Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Choice and Destiny


I just had a very interesting conversation about choice vs destiny with my friend and her boyfriend. When my friend's boyfriend asked me my thoughts about choice and destiny, I told him that "Destiny is only one. But the means to get to that final destiny is our choice."  

Kind of makes sense, right? We are given multitude of choices to get to that final goal. And they could be good or bad choices. They could be right or wrong choices. But in the end, the result/destiny is only one. 

This concept will fit very well to any situation.

Take the bigger picture, Death. We are all born in this world and we are all going to die someday. When and how we die is destiny. What we do in between life and death is a choice given to us. One might choose to just not try and end up being unsuccessful or they might choose to do their best and become successful. It’s a choice. It’s up to each person to make a conscious choice to make a mark on this world or not.

Let’s take an example from everyday life. 

Every day I wake up, get myself and my toddler ready, drop her at school and I reach office. That seems to be a routine or could we call it an everyday destiny? Now, the choices that I make every day will affect or influence my destiny in different ways:

1.    If I choose to wake up early and leave early and reach on time, to me, that seems to be like a good choice that I made to reach my destiny. 
2.    If I choose to wake up late and leave late and reach late, well, that's because I just made a wrong choice to reach my destiny.
3.    If I choose to wake up early and leave on time and if I still get stuck in traffic and arrive late, I can't blame my choices because I did everything I could, so I blame it on God/bad luck/bad karma.
4.    If I choose to wake up late and leave late yet reach on time, Yay! That is because I am lucky, so I thank my lucky stars/God/good luck/good karma. 
No. 1 and No. 2 make logical sense. Because it has clear cause and effect. If I wake up late, logically it makes perfect sense to assume that I will be late (unless I choose to run or skip my breakfast, which is again a choice) and if I wake up early, logically it makes sense to assume that I will be early (unless I am a sucker who does things slowly intentionally. Lol. Again, that is a conscious choice that I make). So, when we make a choice and when we see a direct effect to the choice we made, it makes us feel empowered and makes us believe that we create our destiny and that we are in control of all the situations that are happening in our lives.

But most of the times, life is not that straight forward. Sometimes, or rather, most of the times, when we believe we made the right choice, things will not happen the way we want it to happen (Murphy's law). Some other times, we think Lady luck showered her love on us because though we thought that we made a bad choice, it just turned out to be an awesome decision. These are the times when we seek explanations because there is no logical reasoning or cause-effect to why things happened the way they did. And we ask the question, “Why me!”
·         For example, No.1 and No.2 could easily turn into No.3 and No.4 because of easy traffic or bad traffic. Is it because I made a wrong/right choice? What logical explanation is there to this? 
·         What logical explanation is there to the plane crash (German Wings 9525) where all the people inside the plane died? Was it a bad choice that the passengers made to fly on that particular plane on that particular day? 
·         What logical explanation is there to innocent people dying in the name of war? Was it a bad choice that they made to have been born in that place?

Yes, there is no logical explanation because sometimes our perspective to things is pretty skewed. It does not always exactly translate to a logical explanation from just one person's perspective. Sometimes, we are the victims of other people's choices which create a certain destiny, good or bad.

·         A direct translation of cause-effect to everyday life is, I might have taken the choice to do things right by waking up early and leaving on time but I might still get stuck in traffic because someone else chose to be distracted while driving and hit another car which caused a major traffic delay. It was not my choice. But it was someone else's choice that affected me. 
·         The pilot of German Wings 9525 who crashed the plane with all the passengers screaming inside did so knowing what he was doing. He made a conscious choice to crash the plane which caused the people inside the plane to die. One choice which created the destiny for others. There is direct cause-effect here from his perspective.
·         Similarly, the cause-effect could translate to the war scenario where the choice was not made by the innocent people but it was made by a group of people who thought war could be a solution.


But beyond all these, there are some things in life that do not have explanations. Not because of our own choices or not because of other people's choices but because of just some bizarre luck.

Like lottery? I just don't understand lottery, it is so bizarre. That's why I hate lottery. So many people buy lottery every day. What are the odds that all of them will win it? Almost none. So why did this Canadian couple win a million bucks not once but thrice???? And what about the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, that just disappeared with all its passengers and no one has any clue how something like that could happen? Some things in life are just so bizarre. That is when we call the no-logical-explanation situation as an act of God/luck/karma.

As a person who is interested in quantum physics, time travel, alternate reality [you get the drift], I tried to get answers by looking up about “butterfly effect”, a theory that has always fascinated me. It states that a butterfly flapping its wings could set a domino effect or a ripple effect, which might influence in causing or delaying a major change in the weather, like a tornado. Similarly, someone's actions in the past a thousand years ago could affect the way we are living now. Nothing is random in this world. It all started somewhere at some point in time which created a chain of reactions.

So what do we call destiny? Is it the act of our own choices? Or is it the act of other people's choices? Or is it an act of God/luck/karma? Or is it just nature? Or is it the act of our ancestors? How far back can we go and predict the future of this perceived randomness? Do we have control over any of this?

For now, given my limited human capabilities, I do not have control over the choices that were made by me or others in the past, nor do I have control over the choices that are being/will be made by others, nor do I have control over nature, nor do I have control over some bizarre act of God/luck/karma. But I do have control over a few things. I can foresee how my choices and my actions and my thoughts will affect my future or the people around me. I also have the choice to "react" to things that are not in my control. I could "react" by taking things positively even though it does not appear positive. That choice to see things positively or negatively, is mine. I could "react" by taking action to things I find negative. The choice to take actions impulsively or not, is mine.

In the end, Destiny could just be a collective set of choices that were made and those that are being made by ourselves and others, combined with an occasional bizarre intervention by God/Lady luck/our own karma. For every choice that is made, a certain destiny is created. 

Imagine, if one thought or one action or one choice by one person could create a chain of reactions not only for that person but for others too, what if every single person in this world woke up every day and made the choice to be happy and positive and do good and think good? How would that be? 

I think that would create such a beautiful destiny!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Winter Tree



She stands rooted in the haunting cold,
With an icy stare and fears untold.
She protects her frozen heart fiercely,
For its a heart that's been hurt once too many.

She once bloomed with daffodils and roses,
To the touch of love and to tenderness, her only weakness.
She was full of life, steady and strong,
Her heart and mind were open for all that came along.

She has far too many stitches now,
And she never lets her guard down.
She remains with a heart frozen and gated,
For soon leaves withered leaving her bare and naked.

She will bloom once again with daffodils and roses,
This time to the touch of her own passion, with no weakness.
She has a fiery soul and the flame is intense,
Her heart and mind will open for herself and for no one else.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Network Marketing




Multi-level marketing also called network marketing is a type of model where an individual joins a company paying the required enrollment fees and is expected to sell the company’s products and also to recruit more people as distributors. The distributor gets the company’s products at discounted prices and gets commission for products he sells and also for products sold by their recruits.

A close friend of mine just joined an MLM company and it got me thinking all over again about the business. I was introduced to the business model a long time back around 15 years ago when my mom joined one of the biggest long standing MLM companies and even though my mom is not doing that anymore, she was pretty successful when she started.  Over the past few years I have been asked and sometimes even close to being lured by people to join various MLM companies. I have always weighed the pros and cons and it’s not in me to start something that I know is not cut out for me, so I never got lured into the business. But having closely watched people who are into this, I do know some of its pros and cons. So, here goes my analysis about MLM businesses.

The most important things to consider before joining any kind of MLM company are:

1.    Knowledge about the company: Find out everything about the company. Get to know the business strategy and the structure. Make sure it is a legitimate MLM company and not just a pyramid scheme. Get to know the compensation you would be receiving. There are many business models that are incorporated by MLM companies, get to know which model is used. The more simpler and easier to understand, the more the company can be trusted.

2.    Knowledge about the products: When you sell something be sure to know every bit about the product. Many people who market products do not have sufficient knowledge about the products they sell. For that matter, they would not have even used it themselves. Are the products safe to use? Are they approved by any board of certification? People ask questions and they want to know everything. Be prepared and do your homework. It is also important to articulate about all this. The more passionate you are, the better you sell!

So, you are past the 1st 2 steps and you still think that it might be something you can take on? Look at the other aspects:

3.    Time: Usually these businesses target people who do not have full time jobs. But if you do work full time, bear in mind that you will need to allocate dedicated time for this. You can start slow and build on it. But you must be consistent.

4.    Networking: If you already have a good network of friends, that is an added advantage because you can start marketing to them. And the more enterprising and passionate they are, the more products are sold and more people join the business structure and as all the MLM businesses promise, commissions will just flow.

Okay you have everything laid out nicely, now think about these:


5.    Motivation/Passion: Most often than not, people join these businesses with great enthusiasm and the enthusiasm dwindles away after a while. You might lose interest and motivation. That is where a mentor is good to have. Someone who will guide you toward the right direction will be helpful. But you must also be self motivated and remain that way until you see results because results may not come fast and it may become frustrating.

6.    Management skills: You will need to follow up with people you recruit and motivate them to do more sales or guide them toward the right direction if they are not doing anything at all. So you will be required to show your management skills by talking to them, following up and motivating and mentoring them.

7.    Plateau: You can start marketing to your friends in the beginning. Some may join you and some may buy the products because they genuinely like the products. But it is a possibility that you might reach a plateau. And that is when it becomes challenging. You will need to create opportunities to meet new people to market the products. And it requires more persuasion than just talking and selling the product. People will ask “Why should I buy from you? What do you have to offer?” You will need to convince and persuade and not give up.

Last but not the least:

8.    Friends might avoid you: Yes, sorry. it is true. When you reach a plateau and when you throw parties to market your products than just to entertain them, people might start avoiding you. Some of them might start thinking that you are talking to them only because you want to market your product.

You still think there is something in it for you? Then, good luck!  Remember the key is to stay balanced and consistent. Start slow. And see where it takes you. Either ways you can enjoy the discounts on all products, that is, if you actually use them.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Madras and a quest


My dad was a banker and he used to work in different cities but he never moved his family from Madras because he wanted us to have the stability of being in the same place, without interrupting our schooling and everything else. And I think he made the right decision for us. When I was 8 years old, his longest stint was at Kodaikanal - a hill station and we used to visit our dad in Kodaikanal every summer. We used to love our vacations, escaping the heat and the chaos of Madras into a quieter, mist-filled Kodaikanal (at-least that was how it was back then). When our vacation ended, jitters about the unfinished summer home-work and the impending first day at school used to set in. Inspite of that, the moment my train reached Madras apart from the feeling of missing my dad, the next strongest feeling I used to have was to throw my arms in the air to hug Madras and shout, I am home! No matter the choas and the heat, Madras was still sweet home!



And everytime I came back from my vacation, I used to look forward to many things in Madras. Like meeting my neighbor girl whom I used to call akka. She was like an older sister to me and I used to learn a lot of stuff from her right from math to dressing up. I used to be excited to meet my grandparents and my neighborhood friends and tell them all about my vacation. I used to look forward to school - I went to one of the awesomest schools and I had some really cool classmates. My best friends lived just a block away and boy, did we have fun! In short, I had a great childhood. And then life took its course, everyone grew up.



I visited Madras just a month ago and before I went, I heard that a lot has changed in just a few years- new roads, new flyovers, new trains, new malls, new restaurants.. But I knew that these changes will not affect me greatly. Well, of course I am very happy to see Madras flourishing but the things that will have an impact on me are the things that changed even before I left Madras. For instance, Madras changing to Chennai - why would they do that? Don't you see it? I still love to call it Madras! I am able to relate to the eclectic city better that way! Okay, Tamil Nadu government - no offence! And then the neighbor akka moved to another city long time ago. My neighborhood friends became my facebook friends, once a big gang of classmates dwindled into a small whatsapp group and my best friends moved to different cities, my parents moved to another neighborhood and they got older and my grandparents got even older.




What really changed after I left ? Nothing really. So why does it seem to be affecting me now after all these years? When I thought deeper, I understood that my deepest, biggest fear before I visited Madras this time was that I did not know if I will feel at home. This was important to me because I have so many memories from my formative years associated with this city. I desperately wanted the place to give me something for me to feel at home.





And after I visited, I accepted the fact that things are not going to be the same. My parents are indeed growing older, the friends I once knew have indeed moved on and the home I grew up in, is indeed not there now. But I also accepted that there indeed are many other things that will not change. The Madras I visited still smells of jasmine flowers, freshly ground coffee and piping hot sambhar. Madras still has its beautiful people, lovely temples and colorful silk sarees. Madras still has its intellectualism and its great sense of humor. It still has the chaos with music blaring in the middle of the roads, children playing "street cricket", vehicles honking mad crazy and oh yeah, it still has its awesome food and beaches. And I tell you what? These reasons alone are enough for me to throw my arms in the air to hug Madras and shout, I am indeed home!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bhagesri - Spiritual Bliss


Recently I read the news that T.M.Krishna quit the December kutcheri season. I feel sorry for his fans like my mom, who wait to listen to his kutcheri in December. I have not had the opportunity to attend TMK's kutcheri yet and I regret not having done so. I listen to his songs streaming in YouTube and he stirs the deepest of the deepest feelings with his music. Only a few can sing in a soul stirring way and only a handful of the few can speak through their soulful singing and he is so blessed of the handful. I was listening to Saagara Shayana sung by TMK in Bhagesri raaga- what a beautiful rendition! He delivered emotions of yearning for spiritual love with a tinge of sweet sadness all in one song. 

Even though my mom is so good at music, I am not a Carnatic music buff or anything but I started following songs with its raaga in the recent past. Bhagesri raaga is known for its uniqueness. It has an influence of Hindustani music and it plays with your senses in ways I just can't explain. This is not a raaga you can enjoy on the go. One needs to be in the right place with a right frame of mind to listen to this. Try listening to it with eyes closed in a quiet room and get transported to another era, a spiritual era, maybe the era of Krishna. Imagine a life of peace, love, a lush and green Vrindavan, breathe the fresh air, hear the sounds of flute and birds and clinking anklets, taste the exotic fruits and honey and feel the soft touch of silk. And with all senses satisfied, just be, one within yourself, in spiritual bliss.

Friday, November 02, 2012

My romantic tryst with Sydney

Sydney... Where do I start? And how do I end? I am not sure. I am here in the plane, flying back to India after saying goodbye to Sydney. And all I know is, I have left a piece of my heart back in a place where I feel I still belong. I am sitting here reminiscing about things and people that changed my life in the last few months. It’s strange. I didn't know it’s possible for me to get this emotional. I should be happy because it was my decision to leave and I have so many things to look forward to, so many changes to look forward to. I am happy. Oh I am usually happy whatever happens. But still why do I feel so hollow? Kaash.. If things were a little different, I wouldn't have left Sydney.


I remember the day I landed in Sydney. I came out of the airport and I felt like I have come 
home. No one was there to receive me nor did I know anyone well enough to feel at home. But I knew that this place and I shared some strange connection, a spiritual and a soulful connection. I always trust my instincts. My instincts may not be always logical, but they are always right. My instincts and feelings were strong - Sydney felt like home from the very first beginning. I believe in destiny and my stay in Sydney was a perfect destiny’s play and everything happened like it was beautifully written by God’s own hands.
I grew up in a family that is predominantly male dominated. I have no sisters and all my cousins are mostly boys.  I am able to appreciate sports now because of them. But I have always wished that I had a sister to share and fight over girly things. I have girlfriends with whom I share gossips, fight over silly things, drool over some romantic movies. But there is nothing like living under the same roof and doing the same things. And I experienced all that in these last few months. I had the best room-mates and I had so many “girls just wanna have fun” moments. We cooked together, explored places together, got lost together, got mad at each other and still stuck together.  

Just like seasons change, so do people. I was in Sydney for winter and spring. And both the seasons were so different. As the seasons changed, I experienced the changes in the city, people and myself.
Winter in Sydney is not extremely cold, weather is milder compared to other places like Melbourne. Usually it isn’t easy for anyone who moves to a city for the first time and so I fell sick. Thankfully for me, I had wonderful colleagues and I also moved to Unit 3 what I called home till the end which made me settle down quite well. I met the best people, shared the best memories and I had the best time. I joined a badminton club where I played every weekend, shopped a lot, watched a movie every Saturday night with friends and we promptly watched the latest Bollywood movie releases too. My Hindi vocabulary interestingly got better and I learnt to cook different dishes and my life was filled with a fusion of multicultural diversities. Personally, winter in Sydney made me change. I started becoming more “me”, the city and the people helped me realize who I really am. I felt a soulful freedom and independence in the true sense. I explored Sydney with friends in ways best known to us and that’s when I fell in love with Darling Harbour.  I felt a strange connection with Darling Harbour the same way I felt when I landed in Sydney the first day. There is something about that place that made me feel so good every time I went there. The harbourside, the Saturday fireworks, the restaurants and bars, the people – Darling Harbour always got me heady. I love that place and I know that there is a magical connection that I share with Darling Harbour that I can’t explain. I did not travel beyond Sydney except for a short visit to Canberra & Snowy Mountains. I was curious to know Sydney better and experimenting with it was absolutely joyous.


Spring came by and things changed drastically. People moved out of my life. New flat-mates, new colleagues, new fun came in. But somewhere in the midst of all this, I decided that it’s time to leave. And Sydney rained. That was another thing I shared with Sydney. Whenever things were sweet, Sydney rained. And when my heart cried, Sydney cried too. I really didn't want to leave Sydney but I would like to think that I took the decision that was best for me. I wasn't sure if I would ever come back to Australia so I went to Melbourne to meet an old friend and made a trip to Goldcoast with friends. I made it a point to make the best use of whatever time was left.  I truly enjoyed the Australian wildlife; one can’t find such exotic species anywhere else in the world. I hugged a cute cute koala, fed kangaroos and colourful birds. My heart melted when a kangaroo held on to me like a baby as I fed it. I didn’t mind when one big green parrot took a particular liking to me, ate off the grains from my hand and unknowingly scratched me with its big claws. I walked in the Australian rain, went bush walking on the blue mountains, experienced the tree top adventures – loved the tarzan jump and sliding on the rope, went on all the deadly rides in Dreamworld theme park – the giant drop was the best adrenaline rush, gambled and won in the Crown Casino, partied hard, visited beaches and collected sea shells for my mom, Skywalked 260m above ground level and jumped on the glass ceiling and waved a big hello to people down below. And that was spring - fun with vengeance, lived life like there was no tomorrow and there was no stopping me.

There are so many more things that I wanted to do- eat mangoes in summer, go sky diving and scuba diving, visit Great Barrier Reef, go for an Opera show, get autograph from Master Chef people,  visit Taronga Zoo, meet Juan Mann for a free hug  and many more such things. But it all ended abruptly. My stay in Australia was cut out like a jigsaw puzzle. I don’t think it could have ended any other way because everything was cut out like it had to end this way.  But how can this jigsaw be complete with so many missing parts? Maybe.. Maybe I will visit Sydney again in the future someday to fill them all up. Until then, life will go on. 6 years ago, I wrote a blog post - Life goes on and ever since I wrote that post, life has moved on for me. Now, I know that there will be moments when things or names will remind me of Sydney and those precious moments will warm my heart and bring a tear to my eyes and a smile to my face. I know memories will remain. And I also know that no matter what, life will go on.
Now as my flight is descending, I am thinking that just as this journey has changed my clock to go backwards, I wish I could really turn back time to one windy evening in Sydney that I will never forget - when after a great day at work I went shopping, I stopped at one of the bars at Darling Harbour, listened to a live rock band and I felt the same strange unexplainable feeling that told me that this is not going to end. That evening, Sydney rained.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Unspoken

In the mad mad crowd,
In the cold evening suddenly,
When my knees become weak,
When my heart skips a beat,
When my cheeks become warm,
And when I forget to breathe,
When all I think of is you,
Darling, I don't have to search for you,
I know you are here coz what I feel is you!

Baby, won't you tell me?
Why do you do this to me?

I promise myself I won't look at you,
All promises crumble suddenly,
When you stand in front of me,
When you look with intense eyes,
When you give a gentle smile,
And when all I do is cry deep inside,
When you leave me with words denied,
Darling don't walk away, tell me how you feel,
Coz I know what we share is real!

Baby, won't you tell me?
Why do you do this to me?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Please drive responsibly!



On Mar 2, 2012 I met with a road accident. A day I would never forget. Well no one forgets accidents. Even if I would like to forget the day, I can't. Because I have a fractured clavicle that will remind me of the day for the rest of my life. It was a classic case of drunken driving. An undivided two way lane, a drunken guy from the opposite side drove his vehicle to the other side of the road, hit the guy in a scooter who was driving in front of me. The worst part was, I knew this was happening and I applied the brakes. But fate has its way. The drunken guy in his inebriated state hadn't had his share. He accelerated instead of applying brakes, hit my vehicle and took the vehicle behind me down as well. Three victims because of one guy's intoxication. I don't remember anything much after that. Except that, I really wished my husband hadn't had to travel again and that one sweet girl with a presence of mind helped me at the right time (we became friends later). I ended up with a clavicle bone fracture while the other two victims too got away with bruises and fractures.

But this post is not only about my accident. I just read a tweet by my friend. His friend passed away in a road accident. He died young. It pains me. It saddens me. It angers me. I wish people drive more responsibly. We are dealing with lives here. Do they understand the pain of loss of loved ones? I almost lost my dad in an accident. Do they know what kind of emotional and physical trauma the victim undergoes if they survive? Do they know what the family goes through? Do they know that its horrible to die young with all dreams crushed? Have they even thought about it? Did they think about it when they had that drink and chose to drive in that intoxicated state?

It's just not about irresponsible driving. People in India think its a joke to wear seat belts. Some I know laugh at the idea. They proclaim, "No one in India needs to wear seat belt". To them, the concept of wearing seat belt is "westernized" because only in western countries, people wear seat belts. Western countries have strict rules and you are penalized if you don't wear seat belts and that's why they wear seatbelts. That doesn't make the concept of wearing seatbelt "westernized". I know Indian government has brought law to wear seatbelt and helmet as compulsory . But oh with all the corruption, one can easily bribe the police and get away. But, what are you bribing? You are bribing someone's life or your own? I remember I had a chat with a lady in the gym in India. She said, "I don't want to wear a helmet. My hair gets sticky. the law for compulsory wearing of helmets should be only for men. Not for women". I tried to talk some sense to her and she never spoke to me after that. Not my problem. Some lawyers supported women like her and protested against the law and wanted women to be excluded from this rule. Women's rights, hate to say it, can be violated for all the wrong reasons. I don't understand why women should be excluded. Don't we have the right to live?

The problem is also because it's easy to get a driving licence. One can pay money to the right people (read wrong people), skip the tests and get a licence. They say that they are strict about issuing licences now. But then the shady business still survives. The moment I enter the RTO, I can see it stinking of corruption. The count of illegal licences increases and irresponsible drivers having no clue about road rules increase too. Not surprisingly, they would be the ones behind most accidents. Everywhere you go, you will see haphazard driving. Who really cares about rules? Who cares to indicate while switching lanes? Who cares to stop for signals? Honk. Honk and force the vehicle in front to move just an inch forward so that you can squeeze your way through and jump signals. Traffic everywhere? In a hurry? Get the vehicle on to the footpath. Who cares about pedestrians? Why care when everyone is just like you?
I wish I can shut my eyes and ears from all this and move on. But I can't! I have seen what this does to people I love. I have seen what this does to me. I have seen what this does to people I know! How can I be immune to this?

Please people, drive responsibly! You don't need rules to be responsible. You just need a heart!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another day in paradise


I was walking down the streets of Sydney to take a taxi when I saw an old lady walking slowly with couple of bags. She was finding it difficult to walk up, or so I thought. I wanted to help her. I wanted to do something for her. But I wasn't sure if she will be offended if I offered to help. I was looking at her while I was walking down and then it was too late to ask because before I could make up my mind, I walked past her.

And then my instincts took the better of me, I looked back. To my surprise, she had stopped and she was looking at me and was saying something to me. I ran up to her and before I could say anything, she said, "You are a very good girl. You are looking nice. You are good". I asked if I could help her carry her bags. She shook her head and all she said was "You don't have to. You are good" and she walked away. Silly me, I cried while I walked away and took my taxi.

Later when I thought about it, I really don't know why she said all that to me and I don't know why I cried. But there is one song that I was reminded of - Phil Collin's "Another day in paradise". And I promised myself that next time, wherever I am, I won't think twice to help anyone in need. I definitely don't want to miss another day in paradise.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Life and giant wheels

Life is a roller coaster ride eh? I say, Life is a giant wheel ride.
It takes hell a lot of time to climb up,  hoping and building the excitement.
Then it stops. It gives you time to digest the fact that you have reached the pinnacle.
And then whoosh, you come down in a jiffy.
But wait, the ride down is the most exciting part.
And you know you will be going up again anyway. :-D

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Free spirited in Madrid

I could write a lot about Spain. I could write about the best cities to visit and the rich culture. I could write about the beautiful Gothic and Arabic designed structures. I could write about various museums and salsa night clubs. I could write about the buffet restaurants and the tapas bars where one can get yummy food. And I could even write about how warm and friendly people are. Oh, I could write about a lot more things like Spanish Oranges?

I have spent some of the weekends all by myself, exploring places and meeting new people. But somehow to me, the most simplest of experiences have always made sweet memories.
Today, I decided to pamper myself by going shopping and eating good food and just enjoying Madrid. I have already visited most of the places. So I decided to not make any plans and to just take each minute as it comes and go where my heart feels like. This sure gave me a high, I was high on life. :-)

I love Madrid's metro lines 'Metro de Madrid' as it’s called. One can just hop in and out of stations and I can assure that each of the stations will have something to explore. My favourite lines are Line 1 and Line 5. I started my day with the usual breakfast - churros con chocolate (a doughnut dipped in chocolate) and also asked for my strong cafe con leche y azucar (coffee with milk and sugar). The best start one could have.
I headed to El Rastro, La Latina market- The Sunday market where one, if lucky, could get some special items for affordable prices. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lady selling framed pictures of Indian Gods and Agarbathis. And in another stall, a Spanish guy was selling 'Lord Krishna' related books and he was explaining about India to a group of interested tourists. I stopped by to listen to his version of India. Well, I felt so proud listening to a Spanish guy talk excitedly about my country until he suddenly spotted me in the crowd and exclaimed "I think she is from India!" When all eyes turned towards me and I heard murmurs of approval, not being used to such kind of attention, I gladly wanted to disappear. And I did. Later, I mostly window shopped and bought a few things I thought was worth it. I was famished by the time I finished checking out all the stalls. I stopped to have vegetarian paella and totally recharged, I was all set to go to Sol.

I took the metro back to Sol. It was about evening time. One can never feel lonely or depressed or sad in Europe. If for some reason you do feel sad, take a walk in Sol. How can anyone not be happy? I saw wonderful happy people everywhere. Every street had something to offer. A band was singing in one of the streets with a sweet kid happily dancing, a Portuguese band was playing music and many people were dancing, strangers smiled and many happily said Hola! I shopped at El Corte Inglés and I didn't want to miss the remaining fun. So I came back to watch how free spirited people are. I took a walk down to Plaza Mayor, oh I love the square, whenever I go there, I always feel like I am walking into one of the romantic stories I used to read when I was younger.

Before I realized, it was getting late but I didn't want to go back. I seated myself comfortably at Maoz vegetarian restaurante, my favourite salad bar. I chose the best ingredients and the best sauces with my all-time-favourite zumo de piña (pineapple juice). But that wasn't enough for me. I was happy and contented so the next best thing for me to do was to eat something sweet.

So then, I went crazy. I stopped at each of the pastry shops that my heart chose and whimsically bought whatever seemed pleasing to my eyes and packed it all up. To top it, I bought an ice-cream too. I took a walk down Sol again. I ate the ice-cream like I was a kid, excited and happy. I think the ice-cream dripped a bit through my fingers but I didn’t care nor do I remember seeing anyone giving that weird look.

My day was coming to an end. Though I did not want to leave the place, I did not leave with a heavy heart. Because the free spirited Madrid taught me to be myself, to be happy and contended with whoever I am. I felt warm and welcomed by the city and the people. And with that happy feeling, I came back home feeling high on life and cakes :-)

Saturday, August 07, 2010

You run, so I run

An experience at the local railway station, a moral story:

Luckily being the first in a long queue at the station, I buy a ticket. I have to take two stairways to reach the platform. I take the first step and I assume I hear the sound of the train. So I start running, taking two steps at a time. At the eleventh step, I realize that my assumption is wrong but then people behind me seeing me run have started running too. I think, so what let me run the next few steps as well. As I run, I hear more footsteps. So I run all the way to the train-less platform just for the heck of it. And there, a bunch of people have run with me too. And I turn back to see their faces. Expressions? Priceless.

Moral: Some would have followed me; some would have followed the ones in front of them. So my take on this would be to stop to think whom you are following or who you look up to be your leader. Most of all, stop to see "why" you are following. Who knows, he/she might be taking you for a ride.

Leadership eh? Quite! ;-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rhetorical wonders

Head in the clouds, feet on the ground,
I see some angels and I feel some squirms.
Clouded by doubts, I ask them all,
You tell me slow and steady really wins,
So say, is it really worth in the end,
With recognitions forgotten I have nothing to ask,
Pray, why are you overlooking precious things?
Oh now stop, have trust they all cry,
You will find solace in us if only you try.
Such soft touch, a motherly concern,
I wouldn’t forgive myself if I dissent.
Make mistakes, it's good, they say,
If only you learn from them the right way,
What is there is not seen, what is seen is not there,
Today it would seem like a lost way,
Wait till tomorrow, you shall find a new way,
It doesn’t take much to see the light,
It’s there already; you’ll just have to wait.
Thus saying, they slowly move away,
Wiggling, waggling, swaying, swinging,
They all then fade off as yet another dream.
With everything just right, misconception gone,
I am now where I belong, and I am free,
Coz I burnt it all and I will burn it all!
And it takes only one simple thing to understand,
Enlightened or blind? Time will tell.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shrouded in the backyard

I heard it. I have heard it before.
A cry, a wail and a shriek.
An incomprehensible sound it has always been.
It has never lasted for more than a minute.
It isn't from the road, it is from a nearby block.
I thought it was a cat. A woman she was.
I have never seen her but I doubt if I ever will.
Coz I know no lady who lives in the neighbouring backyard.
Was she in distress? Or was it a spell so evil?
I never get answers to these questions repeated.
I would have helped her if only it wasn't so dark.
Well, she always cries at 1:30AM sharp.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One wish

I wish… A small wish…
A small wish I yearn, a small journey.
Long drive to the greenwoods,
Reverberating music in the twilight,
Wide lanes, yellow autumn leaves,
Blue-blue sea, sound of the waves,
Snow-white full moon and its reflections,
Illuminated ship at a distance,
Cool breeze, palm trees fanning,
A good read -a story with a pun,
With hearts engraved on the sands,
A shoulder to lean on, a lovely cuddle,
Sigh and the world stops for me.
I wish… A small wish…