Thursday, February 18, 2010

And that’s why I love the snow !

For the past few days, it has been snowing rather steadily and continuously here in Ithaca… and I heard a lot of complaining voices and troubles faces, which was rather surprising for me… I realized soon that popular opinion about this constant snowfall is not similar to what I feel, and I made a list of reasons behind my complete adoration for the snow…

1. Snowfall ( at least for a first-timer like me) is a heavenly feeling. You always see those mythological TV shows wherein gods float on clouds and everything around is white and fluffy. The nature of the landscape in steady snowfall is as close to that as it can get.

2. Snowfall (as against the rains) is SO damn quiet! There is no deafening roar that you have to endure. Instead, you have a gentle caress of feather-light snowflakes, as if mother nature is showering you with happiness.

3. Your belongings and clothes don’t get wet at all ! People living in places like Mumbai would totally understand this point when everytime during monsoons you have to put in painstaking efforts to protect every tiny bit of your backpack and clothes. And yet, invariably, you reach everywhere ( that includes classes, hostel-mess and your own room) with clothes half-drenched and ink in your notebooks doing a randomwalk…

4. Snowfall gives you tons of opportunities to play around, have fun! Having snow-fights, building snow-man, making your firm footprints in nice, thick and clean snowbed, observing beautiful tiny snowflakes and their fractal nature, disturbing beautiful snow-patterns on bushes, looking at huge icicles formed in the vallies and gorges and enjoying the view of frozen water-bodies are just few of the luxuries that this weather offers.

5. Unlike rains, the snow dries out fast. Of course, the snow on the grass (at the sides) doesn’t melt easily, but the walkways and the footpaths are dry the next day after the snowfall. This means that while walking, you don’t have to worry about ditches as puddles ( at least not as much as in the rains) and shoes getting completely wet .

6. Usually snowfall means comparitively milder version of cold. This makes the weather much more favorable when it’s snowing…

7. While walking at night, it’s so beautiful to watch the snow on the sides of the walkways shimmering in the dim glow of streetlights…

Of course, there are some downsides to snowfall like slush and slippery surfaces. It’s unpleasant when it’s windy.. but things like these are too feeble to match any of the perks that it offers…

And that’s why I love the snow !

Sunday, February 14, 2010


(पहाटेच्या शांत वेळी सुचलेल्या काही ओळी..)

गर्द भीषण तिमिरातून
कळी प्राचीची उमलली
उजळल्या आशा जणू
पुनवेच्या क्षितिजापरी

धीर गंभीर तो रवी
आणि त्याची ती प्रभा
सृष्टीचे ते नवे रूप
आणि ती नवी शोभा

- मिहीर

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Do we need the “Days” ?

Well, I have had this thought picking my head several times before… But I never really got down organizing my thoughts..But recently, I was reminded of that again, by someone’s facebook said : (on India’s republic day): “Do we need a special day to show our patriotism?” (the comment was referring to fervid status messages that people had kept on facebook that day)

As I said, that started a train of thought in my mind: the same kind of objection had been raised in past against valentines day too, when many (self-proclaimed) “protectors of Indian culture” had taken it on themselves to vandalize whatever there was, that was related to this day. There were other instances too..

Do we really need the “Days” ? Of course, on the face of it, acts do look really shallow. Take the facebook example for instance. Many would argue that all those fervid fanatics keeping those status messages on republic day would forget everything about it the very next day. Isn’t it better instead that they keep that “spirit” in their minds throughout the year, without having to show it fervently to everybody?

Well, my answer to that is: I wish it were that simple…YES, ideally, we would like everybody to keep that spirit alive all through the year, making them take steps accordingly in their everyday lives: following civic rules, coming out clean, making their locality a better place to live..

Ideally, we wouldn’t want a single women’s day in the year.. we would definitely like to have people bear in their minds all throughout the year the place of a woman in a society, her aura, her importance…

Ideally, we wouldn’t want a single world environment day in a year.. Ideally, we would undoubtedly want people to categorically inculcate green practices in their lifestyle and help fight the problems that the earth, and in turn, we are facing..

Ideally , we wouldn’t want a single world health day in a year.. same goes for world labour day, world AIDS day and the list is limitless..

But, we still need them. Because we, as a community, have a very short memory and need to be constantly reminded of what we believe in, and to discipline ourselves into doing what we set out to do.. May be those people on facebook would soon forget about republic day. But without it, they would not give it a thought even for a brief span of days that they remembered it instead. And the same goes for all other days.

Days serve their purpose. A select few do take up something that they would continue for the rest of the year. Few at least remember it for a few days around that occasion. Other ignorants at least know about it, and may be, some time in future might take it up. An apparently shallow practice, but a must for a community.