoy these just as much but somewhere I already miss those days when he used to be my tiny mush 🙂

 

 

When he was learning to write in between lines

 

And these last two are illustrations by an artist whose name I just cannot recollect:( These are watercolor on postcard size papers and I bought them during one of my visits back home. They are about my city of Kolkata, capturing her iconic landmarks and also everyday life. The left one is of the famous Howrah Bridge and the right one is of Victoria Memorial..probably two of the most famous pieces of architecture that enshrine the history of Kolkata with pride. These beautiful paintings, peeping out from within the four lines of  their tiny frames, bring a slice of my ‘home’ in my current home.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a good weekend!

Tuesday Tales-Summertime

Summer is here and it is bright and beautiful all around, even in our neighborhood. Lathered up with sun screen and donning hats and sunglasses, everyone’s ready to tackle the dazzling summer sun. After all, it’s only going to last a couple of months! It indeed calls for celebration. Barbecues, trips to the pool and the beach, running through sprinklers, backyard camping, lovely flowers wherever you look, long queues outside the local ice cream parlor, summer camps are all part of that merriment.

Growing up, summer was somewhat similar but also slightly different. It meant the much awaited summer vacation and a trip to someplace far enough to warrant my favorite mode of travel- the train. It also meant visits from some of our favorite people, extra T.V time, staying out for a little longer than usual. It meant gorging on mangoes, the most juicy and sweet kind one can probably find only in the state of Bengal and it also meant sultry afternoons sipping on the ‘ghol’ (a very light version of its famous cousin-the lassi). It also meant ‘holiday homework’ that only got started usually on the last week of the ‘holiday’ and the scramble to get it all done added to the crabby feeling triggered by the imminent opening of  school.

Back home, the hot and humid summers make the air heavy and drown everyone in sweat. The afternoons are sometimes unbearable and an eerie silence descends on the neighborhoods that is only occasionally broken by the cawing of the crow or the shrill call of the peddler trying to sell his wares. His sticky skin glistens under the glaring sun and the heat from the asphalt probably scorches his feet through the threadbare sandals. We often heard peddlers from inside the comfort of our houses, where the silence was instead broken by the rotating blades of the ceiling fan. Ma sometimes spoke about such courageous people who fought against adversities on a daily basis just to make ends meet. If our doorbell rang, Ma would buy something even if we did not really need it (these were mostly inexpensive goods as well) and would always offer the person water to drink. And there were a couple of occasions when I remember she let them rest indoors for a while till they felt ready to go back out again. Some other families in our neighborhood did the same. Summers were cool for many but scorching for most. But times were simpler back then and people looked out for each other probably more than now. Trust was implicit and that made living easier.

Summer time in Kolkata and in the eastern region of India also brought/brings the much awaited and always welcome ‘Kalbaishakhi’- the Nor’westers. Skies darken and the stillness in the air deepens. Rumbles can be heard far and wide and then the dark grey clouds open their gates to drain the earth with torrential downpour. The heady aroma from the sweltering earth, the bruised leaves dancing in the rain and the crackling thunders make everyone overlook the temporary inconvenience the Kalbaishakhi causes. I remember them with clarity and fondness and I miss them dearly too. While we do get sudden thunderstorms here as well, they fall far behind the almost royal nature of the revered Kalbaishakhis.

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This photo was taken by a pretty mediocre cell phone camera right before one such ‘Kalbaishakhi’ back in Kolkata  a few years back. The sky had turned this deep yellow and there was stillness all around.

The following photos are from neighborhood strolls and from lunch outings over the past couple of weeks- it has been beautiful all around.

 

 

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Thanks for stopping by. What are some of your favorite memories from summer?

 

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge-Twins

Happy Happy Birthday to Snow‘s boys!! And though I had nothing along these lines, I could not not join in this week’s prompt…it’s a celebration!

   There are no twins in my family and I have somehow always regretted that…not sure why. But I have known some as friends, acquaintances, friend’s kids and as strangers – on my way to school by the good old tram many moons ago, every day twin sisters, who were much older than I was at that time, would board the same tram as me from a particular stop and get down at the same one as me….I used to be fascinated by them, they were identical and it was impossible to tell them apart! It is interesting how memories of  things long forgotten are triggered and I just could not stop smiling today thinking about those tram rides to school and the faces that I had no idea I remembered, flashed across my mind as if I had seen them just the other day.

   I was trying to think how I could participate and my eyes suddenly fell on two identical coffee mugs on the kitchen counter and then I glanced at a couple of elephants on top of the cabinet and I figured I was going to post photos of stuff at my home that I had two of! I am hoping Snow won’t mind:)

 

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If you have not joined in before, do join in the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by Snow and Amanda…it is a lot of fun and you will get to see amazing posts too!

 

Thanks for stopping by:)

Monday Motivation

   It is sometimes hard to keep it together when there is so much negativity all around. Half truths are not truths, disdain and contempt for others is not good, “I” above everything and everyone else is shallow. But when walls seem to be closing in from all directions, it sometimes helps to just keep breathing. So, keep breathing my dears…just keep breathing.

   I went for a walk with my son the other day and it was a beautiful evening. The sky was blue and white and gray and pink…it was amazing to look up. As I clicked these with my phone, the song- ” What a Wonderful World” kept playing in my head! So much beauty all around us…how are we not caring for HER more?

 

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“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness-it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude” – Brene Brown
Keep Breathing!

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge- Shadows

These prompts keep getting interesting! Thanks Amanda for this week’s prompt. Here’s my contribution for the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted alternately by Amanda and Snow.

 

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Palm Trees, Key Biscayne- Florida

 

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Early morning shadow of window blinds on wall, Home-NJ

 

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Shadow of Tree on snow covered lawn, NJ

 

  “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow”-Helen Keller

Thanks for stopping by!

Randomness

I hope this phase of nothingness passes soon and I can get back to my scribbles! I clicked these two random photos over the last week and they spoke to me through their simplicity.

 

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Wishing you all a peaceful week ahead:)

“Be Kind Whenever Possible. It Is Always Possible”- Dalai Lama