Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Through the looking glass ... From the Kaleidoscope

Through the looking glass ... From the Kaleidoscope

On Patterns

As human beings we love patterns. We like lines, symmetry. Ants following each other in a line, supermarket aisles neatly arranged with hundreds of products kept in orderly rows, paintings hung in straight lines. We yearn for similarity and evenness. Disruption and disorder scares us. We never stop to think what would happen if ants didn’t move in a line or if the sun didn’t rise one day. The mere thought troubles us.

We are trained and conditioned to follow patterns.

When Ivan Pavlov performed the experiments for classical conditioning he formed the basic law of human behavior – we get so used to patterns that we respond to unconditioned stimulus.

A few days ago someone asked me what kind of people I liked being friends with. This person believed that there had to be some kind of similarity amongst the people I have known. The best at that point I could come up with was – people who don’t snore.

But I got thinking, was there a pattern, a similarity in the people we attract into our lives?

Do we time and time again run into the same kind of people, the same situations? Like a never ending merry go round.

The thing with patterns is that good or bad, they become so comforting and familiar that we try and stick to them.

Are we all one of Pavlov’s dogs?

On Change

Disruption is the law of nature – Disruption alters simplicity into extraordinary.

Everyday there is a chance to disrupt the way we live, the way we behave. Everyday there is a chance to disrupt a pattern, to alter a way of life.

Try sitting on a different seat in the bus, taking another route to work, try a different dressing in your salad. – The world looks different from another angle, the world tastes different.
Take the leap of faith at times, risk to try something new – meet people who are just not like you, different in belief and being. 

For once, try walking in the sun.

Changing Pavlov’s theory, twisting and turning the kaleidoscope.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning Of My Soul

To all the beautiful people on this spiritual journey with me....

There is a process in creative visualization or hypnosis where in one can reach deep into the sub-conscious mind and spiritually connect or disconnect from anything or anyone.

The belief in this concept is simple – we are all connected to each other by a certain power and with certain energies, to put it simply - a cord that joins two people. . With some people and things we are connected via cords from our mind, with some from our hearts or other parts of the body.

Each time we interact with someone we give them our thoughts which are the finest forms of energy and we take in their thoughts or energies. These energies need to be balanced. To give as much as we get; a misbalance in these energies is what either depletes one person or basically screws up a relationship and eventually oneself.

The connection and exchange of energies is with everything and everyone around us

Every relationship in our lives goes through a constant state of flux because of this exchange, yet we remain connected through these cords. Sometimes happily, sometimes not.

The art is to know when and the way to disconnect from what holds no use in life anymore yet somewhere remains attached to our souls.

I would call it - spring cleaning of the soul.

Letting go is hard to do.

Each day you see yourself cross hurdles to get out of things that have depleted everything from you. Sometimes you fall and then you rise up again, maybe, two steps back, but continue to walk ahead.

Moving on is not easy but it is important for self preservation.

There is always a right reason and right time to break free, to cut the cord. You know deep inside that the need to a certain habit is gone or when a certain relationship is over.

And then one fine day somehow you break that cord. You let go with love and light what was once close to your heart. That moment is not painful but beautiful.

When something doesn’t bother you the way it did, when you feel your life is spacious and open to so much more. That is the most amazing feeling, like being born anew.

Whatever you are holding on to today, let go… loosen the grip and open your palms to beauty, feel new energy rush in.

Welcome change and let it flow through your body, regenerate and recreate.

Allow the universe to fill in your world with what is best for you.

And remember, nothing will ever be the same or how it was, lightning never strikes twice and life never gives that many chances.

With love and light...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

On 6 Cities & Many More To Come....

The bed in my current house is kept right next to the French windows that go all the way up to the ceiling and overlook bright lights of the city. I have developed a habit of staring out into the night before I sleep; the calmness yet occasional sounds of traffic give me a sense of belonging. As if finally, though slowly I am finding my roots in this city.
When you start identifying with the sounds and colours of a city, you know you are on the right track.....

My bio on twitter goes something like this - 6 cities, several homes, a writer, day dreamer, painter, alternate healer, tarot card reader turned advertising professional or vice versa.

Let me tell you, the 6 cities part is quite a conversation starter. Now that I’m active on Twitter so many people ask me, ‘So, what’s the deal with the bio and the six cities?’

I never quite thought about it and it has been more of a matter of fact for me but now when I don’t see many Indian women my age, single & shuffling cities I presume it might be a little strange for a few people.

The thing about moving cities (and not travelling – which I have been very lucky to have also done, quite a lot) is that you become a person of nowhere but somehow of everywhere. 

You don’t have the one set of friends but every time you leave a city you filter friends and by the time you move into a new one you have a few close ones left behind in the previous city. 

You start slotting your life in stages according to the place you were in at a particular age and when you look back, you seem to yourself like a different person.

Before you sink deep into a city, a city has to take you in. 

Listening to a song today made me realise how connected we become to the places we call home. Strange things link us to places – songs, smells, food...

And then when you leave a city just like an old love affair, a trigger can ignite a memory, a dream and takes you back into the past, you yearn and long to be back into the arms where you once belonged but soon your eyes open and you are in the present trying to embrace it in the best possible way. 

In my series and attempt to cultivate gratitude, after my friends (in the earlier post) I am so grateful for the cities that took me into their arms and allowed me to make a home and to those that are yet to be made into a home.

I might just be the luckiest person alive!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Better Days

I have already posted a few posts on one of my favorite books - Eat Pray Love. This one is about a song from the movie and I love it for two reasons -

1) Amazing Eddie Vedder - The man creates magic once again. I love how he does it especially with movie soundtracks.
2) The lyrics of this song are so inspiring and you can almost feel a light encompassing you and filling you with all the love and gratitude in the world. 

This song sums up one of my absolute favorite quotes from the book -

"The expansion of one person,  the magnification of one life - is indeed an act of worth in this world. Even if that life, just this one time happens to be nobody's but my own" 
 Better days - Eddie Vedder 

I feel part of the universe open up to meet me
My emotion so submerged broken down to kneel in
Once listening the voices they came
Had to somehow greet myself read myself
Heard vibrations within my cells in my cells
Singing "Ah-la-ah-ah ah-la-ah-ah

My love is safe for the universe
See me now I'm bursting
On one planet so many turns
Different worlds
Singing Ah-la-ah-ah ah-ah-ah-ah ah

Fill my heart with discipline
Put there for the teaching
In my head see clouds of stairs
Help me as I'm reaching
The future's paved with better days

Not running from something
I'm running towards the day
Wide awake

A whisper once quiet
Now rising to a scream
Right in me

I'm falling free falling
Words calling me
Up off my knees

I'm soaring and darling
You'll be the one that I can need
Still be free
Our future's paved with better days 

Listen to the song HERE

Sunday, October 3, 2010

On Heartaches and Heart Warming Friends

It seems to be the season of pain, I see so many people around me going through hard times and heart aches. This one’s for all of you out there… a little part of my story...

The thing about mending a broken heart (after the first time around) is that you get used to it. You know it's reactions and you recognize the pain. Even though you can’t do anything about the ache that crushes your insides each time around, you submit yourself to it knowing deep down that somewhere, sometime soon in the future, you will be ok.

When my heart broke for the first time, I was a disaster. I didn’t know my heart could actually ache; It ached in places that I didn’t even know existed. Through the months that followed, I thought I would never recover and life as I knew it had ended. Ironically it was the same feeling that I had when I sat on that motorbike and went for my first date. Life, as I knew it had ended.

In the months that passed after my first love left me, I felt pain, anger, hurt, rage and helplessness. Sometimes all of those emotions together. 
Then one fine day, a few months later I woke up and I had no pain. I wasn't hurting. I survived. Somewhere down the line, I fell in love again.

Over the years I have broken a heart and got my heart broken quite a number of times. Every time, with each love, life as I know then has ended.

Heartbreaks and healing became a pattern. Patterns we start understanding over the years. I can comprehend my reactions in pain. However stupid they might be. I am aware that even though I might never stop loving, my love is not enough to make someone stay. So the form of my love changes, not it's extent.

The thing with adulthood is that with the pleasures of relationships is also brings responsibility. The responsibility of dealing with pain.

As you grow older, you are supposed to understand and act on pain as if it's a normal routine. You are supposed to control the things you say and do.
You learn to stop communicating. You assess situations and play mind games. Instead of howling your heart out to get over it, you endure and pretend to be strong. 
Heartaches at any stage of life are not easy.  You learn to accept them and hide the fact that they crush you in parts that haven’t been already crushed before.


With heartaches come heartwarming friends. It’s the balancing act. Nature’s way of telling you that you are never truly alone.

Friends of all shapes and sizes. Some, who know about your pain and some, who don’t. Some, who don’t need to know. But all of them make sure that you are warm when the cold winds blow.
Friends who warn you of potential mistakes which you always end up making anyway. So you go back to them and even with all the foolishness in your kitty, they accept you for who you are.

The ones you can talk to about the same thing again and again and you never hear a sound of complain or boredom.
The ones you don’t need to say a thing to. They just know what to do to make you feel better - a warm cup of tea and your favourite meal.
And the ones who know nothing of what is going on in your life but their inherant warmth always warms up your life.

I am lucky to have a few of them around me. Life would not be this easy without you all around.
For my friends, I am thankful. I am blessed.

For those reading this and going through a heartache - your pain is unique and sadly only you can feel it. But trust me, One day, the sun will rise and you will wake up without the slightest thought of pain. You will laugh and you will learn to love again with all your heart and all the truth in the world. If you are lucky to have friends like mine, be rest assured, that day will come sooner than you think. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Greatest Fear

When one makes a mistake once and then repeats it then it hardly remains a mistake. It becomes a problem.

Forgiving and forgetting is an asset or not? Sometimes one believes so much in the sparks of goodness in the people one meets that they keep coming back to those people to reach out for the goodness they once saw. 

Sometimes a puppy face can melt you and then crush you into a million pieces. 

In innocence, ways of the world are forgotten. 

Seeking that one moment of perfection becomes so important that a thousand moments spent in the agony are forgotten. 

The ones that melt you also have the power to crush you.  

This, scares me.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

On Books, Movies, Self Discovery, Lists & A Little About Life

It’s one of days when nothing comes to your brain at work. You just wish you could be back home, cozy up in a blanket, make some coffee and watch a movie. It also happens to be a Tuesday and it’s been ages since I posted an idle Tuesday afternoon post therefore a day like this deserves a rambling of mundane crap.

I woke up today morning wanting two things. A blueberry muffin and a hug. Is that too much to ask for? Blueberry muffins make me happy and hugs tell me that there is some form of human interaction in terms of unconditional love still existing in the world.

I got a lot of virtual hugs after posting this on my FB status and I could almost feel the energies pass through some cosmic internet way straight to me. Unconditional love has that effect.

Still waiting to have the blueberry muffin though. Nothing like the muffins from The Bagel Shop, my quaint little hide out at Pali Hill, Bandra. Dubai has a few options though – Barista sucks, Starbucks is ok and what has come closest to my palate is Costa. I miss the quaint hangouts though, we have so many of them in India that give you the feeling of sitting in an European village roadside and just being there takes half your troubles away. Dubai on the other hand has everything but well, mostly on the surface.

While I wait for the muffin and an actual hug I have some more to ramble about -

I am currently reading ten books. I start them and then I lose patience (and that has never happened to me) so I go back to reading something else. I guess it’s a sign of restlessness, what I have come to now finally sit back and re-read since the past two days is Eat, Pray, Love. It is one of my favorite books, just re-reading it is making me fall in love with myself all over again. The thing about fiction and non – fiction is that you can read and re-read nonfiction a million times. Very few fiction books have left that impact on me – The Kite Runner, The Namesake, Little Women, One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Prophet are a few that I can read anytime.

What Eat Pray Love does to me is be a mirror. When I read it for the first time I loved the beauty of Elizabeth Gilberts writing and the beauty of her life. But this time I identify. Each page mirrors me and I ask myself the same questions she asks herself in the book. That my friend is the power of a good book and makes life worthwhile. To experience just that simple pleasure of sharing it with someone you have never met but knows exactly what to tell you and when to tell you.

Movies do the same thing. I love the way cinema on one level reflects the social scenario of current times and on another level takes you into a fantasy that someone else creates just for you. These days I am off serious cinema, I rather watch stupid romantic comedies all day long than think hard after I watch a movie. Cinema does these wonderful things to my brain I just can revel in all day. I could write a whole post on my understanding of the evolvement of cinema through our social times but that we will leave for another time.

So now that I have a TV, I struggle to distribute my time between reading, movies and cultivating a passion for cooking. Cooking has never been my forte which is strange considering I come from a family of chefs. But maybe that’s the thing, I never bothered to cook and learn cooking. However I also believe that cooking for oneself can be a boring deed. The pleasure in a thing like cooking is sharing; you enjoy when you do it for people and share the passion that goes into it.

These days, I feel like the woman who goes to work comes home switches on the television, cooks a 5 minute meal, checks her mail and goes to sleep. There are days when I wake up with immense gratitude for everything and then there are days when disillusionment haunts me. It’s all a part of the game and coming in terms with yourself. I love the way Elizabeth Gilbert puts it – “Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend."

I think we often forget to be our own friend, to be our own shoulder to lean on and our own person to laugh with. We get so busy being the friend to everyone else that we miss out on what we need. It is only when after sometimes a lot of pain and heartaches later you have no one to turn to you remember that you don’t really need to turn to anyone, you just need to look inside and sitting inside of you if something that will carry you through everything life will bring along.

And while I revive my friendship with that person inside me, it hits me that in the next 5 months I will enter the 30th year of my life. I don’t feel this old but somehow age has a way on catching up with you right when you don’t see it. My knees feel weaker and my skin feels parched but most importantly I am reminded of the to – do before 30 list I had written sometime back. I am therefore revisiting the list and making a deadline for myself to finish the things I want to do before I complete thirty which leaves me with a year and a half to be precise.

THE LIST (AS ON NOVEMBER 14TH 2008) – with status

1. Visit Greece .. stay there for sometime (hope this is counted as one!) – Pending

2. Sky Dive – Pending

3. Learn to dance (I am the self confessed worst dancer ever, someday I shall learn!) – Pending

4. Relive a day at Symbiosis college once again :) – Cutting it out as its impossible

5. Be home with Mom, dad and Anubhav and do NOTHING for a day – Done

6. Taste every possible cuisine I can – Ongoing

7. Get a tattoo (hopefully this should be happening very soon) – Done

8. Play the violin – Pending

9. Experience motherhood – Pending 

THE LIST (AS ON SEPTEMBER 14TH 2010) – 18 things for 18 months

1. Visit Greece

2. Sky Dive

3. Learn to dance

4. Taste every possible cuisine I can – I am adding different kinds of meat to this

5. Play the violin

6. Paint a wall

7. Make the perfect Sangria

8. Read all of Charles Bukowski and Ernest Hemingway

9. Write the first 2 chapters of the book I will eventually write

10. Visit Leh

11. Learn to drive (confidently)

12. Get the belly button pierced (finally after 3 failed attempts)

13. Finish Reiki 3A

14. Get an Aura reading done – then learn how to do it

15. Re-start my work with make a wish foundation

16. Buy a property

17. Visit Florence

18. Go for a wine tasting and Learn about my wines

As I embark on the journey, she rightly puts it -
“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wake Me Up When September Ends

I have been receiving comments about the blog that it is 'depressing' but as Hemingway put it - "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."  It is just some snippets of yourself, some that you borrow from others and you weave them into a wreath and hang it at the doorways of the soul. Happy Reading :)
Wake Me Up When September Ends
I didn’t know why Green Day sang this song until recently someone told me it is for the singer’s late father who died in the month of September.
September has never really been my favourite month to begin with. I am not particularly (for no apparent reason) fond of the number 9. September is when you suddenly realise that the year is coming to an end and nothing that you planned as a yearly chore or the remote New Year resolutions you took have been put into any real practice yet. September is also when the weather starts to change; it’s a limbo – neither hot nor cold. I have never been quite fond of any kind of a limbo state and this in particular.
It has been a year to that fateful September I went through in 2009. It seems like yesterday yet when I start thinking about the events that took place and followed, I feel I have skipped leaps and bounds from where I was to where I am today.
So last September I was planning on settling my life and preparing for a new one. While I was rediscovering the joy of knowing and being known I was so unaware of what the coming months would bring me.
A year later I look back at the events that took place that fateful September and I am filled with a heaviness that almost sinks me.
I am nowhere close to today of where I would have or could have been.
Memories flood my mind and take me back to all the laughter that filled my heart exactly a year back.
Isn’t it strange that you can feel all the anger and hate at one point and then someday after time has passed you look back and all you remember are the smiles and the laughter.
Even if you want to feel the animosity again, you can’t. You try to remember pain and reasons that led to it but what comes to your mind are the good times.
Healing is a strange process, the moment you think you have healed a certain wound that is the moment you get wounded again. You start healing the new wound and forget the older one ever happened.
However, scars remain, and they emerge randomly on some unaware idle Saturday evening to take you back into time.
That is when you wish you could go through sometime in slumber just to dream of what could have and would have been and only wake up, when September ends....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Of Destiny, Karma, Happiness and that thing called Life.

Destiny plays with us in two ways, one in which it is pre-destined and the other in which we choose what to do, the path we take that changes its course forever.
There is no such thing as coincidences. We don’t meet anyone accidently, we don’t stumble upon jobs or change houses. These things happen as per a plan that we at some super sub - conscious level have chosen long long before. The exact time and place where we would meet someone, the consequences that would lead to it and so on...
Ever wondered at a particular situation and travelled back with it? Everything appears to be linked. Nothing and no one enters our life at the wrong time. It is always the right time.
But that is where the second role of destiny comes to play. Destiny gets us to the point, the crossroads where a certain path could alter our lives if we choose to walk it and maybe if it is not the right path, wonder all along the way what the other path could have bought into our lives.
To choose the path and to walk on it in order to let that destiny enfold is free will.
There is nothing that is impossible, no path and no choice that is not given to us, what we do with the choice, how we exercise our free will, how far we go to either make ourselves or perhaps others happy is up to us, at each point and each day in our lives, when we make the decision to wake up and live another day.
If destiny is pre chosen then why do we make mistakes you might ask?
Could the answer be Karma or maybe sheer bad luck? No one can and would choose an unhappy life, isn’t it. We are all on our own spiritual journey treading slowly towards a path that reveals itself unfortunately only when we make mistakes, or to put it in the positive sense, when we learn.
I am not saying that it does not reveal itself when we are successful or happy, but do you remember the last time when you were truly happy and you thought about karma, destiny or your growth as a spiritual being?
This brings me to another question, what is happiness and where does unhappiness begin?
It is written in the Gita and also propagated by Buddha that evolved is the human being to whom happiness and unhappiness holds no meaning. We cry tears of joy and laugh when life slaps us in the face, we yearn for drama in simple, normal lives and when in pain wish for relief. We never endure happiness or unhappiness in its true sense. We hardly become numb to emotions, a place where there is no beginning or end to these emotions.

I often take my own example when I wonder about life; I don’t want to take the liberty with anyone else’s life. I look around me today and I wonder about the lesson I am supposed to learn from what is and what is not in my life today.
I also wonder if the ‘lack’ of something is truly a lack? Or it is a perception of my make believe perfect world.
I wonder about what is not lacking in my life today, is it ‘perfect’ and if it is how often am I living up to its perfection?
Of the various books I have read, people I have met, conversations I have had, movies and art I have seen, I have truly come to believe that destiny always brings you to your dreams, because somewhere at some level you are always fighting for your dreams with the universe. The universe being as compassionate as it is delivers, maybe not in your face but it does.
What you choose to do of your dream, to live it or to leave it be is up to you.
I have also come to believe that it never gives second chances; it never crosses the same path twice.
And then one day you die.
Morose? Well, it’s the truth isn’t it? As Mitch Albom in the beautiful Tuesday’s with Moorie wrote that we ought to live each day as if we were going to die tomorrow, we would then live a happier life.
Pick up that phone, write that letter, and make that long pending visit. Tell the people you truly love that you love them. Quit the unhappy job, find your dream and when you do, live it as if there was no tomorrow. Pay attention to the signs the universe gives you, the people you meet, they are there for a reason, don’t let them go. And when it is time, also let go.
Make a point to start living, maybe selfishly at first, and you will notice that when you are happy how much happiness you can bring to the ones you love. Because there is nothing as comforting as to see someone you love happy and content.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A day to live and a day to learn while I hope tomorrow brings sunshine.

I had the strangest day today. There are some days when you wake up and you know something will not be right today. These are the days when you should keep quiet. These are the days when you should listen to that voice warning you. But exactly on these days, you refuse to listen to that screaming voice inside of you.
I learned a few things in the past few days – about myself, people and life through myself, people and well, life. 

  • I have learned that if you lose a friend, that person was never really your friend to begin with. It is sad and it hurts but it’s true. Friendship doesn’t come with terms and conditions; people don’t come with terms and conditions. It is all a game of expecting and accepting. 
  • I have learned that relationships have their troubled times. We stop being what we are initially to the people we love. We become comfortable and say things that we should not say. It is at that point that we have a choice to either evolve with the relationship or fight. 
  • I have learned that I don’t have the energy to fight anymore. We are so starved for love that we fight for love itself. Maybe that’s the reason even countries fight. 
  • I have learned that as we get comfortable in things, places and with people we also start to ask for more. We start to treat those things, the places and those people as home. We take them for granted.
  • I have learned that there is no time slab, price tag or an expiry date on some relationships. Sometimes, they just fade. 
  • I have learned that we can’t accept the fading away. It’s a fear we carry around us all the time. 
  • I have learned that letting go is a process. It takes time. We feel it’s the hardest thing we have to do. But truth is, we have to let go, we have to walk ahead and we have to move on.
  • I have learned that with love comes insecurity. To evolve and conquer it is an ongoing process. It is also the same process that either brings two people closer or makes them fall apart. 
  • I have learned that I have to wait for love to come to me. The kind of love that has its ups and downs, arguments and insecurities but all of it stems from passion and immense emotion. A love that each day learns the good and bad about me as I learn about him and together we grow to make him and I – Us.


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