Saturday, 20 April 2019

Need for Shade

We realize value of something only after we have lost it. In this unforgiving desert heat, where there is not a shade anywhere nearby, the only respite, for camel and humans alike, is this tree. It was scary to imagine this place without this briefest of comfort.
We know the facts about deforestation, rapidly depleting greenery leading to global warming. But do we realize the effect in our day to day life? Who cares about the eco system far far away in antarctica when ice melts!! We wouldn't know or care, until we are one day soon enough desperately looking for a tree like this!! 

Friday, 19 April 2019

Lost Horizon

I have always loved looking at horizon, the idea that somewhere the earth and the sky meet is so poetic. As I was flying today, there was full moon in the sky while sun was just about to rise and the sky was deciding whether it wanted to remain black or turn orange. My heart rejoiced that I was going to witness an amazing sunrise, the sea and even the moon in the sky. I looked down anticipating the sea, but I couldn't distinguish between the sea and the sky because there was a layer of smog. A layer of smog that spoke about industrial growth, worldly riches but that stole from me my view of the horizon. Whatever worldly gains I may possess, what value it has if I don't see any more sunrises this exquisite.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Dancing Lights

There are things in nature which have the potential to change us, change the way we look at things. Sharing one such events from my life which changed the definition of the color green and night sky for me. 
Northen lights. In a remote Norway wilderness in a sky without any artificial light, suddenly irrupted green flames as if our wishes had taken life form. Just like our hearts, these flames started dancing, when the shapes moved and new colors appeared.

I cannot see this shade of green anymore (which is pretty common in our world of technology and colorful lights) without thinking about the goosebumps I had when this light appeared in the sky. Those few hours in that bitter cold night changed how I would feel about colors and artificial lights, probably forever. 

P.S: See the ghosts at the bottom? Great rewards come only after great suffering. Yeah, the bite of cold. When it becomes intolerable, when toes and fingers go numb, tears roll down and freezes on the cheek, you dance, jump, move around....simply do anything to elongate that wonderful moment before giving up.

King in the Kingdom

You can never forget your first time. For me, it was in Tadoba, the very first time I saw a tiger in the wild. It's a game of sheer chance to see a tiger in its own territory. You can't believe something so majestic and pristine could ever exist. You feel humbled and blessed even overwhelmed by this miracle of nature. 
You won't experience the same thrill to see a tiger in captivity. You need to see a king in all his glory on the battle ground, not in a prison cell where he has ceased to be a king.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Majestic Blue Whale

Blue Whale, oh such majestic creatures.. My first sighting was when a whale that we were chasing decided to pop up just next to my side of the boat. For a second, I was left speechless, I felt like extending my hand and touching it to make me believe that all of this was happening. I was actually allowed to witness his majesty- this blue whale, it's sheer size and closeness making it impossible for me to fit it fully in my vision. It's dive into the water, it's water blow and smart swoop of it's fin was so mesmerizing that I kept pinching myself to believe in my sweet luck. I kept thanking my stars for how this awe-inspiring creature could ever exist and then I actually got a chance to see it in it's natural habitat- the ocean....

The experience was too awe-inspiring for me to take a decent picture in a turbulent sea. P.C. @rajaandthewhales .

Human Animal Relationship

Do Dil Ek Jaan, perfect harmony of human-animal relationship

We define ourselves with labels of relationship mother, father, son, daughter, friend, godparent, etc. This guy for me will always be a Mahout, an Elephant rider and trainer. Not because I didn't get to know him as a person, his life and family but because his relationship with the elephant defined him. The elephant was not just source of income for him, it was his childhood friend, his parter in crime and even his God. 

And as I looked into the eyes of the elephant, I saw how the affection and devotion was mutual. Their bond was not of material things but felt actually like a match made in heaven. Just like in the picture, they merged so seamlessly that we don't know where one starts and the other ends.

Every Life Sacrosanct

Life, every life is sacrosanct 
Many are living by this philosophy

But what we actually mean is, 

Human life is sacred and Godly

As if God only created Humans

while other forms were created accidentally

In this ever mysterious universe

Aren't we the most tedious actually


Ever since creation, evolution has been a scientific reality, survival of the fittest. Many species evolved while many went extinct... Humans started with the lot .. all hands on the deck ... but pretty soon jumped on the deck and took over the steering wheel of this world. Not just survived - rather they thrived. They left those cave homes to live in high rises. Evolution didn't bless human with wings but they still flew...over and even beyond the earth. .
But did we fly so high that we left that human -born out of nature- back in those caves?? That instinct which guides our survival, which understands natural laws. 
Animals form packs to increase their chance of survival. Are we not smart enough to understand the power of unity? I have seen monkeys helping deers to alert them of approaching danger. In the face of drought, prey and predator sharing the same water source together. How can those simple minded animals know that they cannot survive alone on this planet while we, the smarter lot, destroy everything in our way, animals, forests, nature, our own home. We destroy the air we breathe. When we cut those trees that give us oxygen, are we surviving because we are the fittest? Or are we digging our graves because we are making everyone sick by surviving?

Bystander Effect

Humans are the the most intelligent creatures on the planet. Yet, we are the ones causing this planet the worst damage. Sometimes it makes one wonder, does intelligence somehow come with its own lack of common sense or overconfidence. Do we not realize how much damage we are causing or do we think that we will somehow outdo ourselves and find another planet to live on?

I had studied in psychology a case study of Kitty Genovese who was stabbed to death in front of her own house and no one came to her help despite her calling out for help. I learnt that this was a bystander effect, in which the responsibility is towards everyone and hence towards no one. Is this happening to our attention towards our planet? 

How can we be a bystander while literally standing on the very earth!!!

Animals in the Wild

These eyes and their innocence

Sacrificed just for our indulgence .


Looking at animals, their colors and fur sometimes I feel that humans are so bland. We are so uni-dimensional that to be part of this alluring world, we kill these animals. For their meat, for their fur and sometimes, just because we can. But just like we can derive joy out of a child's play, can we attain pleasure just out of watching these animals from sideline. Who's to say that the joy from seeing a wild animal won't be significantly larger?

A Vigilant Mother

The ever vigilant mother....
Our lives are such roller coaster ride!! With so many ups and downs. The only way to survive it is with the help of a loved one, that shoulder on which we can lean on. But not everyone is so fortunate. .
This mother has to take care of her babies all by herself. Being a single mother is difficult, tiger mother does it while protecting her territory and hunting as well. Being a tiger mother is a job without any respite. Even one short nap can be fatal for the cubs. She has to protect her tiny vulnerable cubs because she knows that they are helpless without her. She has to be their mother, protector, teacher... and she has to do it every hour, every minute for about 2 years....until her babies can survive on their own. .
And we think our lives are hard!!!

Circle of Life

In the circle of life, any change will break the whole circle. Being in the City, surrounded by concrete, we sometimes forget that we are part of this circle. It's important to remember, here distance doesn't automatically lead to separation. Till the time we are breathing we are part of this life cycle and as we die, we become fully emerged to become one with the soil.

Fear of Unknown

Fear of unknown 

Trust in his mother

is all this kid knows

But as this kid grows 

Will he be wary of humans

Just like his mother is?

The Boiling Pot

We have all heard of the tale of a frog in a slowly boiling pot, how the frog boiled to death as he didn't realize the temperature was increasing slowly. The story is used to fight against the status quo.

This theory has been refuted scientifically and if you ask me, no one is actually that dumb. But as I see many people around me refuting global warming (because it is snowing in US), I am not so sure anymore. 

To all the naysayers, let me try again, with just one example.

Mount Kilimanjaro, the legendary dormant volcano has lost 85% of its ice cap in the last 100 years. This ice cap has been the lifeline, major source of water for millions of animals for thousands of years. Scientists say that Kilimanjaro could lose all its ice before 2035 which means the end of life for all those animals in Kenya and Tanzanian plains. Millions of lives lost.... Do we think its only just going to be those animals that we will lose? The mountain supports millions of humans too. How long before the limited resources are all gone and we are left to die without food or water? Can our technology or our urban developments save us from nature's wrath?

Just like that frog, we are sitting in a boiling pot and the temperature is quickly rising. If we continue the status quo, it won't be the fault of the pot but that of the frog for not taking action.

P.C @riddhipratim .

We can make a difference

Why are humans the strongest?? The answer is one word, determination. If you think about it, we would have been so inconsequential to this earth if we didn't have determination.

Each and every one of us is important enough... we can impact enough. There are many places on earth that seem beyond my reach but I am determined to make an impact. Determined to make this place a little better. Together let's build a better world.