It’s a rainy Saturday morning today in San Jose, California. Night lamps are still on and the lights from them are reflected on the wet courtyard. I can see the raindrops making tiny circles and then disappearing. The valley afar is hiding behind the cloud. Unmindfully, I switched on my phone and saw the count. Total deaths, 64,625 in the world as of now from the novel coronavirus. The omnipresence of death everywhere! Behind each number, there was a life, a story, dreams, and wisdom. Now all gone. The fleeting thoughts and lasting realities of their final hour remained unknown. A big wave from the ocean of death is sweeping the world. All together we are caught in a sudden strangeness.
Category: Realizations Page 1 of 3
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.
The zeitgeist of modern life gives us a quick fix to all our problems in three steps. 1. Set goals. 2. Tie that goal with a number. 3. Strive to reach that number. Think about your health (calories, blood sugar level, IQ..to name a few), financial and social worth, screen time per day, quality hours with family, steps taken per day…just name it! Such a fix can produce feelings of apathy and powerlessness for sure. I am also not immune to this system. But I found an escape from this tiring number game. I escape to nature. I escape to mountains, oceans, forests, gardens, deserts, and sometimes to the middle of nowhere, far away from cities. And if it is springtime then refreshing green leaves and wildflowers everywhere beckon not just me but my pen and my diary. This year I am welcoming spring, with California wildflowers blooming in every corner.
To muse, to creep, to halt at will, to gaze
~ William Wordsworth
While living in Switzerland, I used to go for long walks. I walked along lakes, through vineyards, under the shadow of mountains, and along small streams. One thing which accompanied me on my walks was divine beauty; everywhere and in every corner. I enveloped all my walks and kept them secured and safe in a deposit called the heart.
If you ask me to describe my travel moments in three words, I would choose beautiful, blissful and bountiful. Beautiful places inspired me. Blissful evenings in a beautiful place injected peace in me. Bountiful nature enriched my soul. When I look back, I can still feel waves on my feet, I can still hear the sound of leaves inside the forest, I remember the stories of people from the streets of India, I can still feel the excitement when I showed my daughter a waterfall and snow for the first time. Let me share with you some of the beautiful, blissful, and bountiful travel moments. A photo essay for you all.
Whenever I look at my camera sitting alone on my table, an urge to pick it up and get outside to a new place overcomes me often. And then something incredible happens. I end up exploring a new place; a new perspective. On our way to the Big Basin Redwood State Park in California, we visited a Buddhist temple, the Taungpulu Kaba- Aye Monastery – a hidden gem. It is situated amidst redwood trees. This place is a stark contrast to the otherwise high paced silicon valley of California.
Whenever I think about spending a romantic day with my better half, I imagine ourselves mostly in the lap of nature; hearing the waves splashing on the shore in a beautiful beach; sipping on hot coffee while overlooking a snow covered landscape; hand in hand, walking down a small and cozy green hamlet amidst mountains; sitting quietly before a flowing rivulet; seeing ripples and vanishing trails formed by a boat while cruising on a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains or laying under a thousand glittering stars on a dark night in a desert.