Thursday Thoughts…

Lately I’ve had Roots on my mind – the botanical kind, the metaphorical kind and the ties that bind. Unsurprisingly, all this interest in ‘delving deep’ arises from the fact that they’ve are also the theme of this week’s Take52 Photography Challenge!

I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again – I consider myself the proverbialΒ ‘Rolling Stone’, one that gathers a few bits of moss while otherwise going about merrily on its way. It’s an existence that suits my restless soul, and so the question of being rooted in a place, while occasionally seductive, is never a long-term goal. But as with all things, times change; and with Junior’s schooling to think of, I cannot quite give in to the ‘traveling’ urge whenever it strikes, which is fairly often! Consider the facts – I have lived in one city but changed 4 houses in 10 years! The longest I’ve lived in any house as an adult is 4 years! I’ve grown up in Goa and that’s where I’ve lived the largest chunk of my life so far, and yet, I cannot and do not consider it ‘home’. Not in the way I would like to. It’s my parents’ home, the house I grew up in, became a doctor in, got engaged in, got married from, lost my brother in…but it is still most definitely my parents’ home – NOT mine. So although it’s most certainly the closest thing to home, it isn’t quite the same.

And so it got me thinking about what ‘Roots’ really means? I feel happily rootless for the most part and enjoy the feeling of belonging ‘everywhere in general but nowhere in particular’ πŸ˜› Am I kidding myself? Living in denial? Probably. Should I be concerned at these divagations and get myself a settled life, whatever that means? (Ooh! The very thought sends shivers down my spine!) Or is being ‘Rooted’ just a feeling in our hearts, like Christmas?! I like to think it is – after all haven’t we all been taught, “Home is where the Heart is.” But the heart is unpredictable, a wayward mistress who pulls this way and that, going wherever fancy dictates πŸ˜‰ She is redolent with good intentions but we all know where those may lead πŸ˜› At the moment she has brought me to Bangalore and so I try to grow roots yet again, in another new city! Do you feel ‘rooted’ where you are? And I don’t just mean geographically.

I often feel I’ve been born in the wrong time, the wrong place, the wrong everything – and yet I have no idea at all of what the ‘right’ time and place would look like. At times the restlessness is so acute, it’s hard to find focus. I feel like a caged bird, staring at the open door, my gift of flight forgotten. Maybe it’s the Sagittarian in me – the horse stamping his hooves, chomping at the bit to begin roving. So no…I’m not sure ‘Rooted’ is for me, or that I’ll ever be rooted in place, although Time shows more promise πŸ˜‰ Somewhere deep inside I want to live in Narnia, in Middle Earth – walk among talking beasts and Fauns, commune with Elves and Hobbits and bask in the grace of Aslan πŸ™‚ When I look around me and see the World – ridden with strife and traumatised by the collective abuse of us arrogant humans – I want so desperately for the fantastical to be real. A sanctuary from all the chaos. If wishes were horses eh?

And so I try as best I can to bestill my aching heart, when that wanderlust strikes. And I think about where I might put down roots if I had to. Then I close my eyes and dream – of Narnia πŸ™‚

Skull-quote

Monkton Mondays!

So, here we go again! Another Monday – although this one’s special if you are an Oscar fan! I’m not πŸ˜› The first thing I do on a Monday morning after Junior leaves for school and Hubby for work, is sit down to write Monkton Mondays. But today, the words just don’t seem to flow! Strange, coz I know what I want to write but I can’t seem to find a rhythm…and that just throws me. I think it must be because my mind feels overloaded with ‘STUFF’. Just ‘stuff’ you know – nothing unmanageable on it’s own but all together a rather heavy burden. Things that need sorting, difficult calls that must be made – stuff that I would rather not do and keep postponing (as if that ever helps!). Eventually, I’ll just have to bite the bullet and do it and I will, all in good time πŸ˜›

Took a break after writing that first bit…watched the Oscars for a while, did some deep breathing (and no I don’t mean yoga!), and made those calls. Managed to keep my cool and get my points across while keeping blood pressure within normal limits πŸ˜‰ Am feeling so efficient and angelic right now! Am feeling that halo πŸ˜› Feeling a lot better now that that monkey is off my back πŸ™‚ and so back to the post.

It is Oscar Monday…but really, is it just me or are the Oscars just getting more run-of-the-mill with every passing year? I don’t mean the actual performances, just the rest of the surrounding hoopla. The Red Carpet interviews were ordinary, and yes some of the gowns were great, as were a few performances, my favourite was Ordinary Love by U2 πŸ™‚ and yet I got this overwhelming sense of deja vu – been there, seen that kind of feeling. It all just suddenly seemed so put on Β :/ Β I think it’s a sure sign of ageing πŸ˜‰ (I’ve seen a fair share of Oscars over the years after all), although it could also be because I haven’t seen any of the nominated movies. And I don’t think I will because they all seem so angtsy and depressing! Also, I yearn for movie stars who ooze glamour like Elizabeth Taylor, who ooze charm like Audrey Hepburn and elegance like Grace Kelly…see what I mean? I’m living in the past. All the women looked so androgynous to me today…I guess I just like a woman to look feminine occasionally…LOVED Kate Blanchett though (so so happy she won!) and Glen Close and of course Meryl Streep πŸ™‚ Missed RDJ and Depp and Denzel…Benedict Cumberbatch was great eye-candy for the 5 minutes he was on stage! Sadly, found Ellen rather boring and the humour flat :/ but loved Pink singing Somewhere over the Rainbow, looking like a jewel in her stunning ruby red gown. Found the standing ovations for every performance very artificial and staged! All in all found the whole show rather dull and boring sort of like the weather we’re having here in Bangalore right now…muggy!

ButΒ since it isΒ the biggest night at the movies, I thought I would share this Monkton film that is a sensitive and innovative interpretation of the greatest mystery in the world – Love! Now that to me is Oscar-worthy πŸ˜‰Β 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KpfkCtmwVU

Happy Monday People! Have a good week ahead πŸ™‚

Take52 Challenge: Week 8 – Blue

This week, we had a colour theme. Blue. A favourite of mine as it happens πŸ™‚ There’s such a soothing serenity in Blue I find – whether it’s the blue waters of the ocean or the baby blue of the Virgin’s robes; whether it’s a star-studded blue sky or the azure in the innocent eye of a child; whether it’s the rough feel of denim or the silky smoothness of blue velvet…it never fails to calm me and bring me joy. The house is littered with lots of little blue things – boxes and boards and stationery and pottery, but nothing seemed to catch my eye, or rather I couldn’t think of a creative way in which to photograph them so they would appear interesting. I have since seen how it can be done through pictures posted by friends, as always. It never fails to astonish me…this human capacity to innovate!

Carrying on with my effort to think out of the box and attempt new techniques – I decided to try my hand at the Zoom Effect as it’s called in photography. It’s something I first heard of in the Challenge and that caught my fancy. It involves slow shutter speeds and a manual manipulation of the lens while the shutter is open to create a zooming effect. I know, I know…everyone who isn’t into the technical aspects of photography is clicking their tongues at this point at all the gibberish – and that’s cool! When I first read the method I was skeptical too about whether I would be able to do it, but I sure did have fun trying! And the results were not too bad even if I do say so myself πŸ™‚ Here it is…my Picture of the week.

Electric Blue!

This was a busy week and I didn’t have time to dig through my archives so instead, I took a few shots in which I tried to be creative! You can be the judge of whether I was any good at it πŸ˜›

Here goes…Can you guess what these are?

And these are two that I took just for fun…coz not everything is about technique πŸ˜‰

Thursday Thoughts…

Here’s a thought…I am so much more regular when I’ve got a theme going or a challenge. Are you like that? Can you be regular and diligent without a deadline looming? Even if it is a passion? I mean I love to write and take pictures and I like to write poetry too but of late it has forsaken me. I say this because I never seem to be able to think up a poem on my own…as in, when something, anything really, affects me deeply (whether at a conscious or sub-conscious level), I let it stew for a while…ruminate in my soul as it were and see if something emerges. It used to be that a poem would often emerge…scattered words and thoughts that would wander into my consciousness and coalesce gently into an idea and birth an emotion that felt ‘right deep down in my gut’. That’s when I would sit down and put pen to paper and eventually they would flow and make sense.

These days however that happens less and less frequently. I always seem to be ‘doing’ and never taking time out to just ‘be still’. And although I’m doing things I love to do, I crave the stillness that births my poetry and so this morning when a thought came into my head, uncalled for, sudden and persistent, I felt fulfilled…like when you find that elusive piece of the puzzle, that puts everything in the right perspective? Just like that πŸ™‚ It’s just a couple of lines but it helped me understand what’s been going on underneath all that ‘doing’. My family is ageing…everyone I love is growing older, and age brings with it a unique set of circumstance and issues – most of which have appear to have no solutions. And while for the most part I can cope, lately I think the worry & concern that’s never far below the surface must have increased ever so slightly tipping the scales, so that it finally ran over into my consciousness. Well that’s what I think anyway.

And for some reason the first thought that then popped into my head was of this picture of a leaf in it’s final stages that I took ages ago. It’s a favourite of mine…because of the intricate patterns that a bug has created, delicate and fragile like Life itself. And so it is with Dementia…as Time eats away some parts of the brain and spares others, creating patterns that change the very essence of who we thought we once were. So relentless, so merciless, so final. It’s hard to watch the people who were pillars of your world fade away and slowly disappear, while you watch on helpless. It is hard and hurtful and tremendously scary, coz through the constant concern for their well-being, there’s a little anxious voice that whispers,Β “Will this happen to me too? WhatΒ if this happens to me?”Β andΒ “What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?”Β in a never-ending loop.

And because it is so scary, we push it deep down and cover it with all the ‘stuff’ of Life, until we feel insulated enough to go about our routine as normally as we can. And we get pretty good at the cover-up, so that we begin to believe that things will indeed be alright, until Wham! One day – a thought emerges…

Entropy

P. S.Β I’ve decided to make ‘Thursday Thoughts’ into a weekly thing…just one more attempt at being regular at writing and a place where I can lighten my load by sharing it with you guys! And don’t worry…not every Thursday will be dark & heavy πŸ˜› It’s not in my nature to stay that way long! What do you think? I’m game if you are.

Monkton Mondays!

This is my 300th post!! Rather chuffed I am, in a silly sort of way πŸ˜› Didn’t think I’d last this long…not known for my sticking to any one thing for a significant length of time…just ask Mom or Hubby or…well Me πŸ˜‰ I’m a restless soul – and in lieu of any other explanation – I must concede that I was born this way. I’m like the proverbial rolling stone, rolling this way and that, gathering bits of moss – some stick, some fall away, all leave a mark – invisible or otherwise. It isn’t entirely a bad way to be, to live…although there are moments when I crave the illusion of security that chaperones the more steady existence. Very brief moments πŸ˜‰

For the most part though…I’m content with being who I am and Happy – in the way a ride on the roller coaster makes me happy πŸ˜› It might not be everyone’s cup of coffee (I am not a tea person) – but it suits me just fine πŸ™‚ I want to send a huge THANK YOU to all my readers without whom…on many days…there would have been no reason to lay pen on paper or I suppose finger on key! Many are the times when I have despaired of ever writing another word, and a nudge from a friend has rekindled the flame. You know who you are – THANK YOU!Β And I LoveΒ You all for your kind words of encouragement and support. Can’t do it without you, so please keep the emoticon-0152-heartΒ coming People πŸ™‚ There…that’s my little ‘speechy’ moment all done and dusted πŸ˜‰

And in return for all the Love you have shown me here’s a little something from Mr. Monkton that I hope you will find useful!

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Because…we could ALL do a little bit of Loveliness in our LivesΒ n’estΒ pas?

Happy Monday Mes Amis πŸ˜€

P. S. If this post seems rambly blame it on Sherlock! Uh huh! Watching Benedict Cumberbatch while trying to write will do that to you πŸ˜› Not that I’m complaining πŸ˜‰

Take52 Challenge: Week 7 – Cherish

This week, the theme for our photography challenge was ‘Cherish’. These themes are tricky things…they can be obviously simple and singularly complex at the same time. It did get me to thinking along the lines of what I cherish and Family, friends, love, happiness, memories,Β mementoesΒ etc, come instantly to mind. And although I have Β enough and more pictures of family, once again I wanted to tickle my ‘little grey cells’ (I’m inhabiting the Hercule Poirot universe at the moment, in case you should wonder!), and see if I couldn’t come up with a creative way of presenting abstract emotions.

This is what I thought of…although not unique, in that Google has similarly-styled pictures, I had a lot of fun getting the paraphernalia together, setting up my equipment and clicking away πŸ™‚ It helped that Hubby and Junior were sent off to dinner at KFC πŸ˜‰ Oh don’t go getting all judgmental – fast food once a month for dinner never hurt a soul! And Art involves occasional sacrifice non πŸ˜‰ Well anyway, I spent a happy hour climbing ladders and focusing and playing with the lighting until the boys came home. It’s been a long while since I had such a good time and I must say at the moment this challenge itself is something that I cherish because it has rekindled my motivation for photography, and introduced me to a group of talented, supportive fellow photography enthusiasts who are helping me learn the craft through their considerable skills.

I feel good πŸ™‚Β 

So here are a few pictures I pulled up as I always do…

And here is the one I chose for the challenge πŸ™‚

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The weekend’s round the corner…

Peace, People πŸ™‚

Monkton Mondays!

Monday again! How regularly they turn up! Oh well…it has been a quiet weekend and although Hubby returned from a week-long absence and entertained Junior for a couple of hours…well that’s just it…it’s a couple of hours out of the 24 and not nearly enough…but hey! I’ll take what I can get. I’m a little out of sorts…can you tell? It’s how I typically react when Hubby gets back from being away…there’s the return to a more intensive routine that bugs me for a while versus the joy of having him home. It takes a few days to get things in balance again. The achievement of that equilibrium is howeverΒ a delicate process – easily derailed – often by silliness and randomness πŸ˜› You know what I mean…having to make a cup of tea when I’m deeply engrossed in a book…that sort of thing πŸ˜‰ Also, is it just me or does just the one extra person mean so much extra work and planning?!

Oh I know I’m cribbing…who cares! It’s Monday and I’m entitled…especially because I’ve just received a phone call from my maid’s Mom saying she isn’t well and won’t be coming to work today…so as soon as I get breakfast for said, now unsurprisingly, even more irritating Hubby, (this is a very Asian thing me thinks; this getting all het up with the Hubby when the maid disappears!), it’s off to do a sink full of dirty dishes and other ‘housework’, when I’d rather be writing! See what I mean! Well, at least she called which is more than some others do!

But there is one thing I did this morning that might just be my ‘Happy Fix’ for the day…took a picture of the beautiful, luminous moon at 6 am as soon as I got up πŸ™‚ Just writing about it brightens my mood! So I guess it’s true about the Deadly Donkey then…

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Well now! Isn’t that a deep rhyme to be living by! Sounds a lot like my Granny actually πŸ˜› Thank you Mr. Monkton for your deep insights!

So today…I choose the Moon in all her wonderful lunacy!Β 

Isn't she beautiful? :)
Isn’t she beautiful? πŸ™‚

And you? Choose well People!

Happy Monday πŸ™‚Β 

Take52 Challenge: Week 6 – Ancient

Ancient…such an evocative word. It has an inherent strength that conjures up visions of lost grandeur and beauty; and of staying power…of things that weather the onslaught of time and the human race and survive long enough that they are transformed from merely old to majestically ancient. For this challenge the first thing I thought of was Nature, coz what could possibly be more ancient than Her! Everything about her is Ancient – the Sun, the stars, the Moon, the Oceans, the Mountains…so many fantastic photo opportunities. But a lot of group members had already done a fabulous job of capturing those and so I settled on this vintage silver pendant that I bought in Delhi 2 years ago. I don’t really know how old it is…and it’s certainly not Ancient in the way I wanted it to be, but it will have to do.

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I do have pictures of a lot of Ancient things in my archives…London for example is choc-a-bloc with Ancient; Lisbon is teeming with Ancient as of course is India. The Taj Mahal, The Red Fort…centuries old…excellent examples of Ancient architecture and relics of an ancient history. And yet ancient is relative too…for a flower, ancient is a matter of days at most, perhaps weeks. I dug up a few pics I’ve taken over the years…it was fun as always πŸ™‚

I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

Monkton Mondays!

It’s that time of year again! February’s here and the World will go crazy inΒ 645px-Love_Heart_SVG.svgΒ or at least pretend to πŸ˜‰ Come Valentine’s Day, all those who are lucky in Love will celebrate and those that are not will hang down their heads and cry…I suppose…or hold them high and celebrate for all I know πŸ˜› I have no problems with Love and even less of a problem with celebrating it, but these days, it seems like everyone celebrates it because it’s what’s expected somehow, because they want to feel like they belong. I also don’t like how Valentine’s Day has become almost exclusively about ‘romantic’ love! Just my personal opinion – feel free to hold your own!

I have known my husband for 25 years. We’ve been married 22 of those. Our love has been fluid through the course of our relationship – as a lubricant when there was need for compromise; like water – for dousing out those infernal arguments; a fuel – for you know when πŸ˜‰ It’s also been the glue that has held us together; the rubber band that has allowed us our space when we needed it; and the hope that keeps us afloat in the many storms that Life sends our way. And that’s how it been in ALL my relationships – with my Parents, my Gran, my friends and now with my Son…Love does what it can to show me a good time if I let it! If I don’t interfere too much, it generally knows best, even if I don’t see it at the time πŸ˜›

And so here is a collection of Valentine Day messages in inimitable Monkton-style…messages that I would love to send and receive on VD if I were into that sort of thing πŸ˜‰Β 

Happy Monday People!

Celebrate LOVE…Everyday! Always & Forever, Won’t you? ❀

Take52 Challenge: Week 5 – Eyes

This week, the theme for my photography challenge was Eyes. Fairly simple and straightforward one would think, and so once again I wanted to do something different from the human eye – picturesque as it. Had a couple of ideas and finally settled for Barong Eyes, as you can see in the picture below. The Barong is a lion-like creature, the King of good spirits in Indonesian lore, that I came across in Bali. I spotted my Barong in a woodwork shop in a lane in Ubud and fell in love with his colours. He was quite gorgeous and I had to have him πŸ™‚ He has had a place of pride in my living room ever since we brought him home and makes me happy just because!Β 

Then of course I trolled around looking for stuff that I thought fit the scheme and came up with a few options – some old, some new. I’ve taken several pictures of my boy asleep over the years, but this one is new. I took a few angles, but when it came to sharing, I felt as if they were too intimate, an intrusion into his most unguarded, innocent moments…moments I wanted to keep for myself alone. I chose the one I thought was least intrusive…although it still feels a little odd.

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Week 5 – Barong Eyes!

I had taken the avocado shot a couple of weeks ago, but it struck me that it would be a fun take on the theme – an exophthalmic eye of some creature from Middle Earth perhaps?! An orc eye πŸ˜› Had fun putting together these pictures – looking through the older photographs I’ve taken is always enjoyable πŸ™‚ I hope you like them! Let me know! All critiques welcome πŸ™‚