The Gods Above Are Always On The Watch

Everyone is fighting a war of (her)his own and all this while (s)he is being watched by her or his Gods.

There often are times during these personal wars, when the folks start thinking that if the Gods above are watching then why they are not helping with things going wrong down below. I have often passed that line when doubts crop up. Thankfully, the Gods have always been there, for they are always there watching us from far above and far beyond, even when we start doubting if they can help at all. Had they not watched me, I wouldn’t have had such a good walk through my life so far. The moments that made me feel that my Gods had deserted me, were also the moments granted to me to be a stronger and a better guy.  I thankfully, remain convinced about my Gods always watching me all the time – through my thick and thin, through the good times and not so good times, throughout  my war at the personal level.I have started suspecting that it is the same Gods above who make us feel deserted, probably that is the only way we learn to be better folks.

I feel the gratitude towards my Gods for being watchful enough to make my life a pleasant walk in the woods.

A Case For Less Salary

Funny isn’t it – the more money we have, the more we spend and the greater is the fire to spend more.

Contemplating about the years gone by, I think all that much more money means greater desire to spend. This makes us consumers of the worst kind, spending when we actually do not need to. Finally reaching the stage of indulgent consumerism – when we spend without reason. Feel good that I have been granted an opportunity to look back and say that a whole lot of spending was not such a good idea after all. As I earned more, I spent more without reason. Most of it was still for a requirement, but a good chunk was for sake of it, I saw everyone around me buying new stuff all the time. Buying new things when old were still good, buying more things when they were actually not required. Vicious cycle it is – only some get the wisdom to get out of it. Less salary gives greater power to control one’s desires, while higher salary give wings to desire, pushing the human element out to make space for an indulgent consumerist. Thankfully, I have been able to see the reason to get out of it. I now know how I should handle the next raise in salary. Spending would be defined by the requirements rather than the amount of money I would have. Life can’t be lived chasing and comparing salaries,  it is far more than the sum of all the money I will ever see. It seems a good idea to live as if I never got a raise – not for the sake of saving, not for posterity either, but for the simple reason that requirements are different from desires.

This is my case for lesser salary.

Bon Fire

 

Bon FireIt was decided that we have a Bon fire. There was no reason but then the celebration of life does not require a reason or a date to just let the  hair loose.

We all decided to collect a little late for my so-called ‘happy hour’ – nine in the night is late even on a normal day. This day was a cold one. I had my inhibitions and had almost decided to ditch the get together – I have always detested late night outings. When I finally landed up, I was late. Old songs were playing in the background while folks were enjoying their drinks. The mood seemed nice.

I smiled my willingness to indulge  and picked up my drink, settling down comfortably next to the fire. Surprisingly, the fire had managed to chase away the biting cold and it felt cosy sitting around the it. The lovely melodious songs of yester years added to the mood. It really felt good sitting around a fire in the cold of the night and chatting away, sharing experiences, cracking jokes mindful of the  flow of  life –  slow and firm.

Time flew by and I surprised myself  being still awake when I saw my watch and realised that it was already past midnight. Time had slowed down to such an extent that I could be at ease with myself so much so that I had lost the sense of time. I was floating in the good memories of all the good people I had known and all the good that had happened in my life.

It was one of the best times I had in the past few months, a time that I would preserve as good memories, returning to it whenever the rigmarole of everyday life allowed. I feel grateful to the one above for the great time I had and to those around for the lovely bon fire.

 

Thanking The Sunshine And Warmth

The weather in Kashmir is becoming cold with night temperatures dropping to below freezing point – the verglas in the morning is a clear and precise evidence of the same. But the Sun is out everyday, granting us the pleasure of availing the warmth after the lunch. Feels warm and lazy and really good. The haze is increasing by the day and gradually making us feel that the Sun is losing its shine and warmth. As days go by, we would be yearning more and more for the diminishing sunshine and warmth of the Sun, which will eventually give way to the snow and the cold.

Whenever that happens there would be no more lazing out in the Sun after the Lunch. But till then, I and a few of my friends remain thankful for the Sunshine and the warmth of the afternoon Sun.

A non-cheesy guide to gratefulness: What to read and watch

The perfect appetizer for sure.

TED Blog

noncheesy_guide_gratefulnessGratefulness isn’t always something that comes easily. Below, some reading and watching to get you into a thankful headspace.

  1. Watch: “Want to be happy? Be thankful.” This TED Talk from David Steindl-Rast is the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. In it, the Benedictine monk and interfaith scholar talks about what, exactly, it means to be grateful and offers a simple process for living gratefully: stop, look and go. Instead of rushing through life, he asks us to see the opportunities that are available and open ourselves up to them. This isn’t an idle or even simply personal concern: gratefulness has broad social implications. “If you’re grateful, you’re not fearful, and if you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not out of a sense of scarcity and are willing to share,” Steindl-Rast says. DavidSteindlRast-CTA
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  2. Read: “A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day

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Good To Be Pouring My Thoughts

I remember the good old days when I used to scribble my thoughts in a small scrap-book that I often carried. Sometimes the poetry come pouring in rushing thoughts and I had nothing to scribble on, except the paper napkin – well it felt stupid to let the words go unrecorded, especially, when I knew that these would not become difficult to recall. That’s how my drifting mind works. Those around me always thought me to be queer. But it so happened, that I never could bother. 🙂 Later, I would rewrite the words in my scrap-book to avoid the loss of those impulse stream of words through the loss of a frail paper napkin. Well, the things have considerably changed in the digital world. The smart phone is always there and often comes handy instead of the blotting napkin paper. It feels good that we have blogs to put our thoughts down. I can almost always have a feeling of gratitude whenever I switch on my laptop. The feeling of thankfulness  becomes deeper, when I realise that how many people are not able to do so. There are also those who have laptops but don’t have the time. Well, I feel blessed to be just able to pour my thoughts into something that can be recorded. 

Addicted To The Internet?

During all this while i.e. about two and a half months since I published my last post on this blog on 29th June,  I had decided that I should avoid the Internet. I knew the proposition was rather a difficult one, for I was addicted to the net as if my life depended on it. I knew that it was true to the contrary, but then the addictions are the way they are. I decided to give myself a small compensation and that was that I would allow myself to access the internet using my smart phone. This was just to ensure that I do not break down and get back to the Internet with all the harmful vengeance.

To a great extent I have been a success and to an equally great extent I have failed. But the gratitude comes from the fact that my endeavour has made me wiser. I also feel thankful that the bright idea of avoiding the internet has convinced me now, that I ‘am actually not addicted to the net. It’s all about the choices that I make. Now I know a few things and will remember these, least I start assuming that I ‘am addicted to the internet. Well the list goes something like this: –

  • The Internet is a great source of knowledge – so great that one can easily lose a lot of good time when one looses the focus and start visiting the websites which were never intended to be visited at the onset.
  •  If one is not mindful of surfing the internet with a definite goal then it will eat your time much more than one can afford.
  • Facebook  and twitter are meant for people who do not know what to do with their time. Well, I cannot deny that a lot of people are using the social network with a certain cause and effect. but mostly it is meant for time wasters. Best is to automate updates using tools like IFTTT.
  • Internet is always available for use, it is not getting exhausted (considering that you are like an average citizen who lives where the Internet exists!). This implies that you can use it whenever you want to – you don’t have to be on it 24 X 7.
  • Emailing is avoidable to a bare essential. I never felt the need beyond two emails over two and a half month.
  • Too much Internet is harmful just like too much alcohol – it affects your family life, time with friends, outdoor activity, reading, pursuing hobbies and a whole lot of goodies of life.
  • I now feel that the prolonged excessive use of Internet may lead to depression! 
  • Too much of watching the small screen will deny you watching the good things of life, like the blue sky, the far horizons, the eagle in flight, the dogs playing in the street, the expression on a child’s face when (s)he is playing hide and seek, the changing colours of the distant mountains as the sun rises…………
  • Either you watch that movie with friends or you chat with friends on the Facebook. We all know what exactly is better, no?
  • Surfing the web is a very individual and a personal experience, something like meditation but on the other extreme of mindfulness.

Thankful that I learnt a few things by “doing it” rather than someone “preaching it”.  Though i did miss posting on this blog, but at the end of it all it really FEELS GOOD!

🙂