Her Inner Voice

The morning sun was dancing off the fresh, green foliage giving it a glow. She leans over the balcony eagerly watching the play of sunlight and shadow. That’s life, often a carnival filled with unique colors and just like the clouds in the autumn sky, these different colors shine and sparkle for a while and then fade away.

Listening to your inner voice

Listening to your inner voice

Looking back she realizes a lot of things. She does not have an answer to most of her questions. But she knows there is nothing called waking and dreaming, real and unreal. What was real yesterday is unreal today, and what is real now will be unreal tomorrow, because tomorrow it will no longer exist.

As she watches the colors that arise and disperse, and looks at the patterns of sun and shadow which form and dissolve she notices how life unfolds from a formless source. It arises from the ocean of bliss, from the joyous swaying of love, and merges back into the space of consciousness.

Will she ever be able to see things as a vast picture composed of countless vessels filled with strange and colorful things, each more fascinating and astounding than the last? What is all this? It is nothing but the dance of your own Self, the supreme actor, says her inner voice.

 

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Moon Shadows

The near-full moon shines brightly, bathing the world in a pale unearthly gleam. The village by the lake is a totally different world in the night. Close by, the trees and the huts are covered with a white silvery sheet.

lake drenched in moonlight

The lake drenched in moonlight

All of a sudden a dark big cloud covers the moon and the darkness deepens. The unnerving silence interrupted by the sudden cry of a fox, the hoot of an owl and a rustle in the undergrowth get more intense in the dark. Darkness threw a veil over the village, the lake, the forest and the entire surrounding.

There’s a sweet fragrance in the air. I miss this fragrance often. It takes me back to my grandmother’s courtyard. The moon appears again, making its way through the heavy clouds. Once again the moonbeam falls on the lake, creating reflection in the still water and an unfamiliar magic.

Is this the place where the elves and fairies dance in the midnight? I don’t know yet, but the lake drenched in moonlight has a mystery to it – its unfamiliarity makes it even more magical.

Failing his way to Success

-The sound of the music resonated through the hall, as the little boy was called on-stage to play the guitar. He was his ever effervescent self  as he began playing his favorite tunes with ease. Everything was going alright. He was lost in his world of music… and then all of a sudden, the music faded, the earth stood still…

Behind every success is an embarrassing story

Behind every success is an embarrassing story

He stood mortified in the middle of the stage with his broken guitar string; streams of tears running down his eyes. He didn’t want to see the crowd; he ran off the stage and refused to come back.

She was seated in the audience, helplessly watching the little boy crying, unprepared to deal with the world.

A memory returned to her in that cling worthy moment. Something she had almost forgotten.

Thirty years ago, she remembered the little girl, who went up to the stage one summer evening to recite ‘The Listeners’ and it was not too late before she realized she had forgotten her lines. It was their annual school concert, where everyone was welcome, parents and one extra pass for a guest. She was very excited to be part of it. But things did not go as expected.

She stood on the stage and looked across the hall, knowing it was packed and couldn’t remember a word, except for the first line of the poem. She stumbled over her lines and her mind went completely blank, she froze. The lights were bright on her face, but all she could see was shadows of people.

The cold horror rushed through her as she tried and failed to make her panicked brain work. For a moment, her eyes got fixed on the second row where she could sense her parents pasting a smile on their face. she knew she was doing it all to impress them. She couldn’t take it any longer, and just like the little boy, she ran away, tears running down her face.

She was an adult now, with her own life and she didn’t need to be defined by that awful sense of failure. Yet some memories can never be erased.

She followed him quickly and gave him a hug. She wiped off the slick of sweat on his palms; wearing the best possible smile, just like her parents did. History often repeats itself they say, and it did happen. She felt guilty for not having a backup guitar on stage for his little boy. This embarrassment could have been avoided.

But it’s okay, she thought… behind every success is an embarrassing story, a stumble, a setback or a radical change of direction. She promised to him, this would never happen again. Never.

As she gave him a warm hug, the softened sunshine melted down from the clear autumn sky. There was a scent of nostalgia that filled her heart with happiness to always stay hopeful for the future!

The Butterfly Maiden

She was standing there all day, this caterpillar gal. For her, every day feels the same. She holds on to her barren branch, trying to make sense of a futile world.

Her nights seemed longer. Every night she would curl herself around the stem of a leaf and fall asleep gazing at the stars and dreaming of a future where she had a purpose, where her life had meaning.

As dawn breaks, she wakes up and tries again… thinking that she’s reaching nowhere closer to her goal.

She held onto nothing, allowing herself to finally let go

She held onto nothing, allowing herself to finally let go

And then there came a day when she knew that it was over. She couldn’t stand there any longer.  That night she curled herself around the stem of a leaf… and just allowed herself to let go.

Little by little, she used her outer skin to weave herself a shell; to form armor against this empty life.  And once she was enclosed in her dwindling space she allowed herself to fall apart. She held onto nothing, allowing herself to finally let go, dissolving into the quantum foam of endless possibilities.

And in the quiet and the dark of her chrysalis, something took shape.  Her hopes and dreams finally undone from their mundane life; what surfaced was a life of its own that cleaved into an exquisite form.

Then, still damp with the dew of creation, gasping for breath, she moved out of her self-imposed prison. For some time, she lay there still, to spread her wings to dry, basking in the warmth of the sun. She has now morphed into a beautiful butterfly maiden, in her elegant sapphire attire – to set her self free; ready to make her dreams come true.

Life Is a Highway

Life’s like a road that you travel on
There’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long

~ Tom Cochrane

Mmm, life is a highway I wanna ride it all night long

Mmm, life is a highway I wanna ride it all night long

I love to watch animated films with my nine-year old; feels refreshing… The other day, I was watching Disney Pixar movie “Cars” in which I was fascinated by a scene, where Sally and Lightning McQueen are overlooking Route 66 and Interstate 40. Here’s what they say:

Sally: Forty years ago, that interstate down there didn’t exist.
Lightning McQueen: Really?
Sally: Yeah. Back then, cars came across the country a whole different way.
Lightning McQueen: How do you mean?
Sally: Well, the road didn’t cut through the land like that interstate. It moved with the land, it rose, it fell, it curved. Cars didn’t drive on it to make great time. They drove on it to have a great time.

Their dialogues pretty much sum up our frenetic and fast paced lives and the world where we live in. We are the cars. Our lives are the roads. We can choose to take the interstate and set our lives on cruise control.

So, we are all on the highway of life – traveling at what seems like the speed of light – moving at hyper-speed and checking off our to-do list as if that is the ultimate goal in life. Although it is cliché, we fail to stop and smell the air or say a genuine ‘hello’ to the passer byes.

However, we are at the risk of missing so much that pass by us by because we travel so fast with our blinders on. We are more concerned with where we are going instead of appreciating and enjoying where we are.

There is but an alternative. We can choose to meander and explore. We can choose to take the winding and curving road and truly experience life. It may not take us directly to our destination, but perhaps we shouldn’t be as concerned with crossing the finish line so quickly. Isn’t it really the happenings along our route that make reaching our goal so much more gratifying?

I suggest we take our individual journey down a unique path – Some of us on highways while others on the back-country roads. Sometimes our paths run parallel to one another and sometimes our path intersects with that of others. We are in control of the accelerator pedal beneath our feet. We can choose to fly through life and pass by others on the interstate. Or, we can choose to take the scenic route, slow down to the speed of life, and share our road with others. We can choose to take the occasional pit stop and learn about all the other roads available to us on the map of life.

Let’s not fail to understand, life is a journey, not a destination. Slow down, check your road map, and get off the next exit. There is a winding road ahead that is ready to greet you with new experiences. Make your journey as memorable as possible.

Meaning of Life: What’s the point of it all?

Loneliness in the age of social networking

I bumped into an ex-colleague this weekend and despite meeting after many months, the first thing he proudly proclaimed was that he now has 2000 friends on Facebook and 1000 followers on Twitter. I faked a smile and gave him a glance, and also wanted to ask him: “Do these friends communicate when you really need some soul to talk?” But I guess it was rude to ask … I didn’t want to break his heart and release him from his virtual cocoon. Because he prefers to get wrapped up into his thoughts, his virtual thoughts which he believes is ‘real’.

Loneliness in the Age of Social Networking

Social media – that intends to make the world a more connected place, might just be leaving us more isolated and even depressed.

And this is not just ‘his’ story. Most of us have so many friends and followers on social media, Despite there is sense of loneliness in the heart. It’s not a down-and-out loneliness, mind you, but an inkling that things aren’t what they seem. No one is near you, everyone is everywhere in their own ambit, a world prefabbed with all the information, entertainment and very often nonsense, one can hope to have at their fingertips.

It’s an empty feeling of having it all but not having anything. It’s a reminder that our journey into the age of information has come at a cost: We’ve lost touch, in a very large and real way, with our sense of humanity and with one another, even as other lines of communication have opened.

An interesting article published in ‘The Guardian” blog, suggests that “Loneliness centers on the act of being seen. When a person is lonely, they long to be witnessed, accepted, desired, at the same time as becoming intensely wary of exposure.”

According to research carried out over the past decade at the University of Chicago, the feeling of loneliness triggers what psychologists call hyper-vigilance for social threat. In this state, which is entered into unknowingly, the individual becomes hyper-alert to rejection, growing increasingly inclined to perceive social interactions as tinged with scorn. The result is a vicious circle of withdrawal, in which the lonely person becomes increasingly suspicious, intensifying their sense of isolation.

Behind a computer screen, the lonely person has control.  This is where online engagement seems to exercise its special charm, says Olivia Laing, senior editor and author of the blog. Hidden behind a computer screen, the lonely person has control. They can search for company without the danger of being revealed or found wanting. They can reach out or they can hide; they can lurk and they can show themselves, safe from the humiliation of face-to-face rejection. The screen acts as a kind of protective membrane, a scrim that allows invisibility and transformation. You can filter your image, concealing unattractive elements, and you can emerge enhanced: an online avatar designed to attract likes.

But now a problem arises, for the contact this produces is not the same thing as intimacy. Curating a perfected self might win followers or Facebook friends, but it will not necessarily cure loneliness, since the cure for loneliness is not being looked at, but being seen and accepted as a whole person – ugly, unhappy and awkward, as well as radiant and selfie-ready.

While there are many more views on this topic, next time, we feel lonely, we can try joining a library, a club, a gym or bond with old friends in person? Smartphones, Tablets are gadgets to keep us communicated, but they can’t offer us the warmth of friendship that we can get from your real friends. There is no harm in having online friends. It is up to us to keep a balance between the real and the virtual world.

Being a technology editor, I confess, there is more to explore in life apart from gadgets. However, the great irony of this post is that as soon as I’m done, I’ll post it across social media sites. Then I’ll kick back, take a sip of water, and unlock my phone.