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!
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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.
The word museum has its origins in the Ancient Greek word of Mouseion, which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses (the patron divinities in Greek mythology of the arts). The meaning of “museums” has changed considerably over time since they started becoming popular in Europe. Formerly a means to display exotic things collected by wealthy men to their fellow wealthy friends, museums are now open to all people; they are for the enjoyment and enlightenment of all.
The role of museums in society has also evolved a great deal. With the advent of the internet, it is no longer a significant source of historical or factual information presented in a chronological fashion. Rather, the best museums now try to provoke a response in the mind of the audience. How did people live with vastly different means and technologies so far back in time? Were they less happier then? How did people suffer during a war? Do modern wars lead to less pain? How did a technological leap change society? Has it benefitted everybody? The visitor can be forced, even for a few moments, to confront her existence juxtaposed with these conundrums.
After traveling for almost 10 years, and writing about my journeys for the last six years, some fundamental questions about discovering a new place, people and culture swirl in my mind often. Like a fly that revolves around our head with an uncomfortable buzzing sound. So here I am trying to answer those pressing questions and presenting you with a soliloquy of a sojourner; a quest! Take a glass of wine and let this black ink on the screen slowly touch you with the feelings resting in it; for words know the magic.
India is one of the greatest players in history. All human pasts are still alive in this piece of land. A five thousand year epic continues till today. It’s people, cities, cultures, heritage, and traditions have now juxtaposed with the modern internet era and resulted in a conundrum and yet it remains refreshingly unique. From the vast and diverse landscape of India, I chose to write about Gwalior, a historic city in Madhya Pradesh – the heart of incredible India. During my month-long trip to Madhya Pradesh, I was intrigued to discover not only its world-famous forest but also the charm of Gwalior, India – the home to world’s second oldest zero!
Pinnacles National Park is just two hours drive from San Jose, the home of Silicon Valley, and the city which I call home for the last few years. One spring Sunday morning, when I woke up by the beam of morning light on my eyes, something in me wanted to follow that light. I went out and saw a beautiful morning awaiting with its wide open arms. I wanted to taste that morning glory slowly like one drinks a glass of wine. So, away from the hustle and bustle and ever busyness of city life, wilderness beckoned and off I went without any plans and expectations. Here I present a photo essay, or perhaps more appropriately, postcards from Pinnacles National Park.
After the rendezvous with Redwood trees in the Redwood National Park, California – the tallest trees on the earth, I feel I am still in a trance and am finding it difficult to return to my daily routine and digital devices. The solemn scene of majestic redwood trees and the pale sunbeams dulled by the fog is so pristine that rampant stimulations of materialistic modern life feel obnoxious.