Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

In the Reflector

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” Michel de Montaigne

One of the benefits of having a little of self-time (with a couple of hours of commute transferred in), is one gets to “lose the cloak”. The cloak of conformity, that is. Not to get completely on the other side, we all need a little of those rules, standards or laws in our lives. A little of “that formalism” is needed. But once we cross-over the lines and things will get blurred, the way be lost in the course of time.

“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” Rita Mae Brown

Whether they be rules or not, being comfortable and right within our own skin is a must. For the heart that beats within, it is the balance of the soul and mind which gives the former, a rhythm to beat to. More irregularities in that beat will cause frequent falls. Yet, when the balance is struck right, the beats fall into place. For all this, to be true to own self is foremost along with being kind and be humane. Once when the inner conscience and self is clear, the rest will settle in. As the mirror on the wall always says, to stay happy, smile from with with a clear heart, mind and soul, always.

“We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and—in spite of True Romance magazines—we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.” Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

The Man In The Glass
Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections

Solace of the Rain

“ Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Vivian Greene

There’s something about rains that brings out the liveliness in each one of us. Whether from the smell of fresh earth, the sound of the raindrops hitting the windowpanes, the cool air around each of us, the warmth of the hot cup of Joe to the maddening rush at the market, the splash of the tyres against the puddles and so on; the rains brings out a number of emotions and memories in many of us. With the monsoons still going on strong, the rains bring back memories of childhood, of paper boats to bigger sailboats; games of stepping into the puddles and the walk back from school, getting drenched and later warmed with hot chocolate and biscuits.

“I love when rain falls like wet curtains, layer after layer of perfectly shaped individual drops. It’s so easy to think of rain as a collective unit, one consistent and omnipresent mass. It’s so easy to forget that each raindrop is falling alone to meet the earth for the first time. So too are we. Always falling alone, but part of something so much bigger, so much more beautiful than we could ever be alone.” Tyler Knott Gregson

As the childhood days get left behind; rain brings out a range of emotions in an adult with the hassles of downpour running foremost in the mind. Yet amidst the clamorous thoughts, these rains remind the adult mind of the earth being washed clean and given a new lease of fresh life.

Rains brings to focus of new beginnings, days of freshness, rivulets of eater forming their own stream, the coming together of the various animals under the shelter to keep dry and above all, fills up the streams for the joys of swimming. Rains, one of the elemental pillars of nature brings with the joys of the rainbow.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” Ashley Smith

Let’s live, love and wonder,
Let’s believe, remember and regret,
From happiness to cry, laugh heartily
Let’s live, so as not to grow old in our hearts

Let’s just admire the
Fields, the sky, the silver of the dew,
And if it is difficult, still do not give up –
Go ahead without lowering your head.

Let’s be sincere in communication,
Honest in words, deeds and deeds,
Let’s believe, holy, without doubts
To live in waking life, openly, not in dreams!

Let’s honestly admit
In your mistakes, envy and lies,
Let’s live, love and admire –
Spread your wings with your soul!
Rus Svyataya

Posted in Life, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Reflections

From Fettered, to being Free

Getting a few hours to self, becomes more of a luxury, especially in the past few weeks. Contemplating on the changes brought about in the past few months, makes one wonder even if a sufficient warning was give, would one have ever been prepared for the present scenario.

Schools closed. Offices shifted to “work from home” mode. Sales down. Projects cancelled. Unemployment. Marked pay-cuts. Expenditure going way up above the limit, even though they may be only for essentials. EMIs piling up. Caught in this quagmire, the feeling of being stifled runs high. The tune of the day changes to basic survival.

“It’s not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” Jon Krakauer

As time always proves, one never knows unless we walk in those same shoes. Though survival is what we need to do to overcome the entangled mess, doing it becomes a near impossibility. While there may be few or many to provide words of support and encouragement; unraveling the mess and getting down to basic logistics or “ways and means” is something that one has to do on their own.

Trapped.

Knowing what is important to self helps one to regain the mental and emotional self. To be free one, needs to remember sometimes the things that trap us are our own thoughts, doubts and insecurities. Being human, one tends to over-think, draw irrelevant and unnecessary conclusions, adding more fuel to the fire. Things mayn’t be as complicated, once we try to do something genuine about the situation. Realizing this and learning to overcome them, helps one to see the rays of light through the jumble of twines.

“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.” Mandy Hale

Whether one moves in tandem or no, the wheel of life and time goes on and on. With all their hidden or evident “trials and traps”, surviving them simply involves one to believe that they can. Forget the improbability of logistics or reality of possibilities; prioritize, decide, refuel, use own resources at hand and just go ahead. Somewhere along the way, the mental strength will come back and one learns to escape from the trap. As taught by life every now and then, value is best appreciated when one escapes from the snares.

Posted in Life, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Stories Around the World

The Silent Restraints

Free afternoons are a rarity, especially when taking into account the present scenario of being the single parent (for now), children at home and the occasional ping of the messenger, the latter doing it’s best to create a chaos of it’s own in the guise of “work from home”. Not to highlight further on the tales of the past few weeks (ten, to be precise), the yo-yo phase has been going on. Which is why, the “rare sane hours” resulted in the bringing up a whole mass of photos (desktop, scanned ones, forwarded, social media downloads) to be sorted.

.. And they sing roads and bridges,
Colors of the forest and wind of events,
Stars, birds, rivers and flowers:
“Treasure your happiness, cherish!”
Eduard Asadov

Going through them, did trigger plenty of memories and the first round resulted in few sorted. As the sorting opened even previous files, the sudden downpour of photos lead to the journey into yesteryear. Though the travel was present, the return to the present brought out the sharp contrast of then and now.

Fact is we all change, some of us in a significant manner opposite to the original, others a more refined way of “then” and the very few who may remain more or less the same. Despite all these highlights, the unvarnished reality is that situations change and so do each one of us. Be it for better or worse, one needs to live in the present, especially to feel life through time. Harboring memories is fine, but storing up all the “regretful ones” just turns the mood sour.

Carrying, sorting, reviewing or entertaining all these hurtful or even the too happy memories, may turn out to be an encumbrance for the present. While “those days” were important, in the sense of “now”, they don’t really matter. At times, memories may become a millstone around the neck. If so, then it’s time to let them go. Carrying all that baggage won’t help us get our flying feet off the ground. Delete them, file them away in a remote corner and let time take care of it. For now, just take a deep breathe, lift off and fly. The view from above is worth the try.

Once there was a free bird. She floated in the sky, catching midges for lunch, swam in the summer rain trickles, and was like many other birds. But she had a habit: every time some event occurred in her life, whether good or bad, the bird picked up a stone from the ground. Every day she sorted out her stones, laughed remembering joyful events, and cried remembering the sad ones.

The bird always took the stones with her, whether she was flying in the sky or walking on the earth, she never forgot about them. The years have passed, and free bird got a lot of stones, but she still kept on sorting them, remembering the past. It was becoming more and more difficult to fly, and one day a bird was unable to do this.
The bird that was free some time ago, could not walk on the earth, she was unable to make a move by her own. She could not catch midges anymore; only rare rain gave her the necessary moisture. But a bird bravely endured all the hardships, guarding her precious memories.
After some time a bird died of the starvation and thirst. And only a pitiful bunch of worthless stones reminded of her for a long time.

Posted in Family and Society, Life, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections

On the Search

Watching the raindrops hit against the window panes resulted in one of those work-from-home days being that one of deep introspection, beyond the daily routine of life. Reflecting on the happenings of the outside world, especially in the society around us; it feels like each of us is on a hunt for something.

Being human, we yearn for many things. From hoping to feel complete with a successful career, the “good life” as deemed by the society and the hope to be with those who make us smile. In the quest for all those and beyond, we forget a couple of things. Society is defined by us, who we accept as ours and those we choose to believe in. It is man, we humans, who make up society. So each of us have a place in it, for it is right so, when the true society is defined by all of us being a part of it. There will be many voices around us, but the choice is ours to make and listen to. The choosing and the listening depends on us; our inner beliefs and dreams.

Caught up in the fabric of the modern society, what one never must forget is to always be human, always be kind. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but something as small as lending an ear, or giving each one of those we love adequate space to not be crushed but near enough to catch when one accidentally trips. Letting the gleam of the silk fabric surround us, doesn’t give one any comfort for the cold rainy nights. Each of us need the other. And so does those around us, need us.

Resonating through each day gifted by time and life, is the feeling of being happy and content. To feel so, doesn’t equate to pure perfection or sunny days around the year. One learns to pick up the shattered pieces of the clay pot and make it into a mosaic for the flower garden. For that is life, to be content and happy lies in being comfortable in our own skin. In all the never ending search for the something better, we are bound to mess up. When the going gets a lot more tough, it is time to reach out for support and reach within to redefine ourselves. Each search needs to be defined to an end, to the real purpose. As far as quests go, being truly happy and content take the lead any time, any day.

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up.
Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world.
As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soulmate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”
― Marilyn Monroe

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts

DETOUR

While trying to get to work, in order to avoid the regular route in lieu of the heavy downpour wherein the roads were mostly water-logged; the plan was to stick to the by-lanes. Whether providence or thanks to an early start, the early morning hours saw less of muck and rush. Though the journey took at least a half-hour extra from the regular allotted drive time; the end result saw a lot less stress within.

“The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.” Sir James Jeans

Throughout the drive, the running thought was how bleak and unpredictable the morning plans can be. Life in a way, behaves more or less that. Each of us may encounter varied manner of hurdles or waterlogged roads. Some may offer a way out, others fore us to stop and ask for help; while there may be those routes wherein we turn back the way we came and go a different way thereon.

Facing all these blocks, one must never lose sight of three basic things. Among the many basic tenets, few stand out distinct. To always stay strong and aim to survive. To make the best out of any given situation or scenario. Smile, no matter how bad things may get to be, face the hurdle with a smile. For that simple smile within may give us the needed courage and strength to go on.

“Dead-end roads don’t mean you’ve come to your end, just means you need to take a different detour.” Anthony Liccione

Dead ends, detours, deflections or digressions, no matter how small or big they may be; they do crop up every now and then. Whether one likes them or not is irrelevant, for all these are a part and parcel of life. The trick is to never let them to us. Not just knowing that, but believing in it and acting on it; helps one to take the next step forward. All it takes is a keen pair of eyes and clear thoughts.

Ironically some of the detours that life takes us through help to redirect us back to the right track, or onto the true path which may be way off from what was perceived previously. It is only in hindsight, that these realizations may come to light. To experience this, requires one no to be completely bogged down, but to get up and run along with the flow. Eventually it will all workout. Till then the main purpose is to survive the fight, move on and get to the better days ahead.

“If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options.
You can climb it and cross to the other side.
You can go around it.
You can dig under it.
You can fly over it.
You can blow it up.
You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there.
You can turn around and go back the way you came.
Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Posted in Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections

Challenge of the Dare

Surprises are always a part of life; whether they be good or bad. While the former variety is well received and brings about beaming smiles on the faces of many; the latter surprise does have it’s own benefits, though they may be hidden. With the local henchman unable to make the usual rounds or repair work, the sudden spurts of gales saw the old chicken coop falling down as well as the barn floor being home to mini ponds. The problem is repairs aren’t the same when there are less number of people at hand to help.

Nevertheless with the hammer and saw, we had managed to make an odd fashioned set of repairs, not pretty but viable. Then came the good old cans of leftover but fresh paints. The final end-result was five vibrant homo-sapiens bearing the colours of the rainbow. While it would have been easy to treat this unfortunate incident as another hurdle; throwing aside such an attitude and embracing things as they came, made way for another set of beautiful moments to be captured.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela

One of the instinct traits of man, is to deal with the downside in an air of worry, wariness and despondency. While for some of us, most of the apprehension and fear is washed away slowly as we approach the task at hand; for some of us it colours the way we approach the task. The strength lies in not calculating all the downsides and upside alone, but to keep the practical eye and will at hand. True that one needs to have a fair share of caution and apprehension; to let them colour the day would mean another day not worth the memory.

“Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

The dare lies in keeping an open mind and approaching any given situation, blessed or an upheaval with the attitude to persist and prevail. For things do eventually work out, as long as we rise to the challenge and hope for a better try at every given attempt over time. Thus will then one appreciate the real treasures that life has in store for each one of us.

“When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.
When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.
Dare to be the best you can.
At all times, Dare to be!”
― Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)