The incident, I am about to narrate, goes back to the year 2009 or 2010, I was teaching at a residential school then. We had an English department full of experienced and knowledgeable teachers, each more impressive than the next in terms of vigour, zest or plain perspective.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Some of us were sitting in the staff room carrying on with our respective tasks when Ma’am Santosh Ahlawat entered. I was in awe of her personality. Tall and distinguished, she seemed to be at complete ease in her skin. Her smiling face and radiance gave the impression of a person who had things under control and one who was sure of herself in every way. Nothing seemed to bother her or ruffle her feathers. She had great ideas too. It may seem like my personal ode to her but the fact of the matter is that I didn’t know her well enough and all the attributes, I have just mentioned about her, have only come to my mind now that I have sat down to write.

The only thing that I truly and vividly remember about her is what she told us that day and which has somehow stuck with me over the years. A simple thought but of great import. She had just come to the staffroom after taking an impromptu class with grade 9th. As it was an unscheduled period, she just gave them a random idea, wrote it on the green board and asked them to ponder over it. Her notion, though basic, was extremely profound. On the board she had written – LEARN TO LISTEN.

This tiny piece of sparkling wisdom has stayed with me since then. I keep telling the people or students I come in contact with, ‘to listen’ as much as they can. Over the years, I have benefitted a lot by cultivating this miniscule, seemingly random, bit of virtue.

It’s true that we learn new things only when we shut up & listen to new ideas and perspectives. People feel respected around us if, all we do, is listen to them make their point. We pick up new languages when we listen to natives speaking them. We earn the respect and admiration of our colleagues and subordinates when we let them make their case by giving them a chance to speak. For teachers and parents, earning the trust and devotion of their students or children is the greatest achievement, which is possible only when we listen to them. Not only these practical, day to day things, we also appreciate nature more when we sit quietly and observe its various bounties. We may have gathered and accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience but that doesn’t make us all- knowing.

Each of us has a lot to learn about the blessing that this human birth is, about the people around us and how to treat them, about nature, God, life, our work, relationships, about things that are said but not meant or others that are meant but never said, about situations that we find ourselves in and the tight corners that we have to manoeuvre around, about events that are evident but not real or real but not apparent or discernable.

Our lives would seem inadequate or insufficient in terms of time or length if we decide to pay heed to whatever there is to learn. But if we have to grow, that is the only path to take. Books and success stories can only teach us as much.

We genuinely learn from our environment and that too only when we give it an opportunity to make an impact on us. The easiest and the most pragmatic course of action would be to Listen. Listening is not just hearing but paying attention to not only the words spoken but also to those meant. Listening is not a stimuli for answering or replying or hitting back, it is a stepping stone for comprehension, reformation and change.

Recently, I was reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and I read that the only thing that made Homo Sapiens different from other Humans and animals was the size of our brains. We are the wise ones. Ours is a chosen species. What we choose to do with this life is upto us! We can either stick to the comfortable and stay happy in our ignorance or else venture out of that safe zone, step into the unknown and find bliss that would add meaning to our mundane lives.

Wasn’t it Anand (Rajesh Khanna) who said, “बाबू मोशाय , ज़िन्दगी बड़ी होनी चाहिए, लंबी नही“ Life should be meaningful (big/large) not long (as in years without any real wisdom)

The one thing that we can all promise ouselves to do in our ordinary lives is to be open to learning and that would be possible only when we learn to listen.

Just a thought!

via ” Admit Your Role In A Failed Relationship ” Without Blaming …

What is the gravest loss a person can incur? Someone frivolous would say- Money, someone with greater depth and realisation about how life runs would say – passing away or passing on of loved ones is a loss that can never be repaired. True that!

But while we are living, we learn to survive with or without people. Even if they pass on, we can find solace in the fact that they loved and cherished us as we do them.

In my very humble opinion, the greatest loss a person can lay oneself open to is the loss of respect, whether it is in the eyes of our loved ones or in our own judgement.

It isn’t rocket science to understand that not all of us are destined for great things, not all of us would be remembered by a multitude, not all of us would earn the celebrity status, few amongst us will earn a handsome living but there runs a common thread between the greats and the ordinary ones, like us.

All of us have one Life and we need to prioritize it in such a way that we make the extraordinary come alive even in the mundane. We may not be a Ratan Tata, an Indra Nooyi, an Amitabh Bachchan, a Lata Mangeshkar, a Mark Zuckerberg or a Steve Jobs to inspire an entire generation but we are humans too and it is upto us to be exemplary atleast to our own children.

I have written time and again about how I look upto both my parents for everything in my life. The way they have led theirs, their experiences and conduct even in the face of adversity, their even temperaments, their integrity and honesty have far surpassed any flaws that are bound to seep into a human character. I am proud to be their daughter although sometimes theirs are huge shoes to fill in.

It’s not always that, parenting goes right. I may not be the most appropriate person to talk about it but I have observed, at close quarters, children losing respect for their fathers or mothers. It used to baffle me because it was a completely alien concept for me. How could one hate one’s parent? Way back in my school days, I had some classmates who rarely spoke about or to their mothers. Being an impressionable child myself, I had spoken to my mother about it and she had wisely advised me not to be judgemental or take sides, better still to mind my own business and not put my nose where it wasn’t required.

With years and age came maturity and a kind of experienced comprehension of human nature. During my teaching years, I came across a couple of girls who hated their mothers. For one it was easily explained – she had a step mom and the girl had never warmed up to her but there was another who just couldn’t tolerate her own natural mother. Try as I may, I couldn’t understand that kind of hatred.

Some years on, I moved back to my hometown to be with my parents and thus nearer to my extended family too. True, it is trying, living with people of a generation that doesn’t understand your reasons and don’t approve of your way of doing things and true, there are disagreements too but at the end of the day, they are our parents and we learn from their experiences. Wherever necessary, we also tell them a better way of handling things. Hate never enters this equation. Not with the parents atleast. But that’s me and my life. Not everyone has the same circumstances.

Today, more than anything, I understand the wisdom behind my mother’s words when she had told me not to be too inquisitive about the lives of my friends and more specifically – never to judge. ‘You don’t know their truths. Not the same applies to everyone’, was her constant reply to my curious wonderings.

I have seen grown men losing respect, losing face in front of their own kids. They can’t handle the ever increasing pressures of modern day living and give in to vices like drinking to drown their sorrows, gambling to earn an easy buck, borrowing to pay back previous debts. It is a vicious circle. Instead of facing life headlong with grit and determination, they succumb to weaknesses of the body and soul which eats away at their family lives.

Far from being heroes or inspiration to their kids, they become embarrassments for their families. The impact on the children is life altering. They either become copies of their fathers, taking up those vices as their own or end up hating their parent and going against anything and everything they suggest. Either ways, lives get ruined.

This is the problem, but is there any use writing about the problem without suggesting a solution? My solution is simple and has to come from within.

Marriage is not just a social obligation that we have to perform when the time is right, instead it is a responsibility which should be taken only when one is ready for it. Becoming a parent makes one accountable. We don’t have to lead extraordinary lives in order to earn the respect of our children, we just have to make our decisions on the basis of what will be right or wrong for our family as a whole.

Seemingly ordinary lives can also be remarkable if the children come out cultured, if they value their resources, are intellectually & morally sound and most importantly if they respect their elders, effortlessly.

We should give them reasons for that respect. Just because they are our offsprings is not enough cause for ‘demanding’ respect. How we conduct ourselves, goes a long way in shaping the lives and characters of our children. We cannot expect them to outshine us when all we are giving them is a lot of negative energy.

Having said that, we have one life too and at times we also can be reckless and experimental. We may enjoy our little indulgences but responsibility towards our children wins the round, hands down. We cannot drink ourselves to hell at the cost of our family just because we happen to enjoy our daily pint. We cannot smoke away to lala land without a thought about its impact on our family. We may take calculated risks to earn big time but cannot be reckless enough to go beyond our means and set up a debt for our children to repay. That’s not how exemplary lives are lead.

It’s never too late to make amends. If our intentions are right and if our hearts are in the right place then we know what is the most important thing for a person- it’s the love and respect of the ones closest to us. And make no mistake, we have to work hard to earn that. The first step is to acknowledge our mistakes and then try to mend our ways as best as possible. Even if we don’t succeed in bringing in more money or stability to our lives atleast we can be content that we tried our best and that too with integrity.

Wouldn’t it be endearing to be remembered as a good human being, once we are gone? Why just talk about being remembered once we are gone!! Wouldn’t it warm the cockles of our hearts if people look up to us even in life? Wouldn’t it be remarkable to leave a legacy of righteousness and morality for our kids to follow and pass on?

Start making amends today. We don’t know what is in store for us tomorrow.

It was just that sort of a day when you need to remind yourself of who you are and what your core is made of. Actually, it’s been a series of such days end on end.

Being a bibliophile, I try and find answers in the written word. For me, there is nothing that a google search can’t throw up- from books on recipes to countering depression, from what to watch in which mood to what to wear and where & how to travel, from ailments and their cures to the composition and impact of medicines, I find everything when I look for it and more often than not, I end up reading on everything that goes on in my mind. That’s how much words rule me.

So, it wasn’t surprising when I noticed some discrepancies in my general behaviour and reactions, I immediately looked up the reason for the change and found out that there is something called ‘working depression’ & that I was quietly but steadily moving towards it. On delving into the problem further, I found out about (surprise, surprise!) a book- Pilgrimage of Desire by Alison Gresik.

Generally, I don’t read self help books but this is something that all of us can benefit from. I am still on it and I feel better because I realise that we are not alone in this. All of us go through lean patches and we have got to believe that there is a way out of them. And once we are out of them, we shine brighter. We may not come out unscathed but they are just battle wounds, the scars that leave a memory and a lesson.

Years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the marvel, that is, Jon Bon Jovi and one of his songs that is etched deep into my psyche is ‘Welcome to wherever you are’, the other being ‘Walk like a man’. I may have spoken about the latter in one of my previous pieces but the former is the one that inspires me in my current mood.

I leave you with the lyrics and will try and attach a link to it too.

Happy listening!

Maybe we’re all different, but we’re still the same..

We all got the blood of Eden, running through our veins.
I know sometimes it’s hard for you to see.
You are caught between just who you are and who you wanna be.

If you feel alone, and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning, is some beginning’s end.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far.
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Welcome, to wherever you are..

When everybody’s in, and you’re left out
And you feel you are drowning, in a shadow of a doubt.
Everyones a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say.

When it seems you’re lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody’s different
Just take a look around.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Be who you want to, be who you are
Everyone is a hero, everyone is a star..

When you wanna give up, and your heart is about to break.
Remember that you’re perfect, God makes no mistakes.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are.

Welcome to wherever you are

Where do you plan to go this vacation? How are you bringing in the new year/ your birthday / your anniversary? What do you plan to do in future? Are these the right courses for what you have in mind for your life? Why are you going out with this person, do you see a future with him or her? Have you been saving for a rainy day? Have you ensured that your children won’t want for anything in their lives? Have you made sure that they have a sound financial backing as long as they live?

Sound familiar? The mental checklist!!! The grocery list for life. We have all been taught not to disregard it. We have all been brought up to think and over think like that. We think and think and then think some more. We plan, we propose, we toil, we execute and in the end we have successful lives with enough financial security to last us a lifetime and some of us even go beyond that and take care of our next generation too.

We marry, have a family. Sometimes we fall in love too and then again we analyse whether that (person /relationship) would work in our lives or not. We hold on to it if it fits with our master plan and let go if it doesn’t.

All of it is highly rational and responsible behaviour. We have to keep up the family name, its legacy which is the biggest thing we pass on to our children. It cannot be tainted by impulsive acts or decisions, can it be?

But just for a moment think, what if we could lead our lives without planning ahead? What if, we concentrated more on OUR lives alone not burdened by the family name, or what people would say or what will happen if plan A fails!! We have been brought up to think of all possible scenarios. We have a master plan A, if that fails we fall back on Plan B, God forbid if that fails we either have a workable Plan C or we give in to despair. Assign it to fate. Lose hope. Sometimes we muster courage to pick ourselves up and fight back. Isn’t that what all great success stories, that we keep hearing for inspiration, are about?

What I am suggesting here is something completely different. Something, few have the courage and audacity to take up. I am referring to a Super Plan S, where S stands for SPONTANEITY. What would it be like to live life as it comes? Wouldn’t it be more meaningful if it is led as God wanted us to lead it- without frills & attachments. It would be a great relief if we could start a relationship, a job, a move, an education without thinking— WHAT NEXT!!

Isn’t it enough that we are living it up in the moment?

How many of the ‘successful’ people, we look upto, have lived their lives without compromises? It’s a cliché choice – happiness or success. I am not posing that question here. It is perfectly alright to want to be successful in life. It is great to be ambitious but not the same rules apply to all people.

For me success might not mean money. For me happiness might not mean success. I may be happy in a relationship without a future. I may find contentment even in the absence of high living. I might be fulfilled without a soul mate or in some cases a life partner.

It is different for each person and it is alright for him or her to make those choices without pressure from family, relatives or well meaning friends. We are not going to take back anything from here. Not the money we earn, nor the good deeds we perform.

We are here to keep our Souls happy. We form attachments along the way- some we are born into, others we cultivate but our prime responsibility is to ourselves. We cannot pour from an empty cup. To be able to give happiness, we have to be happy inside. There is no perfect recipe for it which suits all palates. How we find it, nurture it, is upto each individual..

What happens when we first learn to drive a car or ride a bike? After the initial apprehensions, a sort of over confidence sets in and combined with the zest of youth, we tend to forgo speed limits, we test our boundaries, we take chances, we know that we would be able to control the vehicle even at that insane speed. We feel a special kind of independence at being able to do things on our own, a self reliance, if you may.

Once the novelty wears off, it becomes routine. Driving or riding may still be synonymous with liberty but the thrill is gone. Gone is the urge to take unnecessary risk. It merely becomes a means of getting things done. At this stage we are more aware of the potholes, the traffic and the wisdom of slowing down and letting others pass. We are surer and more confident of our skills. We learn how to manoeuvre our ride around tight corners, we become adept at getting by without applying abrupt brakes..

Yes, life is a lot like driving.. Infact it is just like driving!

Look, look, Guttu! Look at the color of her hair”, Mishti, my six year old niece couldn’t hold back her excitement when she saw an old lady with hair as white as cotton wool, nearly the same texture too. I explained to her how a human body ages and loses its vigour with time. She went into deep contemplation and didn’t bring up the topic again until the next morning when we were riding towards her school astride our new activa. We happened to chance upon a fallen tree spread across the whole road. We had to careen awkwardly to make our way past it. She was curious as to what had happened to it. I again told her that it had aged and lost its strength and thus fallen down – dead. She was quick with her repartee, “Aged- just like the old woman we saw yesterday.” I was overwhelmed with tenderness at her innocence and struggled to grapple with the fact as to how the notion of aging would be such an alien and enormous concept for a six year old.

At 38, I myself don’t get the process completely. I do understand the weathered bodies, the sluggish gait, the dimming eye sight, the hardness of hearing, the memory loss, the confusion, the irritability & the failing health. What surprises me daily is the unbent, unyielding spirit residing in those broken weathered bodies, the strength of their spine in face of adversity, the far sightedness, the willingness to hear the opinion of their children, the things that they remember from a life well- lived, the patience and the untiring care they have for the family.

It is as if they refuse to wilt away like dying flowers. The indomitable human spirit puts them far higher on the totem pole than any other living thing.

True, there are moments of despair and helplessness in the face of circumstances, events or even physical disability but I see people rise above them by dint of sheer courage and lifeskills that they have mastered over the long years of their existence. Ailing parents can be as stubborn and uncompromising as children but they have the virtue of experience and forgiveness that gives them an extra edge.

It is obvious that a long lifetime means a lot of experiences- some good, some bad. Some memories are worth cherishing and there are others that turn into grudges and regrets. The idleness and inactivity of old age brings all of that, forth. It’s not just the body that withers, the mind also crumbles and some of us tend to become grumpy with age.

I am amazed when I look at my septuagenarian father. He has had a tough life. He faced the society headlong while in his youth, took unconventional decisions, looked after the entire extended family, made something of himself with little or no help from people around. He became who he is, on his own steam. A lesser man would have given in, in face of all that he went through. But he stood tall and strong and proud all his life. There are times now when he loses faith, thinks of himself as a toothless tiger but he always, always fights back. He gets up, dusts himself off and does what he does best- Dominate.. Age might have slowed his reflexes a bit but his mind stays razor sharp and his eyes miss nothing. After all these years, he still has his exclusive outlook on everything. He is opinionated, strong, honest and an idealist to the core. He calls a spade a spade and doesn’t like to mince his words with nary a bother what the world would think of him. He overthinks. His belief in family and the concept of kith and kin is rock solid, despite the many blows & setbacks. At 72, he is still the anchor that holds our craft together.

For every child his/her father is a source of constant support & inspiration. For me, despite our occasional differences, he remains My Hero, who has surmounted innumerable odds and survived.

And what a life it has been!!!!

Someday Mishti will also know what aging with style and on one’s own terms means, thanks to her NANA..

💫Conundrum💫

Posted: February 24, 2018 in Life as I see it...
Tags: , , , ,

If we try and hold on to everything at the same time, we lose everything in the process..

How many times have we read and heard it spoken, yet it hurts when it actually goes down.. There is no perfect world out there. Every moment in our lives comes with choices. Sometimes they are simple and easy to make and give us a freedom to go with what suits us best but there are times when we don’t want to take the fork. We want the paths to merge so that we can have it all.

Every writer, worth his or her salt, has a Muse. Whether they know it or not, something or someone always acts like an inspiration or a cornerstone of their writings. They lay the foundations of their pieces around it and weave their magical yarn.

Our words flow when our Muse is somewhere in our minds.

To me, writer’s block comes when I lose that vision or thought on whose foundation my words stand. It’s true that I wrote earlier too but my writings started making sense to me with that presence in my mind. I realized quite late where the word flow came from. There was an extremely dry spell when I couldn’t put my thoughts into any coherent sequence and I quit trying to write for those few months because even if I did try, it came out as a forced effort. Not honest, not sincere!

What that sabbatical from writing did, was another blessing. I found my Voice in the mean time! I found that writing was not the only thing that could be cathartic if you had a willing ear to hear you voice your opinions.

But life happens when you start settling down to change. When you start to get comfortable in the little haven that you have created, BAM! life hits you with a test. And it is cruel at times. It gives you the choice of Either Or.. It’s more of a conundrum than a choice, actually. Either Or exists only when both the choices are hard to give up on. That’s the whole idea behind it.

By some turn of fate, if I get back my Words, why should I be posed with the threat of losing my Voice?

Why can’t both stay?

In a perfect world, they would!

Years back when I had just joined the teaching profession and was brimming with fresh ideas and ideals, I remember feeling indignant when a cousin of mine spoke to me about the caste card he would play to, in the upcoming elections. My cousin had some years on me and had pretty clear ideas how democracy worked at the grassroot level. I was shocked and indignant because his ideas did not match the ones given in the text book.

Some years on, when I had gained some worldly experience and knew of rage, oppression and fate dealing a lame card, I was still shocked when an extremely mild- mannered colleague of mine belonging to a marginal community, spoke harshly with an almost wolfish snarl what he thought of being secular. His venomous hate for an entire community, though coming from personal experience, did not feel justified to me.

Quite recently, the brouhaha about the release of a movie on a long dead queen also felt unnecessary and roguish to me.

But isn’t this where we make mistakes? What may be clear as crystal to me, may not even ring a bell with someone else. It’s the perceptions that we form that make us the people we are. And even if it has taken me years to get this simple fact straight, I now realise that respecting other people’s way of looking at things makes life uncomplicated and hassle free. We cannot expect even our closest ones to feel exactly as we do on issues, both ideological and otherwise.

The more we read or expose ourselves to unfamiliar notions in any form, through any medium, the more we grow as a person.

While going through Adolf Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf, I got to know why he hated the Jews so much. I may not agree with his beliefs, ideas & deductions but he wasn’t wrong in his own eyes. His perception gave way to the Holocaust, the biggest genocide the world has ever experienced, and yet he was convinced that he was right all along.

Our beliefs are rooted in our own experiences. However bad a person may seem to the multitude, he is worth praising if he sticks to his beliefs. The ideas and notions of some may be repugnant to us or many others but they are there because they stand on the firm ground of experiences of that individual. That doesn’t make it wrong. They may not be justified but are true for them.

What I don’t get is being so impressionable that you can be swayed from what you truly believe, by dint of great oratory, fine language or the personality of a person.

Some of us have it easy. We haven’t had bitter experiences to shape up our thinking but for that very purpose we have been endowed with the faculty of brains, cognition, comprehension, logic, deductions and free will.. If only, we could use them instead of being blind followers to anyone that can wield and plant a thought in our minds, the world would be a more peaceful place and our relationships more transparent.

There are chants and wishes for a Happy New year today wherever we go..

There are celebrations galore..

There are hopes, dreams, aspirations & resolutions even for those who don’t or won’t party the night out to ring in the New Year..

And why not!! Do these changing dates on the calendar not fill us with hopes for a happier, healthier, brighter & better tomorrow? They do.. It’s hope that make the world go round.

Amidst all this hullabaloo, let’s not forget the less fortunate ones.

A compassionate friend of mine always says- “नानक दुखिया सब संसार” We think that our pain and our troubles are all that there is to this world.. But it isn’t so…… The world is full of all kinds of suffering and misery.

Let’s not overlook the ones whose life is a graver struggle in the absence of resources that we take for granted. Let’s clear some space in our hearts and minds for those whose suffering never relents. Let’s wish for a better tomorrow for them too. Let’s be grateful for whatever little or plenty that the Almighty has bestowed on us. Let’s resolve not to complain about our circumstances when there are others who would gladly swap lives with us. Let’s try and look beyond ourselves and do something worthwhile this year for the ones who really need it…

Let us make this year count for us & for others..

I wish you and your family a very HAPPY NEW YEAR..

May this year see you through your trials, may it grant you courage to face adversities & overcome them, may there be triumphs and reasons to rejoice. Have a good one..

A cold winter morning.. The Sun peeking through the mist, trying to bring some warmth to the wet & moist earth along with my jittering limbs & the deepest cockles of my heart. I sit in my balcony, soaking up the pink sunlight, with a hot cuppa tea. This has become a steady course to counter cold mornings for me. The isolation imposed by silence, of being surrounded by people yet remaining just with my thoughts, listening to nothing but the white noise of my indefatigable & unrelenting mind and observing the world go by, have become therapeutic. I have the guilty pleasure of snooping into people’s lives and imagining their stories just by noticing a tiny miniscule part of their days from my tenth floor balcony.

What remarkable lessons can be taken from seemingly ordinary existences!

I saw a child, barely five or six, rush to the terrace of his house, directly beneath my balcony, hence the movement caught my eye. He seemed to be carrying something. On closer inspection I saw a couple of rabbits, white & fluffy, snuggled up in his arms. He deposited his cuddly load in a deserted corner of the cold, bare terrace where the two lagomorphs, confused & scared by the intense attention, quickly found warmth in each other. The child stood up and for a while observed the inactive rabbits seeking warmth in each other. He mustn’t have liked the fact that he, the one who owned them, was being ignored. He tried to raise them from their cold & fear- induced torpor by stomping his feet hard on the floor, the sound made the pets snuggle even closer to each other.

The child tried again, this time with huge green leaves, to lure them to activity. And finally, when he couldn’t get any movement out of them, he lifted one and placed it away from its mate. Finding himself alone, the rabbit responded to the child’s stomping by running helter-skelter, this was not only fun for the child but also must have pleased him to see, something he was so fascinated by, respond to him. He began chasing the poor pet from one corner of the terrace to another. After about ten minutes, he got bored of this and chased the other rabbit around. Then, he called on his family members, his grandfather & father, to come have a look at his possessions, the pets. There must have been a child- like innocence and eagerness in this show of ownership. I saw him trying to force feed the animals, scaring them with all his foot stomping and repeatedly pulling & pinching them to show his tenderness and love. As his attention wavered, the rabbits, yet again, found a quiet corner to escape this ordeal. But the child wasn’t done with them. Weren’t they his pets? Wasn’t it their duty to acknowledge and reciprocate his love?

He chased them, played with them, cuddled them, fed them, showed them off to others and yet could not get a puppy like tail-wagging appreciation of his attention and love so he CAGED them.

I sat there thinking. We don’t change much as grown ups. Human love is possessive, protective and limiting, sometimes resembling a cage. We don’t let go of the objects of our affection easily. We don’t set them free & let them come back to us, of their own accord, instead, in order not to lose them, we chain and cage them to keep them safe and with us all the time. Our latent sense of protection and ownership smother the very people we love. Be it as parents, friends, spouses, or well- wishers, we always look out for the ones we love and there is nothing wrong in it. But too much of everything is bad. While ‘looking out for’ is a welcome emotion, setting boundaries and limiting someone’s range out of love, reeks of negativity.

Not everyone is the same. Every species put on this planet understands love and God has given each a different way to express that love. While puppies and dogs have a special way of making us feel loved, adored and wanted, not all of the others can express it in the same way. Same applies to humans too. All of us love but our expression and needs are different. We have been endowed with something that other species don’t have. It is the combination of speech and perception. Why can’t we, then, use it to our benefit and make our relationships happier and more content?

After all, however gilded, a cage is a CAGE..

A seagull was flying over a beach, when it saw a mouse. It flew down and asked the mouse:

“Where are your wings?”

Each animal speaks its own language, and so the mouse didn’t understand the question, but stared at the two strange, large things attached to the other creature’s body.

“It must have some illness,” thought the mouse.

The seagull noticed the mouse staring at its wings and thought:

“Poor thing. It must have been attacked by monsters that left it deaf and took away its wings.”

Feeling sorry for the mouse, the seagull picked it up in its beak and took it for a ride in the skies. “It’s probably homesick,” the seagull thought while they were flying. Then, very carefully, it deposited the mouse once more on the ground.

For some months afterward, the mouse was sunk in gloom; it had known the heights and seen a vast and beautiful world. However, in time, it grew accustomed to being just a mouse again and came to believe that the miracle that had occurred in its life was nothing but a dream.

I was reading ‘The winner stands alone’ by Paulo Coelho today & I happened to come across this excerpt. I realised that the same thing happens with us humans every single day. We don’t even have the excuse of different languages, most of the time, it’s just our perspectives that differ so much. We fail to understand the point of view of anyone other than ourselves. Even if we are shown the other side for a while by a well- meaning friend or acquaintance, we conform to our originality sooner or later.

No matter how happy or content we may be with someone or something, we get back to our comfort zones as soon as circumstances permit. We cherish the memories. We think that all that happiness was an unattainable dream. Sometimes we pine for those lost times and opportunities too but we eventually move on. We get back to our bland, mundane lifestyles because that’s what we are, that’s who we have always been. In the process we lose our real chance at a blissful, different life.

All we had to do was to grow some wings. Believe in the vision of another. Give up the safety of our self – imposed confines, our perspectives, for once and take that leap into the unknown that could have landed us some place idyllic.

Alas! Our human stubbornness has been the doom of many a friendships & relationships. It has been the downfall of many a promising careers & success stories.

Two men looked through the same bars

One saw the mud , the other saw the stars..

True, we are each allowed to have and nurture our own sets of beliefs, our deductions, our logic. There is no harm in seeing things differently. But, differences in opinions are healthy only till they help us grow and evolve. When they start to deter our lives irrevocably, we need to sit up and take notice. We need to shun our prides, apologise and reclaim that little bit of heaven that we had found by some miracle.

Thankfully, there is a parallel reality for all of us. We just have to go through the looking glass and discover our own personal Magic ✨

Just a thought!

Just this morning, while surfing the internet in my customary fashion, I came across the definition of the word Nostalgia.

Having used the word to great effect over the years, it didn’t seem quite extraordinary, specially when I read it for the first time. But as they say, some things are better understood when felt, words just can’t do justice to them.

At 37, I have been lucky to experience various facets of life- its triumphs, its joys, the memories of togetherness, friendships, relations, and simultaneously and very obviously-the trials, the tough times, the breakups, the leaving behind of places and people.

Every ‘rich’ life has its ups and downs. The mind, invariably, misses and remembers moments of glee and grief alike. There are triggers that set off the flow of memories and emotional people, like me, love to delve into them, relive them, sometimes to my own chagrin.

I am not a methodical writer, never have been. If I deliberately try to pen down something, it comes through as an invested effort, which is fake, at worst and dishonest, at best. My words flow only when they are inspired by something or someone. I am a handicap that way. That’s the reason I am so irregular in my posts. The daily nitty-gritty of life, the mundane blandness of living, hardly give us reasons to invest into words. It’s only when a memory strikes and I long to go back into time to experience, once again, the joy of that moment or to freeze it so that it can be a physical part of me, that I write.

For days now, I had been lamenting the fact that I wasn’t able to create anything. Granted, I have been busy but isn’t writing or creation something that we do to feed our Souls not to fill our pockets? Time or lack of it should, then, not be an impediment.

My current move to the city fills me with so many new experiences every single day. Be it the presence of people around or the cacophony of traffic, the blaring loudspeakers belting out song after song celebrating weddings or religious ceremonies. The lights, the sounds, the sights – every little thing fills me with wonder. Try as I might, I can’t write about them. Or atleast I can’t start with writing about them. It’s only things that I long for, things that have come to pass for better or for worse, that stir up my imagination.

I saw a familiar face today. Someone I had had to leave behind, not on very good terms too. Miraculously, I couldn’t remember anything bad about our association even when I happened to glance at him. True, there was a longing to shout out for attention but good sense prevailed and there & then the realisation of moving on struck me. I have already accepted the turn of events. I am aware that self respect and happiness are the most important ingredients of a fulfilling life and that some people are meant to meet us only to give us this lesson, they are there merely to make us understand what we don’t need in our lives.

We are life long learners, the human race. Too much information, too many words, too large an exposure to recorded and written life- lessons make us immune to them. After a while we stop sorting & sifting through them, a perfunctory read is all we accord them. Doesn’t it happen with too many text messages or motivational quotes that we come across on social networking sites? We read them, if we have to, but reading is far from assimilation. It’s only when we endure a certain situation or come face to face with reality, that we learn. And as I said, we learn everyday, even without books, without quotes, without religious, inspirational or motivational communes. Life is a hard task master. It has its exclusive way of getting through to us.

All I have learnt in recent years is that Self – love is important. Self-respect is an integral part of it. Someone who cannot respect us, isn’t fit to be loved by us. If we don’t love ourselves, we cannot channel that love outside, towards someone else. It isn’t selfish to put ourselves first. It is a prerequisite for sound mental health and eventually, one’s physical, social & psychological well being too.

I am grateful today that I got this life and that I have lived it the way I have. There are so many things to be thankful for, so many people that form the crux of my being, myriad events that shaped me into the person I am today. There is no place for Regrets. What and whoever is present, is the best that has happened to me. Whatever existed fleetingly, enriched me with experiences.


So, while the event that sparked off this train of thoughts might be intense nostalgia or a very strong memory, it surely isn’t Regret and what it definitely is, is Grace.

And, Grace changes Everything..

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to move back to the city. It wasn’t that I loved my home any less but to live away from society is a challenge in its entirety. There are daily struggles that one has to go through even to maintain the home and hearth. After quite a lot of deliberation and cajoling we succeeded in convincing our parents to give up their recluse- like lifestyle and return to the city. For twenty- two long years, they had been dwelling at the farm. It was home, it still is.

After looking for it high and low, we finally settled for this new place – a penthouse apartment that accorded my parents their much- needed space in addition to being a lot more convenient to us. We gradually started visualizing the home that it would turn into. All efforts went into making it the space that all of us dreamt of.

Moving in, though demanding & stressful, was the easy part. What we feared, were apprehensive about, but at the same time looked forward to, was getting used to the people, the newness of being around a lot of people, of dealing with them on a daily basis. I was wary of my social skills, for one. Having stayed away for such a long time might have rusted whatever little people skills I had, to start with.

The people in our building all looked happy and welcoming yet there was a sort of breaking (back) – in required. We got the perfect opportunity to meet and greet and test our social skills outside our immediate community when we were invited by new flat owners moving into the building, just a fortnight after us.

It was a pleasant experience and everybody seemed to genuinely like and respect each other. I had heard my mother speak about neighbours being more family than families ever are but it was the first experience of the sort. Ours being a new apartment building, we were all trying to get to know each other but there was an openness, a comfort, a will to establish and build up new acquaintances.

There are so many aspects to moving in and settling down. Not only does one need to get used to the novelty of the new abode and its surroundings but one also has to adjust to the unbeaten and untrodden schedules and paths that lie waiting.
It is a happy coincidence then, that our move is working well for nearly all of us. The freshness of the routine, the zest to face each day that brings with it disparate experiences, recommencing the activeness that life was just a couple of decades ago, recapturing the beauty and essence of city life once again, are all things that we hoped for.

What the Move has made me realise is that deep down, under the veneer that we had on for twenty odd years, we are all people’s persons. There is a profound and unfeigned affection for people that runs right beneath the parched stratum of our personalities.

I hope the move does us good. Looking forward to many happy and content years here. May these be the verdant grounds where new and everlasting memories take root..

Turning the final pages of Freedom at Midnight, I couldn’t help but marvel at the skill, sorcery & verve of these two master story tellers- Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins.

I had read ‘Is Paris burning?‘ by the same authors some years back and that still remains one of my favorite books on the Holocaust. But I always maintained that writing about one’s own country or region, researching the history, events and facts about it is a lot easier, less stringent, hence the flow of writing. Dominique Lapierre is a Frenchman himself, so probably that’s the reason the book turned out the way it did.

But “Freedom at Midnight” opened my eyes to the magic of their words. Right from the first page, one is absorbed in the narrative. The exhaustive research is evident in the minor details of the events that shaped History.

Partition of India and the communal tension that resulted is a hugely sensitive topic and yet they have told the story as History needs to be told. Their non~partisan attitude brings a crispness to the narrative which is so many times missing from Historical commentaries.

Finishing the book, a reader is free to choose his or her own hero. The writers have not been partial to any one character. They have been honest and sincere. They have written things and drawn out characters as they understood them.

If one is a Gandhian by principle,they will find that Gandhi is, infact, the hero here. If one has rightist inclinations, they will have Veer Savarkar, Narayan Apte, Nathuram Godse and their ilk to fawn upon. And if one believes in the contributions and impact of the British then they will have the Mountbattens to look up to after going through this book.

The authors have not colored their text with their own judgement on Indian history and its major players. It is for each of us to read and make out which YugPurush to idolize.

They have steered clear of any controversy by avoiding a major pitfall that all history authors face~ they haven’t caricaturised any of the political leaders of the time. They have been equally indifferent to Jinnah, Nehru or Patel. While they make it a point to mention them wherever necessary, these leaders are not the core around which their book spins.


These two are men on a mission. Their mission being~ to relate the story of the Indian Independence, Partition & the biggest exodus that the world has ever witnessed. The events leading up to 15th August 1947, the common people who faced the brunt of partition, the senseless killings, the loss of men & property, the challenges of these newly formed nations, the role of the parting British, the steadfastness of the Mahatma, his ultimate sacrifice for his people, the masses, the teeming millions of India, thus divided, are the real protagonists of their narrative. Riveting!! All 750 plus pages of it!!! Please get your copies now!!

I, myself, have been a history student for years now and I have always avoided being labeled a secular or a Gandhian or leftist or rightist. But one cannot remain unmoved & undecided after reading this book and I have come out strongly in favor of the Mahatma after going through the text. It, so often, happens in the history of civilizations that we crucify our Gods & Messiahs while they are living and build temples in their names once they are gone.

Nearly 70 years since his death, Gandhi and his principles have seen every reaction that is possible for a multitude to give. He was revered in his lifetime and equally hated in the aftermath of partition. He realised in the last years of his life, the futility of his methods in a newly independent nation. He saw his friends and protégé moving away from the ideals that had won them this precious Freedom. There was a surge in his popularity once more when he passed away. Years have passed since then. We have limited him to text books, postal stamps or currency notes. His principles, once the guiding beacons of hope to millions, have now been rendered obsolete. There comes a time in the history of every nation when they pay lip service to their greats. We have done that to the Mahatma. It is disheartening to see students and even older people criticise him for what he never was or never did. It breaks my heart to see people shrugging his contributions off or comparing his role in Indian independence with militant leaders or revolutionaries, to ultimately find him wanting.

Gandhi knew that history won’t be kind to him. He knew how the minds of his people worked. He had one thumb firmly planted on the nerve of India. He realised that the next generation might not accord him a position of respect when talking of the Indian Independence struggle. He knew but he didn’t care. He was perseverant right till his last breath. When told by a refugee to leave the Indian people alone and go to the Himalayas for his remaining days, Gandhi said, “This is my Himalaya”, referring to the post independence communal turmoil. He lived for the nation and he died for it. He knew no other way to live.

The light truly went out of our lives when he was assassinated but his light shines through, even now, for those who are willing to open their eyes and minds to see, learn & understand.

We, as a nation, should be grateful that he was born here and lived amongst us.


There will come a day when you will realise what you actually want. Your search will end, it will reach its culmination and that would be the day you probably would stop reading and writing. Whatever you write thereafter will be a complete thought. Your words will want for nothing. You will have achieved what your soul is so desperately looking for in the written word,” so saying, he smiled enigmatically.


But, I don’t think I am looking for anything in particular. I read because I love to and I write only when I have things to say. Yes, sometimes, I have incomplete thoughts that might need processing. Sometimes, I write things that are raw. I write of emotions, of people, of love, of loss. I write of things that are human. I read things that I find fun or that stir me. I have never thought of reading as a channel to get somewhere, it has never been purpose oriented, merely a means of getting to know stuff,” I riposted.

Ah! But you are young still, you will get there, eventually,” he reiterated.

What is it about thinking individuals that ruffles our set opinions so? It isn’t as if I change my thought process on every word of a book or a firmly stated opinion but both mediums compel me to re-analyse my approach. Sometimes I defer to the books or educated opinions thrown at me, at others I stick with whatever wisdom I have acquired over the years.

I maintain that I don’t read with a purpose in mind. I am neither spiritual nor religious enough to seek answers in mythological text, I am not condemning them or denying their significance, it’s just that they don’t work for me as well as a fictional work with deep rooted meaning does. I would rather read a Shantaram or To kill a mockingbird or Rumi, even for that matter a Brida, to get perspective on life, than to look for solutions in the Bhagwad Gita. I have read that too but probably I did not get it much.

I started writing as a catharsis for my broken spirit. I never felt that my pieces had or have any literary merit. I write because, there comes a time in each of our lives when we have things to say that we can’t express freely, even to the closest of our friends or family. Some keep it all bottled up or lock it all up in the deepest recesses of their minds, some choose art, music, cooking, travelling, gardening, keeping pets, chatting or even socialising to keep that inner voice down. To each his or her own.

I Choose to Write. I can’t, at times, express what I am going through even with my writings, for fear of being judged. I still haven’t learnt how to fictionalize my accounts so that I am finally able to pour my heart out without anyone finding out the trials I am going through. I, forever, dread the query, who is it you have written about in this piece?

Still, I choose to write to attain temporary relief, a sense of calm from my ever accumulating thoughts. I may stop writing if by some miracle I can stop thinking of mundane, everyday things. I am an ordinary being, a human with trappings like love, desires, wishes, hopes, friendships & relationships. I don’t see myself graduating to the bigger questions of life and existence any time soon.

May be, I am missing an essential ingredient. It is probable that I am lost. I may not conform to many things that this world lays down but I am ME. I will own up to my mistakes, I am the one who would take lessons from them. I might repeat some of them but I am content. My energy is my own. I regret nothing. Even bad decisions and failures were necessary. They probably were the most important things in my life when they happened.

I am here to lead a simple, uncomplicated, knowledge – centric life and I feel that I am on my way pretty much the way I wanted to be. I love to wear my heart on my sleeve and won’t apologise for being the way I am.

There is this advertisement doing the rounds on television these days. It’s about home loans being offered by a bank. What I like about the ad is its story and concept.

It shows a well educated mother – son duo, in all probability living in a metropolis, discussing the concept of having separate living solutions once the son gets married. She tells him to listen to her and get a place of his own, somewhere nearby, to avoid unpleasantness & tough choices, between mother and wife, in future. The son is bewildered at the thought of living away from his mother but out of confusion dawns comprehension of what she is trying to explain to him in such a matter of fact way.

The emotional ebb & flow giving way to relief and a solid decision, is evident on his face. What appeals to me is – first, the mother in the driving seat, both literally and figuratively. Second, her profound wisdom & deep rooted understanding of the way things are in families these days and the ease with which she imparts that to her son. Third, and most important, we see a parent, a mom, relinquishing control over the offspring, in an effort to keep him close.


Not very long ago, the Indian family system was unique in the world. We were the benchmark with which the world compared & learnt of filial duty & responsibility. I am sure all of us in the late thirties or forties have heard our parents go on and on about living in a joint family. How the patriarch, or in some cases the matriarch, of the family presided over the lives and decisions of all the members. How elders were free to correct the conduct of any child in the family.

How meals were always a time to come together & rejoice. How similar opportunities of education and jobs were open to every child in the family. Family picnics and outings did not need to be arranged over the phone. Any one of the elders could take all the kids out to a movie or picnic. They stayed together, ate together, travelled together.. In essence, their lives were intertwined with each other so much, that the concept of cousins or half siblings was lost on them. They were all brothers and sisters. Their parentage, their identity was not confined to their sets of parents, it encompassed the entire family.

Where on the one hand, parents or the elders, came to expect a certain conduct and attitude from the children of their family, on the other, children too relied heavily on the decisions of their elders. Married or not, every young person had to conform to the ways of the family. Even new brides got to learn anew and adjust their upbringing and disposition according to the family they were married into. The basic principles of being respectful towards all, remained unchanged.


Sadly, what we see around us these days is something completely different. What we see are ruins of the old family system. Gone are the joint families and the way they nurtured lives within, the way they passed on the legacy. No longer are elders free to point out misconduct or mistakes of the young who are not their sons or daughters by the privilege of birth, in some cases even that is not possible. Brides these days prefer to stay nuclear. They prefer to look after their husbands and kids and don’t want to be burdened with the complications of an extended family. Parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters -in-law, remain just that- in laws.. They don’t become a part of their families.


We take it in our stride and move on, accepting it as the need of the hour or something that is happening with everyone these days. Not all families or elders are as eager as the mother in the ad, to let go of their children to make a family or a life of their own. Most parents tend to stay on even in adverse circumstances. I have witnessed sons and their wives throwing abuse after abuse at these aging parents. Nothing they do, seem to the young as coming from good intentions or a sense of love and responsibility towards their children and grand children. The same son who was lovingly and so painstakingly brought up by them, turns on them as soon as he gets a wife.The children of the family suffer the most. Their childhood is scarred and their lives shape up witnessing the strifes between their parents and grandparents.

Resultantly, there are either sob stories to tell if the parents decide to stay home & deal with insult after insult hurled at them or old age homes filled to the seams.

Neither case resembles the old glory of the family system that we were so proud of.

We talk of western influence in such derogatory terms most of the time but I feel their family system is much more sorted than ours. They have accepted that once a child starts earning or going out in society, his/her identity as their child alone, ceases to exist. They become their own people, capable of taking important decisions of their lives and dealing with the repercussions. They know that parents can guide them but can’t protect them forever. They understand the need of letting their children be. They may not turn out exactly as their parents want them to but they are happy and satisfied because they become what they are, on their own steam. Staying separate does not come after marriage. It comes as soon as the child starts to earn a living. The love and affection that they have for their elders is not feigned because the constant bickering and nagging is absent from their daily lives.


I am a complete sucker for joint family systems but with the way things are these days it is infinitely better to follow the west and live with respect than to stick with what is expected as a societal obligation and stay unhappy. This holds true & goes both for parents and kids..

Just a random thought.. Would love to have your views.

Ah! The grave anguish

Of meeting you again,

The mixed feelings of being with you,

the longing, the pain.

It has been a year,

we had that row.

And parted ways,

tried to let go..

Things didn’t work out

as I envisaged.

It’s probable, I am getting

difficult with age.

Don’t get me wrong,

I love to see you flourish.

Your triumphs, your laughter,

Your memories I cherish.

You flit in and out of my life.

This is your right.

Yet, fleeting is your attention,

blind, the sight.

The scant time you can accord

leads me to believe,

I won’t pass away with a regret,

the bond we forged will provide reprieve.

Overwhelmed with love and joy

of your company, I forgo the claim.

But do tell me if I deserve just

these Borrowed Minutes to my name..

I had heard people speak about it and I am sure I also must have, at some point in my teaching career, provided lip service to the sentiment of ‘following one’ s heart‘ or ‘doing what one is passionate about’. I have examples galore of the fact that people do give up on their dreams when life happens. The race to earn and accumulate wealth to support a desired lifestyle or to provide for a family takes prominence in the larger scheme of things. An extremely gifted writer friend of mine, Prerak, muses thus-

Our passions and interests take a back seat. Things that once gave us immense pleasure or those that brought out our creativity and latent instincts are all but lost. True, the flame doesn’t extinguish completely but the heat is gone. We tend to take them up as hobbies and then we write, paint, sing, dance, cook or travel when time and circumstances permit.

Few amongst us have the fortune of really doing what we were cut out for. And such people shine through any crowd. They have their life sorted out atleast in the way they want to lead it. They are not compromising on their dreams and thus their work speaks. There is a special aura around them that attracts people wherever they go. And some of it rubs off on people like us, with association. The past couple of months have been one such mystical journey for me, thanks to such charming friends who simply love what they do and are eager to share their exploits or take us along where their Vagrant Minds or Itchy Feet take them.

She defines Art as the medium of the creative & Artists, for her, are people who have the vision to see beyond the obvious. In no way she believes Art to be elitist.. Meet Dr. Sangeeta Singh, artist par excellence, creating waves on the Jaipur Art Scene for years now. Her brand of Art is inclusive of the laymen. To her, Art is finding a charm and beauty in the mundane, everyday things.. It’s one’s perspective that gives a different meaning and scope to things that are otherwise unremarkable or ordinary.. Come to think of it, even ordinary is art..

I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing her for a decade now and in all these years I have seen her grow as an artist. I am an ignorant when it comes to art so much so that I can’t even draw a leaf to save my life but she never looked down upon me. Working together, once we had to make some invitation cards. She had an abstract concept of shades and strokes and weird eye catching combinations that gave life to those cards. What is significant is that she didn’t do it by herself, she motivated us to participate. What fun we had! Added to it was the satisfaction of having made them ourselves. That was, some eight years back.

I was recently invited to one of her Art Exhibitions, that she had put up at the Kalaneri Art Gallery, Jaipur, in collaboration with numerous other artists and students of Art. Having missed out on couple of her previous exhibitions in as many years, I decided to visit this one, come what may. It turned out to be a sound decision on my part.

The central theme of the exhibition was to create best out of waste. Her corner, according to me, was the most creative and interactive. And I am not saying that because of my long standing association with the artist but because her passion for her work was evident even to an unskilled eye and mind like me. Her vision was not just for what is, but also for what can be and what should be!

She had a female mannequin buried in a huge wooden crate filled with sand, depicting Mother Earth with blue ribbons running out of her hands, depicting the flowing water or rivers. Her message of sustainable development wasn’t lost on anyone who cared to wander in. With one stroke of genius, one little corner in the exhibition room, she not only underlined the reckless and brutal misuse of earth’s resources by Man but also the need to conserve them – our forests and water.

Her blue line (ribbon) symbolically flowed out of the hands of Mother Earth, climbed up the steps of the gallery and continued to flow beyond the premises. She made sure that the guests understood her idea and participated in it by planting little saplings along her blue line. Her acute sense of Art and spirited presentation of this seemingly ordinary concept, was extremely impressive & remarkable. We left the venue, enriched and happy to have shown our solidarity with so grave an issue in such an artistic yet simplistic way.


Sangy has moved on to yet another venture. She is putting up her work for the Delhi people too. She recently had an inauguration at ITC Sheraton, as part of Classique.

May she have further hues to add to her already vivid, vibrant montage of life.

Another, much younger inspiration came to me from an ex-student of mine who has now made a name for himself as a web designer, photographer & a cinematographer with sharp skills & a keen eye for details.

Sourabh Gaur, hails from the sleepy town that is Bikaner yet he didn’t let his dream die. His aspirations became his motivation and as they say no hurdle is big enough for a sentient mind and a willing heart. He set out to scale a mountain – both literally and figuratively.

(https://www.facebook.com/saurabh.sg2/videos/1512598828805878/)

In the picturesque locales of Himachal, the peak he aimed at, stood some 18,750 feet high. To reach the acme, was going to be a test of one’s grit and determination. He tread, on foot, the path deemed too risky for nimble footed animals too. His eyes open only to the Vivid Vistas stretched out before him.

So complete was his will to be one with nature that he ignored the risk and just concentrated on the goal and along the way made good use of the journey itself. He chose to look at the ethereal skies, verdant vales, lofty peaks & the beauty that lay beyond the rough, slippery terrain. And how true the words ring- The best views come after the hardest climb.

His pictures are proof enough of the exciting trek he embarked upon. He is reluctant to share the details & the location of his adventure because he feels that the pristine, almost virginal peace & beauty of that place wouldn’t remain intact if more people knew about it.

Yet another venture that makes one believe that our future is in safe responsible hands, is the Bikaner City Blog.

( https://www.instagram.com/bikanercityblog/ )

Aimed at promoting and nurturing the culture, history, food, lifestyle & young talent of the city, this non profit organization is run by highly motivated youngsters fresh out of colleges. They organise events to popularise the legacy and inheritance of our colorful yet quiet city.

They are working hard to provide a platform to the youth of the city to showcase their passions and talents. In the same spirit, they organised a Musical Meet a couple of days back. I couldn’t make it to the event but saw live updates on various social media platforms, that have knit our lives so closely together, and once again I was in awe of these nestlings that are so eager to give wings to their imagination.

The meet, first of its kind in our city, was a resounding success. It was heartening to witness Art in such raw, pure, unadulterated form. The satisfaction and bliss of following one’s own heart was written large on the smiling, shiny faces and in the sparkling, expectant eyes of the performers. They sang and played their hearts out.

A group of three friends got together to begin the Golden Sand Production Company that is fast becoming a household name in our torpid little town. Away from the humdrum & glamour of big cities, ours is a laid back society that is nevertheless rich in tastes and talents. The idea behind Golden Sands is to bring forth the vivacious, lesser known facts about our city, to acquaint the people, young and old, with the eccentricities and idiosyncratic tendencies of our Bikaner. They churn out music videos, promote acting and dramatic talents, organise events, and take up socially responsible tasks in their bid to fulfill their dreams.

It is not as if these are the first amongst us to break away from a well – paved path to attain what their hearts really desires, neither will they be the last. But wherever they feature in the hierarchy, they are worth a mention because they are doing what they do best. They have digressed from the prescribed and recommended courses to carve out their own. They took a risk to dive head along in the labyrinth of life and have come out tops.

People who do what they are destined to do, are a different breed altogether. They don’t shy away from the challenges that life, inevitably, throws their way. Nothing can stop them from persuing their cherished fantasies. Their simple charm in being what they truly are, cannot be hidden, anywhere they go and whatever crowd they mingle in. There is no mediocrity in the work they undertake. They stand out as resplendent representatives of mankind.

When they write, it is Lyrical. When they paint, it is Sublime. When they sing, it is Soulful. When they dance, it is Synchronic. When they cook, it is Heavenly. When they travel, it is to explore the Unknown. When they pick up the camera, it is to capture Glory. When they create, it is Magic!! ✨ 💫