A letter to all the teachers who tried (and failed) to teach me math

Dear teacher. Math teacher. I would like to say to you (all of you) how very sorry I am. Sorry that you had to put up with teaching a dunce like me. Sorry that the pay probably wasn’t worth the completely blank looks I gave your faces after you had spent yet another hour trying to get me to understand the new sum. You probably hated looking at me. Well the feeling was definitely mutual. I’m sorry that you had to teach me. I mean we were both in pain. I’m pretty sure I was in more pain but we were both in pain. Because math, as a subject, was my kryptonite, and you were no Lois Lane.

But I am also sorry my dear math teacher, that you didn’t know how to teach math. You, stuck in your backward calculative ways of thinking didn’t manage to get it across to me. And I, the dreamer, the writer, the less numbers more colours one always fell victim to the cruelty of the math. I am sorry that you were taught that there is no other way to teach. I’m sorry that there was no imagination in you (or time thanks to the restraints of physics) for you to think up ways in which you could have taught me. So thank you, Math Teacher, for bringing me this far, still hating math completely and at the same time letting me know just how important it would be for me to know why ABC even shows up in the world of mathematics at all.

Suicide Silence (Trigger Warning)

 

There is a place, a land of dreams,

Not nightmares surely, no evil things.

A world away from the one we’re in,

But still very much happening.

I know this world has fun and games;

And joy and laughter ever exist.

This place so far, but yet so close,

A place we will not be morose.

Fancy princes, funny creatures.

Serious, wise men who are good teachers.

A place where everyone wants to be

A place that just belongs to me.

Time passes there as you wish,

In the blink of an eye or the blow of a kiss.

And you control this world at large

And do what you want to, at heart.

Castles and underwater escapades.

Magic mysterious is the place.

You’ll feel like never really leaving

But will be forced to when ‘reality’ stings

Returning is an easy thing,

Don’t be afraid of anything.

Because this world is yours to own,

You can come back even when you’re old.

You can be a hero or heroine,

And any battle, you will win.

Nothing will fade, no place is gone,

Everything waiting for you to return.

So come escape this world of tears,

Of sorrow, and despair, and fears.

The scars on your hand you will not see.

They’ll heal you in the healing waves of the sea.

And all the blood that went down the drain,

The shouting, screaming, lying, the blame,

Frustration that would never cease

The tears that just wouldn’t freeze.

The blades, the thought, the pills, the tie

Every time you made up some other lie,

And then the aching, lingering pain.

The constant attempt to escape this place.

The slitted wrists, the crying eyes.

Deyaced soul, the eager flies.

Come away, hide with them

These people are not enemies but friends.

So close your eyes and then retreat

Into your mind so close, so sweet.

And even then it’s far away,

So come on and enjoy your stay.

Remain for as long as you please

And from the cruel world find release.

I’ll also let you in on a secret.

There is one way you’ll never leave it.

And promise that you’ll never tell,

’Cause damn that secret’s really swell,

All it takes is a simple rope,

With Death beside, Life can elope.

Truly if you needed this break,

You’d know, no one would miss your face.

Take up the knife, swallow the pill,

Adrenaline rush; awesome thrill.

Drift away on broken wings

To the land where your heart sings.

The tears that fall after that

Will not-

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Both images belong to http://aelathen.deviantart.com/

Of Fandomly Power…

How fandoms helped me adjust to new places

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The girl from the North East beside me rises with a start. She sits up in the bed and rubs her face with her hands. It is dark, only the street light streams in through the half-open window. She turns her head to me, her name is Cat (that’s what I call her), she asks me in a trembling voice to hug her please. Straining on the please. She calls me Anna. Like her best friend she left behind in Shillong. I am awake. I wasn’t able to go to sleep. Strange ways my mind works where I can sleep at the drop of a hat when I want but for some reason I was awake that night. I was awake and able to rise and hug her and stay up with her for an hour to comfort her. We finally went to bed at two on the morning…

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This small incident that happened, took me back to about a year ago. I had just shifted from living with my mother in my aunt’s house, to living in a hostel run by nuns. This worked because the hostel was right behind the college. It had a lot of rules but I didn’t think they’d actually be troublesome. For instance, all Catholics had to go to mass every morning at six, and there would be prayers at 7:40 before dinner that all the girls had to attend. They were new and thus didn’t have an internet facility and therefore promised to put one in. A lot was said. Everything was settled. My mother was happy. I was happy. Mom and my aunt scoured the hostel thoroughly. They went ahead and checked out the room, the bathrooms and everything. It definitely got my aunt’s approval. She liked the place and she made sure she was heard. She kept telling me that I wouldn’t find a place like it. She was right.

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Cat is very different from me. She finds her place in the PG easily. She made friends with so many people so fast. She’s just a nice person to be around. On the first day of college I wore a Star Wars tee-shirt to the orientation. Desperately hoping that I’d attract the attention of like-minded people and in turn make some cool friends. In retrospect, I should have worn my Deathly Hallows tee shirt instead. There are so many more Harry Potter fans than Darth Vader fans in college… I made some friends though. Perhaps not on the first day. There was Steff. She was and still is the nicest one I’ve met so far. She is sweet and so understanding, ready to help always. But her I had met at the interview itself. On the first day I wasn’t exactly the one who made friends.

I did make a friend later though. Anjenny, as we now call her was coming down the stairs after my mom had dropped me off to college and told me class had been cancelled. This was theology class and the first hour of the day so we were pretty happy. We went down the stairs talking and I introduced her to mom whom I had asked to stand outside and wait in case we didn’t have class. She had worn a fandom tee. I remember it was a silhouette of the 11th Doctor and the T.A.R.D.I.S. Blue print on black. I excitedly told my mom about it. I felt like a child among all the other college students. I felt like they all looked down on me for not having the decorum and sophistication.

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All the kids were taller, smarter, prettier, better dressed than I was. They fit in college. I looked like some weird school-reject potato in my home-made fandom tees and my not styled, wild hair. I was the most unglamorous and stuck out like a sore thumb among the glamorous. In a way I still do there are days in which I cannot bring myself to even wear eyeliner to look like I put some effort into my upkeep. But I learnt that none of that mattered. Because in the end there was so much more in college. College is a melting pot of culture. It’s a place for varied backgrounds and people with different thoughts and opinions. I am lucky to have not been harassed or ragged. Perhaps this is because I am a stronger person. There was one really mean guy whom I’ve blocked out of my memory who came up to me one day and asked me why I looked like an obese Harry Potter. I had been feeling so happy that day. I was laughing and having a good time. The minute I heard him say that my mood overturned. I suppose I won’t hold it against him. I don’t know what made him go to a complete stranger and say that but he did. Anyway. In the end I appreciated being seen a bit like my hero Harry. Even if it meant I was fat.

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The day my mom left me in the hostel I was a bit low. I had Anjenny with me then, she was the only one I knew. The two of us walked far. The hostel curfew was 6:00pm. I wanted to stay out for as long as I could. We found a park and sat in it for so long. Finally going back when there were just a few minutes’ left for curfew time. I found my solace in the only Harry Potter book I was able to keep with me. My bed was too high; I didn’t know a single person apart from Anjenny who would go to sleep early. I was alone. But the book was my escape. That and my music. For the longest time I’ve found my refuge in the songs I listen to. You can’t ask me what genre I like because it’s so varied and there exists within it complete polar opposites. But My Chemical Romance has always been a standstill for me.

 

I had my place in the study room. I kept my things there. It was close to a single plug point that I would use to either charge my phone or my laptop. I needed it because my phone would run out of charge so often. And I needed my phone for the internet. Yes, I sound like a spoiled brat but quite frankly the net was the dark hole I needed to crawl into when I was alone. I made friends slowly. I still charged my phone. It was my link. The only link I had to people who were fanpeople like me. This became all the more important as life in my hostel (soon to be called ‘hostile’ by my friend Nayn) became all the more unbearable. I delved into the notoriously addictive T.V. show Supernatural. When the warden of the Hostile would do something to annoy us all I’d go back to my laptop, in my place beside the window, and I would watch. I would binge episodes at a stretch. And this didn’t seem to hamper my studies much because I got pretty good marks throughout. One more thing that becoming part of the Supernatural fandom has done for me is that it has given me a fandom family.

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I’ve been in the Harry Potter fandom for a really long time. And after that I was a Whovian and then a Merlinian. I became part of the Supernatural fandom most recently. However, it is only in the Supernatural fandom that I felt the togetherness that could call us a family. The Supernatural fandom is huge. It has often been described as a cult and a lot of people are even scared of it. They have power. At the same time, these people are one of the nicest bunch I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. I was accepted into a group on Facebook called Supernatural Shippers, but the group goes so far beyond shipping. (Shipping by the way is the act of pairing two characters together mostly romantically in this context.) I know that the days I was having problems in this new setting all it took was one post in that group telling them I was low and asking for help when my notifications were flooded with loving comments and helpful bits of advice. Even nice pictures! And I’m not the only one. There are so many others who ask and they too get the help they need. Often, I feel that the people on that group are more helpful to me than the people who are not on the internet.

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It is true however that there is a lot of unnecessary hate among fandoms. There is always the people who are at odds with each other. There are always the ones who – for reasons unknown to me – like to start wars.  But the helpful outnumber these. When fandoms take up arms and rise against something it is scary. Because they do have the power to hurt and they do have the power to make great things happen. That many people, all over the world, united for one cause. They can make things happen. As a majority they can influence others.

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I brought up my friend Cat for a specific reason. Cat and I became friends through fandom. When Cat first came she was mostly quiet. We didn’t really talk much. But then she asked me about the many Gerard Way quotes that I had stuck around the room, asking me if I loved the man or the band. I told her I liked both. She stayed quiet sneakily and then the next night she pulled on a My Chemical Romance tee-shirt to wear to bed making me gasp when I came out of the bathroom. She grinned at me and I asked her if she was a fan, and if that was why she asked me about the quotes… After that it was like an unbreakable bond had been formed between us. We stayed up till late at night singing songs (mostly My Chemical Romance songs), watching musicals, or just simply talking, but it wouldn’t have happened that way if it wasn’t for MCR.

The number of times fandoms have helped me adjust is uncountable. In some ways I depend on fandom to make friends. It’s become the shield I take out with me every day when I go to face the world. Merchandise is expensive, so I make my own. I base so much of my work off fandom references. I am the Fangirl.

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That Scalding Satisfaction

 

Steam rises off the bucket of water I’ve collected this evening; like most evenings. Even though the cold water runs into it, there is enough of the cloud to rise and fog my red glasses.

I gather up my soap, shampoo, and conditioner. I don’t take in my towel. I will come out for that. In the dim yellow light, I pull the full bucket to rest in front of me. Some of the water spills over. Splashing my feet. I wince. The water is scalding. I dip my hand in, let it sink to the bottom of the bucket. Deep inside. My hands can take it. They’re used to harsher things. The cold air caresses my back coaxing the goose bumps on my skin to rise higher. They stand at attention, anticipation rippling through my flesh.

I pick up my blue mug. Dip the plastic into the water. The first wave burns. Searing into my skin as it cascades down the broad expanse of my back. A thousand tiny fires lit and extinguished at the same time as the water travels between my breasts, right down to my toes where it splashes, merging into the bathroom floor. My skin prickles. It is unsure if it wants to remain in the cold or if it wants another painful wave. But it has no choice. The painful wave is what it gets. The heat of the water soothes the strange aches in my body. My shoulder that was aching all day, it’s like the heat pulls away at whatever is in there causing the dull incessant pain. It strips away at the grease and the grime of the day like a strong breeze, banishing a cloud. The mirror is fogged thanks to the heat on its otherwise cool surface.

Raw and pink. Tender, softened down by the water’s harsh training. My skin feels alive…

The Hoarder in Us All


Hoarding. Verb. Accumulate and hide or store away.
Hoard. Noun. A large amount of something valuable that is kept hidden. (Miriam- Webster) 

Compulsive Hoarding. Also known as Hoarding Disorder. A pattern of behaviour that is characterised by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment. (Wikipedia) 

In almost every person you know there is a hoarder. Apart from a miniscule number of people the act of hoarding is something every person does do whether it’s unknowingly or knowingly. This piece explored a college environment to see what the average person is like in terms of collecting and keeping things. 

Many people do hoard. From the time that I have been able to understand things around me I have learnt this. My grandfather was a hoarder. He kept everything he came across that he thought could be more useful. After his death, when my grandmother was cleaning out his almirah she found things inside that were both useless– to us– as well as strange. We found a large stack of 2 Rupee notes. There must have been over a 100 of them in there. For many it’s all about nostalgia. Tresa says “I hoard the things I find memories in.” There’s no specific for her. “It can be a pencil to a keychain.” She tells me while sitting in our noisy canteen.  For Ashwin hoarding means something similar. “Probably things from my childhood.” He says after thinking a moment.

Kritika is a guitar string hoarder. She says, “At times it does (annoy me), because it occupies stupid space in my cupboard, but other than that, it’s completely fine.” She goes on to say that if anyone tells her to stop her habit she wouldn’t care and would go on doing what she does.

Sometimes the act of hoarding might just signify a person’s determination and perseverance. As Amala tells me softly, “They have a lot of patience. If they are interested they will keep things” 

Hoarding doesn’t seem to have annoyed people that do hoard things. On the contrary they have regretted throwing away things. Things they wished they hadn’t. Ashwin confirms my theory but refrains from telling me what it is he has thrown away. Kritika on the other hand reminisces with a slight grimace as she recalls painful times, “Books. Not really thrown but sold.” Sharon who says she doesn’t hoard at all sympathises with the hoarder. “It’s too addictive. When they start they don’t stop” Sharon says that since her friends are hoarders, she feels left out sometimes. She wishes that she wasn’t a person who would throw everything away. “My first boyfriends gift” She says, wishing she still had it.

However, she would not like to spend her life with a hoarder. “I would try to change the guy!” She exclaims after vehemently saying a series of ‘no’s like she doesn’t even want to think about it. Similarly, Amala says, “Maybe he’ll change his mind…” looking horrified at the prospect of having to live with a hoarder.

 Tresa says she would be disturbed if she had to live with a hoarder. “After a point, if the stuff gets too much I would get irritated.” Ashwin comes to the defence of his hoarder saying, “Messy places are okay!” He justifies saying he does it too. But for Kritika it all comes down to the basics. “It’s depends on the kind of person he or she may be.” She says. And in the end, that’s what it all boils down to.

Dadu (Grandfather)

In Bengali, your mothers father is called ‘Dadu’ and mother – ‘Dida’. In a similar manner, your fathers father is called ‘Thakurda’ and mother ‘Thakuma’. However, for reasons unknown to me, my brother and I never used Thakuma or Thakurda. We always called my dad’s parents Dida and Dadu and my moms were Nani and Dumpa. 

Dadu was a most intriguing person. The man was a genius with a hatred for wastage. He was a retired engineer. Retired long before I or my brother were born. But his eagerness to fix things never left. He often restored the toys that we broke, telling us not to throw anything away but to use it. He’d probably make us use everything till they’d be nothing but dust. One time, after Diwali and Kali Pujo, Dadu told us he wants the burnt out remains of our sparklers. Obediently we made sure we collected the white hot metal sticks and presented them all to him. He was very pleased. He took them all and when we asked him what he wanted to do with them he’d look at us and say, “Dekhbe!” But we never did get to see because Dadu said the sticks were too short for what he was making. He never threw them away though.

The first pair of torn jeans, or rather, distressed jeans I ever had – sent all the way from Canada to me by my uncle – had some miniscule holes in the knee areas and a few rips. When I wore them and went to Dadu to show them off, he looked at me very concerned and told me, “Diye dao, ami shelai kore di.” (Give them to me, I’ll stitch them.) I was scandalised and had to quickly explain, “Na Dadu, eta ajkaal style!” (No Dadu, this is the style nowadays!) Dadu always made a face when I wore those jeans.

When I was much younger and had no school to go to, I would often eat breakfast with Dadu. He would eat cheera with milk and sometimes a banana. Whenever he ate the banana, he would wash it, peel it, and then with utmost care cut the fruit into pieces against the sharp edge of his stainless steel bowl. Then he’d take his spoon and scoop some of the cheera and milk onto it and eat, as well as feed me. Whenever he’d scoop up a banana piece as well, he’d tell me, “Eta-te byang aache.” (This one has a frog.) For some reason, this would tickle me greatly and I looked forward to the scoops with banana. I’d tell him, “Byang dao! Byang dao!” (Give me the frog!) Once all the ‘frogs’ were finished, Dadu had a hard time keeping me there to finish eating my meal. Dadu would hate too much dal on his plate when we ate. He would scold my grandmother if she put too much saying it was like his plate was a pond. He also managed to get me to eat my fish which I absolutely detested. He’d give me the tastiest bits and showed me this bone that looked like a duck.

In the evenings, Dadu would occasionally have puffed rice – moori – mixed with just a few drops of mustard oil Sometimes I’d sit with him and Dida and watch television while having some moori myself. The Bengali serials would play and we’d sit around the T.V. munching… Dadu also taught me to make little balls of my rice and curry to get me to eat it faster, it didn’t work but I now know how to make the Solar System with my food.

Dadu had his serious side. He was an intelligent man – the coveted engineer. He had already started balding by the time he asked for my grandmother’s hand. Dida told me once that he’d seen her in the balcony of her house with her long hair open and had fallen for her then. Dadu often looked grumpy. His mouth would be a perpetual frown but he wasn’t disgruntled. He just had that face. When he would lie on the bed on his stomach, clad in his white, cotton pyjama bottoms, reading his newspaper, my brother and I would scramble onto his back to play. We’d pretend he was a car and his raised feet and legs were a steering wheel and gear. Dadu would read the Bengali version of The Statesman while we did. Once I didn’t go to school, so Dadu and I got together and decided to have a picnic – in the bedroom of our house… We got biscuits and some other stuff like ‘jhuri-bhaja’ and of course, moori. Suddenly we realised that we had no water with us, so I told Dadu, “Darao.” (wait) and went to get water for us. Upon returning I saw Dadu, standing on the bed – his head nearly touching the fan. He looked at my confused face and said, “Darate bolli je!” (You asked me to stand) (Darao means both wait and stand in Bengali.) This was his rarely seen, less serious side.

Dadu was from Sylhet originally. During the partition his family moved from Bangladesh to India. I don’t know much about it, but we lost our ancestral home during the move – according to Dida it was a beautiful house.

Even to his last few days, Dadu was a very sharp minded man. In the hospital too, he once alerted a nurse to the fact that there was a bubble in his saline. He then proceeded to tell her, she should tap it so it’d go to the top and not enter his bloodstream. It was finally heart problems that took the man from us. I didn’t cry much when he passed. I think I didn’t really know how to react to having someone so close being taken from me for the first time. I don’t eat cheera and milk anymore. Fish and I are enemies once again. And Dadu, I miss him.

Chicken Curry

White and floaty, Chicken Curry was born on an unknown date but adopted into our family on the sunny afternoon of 19th August 2016. Chicken Curry got his name when a girl whacked his rubber, helium-filled body into another girl’s bowl of the canteen chicken curry. There was no doubt that Chicken Curry would be named after the delicious spicy liquid that dripped slowly off it. Chicken Curry was given to me by a girl who’s had two. One blue and one white. She let me have the white one.

Everyone was envious of me. Everyone wanted Chicken Curry. They tried to take Chicken Curry away from me in various ways. Some hit Chicken Curry. Some tried to poke him. I had left Chicken Curry tied to my chair, when I came back to see him he had disappeared. A villain held him in his hands instead and claimed Chicken Curry was his. He pulled the string away from me and said Ann gave it to him.

I was so angry! I had to defend my Chicken Curry. I screamed at him and grabbed Chicken Curry away and pulled his string back to the chair that he was previously tied to. The villain stared at me angrily. He stole occasional glances at Chicken Curry with a fire in his eyes, I saw it. I inspected Chicken Curry. Some fiend had drawn on him. Two faces. They had also cleverly wiped of the remnants of the drying Chicken Curry from him. Defaced. I kept an eye on the villain. Sitting opposite him I was able to observe his every move. Very soon he left; seeing I wasn’t going to give up on my Chicken Curry soon. I breathed a sigh of relief. Chicken Curry was safe… For now…

The villain returns. First thing he looks at: Chicken curry…

​The Scientific Use of Violence

For the longest time the use of violence has been not only aided by scientific means but also justified. Science has been the one fact that will not be questioned and is followed thoroughly throughout the time that we have lived ever since the proper study of the subject was started. The cold hard facts which is offered by people of science is often too cold to get near and much too hard to break. At the most we can chip it slightly but break it completely… Never. 
During the holocaust the German Nazis were able to kill so many human beings. Not just the Jews, but anyone he thought was “inferior”. He would justify his violent acts in the name of science saying these people were in some way the rejects of society that by some godforsaken so-called scientific research proved. It is a strange part of human behaviour that somehow compels us to listen to those we think are in power. Perhaps the way we are raised is at fault. The way we are told, all over the world in unison, that we should listen to our elders. It is still a mystery exactly how Hitler got to be able to control such large masses when he wasn’t really an imposing figure if you saw him on the road someday, alone, sans entourage. 

The holocaust is however merely one needle in this haystack of scientific violence. Modern day sees so much more of it but somehow I think we as a race have numbed ourselves to the feeling that this could or is wrong in any way. And while we might know it is wrong the intensity of it doesn’t hit us quite right and we are able to brush it off completely even. Political lines divide us, colour of body makes us discriminate, heck, even sexual orientation is made to be either acceptable or not. We can’t handle people loving each other but can handle hate? Why? Because it is scientifically justified? Well that doesn’t change the fact that no one cares that psychologists all over the world have proved that homosexuality is not a disease. It doesn’t matter to people that the ridiculousness of the statement “black people are inferior- because science!” has been exposed. No. People still hate. They still discriminate. 

Science is not to blame. It is human nature. Where we once had humanity we shield ourselves in impenetrable scientific armour. Human beings need to stop. We are not the best. If anything we are the worst. We kill, destroy, screw up everything that we touch. In movies where aliens come to our planet we show them persecuting our race. We are scared of extra-terrestrial life because we are afraid that they will do to us exactly what we do to the planet and the beings living with us. It’s a bit like witchcraft. Magic can be right or wrong- but depending on how it is used. 

Thus, science and violence go hand in hand sometimes. And each time it does, another voice is silenced… 

I am 

​I am a wave, gentle and calm; yet I can turn rough and menacing. 

I am the sea; on most nights I am quiet. But some nights I am a storm. 

I am the sun, burning fierce and I am also the moon, being credited for borrowed light. 

I am a being, both cold and warm. 
I am a raindrop: single entity, among the multitude of droplets that fall with me

I am a winter sky, cloudy, cold, dull, yet comforting shading the harshness of the sun  

I am the banyan tree standing proud but falling to my knees begging for mercy at the hands of an axe.

This is me I am the only one
I am the eye of the tornado; place of calm amidst the chaos around.  

I am a breeze softly caressing the things I touch, though a gale when in times of need

I am a person a human being, with a kaleidoscope of emotions.

I am a girl with nothing but a wish to be free

A Hair Raising topic

 

 

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This is the ocean. Layer over layer, it hides so many secrets. The little curling ponytail is in reality a big gigantic wave. Much like the Great Wave Off Kanagawa. You can see the various currents. All conflicting. Rushing into one another like the rushed and hurried traffic of Bangalore. The wind blows and the waters dance gently making it hard to get a clear picture. It’s like it’s mocking me. Trying to see how well I’ll do in its game. Toward the bottom edge a rock (ear) juts out of the water. When it is stormy this gets almost covered by the waves; swallowed whole by the ocean only to be spat out again when the tide is low. There is a trickle of water from the main ocean body that is like a sneaky little river flowing into it. A band hold some of it in place. It is of human creation. Constricting. Choking.

The model for this photo is Mark.

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Flaming red and flowing down. This is the dry forest. So dry it is tempting the blaze.  A small but bright spark just waits for the opportune moment. Waiting and watching. Knowing that it will be time for it to live soon. Soon it will wreak havoc upon the unsuspecting life forms of the place. It leaves a dark past from the root. Dark and unforgiving. It is the Death that all Life fears. It is nearing the multitude of flowers. The garden will soon be dark and ashy. The innocent pink petals that escape the tongues will wilt slowly without their mother-ship. They will be left alone and will die that way. There is no hope in this place. Not for it. But then, many generations later this forest will grow again. Flowers will bloom again. It shall become the place of dreams it once was.

The model for this photo is Anushka.

 

 

 

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Do you see this waterfall? In a constant state of motion that it blurs? It is a long, long way down. A hint of a smile, water jumping from one place to another. It washes down, covering up the sturdy cliffs behind. It also doesn’t like to stay in one place. Sometimes it goes out of its boundaries. Rebellious and untamed. But mostly it sways down its well-worn path. The waters are warm and soft. They will not hurt your skin. Only, lightly kiss it inviting you to come see it’s wonders. If you listen carefully you can hear it speak to you. Swaying with the breeze and movements. Each individual drop (strand) with a life of its own, looking for acknowledgement for its individuality but we all know that they look best when all of them are put together; forming this gigantic force to be reckoned with. It is here that so many secrets hide. Wouldn’t you like to find out?

The model for this photo is Shreya.

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The desert is bare, with very little vegetation. Millions of grains of sand congregate and truly show strength in numbers. Vast stretches of land with little to almost no sources of water. The desert makes travelers weary. Fatigue and thirst is all that grows here. At night time the desert is cold and harsh. In the day it is hot and dry- and still harsh. But sometimes at the edge of the desert there will be an oasis waiting. You can see it in the distance. Blue water reflects the sunlight off its surface. But sometimes it is the desert playing tricks on your eyes. Making you see the illusion of water where it actually does not exist. It is not a friendly atmosphere to most. However, a few select creatures gather and thrive here. Some are very dangerous. While some can be docile and exploited. The desert also hides secrets sometimes. Buried under all that sand it is a most gorgeous treasure chest.

The model for this photo is Prithvi.

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Row standing after row; this is a tea garden. The bushes have been trimmed and controlled. Kept growing lush and beautiful at the same time. Between the rows are the pathways for the collectors to pick the desired leaves. The texture is soft and speaks for centuries of tradition. This garden knows the stories of its ancestors. This garden is a culture that is passed down through the ages. It is mild and timid like the tea it grows yet rich in its flavour. In the early time of morning this is what rises you while it is picked in that very time of day. In the night it is smooth and soothing. You must be gentle while handling it. It has taken a lot of attention and looking after to have got it to this stage of its life. Caring hands have raised the plant from its start till the time that you see it.

The model was in a hurry and was hesitant to speak much so didn’t tell me her name.

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In Japanese it is called Fukai Mori; Deep Forest. The mightiest of forests, rich in all forms of life. It has so many dimensions to explore, so many places to go. Large sturdy trees, co-exist with smaller ones that take refuge under the cover of the superior. So many rivers flow within the forest. It is one of those places that the trees are alive. They whisper to one another, you can hear it: go stand close by and stay quiet. After a while you shall hear all they have to say. Mystical places always have special protection. Like a great big white cloud to enfold it in and hide it from any prying eyes. Playfully the trees curve and dance to the tune of the wind. Swaying and flying in the force of it, but always grounded enough to come to the original source. These trees work together. So varied and different are their skills that they are an army working together to fend off any weeds. It is a place of calmness and serenity.

The model for this photo is Aakanksha.