I am the Light……. I am the Darkness. I am Yin……I am Yang. I am Love…..I am Hate. I am abundance……I am scarcity. I am Good…..I am Evil. I am Knowledge…..I am Ignorance. I am Power……I am Weakness. I am the Quiet…..I am the Noise. I am Peace……I am Chaos. I am Growth…..I am Stagnation. I am Success……I am Failure. I am Joy……I am Sorrow. I am Smiles…..I am Tears. I am Wellness……I am Sickness. I am the Beginning ……I am the End.
I am what I choose to be. YOU make me everything I seek to be.
He is SHIVA. You are SHIVA. I am SHIVA. We will manifest what we choose to be.
So lets watch our Thoughts, Words & Actions. The best ‘fasting/cleansing’ to do today is that of Thoughts, Words & Actions.
For He is afterall THE ONE….BHOLEYNATH!!
He will hear what we think/say/do & multiply that manifold. Happy MAHASHIVRATRI 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Lets Attract only that which we seek. Har Har MAHADEV🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
Oh TriColor fly high, Bringing pride to the sky. Furl and sway, In your majestic ways. There is something magical about your hues, Saffron White Green & the beautiful Blue. It makes my heart wonder, And pound with thunder. What brought together these colors I think, The message is clear in another wink. A Saffron reminder to be strong & selfless, Like the heroes who fought to free this Lioness. And those who still fight to keep her safe, On land, In air & and the deep dark waves. White to remind us to be calm & peaceful, Never attack but stand strong to defend from the deceitful. It teaches us to stay pure & to endure, Love is the eternal , universal cure. Green for prosperity , faith & fertility , We show the world what is true ‘Maitri’ . Moving forward with lightning speeds, Letting go of greed to meet global needs. The blue spikes remind us to stay in motion, Movement is life, there’s death in stagnation. My country shines with the light of God, Our soldiers & farmers, our strongest cord. Generations have taken pride in service, Even though some loved ones return wrapped in tricolored Lattice. For every child this land has lost to war, 10 more spring up with the power of Thor. For every hurdle we’ve had to rattle, There is an ongoing internal battle. External havoc may need armed forces, Internal clutter is within our courses. To watch our words, actions & lineage, We’re all flag-bearers of this diverse heritage. I may be miles away from my homeland, But to me she’ll always be my Mother-Land. I carry a part of her in me, When the world sees me, I hope I can represent She. Values, Strength, Dignity, Poise, Selfless, Generous, Compassionate, Stoic. Progressive, Fierce, Powerful, Pathbreakers, Calm, Gentle, Givers & creators. Oh beautiful Tricolor keep flying high, Soaring & conquering afar new skies. You are a reminder to be better and bigger, You are the past, present & the future !!!
“Janani Janmabhumishcha Swargadapi Gariyasi” – Sanskrit Shloka from the sacred Ramayan meaning : “Mother & Motherland are superior even than heaven itself” 🧡🤍💚💙Vande Mataram🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳
One moment we are laughing & playing with loved ones. Another moment we find ourself caught in the threshold between life & death. Such is life…..or such is death ?
With the current pandemic situation, there has been an awakening; a realisation to live life to the fullest & in the present; Make the best of the time on hand. Every Today is a gift & a hope to see another day.
To make more memories,
To laugh some more.
To hug our kids a few more times,
To talk to parents without looking at the time,
To throw a glance as he fixes dinner,
To give the nod when asked – honey do I look thinner ?
To pray a little more, To thank a little more.
To give a little more, To seek a little more.
Sing, dance, read, write;
Play, Pray, talk, walk;
Sleep, Weep, fight, fright;
Dream, scream, hike, spike;
Dribble, scribble, wander, ponder;
Chuckle, buckle, cuddle, huddle;
Today is a present that is precious beyond means.
Tomorrow is a box who’s contents are unseen.
Don’t hold back. Its the season to let go.
As the leaves fall off and the trees go bare,
Watch them stand there, with all their dare.
Let go off all that burdens your heart.
Wipe the slate clean and make a new start .
Make place for love & care & light,
Like the beautiful dazzling festive lights.
The lights shine brighter on plain canvas,
So why hold on to internal ruckus ?
Easen up, lighten up, weed out your list,
Bid adieu to those who make you clench your fists.
Another young & successful Bollywood actor gone too soon…….sadly to struggles unknown….Can’t help but wonder how devastated his family must be. Next of kin, Friends, colleagues, fans, everyone. What seemed like a perfect, beautiful, successful life, ended at just 34 in the most unexpected way and shocked millions across the globe- Suicide 😦
My heart goes out to everyone who has lost a dear one to this extreme step. Will we still look the other way ? This is another testimony of money cannot buy happiness. It just CANT…… atleast not the lasting kinds. External phenomena can temporarily or momentarily give us pleasure, more like a sense of acheivement, an ego-boost too maybe.
But will that take us all the way ? With so much pressure to succeed, to be ahead of the rat race, our children are constantly fighting the fight……the game of the TOP ! They know that feeling of success by being on top of the list. Cause we all talk about our successes.
But have we let them know our failures? Have we let them comfort us in our down times? Have we shown them it is OK to fail? How prepared are they to ‘successfully’ handle failure ? I add ‘successfully’ as for some of us that will be the only way to draw attention to failure too. Have we let them fail? Have we sheilded them from knowing the strength in learning the lessons and getting back up ?
We know children learn more from what we do than what we preach ! So can we please pause and stop living like life is a race……. let’s understand what is at the end of this race- DEATH ! So where are we in a rush to get to……the other side ? What’s worth enjoying is what IS today- life itself ! The fact that we are still breathing. Lets start living, enjoying, feeling the moment rather than competing against our neighbor, sibling, friend, colleague, peer, classmate, batchmate…….just lets STOP please. Lets Breathe. Breathe.Breathe. Let’s just remember to be human.
Let us Reflect & Re-think !
The next time a child is asked what they did over the summer break- I hope their heart is jumping to talk about the beautiful memories they made bonding with family rather than how exotic the places they went to were.
The next time a child scores an A, hug them, but if they score a B or C- hug them tighter. It is OK !
The next time a child tries a sport, let it be out of crazy passion for the game, not competition.
The next time a child picks up an instrument, let it be for the love of music and not compulsion of making it to the band.
The next time a child paints, let it be to express their inner feelings, not to display.
The next time a child dances, let it be for themselves, not for a stage.
The next time a child sings, let it be for the birds, not the studio.
The next time a child reads, let it be to learn & not for a meer grade.
The next time a child wants to pick a 2nd or 3rd tier college over a 1st tier one because they dont see the worth in spending 5x $$ in fees, let’s respect that choice.
The list of next times……can go on. But the next time, lets just make a better choice so there can be another NEXT TIME.
As they nurture their passions and interests, some will naturally make their way up the leader-board. To that you may say, the ship is only as good as its captain. But remember, the captain is only as good as his crew. So it doesnt matter where in the line of order you stand, your worth is no lesser or more.
Let’s go back to our roots, find happiness in the simple things, little things; restore Success its true worth. Let success be-
In being compassionate,
In being appreciative,
In being happy for others,
In being grateful,
In being supportive,
In being kind ,
In uplifting & accepting.
Let the love count ! Let respect count !
Let the goodness count ! Let happiness count !
Let the thought count! Let effort count !
Can we be so dependable that a loved one could come upto us and share something without the fear of being judged ?
Can we love such that a dear one will never feel ALONE?
Can we care so much that we will see the pain behind their smile?
Its time to be better role models so our next-in-line will have many more next-in-lines ! If anything has to succeed, let it be Humanity !
And if nothing else, lets do this much. Let’s accept that mental/emotional health concerns are just as normal as physical health challenges.
To every child & adult out there- remember that you are special because YOU are YOU. And YOU are the beautiful uniqueness the world needs. Nothing more…..nothing less.
In the age of machines & robots taking over the tiniest aspects of our lives, Can WE please just start being more HUMAN again.
Life is but a roller coaster of events…..of experiences…..of feelings…..of emotions…..of learnings…….of drama……!! There is ever so much going on, I’m sure all of us at some point reflect and say- Phew did all of this really happen in just a day !
So every now and then, do take the time to pause a little and tell yourself “Its Ok”.
A Cranky toddler; An effervescent teen.
A bad day at work; An annoying co-worker – Its Ok !
A patchy commute; An impatient driver.
A delayed flight; A restless passenger- Its Ok !
A long day; A short Halt. A loss of words;
A toss of work- Its Ok !
Piled up dishes; Unfolded laundry,
An uncooked meal; A box of tuile-Its Ok !
An unaswered call; A reply so small.
A little crease; Gone-too-far a tease-Its Ok !
An Empty stare; A quirky glare.
A smirky banter;Too honest a chatter- Its Ok!
A broken heart; Mistrust at start.
An impulsive friend; Wont make amends- Its Ok !
Incomplete Chats; Random spats.
Half done tasks; Over-done masks- Its Ok !
Need to be alone; Want to party.
Sit alone at the beach; Or Wander in the streets- Its Ok !
There’s always something to cringe about. And always someone to crib about.
Always a situation that makes us cry; Always that person who ‘bheja’ frys !
And yet all it takes- is a moment of letting go & saying – IT’S OK !!!
Moving On, Staying On.
If you find yourself in that space today- Its OK if You CAN let it go. And Its OK if you CAN’T just yet.
If your heart CAN be that Big now, ITS OK. If it just CANT yet- IT’S OK.
The time will come….
But trust that eventually it will all be OK. The next moment could be OK. The next hour could be OK. The next day could be OK. The next month could be OK……But it will be OK. You will be OK. They will be OK. Everything IS OK. Everything WILL BE OK !!!
And if it doesn’t at any point- remember Its OK NOT TO BE OK !!!
As this name resonates in every Indian heart today- in India or miles away, I cannot but hold back tears of joy and victory as my heart fills up with gratitude. It all seems like such a big feat- a brave soldier comes back home. Feels like he is my own.
And indeed, he is. A son of my motherland. Such bravery, mindfulness, calmness and composure , in such adversity; In all the videos; and then again when he walks steadily, crossing one opened gate to come home to another- I cannot forget the un-deterred poise on his face.
Millions across the globe had eyes glued to gadget screens, all awaiting the home-coming of this braveheart.
The media’s portrayal of the journey of the 60 hours since he found himself out of bounds , comes back to my mind in flashes.
While we are united in applauding his heroism…. I wonder if we did right by him.
As a nation, as the very people He and soldiers like him stand guard for- did we really behave as we should have ?
While our Wing Commander stood alone amidst alien army-men and answered with undeterring confidence-“I am not supposed to tell you that” to anything that he didnt need to answer, we were busy posting videos of his family, his wife, his past and everything that would show up on news channels and news feeds. So much – we made viral a fake video of someone claiming to be his wife. Media zooming cameras outside his parent’s home to get a byte or a picture or just anything that would mark up their #BreakingNews.
While he crumpled and swallowed papers that belonged only to HIS motherland, we sold/bought/watched papers and news filled with analysis of his life so far and some with mighty predictions too.
Not everyone can be a war hero – a Soldier, a Pilot, or Navy seal.
Not all of us can be at the border, high up in the sky or in the waters protecting our nation.
Not all of us have the stomach to let one of our Kin fight not just enemies but extreme weather and terrain to guard our Tricolor.
No – most of us just can’t and we dont have to perhaps.
But what all of us can do is to atleast be responsible citizens. Ones who are worthy of that kind of service and sacrifice.
What we can do is wait to read a little about something before posting it or making it a #HashTag.
What we can do is be respectful of the kin and sentiments of these heroes.
What we can do is be more mindful of what we spread.
What we can do is show a little restraint and empathy for those grieving a hero.
Watching the video of his parents being allowed to disembark from their aircraft first and few other gestures like the one at the airport with soldiers, was assuring that there is a wave of change, yet there is a long long way to go.
Ofcourse we are generous when it comes to contributing to FundingLinks and that is great.But We have to do our bit to also create a ripple effect of what is mindful and rightful.
Let us each become a soldier of our motherland in the simplest and tiniest ways possible.
There are battles we can fight Without a Uniform and make ourselves worthy to those who fight for us in Uniforms.
Enjoy the weekend my fellow citizens-
I’ll leave you to this soulful piece from the movie Manikarnika- “Desh se hai Pyar toh har pal yeh kehna chahiye….. main rahoon ya na rahoon, Bharat yeh rehna chahiye”.
“Helping Hands are better than Praying Lips” – Mother Teressa
Such a deep message in such few words from a legend who epitomized service and selfless giving. Truly, service is such a powerful tool of Love, of compassion, of gratitude….of Humanity.
As a child, every occasion, be it a birthday or festival, begun with some form of service. A trend my parents set very early in our lives. And how grateful I am for those lessons in learning to be compassionate towards the lesser privileged and being grateful for all that the Divine had blessed us with. Yes, it is a humbling experience when you see how little things can bring BIG smiles to so many.
There are so many reasons to celebrate all year through & so many ways to do it too!! My favorite is:
When a tiny little somebody flashes a smile that connects their heart to mine.
When a child laughs and my heart fills with joy.
When a pair of eyes sparkle with surprise and moisten my eyes.
When a wiggly pair of hands opens a gift and my soul jumps with excitement.
When I can be the reason for that smile.
When I can be the medium for that sparkle.
When I can be a part of that excitement.
Then I can give a little and receive an ocean of satisfaction.
Yes, this one time I don’t shy from saying the “I” as “I” am humbled to be a medium of THY Divine work.
And what better time to spread that sparkle than the festival of lights!! Diwali is about celebrating light over darkness.
So this Diwali, a small group of us in our neighborhood had our children make little ‘Give-away Boxes’ for a shelter. The residents of this shelter carry scars of domestic violence and abuse on their souls. A little love and compassion can help soothe those scars. And a little fun can transport them away from their pain. These children don’t get to celebrate their birthdays due to lack of funds and facilities. Each of our give-away boxes contained birthday party supplies for a child to celebrate their special day. Now, so many of them will celebrate their birthdays and replace some painful memories with beautiful, happy ones. Boxes were inspired from the ‘Birthday Giving Project’ by Family-to-family.org !
Children took time to decorate the boxes and fill them with gifts & LOVE. I’m truly grateful to every parent and child who joined hands and came forward for this project. A little from each 1 of us and BIG difference to so many. So glad we could spread some festive cheer and warm smiles. Truly “Helping Hands are better than Praying Lips”.
Your celebrations will only get brighter with the smiles that you spread. Happy Diwali dear ones…..please light up some smiles wherever you can, however you can, whenever you can !!
I dedicate this blog post to all the lovely kids who devoted their time to make another child smile; who thought beyond themselves; who willingly shared….
Selfless, unconditional, giving, caring…..so many terms we coin to tell ourselves of how important it is to think about others. “Look at the larger picture; think beyond yourself”; We try to nurture these values & why shouldn’t we? They are important. Because we live in times when families are becoming smaller & people are becoming more self-centered. Lessons of compassion and humanity are the need of the hour.
We really do need to learn the art of giving.
But there is another kind- a bunch that is constantly worrying about others, carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders; This breed knows only to give and sometimes give so much of themselves away, that they’re taken for granted.
To those- I plead……STOP; PAUSE; BREATHE!!!
Take a moment to think about yourself.
Even the tree that provides fruits needs nurturing.
It is NOT selfish to think about yourself too. So please stop ignoring yourself & bring a little focus back. You owe it to yourself.
Learn to say NO once in a way. Everyone DOES NOT deserve your love and time. Ever-so often, many of us are trying so hard to please everyone, that we allow ourselves to be hurt, over & over again.
Giving is GRACE. You are the chosen vehicles of the Divine to spread love. It is also your duty then to ensure that this divine grace is not pouring into a black-hole.
Remember, it is ok to hold back a little.
Remember, you do your best with the purest intent and then just let it be.
Remember, it is important to respect yourself!!!
We cannot control how people treat us; But it is in our fullest ability to refuse them the opportunity to ill-treat us.
IT is time – if you are one of those who has been giving and giving and giving- that you embrace the art of RECEIVNG too. Allow yourself to be treated well & your efforts to be acknowledged.
Just like only the flower that is fragrant can spread its fragrance; only a soul that is happy can spread happiness. When you are hurting from within, and you are depleting yourself- you will wear out someday; sooner than you ever should.
So please, pause a bit & allow a little self-care.
It is ok to love yourself.
It is ok to care for yourself.
It is ok to expect respect.
It is ok to allow acknowledgement.
It is ok to say NO.
It is ok to close the door on a storm.
It is ok that everyone cannot be pleased.
AND IT IS NOT SELFISH!!!
LOVING YOURSELF IS NOT SELFISH. LOVING ‘ONLY’ YOURSELF IS !
Fighting for your respect is not selfish. Crushing someone else’s is.
Caring for yourself is not selfish. Ignoring others is.
Saying NO sometimes is not selfish. Expecting a yes everytime is.
So my dear givers- allow yourself to receive. Embrace yourself. You have the right to be happy & that doesn’t make you SELFISH.
Smile so you can spread the joy!!! Receive so you can give!!!
Sending you warm wishes, love & a whole lot of cheer & waiting to receive some back too!!!