Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

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..

I choose to love you in silence

For in silence, I find no rejection.

I choose to love you in loneliness

For in loneliness, no one owns you but me.

I choose to adore you from a distance

For distance will shield me from pain.

I choose to hold you in my dreams

For in my dreams, you have no end.

-Jalaluddin Rumi

Endings are always painful & difficult. Be it anything. Any relationship, habit, time, custom, tradition, thing or trend that ends has once been a living, thriving part of our life, growth or routine. A definitive conclusion or how things play out is, thus, a significant part of our lives and needs to be written about.

It would be the most logical assumption that the end of another year has brought about such ruminative notions to the fore. In a way it is correct. One tends to sit and contemplate on the year gone by and the trials and triumphs that it brought along in its wake. Yet again, year ends are neither times to lament nor celebrate, as a year is just Time, it is constant, eternal. Time doesn’t end. It is just our reactions to the situations it presents that constitute the very framework of our being.

There were so many different thoughts running about in my mind for this year-end blog that a few weeks back I did something I had never done before. I jotted down some notes with the intent of using them for channelizing my erratic ideas into a fairly coherent piece of writing. But some things are just not meant to be. I just couldn’t piece them together into a write up. I have always written spontaneously. Planned writing has never been my forte. I write in the moment yet I am going to share my notes here.👇

I am a firm believer in the power of grey. In my humble opinion, nothing is always ever completely white or black. Our lives cannot be classified or arranged in clear spaces or brackets of right or wrong, loss or gain, happiness or pain. Such gradation is just not justified. Yet so fickle is the human mind that we tend to forget the happy moments and concentrate on the losses.

The biggest loss that I had to endure this year was the parting of ways with an important person in my life. It was hard giving up on a relationship that I had come to value more than most. Never before had I fought so hard to retain someone in my life but then, never before had anyone called me Maa and gifted me with an overwhelming feeling of immense love and fulfillment while it lasted. His life choices took him away from me. We drifted apart before it became too ugly for him. But, love still remains. I hope & pray that his choice brings him love, peace & happiness and that the ensuing years guide him to the path of contentment and success. Although he has been a regular, inseparable part of my life and writings for the past many years, this is the last time he will find reference in my blogs because I am of the resolute opinion that if one cannot stay & if it has to be distant, it better not be. No use flogging a dead horse or watering a dead plant, the language is replete with metaphors.


This year, I witnessed some of my very close friends and acquaintances suffering irreparable losses at the hands of fate, destiny, Providence. The void that such a bereavement or misfortune leaves, is hard to be replenished by anything this world has to offer. No words of solace, acts of kindness or passing of time can completely heal the hurt. Yes, with time people get used to living in a certain way because this is life and if nothing else, it is never short on distractions. Yet the emptiness and gaping wounds cannot be palliated by any prescription. Even then, as they say, life is for the living and one has to move on and keep on living for the people who are and who care. None of us has the luxury to sit back and nurse our broken hearts and spirits. There is life to be lived, responsibilities to be carried out and people to be loved & supported. I hope & pray that the coming years give them reasons to rejoice, sooner rather than later- reasons that have the subtlety to soothe these troubled and shattered souls.

Recently, I had occasion to visit my native place and spend some days with my extended family. I always believed that life in the countryside is much simpler, relationships more pure and innocent than their counterparts in the cities. The rustic grandeur of stone paved pathways and dusty lanes crammed with cattle & livestock along with playing, laughing, screaming children held a special attraction for me. The sights, sounds, smells of the rural kind never ceased to amaze me. Their lifestyle, their food and the thought they put into each relationship by dint of being always in each others’ touch, drew me magnetically towards them. Many of these rosy-eyed beliefs of mine were in for a rude shock when I got a chance to spend some time with the rural folk. My mind initially refused to register the terrible intrigues & internal feuds, the constant back-stabbing & back- biting, the ubiquitous plotting & scheming of sub-urban people. It was worse than the neglect most city people come across at the hands of their fellow city-dwellers, on a daily basis because it wasn’t expected in a close knit community spread a little over three kilometers. The degeneration of morals and family values opened my eyes to new vistas of country life. My trust in the concept of family, filial & community obligations and the significance of kith & kin, that my father has brought me up with, was shaken to its very core. To say that the visit was a disappointment is an understatement of giant proportions. It was downright vulgar to behold such deterioration of human character in our own backyard. I hope & pray that in the year ahead, people, there, would realize the flaws, fallacy, laxity & errors of their ways and work towards restoring the bucolic charm of the village.

This year, I was a silent onlooker of the changes my sisters brought about in their lives. I saw my younger sister fight her inner demons and come out victorious at the end. I witnessed her transformation from a broken, tottering person to a strong, self-assured, assertive individual who doesn’t  pay heed to the censure of society. Societal norms and age-old patriarchal maxims don’t govern her life and decisions. No one, but she, regulates what is right or wrong for her and her child. I salute her tenacity in the face of adversity. I, also, greatly admire the never-say-die attitude of my elder sister. She dared to brave and confront life at its lowest and ventured into areas she had never dreamt she would have to go into, with extreme patience and grace. I hope & pray the coming years be kind to them and theirs. I pray for more strength, perseverance, tolerance and courage for these two indomitable, indefatigable and earnest women.

Last but not the least, a special mention needs to be made of two people who don’t  want to be cited in any of my write-ups and yet read them all, word by word. I know the written word doesn’t mean much to you. You are both assured & confident of the bond we share and yet here I am, being grateful to God that I got to know you better and that we have had such good years together. I am much obliged by the love and constant care you accord me. It is, indeed, a privilege knowing you. I hope & pray that you, my confidantes, receive all that you seek in life and that the next year or the years ahead would never leave you wanting in any aspect of your existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

✨Happy New Year to all readers!!✨

Auld Lang Syne

 

Diwali festivities over, I had a wonderful day today with guests and relatives, friends and loved ones turning up to meet us. Yet another gentle reminder that life is worth living and celebrating only when you have your people around to share it with you and rejoice in it. 

The day started going downhill when I had this weird feeling of loss and emotional emptiness after we had all turned in for the night. While going through my Facebook timeline,  I came across a dedication , a condolence message from one of my friends in memory of one of his. 

I had tears in my eyes at the sheer helplessness & ineptitude of man when faced with fate. The young, handsome face of that unknown individual shook me to the core. Dedications ranged from calling him a hearty, jovial, ambitious, full of life person to his keen interest in photography and a general zest for life. Some of his friends had mentioned how he refused to get married before he made something of his life, how he wanted to become someone for his family- his parents before he embarked on a journey of marital bliss. He wanted to make them proud. 

To be taken away so cruelly in an accident on a day when most of us were celebrating the festival of lights, left everyone of his friends speechless. All the posts dedicated to him, tagging him carried his smiling, dashing pictures and all of them invariably wanted him back because so much was left unsaid, unspoken, unfinished… I was moved beyond belief. Tears came unbidden. 

We take so much for granted. We forget that this life we have is so uncertain. Just like Navdeep, we may be celebrating one moment, devouring ladoos, and be gone the next, leaving dazed family members and loved ones to pick up the pieces of shattered lives, dashed hopes and unfulfilled dreams. There is just so much riding on us, we fail to notice. 

We do not acknowledge that the final frontier may come to us sooner than we expect. Instead we while away our lives fighting with our loved ones, keeping grudges, leaving things unsaid, loving people and not letting them know. We think we have all the time in the world but we don’t. 

We need to re-prioritize our lives. Know what is important, acknowledge the people who are there for us- no matter what, stop fighting, shelf our egos, love without restraint, be thankful, commit to life & people and stop hurting the ones who have been there and who promise to stay. Believe me, nothing is more important than earning love and respect in your lifetime. After all, it is meaningless if people just praise you when you are gone. It is the difference you make in lives, while you are still alive and kicking, that counts

It may be a naive attempt at writing but my message is clear. Apologise if you are wrong, help if you can, try to understand the perception of others, be tolerant, save relationships, say it if you care, quit hurting people & be grateful for all that you have. Making money is important but at the end of the day , it isn’t everything. Judge what brings you happiness, true heartfelt pleasure. Is it the idea of being rich, of finding solace in temporary people or things, of validation from your peers or is it being blessed with people who love you, who are permanent in life, that brings true richness and meaning to your ordinary existence? 

Think and act now because what we can’t achieve before death knocks us down, remains as regret in one heart or the other. Choose well what you wish your life to be.