Power of the Past

I have often read that, you should not hold on to the past. Let it go – its done and dusted. But can we really do that? It takes super human effort to be immune to the ghost of the past, let alone ignore it.

Its only natural that we keep playing the past in our minds like our favorite song on constant repeat. Although there could be some aspects that we don’t like or instances that were so poisonous that it makes you choke even after decades – you cant help but recollect it with crystal clarity. This recollection makes one bitter, humiliated and makes one wonder as to how it could have been avoided.

Personally, some violations in the past bring back very painful memories, most of them are memories where I was ill treated. We all have instances that have hurt us immensely, we can’t let go of it because it caused so much damage, and immense pain.

To heal they say we need closure. We need to make peace with the past as this can ruin our present. Our world would be a much better place if we could let go. If we had no scores to settle, if there was mutual respect for each other and if we forgave just as much as we need to be forgiven.

Why would anyone bring up instances that happened 20 years ago? It’s because there was no closure and maybe the offender is still hurling harm your way.

In the end it always comes down to the hay that broke the camels back.

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Oriental Peace of Mind

While travelling through the Orient, you cant help but notice the affinity the people have towards inner peace. Nobody needs to tell you about it, for actions do speak louder than words. From the moment you set foot off the subway, all along your journey you will notice the love the people have for nature.

I honestly felt that people in the Orient are far happier than in India. It probably has a lot to do with the climate too I guess. Nobody would prefer to be out at noon in the blistering heat! Whereas the climate in northern China is extremely pleasant during autumn and its literally a paradise.

I saw many people performing Tai Chi, in the gardens with soulful music playing in the background. People were happy to be all by themselves in the lush green lawn. The atmosphere was peaceful and I saw many people smiling and at peace.

I was delighted to be able to experience such a beautiful feeling. I see that the Oriental people do take massive efforts in keeping their traditions and customs alive. I absolutely love that about them. The astounding wisdom they posses about healing themselves from within is admirable. For they practice tai chi with dedication and love, its a transcended lifestyle.

The young, the not so young, almost everyone absolutely enjoys tai chi. It’s a great form of relaxation and I guess that the elixir of peace. For no matter how many hours you spend at the gym, it’s the soul we need to fix in the first place.

Inner tranquility is of prime importance, to be in harmony with our outer self.

Lantern

Giving is extremely healing to the soul. Transferring an object without the expectation of receiving anything in return, the act of giving itself, is altruistic. In fact, it has a healing streak and feels peaceful. I once read that you gain by giving rather than receiving. I never quite understood this – how could I gain by giving away something?

As the days went by, I realized that the feeling of altruism associated with giving is much more valuable and therapeutic than collecting things from others and keeping a vicious tab of the people who owe you!

When I first started giving I sensed I felt happier. You could gift someone just to bring a smile, as there is nothing more beautiful than the feeling that you are responsible for that joy. 🙂 Pleasantly surprising someone with a bunch of flowers could make their day. It would be wonderful to see their reaction, astonishment mixed with surprise & gratitude.

My friend Guitanyali gave me this beautiful lantern, it looks beautiful, it is artistic and I loved the detailed artwork of dried flowers on the lantern. It is simple yet elegant, beautifully handcrafted at the ends with handloom twines. The warm, bright yellow incandescent lamp illuminating from within, radiates beauty, warmth, and an undying sense of affection with which it was passed on to me.

When you give a token of appreciation in the form of a thoughtful gift, you can sense the positivity the inanimate object brings to life. For, even after years I can feel the genuine warmth, love and affection that was passed on to me – what better way than to seal these beautiful gestures in the form of a lantern?

This lamp doesn’t just adorn my balcony, but also brings a smile to every passerby on the street as they slow down to see the yellow fire like glow radiating from within. This lamp invokes the element of creativity in me. As I write, I have a desire to try to emulate this piece of art 🙂

It lights up the house and radiates love, warmth and affection. I have a thing for fine art & this is one among them. A lamp is always the winning horse when it comes to light up my life!

Ever wonder what could be an ideal gift to someone special? A friend you appreciate? A neighbor you want to express your gratitude to? A simple, elegant and beautiful lamp would be a good choice.

Good Samaritan – Be one!

Raise you vibrations to attract the good, and only the best will be filtered your way.

When travelling, one has to be vigilant at all times. You got to keep your bags in check, your documents and the currency you are carrying. Not to forget, the constant improvisation on the ever effervescent contingency plan.

Before I set off for my first Solo Trip, I was a nervous wreck, I was freaking out. For the first time in my life I experienced ‘Cold Feet’. I now understand what the Brides, Grooms, Parents-to-be or anyone else feel when they have a panic attack. I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t eat, I had constant headaches days before my travel.

That’s when my friend KK came to my rescue, he said “Nam, don’t worry! You will be fine, you have traveled before and its gonna be a walk in the park for you. Just relax, breathe and GO!” Honestly I dint believe a word of what he said, for I was thinking of almost cancelling my ticket! Yes! I panicked probably because I was travelling to a non-English speaking country for the first time ever. KK said “Just be positive, and only the good ones will come your way. Be good and you will attract only good people. But stay vigilant and be street smart”.

I finally relaxed and took it one step at a time, I remembered to count my blessings and keep looking for the good. And many Good Samaritans came my way! From my first pit stop at a transit in KL, I had encounters with amazing good hearts. Yes good people have good souls, you can sense it, it feels good – very good to be around them. I met a person from Switzerland who was in KL to see the Petronas – we soon became friends as she was also a solo traveler, we shopped and had lunch together. We had a fantastic time.

When I reached my destination I had several encounters with Good Samaritans. This travel taught me many things, one of them was that there are angels all around. Look for good and you will find it. Help comes in various unexpected ways.

One morning after breakfast i saw that a couple left the restaurant but they dropped their Subway card on their way out. I knew this was a lifeline, I handed it to them and they were grateful for the gesture and asked me what my plans were for the day and instantly tore off a bunch of sheets from their immaculately filed travel file and gave it to me. To this day I don’t know how I would have managed that day ‘without’ that info. It was so detailed and it was ‘absolutely necessary’ and the universe just filled the jigsaw puzzle for me. I was overwhelmed.

Help comes in various forms, every single day we need to remind ourselves that, ‘The Best is YET to come’.

Golden Mantra: Do unto others what you would have them do unto you!

Wok Over the Water

The delicious, authentic local cuisine one gets to relish on travels, could be THE motive to travel for a few wanderers. Guilty!!! 😉

I have heard the elders in my family say, the food tastes better if cooked with love. Another friend Parag strongly believes, the energy with which the meal is prepared could be in your favor or it could be harmful. I totally agree to this. Probably that’s why you can’t really replicate the exact taste and flavor of a dish, and it differs from person to person.

I treated myself to a meal at the Asian Wok restaurant – famously known to be over the waters. Located in the North Male Atoll – 90 mins by speed boat from the airport at Maldives. Once in a way I guess its ok to pamper yourself 🙂

The chefs are interactive, and they looked very happy in their jobs. I guess that is recipe #1 – to be happy 🙂 The vegetables looked so crispy and fresh – the meal was sumptuous. I once saw a movie in which the chef comments about the flavor in the vegetables differing from region to region. He says the taste is not the same. I guess sometimes it feels like the vegetables do have life.

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Hand picked organic vegetables at the Asian Wok – Maldives.

The Asian Wok restaurant is built over the waters, strategically located at the entrance of the Meerufenfushi island – it provides a panoromic view of the ocean, the neighbouring local island to the west, the speed boats decorating the turquoise blue ocean & a splendid view of the fancy looking yatch anchored at the harbor.

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My first glimpse of the Asian Wok 🙂

The view from the ‘walk through windows’, is the icing on the cake. You could just jump off the ledge to take a swim, check out the colorful reef, swim with the harmless black tipped baby sharks and get back to sipping your wine and enjoying a custom-made dish of your choice. The view is breathtaking and I couldn’t really capture the moment in my camera frame. This place is like walking into a dream while you are awake.

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At the window seat – ready for the dive! Dreamy!!!

A visit to this magical land, you will be overwhelmed with contentment and gratitude, for just being there.

Downtown / Uptown Conundrum

Downtown is referred to a city center, a central business district, often in a commercial sense. A geographical location where the heart of the city usually is. Downtown is widely used by American and Canadian English speakers.

The term Downtown is thought to have been coined in New York city in the early 1830’s. Back then, the only possible area of the city’s expansion was up north,the yet to develop region towards the north was called as uptown & the original town, developed, commercial heart of New York  at the southern tip of Manhattan in the south was famously known as Downtown.

A friend of mine visiting Charlotte in North Carolina told me she went to the city center – Uptown & I said “Wait a minute, isn’t it Downtown for a city center?” And then she patiently explained to me how Charlotte’s heart of the city was famously termed as Uptown.

While at Charlotte “Uptown” & “Downtown” do not refer to different areas, it refers to the city center, the commercial heart of Charlotte. During the 1980’s a massive campaign was launched to revamp and bring about a positive upbeat image and hence the term Uptown came into use. My friend who just got back from Charlotte told me that it’s also because the terrain to the city’s center is inclined, and Uptown denotes the heart of Charlotte.

These small tidbits do make a nice topic of conversation, if not for my friend I would have incorrectly assumed that all the city centers across the United States were Downtowns. Now I know what to tell the cabbie when I visit Charlotte in North Carolina 😉

Personal Note of thanks to ‘Moi Eti Jajabor​’ for the insight to this beautiful city in North Carolina, for the new dimension of thought process, for imparting this valuable yet profound tidbit about the famous Uptown!