Still I Rise...

 "There is something about the way you smile. You seem to be so mysterious and yet unassuming"
"Do I?"
"Yes. It's alarming. More so, after I learnt that you are from Delhi. People there are usually quite selfish. Something tells me you are not"
**laughs** "Oh, I am. Quite selfish, I am. I am just very good at pretending"

I have had couple of such conversations recently. I happened to shift cities.
Finally, got out of my comfort zone. Had to. Was about time. I have met a lot of new people since I wrote the last post. Most of these new people keep telling me stuff about me that I never realized. Or bothered about.

Not so surprisingly then, I have managed to learn a lot more about myself in this new city than I've managed to learn about this new place, new job, and new people that I keep bumping into everyday.
Of all the lessons that I've learned, one stands out for me. That lesson is that there is nothing more humbling in life than failure.

I have faced my fair share of failures in the year that just went by. Personally. Professionally. Emotionally. All of them keep pricking me in moments of solitude, constantly reminding me of what still needs to be achieved, corrected, and improved upon.

I smile now. Unassumingly at times. It's a ploy to hide all the disappointments. All the failures and regrets that I seemed to have left behind.
On other occasions, that sense of defeat rises up to the surface to smother me and make me realize that I am lagging behind.No matter how hard I try then, I fail to smile along with the world. I try to fake it, but it ends up being too evident. Until I make peace with that sense of defeat (temporarily). It refuses to leave my consciousness until I humbly accept it.

These failures ensured that I was down to my knees, humbly accepting the limitations, the flaws, and realizing the gap which needs to be bridged from where I am to where I thought I wanted to be.

Everyday is a struggle now. Not to give in to procrastination. Not to lose sight of my dreams. Not to get absorbed in the mundane-ness of ordinary life. To stay motivated. Despite the setbacks. Despite the disappointments. Despite the uncertainty which I often find lingering in the corners of my mind.

I get up every morning telling myself I will be a better person today. I will tread a step closer to my dream. I will be happy today. I will be calmer. More organized. More equipped with knowledge and wisdom that I should have had by now. Everyday I smile. Everyday I try.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
~ Langston Hughes 
P.S - The title of this post is from another fav. poem of mine by Maya Angelou. I use that poem as a constant source for motivation. Until another day...

Why, Yes. Let's be Self-Centered.

It's been quite some time. Since I last visited this page. Since I wrote. Since I laughed wholeheartedly. Since I picked up a book and managed to finish it. Since I allowed myself to just be.

Writing used to be a recreational outlet for me. And I still didn't bother to write. I kept telling myself I won't write unless I have something substantial to say/share. Did it have its repercussions? To put it plainly, yes, it did.
Yet, I have regretted my speech, never my silence.
You may ask why am I writing here now? Well, mostly because I've been forced to write by somebody who inspires me I do have something to say.

Most of us are striving to become something extraordinary in our lives. Our role models are superstars, media personalities, famous politicians and what not. We aspire to become like them. Nobody cares about the ordinary. Basically, we all want to be VIPs.
Not all of us might end up becoming one of them VIPs, for factors which might/might not be beyond our control.
Yet, in this rat race of life, we fail to realize there is yet another kind of person that we should rather strive to become. A better person. Everyday. A W.I.P (work in progress) kinda person.

I don't care if it sounds funny.

We curse our society, our government, our culture, the people around us everyday for their incompetence. Only if we could shift our focus to ourselves, and only work on bettering ourselves as a person, we could be a lot happier.
We cannot control what happens around us. What  we can control is how we choose to react to those events.

I used to be a very immature, angry person earlier. The one who would flip out at the slightest provocation.
I have let go of some really great people because I was too busy judging them, focusing on unnecessary stuff, and wasting my time. 

Do I regret it? No. 
Why you ask? Because as I said, I'm a W.I.P.
I will learn, improvise, adapt, and overcome. One step at a time. 

On an unrelated note, I've been introspecting on the past year, and the lessons it has provided me with. Most of them, I believe, are universally valid. Hence, sharing:
  • Kindness is grossly underrated.
  • Our society's measures of a successful life need some serious re-evaluation. 
  • The corporate jargon "everybody is dispensable" stands invalidated in real life.
  • Your age has got nothing to do with your level of maturity. 
  • It's important to treat others in the way you expect to be treated. 
  • That life does open a door when it closes one on us. We just have to look hard enough for the door that's opened. 
I know. Too much of gyaan in a single post. And that most of my life lessons sound like modern-day cliches. But as they say, we never really understand the gravity of things/words unless they happen to us. 

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I'm changing myself ~ Rumi 


There is this statutory message in my office elevator. Something on the lines of:


For a very weird/unknown reason, I always misread it as:


Yes, you can call me weird, but it's happened with me at least ten times on different occasions. And for a strange reason, I always find my version of this statutory warning as a very comforting one. Like being offered hot cocoa on a chilly, winter day. That's the kind of fuzzy feeling I get every time I look at that message.

On certain days, I'm surprised how soon I've convinced myself that my life is never going to be the same. I go to the office, I pretend to laugh, have fun, socialize with other people, work, procrastinate, study, and basically do all the "normal" things.

However, scratch on the surface (which I often do), and voila, I'm a totally changed person. Though, I' afraid I'm not very proud of what I've become now.
There was this bubbling energy in me earlier, and that stupid habit of seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses. That is gone. Some simple pleasures are permanently ruined for me too (won't go around naming them here..would take forever).

However, I'm amazed at the inner strength that helped me cope through my personal tragedy.  I shifted my focus to things that I needed to do (both tangible and intangible). Given my unmotivated self, I'm truly amazed at how these simple things have helped me overcome the most difficult situation in my life ever. To sum them up:

  • started focusing on the have's rather than have not's. 
  • started driving 
  • joined a gym and started treating my body with a li'l more respect
  • got my brother's tattoo
  • did away with unnecessary people (relatives/cousins/so-called friends) and the drama they bring along
  • value my family a LOT more (well, I always did but now, they are Les Supreme)
I set mini-goals for myself now and try to achieve them, one step at a time. 
When I'd written my last blog entry, needless to say I was shattered. Not that I'm not anymore. But I've learnt to accept things that can't be undone, and shifted my focus on people around me who matter, things that I want to achieve for me, and provide them with. 

I'm still getting over it. I guess healing is a long, slow process. Quite unlike the blow I was dealt out with. But I'm optimistic now. Because I know people who mattered to me are always with me and will be with me. Amen. 

"It's not forgetting that heals. It's remembering." ~ Amy Greene, Bloodroot