My Friends!!

“Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges. I know these guys very well.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

Needless to say, I have known them well enough. They have been my very good friends, they had my back a few years ago. But these days, they do visit me every now and then.

Hey Mr. Depression,

Where art thou?

I have been looking for you!

You held my hand a few years back,

Helping me to crack!

But you just left me ,

When I was on the brink of losing me.

Well I had Hope to support me

For you never returned for me.

And I just saw you the other day,

Waiting for me to reach out to you!

But let me tell you,

I am not ready for it you know.

Hey Ms. Loneliness,

I am bothered by your presence,

But you make me look into my inner presence.

I am glad, I have you by my side

When all things defy.

You have taught me to love myself

And I am grateful to you for finding myself.

Without you I would be lost in the crowd,

Allowing them to enshroud.

Going Nowhere….

I always hear people say….. “So, make up your mind, have a plan and go reach for it.” “You should have a goal in life……. ambition is important.” “So you are a graduate now….. have you got a job?” I was always stumped when people asked me…. “what are you going to be when you grow up?”……. My answer always varied and was never a whole hearted answer. Over the years, I have not had the profession which I dreamt of as a kid. I have no regrets because I have learnt from the situations that came my way and the learning that I received was immense. Fortunately, the ideology of “Going Nowhere” has hit me. Come to think of it, its brilliant. Let me explain….. Haven’t we always had goals right from when we were kids…. Go to school, go to college, get a job, get a house, get a car, become the manager, CEO….. The list never ends…….. and we always had the drive to go or reach ‘Somewhere.’ Lately, I have come to realize that ‘Going Nowhere’ is so blissful. Having no goals for anything, be it professional milestones or materialistic cravings, life seems to be utterly brilliant. It is a feeling of being one with yourself, attaining that inner peace. Just introspecting, living in the moment…… gives you the peace which I cannot fathom……it is pure….. it’s a place void of negativity….. you just feel one with yourself and happiness is within yourself! Have you ever felt that? If going somewhere teaches you certain things…..’Going Nowhere’ aces that…… it is an experience that brings out the best in you, helps you understand a thing or two about yourself and life in altogether a different perspective. Its beautiful….. it makes you take on things with all your heart and that’s when life seems meaningful….. Too much to take in? Well, food for thought….. The below article inspired me to write this post…. Happy reading! http://ideas.ted.com/want-to-be-happy-slow-down/

Want to be happy? Slow down

Beautiful….. Speechless….

ideas.ted.com

In 1972, Matthieu Ricard had a promising career in biochemistry, trying to figure out the secrets of E. coli bacteria. A chance encounter with Buddhism led to an about turn, and Ricard has spent the past 40+ years living in the Himalayas, studying mindfulness and happiness. In this free-wheeling discussion at TED Global in October 2014, Ricard talked with journalist and writer Pico Iyer about some of the things they’ve learned over the years, not least the importance of being conscious about mental health and how to spend time meaningfully. An edited version of the conversation, moderated by TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz, follows. First, Pico Iyer on how he became taken with the idea of staying still:

Guy Raz (left), Pico Iyer (center), and Matthieu Ricard (right) discuss mindfulness and the importance of being still at TED Global 2014. Photo by Duncan Davidson/TED. Guy Raz (left), Pico Iyer (center), and Matthieu Ricard (right) discuss mindfulness and the importance of being still at TED Global 2014. Photo by Duncan Davidson/TED.

Pico Iyer: When I was in my twenties, I had this wonderful…

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Mountains keep calling!

Life seems to be a roller coaster ride…… as long as you have a set routine which takes much of your time.

Work, family become the prime goals of your life. And yet you love the routine, the life you have created for yourself.

But then life throws you an opportunity, a chance far far away from your set routine. You give it a thought, you presume that it is not going to work out and yes you enjoy the roller coaster with all your mind.

It takes all but one step, one decision, one thought to prove all of this wrong.

I recall that this was one such decision I took, it was a trek to the Himalayas and pondered on whether to do it or not.

But my heart was ready for it.

Thanks to all my stars that I trekked the Himalayas, the beauty of which I cannot put in words. It was the most wonderful and peaceful a journey, I cannot fathom the majestic grandeur of the mountains.

It was surreal an experience. But it was an experience that brought me close to my forgotten ideologies, my way of Life.

I hear the mountains beckon!

With all my heart I cling on,

To a life so dear

That I revere.

With each and every musical chant

The mountains seem to enchant!

I envy their grandeur,

But its their presence I admire.

Days and days pass by,

My love for them stands by.

It is a calling I cannot ignore,

For I long for them forever more.

Renaissance of Life?

Let’s give a thought about the time we spend with ourselves: probably going out for a stroll, reading a book under a tree, watching the sun rise or set, watching a star studded sky, sitting by the window as it rains, listening to the rustle of the wind or the leaves on a windy day, listening to the birds cooing in the morning hours, watching strangers across the street going about their job, taking a walk across the city/town/park, playing with your pets, dancing to yourself, singing/humming just about anything, sewing a sweater/socks, baking just about the perfect cake, cooking one of your favorite dishes, playing with kids/your children in the park, walking by an old road, walking by the school/college you went to, painting just about anything with your heart out , going fishing, strolling across the stream, climbing up a hill to get a view, seeing old pictures with your siblings, playing/talking with your parents about the good old times, walking on the sands by the beach, cycling up to the road far ahead, walking on grass amongst flowers and butterflies, helping a stranger in an unexpected situation, talking to your soul-mate about life and dreams.

Hmmm seems like we may do a thing or two, maybe even five of the things stated above. But do we consider them as important as working on a presentation, working on a project, working on targets at work, the innumerable deadlines and targets.

Life as such has become an appalling routine, with the never-ending rat races, materialistic cravings, success being defined by the wealth and position you acquire or simply by the fact that you have it all.

Over the years, life has become a satire comic. You are born, you study, you get a job, you get married, have children, raise them up, take care of them and also your career and health, retire and then enjoy your time with grandchildren. And then whoosh you are gone!

Have we all forgotten what life is about? Do we think life is just about the above few lines? I agree that they are important but it is not LIFE, it is a part of LIFE.

I am not a scholar or an expert on life. But I just feel life is much more and the beauty lies in understanding it.

I have still not fathomed as to what life is…… I always feel lost.

But I feel that we are not bothered about understanding oneself, listening to our hearts, cherishing small moments with family  and friends. I have so learnt that happiness can be found in little things. And it is within you.

So go on ……. think, feel, live, love….. for life is much more and make your OWN LIFE.

 

 

Stairway to Heaven

Article published in Deccan Herald on 24th April 2015.

To quote Ruskin Bonds: “It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape.”
It was always my dream to trek the Himalayas, to be amongst the mighty and majestic mountains and to be lost in their magnificence. I am elated that I got an opportunity to do so and I have fallen in love with the Himalayas.

GOECHA LA or GOECHA PASS is a Himalayan mountain pass in the state of Sikkim. At an elevation of 16,200 ft, Goecha La serves as the gateway to Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.

Thansing Base Camp, Kanchenjunga National Park (Mt. Kanchenjunga can be seen in the centre)
Thansing base camp

We were a group of 11 (experienced and novice) trekkers who started off the 9-day trek to Goecha La. We reached Yuksom, a small village in West Sikkim at an elevation of 6000ft with few houses, monasteries, hotels and restaurants. The nearest airport to Yuksom is at Bagdogra in West Bengal and Yuksom can be reached via Siliguri(WB) by road.

The start of the Goecha La trek is a walk through the village of Yuksom and then the trail passes around the mountain. Later we reached the Kanchendzonga National Park which is the gateway to Goechala and then the trail runs through lush mountains and bridges and is a gradual climb through the oak forests. We reached Sachen and rested for the night. The next day we took on another steep climb to reach Tshoka, the next base camp.

The trail from Tshoka-Dzongri is one of the most beautiful trails as it is a log trail and from April to May, the trail is filled with rhododendrons. On nearing Dzongri, we could see many mountain ranges and they were breath-taking. From the Dzongri Mountain Top, the sunrise was beautiful and all the mountain ranges along with Kanchenjunga can be viewed.

 

Later the trail runs through lush meadows where Mt. Pandim seems up close and looks majestic. We then came to Kokchurang where the Prek Chu river flows along and it is such a beautiful sight that we were enchanted by the place. We finally reached Thansing, the next base camp, where on one side there are snow-clad mountains and on the other a black stony mountain where you can catch a glimpse of Mt.Kanchenjunga. The view in the night is mesmerising-it is filled with zillions of stars and Mt. Pandim is brightly lit by the moon. Further ahead the mountains get closer and the terrain became rocky as we reached the next base camp, Lamuney.

On the last day of the trek to Goechala pass, we had to wake up very early as we had to reach the first view point before sunrise. I woke up to the most marvelous and memorable sight: a star-studded sky, zillions of stars just so close to you and the snow clad mountains were brightly shining in the moonlight. I was just mesmerized by the beauty of it. And the weather was extremely cold. The path goes right next to the Samiti Lake which is a glacial lake which is turquoise in color. We were just in time on one of the mountains(first view point) to catch the beauty of the Kanchenjunga as it had turned golden(literally) by the first rays of the sun. The experience-inexplicable.

Samiti Lake, Kanchenjunga National Park
Samiti Lake at 14700 ft

We were all elated on our achievement and enjoyed the final trek back to Yuksom. I just rejoiced every single moment as it was going to be the last day amongst the mighty Himalayas.

Those were the most amazing days of my life. When I recall the entire journey, it just feels like I have lived a Life! The beauty, the tranquility, the rolling hills, cool streams, bridges, the star-studded sky, lush landscapes, feeling of being one with nature and yourself- what more can one ask !

Shwetha Krish