So, What's Your Resolution?

Another list, another resolution, for it's another year altogether. Every year, we sit down to create a list of all the things that we aspire to achieve the next year - may be lose weight, may be to quit smoking. But they seldom last a week, just like the new year's fad.

So, what's your resolution for the coming year? Here are few of my suggestions -

That One Friend


How many friends do you have? No, really. How many friends do you have? 100? 200? How many of them are there whenever you need them?

The person you think is your friend will be there for you at any time of the day. However, if he/she is not the one whom you can call whenever you feel like, that person isn't your friend. If the person misunderstands you when you need him/her the most, then clearly that person isn't your friend. If that person calls you only on your birthday, that person isn't your friend.

Well, now that we are done with some sifting, how many friends do you have now?

When Nothing Seems Right....


"I don't know if you've ever felt like that.  That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years, or just not exist, or just not be aware that you do exist, or something like that.  I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this.  That's why I'm trying not to think.  I just want it all to stop spinning." - The Perks Of Being A Wallflower.

How often do we feel shunned? How often do we want to shut ourselves away from everything around us? How many times do we have to shriek for the goddamn world to hear our cries and yet we find no open  ears?

When the Whole World Hates You

There are times when you may feel the entire world hates you. Your parents never understand you. Compare you with children of their friends who seemingly are doing no better than you are now. Sometimes, your brother or sister may hurt you for no apparent reasons. Your friends may desert you to newer ones and somehow forget to invite you in their good days.

It feels terrible to walk back alone when you thought you had many.

The more you think about the people whom you expected to be with you, the more sadness grips you like the summer rain. You don't know how to go about finding an effective way out and by the time you have stumbled on to some good memories, you are already drenched.

There are times in all our lives when sadness and hatred gets too much to make sense. Nothing remains. Absolutely nothing. Just pure, unadulterated hate. You hate the ones who brought you these tough times. You hate yourself even more for trying to give wings to your hope and ending up expecting certain things from them ...and them inevitably failing you.

But how far can you walk and hate yourself at the same time? There has to be a point where you stop, right? When is that exactly? Is it when someone special comes close to you and holds your hand and tells you that you are not alone? No. It actually begins at the time you forgive yourself. 

The world may hate you for who you are. It may make your life miserable. But remember, you are still here, you are still fighting. Be your own courage, for the world salutes the ones who are courageous enough to face up to it. If you are hurt when someone addresses you as a selfish person, don't be. There are two ways to look at this situation.

1. You tried to make them happy by giving it all, even your happiness.
2. You are selfish for your own happiness.

There is no third perspective. At least it's not yours. It's theirs. 

Get up. Dust yourself and walk. Wipe away the tears and take a long deep breath. You were alone to begin with. So, you might as well be courageous while you are alone.


Why We Cry

Everyone cries at some point of time.

When you are born, when you are sad, hurt or even happy. The reasons for crying varies from one person to another. A mom cries when her child is hurt, she cries when no one understands her. A father cries when his child points at him and tells him that he is a bad father. A daughter cries when her parents demean her in front of everyone else. A son cries his when his parents hate him without understanding him in the first place. A friend cries when another misunderstand him. A lover cries when his trust is broken.

When Memories and Dreams Collide

A faint glint of light struggles through the ventilation. You are wide awake. The entire city isn't yet done celebrating and you can only wish the noise died down as quickly and the morning sun showed up. But wishes don't come true in the real world. 

In the real world, the forgotten lanes of the past are all that you find yourself in when you are done running in the maze of doubt. In the real world, the universe never conspires against you. You have nothing to gain expect those memories and a trifle amount of wisdom. But wisdom only works where there are no relationships involved.

Of Relationships and Reflections

I really don't know the reason for thinking about writing this. May be I am hurt, may be a bit depressed, may be a bit lonely. But then again, I still have got friends, I still have got relationships, right?

Probably.

I took this weekend off. Switched off completely. Began this short but tough trip towards rediscovering myself through the eyes of the relationships I was in and the ones I had once been in. But then again, I found myself in a mist, shrouding the memories of the past. When one of your closest friends from college has a birthday, you can't stop but think about all the relationships in and around that friendship that you have left behind.

Alone. Cold. Scared



What's it like to wake up in the middle of the night because of a dream you so desperately didn't want to see..alone? 

Fate asks for attention just like a faint glint of light coming in through the ventilation  demands. And that too in a room with closed doors and windows.

Alone.

The Fall and the Arduous Rise


There are many who often brag about how great people have gotten back up after a fall. What's even more amazing is that none of them tell you how to cope up with the fall. They just project you as a weakling if you aren't able to get back up after that fall.

Who doesn't like getting back up after a fall? The answer is - we all do. Those who don't get back up either don't know how or are under tremendous not to. We have a fighter in all of us. Everyone.

Are You Nervous? I Know I Am


I have been nervous for too many times. Nervousness always precedes failure. I really love it when I am nervous. For seldom I face situations when I am face-to-face with fear. I always somehow connect nervousness with fear. How can anybody feel fear? Does fear happen when a person is afraid of something?

Everyone has a fear. The trick is to withstand the fear and emerge victorious. When you have big meeting coming up, or you have been asked to represent your company in an event where you are required to address a crowd of hundreds, you naturally would fear for the worst. It's natural. And this is why I hate it.

Ever Tried to Turn Back Time?



You can't freeze time. No matter what. 

You know you have to let go off that one person whom you have loved like crazy, and there is nothing so good about that. There are times in all our lives when we often question the reality around us. We see friends turning away, taking their careers a bit too seriously. And we stand in the corner, thinking what we did wrong to witness this particular day?

A life without friends, without loved ones is no life at all.

Often, it has happened that friends who were destined to be with you forever, desert you because of no apparent reason. They just vanish! You keep calling them up from time to time, the phone just keeps on ringing. No one picks up on the other end and thoughts begin creeping in your mind - Could this be the end?

So, What have YOU done in Life?

You keep thinking about it. It hits you when you are down, it hits you when you need hope that there is actually someone or something that will stop by and take pity at your miserable condition. But sadly, there isn't anyone now, is there?

Even your heart doesn't follow your whims and fancies...just like your dreams.

Sitting by the riverside, amidst people who had come to catch the evening breeze at sunset, I noticed how that ice-cream seller kept pacing up and down the broken pathway, trying to sell a bar or two. Who stops for that man? Who asks him about his plight, about his family? No one. 

Rain and Friendship

I looked up in the night sky and it was drizzling. Watching millions of diamonds accentuating the street lights gave me something to think about that night. What do you think of when it rains? Do you think about the time when you had your friends fighting over that cup of coffee? Do you think about the time you had your first walk with your friends while heading back home from tuition?

Do think you think of them just like you would try to weave a story behind each drop?

Get Out!


Ever stood on a bridge, watched the world go by? Ever had that smile on your face for no apparent reason? Ever been happy, by being lost?

Sometimes, just by being a nobody in the crowd you can actually find tremendous amount of happiness. The world is full of people, each weaving his/her own story. Just by being a mere observer of these stories (and not necessarily being in one), you can learn a lot.

In this crazy world, we all are constantly running after something. But the things we seek won't give us happiness. Your next job change may help you get a 100% jump in salary. However, you will be no where if you don't take out time for the better things in life, for the better ones in life. 

Make your loved ones happy.

Remember, there is no heaven, no hell. Till the time your neurons keeps firing, you can feel the world. The day your brain stops, everything stops. You just become a mere corpse, waiting for your turn to be forgotten.

Live your life than just merely surviving it.

Your parents, your siblings, children, lover, friends, they are what defines you, not the price of your lifestyle. Keep your loved ones happy by surprising them from time to time. Let them know that you are there. You are not rich by your bank balance. You are rich by the number of people whom you can call up at the dead of the night, just for a chat. 

It's all about creating a legacy.

Always remember to introspect. Get out. Get lost in the crowd, find happiness in everything. Witness an animated conversation between two strangers in a local train, watch a kid doze of to sleep on mama's arms. Get onboard a bus and head to a new place. Discover.

Sometimes, simply watching the world go by can help you get back on track.

Get out! Now!


The world is watching. Get out, now!

What is Yours?

You find yourself in an unimaginable spot, questions ruling your mind at every step of the way. You sit down, close your eyes and for a moment you try and dig through your memories to find out some good thoughts. You fail. 

You get up, wash your face, put on that mask which deceives everyone, everyday. You get along with the day. You work your heart out just to let those thoughts stay away from you. You overwork. But just when you thought you have made some headway, they strike back with vengeance. You are like the lone tree in a fierce storm, counting the moments down to the time you will be blown away.

A ticking bomb.

You get home, tired and rusted. Fumble your way through the lines of the diary, bringing out all the sad thoughts that made your lone journey back home unbearable. You curse yourself, for no apparent reasons. You flip through the pictures of your college life. You see the faces that were once all over you. 

Now gone.

You think you need to call someone up. You grab the phone, run down the phonebook. Even though you have hundreds of friends in your list, you still can't call a single person. You heave a sigh. Then mysteriously, an SMS pops up. Who is it again? Ah! The salary just got credited.

But you have no one to tell. Within a couple of days, you reckon, half of it will go on to pay up for rent and other stuff. And the situation drags on. And then it hits you -

"What is mine?"

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You think of asking this to someone in a pathetic attempt to find some kind of revelation that may be you didn't even know. But then there is no one you can ask this for the very simple reason that no one else has been with you through and no one can suggest you anything as for the simple reason that they don't know any of it.

You have lent your ears countless times to those who needed you in their tough times, but they are now much gone. Your friends are eager to know about you through Facebook, but don't have the patience to withstand for a whole minute on a call. They are just too busy.

For a moment you wish you were alone to begin with. What's the point of having friends if they have to leave you some day? Are those friends yours forever? You and me both know the answer.

The answer to the seemingly simple question is this - No. Nothing is yours. You are a part of someone else's journey and so is someone to yours. Everything is momentary. It is much better to not bend down and lose the person than to do it and lose them anyway.

You will have your self respect. Nothing else. That is what stays with you till the last breath you take..and some memories. 

Probably.


Is Your Mind Clouded with Doubts?



Before any step that you are trying to take, before any decision that you are about to make, you have this one little thing called - Doubt.

I personally believe having a doubt is a sheer waste of time. Doubting is preferred by many. There are people whom I meet almost daily who are often weighed down with so much doubt that a simple split-second decision takes them minutes. They believe having a doubt ensures a better decision. A decision without being given prior thought to may bounce back.

Fair enough.

But are we so unsure about our decision that we let doubt supersede us? Why are we always confusing between "giving a thought to" and "doubting"? Why has the fine line blurred?

You know where doubt does the worst of damages? No, not in just any other decision.

When doubts cloud your mindDoubt destroys relationships.

Relationships around us are crumbling like autumn leaves when they get crushed under our shoes. People, it seems, prefer doubting than the relationship itself.

When a person doubts the other, the other person undergoes tremendous stress. And this even fractures their relationship. People enter this vicious cycle and the relationship erodes away. But "doubt" doesn't leave a person after that relationship ends. It strengthens its vice like grip. The person begins doubting everyone of hatching this imaginary conspiracy against him/her. Those around him/her soon notice the "pushy" attitude and begin deserting that person.

My question is - Where is the happiness?

Doubt is just like fear - necessary, but only in small amounts. So, try and do justice to yourself.

I personally don't doubt anyone. Saves me the hassle. If they have to leave, sooner or later, they will.

So, you still doubt?


Being Urban



"They say what I've done; they don't know what I have been through."

I wake up that morning thinking about the dream I had last night, a broken dream. I look outside the window and I see the bright sunlight tearing down through the curtains; eyes still paining, wanting to sleep more. I look around, dazed and confused.

Was I supposed to wake up?

Books make up a corner just besides the computer. CDs strewn all over the floor along with the dress I wore last night. I sit on the edge of the bed, hands supporting the body on the bed-frame.

"No, I mustn't sleep now. That dream won't come back for sure."

I hear them on the other end of the hallway, talking about what they expected of me and what I had become - a failure.

Just an  ordinary day it is.

I search for my phone, and headphones as well. Few messages and a couple of missed calls greet me. I look at the messages first. The same ol' "life quotes" and "Rajini jokes".


Pfft. Bored.

I put on the headphones. PLAY. Rage Against the Machines begin pounding in my head. Just a feeble attempt at keeping the battery of thoughts away from crowding my mind. I see them arguing about something, pity I can't hear them. They see me and they stop. Someone says something to me. 

I head for the kitchen, make up a dark coffee. He comes and stands in front of me, she stand behind him. I pull down an ear bud to hear him speak. Speak?

Failure.

I take the baseline, put my headphones back on and head back to my room barely holding tears. I am angry, I am upset and Rage Against the Machine hits the Bridge.

I fall back on the bed, eyes fixed on the window, I can barely see the traffic now. I wipe my tears off to witness the summer sky.

Track changes. A romantic number.

Memories take me back to a time when dreams were a reality. Whenever I fell, I had someone to grab me by my arms.

But dreams do break apart.

It's time to put the mask on. It's time to play the "game" again;
I know one thing will eat me from within
But I am still alive, I am still breathing.
I am down, but not out!
No! You can't put words in my mouth;
I am still alive, I am still fighting
I am an urban guy baby, I am the smiling devil.

Dedicated to a friend....

(The work will/may showcase soon in an exhibition. So, I need your feedback! )

Embrace Darjeeling : Embrace Your Self


You close your eyes and you discover that numbness in the air, you open your eyes and you see the stars on earth. At first, you don't believe your eyes. They said this was a wonderful sight, then even said it will blow you away. But even after knowing so much, you still fell for it. Yes! You are in Darjeeling. 

Never mind the route, never mind the fellow tourists, somethings just won't change. But what you really do is - re-plug||re-connect||re-live. You look at the valley on the opposite side, you see a cluster of buildings and carpet of green. You turn your eyes away for just one second and the next thing you know, the valley disappears in a sea of mist..no..they are clouds.

There is something magical about the hills - the locals. They are wonderful. Always smiling, always helpful. There is never a single moment where you will find yourself aloof, alone, depressed. The locals, from tea estate workers to tea stall owners, are always ready with some tale or the other.

For someone who has been to most hill stations from around the country and around the world, Darjeeling won't provide you something new. It will, however, give you ample time to talk to yourself. In these maddening times, we are always constantly running after something, running from someone, running towards someone.

Darjeeling brings your sadness to a standstill. It makes you wanna stand up and embrace nature, just as you would embrace your mother after any success. Clouds welcome you, embrace you and then leave you, all within a few moments. You know what is left behind of those clouds? Of those few moments?

Happiness.


You will have a smile right across your face when you will witness the clouds slowing embracing you and then leave you, promising to come back. You will have a smile when sun rays will suddenly burst through the clouds and fill your world with the light of life. 

The real fun isn't in having an Italian cuisine at some two star joint or in Cafe Coffee day in the Mall Road in Darjeeling. The real fun is in some far more different place. It is in a shady little hut with "Restaurant" written in broken English in a worn-out wood board. The real fun is asking for "Veg momo" from an old lady who speaks broken Hindi and then asking for the Darjeeling tea..ahhh! the smell..

Keep your cell activity to the minimum, go for a morning walk. The mountains just won't make you stop. You will keep walking towards her with the same eagerness as you used run to your mother after school each day, everyday. 

You will see her smile through the rays, you will see her laugh through the swaying leaves of the forest. You will see her welcoming you through her people, you will see her wishing you a good bye through the tall mountains.

You will find Darjeeling not much different that you would to any other hill station. All you need to do is look closer..

You will find your self not much different than what others talk and feel about you. All you need to do is look closer.

Welcome to yourself. Good Bye to Darjeeling. 

When You Question the Reality

Focus from Ari Kruger on Vimeo.


The night was dark. Slow winds graced up fallen leaves strewn across the deserted road. It was midnight. There wasn't a hint of life anywhere other than the sound of footsteps that I heard while returning home. Street lights had painted the night yellow and I had those memories as my sweet companion. Again.

Questions began erupting deep within me. I suddenly found myself in the middle of a storm. May be it was because of the wind that had started to pickup. Maybe.

Judging by the way relationships are crumbling around us, it really sets in the mood for introspection. We think about so many things when a relationship breaks, the why's and the what if's.

It really is a problem when you have to wake up to a whole new world and find that the biggest pillar that was there in your life up until recently, isn't there anymore.

Reality is closer home, with a hugYou feel like there isn't anyone else in this whole wide world who is as unlucky as you are.

After all, you are without something that drives the rain and makes the clouds kiss the earth; you are missing something that makes all the world a brighter place, everyday. You are missing something that the wind sings, when it carries a smell of a thousand blooming flowers in the season of spring.

Yes, you are missing Love..

With every step that takes you forward in your everyday life, you go two steps back to a past which led you nowhere. You may be walking down a road, chatting up with your friend and do nothing else but just hope that the feeling goes away.

But in the end, you can do nothing else but just hope.

No matter where you are, no matter what you do, your mind is right there in your lover's arms, with soothing gentle sea breeze dancing around you two.

You start to hate everything, you question your vision. You believe that the sole purpose of life is to mock at us and tell us how insignificant we are at handling ourselves. And yet you still long to be with your lover, embrace him/her and tell how much you love him/her.

But then suddenly you open your eyes and find out that you were in a dream, a nightmare and are left with nothing else other than the tears of love streaming down through the corner of your eyes.

For a moment, you wished to close your eyes..probably, forever.

Probably.

In the end, the reality bites you

Anything Can Be Precious




It was raining like crazy. The busy market had people cowering for shelter. Few stood under the Pan-stall, few under the tin shades of the numerous shops in the busy market. The relentless wind ensured that everyone was drenched. I was no exception.

I got wet and I kept at it.

It was the first day from over a month that I was out of my bed. Jaundice had finally rested its vice like grip over me and I was finally out to enjoy the evening. Even the rain couldn't stop me.

The reason I chose the crowded market route was because of an innocuous reason - A pen. I was drenched and how! The new pen wasn't all that fancy stuff. 

The market was now deserted amidst the pounding rains and no one was on the main road cutting through the market. I came back home. Absolutely drenched.

And then..a journey began.

It saw me through many ups and downs since then. It was there when I had to vent out my feelings somewhere, somehow.

I ushered in a new life with it. I signed up for my new office with this pen. I turned over a new page of my life - with this pen.

I was hopeful. I knew for what I had signed up for. I was leaving behind my shadow and I had to smile.

It stayed with me during the training sessions.

It was there for me when I just wanted to sit back and catch up with myself in one of those seats besides the lake. It was the only companion which made my memories fall like the autumn leaves on my diary.

It hung onto me when I wrote pages on things that truly mattered to me and quietly endured when I tore those pages in the end.

Slowly, that pen became more than just what it was intended for. It became my guide and followed me along - from getting back on my feet and preparing for the exams. Night after night, it gave me the courage to continue the journey towards my dream.

And just like that, the ink went out.

Sometime in life, we truly value someone when they are not there anymore. We think about them. We miss them. 

Read in a quote somewhere, 

"God brings people in our lives to help us when he thinks we need help, and takes them away when he sees we will be alright without them."

Time to wake up.

Be That North Star for Your Loved Ones


Life is indeed a funny joke. There are people whom we often bump on to, and there are people, who guide us like the north star, and yet they are light years away.

Wouldn't it be nice to be that North Star for someone else's life?

It is absolutely painful when we see our loved ones commiting mistakes in life. Some mistakes such as, "Oops! I spilled coffee" are forgettable. Its the serious ones which make us sad, angry and above all, depressed.

Let them fall for once
Let them fall for once
There are ways and means with which we can make them a better person - by letting them go and figure it out. 

Many of us fell down while playing when we were kids (If you didn't then may god bless you!). Remember what our parents did? They never stopped us from playing, but they picked us up when we fell. They used to distract us with all sorts of things like hitting the stone that hurt us or may be something else.

The point is - Don't stop your loved ones from committing mistakes and especially, DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP!

Remember, the North Star is there to guide us, only when we look for it in the sky.

Be there for your loved one when he/she asks for help. Help them get back on two feet. This is where you will exceed their expectations. 

We will not be there for our loved ones after we die, but one thing is for sure - memories is what will remain as our best gift to them. 

Ensure to have that perfect gift, OK?

Letting Go Helps


Emotions are really hard to explain. The ones who are able to express their deepest desires and feelings are some how better off than those who can’t.

It is a terrible feeling which grips you when one of your closest ones has to go, some where far away,may be forever. You have so much to talk about, and yet you have so little time. You  just don’t have enough time to thank that person for all the wonderful things he/she has done to you, for you.

The sands of time escape faster when you try and tighten your grip.

The news reached me late at night when I was about to retire.I had had a bad day and seeing the chat window pop-up was absolutely not welcoming to me. Reluctantly, I opened the message to find that message – A friend of mine was going away, possibly for life. I asked for the relevant details and in a matter-of-factly way, switched off.

I wish our minds could be shut - off just like that. But alas! I am so damn wrong.

The sadness of losing that friend was too overwhelming for me to think about the good ol’ days.I was partly angered, partly saddened. Being an analytical person has its own sweet disadvantages. I just couldn’t see the rationality behind this person’s move.

I wanted to tighten the grip and yet not lose a speck of sand in the process.

But wisdom caught the better of me just before dawn.

Let it go as if it's the sand
Courtesy - penelopesoasis.com
Some times, we all have to make a tough choice at some point of time in life. These decisions are hard, and have more casualties than we want there to be. Sometimes, in order to  help some body grow in life, we have to let them go. You may feel they won’t be able to sustain themselves without your guidance, but more often than not, we tend to under mine the abilities of many people. We fail to ask ourselves one simple question – Are they really growing in life with us around?

The trouble with today’s world is that many of us tend to judge a situation from the point of view of either an “I” or a “you”. Try and sit back and think some times – Will your loved one be able to carry on the journey without you?

Let us face this simple fact– No one stays with us forever. The real point of love is to help someone grow irrespective of us being or for that matter, NOT being there anymore.

Sometimes, throwing someone both ends of the rope does help. But this shouldn’t be the case when they aren’t ready.

There is/are a few who make you their world. With your ups and downs, they are with you.While this may seem like a dream-come-true scenario for any of us, it may not be like that way, forever.

Never think how well you are with that person around you. Think how well that person will be without you.

Turning Sadness into Opportunity

There is a time in our lives when we all get very upset, upset with the way our lives posing impossible odds in front of us. We retract to our shells when we see our life playing an unfair game with us.

Many questions begin flooding our minds – “Why is it happening to me? What did the other guy do that he got it all and I am stuck here?”

The problem doesn't emerge when we begin to think like this, the problem arises from the fact that we start to take life so seriously that we begin to survive, forgetting to live.

How to be happy? 

Try living your life, instead of just surviving through it.

A few months back, I was going through one of the most terrible phases of my life. I came this close to living my dream, becoming something important to myself. It never materialized and to make matters worse, I contracted Jaundice on my way back and was bed-ridden for over a month. 

God had given me some serious time to introspect. I was an object, vacantly watching the blur that was in the TV. 

Nothing made any sense.

During the end of this agonizing period, I went up on the roof one fateful night. The sky was crystal clear and studded with beautiful stars. The beauty was akin to a bride on her wedding night.

It struck me then. A mere simple and yet a profound thought.

I realized I had just wasted a month and a half, mourning over the recent failure. There were many other things I could’ve done.

In short

"I could’ve lived, yet I chose to survive."

Since then I haven’t just survived a single day. I have tried to live each and every moment to the fullest.

I got a new job, shifted to a new place and have never looked back again.

I am STILL an aspiring army officer and I am HAPPY to try and not just give up.

Never be sad with a closed door. Because with the closed door, comes a thousand open windows...windows of sheer opportunities.
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Aurindam Mukherjee