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You Judge Me. I Judge You. And Then What?

n_a_Roman_Osteria three people sitting at a table looking behind in an italian restaurant as if judging people small.

People Judge Others. We Are Always Judging Someone or the Other. But Do We Need To?

Six months ago, I had just come to Auroville. It is an experimental community on the east coast of India near Pondicherry. A collaborator Mirra Alfassa of the philosopher Sri Aurobindo, referred to by him as Mother, had a vision for a place on earth where men from all countries will live in harmony as equals. Set up by the followers of Mother, Auroville is supposed to be the manifestation of that vision. 

If the people of Auroville, Aurovillians, live in peace and treat each other equally is a report for another rainy day. For now think of the place, once an arid sandy land, as a lush green forest dotted with houses, cafeterias, and community spaces nestled in their large green gardens. People from fifty-nine countries call Auroville home.

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What Makes you Fly? – Klaus Nomi Singing My Heart Opens to Your Voice

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We are truly alone in the experience of being the human being we are.

 

“Can anyone truly understand the existence of another person’s internal world?” Correctly asks the author Olivia Laing in her book “the Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone”.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot about loneliness. Perhaps because I’ve been lonely, like everyone else, a lot of times. (managing and understanding emotions)

At some lone moment a couple of months ago I picked up Olivia Laing’s book. I thought the title would explore a writer’s journey through the lonely city life — something I’m interested in because not only do I find loneliness in metropolitans but also in the countryside where local cultures can be alienating, unintentionally or intentionally (read my Spiti mountain journey to see how I felt isolated even amongst a local family). But I found that the book is much more than the singular experience of Laing.

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Why Getting Dumped Could Be Good For You (Real Story)

1024px-Gustave_Caillebotte,_1881_-_Chemin_montant (1) (1) a man and a woman walking apart from each other in a garden

 

Getting dumped isn’t the end of the world. The silver line of a breakup (first only faintly visible) is we get to feel and smoothen out the rough curves of our personalities.

In this essay I talk about my first love and my first break up. Though that first love seemed like my last, time proved me wrong. That love couldn’t be my last for I am still learning the secrets of a happy relationship. Looking back into the broken shards of the relationship, I also see how scattered a human being I was.

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42 Handpicked Marcel Proust Quotes On Habits, Love, Desire, Misery, Memory, and Little Joys

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In Search of Lost Time Quotes By Proust That I Found Too Hard to Ignore – Collected from Volume One

Previously, I published the ethereal lines from Proust’s Swann’s Way (In Search of Lost Time Vol 1) underlining his understanding of human composition and admirable usage of precise words. Now I bring you quotes by Proust collected from the length of the same volume Swann’s Way (Book 1 of the 6-Volume collection In Search of Lost Time). 

The below Marcel Proust quotes tell us our griefs aren’t unique, that we aren’t the only ones miserable and despondent in love, that our minds and memories play tricks on us all, and that habits anchor us to the known. These collected words also emphasize the everlasting joy that nature brings, prove we all lie to ourselves, highlight the illusion of power, and tenderly sympathize with us for bearing the mundaneness of acceptance. 

Hope you enjoy these words pulled from the depths of Proust’s consciousness.

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43 Observations on Human Beings From Proust (Swann’s Way: In Search of Lost Time Vol 1)

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Sharing Some of the Sunshine that Marcel Proust Spreads Through Swann’s Way, In Search of Lost Time Volume 1

I heard of the French author Marcel Proust for the first time in the compassionate visionary Alain De Botton’s book the School of Life: An Emotional Education. In the chapter The Importance of Sex, Botton talks about Marcel Proust’s lesbian sex scene from his book Swann’s Way. Proust’s Swann’s Way is the volume one of his influential seven-volume collection In Search of Lost Time.

In the scene, the lover Mademoiselle Vinteuil invokes her partner to spit on the photo of her deceased father. This heavily criticized section describes how Vinteuil is just trying on the freedom of sensual pleasures — which may make her appear wicked. The author Proust argues that despite what one might think, Vinteuil is essentially of a moral and sound character.

Proust writes, “Sadists of Mlle Vinteuil’s kind are beings who are so purely sentimental, so naturally virtuous that, for them, even sensual pleasure seems evil, seems the privilege of the wicked. And when they allow themselves to indulge in it for a moment, it’s the wicked whose skin they try, and try to get their accomplice, to enter into, so as to have had the momentary illusion of escaping their scrupulous and gentle soul in the inhuman world of pleasure.”

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The Pandemic, Start of Our Indefinite Nomadic Journey, Crossing Barricaded Indian State Borders, Collective Helplessness, and Fundraiser Campaigns

hiking in the himalayas

On Indian Roads Amidst the Second Wave of the Pandemic, Collective Feeling of Helplessness, Fundraisers, And Hope

Here in Himachal Pradesh.

I’ve finally ended up in the Himalayan mountains of Himachal Pradesh, and I would live here for the next few months. This mountain excursion was always the plan for the summer and now as my fingers freeze, I wonder why I chose Himachal. Because I love the mountains or because I’m familiar with the Himalayas from my last four-month trip to Dharamshala in 2019?

In the Shimla area of the mountains where I’m at, summer is not well-known. Locals talk about hailstorms and snowfall even during the months of May to July when the plains of India scorch. During the summers, rains in the lower part of India are scarce but right now heavy rain falls outside my one-bedroom-and-hall house. I have kept the netted house door open by sticking a thick foot mat between the door and its frame. The temperature is no more than 11 degrees outside but when all the doors and windows are closed I stifle, a claustrophobia I picked up, perhaps, by growing up in a very open garden-facing independent house of my parents.

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Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own — A Meditation on Writing and Life

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Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own Quotes — Wisdom on Writing and Life

 

Virginia Woolf was once asked to speak about women and fiction.

Woolf wandered the streets of London, sat by the riverside, pored over shelves full of books in the British Museum, went to luncheons, and considered the then state of literature. While working in a constricted space in that London where women weren’t even allowed to walk on turf paths in colleges (only men and students could), Virginia created a masterpiece on why there were limited women writers and even more limited writings by them.

Woolf delivered the lectures in October 1928 at the women’s colleges of Cambridge University. Published in September 1929, A Room of One’s Own is an essay based on those lectures.

Woolf went back to the works of Proust, Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, Jane Austen, Aphra Behn, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Kipling, Keats, and many more known and unknown writers to understand the truth. She read fiction written by women and studied her contemporaries’ books. She contemplated why the writing of men scorned women and if women were writing good fiction.

In the essays, Virginia emphasized — while showing her detailed thought process — “that a woman needs money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

In addition to being a seminal work on feminism, A Room of One’s Own is an infinite pool of wisdom on writing and life. In the essay, Virginia Woolf argued passionately and statistically about how cultural, spiritual, and financial restrictions may limit our creative freedom.

Given the essay has so much to read into, I will only delve into the lessons on life and writing that Woolf was so benevolent in sharing with us.

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You Aren’t the Emotional Fool You Think You Are

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This Giant Guide on What is Emotional Intelligence and Understanding Emotions Includes

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A Definite Guide to Purposeful, Healthy, and Mindful Living

Purposeful, Healthy, and Mindful Living.

Purposeful, Healthy, and Mindful Living.

 

 

I had planned to share lessons from the book “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” and experiences from practicing a sustainable and conscious lifestyle in this piece. But as I wrote, I also added health concepts I had learned (and practiced) growing up in India, lifestyles I had studied from books, and ways of living I had seen while traveling.

So now this article is a conglomeration of the most logical, useful, and effective ideasthat I’ve foundon living a healthy, simple, and, yet, purpose-driven life.

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Best Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2020

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Out of the 48 or so books I read in 2020, 25 percent — that’s only 12 books — were non-fiction. The rest were fiction books and children’s tales.

I started reading non-fiction in 2017 when I started this blog On My Canvas. I always read stories and novels, but nonfiction wasn’t a big thing around me. Not that reading fiction was a trend in my social circle either. I can count the selected few readers amongst my friends, batch mates, and colleagues at my fingertips.

There was one guy in college who loved Shakespeare and read philosophy. There is a poetry lover and creator who is still a great friend. Some of the elites from Vidya Mandir and other high-class Delhi schools could talk about Mark Twain and J.R.R Tolkien but only seldom did I see them with a book. Or maybe I wasn’t noticing books at that time myself. 

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21 Best Books To Change Your Life [They Changed Mine]

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Has anyone ever asked you to read books to change your life? I would go as far as to say reading is one of the synonyms of personal growth.

I started reading books, both fiction and non-fiction, sincerely only for the last five years. But during this time, I read some books that shifted the course of my life. They exposed me to unbelievable facts. They laid open the science I didn’t know exist. They told me stories I could never imagine. They made me cry like I hadn’t before. They made me laugh as if I had nothing to worry about. They accompanied me when I was lonely. They told me life can be lived in many ways. They reassured me it was okay to be who I was. But that I could learn, too.

By a life changing book, I don’t necessarily mean a bestseller.

By life changing books I mean those in which the most obvious things have been said in the simplest form; or those that tell the history of life not as how people want us to know but how it happened; or those that show life writhing out of the mouth of suffering with full force; or those that remind us of adventures we had as little children that give sense to our today, too; or those that seem long and convoluted but essentially they talk about things we have always ignored; or those that make us reconsider if the thing is worth beating ourselves about; or those that make us look at life with a child’s eyes again; or those that make us ask questions we were too scared to even think about; or those that unravel the science behind all this and help us be a little less clueless; or those that give us hope that change is nothing but little things done every day; or those that show us compassion and tell us we are okay as who we are.

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