Once in a blue moon

Once in a blue moon

torrents of rain

clutching the earth fast

tides in vain.

Once in a blue moon

stranger, a face

hazy, the fog white

longing embrace.

Once in a blue moon

darkness the cloud

roaring the flash light

whispers so loud.

Once in a blue moon

silence descends

surreal alone white

quiet;  it ends.

– r_prab

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Image credits: johneaglephoto.com

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Recycled Book Reading Challenge: Easter Island (A Novel)

Easter Island

I read about this mysterious island in a book titled ‘World Famous Unsolved Mysteries’ several years ago. Since then it has always arrested my interest even at the slightest mention of it. Therefore, when I stumbled upon this book titled “Easter Island: A Novel” at the old book store, I bought it instantly. The highlight on the back cover suggested a tale of mystery where two stories, belonging to two different eras begin to unfold in this mystical island and finds an interesting conclusion as the stories intersect each other.

Synopsis

There are two stories which we get to hear in this book. The first is the story of Elsa Beazely ,her troubled sister Alice, and her second husband Edward, whom she has recently married. This story is set in 1913, when they visit Easter Island for a scientific expedition. Elsa feels that such a trip would help her move on with her past despondencies and also make her sister feel good with a change of atmosphere. The second story, set in 1970s, is that of Greer Farraday, an American botanist who recently lost her husband (her husband was alleged to have stolen her research works to attain fame for himself.) She too has come to Easter island to get rid from her past and complete her research work on flowering plants, for which the secluded ecosystem of Easter Island provides a perfect research ground.

Both these stories progress at a slow pace. Nothing surprising happens. A reader only relishes the experience of staying in a remote, mystery laden Easter Island, with its sparse population, simple lifestyle and unexplained historical folklores. The claim made that the two stories intersect each other in interesting way is misleading. They don’t connect in any significant manner. Perhaps there is no thrill in both the stories; the only delight of the novel is the experience of living in the quiet and esoteric Easter Island.

The Author

Jennifer Vanderbes has been quite earnestly lauded for this debut novel of hers. It also won her Washington Post Book World and Christian Science Monitor Best Book of 2003. I gathered she has written quite a lot of non-fiction on the subject of botany. Undoubtedly it reflects in this novel too. The character Greer, the botanist, goes at length to explain about her research on angiosperms (seed-bearing vascular plants) The whole of the second last chapter in this novel is the research paper published by the character Greer at the end of her research. This chapter was quite obtrusive as it broke the flow of what I was reading.

Experiencing the Isolation

The only good thing about this book, as I have stated, was to get a feeling of life in Easter Island. The population is sparse and in the novel it is depicted that everyone knows each other. There are no big factories or industry. Every such good is transported from Chile, once in a month. People place their orders and after a month the supplies arrive on ships. People line up to collect their orders.

The island’s past is shrouded in mystery and people don’t seem to have a clear account of its history. The gigantic statues, called moai, have many versions of folklores as to why and how they were created, although the scientists are unable to agree on any of those theories. Explorers and Voyagers have been bumping upon this island and writing accounts, expressing perplexity over its variety of flora and fauna despite being cut-off from any landmass by thousands of miles. The author invokes commentary from such famous explorers like Captain James Cook, Charles Darwin etc. Additionally she introduces us to rongorongo, an unsolved mystery of Easter Island. Rongorongo is a system of glyphs which appears to be writing or proto-writing and it has not been deciphered yet.

With such a mystical backdrop, the endeavor of Greer, to try to move on with her past seems a fair plot. I liked few lines where the sense of isolation and peace is evoked.

“She became aware of the silence all around her, broken only by the slight slap of water against her boots. Here I am, she thought. In the middle of a crater on the most remote island in the world. Reeds rising all around me; all I can see is sky. Not a voice, not a rustle to be heard.”

“On the rocks, about twenty yards from her, she spotted a plate covered with a metal lid, a halo of steam curling from its edges. It was odd, this abandoned meal, but then again, the island seemed governed by its own rules and rituals”

“She takes a deep breath. There is a moment of silence between them as they watch the port chandlers pack up their goods for the evening, as these last signs of familiar civilization rumble their carts into the distance.”

Conclusion

This story is interesting only if you like Easter Island and a little bit of reading about plants(since we have a botanist character here). The story, in itself is not quite gripping. The pace of story is slow and it is only the mystical feeling of the islands that is appealing. It makes for a fine reading on a sluggish rainy day.

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(I am glad to post my review for the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, an interesting initiative by a curios reader and explorer, Mliae! Do visit her blog and learn lots about her life experiemnts! PS- Its snowing on her blog these days! 😀 )

 

Word High July : Muni Muni

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Lying flat on ground and

Looking up the sky

Contemplating of  life and

Thinking all the ‘Whys’

-r prab

(I have a curious mind and have often experienced the spells of deepest contemplation while lying down and staring at the sky.No wonder the colossal canvas of heaven imbues the mind with depth and inquisitiveness similar to itself! And I am pleased to share this artwork!  Following the posts of Carolina, Carol, and Tonya, over past several months motivated me to start doing some paintings. : ) It’s been almost 10 years since I left the drawing books! I hope this renewed inspiration and a little practice will help me get better at it! :  ) )

 

In response to Word-High July: 30 Beautiful Filipino Words: Muni Muni

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Word High July : Kalinaw

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The Tranquil Breeze

The tranquil breeze

From far off land

Dancing leaf with it the sand

Travelling overseas

.

Then garden flowers

To and fro

Nodding to its merry flow

Brightened after showers

.

A movement gentle

It infuse

Clothes drying in recluse

With patterns ornamental

.

Then softly on my face

It sweeps

And round about ardently leaps

Proffering an embrace

.

And when the crease

Of worry shows

Soon away along it goes

With the tranquil breeze

.

-r prab

 

(Source of the above image : TH Smith)

In response to Word-High July: 30 Beautiful Filipino Words: Kalinaw

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Word High July: Gunita

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Unbound Store of Memories

The Nature’s present moment

Is the existing territory

Even the second just passed

Is now a file in memory

.

The Nature, all her works

Since eons in the past

Preserved data in the brains

We are Nature’s database so vast

.

Ever since the creation of life

Love hatred hopes and vice

Every observation we ever made

Gathering experiences far and wide

.

A video recorder to save the motion

We keep a camera to click

Moments of our lives that matter

In computers and hard disks

.

 

A memory device our brain

With the mysterious sub-conscious mind

We are Nature’s hard disks where

Everything about everything (since eternity) she can find

.

-r prab

 

(This may sound an eerie composition. But I think our capability to remember things , is miraculous and mysterious. It is only because we have a memory, we can perceive the flow of time, otherwise it will all be just a ‘Now’ , no ‘Past’.

When I was studying electronics in college I realized how complex it is to store bits of data in electronics circuit. To comprehend what happens in our minds, so much more powerful and dynamic, with a mysterious ‘sub conscious’ part always made me wonder. We don’t even know how much we know. The dreams and strange recollections always mystify us. We may never know the full truth. I wonder that if we cannot control the memory of our own subconscious mind, who does? May be Nature will reveal to us someday.)

In response to Word-High July: 30 Beautiful Filipino Words: Gunita

 

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Fishes In The Tank

Boundaries of glass

What do the fishes see

Through transparent walls?

 

People pacing in front with phone

And iCards dangling

As they roam.

 

Cubes and squares white

Where heads peep with

Stealthy sights!

 

The fishes unbothered they swim

In their tiny world

With little whim.

 

Ambling up and down then around

Daintily moving the fins

Making no sound.

 

Creatures of Ocean the Kingdom vast

Do they miss the place where

They lived in the  past?

(In the cubicle where I sit in my office, upon raising my head, I can see a fish tank at a distance.It lies beside a walkway where people walk to and fro, busily doing the office works.I wrote this poem in that moment of contemplation where I was getting bored and lost myself looking at those fishes.)

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The Perfect Fish Tank, painting by Kerstin Peters

(Source: FineArtAmerica)

Fruits

Fruits are such interesting things! They are nice to see, delicious to eat and the best part- they make us healthy and provide us lots of vitamins and minerals, which in turn makes our bones strong, strengthens eyesight and helps our body function better.

It is summer in our country and my mum will always come and put on my table, sometimes watermelons, sometimes oranges, sometimes grapes, while I am working on my computer.

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After a while when she will come again and see I haven’t yet started eating them, she will make me understand “You should eat fruits when they are fresh! The season is hot, they will dry up! And they will give you vitamins and keep you healthy.Don’t neglect them like that!”

Oh! and I will just start eating them! But this time, I wondered- “How creative of Nature to create fruits!” The plants are such wonderful machines that take up all those iron, potassium,Calcium and other minerals from the soil, adds water and store them in these pulpy tasty colourful fruits.

We not only get health benefits when we eat them but also a rare delicacy of varied flavours.Is it any less than a miracle? The rain water,the minerals in the soil, the air, the sunlight and some decaying leaves(acting as manure) is all a plant takes to create those wonderful juicy refreshing dishes! Even the best of the best technology cannot create such a thing with those raw materials.

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I also feel that I get rejuvenated  after eating the fruits, unlike other food items which generally make me sleepy! Fruits are so wonderful!

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(Image Source: Google Images)