Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Apocalypse-a poem


I gave you a world full of green,and Lo,
Now you have ruined it!

A gift of Mountains white
And glaciers bursting
And Crystal streams sparkling!
Mighty trees standing
Tall and proud! And deep
Blue-green lakes full of Tranquility!

You have turned my gift
Into stinking over-flowing
Crowded cities, cities where
People tread on each other’s
Toes, cities with the stink
Of diesel and petrol fumes!
You have turned my crystal streams
Into sluggishly moving streams of sewage,
And my lakes into
Cess-pits of filth!

Where have my mighty trees
Gone? The guardians of the
World? Those mighty guardians
Have you now vanquished
And lo, in their place
Have you erected tall sky-scrapers
That are ugly weak, pathetic
Exclamation marks on the horizon!

Greedy, selfish Man, what,,
Do you now play god to
Remake the world in your image?
What, you being so miserable,
And Pathetic,what kind of a
World could you make? I
gave you a gift, and now you
Have ruined it, and to add
Injury to insult, you have
Turned my gift into something
Horrible and ugly!

I gave you a blue planet,
A green planet, but now you
Have turned it into a scorched
Planet of advancing deserts!
Mighty Sol pours fire from the Heavens,
Because of what you have done!

Global warming, pollution,
Green-House gases are your forte! So,
Why, my friend do you test my
Patience and add injury to insult?
You still have time to reform
Yourself, but time and patience
Are running out, beware of my
Wrath for if I am a forgiving
Lord, I can also be the Wrath-
Full God of Sodom and Gomorrah,
The God who flooded the world
In Noah’s times!

Global Warming-Are We Headed towards An Apocalypse?

The recent high average temperatures recorded in and around New Delhi have broken all records for the past fifty or more years! It is a matter of great concern that there is no relief in sight from this rather severe heat wave that is sweeping most of the parts of North India! Of greater concern is about what will happen to children when schools in the region open soon!
We have started observing extreme climate aberrations for the past few years. It rains, and when it rains it literally pours! When Summer comes, fire literally pours from the heavens! A couple of winters back, there was a thin layer of frost on car roofs in the mornings! I recently returned from a trip to the Hill Stations in Himachal Pradesh and I felt the extreme heat in the plains unbearable!
Signs of Global Warming
Looking at all these signs which can only be the signs of Global Warming, one wonders if perhaps the Warnings of the Documentary Film, "An Inconvenient Truth" might not after all have been so true! It is a known fact that there is a very close relationship between the Global Mean temperature and the amount of carbon/ carbon dioxide  in the atmosphere! Ice-core samples extracted from the polar-ice caps are examined for the amount of carbon dioxide trapped within them. Scientists have been able to show that in the past, whenever there was global warming, there's e was a large amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which was trapped in the ice.
The film, "Water World" is a bleak reminder of what would happen if the polar ice-caps melted down! There would be no land left us to live on, and the only land would be on the North-Pole and the South-Pole. Another worst-case scenario would be the opening up of the Drake's Passage  and the disruption of the circumpolar currents (which have the function of regulating global temperatures). If this happens, then North America and most of Europe would be in the grip of years long winter with a thick layer of ice forming everywhere! Life would be impossible. Remember the film, "The Day after Tomorrow"?
The Situation on the Indian Sub-Continent
The situation on the Indian sub-continent would be worse! Our memories of the recent floods in Mumbai are still fresh. If the polar ice caps melt, then all the coastal areas of India will be submerged under water! Low-lying island Nations like Mauritius, Seychelles, Kiribati, Vanuatu, and many more will be lost forever! Soon the sight of Ice on the snow capped mountains India will be gone forever, the glaciers that feed our mighty rivers like the Ganges, Beas, will have melted down completely! Are we not already facing acute shortage of water in the major cities of Northern India?
Technological Progress or Technological Retreat?
In our march towards so called "Technological Progress" we have in fact traveled backwards! The cutting down of trees, the building up of townships, filling up of water bodies, growing of only cash-crops have all taken a toll on our environment! Someone from a major Oil Refining company of India once told me that the Technological Advancement of a Country is reflected by the amount of crude it consumes! Isn't increased consumption of crude oil  also a single most most important contributing factor towards Global Warming? We are living in an excessively consumerist society where our economic progress is making us greedier  than ever! Today we want bigger cars and more of them per family. For example, a  family of four might have created an artificial requirement for four different cars, whereas one or two would have done, but then no, we will travel in different cars because it is convenient! Our greed for a better standard of living, and our craving for luxuries has lead to an increased global carbon foot-print! In this case each one of us is responsible for this increasing carbon foot print, and we cannot ignore the fact that we are part of a holistic culture of respect towards the environment!
Each individual living on this planet is responsible for  the increasing carbon foot-print that we are witnessing today! It is below our dignity to travel to work by public transport; bus or the metro. We are so obsessed with the luxury of privacy that we don’t want to share our cars while going to work (Car Pools). Today we don’t want smaller cars which are more maneuverable on busy roads, because we feel that those bigger, flashier gas guzzlers are a better indicator of our social status( even if it means puffing and fuming at the traffic jam).
Somehow, I believe that  Greed is the largest contributor to Global Warming and Apocalypse.  I hope it is not already too late! It seems as if Global Warming has become a Freight Train without brakes that too on a downward slope! One can only hope that the concept of  Carbon Credits will be an effective in fighting Global Warming. Exercising restraint, adopting a Green Attitude, using public transport, car-pools and of course having a garden are a few steps to start with!
Are these Sights soon to be things of the Past?

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Saturday, 19 June 2010

A Holiday Trip to Manali and Shimla

When we set out for Manali from Gurgaon as a family, we knew that it would be a long drive, and sure we were prepared for it. The best time to start the journey from the NCR regions is early morning, although I prefer driving at night since it has two benefit, namely less traffic, and the benefit of reaching the destination in the morning, thus providing you enough time to hunt for a hotel. We started from Gurgaon at 9:00 p.m. on the eleventh of June and reached Manali at 2:00p.m. on the twelfth.At First we thought of going only to Manali, but then after staying in Manali for two days,we thought of extending our trip to Shimla. The weather in both the Hill-Stations was very pleasant although Manali was colder. Rohtang-Pass was in our itinerary but unfortunately, we couldn’t reach Rohtang-Pass because our route was blocked by a land-slide. The route to Rohtang-Pass was jam-packed with vehicles to make matters worse. Upon reaching the foot-hills about hundred kilometres off Chandigarh en-route  to Manali, we were greeted with a spectacular sight of sunrise.
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At Kullu we got our first glimpse of the snow-clad mountains of Manali.

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Upon reaching Manali, we checked in at our Hotel, The Himalayan-Regency and were greeted with yet another breath-taking sight of snow-clad mountains.
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The town of Manali is itself a very beautiful town surrounded by snow–clad mountains and mountains covered with lush-greenery and trees. The lack of pollution and tall-rise buildings make Manali look rather serene and peaceful!
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Although we couldn’t reach Rohtang-Pass because of the Land-Slide and the heavy traffic, we were however very close to the snow-clad mountains and the numerous waterfalls.
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On the way to Rohtang-Pass we were greeted by a Pastoral sight of a Shepherd herding some sheep. It was surprising to find such verdant pastures on the way up!

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Van-Vihar, in Manali is another must see. One can find tall massive Pine-trees and also the River Beas flows close by!The Van-Vihar is protected National-Forest.

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The Vashisth Temples and the Vashisht Baths are another must see in Manali. Sulphur-spring-water is piped into the baths. The Sulphur-water is said to have medicinal qualities.

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The Vashisht temples are a must see for the devotees and also a photographer’s delight.

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The temples have been constructed in the traditional style with a mixture of wood and stone and they are very old! I was surprised to see that these two poles, rather like totem-poles were made from the trunk of a single tree, and boy were they really tall!

 
After our brief sojourn in Manali we decided to leave for Shimla, the Capital of Himachal-Pradesh. To avoid the crowded town, we booked a Hotel twenty-eight kilometres from Shimla. So we left for Kandaghat, twenty-eight kilometres from Shimla and checked into the Falcon-Crest Hotel 10:00 p.m.on the fifteenth of June. The Hotel is ideally situated on the Shimla-Chandigarh High-way. We parked our vehicles at the hotel and then took two vans for Shimla the next day.

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Undoubtedly Shimla is very beautiful by night. during day-time one can see all those quaint- English style buildings, after all Shimla used to be the Summer Capital during the British-Raj. Every-where you go you are reminded of the British-Raj, whether it is the English-Named buildings, or the style of their construction.

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The Christ-Church of Shimla and the Public Library are both worth visiting, it is a heritage-monument, and and well known landmark of Shimla.

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The interior of the Church is well decorated, the walls carry plaques of various British Officers and Devotees, moreover the stained-glass is a delight! Criss-cross beams support the roof of the Church.

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The Crowning Glory of our trip was a Heritage trip from Shimla to Kandaghat by the Toy-Train (Kalka-Shimla Railway). The railway line was placed in 1903, it is a narrow gauge track and the scenic beauty is amazing. The train passes through numerous tunnels on its way to Kalka from Shimla. The Bridge at Kanoh is a marvel of Engineering since there are no fewer than four levels of arches built on top of each other which support the tracks! At the Kandaghat railway station I spotted an ancient weighing Machines which still works!
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Thus we returned to our Hotel at Kandaghat late at night at 8:30 p.m. and were greeted with the sight of a quarter moon sinking into the mountains.

 
Thus ended a wonderful trip to two wonderful Hill-Stations in Himachal-Pradesh.


Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Role of Mirrors in Photography

Mirror surfaces play an important role in photography. Their can be infinite possibilities when using mirror surfaces in creative photography! Some of the more common mirror surfaces are the true mirror, silver/chrome surfaces, and of course lakes and water surfaces. Some example of photographs taken using mirrors have been given below:

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Guess the real one!

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What’s that?  A mirror of course!

 

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Hey there, now I see you, now I don’t!

(Incidentally, the above snap was taken by my Daughter!)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Life is Beautiful!

 

 

Life is so beautiful,

with all those colours make your soul full,

Those beautiful people so full

Of life and zeal, and full

Of energy and hope ,full

Of charm. So What right do you have to be so remorseful?

 

 

Look at all those young men and women like you

Were once,their bright clothes, their happy smiles,

A testament to a life of Hope and a Bright Future,

What right have you to be so dismal?

 

 

What right have you to be so dismal?

Life gave you all the opportunities to

Flourish and blossom like the flowers. Look at those

Boys and girls so full of life,like you were once,

Looking forward to what life has to give,

Career, fame and recognition!

 

 

Don’t deny that life gave you many chances,

To flourish and blossom like a flower,

You had a full life ahead of you,

Your life is what you make,

So what right have you to be so dismal?

Why look you at me so?

 

Why look you at me so?

Your glance full of mystery,

'Though we’ve never spoken

You look at me like you know me!

Your glance speaks a lot - our souls connect!

 

I see you look at me,

Your look tells me all,

Alas, that we will never meet!

For ‘tis not to be! Looks filled with a

Haunting sadness an understanding

That in this life we will never meet!

 

For I’ll remember a hauntingly beautiful

Glance, the glance which speaks of another life.

Those hauntingly beautiful eyes that speak

A language so  beautiful,yet so sad!

For my dear, what you wish can never be!

I shall never yours nor you mine!