Old habits die hard

They say, old habits die hard
When I look at you every time you walk into the room, I understand why
They also say, it takes 21 days to create a new habit
I don’t know which is worse, the 21 days of not looking at you
Or the 21 days of replacing you with a new habit
Because time for me has come to a standstill since the day I saw you
Maybe you weren’t just a habit
But a reminder of the love I have carried for you since then
So I take this love and let it walk away with you
Coz it’s always been yours to keep
Realizing that you don’t have to give up on some habits,
But gradually learn to just let them go
I simply walk out of the room, into the bright new world
Like a man with a heart full of dreams
Knowing there are things and places meant for me
Now, all I need is to form a habit that takes me one step closer towards my dreams

Ashwini

P.S: I took this picture while riding on a two-wheeler with my friend in Gainesville, Florida. Loved how the Spanish moss growing on these trees gives them a dramatic effect.

The flowers that bloom

If you ever wonder what you’re made of,
Think about the flowers that bloom through branches and thorns alike
Their purpose is to grow into these beautiful flowers
That makes walkers stop by to adore and smell
Or make people carry a fresh bunch home
To remind them how beautiful this world actually is
How even a single stem can brighten up your day
And how an entire bunch fills your entire room with fragrance

Let these flowers remind you
That you too, are meant to grow into something beautiful
Sometimes you need to just let yourself be
Maybe a sunflower, maybe an orchid, maybe a tulip
You don’t need to be a part of the same bunch

Choose whatever you want to be and sow the seeds today
Slowly growing roots and expanding your stems
Even if the world looks at you just as a bud today,
There will be a time when you too, will be in full bloom. 🌸

Ashwini

P.S: Came across these lovely flowers while taking a walk in New York City. Loving the spring vibes all around!

The waterfall..

They say, she tells a story without any words
All you have to do is pause and simply watch her flourish
Through the long branches of trees old and new
How she cuts through massive rocks that try to block her way
And flows over the tiny pebbles that people once threw

She doesn’t seem to care how they view her or judge her criss-cross path
For all she knew was to flourish through it all
Changing courses when the obstacles didn’t let her slide through
For one way or the other she was meant to endlessly flow

She moved seamlessly, being her unapologetic self
That grew and outgrew everything that came under her way
Roaring through the wild forests, “I am born this way and this is what I am meant to do”,
She gathered all of her forces and incessantly she moved

Leaving the world to see the marvel that she was
A natural beauty, creating magic wherever she falls ✨

Ashwini

P.S: This picture was taken at the Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina and was shot on my good old iPhone 8. Always fun to try something new in photography! Also, happy weekend!

The guy who sold happiness.

They told me about a guy who sold happiness. Every person I met would talk about how the old man made them the happiest person in the world. I looked everywhere and he seemed nowhere to be found. I was left wondering if this town was full of crazy clowns. So, I stopped an elder man and asked him, if he had seen the guy around. He just smiled and said, “You will find him when you are really looking for him.”

I finally met the guy after a lot of soul searching, he was sitting under a tree with just a book in his hand. I simply walked towards him and asked him, if he is the guy who they say sells happiness. He said to me, “I’m not a rich guy to “sell” you any kind of happiness nor poor to take money from you. All I ever did was help the people realize that what they were searching for in the extrinsic world, was with them all the time. I just made them see the light within them.

I always ask them, what makes them the happiest – is it a thing, is it a person, is it a place? I tell them – don’t tell me if you’re currently happy with what you do, or how the person you’re with is great or about your beautiful new house or car. Don’t overthink it.

Tell me about that one thing which you know has always brought you pure joy, which without any doubts makes you feel like the person you truly are. Just place your hand on your heart and think about it. Because you can fill the void in your life with a lot of materialistic things. But, if you have that one thing in your life, even if everything else doesn’t work out, you will still have YOUR happiness with you, wherever you go, whatever you do.”

This guy never sold happiness, he simply helped people find it. 💫

About friendships that were lost

“Friends forever” were the words we sketched under our desks
For we never even thought our lives will ever be a mess
My partner in crime and my friend in need,
Me for you and you for me, that was our world indeed

We didn’t live for tomorrow, coz our present itself felt like a beautiful dream
We laughed our hearts out and celebrated each other’s wins
Holding hands, we ran with the wild winds, stuck with each other like glue
Look at us now, jumping into the phases of life without any clue

They say heartbreaks are tough but what about friendships that were lost
None of us can put a value on the pain they cost
For love may come and go, but true friendship is one of its kind
Which comes with an unsaid promise, to be together through space and time

To my dear friend, even though we may have drifted apart
You and our friendship had a happy place in my heart
And if I ever come across a picture of us, your hand on my shoulder and us smiling together
I’ll cherish the memories and pray that you don’t lose that smile, it’s all that matters!

– Ashwini

Being a woman

Being a woman,
She is expected to put on various masks
And sacrifice herself doing everything that they ask

For she was never told, that she could even say no
Always taught to keep her voice low

So she did put on her masks this time, but only to let the world know
That she is the woman who can do anything and make the whole world bow
For a woman’s strength, grit and love
Can lift you from the ground and thrust you up above.

Ashwini

Happy International Women’s Day!

I feel blessed everyday to be born as a woman because despite all the hardships we women go through (just because we aren’t born as men), we fight through it all and choose to make this world a better place for us and our girl tribe. A huge chunk of my life is surrounded by some spectacular women who inspire me everyday. We believe in a world where women uplift other women. It’s too easy to become cold in this harsh world, but it takes great amount of bravery to fight everyday for the things you want, places you want to be, careers you want to have.

Also a huge shoutout to the men who realize the need for an equal world for women. It’s convenient to step into a patriarchal world just because it’s been happening through ages, but change begins with at least one voice that would stand against it. Being a woman doesn’t have to mean that she’s secondary to a man. In an equal world, let the focus be on being partners.

To all the lovely ladies out there, here’s a reminder, you are so much more than your physical appearances and what the “society” says. You are what you choose to be. In this one life, don’t let others define you, you show them how you are meant to be defined. The power lies within you. All you have to do is unleash it.🔥👸🏻

P.S: This picture was taken at Wynwood Walls, Miami in Dec 2020. Hats off to the artist!

She chose to be the voice

She chose to be the voice

For all the voices of women that go unheard

For the voices that have been silenced by years of patriarchy

For all the muffled cries of help that went unnoticed

For all the shoutouts that were muted in the battle of equality

She chose to be the voice that would echo through the mountains of restraint and let all the women know that they are not alone, they never were.

– Ashwini

It’s Women’s History Month and I have decided to write posts in the ongoing week dedicated to all the amazing women out there!

For anyone wondering why we need to celebrate women? Because, they aren’t celebrated enough in the real world. For the first day, the message here is, “Voice”. A lot of women out there are suffering only because they are told that no one would listen or care about what they speak. However, it all starts with one act of courage. The courage to fight against deep-rooted sexism. If you don’t speak up against something that’s wrong, it will keep repeating. Be the change you want to see in this world. Remember, it all starts with you. 👸🏻

PS: I was thinking of ideas for this project and I came across these powerful pictures of art from @wynwoodwallsofficial in my phone which I had shot during my last trip to Miami. What an inspiration! 🎨

Take a moment..

Take a moment from your walk back home
And walk into that cozy café that you see everyday
For once, just grab an empty table there
The one where you see groups of friends laughing
And the couples that sit on one of the corner tables
Where the fairy lights brighten up a dark winter evening
And the decor still reminds you of the holidays
Where a cup of cappuccino comes with a heart made out of cream
Don’t forget to smile at the small gesture
Instead of grabbing your phone, grab a nearby book or get one of your own
Or simply look around and see the world around you
The world that doesn’t just exist in your head
But is living and thriving with warmth and love
So instead of pouring out all your thoughts today
Ask the lovely waitress to pour you another cup of coffee
The one that comes with a heart
And take a moment to lean back and just live! ✨

– Ashwini

P.S: This picture was taken at one of my favorite cafes in Brooklyn, New York called Pasticceria Rocco. Have been a regular customer since last 5 years and I simply love this place!

The circle of life

Looking back at this picture, it reminds me of “The circle (more of a circus) of life” and how our lives are constantly changing. According to science, humans are built to be dynamic. The very fact that the cells in our body keep changing over the years, explains that we too, are built to change, to evolve. This world, this Universe is constantly changing, moving and our tiny lives along with it are in motion as well.

And I believe that this is one of the best things happening to us. To have the opportunity to experience new things. To grow and outgrow from stagnant and monotonous lives. To let go of the things that bring us down and embrace the ones that lift us up.

Also, we humans have been gifted with this amazing ability to adapt to change. Our lives changed completely since March of last year, with the onset of an unforeseen pandemic. We were stuck and yet, we were evolving, trying to adapt to a new way of life. Even after a series of lockdowns and the uncertainty of when it would all end, so far, we’ve made it through.

It remains to see how the world will look like after the whole thing ends (we all still need to wear masks!). But well, while you are on the rider’s seat of this “thrilling” wheel of life, might as well enjoy the ride! Do more things that genuinely make you happy, use this extra time for things you’ve been putting off because of lack of time and take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come! 💖

P.S: This picture was taken at Miami in Dec, 2020. How I miss the warm weather while sitting here in snowy New York. Would love to read in the comments how you guys have adapted to this new lifestyle. 🙂

Choose yourself. Over and over.

We often talk about how we love a fictional character from a movie or a show. Have you ever wondered how easy it is to love every other thing in this world and yet, so difficult to love ourselves. We try to find meaning in the outside world, to search the light that will guide our way and give us a reason to live, something that will make us happy and feel good about ourselves. But, how often do we sit with ourselves and try to make sense of what we are.

You try to find the “good” side of all characters in movies, friendships and even relationships. And yet, you’re so cruel to yourself. To think that you’re unworthy of any good thing in this world. That you will never be as cool as the other person is. And yes, you can try to be that person, but you can’t escape who you are and what lies within you.

It takes a lot of strength to face your own demons – your insecurities, your weaknesses, your pain, your failures. And trust me, it takes an insane amount of courage to acknowledge all these things that make you vulnerable. If you can be kind to strangers and even stray animals, why not show some kindness to yourself? The first step to self love starts with accepting yourself. The good, the bad, all of it. These are the things that make you, YOU.

Accepting yourself empowers you to grow past your weaknesses. You need to tell yourself insane amount of times that “I am not just a product of my insecurities. Rather, these are just things that make me human”. What really matters is how you choose to get past it and focus on things that do bring the best out of you.

Honestly, the world is always going to have something to say about you – sometimes good, sometimes bad. Don’t let them define you or just blindly adhere to the world’s perception of you. You have the choice to live a life built on your own beliefs and choices. Just work on yourself. Believe in yourself. Choose yourself. Over and over. ✨