Rounds represent completion, encapsulation, and to an extent, closure. And that’s why this week’s photo prompt reminded me of cookies—round cookies baked to a crisp perfection, gooey on the middle and crunchy on the edges. As I heaved a huge sigh just thinking about cookies and the closure they offer, I remembered something else that had the same effect on me in San Francisco: It was the experience of looking down at the city from a vantage point. I was at the de Young Museum observatory, observing the false silence if the city below me. Looking down from one side, I saw tiny grass patches, water bodies, and walkways around the museum for visitors to enjoy. And from up above, I tried my best to round them all in one picture.
We all have human friends and non-human friends. But then some of us have non-living friends, too. As a way to cope with work stress, I’ve been spending a lot more time with myself nowadays. I leave work early, brew up some coffee with dinner, and pick up a book. It’s become an everyday thing now, and those are the most peaceful hours of my day. I read some great books this way: To Kill a Mockingbird, When Breath Becomes Air, Catcher in the Rye, 1984, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and more. And along the way, I met some wonderful characters—Atticus, Jem, Winston, Anne Elliot—who I wish were my friends in real-life.
Some moments in life, though fleeting, last a lifetime as memories. The first ray of light that breaks through the darkness, walking out like her majesty from behind a veil, to cast her arms of sunshine on the world anticipating her gaze; the fleeting, half-hidden moment before she reveals herself to us—that’s a memory that would sit forever in my mind. Like a longer-lasting flash, the sun rose from the depths of the night to the heights of the day—all in a matter of minutes. On the Kangchenjunga mountain, we waited from 4 am for the sun to show up. Because no two sunrises are the same and no two seconds during the rise are alike. If that’s not evanescent, what else is?
We were in Thekkady, enjoying the monsoon showers and the chilly breeze that came with it. Wondering what to do for thrill, we wandered through the shopping street when we noticed a poster from the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre for a show of traditional Kerala fighting techniques. It was rather a pricey ticket, which is understandable since they target rich tourists, but I had my doubts, too, about how much I’d enjoy it.
After about a half hour of sword and stick fighting, the team moved on to fire. I sat up excited. What spells dare and danger better than fire? And boy, what an act that was.
Sometimes you need to stare long before you realise that the our world is more majestic than we think. I had such a moment of awe and eye splendour in Thekkady, a part of Kerala. It was the green mountain, called so because its greenery lasts throughout the year.
It wasn’t just any mountain, though. It’s home for some of the tallest trees, mildest deer, and wildest elephants. Not to forget the freshest of lemongrass. You could reach out and snatch the grass off its root (Evil, I know. I was appalled when our host did it, but was also glad later.), and the lemony scent would fill the air with all its natural glory. None of the perfumed, lemon-flavoured car fresheners would come anywhere close to it. That’s the beauty of our earth—human creations stand no chance against it.