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Forgiving, friendship, happiness

Friendships are essential in life

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True friends are difficult to find, which is why we must cherish the friends we have.

Friendship is a relationship where a person has the freedom to choose another person they enjoy spending time with. Most of the time, it’s our heart finding peace and comfort with this person, or with these people. Friendship is the home for every wandering soul which is lost.

When you are friend with a person, you can tell them everything without the fear of being judged. Friendship can be cultivated with time and understanding. Some friendships are strong and can withstand the test of time and roll like a dice when life throws them a curveball. Good friends, will give the space you want, when you need it and will love you more when you are broken or lack direction.

‘‘When you meet someone and become friends, still not very close but are good friends, your heart starts feeling happy, contemplate and at peace’’ – means you have found the greatest blessing of universe in the form of ‘friendship’ for yourself.

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We love to be surrounded by friends who shower their unconditional love, affection and admiration. No matter how independent, bold, empowered or economically secure we may be, deep in our hearts, we all seek to bond with other people. We all seek that ‘anchor’ in our lives. Relationship with our friends make us strong, grow, enriched, evolve and make us happy.

In friendship you don’t have high hopes and expectations like for that matter in any other relationships. It’s when we expect more from others than what we expect from ourselves, our relationships are not going to be nearly as enduring as we might hope.

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No one can make promises to bring perfection to a relationship, we need to be willing to accept and forgive people for their mistakes. It’s equally important to acknowledge when we make mistakes, so that in friendship it’s easier for a friend to forgive and move forward, and vice-a-versa.

It is also important to respect other people’s boundaries as well as their stories. Some people are difficult to get close to and take time to open up. Don’t push them away.

Good friends are able to acknowledge that everyone is human, and don’t judge you for your choices. If you can’t respect your friend’s choices or decisions, which can be different from what you feel is ‘best’, then try to explain and sort it out, else you need to exit from the relationship. It’s not necessary or compulsory for friend’s to ‘like’ or ‘approve’ their friend’s choices, but good friend accept their friend’s choices no matter what. Friendship is the most difficult relationship to maintain.

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Maintaining the dignity of friendship in its purest and devoted form is not everyone’s cup of tea. I truly admire those who are actually able to keep their friendship till the end of their lives, moreover, in its real form without doing manipulation with name or relation to keep it safe.

I wouldn’t have been able to survive if I had NO ONE to confide in. It’s a feeling of stability – to know that in trouble, I have someone to fall back on, someone who understands.

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Friendship is a two-way street and requires giving and receiving. Many a times you are friend with someone for years and decades but don’t find that comfort, understanding and peace. On the other hand it may happen that you just became friend with someone, starting to know a stranger, still feels that’s it’s a lifetime friendship – like you have been knowing each other forever. And then such new friendship goes year long, leaving a mark to all – to understand the depth of lifetime friendship.

Stranger

It’s a strange world, thanks to the people we meet!

https://m.khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/its-a-strange-world-thanks-to-the-people-we-meet

Talking to strangers can make you happy.

Our very lives depend on the ethics of strangers, and most of us are always strangers to other people.

– Bill Moyers

Have we become strangers in these world of technology and gadgets? But don’t we get ample of time to be on-line and stay connected with the virtual world through internet? Does that mean we have no time for the real world?

When was the last time we observed ourselves? When was the last time you smiled at a stranger or received a smile in return? I am sure this is a simple question yet difficult one to answer as most of the time, we have our heads bow down, glued to our mobile screens.

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I still remember when we were young, our parents would tell us ‘Don’t talk to strangers’! And that worked well for us. We were young, our minds were young, which means we were not old enough to be discerning. We were not able to decide if a stranger was good or bad. But as we grew, the situation changes. We are not able to comprehend what is good and bad.

The importance, rather the comfort of the human touch seems to vanishing day by day. People have, in fact, started to feel safe by not connecting with the real world. Instead, they feel safe and secure being away from all the unnecessary fuss and emotional distractions. But have we felt the need to talk to strangers? Haven’t we thought about the benefits we can get out of talking to strangers?

Anything is possible in life. A stranger you meet can become your lifeline with the passing years. In the same vein, the person most close to you can become a stranger in a matter of seconds. Life has become unpredictable. Surprisingly, you might meet someone again on the crossroad of life and you might again continue the beautiful journey of your life together. The never-ending road of life will take you towards your destination of happiness, and fill you up with all confidence and courage required to face any adversities and difficulties.

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It’s time we changed our attitude towards strangers. Yes, we live in dangerous times, but not all strangers we meet are dangerous. We need to be suspicious, but we should also be trusting. The whole world is not our enemy.

Let’s start by changing ourselves. Each individual has the capability to connect with people, allowing us the human experiences which are enriching experiences. Right from the morning we get innumerable chances to meet and greet strangers. It could be a taxi driver, a sales person at a mall, fellow passengers at airports, lounges, railway stations and the bus stand. Interaction depends on people’s personalities. If you are an introvert, it might be difficult to talk to strangers. At the same time, if the other person is an extrovert, communications becomes quicker. Such communications are also a great way to socialise and to build networks. It is also interesting to see the world through the eyes of another person.

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The world out there is for us to explore. So, try to see it through a different perspective. Talking to strangers and discussing various topics helps boost our confidence and makes us feel self-motivated. It also helps improve our communication skills. Yes, the world is full of strangers and that’s what makes it so interesting.

Forgiving, happiness

Found solace in forgiving

https://m.timesofindia.com/life-style/relationships/soul-curry/he-found-solace-in-forgiving/articleshow/69790167.cms?utm_source=He

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As a seven – year old, it felt strange to be ignored by his own father, even though he had high fever and had met with a domestic accident. His mother had gone out of work, leaving him home to be cared by his father. Was it that he was an unexpected child due to which he was subjected to such bitterness? Or was it because his father was married to a well-educated women, himself being uneducated. Discrepancy, which is still prevalent in many areas of Indian society, is best exemplified by his own family, house and life.

That day, as father was busy doing his not-so-important stuff in house, he went and was pulling his pants for attention, when the father pushed him back in anger and that’s when he fall down and hit the sharp corner of bed. The right side of his forehead along with ear felt spasms of agony as it hit the sharp edge of bed.

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He felt tears of pain and anger roll down his innocent cheeks. His father looked back to see what happened and felt further irritated, just then his mother returned home to face his wrath. Yet again she was accused of being highly educated and leaving the house, for work and livelihood, blamed as ‘good-for-nothing’. Domestic violence was everyday business that he was forced to witness.

In spite of all this, he would see his mother cook meal for his father and whole family. Do chores without complaining. Get new clothes for him. And did everything, shouldered all responsibilities as his mother was the sole breadwinner of the family. But over the years, his mother too accumulated some amount of bitterness within her which she vented through her love for ‘shayaris’ and poetry. He also started imagining all fathers as shrews!

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As the years passed, his father due to his prolong disease, became bed-ridden, he needed love and care. He wondered, ‘‘will ‘karma’ play its role?’’ But all he saw was his mother taking utmost care of his father. How could she? Was it because of her upbringing and society demands? Or out of respect for the relationship, she was into since last 40 years? He wasn’t convinced, after all, he was just entering the roller-coaster ride of his life.

Then came a day when he was undergoing training for his new job and had to put together a project about the life of elderly people living in an old-age home. The very topic made him sick to the stomach. He started to wonder why his own father couldn’t be sent to a home like this as he himself had demanded it so many times. The debate during the training about looking after the elderly in families made him argue with his colleagues to the point of being rude. All present there along with supervisors were surprised to see that he harboured so much anger within him.

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He along with his colleagues finally decided and reached the old-age home, an old building with some yellowish brown shuttered windows. He sat stubbornly on a bench in the garden, hell-bent on not doing anything constructive. That’s when he felt a gentle touch on his shoulder. He looked up and saw an old-man, in a plain white kurta, beaming at him. His name was ‘Mr Roger’, who invited him to his room and shared a packet of biscuits over a hot cup of ginger tea that he made.

Mr. Roger’s maturity with kindness attracted him and he gushed about his father. The old man assured him that all fatherly figures aren’t the same and probably his father had reasons for such ill-filled actions. After that day, till training continued, he went back to visit Mr Roger several times. Through his conversations with Mr Roger, the old man provided him with the understanding and closure that he needed to forgive his father and let go his anger.

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Thereon he would sit beside his ill father, take his bony hands in his and speak to him. He would tell him how he yearned for him to talk or response or smile. He doesn’t know if he ever heard him. But a while later he passed away and with him passed his anger-ridden self!

And he found solace in forgiving!

friendship, happiness

The friend who taught me to face adversities with a smile

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/soul-curry/the-friend-who-taught-me-to-face-adversities-with-a-smile/articleshow/69413970.cms

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I learnt what patience means when I got to know her. She taught me how one can be devoted and live life to the fullest. A very humble person and an ordinary woman for world, but for me she is my first friend after my marriage. I met her some more than 15 years ago. I was newly married and had shifted from the metropolitan city Ahmedabad to Baroda. It was a new experience of living in a new city amidst complete strangers, including my husband and in-laws.

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 I took up a job in the mortgage department with a multinational bank wherein I had to deal with numerous clients, builders and co-ordinate with lawyers and technicians. She, at that time, was working as customer care executive with one such renowned builder. We had been talking regularly regarding documents for a couple of months. Finally, after much delay, our meeting was fixed one day. By that time I knew her by her name and her melodious voice, all because of our telephonic conversations.

One afternoon during peak summers, I was waiting for her at her office. When she walked towards me, I saw her for the very first time and was completely amazed to see her ‘aura’. She was indeed as beautiful as her name ‘Manisha’! She was much polite and listened to all the queries patiently and helped resolve them.

Though she is an introvert by nature, but we gradually became friends. As time went and I started knowing her, I came to know that she is elder to me by age and experience. She lived in a vast joint family with her parents and siblings.

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She had dreams like any other Indian girl and wanted to pursue them. But I guess God had other plans for her. With so much struggle and compromise in her personal as well as professional life, I have seen her shattered and broken but never once did I see her complaining or giving up. I felt there’s a turmoil inside her but she maintained her calm and composure. No one, including the people who lived with her, was aware of her struggle. She lost her job a couple of times but her spirit always stayed high.

She became my first mentor after my marriage. At that time mobile phones were luxury and not affordable and there were no features like free incoming and outgoing messages, Internet and WhatsApp. We use to communicate through letters and STD calls. She became my light in darkness. She is the one always there for her family and friends but I hardly know anyone solely there for her!

It was one fine morning in 2004, I had just reached office and got a call on my landline. The conversation left me in a shock and before I could gather my sense, the receiver had dropped from my hands. The call was from Manisha’s friend who said she had met with an accident and was admitted to hospital. After collecting the address of the hospital, I rushed to be near Manisha. When I entered her room, I was shocked and shattered to see her condition. She was badly injured and had multiple fractures in her hand and leg. There were bandages all over, especially on her head. Her face and eyes were completely swollen.

I came to know she met with an accident previous night and was rushed to hospital with an emergency ward of the hospital. The doctors had already performed the operation to save her life as she had suffered a major injury in head.

It’s the worst experience of life to see the person you love, adore and respect, lying in the bed of hospital with bandages all over her body. Everyone from her family were around her. I started praying for her speedy recovery and waited impatiently for her to open her eyes. It was the toughest time of my life. Doctors had told she will be admitted for around 15 days followed by complete bed rest for two months.

Finally she opened her eyes by mid-afternoon and the first thing she did was smiled and thank God for saving her life. I was amazed to see her this gesture. She gave us the courage to fight with the situation assuring us that this time will pass soon and everything will be alright. She had the strongest will power and that day I learned the lesson from her that no matter what, never give up with your confidence, will-power and determination. Face everything in life with positivity and smile and surely you will conquer everything. It took few months for her to recover completely and few years for her scars to vanish.

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But as said, life goes on. I left India, in 2006. And despite the vast geographical distance between us, our friendship grew stronger with each passing year. With her, I have the best memories of my life – the fights and debates, the laughter and celebrations, our shopping sprees and movie sessions. Even today our morning starts by giving each other missed calls, which means ‘Good Morning’. It’s been 14 years now since we started this ritual of our friendship, growing stronger with each passing day.

Thanks to advance technology and gadgets now, which are helping us to stay in touch despite miles apart. Looking forward for the next visit to meet her and hope to celebrate our friendship.

happiness, Perfection

Physical appearance and virtue

Physical appearance and virtue
People give more importance to physical appearence
https://gulfnews.com/lifestyle/community/readers-views-is-beauty-just-a-perception-1.63819182

Our perception, makes beautiful things look more beautiful!

Beauty according to me can be categorised into ‘Appearance’ & ‘Virtue’.

What a majority of us do is reach a conclusions based on a person’s appearance. As a result virtues are ignored. Only few consider looking deep into a person’s virtue, keeping appearance aside. Cosmetics and make-up bloggers today, play a vital role in defining beauty. Make-up can change the way someone looks. In addition to this, we have various applications now on our mobile phones which highlight and enhance the beauty, making us look flawless.

When I see this today, I keep imagining the women of the past, during 1700s till 1900s. Beauty was not defined by social media post back then.

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Today, some women are considered naturally beautiful and rest look beautiful and appealing through various means now available in market, to fit into the so called ‘beauty standards’.

But here, I keep wondering where our perception of beauty is really heading too? Because according to my opinion, ‘‘Perception of quality is affected by opinions, experiences, appearances, recommendations, comparative analysis, usefulness, appeal, utility and many other things which is an individualistic choice’’.

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When we see someone pretty on a magazine cover, there can be alterations probably done to make the image look pretty, so I automatically assume that what I see is a prettier version of reality.

I think most people today are aware of the fact that most images we see around are retouched, and don’t represent reality. I personally think that the media nowadays edits too much stuff.

To me it seems like everything that is human, is gone now. They seem unreachable and their ‘beauty’ unachievable, which can harm peoples psyche.

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I look up to people that are real and admit to having flaws. This make them so much more human and relatable.

Usually, the rich can appear ‘beautiful’ due to cosmetics and things that they can afford, to fit the society’s perception of beauty.

Rigorous advertisements for staying fit also give people a complex and make them believe that losing weight will help them look beautiful.

But here health has to supersede beauty. It is important to be healthy above anything else.

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I believe everyone is beautiful but not everyone sees it. It is truly said that beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. Our perception, makes beautiful things look more beautiful. For me a person is ten times more attractive, not by their looks but by their acts of kindness, love, respect, honesty, and loyalty.

hobbies

Reading helps you connect with your inner self

https://m.khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/reading-helps-you-connect-with-your-inner-self

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/lamiyasiraj/reading-helps-you-connect-with-your-inner-self-2844/

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Reading stimulates imaginations

Books! Imagine how vast the world of books is in itself, isn’t it? For many people like me, books are lifeline. The activity of reading books gives immense pleasure and sense of completeness, taking our imagination to next level. Just the thought of finding out how many different kind of books are available in this whole world, in how many different languages, on various topics and subjects fascinate me. A wide variety of knowledge and information is being imparted from all of this books, to all those taking advantage out of them!

The most precious gift in my life are books,

I can open again and again…

The imaginations and creativity of our minds are being strengthened by reading. When we read about unknown places , our mind itself creates the imaginative images in our heads, rather than simply saving images from small screen memory.


“Some books leave us free and some books make us free.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recently, we a group of ladies had gathered for one such activity for reading and understanding of an ‘auspicious book’. There I met my friend carrying a small bag stuffed with big heavy books. By heavy, I means books of more than 500 pages. ‘What is this Zain’? I asked. ‘‘small bag, big books’’ she replied with a smile.

Reading improves focus and concentration

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Yes, I thought to myself thinking. Aren’t our brains like this? The size of our brain is small compared to our body. But think of the knowledge it contains.

The habit of reading books can save us as well as change us in a long way. Reading books can bring about a positive change in us. There are umpteen libraries, but parents and teachers put in an extra effort to make the young ones read, to instill the habit of reading in them. But sadly, the present generation seems to be moving away from books. They are more impressed by technology and in surfing the Net. Reading is almost forgotten.

The pleasure of holding a book, the smell of pages while reading, getting totally engrossed and travelling miles while being seated at home, well words cannot explain that feeling. Newspapers and magazines have become e-versions. Books are stored in devices though I agree in a way it’s good for the environment as papers are saved.

Books are fascinating

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Reading allow us a greater width and depth of experience that we simply cannot have in our own lifes.

But I am sure there are still book lovers out there, who prefer to read and save those books filling their cupboards with varieties of books, and adding to their collections. I have also witnessed people who just love to collect books but hardly open and read them.


“Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.”  – Mary Schmich

Surely, reading has many benefits. It strengthens memory, reduce stress, improves empathy, expands vocabulary, and makes you wiser, smarter and probably more useful. Books introduce you to libraries, to silence, to magic. It changes your subconscious mind. Its bring positivity, productivity and the ability to become better at everything. It can take you to places, through imagination or either for education, conferences or for work. You, can never be alone if you inculcate the habit of reading, because a book can be your companion.

Lastly without any offend to non-readers, as it’s a personal choice, I can say reading help you to ‘embrace your emotional self’ and connect with your inner self.

Perfection

‘‘Listen to understand, not refute’’

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/lamiyasiraj/listen-to-understand-not-refute-2476/

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You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.

– M. Scott Peck

The Basics

Staying quite by listening attentively to the one talking is crucial because if we keep interrupting, we won’t be able to understand the other person at all. To become a good listener we need patience and practice. A good listener is the key for building a strong relationship with good conversation. A good listener, gets involves completely into the conversation by sharing his valuable time, and paying attention to the people.

We normally have tendency to interrupt. We don’t listen to understand, we listen to reply! We can improve our techniques for having a better communication by listening, paying attention to the speaker. We need to be attentive. In our day to day life, we do conversation with so many people like our family members, friends, relatives, colleagues at work place or offices, strangers out for work, and many more. But mostly we lose our patience, at times ready to answer and loose the track.

The best classic example is our conversation with our children. We as elder’s listen to respond. By becoming judgmental and passing an advice in half way. We make an opinion in the middle of the conversation itself and shoot our comments. Is this the right way? It creates more generation gap. Isn’t it frustrating when we talk and someone interrupts us. How irritated we feel, so it’s the same, two way round.

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Responding

To become a good listener we need to learn not to be impatient. Also not to be in hurry to give our opinion, rather take time to listen & understand. By enhancing the skills of listening one become more credible, trustworthy, adding value. Be humble while responding back. By doing so, more strong and positive relationships are built.  Same time also be very careful of people whose words don’t match their actions. This would save you in long term.

To be an active listener, we must try to go beyond the words and form a rich picture of the other person’s emotions and intentions.

It is important not to be judgemental. Conclusions should not be made in between the conversation. If required try to remember and note it down, and discuss later. Body language is utter most important when you are listening to someone or something. Always maintain a body posture. Pay attention because if you don’t concentrate, you will soon find out that your mind have turned to other ideas or thoughts.

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How can we improve our active listening skills?

Active listening, like any skill, is developed by practising, not by reading about it. Rather than focusing on right and wrong while listening, open your mind and try to think in terms of creating new. Consider each mind as flower, which goes through its own cycles of growth, budding, bloom and decay. Pause your opinions, debating and absolute knowing for long enough. Be a listener in such a way that it makes valuable and significant contributions that are meaningful. What is essential is that we come together as community and communicate.

Increase your motivation to listen. This is known as the effective framework for active listening. This motivation might be the desire to improve a relationship, follow instructions without wasting time, make someone feel better to make an exchange as clear as possible.