What is happiness?

Maybe it is in the bubbles that the little girl tried to hold in her hands while giggling away in her mother’s arms

Maybe it is the sweet breeze on a pleasant morning

Maybe it is in singing aloud your favourite song

Maybe it is in those two seconds when our eyes meet

Maybe it is in the perfect cup of coffee you made for yourself

Maybe it is in those last lines of the book you just read

Maybe it is sitting quietly and reading your breath

Maybe it is the five minute nap you took on a busy day

Maybe it is in feeling the gush of the waves hitting your feet

Maybe it is in the moment you saw the sun set over the  horizon

Maybe it is crying out all your sadness

Maybe it is in feeling alive

Maybe it is in you…..



15 Minutes of Solitude


 Mori  araj suno…….   “

I was  listening to this mesmerizing sufi song by Tina Sani. These lines didn’t come to my mind before in the way  they did today.  Mori araj suno  , listen to my plea.  It was as if someone was  calling me.. from an unknown and secluded place , far off from where I was.

As I started walking back home from the metro station where I got down at 5:45 in the evening after a long day at college , I put on my earphones and  this song started playing.  This is one of my favourite songs , such a soulful track. And for the first time it meant something much more to me.  It was like a call from my inner self , maybe from my mind , to listen to its plea , to listen to what it had to say .

I always liked walking back from the metro station to my home . It takes me 15 minutes to reach. Those are the 15 minutes that I long for. Those 15 minutes of solitude. That is the only time in the entire day that I have to myself. The only time when I am alone.

People who know me , know me as  shy and introvert but a practical person. But inside my head, everyday  there are conflicts which I am trying to deal with , confusions and even anger.  There are times when I don’t know what to do or how to react and all I feel is melancholic. I don’t feel like talking to anyone  and yet I want someone to understand me and talk to me. Sometimes it becomes too frustrating and  all I want is to be left alone.

I have read half way through the book Eat Pray Love as I write this and it has made me realise the importance of being at ease with one’s emotions and  accepting oneself. It is a journey, a search for inner peace and calm. It emphasises on how important it is to spend time with oneself.

And those 15 minutes do just the same for me. It is only today that I realised how well this regime of walking back home every day has helped me. Those are the perfect fifteen minutes.  I enjoy each and every minute of the solitude.  It has been a remedy .

As I walk down the streets every day I see children playing , birds chirping and the pale leaves falling off the trees. And if lucky , I would even spot a peacock  on some days. How quietly it allows me to absorb the beautiful surroundings, how intently it allows me to observe the people around me and how closely it allows me to reflect upon myself.

I think of things that I don’t do otherwise while I am at home or at college. I get to concentrate on myself , it’s almost like meditation where I focus my energy and thoughts on one thing.  It buys me an opportunity to introspect , to look back at the things I did and what I would want to do .

For those 15 minutes my mind is calm. There are no conflicts . And somewhere amidst the hustle bustle of the street I come to peace with myself. Not only does the 15 minute walk refresh my mind but it also makes me immensely happy , the problems vanish and I find myself at peace. Everything just relaxes and eases out.  I am able to attend to the calls and pleas of my inner self.

Those fifteen minutes of solitude are what I yearn for throughout the day. It feels like a place where I belong. The sweet voice of the birds sounds like a homecoming song .

These fifteen minutes feel like hours. And as I reach closer to my destination the chirping of the birds fades away. Time seems to be moving faster. I climb the stairs of my building and  I am greeted by a cute kitten at the stairs . I press the doorbell and I can hear footsteps approaching.  My mom opens the door.

“How was your day ?” she asks.

” A walk to remember !” I say.


Mori araj suno……”



I recently came across this quote and it got me thinking about positive thinking. This is something we all have heard from people around us when we are in distress – “Think positive, all will be fine”. And, let me tell you, it is the most comforting.

But why are we tricked into thinking that positive thinking will help us sail through? Is it because we have heard it right from the start or does it actually work?

Actually, positive thinking is a mental attitude, it is a state of mind in which one expects favourable and good results. This attitude or belief system helps one to always look at the brighter side of a given situation. It makes it easier for us to find solutions for our problems rather that thinking about the negatives. It blurs out the discouraging thoughts.

Upon reading more about this topic, which I found to be really intriguing, I found out that research has shown that a positive outlook does actually improve our real value in life. It helps in skill building and also impacts our health and work.

Ok. Agreed. But how about someone who does not have a habit of thinking positive? How to inculcate this habit?

I think this a gradual process. All of a sudden, a person can not alter his way of thinking. It’s not like one day you wake up and everything starts appearing perfect. We all have problems in life, however big or small. But owing to human tendency, we find only our problems to be weighty. We feel that other people are having a smooth sailing. Hence, the grass is always greener on the other side.

But here is where the hopefulness or optimism comes into play. When one starts thinking positive, one starts realising that the crucial part is not to crib over what went wrong or what could have been better, but it is about what one can do in the current scenario and make the most out of it. It helps us understand that things can be better and that things will be better if we work towards them.

But hey ! have you ever thought how this can have a disadvantageous impact?

Positive thinking is good, no doubt. What happens when one starts painting too rosy a picture? Infact, continually thinking that everything is great creates a false sense of security. Delusion creates a world of misconceptions and falsehood. It creates a place where we see only what we want to see. The key is in identifying the fine line between positive thinking and delusion.

It’s always better to be realistic  and have a considerably positive outlook towards things and life in general that be impractical because there will always be things that will not come our way, but it is we who have to make our way through and make the most out of it!



There is so much to learn !

Yea we all know that. But what do we do about it?

It never struck me so hard until a few days back that I was wasting so much time , on petty things. Whereas there are soo many things to learn .

Such a diverse and fascinating world we live in. Each person different. Each idea unique. Each experience invaluable. Each skill mesmerising.  LEARN.

Learn to sing or dance or cook or learn a new language ! Learn to understand. Learn to smile more often. Learn to be happy. Learn to give . Learn to explore. Learn to learn !

The world is an open book. Read all you can. Absorb all you can. Learn all you can. Drench yourself.

Make every day count.




” Mom !!!  I want to be independent. Stop treating me like a small kid now ! “

Most of us would have said , or at least heard someone say that they want to be independent .

But have we really thought about it?­­­

 What is independence ? Why do we keep stressing about our independence so much?

Usually we tend to equate independence with freedom. But are they both the same?

No. The concept of independence is un alike that of freedom.

Independence has two aspects – being independent in the mind and being physically independent in the sense of supporting oneself.

I feel, being independent is a very important aspect of life which helps one to grow. It helps us to understand ourselves better. See for ourselves where we stand and what we are capable of all by ourselves. It makes us confident and gives a sense of accomplishment. Independence is about being self-reliant , self-confident and believing in ones ideas and thoughts.

But every person has a different perspective and understanding of independence. In fact, our society plays a vital role in shaping our ideas of personal independence.

In the modern society , being independent is considered as the biggest treasure. Today, people build their lives around being independent and not needing anyone else’s help or support.  But is being physically independent so as to support oneself  the only aspect of it?

No , it’s not. Everyone becomes financially independent at some point of time. But that’s not the crucial part here. The more significant part is to have your own free views and thoughts.

Most people don’t experience it.

Partially because all the aspects of our life are not in our control. One may be independent in the sense of having a stable job and supporting oneself. But the latter part of independence , that is, our thoughts , believes and ideas are not entirely shaped by us. These are generally influenced by the people around us our family, friends , colleagues etc. And we usually end up doing what everyone does. We follow the crowd.

But when we talk of being independent why do we ignore the second aspect to a large extent? Maybe we are conditioned to do so. To accept that this is how it all works. To feel that doing what others do is perfectly normal. We all subject ourselves to conformities. We are told what the society thinks is right and we are expected to think the same way. And if you try to question it , you are put off as an idiot.

My question is why can’t one have ones own unique perspective or ideas on anything? Why are we made to believe that what everyone does will be good for us too? Why do we not accept the different views of people?  Why are we always told to be like someone, think like someone?  Why are we so judgemental?

People or society don’t encourage indigenity. If  someone is studying science , you must also study science because society views it as a good option for you. They won’t consider the fact that you are passionate about History or photography or anything else for that matter .

Independence is not just about the financial part of it but the more important part is the independence of ones ideas and believes. Those which are not influenced by what others think or do. It’s about finding your own little space and appreciating it.

So do what you feel is right . Think . Ideate. Be independent.


Boris Kanev and Marta Samalea.  Do these names ring a bell?

Okay… let me give you a hint .  They did what most of us can not even imagine doing in this time and age.

…? .. got it?

Yes. They are the couple who started off from Bulgaria in October 2013 to reach India without taking a plane. They reached India via Myanmar in 511 days. They travelled across the remotest parts of the world by road, walking and hitchhiking. They looked up maps , and even updated a blog. Doesn’t sound like a very hard thing to do…right?

Now here’s the tricky part.

They did all this , without a smartphone!  Yes..you read it right.

You must be thinking they are crazy. At a time when we people can not even spare our phones for a minute, these guys decided to travel almost half way through the world without what most people treasure – a smartphone.

But this couple dreamed about faraway travels and that too without a smartphone.

For most of us this sounds like a nightmare.

Although, when we don’t have a phone there are things we don’t have to worry about. Not about charging the device, replying to the messages and texts , carrying the chargers and stuff.  On the contrary, one tends to live the days fully at the place one is , spend more time enjoying the environment , learning about the place , making new friends , communicating with the people or even picking up some new skills!

Smartphones may be bringing us closer to the people who are far away from us but it is definitely tearing us apart from the people who are near.

Throughout the day we are constantly texting. We tend to ignore the people who are around us because we are so engrossed in our phones and other devices. In fact ,we become absent minded. Even oblivious of our surroundings. We take away from ourselves the opportunity to communicate with people around us.

Imagine this. It was a rainy day and you were travelling or were at home . Maybe you were even posting on Facebook or updating your status on social media about how wonderful the weather is.  Don’t you feel you missed something? Did you actually take off  time from your phone and look out of the window at how beautiful everything looked around you. How fresh and green the trees looked. How the little drops of rain looked to be like diamonds on the flowers in your garden. How happy the kids seem to be while getting drenched  with their friends in the rain. Most likely you did not notice all this. Even if you were not busy with some very important work , you chose to ignore all this and be on social media instead.

Another thing that comes to my mind is that earlier people used to write letters they used to be weeks old by the time they reached their destination. But people used to eagerly wait for them. I feel it was a much more intimate way of communicating. Our generation hasn’t really seen people write letters . Take me for instance. I have never written nor received a letter in my life ,so far. And with the increasing use of internet and technology , I don’t think that I might write or receive one ever!! This might be the case with most of us. Because , now a days no one has that kind of interest and patience for writing a letter. Who is going to put so much effort. Might as well Whatsapp. But whatever one may say, there is a touch of immortality to writing letters. I’m sure the happiness one gets from receiving a letter is more than that of getting a text message.

But because we are so enslaved by our need to use our phones, we are even losing social skills.

You must be wondering how I have come to realise all this. This happened a few weeks ago. I was with a friend of mine . Mere physical presence. Mentally I was with someone else on the other end of the phone. Yes I was texting. My friend and I were talking about something.  And there came a message. I replied. Then another. And another. And before I realised that, a good 15 minutes had passed, and I was ignoring her. She was there , in front of me. She had come here to talk to me. When I looked up from my phone she didn’t say anything. But I realised what a terrible thing I had done. I kept away my phone at once. The conversation resumed but I could clearly see that it was not like before. Though she didn’t say anything, I know she was hurt. Anyone would be. Imagine yourself in her position. This is when I understood, that okay, I have to keep a check on myself and learn to moderate.

Internet  and technology allow us to use or get any information at the click of a second or talk to people sitting anywhere across the globe. Of course they are an indispensable part of our lives. But what about the people who are with us, around us. Are we hampering our relationships in any way, by not communicating with them ? Are we bargaining our relationships for technology?

There is no right answer to this question. But we must think about it!