A Broken Friendship

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I write words I cannot say,

I feel emotions I cannot portray,

There’s a sadness by the end of day,

A karmic price I’ve got to pay.


A better friend I could’ve been,

A few more thoughts I should’ve given,

But at life I could never win,

For I never loved myself from within.

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Something was always missing,

Something was always off. 

You weren’t always the friend that I needed,

I too wasn’t better than subpar.


It sucks that things ended this way,

They shouldn’t have gone so far.

I’m sorry that I fucked it up so bad,

Only regrets for this time apart.

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A Cursed Desire

You want it so badly, you chase it. 

You pray for it. You think about it 24×7. 

You decide on what you’d do if you got it. 

But in your head you know you won’t get it,

and you’ve already made your peace with it. 

And yet, deep down a voice inside tells you to not lose hope.


And then you get it. 

Impossible. Unfuckingbelievable. 

That did not just happen. But it did.

It takes you a few minutes, maybe hours,

to realise you actually got it. 

Maybe it was good karma showing up or you just got lucky. 

Maybe it was fate, maybe it was meant to be.


You love it. You cherish it.

You hold it as close to you as you possibly can.

It’s your possession, your desire personified. 

You don’t want to share it with the world.

But fate has something else planned for you.

It is taken from you, your prized possession.

You’re in denial. Crying. Hoping for it to come back.

But it won’t. It wasn’t meant to be.


You slowly let go. Learn to live without it.

You move on. The sun is shining again.

But you see a pretty butterfly fly by.

As beautiful as your prized possession.

You slip. You’re hurt. But you get up.

Dust yourself. Start moving on again.

Maybe this is how it was supposed to be.

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The Wish

This year for my new year wish I ask,

A little more luck and a little something from the past.

I want that girl who sat at my side when I drove,

I want the girl whose laugh made my day whole.

 

Every one of those exchanged smiles from across the room,

I want those moments back that got our friendship to bloom.

Its still just as effortless to remember those days,

Brings the widest smile to my face your peculiar ways.

 

I’m always going to be here cheering you on,

I promise to be by your side from dusk till dawn.

I’m always going to be in your corner for every fight,

Remind you of your Herculean might.

 

So here I am asking you to grant me this wish,

Turn this friendship into a uniquely assembled dish.

For I loved those fifteen days and I hope to live them again,

For you’re the one I miss each time it starts to rain.

On Joy and Sorrow By Kahlil Gibran

Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
     And he answered:
     Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
     And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
     And how else can it be?
     The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
     Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
     And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
     When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
     When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
    
     Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
     But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
     Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

     Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
     Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
     When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Source : https://poets.org/poem/joy-and-sorrow
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Joy And Sorrow – Two Sides of The Same Coin

I was just trying to connect the dots between Joy And Sorrow the other day, after I realised that the person who brought me the most happiness was also the source of some of my misery. To summarise, their presence brought me a world of joy and their immediate absence led to me missing them immensely and their absence over an extended period troubled me and sparked my insecurity.

Upon researching while trying to find a link between the two, I came across a beautiful poem by Kahlil Gibran that talked about how Joy and Sorrow are inseparable and connected at it’s source. If you haven’t read his words yet, check them out here! They’re just beautiful words that everyone should read once.

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
     Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
     And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
     When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

Here’s all that I’ve understood, of why joy and sorrow go hand in hand.

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Just the way a dark night is followed by a bright sunny morning, in life happiness is followed by sorrow. Once you feel happiness at any point in your life, you wish to be in that situation forever but that is not how things work. Every positive is followed by a negative and every negative is followed by a positive and that is how you know the worth of happiness and the reason to grab it more often. When you know the feeling of happiness and suddenly get into a situation of a slight sorrow, you question fate about why it is happening to you inspite of the situation being as normal as any other situation.

Nothing in this world is constant. What might seem like happiness to you today might seem to be the source of your sorrow at some other point in your life. Nothing is constant and everything is relative. Hence, it is all in your perspective. That is precisely why it is important to practice gratitude, so as to make these moments count. Here’s a few metaphors to explain my point :

Life is a Blend of Thorns and Roses

Our life is a mix of opposites and contrasts. It is a combination of such opposing entities as happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain and enjoyment and stress. No human being can always be happy and nobody can be sad all the time. We as human beings feel dejected whenever something wrong happens with us and we do feel happy when something good happens to us.

Rose is an embodiment of love, passion and beauty. Its fragrance touches our heart and its soft petals soothe our emotions. But whenever we try to hold it, it hurts us with its prickling thorns. It signifies that whenever we want to achieve something big in life, something which gives us happiness and comfort, we have to go through lots of hardships or we have to face bad experiences of life.

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Disappointments Lead to Accomplishment

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Those who get all the pleasures and luxuries of life without struggling remain weak emotionally and naturally, weakness leads to failure. What happens when you get everything in life just by putting a finger on it? You won’t realise the importance of struggle and hard work as if life is all cakes and ale. The crux of the matter is that it is the fusion of pleasure and pain which makes one’s life successful.

A kid who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth gets all the amenities and delicacies in life. He gets expensive toys and breaks them within a couple of days. He doesn’t even feel guilty because he knows that he will get a replacement soon. Gradually he becomes impatient and throws tantrums when things don’t go his way.

On the other hand, a poor boy whose family can’t even make ends meet tends to show a totally different behaviour. Because life is nothing but an endless strugglefor him, he enjoys the little bit of food that can fill his belly. Moreover, if by chance he gets some broken toy lying on the street or in a pile of garbage, he picks it and keeps it with a great care.

This just shows us how we value things and think about things differently.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

It is an apt saying that fortune favours the brave. Brave people are not affected by the misfortune striking them adversely. They regard disappointments and frustrations of life as stepping stones to success. Nobody is born great. Those who defeat their adversities are bound to be successful. If you have everything going wrong in your life, take your time and strike back with even more enthusiasm and vigour. Stay calm! Be focused! Ups and downs of life make life worth-living and meaningful.

Life and Death

Life and death work together. There is no second that belongs entirely to life or entirely to death. The first second of life is also the first second of death. Death can take place even in the first second. Creation and destruction go hand in hand. One cannot find even one man who has been only praised, never condemned, or always condemned and never praised. Both go together.

Thus, the balance of the universe is always maintained.

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A Special Lady

I’ll tell you something you already know,

I really like you and that’s up for show.

You’re so incredible and a sight for sore eyes,

Your brain a whacky combo of wicked and wise.

We started off decently well if you ask me,

Until those unfortunate times came by.

But you kept faith in me and always stuck around,

Took me a while but a keeper in you I found.

I reflect on our times quite seldom,

Especially the dumb letter that I penned. 

You’re unlike anything my eyes perceived,

And those fences I’m trying to mend.

It’s not easy to make a list of the things I like about you,

Especially since I tried but ran out of ink.

I wish you could see yourself the way I see you,

The thought of you makes my cheeks go pink.

You’re a worldly woman who doesn’t understand her might,

A person with an aura alike the sun so bright.

Your laugh is so natural that it just brightens my day,

It is what I look forward to like the weekend on a Monday.

There are so many things I want to do,

So many emotions to express. 

Hug you and kiss you and hold you tight,

And in my hoodies I want you to dress.

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The New Year

Another year is coming to a close,

It is time to forget all your troubles and woes.

For me this year was tough, full of ups and downs,

It brought many emotions, tears and many frowns.


Now another year is approaching fast,

Let’s hope it’s a New Year with love and health,

With a little failure and success that lasts,

Let’s hope we enjoy it with a blast.


May all of your dreams come true,

And you find peace and love in all that you do.

May we all hear the sound of joy,

And push away all that hurts that destroy.


The New Year I hope will be good to us all,

Caring and calming and granting  a helping hand each time we fall.

Listen more, slow down, and say I love you,

Stop for a moment; take a breath, enjoy the view.


Appreciate your people and tell them you care,

Do something exciting, like a thrill or a dare.

Enjoy all that the New Year has to give,

We have but one life, so let’s learn to live.


It’s a New Year, a brand new start,

Always remember, live and love from your heart.

Wishing each and every one a year to behold,

And may it be full of wonders for you to unfold.


Lots of love, hugs, and kisses too,

A very happy New Year from me to you.

-The Travellothoner

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13 Things I Learnt During COVID19 Lockdown

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1. Being a homemaker is tough and under appreciated

I’ve seen it everywhere around me, that homemakers don’t get close to as much appreciation as he/she should. That we as fellow family members should be more thankful and vocal about our gratitude towards them, but we simply fail to do so.

During the last 6 weeks, while the entire country was in lockdown and all sorts of services were put on a halt, one service that affected every other household in India was the unavailability of househelp, maids, etc.

These are the people who did all of the most basic chores of our household like cleaning, washing, etc. While everyone in my house shared these chores amongst ourselves, I realised how much work my mother put in despite all the help she got. It was only when I started helping her in her chores that I realised how exhausting it was.

I always knew a homemaker’s job was thankless, but I had no idea it was that difficult as well. We’ve got to do better than just be appreciative.

2. Cooking is the easy part

Let’s face it. Dicing vegetables and cooking with precise ingredients and recipes isn’t easy. However, if there is anything more taxing than cooking good food and enjoying it, it is to go back to your sink and clean your mess on a full stomach when you’re feeling the laziest you could ever feel during the day.

3. Thank god for modern technology and appliances

We simply don’t talk about these enough cause they’ve become such an organic part of our daily livelihood. The washing machines, steam irons, every kitchen appliance that exists, a hoover and even something as basic as a spinning mop. Imagine spending an hour to wash clothes by hand, requiring all the upper body strength that it does and then moving on to do all the other chores in the house.

Now I am privileged to the point where my family owns a dishwasher too, amongst all these appliances and I have to admit it, I am so thankful. Doing the dishes was a part of my chores and 4 days in, I already had my skin peeling off and other cuts.

A little ironic isn’t it?

These hands can lift a 100 kilos easily, but 4 days of doing dishes and its blister season!

4. Privileges of a big home

I as a member of this family, am extremely privileged to live in a home that is big enough to have a separate room for all the people living under it. We can easily walk into our rooms when we need our own space and enjoy each other’s company during other hours.

It was only after listening to a few other people and discussing this at length with my folks did it dawn on me that the average size of a house in India is 494 sq-ft. while it is close to 125 sq-ft in a slum area and these homes house an equivalent number or more members than living in my home. These people have nowhere to go except out of their houses which is impossible during this period.

5. You don’t need a gym to workout

I have always been a strong advocate of bodyweight exercises. They are more than sufficient for a person to get fitter and healthier and help avoid a great deal of risk and injury. You can find a list of benefits of a body weight workout on this page : Benefits of a body-weight workout .

More so, they don’t require you to spend any money on buying any sort of equipment or later finding space to store those equipments. They may not be enough if you want to beef up or become a professional body builder, but otherwise they’re as good as it gets. Calisthenics is a serious form of fitness that focuses simply on body weight workouts and is followed by thousands of individuals.

A simple and very effective body weight routine can be found here : Full Body Workout At Home – No Equipment .

6. Chores are a workout in itself

In its traditional form, sweeping and traditional forms of mopping or swabbing require a lot of physical effort and work almost every major muscle in your body. Take modern machines away and washing clothes by hand is also a great test of your shoulders and arm strength and overall a good test of your cardiovascular health.

Take something like a lift away and carrying your groceries to your home over a flight of stairs could be more taxing than you could’ve ever imagined.

7. Efficiency

With the unavailability of maids and other househelp, as well as the onus of working from home, it became increasingly important for us to plan our day. With the few hours I’d need for work, I also needed a few hours to carry out my share of chores and additionally, I’d decided to atleast spend an hour for my health. This made it very important for me to plan my day and be efficient, so as to not defer my tasks or be unproductive.

I could not have imagined I’d get lessons on efficiency within the 4 walls of my own home.

8. Decision making and planning

With the lockdown procedures in place as well as some other additional lockdown procedures in our apartment building, we only had 2 out of 7 days (Monday and Tuesday) to step out and get groceries or get done with other tasks. We couldn’t step out otherwise and neither did we wish to unless there were some extraordinary circumstances. Social distancing and safety will always be a bigger priority.

Hence it became imperative for us to list all the groceries and essentials that we’d need and plan our grocery runs accordingly and make a list of all of our tasks, so as to not get stuck or seek special permissions to get our tasks done.

9. What’s your excuse now?

I have always wanted to learn new skills, read more books, rehearse my guitar lessons, etc etc. For the longest time, I told myself it’s very difficult and I am not able to do it because I have a very busy schedule and work kept me occupied; that I was too tired after work to workout and too mentally exhausted to read something new.

What I’ve realized now is that work was just an excuse for me to get out of these things. I haven’t read for more than an hour a day during a time when I am sitting on a chair 12 hours a day, when I have nothing better to do than watch some television and do some chores. I could’ve also taken up online lessons, but I never got around to doing it either.

The lesson I learnt is, if I really wanted to do those things, I would’ve found a way to do them anyway. Maybe not dedicate a lot of time to it, but begin somewhere. This lockdown has given me a big reality check and has been a real eye opener.

10. Learning is Ageless

To be fair, it’s not just little children who pick up new hobbies and stumble onto previously undiscovered skills. Single, married, kids, no kids, whatever your age … learning is for all. Now, more than ever, we have time to watch webinars and pursue online classes, and take up fitness challenges or journaling.

My father has been the closest example of this. He’s now taking cooking lessons from my mother while also going through recipes online to mix things up and add some spice to a boring day.

11. Money matters and Financial Literacy

In these torrid times when there’s a global economic slowdown, huge conglomerates are filing for bankruptcy leading to job cuts going all around, it is very important that each person understands the importance of financial literacy, which means personal finance as well as family finances.

Calculating inflows and making subsequent budgets are the need of the hour. The importance of financial discipline can be highlighted now more than ever.

12. Relationships take more than love and communication is very important

COVID19 has forced almost the entire planet to be in quarantine for extended periods at some point or the other. Countries like Italy, Spain, India, etc. announced a mandatory complete lockdown for 6 weeks or longer to ensure safety of it’s citizens. In these circumstances, every relationship is practically thrown into being long-distance because you simply cannot see your partner for atleast this period if not more.

It is during this period that you begin to realize the little holes in your relationships. Things that got mitigated and overlooked during those coffee meets and movie dates and intimate moments.

13. Community sharing is the need of the hour

Be it sharing of knowledge, financial help or other intangibles; it is our duty as humans and participants of a community to help others who are not as fortunate and struggling in their fight for survival. Humanity right now demands nothing more than selflessness and empathy from us. Every person amongst us should find a way to contribute in whatever little way we can. That is the only way forward.

-The Travellothoner

Afraid

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I’m not afraid of other people doubting me,

I’m afraid of doubting myself.


I’m not afraid of other people disliking me,

I’m afraid of disliking myself.


I’m not afraid of other people calling me ugly,

I’m afraid of feeling ugly.


I’m not afraid of anyone else,

but I’m only afraid of my myself.

-By Kohmal khanna 💌

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Life’s Amazing Secrets by Gaur Gopal Das

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Summary

While navigating their way through Mumbai’s horrendous traffic, Gaur Gopal Das and his wealthy young friend Harry get talking, delving into concepts ranging from the human condition to finding one’s purpose in life and the key to lasting happiness.

Whether you are looking at strengthening your relationships, discovering your true potential, understanding how to do well at work or even how you can give back to the world, Gaur Gopal Das takes us on an unforgettable journey with his precious insights on these areas of life.

Dasji is one of the most popular and sought-after monks and life coaches in the world, having shared his wisdom with millions. His debut book, Life’s Amazing Secrets, distills his experiences and lessons about life into a light-hearted, thought-provoking book that will help you align yourself with the life you want to live.

Review

One of the first things I have concluded since reading this book is that Gaur Gopal Das is a very learned man with decades of wisdom, to be able to share his knowledge in such an easy and relatable way. It is quite clear that he chooses his words wisely and is not impatient or judgemental. In some ways, he seems like a therapist or a very wise confidant every person needs, except he is a life coach who has chosen the monk way of living.

It begins with Gaur Gopal Das having a conversation with his troubled friend and explaining to him further how every life is like a car that needs to be balanced on four wheels. These 4 wheels are as follows:

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  • Wheel 1 : Personal Life
  • Wheel 2 : Relationships
  • Wheel 3 : Work Life
  • Wheel 4 : Social Contributions

He then goes on to explain each of these wheels with very simple and extremely relatable examples. GGD seems like nothing but a very simple close friend who’s mastered the art of living life happily. He imparts knowledge and messages through the simplest of experiences in life and at no point do you feel the messages get preachy or unrealistic.

Quite honestly, a lot of what is being said is something you’ve heard at some point in your life but just not put together so sophisticatedly and in this context. Every chapter starts with a beautiful quote by legendary people and ends with a summary of the chapter.

The book imparts knowledge through a network of tiny stories or experiences and connects them through a simple central story, which is nothing more than an earnest conversation between two people. It is like a movie which has many tiny independent subplots which are slowly stitched together into the main plot.

It is so simple in the way it conveys it’s message and yet so refreshing. It is neither a heavy read, nor a lengthy one. It’ll take 5-6 hours to finish this book and yet, come out of it fresh and enlightened. 

A part of me simply wants to summarise this book, like how we make notes, so that it’s easier for people to read. But apart from copyright infringement and it being ethically wrong, I think I would never be able to capture it’s essence and just make it as significant (not really) as some educatory notes. I’d definitely recommend this book to every person I know!

Some quotes that resonated with me :

“When we treat inanimate objects, like buckets or our possessions, with disrespect or insensitivity, we will end up treating people the same. At one point in my life, I seemed to be losing a lot of my friends and I heard this advice from one of my guides. Insensitivity becomes part of our general attitude, and our instinct does not discriminate between things and people.”

“‘Watch your thoughts, they turn into words. Watch your words, they turn into actions. Watch your actions, they turn into habits. Watch your habits, they turn into character. Watch your character, it turns into your destiny.’ It all begins with a thought.”

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What Song Would You Want To Be Remembered By?

Story Time!

I met this girl a couple of years ago at a friends party and we hit it off instantly. We had similar interests and were both big Potterheads. We exchanged numbers and texted for a while and when things went well, we decided to go out for dinner and get to know each other in person. 

It was a nice dinner. We talked about a world of things and one of the topics amongst it was Music. Our choices, likes and dislikes, artists/bands we completely geeked out on, etc. 

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Turns out, she was a huge (and I mean HUGE) fan of Queen (The Band) and almost walked away halfway through dinner when I told her I did not know about them (THE BLASPHEMY!! – I know). In my defence, I’d heard of Bohemian Rhapsody and Freddie Mercury (because they’re icons and I don’t live under a rock), but I never knew about the band or some of it’s other music. 

Luckily, Bohemian Rhapsody (The Movie) had released a couple of weeks back and she decided that we had to go see it. I was enjoying the company too much and had faith in her choices by now to oblige. We left our dinner halfway and ran to grab the last show of the day.

Let me tell you this, that was one of the most amazing movies I saw that year and somewhat changed my life forever. I mean, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury was so brilliant and THE MUSIC!!!!!

On my way back home, I downloaded the entire album from the movie and heard Bohemian Rhapsody atleast 10 times before going to bed. I have been a big big fan of Queen since. 

Here’s the interesting part. Although things with that person did not go too far, she brought something so awesomely intangible, that it is going to stay with me forever. 

She is always going to be the person who introduced me to Queen and every time I listen to Bohemian Rhapsody or any other Queen song (but who am I kidding, nothing beats Bohemian Rhapsody), I am reminded of her. 

Honestly, this is one of the nicest ways to remember someone if you ask me. I’d be pretty happy if someone were to remember me when they heard such a legendary song. Which is why I ask you?

“What song would you want to be remembered by?”

Ps. Here’s a link to Bohemian Rhapsody, for all those who want to listen to it since I’ve mentioned it numerous times now!

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It Is All Over

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It is all over today, 

The bond that existed my entire childhood. 

A thousand memories that meant so much to me,

All of which are down to dust.


I’ve hated you for a while but I knew you always cared,

I’m indifferent about your existence now after the things you said.

You can never take those words back and I’ll carry them with me forever,

We’ve reached a point where I don’t think this relationship will mend ever.


Thank you for everything that you’ve done for me,

For all the times that you cared.

I’m not going to be a burden anymore,

Soon I’m going to be out of your hair.


I wish I were drunk cause it was hard to hear those words while being sober,

But don’t worry, moving forward we’re totally over. 

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