Monday, June 06, 2005

Garden of Life

photograph and coffee quote on leaves and fall

Quote:         Count the garden by the flowers, never by the leaves that fall.
                          Count your life with smiles and not the tears that roll.
Author:       Unknown
Photographer: Amarjeet Kaur Virdi

Before I start with today's post, I wanted to point out yesterday's comments. It seems as if I have found a college mate of mine via blogging. Separated by two years during college and 1000s of miles now during PG, its incredible how we bump into each other. Waiting for a chance to rag this guy :-)

Thanks Amarjeet for this snap shot near Renukaji resorts (I hope I got the spelling right) Remember her previous snap? It was the one on Marital Bliss.

Folks, I have a scoop for you - an exclusive write up. The author is a familiar face to most of us, well known for her crisp, sharp writings. Churning out heart wrenching and emotional "stories" using the simplest of words, its a refreshing read. Guess who?

Yep its Meera. For the minority who still havent discovered her creations, head straight to Lapsus Linguae Her blog speaks for itself especially the archives. (atleast much better than all the superlatives which my mind can churn out at this unearthly hour)

Meera's Corner:
Now, here, when the world is slowly getting used to the indolence the weekend brings with it, I find myself making linear patterns, across the corridor of thoughts, the confluence of all rooms in the apartment. Ideas are born, in this small passage, in much the same way streaks of light pour in from the sly gaps in the curtained windows from the rooms opening into its length. It is a distance shaped by the sole purpose of connection and empty of everything besides the energy of my strides back and forth. My eyes gently take in sights around me, so languidly, that each becomes an entity of its own, one stretch of discrete consciousness where the underlying pattern of events take a backseat and the actors walk to the forefront, sometimes in glaring colors and noisy idiosyncrasies, sometimes in silent choreography in mute acceptance to the decrees of fate. In one moment stretched in time when beginning and end are forgotten, I watch life through the windows of the apartment.

The huge window in the bedroom opens into the play park, with its mazes and sliding boards providing routes of escape in the side. Swings made of worn tires, now repainted to look new, are surrounded by little children, some with pigtails in merry printed frocks and divided skirts, some with summer crew-cuts in shorts and sneakers, all with missing teeth, a sign of growth, of life in its ascent, of fierce energy, rising in defiance. I move on in my journey onward from the bedroom to the kitchen, where the window reveals the stone path around the play park. There are low benches surrounded by cool shrubs, where I see a bunch of teenagers talking. Suddenly they break into a song. Some more songs follow. They are probably indulging in a game of Antakshari. From where I stand, I can see the immediate gleam of washed stainless steel utensils fading into the background to give way to the careless children and the sound of their hum. I guess the lyrics from the tune. Any glaring mistake, any lack of uniformity is muted by the time the sound waves reach my ears.
I move on to the hall, the window of which faces the window of an apartment in the building opposite. A man, very old, probably in his eighties' walks slowly, his walking stick keeping him company with its dull thud, a pillar of support. He is searching for something. He looks unsure of himself. As he bends down, he holds his hips in gentle support and peers at the lower racks of the book shelves. He calls out to someone in the inner room. She walks in. She is older too. In her hand, she holds a tray with two cups of coffee. She walks slowly into the room, shrugs and finds the book her husband, presumably, had been looking for. They sit at the table near the window and sip the coffee. During the comfortable silence that ensues, there is communication beyond words, one that is possible only among fellow travelers through life, who have spoken enough to have graduated to this realm of companionable silence. I am captivated by the silence that encapsulates me. She looks out, in a continuous gaze, from her husband. Our eyes meet. A smile, a nod, a flash of recognition of parallel lives being led, suddenly meeting by a strange interplay of facial muscles, having its origin in some hidden corner of the mind, a snapshot of an instant, that does not stop but instead magnifies the cycle, the inevitability of movement, the path onward.

I continue my pace back and forth, across rooms, across seasons, across the kaleidoscope of sight and sound that dance in front of me, across people. Like Time, it leads me from fall to spring and back.

- Meera

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Compiled by Dheepak Ra
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Isnt this like the politicians cutting the ribbon after the engineers and labourers have toiled hard to build a beautiful structure? ;-)

17 Comments:

Blogger Ansh said...

beautiful pic and awesome words to top it all...
I like the lighting... kinda interesting and very pleasing to the eyes!

6/06/2005 3:18 PM  
Blogger @$#!$# said...

awesome pic dude....

6/06/2005 9:52 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

Dheepak, your comment on that Aristotle post of mine was a riot :-)

"Thinking on your feet" perhaps?

:-)

6/06/2005 9:57 PM  
Blogger Art said...

hey... somehow dont agree with this... Leaves need not always mean tears...
Flowers need not always mean smile...
Its just the feeling of a person, which makes u smile, the leaf or the flower...

6/06/2005 10:38 PM  
Blogger Scarface said...

Can I flick photos from here to send as Good Morning mails?? :-)

6/06/2005 10:53 PM  
Blogger Baejaar said...

Thanks Ansh. I think Amardeep got it at the right time. Natural lighting in the shade - not direct sunlight neither dark and gloomy.

Ashish, let me invite Amardeep down here to personally recieve your compliments.

Thennavan, Thanks for dropping by. I was frank.......

Arathi, This is more about "falling leaves" and not the leaves which are still growing in the trees. Here the tears which fall are compare to the falling leaves and the smile in our faces are compared to the blooming flower. It is one way of looking at it and my personal opinion is that this quote is right (there are some in the past which personally I differed)

6/06/2005 10:54 PM  
Blogger Baejaar said...

Scarface, Be my guest. Infact its already circulating as good morning emails. I once got it back through my friend as a forward after travelling Mohali, Hyderabad and few more cities before it reached me :-)

6/06/2005 10:57 PM  
Anonymous lakshmi said...

Thanks for introducing Meera's Blog... Excellent writing

6/06/2005 11:03 PM  
Blogger Eroteme said...

Nice pic.
Meera is at her best here. Wonderful tapestry of words, images and colours. She is, as you say, amazing.

6/07/2005 1:29 AM  
Blogger vashok said...

I must agree that i dont agree that there is an agreement between the picture and the quote. In fact, i believe too much has already been done to stereotype the relation between form and function. And these days it only adds a smirk to my face when i see yet another depiction of this relation. That is of course componded in this picture simply because of the nature of objects chosen to depict the quote. The leaf is actually a true symbol of life and it is the primary (if not only) reason the flower ever got to bloom (i am of crse referring to photosynthesis). More deeply, their ties to life go even further. Once dead, it then provides life to the soil. In any case, i rest my case by alluding to my belief that it serves the best of both worlds to enquire into function rather than form ( Be it for the flower or for the leaf). For that is precisely how we wish to be remembered too.

6/07/2005 2:06 AM  
Blogger Baejaar said...

Thanks Eroteme.

Ashok, I think you have misunderstood the intention. Its not about the usefulness or the value of flower vs leaf. Its more about the sadness of a falling leaf to the joy of a flower still in bloom. This isnt referring to the leaf which still survived but the dead leaves which have withered away after serving their purpose......

6/07/2005 3:08 AM  
Blogger Baejaar said...

Lakshmi
There is a saying "Yaan petra inbam peruga ivvaiyagam". (The joy which I felt should be felt by everyone - agreed pretty crude translation but thats the jist) That is what I did.

6/07/2005 3:11 AM  
Blogger Meera said...

Dear Eroteme & Lakshmi,
Thank you.

6/07/2005 3:32 AM  
Blogger kaleidoscope said...

Nice Photo and great words to go with it.

6/07/2005 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Tarun said...

Meera's writing reminded me of a ghalib's 'sher' i came across recently :
baazeechaa-e-atfaal hai duniya mere aage;
hota hai shab-o-roz tamaasha mere aage.
[The world is like children's playground before me;
Every day & night, a spectacle/fair/exhibition unfolds before me].
Great Writing.

6/07/2005 6:57 AM  
Blogger Baejaar said...

Thanks a lot kaleidoscope and tarun. I am sure Meera is checking out these comments.

6/07/2005 7:04 AM  
Blogger anubhav said...

great quote..
what great piece of write-up deserves a standing ovation..awesome work meera

and dheepak late nights have become a habit to me...most engineers are nocturnal creatures

6/07/2005 9:55 AM  

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