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I am touched...

December 18, 2014

 

I am touched...

by the painful cries of innocent  children in a distant world. 

by the helplessness, fear and misery brought to them...

 

I am perplexed and bewildered... by the cruelty human beings can sometime display... 

In the name of 'Tit for Tat' or Revenge or call for duty of some Invisible Force.... I have no idea what it is!

How is it possible to rationalize bloodshed on helpless, weak and fragile?

 

I am shocked, stunned!!!

struggling for a reason or explanation to find... 

The children are gone. What their parents must have felt in such crisis? Who will give them the strength to stand?

 

(These above lines came to my mind after reading the news of massacre in Pakistan on 16th Dec 2014. It was so moving that i was not able to read the detailed description of the incident. Extremely horrific and sad and defies human emotion, logic or any kind of possible explanation.) 

 

Sullivan reaches final of UK Snooker Championship 2014

December 6, 2014

When Roney O' Sullivan had his back to the walls as Bingham was playing flawless shots one after another - it was almost like game over for him. just like Robertson who was one of the favorites... a couple of days before in the best of 16 round, against Dott - never ever - found an opportunity to make a start - until it became too late... Roney Sullivan was going that way... but he found a way to claw back. All greats manage to find a way back - isn't it?

When the great players are put to pressure they manage to bring out the best from within. One of the match commentators rightly said - "When someone like Roney is pushed in a do-or-die situation - he  become oblivious of the surrounding and gets absorbed in the game. However the average players tend to become consicsous of everything - the camera, audience and so on and somehow tend to lose focus. And hence the mistakes. Bingham looked heavy and dominating physically - but it's not a physical game - it's played in the mind. It needs strength of character. 

After the game when he was asked about his feelings about the victory he was humble enough to admit having benefited from luck as Bingham missed a few easy chances. 

Netherlands - Day623

December 6, 2014

Winter has finally arrived and temperatures for the first time this year dipped below 0 degree C. Yesterday it was -1 degree. I fell victim to this cold and recovered only last week from severe  throat infection. A combination of antibiotic and paracetamol helped me recover finally. I was quick to switch to bus from bicycle - basically the cold air that passes through nostril/mouth and takes a heavy toll on the vulnerable throat. Otherwise jacket, mufflers and gloves are sufficient to keep the cruel cold at bay - but I can't find a way to prevent inhaling the cold air.

Romir's schools are going on as usual - 3 days a week: Mon, Tue and Thursday - and his mother is doing a fabulous job in taking care of all his needs - starting from getting him ready for the school, bringing him back from school, gather feedbacks from teachers - and then finally reporting me about his progress. There are a number of activities Romir has started participating in and she loves to take him to various places - the gym, park, library and so on. She doesn't get tired or bored of these activities and I am such a relieved man. It helps concentrate on my work and come home with peace of mind.

I remember my father once said - "Isn't it a beautiful feeling to have done all your office work and then come back home after a hard day's work. Rightly so - and sweet it is also because you are returning back to your family from work - and it's such a comfortable cocoon to belong to - and so I seldom go to parties and team lunches/dinners. You can't have all of it at the same time. To get something you have to sacrifice something else. Time is precious and spending time with family is more rewarding. 

I love truth and love to speak straight and gel particularly well with noble souls. In one of the discussions today at lunch we were discussing about how its difficult to interact with some who are so argumentative and have no respect or harbor false ego and bad attitude. The best thing is to avoid such people but it's not possible to do that in a team, wherein each member works like a nut or a bolt of a big unit and the purpose is to achieve the goal together within a team. Ofcourse, the bigger picture should take precedence over individual ego - and the bigger picture is enabling the entire team to function properly and attain positive results.

I am now short of words... What will I write and what are the new thoughts? Sometimes the mind says there is nothing to write. But believe me, if you think there is nothing to write you can't start ever. So just sitting with the laptop and making an attempt to write is the best possible way to break the habit of not writing often. I was chatting with one of my friends who urged me to again start oil painting. The years are just passing by and paper currency is just going to be meaningless as we age... If I could only manufacture a few unique paintings that could beat the barrier of time and enter the realm of eternity - just like the paintings of great painters have... it would be so much sweet and relishing. I have always had this feeling of leaving the world with something eternal, timeless and valuable - but I am not sure actually if that would be possible. 

There is no harm in trying though. "The king was once a crying baby" - so it's not important where you are - but it's important where you are aiming to reach. I used to paste small  quotations everywhere on walls in the room I lived in childhood... quotations that were powerful and positive - like "whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe it can achieve through positive attitude"... and so on.

I have read countless of positive attitude (self-help) books. Somewhere in the manner the events have unfolded in life i do believe that all these positive messages that I soaked in during my school and college days - particularly when the going was hard and the emotions of youthful fantasies and infatuations torn me apart - I managed to find a comfortable shelter under the warmth of  self-assuring, encouraging and innumerable motivational messages by Napoleon Hill and other self-help authors. 

But then they have a limit. You can't keep reading and getting motivated from them. There is a phase in one's life when he has to break that shell and lunge forward into newer layers of meaning... go from old thoughts and find new thoughts and philosophies. Reading books is so important for that reason because books offer you the opportunity to delve in to the author's psysche. Without the book you simply have your own perspective. 

Not only books, sometimes real and powerful personalities influence you through their speeches as well. One such powerful person who influenced me to follow the path of Bhakti Yoga, ie. Krishna Consicousess is an IIT Delhi Professor. At that time I was preparing for GATE in Jia Sarai (that was in year 2004). The compound of IIT Delhi was adjacent to Jia Sarai and we could sneak into IIT Delhi campus every now and then. I remember during the cricket matches we would shamelessly enter one of the IIT hostels and sit with other IITians infront of the big television. One of the Jiasarai residents had given me some cassettes recorded with The IIT Lecturer's Krishna Consciousess discourses. I heard them one after another and I was so much moved by his lecutres that I started to following Krishna Consicousness. The start was 4 rounds of chanting on the Tulsi Beads. I would go to the rooftop in the night in pitch darkness and chant alone. Ofcourse I din't want anyone to find me doing this. I hated being talked about this or being mocked at by others. 

One day one of the Krishna Devotees - more ardent and passionate, ofcourse, took interest in me and started encouraging me more and more to take this path seriously. Having discovered my crazy cravings for watching cricket he urged to quit cricket as this was not very helpful in the path of Bhakti. I was in a complete state of war in my own mind and couldn't find a way to promise him that I would quit watching cricket. And I didn't quit. Rather I couldn't quit. Once I would know about the start time of a match, I  would find myself sitting shamelessly infront of a restaurant TV or the IIT hostel TV. I remember now and can't help but laugh only about how the restaurant owner would sometimes switch off the TV to urge his customers to leave so that new customers could come in. Now all this I have been narrating for such great length of time to make one point which will sound pretty interesting -  I AM NO MORE ADDICTED TO CRICKET RIGHT NOW. Can you believe it?

The point to be noted here is a change of circumstances has led to this. Here in Netherlands there is absolutely no discussion of cricket. And luckily the Television in my room doesn't have a channel that broadcasts cricket. So I have taken to new interests - snooker. Right now as I write this - I have the UK Snooker Championships second semi final match coming up. The blog about the first semifinal match is here.

There have been other changes ofcourse. I haven't played TT for almost 2 years now. I haven't driven a car or a bike... sometimes I feel it's hightime I go to India for a vacation. And then sometimes I hold back looking at the ticket price. But not everything can be weighed with money. The other day I was having a chat with my friend in Pune and he said that he wanted an onsite opportunity for a few months -so he could make some money. It is then he told me that he couldn't afford to stay long term due to family obligations. I told him that you are with your parents and you are able to take care of them and live with them - through the happy and sad moments - don't underestimate it's value - because HE who is not with his parents knows the real pain. It becomes more pronouced especially at a time when your father is ill and you cannot make yourself available to offer him assurances of well-being and comfort. 

But there are other aspects in life that somehow starts taking precedence. It might sound cruel but that is reality as well. I have seen those who have broken the boundaries of their original place and gone far in search of work and fortune have actually progressed. While others who have continued to stay in that same place have failed to make much progress. You might ask - what do you mean by progress? Is it money? I would say - it's not only money - it's about experience as well. It's about interacting with new people, embracing new challenges and seeing new places. The cocoon of home is good for a certain stage in life but not for eternity. And this cycle goes on - children grow up and spread their wings and fly high and far. With the passage of time it has become more and more difficult to live with the whole family and the extended family together. The small bubbles of nuclear families have mushroomed in the cities globally. This is the reason why it's so important to take vacations and spend atleast sometime with parents in homeland. 

I think I can go on and on - but I should stop somewhere. So let me stop here and until next blog post on my experience in Netherlands - it's a warm BYE on a cold night to all my readers.

 

 

James Cahill knocks off world no. 3

December 3, 2014

Just witnessed a prodigy in the ongoing UK championships 3rd round... what can you call this incredible performance... madness of youth... fearless shots and a childlike and fresh aggressive approach - this was the best mix of raw dexterity and unorthodox approach that only a young player could bring to the table...

James Cahill is his name! I am sure many would not even know him in the world of snooker. Now this guy is not also 19! And he knocks over the world no. 3. What would you call that? Biggest upset or the first indications of a rising star! I would rather choose the latter.

Now that's too early, somebody would murmur with a sarcastic smile and many would also point to a few rising stars that had come and gone into thin air after showing the initial flamboyance... For example - Andy Roddic in Tennis, Vinod Kambli in Cricket, Michael Owen in Football... to name a few.

Nonetheless, every opportunity to witness a prodigy or an upcoming talent in any field of sport does fill one with tremendous joy. It's because the viewer wants to see new faces and not the same player gobbling the titles one after another. However we do fail to realize the amount of  pressure we subject these young and upcoming players to with our high hopes and expectations. From the players' perscpective, a high level of maturity is indispensable to remain firmly rooted to the ground. And that's why it was so heartening to find James Cahill looking just the part - completely professional and  not at all carried away by that customary rush of emotions. The young shoulders definitely showed signs of carrying a cool and matured head. 

The last frame was the decider in a best of 11 frames and it was an awkward situation for the young lad to pull things back from a position where his opponent  was in driver's seat. From a few awkward positions he managed to pull off a couple of breathtaking shots and  find a way to the fourth round of the UK Championships. A helpless and dejected Ding could do nothing much but remain in awe of this magnificent performance.

Well played Cahill and keep up the good work! 

Use a cushion, avoid the scars

November 17, 2014

An odd member in a whatsapp group suddenly started typing weird sentences... loathful, sarcastic, funny and abusive and then what not...

I called this guy and said, "you abuse me and throw whatever you desire towards me - i am like Sunny - who would play the slow spins in net with utmost dexterity and the next moment would face the Caribbean pace without the helmet."

So this guy responded with an excitement that was hard to contain. SORRY was what he said first and then we 2 old friends started gossiping and talking about the beautiful old days... when i suddenly changed topic -

I opened up a bit more and expressed about the problem we had at hand - i said these words - "When there are 40 different people in a group - we have to take care of each one's sentiments and feelings - isn't it? There are certain words which might be acceptable to some but hurt someone else. There might be some statement that would infuriate another member in a group... so it's important to choose words wisely and avoid any kind of unpleasantness..."

That night before we finally bid each other good bye, I could feel an assurance that he would never repeat the same type of statements again.

Now let me narrate one more incident. This is a little unrelated of course to the previous one of course... while i was cleaning the speaker grill of my music system, i noticed some scars on the beautiful black grills. Reflection from the big glass windows helped me spot the conspicuous scars... i got a little dejected nonetheless as i am very attached to these tiny materialistic belongings.

Generally while cleaning I place my fingers between the speakers and the vacuum rod- but on one of the previous occasions i had missed. Well... that was my mistake - those fingers acted as a cushion protecting the speaker grills and their absence meant that the aluminium rod was too harsh on the speakers. 

Scars on an object - that is still okay... BUT what about scars we sometimes leave on relationships... just because we never care to place that cushion between our tongues and the recipients' ears? However true and honest our statements might be, we should try to present them in a way that we not only get ourselves heard and make our points clear but also don't end up hurting someone.

I haven't been good at it, you see, and I have made my more than fair share of mistakes. However I am still learning and I am getting better - though sometimes improvement can be so gradual that it's difficult to be aware of the progress... 

I saw a TV program the other day on climate change and someone was trying to make this point about SLOW CHANGE of climate and this guy said something that I really liked: Well you don't go to bed middle aged and then get up being old. These changes are so gradual that you don't notice them.

Coming back to scars on object versus scars on relationships, I just remembered a facebook-shared clip of Satyameva Jayate the other day: Two tearful parents were seated in the show and Amir Khan was hosting it. As the parents narrated their sad story this is what I could make out... Their son had gone out somewhere on a two-wheeler and he happened to collide with some new motorcycle. This created a few scars on the new motorcycle and the owner got pissed off to such an extent that he started beating up this poor little guy violently.

Sometimes anger and violence really take bad and unexpected turns and which can result in utmost disasters. And this incident, unfortunately had ended in such an unfortunate disaster...

Sometimes scars that cannot be seen are more painful because they can't be erased.

 

In this virtual world, TIME that we kill is real

November 11, 2014

Today we see everyone digging into their smartphones, laugingh, smiling and reacting to posts... busy typing and waiting for response.

The world that you and I are in today has become virtual. The real world has ceased to be important. 

But the time that you and me are going through continuously is the same real time and there is no concept of virtual reality here.

Time that we lose is real. Even the richest person in the world won't be able to buy years from a poor  young villager. Everyone's quota is preordained by a superior intelligence. 

Question is - why then we keep wasting precious time?

I think the reason is that we don't value time the way we value paper currency.

Time is actually more precious than money... A nonrenewable resource, which once consumed will never come back. Money can be earned once more.

In fact time is  so powerful that it will consume man one day! Sending him into a coffin deep down mud and gravel...  that will lie still in the eternal realm of silence. Or... that will reduce him to ash and smoke. 

It's important to respect time because the clock just keeps ticking.

Re-route

November 6, 2014

I was coming home after meeting one of my cousin brothers. 

So long as I didn't know the way - i was listening to the gps and it was guiding me like a charm. In my right hand i was holding it tight while I kept pedaling. Suddenly  at one point i realized that i knew the way to home from there . And so i ignored the gps as i started taking my own path now. 

Each time my path deviated from the gps's path the gps would do a re-route and then again announce the same in the same humble tone. 

It is then i realized - that even in life we should follow this same principle of re-routing.

When in the work place a junior doesn't listen to your instructions, simply re-route. In other words, without getting flustered, just provide him with a new set of instructions and options in a humble tone. I don't claim to be practicing the same and have my own limitations. But I have somehow started believing that this approach is the best that you can think of when someone doesn't listen to you.

At home, how many times your own kid has refused to listen to what you say? And your wife would not listen at all, isn't it !!! Again, the best thing that you possibly can do is re-route!

 

Will you take all your money to your grave?

November 5, 2014

No I won't, because that won't be needed.

I have heard this quite often - what use is of money? So much attachment? Are you going to take all money with you to the other world after death? 

Think it in this way - 

You are going through a dark narrow path through a jungle and you have bright TORCH in your hand. The torch helps you to find the right path, avoid obstacles like rocks and pebbles, helps spot dangerous reptiles in the woods and prevents you from being bitten, helps you find an occasional fruit in the tree that you tear off from the branch and eat and you get recharged and you move on..... 

Until.... you are at your destination, your home. After you reach the destination you don't need the torch anymore. It was the job of the TORCH LIGHT to enable you to have a safe and comfortable journey and reach home.

Similarly a good amount of bank balance has no other job but to offer you a safe and comfortable journey - the journey of life.

When a person dies - he leaves a lot of money in bank - and so what use was that to him when he couldn't enjoy all that? Many people ask this question.

Now ask the same question to the man with the torch- he reached his destination (home) and after that there was a lot more battery left in the torch - so he having the torch was useless?

Does that sound logical?

Vocabulary1

November 3, 2014

Starting today I have decided to start a blog for vocabulary. It will be like vocabulary1, vocabulary2 and so on... all these to be placed in category "vocabulary"

  1. Insidious - adj. operating or proceeding in an inconspicuous or seemingly harmless way but actually with grave effect (example sentence: Although not quite as dramatic, other touchscreen-oriented health hazards are even more insidious because most people aren't even aware that they exist. The potential for injury from using touchscreens will only go up as more people use smartphones and tablets, especially if Microsoft's Windows 8 effort succeeds in popularizing touchscreen PCs and laptops.)
  2. Mala fide - adj. something undertaken in bad faith; unreal or not genuine 
    try to understand mala fide by analyzing the opposite word - bona fide:undertaken in good faith; real or genuine
    if something or someone is bona fide they are real or geuine. 
    another example: we are happy to donate to bona fide NGO's who work for the poor.
    Evict- verb. to expel a tenant from property by process of law etc
    example sentence: if someone is evicted from a place he was living, then he would have broken some law or contract of agreement and therefore he was forced to leave the accomodation
    Abdicate - v. to renounce power or throne officially
    The King was going to abdicate to marry an Australian divorcee.mala fide
  3. visceral - adj. characterized by intuition or instinct rather than intellect. example sentence: Alec felt an almost visceral protectiveness towards her as she placed the bowl before him. Murray, Stephen DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION
    Brandish - verb. to wave or flourish (a weapon) in a triumphant, threatening, or ostentatious way. also word can be used as noun. example sentence - Some British groups opted for a low-key approach, with concealed pistols, while others made their men brandish submachine guns. TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES (2004)
    puritanical
    usurp
    bludgeon
    flounder
    fulminating
    draconian
    proffering
    moralistic
    intemperate
    visceral, brandishing, puritanical, usurp, bludgeon, flounder, fulminating, draconian, proffering, moralistic, intemperate

How to get url of image from Facebook Image

November 2, 2014

It's little tricky.

A few days ago i managed to do this but today when i tried once more i couldn't. 

Well I deviced a trick here - just give it a try - if it works good...

First the constant part - 

https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/ 

That part of the url is the constant part. Now we will work on the remaining part of the url of the image. Click on the image and do an inspect element. Copy the image part of the html script in a note pad and then write down the url below. An example shown below - 

<img class="spotlight" alt="" aria-describedby="fbPhotosSnowliftCaption" aria-busy="false" src="https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10407510_822298294499547_3583513108137230902_n.jpg?oh=e5e7cd425bd4701d70737de18d2e4e01&amp;oe=54AA2BFD" style="width: 520px; height: 381px;">

from here copy this part only - >

https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10407510_822298294499547_3583513108137230902_n.jpg

now from the above url replace this parth {https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/} with the constant part. Resultant url should be like this - 

https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/t1.0-9/10407510_822298294499547_3583513108137230902_n.jpg 

Bingo!

this actually works. Don't know how long this will work as the developers keep working on the codes ... but for now it works and so the grin in my face.

A little later i noticed this - if you remove /v from {https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10407510_822298294499547_3583513108137230902_n.jpg}... the resultant url works as well, but although the image is smaller: 

https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/t1.0-9/10407510_822298294499547_3583513108137230902_n.jpg

Saturday Sketch 13 - Childhood Fantasy with Toy Vehicles - 2

November 2, 2014

Childhood Fantasy with Toy Vehicles

Childhood Fantasy with Toy Vehicles

Childhood Fantasy with Toy Vehicles

Saturday Sketch 12

October 12, 2014

Fake vs Real

October 8, 2014

It has been now 1 years, 6 months, and 18 days in Netherlands. 567 Days.

Having come this far from home has given me a good exposure of a lot of things. I like to observe - notice in detail and I love to analyse. It gives good food for thought. Someone well said - "you are what you are because of the food you eat and the thoughts you think". Someone might say why do you see bad and negative things in others? My answer to them would be - I like to see these bad qualities and analyze them and make sure I don't implement them. That's how other's bad qualities help me.

Here I have seen a lot of our own people copy foreign life style - eating with spoon and fork, drinking wine, savoring beef and so on... Those were not part of our culture - I have seen people following them here and then giving good lip-service about the way things ought to be. Very big lectures. Upon coming very close to some - I have seen that these people themselves don't follow what they preach. They hide behind a facade.

I have seen others put on a accentuated tone in the way the speak over phone. It looks rather artificial. There are many who won't tell the truth. 

There are many who take money from you and won't return. I don't know why... but it's not that they forget... they simply would not utter a word if you don't remind them. And you feel embarrassed to ask for YOUR OWN MONEY back! I simply can't fathom the cause of such hypocrisy... they earn so much and why don't they return such a meager amount they owe someone.  

I can probably say this: it's not how fat your pay check is that will shape your character. Character comes from your lineage primarily and also to some extent from your own proactive endeavors to learn and know truth. Character is not easy and very few people have it.

If you are fake you won't have the energy to keep doing a good job for a long period of time. Fake people will soon run out of gas...  Their energy is spent in negative things - so they actually don't have enough motivation to pursue something good and constructive. Fake people will try to adapt the same fake policies while dealing with their spouses, kids and parents and ultimately they end up with fucked up lives. 

The honest and typically hindi coined word - SIDHA is a different category. You would have known a sarcastic remark every now and then from a friend - YE BAHUT SIDHA HAI. DIL KA BHOLA HAI! Beware guys! Being Sidha is a very good quality and the normal practice of looking down upon this quality is incorrect. So if you are SIDHA, feel proud and hold your head high. 

The sidha category knows that there is only one way to choose. the right way. People belonging to this club succeed and prosper in their career as well as personal lives. One who is honest, truthful and has a genuine eagerness to improve benefits from an unending flow of motivation. This is just like the principle of inertia - or the newton's 1st law of motion -which states that an object in motion continues to be in motion and an object in rest continues to be in rest unless and until forced by an external force to alter its state of rest or motion. If the path is friction-less - then the motion will not need any push. Truth and honesty creates this friction-less path enabling one to continue to repeat his good and hard work for long period of time. Because it doesn't create any resistance in his body or mind. As the hard effort empowers him to work even harder and keep maintaining the momentum. 

Fake will fall apart because of innumerable resistances but real will keep moving on a friction-less track. Fake can dazzle temporarily, while real might remain invisible initially but somehow will make a serious mark in the long run.

Birds of same feather flock together. That's why you will see fakes sit together to discuss, enjoy, have lunch, gossip and waste time. A fake can't come and sit with a real person. It's like oil and water which won't mix together. 

Real gels well with only real. And a real person will have less friends as fakes are many but good character is rare.

 

Childhood fantasy with toy vehicles

October 2, 2014

  

How to make a boring job interesting

September 29, 2014

One day my friend asked me - why do you get pleasure when you sketch or paint? I struggled to answer actually - or rather i should say i couldn't give the exact answer.

I had replied - 'It's the process of creativity that gives me happiness.'

He was not satisfied. He wanted a rather direct and 'to-the-point' answer. So he said, "it is that moment when you sketch that mind is free of all thoughts as you remain absorbed in that sketching. That gives the happiness."

As i reflected on it - i thought that was true.

what else give us similar happiness?  Think about it.... Actually it can be any work that you have at hand. Any work. Isn't it?

Only thing is you shouldn't be worried about other thoughts like the result of that work, or something else. A single pointed mind bereft of any kind of thought gives happiness.

But it's difficult to make every work such source of pleasure - because most often the job at hand is not interesting and therefore millions of thoughts bombard our mind. However it's easy to have such sublime one-pointed concentration in something we love to do. Nicely coined in the words of Confucius- "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life"

Also it's sometimes difficult to change to a job that we love or are passionate about. When we can't change the job that bores us, we need to somehow make the mundane or not-so-interesting work interesting. How to do that?

A lot of times innovation and thinking out of the box and making something new - can make a boring-work interesting.

For example if you do some routine job daily and you find no charm in the boring repetitive job - why not develop an automation script and do get the job done automatically. You can then monitor how the script is performing this magic and what are the shortcomings which can be further fine-tuned.

This approach is thinking out-of-the-box and might add that missing spark in the mundane job.

Saturday Sketch 11 - Ruins of Heidelberg Castle

September 28, 2014

Ruins of Heidelberg Castle

 

The silence of Lake Titisee

September 26, 2014

The silence of Titisee Lake

Standing on the bank, I fix my gaze at you
I feel a silence that's so deep
hidden underneath clear water
stories untold that were always there

I know you've been here for a long time
staring into empty sky and distant mountains
you never got any vent to reveal
no one ever bothered to ask how you feel...

I withdraw and then fix my gaze again
Now I see experience of a long life
oozing out on to beautiful sparkling water
caressed by drizzle and soothing breeze

so many ducks swim gleefully
fish appear and then dive inside
Can they ever penetrate and fathom?
A silence so deep, fraught with wisdom

So I sit alone, close my eyes and meditate
I can hear the subtle whispers of silence
dsclosing an infinite treasure of wisdom
refreshing and uplifting right at the bottom

 

Ode to the Rhine Falls

September 25, 2014

When the ground beneath had disappeared
you could have complained and stopped

You chose to fall with courage and hope
creating this miracle out of no where

enabling the sun to find its true color
in the droplets gracefully scattered

Mighty rocks that deter your motion
Succumb to your will and majestic roar

Big mountains and large trees look on...
in awe at your beauty, as you move on

 

Driving through Black Forest

September 24, 2014

1st day (Uithoorn -> Mannheim )

This time we set out to explore black forest in a car. We left Netherlands at around 7 PM and headed towards Mannheim in Germany. The distance was around 500 km. We reached Park inn hotel in Mannheim at around 1.30 am.

2nd day (Mannheim ->Heidelberg Castle ->Baden Baden -> Freudenstadt -> Triberg Waterfalls -> Rötenbach (Friedenweiler))

Next day, 20.sep.2014 morning, we left for Heidelberg Castle. We were impressed with the beautiful views along side the river near the castle. The car-parking is so easy to find here and in this same car parking builiding, in the ground fall there are ticket counters for the cable operated trains that takes one to the castle, high up in the mountain. We got into the cable train and were on our way up... 

The castle ruins...

View of adjoining river-area from top of castle

 After this we headed towards Baden Baden and took the route from Baden Baden to Freudenstadt.  This route is awesome with beautiful views on both sides. Sometimes it can really get dark even in broad day sunlight...

We then headed towards Triberg.

We somehow managed to experience the calm and quiet Triberg waterfall in the darkness of the late evening. As it was getting darker so couldn't get good photos of the waterfall. The descent was a long way and so decided not to go all the way down.

Sat there on a bench and enjoyed the soothing sound of the gentle stream. 

We quickly headed towards the hotel. After an eventful day we settled for some rest in Landgasthof Rössle in Rotenbach.

3rd day (Rötenbach (Friedenweiler) ->Rhine Falls ->Titisee Lake ->Uithoorn)

Next day we were helped by a rather generous receptionist who urged us to also visit the Rhine Falls. So though this was not within out planned itinerary we decided to follow her advise and drove towards Switzerland Border.

Rhine Falls was not far from the hotel and it took us approximately 1 and a half hour to reach here. We took tickets (6 euro per person - not including boating) ; got busy exploring the gorgeous and mighty Rhine Falls from different spots. 

The boat ride is the best way to witness Rheinfall in her true nature. Here goes the video - 

After Rheinfall, we returned back Germay to see Titisse Lake. It was evening and it was drizzling. The drive through black forest in the light drizzle was enchanting. 

Titisee Lake is situated in the southern Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg. It is at a height of 850m and a natural reserve of drinking water. Against the background of Feldberg mountains, it offers stunning views. Light drizzle in the lake made it even more beautiful.

Video of the lake...

We purchased a cuckoo clock here and then headed for a long and tiresome journey towards Netherlands. It was raining continuously and the scenery on both sides of the road was breathtaking... 

We finally reached home in uithoorn at 04:00 AM. Bade our dear friend, Manik good bye - who had to drive another 50 kms before he could finally rest. 

It was a nice experience, however there were challenges as well like finding the correct road on the gps while the car is speeding above 100 kph, identifying the different speed limits in different sections of highways, the pain of nausea and vomiting in twists and turns of mountains and hills and dealing with that especially when you are with kids... and so on.... But overall it went well and as I write this blog - I am still overwhelmed by the Beauty of Mother Nature we witnessed. It is something to be cherished for a long time

Similar travel blogs: 

Trip to Paris

A day in Rotterdam

Madurodam

Snapshots from Keukenhof

A trip to Brussels

Drive from Bangalore to Goa

Drive from Bangalore to Kanyakumari

A trip to Ooty

Postcards from Kuala Lumpur 

 

The heartbeat...

September 8, 2014

It's 9:20 PM and I just realized that I had forgotten my 2 sets of push-ups in evening. I didn't bother about the time. Straightaway, I started exerting against the floor and before the guilt feeling could locate me, I was done with the 2 sets of push ups. I felt happy and relieved. 

Something that we do each day should be done repeatedly and never missed for any day. Breaking a continuity is easy but it is the seed that grows into a big irritating tree of inconsistency and then it becomes so difficult to uproot.

Having said that, now I will go to brush, that I completed my dinner. I have been continuously brushing after dinner, for a few days now. Let's see how many days I can continue.

It's so easy to skip your bath during weekend. You simply lie on your couch like a pig and keep hogging and sleeping. You means I... I am talking about myself - But then I also realized - during the days I go to work, I am so diligent in offering morning prayers, taking bath and so on- but what happens during weekends - why do I pull the plug on these activities. So I thought - why not bring these activities under awareness of being part of a set of activities that I do regularly. In other words - I need a mechanism which will trigger me that something is wrong the moment I skip something.

An activity that is repeatedly performed has a heart beat. It may be 1 day, 12 hours, a week or a fort-night - the frequency interval may be more or less, but the heartbeat is present nevertheless. And heartbeat is life. Pulling the plug off this heartbeat is death - while continuing the heartbeat means continuing to live. 

A habit is nothing but this tendency to keep doing something that one does. Good habits yield good results and bad habits yield bad results. Simple calculation but our mind fails to act on this - because we make everything complicated.

That's all for the day today - I have to go and brush my teeth now. 

Bye and sweet dreams.

Blog posts in the same line of thought: 

http://dipeshmajumdar.com/entries/self-improvement/repetition-the-mantra-to-excel

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