The Naked Tree

Are you happy right now?

Yes? Great! But it will pass.

No? Sad! But it will pass.

Good times are going to pass and bad times will take over, but the bad times are also going to pass only for good times to take over! Undebatable reality. Everyone knows it, but no one lives with it.

Miseries are a part of life as much as happiness is. They are going to come and go. But what matters is, how you face ’em, right?

Before anything further, I’d like you to read this poem.


THE NAKED TREE

“Goodbye” said the last leaf
Before falling to the ground and vanishing.                           
The tree all naked stood in disgust
Deprived of it’s power, it’s beauty.

Rejected by the man
And pride snatched away,
It stood alone dreadfully
“The cold musn’t come” it prays.

But what had to come, had come!
Gone was the spring and summer.
The season of winters was harsh,
Hugged it tight like a long lost lover.

Chilly winds and biting cold
Laughed at the tree in a teasing tone.
Timid at first but then determined
To not lose strength and stand tall.

No one did realize, but it knew itself
What true power it behold,
Neither it shattered nor it wobbled
It still stood naked, but strong.

It looked around, only to find
All its companions had gone
The chirping birds, the chittering squirrels
Hid themselves and left it forlorn.

Months passed by and it was finally here, yes!
The spring first came to greet the tree
To lay the blanket of warmth,
Pouring life and bloom and glee

The new leaves danced with joy
Kissing the cheerful pink flowers.
Beautiful as ever, the tree stood high
The sun smiled over it and waved it’s hi!

The birds sat over it and squirrels twirled around.
Man had once again come to its shelter.
But now it remembered, they are temporary buddies
It has to face alone again, another winter!


 

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You cannot stop the hard times to come. Nobody can. But you can definitely face them with strength.

It’s true that in bad times, even your true companions may leave by your side. It’s true that you might have to stand alone in the end. It’s true that you may be rejected once your beauty/power/money/fame is lost. It’s true that you may be forgotten once you are of no use to anybody. But it’s also true that you are strong, very strong, to face all of this and get back again feeling even stronger. Good times surely make you happy and satisfied but harsh times make you stronger and better.

So stand like a tree, in spring, in summer, in autumn, in winter. Firm. High. Stable. Can you or can you not?

My favorite benefit of Social Media

It’s interesting to see nowadays how social media has engulfed so much into our lives. Having both pros and cons, it still is one of the most widespread advances in technology. Not even two decades ago Gmail, Facebook, YouTube etc were launched into our lives connecting millions of users to millions others. Not much later, the smartphones made their way into the markets and became our dearest mates. And to this day, it has become one of our priorities to share our lives with the rest of the world be it on  Instagram, WhatsApp or Snapchat.

Well, what I was going to talk about today was, my favorite benefit of social media.

An year or so ago, I landed on the Instagram page of a college girl, Mehak Ghai (Instagram handle @mehakghaiii). She wasn’t a celebrity or something, but I was surprised to see over a 100k followers on her page. I stalked her page for over an hour that day to find beautiful pictures of her in stylish dresses and shoes alongside mentioning the brand that she was wearing. Until then, I did not know that Fashion Blogging was even a thing, let alone a profession! Yes, she was a fashion blogger and I found many like her in the following months. I followed her and witnessed her successful journey. She had people following her who totally adored her and even got to attend the London fashion week with a sponsored journey to London. She also got various chances to travel places both in India and overseas in return for an advertising on her page. Not only this, she also models for some fashion brands and there are many like her. Who wouldn’t want a life like that! And see, it all happened with the magical power of Instagram and other social media where she attracted attention of plenty of followers turned into fans.

And there are many like her.

I also landed on a page of a girl again, this time an artist (Instagram handle @whartever) and believe me, she is an incredible one. She makes cards, does wall painting, paints on shoes and sells them. Even being immensely talented, she had to to a regular job for a living after completing college. After a while, she started doing what she was passionate about via Instagram and reached various customers. Little did she know that gradually she would turn into a full time artist and would never have to do any other job. She is well appreciated and paid for her work and now does what she loves the most.

Not only them, I even found various food and travel bloggers. Of course, people have been blogging for years now, but with the introduction of social media and smartphones being handy, more people have been following their work. Other than that, I do not need to mention the amount of fame people have gathered through YouTube. Musicians, dancers, comedians, chefs, science enthusiasts and all sorts of entertainers do not need to look forward to a stable job if they are committed to follow their passion and gain success.

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I don’t know how it all started but it is really great to see that music, art, photography, dance, styling, writing, cooking etc have not just been limited to being hobbies but have turned to relevant professions for a good amount of people. Not everybody now sticks to the mainstream jobs, but can pursue their talents without worrying about getting a decent income, if they are really good at it.

The time has changed considerably. It has changed so much that the people now do not think twice before spending on travel, food or getting entertained. It has changed so much that you do not need to rub your heels or move miles away to a dream city to make your dreams come true. It just takes some good stuff to share with your fingertips, a little patience and the opportunities may come knocking at your door themselves.

Not everybody needs to be a doctor or an engineer or a teacher or a businessman. Not everyone has to keep their creativity limited to their friends or relatives or in locked closets. Not everyone has to limit their talent to just a hobby. The power of social media lets you come out in front of the world fearlessly. It lets you showcase whatever you have and then leave it up to the audience to decide. It makes the whole world your critic. And then one day, you never know when it goes on to be a complete hit and becomes your full time profession.

Could you have imagined such a thing years earlier? No. Definitely not! And that’s what I love about the social media.

People are less afraid now. They are more creative and less monotonous. Art (in any form) is much appreciated and encouraged more often.

Don’t you agree?

JUST FACES

Delhi metro, as we all know, has become a major part of the city. One can find the people of Delhi all over inside the metro bogeys or its crowded stations. Rajiv Chowk finds the most amount of people on a busy day, that is practically everyday, except a Sunday or any other holiday.

Today, I am on my way in the metro and not accompanied by anyone. I see plenty of faces around me. It isn’t the first time when I am travelling in it, rather my billionth travel. But today is the day when rather than plugging my earphones on, I try to focus on the faces I am surrounded by. I see some quiet people and I see some others who couldn’t stop talking and laughing. There are some of them studying and some listening to songs. A few are eating food and some are talking on the phone. Some are going to college, some office and some just to enjoy a day with their friends.

I realize, there are an uncountable number of people in this world. Even if I narrow down this world to just India, there are still uncountable number of people. If I still narrow it down to Delhi, nothing changes. And if I narrow it down to just this overcrowded metro I am travelling in, the number of people are still huge. That’s the amount of people we are co-existing with. And we still think that we are something different. We still are so overshadowed with our own built up egos. What we forget is that we are just a tiny dot on a number line that has infinite components on it.

Coming back to this metro, I see some people offering their seats to others. And then there are others who couldn’t even wait for the people to get down the metro just to grab a seat. While there are some who must be doing a 9 to 5 job and some pursuing their PhDs, some appear to be married too early and some even single at the age of 30. Of course there are a variety of people all around us, but if we closely observe, it is nothing but a pattern that repeats after every few people.

But, do I really care? To me, they are all just faces. Faces of normal, ordinary people irrespective of what their profession is or how much intellectual that person is or what mobile phone they are chatting on, they are ordinary.

I am sitting here wondering, if I were to ask each one their story, they all would be quite different and yet somewhat similar, if I connect the ends. Everyone is a protagonist of their own lives. Everyone has their own movie going on and each movie is full of drama, emotions and thrill. If you think that your life is very much different from others, then it really is not. We are existing here like thousands of others. Yes! we are just existing.

No matter how good you are, you will always find someone out there who is better than you. No matter how big you think your problems are, you will always find somebody out there who has bigger problems. No matter how beautiful you think you are, there will always be someone more beautiful than you.

The fact remains that one day, we are all going to vanish. We will vanish into nothingness. We would sure be remembered by some of our dear ones but then they will vanish too. And the whole existence of ours will not have any meaning. After all, it’s just a dot disappearing from an endless line. Does that make any difference?

But something is worth noticing here. If at all there is a next life (read only if YOU BELIEVE in it), then what goes with us is our deeds and our sacrifices. What goes with us would be the amount of love that we were able to give others. How many right decisions we were able to take selflessly. Yes, it’s true. I believe in it.

If I was to talk to anyone in this metro, I’d rather choose the one I see who is giving up his seat for someone more in need of it. Not just me, even you will too. Because at the end of the day, kindness lures us more than other things. It makes THAT person really SOMEONE, unlike others, who are just faces.

Our lives are not extraordinary until we make it. Otherwise, we are all JUST FACES.

How I started writing…

Hey folks! Let me tell you that I never believed I was creative or good at poetic and literary works. While I was in school, I was introvert and reserved as hell. I shied away from talking to many people or doing anything other than regular academic work. Little did I know that something was hidden inside me.

Back then, I never used to express my feelings. I failed how much ever I wanted or tried to do it. I never really knew that I could do that very well through my writing.

Through my graduation, things remained pretty much the same. By the end of final year, I used to put up little posts on Facebook about whatever I felt like.

Some one and a half years later (while I was pursuing my masters), something happened at home. My parents were upset with me. My inability to express frustrated me from inside. I wanted to explain them several things. I wanted to stand up for myself and tell them what I felt. But I couldn’t. I was so perturbed that I took a notebook and a pen and started writing. While addressing my parents, I wrote everything. I filled full four pages until completely satisfied and kept on their bed. I did not even want them around me while they read it.

So, I waited. A few minutes later, they just came in my room (my mother all teary-eyed) and hugged me. That took away so much burden from my heart.

But this wasn’t when I really put myself into writing stuff. It was winter’s time when the college was off for several days and I was at home. I just felt like doing something. I felt I was deprived of any talent.

“I mean really, what’s so special have I ever done?” I contemplated.

So, I thought why not write a poem. The first topic that struck me was the one that anyone could relate to. It was “Mother“. The best thing about this topic is that you don’t have to think so much. The ideas come out on their own. You just have to know how to portray them in a beautiful way. I started penning down whatever came up in my mind. I played with words and rhymes. I wanted to write a great poem but felt like I sucked at it so left midway. One of my friends pushed  me to complete the poem. I resisted and said that I couldn’t.

“OK let me read whatever you have written. Good or bad.”he said.

“Fine.” I said.

But I did not want him to just read anything. I wanted him to read a lovely poem written by me. So, I worked further on it and when I was satisfied, I messaged him. He loved it and praised me as much as he could. I gained confidence and posted it on Facebook where I got several other compliments. A few days later I tried my hand on another idea and wrote “My constant“. Again, I got lovely comments. One of my friends even told me that she loved my writing. She had been saying that since I wrote my first few posts. She even said I should write a novel.

Writing a novel seemed like a really big dream so I thought why not start with blogging and share my ideas to a greater extent and with a more intellectual audience. And that’s how I signed up on WordPress and have been writing since.

Are we better than animals?

My mother keeps a bowl of milk everyday for street dogs passing by. A few days ago, I witnessed something that left me pondering.

It was evening when the dog came by. He stood there outside the gate, wagging his tail and looked at my mother in anticipation. She went inside, poured the milk and some bread pieces in the bowl and kept it outside. The dog started drinking it whilst putting his tongue in the bowl and taking in little ounces of it.

Meanwhile, another dog came by. He didn’t come forward and rather stood there. He seemed really hungry but waited there from a distance with his tongue stuck out. About 10-15 minutes passed by while the first one was still trying to get his bowl empty. The other one stood there all this while. Finally when the first one was finished, he came forward.

I stood there and looked at them the whole time. Initially, I thought that they would fight over the bowl of milk but it took me by surprise. It felt strange. The dogs who are not taught any etiquette or discipline, tend to naturally know what most humans don’t.

I was inclined to relate it to the opportunist world (mostly dominated by humans) that it has become. Lets say those dogs were humans, this whole thing was some real life scenario and that bowl of milk was some desirable thing that they’d want.

What do you expect?

Wouldn’t the other one try to take that bowl of milk away from the first one. And the two of them would have ended up in quite a hassle.

There are youngsters fighting over petty little things, over some guy or girl. Or just trying to look the best, to be the richest and be on top of all. And then there are adults being entangled in family issues. They are disputing over property or money or, you know, there are many things. The desires have no end.

And sometimes its just about fulfilling self desires. We humans are driven to try grabbing the first opportunity coming to us or may be even snatching other ones’, many a times ignoring the right thing to do. Mostly, we are selfishly trapped in our greed and desires. Not just you, or me, actually all of us, in one way or the other!

We can’t be that dog who waits for the other one to let him have the whole bowl of milk. May be he will get another one after him. Even if he doesn’t, then he might look some place else. May be he’ll get something to eat better than that or may be not. But he is OK with it. We, on the other hand, aren’t!

So, are humans better than animals? I ponder.

Being An Introvert

First of all, readers, let me tell you that this post is not something inspirational or entertaining or allegorical. It’s just something relatable. If you are an introvert kind of person, you could relate, you could know that you aren’t alone to feel the way you do.

There are various kinds of people in this world. One, who speak a lot, and they like it that way. The others who say a lot but they don’t quite like the way they are. Also, there are people who can’t speak that much but they want to. And then there are those people who don’t speak that much, but they kinda like it.

What category do you belong to is up to you. Do you say much? Or you can’t express yourself completely? Can you openly ask questions. Or you just can’t put your opinions straight?

Seems like, the word ‘speak’ that I have used above is a bit inappropriate. Yeah, it’s not just limited to speaking. It’s more. It’s about expressing and asking questions and all that stuff too.

So, are you an introvert? Yes? Most of us are. I am an introvert person. I know how that feels. We do have emotions, but those are hard to express. We do have opinions, but those are hard to share. And yes, we do have questions that are hard to ask.

Not many people around us can decipher our thoughts. It takes time to let someone in. Our heads are like an array of mystery rooms. One doesn’t know what’s inside until he tries really hard to get in and solve it himself. We introverts are never going to tell what is inside, on our own. It makes us feel exposed. Something we detest.

I have felt that each day, everyday, since I was a child. Sometimes, I feel frustrated, for not being able to talk it out, for just keeping it inside me. I have been misunderstood a million times.

It so happens with me many a times that my mind is full of a thousand thoughts. Things, that I am dying to tell someone. But when there is really someone to listen, the words just can’t come out. They couldn’t escape my pursed lips. Funny!

It’s hard to understand why is that so. Is it because I am too afraid? Afraid of being embarrassed by my thoughts? Is it due to the lack of self-confidence? Or is it just lazy me who don’t give a damn about such things. Strange. Confusing.

Yes, you all there, you have any reasons? Well whatever the reasons be, the fact remains, that it can’t be changed, whatsoever I try. Besides, those who love us would continue to do so. As for the others, it hardly matters what they think, right?

VISION

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“This isn’t as good as you told me.” said the little boy to his mother, as they were walking through the narrow street of the town they had recently shifted to.

“Everything is so different here. Its been over a week and I still don’t have any friends at school.”

“Have you talked to anyone?” asked his mother.

“Well no, I didn’t. I don’t think they would talk to me.” he said in a low voice.

“Of-course they will, dear. How can you be so sure until you try and talk to them?” she said as they reached home. It was a ten floor high building.

“I just know it. There’s this boy who sits next to me. He looks so evil. I can’t talk to him mommy. Why can’t we go back home? I don’t want to live here.”

She smiled and didn’t say anything further.

The same night, she took him to the terrace. They could see the whole town from here. It was so well lit and peaceful.

“So, what can you see here son?” she asked him.

“Its looks so beautiful mom, so lovely.” he said with his eyes lit up.

“Hmm. Can’t you see any filth from here? Or breathe in any pollution?”

“No.”

“Can you tell me how many houses are there and what kind of people live in them?”

“No! How could I?”

“Oh yes, from a glance or two and from such a great distance, you couldn’t tell that. But what if we go down in the street?”

“From there we could explore that much better.” said he.

“Right. You see! Its all about vision. How you look at it and from what perspective. From a distance, you can’t make out what anything or anyone really is.”

“Yeah. That is true. But why are you telling me all this?”

“Because I want you to know that world is the same. Those who seem strong may not be that strong enough. While those who look evil may be angels from inside. May be. Just may be.”

“Hmm. May be.” he said with a contemplating look on his face.

“You never know if that boy with an evil look on his face turns out to be your best buddy.”she teased him with a grin. “Or one day, this place might seem like home. Its worth giving a try. Ain’t it? But you just can’t sit here telling me who’s what without even knowing them.”

“Yeah you are right. OK, I’ll do that.”


So, he did the same. May be he made many friends or may be just one or two. But atleast now he knew everyone better without judging anyone. What if we could all do that.

This last couple of days I was thinking of what to write. It was then that this simple thought struck me.

Extend your vision, mould your perspective and stop judging. It might be keeping you away from great things and great people.

A simple thought that means a lot!