Sunday, 18 May 2014

A Creatives Quest...

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

― Ira Glass

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Invitation~ by Oriah

A friend shared a beautiful poem yesterday and this is how it goes...

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Some more Hafiz....

"When all your desires are distilled

You will cast just two votes:

To love more and be happy."
~ Hafiz

Thursday, 1 May 2014

I want to be seen as run-of-the-mill....

There are times when I want to be seen as run-of-the-mill. I don't want to be seen as special, as something less or something more, than others. 

These are the times when I'm barely keeping it together or I'm figuring things out and at times like these, I will lie to you about how I'm feeling and what's on my mind. I will smile as I lie... Maybe even chuckle... 

I will lie, because if I don't, you will look at me differently and like I said, I don't want to be seen as special. 

Somehow, you seeing me as run-of-the-mill, helps me pretend my life is all figured out and well put together... just for a while...

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Soul Song

They're Singing Your Song 
From a story told by Alan Cohen
in his book: Wisdom Of The Heart
When a woman in a certain African tribe knows 
she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness 
with a few friends and together they pray and 
meditate until they hear the song of the child. 
They recognize that every soul has its own vibration 
that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When 
the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud.  
Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone 

When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child's song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child's song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come
together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song.

Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person's bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life.

To the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community
form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn't. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. 

You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you'll find your way home.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

It is Grace...

If it goes your way, it is Grace.
If it doesn't go your way, it is Grace.
It is Grace, every step of the way.

Who graces and with what could have as many as 7 billion answers. What matters is, it is Grace.

But, Grace doesn't have a face or a smell or a shadow. It's a nudge, a whisper, a near miss.

If you recognize it and acknowledge it, you will always live in Grace...
If you fail to sense its presence, you will, still, always live in Grace... 

You see, Grace is cool like that. 

To catch Grace in the act... it's ineffable... That you are the center of the Universe and that it exists for you, only you... this is the closest description I can think of...

Today, I caught Grace in the act... :)



Thursday, 3 April 2014

Man In the Arena...

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Of Ostriches and Wildebeests...

"Look... look, a wildebeest!!" 

A very excited me pointed to this black speck in the distance! 

"No, that's a Maasai Ostrich." 

A calm Yakub corrected me, our guide on the Maasai  Mara game drive.

I disagreed with him and said that it definitely looked like a wildebeest. I had seen so many just a while ago, driving up to Maasai Mara! In fact, wildebeests and zebras were the first set of wild animals I had spotted along the bumpy highway, enroute to Masaai Mara.

He again stated that that indistinguishable black speck was a Maasai Ostrich, a male. 

By now, we were driving up closer to this controversial creature and I could not wait to see what this black speck would morph into. At about 10 feet away, the creature morphed into this big, feathery ostrich. Yakub was right.

Driving through the vast savannahs such episodes happened many times. Till, after 2 days of driving around these massive grasslands and sighting beautiful and magnificent beasts and birds, I caught up with (not exactly!!) Yakub's eight years of game drive experience and expertise and my predictions on sightings became more on the mark (not entirely!!!!) :).

Anyway, what I realised was an old lesson, yet again, what we believe is what we see. At the time I mistook the ostrich to be a wildebeest, I had only just seen these brownish black animals, with humped backs and had no idea of what an ostrich in the wild looked like. So on seeing the black spot, my mind just made the assumption. 

Our brains love patterns. Anytime we are faced with vague or incomplete information, it quickly sorts it into familiar patterns to help us make sense of the world. We see this in action when looking at optical illusions, spilled coffee beans on the floor, clouds floating in a deep blue sky. The faces, the definite shapes that we see are all the brain looking for familiar patterns to help us make sense of the world around us. Clearly an evolutionary requirement. 

Yesterday, I read this in, "Your Everyday Superpower" by Janette Dalgliesh: "In other words, what we experience might be the brain's best guess about the world around us."

Best GUESS???? BEST guess, you say???? I'm forming my "reality" and then living in it basis a GUESS, albeit the BEST??!!! Yikes!!

So evidently, we're looking at people, situations, circumstances based on what might be our brain's best guess, at that point in time. Wow. 

Makes me wonder what am I NOT guessing, what am I assuming and how could that additional information change my view of "reality", and my thoughts and then feelings and hence actions and decisions... How many more poor, unsuspecting ostriches am I labeling as wildebeests?!? 

Interesting, eh? Not so much for the ostrich, I'd say. ;)

(Here's some photographic evidence of that sighting.)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

My all time favourite poem - 1



Saturday, 15 March 2014

What matters?

Seriousness is made out to be more than it is and facetiousness not enough. 

Friday, 14 March 2014


Qualia is an unfamiliar term for something that’s actually very familiar to all of us
Qualia is the way things seem to us
The experience of happiness
The redness of an apple
The taste of wine
The touch of a loved one
Qualia is a word for how we experience everything around us..
When I got there after hours of wondering
I just ran my hands through my hair and said to myself, It’s beautiful up here!
When you see something like what I saw
It’s like watching a giant ensemble do its thing
Only they don’t know they’re being watched
It wasn’t contrived like a performer going on stage at a certain time
It wasn’t like the creation of a masterpiece from a blueprint
It wasn’t like anything anyone can do with their eyes open
It was just there… and it was beautiful
And I finally sat there by myself holding my head in my hands
I’ve been trying to believe for so long
It was all the proof that I needed,
there is serious meaning in nothing,
and unlimited joy in everything…
Asking upside-down questions
getting inside out answers
writing trails with them on and on
and leaving my own instead.
So I made like a sponge, and absorbed away
taking photographs with my eyes
writing stories in my mind
and not forgetting to be there at the same time
because you know that memories are like picture post cards
and experience is actually being there
So when you look back tomorrow
and wish it was today,
you can wish wish wish away,
stare into space wonder how i felt back then
and smile because you remember…! :)
~ Dualist Inquiry

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The colour of love...

Till we learn to love ourselves, love remains an unknown colour. We could be surrounded by it and still not see it or recognise it.

(I wrote this sometime back..)

From, “Dance to the Piper and Promenade Home”

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. 
And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. 
The world will not have it. 
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. 
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. 
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. 
You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU. 
Keep the channel open.”
As quoted in “Dance to the Piper and Promenade Home” (1982) by Agnes de Mille