The Battle Inside

My mind has got paralyzed. It aches and the more I try to make it work my way, the more it crushes my insides. The resistance that I face is insurmountable wall of pain. It feels like being caged, you know. The mind has always won over me. From the start of the day till the end, my mind controls me like a robot. I give in to its demands. I give in, which is far from okay. Every time, every damn time it wants the easy way out, more comfortable, less rocky. And that leads me to being nothing.

 

We dream so many things. We wish for so many things, but we end up losing on them because we give in to the mind like a piece of cake. And then it gulps the entire cake leaving crumbles for us.

 

It is hard but last I checked, to achieve something, we will have to endure pain. To achieve happiness, we must solve the problems. Nothing comes for free. Yes, it seems all risky, it seems all theoretical, it seems all superficial but you and I both know it will be worth a try because what have we got to lose anyway!

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One with that light!

I was ruffling around being the sea breeze,
Spreading my whiffs of air around those grasses and trees,
Smile always on the face, almost like those bigger waves
Opening arms to reach the skies which got everyone pleased

Then came the sunshine,
Looked so beautiful with those velvet skyline,
Filled with exuberance, I paved my way
Only to realise that path was filled with burnt rays

Moving forward meant to face the flames
Afraid, I turned away from that lane
To become water, which stayed on the ground for a while longer
Just a droplet in that vivacious humongous ocean I chose to become
Mixed into everything, swaying like everyone else

The truth was difficult, from water I again became the breeze, right in front, a cycle began which never ceased,
But in sudden and haze, the ocean started to grind one day
With one last chance to be more than a droplet,
Will face the burnt rays I decided

In the form of a breeze, strongly and determined, I glided
Pain, sorrow, fear, facing them all… The ease of being water again tempted
With absolute aim on the sun, no consequences, no limitations were concerned

In the end
I was what I had always wanted to be
One with that light, that ruled the universe, the sun and tree

Straight on Diplomacy!

Diplomacy has been a core part of human communication since times immemorable. Usually it is seen as a tool to maintain international relations between various countries as every country has its own agenda and ideology. But at an individual, group and organisational level, we usually use diplomacy to please people with power and position for some gain or advantage which we may not achieve by working ourselves rather than as a way of communicating honest opinions. Sometimes it is considered to be a sign of professionalism and at other times, it is used to take a neutral stand so that we are not in conflicts with either parties who are fighting, at home or workplace.

Whenever I try to talk straight with someone, my family, friends and teachers ask me to tone it down. Recently, I was asked to act diplomatically intelligent! And I do appreciate their concern. If I say something which unsettles someone at power or position, or makes them angry, that person may take it out on me in some way or other or may not help me in future. But I don’t like it. I don’t like to waver and keep my talk in circles, I don’t like to sweet-talk when I know the person in front of me has done something wrong, I don’t like to laugh at the not-so-funny jokes which my boss cracks, I don’t like to take a neutral stand when I can clearly see the difference between what’s right and what’s not.

There are numerous examples where someone tries to take your advantage and all the credits for the work you have done. There are incidents where managers/bosses almost threaten to fire you for not praising them enough or suggesting new ideas, there are times when you are piled up with a lot of work while others enjoy free time, there are times when your friend calls you up only when he needs something, there are times when your relatives ask for money and then act as if they don’t even know you.

I have often observed that numerous hours are wasted just in deliberating on the problem. But the solution is never discussed. Our hesitation and fear of judgement leads us to continue being what we are. We complain, we crib, we get frustrated and yet we still want to hold to our monotonous regime. We can’t afford to lose it, can we? The cycle of frustration should move on.

Communicating your problem and being straight about it isn’t going to take away your job. Obviously, the way you communicate matters. But if you don’t do it, neither will your superior come to know where exactly the problem lies, and neither will you be satisfied or happy. Yes, of course I know the times we live in! People are more sensitive then, ever. Political correctness and thin-skinned people surround you and it is not raining jobs or relations every day. One word or phrase can get you kicked out in both professional and personal life. And yet, directness is prized in this world. So, learning to be candid and being crisp and expedient without being short or rude is a critical skill set to be developed which can serve you to be successful and open.

Diplomacy is great when you are at par with someone and don’t share the same opinion. Leads you to respect people’s opinion and you develop a way of talking. But the same concept when used as filters, leads to a polished form of conversation which are like those polished fruits. Looks great, health breaks! And today, diplomacy is mere sticking up to someone and being conniving.

Let’s consider a scenario where you and your employees are not diplomatic with each other. What would that be like?

Initially, some people may feel uncomfortable to hear the truth. Others will choose their words very carefully. And you will have to make sure that honest communications happen face to face and in a decent manner. After some time, you will see a drastic change in the work environment. Problems which used to take months are now being solved within hours. You team is more cohesive and strong because of the trust built in the process. You yourself will see a dynamic change in your personality and your organisation will grow!

I was having a discussion with one of my colleagues on this. According to him, you have to deal with frustrations in order to survive. You have to be shrewd because someone else will take your advantage and rise up the ladder. Everyone is greedy. As much as I did hate it, I knew what he spoke was practical. But what are we becoming? Just because everyone is like that, we should also burn our insides and start being the sweet-talker and tolerate all the problems we face. Should we just keep on piling it up? Is it really worth a price to pay? I say, NO! You don’t need to.

By being straight forward, I don’t mean you speak your mind all the time and be ruthless and insensitive to people around you. Being straight-forward is to talk what’s right and what needs to be done in a way which creates action rather than arguments. Being straight-forward means to speak a mature tone. Being straight-forward means to be open to listening and not hearing. Being straight-forward is making sure of solving even the smallest of the problems at the roots of it then letting it become a grapevine for everyone to enjoy. Being straight-forward makes us better human beings. 

Being straight forward offers you the following:

1.      You feel light having been honest with yourself and others

2.      You don’t waste time in discussion. You communicate it to the required person and together look for a viable solution.

3.      You don’t have to pretend and keep the act on. As it is, Oscars is too distant a dream!

4.      Your organisation becomes more open and communicative which leads to better ideas, more proficient and effective plans and a healthy work environment

5.      It removes all those negatives and crutches which hold you back as an individual

I know, it may all sound too childish or idealistic now as we think we are in a system that no one person can change. But I feel, sooner or later people will realise what I am saying. Because if we continue to be what we are, and we let it all flow, you will end up regretting your life decisions like the 60-year-old uncle I met the other day. He hates life!

It is time we open ourselves up and be true to people we work with and we spend time with. Straight-forwardness is required in this polished world!

I couldn’t be subtle, so I ranted!

My eyes won’t open. They are tired, and they want to be in the darkness as long as they can be. For a person like me, that’s a devastating thought especially when I am at the verge of becoming a graduate and going to start a new chapter of my life.

I was heading the students’ body of my college for 7-8 months, pursuing my professional course and graduate degree, completing my internship tenure with a professional accountancy firm and I was studying blockchain, crypto currencies and other technologies. Alongside I was trying to be there and help people with their problems. But in all this I think I lost myself. Yes, seeing others happy and progress gives me happiness and that’s the purpose of life I have made for myself. But am I doing it right?

My eyes seek darkness, my body doesn’t want to budge anymore, and my mind doesn’t want to think about anything. Frankly, I have not written for quite some time due to this. I was in a block. The process had become mechanical and life a fucking routine. Yes, I am darn angry with it! Have I accepted the wall of expectation people have of me and thus feeling the pressure? I guess so.

People face numerous problems in their lives, mostly because of their own perspectives and their own image of a life that they so wish to have.

Expectations.

We humans are best at crying over a problem, seeking sympathy for it and even acting to be strong when we are at the most vulnerable point of our lives. Nobody wants to accept their vulnerabilities. They will become a lesser being if they did or this is what most of them think.

I have had problems accepting my mistakes, flaws and vulnerabilities. But I think, it is high time I did. I am 21 and there is a lot of life left in me (except if I bid this world farewell a bit early). I cannot carry the baggage and keep on trying to hide it from others. Yes, I get tired, yes I get angry, yes sometimes I am not able to focus, yes I don’t want to give a fuck about who’s going where, what they do and what they want, yes I am selfish, yes I don’t know the meaning of so many things in life, yes it is difficult to manage time and I am left with no choice but to sacrifice so many things that I hold dear to me and yes I am not honest always.

But I want to do something huge that creates an impact, I want to help people, serve them and yes, I want give meaning to my existence and I want to do it with utmost freedom. I want to seek it with utmost honesty. Honesty with myself, with what I am, my limitations and what I can do about it.

I am done with falsifying myself, cheating myself and creating a mirage of good things around. I am what I am, and I will strive to become a better human being.

Today, we seek happiness in the most mundane stuff like uploading photos of the food we eat, the restaurants we visit, that gym session we completed, we seek happiness getting likes and followers on Instagram and twitter, we seek happiness in people commenting on our posts… deep down we want us to be accepted by everyone and in that process, we fucking leave our own characteristics our own being and try to become something we aren’t. Why? Why the hell would you not want to be yourself? Why are you afraid that some random people won’t accept you? And that’s hilarious you know… you not accepting yourself and then you want others to accept you.

Nobody was sent in this world to be alone, to be left out in isolation unless it is by their own choice.

You are what you are, and you are beautiful. And if you do want to make strides, want to become better, then you have to accept what you are and then work upon things you can actually change and make better. Trust me, you will feel less burdened and your life will change.

 

Past, Present and a free mind!

When I was 17, I was immature and had a vague concept of life. I used to get affected a lot by situations around me and had thousands of thoughts which my mind processed and it ended up wearing me out.
These thoughts took away the most precious thing I had at that time, the present. The present became unpleasant too!
I did have the habit of clinging to certain incidents and over-thinking about it. Over-thinking cost me some amazing opportunities and enjoyable times and later my academics.

I have met a lot of people who cling to their past. Maybe to just one incident or maybe to everything that happened to them. Some of them accuse God for whatever bad might have happened to them while others put the blame on someone else and they keep crying over the same issue again and again and again and in fact, they even give space to hatred in their hearts and forget the sacred ability we, as human beings have, of forgiving.

What changed me was a simple act of failure.

I had never failed in my life. But this one professional exam that I had given… it crushed me. But I am thankful to that blow. I am thankful because it taught me that only if you have the strength to get back up and move ahead to conquer, will you be successful in your life. Only if you have courage to face failure will you be able to fly. I did clear my exams in my next attempt and that too with unbelievable scores. But this failure, it taught me something very important.
When you keep your mind at peace, you will be able to process the necessary things faster than ever. You feel light. You feel free!
How can you keep your mind at peace? – Meditation, yes. Yoga, maybe. De-cluttering, definitely a yes.
I followed the third one.

De-cluttering your mind is not a simple and easy process but it is also that one thing which helps you effectively concentrate on your present.

While preparing for my exams the second time, I had only three months and 7 huge subjects to clear. I decided that I will make studies my whole and sole area of thought and nothing else will be given any space in my mind. I had thrown my phone and resorted to just one place – library. But this isn’t about how much I studied. This is about the indirect valuable lesson I learnt. After the exams, I felt different and after a while, it struck me. I had forgotten about whatever had happened in my past and I had even let go of my fears and vulnerabilities. I became open!

It is difficult, very difficult, to leave your past which affected you so much. It maybe a fight with your parents, a terrible break up, someone breaking your trust or even, you not accepting your own self.

Anything.

But I will tell you what almost all the people say – Why to cry on spilt milk?
Yes, I know it is painful and I also know that your past just comes around so often. But if you decide, you will be able to achieve something that you will cherish for your life. De-clutter your thoughts!

I consider past as an incident which I can learn lessons from and I move on. I carry with me no qualms, no hatred, nothing. Either it’s love or it’s learning that I decidedly take ahead with me in present and I cherish it.

Your mind is built for some amazing things that even you do not think you will be able to achieve, but I guarantee it to you, yes I guarantee it you, that once you start letting go and stop thinking about the past, you will be left with a lot of space in your mind to do almost all of the things that you wanted to do or pursue. Free yourself from the baggage you carry. Also, I can only suggest this – Stop getting into unnecessary gossips or being judgemental about people. Be open to everyone and treat each person as a learning point. Even from the worst person you think there is, you can learn a lot. And that person will then just be a point and nothing else. It will stop bothering you in the future.

Accept your fears and vulnerabilities and move ahead to make them strong. Once you open your mind to present, your past will just be another history lesson! 🙂

The Judgement

I was livid, almost near an outburst but I restrained myself. We were at a panel discussion and represented our school. Every time we raised our hands, the mic was passed to someone else. As the event was nearing its end, we got a chance and I stood up only to see some of the people leaving and others just uninterested. I was shocked but that didn’t bog me down. “India’s development lacks fruition because of its direct jump from agriculture to service/tertiary sector creating a huge gap of manufacturing sector which is the most crucial aspect of any country’s development. Our minds have been trained and in fact have been subject to constant propagation that job security and regular salary is the mantra of a smooth life. And if we go deep into this gap crisis, you will realize that at the very core, we lack the quality of education and the facilities that can enhance learning. What we need to start at a very basic level, is integration of education at country level and introducing more practical elements. We can also start conducting business and industry seminars for students where they would be inspired to start their own thing.” Everyone was stunned. No one expected a municipality (lower level of government) school participant to be such a fluent English speaker let alone the on-point content of the speech that had been brilliantly delivered.

Still, I could sense the hesitation. Judges, students, teachers, organizers had all their minds made up. Municipality school, no talent-pure garbage. From the time, we had entered the discussion, we were judged. We had been judged for the school we represented, we had been judged for the clothes we wore and also for the bags we carried. It was the time of results now. I was confident that we would at least be one of the top three if not the first. But the expectations were crushed within minutes. All the international school names were announced as the top three which followed a thunderous applause. As we were about to leave we heard “Our judges found this team to be excellent at few areas and have thus decided to announce a consolation prize. I would like to invite the students of Maratha Vidyamandir to come up and collect their prizes” There were faint claps but nonetheless we were happy that we at least got some recognition.

I have, from the beginning of the time when maturity had hit me, been staunchly against this entire human process called judging. I wanted to get this concept right and so I had asked numerous people as to what judging meant to them.

Few told me that judging for them was forming an opinion about someone, few others told me that it was about creating an image of a person in mind and the remaining people just followed the perception what other people had. The common thing that I observed in all of the responses was that the opinion/image which was being created, was formed BEFORE they had interacted with the person or even had met him/her.

I discussed judging at a stretch with many people. They were of the opinion that one simply can’t stop judging because it is a human nature and that forming opinions and passing comments was a regular thing. When I told them that I respected but didn’t completely agree with their opinion, some of them frowned while others just thought that I had no basis. But I do. Because my elder brother and I were a living proof that it was completely human and quite possible to not judge anyone.

Recently, a few friends and I were on a trip to a hill station. It was chilly outside, so one of my friend decided to smoke. She was new to the group and was oblivious to certain likes and dislikes of the people. Personally, I don’t like smoking but I didn’t interrupt or think anything else, if my friend wanted to smoke. If she felt better and if it’s her choice then who am I to stop anyway. As soon as she was about to smoke, few of the other friends had entered the room. They starred for a while, some of them shifted uncomfortably and finally after giving a fake smile, they left. I could see the expression on my friend’s face. And I also knew, how they had judged her. Throughout entire trip I could see the behavioral change for her, especially in the girls in our group. They were gossiping and throwing indirect jibes at her. I tried my level best to stop it. They didn’t know that the girl they were judging just because she smokes, was also a school topper, was also someone who had sacrificed the recent college trip only to go to an African country for providing medical assistance to their people and she was also the only earning person in her family. But who cared, who would have wanted to know anything beyond a puff of smoke? All they want is to form rapid opinions and pass judgement as much as they can.

Fear. People also fear judgement. They fear that if they do anything which is different from the general norm, they will be ostracized out of the group, society or community and be judged for their entire lifetime. Seldom do they realize that it is this different thing we do which can lead to new ideas, new way of doing things, new thinking or maybe, a new society! Even the things you consider silly today, may have value in the future, you never really know. And even if you are being judged for your choices, that wouldn’t really matter once you are successful. It never really matters.

Forming an opinion after you completely know a person may not be that bad, because then it is, I guess, equivalent to making an informed decision.

Randomly judging someone just on the basis of their choices of movies, their way of dressing, their lifestyle, their economic status would lead you to a distorted opinion or image of that person. Trust me, I have had so many people regret their judgement about others.

All I want to say is, stop judging people even before you interact or know their background.

People have potentials and capabilities beyond your imaginations. It is just a how you perceive. It is whether you want to have an open mind, let people be as they are, be happy, express themselves to you or just create a box of judgement and regret later. The choice is very well yours!