Tuesday, July 25, 2006
I would like to quickly journal our trip to Hawaii before the hangover fades. We were at Oahu for the July 4th weekend. Aloha!
Oahu is a perfect balance of human activity and oceanic beauty. The city of Honolulu has an alluring night life, creating a New Yorky vibe for tourists. Adjacent to the business district of Waikiki is the splendid green Waikiki beach. I have always wanted to visit a beach with crystal clear green waters and talcum-soft white sand. Another desire fulfilled!
We toured the city of Honolulu, admiring the architecture and the street names – Ala Moana Blvd, Kapahulu Ave, Kalakaua Ave, Kapiolani Blvd, Kahala Mall, Paokalani Ave, Kuhio Ave – I can go on. We were surprised to learn that Hawaiian alphabet had 5 vowels and just 7 consonants – H K L M N P and W. The streets and highways were named after early Kings – like the Kamehameha Highway named after King Kamehameha. We had fun just trying to pronounce them. We got ourselves Hawaiian clothes. Our fun had just begun!
We took a submarine tour on our second day at Oahu. It was thrilling – well, why wouldn’t it be? It was our very first time on a submarine, going down to the depths of the ocean, actually seeing the ocean bed and the schools of fishes, sea turtles, few sharks and natural and man made reefs. It was beautiful. Aqua and aquatic life – it is so amazing to see a whole vast world of its own under the depths of the ocean. It felt strangely intimidating, and at the same time I was filled with a new found respect for the ocean and all the life that it hosts. The balanced ecology, how various life forms coexist peacefully and how it is one different world out there - it set us thinking about the endless wonders in creation. All that we could do was marvel!
We snorkeled at the Hanauma bay, a beautiful place in Oahu where the lush green mountains flank three sides of the bay and the fourth side merges into the vast ocean. The coral reefs were amazing and the aquatic life thrilled us. We were able to see the fishes and interact with them – it was an experience in itself and first of its kind for me! Shaka!
The drive to Waimea falls was scenic. The Blowhole reef, Kahana bay and the Sandy beach on the way were beautiful nature experiences. We had the famed Hawaiian coconut water on the way. It was sheer pleasure to pull down the top of the convertible and drive down with the majestic green mountains on the left and the translucent green waters on the right. The hike to the Diamond Head crater and the awesome view of the reef layered Waikiki beach will always remain etched in our minds. It was one strenuous hike, but the view was worth every inch of it. Phew!
The Polynesian Cultural Center brought alive the exotic Polynesian history and culture. The feature presentations on each island were informative, amusing and good fun. It was in fact like a virtual visit to Tonga, Fiji, Marqueses, Tahiti, Samoa and Aotearoa. The graceful 'Rainbows of Paradise' canoe pageant and the dazzling ‘Horizons’ evening show had us enthralled. We were surprised to learn that we share many traditions and practices in common with the Polynesian islands. Students from the Birmingham Young University work at the PCC to pay for their tuition – a dual purpose was met – culture is preserved and students are benefited. We also watched an IMAX feature on the breathtaking ‘Coral Reef Adventure’. The authentic ‘Alii Luau’ or the 'Hawaiian feast for a royal chief' was made memorable by the warm welcome with a garland made of purple orchid ‘Leis’, the Hawaiian ‘Hula’ performance and the buffet dinner. The luau begins with the uncovering of the 'imu' or underground oven where a large pig has been cooking throughout the afternoon. We managed to eat vegetarian at the feast! The dessert was great – the coconut cake and the Hawaiian ‘Haupia’ – a staple dessert at every Luau were yummy. What’s a visit to Hawaii without a Luau and a Hula!
We savored every moment of our stay at Oahu, pampered by the Hawaiian hospitality, cheered on by oceanic adventures and falling in love with the city with every passing moment. And when it was time to leave for home, we decided to take back some of the magic of the culture-laden, picturesque Hawaii, so that it may linger in our spirit as we go on with the flow that is life. Thank you Hawaii – Mahalo!
Posted by Bharani - 03:44 pm -
Sunday, June 18, 2006
My mind is multi-threaded. So, now, is it all about making it unidirectional, that is single-threaded or is it about making every thread function to its 100% so that the mind is able to perform as the most efficient multi-tasking machine ever ?
I have seen how intensely aware people perform several tasks simulataneously, without compromising on the quality of any of those parallel activities. In fact, quality is enhanced.
I also realise how the mind controls the five senses - for instance, my eyes see only when/what my mind wants to view. Else, even if they are open, they are as good as shut. The ears can hear selectively, the filter being set within the mind. Sometimes we are not aware of what we talk and go back and say 'what was I saying ?'.
Well, I better befriend this mind and get it work the way I want it! It seems to be taking over my entire life :-)...
Posted by Bharani - 06:29 pm -
Friday, June 16, 2006
Few days back, I chanced to read a bit about wheat grass and its goodness. That made me wonder why almost all good things are bitter! I remember the Bitter Guord, the Neem leaf sweet dish, the bitter citrus pickles, the several nature-cure medicines ('Kashaayam') which we were made to gulp with honey when we were children - all these were bitter and yet they did the best to us. Well, almost all.
Posted by Bharani - 02:00 pm -
Monday, June 12, 2006
God, grant me what it takes to change
desires into prayers,
selfish love into unconditional devotion,
boredom into enthusiasm,
tears into hope,
disappointment into contentment,
indolent energy into service,
longing into knowledge,
experience into awareness,
restlessness into serenity,
sloth into action,
anger into acceptance,
pain into compassion,
fears into trust,
anxieties into surrender.
God, grant me what it takes
to not want to change anything,
to appreciate all that is,
to know You,
to know Me.
Posted by Bharani - 04:32 pm -
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Another Grand Canyon Trip
My third visit to the Grand Canyon in little over a year. And yet I never seem to tire of it. The few moments of silence which I experience, seated on a rock, facing the Eastern Rim of the grand canyon is worth the winding line outside the park and definitely worth the cold winds that kept slamming against us early that morning.
A nature trip leaves you rejuvenated. While trips to amusement parks always leave me exhausted and wanting another vacation, hikes and nature tours fill me with wonder and silence and energize me from deep within. It is like renewing a connection with natural habitat, which appear to be more centered and put together. We even had a deer encounter inside the Kaibab National Forest. Five forest deer went past our car and we shot them, with our video camera, of course.
On our way back, we hiked the Oak Creek trail at Sedona. It was lush green and full of ferns. The stream had dried up a bit but that did not stop us from taking off our shoes and playing around in the gushing water for a while. We did not hike the entire trail as it was almost sunset.
So, here I am back at work today. But I definitely have brought along with me a bit of the smiling green of the red rock trail, a splash of the bubbling enthusiasm of the creek, and loads of the strong splendor of the canyon.
Posted by Bharani - 06:13 pm -
Thursday, May 04, 2006
I chanced to visit the website of renowned singer Bombay Jayashri. The intro had me captivated. does not music
light a spark
fan a flame
set a soul on fire?Listening...
to the silences within
and the sounds
of silences...Click away for the entire piece
Here's a line from her profile that had me nodding my head in agreement - "When music seeps into the hearts of rasikas without themselves perceiving it, then it can be said to have served its ethereal purpose".
How true! The very purpose of music is the resonance of souls.
Bombay Jayashri is one of the most popular singers of today with several albums to her credit. Her movie numbers are commercial successes. I was listening to her voice in Suttum Vizhi
from Ghajini and it had me wondering about how we have loved her voice in Vaseegara
, Ondra Renda Aasaigal
. And her very latest Partha Mudhal
from Kamal's latest flick Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu
is also amazingly convincing.
But when someone mentions Bombay Jayashri, the song that pops into my head is the melodious Pahi Pahi Jagan Mohanakrishna
set in the enchanting Nadanamakriya
. It brings back fond memories of childhood times.
Posted by Bharani - 05:52 pm -
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Glen Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell
It is almost impossible for any photographic lens to capture the towering magnificence. It is altogether impossible to take in the monumental water-carved beauty with two mortal organs - the eyes. It is getting increasingly difficult to word the thoughts about the grandeur of this place - the mind was constantly going blank and thoughtless at the timeless magnificence that we were spectators to. All we could do was gape in awe.
They stretched much beyond the field of view and flaunted intracacies in architecture that daunted us. They seemed to beckon, wanting to pass on some timeless message in silence and at the same time, they seemed to be untouched and unabashed by people and events around them. They seemed to share a gushing relationship with air, water and the space above. They are the beautiful Glen canyons. We were at Lake Powell and visited the Glen, Antelope and Marble Canyons over the weekend. This trip, if anything, was only more momentous than the previous ones - The Grand Canyon and Sedona.
Posted by Bharani - 09:33 am -
Thursday, March 23, 2006
What makes one feel the divinity in another person ? Everyone is divine, just that in some it is more conscious, so conscious that people who come in contact with them are able to feel the divine presence.
I think you feel the divinity of a person when you feel so at home and comfortable with them. You have never known them before, you have never mingled or socialized with them before, but yet you feel so much at ease and peace with them. You feel they are at the same 'level' as you and they seem to understand you instantly and connect with you very deeply, yet very very effortlessly. And not just you, but everyone around seems to feel exactly the way you feel about this person. Even children.
Then again, you feel comfortable with people with whom you have been around with for a reasonably long period of time. So that means you already recognize the divinity in the other person! Isn't that so ?
It takes divinity to recognize divinity. We feel the presence because we have the presence within us - just like how it takes a magnetic pole to attract another.
Posted by Bharani - 08:20 pm -
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
This moment of pristine joy sponsored by...
Posted by Bharani - 08:19 pm -
Friday, March 10, 2006
Me and my Mind - a typical act
Me : Don't think about that.
My mind: You mean 'that' ?
Me : Yes, 'that'!
My mind: Oh! But do you mean 'this' or 'that'.
Me : I meant 'that'. Now, shut up, will you ?
My mind: Hmm. You dont want me to think about 'that'. Okay...
Me : How many times are you going to repeat that and remind me of 'that'.
My mind: No, I am just not thinking of 'that'.
Me : Please. Please. Please.
My mind: Oh yeah, not at all. I am not thinking about 'that'.
Me : Get Lost!
My mind: Oh no, what would I be without you. I swear, I wont think about 'that'. Not 'that'.
Anything else but 'that'. But definitely not 'that'.
Me : Well, you know what? You can do what you please. I dont mind thinking about 'that'.
Mind falls asleep.
Posted by Bharani - 03:21 pm -