Up,up and away.

Wisdom is no more relegated to the places we desginate them from. You know, sometimes, wise words would overpour from unexpected placed, like a toddler’s scroll book. Moments to cherish whirl away like scattering baloons in the blink of an eye before it metamorphoses into a memory. As Antione de Saint-Exupery put it, ” It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. “
You might already would have deciphered that I’m trying to brew some philosophy through the title of this post while Ehanu is looking at a chapter in his mickey story book with the same title. We are all kids disguised as adults at the end of the day. Aren’t you : ) If you’re reading this, you are.

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.

William Feather

place in the world

My mind these days typically revolve around the lil one and the experiences to be kindled. If he’s the earth, I’m the satellite of moon around him. Often as we grow older, the beautiful soul of a child with fierce demeanor and curiosity to explore dwindle away in the chaotic flood of normalcy, notions and routines. The round pegs in the square holes are always cast away. Curiosity is the arsenal of discovery and learning. Rose Wilder Lane once told that curiosity is the hunger of the human mind. In my vision of this initiative, I had expounded that one of the salient aspects of this corpus of writings has always been to kindle this childish curiosity we are born with. As I pen these words, that’s telling that I yearn for that inquisitiveness. I’m writing and working on art to keep the fire and flame afloat. Boundless curiosity and open minds are doors to a sea of depth, broadness and reason. One way of staying alive is to ensure that this is not being robbed off our souls. God bless.

Ehan pondering on the aquatic universe | principal photography & styling: theborderofamind.com

.. “Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.”

Mae Jemison

encrust

Encrust | Video

23 Apr 2022 – Time flies. It’s been one year. The little one who used to lie down with a smile on the craddle is now crawling and moving around. The year that passed has been one of trials and the little one really has been a hope, direction and solace for us. The clock of one year came about fast as we count the little milestones and look at awe on how he’s exploring the world around him. I fondly remember the day when I held him near the window and he was wrapped in a blanket sleeping most of the time and with ocassionaly priceless teethless smiles and glances and the lovely fossette on his cheeks when he smiles. So much development is packed into the last year as I write this. Ehan is now tinkering and exploring the details of the toys around at a much more deeper level now. He’s much more attentive towards the birds at the balcony. His little teeths are propping up. His little brain inside his fluffly hair is growing and his personality and emotions are slowly taking shape. With the will of God, as he grows up and blossom, and we celebrate each momentous milestone in awe and gratitude, this note would serve as a memory of my thoughts in this transitory phase. We love you, Ehan. Ever grateful to Almighty for all the blessings. Thank you Just Bakes by Parvathy Gosh for the beautiful artistic cake.

Encrust

comfort bubbles.

From a stroll through Buyukada Islands in Turkey in 2016

“Comfort is a drug. Once you get used to it, it becomes addicting. Give a weak person consistent stimulation, good food, cheap entertainment and they’ll throw their ambitions right out the window. The comfort zone is where dreams go and die.”

Mind Journal

For everyone, there are these invisible bubbles around them. Within this bubble, there’s a safe haven of familiarity, safety, easiness and security. There’s a broad, wide world of experiences outside this bubble. Growth advances significantly during adversity, when we’re outside the bubble or when situations force us to delve out this bubble. Writer Shaa Zainol says in one of her writings that moving beyond of your comfort zone does not mean that you must grow outside of your familiar surroundings, but rather that you must try something new in order to add different gems to your life. It all begins with your own heart, which should resemble conviction, enthusiasm, and consistent determinations.
Peacefully tackling uncertainty outside the comfort bubble is a key to different beauties of life. Like how we perceive universe as so vast, so are the faculties of mind and to expand the boundaries. Even in small things, if we change our thoughts to be more embracing, more agile, that changes the way we see and handle things. God bless ! : )

nourishing the craft.

Delving deep into the inner depths of a creative process has always been my piece of cake. I get thoroughly excited by souls who put that extra effort to have a signature in everything they do. They have that inner enticement of fulfilling and perfecting their craft. In my view which could be limited, I personally believe technology blended with liberal arts has been the most path breaking combination that has had an enduring ascendancy on most creatives & the creative process. It’s said that in art, the creative process generally include stages of inspiration leading to percolation which paves the way for the preparation which eventually culminates to the creation and eventually the period of reflection. I have always felt that such stages are applicable for any sort of creative process. It could be a painter working on a thoughtful abstract, an engineer working on a technical solution to a structural impasse, a poet making finishing touches to a sagacious prose, a dancer choreographing a graceful slide, a sculptor chiseling an authentic portrait. It could be anyone. It could be you.

Spectators visiting pavilions at Expo 2020, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 2021



I’ve been flicking through some of the excerpts from the book ” The Meaning in the Making ” by the renowned photographer Sean Tucker. In it he outlines a philosophy for a creative life. I like his laser focus on the creative process. He writes:


“When we pick up a paintbrush, or compose elements through our camera viewfinders, or press fingers into wet clay to wrestle form from a shapeless lump, we are bending things back toward Order and wrestling them from Chaos. But making things is often not enough.

We also want the things we make to be filled with meaning. We’re each trying to describe what we know about life, to create a collective sense of “safety in numbers.” When we reach the end of our traditional descriptive powers, it’s time to weave collective meaning from poetry, painting, writing, dancing, photographing, filmmaking, storytelling, singing, animating, designing, performing, carving, sculpting, and a million other ways we daily create Order out of the Chaos and share it with each other for comfort.

— Sean Tucker , The Meaning in the Making

wanderlust.

It’s with much desolation that I read the news that Mr Vijayan is no more. He’s a tea seller from Kerala, India who travelled the world with his wife.

Wanderlust.

Copybook films has made a beautiful short film about them. It has been really inspiring and is deeply touching. It kind of supercharges your mind. Rest in peace.

Invisible Wings

breathing profundity

This would be a slice into the Ponder Series

“Breathing Profundity”

When I say that we’ve a lot of blessings that we don’t notice, it might appear poetic & looks like another philosophy post blooming. I would like you to think with me on breathing. Have you thought deeply and consciously about what a great blessing it is. I had been hospitalized with situations where it was difficult for me to catch my breath. I had put a note on that day in my diary to write about it many months later when I’d be fine and this is the day & boy I’ve thought a lot about it in depths through which I want to take you now : )

I’m not an expert to expound professional biology here, but the intention here is to unravel the magic happening inside you on a layman terms.

Try holding your breath for about 40 seconds. The beauty of breathing is that if you or me are put in a situation that we can’t breathe for more than about 40 seconds, we would give up everything we have just to breathe again. After a minute or so of not being able to breathe, we would be losing consciousness. Brain death would follow in about 3 minutes after that.

You’d have taken approximately about 7 breaths by the time you have reached reading till this line of my post with you not needing to do anything to facilitate it. Have you thought about the marvelous system within you enabling you to breathe. The air entering your lungs has been cleaned and a humidity regulation happens within your windpipe. Blood circulation from the lungs enables it to be conveyed to cells and are used for their nourishment and vital functions. Carbon Dioxide is received as a waste material and when we expel the breath, it is pushed out. We know the science, but have we thought about it and how fortunate we are to take a breath through this state of the art system inside. Breathing is a key to many important things happening within our body such as cell division, beating of our hearts, movement of muscles, thought etc. This process that we often relegate as a simple one represent the source of life of about 100 trillion cells in our body.

The gateway to the entire system is the nose. We often think of nose as the organ for detecting odour or smell. But they serve important functions such as making the air we breathe suitable for lungs. The nose has a perfect aerodynamic design and is a marvellous air conditioning system within itself. Nose has special filters inside in the form of hairs. Even its curvature has its design intent. The nasal mucus warms and moistens the air we intake. After the first level of filtration, the second filter it passes through is the mucus. Dust, bacteria and pollen are trapped. There are mobile propellants carrying mucus and they get swallowed in reflex and gets destroyed by stomach acids. Alternatively, they could be expelled by coughs. A pretty decent vigorous cough has a speed of 960 Km per hour. Have you thought about this safety precaution within you ? Hairlike structures called cilia line the mucous membrane and move the particles trapped in the mucus out of the nose. The tiny hair like structures called cilia on deeper examination is an engineering marvel. It forms a cylindrical rotor with nine different protein chains. It’s internal components resemble an engine. The next component is the windpipe.

Respiratory System – Artistic Illustration

The walls of the windpipe are supported by C-shaped rings of cartilage.If the windpipe had been made from flesh alone, the ensuing softness could result in regular blockages. That could make it not possible for us to breathe.
If it had been made from some thing as hard as bone, then our actions could be to a huge volume restricted. Yet the cartilaginous shape which makes up the windpipe is ideally fitted to all varieties of movement, and it continually stays open because of its flexibility. There is a small flap of elastic cartilage referred to as the epiglottis proper at the doorway to the windpipe. This flap routinely closes the doorway to the windpipe at some stage in swallowing. During all of the hundreds of food you’ve got got eaten, from babyhood right as much as the present, you have swallowed tens of hundreds of times. And each single time this little flap has closed the doorway for your windpipe at precisely the proper moment. Although we are ignorant of its presence and may exert no control over it, this little flap has saved your life via way of means of closing the doorway for your windpipe at simply the right moment.

Body tissues produce carbon dioxide due to their daily functions. This carbon dioxide is carried away from the tissues through the blood. This blood, loaded with carbon dioxide, is dirty blood. In order for the blood to be wiped clean it needs to make touch with the air. The oxygen in the air and the carbon dioxide withinside the blood will as a result be exchanged. There are round five litres of blood inside the human body. In order to be aired, this five litres of blood needs to unfold over a place of around 100 square metres. That is equal to the area of a tennis court. Everyone reading this blog post now has a place the scale of a tennis court squeezed into his lungs. Think about it!

The lungs consist of bronchia divided into hundreds of various tubes.
At the end of every any such bronchia are the alveoli, or air sacs, the size of a pinhead. There are about three hundred million of those air sacs in a healthy lung. Their general floor region is equal to that of a tennis court. The air passing via the bronchia fills the alveoli. The alveoli are blanketed with a dense community of capillaries, the smallest of the blood vessels. The alveoli and capillaries are separated from every different with a skinny membrane. This membrane allows an alternate of gasses among the blood and the air. The carbon dioxide inside the dirty blood and the oxygen in the air are exchanged here. And the dirty blood is cleansed in the alveoli. The device which permits your blood to be cleansed with each breath you’re taking is constructed on an air sac no large than a pinhead. Alveoli has a thin water layer inside and this creates surface tension. This could cause the alveoli to collapse on exhalation, but it does not happen when we breathe due to surfactants produced by Type II cells. These surfactants reduce the surface tension of water inside the alveoli.

Now, the oxygen which enters the alveoli interacts with cells that’s in charge of transportation, the “red blood cells”. Haemoglobin, a special protein is present inside the red blood cells. There are about 250 million haemoglobin molecules in every single red blood cell. They contain iron items and they bind to oxygen like a magnet. When it reaches the relevant places, some internal mechanisms within the body reduce this binding power of haemoglobin and thereby aiding release of oxygen. The by product carbon dioxide is also transported similarly. There’s a very delicate and balanced plan in place here.

The role of brain in this process is also worth pondering. The muscles around the ribcage are sent commands from the nerves in the medulla to fill the lungs with air. This signal is cut for 3 seconds which aids to the muscles to relax enabling exhalation of air. This is not in our control and we don’t think consciously about it.

The brain – artistic illustration only.

To summarize it, we have the marvellous air conditioning process in the nose, the safety measures in the respiratory tracts, the functioning of cilia and mucus, the special design of the windpipe, the flap openings, the tennis court area squeezed in our lungs, the alveoli of size no more than a pinhead, interacting cells, haemoglobin, the special nervous system directing a sophisticated transportation network. And the magic happens without you expending any effort or thinking about it.

It took me a hospitalization to ponder deeply about it and feeling grateful for this. Don’t we need to be filled with gratitude & awe to Almighty when we take a single breath. Think about it. For something as effortless as breathing, there’s an entire world working inside us aiding it and it’s too sophisticated to be an accident or co-incidence. It’s tailor designed on purpose for you. They’re working in the background to be known & discovered by you. To be aware of it is key to many enlightening delights. It’s another moment where we discover extraordinary systems within what seems ordinary. God bless!

You’d have taken roughly around 36 breaths by the time you’ve finished reading this article : )

Some of the other chapters from the Ponder Series that you can read on :

Perceiving Time
Ornate Blossoms
Visual Narrative – Ponder Series
Reflecting on Shadows
Stumble over Pebbles
Ethereal Quality | Petals
Golden Ratio
Vision – Pondering on the intricacies
Ruminating on Bird Nests
Living Embellishments
Pondering on Birds 
Perceptions

If you are reading this series for the first time, have a look at the intent post.

When we think about the world around us and also when we look within, it might seem usual and ordinary. But ponder series, as you might have already guessed, is all about thinking deeply and delving into the details by going beyond the ordinary perceptions. It’s a very humble endeavor towards unlocking extraordinary in the ordinary by opening our eyes of wisdom and insight. Hope you enjoy reading them. God bless friends : )

intractable

“Intractable”

Although not perfectly recollected in many situations, deep down I truly believe that gratitude and calmness are key to many peaceful delights in this world. Writing in awareness of all my imperfections, reflection on what we have has much more compassionate adherence to it rather than taking up futile thought attachments by pondering on what we don’t have. The weight of comparisons would weigh us down and robs away happiness. What has come to you has come with time and purpose. What is to come is written. Wait for the script to be unfolded and be very patient if that’s not the story you thought of. And in between what has come and what is yet to come is this moment. The moment you are now scrolling through this piece of writing. The experiences of last year has reaffirmed this truth over and over again and has scribed it deep within myself. I’ve been in hospital bed due to illness away from everyone all alone and unchained from all responsibilities, promptness and rushness I’ve been used to both personally & professionally. I truly never had such an opportunity to recollect and put back my thoughts on the overall scheme of things. I was relieved of the notion of trying to control the clock of my life and schedule it on my terms and had this forgotten realization that I’m playing the central character of a personalised flick called destiny which is already scripted. It emboldens a comfort that not a single thing is actually in our control even though deep down we believe we have control over several things. Keeping distress and resistance away from the unfolding divine plan of what’s happening is the longing that I strive for now. As with the famous saying, nothing really goes away until it teaches you what it’s supposed to. May Almighty bless us with contentment and fulfillment. I’m grateful for the time you’ve taken in gazing at my writings.

human libraries

I recently read about “human libraries” that is common in Denmark. The concept is interesting. There are libraries there where you can “borrow” a person instead of a book and listen to their life stories and experiences for 30 minutes. I came to know that this is available in several countries. Wealth of experience is a priceless resource.

Portrait – Libraries of People

..“Human knowledge consists not only of libraries of parchment and ink – it is also comprised of the volumes of knowledge that are written on the human heart, chiselled on the human soul, and engraved on the human psyche. ”

― Michael Jackson

a coffee parable.

It’s philosophy time. I read this interesting exemplum recently. It’s the example of a coffee as outlined below. If we extend it to a broader realm, experiences work the same way. They can either catalyse us towards growth and improvement. They can also wear us down. It’s about channeling them and trying to cultivate a balanced frame of mind. God bless friends.

..“It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.”

― Malcolm X