Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Dramatic

It has been a while since I participated in my favorite photo challenge…it seems it would be good if there were about 50 hours in a day!

While I have nothing even remotely close to Snow’s adventure, my share of drama, for this post, happened about six years ago during our trip to Florida. One of my very dear friends, who I have known since elementary school days, lived in Miami at that point and we were visiting her. Towards the end of our trip, we went camping at the Everglades National Park. The designated area for camping was beautiful with the waters lapping at the shore, a stretch of which was lined with coconut trees. It was a full moon-ish night and the weather was perfect, the month being February. Happy campers were all around, making merry and we joined in with our guitars and voices and the overall cheeriness that comes with spending time with ones closest friends.

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The campgrounds- If you look closely, you can see the tents.

 

After we had laughed to our hearts contents and drowned in the laughter of others, reminisced about classrooms long forgotten that had seen us through so much, made grand plans for the days ahead and noticed that the lapping of the water was gradually drowning away voices of campers, did we realize that the sun would rise soon and we should probably get some shut- eye.

There were five of us and the tent was a big one that could comfortably sleep six and after we had chosen our spots, it was time to fall asleep. It was probably as ideal as it could get – the brilliant moon lit sky, the gentle waves almost in harmony with the occasional chirps that could be heard and a faint guitar music from a group nearby- I was going to sleep a happy camper. Or so I thought.

A little after getting into a somewhat comfortable sleeping position, we started hearing noises that were new that night and were not very soothing. They also did not sound ‘friendly’ (as if I had the expertise on that!).  No one else seemed to be bothered by that but me and I could not keep from asking what could the source of that noise be. A very calm voice, that of my friend’s husband’s, from the other end of the tent mentioned that it was probably that of the crocodiles or alligators calling out. What followed was exactly as was expected…everyone went to sleep soon after, while my over active imagination and I kept each other company, playing out all kinds of scenarios- from the reptiles attacking to us being trapped in our tent surrounded by a thousand of them. I was sleeping at one end of the tent and was convinced that I would definitely get bitten or licked (??) that night.  And those noises continued through the rest of the night while I stayed as alert as possible, noticing for any unusual movement outside the tent, paying attention to check if those noises got louder (which would mean they were getting closer…hah!). My husband who had guessed how my over active imagination was probably driving me crazy assured me it would be morning soon.

I don’t know if those were really alligators or crocodiles as it wouldn’t be surprising since they are both locals. Whatever it was, was enough to create a good amount of drama for an otherwise splendid outing. Well…I also credit my highly creative mind for a significant contribution!

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The waters which may or may not have had the reptiles- we’ll never know!

 

Thanks for stopping by! Posted for the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge.

The power of love

   Last year, when we found out we were expecting our second child, it made us ecstatic. But that ecstasy was somewhat short lived as we realized the pressures of bringing up two little ones (our older one was just about 3 years old at that point) in a land where we had little help and no grown ups (read- our parents) to guide us and hold our hands when we would falter! And then there was the fear of our little boy’s reaction, though I knew that he would be the best big brother one could hope for. And I was not wrong. Ever since he found out that his Ma’s tummy had a little special someone for him, his curiosity knew no bounds and neither did his love. Kids ask the strangest questions and at times their thoughtfulness takes you by surprise too! Our boy had the usual inquisitiveness about the new member and his actions often melted my heart. If we were out buying him clothes, he would without fail mention that we should also get something for his sister. If we were eating out, he would ask me to make sure that what I ate was not too ‘jhaal’ (hot/spicy) for the one in my tummy. And every night before going to bed  he would kiss his sister goodnight and wish her a good morning just the same way. Every single day.  Emotions at times ran high as the good man and I tried to make space for our baby girl and our voices would rise. Not a scream or any kind of verbal altercation …just raised voices of two freaked out people trying to get a lot done in a short span of time! But, if the little boy happened to be around, he would come rushing by and gently remind us to not raise our voices as there was a baby in Ma’s tummy and loud voices could hurt the tiny baby’s ears. And the day I slipped and fell down in the bathroom at 11.30 pm, four days before my due date, our little boy showed us love and gave us strength that I could not have imagined. A million things were rushing through our minds as we called the doctor and got ready to leave for the hospital while a visibly disoriented little guy was trying to take everything in his stride. My parents were with us and he put up the bravest face he could manage in the middle of so much chaos and trepidation, and waved us goodbye as we left for the hospital at around midnight. I did not have a lot of time to explain everything to him and he too did not ask for any. I watched him as we got into the car and while my heart was racing for our baby girl, it was also beaming with pride for our little guy. Baby girl was fine in the tummy and when we came back home in the morning after being kept at the hospital overnight for observation, I could see his face just light up and the first thing he asked was if his baby sister was alright.

   Our baby girl turned one a few days ago and the little guy was very ill with a viral fever. He still blew up a balloon and drew a little something for her special day. Every day has been a treat watching them together and while I know that this is so because they are both still little, it warms my heart. Our little guy has grown so much and we couldn’t be prouder. It is a matter of time before the “i don’t like you-s”, “he is mean”, “she is not letting me do that” set in and the expression of love might not be so simple then! But for the time being, I am soaking in this unadulterated love… a love so different, so unique…this love between a soon to be five year old big brother and his one year old sister. It has taught me to be kind and brave, no matter what. And it grounds me in humility and puts the faith back when hope seems to be drifting away in this crazy life.

 

Monday Motivation

   Life is not equal parts happiness and equal parts sorrow…more often than not, sorrow somehow seems to have an upper hand. It rattles our peace and toys with emotions, smiles at the misfortune and maybe even revels in pulling us down to the abyss of hopelessness, testing the levels of our endurance and pushing us to our limits. We are probably all too familiar with this, unfortunately. And may be we, sometimes, come dangerously close to giving up. Yet, as if by some miracle , we go on. We must. We learn from missteps and we try to put the right foot forward. We breathe through the pain, breathe through the tears but keep our chins up and keep looking for that path forward. We cling on to hope and make that our chalice when darkness looms large. There are, maybe, people we know who are going through similar unhappy patches at the moment. Often just being there for them helps. With or without giving ‘advice’. Just listening and letting them know that they are not alone. It helps. So, if you know someone who maybe is going through a hard time, I hope you reach out to that person to let them know that you are there. The world is a much better place when we look out for each other.  And, if anyone reading this is going through an uneven stretch, I hope it passes soon and you come out stronger.

 

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This made me smile on a day that was not particularly a bright one.

 

Thanks for stopping by and keep believing.

Monday Motivation

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“Allow yourself to be a beginner. Not everyone starts off being excellent”. (Wendy Flynn).

 

This is true for all of us isn’t it? And yet, fear of failing, among other insecurities,  stops us from taking that first step.

I have been making tiny changes, tiny beginnings of sorts.  It does take a combination of ‘ I should give this a try’, ‘So what if I look funny’, ‘ There’s no shame in trying’, ‘ If I don’t do well, I will try again’ and similar mini monologues to help get through  but hey, so what! For me, it has been strangely liberating.

From interviews to trying salsa or even something as simple as carving a pumpkin… there always has to be a starting point. As I mentioned, I have recently taken that first step for a couple of new things,  while am yet to shake off the nerves and go for others. But I will be pushing myself! Have you done something recently that took some ‘you can do it’ from yourself? Or  is there something that you have been thinking of trying for some time now but a ‘what if’ has been stopping you? Would love to hear from you!

While some acts require serious preparation ( for example running a marathon), others like singing at a karaoke bar in front of others, in spite of being a terrible singer, should not! Life is way too stressful to lose our nerves on fun stuff, for the simple reason- they are supposed to be ‘fun’. I hope we all try something similar, something special that we have been putting off because of a bunch of silly excuses, and even if we fail miserably, at least we get to have a laugh thinking about it few years down the line!

Thanks for stopping by!  The jack o’ lantern, our first, was carved by my husband while our son cheered! Simple acts can sometimes bring a great amount of happiness and it is probably up to us to celebrate such tiny moments!

Sunday Sky

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This blazing sky, lit up by the setting sun was captured many years ago, by a rather poor camera, somewhere along our way  from Duluth to St.Paul, Minnesota. One of my favorite  photos, this reminds me of those crazy fun filled days when life was a lot simpler and more transparent. I feel sometimes that, perhaps, as we add years to our lives, it starts getting less and less transparent. I wonder why. Does it appear that way to you?

Thanks for stopping by and hope your Sunday is filled with giggles and snuggles, with being silly and laughing at your own silliness, with putting your feet up and taking it all in🙂

 

 

A Photo A Day…15 days or so

As I recently mentioned,  I have started a ‘a day, a photo’ project of sorts in an attempt to semi chronicle events and moments of our daily life. This is my second share, from the last 15 days!

 

 

 

It has been rather fun documenting moments,  though many of us probably do it anyways, knowingly or unknowingly. I have been doing it since our son was born and I had a good-ish cell phone. Like many and unlike some, I was doing it without the intention of publishing it on Facebook ( I had an account once!) or Instagram ( though I must admit, a few have found their way here, and I still use it) and so was and/am under no pressure to add filters. I was getting a bit tired of the ‘candid’ photos posted that clearly were not candid, ones that were heavily posed for and photos which showed only the best of the best!  I did not have such picture perfect moments to share and I had started to feel a bit low, in spite of knowing that everything and everyone was/ is not that impeccable… life is not meant to be so🙂

Thanks for stopping by and I hope we capture more ‘imperfect moments’ that make our lives perfect!