Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Obvious is not so Obvious: Answer to Lovely Lake Quiz

(Before I start this post, I would like to thank everyone that commented on my earlier post.  I truly appreciate the encouragement and spirit.)

A Lebanese American artist, Kahlil Gibran’s quote reads “Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.”  By chance, this photograph attempts to prove the same but not completely. Fog masks the houses and surroundings and hides the reality to a certain extent. 

It is a picture of a small man-made lake behind our house. It is nice but nowhere close to any tourist spot of Kashmir, Tamilnadu, China, Japan or Brazil.

Knowing it is not unusual to build housing subdivisions with lakes in America, NRIGirl picked up the obvious answer. Usha analyzed the picture and used the simplest interpretation of “Whenever I travel back here, I feel happy” to deduce the answer. Kiran, being in love with her hometown, made an understandable assumption that most beautiful place on the earth has to be my hometown. She is right.

Missing the obvious is not uncommon. Lack of information, too much or too little thinking can make you miss the obvious. Initially by not supporting common devices like printers and other non IBM equipment, IBM’s OS/2 could not penetrate personal computer market while Microsoft sold millions of copy of MS Windows. The Japanese did not see the obvious flaw in attacking Pearl Harbor. Here is an interesting article on The Science of Missing the Obvious.

My conclusion, it is either Art or Science; sometimes obvious is not so obvious.

(Author’s Note: - Typically I stick to one theme in a post but this time like a Bollywood movie I tried several unrelated topics like deception, photography, Art, Science and technology. Therefore I am looking forward to more comments.)


  1. Wow! what a cool post :D
    You definitely live amidst bounty of natural beauty :D

  2. Missing the obvious? I don't think so. I think it is what popularly known as "photo manipulation".

  3. SG,

    I did not manipulate the photo. We had thick fog on 2009 Thanks Giving day. On the left column, I link to another picture that I took on the same day.

    As I say in the first paragraph, fog has covered the reality. You can photo manipulation by nature :)

    Nevertheless few people were able to guess but your point is valid. :) If there is no deception, it is too easy :)

  4. WHat a difference.. and what a pic.. true so true Common sense is not so common after all.. most of us saw the pic and went for tourist place But indeed now i envy where you live :) beautiful

  5. I guess there's manipulation coming from nature in the form of fog, and manipulation coming from you (in an artistic way) in the angle of the photo, which sets it up as looking like a tourist destination. We tend to try and take nice pictures while on holiday, we frequently just photograph our neighbourhood, if at all, in an unromantic way.

    It looks like you live in a very nice place!

  6. Thanks all, yes this place is very nice.

    @CB, @Chitra, @Parul:- Thanks.

    @Bik:- Thanks. You are right. No need to be envious. Every place has its own merits.

    @Kiran:- Yes. You were pretty sure.

    @Emily:- Yes. Fog helped a lot and masked a lot. I like to take pictures so try use these opportunities where I could be slightly creative. I take pictures of our neighborhood and yard and post them here. I am not sure if many people do that - I agree on that point that most people tend to take nice pictures on holidays. But that is not to me because I like to take picture anyways. Mostly camera is ready. If you see on left column, there are links to pictures - all links under 'Pictures' - all are pictures of this area. Also 'Scenic Street' is picture of main street near my neighbor hood. I lived at many places (not as many as you have) and have tendency to like wherever I live.

  7. I always try to see the good in wherever I live though I frequently forget to take pictures! One reason I'm enjoying my new blog; it forces me to see the neighbourhood from new angles. I've lived in Canada, Scotland, Spain, Mexico twice and South Africa. Partly as a result of traveling/teaching, most recently with my boyfriend who gets contract work. It's great to see lots of places, of course there are some downsides too. I'll go check out your other pictures of your area...

  8. A! Now you have proved you are a great photographer too. Glad to see a glimpse of your backyard!

    Indeed very happy I could guess it right this time...

  9. @Emily,I have lived in six cities in five countries for work and enjoyed all but one place. Now I travel for work but that is really for few days at a place. Been to Montreal and Toronto - practically different countries in my opinion though both are in Canada. It is good to take pictures of your surrounding if you can.

    @NRIGirl, Thanks. Now also for Christmas/New year, I take family portrait (not quite like studio because don't have all kinds of lights - but good enough), and print cards at a shop and snail mail to all friends and family.

  10. hmm the fog has played a great deal in these snaps. You have a great backyard :-)

  11. Insignia,

    Of course it is the fog.

    Lake is behind my backyard - not in backyard. It is common to several houes but of course we consider it our backyard. :)

    In general this area is far more prettier than California. Been there several times.

  12. Thanks for your lovely and encouraging comment.
    Wonderful work. The fountain with fog all around looks like a tourist place. Amazing and unbelievable.

  13. the picture is really beautiful :)
    lake in backyard!! sounds cool :D

  14. Beautiful combination :)
    Liked the verse of Khalil Gibran.... I think its obvious but still not so obvious :P

    Thanks for visiting me, hope to see more of you.

  15. me 2 liked the verse of Khalil Gibran..Small lake behind yr house? lucky man..feel like taking the next flight...wait lemme check my purse..sorry...byebye...

  16. Wow! It is quite nice to be in your backyard! :)

    P.S. And yes. Of course I am open to interview guys as well. Would you be interested?!?

  17. @Babli:- Thanks for kind of words.

    @Raji:- It is behind my backyard...not exactly in backyard.

    @Tanvi, @Ramesh:- The idea of posting this quiz came from the verse. It is so true. Is not it? I was expecting more people to comment on Gibran's quote.

    @Tanvi:- Thanks.

  18. nice!!.. u have a lake in u r backyard!!!!

  19. great
    thanks for sharing the pic and answer.