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All or None

Failure, as I see, is not what breaks us. Neither does its admission. It is the failure to realize that we have failed that does. It takes a big person with an even bigger heart coupled with a very tiny ego to admit that they did not succeed.

From birth, we are taught to win, at school, in a race to prove ourselves better than all around (or maybe even just a few). Being taller, prettier, smarter, bigger, faster, funnier, or any other ‘-er’, a few inches, a few points more. We are raised with the expectations that we will make our family proud by being superior in some way, somehow. Each small victory is celebrated massively and every stumble is dismissed actively. We want to show our children that we love them, but not their ‘faults’, their shortcomings. Coming from a family of over achievers is very trying if you have managed to disappoint in some aspect of your life, be it school, work or love. What we do not see or close our eyes and hearts to, is the spectrum of triumph and how broad it is..

What you may view as a problem, disappointment or mistake, may be a blessing millions pray for each day. The capacity to read, write, look, smell, taste, walk, touch, feel, breathe is desired by someone somewhere. Each moment you live, each breath you take is a celebration of your presence. Whether you lack the ability of sight or the vision of possibilities has deserted you is the question.

Not being able to see is not as tragic as not being able to dream.

Not being someone’s better half than not being half better than who you were yesterday.

Losing or winning the races or by the standards set by the world around, but forgetting your true potential leads you down the path of denial, self destruction and ultimately the greatest loss- the loss of the Real You. Failing at what you really want in life will not derail you or destroy you either. It will strengthen your resolve, solidify your belief in you and fuel a burst of energy toward your passions.

We fail each day. We still keep moving forward. Failing helps us learn. What to avoid, what not to do, and what to try. It brings out creativity and keeps the wheels turning.

Enjoy your disappointment more than your excitement. It will move you to move mountains.

Raise the bar.

Raise you.

Dream On!

Dreams are figments of our imagination, ramblings of our minds, our deepest desires, our biggest fears.

He says he never dreams, he is to be pitied.

How is it possible for one to not fear

or desire

or want

or think

or create in one’s mind/soul/conscience?

Some dream of pastures, fields, rivers, rainbows, mountain ranges, valleys, snowfall, babies, romance, hot fudge sundaes, a peek at the future that they would like to have or the past that they relive whether in the shape of nightmares or gorgeous events that made their lives so very beautiful.

My son asks me, what is a dream? He does talk in sleep, and laugh and cry and at times wake up with very funny, ridiculous and even terrifying queries, but he has yet to embrace the idea that a dream begins and ends in the course of a night or a nap. He has no idea where he is or why he isn’t where he was and who he was with a moment prior to awakening.

How do I explain to him that it is not real? Or is it not so? We live our entire lives believing in some dream or another. We crave for it. We strive for it. We may get what we dream of, or we may have a rude awakening (pun intended). It is the one who dreams the most and the longest who succeeds in the end. All of us have dreams, whether we recall them in the morning or not is beside the point. We DO dream!

At times, it is our conscience or a voice from above that whispers a warning of foreboding, or a prophecy of coming attractions.

“I want to write a book.”

“I want to help people!”

I want to be happy.”

“I don’t want this life anymore. I want change!!”

I, I , I!

And why not? For if we don’t think of ourselves, we may not be able to think of others. Satisfy your thirst before offering your chillata to another.

It was an extraordinarily enlightened gentleman with a beautiful smile who taught me a lesson that I may not forget for atleast sometime. RA asked what my aspirations are. As I told him, I realised what they all were. And at the resignation in my voice, his eyes enquired “what is stopping you from going out and getting it all, my dear?” 

As he aptly chalked out strategies, plans, set deadlines and provided me avenues for each and every one of the listed ‘to dos’, he converted each little wispy cloud of dreamy nothings into a concrete reality that could and very well might be mine, any day.

RA told me to do what is necessary and lucidly relayed the significance of allowing myself the pleasure of having faith in my own abilities and capacities. “Spend time with individuals who enrich your being, worry not of what their place in your life will be in a year’s time or even in the next 6 months. Allow your self to be surrounded by positivity. Learn. Teach. Give back. At another time. To another person. Live a meaningful life.”

It will all come back to each one of us. Call it karma. Call it destiny. Call it your dreams coming true. If I help another achieve what he strives for, I might, in the process, accumulate so much more than I intended to. Success. Peace. Serenity. Maybe, just maybe, my self that has been clouded, kept away by the disappointments, hardships and hurdles that life threw my way.

And if you still have doubts, then look at the Man who is amongst the most powerful at this very moment and is at a place his nation  couldn’t even dream of being a couple of hundred years ago. And it all began with, “I have a dream…!”

 

 

 

*Dedicated to all the heavenly messiahs who help each one of live a little longer, a little better each day.

March away the blues

Travel brings something to one’s life, one’s being.

The scents, the colours that surround – suffocating you, exciting you, enticing you, a new feeling at each turn, at each bend.

I have had the feel of the hot desert winds slapping my veil across my face, the harsh cold December making my teeth chatter uncontrollably as I stood by pines, and each brought such exhilaration.

I pine for the outdoors, the tantalizing tastes, some tangy, some benign. I am a slave of good food. I crave delightful, exquisite continental, oriental, and everything in between, delicacies that melt like such sugary popsicles on your tongue, or sharp, red hot chilli peppers that blow your mind away!

One doesn’t always have wonderful experiences in one’s wanderlust ways. You tend to eat the wrong things, they may not agree with you; you take the wrong turn while searching for a certain something on the road that you have never taken before, ask the wrong, disgruntled local a question that he’s been asked one too many times. You end up wearing the wrong outfit for the social life of the locale.

Should you feel bad? Should you care? Should you blush?

Blushing, you can’t stop yourself from. For one who has stopped blushing, has lost the most attractive trait.

Chastity.

Vulnerability.

Humanity.

Feeling bad?

Whatever for?

Life deals us cards that we must and could decipher upon being shown the little buggers only. We can’t always guess whether it will be a 6 of spades, a jack or an ace.

That’s the beauty of the game.

The thrill.

The risk.

The victory.

The defeat.

It’s the playing that teaches one. And sometimes leaves you wondering how and why you lost.

Perhaps you played by the rules. Perhaps you bend em a lil’.

Still you lost.

And if you won, you never question how. It’s what you deserved. You don’t doubt your underhanded ways. You just bask in the glory of the triumph. We end up hungover the next morning.

Should you care?

Absolutely! Once you stop caring, you stop living.

Give a damn. Once in a while. But not all the time. No one likes a worrywart. What’s all the worrying doing for you? Giving you wrinkles and gray hair. So just let go. Dance away at your favorite number in the middle of the floor. Don’t give a care to the stares that follow your amateur moves. They haven’t experienced what you have. They know not what you do.

That you Love yourself. Like no one else does.

That you have won and lost at so much. Which they have, too.

That you are gonna get back in the saddle tomorrow. Just like them.

BUT

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one!” — Dr. Suess

Love, happiness and such nonsense

A fun filled lunch of leafy greens, cheesy pasta and sesame nonsense, coupled with company that brought back memories of a decade gone by, and triggered nostalgia was enough to satisfy a soul such as mine. The delectable though slightly suspicious looking drink that Shanz prodded to taste at least made yours truly energetic beyond measure..!

Work. and some more work. All was just another regular Friday. Till it struck 6. And I was made part of an adventure I hadn’t had in years. I went book shopping with two enthusiasts! Little did I know how enchanting it could be, how mystical, how sublimely joyous..

What is it about books that I love so much?

Each lover has a description absolutely unlike the other.

The old books stores have treasures undiscovered and old acquaintances that you get breathless upon embracing. As you try to devour the titles from ceiling to floor, and make difficult choices, you are at a loss to leave behind some for another day, its such an ordeal and an utter travesty to have them haunt you for not just hours but days!

There I stood trying to make up my mind, while my friends took out a list and started enquiring about the whereabouts of their objects of desire. I found them amusing while they felt the same towards me. As N continued to keep looking for his listed ones, from one shop to the next and again, eventually we reached one flashy, ‘with it’ bookshop, in an elite neighborhood. AR asked me why I am choosing what I am, what would The Crow eaters teach me about the Parsis or The Bride help me learn?! For him, each of his purchases were for a purpose, they taught him about management, freaky economics, poetry that would be great for conversation fill in the blanks, etc. So why was I randomly picking up anything and everything? To him, I was a lowly female with her romantic ideals of a castle in the air. As he remarked ruefully the importance of success and moolah that makes his world go round. The books he wanted helped him get nearer to his ‘goal’. Happiness he wants from little pieces of paper and trinkets of metals. More power to him! He kept teasing me about how I pretended to want happiness, and not money, but what is happiness, if its not wealth!!?

After waiting and waiting for them to find their shopping list worth of knowledge, I sat on the couch in the corner, an elderly gentleman sat across from me with a copy of Gandhi. He was such a dear old man, and cleared his throat every few minutes, as I sat immersed in Daily Inspiration from Robin Sharma.  Aug 30 told me all I wanted. As I shared my find with my new found friend, he said something, “Happiness, my dear, is within you. You carry it with you wherever you go. Same goes for unhappiness. If you find happiness in prayer, its your bliss. If another finds it in his glass of wine, so be it. But understand what I have after a lifetime- carry your happiness with you. Don’t let any person, circumstance, ordeal or place alter you or your state.”

I sat and nodded. He continued on and I wished I could sit there and listen to him as my friends started to leave and he saw them and gave me a nod of permission, bade me farewell and asked me to come back again as he often visited there.

I understood him. His voice resonates in my ears. His kind eyes that looked at me with such compassion. The energy of his words and the truth behind them.

What is stopping you from being the happiest? Does this month make you feel loved? wanted? Or are you indifferent? Do you have one to celebrate with? Or are you alone?

Alone.

Like each one of us.

I’m alone.

But not quite.
I have me.

And it is only she that makes me happy or otherwise.

I find pleasure in books, music, food, friends and a 5 year old.

That is my vision of a perfect valentine’s.

Am I a fool to revel in such un-romantic pastimes.. Or are you one to not?

The day I didn’t become a millionaire!

It was an air infested with dragonflies, a refreshing change from the mosquitoes that usually engulfed the shrubbery around our work place. As usual, our driver was late and we were standing irritably awaiting our ride. Seated and on our way back home after a very unusual day of mishaps and excitement, we planned to detour and eat some really disgusting food from the road side vendors, and I was all up for some good food after ingesting some god forsaken haleem from the cafeteria. I leaned back in my seat and settled in to listen to some truly gorgeous music on my Androidy cell phone. After a few minutes, beep! I was mildly irritated by the incoming text, and gave an uninteresting glance at the screen. It was a notification of a credit transaction on my recently opened salary account. I glanced and my eyes popped open. Credited with Rs. 4,319,400! ka-ching!

It had to be a mistake! What if it wasn’t! What if I was just sent all this money? What if I was meant to take it all? It’s a whole lot of money, but how could it be possible! No one even knew my account number. Heck, I didn’t either!

I just ignored the whole episode as an incorrect sms and just concentrated on the food and greasy fries and went home sated with half a liter of pepsi, fell asleep listening to Goo Goo Doll’s Iris and dreaming of a beach walk.

Work was a bitch. I’d gotten most of the work done by lunch and I just felt like I wanted to escape, away from everyone. It was the typical me. I hate familiarity and the drabness of being around the same people, day after day. I have to eat out and get out of the rut that always manages to hound restless souls such as myself. Called up a friend and we all headed out to the land of the crispy fried chicken.

Beep. Another text arrived saying I had debited a small amount and my balance was now Rs. 4.3 mill! Dude, you have gotta be kiddin me!!! Called up the friggin CRO and he went beserk! After a couple of phone calls and a large amount of day dreaming and vacation plans along with a couple of proposals from the craziest guys at work, it turned out that some guy has an exactly similar account number and incredulously identical cell number as well. Everyone was actually mad at me for straightening out the whole mishap. Each person seemed to be feeling like they had just been bestowed with this shitload of money. Everyone was planning what they would do with the money that I would give them.

What was it about that money that exhilarated them? What was it that made each of these individuals alive just to hear of money that didn’t even belong to them? What IS it about money that makes us believe we can get everything? We can win? We can dream again? We can achieve more? Is it money that makes the world go round? And why was I so robotic and calm and unmoved by the possibility of having it all? Cause it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care. Broke or royalty. I have no significance of material objects in my life. Whether I have it or I don’t. I have had it all. It didn’t win me any friends. It still doesn’t; though, it does manage to make foes out of your dearest friends.

I have been through all times. I have had nothing and started from scratch. I won’t preach of the evils of satanic money, no. It is important. It is the need of the times.

But it isn’t everything. 

You don’t realize what is important. You take people and things for granted. You take your life for granted. You will know when it isn’t yours anymore. When someone else comes and swooshes it away or it all just disintegrates into a mist of nothingness. When things will change. When the tables have turned. And you aren’t who you once was. And you won’t be able to bring any of it back.

Cherish what you have now. Don’t dwell in the past. It’s been done. Don’t dream too much of the future, it shall all come in time. Live in today. Build it, nourish it, guard it and everything that’s dear to you. Especially not just what, but who is dear to you.

Because things can come again, but love can’t.

Money matters, but life matters more.

Live like there’s no tomorrow!

I may not have become a millionaire today, but I did live to tell the tale.