DON’T STOP KNOCKING, THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED SOMEDAY

I reached the crossroads where I had to choose between living and dying. I chose to live.

Imagine the life of a woman who fell in love with a man and left her parents for him, at the rebellious age of 17. Her love story had a disastrous end when she left her abusive husband who was also a drunkard and a drug addict. With no finances, apart from her two children as assets,  she had arrived at the life’s crossroads. She chose to live and is now an independent flourished businesswoman.

She is Patricia Narayan,  director of Sandeepha Chain of restaurants in Chennai. Starting with a negligible income of 50 paise per day,  her earning has touched ₹2 lakh per day. She started with making and selling jams and pickles, and now owns a restaurant chain. It’s all because of her determination to live and succeed. She didn’t give up at any point and continued to struggle.

We often arrive at that point in life where we are clueless to go. The life comes to a standstill and we think that this is just the end. It’s easy to give up and wait for the right time. But, to keep working hard and not giving up is difficult.

Above-cited is just one example. There are so many people in real life whose hard work,  determination and the ‘never give up’ attitude has made rags to riches, misery to success stories.

Try finding out such heroes near you. Someone might be struggling at the workplace, someone might be having a terrible marriage or someone might even be working hard to earn a loaf of bread for the family. The point is they don’t stop doing their work but, keep on working harder and harder. They don’t blame the destiny for their ill-fate,  but try to make their own future by finding a way out.

So,  keep knocking that door. Who knows the door may be answered the next moment!

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‘WORDS’ THE BEAUTIFUL INKBLOTS

there is a lilt
in our words
when blue moons
meet dark skies
serenaded by silent
dreams ~

conjuring words
isn’t easy
cause feelings are
hard

the ones that float
in salt water
longing for the
softness of pink lips
in a warm night

oh! did I say hard
nope, feelings are honest
only if
we don’t have to talk
about them ~

perhaps
pain is a
cracked perception

but words find it
thrash it
enslave it

and poetry
seeps out of cracks
where we hide
in plain sight

pretending
no one can find us
scraping out
the pain

as we make
feeble attempts
to glue back
our torn skin
into beautiful words ~

perhaps
words were never
meant to be called
beautiful

and blindness
is not an option
when you crawl
through the
contoured verses ~

perhaps
our hearts hold
magic
but the fear of
logic
burns it

I think
‘never’ is kinder
than ‘perhaps’

but ‘perhaps’ has options
just like poetry

it cuts too deep
too easy

also pulls us out
let us empathize,
verb words
and changes us
into patterns
of free flows
straining out the pain ~

ultimately
all we are left with
is words

‘beautiful inkblots’
in a different
shade
of darkness ~

DOWN YET NOT OUT

Struck by the Storm and a log in my eye,

I am blinded and oblivious to the world around.

My eyes are shut closely with darkness surrounding by leaps and bounds.

I am confined to a corner petrified by fear,

I fear movement lest I would stumble down.

But the Storm did die leaving behind a dreadful silence.

Screaming at me a voice from within “Till how long?”,

“Till how long you will hide from life when you don’t know when the death would arrive?”

I was stubborn enough to not to answer,

But soon sun rays did knock my eyelids urging me to listen and care enough to answer and I had to.

I was struggling to open my eyes to let the light drive away the darkness of ignorance.

Log was gone but pain still reckoning, tears still rolling down leaving behind a burning trail.

But the struggle wasn’t futile for my eyes, they are seeking comfort in the light of enlightenment.

Storm did knock me down only to let the wind of new beginning blow.

Storm did break my branches only to let me sense the strength of my roots.

Storm did turn the dullness on with its grey hue only to let me understand the beauty of colours.

Storm did struck me down only to let me stand a new chance.

Storm

THE STORY BEHIND MY NAME

According to my parents and other family members, I was born on Sunday morning. In Hindu Mythology, Sunday is dedicated to Sun, whom we (Hindu) popularly call as ‘Aditya’. But I am a girl and, therefore; I could not be named as Aditya. I was named ‘Aditi’. For my father, this name has a great value and he only gave this name.

Years after when my parents took me for admission in school, Papa wrote ‘Parineeta’ as my name. The story behind ‘Parineeta’ is, I am a Virgo and according to the zodiac sign, my name should have started from letter P or T. And therefore, officially my name was Parineeta.

My friends used to call me ‘Pari’ and they would say you have such a unique name.

I was unaware of what my name means until one of my teachers asked me. That day, I went straight home, called my father and asked, “Papa what does my name means?” My father explained the meaning and then I knew ‘Parineeta’ means ‘a married woman’. Next day, I went proudly to her and said what my name meant. She says, “Dear, you must change your name because it is not nice according to your age.” Eventually, all my classmates came to know my name’s meaning and they started teasing me just because they heard my teacher laughing over my name.

At that time, I was in class 4 and so I didn’t understand these things doesn’t matter. As a result, I continuously asked my parents to change my name. Everyone at home tried their best to convince me for not changing my name but I had made my mind.

Finally, everyone acceded. It was decided when I will pass class 4, I’ll be renamed. Then went a series of discussion on what should be my name according to the zodiac sign. I chose ‘Prerna’ as my name out of all the proposed name. When my father was filling the name in the admission form of class 5th, he wrote ‘Prerna’. It was then I noticed, he was a bit sad as I was changing the name given by him. So, in the column of the last name, I asked him to write ‘Aditi’. He asked why and I said, “I will never lose ‘Aditi’ the way I lost ‘Parineeta’.”

Hence, I was named Prerna Aditi. Most of my friends call me with my last name ‘Aditi’. At home also, I am known as ‘Aditi’. In fact, at my workplace too, people call me Aditi more often. Now, I think I should have never paid heed to what others said about ‘Parineta’. Papa gave this name after he read the famous novel ‘Parineeta’ by ‘Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’. Years after, when I got the chance to read the book, I realized how beautiful the name was. That day, I regretted a lot. But it makes me happy when someone calls me by ‘Aditi’. It feels as if they are respecting my father.

I have seen so many people making fun of other’s name. But they never think of the emotion and love behind the name. Your name is your identity and if you want people to take your name with respect then you will have to ignore what people talk about your name. It is not about if someone’s name is old-fashioned or modern but it is about the love of our elders behind the name they had given and how we retain its meaning. 

Now, it is your duty to decide, which name you are going to choose, to address me… 😛

WHY WE BELIEVE IN THE UNBELIEVABLE?

I am born on the 13th and couple of years ago it happened to be on a Friday. One of my friend was teasing me on the week of my birthday saying coming Friday is the 13th and considered very unlucky. He said that the whole day, and finally was tired when I wasn’t really considering that bad luck. He was just making fun of me. But honestly there are people who consider 13th bad luck to a great deal. Some tall buildings don’t have 13th floor, some airlines don’t have 13th row, some corporates do not make any announcements on 13th, so on and so forth. I don’t consider myself bad luck or have a worse life. Sure, there are problems but who doesn’t have problems in their lives? Likewise, number 4 is considered bad in some Asian countries because the pronunciation is similar to word ‘death’. 

superstition1

It amazes me when I see people following certain superstitions. There are a plethora of superstitions. We would have seen many around us touching wood, or say ‘touch wood’ to prevent a confident statement from bringing bad luck. Is redirecting bad luck so easy !? Saying bless you when we sneeze is said because the assumption is that by sneezing we are expelling evil. Fingers crossed – this one is very popular. Starting from students to sports teams we see people standing fingers crossed while waiting for the result for good luck. Itching hand, twitchy eye are considered good luck as well.

 

Superstitions2

Seeing our face in a broken mirror, crossing a black cat, walking under the ladder, combing hair at night, cutting nails at night, sweeping the floor after sun sets, spilling pepper, singing while cooking might leave you single for life are all considered bad luck. If we bite our tongue then someone is thinking about us 🙂

These superstitions are our beliefs which have been around us for a long time. Most of the time we follow them without even thinking if that is going to help or not. Irrespective of what we do, what science says is if someone believes in a certain superstition, they feel better when they follow it. It might cloud their judgement to make some irrational decisions but still keeps them at peace. However, if they forget to follow, then it causes anxiety. They would be worried if anything bad might happen or link whatever bad happens to that particular superstition. 

Common superstitions are still alive today. We never know what can bring good luck to and why miss it? :p Do you refuse to walk under the ladder? Do you worry if a black cat crosses your way? Do you have any such superstitions and follow them? 

“What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears.” ― Alice Walker

I FEEL SORRY – IT’S A CALL

One of my favourite speakers Ravi Zacharias quoted someone –

The 21st century is the bloodiest century in human history. We have spilt more blood on the soil than the previous centuries put together”.

As I ponder on his statement, it is quite evident, there are more than 40 active conflicts around the world at the moment. Bangalore one of the smallest Tech cities in the world records 25 plus divorce cases filed every day, over one and half a million people are violently murdered each year throughout the world, 800,000 people commit suicide every year and 17% out of them are Indian residents. 2018 records 34,600 rape cases in India which are reported, there still lies thousands unreported. NCRB report says, 22,955 human traffic victims are found in 2016 alone.

I feel very sorry for such states of my country,

but is my being sympathetic enough to do!

Irrespective of our financial and social stature one common platform from where we deal our life is – “Problem and Struggle”. A pauper has problems and struggles to meet his daily needs, alongside an affluent has problems and struggles to maintain his flamboyant social stature, for the sake of which often each of them compromises with the ethics and morals which causes grievous inner wounds – some of them are visible and some of them go invisible in the bright spotlights and grandeur.

Some of the beautiful souls whom I met in Candles Online fraternity is Kalpana, Preeta, Payal, Vipra and of course Chiradeep. Each of them is from different background and struggles every now and then to meet their own life requirements but whenever I am down in emotion at least one of them will surely pop-up to enquire. A couple of weeks back, both Vipra and Payal were on chat and they emphatically asked me one question – How are you Bhaiya? Even after my reply, Payal counter questioned “Pakka (Are you sure?)” and that was something truly meaningful. Often it is hard enough to express the inner pain but being empathetic and aiding with little affection and care is enough for a blissful touch. About feeding the poor, aiding the physically wounded and supporting the financially downtrodden, they are somehow managed to push up from their sorrowful state but how about the one who goes through with inner struggles and is unable to express it to anyone!

I feel very sorry for that state of life of a person, I think I can take a step to be empathetic…

According to the Bible, the two greatest commandments for humans are –Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ And the second is, Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the other laws hang around these two commandments. Taking the second law, the intensity of the love towards our neighbour is the way we love and take care of ourselves. When I am in a problem, I always do my best to resolve it, and if I have to be empathetic for my neighbour who is going through the problem I will have to do the best to resolve his problem. It is my deepest love towards my neighbour or friend that compels me to go beyond than just feeling sorry and mind my own business.

The Bible says,

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.”

Feeling sorry is not just an emotion that sprouts in our hearts as we find someone in difficulty. Rather it is far greater than that, as a matter of fact, it is the call of God for us to empathize and go beyond our limitations to enquire and care for people.

Theodore Roosevelt rightly said,

“Nobody cares how much you know,

until they know how much you care.”

RESPECT HUNGER

This is one of my favourite dialogue from an old Telugu movie “I respect hunger very much“.  That was touching.  Just as sunlight shines upon everyone, water quenches the thirst of every soul, air is life to everyone, hunger knows no distinguish.  It is the same for rich, for the poor; for human beings and for animals.   And hunger is one of the driving force that could make people choose extremes. A highly qualified graduate takes up the job of an ordinary salesperson wandering from door to door in the scorching heat because he has mouths to feed at home and he simply can’t afford to let them go hungry.  A woman (not referring to the well-educated ones who want to lead a life of luxury) forays into flesh trade because hunger is hounding her and her kin.  A farmer commits suicide because he found death to be an easy way out than suffering from hunger.  Millions of infants dying across the globe every year because of hunger.  I can go on with such moving incidents and examples where hunger pushes them, corners them to the unimaginable.

Hunger moves me immensely.  I have witnessed my own father who died suffering from cancer so badly wanted to eat something as he was unable to gulp down anything from his throat.  That was sheer pain. I felt so sorry for him. In fact, everyone in the family – my brother, mother, uncle, aunt – refrained from talking or discussing food in front of him.  If cancer was an apparent reason that took him down his pain was aggravated by even more painful hunger.  We too experienced his pain.

That was a page from my life.  There are more intercepts in those pages that have not only made me respect hunger even more but hungry people makes me feel sorry for them.  I make it a point that whenever any poor – homeless-helpless seeks some help (using “begging” would be too degrading) I try to give something to eat in my capacity.  After all the money that we donate serves this purpose only, isn’t it?

Innumerable incidents, so much pain all around that I have seen and experienced makes me ponder over a few questions or rather issues:

  • How could fortunate ones waste food? Do they realise the magnitude of pain a hungry person undergoes?
  • Why do people intentionally want to remain hungry while chasing their “dream figure”.  More and more people from this generation are becoming anorexics? NOTE: Healthy eating and dieting have nothing to do with abstaining from food.
  • When would governments of agriculture prime countries have a better mechanism to store food grains for longer periods, in healthy conditions?  Just an example:  The paradox of millions going hungry in India while food goes to waste is receiving increasing amounts of attention as the FAO stresses that one-third of food produced globally for human consumption is wasted every year. (Source Google)
  • What can we actually do to help?

We have a saying in India (which is a global truth) – Roti, Kapda aur Makaan – which literally means Bread(food), cloth and shelter.  These are the basic requirements of any human being and food takes the prime spot. That is self-explanatory what it means to be hungry.  Talking about food, hunger and how sorry I feel about people going hungry every day I came across few interesting things t that good Samaritans are doing across the world: Langars (community kitchens)  in Gurudwaras (sacred place of worship for Sikh community) serve everyone without any bias of class, colour and creed. A hungry person is always welcomed there.  Food facility centres are being run who urge people to donate instead of throwing away the food so that that food can be used to pacify at least one hungry stomach.  Just like charitable hospitals, there are people who cook and serve at no to very low prices making food affordable for everyone.

Picture Credit – Google Inc.

Perfect and Inspiring example: “Narayanan Krishnan was a bright, young, award-winning chef with a five-star hotel group, short-listed for an elite job in Switzerland. But a quick family visit home before heading to Europe changed everything.

I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food,” Krishnan said. “It really hurt me so much. I was literally shocked for a second. After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime.”

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Picture Credit – Google Inc.

I can go on about this but I must respect your time as well just as I respect hunger 😊.  Remember this: always thank God as our hands reach our mouth for there are many whose tears are reaching their lips to satiate the fire burgling in their stomachs.