The Western Ghats. They’ve become like a synonym for home. My “Ajja” and “Ayee” live there. My mother’s parents. “Ajja” in Kannada means grandfather and “Ayee” means mother. My grandpa is a farmer. He grows areca nut trees and sells the nuts.It’s not actually a nut, it’s more of a fruit categorized as a berry. We always try to visit them in December. That’s when they pick the ripened fruits, take its seeds and then boil the seeds before doing anything else.

The seeds are boiled in one huge cauldron, usually at night. I remember sitting by the fire and listening to my mother tell stories from her childhood and my friends there making jokes about everything under the sun. I remember escaping the chills that came with winter by scooting closer to the fire.

When I took this picture, I had just come out for a walk through the field when I saw the Sun looking at me, through the trees and I was struck by how beautiful everything looked. It was as if I hadn’t noticed it till that point but when I did, I almost cried. I’ve always loved nature and at that moment, it felt as if nature loved me too.

The air was clear of pollution. The trees were whispering to each other. The wind played with its leaves and I stood in the midst of it all wondering if I had indeed been ignorant of the worlds beauty for 14 whole years.

I promised myself that I would never again ignore my surroundings. No matter how much pain I’m in, I will enjoy this world and the life given to me. In accordance to that, in a span of one year, I’ve taken a lot of pictures and now, I want to share them.

I want to tell the story behind each picture. I want to write my emotions.

So here’s another promise I’m making myself. That I will participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge and tell the story of each picture. This one reminds me of my roots. Just like the trees in Ajja’s fields, I want to hold on to my birthplace and embrace my culture. This picture shows who I am and where I’ve come from. This is something I never want to forget.

Pictures tell the story of a lifetime and in this case, mine.