White Holi!

While the vibrant spring festival, Holi is being celebrated with colours all over the world, we are having a different kind of Holi here in Minnesota (USA). Nature has chosen to shower us with snow today, making it a wonderful White Holi for us!

Earth has got covered up with a sheet of white.


A lone fitness enthusiast dared to venture out!

Snow, snow everywhere!


Footprints in the snow as pedestrians hurried by….


Trees huddled together, waiting for the arrival of spring! 

BTW, have a super duper, colourful Holi! 

The Family’s Tree

As I leaned towards the ground before my final fall, her anxious face peeped through the glass. I knew I would miss her smile.

The kids were there too – noses pressed against the patio glass, anxious to see their tall friend being killed slowly. “Mumma, look they are pulling our tree!”

Yes, I was ‘their’ tree. Their only friend, after the family had migrated to this new land. Since the first day, they warmed up to me as I stood guard in front of their apartment. 

I entertained the kids by hosting squirrels, birds and insects on my barks. When spring came, I bore berries and flowers, cheering mom and dad. I adored them all.

Every morning, I waited for the lady to draw curtains. She would give me the sweetest smile before starting daily chores.

Today, she was not smiling rather frantically calling up someone in an attempt to save me – her dying companion! But it was too late now…

( Written in memory of a lovely tree that stood in front of our house when we moved to the US in 2013. It had to be cut last year due to maintenance reasons but we had spent some deeply touching moments with it. It had a beautiful soul.)

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely 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. Please CLICK HERE for more.

Four Seasons through my window!

Last year, I vowed to capture the beauty of Four Seasons through the window of my house in order to blog it for your enjoyment. Today, on a warm summer day, I finally got all the four pictures.

Summer made the outside world look like this.


When it was Spring…


When it was Fall…

When it was Winter…

Did the music of Four Seasons touch your heart? I hope, it did!

The Poetry of Earth is not dead yet!

As we drove into the gorgeous Arboretum, one of the top visitor attractions of Minnesota, US, my heart skipped a beat. It was a beautiful sunny day to explore gardens, sculptures, woodlands, walkways and trails. 


Smell, touch, feel, sights and sounds of nature filled our senses as all shades of green interspersed with colours dominated the landscape. Minnesota is more than glorious in Summers after savage and challenging winters, it is stunning!


Such sublime sights always inspires poetry in a lover of literature. Therefore, I couldn’t help chanting some famous lines by great nature poets.

Do check out the pictures, dear confidantes, and may be you can recite the poetic lines too…


When I see birches bend to left and right Across the lines of straighter darker trees, I like to think some boy’s been swinging down…. Robert Frost


Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung, A virgin scene!–A little while I stood… William Wordsworth


Never mind silent fields— Here is a little forest, Whose leaf is ever green; Here is a brighter garden, Where not a frost has been… Emily Dickinson


Yet, if you enter the woods, Of a summer evening late, When the night-air cools on the trout-ring’d pools ,Where the otter whistles his mate… Rudyard Kipling


Hot midsummer’s petted crone, Sweet to me thy drowsy tune, Telling of countless sunny hours, Long days, and solid banks of flowers… RW Emerson

The poetry of earth is never dead: When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run, From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead… John Keats


I couldn’t help thinking as we took the exit to Arboretum that nature still dwells in some places on Earth. It hasn’t taken leave of mankind as yet!

That deep inhalation of fresh air..


That day, nature invited me for a deep breath of fresh air. A lone yellow leaf entered my house and extended the loving invitation.

But there were too many other pressing invites too. There was the ipad enticing me to browse the net, and the alluring phone beeped constantly to connect and then the tv tried its best to fascinate me by playing my favourite film. And above all, there were loads of household jobs that demanded my immediate attention but I declined them all and accepted nature’s invite.

As I ran out of our apartment and inhaled deeply…every cell in my body laughed. Freshness entered my being, my eyes brightened and my skin rejuvenated.

Plump berries, wayside flowers and falling leaves greeted me. I had been breathing stale air for so long that I had forgotten what a deep breath of fresh air felt like. I took few deep breaths and wondered why I stopped appreciating the real things in life. Cuddly clouds, blue sky, yellow trees, stunning sunlight..what rare beauty! Minneapolis (USA), being the land of 10,000 lakes, offers soul soothing views throughout the year.

And the moment, I saw the glimpse of this lake amidst thick foliage – my heart sang ….

I sat on a bench browsing nature, connecting with squirrels and rabbits, entertaining myself with the vibrant natural life. How much I had missed this natural abundance! I had been taking these soul touching things for granted…it was entirely my loss.

After spending few minutes in the lap of natural splendour, I felt beautiful and revived.

I promised nature to accept its invite more often from now and got a fleeting kiss from sunrays…

Since then, I have got sucked back into the world of gadgets and stale air and not kept my promise with nature. Technology has once again claimed my life but I need to go back to nature to feel beautiful, loved and glorious.

I cherished that little stolen date with nature…for that deep inhalation of fresh air had literally taken my breath away! Hope to relive that simple yet wonderful day once again…

Trapped in the Forest

  

“Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest.” His psychiatrist had advised him to visit this forest. Being close to nature helps, he had said.

As he entered, the queer forest disturbed him. He felt as if he was being watched. Everything seemed unnatural.

He cursed the psychiatrist and looked for an exit. His phone had been taken away near the entry so he was helpless. The hand map had no exit sign. He was trapped!! Luckily, he found an old dusty hut with tidbits.

As he fought for survival everyday, struggling to eat and live, his depression took a back seat.

Three months later, he suddenly found an exit route.

Outside, lights and cameras greeted him. All this while, he had been the star of a reality TV show. Viewers had feasted on his misery. All including the psychiatrist had benefited from this. He got a huge sum too.

But was he a victor or a victim?

(This flash fiction is a part of the wonderful ‘Mondays Finish The Story Challenge’ by Barbara Beacham. She provides us with a photo prompt, the first sentence, and approximately 150 words with which we are to use to write our story. To take up the challenge click here – MFtS)

From the window of my house…

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Whenever I manage to steal a few minutes away from my daily household chores, I take my favourite place by the couch and look out at the world that surrounds me.

I love these little private moments that make me lose myself into the world of day dreaming. I sit with that faraway look in my eyes, taking in the voluptuousness of the lush green hill and trees laden with berries. The leaves are changing colours, decking themselves for the vibrant fall season – “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. Little birdies alight on the tree in front of my balcony and talk of the places they have been to…I listen to their chatter and smile. The calm and the beauty of nature fills me with delight. I breathe!

I also observe people in these moments. I particularly miss the girl with red cap. Last to last year, when I was new to the US, I would always observe her through the window. She would come riding on her bicycle exuding youthful charm and spirit. Her red cap would be visible from far off. I observed that she was very easy to talk to. She would strike a conversation with anyone and everyone, laughing heartily at trifles. She was a happy soul and there was an air of sweet innocence around her. I never met her personally but established a strange kinship with her. This American girl embodied beautiful aspects of America – warm, friendly, cool and open!

I got busy after my baby was born and when I settled a bit, she was gone. She had stopped living in our locality perhaps. Well, I wished I had made acquaintance with her.

These days, I often watch groups that often get together on weekends right under my window. They happily barbecue food and chat till late hours. Then there is a lady who often comes to sit on the bench below. She reads and smokes a lot. She has a baby and I want to tell her that smoking is not the best thing to do. But then, probably, she has too much going on in her life and she finds her escape in books and cigarette.

Then there is an elderly couple who often sit in sullen silence looking around. I have not seen them interacting much. I also observe a middle aged man often shouting at someone on phone and he never looks happy.

I don’t know what are the real stories behind all these people. Probably, what I have noticed is just my perspective and perception. It might be totally incorrect. Perhaps, the girl in the red cap was not all that happy. May be the aged couple enjoy the silence between them…maybe!

Perhaps I have observed them through blurred….or foggy or dusty window or may be not. But one thing I know for sure – presumptions, assumptions and speculations can easily taint the cleanest windows to the world. So, we can never be sure of what we have seen.

This makes the ceremony of looking out of the window so very interesting and intriguing. I try to keep my window clean and open but I can never be too sure of myself. Another person may have looked at it differently.

The only thing I can say for sure is I love it every time I take my favourite seat and look out!