16 Nov 2014

Coping With Life

Last day while talking to a friend, amidst trivial talks, she made a comment, "I envy you. You just walk into a restaurant in a strange city and order a coffee and sit and enjoy it all alone. I have never done anything like that. I'm terrified of it. Even the thought of walking into a strange hotel by myself scares me."

When someone puts it that way, yes, its exciting. For most of you this might seem like a stupid thing to be jealous of. Everyone does that, don't they? Well I didn't until last year. Even I was terrified of going alone into a restaurant and sitting down without fretting about what people might be thinking of me or of doing something stupid. Being alone isn't easy. Not for many of us. Being alone and totally comfortable with it. Enjoying your own company. Not worrying about people thinking you are a loser with no friends. Or just of going alone into an unknown place. All that is out of bounds for people like me. Or it was.

Being alone in a strange city miles away from home with no one to call a good friend, company becomes a luxury. And you learn to go on. You learn to cope with the unknown. You learn to enjoy your own company or the company of the stranger sitting right across you and occasionally lifting his head up from the newspaper to smile at you. You learn to sit back and watch life as it rolls by. You learn that how much ever people pretend to care, they don't care as much about your life as you. If you want something, you have to do it by yourself. Life has this amazing quality. It makes you take the hit and then teaches you to stand up and fight back. You never know how far you can go until you push your limits further and further. I took the hit and I learned to stand up. And so can anyone. Its always tough, the first step. It took me 2 days of contemplation, a leap of faith and extreme hunger to go all alone to the restaurant just across my apartment. But after you make that first step, it gets easier and easier.

At some point in our life, we are bound to face situations which we never expected. Never think you cannot do it. Remember you never know what you are capable of until you push yourself. Having dealt with loneliness, hunger, depression and fear, I have learnt to appreciate those little things in life. Now when I have food in front of me, I thank God for it. When I have friends who stay on the line for hours at a stretch trying to cheer me, I thank God for the good company I have. When one of my student brings me his sketch book and shows everything that he has drawn, I thank God for the smile on my face. I have come out of everything learning some valuable lessons on appreciating all the small and big things that I have. No one said life is easy. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, ALWAYS. And its definitely worth struggling for. :)

24 Aug 2014

Yearning For Home

The wind of this land can touch nothing but my bare skin
The rain that falls softly just cools my tired limbs
Birds here sing sweetly but their language I do not know
The land my feet touches, crunches in a strange whisper

The people smile broadly here and land stretches beyond sight
The food and the drinks whet my appetite but doesn't quench the fire
My eyes keep searching for that bright array of in-congruent colors
My ears can't stop listening for those blaring horns and tingling bells

I love this land that feeds me but its not home
I love the people, the food and the warm greetings but its not home
I love the birds, the dogs and the kittens but this is not home
I can leave my body and soul here but my heart is far away, in my home

21 Aug 2014

Miles to Go

Miles have I traveled
Miles more lie ahead
Endlessly did I search
Destination never did I reach
All I wanted was to move on
Standing on the middle of the road
Now my heart yearns only for home

Having done my schooling and college life close to home, all I ever wanted was to get out of home and explore the world. And I got my wish. It was just like I had imagined - endless freedom. No one to question your odd timings or late night roaming (excluding the guard of our apartment), no one to scold you for eating maggie noodles three times a day, no one to stop you from shopping all day long, no one to censure you for staying up all night watching your favorite series. Yes, it was a time to break all rules.

But soon enough, I learned why there where rules. I learned why parents didn't want me to be out late. I learned some big lessons about health and why its important to take care of yourself. Learnt how tricky it was to manage money, how easy it is to loose track of your spending. Learnt why its important to sleep early to wake up and have a fresh start and productive day.  I learnt so much about people and even more about myself. I learnt that you might like being alone but that too has a limit. Staying alone in a house, I learnt pipes are messy things and that everything is fine until one decides to burst or get blocked. I learnt that food is important and that hunger can be painful. I learnt that money is important but more important is job satisfaction. I learnt that and a hell lot of other things.

Over the years, I have come a lot closer to being an independent woman. I have changed a few conceptions that I had, renewed a few others and completely destroyed my views on few others. I have seen a lot of people and learnt to respect people and their choices. I have understood its a mistake to judge people and the more people I meet, the more I am convinced that people are inherently good. Of all the things that I learnt, the most important lessons were about myself. Now I know, self discovery is the biggest of all discoveries. The person you see on the mirror is the puzzle that God has cleverly drafted for you. When Swami Vivekananda said that all the knowledge of the world is within you, he had a point. Never ever under estimate yourself and your abilities. Until you stretch your limits, you never know how far you can go. Until you dream big, you can never achieve it.

When I look back, I am happy with the way I have come and where I have reached. I am thankful for all the good and bad experiences that I have had. They have molded me and made me what I am today. Things that didn't kill me definitely made me stronger. Smooth roads don't make good drivers, the crooked and narrow ones do. The hardships I have faced helped me more than the good days to shape and redefine me and my core principles and values. If there is one point that I want you guys to take from this article, it will be this, " Be open to change. Life can get really tough at times but understand that its life's way of teaching you and making you a better person. some lessons have to be learned the hard way! "

18 May 2014

Sanity & Insanity

My name is Aashitha. Yes, Aashitha with two As. I guess my parents wanted me to be first in everything and two As ensured that mine was the first name to be called out in every line, every test and every single place I go. Oh, how I hated my name as a child. Apart from those fun facts, I am quite a normal person. Maybe a little eccentric to some people. But that might be because I think a little different or maybe because I paint pictures that nobody understands. But I think I am a very sane person, more than them for sure.

I don't remember exactly when people started calling me crazy. The first time I remember, was when I told my friends that I don't know who Aashitha is. Tell me, do you really know who you are? People know me by my face. I know myself by what my parents chose to call me. But who knows the real me. I don't own all my thoughts, I don't know what my emotion will be the very next moment. I am not even fully honest to myself. I am scared of my innermost feeling, I hide them even from myself, my deepest thoughts and worries are buried in me. I truly don't know who I am. Do you know who you are? Have you understood yourself 100%? I know you don't. Then why do people call me crazy?

Another reason people find is my paintings. My earliest paintings were colorful scratches on the walls of my home. My Dad used to shout at me for spoiling the walls. But I couldn't stop it. I had to draw. No one gave me prizes in painting competitions. No one understood my paintings. The teachers in my school were all figurative painters. They never tried to understand the abstract in my paintings. Neither did my parents. They wanted me to study science and maths. But all I could do was scratch an image of a spiraling circle or a five pointed star with an elliptical center on the corners of my maths note book. I didn't want to know why earth was round or how many apples are left in the basket after eating two. I was interested in shapes, in colors, in the surreal world which was beckoning me. I couldn't stop painting. I had to draw. My pictures where like a particularly stubborn vomit that had to get out of my throat. I often felt my hands had a mind of their own. My parents never understood it. They shouted at me, beat me, locked me in room for days. Did everything they could to make me stop scribbling and scratching, as they call it. But I couldn't. Finally, I chopped my right hand off. I thought it will make my parent's happy. Now, I won't be able to draw. My hands can't control me. I thought my parents will be happy. I thought they will finally smile at me and say, 'Good girl!'. I was happy even through the pain as I thought of my parent's smiling place.

But I was wrong. They called me crazy and locked me in this cell. But its alright. Nobody calls me crazy here and I have learned to write perfectly with my left hand now. I can even draw perfect circles. I hope my parents are fine with me drawing because my hand has started taking control of me.. again.. Hope they are not angry at me. Hope they won't start calling me crazy..again..

31 Mar 2014

Being A Girl

Been a while since I wrote a poem. This is one of those crazy poems that should be thrown away but manages to crawl into my blog. A little dark and a lot crazy, that's just the way this is going to be.

I sweep across the rough terrain
Like a wind in raging fury
Trees I uproot, rocks I grind
That is just me, being me..

I pour my heart on the thirsty earth
My soul lay bleeding for the desolete
Fury melts and sunshine spreads
That is just me, being me..

The darkest nadir my mind traverse
A robe of despair I wrap
Gloom I spread and trenches I dig
That is just me, being me..

I can woo the king and make a jester laugh
Wheels of fortune, I hold in hand
I fight with my look and win with words
That is just me, being me..

A whore and a goddess live in me
Unpredictable calmness and bouts of madness
I hold it all in the tip of my finger
That is just me, being me..

I sing like a robin's first spring melody
My grace has you staring spellbound
With the tilt of my head I can win hearts
That is just me, being me..

Scorching sun is a cool breeze
When you have me glaring in your dreams
Mercy is rare and no second chances
That is just me, being me..

Crazy, Mad, Wild and Sweet
I change myself in fraction of a second

Take or leave but never can you deny
The power I wield in my colored nail tips!

5 Jan 2014

2014 !!

Yey!! Another new year has arrived.. I wish everyone all the happiness in the world. May love and peace find its way into your life this 2014.

2013 was a really eventful and fun year for me and the memories that the year has left behind is truly unforgettable. But I have a feeling 2014 is going to be even more fun. This new year, I did not take any resolutions. Why take one and then live through rest of the year regretting about not living up to it? ;) 

But I do have a new year thought to give my friends ( Nope, I am not planning to stop my preaching! :P ). My almost 1 year of corporate life has come to an end and this is the one piece of advise that I took with me as I left.
'Take ownership of your life. Be brave enough to move out of your comfort zone and explore' 

The line simply means, we have to own our lives and take responsibility for it. Nobody else is or should be responsible for our life. We have the power to make or break it. The path of our life is often set by a series of big or small decisions that we take. Where to study, where to work, should I shift to a new house, should I take that loan, should I attend that meeting etc etc. The seemingly small decisions and few big ones set our life in a trajectory. Its difficult to make these decisions and easy to follow what others think you must do. You can always blame them if anything goes wrong. I personally feel that whether we break or make our life, the decisions should come from us. I am not saying that we should not listen to others. We should listen to other people's opinions and suggestions but the final decision should be yours. You have one life, take control of it.

The famous book of Herman Hesse, 'Siddhartha' tells the story of the spiritual journey of a man. Siddhartha follows his heart and it takes him around a twisted maze of experiences. From the life of a Brahmin boy to that of a Samana and later a wealthy and selfish merchant. Through all the myriad pathways of life does he travel to finally reach the ultimate state of enlightenment. He had choices in his path. He could have been a Buddhist scholar, a devoted Buddhist, a rich and famous merchant. But he was not tied down by the seemingly comfortable lifestyles. He listened to his heart and its weird instructions, moved out of his comfort zones and finally got rewarded. He took ownership of his life. He took his own decisions even when his friends and family opposed. He was brave enough to follow his heart.

From my personal experience, I know how difficult it is to move out of our comfort zone and make that leap of faith. It will be scary and depressing but that is just the way we learn and grow. Nothing in life is easy but there is a reason why it is so. Life rewards those who are ready to take that leap. To take chances, risk failure, disappointment but still go on. The only way of learning and expanding your horizon is by slowly moving out of your comfort zones. You challenge yourself and learn. The satisfaction that is waiting for you at the end of that path is just unexplainable. And it all starts with a small step of faith.

So, let me just put a new year thought in your mind. Be brave. Brave enough to follow your heart, take ownership of your life and move out of your comfort zone. Explore, learn and never stop! :) Happy New Year!! :)