Vaikunth Flower Show

I was in one of my lazy moods , scrolling Facebook , reading peoples’ personal posts on travel , friendships , dogs , how to make something in 5 min and all the various narcissistic photographs. ( Those always get more than 100 likes ).

Suddenly I perked up. There it was. Something after my own heart. A post on something I just love so. You all know that. Yes , right. It was a flower show. The Vaikunth flower show . With more than a million flowers , is what the ad said.

I had to go. I JUST HAD TO GO THERE. The next few days were spent in thinking about it, gathering my like minded friends together and adjusting a suitable time to go.

We were a happy excited trio who set out on the Saturday afternoon. So much laughter and chatting , getting caught in traffic, hankering for tea ! It was all part of the fun and set our moods just right.The arrangements by Piramal realties , the people who put up the show , were impeccable . We got our well deserved tea as soon as we reached.

But….what was this ? Even at the entrance the beauty and the color of the flowers was a sight to behold ! If this was just outside imagine what awaited us inside !

And , gosh , what was this quaint little train doing here ? Two small wooden trains were arranged to take people around for an initial glimpse and later one could browse around on foot. We stood in the queue for the train and had free popcorn ,cold drinks and candy floss. Haven’t had candy floss in years !

The flowers were beautifully arranged . The landscaping was marvellous ! Myriad colours , beautiful shades and hues all superbly arranged ,was a sight to behold ! Rows and rows of various flowers , conglomeration of them with just the right colours put together ! Should I appreciate this one or that ? Should I take panoramic pics or should I lovingly capture each of natures creations separately ! It was all so beautiful.Words fail me.

They also had attractions for those who are not so madly in love with flowers as the three of us.There was a wooden horse beautifully made. Various animal models covered with grass and otherwise. Monkeys hanging from trees , donkeys bearing fruit and what have you ! An elephant here and a camel there, models of the Rajabhai tower , Victoria terminus and all our heritage buildings which Mumbai is so proud of. There was a Japanese garden, a Spanish one ,a Brazilian one with Jesus the Redeemer blessing everything in sight. A Persian one , and a magical Banyan tree with orchids hanging from it. None of us could stop clicking pictures ! All the people around had happy faces , the children running to and fro in excitement. Only a glorious show of Nature can bring out the best in human nature.

Soon it was evening and dusk.And it all came alive. The place was lit like a magical Neverland ! The Banyan tree in particular was an enchanted magical fairy tale tree. If I could feel transported into a fairy tale world , I wonder what the children felt ! Another round of photographs was a must. Though this had more to do with human creation, albeit done beautifully . The natural colours of the flowers was changed into deeper hues with the lighting. Another added feature to the magic of the evening was a band playing songs in the background. After having taken our fill of all the beauty around us  , reluctantly we decided to leave.

But it wasn’t still over. There were snacks and cold drink, tea and icecream arranged for free for all the tired but happy people who had visited. And arranged in a lovely garden with colourful water fountains on display. Oh , and I forgot one more beautiful thing. On arrival we were so busy looking at the flowers that we didn’t look up at all. But while we were leaving we saw those huge chandeliers which were lighting up the entrance with white and lavender fairy lights. We just had to stop and take more pics. And ever so many mandatory selfies too .

It was a wonderful Saturday evening spent in the company of my dearest beloved friends ! I yearn for more…..

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Happy Days

Do you want to know how I spent one whole evening a few days back ?

I went back in time. Not the sci fi one in which you travel many many centuries back in a time machine.  But the age old  road .  Down memory lane…. And what took me along this beautiful road , holding my heart, my hand ?  My albums ! My albums full of happy photographs , happy people , happy occasions .

It’s  not something today’s generation values . They have their photographs uploaded on Cloud , on pen drives and all things virtual . The pleasure of holding an old yellowing album , the slightly fading photographs , the old book fragrance ….it’s not for them. I  belong to the older generation and so find albums irreplaceable . The wait for the prints and the sorting out of the dates and arranging the photos sequentially was all so pleasurable . Every photograph fixed in the album was a gateway to the memories .  Times change and so do we. The last 4 years , I too haven’t got prints made for all the wonderful memories .

It is so wonderfully easy to see my son as a baby , see my father and mother as a young handsome couple , see all of us at all stages of life, in a matter of minutes. The photographs can be seen in seconds . All the way back to 70 yrs or more. There is no need for a computer , a hard drive  and the slideshow to begin looking at photographs.

And , can I hold the computer to my face and kiss the picture of my Dad who passed away 17 yrs back ?  No. Because there are none of his pictures on the laptop . But , I do hold his photograph close to my face and kiss his picture , and remember all his fatherly affection and I feel protected by his love for me . I caress his photo and yearn once more to be in his arms ,the way he held me when I myself was a little girl in a frock and pigtails.Can we hang the laptop on the wall to show us our dear departed ones ? But seeing my Dad looking down at me always gives me strength .

For the last 5 yrs , I have been meaning to make an album of my son’s wedding photographs. Yes, I am able to see those in the laptop whenever I want. But , now they have got transferred to the hard drive . Will I really make an effort to see them again ? Difficult it is for me to get down to it, considering I am from the net unsavvy generation. Will his children look at an old hard drive to see those pics? How much easier it is to see albums , put a finger on the pic and identify all the people ! Only by looking at all the past photographs will his children be able to identify all his relatives and friends. I think I must set a goal and get down to this very important task. Building memories….                                                                                                                                                        Building happy memories…..                                                                                                                        Creating everlasting visual emotional bonds…..                                                                                 Creating a continuity of generations …..                                                                                           Creating relationships …..                                                                                                                  Creating a past for the future generation !

 

 

 

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Life

Life .

So monotonous  !

So humdrum !

The mind is numb. The vicious circle of thoughts  the same , day in and day out.

The physical activity a strain.

Is this depression ? Is this what the rest of one’s life going to be like ? What is the interest in living ?

One goes through all the outward appearances of happiness. A party here ,  an outing there. You laugh you guts out . You look after your appearance , one grooms oneself well. Look attractive , take momentary pleasure in compliments.

But deep down…….

Does one really ever experience happiness ? The pure joy of feeding your baby , holding him close to your heart , an extension of oneslf, the totally pure love in your eyes , the implicit trust and confidence in you which shines out of the baby’s eyes ,  the absolute pure innocent love with which the baby looks at you !

That happiness never comes back.

The empty nest is stark and decaying.

There is no inner joy ! Everything is for momentary pleasure. To prevent you from falling into a well of self pity , self loathing ,  self destruction.

Turning to God,

Turning to physical pleasure,

Turning to friends , hobbies , people….

All  to prevent oneself from going stark raving mad with loneliness and depression.

And the epitaph will still read..a life enjoyed and lived well !

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The Expectant Father

He is going to have a Baby !

His wife is in labour, she is bearing all the pains , the pricks, the pressure , smiling , crying , screaming through the pain ! It’s a long wait . He has hours to sit and think. The last 9 months flash in front of his eyes like a film in  slow motion .

He had just come back from a tour. She snuggled up to him and told him about the missed period. He remembers her radiant face and his slow proud smile . She fell asleep soon after, but he couldn’t. How long he sat in a dreamy state with a glass of wine to celebrate this life changing event !

Then followed the visits to the obstetrician , the tests , the joy of seeing the baby during the ultrasound. He loved her voracious appetite, her blooming figure, the ballooning abdomen, and the baby kicking. He spoke to the baby often and could swear that the little thing responded to his touch. And finally the day arrived when he was going to hold close and embrace his beautiful creation ! It didn’t make an iota of difference whether the little one was a boy or a girl. The little baby was his , His , HIS !

He sat there dreaming even as his heart wrung out in anguish over what his loved one was going through . They took her in then, and after what seemed like hours , but really wasn’t , they brought out this little pink bundle of joy . He looked at the baby with wonderous eyes . This was his creation , this beautiful , wonderful , adorable angel , his baby , his life . They brought out his wife a little later…..tired , hair dishevelled , but her eyes sparkling , a thousand unspoken emotions in her eyes.

They held each other close , and marvelled at this creation of theirs , happy , fulfilled and content.

This is the happy scenario witnessed the world over by thousands of obstetricians the world over . The scene depicted in movies and indeed seen with many ‘ in love ‘ couples.

But let us look at another scenario.

The wife tells him that she has missed her period . He starts yelling at her……How could you do this ( as though he is not responsible for it one bit ) . Why can’ t you be more responsible ( Hello ?????).  If you are so keen to get a baby, you manage it all ( What’s going on dude ? ). You think I am going to pay for all the ensuing expenditure….ask your dad to foot it all ( Aren’t you the provider ?).

And  the expectant father doesn’t accompany her to the doctor , complains about the unpleasant symptoms and doesn’t forego his conjugal rights. The day she was unwell with some minor ailment, do you think he sympathised ? He took her to the gynaec but also made it a point to say that this was the wife’s fault….doesn’t she know enough that she has to avoid xyz things during the pregnancy and not fall sick. As though a viral infection is her fault ! And where was he when she went into labour ? He stayed at home and sent her off with her in laws.  He did go much later. And on being told that a beautiful girl was born , all he did was to sit with a sullen face . No love, no smile , no look of gratefulness for all the pain she had borne. Nothing for the newborn little one.

Another scene commonly seen in Indian hospitals…. the pregnant woman is accompanied by a host of relatives …in laws and her own parents  brothers sisters. The poor father is lost somewhere in this crowd. He can’t hold his wife’s hand, cannot give her courage, cannot sympathise and cannot look into her eyes. He is relegated outside as this his first and he doesn’t understand anything ! When the baby is brought out it’s his mother and her mother who get to hold the baby first.. Till someone remembers the poor father and the baby is given to him ! Poor guy. No wonder he feels left out in the first few months when every woman who has ever borne a child becomes the  adviser .

And then there is this other guy , who sees his wife in pain , a whole lot of it. How can she bear it so , she who is like a delicate flower  ! And then they seek him out for his consent to operate on her. For her safety and the baby’s . How brave and strong she is ! She with her soft skin and intolerance to the slightest pain ! Will she be able to handle it ?  But….what is this ? She is being wheeled out and she is smiling ! Oh what a relief ! Now he can be excited about his beautiful daughter !

And the most horrifying nightmare , once in a lifetime of an obstetrician , a scene which gets carved out in indelible ink, a never to be forgotten scene, the haunting faces of all involved , the sudden untreatable emergency ! Where  the expectant father is told the most unexpected news ……that he is never going to set eyes on the person he loved to see first thing in the morning ! There is no little one in whom he would have sought the person he loved and whom he could have hated for taking away his beloved .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Love Flowers

A second blog in a week….when it took me two years to start off !

I  love flowers . God really put  his heart and soul into creating them . The beauty of each flower , the myriad hues , the wonderfully different shapes and sizes ! It gladdens the heart just looking at a flower !

And the FRAGRANCE  ! No perfume , no researched chemical can ever hope to duplicate the beautiful  soft, delicate  scent of a flower ! It puts you in a dreamy , floating , sensuous state  of mind . It makes you smile . It makes you have softer feelings in dealing with the person in front of you. It makes you fall in Love !

If only we can become like a flower…..give away our very best , make the world a happier place, no conflicts , only lots of love and good cheer all around . Keep everyone around in the best of spirits just by our innate goodness ! In today’s world of strife , hatred , petty quarrels and insane unnecessary rifts among people , states , countries….it’s  the flower people  who bring good cheer and happiness to those around !

I love flowers ! Wherever I go I must visit a garden . I have innumerable photos of flowers from all over the world . My maximum Instagram posts , all my photogrid creations , all my cards….they are all flowers .

I have realised that the best fragrances are from all the little white flowers. Mogra , raatrani , nishigandha , madhukamini, lily , chapha, ananta …… The pure , the innocent , the ones without an ego …these are the ones who make us happy , make life worth living , and make the world a better place.

I Love flowers ! The softness of the flowers makes them a bed for the newly weds . A bunch of red roses declares the lover’s eternal passion , a yellow bunch his eternal faithfulness ! We present flowers and bouquets on happy occasions ….. If only we didn’t have to pluck the flowers for our Happiness !

And how can I forget the only time flowers take on the mantle of obscenity….a very very grotesque thick garland around the neck of some theiving politician ! Even then……

I LOVE FLOWERS !

 

 

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My first blog

At last !    Finally !!

i am able to get my act together !

Have been wanting to start blogging since 2 years . Ever since my friend’s daughter started her blog . I thought it was indeed a very creative thing to do . It has always been my dream to write . To pen down thoughts , dreams , experiences and expectations , life’s pleasures and pitfalls , aspirations and annoyances .

I was a kid who could write well. A daughter whose letters were cherished by her parents as they described so graphically her days spent away from them ! A science student whose English essay got read aloud in class ! It was my Dad’s wish that I continue writing my life experiences . I have travelled the world extensively. It was his dream that I pen down all my travel experiences in India and abroad . What better way to remember those wonderful and thrilling times ! And who knows ! I might have been able to write a book about them too. Imagine your book in the stands at Crosswords……….ooooooh what a dream !

Alas , we never listen to our parents do we ? “Dad! I am going to remember this forever !” That’s what I said. And the memories kept piling up on top of one another, till the bottom ones were totally , completely squashed. And so, what have I now ? Just a few lines and episodes of those awesome wonderful experiences. So I advise all the youngsters I know to please keep a diary . Who knows ! Your daily life could be a book tomorrow , a movie another day or a travel brochure for life !

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