MY DAD TOLD ME A STORY

My dad 👤 had told me a wonderful story
when I was a little child 👼.
I took it just like another story back then
but it is only now that I understand the wisdom hidden in it 🤷.

Read on…

We are always surrounded by happiness 😁 and sorrow 😔
and these two always compete to take charge of us.
Happiness is deaf 🙉 and Sorrow is blind 😎

Thus when we are going through a difficult time
we must not crib about it.
Why, you may ask!
Let me tell you,
the more we crib and curse 💀🗣,
the more we make noise.
The more noise we make,
the easier it is for sorrow to find us.
Since Sorrow is blind,
he comes in the direction of noise from cribbing and crying.
More the noise we make, harder he holds on to us. 😣

Whereas Happiness is deaf.
He can come 👣 to you
only if he sees 👀 a vacant space in your heart and mind.
If you have already invited Sorrow by making a lot of noise,
Happiness will never see the empty space
and will never come 👣 to you.

BOTTOM LINE: Never complain about hard times. Each one of us goes through it. Be strong and put yourself to test. Complaining or cursing (self, others or destiny) is not going to end the tough times. In fact, it will worsen the situation by making you more negative. Instead, stay calm. Do what is necessary. The storm is sure to pass. The dust is sure to settle. And after that shall come Happiness. Be contented. If you stay unsatisfied, you will start making noise again, thus attracting sorrow in your direction.

So, are you going to make some space for happiness today?

MOON INSPIRED

Oh, dear moon,
send me a soothing hymn
for my melancholic tune.
Tell me how you manage to be so
tranquil while you brew
in the concoction of
serendipity and misfortunes,
tell me how you keep your glow, so soothing,
while you spin around a world so fictitious and phoney,
which finds satisfaction in destructions.

Oh, dear moon,
send me a hint of your flavour
so that I can bloom.
Alone you are yet sufficed with valour,
send me your courage,
send me your calm for I am filled to the brim
with malice and rage.

Oh, dear moon,
send me your aura, so pure
sans deceit,
lit the spark in me now
for I am dead on my feet.

Overview:
God’s creation is so beautiful and sometimes it teaches us invaluable lessons for life. And as I was pondering about a shining moon in a darkened night, I came up with these inspiring thoughts that soaked my heart and mind which I expressed through a poem.

Friends! Never stop getting inspired and motivated looking at God’s beautiful creation.

I’M MY OWN HERO

In the middle of a dandelion field there
stood a forlorn silhouette tall, fair and lean.
Delicate features with curly brown hair,
waving at me from a distance with a smile filled with despair.
I walked towards her with a heavy heart,
scared and anxious about what she would want.
Wiping the tiny pearls of woe running down from her big beautiful eyes,
she said her happiness is like the dandelion, scattered by the wind, leaving behind loneliness and despise.

“Why shed tears for the emotions you have no control on,
it was never to be owned so now let it go and move on.”

I put my hand out to reach for her’s, held her soft palm and braised it with love,
reassured her that I can love her like no other and in my arms, I held her with love.
To my surprise, she smiled and said she felt better,
I was awestruck and no words my heart could utter.
The mirror in front of me showed me that I’m my own hero, my guardian and my true inspiration;
that I should listen to myself, my inner voice and within my soul find my salvation.

(Note: God gives strength at the time of chaos. He is my inner voice and my ultimate salvation)

A CORNUCOPIA OF THOUGHTS

I Like it. I Love it. I Desire it. I Need it. I am Desperate for it. I Can’t have it. I am Depressed. This will Ruin me. Nothing I do Ends this. I Need to Let Go. It’s Hard. I am Practising it every day. I am Learning. I still Want it, but I am NOT Desperate. I have Moved on. I was Silly. I can do Better. Until……I Like it.

Human life is purposeless without passions and dreams and desires.

There are some things which you don’t need or want; you are desperate for them. At the same time, those things need not be relevant to you otherwise but that that particular moment in time.

On the one hand, a man in the cold winter night, out on the road can be desperate for a cup of steaming hot coffee while another can be desperate for the loving warmth of a loved one.

So many times, in my despair and my grief I had been desperate for something I could never have. I was desperate for my fathers loving embrace. I was desperate to hear him retake my name, to hear his voice boom in my house. I was aching to listen to the sound of his footfalls and the screeching halt of his car tyres. I was yearning for him to come and tell me all the unspoken things that I was feeling but was unable to say. That was more than six years ago, but even today there are days when I feel that I need him to come and tell me he is proud of me, that he is happy to see me evolving.

I was unwell a little while ago; those were the times of fear and gloom for me. I am somewhat of a hypochondriac, and that makes me needing someone to assure me again and again that everything will be alright. Those were the days I was yelling in my soul, screaming silently for my father. I was anguished for him, I needed him by my side, holding my hand and calming my fears.

Different people are desperate for different things at the different point of time. But none of us, trust me, none of us has been untouched by Desperation.

While a child is desperate for friends and company, a newly married couple feels the same for solitude. Where deaf crave to hear some noise, the normal want to shut their ears and block out all sound. While a tired man wants to sleep, a bored man is in need of work. I am in the city, and I am desperate for the simple village life, and my cousin in the village wants to switch places with me.

I am too small to explain such a huge phenomenon, but what I do know is that to be desperate is hard work. It is something you do 24/7 because you just can’t stop until you have acquired the object of your despondency. And if for one reason or another you are unable to have it, you can sink into deep depression and discomfort. It is a very consuming aspect as we can’t just shake it off.

Despairing for simple things like food, water, shelter and money can be met with sooner, but aspirations like love, happiness, contentment, possession, fame and success can lead us to live half a life that is full of nothing but long mourning of the unrealised desires of our proverbial heart. Everything good and positive in us is replaced by melancholy, pain, sorrow and unhappiness. It can make us lose our confidence and our empathy.

I would suggest you all be Desperate and to be desperate enough but to channel that energy into your goals and your purposes and your aims. There will be no use sitting in the confinement of your house and pacing your room while rubbing your knuckles. What will give you peace, reserve, harmony and stability is a greater understanding, knowledge with which we need to sort the things in our list of desires and rule out the entries that are unrealistic, unworkable and nonsensical.

Be Passionate. Be Driven. Not Desperate !

LET DESPERATION INSPIRE YOU, NOT RUIN YOU

Born and brought up in a lower middle class family, Sahil was always desperate to become a rich man. Though he never used unfair means in his life, he envied people travelling in luxurious cars and wearing plush brands. All he wanted was money, a lot of money. With his hard work and effort, he got a decent job in an MNC. His parents asked him to get married, but he refused, saying his earning was too less. His endeavour awarded him a job abroad. Scared of the outside world and their old age, his poor parents didn’t want him to leave. “Let me just earn good bucks, then I will take you to places in my Lamborghini”, he said. His innocent parents couldn’t even pronounce the word LAMBORGHINI properly, but gave their blessings for his new venture.

Years passed, the old eyes kept waiting for their son, but Sahil wanted to earn more. “Just 2 more years papa, and I will be able to buy that car”, Sahil said over one of the phone calls to his father. By the time he returned back to his home, his father had got a massive stroke and his body was paralysed. He got him treated in the one of the best hospitals, but the damage could not be reverted. “He wanted to dance at your wedding,” Sahil’s mom wailed.

With the latest I-phone in hand and suited in Armani, Sahil brought his parents back from the hospital in his Lamborghini. But, throughout the way, he kept on thinking about what his desperation had cost him.

A couple of days back, I read an amazing article on Sindhutai Sapkal, who’s India’s mother of orphans. Her ordeal started when she was just 10, forcefully married to a 20 year old man. She was thrown out of the house when she was 9 months pregnant, at 19, and delivered in a cow shed. Instead of sanitized medical scissors, she had to cut the umbilical cord with a rock lying there. Too weak and hungry, Sindhutai was desperately in search for food. She took shelter in a crematorium, and took the flour offered to the dead bodies, kneaded it and baked a chapatti over the fire of the burning dead body. She later found that she wasn’t alone on the streets. So, she started begging and procuring food for the orphans and became a mother for them. She has adopted more than 1200 orphans and has opened orphanage homes as well. Sindhutai could have ended up her life in desperation that day, but she got inspired to help others survive as well.

“Don’t allow your thoughts of frustration allow you to make decisions out of desperations.”- DeWayne Owens

LIVE – MEANING OF LIFE

Albert Camus

‘You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.’

Religious texts, prophets, saints and the newest fads in wholesome living all advocate you to find the meaning of life – find out your purpose and live the way you ‘ought’ to live life.

Quite frankly and I’ll be blunt about it, I don’t get it. I don’t understand why we are so preoccupied with the true meaning of life. What I don’t understand even more is what finding out the meaning of life has to do with religion, because life, in my opinion, came before we found religion. In fact, at the cost of being branded an atheist, I’ll admit here that I feel life is far bigger and more complex a concept than religion. It may be just a four letter word, but it encompasses within itself concepts that none of us mortals will be able to figure out within one single lifetime, and that religion is only a part of life itself. Even if someone served us the meaning of life on a platter, it will take a much more evolved human brain than ours to grasp its entire meaning. For who are we, but puny human beings, living on limited air and time?

To me, the exercise of devoting one’s entire life to finding the meaning of life is a life not lived because life has so much to offer than trying to figure out what it’s about. To me, the question is rather subjective. The meaning of life could mean different things to different people. If a saint comes and tells me that the meaning of life is blah, blah, blah, I won’t nod my head in mute acquiescence. I’ll say, ‘that’s your way of thinking, not mine’.

To give you an example, a few months back India was witness to two parents abandoning their toddler to the care of her aged grandparents, in order to become Jain monks. They relinquished the world and embraced monkhood. For those of us who do not know about this, please read about it here. I don’t know about you but when I read the news I felt that they had wronged their toddler daughter by relinquishing her to care of their parents. They relinquished their duty as parents, something that should have come over and above everything else to them. But that is not what they think. To them the true meaning of life lay in religious pursuit.

My reason for giving you this example was not to tell you my opinion of whether their action was wrong or right, it was to show you that there is a difference of opinion in what matters in life most. There is thus, inherently, a difference of opinion in the assumed answer to the question ‘what is the meaning of life’.

To a pauper, the true meaning of life may be to earn enough one day to leave the footpath for good. To a rich man, it may be finding a balance between his work and home life. The purpose of a mother may be to ensure the good upbringing of her child, but the purpose of a career woman would be to be the CEO of a good company. A priest may find peace in devotion to religion, while a scientist may find it in a new invention. Who do you think is right or wrong? None of them!

So when two people, their desires, the way they think, the way they attain their goals, their very raison d’etre are different, how can they concur on what is the meaning of life?

Life is so many things to so many people, it’s meanings cannot be ascribed to a few set ways in which a few of us perceive it. To me, life is about a careful balance of pleasure and duty, ambition and sacrifice. I believe there are a set of duties that all of us mortals were born to fulfil, and some pleasures that every one of us must be entitled to enjoy. If we have ambition then we must remember to let it not trample on the lives of others. That is a kind of sacrifice and a duty. And that is not the only sacrifice that a human being must make in his life. When a person achieves a near perfect balance in these two sets of extremes, is when I believe we have found meaning in life.

My point is, and you may not agree with it, but that’s your opinion, that figuring out the meaning of life is keeping you from fulfiling your very purpose of existing on this planet – living your life – which is why you have life running in your veins. All of us have a life because we were supposed to live it. We have different ways of living it and that is fine, because there cannot be a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way of living. We all live according to what our circumstances allow.

I believe that we have only one life to do and be all that we wish to do and be. I feel that if we do not forget to be ‘humane’ at all times and lead a life of peace and harmony, balancing our duties against our pleasures at all times, is when we will not need to search for the meaning of life.

HOW MOZART AND JAPANESE ROCK INSPIRE ME

One of my oldest memories is that of putting a giant set of headphones on, as a child, and listening to music. Being born into a musically inclined family meant that from the cradle up, we were exposed to music, and thankfully music from all genres. If my Father was fond of Ghazals and Indian Classical, my Mother was into Lata, Asha, Kishore, while members of my joint family exposed me to everything right from Western classical giants like Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven to more contemporary masters like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Carpenters and even Metallica. Growing up, I added my own variety to the kind of music I listened to, ranging from contemporary rock artists like Alterbridge and Britney Spears (yes, I’ve had bad taste in music too) to New Age Musicians like Yanni and Secret Garden. And even today, I can’t say if I have one single favorite band or song. I’ve hundreds of favorites, each apt for the right mood and the right time.

I’ve always maintained that there have been two things that have inspired me most in life – Books and Music. And both have worked in tandem to inspire me at different times in my life. So if the happy union at the end of Far From The Madding Crowd made such an impression on me, it’s because Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ was playing in the background; and if Sirius’ death in the Harry Potter series drove me into depression, it’s because the soundtrack to Requiem for a Dream was echoing in my earphones.

When I started writing on my blog, which isn’t very long ago, I found that if I played music from the same genre as the writing, it put me instantly in the right mood to write in the specific genre. For example, parts of Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for Man of Steel and Naoki Sato’s soundtrack ‘Hiten’ from the Live Action Movie Rurouni Kenshin, are my go to’s if I’m in the mood to write a scene depicting thrill, horror, a chase, a battle/war or a revelation, mostly in fantasy based writings. But If I want to write a romantic scene, I’ll hit ‘play’ on songs from the band Secret Garden, or my current favorite for this genre – Good Goodbye by One Ok Rock, a Japanese Rock Band that I’ve been addicted to for sometime now. Some songs have been the seed for an idea to base my writing on. Like this poem I’ve published on my blog – Give Up The Ghost, which was inspired by a song of the same name sung by Rosi Golan.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds inspiration in music. How many of you get inspired to be patriotic when you hear ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti’ or A.R. Rahman’s version of ‘Vande Mataram’? How many of you get pumped up at your gym sessions when you hear ‘Eye of the Tiger’ or ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by the Black Eyed Peas blaring through the speakers? And how many of you cozy up to your bae when you hear a song like ‘Hello’ by Lionel Richie? Is it just coincidence that THE ONE song we play at every Indian Baraat (wedding procession) is ‘Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai’? No, it’s not just because it’s become a part of Indian-barati-music-tradition, it’s because that song sets you in the mood to have fun!

Music evokes emotion, just like any other art form does. And I believe great music always inspires. There is a reason why Pandit Jasraj’s vocal prowess awes us, and why John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ has moved people to tears. It’s because great music is perfection. It is an outcome of precision, patience, pain and passion; a thing of beauty that appeals to our senses and evokes not just a sensory response, but an intellectual one too.

It’s no wonder that music is one of the oldest surviving art forms in human history. As long as there’s been man, there has been music. It may have started with something as primitive as stones being clinked together, but it has now evolved into a leviathan that has a variety of musical instruments and techniques and studies dedicated only to it. It may have come into existence to kill time or to tell stories of heroes, or for something as small as soothing a baby, but it’s amazing how it’s one of those art forms that has evolved in every culture in the world? Name one human emotion that does not have a befitting song. Name one human being who does not like music of some kind. Such is the power of music!

Pradita Kapahi