Buddies

“That’s what friends are for” the song goes…

But what are friends really for? There is no specific reason or need is there? Nothing really holds it together – no social bond, no formal binding, no business or financial benefit, no dependence, no need – not blood nor background, not gain nor risk…nothing.

And yet what should be the most fragile, impermanent interaction can become one of the strongest, inexplicably enduring bonds we have. A bond that encompasses trust, engenders warmth and security, cements connect. A bond that is one of our biggest blessings.

There is nothing that holds friendship together. Nothing but you…

So, yes – friends are for the good times and bad times. For smiling in being together, and apart. For memories, for affection, for laughter. For talking and listening and caring. For counting on..for all those things.

But most importantly, For You, because of You…no other reason than You. That’s what friends are for.

A validation, a joyous feeling of being unique and special, just in who you are.

Happy Friendship Day

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Priorities…

Close your eyes. Let your mind drift to images of people, places, memories… Which are the ones where you find yourself begin to smile involuntarily, immediately ?

Those are the central things in your life… the people who make up your world… the core of your happiness – your being.

Are they on your list of priorities for the day…the week…the month?

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Be a hero … not your hero !

The predilection to imitate our heroes starts very young … in the make believe games and the fancy dress costumes; the following around of older siblings and insistence on being allowed to do everything they do. As we grow, we transfer the adulation to other “heroes” – that favorite teacher, the senior who seems to have it all put together, the kid in class who excels at everything. We learn to expand our vision beyond super heroes in comic books and people in our lives, to the real-life heroes we study of and read about.

Adolescence hits us and our heroes change yet again… we find our heroes in celebrities on the world stage, and on celluloid – all who fire our dreams and the idealism that special age encompasses. And still we imitate – hair styles, clothes, mannerisms,…

Things move and change yet again – we are suddenly grown up. We know more about the reality of life – we get a bit more worldly wise, a little bit jaded, a bit less quick in giving our admiration and approval. But we never outgrow the need to have heroes… By now we are able to differentiate between the heroes we are destined to watch from afar … the famous people who are distanced from us by many degrees of separation; and the heroes who are within the ambit of our own life.

It is this second category that we are especially fascinated by … a leader, a boss, a colleague, a relative, a friend, an acquaintance… people we admire – are in awe of; people we are able to observe at closer quarters; people and achievements that seem “touchable”, “attainable”, yet just out of reach.

We want to be like them. We want to be what they are, get what they have. And the easiest, quickest, most tempting way to do it is the same thing we did as kids – find a hero and then replicate, imitate (the sincerest form of flattery !), try to walk a similar path to that success.

And that is where the stroll down the wrong path begins !

We strive to replicate a result … and overlook that the result encompasses within it the person too. What makes it work for him isn’t only the style, mannerisms, or some process steps – what makes it work cannot ever be exactly captured, taught or articulated. It is the things that makes him “him” – the intrinsic core of him – that makes the difference. We cannot copy what we can’t see or capture – can never fully be another person. And so our version will always be incomplete, fated to never match up to the one we are imitating – a fake.

We can learn from our heroes – and there may be much to wonder at and learn !

But only your hero can play it just that way…

You have to make your own music. Write your own unique story. Like yourself. Believe in yourself. Be yourself.

For that’s where the magic is !

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With faith…

There are good things around every corner. With faith…

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The things we understand…and all that we don’t

Oh for the joys of childhood! When the things we did not understand were so straightforward…”problems” just tasks in Math books.

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The best part of life…

Simple

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Dream on…

“He is just a dreamer”, we say ! And we dismiss dreams as a wasteful pastime (or is it time-pass?) – as if it somehow takes away from the serious business of life, our hold on what we see as “reality” or “practicality”. We scoff at our “flights of fancy”, and give up the chance to try out the wings they offer.

And so, we lose hold on one of the greatest powers bestowed on us – our window to the future, our chance to fulfill our deepest thoughts.

Dreaming is not easy. It enjoins us to let go of the known, the controlled…to enter the heady realm of unconstrained thought, wishes let loose. Dreaming feels scary. Dreaming feels dangerous !

I have always been fascinated by a line from the writings of Proust- “If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time”…

Here’s to dreaming more. And having faith in our dreams. Until one day they work out — turn from the impossible into the inevitable.

And then it will be time… to dream again !

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Impossible…?

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Just a recurring thought on my mind these days

The world can be amazing when you dare to be different, to be slightly strange…

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Shades

I was reading this article which said, “Multiple choices should be whittled down to absolute black and white to ensure clarity of decision”. It explained that interactions and directions that are not laid out like this, will distract and diffuse efforts.

Good management gyan to give – but it did not ring correct to me. “Absolute black and white” – is there even such a thing in the complex, multifaceted human mind ?

Between the black and the white are the myriad shades of grey…and that’s where we live our lives – shape our values, form our relationships, find our destiny. There is very rarely black or white for us — just degrees of light and shade. And it is these degrees that paint the portrait of the person. The difference is only in the degrees — and yet what a difference that can make.

Our strength and conviction in values vary from accepting and doing the wrong thing, to showing our disagreement but accepting wrong anyway, to not pointing out wrong but not doing it either, to speaking against and refusing to do wrong, to also preventing wrong being done or happening to others.

Our generosity can range from the person who wants only for himself, to one who will give a bit, to him who will give as much as he can, to the person who will give more than he is able to, to finally the person who gives without thinking – gives completely of himself.

“I love !”- we say. And then proceed to love our family, our home, our friends, dogs, cats and horses; books and movies, music and a beautiful morning; a job, a car, a favorite pair of jeans; food, drink and sleep… ! All love? Shaded again !

Our interactions move from the aloof and unknowing, to the formal; from the cordial to the comfortable; from the casual to the friendly…to the freedom of true expression and connect.

Our perfect days are made up of many different moods; our happiest moments are accompanied by tears, and our darkest hours tend to show a sliver of silver lining peeking through.

Our relationships include those who always stop for a hello, and those who always think of us; the ones who talk to us, and those we talk to ; those who listens and they who care… ranges from those whose lives interject briefly with us, to those who populate our days, to the ones who become a part of our life, and they that become a part of our heart.

Our lives are shades of grey. Our relationships are shaded. Our thoughts are varying shades, and so are our values, our actions. There is no stark white or black—no binary code—only degrees of difference from 2 extremes – the unique shading that combines to make each of us different, makes our experience of life different.

And then, in all these shades of grey, are splashes of vivid color – the blue sky of our hopes, the golden laughter, the red moments of anger, the glinting steel of character, the multicolored dreams we see, and the few special people who defy the monotone and add in warm hues of joy.

There is no black or white. Just shades of grey. And the colors of emotion.

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