By God’s Grace !

I had shared some photos, taken by me,  on Facebook and WhatsApp with friends. My friend Vijay sent me the following message.

“When you see this kind of natural spectacles you get immersed in the vastness- be it Skies- Oceans- huge land spreads- deserts- green lush spreads- mountains and – – – – I don’t know what happens to others, but I get God feelings……”

Vijay, you stole the words from me! This world is so full of good things, that sometimes it is difficult to be negative. This is too general a statement, life can be tricky, tough and sad for many. Usually there are two extremes in everything. But it averages out in most cases, life is made of good and the bad things. Since things yo yo between good and bad, we can enjoy the good part. But I always wonder, why some people always take things negatively.

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When they are in negative mode, they take advise from palmists, gurus and believe in and perform some very weird rituals! I know of someone who is not keeping well for some time; the sickness is pretty bad and almost irreversible. I can understand that person trying different non-conventional options. Along with this, the methods mentioned above are also tried out. Since, this person’s medical case is bad, it is understood that person remains in negative frame of mind.  But due to negative frame of mind, that person follows same extreme methods and thought process, for any small thing going wrong with the family. Except that person’s major illness, nothing abnormal is happening in the family. Someone changing a job, someone having temporary setback in business, it’s is all treated in the same way, very negatively!

Why people think this way? How they become so negative? All of us, always see the same things in the world, same sky, same trees, same clouds and rain, feel the same weather, listen to the same birds. But facilities of some persons get shut to such feelings. With this frame of mind, they disturb the atmosphere in homes, though unwittingly. (One queer thing I observe when I take my walk in the morning. People have ear buds and they are either listening to songs or talking on  cell phone, while walking! Nature for them doe not exist)

I know of another family who had land disputes, ancestral family disputes and what have you. There was always tense situation in the home, within the family, within extended family! The siblings had stopped talking with one sibling since last thirty years. Once while having a coffee with one of the sibling, the same old subject came out. Of course, the situation was explained to us, vehemently. At the end when the things cooled down a bit, they got excited even while explaining to me, I asked a simple question. What did all of you gain? They had no answer. Then I said is it ok if explain the situation. They said ok. I said, ” You all did not talk your one sibling for thirty years.” All included their mother too! I further said, ” You have lost that precious time when there could have been so many enjoyable moments.” End of story is, there is no progress in property dispute. The case has not even gone to court! There were skirmishes within other siblings also, so there was no agreement about anything!

People believe in reincarnation, but I am a firm believer of one life! At any time during our life time, we do not know how much more time we have on this earth; it could be one second, it could be many more years! God is great and by His Grace so many good things are there right in front of us. God has given great brain to humans and it has been used mostly in a very productive and gainful manner. These days you dream of somethings which is considered fictional, at that time. In next ten or twenty years, these things are already there in real life use. That is also a beauty that we tend to miss.

Our generation, which is around 70, has seen so much variation that according to me it is more than enough for three life times. Some people take it in a very positive manner and some people keep on cribbing. They say, these days things are not as they were in our times. I tell them, “This is our time”! Some of us are lucky that with their goodish health, and reduced or no responsibilities, they can really enjoy life. They can travel, they can chat with friends, some people are called out of their retirement to give back more by some organizations. Some have started painting. My friends Anil and Pravin are enjoying their full love for music. Anil plays saxophone professionally and Pravin has formed his troupe and gives shows, where they sing melodious songs to different themes. These things my friends, are possible only because of His Grace!

I know of some families, who have suffered all the time for years together. But I have seen some of them who still have smile on their face. I asked a friend whose family has suffered with many setbacks for a long time, the secret of his smile. I asked him the secret of positivity. He said, ” Pramod, we have a tendency to blame HIM when things go wrong; but we forget to thank HIM when good things happen for us. So, if you remember that everything is due to God’s Grace, it is very easy to remain positive”.

I am sharing more of His Grace below! Nature most of times has only good sides. The photos above and photos below were Sunrise and Sunset on the same day!

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Serendipity!

The word Serendipity means the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Some of my friends are always saying that I am infected by “Tharoorism”. Honestly, I am not, and Serendipity is a word that was first used in 1754. It is said to be one the hardest words to translate. Notion of Serendipity is common in science domain as some important discoveries in science are due to chance e.g. Alexander Fleming’s discovery of Penicillin, discovery of microwave oven, “Post-It” note.

Don’t worry, I am not going into discovery mode, but I get a feeling that in today’s world of rush, rush and rush we don’t leave time for Serendipity, we don’t leave time for anything! I am not talking of the time when we are working. But besides work we do so many things in life but we seem to continue to rush through things. We take holidays, we go for brunch, we go for shopping, we just chat, we go for a stroll, we read, we play, we paint; but we have gone into a habit of rushing through everything.

We had recently gone on a holiday in Europe; with age and language issue we thought that it may be a good idea to take a conducted tour. We had two-day stay in St. Moritz in Switzerland. The tour director had offered to take our group to various peaks and the lake, but the program was quite cramped. We told her that we will go at our own leisurely pace and maybe see a few things less!

First, we took the bus and took a tour of the town at our own pace getting down where ever we wanted. We went to the famous lake and spent a couple of hours there and really had a great time. We saw many small things which were not mentioned in any of the brochures. A very tall escalator to come up to the road level from the lake, was a pleasant surprise as we never got the judgement of depth of the lake from the main road! We were looking for nature’s beauty, but this man-made structure was also a surprise to us. We took some photos and videos but most of the time just enjoyed  the beauty of the nature through our own eyes and not through the lenses. The colour changes of the mountains and lake water, due to cloud movement were simply superb.

Later, we went to a couple of peaks at the height of 3800 meters, plus. What we did there was to absorb the atmosphere, look at the beauty of snow and sunshine, drink the pure weather! We were hungry, but they did not offer food which suited our diet. The chef there said if we had some time with us, he could cook something to suit us. That was the best sandwich we had on the entire tour, Serendipity?

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We felt like sitting and watching this lake as long as possible, it was so beautiful!

We were in Innsbruck, Austria. The traditional dance show was the optional part of the tour. It was called Tyrolean Evening. We were informed that no photography was allowed during the show. It turned out to be an absolute boon as we could enjoy the show thoroughly, we could see and feel the energy, we could see the superb coordination of the group and we could also enjoy our wine! The way dancers energetically tapped their thighs in coordination, was simply awesome. The show was the highlight of the tour! It was a late show, we were tired but were never rushed. It was the Serendipity moment. Here is the link for the show.

https://www.tiroler-abend.com/en/tyrolean-evenings/tyrolean-evening.html

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Social media has added to our rush/rush mentality. Everybody wants to share what they are doing and seeing, on the social media. It may be Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and what have you. We have made it a rule to share such things only with close family that maybe at the end of the day! Sharing photos and videos from the locations is an absolute no no! The rush for sharing things on the media, puts your mind away from what you are doing, you feel that you are enjoying it by sharing it! But if you think seriously, except close family and friends, all others are not so keen to know what you are doing at every moment. This excited behavior has led to accidents as people have fallen from mountains, fallen from ships, fallen from trains in their attempt to “share” instantly. I had written in my blog “Touch the whale”; people go on whale sighting trips but are behind the lenses all the time instead of touching the whale which has come at a touchable distance.

When you go for shopping, occasionally you end up getting a deal which you will never get if you rush through. During brunch, keep extra time, linger on a bit, try new things, you may discover some new food stuff that you had never tried out before; if you don’t rush you may meet a long-lost friend. But rushing habit is not good for anyone as it creates stress and can affect your health.

Sorry! I must rush and take my evening sunset photographs! I don’t get enough time to write my blogs because I must rush and meet friends, just before I rush for evening bridge rubbers. Then of course there is a late evening dinner with family before going for that recently released, late night movie! I just don’t get time for anything, but I enjoy rushing everywhere! I really enjoy ! Do I?

Go with the nature!

Days are longer in summer and shorter in winter. There are scientific reasons for that. Similarly, waxing and waning of the Moon follow the laws of nature. Except for humans, all the living things follow natures laws, religiously. Why humans behave differently? Simply because we are brainy! Are we?

Human kids and their pets like dogs follow the nature. Example is eating habits. A child simply refuses to eat more food than it needs. If their indulgent mothers try to force them to eat or drink something more, they will simply vomit. Have you seen a dog overeating? Have you ever seen an obese dog?

There is a lovely little Marathi song for kids “Chimnu tai chya pila”. In the song the kid is asking the baby sparrow,  “How do we find the roads in the sky? Are their white markings, Red, Yellow, Green signals up there?  Should a kid lose the way, are there any policemen who will help them find the way back home? Do policemen provide kids with biscuits till someone comes to pick them up?”

Wow! What a song? So much meaning to it! The kid asks the baby sparrow only with references known to him, the white lines/policeman/signals and so on! But I always have been fascinated by the bird species that traverse certain path daily, regularly and religiously! This they do it to gather food for themselves and their babies; they also collect building material for their nests, when required. How do they handle this? They must be having very advanced radar and eyesight! They must be having a perfect body clock which guides them to start their day at a certain time with respect to sunrise & sunset! Birds never go out for all night parties! Every day, from my seventh-floor window, I see flocks of birds flying away for their daily chores, around sunrise and return back around sunset! In winter, as the days become shorter the morning times are a few minutes later every day and evening time is a few minutes earlier every day! How do they handle this when the Sun is not visible?

What will happen if humans follow the routine of the birds? I am very much aware that we have different time tables and don’t go by nature’s clock. There are practical limitations. But we humans flog our “intelligence” so much that we don’t follow even twenty % of what nature suggests! Have we heard of any birds who have stored so much food that they don’t have to go out in monsoon? Within the limitation of our life style, we should try to follow as many nature’s laws as possible!

We hear many stories of sleep deficit, insomnia, sleep disorders! Some of the people, may have illnesses, which cause these issues; but again, our fancy life style of partying, drinks, late nights start these issues. Once these issues cross the limits, sleep related issues start. Studies about sleeping patterns of Polar Bears makes a fascinating study. Scientists tagged about 30 polar bears in Northern part of Canada. They wanted to see how Polar bears handle their hibernation. (Polar bear Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals capable of generating their own heat) As the known time for going into hibernation came closer, volunteers started tracking bears physically. All 30 bears were looking for their nook for hibernation. To surprise of all when the hibernation start timings for all 30 bears were compared, they all went into hibernation exactly at the same time. Nature? Humans can at least learn that you have your flings and swings but don’t overdo them, otherwise our body reacts in such a way that different issues can start affecting our quality of life.

Migration of Birds in winter is another discipline that humans cannot follow due to practical difficulties. Lately, humans have also started this activity; our retired brethren who have settled in cooler climes, come back home during winter for 2/3 months. The radar and GPS within the birds works perfectly and I fear that Googles of this world have developed GPS, studying the birds! But can we humans not accept the discipline part of the winter migration? When “dumb” birds can do it can we “smart” humans not achieve this discipline?

Emotion is a trait very distinctly displayed by humans. I am sure that other species also have emotions but I am not sure how much they use the emotions. Human baby goes out of the “nest” at age of 20/22! Whereas in other species this phenomenon occurs much earlier. If we do comparisons using life spans, human “baby” spends ¼ of the life in parent’s home. Whereas in other species it is much smaller. This may be one area where humans are better over other species! This I think is because humans have come out of “survival of the fittest” law!

What can we learn from other species and laws of nature? A lot! We are already doing it. In science, this usage is much higher than in our personal behaviour. The airplane landing follows same flight path like the bird landings. Boats take their design from fish! Car maneuvers are based on Chitah running! Of course, Chitah looks more elegant! We build great homes but we are not able to use the simple tools available to us, like the beak and two legs, used by birds to build their complex nests!

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Humans are way ahead other species because of their intelligence but could have a much quality of life if they try to go closer to nature, by following more and more things suggested by nature, in personal life; these are already adopted by birds and the beasts. Many of these adaptations, will reduce a lot of common setbacks in life like obesity, sleep issues, social issues. See the photo of pelicans below, where there is no fight between them when fish is fed to a group of pelicans. So, get to know your Bees and Birds better, and follow them in other personal areas of life too! ( For records, Pelican photos were taken by me during our Australian sojourn)

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