Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Like the Haley's Comet

February 29 is a good day. Anything may be good if it is to happen only once in 4 years.

As a kid, I used to think how do people born on this day celebrate their birthdays. I know of  people born yesterday, and tomorrow. But none today. It surely sets you apart that your birth anniversary comes only once in four years. Like a smaller version of Haley's comet, which is seen only once in 75 years. Had I been a mini-Haley's comet, I would have made a big deal out of it, I am sure. February 29 is in a way a New Year's eve. It comes to start off a period of four years where we won't have any 29 Februarys. It's a beginning of four 'normal' years, as distinguished from the one leap year in which it occurs. So shouldn't people celebrate this? Isn't this a bigger celebration than January 1st? That will happen every year - this won't.

Srinagar had a very pleasant day. More so for school kids whose school vacations have been extended. Great going! And also for the boba (old woman),who seemed to have understood the celebratory streak in February 29 and had hence repaired to the roof her houseboat, to enjoy the winter sun. The parting days of wintry sunshine.

Even though there is a prediction for snow on 4th and 5th of March, the winter is now officially over. The two chillas Chillae Kalaan, the major, and Chillae Bachh, the minor – are over. The cold siblings, rest in peace. You were thoroughly enjoyable this year.

For this day, there is only one regret in my heart. I did not have may camera with me (else, I would have surely clicked one of boba) – so there are no pictures to show you of the beautiful sunshine today. You may have to check back on the last post for similar pictures. But when the sky changed hues, in the evening, I was ready to click these. Ah, the bad (and unapologetic) photographer I am!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

For Spring is Sure to Follow

In the part of the world where I come from February is not spring. February is a part of the legend called winters. But on days like these the sun shines through, and though there are no new leaves, no flowers – the sky shines like spring. Pseudo-spring.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Theories of Sweet Nothingness - Written for 14th February

"If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever."
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Valentine's Day is pointless. We all agree. Its not religious. Not from our culture. Not from anyone's culture. But is still, may I say it, the day of love. Note that - day of love. Not of lovers. Technically, there is a difference. But isn't love too blind for the study of technique? 

Well, you can’t be serious on Valentine’s Day or about it. Until, of course, you are a businessman (or his daughter).

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

A moment, and its glory was no more

Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things, seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening. At such a time I found out for certain, that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond, was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip. – Great Expectations

From Wikipedia

Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. The great Victorian novelist. The greatest of them all. He never came to Kashmir.He should have. He would have joined the ranks of the many British officers, travellers and writers who came to the valley. And would have left us a wealth of quotations about our place. Travel to Kashmir that time didn’t involve sitting in an overcrowded bus or plane, and landing in an overcrowded city. Dickens wouldn’t have minded that though, I am sure.

Once upon a time Presentation Convent High School at Raj Bagh used to have Oliver Twist’s abridged, easy English version, in their fifth class syllabus. As of now, I am not sure. But that was an excellent thing to do. To introduce students to classic literature. It was perhaps the only school to do it. And because of them, I had my first ever encounter with Dickens.