Category: Uncategorized

Thank you dear ‘October’, Thank you for giving me the nudge that I needed!

Thank you dear ‘October’, Thank you for giving me the nudge that I needed!

Like the night jasmine flower
Beautiful, fragrant and graceful
Like the night jasmine flower
Her time was limited
The earth yearned for more
But she was ready to go.

The most beautiful artistic expressions can rekindle, inspire and awaken dormant creative energy. And in my case, the movie ‘October’ was the nudge I needed to rekindle my blog after 2 years!

An abundance of emotion, expressed effortlessly, with control.
An abundance of love, through turmoil and sadness.
An abundance of patience and hope, during times of utmost uncertainty.

October is one of the most heart wrenching movies I have seen in a long time. This is a movie filled with stillness, space, silence, and support, and truly embodies the phrase ‘Stillness speaks’. There are many people in this world who will give you unsolicited advice (something I dislike with a passion), but how many people really support you during turbulent times? When this support comes unconditionally and unexpectedly, it fills you with so much hope, there is no turning back. There are always angels out there! And God exists within us and through us.

While October is quite a tear-jerker, it also fills you with immense hope, if you decide to focus on it 😊 It reminds you that ‘All you have is the present moment, so live it to the fullest’. And that doesn’t mean, no tears, no turmoil, or no frustration. Live through these moments, knowing fully well that life is impermanent. The best we can do is the best in every given moment. Moments of despair can teach you lessons that nothing else can, if you decide to make them lessons.

I’m not providing a  full synopsis of the movie, there are many out there! But I will give a shout out to every single actor in this movie, for displaying such intense emotion with extreme control, effortlessly. Having spent a lot of time in the ICU, and Indian hospitals, a lot of scenes resonated with me completely. This movie depicts reality. The background score is interwoven with the story perfectly. The filmmaker has also blended elements of nature into the movie seamlessly. This movie is slow paced (and I’m not a fan of slow paced movies), but with good reason. Healing takes time, care, support and patience. And the movie reflects patience in hope.
Go watch October, even if you don’t understand hindi ! It won’t disappoint ! Many of the most beautiful expressions in this movie are conveyed with the eyes! And of course there are always subtitles 😊

A great writer once said, “If you die, it is glory, if you live, it is grace”.

365 days. All that is left is a scar. A scar of phenomenal growth.

365 days since dad’s demise. And 768 days since mom’s demise. In vedic literature it is said that the soul takes a whole year to make its journey to its destination, which could be Rebirth or Moksha –  complete liberation from the cycle of birth. What happens after death, is a question that cannot be answered factually by any human being. Varying forms of belief and faith exist. I believe that their souls are at peace, watching over me as I fall and blossom. I also believe that they both passed away for a reason. So I could reach a higher level of self-realization and consciousness, which may have not happened as quickly otherwise. Complete acceptance. When something has such a profound meaning in your life, how can you not accept it? They had fulfilled their physical purpose on earth and were ready to fulfill their even bigger purpose in spirit. I was the apple of their eye. If they could have anything to do with the biggest spiritual growth spurt of my life, ‘hell ya’ they said 🙂

Yoga and meditation could not have allowed me to get to where I am today as quickly, without death surrounding me. Death has in fact brought out the best within me. That’s why I talk about it so much. It is the most transformational mind, body, spirit experience of my life. Life is very simple. I have this moment, and I will live it to the fullest, in a way most meaningful to me. To not have expectations from people (ofcourse, my beloved Sam is excluded from this:)), let go and be as fully present as possible in every moment is a wonderful feeling. I have been there for people because I wanted to and because my heart was in it, and not because I ever expected anything in return.  However, I did have expectations when shit hit my roof 🙂  I used to be way more self critical than I am today and have also had a very high bar for relationships in general. All that has changed, freeing my soul up even more, giving me additional space to do what I love to do as best as I can and change the world with it.

To me, detachment does not mean ‘not getting attached’. It is the ability to attach so deeply, and yet let go. It is the ability to feel so much emotion, but yet let go quickly. The emotions  may include laughter, smiles, regret, tears, and even anger. But can you observe and let them all go, and eventually be left with nothing but a smile from the soul, a peaceful smile acknowledging that everything is the way it is meant to be, right here, right now.  Being the most empathetic person you can be and practicing detachment is a thing of beauty. And I have been trying to figure that out my whole life. Sounds simple, but for me, it was a longish journey .

The wound has healed, and all that is left is a scar, and this particular one is rather beautiful to me. The scar of phenomenal growth. Thank you amma and appa for leaving the most beautiful scar of my life. You made your death as meaningful as your life.
I’m sure life has more scars in store for me, but at the end of the day, I surrender, surrender to the universe with great joy, peace and acceptance.

Ask, don’t assume.

There is definitely an upside and downside to being an extrovert or an introvert. And both these dualities exist within each of us. Most of us naturally gravitate towards one more than the other. Achieving that perfect balance of extroversion and introversion, and applying these dualities as the situation demands would be my utopia.  I strive to be like water,  an element that has achieved this balance and is as perfect as it can be in every moment. Of course, this is my perception of water 🙂 Going on a complete tangent, I wonder what would happen if we start using the word ‘perception’ instead of ‘opinion’. For some reason, I perceive the word, perception, to be more open minded 🙂 🙂 🙂

As someone who is more extroverted than introverted in nature, expressing my thoughts around death and grief was not a difficult task. My introverted energy was directly channeled into my canvas, where I could paint my inner world. However, the expressive side of me struggled.  When I met people, I wanted to share memories and thoughts, accompanied by smiles and tears. I also wanted to talk about the wonderful wine and the tasty food I was eating. I wanted to express and distract myself in a balanced manner.  But what I realized is that not everyone is ready to deal with the raw sadness in these conversations. There were people who didn’t ask me what I was feeling and what I was going through, because they thought that would be uncomfortable for me. The intentions  are golden, but how they land in the heart of the griever ends up being different. And no matter how well you know someone, you don’t know what their response to death and grief will be.  Grief is extremely individualistic, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. If I was more of an introvert, I would have probably curled up into a shell and not wanted anyone to broach my feelings, my grief, my memories. People asking me questions and trying to engage in conversations around my feelings might have been intrusive to me. Empathy becomes extra tricky with grief, because you might want something completely different than the person you are dealing with, even if you are in his or her shoes.

There is a phrase ‘Move on’. In order to move on, I believe expression is as important as distraction. Talking about the past, memories, and what you miss,  does not indicate that you are not moving on. It can be thought of as a gateway to acceptance.  In order to truly accept the death of my parents, I had to let my heart hurt. The heart chakra holds grief, and it is impossible for the blockages in the heart chakra to get released, without expression. Without the heart hurting, the mind acts like it is just fine, but the mind is not in complete acceptance. It is a functioning cannon, but a loose one.  When the heart has let it all out, and comes to a place of peace, the mind becomes alert, focused and the best it can possibly be. The mind and the heart are equally beautiful and work in tandem to express an immortal soul.

There are angels and I feel blessed. I have no words to express my gratefulness towards the universe. But I will miss them, till the day I die. The way I miss them will evolve, but I will always miss them, and as an extrovert, I will keep them alive, through my various forms of expression.

So my one piece of insight to the world at large – Ask, don’t assume. Ask them what they need. Ask grievers if they want to be left alone. Ask them if they want to share memories. Ask them how you can be there for them, because you care deeply about them. Ask, if you have the bandwidth to respond to their needs. Be as kind, loving, compassionate and gentle as possible.





How does one get from point A to point B?  Without point A, point B might not exist at all. I believe that reflecting on one’s roots and foundations, figuring out why and how you arrived at point B, and accepting and addressing flaws along the way, are crucial for personal growth and evolution.

My roots are my parents. So strongly grounded into the earth, unfettered by a storm. My roots allowed me to grow in many different directions but always made sure that I felt supported. I have never tried to ‘fit in’, because my branches had their own terms, respectful of trees around, but always spreading out in unexpected ways.

In some ways my parents were my ‘handlers’, just like handlers in the CIA! And god oh god, did they know how to handle me. As I did, them, in their later years 😉  The beauty of my upbringing is that my parents understood my strengths and weaknesses, and pushed and pulled in exactly the right amounts in my foundational years. I always had a mind of my own, and they understood this well. They did their best to nurture this quality of mine in the most positive ways possible. They always gave me the opportunity to try new things. Even my fad of studying at a boarding school in third grade, when I was enamored by Malory Towers and St.Claires, books by Enid Blyton 🙂  Mom and dad allowed me to experience, learn and let go as I deemed fit, for the most part. I have made my share of mistakes and learned from them. Change, and learning from change has always been easy for me. However, accepting the unchangeable, and understanding the difference between what I can and cannot change has always been a challenge.

Diversity is the spice of my life and this is precisely why I love my life now. I am writing one minute, creating art the next, teaching yoga a few hours later, planning our next travel adventure and then cooking dinner!  And fortunately I have the ability to do each one of these things for the love of the process, and not for money.  Once you start being present and mindful in every process, you start living a meditative life. Even when I am not spending time on a focused meditation, I am infact in mindfulness meditation mode. This is indeed the universe’s gift to me.  But it took me a long time to realize that this gift had been mine to accept for a long time. The mental journey to take money out of my personal purpose equation took approximately 8 long years.

I have heard people saying to me, ‘oh good you are so busy’ lately 🙂  I have always been occupied and busy even through some very deep dark days,  but I think what people’s perceptions are indicating to me is that people identify ‘being busy’ with structure.
For the last few years as an entrepreneur, artist, or while supporting my parents through thick and thin, I had to keep changing modes, requiring a high degree of adaptability, flexibility and pliability. Now I am teaching yoga classes that have a time slot attached to them. I schedule the rest of my day based on the classes I have to teach.
Little did I realize that the unstructured time, when I was trying to shift hats constantly was indeed a very important part of my journey. The biggest purpose in my life was to spend as much time as possible with ‘my roots’ between the years 2014 and 2016 and the universe guided me perfectly to fulfill it.

There is great beauty in stillness. In just being. In just breathing. And sometimes we transform ourselves in this stillness. I have had a hard time with stillness for the most part of my life, but I think I have finally discovered that still space that I can sink into with comfort. Stillness has helped me in the process of accepting the unchangeable, and finding peace with it. Keeping oneself busy is not hard, but finding something purposeful, meaningful and meditative, and living your life in mindfulness can be 🙂

PS: Yogi friends…… Stay strong and grounded on your right leg, lengthen your torso, and ensure that the left knee is aligned with the right,  as you spread the branches of your tree ; )