Posts tagged life choices

My Love and Hate Relationship With the Colorful India – A Story and Memory Postcards

As I move onto a new journey that takes me outside India for a couple of months (watch out for a more detailed post on Monday), I couldn’t help but reminisce about the places that I have lived in and visited in the last one year I have been in India.

India — a country with distinct religions from the ancient Hindu to the declining Zoroastrianism, with a myriad of languages and dialects from Konkani to Jarawa, with a plethora of geographies from fathomless deserts to treacherous glaciers, with a vast network from modern sea links to old hanging bridges, with a wide assortment of food from homely dal roti to mouth-watering, overnight-cooked chicken biryanis, with a range of commutes from rusted Hero bicycles, serene camels, and obedient bullock carts to fancy Rolls Royces, from peaceful Tamil marriages that are held for two hours during daylight to exciting Punjabi wedding functions sprawled over many days in luxurious hotels spread across India; we have it all.

This large and miscellaneous congregation of people — that India is — sometimes makes me proud, but sometimes the restrictions of this collectivist society suffocate me.

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Relearning The Most Important Principles of Life–  With The Little Prince of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a French writer and aviator and a unique philosopher. He served as a pilot in the French army, flew for commercial airline companies, and also in his leisure. He wrote in the air.

On one of his flights from Paris to Saigon in 1935, his plane crashed in Sahara, and he was stranded in the desert with his navigator. They were far away from habitation and only had a few fruits and a day’s supply of liquids.

Dehydrated in the arid Sahara, Antoine began to see mirages and hallucinated vividly. On the fourth day in the desert, a Bedouin found them and saved their lives with a native dehydration treatment.

Inspired by his experiences in the Sahara, Antoine published a children’s fable for adults called Le Petit Prince or the Little Prince in 1943. This book is not only one of the most favorite children’s books, but also one of the most popular philosophy books. It is the third most printed book after Bible and Gone With the Wind.

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Let Your Life Flow Freely – She Knows Her Course Better than You Do.

Let life happen to you — Rainer Maria Rilke told a Young poet, Franz Xaver Kappus when he expressed his doubts about his poetry to Rainer in a letter.

 

Out of all the golden words that Rainer said, this advice struck me the most when I read the twelve-letter correspondence between him and Franz. Those letters are a brilliant read. But calling them a read would be undermining them.

The art that those twelve letters hold in their hearts thrives with life and hope and advice. That art is like that thunder which roars at night. That art is like lightning which dances across the grey sky. That art is like that twilight which doesn’t know any bounds.

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How to Achieve Your Goals – 12 Principles That I Have Stuck to Since I Was Fifteen Years Old

I was a science and a mathematics girl. Having seen my interest and capability in the sciences, my brother decided that I should compete to get into the IITs, the MIT of India, and become an engineer.

As I hail from a small town, which doesn’t offer many educational opportunities, my father took me to Kota, a city in the desert of Rajasthan, admitted me in one of the private institutions of the coaching-hub of India, and left me in that unknown town; I was fifteen years old and hadn’t stayed away from my parents for more than a few days.

At my first attempt at the entrance examination, I failed. At the second attempt, for which I dropped a year, I ranked seventy-eight (78) amongst half-a-million students.

It didn’t happen by chance. Though I was young, I knew what I had to do to achieve my goal. And it didn’t seem that hard at that time; I just had to crack the concepts, practice, and give exams.

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Why I Became a Part-Time Chef Even Though I had a Job

I wanted to see if the flavors I saw flying in my kitchen had wings. I wanted to see if my hands moved fast enough to massacre a red onion in under thirty seconds. I wanted to see if I could count on the buoyancy of the country eggs I poached. I wanted to see if I could scale the golden fish. If I could do justice to her death. I wanted to see if I could make the chicken fall off its bones. I wanted to see if the boiled spinach adorned a darker green. I wanted to see if anyone else could stuff more onions in paranthas than I could.

I wanted to see if any other spice could overpower asafoetida’s pungent-ness. I wanted to see if life could be lived without coriander. I wanted to understand the fuss about the snowy-white garlic. That always looked to me like the dome-like crown on the head of queen Victoria. I wanted to see if Tiramisu talked. Maybe it could breathe life into another being. As when I licked its spoonful, I was floating freely and kicking in my mother’s uterus again.

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How I Have Changed Over One–Year of Sincere Writing and Blogging – This Is Just the Beginning.

I think a lot more.

I read a lot more. I scroll blogs for hours. I highlight words while I read. I note them down. I try to go through them again.

I write a lot more. I ask myself why shall I not write on a Sunday. The world goes on. So I go on describing it.

I broke up with redundant words. I perfect the Whatsapp messages and the emails I send. My scrutinizing eyes don’t even spare the responses of my friends.

When I wake up, I think about writing instead of thinking about going to the toilet. I am burdened by guilt the day I don’t write. The day I write well, I feel liberated.

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How I Struggle as a New Writer

When I say a new writer, I mean someone who didn’t dare to make writing her life. Or to even think about earning money from her writings. Or to be able to imagine that her story or a poem might get published. Or to be able to say out loud that she is a writer.

But.

She has made writing her life, recently. She earns money from writing. Her day revolves around writing. Her poem got published. Sometimes she stammers that she is a writer.

She still gasps for breath as she wakes up every morning bearing a writer’s responsibility. She becomes too hard on herself while maneuvering her newly-found writer’s freedom.

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What Did Staying in Touch with My Ex-Boyfriend Teach Me About Life – And About Myself

After years of struggle, I broke up with the man I had wished to spend the rest of my life with. Then I flew to the other end of the world. In that foreign land, I picked up a million tiny parts of mine and weaved them again. Then I breathed life into that lifeless me. After a year, I returned to the old city and happened to rent an apartment in his vicinity.

I thought I had moved on. And I had. I am with someone else now, and I love my current partner most earnestly.

Also Read: Why Do We Need a Life Partner and Where to Find One

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Elon Musk – Twelve Things We Can Learn from the Hulk–Like Tycoon

The prime-time news and the first page headlines of reputed national newspapers and the gossiping internet forums and the geeky silicon valley blogs have bombarded us with Elon Musk. They scrutinized the guy first for his electronic money transfer system (Paypal), then for his electric cars (Tesla), then for his rockets and space stations (SpaceX), and then for solar energy (SolarCity).

But I felt I still knew nothing about the silicon valley tycoon who manufactures rockets and cars in one of the most expensive places on earth aka Silicon Valley. So to know more about the real-life Iron Man, I read his biography Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance.

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Travel Tales from the Tragic Cambodia – Reflecting Upon the Ruthless Destruction of Life in the World

I was climbing the stairs of a high school in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. No, I did not intend to repeat high school to recognize the petals and sepals of a flower better. The school wasn’t ordinary. The faces of the men and women that had been tortured and killed in its classrooms stared at us from behind the glass frames hung on the bloodstained walls. The rusted iron bars, withering waterboards, and used bloody clothes kept in those classrooms narrated a gruesome story of the ruthless Cambodian massacre, that happened not so long ago. The metal shackles with which people were tied to the waterboards and to the iron bars were still chained to them; I assume those metal chains couldn’t be used for anything else now.

Unwillingly, I vividly imagined the bodies possessing those faces and donning those gory clothes tied to the iron rods with the cold shackles. A guard came throughout the day to beat them and torture them with electric shocks as the helpless stifled on the floor. Or to cut them with knives and suffocate them with plastic bags. Blood oozed out of the wounds of the tortured but medicine was out of the question. Four small spoonfuls of rice porridge and watery soup of leaves were given to them twice a day.

My skin crawled. I shivered in the scorching month of June.

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Cracking The Art of Learning with Josh Waitzkin – Let’s Learn from the Best

 

The right learning could make you or break you — and the one who understands that stands above all.

Josh Waitzkin — a child prodigy, an international chess master, and a Tai Chi Push Hands world champion wrote a book called The Art of Learning. In this book, he penned down his inner and outer journey to success while listing the various techniques he applied to master chess and martial arts.

I picked up his book — not to learn from a chess master or a martial arts champion — but to learn from someone who has cracked the art of learning.

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Revenge is Fatal

The Blue Frog and The Honey Bee

Once upon a time, a blue frog lived in a blue pond.

He liked eating flies. Whenever he saw a fly, he would stick out his tongue. The fly would get stuck to frog’s tongue. Then the frog would quickly withdraw his tongue inside and gulp the fly. He then bathed happily in the ink-blue water of the pond.

One day, a honey bee was flying with two house flies near the pond. While the bee settled on a red hibiscus growing near the pond, the flies flew down to the shore of the pond to sit near the cool water. The frog sucked-in both the flies one by one. The honey bee, who was watching the hunting game of the frog from the hibiscus grove, flew to the frog and bit him on his neck.

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