A very rare double sunset

As usual, the Earth rotated, the hills stood still; dust filled the sky as the wind whirled. The stage was set. Soon, the day would draw to a close, with or without a curtain of clouds.

But today, the imagination swirled – the camera was tilted and moved here and there, while still pointing at the star of the show.

Rare double sunset!

Rare double sunset!

An often undesirable lens flare led to a beautiful and very rare double sunset. 🙂

 

 

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A (brush)stroke of time

Time – abstract, slow, fast, relative, wonderful. How it changed this little lake and the trees around it.

We go to this lake pretty often – obviously we quite love it!

The first picture is taken on October 26 – the Fall colors are still visible. It was starting to get cold, the rain was pretty constant. But the leaves were there, in full glory. And the sky did occasionally put on a bright blue shade.

The second picture is taken from practically the same spot in the beginning of February. While it has not snowed much this time compared to last year in this part of Germany, temperatures have hovered around freezing for a while. That has given us a chance to see the lake freeze up to varying degrees! The colorful leaves are gone, the light is poor, the trees look barren, there is no blue sky and obviously no blue reflection on the frozen water.

Fall - colors, sky, water, leaves winter

 

Time – and perspective – a study? We miss the Fall colors now, but I am sure we will look back fondly at the memory of the frozen lake too. The ‘times’ seem to be good.

 

Parallel roads, divergent paths

The other day, I took an earlier bus to my office. This bus had its last stop at a school and was subsequently full of little school-going kids. These kids were around 5-8 years old and were having a gala time in the bus – jumping, sliding, falling, giggling, singing, pinching each other and so on! A couple of kids kept walking up and down the aisle to meet friends and to probably find a cure to restless feet. As the bus braked, accelerated, swerved, one of the kids kept falling everywhere, and was evidently enjoying it. Being winter, he was properly padded up in thick clothing and didn’t seem to mind the bumps. He looked like a rookie seaman on a ship in stormy weather. As he fell on his friends, they all burst out laughing together. The best part was when he got up, and as if replaying a heroic deed, said “und jetzt, wiederholung!” (and now, action replay!). With these words, he went into slow motion, replaying the scene when the bus swerved again. Zooming back to real-life speed now, he fell down again – another explosion of laughter followed! Incredibly innocent and adorable.

I compare this with most of the other buses I generally take – company shuttle buses and city transport buses: filled with only employees or a mix of employees and other adults, generally on their way to work. When in India, to avoid traffic in Bangalore, I had started taking earlier buses too. Several times, I would be parallel to a school bus full of kids. And as we moved ahead slowly, the difference was stark. In my bus, grown-up, bored, aloof, corporate people, reading orange colored financial newspapers, worrying about something or the other. In the bus to my right, a big group of kids laughing, smiling, talking with each other rather than with their electronic gadgets, jumping, generally being happy. The kids were doing all sorts of things – staring out of the bus, some were eating in the bus, a couple of them were singing songs and a few of them were throwing a “ball” made out of their handkerchiefs. Meanwhile, I sat in the midst of grumpy people who looked like they were being forced to go to work against their wills, who were tired and indifferent towards everything right in the early morning. Someone who was living for tomorrow; a tomorrow which would never come. As opposed to a Today which will always last.

As both buses crept along in parallel, I wondered when and why we choose the paths we do.

Merging or diverging?

 

Could we not combine child-like simplicity, joy and curiosity and merge it with the good grown up qualities? A mixture of the two, maybe?

 

Aren’t we already millionaires?

Western man is so surrounded by ideas, so bombarded with opinions, concepts, and information sources of all sorts, that it becomes difficult to experience anything without the intervening filter of these structures. And the natural world – our traditional source of direct insight – is rapidly disappearing. Modern city-dwellers cannot even see the stars at night. This humbling reminder of man’s place in the greater scheme of things, which human beings formerly saw once every twenty four hours, is denied them. It is no wonder that people lose their bearings, they lose track of who they really are, and what their lives are really about.

– John Michael Crichton

All the city lights, the night sky light pollution robs us of a very spectacular sight. I have been very privileged to have seen our home, the Milky Way galaxy, for a brief moment from the Himalayas. It was the most awe-inspiring and humbling sight I had seen. Waiting to go into the darkness to find some answers.

A tiny bit of help

We were made aware of this group of people who were doing a wonderful job of rescuing, treating and nurturing ill and injured street animals in India sometime during the beginning of 2014. We managed to get in touch with a couple of friends who had spent a day at their campus and saw the photographs they had shared and we were quite moved.

We decided to help out a bit – because a bit  in itself may not be much, but collectively it adds up. The power of numbers, when used constructively, can indeed make a difference. We read the email sent to us by the people who run it there, and their words about our contribution make us feel so nice and warm! 🙂 It feels really good to assist.

Here is their website – http://www.animalaidunlimited.com/. I request you to please go through it once and get in touch with them, or share their details with acquaintances or friends if you feel so. They are doing a great job, in our opinion, and we can’t wait to go there and see it all first hand in India sometime.

Together, we can.

Regards.