Thursday, November 19, 2015

The link between safety and the day of the month

Esprit. There is no way you can kill it. You may be able to suppress it using fear. The above has been my lesson after the recent attack on France. Going by the social media feeds, the city is back on it's feet. I was glad when Facebook rolled out a change to indicate the safety of self or a friend immediately after the attack. This useful feature saved me from elevating levels of anxiety. The breathing returned to normal when the Facebook kept notifying the increasing number of friends marked as safe. I realized I had quite a lot of friends in that city.

Now that the lives of the Parisians are returning to normal, if we may call it so, I decided to have a chat with my young friend. I was surprised and also relieved when my young friend was tweeting from the safe confines of a house when violence was unfurling in Paris. As he possessed a prolific and active lifestyle, I was expecting him to be outside on the streets partying in that hour. Though this question haunted me, I decided not to broach this subject immediately. Instead, I decided on a detour before revealing my real question. Like the famous idiom "All roads lead to Rome", both paths ended up with interesting results.

Progressing after the niceties, I brought the subject of the Facebook status of people being safe and common friends. Since there were quite a few updates, I couldn't recall everyone on the list. So I ended up asking about some of the common friends and ended up with one in particular. My young friend had contacted him immediately after the events. But he didn't want to mark himself safe until the morning. Why is that so? I was curious. The answer was funny. He was in a "rendezvous" and wanted more time to decide if he was safe or not. If you have lived in Paris, you pretty much know what a rendezvous is. For other, you may take an educated guess!

After a good laugh, we left the friend and the rendezvous behind us. The turn of events did worry me. There is a bigger question of the safety of the city. The city has a violent past. Will it ever be safe? There is an important and a smaller question in my mind. Will my young friend be safe? The answer to the first question is beyond us. But the second part was easier to solve. "If it ever happens in the future, you should check the dates.". On hearing this, I was intrigued. What has the date to do with it? Is my friend superstitious. "No, I am not superstitious. If such an event happens after the 10th of the month, you don't have to worry." Thus replied my friend. When I was silent for a few minutes, my offered an explanation. "By the 10th of every month, I would have exhausted my salary. So I spent the rest of the days of the month inside my house!"

Tags: Musings, Paris, France, Rendezvous, Young Friend

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Heaven is here at Burnham Beeches Natural Reserve

Every season as its characteristics. Likewise everyone has preference for certain seasons.  I have never understood when people go weak in the knee while describing autumn also known as fall. The leaves are at the end of their life. As a result, they fall leaving the tree naked. Then the tree awaits the arrival of spring to cover itself with a new coat of leaves. If we consider spring as the beginning of life, then autumn is the sunset years. Moreover, if you are going gaga about the yellow color, the jackfruit tree in front of my ancestral home used to have yellow leaves all year around. So please cut me some slack if I look at you sans expression while describing fall colors.

When autumn arrives, everyone is searching a place to see fall colors. I remember a time when my colleague carried a weighty SLR around the office campus located near San Jose downtown before the advent of DSLR to capture the colors. I never understood the fascination. Now I have a DSLR; I am interested in fall color. The interest is to undertake landscape photography in the hope my composition will improve. Luckily for me, the locations just fall into my lap thanks to the hard word done by dear ones. Recently, I came across Burham Beeches Natural Reserve. The natural reserve is located in Maidenhead. As this is very close to Reading and the weekend sported an unusually high temperature coupled with clear skies for an autumn day, I decided to visit Burham Beeches.

The natural reserve is good enough to make a believer out of anybody. Nature is indeed beautiful, and she can also wear clothes sporting multiple colors. I could see a red tinge to everything. The result was surreal. 
You ask yourself if you are in a dream. 
You ask yourself if you are alive. 
You ask yourself if you are in heaven. 

I equated this place to heaven, and that also provided the lesson of the day. You may seek heaven everywhere, but it is close to your home.

Tags: Travel,Autumn,Maidenhead

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