Waah Taj

This was my third visit to Agra. The first time I visited was 4 years ago. Then and now, my love for this place still remains as is. What changed is probably the surroundings and the state of this place. This time due to pollution – all the pictures I took were blur, but does that take away the beauty and charm of this huge monument which is and forever will be a symbol of love?

Love for Taj Mahal will never die 🙂

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Guest Blog: I am possible

This week my guest blog features MySmallworld. This guest is not just a writer but someone whom I have always looked up to –  A born fighter – a multi-tasker – a wonderful mom – and above all my lovely sister 🙂 Her page is full of beautiful quotes that are inspired from her real-life experiences and this is probably her first attempt to write a blog. And I am glad she did it for me 🙂

I am possible

Ever been into a situation where you felt “I am done, there is nothing left for me now, I am worthless or hopeless? Well, we live in a world where, no matter how hard we try to keep ourself positive, there are people around who don’t fail to crush our confidence.

I still remember the days of my 11th grade. Teachers are known to be great mentors in a student’s life, but fortunately or unfortunately, there a teacher who for some reason believed that I won’t make it. She used to tell me in every possible way that – “just wait and watch – no one will hire you. You won’t get a job, ANYWHERE!”.

Those days were hell for me – I was disheartened and depressed. I almost lost all my wish to exist. Coming out of that situation was a difficult, slow but daily process. I spent days praying, reading self-help books, listening to motivational speakers and uplifting music.

I wish I could meet my dear teacher once and tell her “I am the same person whom you declared jobless way before she even cleared the schooling”. Because I have been working for more than a decade now without any breaks.

As Les Brown quotes – “Someone else’s opinion about you doesn’t have to be your reality”. This changed my world. Whenever I feel down, I keep saying this to myself. It boosts me up and keeps me going.

This is just one example of rejections I have faced in my life. I know we all have many such experiences. But let not the bitter experience stop you from living your life. We all are here for a purpose and we all are capable to make it happen!

Keep going!

No less than a musical event!

She studied all corners of the small clinic. The walls had been converted into shelves housing all kinds of medicines. In between, lay a table and few chairs for the patients and visitors.

Dr. Ryan was attending to a patient. She took a corner seat, anxious and worried, for the purpose of her visit was her husband, that too just few days after their wedding. A few minutes passed by and her husband took his seat facing the doctor.

There was dead silence, she couldn’t make out why.  Finally, her husband broke the silence and showed his recent reports. He had a high blood pressure. The doctor listened very attentively to what he was saying and then took his blood pressure monitor from one of the drawers.

To her surprise, all of a sudden, Dr.Ryan started singing. She couldn’t recall which one it was except for the fact that it had to be a very old Hindi song. She was taken back to her memories of waiting to watch “Rangoli” on Doordorshan the only show that would have played the oldest songs that anyone could ever imagine.

The doctor paused for a second, his hands still at work, diagnosing and then signaled her husband to continue the song where he stopped. And he did as he was asked.

She sat there befuddled, watching an health check-up that turned out to be a duet.

A life beyond expectations

How many times in our lives do we end up in a situation, where we are compelled to think, “Wait, do I deserve this? What wrong have I done to anyone? I’ve always been kind to people and their needs, why can’t they think like me?”

How many times? I think the answer is, each moment of our life. It can place us in similar situations. Well, the good news is – if we want to get over this, we need to extend our kindness to people who are actually in need. Whom we can never expect to repay for what we do for them.

When we give to someone who we have never known, who we know can never repay us back – it naturally doesn’t make us expect. The expectations are what leads to disappointments. The people whom we touch through this kindness have only good words and blessings for us. That’s what is more fulfilling than any wealth in this world.

Have you felt the same way? Please do share your experience in the comments section below. I’d love to know your stories too and how you are bringing happiness into someone else’s life through your acts of kindness.

Wishing a blessed day ahead!

I do not belong to this world!

“Because I live in the world of my imagination where everything looks exactly as I want it to be.” ~ A child.

What a child needs is something attractive (to them of course :)) and the moment they get hold of it, no one can stop them. My niece and nephew often reminds me of this and most recently through these artistic drawings that they mercilessly drew on the walls of their house. They definitely have a story for what they do but do they care about the outcome or how it looks. No. What keeps them going is the sense of satisfaction in keeping themselves active and engaged in their “adventures”.

Made me think, why spend money on wall paintings for my new house. Let me call these little artists and give them a day to fill the house with innocence.

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It’s a small world

“What can I give?”. I had finished reading this book somewhere in later part of year 2016. This book was published by Srijan Pal Singh in the memory of his most loved teacher and India’s most loved personality, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. When Dr. Kalam left us in July 2015, I really felt sad for not having got the opportunity to meet him at least once in my life because I knew he was one of his kind, a scientist, a successful former President of India, a teacher, a writer and above all a great human being.

Thus, when I heard first about this book, without wasting much of time I ordered myself a copy. Probably within a day or two of the receipt of the book, I had finished reading because it was so captivating and so much about a common man and his teaching for the people like us. Inspired by Srijan’s mention of the Kalam Library Project in the book, I was all energized to do something and be a part of this overall project and make a difference for the under-privileged kids. I had already started following Srijan’s page on Facebook so I could stay updated on the recent projects of the Kalam Center.

Once, I sent him an email inquiring about how I can contribute to their mission. He was kind enough to respond to me and provide me further contacts to get additional information. For some or the other schedules I didn’t get a chance to reach out to these individuals.

In one of the following weeks, I went to a cafe to have my breakfast after my French classes. As I was looking for a table, an individual who was seated at the corner table caught my attention. I stopped and thought, “Isn’t this Srijan Pal Singh?” I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was still confused and wondered,”What could he be doing in such a small cafe like this?” But I was confident that it had to be him. Since he was talking to an elderly lady who was sitting along with him, I thought I should just take my seat and order my food. Also, I thought I wouldn’t be a great idea going and talking to him.

But once again, I thought – this was a lifetime opportunity to meet the writer himself and who knows if I ever got this chance again. So I decided to talk to him and introduce myself. As he was leaving, I reached out to him and confirmed if he was the person I thought. He smiled and said yes. I introduced myself and asked how he was here. He said this had been the place where he used to hangout the most as he completed his studies at IIM- A. I told him how much I liked his new book to which he requested if I could write a review of the book as well so he can share with people. We exchanged few words and he left.

For me this was an experience of a lifetime. Out of nowhere there was this person whom I was recently talking to, in front of me.

If you haven’t read this book yet, you can get your copy here.

For you a thousand times over! 

Often we end up into situations where we don’t feel confident in our own potential. But there is a voice that keeps reminding us of our worth and don’t fail to encourage no matter what.  That voice is not our heart or our soul, it’s that friend who is with us through our thick and thin.

Hassan the quiet and the most important character from “The Kite Runner” is a reminder of that friend who genuinely mean when they say or feel – “For you a thousand times over”.

The last leaf

A short story by O’Henry. This was also a part of our English curriculum. My memories as a student have always been vague as I was never interested in studies. Surprisingly, there are a couple of stories from the English textbooks that I can recall. I would rather say, I don’t just recall but also think it still drives my approach toward different circumstances.

The Last Leaf is one of those. It is a story about a young girl Johnsy, who is struck with illness and is not able to recover due to her lack of willingness. The falling leaves of an ivy wine tree near her window in the hospital turned out to be her reason. Day by day she counts the number of leaves left and is confident that with the last leaf falling she also has to die. Her mother Sue worried about her condition reaches out to old Behrman. Behrman – a failed artist. Despite his 40 years in the field, he was still not able to create that masterpiece which he always wanted to.

Hearing Johnsy’s imaginations and Sue’s worries he gets ready to help her. While Johnsy is asleep, Behrman goes to the other side of the window and takes his position.  A cold rain was falling with some snow.

The next morning, Johnsy insists her mother open the window shade. Sue obeys. To Johnsy’s surprise there stood one ivy leaf without being affected by the rain and snow. Later that day, the doctor says he is positive now of Johnsy’s recovery since she was responding well. He leaves the room referring to another patient that he had to attend. It was Behrman struck by Pneumonia too. His chances of living narrow.

That afternoon, Sue came to Johnsy’s bedroom and said –

“I have something to tell you, white mouse. Mr. Behrman died of pneumonia to-day in the hospital. He was ill only two days. The janitor found him the morning of the first day in his room downstairs helpless with pain. His shoes and clothing were wet through and icy cold. They couldn’t imagine where he had been on such a dreadful night. And then they found a lantern, still lighted, and a ladder that had been dragged from its place, and some scattered brushes, and a palette with green and yellow colors mixed on it, and – look out the window, dear, at the last ivy leaf on the wall. Didn’t you wonder why it never fluttered or moved when the wind blew? Ah, darling, it’s Behrman’s masterpiece – he painted it there the night that the last leaf fell.”

Such a touching story! Behrman’s masterpiece didn’t lead him to gain wealth or fame but saved the life of a little girl. Gave her the hope to live and in the process lost his own life. In our own lives, we are tangled in the web created by ourselves and make them our yardsticks to measure our success. Success is not about our capability to fulfill our materialistic wishlist. If today, we are able to give a ray of hope to someone, that comes back to us in the form of self-contentment and gratefulness.

Let there be a little bit of Behrman in each one of us!

Here is a picture from my own garden of the Arabian Jasmine. Every time it blooms – it gives me happiness. And the bud? It symbolizes hope, isn’t it?

An Instrument of Peace

At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, we had to be ready for the assembly that started with prayers followed by announcements, news and prayer requests. I remember being dropped by our school bus half an hour early to the school time that allowed us to take copies from our friends to finish our homework before the school day started. There was always a sense of urgency to finish them on time as we never wanted to get those red remarks in the school diary. 

At 8.00 a.m. in the morning, the entire school stood still because it was time for prayers. From a very young age, I was always attracted to a conversation with the Invisible, but standing alongside 60+ students with joined hands never gave me that feeling of being prayerful. 

“Make me an instrument of your peace”, used to be a frequent song played during the prayer time. I loved this song, I still love this song – but probably I never understood the deeper meaning of it until later when I heard it on YouTube recently. It took me back to the memories of my school. Looking at where the world is heading into – constant chaos, hatred, destruction, and distrust – each of the word adds so much meaning. If there would have been something called a “World Anthem”, I would have proposed this song for the same.

140 and counting

It has been over seven months since I officially started putting my thoughts through this blog page, even though I had created this account four years ago. It is well said that, “Everything has a time”. Even if that’s about exploring something new as your passion. The first time I started writing, I’d be honest I was indeed afraid to post something on a platform like this which is visible to people around the world. I was worried if my content  will be relatable to the readers here. Nevertheless, I thought to give it a try and wrote my first post which was more of a personal experience which is very close to my heart.

Even though the views were too low since I didn’t had much followers, I think giving it a try gave me that confidence to write more. Writing helped me know my inner self. I realized that there is so much I want to express and what can be better than a place like this where there are millions of like-minded people with excellent talent when it comes to writing, story-telling and sharing their wisdom.

Thankful to my 140+ fellow bloggers who have shown their interest in my content by following my page. I’m not yet quite where I wish to be, but I am sure these baby steps will eventually bring out the best in me. I am an active learner, thus I have something to always take away from what I read whether that is from the pages I follow or the books I read.

Here are some of my recent posts, in case you haven’t got a chance already:

Find reasons not excuses

A billion dollar smile! 

A story..

Learn as you go

And a picture from my 2014 trip to New York

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Wishing everyone a happy weekend.

Cheers!

~Ayesha

Listen only mode

When we think about effective communication, the first thing that comes to our mind is active listening. It’s only when we are attentive to what other person says, we can respond back accordingly. This probably holds true for personal and professional life.

In our relationships though, active listening can never happen literally. Which means, if you are waiting for your loved one to express or say what they feel for you that can not happen always. There are times when we want to express and then there are times when we just express our love through our actions and deeds more than talking.

Thus, it’s important that we keep ourselves in the “listen only mode” in order to observe the beauty of people who are a part of our lives and not overlook any cues that are unintentionally given to us expressing their love and care.

Image credits: From Google.

Here’s a recap!

Few major developments in both my personal and professional life has been keeping me away from the little bit of writing that I used to do. Apart from this, I recently joined an NGO. To be a part of an NGO was always a dream which has now started becoming a reality. My schedules including my commuting hours never made me think of anything else than just going home and taking some rest or do some reading while I am travelling.

It’s been great so far. I’ve met some kind people who have been putting in tireless efforts to create meaningful environment for the community. I am really looking forward to be a witness of many more success stories by this group of enthusiasts.

I’ve also partnered with a wonderful young woman to start a Kalam Library for the Juvenile Home in Ahmedabad. We are really hoping to see this active by the year end. So wish us good luck. Fingers crossed 🙂

If you missed to check out my recent stories – there’s still time 😀

I’ll make you smile

I do not belong to this world!

It’s a small world

So here is what happened next

Happy Reading! Until next time.

~Ayesha 🙂

Image credits: Goes to myself. I clicked this picture during my last visit to Udaipur.

Here is where it all started

In one of my French classes, our professor gave us homework to write a paragraph describing an event from our childhood. The condition was to use as much past tense as possible so that we can practice what we learnt in the class and ask questions for clarity the next day.

I was already pushing myself by joining the French class alongwith managing my office as well, so a homework always came as a task. Despite of that, I always tried attempting the homework because I knew that only the practice could help me learn at a faster pace.

I sat down with my journal and started writing about a funny event from my past. Even though this was a language I was still trying to learn, I realized how much fun it was to recall an event from the past and describe it for someone else to read. And and, that’s where my love for writing started. I had created a WordPress account years ago but probably it was just lately that I started picking up by writing a bit and publishing it for a larger audience. Honestly, I am loving this and I love to be here.

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I can confidently say that probably, this is the only place I found in recent times where people are so encouraging and motivating. Everyone are so kind enough to take time to read and provide feedback on what they love to read. There is so much of experiences to share or learn from everyone without the need of showing off (#trending on Facebook or Twitter) 🙂

I am glad I finally made it here and I am looking forward to knowing you all more through my reading experience.

A picture perfect

While I was capturing some beautiful views at the old city in Ahmedabad, three kids came to me requesting if I can take a picture of them. Their innocence and the happiness on their faces would not have let anyone turn down their request. I agreed and took this picture of them.

To my surprise, they didn’t ask me to show how the picture turned out to be. They just went away with double the happiness and smiles. Maybe for them being captured was the greatest thing to happen.

I don’t know who they are. I never met them thereafter, but this picture still gives me joy and inspires me to take life easy and to be in the moment.  And I am sure wherever they are, this is what they will continue to do – inspire and spread smiles.

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