The Komodo dragon(The Daily Post discover challenge – Animal)

Weekly Discover Challenge

Human beings have a common phobia of sorts for reptiles in general . Perhaps it is something to do with their general appearance , that is, to be honest, rather creepy, fear inducing or even repulsive at times, no offence meant (!!). Or may be it is the way they drag their weight around ,  quite literally (!) on their short podgy limbs; or sometimes the lack of it, that makes them less appealing to us humans. The myths and rumors surrounding them and their poisonous fangs, might just add to the nature of this fear or hatred as you may deem acceptable.

The Komodo dragon is one such fear inducing reptile that one only sees in one’s worse nightmares, as that four legged monster chasing you while your body stays paralyzed and incapable to respond.

My opinion on this creature was not very different… well..until I happened to see one for real here in Indonesia. Komodo dragons or Komodo monitor is a large species of lizard native to the islands of Indonesia. And so it does not come as a surprise that on one of our recent visits to a tourist  attraction  called  Taman Mini here in Indonesia,  we had the good fortune of encountering a Komodo Dragon for real.

Well, it was not out in the open, and no I did not touch it . It was within the confines of a large enclosure . One solitary dragon, lazing under the afternoon sun.

As I stood there watching this gigantic lizard with awe, all my repulsion melted away… and I saw it as  beautiful as it really was…

Just as I was about to turn away giving up any hope of making it leave it’s cozy spot, it stirred. And there it was slowly but steadily trudging past the small ravine and making it’s way to me, the glass shield being the only barrier between us. It watched me with the same curiosity with which I gazed at him. And then it seemed I had passed his test, for he decided to lie down  on the grass  besides me as I sat on the other side of the glass barrier,   my fingers trying to reach out…

At that moment I did not see a carnivore that feeds on other birds and animals, or one that is known to attack human beings at times. I just saw a calm, gentle creature that wanted to be loved or perhaps was aching for some company…

Or as most people would say it, it was the glass that made all the difference !

 

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Hello from Indonesia

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Hey all my dearies…

First of all I owe you all a big big apology for having kept away from the blogosphere for a really long time , almost an year, well, with an exception of a random poem here and there. The last one year has been one roller coaster ride and that involved lots and lots of travelling and socializing !

Well, the last time I posted I had told you about our move to the southern part of India and now believe it or not, I am writing this post from a place far away from India, Jakarta, Indonesia….

Yes, we have just moved into Jakarta a month back for an official course of my better half, who as most of you already know is in the army.

Well, so we will be in this part of the world for some time now and so I thought this is the best opportunity to get back to what I love – blogging. Being in a new place, one is exposed to so many different experiences, a whole new culture, language and food. So I thought I should take to sharing my pictures and experiences of this place with all my sincere followers and blogger friends who have patiently continued to follow me despite my obvious absence from the blogging scene.

In fact, last December we had traveled to South Africa and I had so many pictures to share with you all but my busy schedule as an army wife prevented me from doing so.

Anyway I thank all my friends for staying with me and all my new followers too for their support.I hope to be more consistent with my  blogging now that I have a little more time on my hands. Cannot wait to hear from you all.

Hope you enjoy the slideshow of a few random pictures taken here in Jakarta…

till then

warm regards

sweety

 

A village tour

Time is flying by fast. And I have already completed a month in this beautiful part of India. Another month and then I am off with my suitcases again. But before I let go , I am trying to soak in as much as possible from this lovely land.

My walks through these hills have always been rewarding and when I get back , I shall have a whole lot of pictures to treasure forever.

These green golden hills and cottony clouds can make anybody a poet and inspire any one to write. But words will never be enough. On one such walks I visited a village nearby and tried capturing the rustic life of the villagers through my camera. The population is sparse and I barely got a glimpse of a villager !

Hope you enjoy this tour :

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Collecting firewood which is the main source of energy for cooking and other purposes. I loved the hand made basket to collect the firewood .

 

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Cane and bamboo form the raw material which meet the requirements of everyday life-from house building to making baskets, fishing traps, items of dress, construction of suspension bridges, religious paraphernalia, etc. Basketry is an important craft of the people of Arunachal , which is exclusicely reserved for men , while women control the textile weaving.

  

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A villager I captured candidly while he came to collect firewood .
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Notice the long sword like knife called the ‘Dah’ used to chop wood ..

 CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ‘DAH’ OR ‘DHA’.

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The ‘make shift’ gate of the local school here.

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The building behind is the school .

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Ten points to prove that shifting places and new postings can be fun !

Life of an army wife is no different from a nomad’s . We literally live off suitcases . No home is our home forever . We move . We stay . And just as we fall in love with a place , we pack up and leave again .

Life is not stable , never static . It is action packed for life , or at least till we choose for it to be . 

There are many of us , who enjoy it , while a few of us don’t . This shifting of base , every two or three years comes with a lot of benefits and unfortunately with a few negatives as well . But then , it depends on you , whether you want to see the glass half full or half empty .

Here are TEN   points to prove that new postings and constant shifts have their benefits :

1. Getting to see new places : This of course  may sound like a cliché , but it is indeed the truth . A defence life is the best way to travel across the length and breadth of the country and sometimes even , abroad , without much of an effort or expense . Defence wives , particularly Army wives , can boast of a rich travel experience , including in depth knowledge about the culture and cuisine , of different places , sometimes , the most uninhabited and  far off lands too ! So if you are looking for new adventures everyday , get married to an army officer , and you are sure to have one !

2. Collection of handicrafts  from across the country : Visit an army house , and it will prove this. Whether it is the artifacts , local handicrafts , an exquisitely furnished center  table or a leather bean bag ! We have it all . Each time you visit a new place , or get posted to one , it provides one with ample opportunities to make a collection of  the unique cultural exhibits of that place .

3. A unique collection of Sarees and other dress materials : Every army wife makes it a point to shop for  clothes , especially handcrafted sarees , specially designed dress materials etc from the place where they are posted . India , being a country rich in  a variety of colors and crafts , offers  a wonderful shopping opportunity to one and all . The need is to explore these places and crafts ,  and as far as army wives are concerned , it all all ready made for them !

4. Ready made vacations : Every new place you get posted to ,  has a list of weekend getaways already tried and tested by your predecessors  ( army officers and families have the unique ability to find spots for picnics , even in the most inhospitable areas ! ) and you just need to follow the ready made itinerary and

have fun .

5. Tension free schooling : In most places , there are Army schools and Central schools that enable your kids to continue their education hassle free , even in a ‘middle of the year’ posting .

6. Adaptable kids : Most parents in the defence life , are often worried about their kid’s education and the fact that their child’s overall development may be hampered when they travel so often  , and get into the ‘not -so-good’ schools . But , if one does  look around , it goes without a doubt that Army kids are smarter , more flexible and adaptable than their civil counterparts . They adjust to new surroundings faster and also cope better with stress in school and outside , owing to the unpredictable nature of their father’s occupation .

7. New homes : The main change that comes with every new posting is a new house , different , similar , inferior or superior to the previous one . This has its advantage in the fact that , you tend to ‘de-clutter’ your home every two years , (each time you shift ! ) and try to avoid collecting junk at home , compared to your civil counterparts , who while living a stable life , tend to keep collecting unwanted stuff , over the years .

8.New neighbors and new friends : Every new posting comes with a lot of new neighbors and friends , which adds more fun to life . Besides , the fact that we would leave in a few year’s time , makes us more tolerant to ‘bad’ neighbors too !

9. New Jobs :Though a lot of women complain  about the instability ,  in the lives of their army men , to be the main cause for them not being able to pursue their respective careers , I personally feel that a lot of  these places do provide ample job opportunities , and the short service period prevents you from getting bored with your job .  Besides , these days online jobs and freelancing can be carried on uninterrupted  , in all areas with a stable net connection .  Teaching is ,  without doubt the best career option of Army wives , and most army cantonments have a school , where you can do so , conveniently .

10.Variety is the spice of life : A new place removes the monotony from our life and adds spice to our romantic lives too .

With new places to explore each time and new adventures to indulge in , life can be anything but boring .

So cheer up !

Trials and tribulations

Life is always so unpredictable ! Well , at least when you are a soldier’s wife all the more . Many of my friends have asked me how I handle being so far away from my better  half , so frequently , when they cannot  even imagine a day without their’s . Well I think life teaches you a lot of things the hard way…

When I was a newly wed army wife (or lady wife as referred to in the army ! ), I had similar opinions as them . I was a naive girl , who was afraid to stay all alone in  a house , or even travel by myself ! I was brought up in a metro city , yet I hadn’t really ventured out to far away places on my own …

Yet , today things have changed…I have traveled alone to far off places , even on International trips with a two year old toddler , dangling by my side . I have  now stayed alone , for nights in old , dilapidated bungalows (that belonged to the Nizam’s army ) and stayed without talking to my Husband for days (owing to poor mobile connectivity ! ).

I would be lying  , if I were to say I am not afraid anymore. I am still afraid , still jittery , but I have learnt to face my fears now .  One’s success is not in being ‘unafraid’ but in being aware of one’s fears and preparing to conquer them .

I guess , in the Army  life we do not have a choice . Sometimes if you want to be with your husband , even if it means only for a short while , you are willing to go that extra mile , just to see that smile on the face of your daughter /son  , when she/he meets her dad and vice versa .

Every time I go through a long , tiresome journey  to meet him , my heart is  filled with excitement and happiness , and in the face of these emotions , the weaker emotions like fear , nervousness and discomfort take a back seat .

Some of my friends belonging to a civilian life (as in non army background )  , call me brave , to have married an army officer . But honestly , I am not being brave , I am just adapting… and so will anybody else in my place.

Every human being had this innate instinct to adapt to his/her surroundings and this adaptability is essential for survival . So no matter what situation one is in , there is always a way out , if not , we can create it .

Most of modern day inventions and innovations today are a result of this adapation . It is the very life force that makes a drowning man , hold on to the next available thing to cling on to , so that he can keep afloat .

This life force is present in all of us , just that many of us do not realize it and give up on things quickly. It is when life gets tough , that we realize our true strengths , our capabilities. Of course it does depend from one person to another , as to how you emerge at the end of the hurricane . Some break down , while others grow stronger and more resilient .

Being an army officer’s wife it will , without doubt be the latter .

The other day I was watching the interview of an army wife , who lost her husband , in a military operation  an year ago . What I saw in her eyes were not , tears of a  dejected woman who was now a widow , rather a sense of immense pride  and fortitude that would have moved even the hardest of hearts . She was smiling and eloquent through out  and the nation salutes her stoicism.

She didn’t choose her destiny , especially when she had a four year old daughter by her side , yet she faced it with dignity. She rose from the ashes , much like the mythical Phoenix  , with a vengeance . 

From where does she draw her strength..? How did she manage to keep such a cheerful disposition ,in the face of such  heart wrenching  trauma . Now , that is what I call the life force . The inner strength , that guides all , yet only a few care to listen .

 Everyone has their fears , their problems , their anxieties , but do not let these conquer you , instead , learn to cheat them and be a winner . .. I am still on my way ..

Here is a link to that interview if you want to have a look . It is truly inspiring…….. :

 http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/the-buck-stops-here/india-should-see-the-man-mukund-was-not-my-sorrow-martyr-s-wife-to-ndtv/354130?pfrom=nri_videowidget_cat_5

TRAVEL THEME – FREEDOM (Freedom in nature)

Freedom , means a state of not being imprisoned or enslaved , be it for a human being or an animal … Here are a few images that speak  FREEDOM , from my point of view :

PYKARA LAKE ,OOTY , INDIA
PYKARA LAKE ,OOTY , INDIA
BANDIPUR NATIONAL PARK ,KARNATAKA ,INDIA
BANDIPUR NATIONAL PARK , KARNATAKA ,INDIA
The 'Free Birds' !
The ‘Free Birds’ !
The vast open sea .... Andaman &Nicobar Islands ,INDIA
The vast open sea …. Andaman &Nicobar Islands ,INDIA
The unrelenting stream , Arunachal Pradesh ,India
The unrelenting stream , Arunachal Pradesh ,India

 For more pictures on ‘Freedom’ , please click HERE .