Squigglum

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I was going through my Google Photos account when I came across these beautiful photos of my late pet hamster Montu aka Squigglum. These were taken in Summer of 2013. I had lost my camera on my flight while coming back from India. If you want read about my experience then click here.

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So I had rented a DSLR camera from the university to take Montu’s snaps. She was so hard to photograph, I had to take over 80 photos. But she looks so cute in each of them. I just had to share a few ūüôā

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Happy Friendship Day

I first started blogging in the year 2009. I had completed my undergrad and was transferred to a new city for my work. It was the first time I was living so far away from my friends and family. One of my most popular initial blogs was the one written on Friendship day in 2009. I remember it was a hot August afternoon, and even though it was a Sunday, the weather of Chennai kept me indoors. I labored an entire day on making the collage (the easy online collage softwares were not available yet or I didn’t know about them) and writing the blog. ¬†However, the worst thing about blogging at your office blog is that once you leave the job¬†you no longer have any access to it. Thankfully I had saved mine in an email because it was so popular and because it had catapulted me into the office blogosphere (as they called it). So here you go… a glimpse of my life from 2009…

Yesterday night the first Friendship text I received was from my mother at 7:30p.m.

Later, I called her up and came to know that she received the text from one of her dearest friends, a colleague of hers, who was under the impression that 01 August is the friendship day.
She told me she sent me the text as it might come handy when I will send Friendship messages to my friends… It was then that it struck me that this is the first time that I’m away from all of my friends… first time that I’m not tying friendship bands on the wrists of anyone…
I remember, when I was in school, there would be frenzy about Friendship Day. For weeks we’d be sitting with different colored threads of wool and making friendship bands for our friends… As we grew up, the wool bands were replaced by more happening friendship bands available in shops… but the excitement surrounding friendship day never diminished. Every year, invariably, my friends and I would forget the exact date for Friendship Day (at that point of time we didn’t yet know that it was the first Sunday of August). So we’d end up celebrating either on 2nd or 6th August. As I write, I wonder why at that point of time it was so difficult for us to remember a date… 

Slowly, the ‚ÄėAfter-School Ice-cream Parties‚Äô were replaced by ‚ÄėGet Together‚Äôs at CCD, Barista or some happening shopping mall with a decent food court. But the excitement surrounding friendship day never diminished‚Ķ¬†

Even in college we had the hell of a time celebrating friendship day… 

Just as I was sinking in this realization, I received an SMS from Airtel. ‚ÄúAny messages you send on 2 Aug, Friendship Day, is going to be charged at Re 0.50/msg‚ÄĚ. So the flurry of ‚Äėtext¬†activity‚Äô started from yesterday night only!¬†

It was already 11:30, and I was running against time!! Sending texts to the countless number of friends whose numbers I had saved on my mobile was itself a daunting task… add to that replies, replying back, replies to replying back, and replying back to replies to replying back … and so on 

Over time,

money became trivial to friendship…
sleep was sacrificed for friendship…

But my cell is only a Nokia 1100. It couldn’t understand all these philosophy
It started flashing ‚ÄúNo space for new messages‚ÄĚ warning.¬†

I don’t remember when I got back to sleep… but I woke up at 11:45 a.m. with 8 unread messages in my Inbox. (must have deleted some messages before going to sleep) The first thing I did was to call up my dearest friends and then send friendship messages to all the other friends, whose phone numbers I didn’t have, through social networking websites.. Everyone was asking me how will I spend the day… I had a plan… though I can’t meet my friends today, I can cherish the memories of all times spent together… and what better way to do that than watching some old snaps… 

As I was going through the photos an idea struck me! What if I collage all these snaps and send it over to my friends… that way even they would know that I’ve been thinking about them and missing them… So here you get a glimpse of my memories, of my friends.

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Lots of pictures of my mother and my sister, the two pillars, who have taught me the meaning of friendship. The cute dog you see in the picture is my ‚Äėbundle of joy‚Äô, my Tashi. Today her soul rests in heavenly abode, but she‚Äôll always be there with me. But my favorite cats¬†and countless other animals I had growing up are missing in these snaps. These lovely creatures have made my world of friendship so colorful.

Lastly, as I miss my old friends, I must admit that I’ve also made loads of new ones in Chennai. I may not tie friendship bands on their wrists, or I may not have loads of snaps to make a collage with… but their picture in etched with care on the Friendship Album inside my heart. Through this blog I wish everyone a very Happy Friendship Day!! Enjoy to the fullest and make loads of memories. All the best!!

P.S. I’m yet to receive the feedback from my friends on this collage… will surely let you know once they come in.. In the mean time I’m banking on your feedback.

Coming back to 2014: I have lived away from my family ever since I moved out in 2009, returning back only for short durations for vacations. I have lost many friendships and at the same time, come across countless new friends. Now¬†I have a whole new theory of friendship than the one I had as a child in school or even as a new adult in 2009¬†which¬†can be summed up in a singular quote by Jim Morrison, “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself“.

So when since Saturday afternoon I started getting a flurry of Friendship day messages from my mother, sister and dearest school friends (the beautiful girls in the snap above), I was reminded of this¬†writeup. As I read through it I decided that I am posting this one¬†here because I realized that no matter how much we grow up¬†the feelings remain the same… Even after so many years we still feel nostalgic about the friendship bands… every August for one day we complain that we are so far away. With the internet and the online text and video chatting facilities the¬†world has become a very connected place, but, at the same time, days like today remind us that these are not enough!

 

A small boy and his little dog

There is a funny story with this snap. I was in Lisbon, Portugal and it was our first day there. My partner was getting day bus passes from a convenience store (incidentally, the store owners were Indian) and I was waiting outside for him. The father of the little boy was also getting something from there and this little guy¬†was outside, just like me,¬†playing with his¬†little Yorkie. I, of people, can appreciate having pets since childhood and it was undoubtedly the cutest sight. I wanted to capture him talking with his dog, the dog sometimes responding and sometimes¬†not, they both getting tangled in the red leash. It was so amusing. I started filming them with my iPhone. Only when it was time for me to leave and I wanted to stop the video, I figured that I had not started it in the first place. Since I have a memory ‘like a sieve’, I am obsessed with capturing moments so that I do not forget them (I think that is one of the primary reasons¬†I’m obsessed with photography). So before leaving I took this snap. This experience is¬†one of the highlights of my Europe trip, equivalent to Wordsworth’s daffodils to me. What a bonus that the pup is looking at me!

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little boy and his little dog

Pink Flowers

Since my photography posts are becoming so popular and getting so many likes I decided to post another one. The UNL campus is bursting with flowers of every color from every corner. This year has been the most pleasant summer in Lincoln since 2011. I’m enjoying every moment of my last few¬†weeks here.

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sidewalks bursting with blossoms

The gorgeous skies of Lincoln, NE

We had a few thunderstorms last month and the skies were always gorgeous, pregnant with dense clouds, sometimes just before or after a shower. All the photos are taken at dawn around 5:00am on different days.

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crossing the road near Beadle Center

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beautiful clouds taken from near the Assurity Center

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the parking lot between Morrill Hall and UNL CREC

Check my previous post on Lincoln skies here.

A Host of Wild Flowers (2)

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Wild Flowers, UNL City Campus

Last year I had posted a snap of the same flowers on my blog and, guess what, while giving a title to this post I independently came up with the same name! Check out the one from last year here.