14 March, 2010


I like to observe minute things in life. Yesterday, I decided to go for a long walk towards the country side. Since I wanted to be on my own, taking photos, stopping where I want to, and do whatever I felt without any hindrance, I decided to leave the family. After walking out of the house, I felt very cold. Since it was supposed to be bit sunny, I mistook that it would be warm too. I wanted to spend not less than 5 hours outdoors. After walking few minutes from the house, entered a pub and decided to have some snacks or bites and a drink before I start my long walk.
As I went and sat in a corner, I started observing the people around me. Two ladies with a baby arrived and sat next to my table. There were few people in other tables. It was a typical Saturday afternoon mood. Normally on these afternoons people walk in a relaxed mood and order for food and drink and keep gossiping and then spend some time. These two ladies were expecting some more and were texting. After few minutes another two more arrived with cute kids. I realised that it should be one of the kid's birthday meeting. Every other person had a gift in their hand. Finally the birthday boy came with his mom too. There were totally six ladies and finally one lady came hurriedly and brought a big bag of blown baloons. The kids were excited. As gifts were exchanged the other kids were anxious to see the gifts. Atlast another lady came with a kid. That is when something happened for which I laughed. The birthday boy in a loud voice asked "What is the gift you have brought for me?". When the boy started opening the wrapper, other kids were looking at it with anxiety. The elders also wanted to have a look, but were keeping their eyes to their side. Though this was going on for sometime, when I had a look around, I noticed something else. Somewhere on the wall, between two bricks someone had struck a chewing gum sweet. It was so exact between the bricks. I am sure the person who must have done it should have been thinking about something or must have been in a deep conversation and while doing so, must have just placed it there. I went and asked permission for a picture and took it just for my blog readers.
After finishing my food, I started walking. Before I started walking, I wanted to note down how many people whom I meet are trying to be friendly and how many people try to make eye contacts, and atleast smile. Within few yards I saw a man and his son doing some gardening work in front of their house. On seeing me with my camera on my shoulder he said "Wow..... are you after pictures. It is a lovely day.. If you walk further you can come across a canal and it will be lovely there." I thanked him and had a conversation for few minutes. He talked about his younger days when he had interest on photography. He must be of my age now. But he sounded to be old. Anyhow I was happy that someone wished and talked with me for a while. As I walked further I came across Daffodils shooting up. These are the ones which announce us the arrival of spring. I have always wondered how nature acts on its own. We have planted few at our backyard few months before and they are also shooting up now. But these ones were very tempting and I could not refrain myself without clicking it. I went near and knelt down and took a close up. I felt so happy on clicking. The pleasure you get at these small things cannot be measured. I looked down the road and it was very beautiful. I clicked the road ahead and then walked towards the canal. Normally this weekend I started my walk at a place where I used to finish my walk. This is just to see the same place at a different time in different light. The sun light was beautiful. I cannot explain it. Please see the picture.
As I started walking, it was nice to listen to the chirping of birds, alongwith sounds of vehicles at far, and with the sound of wind. I closed my eyes for few seconds and listened to only the sound. It was great. I found the sound of wind similar to what I have heard when I used to sit at Mahabalipuram Beach for hours together in my younger days. The only difference is the sound of water splashing on the rocks were missing. I saw few joggers now and then, and none failed to say 'Thanks' since I made way for them. At far I saw four ladies walking opposite towards me. I tried to check eye contact with them and they never bothered to make eye contacts. I have always found runners, cyclists and trekkers to be friendly than some other kind of people. I found few strange things. Some of the barks of bushes had numbers on them. I wondered whether they could be some land mark for someone. Then I found some human faces made on the barks which were lying on the side. Even my kids wonder who would have done it. It is still nice to see such things. I took plenty of pictures. I found one gentleman relaxing and fishing. I enquired whether he was lucky and he said "No". He had been there for more than 2 hours and he could not get even one fish. This was the second person with whom I had conversation. After a while I came across a dog (Cocker spaniel) and his owner. The dog was very friendly and had a quick chat with the owner. Believe me or not! I was still walking when I found him returning after few minutes. I was so much involved in enjoying the nature. It was wonderful to see some ducks landing on the water. It looked as if they arrived to give me company. They dived and swam beautifully. By this time, I realised the sun was slowly setting. I had to walk few more miles to reach home. For few miles I could not see anybody but observed few things. This week I did not want to take pictures of any litter. I had a look at those places where I found litter last weekend. I could not see them except one plastic bottle.
I halted at few places and took deep breath. I found something which looked like a tool used for some farming purpose. It must be there for long time. Few boats were docked on the canal and I was able to see people inside. I saw some Rail fencing which reminded me of my younger days in Korattur. One of my Uncle lived in Korattur, Chennai and we used to visit them for holidays. Their house was closer to the station and we always went and clinged on to those rail fences and watched those trains. We as kids had fun in counting the bogies and it was awesome sight to see Brindavan express passing the station at great speed. We liked the goods trains and were proud in saying bye to the 'Guard'. We also counted each and every carriage which were of great fun. After seeing this rail fence, I started walking slowly thinking about those younger days and smiled to myself.
As I was closer to my destination I paused and looked at the spectacular sunlight which was falling on certain area. The dark clouds were rushing. I knew it may rain shortly. But it was a fantastic scene to have dark clouds on one side and bright sun light on the other side. At younger days we have enjoyed those beautiful scenes. Flock of birds used to fly at a great speed. We used to get some dampened earth smell in the air. We used to run home hoping that it may rain, and we may not go to school next day. Keeping this in mind, I walked faster after packing my camera.
As I entered home, my daughter asked me "Did you run Daddy...You seem to be gasping..". I said "Yes" and smiled at her.
Are today's kids missing something?

07 March, 2010

Let us keep our earth clean!

Life is more hectic when we hit middle age. This is the time our parents become older and our kids get into their teens. We need to be a balancing factor between them and act as a stabilising factor. Again we need to concentrate on our profession, career and other responsibilities. It is very challenging to keep going forward. This is a gentle excuse for keeping away from blogging.
In order to have a good family time, and some relaxation we go for long walks as a family during the weekend. We get some personal time with the kids and we use this time to share their feelings and experiences.

Yesterday, when we started walking we decided to count the litters strewn around by some morons of the society who do not care about anything on the earth and keep littering the public places. When I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland I was very much impressed by the way Edinburgh city council took care in keeping the city clean. The Edinburgh city council had a huge advertisement painted saying "Edinburgh's not an Ash tray". Once I saw this lorry, while going to work, I took my camera from my bag which I always carried and clicked the picture.

Many years before, when I was travelling along with my niece in a Taxi in Chennai, India, I threw a choclate wrapper without my conscience. Though my niece was very young, she asked me "Uncle, how can you do that? I did not expect a person like you to do that?". That is it. Her question hit me like a hammer on my head. From then I decided not even to throw a tiny bit of anything irresponsibly and litter. I have been keeping this up for many years until today, and I shall never do that as long as I have my sense in my remaining part of my life. On the contrary, I try to pick up the litter thrown by others at places and situations where it was possible. Once when I got into a tube in London, I noticed hundreds of notices lying on the floor in a compartment. While I picked them up sincerely, I could notice few of the passengers watching me. Once I finished picking, and kept them together to throw it in the bin, I saw only one passenger who did eye contact and smiled.
During our family walk, we decided to count on the litters. Within ten minutes of walking my son said that the count had crossed 100. I have clicked few of them. He said that he stopped one of his friend throwing an empty crisp packet on the road and showed his packet where he had put his own to be thrown into the nearest bin. His friend was impressed and did the same it seems.

Even at work and some hotel, I see notices displayed to avoid spitting the chewing gums on the urinals. But some morons, ignore these and still carry on their disgusting act.

If you happen to read this, and you do litter the earth, may I request you please to consider throwing it in the proper bin/recycle centre than littering our beautiful earth.

Yes, let us do our bit to keep the earth clean.