Monday, September 26, 2016

Summer woes get a green fix -- in Cyprus and in Doha

Photo coutesy: Archana Bahukhandi
Blades of grass
tickled my naked feet
this morning.

The expanse of green
at the local park
was too luscious to resist.
I yanked my shoes off without untying the laces.
Socks followed shoes
as I stepped on the grass
and let the swords of green
succumb
to the grey weight of my dark thoughts.

Yes, summer in Doha
gets to me.
I feel trapped
in the oppressive heat of forty seven degrees.

Soaring mercury
imprisons
humans in air-conditioned cages of homes and offices.
Cold and lonely
feels summer.

I rise before the sun
to go out,
to breath,
to walk,
to think
and to feel alive again,
despite the seventy percent humidity.

The green rapiers
rip through the web of negativity I've entangled myself in.
A smile escapes.

"Thank you, dear grass."
I say.
"I trample and yet you give.
You are awesome!"

"Spare a thought for the dew drop."
grass replies.
"She touched you too, you know.
I'm here, but she's no more.
Did you feel her cool embrace?"
************
There are people around us who are like those drops of dew-- people who do their 'jobs' without ever being noticed or appreciated. 

Today. I want to thank all the people who tend to the public parks and gardens in Doha-- all those hard working souls who work, despite the heat, so that people like me can enjoy a morning stroll. Thank you tree-pruners, water sprinkler-operators, grass-shearers, rubbish-pickers, park keepers--thank you all for making the summer bearable.

If this scorcher of a poem has made you hot and bothered...let me cool you down with some green pictures from Cyprus.

Natural shade makes all the difference.
Car park: Omodos
Destination: Lefkara
Road-side refreshments. 
No vendors -- a sign, a tin can and bags of oranges from nearby orchards...

We brought a few back home with us--the juiciest, sweetest oranges I've eaten in a long time.

Nature's bounty is common to spot;
 driving down a highway or meandering through a village.

Blooming Rosemary
The sun beats down on green doors

 Bougainvillea strikes a pose 
Lefkara is famous for its lace and silver, but it was this quaint backyard garden at the back of the shop that pulled me in. 
I wasn't planning to buy any more lace, but the lady who owns the business was so kind and her love for her garden brought out the sucker in me. (it's not that tricky, let me tell you:)
While the husband paid and waited, I explored this little gem.

A note for all those who garden in hot and arid places: 
Most of the plants in this little garden are drought resistant. I love the way they've been grouped together for impact.
The terracotta pots are sublime. More about Cypriot pottery in my next post. 






"It's not the best time to visit, you know. It's so hot." said another smiling lacer, sitting under the shade of a fig tree, on the street outside her house.
She wanted us to come in but I had just bought lace and I know me -- I cannot resist handmade gorgeousness.
So, I declined politely and nodded.
"You should visit in spring. It's beautiful."
Perspective, I thought.
The 47 degrees we had left behind was hot. 30 degrees in Lefkara was balmy.
But, not a soul (except us) was out at mid-day.
Except the Bougainvillea, of course.
Crunchy and tangy Greek salad and scrumptious doner kabaabs were relished under the shade here, before we bid Lefkara adieu.
I have to thank my friend Monica, a Cypriot whose grandfather comes from Lefkara, for her priceless travel tips. We managed to explore so many aspects of Cyprus in just four days --thanks to her.
I know I will be heading back someday, hopefully in spring.
It's a beautiful country.

Till we meet again:)
Leaving you with a beautiful prayer by Rupert M. Loydell

Prayer

Teach me the value
of what I own,
of what I eat,
of this earth
and of its people.

Help me to remember
whose world it is
why you created it
and why you created 
me.

Rupert M. Loydell

*******

7 comments:

  1. Love, love, love the post , Arti :) Every single word, every single photo, it just blew my mind :) Thank you for taking me with you to lovely Cyprus . Looking forward to more posts from you. Much love !

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    Replies
    1. Love having you here Reshma. And thank you for visiting and commenting. xx

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  2. You nailed it, Arti Jain! Cold and lonely prison - so true. This was the first summer I spent in Doha in my 7 years in Qatar and I agree with every syllable in this poem. The sheer pleasure of feeling the coolness of grass can be absolutely heavenly.

    Let me join you in thanking those gardeners. They truly do a commendable job by providing us the soul-cooling patches of green among the concrete jungle.

    Cyprus pictures are beautiful! Thank you for sharing the information and pics of the places that we may not find easily on travel websites.

    Keep writing, Arti! We are hungry for more:-)

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  3. You nailed it, Arti Jain! Cold and lonely prison - so true. This was the first summer I spent in Doha in my 7 years in Qatar and I agree with every syllable in this poem. The sheer pleasure of feeling the coolness of grass can be absolutely heavenly.

    Let me join you in thanking those gardeners. They truly do a commendable job by providing us the soul-cooling patches of green among the concrete jungle.

    Cyprus pictures are beautiful! Thank you for sharing the information and pics of the places that we may not find easily on travel websites.

    Keep writing, Arti! We are hungry for more:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ruchita. I love the expression: 'soul-cooling patches of green'. You're bang on.
      And you know me, I will write and make sure you read my writing, too;)

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  4. Dearest Arti, the first few lines were absolutely amazing!!! you need to write more poetry pronto :) I also love how you said "Thank you, dear grass."
    I say.
    "I trample and yet you give.
    You are awesome! We often forget the little blessings in our lives!!! Reminds me of my friend eons ago who loved and hugged every single tree and appreciated every single blade of grass so much so that she treaded on it lightly...... need more of that joy and gratefullness in this world!!! Thank you Arti for writing about this beautiful feeling we often ignore - " being grateful" for what we have....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Ish:)
      It's so easy to get caught up with stuff that doesn't go as per our plans, but a few moments of stillness can help us realise that there is so much to be thankful for;we take so much for granted every day.

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