The year of 2006 did not see much activity at Surplus Musings. This blog was so out of action that I even forgot it's birthday. One of the things that I must act upon in 2007 is to set some more time for this blog. Surplus Musings completed five long years in existence on the 7th. The first post was made on this blog on December 7th 2001. I never thought this blog will live for such a long. It has had its lean periods, and in a rush of blogging for four other blogs on which I am active, 2006 had been particularly slow here. A thing I need to rectify in the coming here.
I wish all my readers a very very happy new year. Let there be happiness and prosperity, and lets work to spread it as much as we can.
I am planning to make a habit of publishing a wallpaper photo calendar for download for each month. Let me start with an image of sunrise, which would do well for the new year. Click on the image to get 1024x768 desktop wallpaper.
About the image: This image was made at Matanga Paravatha, Hampi in Karnataka, India, in Dec 2004. For more information on Hampi, see the post on Hampi. Also see more images from Hampi.
I have been thinking on starting a blog on this topic for a while now. It is something very dear to my heart and I am keen to work on now, but have been postponing it since I am not sure if I can dedicate time for it. I am already running three active blogs, participating in a blog project, have another blog that I need to pull back from death bed besides this blog. I have also allowed another blog to die because I could not make much updates on it. But working on an environment related blog is something difficult for me to resist. Treehugger has been an inspiration, and I shall get working on it right away. So I should have another blog up and running within a month's time.
My work, like that of most people I know, does not give me enough exercise or physical activity, but brings in a feeling of tiredness and lethargy. That means when I am out of work, it often happens that I am not up to doing much else, especially when it comes to physical activity. Though I despise it, I still end up gathering some extra weight time and again. But I have always managed to shed it faster than I have gained it.
Sometimes, my long journeys that involves hard work - plenty of walking or hiking help me tremendously in getting rid of flab. I weighed a good ten kilos more than I wanted to a few years ago, but a journey to Sikkim, and a very difficult climb in the Himalayas lasting six days helped me cut it all out in almost one go. There are other instances too, like walking ten to twenty kilometers everyday when I was in Arunachal Pradesh. Besides this occasional breaks that help me reduce, I have to do at least a little bit of work regularly to keep in shape, without which I would never manage to trek for 6 days or walk twenty kilometers. So I tend to do some basic exercising at home for 10 minutes every day. Though I try to do it regularly, I skip often and sometimes I go without that for weeks.
Now I have a new passion. I have started playing badminton and am pretty much addicted to it now. Though I do it once a week, it has been such fun besides being good workout, I always look forward to it. And it works well to keep every muscle of my body active. In the initial days when I started playing, I realized how much of my body was inactive for a long time. The day after the first game, every inch of my body was aching and I used to groan like an old man when I had to get out of my seat or change positions! With almost six weeks since I have been playing, all that trouble is gone now and it always feels good to be back at the court. I only wish I had enough time in my hands to be able to play everyday, but still I am happy that I have been able to put a couple of hours a week. I just hope I do not stop it for any reason in future.
I jumped with excitement when I was checking my emails a couple of days ago. It was an email with an invitation to travel, all expense paid. It was an invite to spend a month in Eaglenest National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, working on some research activity related to a newly found bird species.
I was jumpy alright, but got into thinking mode in the next minute. It is an invite irrestible, but I wondered how I would manage time out for a month to be there. Such are the times when I get on thinking-too-much mode and feel that I should quit my full-time 9-6 job. Would I make a list of things that I would want to do but never get done because I am constrained to be at work, it would run like a long list whose tail would be somewhere miles away. There is a always a temptation to quit, but the worldly matters and a need to sustain hold me back and tie me up with a thick rope.
It is then that I start dreaming. I start dreaming about the day I would find a way to live with a means other than my full time job. And the time that I would find then would be used for things like the bird research project in Arunachal. And then there is an idea of spending a useful year or two living in the corners of Uttaranchal Himalayas and Corbett, and spend another year or two in the regions of Himachal and Ladakh. Ofcourse there are other places in mind where I would want to be for a long long time, like wandering our own forests in the Sahyadris. I can't go on because each time I visit a place of immesurable beauty, I would like to be there!
And then there is the idea of spending time being useful to the soceity, learning some fine arts and music that can be my companion forever, read all the great books that I have always wanted to read, make best photographs.. I can go on.
All said, these are dreams and I know that I will realize at least some of them in the years to come. A few years ago, I would have been depressed thinking about these and sink with a feeling that I have been upto nothing I would like to. But now, I am happy no matter what I am doing and no matter what I am upto. I have come to understand that being happy is about living the life we have while we strive to achieve what we want. Everything would have been dry without dreams, but living with dreams alone does nothing good either. And happiness comes when there is a balance in dreams and realities.
PS: When I started writing this, all I wanted to write is about the bird project in Arunchal. I had no idea it would shape up this way!
Govinda K writes about his interesting experiences of trying to get a learners license without paying anything under the table or going through middle men. He has spent several days already and still hasn't managed to get it. And the good thing is that he is not giving up.
I had been thinking of attending Janapada Jaatra at Lalbag for a while, but had not made it. I finally made is last Saturday. It turned out to be a great event, and it also turned out costly for me.
Costly because, while carrying my camera to the jaatre, I lost all the images from Kerala trip! Somehow that did not bother me much. May be because I did not have any images the trip that I would call precious.
Jaatre was fun. I got to see some of the arts like Bhootada Kola, that I always wanted to witness. I had heard about the Kola from text books in primary school and wanted to watch since then! It is indeed a great event. Here is an image of the Bhootada Kola artist. You can see more images from the Janapada Jaatre here.