Monday, February 1, 2010

Blue is beautiful but how long will it survive ?

Yes, everyone out there guessed right- I’m talking about the oceans ..and none other than the Atlantic..Being so very near to the ocean, for quite some years now, my husband and I, consider ourselves sort of self-proclaimed experts and take pride in describing and differentiating between the different blues of different oceans …for instance , the gulf of Mexico is a different shade of blue, the ocean in Miami beach is sea green …but we were just blown out of our minds when we saw the ocean in Bahamas – color of turquoise or rather copper sulphate blue..There are no words to describe the sheer beauty and serenity of such blue color and we haven’t seen anything like that ever before.. The color was just so raw and so unpolluted , that at one time I felt I could color my white dress just by dipping in it.

We kept staring for hours to take in as much as we can and even then it didn’t seem enough.The weather was gorgeous, the day was sunny , which accentuated the color even more …All the fellow passengers were equally mesmerized , I’m sure of that.

So, after a while I really started brooding on the problems of ocean pollution – all the dumping , spills, toxic wastes that are finding their way straight to the beautiful oceans and causing havoc to marine lives and in turn to us …So, is it that this very very blue signifies that The Bahamas have remained literally untouched or is it just deceptive with something going on inconspicuously ?! I would really love to find out ..

With this intention I researched online and found out some dreadful things , some of which just refreshed whatever I already knew from my ecology courses and online studies ..Quoting specifically from a website “The cruise line industry relies on pristine oceans, beautiful coral reefs and marine life to draw millions of travelers on cruise vacations each year. But the same ships that advertise excursions to untouched ocean scenery are threatening these very same natural resources with their standard practice of flushing harmful toxins, mostly as sewage and food waste, into the ocean.

So, what do we do ? So , here I am, in a big fix – Being all awe-struck with the blueness of the pristine ocean, I forgot that I myself is one of the culprits for polluting the ocean, such that our future generation might not find it so blue…So, isn’t it necessary to devise a solution so that man and nature can almost co-exist successfully side by side. ? I say

co-exist, because there will always be some collateral damage.

So, obviously the ocean in Bahamas is highly polluted..which anyone can guess just by looking at the sheer size of the tourism industry –which incidentally serves as the sole source of income for the islanders and the thousands of cruiseliners anchoring all the year round at Nassau and other islands. The saddest part is, apart from the huge amount of wastes we, the tourists create …all the food that we don’t eat and throw away, are also part of the garbage that finds it’s way to the ocean.
Just one line- all possible kinds of waste generated by these cruiseliners, the bigger it is ,the more the quantity of garbage- finds their way straight to the ocean. Well this not only “ doesnot “ feed the fishes, but rather creates acidic atmosphere and harms the reefs. Oftentimes it happens that snorkeling trips have to canceled, because some cruiseliner had has dumped oil right around the reefs.

Wow, what a justice …This is what is called to “ punch a hole right in the plate in which you eat “ . The reason for this negligience is not that the industry lacks technology . They are reluctant to spend the money required,although they earn a huge sum without having to pay any taxes in the US, as most of them are flagged in foreign countries and hire very poorly trained staffs as environmental officers. Many of the well-known cruising companies have upgraded their sewage disposal system but the results are not as fast as they should be, keeping in mind that these cruiseliners promise the tourists the view of “ a pristine scenery “ although to do that they are bruising them by polluting the environment. And then there is politics involved in everything.

So , do we stop going on cruises in our effort to stop pollution or do we join our hands in doing something , in our own small ways to enjoy cruising without bruising ?

The First Steps - The sound, the sight, the smell and the thoughts......

The first steps to any ascent is full of falters, excitement, careful calculations and doubts…questions about whether the direction is right, whether it’s the right thing to do and sorts keep popping up in one’s mind. Well, the point is – that is what is going on in my mind right now..I’m excited and I want to do this right, to write something, anything ….keeping with the compliment that many have given me that I have a good hand at writing- Naah, I believe them not, never did. Nonetheless, I find myself at this crossroad- to write or not to write and “ what to write ? “ Because there’s always this lingering fear that someone else ( and I do hope sincerely that there will be lot of someone elses ) is going to read the blog.

After careful thinking for days together, I figured out it would be best to write about something which has real meaning to and connection with my soul, my whole being…I have been trying to be a jack of all trades and failed horribly to become the master of any …I love to cook, I read a lot, I listen to music and sing, I tried my hands at some crochet, Well…I keep doing a lot of things from time to time with a few passions remaining constant..And this I do because for me that’s the SPICE of life …
And I decided to name my writing space “ E-sense ( A sense of as well as Essence of ) SPICE n FRAGRANCE “ – where there is spice , there’s bound to be fragrance and then fragrance is connected to so many things- beauty, sweetness, memories etc etc.

Anybody who comes across this blog, will find it too feminine and I don’t think that is a problem- the last thing I would want to do is try to sound masculine and land up with something which has no real meaning to myself…
Living in a foreign land, far away from my country, my parents seems I’ve left behind a lot of things- a lot of memories, my childhood, many of my dreams , desires.. Yes, many of you might think- here she goes ,blah blah blah…What I’m trying to do is make it easier for others to relate to fragrance and spices..When all you have left is the memories and a few festivals, potlucks , grocery stores to connect to your homeland – you have to hold on tightly to your other senses …The sense of smell,sight,sound which all connects to your mind …

The SOUND- of falling rain , of water dripping down the leaves and creating ripples in the pond, of someone talking in a way which sounds familiar to you, a long-lost song, the swishing of the trees – you hear this and in an instant you are transported back , to times long gone, to memories you hold dearly, to someone whom you haven’t met in a while …Listen to those sounds and close your eyes …

The SIGHT- of imminent fruiting of the palm tree just outside your balcony , of “ kaash fuul and cottony clouds “ , of the yellow butterfly which you were so fond of chasing as a kid, of a familiar flower or a tree , of tree-lined bungalows which so resembles your neighbourhood where you grew up, of Royal Poinciana trees which reminds you of the road you took everyday to catch the school bus…Ohh ….so many memories keep flooding back to you that you get overwhelmed !!

The SMELL- of an incense burning, on your visit to the nearby Hindu temple which reminds you so much of the incense used at home or at your grandma's place, of a face cream which reminds you so much of mom or grandmom, of wet grass and soil after rain- reminding you of so many days when you used to watch and romanticize the rain in your young mind, of freshly cut Christmas trees lined up for sale outside the departmental stores which might remind you of oranges and holidays- the afternoons of all those winter vacations, spent eating oranges in the sun with a little black salt ( using the peels as a bowl ).

The THOUGHTS- And so the thoughts of the vagabond mind lingers on, shuffling back and forth between the past and the present, the pleasant memories and the harshnesses of real life one assimilates the spices and fragrances of one's life.