A link to our past.

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Littered with bitter sweet memories, life is a fantastic ride.Remembering those memories makes us smile,cry and even makes us feel embarrassed sometimes.Photos are the perfect ways to make sure we capture those memories and relive them over and over again.Once the age of vitality and enthusiasm is over , one keeps visiting and living those memories through photos.These photos are undoubtedly the strongest link to our past.

When my grandmother came to me and asked me if I had found a certain folder containing couple of photographs of her father and her mother,I nonchalantly said I didn’t know where it was.Maybe she had it at her home,Maybe she had lost it,Maybe she could’ve taken better care of them.I brushed off the issue and continued with my life.Every time I would meet her she would ask “Did you find the photos?” “No,aji I searched for them I didn’t find them anywhere.” After fifth or sixth time the same persistent question led me to believe that those photos meant a lot for her. When I asked her why she needed them so badly she replied,”Those are one of the last photos of my parents that I have.”

After that last visit I came home and started combing through all my cupboards and drawers and closets,still I returned empty handed. Then on a seemingly random day I found the folder tucked away deep inside a storage cupboard that we seldom use. I opened it and smiled,there inside the plastic sleeve were two small photos.

I took them to my grandmother the next day,and she was beyond overjoyed,she kept looking at them closely and muttering happily “Yes! these are the ones,yes.”As a jeweler inspects a rare rock under his eyes ,My grandmother kept inspecting them. “You see this is my father in this photo,I only have this single photo of his.It was very good of you to find it for me” she said. “This one is of my mother and my brother ,this photo was taken in our balcony,look how beautiful she looks.” A faint smiled formed on her face.”When were this taken?” I enquired her. “Somewhere around 1926” she said after doing some mental calculations.

“Let me digitize them and lets see if we can color those” I asked ,the photos were in considerably good condition as she had kept them so close to her,but still a little bit of cleaning and color could rejuvenate them.The relief on her face was motivation for me enough to start working on those.

That brings us to the conclusion.After playing around lightroom tools ,Five to six hours later,I managed to colorize the photo ,It was my first time doing colorization as one may see from the images.Its a little bit shabby work ,but I’m pleasantly surprised at the results.I still have one more photo to edit of her father , my great grandfather,but I want to do it properly this time around.

There is a moral to all of this,and it is ,Taking better care of your memories,photos taken before the digital age,photos taken by your parents,grandparents and so on.

Digitizing photos is extremely easy ,you have to spend exactly zero rupees on it.Just take a photo of the print using your smartphone camera,or a DSLR in a well lit area.The print photo should be on a white sheet of paper and then take a shot from above .Take special care that you don’t introduce any shadows from your hands or elbows.After that open up that picture in any editing software,I recommend snapseed by google. Crop the excess area,apply some filters and you are done.The most important part don’t forget to store this image in the cloud that is, google drive,Dropbox etc.

Colorisation may be a little bit complex,but you can learn it online through YouTube and various other platforms.

Ill end with the words of L.M.Montgomery from the novel The story girl,

Nothing is every really lost to us as long as we remember it.”

You can view the photo here.

-alok

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[WIP] Jack’s friend

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What are your worst fears? Clowns? Monsters? Rabid animals? Ghosts? When you were little, you definitely had some sort of fear, it made you restless.You could not sleep, kept turning sides on your bed, pulled the covers of the blanket up, shielding you from the unknown. Stayed silent minutes on end to hear the unmistakable sound of horror. The breathing,the footsteps, the laugh, your name spoken in whispers.The unease causing lack of sleep and then finally, falling asleep while waiting for something to get you.Only to realize how silly you were once you had woken up in the morning. The comforting presence of your parents, the annoying existence of your siblings.They made you feel right at home. The feeling of being alone thoroughly decimated by the ruckus of daily morning rituals.

For most kids,this is the norm.Most kids except one who lived on the end of St. Peters street. He was wee little boy named Jack. Jack was around ten years old.The age of wonder,mystery,curiosity.Jack liked playing with his little green army men the most,which were a gift from his favorite uncle.He always carried them with him.He had no friends except his little green army men.

He lived in a decrepit old house.Overgrown shrubbery and dry leaves engulfed the entrance.The off white paint peeling off of the house like flesh on a burned face.The house was surrounded with untrimmed trees always threatening to fall on a slightest notice of gust of a wind.Weeds had managed to creep out of the cracks in tile,swaying to the melody of autumn wind.Jacks father was not an ideal dad.Quite the contrary,when he and his wife had surrendered to the pleasures bestowed by the brown powder,they rarely remembered they had a son.

 

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This is a work in progress. I will keep adding to this until it finishes,Hopefully into a short story.Thanks for reading.

[WIP] Relic

The electronic beep woke up the charging station attendant ,through the door walked a thin, almost malnourished human.He handed his scan card.”How much?” the attendant asked the human. “Top her up.” The human replied. “OK,anything else?”he asked while scanning the humans card.”Yeah we’ll have a look around.” A second human entered through the door making the entrance beep again.He was short but fat unlike his other human friend.What a peculiar set ,thought the attendant.As they walked away , the attendant sat back into his chair and started listening to the dio.

“So what is this woman called again?” The short pudgy one asked the lanky one . “She’s a skiptracer ,she finds beings which are hard to find,those who have no sign of existence,on paper.” “So , let me get this straight Pat,we have to get her this incredibly rare augment for her AI and THEN she will help us? Why cant she just take credits from us” a fog of doubt was starting to rise in his mind. “Well,she does usually takes credit,but once she knew who we were she put forward this condition, also I mean who doesn’t know Pat and Jones.” Jones looked at him with a hint of annoyance, “Alright,so do you have any leads on this augment,where should we start?” He picked up a candybar from the aisle and scanned it ,immediately opening and taking a bite out of it.”Well its in this guys home so we actually have to ..” Pat hesitated “Retrieve it sneakily.” Jones stopped in his track “So STEAL it?”he asked pat.”Yes I know how it sounds like” Pat said reassuringly. “But this woman, this skiptracer I told you about, she has this incredible way of finding things which nobody has, I mean she finds things which the Federation has given up on.Also she is a friend of a mutual friend so I know that she is worth trusting ”

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This is a work in progress I will keep adding to this until it finishes,Hopefully into a short story.Thanks for reading.

Ravivar Karanja

Ravivar Karanja Sunday Fountain [literal translation]
Is one of the most prominent shopping areas in old Nasik,People around the city visit Ravivar Karanja and the markets surrounding it to buy household necessities ,clothes ,veggies and much more.

The market area blooms on Sundays and the main fountain at the center is overflowing on the same day hence the name Ravivar Karanja.

Clothes,house hold bits and bobs,jewelers,Seasonal delicacies,street food,fresh Vegetables,Fruits,Monsoon gear,Flowers and Puja sahitya (pooja prep materials) You name it,everything can be found in these markets .

Assortment of people come through these markets to shop and wander.The one glowing problem has always been faced is traffic during sundays due to people coming in cars and SUV’s which often leads to traffic jams and blocks.The most ideal way to travel is on foot and you can easily navigate through the alleyways and streets which cater specialties such as Biscuits,milkshakes and many such mouthwatering treats for the foodie inside.

Even though Malls and supermarkets have sprung up all around Nasik the old  market remains still, offering quality goods at a reasonable rate.

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Here comes the rain.

I was returning home after dropping my grandmother at her home,I took my usual turn which would have led me to my home shortly,but the road was blocked by a big tree which had felled, likely due to heavy winds and was comfortably resting on a SUV. After a quick trip home,I picked up my camera and returned to the site.There was a sizeable amount of people gathered around the tree, all waiting to see how this would get solved.After about 5-6 minutes  a firetruck appeared and a bunch of  people got out of it.One of them had an axe and the other one had a chainsaw.With swift decisions they proceeded to free the automobile from the grip of tree, the car had a damaged windshield and dents on various place where the tree was resting.

The matter was solved in and around 10-15 minutes,the car had damages but the tree was almost completely uprooted.You can see the damage in the images below.

The question you must be asking is why do trees these big, sturdy fall during monsoon.Well i asked myself the same question,and the answer to that is;

Concretisation of tree base: Simply put concretisation of the tree base is, during  the construction of roads or buildings the tree’s base is covered with cement and or tar which does not leave any space around the trunks and don’t allow the roots to get a proper grip which further leads to felling of the tree.

According to this article

375 trees collapse in four days of heavy rains

You can read the article to get a clearer perspective of concretisation and its effect on the trees.

As the monsoon season starts you could see many more such trees fall and do damage to property, even human life.

The solution to this problem is de-concretisation in which the tree’s base is rescued from concretisation by leaving ample space for their growth and a porous material on the surface to let water and air inside to the roots.

[WP] “The light can never go out,” explained the old lighthouse operator. “Ships don’t need us. Haven’t in quite some time. It’s the people here on land who’ll suffer if that light ever goes out.”

This WP was taken from reddit.

Tim walked towards the big light house bench and plopped into it.He gazed over the whitewashed light house,It was still working,He looked for ships in the ocean.His sight returned none.He watched the lighthouse again,someone was coming out of the door.The figure took something out of his pocket,and then started searching his shirt pocket .A lighter , the man walked looked around and was probably searching for matches.Tim walked towards the man and brandished his lighter around “Light.” ”You are like a god kid thanks.” The man put the cigarette in his mouth and leaned forward while Tim lighted it.With the first flicker of the flame Tim could see that the man was an old soul,wrinkles,missing teeth,glassy eye and a big mole on his cheek.”Thanks” the man replied.”Anytime.” Tim responded.”Searching for sleep i see.” The man asked.”Yup,the same old,I’m Tim..and you are?” Tim asked him timidly.The old man took a long drag of his cigarette and looked up towards the sky.”I’m Arthur,what brings you to Stonybrooks Tim?.” Arthur said exhaling. ”Umm actually my dad had property here,i just wanted to check it out.” Tim said.Arthur took another drag from the smoke and looked towards the sea. “How long have you been working here?” Tim walked besides Arthur and faced the cool breeze of the sea. “Long enough..when people used to be people,when terrors were more known.” Arthur said in a daze. “Okay..How expensive is this to run?” Tim asked pointing towards the lighthouse.Arthur took his last drag and threw the cigarette butt in the shrubbery around.

He looked towards Tim for an awkward amount of time and said,”A fortune to run ,but without it all hell will break loose.”Arthur said in a melancholy tone.”I didn’t know ships still relied on lighthouses,this seems pretty irregular to me, with all those GPS and SONAR technologies..” Tim was interrupted “Tim..The ships don’t need this lighthouse,its the people of Stonybrooks,They’ll suffer if the light ever goes out.”Arthur said with sadness on his face.

Daily Prompt: Flee

Flee

She took out her pocket watch and started calculating how much time she had.The beauty of the watch could not escape her eyes ,the watch belonged to her father,a complicated figure.A man of ideals,a man of morals,stubbornness which seemed to have passed down to her.He died a traitors death executed by his own fellow men,tricked and set up by the fat regime which he had served for the past 30 years.She began to boil with rage ,her eyes welled with tears.She wiped her eyes with her sleeve,the action followed with determination.her father deserved justice ,he deserved more than the wretched death he was given.Those savages must be held accountable for such an abominable act.

Her chain of thought was broken by the nearby alarm.She returned the watch to her pocket,Stood up and walked towards the edge of the roof.It seemed that the guards had just discovered the body, they started to yell.Reinforcements were not far behind.She took out a silver locket out of her bag and tied her hair in a ponytail.she cranked her boots until steam was pouring out of the metallic joints.she pulled on her cowl covering her face,fastened the goggles.The sound of footsteps got closer and closer and there was a loud bang on the roof door.They didn’t have the time to try keys on the lock.She looked back towards the approaching onslaught of guards.

To  achieve justice she had to be ruthless,she had to shed blood .There were no easy ways,no alternatives,no excuses.She had started from the tail of the snake and was now almost near its head.She could feel it,she had the answers now,but to achieve her goal she needed to escape.She needed to flee.She jumped over the edge of the rooftop as the guards almost reached her.The guards drew their pistols,shooting but failing to hurt the flying girl.A faint smile lit up the girls face.She was close.

via Daily Prompt: Flee