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?


Sundar Narayanan said...

that last photo was weird and scary Sir.


why would anyone want to hang up that pony on a fence like that?

btw, we are back to normal.


Balaji S Rajan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Balaji S Rajan said...


My family noted the same last week and commented the same as you. I did not notice it during my last weekend walk. But when they saw my picture this time they recollected how they felt scary. Behind the fences there used to be real horses and probably some kid must have thrown the toy.

Kavi said...

Looks like you've had a lovely Sunday !

Fantastic pictures. And a fantastic write up indeed. People out there seem to be warm and friendly. Quite contrary to the commonly held notion !

WElcome back to regular blogging. Would love to see you around more often !

Balaji S Rajan said...

Yes, I had. Thanks for your kind words. Everyone here is not friendly. We do have people of different behaviours. By the way I have taken few good pictures which I have not published them on the net due to plagiarism. I am planning to use them for some professional purpose in the future.

Jeevan said...

Its wonder wander through your trail and so your observation. The snaps are interesting and the light tones give the landscapes a classic feel. This post not alone exists of nature, and some essence human kind. Like not all stars shine brightly, there are few people chose to smile and not.

Gone are days we enjoyed the cool breeze and early drizzle before rain , but these days it disappoint us by being pause.

Swatantra said...

Amazing pictures!! and the write up!! Very beautiful sunday!!

தக்குடுபாண்டி said...

nice observation!!!!

Ram S Iyer said...

Hi Balaji

I am in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Please email on the updates once u feel free.

Ram, Thanjavur

Balaji S Rajan said...

Mails sent to all you ids are bouncing. Kindly send me your latest email id.