Another year draws to a close, with the beautiful promise of new beginnings and also the reminder of having added one more year to our lives. We should consider ourselves really blessed and lucky to be able to continue to enjoy all that life has to offer. Aging should be accepted gracefully, as at all stages of life there is always something meaningful to look forward to. I thoroughly believe in staying young at heart! There are some days though, when an aching shoulder in the wee hours of the morning ( Lol) may inspire you to pen a ‘Tanka’ poem as I did below:
Aching bones and joints
Threaten to trouble with age
Skin begins to sag
With streaks of silver in hair
Can I trap age in a cage?
What is it about this Puddling Iron grid structure that is so alluring? The 300m tall structure is iconic and makes it impossible to imagine Paris (or France) without it. Paris and Eiffel are now synonymous.
When you look at the Eiffel for the first time with your own eyes, after having seen its pictures in magazines, travel brochures and movies, you just can’t help being awestruck. A sigh escapes your being at the sheer marvel that it is. Actually, perhaps one is not really prepared for the grandiose, because the key-chain models and souvenir replicas that your relatives gifted you after their exciting Paris tour are poor replicas of the actual wonder.
The 7300 tons of iron make for an intriguing study in architecture and science. The Eiffel tower is the subject that inspires thousands of painters, artists and romantics throughout the world.
This June I was fortunate to visit Paris along with my husband. Just as we were about to leave after having our fill of the beautiful monument, my eye caught something that even tour guides fail to tell you. Just below the first balcony, I saw the names of famous physicists and mathematicians engraved on the sides of the tower. The physicist in me was mighty pleased to spot the names of Malus (Malus Law), Carnot (Carnot heat engine), Ampere (Ampere circuital law) and many more! In fact there are 72 names of French scientists, engineers, chemists and mathematicians engraved on the 4 sides with 18 names on each side of the tower. Gustave Eiffel got these names engraved in recognition of their contributions to society. The picture above was clicked by my dear husband; if you zoom the picture a bit , you could spot some of the names that feature on the North East side of the tower.
But what makes this gigantic structure so romantic?
Oh yes! If I may answer my own question- Its the beautiful landscaping around the tower, its visibility from various locations particularly the river Seine, the lights, and the sparkling lights at night, that lend an almost ethereal glow to the tower itself and the whole area around, transforming it magically. And the iron grid? Doesn’t the huge iron grid structure symbolize stability? Stable enough to last more than a century and still counting. Isn’t stability a trait that we all long for in lasting relationships? The promise makes Eiffel enticing!
All the photographs in this post are original clicks by the author and her husband, Anil Nanda.
I’m not really a great animal lover but I do have a healthy respect for all living beings and believe in a live and let live policy. I must confess that I am rather scared of dogs, although I have conquered this fear to some extent now as compared to when I was much younger. What I really love and enjoy is bird watching. I also think I am fortunate enough to be living in a beautiful place like Chandigarh (India) which is clean and green. The green cover is conductive and encourages the habitat of various bird species in the region. You can easily spot the brown and grey hornbills, parrots, woodpecker, hoopoe, eagles and cuckoo birds.There is a host of other birds like the sweet and swift hummingbird and so many more that I have yet to identify. Pigeons and mynahs love living close to residential areas and are not scared of humans. A lovey dovey pigeon couple has made a nest near our split air conditioner box (see picture) and the mynah is in the process of making her nest on the neem tree in my yard! The other day there was a full on fight between the parrots who are already nesting on the neem tree and this mynah and her mate. It really had to be seen to be believed. It simply amazes me! My daughter jokes that I’m on the way to becoming an expert on birds and their behaviour. Bird watching sure is therapeutic for me and I love clicking their pictures. Yes, bird watching is rewarding – it makes you pause and ponder and
appreciate the beautiful artistry of nature. It helps me to unwind and relax.
The pictures clicked in this post are with the help of my Iphone, which is ‘oh! so convenient’ as compared to a conventional camera. Phoneography is becoming a way of life in today’s times. My husband and I love clicking pictures of birds we spot around our home and on our morning walks in the beautiful gardens of Chandigarh. I would love to add that I really don’t care for a menagerie with animals or birds captive; I
would rather have them free and in their natural habitat.
Sing a song…oh baby ding a dong!! Ah well, this week started on a promising note; after all it was our Republic Day on January 26 on Monday. So the song on my lips was ‘ Vande mataram’. This Republic day was special too, with the American president Mr. Barack Obama as chief guest, so we all sat glued to our television sets.The popular song ‘Mumbai se aaya mera dost’ took on a new meaning and form highlighting the friendship between Indian prime minister Shri Narendra Modi and Mr. Barack Obama as ‘America se aaya mera dost, dost ko salaam karo….’. Tuesday wasa restful day, a day for self introspection and hum my favourite soulful song ‘Tinka- tinka zaraa zaraa, hai roshni se jaise bharaa, har dil main armaan hote to hain…’ beautifully picturized on one of my favourite bollywood actresses, Priyanka Chopra in the film Karam. Wednesday onwards its the shaadi fever (wedding season) catching up once again!! So we have been grooving non stop to popular punjabi numbers like ‘Angreji beat’ by Gippy Grewal and Yo Yo Honey Singh. Other songs which we simply could not resist dancing to were ‘ London Thumakda’ from the movie Queen and ‘Tumne mari entry yaar, dil main baji ghanti yaar…’ from the film Gunday. So in all it has been an action packed week!
And well, time to say good bye for now – coz we are to attend yet another wedding tonight !!
‘You wake up one morning to find a beautifully wrapped package next to your bed. Attached to it is a note: “Open me, if you dare.” What’s inside the mystery box? Do you open it?’
These days when there are terror threats all over the world, one is generally warned not to open unidentified packets or gifts.Thoughts of ‘Pandora’s Box’ also crossed my mind. But, its Christmas today, a time to spread love and good cheer. Moreover, the gift is lying in my bedroom, where none except my immediate family has access to without permission.So obviously, it must be a Christmas gift from my husband or son. Their expressions tell me that its their planning to give me a pleasant surprise, even though they are denying that they’ve kept the mystery box. Feigning ignorance ,both are actually trying to scare me! What they don’t realise is I know them so well ; and they know me so well too.They know that I love surprises. So yes,I would definitely open it.
No, I’m not greedy, just curious and a bit of a risk taker and a rebel. Also there is faith. So I will dare to open the box. Curiosity didn’t kill me. I found the most delicious Christmas cake in the box which we enjoyed later in the day with relatives and friends. Merry Christmas!!
Merry Christmas to all bloggers and my followers in every part of the world. May this day and the coming year bring good luck and good cheer for all.
Sparkling or still , how would I want an off day to be like? Actually it all depends on my mood – how I feel that day. It also depends to some extent on how the previous week prior to the off day went by! If the week was hectic and overly busy, I visualize myself catching up on sleep or taking a laid back slow holiday curled up in a hammock in the garden,lazing in the sun, sipping a pina-colada, with the book in my hand³ that i’d been dying to read since such a long time, but just did not get enough time for it! A perfect way to unwind and relax!
On the other hand, I love travelling- even a simple trip to the neighbouring town makes me happy. I enjoy going to the different malls, local markets and shop to my hearts content. I also look forward to visiting tourist places and click lots of pictures.Give me a touring holiday any day within the country or abroad and I’ll be very pleased. One thing remains common in my lazy holiday and sparkling holiday- I always remember to pack my books!
There is a third option too, thats somewhat in between the above two modes of a perfect day off My husband and I love going to the movies. What could be better than just sitting back and getting lost in the celluloid world and mindlessly munching on popcorn while sipping hot coffee. Hey, why think so much? A day off in any form is always welcome!
Sukhna Lake is a popular landmark of my city Chandigarh. Being a favourite haunt of tourists and a walkers’ paradise, my husband and I are unable to resist its magnetic pull. Though we both enjoy going for a morning jog, due to work commitments of late we had to re-schedule our fitness programme and started going to the lake in the evening instead. A few days back when we reached the lake a little late in the evening we were rewarded by a beautiful site. It was a full moon night and the glistening water looked so inviting. The sky itself although cast with clouds, was resplendent in the moonlight and the moon glowed like a huge diamond rock. In fact it was this setting that was the inspiration for my very short story ‘romancing the moon’, published earlier. I urged my husband to click some pictures. He was a bit sceptical about getting good results in the darkness. Surprisingly, the pictures came out beautiful and what’s even more amazing is that they were clicked with an iphone! (We were not carrying a camera with us). So now let the pictures do the talking.
The great divide- fiction vs non-fiction. How does one choose? I love both actually, depending on the time of the day,maybe even month and of course my mood.When I am travelling I prefer to carry some novels because I can be sure of a couple of hours of uninterrupted reading time (that’s why i mentioned month too, as that’s vacation time when we are most likely to travel).Fiction reading can be addictive and if the story is particularly alluring its a tough task staying away from the book,resulting in neglecting most of your other work.
When i am cooking or have a few minutes of free time I prefer to pick up a glossy magazine, reading in bits and pieces ,or just flick through the pictures or read through some food recipes.My choices are also sometimes influenced by the best- seller and must read lists.
When it comes to choosing favourites between the two genres of fiction and non-fiction i guess for me non-fiction wins hands down! I find it way easier to read through a non-fiction book albeit if its on a topic that interests me. And mind you, even a non-fiction book can be as unputdownable as a fiction book, but it can easily be picked up from where you left it last. i mean there may not be a story connect, making this easier.Further, I also find that non-fiction books have greater re-read value as in certain self-help books,although some might find this view debatable.This brings us back to the square one. Well to each his own. The idea is to love books!