Sunday, November 20, 2016

An Introvert's Jug!

Image Source: www.mydailywalkinhisgrace.com


Once upon a time, there was a little girl (let’s call her Sandra for this post) who was very shy and reserved. She was not very talkative, but she did not find anything wrong about keeping quiet. She would be immersed in the world of her own thoughts. She was not adept at cracking jokes or talking out loud. She was the silent type, nevertheless, comfortable with her silence. Though children are spared from the naming and shaming; once they start growing up, they have to bear the brunt of relentless attacks if they are unable to fit into the crowds. These attacks are not always explicit; sometimes they are very subtle, even invisible, but the victim knows when it has hit him/her.

So, as the little girl Sandra starting growing up, people started judging her. The introverts are often the most misunderstood people. They get many adjectives to their credit ranging from arrogant to boring to lame to haughty and some generous people even crown the introverts with the title of misanthropes. Sandra had a very limited circle. Though it wasn’t like she disliked people but she could not come up with enough topics to keep people interested in talking to her. So, people withdrew and kept a safe distance from her. Ney! Not that she was disliked by people but only that they did not really want to be around somebody so boring and unentertaining. That is how Sandra started becoming afraid of people. Infact, she started becoming scared of having to share space with somebody when there were just two of them. She started running away from such situations when she will be left alone in a room with nobody but just one person around. And that is how she started failing in connecting to people; the connection that true friends share with no fear of silence between them, no fear of being their true selves. She did have friends, she did hang out in groups, and she did manage to make bridges. But she believed these bridges to be the abandoned ones, the deserted ones. The real connection, the magic; it was missing. Sandra lacked a jug in her life; a jug to pour freely into, a jug to fill her emotions into, a jug to understand the words in her silence.

When it came to Sandra, people came in her life like milestones. Sandra passed through many. Though she loved all whom she came across in life, she stopped expecting from any. She lived, she loved and she kept moving. Some of them stayed as well, but Sandra did not let her heart be truly dependent on anyone, No one.

But Sandra did need a jug like everyone; a jug to keep herself strong, motivated and positive; to share her moments of joy and sorrow; to live her strengths and move past her weaknesses. And after half her life was over, Sandra discovered her jug. Words were her jug. Her world had always been surrounded with books. And her love of books soon turned into her love of words. The words which hung all around her and when she gave them expression she felt fulfilled, at peace. Her jug never lets her down. Her jug has immense capacity to absorb each of her emotion and her jug is full of immense light to keep her shining always and forever.

Sandra loves her jug all the more with each passing day. “Words- The Jug of an introvert.”


I am writing about Jug in my life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda

Monday, November 7, 2016

Thank You Dear Zindagi :)

Image Source: az100years.org

Dear Zindagi,

As I sit down and ponder, I wonder how you have been made up of infinite moments joined together; some sweet, some bitter; some blissful, some painful; some full of smiles, some full of tears; some dark, some full of light; some encouraging, some discouraging; some moments of happiness, some of sorrow; some moments of weaknesses, some of strength; some moments of despair, some of hope; some moments of faithlessness, some of unwavering faith. And juxtaposed together, these infinite moments have given shape to you – my beloved life.

I zoom in to those moments and realize how I have always taken all my blessings for granted. How I have let happiness quickly fade away in the face of slightest disappointments. How I have let myself wallow in misery rather than trying to count my blessings. How I have struggled with my own lesser self to keep my faith alive.

I zoom closer and I also see that there have been moments when I was blessed with lessons more precious than happiness; the lessons of growth, the lessons of wisdom and spirituality and when I look at those defining moments of my life, I can do nothing but thank you Dear Zindagi for every turn you have taken and for every experience you have chosen for me. I realize the reality in the saying of seers. “Everything happens for Good.” And indeed it does. Even in the worst and the darkest moments of our lives, in the most hideous realities, in the most tragic experiences, there are such lessons hidden which can never be learnt lest we go through such testing times in our lives. These are those lessons which are perhaps the most difficult but most enlightening too. The light that follows such darkness is bright and shining; and in that light we flourish to become better versions of ourselves and that is the reward life had chosen for us. And I thank you Dear Zindagi for every reward that you had chosen for me. Sometimes things seem clearer in hindsight, as now I can see clearly that I had been blessed despite all the moments of hardships and heartbreaks. And I thank you Dear Zindagi for all my blessings that I have so often not managed to count.     

Thank you Dear Zindagi for not letting me collapse under the weight of my own expectations. For teaching me that it’s sometimes important to let the relationships breathe rather than suffocating them by holding too close. It is important to love but not to possess. People will play their role in your life, some would stay and some would move away. Life is about constant motion, about constant change.

Thank you Dear Zindagi for teaching me to believe in the god’s will.  For teaching a very important lesson of faith which goes as under-
You may not be fulfilled the way you have been wanting, Yet you should not let your mind stagnate at one wish, one desire, one love. It’s alright because your life is more than one wish, one desire, one lesson, one love. It’s about letting go when you feel stuck in a state of impasse; it’s about learning the other lessons till that one lesson decides to reach you. It’s about learning to believe that your life has a purpose despite your unfulfillment.

Thank you Dear Zindagi for teaching me to be soft on myself and treat myself with kindness. For a very important lesson of protecting my self esteem that goes as under-
It’s not necessary to prove a point all the time, nor is it necessary to give in to the sea of opinions around you. Don’t push yourself into a confusion hovering between a defected see-saw of low self-esteem and control freak arrogance. It’s alright to be different; not all fingers can be same, yet it’s possible to co-exist. You are on your very own journey; Don’t explain everything, take it easy, don’t even try to understand everything, simply accept without resistance even when you don’t understand.

Thank you Dear Zindagi for giving me a chance to love. Thank you for not letting me become sore even after the heartbreaks and waiting. Thanks for teaching me to love despite odds, for showing me the way to the healing love of God.

Thank you Dear Zindagi for all the precious lessons you gave me and which I am still learning and will always keep striving to learn.


Thank you Dear Zindagi for everything and every moment of my life. 

“I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda


Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Mask

Image Source: www.unitedmask.com


One mask after another,
Man of today scares the mirror;
Confused emotions,
False identities,
Mala fide intentions;
A look in to your eyes and mine,
What are these capable of hiding?
A grotesque reality lying beneath,
The faces behind masks,
Chiding and deriding.

One mask after another,
Man of today scares the mirror;
Practiced expressions,
Fake concerns,
Convincing pretensions;
A look into your eyes and mine,
What are these capable of hiding?
The ill-will and nosy intentions underneath,
The slander, back-biting and fighting.

One mask after another,
Man of today scares the mirror;
Plastic smiles,
Sugar coated words,
Pernicious guile;
A look into your eyes and mine,
What are these capable of hiding?
The superficial emotions, the cursory relations,
The selfish streak, the hypocrisy circumscribing.

One mask after another,

Man of today scares the mirror.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Story of a Suicide- Book Review






When I learnt about this book titled 'The Story of a Suicide' http://www.storyofasuicide.com/ , I immediately started reading this book. I have always wondered if there is no after-life, then could the morality or immorality associated with the suicide be classified in terms of black and white? Our scriptures say that this life is not the end because it’s just one of the many lifetimes we have been here. Recently, I read Dr. Brian Weiss’s and Dr. Michael Newton’s works and the picture of the afterlife that they have revealed in their books based on the case studies, is strikingly similar to that in our scriptures.

Our life is not as limited as we think it to be. We are all on our own journey, learning our own lessons at our own pace. No two fingers of our hand are alike. Similarly, no two humans can be alike. We all have our own set of strengths and weaknesses. But it does not mean one is lesser than the other. In the end we will all be the same. We are just at different points of the same journey. It is true that we all get deluded and start comparing ourselves with others. Sometimes in this process of judging, we lose our self-esteem while at the other times we as a part of the society as a whole become so consumed with a particular point of view/ way of life that any digressive point of views/ ways of life are ridiculed. The person who is different becomes a victim because the society collectively acts in a way to lower his self-esteem.

“The Story of a Suicide” by “Sriram Ayer” is a novel based on four main characters Sam, Charu, Hari and Mani. The story captures the complexity of circumstances of life which lead one of the characters to suicide.   Out of the four characters Sam was downright wicked. Charu was a mysterious character or rather it can be said that she had some kind of identity crisis. It was not very easy to understand her but there was one quality of hers that was appreciable, her strong headedness and her don’t care attitude towards the judgments passed on her. Hari was a timid and sweet natured guy.

The storyline is quite Ok. Although while reading, at certain points, the narration leaves you disappointed at the picture of these youngsters' lives which has been painted so grimly throughout. When I read the title, I had imagined it to be a story which would include problem as well as solution. But there are no words of hope written explicitly. The story is very dark and even the positive traits of characters are overshadowed with their negative impulses.

While Sam is a very good programmer, he is not very good in his interpersonal skills. He is not dignified enough to take rejections with a neutral mind. His revengefulness is what shapes the course of other lives in the story as well. Charu is strong but she is much prone to depression. In her definition of freedom, I find hints of overt use of sexuality as a means of escape. Hari is still suffering from the childhood trauma of being raped by his uncle. But his emotions seem all tangled with him turning gay after the childhood suffering. This turn seemed a little inconsistent as his experience with his uncle should rather have had scared him of men. Mani is a hard working student from low income family. His father had abandoned them and his mother was a labourer. He is dealing with his own problems like learning English. His involvement with Hari was an unexpected turn for me. 

All in all, I found the story to be a dark one. Although, there were many problems or rather mental barriers each character was dealing with, what I did not like about the characters was use of too much sexuality and mental violence in dealing with the problems.  I would have liked it better if there was focus on solutions rather than problems alone. 

On an ending note, life is precious and so are the ones gifted with it. Without sorrow, none would know the value of joy. It's true that sometimes life can be testing us in the ways which seem impossible to cope with. But at the end of tunnel, there is always light. The life may seem unfair sometimes, but life chooses us for a reason; because it knows we are larger than the problems it throws on to us, because we are capable to endure and win even beyond our own expectations. Because we are much more than what we think we are. Don't let your story end on a hopeless note. Be a fighter and remember that you would be pushed to light when darkness becomes too overwhelming for your soul.

For more answers about the book, read the story at 
http://www.storyofasuicide.com/ 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Six Degrees - Game of Blogs Review


"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

Paperback: 422 pages
Price: INR 349
Publisher: Blogadda.com/Leadstart Publishing; First edition (27 October 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9352013891
ISBN-13: 978-9352013890

About the Book:  

The book is written with the collaboration of 30 Indian Bloggers spread across 3 teams resulting into three unique stories filled with a variety of emotions.

As part of their #CelebrateBlogging initiative, BlogAdda.com, ran the first edition of Game of Blogs in September 2014 where five characters and their descriptions were provided to the bloggers. The objective was to write a fictional story revolving around these characters. Bloggers came together as teams and after three rounds filled with its own set of twists and turns, three stories made it to the end.
Well known Indian Authors like Ashwin Sanghi, Ravi Subramanian, Raksha Bharadia, Meghna Pant, Natasha Badhwar, and Kiran Manral were in the panel of Judges. The three stories in this book are a fascinating example of how one set of characters can have interesting lives with completely different dimensions.

My Review:

The book contains three stories each revolving around the lives of six different characters. Shekhar Dutta is a freelance writer and a stay at home husband. Tara Dutta, wife of Shekhar Dutta, is a successful media professional and Roohi Dutta is a nine year old daughter of the duo.  Cyrus Daruwala, a law student; Jennifer, a photographer; and Aryan Ahuja, a neighbor of Tara and Shekhar Dutta, are the other characters of the story.

Story 1 – The Awakening by the Team Bylines

The story is a sci-fi fiction involving aliens who are living on earth as human beings. The marital life of Tara and Shekhar is going like a smooth sailing until Shekhar starts penning his most important project.  Around that time Cyrus Daruwala comes to their house to stay for a few days as a guest. Jennifer, who is a childhood friend of Shekhar and stays in US, also happens to visit Mumbai at the same time. The four of them brought under the same roof at the same time- Was it just a co-incidence or a game of destiny? A strange turn of events takes place in the Dutta house which leaves everyone bedazzled and confused. But Cyrus is unfazed despite of an air of confusion around him. Infact, Roohi feels drawn to him the very moment he enters Dutta house. Is Cyrus the only key to unrevealed secrets or is there more beneath the unaware brain layers of Duttas?
The story takes you to the territories of spiritual science, mythology and telepathy. All in all, it is a good and engaging read.  
   
Story 2 – Entangled lives by the Team Potliwale Baba

The story is a murder mystery, which involves the murder of maid of the Dutta household, Naina. This has been my personal favorite among all stories. When Tara gets mired in her career aspirations; differences start surfacing in the couple’s relationship. Cyrus is a law student based in Delhi, who lives with her mother. Is there any secret his mother is withholding from him? Why, after the death of his mother, Cyrus shifts to Mumbai? Why Jennifer ends up at the Dutta house at the time of murder? The story has been brilliantly told with an air of mystery and suspense, which makes the reader curious enough to flip through the pages to untangle the entangled lives.

Story 3 – Missing-A Journey within by the Team Tete-a-ten

The story starts with Roohi going missing. Shekhar and Tara put in their best efforts to hunt for their beloved daughter including putting up posts on facebook. That is how they encounter Jennifer. The story also touches the subject of homo-sexuality. However, the characters were not really well integrated into one single story and there were rather too many parallel stories. As a result, the story seemed a little scattered to me.


All in all Six Degrees was a good read with a chance to explore thirty different minds in one single book. Collaborative writing is definitely an interesting thing to do. I would love to see more collaborative writing initiatives by BlogAdda in future and I would make sure I do not miss it. :) 




Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Not every Good thing is easy to Come by!

Image Source: youtube.com

Pride makes the egotistical man, consciously or unconsciously, try to cut off the heads of others to make himself appear taller. It likes to belittle or humiliate others, to gloat on their mistakes and discomfitures and to gossip and criticize. But woe unto any person, even well meaning, who intrudes into ego’s own sanctum sanctorum. He is met with instant wrath, vengefulness or at the very best, a “you should feel ashamed for hurting my feelings.”

I happened to read the above lines in Bhagwad Gita and I was instantly overwhelmed by the reality of it. It is the pride which comes in the way of forgiveness.


“you should feel ashamed for hurting my feelings”. Isn’t it something that we use to validate our anger and the bitter feelings we harbor for whatsoever reasons? Even when we forgive, sometimes, we do not forget. Pride, Ego, Hurt; these are but powerful enemies, and while we are blinded to the enemy residing within our own selves; we, sometimes, or may be most of the times, are unable to see the greener pastures in the wetland of our mind’s making. It is not for someone else that we need to forgive, but for our own selves. Forgive and then forget. It sure is not easy. It sure takes a lot of inner strength. But it is important for our growth as a soul. And only after trying can we reach that goal.