Suman Follow

Weaver of stories.
London / Odisha.

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The quiet courage
of the solitary bloom
braving the rhyme of seasons 
and the monotony of reasons.
"... the true smell of the Himalayas ... if once it creeps into the blood of a man, that man will at the last, forgetting all else, return to the hills to die.”
— Kipling
Happiness is knowing you've successfully passed on your sky-watching, flower-plucking, tree-hugging, leaf-kicking genes to your child.☺️🍂
A water lily from my last visit home. 
There's a pond nearby, one that no one bothers to stop by. And then comes summer and its murky surface is dotted with plump water lilies and lotuses; its dusty banks crowded with kids emerging soaking wet from the water, armed with the flowers. When I see them while on my way to somewhere but never the pond itself, I feel how much alive they are, the childhood in them throbbing and kicking. I see their unbridled energy and wonder if we will ever know what it is to be so carefree and yet remain so very rooted? If ever this innocent and earthy a joy will so much as touch the glossy bubbles of our urban, paranoia-ridden lives?
Of journeys—
big and small,
outward and within,
wild and epiphanic,
lived with all the heart
or ticked off as days in a calendar—
home is where it all ends.
I am a lover of old worlds and lost cities. And of the birds that live in them, the ones that get terrified when they lose their way into the blinding glitter of urban spaces. When I see them, bright-plumed and content, perched on the craggy columns and weathered arches, I wonder if they, too, like me, have a hard time embracing change. And whether they too are creatures of habit. 
In a world of ever changing people, priorities and places, is it too archaic to cling to morsels of familiarity?
"Days decrease,
And autumn grows,
autumn in everything."
— Robert Browning
Mornings that smell like home — 
Of the post-monsoon stillness and the dusk arriving all too sudden; of the air being ripe with an universal happiness because that much-awaited festive season has finally begun; of a harmonious warmth flooding homes and hearts, and the otherwise sleepy streets abuzz with a carnivalesque atmosphere; of a heady mix of marigolds, frankincense, and ghee greeting you at the entrance of every Durga pandal you visit... Sigh.

Wishing everyone a very happy Durga Puja/Pujo and Navratri.
Every night she kept the
windows open —
dreams needed some air too.
She carried an autumn inside her— 
flaming and cold,
misty and memorable,
all at the same time.🍂
Saint-Paul-de-Vence, one of the oldest medieval villages on the French Riviera, is popular today as an abode of many modern and contemporary art galleries and museums. As you walk your way to its top on the winding cobbled streets, and course through many a stoned archway and baroque fountain, one cannot help going back in time. Plus feeling a little light-headed by being in the middle of all that old-world romance. Just what an old soul and a tired heart needed on a sultry September evening.
Lost in the magic of Côte d'Azur, quite literally 'the azure courtyard'. In reality, it was a pebbly problem — how many of those perfectly pretty pebbles can one carry in one's shorts pockets. Or the dad's, for that matter.😅