February 9, 2012

Love for life.

                                                                (Picture courtesy: Alex. Clicked at Alappuzha)

As I gave myself into that genuine, warm embrace, I realized how much it comforted me. Though great friends for years now, it was the first time I was visiting their home in Brooklyn, NY. Alex and Hana. I have written about them in my earlier posts as well, but good two weeks after our visit to their apartment, I continue to think about their apartment where life thrives. Where love flows aplenty without the ordinary give-take equation in mind.They only give it, without expecting anything in return.

The living room reminded me of a pretty patch from the rain forest replicas that I had seen elsewhere. Plants or rather trees from Brazil, Israel, Costa Rica, Zanzibar, Peru...the seeds collected with love, carried over the continents with care, planted thoughtfully in huge pots and watered to their need. Within the confines of the four walls, they didn't seem to miss much, the way they embraced every possibility for growth. They were visibly in love with the huge window from which bright streaks flowed in and lit up the room, in spite of the green cover that seemingly attempted to block the crisp rays from lighting up the room. The leaves, there were of beautiful shapes creating unseen patterns as they mingled and merged with each other. 

The kitchen. Creepers, crawlers and lilies beautifully giving each other a branch or two to lean on. I entered the office room, the work room where except for the desktop and a small bed, everything else seemed simply surreal. Plants or trees again. They were given every possible inch of that house. And they filled every nook and corner with oodles of positive energy that I would find otherwise only in an untamed forest; not even in the most beautiful of the botanical gardens. 

As global travelers, Alex and Hana carry a bit of life, or the promise of it, from the sands on which they set foot. Without hurting anyone or burning holes in their pockets. Caressing a proud palm tree basking in all its glory and flourish, Alex narrated to me about 'him' or 'her' finding 'his' or 'her' way into US from some faraway land hidden in his pocket in the form of puny palm seeds. At times, it takes years for the seed to sprout. The patient gardener waters them and rejoices when the first signs of life make their presence felt.

                                                 (Picture courtesy: Alex. Clicked at Alappuzha)

Tourism is brisk business for many destinations. Most often, there isn't anything called sustainable tourism. Led by mere numbers and analytics, we often count the carbon footprint of tourists who travel by air and by personal means of transport for inland exploration. But, there is much more to it. Naivety at its best is manifest in tourism. Our national monuments stand testimony to this. Our waters get contaminated with plastic bottles that float in meaningless abandon. Amidst such nonchalance, I have enough to write home about. In the way my good friends take care of the fragile environment, the way they respect nature, travel strictly by local transport and give more than they could take; be it to the environment or to the local fabric.

Walking amidst souvenirs from about a hundred countries, I began to think about  the myriad cultures, traditions and people that make us a diverse world. Mermaids, fishes and dragons from Bali, dancing puppets and colourful cloth lamp shades from India and a host of others from Nepal, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cambodia, Laos, Israel...But even in our diverse ways, isn't there a thread that binds us all together?

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