Good books.

Books are the best friends a man could have in his lifetime.

Couldn’t agree more. They were my lifeline when I wanted to escape the humdrum existence created by vectors, statistics, MendelsLaws, engineering designs etc….

Well, no complaints. There are good books and there are books that teach you life lessons. And, who is to know which is which?😁

So, if you thought I was going to share a list of books for you to read, you would be disappointed to know that I haven’t read much in a decade. There are books I bought on a whim and never read, read a few others but never crossed a few chapters and then there were a few odd ones that I read as if I were to appear for my boards yet again. Each of us have quirks. And, I have mine. I often give that illusion of being a voracious reader but, the truth is I am not. But, if you consider people as books, I might say – I have read my fair share.

Now, how do you read people? It is a skill that I was introduced to by the virtue of being a part of a close knit organization that works on human dynamics. So, the skill of reading people is a trickster. It is like clicking on the zoom link and waiting to join and realize a few minutes later, you clicked on the wrong link while the meeting you were supposed to be a part of, has ended by then. Disappointments galore in learning this skill. On bright days, you get to read good books that teach you how to navigate through complicated situations without bruising yourself. I call such books – the Keepers. And then, on some days, you end up reading exactly the opposite that get into your head and throw your limbic system off balance! Apparently, you come out bruised and battered but many shades wiser. Such books are The Jokers! They thrive on chaos and drag the batman in you out along to see the Gotham of your dreams burn!

And then, there are books you feel the need to be a part of, so you presume. You want to be in the best pages of those books wherein everyone looks forward to the chapter that has you or so to say, your accomplishments. It is quite a revelation to watch people lined up to become the chapters in a book they haven’t read till the end but have simply known them as ‘good books’. I don’t judge them because there are enough books for everyone in the world. But then, there are those who get into certain books out of fear, out of fear of being ostracized, out of fear of being labelled the odd man out. I judge that. Succumbing to fear burns many seeds of progress even before the dispersal begins. I call those books – Hamsters on the wheel. Play it safe. Why? They just keep running without fully believing their choice. The idea of being safe seems more acceptable than the painful idea to grow as a book with profound experiences.. However, the idea of Hamsters running on wheel works for Hamsters. Enough said.

And, there is the Pa-Mei’s Journal – the journal of fear Himself l that helps you confront him under his tutelage. If there is one thing I have learned about fear, it is this – it might appear to be your foe but it is indeed the best teacher you can have after Experience. Post recovery from a medical condition, I realized that fear is a flag from your soul that is trying to help you gauge yourself, to reflect within, to see how far can you let your mind go rogue. It will stretch your mind like a rubber band till the pain feels as real and then, makes you watch all the worst case scenarios, like the astrologer who makes a fortune out of deciding which fates to bind. But unlike the astrologer, the journal of Pa-Mei gives you the option to respond out of free will.

To respond with courage of conviction is never easy. But, it is worth every ounce of pain that the process of response gives while you stand up again bruised by situations that you have no control over. Importantly, it gifts you a skill that many assume to have but, only few actually have – the ability to read books before deciding to become part of them. I named the book – Pa-Mei’s Journal, based on one of my favourite characters in Kill Bill Series.

So, one gets to read the Keepers, the Jokers, the Hamsters and Pa-Mei’s Journal through life. There are newspapers too but I don’t wish to elaborate on daily news. It is just that humans are designed to be drawn naturally towards what finds its way more easily into the emotional reserves of our brains. And, then subsequently births the responses on which books to become and, which to be a part of.

That said, I am reminded of what a celebrated book once said about the idea of being in good books. The book’s Broca’s area was quite direct and, exuded courage of conviction in the words that the book stood by.

And, that be a book one must either strive to become or, be a part of.

The tipping point.


*The Tipping point*

The need to be visible is natural especially when it offers growth.

And then, when the need is satiated, the greed jumps in to take the baton of fame in the relay of visibility.

Surprisingly, the need to become invisible takes birth at some point. And, to find the now foggy way back to self is like climbing a mountain though it is actually descending.

The tipping point. Who knows when to identify it? For, it is anything but obvious.

It could be like that non descript station that doesn’t capture your attention but plants itself as a distant memory, or it could be a random chat with a random stranger while you both were waiting to catch a flight taking you in different directions or, it could be a cardamom laced tea in some tea stall near a bus stop.

Over years, I have observed how the need to be visible, to be perfect and, to be acknowledged crosses a threshold and transforms into an obsession that keeps spiralling down into a labyrinth of man made perfections, in the process derailing the naturally designed routines for soul.

I recently watched a small series by SIT in which a mother tells her daughter to take care of herself first and that, self care is as important as eating and sleeping. That part moved me. As homemakers, as women, as mothers and as humans, we set unrealistic goals often.

My father once pointed out to me that perfection is an illusion and chasing it is like chasing a mirage. It was that time when I was writing a few technical articles for a client and, the entire episode changed me into someone I was not. The point is despite getting the visibility I craved for, I simply wasn’t happy. Zero error syndrome is a Trojan. It can play you in ways you never imagined. While I disagreed with my father then, I saw his point when my hunger for perfection flipped my temperament and, thankfully my spirit guides made me see it.

Chasing perfection, chasing visibility and getting it and then, wanting more and more and then the inability to accept anything short of it becomes a burden when one fails to recognize that threshold. The tipping point.The hunger to achieve it eats into your energy and anything other than your perception of what you want becomes unacceptable and unworthy.

But does that mean, one shouldn’t expect perfection? Nope. I did not mean that. Striving for excellence should be the goal for excellence is a product of hardwork whereas the idea of perfection need not branch from hard work alone but from other reserves such as desires and wants that may not always have time on their side.

So yes, the need to be visible is natural. But, there comes a point when growth begins in oblivion. To understand it takes away a lot of your energy. But when one realizes it, the true power unfolds.

The guilt of saying NO

I do not remember the number of times I have said NO in my head. That count runs towards infinity. And, therefore the number of times that NO left the tongue as YES. Yes, it was always a YES.

So, my pet peeve about YES takes me back to my hostel days. Those were the best days of my life. I found the soul sisters who helped me evolve and grow into a person I am now. It is those beautiful sine waves of best laughs and worst fights that strung us into a beautiful friendship where we as adults just let each one be, the way they are. That respect is not only hard earned but comes into the circle only when we all learned to fight our own battles without succumbing to the sympathy wave that would often accompany dark times. However, in the early days when we were young females transitioning through fairy tale friendships, infatuations and college romances that never left the college (some however did and culminated into blissful marriages), I had trouble saying NO when I wanted to say NO. For the unitiated, we were a group of 8 and were popularly known as the Octopus. And, we would have food together, no matter what! Well, the food was not always bearable but what made it bearable was the company we had of each other. I still remember the beautiful manner in which one of the group members would neatly stack the rotis to one side, place all the bowls having dal and the sabzis to another and position the rice in the centre. The food was never tasty but the manner in which she would arrange the food in her plate could invoke hunger even in a stomach that was full!

Well, the sight of this friend arranging the food neatly and eating them in small bites helped me savour the food in a different way. However, the timings couldn’t catch up with all the asthetics. The group would always be late for lunch and on most days, we would end up eating lunch and dinner a few minutes before the closing hours. I, for one needs the food hot. It took me a lot of contemplation and thought before I walked up to my friends and said, “I am going early for lunch and dinner.”

I think it offended the group that day and, they may have felt I couldn’t hold for a few more minutes. However, the truth stayed as truth. Hunger pangs bit me at 12pm and 7 Pm sharp. And, it made me miserable to eat the food cold that I could have had hot considering how unappetising the food usually was. That said, years later we still are a group of great friends who are the best shoulders to lean on. No questions asked and no judgements. Those kind of soul sisters are keepers for life.

Well that said, saying NO is not quite the cake walk I had imagined. Years later, I struggled with this syndrome wherever I went. It was never about what the world will say. It was the doubt that lingered behind, the doubt about whether saying NO was the right thing to do and, if it was, was it timed well?

Frankly, I have never been sure of the NOs I have mouthed. But, have I felt a relief after saying so? Definitely.

A NO to attending weddings that I was invited to, a NO to dinner parties that we were expected to be a part of, a NO to social obligations I never followed from my heart, a NO to people who bully, a NO to people who sweet talk you into saying a YES & a NO for a million reasons!

And yet again, I am reminded of a different timeline that saw me as a worker bee in the corporate. Those were the days when I loved to shop and loved to savour food at all fancy restaurants. However, there were those days too when I could be spotted cozying up at a C-Cday with a book and a hot chocolate or, a chocolate truffle. My roomates could never understand how I was able to visit cafes alone. Well, post marriage when I worked as a content writer at a firm, I would often stop to have breakfast at an Udupi outlet neat my office. It wasn’t quite abnormal for men to breakfast alone. However, for a lady to do the same, it seemed unusual to many eyes. This was about a decade back. I hope, the perception has changed. For many of my friends and acquaintance then, this was perceived as odd. However, I felt quite in my element in that alone time. It helped me figure my day out in my head. It also kind of explains why I felt motivated to write 3 to 4 articles a day on any topics osciallting between extremely mindboggling and absolutely boring. Well, one might wonder where the NO fit here. Well, it does. A NO to the patterns we have been conditioned to follow often opens up paths we never knew of.

Writing happened for me because I closed one door by choice only to open another with absolutely no expectations. While I closed the first door NOT because I hated where that door led me to, but because I couldn’t date myself while that door was open. And, losing connect with self is like a termite attack! It happens slowly and steadily and one wouldn’t know when and where the whole tree of life went!

NO is a powerful word. In fact, it is a one word powerful sentence too. It cannot be used frivolously. It cannot be flung on a whim. It cannot be thrown like a stone at the world just because the world continues to be depressing and regressive by design.

It has to be earned. Saying a NO has to be a right that you have rightfully earned only because you realized the YES MAN/WOMAN syndrome has a crippling effect on your persona and it is changing you into something that your conscience won’t embrace. And when that right is earned, NO becomes a powerful cannon that instills either fear or respect or both wherever it goes.

That said, even the most indulgent mind will always be left with the a tiny guilt – the guilt of saying NO.

For humans are innately designed to be social animals. Offending the tribe causes bad blood and pain. Animals on the other hand do not mind being ostracized. If the territory is lost, it is lost. There is no onslaught of depressing thoughts on how a battle that was lost could have been won. And it is here, the mind of a man differs from that of an animal.

Expectations must be met. Else, disappointments unload themselves into deep resentment and unfulfilled passions.

Some continue to slog knowing that expectations are seldom met.

Some continue to dwell in laziness and self apathy knowing that expectations are seldom met.

And, there is this thin line between expecations to meet and expecations to be understood. And, it is walking the tight rope as the guilt of saying no looms large over the walk. Will that guilt ever die completely?

That is the elusive answer that no mind shall ever disclose. Because, that answer is not meant to be known. It is meant to be accepted. Not by the world. But, by self. First.

To Forget and, to Forgive?

“To forget and to forgive” is divinity in disguise…

So preaches every saint to the sinner through many generations and bloodlines…

While ideals & ideologies are passed from one eon to another, in words and in ink…

None thought as much or spoke of the catch -“the context” – the elusive red herring!

Is it easy to forget and forgive, as what is taught in the holy books?

Or, is it difficult to combat mistrust, insecurities & betrayals that blatantly stain the gospel truth?

Optimism doesn’t spring from pinnacle of success…or from the Eden of good times…..

It births from the nadir of the unfathomable where the torch to light up the path must ignite from the incorrigible mind..

If only abilities of the explosive mind weren’t so complicated and undermined…

The world would be a different playing field for many individuals of the above kind…

And yet, the underrated struggle while the unscruplous yet priveleged ones soar high…

Not realizing, their destiny unfolding success could have been a result of someone’s bad time..

It is strange how a chain of events manifest a deluge of thoughts in the mind witnessing it’s own…….

…..Growth scarred with cuts and gashes that bleed red from wounds, known unknown….

If chances were fair and time was ripe, there is nothing a man would not dare to have…

However, taking that chance and, owning the time comes with its own map of booby traps!

The naive soul now asks – “could one give forgiveness and embrace forgetfulness?”

“One cannot have it altogether all the time”, sayeth the Universe with wisdom coated playfulness!

But, the Universe seals its lips as the eyes of the soul prod for more…

As powerful words cannot be spilled without letting the soul feel every moment intensely, from surface to core….

While the soul continues its quest for the answer with a new found verve to delve into unexplored faiths and untested beliefs!

The question remains a sore ‘work in progress’ – “To forget and to forgive?”

Instant gratification.


As many device addicts, I also succumbed to the eerily warm connect that messaging services as WhatsApp brought along many years ago (seems like many years now). Those blue ticks appearing at the other end truly made one feel heard. Sometimes, it gave a sense of gratification that the message got conveyed faster than a speed post or registered post. It was quite exhilarating to chat on this messenger service wherein you could choose how you wanted to speak, in how many words and, in the manner you felt. Emoticons! Cherry on the cake? I thought so.

Until the cherries turned sour and ruined the cake through and through when the gratification slowly morphed into obligations!

For instance, you wish people birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates. While it is on phone, you are one to one with the said person and you get time to communicate. However on messaging services as WhatsApp, you are one among many who are simultaneously connecting with the same person thereby making the connection more trivial. Also, tone of your words is hidden. An sly person may speak sweet words and, a genuine person may end up spilling angry words, blame the timing!

Besides, how would you know what the other person is feeling at that moment? Nothing compares to the voice being heard on phone. A hand written letter carries much more than alphabet in ink. A WhatsApp message pales in comparison when we talk about emotions that are blocked while we let the masks do the talking with emoticons.

The other issue with messaging services is the need for instant gratification. A message read must be instantly attended to. Replies are supposed to be instant. However, the need to reply instantly clouds judgement often. It is as though the obligation to reply overrules the need to think before replying. I have encountered umpteen instances in the past few years wherein a late reply was often perceived as rude/arrogant.

If one were to be “kind” by that standards, a virtual messaging service would be the virtual chawl where everyone must (un)necessarily know everything thereby leaving little space for sanity. I guess Noah knew precisely what He was doing!

I have had a tough time in the past, given my poor memory when it came to birthdays and anniversaries. WhatsApp kind of armtwists you into falling in that trap where you do end up wishing people not on your terms but on the terms set by the virtual realm. If peer pressure is real, then the virtual peer pressure is as much!

There was a time when I used to write letters to a school friend who had shifted from Bharuch to Bhopal. She was my best friend for 1st and 2nd grade. We wrote to each other for maybe 6 months until we got busy with our lives and found new friends and moved on. However, that feeling of having written letters and posted them stayed with me. The joy of writing a letter, carefully folding it inside an envelope, sealing it with gum and going to the local post office, weighing it on the machine and then gluing a stamp on it is something I have cherished in my treasure trove of memories from childhood. That wait for the reply to arrive was delicious as there were no mobiles then and there was no way of knowing if the other person had read it on the day the letter reached. That wait taught a lot about knowing what to treasure as wisdom without knowing at that tender age, that it was wisdom in disguise. That wait had a special connect that is missing in the current times. For, hand written letters are a product of great passion, warmth and well invested time that weave into the most organic form of camaraderie. Yes, time! That is what we all forget to add into our communication these days. Although I reconnected with her decades later through Orkut and Facebook, I still cherish the exchange of letters as 3rd graders. That was something quite magical for that age. I wish my son would take to writing letters to his grandparents. However, his penchant for writing is still dormant and my mother believes from her core that it will awaken at the right time and, patience is the key. Sigh! Patience is the most warped form of wisdom. It keeps you on tenterhooks all the time and it is right when you almost give up, the moment of truth arrives and changes you for better, completely. Just that the journey towards the better is meant to be through ‘worse’

Coming back to current times, professionally and personally, things have moved quite fast and man sees it as an achievement.

A question must have an instant answer.

A problem must have an instant solution.

An idea must have many instant choices.

One might think that life just got easier. Maybe.

However that has only trained us as ace shallow water swimmers who measure depth by the capacity of instant reach that has overrided the need to fathom depths of deep waters that we must learn to swim.

What instant messaging services took away from us with our consent (I repeat, with our consent) is the ability to wait with hope and faith and, the emotional balance that held a family together strong and unshakable, even in times of storm.

A wish not reciprocated on time can sow suspicion. An unreverted professional query may lead to unprofessional judgments. An acknowledgement that was bound to take time is now discarded as arrogance.

That is largely the case we all are a part of even as most of us continue to live in denial.

That said, I do not despise technology. For it is just a tool, a beautifully engineered tool at that. But, what I do despise is the manner in which we have ended up doing its bidding rather than using it to do ours. In short, we have all succumbed to the deliciously addictive instant gratification that is continually eroding the concept of look before you leap and is slowly and successfully replacing the same with leap and don’t look!

But then, the choice. That is one thing we still have. Right? Right.


There wasn’t much significance to the number 11 during my primary school, except that 11 table was the second easiest to remember, first being 10. And then Pascal’s triangle came along and the number 11 was much more than that, a maze of unexplored coding and Math.

And I started getting drawn to 11 around 3 years back when I chanced upon the concept of Sacred Geometry. Well, numbers are everything, I suppose. From the shape of a flower to the dimensions of a dragon fly’s wings to the flapping intensity of an albatross to the first pounce of a crouching tiger, everything revolves around numbers indeed. And yet, we are miles behind in knowing what the Universe spreads out for us in copiant platters of colours, mountains, rivers and everything distant from the life form of a human.

Blame it on our obsession with staying comfortable within the confines of our devices that we have so consciously sold selves to. Again, what we do with consciousness is quite staggering as compared to what we are capable of doing subconsciously. So here I am digressing by habit. We are all creatures of habit and it is easy to get lost when words flow out like angry rivers taking their right of freedom by force.

And again, there is no count on the countless thoughts that stem from rock bottom, the place that becomes a cross road for, either going up or digging further down.

Most of us look for ropes to latch on. Some continue to drown not ready to take the hard way out. A few build their own way out and, it is those few who know for a fact that attaining wisdom is a scarring experience. It tosses you in the fire, drowns you in angry splashing waters, tries to twist your every bone leaving you gasping for a second of respite. It tests your resilience and, continues to whack you at every given opportunity. It even leads the world to assume that you carry a penchant for being destiny’s least favourite child. And then one fine day, destiny relents and, gives that few the chance they fought for. The first drop of elixir?

Is that how Edmond Dantes felt?

Is that how Martin Luther King felt?

Is that how Maya Angelou felt?

Is that how Joan of Arc felt?

Noone would know now. But they ànd many of their kind were those few who were constantly belittled by destiny and yet, they rose above the world setting examples that would change the course of destinies in the future.

Life hasn’t been very kind in the past few months. I lost 2 close family members, one in Dec’20 and the other in Jan’21. Whatever triggered the deaths leaves just one message behind – we are the choices we make.

Yesterday, the husband and I entered the second decade of marital bliss. The number 11 struck a cord with me again. This time, for a divine reason that whatever we underwent in the past 2 months, from shock to grief to acceptance, we came out scarred but wiser and more resilient (as I would want to believe).

The husband and I celebrated the number 11 yesterday with a visit to the temple, seeking blessings for new hassle free beginnings and, to take away sufferings of the old and the young who are unable to defend and to guide each one into the right path.

May the Universe hear the pleas, may the Universe show the path, may the universe protect its children…..

Blessings for all, sufferings for none…..

So mote it be…..

There is time. Then, there is regret.

How often have you regretted in life?

Regretted of having taken decisions that led you nowhere?

Or, regretted of not having taken decisions that may have taken you somewhere?

Regretted of having attended to calls you never wanted to take?

Or, regretted of not having kept in touch while people were alive?

Regretted of having fought tooth and nail for a lost cause?

Or, regretted of not having calmed down to think clearly and discuss with rationale?

Regretted of having wasted time on crosses that weren’t yours to carry?

Or, regretted of not having tied loose ends as your own cross, now neglected became too heavy to carry?

Regretted of having said too much?

Or, regretted of having said too little?

Regretted of milestones that you aimed for but, couldn’t reach them as your destiny bounced you on a different learning curve?

Or, regretted of not having more than you have only because the misery around seems too supernatural to digest?

Regret is a demon.

The more it is fed, the more it hungers for!

The more it is attended to, the more it breeds!

The more it is invited, the more it destroys!

I wonder if things would have been different if words spoken at some instances were different? Words – the most powerful arrows to be let free from the bow called tongue, could create histories, change course of destinies and bring wars!

But words are underestimated. They are underrated. They are mere words.

And that is precisely the chink in man’s rationale. If words were mere words, there would never be a need for a doctor! For, it is only when he says – you will be fine, you truly believe you will be fine!

But then, words are mere words. Do they hurt? Are you meant to be hurt?

While I was advised time and again by my father about keeping the tongue sweet, I have always rebelled at the other lesson he constantly repeats – Do not get personal with people who hurt you.

I know he speaks with wisdom, sage wisdom. Well, he is 75 plus and a calm Buddha. And, I take things quite personally. I am incapable of forgiving people who have invaded my personal space and questioned my thoughts. I cannot stand people tearing down each other just out of spite. However, I have observed my father to be quite unaffected by the disruptive energies around. And, I wonder how he is able to glide past them.

With time, It has dawned on me that Age is not just a number like they say. It is a big fat journal of experiences of all kinds. It is a fate map that makes you traverse unexplored paths, course through rough patches with potholes and sometimes straight roads. And it is a stark reminder that every fate map even if designed on similar lines, is bound to be traversed through differently because of time and ofcourse, different genetic codes.

Time is not just a number either. It is that entity that brings out the best in those that were written off and, brings out fallacies in the most righteous ones we looked up to.

Age and time together become a great team when intent and habit run the less explored righteous path. In other circumstances, they become a team nevertheless only to bring down a life like a deck of cards.

There is so much pain I have observed this year in family, extended families, friends and in many others that I almost lost my verve to write or doodle. In moments of utter confusion, I couldn’t find my peace in two things I loved the most – writing and doodling. It felt strange for I could not bring myself to do what I would have been doing at any other time whenever I felt upset. And, there the truth was – Time. It wanted me to perhaps feel the angst, pain and confusion to understand its various forms of manifestations around us. I played along too. The one thing I have learned about any art in my experience is – Let it be. Do not force yourself on it. Do not possess it. It will come to you at the right time.

This is the same life lesson about people too. Apparently.

And today, I suddenly opened my blog and began writing. I lost my uncle on 7th Dec. He was my maternal aunt’s husband.

From the time I remember how the world looked like, I have spent almost a part of every year with him. What do I remember about him? Everything.

His teddy bear like face, his fine taste for brands in shoes (Hushpuppies), his clean and ironed clothes that were wrinkle free at any time of the day, his penchant for cooking good food and eating good food, his passion for driving, his love for children…….

And much more….

I could go on writing about this man but I want to stop. Because good memories hurt when the souls have departed. The voids remain voids. Nothing can fill those voids up.

World is cruel, I think. Good times always earn a lot of good will. Bad times tear down everything about a good person who ended up taking bad decisions.

Worse, Regret the demon only makes everything more unbearable. There are many instances of ‘only if’ that sprout now and one wishes – ‘what if…..’

Like my father often says – in hindsight, every man is wise.

Apparently, even the best of people lose themselves in a maze of bad time. I met my uncle last in January this year. And I am glad I saw him healthy and fine. And that is exactly how I want to remember him, smiling and ecstatic about whatever task lay ahead.

Dear chittapa, wherever you are…I hope you are in a good space. I hope you help your beloved by being her spirit guide. She needs that guidance more than ever. NOW.

Om shanti!

Time – the leveller


Time. Such a leveller.

You think you are safe from life troubles until you aren’t.

You thought you dodged a bullet until the bullet with your name hits you from no where.

You convince yourself – distance is your friend until it becomes your foe.

You assume optimism is a solution to problems until you learn that it is a return gift from a rough patch of time only after it has passed.

You think pain of others doesn’t affect you until you start losing appetite and sleep and their pain affects you too. You comprehend empathy.

You believe destiny to be cruel and heartless until you chance upon the now discarded sign boards from destiny which you assumed were scrap.

You demand healing to be fast but, that is the whole idea behind the process of healing – to be devastatingly slow and painful.

Time. It is such a leveller.

2020 has been Time’s retribution.

This year has been a deluge of punishments or maybe, harsh lessons on life. Most of us were made to swallow the bitterness and, learn to remember the taste. No one forgets turbulent times. They leave behind many scars, too many to forget!

And then follows healing.

Healing is a slow process. Painfully slow. It happens at a snail’s space, one day at a time. And, no two days are alike. Perhaps, one day brings you hope and the very next day shatters it. But healing is a series of sine curves. When you are on the crest, you assume you will be on trough until you miss it and, you jump on to another crest. And then 2 crests ahead, you wishfully relax and anticipate a crest and you land on the trough.

It is a learning curve that teaches you not to expect. And humans are designed to expect, by nature. The whole gambit of Universe rests on the premise of knowing when to take and when to give without succumbing to the need of expectations.

Every word we speak, Every move we make, Every step we decide to undertake is a part of a larger design and, we are at the end of the day- mere pawns that move on the board of Chess played by the Universe. But, by its own rules.

Every life that way is a chain of events. A series of many unhinged episodes of the butterfly effect. A banana peel if not thrown in the dustbin can be the axe that breaks someone’s back!

Hence, the onus of doing what one must and when one must lies with each one of us.

That is all to it.

The hourglass doesn’t stop. And hence, we must make the best of the time the hourglass spares us.

Fame versus oblivion.

There is something quite irresistible about being acknowledged, about being promoted, about being appreciated, about being known. I cannot describe that feeling yet. In simple terms of comparison, it gives you the same joy you feel on seeing a rainbow after a downpour or, a gush of water through the pipe after water shortage of 2 days or even, a sudden credit of money because some old RD matured and, you received it exactly when you were swimming in an ocean of expenses..

The need to be known/acknowledged is as primal as the need to eat, sleep and to be loved. It appears to be small. And, it grows bigger when it is ignored. It is that small snowball that transforms into an avalanche when NOT tended to – The need to be acknowledged, the need to be appreciated, the need to be accepted with quirks.

I have pondered over this need for quite some time and, the more I observe its inability to unhinge, the more I am bothered. Yes, the need to be known is a leech that won’t leave on its own.

However, I wouldn’t diss this need so soon. It is just that it has a propensity to overthrow logic and reasoning when the need to be acknowledged crosses the line and becomes ‘need to be famous’.

The transition phase is the biggest chink in a personality wherein one doesn’t feel the change of having stepped over until it hits back one day in the form of ‘exposed’.

Celebrities live in a perpetual turf of fear that way. As much as they want to hide from the public eye, their need to be on the front page emerges winner every single time. Good or bad publicity, things eventually work for them barring their resignation to the fact that noone will ever know their side of truth.

Well, that is the story of celebs whose life we assume is a wikipedia that can be moderated. But, that is NOT the case with us people who are in between following the regular lifestyle and living the absolutely warm and comforting life that we are conditioned to enjoy.

And it is here, the need to be known becomes a common desire along with the need for a common man. He wants the best for his family and life and getting noticed on a good note is an added bonus.

However, I have begun to look at this whole “need to be noticed/acknowledged/appreciated” in a different way. The need is genuine. However, its fulfilment comes at a price. When the accolades begin to pour in, the stakes are raised and, the greed to reach higher pedestals replaces the basic need to just let be. Then begins the unease of being in the spotlight. Suddenly, oblivion becomes the mountain top to scale. And, the maps leading to it now appear blurred.

You now see where I am headed to with this post. Fame versus oblivion.

It is only after being seen and being well acknowledged does the knowledge of fear arrive – the fear of having let the world know too much. For, at that time oblivion seems to be the better defense and utterly unavailable as it wasn’t chosen.

The self feels both fame and oblivion must be visited with a difference though – Fame achieved on a good note must arrive on its own and never hurried! and, oblivion must be a choice.

It may be a hypothetical scenario but, such is the power of manifesting what we want. If we want it, it will be given. However, some unforseen costs shall be incurred. 😉

There comes a time when we all desire for the need to be seen and, need it too. Yet, there is a difference. Not at all times, the desire may be reasonable in making the demands. The life turf is not just about learning to live along with survival but also knowing the difference between the desire to ‘be seen’ and, the need to be appreciated.

They both are different. As chalk and cheese.

That sais, what are your thoughts, people?

Voids in life turf.

So, we lost a beloved elderly this week. I wanted to write about this gentleman for many reasons as his life would make an inspiring read for many but, I choose not to for two reasons,

One, I haven’t earned my place to write. Even though I have always wanted to write about this inspiring soul that lived life king size and the beautiful ways in which his guidance healed and touched many lives, it is not my place. For, I missed knowing him before the last 12 years. And, I will have that regret of not having known him before the last 12 years. And yet, I feel blessed and lucky to have known him and his loving wife (who departed 2 years before) in the limited time span.

The second reason, it will be more appropriate for the husband to write about this wonderful man and his beloved wife, for this wonderful couple happened to my husband’s god parents who played parent figure to the husband in his most troubled times after my mother in law’s demise in ’96.

However, learnings must be shared and there are two crucial life lessons I learned from merely observing this gentleman and from the conversations I have had with him in the span of 12 odd years…

1. The ability to make and take bold life decisions to secure and protect one’s family maketh a man, a man of steel. (If I may add, a rare breed of royalty)

2. Be the root for your family tree. Be so strong that the tree stands hale, hearty and sturdy even aftet you are gone.

I am not going to repeat why voids left by departed souls never go away and how they quite incessantly remind us about the fragile twins of destiny – Life and Time that continue to keep the sixth sensed beings on a leash.

My woes are as much greater and as much lesser than woes of many and, this is definitely not about what I am feeling. That said, this post is more about offering perspectives. And, I choose voids today.

As a seventh grader, one of my uncles who happens to be a Reiki healer gave me a quartz crystal. He said, it is a blessed crystal and that I must keep it safe and must interact with it daily and, it will help me achieve my goals. However, he added that if I happen to lose it, I mustn’t fret because its life with me was limited and that, it chose to move on as it no longer would have served my purpose.

So, the crystal stayed with me for many years (I did not keep a count) until one day, I found that I had lost it. It left me quite inconspicuously. Rather it took me days to find out that I had lost it. I did not know when.

I am not going to lie. I felt bad. I brooded over it for a long time. I felt weak too. Maybe because a part of me believed in good luck charms. Needless to say, I was miserable. My parents seeing me distraught couldn’t understand how I fretted like a crazy bat over a crystal when I shed no tears for having lost a few pairs of gold earrings as a kid, as a teen and as an adult. I wouldn’t exactly term that moment as something filled with grief but I surely felt guilty of having taken the crystal for granted, or for that matter assumed that it will stay with me for life. Material attachments? Well, it was my mother who reminded me about what Uncle had mentioned towards the end, the lines that I had conveniently forgotten. “It’s purpose was over. What it came to do for you, it did. It was time to move on.”

I lost a diamond once and, I did not even realize so until many days later when the husband casually asked me why my ring looked weird. He first thought was that the diamond went black. Needless to say again, I felt miserable.

And, I brooded as usual. The point is I have lost gemstones when I was not looking. And, I would kick myself later – “How did I not notice?” They just disappeared without a goodbye.

However, the husband comforted me with the same words that my uncle and mum had, for the crystal. The diamond’s journey was limited and it moved on.

I never had a fascination for jewellery and since the two incidents, have considerably reduced my interactions with them.

So, coming back to the pivot of void, attachment causes pain. But, attachment also sustains empathy – the ingredient that soothes pain. Ever since I lost my first crystal, I knew that some voids are meant to come into life to tutor us on being rooted and, looking into oneself more. For, I really believed that the crystal did magic for me and its absence disillusioned me, rather made me doubt my abilities to succeed. It is strange how we perceive an entity in many different ways. My mum explained later – “See the crystal was magical for you, because you believed in it. Try the same magic with yourself. Believe in yourself first. Maybe, the crystal came into your life to teach you that.”

Somewhere along in our need to stay rooted, our beliefs often turns into an obsession and, we begin to fear outcomes that may not run in our favour. I have had umpteen paranoid moments and my father would always comfort me – “Whatever happens is God’s will. Even the ones we don’t wish for. So, leave it to the Universe. It will give us ropes if it gave us the problems.”

My parents never really endorsed idol worship though they do have a few photos in their Puja room (but no idols per se). As my mum often says – even our traditional golu is a 9 day event only for we must follow the rituals only if we choose to do it. Else, the 9 days are just the same regular 9 days. Eventually, it is the intent. Everything else is secondary.

Talking about voids, it is interesting how they emulate the gravitational force. No matter how hard one tries, the void always has the stronger hand to play and it kind of pulls us back to mother Earth with a thud. It is a reminder that the most important quality a human must cultivate is humility. There are simply NO two ways about it. We take people for granted. We take material attachments for granted. We take time for granted.

The voids grow bigger in proportion to the value we hold of what leaves us. Material things – a small void. Time – a big void. People – An unmeasurable void.

People. When people leave us, they take a part of us with them leaving behind a part of them with us. All those conversations that we could have had, the wisdom that could have been imparted and the guidance that would have eased the rumble strips are now locked away in a memory trove wherein their possibilities shall continue to play the grieving minds.

We often try to think the way a departed soul may have. It is not just a coping mechanism. It is the spirit’s wayof guiding from after life. Or so I believe.

Essentially, voids are meant to humble us all in more ways than one as they remind one of all primes and lows of life turf. A void is a chartered accountant who keeps the debit and credit balance of crests and troughs. It takes many lows of life to finally reach a crest and, takes just a blip, an inconspicuous predator of a bad time to push one on the trough. Sometimes, the moments spent in the troughs are so many that crests do not quite feel as home because the fear of coming back to trough looms large.

Life is fragile. Mind is fragile.

And yet, it could be a verve filled life with an industrious mind that grows roots made of steel and gumption. When a life is lived that way, the purpose is achieved. Even the Almighty gets to feel proud of his work at times. This elderly gentleman certainly gave the Almighty that moment!

Live life king size and, leave a legacy – strong and wise!

You will be missed, mr. Vijay Singh Rajput.