This has been a mixed kind of week, with very heavy rain, occasional cloudy days and an everyday all-pervading gloomy sky that seemed to spread out all across the horizon. Continue reading
Hello there! Back to Friday and another Skywatch post. This time I’m talking about why skywatching is one of the best stress-busting activities you’ll ever do.
You’ve perhaps never given it a thought that skywatching can be as therapeutic as meditation. Continue reading
A Friday again and time for the sky shots. This is going to be the last #Skywatch post of this year for me as I take a short blogging break over the last few days before the year draws to a close and it feels kind of special putting together some of the best sky views from the weeks gone by. Continue reading
How have you all been? It has been just a week but seems to me a very long time as I have been away from active blogging all this while and I’m missing it. There wasn’t much I could do about it because sometimes, life takes precedence and that is okay too! Autumn skies are very beautiful in the eastern Indian state of Bengal. In the south of the country, where I’m presently based, the sky brings in plenty of rain and some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. It might have been a dull grey cloudy sky if not for the streak of sunshine spreading across to make it a dramatic one. I watched another beautiful day unfold right before my eyes and felt a silent prayer rising within me, thankful for the sight.
I’ve been very busy this past week, as we celebrated Durga Puja, the biggest festival mostly for the Bengali community, although many in North and East India also follow it. But for the Bengalis, Durga Puja is that time of the year when they long to go back to their roots and their traditions to be part of the five-day festivities.
The dates for the festival are decided by the almanac and this year luckily two of the five main days fell on a weekend, which meant most people could join in, without having to take leave from work, which was a big relief for many! Thanks to the good weather, there were no rains to act spoilsport as the ladies donned their best silks and crisp cottons and the men dressed in smart block-printed kurtas and little girls and boys a little too conscious of their new attires, as they joined in the festive mood and enjoyed being part of the milieu. The festival days flew by in a jiffy! The mornings and the evenings were completely dedicated to enjoying the sounds of the “dhaak“ and the “dhol” and offering flowers at the feet of the deity for “pushpanjali” amid the chanting of the mantras, to be followed by visiting other pandals in the other parts of the city (‘pandal-hopping’.)
There were almost 35 pandals in Bangalore this year and that gives everyone an idea about how widely it is celebrated here. In the afternoons all devotees were provided free lunch in all the pandals. This comprised of a traditional “bhog“, that included khichdi, a medley of vegetables called “labda“, chutney made of ripe tomatoes and “payesh” (kheer). In the evenings, it was an amazing experience to watch the “arati” by the priest. With the camphor wafting in the air as the men and women did the “dhunuchi“dance, one was reminded of one’s childhood and the feverish excitement of the puja days in the years gone by. It was as if, stirred by the sights, sounds and the drum beats one was transported to another world. On most evenings there were cultural programmes, comprising of skits, classical dance performances, songs, often including local and outstation performers to entertain the public.
As all good things must come to an end, so did those magical days of the puja. But, not without leaving us happier, albeit a little mellow; recharged and rejuvenated nonetheless.
As my twelve-year-old enjoys his last few days of the vacation, reading story books and getting ready for another busy term, I am hopeful I will be able to bring in some much-needed changes to my writing and life, in general.
That’s all from my end. I’d love to hear about you and what has been keeping you busy over the week. As another weekend approaches, I’m sure you all are looking forward to something different or perhaps, something special. Do share your thoughts in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you. See you again soon!
The swirling clouds fill in my morning skies. Gone are the glorious dawns when streaks of red and orange filled in every conceivable part of the sky, peeping down through the softly floating masses of cotton-like clouds!
These days, the greyness seems all encompassing and one can’t tell morning from evening or the East from the West, because the skies all around look exactly the same.
My living room has a pile of papers that lie unattended while I tend to the morning chores – the daily routine of mundane tasks that need to get done before I have the luxury to sit and write again.
The only break comes when I rush to pick up the clothes that are on the drying line just before a heavy downpour forces me to leave everything and run to the balcony.
The rains come and go intermittently through the day, in between my passing thoughts, that swing between past memories of rainy mornings and a swarm of faces of the people who crowd my present; of things I have yet to tick in from my to-do lists and fleeting tunes of half- forgotten songs that used to be my favourites once upon a time! Amazing how the mind straddles between diverse worlds and we get caught up in the quagmire of shifting memories!
Another cloudy day for you, did you say? As I settle into my second cup of tea, I seem to have taken countless trips back and forth, before I get my laptop ready to start my post!
So, what does your sky have in store for you today? I am joining Yogi, Sandy, and Sylvia at #SkywatchFriday and looking forward to enjoying all the different skies. This is where bloggers from all across the world link up their posts and visit as many bloggers, in different countries and different hemispheres. What binds us all is our love of the sky. So, join in and have fun.
Wishing everyone a lovely relaxing weekend ahead! Good day everyone!
Of the many things that I’m grateful for, after having moved to this part of the city where I live in presently, the one that comes foremost to mind is that of my East-facing balcony. I’m grateful that I can watch the sun rise every morning…. It’s so splendid to see the morning coming up over the horizon over rooftops and terraces and skyrises and the morning sky glowing through those red and orange clouds. It’s new every morning, and I feel as if I washed my very soul in that bath of earliest sunshine.
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how tired or worn-out you may feel, there is always the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. The possibility of it happening just means it is always there.
I usually rush around at this hour (thanks to the school run) as I have chores that simply cannot wait. However, not before savouring the quiet sunrise first, because that is when my energy reserves for the day ahead are topped up. Watching the sun rise is then a bonus. I always try and find a few minutes to capture the morning sky in my lens or if time is a constraint, on my phone. It gives me a pleasure that few things can ever match!
Sharing some beautiful lines from Thomas Furlong’s Morning Meditations, that aptly sums up the morning scene.
Tis sweet as the day begins to dawn,
When the lark her song is singing,
To wander at will through the grassy lawn
Where fresh flowers around are springing.
’Tis sweet at that solemn hour to go
O’er the rocky slope, all alone,
Where the scattering streamlets freely flow…
’Tis well to inhale the earthly gale,
As it sweeps the green hill’s side…
Or to look on the wood in its leafy pride,
In the glen or on the grove, the dawn is fair,—
Morning is beautiful every where!
What is your early hour like? Do you like waking up early? Do the early hours make you happy or sad?
(Linking this post with #Skywatch Friday, where you get to see some of the most amazing shots of skies around the world)
(Linking this post with #Skywatchfriday)
The stillness of the early morning scene enables me to take in and enjoy many things which pass by me during the bustle of the day. The hour before the sun is up is one of the most hauntingly beautiful sights you will ever get to see. Sweet vapours rise from the earth. Night dew clings to the soil and makes the plants shine. Continue reading
Linking this post with Skywatch Friday, a place where you get to enjoy the different skies and views from all around the globe. Skywatch is as good as the people who post here and if you, like me, enjoy a good capture of the skies every now and then, it promises to be a fun place to post and link from. Do check out the above link to visit their stunning collection of pictures and enjoy 🙂
Another spectacle in the Eastern sky on a Friday morning, in the Southern city of Bangalore in India.
I love watching dawn break every morning and the magic never quite works the same as the day before. Every sunrise is unique and beautiful and every morning holds a promise. The rising Sun brings with it fresh hope and optimism, that we alone can fill in, with our actions, our thoughts, our words, our promises and our dreams. It offers us yet another chance to leave our mark behind in a meaningful way, on things we do and people we encounter, in between those drifting minutes! What we do with the day is entirely up to us…
Isn’t it amazing that each day’s beginning and end are marked by sunrise and sunset, even when we don’t see them?
For now, I am counting my blessings as I’m enjoying a sunny morning, basking in the lovely sunshine, before I set off to tackle a busy day ahead!
Wishing you all a fabulous Friday and a great weekend, as the countdown to Christmas begins!
See you again, soon 🙂
When I woke up this morning, at the crack of dawn, my first thought was to look out of the window and see what kind of day was lying ahead of me. Everyone else was fast asleep and I did not have to rush to get on with the chores, as I normally do on a Monday morning, as the school holidays were still on! Having woken up early, I knew I was going to have an extra hour all to myself, so I hurried off to the kitchen, put the kettle on and decided to step out for my early morning walk. For the past four weeks, I have been listening to my body and regularly going for a 3 km walk every day. I cannot describe the joy that comes from doing this without fail every day. The sound of silence has been my constant friend at this hour and as the morning progresses, the stillness fills up slowly by the rhythms of an action-filled day, the call of birds, the shuffling of leaves, amid the varying pace of other walkers in the park, who also come to savour the silence, without fail, walking to their own beats, humming along or listening to their headphones.
It is that time of the day when I am usually at peace with myself and my surroundings, as it happens to be the most profoundly silent of all my waking hours! I have never felt more alive as in these quiet mornings.
These are my moments of absolute quiet, when speech no longer exists, all noise is filtered out and a peaceful vacuum comes to rest between me and my chores. I guess this is perhaps because I have always loved silence. Having grown up in a quiet hill town, and spent most of my childhood listening to nature and the occasional barking of a dog in the neighbourhood, I have grown up to appreciate that stillness, which some people find absolutely unbearable.
To those who hate silence, this might appear to be sheer torture but to me, this is nothing short of a boon – the fact that I enjoy the absence of words and experience a sudden rush of thoughts that makes my mornings beautiful! I savour that vast emptiness of the hour to welcome dawn as the sky changes colours from dark to a splash of gold and crimson.
I am thankful that I happen to live in a quiet part of a very busy city and although it is far removed from the kind of quietness I have grown up with, I am happy to savour whatever peace comes by, before a lazy morning starts and noise takes over.