Weekly Photo Challenge : On the way

IMG_6454

IMG_6452

On the way to my PhD. defense presentation, I was sifting through papers all along, working on my presentation and as I decided to give my eyes a break, I looked out of the aircraft window. I thought from preparing so many flowcharts and reading so many papers about atoms and molecules, I was actually seeing spheres, squares and rectangles everywhere. But I soon realized this was real, and it looked like someone was playing a grand Othello game :)

If you are still wondering what they are, they are circular fields of corn, soy and wheat in the U.S. Midwest! At first I wondered why would someone plant crops in circles wasting the land on the edges, but turns out they are sacrificing a small amount of their produce to conserve the more precious fresh water that is used to water these crops (using a technique called central pivot irrigation which makes the water more readily available for the crops, reduces evaporation from the surface and so also reduces water usage!)

(A better picture and description is available here. )

In response to the weekly photo challenge : On the way

याद-ए-अय्याम (Memories of bygone days)

IMG_2841

राह-ए-गुज़र में तन्हाई से अब जाने कब मुलाक़ात होगी, तेरी यादों से परे मेरी दुनिया की जाने कहाँ शुरुआत होगी

इतवार की अलसाई सुबहों में कुछ नये पुराने नगमों के बीच अमूमन बज जाता है वो गाना

जिसकी धुन हम दिलकश शामों में अक्सर गुन गुनाया करते थे

पीर की पहली बस की भीड़ में दिख जाती है, वैसी ही अनाबी चोखाने प्रिंट वाली कमीज़

जिसके दाहिने पॉकेट में हम अपने अरमान छिपाया करते थे

मंगल की शाम मंदिर के दर पर,  पैज़ारों पे जड़ी मिलती हैं, पास के नलके से टपकती पानी की बूँदें

जो तुम्हारी आबज़दा हथेली से उछलकर मुझ पर गिर जाया करती थी

बुध को मेज़ पर फाइलों के ढेर में कहीं, गुमसुम सी पड़ी मिलती है वो नीली कलम

जो कभी हमारे नाम यकजा  काग़ज़ पे उतारा करती थी

जुमेहरात रंग्रेज़ के मखज़ब पर्दों से कुछ ही दूर, दर्ज़ी आज भी अपनी दुकान लगाता है

जहाँ हम घंटों बैठकर रंग बिरंगे ख्वाब सिलाया करते थे

जुम्मे को घर लौट रहे दौड़ते भागते हुजूम में कहीं, अकेला खड़ा मिलता है वो भुट्टे वाला

जिसकी अंगीठी में हम ज़िंदगी के मसले जलाया करते थे

शनीचर की दोपहर टीवी देखते हुए जब आँख लग जाती है, अधखुले रोशनदान से हवा वैसे ही चली आती है

जैसे तुम दबे पाँव आकर,  सिरहाने बैठ जाया करते थे

यूँ मेरे दिन चुन लेते हैं तुम्हे बिखरती यादों से

और फिर तुम्हे भूल जाने की उम्मीद उन्ही यादों में बिखरने लगती है

– कृत्या

Cherry Blossom Festival – Washington D.C.

IMG_9748

Blossoms along the tidal basin. IMG_9794

A closer look IMG_9713

Ever since I read about the cherry blossom festivals I had been wanting to visit one. Well finally this year I got to go to the Washington D.C. cherry blossom festival and though there were too many people, too little time, and with four hours of driving and merely three hours of sleep, our bloodshot eyes and tired souls found comfort in the sweet fragrance and elegance of these white and pink blossoms that filled the crisp sunset with the freshness of spring.

Striking off #46 on my bucket list. :)

Spring and starting over!

IMG_0725

Spring, when the bough with unsightly painful scars, 

that autumn caused and winter could never heal

gathers courage to dream again,

of new beginnings and happy endings

with the warmth of April and a renewed zeal.

Spring – a chance to start over

Weekly Photo Challenge : Ephemeral

IMG_4474

One of those quiet evenings where I got to enjoy a beautiful sunset, and relive some childhood memories – stone skipping at the Herring Cove Beach, Cape Cod.

The splashing of water as the stones kissed the surface of water was ephemeral, so was the distant sunset and so were the zillion ripples that dance to the tune of the breeze and so is everything else. Everything probably is ephemeral, it all depends on what  “a short time” means to you, could be a second, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, a century….or beyond.

(in response to the weekly photo challenge)

Weekly Photo Challenge : Fresh

IMG_4460

Sharing some crunchy fresh strawberries and magnolia bud getting ready for spring

IMG_7935

( only if I could share the taste of those juicy strawberries and the scent of magnolia which fills up the air,  with the same ease – because freshness is not just about what you see, it’s an experience :) )