Just a Thought – The gap is the link?

When we see the glow between branches and watch the sky behind tiny clouds…when we enjoy the crevices in mountains and the moment before sunrise…

when we focus on the surface of a painting, outlines of human forms, the rest in a musical note, the space between words, the stillness joining two sounds and…the pause… linking two breaths and when we meditate in between chaos…we experience, there is something about the interval……the pause!

What is the quality of the pause, the gap? Is the gap the link to that? And why do we always ignore the gap?

Images: My Phone

OXYGEN

A visit to Mystery Cave at the Forestville State Park in Minnesota, US, was filled with OXYGEN and adventure. There was not a soul in sight and coupled with zero traffic, this trip turned out amazing. And the onset of autumn looked terrific! It was a nice getaway into nature and beauty. Check out the pictures.

About the Mystery Cave, Preston, MN – “Discovered in 1937, Mystery Cave is the longest cave in Minnesota – spanning over 13 miles underground. It is a network of passages that was dissolved by moving water.

On the tours, you will travel the subterranean paths this water has taken, seeing many of the features that make up Mystery Cave including stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, fossils, and beautiful underground pools. Parks naturalists lead your tour through various portions of the cave and explain its history, its features, and how it was formed,” according to the website.

If you are ever in the area and you have kids above 8, do not miss this one! Wishing an Oxygen filled week to you too!

Small Things#23 – Trier is the best!

Have you heard of the word Trier? Probably not! The word Trier is rarely used in conversations. Why? Because we are so obsessed with tags like ‘Winner’ or ‘Loser’ that ‘Trier’ has been pushed out into irrelevance.

The word got new perspective after watching the latest Hindi film ‘Chhichhore’ with family. The older one watched with interest while the little one cosily slept on papa’s lap.

‘Chhichhore’ like Aamir Khan’s ‘3 Idiots’ presents all shades of college life. It juxtaposes past and present of the main characters (team of losers in a hostel) to underscore the importance of trying. It is an emotional, fun film with a message that ‘Trying is more important than winning or losing’.

The older one got excited about the film and created a way to express the message (check the image above). And appreciation from his teacher was icing on the cake.

And it got me thinking – why is winning so important that trying does not count? What is wrong in losing? Losing is important for learning, right? And for experiencing life? Why do we push our kids harder and harder that life becomes nothing but a competition? Why don’t we simply say to our kids – Be A Trier instead of Be A Winner?

So many kids as well as adults would not take drastic steps like committing suicide or getting into drugs, if obsession with winning ends.

Not only kids, ‘being triers’ work for us too. It kind of reminds me of the powerful concept of Nishkama Karmayoga ie desire-less action!

I guess we should try working on ‘being a trier’ and then probably the word will find its way back to relevance and conversation.

Masala Dialogues of Hindi Films!

Mere paas ma hai! This morning, #Twitter is abuzz with ‘bhari bharkam’ cliched, melodramatic dialogues of Bollywood that were once created to inspire intense emotion, nostalgia and ardent admiration. But these days the audience get tickled and chuckle at the excesses! Replying to Tara Deshpande’s Tweet about sharing favorite Bollywood dialogues, #Twitterati reacted with enthusiasm. Sharing some of my all time favorites!

 

Those iconic dialogues are tadka of our masala films. Whistle, whistle and more whistles for these!!! Which is yours? (To read, what Twitterati has to say – go to @Tara_Deshpande

(Images courtesy Google)

Looking for Stories in an Oriental Painting

One Sunday morning, when I bought this old painting on an impulse, I just knew that it was a copy of some famous oriental painting.

The rich dress of the bride, the slave making a garland, patterns on the carpet, jewelry and other small details gave enough clues. That’s why I did not mind the price. After carefully bringing the painting inside the house, the researcher in me began to google.

And bingo, I found it – Preparations for the wedding of the Cherif’s daughter in Tangiers by José Tapiró Y Baró. The painter (1836 – 1913), was a Catalan painter; best known for his watercolor portraits from Morocco.

This was the original painting, which I found on Google. José Tapiró Y Baró was one of the first to settle in Tangier, Morocco, to find inspiration from day to day lives of the people there. These kind of vibrant paintings were quite famous at the time and his works, especially portraits were very detailed and intricate despite having water color as the medium.

The backdrop of the painting was the wedding preparation of the Cherif’s daughter. Cherif means Sultan or nobleman which means the bride in the painting belonged to a noble family.

The story captured in this painting took me to places in my imagination. Who was the groom of the Sultan’s daughter? What kind of life she had after marriage? She looked shy and demure in the painting. How was she in real life?

Look at the intent with which the slave is making a garland. What was the story of this slave?

And who was this maid adorning the bride? She has nice ornaments on which means she would be quite up in the hierarchy. She seems to be darkening the eyebrows of the coy bride, the Sultan’s daughter.

There are many more questions. But two questions baffled me about this painting. First, who was this figure? The Sultan himself, sitting on a chair?

Another most important question, for me, is – Why is the painting, which I bought, not signed? It is unusual because generally everyone loves to put their names on their works. And although my painting is a duplicate, still it seems to be done by some master artist, considering its beauty. But why has he not put his name there? Very baffling! Also, I had thought that my painting was done in Oil but I am having second thoughts now. I guess it is water color just like the original one.

For now, my search is still on! The painting definitely has many, many stories hidden in it. And I am loving the experience of unraveling the layers in this lovely work.

And you can help too! If you know anything about the painter or the painting, please let me know. I will be very grateful 🙏🏻