Radical Changes Part I

Since as far as I can remember- my brother always used to tell me that I could only get things done my way at home, in front of him and my parents and that when it came to facing the world, all my stubbornness and false sense of power dissipates as quickly as a fart in the wind.

Ofcourse I disagreed.

But deep down, I knew he was right.

For most of my childhood, I wasn’t able to communicate with strangers. When eventually, I did converse with people and made friends- I would always agree to everything they said and do everything they did. Even worse is the fact that I would take their side even when they were wrong.

Recently, I did some soul searching. Why did I do what I did? What made me stand shoulder to shoulder with those who were wrong even after knowing that they were wrong? Why did I meekly agree to everything that these people said but always rebelled against whatever my true benefactors- my family members said?

And guess What.. I do have the answers. Finally.

As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t the best person in the crowd that you could strike a conversation with. Oh! Leave the best, I wasn’t even the second best or the third best. In reality, I must have been at the very bottom of the pile.

Though I may have been at the bottom, but I am a human being, just like you are. And there’s a reason why we are called social animals, right? We all need other human beings in our life. People with whom we can share our joys and sorrows. People with whom we can share secrets and experiences. I guess, I wasn’t any different.

So when I eventually befriended someone, I would go all out- do everything to maintain that friendship. Hell, I would not think twice about quarrelling with my brother, just to hang out with some friends, supposedly to have some fun time (Sorry about those times Parv, I know you only did it out of concern for me).

As mentioned earlier, I am a human being. Just like every other human being, I also have a lot of expectations from people, whose expectations I fulfill. Yes, I know therein lies the problem. But I can’t help it. But why should I even help it? I never as much as lay my eyes on a thing which isn’t mine, but it’s my right to take what is mine and still, rather than snatching it, I patiently wait and expect that it will be given to me- fairly and justly. Oh boy, can I be more wrong?

I always thought that there is good in the world and that everything will be set right eventually. Atleast this is what happens in movies and fairy tales. Yet, I always overlooked the fact that I didn’t live in a fairy world. I live in a place where the law of the nature itself states- Survival of the fittest.

Who was I fooling then but myself by waiting for things to come my way as a matter of right?

I gave my time freely to just about anyone and everyone that I was comfortable talking with. Not just my time, I gave everything that I could give. Though I never expected anyone to return any of it, I sure expected the receivers to stand behind me, if not besides me when required. I expected the receivers to atleast refuse politely rather than bluntly ignoring me when I asked them to help me in my hour of need. I am sure this isn’t too much to expect.

Anyway, I don’t want to cry about it. I want to write about how a single day can change someone’s life utterly and completely, especially since quite a few people have told me that I’ve changed- for the worse.

Such days come once or twice in a lifetime. They transform your way of living. You become so much more mature in a matter of few hours.

My day of realisation came too and since then, there’s been no looking back. I haven’t exactly become the first cousin of Darth Vader or the second cousin of the Devil, but I have learnt to stand my ground, even at the expense of losing people. Anyway, they must have never cared, because if they did, they would come right back, just like my brother or a host of other people do everytime. These are the people, whom I cherish.

Ever since you experience the day of realisation, your outlook towards life changes. You develop a respect for others, knowing that they all fight their own battles, but at the same time, you don’t allow yourself to be berated by anyone. You demand the same respect that you offer to others. You learn to speak up for yourself, even if it ends up being sour because at the end of the day, people come and go, but your conscience stays. And a battered and bruised conscience seldom fares well.

You begin to empathise with others but you also understand that empathising is all you can do and that not every battle is yours to fight. Infact, as your perspective broadens, you realise that there are many personal battles that shouldn’t be fought, because they’re futile.

Just like you learn to choose your battles wisely, you choose people wisely too. You stop seeking attention of anyone and everyone. Infact, you abhor attention unless completely necessary. You realise that attention only brings chaos and nuisance.

You acquire new powers and skills which were hitherto unknown to you because now you don’t have to spend your time balancing people and your mind, wasted by expectations.

(To be continued on request, so do like and comment, otherwise I’ll never know whether or not to write part II. Till then cya😉)

Alive Enough?

I’m alive today but what guarantee do I have that I’ll wake up to see tomorrow’s Sun? Guarantee- I have none. It’s just faith that I have and Hope that I cling on to before going to sleep that I’ll wake up to see another morning.

How fickle is our being. Alive in this moment- in all glory and naught in the next. Even the thought of it brings jitters and send a cold chill down my spine.

Everyday we keep making plans about the things we will do and the things we will be. We sew together an elaborate dream each night, a dream in which we are what we have always wanted to be. And day after day, everyday- we keep deferring those plans and those things thinking that we have our entire life ahead of us for fulfilling our dreams and desires. We believe that right now, it is time to become someone, to prove to the world that “I am also a force to be reckoned with!”

Well, honestly, I am not against the mentality of becoming something and sacrificing my present for a better future, but what has recently begun to haunt me is not future but “uncertain” future. The thought that- what if I’m not supposed to live till the average age and that, this time now, which I’m sacrificing in becoming something worthwhile is actually God’s gift to me, which I’m wasting because I won’t have time left afterall, when I’ve indeed become something.

(Actually these are the moments when I really believe that Ignorance is Bliss. But that’s not the point right now.)

I do say that ZNMD is my all time favourite movie but I must also supplement my above claim by adding that societal pressure is a tad too much, to actually follow the tenets that are so beautifully portrayed in the movie. Even I want to live the high life, but for that I have to study. If I study now, that means that I’m sacrificing my present. And time once lost, is lost forever. Plus I have the added risk that I might not make it afterall or maybe even if I do make it, I don’t sustain it for too long or worse yet, even if I make it and I am able to sustain it, my body won’t support me well at that point in time because I neglected it in the present. This is such a vicious circle and as I put in more factors, this circle will only enlarge.

So then, how do we break this deadlock? We can’t abandon education and adopt a carefree life. We can’t even let ourselves entirely into studies because then we would be back to square one. So what to do? How to tend both the things? The answer is simple. We need to make daily plans (like we all do and I even mentioned that earlier) and we also need to ensure that these plans are executed.

Just as we take out time for television and mobile phones from our “busy lives”; we must, as well, take out time for the things which truly matter to us. The things which will make us feel alive. Small and everyday things like tending to a small plant or catching up with friends- old and new alike. Things1 like playing the guitar, or staying in the shower for five extra minutes so that we can showcase our singing talents, not to the soap and the shampoo bottles, but to our own selves.

As it is we are already surrounded by walls and screens, insomnia and assignments, papers and reviews, deadlines and bosses; so I don’t think that it might really be a big deal if we were to add a few more variables into the equation. In fact, these are the variables which we are fond of, which we feel pleasure in performing. For these things, we only need to have the will to do it and Time will automatically adjust for it.

I have decided to do the things which I like doing along with the ‘oh-so-important’ things of life. Just as I have hope and faith that I’ll wake up see the sun shines tomorrow, I have the same hope and faith (let’s not get into the discussion of being in control, because that is a myth) that Time will create a leeway for the things that matter to me NOW!

And the good news, my dear friends, is that it always does.

~S.S

Fear

This four letter word has destroyed millions and millions and hence, today, I want to talk about this very subject. For ages it has acted as a lout and a curse for most of humanity. Tyrants have risen and Societies have fallen because of this very word. Peace has been challenged and Battles have been waged because of this four letter word. Worse of all, men have killed other men just because of this four letter word and sadly, the practice still continues.

Let’s leave aside these grave societal matters.. and talk on a personal level. How it affects us- you and me! In the end that is what matters, right? The world is changed by people like us after all. I would like to begin by bringing to your notice your biggest fears. There’s no point in denying that you have one. Our fears, weaknesses and insecurities are just as much important to make us feel human as are our dreams, joys and hopes.

The worrisome trend today is not that people have a fear of some thing, but that the people don’t seem to realise until too late (or sometime never) that they do have a fear of some thing. Again, it’s not my point to wheedle you into glorifying any fears- existent or non-existent, as if it is some kind of atavistic activity. No. I just want you to realise that you’re a human too and it’s okay to be afraid.

I know- accepting the fact that you are afraid may seem odious but believe me, it’s equally freeing. It allows you to introspect. You have already understood the problems and issues and hence, you can go about finding a solution for it. It is just the same as travelling in a vehicle on the highway and the best part is that you know exactly where you have to go- Makes life so much easier, no?

Now you might argue that writing it all down is all too easy but implementation is tough. Well, yes, agreed but all I’m saying (and which has been gathered from plausible sources) is that don’t fear FEAR! Face your fear. If you badly wanted to take that trip, just take it. If you want to feel the thrill of adventure sports, just go out and experience it. Why be afraid? Tens of thousands of people have been there and done that before you.

Remember the greatest amount of fear is just moments before you actually attempt to do something about it. And once you do it, all that fear fades away like a fart in the wind. That’s when you realise how idiotic you’ve been. You later spend hours contemplating how easy it was or how unfounded your fears were.

But next time again when you are pitted against some other thing, which you are afraid of, you go back to being your original fearful self. In such moments, I want you to remember the paroxysms of joy you felt, when you completed some thing you were just as much afraid of earlier. Obviously, it won’t take away your entire fear but it will definitely help you to face the challenge at hand. This is the unbending principle of the world. This is how everything works.

Always keep in mind that fear would only hinder your chances. It will eat away your opportunities. If you control your fear now, you will see the miracles later on. What’s meant to happen, will happen anyways and your fearless participation in the events orchestrated by the cosmos will ensure that what was meant for you, will eventually reach to you. So I would like to reiterate- don’t fear FEAR, challenge your fears and witness the miracles that are in store for you!

Slow Down

How you ever been in such a great haste that you have trampled over things and jumped over people just so that you reach wherever you wanted to reach in the specified time that you intended to reach in and then realised that you were counted amongst the early birds to reach there? All that energy and pomposity for nothing! The whole air of importance down the drain. Taking sheer stress for some non-existent great cause.

Often times, we lead a life full of rush. In the moment, we do believe that we are doing some important work. But if we reflect upon it later on, we realise that we were only coming from nowhere and going to nowhere. Funny, isn’t it? A few examples may hopefully clear my viewpoint.

Being a Mumbaikar, the best example that comes to my mind is of local trains. Countless people have lost their dear lives just because they decided to travel on the dashboard to reach their office on time and incidentally fell off to their imminent death. What’s the need to hurry? The next train was anyways going to arrive in a couple odd minutes.

Another example which everyone, irrespective of where you live, can relate to is that of crossing signal, when it’s just turned red. Most of times people get lucky, but not always and an accident, which otherwise could have been averted, inadvertently takes place. If there’s some emergency, then I’m willing to agree with the cause, but not contrarily. I mean, the world isn’t ending behind you that you can’t waste time waiting at the signal, right?

Now, I believe that everyone is busy or atleast try to be busy so as to assume some importance, so as to beat the monotony of their life which is utterly colourless when they compare it with that of their peers. Let me tell you one thing, all are leading the same life, though it may manifest itself differently, but in the end everyone is unsatisfied by their own and amazed by that of others around them.

I don’t want you to live perfectly. No, that’s not what we were ever meant to do. I’m asking you to live it fully. Next time, if you have reached the parking lot and your favourite song starts playing, take some time out for yourself and enjoy the music. No one cares if you reach your desk five minutes late, but on the other hand, you will sit down at your desk with a renewed spirit, which will help you to work optimally. Even your boss will not say NO as it saves his cash, which otherwise would have gone into motivating the employees.

Again I would like to reiterate that I am not asking you to stop living life in the way you are accustomed to do, but just imploring you that for a day try slowing down your pace a bit. Feel the moments as they pass. You will end up feeling less exhausted, more ebullient and in general, a bit more zestful. And that’s the whole point of being, won’t you agree?

Things I learned 

I have learnt that words are permanent. Hearts cannot be unbroken and saying I’m Sorry cannot retrieve the angry words that have been spoken.

It is a universally accepted truth that we don’t know what we have until we find it. Conversely, isn’t it true too that we don’t know what we have been missing until it arrives? 

Success should not be measured in what you will buy or own, but in the pride you feel  in the person you are with, when you are alone.

When one door of happiness closes, another one surely opens & we should not keep ourselves busy staring at the closed door. Rather, we should find the new opening. 

In a survey of people, who were on their death beds, it was found that they regretted not the things they did but the things they didn’t do in life. Don’t harbour any regrets. 

A bright future is based on a forgotten past.

Don’t rely on first impressions. Sometimes, the shortest player is the best one on the team.

No matter how good a person is, sometimes they  can hurt you and because of this we must learn to forgive. 

No matter how broken your heart is, the world won’t stop to tend to it. 

It takes years to build trust and only seconds to destroy it. We don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change. 

The best friendship is one in which you can take a walk without saying a word and when you part, you feel that you had one of the best conversations ever.

Concentrate on the quality of the coffee, not the cup which merely holds it and adds no value to it.

Happy people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything. 

And finally, Life isn’t always fair, but it is still worth living and rejoicing. 

Dream what you want, Go where you want to go. There is only one life, only one chance to do it.

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Is stress required in life?  

Well, most of the readers will obviously say a big NO. I mean, why take stress and bring home all the diseases which accompany stress. Only a fool would believe stress is not bad. And mind you, such fools do exist. 

I am one among them. Personally, I believe that stress is as important in life as salt is in food. Just as food without salt is useless, so is life without stress. It is in moments of stress and pressure that the mind functions optimally. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that stress acts as a stimulus for greater efficiency. 

Take any list which contains influential people. You will not find even one person in that list, who reached where he/ she is now before undergoing a period of stress and utmost pressure. There is an old adage which goes: every carbon molecule can get converted into a diamond, but very few, which take on the pressure finally become one. 

However, just as a lot of salt can poison the entire food, similarly, a lot of stress can harm a person. One should not keep on taking stressful tasks one after the other. Stress is just a part of our life, and yet we tend to make it our life. This can have  serious implications across various dimensions of life. 

To conclude, I would like to urge the fellow readers to remove the perception that stress has a very negative connotation. We must learn to use stress to our advantage. We need to learn, how to use it to navigate through unfavourable situations and turnaround our losses into our gains. And be very sure, this is quite possible. In fact, not just possible but rather probable! 
Happy Reading !! 

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Leave a mark

Life is supposed to have some meaning. We all come into this world to do something, atleast we all come into being with the capability and the capacity to do something. Yet it is surprising that most of us actually perish without doing anything remarkable. 

In the words of the great teacher Swami Vivekananda, 

Get up, and set your shoulder to the wheel – How long is this life for? As you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. Otherwise, where is the difference between you and the trees and stones? They too come into existence, decay and die.

And though I know and understand all of this, yet here I am without having done anything. For days I wondered why wasn’t I able to do anything worthwhile. Why have scores and scores of people died unceremoniously. 

One day it suddenly struck me. It is simple- because we are afraid. We are scared of venturing into uncharted waters, well most of us are. The few spirited souls who navigated through those rough waters were the ones who eventually succeeded. 

Having realised that we are afraid, I soon began wondering- what is it that we are afraid of? More so, what is it that I am afraid of? Right away, I began making a list of what all things ailed me. The one gargantuan thing, right at the top was – what-would-others-say?! 

This what-would-people-say has ruined lives. Rather, I would say, destroyed lives. But now, what to do about it. How to overcome​ the monster that is staring at us, laughing straight on our face. How much ever I tried, I was unable to find a way to cope with it. And this remained so, till one day I heard a wise man speak. 

He said, ” Ever since our birth, we have seen, heard, felt, etc. But all this has been done within. If we have seen anything, it is merely the image that has fallen on our retina which the brain comprehended. Any sound that we have heard thus far, has been a sound wave perceived by our brain through the vibrations it caused on the eardrums. And this goes on for everything that we have felt or smelt too” 

I deduced one important meaning that day. Life is really simple. We tend to make it complicated by trying to see, hear or feel what others might feel. Infact, we don’t even know whether they might feel the same way. I mean, do you clearly remember each day when your best friend ended up in a situation looking like a fool. I don’t. 

If we can’t remember what follies our best friend did, then why do we care so much about what others, whom we barely know or don’t know at all, might remember when we do something. The truth is – nobody cares. Everyone is too busy with themselves. They might just laugh at the spur of the moment but afterwards, nobody remembers. 

Still if some of you readers disagree with me, ask your selves the times you laughed at someone because of a certain act of theirs, which is considered as absurd. I bet most of you wouldn’t be able to remember 10 times, when you laughed at a ridiculous situation. 

When you yourselves don’t remember such incidents, then are you not a fool to believe that others might remember your each mistake. And are you not a greater fool, to not participate in activities that might actually be of some utility, fearing a negative reaction from the public.

In the end (RIP Cheston), I would just like to add that to create a mark in this world so that you and your deeds don’t become oblivious in the annals of history, you have to do something worth remembering and not let the fear of what-others-might-think make your existence similar to those of stones and trees. They decay and die! 

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Get Busy

We all want a carefree life, right?!
Some of you might be astounded by the stark irony between the title and the opening lines. Bear with me a little, you’ll understand and maybe even change!

Ever since our birth, we have been flooded with rules and regulations and various disciplines that we are expected to adhere to. And naturally, we being humans tend to revolt. We believe that we can live our life better by making our own​ rules rather than following a standard code of conduct set down by a fat, abusive thinker (hopeless imagination 😂) who could never see others happy because he himself was damned with melancholy for eternity.

Though we may despise rules, we have to understand that the very freedom which we value is because of the rigid rules that make it appealing. It is as simple as understanding that gold is precious because it is rare. No astrophysics required there. 

But then again, we are “humans”. The very term implies rebellion. This rebellion not just means savagery and war-like rebellion but also it refers to rebelling against our inner self, rebelling against the norms of the society and challenging the customs. And this rebellion was not engrained in us by a matter of chance. Infact, it was put specifically so that we could push ourselves to the limit. 

Name one single person who has achieved anything extraordinary without rebelling and challenging the norms. You won’t be able to because there ain’t any. Even a person climbing the Everest has to rebel against his bodily requirements of rest and sleep to create history. 

The bottom line is we need to challenge life at every step, if we want to transform. If one door closes, we need to find another. At times, we will have to make do with the windows too. And if even that doesn’t work, we will have to shatter some walls. 

If you want to be remembered, if you want to enlist yourself in the annals of history: GET BUSY – start revolting. There is nothing good about living a carefree life. To quote Swami Vivekananda, ” Get up and set your shoulder to the wheel. How long is this life for you? As you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. Otherwise, where is the difference between you and the rocks and the trees? They too come into existence, decay and die.”

Finally a dailogue from one the greatest movies of all time: 

You can connect and share your ideas with me on this blog itself or:

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Au revoir !! 

The Journey Within

We are all travellers in this journey of self discovery. Some realise it early in their life and take a sort of head start towards their their destination. However, with passage of adequate amount of time, each individual does rev up his engine and moves towards his calling.

There is nothing more to life than taking the first step- For what you dream and believe, is what you eventually achieve. You may not know what lies ahead but with just the right amount of faith, you will conquer it all. 

Imagine you want to travel from Mumbai to Delhi in your car. The road is challenging, has sharp turns and it is a moonless night. You don’t even know what lies 200 metres ahead because your headlight can only go that far. But that doesn’t prevent you from taking the trip, does it. 

You are travelling along with the faith that you can perceive any kind of danger from a distance of atleast 200 metres and act accordingly. And with this faith, you are able to cross the entire distance between the two places.

 Life is not a bit different. You may have grand plans for yourself. However, you fear to take the path towards fulfillment of that plan because you feel that you lack the proper way. There is no bigger lie that you can say to yourself than this.

Surrender yourself to the magnificence of the universe and set out on your path. The universe will conspire such that you reach your destination. Just remember to keep looking for the signboards on your path just as you would while travelling from Mumbai to Delhi.😉

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