Beauty- A beholder’s eye perspective 

Youth is a time where everything moves at a speed faster than imaginable. Seems like some powerful force always keeps on adding momentum to changes and transitions, even to thought processes and decision making skills. 

At a moment something feels righteous and absolute, the very next moment, it feels fitting to rethink. This time is like building a home while managing on rent of a temporary home; everything that passes by is temporary on the basis of which you build your permanent. 

Everyday, I wake up to a new idea whether or not I get to play with it is a decision my priorities at that present moment makes.
 
One morning, I woke up with a similar idea. I always liked to capture the nature whenever we went out on a trip. I never thought of it as a hobby. Social Media is one big circus of show off and that is where I got the instinct of pushing myself into inculcating this hobby. 

At first, I literally found myself thinking; what should I capture, how does this person on Instagram click such amazing photographs ?! All I knew is that even I want to click photographs. I started to see things the professional photographer’s way. I tried but I couldn’t really think that way. I tried to click a bird on a branch of tree and the sunset colour but had to edit it to my satisfaction.

I couldn’t really find anything beautiful enough to give it space in my phone, let alone the camera! I thought nothing around me can beat the beauty of the landscapes I’ve captured while on trip or for that matter the other photographers do. I had to look for something. I couldn’t understand portraits of people. Why, would you shoot a person on your camera unless you know that person and you want them for memories?!

I started following as many photographers as I found and each one of them had their own specialty. There is a YouTuber called Connor Franta, I don’t watch his videos, but the photographs he has on Instagram are amazing, he likes to play with colours and shapes and patterns around him, it’s awesome how he finds so much beauty in the world around him. So, I figured that maybe photos are not for being ‘useful’, what matters is aesthetics, and how the photo eventually looks. 

So, one day I was just walking through the society and what I saw appealed a lot to me, so I just captured it. It was a photo of a place, which I thought was invariably an amazing attempt. There were brick walls, bougainvillea and a cycle leaning the wall, all the things that I liked especially the brick wall, so I just took the place home with me. 

As my Instagram influences grew, my interest in capturing photos grew even more. Then, I came across local photographers who shot the city and the nearby places. I was awestruck how the camera had beautified the simple way my world looks. I had grown to appreciate my surroundings.

One fine Sunday morning, in the midst of some conversation, my father tells that, ‘Rujoo, you click good photos, you should do it more and if you become an established photographer then we can have all of them framed and exhibit them.’ Just this statement changed everything I looked at from simple and boring to simple yet fascinating. And to be very honest, Gujaratis have enterprising in the DNA so my father’s deal sounded like a very attractive offer to me.

That very same day, I happened to visit the old city. It is a haven for photographers. My mother has been telling me stories from her childhood in the old city, since I was a child. I always imagined what it’d be like to live in those years in a city like that. My mother is an amazing storyteller and can make you really visualise and imagine things and situations. All the tumbledown buildings and their windows, doors, the people and the temples of the old city, all tell stories, just like my mother does. So, I got myself into thinking, why don’t I take such stories home? 

Then came a day, when I came across a photograph on Pinterest which was very beautiful and surprisingly it was a portrait. The name I saw was Steve McCurry. I searched if he had an account on Instagram. The photos he had captured can take anyone’s breath away! He has captured India and many other such countries in their rawest and purest form and yet beautifully. 

Now I understood, that the photos were not just for aesthetics but could be used for documenting things the way Steve McCurry had. He has the finest portraits of the commonest people that ever lived, and that is the best part of it all! It turned out that many of his photos featured in the National Geographic Magazine’s as the cover page! No wonder they are so expensive, look at the way their content providers think and view the world. 

The circus of Social Media is not exactly my place to be but I definitely found inspiration and that’s what I’m grateful about. I do capture photos, I’m not really sure how good or bad they are but just one thing that I learnt is to see the world beautifully. And I see that beauty in everything I see when I am upbeat: The venation of the leaves and how they look under the sky, the silhouettes and reflections of people, of roofs, of trees, the ripples in the water, the ombré sky, the green grass, the patterns, textures and colours that have been put together by God; the depth of a person’s emotion, the simplicity in the life of a street vendor, how indigenous a man in a colourful turban in a jeep with his family looked, the blend of minute elements to make them look heavenly together and man’s ingenuity to craft beautiful places to live in and around.

So, a lot transformed in the way I saw things, in the course of just a few months and that does not seem very ordinary to me. What I learnt was that:

 You can view the things in your own way it’s your perspective that changes not the things. This is not a very difficult lesson or a new one, but I just realised I had found glory in this world, in the years that I am supposed to!

-Ananya Shah

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A sketch of words

Raised by ink and paper,
She thought she was as volatile as vapour;

Nurtured by intellect,                                               Greater things had she started to expect;

Only to hear there was a voice greater than hers,   Never realised, with teamwork this world stirs;

I am not practical but only abstract,                             Is that why I cannot make impact?

A statesman explained: “you have immense power”,                                                                                       Ironic is his name who doesn’t like to do what he states but rather manoeuvre;

She discovered her emotions were for fiction,              Not to draft a human’s virtues of conviction;

Her grief was widespread,
Humans’ not committing is what she had dread;

Her team is best with Action,                            ‘Human of word’- God forgot to initiate this speciation;

 Verbal and written beautifully will she stay passive and stolid,                                                                  Or will she become decorated into something solid?

Fen & Family

Hello!

My name is Fen. I am Indian and I live with my mother and brother, Zee.

I was born in 2008. I had 3 other brothers, Butterball, Biscuit chewer and Relée were the names given out of affection. Our guardian loved us a lot. She was generous and kind but didn’t know much about nutrition. She gave us sweet biscuits but little did she know that it was not good for us. We were a happy family, my brothers, my mother, our guardian and me. Our guardian used to call her friends from the neighbourhood, who too loved us. I always thought that my guardian was biased towards Butterball and Biscuit chewer. She always told that they were incredibly cute and I was always lazy and sleepy.

Later, our guardian got busy in some work and almost forgot that we ever existed. This was after a year when her favourite, Butterball passed away in a car accident and Biscuit chewer lost one of his leg. One day, Relée just got lost and we couldn’t find him. I saw my guardian talking to herself that I had grown up to be sharp and smart just like Zee. And now we didn’t need her. That was not true! We loved her but she didn’t care for us anymore. I have two aunts, Bhoori and Jhari. I had an uncle, but he too passed away of rabies. Oh! I almost forgot that I was introducing myself.

        I am a Dog, no specific breed. Our breed is – Street Dog. Bhoori auntie is a Buffalo , Jhari auntie a Cow and Uncle was a camel. My mother is too old now, She was in a shock when Biscuit chewer died and Zee lost one of his legs. She can hear and see less. Here are a few details about me-
Address- A big house in Ahmedabad (Basically, Homeless)
Source of food- The leftovers in the dustbin and hawker’s tomatoes
Sleeping place- In the garden or under the car
Occupation- Unemployed, so loitering and collecting food
Aggressive about – (I hate caste system) Cannot help barking when I see those spoiled brats- German Shepherd, Poodle or Pomeranian in cars.
Happiest moment- When somebody sympathizes and gives food to eat.
          I am very well acquainted with this whole system now. I wish I could do something about it. But I very well know that we, Street dogs are fate less and never taken care of, creatures. I dislike people like our guardian, she took good care of us and we started loving her but she left us, when she realized she couldn’t do anything for us. She said that we didn’t need her anymore, like an escapist. Even then, whenever I see her, I am reminded of our good days and when I try to approach her, she shoos me away.
        My intention here, is not to arise pity but compassion for us. As I think that in India, not only are the people homeless, malnourished and overpopulated but even dogs! Thank you for reading this and if you can do nothing, can you just pray for the fate of my family and other families like us?!
                                                                                                                    -Ananya Shah

The Looked After 

Storming up the stairs, rushing through the corridors, opening and closing the doors of the bureau comes a man, wet with sweat, pacing heartbeat, clumsily handled bag and haywire clothes. As usual, he is late but fortunately, his boss is about to arrive. He settles in his cubicle, adjusts his tie and clothes and sighs of relief. 

Accustomed to his routine, he whispers a few words of prayer glancing at the God’s picture and lets out a groan when he sees his beloved sister, Sanghamitra’s picture on the desk. 

She had passed away prematurely a year ago and her brother, Aditya had ever since become somewhat dull. 

Aditya hears his boss coming in. On her way, she talks to the peon and tells him to wish his daughter a very happy birthday. Then suddenly, Aditya hears, “The peon’s daughter worked here as an intern, right?”

 “Yes, my boss has a sharp memory, she remembers all the birthdays once registered in her brain!” , replied Aditya. 

“Aditya, I want the report on my table by tomorrow morning, I hope you remember,” says Boss. “Ma’am but it’s not possible…” , replies Aditya in chaos and tension. 

“I don’t care what you do, whether you come tomorrow or not, I want the report latest by tomorrow morning! And besides it’s not a big task, it takes hardly 2-3 hours to make a report.” , yells the Boss back. 

“Just 3 hours, what a joke! ” mumbles Aditya , and feels stressed once again.

“What happened?” said the voice .

 “Look at this pile, it needs to be rectified and now the report! I wanted to buy Isha a present for her birthday tomorrow. What will I do now, Sanghamitra?!” , cries Aditya.

 “This pile won’t take long and the report will take another three hours.” , retorted the voice. 

“Really, just three hours? I know you, my sister, were an expert of this field, so it seems like my Boss was right about the time consumed in the report.” , says Aditya. 

The voice replies,” She might not be the expert in our field but she is your boss. She ought to be the jack of all trades even if she’s a master of just a few.”

 “Maybe you’re right.” , says Aditya. 

The voice inquires, ” So what are you planning to gift your wife on her birthday?” Aditya replies, “Well, I don’t know, I had actually planned to take her to the mall this evening and let her buy whatever she wants, but this report! Urghh!”

 The voice retorts, ” Stop complaining! Look around you, people are so happy!” “They all plan to go out all the time and their deadlines never seem to bother them, and I am here working all day and yet burdened all the way through!” , replies a disappointed Aditya. 

“You can still take Isha to the mall. Get these piles done by lunchtime and after lunch, try to finish the report by six and leave for home.” , advised the voice.

 “Alright, let’s get to work!” , said Aditya. 

“That’s the spirit!” , retorted the voice. 

After the lunch break, Aditya looks for the folder he has been looking for the past week to get started with the report but doesn’t seem to find it.

 “Go ask your boss, where’s the data?” , said the Voice.
 
” She is going to yell at me and I even wanted to ask for a half day leave for tomorrow, I don’t know what to do!” , stresses out Aditya again. 

” Just go to her and ask her! You’re stressing unnecessarily!” , exclaimed the voice. 

Aditya goes to his boss’ cabin and asks, “Ma’am, I am unable to find the data for the report.” “Okay you go, I’ll send it to you through email.” , replied she. Aditya gasps a word or two of relief and also looks a little surprised by his boss’ reaction. 

When he downloads the files from the email he finds out that those files already existed on his computer that too, on his desktop! 

“So, it was right here?” , asked the Voice. 

“Yes! I don’t know what I was doing and even more surprising is that my boss, in spite of knowing that, still calmly sent it to me again.” , replied Aditya.

“It’s because you made the efforts of actually beginning your report! And about the half day, just write an application and get it signed via the peon.” , said the Voice. 

“Yes!” , exclaimed Aditya.

At six in the evening, the peon arrives with the approved application and Aditya organises his report for submission. 

Happily, he returns to his desk after submitting the report and hears the voice again, “So, done?” “Yes, I had been whining all these days and you helped me out. Thank you so much, Sanghamitra!” , thanked Aditya. 

“Don’t thank me, thank your boss, she freed you from the shackles of your laziness!” , mocked the voice laughingly. 

Aditya giggles and exclaims glancing at the calendar, “That’s partially true, I am surprised she even approved my half day leave; it’s a peak time of the year for work!” 

When he looks at the calendar, he realises that he was supposed to submit the report the day after tomorrow and not tomorrow. 

The Voice inquires, “Well, does your boss know Isha?” 

“Yes, they were friends in school, I had seen pictures of them, why..??” , Aditya stops midway. 

He tries to recollect and reflect his entire day at work, takes his bag and leaves the office in amazement.

Lost in Occhiolism

OCCHIOLISM- n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all.

 A miracle was created,                                              The great mind had it curated;

Time flew and made it recur,                                When all of it had reduced to a blur;

A masterpiece presented with awe and splurge, History saw its re-creations with twist and merge;

A new crime in town,                                          Plagiarism as an allegation, makes an artist down;

Is novelty but a hoax?                                                 Their Art- from observing Maestros, they coax?

 Imaginations have to suffer and pay,                    With a constant fear of being labelled cliché;

Math is comically free from our cage,                       Has permutations and combinations to its advantage!

Re-creations and authenticity in a single box,                 Is the making of an artist an infinite paradox?!

Resonance in senescence 

 Across the river lives a spirit,                                     The possessions of whom, the new city doesn’t wish to inherit;

Raised generations and nurtured several childhoods, said it,                                                                        Youth gave aspirations that made them split;

With beautifully carved and archaic windows and doors,                                                                              Is the City that never experienced downpours;

Its beauty, the tourists loved,                                     Yet the natives rejected;

Cow dung, narrow streets, traffic jam everywhere,                                                                               Forgotten have they, they’ve had roots from there?

A population grew socially,                                          Led a life of simplicity;

A few smiles are still living,                             Responses and visitors are they awaiting;

Some streets forgotten and isolated, others at the mercy of trade,                                                         Will the glory of the roots of Amdavadis, so quickly fade?

Established by a crown,                                                 Will it outgrow into a ghost town?!

Kindly visit there often,                                           Temples and Heritage sites are wide open;

 And don’t let this elegy,                                                 Turn into a eulogy

-Ananya Shah 

My Peace Weapon-Satisfaction 

An indescribable feeling which makes the mind so peaceful, you don’t feel like thinking and over-thinking ever again. Satisfaction comes to me as a multi-cuisine, seven-course meal! It is something I had discovered at a very young age in layman terms, only to discover it’s different forms later. Though, I can sleep without caring about the world at any point of time, getting some rest after finishing my homework/studies makes me feel like I deserve to sleep! And the ultimate word for satisfaction for us Gujaratis is “Haansh!” 
I experience satisfaction in little things, they maybe some moments with my parents, family and friends or something completely materialistic and seeing myself getting through my obsessions.

 I am a lazy person who believes in procrastination. To me watching TV or movie with an assignment pending is fine, but an outing with people with something pending makes me feel incomplete! Unfortunately, people fail to excite me at most times because my social skills fail to attract their attention. And obviously being denied existence is not a very satisfactory thing to happen. 

Smallest misunderstanding or misbehaviour with my loved ones makes me so tense that I want to clear it out within the smallest period of time. Their forgiveness gives me satisfaction!

 This is a rare case just like seasonal dishes, someone finds me humble, that’s like literally paying heed to me and my personality and adds to my satisfact-o-meter!
Jotting down my opinions and thoughts after a while at a stretch or scrolling through memories or photos by professional photographers or clicking one by myself, again gives me a weird yet true satisfaction! When I come across some amazing facts and information, it makes me feel like another good thing came past me. Even if I find a song that describes exactly my situation, like Wake me up- Avicii in the last two years of school and Why Georgia- John Mayer now, make me experience pleasure! All these things point out that it’s almost as if I find satisfaction in tumblr posts! 

Discovering satisfaction in burning calories has been a new and different experience for me. And receiving from the universe a present for waiting for something with hope has been yet another thing in my list of things that satisfy my satisfact-o-meter!

Satisfaction is so deeply embedded in my conscience that if I was to ever fail to achieve what I see through the lenses of my crazy ambitions (let’s hope that never happens) then I will gradually accept that I will have to settle for a pair of simple glasses than those fancy lenses and live with it! 

It isn’t something that is ever going to stop me from being ambitious and making sincere efforts towards fulfilling those ambitions but is a peace weapon that saves me from becoming despicable and over-desperate to sort of conquer something, find my peace and sanity and keeps me grounded! 
Hello there! Thanks for reading this! If you read this whole thank you so much. It is something personal and mainstream. Probably nothing out of the box or Unique. I appreciate your interest in reading my posts!!:))

The Hilarious Analogy 

In a world full of similes, there is a big one with two of the most popular topics these days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Demonetisation policy and Doctor Strange a movie by Marvel. Let’s just say SOMEWHAT of a parallel universe according to Marvel’s belief in the Multiverse theory between the fictional world and India’s political world exists! 
Both Doctor Strange and Narendra Modi, are excellent at what they do. While, at a point of time in their life a leader gets an amazing breakthrough to the top position of a nation and the other a breakdown, an accident which leads him to get extraordinary breakthroughs. 
Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee inspire NaMo and the Ancient One inspires Dr. Strange. BJP is Narendra Modi’s political lifeline and Christina is Dr. Strange’s emotional and at times a literal one. Apparently, both are fluent in Google Translate!
Both wipe out a past bright then doomed figure: Congress and Kaecilius. And take their respective worlds by storm! One by taking a harsh but phenomenal decision and the other by creating a storm of time loops to knock out corruption plus black money and Dormmamu- the eternal darkness respectively! 
In case you think I’ve forgotten, both bargain effectively to get what they want! One bargained by curbing the flow of black money speculating even darker future of the nation and the other, asked for a time less than eternity fore-looking the tormenting eternal future. 
That was a dose of the so-called, self-created new genre of Science Non-fiction of Fiction! 😜
-Devang Shah & Ananya Shah

Red….

When will they quit goldbricking?                         Even to me, the lifeless has this started pricking!

Put the suits on and get the thing done,                Bring clarity to the world: blindness from reality to which it is prone;

Mockery at it’s best-justice delayed,                   Victims dead or alive, who cares: case closed; well played!

Several approvals pending for laws,                  Taking decades to correct the flaws?!

Ideas awaiting execution as a policy,                       Not needed now, pass the documents as a legacy.

I am a ribbon, living the life of tortoises,               Could anyone help me break out from this folly, the society poses?!

 Is Perfect Any Better?

 Good and bad, the basics of that course, called life. All the parents tell their children to always take the path for good, some children are obedient while some are not, whereas some are never given the chance to be taught. My parents taught me that all these children maintain a balance, which is our requirement. Think of the world with all good and no bad, good just lost its importance and individuality. And now, the whole world with all bad and no good, perhaps in this world, it is way too cloudy for a silver lining to exist. Good is generally related to its estranged brother, Optimism. Optimism teaches a lot to people. No, not that test of perceiving a glass of water as half filled or half empty. That test tells you that if you responded half filled, you are an optimist, but if you responded half empty, you are a pessimist. Let’s look at it in another way, if the glass is half empty so it can be filled, thus, one can make progress. Doesn’t mean that I think that the test is wrong it simply means that only one question cannot certify someone’s ideology. 

The progression of good goes as, Good< Very Good< Excellent< Perfect. But one tends to forget that factor which makes good, very good- Better. Better is the one who makes Optimism meet its brother, Good. The spirit of making efforts to make things better is the ultimate sign of optimism. Attainment of perfection is when pessimism comes into the picture. Though perfection is out of our reach, let’s imagine it. 

Think when you are at the top of a mountain that’s the tallest, after having climbed all the other mountains, which means there is nothing above it. You cannot go further, meaning the only thing you can do is come down, owing to the concept of constant change. The moment of one’s achievement of perfection would be like thermodynamical equilibrium, that is, the end. You’ve seen the ultimate which means you are left with no personal goals anymore, this is the boundary. This can be understood if you relate it to limitations and restrictions, and how everyone loves to break out from it. Progress towards better is never out of reach, just the craving for perfection is the source of all grievances.

Thus as long as we can break out or see a silver lining to do the aforesaid, it’s getting better, and it always will get better. But perfection that we crave for cannot be attained and even if mistakenly one does reach the top of the mountain, the minute it gets cloudy you will crave to go back in time and find that silver lining.