A walk in a Japanese Garden

My friend and fellow blogger Millie Thom‘s recent blog on a Japanese Garden inspired me to walk over to our nearby Japanese Garden this morning. This little 2-acre garden is a part of a community college campus. My son and I had a great time inhaling the rejuvenating air and admiring the refreshing views. Thanks Millie for the inspiration and hope you all like the clicks.

The Japanese garden is created to present a miniature and idealized view of nature. Rocks are symbolic of mountains while ponds can represent seas.

All the architectural elements and components including water, waterfall, stones, bridges, lanterns, benches, meditation shelter, plants, shrubs and trees etc have deep philosophical aspect too.

Love this striking red bridge!

A waterfall peeps through the foliage!

Little fish friends came over to say hello!

Another curved bridge!

A pathway.

Beyond the garden!

Check Millie’s lovely blog post here

The Onset of Autumn

Notice how the leaves of this tree are changing colour! This lovely tree, located right in front of my apartment, announces the onset of Autumn every year. Soon, Minnesota will deck up for a colouful and breathtaking Fall.

And this announcer tree will turn a glorious red at the peak of the season and will look like this – see pic below. (Clicked last Fall.)

How well John Keats said – Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run….

Ah, bliss!

The Coffee Cup

Art critics drew near the newly unveiled painting – The Coffee Cup. They gushed over it, finding new dimensions to the work of genius.

"The use of colours are brilliant. Look at the emphasis on brown symbolizing the overflow of internet garbage dump in our digital age," one of them declared.

"I beg to differ Sir. The picture can also be seen as a smart depiction of apocalypse…a live Volcano with lava flowing out," another one contradicted.

"I believe it depicts our helplessness in life. There are some slimy, overflowing problems that cannot be handled," an old gentleman remarked.

"What are you saying grandpa? Last night, we agreed it looked like goo in a cup," his little granddaughter's word echoed in the hall.

Nervous laughter ensued as the clueless girl got escorted out.

(This my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the amazing Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Thank you artycaptures.wordpress.com for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)

My Father’s Song to Krishna

Although credit goes to my grandma for introducing Lord Krishna to us, it is my 68 year old father who reaffirms our faith time and again through his soulful bhajans (devotional songs). As we celebrate the birthday (Janmashtami) of the mischievous God, do listen to this wonderful song invoking Krishna in my father’s voice.

Here, the singer is asking the Lord to take birth again once again and keep His promise. Everyone is waiting for Him to take Kalki avatar.

When we were small, Krishna ruled over our household and often caused mayhem. His room needed to be cleaned first. The best garlands were made for him. He needed to be bathed and adorned and then an elaborate puja ceremony would follow sometimes infuriating us kids. We would get jealous of the attention Krishna got.

While morning passed in tending to the enchanting one, Evening ceremony would bring joy. It was the most beautiful part of the day because my father would then sing soulful songs in his divine voice. Hearing him everyday, strengthened us from within.

He would transfer us to a world of spirituality, faith and belief. The belief that someone up there always takes care of us. Faith that there is always a positive aspect to every misfortune. And lastly, in order to be free and joyful, just surrender to Krishna.

Even now, my gentle and loving father teaches us the most profound things in a very simple way. I will relate an incident. My family believes in astrology to some extent and my father wore a couple of rings with special stones. I asked him to get a ring for me too according to my horoscope. He laughed and said – You don’t need any ring, or anything to protect you. You have Krishna!

The best lines of faith I have ever heard in my life. I am truly grateful to the almighty that I belong to a family that is steeped in faith. I hope you like my father’s voice. And although many of you don’t know the language, I am sure your hearts will comprehend. Jai Shri Krishna!