Brothers

To the person who understands everything through one glance, who refuses to have chocolate if it’s my favourite, who secretly watches me staring at the waves, who says, “you’ll do everything girls don’t”, who convinces me like an eight year old after upsetting me, who loves to argue, who knows something is wrong even without the slightest hint, who wishes to have complete details about how my day was, who is an expert in hiding emotions, who tries to lie but fails every time, who has taught me innumerable life lessons, whose favourite work is to annoy me, who winks and says, “I love to irritate you because there’s no greater joy in the world”,
To the person who never fails to make me smile,
To you, dear brother,

My thanks-
For that cup of chai we had in the coldest weather.

For taking me to a drive when I needed it the most.
For asking me if I was fine when you yourself weren’t.
For letting me rest on your shoulder when I was exhausted.
For attending to my needs, no matter how sleepy you were.
For complimenting the painting I made when it was horrible.
For that boiled butta we had when it was raining incessantly.
For improving my debating skills by opposing everything I said.
For understanding things through a single glance so that I wouldn’t have to speak much.
For waking up at six and wishing me luck for my exam, when you had a plan to get up at ten.
For saying “of course” when I asked you to do me a favour, when you already had work piled up.
For smiling when I looked at you, no matter how broken you were (that smile is a treasure to die for!)

My apologies-
For saying things you didn’t want to hear.

For acting irrationally when you didn’t want me to.
For delaying your urgent work because of prior commitments.

For not being able to have a nice, long conversation with you, frequently.
For quarreling with you on the tiniest issue just because I had a mood swing.
For messing your hair up the minute you set them and saying ‘sorry’, though I never mean it 😛 

My most sincere wishes-
That you smile every day, knowing that this sister of yours will never stop loving you.

That I could hug you tight, every time we meet and not just shake hands and give a formal side hug.

Things you’ve taught me-
To lead a life bereft tensions.

To never belittle a person’s hard work.
To turn a blind eye to people who pass comments.
To understand that experience is the greatest teacher.
To laugh at my own mistake because there’s no point in feeling repentant.
To be multi-tasking since I complete my work and talk to you at the same time 😛

“I don’t love to irritate you”, said no brother, ever.
You’re an exception to the saying, “everything has its limits”. No, the thrill that you derive by annoying me has no limit. The keenness to see that annoyed face of mine can never lessen. I’ve always failed to understand what pleasure it gives you. It’s astounding how every brother in this universe has mastered his annoying skills.

You’re so darn firm to annoy me, that if anyone wants to learn to be adamant, I’d send that person to you.

The hypocrisy-
You are the truest symbol of hypocrisy. You say “drive slowly” when you yourself don’t, “have meals on time” when you have lunch at five, “be on time” when you show up at ten for a meeting scheduled for eight, “learn to have patience” when you cannot wait for five extra minutes (I know you are smiling, recalling the moments when you’ve done this :P)

What makes me love you even more is when you ask ‘how was your day?/what did you do today?’. Certainly, nothing can change the past but asking these questions can comfort a person.
It’s insane how you keep shut on seeing me sad when you want to ask a thousand questions because you know that I’d rather prefer silence.
It’s fascinating how you wait until I am not visible when you drop me at a place.
And all this, my dear brother, is the highest level of affection.

One piece of advice-
If you don’t give me gifts on my birthday, it’s okay. You don’t have to. You yourself are a gift to me. Rather, stand with me when everyone else stands against me and believe in my words when everyone else makes fun of them.

To every brother who is reading this, you’re a jewel. I am, indeed, the luckiest person to have not one, but, so many brothers!
Anyone who asks me, “Who’s your best friend?” my heart prompts your name because you fit so flawlessly into the definition of a ‘best friend’!
Much love,
Little sister.

      Gratitude: A way to reciprocate

What is it that we’ve not been given by the Almighty? We’ve all been given more than what we deserve, isn’t it? There’s nothing we can do to reciprocate except feeling grateful for all that has been bestowed upon us.
We must feel appreciative for being given birth in this universe (how utterly breathtaking its beauty is!), for having a family, for having the strength and courage to reach where we are today.
We should also be thankful for every person we meet. Each one of them has something for us; each of them knows something we don’t.

If there’s one thing for which we should feel most blessed, it’s the problems that we have faced and the obstacles that we have fought.
Nothing in this world happens without a reason. Nothing. Broke your hand one day before an exam? Missed the train because you were a minute late? Didn’t get support when you needed it the most? Stuttered in front of a hundred gazing eyes after preparing beforehand?
Stop regretting and start thanking these incidents. These have what made you, you.

We’re just a minute creature to this universe, like what a jiffy is to a year or a drop is to an ocean. Our absence will have no effect on nature. Despite this, how can we call our problems ‘big’? 
Every time we encounter a problem, we should thank God for two reasons. First, that we’ve emerged stronger than we were, before facing the problem. Second, that we’re lucky since the damage could have been much more.

Feeling grateful also requires to have faith. We have a tendency to call tasks which require dedication difficult. This is incorrect. Tasks demanding our determination are not difficult, they are the ones which take us one step further; one step closer towards our goal. There is a way too much depth in the saying “where there is a will, there is a way” than we realize. No task can be unachievable; no river can be impassable, if we’re adamant to give our best, come what may! We’ll be able to do so only if we have faith, isn’t it?

Today, the biggest problem we are victims of is the excessive use of technology. This has become a threat so great that we’re unwilling to do anything on our own. Worse, even if we are willing, we’re unable to do anything without the internet.
In addition to reducing our memory and harming our eyesight, the use of mobile phones has affected us a little too much. 

Don’t we see people with power banks everywhere?  Don’t we call people not using social media ‘outdated’? Aren’t we unable to keep calm when there is no internet connection?
We’ve forgotten the reality and are living in the virtual life. Why? Because it gives us comfort. Let’s face it: this comfort is cent percent temporary.

There are people who say- ‘sitting alone and watching the waves? What a sheer waste of time!’
Well, the time you spend with your cell phone won’t bring you much glory. People don’t seem to understand this. Why do we want to keep others updated about ourselves by posting pictures and statuses? Let’s understand that it’s fine if people don’t know where we are; with whom we are.
Why do we want to see something that is in front of us through the camera? Isn’t this irrational?
They say, ‘pictures are for memories’. We might lose the picture one day but if we’re not busy taking pictures, our heart will automatically capture the moment. That is when it gets stored in the permanent memory. That is when we really enjoy the moment.

The best way to express gratitude is to make the most of our life and the best way to make the most of our life is to nourish our soul. This addiction of ours to the virtual world belittles our soul; it belittles the very purpose of our life.

Expressing gratitude means to value everything and everyone we have right now. This is what most of us cannot do. Yes, we cannot value things (or people) when they are with us. We then begin to weep the moment they are gone. Nobody has been able to win the race with time. Let’s understand that everything we have now will be gone one day. It’s called the permanence of the impermanence.
Taking care of ourselves is also a part of expressing gratitude. We have become so engrossed in our work that we’ve forgotten to take out time for ourselves. Believe it or not, many of us don’t even smile once a day. Such is our schedule that we always have a tensed look on our face. Always. Come on! A smile a day wouldn’t cost you that much!

Each time we smile, we feel thankful, don’t we? This means that we oughtn’t to move rocks to express our gratitude, but, just smile (genuinely)

 

 

 

Rains

If there’s something that can calm down the biggest of all storms, bring a smile on the saddest of all faces, or, beautify the disheveled, it is rains.
It is purely divine.
How confidently it assures that there is always respite after the scorching heat, euphoria after sadness!
Rains make the trees greener than ever, the roads cleaner than ever, music and a cup of hot tea soothing than ever.
It is a lullaby to the drowsy, a song to the dancer, music to the singer, romance to the lover, and, inspiration to the writer.
Oh, what is it that the rains can’t do?
It gives joy to the sad, relief to the tensed, hope to the disabled, and, belief to the incredulous. It assures a way to the confused and warmth of feeling to the cold.

To be able to do a task, there must be willingness. Rains provide willingness to complete the tasks we’ve forever wanted to do but didn’t. Such is its beauty. Such is its charm.
It can comfort the depressed.
If the shattered still hopes, it is because of the rains. If magic and miracles have meaning, it is because of the rains.
 

The predictable tomorrow

The unpredictable tomorrow

When I look at the word ‘tomorrow’, I do not see one thing. Rather, millions of thoughts come rushing to my mind. I cannot answer the question “What do you want to become in life?” in one word. Nor I can, in one sentence. This is because I do not want to be just a one-word person. I want to live the life of many people as one person.

I want to be a person who puts her heart, soul, and mind in whatever she does; a person who is too passionate to leave a task incomplete.
I see my future-self as a person who gets genuinely excited when others excel and who never lets in the word ‘comparison’ into her dictionary. How people compare themselves with others has always astounded me. Life isn’t a competition that we compare ourselves with others. It isn’t a contest that we’re going to be judged. Everybody lives his/her own life. How can there be even a basis for comparison?

I want to be a person who smiles on seeing an octogenarian exercising, an infant smiling, birds jumping, a brother-sister fight, people getting out at five in the morning for a walk with their dog, a person walking alone along a shore, the faces people make when they look at the sun, the way people act when waken up from sleep, the ripples formed when a stone is thrown into a river; a person who grins on seeing how beautifully water changes its colour on addition of milk, while making tea; a person who smiles on hearing the sound of rain on the windowpane, the sound of the ocean, the sound of boiling water, the way people whisper when someone is sleeping, the early morning chirruping of the birds and a person’s sleepy voice.

However, I don’t want to live just happily and comfortably. I don’t see my tomorrow just cheerful. This is because, if gloomy moments do not occupy a place in my life, how would I know what is meant by a happy life? Could there be birth without death? Could there be monsoon without summers? It’s like having a comb but being bald or having skates but being legless.
Have you ever noticed how the people who have all the facilities are the only ones to complain? How their greed never stops growing? This is because, right from childhood, they have got everything they’ve wanted. They have never been said ‘no’ to anything they’ve asked for. They have never seen sadness. Hence, they don’t know what it means to be happy.
Yet, I don’t want to be a person who gets sad when she can’t get an iphone7, when there is no internet connection, when she doesn’t win a competition, or, when she doesn’t get gifts from her loved ones on her birthday.

Rather, I would get sad if the moon doesn’t show up one day, if the sun rises a bit late, if the cool breeze doesn’t mess my hair up, if it doesn’t rain the entire day in the month of July, if the birds don’t wake me up from the deepest stage of sleep, if  I see six-year olds not playing outdoor but busy with their smart phones, if my brother doesn’t tease me, or, if the flowers don’t blossom after months of watering the plants.

I desire to be a person who has the courage to do the things that scare her; a person who loves to lie down on grass and watch the clouds move and the stars twinkle; a person for whom watching a waterfall is far more satisfying than watching a movie and a family dinner is far more important than ostentatious parties; a person who says ‘Hi’ every time she sees a dog; a person who moves out of her way to help those facing adversity; a person whose heart aches every time a tree is cut, a bird is caged, or, a dog is chained; a person who is indifferent to others’ opinion of her life.

Most importantly, I look forward to my future, where I would explore the culture and lifestyle of infinite people; where I would explore hundreds and thousands of places, each place and every new person giving me a sense of boundless satisfaction.

Imagine what kind of a life we are living when we don’t even know one-thousandth of the world population and we haven’t even seen one-thousandth of all the places in the world. Forget about the world, we don’t even know our neighbours and we haven’t even visited all the places in our own country. Then, questions like – “why do we need to know so many people?” or “why do we need to visit so many places?” come up.
We’re all given a limited period of time to live this life. Wouldn’t it be a shame for us if we didn’t know the people (not all, but as many as we could have known) who’ve been living with us all this while? Wouldn’t we be filled with remorse if we didn’t visit the beautiful places, after being given the opportunity?
Would you like smiling on your deathbed, for being aware about the stock market, the political events, the economic affairs or would you like smiling for the love you’ve received from thousands of people? What would you be proud of, if this was your last day on earth (God forbid)- being able to observe the nature’s beauty in so many ways by visiting different places or having lived in the same place all your life?
After all, we were not given birth to stay in one place, merely satisfying our everyday wants.
After all, we were not born sedentary for a reason.

I expect myself to understand that the most basic purpose of human life is being kind, not being a millionaire, not being a world ranker, and that every living creature in this universe is mortal. This is because a person who understands these two facts shall never while away her time, ever.

Above all, I want to be a combination of contrasts- bold but sensitive, realistic but believing in miracles, solemn but playful, strict but lenient. I’d like to mould myself into a person who is simply authentic and plainly deep.

I am a firm believer that my expectations will turn into reality, which certainly makes my future predictable.

Happiness

Happiness is not something that can be achieved or chased, it is something we feel. No one can always be happy. Life throws obstacles at every single person. It is absolutely normal to be sad; to cry at times. Those who cry are not cowards. Indeed, they’re valiant. Everybody has feelings but not all can express. Everybody cares but not all can show. Never belittle anybody’s feelings. It breaks them. It tears them apart!

There is an old saying- ‘First make yourself happy, then care about others, because an empty cup cannot fill another’. In the process of making ourselves happy, we become greedy. We become selfish. We follow the first part of the saying and forget about the rest. Life doesn’t work this way. We ought to care about everything. It is the little things which matter the most. It is those things which we neglect.
Here are some teeny little things (which hardly require any effort) to share happiness (because happiness, when shared is doubled) –
Stop being reticent- when you care for someone, tell them. If you have a soft corner for someone, make them feel that. Tell them that one of the reasons of you being happy is being near them. It will make them happy and deepen your connection. Keeping this feeling hidden within you won’t help in any way.
Forgive- holding a grudge against someone does no good to anyone. Rather, it affects our health. When someone tells you that they’re sorry, hug it out! No wonder you’ll feel absorbed in love (which is the best feeling one can ever have)
Be a good listener- When someone wants to share something with you, make them sit, let them finish, and then speak. If we interrupt, they might not say all that they want to. Give them their chance, then take yours.
Wishing at 12:00- no one can deny the fact that they love being wished at 12 a.m. on their birthday. Birthdays do not mean gifts and parties. If you really care about someone, go at their place with a beautiful cake, hug them, look into their eyes and wish. This will make them way more happy than throwing parties would.
Giving chocolates- we don’t have to wait for occasions to give a chocolate to someone. Buy one while getting home on any random day and give it to anyone you care about. Also, it is not necessary that you give it to a loved one. One day, just try giving a chocolate to a stranger (first, assure them that nothing’s wrong with you) and observe their reaction. The smile you’ll get will be priceless!
Do what you say or don’t say- If you’ve promised someone to meet him/her, come hell or high water, fulfill that promise. If you can’t (because of an emergency), sincerely apologize. Do not say something for the sake of making someone happy. Don’t give a word to anyone if you aren’t sure. Indeed, it is better not to make promises at all. If you’re not able to do, no one will know. If you are able to, just remember that people love surprises!
Spend time- one of the best gifts we can give to someone is our time, not as an obligation but out of love.
Try doing these and you’ll rejoice! Keep in mind the seven sins of life. Remember, what we give is what we get. If we are bitter, we’ll have to taste our own medicine. If we are sweet, we’ll have all that we want (because God helps those who help others, without expecting anything in return)