Thursday, 25 December 2014

Rewind 2014.

One fine evening, I tell Ma that I am going for a jog and I go sit on the staircase that leads to the water tank in my apartment’s terrace. I was listening to “Sound of Silence” on repeat and watching the sun drown into the urban jungle. It is my favorite time of the day. The sky is perfectly divided with the darkness of the fast approaching dusk and the last rays of light from the setting sun. It reminds me that we go through hardships only to cherish good times. We cry on some days only to laugh it all out on other days. The evening sky teaches me the contrasts of life like nothing else. Lost in deep thoughts, I think about all the significant events of the past year. I like to believe that everything in life is an opportunity cost. The events in our life, significant or otherwise are at the cost of the next best alternative forgone. All the memories that I've made in 2014 was at the cost of being somewhere else and making a whole different set of memories. 2014 has been a splendid year for me but of course it does carry its fair amount of shortcomings.  This was the year when I found love and experienced heartbreak. A year where I was lost occasionally and rediscovered myself.  2014 saw me smile at my best and cry at my worst. This was the year when I shined like a star but blinded by my own light I collapsed. It was indeed a year of ironies, contrasts and a lot of growing up.
I could see myself dancing like a jelly fish in the bus on a college trip. I could see myself making a bold statement at a debate competition which is followed by applause. I could see myself go accept an award on stage. I could see myself weep miserably without any reason. I could see myself fall in love or something close to that. I could see myself hug a friend and be comfortable in that warmth. I could see myself in Sweden being happy like never before. As I was going through the various chapters of 2014 in my head, darkness had already taken over the sky. Recalling all those memories made me smile and laugh like a fool. It is funny how just a few moments and certain people leave behind their scars on you.
 Before 2014 I was a different person, in a different phase of my life but now these 365 days seem to have changed me around though I cannot tell if it was for the better or for the worse. There are times when gratitude is not enough to thank the people who have influenced me, stood by me and loved me all the same. Without them I wouldn't be half the person I am today. They make me smile on my worst days and share my joys on my best days.
365 days. 8766 hours. 31,536,000 seconds. A year has passed by and have you made every moment count? Have you seized the day? Have you made memories worth sharing? Have you fulfilled all your resolutions? Well to be honest I haven’t. I have wasted days, spent a few in absolute misery and the rest in overwhelming distractions. Seizing the day or not, I was happy doing it as it was a conscious decision most of the times.
So here’s to all the people who love me all the same, the music and books that served as my escape. To having the best time of my life. To learning to love and to forgive. To bidding goodbye to a remarkable year and welcoming another one. 
I don’t know what 2015 has in store for me; I certainly would not have expectations about it. Right now I am just a girl watching 365 days of my life flash by me in a matter of seconds, hoping that it was all for the best. Hoping that it was a story worth telling.


Sunday, 21 December 2014

An Open Letter To God.



Dear God,

When I was 5 years old my parents took me to a conference in Pune, where a God man or a Yoga Guru as you wish to call him was interacting with the earthly creatures and answering their incessant questions on the mysteries of life, death and the human race. After all I was just a 5 years old kid and all this didn't make much sense to me and boredom took over, so after pestering my mother to take me out of the air conditioned hall packed with molecules of celestial energy I gave up and fell asleep on my mother's lap. Later when the conference was over, my parents and I got an opportunity to confront the Guru back stage and I asked him “Where is God?"  He smiled at me as though mocking my curiosity. "God is everywhere. In you and me."(I’m not sure whether those where his exact words) he said in his deep charismatic voice. This is my first ever memory of you, dear God.  I don't know what made the five years old me ask that, though I didn't have the mental faculty back then to comprehend his answer.

While growing up I have had various instances when my grandma used to narrate the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Slowly my idea of God changed from being a mysterious supernatural being to a Hindu deity who would help me score good grades only if I offered him coconuts and went to the temple every day. When few of my classmates prayed to Jesus and Allah, I realized that there is more to this. I remember asking my grandpa when I was 7 that “How do all these religions co- exist in one country?”  He replied that India is a secular country and we respect our Muslim and Christian brothers. 

Later in my early teens when I started studying about India’s history in school, I realized that this country has been divided beyond repair by religion. All religion professes peace, faith and appreciates good deeds. So it is only logical that all religions can co-exist under one roof of secularism. But that is not the case in India. Difference of opinions in the name of God has divided this country. Religion has been the reason for death of so many innocent souls. Isn't it hypocritical that the religion that preaches love but leads to hatred towards people of other religion? I think we must ask ourselves whether the fault lies in the way we perceive religion or in the very fundamental ideology of religion itself. Religion to people is identity, belief and faith. They believe that faith in God gives them purpose in life and solves all their problems. They’re so blinded by this faith that religion propagates that they start believe that their religion is superior. 

Religious fanatics and fundamentalism is dangerous, it is an evil to humanity. There are so many unresolved issues regarding religion in this country. Superficially we claim to be secular, but how many of us think of Muslims, Hindus and Christians as humans first and then associate them with their religion. Who are these Hindus? Are they the people who wear saffron, go to temples and hate Muslims? Who are these Christians? Are they the people who celebrate Christmas, grant sainthood and lead mass conversions in India? Who are these Muslims? Are they terrorists, do they hate the rest of the world? Religion is a concept that man has created. It has manifested into such powerful levels that now it can destroy humanity. Taslima Nasrin in her book Lajja says, “It is said that peace is the basic tenet of all religion. Yet it is in the name of religion that there has been so much disturbance, bloodshed and persecution. It is indeed a pity that even at the close of the twentieth century we've had to witness such atrocities because of religion. Flying the flag of religion has always proved the easiest way to crush to nothingness human beings as well as the spirit of humanity.”

26/11, 9/11, Godhra riots, Babri Masjid demolition, Indian Partition and the recent Peshwar attacks are all instances of religion destroying humanity beyond measures. Religion was supposed to be a facilitator, a propagator of faith. Since when did religion become larger than humanity? Are we responsible to have bred this evil?

God, weren’t you the supernatural being? The being, that was larger than life. The energy that created the whole humanity. The protector, creator and destructor all bind into one powerful force. If you’re out there, if you’re real would you let religion destroy human beings? Would you let religion kill 132 innocent school children in Peshwar?  Would you tell people that you’re much larger than religion? Humanity is heading towards a path of self-destruction, all of this in your name. When will they understand that you’re all about love, peace and harmony? When will humanity shed the evil cape of religion and respect another human being for being a person rather than look at them as Hindus, Muslims and Christians. When will we all unite under the name of humanity and save ourselves from the horrifying future that awaits us if we continue to let religion divide us like this? When will people understand that religion is a shallow and superficial concept? Faith and belief goes beyond religion. If we truly believe in something, it is for everybody’s well being and never for anybody’s misery. Down the line, religion has lost its essence and it hides behind your name. All religious acts are rationalized in the name of God. Doesn’t matter how many people die or lose hope in the process.

I am just a concerned human being writing to you. Horrifying things that happen in the name of religion that I see and hear around me have compelled me to write to you. Today it was those innocent school kids and tomorrow I could be my siblings. This is slowly going to destroy all of us and it won’t discriminate between Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Humanity is in need of some serious help and I write to you so maybe you could look into the fact that religion is bad mouthing you. We need believers in this world. We need saviors and protectors. We need brothers who don’t discriminate. If religion destroys us, then we must annihilate it.

Yours faithfully,
Just Another Concerned Human Being.




All is well that ends well.

All good and bad things come to an end. This is the philosophy of life. Everything has a beginning so it could end someday. And the cycle continues. We’re all born to die someday. Things just have to come to an end. I for one am a staunch believer in perfect endings. Maybe not the Nicolas Sparks novel kind of perfect or a fairy tale kind of ending. But a kind of ending that makes the entire journey worth the risk, memorable and amazing. But most of the times things end abruptly. We drift away from people in our lives without saying goodbye. We could die without having accomplished our deepest desires. We graduate with grades that are just not what we expected.
Why should endings be perfect? Why would anybody want the thing that destroys them to be perfect? What is this ‘perfect ending’ that I am so obsessed with?
I believe that even if it were the worst thing that could happen to you, it should at least end in a perfect manner. I remember crying and throwing tantrums during last year’s New Year party because the uncles forgot to cut the cake at the stroke of midnight and the countdown was totally messed up. Oh boy, did I loathe that moment! It wasn't my idea of a perfect ending for 2013. Maybe if the countdown wasn't messed up, I would have welcomed 2014 happily. Perfect endings lies in the minute of details that we weave in our heads. Perfect endings welcome better beginnings. Perfect endings are more about making a statement than smooth finishing. If you want to fight with a so called friend of yours, you might as well have a huge cat fight and end your friendship perfectly, you know what I mean.
We run the details of significant events in our lives over and over again. Then one fine day the moment arrives, it could be your graduation, wedding or even a presentation in school. It might just last for 5 whole minutes and all of a sudden it ends, the anticipation dies and so does the fantasy because it has manifested into reality. It leaves behind an emptiness that is often incomprehensible. It is always important for us to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters doesn't matter what we call it or how we see it. The ending should just be perfect enough to compensate for the happenings and kick start a new beginning.

You walk the aisle with your better half and it’s done. You’re expected to start a happy married life now. You receive your degree and graduate first class and it’s over. You’re expected to work in a high paying firm. You finish the last page of your novel that you've been working on for years and it just ends. You’re expected to start over. You run a marathon and it’s over when you make it to the finish line. Every time we begin something, consciously or subconsciously we know that it will come to an end. Then why are endings always looked upon as bad? Maybe because we can't stand the idea of something ending in which we've invested all our energy and nurtured it like our baby. Endings are not all that bad after all, if it helps you get out of a bad relationship or a bad school year. 
 I believe that death, last page of a novel and the last piece of chocolate cake should be celebrated and not dreaded upon, because all is well that ends well. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

"Everything is fair in love and war."


      They say that, Everything is fair in love and war. But is it fair to love someone knowing that they'll never be able to reciprocate your love? Is it fair to love someone and let them go? Is it fair to love someone and just die or worse walk away? Is it fair to make promises when you know you can't keep them? Is it fair to get someone's hopes up just to let them rot in misery? Is it fair to look them in the eye and tell them that you love them and ignore them at their worst? Is it fair to love someone and not have the courage to let them love you back?
      None of that is fair because love is keeping the promises anyway. Love is less about appreciating them at their best and more about accepting them at their worst. Love is holding them and telling them over and over how much you love them and sticking around long enough to prove that. Love is having reasons even in an unreasonable situation. Love is quoting their favourite books and singing that song in your head that makes sense only to you. Love is loving all their perfect imperfections. Love is always better when reciprocated but even better when it is unconditional. When you love someone, you learn to live with yourself. You understand yourself more than anything. I know that it is quite the contrary but love is a paradox and it is an unfair thing because nobody asks for being cheated on, nobody plans to fall in love with an imperfect person because it just happens. Nobody plans to love and accept that it won't last forever. We all want perfect things, so we hope against hope to protect our happiness and relationships. But you know what, love isn't fair. Fair is when you ride giant wheels and eat cotton candy and get everything you want.But love is a beautiful thing on a ugly street.
     Love is a choice. It is a choice that we make to get hurt and feel miserable just for moments of reciprocation and acceptance because love is the truest thing known to man and sometimes the truth of love can be so overpowering that it seems like an illusion. Love is chaos and you seek the people who set this chaos into order. Love is anything, but fair. We choose to overlook the unfair things not because we cannot live without it but because life gets better with love and we're not willing to settle for nothing.
     In the due course of time, we've witnessed so many love stories and one thing that they all have in common are tragic endings. It was unfair that Juliet died, not knowing that Romeo was alive. But just a few hours of togetherness is all they needed and they were ready to die for their love. Maybe Romeo and Juliet is the most celebrated love story in history because it was tragic and unfair.
    As for war, backstabbing, lying,torture, making deals with enemies, bombing innocent civilians- all of it is unfair. The world wars left thousands devastated and destroyed. The on going Israel-Palestine war is killing hundreds of civilians. You can go on giving such examples. The world is broken beyond repair. And it is unfair to think that we are invincible. We can not rescue and protect everything and we must leave it to the superheroes in the movies to do it.                                                    Everything is unfair-war,love,birth,death,truth and everything else known to man. But all we can do is understand this and look at it from a perspective that suits us better. No matter how unfair these things might seem,we must take pride in their beauty because these are the few things known to us. It is all about the choices we make. To fight or to flee. To face it or to freeze. To experience it despite all the misery it brings us,because it gets better. At the end of the day,love is tragic and unfair so is war, but we chose to fight this battle with conviction and it is worth it,because we know that everything is fair in love and war.                              



Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Sweden, here I come!

It is less than 24 hours for me to board the plane to Sweden via Frankfurt and travel anxiety has struck me already. I mean its never too late for you to realize that its your first trip abroad and that too you are all by yourself! So right now I am a little sleep deprived, restless, nervous and excited, so basically I am anything but calm. ( calmness and presence of mind being a prerequisite for travel) I chose to blog rather than take my much awaited afternoon nap.
It is a two weeks student exchange program to Lerum,Sweden. I'll be staying in my Swedish hosts house, they are Paulina, Hanna and Joel. All three of them are very nice people, they answer my endless questions about the weather, the food and everything else! So I'm looking forward to meet them and get to know them better. My two weeks there seem to be jam packed with activities that they have planned for me ,which seems all the more exciting. So the plan is to keep my blog updated on my daily activities.( Gosh, like a travel journal)
Six other friends of mine and two teachers will be accompanying me, since it is an "official" thing. They are good company to travel with, because each one of us is so different in our own ways and we'll have so much to share and tell each other. Sometimes, when the company gets too overwhelming or annoying I sink into my crazy mind and entertain myself. So there is no question of sulking around or being bored. Just fun. Over the past few days I have been marveling about the serendipity-ness  of it all. I mean what are the odds of seven of us getting selected to go to Sweden, so this is indeed something special.
For one reason I know that this trip is going to be different from all the places I have been to and yet to go because this being my first trip abroad and also not often do you interact and bond with the locals of that place and live with them, eat with them and discover the place with them. So I am looking forward to this interesting experience to gather over the next few weeks.
Coming back to my friends, family and relatives. I must say that they have all been very supporting and a lot more nervous for me than I am, it doesn't help much but it is quite natural for them to feel that way. The 'Happy Journey and Take Care' calls started pouring in today. I woke up to the noise of mum explaining my travel plans to my grandparents and I have been cranky since then, just 30 more minutes of sleep would have been good. Sigh. But nevertheless, my muddled up head still cant take it all in. It just seems so unbelievable. But for a fact I know that it is going to happen in a matter of hours and when it happens, I just got to breathe and take it all in. On second thought, I'll be all over the place, yelling " HEYY,I'M GOING TO SWEDEN!" I can totally see this happening. So having said , how much this trip means to me now I have a lifetime of memories to make and cherish. I'll write more once I come back, talking endlessly about the culture difference, their food ( can't wait to eat Swedish meatballs) , the weather and scenic beauty. Gosh, I am excited. This is finally happening, because for days I have imagined what it would be like and now it is FINALLY happening.

Consumed by wanderlust all I can do is but recall J.R.R Tolkien's words," Not all those who wander are lost."

 Thanks for listening out. I look forward to a great trip! 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

QUEEN.

 Couple of weeks back this new unconventional bollywood movie named “ QUEEN” releases and there is a lot of frenzy about it all around but in a good way. Whatsapp statuses, Facebook updates, tweets it is all over the place. Overnight the protagonist of the movie Kangana Ranaut became literally and metaphorically the queen. So I had to go see it myself and just like that I hit the theatre with two of my friends. And for once I was happy that the movie lived up to all the hype created about it actually a little more than that!
It was an amazing experience.We fell of the seats laughing in a few scenes and a few scenes just made us go Aww. So the story goes like this- It all starts on the eve of Rani’s wedding. All of a sudden her fiance refuses to marry her and the wedding is at a halt. Rani who was brought up in a traditional Hindu family in Delhi, like most of the girls in India, faces her worst nightmares when she hears those words coming out of her fiance. She is almost lost and ruined and doesn't have a clue as to what she is going to do next. You see for a traditional Indian girl like her who has been brought up and told that marriage,kids and her husband is what she is going to live for the rest of her life this is a matter of shame and a very big deal. It is not just about her and the fiance but their families, relatives and friends. Just when all seems lost, Rani out of her impulse decides to go on her honeymoon all by herself.( and impulsiveness is not a quality an Indian girl must possess)  For a girl who needs a sidekick to walk her to the grocery store next street, to travel thousands of miles on her own to a whole new unknown country requires a lot of courage. But this wasn't her fault, she was just brought up this way. Each and every decision she made in her life was that of her parent’s and her fiance’s, until this one of travelling all the way to Paris. That’s when the real adventure begins. Her whole life turns around. Somehow her impulse and courageous decision changes her whole life and grasps the audience.The best part was that the ending was nothing like the conventional bollywood style. She transforms and doesn't give in and lives for herself  just like a queen! I absolutely loved the way it ended. It wasn't much of an exaggeration for me, a very simply weaved story. Each of the characters have done an amazing job. So it is worth a watch!
 We came out of the theatre, completely satisfied and it struck me that hey each one of us is a queen in someway! (In context to the movie, of course!)
 Be it the part where you are raised in an orthodox Indian family, a patriarchal society or being dependent on others to make simple life decisions or to be told that you can’t have a life of your own, you were brought up this way and you have to satisfy the society’s norms. After a point of time you don’t question anything, it just becomes a way of life. Though one might say that times have changed, with urbanization, exposure for girls and all that. But has it TRULY changed for all? My answer would be, it quiet hasn't and will take a lot of time and work for that to happen because we aren't talking about mere structural -societal reform rather it is the minds of the people and the very way the society has been laid down. For centuries India has been a patriarchal society and to expect change all of a sudden would be very unrealistic.
The question is about equality and all those little things that empower her and help her stand up for herself. Oh, and if that doesn't happen you surely have the impulse and courage to go out there and discover yourself. The saddest part is that the question of self-discovery or empowerment shouldn't be about gender but equally given to the whole of humanity!
I guess all you can say for now is that gradually it is all going to change and you just have to hope for the best! Because movies like this surely give us some food for thought, perspective and with it’s wide reach and range of audience you can say that the spark of a small inner change has begun. One can surely glean a lot of things from Rani's life!
So remember all those girls and women out there, there are times when we feel lost, broken beyond repair. Times when you might almost curse your very existence. It isn't easy being a women out here. Times when you feel caged and left with nothing. But these times will change and we will make it happen. Not just for a bit of freedom and dignity but for that smile to shine brighter on your face, for yourself! Remember that you are beautiful, brave and you will not settle for nothing!

You are a warrior. You are a Queen. 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Pursuit Of Happyness.

Chris Gardener is the chief executive officer of Gardener Rich and Co, a multimillion -dollar brokerage with offices in NewYork, Chicago and San Francisco. But there lies a struggle beneath all this success. The pursuit of happyness is his truly inspirational rags to riches story. The book begins on the lines of describing his troubled childhood and goes on to narrating his success story. Chris Gardner's story is the perfect example that nothing comes easy in this world.There is no easy money making or five quick steps to a successful job.  Everything is blood and sweat. If you want it you earn it and yet never fear to dream big.
With all odds against him, an African- American man who faces racial discrimination in work place, homeless for almost an year as a single parent to raise his son whom he loved the most. Yet he some how doesn't loose hope. He has that faith in himself that no one else could have had on him. His mother's words and his son's smile is what kept him going in the face of adversity.
What gets me thinking is that this story is not a work of fiction but rather real and weaved with all his strong spirit. The amount of wealth he has achieved is not what inspires me but the path that he takes to get there, without giving up on himself, is what inspires me the most.
Homeless and left with hardly any money and a child to raise all by himself. It is easy to put that in words but extremely difficult to over come that.
Then one day all of a sudden he is out there, a millionaire and the CEO of a  a multimillion -dollar brokerage firm. The multitude of his accomplishment is no fantasy but the strong will of a single man to chase his dreams. Having read this book, all those self help books and those inspirational-you can do it- quotes are starting to make much more sense. It is always easier said than done and there are a very few people who do it and Chris Gardener is one among them. Not everyday do you come across such a story. So when you read the book, it has a huge impact on you and you can't resist but embrace it's true essence.
A man even after conquering all his dreams, having all the money and power is still not complete if it weren't for to pursue his happiness. Becoming the success story that he has become today hasn't changed his spirits and surely hasn't stopped him from pursuing his happiness.
 "Arriving in the next city for the next opportunity is always a thrill. As busy as I am, wherever I am, I try to get out and walk the streets, to check out the sidewalks for cracks, to remember how far I've come and appreciate every baby step to the way, to stand in amazement and joy that the pursuit never ends."  These lines to me are absolutely the best winning statement ever. He says these lines after he has made a place for himself in this world and they truly reflect humility and accomplishment. He was surely blessed beyond the dreams of a thousand men to be able to believe in himself.
I have incurred one more thing that the pursuit never ends. Your journey is an endless one just like the endless baggage of hope and dreams that you carry around. There is something that clearly sets apart men like Chris Gardener and us. It is only that they are willing to go that extra mile and look out for themselves.

When it seems like your world has come crashing down and the last ray of hope is blinded by the darkness all you have to do is read this book, recall similar stories like this and regain your faith in your capabilities. Because if you want something after all you can have it. This story isn't going to be your success itself but will surely inspire you to get it because only such real life examples can help you push that last mile. You have to remember one thing-" Don't ever let someone tell you that you can't do something. Not even me. You gotta dream, you gotta protect it. When people can't do something themselves, they are gonna tell you that you can't do it. You want something go get it. Period."
This story gives me hope, perspective and courage to follow my dreams. May it give you the same. And If there is one thing that I can take away after reading, that would be- If Chris Gardner can, then I can and you can! Trust me, I am not exaggerating when I say the above lines. Read it and find out for yourself.
Happy Reading!                                                  

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Malaysia, truly Asia!

                              This blog post is exclusively for Blogadda's Malaysia Jao contest.

    Malaysia is one country which within it's limited territory has diverse geographical locations from technologically developed cities to exotic islands and rich wild life. So Malaysia definitely fits in my travel list. A country that I would love to take off as a backpacker and simply explore the various elements of it- their culture, landscape, people, food and wild life!
So here are the top 5 places that I want to visit in Malaysia.

#1 Malacca
Melaka             
   This place caught my interest mainly because of it's historical happenings. Malacca was ruled and battled over for centuries between Indian, British, Dutch and Portuguese government. This city is filled with excellent architecture, monuments, colonial aura and great culture which reflects it's true historical essence. I would love to discover Malacca as I believe that it has a lot of stories to tell.




#2 Kota Bharu
Kota Bharu
Kota Bharu seems like a very charming city with all the hustle bustle, markets, shopping areas and cuisine! What better place to stop by than a colorful market in a easy going city?! Kota Bharu seems like a very impressive city. The kind of place I could call my own if I stayed long enough.








#3 Kuala Lumpur
Kuala LumpurWith it's impressive skyscrapers and buzzing scenes of shopping, dining and night life, Kuala Lumpur is definitely one of my posh travel destinations. The twin towers and typical metropolitan city vibes has made it a tourist must visit place! I would surely love to visit KL someday. For a versatile traveler like me, KL would serve as a balancing stop before jumping into the National parks and islands of Malaysia.






#4 Langkawi
Langkawi
Langkawi is a cluster of 99 islands boasting picturesque beaches, rain forests, mangroves and forest- clad mountains. As good as this sentence sounds it would be even more interesting to discover this diverse island. Natural beauty of any place is it's true treasure and that is what makes Langkawi and Malaysia all the more interesting as a tourist destination. The peaceful pristine beaches would surely complete my holiday!



#5 Gunung Mulu National Park
#1 of Best Places To Visit In MalaysiaThis is not just any other National park , It is not only has diverse flora and fauna but features the world's largest and longest cave system. A little adventure and a lot of fun awaits me at the National Park. Just the thought of being among such nature's giants gives me a trickle up the spine.







     Right from Malacca to Gunung Mulu, I have chosen these places in Malaysia to explore , experience and travel because each of the place is totally different from the other and depict various dimensions of Malaysia and visiting these places would surely let me take in the essence of Malaysia and make my travel a wholesome exciting experience. Malaysia, truly Asia!

I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with BlogAdda.com.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Worldly Riches.

" Once upon a time there lived a poor Brahman in the woods with his wife and three children. He was dedicated to his work and completely devoted to God. He earned very little to sustain his big family. But nevertheless he was an honest man. He worked hard,day and night to earn his living. He spent most of his time in the village temple and later in the evening he would go to the market and preach about life and God to the locals. He used to converse with God, tell him all his sorrows and happiness. He was satisfied and contempt with the little that he had.
Many days passed by, he grew older and was much weaker now. He was unable to travel around. His family was under deep debts. It was a hard time for the family.
One fine evening, SeetaRam ate his dinner and went to bed early. He was fast asleep, ignorant of the things happening around him. But just then, he had a vision in his sleep. It was no other dream. This was the Goddess herself, who appeared in his dream. She had fiery eyes and wore a golden red sari and a crown made of shimmering rubies and diamonds. She seemed magnificent in his dreams.  She began to speak with him," Oh, SeetaRam. You have been a very truthful devotee and for that the thousand Gods from heaven shower their blessings upon you. May you live long and prosper.Now listen to me carefully. I have three holy pots for you. You must choose any one of them. Each contains the potion of Wealth,Power and Fame. You are allowed to consume any one of the pots and the magical potion within it will be all yours." If SeetaRam had drank the first pot , he would become the wealthiest man in town. If he chose the second one, he would possess great power and strength on influencing people. The third pot would have made him famous all around the world and he could travel world wide to share his teachings. But let's see what he did.
" O Goddess of the heaven, my utmost respect to you. I bow down to seek your blessing for I am very humbled at your presence. Please don't mistake me, but I don't think I'll choose any one of those pots. But I am very thankful and blessed that you have made such an offer." This angered the Goddess, she growled and rose up in fury. " Human, explain yourself."
" Dear Goddess, you have offered me wealth, power and fame. These are materialistic worldly things which are bound to fade away someday. If at all I accept your generous offer I will become a slave in the hands of these materialistic things. Drunk on power and eating money. I don't wish to be a victim of such situation for I believe there is lot more to life than attaining power and wealth. There is happiness, love and devotion. None of these things are going to provide me that. I am very happy with my humble life and respectfully decline your offer ." Listening to what SeetaRam had to say, the Goddess was very impressed. SeetaRam's wise words restored her faith in humanity. This made her believe that the world isn't all greedy and selfish. She showered all her blessings upon him and gracefully left his dreams.
SeetaRam woke up next morning and shared this little story with his wife and children. None of them believed him, but only when they saw huge amount of people gathering outside their hut asking for SeetaRam. Mysteriously, overnight he had become famous and people around the city wanted to meet him and seek him blessings and listen to his teachings. Just like this he preached about the true purpose of living and transformed many people's lives.
It was a cold Monday morning and SeetaRam never saw the sunrise that day for he was fast asleep travelling to the kingdom of heaven.He died that day, peacefully in his sleep like a completely satisfied man for he didn't want anything more even in his last moments of being alive."

I am sure SeetaRam had a very pleasant welcome in Heaven. Seetaram's story might seem like a part from our mythology but the essence of it is surely relevant. If you ask any young person today precisely what their ambition in life would be. They might mostly end up stating any of those three things. Very few of us will truly want happiness in life and to be able to do what we really want to do.
I have been asking my friends to pick between- Power, Money and Fame? and tell me why they chose it. Most of them went with money for the simple reason that they could enjoy life with money and have whatever they want. The rest chose money because they could attain power and fame with it.I personally chose power because the concept of being able to influence others, leave your mark on this world and be ambitious has always got to me. I had heated debates with a couple of them regarding the issue. But in the end we found neutral grounds and decided to end the debate by agreeing that money, power and fame to an extent co exist but having all the money and power need not necessarily make us a happy being.  I learnt a lot of things through those discussions. The conclusions were very thought provoking though.
 You ask your grandpa or any old man what's their fondest memory of life or their biggest achievement. I am sure it will not involve power, money or gaining fame. Rather it would be a story weaved of love, happiness, satisfaction and great people. Life isn't about money or power, sure at some point it might seem like it is all about that but once you look beyond that you'll discover a place within yourself where people, love, happiness and contempt is all that matters and makes sense to you.
I hope that all of us find that place someday! Till then experiment with what you have and what you aspire for and you'll get along the right path someday.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Write to me, my love!

Write to me, my love.
For I shall guard that part of you with all my heart.
Do understand, your secret is safe with me.
Hold my hand , together we shall jump into the unknown.
For you are my only solace, my only love.

The flowers have bloomed for you to embrace them,
The fountains dance to see you smile,
The sun shines brighter to glisten upon your face,
I lie here and watch you soak it all in.
Write to me, my love.

Tell me about your adventures and hardships.
Tell me about the distant lands and the great men.
Tell me about the deserts and the snow.
For I will be a vivid listener,
Ardent and full of anticipation.

Tell me, because I will listen.
Tell me, because I love you.
Write to me, my love.

For I shall discover you in the hidden trails of the desert,
I will come looking for you in the barren battlefields,
I will find you amidst the dry grasslands.
And together let's jump into the unknown...

Write to me, for you will be eternal in my memories.
Before oblivion haunts us and death do us apart.
Write to me, my love!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Happy Birthday, to me!

I successfully completed sixteen years of existence , a week back. So far it has been an amazing day. It is this one day of the year where you get all the attention you need. People make you feel special, embrace your existence and just shower love. That is why I love birthdays!
The crazy midnight phone calls, texts and all the sweet Facebook wall posts. The cake cutting, balloons and cake facials. The tight hugs and loads of random people wishing you "Hey, Happy Birthday!" Unwrapping all those thoughtful gifts and Thanking people for all their love and for being the icing on the cake. It turned out to be a very pleasant day and not like any other day. I have all these wonderful people to thank for making it super cool. Birthday's are just so exciting.
Well I did turn sixteen and there is usually a lot of expectations attached to it. You know the whole sweet, sexy sixteen thing. You are finally into the older category of your teenage life. Sixteen is usually characterised as bold, beautiful, sexy and handsome! You throw a gala party, receive grand gifts and have a hell of a time.
But in my case it wasn't quite like that. It just felt like any other birthday but a little older. And I don't see any reason why people should call me a sixteen year old. I just don't fit into the conventional sixteen year old's category. I am practically still a potato. Okay so here are a few reasons why I am still not ready to be a sixteen year old.
1. I still use a baby toothbrush. ( Well, the dentist recommended.)
2. I cannot eat ice cream without rubbing it all over my face. ( unintentionally done, just a reflex thing)
3. I can bring out the worst in people.
4. I play around with kids and draw things on dusty cars.
5. I am pretty much romantically impaired.
6. I am a romantic only when it comes to food and fictional characters.
7. I turn into a koala bear, often.
The point is that my eating habits are that of a adolescent boy's and a very hungry animal. My mental age is that of a six year old. And let's not even get to the point where I know that if this continues then I will soon be a victim of social stigma!
(At the moment I can't think of more reasons. ) And I believe that there are loads of people out there just like me, A little immature, crazy and stupid. It is okay, we will figure things out sooner or later.
 But birthdays are inevitable and you gotta grow old. It is really confusing but it feels good to be sixteen, I guess.( Minus, all the hormones) Being sixteen is just over hyped, It isn't all that cool with drama or that bad either. We are all just trying to figure things out with the people whom we love, the people who wish the best for us. It is pretty nice though.
So, Happy Birthday to me! * To turning sixteen and denying it*
And and Happy Valentine's Day! Cupid's watching you.
     

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Secret life of Tom, Dick and Harry.

" To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life"

I watched 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' recently. It was an amazing experience and it left me thinking about a lot of things. So long story short basically it is about this middle aged man who unwinds and discovers the purpose of life and finally boards the right train to take his journey of life. The story is very beautifully narrated.( Something which I can't do) So basically you should go watch it and the best part is who ever you are I am sure you can relate to it some way or the other.

I won't be preaching and telling you about these great life lessons that I have conceived in the process, because I am neither Athena's daughter nor Dalai Lama. People will say a million things to you about how to lead life and give the usual long speeches but it will all get to you, when you make mistakes,you learn and experience it. You know what they tell about learning the hard way.
I am just going to be writing about what I feel and think. If you can relate to it then well and good. I have a problem with expressing myself, it is just something I need to deal with  so here I am venting it all out because I am too scared to confront my feelings otherwise. This is just how I deal with it. We all have issues right?! We all lead this secret life that we ourselves are unaware of. It is  hidden somewhere deep down and maybe life just throws all these hardships and adversities for us to discover this secret life. By secret life, I don't mean to say the Hannah Montana sort of double life or some dark shady business, rather it is about the things that you REALLY want in life and we are often scared to convey it to others. This secret life could help you discover so many things with in you. Like most of the times fear eats up the best you have got to give. The secret life, the life that you have always dreamed of living- subconsciously, consciously or unconsciously. Is what you REALLY want. Your dream job, your dream house, romantic partner and all those intricate details of your dream life which you have kept a secret. As much as we all are told to dream big and aim for the stars, deep down we are all afraid and scared to dream big.That we might fall down and hurt ourselves and people might laugh.Most of the times we are just bothered about what other's might think of us. Socio-cultural influences do play a major role in our lives. People are always there to degrade you, pull you down and make you feel worth less. But the key is how we perceive this in the first place. This is easier said than done, but omit anything that causes harm to your-self .
 Have you ever noticed people saying that a particular incident was their turning point in life, maybe it's just that they realise that there was nothing to be afraid about in the first place. And most of us learn it the hard way and that is how it is.
Life is a gamble,you know like a game of poker. You don't know what is coming your way next and chances are that you may lose everything. Sometimes I feel that we might be better off  if we had nothing to lose or at least we thought that way. Maybe that will help us deal with things in a better way. But then most of the times it is always that we have something to lose. The odds may not be always in your favour. It is the evens that matter most of the time.
At the end of the day we are human beings with the ability to express our emotions and comprehend them. We are fragile, weak and broken. And when we realise this at some point in our lives it just makes you sadder. Then you are stuck in this vicious cycle of being aware of the reality and discovering yourself amidst all the internal chaos.
As children we are all happy. Maybe we will never be as happy as we were in our childhood. Then we all grow up. Growing up is hard and realising that you are growing up is ever harder. But it is okay. Just okay. The only thing that keeps us going is when we realise that there are million others just like us and maybe they even have it worse than us. Believing that the cause of your existence is for the greater good, something much bigger than the sum of your parts,is a purpose in itself.
Let us leave aside the negative aspects and flip the coin. It is very human to always hunt for the negative things in life and be pessimistic, that we often forget to look at the silver lining, the happy memories, the good things around us. We are just so caught up in this confused state of trying to understand and know everything that we just forget to take in the beauty of life. We are caught up with our messed up selves that we forget to acknowledge the people around us.
It is also okay to let others know how you feel and try to figure out things together. Share your opinions, ask for help, cry at your miseries and laugh at your foolishness. Tell people about your secret life, tell them how you feel. Because more than them doing anything, It will just make you feel better.
It is okay to participate in the small things in life, being there for people, discovering yourself, doing the things that make you truly happy. Because when you are old and senile sitting in some hospital bed, these are the things that will really matter.And don't let people tell you otherwise!

I did end up preaching. Thanks for reading, it means a lot.



Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Quotations.

Quotes are something that I live for right after Fantasies and Food. This has particularly been a very hard thing to do, to pick my 10 favourite quotations of all time. I'll try and keep it to 10 only. They never fail to inspire me. So I present to you- TOP TEN QUOTES ( in no particular order )


1. "It matters not how strait the gate or how charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."
                                                                   - W.E HENLEY

2."We accept the love we think we deserve."
                                                                    - STEPHEN CHOBOSKY

3." A man is the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes."
                                                                    - M.K GANDHI

4." There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyages of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures."
                                                                  - SHAKESPEARE

5. "The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours."
                                                                  - HECTOR

6."Just because I am losing doesn't mean I'm lost."
                                                                  - COLDPLAY

7. " For you, a thousand times over."
                                                                  - KHALED HOSSEINI

8. " Ideas, other people's, are merely weapons to keep us confined within our minds. Imagination, ours and only that, will tear us apart. The greatness of all lies in the originality of one."
                                                                   - RUSSELL AND WILDE

9."Judge a man by not how he treats his equals, but how be treats his inferiors."
                                                                    - JK ROWLING

10."My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations" 
                                                                    - JOHN GREEN

P.S- Do leave a comment of your favourite quote.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

From Napoleon to Aam Aadmi.

Once upon a time, a few centuries ago at the time of war, bloodshed and victories. When monarchy was at its heights and the commoners left with nothing. The time when revolutionaries were born and secret societies emerged. Yes that's the time I am talking about.
 My history lessons have left me wondering about revolutions and my new craze is for secret societies. They make me curious and I have done quite a bot of research in that aspect too.
From the Illuminatis to the Freemasons they all had a lot of things in common. They had a secret to protect and a purpose to fulfill. I believe that the reason they all chose to work secretively is that probably that helped them accomplish their purpose and make their moves efficiently.
As far as revolutionaries are concerned, these were a few men who represented the people's will and they fulfilled the wishes of these people. They brought back the lost glory of the land and restored power in people's hands.
There came a time in World History when the anarchy had to end and democracy to be born. People couldn't put up with the unreasonable taxation and feeble governance. And that's the core reason that sparked any revolution in history. So as far as the people are happy it's fine. These were times when the feeling of unity and nationalism was closely woven together. People united against the rulers and began to express their needs. Earlier this wasn't the case. They either feared the Kings or had blind faith in their power and wealth. But this wasn't for long that the Kings started exploiting their trust and belief. There came a time when people felt the need to think and express themselves. That's when the public forums were active. Newspapers, flyers and posters where everywhere. What we know of today as mass media/ communication was prevalent back then.
So what I have come to know that most of the revolutions were somehow instigated and ignited by these secret societies. And this really fascinates me. We might not have a revolution in the near future maybe because they'll all seem quite okay with their way of life. It still hasn't escalated to that level but we might me experience change at the much lower level. But revolution or not ,what I want to convey is that each one of us has a greater power within us. And more often we trigger this power only under very few circumstances of great impact. We have within us the power to think and explore. They say with time everything changes. But that's not quite true because this power to express within us might have changed manifestations but has never died. We constantly think and explore way to express our feelings and ideas. That is what makes human contact so special. We listen. We comment. We share.
What has really changed is that like earlier times we need not pull off a revolution to express our feelings and strive for change. Today we can hope for change and a lot of other things merely by using the social networking sites, starting a blog or by simply talking to people. You have a lot of opportunities. And the best thing is in this small step of yours, you can surely feel the spark of change. When you move people with your ideas and feelings they truly listen to you. You need not be a Napoleon Bonaparte of an Adolf Hitler to make people listen to you. You can just be you and express and spill all your ideals, feelings and the way you think and trust me you will be appreciated and welcomed. You need not be a 'Somebody' to express your thoughts you can be Anybody to do so.
Each one of us have a story to tell and we all look for those pieces of puzzle to build our story. It is important for you to take that big step and decide whether you wish to share your stories with the rest or otherwise. And this might not seem like a easy decision to make for most of us, to just let it all go and speak up for yourself. The fear of acceptance and failure haunts us all the time but when you finally do it you will realise that we are all more or less the same. It's okay to share and express these feelings. There is no embarrassment.
The reason why I connected this with history is to stress upon the importance and need for a change and in general to portray my fascination for secret societies. They exist even today plotting some conspiracy theory in the underground. I left that part to my imagination. Well, History has always rewarded people who have come forward to express their thoughts.
You can be a street vendor, a teacher, a doctor, a rickshaw puller, a teenager or a multi millionaire. No matter what and who you are, there comes a time in our lives when silence isn't golden any more. You need to get out there and tell people how you feel and no one else is going to do that for you. It a way you connect with people and that is true satisfaction.
So don't let anybody take away your freedom of speech and expression. Get out there think, express and spill it all out.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Welcome 2014

Dear Friend,
Yet another year passes by like the cold wind giving you a shiver up the spine. Finally when it all gets to you, the important moments are highlighted and the rest is just blur. Through the past year there were some significant memories the ones that left sizzling marks on us and the rest were not so, but nevertheless they'll all be fondly remembered. The time has come when Mother Earth has successfully completed one revolution. That's something to celebrate for.
With all the magic, dark matter, supernatural powers, fairy dust, Oreo cheesecake and a few drops of salty tears- 2013 has blended into some sort of weird drink but the good kinda weird. It was an amazing journey and with deep sorrow I must say that it has come to an end but only to make way for more craziness and fun.
2013 was mind blowing and fantastic at the same time it was heartbreaking because a lot of things changed and as much as it was all painful it sure did make us stronger and better. 2013, a year when we drifted apart but our bond is so strong that distance and time can't affect us. 2013, was a year of new beginnings and a few inevitable ends. A year of meeting new people and starting all over. A year full of everything which left us with nothing. 2013 had the perfect ratio of all things right from happiness to sadness. It was crazy and eventful. 2013 was the strong baby born from the miscalculations of the Mayan apocalypse. 2013 holds a very special place in my heart as it gave me something that I have always been looking for. It reminded me of who I am and what I can do. 2013, you surely left that scar on the pages of our diaries.
Well 2013, you snatched Mandela, Walker,Thatcher and a lot of other people. But hey we survived and we are here. So here's to another great year ahead. So come along with me let's ravish the last hours of 2013 like we fight for the last piece of chocolate cake... or pizza.
So here's to all the memories we made and the happiness of 2013 and here's to yet another year of absolute awesomeness.
I love you for being the radiant star of my 2013 and I love you more for standing by me in all those moments when I needed you the most. Thank you. May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you are wonderful, and don't forget to make some art- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year you surprise yourself. Hope you have a great year ahead.
Happy New Year. *hugs and kisses*
Love Always,
Gayathri Naga