Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #33: Nature

Flowers are always beautiful. They give us so much joy. Some are so simple and beautiful and others do look complicated in their design. Whatever, they are perfect. They are nature’s gift.

20190221_170806

IMG_0688

cropped-20181105_065545.jpg

IMG_0713

(flower of the Ashoka tree)

IMG_0735

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #33: Nature

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Wait (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Sunday Photo fiction

He was old and tired. Waiting for the end seemed endless.
He remembered those long ago days when he and his fellow workers had moved from forest to forest with their employers, cutting trees by the hundreds. It had been a dangerous job. However careful one was, there was an element of uncertainty. Many lost their lives crushed beneath a falling tree. That uncertainty had added to the excitement.

He never realized that destruction of trees meant destruction of the planet. Trees were cut but no one planted saplings in their place. In those remote and large tracts of forests cutting some trees did not seem to make a difference. But now trees were being cut everywhere and concrete jungles were taking their place.

He did not remember when he started feeling guilty about all those trees he had cut. It had been just a job but over the years the feeling of guilt had grown. He was suffering but there seemed to be no escape. He was growing older but Death was not coming to take him away. He was being punished for no fault of his.

Why was God taking so long to answer his prayers?

xspf-12-30-18-spaulding-1

Photo credit : Susan Spaulding

(200 words)

The Wait (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Letter from Home -8 (#SOL 2019)

slice-of-life_individual19-02-19

Dear Doddamma,
We are all fine here. I was happy to talk to you the other and glad that you and amma are enjoying each other’s company.
When our grandchildren were her my husband had made our grandson plant rose plants. He loved watering them. Now they have started flowering. We sent photos of the flowers to Advaith. He was very pleased. He asked about the pineapple plant, we told him it will take more time to get a fruit in it.

20190212_103020

Last week, one evening, Aravinda (our son) did not have to take German class. He teaches German certificate course in his college. That evening we went to the temple of Goddess Mahishamardini (Goddess Durga). This temple is not very far from our home. We like going to the temple and we always attend the evening puja which is performed at 7.30. The peaceful and quiet atmosphere of the temple is soothing to the mind.

Doddamma, the sloping land behind our house has been levelled. We heard the builders are going to build a ten storied apartment complex. So, every day the mud is being transported in lorries to some other place. This will go on for quite some time now. There is so much of dust, it is quite unbearable, but we have to bear it. Our backyard touches that ground. So, this year when the rains start we are planning to plant some saplings of some trees. We hope it will be screen for us. In our place the leaves of all the plants in the front of the houses have become so brown. It seems as if it is difficult for them to breathe. We have to wait for the rains to see green leaves again. It is very sad.

20190214_125212

This is the time when bulbuls all around are busy building nests. And one couple are trying to build one on the tubelight in our enclosed sit-out. They keep getting dry twigs and leaves which they try to insert between the bulb and the holder. The leaves and twigs keep falling. This has been going on for more than a week and they are still trying. We have tried to prevent them from building there but they are still trying. I hope it will not be too late for them to build another nest.

20190214_162455

Yesterday morning I was in the kitchen when I saw a sunbird feeding from the hibiscus flower. I was able to take some photos and even a video. I will send them on WhatsApp to my cousin. She will show them to you.

20190218_112125

On the 16th Aravind’s department conducted a workshop about literature in a post graduate college not very far from our place. He had to give a lecture. There were other guest lecturers too. He liked the experience. The same evening he attended a lecture on Urdu literature. It was organized by one of his friends in his house. It seems many had attended.
We are going for our evening walks regularly. Yesterday, before returning home we went to our local library. I read some magazines. This library called Nehru memorial library was started more than forty years ago. It was renovated two years ago and there is a collection of books in different languages. There is a children’s section too. I became a life member long back. It is a nice place.

img-20190207-wa0028
Today morning my husband has gone to Maikuri to see his father and brother, He will return tomorrow evening.
It is now 10.45 in the morning. Aravinda has gone to college.
With lots of love,
Lakshmi
[My letters to my Doddamma, my father’s elder brother’s wife, have made letter writing a part of my life again. She lives in Mumbai with her son and family. Both of us enjoy the letters. Doddamma literally means elder mother. She is my favourite relative. She is 88. She cannot go out and is not able to hear well. So, I started writing to her in November 2017. Earlier I used to send a mail to her daughter-in-law, she used to read it to her. My cousin’s wife told me Doddamma enjoys the feel of letters and re-reads them often. I edit the letters and post them in Slice of Life hosted by Two Teachers. I enjoy SOL. We, bloggers live in different parts of the world. Our lives are so different but there is sameness which is fascinating. The different posts and photos bring the world to my home. Thank you dear friends. 😊] 

Letter from Home -8 (#SOL 2019)

Stalled Boat (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Sunday Photo fiction

As she folded the old sheet of paper into a boat, Piya stared dejectedly at the flowing water.She had found it at the bottom of the old steel trunk, among her father’s clothes. How proud she’d been of him as a child.

The man had travelled around the region, toting a bag of books. Piya had understood that he was a bookseller, bringing much-needed resources to village schools and homes. He’d instilled the love of books in his young daughter.

As the researcher had rummaged in the trunk that morning, she’d stumbled upon this record. It told her the business her father had been engaged in all his life. “I earned Rs. 20,000 this last month,” one sentence went. The rich and corrupt landlords of the region, who wanted to destroy the legal records they’d drawn up with bonded labourers they held, had employed him to do the dirty work. Piya imagined what her father would have done after he’d collected the books from the powerful men. The picture of fleets of paper toy boats sailing on the surface of the quiet, deep river, pathetic thumbprints and agreements all consumed by the ravaging waters, rose irresistibly to her mind.

[By Aravinda Bhat  ( my son liked this photo so much that he wanted to write a story about it 🙂 )  ]

subramanya-bhat

Photo Credit : Subramanya Bhat

Stalled Boat (Sunday Photo Fiction)

 

The Ocean (Sunday photo fiction)

Sunday Photo fiction

Vishal stood on the deck of the ship and gazed at the Dhruva nakshatra. The ocean was his life. He had yearned to live on the ocean and his parents had understood. He had passed the exams. The arduous life thereafter was satisfying. The very fact that there was nothing solid beneath was so exciting. Each day was a new experience. The ship had become his home ten years ago. The vastness of the ocean filled his being. He felt sad and angry when people treated it as a garbage dump. The plastics floating by filled him with horror. Would people ever understand? Destruction seemed to be the new game. But to be fair, there were good people too.
His thoughts went back to those days when he had first started to dream about this life. He and his sister used to sail paper boats on the little stream in their grandparents’ home. During the rains the boat would glide along in full speed. They would run after it. Many a time a small rock would stop it. Life was like that. Sometimes small obstacles stop us from realizing our dreams. He was glad his dream had become a reality.

subramanya-bhat

(Photo credit : Subramanya Bhat)  (200 words)

The Ocean (Sunday photo fiction)

Dhruva – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhruva

Dhruva (ध्रुव “constant, immovable, fixed”) is a devotee of Vishnu mentioned in the Vishnu Purana and the Bhagavata Purana. The Sanskrit term dhruva nakshatra “immovable star” is used of the polar star in the Mahabharata, personified as son of Uttanapada and grandson of Manu, even though Polaris at the likely period of the recension of the text of the Mahabharata was still several degrees away from the …

 

Letter from Home-7 (#SOL 2019)

slice-of-life_individual

11-02-19
Dear Doddamma,
We went to Maikuri yesterday morning to be with my father-in-law. It takes us two hours by car in the mornings. We had breakfast on the way. My father-in-law will be 94 soon. He is able to do all his work but he finds it difficult to recognize people. His thoughts too are all tangled up. He cannot express what is in his mind and we find it difficult to understand what he wants to express. I feel very sad. Life changes so much as we grow older.

20190210_094414
When we go there Kuvara likes to go to the areca garden. He brings the leaves of the areca tree and makes plates from them. We enjoy eating our food from them. Long back areca leaf plates and banana leaves were used as plates. My father-in-law told me once long back, all banana plants died to some reason. There were no leaves and that year steel plates were purchased for all family members. We left at 3 and reached home at 5.30.

20190210_133111

Last week we cut a banana bunch from the plant in our garden. The fruits were tasty and our neighbours enjoyed them too. We use the banana stem in our food preparations. As we slice the stem we have to remove the fibres. The stem is tasty and good for health too. We also removed two types of yam. We had planted the saplings many months ago. The tube like one is called ‘mundi gadde’ (Alocasia root) and the round one ‘suvarna gadde’(elephant yam). I have not prepared anything from alocasia root. I will have to see a recipe.

20190204_102013

20190209_120240

Doddamma, I had mentioned earlier that I listen to the lectures of Bannanje Govindacharya everyday. He is a great Sanskrit scholar. These days I am listening to the episode of ‘ Yaksha prashne’ in Mahabharata. It is very interesting. There is so much that we do not know. I am not sure whether I will be to read so much, so I am listening to these fascinating lectures.

On the 6th my husband went to his cousins’ home to attend a religious function. Their home is about three hours away from our place by bus. He had not been there for a long time and was glad to meet his cousins and their families. He returned in the evening.

Aravinda is busy with his classes. Today evening we went to the park near Venugoplala temple. We walked for half an hour. On our way back we bought grocery from the Cooperative society in our town. We have been buying there for more than three decades.

As I am writing this amma will be with you Doddamma. She has been wanting to be with you for quite some time. I can picture both of you sitting together.
With lots of love,
Lakshmi

(My letters to my Doddamma, my father’s elder brother’s wife, have made letter writing a part of my life again. Both of us enjoy the letters. Doddamma literally means elder mother. She is my favourite relative. She is 88. She cannot go out and is not able to hear well. So, I started writing to her in November 2017. Earlier I used to send a mail to her daughter-in-law, she used to read it to her. My cousin’s wife told me Doddamma enjoys the feel of letters and re-reads them often. I edit the letters and post them in Slice of Life hosted by Two Teachers. I enjoy SOL. We, bloggers live in different parts of the world. Our lives are so different but there is sameness which is fascinating. The different posts and photos bring the world to my home. Thank you dear friends. 😊 )

Ruchi Ruchi Aduge: Mundigadde Palya
https://www.ruchiruchiaduge.com/2011/12/mundigadde-palya.html

Suvarna gadde huli recipe | How to make suvarna gedde sambar | …

Yaksha Prashna – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaksha_Prashna

Banana Stem Information, Recipes and Facts
https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/banana_stem_12571.php

Letter from Home-7 (#SOL 2019)

The Chameleon (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Sunday Photo fiction

Advaith and his grandfather were walking in the areca garden. He was excited to see so many trees, specially cocoa trees. His mother had told him that cocoa beans were used to make chocolate. He loved chocolate.

Suddenly his grandfather asked him to stand very still and pointed at a small animal on one of the branches. It was light green in colour. He stared, and it stared back at him. It looked just like the dragon he had seen on the ground floor of the mall. His sister had not liked it and had cried. But he thought of dinosaurs when he saw it. His mother had read to him about them. They had lived long ago. Most of them were huge. Some ate only grass and leaves. But others ate smaller animals. He wondered what would have happened if they had still lived. For some unknown reason they had become extinct.

The little animal slowly climbed the trunk of the coconut tree. He watched with wonder as the green colour changed to brown. Suddenly it ran away. His grandfather told him it was a chameleon.

spf-10-07-18-ce-ayr-4

Photo credit : C E Ayr

Letter from Home-6 (#SOL2019)

slice-of-life_individual

4-2-19
Dear Doddamma,
Last week was a musical week. We attended two music concerts. The first one was a ‘bhaavageete’ (light music) concert. The singer was Nada Maninalkur. He sang poems written different poets. These poems had been set to tune. He spoke a few words before each song. Some of the themes were about the importance people give to physical beauty, unhealthy competition in schools or in work places, the innocent questions asked by children. He said how life has changed today. Earlier people had time to talk to each other, how that changed when the telephone became a part of life and then with WhatsApp text messages and emoticons have become the means of communication. When he was singing the picture that came to mind was of a singer walking from village to village singing his songs.

20190130_184947
The next concert was a Hindustani classical music one. The singer was young singer called Gurudutt. He is a student of the famous Pandit Ajay Chakrabarty. He sang for two hours and time just flew. Doddamma, I was remembering Doddappa, my father’s elder brother. When he was in his 80s he started listening to Hindustani classical music and used to be immersed in the music. I think it is very important for us to develop new interests as we grow older.

20190202_151415
I made bread twice. Recently I came to know that bread could be made without the dough being kneaded. I searched in the internet and got the recipe. These breads are also called rustic breads. We liked the taste very much. Last year I had preserved jackfruit arils in salt and water. Yesterday morning I put them in clear water and changed the water twice to remove the salt from the arils. Later in the evening I ground them in the mixer with soaked rice. Today morning I made ‘rotti’ using banana leaf. We like it very much.

20190204_074612
On the 31st morning my husband went to Maikuri to be with his father and brother. There is an areca garden with cocoa and betelnut trees. Whenever he is there he likes to go to the garden (we call the garden thota in Kannada) to pluck cocoa and pick the fallen areca nuts.
Today afternoon I went to Asare. Yesterday members of Asare had taken part in a kite festival organized by the Volunteer service organization of the university in the grounds on the way to Endpoint. Many people take part. The money collected is used for charity. They all enjoyed themselves.

img-20190204-wa0009
Our grandchildren are fine. We talk to Gayatri and Kavya almost everyday through WhatsApp video call. We talk to Advaith  about two or three times a week.
With lots of love,
Lakshmi.

(My letters to my Doddamma, my father’s elder brother’s wife, have made letter writing a part of my life again. Both of us enjoy the letters. Doddamma literally means elder mother. She is my favourite relative. She is 88. She cannot go out and is not able to hear well. So, I started writing to her in November 2017. Earlier I used to send a mail to her daughter-in-law, she used to read it to her. My cousin’s wife told me Doddamma enjoys the feel of letters and re-reads them often. I edit the letters and post them in Slice of Life hosted by Two Teachers. I enjoy SOL. We, bloggers live in different parts of the world. Our lives are so different but there is sameness which is fascinating. The different posts and photos bring the world to my home. Thank you dear friends. 😊 )

Bhavageete – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhavageete
Bhaavageete or Bhavageeth (literally ’emotion poetry’) is a form of poetry and light music in India. Most of the poetry sung in this genre pertain to subjects like love, nature and philosophy, and the genre itself is not much different from Ghazals, though ghazals are bound to a peculiar metre.

Ajoy Chakrabarty – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajoy_Chakrabarty

No-knead bread – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-knead_bread

Letter from Home-6 (#SOL2019)