#Paris2016 , #traveldiaries
#Paris2016 , #traveldiaries
#Paris2016 , #traveldiaries
She has no time to ponder, She has no time to sit
How would she know, what’s her fit ?
Until one evening, touched by the magical wand of possibilities
She realized there is life beyond her adversities.
Oh, then there is another lady from my slumber book
She was just obsessed with herself, that made her a crook.
She is lady Cruela Di Vil
Seeking perfection, she is ready to kill.
I dwindle between the ideas of – always putting oneself in other’s shoes Vs the other extreme of having a “shoe fetish”.
When I get into other’s shoes, I hardly care about my fit. My fit, to a large extent becomes insignificant to me. There is even a possibility that in due course of time, my own shoe might bite me back because I ignored it for a long time.
The other extreme is having a shoe fetish that takes me anywhere and everywhere in search of “my perfect fit”. My shoe fetish keeps me in the blind spot, and I overlook the bare foot folks right next to me.
Follow any extremes, or be somewhere in between – It’s a choice. But make sure the choice isn’t forced upon, or the joy it brings is not shallow.
I see my pretty little red dress hanging in my wardrobe, reminding me of the few (and far in-between) “wow” moments. It has not been picked up for a while now- not because there wasn’t an occasion to wear it, but because it’s a high demand relationship with my little red dress. I need to be in my “best shape”, else we do not go well together. This high maintenance relationship demands me to “handle it with care” and “dry clean” only. I also need to make sure to wear the right co-ordinates that goes well with it – the right shoes and the right accessories. As I flaunt it, I consciously or subconsciously stay away from any “spillage causing agents”, and that sometimes includes my own kids.
When I get back home, the first thing I would want to do is to get out of this “high maintenance relationship” with my awesome pretty little red dress . I am eager to be back in my pajama, stretch out, take a deep breath and just be me.
Aren’t the most enduring relationships like the pajama fit – one that you always want to get back to? The one that gives you enough breathing space, and accepts the fact that as a person you may not be your perfect-self everyday. The one that is not pressurizing you to “always” handle it with care. But for some reason we also tend to take our “pajama fit relationships” for granted.
Those pictures in the pretty little pricey red dress is guaranteed to get a lot of “likes”, but at the end of the day we all yearn to go back to our pajamas.
She comes in all sizes and shades,
Over the years she doesn’t fade.
She is nothing but the reflection of thy soul
If you have found her in you,
You would see her in all.
Merry go round , Merry go round
Its been a while, I have felt the ground.
There is more in store, to be explored
The sand, the sea, the mountain and the shores.
I want to be lost to be found
Rather than just go round and round.
What does “settled in life” mean? – The person has settled on a certain momentum to go round the orbit at a predictable pace. How about moving out of ones own orbit and taking the linear path at least once in a while? – for an experience beyond one’s orbit and a tangential view of ones own life!
Cooking – for me is a ritual where I have the flexibility of creating something soulful using the ingredients I choose to add, and the quantity is always based on gut feel. Stirring, tasting, adding spices to perfection as I proceed. I look for the color, consistency, texture and aroma to make sure I have balanced the ingredients right. I could never go exactly by measurement cups, spoons and reading manuals to reproduce a recipe – for me it is a creation act and not a reproducing act (wonder why we call having babies an act of reproduction and not creation 🙂 ). Cooking needs my full-time involvement and when I am done cooking, I would have almost lost my appetite because of my overwhelmed senses. What I enjoy most then, is seeing my loved ones at the table relish it.
On the other hand, baking to me is more about following a plan meticulously – having the right measurements, right temperature, right time – and getting the expected results.
If I relate my life to cooking – I would love to stir, taste, add ingredients in the process of creating a unique flavour that is my life. Equally are people whose lives are planned with the right input in the right environment – giving the expected flavour and consistency in their lives. Either you cook or bake, depends on what you enjoy most.
One also has the option of getting fast food or frozen food. It demands less personal effort – but I would say that’s a life where we have agreed to loose control of what’s getting added into our lives.
We are all less significant in this world than we think we are. Life moves on, people move on with their lives. My most loved ones will move on with their lives and that is exactly how it ought to be. No one is indispensable. The concept of apocalypse and end of world theories are manifestation of the “fear of insignificance” of human life & existence. In the bigger cosmos we are just so significantly insignificant. This isn’t a negative thought – it’s the acceptance of the impermanence, and the beauty of impermanence.
What if the lily in my garden wilt away? The day of its bloom brought joy to my soul and I experienced its beauty every moment of its existence. Its fragrance swept into my room each day. But eventually it wilted and fell. Did I mourn forever? I waited for another bloom that recreated the whole experience all over again.
Everything moves on – and this realization makes it easier for me to let go and not getting stuck. So, then like the lily in my garden – I am here, I am now…putting my heart and soul to the “here and now”. When its time for me to move on – I need to whole heartedly let go.
Seventy percent of the world around us is made up of water and sixty percent of our body is water too. The water manifests itself in different forms – as freshness of the morning dew, as power of a mighty waterfall, as spirit of a traveller in the nomadic river, as stillness of the neighbourhood pond, as sorrow in the tear drops and as so much more.
Some of us choose to manifest like the waterfall – the powerful, aggressive, fearless ready to fall from heights, ready to hit against the rocky mountains. The higher the fall the greater is the majesty and beauty of the water fall. Her courage to “fall” from heights is her beauty and her source of power too.
Some are like the crystal clear creek – whose pace of flow is slow, but the sound of the flowing water is meditative. There is clarity, and the soul is reflective. The beauty of the creek is its soothing and calming effect.
Or we could opt to be like the nomadic river – unstuck with any place travelled and the people we meet, moving on sharing love all along, and finally reaching the all-encompassing ocean to be one with it.
I believe the most common way we manifest is like the stagnant pond – still, settled and stable – looks beautiful at the surface level with water lilies & lotus blooming. The water is not the clearest in the pond and it may never make the move to meet the all-encompassing ocean but it surely is a habitat in itself.
However we manifest, we are indeed a lot of water!!
I am a traveler walking the streets of an unknown neighborhood called life. Every person I meet is a window; some are so well guarded with barb wires and have painted their panes black to avoid any sort of intrusion. I avoid these windows and with the very natural instinct peep into the first transparent one. I see just mundane stuff, nothing exciting and I move on. From a distance I could see a beautiful scenery on the other side of the next window and I make a halt. I wait for a while and later realize that the scenery is a poster pasted on the window, truly disappointed I move on.
Now as I move, I have become slightly cautious. Here comes another window but I am a little reluctant this time as to avoid any disappointment. I figure out from a distance that there is some movement on the other side of the window which makes me feel that it’s going to be real this time. The view is breath taking and has filled me with joy. I look at it wonder struck for a long time and then realize I need to move on. Filled with the memories of the wonderful view I move on and as I move, I stop by a window which I had no intention to peep. I stop and to my sheer amazement, it just feels I see myself or rather am discovering myself the way I never did before.
Even though this isn’t the most wonderful sight, I am stuck and unable to move forward as – I am home!!
On my life journey I need to decide the road I want to take. I can choose to be on the highway for my one and only road trip, choose the lane and maintain my speed as everyone else on the lane. I need to be focused on my speed, directions and end destination. The scenes on the way pass by as I drive. There is something that catches my attention but I wouldn’t slow down. I keep moving. Now I see a crash but I still move on. I will be causing more trouble for the rest of the highway folks if I stop. The system would take care of crashes that I pay taxes to. Oops now I hit a rabbit that was trying to cross the road. Well the highways are not meant for these bunnies – I convince myself and keep moving. I am not alone on the road; well that’s what I think. There are lots of highway takers like me who enjoy the speed and the thrill of the drive. I know for sure that no ones going to stop or even slow down for anyone else.That’s the highway characteristics and I have signed up for it – move on & enjoy the adrenaline rush!
There is an alternate country road as well that I can take where the speed limits are low. I open my windows and feel the place around, catch glimpses of life. It’s a sunny day and I stop my car around the corner to walk over to a small town cafe. As I walk towards the cafe, a stranger standing by the pavement comes over and asks me for directions. To my surprise our destinations are similar. The conversation started over some crepe and coffee and ended up offering him a ride. We talked, we laughed as the good old country song was playing in the background. We stopped at places that caught our attention and took a ton of pictures. We did reach our destination but surely at our own pace. It was hard to say good bye to the once stranger I hardly knew.
A lifetime road trip – the country roads or the highway – its entirely up to us to choose.
The cultural camouflage is a “stay safe” strategy. One can blend in to be in the comfort zone of not being individually identified. The comfort brings with it the discomfort of losing one’s individual identity. The weaker ones in the social food chain use the camouflage for their survival. Move up higher in the chain, and the camouflage is used only to kill the prey.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath to fill myself with life. My inner most being alive, I am able to hear a feeble tune that prompts me to walk towards it. A tune that somehow resonates to the “me”. Not long have I moved towards the tune, I am already distracted. The distraction amplifies and I can’t hear the tune anymore.
Life moves at the speed of light and somehow we all tend to end up following the popular beat which might not resonate to our inner most being. If earnest to seek, one can still find the lost tune. Make an attempt, seek, and when found slowly start humming and moving to this distinct tune. The experience of resonance is magical.
This is my rhythm of life and I wish to sustain it!
Sometime back as me and my husband conversed, I asked him – just imagine we are recruited in the army and I am your comrade. We are fighting a war and moving forward with a bunch of other soldiers. I am shot and I get seriously wounded, what would you do? He thought for a while and said, if I was the one wounded, I would ask you to move forward because the cause for which we are fighting is bigger than my life. But he didn’t answer to what I had asked him :).
I was thinking about it lately – “cause”. We are so eager attaching ourselves to a bigger cause. It’s a way of getting away from the feel of “worthlessness” in human existence. We are not ready to accept that we are just one more species on earth, part of the food chain and like the rest have a life span to live and then die. Our lives are supposed to have more worth, and in search of this worth we are very likely to get stuck with a “cause”.
I have worn the tinted “cause” glass and life has a better shade. Everything else becomes insignificant and the “cause” is what matters to me most. Great accomplishments in this world are an effect of people’s passionate commitments towards a cause they took to heart. If I can sell a cause to someone, believe me I can ask for anything in return. People have used this tool for the right and many times for the wrong reasons. People have killed themselves and others without remorse for a “cause”.
Think about the intensity of buyer’s remorse if the person at a point of time finds that the “cause” wasn’t right, it was just a tinted glass. Now he is trapped in what he was for so long running away from – “worthlessness”.
To not have known and loved oneself is like being in the dark,
The experience is enlightening – like a beautiful journey embarked.
But then there is always the fear of being consumed by the fire of self love
Keeping one blinded from the beauty & sorrows of others near, far and above.
I do want the light in me shining bright,
But need to make sure I don’t burn myself and lose sight.
Oh Lord, lead me from the darkness but do keep me safe from the destructive fire.
I woke up to the quietness of the dawn,
Opened the window to see the crispness of my lawn.
Everything around me is still,
Took a deep breath, with freshness I fill.
The thin vapor of my inner being is awake,
I try touching it and it condenses into a little dew drop to take.
Let me kiss this sparkling pure drop, not long it would stay,
This “moment of being” might just evaporate in the heat of the day.
I conceptualize, visualize – I am already “there & then”. I just have to take everyone who are “here & now” to the “there and then”. My axis is here but the radius of my visualization makes me draw circles in time and space that’s yet to come. Is it a blessing or a curse? I am more in my visualized world of “there and then” and when the “there & then” turns to be “here and now” – I would have already moved on drawing conceptual circles beyond now!
(Dedicated to all the conceptualizers and visualizers – the small & big who keep inspiring everyone else around)
My life is my journey of self discovery. These notes are my way of staying in touch with me. I am left in a jungle of perceptions and perceptual errors, these notes are my bread crumbs that I leave behind as trails to make sure I don’t lose myself. The cottage built of cookies and cakes lures the Hansels and Gretels of the world including me. Hope the birds don’t eat up my bread crumbs, and then I am LOST.
How different are fashion trends from uniforms? We all need someone to tell us what to wear, what’s “in” and what isn’t. We love to be led and yet be convinced that we make our choices. We love to be part of a herd and yet feel we have chosen our own way. We blend in and yet like to feel we stand out. We just opt to chose which herd to follow or sometimes that also is not an option.
As we move towards the path of self discovery and try to answer the most obvious question – ” Who am I”. The more we try to separate the chaff from the rice, the more we would find that the rice and chaff are all part of us. The chaff is equally part of us as the rice. We have little bit of everyone who had been a part of our lives – knowingly, unknowingly – as part of nature and nurture, biological and emotional associations.
“I am the sum of the whole, a blend of them all but a unique blend.The blend is me …a signature blend ! “
My son talks to me about different worlds. the Sponge Bob’s world, Nemo’s world and at times I see him talking to the miniature Lego buddies from the Lego land that he creates . He wants me to be part of these worlds as he juggles between these worlds. Is it childish or have we just lost the ability to juggle between many lives as part of our growing up. Growing up also meant honing the ability to focus on one’s own life and achieve. I remember during school days how I used to be lost while reading poems and stories – travel places while reading geography chapters and traveling back in time being part of the kingdom, fighting battles while reading my history lessons. I loved it all.
Work of art still lets me cross my boundaries experience other lives and perspectives. Such pieces of art are an ultimate experience and these artists are revered for their ability to get me out of my boundaries. When my heart aches at people’s sorrows, rejoices at their joy, frowns at injustices done to someone, I have then blurred my boundaries to live many lives making the experience called “my life” richer.
The generation that is so focused on “focus” and “achievement”, empathy might seem like the characteristic of the fools or rather too emotional to be uttered. The experience of leaving the boundary of the self and accompanying the emotional journeys of many … expanding the boundary (or when the boundaries are blurred) of the self and feeling the joy and pain of the whole universe should be beautiful because – then I am the universe and the universe is me!
I am eclipsed by the shadow of the bigger ideology. It’s the darkness of thoughtlessness. I am blinded on a bright sunny day. I am one with the bigger ideology and it is indeed night. I am now the evangelist of the bigger ideology!
The day I realize I am eclipsed would be hard to convince myself.
I am the caterpillar who keeps on feeding. I am always hungry for more – more of everything. Insatiable are my material desires and self- obsession. What I feed on also depends on what’s available and valued around me – the cultural baggage, the networks that I associate my net worth with.
The goal of nature is not to fill this place with millions of over grown, bloated caterpillars. Each caterpillar has a unique butterfly within, waiting to emerge and take flight. To transform into a butterfly, I definitely need to be a caterpillar first keep feeding my instincts – but there needs to be a pupa phase in my life of looking inwards for self realization and henceforth come out with my wide open wings.
The quality of the human society is determined by the eco system it provides to propagate this metamorphosis in each individual. The world is much more beautiful with butterflies spreading their wings, flocking from flower to flower, spreading love. I wouldn’t want to visualize a world full of over grown, bloated caterpillars found creeping everywhere fighting over the left over leaves on the bare plants.
I dwindle between the form and the formless. There is a very fine line between the form and the formless. What has form now becomes formless in an instance and the formless takes up some form in a moment of being. There is a rite of passage – a pain in the crossing over but the bliss after the pain is worth any pain. People who dwindle between the form and the formless are in constant pain of labor.
The term “real” to me is confusing. If something is beyond my sensory horizon, that does not mean it is non existent. Maybe my surreal is real for someone else as my sensory and thought horizons are my limitations very specific to me.
Image Art courtesy: Octavio Ocampo (Mexican artist who is known for his paintings illusion with a dual-image)
I look into your eyes and I can see your conscience sleeping. You have lulled your baby to sleep and whenever she has tried to be awake, you just rocked her to sleep again. You are panicked by the thought of the attention she demands while she is awake. You are not comfortable taking her to your workplace or any other place where you think you belong. But isn’t she your baby, a part of you. Try waking her up, see her awake –smiling, crying, babbling and playing. There is wonder, there is honesty and there is you – that is what I want to see in your eyes the next time.
As I travel more in the journey of life, I see twists and turns, broad & narrow lanes, crowded and lonely paths – eventually leading to a destination that is not much different. What then really matters is not the destination but the journey. Once I am at my destination, I should look back and say – This was my journey of a lifetime and I loved every bit of it. It’s impossible to explore all the paths in a lifetime, life is meant to be a matter of making choices. Every choice brings with it experiences that becomes a part of me. Then the journey is me. The choices I make, the turns I take, the souls I meet all make the “me”. Freedom is the ability to make the “me” the way I want – good or bad or whatever in between. What if I am denied the freedom? What if I say it is all fate which is to say it is all out of my control, everything was pre defined – that takes out the personal responsibility in me. May be that again is a choice that we make – choosing the path of free ride or fate ride- where I wait for what “fate” has to offer.
I need the freedom to fail, to fall, to be hurt and be shattered. Let me gather the strength to pull myself from the shatter and move with the zeal like never before. I move forward after the fall in turn discovering my latent inner strength. Do not extend yourself so that I never fall, I have to find myself while I fall.
True Love is the strength of seeing the loved one fail, fall and in the process getting in touch with the inner spirit. Love would only be worried if the shattered is not gathered.
“Love is the ever-burning torch that one holds on the unpaved road to self discovery”