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Monday, March 20, 2017

POT POURRI OF SPRING BLOOMS




Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!' Robin Williams
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/spring.html
Spring is nature's way of saying "let's party."   Robin Williams


Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!' Robin Williams
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/spring.htmlpring is
Spring resides in an extraordinary kingdom. It is generous as it enriches the environment with generous beauty and magnificence. It is nature's bridal trousseau. It signals hope, joy and  positive affirmations.

I hit upon this spring bonanza simply by chance. Like sweet serendipity. Not from some extensive garden or some gorgeous park, but from the horse's mouth,  as they say. In fact, the captures are from a local nursery, where we went to buy sod for relaying our lawn.The colorful visual narrative there, was mesmerizing. I clicked and I clicked.
Sharing some selected ones from the collection.

    

























Friends,welcome here as always!

Linking to:
 Our World
image-in-ing
Seasons 
Nature Notes 
ABC Wednesday       K is for kingdom
Out door Wednesday  
Wednesday around the world
Floral Bliss



 



 

Monday, March 13, 2017

MARCH IS DIFFERENT








“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations







March is half way through and I find its features worth observing. It has distinct and significant qualities. For instance, it has elegance built into it. For one it ushers the much awaited change in weather. Finally, winter’s grueling months are over. We keep aside layers of clothing and heavy woolens. We for once breathe freely the fragrant breeze of March. Here comes spring’s wagon laden with the most loved nature’s blessing. Days become windy and lots of fragrance inundates the environment. Trees and vegetation sprout new tender leaves. Flowers vie with each other to bloom beautifully and mesmerize the on looker.



You take a walk and in most backyards, you witness the riot of color catching your attention. Blades of grass, which were hidden under the soil battered by cold, sneak out in their fresh green avatar. Sometimes an unexpected shower nourishes the tender vegetation and brings joy and happiness to plants. It is cloudy for a couple of days. You look up to see white patches of clouds making gorgeous patterns in the sky.



The dryness of winter disappears. Our skin feels smooth and naturally rejuvenated. March remains more or less sunny and yet it retains the nip in the air. Light woolens give comfort in the mornings and evenings. You still snuggle in the quilt at night.

Birds chirp cheerfully and romp about on the branches of trees. Squirrels seem to feel heavenly, while running races hidden in the spread of trees. Neem tree outside our house attracts birds for their special soirees.
 
Because February passes too quickly, March seems to be a very long month. It lingers. Its personality stands out, though.  It is comfortably warm but blowy.  Pleasant cool breeze plays with your face and hair.  You move out and your hairs swing in all directions.

Winter and autumn overlap in Punjab. As late as first week of March, some deciduous trees were still shedding leaves. Ground underneath the trees has sheets of crunchy dry leaves. Thankfully, it is over now.

On the other side, generous amount of pollen moves about in the atmosphere. People suffer from sneezes and mild fevers. It gives rise to bouts of allergies. However, everybody welcomes March for its bracing outdoor activities. March is different




On a rainy day the afterglow  of sunset lingered even at the late hour.


Friends,welcome here as always.


Linking to:
Our World
image-in-ing
Seasons
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Wednesday around the world 
Outdoor Wednesday  







Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DO YOU LIKE FLOWERS? HAVE A LOOK !





                             'Tis my faith that every flower
                              Enjoys the air it breathes!'        

                                                                              William Wordsworth




Wherever there are flowers my attention is caught up immediately. As if, I instinctively manage to look at the place, corner or anywhere, where these beauties shower their freshness and gaily spirit. Flowers  inspire, heal, create well being and symbolize boundless joy and hope.

These red flowers were beautifying the surroundings in Tamil Nadu's foothills near Kodaikanal where we stayed for a few days. Strangely enough they open up upwards.


This orange one was shyly looking down but winked at me in the park, close by our house.


A flower blossoms for its own joy.       Oscar Wilde



Sighted in somebody's small front garden  in Tamil Nadu.

This plant doesn't give flowers yet its leaves are fascinating.We were told by the locals that its leaves are used for cooking also.



Lovely combination of fresh green leaves and and bell shaped yellow blooms in Tamil Nadu!




 Bright red bloom looks like posing seductively in the park near by our house at Patiala.


A bed of yellow blossoms steeped in golden sunshine in Tamil Nadu.


Friends welcome here as always!

Linking to:Our World, image-in-ing,
Seasons,
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

GOLDEN TEMPLE AMRITSAR: A PHOTOGRAPHIC TEMPLATE




Indian Bloggers



 “Sacred places are physical and geographic anchor points for our psychic and cultural imaginings, the stories we tell about ourselves, the world, and the relations between them.”
Adrian J. Ivakhiv



' Sri Harmandir Sahib (The abode of God) (Punjabi: ਹਰਿਮੰਦਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ), also Sri Darbar Sahib (PUNJABI: ਦਰਬਾਰ ਸਾਹਿਬ,  and informally referred to as the "Golden Temple"is the holiest Gurudwara of SIKHS, located in the city 
 of Amritsar, Punjab, India. Amritsar (literally, the tank of nectar of immortality) was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan, designed the Harmandir Sahib to be built in the centre of this holy tank, and upon its construction, installed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, inside the Harmandir Sahib The Harmandir Sahib complex is also home to the Akal Takhat (the throne of the timeless one, constituted by the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind). While the Harmandir Sahib is regarded as the abode of God's spiritual attribute, the Akal Takht is the seat of God's temporal authority
The construction of Harmandir Sahib was intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally.' Wikipedia.


'GOLDEN TEMPLE' complex has recently been renovated  with state- of-the -art infrastructure. 500m stretch around the temple has been widened. An elegant corridor around the Gurdwara has been put up. Flooring has been laid with beautiful tiles and the facade of close by establishments have been done with terracotta stone color in tune with the new embellished looks.

Visiting 'GOLDEN TEMPLE' on 17th, Feb., 2017 was an exhilarating experience. Very different and unique. The grandeur is humbling. You become  part of the sea of humanity, losing yourself, blending with the aura of religiosity for a short period. Intoxicated by the religious fervor, the visitors seemed to be in a state of spiritual abandonment. It was like a melting point of rich-poor, high-low of multiple faiths  from all over the world. No body seemed to care who the other was. Everybody appeared to be suffused with an overwhelming feeling of inner devotional passion even amidst the noisy throngs of visitors. Young married couples ( girls wearing their traditional Churas- red ivory bangles) in a joyful togetherness added to the universality of reverence for the holy shrine.




The sanctum sanctorum and the rows of devotees waiting for their turn to pay  obeisance.



Throngs of people doing parikarma ( going around) of the holy sarover (tank).


 Another view of the Darbar Sahib from the right side.

Darshani Deorhi ( entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum)


The sacred AKAL TAKHAT the symbol of temporal authority.

In the middle of this structure is one of the gates to the complex, adorned with magnificent domes


                                  Hubby and me  in the holy precincts.                       


The authorities have established a corridor around the complex to make  the surroundings look more graceful and representative of Punjabi culture and heritage.


  
Above young girls enjoying KIKLI.   'It is more of a sport than a dance for young girls. Two girls stand face to face, close to each other and hold their hands, crossing arms with their bodies inclined back. In this position their arms are stretched to the maximum and hands interlock firmly. Then they wheel round fast continuously, with their dupattas floating in the air and anklets making tinkling sound. The other ladies encourage them to go faster and faster by singing songs with clapping Sometimes it is done by four girls. The folk song related to the dance has much variety.' Behind them, two girls are doing GIDHA Punjabi folk dance of women.

Friends, I also used to participate in this sport with my bubbling young friends in long past old days.



FIGURINES carved out of black marble showing young men dancing to BHANGRA tunes. Note the mirthful couple clicking selfie.

The drummer to whose beats BHANGRA IS PERFORMED.


High on the pedestal is the statue of great MAHARAJA Ranjit Singh, the last Sikh ruler of Punjab before it was annexed by the British.


Friends,welcome here as always!
Linking to:

Our World 
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 Out Door Wednesday
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

TRAVEL TALES AND TREATS






“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace



'BAHRI BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY'

              F is for  ' Future perfect'
Spotlessly clean and wide inner road overlooking the hills.

Traveling is  a treat. It feeds your wanderlust. It enables you to weave tales in your life experiences. It enriches your memory bank. It ennobles your consciousness to see the world as a pulsating entity. You amble about exploring new horizons, taking in surprising experiences. Your creative juices rejuvenate. Amazing ideas fuel your imagination. Excitement and childlike urge to enjoy takes over. Not only this, the natural beauty of the place, you choose to visit mesmerizes your senses. Your inner voice exclaims, “Oh, there is so much of grandeur and heavenly repose here. Is it of this world? Yes, it is here and now, but hidden from the world." Such experiences are the stuff of inspiring tales. For a few days, at least you forget the mundane monotony and rejoice in the bandwagon of delight and freedom.
 

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson



Many times, you plan a tour with some specific purpose. Other times you wish to move out of your comfort zone. You welcome a short period of continuous adaptability and challenges in new environs. Unexpected situations, you face in plenty. Sudden encounters replace the status quoits mindset.



Every travel experience carries a reservoir of new terrains. If you are capable of, you can share them with the world and spread joy through your narration.

.......


Another view of the stunning hills.

By the way, my outing this time had both elements. Some purpose and a desire to leave home for some days and come back with renewed energy. My destination after due recce on the net zeroedin on a place called ‘BAHRI BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY’ in TAMIL NADU. It is one of the large states of Southern India. The particular place stands about 95 KM from the temple town Madurai.
 
Here the purpose was to find a retirement community, where the weather is wholesome throughout the year. We desired  a  place of peace and tranquility, far from the maddening bustle of urban life. An escape, from the extreme weather conditions of our home state Punjab.



A landscaped area (the work is only in the initial stages yet.)

My boyfriend/ dearest hubby and I reached this beautiful place late one night. Next morning opened large vistas of beatitude all around us. It came out to be a retirement community with a difference. Marvelous as it is, it also happens to be the only one in India of its kind. Nestled in the foothills, with its vast open spaces, wide roads and breezy climate, it is a paradise of sorts. Panoramic view of the hills on three sides is breathtaking. Coconut and banana plantations charm in their stately presence. It is like a dreamland.

The boulevard like  magnificence of the entry point.


The sun rise looks like a magic so near. Photo capture from the front verandah of our unit.( not visible here.)
Another inner road with cute looking villas on both sides.

My photographs of this place express the splendor, no words can do. Pl. click on the pics to see the larger view.



Friends,welcome here as always!

To be continued:


Linking to:
Our World
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 Nature Notes 
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

COLD AND WINTER ARE SYNONYMOUS







We in North India are in the grip of severe cold. January is the worst month and feels the longest. It meanders. Fogs and mists have become our uninvited friends. They keep clinging to us. We wish them good-bye all the time and eagerly wait for their departure. Sun has acquired the propensity of being elusive. Some days it does not show at all. Those days are the gloomiest. Sometimes all at once, the sun wriggles out of the smog by late morning or by afternoon. A sigh of relief and joy takes over. I dash outside with something to read while basking in the glory of the golden sunshine. I sit at a point where there is no wind and let the sunshine penetrate into my body unhindered. How happy you feel when for a few hours at least you take off your layers of clothes. You bare part of your body to sun's invigorating rays. Such days are heavenly.

Otherwise, on sunless days you keep snuggling in your quilt the whole day. You get up only for cooking, eating or for some unputdownable chores. If you are at the computer as I‘m now you need a room heater near your legs to prevent them from getting stony cold.

For the  poor and daily wage earners winter is tough and brings misery. Authorities in all states of India keep building night shelters for the homeless and the deprived.

Yet winter has its plus points. It is great in many ways. For one there is so much variety in fresh vegetables available in stores. Street vendors ply their carts loaded with veggies and make rounds of the area all the time.

image google
Winter is the time to savor goodies and special dishes, which are only prepared in cold months. Breakfasts are incomplete without radish stuffed paranthas. Sweet carrot dish cooked in cream is always mouthwatering. Bars of sesame seeds and groundnuts prepared with jaggery are everyone’s favorite snacks. Freshly roasted whole groundnuts are available in plenty. Vendors on the roadsides pop corns in your presence making you enjoy the warm crunchiness. Moreover, delicious sweets, in eye-catching arrangements, adorn the counters of sweet shops. Yet who can dare ignore the special winter dish of sag eaten with makki di roti and dollops of fresh butter? Nothing can beat it in nutrition as well as taste.

Such are the joys of winter that small discomforts don’t matter. 

Linking to:
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 Friends,welcome here as always!