No Less Than An Adventure!

Life is an adventureWould you call this an adventure?

I did, but one of our friends who was with us, disagreed.

Imagine driving round and round in circles and the navigator of your IPhone saying ‘reached’!

It seemed funny and we did have a hearty laugh but our frustration seemed to mount with each attempt.

I refused to give up and was sure that there was a way to reach the destination.

Were we missing something…turning on the wrong road?

Let me relate the story from the beginning. Our trip to Crater Lake (Oregon) was planned in a hurry but we wanted to make the best of every place of interest on the way rather than driving non-stop and reaching with cramps in our legs and back.

My research yielded two places, out of which we chose Dunsmuir, a city on the upper Sacramento River in California, known as the “Home of the best water on Earth.”

Further research revealed Hedge Creek Falls and Mossbrae Falls (most popular) as the top sights in the city.

We reached by four in the evening and after checking in the place we had booked for the night, we thought it was a good idea to visit Mossbrae Falls. That was the beginning of this adventure.

Web results revealed that it was a 45-minute hike and a 5-minute drive. We chose to drive to the Falls but our phone navigator took us round and round, bringing us back to the place we would start. My friend felt that there was something wrong with my phone and told us to start again, with instructions from her phone! We turned right, as instructed by her navigator, then left and then right and right again according to the names of the roads and reached the same place!

We decided to ask a local who laughed and told us he could tell us ‘how not to get there!’ He warned us that it is illegal to go there because the only path that could lead us to Mossbrae Falls was walking by the rail track.

‘Why is it listed as top attraction!’ I dismissed the thought as quickly as it had flashed.

He advised us to drop the idea of visiting these Falls.

DSC02219
Disappointed but determined, we came to our lodge and read the reviews on Tripadvisor. One of the reviews exactly mentioned how to get there. It also cautioned about the hazards involved and why people took the risk of visiting these falls. I declared that we would surely try the next morning.

One of our friends, a law abiding freak, was very reluctant to go as the only way to approach the Falls is a walk by the rail track and he considered this a calculated risk. Nothing could deter me.

Why haven’t the authorities developed another track? This thought still reverbrates around me.IMG_4349DSC02218

We parked our car at the Botanical Garden parking and walked back towards Shasta Retreat. We kept walking downhill till we reached a bridge. As instructed by the reviewer, we turned right from the bridge and were at the rail track. It was a single track railway.

A long walk on uneven surfaces and on stoney sides, quite narrow at places, with warnings to each other to be careful, go slow and watch out for a train, we kept going till we reached another bridge. We could hear the Mossbrae Falls near by!

They were not very high but looked awesome. Despite the sound produced by falling water, a serenity pervaded all around. Somebody was lying in a hammock, soaking in the damp, breezy, soft spray of water. The river was shallow and we could see the pebbles below the water.

I had read that the pictures do not do any justice as the Falls are much more beautiful than they seem in the pictures. I couldn’t agree more.

IMG_4355 2We were lucky as no train passed by. We met all kinds of people on the way, even those who were carrying little children on their shoulders and one not very old man, walking with two sticks, in the center of the track.

We returned with some delightful memories.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

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How To Understand Poetry

Understanding Poetry
Poetry of Mother Nature

 

I don’t remember when I started liking poetry. Probably I was born with it or was fascinated by the lyrics of Mother Nature.

When I walk down my memory lane, one image looms large and that is how much effort one of our English professors used to put into explaining the poetry of Tennyson and Wordsworth. While the latter was relatively easier to understand, the former much more complex and obviously we didn’t like the one who was more challenging.

The real challenges came my way when ‘Paradise Lost,’ an epic poem by John Milton was not taught in the class (or if it was, I must be mentally absent) and even when it was discussed, it didn’t evoke any interest!

While prose can be an effortless reading unless it is stream of consciousness writing, poetry can become quite boring if we are not familiar with its techniques and tones.

Despite the tests and trails, I continued to like poetry and slowly discovered that it is a genre par excellence. It can say a lot through literary techniques, which only an admirer of Literature can understand. I still struggle to understand some subtle messages conveyed through simple words.

I have to read my blogger friend Bela’s poems thrice to understand the undertones that appear enigmatic initially. They also inspire ideas to compose another poem.

Ambiguous ideas in a poem provide a food for thought and chisel your creative skills.

Who has the time and the inclination to read and re-read a poem in this fast-paced world? Only poetry lovers do!

Another lovely friend Sue, who is a poet and a prolific blogger of amazing eminence inspires with her poetry.

Most of my blogger friends are elaborative when they share their reflections on my post. Whenever I post a poem, I get a lukewarm response and I often wonder – is it because of poetry?

Quickly my mind hurtles back, my interactions with teenagers get refreshed, all their expressions, yawns and glances stand before me, bringing those lovely memories of hate-love relationship we had with poetry…when we would try to convince each other why poetry is good or bad and how we could understand it better.

I am not an expert but I have figured out a few ways to understand poetry.Understanding Poetry

How to understand a poem:

All readers have their own approach and interpretation but how imagery is used defines a poem. Can you read between those special words to fathom their depth?

It is better to read slowly. Stop and ponder over at the word that seems simple but abstruse.

“If you’re curious, there is always something new to be discovered in the backdrop of your daily life,” says Roy T. Bennett. Be curious. Inquisitiveness and interest are two important elements that lead to our understanding of a poem.

Poetry can’t be scanned and understood like prose as the former demands concentration, attention and gentle reading.

If you read a poem in a hurry, you would miss the real meaning. Many times words are used as metaphors.

You have to be familiar with most common literary techniques like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, alliteration and assonance.

Imaginative flights of poets can’t be predicted, we have to fly with them to figure out their proficiencies.

Critical analysis of a poem reveals the nuances of its theme, undertones and other signals, which remain hidden to a scanner.

Some poems are ambiguous. Probably they relate to the poet’s past or buried memory, which he wouldn’t like to reveal yet, give a vent to his emotions through writing.

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” – Leonard Cohen

Do you like poetry? Do you read a poem slowly?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

 

 

 

Which Is More Enchanting…Sunrise Or Sunset?

Winter Sunset

I have always found sunsets more alluring as I could watch them without making any special effort and I had some time to spare in the evening. I saw most of the sunrises from the windshield of my car, while driving to work and that too only in winters.

When I rummage through my childhood memories, none of them is connected with sunrise but I remember walking with the moon and wondering how it could accompany me everywhere!

While on a vacation I have always found the warmth of my bed and early morning sleep more charming than stepping out to see the sun!

The first real sunrise that I saw at Kasauni (a hill station and village situated in Bageshwar district in the state of Uttarakhand, India) is still embedded in my memory.

It is the most memorable one not because we were told that we must visit Kasauni, “the Switzerland of India” and watch the sunrise and inspired by the exuberance of our youth we took it more like an adventure!

It is memorable because of getting up before dawn in freezing cold, with a little baby of six months in my hands, all bundled up with a cute cap and watching the panoramic view of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, slowly changing color seemed like a dream in those days. One of my albums holds this beautiful memory but it belongs to that era of cameras, which were not digital.

“Saw the sun rise. A lovely apricot sky with flames in it and then solemn pink. Heavens, how beautiful…I feel so full of love to-day after having seen the sun rise.” – Katherine Mansfield

sunset

Despite that heavenly view none of the vacations to picturesque places could impel me to move my butt out of my balmy bed to watch the clouds turning soft pink to peach.

It is blessing to catch an early morning flight because the hues of yellow, ochre and orange reveal themselves with all their glory, which can be watched effortlessly from the window seat, I love to occupy.

I may whine a lot about why is the flight so early but all those words melt and merge into the hues of spectacular sunrise.

Sun peeping into my living room
Sun peeping into my living room!

But I love sunsets and nature has conspired so lovingly to place me here. Now the direction of my little abode is such that the sun peeps through my French windows before going down.

The golden hour extends as the orange and the golden glow lingers longer for me to capture its mesmerizing charm and I watch it from my couch everyday, deriving unfathomable pleasure of lifetime.

The window of my bedroom presents the view of sunrise. Since I befriended eight, I hardly ever see it.

Colors of sunset
“A sunset is the sun’s fiery kiss to the night.” ― Crystal Woods

All the pictures of sunset have been taken from one place, the patio of my home. I have many more!

Do you like sunsets? Do they evoke any memories?

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

Sunset hues
Sunset hues!

 

The Joys of Celebration

Joys Of Celebration

Today I was rummaging through my archives to look for something connected with celebrations and realized that I haven’t written anything about the joys of celebration. But I never considered myself to be a serious writer when I took part in ecstatic celebrations.

I didn’t bother to record those exquisite moments. Life just passed by like a whirlwind, so did the moments of joy but memories do percolate within us and I am glad they keep coming back.

Do joys drown in the years that pass by? Do we get jaded with celebrations? Some serene faces loom on the canvas of my mind, reminding me of the calm pleasure, which could only be seen and felt. Have I joined that band?

Have I understood the difference between getting charmed or entertained and deriving eternal pleasure from moments of celebration?

While we celebrate with fireworks, wine, food, hugs, gifts… what stays with us is the feeling, the emotion, the reverence we had experienced at that moment.

Realities and reflections merge to infuse new light and energy into us…we look forward to more occasions, more such moments.

A true celebration is that wondrous moment, which we had been yearning for, standing before us, beaming at us and asking what now…that sweet melody we hear within us when we accomplish our goal, that song which erupts in our heart when we see a dream fulfilled, that shimmer we see at the face of our little one when we smile at her little feats and big endeavors.

All the magnificently wrapped gifts fade in front of emotional joys we experience in the company of family, friends and a life brimming with contentment.

Do you value the gifts that come free with life?

Read more about such gifts…683 words

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.


 

#writephoto The Power Of Invitation

passage

Each step evoked emphatic emotion
Indecisiveness stopped me as I wavered
Love impelled me towards the door
Gleaming glow attracted as hope soared

Memories came gliding down the railing
One after the other like siblings smiling
Laughter reverberated around me
All those celebrations I could see

The staircase was suddenly alive
With music and numerous sounds
Confetti came softly swaying down
Out of nowhere…embellishing my gown

I knew forgiveness lay behind the door
It was finally open…
The glistening gleams beckon
And I enter with dreams to reckon

Soft steps towards familiar faces
Moist eyes, passionate hugs
Years of separation melt within hours
Thanksgiving invitation empowers!
© Balroop Singh.

I owe gratitude to Sue Vincent for an inspiring photoprompt, which was too hard to resist!

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.