Payyoli coastlines

Netta gazing at the horizons on a fishing boat

This is a photograph from a couple of years ago that’s really close to my heart. When I had traveled to Netta’s place during the initial years, I was not familiar with that place. Neither am I now. After an afternoon tea with family, me and Netta went to the town aimlessly and I was looking for a beach nearby and on a random search, I got to know about Payyoli beach which was so close to their home but the fun part was that she hadn’t been there before. What welcomed us when we aimlessly drove in there was a very wide, serene beach with not a single soul in the premise feeding in the vibe of a private beach. (No, those were not Corona days. I’m speaking of sometime in 2017, on a guess). There were fishing boats parked there and we had witnessed a blissful sunset together sitting on a boat. That moment in time is captured by this shot. So you see, every frame has a story weaved within it. Even if I’m put in a dungeon with a handful of photographs, I can sit with them with a cup of tea and write story after story behind each of them for weeks 😀

The legendary photographer Ansel Adams kills it with his timeless quotes. He once famously said, “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

We love stories. Would you love to read more memories?
Waiting for your stories. God bless.

re-scaping tank

After over 6 months, I decided to do a deep clean of our little tank and re-scape the entire foundation of the tank. Took more than 3 hours from the deep cleaning to the removal of stains and dirt from the tree barks. I was literally surprised at the amount of dirt accumulated with wooden blocks submerged in water. After a thorough cleaning process, I removed one of the barks and decided to go with only one bark to give a more roomy and wide space for the Neon tetras to swim around. Upon reading somewhere, I learned that Neon tetras are more comfortable with open wide spaces. The half-moon betta is not in the photograph, and it seems to be unwell for the past week or so. I doubt it’s related to the chemistry of the tank, as I’ve been using some new conditioners for curating the water quality in the tank.

3 hours of re-scaping work

I’ve been reading and watching a lot of aqua-scaping tutorials on different layouts possible in a smaller tank and I was inclined to a more simple one as opposed to the seemingly dense option we had previously. After removing the dirt from the soil bed, I filtered them out by removing floating watery dirt with a manual water pump by water cycles of over 8 to 9. Later, I deep cleaned every single element in the aquarium and separated flora which was affected by line algae which were dominant in the aquarium. Netta helped through all the stages. I removed one of the wooden blocks, set up a new tree bark in an inclined position with ferns slowly arranged on the top. Meanwhile, I planted the grass and Japanese Hydrocotyle on the front side of the tank. I hope it will take up a more dense profile as time passes. But now we have a minimal, simple, and much cleaner and roomier tank space, and here’s the final result.

A much more roomier tank. Excuse those flying ferns on the top. More on that below.

One thing what I learned from this whole process is that when we do a deep cleaning for the tank and if there are ferns to be included, they need to be attached to the wooden barks by some means. Either it can be a glue or they can be manually inserted into any holes or spaces available in the bark or by another means. Even though I watered them slowly, I found out that the ferns were floating around after the pump and filter started working. So, I should be taking care of it in the next episode of this whole thing.If you love aquascaping, skim through Story de’aquatics.

I have also written a detailed article on Planted aquariums – How to make them last based on my personal experience of setting everything on my own.
And yes, we love short videos, and here are the ones on those themes
Fluvial Zeal | The Woodland | Neon Gems

Vicky.

While looking at some old notes from 2016 that I wrote when I watched this short video in 2016, I can see that I had left a note in a book to write about it sometime in the future. This is done very brilliantly. The theme, visuals, and the overall message is ferried well to the listener and what’s wonderful is that it’s beyond any language or geographical barrier.

For some reason, I remembered the cat that we had around at our home when I was in Kerala. It used to be around all the time. When I used to walk to college, this would come long for a little long. This cat is no more. It passed away in 2010. Life is fragile.

mind magnet

I have read somewhere that mind is akin to a magnet in a certain sense.  It’s concomitant of the thoughts espoused within. If we put our thoughts about blessings,  the mind tends to attract and discover blessings and their deeper meanings. In the same manner,  channeling thoughts of problems would bewitch and attract problems and restlessness. Nurturing and cultivating good thoughts would help in assuming a positive and optimistic frame of mind. That’s a lifetime of learning. Remember the humble life illustration?

Being calm about everything allows your mind to find solutions. Calmness is also a state of trust. Instead of overthinking and overreacting, you just surrender for that moment and allow yourself to receive guidance for what doesn’t make sense – Idil


I’ve personally felt that the strength of calmness is often derived from a trust in the divine timing of events happening and not harboring or apprehending any internal dissent or distress in the way certain things are in the way they’re supposed to be and in accepting certain aspects on the way they are. I believe that’s a quality that’s to be built up with time and experiences and everyone would have different journeys. God bless.

cross-purposes

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”

― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
A 2017 photograph from the streets of Tbilisi, Georgia.

vitreous worlds

It’s about having the eye to see the internal within the external. It’s to probe purpose and beauty in chaos and noise. It requires patience, intention, and humility.

“Intellect is the knowledge obtained by the experience of names and forms; wisdom is the knowledge which manifests only from the inner being; to acquire intellect one must delve into studies, but to obtain wisdom, nothing but the flow of divine mercy is needed; it is as natural as the instinct of swimming to the fish, or of flying to the bird. Intellect is the sight which enables one to see through the external world, but the light of wisdom enables one to see through the external into the internal world.”

Inayat Khan

dandelion dreams.

Well, there’s all probability that you’ve stumbled across a cliche dandelion shot like this. This one is that I took from a journey through some farms in Yerevan, Armenia. I’ve read of thematic contexts wherein Dandelions are often read with transcience and impermanence.

“Dare to imagine. Dare to be.
Books are the seeds. Dreams are the soil.
The fruit of the harvest, a world reborn.”

― Richelle E. Goodrich, Dandelions: The Disappearance of Annabelle Fancher
I happened to recollect an adorable visual sometime from 2015 wherein a dad shows his baby buzz dandelions for the first time and he got excited. Let me tell you, no matter how messed up your day was, this can truly give you some shine and melt your soul!

Spirit of the Stairway


This is a photograph that I took from a museum at Yerevan. The title of the post is based on the same notes from a French phrase.


People in France have a phrase: “Spirit of the Stairway.” In French: Esprit de l’escalier. It means that moment when you find the answer, but it’s too late. Say you’re at a party and someone insults you. You have to say something. So under pressure, with everybody watching, you say something lame. But the moment you leave the party

As you start down the stairway, then — magic. You come up with the perfect thing you should’ve said. The perfect crippling put-down.

That’s the Spirit of the Stairway. The trouble is even the French don’t have a phrase for the stupid things you actually do say under pressure. Those stupid, desperate things you actually think or do. Some deeds are too low to even get a name. Too low to even get talked about.

― Chuck Palahniuk, Guts

mind streets.

A street from Istanbul photographed in 2014. The building seen in the backdrop is a part of the famous Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also known as the “Blue Mosque”. Built somewhere between 1609 and 1616,  it is adorned with hand-painted blue tiles. The upper area is decorated with approximately 20,000 hand-painted glazed ceramic in 60 different tulip patterns. The lower stories are illuminated by 200 stained glass windows. It’s filled with majestic Byzantine art elements.

“When you wander in an empty silent street, you wander within the mind of wisdom!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan