In DC


Reflecting.

I am in the Capital of the United States. Here, everybody looks like me. Long black coats, snow white stiff shirts. But the gait… is that of a hunter. Stern, focused. Probably, I look that when I am off to bring back a fish or two. Probably not.

Today, for the first time, I had a cocktail of dry gin, orgeat and cilantro. It came with a thin spiral slice of cucumber swimming in it. Loved it – it got me warm enough for the chill outside.

Next stop was Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. After waiting in a long line, and paying a dollar for the museum floor map, we got in to see the rarest of gems, a whole lot of mummies, and the skeletons of Neanderthals.

Everything was going great, until I found a photo of those my kind.

This one.

This sent me down a wormhole of questions about existence. But then again, one look at the dry twig-like bones of a human ancestor; and words of late Chester Bennington calmed me. Because in the end, it doesn’t even matter.

D

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Tulip tale


When it bloomed for us.


Finding art in trash Challenge: #14

This year, we went to the cherry blossom festival at Tidal Basin, in Washington DC, during the peak bloom season. The plan was to start early morning, and get there before the rest of the world. To be an early bird. Get the worm… But the night stole all the promises that we had made to ourselves. And sleep, the night’s hand, made sure we woke up late to greet the morning. Even as we tied our laces, walked down the stairs and started the car, the crowd at the Basin thickened in hundreds. After battling the traffic, we parked our car at the Arlington National Cemetery, and decided to walk to the hot spot of Sakura trees. On the way, we saw a bright pink tulip, its petals firmly hugging each other, like sharing a little secret. It remained still, almost unnoticed, in the carpet of green. People walked by, hardly giving it a glance, rushing towards a destination full of flowers, just not this one.

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A while later, we rejoined the crowd. Finally, at the Tidal Basin, we walked for hours under the shade of cherry blossoms, and watched the soft pink and white flowers flutter in the wind. We wanted to take a selfie with the flowers in the backdrop. But every photo came out with a stranger’s face on the side. Anyway, having quenched the desire to see the famed beauty of a 3,000 cherry blossoms in full bloom, we decided to call it a day, and trace our way back. This time, we stopped again to say hi to our little closed tulip. Only, now, the petals had unfurled, shining a dark pink under the sharp rays of the sun. A full blown tulip, that no one stopped to take a selfie with.

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In the days that followed, we were frequently asked the question: “So how much time did you spend seeing the cherry blossoms?” And every time we replied: “Enough time for a tulip to bloom.”



Now, over a month later, in memory of the tulip that opened up for us, I made origami tulips and stuck them on a brown paper bag. A personalized shopping bag.

Before.

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After.

 

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Blooming tales


Gearing up for the cherry blossom festival.


It will be another week before the buds decide to unfurl. As per the latest photos in cherryblossomwatch.com, (yes, there is a site to keep track of when the trees decide to bloom en masse) the branches stoop with the weight of buds dotted along their length. Anytime between April 8 to 12, they would all, like chicks out of eggs, crack open into this world. Tonnes of them, all at the same time. Soft pink petals of one would touch the soft pink petals of another. And together they would made thick fluffy pink umbrellas. Under the shade of which you can walk for may be a week, or two, before they all drop down on the ground. Some coaxed by the wind, some out of their own will, they would lay – a fluffy pink carpet for you to step on.

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