challenges · Life · Photography

Last Chance

I spent the last three months struggling to write a post. Just when I had almost given up, the universe sends me a sign. It literally said ‘Last Chance‘. That’s the name of the Lens-Artist challenge for the week. So taking the chance to get it done, before December ends.

How we spend our days, is, of course, how we spend our lives.

Annie Dillard

2022 will go down in history as the year COVID was defeated. Or not. Anyway schools reopened, travel took off and my nest was finally empty.

The Knight is sailing around the world. My day begins with his messages and pictures of his life at sea.

The sky on fire over the Atlantic Ocean as seen from the deck of a ship.
Sunset on the Atlantic, by sierra_70

In his words, “Sunsets, sunrises, daily cloudy skies- they keep me alive and cheered up. The starry night sky, with the Milky way showing up occasionally, is something I look forward to every night, regardless of how dead I am at the end of the day.”

I miss him. Thank goodness for technology. I travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific via his tales.

Dusshera break and I was arm- twisted into taking a quick trip to visit my second born. What an unforgettable adventure it turned out to be! Travelled solo, mistook Jama Masjid for Red Fort, reconnected with school mates and discovered how easy it was to become teenagers again.

Oh! I ice- skated too because my brat decided I needed to do that. It was terrifying but exhilarating all the same. Out flew all the thoughts of gliding like a swan. Instead it was down to my wobbly knees to hold the balance and take baby steps. No way was I was falling splat on the incredibly cold, hard ice. Mission accomplished. Hence, the euphoria.

Players ready to play ice hockey on an ice rink.
Playing on ice

Post the session, watched the real masters, kids training for ice hockey. Now that was breathtaking.

Perhaps, the only thing to rival solid water were the visuals of gushing waters.

Monsoons in Doon and the river Bandal frothed and foamed.

The river foaming and frothing as it comes gushing out of an aqueduct during monsoon. Three people stand on the platform and look at the mist touching tge green canopy.
Foaming Fury

That didn’t stop my mother and her two companions from climbing up an old aqueduct from the British era.


A herd of goats look at the gushing river with colorful houses on the opposite river bank.
Lookout point!

The path to the aqueduct was rather picturesque. The clouds hung low, the river tumbled over the rocks and a herd of goat blocked our passage. The humans had to give way.

Just for a moment, the people and the herd paused to watch the monsoon fury.

No post is complete without a mention of my trip to Faizabad in the summers. The days were sultry and languorous.

Early morning walks and strolls at dusk. The air echoed with hymns. Sita-Ram chants, everywhere. And peace.

A temple spire touching the sky with old walls bearing thin bricks of the bygone era in the foreground.
A view of the river at dusk through an arch from which hung a temple bell and a seating lookout point can be seen silhouette in tge background

In fact, my time in Faizabad reminded me that we don’t need much to be happy.

For instance, a dip in the mighty Saryu on a hot summer evening. Watching the boys dive gleefully in, their joy was infectious.

Children ready to jump into the river on a hot summer evening.
A Simple Life

To taking more chances, cheers!


14 thoughts on “Last Chance

  1. Lovely read , as usual, Sheetal. The ice-skating bit is humorous! The sun captured in its different hues nudges the romantic heart ; ) Presumably, the herd hadn’t heard about human’s assumed superiority, thus no way letting you go first..
    Looking forward to more musings

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Sheetal, you know how happy I am to welcome you back to blogging – we have missed you! As always both your images and your writing are marvelous – you have a beautiful way with words my friend. I loved your images choices of course – my favorites are your opening sunset, the goats and dusk. Your spirit shines through! Hoping to see more of you as 2023 rolls in and of course wishing you and yours a marvelous New Year

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina, you are the best. You are my very own cheerleader. Thank you for your warm and encouraging words. So happy to be back. Can’t wait to see what the Lens-Artists team has in store. To blogging and creating many more happy memories in 2023, cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a fun post, Sheetal, so full of life. Ice skating, wow! I’d love to do that again. My brother and I used to do that all the time. Happy New Year!


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