We had been to Istanbul a few years ago, this is in the Spice Bazar.
Honey was being sold and it looked beautiful:)
Recently, I read ‘ My Journey’ by Dr Abdul Kalam. We are indeed lucky to have had a person of his calibre as one of our Presidents. In this book he writes about the smaller, lesser known happenings in his life. Smaller but very significant. He has written these wonderful words about his mother and sister.
“Two of them together symbolize for me the resilience and resourcefulness of the ordinary Indian woman. This woman is a person who cannot be cowed down too long by her circumstances. Often she goes through life without recognizing her own dreams and ambitions. Where are her own dreams, I wonder? Destiny, tradition, situations will test her again and again…Yet, she will find a way… and she will do it with such love that it will inundate your heart.”
I think this is true for women all over the world.
As I read these lines I remembered Kamala. I meet her on my way back home. We just smile and go on. She usually wears a sari, but the other day she was wearing a salwar kameez and looking very nice. I stopped to tell her that and we talked for some time and she told me quite a lot about herself. She and her husband are from the northern part of our state. Her husband faced some financial problems in his business. They came here in search of work and have been here for the past twelve years. Her husband works as a security staff and she works as a cleaner in many shops. She told me that she was married at the age of 11 and at once said no should be married at such a young age. She is only 38 now. They have two sons and she and her husband have worked hard to give them education. She believes leaving their home town and coming so far has been fully justified, there is a sense of achievement at being able to give education to her sons. The elder one is working. The younger one will complete his studies soon. She is one of those ordinary Indian woman Dr Kalam has spoken about. She has supported her husband through thick and thin.
As I was writing this I heard Asha, my vegetable seller calling out to me. She is back now with her daughter and grand-daughter. All those problems and misery of those earlier days are in the past and they are very happy. There is a very sweet smile on her face when she talks about her grand-daughter, whose name is Jaya.
It means ‘victory’. So apt. Also victory of all those nameless ordinary women the world over.
( The photo is of Asha leaving with her vegetable basket on her head and a cover in her hand)
Temples, big and small, are a very important part of our daily life.
These photos are of the temple to Goddess Durga Parameshwari. We had been there some time ago.
Most of our temples have a pond adjacent to the temple complex.
Many a times, the temples are situated near rivers. This is the river Kubja
Outside the sanctum sanctorum, photography is usually not allowed inside.
The temple from outside, it is surrounded by hills and woods.
Some time ago, we had been waiting at the station for our train to arrive. Meanwhile many other trains went by, some stopped and some went on. There was the usual flurry of activity as a train came to a halt. Looking at them I went down memory lane.
I really wonder how seemingly insignificant things make us walk down memory lane. Trains have always been a part of my life. My father worked for Indian Railways. Every summer vacation we used to come to my grandparents’ place in South India from wherever we were living. Usually we had to travel for at least three days. We never got bored, we used to play so many games and read books. At every major station we used to get down. Each station is world in itself. As the train enters a station we see people scanning the different compartments to sight their relatives. There is the usual running forwards or backwards by the passengers waiting to get in. Then all those hawkers selling food and I remember we used to eat at some stations and enjoyed them. At one particular station there used to be so many monkeys. If anything was kept near the window they would not hesitate to grab them . We had to be very careful. While going to my grandparents’ place, there used to be this sense of excitement, just thinking of two whole months of fun. We eagerly waited for our destination. At the end of two months it used to be a different story. One whole year of school and studies. :))
While studying in Mumbai, the local trains were an experience in themselves, waiting in the morning to go to college, many a times just being pushed in. The local trains in Mumbai are the lifeline of the place. In those days every locality had circulating libraries which rented out books for minimal charges. I must have read hundreds of books in the train. Reading books opened a world of imagination while watching those who were travelling in the same compartment. Where did they live, what did they do, so many questions about them. It did not really matter but it used to be fun imagining about them.
Trains and railway stations are world in themselves and as I write this, I remember a book I had read some time ago. It was Govardhan’s Travels by Sachidanandan, translated by Gita Krishnamurthy. It was an interesting book but I am never going to read it again. :))
The author writes about Michael, an engine driver. “The journey an engine driver repeatedly makes between two points does not take him anywhere in particular. Yet each time he takes a whole world with him. A world complete with men, women, old people and children. Each time it is a different world. And what is more a part of it is changed and renewed at every station.”