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, poetry, Random Thoughts

Contention

Each of us have one of those days wherein, the entire day starts off a sour note. The “what-ifs” and “if’s” plague us to the extent that one may have a couple of hours (or even days) of uncertainty, despair and anguish. While dwelling in it, things never make any sense at all. Later when the dust-storm settles down, things get a little clearer and the realization comes. The latter being that one has to either go with the flow, against or modify it to own heart’s content. The million dollar way out, is how to settle the storm within.

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

Looking back, the sudden bout of “going downhill within” quite often stem from our own insecurities. Of whether what we have done so far, was any worth or whether we would be able to follow and do a little of our dreams in the near future. The hard fact is that these feelings are bound to stay and surface every now and then. The trick lies in not letting those “feelings” get ahead of us.

“So how to temper down the storm ?”

The answer never comes easy. But it helps never to forget how far one has come. The roots that we have come from and how far we have made it. Though the journey may hold many more miles ahead, to savour the success of the past and the present, no matter how small they may be, are important. The chart of our dreams need to be looked into again, to find our present standing in the map. Then we fold it, take a deep breath and dig out the shreds of will, strength and courage from within. Finally with one foot ahead of the other, the attempt to is made to find a way ahead. Though the gait may be shuffling in manner, the point is to try and be who we want to be. Not a mold of another, but who we are at heart.

As the phrase goes, “Accept that some days you are the pigeon, some days you are the statue” but the fact remains that one still holds the belief within that they can try. All it lies is not in giving up, but holding onto the flame within. As one reaches to the safe side and traces out those “storm days”, few of which may be buried deep in the recesses of the mind; the sheer survival of those dark hours gives strength to face the trials over time.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.” Henry David Thoreau

Be Who You Must Be
Diarmuid Cronin

I don’t know where you are on your path
I have never stood in your shoes
I see not with your eyes.
I know not what your purpose is here
In this stage of your evolution
But I feel blessed to know you
As you are not in my life by chance
And you are my teacher
As I hope you learn from me
I pray I show reverence to you
I pray not to judge you
I wish to let you be
Who you are
Who you dream of being
I will just be beside you
And watch you grow
And the day will come for sure
When we will know why
Our paths crossed this way
And until then my friend
Be who you must be

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 Family and Society, Personal Musings, Photography Art, Random Thoughts

In Our Own Way

With the situation running along the same lines as in the previous months, all this sudden realization of the little things in life have given us plenty of food for thought. Slowly as the social strata get back into a semblance of an order, the reality is still unsettles remains strong. As each one of us embolden ourselves to face these small but significant challenges, we learn new things not just about others alone, but concerning ourselves as well. Of them, the most important thing, is to learn from the few experiences that life takes each one of us through.

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie

As one journeys through, we learn to understand the silence in a better manner as well as to read between the lines and a glimpse into the souls around us. The art to speak soft, approach slowly , spread the warmth around us as well as to share the pain in the eyes of those around us; once learnt from life, then become her priceless gift to us. To not just know the bitterness of loss, but also to experience the joy of gaining is how time teaches us the value of each hour that we breathe the air around us.

The inner circle that we choose to live in, is not measured by beauty, wealth, education or fame alone; but by kindness, sincerity and love. While one may falter every now and then in keeping the circle of our choice, over time being true to oneself becomes easier and as learnt and discovered is a wiser way and option to hold onto.

“Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” Helen Keller

In our own way, doing small and simple things helps one to being whole. As universal love has taught and showed us, being grandiose never bears more fruit than just being ourselves, simple, kind and of the intent to share the joy and love with the world around us. Being kind, is no less beautiful and is the crux to finding own happiness. For no matter what comes and goes, these are the things that one yearns for in life. To share the simple joys, being happy and at peace within; one doesn’t have to journey far but start from within. At the end, being true in our own ways is what matters the most, in life across the aeons of time.

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Photography Art, poetry, Random Thoughts

Peril of the Chase

An unexpected turn of events lead to an intense manhunt for the “hardware store”. Unfortunately the regular route was marred by pieces of fallen trees, repair barriers on the road as well as plenty of water logged areas, all courtesy of the rains due to the cyclonic effect. While driving around, we had reached back to the starting point not once, but twice. Whether the told directions were wrong or our Google guide was sifting us through the varied routs, all we knew was that we were in a big circle. Eventually we did find the shop, to get the distilled water for the invertor; but being caught in that loop was one of the nightmare we wished that wouldn’t repeat.

“The thing I’m most afraid of is me. Of not knowing what I’m going to do. Of not knowing what I’m doing right now.” Haruki Murakami

Ironically we do chase a lot of circles in life. Some of the chases may seem meaningful then, bu then lose their appeal as one gets closer. Other circles entice one, but one gets mired in their trap, sinking faster than quicksand. Some circles are those that lead us downhill with it’s subtle turns; driving ourselves to the breaking point. Whether the latter is the end-point or not; only circumstances, time and ourselves can tell. Yet the best circles are wherein we have a little of the best things of life, in doses such that we get to sweat it out as well as enjoy the feel of life. The catch is in what one defines as the “things to achieve in life”.

“Oh what we find, when we stop searching. Oh what we feel, when we stop forcing. Oh what we receive, when we stop fearing. Oh what we become, when we just love.” Creig Crippen

All of us have a chase to do or encounter. While some hunts are worth all the effort, other mayn’t be so. The trick is knowing when to stop, review and reconsider. Doing so will help to redirect oneself, especially when the path is way off the intended course or causes more grief and sorrows, that the flickers of happiness that we want at the least. As life always says that she isn’t made of glitter alone. The pretty things lie in her simplicity and her riches are aplenty for all.

As we cry and chase the baubles, one should make sure that if the price of it is worth the effort or not. For these meaningless novelties may fade away, losing their charm and luster; leaving behind a void made of nothing but emptiness. To be caught is such a bind, is devastating not just to the mind and heart, but also to the soul. On the other hand, when one stops by the road once in a while to just see, feel and observe, the joys of living as such are ascertained and experienced for sure. And the chase for the latter is what brings those special smile on the faces around us as well as in the soul. The question lies in what are we waiting for, and the answers lies with us alone.

Of The Boy and Butterfly

Behold, how eager this our little boy
Is for a butterfly, as if all joy,
All profits, honours, yea, and lasting pleasures,
Were wrapped up in her, or the richest treasures
Found in her would be bundled up together,
When all her all is lighter than a feather.

He halloos, runs, and cries out, ‘Here, boys, here!’
Nor doth he brambles or the nettles fear:
He stumbles at the molehills, up he gets,
And runs again, as one bereft of wits;
And all his labour and his large outcry
Is only for a silly butterfly.

Comparison

This little boy an emblem is of those
Whose hearts are wholly at the world’s dispose.
The butterfly doth represent to me
The world’s best things at best but fading be.
All are but painted nothings and false joys,
Like this poor butterfly to these our boys.

His running through nettles, thorns, and briers,
To gratify his boyish fond desires,
His tumbling over molehills to attain
His end, namely, his butterfly to gain,
Doth plainly show what hazards some men run
To get what will be lost as soon as won
.

-John Bunyan

Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, poetry, Random Thoughts

Nest of Own

Over the past two days, there have been sudden bouts of stillness in the house. With a few pairs of small feet running around in the house, such an event makes any parent or guardian, anticipating a surprise of any manner around the corner. Which is maybe why, after a couple of similar episodes, yours truly decided to tip toe and follow the trail. Catching up onto the excited whispering and quiet voices, these little eyes were found trained onto the far side of the barn. After a stern couple of “Shhh!!”, the secret was out. They have been watching a pair of spotted nutcrackers build their nest. As they were surprises and exclamations over this activity, the mind wandered over to their exuberant joy as seen through their eyes.

“Early summer days are a jubilee time for birds. In the fields, around the house, in the barn, in the woods, in the swamp – everywhere love and songs and nests and eggs.” E. B. White

Watching these simple activities reminds one of the safe havens and the joys that we find in our own homes. While the early years of our lives, saw us being sheltered and protected within the cocoons of our home, family or even neighbourhood; the years after a decade and beyond saw ourselves slowly exploring the outside world. Somewhere along the way, we all had left our own nests to make new ones. The initial days saw the streak of adventure and excitement come to the forefront, later on it was the survivalist instinct that helped us keeping on building our nest, finding our own niche in life. Along the way, when the going gets tough; we went back to our old nests to get back on track with our feet on ground. When the home of then wasn’t there now, memories of the best years of our lives is what got us through this all.

Each of us need our nests or homes to find our spaces, rejuvenate and regain our strength after a tough journey or even to celebrate from the successful venture. In finding our homes, each of us brace ourselves through the storms. For the lure of these safe havens, is what gets us through the perceived unfortunate events of the time.

Building our own homes doesn’t include the material comforts alone, but also to encompass the feeling of love and kindness within it. To experiences the feeling of home, is one of the greatest treasures that life offers man. In order to do so, one should brace ourselves and watch the world around us; move ahead and take time to breathe and enjoy the simple gifts that each day offers one.

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” John Burroughs

The Skylark
BY JOHN CLARE
The rolls and harrows lie at rest beside
The battered road; and spreading far and wide
Above the russet clods, the corn is seen
Sprouting its spiry points of tender green,
Where squats the hare, to terrors wide awake,
Like some brown clod the harrows failed to break.
Opening their golden caskets to the sun,
The buttercups make schoolboys eager run,
To see who shall be first to pluck the prize—
Up from their hurry, see, the skylark flies,
And o’er her half-formed nest, with happy wings
Winnows the air, till in the cloud she sings,
Then hangs a dust-spot in the sunny skies,
And drops, and drops, till in her nest she lies,
Which they unheeded passed—not dreaming then
That birds which flew so high would drop agen
To nests upon the ground, which anything
May come at to destroy. Had they the wing
Like such a bird, themselves would be too proud,
And build on nothing but a passing cloud!
As free from danger as the heavens are free
From pain and toil, there would they build and be,
And sail about the world to scenes unheard
Of and unseen—Oh, were they but a bird!
So think they, while they listen to its song,
And smile and fancy and so pass along;
While its low nest, moist with the dews of morn,
Lies safely, with the leveret, in the corn.
– John Clare