Where it starts

Farewell to anger — Palette Knife oil painting on canvas by Leonid Afremov

Anger is a constant and sometimes well-deserved companion in many of our lives, though it often serves as a double edged sword. Most often, we – the ones who unleashed said anger – end up being unhappy over that, which doesn’t help anyone.

While I have made many unsuccessful attempts to conquer this particular behavioral pattern, I’m now able to understand it better thanks to those failed undertakings.

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Beholding infinity

When I rediscovered my love for photography recently (on phone camera, please don’t judge) I found that just like before, I was fascinated by the silent demonstrations of life. The leaves of a plant with her proud face to the sky. The shadows falling on the wall as the sun set.

These quiet depictions of beauty, usually taken for granted, started to really grow on me. One of my favorite hobbies these days is to go out to my front yard and just stand there, my neck craned up, eyes taking in the beauty of the sky.

Cloudy days, sunsets, sunrises, even moon glow – how different were the personalities it exhibited.

Yesterday evening, I was sky watching as usual – the sky was an ocean of clouds. I could imagine why most religions in the world had a God who sat up in the clouds on his golden throne in paradise.

Every part of nature is magical and beautiful, but when we look up at the sky what exactly is it that we’re looking at – or more precisely – what are we seeking?

When we look up at the sky hoping for faith, for guidance, for light and rain, are we really looking up at a God-figure that we painted in our heads?

Or are we reaching out to the whole of life and humanity – who see the sky all the same – but in different forms in different parts of the world, quite similar to our spiritual quests. Seeing the same thing really, just in different ways.

Perhaps, somewhere deep within us is buried knowledge. Of remembrance and connection. That we are not one but all, and all in one.

In defence of the naughty children

That was a typical school day, and we were in the penultimate class hour.

There was no teacher to enforce discipline, so we first graders got to exercise our freedom of expression.

Simply put, a whole lot of noise.

I too was thoroughly enjoying said freedom of expression – given that I was insufferably talkative as a child and grabbed every opportunity to communicate – eventually leading my teachers to inform my parents in exasperation that even if they shifted me near to a quiet, composed child, I somehow transformed that child into a talkative one in no time.

And so it was that we were having the time of our lives when a teacher came along, and we all fell silent instantaneously. We braced ourselves for the rebukes that were sure to come.

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Memes abound regarding how 2020 should never have happened, of how nice it would be if we could just rewind back to earlier days – simpler days, many would say.

There was quite a lot of sad news doing the rounds in the media in the past few days, and I don’t even have to brief anyone about it. The last sad news I saw was from my own country – the suicide of a young, promising movie star.

I’m not sure if I’m feeling the saddening news hit me harder now that I’ve lesser (but not more important) things to be busy with. All the same, the feeling is authentic, and as far as I know, it’s collective.

Lawful isn’t always right. Order isn’t always ideal. And complacency over our security isn’t always going to give true meaning to our lives.

The fact that this year has shaken up things and opened our eyes to things that matter is proof that it’s a year that we need to learn from.

Implicit racism, the total disdain for mental health, poor spending on medical infrastructure and the resultant breakdown of many pre-conceived notions – how else would we have spoken of these things, given we were comfortably ensconced in our own little bubbles?

Thank you, 2020.

May all of us learn well the lesson that you taught us and be better for it.

Parvati and Kali – Two sides of the same goddess

Goddess Kali is the fearsome aspect of Goddess Parvati – the goddess of marriage and childbirth in the Hindu pantheon. Goddess Durga – the warrior goddess and a form of Parvati, is called upon to help the gods defeat demons. During the battle, she encounters Rakthabija, who had the ability to produce clones of himself from every drop of blood that was shed from him. The livid Durga summons Kali from her own self, and Kali slays all the demons with ease, consuming them whole. As she proceeds with her dance of destruction, the gods realize that she has to be stopped. However, no one could stop her with their powers, and so Lord Shiva, the consort of Parvati, lies down on the ground before Kali and when she stepped on his chest, she was shaken out of her destructive self and quickly resumed her previous form.

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No, it’s not a rant or glorification of the social media influencers, though they too, can certainly be one among the tribe of those I’m writing about today.

When I say influencer, I mean those people in our lives who make us believe in something, or instill in us a long lasting commitment or concern that helps us become better people.

Barring the obvious influencers like our parents, or siblings, there are also people in our lives who, with their smallest actions, are capable of catalyzing great change.

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Breathe, and let it take time

Whatever our goals maybe, we have a tendency to urge it to speed up. To get there no matter what, and as quickly as possible.

That feeling of exultation, that freedom, it’s just something we want to experience as soon as we can. But when I look back, I see that each step of the journey has been a learning experience.

Like the petals of a flower unfolding slowly, this journey had to be undertaken one step at a time. Any faster, would have been an insult to the process of growth.

Some days weren’t pretty, but the dark days teach the important lessons. Difficult, but important. And when you go through them, you’re able to one day look back and smile at what it taught you, and how it made you stronger.

In this journey of life, you might change your destination sometimes. It needs not always be because you lost hope – but sometimes because your heart wishes to steer elsewhere.

But know that no matter what you choose and where you go, as long as you have faith in you, you will bloom. It may not happen overnight, but you certainly will.

And when you do, it will all be worth it.

How far will you go?

This post is in response to the Daily Prompts – Day 24 (Elixir). Go here to participate. 

Moana is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s my therapy for when I feel the world is harsh. Just a few scenes from the movie, and I’m reminded of how good life is again.

While there are many reasons why this is so, there is one that stands out.

Moana does not earn the ocean’s love because she is the chieftain’s daughter. She’s not chosen to take up a dangerous but necessary task, because she has mysterious magical powers bestowed on her.

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Scent of Childhood

This is in response to the daily Discover Prompts. Go here to participate in today’s prompt – Scent.

There are many scents, flavors and sights that remind you of a certain time, place, person or thing and they just fill you with joy for the memory of that moment.

While I can point out a number of things that I hold close to my heart, that remind me of my relaxed, beautiful and secure childhood, I can certainly say the smell of books claims a very important place in that list.

Back then, we had no e-books, at least in my part of the world. The smell of books – whether it be the fresh scent of brand new pages or the comforting aroma of a book that has seen many heartened, emotional readers – is a distinct memory that I hold on to, many years later.

The current situation, while in no means pleasant, gave me the time to do the leisure reading I had wanted to do.

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Orchestrating Life

In response to Discover Prompts. Go here to participate in today’s prompt, which is ‘Orchestrate’. 

My Mother’s love for plants translates into a plant presence wherever she can manage to place them without interfering with the aesthetics of a clean room (which is essential for Father). I was in the kitchen today, and as my gaze fell on this trio, I felt an urge to photograph them.

It must be the fact that they are so close together – yet so different, each with their own unique identity yet co-existing and adding on to their collective beauty. Very much like how tunes which are different from each other, come together to form one soothing melody.

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