23 November, 2009

Absent Mindedness

Life is hectic. I can keep adding 1001 excuses for my absence here. I want to start a begining today. I thought of publishing a picture that I took few weeks before during weekend walk. I shall write more about my walk in my future posts.

While I was busy capturing something else, I saw this sun glass left by someone. It reminded me about how we as human being tend to forget when our mind is occupied with something else. As soon as I saw the sunglass, my mind started thinking about the owner. If that person happened to be like me, definitely he/she may come back to the same place looking for the glass. I did not want to touch it. I left it hoping that the owner may come and take it.

Since this reminded me of some unfinished job, I clicked this picture. Whenever I keep seeing this picture it reminds me of absentmindedness.

From childhood I make it a point to keep account of the things I carry along with me. Once I missed a pair of Gloves, which I placed it in my coat pocket. Since the bus arrived I picked up my baggages and boarded the bus. After buying the ticket I realised that my hand gloves were missing. I knew that I was wearing until I reached the bus stop. I knew that it should have fallen from my coat pocket. So, I got down in the next stop, and walked back with all the baggages to the next bus stop. As I started nearing the bus stop, my heart was beating fast. I was sure that it will be there. Yes... they were lying there. Lucky pair of Gloves. This happened in Edinburgh last year.

My daughter returned from school last friday with a great disappointment. She called me and informed that she missed her new purse while coming back from school. I knew how she would have felt. She cried over the phone. After I reached home, I took her by walk to her school. Since street lights were on, it was not difficult to see inspite of darkness. We searched the entire road. We could not find her purse and I asked her to remember. She said that she wore her coat only after hearing the school bell. I said she must have dropped it or it should fallen from her coats when she hurried from school. She was not convinced.

Now, few hours before after I returned from work she came and hugged me and said that she got her purse back. Her teacher found it on the floor and had kept it safe. She was so happy since she had her lucky chain inside the purse. The chain is less than a pound and so the purse. It is not the money that matters for children. It is all about their possession. They do not like to lose their favourite possession.

She has gone to bed happily. Kids are a pleasure and for them it is a different world. I peeped into her bed. She is sleeping peacefully with her hands tightly holding the purse.

26 August, 2009

Neighbours - Part III

Life is so boring sometimes. You cannot live it all alone. You face imminent problems when you migrate to a different world from one corner of the world. You bring in your culture, and need to understand the new culture and mould and adapt the new one. Many years before we were longing for nice neighbours in the place where we lived.

Every morning I used to see an old lady coming down from a flat above us and doing some social work like moving the bin, and picking up litter around the flats. It was a strange sight in the western world. I thought she was different. The waste bin for all those who lived in the flats was a huge one. She was very old and frail. But she did not bother to push it and bring it back to its old position. The bin men do not place the empty bin in the proper place due to shortage of time. This lady promptly appeared and placed it back. She did this every week when the bin men arrived.

I thought she must be a good neighbour and introduced myself and the family. She introduced herself as ‘Rene’. When I invited her to my house she visited us without any hesitation. I felt as though I knew her for many years. We do not get this feeling with everyone we meet in life.

One day the bin men arrived and took our bin. I could not find Rene. So I rushed out and pushed the bin to its right place. I realised how difficult she must have felt every week when she did that job. Later when I returned back in the evening from work, she asked me politely whether it was me who did her job for which I had to say ‘Yes’. She thanked me politely and said that she had been to some relative’s place and was surprised to see the bin in the right place and wondered who would have done it since no one else apart from her had ever done it in the neighbourhood. She had been living in that neighbourhood for more than twenty years. She guessed probably it should have been me and she was right.

From then onwards we became great friends. She was in her early 80’s then. I heard from other neighbours that she was a lovely person and a great social worker for the neighbourhood. Our family shared many things with her. After sometime she became very close with our family. Since my daughter was a baby, she was there every afternoon to help my wife in taking care of the baby, while my wife cooked food in the kitchen. She taught rhymes to my daughter and played with her for a while. Sometimes when I had time I visited her and discussed the history. She recalled the world war times and it was very interesting to know lots of news from her. She said that she grew up as an orphan in an orphanage along with her sister. Though her son lived in the next street she did not bother to live with them and wanted to be independent.

Once when my family was away from me, she gave me good company and support. I went to her flat whenever I felt bored. We had lots of discussions. She was like my mother consoling me when I missed my children. Whenever I went on holidays I used to visit her and take her blessings. She hugged me and kissed me and wished me good luck. As soon as we returned we used to visit her again and she was full of joy.

Once we decided to take her out for lunch and we approached her. She happily agreed and came along with us. She has accompanied my wife and children for long walks to park. Whenever we approached her for help she was there to help us. I have heard the same about her from all my neighbours. My children loved her very much. When we had to move to a different town, we felt sad and kids felt bad to bid good bye. Every year during my kid’s birthdays she was there early morning at doors and dropped her greetings card with few currencies as gift for my children. She used to come silently and drop it in the letter box and used to disappear even before we rushed to see.

We used to talk over phone after moving towns. She updated us with the latest news in the neighbourhood. I felt overjoyed when I got a job in the same place after many years. My family was very keen that I should meet her as soon as I joined. After couple of days, I walked in to the old resident and knocked on her doors. I did not get any response. I thought probably she may be having her nap. Again after couple of weeks I visited and knocked the doors. There was no response. So, I knocked on other neighbours. They informed me that she does not live anymore and due to arthritis and certain illness, she had preferred to live with her son’s family. Nobody was able to tell me her son’s address. I knocked on another familiar neighbour and she said that she would get Rene’s new address from someone else who is known to them.

Few weeks passed by. I became very busy with my work and did not have time to visit again. Few months rolled by. During lunchtime, when I visited a Town centre, I met another old neighbour. We enquired each other’s welfare and discussed about other neighbours. I thought probably she may know about Rene’s son’s address and I enquired her. She dropped a bomb. She said that Rene passed away just few weeks before. I could not believe it. She said that she met her son and daughter-in-law just few weeks before in the Town centre and they told her about Rene’s demise.

I was shocked the whole day. I could not be very productive at work. I came home and shared the news with my family. My children and wife were very disappointed. We were about to visit her once I established contacts. All of my family members were in tears. My children remembered all the good deeds. My wife remembered how helpful and nice she had been throughout our difficult days. Once I fell sick and we waited for the medical results. We were deeply worried and my wife cried. Rene came home and consoled us and said that everything will be negative and I will be alright. Within few days when my medical results were negative we went to her and shared the good news. She was like our mother and blessed us. She always smiled and was there for anyone with difficulties. She has received lots of awards from the local council, and other departments for all her good things. Believe me or not! Though the council used to clean all the neighbourhood she used to have her own day of cleaning. She has always kept the place neat and tidy.

I could not believe this news. So, during one of my lunchtime I walked towards those flats. I went and stood at each and every other corner where we met for the first time, where we smiled at each other, where we pushed the bin to its place, where we plucked the weeds, where we picked small pebbles and rubbish, and so on. I knew I was watched by few for my eccentric behaviour. There were lots of new neighbours and one of them was worried with my behaviour. I stood still at every other place thinking about ‘Rene’. In order to clear the neighbour’s suspicion, I introduced myself and talked about Rene. They gave me more information about her. They agreed she was a lovable person and felt pity for me.

I started walking back to office.

When I was about to turn at the end of the road, I turned back whether ‘Rene’ would smile.

She smiled at me...

Rene you will live forever with us. You have captured our heart. I shall follow all that you taught me and I shall leave them with my kids.

Rene I promise you!

06 August, 2009

Neighbours - Part II

If a child could be brought up with nice manners and habits then it could lead to so many advantages when they grow big. Bringing them up well not only depends on the parents, it is also important to have a good neighbourhood. One of my neighbours had a special child called Murali. Murali was elder to us. He could not speak well. Though he was fully grown and huge he preferred to be with kids. He liked calling me ‘H..A..A...N...U’ in his own way. As a child I started thinking very seriously and started showing more concern towards others because of him. Though he was a disabled person, he taught me indirectly that there are different kinds of human beings in this world. He laughed and smiled from the other side of compound wall when we used to play in our house. Whenever the ball or ring fell in his house he was there to pick it up and throw it back to us happily.

Every day he looked forward for us. Even while we were studying he used to stop by the compound wall and call me “H...A...A..N..U” (His way of calling ‘Balu’ which was my pet name). He would not move until I acknowledged him. Sometimes if we were studying seriously we would not notice him. But he used to remain there for minutes and will move happily only after we acknowledge his greetings. His mother Shankunthala Aunty was a bold lady. Though she had four daughters, Murali was her only son. Unfortunately he was born disabled and she showed lots of courage in bringing him up.

The compound wall was less than three feet. Whenever Murali was upset, he jumped over the compound wall and came into our house. We were small kids and he was very huge. Any visitor who used to come to our house was scared for the first time on seeing him. But later on after knowing him they became comfortable. My sister and self used to recite slokas everyday in the evening after finishing our play. As we started reciting Murali would jump the wall and come and sit next to us. He had peculiar habits which we were used to. But he was a harmless soul. Now after having grown, I think he was really a special person. He must have liked us so much that he was there to sit next to us every evening when we were reciting slokas.

Every time he wore something new he used to stand behind the wall and shout ‘H..A...N...U’. When we wondered Sakunthala aunty was there to explain that it was his birthday and he wanted to show his new dresses to us. He was afraid of ‘Gudu Gudu Paandi’ (the terryifying look sooth sayer who used to visit every house in the early morning with an odd instrument in his hand which made sounds like Gudu..Gudu...). Murali was also afraid of darkness. Whenever there was power cut and the lights were off he used to scream loudly. We were used to it and were never scared. As soon as the power resumed he used to clap loudly as well.

Every evening Aunty used to talk about her day’s experiences to my mom and she sought our help for few things. I remember her husband. He was an ex-serviceman who had served in Military. He had so much of love and affection on Murali. Uncle had plenty of books in his library and used to lend me during my holidays. I remember having read “Dr.Jekyl and Mr.Hyde”. He used to ask questions once we finished reading the book. As kids, this motivated us to read those books well. One night when he went to his toilet, Murali screamed so loudly and we rushed to see Uncle lying flat on the floor. He had collapsed and Murali who was waiting for his Dad had realised the untoward incident. For his knowledge he realised that his Dad was not normal and something had happened to him. He cried loudly. Aunty who was in some other room rushed. We felt afraid and Murali was holding his father’s head on his lap and screamed ‘H..A..N..U..’ and showed his dad. All neighbours rushed and sent message to Doctor. Some neighbours felt that the pulse had gone down. Murali’s father had a massive heart attack and had passed away even before the Doctor arrived. Murali was uncontrollable.

After his father’s death, he was dull for few days. Probably his father’s death affected him a lot. I knew how painful it is to lose a father since I had lost my father just few years before then. Whenever he saw me behind the compound wall, he cried for few seconds. Though he should have been 30 by then, we treated him as a kid. He made us realise many things in life. Aunty was always courageous and though her daughters requested her to move to their house she refused and remained on her own. She always worried about him. She often used to say that she wanted to see Murali’s life end before her life would end.

Years rolled by. We sold our property and moved homes. After my son grew a little, I visited my old neighbourhood. Savithiri Aunty was there who introduced us to our new occupants and took us around. I stood before the coconut tree which I had planted and watered regularly when I was a kid. My sister and myself were allotted two small coconut saplings in our younger days by our Dad to take care. He had told us that one day when the tree grows big I would have grown and may think about the old days. When I stood there before the tree I was emotional. I looked at the one watered and taken care by my sisters. All the treesl had grown huge and had plenty of Coconuts.

We went to Murali’s house. Aunty was there to receive us. Murali had become old. He was bed ridden. He could not be active as he was in his younger days. Aunty asked Murali whether he could recognise me. He got up from his bed and said “H..A..N..U..”. I was on tears. I am on tears even now when I type this line. I sat next to him. He was terribly sick and Aunty had grown old too. I stroked him gently and he felt so happy. My son was afraid. I showed my son to Murali. Looking at my son, he spontaneously replied “P..A..A..P..A..... H...A...N..U... P..A...A..P...A” (meaning ‘Child’). I had to leave with a heavy heart wishing Aunty good health.
Last visit when I made to India, I visited their house and was disappointed that aunty had become very old and moved to the City to live with her daughters. She could not take care of herself and so her daughters had taken both of them. I did not have time to find their address and visit them.

Very recently when I established contacts with another neighbour they informed me that Sakunthala aunty has passed away. I felt sad for the news and silently mourned for her soul to rest in peace. I heard that Murali has also become very sick. He is a lovely human, a pure soul.
As a neighbour who had grown spending wonderful days I wish Murali recovers soon and live with a good health. I am very positive that I will be able to meet him again and spend few moments.

He had taught me so many things indirectly about life.

08 July, 2009

The way you make me feel

Few months before, as I was driving back home there was news about Michael Jackson’s concert in London in the local FM. I heard that the tickets were sold out within few hours. On hearing this news, it seems Michael shed tears. He was overwhelmed with the response.

Very few people who are born on this earth could have everything in life. Michael was one among few to be popular, kind, charismatic. His death was a rude shock to me just like for any other music fan in this world.

I have few of his collections as DVD and whenever we wanted to cheer up, we used to sit as a whole family and watch his DVD. It was a real ‘Thriller’ for my kids. Once when it is over, my son used to revolve round like MJ or try a moon walk. This is what called as ‘inspiration’.
Today sadly we watched his memorial service. I must admit that I was on tears when I heard the speeches of few speakers like Brooke Shield. Finally Michael’s daughter Paris made me feel sad by saying “Daddy I love you so much”. Any affectionate dad in this world would have felt emotional on seeing the young girl sobbing. I could understand how the girl would have felt on losing her father at young age. It reminded me of my father’s death when I was 11.

Michael Jackson was a wonderful singer. I have listened to his music countless times. Every time I listened to his music it brought me energy. He will live with us forever.

05 June, 2009

Neighbours - Part 1

One of my colleagues had put his house on sale few years back. On casually having a chat, I learnt he had horrible neighbours which forced him to sell his house and move to a new locality. I have never had this problem since my younger days.

Few months before, I contacted one of my ex-neighbour who lives far away in India, and talked to everyone in their family. It was nostalgic. I plunged into more sorrow when I heard the plight of my other neighbours. Two of my ex-neighbours are no more. I heard both of them passed away recently. I felt very sad for the next few days.

Mrs.Savithri was a very hard working lady. I remember seeing her working always. After sending off her husband and daughter she used to indulge in cleaning her garden. She had a liking towards trees. She never liked cutting down any branches of her trees. She had two neem trees in front of their house. She had a very huge Badam tree in between our houses. She had many more trees at her back yard. It was a great sight to watch her sweeping all the dry leaves and cleaning her garden. I grew up in observing the way she used to water her garden. Once she finishes her gardening, she used to do shopping on her own and return. She was so helpful and I remember my mom leaving me under her care whenever she went out for shopping. I still remember the way she used to compliment my mom for bringing me up well. Once when I grew up as a young boy, she hesitated to talk to me. It is a typical nature of ladies from country side. She always had respect for the way I was brought up and I found it many times.

Once I was involved in an accident, and when one of my colleagues when to convey it to her, I was told that she was in tears. After all she had seen me growing up from childhood, and could not bear the sad news. It seems she was very much relieved on hearing nothing untoward had happened to me. There had been days when she was upset with us. We sometimes earned her anger when we requested to cut few branches of her trees which were protruding into our house and causing hindrance for growth of small plants in our house. She loved her trees so much and she never liked to cut the branches. I appreciate her thought. She was not well educated. But I recollect her love towards pets and trees. Few years before when I made a visit to India, she proudly introduced me to people who currently live in our old house. She took me around and showed me all her trees. She had gone down a lot and when I enquired about her health she did not respond. We had a chat for few minutes and her husband also joined in our conversation. I still remember the smile on their faces when we talked about our old days. She was a lovely lady who really cared for nature and animals.

I still remember the day when her husband retired. He was very sad on his retirement day. I was in my early 20’s. I went to their house and consoled him. He felt very emotional and was almost on tears. I gave lecture like an old and wise man. They liked it and they both listened to me. The next day she told my mom that my matured talk refreshed their mind and gave more confidence to both of them.

She always brought in some hot news that happened in the town. She was very religious and had pictures of all the Hindu gods, well framed and hanged on the walls. She worshipped them for few hours every day.

She did not like hurting even snakes. Since our house was on a country side, we used to see lots of snakes. She was familiar with different types of snakes, and my mom used to seek her help in identifying snakes. I wanted to kill poisonous snakes, and she prevented me from killing them, and taught me at my young age not to kill snakes. She told us that snakes are harmless, and will never cause any harm unless they felt danger for their life.

I still remember her usual conversations with my mom, held while standing between the fences of our houses. The last time I visited her, she told me that she did not want to move towards the city. I know that she loved her trees and nature. I am glad at least that she lived in a place which she loved so much until her last breath. I was told that her husband is being persuaded by their daughter to move to their home in City and he is reluctant to do so. I know his mind.

They both were a lovely couple.

They were one of my good neighbours.

29 May, 2009

Life and death

Everyone who is born have to die. This is law of universe. The way you die is very important. Some die peacefully after having done their responsibilities in their life. Some die without their knowledge. Some die with their knowledge. Some die due to chronic disease. Some die of accidents. Very few die to certain other reasons.

For the past few months it is disheartening to know of innocent civilians who have been dying due to only one reason in Srilanka. The reason is for belonging to one sector in this world, and for speaking one language i.e., Tamil.

I am not going to justify who is right? But as a human and a person who would love to live life full, I feel pathetic for anyone who has to die for no fault of them. During every war there are unprecedented deaths. Let it be World wars, or any war; certain deaths of innocent civilians do bring anyone to sorrow. In the recent war between the Srilankan army and the rebels there have been lot of deaths on both sides. Though the real statistics may not be revealed, the innocent civilian deaths in this war cannot be hidden which is a bare fact during guerrilla wars. My heart bleeds on knowing the death of young children, women, Old people, & young men on both sides. Many nights I go to bed hoping for an early solution. It was heart rendering to see few videos where young children were wounded, and children seeing their Mom dying, and everyone in the family crying while seeing their Dad (the bread winner dying). It is very disheartening to see many people dead in the bunkers, with their parts of their bodies lying next to them.

I still think that human beings have not fully matured and behave without difference between Animal and human. We do have science which helps in discovering so many good things for the survival of human being. We still have certain things which help in destroying the same human being. Unfortunately during wars, the science is helping on the destruction side.

I hate wars, and my heart bleeds on seeing these deaths of innocent lives of both sides. I am sure there must be lots of relatives of both sides who have been living abroad and must be feeling distressed on hearing the loss of their kith and kin. I deeply mourn for those deaths of innocents.

I wish the conflict ends soon and some neutral parties intervene and bring peace for both sides.

After all life is very short and sweet and it is not worth to die in bunkers. I mourn along with all the parents who would have lost lives of their children. I mourn along with all the children who lost their parents in the war. I mourn along with every family who have lost their dear ones on both the sides. I see only the human whether they are military or rebel. Nothing is achieved at the end of the war except the loss of lives on both sides.

When I lived in London, I had acquaintance with few Srilankan Tamils through whom I heard first hand information about the genocide happening in their country. One day I was invited for a Christmas party hosted by a Srilankan Tamil family. The invitation was only for few close family friends and relatives. It was going on well and we were introduced to everyone who was present. There was good music, food and dance. One couple were so happy and were so active. They were my friend’s best friends. My friends who were Srilankan Tamils introduced their best friends. On talking to them I found they were not Tamils and they were Sinhalese. It was so nice to hear. The Sinhalese couple mingled with us very well.
Again recently I came across another Srilankan Tamil couple. One of the male was very keen in recommending his friend’s wife for a job. Being inquisitive, I enquired whether they were related to each other. But this couple said that they were just friends and they were Sinhalese.

My question is when an ordinary individual could behave so well with each other, without minding their religion, colour and creed, language in a different soil how does hatred develop between communities at their home which lead to killing and war.

Is this all politics? Who inflicts hatred on others? Few politicians for power, votes and popularity develop hatred among people and live on others.
Both sides have had enough. War and Violence cannot bring peace on earth.

After all the gods Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Krishna did not preach hatred and wanted everyone to love each other. I would wish everyone stops hatred and preach love and learn to love each other. May peace prevail throughout the world and people love each other.

I remember beautiful pictures of Srilanka, which I have admired during my young days. I wish everyone shed their difference of opinon and a new life starts for all those who are living there.

Life is very short and sweet! Live and let others live!

10 May, 2009

Cycling memories

During childhood we dream to learn few things. I always feel that it was nice to have struggled in younger days; otherwise I would not have had many dreams. Again the pleasure of dreaming is equalled when you achieve them personally.

One of such dream was to learn cycling and own a bicycle. Bicycles are poor man’s transport even today in third world countries. I have grown up seeing few people owning their bicycle with great pride. All my neighbours had bicycles and it was a great sight to watch them wave to their family and pedalling off. We lived in a place where we had a car factory and most of my neighbours worked in that factory. In those days, mopeds were not popular and bicycles were affordable.

If Natarajan Uncle had a full chainguard, and a yellow cloth covered on his head light, my neighbour Jayaram Uncle wiped and cleaned it every week end. The way they took care of their cycles impressed me a lot. After putting the cycle on stand, they used to pedal and see the rear wheel rotating and clean the rim. As a kid, I always stood near my neighbours when they were cleaning their bicycle. I used to question at every stage why they were doing it. They did explain everything with so much of patience. After completing their cleaning and oiling when they pedalled for a test drive, I used to lip smack and wonder. A smile from me and a dream to grow big and own a bicycle got instilled in my mind.

Once during my summer holidays I had been to a village where my cousin was living with her in-laws in a joint family. That was my best summer holiday because I learnt cycling. Rangu Anna (my cousin’s brother-in-law) who was a bachelor then, had all the patience to teach me cycling. Every morning he made me to sit on the cycle and came running behind the cycle holding it. It was an hour every morning and I picked up the balance within few days. Oh.. What a great feeling it was! After few days, he would hold the cycle and let me get on to it and then wait for me to turn the cycle and come back to him. I returned back home from holidays and wanted to continue cycling. The only friend who had a cycle and was able to pedal them was Shekhar. They were doing milk business and he took his cycle everyday to pour milk at every house in the neighbourhood. I used to run along with him when he pedalled his cycle and enjoyed seeing him cycling with those milk cans. He was a ‘Hercules’ for us since he was able to do many things like a ‘hero’. My interest on cycling increased and so I started liking all my neighbours who owned a bicycle.

So every weekend went to my neighbour’s house and Jayaram Uncle was a very kind person. I used to ask him whether he needed my help to go for shopping, since he offered his bicycle too. I took care of his bicycle like my own and handled it carefully. Whenever I felt like cycling, he was there to offer. Nobody other than me would have felt sad when they had to move house.

My other neighbours were very strict and did not bother to lend their cycle. One of my friends found a new person Ramu Uncle, who had a new cycle and was very kind enough to lend his cycle to even go until the next town. Though I knew him personally, I felt awkward to ask him. But he talked with me one day and said that I can take his bicycle to help his wife getting provisions, and as well as help my mother too. He was kind enough to lend his bicycle.

Another gentleman by name Chakravarthi Iyengar, was also a kind person. He never used his bicycle and was always ready to lend us his cycle and happily received us whenever we went to his house. I was finally able to get my own bicycle only at the age of 18. It was a great moment. A dream that was coming true on that day. I was so excited and pedalled all the 15 miles from the shop to my house on the very first day. I possessed it with so much of pride. I brought in all the techniques I learnt from my neighbours in maintaining it.

Once when my son became 4, I wanted to teach him to ride a bicycle. It is always better to teach kids when they are young. Though my son learnt it from me when he was less than 5, last summer I taught my daughter who was eager to learn.

She learnt it within hours and without any injury. Though she fell down after few days while doing some trick, she was the quickest learner. Nowadays it has become a routine to take the kids for long cycling especially during the weekends.

However, I really doubt whether my kids relish their bikes the same way as me because of the way they handle. There is always a pleasure in dreaming for something and getting it.

Nowadays kids dream for very expensive things and their happiness and spirit dies sooner they get it. Even last weekend when my kids took their bikes, I was laughing to myself thinking about my younger days and they all wondered why I was smiling and looking lost!

How can I explain them all the joy? It may not sound great for them because they have heard it from me lot of times.

I bet those younger days are the best!

25 January, 2009

Good wishes and hope...

‘Hope’ is a four letter magic word. I think every human being in this world live with this. What else could be better?

I am not very happy with the way last year rolled out.

During my train journeys I met lots of people. Though I spoke with many, I could remember only few. One old lady who was sitting next to me during one of my journeys, discussed the current affairs of the world. She felt very sad about wars. She told me that she had lost four people in her family in wars. The recent being one of her nephew in Afghanistan. I had a very interesting conversation with her. I have never met someone in my life that had lost so many in a family during war. She shared few of her stories with me. I felt very heavy. That made me to think. How many of the political leaders have lost their kith and kin in war? Why can’t wars be avoided? Why man is using science for war? According to me nobody wins a war. Why there is so much of hatred among human beings? What is it all for? How sad it is to lose someone dear and near to us? Imagine the plight of Dads who are serving in wars. Imagine the plight of young boys who have a dream to live. Imagine the plight of everyone who is involved in war. What an uncertainty?

The wars result in losses. Loss of life is a major concern. Even those who claim to have won a war have to lose many lives. Can we get them back? No we cannot. Can any political leader bring happiness to those innocent victims. No they cannot.

One more year in history has gone. We are seeing lots of destructions, happening. Mumbai incidents are still fresh in mind. The TV news of Gaza, Srilanka, and some parts of Africa is still echoing in our ears. But after all these, the only hope is a new leader who has sworn in as president of United States. Hope Obama brings in peace to the world. The whole world is hoping for something good to happen.

I am one among the billions who are wishing that the new, young and energetic, Charismatic leader will do something to bring peace to the entire world.

Let us ‘Hope’. Welcome Obama, and wish you good luck.

The pictures published in this post were taken during two different occasions. The first one was taken from the train. It was a sun rise. The second one was taken from the plane. It was a sunset. Thanks to the lady who was sitting near the window and co-operated with me while I shot the picture from the plane. She asked about my camera and I was proud to explain. She listened happily and complimented me, about the picture and the camera.