Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Sunrise

I have been missing this awesome weekly affair for the past few weeks because, sadly. I just did not have the time to go out for fresh photos and neither did  I have any to fall back on from my not so big an archive. But ‘Sunrise’ is something I have a few photos of and though they can all be found here and there in my other posts, this provides a good opportunity to bring them under one roof!

I am not a morning person and have never been. I can stay awake till the wee hours and go through the next day without a nap too and I will still greet you with a smile but ask me to get up really early and there is a slight chance that you may not see the nice me!! Growing up, I remember vividly, a chaos was inevitable when during family vacations, my brother and I had to  get up early to catch the beautiful sunrise from across the vast expanse of the big blue sea. Our parents would be up all chirpy and fresh by what we used to think was simply unacceptable when on vacations. We, on the other hand, could barely drag ourselves out of the beds and find enough energy to walk across the road to the beach to catch the sunrise. At that time, it was not a whole lot of fun. But, I am glad our parents made us do that since amidst all that chaos and unpleasantness of having to get up early, we have made wonderful memories that I fondly look back to now. One that stands out at the moment because of its uniqueness is that of a short trip to a coastal town/city of New Digha in my home state of West Bengal when I was around ten. After the sun had risen and we had managed to get our grumpiness out of the way, we saw fishermen, who had gone out to the sea in the really early hours, come back with their daily haul. It was a sight I had never seen before and it was powerful. The smiles on their faces  and the gaiety in their tone, while calling out to each other and going over their morning routine made it clear that it was a successful trip. And I assume they had more than what they needed because soon after all the boats had reached the shore, they set up an impromptu display of their catch, with the purpose of sale and the over inquisitive tourists on the beach had a blast! It was a sight worth seeing and we came home with a couple of freshly caught fish (I sadly do not remember what they were) that we later fried and had a meal of. We also took a couple of pictures holding ‘our catch’ and  while both remain dear to my heart, one is a little extra special. That one was taken by my brother who was around five at the time and  was going through a phase where he would get really upset if he wasn’t allowed to take photos. So, he took a photo of the three of us holding fish and his tiny hands could not hold the ‘Hot Shot’ well and the result was while Ma and I were okay, my dad’s head did not make it in that shot! This was during the time when digital cameras weren’t there to make photography easier and there were no retakes since those were the days of the good old film cameras and 36 was the number, if I remember correctly, of shots that could be captured in one film roll. And so, when the picture was taken we had no idea it would come out that way and when the photos came back in print form, we had  a blast looking at that particular one. I still sometimes make fun of my brother and we reminiscence the good old days of growing up.

Times are different now and I have been setting alarms to get up in the morning to catch the sunrise when on vacation and this time it is my good man who finds it difficult to get out from under the sheets! I am yet to try this with our son and I am curious to find out how that is going to turn out. I must say the serenity of dawn is probably incomparable. Everything is peaceful and the moment seems just perfect. The few times that I have had the delight of catching the sunrise has been refreshing and they have mostly been during vacations on the beach. I never felt more in tune with my inner self and my mind was not racing. Waves breaking on the shore and the occasional chirping of birds provide the right music to that glow when the sky breaks into shades of pink and orange before that bright yellow ball finally peeks out from the horizon, heralding the beginning of another day full of possibilities and the opportunity to do things right.

The Friendly Friday Photo Challenge is hosted every week, alternately by Amanda and Snow!

Here are some of the photos from my archive:

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Home, New Jersey

 

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Manchester, Vermont

 

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Ocean City, Maryland

 

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From the window of an airplane, en route to India.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

A sudden find

Too much on my mind, too many unfinished thoughts and half baked posts and sadly not enough pictures at the moment. Summer has unfolded in all its glory here at the moment but occasional heat waves are keeping kids from running around in the fields as well. Till I wrap my head around all that is half done, here’s a throwback to less crazier times from a trip to Florida. Scrolling through old photos can suddenly cheer up a gloomy day…won’t you say? How’s your summer coming along?

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

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:)