A rainy day- dog on my lap and a book

It’s raining, and I am sitting in my front yard with lots of plants. There is a smell of burning wood in the air. The smell I always associate with mountains and hills. The smell makes me nostalgic about travel. Thus, turning my attention to it. 

It’s a normal working day. Working from home gives me the liberty to work according to my own schedule.

I am a market researcher so analysis and reporting and understanding human beings is what I actually do for a living.

Yes, I like my job, it does wake me up in the morning. Some days are stressful, and some are not. I guess its true for you all.

But, it still isn’t what I want to do.

I miss the outdoors. I want to be out there, amongst the trees and the leaves, the unknown cities and the unknown treasures. The narrow road with an end to civilization, people nobody has heard of, places people have long forgotten, lanes still virgin from tourist traps.

I am sitting, I should rather move. 

Right now I am free, with nothing to do in terms of work. But I still don’t know how to find the opportunity that my soul craves. I feel restless and unsatisfied. When the weekend comes I crave working days while during workdays I want to throw back my legs and lie down and wish for weekends.

I have it all, yet I feel I have none.

I have stopped telling people about it. About my dreams, my cravings. They make fun, and they feel it’s not practical. But do I care?

Well, sometimes I do. I feel it’s a fantasy I have grown accustomed to while reading and watching movies, the two things I do so feverishly. 

At other times I feel motivated to work towards the goal in my free time. 

But now I am free, straining my mind to involve myself in exploring what I want.

But what are my next steps? Should I resume my office work? Should I continue reading Paulo Coehlo? Or should I read the e-book about past civilizations that I had been reading? 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO walk alone?

The world believes unity is strength, but I beg to differ.

This world itself made me realise, that I am strongest by myself.

I am strongest when I walk alone when I am vulnerable, prone to harm and injury and exploitation.  

When I have no one to ‘lean on’ I feel confident in my abilities, my choices and my actions. 

I feel liberated and free. I feel I can conquer the world, and I can conquer the world according to whatever stupid fantasy or desire I have. 

I could sleep if I want to, wake up if I want to. 

Spend money in vain activities or save like I am getting bankrupt. 

I can look at the sky and find crazy patterns and not care if people around me feel I need a psychiatrist. I can plan for holidays around the world without having the possible means at hand. I can live in my mad mad world and not care a dime about people’s opinions. 

So I walk alone 

Because….

When I am with others I am weak. I am weak in love

Because..

I heed what others want. 

I have a desire to fulfil ‘their’ desires. 

I mask myself for them to outshine, I live for them as a sign of my love and in the end, I forget who exactly I was. 

I start drinking if the person I love wants company, I stop drinking when the person I love hates drinkers.

So much so that I start shaping my personality, my words my ideas my pursuits according to their wills and desires. 

Perhaps I want acceptance? Perhaps I just want to be loved. A simple, basic need.

So does love make me weak?  Oh yes, it does. 

It weakens who I am.

It weakens whom I want to be.

It weakens my love for myself.

It weakens my desires, my fantasies.

It weakens who I am to myself.

Because I kill myself in loving others,

My love is the all-consuming love

That is why I have a small cohort of people I truly love

Otherwise, I would have used every vein of my heart till it drops dead.

So, the only way to survive for me is to walk alone. 

Would love to have you back!

Ruthless heart

A heart is a heart it has no rules

A name, a bond, a custom is for fools

Bind it, conceal it, or close it tight

Will leap out to a glittery sight

Consume every vien you hold so true

Until you are left with a shadow of you

A shadow with a dripping heart

Be careful for its not an art.

I found God

I never believed in religion. 

But I always believed in God. 

I was wrong both ways.

I thought he/she/it is something that is either inside us or maybe in the sky, what we often call heaven, jannat, swarag or the likes. But actually he isn’t.

Remember he can neither be created nor be destroyed? Every scripture talks about it.

Remember that time on a chilly morning when you had to get out of bed because you already overslept. You were almost shivering and hating every bit of it. While rubbing your eyes and adjusting to the reality, you find yourself drawn to the window. It’s cloudy, but somehow behind those clouds a soft ray of sun falls on your face? What did you feel then?

Remember the time that you were heavily burdened under your work. Your eyes pain, your headaches, the day feels dreadful and suddenly your dog comes closer and looks at you. What did you feel?

Remember the time it rained heavily and you were walking on the grass, barefoot. It seemed sticky at first, but then the pointy edges trickled your feet. What did you feel then?

Remember when you got out of a party? Everybody was drunk with ecstasy but you still felt sad inside? You got out and into the balcony, and heard a bird singing. Soon you see her, her round black eyes looking at you while she flutters her long yellow tail while singing. What did you feel?

Remember when you were sitting near a pond, thinking about your life goals.  There, on a log of wood appears a stone like figure but it seemed to move. People around you start noticing a neck beneath the stone. The turtle is standing still and everybody starts trying to get the turtle’s attention. But you don’t budge but silently watch it from your place. And somehow the turtle turns his neck and straight towards you. How do you feel?

You feel ‘him’, you feel the ‘energy’, you feel the ‘universe’ and you know everything is that divine energy. And everything else is just a distraction, just noise, meaningless worries and meaningless words. It is your mind that is actually causing all this ruckus. The universe runs through the veins of your heart. It connects you with every living being that surrounds you. It is then, that you finally know that the search for him/her/it is over. 

Where you able to find him?


Would love to have you back!

cozy new year’s: introvert’s NOSTALGIA

Everywhere around you, it seems the celebrations have begun. Messages of happy new year pouring in, people putting up status on Instagram and WhatsApp for hoping for a fruitful and happy new year.

Inside, well my house I mean, another party is being planned. A barbecue it is supposed to be. Families and friends are invited for a cozy dinner in the front-yard. What is to be cooked is already noted and extra stuff has been brought from the market. The house has been swiped clean and the crockery is shinier than ever.

But inside my little self, I am already feeling so tired. This tiresome event where everybody seems to be shouting, calling, amusing, partying and creating a hell lot of noise. I feel angry at all this. This isn’t how I imagine my new year to start.

I like it slow, like my mornings, with a spiritual sway, leaning in on to the day, gradually like the movement of the sun. I don’t kick start my day, why should I kick start my year?

And then, nostalgia kicks in and I am reminded of the best new years I have had, my kinda new years. So, I sit back and travel in time. 


It’s 6’o clock in the last day of the cold December evening of 2012. Mommy is all set for the night. She has been telling us to wind up our work because we are to go to a gurudwara for the new year celebration. There would be a lot of food, a lot of people and a lot of religious music to help us enter the new year with blessings. 

(Yes, we are a devotional family. My father is utterly devotional. We have both a religion and a guru to follow. )

So anyways, she comes to my room and my mind is already powered up, gathering reasons I will put forth, for not going.

When I start blurting the same, my brother stands across me, besides my mother and gives me that ‘weird’ ‘disgusting’ look that asks me why the hell are you choosing to stay alone Vs going out?

He doesn’t understand I don’t like all that noisy stuff. He believes I am a spoil sport. So, there’s a lot of crying, a lot of shouting and I ran amuck to the only person who can save me now, that is my grandma!

She is almost 75 now, cooks great food and has always been my shield. She lives just beneath us. Her old age has taught her all about peace which to my luck I already know at this age!

So, I ran upto her, convince her to take my side and she is all set for it. After that it becomes easy to give my mother a stronger version of ‘I am not going’. Now only my father is left to be faced. He is still not home so I have plenty of time to prepare.

So after a while, I head back to my refuge- that is my grandma’s house. The kitchen smells of lentils being cooked. I move upto her sit on the kitchen slab while she makes chapati. I could never understand how delicately she makes every ball of that dough as if she adds a bit of her love in it. I couldn’t resist so had to taste her love.

After having a sumptuous dinner, we decide to grab the cozy blankets and just cocoon ourselves in the bed. It’s almost 8pm now and my family is ready to leave. 

My grandma feels cold and needs a bit more warmth so we warm our blanket with a heater too. I lay by her side while she tells me stories of her childhood, my childhood, my father’s childhood, stories about partition and so on. As I lay my head on her shoulder I realise she is so warm and has that woody warm smell that I have always loved. My eyes are closed and I find myself in the space and time she is describing.

Suddenly my father arrives and asks me to get up and be ready since they are too late already. Filled with dread, almost shivering, I say no, I don’t want to. And he starts shouting. While I prepare to remove myself from the blanket, and to leave my grandma’s side, she steps in the conversation. After all she is the mother, my father couldn’t stand a chance.

And so I spending the night lying on her shoulders while the window bears noises of firecrackers being lit. People are dancing to freaking loud tunes on their roofs, some in their balconies while some are looking at others dancing away on their TV’s. The air itself feels so crowded.  Thankfully, the window was easy to shut. 

And there we lay, content and happy and peaceful and warm. A slow start to a new beginning inside my comfort zone doing what I love.


And the bell rings, I guess the guests have arrived. The new year party is peaceful no more. 

Would love to have you back!

Would love to have you back!

What I learned about the concept of flow

The clock struck 11 am. It was a cool morning, where the clouds were dancing to the tunes of thunder and the trees were enjoying a bath. And I, was numbed by the whole view. Alas, it was the best time to pick up a pen or rather open a word doc. 

That is the last thing I remember.

The clock had traveled past 3 pm. I suddenly realized I was hungry and thirsty. However, a sort of calming happiness dwelled upon me. Somewhat like you feel after a successful attempt at meditation. And I simply loved it.

But, I was confused.

What just happened? Was it normal? Where was I?

I got an answer to this puzzle when I read about the concept called ‘flow’.

I never thought of going deeper unless I read the book flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Being an Indian I was accustomed to the idea of nirvana or salvation but isn’t that what the highly abled hermits achieve? Maintaining your consciousness to a level where it remains in harmony with the surroundings, such that you don’t feel negative emotions due to external factors?

Well, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory taught me, that you could try to reach there without giving up on a comfortable life. Neither become a hermit nor a slave of the distracting world, but lie somewhere in between, having a perfect balance.

Mihaly defines flow as-

“ a state of joy, creativity, and total involvement, in which problems seem to disappear and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence”

The state of flow, when you are focussed beyond anything
The state of flow, when you are focussed beyond anything

It is where you lose yourself in whatever task you do and feel one with the universe. 

Well, that much is understandable, but what amazed me was the idea that this experience of flow defines the level of happiness in our life. It is much more than having flow at work!

To explain further, let me tell you the 10 lessons that I found revealing:

Consciousness is like a chameleon

Here, Mihaly debunked something that I truly believed in- the gut or the inner instinct isn’t necessarily your soul, it can be an output of social and biological needs. Your task remains to differentiate between whatever you actually feel/want and what sociological/biological factors influence. 

If you let your consciousness run amok, you might be led astray. 

So, you need to get hold of your consciousness, by paying attention. To focus on what matters and not what your body or society calls for. That is when you listen to the ego and not ID (biological factors) and superego (sociological factors).

Attention is the key

Once you are in control of your consciousness you know where to divert your energy and attention. 

While we use our tiny brain to process dinosaurs of data every single moment, it is impossible to process and retain much of it. However, what we do retain that data where we focused and held our attention to. Thereby letting meaningless distractions go to the bin. Hence, we need to learn to differentiate between what comes in and what goes in the bin, that alone can determine how peaceful our life is. 

If the bin comes in, victory goes out

Remember the time when you were worried about your promotion and burned the dish you usually prepare in a breeze? That is a fine example of how negative feelings-worries, fear, distract you and disable you to achieve the task at hand. That is when the psychic entropy(inner disorder) sets in and you are left crumbled with the weight of your emotions since you gave those negative thoughts maximum attention.

Complexity leads to growth

You must have been familiar with the fact that challenges lead to the growth of an individual. No, it’s not a plain motivational idea but has scientific reasons behind it. Our mind is designed in a way that it needs a constant dose of challenges, problems, hurdles. When you overcome those hurdles, it releases happy hormones like dopamine and you feel blessed. Often you must have seen people you often call ‘boring’; because they play safe; are more often than not disgruntled with life. That is because they lack complexity and stink in a stagnant personality.

Achieving flow is not a cakewalk

Overcoming a challenge like breaking your record at the gym or finishing a complex book often gives you a feeling of being a winner. Whenever you focus on a challenge with full attention, your mind indulges in it so well that you experience a flow state of mind where you stay until you have accomplished the task. After which you feel fulfilled. But for that to happen you need a task that aligns to your goals and skills (such that no negative energy disrupts it) and give it your full attention.

You don’t need coffee, but a constant dose of flow

Recreating every day to align yourself to a challenge and accomplishing it with efforts and attention, makes your self-confidence soar. You crave dopamine and indulge more in challenges that make you feel happy upon overcoming them. A happy state of mind, a self that stays boosted with accomplishment leads to a harmonious life altogether.

Pleasure and enjoyment have different souls

That might be the first time you read that. But it’s true. To attain pleasure your biological and sociological needs must be met. For example: while watching tv or eating a favorite food. But for enjoyment to happen, you need to go a step further and ‘invest yourself’ in the activity. For example: playing a game or taking part in fruitful discussions. In these activities, you invest your skills, often overcoming a challenge or finding something new to add to your psyche. You might lose your sense of self and thereby experience flow while enjoying but not while experiencing pleasure. 

But sometimes we don’t enjoy an activity that we otherwise do. That is because enjoyment occurs at the perfect intersection of one’s skills and the challenge at hand.

A challenge must lie between anxiety and boredom (copyright of the author)

If the challenge is too hard, you feel anxious and don’t enjoy it, while if the challenge is too light, you feel bored. So aligning the level of your abilities is necessary.

Leisure is a ghost of happiness

We all could agree on one thing, Friday being the most impatient working day. That is because we are waiting for our beloved ‘weekend’ where we are free to experience pleasure through leisure. Ironically, Mihaly’s study found that when people are involved in pleasure activities, they actually ‘feel’ bored, often sad (Okay, that might not be the 100% true, but a significant portion of the data pointed towards this fact).

On the other hand, when people are working, they feel happy now and then. They are always involved in completing a task, overcoming challenges and thus experiencing growth. But while taking pleasure; for instance in watching tv; we behave as passive receivers and hence don’t play an active role in our life. Most of the time happiness stems from circumstances under our control, where we are the main player!

More often, we waste our precious time while being involved in passive leisure. The author recommends using this time to perform your favorite activity. You might want to give your plants a visit, or pick that canvas up again! That is when your mind sends happy signals again.

Shed your human garment and enter the universe

We might assume that we are one amongst the many on this planet. We have to fend for ourselves and blah blah. It is this constant concentration on our self, the “consciousness of the self” that makes it impossible for us to excel. We forget that we are connected to the universe.

It is with the loss of this ‘sense of self’ during flow activities that make us accomplish the task so perfectly.

Our self is somewhat suspended, we merely become an agent in this huge setting, where we contribute to a task/work/skill/activity while merging ourselves with the cosmos. It is the feeling we often refer to as transcendence.

Be as light as air  

The word autotelic comes from the Greek word auto (Self) and telos (goal). It means that whenever we do a task for the reward inherent in doing it and not for an outward benefit, we achieve a greater result. For instance, whenever you are conscious that you should win the game, playing becomes anxiety-ridden and you often lose. That is because you focus more on the goal, more on your image, and less on the task. Remember our previous discussion on attention?

It also matters how you pick small bites in everyday life, give it your full attention and make the best of the circumstances. That is somewhat living with the world, and away from your conscious self. That is working for a greater good, for the joy in doing it, and not for some external output. This might mean, having a hearty talk with an individual while you stand in a long queue.

In short, finding hidden meaningful goals that make everyday life worth living. This is when you achieve an autotelic personality. You become someone who doesn’t need external factors to drive your consciousness because you are the sole driver.  

This all might seem hard to understand, but it’s not. 

So what is the crux? 

How to achieve a flow state of mind (copyright of the author)

Just keep your mind and heart in the right place, invest your skills in everyday challenges, learn to nourish an undistracted mind by limiting your attention to important tasks, immerse yourself in whatever task you choose, have a rendezvous with the worldly muse, come out victorious and bear the effects of happy hormones and a life of harmony.

If you think this book is worthy of your attention, you can find it on Amazon

Would love to have you back!


Would love to have you back

Travel isn’t what you think it is

“I feel like the world would be a better place if more people experienced a little bit of someone else’s experience.”

philip rosenthal

Whenever you plan on a holiday, you always have a ‘to-do’ or ‘must-go’ type of a list. If you are a tourist, these 2 lists are all you have. And if you are a traveler, you might have at least one of them.

We often go to see the mountains we have heard about, the island which is all over Instagram, the hidden gem of a forest we saw on Youtube, or a place that is simply ‘trending’ or somewhere we long to go due to some reason.

After narrowing down a destination, we often to jot down the places we would be visiting there.

But, what we don’t plan is ‘who’ we will be meeting.

We forget the human element surrounding our journey

DHANPAT, THE CAMEL GUIDE

After all who populated these beautiful landscapes and made them known to us? Who built the historical sites we are so eager to visit?  And who comprises of the cultural arenas we love to hang around in?

Yes, people!

Those who you meet when you land at the airport, the bus-stand or the railway station. When you hire a cab or an auto-rickshaw, the driver is excited to meet you. If you aren’t a snob and would love a conversation, he would love to tell you about his home city.

If you get lost and seek the help of those around, he would (more often than not) be out there to help you to the best of his abilities. But only when you are open, to the reception.

Some will simply care     

When I was walking on a snow-clad road in Kashmir, which was hardened by the decreasing temperatures and hence slippery, somewhere along the road a man dressed in his pheran (Long dress made of wool), having no connection to me, said ‘

madam side side se chalna dhere dhere

(Madam, walk along the sides, slowly). As I smiled and thanked him, I wondered, why does he care? That was my ‘city mind’ talking. Here, we see each other with the eye of a skeptic. Everybody around is there to either rob or hurt us, that is all!

A STRANGER ON THE ROAD

But traveling rings a different kind of a bell. Ironically, we are more comfortable with the people there, in an alien environment.

SOME WILL be happy to talk

“Because you know what happens when you say ‘hello’ or ‘good morning?’ You make a connection. And isn’t that what being human is all about?”

philip rosenthal

Talking to strangers on road, is like talking to culture in flesh and blood. You just need a hello, or khamma Ghani. That is all we said, when an elderly Rajasthani man came in while we were having tea in what came out to be his tea-stall. He has several tales for us, from the hardships of life in the Thar desert, to the honesty of people in the area. We did lost track of time and got up only when ours was the only voice on the road.

A VILLAGE ANCESTOR IN JAISALMER

Though natives have the most potent kind of a story. You also love sharing your experiences with fellow travelers.

As we boarded the long-tailed boat in Koh Lanta, Thailand, we saw a couple who greeted us with a smile as we hopped on. That was the only signal we needed, because after that we were transported to Canada and Japan, the two countries the couple belonged to.

some will seek respect

There are some people you meet on the road. While others who are a part of your holiday fever, the ones you meet at the ‘must-go places’.

An average Indian tourist always believes the locals are there to rob them or charge a hefty sum. I don’t say their allegations are baseless, but these are too general.

A cranky man, who seeks to go up a mountain because he read about its beauty in a blog, would simply want to go, would believe the owner of the pony should be ‘present’ at his ‘command’. The poor local man, would fight for his dignity and quote a sum he would be highly profitable in. That is because for him, you are a source of income only!

On the other hand, there’s another man. He calls the pony man, “bhaijaan kitne mein chalenge?” (Brother, how much will you charge?) and then begins to bargain, does so with an apparent ‘human touch’, one that makes the local happy because he likes a man who talks, that too with respect and love.

IMAN WITH HIS PONY

The native is there to help you with your travel goals, and earn some money. But if you understand the ‘help’ first and the ‘money’ later, you will see how he makes sure you get the fun equivalent to every penny paid. And in doing so, sometimes, they might go a bit too far.

some will make you cry

As it happened to me that I was being hand-driven on a sledge. While I enjoyed the comfort, along with the snow-clad Pir-Panjal Range, I saw a red drop fall on the snow, where the man driving my sledge walked on. As I informed him of his injury, he would merely wipe clean the blood, smile and moved on.

AIJAZ WITH HIS SLEDGE

For the rest of the journey, I merely enjoyed walking with him while having a conversation, till we reached our destination.

After that, only his words lingered in my mind, the stained snow and I forgot all about the mountains.

some will make you laugh

In the hot deserts of Rajasthan, when the sun was about to retire, we were heading for the dunes. Our man, dressed in a sand colored dhoti-kurta with teeth that laughed all white, came with a shiny black jeep vibrating with Rajasthani folk music.  

As our car mounted on one sand-dune to the next, he would make a loud noise, encourage us to dance, and forget we were different. We drove in the desert for 3 hours and at that moment, we were ‘all one’.

ALI WITH HIS BEAUTIFUL THAR

We had already negotiated the price, it would have been less of trouble if he would drive us down, silently and let us seek our adventure on our own. And somehow he became a part of us even when we headed home.

His laughter and voice, where he sang his own name, “Ali, Ali, Ali” in delight, still catches our ear now and then.

The part played by the locals is not only to help you discover the city but to make sure you have a great time. And if trouble strikes, and you are kind yourself, then kindness shall prevail.

some will help you (without any motive)

You will agree how embarrassing it is to wait for your turn in the queue, get an order ready, and discover you have no means to pay the cashier! Well, that too in a foreign land!

As we finished our meal, we wanted a hot cup of coffee to power up our senses for another stroll in the cold streets of Sweden. So I got in the queue again and ordered 2 hot cups of cappuccino. Even after trying twice, all the 3 of my debit cards wouldn’t get approved. Being a cashless café, they wouldn’t accept any other payment mode. While I opened my mouth, for an apologetic cancellation, the man at the counter announced my order to be prepared. All wet in embarrassment I repeated that I couldn’t pay. The man smiled and said,

“I know mam, don’t worry, it’s on us!”

That didn’t happen to me, so far in my life, in my city, like ever! Is it related to the fact that I had complimented the food, only a while ago because I was genuinely too happy about it? Or would you say the locals-only care for the tourist?

I think, We are far too busy distinguishing people into races, religion, caste, country, ethnicity, locality. It is only through travel that you realize underneath the different skin color, features, built or clothes, is the same human in flesh and blood.

He or she is willing to welcome you in his/her home, shelter you, and let you feel welcomed. Not because you generate revenue for them, but because no matter the money, every human loves to talk about himself and learn about others.

And as human, when trouble strikes, people genuinely care.

some will come at your rescue

Like the time my brother forgot his bag on a tram in Stockholm and the next thing we see is, he sitting in a car and driving away. Later we were told, the man wanted to catch the tram, in order to retrieve my brother’s lost bag. That was a total stranger!

Or another time, when being lost in the all encompassing snowy landscape of Gulmarg, with no connectivity, we were trying to locate our cab driver. It was -6 degrees, our feet were wet and numb, and we were hell tired. Then again, two locals read our trouble, offered to help, and used their cellphones to locate our driver.

It might have been their loss, their loss of time, but humanity always prevails.

Perhaps, we often forget what is to be human in our daily lives. It is only when we see a new set of people, we are willing to be nice again. Though, it is true for only some of us, who are kind enough to ‘respect’ the other, rather than being skeptical.

I remember when my hostess in the houseboat in Srinagar came rushing to me with a heater, asking (in a relatively demanding tone):

Tumhara cap kaha gya? itni sardi hai , baal sara geela, bimar padhna hai kya?

(where have you left your cap? It’s too cold and your hair is all wet, do you want to be ill?)

She reprimand me like a mother, but why? I wasn’t paying her for keeping me healthy, she shouldn’t have cared, after all, I was just a stranger!

That is when I found what travel actually was and realized:

SOME will make you HAPPY , some will make you CRY, some will HELP you, some will CARE or some might just be happy to TALK,

because travel isn’t just about places,

travel is all about people!

Are you someone who feels the same about travel? Are you more interested in ‘meeting’ new people, tell me down below!


Would love to have you back

Birthday in Quarantine: the introvert way

An evening before:

While the time was eager to run, my heart was still. I was sad, kind of hopeless. I was away from my parents who were sharing their lives through the threshold of their doors. 

Here, I lived amongst my new family the same way. So, there was little to cheer about. After all, birthdays are meant to be celebrated together with family and friends. But this time everything was ‘distanced’.

So, I thought maybe tomorrow would be an equally boring day. Nothing special. 

And something ringed inside me. I heard a whisper- ”I thought you were unique and wanted things a bit different than most of the people, isn’t that so?” 

And my mind answered back-” Well, why not. In Fact let me celebrate my birthday the introverted way”.

It was almost 2 hours for the clock to strike 12. So I switched open my notepad, jotted down a few things that I always hated (ok, disliked?) about birthdays and how I can spend this one, the opposite way!

My list went like this- 

sleep late (not rush for your birthday party)

Put on new but comforting clothes (not trendy chic, mostly uncomfortable types)

Spend time with your plants (not get stuck in the traffic)

Have a hearty talk with every caller who wished (not small talk as in, thank you, ciao)

Watch your favorite travel movies (rather than sit in a crowded café)

Have your favorite cuisines in a mouthful (not worry about others having had enough)

And the list went on….

The day began late, while I woke up with a lovely glow since I had snoozed a bit more in my cozy comforter. The day felt all mine. 

Oh, did I forget to tell you how I had cut my cake at midnight?

It was different too!

I pulled out the cake from the fridge, placed the candles, blew them, while my sweetheart stood at 6 feet watching me through the process. Not only that, I made sure I tasted every bite that I offered my family through a video call. I saw their eyes, I saw the endless love, the wishes, and the longing. 

I missed their hugs and kisses and warmth. But, the distance somehow added a bit more to all of it. The craving somehow grew the love inside our hearts so much so that it glowed through their eyes, their smiles, and their words clearly. And not to forget, I had a good share of the cake!

Back to the day of my birthday.

So, I took a break from the kitchen. My sweetheart pampered me throughout the meals with different cuisines. For breakfast, I had garlic breadsticks, mocha brownies, and a cup of hazelnut latte. Need I say more? I was blessed man! 

It was time for my plants. Little by little I went up to each one of them, talking, asking about their health, and checking whether they needed something. I smelled them, brushed by and took a leaf or two of my favorite herbs, and savored my mouth. And reveled in their lingering fragrances-basil, rosemary, lemongrass, mint. 

All this, while my well-wishers were lined up through calls. My phone surely had a busy day. But I poured my heart with everybody out there. From friends to relatives, to family, all of who were sad about the current state of affairs.

I gave them a laugh, had one too, they filled me with hope and I did too. Our hearts met, through voices alone.

Almost all my day passed in conversations- the deep ones I might add. 

It was time for a movie. That too in complete solitude. Browsing through the genre of travel, I realized I had almost exhausted this category. All through Netflix and Amazon Prime, I struggle to find one movie based in Europe that I hadn’t seen. 

And bam! I got one-In love with an Angel. 

An Italian movie, based in my dream destination-Rome. 

From the sweet and swaying Italian to the cobbled streets, the green-eyed Raoul Bova and the monument of Hadrian as a backdrop flew me all the way to Rome. (Who would want to choose an alley with countless heads and weary faces?)

Well, after my rendezvous with Italian charm, I had some chill in Rio de Janeiro too. Yup, in the comfort of my comforter again! While outside, the wind blew harder and the temperatures were low.

My love made sure to turn my room into a cozy green cafe, with soft yellow lights and my green children from the front yard. 

Together with a tray full of my favorite Chinese cuisine with that rolls. I savored all, with sips of red, while dancing to the tunes of Samba.

It was almost 12 and yes my special day had ended. But did I miss anything? Anyone?

No, I didn’t. Because I felt more closer to them than I ever was. This time there was no sham, no pretensions. The blessings were real and so was the love. 

Yes, it was different this time and some may say it’s hard. But hard times drive you closer, at least that’s what I learned. 

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments.

Would love to have you back!

Would love to have you back!

Review (movie):The fault in our stars

” But alas,the world is not a wish granting factory”
-John greene (The fault in our stars)

Life seems to be a night without any clue what the weather next morning will be. It’s exciting but intimidating too.

Scared to think what might happen to people you love. Or perhaps you yourself might be the victim of god’s fancies. All this cleaves the heart into two. One that fears why at all should we live and what if we die today. The other wants to breathe the few left valid moments of life. One feels making relationships would lead to happiness. The other feels the effort is no more than to try to hold onto the sand in our hands for long, before it falls away and be a part of the vast ocean of its descendants. Forever to get lost in the abyss, with no more a distinct identity. Either they’ll be first or you to ascend to your real abode. Misery certainly is inevitable.

Bless the heart that watches someone daily leading towards the end of his journey. Who sits beside the traveler telling him not to worry or perhaps the usual “you’ll be fine”.

Where deep inside he too fears the loss…perhaps ill rather be the traveler and not the consoling beloved. Because to bear your pain is easier than seeing a beloved suffering.

To travel is easier than standing at your threshold and intending to lead the same life while a big change is about to happen.


Reading The fault in our stars leaves us with the same feeling.

How everyday ones escapes death, plays with it when you never know when you will be caught.

Hitherto Hazel felt like a grenade who would blow up people’s life and leave only victims and scars behind. Her cancerous self, rejected any idea of getting “hooked up” with a boy she felt highly attracted to. Though spending time with him, her appetite could no longer resist the temptation and she gave in.

The point when she kissed Augustus she lost the battle of her mind against her heart, giving her senses the pleasure of being in love. Little did she knew she herself fell for a grenade which exploded her life up, leaving her as a casualty with unbearably beloved scars.


The plot shows how life has its twists and turns. One may not know when the visa we brought for travelling down to earth may expire.

It’s as if hazel got a gift in lieu of her diseased self. A person who loved her and died loving her making her a part of the last moments of his life through the letters he left for VanHouten. Where in the first half Hazel was the next feed of the dust, Augustus preceded her.It is certainly about…The fault in our stars  which can make or break the constellation of life.

The thing with watching the movie is that those that die in it are actually alive. You can still see Ansel Elgort alive.However the novels makes you cry more because you know there certainly was some Augustus waters who died giving Hazel a reason to live.

Would love to have you back!


Would love to have you back