kia ora – Welcome aboard the Journey called LIFE!

I love the safety video of Air New Zealand, though I do not like that their monopoly in the NZ skies leads to my trips to this utopia which also happens to be home, so expensive all the time!!
…but I guess there’s a price to pay for paradise??!!!

It’s been a while since I have been penning my thoughts, sharing my travels, expressing opinions – basically exploring a huge plethora of divergent and atypical stories, as I would like to call them, from my life’s notebook.

While browsing through my photographs’ library, I chanced upon an entertainment screen shot from an Air New Zealand flight we had been on. Looking at that picture, I could not recollect why I would have wanted to capture such a shot, for I generally remember why I clicked this and this or such and such picture. However, I guess it was to help me, albeit accidently, but some providential fate to get the title, idea & concept for my next blog!!

So here I write in using my photographs laced with pearls of wisdom which, believe me friends, I have heard, read and experienced and often seen happen quite truly in my nearly half century of existence on Planet Earth!!

“Sometimes we need the fog to remind us that all of life is not black & white” – Jonathan L. Huie
True but for some of us it remains thus: Black & white only with no grey in-between and no fog; Does it then get difficult? Probably, but in the end its worth it, for we hit the pillow at night to “sleep the sleep of the just” – as my Dad says!!
“Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance” – Charles Lindbergh

Flying several thousand feet above the ground, wisdom strikes hard – you realize that people and experiences happen and pass in your life to teach you something – the peak, the trough, the valley, the lake, the river, the meanders – all have lessons from which we learn.
Its upto us to celebrate the lessons meant to be learnt or chafe inwardly about a hard life!!!
I side with the former!!!
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself…..because when you stop and look around, this LIFE is pretty amazing”
Couldn’t agree more!!
I have found myself and happiness when I seek it least and when I expect to find it seldom……Christmas cheers one’s heart with such charming grace and has such an enigmatic influence on me that in case I am lost at an airport or a mall, my family looks no-where else but wherever there is a Chirstmas tree – Sorry, Kevin (of the Home Alone fame) you aren’t the only one enamoured by it!!
This one at Christchurch Airport started our holidays on
just the right note!!!!
Hurrah & Cheers!
“Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show!”
Kudos, to such wonderful words and those who follow them….
………I hardly have anything to show in terms of awards, trophies or a bank balance but those who know me will vouch for the memories we have created together, the special moments we have lived together, the enjoyable spells of delight and empowerment felt together and how doing it for others gives a greater joy than doing it for self!!!
This amazing steel artwork along with the lazy bean bags at the Christchurch airport beckon us to roll over and play idle & comatose, if not dead!!
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
The endless line of methodically packed hay rolls helps the farmers’ reckon with the shortfall in green pastures in winter which is the staple food for their multitude sheep herds….it may not be required at all, if winters aren’t severe yet what’s the harm in being prepared??
As I prepared for my Civil services in-between my post-graduate management degree, I’d come home and tell my mother how lucky I was to have got questions from the exact chapters I had looked into before the exam and hoped to be this lucky in my Prelims as well…….my mom would always smile and quote: Chance favours the prepared mind!!
Well, true that! For we get lucky as we start to act!!
“Its better to feel every kind of emotion than to not feel at all” – Demi Lovato
To have a meaningful life, we need real emotions and feelings, need strength in our thoughts, need to be humble in our actions for it’s never about being the most popular, the most prettiest, the most educated – the authentic us will be the ONLY us which shall feel gratification in our exsistence!

The rolling meadows with their innumerable shades of greens and browns with a bit of blue and white thrown in makes for the most enchanting countryside of the South Island, New Zealand, that eyes can ever behold!!!
Thus I always remember William Henry Davies & agree with him completely about:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

But I did stand and stare, I did!!
“If you want to leave your footprints in the sands of time do not drag your feet” – A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
The Cathedral Caves in the Catlins ( rise up in front of us with a grandeur and majesty which I have never seen elsewhere. It seems one is walking into no-where, deep inside – the footprints by visitors made me think & ask myself: What makes our lives memorable? What gives us the most cherished memories?
I presume it is that each day teaches us something, how we deal and tackle it, how we react to it and what we learn from it determines how well our being around people, makes a difference for them!!!
“Be fearless in the pusuit of what sets your soul on fire” – Unknown

The caves are cut off by tides and accessible only for some days in the year; even the approach walk wasn’t for the faint hearted…..but the very manner in which they rise up and are at the scene in a quiet, calm way on the pristine Waipati beach, is in itself insane in an outlandish way!!
I couldn’t help but remember lines which I saw in a school I visited while in Washington years back: We rise by lifting others!!
Could it be said in any other better way? I doubt for this is how we find oursleves!!!
“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us” – Henry david Thoreau
The vast expanse had me stunned as I looked at the preposterously beautiful coastline and we were all left speechless as if air had been knocked-out of our lungs by the phantasmagorical punch from the southern most tip of New Zealand,

from where the only landmass found is Antarctica!!
Yes, I like to stun people and ‘knock’ the air out of their disbelief that there can be people in this world who say what they mean and mean what they say!!!
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci
The sign board outisde this quaint Catlins Cafe captured life in its truest form, asking us to leave out the “sandy shoes, dirty boots and smelly socks” but enter with a smile – what truer way than this to live our lives as well:
Leave out the sandy lies, the dirty masks, the smelly attitudes and live life with a smile, KING-SIZE!!!
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take” – Unknown
……….should we regret it?

I see no point. I would take the plunge!!!!
…………anyways, the deep sea blue waters of the Catlins coastline beckoned with an appealing charm and its charisma wasn’t lost on anyone……..
…..not even on the Seal or the Sea lion frollicking in the isolated pool amongst the rocks………..
……..almost saying to us, imploring us to “be thankful for what we have. For your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else’s fairytale!!”
(Wale Ayeni)
I bow to thee!!!

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