Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why Hatred?

Life is too short, sometimes complicated, messed up, there are too many things to take care of, too many interesting and some more interesting people to deal with. At the same time when we are surrounded with this negativity, we have to devote time, energy, and passion to make great things happen, create the means to make our lives fuller, richer, raise a beautiful next generation, and also make better humans and souls out of ourselves. How then do some of us get the time and energy to hate anyone? Hatred is useless. It not only makes zero difference to the object of our hate but it also causes us to expend our energies which could have been otherwise spent in doing something good.

It is okay if you can't spread love and kindness, but don't spread hatred and don't waste your life hating anyone or hold grudges against anyone for too long. Live with a light heart and free spirit - who knows if you'll get to see tomorrow?

It is true and correct too, that sometimes we have to act stern and protect ourselves. But there are times (more often than otherwise) when we need to understand that reacting strongly is not always necessary, that we have to accept that hatred as another penance we had to pay in this lifetime, and let go and move on.

"Three things in human life are important. The first thing is to be kind. The second thing is to be kind. And the third thing is to be kind." ~Rumi

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Water in the Pot

What is water? 

Water is liquid, colorless, odorless, tasteless, and formless. Yet, it is the most essential need of every living being.

Water quenches and nourishes. It is carefree and flows freely. It takes the color and taste of whatever is mixed with it (under most circumstances), be it salt, sugar, blood corpuscles even. 

Whatever container it is put in, it takes that container's form. It also absorbs some of the container's properties due to some chemical reactions. When kept in an earthen pot, it takes its cooling properties and the slightly muddy taste. When kept in a copper vessel, it takes the beneficial properties of copper. 

The container the water is kept in, the land on which the water flows, give the water its form, taste, and odor, thus imparting it some kind of identity and structure. The vessel has to be selfless and allow the water to let itself be consumed by others. The water realizes that people consume the water but admire the vessel that has beauty and structure, and that the structure is not its own. Both have to help each other sustain and flourish. 

But at the same time, if the water is kept still without use and movement for long periods of time, the water will go bad. So will the vessel - it will become smelly and start to grow mold. If not taken care of, then both will become useless; both the vessel and water will have to be thrown away.

So what do we usually do? We empty the vessel of its water from time to time. We purify the water and clean the vessel and put some new water back in. That way, both retain their individuality while giving away some of themselves to each other and the world. Both have to give without expecting and give first without waiting for the other to give. That is the only way both can sustain and prolong their life.

Now, instead of the water and its vessel, what if these were two people? Think about this and read again. :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

How to jump off a plane!

My maiden tandem Skydive experience. Not at all scary except at that nanosecond when you slide out of the plane, but other than that, totally surreal, and yes, it is really beautiful up there. A lot of people understandably find this an adrenaline pumping experience, for me it was that divine feeling of calm and nothingness... to each his own I guess. 

P.S.: I used a trial version of the DVD to MP4 converter software so the annoying watermark doesn't go. :-( Hope you have fun watching this and hopefully get inspired :)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Be The Change

Somebody once told me,
"You cannot expect to change people. You have to change yourself."

A lot later I realised that this giggly buddy was quoting the wise words of Gandhi.

What do you do when people hate you, throw stones at you? 
Take that hatred, pick up those stones and turn them into lovely flowers!

Often, a person's anger, hatred, and gossip towards us is simply suppressed dissatisfaction about their own life or misdirected feelings because you were a soft target. Continue to march to the beat of your own drum. Learn to be happy for no reason. Smile at yourself, smile at everyone you meet, and smile at every beautiful thing you see. There is enough malice, bigotry, and imbecility around us. We don't need to contribute to it. By attending to such negativity, we are simply wasting our own energies which could have otherwise been better spent on something more constructive.

And always remember that,
Others may judge you for not following their standards, but deep down they all wish they had the courage to do the same. Instead, be grateful to them, for they are the reason you're still a celebrity. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Face Your Fears

Escapism - and running off with all the strength we have, or even homeostasis in terms of not wanting to do anything or feel anything, or "dying;" is in fact, a sign of weakness.

Having the will to stay back, facing the fear, and then letting go of the fear, needs a lot, lot, lot more strength.

So if it hits you in the middle of nowhere, don't chicken out. Don't look for an extended timeout. When you're on a full bladder and want to pee, do you let go or do you hold back? Or when you're hungry and want to eat, do you tell yourself to ignore the hunger just because that requires you to get up and move to get your food? No, right? Then just don't give up and try to escape.

Wait back. Let the tears flow.
Accept that trauma.

Breathe through the tears, breathe through the pain. Breathe into the extremities and try to sense where your body and mind are holding you back.

Embrace the emotions that finally come to the surface and are finally ready to leave you, after so long. Twenty years later there will be a day and a moment when you will thank yourself for being a "wuss."

Because facing our fears, not escapism, is the only way nature has made to help us learn our lessons in life, without which, we cannot let go. It takes a different amount of time and different circumstances for everyone to know what lessons they have to learn "to get there." But when we get there, somehow (don't know how), we just know. The key is to be patient. It gets frustrating at times but that's the only way. 

We are all on walking on our own path, at our own pace, but our destination is the same. Lending a helping hand to those who you share your path with, but do remember to be kind to yourself too. Because fearlessness doesn't happen where there is no kindness.

BTW, check this out. Just focus on the message though, don't try everything she tells to ;-)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I Think I'm in Love.

I think I'm in love.

With trees that shed leaves in fall
That change with the times
That die in winter before they are reborn in spring

With green grass
Which moves wherever the winds of circumstance take them

With birds
Who fill the air with their chirping!
Who make me listen to them talk endlessly!!

With squirrels
Who stretch lazily on warm winter afternoons

I think I'm in love

With tall buildings and tiny cottages
With the miracles of the human brain that create them

I think I'm in love

With the mighty ocean
That takes in everything and everyone, silently, without judgement, without criticism

With rivers, pools, and puddles
That happily scurry in a hurry
To the same ephemeral end every single day.

I think I'm in love

With the sun and the moon and stars
And the northern lights
Who give away all they have
Without asking for anything in return

I think I'm in love

With those who love me and with those who loved me
With those who hate me and with those who hated me
With those who smile, laugh, and cry with me every day

I think I'm in love with being alive.

I think I'm in love with life
And everything it does to make me feel alive

I think I'm in love with death
With all the peace that would come after that

Maybe I'm in love with love?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Laughing is Not Allowed!

Thinking about those who need a reason to smile/laugh or who walk around like the burden of the whole world is on their shoulders... Like a loaded gun, ready to fire any time.

Did someone tell them that it is not allowed, or that they need a permit for that?!!

Indeed, it is a tough life, we go through trying times, and sometimes we just don't feel like being happy. We want to drown in our own sorrows and maybe even kill ourselves. Something like depression, is an illness and it makes us want to do the unimaginable. But what about those who are not depressed and don't want to exercise their facial muscles regularly?

What if we tried to smile for ourselves instead of for others? What if we smiled for no reason? What we unconsciously smiled in the middle of work because of a beautiful memory? 

What if we smiled just because we can?

Smiling releases endorphins - happy hormones and is uplifting. Maybe if we get into a reasonably good mood, we might get into the right frame of mind to actually solve our problems. Even if we can't do that, we can at least get the strength to see through the day. Best of all, a smile costs literally nothing. Who cares if people think you're crazy because you love to smile - just drag them into your craziness!

On that note, THIS ...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ganpati Bappa Is Back :-)

But I will not say "Welcome back"
Because you never left my side.

When all others left, you stood by me
You kept quiet letting me vent out my grief and loss
You helped me scream out the pain

And when I told you to, you started your magic show.

You showed me the ugly real faces of people
You sent me angels to incite my coming closer to you
You broke open the heart so that light could enter
You swept out the dirt, sat next to me and said, "Shit, we screwed up!"
You took away from me what no longer served
And made space for the new.

You told me it's okay to be me, to be "abnormal," a "weirdo"
You said it was okay to be pretty inside out
You made me look beautiful when I was dying from within
You burned me down to ashes so that I could be born again.

Never again do I have to ask you for anything 
You already know what your children need.

Never again do I have to beg for light
Your being in me lights up my soul.

Never again do I have to look for love
The smile on my face proves you are love.

And every remaining day of my life, I wish to be reunited with you

And the closer I get to you, the more I realise how far I am.

To all those who think they have no one: You are never alone and He always lurks around you somewhere, waiting for you to open your eyes and see He's right there, waiting for you to believe. If you can't hear Him reply to your cries for help, that is because He is working very hard for you. He may not always reply in ways you expect, but He will. Just wait, have faith, and He will bring the world at your feet.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Is Crying Alone Better?

There are times when we are sad and cry alone thinking that we don't have anyone to share our sorrow with. We think how lucky those people are who are sad and have their family and loved ones with them. They have their dear ones to support them, a parent/spouse to go home to, maybe a child whose innocence will make them momentarily forget their sadness. We watch these people with moist eyes and hungry hearts, wishing someone would give us a chocolate and a hug and say everything's going to be okay!

But then again, these "lucky" people cannot cry any time they feel like. The sorrow of not being able to completely express themselves in front of the ones they are closest to must be so huge that it might be tearing them apart! They can't cry whenever and wherever they want to, or step out on a long drive at midnight to scream their lungs out so that no one can hear them, or without explaining themselves to an "interrogation."

How painful it must be to live each day with a heavy heart full of toxic waste that's just waiting to be thrown out!

We think we know people and their lives by just looking at the surface. Maybe we really do. But what if there is more beneath the surface?

We understand another's pain and grief usually when we are going through the same pain (or some kind of pain) ourselves or if they explain to us why. But this is not always possible. We become analytical and logical and draw conclusions that somebody is good or bad or right or wrong. Maybe we should try to put ourselves in the shoes of these people and take a moment to realize that there might be a reason behind their behavior, before making those conclusions. It won't change those people if they are really wrong, and it won't reduce their sadness or solve their problems, but it will prevent us from straining our nerves with anxiety. It will help us empathise more, and we will be able to be there for such people even when the conditions don't require us to do that.

The test a kind heart is not about standing beside another grieving person when we are grieving; it is about standing beside them when they are still grieving even when our own grief is over. Generosity is tested when we can become another's shoulder to cry on even when we don't have a shoulder for ourselves. A true friendship is not about being there only during tough times, or only during good times. Some are there for us during tough times and disappear during good times because they don't love us enough to see us happy. Some are there beside us only to multiply our joys and go MIA during our difficult times because the going just got tough. And then there are those who stand by us during the tough times and laugh with us during our happy times - such souls are treasures worth keeping, their hearts are homes worth living in.

Where is your shoulder? Who is your home?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

If Only...

When we were small children, we were taught that it is okay to fall down and get bruised. We were told that without getting those bruises we will never learn how not to get bruised and how to stand up and walk and run.

But when we grow up, we try our best to not fall at all and keep protecting ourselves, to the point that we run in the opposite direction at the slightest clue of hurt, pain, and any kind of negativity. Not that one should keep looking to get bruised every time, but why be afraid of those bruises and scars? And why hide them if we do get them?

Don't be afraid of falling and getting bruised.

And when you get bruised, don't be ashamed of them and don't feel afraid to wear them on your sleeve.

Life and the experiences she kindly bestows upon us are the greatest and best teachers we can ever have and that learning is the one common purpose of everyone's life. We are all students of this teacher, and no matter how smart we think we are, there is always someone smarter than us. And the minute we start to think that we have gained a lot of wisdom, life will always remind us that there is still something new to learn.

The scars and scrapes of life make us who we are. They build and refine our character, and how much heed we pay those bruises is how we define our future.

Many of us continue to live in our comfort zone out of fear of the unknown - a bad relationship, a dead-end job, or even a poor diet that doesn't nurture us. Not knowing where we are headed and yet going there is beautiful and speaks volumes of our courage.

That we are trying to LIVE, not simply exist.Because,

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Who Needs a TV When You Have Friends Like These?

Couldn't stop myself from posting this conversation between a friend and her bae, he trying to convince her to stay the weekend:

He (Making bedroom eyes):
"Baby you don't have to rush
You can leave your toothbrush
At my place, at my place..."

She (Poker faced):
"Sure. I'll leave my tongue cleaner, floss, and mouthwash at your place too. But I ran out of fresh clothes, so maybe I'll just borrow some of yours?"

ME: (wide grin):
"Umm, don't want this to end..."

Designated Driver or Wingman: Which is more fun?!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Righteousness or Madness...?

Why does doing the right thing often bring pain to us? Why do some of us have such a strong sense of righteousness? Why can't doing the thing we want (which may not be right) also be the righteous thing to do?

The seemingly endless pain and suffering one is made to endure till the light appears can be so harsh that sometimes, it may be too late to feel vindicated about being righteous, or worse, too late to change past decisions and change the course of destiny. If we are hopeful (rather hope "fool"), we may spend the rest of our lives hoping that one day we will have paid our penance and get the fruits of that one righteous act. If we are shitbat crazy and ridiculously lucky, then we may actually be able to make a miracle happen. And in the best case scenario - if the pain caused by that righteousness was the outcome of a lifelong of penance that we were born to endure, then we end up living the rest of our lives learning that the passion behind our righteous act is itself an infinite victory. If and when that happens, that suffering ceases to cause pain; it transforms into the panacea for all our ills, our reason and will to live and see every sunrise and every sunset, and ultimately non-attachment to any consequence of that righteous act, and countless more penances to pay and sacrifices to make.  

Many of us can't be the person we want to be or have the kind of relationships we wish to have before putting some things in life to rest. The fact is that some of us feel so deeply that we don't even realize those emotions and desires exist. And if we do, we may not know how to access them in order to express them the right way. This post is for all those experiences, people, and wishes we forego in the name of the greater good. Hopefully, some day, the Universe will have the kindness to give us back in some way what we gave up as a reward for our righteousness. Or maybe it won’t. Either way, it surely will find its own sweet little way to work its magic and sustain us and itself, like it always has been since the dawn of time.

Okay enough seriousness. Fun time.
Ripped off the web.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Thunderstorms And Rebirth

Standing on the edge of a cliff,
There is no way to go back.
There is no place to escape, nowhere to hide
I've been standing still for too long
And I can't stand still any longer.

It's not me, it's not who I am
If I want to be bigger than who I am
To become me again
Must jump off the cliff, even though I can't see what lies beneath
No option but to face my truth.

I must learn to fight again, must learn to die again
Learn to kill again, but this time with love
Learn to give again, with the same care and kindness
But without holding back, without getting hurt, without getting stabbed
Without getting run over this time.

I must fight fire with fire
Get my courage back
Not give up
Find passion again, this time for the right reasons

This time I'll do it the right way
I will wail, weep, and cry
But I will turn my tears, my sorrow, into my strength.
And God? If you want to send a war to my doorstep, bring it on. I am ready
 If I have to marry the love of my life again, bring it on, 
 I am ready....For everything I don't even know.

Once again, this bird is ready to fly
Broken wings, fierce heart 
This time leading from the heart and driving with the soul
The heart and mind will now speak the same language

What have I done to myself?

Now I know the answer.

I will undo the damage I caused to myself
I will live for myself,
I will live again.

Attitude does not define character. Resiliency does.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Alone or Lonely?

There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. The two words are not synonymous and mean completely different things. A person can be alone and be in the company of oneself, whereas another can be amongst hundred people and still be lonely. 

It is true that man is a social animal but to think that company of family and friends will drive away loneliness, to think that our "incomplete" life will become complete after finding our so-called one and only one is, to put in mild words, nonsense. Things may in fact get worse after finding that company, because the company is not always right, and because we are human, the companionship inconsistent. We have to be complete ourselves in order to give others company, even if the companionship - or the relationship - is based on codependence. The expectation that once we will get company, our aloneness, loneliness, and boredom will go away, is just an illusion and a false expectation. 

Doing something while expecting something in return is not true compassion. It is selfish. Which is fine upto an extent because humanity survives and progresses on selfishness. But if selfishness becomes the foundation of doing something, then the giving - and even getting - ceases to remain whole and loses its purpose. Instead, doing and giving without expecting anything in return is the highest form of compassion. It shows us depths of ourselves and our capacities which we never thought existed. The day we do that is when we will truly experience compassion in its purest form, and start getting back even more than what we expected.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Of Family and Belonging

Someone asked me, "Where do you live?"

I replied, "Whatever piece of ground I stand on, that is my home. Whatever span of sky that's above me, is my roof. Whatever air I breathe, that is my food."

I innocently stood there, hoping they'd understand.

But they laughed and giggled.

Then they asked, "Oh really? You sound like a nomad, an orphan. Who is your family? Where do you belong?"

To which I said:

"Those who I hold close to my heart, who I speak with my soul, are family. I may or may not have ties of blood with them, but my bond with them is of a different world, of the spirit, and therefore many times stronger. I don't have to see or speak with them every day to know whether they are sad or happy. And the heart of these who love me back without expecting anything from me in return are where I belong. I know them from my past lives and was separated from them; when I met them I found peace... I found Divinity. I felt complete in my incompleteness. I felt perfect in my imperfections. I felt alive."

Humans are beyond race, color, gender, nationality, and ties of blood. We are all connected in some way or the other. The relationship of humanity is above all other ties. Nurture and protect it the way you would to a small child.

Faith and Magic

A very wise 40-year-old who I have the privilege of being acquainted with, once said, "Why are you looking for solid ground to stand on? Spread your wings and fly!"
Makes so much sense. We keep looking for stability and security. But what if we never get it? Will we lose faith? Rather, should we lose faith? Should we give up on what we love the most? Should we continue investing a lifetime of efforts creating that security?

What if the real answer to this question is a big, fat, NO!
Think about it – why run after something that eludes us? What if it eludes us only because we are running behind it? What if we are meant for something better?
What would happen if someday, we stopped trying to create that ground beneath our feet and just jumped off the cliff with wings of self-belief?
What if we led our lives living with a sense of righteousness and dispassion, not to forget while wearing the cloth of a genuine smile?

Why look for solid ground, what if the thing we thought was solid ground was actually rock bottom? Why be bonded by the chains of sustenance?
Maybe, a better thing to do would be to not care. Don't give a damn. 

Screw it. To hell with rules. To hell with sanity.
Don't run after what you may never have. Instead, look for happiness in madness... Be mad. Be yourself, be free.

There is no sweeter wine than freedom.

Faith is not just about believing that something will happen. It is about trusting our faith and surrendering our deepest desires to the Universe. And the day we do this, magic will start to happen. :-)