Friendly Friday Photo Challenge- Raindrops

Thanks Amanda @ Something To Ponder About (https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/) for this! Hosted by Something to Ponder about and The Snow Melts Somewhere (https://thesnowmeltssomewhere.wordpress.com/), Friendly Friday Photo Challenge has been something that I look forward to every week now…thank you both!

    This week’s challenge made me realize, sadly, that I have never photographed raindrops. And I had to wait for a couple of days to rain and the when it did, it was the middle of the night or really early in the morning – not an ideal time for me to take pics. Bright sunshine followed the rain that made everything look so pretty but it also dried up the raindrops!

   I must say that I am not a huge fan of the rain. I think I should clarify here a bit- When I say I d this, I don’t mean I hate rain or don’t realize it’s utmost importance in sustaining life, in nurturing Nature. And I love to watch the rain fall… I am a normal human! I just don’t like the feeling of having to be outside in the rain, of the incessant rain that makes things feel damp, the gloomy sky that is, most of the times, associated with rains. Maybe it has something to do with my childhood days, I am not sure. Growing up in India, June through September was rainy season and it rained a lot. Many streets got flooded, especially the ones leading up to my school and that used to be a terrible experience for me on days when school would be open. I had friends who loved the rain, I guess most children do, but I never understood what was so awesome about getting drenched. I loved the school closings though!

   What I loved however, was how everything smelled after the rain,; how the grass and the leaves on the trees dazzled; how the hue of the brown soil got richer. Making paper boats with my younger brother and letting them sail on the water logged streets in front of our house is another fond memory as is eating onion fritters on rainy evenings. We did not have a car but some of our neighbors did and I remember, sometimes, drawing outlines on the window panes of those after a downpour.  And I remember reading this beautiful poem, I even remember how it made me feel – How Beautiful Is The Rain by H. W. Longfellow. I think this was the first poem on rain that I read at school, that has remained a favorite to this day. Isn’t it fascinating how we remember seemingly trivial things from long ago while forgetting matters of much recent past?

IMG-0482

DSC_0691

   I plan to make ‘raindrops’ my photo project, of sorts, in the coming months and I am looking forward to sharing those with you!

The enchanting, the evanescent-Sakura

   What more can we say about the beauty that is ‘Sakura’– cherry blossoms! Much has been said and so much has been written, trying to capture this fleeting beauty. This post is not going to see me make a futile attempt at capturing their elegance. Instead, I am simply going to share some pictures I took this morning when I went for a walk. They made me happy and I am sharing my happiness with you:)

DSC_0637

DSC_0636

 

DSC_0639

DSC_0641

DSC_0633

DSC_0631

DSC_0644

 

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge-Feelings of Spring!

   It is almost spring here in New Jersey…almost. It’s somewhat the ‘feeling of spring’ as this week’s theme from Friendly Friday Photo Challenge hosted by Something to Ponder About (https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/) and The Snow Melts Somewhere (https://thesnowmeltssomewhere.wordpress.com/) suggests. Winter-y weather seems to be dragging on forever  here on the East Coast and even though temperatures have started rising to the ‘comfortable’ 40s and 50s, there is still quite a nip in the air that sadly keeps us from keeping our winter jackets away.

   For me, here,  birds are the heralds of spring; their much awaited chirp breaks the monotony of the wintry silence that keeps us engulfed, what feels like at times to be, for ever. Kids playing outside and neighbors chatting for more than the perfunctory greetings are all signs of warmer weather and cheery hearts! And then come the sprouting of tiny greens on the bare branches, little pink flowers  with a smell that is almost intoxicating and that urge to breathe in lungs full of fresh air. I grew up in Kolkata where spring is much warmer and while the pink of cherry blossoms is surely missing,  the  red ‘polash’, a fiery orange-ish red flower also commonly known as the flame-of-the forest and colorful bougainvilleas add that rejuvenating splash of color,  signalling the advent of spring.

    The look that my four year old gets when I say ‘it seems to be a good day to go to the park’ has added to the wonder of spring for the past couple of years. The joy and exuberance that a child feels from being able to run around in the open, after remaining cooped up indoors during the dreadful winter months is hard to parallel! We still need to wear fleece jackets and hats but we go out and run around to our hearts’ content and the little guy exclaims, almost every step of the way to the park, at all the things he had missed during winter and the spark in his eyes warms up my heart, as I try to keep up with his bouncy steps.

   These pictures of spring were taken a few years back:

IMG-0287

IMG-0288

These sunflowers added to the  bright Florida sun, on our way back from camping at the Everglades back in 2012.

IMG-0286

We spent last spring in Kolkata and these bougainvilleas adorned the rooftop of my in-laws’ house.

IMG-0285

And these are from a couple of days back, in our neighborhood….most tree branches are still bare but some have started to spring back and I hope to take better pictures once the pink and the white of the cherry blossoms take over.

 

IMG-0322

And this was on the first warm-ish day at the park!

IMG-0299

Happy Spring folks!

Fleeting moments of happiness

   The pursuit of happiness is something that we all do, consciously or unconsciously in our daily lives. We all have our own methods that bring us moments of peace, calm and joy in the humdrum of our daily lives, which let us pause and capture bits and pieces of bliss. For me it is spending time being silly with my little boy, watching him absorbed in his world of make believe, my ten minutes of solitude at the end of the day, sharing a laugh with the good man, getting lost in the incredible Nat Geo posts on Instagram and my feeble attempts at capturing moments that speak to me. This post is not about the wonderful world of my little guy or the good man but more about photos and photography , that I think is gradually becoming a passion of mine. The Nat Geo posts are the ones I venerate and the ones I try to capture- photos of everyday life- are the ones that bring me a strange satisfaction and excite me to seek happiness in the moments that surround me.

IMG-8217

   Known for his street photography, Leon Levinstein, who I only came to know about very recently has this quote – “ I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph”. It made me think and I realized that this captures the essence of my endeavors to hold on to the fleeting instances in my everyday life. It obviously goes without saying that I am not comparing my photos to his …I have not lost it totally yet and still have some semblance of sanity! What I am trying to say, I guess, is that’s how I take my photos…I do not necessarily go out looking for moments but rather let everyday life make moments that ring a merry bell in my soul. They genuinely make me happy and when I look back at them, I am inspired to do better when I click next. They bring me contentment and peace and while I am a gazillion clicks away from anything remotely worth mentioning, these are personal steps that help me be grateful for all that I can see and all I have and all I can do. It teaches me to be humble and instills in me the desire to be a better person when I wake up the following morning.

What makes you happy?

IMG-8228

IMG-8257(1)

 

IMG-8304(1)