Burn It To The Ground….The Burning Man festival 2014

North America’s largest outdoor arts festival, with its drum circles, decorated art cars, guerrilla theatrics and colorful theme camps, Burning Man draws over 66,000 participants every year. Every year the festival is held at the same venue – the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. According to the official festival website, the theme of this year’s festival, Burning Man 2014 ‘Caravansary’, evoked the Silk Road.

“For centuries, Silk Route travelers crossed paths in caravansaries, bustling caravan stops offering more than just shelter from the desert wilderness; they were vital centers of cultural exchange, bringing together traders, pilgrims, monks, nomads, traveling entertainers, and wild-eyed adventurers from all points of the compass to share their stories around a common fire,” reads an excerpt from the website. People from all over the world gathered at the sold-out festival to spend a week in the remote desert cut off from much of the outside world to experience art, music and the unique community that develops.

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Aerial view of the Burning Man Festival

The Man and Embrace as seen from the  top deck of the Cosmic Pra

 The Burning Man

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 People dance for a DJ at the Dancetronauts mutant vehicle during the Burning Man

 

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The Alien Siege Machine

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A crowd watches as two fighters battle in the Thunderdome

2012-09-02T180608Z-2010657886-GM1E89305A901-RTRMADP-3-USA-jpg_102937People remembering through photos and writings

s_b18_RTR4468ATemple Of Grace from inside

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The art installation Pulse & Bloom

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2012-09-02T175140Z-151609930-GM1E89304SM01-RTRMADP-3-USA-jpg_102935The Temple of Grace

s_b14_RTR44AQ4The art installation Embrace burns

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Participants interact with the art installation The Super Pool during a dust storm

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Fireworks are seen before the Man burns

2012-09-03T071412Z-1526192243-GM1E893163201-RTRMADP-3-USA-jpg_102947s_b24_RTR44DSYPeople cheer as the Man burns at the end of Burning Man 2014

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Final day of the festival where all art and things are burned to the ground.

Travel Beyond

Just few days back I was having a conversation with an old uncle of mine, he must be in his 80’s. We were just talking randomly about life when he said something which somehow touched my heart. He said “I am scared that what will happen to me after death”, just to comfort him I shared with him the gist of a poem I came across in my graduation. The poem is the epitaph of a very classic poet of Victorian age – Alfred Tennyson. THE POEM DENOTES THE TRAVEL AFTER DEATH.

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 The poet is aware that his death is near and he is accepting it. The poem is about Poet’s intense feeling of entering into another world from this world at the approach of death. Death is compared to the ship crossing the sandbar, the point beyond which the open sea stretches. Approach of night denotes the approach of death; also Sunset and Evening star represent old age. One clear call is the signal of ship to launch, that is, the God is beckoning the poet. The poet wishes that there should be no sadness while he is entering the other world.                                                                                               The poet wishes to die cheerfully for his soul is returning to the heaven. The tides in the sea would help his ship to cross the bar. When the ship starts its journey into the sea, the Pilot manages to overcome all the difficulties (The Pilot being the God). The poet has full faith in God for he knows that when he dies and leaves this world, his God will show him the way. He believes that God will accompany him to the Eternal life, while leaving this Earthly life which is bounded by time and space.

 Adolescence, Youth or Adulthood either we are not mature enough or too engrossed in life’s chores, we hardly think about the travel after death but in the last stage of life, in old age one seems to think about the travel ahead and unknowingly nurture a fear in their hearts of how will they travel to another world; but one need not worry for God is always there in their human journey just as Pilot is not visible in the darkness of the night while negotiating the sand bar. Same way the God will lead us in our travel even after life.