ART PEACE

tapping the creative 'right' side of my brain

Archive for the category “r@nd0m th0ught$”

Restoration

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks” – John Muir

Trips like these restore my hope for humanity. There are abundant trees to produce oxygen and abundant rains to fight water scarcity. So no worries !!!! Chasing the monsoons we decided to go to the Wettest place on earth, that is Cherrapunjee or locally known as Sohra. This is one place with only one season- monsoon ranging from high-medium to low. The surroundings are mostly dotted with towering Khasi hills and valleys beyond your horizon.

Guwahati Airport

The 3 hr long flight dropped us in Guwahati from where we took a shared taxi Rs 500/per person to Shillong. The roads start winding from here itself and our driver wasn’t going any slow. I kept hearing tires screeching and kept praying the whole time. Whoever said Bangalore has the worst traffic should visit Shillong. It took us 35 mins to make a U turn.

Shillong traffic

Looks like they are just getting started on women empowerment…

We reached Cherrapunjee by hiring another taxi from Shillong. And the winding roads continue…

As soon as we meandered towards Sohra the mist started following us, we were at the mercy of the mist now, we see what it feels like revealing.

I was out of words witnessing the lush greenery and the misty landscape.

And then it started raining….

The day ends early here, so we had lunch by 7pm and called it a day. It was raining the whole night.

I guess they don’t even know what pollution means or even heard of it…

Time for being the tourist and do some sight seeing, there is almost no public transport so you have to either walk or hire a taxi. I would have preferred walking but it was pouring like hell so we hired a cab and I am glad we did. Why? The time to do sightseeing in Cherapunjee is when it is raining, as soon as it stops raining the mist take over and blocks your views and plus we could throw some extra clothes in the bags which were helpful later.

The Nohsngithiang Falls(can’t pronounce) or popularly called the Seven Sister falls – our first stop

The Seven Sister Falls

Before the misty curtains drop on it we managed to enjoy the beauty of these falls. It is 315m\1033ft. Some say it gets its name because of the seven streams of falls but our driver Kynpham – again a name I can’t pronounce… well said it gets its name because of the seven steps in which they fall.

Next stop – Mawsmai Caves

Nature at its best

It’s all dark in here and I loved the fact hey kept the sanctity of it by not lighting up the place.

There are stalagmites and stalactites, its dark, and wet and slippery and you will be drenched as water falls from everywhere. Its a 15-20 mins long dark cave, the experience was nerve racking in a fun way. And finally some light….

Where do you think these steps lead to? Maybe to a yogi’s ashram or hideout of somebody like Bigfoot. There were many of these in the woods….

Next stop : Nohkalikai Falls

This beautiful falls has a gory story to tell.

Story:

Ka Likai was a Khasi tribe woman and wife of a porter. The porter died at work one day and left Ka Likai to fend for herself and her daughter. With her daughter being an infant and no source of income to fend for herself, Ka Likai herself became a porter and remarried. Ka Likai used to spend most of the time with her daughter after work which made the husband jealous of the daughter to an extent that he started hating her.

One day when Ka Likai was at work the husband overcome by sheer jealousy kills the child and serves her as food to Ka Likai on return. Ka Likai is not surprised to see the child at home thinking she must be with some neighbor as usual and heartily devours the food.

Later when Ka Likai realized what she had unknowingly done, she went into a fit of rage and sadness. Ka Likai ran to the cliff  of the waterfall and jumped to her death, thus the name, Nohkalikai – “Noh” meaning Jump, Jump of Ka Likai. 

If you looked closely at the falls… every drop seemed like a wailing white ghost was jumping from the top. Maybe it was the effect of the spine-chilling story I just read but there was such sadness in this beauty.

Time to move on …. now that the rains had stopped we have to rely on our luck. Mist will now claim the region and if you are lucky it will reveal the beauty of the hills.

Next stop: Arwah Lumshynna Cave

Ok now this was an insane one. Arwah Cave is now the world’s longest sandstone cave at 24,583m with fossils from upto 30 million years ago. Only a small part of it has been opened to tourists though. A small rocky road take you to the caves and then you have to walk 1km or less to reach the cave.

On our way we saw two sign boards; 1) Pleasant Path and 2) Rugged Trail. We took the rugged path 🙂 … and after climbing the dense forest hill for 10 mins we realized there is no path… 🙂 but we kept going on.

The thick foliage was turning out from being creepy to dangerous. What if a snake bites me or if a jaguar or fox comes out from the bushes, with all these thought we kept going on…..

Some beautiful flora…. I am glad I didn’t see any fauna else you wouldn’t have no post to read.

Oh some steps going down … finally I am reaching my destination….

Still no destination …. I discovered a waterfall 🙂 and this was the dead end. We were in no mood to retrace and go back so we decided to follow the waterfall and see where it takes us…..another crazy decision….

It did lead us to civilization but it wasn’t a fun ride down …. 🙂

Somehow we reached the cave entrance with some people laughing at us and with some looking at us with suspicion ….. you know the way we tumbled down to the pleasant path.

Arwah is a long, peaceful and dark cave. I have used some Photoshop techniques to lighten the image.

No more rugged trail going back….. this is the view we missed by not taking the pleasant path.

Next Stop: Bri Ki Synrang Park popularly known as Mawdohnud (feel free to pronounce them as you like, for me it was a park filled with small waterfalls)

Known as Ka Bri Ki in the Laitmawsiang village, this area is a combination of Caves ,Waterfalls and rock/stone formations. You reach the park going through the village which is quite interesting

The village has a huge playing ground and sports center but the kids are happy playing their marble game ….

From inside the Asdad Falls

Some more waterfalls…. I don’t remember those tongue twister names anymore… but one thing I know, there is enough water for everyone one of us 🙂

The day ends very early here as the clouds take their position and its time for rains again.

Most of the businesses here are run by women as tourism and some government jobs are the only source of employment for the locals here so most of the men migrate to cities for a livelihood. You find strong, charming and ever smiling Khasi women in all the establishment.

A vegetarian paradise – Orange Roots and below is the final waterfall on our way back to Shillong ..

This is called the Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew (or “Three Steps Waterfalls”) popularly known as Elephanta falls– the name given by some British who obviously couldn’t pronounce it.

One of the cleanest places I have see with easygoing and smiling Khasi people. I wish I had some more time here or I wish I was born here where everything moves at a snails pace. I wish I stayed naive as the kids in the below snap, this place felt like the home I always wanted to have…..

Khublei (farewell) Sohra!!!

Survival

“Extinction is the rule, survival is the exception” – Carl Sagan

I have been watching a crow family who have made the pine tree in front of my house their home. Perched on the top the Mama crow sat on her eggs and perched in my balcony drinking tea I watched over them. I had also bought a new DSLR so they were my muse for a while. I prayed for them every time there was a thunderstorm and the tree swayed left and right in the wind or whenever I saw the eagle hovering above.

Crow scouting the trees

Crow’s nest

The predator

And then came the day….. when I saw something I never thought I would see and which broke my heart.

Seemed like the eggs had hatched and the babies wanted food. The papa crow and mama crow cawed at each other(I had no clue what they talked then) and after the conversation papa crow perched near the nest while the mama crow went to the nearby pigeon colony. She tried to get near some pigeon nests but one pigeon family gave her a fight, however there was a lonely pigeon mama sitting on her eggs in one corner. The crow went there and started attacking the pigeon, the brave pigeon never gave up so the papa crow pitched and both started attacking the pigeon. They were so quick and dexterous that finally the mama pigeon couldn’t take it anymore and left the nest. Then the crows took the pigeon eggs to feed their babies. The pigeon came back to her nest to see the damage, I am not sure if they have feeling but to me it looked like she was heartbroken.

Like a curious cat I watched nature at work – my tea got cold…..BUT this got me into thinking –

Is survival the only purpose of life?

If YES – then there is no good and bad, they are mere perceptions – what is good to me could be evil to others and vice versa. There can be a justification for everything we do and the action could be right as long as our conscious is clear !!!

If NO – then should we just succumb to the bad and be grateful for the good and live life thinking – everything happens for a reason !!!

Just some r@nd0m th0ught$ !!!

Priority

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

spring

Recently I was reading this book, “The One Thing” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan; and got into thinking about priorities and choices. As adults when we have a choice and everything is at our discretion, is there a clear formula for making decisions so that we can make the best decisions for us and not trade them for just any decision?

I found my answer in PRIORITY, as long as we pause and think what really matters to us and let that drive our day/decisions we will have a sense of progress and can avoid getting trapped in busyness.

This painting was inspired by two thoughts –

  1. How important our environment is – we should make all effort to keep the earth beautiful as it should be so that we can enjoy living in it.
  2. How important our environment is – we should surround ourselves with people who add value to our life’s so that we can stay positive, productive and happy.

Random Thoughts!!!

Shortcuts

Mt Batur, Bali Indonesia

How do you guys feel about taking short-cuts? Be it while crossing the road, accomplishing a task or for bigger things in life.

I take short-cuts every now&then – only to realize again and again they are beneficial in the short run and are short-sighted too.

A few months back when I had booked my trip to Bali, I also decided to climb my first volcanic mountain. As I had no experience and thought I needed stamina, I abandoned my time taking and slow yoga asanas (but still I did my pranayamas religiously) and replaced it with the quick resulting cardio. I don’t know where it all went wrong – I have gained a few pounds, my body is all stiff, I had severe muscle aches, my craving for food increased and I get easily tired.

I have done enough trekking and climbing hills without any preparation like this and I was fine. But this short-cut called cardio didn’t work that well for me and now I am back to my yoga, no more short-cuts for a while 🙂

On the brighter side – I pampered myself with too many massages during that time 🙂 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

To whip or not to whip

Whip

Model : Bachi

Last week I went to watch horse racing, yeah I just watched I didn’t win 😐

I was too excited and thrilled to go as this is on my bucket list, and finally I would be ticking it off. After a couple of races I started thinking about all the whipping the horses had to take in the effort to win. Maybe I was losing and hence the thought …hmmm……but on a serious note is it really necessary for the jockey to keep whipping the poor thing so that some people or the house could win. I went online and googled it and found that there are laws to fine/suspend jockeys for excessive whipping but how do you define “excessive”, definitely you don’t ask the horse,  “Have you been whipped excessively, do you want to press charges? ”

I felt bad that I paid to see this and also that I lost…hmmm …..I don’t know which one triggered the feeling. It just happened once , never to happen again.

Now I am going to concentrate on the next item in my bucket list – watch the animals in their natural habitat running free and wild AND  finish my next painting (this one’s not on the bucket list) 🙂

I love TRAVELLING

Singapore

Dear Gods

I remember saying, “I love travelling” NOT “I love relocating”.

I have been a “potential” immigrant for 2 years, then a local for a year and now I am an expat.

Almost around the globe… sounds awesome !!! But I am tired of setting up camp after every 1 year or so.

The good side to all this relocating is as you all know – seeing new places and living among different people and many more….

BUT one of the biggest challenge (at least for me) apart from the others which I felt like mentioning today is trying to find my beauty and health products. By the time I research and adjust to new products, I seem to migrate, aannnnnnddddd again its the whole cycle all over again

– search online where you will get your products.

– see where there are located, locate it and go to shops

– now there are three scenarios here;

1. you find your product, you take it – simple and happy; but your mind going back to the other products ; “should I try that one”, “maybe its better”, “lets check it’s price”, “I think its made for this climate, I should try this”, “what if it doesn’t suit me”, “it(my original product) was cheaper in my currency, I should have brought it from there”, “the luggage limit they give on these planes is bulls**t”

2. you find your product but there are better looking similar products on the shelves, and you want to try them – complicated&costly but happy; “WOW there are so many options, lets check these out”, “OMG – it contains methyl**** (don’t even know what it is but worried)”, “lets try this, if it fails I’ll buy my original product”

3. you don’t find your product and nothing similar to what you have used is available – frustrating and online research starts again; “S**t, what!!! you call this a developed country – they don’t even have this”; “I should never have come here”; “I should have packed it”; more SWEARING…… “now I have to figure out an alternative, check online and forums, SWEARING SWEARING”.

And by the time you have wasted so much money and effort on all this, all you feel is bad about misusing the money on something so stupid, instead of using it for seeing the place and what it has got to offer.

So finally Gods, add more travelling to my catalog, than relocating. Relocating is fine – keep it coming, but more travelling pls :).

Oh!!! I forgot to mention this …… I miss painting 😦 I am yet to buy an easel which I’ll have to postpone to next month if I don’t get my relocation allowance soon.

Good Nite for today

Peace

 

 

Cleanup !!!

dog-clean-up

A couple of years back I watched the movie “Two Brothers”. For those who haven’t seen the movie, it’s about two tiger clubs who get separated when they were young and are bred in captivity after that. Sangha is the timid and shy one, whereas Kumhal is fearless, naughty and playful. After being captured, Sangha, the lucky star ends up staying in the kings palace, where he grows up to be strong, fearless and ferocious, whereas Kumhal, is sold to a zoo and learns to play tricks on the masters commands. He loses his spirit and becomes meek and docile.

Watching this movie got me thinking about our own surroundings.

How much does our surrounding affects us?

Unlike Sangha and Kumhal who were animals and did not have much of a choice, we humans, the high breeds do have the liberty of choosing who we surround ourselves with. I read somewhere that “you are the average of five people around you”, if that is the case I’d rather have people who increase my average.

Since I saw the movie, I became quite choosy, more than adding good people to my list, I also started a cleanup process – started eliminating negative people from my list(social media and likewise) – people who decrease my average 🙂

Now my surrounding looks a bit clean and green. It does need a bit more cleaning up, but I’ll get there in a couple of years.

The impacts – a happier and motivated me, I started my blog instead of just chatting with people, I think more about what I want to do Vs what I am not able to do.

This also reminds me of the book I read, “What to say when you talk to your self” by Shad Helmstetter.

If you want to have a positive lifestyle you need to get rid of negativity around you which influences your mind. As stated in the book your brain is an apartment with old furniture. Take out the old furniture and throw it away, which is the negative thinking and replace it with new furniture, which is positive thinking – a great springboard to improving ones life.

Einstein said and I thought …

Einstein

How true is that?  I bet very true…  coming from the genius himself.

Reading this quote got me into thinking a lot about life and the people around me.

We always try to change the theory, justifying ourselves by saying, “this is reality” or “this is not possible in the real world” or “what you are talking about is an ideal situation”.

Why don’t we accept the fact that ideal situation/solution is the best possible way that is out there and everything else is mere acceptance followed by excuses?

I have always tried to follow my dreams no matter what; it hasn’t been easy but definitely interesting, adventurous and satisfying.

This brings me to another thought  -> taking responsibility.

As long as we take responsibility for things we do and stop blaming others, the society and our environment ….. the more we aim for creating the ideal world around us and work towards changing the facts rather than the theory.

Learning vs Unlearning

I have been trying to get up early at 6am daily since Jan01,2014. It is one of my New Year resolutions…and has been since a decade. But I end up waking at any time after 6am.

6am -> “Oh I should get up, just 15 mins more, no harm done” so me and my phone are both on SNOOZE

6.15am -> “Oh Gods, 15 mins over … really…. 15 mins moreSNOOZE

6:30am -> “What do I have to do getting up so early, the day would be too long” but because of some weird feeling, hit SNOOZE

6:45am-> “OK tomorrowSTOP

Whenever I get up, say 9am -> “I should have made a little more effort” J

This daily drill got me into thinking -> ‘Is Learning tough or is Unlearning tough”

In the above case both seem to be tough, not able to tell my mind to unlearn to get up at 9am and at the same time make it to learn to get up at 6am.

To ‘unlearn’ a habit or a thought process – What is it that is required?

–DISCIPLINE

How do you get disciplined?

–By making it(the goal) a HABIT.

How do you make it a habit?

–COMMITMENT

Where you need commitment and discipline to learn new things, you need more commitment and more discipline to unlearn the existing things, because it has been with us for quite some time and the mind finds all the excuses it can to resist that change. Yeah for now let’s blame it on the mind!!!

And I will try to be more committed to my cause of unlearning – to get up at 9am, as that might speed up the process of learning – waking up at 6.

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