Thursday, December 30

The final mistake...

At the end of a year, it is only natural for me to sum up the best and the worst of the days that I traversed in 2010.  At 45 years of age and when a year is passing away, it is pragmatic to believe that the best of my youth has been journeyed.  Yet, what is the biggest fear in my life? What do I fear in the coming days and years?

My much loved author, Rev. Henri J Nouwen, writes about a ‘final mistake” that he was much afraid.  He says: I feel deeply moved by the image of a defeated goalkeeper. All his great performance will be forgotten in light of the one mistake that cost his team a cup. Similarly, after a long and fruitful life, one unhappy event, one mistake, one sin, one failure can be enough to create a lasting memory of defeat. For what will we be remembered? For our many acts of kindness, generosity, courage, and love or for the one mistake we made toward the end? “Yes, he was fabulous, but he failed." "Yes, she was a saintly person, but she sinned." "Yes, they were great, but at the end they disappointed us."

Can I keep away from any ‘final mistake” ?

Wednesday, December 29

Good Bye 2010...

"All other creatures look down towards the earth, but man was given a face so that he might turn his eyes towards the stars and gaze upon the sky"  
... Ovid (Metamorphoses) 

"AS I look down on the waters Lord, 
teach me to gaze  the stars, 
the sky and the mountains....
Good Bye 2010... God Bless 2011"


Friday, December 24

.. it is Christmas again!

This is one profound statement about Christmas that I read every Christmas. This statement is from 'A Christmas Carol' (Charles Dickens).  

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew. 
“Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come roundapart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from thatas a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. 
And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

(As  spoken by the nephew of uncle Scrooge)   

Thursday, December 23

... it is Christmas again!!

Dear Friends, 
Warmth Love and Joy of a Merry Christmas
... Abby

Poor Jesus! Rich me!!
Finally, Humbugger has come to town. Pizzas and Humbuggers cannot be exclusively kept out of Christmas if I am receiving GMWs and NOKIA-3Gs. 

Ya! I ask that absolute question myself.  
Jesus born in a manger would not be happy to see a world filled up with so much merchandise. 
I always think of all the frustrated youth who has no money to buy these merchandise.
“What am I if I am one of them
A rose bloom by the evening twilight is always a joy in the garden. 
I do not know who painted it, 
but I know that I can relate to God through HIS creation alone.  

Monday, December 13

.... walk they do!

Rains are over. In the morning, I find everyone on the road has a reason to walk. I see the newspaper boy carrying his load of news to every passing home. Then there are the temple walkers and the mosque walkers. One person in particular has caught my attention most: he swings his hands and takes brisk steps. May be he is combining his heavenly intention with his fat-burning efforts. From the opposite direction, another group looks colourful. However, they are definitely overweight... and most of them gossip loudly. I hear them laugh and giggle. Guess who they are? The lady-club members!  Overweight and perfume clad,  they believe that striding through neighbouring roads early hours of the morning will do them good. Nevertheless I respect them.  I wonder if my lady-buddies will ever overtake the food habits they have imbibed and reflect on the gossip they spread. In the pocket road, I always meet my ex-service uncle who hurriedly walks away to the swimming pool. His walking is a warming procedure for the swimming that he is about to undertake...2 preys in a single shot!  To force him stop and have a chat is almost impossible.  His military discipline will not allow him do so! Then there are the doggy-walkers. For them, the morning walk is a side product of making their dog walk! Or, is it that they are combining their health with that of their puppy?  Of course, the local temple priest always avoids me by crossing to the opposite direction of the road. He may be thinking that I might pollute him with my looks and words. I respect him for his beliefs.  

Rains are over and I find that there is a reason for everyone on the road to walk. And walk they do!

Sunday, December 12

The ‘PURI’ confusion

For a philatelist, every rarity and confusion in the field of philately is an opportunity to collect. The latest confusion and the buzzing news among philatelic fraternity in India is over a set of miniature stamps on ‘Rath Yatra Puri’. This simple ‘Golden Border’ miniature has become a bomb that has explored across every philatelic community in this nation.

The set of printing marks popularly called ‘Traffic Lights’ have become the main culprits of the story. The different formations of these ‘Traffic Lights’ on the postal-released miniatures has thrown the collection into confusion. Various India Post philatelic bureaus stared to distribute Rath Yatra Puri miniatures that carried ‘Traffic Lights’ at varying locations on miniature sheets. Then, adding to the above confusion, the most ‘notorious’ of them appeared: two types of miniatures with a blank space either on the left or on the right. Hence, it became necessary for a collector to collect all the six combinations together with the common ‘Golden Border’ miniature to get to a full set. As far as the postal authorities are concerned, it is still debatable if they themselves thought of this complex formation of a set through these variations in printing and guillotining.

Nearly early a month ago, I had the opportunity to visit a stamp exhibition. To my surprise, I noted a stamp dealer offering two full sets of ‘Rath Yatra Puri’ miniatures for sale. At that time, the issue of these sets had not matured and their rarity was still not so popular. There was voice that prompted me to stay with this dealer and close the purchase. Together with a friend of mine, I closed the purchase of these miniatures. Little did I realise then that I was buying a collectable item that would explode in value and style all across India.      

The ‘PURI’ confusion still rages on. One thing for sure is that, two types of ‘blank space’ miniatures in this collection has become extremely rare... almost impossible to collect. 1000s of stamp collectors are waiting to complete their collection with this miniature. By the way, I got a phone call from the dealer who had sold his two full sets of collections to me. He requested if it was possible to sell them back to him. He is willing to pay me five times the price he had charged. 


Saturday, December 11

... courtesy to Mother

If the earth does grow inhospitable toward human presence, it is primarily because WE have lost our sense of courtesy towards the earth and its inhabitants... Thomas Berry  

Photo locations: Hampta Pass, Himalayas

Friday, December 3

... spirit of mountain and the mule!

... to celebrate her destiny !
Each time I come across carcass on a mountain, I am awfully reminded of mortality. True, I need not climb a mountain to realize that earth is a transient and life glimpses away in the flicker of time. But then, as any of my treks proceeds in a jubilant mood, striking a skeleton  makes me think of death.

... the mountain is stoic and silent !

I think it is glorious for a mule to pass away on a mountain. It is her ‘karma boomi’ and it is a rightful place for her as the final resting place. (To celebrate her destiny, I got a ‘click’ done with her).

... the mule!
I think, mountain, man and the mule is a theme that cannot be separated. Mules are silent and obedient to their masters. They are tough and yet has simple living. Mountains too are muted and are silent. It takes a wind for mountain to whistle. Unmoved by joy or grief, mountains are stoic.  Man is the only creature that contains a different spirit. Moreover, it is we alone who contemplates on life and is we alone who gossip and make war to make peace.  Muffled by our cacophony living, sometimes it is difficult to see the spirit of the mountain and the mule in any human!

... the man!

Some of the photos were done by my friend 'UC'
Location: Hampta trek