Life of a dreamer

A friend of mine sent me a slam book entry I had written in her book which read, “Life goal: To become a computer engineer”. I had written down this goal probably when I was in the 5th grade. Back then, computers were the new thing and I was fascinated by them. The only related job I knew back then was becoming a computer engineer. My friend also pointed out, how that dream of mine eventually did come true!

Pondering over it made me realize I did manage to achieve my dream without even acknowledging it. I have been a huge nerd my whole life. Though there was a moment in my life, where I stopped running behind grades (the nerd in me still exists!). Today, it reminds me about the amount of efforts I used to put in, the sleepless nights, the influx on information, the drive to study as much as I can to get my degree. I slogged really hard and seeing your hard work being reflected on report cards gave me a great feeling back then.

It also made me realize that with the same attitude, if I really put in all my honest work into achieving my other dreams, I can achieve them as well. Because I am that hard working kid. I had the headstrong determination and drive to become a computer engineer. Now, that same kid has different goals, but the sheer thrill of going after my goals still excites me. Life doesn’t need to be limited by a single dream. This was a beautiful reminder that when you start manifesting your dreams and do all the groundwork, even though it may take some time or even longer, but one day, you will get there. Keep going!

Museum Day

Happy International Museum Day! 🦕

The best part about museums is the unsaid stories that you try to uncover, dreaming about a world that existed thousands of years ago or sometimes trying to understand an artist’s thought procedure, wondering what really inspired them to go out there and create those beautiful pieces of art.

Looking back at this picture taken at the American Museum of Natural History, it reminds me of how we have evolved and mainly, adapted. We, ourselves, are a striking reminder that humans have made it through so many difficulties and changes over time. And even though this pandemic has upturned this world, we, this resilient species, will make it through again. ✨

PS: Finally getting back to writing after a short break. The covid crisis in India has been heartbreaking and overwhelming. Trying to slowly get back in the groove. Hope everyone out there is doing well! Thanks for reading. 🙂

The grass is greener where you water it

“The grass is greener where you water it.” Read this quote on the Internet and thought it was an interesting twist to the old quote, “The grass is greener on the other side”. When we don’t like where we’re at, the unknown seems like a better option just because that’s our perception. We start seeing the other side as an escape, but we have to think for ourselves and not be simply blinded by the allure of the unknown.

Life is always about the choices we make. Even though the other side might seem greener, the choice always lies with us to choose the ground we would like to grow from. When you begin to believe in yourself and acknowledge your own grit and strength, your life will be a flowering garden with greener grass wherever you choose to go.

Prisoners of the free world

This image was taken at the Alcatraz prison, which is just 1.5 miles away by sea from San Francisco city. Walking through the matchbox sized cells with rusty metal bars, it made me wonder how the lives of the inmates of this prison would’ve been like. The prisoners had this beautiful view of the Golden gate bridge on one side and the SF skyline lurking on the other.

The tour guide told us, that the smell of chocolate from the famous Ghirardelli factory nearby, used to spread across the island. The irony for the prisoners here was that they could’ve had everything that one could wish for, just 1.5 miles away. And yet, because of the burden of their crimes, this small distance kept them away from the real world.

Alcatraz Island, California

I also happened to stumble upon a prisoner’s cell (above image) who’s art made me stop and wonder that, if he was out here in the real world, he would’ve definitely made it as an artist! Such a waste of talent. When I come to think of it, we as humans, sometimes imprison ourselves in this crazy web of life, that we forget about the beauty that lies underneath. I mean, this one life, wouldn’t you want to make it big?

This guy, he was stuck in one place and yet, he tried to make something out of literally nowhere! And here we are, free as birds, yet caged by these shackles of a monotonous life, societal pressures and procrastination. One of these days, I hope you break free from these chains and paint a beautiful picture in real life as well!

Human cages

Looking back at this picture, it reminds me of the beautiful world we live in. Last year, particularly hindered all our travel plans. However, this particular shot makes me think about how we, as humans, build some fences all around us, restricting our own growth and reach. How often do we wonder about what’s stopping us from doing the things we’ve always wanted to do?

Sometimes we are restricted by external factors whereas, sometimes, we unknowingly build a cage around ourselves and keep running in circles. A lot of things we worry about are just in our heads. If we don’t even try to wander beyond the usual, letting go of the insecurities, self-doubt and risk of failure, we might never get rid of the cages we’ve put ourselves in.

Pebble beach, California

The above picture is a gentle reminder of how free we truly are, to be anywhere in this big, beautiful world and become the person we really want to be. It’s all about the perspective. 

P.S: This is one of the lookout spots from the iconic 17-mile drive along the Pacific coast in California.

The thousand magical suns

A wise old man once asked me, “Son, do you want to hear the story about the thousand suns?” Intrigued by the man’s question and worn from my own exhaustive journey, I sat down to hear more. Then he said, “There are these thousand unique suns out in the world and if you let their rays fall on you, your life will be filled with inner peace and happiness, no matter what. You will find them either during sunrise or during a sunset. There won’t be any signs, but make sure you look towards the sky each day and you will just know.”

I searched for long, trying to find these magical suns that would be the light of my life. I visited that old man again after a few years, desperate to find out how I wasn’t even able to find even one of the thousand suns. He looked at me and started laughing. I thought I had made a fool of myself trying to find something that didn’t exist.

The old man then said to me, “Here you are talking about how you failed to find the magical suns that would enlighten your life. And yet, you couldn’t think about every sunrise and sunset you saw during your journey. Those were the rays of sun you were supposed to collect and you’ve been doing it all along. Every time you paused to stare at the magic of this universe, the different colors of the sky and let it grasp your attention, you did collect all the magic out there.”

That day, I thanked the man and walked away to catch another sunset.

P.S: Took this shot of a beautiful sunset at Tulum beach, Mexico. Missing the beach life a lot! Do you guys prefer to watch the sunrise or the sunset?

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 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. 💫

To shine..

All I’ve ever know in my life
Is to shine
Amongst heads held high and hearts full of pride
Even through dark night skies
And peeking through skyscrapers so high
Anything that tries to dim my light
Only witnesses how bright I shine without putting up a fight
For I never learnt how to dull my sparkle even through time
Coz all I’ve ever know in my life
Is to shine. ✨

Ashwini

P.S : This picture was taken at the Bryant Park Winter Village in New York. It’s almost Spring in New York and I was surprised to see the Winter Village at Bryant Park still lit! Loved how glorious the Empire State building looks from here. Hope everyone’s excited about Spring!

Her little book of dreams

When she was just a innocent little girl
She dreamt and wrote about things she would achieve in this world
She giggled and danced her way through adolescence
Always carrying her little book of dreams in her tiny hands

But the realities of the unjust world put her in a cage
Started tearing down her dreams page-by-page
People kept telling her how she should be holding a pan and a ladle
Or she was simply born to swing her baby’s cradle

She gathered all the tattered pieces of her broken dreams
And stuck them back together, a beautiful mosaic it seemed
She clutched the book even more closer to her heart
And stood up for all the girls whose dreams were torn apart

Ashwini

Epilogue:

All over the world, a girl’s education is deemed optional for her growth. Because according to some, a woman’s place is in the kitchen and not in a classroom or a workplace. Historically, this has been happening since centuries. But with changing times, even the society needs to evolve.

Women have the strength and power to run a household as well as a workplace. What they need is support and encouragement. Mostly importantly, we need to remember, when you educate a girl, you are educating a child. Let’s work on that! 👸🏻