Antelope Run

BLK 2010 107

 

An eclectic collection of wild synergism
touted on blackened walls for cigar smoking gallery-goers.
Giant heads of antelope Gods that were once awake to mortal earth.
Now a priceless collection of the dead bearing grave witness to herds
of timeless gazelles flocked around a thinning lake under a Ponderosa pine.

These Artful even-toed antelopes outrunning a riled tiger; a mortal chase of the hunter and the hunted. Anything is game. Dust rises, dirt settles, a daily
test of brawn’s against keen feet. The winner wins life, the bloodied succumbs.
Smell of thorny trees and raw flesh drags its pungent feet across the forest in heat. Whilst the king of the jungle stretches for a sleepy reprieve tired of the macabre dance. The grass is too thin and dry to cloak life. The herds of antelopes have long since dispersed like the smell of prey in the wind. From a distance a sharp hunter fires his aim; eye of the tiger. Obliterating
traces of “how”, “when”, “what” and “if”. This is nature at its wildest, the winner wins life and the loser take its place on the wall; a prized possession.

Inspired by Daily Post

The story of a girl who never looked back

NoLookingBackThis post is dedicated to sharing the true story of a young woman, who through her continued efforts, and her “never give up” attitude, is an absolute inspiration and testimony of the insurmountable power of human will. Part of what makes this story so special is because it hits so close to home and the other part because it proves how life teaches us to do extraordinary things even in the face of the worst of adversities and mishaps.

We have all heard of the inspiring stories of great personalities like Hellen Keller, Marlee Matlin, Christopher Reeve, Franklin Roosevelt and other such famous personalities, this however is a story of an ordinary person who continues to achieve extraordinary achievements in face of some trying difficulties.

I can never forget the night I first met Shivani Gupta. Shivani was my sister’s classmate and they had just turned twenty two and recently completed their Bachelor degree in Hotel Management. Shivani had thrown a party at her house, and was over at ours, to pick my sister for the party. It was the first time I was meeting Shivani, and I was instantly enamored by her, not just because she is an absolutely lovely girl, but because she has such a larger than life personality. She was the cheeriest person I met, and the moment she walked in, she met us all as if we were old friends. I believe such is her charm, because Shivani meets everyone with so much vigor and joy, it’s as though she is telling the world, and “Here I am!”

That night the car that my sister and Shivani were traveling in (on way to the party) met with an accident and Shivani was dislodged out of the car and thrown onto the road outside. She was immediately taken to a hospital and received emergency care. The next morning the doctors declared the accident had rendered Shivani a paraplegic from the neck downward.

It is unfathomable how a single night can change life forever. From a young girl, ready to take the world in her stride, she had to learn to gain her mobility and freedom back. Through all the physical pain and mental anguish, somehow Shivani pulled the strength to not only follow her dreams but she continues to amaze her friends and family by taking her dreams further every day. Life again threw her a curve ball when years later she met with another motor accident and lost the love of her life – her husband. However it is through her strong spirit and iron-will that she persevered and decided to write the story of her life in a very positive and inspirational book called “No Looking back”.

Since the accident Shivani has been a strong proponent for improving accessibility for handicaps in India she is the recipient of several awards such as Helen Keller Award (2008), CavinKare Ability Master Award (2008), National Role Model Award (2004), Neerja Bhanot Award (2004), Red and White Bravery Award (1999) and Sulabh International Woman of the Year Award (1996). She has also co-authored several books published by the Government on the issue of accessibility for the differently abled, which is a book used by architects and designers.

Shivani is also the founder for AccessAbility; a consultancy firm for promoting physical accessibility in India. While Shivani continues to work at spreading awareness for promoting equal opportunities for the disabled in India, she continues to be open to writing, and would like to write a PhD thesis in the near future. In a recent interview, when asked what the driving force was for her towards becoming the leading accessibility consultants in India, Shivani responded,

“Life is not easy for anybody but it has been more challenging for me. The most important thing that drove me to not give up was my desire to be independent and self-reliant. It is only after becoming disabled that I realized the value and importance of independence in my life. It may seem just like a regular aspect of life to most people but as a disabled person, I have struggled each day to maintain it. Being self-reliant became a second nature to me. After my second accident, I had no other option except to continue being so. Sitting back broken in spirit was just not an option.”

There is a lot more to Shivani’s story that cannot be shared in this small post, my hope is simply that we may all learn and be inspired by the truly great people amongst us. Life deals us all with a hand of cards, to which we have no control, but in the end the winners are people who don’t waste time regretting the cards they were dealt with, but go out and make the best of everything they got. If you are interested in learning more about Shivani, feel free to check her book, “No Turning Back” now on amazon. (http://www.amazon.com/No-Looking-Back-True-Story/dp/8129129132/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409611158&sr=8-1&keywords=no+looking+back+-+shivani).

It’s a wine thing!

Not too long ago I visited Malibu Wines which is a beautiful winery that offers wine tasting options along with a sunny outdoor locale. The best part about this place is the setting which offers an amazing view to the valley (very picturesque). They welcome you to pack yourself a picnic and order wine from here, it makes for an excellent time. Enjoy the pictures!

Malibu Wines

Malibu Wines

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This is not an empty wine bottle. Its how they serve water. :)

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A wine fountain

A wine fountain

Inspired by Weekly Photo Challenge

Lamposts

My mind swims with thoughts of sweet escape;
as days fuse into seasons and seasons glow like
lampposts of life. Each year these lampposts get closer,
glowing with an eerie halo of winter mist. Spring and summer
have waltzed out and fall creeps behind the curtain with tired feet.

I have stopped reading the world in rolled up newspapers,
or counting time with a cuckoo’s tick-tock, tick-tock. Even this bitter
coffee can’t do enough to wake me out my reveries. My heart is like
bees that would forever hang on to the morning, sucking the nectar of youth.
Aah youth that has escaped, like a cloud of hot steam hovering over the whining kettle.

Fray

Here is a glimpse of Goa in Monsoons. Thanks to the rains, nature has OD’d (overdosed) on colors. These pictures were shared to me by my sister who recently visited Goa. I thought these pictures suited perfectly for this week’s Photo Challenge.

Photos courtesy Viraj Thakur

India Trip 534

Random Insect

India Trip 515

A beautiful view of palm trees

India Trip 681

Fisherman’s boat parked on the shore

India Trip 523

Blue insect against the backdrop of green moss

India Trip 540

Banana tree

India Trip 662

Fisherman’s wharf

Point Dume

photo 5
photo 3 photo 2You would have to know the hills
well enough to spot this dirt path
that meanders for miles across the
hills, like a dog aimlessly chasing sea
gulls in mid flight.

Even the cool breeze is drunk on sea
salt, and wears the guise of a flower
girl today who runs with her arms
stretched wide trying to catch life
with both her hands.

These hills that stand tall and erudite, these
too have known to heel obediently like the
tired, thirsty dog that heels and then leaps into
the water for a swim; they too bow down and
taper into this rocky path that meets the deep
blue.

Here everything is forever Zen. The golden
shore studded with piles of rocks like a
crowned queen languishing in her reprieve
while the waves adorn her feet with green
anklets of sea weed.

Overhead fly a poem of birds in practised
symphony, offering a silent praise to this
prairie of priceless perfection.