In this age, when our lives are changing fast and the overwhelming powers of technology are stirring every aspect of our living, I often think about the cardinal values in life. Will they remain the same or will they change with this fleeting age? Struggle for survival has been there from the beginning. Our past generations had struggled with a conviction for a few certainties in life. In today’s world, conviction and certainty and even identity are flickering in the dynamic realm of a fast-paced society. Hence, during my travels whenever I witnessed weddings, I felt a sigh of relief. It is indeed comforting to witness love and dreams still occupying a place in this world.
Around 11 am, my jet-lagged eyes saw the October morning brimming with autumnal lights for the first time in Berlin. Summer had trickled into autumn, unlike California, from where I boarded the flight two days back. I treated myself with a cup of coffee and sat down to peep into the city from my hotel window. It almost felt like a Facebook feed because of its continuously changing scenes. Then I decided to open the window a little and instantly the city came alive. The aroma from the Pizza shop, the sound of laughter and conversations, and the people made it real and intimate, unlike the virtual world. The open streets that I could see from above have an allure that’s hard to avoid. Therefore, without wasting much time, I quickly planned to see the ongoing Festival of Lights in Berlin, Germany and walk the history-filled roads of Berlin.
Vancouver greeted us with a marvelous moonshine. After seeing Vallea Lumina, a fabulous artwork of light and storytelling in Whistler, when we reached Vancouver by car, we saw the sparkling sea under a full moon night. If Vancouver had been a man then he could have felt the silent applause of my eyes. The scene instantly instilled in me the desire to see the beautiful vignettes of Vancouver. I opened the car window wide open and felt the balmy night and saw the glassy downtown afar. The next day, after a few hours of sleep, all of us, including our three-year-old daughter, were ready to get the wheels of our car rolling and start exploring.
Notification alert 🔔: Real-world has a secret magnet to attract our mind and soul and is more powerful than any virtual world’s algorithm that optimizes to gain our partial attention. After a week-long trip to the Canadian Rockies, I realize this truth now, even more, as I am re-entering into the world of social media by virtue of my profession. Although I am back, my heart is still reminiscing the views of the Rockies while riding up the Banff Gondola. It was akin to floating amidst beauty. The music of the guitar played by a musician at the top of the mountain that evening during the sunset festival is still surpassing the sound of my keyboard. I feel I am still listening to it live. The resplendent Rockies at the time of the sunset made my eyes content to its brim. Now, when I am writing these lines in my diary, my mind’s eye is still marveling at the scene of the setting sun over the Canadian Rockies.
The night was starry, and the moon was half crescent. I cuddled up beside the bedside window inside a wooden chalet to witness the night’s grandeur. But slowly, the starry sky lulled me into sleep. Next day, when the night departed, and the sun made its grand entry, I woke up and witnessed a magical morning slowly unfolding. The Canadian Rockies afar were shining in a silvery glow. The dewdrop on a green leaf was reflecting the morning glory. And I was slowly sipping in the cup of hot coffee. The spark of aliveness everywhere ignited the romantic traveler in me, and I decided to go on a cruise on Lake Minnewanka, in Banff, Canada by Pursuit.
Every day at night I pull my blanket up to my forehead to cut off all possible lights coming from the modern world and crest towards dreams. During my trip to the Canadian Rockies, I didn’t pull my blanket at night because the internet and appliance rich modern world took a backseat and a dream-like reality, set in an idyllic location, encompassed my whole existence. Soothing sounds of water from the rivers and waterfalls, smells of berries and flowers and scenes of refreshing greenery all around rendered my days delightful. Every time I saw the beautiful birds in different colors flying cheerfully from spruce to pine and resting on a pebble in a tumbling mountain stream, I felt an urge to relinquish the lure of a comfortable modern life and embrace wilderness for the rest of my life. While I am still on my zigzag way, pursuing the diagonal between reason and heart, let me present you with chronicles of the Canadian Rockies as I witnessed them in the beautiful Banff and joyous Jasper National Parks in Canada!
In today’s era when technology refutes geographical distance, music helps me to cross the distance within. Music connects me to my inner self. I love spending my evenings sometimes filled with music; only music. It is to me is a tremendous mysterious element, a force of nature that I have to bow before. Recently, I got an opportunity to spend a musical evening with the San Francisco Symphony. I listened to Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco and went through layers of emotions within. Remembering a beautiful quote by Charles Darwin,
If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would have thus been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
In this social media and digital era, our minds are increasingly getting saturated with images and videos in different forms. Manipulation, reproduction, and distribution of images and videos can be done within seconds using powerful software that is accessible to all. From my understanding, these have manyfold results. People have the power to express and distribute their work like never before. But, the lack of uniqueness and originality leads to relentless production in order to remain in the top of people’s minds. This overproduction leads to saturation and nothing really registers in the mind of the viewers, good or bad. In other words, the shelf life of such images or artworks has decreased significantly. I being a blogger, who extensively uses various mediums to tell a story, always try to find the subtle balance between art and its commercial and mass appeal, a difficult task in this world of excess. When I heard about the exhibition on the effervescent pop art of Andy Warhol at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or SFMOMA, I turned to the pop art maestro for inspiration and motivation to keep on creating.