20210622 By Vasanthi
This painting of hot air balloons by Dr. Beena is such a pleasure to admire and take a trip with. Her subtle use of earthy tones on a journey to explore freedom is so enchanting.
From childhood I had always wanted to feel the freedom of attaching wings to myself and viewing the world from way above. Tried singing R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly’ over and over again in the hope of spreading my wings and flying to freedom. The tune and chorus still lingers in moments where freedom is greatly desired. The opportunity came by in Bagan, Myanmar and taking a hot air balloon trip was like a dream come true. I dived into it after taking all the precautionary measures. It is lovely to feel the freedom from above but we do have to make sure that we don’t pay the cost of being foolhardy for we do not have wings like the birds. Balloons Over Bagan with experienced crew members certainly gave me the needed comfort. Exploring the amazing ancient temples and architecture of Old Bagan was as though the spirit was set free to roam the universe. Images remained forever.
In Dr. Beena’s painting of hot air balloons in St. John’s, Antigua, I can feel the light-hearted moments of being in a hot air balloon. The joy of looking below and admiring nature can only be compared to the adventure of reaching higher heights in an unofficial race with the other hot air balloons. Somehow the enthusiasm in the race to reach higher heights slowly dies off with the wonderment of nature below. Watching the mountains, trees, people, buildings, roads, animals and everything else takes over the excitement as the journey on open air continue. Freedom and happiness transcends everything else. Antigua achieved independence from the English settlers in 1981. Being an island of around 10 miles by 10 miles in area, it would certainly be a wonder to be up above in a hot air balloon and marvel at the sight of a wonderful island below.
Memories of Bagan return. I remember wanting to take as many photographs as possible to capture the wonderment when I was way above in the hot air balloon. Those would be capturing precious moments that would certainly last longer than a lifetime. In all excitement, the smartphone was put to good use. Then a sudden fear crept into me. I am in a basket, lifted up by hot air balloons roaming miles above the earth. What if I lose grip of my precious handphone? Could I afford to lose all unsaved precious memories? That fear made me tread with caution and brought some sanity back into the euphoria.
Life has a lot to offer. Modern technology helps us achieve more with much simplicity. However, to be able to enjoy freedom in life, we have to be cautious as any minor slip can change our path forever.