Spiderweb in Morning Dew

The Glittering Trap of Everyday Life

Traps he set with fine cobweb
Made a tiny house of gold
Set with shimmering silver stone
Just like tales of old.

From the moment we are born, threads of love and life weave themselves around us. The silken web is dense enough to walk on by the time we enter adulthood, but it keeps growing. New jobs and relationships, different places and times, all lend themselves to creating this structure we live on. 


It's so easy to see this web as the enemy; curse it for shrouding us, limiting us, slowing us down with its sticky overwhelming love and banal routine. So easy to forget that it has become our catch-all for daily joys and griefs, carrying on its deceptively fragile structure all the emotional load of our lifetime. The threads tangle and snake around you when you want to walk out, but they are also something to hang on to when there is no support anywhere else. And a single thread can take you to otherwise unreachable heights - or unfathomable depths.


When you are in it, the web of life is nothing but a trap and a hunting ground to help you survive. But if you take the time to look from beyond, you might realise what a lovely life it is that you are weaving!


What do you feel? Is the web of your life more like a trap or a cocoon? 


To see more photographs like this one, go to the Nature album in the gallery section!

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Japanese Maples at Westonbirt Arboretum, United Kingdom

Fear, Fun and Other Factors

The leaves flirted lazily with the wind, unaware of the moss creeping up slowly behind them.

Fear, Fun and Other Factors

What strikes me about Halloween or All Saints’ Eve is that it is essentially a celebration of fear. Never mind its pagan, Celtic or Gaelic history. Never mind its modern association with costumes and revelry. What we are doing is finding ways to express what we fear – and make it so comical that we fear it no longer.


As a race, we have taken over the planet, but are afraid of every single thing on it. From deadly mosquitoes to the murderous intent within each one of us, there is so much scaring us at every living minute. What a change to laugh at the things that go bump in the night!


An enterprising old lady called Fear

Thought Death was fearfully near.

So she took off her denture,

And looked such a misadventure,

That Death ran away fearing Fear.


Yes, fear deserves a celebration. What do you feel about it? How would you make your biggest fear look comical? Do write below!


If you want to see more photos like these, head to the Nature gallery in AvStories!


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Diwali Lamp

Trial by Fire

They watched as she walked into the fire, waiting for it to consume her. But by then, she had become the fire that would bring down an empire.

A woman who is snatched from everything she knows, made into a pawn for games of war and then abandoned by the love of her life and her own people – Sita’s story is poignant and terrifyingly believable. Every Deepawali, when I see lamps being lit, I find her in the flames – a reminder that the only way to conquer an indestructible fire, is to become it. She is an everywoman, who finds the extraordinary at the extreme moment – like we all need to.


I have an ordinary life. It is bound within the perimeters of people I know - my family, my friends, my colleagues and clients. There is safety within this circle, and happiness – of a deep, still kind. The confines of my world are small, but they are richly detailed and abundantly interesting to me. It is satisfactory, this modest, wholesome environment, ruled by good sense and dignity.


But sometimes, I wonder how it would feel to break free - to reveal all that is absurd and undignified in me, all my powers of captivation, all the spirit and wildness that I guard from everyday living. To be like fire, not caring for the cold wind, but blazing with all might and passion, in the face of those who dare to look into the flames, or in fascination choose to bask in its warmth!


I am like water, I flow where the ground takes me, and when stones stop my path I move and flow around them. Wind storm and defiance I do not know. But the beauty of power and destruction and dissipation fascinate me - as if a pagan era still lives in my brain. I am in the flow, I will live the life of the river and be content. But sometimes, I should like to think of that somebody who lived like fire.


It is the way of the world that a fire burns and dies, reduced to little flames and sparks among the wood, spent, exhausted while the river runs on, widening, deepening, slowing. The river laughs to itself a smug little laugh as it meets the sea, because it left behind all the filth on its banks, and remained as flowing crystal. But the fire laughs too, in abandon, for no filth, no smoke, no shadow can darken its moment of flame. And its gleam it sends up in the embers which fly, to catch one if you can.


~ Vatsala


P.S.: Happy Diwali!

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Diaries & Cameras

Exploring the World through Lens & Pen

“At last, I have got it,” thought the hunter. But it had already fled the carcass, leaving nothing but the skeleton of words held together within the skin of an image.

Remember the secret diary you had as a child? The one you hid in different places every month? Mine was covered in brown leather and had arrived as a New Year’s gift from Japanese business associates of my grandfather. Every other page had illustrations, along with what seemed to be improving quotations; but as they were in Japanese letters, it can’t be said I benefited from them.


The illustrations though, took me into a whole new imaginary world. I took to inventing stories about each picture, stopping only when the diary filled up with my scrawls.  Of course when the next one came, I had to brighten its ruled pages with my own sketches.


To me, it seems only natural that visuals and stories should inspire each other. We are all hunters, obsessed with capturing moments or emotions or things. A beautiful leaf must be photographed before the morning dew fades from it. The laughter of a child must be recorded in the right words, before it transforms. Most of the time, the substance eludes us, leaving words and images behind.


But once, just once maybe, there will be a sentence and a picture that will encapsulate it all. Till then.


~ Vatsala

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Adventures in Photography & Storytelling

A Composition of Life

A photographer is but an apprentice to the mysteries of light. That’s why I believe the best snapshots are captured through the Av Mode (aperture mode), where the photographer, by commanding complete control of light, while altering time and focus, is equipped to create magic.


It was Fred R. Barnard who first said “a picture is worth ten thousand words”. But words joined to a photo can create a synergy beyond each. When a frame gets a voice, and a composition a face, both can fulfil their creation in a profound and impactful way.


So Anand & Vatsala at AvMode bring you satchets of micro-fiction adding zest to our photo journals. We hope anyone who wants to mull over beautiful moments and lose themselves to story worlds for a short time, will appreciate our small effort. 


~ Anand

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