The inevitable change

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It is after a good gap of few months; I have finally sat in my writing corner to just write. It is more like a blank canvas as of now and I will paint it with my thoughts as I go along…

I remember, when I was a child, my happiness was all about being lifted and twirled in the air by my father. Or the evening playtime with my grandparents. A couple of years later, happiness changed to playing tag with friends at school or going to the music class with my brother. A few years later, happiness to me meant being wrapped up in a blanket by my mother’s side as we watched TV and exchanged grapes. Or enjoying Sunday outings with family. I also remember the time when happiness came from doing all silly things with a friendly brother by my side.

As I grew older, happiness was accompanying my mother in the kitchen. I would sit with my notebook and write about any random topic that she gave. I wrote while she cooked! The rhythmic sound of her bangles as she rolled the yummiest ‘chapatis’ is still so fresh in my memory. Then came a phase when phone calls from friends meant happiness. Those long and ‘important’ conversations, that incessant laughter, the school recess time, bike ride to school – all brought so much joy! When I grew a little older, happiness meant helping mom in the kitchen, where I would tell her about my day at school and she would talk about her day at work. Playing the game of chess with my father and learning new moves meant happiness. Later, falling in love and feeling the butterflies in the tummy brought immense delight.

My thoughts today are about the fact that as we grow and tread the journey, the definition of happiness keeps changing. What we thought of happiness when we were younger is different to what happiness means to us now. Today, happiness to me is a cosy weekend at home with the family, a nice evening bath after a long day at work. Happiness is a phone catch up with my close friends and family. Happiness is those crisp cold walks through the woods with a scarf wrapped around my neck and my favourite podcast to give me company. Maybe, happiness now is not the carefree, childlike joy that we used to feel at the tiniest things when we were younger but the small joys instead. Those moments when we are ourselves!

When I think more about it, I realize that like everything else in this world, happiness also changes. It grows with us, evolves with us. And when there is nothing static in this cosmos, then how can love and feelings possibly stay the same? Love indeed changes over time. As we grow older, we experience more of the world and witness life in new ways, which mould the meaning of so many concepts for us. What ‘happiness’ means to us changes. What ‘growth’ means to us changes. What peace, kindness and friendship mean changes. We as a person change. Then how could love possibly be the same? And the connecting thread here is that when happiness and love are ever-changing, how can relationships always be the same? They also have their growth chart; they also develop with us. When we as a person change, our needs change. And when our needs from a relationship change, the relationship changes. Perhaps, this is the reason we find ourselves pondering over the changed and new relationships.

The truth of all truths is that nothing here is permanent. In a broader understanding, it’s a bubble that we live in. A perishable world where nothing lasts forever. The hardest part is accepting that people change and that changes everything. After all, the world is made up of different kinds of people… And it’s the actions through which people convey so much – some say more but mean less, some say less and mean nothing. Some say less and mean more while some neither say nor mean anything. Actions are powerful because they say a lot. And words mean nothing if they are not accompanied by supporting actions. Some people always have feelings to express while some suppress what they feel. Some find peace in talking while for some silence is the answer to everything. 

So, if we are growing into a strong-willed individual, if we have started affirming our worth and if we are changing in considerable ways – then let love change with us. Into something positive. Into something good. Let the meaning of happiness change every day. And like the ripple effect, everything around will change for good. In the end, it’s all about growing with the ones that are with us and learning from the ones who aren’t there. In the end, it’s all about embracing happiness and accepting what not is!

… And coming back to where I started, a cup of hot coffee with soulful music makes me happy. When my dear husband prepares the coffee, it makes me happier and our coffee moments together makes me the happiest. Like, right now. There is this amazing man next to me holding a couple of coffee mugs, asking me how long before I am done. And I say, ‘one last minute’. After all, these are the quiet, tranquil moments that are nothing but the instances of pure, grateful happiness. And before I contemplate further, I grab my hot coffee before it’s too cold to enjoy – cheers!

Reflection (Thursday, 31st Dec’20, 12:55 AM)

This is my last write up of 2020. A year that has made history. A year that many wished did not exist. A year that was ‘unacceptable’ in many ways. But a year that has taught me more than I could imagine.

This year has taught me that everything is temporary: Our jobs, our routines, relationships, exercise- everything! Everything that we are so used to taking for granted. What we think is there to last forever is nothing but a fleeting moment in the bigger picture.

This year has taught me how busy we get in our lives that we ignore all the things that matter the most. Like Love. Compassion. Humanity. Forgiveness. Standing for what is right. Being fair. Believing in change and being the change as long as it stimulates some growth.

This year has taught me that no man is an island and that we all need each other to celebrate joy. To share our lows. To fight our battles. To appreciate our colleagues. To value our friends. To believe in our families.

At the same time, this year has also taught me that three is not alone. Two, four, five, ten is not alone. That when celebrated with love, even a nuclear family of two, three, five can make a happy festival or occasion. Because one is alone, not any other number more than that. It is a blessing.
This year has taught me how important it is to slow down. To positively use the resources in hand to make the best out of the worst. To cherish a slow-paced weekend. To realize that there is nothing more comfortable than loungewear. And to understand that you can not be too busy to indulge in what you like doing the most.

It took the whole world ripping at the seams for us to- Pause. Breathe. Reflect. To accept that there’s so much wrong with the world and countless excuses that we make to not think about the wrongness. To push it to the side. But it took pausing, breathing and reflecting to understand what’s wrong. And now is the time to act and do what is right for us all!

This year has taught me so much but perhaps the biggest lesson I learned is that hope is what keeps mankind going and that humanity is what has and will save us all in the end. Be kind!

… I now pause my thoughts. And let my music take over.
Sweet dreams everyone!

Small pleasures, big deal

(Saturday, 19th Dec’20, 1:30 AM)

Reading a few pages of a book every day.

Looking outside the window, at the tall trees or the vastness above.’

The rhythmic pitter-patter of the rain.


Listening to my favourite music in the shower.

Conversations with him over a cup of coffee.

Cooking meals for the family.

… and much more!

I spend a lot of time at home, doing the usual stuff that I like to do… Sometimes, we all cuddle on the sofa or paint together. We have some hilarious pretend and play with our little big girl. At times, we laugh at each other. It’s a sight when we all dance like idiots. The highlight of my day is when my daughter calls me in the morning upon waking and we snuggle together and share our dreams from the last night. Throughout my time with him of more than 14 years, we’ve been on some great holidays. But my most precious memories of our time together are of our walks or sitting on the bench with a picnic. Or working together in the house. These are some of my small pleasures of life, which are a big deal for me. I never get bored, and I’ll trade those for nothing else in the world.

On the contrary, we’re surrounded by some powerful ideas about the sort of things that will make us happy. Like, owning something rare, exotic, or unfamiliar. Or, we get pleasure from economic endorsements. As in, Caviar continues to sound more stimulating than a chicken egg. Or, we are inclined towards the larger schemes that we think are naturally fitted to delight us more, like marriage, career, buying a house etc. I won’t say that these approaches are entirely wrong but when I think deeply, these somehow create a brutal and an unfair bias against the cheap, easily available, familiar and small-scale things… and the result: if someone says they’ve been on a trip to the Bahamas by private jet we automatically assume they had a better time than someone who went to the local park by bike. A fancy restaurant dinner sounds more impressive than a simple supper of ‘Daal Chaawal’ at home. It feels more normal that the highlight of a weekend should be an extraordinary indulgence, rather than a few minutes spent looking at the cloudy sky!

Pleasure is promiscuous. It may not necessarily accompany us on fancy holidays. Or it may not collect in an exotic bouquet. Isn’t pleasure vulnerable to a bad mood or emotional trouble? A disagreement turning into a fight ruins all the benefits of a luxury beach resort, while a cone of ice cream with friends at Marine Drive can make one’s day. A pleasure may look minor, but it can have moving and satisfying effects. It doesn’t matter what or how much the small pleasures have to offer us; it is a reflection of all the good things we all neglect unfairly.

As a human tendency, we keep striving: for better relationships, work and personal lives. And in this race, we mistakenly think that being restless is being successful. It’s funny, sometimes when we are asked about our day off, we talk about things that brought us peace and a smile to our heart. But in the end, we downplay our small pleasures by saying ‘nothing very exciting’. Because in a calculable measure we didn’t do anything ‘big’.As I grow, I cherish and value the smallest pleasures of life because the small stuff is indeed the most precious memories. Like, the childhood memories when everything was small: me, my resources and my exposure. And yet, life was at it’s best!

What are your small pleasures… something to think about?

The mad race!

Race For All Mankind | Vicki Hurley

(Sunday, 13th Sep’20, 23:12)

Our societies have advanced tendencies to label certain people ‘winners’ and others – ‘losers’. Aside from this mean categorisation, the underlying problem here is the suggestion that life might be a lone, singular race, at the end to which one could clearly rank all the competitors from highest to lowest. And this is where I get confused!

The complex truth is that life is made up of a number of races that unfold simultaneously over different paths and with different sorts of cups and medals in view. There are races for money, fame and prestige – and these attract many spectators. But there are also races that measure other kinds of prowess worth venerating. There is a race for who can remain calmest in the face of frustration. There is a race for who can be kindest to children. There is a race measuring how gifted someone is at friendship. There are races focused on how attentive someone is to the evening sky or how good they are at deriving pleasure from autumn fruits.

Despite our enthusiasm for ranking the competitors, a striking fact is that no one is ever able to end up a winner in every genre of competition. If you are extremely skilled to win one race, it does not automatically guarantee you a win in the other. For example, winning at being extremely successful in business might not go hand in hand with any real ability at the race to appreciate the sky or find pleasure in small things!

As it seems, we cannot be winners at everything. Those who appear to be carrying off all the prizes as superhuman of life might not really be triumphing in all the areas of life. They are bound to be making a deep mess of less prestigious races they are a part of; they’ll be falling over, tripping up and perhaps be complaining about the track conditions in some corner of the stadium!

I ponder further and understand that if one cannot be a winner at everything, one cannot be a loser at everything either. When we have failed in certain races of life, we still have ample opportunities to train and develop our strength to win in others. Then why do we stress at all? Unknowingly, we compete in the race for fame, honour or money, but it’s still entirely open to us to compete in the race for kindness, friendship and forgiveness. Why do we not consider enjoying one’s own company or sleeping very soundly for many hours in the sun as a race? Maybe it’s insignificant but worth running for!

In my eyes, there is no such thing as a winner or a loser. There is only a person who has won in some areas and messed up in others. When we mess up in worldly areas and feel dejected and isolated, we still hold a chance to become star athletes in other less well-known but hugely important races – races around keeping a sense of humour, showing gratitude, forgiving, appreciating, letting go – and making do. These are the noble tracks, tracks where those who have ‘failed’ can finally and properly learn to ‘win’.!!

Diary enrty_Sweden_19th Sep’19_11:17 PM_Thoughts again!

It is dark now… very dark! I sit here alone looking outside, trying to listen to the beautiful silence, which has so much to say! Autumn is settling in and very soon the trees will start to change their colors. I actually like these changes because they depict a moving life. They tell me that change is the only constant and that believing in the permanency of something is only foolishness. When nothing in this world in perpetual, not even love and life, then why do we conceive the idea of living so gravely? What are we so scared of? After all, this is just life, my life, your life!

A life that allows us to change our minds when we want to. To change our heart. It is no crime to want to wake up like a different person one morning and not want to do something we’ve been doing all our life. We’re allowed to choose who to love and who to move away from. We’re allowed to live without baggage and regret. Importantly, we’re allowed to make mistakes. To learn from them or to not learn from them. It is okay to see those mistakes as the experience of life. We are allowed to forget our past if we want to. Something we once were or something we once lived is not who we are today. It’s allowed to live a guilt-free life. At the same time, we’re also allowed to live in the bygone years but it will not help us to grow. We’re allowed to switch careers, to dress inversely, to chase our own dreams, to change locations, even if it makes us terrified to do so. We’re allowed to experiment and be adventurous. We’re allowed to breathe!

Pondering further, I come to realize that amidst all the changes there is still something static, something that is not influential. We can’t change the way we are. We question, we reason and we feel. We are on a continuous journey, where we meet people and gather experiences. We are learning every day. We should embrace the fact that sometimes our heart changes faster than our mind and our mind doesn’t always know what to do. It is okay with not knowing everything!

… And here comes my beloved, my friend, my soulmate – The moon! My abstract thoughts return from deep within. Yet again, I admire the Moon’s unparalleled beauty and wonder how something can look so surreally alluring. It smiles at me and asks for stories. Tales that are fresh. I beckon with a smile and blush. I fix my gaze on the grey above and share many new stories with the keeper of my secrets. As always, it listens and understands. Oh, dear Moon, why do I love you so much?

It’s only the silence of the night, the brightness of the Moon and my thoughts doing the talking now. I let them take over. I let them communicate. I let them listen. Oh Moon, don’t let the clouds envelop you, for this story is long. Please stay with me tonight before you disappear in the vastness!

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