Friday, May 20, 2016

Life's Snippets

A tit-bit you hear as you pass by in a hallway or a random conversation that falls in your ear as you are around waiting for something; maybe in a super market or at the bus stop......does not mean anything to you at all. But more often; those little conversations drives the life and day to day struggles and efforts of that individual.

I am an intense observer; I look at people's body language, their facial expression; those convey a lot - about their fear, inhibitions, joys and such; combined with tit-bit often gives an interesting perspective of one's life.

Now! dont get me wrong. I m neither looking for gossip or juicy piece of news to entertain myself. This is all about people's struggles versus what they are passionate in life about. Trust me! its always at the opposite ends and they dont meet. The whining and the complaining hoping to get past the troubles is never ending.

One may wonder; all these conversations most times complaints? What about happy stories? Yes! happy stories are very easy to notice and deduce. Smile, joys, excitement defines happiness. Its just that - pure and plain happiness.

On the other side; sorrows manifest in many ways - anger, dullness, fear, sombreness. The talks are often subdued, contained and private unlike a happy moment where it is proclaimed. Been hearing a lot of such brief conversations off late. Or rather; I m being a bit attentive maybe these days. As i walk past them or as they walk past me; I hear those one or two sentences which paints a picture of their situation at work, or at home or in a city. Tells a lot about their pain, their desperation and the hope.

"How long would it be until I can start contributing independently? Working with him is such a pain!" - lamenting about a difficult co worker. Our job - plays such an important role in our life given that we spend almost 50% of our day either at work or doing work related activities. Our peers become a part of our life; and their behavior affects our well being so much. Did you know about "work spouse"? Google it. Woah! how much our work influences our life!!

"This is all show; metropolitan life, cars and careers. But each of us are struggling underneath. Whats all this money going to give us? There are times when I seriously think I should go back to my village. Herd 2 cows and be happy with that little I'd get but with peace abounds" - a cab driver's frustration driving in insane Bangalore traffic. I am sure he dreams of his village and two cows every night and yet wakes up in the morning looking for business to be able to lead his "Bangalore" life.

"Its NOT my way; its my mothers way!!" - an 35+ year adult living under the shade of his mother. Mom thinks her "child" needs assistance and help; interfering in his day to day activities, monitoring what he eats, when he sleeps, where he goes. The "child" just playing along.

Sigh! I could go on and on. When I hear conversations as these; I cant help but wonder how we are all so similar; sailing the same ship and battling the odds - some of us fighting the pirates, few of us trying to cross the rough seas and few of us trying to share space with monsters.

Gypsy's worry - "When do we play?"


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Locks of Love in Helsinki

What does your mind think of when you see locks. Doors and cupboards secured with a lock to protect any valuables. To see a lock on a door or a gate or on an almirah is common. It might generate an extra interest if the locks are artistic or different than normal looking mostly used ones. But if you see normal looking locks on a bridge; serving no purpose at all?


The beauty of travel is that it throws surprises at you even with the most mundane of things and those wonderful sights you see and observe often makes you realize  how ways of life differ from one part of the world to other. These discoveries fuel you further to go on, explore and educate yourself.
So the locks. Locks - nothing is alluring about locks. They serve a purpose and that's about it. More locks, more security; that's that. So when I saw that bridge weighed down by so many locks of all kinds - colorful, rusted, number locks with initials and names of 2 people; announcing their love to the world; it was intriguing. Yeah; I have read about the belief of sweethearts who pad the locks and throw the key into the river praying their love survives...but I thought it was a Paris phenomenon only. Only when I saw at Helsinki; I realized it was prevalent not just in Paris; but all over Europe and in other parts of the world as well.


It seemed very simple. Lock the padlock; throw the keys in the water and your love is eternal and you'd be together forever. Rakkauden Silta – Helsinki’s Bridge of Love – crosses over a narrow section of the Vantaa river at Vanhankaupunginkoski, just near the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral is where you'd find many locks on both sides of the metal bridge.


My curious mind set off to read more on these locking affection and love. Such love bridges exist in European cities, the US, Canada, Australia and even South Korea. I chuckled when I read how these were accepted in societies across the world. While few municipalities considered such an act as vandalism and damage to public property; there are few cities which encourage visitors to pad locks. There is also website where users can send others virtual love locks :-o
Fortunately ; for lovers in Finland; Helsinki law allows love locks on its city bridges.


Why not celebrate and flaunt love in pretty pinks and cherry reds and candy blue padlocks :-)

PS : Originally posted on my Travel Blog - Bindu's Travel Diaries. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rain Tree

Standing tall with humongous trunk
Branches snaking out and wide
Green thick foliage of the Rain Tree
Among rows of jacaranda and gulmohar

The tree seems uninteresting
Does it flower? Does it seed?
Where is the carpet of bright flowers?
Like the copper pod’s bright yellow flowers on ground.

Observe and yes! They do flower!
Hairy pink flowers; high above the foliage
In large numbers. They don’t fall to the ground.
So; do they just wither on the tree?

Their silent existence exudes mystery.
Their leaves glisten with drops of rain
Do they house the squirrels and the birds?
No pomp; but standing tall….               

Love these trees more than ever…
Anticipating; their special powers to bring rain.
How do they attract clouds?
I wonder; Why is it named a Rain Tree?