The Passage of Time (Slice of Life)

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I have just finished reading Centennial by James Michener. It is a wonderful book. The story is set in what is now Colorado. I have read many of Michener’s books and have enjoyed all of them. In this book as in many others by him he begins the story with events which occurred millions of years ago. We learn about how the surface of the earth changed over eons. Mountains and valleys came into and went out of existence. The author writes, “The time required! The slow passage of years! the constant alterations! It is a poem of existence, this rock, not a lyric but a slow-moving epic whose beat has been set by eons of the world’s experience.” When I read these lines the thought kept coming to mind about what we are doing now to our planet. Mountains are being leveled, and valleys being filled, all in the name of ‘development’. This destruction is happening at an alarming rate. The passage of time is not at all slow.

Michener writes about the animals that roamed that part of the world. Many species were born, lived for many years and died off: a part of the natural course of events. But with the coming of man, animals, birds and nature’s bounty were destroyed, all for greed. A character in the novel says, “So long as the streams kept to the mountains they were pure and free; it was when they mingled with men that abuses began.” The same is happening now.

But, there is goodness also in the world. Yesterday I read in the newspaper about an organization called Pyas Foundation (Pyas means thirst in Hindi) They are helping to improve the situation in drought-hit areas in Belagavi (in the northern part of Karnataka) by rejuvenating lakes and conducting awareness programmes. There are many such people who are helping to save our planet.

(For sustainable solutions – deccanherald.com
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/630255/for-sustainable-solutio…
If you have been active on social media, you would not miss the buzz around the work of Pyaas Foundation of Belagavi and its most vocal founder, Dr Madhav Prabhu.)

The author takes us on a journey spanning millions of years up to the1970s. Life has changed so much through the passage of time. People have come and gone. My father-in-law is 92. He says that no one of his generation in their younger days dreamt about the kind of changes that would take place within their lifetime. A way of life which had not changed for generations underwent a drastic transformation. It is difficult for him to understand what is happening now. What of him? Even I am bemused by the changes that have happened over the last quarter century in our little town.

Looking back, life was good. But, with the passage of time, many of the changes, especially in technology, have become an integral part of our lives. It is difficult to imagine our days without technology. At the same time there is so much we wish had not taken place in our lives. But such things do happen, and we are left asking ourselves, “What are we leaving behind for the future generations?”

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” ―  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Manipal lake 2nd August (20)

The Passage of Time (Slice of Life)

 

 

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #164 Pleasure&Excite

“The excited child
Watched the water falling down,
With growing pleasure.
The pool above overflowed
To form a small waterfall.”

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #164 Pleasure&Excite

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #163 Shell&Coast

“Shells instead of sand,
Make a beach in an island
Away from our coast.”

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( photo from the internet)

( St. Mary’s Island – Udupi, Karnataka – Karnataka Tourism
http://www.karnatakaholidays.com/st-marys-island.php
St. Mary’s Island is located at a distance of 6 km from Udupi and 65 km north of Mangalore. St. Mary’s Island is a collection of small islands in the Arabian Sea off …}

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #163 Shell&Coast

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The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Ooh Shiny

Like a dog that sees a squirrel and jerks the leash out of its owner’s hand to chase it, I just can’t help but get excited, and 100% sidetracked, by monarchs, swallowtails, frittilaries, hairstreaks. They’re like jewels of the air. They are vibrant, graceful, full of light. And they are goofy as well, wobbling and weaving in their flight in a way that makes me laugh. I photograph them at every opportunity.
What about you: what is guaranteed to distract you? What is your “Ooh, shiny!”?

 CLOUDS , they have always fascinated me. Their beautiful formations are fascinating.

16th August 2017 (6)

19th evening (2)

Manipal lake 2nd August (5)

Manipal lake 2nd August (13)

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Manipal lake 13th June (5)

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The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Ooh Shiny

A Drink too much (Slice of life)

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I read books by Somerset Maugham many years ago. In our last Book Club meeting a member spoke about a short story by this author. I felt like reading one of his books again. I got Liza of Lambeth. This book was published in 1897 and is the author’s first work. The story is set in London and is about people of the lower income group. Drinking a little too much alcohol, physical and mental violence are a part of their lives. Maugham has made those scenes come alive. The problem of drinking too much alcohol is the same everywhere and at all levels of society. It is a life difficult to imagine.

I am witnessing one such situation in my locality. This person works in many houses from morning to evening to make a living. She has two children. Her husband is an alcoholic. Last year his friends helped him find a regular job, and he abstained from drink. But now it is back to square one. Once a person gets addicted to a substance or habit, it becomes very difficult for them to come out of that trap. His wife has resigned herself to the situation. It is sad.

In a parallel situation elsewhere, I walk with another person to the bus stop many days in the week. Sometimes she tells me about her life. She came to our town after her marriage. To her horror her husband was an alcoholic. The burden of bringing up her family fell on her shoulders, with very little support from him. In spite of many problems, her basic values and principles have always sustained her. Once she asked me, “We all have so many problems in life and there is always shortage of money. Then why do our men folk think that they have to drown their problems in alcohol? Do we have that luxury? Do we do what they do? Do we drink from morning to evening? Do we not face life by making ourselves strong, mentally and physically? What would happen to our family if we followed the footsteps of our men folk? Do they believe that it is the male prerogative to destroy not only their lives but the lives of everyone around them by spending all that they earn on alcohol? We would not be facing this poverty if all that money was not spent only on drink.” There are no answers to these questions.

Her questions brought to mind the unfortunate situations in some parts of our country. Drought conditions, poverty and the burden of debt have driven many farmers to commit suicide. But I have never read about their families committing suicide. Why is it that wives of these desperate farmers do not kill themselves? Once their husbands escape this world, these destitute women are left to fend for themselves and their families.     What holds them back?

16th August 2017 (8)

A Drink too much (Slice of life)

 

 

 

 

The Daily Post Photo challenge : Elemental

For this week’s challenge, explore the classical elements of earth, air, water, and fire. How do you capture something invisible like air, or the movement of water? Or, more personally, is there a place you go to feel connected to the earth? Take a moment to explore these elements, in or out of balance, together or individually, as you pick up your camera this week.

It is said no one can live without water.

Manipal lake 2nd August (5)

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Earth

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Mareel (9)

( a sapling of the cashew tree )

The Daily Post Photo challenge : Elemental

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #161 Painted&Lady

“Lady with the lamp
Painted by Ravi Varma
And immortalized.”

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( Photo from internet)

25 Best Raja Ravi Varma Paintings – 18th Century Indian …

webneel.com/25-best-oil-paintingsraja-ravi-varma-18th-century…

Raja Ravi Varma Paintings: Raja Ravi Varma was an Indian artist from Kerala.

 

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #161 Painted&Lady

 

Joys and Sorrows of Technology (Slice of Life)

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Just yesterday morning my brother and I were exchanging messages on WhatsApp. He was in Shigatse, on the way to Manasarovar. These places are high up in the Himalayas, to the north of India. We are in South India. Thousands of miles separate us but we were communicating as if we were sitting next to each other. Skype makes it possible for us to see our grandson and talk to him. My daughter and family live in Germany.
Technology has changed our lives so much.

The talking software, Jaws for Windows and Open Book scanning software installed on our son’s laptop allow him to work with his visual impairment. He surfs the net and reads whatever he wants to. Without them the world would have been inaccessible to him.

But there are two sides to everything. A few days ago we read in the newspapers about the Blue Whale challenge, an online game. It is horrifying and tragic. The challenge lasts for fifty days and at the end the player has to commit suicide. One wonders at the mind of the person who started this game and also about those who play it.

( http://www.ibtimes.co.in/what-blue-whale-challenge-how-did-it-get-its…)

As if all this was not enough we read about Chatbots in the Artificial Intelligence system of Facebook speaking in their own language, defying the codes provided. Days earlier Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, said that artificial intelligence was the biggest risk we face as a civilization. Facebook shut down one of its AI systems.

( http://www.ibtimes.co.in/facebook-shuts-ai-system-after-bots-create-own-language-736661 )

But nothing can stop the course of what people think of as development. As it is we have come to depend so much on gadgets. This is scary and brings to mind stories by Isaac Asimov and other science fiction writers. Asimov has written stories about the day when machines take over the world.
Are we seeing the beginning of the end ?

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( Watching the tennis matches at Wimbledon, live, from home )

Joys and Sorrows of Technology (Slice of Life)