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The final moments    Leave a comment

When I lay finally and nobody comes to get me. I’ll wait for you 
I’m waiting for her is all he could think of

At 84 he lay down with peace in mind and heart fluttering far away. He knew this was it. He lay in his Santorum. It was his heaven and his reason for existence for the last 53 years. He was the exceptional artist.  A painter, whose success was based only on one subject- Maya. Lying in bed he looked around all his creations that he had done over the years.  All he could see was Maya. She reflected in all his paintings, she was the single source of inspiration to him.  From the first time, he met her to finally what his imagination carved her out to be it was all there.  She was his love for the number of years he could not even remember. As far as his memory went he felt he was born loving her. May be even before. All his life he had strongly placed his belief and heart in the corollary that the events in our lives today were set in motion a long long time ago. There is an old Buddhist saying that, when you meet your soul mate, we should remember that the act to bring us together was 500 years in the making. So, always appreciate and be kind to each other. Maya was his soul mate. She had touched his life like no other ever had. Such emotions are a carried forward of another life time, may be many

‌He had spent 4 years of his life being in love with her and the rest of it in her memory, holding her in his heart. In those 4 years, he lived his entire life. Those years gave his life a meaning and reason for existence. That was his purpose.  4 years that were worth the 83 that he lived. Anything after that was unreal and unimportant. His existence became those paintings he did of Maya. He lived for those fleeting moments when he caught a glimpse of her.  Walking down the road or driving away.  He was never too sure how my times he saw her or was she just an illusion created by his mind to calm his heart. Then he realised that it could not be an illusion.  If it was, she would have been with him
Why was she not with him he could not fathom. There was no reason and no logic. She had loved him just as much.  Then how did she go from being the epicenter of his life to a distant dream.  Someone who he could think of but not reach out and touch and feel her physical existence. The love they shared he knew was theirs and only theirs.  He knew she was a good wife, a perfect mother but her heart and soul belonged to him, like his to her.  He ached at that thought.  Then why was she so far far away.  That question had haunted him all his life.  And when all rationale beats you, you live in a stillness and the calm of acceptance. If he could talk he would talk and tell the world, acceptance and stillness is bliss in an ironical way. He would tell the world that love truly was magical. That love truly was when you melt away in it even without the person near you. He would tell the world that this was a perfect love story. It may not have had the cliché trajectory defined by society norms but it was perfect and more.  He loved her not to own her but just love her.  He knew that she did too.  She always would just as he did. And as he breathed his last, he knew that there was one person for whom the world would now stand still. Forever. He knew he could breathe his last in peace because she would come and get him.  When nothing was left, he had everything

Death ends a life not a relation, sometimes it gives a new life to a relation rebirth

Do we really die?? Did he really die or finally live




Posted November 23, 2016 by nidhi khanna in Musings

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Relations   Leave a comment

Construction and deconstruction 

Some relations are formed when we are born or may be even before we are born. Some are created on a conscious level. Not matter what the nature, all relations require a lot of effort. As we pass the trajectory of our life we nurture these relations, well almost all of them. A few relations bloom while a few wither away. But whatever be the emotional outcome of a relation, one thing is for certain, all relations occupy a specific space in our memory box. Some in the form happy memories and some in the form of scars. Almost all memories bring tears to us when we think of them, just that some are happy tears while some are not so happy bordering to being hurtful and crossing the border to being damaging

What we are today is a result of the bouquet of memories we collect

As we collect these memories we realize a stark difference. Strangely the ones that blossom are the ones we make deliberately and the ones we are born with or are part of our life due to named relations fade into the background of our lives. Why are self developed relations more dear than the ones we are born with? Does giving a name to a relation kill the relation or the least bit put it in jeopardy? Do the new self created relations push through the default relation or do the default relations give way for us to go and look for more, creating new relations in life. This is a paradox which I fail to understand, but consistent it is

Even as I take my magnifying glass and try to make sense of this, all I get as an answer to my search, is no answer. In my search for a rational explanation, I realized that these are emotions that we were talking about and not a chemistry practical. And in the honesty of it all, most of us see some relations that could have developed into something beautiful and meaningful, not withstand through the sands of time and fade away. Not because either person did something wrong.  The reason is often attributed to the lack of doing anything

“People aren’t either wicked or noble. They’re like chef’s salads, with good things and bad things chopped and mixed together in a vinaigrette of confusion and conflict.” ― Lemony Snicket

Posted September 4, 2016 by nidhi khanna in Musings

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The delicious ambiguity   Leave a comment

Letting you be vulnerable is brave

Statutory warning: this is not a blog of a person who is depressed but is just an attempt at being a little self-aware and introspective

As I cogitate about the me that was, isn’t. As I read yet another blog of a traveler and photographer, I ruminate and it makes me acutely aware of the missing pie in my life. While I did not go through the entire read and toggle to my excel sheet which is obediently calculating my investments such that I can do something substantial with it later and utilise it for things I enjoy doing. Even as I hammer the keyboard further, somewhere deep my mind dips to where my heart is. It makes me wonder. While I figure the finances and what exactly I am going to do with them for a better tomorrow, the reality of today stings me. Proclivity gets the better of us, always. The only reality being is today! This makes me travel back to the younger me. And here is an account of what the younger me, full of dreams with faith and hope and above all surety of realisation

Shattered dreams of youth in the face of reality

Over a decade back I felt I had the world at my feet and nothing was beyond my grasp. I believed that everything one desires is always yours. And why should I believe differently? I have always got everything I want. Were the desires then simpler and fulfilled by parents and today demands are different and need a constant external factor for accomplishment. And then moving to external validation for all the things that we achieve

Being an arriviste I believed it was all possible. The only aspect I did not account for was making things happen. Life does not just happen. Things are not automatic

It’s very easy to plan something for the future and say that you will achieve it at another a time. I was no different and today I am caught like a flat footed president

I had a clear idea of who I wanted to be when I grew up, or rather until I grew up. The credence of a dream comes in the brutal face of reality when we reach the moment in time of our lives where the dream coincides with the date and a reality today. I knew all that I wanted and I was in for a rude shock. And this shock comes in spite all the monies earned, fancy titles, cars or houses purchased. It’s just pure and simple independence. Independence not from anyone but myself.Independence not to do something or take a decision. It was independence to be me. Somewhere in the journey of over a decade I missed being the person who I was born as and born to be. Above all that was the person who I actually wanted and desired to be. I started being a picture of what everyone envisioned me to be. Started living a life as seen by others and lived by others. And no, I am no person to look for external validation or be suppressed. I just made their perception my reality and my truth and started living up to that perception. So I just became part of the rate race!

One could say “She lost her laughter somewhere along the way and she did not even know it

Today I am a person to fit in with a prototype. This prototype encompassed social demographics, age and place of existence. And yet there were people who were leading their lives as they liked and wished. Sometimes it felt as if my dream was being played in front of my eyes, albeit I was not part of the script. I just stood looking in from the outside at a beautiful reel unfold

Change needs to be revolutionary not evolutionary

Was it late for me to follow what I wanted to do? Could I turn the stream of my life and break away from the mould? Was it acceptable in my society to see me be more than a corporate minion and a conventional human? I did not have answers to those questions. Was I willing to find out? This dawned like a eureka moment. Why should I want to find out? Was that not validation? If there is something that one wants to do, which is not a prescribed format, who judges? People care to judge when we care to listen

Be emancipated We think life is eternal and we will live on to fulfill all that we wish for. Suddenly life happens and we realise we don’t have a second chance

Posted March 16, 2016 by nidhi khanna in Musings

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The perfect illusionary vision   Leave a comment

The rubric of this reminds me of a song I heard as a child on repeat “It’s just an illusion” and it’s serendipitous that the rubric is owed to “Imagination” ironically in sync with the band’s name

But a perfect illusion emerges on one such thoughtful trip

As I took off headed for home I peeped out from the matchbox sized airplane window, where two juxtaposed worlds emerged in unison. The only common aspect breaking the monopoly and monotony of darkness was the shining twinkle. In one world they are called stars and in the other lights. One is a gift from the almighty power and the other is from electric power. They both illuminated in the darkness outside like a Christmas tree with no defined pattern and yet seemingly following a perfect symmetry which was understood by no other but the shining lights themselves

However there was a presence of a stark disparity in both the worlds. If we were to count the twinkles, the earth below beat the sky by miles. As I looked up at the sky the stars shining were so much lesser in numbers than the lights below. And the reality of it is juxtaposed. Reality says that the stars in the sky are unlimited versus the limited lights on the earth. At this moment the dense clouds accompanied with fog did not let all the inhabitants of the Milky Way galaxy make their presence felt all the way to us. As a result it let the earth win over with a substantial margin of shining lights. In the face of reality, this was a juxtaposed situation. This paradox reminds me of something my father keeps reiterating, since my childhood. “See none of what you hear and half of what you see” This was a QED moment for him. If I had to believe the numbers I would be misled and the reality could not be further away. I have chosen not to be misled by this proposition in life. Thankfully I have been taught better. However this juxtaposing paradox applies beautifully somewhat, to experiences in our lives as well

We live in a constant juxtapose paradigm

Even as we have so much in life to be grateful for, we decide to focus and cavil about all that’s missing and all that we wish we could have had. As the cliché goes “we never value what we have, until it’s lost.” The truth actually is that we value what we have; we never thought we would lose it

This juxtaposition is not restricted to materialistic objects, but also to our emotions. When we hurt we remember the good we had at one point. Helping us pull through bad times, giving us hope that good is around the corner we try and turn our life another corner in anticipation. Some of our best and worst memories come from the same phase of our lives and often the same instances and same people who we love the most hurt us the most. We distract ourselves from the current emotional space and transport ourselves to pretty much the opposite state. For some reason it seems easier to get through a particular phase of emotion by remembering the juxtaposed emotion

Just like the inversed reality of the sky, earth and the shining lights we build an inversed illusion around ourselves no matter where we stand on the spectrum of emotions

Irrespective of our positioning on life’s barometer one thing is certain, be grateful for what you have and don’t have. There always is a reason; just that sometimes the underlying of a reason comes to us in hindsight which we say is always 6/6. Perfect vision

Posted January 14, 2016 by nidhi khanna in Musings

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The oscillating believer!   Leave a comment

As we walk on the road called life we encounter the inevitable. We change and change again and then change some more. Though most of the times our core stays the same and we come back to being what we used to be; unless we encounter a life altering experience. I have experienced both these types of changes

Today a whole lot of people who not only have seen similar amount of sunrises but less too would feel the way I do. We don’t know where we are headed. This reminds of lines from the song Sunscreen by Buz Luhrmann “The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.” I am there currently. Some aspects of life I am certain and some aspects I am clueless

Objectives of life are questions we don’t think about as often. And hence don’t have the answer. Someone recently asked me what I wanted to do with my personal and professional life. Being a person who is sorted and clear in the head I initiated to respond to that question. My response could not be more insipid. Until I finally gave up, only to fuel a thought later. So the question really was; if we don’t know where we are headed then how will we know when we reach there? This is a scary thought. If we don’t know the destination even Bhanumati aka Google maps, which is freakily accurate and helpful would not know how to reach us at our destination

I was not born like this. It’s the heat and beating of life that made me like this. As I had entered the illusionary age of understanding life I was a believer. Somewhere that changed and it was time to undo that change

I longed to go back to living the life I lived when I was younger. I wanted to be the same person who fell in love, believed in miracles and saw these come true and many more

I wanted to go back to believing in happy endings

Sometimes we learn something new about the past that changes everything we know about the future. I was ready. Once I was ready to discover my life’s purpose and success and failure does not matter anymore
Open your mind to the impossible and you may find the truth!

Posted December 19, 2015 by nidhi khanna in Musings

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Validation- external or internal   Leave a comment

10th May 2014_walk (67)

Discover yourself and stay true!!

One timeless activity we all humour ourselves is in self-validation. The paradox of the situation is not as much as the disquiet residual outcome of it

Even when we look at ourselves with multidimensional lenses, the most relevant one seems to be handed over to someone who is “non you” and often a “non close” entity. People don’t live in our head or mind; don’t live our lives, then why is it that we hand the lens over to another. And berate and beat up ourselves with an opinion of what we think they may have of us. Every action we take, is preceded with a singular thought; what others may think of us

Sometimes this leads to a complex situation when, someone convinces us that we are a bad person. When the reality could not be further away. We then start to believe that we are bad! So we end up doing things we think a good person would be doing. And not actually doing what we really feel like doing. Here starts the journey of unhappiness with the first sign of dissatisfaction. Little by little, incident by incident we become someone who may still be nice but is just not us! We start living someone else’s perception. We become a reality of someone else’s perception

If you believe in something don’t let anyone take it away from you don’t let anyone put you down about it. Follow your dream until you have achieved it

In the end that’s all that matters!

Liberation in a cell-experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn   Leave a comment

11th May2014 Dadar and Worli(260).JPG

We’re all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life

I’ve lived my entire life on my own terms. At an early age I was taught to make my decisions. And take responsibility of those decisions, in its aftermath. If I don’t want to live by the rules of the society, it’s my decision. Up until now I have been an unconventional person, living a life which does not even come to being a cliché. And that was my decision and the aftermath of the decision mine. Of course I was not born liked this. Situations made me like this.

That’s what my parents taught me. So if I say that I am a person of my own mind that would be accurate. And yet it was as far from the truth as it could be. Not that I pretended all along. I didn’t know it all along. That’s the blind spot of my life, until something changed

Now, having been an adult most of my life I asked my childhood friend “what have I achieved in life”. She had no answer or may be that was her answer. “Go for vipasana” I blindly agreed with the hope of magic and secretly hoping that I had the option to cancel last minute. The last minute cancellation never happened

So here I was at the center for what was a 10 day course. A lot of people thought I would be able to do it. A few thought I should come back in case I can’t handle it. I was advised questioned as to how I would stay silent for 10 days, live on vegetarian diet without an occasional drink or a book or newspaper, considering I do like my regular dose of current affairs and human interactions. Above all, the dilemma for others was, how would I live entirely detached? No one lives in your head and hence no one knows what you really are going through and what you are capable of. Truth is, “things to be done need to be done, not justified for they never will be” What I wanted was exactly what others thought I could not do. Leading an unconventional life is not simple. And I have my share of oscillations. At the point which I felt was a special low in my life I wanted to escape. I wanted to get away and see what something like vipasana could offer. Of course the search as for most of us is some peace, some awareness some calm and loads of magic. I needed magic!

I was ignorant to the world of vipassana, and did not even know how to meditate. But yes, I was willing to have something written on the blank canvas of my mind, even if it was just graffiti. I did want to know how something like viapsana and its teaching could help me improve the quality of my real practical life and would it really apply in the rough outside world, but I was ready to find out

Changing myself was like a Sisyphean, but I was not about to accept that

The prettiest part of this experience was in the unknown. As the days progressed and things began to unfurl, we slowly moved on various levels of the technique called meditation or vipassana. Starting simple moving on to a level which metamorphosis every pore of an individual

It was the moment of my clearest thought. It was liberation in one and a half feet by three feet cell with nothing but raw unpainted walls. As I sat there meditating for the allocated hour, I realised the existence of life somewhere far way via the chirping of birds. Staying in a city like Bombay, one tends to miss these nuances. As the hour progressed, something stirred in me. I was acutely aware of every sensation that I felt, emotionally and physically. I tried to shrug away the unknown feeling. Aspects of life and its learning became profound. Everything that I had heard and learnt all my life now showed me a dimension of vision I was missing. Since childhood I had issues with anger which stayed with me as I grew older. The minute I was not in a happy place my reaction to most things became anger and irritation. This was not reactive, since I was acutely aware; it was ultimately my Achilles heel. There is no witness so dreadful, no accuser as terrible as the conscience that dwells in the heart of every human- Polybiuus. I just did not know how to change this about me and what emotion I could turn to instead of anger. All along I was looking for a replacement of feeling and feeling responsible for it. However life was not only about making those decisions and facing the aftermath. It was about feeling every feeling and then living with it instead of battling and craving to feel another feel. We are addicted to certain feelings and are averse to a few. That is all that contributes to the unrest of our minds. In what seemed like an avalanche in my mind it felt as if every pore in my body was torn open and something extremely dark, polluted and heavy was exonerated, suddenly leaving me light as I had never felt. There was a sudden calm inside me I did not know existed. It was like an exorcism of the mind and body leaving behind calm in which there was an awareness of all senses. It was a tectonic shift within me. Everything was awake! That minute I knew I had changed forever

Accepting is as simple as it sounds

It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go and I was ready to let go

I was ready to take life as it was. Deal with the emotions as they were. I had realised that what lies in our past and what lies in our future is minuscule compared to what lies within us

On my return and back into my routine life I realised I was ready to let karma take some responsibility. I started to not only believe in what Wayne Dyer said but also imbibe it “How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours” and I did not want karma doing a full circle on me

Don’t run away from pain, walk through it

This journey was like the journey of life. Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living. I was scared and I was sad it ended but everything that I got in those days was worth a lifetime!

Nothing like present to turn a new leaf

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