Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Exit of another Paul :(

World Cup 2010 made Paul the Octopus a superstar.
But for football lovers all over the world Paul Scholes (Scholsey as he was affectionately known) remains an evergreen star.
The ageless duo - Ryan and Paul - tormented opposition for 17 + years together.
Scholsie could patent his 60 yard passes that he could drop on a dime. A forward did not even have to break his stride. His passes fell obligingly RIGHT at his feet begging to be slotted home.
Despite his "red mist" moments and crunching tackles he was the heart of Manchester United.
Its true no one is irreplaceable.
But we will miss you Scholsey!

A fool on the hill..........

The view from where we parked the car was exquisite. But this was just the beginning. Radu told me that further up we would explore nature at its best.

“The best thing I like is the silence” said he.

“Yeah but it is too silent” replied I, still not completely divorced from the urban surrendering.

He stopped unpacking and looked at me quizzically “There is nothing called too silent” His reply was almost vehement.

I was getting impatient and was ready to start. After a long time I was in possession of a fairly decent camera and months of taking photographs within the limitations of my phone were about to evaporate. But Radu is a perfectionist. He pocketed two packs of dog biscuits. (Just in case) He took out two telescopic sticks; the type used by Everest climbers, and gave me one. “This will be useful on the rough terrain”. In went two bottles of water, few bars of chocolates and countless other items. Years of taking photographs in strange locations left him prepared him for all eventualities.

We started the trek, punctuated by frequent stopping to make pictures.

“Why are you whistling so often, you might attract some dogs” I joked, or so I thought.

“On the contrary, if you make enough noise the wild animals stay away. This I learnt from part time hunters and campers who frequent these areas.”

The term “wild animals” stopped me in my tracks. “Don’t scare me” I said expecting that he would say that he was just joking. But Radu is one of those rare specimens who is incapable of lying.

“This place is meant for the shepherds to come with their goats and sheep so that they, the goats and sheep, can graze on the fresh mountain grass. When the goats arrive the wild animals can not be far behind. But it is not yet summer. Also the bigger problem is in winter. That is when they migrate collectively and are known to attack.”

Minor mercy. So the summer has not started and winter is far away. So I am safe.

“But if a lone animal comes face to face it can be very dangerous. Do you see these areas where the earth looks ploughed? These are the unmistakable signs of wild boars”

My encounter with wild boars began and ended within the pages of Asterix’s adventures. I relapsed into my panic mode. No photograph could be worth it if I were to die in the process of making it. And all the while Radu was making casual strides and those frequent noises. The burning fire of a budding photographer died long ago. To request that we turn back would be a great ego issue. I am scared but how can I let him know that I am scared.

Adding further ignominy was the climb, though not steep still arduous. Physical exercises stopped long ago and the body had accumulated layers of fat and the sedentary work style did not help either.

“Do not rush! This is the mantra for climbers. Take it easy and once the body is acclimatized you can go on for a long time.”

Whatever gave him the idea that I was rushing. The labouring breath was a result of agonized lungs.

The long walk through a dense growth that bordered on being labeled a jungle went on.

I gasped for my breath.

Not due to exhaustion but when we entered the first clearing. The view was from a fantasy land. The sloping land, the mighty mountains, the fragile shepherd’s hut and setting sun transformed the landscape to an indescribable beauty.

Another walk. Another clearing.

And by the time I reached the third clearing the tiredness was gone. And wild animals vanished completely from my mind.

I understood what Radu meant when he said there is nothing called too silent!



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Parents Vs Children

You never cease to come across interesting characters at airport.
There was this girl, about 20 years of age, who was on phone talking to her parents.
Make it "trying to talk to".
It was easy to guess what was being said on the other side, I being a parent to a vivacious 18 year old helps.
She is apparently on her maiden trip abroad and like any consceientious TamBrahm , her mother took enough pains to pack papadams and pickles in considerable quantities.
Net result -  her baggage was 7 Kg over weight.
She ended up paying an "obscene amount" (her own words).
(Isn't eavesdropping good fun?)
The parents were busy lecturing her on all the predictable dos and the donts.
Her patience was wearing thin by the minute.
It must be said that she held her composure well.
We struck a conversation soon after.
I asked her my oldest doubt:
"Are children more careless or parents more panic prone?"
Her reply was an eye opener.
She said "We tend to become more careless because of the constant bickering of you guys"
Interesting viewpoint, wouldn't you say?
I recall the Orwell's article about how an effect can become a cause and end up intensifying the original effect.
A very stable and focussed girl (much like my own daughter)
God bless her!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another stupid traveler in seat no 28D

I am amazed that people still remain this stupid
About to land - 2 a.m on Monday morning at madras Airport
This guy seated next to me receives a welcome message on his mobile
I point to him that he is putting the lives of many , including his worthless one,  at peril
He listens to the whole thing and says "Hindi me bol"
I repeat with the best of my abilities
After the whole thing is explained to him he just closes the phone - meaning the monitor is dark!!!
Next time when I book my ticket online, I think I should click on the insurance option too!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Halo !

To see a halo
Behind someone's head
One needs to be
Hollow inside the head.

Touch - One of my earlier photographs ( and one of my favourites)

What have I done ?

I started my blog today
So here goes nothing.
Or everything !

Disclaimer : The starting of this blog has nothing to do with HVR closing his FB account.