Beauty And The Beholder

You don’t need to go to fancy destinations to click beautiful pics. You can make them anywhere, wherever you are. I realized this yesterday while walking on my way to a grocery store on a relaxed Sunday. I have lived in this place for almost 32 years, but for the first time in my life I ‘saw’ with my inner eye certain things that I never noticed earlier. With my heart beating fast, I captured these views through my mobile phone. Here they are….

  1. Special House (not mine!): See how the network of wires, potted plants, and little, peeping roses give this house such a cute, lively look!
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2. Special Flower: I got this pic by poking my mobile phone through an iron railing.

 

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2015 in review

When I started this blog some time in mid-2015, I had no idea what it would turn into. After reading WordPress.com’s annual report on this blog, I felt absolutely delighted, like a proud Mom of a smart toddler!

The busiest day of the year was November 3rd with 44 views. The most popular post that day was Timarpur Greens. Top 3 referring sites were Linkedin, Facebook, and Mayank Austen Soofi’s theDelhiwalla.com. Amazing!

LONGEST STREAK: 3 days, 22 December – 24 December.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 280 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Should We Come To Jantar Mantar Again?

Fellow Citizens, wake up before it gets too late! A proposal has come up in the parliament for increasing an MP’s monthly salary to Rs.2.8 lakhs. I don’t think any MP will walk out or raise any opposition to this. No one minds getting extra pennies, certainly not our selfish and greedy politicians. Common people may please go to Hell!. That’s where they are meant to be. Always. Read on by clicking here.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-we-need-come-jantar-matar-again-jasbir-chatterjee?trk=pulse_spock-articles

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star…

The poem, ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’ is 208 years old and so common that we don’t even bother to find out who the original author is. Jane Taylor wrote this poem in 1908 with the title ‘The Star.’ Most of us know the first stanza only, but the actual poem has a lot more to it. Here is the complete poem. For more details, click on the Poemhunter link below.

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-star-11/

The Star – Poem by Jane Taylor

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are,
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is set,
And the grass with dew is wet,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see where to go
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveler in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

 

All Great People Think Alike…

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Rabindranath Tagore (India’s only Nobel Laureate Poet)

 

About 4 years ago, I caught the Rabindra Sangeet bug and ‘Tobu Mone Rekho’ was one of the songs that I learned to sing. I was enthralled and captivated by the great depth and intensity of this song and it remains my favorite till this day. It is widely believed that Tagore wrote this song in 1888 in the memory of his sister-in-law Kadambari who committed suicide in 1884 after his marriage to Mrinalini…

I even made a recording on my mobile phone as I sang this song, just to see where I stood vis-a-vis Sraboni Sen. Click here to hear this recording.

I was rather amused with the results!

I stumbled upon a very exciting discovery today: an uncanny similarity of meaning between Tagore’s song ‘Tobu Mone Rekho’ which means ‘Still remember me” and Christina Georgina Rosetti’s poem “Remember.”
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Christina Georgina Rosetti

Rosetti was also in a very melancholic mood when she wrote this poem. She was seriously ill and in this poem, which was written in 1862, she has expressed her desire to be remembered even after death.

The links to the works in question are given below. Take a look and see for yourself. Perhaps Tagore was influenced by Rosetti, but this does prove that all great people think alike.

Tobu Mone Rekho: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5aMrZoOV04

Rosetti’s ‘Remember’: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/remember/

 

Abritti Competition – Durga Puja – 22 October 2015

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This year, for the first time in my life, I participated in the Abriti (Bangla poetry recitation) competition at Timarpur Durga Puja. I won the 2nd prize! My poem was ‘Swapne’ from Tagore’s Sanchaita, a collection of original poems compiled by Tagore himself…The opening lines are,”Sundoro, tumi eschechile aaj prate/Orunboron Parijaat loye haate…” meaning, “O Beautiful One, you came today morning/blessing me with sunlight, sunflower in your hand…I understood this poem much better when I saw this tree in Timarpur standing so beautifully with a halo of sunlight. I just couldn’t resist taking its pic! Just click on the pic below. Really, without Sukhangshu’s help and encouragement this wouldn’t have been possible…

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Timarpur Greens

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This year also, we celebrated Durga Puja (19-23 October 2015) in Timarpur. While walking to the pandal and back to the guest house, I took some random shots of the surrounding greenery with my mobile phone. I got amazing results and it gives me great pleasure to share the pics here on my blog. Look at the photo on the top and see how the branches intertwine to form a canopy over people walking below them…

Timarpur is the oldest government residential colony in Delhi. It was established in the pre-independence era. Unlike other government colonies, most of the area remains untouched and undeveloped since it was first established. That’s why it seems to have an old world charm. Most people who live here are either tenants or the original allotees of the government flats.

With lots of wide, open streets, rich greenery, tall trees as old as the colony itself, the place gives you the feel of a fairy tale with all the elements of good and evil. There are, of course, a few patches of slum areas and the usual traffic. But the noise and pollution level seem to be comparatively less and there seems to be a general sense of all-pervasive peace and calmness.

We lived as tenants in Timarpur for 2 years till 1994, but we keep returning to Timarpur every year during Puja. My family members were government servants and were one of the earliest residents of Timarpur who played a prominent role in helping the Puja continue year after year. Our family tradition is still continuing till date and by the grace of Ma Durga, we always manage to find accommodation somehow near the pandal during those 5 days of Puja.  My 19-year-old daughter says that she cannot imagine herself enjoying Durga Puja at any other pandal.  So I guess the tradition will go on in future as well.

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Wild Flowers of Delhi

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Delhi is world’s 10th most polluted city. This is what a recent report on World Environment Day said. But for people like me, Delhi is where home is. It is where we live, breathe, eat, pray, love, dance, sing, and do all those things that make us human. So it’s a special city and one special thing, among lots of other things, is its poetic rhythm of 4 distinct seasons, spring, summer, rainy season, and winter. Each season has a distinct color, aroma, and flavor and brings along with it its own kind of flowers. Some flowers bloom all through the year in all seasons and some stay in only certain seasons.

Recently, around March 2015, I took upon myself the task of clicking and recording photos of flowers that are commonly found all over the city. I thought it would be a good way of removing negativity from my life, of taking my mind off all those terrible things about Delhi that one finds in newspapers daily, crime, corruption, water shortage, inflation, new taxes, AAP versus BJP squabbles, etc, etc. Here are some close-up shots of flowers that I came across while going about from home to office and back. Just take a look. They look so mesmerizing beautiful!

I am still unaware of names of most of these flowers. That’s why I have mentioned only some of them. Do let me know if you do.

March 2015 (Spring)

  1. Hibiscus (in my balcony)

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2.

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3.

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4.

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5. Rose Flower…

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6.

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7.

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8.

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9.

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10.

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11.

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12.

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13. a.

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13. b.The ubiquitous Bougainvillea…

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13. c.

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13. d.

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13e.

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13. f.

Bougainvillea

13. g.

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13. h.

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14. a.

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14. b.

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14. c.

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14. d.

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15.

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16. a. See Aloe Vera below (very sturdy plant, see how it continues to flower even when uprooted from the pot)

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16. b.

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16. c.

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17.

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18. Palash flowers – Lajwanti Garden – Janakpuri – Delhi

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April 15: Summer is here and weather is getting warmer.

19.

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20. Phlox – my terrace at home – Delhi

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21. a. Sunflower

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21. b.

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22. The pink flowers below are very commonly found at roadsides in Delhi.

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23. a.

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23. b.

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23. c.

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46.

48. b.

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49.

50. Orange blossoms…(Below)

52.

53.

Two Different Worlds, Two Different Women

While travelling in the ladies compartment of the Delhi Metro on 12 September 2015, I came across 2 women. They sat opposite to each other and had a clinging toddler in their laps with constantly changing moods. When I observed them individually, they did not look very extraordinary. But when I compared them in my mind, the differences between them seemed to be so striking that I just couldn’t resist taking their pictures on the sly. The 2 women seemed to have originated from 2 different planets. I am sharing these pics with you here.

While one woman had only one child to worry about, the other woman had two more little, naughty children sitting beside her, constantly fidgeting, trying to grab her attention. The 3 kids were most probably born in quick succession, one after the other. No sooner was one baby out, another one must have taken its place! Did she get any time to recover from the previous pregnancy? I doubt it and I guess the 4th one was already growing inside her. It was obvious that she was from a world where they thought the best way to keep a woman is bare-footed in winter and pregnant in summer! The middle child’s nose was running, but she took no notice of it. The youngest one kept her preoccupied. Somewhere during the journey, she had to breastfeed the youngest one. Phew! What an epitome of patience!

As the metro glided on the rails, I tried to imagine the kind of lives these women must be leading. The first woman and her child were obviously leading better lives. They were loved and respected as human beings and their lives had value to their loved ones. The other woman, the less fortunate one, was obviously leading a very tough life; her family was probably very poor; but worse than poverty, their lives did not have much value and she had no say in matters concerning her body; her husband perhaps looked at her as just another pot to plant his seeds in; there was also no awareness about hygiene and family planning.

When I looked around, I found that there were several other families in a similar state. I guess they were all part of a big group heading to some congregation at some place. One can well imagine what kind of people these unfortunate children would turn into; they will be uneducated and uncouth and will not be of any value for this huge nation of ours.

When we look at the bigger picture, I think population explosion is the mother of all of our problems. Our politicians must put into place a system of incentives and disincentives for controlling population. This is more important than all the ‘yojnas’ put together till date. Once this is done, there would be no need for reservations. When people are fewer, each person gets a bigger share of the benefits of the progress made by a country, as you can see from this example. Most important of all, men who have no respect for women and treat their bodies like door mats must be dealt with harshly.

In a country like India, which is already so heavily populated, no family ought to have more than one kid; if they need more, they should adopt.

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