Are you Diwali Ready?

Diwali, a beloved festival to all of us is one of its own kind.
Not only because everything around us is lit up with candles, diyas (earthen lamps) and fairy lights, but also because it brings everyone together like no other festival does!
I have been away from home and have been missing Diwali 4 years in a row now.

No, I don’t miss the firecrackers. ( Thank God for the realization that for a 2-minute fun of watching these crackers burn causing so much harm to the animals and environment is not worth it)

No, I don’t miss the lighting of diyas or making rangolis (colorful patterns drawn on the floor) because I can still do all of them here.
Of course the fact remains that I miss my home and family undoubtedly.
Honestly, staying away from home doesn’t really give you the Diwali feels.
But this Diwali morning was an eye-opener for me.
I fought with a friend terribly over a petty issue without even hearing him out.
He just uttered one sentence- “Kruti, It’s Diwali today”. And he left.
His words kept ringing in my head.

While sitting alone, I realized that had I handled the issue differently instead of being so volatile, I wouldn’t have hurt his sentiments and wouldn’t have felt so terrible about what I did especially on a festive day! I became so impatient and lashed out at him.
Haste does make waste.
It’s all about the choices you make. I chose anger to deal with the situation (only to mess up things further.)
While reading an article on Diwali online, I realized that I have always focused only on the superficial meaning of Diwali all these years.
The lights, rangolis, diyas, get-togethers, pomp and show.
Of course they add life to Diwali!
But what about it’s real sifnificance?
Indian mythology dates back Diwali to the day of return of Lord Rama from his 14-years long exile after he defeated the demon king Ravanna.
It historically symbolizes the victory of good over evil and celebrates light and life both.
On the personal front, Diwali is the time to repel the darkness and ignorance with the innate goodness residing within us.
It’s a time to reflect on and evaluate our thoughts, words and deeds.
It’s a time to acknowledge and negate your vices and begin transforming yourselves.
It’s time to explore how loving and respectful you can be towards others.
It’s time to shove the ignorance in you and act wisely and compassionately.
It’s time to burst your ego and be sorry for your wrong actions.
Just like one diya can evade away all the darkness, let not the shine in you dim.
Let it guide your thoughts and actions.
Let every Diwali be a source of happiness to you and the ones around you.
It took me a fight with a friend to realize the true meaning of Diwali (to be remembered for a lifetime.)
And yes, now I am Diwali-Ready!
Are you?

P.S- No sooner did I realize my mistake, than I ran to my friend to make it up to him. After a little bit of sulking, we were back to being as crazy as we are.
After all, Diwali is the festival that brings everyone together.
Happy Diwali to all of you.

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What are you?

Everyone has different takes on Religion and Spirituality.
This topic is very sensitive to talk about per se. And it will be required on my part to be politically correct in all means. The goal is not to create disparity but to elaborate their features.
The one thing that unites them is that both Religion and Spirituality serve as a pathway to God. Both teach us that there is more in the universe than what can be perceived by the five senses.
But both are widely different in their approaches.
One major difference between the two is- Religion brings with it old beliefs, doctrines and learned men who preach them.
Whereas, Spirituality sprouts from within and helps you tune your mind and soul.

To be more specific, Jesus was not Christian. Buddha was not Buddhist. They were spiritual men. As years passed and as acceptance of their teachings grew, people began redefining them in the name of Religion.
This is by no means any criticism or judgement but a just a way of looking at how Religion gains popularity on the realms of Spirituality.
Or in other words, Spirituality gives birth to Religion.

With the dawn of 21st century, with the ability of science to explain, with the inquisitive nature of the millennials, people are inclined to unfold the real meaning to everything and not just follow anything blindly.

Religion says that truth is what forefathers and scriptures say and one must believe it.
Spirituality shows that one should not have blind faith but explore a deeper meaning about the universe, about life and about oneself via meditation, self-connection, reasoning, mindfulness, scriptures and so on.

Religion says that God resides in Heaven.
Spirituality shows God is omnipresent and can be felt in our being.

Religion focuses on outer practices and rituals.
Spirituality focuses on one’s inner thoughts and attitude.

Born into a Jain family, it was expected of me to abide by the principles of Jainism, attend the weekend classes that taught those principles, practice simplicity and adhere to non-violence. This is what my elders expected me to do so. This is what Jainism as a religion required.
But as I grew up, I realized there is more to it than just practicing Jainism as a religion. This is where Spirituality kicked in for me.
Jainism preaches simplicity and non-violence. I wouldn’t say that I am a staunch follower. Rather I am spiritually inclined towards the principles that Jainism offers.
Paryushan is an 8-day festival celebrated by Jains all over the world. It marks the renunciation of worldly pleasures including food and water and embrace simplicity in all forms.
For me, I don’t see this festival as means to give up on food and water or as means to exercise self-control on how much can one sacrifice.
NO, I am not disrespecting those who renounce food and water during this festival! I see this festival as a great opportunity to exercise control over my thoughts, deeds and actions.
And not only during this festival, but also everyday as an opportunity to explore myself, rise above my inhibitions and practice mindfulness.

Hence, Spirituality is not thrusted or forced . It’s roots are deep-seated in each one of us. The more you are inquisitive, the more you will find answers. It is simply your own conscious self recognizing that you are more than just a body, that you are a being with immense potential.
I can now affirm that I am Spiritual since it enlightens me in many more ways than Religion can, by not only bringing me closer to God but also closer to my own self.

What are you?
Religious or Spiritual?
Ask yourselves!

It’s time to Unlearn.

There are thousands of articles and blogs about how to cope up with people who don’t like us for any reason and we all are probably fueled up with all the strategies to deal with them.

Lets do it the other way round this time!

What to do about a person you don’t like?
This is atleast the one thing we all have in common. Each one of us has this one person (may be more than one), whom we dislike or can’t jell with easily.

And if you ascertain that you love/like everyone around you, you are possibly fooling yourselves. Psychologists say that humans can’t click with everyone in their lives.
Reason could be anything!
Perhaps, they didn’t acknowledge you in anyway or didn’t act in accordance to you or it could be a simple clash of ideologies and opinions. This person could be a stranger, a colleague, a neighbor or a friend of friend.
If you don’t care a dime and it doesn’t hamper your being, you are on the right track!
But what if you are dedicating more-than-enough time and energy dealing with it?
You ought to do something about it.
You ought to Unlearn somethings and how so?

– Throw kindness like a confetti.
This is a very powerful quote that always strikes a chord whenever I read it- “Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.”
You can be kind to someone, you don’t especially like.
What could be the outcome? That person may respond to you in a positive way (either sooner or later) or even if he doesn’t, you will feel good as you rose above your inhibitions and you know you have done the right thing.
All this while we have fed ourselves with all forms of negativity and anger against that one person.
It’s time to Unlearn a little of all the despise and resentment which causes unrest to us, mentally and socially.

-Acceptance is the key.
Accept that you can’t get on with everyone. Some characteristics of that person’s nature are invariably repelled by yours. The sooner the acceptance, the better.
It’s time to Unlearn the fact that you don’t have to be amicable but you don’t have to dislike or despise them either.

-Turn the tables.
Try to look and perceive people differently. Even if that person is nagging you, don’t get angry about it. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt.
It’s time to Unlearn that you don’t necessarily have to retort back at every single action of that person.

-Cut the confrontation quotient.
If that person is adding to your problems and you can’t keep your calm, you need not confront haughtily. Sometimes the way you speak is more additive that what you speak.
It’s time to Unlearn to blame or reprimand every time. Rather lay out your problems specifically in a less volatile or offensive manner.

-Last but not the least , Ignorance is bliss.
You can’t bottle up your feelings. But you are the master of your own mind. Recognize those feelings and remind yourself that you are only what you want yourself to be.
It’s time to Unlearn to give undue attention to the person who momentarily darkens your day.
Sometimes doing nothing about it can do everything.

I hope that all of you are able to relate to this post and adopt a few of the above mentioned ways to deal with such situations.
Because it’s time to Unlearn all the unhealthy behavior that you have used against the person you dislike.
After all, all our wish lists consists of is- peace of mind.

The Disobedient Guru

‘Guru’ is a Sanskrit word in which ‘Gu’ means darkness and ‘Ru’ means dispeller. Guru is a dispeller of darkness and ignorance. He is the epitome of righteousness and an exemplar in the art of life and wisdom.
Then, how can a Guru be disobedient?
I am certainly not pointing out at any of the professors or teachers or any other person who have taught you anything in life.

We make mistakes. And we learn from them. Don’t most of our experiences make way for better versions of ourselves?
Yes, you guessed it right! I am referring to the ‘Guru’ that resides in each one of us.
Now, the questions arises- Why is one disobedient to himself/herself?
The possible answer could be that you are too preoccupied with the topsy turvy things in life that you are unable to make time for yourself due to duty calls or you could be trying to wade off the bad/unwanted emotions and memories that may hamper your superficial peace!
In doing the former, you probably are losing out in living your life to the fullest and while doing the latter you indulge yourself in chores and errands just so that you don’t come to terms with the reality!

Whatever be the repercussions, it ultimately affects you. We all make choices- Right or Wrong. Both bear the potential to teach us lessons. But if we have made the wrong choices, and we hate and repent ourselves, we are bound to sulk. For ‘God knows’ how long!!

But what if we let the inner voice within us, guide us in our attitude towards life? We probably won’t be dishonest or disobedient to our own selves the next time.
When you are true to yourself, you deeply value what you feel and desire.
In order to do so, one must cultivate a deep and trusting relationship with oneself.

This is a long process and requires full commitment on one’s part. Research says that if you repeat the same thing for 66 days, it becomes a habit! So why not get in touch with all the long lost things that once were a prime part of your life?
When was the last time you chose to read your unfinished novel?
When was the last time you chose to call your friend and laughed your heart out?
When was the last time you chose to listen to your favorite retro song playing in your caravan?
Or rather when was the last time you spent some quality time with yourself and counted your blessings?

Feels like ages, doesn’t it?
I know we all are busy trying to earn a living. I know someone or the other is busy battling against a burdening situation in life. But where are ‘you’ in all of this? Admist all of this, where is the time you owe to yourself?
It’s time to relish in all the things you love.
Follow your intuition.
Establish a stronger connection with yourself through practices like meditation, yoga or journal writing.
Stop procrastinating things that your even heart knows will help you achieve your desires.
Engage in talks that inspire you to do better than yesterday.
Techno-savvy world that it is, install apps in your mobile phones that helps you keep a track of all your pursuits and helps you rate your progress.
Instead of pointless scrolling down the screen on social media, catch hold of audio books and finish off your favorite novel.
Exercise to feel good and exhale out all your limitations.
Don’t just make resolutions for the heck of it. Remember them each day with a stronger resolute to fulfill them.
It’s time to awaken the Guru in you and to live up to yourself.

Don’t hold yourself back in doing what you love to do. More so, don’t be afraid of making the wrong choices. Instead let the powerhouse of energy and goodness in you, enable you to do the right thing the next time!

Beacause you are probably just 66 days away from removing the ‘dis’ from the disobedient in you!

Thankyou Newton!

You must be wondering why would I tittle my blog this way! You will have the answer to it and probably even agree to it once you read this post ahead.

Taking a sip of my coffee whilst writing this blog, when I sit back and look around, one thing is for certain- Life is not a cake walk for any of us.
Academic pressure, competition in the work field, running a family, raising children, health issues and the list goes on. Life endows a human with endless responsibilities to adhere to. In the midst of all of this, we get so imbibed in living up to others expectations that we forget to live up to our own.

Days pass by. Months even. And like the hands of the clock, we go round and round about fulfilling the tasks asked of us. It is needed. It is the call for life. It is inevitable.
But what is modifiable is our approach towards things.
The most burdening situation arises when the ‘What will the people say’ factor comes into play!

Newton has rightly put forth- “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
I personally owe it to Newton for having shed his wisdom which is not only applicable in the field of science but also in life.
The actions meted out by the society or anybody per say, be it positively or negatively influencing us, demand our reaction.
If positive, we welcome it with open arms. If negative, we sulk and show a cold shoulder.
In both the ways, it’s our reaction that makes us a loser.
Why?
The same society or person for that matter may appreciate your work now, but if their appreciation turns into criticism in anyway, it will surely be detested by you.
However, if it is criticism from the beginning, mental restlessness and friction in relations is what predominates.
I dreamt of becoming a doctor when I was a child. Little did I know the how-abouts of becoming one back then. When people around me encouraged and acknowledged my dream, it fueled me enough.
But when the entrances happened and I couldn’t clear them, those same very people were on guard to discourage and demoralize me enough.
Now that I am pursuing my dream already, the same bunch of people accolade me.
The point here is People are people. Their job is to say and poke their noses right into our lives. But it’s our job to allow or unallow them to do so.
If only I had mastered the art of life then, I would have been a happier soul then. But it’s never too late to mend. One learns from his own mistakes. It is known for a fact that all the successful people in the world have followed this hack. Because if they would have given in to the criticism of the society, they wouldn’t be successful in the first place.

Honestly, for me now the only way out is to be oblivious. That is the only EQUAL AND OPPOSITE reaction that I can offer. After all, not responding is in itself a response! I know for a fact that the society and people around can be harsh at times which may devitalize us. But instead of fighting back or despising it, why not redirect all that energy to where it will be harbored better.
It will be difficult to pay a deaf ear initially, but boost up your passion in a way that anything that hampers your being, is impermeable towards you.
Be so absorbed in your dreams and ambitions that nothing said or done can quiver your mindset. Be your own example such that no encouragement or discouragement can influence you. For you are your own encouragement.

You can derive the message of this blog in two different ways. Either to stand and shut the society up(which is nearly an impossible task) or disregard everything and react only by working on yourself towards a better person. I choose the latter.

Hence, Thankyou Newton!

It takes two to Tango.

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Tango means ‘two people’ in spanish. It is a dance form that hails from Latin America and is performed by a couple dancing and syncing rhythm to its enticing music. So then why does one say- ‘ It takes two to tango’.
It is an idiom often used to emphasize that in a difficult situation, it takes two people to co-operate with one another and reach to a conclusion.
All kinds of relationships face difficulties at one point or another. Sometimes they become so toxic that they ooze out all the mental peace from you. Efforts made by both sides may become insufficient to make the relationship last longer. Low self esteem, lesser control over things and a sour behaviour is what follows.

Chances are that a third person may have had a hand in turning situations adverse, but the ultimate responsibility is of the two people directly involved.
I had a really good friend of mine, who once upon a time meant so much to me and now we behave as plain strangers.
Would I like to blame the circumstances or a third person involved? The answer is No.
It was our duty to nourish our friendship but somehow we both failed.

What did we do next? Yes, initially we strived to make it last longer and nourish whatever little we had left. But nothing really came out of it. Eventually, we grew apart.
My personal take on this was to just leave it as it is. Without further ado, carrying only beautiful memories of us with me, I decided to walk out gracefully.

What is my life like now? Life is at its own pace while I always hope the better for her.

I shared this piece of my life only to make way for the ones who feel the need for it. There is no point in dragging a toxic relationship incessantly. Pull up your chin and take responsibility for your action. Stop the blame game!
-You cannot really fix/force the other person for a relationship to persist. Work on yourself first and work for what is real and not for what is in your head. This will help you get your ideas clear about where do you stand in that person’s life.
-If it’s not getting any better despite all your efforts, learn to draw a line. This will save you from the mental agony that lingers on due to a failed relationship.
-Muster the courage to let go and feed yourself with what you need and not with what you want. This will help you realize what is best for you what isn’t.

Stating these facts, there is an coherent acknowledgement that one needs to make in every form of relationships- Do all in your capacity to make it work. Chances are that seeing your passion and sincerity, he/she would want to meet you halfway down the bridge. Because it does takes two to tango!

Having stated that, the fact remains that the ideology of a perfect relationship doesn’t exist. But a good one makes you feel secure, content and hopeful of the future.
Toxic relationships drain you of your enthusiasm and make you feel depleted. If you feel you are going through any of this be it on the personal or business front, it’s time to make changes.
You are the best decision maker that you have by your side. The strings won’t detach easily. Your affection towards that person or any other reason for that matter will make it difficult initially. But choose the path that is the best for you. Accept the inherent flaws, implement the changes in your life gracefully and do your future self a favor.

Out Of The Cocoon.

My heart sank seeing my mother teary eyed, waving at me. I would be away from home for the first time, for 6 long years.
My dad accompanied me the first time I came to Philippines. I clearly remember the day I went to see him off at the airport. I was scared. It was a whole new yet terrifying feeling. The sight of my dad leaving gave me shudders never felt before. But the gleam in his eyes that shone brightly for the new life ahead of me gave me all the strength I needed to strive along.
Yes, I was completely oblivious to the life that awaited me. New friends, new life, and the excitement of studying medicine, exhilarated me.
The ‘Chapter of Philippines’, had now begun!
I was enrolled into B.A. in Psychology, a pre-medicine course, which served as a pre-requisite for pursuing medicine in Philippines.
From the food at the canteen to the experiences of a hostel life, everything perplexed me. Taking things at face value, giving in easily and unable to cope with situations made me clueless. Back in school, everyone and everything was so smooth and easy-going, that college life stunned me. I was at my wit’s end most of the time. Battling between emotional turmoil and homesickness, I took my own sweet time to adapt and adopt to the new changes.
In contrary to school days where mostly everyone was amicable to one another, now everyone around me seemed to have chosen someone over another in their journey. I did the same too. Gradually my friends numbered from many to 3 or 4. The word “priorities” came into being and I realized how important it is to have just the right people and not a large number of people by your side.
At times, I found myself lying on the terrace, gazing at the sky and feeling happy for everything and anything. At times, I would find myself despairing and fussing over silliest of things.The next thing I remember doing is calling my sister or a friend to cheer me up and whoosh, gone was all the sadness.
Trips, hangouts, bunking college and late night cooking are indeed some of the fondest memories I have of my pre-medicine days.

And then medicine happened. With all my energy, I set forth to fulfill my everlasting dream.
From going crazy over the never ending exams, to paying bills on time;
From hassles at college to the nostalgia of home and family;
From the irresistible craving of home made food to being on your toes to study medicine, it was and is a roller coaster ride.
Now, emphasizing on the purpose of this post, one needs a few hacks to survive when you are away from your home, family and friends a.k.a when you are Out Of The Cocoon.
– A dream, courage and passion is primary driving force that will help you in the long run, come what may.
Family is that form of sincere love that you should look up to and you are sure to crusade through it all.
Friends who are there with you when you are away from your home, are your family away from family. Keep the. Cherish them.
Last but not the least, the zest in you to nourish the ‘old-you’ with life’s experience and enjoy the ride.
It’s rightly said- Change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. So after you will have achieved your goal, every hardship that you would have faced will be worth it. Acknowledge your journey and do something for yourself and for the ones you love. Eventually, your coming Out Of The Cocoon will be fruitful!

Let nobody dim your shine,
Take the chances as a boon,
Go get whats truly thine,
Oh, dear come see the world,
Oh, dear come out of the cocoon.