“We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off-limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.”
I took this random candid shot at the beach at Fort Kochi. The little family looked really cosy with the baby engrossed in making sand castles while her parents looked indulging at her efforts. Reminded me of my childhood…… the first time I saw the sea……. and this vast expanse of different looking mud (sand) and of course so much water……. water as far as the eye could see……. touching the sky and the sun and all those stars…….. millions of them!!! The place was Puri in Odisha. It was the first time I saw the sea or that much water. It was a revelation. I wouldn’t let go of dad’s hands and held on tight. Living among the hills….. with two rivers that dry up by winter……. witnessing so much water and all that noise of the waves was monumental. I have never forgotten that first. Also made my first sand castle 😀 I had taken a very long time to build that one also was very meticulous about it. It was a lopsided structure looking like a hill and I had taken a lot of pain to make a tunnel through it and decorating it shells that I had collected in the beach….. It also had a garden wall and a garden. Most of the time the whole structure crumbled down only to rebuild it all over again. Writing on the sand with my newly learnt vocab and drawing crazy stuff on the sand only to see all of it wash away by the waves.
I have often tried to recapture that innocence and built many castles over the years in different beaches in different states and countries……. still that first castle that I had build in Puri remains in memory as my favorite. I can probably build better castles today but the innocence of the first one is just a memory today.
I have to confess I may be a little obsessed about the hand pulled rickshaws. In each of my trip to Kolkata the thing that stands out amidst a lot of differences between Kolkata and the city that I was born and raised and to any other city in the world that I have ever visited is the hand pulled rickshaws. In every narrow lane in parts of Kolkata where no other form of transport can reach, because of the narrow lanes albeit the place where the rich and elite of Kolkata thrive, there are these rickshaw walas to ferry you. Again I won’t debate the right or wrong of the humanity aspect of the trade but the fact remains that it is the only source of livelihood of many people of India. Personally I haven’t and wouldn’t sit on any one but it being a convenient mode of travel is very popular to travel in these very narrow lanes. I am reminded of the popular quote from the series Star Trek:
“……… to explore strange new worlds…….. to boldly go where no one has gone before”
😀 😀 😀
Any trip of mine to Kolkata doesn’t seem complete without a few pictures from the street and particularly the rickshaw walas from the street. The old world charm…… (I am not going to try to justify the right or wrong aspect of the human angle to hand pulled rickshaws because it is the only source of income to many Indians) is unlike any other city in any other part of the world. I took the above pictures on my trip to Kolkata last week….. as the rickshaw walas took some time off between trips to catch up on their power naps. The monochrome effect seemed to bring life to an otherwise lazy picture also lending it the old world charm.
This window has seen better days. Days of galore and splendor when it was an item of beauty and covet by many. Today it stands broken, listless, dilapidated and in a state of despair asking for attention and love. I took this in my recent trip to Kolkata. The state of the window today epitomizes the state of many parts of the city of joy…….. desperately longing for some interest to be shown its way. While politicians continue to look the other way, the city slowly deteriorates to a state of fossilized oblivion. The only change that can happen will have to come from the dhoti clad bangali babus on their hand pulled rickshaws. The question is will they take cognisance of the current state of affairs or continue to revel in the glory of the long forgotten bygone Raj.
You don’t really need rabindra sangeet playing at every corner of the road to brighten a person’s day rather a constructive effort to employment generation that will give the youth something to look up to and give the city a fresh new perspective…… a new leash of life. A New Life that is what the city needs to get over its current deteriorating state!!!