Friday, October 24, 2008

A knight in shining armour

Trekking is an activity that is enjoyed by most and talked of by the rest. A visit to Bhimashankar is indeed very enjoyable in the rainy season, when you see puddles and toads and slippery roads! Nature is at its best with lush green grass, wet green trees, green toads and green algae and the smell of wet earth and the sounds of running water and the list goes on.

It was on one such trip that I noticed my husband's enthusiasm for trekking and exploring nature. He had mentioned it previously too but this was the first time I got to see the sparkle in his eyes when we were literally walking on clouds, the spring in his walk when we were walking on nature's carpet, the slurpy sound that he made while drinking hot tea and the increase in his appetite not for food but for taking in the fresh air and explaining all feelings to his wife and daughter.

Though the day saw clouds descending and ascending, we had enough visibility to see 10 feet of our surrounding and off we all went to the climbing down mountain activity; man-child-woman. For a child, nothing is as interesting as a walk on stones, pebbles and mud and touching everything in the way to see how it feels. Our daughter gathered so many precious stones that it looked more of a geological trip. And who would be the best person to carry the load? Of course, her father!

The three of us made our way down the zig zag path snaking down. We could not exactly see the destination, but in my husband's words, we were on the right track. He was more worried about having to take care of two inexperienced trekkers rather than the poor visibility due to clouds. Our daughter was the most daring person, leaving no scope for destination definition, she went down further and further, forgetting the fact that the climb up was yet to start.

And when it started, there was no stopping, we three went climbing up and up for we could only see the tall trees and the wind blowing at the clouds, I wonder if this can indeed be described as being on cloud nine ! My husband, walking ahead of us and leading, would stop to see our progress and except for one patch of the climb, everything was fine. At that patch, our leader picked up the little girl and put her on better grounds, hey! but what about me. I got worried. And there it was, a strong, firm hand coming towards me and ready to pull me up.

Oh! what a moment ! I truly felt like a lady who was being asked by the prince to hold his arm and be pulled up on the horse. My husband had suddenly turned a knight in shining armour and quickly enough, I grabbed his extended arm and was pulled up a steep incline. My expression in the eyes changed and the world appeared even more beautiful. Quickly the three of us ran for the top and get a glimpse of the world below. Once there, we could see the clouds running, making me wonder, whether we were all competing or synchronizing the run?

Nature has its own ways of unfolding situations before us. And I got to see my husband in a different light even on a cloudy and foggy day. Things will always be the same, but the way we see them, will keep on changing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A bird in bush is two in hand !!

I am sure you find the saying not correct, but I have purposefully written it for a situation when I heard strange noises coming from the children's bedroom. They sounded like some animals quarelling or a new instrument playing or most probably a new mobile ringtone. With a perplexed mind, I went to see if my daughter was upto some prank or enjoying somebody else's prank.

And there she was making some interesting noises and looking out of the window; window which overlooked the potted plants and a beautiful garden of lush green lawn and a very serene marble temple. Curious, I went to her to enquire about the significance of these beating of vocal chords. I was happily given an answer that this was for the purpose of calling out so many birds to come and sit on the window sill and talk to her. And for inviting these birds, she was making so many types of noises.

This was quite a revelation to me. I had never thought of inviting birds by calling out to them near a window. And the stranger thing was yet to come. In one of the potted plants stood one paper parrot that my child had made in her craft class. She was using this piece of art as a bait to attract birds and sit on the window sill and to make the effect of bird, authentic, she was making noises imitating all possible varieties of birds !

So much planning done for the sole purpose of having a birdie friend. It made me wonder about the original English proverb of having a bird in hand is equal to two in the bush. We tend to forget what we have and start looking at something which is indeed there but has its own freedom too! At times, we should be only admiring the freedom of such beings and appreciate the fact that happiness comes from feeling free. Take away the freedom and we are faced with sadness and suffocation.

Things in nature are to be admired not desired.

And here is my daughter, trying to befriend her nature friends by using an artificial bird and noises to have one such bird and coming and singing with her. Indeed, the purpose of this activity is having a bird friend and not owning it.

My child is also like a bird, having the freedom to choose and express her thoughts and the best that I can do as a parent is only admire and respect her way of expressing her feelings and not strangle them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Purple Eyed Man

Many a times I wonder, about the programmes on television for children, whether indeed the cartoons are kids or grown ups as cartoon kids !! The amazement turns to anger when I see innocence lost and spirit nipped in programs such as shin chan, Ben 10, Conan etc. It also makes me realize that more is yet to come.

The other day, my daughter was since evening talking about "Are you afraid of the dark?", a program which only explores your deepest fears, but causes much of an impact on the developing mind. It was because of one such story that my little one had a nightmare of a purple eyed man chasing her. She woke up at night and tried to find her mother. I was not aware of my daughter's state and the purple eyed man. But she was so clear, she told me her nightmare and all I could see was some purple colour in the dark and my mind still unclear as to the talk going on between us.

I held my dear one close to my heart and she slept peacefully in the cocoon of my embrace. That moment, I felt so much at peace; to see my child safe and breating deeply and happy to be near her mother. The purple colour no longer appeared to be the villain in my child's life, it was more of only a colour; colour that adds life to a painting, gives vibrancy to the other colours.

The morning came with yellows and orange hues;
and then the sky got blue.
What I remember is the colour Purple
for it brought me closer to my little girl.

The purple eyed man is nowhere to be seen;
he was afterall existing only within.
He left when it was morning,
leaving the two of us laughing !

The incident made me think, that in life the fear is only within. Why then do we try to find the world ie outside as the source or cause of misery. It is not that the world is black or white, it has shades of grey too, but what I like most is taking in the colours that are here there everywhere. And on second thoughts, I realized that maybe my daughter missed her father who was away from home for some work. What a menifestation of insecurity!

Have we ever thought of the purple eyed man? Does he not see the colour purple everywhere? In fact he sees the world differently than we do. And don't forget that there are three 'truths'; one is your truth, second is my truth and the third is the real truth. So how can we judge the purple eyed man? He only represents a fear that lies within us. If ony we could do away with our fears ! How nice would it be to enjoy the strengths that each and every individual on this earth possesses ! All of us will be happy indeed to put ourselves to good use and cause.

Television or technology is here to stay, what I can do is let only the impressions of colours make way.