Category Archives: Inner Journey

A Journey to the center of me..

The Art of Procrastination (and how I am a born master)

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This post is dedicated (or in less praising words-subjected) to the most important person of my life ‘Me’; and not to the better n more important thing–the Subject of My Blog Jaipur.

 

Its only 5 in the morning and I am up to start  the new book I picked yesterday, “Don’t Buy This Book Now!” by John Perry.  It is surprising  that I  am reading this quick (it has nothing to do with the books quality, mostly I take hours to finish a couple of pages of a bestseller) and, I am halfway through.   Well this post is not about praising my today’s reading speed, or to tell you that I read it because the book is Good–the book is brilliant without me giving it a certificate. So today’s post is about something else.

 

Quickly coming to the point–it talks about ‘ The Art of Procrastination’.  Of which I am probably the biggest artist and till very recently I had no clue what the word meant.

 

In Chapter One, the author starts with ‘Structured Procrastination‘. He quote a few lines from a column written by Robert Benchley for the Chicago Tribune in 1930, “anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.”  

 

Further adding to it the author says, “All procrastinators put off things they have to do “.

 

Procrastination

Procrastination (Photo credit: Reynante Martinez)

And as usual I said to myself, ‘ya ya I know’.

 “Procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. Procrastinators seldom do absolutely nothing; they do marginally useful things, such as gardening or sharpening pencils or making a diagram of how they will recognize their files when they get around to it”.

 

What! Is that why I spend  much more than required time (i.e. 5 minutes for watering) in gardening my terrace garden?  Oops, the satellites do work, otherwise I mean how would Mr Perry know that I am strolling uselessly in my 10 x 5 garden doing fashionable gardening or gardening fashionably.

 

It is just because I can’t glue my butt to the chair when it is required.

 

I couldn’t sit and study for my school exams back then and, even now I’ve trouble completing what I set for.

 

Honestly, I didn’t start blogging for the sake of writing, but only because I couldn’t start with my II assignment of  ‘Writers’ Bureau Creative Writing Course’ , which I haven’t started as yet and its been over a year now.

 

And now when I’ve eventually set a task for myself, that is blogging, I can’t  find Inspiration‘  for the next post.

 

But you know what actually happens is, what Mr Perry has put in following lines in the simplest way it can be put.

 

” I think perfectionism leads to procrastination.  Many procrastinators do not realize that they are perfectionist, for the simple reason that we have never done anything perfectly or even nearly so.  We have never been told that something we did was perfect, nor have we ourselves felt that anything we did was perfect.  We think, quite mistakenly, that being a perfectionist implies, often or sometimes,  or at least once, having completed some task to perfection.  But this is a misunderstanding of the basic dynamic of perfectionism.

 

Perfectionism of the sort I am talking about is a matter of fantasy, not reality.

 

Here’s how it works in my case.  Someone wants me to do something, a publisher wants me to referee a manuscript, that has been submitted and involves giving an opinion —-immediately my fantasy life kicks in.  I imagine myself writing the most wonderful referee’s report.”

 

Well for me, I imagine myself writing the most wonderful ‘Blog’ every time I start thinking about writing one.  When I am writing an assignment, I fantasize it being published in reputed magazine even before I have sent it to my tutor at Writers’ Bureau.  And I am already receiving payments and more work and … then suddenly it poofs.  Back to reality, I haven’t even started.

Every now and then when I set out to write a blog post, I reach the top of  blogging world even before I type the title.  And I am receiving 50 likes and 100 comments and being picked up by ‘Freshly Pressed’ .  After spending an hour of day dreaming  what happens is that I end up not writing one.

Just because I set out to write a perfect one, and not because I want to write one.

The clarity came from the last paragraph of Chapter II.

“Often the answer will be that a less-than-perfect job will do just fine, and moreover it’s all I am ever going to do anyway.  So I give myself permission to do a less-than-perfect job now, rather than waiting until the task is overdue.  Which means I may as well do it now. (Or at least start on it tomorrow).”

It brings a smile.

I may write just to write and to be LIKED.

Good Day.

Be Happy.peace

 

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The Karma Yoga

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Lord Krishna instructing the Bhagavad Gita to ...

Lord Krishna instructing the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in Kurukshetra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Namaste Everyone.

 

Apologies for being so irregular with my posts.  May be my initial excitement of writing about my city evaporated too quickly and also I got swayed from my starting point of interest ‘Local Food & Flavors of Jaipur’ .

 

I felt jammed and stationary, no inspiration, no words.

 

But nothing stagnated except me.  The Doodhwala (milkman) arrived everyday in his whitish cotton Dhoti-kurta  right on time no matter how chilly the morning was; the modest street dogs never stopped running around in the street; the wandering cows never seemed unhappy; the Dhobi family (a young couple &  3 children) came everyday to open their wooden desk workstation, tirelessly steam-pressing cloths of the neighborhood  and earning a livelihood.

 

Only I seemed to have all the big valid reasons in the world not to write.

 

Just then I read this Shloka from Bhagavad-Gita as it says:

 

“Perform your prescribed duty, for action is better than inaction.  A man cannot even maintain his physical body without work.”

Even my lovely city kept getting older, bigger and stuffed with every passing moment.  It got 286 years old this year.   A home for almost 67 lakh people and may be the same number of birds & animals.

And I missed out writing about so many interesting things.

So with hopes and inspiration renewed I hope to come up with some interesting posts soon.

Till then.  Bye.

 

 

 

Wish I was a Kite..

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Wish I was a Kite..

Wish I was a kite..

flying up up in the sky..

dancing with the wind; not worrying about somebody looking at me with hunting eyes..

unaware about the cruel ugly hearts that exist..

believing in the fellow kites,  enjoying my flight..

 

I wanted to write something about Makar Sankranti , festival now known specifically for Kite flying.  But I’ve been clouded with this negative mist that I am not able to see anything beautiful around..

I am so shaken with the recent events in my country that I am just not able to write about anything nice about ‘My India’..

Being a woman is  such a beautiful feeling.  But one thing that she lacks most is ‘Freedom’.

Freedom to move freely on the streets without being followed.

Freedom to laugh without worrying about giving a ‘Wrong Sign’.

Freedom to enjoy long walks without keeping in mind the time to return.

Freedom to move without being noticed…

Freedom to be just her..

I am just not being me lately…

But the teacher whose name is life has all shades and hues..

And has the magic to turn black into blue..

Have a Happy Day.

Be Safe.

 

 

 

Wonder shops of Jaipur

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Wonder shops of Jaipur

Do you wonder what a world!!

I always wonder.

I love to admit that I am still mesmerized by the world… Even if it is just my world that I’m considering-where I’ve been eating, walking, sleeping, feeling, I think living.  Jaipur has so much to offer to a storyteller (that I wish I was), to a camera, to anybody who loves life.  It is definitely (and thank God) not a night city.  It is a day city, wakes early-sleeps early.  In winters very early.  The only thing that can make a Jaipurwala remain awake is either Diwali or a Marriage party.  We don’t waste our good-night-sleep for any damn thing except that.

zaika 025If you feel it seems very very conservative–may be it is.  But fortunately my city doesn’t seem to be a part of the blind race of becoming LA, Dubai, Bangkok or some great ‘Night-life-wonder’.  It is just Jaipur. An old fashioned, laid back, non-happening city but nice.   Interestingly it seems to be rejecting pub culture or discos and multiplying the new genre of festivals.  Food, fashion, jewelery, craft, art, music, dance, literature.

There is one coming in January ’13 –Jaipur literature festival.

Jaipur Lit Fest

Jaipur Lit Fest (Photo credit: Paras Chopra)

And surprisingly, even for the most non- happening ones (like myself) it still has something.  Like our Wonder Bazaars.

See this shop full of beautiful brass utensils.  brass iteam shopsThe other day, I was strolling in the markets (for no good reason), just for pleasure.  And to my delight I crossed these tiny shops with millions of utensils stuffed like brass flowers.

Enlarge the image to see the items in close–tongs, diyas, temple bells, wind-chimes, what not all.  Wonderful craftsmanship.

If you ever visit to Jaipur,  make sure to come to Tripolia Bazaar for these wonder utensils.

The bazaars are a visual delight.  But do watch your step!.

Enjoy! Be Safe! Be Happy!

Good Day!

Post Diwali Darkness..

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Lighting during the Tihar Festival season.

Lighting during the Tihar Festival season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been struggling to understand the significance of festivals all my life.  I created this blog because of this reason only.  I thought I’ll share the magnificence of the celebrations.  The importance festivals have in our lives rather in our culture.  How, why, when, where?  And in the quest I realized that I know too little to offer the world.

Past 18 days precisely saw 5 days of massive celebration of Diwali and almost a whole month of shopping extravaganza–for everybody.   All during this time I felt like writing about this, that, what, not!! But everytime ended up pondering, why celebrate anyways.  There is so much of hatred in the world, so much of poverty, millions of people who have nothing and here we are spending exuberantly on firecrackers, lighting, clothes, jewellery, sweets, flowers…….just name it!!

I keep asking people what makes them spend so much.  All say we want to celebrate.  It is once a year (Really so?). It is a family  get-together time. It is the biggest festival of India.  It is significant for Hindus (…) !!  Ya ! Ya !  Agreed.

But a simple answer came from my mother.  ‘It is time to celebrate life’.   ‘To forget the miseries and celebrate the beauty and blessings of Life.’

Truly all we want is–happiness and if we don’t get it, we make it.  Festivals are more or less like this.  We create happiness, at least we create a stage for happiness.  We greet-meet (deliberately). We engage in gatherings.  We invite for card parties.  We dress up (best). We just do anything & everything to make ourselves happy. Only US.

Yes, only Us.  Though in the process we make a lot of other people happy too.  but primarily it is only we that we want happy.

English: An oil lamp made of clay used for the...

English: An oil lamp made of clay used for the diwali festival in India (Haryana). Deutsch: Eine indische Öllampe aus Ton während des Diwali-Festes in Haryana. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All these celebrations are just to put away the hatred, we have for the people around, aside and light the lamp of hope and love.

But forget not there is always darkness underneath the lamp.

Just as this old Hindi proverb says ” Deepak Tale Andhera”

Happy Diwali.!

Cheers for Life.!!

Durga!! Durga!!

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Durga!! Durga!!

Durga! Durga!

Indian Exclamation (particularly Bengali) of saying O My God.! Though all Indians swear their words with God, but I just love the way a Bengali says–Durga Durga.  It sounds like–Dugga! Dugga!.

Rich Red–Color of strength..

I love the richness of culture that the people of my country bring in together.
There are characters (millions) each unique, with their own values, their views, their own feelings & expression.

People fill a land with vibrations.  An old Indian saying is, “Feelings make a stone turn into  God”. Meaning, a place of worship is sacred because of the feelings that are attached to it..

Day before yesterday was the last day for Navratri and fortunately I got the opportunity to visit the Puja Pandal  i.e. the community celebration of Bengali Hindus to worship Goddess Durga.  The first thing that hits when you enter an Indian worship place is ‘smell’.  The strong smell of Dhoop (a complex mixture of powdered wood with Indian sacred plants) enters yours nostrils and reach deep in.. It was all smoky, dense and mystical.

Bengali Celebrations are quite musical (well so are most of the other Indian celebrations) .  The devotees were tapping their feet and swaying in the loud, soul-churning music of Dhol and Kartaal.  

swaying crowd

It started with slow beats and kept on rising, rising..

Men & women were dancing.  Even the priest was matching the beat while swaying the  Diya (fire lamp) in circular motion to the Deities.

I felt like dancing myself.  Difficult to control a beat so powerful.  Unfortunately, I was not carrying my camera and thus I missed some beautiful shots.

It was almost a forty minute long puja. Amazing I must say.  An experience must to have.  I  always believed that if we don’t feel religious we shouldn’t do all these rituals.  But to experience the spiritual aspect of a thing, we need to let go of ourselves with the swing.

Forgetting of who you are and what you are doing at the present moment lets your soul  Feel.

With this blog I am trying to do the same. I am closing my eyes to the world that my eyes see and let my soul perceive..

Some may feel I am  overly in love with my surrounding. But that is what I am.

Loving the city that I once wanted to leave and settle elsewhere.

Loving the celebrations that I used to avoid as a teenager.

Loving everything that I missed out seeing and experiencing while being too busy becoming a person.

Good Day to All!!

Confusions in the middle of festivals..

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Confusions in the middle of festivals..

Festivities are never at ease in India.
Festival holidays are much more than the total number of Sundays in a YEAR.

Ya! You are reading right..

Now as the Navaratri begins, quite a number of communities are involved in making preparations for upcoming religious ceremonies.

Nava-ratri are literally two words–first nava which is a Sanskrit word that means NINE and ratri means NIGHTS.

Nine Nights of Puja (rituals) and Celebrations. Though the Deity that is worshiped is same Devi Durga (Goddess of Power), but it takes different celebration in different communities and groups.

For the Gujrati Community Navaratri means Garba (Traditional Dance festival); for Bengali Community the Durga Puja is all the most important; for Punjabi Community nine day Sthapana (bringing the idol home and doing the rituals) of the Goddess.  Same is for Jaipur, for nine whole days the Goddess is worshiped in almost every hindu household. On the ninth day a feast is prepared and nine girls that symbolically represent the Nav-Rupa (nine-forms) of the Goddess are invited and offered food and gifts.

It is much more confusing to be there in the middle of these festivals and almost COMPULSORY celebrations, than what I’ve tried to write above.

Honestly, the celebration fever here is so high and so infectious that I bet if anyone can resist..  This is the time that the city witnesses the most heavy tourist traffic.

The markets are going colorful.

The houses are repainted.

The temples are being decorated.

The deities are smiling.

The ladies are busy making traditional festival sweets & savories.

The news papers and magazines are trying to compile best recipes for the festive season.

Everyone seems necessarily happy.

Well, the list is tooooo long. I can’t write in one post, look for my upcoming posts.  Also I’ll be trying to bring some pics of city’s celebrations colors.  As India is nothing without its colors and surely nothing without its CELEBRATIONS…..

Have a Happy Day!

Shraada and the food for the departed Souls..

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Shraada and the food for the departed Souls..

Greetings Everyone!  Namaste

This time of the year is significant for Indian Hindu Community in many ways.  The fifteen day long Shraada Paksha is ending and Navratra is to begin with the next new moon.

The Hindu Calender is different from the World Calender.  It varies and has a complex system to determine the days of different occasions, festivals, etc.

Shraada Paksha are the days to remember the family members who have passed away and offer traditional delicacies to the spirit world.   The meals are strictly vegetarian and special.  Though, we keep in mind some personal favorites of the person whom we are remembering, but major part of the menu is common in every household.  It is then first offered to a Brahmin (usually a temple priest) and then shared amongst the family members.Though this is not a complete 'Thali' as it lacks a few more delicacies, but this is picture of simplicity in our food. .

Interestingly, a share of the meal is offered to a crow, as Indian Mythology states that after death the human soul first gets into the life of a crow.

And so this not-so-happy looking and not-much loved bird get his day and his share of royal treatment.  Surely for 15 full days in a year!!

But the best part is to find a CROW and make him have his meal!! As they seem to be holidaying in some unknown place-where men are not running behind their lives to have PURIES.

Though,we all enjoy these days as this is not a mourning time.  But yes it is not considered auspicious time for anything: be it shopping, be it partying, be it MARRYING, or be it starting a NEW VENTURE.

Well, Well, Well!!!

Don’t worry, at least there is one good thing.

FOOD.

So enjoy!

Have a Great Sunday!

The Importance of Self Improvement-Part2

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Went for an early morning walk.

The much required thing for me (at least).  It is a quiet time and usually un-interrupted.  Except for a few dozen of cows that stray on the street munching, mooing, waving their tales incessantly.

And those brown skinny Indian dogs–with waging tales.

Well for (most) people of India that’s not an interruption at all.   I love these ever cheerful dogs, these multi-coloured cows with saintly looks.   And keep wondering what goes inside their heads. One thing is for sure–they don’t seem unhappy.

So are they happy all the time?

  They must be!  They don’t seem to spend on fitness centers, organic exotic vegetables, Protein Shakes to become fit looking, supposedly happy entities.

Seems like they are at least happy with their physical state.  Have you ever seen an ugly, fat or skinny cow?  They all seem to look the same–plump and content with life.

Why there is so much pressure these days to be GOOD LOOKING?

Don’t Know.!

Does anybody know?

But we believe,  just like that farmer who was carrying a baby goat on his shoulder and met four different people who told him that he should be crazy carrying a dog on his shoulder.

He couldn’t disbelieve four people.

So do we believe, that looking GOOD has everything to do with our happiness.

No offense against the fitness lovers.

But concepts take a fashion shape these days.

Everybody wants to follow.

And moreover, wants everybody to follow.

And so we believe.

Osho says, “There is nothing more suicidal than belief.  One thing you have to definitely understand is that to believe, to believe blindly, to accept silently with closed eyes, has been the basic reason why your lives have been crippled until now.”

So today, I just wish to relish my breakfast and feel peaceful- just as that cow who would rather count the flies she shooed off her belly than counting the calories she is eating.!

Happy Breakfast !  Good Day!

The Importance of Self Improvement-for mothers part 1

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In the era of ‘Investment’  we all tend to invest in money, in relationships, in our children, in education and what not all. Life is all about investment-from birth to death, we keep thinking about it and its desired RETURNS.

In relationships-we invest our time, our faith, our love and desire a return of sense of security of ‘being loved’ by an outer entity.  And most of the times, for most of our lives we feel deprived, either by our partners or by our children.

Cooking is definitely a form of short term investment–but it has wider effect on our lives.  The whole world thinks about only a few things every day and food is one of them.  That’s where the role of mammas come in.  I am not saying that Daddy don’t pitch in for meals but a mother has wider perspective of food.

It is a everyday investment but again it is simply for others.  It is more about sharing and investing our care into our loved ones. But our day to day life doesn’t let us feel this beautiful bond.  When the mornings start we are in a hurry to leave and cook our breakfast as fast as possible and leave the special menu for the off day.  The lunch is either in the cafetiere or with the lonely lunch box.  The dinners are tired and full of everyday frustration and next day anticipation.

Here comes in the importance of Self Investment.  And I am daring to let myself sail on this journey to know the ways of self investment.  For everything that is around me depends on how much strength I’ve got and that comes only from Self Investment.  That will eventually improve our family lives.

I hope to interact with mothers in this very crucial part of our motherhood and wish to share our daily food to enrich our cooking and undoubtedly eating experience.  Because if we aren’t happy what we are cooking, it is unlikely our children would like to eat.

Good Day & Happy Cooking.