Essays, Photography

A Little Comfort in Me

Its coming, It’s just around the corner, people carry on their lives pretending not to notice it, but you know its coming, and I know its coming. I’m taking about good O’l Fall. Fall has a myriad of emotions attached to it. It is my favorite season. The world looks prettier, people are nicer and there is just an air of comfort wafting inside your house. Speaking of comfort, here is mine. There is nothing that feels better on a fall night than a bowl of thick, creamy tomato soup and a grilled swiss cheese sandwich. Nothing.

 

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Essays, Photography, Pictures

On the Road…Again

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I live an interesting life, one that contains countless hours of monotone and some hours of somethings which are greatly different from my daily life. I was on the road last week. Travelling once again for work, seeking skills that the higher-ups think I need and I am trying not to construe this as a thinly veiled insult of some sort. There was the reassurance of having fellow travellers with me in the car which meant that whatever this skill was that I lacked, there were others who were right along with me.

After driving for about 5 hours we entered the famed ruins of detroit. Yes, ruins. I have seen similar ones before. Sprawling metropolitan cities which have been abandoned to their decay and vices and the results is a crumbling giant. Dont get me wrong, the city is still beautiful, the architecture, still magnetic, but as I was walking through the shadows of greektown looking at the empty streets, I realized that the best days of this city had passed it by. Whats left is a bunch of people not wanting to believe that. We still managed to survive this, ate at wonderful restaurants and saw possibly the largest french pastry assortment in the united states (a little ironic that we found this in Arab Town). At the end of the week, we left with mixed emotions. Sadness at having to leave a city that we called home albeit for a few days, and relief that we don’t normally call this city…home.

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Photography, Reflections

Sunset at 30,000 Feet

Sometimes in life, you see a scene that requires no explanation. The picture probably existed for thousands of centuries, but if you were not privy to that vista, you probably would never have seen it. I have flown all through my life, but for some reason never looked out of the window to watch the setting sun. I don’t quite know why. I have been up in the air at the time, but have either been preoccupied with some book or catching up on sleep, reflecting on the events of the day. But, last week I did look out. And the sight was surreal. It made me think of the experiences in life that we pass up. It also made me think about not judging people without knowing all the facts. But mostly it made me think about the calmness of the heavens and the how when the manic craziness of life was drowned out, the world does seem like a beautiful place.

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Photography, Reflections

The Weekender

There is nothing more enjoyable than an early (relatively speaking) morning drive on the weekend. The sun barely rising and shining its lukewarm resonance at me while I drive still drowned in last night’s sleep. The streets are empty and I barely see a soul or two, fellow early birds stumbling towards their haunts for breakfast, which in my case consists of a warm cup of mocha and maybe a bagel. People like to vacillate between iced coffee and warm coffee based on the iterations of the weather. Not me. For me, the sensation of sipping on warm coffee is one of the purest joys in life, one that does not depend on the weather but only depends on me and my motivation to go out there and seek it.

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Essays, Photography, Reflections

The Tired Traveller

It is a brutal world that we live in. Everything points towards the inherent cruelty of life. Even the sweltering heat of the summer seems to be a metaphor for that feeling. Life has become a race, a race where the finish line does not exist. We chase invisible dreams and are forever left with a feeling of longing. We are left unfulfilled. We travel the world, we work tirelessly, and we swim in the sea of life and fly into the expanse of the universe in our inexhaustible quest to become a fictitious version of ourselves. We are travelers.

As I stopped momentarily at a traffic light, my jaded mind wandered aimlessly and I looked around. This is the same light that I have stopped pretty much every single day for the past three years but for some reason, never saw what I did today. It was a reflective sight, in the sense that the image reflected the thoughts in my head. I wondered whether the birds were a manifestation of our place in this world. Whether they were a surreptitious message asking me to pause of take a deep breath. The birds seem to be doing just that. The birds tell me that sometimes, all that a tired traveler needs is a little break in your journey.

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Photography, Reflections

The Colors of Life

The tireless weekday warriors will attest to the fact that the weekend is truly a treasured event. This event becomes even more treasured if its spent with people that you meet after a long time. People, relatives, acquaintances, places, objects, sights, sounds all physical and non physical entities that define who we are. Its funny when you think about it. Our existence is always reflective of some other factor. We are successful compared to someone else. We think of ourselves as failures based on the what the world defines success. Similarly every emotion: loneliness, happiness, richness and poverty are all subjective.

This past weekend was spent in the company of some relatives at McHenry Park. Its a little park juxtaposed to the Dam in the state of Illinois. It was an overcast spring day. The sky threatened to rain on our parade, but ultimately didn’t. What resulted was the perfect balance. Temperature in the 70s, and a soft wind soaked in the fragrance of rain. I see the sights around me, rocks, the setting sun, and children playing with a soccer ball. There is something about sports that brings out the best and the worst in us. We become warriors, fighters and almost animals in our relentless drive to win. But as much as it seems like a battle, sports function more as a unifier of sorts. People seem to be enjoying themselves here.

 I watch the scene from a distance, like a faceless stranger watching events on a broken television. I stand behind an invisible wall, the boundaries of which are undefined but very existent. I stay at a distance, not because I do not wish to partake in the ceremonies, but more because watching the scene is more enjoyable than making the scene. I just stand and click pictures and unlike the players, who will probably not remember this day, I will definitely stash away these threads of memories into the warm corners of my mind.  The severed corpse of a tree next to the virulent bodies of its family, the spring grass, the fallen leaves of winter, the ripples of the stagnant water and brilliant hues of the setting sun, I watch these images and the involuntary flickers of a smile gestate on the corner of my lips and I continue gazing at the magnificent colors of life.

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Photography, Reflections

The Forgotten Journey

I came across a couple of pictures that I had taken ages ago. These are pictures from my trip to San Fransisco in 2008. In essence these four pictures define that trip for me. Many hours were spent drinking a lazy cappuccino in cafes in the financial district. There were the odd touristic indulgences (A trip to Alcatraz) and some unnecessary shopping (Chinatown). Overall, the perfect vacation!

I love travelling, and not having done that in a while makes me yearn to be in a new city, wandering down unfamiliar streets, discovering a place, unknown to me, but familiar to the nameless crowd that passes me by.

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