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“…neither sickness nor sorrow seemed to have closed her heart or ruined her spirits.”

Jane Austen, Persuasion

 

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Just a bit of hope

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When I started this blog, a little over a year ago, I was in a difficult space personally, and felt like I needed an outlet. I like to think that I’ve since grown to embrace a lot more about myself and understood some of the tricks to ‘keep on and keeping on.’  I wanted to write this post as I wanted to share some of the things that I’ve learnt, but also, I am writing this for myself – to be able to come back to it whenever I feel lost again. So, here goes:

Surround yourself with positive, supportive and understanding people.

Recently, a friend gave me one of the best pieces of advice: “Think of what you would want to do and work towards it; don’t think too much about what you’re good at and what you could do.” I carry this with me every day as I hustle and move forward. And as I go, I am constantly reminded that my I CAN is more important than my IQ.

Limit your distractions, and do at least one thing every day that brings you closer to your goal. I’ve realised that I am usually able sleep better at night when I’ve been productive during the day.

Exercise. Sometimes your mind needs it more than your body does.

Don’t forget to take breaks, and take a moment to pat yourself on the back for how far you’ve come.

Know that there will always be good days and bad days, but you can find your way through it all.  Believe that going on is always the best bet.

 

Fire

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“We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness.”

APJ Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire

Stepping Up

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It was one of those turbulent days when you forget that rubbing your eyes this hard could possibly leave you with no lashes, when the comfort of your bed makes an unreasonable case escaping responsibility, when the present is hazed by a head full of voices of past mistakes and a heart curdling with the uncertainty of the future. In that moment, you look up and find the stillness and streaks of light you yearned for within you. You pick up the monster machine lying under your pillow and let some of this light in through its lens. This moment is crucial, for after that, you close your eyes for a minute, step up, and step out of bed.

To small victories, each day.

Swim

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“This summer I went swimming,
This summer I might have drowned
But I held my breath and I kicked my feet
And I moved my arms around…”

Loudon Wainwright III, Swimming Song 

Compromise

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Bugs,
I’ve let them colonise,
Harbour inside,
Create their own paradise.
Words,
I hear hollow advice,
They’re cold water,
To my wounds,
I taste the lies.
Mirrors
Bring to light
My spots and lines,
Cut, seep, squeeze out
Demons mine.
Darkness
Guzzles my mind
In one swig,
Clear and precise.
There’s no out,
Just in,
So I smile,
Learn to live
With these sighs.

The Tale of the Mistletoe

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“Oh, don’t ever harm Baldur!”

Beseeched Frigg to each n’ every one.

But overlooking the mistletoe

Brought death to her precious son.

She wept and howled, distraught,

Her tears forming white berries,

This loss even the Gods could feel.

So they brought Baldur back,

Put her out of her misery.

 

It’s an offering dropped from heaven,

Said the Greek and Roman.

For lovers to embrace,

And enemies to find peace.

Resilient like a warrior,

It feeds and heals,

Even when trees shed all their leaves.

 

Elks, chipmunks, robins,

Porcupines and bluebirds,

It brings all together,

And not once cleaves.

In life as in the legend,

Mending, thawing, binding,

Rounding very crease.

 

Travel Archives: Almora

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Yesterday, while scrolling through some old photographs on my laptop, I found this one of me and Munni Devi. It was clicked in December 2015 when I went on a cultural trip to Almora, Uttarakhand.

I met Munni Devi at Nanda Devi Handloom and Heritage Centre that sits peacefully amid the Himalayas, supporting and empowering rural women. She showed us around the museum―a recent addition to the place―and took us to the workshop to meet the women artisans. Some of them had been working there for more than a decade!

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Scarves and shawls knitted with the indigenous nettle grass, hand-woven carpets, and an argosy of trinkets were put out on display. What stood out to me more than the material objects, though, was the affection that was raffled off to us.

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An Aipan artist at Nanda Devi Handloom and Heritage Centre

It was so easy for them to trust a stranger. To happily take a break from their intricate work and strike a conversation with some curious students who’d come from a gummy city to know more about their art.
But, did these students know the story behind the wedding ritual of a traditional pichhauda? And that they shouldn’t go home without tasting the signature Bal Mithai! Had they tried the folk dance of Jhoda?
They didn’t. And no, they hadn’t. But suffice it to say that they left the Himalayan peaks of Nanda Devi much more enlightened about Kumaoni culture, and a lot more in awe of this land’s warmth.

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Also, Munni Devi gave me the biggest hug as I said goodbye! Recalling that feeling twists my tear ducts even today.

Cover-ups

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Cover it up with ice-cream,

Cover it up with smiles,

Go out for shopping,

You’ll start feeling fine.

Cover up the gloom,

And look for answers out,

All they’d ever ask you

Is what you’re up to now.

Cover up the dreams and

Hustle all day long,

But when you are lonely,

The spider would start to crawl.

He’ll pull up the veil and

Bring back your frown,

So know that quick fixes

Are not wise or sound.

All they’d ever tell you

Is what the world’s about,

But who you are matters

When all comes crashing down.