Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Today I finally realized what it truly meant!

Give love, even if you don’t receive it. Give it unconditionally. Don’t expect anything in return (sounds so clichéd but believe me, it wasn’t until today that I truly understood the true meaning). When you give love, the happiness reflected on someone else makes you happy too. Care for others, and show them that you care. Spare a thought for everyone. There’s nothing wrong in it. No expectations, no regrets, and no attachments. Live happily. You’ll do just fine. Make happiness your only goal. J


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Handbook for Life #1

These are just a few things that ran across my head this not-so-lazy Sunday morning. So I penned them all down...

1.       Stay Positive: There will always be bad times, hurdles, rough patches, you can’t ask for sunshine and colours without expecting darkness now and again. Through it all, keep your head above the rising waters, think happy thoughts, and don’t let those negative thoughts push you down. It’s hard to be positive all the time, but try and keep the negative ones at bay.

2.       Don’t compare: There will always be someone better, more successful, more social, more good looking or more popular than you. Don’t compare yourselves with them. Your only comparison should be you and how much you have grown over the years and how much more can you improve. You are your own challenge.

3.       Let your life be your own: Many a times you start living the way other people expect you to live, it may or may not be the way you want to live it. You start changing things you have always wanted to do because of someone else’s opinions; it could be your family or someone you love even. I know because I have made decisions based on someone I love’s opinions, and speaking from experience, don’t do that. Of course if it’s wrong (illegal, etc), well, don’t do it. But if it’s something you really want, then go ahead, don’t let others opinions hinder you. Live for yourself.

4.       Fall in love and then fall out of it: You need to experience this, not just the romantic kind (although yeah, fall in love!). Get your heart broken in friendships or with that guy you-used-to-know.  Only then will you know how to love, your faults, your shortcomings, what you did right, what you did wrong, what you want from a friend or a partner in life. After all, it’s all trials and errors.

5.       Make memories, live in the moment: Just because you have had a bad day, don’t let that affect the time you spend with your friends/ family later on. Even if you end up crying all alone at nights, laugh and enjoy that dinner you all had been planning for weeks, or that random lunch you end up going to with all your friends. You can be sad, upset or angry, but not with the people who didn’t have any role to play in making you feel that way. Enjoy that time with them, you need it more that you know (I should take my own advice here!).

6.       Be childish at times: Okay, I don’t mean be immature and whiny (and no, that’s not what I think of children!), but do those things you feel like doing at times but then you talk yourself out of it because that would just make you look so immature. I realised this the other day at the mall when I finally gave in to the urge to climb up an escalator going down. And that really made me feel good, it’s a small thing, but trust me; it makes you feel so free.

7.       Friends will come and go: You are continuously moving through life, and you will meet and make friends all the time, with some you will make everlasting memories with, even though things might not end up well in the end. No one is perfect. In the end, humans will always be selfish. There’s nothing called selfless friendship, so don’t expect too much.  Enjoy the good times, but be prepared to face the hard times alone.

8.       Be kind to everyone: There are times when we are so distracted, that we don’t really ‘listen’ to what others are trying to tell us. I know I do that. Be kind to everyone, treat everyone with respect, and be fair. Actually ‘listen’ to what they are telling you and what they are not. Everyone is going through some tough times; everyone has their demons that haunt them. Don’t judge them (I know I do, although I’d like to believe not so much now). You don’t know their story. Be kind. If you can’t help them, then just listen and empathize.

9.       Keep your expectation low: Or you will end up getting disappointed. It could be people, situations or something you had been looking forward to for weeks, things will not always go according to plans. It’s something that we all struggle with (I know I do, a lot, especially when it comes to people!). One thing I have learned is never expect a lot from people, family or friends. Take a few deep breaths and let go of the expectations, you will live a happier life when you do.

10.   Learn to appreciate being alone: Learn to love your own company. Don’t be a loner but appreciate that time you have to spend with yourself. Introspect. You will come to know yourself better. Realize that you’re living this life alone and you don’t ‘need’ anyone along for this journey. People will tag along on this journey, some will get off at some stations, some will take the other way, some you will miss, some you would never want to leave, but know that your destination is yours alone. No one is getting off at that destination with you, you will be alone. Learn to love that.

11.   Love yourself enough: No, I’m not asking you to be selfish. Rather love and respect yourself enough to know when something, instead of developing you as an individual is only harming you. Know when to put a stop to it. It could be a bad habit, unhealthy relationships, or even something you have been doing for a long time. Let go of it, no matter how difficult it is for you to do this. It will take time, but in the end you will be happy.

12.   Everything will be okay in the end: Things are hard, they will be. Friends will leave. You may not get that job you wanted and worked so hard for. You may fail an exam. You will have relationship problems. The work load will stress you out. Everything that you love or worked hard for will fall apart around you. Your will have family troubles. But this isn’t the end. You will come out of it stronger, better prepared and with your head held high. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. If it’s still not okay, then it’s not the end. Have faith, and just live.

And then I realized these things are so easy to preach but so hard to practice. Honestly, it would do me a world of good if I followed my own advice at times. But well, no one is perfect. However, you reach a point in your life when you realize how important these things are to follow, and I think I am there. Now the next step is to follow them which hopefully you and I both will.
Cheers to life comrades! We’re all in this together.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Of God, Religion and Rights

Not something I would chose to write on easily, but lately my thoughts keep circling around this.

I wouldn’t call myself a religious person, no. For me, religion has always been a concept introduced by humans to stay within the lines of morality and as an attempt to bring some sort of order into this chaotic world. That’s how I have always looked at it. But then I am of the view that religion isn’t necessary to stay within those moral boundaries. In fact I have atheist friends who are better human beings than some of my theist ones (this isn’t meant to point at people) or vice versa.

For me God and religion are two completely separate entities. You can say I believe in God, but not in religion. Perhaps, it is because of the way of thinking around which I was brought up. Actually, that is the reason for how my standpoint is today. I was raised by a father who spent nights telling me stories from each and every religion. And that’s what they were to me, stories; stories spun by old men from days past and read out as the only truth over generations. Perhaps that is the reason I believe in God as well, because of the beliefs surrounding my formative years as a child. And that’s what it amounts to in the end; your beliefs are a result of your surroundings, and no one belief can be justified as right or wrong. Be it an atheist, agnostic or a theist, it doesn’t matter. Everyone has a right to their own beliefs and justifications.

Discussions on these have always been tiresome and hardly ever end without at least one of the parties getting offended. Heaven forbid, a person walking out not offended from that particular debate. My views, now that I read through what I just wrote, sound lax and vague. I would be lying if I said I do not get offended by some of these discussions. I do, and hence the general avoidance of the whole matter.

I believe in God, I believe in prayers, I believe that everyone has a right to their own beliefs and I believe that no one faith is greater than the other. Most religions teach us that anyway, it’s just that, some of us in our deep piousness tend to overlook that little fact and interpret the words of holy books in our own way. But then again, there is nothing wrong in that, as long as you do not start denying others their basic rights based on your take on the matter. Live and let live. 

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Coloured Perches

 ‘The first to apologise is the bravest, the first to forgive is the strongest and the first to forget is the happiest.

Growing up and passing through this journey of life, you meet a lot of people; some stay, some leave, and some leave impressions on you that last a lifetime, while some just slowly fade away and blow away with the wind of lost memories.

Of my short, perhaps ‘not yet much experienced’ life, I have come across people who I can categorize into well, three categories (I felt like a judgemental ass writing that, but oh well!).

There are those who forgive and forget. They are perhaps the most innocent, or rather pure of souls, incapable of holding any grudge against the people around them. A simply apology makes everything alright. Even before the apology, they accept whatever they have faced, and well...move on. These people, they amaze me, I have the utmost respect and I stand in awe of them, for I know I am one of those people who cannot ever be like them. The world needs these happy-go-lucky souls, they are perhaps the reason optimism still persists in abundance in a world in need of such positivity. The world, for them is black and white. There is however, a darker side to such glowing naiveté (I acknowledge I might not be right in calling them that). But the world would find it easy to take advantage of these happy souls. In an ideal world, the possibility is hardly relevant but in the real world, it’s hardly so. There will always be, after all, two sides to everything.

Then there are those like me. Forgive, but not forget. It’s perhaps the easiest of choices, but I don’t know how to explain this. I believe a vast majority of the people can identify with this. These people, they play by throwing caution to the wind. Forgiveness comes easy, but forgetting proves a harder fight. There are not many they trust and trust for them is fragile, easily broken, and a prized possession, like strings, once broken, there will always remain a knot. They are more practical in their nature, but riddled with doubts on everything. This attitude might prove more effective in the real world, but in the long run results in tunnel vision. They are perhaps even inclined towards more pessimism than optimism. The world for them is grey. There is always a reason and an explanation to everything. Some of them hold on to the grudges, some let go, but with both, the memory of the experience still remains. Speaking from experience, it’s not a very pleasant state to be in. You learn to let go of the feelings, but you take the lessons with you.

And finally, the ones who never forgive nor forget. You come across a few of them now and then, and as always they do not fail to amuse me. On a much lesser scale of the damage done, their antics are hilarious to observe (speaking from my sardonic and hardened perch). But on a larger scale, result in a bitter way of life, always complaining (whining rather!) lifestyle filled with pessimism. They are not always this noticeable though; some just stay quiet and silently breed and garner the growing pile of grudges. It might prove helpful at times, in context of winning an argument or some slight matter at hand. But in the long run, it doesn’t leave you with many friends or loved ones. For them the black and white world is continuously changing according to their needs, feelings and desires. Nothing remains white, or black, always changing, never constant.

This is just one perspective, there are  different types of people, depends on what vista you chose to observe from. There are so many perspectives, different angles, divergent, individual, distinct opinions. They all matter, for they are your own. I know I am not right in my distinctions (I strongly believe we are different yet the same, there’s no complete black and white, always grey), but then they are my distinctions and ultimately my choices. Every individual has their own outlook on life, on people, on experiences, and no one outlook is right, nor wrong. They all matter, for they all speak of our own different, individual signatures that we chose to leave behind for the world to see, our impressions and legacies.
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