Tag Archives: nature photography

Ode to imperfection

I sit down every morning here in Kalimpong and look at this tree through the cracked window pane. I call it my tree.

Its leaves are gone, there’s a sickness on its bark, all over, yet it continues to stand there, welcoming birds looking for a place to sit and chat and ponder on life for a while.

Ode to imperfection

It must be old, this tree, I don’t know how many years, but it’s probably been through a lot, seen a lot. Some might see imperfection when they look at this old, sick and still stubbornly standing tree. I see beauty, life as it is.

Some might hear the music I’ve composed, inspired by this tree, and find my musical skills wanting. Imperfect. Amateurish even. But that’s okay. There’s no need to seek approval, and no need to reject disdain. 

Because, like this tree, like my music, my life is imperfect. Sometimes two steps forward and three steps back. Sometimes only forward, sometimes only backward. Sometimes in circles and sometimes, stationary. That’s life, right? Who said there has to be a schedule and a checklist for how life should evolve. 

My friend the tree stands there every morning, every day. Rain or shine, it’s there to welcome me. Whether I wake up early or whether I wake up late, I sit by the cracked window pane with a cup of warm water in my hand. Neither of us feels the need to say much out loud. This, too is life, no? Some days we bloom, some days we are quiet, some days we remain in relative stillness, standing on a hill, overlooking the ground below, looking up to the sky above.

I’ll be leaving Kalimpong soon, continuing on the journey of life. I’m sure there’ll be other trees, other creatures, other beings I’ll meet. I’ll take my friend’s energy with me…an ode to imperfection…what more could I ask of life, what more could I ask of life.

© 2021 Marlon de Souza

O traveler, whither goest thou? What is the nature of your journey?

O traveler, whither goest thou? What is the nature of your journey? What is the journey of your nature?Most days, all that life needs from us, and all we need from life is to observe and appreciate the perfection surrounding us, without trying to improve it.

It is our responsibility to not meddle with that which is already perfect.

And it is our birthright to appreciate the quiet, profoundly healing and empowering gift of that responsibility.

© 2019 Marlon de Souza. All rights reserved.

The Monsoon in Kerala – at 6,000 feet

At a height of nearly 6,000 feet, the monsoon in Munnar, a verdant hill station covered with tea plantations and coconut palms in Kerala, South India feels more intense than the rain at sea level in Kochi. The monsoon here owns the sky and the earth without permission or apologies. No thunder, no lightning this afternoon, just a trickle for a minute and then the sky opens up. And then some more. And then, even more. Until it stops. And then resumes.

Now, there’s no place to go around and be a tourist. The choices are limited to simple ones…sit like a cat in the window, howl like a dog at the rain, read a book, sleep, or stare into the misty rain until my vision gets as blurry as the heavy, foggy mist that fills the skies for a long, long, long way. One way or the other, respect is demanded by the rain gods.

© 2019 Marlon de Souza. All rights reserved.

It’s just the simple things…

Darkness at Fort Kochi beach, Kerala, southern India. It’s half past eight. The extreme humidity of the day has subsided. The beach is quiet. Except for waves loudly lapping the shore – high tide is still some time away. Chinese fishing nets sit silently against the Kochi harbor.

Shaheer, the owner of a fish stand on the beach suggests butter fish, a local specialty. Price 200 rupees, just under $3. Shaheer hands the butter fish to Fakhruddin M Y, the chef at Cafe Balbba, a busy kitchen shack on the water, just behind the fish stand. Fakhruddin will grill the butter fish, medium spicy, with local herbs. For 150 rupees, just around $2.

The view of the Chinese fish nets, the waves lapping the shore and the sand below my feet make it the most satisfying meal in two days in Kochi. Even with the mosquitoes around. And far more satisfying than the unappetizing food and ambience at the expensive and highly rated seafood restaurant in the heart of Kochi. It’s just the simple things…

© 2019 Marlon de Souza. All rights reserved.