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picturesquereflections

Poetry, prose, books and more…

Lessons learnt in the Marriane North Gallery

I have never ceased to be amazed and inspired by certain people and their life work. I came across the works of another excellent person of late, while on a visit to the Kew Gardens in London. In fact, the “Marianne North Gallery” is cited as one of the main visitor attractions in the place. The Gallery houses hundreds of paintings – indeed there are so many of them that they have had to be stacked from top to bottom and side to side of each wall. The paintings are of a wide range of plants coming from places all over the world – United States, Canada, Brazil, Srilanka, India to name just a few. Some of the paintings have captured not just the plant, but the surrounding areas as well – giving us a taste of the land’s culture. For instance, there are coconut trees painted against a backdrop of a temple. I was so overwhelmed by the diversity and sheer number of paintings on display, that I could not resist doing a Google search on the artist, once I got home. What I learnt impressed me further.

Marriane North Gallery

The artist, Marriane North, had no formal training in illustration, but did possess a natural flair for the same. Her father was an MP, which served her well and she utilized all the political connections she gained to travel across the world. But what impressed me most was the fact that, she wasted neither these opportunities nor her talent. Indeed, she has made maximum use of most of her travels, painting any interesting plants she came across. In fact, during an eight –month stay at Brazil, she is said to have completed more than 100 paintings!


So, what are my learnings from all this? Simple – it’s just that – if I have a talent and I happen to discover it too, I shouldn’t waste it. Indeed, the time spent in pruning my skills, is never time wasted – at least not anymore! If my talent lies in writing, I should continue doing just that – grabbing every day, hour and indeed minute to put my thoughts into words, no matter how silly the outcome! Time thus spent is bound to bear fruit, at some point or the other – and I do hope I continue writing, clinging onto this new found inspiration!


(Picture taken at the Kew Gardens. More information about Marriane North and her work can be found here.)

Ice cream

ice cream

So you’ve just started

On yet another

Of your numerous diets

And you’re so determined

This time round

That you don’t even cast

A longing glance

In my direction!

So the lures

Of my deliciousness

Stand overshadowed

By my calorie count.

But I have a feeling

You’ll be back soon,

Dipping into

My irresistible layers

And savoring

Every spoonful

That melts in your mouth;

For I’ve heard

Your boss returns tomorrow

From his annual vacation

And your mother in law

Plans to spend

Another month with you!

 

(Image courtesy – Pixabay)

 

Copyright © Sindhuja Ramasubramanian 2015· All Rights Reserved· picturesquereflections.wordpress.com
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Two sides

TwoSides

I go green with envy,

Whenever I think of

Everything you possess-

Beauty, fame, money,

Style, taste, poise-

I want them all;

There’s nothing

I wouldn’t do-

To trade places

With you.

I notice –

The gorgeous face,

But not the masked wrinkles,

I notice –

The plastered smile,

But not the concealed tears,

I notice-

All your suave ‘friends’

I notice-

Your expensive home

But not your impoverished heart,

I notice

Your singular freedom

But not your imprisoned mind;

Indeed if I did-

I wouldn’t so vehemently

Wish to be you.

(Picture taken at Tate Modern)

Copyright © Sindhuja Ramasubramanian 2015· All Rights Reserved· picturesquereflections.wordpress.com
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Front door

Front Door

You’ve just

Pulled me shut

And turned your key

Until you’ve heard

A firm click;

You take

A hurried step

Towards the stairs

Given that

You’re already late

For your appointment.

But I know you-

Well enough

To assume

That you’ll be gone

For a good while.

It’s just

A matter of minutes

Before you come

Rushing back-

To push me open

And check on

The lights, the fan

The geyser or the stove;

Or sometimes even just

To give me a hard shove

To make sure

I’m properly locked up!

 

(Image Courtesy – Public Domain Images)

 

Copyright © Sindhuja Ramasubramanian 2015· All Rights Reserved· picturesquereflections.wordpress.com
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Why we don’t need those shrinks – Article in The Hindu Open Page

An article of mine was published in The Hindu Open Page yesterday. I was overjoyed and I am still yet to come to terms with it!! Here it is-

HinduArticle

Please note that it was written on a lighter note and I do not want to incur anybody’s wrath!! Hope you enjoy reading!

Wishful Thinking

WishfulThinking

Cool damp air

Brushes my cheek

Caressing my ear,

Lingering on my neck

Sending pleasant shivers

Down my spine.

I savor

the delicious iciness,

Inhale the freshness

And hold out my hand,

Longing to be clasped

By the warmth of yours.

 

(Image courtesy – internet)

 

Copyright © Sindhuja Ramasubramanian 2015· All Rights Reserved· picturesquereflections.wordpress.com
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The Liebster Award

images-1

Thank you Sri https://srichandravee.wordpress.com/  for this! Your comments on my post and this, just made my day!

So here are my answers, my friend:

  1. What is one outstanding quality that sets you apart from others?  – Hmmm that’s a tough one. I guess I’m an outstanding day dreamer – no one can beat me here!
  2. Which is that one achievement of yours that you would like to remember forever? – Funny as it may seem, that would be the launch of my blog, finally!
  3. Which has been the happiest moment of your life? – The minutes, hours, days spent writing something I’ve started (It’s true ! :-))
  4. One person with whom you would love to share a Vanilla ice-cream with chocolate sauce (drooling!)…okay, obsession apart, can also be a hot cup of coffee? – Well, my husband – any day!
  5. One thing you wish didn’t exist in this world? – Silk board (Bangalore) traffic jams!
  6. Which is that one mad scientist with whom you would go on a cruise? And why? – I don’t know about mad, but that would be Thomas Alva Edison! My all time favorite – would love to ask him a lot of things – don’t know if one cruise would be enough!
  7. Which quality of yours you wouldn’t want to change for a dime? – Hmmmm, a tough one, but I would say I don’t want to change anything! I would like to remain the same :-).
  8. One wrong notion that people around you, have about you. – That I’m quiet and well behaved!
  9. Given a choice to carry just two things in the Noah’s ark, which two things would you choose? (Remember, it is THINGS….not people…your entire family with grand pappas and aunts and neighbours are already inside the ark!) – A toy sheep gifted by my husband and my kindle ! (hope it survives all the water though!)
  10. Which is one ice-cream (not again!) flavour that your would love to invent? – Hmmmm, let’s see some caramel + some not so common fruit – guava perhaps?
  11. Which is one perfume that you would love to invent? – Something with the scent of the first rains touching the earth?

Okay, here are my nominees :

  1. Saiswaroopa https://rediscoveringsai.wordpress.com/
  2. Srishti Walia https://srishtiwalia.wordpress.com/
  3. Izza https://touchofmysaint.wordpress.com/
  4. Sweety https://sweetyshinde.wordpress.com/
  5. Pratyu https://pratyu15.wordpress.com/The rules are simple:
    1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
    2. Answer the questions given to you by the nominator.
    3. Create eleven questions to the nominees.

    And my questions are:

    1. Which is your favorite book and why?
    2. Which political leader would you like to be and why?
    3. Which has been the best day of your life?
    4. If you had a choice to do so, which sport would you choose for a career?
    5. Which movie director do you adore and why?
    6. Given a chance, which grade at school would you like to repeat and why?
    7. Which is your favorite TV news channel and why?
    8. Who is your favorite fictional character (movie, book or even in your head!) and why?
    9. What is your ultimate aim in life ? (Real, imaginary, anything?)
    10. What is the one place in this world, you would give anything to visit? And why?
    11. What is your favorite dish and why?

Battling Dementors with my very own Patronus

While the Harry Potter series enthralled us all with it’s charm, creativity and spirit of adventure,it also offers many philosophical points to ponder. Indeed, there is a whole book that has been published to this effect! There are also articles published in literary journals on the topic – which present deep analyses on the characters and events appearing in the series.


I recently watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – my personal favorite in the series. Though this was not the first time I was watching it, I was particularly intrigued by the concept of Dementors and the means to fight them – the Patronus charm and began to look at the concept from a different angle.

Dementors are portrayed as dark creatures, which prey on human happiness. To quote J.K. Rowling –
“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself… soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.”

Dementors

After thinking over this rather elaborate description, I asked myself whether dementors are merely mythical creatures – a creation of fantasy fiction. The answer was a big NO. I personally encounter dementors quite often – when I’m in the lowest of moods, when something I have eagerly waited for doesn’t happen, when I have little or no hopes left on one of my many “projects” or when I’m wallowing in self pity due to something over which I have little or no control. In all of these situations, everything around me turns dull, gloomy and frosty – irrespective of the actual weather outside. The more I give into these negative thoughts, the more I feel sucked into a bottomless pit of worry and despair. I thus harbor many dementors within myself – they lie dormant and are waiting to be awakened, at the slightest provocation!


Moving onto the charm that defends a witch or a wizard against dementors – The Patronus charm (Expecto Patronum). The charm produces a silvery “Patronus” that is, to quote J.K. Rowling again, “a magical guardian, a projection of all your most positive feelings“. In order to successfully conjure up a patronus, which incidently, takes the shape of a favorite animal, a witch or wizard must think of and focus hard on a particularly happy memory. It has also been reiterated that the charm is exceedingly difficult and that few witches and wizards can produce a full Patronus. Also, in the story of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban“, Harry initially produces a very feeble patronus and is unable to produce a full-blown one until the very end. Indeed, it takes him many practice sessions to even conjure up the feebler ones.

Patronus

Coming to my very own dementors – can I conjure up my own Patronus to fight them? Yes. Taking a cue from the story, I must focus on a particularly happy memory, essentially diverting my mind from all the shroud of negativity,imposed by the beasts. Is this easy to do? Well, obviously not. How many of us are able to stay positive all the time – focusing on all the good things we’ve had and still got? Very few, to the best of my knowledge. Can we get better at it? Yes, of course. It isn’t easy – it requires immense self control, a kind of mastery over our thoughts and lots and lots of practice and patience.


And so, the Dementors and the Patronuses from the series have shown me a way to fight the nets of self-doubt and negativity that I get entrapped in, when in my lowest spirits. And I’ve just started practising the Patronus charm. I sure hope to produce a better Patronus the next time round!

(Images courtesy – Internet)

The Ocean of Enormity

Ocean

I languidly sip cold tea,

And choose to gaze

Beyond the sandy shores

In the vicinity

At the vast stretch

Of brilliant blue

Spread over miles and miles

All the way to infinity..

As I ponder the afforded view

I cannot help but muse

On the apparent insignificance

Of my little world

Of worries and troubles

In comparison with-

This ocean

Of Overwhelming enormity..