Monday, July 16, 2007

Another turn.... the path of my life. I've started work - my first job in the UAE, and the second overall - in an area that, as recently as a year ago, I never thought I'd work in. Then my dissertation happened and changed my professional focus. I'm a long way off from realising any of what I 'disserted' about, but I've taken that crucial first step. Admittedly, its not as big a step as I'd hoped, but its still something. I'm on the inside now......

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sensory Overload

At the beginning of the year, I'd made a small wish. I had no idea it would be answered so soon and so spectacularly well. June 2007 passed by in a whirlwind of new sights, and I'm still recovering from the onslaught. I knew the package tour way of seeing a new place would be hectic, and of course, everyone knows that Europe is gorgeous, but still nothing prepared me for the.......sheer magnificence of the place.

Where do I begin to describe it all? The rolling green meadows, flowers and trees the likes of which I never knew existed (trees with purple and pink leaves - not the ornamental plants you see around, but trees stunning they were!), majestic snow-capped mountains, wisps of mist floating among those mountains, rivers & lakes in all shades of blue including this unbelievable glistening turquoise (apparently due to calcites, I was told).....and God, even the clouds......I have never seen such generous puffs of fluffy white cloud before. No wonder this continent produced the best-known artists in the world.

The architecture, sculptures, mosaics and paintings are yet another unending delight for the senses. You see it all in pictures, in movies, in magazines, so it isn't as if its a brand new experience......yet none of these things can prepare you for the actual sights themselves. The awesome size of the buildings is the first thing that astounds, then as you get closer, the intricacies of the carvings and embellishments spread over these enormous structures just leaves you gasping.

I went crazy clicking photographs, trying to capture some part of this wealth of beauty for memory, but it ceased temporarily when I was inside St. Peter's in the Vatican. This place is an absolute explosion of art.....I'd start to click one sculpture, move ahead and see another one that was even more spectacular. Then I happened to look up towards the ceiling, and was lost completely. I don't have the words to do it justice so I'm not even trying. I just gave up clicking snaps and walked around, alternating my stares between walls and ceilings. If its the last thing I do, I'm going back to this place.

Here, and to the Louvre. We had just one brief hour of free time in Paris on the last day of the tour. My family was more interested in window-shopping; me, I just wanted a look at one of the most mysterious women of all time. I had a simple game plan: buy admission tickets, dart in, see the Mona Lisa, dart back out. The moment I saw the first painting in the Italian section, however, I was lost again......dazed, actually. Wide-eyed, slack-jawed I was slooowwly moving from painting to painting, when my dear mum had enough. I had to be dragged through, coz I just couldn't hurry up on my own. I sort of came to when we reached the Mona Lisa. Its only when you see other great paintings and then look at this one, do you appreciate da Vinci's sheer brilliance. There were so many other paintings I'd noticed that dwarf this one, have more vivid colours and subjects in more animated positions, but somehow lack the delicacy and the finesse with which the Mona Lisa has been rendered. I made a promise here too......that I'd come back someday, and do full justice to the Louvre.

For now, its back to editing the 2000-odd photos I took......some of the better ones will make their way here.