Monday, October 12, 2009

In search of a Jean

Jeans are long term wear - meant to be worn till they wear and tear, and after the wear and tear too - for that is fashion. So, being three years old, I thought it is time I move over to a new one, having worn mine every other day. So, with my husband, who was more enthusiastic than me in buying me one, the search for the right jean started.

The requirement: a high-waist (preferable) or mid-riff jean with tapered cut. One shop after another, they told me that they had only low waist jeans. Not even mid-riff. Request for a high waist jeans got me looks of wonder, making me feel like Kumbhakarna who wakes up once in a year, with no knowledge of developments in between. Of course, the last time too I faced a little trouble finding one that I liked, but then I found one here in Hyderabad, and one in Bombay, one high waist and another midriff.

So, try we did in four places, selling branded jeans and then gave up. Of course, I tried the low waist ones. They weren't just low, they were very low. After having wondered seeing people wear them, now I wondered how they were confident of it not sliding down.

Whatever happened to the high waist jeans, I wonder. Okay, most youngsters wear low waist ones. They reveal the skin and more at the back, and they are so comfortable with them. No probs. But, what about those who would like to wear a high waist one ? No chance.

Got back and googled (Google is God!) for places in Hyderabad selling jeans. And I found a page with chat messages. And lo! one of them had called the high-waist jeans 'Aunty jeans'. Oh boy, I thought, have I grown so old ? Am I to be classified into the aunty group just because I prefer to wear a high waist jean ? What is it about ? Fashion or only 17 being young ? I know not.

Whatever, I prefer the high waist. Call me aunty or granny or great granny - whatever you like. It is not a matter of age, in the head nor body, it is a matter of comfort. Of what you think you look decent and good in.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Home is University of Hyderabad

As is my usual habit, I walk out on to the terrace at the Research Scholars Hostel, to brush my teeth. Early morning is the most beautiful part of the day. The warm rays of the sun, the sight of varied birds, dancing and singing, ushering in a new day. I walk around the terrace trying to see them. Most days, it is the Mynas and the Red Vented Bulbul. Others, the Parrot and the Peacock. Some other days, I get to see a whole lot of sparrows, the Little Green Bee-eaters. Rare is the Woodpecker and the Kingfisher. The birds that make me smile the most are the sparrows: they fly here and there, twittering, chattering and chirping..... and it makes me happy. It is an affirmation of the healthy environment in the university for they are first to disappear if the environment is polluted.

But, thursday, when I was down walking the corridor leading to the terrace, I realized that the song of the birds was different. They were singing but a different song, set to a different tune. As I was wondering why and about to step on to the terrace, heard a thud. Still waking up from the deep night slumber, I jumped. Then, another thud. Turned to the right, and there, two huge monkeys, were walking. They had jumped from the upper terrace of the lower one. They didn't care that I was standing there staring at them (couldn't help it - I was still to completely wake up). They had that attitude of ruling the world. I liked that. After climbing the parapet wall of the terrace, they jumped to the branch of the Bear fruit tree. And lo, there were more on the tree. As I brushed, I watched them choose the fruits. And then understood the reason for the birds song being different.

Thursday started very well. I was close again, to nature. Happy to see the monkeys and the birds. Happy to hear their song. The little pleasures of life but so sweet. Only in University of Hyderabad. I thank everyday, that I am in this university with 1500 acres, having two lakes, large forest cover, rather than a university in the heart of the concrete jungle.

Independence Day '09 at Topslip

This Independence Day, we decided to spend trekking quietly in the forests at Topslip. Beautiful, untouched forests - the need to protect them, the flora and fauna, is all that I can think of. Yes, sometimes I think that I am trespassing uninvited to someone else's home. But, I love being there. Yes, I am a human being, I am selfish. My happiness comes first. But we do take care not to horn anywhere in the jungle, not to litter, not to talk, not to disturb. And I hope that the trees and animals there feel my need to connect with them. I give them so little, but what I get from them is something immeasurable, unfathomable. One trek in the forest, and I live on that high for months. It cleanses my brain, my being, frees my thoughts, pulls down the chains. I feel free, like a bird in the forest. It makes me feel so small, that I understand my position in the bigger scheme of things - my place in the lap of Mother Nature. I am so happy in that lap.

For you people, who have taken time to visit my blog, these pictures are to share the beauty I saw. Topslip is one of the last bits of pristine forestland left in India. Part of the Western Ghats, this stretch of tropical forest is home to the Tiger, the Elephant, the Panther, the sloth Bear, the Sambhar deer, the Spotted deer, the Giant Squirrel, the Teak and Rosewood trees, the innumerable birds and insects. They all have one home. The forests. And their only enemy today, is mankind. There is need to understand the importance of such forests and help in the fight to preserve them against ourselves, mankind, for future generations. There is need to learn to coexist, like the tribals who live deep inside the forest.

To the Wildlife wardens, the guide, the staff at Topslip, the tribals, thanks for making this Independence Day, one we will remember forever. To people thinking of visiting Topslip as a picnic point, the forests are not picnic points. They are someone else's home. They are open to you but treat it with respect. They are treasure troves, willing to show us the bounty, if only we will see it, not through a prism, but with our own eyes.

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