Hark! She Speaks

This week for Becca’s Sunday Trees I bring one that has probably witnessed history that continues to hold significance today – from the precincts of the famous Chittor fort. I have previously shared several visuals from this place earlier as well but this particular tree overlooks the Sati sthal on one side and Jauhar kund on the other. I could not bear to take photos of the place where women burnt themselves along with the dead bodies of their husbands or jumped into it for fear of rape and slavery by plunderers and victors of wars.

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Hark! She Speaks

I can tell you

tales of brave

helpless women

Sending off their men

to wage battles

of honor and pride

Fasting and praying

for his victory

and

his long life

They were but

One soul,

one body.

If he died, she would

burn with him

if he lost, it was Jauhar,

for her

and her children

As the spoils of war

it behooved her

to embrace death

to protect her

dignity and honor

and

save them

the dishonor

of failing to protecting her.

Times have changed

The world has progressed

They educate her

indulge her

pamper her and

cheer for her as she shatters

One glass ceiling after another

But under the sheen

lurks a beast

that seeks to

subjugate her with

attitudes and mentalities

that are passed off

as our culture and

sanskriti

All said and done

it is still her duty

to uphold their honor

And his right to defile hers

it is her duty to bear it silently

to shield their bestiality

so that they can continue to

hold up their heads in society

She is still blamed

and shamed

Be silent

Or be silenced

remains the

unsaid mantra

Since the beginning of time

they have

hacked my branches

stripped me bare

And with cruel knives

carved out love notes

on my body

over and over

again

but did I die?

Did I hide nakedness?

Did I hide my face?

Why do you?

 

Silent

unyielding

unflinching

unapologetic

existence

is my DNA

 

What is yours?

 

On a Trip of her Own

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When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

Patanjali (c. 1st to 3rd century BC)

 

Linked to Becca’s Sunday Trees

The Joy of Little Things

For a long time now, perhaps since 2005 that I have begun to click pics with my phone. Yes, you guessed right, of trees 😀 They had begun to work their magic on me and I just had to capture them, keep them with me so to speak.  I often wished I had someway of documenting them, cataloguing them so that I could browse at leisure. Just a pipe dream, a waste of time. Time passed, I focused on home, career, academics until fan fiction happened. Blogging was the next logical step for my stories and yet some guiding prescient hand named my blog Stories and more.

And now after two years, the more bit often gives me greater happiness than the stories 😀 Anyhow to cut a long story short, this week I target two of my favorite photo challenges – Cee’s Happy themed fun foto challenge and the Daily Post’s Smile challenge. Let’s see if I can spark a bit of happiness and bring a smile to your face with my selection:

20160617_142550Good food can bring back the spark to the dullest of days and lives doesn’t it? Like my son declared some years ago “It’s almost impossible to be angry on a full stomach.” Since then I have noticed, it is harder to be upset after food – the next time someone at home is cranky you know what to do right? 😉

Boating
Photo courtesy nephew

Then there’s nothing like some precious chillax time with friends while riding out the upheavals of academic pressures and life in general. This is one of those times when nothing matters but now 🙂

Anda7A beautiful sunset at the end of a less than idyllic day. A new day awaits and hope surges things can only be better.

Pondy beach

You are just fooling around, clueless and untrained – something clicks and you have the near perfect shot, good enough to please even your own nitpicking self. The wonder of learning something new can give quite an unparalleled high, don’t you think?

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When a little boy shows off his Tarzanic genes 😀

20180127_123003While his elders (and little girls!) prefer to take the more sedate route and dress up like their ancestors did.

 

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Then there are other things that are guaranteed to bring a smile to my heart – chancing upon the white blossoms (or are they leaves?) of an unknown tree

DSC00382A prefect green circle in the midst of a chaotic entangled bushy jungle

20180126_121120When life clings on and persists in the unlikeliest of places.

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Photos courtesy the niece in Nice err Lyon

How the internet allows us to be there while sitting here – be it at the fag end of a day

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or the beginning of a new day.

IMG-20180221-WA0020Of trees that perk up after long cold dreary overcast days and engage in a bit of arm wrestling under a perfect and gorgeously blue sky – from all the way from Dublin, Ireland.

 

ToysDo you find joy and happiness in the little things of life? Did anything here make you smile? Do let me know!

But before I go, just in case these pics didn’t strike a chord, I must share this little piece to make up for taking up so much of your time:

“No sight so sad as that of a naughty child,” he began, “especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?”

“They go to hell,” was my ready and orthodox answer.

“And what is hell? Can you tell me that?”

“A pit full of fire.”

“And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?”

“No, sir.”

“What must you do to avoid it?”

I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: “I must keep in good health and not die.”                                                       ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

May you all keep in good health and not die – at least not a moment before one has to!

Life and Death

As I come out of my shell and explore my surroundings I can’t help but notice a unique seasonal feature around these parts. Spring and fall seem to coexist. Leaves carpet the roads and mounds of leaves dot the sides of the roads until they are carted off to their final resting place. And yet gardens are abloom with a riot of colors – pink purple yellow and magenta. The peepal tree outside my office is a case in point. It is almost bare with a few green leaves determinedly hanging on until they turn yellow and reluctantly make their way down to whence they grew to such dizzying heights. And yet whilst this tussle is on, a new unruly batch has already sprung up gung-ho and eager to make their mark in this world. I have been feeling too inhibited to click this particule tree but I did mix and match some photos in an earlier post – Peepal in Spring.

For this post I have captured a few contrasting images from the world around me. Come scroll with me…

20180331_102923Clutching at straws

20180330_101305Brilliant and defiant in death.

20180330_101433Life towers over and mocks at death – it is not for me!

20180330_101500Yet some die before their time

20180330_101451While others bloom despite all odds

20180401_081112Even when there appears to be no hope or escape

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Only when we accept that ups and downs, life and death will happen can we move on and live life as she deserves to be led – wholly completely, entirely and unabashedly.

Wish you all a wonderful day.

The Journey Within

I missed Becca’s Sunday Trees but here I am on Tuesday. Have a wonderful day people!

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Skipping along the dirt road

she stopped to

stare and ponder

Poor old tree

No respite

No escape

Imprisoned

Forever and ever

The tree swayed with gentle laughter

A single curled leaf

Twirled its way down upon her head

Little one

Not all journeys are without

If you would

but look within

CB&W: The Bike Challenge

Okay so this week for the black and white challenge, Cee wants bikes or anything related to two wheels. Initially I thought I had only two photos but rifling through my archives I was surprised to find how many bikes had crept in without my knowledge! Good for me and them 😀

BikeYSA surreptitiously taken photo of the fascinating insides of a bike in a busy marketplace.

CycleThe good old bicycle, the lifeline for many. I used to love cycling as a child and often wish I could cycle now as well, but I feel shy and embarrassed.

BnglreThis one I have shared before, perhaps some of you remember. Quite an eye-catcher right?

Bnglre2A front view with minimal color. Which one do you prefer?

CamelBOn the streets of Udaipur, while admiring a camel with its nose in the air.

CamelB2The car and bike halt deferentially as the camel made its way sedately across the highway 😉

HaldighatiA bike parked near a distillation flask used to prepare rose essence.

Cubbon

Two bikes near a massive gulmohar tree (at least the leaves look like that). The creepy roots are fascinating aren’t they? Oops I forgot the bikes were supposed to be the focus!

Cubbon2Hmm not sure if those are the same bikes as in the previous pic. But the tree is definitely different – such character don’t you think? I’m fascinated by how trees don’t seem to have any requirement to follow rules. Anything goes and each to her own is their mantra. Yet each is particular and conscientious about fulfilling their CSR (corporate social responsibility) for the less fortunate. By just being, they replenish the oxygen in the air – isnt that amazing?

Tree Cheers to them.

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful week.

 

CFFC: Leaves and Trees

Whew! I almost missed this fun foto challenge of Cee’s! And my favorite topic too – Leaves and Trees. And I have discovered a recent fascination for leaves as well so picking and choosing was quite a challenge. Hoping that you will enjoy my selection.

Assorted

Let’s begin with an assortment of leaves, mostly teak leaves.

3leaves

Just trying for some perspective here – they are huge arent they?

GreenLI was fascinated by this find and carried it inside for some special treatment

AshokA collection of dried Ashoka tree leaves.

BananaBanana leaves against a cloudy evening sky

EucaEucalyptus tree standing tall against the litchi trees. Don’t miss the fair elbows!

RedgreenThe greens attempts to tone down the exuberance of the reds

BattyNext I have a really batty tree for you. Yes! those black things are bats waiting for darkness to fall.

Bare

Perhaps she dropped her leaves because she didn’t want any hanger-ons – what do you think? Did you notice her pose? Perhaps the stone sculptors of ancient India took inspiration from her kind. And before you scroll down – look! Mango blossoms – the prize for the heat and dust!

GoldenA golden tree by the road

TendrilsA mystery tree with strange tendrils hanging down like some exotic jewelry. Anyone know which tree? Ferdi?

FortThe last one standing at the Chittorgarh fort. Oh the stories it could tell

BadhairThis one’s having a really bad hair day 😀 Or perhaps it has seen some really hair-raising stuff in its heydays. After all this is the place for committing jauhar and sati.

CloverI clicked this patch of clover leaves hoping to find a lucky four-leafed one at leisure. No such luck yet – what about you?

ParlorAll neat and tidy, ready to toe the line and follow rules and regulations with not a hair out of place.

AsulikeAnd then we have this place where there’s no sense or order, each to her own to be as she likes no questions asked. Which do you prefer?

SunkissedAnd finally the Sun kisses this one good night 🙂

Thanks for visiting and sharing your favorite one!