Passing through…

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Cemeteries. Graveyards,  Burial grounds, Memorials, Gardens of Remembrance.

Words that affect people in different ways. And I don’t think I’m the only person on the planet who likes walking through a graveyard. I love the silence, the serenity that comes from a place where (I hope) people are truly at peace. Every Tombstone stands as a testament to a life, sometimes lives lived. Entire generations, who probably never met whilst on their sojourn on this plane of existence, have a final rendezvous.

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There’s a rather large historical cemetery quite near where I live. And it’s one of my favourite places for an afternoon walk, or as of last weekend for a photo op. The weather gods determined it was fit to allow a few hours of blissful sunlight after weeks of cranky, mouldy weather, so I grabbed my camera and sauntered off to explore a part of the cemetery I hadn’t been to before.

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There’s a quaint charm to an old graveyard. You’ve got the newer sections that are relatively well maintained, parts where you have sinking headstones and cracked family vaults. And as you walk along reading names, dates and epitaphs, you could just about visualise what their lives were like. The people they loved, and left behind. Memorials to fallen soldiers, beloved aunts, the women who served during the blitz, the children who were snatched by the reaper long before their time was up.

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A sane person would tell me I should be upset that life is brief. And yet, walking through the tombstones makes me feel more alive than ever. Because all around, I see a celebration of life. Of people cherished and remembered with fondness, with families ensuring their names last long after they’re gone and long after the grandchildren stop visiting. The brevity of our existence is a reminder to cherish and celebrate every second we get. We all live on borrowed time, and if we were to be told just how much time we have left, we’d do a much better job at planning it. But that’s the catch isn’t it? No one knows the magic number. And that perhaps, is for the best.

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When I Think Of Death

When I think of death, and of late the idea has come with alarming frequency, I seem at peace with the idea that a day will dawn when I will no longer be among those living in this valley of strange humors.

I can accept the idea of my own demise, but I am unable to accept the death of anyone else.

I find it impossible to let a friend or relative go into that country of no return.

Disbelief becomes my close companion, and anger follows in its wake.

I answer the heroic question ‘Death, where is thy sting? ‘ with ‘ it is here in my heart and mind and memories.’

Maya Angelou

P.S: On a cheerier note, a good place for baby names, if anyone was looking…

 

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Cool Beans & Frozen Lentils

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One of the many things I love about moving to new places, is the chance to learn a new lingua franca. The colloquial, if you prefer. There are so many nuances to different places, and exploring them is a whole new adventure.

From the blank look on your face when you hear a new phrase to the wonderful highs of explaining phrases you’ve picked up elsewhere to others.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have lived in a few different places and to have been exposed to different cultures and ways of thinking. From the quiet, respectful glances of the Arabs to the chalta hai – attitude of the Indians to the culture of queuing up in London (this one wasn’t as easy!). Once you learn to keep an eye out and observe the world around you, you begin to notice these little snippets that can tell you so much about people and places, how they are intricately intertwined, and neither can exist without the other.

Getting back to my title, Cool Beans was a new one for me. And new = looking it up on google. It still doesn’t make sense, but at least I don’t look like a total tool when people say it. I did have a conversation with a friend about how odd it sounded and his opinion was that frozen lentils would sound weirder.  There also happens to be vegan restaurant by that name somewhere!!

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How’s tricks? Would be another one. The first time around, I seriously thought someone assumed the fact that I had a dog named Tricks! Had I not been this lazy, I probably would have looked up the history on these, but to be honest, they are hilarious enough to overlook. You don’t always need to know why.

I still haven’t figured out where I’d like this blog to go, but it does seem like a great place to get some thoughts down and more organised. When I first started blogging years ago, whilst in college, the blog was primarily a place for me to publish my short stories and opinion pieces on current events. This one could be similar or take a new direction altogether. I probably need some more time to decide, but then again, I could just leave this as an everything blog. We spend most of our life in daylight masquerading as someone else, maybe this could be my way of making sense of it. Let’s see where this goes!

P.S: If i do get a dog, the name would be a coin toss between Jeeves and Tricks!