culture

Honour in Strawberry picking

It was a perfect summer morning. We were driving from somewhere to somewhere in California. This big signboard was significant enough to grab and hold the attention of folks in the car. STRAWBERRY PICKING.

In no particular hurry to get anywhere the mind didn’t need any effort to get enticed to alight and set afoot to do some picking. Strawberry picking !



It’s got some level of physical activity for all in the family. For the kids to run around. For the adults to run after the kids. For adults to become kids. And for kids to chase the new found adult kids. In between, of course, plucking and heaping up strawberries in small containers.

There were very few instructions to follow. This board illustrated all that was needed to be done. Which was as elaborate as : Come here : Go pick : Come back & Weigh : Pay up : Go !









Pick we did. With some gusto. Any first timer could have mistaken us for folks that have never seen strawberries before or for folks that have been kept restrained for long. Slowly the baskets kept filling. The red strawberries glistened to the background sounds of cars and big Harleys whooshing by, which in themselves were dwarfed by the shrieks of joy in finding a bigger strawberry !

Soon we were done. There was enough energy left in the nieces to pluck the entire strawberry. It was us adults, who were tired. And folks like me still calibrating the dollar-rupee equation and wondering how much we would have plucked for !


That brought me face to face with the ‘honour till’ as they call it. The concept is simple again. It goes like this.

a. You bring in the strawberries that you have plucked

b. You weigh them yourself

c. You calculate how much to pay

d. You open the till ( ‘cash box’, as is better known in our part of the world )

e. You pay the money

There is no ‘cashier’. In fact, no one from the store is around. There are no cameras. Nothing. The folks just trust you to weigh correctly and pay appropriately. Guess what, we lived up to their trust, in right earnest. Paying to the last dime. That perhaps is the model. Trust people to pay and they will ! That was interesting. To say the least.

Its about a month ago that we did all of this. The rain drenched Mumbai air provides a distinctly different flavor to the senses. Much different and much enjoyable too. Yet, dipping into memories of red berry dotted rows of green, is done with no difficulty.

The days when adults became kids and kids remained kids are not days that are forgettable. The expanse of nature and the fresh clean best complimented by an expanse in the trust of the ‘honour till’. The clean blue skies and the fresh stillness of farmland only to be punctuated by those shouts of joy from such adorable nieces.

Well, some memories are truly priceless.

Names & Numerals

Truth be told, my math (amongst many other things that can go without mention) isn’t top notch. Well, let me put it mildly that way, and leave it there. But whatever little understanding that I have had around math was ably aided by scanning number plates and their three / four digit numbers on licnece plates.

As a kid, vehicle license plates and their three/ four numbers that Indian number plates had, held sway over my attention. Permutations, combinations, additions, multiplications on were best matched by a keen interest in automobiles!

That fancy for number plates, I discovered has remained ever so dormant. That discovery happened because the dormancy was disturbed, in the US !


While most plates were of the regular alpha numeric variety, there were some else that that arched the eyebrow, evinced a laugh or even evoked sympathy in human condition. When none of that happened, it plain popped the eye out !

Thus scanning of number plates of vehicles that were passing wasn’t just another passing interest but quickly ascending ( the missus calls it ‘ descending’) into a profound obsession that I could have easily passed for a car jacker or an insurance surveyor or a cop!

Some elementary macro dissection of the number plate. The full name of the state is present in a particular font. You are allowed to have symbols, alphabets and letters. The plate could get a different hue depending on a ‘theme’ ( for want of a better word ). ” A memorial ‘theme’ ” could get you a different background on your plate than what a “Olympic training center’theme’ ” could get. Or even ones that are ‘themed’ after a college / university that you went to.

A portion of the fee thats collected goes to that college / Olympic training center etc ( the list is long and myriad ). In case it interests you more than this, the list is here. And in the larger scheme of things, $ 75 per anum, well, seems ok !


Every spotting of a car with a fancy plate got the heart to beat a trifle faster. Sometimes evoking a strain on the neck to see the full plate or look at the driver to reconfirm deepest suspicions or just about see if the driver was for real !

On another note, these license plates while giving me new vocabulary, haven’t quite helped my math much. The closest that I came to math computation was spotting and counting ‘5Punjab’ ‘6Punjab’ ‘7Punjab’ ! That was elementary, even by my own towering mathematical standards ! Nevertheless, Name plates that beamed from BMWs and tangoed from the Toyotas stood out on Californian roads. !



Which brings me to another subject. The Hindustan Times speaks of number plates in Delhi that is going for as high as Rs.5 lakhs ( $ 11,200 )! All for a string of numbers. Imagine what creativity can be unleashed , if the US style is adopted. And of course, imagine the money spinner that it can become!

Sporting stylish license will become a super cool thing. Ad gurus will start specializing in it. Artists will thrive. Mainstream media will have a program going for it. And like all other sundry programs including the weather report, millions will stream to watch it.

Occasionally, or rather, frequently, some Sam in a whimsical mood to impress his wife or make up with her, could have his name plate bearing “SamYAni”. That could get the moral police up in arms for “public display of affection” or some such convoluted interpretation of a some archaic rule that caught a Britishers fancy many eons ago.

Of course, there would be protests and prime time national coverage with four blokes having a shouting match and the winner being the one with highest decibel levels!

I mean, just imagine, how many salaries can this number plate rule pay. It can bring about a change in the economy, I say !

Ah, but I digress. As usual. The number plate I so strained to capture on camera but with very little success was of this lady on a Harley Davidson, as she whooshed pass us. Her plate just said : ‘O Not Hiz’


Back from the Bay Area !


So there ! Am back. Armed with a little more than the usual courage to wallow in prose hoping that jet lag and such else, will tug at the sympathetic sides of your brain and aid you in giving me some more allowance.

The Bay Area is a beautiful place. Clean air, copious food, cool breeze, warm people and an eclectic mix of experiences have left me pouting the good life in the the US of A to any who would care to ask me ‘how have you been’! With a preponderance that can only be matched by the now pronounced pot belly that is making its presence felt, best supplemented by the dark circles under the eye!

I come armed with stories and pictures. Of a land that’s far away yet seems so close. So different yet so alike. So familiar yet so distinct. Ofcourse, these stories will find a way to get to the blog. Or so I hope.

My Grandmother used to tell me many stories. Amongst them, one darts to the forefront is about an ass who starved to death. Oh, no. He wasn’t practicing yoga or whatever. He starved to death because of the two bales of hay that were kept on his either side . Yet, the ass that he was, died in braying glory, unable to choose which side of the hay he start his food with.

Places seen. People spoken to. History that’s not so long ago. Natural beauty that seems to have been around forever. Contexts. Conversations. Reflections. The pictures that abound the hard drive and the stories that jump around in my head has lead me to the same problem the other ass had : The problem of plenty! Which leaves me reeling about what and where to begin !

I flew Korean air. But time flew some other jet, that flew far faster ! The only time in the entire trip when time seemed to go on frame-by-frame slow motion mode was on the 24 hour return journey. For a variety of obvious reasons !

But am back. Back from order to chaos. From dollar to rupees. ( My multiplication skills have jumped manifold, especially if something is to multiplied by 47). From silence to noise. From left hand drives to right hand drives. From tissue paper to the good old mug in the bathroom.

Am back home and feeling good that am back home !


PS: Please scroll down for earlier posts on this trip, or read them here and here.

Wisdom in a truck..

The colour and pageantry of India is a subject of a deep discussion for anyone who lands from a foreign soil. It has always been a comment with sincere and perpetual wonder, often causing ceaseless head shaking and a breathless ‘its so colourful ..’

What was so colourful here didn’t dawn on me for a long while. But, enlightenment can dawn at odd places and often arrives unannounced. The Bodhi tree for instance would have been another tree until Buddha sat underneath it ! Or take the case of the like the just-another-apple that brought appledom great fame by falling on Newton’s head!

Well, read on !

A sultry evening of fiddling with the camera had an interesting picture in the view finder. A moving truck. In all red splendour. As a cleaner hung on to in what appeared to be a rather precarious position. To me, that is. For him, he didn’t seem to have a care in the world as he sashayed like an emperor in his bathtub, with confidence only fit of a trapeze artist in a Russian circus !

Sruprise surprise, I soon lost the plot of staying clued on to the chap that was hanging by the door, but was hooked onto pageantry of the rather pedestrian form of transportation for goods!

As the finger clicked away, beaming red truck carrying what looked like gravel suddenly became an object of wonder. Go on, play close attention to the picture. Play with me, ok ? Go on an spot these for yourself.



The trishul on the bonnet

The yellow eagle on the bonnet

The multi coloured fenderThe chains that hang

The picture of ‘kumb’ on the sides

The invocation for profit (above the headlamps !)

The same invocation (written colourfully in the head )

The Triad of Red-Green-Yellow ( three ) near the windscreen

The Three night lamps kind of bulbs on the header

The psychedelic designs on the header

Ofcourse, all in the name of God !

The intricate curls in the brain could be filled with hyperactivity to articulate a cogent utilitarian reason. Those three bulbs you see ? or for that matter, those chains that hang ? Or the psychedelic design of the header? And so on. Except ofcourse, well, the cultural leaning towards colour !

The truck was oblivious to the zoom lens in action. A rash swerve announcing a turn and bearing the blue design on its behind ! What a combination you would imagine ! A bright red on the bonnet and a bright blue to compliment that would seem an eerie combination as a shirt-trouser combination but somehow this truck seemed to pull it off with elan !

Ofcourse, the tale doesn’t end there, if only you care to look. Yellow and red design layering on the rear may seem out of place for the rather dull gravel in the back but, don’t they make a pretty picture. The ubiquitous ‘Horn Please’, some flowers, and two seemingly replica landscape paintings! Landscape paintings!


If there were any questions in my mind about how colourful a land we are, well, those were dispelled with disdain by another swerve of the truck. Considering the plain monstrous trucks that ply the highways of foreign lands, and where only one man precariously hangs by the door : Arnold Schwarzenegger !

When the eye starts looking, the colour and art that thrives in our everyday lives isn’t funny. Sample this designer danglers that adorn another truck’s door.



And ofcourse, intricate artwork to back it up. If so much of colour can go into porting gravel and such else, we sure were worthy of the tag of a ‘colourful’ country !

Well, that’s the wisdom that came in a truck !


Eyes and ears !

This post follows two earlier posts describing Nepal, fleetingly seen in limited time ! This is the concluding post.


Swayambu. ‘Buddhas eyes’, they say. Peaceful and serene. Looking over all of Kathmandu. More here.



Eyes that seem to invite you to just sit there and do nothing while the bells keep whirring away, which perhaps is the most ingenious mechanisation of mantra chanting !


‘With sacred mantras written in them, all you have to do is to keep spinning’, the gentleman who accompanies me states in much of a matter-of-fact manner. Perhaps in a matter-of-mantra manner !

Buddhists and hindus jostle for space with tourists and cameras. Against a backdrop of a wistful sky, a small group of animated locals peddling stuff to open mouthed tourists set upon an evening chill. These serve as a perfect recipe for permanent storage in the mind.

The hill country is so pristine that makes you scamper for a word that embodies ‘pristine’ better. The Pashupati nath temple is simple and stately.


Legend has it that Lord Shiva got bored of Mt.Kailash and discovered the Kathmandu valley and ran away to settle down here. That was Lord Shiva. My inarticulate meanderings of how pristine the place is, needs not a single additional letter.

They speak in such an easy tone.



Beyond a point, you cant walk with shoes on and beyond another you cant walk with cameras! For many centuries now, the priests for this temple come only from Shimoga district of Karnataka, India!

People throng the place yet there is a sense of peaceful order. Just beyond the temple, infact adjacent to the temple, by the banks of the Bagmati river, is a cremeation ground with dead bodies on fire. Lessons on how close Creation, Destruction and sustenance are, couldn’t have had a better stage setting.


The Nepali cops and armed forces look majestic! A smartly dressed traffic cop with a tie on and such else is a pleasure to watch. Perhaps the only respite against the stiffest of traffic. And the cops, indeed have a way of carrying themselves and their costume err..uniform, with such artistic élan that can only kickstart envy !

The Nepali’s prominent headgear, which some of my sources tell me is called the ‘Dhaka Topi’ is a piece of evidence in that direction. It’s almost the first thing that I notice as the immigration officers sports this. The one that waved me in wore such a funky design that he caugt me staring at it and perhaps regarded me as a rather ‘slow person’ as it took a while for me to answer his questions!


The caps come in many patterns : checks, waves, stripes etc. The good people they are, gifted me one of these and the missus has since been thinking of so many designs for the headgear that she could be given honorary citizenship there!

She is mighty excited you see, one more piece of clothing to look out for and ofcourse, to go discount hunting for! Exciting i say !


The earlier posts are here and here

Togetherness of a culture !


We’ve been going here. For the last couple of years.

It took us a while this time. Passing through metal detectors and a desultory security guard who would look at you and make you wonder if you bore a resemblance to Bin Laden or somebody. He then, would proceed to ask, whats in the camera bag. You could tell him anything from ‘Rolls Royce’ or even ‘dirty underwear’. For he insists on opening each bag. ‘Whats in the bag’ is more of a greeting. Like a ‘good morning’ thats randomly spewed in one of those airlines.

Opening each bag with an interest which reasonable men can only do, if they were told that in one of those bags, beneath the camera, there were two rasagullas and a samosa. Such thoroughness. What follows is a frisking of the body by a volunteer, wearing a rectangular card with a thick red tag around the neck that seems to confer powers on him, that ma durga could envy.

If you would want to experience sensuous pleasures at their tallest crest, well, visit a Durga Pujo pandal. ( For some reason pronounced as you would pronounce ‘sandal’, with a P). Mind bogglingly endless feast of community, a superlative exhibition of whats loosely called ‘culture’, a sense of devotion. Not to mention wholehearted gluttony.

The gluttons that we are, we make it a point to turn up here every year.

For some reason, the Powai Bengali Association seems keen on bringing size and scale to Powai. Last year, it was the Sun Temple at Konark which was recreated. This year it was the Jor temple. Recreated, we are told, by artists from Kolkatta and thereabouts.



For one, there is Durga ma. In all her splendour. Like every year. A spear, an asura and his splatter of blood right through his pectoralis major. A roaring lion. Two other Gods and two other goddesses for company. All created in such resplendent finery that there is a gasp that escapes everyone that sees the arrangement for the first time.

Durga Ma has deep eyes and has always eyed me and my camera with some interest. Or so I would like to think. But these days, with more mega pixels in every mobile phone, there are more outstretched hands clicking snaps than those in prayer. There seems to be a new meaning in her look.


Housed as she is in an elaborate reconstruction of the Jor temple. A magic brought alive by thermacol, paint, wood and lighting. You almost feel your stomach muscles go taut, to think all of this will be in a garbage dump after Durga Ma finds her space in the Powai lake. But during the ten days of Pujo, these produce a certain energy. A source. A centrepoint of sorts. For everything else.

After jostling for space infront of the Goddess and wondering why a bald head always finds my elbow just as I am clicking a picture, we leave the place. Take two steps, and walk straight into a stall selling fish fry, chicken, mutton and such else. Ofcourse, best complimented by Chinese food, spelt with one ‘e’ less.


And you are right. Only a moronic mind can nitpick on the English spelling of ‘Chinese’ in a Bengali festival being conducted in Mumbai, with so much food in front to pick and choose from. But, goodness gracious me, what food !!

The divide between gluttony and devotion is the closest here. All hell broke loose. No. That was wrong. It was heaven.

While that statement is about food, well, I could as well, continue with a comma !

Picture a whole lot of beautiful women. In an array of costumes that could well pass for a giant mosaic of a fashion parade in sartorial diversity. Crisp cotton sarees rubbing shoulders with garish silks which somehow sit so pretty, seamlessly co-existing with the modern types : miniskirts and an occasional sprinkling of jeans

Some of them sporting Gold, enough to set some insecurity in the minds of the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. Oh yeah.. and some foreheads adorned with bindis that could well double for a Frisbee disk and unleashed on anyone that acts funny. That big.

The men. Ah the men. Colourful free flowing Kurta-Pajama. That’s something of an ‘identity’ thing. You could hazard that guess without much danger. Bright yellows to garish purples. Violent blacks to spotless whites. All glittering under those big lights and sweat. (Some with so much embroidery that could get my curtains look so cheap). Many of them with the volunteer tag and a whistle.

There are streams of them. Walking by. Ofcourse, there is commerce. There are small stalls selling stuff from marble flooring to sarees to vada pav, all on one side. A divide apart, there is ‘enclosure’ space for cultural performances. The divide, perhaps to accentuate the thinly veiled struggle to keep a thick line between commerce and culture. Or so it appears.

Immense happiness permeates. People walk around in such joy. The young and old connecting up and coming together. For conversation, connections and chatter. Perhaps to catch up on the year that’s gone by and to draw energy for the years ahead.

There is energy here. An energy woven by a community coming together. An evident joy that presents itself in the twinkle of the eye and the sparkle in the laughter.

A passion that stays alive and ever present, to bring a certain part of West Bengal here. To keep alive a tradition that made their growing up years. To resurrect nostalgia by indulging in the present and perhaps laying the foundations for the year ahead!

Music. Conversation. Tradition. Devotion. Food. Laughter. Connections. Culture. Giving. Art. And much more. Well, go on, try making a more fetching combination than that.

That night, I slept fitfully. In my dreams came a few kurta clad gentlemen, all of them with whistles and volunteer tags waxing eloquence on a tall subject. It was apparent that cows were a long way from home.

Only to be awakened by a giant red Frisbee spinning away under the watchful eyes of Durga Maa.



Links to earlier year’s posts are here, here, here and here !


Chitirai Festival

The ‘Chitirai Thiruvizha’ ( The festival that happens in the Tamil month of Chitirai) is an annual feature in a Madurai calendar. There is splendour. Pomp. Simplicity. Devotion. Revelry And a letting down of hair by rural and urban folk. Every body lets their hair down.

Save perhaps the policemen on duty !

Here is a video that i chanced on YouTube !

Pretty much covers one part of the festival spread over many days. The festival itself is a ten day long affair. The pomp and show of a ‘celestial wedding’. The majesticity of a ‘God’ in motion. The piety of the simple. The preparedness of the city. The commerce that keeps knocking on traditions doors. Yet a culture that somehow survives, are all things to see.

Its a must watch.




The next year around, give me a shout if you’d want to visit ! 🙂 The festival involves a deity taken in procession from Alagarkoil into the heart of the city ( a distance of more than 20 odd KM). The young and old rejoice. As part of the festival there is this traditional ‘water spray’ by the young and the old. Specially adorned. Chanting the name of Govinda.

Spraying water to cool things down. Spraying everywhere. Often targeting the camera of a stray blogger !

Here are some images that survived such targeting !






Leveler

In the world with walls, inclines and declines the South Indian way of eating out of a banana leaf offers a degree of equanimity !

For those that aren’t in the know, traditionally food is served on banana leaves, in the South ! With ‘progressive’ generations moving on, steel, plastic and other material have come to occupy the primordial place that the banana leaf used to enjoy, when the average southerner was hungry !

In the modern times, a wedding or an ‘authentic’ restaurant tries to cater to the nostalgic South Indian mind with a leafy serving ! That said, it is easy to see that the banana leaf is perhaps the earliest version of common place ‘use & throw’ system. Natural. Bio-degradable. And green too.

A typical lunch would mean three or four vegetable curries served from a bucket straight onto the leaf. Arranged on a straight line that could resemble a battle tank formation !
The remaining place is strategically kept for loading heaps of rice, where the mainstay of the battle is. (As soon as the rice arrived, i didn’t click any more pictures. Well…). Usually filled with three categories…of well, lets call ‘toppings’ (for want of a better word) !
Some Ghee – Sambhar ‘topping’ for round one.
Some rasam ‘topping’ for round two.
Some curd / butter milk ‘topping’ for round three !
(Topping isn’t accurate at all ! They are not toppings. They are massaged with five fingers into every morsel. Right there on the banana leaf !)
Of course… all the while, accompanied with a smacking of the pappad and a touch of pickle. Finished http://healthsavy.com/product/tramadol/ with a flourish of some delicious payasam !
Bliss. Often times announced with a burp that could well set off an anti-aircraft missile in Pakistan!
If you are used to spoon, forks and plates, well, you are in for trouble. That is to put it mildly. Very mildly. For the banyan leaf has no ‘walls’ nor any ‘height variant’ ! But then a hungry southerner, who is used to having food out of a banana leaf would have let go the burp, by the time you finish reading this post !
(We eat in some hurry. As though, there is a Olympic medal that will do the country proud! That’s for another post though).
What got me started on this post was a lunch that well meaning colleagues took me out for. At a Gujarati restaurant.

This was our table, as we approached it ! The array of containers to hold the different types of accompaniments to the ghee laden stuff was simply mind blowing. Lets not talk about taste here. For whatever was served there, disappeared before the chap could count get started counting 1-2-3 !

I learnt my lessons rather well. And here it is : For a battle hardened veteran the field doesn’t matter ! Be it the plains of the green banana leaf or the shined walls of the Gujarati Thali containers !! Food is a great leveler. Leveler. ( Some word that is).

Of course. Two minutes on the lips. And a lifetime on the hips. And everywhere else too.

So ?

Events

There we are returning from Daman. And somewhere close to Daman, we see a sea of safron walking. On a pilgrimage. There are boys. Young men. And some sprinkling of women.

There are autorickshaws. Tempos. Cars. Bikes. Et el. Most sport saffron. We drive fast. And the sea of orange whizzes by. Or rather we whizz by. The orange seems to be an unending sea.



Curiosity gets the better of us. We stop at a bridge. And enquire, part in sign language and part in Hindi. The pilgrims are only too happy to talk. And they talk about the month of Shravan. And a pilgrimage.

And as we speak, many more just walk by. And i wonder, if walking comes naturally to India! My mind races to the pilgrimage of Sabarimala. Palani. Velankanni. Shirdi. All have thousands of people walking many many kilometers. And most times without footwear.

With all that, i wonder if Keep Walking was a slogan that Johny Walker picked up from India and its scriptures. And at that moment, i decide to keep my grand discovery hush hush. i don’t want some lofty custodian of moral values find one more reason to stage a protest or disrupt parliament ! Sigh !

And just a few hours back, we witness a ceremony. By the 400 year old fort. Someone has passed away. And the 14th day rituals are on. At least, that’s what a local tells us. Its a simple, sombre ceremony.


Where a paraphernalia of flowers, coconuts, garlands and such else are immersed into the river. Just as it meets the sea.

And the fort just looks on. Stoically. Perhaps its seen one too many of such ceremonies. After all 400 years is no small time.

Just a while earlier than that, we spot this banner. Narial Purnima is the coconut festival. Where coconuts are offered to the sea God.


But this is the city folk celebrating.

Mehendi is at 10.00 am. And then something called ‘Mass Drawing’ at 11.30 am. And ofcourse, there seems to be an interesting event called ‘mummy’s dance’ ! (with an apostrophe). And because theres nothing else mentioned there, the Mummy’s dance perhaps goes on till 6.00 PM.

Hmm. Seems to be an interesting festival. I am sure there must be something that i am unable to get here. We try talking to the local fishermen. We discover the importance and profoundness of the festival for them. They speak of coconuts, puja and the sea God.

I prod them some more, about ‘Mehendi’, ‘Mass Drawing’ and ‘Mummy’s dance’. All i receive is a stoic silence.

And since then, i have rued the fact,that i didn’t get to see the ‘Mehendi’, ‘Mass Drawing’ and ‘Mummy’s dance’. Yes, the same ones that were sponsored by the tourism department.

Of flowers. Noise. Colour. Fragrance.


And as we sit in Bryant Park in Kodaikanal, the spectrum of colours that stand on green plants are just mind boggling. Theres this endless stream of red and yellow. And then, as we walk a small distance, there is a blue, violet, white mosaic.


I pause to click a few snaps. And in the lens appears what appears to be a Cartoon character. I look away from the camera to admire nature’s fine dance. Many more images seep through the lens’ to the hard disk.

Just then, a bystander says ‘if only these flowers had as much of fragrance like the Jasmine..’ and i seem to agree. Of course, why don’t these flowers have some of that hauntingly waffling fragrance of Jasmine. I think. (of course i love jasmine)

We move on.

In some time we walk to ‘see’ Jasmine meandering by. Peeking from a basket that a vendor carries. And by the time we reach the car, the driver has adorned the rear view mirror too. And the aroma fills the car. The question returns. And i wish there was some more colour !


A few days from then, we reach Madurai. And folks at home wear flowers. And this question of colour remains. Dormant. You don’t speak it.(of course not). Ah ! But the mind resonates with ‘If only there was some more colour to the flower…!

The next morning, i am on my morning jog. At the Corporation Park. They have many signboards. And here is one that i pause to read. ” Every flower has its own beauty, you cannot compare two flowers…. ” And after reading those two lines, i stop. To read the full signboard.


Of course ! Of course ! The Jasmine regains its unparalleled height in my mind. And so do the colourful tapestry of flowers from Bryant Park. Each reigning in boundary less kingdoms.

I laugh. Suddenly i feel handsome. Powerful. Light. Simple. A thousand life events zip by in those intervening second. Even ‘Kavis Musings’ with all its faults seems OK !

I quickly re-pass the resolution that i slip out of. Often. ‘Do whats to be done. And leave out the rest’

And so, i jog on. And as another man sprints by, i tell myself ‘Yes leave the rest out. The rest of it is noise’.