representing different times and moods

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kangas, Koalas and some hidden Dingoes.

"I think you will make a powerful being one day."
someone told me that here - someone I didn't even know. someone pretty random - the kind you pass on the street or meet in the bus.
and touched my heart.
I still don't know who that was, but it was a male, around 19 ish? it is absolutely weird, in a way, to get something like that in such a random fashion from someone younger than me. if it had been someone older, I wouldn't have been so astonished.
anyhow, I am the perpetrator of magic.
of practical magic.
I love it.
I love it that I live in the era where I can say it and feel safe.
atleast in my immediate world.
and as with magic (and good science), rules don't always apply, because different rules do.

that series of photos was taken last year on Holi. the victim here is my brother's (currently in misery of separation by situation) best friend. (Gosh- anyway). I am posting it now because I missed celebrating Holi for the first time since I started walking.
it is sad.

this morning, I awoke, I had a wedding to shoot, I have to say that I encounter quite a few exciting things here ,and a bit frighting ones too. but as they say, courage is not an absence of fear, it is the phase where you understand that you are afraid, and make a resolve to meet the fear head on, with some logic and sense.

I do so many things here, and I get to meet so many different people. this also means,I have to trust in the basic good nature of human beings, too. I have to put absolute faith in my intuition and capacity. I have to do new things and feel at home even when I am constantly out of my comfort zone.I have learnt new heights of control and a part of my personality has flourished which hadn't been that developed before. anyhow, I was going today to a place which I didn't know, in the company of people I didn't know, and in such times, there is always that little niggling worry in your head.

I am so glad that the universe has made sure that there are more good people in this world than bad.always. thank you.

The night had been rainy, the new day dawned fresh and hazy green. the sun sparkled. the fog shifted on the  tops of the hills and made mysterious patterns and shadows. I felt at home. I was with my kin, heading towards the wilderness. nothing calms me more.  the little distant cousins of the Himalayas , as related as an Ant is to an Elephant, so related obviously - and very complexly - the Hills called to me warmly.

so I took this photo.
Just to assure you, that I only say what I really see, and that there is really magic around us, if only we will look for it.
this is not photoshoped and the world really sparkles :)

my soul hummed - I was charging up. like a solar battery, but please, a bit more poetically. So long had I longed to get out, so long.. I have so dedicated myself to this new life, to making it work, to being an enterprising entrepreneur, but I have not forgotten the truest of calls. dreams, they are compelling things, and so they should be - though sometimes we yearn for the simplest of things that are denied us.

Himalayas - when did you become simple?

but anyway. I am glad I was shooting this wedding near Serpentine falls - I should LOVE to visit those, but I need a car, and company that wouldn't spoil the earthiness of the trip.

the Bodhinayana Buddhist monastery was beautiful.

so, what happened? I was trying to get a girl friend from my university to accompany me there, but she couldn't because of it being a Sunday today and there being no buses towards me. I wanted her to come so that I may walk around when everyone was otherwise engaged (eating/ not needing me), so we may explore the forest, so that I may visit a lake there,and so that she may take my photos and I may take hers, but she couldn't come. but, never fear, said providence, and I am grateful. I like people and people like me, and an Irish guest from the Bridal party took it up to himself to be my escort and friend (yes,yes I know - careful with men , I know, but my gut tells me, you know- and we were in a monastery not an actual forest, there were people -somewhere) - and thus I got some photos of me too! :)

because, you know what happened?
someone kissed me.
and I got it on a photo.
A kanga kissed me. :)
animals love to kiss me - apparently.
And I like it too.
I only don't like it when they kiss me on my lips. mostly when its a python, cause it just feels weird.
( university eco fest - loved it - pythons, a Dingo, a sleepy Koala that I poked to awaken, (at least tried) , and a Wedge Tailed Eagle)

will you wake up and look at me please? you are so cute.

so,there was a Kanga, and there was me.

it literally kissed my fingers.

new things learnt, when Kangas make a sort of growling noise inside, like dogs but a bit lower key, get away. their eyes glitter differently then.
they can scratch your eyes out.
they bite.(and punch but knew that already)
and they love the right people.

so today, was, delight. FULL.
absolutely delightful.

I love this.
I love Africa.
I love India.
and there is so much to love , how can you not be skipping all the time.

I did get good pictures of the wedding , and...what ..does. . it .. compare..

ofcourse to them it does!
they must feel like that they have touched a snow leopard or a narwhal.
I'd love to do that.

talking of Monks - the monks in the Himalayan Monasteries that I sent letters with their pictures to, have apparently replied  - must have taken them ages to get to us,from those absolutely cut off little villages- I can not wait to read it, I do love making friends everywhere. even though we might never meet again - they have the photos - and there, those things matter. they matter for years and for generations , and so they should, to us too, us fast paced people who sometimes miss out on how important friendship is. that is why after an extended trip somewhere, I take the time out to write to people I only met once, and send them their pictures. because it matters. it touches the core of their souls. what more can one ever do?

I agree with this article , that Friendship is a much nobler and just AS important a relationship as romantic love, if not more so.

a good read -

I also went to a multicultural dinner, a few weeks back - it had a lot of noise, and dancing, it felt like India, as if many people of different states we present - just only from more farther regions, Europe,Africa, Asia, south America. it was delightful again. I went with a friend.
He is delightful too.

and I wore my sari.

ok, so I have sufficiently monopolised my own blog post. now to feed the cat. -dancing.

O, tonight I am content . I've been to the hills and some part of me has come alive again. I did go to King's park and the bush walk with my friend, but the hills are the hills and a short directed walk can not compare, but it was a chunk of time saved in a little glass jar of time, set apart from the mediocre things, something magical, something that laughs and keeps you warm.

Now ,I yearn for the big cats.

that reminds me, my brother sent me a photo of a hurt lioness they followed this month to help sedate her for healing.

it is a bit bleary but you can still clearly see the wound.

I want that hair raising feeling,  of being absolutely at the mercy of fate. of the awe at the real and raw power - those moonlit and moonless night walks tracking an animal on foot. something out of an adventure novel, have I really done that? sometime I ask myself, and realise, quite wonderingly, that yes, indeed I have.
how very blessed do I feel.

and then, no wonder everything here feels so tame.
so very tame.

and the city and the shops can not keep up.neither can jewellery.

my passion for travelling and experiencing is the driving force behind my working hard -really. as my fundamental dream is travelling , and seeing amazing places and going to inaccessible place - and seeing rare wildlife , it all requires money. SO I work.

So, Africa, I come to you soon.
not too long now.

talking of inaccessible places , India has them all tucked away, here ,there and all around the edges.
I do so love those.
Chopta, the village high up in the soaring heights of the Hilamalayas, summer village of about 6 buildings. Dead in Winter. where your window glass may be covered in icicles even in Summer.there is no electricity here, apart from fire light, and maybe a single solar lantern , nothing else. A place I left a chunk of my heart in , frozen solid - to stay there in the permafrost. with those big brown Himalayan bears that we walked almost back to back with, and big ravens squawking in the hollows of frozen rock, high ,high up in to the fog, above the clouds.

an image of my Dad walking there ,in memory of last November (my first time of Missing a Himalayan trip )
(this was taken on our first trip there two years back)

oh Australia, can you make me awestruck, I am sure you can.
so that I may shut up about the other glorious places and say something more about you too.
but I love Kangas
and that's that! :D

interesting thing for this blog which is not by me -
the red ribbon is like something out of "Alice in wonderland" , new spots on Jupiter look like a painting by Van Gogh, the space is like a fairy tale with gigantic sparkling forests with hidden beasts and little (and BIG ) bits of stray magic floating around to hit whatever it may choose and change it's nature. it's a place of births and deaths - explorations and ideas - where petulant stars protest their newly formed state.
How - can - you - humans - feel - not - awed - every -living- breathing - moment - of - your - life.

ohh... and...

I am proud to have taken these.
He has the most intense blue eyes!

city bride :)
good night!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

living your dreams and so forth

we inspire the responses that we expect and the mannerism we extrude.

just recently, I realised that I was living my dream, that I had dreamt and envisioned something very similar to this time in my life as a did however also include being a femme fatale -which I see no point in being anymore.
aren't we just adorable when we are teens!

 so that day, I was really really happy, for I was living a dream,I stood in a yellow circle under a blue blue sky.

My throat is sore, I have been crying, though not too heart meltingly wretchedly (umm use two such words together?) but enough to make my throat sore. I wish it weren't so.

So, when I came here, I was terrified, of the new place, of the new ways, and mostly of living in a house with a male. I thought what is everyday now unthinkable. I thought men were not to be trusted, ever. culture conditioning. those long nights of skype discussions, and requesting a latch and lock being placed on the inside of my door, just in case. while Neil said laughingly, "you think that door would stop anyone who wanted to get in? much less me? " - he thus freaked me out even more. I couldn't sleep at night, I had bad dreams, and I couldn't keep my head out of the covers, I was an ostrich , in hiding. when I would awaken and get up,and would have to go out of my room, I would literally be shaking, with my teeth chattering and my hand not still. ready to dash back to my room lest he came out of his room. the pure tangible fear might sound laughable, but I could taste it on my tongue, for a long time.( I didn't fear them as much as distrust, loath and resent them (Indian men). I was an angry soldier there, defiant of the norms, and had to fight my way through things daily. I saw things,and heard things, there was real reason for this fear) again, not every Man in India is a violent abuser, but it is the streets that are sometimes unfriendly to such an extent that you turn paranoid. even though I think I have always found male company rather interesting - and have had a really good childhood with dear cousins - I have never mixed too much with men outside, (but in general,I find it hard to find people of the same wave length). they were either friends of parents/ elders/ young ones/ people from work/ study. unknown men were always something to be wary of. this again does not mean that I think all male population bad, indeed I wasn't a cowering baggage ever,  but always a well rounded human being. it was just the circumstance that bothered me much here, and no one else but myself knew about it. Neil went as far as to say in so many words that he should have felt unsafe if he were to just go overseas and start living in some stranger's house, that he found it really brave and slightly weird the day I "danced in like a princess and started putting my herbs and spices in the pantry,making it my own" his very words.

I was unsure inside though, about how to talk with good men, about what the limits were,what was acceptable. my first week or two here I tried to be exclusively friends with Lara only as that was comfortable, this has a lot to do with my inexperience. though ofcourse the girl has other friends of her age and has not much use of a 24 year old. (though Now she dances around me telling me about her day and hides behind my gentle words when Neil makes her cry for her Math)  I was terrified. at each step I remembered what men could be like, what they made me feel back home, and what it meant to place yourself in a lonely situation with one. I was overly worldly , wary ,defensive and angry. Just the simply survival toning really, but with time I loosened up. I found that the male species here was much less violently offensive. still rowdy and offensive yes, but unless you especially put yourself under nasty circumstances, you should be alright.

I felt safe after a while, I got my bearings, I am extremely adaptable and resilient if anything. I have met gentlemen - they are more in numbers certainly, here staring at woman is socially unacceptable and I have gloried and bloomed in the freedom and I have found out that I can talk with those big tall hulking half of our species that they call men, open up my wit and enjoy it too- that in doing so, I am still me, not changed in the least - just one who has wings and can unfurl them without fear of being torn apart.(again,doesn't mean I didn't do the same back home, all it means that it is much more easier here -remember I was the blooming, different, hard headed girl there too? and for only that single problem it doesn't make India bad, it only teaches one to be hard/smart)

Neil said when I open my door in the morning, it sounds like a jail door being unbarred. tonight he asked me if I had checked the locks twice. he is not home, I am alone as Lara is at her mother's. when I texted him he said he will try and comeback, but he was drunk (blast and curse you alcohol) so I said it is ok , that I am fine. so I am writing.

yes I have checked the front and the back door, I have taken the cat in too, just in case, and my own door is locked again. I got manhandled today, after an age of feeling safe here, not that that is something new or even shocking, those things don't shock me - they disturb me,yes. make me feel sick, yes. but not shock me. I have experience. no it is not something one would boast of.ever.

so he lives in the back with his girlfriend, people we'd all grown to trust. I go out to take my cloths off the line, he is smoking there, we chat about the rabbit and the cat and his job, he says he hasn't spoken with anyone today- kept talking and talking and then insisted on a short walk , and I didn't want to offend so I said yes, but only 10 minutes.he is someone I am used to having around the house,remember? ( sign one of having let my guard down - I would have NEVER done this back home - if I didn't want to go,I'd have refused. Never again,someone being offended is not my problem) went, came back, talked of the Alps, where he is from, his girlfriend and Australia, almost back - I am happy to be back - he asks me what kind of men I like, so I reply honestly, Intelligent, kind, someone who has some solid direction in life, ambitious and who doesn;t drink /smoke, and he kept ticking off what he is and isn't - I am feeling really annoyed and incredulous by now - and he says, "how about just some fun?" it takes a few moments for the meaning to sink in, and I continue going back - while informing him that I don't have time or energy for such things, and he has his gf. (sick to the core,thank you very much)- eh no, he says, I am not with her - what if he assured me he wasn't with her? (doubly sick to the core ,thank you again) it will just take 10 minutes - because you are so busy Diva I can make it short. I didn't know what to do, his eyes were blood shot, and a possibility dawned on me that he maybe high on some substance -it just didn't feel safe about getting angry either- it felt that the situation called for subtle withdrawal rather than frontal offence- you know I am good at telling. I know I can tell.I said no. I only wanted to go back in, I was hungry and tired, I wanted to make dinner. he said he understands and he likes that I am different but not too much - I honestly can't care less about what he thinks of me - he wouldn't let me go and then he picked me up and tried to throw me in to the pool, twice. I held on to the corner of a wall, my nails digging and scraping and kept shouting "no" until he put me back down.if I got in to the pool,there would be no saving myself. so my back is pulled because I was twisting ,and all those things.

it's good that I didn't get offensive. he could overpower me any time he chose to. atleast he put me back down.this in the only place that I have here which I can call home. I simply shut the door quickly behind me as I managed to get out of his rough ,dragging grasp the second time. I went and sat on the sofa and for a short while congratulated myself for a safe escape, then I started feeling dirty again, haven't felt that kind of dirty for a while now. then my chant started , " I hate men" - again, unreasonable and untrue, but needed at that time.( I love men, I love gentlemen) - and I started shivering ,my mind's eye hovering above my head,looking at that self pitying bundle, telling me to stop it,so I texted Neil, and then I started crying. not because it was shocking,not even because of the physical pain but because I was lonely. I had no one to hug it better. no brother to declare war on any one who dared touch me, no mother's lap to put my head on and weep and no father in who's presence, I would feel like a warrior, bruised but undefeated. I would have sat cross legged on the marble in the living room,and would have told those three all, and had my therapy there and then.

 I have always got out of troubles of these kind on my own,(because they happen when you are alone.) be it a ride in a rickshaw at night with a perverse driver, holding a  blade at the back of his neck the whole time  or going half out of my mind with fright as the only sensible female on a hostile Muslim populated area ,with the men on the street shouting things at us and pulling at our clothing,as I dragged my insensible female friend away from there-(she'd frozen ) - there really is no less or more fright. it is all the same. tonight when I was smilingly wriggling my way out, my usual tactics of bravery would not have worked, there are no people here- see, and I had not foreseen the actual hight of the risk, I trusted too much in the west. I trusted too much in that false sense of security. I had become slightly blind, slightly unwary. I know deep inside that had I actually struggled or hit him as I'd wanted to, I would not have been able to get out tolerably unscathed.

Neil has promised he will have a man talk with him tomorrow, and he won't be polite.he will have to move or start behaving.

so this is to you, Diva. to having a healthy wariness in the land of apparent order and freedom. to jolting awake when you hear some sound outside again. to keep listing to your gut even at the risk of offending if the guy who has been practically living in the same household as you for the last 9 months asks you for a walk to the park just at the end of the street at 6.30 again,and your gut says no, you don't do it! (more miffed at my self for ignoring that instinct - and I always advocate it most strongly)

I will be fine and I won't be sad long.I am aware that I probably put myself in that stupid position where I had no business putting myself- and that though the incident feels big right now , it was just that,an incident of my having to deal with one of those 5% of nasty men of the world, upon who's conduct I do not judge the whole beautiful population. I only vent for I must, and this is my venting place.

update - Sunday afternoon.

I have devoured beauty today.
I have grown drunk on words.
I have eaten art.
I thrived on music and dance.
and thus, we maybe healed.