Phantasmagoria!

Eerily, most of the things that happen in our lives is a consequence of somebody else’s decision.

Life is so simple that there’s no room for overthinking at all. Life will take you to where it has to take you anyway. Wait, if you think of this as a case of divine intervention, let me tell you, it isn’t. Not even close.
For, life consists of all the people, relationships, emotions, practicalities that we are made up of.

I’ll give you a very simple example, so many times in the day we find people(many times we ourselves) complaining about work, boredom, location,etc. And at some or the other point of time we all think that what’s happening to our friends/colleagues/relatives is better than our situation.
“Grass is greener on the other side” – right?
But instead if we take a minute and think about the present and do things that we are capable of, life will just be so simple – Because we really don’t know if the grass is actually greener. And more importantly, there will always be people, situations, emotions taking the decisions on our behalf.

Say, I am in college and currently residing in someplace in Sri Lanka, and I keep thinking that I wish I could be in Canada. That could be a possibility only if I studied and applied for some college/work in Canada and I get selected there eventually. The entire process as you can see involves a lot of people and situations that will be taking the decision on my behalf. From approving the application to my selection, the consequence is always ‘other’ people’s decision.
Even the initiation of the idea is most of the time influenced by someone else’s from some other part of the world.

So it’s all very logical.

Staying simple, staying true to our capabilities and zero overthinking is what will take us to the right & “greener” places in life because complaining only makes “green” equatable to fantasy, unrealistic hopes and unhappiness.

What do you think?

Shoot your questions in the comment section because I really want to understand if my realisation is a concrete one!

Cheers!

Happy writing! :))

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This part of my life..this little part is called happiness :)

Wise men say, Mistakes are meant to make one happy.
Have you ever felt that way? It might sound weird but, I have.

So when I was learning to ride my bike, I was actually learning a whole lot of other things as well. I picked up the balancing act in 2 days & kept practicing it in my backyard.

The real challenge began when I took it to the road. I kept to the left side but the moment I saw a vehicle coming from the opposite side, it totally used to freak me out and my entire balance would wobble.

One fine morning instead of going for my regular morning walks/jogging I decided to take my bike out. Visualise a lane with a playground on one side and an old Ambassador parked on the other in front of one of the houses on that side.

The lane looks something like this one.

The moment I entered this lane a van was speeding up from the opposite side towards me. Now that I ride my bike regularly I know that this isn’t reason enough to get scared. But that day, the only thing my head told me was to not get scared and ride past through the left side – the heart wasn’t giving me the same strength – so I sped up but when I was about to cross the Van I got so scared that I put my feet on the ground.

Next moment I found the bike dashing into the parked Ambassador with my left leg stuck between my bike and the car.
I don’t have an explanation for what followed. I was smiling. Yes, you heard that right. My leg was bleeding and I wasn’t feeling any pain. It came to me as a moment of extreme happiness at the realisation that I had made a mistake and that I was going to learn immensely from it.

The bike was over me so someone had to pick it up because I couldn’t have. A middle aged man having his morning tea by a roadside stall came running to help. He lifted the bike and parked it aside.

All I did was get up, brush off the dust, thank him and afterwards happily rode back home. Because it was bleeding I dressed it up, but that was the first and last time I ever gave it any attention. The mark remains, probably it’ll be there for a lifetime.

I want to keep it.

After this day, I grew confident exponentially. An automatic response to a problem actually solved the issue.
Trust me, it felt crazy when I got reminded of it months later.

This part of my life..this little part is called happiness“.

I have felt it. Mistakes are beautiful. Having said that, it doesn’t mean a car has to hit you to knock sense into you. The next time you feel sad about a breakup, you feel like shying away from facing a crowd, you’re not confident about your communication skills Or you feel that you’ve chosen the wrong career – tell yourself it’s okay. Feel happy that all of this has happened, because you’re going to learn so much from these mistakes and come out as a stronger personality, a richer human. Know that better days are coming 🙂

Here’s to mistakes!

:))

Two

I’ve not written in a while now and I am really looking forward to getting back in that mode soon. There’s good news people! I finally got my Appointment Offer for a job I’ve been really keen on joining – Central Secretariat Services India. My parents are very happy. And that means the world to me.

While I’m still in the process of completing my pre-joining formalities, this one thing – I bought two envelopes – led me into realising a multiple other things and it just makes a whole lot of sense.

Yes, I need to fill several forms and send it for further verification processes to the Department concerned, all combined in one envelope – but I bought two of them. Infact, it is not just envelopes, I got two photocopies of each document, an extra pair of photographs, got my medical form signed by two doctors, asked Dad to check with my filled application form because I needed an extra pair of eyes to be sure of it’s correctness.

Eventually I realised that probably it instills a feeling of confidence in the idea of having a backup. Which could be associated with almost everything in our lives. We all have a confidante who seconds us in our eccentric endeavors. That gives us a sense of hope that maybe things won’t go wrong.

Just like the word “We” empowers us with the strength to co-exist, to not let an individual face things entirely by himself/herself. To be by someone when she needs us. I think our intrinsic kindness acts as our second self in such cases. (We all carry an extra pen to the exam hall remember?)

This also led me into thinking that Harper Lee’s novel – Go Set a Watchman – where she equates our conscience with A Watchman also probably is an emphasis on the power of Two of us – I and my conscience. And that is a very powerful combination indeed.

What is important is that this second entity/person/thing is not always an active one. It may not even be of use in a tangible way but it is of immense importance in keeping us sane psychologically. In keeping us positive of an outcome and in turn doing great to our mental health.

Don’t you think so?

Well, let me know in the comment section!

Until next time!

Cheers!!

:))

Growing up!

This blog is about a very personal realisation that occurred to me in the recent past.

In India, computers – more specifically ‘PC’s – became a household affair only in the late 90’s. Personal Mobile phones came in a lot later. I got my own phone when I was 18(a very basic Nokia phone). Before that, we had a Landline handset. And even before that we had to run to STD/ISD Booths to call up our near & dear one’s. Near meant almost 200kms from home. So people exchanged pleasantries only once in a long time. Life was simpler albeit slower.

In Schools we were more attentive because we knew if we missed something we will have to wait to go to school and get things clarified. If we look at these things standing where we are today, it would seem difficult & yet actually, things were much easier.
Stationery is something I have always been very fond of. We used to have stacks of colours, drawing books, notebooks though limited in number (we were not aware of editing tools and ofcourse there was no computer).

What is noticeable is that we grew up embracing the change. We, changed.

From no phone, to being able to manage the intricacies of technology, even being able to detect discrepancies – we grew up. Our aspirations also did.

I think people of my age will agree to this – there came times when our parents seemed irritable & annoying. We embraced the change so much at times that our earlier generation began to seem weird and backward thinking.

But pragmatically, our parents too were growing up with us. True, they were more comfortable with their own ways because they were already adults by the time this wave of change happened. Nonetheless, their growing up has been an even more beautiful journey.

Like you all know that I stay in a Composite Housing. My Dad is the Secretary of our tiny community here, so he plans all kinds of fun events and community gatherings during festivals and other get togethers. (A few other neighbours also take a lot of interest in bringing together people in various occasions, so they work with Dad).

Today, Dad was writing letters to everybody to invite them for Holi(The festival of colours) which is due next month.
While stapling those letters the staples got over. I offered to get him some from my stash. But he told me not to. Instead he showed me his stash – complete with a good number of stationery products, from pens,markers,notepads to staples,board pins, you name it and he has it.

I cannot really explain but it made me so happy when I realised that my parents were growing up more beautifully than we did. They may not be experts (neither are we) in handling everything online but they are extremely well armed with glossy magazines and vintage ink pens while we stare at our android devices and yearn to go back to those days of simplicity!

Until next time!

Cheers!!

:))

Hermit Mode On – Part 3

This one is a little long as it is also the last one. Do bear with me 🙂

..After our little jig at the Teesta Bridge we got into our car and started off to Kalimpong which was only a few kilometers away!

We reached our spot for White Water Rafting.
This is the part where I meet an amazing couple from Assam.
We were asked to change into clothes in which we wouldn’t mind swimming. Ready in our new attire we got into local Jeeps in groups of six which took us to the Rafting point.

A little bit of Science :
Although the sun was up and the air temperature felt comfortable, the water that we were about to step into was chilling cold. Because of a very basic thing – Snow forms when the atmospheric temperature is at or below freezing point (0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit) but when it starts melting the temperature of the water still stays 0 degrees Celsius for sometime due to the Latent heat of fusion. The temperature of water increases only with the incorporation of additional heat(sunlight is the source in this case).

We got on the raft quickly. There were two guides and six of us. Wore the inflated jackets. The guy who was sailing welcomed us with huge splashes of cold water with his oars. That’s the tradition they say. Four of us took the edges and were going to row the raft with oars. There were two children as well. So we put them in the centre to avoid tension. Finally when the raft started sailing there were only screams(the happy one’s) to be heard. When we were midway rafting we were told to jump into the water and swim till the end(the guides told us that they would push us into the water if we didn’t jump into it voluntarily). So we did. Swimming in that cold water felt like the entire body going numb.

But the experience was mind blowingly amazing. The entire affair was over in about 40mins and we ran to the Jeep to take us back to the place where we could change into some warm clothes.

We also wanted to try Para-gliding that day. Back into our warm clothes and into our car we rode towards Delo, Kalimpong – a place particularly renowned for sound paragliding. (You can also try stunts if you have knowledge about them and if your guide let’s you do so).

It was afternoon when we reached Delo & we were hungry. The best part about the hills is that there are innumerable shacks alongside the roads where you can grab momo’s, warm soups, noodles and the likes. It is almost a source of livelihood for many households. Their simplicity & hospitality is something I became fond of during my stay & took it back home as a beautiful learning.

Since it was the 31st there were a huge number of people who had gathered to experience Para-gliding. After waiting for our turn for sometime I finally got to get into my Gliding Suit. I wasn’t anxious or scared – made me wonder if something was wrong with me 😅

This experience is like that of watching a very beautiful movie – The world beneath is a beautiful place. (Self named imaginary movie).

After wrapping up from there we had been to Dr. Graham’s School. You can read about it in my Blog Nitty Gritty Of This Beauty

It was already evening after that and cold winds had started blowing. So we decided to go back to Darjeeling and enjoy the comfort of our hotel room!

We missed out on one place – Gouripur House (where Rabindranath Tagore used to stay sometimes for search of serenity and announce his writings through All India Radio) because of the cold. Nevermind, as there’s always a next time!

Meanwhile you can enjoy a sketch of the same (The House remained neglected for a long time, apparently it’s in ruins – going there will be another story all together I guess)!

Cheers!!

:))

Hermit Mode On – Part 2

Our Chauffeur friend proposed that we take photographs while we cross the Teesta Bridge which joins the small village of Teesta Bazaar in Darjeeling with Kalimpong. So we got down to capture the beautiful scenery and absorb the fresh morning air – the sun was out by then – that was a little help for my skin.

If you take a close look, you can see the Teesta village on the left of the picture.

We Indians are absolutely crazy when it comes to Bollywood music – in a way that there is no one who doesn’t enjoy shaking a leg when these songs (Oonchi Hai Building..) are played loud.

In this case it was being played in open air. It was the 31st so the excitement was only reasonable.
We noticed a Truck with a few local guys in it. On being asked we got to know that they drove the truck along the entire town playing this really loud music as a way of welcoming the New year with some pomp & show – the truck was decorated with balloons and colourful ribbons – In the otherwise calm locality. They stopped at places where people joined them in the merriment. We did too 😁

These are few examples from the internet of what colourful trucks look like in India. Photo courtesy

The simplicity of it all kinda unwinds you when you know that people in other parts of the world, in the cities are probably getting ready to get dressed for stepping into pubs and clubs to celebrate the countdown to the New year in really fancy ways.

Until next time!

Cheers!!

:))

Hermit Mode On – Part 1

I’ve been telling you people for long that I’m going to write about my experiences in Kalimpong but I’ve not been able to do so owing to a few other things that have kept me occupied for sometime now. I’ve decided to pen it down today. Since this is a travelogue, I’ll do it in installments so that it doesn’t feel dreary.

We had a few options – Kalimpong, Mirik, Gangtok. But we chose to go to Kalimpong so that we could wrap it up sooner to stop at Calcutta atleast for a day(I really wanted to take my friends to my favourite eatery- PeterCat).
We had our Chauffeur, Jigme waiting for us early in the morning of 31st December 2017. Needless to say, it was cold – very cold(I am from the seas, so you know what cold means to us). We had planned on going for White Water Rafting in the Teesta. On our way the car stopped at a small village called Lamahatta for breakfast.

This is the part where I get into what I call my Hermit mode.

Breakfast consisted of flat breads which look almost like pizza breads available in the market – common people there call it Roti – the only difference being they are made over fire(in traditional chulhas).

Don’t mistake it for tandoori!

With it was a dish made of baby potatoes and tomatoes, there was their version of Chole as well. It was a small hut where we had this absolutely wholesome meal you can say. What I noticed was the stack of vegetables in the kitchen – some onions, small potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, some more greens. While there are a lot of pine & fir trees inhabiting the region, food crops are fewer and mostly home grown due to cold temperatures the entire year around. The usual supply of vegetables is from other towns situated at lower altitudes.

We got into our car and even with the heater on it felt cold.
Our next stop was Lover’s Point (I interpreted it as probably a place that people would fall in love with). All the way I learnt about hairpin bends and how to be in control of the car with our Chauffeur friend throwing us valuable tips here and there about the difference in driving in the plains & the hills.

That’s Lover’s Point – on the left is Darjeeling, to the right is Kalimpong. And that’s the Teesta River flowing along.

Until next time!

Cheers!!

:))