Wednesday, December 26, 2012

PAINTING THE SKIES


Dear Friends.. I am sorry for yet another long break. I know.. I have been doing this quite a bit recently. Anyways.. am back with something interesting again! Okay... so tell me friends… What would be your idea for a lazy Sunday afternoon? I see a lot of hands. And I guess there are a lot of refreshing recipes for a relaxing weekend afternoon act. A good heavy meal, is it? It certainly helps if a Saravana Bhavan or a Punjabi dhaba is round the corner. But it will be even more special when a loved one cooks that heavenly meal for you or you make his/her afternoon special by becoming the master chef. Okay… I hear you are on diet. A movie perhaps! Check out the latest blockbuster that is showing in the multiplex nearby. Ahh.. Mixed reviews you say!

Hmmm… How about sitting back on that recliner and checking out anything the idiot box has to offer? Coziness and entertainment all at one place; with a refreshing dash of ginger tea and bliss is yours. Chaos in the living room, huh!! What to watch: Debate on economics or a movie or an Ekta Kapoor soap opera!  Gosh, can’t decide!! Okay okay.. stop that fight for the remote. Let me think of something else. Wait wait… don’t go to sleep! How about a long drive into the woods? What woods you ask? I hear someone yelling “Traffic”! Hmm.. This is getting tougher than I thought. How about a silent and pleasant walk then?  Did someone say cricket? Oh oh…There goes the afternoon for most of you now! I will leave you alone. You guys can fight in peace now!

Well these are all very viable options for lighting up a dull Sunday afternoon which were in my mind too. But the skies had other plans (literally). How is that you ask? Glad you did! It did start out as a dull, peaceful and serene Sunday morning as it went by in slow motion. A little bit of TV, some chit chat and coffee of course made it soothing and relaxing for me, mom and dad. And then it was lunch time as I debated the different options for lunch with mom. We settled on Pav Bhaji as the weather was in perfect synchrony for that and also because mom had never tried her hand at that before. So the chef hat and the apron were on as we went about the task at hand with enthusiasm and panache. And voila… Pav Bhaji was ready. Or so we thought!

But we had one small technical problem: there was no Pav. A quick trip to the grocery store solved that minor obstacle and lunch was upon us. Each one of us gulped down enough Pavs (not to mention the generous stuffing of Bhaji) that our eyes were fading out as we were ready to go into la-la-land. And that is when I just stepped out to the balcony to take a peek at what nature had in store that day. It was a fine day with the right mix of warmth and breeze, color and shade, blue sky embellished by cream clouds, birds chirping, squirrels fooling around (oh btw.. I do have to tell you something about squirrels but that would have to wait), cars (and men) giving Mother Nature a break, trees sveltely grooving to the winds and autumn leaves adorning the sidewalks. This abounding spectacle sent the idea of a nap cart-wheeling out of my mind.

Mom has always been an ardent admirer of nature herself and she joined me in the balcony as we listened to nature’s sweet chimes. And that was when we saw the sky’s white magic. It happened all of a sudden that we were left dumbstruck and pinched each other to ensure it was not a dream. Before you decide (for the umpteenth time) to kill me for holding you hostage with my impending suspense, let me let the cat out of the sky. The reason for our blissful commotion was that letters all of a sudden started appearing in the sky. Yes, you read it right. A magical invisible pen with the help of a precision stencil was etching out letters that were literally appearing out of thin air. We could recognize the letters but the words made no clear sense. And then in a minute or two everything disappeared. Now we were really curious about this mysterious turn of events. The afternoon nap was certainly out and we waited in anticipation of more wizardry from this mysterious wand. In other news, the curiosity bug had infected my dad as he too joined us in the balcony.

About 15 minutes had gone by and we were beginning to lose hope when a déjà vu happened. In another direction, in a different part of the sky, different letters made their appearance one by one to create new words but the one thing that remained the same was the fact that we couldn’t make out what the heck it meant. And then a minute later, it was all gone. Now I started speculating about these seemingly mysterious happenings and quickly made up a few preposterous theories. Was it some evil spirit’s handiwork? Were those writings somehow connected to some holy scripture? Was it warning us of some impending doom? I even thought about trying to research those words and try to find some patterns when my mom said that I was trying too much to be Sherlock Holmes (or Ramanugem rather).

In the meantime, another message had appeared in the sky teasing us with another riddle before fading away surreptitiously. Now we were proposing the theory of an alien attack (come on, we wanted to have some fun) and that over-abused prophecy of the world coming to an end in 2012. Seriously, an alien visit rather an alien attack would surely have been fun. But then, all good things have to come to an end. With some googling and research, I finally traced this to a Ryder cup gimmick. Now what is Ryder cup, you ask. It is a golf tournament between USA and Europe that happens every 2 years.

I know.. Golf is boring. Tell me about that! But this time it provided more fun even if it was unintentional. Apparently Europe made a historic comeback to retain the Ryder Cup. And I guess they had a little help from above. Well, not from that high up as you are thinking, but from at least above 50,000 feet. A European bookie hired a team of sky writers to create pro European tweets high above the country club where the tournament was going on, which by the way is in Chicago close to where I live. But to make them visible so far on the ground though, the planes have to make the writing really big. Each tweet was 400 meters high and 5 miles long and went on to break all skywriting records. That meant even people as far as 20 miles away could clearly see the writings on the sky and we were among the lucky ones.

Well… so ends the story of an intriguing Sunday afternoon. It was no Apocalypse but still a memorable and enthralling experience. For the first time I came to know about this concept called Sky Writing. It is the art of using an aircraft that is capable of expelling smoke, to fly in certain patterns to create writing readable by someone on the ground. Fascinating, isn’t it? Now this message could be anything, meaningful or less, advertisement, celebration or even a birthday wish or a marriage proposal. Now how many of you would want the heavens to broadcast your proposal to that special love of yours! I sure see a lot of hands again. 


44 comments:

  1. Haha nicely put up.. My lazy Sunday will be off course having a heavy meal and watching a movie or two and spending the whole time at my home without letting even a single sun ray to touch me :-P Weird no.. Well, I would not mind to have a pleasure of watching such a wowsome Sky Writing :) Keep Sharing :)

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    1. Yes Sonia. :) A heavy meal and a movie are ideal Sunday options for me too. :) That's what Sundays are meant to be. :) But yeah.. if the sky is willing to join the party.. then why not! :) yeah.. it was wonderful fun as I had not heard about it before either. Apparently it is quite popular and I was quite ignorant of the fact. :)

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  2. Writing in the sky, very interesting indeed!

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    1. Yes Rahul. It is indeed really interesting. I was surprised first at what was happening as I had known about it before. :) but then I went and read about it.. It is really an interesting art. And it lights up the day of everyone who is able to see it. :)

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  3. oh wowwwwwwwww super :D I want to see that too :) lovely I have read in romantic novels about this but surely havent seen one for real :)

    And Mr. Dare not go away from us :) if you do that again please peep across the window you will surely see "We are coming for you " on the Blue sky ;)

    Nice interesting post Raj :D loved it!

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    1. Ahh.. it is always so wonderful to read your comment. :) Yeah.. it was indeed a fascinating experience and a quite rare one I guess. And something I could have easily missed if I had not stepped on to my balcony. There was no publicity or mention of it whatsoever. :)

      And btw.. I will not disappear again though I would love to see such a sky tweet for me! ;)

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    2. And btw.. just a heads up to kindle some expectations... Ramanugem might soon be back with one of his latest adventures!! ;) :)

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    3. oh wow :D RamanuGem yeah yeah :D I am waiting for him ;) may be you can see a skywriting up there as "Missing you RamanuGem" :D

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    4. He he.. RamanuGem thanks you for the love and support. ;) He is thrilled and has vowed to be back soon with a bang. :)

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  4. :) So now we know what you been doing ..
    ,my lazy sunday is get up late .. have ALLO PARANTHAS .. and laze around , Play a bit on PS3 and then go to the local pub to meet all friends there .. have a good time with food and drinks and then SLeeepppppppp

    done dana dan :)

    and sky writing hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I ma thinking hard :)

    good to see you back Raj, How are you ... How was christams and whats the plan for new yearsssssss
    Bikram's

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    1. Areyy Sirji... how are you? he hee.. I like your lazy Sunday schedule. That's the way it should be! ;)

      Sky writing.. that was a pleasant anomaly for me. :) But it was super fun.



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    2. Oh yeah.. am back and I don't intend to go hiding again. ;) I guess I have said it before. But you can watch out for RamanuGem again soon. ;)

      But yeah.. Christmas was fun. Nothing crazy but just relaxing fun. How abt u? Hope you had a wonderful time. Wish you a very very happy and prosperous New year. :)

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  5. Wow! Thats very interesting! And if you saw it all of a sudden I can imagine the amazement you and your mom would have experienced! :)

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    1. Yeah.. totally Jaish. It was unbelievable for a moment and then fascinating after it sunk in. :) Great experience. :)

      How have you been? It has been a long time. Hope you had a nice Christmas and wish you a very very happy new year. :)

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  6. The beginning was so engrossing, you almost covered every kind of Sunday activity out there. I love watching skies and I do this very often. When I was in Bangalore, I fell in love with it. There is so much of cloud moment in that city. Not a Sunday but it is a lovely Thursday read.

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    1. Thank you so much Saru. I am so glad you liked it. :)

      Yeah.. I love sky watching too. And I agree.. Bangalore sky will make you fall in love with it. Watching stars at night always seems magical to me. :) It gives you a surreal feeling! :)

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    2. Me too, I always open a bit of blinds to have a look at the sky at night.

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  7. Ahhh!!! that was a beautiful post after a long time...I would have come to chicago and taken revenge if you hadn't taken a picture of the letters.. :) Just kidding!! Even I learned the word sky writing today only. But I have seen similar show in SFO. Where two planes come from two different directions and make the shape of a heart while the third one leaves smoke in the shape of an arrow. Isn't that cool?
    How lucky are the people who get to eat food cooked by someone else? For me, it will be making dishes for the rest of the week, cleaning and a movie in DVD..:-) btw, paav bhaji had been on my cooking list for so long now...have to make it soon..:)

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    1. omg... Revenge! Strong word.. I am scared now. ;) Yeah.. sky writing has been around but not very famous or well known. But it is a fascinating concept both from the perspective of how it is done as well as its impact on an onlooker. :)

      yeah.. it indeed feels special when we get to eat food cooked by someone else. I too often get bored of eating the food I made. :( Not that it is that horrible though. :P Oh yeah.. Pav bhaji is quite easy. Let me know how that goes. :)


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    2. Oh yeah...that is a wonderful example of sky writing you had witnessed in the show in SFO. :) So sweet and lovely. And it amazes us and makes us feel so elated. :)So glad you got to witness that spectacle. :)

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    3. Hahah..sorry to scare you. You are one of my first followers..how can I take revenge on you? your presence on my blog always makes me feel special :-) Happy weekend and Happy New year, Raj!

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    4. Same here Latha. :) And it is always a pleasure to read your works. You write so beautifully and reading your posts make my day.

      Wish you a wonderful wonderful new year and may this year bring you lots of happiness and joy. :)

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  8. Sundays are for reading newspapers leisurely, doing the pending cleaning stuff in the house and cooking yummy stuff that the kids demand. About sky writing, I haven't personally experienced it, but it surely would be fun to see.

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    1. Rachana.. that is a nice and wonderful way to spend a Sunday. And that sounds like a usual sunday for us too. :) Sunday is indeed a phenomenon, isn't it? One that we look forward so much. :)

      Sky writing was a lucky pleasure on that day. :) I am glad I stepped out on to the balcony. Otherwise would have missed it. It is indeed wonderful and I am sure it will soon become popular enough and you will have the opportunity to see it very soon. :)

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  9. Sky-writing the word in itself is so intriguing n exciting.. wish I get to see it one day... Lucky U
    as far as Sunday-For-Me goes... its just a day when I sleep a lott :P

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    1. yeah Jyoti.. isn't it.. I was really mesmerized when I saw it and was even more fascinated when I read about it detail. :)

      he he.. Sundays are sleep-a-lot days for me too. This Sunday was just an anomaly. ;)

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  10. I have heard of skywriting and probably even read about it in Readers' Digest, I think, but sky tweeting is something that is totally awesome. Keeping up with the times, I guess :) As for Sundays, for us it is like a Sunday most days except when one of us has a meeting and needs to go out. So we pretty much do all those things you have listed :) It is great to be able to enjoy with your parents as they get old. Not all children can. I am blessed to have some of my own :)

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    1. Yeah Zephyr.. it is indeed fascinating. :) I havent read about it much before but to witness it was just awesome. You are right.. I think, keeping up with times, we might see this more often in future.

      Sundays are just awesome.. I am glad that the activities I have listed are a part of your Sundays. :)

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  11. Seeing those words in the sky suddenly? I know how you would have felt! :D Skywriting is something I have heard of but haven't seen. Most of the Sundays start with cup of coffee or tea and a newspaper and then eat well and sleep. A little game in the evening and the Sunday goes fast bringing moron Mondays :D Cheers with the Pav :D

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    1. Yeah.. it was a big surprise indeed. :) Made the Sunday special. Otherwise yeah.. my schedule looks a lot like yours. ;)

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  12. Well, what can I say Raj, you writing is just poetry in motion. I just love the way you describe every intricate detail so vividly and so beautifully. Also the way you frame questions that the reader might encounter while reading your post and then answer them yourself. :P I am witnessing such subtle changes in your writing in your recent posts and I am loving it. :)

    Coming to the post, I am sure it must have been a surreal experience at first, seeing letters appearing on the sky. This year's Ryder Cup was memorable because of Europe's stunning comeback but never knew about this skywriting. Seems like a really good concept, I am sure it will catch on in Indian sports too. :) A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon with your loved ones. :)

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    1. Akshay.. I am so ecstatic seeing this comment of yours. Thank you so much for this out of world compliment. I am totally humbled. I am so glad you noticed the subtle nuances and changes in my writing style. Actually I hadn't realized that and am so happy you spotted it. Such lovely comments will definitely help me understand my writing and improve it. :)

      Yeah definitely.. it was indeed surreal. I was amazed at first to see words appear out of the blue. And the whole experience after that as things unfolded was very exciting. You are absolutely right.. Europe's stunning comeback was the talk of the town for sometime. But then there was this interesting side story of sky writing as well. :)

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    2. And you are absolutely right.. this seems to be an interesting concept. And I am sure it will definitely catch up in Indian sports as well. It should be pretty exciting. :)

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  13. Writing on the wall,i have heard of,but this sky writing is quite something!No wonder you were amazed.How lucky to be out at the right time.
    And return of Ramanugem is great news.

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    1. Yeah.. this was just a bolt out of the blue. It was such a fascinating experience and we were all thrilled. And yeah.. I definitely do consider myself very lucky. :) How have you been? Wish u a very very happy new year. :)

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    2. And yeah.. Ramanugem will soon be back. Hopefully you will like it again. :)

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  14. With you, journey is always memorable than the destination. Although I didn't know what kind of Sabbath you were about to paint with your fine brushes, I loved the way you took us to the scribbled skies. And although I had read your post before and tried to comment through my phone in vain, it turned out to be a Sunday evening before I could express my little joy to you!

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    1. Thank you so much Umashankar for that wonderful wonderful comment. :) Your comment made me smile and filled me with happiness. Yeah.. totally agree with you... journey is always more memorable than the destination. And in this case too, the 1 hour we spent enjoying the beauty that unfolded in the sky would remain in our minds for a long long time. :)

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  15. I was smiling as I started reading the post. The way you began it, my God no one else can do that, all these are the thoughts that go in our brain and still fail to understand how beautifully you've expressed them in words. With every post of yours your writings keep getting awesomer and awesomer. I know, that word doesn't exists, still.

    And coming back to the post, sky writing? Now that idea is good, to pop THE Question to someone that way. This was something new to me. Happy New year :-)

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    1. Thank you so much Ashwini for that out of the world comment. You really made my day. :) I really loved the word: awesomer. ;) Though I may be not qualified for that compliment.. I still am humbled by it. :) And that too coming from such a wonderful writer like you.. it doubles my happiness. :)

      yeah.. Sky writing was indeed new to me too. And it was a big and pleasant surprise.

      Wish you too a very very happy and wonderful new year. :)

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  17. Well this is news for me.. didn't hear of skywriting before, so initially it seemed like fiction. Well my bad. However, keeping things apart, your writing has a natural flow. The height of emotions are just right and so are vividness and choice of words.

    Just stumbled on this blog and glad it happened!

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  18. Seriously I am always swept away by your words when I land here. How, how in the world, do you do that. What's the secret, I have to know! You have a gift.

    I wish I could sky write Happy new year to you! Can you imagine that in the sky now? If you can, then that wish is from me :-)

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  19. hahaha, i was really getting confused and was trying to be a sherlock holmes myself. thanks for clearing the confusion and for the info.

    loved how you spent the day. even i am going to enter the kitchen today.

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