THANK YOU

This morning, WordPress had one notification for me: “You’ve made 100 posts on bitsandpieces”. And I was like- “Whaaaaat?”

While this is a teeny tiny number, it means a lot to me- to the me who kept the blog ‘private’ for close to a year, to the introvert in me who shies away from people and things alike, to the me who is usually a lot on the fence, to the me who tends to overthink, to the me who questions her actions and thoughts at all times, to the me who feels many other similar things that do not necessarily help her confidence!

I took this plunge because I wanted to break out of this shell of mine that has kept me from venturing into new possibilities and to let my guard down a bit. Thoughts like- “I have no niche nor am I great writer or a good photographer, what is that will make my blog stand out, there are so many awesome blogs out there…why even bother, who will ever want to read what I write, what will everyone think”– sowed seeds of self doubt and a couple of times I even came quite close to deleting my account and its contents. But I persevered and I am glad I did.

While I do not bring anything new and extravagant, anything wise and wonderful to this community, being a part of this has helped me grow as a person a lot and I am thankful for that. It has helped me embrace myself for who I am and helped me grow. It has helped me have meaningful conversations and learn through those. It has encouraged me to read more and think better. It has inspired me to take better photos. It has helped me go through forgotten tales and shake off the dust of days gone by. It has helped me share my thoughts, however random, and encouraged me to keep going. Over and everything, it has been a privilege – to read powerful and inspirational articles, to embark on this virtual world tour through wonderful travel posts, to read stories of resilience and celebration, to marvel at photos that leave me spellbound, to be able to bring into my kitchen food from cultures different to the one I grew up in.

And all of this has been possible because of YOU- YOU who took time to read what I wrote, YOU who liked what you saw/read, YOU who left encouraging words, YOU who forged a connection, YOU who inspired, YOU who took just a glance.

So, these 100 posts have been possible because of YOU and I am grateful for that.

                        THANK YOU for guiding, for inspiring and for comforting.

Today, I am sharing some of my favorite photos from when I started out first and one new photo, which was taken by my son this morning on our way back from his school. This little guy has started asking for my phone a bit more of late for taking photos and that brings a smile to my face every time!

 

 

 

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Marigolds – taken by my little man this morning.

 

Thank you, as always, for stopping by and I wish you happiness today and every day.

Monday Motivation

 

On Beauty (Khalil Gibran)

And a poet said, Speak to us of Beauty.
     And he answered:
     Where shall you seek beauty, and how
shall you find her unless she herself be your
way and your guide?
     And how shall you speak of her except
she be the weaver of your speech?
     The aggrieved and the injured say,
“Beauty is kind and gentle.
     Like a young mother half-shy of her
own glory she walks among us.”
     And the passionate say, “Nay, beauty is
a thing of might and dread.
     Like the tempest she shakes the earth
beneath us and the sky above us.”
     The tired and the weary say, “Beauty is
of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.
     Her voice yields to our silences like a faint
light that quivers in fear of the shadow.”
     But the restless say, “We have heard her
shouting among the mountains,
     And with her cries came the sound of
hoofs, and the beating of wings and
the roaring of lions.”
     At night the watchmen of the city say,
“Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the
east.”
     And at noontide the toilers and the way-
farers say, “We have seen her leaning over
the earth from the windows of the sunset.”
     In winter say the snow-bound, “She shall
come with the spring leaping upon the hills.”
     And in the summer heat the reapers say,
“We have seen her dancing with the autumn
leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her
hair.”
     All these things have you said of beauty,
     Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of
needs unsatisfied,
     And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
     It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty
hand stretched forth,
     But rather a heart enflamed and a soul en-
chanted.
     It is not the image you would see nor the
song you would hear,
     But rather an image you see though you
close your eyes and a song you hear though
you shut your ears.
     It is not the sap within the furrowed bark,
nor a wing attached to a claw,
     But rather a garden for ever in bloom and
a flock of angels for ever in flight.
     People of Orphalese, beauty is life when
life unveils her holy face.
     But you are life and you are the veil.
     Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mir-
ror.
     But you are eternity and you are the mir-
ror.
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You are strong and courageous and amazing. Have a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Sky

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“With the new day, comes new strength and new thoughts”- Eleanor Roosevelt

Have faith in yourself and in the power you have to do good. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a peaceful week.

 

 

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge- Blue

Amanda   touches on a very important topic this week and I applaud her for generating thoughtful conversations through this week’s prompt. This is clearly one of my favorites and while I try to actively participate as much as I can, there are times when I miss out but watching and reading responses is also as much a delight.

   Mental well being is just as crucial as physical and while there is much more awareness now than even a few years ago, there is still, unfortunately,  a considerable stigma surrounding this. When someone is going through a tough time, just letting that person know that you are there is a huge help. And I speak from personal experience. It has happened to me and it has happened to  people I love dearly and I am glad and honored that I was in their thought and they in mine. As life continues to unfold in all its craziness and glory, it gets overwhelming from time to time and for many of us that builds up inside to a point that makes us feel less than what we are. The feeling of loneliness can be a pretty huge burden to carry. ‘How are you’, ‘how was your day’,’ how are you feeling’, ‘what can I do’, ‘do you need something’ are some simple yet infinitely comforting, and mostly appreciated, words we can use to let each other know that there are shoulders to lean on to, ears that are willing to listen and hands that are willing to help out. It is difficult to ask for help  when going through a storm…and so it’s only human to extend that helping hand. 

While the color blue is associated with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, sadness…I am going to focus on the gorgeous blue sky during spring and autumn months, an almost Prussian blue as that happens to be a very dear color. I am not a huge fan of the color otherwise but that gorgeous blue sky just draws me in. I do love turquoise and cobalt blue as well!

Sharing some photos from my archive for this prompt and hoping to capture some new photos this Fall. The Friendly Friday Photo Challenge is hosted alternately by Amanda and Snow. Go take a look!

 

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Know that you are not alone.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday Motivation

“In all things of Nature, there is something of the marvelous”- Aristotle

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Let’s take better care of the only place we can call home and enable our future generations to marvel at our incredible planet.

Thanks for stopping by!

Why so rude

This post was a long time coming…I had written this quite some time back but was unable to wrap it up. But I finally managed to do so this afternoon!

   In our intricately interconnected and ever-shrinking world, that seems to be coming up with more and more apps to that effect, we seem to be too quick to pass judgments on people we know and on complete strangers, alike.  When did this become a thing?   ‘Rude people have always been around, it’s just that they have social platforms to make that known on a larger scale’ -I can’t remember if I read it somewhere or heard it from someone but I think I agree with it! What happened to if you don’t have something nice to say,  don’t say anything at all? While it may not be possible to adhere to this under all circumstances, I believe it is not always impossible either.

   As an introvert and as someone who has always being a sort of ‘push over’, the fear of being judged has kept me from things that can be difficult to list. Be it social interactions, speaking up for myself, engaging in conversations on debatable issues, choice of attire, sharing photos- the list can go on- have all let me keep things to myself. It’s not simply because I am sort of introvert by nature but it’s also because I have found people to be unkind, unnecessarily (not that we need to be unkind, ever). People talk and talk loud. Just because someone is big it does not mean others decide what that person gets to wear; someone’s skin color should not be a marker in any conversation ever; someone can be Indian and dislike spicy food (FYI- all Indians do not eat or like spicy food and there is A LOT MORE to Indian food than the handful typically found at restaurants outside the country); my neighbor can choose to share 50 photos of her cats and I can choose to share 50 photos of the squirrel that comes to eat cookies on many mornings on our balcony!

   I am fairly new still to this blogging world but I think this is a wonderful arena to share our commonalities and engage in chats that let us know more about each other; it’s a  platform to learn from each other and encourage others to carry on and it’s a front row seat to the viewing gallery of majestic and  hidden natural treasures from around the world; it’s a recipe book containing recipes of grandmas and moms as well as those of professionals; it is lost pages from our childhood that we rediscover through story telling.

   In terms of photos, many of us are amateurs and we get to share our enthusiasm with all. Those photos may be imperfect for many, particularly the professionals, but here’s the thing…we are not professionals and may be we do not really know and hence do not abide by ‘rules’ that may or may not dictate a good photo. I also wonder if art should have rules though. Photos are memories, they tell stories and hold a special place in our hearts. They remind us of moments, of faces and transport us momentarily to an earlier time and place, stirring emotions at times and helping us reminisce.  It’s also a matter of perspective..something that I like in a particular photo might not be appealing to you. And that’s just fine! A lovely person, Manja had an unpleasant experience a few months ago when she shared a few photos (which were beautiful) on a social platform and when I came to know about that it was just baffling. She dealt with it in the most perfect way possible and has moved on since but it’s something that’s becoming more and more common and everyone we know has faced it more than a desirable number of times. And it’s just not right….not once, not ever.

   I applaud Manja again for the way she rose above pettiness and I think it’s a very important lesson too on how to deal with the not-so-nice! This post has been way long overdue but I am glad that I was finally able to finish it. And as I had said, I am sharing some ‘imperfect photos’:)

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This is one of my most favorite photos of all times. We were coming back home from a wonderful trip, our first long distance drive as a family of four and our son was trying to cover the rays of the setting  sun. The sky was brilliant and I am glad I was able to capture this shot. It can be edited to hide the flaws but I choose to keep it this way.

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Not exactly what I was going for but I still like this.

 

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I was trying to take a picture of this bench.

 

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The light was all wrong but I wanted to see how this would turn out.

 

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I thought this looked pretty. It was a special day…we took the little guy out for lunch as our baby girl stayed home with her grandparents.  While he was a little sad for his baby sister, he was very happy at the same time to be able to do ‘grown up’ stuff. Also, we had taken our smaller car, the one we had before our daughter was born, and it brought back memories we have made as a family of three and the little guy loved the car ride and he said that riding in that car made him remember some of the things we used to do before. This photo can be edited too of course but again, everything does not need to be!

 

Let’s look out for each other and thanks for stopping by!