Tale of an adventure

100 Strangers, 100 Personalities, 100 Stories

Welcome to yet another Episode

Photos taken: September 29, 2022

Published: October 14, 2022

Which one is the best: first, second or the third one?

Well, (apparently) “Third one is the best” … So, let’s find out as to why.

It was a gloomy day during the early hours, and I was about to start my work in just about an hour or so. And this time I was in one of those very popular locations in Sydney CBD – Darling Harbour. This area is very lively. Few months back during VIVID Sydney the council organized some musical show that I still remember. Then there was this spectacular boat show just a few weeks back. In the middle of the city an amazing spot for outdoor fun – not just for the adults but also for the kids, too. A wonderful Harbour view along with many water features, vast expansive greenery, different types of eateries, kids’ corner – you name it. Everything in one place for the whole family to enjoy.

Usually, this area is quite busy with heavy foot traffic but since it was early hours, the traffic was however, still rather mild. After walking around and approaching a few passersby, I took a seat on the barriers at Tumbalong Boulevard. Right across is the richness of the Tumbalong park with its wonderfully maintained well-trimmed grasses and right in front is the footpath by which the traffic is slowly picking up. There are some eateries too, next to where I was at that time, which were still closed and the seating across those eateries are mostly empty – it was a lazy morning.

In about twenty minutes or so, I saw her walking by the footpath heading towards the city and my eyes were drawn to her orange-colored hair. In the backdrop of dark green vegetation, the color of her hair was very noticeable and as such, without delay, I made my way towards her and made my request for a photo, and she consented to join rather delightfully.

So, here is Emily who is originally from Sydney and now living in Sunshine coast.

Caitlyn is what her parents call her. Coincidentally, I met two other “Emily” in the past and “The third one is the best” – she pointed out with a gorgeous smile on her face (see the video bellow) which was, frankly, quite amusing!

Now, let’s talk about this number three (3) for a moment and let me preach a little bit of religion today. But, why preaching a contentious subject like religion on a fun post of photography? Well, for the simple reason that it will help me to explain my point. In addition, I have interest in religion besides photography and I love to read and discus about it. Anyways, coming back to the point, in Hinduism (of which I am a follower), this number three (3) has a very special significance. It is said that God – the divinity out of which this entire universe is created, is comprised of three predominant forces – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is the one who creates, Vishnu sustains, and Shiva is the destroyer. So, creation, maintenance and destruction are all part of “creation” (i.e., God’s manifestation). Similarly, according to Hinduism, in nature we have three qualities (gunas) – tamas, rajas, and sattva. Tamas means darkness, ignorance and inactivity while Rajas means activity and finally, Sattva means equilibrium and bliss. And interestingly enough, in the material world we find yet another striking semblance. In the construction of an atom, for instance, which is the fundamental building block of any matter, we have electrons, protons and neutrons – something positive, something negative and something that balances out those two opposing forces.

If you’re a Christian, on the other hand, you should be all too familiar with the doctrine of trinity – God the father, the son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit; three in one. So, as you can see, this number three (3) is indeed the best at least from some theological and even material perspective. But let’s not get carried away by too much theology today so, let’s rather dive into the chit-chat.

“So, what brings you here?” … “you live here or…”

“In Sydney? … I used to live here but not any more I am from Brisbane now…”

“I just got in yesterday from Vancouver actually…”

She pointed out that she used to live in the Sutherland shires. Coincidentally, I met another of my encounters from a nearby area very recently.

“I am used to the bush and outdoors more so than the city…” she added.

“In my stay in Australia I live in the Sydney so far. Never been anywhere else.”

When I asked about her new settlement in Brisbane, she added:

Life in Central Coast is “Very relaxed…”

“You can definitely tell it between the people… like people in Queensland… will stop and have a chat with you… they say hello as you walk past…”

Then she asked me a very interesting question, about my journey into photography. Referring to my project she asked

“How long you have been doing this?”

Then, I went onto saying about how I started this project back in 2012 and then putting it aside for all these years and slowly starting to feel some guilt for not doing it. I added:

“If you start something you better finish it” …

“It’s so good to get back into it” – she quickly pointed out

I recollected some of those sweet memories of that delightful past – how once, I was in the flow being part of large group of photographers as well as friends who would “kick me” if I am not out and about doing photography.

I said: “Sometimes you have to motivate yourself…”

Then, I went onto explaining how I was avoiding this project by finding different excuses:

(After a gap of nearly ten (10) years) “The first one I did back in January (2022) and that was very, very difficult…” “look… this is the only reason like when you are coming out (of your house) usually there is something else in between” …

“We gonna do this may be… you know like… I am gonna do the shopping… may be half an hour… I am gonna do this (the project) … because you don’t come out just for doing this” … 

(But) “That was in January… I made my mind that” … “I am gonna spend a day just for doing this… and that was the day… it was a lucky day I met someone… luckily, I met someone…”

“It was a big inspiration…”

“You know like you create your own schedule” … “you tweak it and then you can adjust all those things… this was the thing I was totally missing”

“Let’s say I have work” … “so I have an excuse ohh I have to go to work” … “I can’t do it” 

“The other day I have to go to the groceries… I can’t do it” … “you make up all those stories” …

“Excuses… I wanna go to the gym too… I got work I won’t go…” – she added

“That is how I was falling short…”

Interestingly, in the last couple of episodes I have been discussing some of my key takeaways from the project so far 1. Getting out of comfort zone talking with strangers

2. being resilient in the face of uncertainty and rejection and of course 3. being optimistic about luck and success. However, all those things could only happen after I proactively keep myself motivated and stay on course.

Now, talking about motivation, there are also three (3) parts (in my opinion), which I would discuss more on some later episodes but today I would rather focus on different aspects of motivation and how are they interconnected.

  1. The first step towards motivation was definitely having a Reason, a “Why”. Why should you even consider doing something? Why should you be motivated to take up a challenge or any venture? So, without a WHY there is nothing to be motivated about and in this instance, it is reaching a goal – talking to one hundred (100) completely random everyday people – strangers.
  2. Once I have a reason, then, the second step is gaining some “victory” for that particular Reason by doing something and making progress by gathering tangible evidence that would prove whether I am on the right track; getting Inspiration or Reward.
  3. And finally, talking about Inspiration and Reward; what is the best way to be inspired or rewarded? Yes, you need victory – some tangible evidence but more importantly, do you feel good about your “victory”? Here comes the third part – Authenticity. If you are not feeling proud of what you are doing, not having some fun or enjoying the process, then what’s the point of doing it? You have a reason, and you have all the victory in the world, but you are always feeling like you’re doing something wrong, that you are suffering from low self-esteem, that what you’re doing does not really suit you, that it does not make you a better person in your journey, that it chokes your growth and development, then will it matter at the end of the day whether you are successful or not or whether you have the best reason in the world to dedicate your life to? Well, I would say in such cases you should go back to point number one – reason.


So, in short, motivation has three parts – one physical (action), one mental (reason) and one emotional (feeling good)

Now, talking about reason the obvious question is how to find such a reason in the first place or why this reason alone and not some other reason? Speaking about my journey, I really didn’t choose this reason myself. It was all but a happy coincidence – I had some free time after completion of my uni., my then buddy coaxed me into buying a camera, me subsequently falling in love with human expression through photos and finally taking up a challenge as I came across an idea – again by coincidence – on the internet some ten years ago and then starting to feel some guilt – some sort of responsibility – for not accomplishing it. But do you need a reason to be motivated? Yes – absolutely. However, going back to the question of how to find such a reason? Well, the short answer is I really don’t know. I am not a motivation expert and for me it was all but a mere serendipity – luck.

So, as you can see all these three aspects are very much interconnect to one another when we are discussing about motivation. Without a reason you feel empty and demotivated and hence for you to get into action you need a reason. And then, without being authentic you cannot really develop as a person and stay motivated as it is going to strip you off the fun and joy and would eventually make you susceptible to low self-esteem and degeneration. When I was feeling guilty of not accomplishing my goal, for instance, I was letting myself down and that feeling – a feeling of failure – was not the best feeling to have in your daily life. And as such the drive for authenticity and high self-esteem actually brought me back into this project even if I had to wait for ten years in doing so. Furthermore, without being authentic, you can also never be truly rewarded or inspired to be on your mission. Consequently, you need a good reason along with a good dose of victory – having fun and making progress, gathering tangible evidence etc. – accompanied by high self-esteem, to feel absolutely awesome, to stay motivated in your course. And that’s a big boring lecture on motivation for today so now let’s move on. But before that I must point out, that not only in theology, or material world but in real life as well this number three (3) somehow dominates.

Who was your crush?

“Did you had any crush when you were a child… like in your high school?”

“No one asked me that question for a very long time…”

And with a round of smiles she added: “I love Ryan Gosling” 

Math was her enemy as she pointed out. I asked: “Who was your friend then?”

“Art… Painting…”

“So, you love to do Painting 🖼?”

“I haven’t done in so long, but I definitely should get back into it…” 

Since she travels around the world, I wanted to know what her best experience was, and she went on sharing her story from the jungle of South Africa

“So, you travel around the world… so you have different types of experiences so what was the most amazing things like you have done…”

“I came from Africa… South Africa in Johannesburg” 

“We did this amazing experience with lions” … “we got to go walk with them” … “they were just like” … “I could reach out and touch them” … “that’s how close we were” 

“We just walk in through the bush and terrine” … “it was a conservation park they were rescued from accidents… poachers and things like that” … “animals were very, very well looked after” … “they were trained like dogs 🐕 … “we just call them, and they just turn around” … “they are like puppies” …

She saw how “Cheetahs 🐆 try hunt some deer 🦌… it’s just crazy…” I asked, “did you want to try??” (hunting the deer?)

With a laugh she replied: “Nooooo I don’t know how to run as fast”

She seemed to be fun and really comfortable to talk to. When I asked about it she added:

“I find that I am most happy when other people are happy or I made other people happy.”

She has a dog and talking about happiness she added: “he (dog) makes me very happy” 

“Riddly” she told “Medium size” … “full of energy” … “crazy one” … “border collie” 

It was a bit rainy and somehow when there is rain, I always get remined of my childhood and we all know our childhood memories are very fun and precious.

“Did you used to run away from the school?” 

“I was goodie two shoes. “ – she added laughing

“I never skipped school or anything like that…I was the angle child” 

It was an unfinished conversation. However, I was just about to start my work and in fact, I was running late and hence I had no choice but to end this shortly after. In the rain as we parted ways going into different directions, I almost ran to get to my workplace on time. It was roughly around half an hour that we spent together and yet it seemed like a blink. Time flies away faster when it’s fun and entertaining. So, being third was the best? Well, we had lots of fun; we both enjoyed talking to each other, and that’s all I wanted. You can be third, fourth, hundredth or thousandth but as long as you had fun, it always is the best!

Leave a Comment

Share it with your loved ones

error: Content is protected !!