Posts Tagged ‘self-realization’

Her soul ever so gentle, easily she was pleased

Her heart in a cloud, singing out loud,

For her naiveté, sometimes teased.

Envious of her joyous mind, they sneered.

So much they spent— both time and strength,

While she cared not for trivia, they feared.

Oh, to ‘look’ beautiful! That’s what they all wanted,

Charming like all the rest, dolled up and dressed,

Gazing back at the world, unabashed, undaunted.

Simplicity— too hard to see, too much to bear,

They took it upon themselves, to be her ‘little elves’,

So she could be just another stone, not a jewel so rare.

They tranced her, tricked her, made her believe—

It is outer looks that matter, glitter and glamour,

To impress the world, that is what she would need.

Intently, she listened, and observed the contrast.

They caressed the mirror, scrubbed it clearer,

While their souls gathered dust, thick and fast.

Puzzling it was, for her to look at them

These fake fireworks, wearing scared smirks

When they could all have been radiant gems

Their inner beauty, forgotten and lost,

Covered in layers, the only thing that was theirs!

Sadly, she reflected, she pondered, she paused:

“They want you to be like them, in every way they can.

As soon as you follow, you start becoming hollow,

Forgetting what was your own, and where it all began.

You cease to be your true self, special and unique,

Instead of standing out, you become part of the crowd,

Dissolve in the wide world, without so much as a creak.

Content they are, having turned you around.

Your uniqueness gone, you are but another pawn

Whose music they silenced, without a sound.”

She who was courageous, she who was wise

Did not succumb. Did you? No, no. Come!

Down they’ll pull! Are you ready to rise?

~ Nivedita Shori


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We were once watching a movie, ‘A Wedding for Bella’. It made us reflect a lot on the purpose of life and what it really means to be happy. One particular part particularly made us stop and think for a long time afterwards. The lead character of the movie was a senior vice president at a very big firm. He was doing very well and making a lot of money. In his personal life, he was an orphan, very attached to an elderly couple next door – so attached that he called them ‘parents’. After his job-hours, he took care of the couple’s little bakery store. As a sudden twist, he found out that his ‘mother’ was terminally ill with cancer and did not have more than six months left in the world. Shocked at first, he gathered his wits and decided to make the rest of her living life joyous. An obstacle in doing so was his job. Even though it was an important and prestigious position, yet after a lot of thought, he decided that it would be best to quit. Obviously, others questioned him about this decision. He had made up his mind and simply answered, “Because life is too short”.

That is an eye-opening theory. Usually, when people say, ‘Life is too short’, they really mean that there is a lot to be done and “we should try to do the maximum possible in this short life”. As a result, they try to work very hard to get good jobs, to get quick promotions, to earn the most in the least possible time and to get a bigger house and then a bigger one and so on. They keep thinking that “this is what we need to do in order to derive the maximum from this ‘short life’”.

If the character in the movie had been thinking on these lines, he probably would not have been so affected by his ‘mother’s’ condition. If anything, it should have made him think about the terminal nature of life in general to find consolation. He could have gone on with the routine as usual. That is what is normally seen. But, he decided to quit the job to take full care of the ill woman and help his ‘father’ to run their little store. He had realized that life was too short to do the things that matter, the things that really mean something, the things that made him complete as a human. So he gave his ‘parents’ what even a real son might not have given, particularly in today’s self-centred times.

Making the right decision for the sake of someone else or even for one’s own sake is often very hard. To leave something that looks very good, for something that actually is very good: that is courage. To leave something that others think is good, for something that is actually good for us: that is courage. And courage is what we need to live this ‘short’ life well.


It brings another incident to mind. Once, in the middle of heavy Canadian winter, we met a man looking all tanned and rosy-cheeked. It immediately brought feelings of warmth and sunshine, which we all were longing for in the cold days. We said, “Looks like you are coming from sunny weather!”

He replied, “I live in Florida in the United States”.

Knowing how Florida is a beach area and a very popular vacation destination for Canadians, we said, “Wow, that must be nice!”

He said, “If you think it is nice, why don’t you move from here and live there?”

We laughed and said jokingly, “Yes, right! That will be very easy to do, we’re sure!”

“Well”, he replied, “my wife and I went for vacation to Florida once. We felt it was a terrific place. Instead of coming home and just telling everyone, ‘Florida is a great place! We have been there’, we started planning to live there. We started exploring all the options wholeheartedly and moved within two months. Life was too short to be wasted dilly-dallying!”

Such messages are very inspiring. Of course, it requires a lot of courage to take such bold steps. We need to weigh our options and to see what is feasible. But the truth is that most of the times, it does not even cross our minds that life is too short. We do not even try. Nay, we are not even ready to open our eyes to the fact that better possibilities exist. We feel restrained even though we have the capability to break all shackles.

So, let us try to be conscious that life is very short. Keeping this thought in the back of our minds will help in guiding our direction in life. Do we have to wait for calamity to strike to become thoughtful? Or do we need a doctor’s note to remind us that life is terminal?  We all know that life does come to an end. Let us try to remember this important fact and make our own and thereby others’ life more meaningful.

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