Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Be alone. Be found.

it's good to spend time with people but if you want to headhunt yourself, be alone, away from the crowd, from the people, from the noise. In silence rings the most rhythmic tune of life. In silence only can you find the balance which is impossible to pursue in the middle of constant buzz. When you are alone, you are actually not alone. I mean, you might be having the sound of fan running overhead, the purifier filtering water, people jabbing door bell over and over again ignoring you might be busy writing an important blog post, the whooshing sound of airplanes passing above your house...various muffled sounds, letting their presence distinctively felt. But still you sit, one leg over the couch and second down on the carpet and your eyes are fixed on the screen thinking and fingers typing at the same time. But it's still silence! Either when the fan is still doing its job recklessly and people might re-start flirting with the door bell. You sit with eyes closed thinking to write something all the while slowly turning in a sponge...absorbing the silence around. It's magical, I tell you. It's addictive, you already know it. There can be just so many things running in the mill called brain - people, incidents, phone conversations, in person conversations, memories, past, the upcoming travel, job, hobbies turned passions, the next day birthday party invitation, calories gained during the recent festival - these and many more keep traveling in a loop gradually forming its center - You. The more you think, the more you get closer to yourself, the clearer things become. Silence is not only a desire or a longing but it also acts as a mirror...it clears your image to yourself. Many things start making sense and you abruptly, much to your disappointment, realize How idiotic I was during this and that moment. There can be moments of triumph as well such as Whoa! I did good here. Lots of things finally settle at their right positions (or you just got a new eye for them, whatever) and the picture (or pictures, if you are a high rated thinker like me) becomes more vivid. Suddenly it feels as if you are seeing the whole version for the first time. It's surprising because it's your picture. It has moments including you, the colors of your emotions, the rainbow of achievements, the amalgamation of wins and losses, the irregularity of your own nature...still it looks so different from the other times. It looks real! Authentic! Original! The only version you are supposed to extract, to see and to live with.

Seclusion not only can be your next best pal but also can be the mentor, guiding through tough times by holding your hands allowing you to sulk deeper so that you can again be on your feet with a new abundance of energy, new hope, new thoughts and new decisions. It helps you in becoming you. It does not seek pretense. It simply stays by your side until  the crowd raids the space once again. But if you go through enough seclusion, the raid gets welcomed. Because now you know what you are. Because now you are - found.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

The real success lies in doing what you love

What's this thing with Bangalore? During day, it's hot but evenings are always pleasant. And don't ask about the nights. Cool breeze and oscillating trees will just steal your heart right away. :)

A few days back, I read an interview of someone. Although I am failing at the interviewee's name yet I can recall his final words of the session:

If you think doing corporate job is a symbol of success then you may be are at mistake. Success is doing what you love to do. 

A simple reminder of following your heart to have an enriched nourished life. Doing what you love is, you can call it, food to the soul. It nurtures the virtues such as self-preservation and the will to keep moving. When you do what you love, you are not needed to be poked and goaded and lectured for doing it. You just pick it up and start. It's a beautiful feeling! The motivation comes from within. The protest starts from the heart and finally makes up to the soul when the moment is filled with the desire. Not only the initiation becomes a lot easier but also the sense of achievement multiplies at a great level. In a short period of time, you naturally learn more than what you could learn from doing something that just does not feel right to the heart and yet you have to fall in line. Since Guitar is my passion, I learn new songs every week. The desire takes birth naturally and I just start and only stop when my hands have totally given up. Though I am still a beginner but hopefully on the way to become a pro one day. See! Dreaming big becomes easy too. 

Doing what you love is inspiring, motivating and the best partner in crime when you want to ignore everything and everyone in order to do it. So don't be afraid to pursue the story of heart even if it is a crime somewhere. You will be acquitted at the end.


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Forgive while you still can

You have no idea what kind of image my house is reflecting at this moment. Even though the maid is gone after doing a good cleaning and moping still it feels as if I am sitting in the middle of an earthquake. Too much mess gives me headache and I am having one now.  So I am just trying to keep it calm and doing what I love.

Sometimes when you are chopping onions in the daybreak in your kitchen, it is not surprising if one or two unpleasant emotions catch up on you. And then you start snorkeling into something you shouldn't - the years gone by - because you want to finish cooking while you are still sane. A few incidents flash across your focused eyes and you inevitably start wincing inside. They are the ones making you shift in the chair, drifting your gaze away, making you lick your lips that have suddenly gone dry, the slight palpitation of heart, the appearance of that burrow in the forehead, the longing for solitude...you just stop feeling okay. The beginning of a frown occurs and your fairly good mood drains down the sink along with the dirt of vegetables recalling all those people responsible for it.

But you can't keep feeling like this, can you? No. So it's better to let some of these GO. What I am trying to project here is, that while it is not easy to forgive all the people who have hurt you but it's still feasible to forgive some of them. Say, there are total of ten people that irritate you at any given minute of the day. While you can't work with six of them, permit the remaining four and the stress associated to them melt away. Not an easy thing to do but worth giving a shot. At the end of the day, the stress may not have towed away completely but I can bet the solitude I am loving as of now that it would certainly reduce down to a certain extent, once and forever.

Read this post in Hindi on my Hindi blog: जाने भी दो...कुछ बातों को

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Present is the souvenir of the future

Yesterday we were on a de-cluttering spree. As we kept unloading and scrubbing spaces off the unwanted items, a jute bag caught my attention. Upon opening it, I paused. The rest of the world settled in the background and I got fairly lost in the articles kept inside that bag.

It reminded me of a particular slot of time, passed years ago. There were glues, glitters, colorful cello tapes, hand made craft items such as envelops and paper bags, stones and buttons, colorful strips for paper quilling, tiny boxes, silky yarn, a few toothpicks, models to create more paper bags and envelops...a time restored in one bag with non-working zip. As I kept on exploring those items, I felt I was taken back into the time where I was something else...someone who was enthusiastic and optimistic for her Art & Craft Sale to work, to wow people. I remember I had made dozens of beautiful eye-catching papers boxes and envelops of various kinds, sizes and colors packed nicely in plastic wraps. Some festival was upcoming (probably Diwali) and I had decided to put my time for a good use by organizing a sale of hand made items. I had also put some more things bought from the market such as little lipstick cases, sets of gel pens etc. It had taken almost a month to get all the things sized up, cut, glued, decorated and finalized. And when the sale was up at my home and my neighbors and friends turned up, the appreciation and praise in their eyes were quite visible. I still remember how delighted I was during that 3 days sale. I was the lone staff and the manager of the event and it was alright. I was the one holding every piece of the sale together. Not all the items vanished from the shelf but yes, many of them did. People loved them and I loved the experience. I was neither an author nor a guitarist or a blogger that time. I was simply a housewife which still continues to be one of my identities.

Now after all those years looking upon these items, I was overwhelmed. Glues have dried out, one or two stones have fallen out from the packaged boxes, envelops have lost their shape (due to smothering space in the jute bag), silky thread has loosened out of the yarn, gel pen set is still intact (don't know whether it still works), stars, ribbons, remaining non-decorated empty envelops...so many moments caught and preserved in these. Until I was done with every item, the peaceful smile never left my face. I realized it was the past I was holding onto, the best souvenir of the present. It made me acknowledge what I was, what I am now and what more can I be. Those twenty minutes of living up that piece of past was ethereal...soul touching.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

आसमां से ग़र चाँद मांग लूँ
तो जन्नत में रौशनी कैसे होगी ?

सुबह से ग़र सूरज मांग लूँ
तो रात के सीने में शाम कैसे होगी ?

अनसुनी अनकही बातों का भी
काश कोई ग़वाह होता,
ह्रदय ही ग़र जो खोल कर रख दिया
तो ख़ामोशी की तलब कैसे होगी ?

यूँ तो वक़्त के झरोखे में बिखरे हैं कई मोती
कुछ मेरे तो कुछ तोहफे स्नेह के,
उन मोतियों को ही ग़र ना सहेज लूँ
तो यादों में पहल कैसे होगी ?

कहते हैं 'मनुष्य तूफ़ां है तो भावनाएं साहिल हैं'
लहरों में जो ना बहे तो किनारों पर हलचल कैसे होगी ?

मुस्कुराने के तो बहुत से बहाने हैं
कुछ साक्ष तो कुछ अनभिज्ञ,
होंठ ही ग़र जो स्वावलंबी हो गए
तो आँखों में चमक कैसे होगी ?

चुप सी चलती बेहोश सी ये ज़िन्दगी
हर एक आंधी को बाहों में समेटे,
तिनके ही ग़र जो ना सिमट पाएं
तो कहीं और बहार कैसे होगी ?

P.S. Could not put a title to this creation of mine but it'll get one, once I get it.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Books never let you grow old

It is always good to have extra time in hands and buy (or rather, secretly shop on Kindle when husband is not around) new books. The sensation you get just by the anticipation of getting new stories is unparalleled. Much like a kid wanting the day to turn into dusk and then scale towards the night so that he could be tucked inside the blanket and watch his grand mother read new exciting stories to him. In my case, I am the child and my Kindle and paperbacks are the grand mother.

As I am digging into the initial pages of Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks, it feels so ethereal, it feels as if all those daily storms and hurricanes, global warming and pollution, twists and turns of routine life have come to a sudden halt, just so that I can read. Kid was doing his homework beside me when I opened my Kindle and it lit up to me, alike the grand mother's eyes, seeing her child expectant for a good story. And as I continued from where I had left off, I stopped after a page. Reading requires seclusion, tranquility of time. I slowly switched off my device and now waiting eagerly to have some peace unperturbed slot around. Books encourages the child inside you to stay intact. They never let you grow old!

I am glad to be a child holding a book despite the fact that I own a little library of my own yet it is beautiful to have a new one in addition. I am glad to be able to feel the excitement every time I buy. And I am super thrilled when I start digging into its pages. It's a precious feeling, I tell you. 
Be the kid and hold a book. I promise every trouble, every storm that you may have been facing these days will swiftly settle back and you will be endorsed in a world where there is no one but you and your wise witty grand mother, full of stories with endless journeys and charming people to meet.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Pick'A Book Club March Guest Talk

Yesterday we had Guest of the Month at our club. It was Mr. Ozwin D'Souza. He is a teacher and our neighbor, of course. Since March is burdened with exams and the deadly pressure, I thought to pick the idea for the talk something refreshing and highly engaging. It was - Mischief, Best Friends and Ideals. And you can imagine how much we must have enjoyed it. But before I say anything else, kindly have Ozwin's short bio attached with his picture.


So when Ozwin dropped by on time, kids did not show much of the enthusiasm. There is a thing about kids. They appear normal or rather, a little dull when you approach them but once you start making a connection with them, they change quickly and start liking you right away. The same happened with our guest. Kids were first silent and intrigued by the third presence (apart from them and me) but when Ozwin started talking about Best Friends, it took less than two minutes to get them talking back. And the way Ozwin started the talk, it was commendable! It became easier for kids to establish an instant connection with him.

Then the session which was planned previously to be precisely of 20 minutes got stretched into overwhelming forty minutes! There was just so much to share, so much to talk and discuss and have fun with speaking about mischievous things each one of us has done in the childhood; about best friends, having secrets with them and also about adoring our ideals in details. You should have seen all the children and their instant interest in speaking on the topic. It was magical! When I see them bonding well with our guest, I just feel so happy. There is no dearth in that. The entire session was special and our minds were refreshed. We thanked our guest for coming over and giving us his precious time. Kids went home delighted by the session. Later on, Ozwin and I discussed various topics over coffee. Another day came to a good end.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Celebrating Women's Day - The change I want

So today is Women's Day. First and the foremost, wishing all the women out there a very happy occasion. May we keep up with the virtues of womanhood which is strength, hope, love, care, integrity, earning credentials and the list is on...

Today, it does feel a little different. May be occasions/special days have a certain impact over the human psychology. I feel as if I have really drunk boost and actually feeling strong! I feel energetic even though I had slept less than four hours last night and did not have a nap the whole day. After so long I have also applied nail paint and it looks nice. Have also made a video featuring all those women who teach me important lessons of life and motivate me at various fronts but when I am posting it here, its not taking. I wonder why. Ungrateful blogger! Wishes showering from everywhere make me feel good and special though. I am grateful to them.

If you ask how does it feel like being a woman, I'd say - It feels rare and precious, beautiful and hopeful; sad too because of the crimes happening. Being a woman can also be stressing and daunting but then everyone has to go through such phases, more or less. Over all, it feels good to be a woman.

But I'd also like a change. I'd like to endorse girls' education. I'd like to abolish female infanticide. I'd like to encourage girls and women to speak up. I'd like men to stop considering women as toys or an object of their entertainment/time pass. I'd like to teach boys and men the importance of gender equality. I'd like to praise those women who have gone beyond their boundaries, have done beyond their best. I'd like to raise a toast to the courage and confidence rural women are now gaining. I'd also like to applaud all those men who are selfless and working for the betterment of the other half of the society. 

And I'd like to work towards one or all of the above.

So much on the name of wanting one change. But it starts from one, from the root level. If being asked, what change would you like to make to make this world a better place for women?

Monday, 6 March 2017

Everything comes at a price!

I am just done with my morning tea. Summer is here but somehow, the weather seems to be in a good mood since yesterday. It is still pleasant and no-sunny morning though I miss the sun, for the regular dose of my Vit. D.

They say work is very important. One benefit that you can garner from the statement is - that you get to enjoy leisure, you get to feel its tickle deeply. Because it's rare and so, precious. So sitting by my window looking out at trees gets me into some thinking. Trees - the natural but stubborn soldiers of our mother nature. They have to suffer so much for their growth. Even though there are four weathers by text book definitions yet our trees suffer many more than that - sudden rainfall in summers, snowfall in summers, sultry evenings, beautiful summer mornings, the brunt of human beings - they still grow, refuse to give up on their nature. But when those little buds appear on the nodes and afterwards, turn into beautiful flowers and leaves and fruits, all the harshness, the entire suffering suddenly looks worth, the price they paid in order to create beauty becomes worth.

Is it not a good example of what I had put as the title? That everything comes at a price? Look around or better, look inside and you will know. There is price to pay for everything but we should keep doing our jobs no matter how many weathers our eternal text book called life adds in the future.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Universe Between Us

When being in the crowd
then only you know the seclusion preferred
when being in seclusion
you realize the chaos running in head;
life is contradictory most of the times
gives easy times, and many limes
the solution might lie in being strong
fighting like a fighter, wounded like a lion;
everything appears to be a mirage
or may be we are living the one at large
before you know it's all a hallucination
puff! goes the sweet fancy imagination;
but the greatest truth lies in believing yourself
the time, the nature, the unparalleled universe
the one that lies in you, the one that lies in me
and the one that's resting between us many.

By - Priyanka Baranwal