FAILURE

FAILURE

Something that makes my mind constantly whir…Is the question “What exactly is failure?!”

So much so that I had to write a blog post on it!

 Is it when we actually fail at something or is it when we definitely believe we will fail and hence do not even try our hands at that something…

 

Life is so full of uncertainties…

You plan one thing… But you land up with quite another!

 

Suddenly you get so scared of failure,

And you are so completely sure that you WILL fall short…

That you fail to even give it a worthwhile shot…

 

It gets ingrained. You start to compartmentalize your abilities and your capabilities.

You limit yourself, till you finally land up destroying your own spirit!

 

And that is true failure.

Not Actual Failure… But that Fear of Failure…

Not us when we fail it… But when we are so successful in our comfort zones that we never even try to step out and nail it!

And even after nailing it, we still aren’t sure if we have made the right life choices or the wrong ones!!!

 

Something that rings so true…

Being a topper in school and college actually works against you!

In our cushioned environs, we fail to deal with failure.

And our positive and protective bubbles don’t let us learn life’s true nature.

 

Because life is a lot about failure!!

And I am not talking of only examinations here.

Not doing well in academics is considered as failure.

Not being cool and accepted in school is considered as failure.

Not settling down is considered as failure.

Not having kids is considered as failure.

Not making enough money is considered as failure.

Getting divorced is considered as failure.

Even quitting a job that you hate is considered as failure.

Not partying or holidaying enough is also failure…

Hell, even getting fat or growing old is failure!!!!

 

We keep ourselves running like crazy hamsters on a spinning wheel,

Non-stop just to prevent all this failure from catching up on our life’s reel!!

 

How much this failure weighs us down and what the hell it is all about…

Is something that will take us all of our lives to figure out!

 

The best advice I could maybe give (even to myself)-

Things rarely go according to plan, but that is totally Okay!! That is life for us. We need it to grow and to become better people.

 

We need to Aim & Fire… If not this, then that.

To never ever tire.

 

Nothing is the end of this world.

We are but a minuscule part of a very small pale blue dot of Our Universe. So we need to keep things in perspective and at a long-range!

There were a zillion human beings before us..

And there will still be a gazillion of them after us..

 

Our days are long but our years are very very short.

We need to take a deep breath.

Pace ourselves out.

Not pressure ourselves, our families and God.

 

In the bigger frame of things, everything has a habit of falling into place. We just need to be patient!!

 

After all failure & success are just mere markers of our life’s journey.

One does not have any importance without the other…

What is most important is that we are LIVING the journey!!

 

“The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself”-

Baz Luhrman- Sunscreen Graduation Song. (My most favourite life  advice song of alllll times!)

 

Ex’s & Ooh’s!

Ex’s & Ooh’s!

AUTHORS: Bhavna Pandey & Divya Sharma

So whenever my girlfriends and I get together, we absolutely looovvveee our chat sessions!  

Work, love life, the newest in music, the latest fashions, freshly brewed gossip, old friends we bumped into, new ones we made, and of course, our EXes!!! 🙂

It ain’t even funny, EXes are EVERYWHERE!!! On social media, in random conversations, when you take out old gifts which you don’t even fit into now, when some bluesy Bon Jovi or Bryan Adams plays on the radio or a visit to some long-lost, forgotten place!

I think we have all met the GOOD, the BAD & the UGLY exes!!! There are ones we remember, there are ones we forget & then there are ones we wish we could forget! Those are the ones who have taught us life’s hardest lessons…

Plus social media is crazyyyyyyy… Thanks to it, we don’t even have to actively seek information on people to be qualified as stalkers. Enough and more stuff pops up on our Facebook timelines and Instagram posts to let us know the general drift 🙂

Not many of us are in touch with our exes, but a random ‘hello’ or a simple ‘how are you’ or an out of the blue ‘Happy Birthday!’ brings a smile (or a smirk 🙂 )! Isn’t it?

It is not only us, even our exes are plagued by their exes! Also, I don’t know if you have noticed, but it is more fun to stalk an Ex’s Ex rather than the actual Ex! A few hilarious & nonsensical questions pop into our heads at that moment such as- 

What was so great about the ex’s ex?

Were they somehow better than you?

Oops, are they getting better looking than you (OMG, is that even possible!! J )?

 Are their lives somehow more fun and happening than yours??

Oh man, are THEY more fun and happening than YOU!!!Like Seriously!!

& Blah, blah, blah……………………………

Jokes apart, it still feels nice when an ex calls you for the big events of their life… Hey, I’m getting married. Hey, I’m having kids. Hey, I hate my job. Then you know, OK, you have grown beyond the “EX-iness” of the relationship. And it is a good good feeling.

These people were once an important part of our lives, even though now they’ve disappeared into the faded fabric somewhere. For some of us, it is nice if they reappear from time to time, to let us know that yes, some moments are to be cherished & remembered……………. And that we too are remembered. 🙂

So my take on the entire “EX” thing is this… The ex is your ex because you both decided on it… And now you are in a better place because of it!!

We should thank our exes. We wouldn’t be the same people we are today, if their paths never crossed ours! In fact, some of them can make the best of friends we’ve ever had.

So Harry & Sally couldn’t be friends, but hey, after they broke up, who knows, maybe they could have been!!!!

 

 

The Cross of the Common Man!

The Cross of the Common Man!

India Rio 2016… Our Indian Athletes standing proudly up there on the Olympic Podium. The feeling of pride we felt… Our shoulders becoming a little bit straighter… Our chests puffing up… Our eyes tearing up… For all the Indian medallists at the Olympics! Most of whose names we had not heard before… And a lot of them women, too!

It was one of the defining moments in our lives, like the sadness we felt when Princess Diana and Robin Williams passed away, or the happiness we felt when Barrack Obama became President of the USA. We didn’t know these people personally, but their achievements, happiness and sadness affected us. I guess that is what we call greatness.

After the furore created by Shobha De (what’s new, right?), journalist TS Sudhir explained what our heroic sportspersons went through just to compete in the Olympics. How much the Olympic athletes had struggled in order to win those medals. It wasn’t an easy win. Our athletes had to struggle for decent shoes and basic sports facilities which we urban richies take so much for granted. Mostly, it wasn’t people from the metro, cosmopolitan cities that drove us at the Olympics, but people from smaller cities and towns who competed & won medals for us.

Sakshi Mallik. Indian freestyle wrestler. Olympic Bronze medal winner. From Mokhra Village, Haryana. Daughter of a bus conductor. Faced opposition for taking up a sport that was “not meant for girls”

P.V. Sindhu. Indian Badminton Player. Olympic Silver medal winner. Travelled 56 kilometres from her residence to the coaching camp everyday to practise.

Deepa Karmakar. First Indian Female Gymnast at Olympics. From Agartala, Tripura. Firstly, she was flat-footed. She trained extensively to develop an arch in her foot, and I cannot even begin to imagine how hard that must have been for her. Secondly, to prove herself in the Olympics, she did the Produnova or the Death Vault. If you need to do a death vault to prove yourself, you can imagine how much that need really is. She executed the vault, being only one of five women in the world to successfully complete it.

So many athletes. So many struggles, triumphs and disappointments. So much grit, mettle and determination.

And after all that, to bear the heavy cross of the hopes of a billion plus Indians on one’s shoulders, yes we ourselves put that heavy cross (of maximum expectations with zero investment) on our sports people. That is why in India, we love sports but no parent wants their child to become a sportsperson!

So after the joy and Olympic buzz faded into the daily humdrum of life. It got me thinking. About you, me and the cross of the common man. We are the general population, the mere mortals, the sort of achievers yet non- achievers. We work at our workplaces in the daytime and spend the rest of the time in our homes and humdrum lives. We pass away our lives on a plateau, making no remarkable history-changing, world-defining impact, and living each day more or less like the other. A cog in the wheel.

When I was a child… In my head, I was not going to be just a cog in the wheel. I was going to be a brilliant superhero & the first woman astronaut in space. I used to run around with my dad’s scooter helmet on my head and silver foil rolled around my arms to prove it! I was going to be a stunning top model, hoping with all my heart and boy-cut hair that mine would be a great ugly duckling turns into swan story. I was going to be a top-notch athlete who competed and defeated P.T. Usha’s running records! These aspirations… The hopes and wishes of a child… What changed? I became an adult.

I cannot only blame the Indian mentality or the Indian society for encouraging us mostly in academics & teaching us to only become doctors and engineers. Because there are Indians who have achieved otherwise. I blame the mentality ingrained into each and every one of us from very early on. I blame myself for being too soft and too easy on myself. I got things far too easily. Hey, I was a good runner too in school! Why did I not follow it up? When the going got tough, I got going… In the opposite direction!

I have the “I give up” syndrome. It’s the bane of the urbane middle class. My boarding school’s motto was “Never Give In” but I’ve given up on a lot of things. On things I really liked, on what I really wanted to be, on relationships and on friendships.  Anything that really needed effort.

And I wasn’t always like that. People and life give up on you, and teach you how to give up, too. I’m not blaming either, that’s just life. And as you become an adult, there is a shocking realization that “I am dispensable”.  That feelings and life situations are dispensable, as well. That even your achievements are dispensable, unless they are continual and keep rising like tidal waves, one after the other. The trouble with that is, yes they do rise, they do take you high along with them, but they also ebb away as fast as they come. Leaving you with a lesser bedrock of soil and sand than you had before.

So, what is my take home message? I don’t know if I really have one. Except that maybe we should really learn from our athletes. Keep taking tiny steps, never giving in, and suddenly the tiny steps may become gigantic leaps! The true meaning of our school motto, I have understood only years after I have left school.

I am not exceptionally beautiful, nor exceedingly smart or incredibly talented as in my childhood dreams of “me”, but I do know that slowly and steadily, if we keep working towards betterment, there is no other way except to actually get better! To learn from other’s achievements, as well and not only from their mistakes. To follow your heart, dreams & aspirations. To anchor & strengthen your bedrock!

If not now, then when?

If not now, then when?

images

In the rapid blinks of an eyelid, your young and carefree days soar past you,

As quickly as fleeting birds in flight…

Off they go into the rapidly disappearing horizon,

Until quite suddenly, you are all wizened!

Soon, before you know it, you are an adult or more aptly, an overgrown kid,

Living your life which can be quite a bitch!

 

And you are left wondering,

“Where did all that time go? Especially when time used to feel so steady & slow!

Why did I not do all the things that I wanted to do, at that time, then?”

And so it is- “If not now, then when?”

 

If you are wasting your youth on worries & anxieties,

For doing this or doing that…

Do not worry!

Life is worth living only if it is filled with your childish antics and melodramatics…

After all, what is a life that is lived without any crazy incidents or funny embarrassments? 🙂

 

Then, exactly when should you start to worry?

If you aren’t making mistakes, rolling around in doldrums and having breakdowns, then you worry!

For if not now, then when? 

 

If you aren’t telling that angry, unfair boss or well-meaning but mean friend of yours to back off, with their snide observations and callous judgements, then you worry!

For if not now, then when? 

 

Save your pennies and pies. But if you aren’t holidaying and roaming atleast part of this great world in your free time… If you aren’t enjoying yourself, then you worry!

For if not now, then when? 

 

If you choose to stay like a frog in the well, then you worry!

For if you won’t take the leap now, then when? 

 

If you aren’t spreading your light to shadowy places… If you aren’t picking up that phone, to make a precious call, and patch up a broken friendship or a long lost relationship…  If you aren’t telling the person you love, that you love and appreciate them…then you worry!

For if not now, then when? 

 

This is the youngest, you get to be, as of NOW.

So, if not now, then when? 

Take the plunge. Make crazy decisions. Pursue your dreams, creations and passions. 

Live your life.  

The road goes on for miles. It is your duty to make the walk worth your while.

 

Photo Credits: Sunset flight by Jennie. photographyblogger.net

 

Not so long ago… 

Not so long ago… 

To you, Papa.

Not so long ago… You were tying my shoelaces,
Not so long ago… You were teaching me to make funny faces 🙂

Not so long ago… You were being my personal stylist and cutting my hair…
That you made me look like a boy, 
Never diminished your flair 🙂

Not so long ago… You were dropping us off to boarding school,
To make sure that life does not turn us into fools!

Not so long ago, you gave up watching your Sunday morning news, 
To let me watch my crazy loony toons!

Not so long ago, you enrolled me into driving classes,
To learn all about accelerators, clutches and brakes…
When I banged up the car, all you had to say-
“You learn from your mistakes!”

Earlier, you were teaching me the Bernoulli’s theorem in physics,
And now, you are teaching me to differentiate the realities from the gimmicks.

Not so long ago (yesterday to be precise), you taught me to file income tax returns,
So that we live our lives, free of concerns.

Not so long ago, you shouted at us, and you were stern with us.
But now, we realize the need for the fuss.

You lead by example. 

You load the laundry,

And know the inside-out of the pantry!

Hell, you cook caramel better than any of us,

And you work harder than any of us!

You taught me to thread the sewing machine…

To sew both my heart up & my jeans!

You are our idol. 
The standards you set, we hold our husbands to match upto.

 

And, now, as I grow old, you grow older…
Even after us growing up, 
We should be looking after you,
Yet you are the one still looking after us!

 

We have found our princes, but you are always our king!

 

Last Line Credits 🙂 : Dr. Jayalakshmi. K

DAY 5/Hook ’em with a Quote/Daily Inspiration

DAY 5/Hook ’em with a Quote/Daily Inspiration

I  think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer- Jim Carrey

Dayyyummm, Jim Carrey, you just pin-pricked & burst my bubble. Besides, I am neither super rich nor famous  (as yet), and nor have I completed my bucket list  to say, “Hellll, yeaaa!”….

But, also, somewhere deep down, not being rich and famous also, I know what you are saying is true!

The truth is we can’t find the answer because we aren’t really sure what the question is!!

A thousand questions roam wild in our heads. Are we wealthy enough? Are we healthy enough? Are we not rich enough? Are we a little too poor? Are we beautiful enough? Are we  with the ‘in’ crowd? Or are we happier with fewer friends? Are we cool or uncool?

Which of these questions will give us the answer to happiness?

Or NONE of the above? Perhaps..

Master Oogway is not here to give you the “look deep inside you” advice because that’s a load of hogwash… God made this big beautiful world so you could look outside!!! Why would we want to look inside???? I mean, that would be a waste of his effort. O.K, maybe just a little inner pondering, but that’s about it 🙂

And Master Oogway is not here, offering you any big advice either. But yes, the advice shared is what is keeping ME from getting all the answers in my life!

Here goes…

Starting with the non stop self-judging and the limiting! Of not just other people. More often than not, we are too harsh on ourselves, judging too much, being too exacting and unforgiving; and continuously setting limitations on what we can and cannot do..And yes these standards we set, we apply more to ourselves and our loved ones than other people!

Living half here and half there… Never really 100% anywhere! We live three quarters in the past, and one quarter in the future, with not too much left to spare for the present…

Life for me is always about getting a window seat with a fab view so I can spend my life staring and daydreaming it out :)… And that too in fast forward! I am not saying it’s a bad thing to look out, but it definitely makes you miss out on what is going on, in the classroom 🙂

Being a crazy, all-consuming worrier…Man, the amount of mental space worrying takes out of me! What he said, what she said, all the things they said… Running through my head!  God gave us intelligence & memory, alright (Thank you God!), but it’s a double edged sword…

I think the important thing is to realize that our questions and answers that we look for are like time and space- with no beginnings and no endings,but are just a continuous, rippling, unending flow…And we will get our answers… Slowly, surely and steadily… We just have to pace ourselves… 🙂

In the end, when we look back at the journey, we should feel like we lived our lives, and lived them well!!! And that is the MOST IMPORTANT ANSWER.

Pic credits: My niece, Paavni Tyagi

 

 

 

DAY 4/ A Story In A Single Image/ Daily Inspiration

DAY 4/ A Story In A Single Image/ Daily Inspiration

The cold morning breeze,

The warm sun cross-lighting through the leaves,

Puts my mind at peace…And my heart at ease…

 

#haiku poetry:

Short poems that are 3 line observations about a fleeting moment involving an element of nature, a moment of beauty or another poignant experience using sensory language.