'The Universe truly seems to be set up as a platform for the actualisation of our deepest and most heartfelt 

aspirations. It is a dynamic system propelled by nothing less than the constant flow of small miracles. It is 

built to respond to our consciousness.. 

..the process of discovering who we are and what we are here to do and of

 learning to follow the mysterious coincidences that can guide us and is dependant, to a great extent, on 

our ability to stay positive and to find the silver lining in all events.'

Feel So Different

I was pondering over the meaning of life
A gust of wind came in from the window
I shut the window annoyed at the dust it brought in

I was feeling all sad and depressed
I heard the sparrows jingling around at my window
I shut the curtains to shut out the disturbing cacophony

I was thinking of friends and the good times spent-Where were they?
I see my phone light up announcing a message received from a cousin(who always sends forwards)
I didn't read it- I knew that that's not what I wanted right now.

I realised I had never felt so lost all my life
I heard my mom calling out to have evening snacks
I got irritated at her and wished for her to let me just be

I felt like crying- I didn't know why I was so sad
When I heard the rumble of thunder in the distance
I sulked all the more- I didn't like the mushy weather!

I looked up and saw myself in the mirror
That is not me!
I didn't like seeing myself this way-complaining and desisting...

And I saw a river, flowing unrestricted- I cried.

I heard the thunder again
I felt that the sky was crying with me
Listening to me!

I swished aside the curtains
I saw the sparrows flying for cover
Still singing their song cheering me up!

I opened the window
I felt the Wind saying hello
Making me feel alive!

I saw my phone blinking again
Reminding me of the unread message
That only said- Life is Beautiful, You are not alone :)

I heard my mom call out for snacks again!
I got out of the room and smelled the familiar smell of Pizza!
I bawled like a child at seeing how much I was loved!

I wiped my tears smiling a smile of an awakening!

I see now that every moment is a gift
I've got to learn to unwrap it
and not assume or expect it to be what my growing mind thinks it should be

I see now that I always got what I needed
But I failed to see it as I was blinded by what I thought I knew I wanted

I see now how conceited my ego is, in assuming I know what I need; how limited my imagination is
Which is nothing compared to the beauty the Universe has in hold for me, for all of us!

I see now that every moment that I exist,
is a new moment- an answer to a question- mine or another's
That every moment is helping me get closer to All
And assuring me that I am a beautiful part of a beautiful Universe!

I may not know what is right or wrong,
But I do know that even I wish to do my bit-
Saying hello with smiling eyes like the Wind!
Cheering about singing the joy of Life with the birds!
Help the rivers flow unabated when Thunder appears!
Seeing the people around me for who they are-deep down out of all the appearances!
Listening to what comes my way and thanking God for each precious moment!

I know not whether I can do Big things
But I do know that in doing Little things each moment,
I will be doing my bit responsibly, no matter where I am or will be
And I'll consider myself lucky to be called a proud member of the Universe along the likes of
the Birds, the Animals, the Wind, the Clouds, the Greens, the Hills, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars!

O Mother Nature! now I see your wrath as your attempt:
To show us where we have erred
To show us we have all we need
That we have each other and that is enough
That you care for us
For in your world, there is no need for greed
Now it's time I listened to you
Cared for you
And Already,

Living in abandon? I See.

You will come to your senses and discover yourself, when you finally and forever abandon self-pity and self-criticism.

Complete honesty requires a clear acknowledgement of your own style. The New People will recognize one another by their authenticity and the values that they embody.

Be Yourself anyway

Let's go into the wild!
Go into yourself.

Me want me my space!!
It's within you.

I'm surrounded by attention seeking leeches!!!
Declare so to them.

They need help. Teach me how to be immune to annoying arrows...
Just listen and get aware of their intention and state it to them.

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

The Quest

I could not answer Anita's question.
Her greatest desire was to be herself and she wanted me to tell her how.
I couldn't.
I knew the theory.
But I couldn't walk the talk.
And I have long given up on this.
I have never been myself. Ever.
Even when I go home, shut the door to the world and hold myself in the light of my self, I flicker like a candle in the dark, as thought afraid to switch myself off, and be myself.
But the incandescence sets my innards ablaze.
I know there are times when I want to blow it out.
But the wick would burn fiercely as though it was afraid that someone would castigate it for not burning in the dark.
No, I could not answer Anita's question.
So I asked her why she wanted to be herself and what made her think that she was not being herself.
"Sometimes I feel so out of place, I don't want to agree with people, and yet, I don't want to confront anyone and say that they are wrong or that I beg to differ. I feel suffocated in such a situation."
I looked at her, knowing exactly what she had felt. I had felt like that so many years back. People like me who often have a strong feeling or opinion about something serious and are unable to express it because of our reticence.
But over the years this feeling has watered down to a sense of muted acceptance and an amputated spirit. The dead will not complain if its lifeless self is assaulted again and again. I know how I used to tag along, going with the flow of things even when I was in company that I had no interest in being, engaging in a conversation that did not have any contribution from me and basically drifting through, nodding my head, smiling, laughing and agreeing to everything, even though it did not make sense to me. It is suffocating. You know how you feel when you drag your suited and booted self back home after a horrible day and then slump on your bed unable to even take off your tie. That is how bad it gets when you don't become yourself. That is how bad it got when I didn't become myself. I knew how Anita felt in that straitjacketed life she was leading.
I even know how to answer Anita's question but did not know how to explain all that to her. It's complicated.
Yet, I didn't want her to go the same way that I went.
I wanted her to be herself.
The first thing to avoid is one familiar pitfall, I told her after sometime.
She sidled up and listened to me.
There will be many people who would want to 'change' you. They would want to make you change your lifestyle, talk like them, walk like them, and be like them. What is wrong in this? Is it wrong to grow, to be better and the like? Not at all, but what is important is that you don't get to do it, just to please someone else. Maybe it matters to you Anita, but then one day, you will suddenly wake up wondering how false everything has been; how you have been donning another's clothes, and passionate about someone else's cause. That would be a sad plight to be in, especially to those who are dying to be themselves.
You may suddenly realise that your own growth has been stunted because you had allowed everyone to walk over you because you had a heart as big as the 'welcome mat' on your doorstep.
Now that your purpose has been served, you are no longer 'welcome' in the scheme of things and when the boot is on the other side, you know who gets the kicking.
Anita, there is no sense in beating your head against the wall. One day or the other, you have to realise that you also need to satisfy yourself and there are times when you need to meet your needs too, and not just continuously hurt yourself by only satisfying other people's needs. That will stunt your growth, destroy you.
You need to listen to the voice inside you sometimes, which is crying out to be heard. If you continue to ignore it, the voice will die and will no longer be heard.
The danger is one day, you may be wailing, dying to be heard by that voice in you, but what if it ignores you the same way you had ignored it all this while...

By Adarsh Madhavan
Anita's Question(article)
Full Stop(column)
Y Magazine, Date: unknown.

Humility is the virtue of the cultured... It is but human to make mistakes, to fall prey to some temptation, to get enchanted by some false emotion, or to get carried away with a wrong intention. But how soon can one regain one's original goodness measure one's spiritual poise acquired. Fall as often as you must, but don't lie down where you have fallen! Be like a rubber ball; rebound and reach again the summits from which you had fallen.
-Swami Chinmayananda (Sacred Space, TOI, Date: unknown)

Treasure Trove Peek

Hi there! So! What's with the treasure trove? It's basically a collection of stories (cuttings of articles from newspapers or magazines or even random pamphlets) that I had been gathering when I was younger, when the not-so-little me(about 5-6 years ago?) was unacquainted with the e-world. In this e-world, collection has become much easier, so much so that it's become quite unnecessary and pointless too, yet I try. At times. Out of habit. In fact there's quite an overload here and it's easy to get overburdened, lost and very anxious. But, I love how some 'random' things come along or you discover something that resonates with your thoughts! Then you know over time-what to pursue and what not to.

Anyway, here, I shall give you a peek at stuff from the trove: Stories that inspired me. Stories that made me think. Stories that gave me courage. Stories that made me believe!

Today, I felt like sharing them with you. It kind of resonates with what I have been thinking of lately, so instead of cluttering the world with more crap from me trying to arrive at the same point, I'd rather just pick it out for you!

This one's written by a certain Dr. Prema Seshadri under the column 'Straight from the Heart' of Y Magazine. Unfortunately, I just clipped the article without any date reference but I guess stories are timeless eh?

Stop Pricking The Enthusiasm Bubble

Enthusiasm - very delicate, very fragile. It's also very insecure. And it's very demanding. I kind of vaguely, sometimes vividly, but always painfully, remember certain instances of my growing-up years. Parties at home were exciting times for me. It meant pretty dresses and dressing up, watching the cooking and eating plenty, and looking up with awe at every confident strutting guest. When you are young and small, everyone seems so big! And then it would happen. When we the brood stood at attention, a la Von Trapp family, waiting to be introduced, I would begin to see the missile headed straight for that enthusiasm balloon; the missiles were varied but always on target. They came like, "as you can see, she is the big eater of the family" and that would make my shoes so tight that it would pinch; and when the guest would ooh and aah and pinch my cheeks and say "how cute", my basic intelligence translated that into "how fat"; and then of course, the dress would pinch! 
One time, we went shopping, mother and daughters. You can imagine the level of enthusiasm, especially when somebody else has to spend money and that too on you! The sibling got the pick of the evening and I must admit anything and everything would look good on her. And then when my turn came, I dithered as always and got extremely nervous. I was never sure. Then I saw that perfect outfit and wanted it. But the decision was made for me - a hideous pair of elephant pants with a funny blouse, which no pachyderm would condescend to wear! The salesman was truly getting paid for doing nothing. The family did all the selling and buying. I hated it even more when I saw the peculiar but very indulgent giggles the family emitted when they saw me in that monstrosity. For a long time after that I hated shopping. 
When in school, anything unconnected with academics is a treat! And school picnics and birthday parties always featured as ultimate wonder. Many a time, I would come back with a party invitation card and would wait with bated breath for the nod to come from home authorities! Eventually I would surrender the breath as I would to their final sentence: "why do you want to go for these parties(or picnics); we will take you out". That bubble burst again and again. Small things, but they impact.
Let's just listen to what we do to others.
As parents,we keep pricking our children's balloons and rationalise it too - "we know but our children don't." Look at what we do to our colleagues and subordinates. They too can be creative. They too have ideas. But somehow we have mastered the art of taking that away from them too. For God's sake, see what we do to our friends; in the name of caring, concern, honesty, principles, what-have-you, we rob them of their very robe of life.
I ask: what gives any of us the right to destroy somebody's enthusiasm? What gives us the right to judge what will work and what will not? What gives us the right to decide what and how we should think? Wittingly or unwittingly, we have broken the spine of many, taken away the spirit that we were born with, destroyed the life that we were meant to have.
Again I ask, is that fair?
Today, not only do I continue to learn the skills to be enthusiastic about anything and everything that I am connected to at a point in time, but I treasure it. And not only do I treasure it, I encourage and respect it in all. We have to realise we are enthusiasm itself; unconditional; unconnected to anybody, anything, or any situation. Enthusiasm is not only a building block of life but is life itself in its entire glory, vigour and hues.
Help it grow.

'Help it grow' or be the 'dart-catcher', catcher of the darts pricking enthusiasm around?
Like The Catcher In The Rye, Yea! Behold the Dart-Catcher!

Here's another one from the Trove: a pamphlet of a seminar that was to be held on 15th March, 2009. I didn't go for the seminar but I saved the pamphlet for the inspiring illustrations it had:

I think we all have a child in us that needs to be nurtured and I truly believe that what applies to a child, applies to the 'grown-ups' too! Each of us is an Individual after all, no matter what the age.

The Day I Discovered Me !

I just had a very funny experience. Technically I should be infuriated at what all I had to go through for a silly little thing that otherwise should have taken at the max. 20 minutes(on bro's bike) which instead took me let's see umm..2 hours..GOSH 120 mins!

I'm nicely sitting at home surfing with excitement and wonder at my sudden discovery of Captain Thunderbolt! Can you imagine that there actually has been a bushranger by the name of Frederick Ward who went by the name of Captain Thunderbolt about a hundred years ago!?! Aaaaaahhhh I almost went crazy reading up on him (He's quite a Legend and there are lots of controversial stories out there about him which makes him all the more Awesome!) and finding out every other connection with the name I've chosen for myself. I even wonder for a moment if I was him in my previous birth? He too chose this name for him then! Anyway, there's a lot of discovering I've got to do on that end. This post is not about the exploits of the Man who also chose the same name a hundred years ago as I have now.

So while I am pursuing my temporarily assumed previous birth story, I get a call from my little brother saying that I must go and collect a document from a place, somewhere close to the railway station since he'd get late and that it was urgent. Of course I was a bit hesitant in leaving my hunt in the middle but then I thought it shouldn't take much time considering it's my normal route and max-to-max it would take me an hour.

I leave my house at 6:30 p.m. for the bus-stop, waiting for bus no. 22 that would take me to the station.
[Here, I must tell you that past few days, there has been a rickshaw strike since the rickvers(rickshaw drivers) refuse to use the meter(there's a whole big conspiracy going on out here at Mira Road by the rick Union and it has its own long story which I won't load you with considering this post seems anyway quite pointless) and I had no option but to depend on the bus.]

Oooookk now there are lots of interruptions stopping me from completing the story in my pace so I'll just end it in short for the record:

I met this lady by the name of Shaheen at the bus-stop and we nicely chatted away while the bus took its own sweet time to come. It's very unusual because 22 is always quick to come.
[Apart from all other talk, she happened to say cryptically - You must never plan- Just go with the flow- Plans never get fulfilled and in the end you are always disappointed- You must not even discuss your plans with anyone (apart from parents) cos they turn against you and your plans fail too- I'm saying this from my experience and observation-]

The bus arrived and was heavily loaded thanks to the rickvers' strike- all mashed up and squeezed up I finally reached my destination and we said farewell to each other with her very kindly inviting me to drop in at her place anytime!

Then I hunted down that particular shop with the "fat-darkish-oldish lady" in it(of course I had the address too) and there I found her typing out a case for another lady 'X' who was filing a complaint against her husband for beating her up and throwing her out of the house and she too vehemently said You musn't trust anyone. 

I find it all funny because I found them all quite sweet in the sense they were so ready to share their views and stories and so ready to help while constantly cautioning against trusting too!?
o_O Bamboozled.

Anyway I had a horrible squeezy return journey too but these strange outta-the-blue encounters are gonna stay awhile and continue to baffle me especially since the buses seemed to have conspired to quintuple the silly trip time.

NOW Back To Captain Thunderbolt Hunt!