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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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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To stars and beyond

Have you ever looked at the night sky and marvelled at the magnificence of the universe ? Have you ever paid attention to the majesty of the towering mountains ? Have you ever noticed the calmness of the oceans ?

Most of us haven’t. I mean, who has time for all this right now ? We will do this someday – not today. Today we have greater things to do. We need to study for that upcoming exam. We need to complete that assignment. We need to pay those outstanding bills. 

Some of us who are a bit above the rest have slightly longer-term goals. Achieve that professional degree. Succeed in business. Build our dream home. Infact I can cook up all the things under the sun here, about what we want. 

We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.

But I want to ask one simple thing- are these goals (as we call it) totally and completely necessary ? Can we not have a real purpose in life ? Are the worldly things all important in life ? Can we, just for one moment, stop acquiring and start living ? 

Life is a precious gift. A one time opportunity (more than once- based on your religious views). It is to be enjoyed and not endured. You will surely be crucified many times, but you have to resurrect yourself – like the pheonix. 

And though I may get all this philosophical, but I know that there are certain expectations that we all need to live up to. And I am also aware of the fact that to do so, we have to sacrifice our natural tendencies and adopt a more worldly view of life. 

I strongly believe that we can maintain a balance between our actual selves and the more superficial selves that we are expected to live and so willingly live. We can achieve those short term and long term goals and at the same time, we could be taking that road trip which would leave us entranced. We can learn how to play instruments. We can pursue a hobby. Who doesn’t like listening to good music while enjoying a long walk, in the company of none other than our own self. 

I have definitely raised the bar for myself. 

  • Chase the northern lights.
  • Stay among the mountains for atleast one month each year.
  • Travel and wander in unknown places (because they are not crowded)
  • Last but not the least (and my favourite), count stars on a moonless night in total solitude.

I don’t mean to disrespect anyone’s goals or ambitions. But I just want to tell this to all you people- Lead such a life that your epitah reads “No Regrets”. In your final moments, you should not have any IF ONLYs or WHY DIDN’Ts. 

Life is a beautiful journey which must always be lived forwards but can only be understood backwards.

Make yourself proud!! 

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The Road to be taken!!

Rumi once said, ” It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you”.

This road is a metaphor for your life- the essence of your being. 

Most of the people today,  wake up in the urban jungle, filled with concrete buildings and glass offices. The location of the same, defines the stature of these people. People are so lost, that material achievements have gained stupendous value and the real needs of a human being have begun to get lost in time.

As far as I am concerned,  stars on a moonless night fascinate me more than the presidential suites of luxurious hotels. And till the time this holds true, I know that even if God himself tries, he won’t be able to persuade me to stop loathing the animal lifestyle which has become the new cool.

Hordes and hordes of people get up each morning- just to catch that train to reach their posh offices in the self proclaimed upmarket area of a concept called as concrete jungle. The interesting part is that people are content with such mediocre life. 

To such people, I have a loud and clear message- WAKE UP!! We are free humans and not prisoners, bound to live a routine life. Explore this interesting planet called Earth. Go to new places. Meet new people. Create new memories. As a bonus, you already have a free trip round the sun every year ;).

Remember, each day brings with itself 86,400 seconds. Even if you can spend 14,400 seconds from those for pursuing what your heart desires- I will consider your entire day well spent.

We must all remember that when we are on our death bed, it is not the things we did that we regret but the things that we didn’t do. And this regret is a very sad place to be in. It kills you on the inside, only the breathing continues. I remember reading somewhere that death should be such that even angels are sad for taking your soul away.

To conclude, life is a precious gift given to us. It is up to us to direct it in whichever way we want it to go. We can always take shortcuts, but true happiness is derived only when we take the correct path and travel it fully till the end of the journey. 

Remember Ralph Waldo Emerson, “journey and not the destination, is what that matters!!”


Adieu !

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