Don’t ever cease to exist!

Don’t ever cease to exist, my friend.
Now, more than ever!
In times of despair and uncertainty,
When your own people seem to have abandoned you,
Even if these streets seem a little more lonely tonight.

Because when you don’t cease to exist,
But really begin to live even through the long dark days,
The light that you’ll emit will reach places far beyond
And to people who are seeking the tiniest ray of hope, the will to live.

They’ll all come back, some old faces and new.
And when they do, you’ll still be standing in all your glory,
Shining brighter than you ever did,
Leaving everyone wondering if you really are made of magic.

Just don’t ever cease to exist! ✨

– Ashwini Manjrekar

An ode to New York and all the New Yorkers out there! This post is for everyone who loves this city and also for all those who wish to visit it one day. It really is magical!

The new Times Square LED display. We are ready for the 2020 ball drop on New Year’s eve!

The perfect fall leaf.

I stood at the beach, close enough that I could look down and see the empty shells in the crystal clear water yet far enough that my shoes didn’t get wet. I stood there a few feet away from everyone else with my back turned against the world, just staring deep into the abyss, breathing in the crisp fall air and watching the colorful reflection of the maple trees in the still water. The sun and the sky, the trees and their fallen leaves, the beach and the broken shells, it was all there right in front of me.

This was my last fall foliage trip since just in a few days, it was going to be past-peak for the autumn in Vermont. Throughout our entire journey, I was trying to find a maple tree with the perfect red leaves to capture. I was looking for a red maple leaf without any holes or dirt marks. However, the moment I set my eyes on the crystal clear water, I saw this one rogue red maple leaf right in front of me. It was nowhere close to what I was originally hoping to capture.

However, its worn, tattered texture stood out amidst all the pebbles. And while I stood there pondering over, it just struck me! Doesn’t this leaf symbolize what fall is all about? It teaches you about change. Just like how the lush green leaves change into different colors and shades, in our life too, we go through numerous changes, wanted and unwanted, both. But what we can do is adapt to the change. It felt like the leaf was conveying nature’s message to me that everything doesn’t have to to be perfect all the time, even your life. Sometimes, all you gotta do is take what you’ve got right now and still manage to find the beauty in what lies in front of you. Because in a week, all the perfect and the not-so-perfect leaves, they all were gonna fall from the trees and wither away.

So, here it is – my version of the perfect fall leaf. 🍁

Thanksgiving 2020 Edition.

‘Tis the holiday season here in the US! There used to be a time when friends and families gathered together filling their homes with laughter and bellies with food. But this year’s Thanksgiving has definitely been different for everyone. With the changing restrictions and lockdowns in place, people are stranded thousands of miles away from their families in their tiny apartments. None of us asked for this change in tradition. But what we can do is try to carry on the spirit of Thanksgiving wherever we are and in our own ways!

It’s really easy to let your thoughts spiral into a frenzy when you begin to think about all your problems. But rather, let’s be thankful for having a roof over our heads, being able to eat good food and being surrounded with people who will uplift you no matter how far they are. In the first half of the year, I was really sulking about all my canceled travel plans. However, when I look back, I’m still thankful for the short road trips I was able to make while keeping myself safe out there.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the things that are still carrying on their traditions! The days with clear skies and sometimes even the cloudy ones. The sunlight that enters your room in the morning and the beautiful sunsets. Those star-studded skies at night and the campfires that kept you warm. The home cooked feasts and the ice-cream sundaes you had for dinner. Being able to sit and talk with your roommates and being able to hear you loved ones’ voice. And last but not the least, each breath that reminds you how alive you are!

What you are experiencing right now may seem crazy and out of control. And it’s okay to feel a little lost. But don’t forget to count your blessings and be thankful for everything that you do have.

Happy holidays! Love and light. 💖

PS: This picture was taken on my last flight, when I was flying back to New York from Texas in Feb, 2020. How I miss flying! But safety over everything.

Reflections.

Someone once told me that if someone is being nice to you, that’s probably because you’re a nice person too. And this thought has stayed with me since then. How often do we think about how our words and actions affect the other person? That these are the outlets that reflect a part of your own personality.

We’ve often heard about the word “karma” being used when someone gets payback for their wrongdoings. Karma doesn’t mean that only bad things will happen to you. It means your actions define what you get in return. Hence, if you’re sending out good vibes around, you will receive them in return. Basically, what goes around, comes around. I am a true believer in karma. And I believe that we need to start taking responsibility for our actions. No person in this world is perfect. But, if we start making a conscious effort in improving the lives around us, we ourselves are paving the path to living a fulfilling life.

We could all start by doing tiny bits of kindness like saying Hi to your neighbor, smiling at a stranger, checking up on a friend, sometimes going out of your way to help someone, providing food to someone who needs it, celebrating your friends/families small and big successes, etc. It doesn’t always have to be a huge gesture, just remember a small deed of kindness can make someone’s day. We are all fighting our own battles. So, it wouldn’t really hurt to try to make someone’s life a little better, in our own little way.

Right now, we need kindness a little more in this world than usual!

Spread love and light.🌟