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When Mountains Beckon

The mountains are calling and I must go… said John Muir.

Even though I’ve lived most of my life in the mountains yet seeing their beauty leaves me mesmerized. I’ve tried to capture their charm and exquisiteness in a pictorial blog, for your appreciation.

It’s always the same with mountains.

Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them,

There is no escape.

RUSKIN BOND

The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.

JOHN MUIR

Take a walk in the trees and smell the wild air. Nature’s ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe.

ANONYMOUS

The tree made it’s first move, the first overture of friendship. It allowed a leaf to fall.

RUSKIN BOND

Behind the cloud the sky is always blue.

Sitting somewhere in the Himalayas the silence that surrounds you is of the Himalayas, not of you. You have to find your own Himalayas within.

OSHO

The future lies before you like of field of fallen snow. Be careful how you tread it for every step will show.

Kindness is like the snow. It beautifies everything it covers.

KHALIL GIBRAN

Spend time with nature it has tendency to settle down all the anxieties inside you.

MUSKAN ANCHLIYE

Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.

GERALD DE NERVAL

Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes see is darkness.

Where flower blooms so does hope.

Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence.

HERMANN BUHL

How the colours of the fall inspire. Time to rest in the mountains.

Although I deeply love oceans, deserts, and other wild landscapes, it is only the mountains that beckon me with that sort of painful magnetic pull to walk deeper and deeper into their beauty.

VICTORIA ERICKSON

Deepika…

Please do not use images without permission.

Thanks.

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HOW ABOUT A HOBBY !

I was having my morning cup of coffee and was observing my husband get ready for his daily run. I actually found myself admiring him. Yes! A rare occasion, rarer than the sighting of the Blood Moon. He is passionate about running. You name a sport and he’s a master at it. He started learning body weight exercises and now you can ask him anything there is on the subject. His hobby includes astute knowledge about all things electronic and photography. The portraits clicked by him are the best I’ve seen. Okay! This isn’t about me sounding lovestruck. I am amazed at how many hobbies he has successfully developed.

Hobbies! What are they? Is hobby something one is naturally inclined to do. Some how I don’t believe that can be true, as many like me, will be naturally inclined to sleeping. Is hobby something you enjoy doing? That could be it, but does it also have to be constructive and productive? Because I might enjoy watching television. Watching Netflix seasons back to back. Many admire music and love listening to it. They profess that listening to music is their hobby. How is it different from watching television, unless you are creating or playing music? Again that takes us back to the question, does hobby need to be productive?

A dear friend suggested that it could be an expression of a dominant trait. That could partially define why we like somethings more than others and why we are good at certain things. Like my husband is very athletic and outdoorsy kind of person. Oh, I forgot to mention he plays the guitar too and can sing reasonably well. Everyone is bound to have a trait that dominates all others and turns into passion… Is it?

With this I also see a sea of youngsters without any hobby. I think most of them believe “internetIS the hobby. This reminds me of Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Deathwhere he writes

People will come to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

Neil Postman

Also Aldous Huxley in Brave New Worlddepicted a population “too amused by distraction, entertainment, leisure and laughter to realise they have been made powerless.”

Many do not try to build a hobby because they may have a fear of failing or the fear that they may the worst at it. Something that prevents me from joining Zumba classes, because I know I would make a quite a spectacle. So they give up even before they start.

What, then can be our take away on what qualifies as a hobby or on how we may develop one?

  • Most common interests are dismissed as mundane; like reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Don’t bother, I’m sure it counts even if its not original.
  • Even if you cook and try a new receipe in couple of weeks, I think it’s safe to qualify cooking as your hobby. I don’t think only churning a new dish every other day would qualify as a hobby.
  • You may have an interest that is not popular, don’t dismiss it. Even if it’s playing video games which I think can qualify as a valid, (though not productive in tradition sense) use of time.
  • Everyone cannot be an artist. You don’t need to be great at something to call it a hobby. So you like to paint. Go ahead and paint. If it relaxes and gives you pleasure its work as hobby is done.
  • Lastly I don’t think that a hobby has to be the purpose of your life nor does it have to be your biggest passion. You like to do something and can take out time only couple of weeks for it, then that’s good enough!!

Even if you are doing random activities like reading a book, a blog, listening to podcasts, watching videos, I’m sure you will be able to connect a thread through all of these. A common theme that runs through them. You can work on pursuing those. Having said that, I believe it is perfectly okay to not have a specific hobby. Same repetitive activity to be done every time you are free may be too monotonous for some. If, however, you sense you like something go ahead and try it further. You may enjoy it more, once you get good at it. Each activity can have its own learning curve. Don’t give up if its too hard similarly don’t stay in it if it does not give you pleasure.

Finally a hobby, I think, should give pleasure. Don’t stress if you cannot follow it everyday. Wikipedia defines hobby as “ a regular activity done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time, not professionally and not for pay.”

Cambridge Dictionary says, “hobby is an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working.”

Focus on words pleasure, enjoyment, leisure, and list up hobbies you’ve had or would like to have.

Happy Hobby Hunting!!!

Deepika……

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Bucket Lists and All!!!

Was watching an amazing movie called The Bucket List, the other day, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. A beautiful movie that explores the journey of two terminally ill men, doing all the things they’ve never tried before.

This got me thinking what bucket list means for us in life. Of course on the first look it would mean trying all things we’ve never tried before. Mostly all these lists that we make are physical things that include things like

  • Visiting a certain place.
  • Doing something never done before, most people think of bungee jumping, skydiving and the like.
  • Eating a particular food.

I thought maybe on a deeper level it signified something more. I believe bucket lists inspire us to do more, to set up new goals and aims as we accomplish the older ones but somewhere I also believe these leave us feeling less content. It’s like an unending race. To put it in simpler terms there will always be a bigger aim a bigger goal. Is that wrong? I don’t really have an answer. Just musings of my mind and I feel that it can get you into a vicious cycle. It’s like you are on a giant hedonistic ferrous wheel. You cannot escape from it. I think a simple right or wrong can’t answer this question. It will naturally vary from one to another. I, however, believe that we will tend to focus on what’s next and stop enjoying the present moment. The happiness “in now” will be lost in the race to achieve something better, something bigger.

So lets make an anti-bucket list. How about looking back and making a list of things we have accomplished and experienced. Remember these things may have been on your bucket list once. How about going back and showing gratitude for all your achievements like,

  • Graduating
  • First Date
  • First Kiss
  • First Job
  • Going Overseas
  • And so many other things you can be grateful for.

Did this sound too philosophical. A rather complicated way of looking at a simple concept, is it? Okay, lets go back to doing simpler things. Since bucket list is a list of things you want to do, the anti-bucket list should be a list of things you would never do. We may also include things we don’t want to see and feel. If you get down to it I bet your anti-bucket list will be longer than your bucket list. And if you read and re-read it I’m sure you’ll see the reason why you put that thing in your anti-bucket list. Just like we learn when to speak our mind and when to be quiet, I think it’s important to know what you would never do. Here goes my anti-bucket list:

  • I would never ever do any kind of drugs, other than for medical purposes.
  • I would never cheat a person. That’s just not me. I am honest in my dealings.
  • I would never sleep with a stranger, however bold or exciting that might seem.
  • I would never eat raw meat or uncooked sea food.
  • I would never go surfing in the sea because I don’t know how to swim. Haha.

Those are a few things I could think off the cuff. Why don’t you add to the list of things you wouldn’t want to do in the comments?

Thanks for reading. Hoping to see many anti-bucket lists.

Deepika.