#10yearchallenge-Looking back on yourself

Most of you must have seen #10yearchallenge going around on social media, wherein most of the people have been sharing there photos 10 years back and current one highlighting how they have changed.

This gave me the idea of looking back on how I have changed in last ten years but not just in looks but in every aspect of life.

Ten years ago my Aunt went for a vacation to South East Asia for 10 days, after listening to her travel stories a desire to travel abroad came to my mind and I applied for passport. Immediately after I got my passport I decided that I will not let this expire blank and so went to a short trip to Dubai, a most memorable experience of my life.

Few years ago I got job offer in a city about 3-4 hours drive from my hometown but rejected it for the fear of living alone with stranger roommates in a less known city. However about three years ago I had to travel to a foreign  country thousand of miles away for work. In six months of my stay there I did not earn any accolades or huge sum of money but changed from lost and scared person who used to panic if she could not get bus on time for going home from work, to someone who  travelled the length and breadth of USA and now has the confidence to travel and survive anywhere in the world. Finally I have come to believe  “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”

Being someone who was scared of height and not a very adventorous person, I decided to face my biggest fears and tried different activities like horse riding in the himalayan mountains, zipline to sentosa beach, jet ski,short joy ride on elephant etc and realised that “Darr ke aage jeet hain” ( Meaning- Victory lies ahead of fear)

I  never had any creative talent and even in school my favourite subject was mathematics but three years ago creative juices started in flowing in me and I suddenly found a new hobby of writing a blog, which over the time has got thousands of view and hundreds of followers.

Most important thing that changed in last ten years is, ten years back I was single and lonely but now I am in love with someone who has always been there for me, some one who I see everytime I look into the mirror, my own changed self. Now I can  finally say that I am Single but not Lonely as I came to understand that

Happily Single is holding out for the best and letting go of the rest. It’s saying I will and I can to yourself before you say I do to someone else.

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Dementors (Dark Creatures) in Real life

For all those who are not familiar with a Dementor, In the wizarding world of Harry Potter  there is a wizard prison of Azkaban which is guarded by creatures called dementors. Dementors are dark creatures which suck every good feeling and every happy memory out of anyone who comes near them and leave them feeling cold, dark and miserable.

In wizarding world  way to fight such dementors is to think about some memory which makes you happy and then cast a Patronus with the spell “Expecto Patronum”. Happier the memory stronger the spell works.

Like the wizarding world in our real world also there are dementors all around us, not black cloaked ones but in form of people who drain up your energy any time you interact with them. You may encounter them in form of your neighbour or co-worker or sometimes even a small negative voice in your own mind. Like dementors in wizarding world they will show you the negative side of any situation and bring back your bad memories and make you more and more gloomier, the more and more you listen to them.How to fight these dementors??

Same as in wizarding world, in real life also to fight these dementors you need to build your mental strength by remembering things which make you feel good,bring back your happy memories so that your inner light , your happiness, your own patronus radiates so strong that any negativity, any crap that dementors throw on you has no effect on you.

So next time you come across dementors in any form and you start to feeling low, train your mind to bring positive thoughts to fight off the gloom and depression.

Lastly remember what Dumbledore said

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Also same as in Harry Potter do not forget to eat a yummy little chocolate to lift your mood 😊😊😊

If we die we’ll die but first we will live

Sometime back I was rewatching one of my favourite TV show “Game of thrones” and in one of the scenes Ygritte tells Jon Snow ” If we die we’ll die but first we will live”

This left me thinking right since a young age we are being told study hard, get good grades,get a decent job, focus on your career growth, get married at right age, have kids and so on life goes on, one goal after another, one responsibility after another….

What about your hobbies, your passion, places you want to visit, things you like do ? Some say that once I have built my career or fulfilled my responsibilities that is by the age of 40 or 50 I will be free from worries and then I will do the things I always wanted to do, but are you sure you are going to live that long, what if you die before that???

We make plans for 10 or 20 years down the line when we don’t even know we are going to see tommorow’s day…

Moral is each day alongwith your work and personal responsibilities find sometime to do something you love to do, do not keep on postponing things for retirement, do not just live the length of your life – live the width as well.

Lastly I would like to quote words of poem I read somewhere

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
   Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
   Tomorrow will be dying.

Pursuit of happiness

Last month I went on small vacation to Mount Abu (A hill station in state of Rajasthan in India).Before travelling to this place I had searched on Internet and found that is a year round destination and even though June-September is rainy season in India, this place does not experience that heavy rainfall, so I thought this a good time to travel.

We boarded the train on Friday reached place on Saturday, roamed to different attractions on Saturday, Sunday and first half of Monday, till here everything was fine, we even boarded the night train on Monday and were supposed to reach home by Tuesday morning 7:30 AM, train was going at usual speed, reaching all the stations on scheduled time just when we were less than 100 miles from our final destination train suddenly stopped on intermediate station which was not regular half, initially everyone thought it will start in few minutes but soon minutes turned into hours and there was no sign of train moving upon enquiring we came to know that due water logging on railway tracks few miles trains are all stuck. After a long wait and changing multiple trains,buses and taxi we finally reached home at 7:30 in evening exactly 12 hours late.

This experience made me think and I looked back at my travels of few years. Suddenly I felt as if Am I travelling too much? Are all my journeys making me happy?So I prepared a list of expenses for each trip, things which I loved about the places and places which seemed not at all worthy of visit.

While comparing this I observed that some of trips specially international ones had cost more than two hundred thousand INR and some very small or unplanned ones to nearby weekend destinations costing less than five thousand INR but when I looked back at the memories of these places, I found that joy, happiness ,excitement of seeing something new, does not depend on whether the places is expensive or not.

For some of these trips I even lost the pics I had clicked as the old PC where I had stored the files is practically not working and I did not post these pics on social media, without the pic to see and without even posting any enhanced pictures on social media for others to see and like some destinations still seem unforgettable and make some lifetime memories.

On the whole I concluded that happiness does not come from how expensive the place is or how popular the place is orhow beautiful pics you click or how many likes you get on social media.

Happiness in turn depends on how much the place touches your soul, waking up to view of snow clad mountains in distance,seeing the entire valley getting covered in fog making you feel as if you are in clouds, getting drenched in the rain without worrying about catching cold, spending a quiet evening on beach watching a sunset,trying your hands at a scary adventure activities and in turn conquering your deep fears…. gives you deep satisfaction and happiness irrespective place or expenses or duration of the trip. There are somethings money cannot buy and true happiness is one of them.
So the only goal behind travelling is not visiting popular and expensive destinations or clicking awesome pictures to decorate your social media profile but a welcome break from your daily routinr, seeing or experiencing something new, meeting new people, admiring the beauty of nature, conquering your fears. It’s a way of lifting your heart to a new state of joy, peace and tranquility.

I am free women,Are you?

Few days back I read a news over internet that women finally got the right to drive a car in one part of this world.This news left me thinking is this a good news? We are in 21st century and till now in some corner of the world women have to fight for such small freedom,they are being deprived of such small things like driving a car or travelling alone without male companion.

As I thought about this I felt I am privileged that I live in more free society where I got opportunity to get educated in field of my choice, have a career of my choice, freedom to travel across the world etc. But then I suddenly remembered few incidents from the past.

At one time I was chatting with my lady colleagues, all of them were educated and earned a decent pay, discussion somehow came to the topic of investment options, tax savings etc and most of them seemed to have no clue on financial matters as these were managed by their parents or husband, one of them even said why do you worry about savings “uske liye to husband hain (meaning- Husband is there to manage all savings)”, this was shocking to me….

One more such incident one of my friend told me, about her colleague whose husband used to keep even her salary account cheque book locked, if he was out of town then she had no access to her own cheque book. What is point of having a high paying job if you do not have access to your own money? Everytime you need money you need to ask someone to give you your own money?

These incidents left me thinking inspite of living in free society where women have equal rights as men are these women really free?????

Freedom is not just wearing the clothes you like, or partying with friends till late night or going on vacations or outings with friend ,according to me far more important is having financial freedom.

By financial freedom I do not mean that you tell your husband or a family to mind his own business and I will use my money my way, no… thats not what I mean…..
Investment related decisions could be mutual where both the parties have equal involvement in jointly managing the money, where each one is completely aware of all the assets they hold together and each one has right to express his opinion when it comes to investing the money. According to me only when financial freedom becomes reality then only we can really say “We are free”.

All my education as well as work experience is technical in field of software engineering and I have no financial background but still I learned about many investment options starting from simple bank fixed deposits to risky investment options like stock market so that at no point in time I have to depend on anyone financially, so I can rightfully say

I am free women

Loom of time

Beautiful poem I had read long time back in one of my English textbooks, sharing it here for my readers
Man’s life is laid in the loom of time
To a pattern he does not see,
While the weavers work and the shuttles fly
Till the dawn of eternity.

Some shuttles are filled with silver threads
And some with threads of gold,
While often but the darker hues
Are all that they may hold.

But the weaver watches with skillful eye
Each shuttle fly to and fro,
And sees the pattern so deftly wrought
As the loom moves sure and slow.

God surely planned the pattern:
Each thread, the dark and fair,
Is chosen by His master skill
And placed in the web with care.

He only knows its beauty,
And guides the shuttles which hold
The threads so unattractive,
As well as the threads of gold.

Not till each loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God reveal the pattern
And explain the reason why

The dark threads were as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern which He planned.

100th Day of Year 2018

Today 10th April is the 100th day of year 2018, it seems as if just few days back we welcomed the year 2018 and now even before we realised 100 days have passed…. ever thought what did we do in these 100 days ? what did we gain ? what did we lose? How many of our new year resolutions are still active?I decided  to look back on my 100 days with above questions in my mind…

Sound Mind in Sound Body

As the old saying goes “Sound Mind in Sound Body” I had made a resolution this year to walk atleast 2.5km (1.55 miles) daily and also purchased a fitness band to keep a track of same. Today I am happy to announce that when I checked the data I found that on an average I have walked 3KM (1.86 miles) per day.

“Once a year go some place you’ve never been before”- Dalai Lama

Being Travel lover and blogger, I had made a resolution that every year I will go on atleast one vacation to a place I have never been before, can be domestic or International. This year I went to Kerala (State in South India) popularly known as God’s own country, land of coconut trees and beautiful beaches,soothing backwaters. To have glimpse of this popular tourist destination in India check the youtube video below

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. – Swami Vivekananda

For years I was looking for some work which will make me happy not something which you do for a paycheck but finding your true joy, your true passion in life. And just few days back I found that work I started writing a technical blog to share the knowledge I gained over years working as ERP  consultant. As of now this blog is completely free and available to anyone who wants gain more knowledge. I am happy to share that in just 5 days of publishing this blog has got more than 1.1K views.

https://peoplesoftinterviewguide.wordpress.com/

 

This was my review of past 100 days do look back on yours and also do let me know your thought on above post in comments below……..

Life is precious

After every few days we read a news about suicide reason can be anything failure in exam or fear of failure in exam, failure in love relationship, issues in marital relationship or workplace issues or ragging in college etc. Are these reasons sufficient to end your life? What about the people who love you, care for you how will this effect them?Does failure in one particular area of life mean you are a failure and have to end your life?

I have faced lot many ups and downs in life, in a span of few months I was cheated and made a victim of financial fraud worth almost $1500 by someone I considered friend, few months after that bank where I had deposited my saving was freezed due to bad loans and I lost access to my own money, I lost my job and could not get other one for months…….

My whole world turned upside down I spent days crying and feeling depressed, sometimes I even felt that I don’t want to live I want to die …………………….

In such moments of gloom I kept on thinking why me? why is my life so hard ?What did I do wrong?why am I being punished?

On such days of gloom while thinking about past I remembered those days when I used to take my dad to hospital for his treatment when I used to pass around the cancer ward and see young kids  suffering from the disease, some of them had feeding tubes (feeding tube is a medical device used to provide nutrition to patients who cannot obtain nutrition by mouth, are unable to swallow safely, or need nutritional supplementation) , even eating normal food from their mouth a basic need was denied to them……Still they are living, fighting for their life, inspite of all the pain they have to go through….. Then isn’t my life better than them why should I even think of dying?

Whenever you feel low in life, just think about the people out there who are not as fortunate as you are , who maybe more than happy to have your life, don’t give your life for anyone or any reason, nobody is worth, no reason is worth it………

 

Childhood Nostalgia

Few days back I heard a hindi song being played

Ye Daulat bhi lelo

Ye Shoharat bhi lelo

Bhale chinlo mujhse meri jawani

Magar muzhko lauta do wo bachpan ka sawaan

Wo kagaaz ki kashti wo baarish ka pani..

Meaning-Take away all my wealth, my fame and even my youth but return me my childhood, days when I used to float paper boats in rain water, return me those days.

While listening to this my mind flew back to my childhood memories when during rainy days when schools got closed due to water logging we used to still make our way till school wading through knee deep water for shear fun of walking and playing in water, fact that our clothes will get dirty, we might catch some infection etc never came to the mind back then.

Hitech games on smartphones cannot match the joy of playing every evening on swings with friends,playing card games with friends in afternoon,running around a table in home trying to catch each other etc.

All such uncountable memories of those carefree, stress free days make us reliaze that joy of life can be found in simple things and even memories of those days brings smile on our face and tears in our eyes…

Strength-Facing Hardship or Moving Away?

Few days back I read a post on facebook about domestic violence wherein a Husband educated IT professional used to beat and torture his wife for years, he even made her maintain excel sheet with details of daily household chores and provide him with regular updates of daily task and if he found any details missing in the sheet he used to beat and abuse her.He even threatened her to kill their daughter, finally after years of such torture wife decided to move out and seek divorce.Why and how was she able to bear this for so long about 8-10 years is a big question?
Daily we hear such stories about domestic abuse, dowry deaths,suicides for years women keep on facing such abuse but still stay with such husbands why some say it is for the kids, some for the fear of what will society say, some due to lack of support from parents and family.
Many of daily soaps in India are female centered which depict a female character with unrealistic standards who has so much love for her husband, family , in laws that no matter how they treat her she does not back answer,faces all the abuse with smiling face,her only moto in life is that once she is has arrived in her Husbands’s house in “Doli” (Meaning-Palanquin used in Marriage procession) now she will only leave this house on “Arthi” (Meaning-Funeral bier).Is this right thinking?
Facing all kinds of wrong behaviour,physical or mental torture and still continuing may be considered by some people as sign of strength. And moving out, leaving such people behind might be considered by some people as lack of ability to face difficulties or running away from hard situations, but according to me it takes more courage to break free from hard situations, without worrying about what will people say,leaving all the future worries aside and just move away.
So whether it is an abusive relationship at home or mental torture at workplace just let go of such things which bring you down, free yourself, life is too short to waste on such people who do not value you.