Light or dark, the choice is yours!

One of my favorite quotes from the Harry Potter movies is when Sirius says to Harry, “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” Nobody is born a good or a bad person. Even a good person possesses qualities that could easily turn them into a Disney villain. However, it is the product of all the choices we make that defines us.

Let’s get honest, life gets difficult for a lot of people. You go through heart-breaking pain that you wouldn’t ever have imagined. Some people also have unresolved trauma that drastically changed their lives. However, it’s how you choose to react to situations that matters, what you choose for your present and future self and not just be an outcome of what life inflicted upon you in the past.

These choices aren’t always life altering ones. They can be as small and simple as how you treat people, be it treating everyone with respect versus demeaning or insulting someone, seeking revenge or letting go, being grateful for people who want to help you versus pushing them away. I recently saw Turning Red, the new Pixar movie where one of the character says – “We never lose our demons. We learn to live above them.” You don’t necessarily have to ignore your weaknesses or your imperfections, rather acknowledge them and learn to live above them.

I think one of the most important choices we make is being kind. Being kind to others as well as to yourself. When life gets tough, it’s very easy to succumb to the dark side, blame it on the circumstances, to give up on good because things aren’t working well for ya. But let me tell you my friend, life has been unfair to a whole lot of us.

I’ve known people who have been through hell and yet they are the kindest souls I’ve ever met in my life. I consider myself really lucky to have met such people. They have unknowingly been my mentors and are people I have the utmost respect for because they have taught me that you really can be happy even if life gives you every other reason to give up. It’s these brave souls I look upto and think of when going through difficult times. It is always up to us to practice and live the life we really want, despite all setbacks. So even through the coldest of storms, if you manage to keep your heart warm, you are already winning at life!

While it is a nice thing to be kind to others, but it is also important to be kind to yourself first. Don’t let this cruel and harsh world get to you. We often say that we can find light at the end of the tunnel. But what if you carry it within you. Be the light that shines through all the darkness that ever falls upon you and enlighten the paths of those who walk with you.

Choose love. Choose light.

International Women’s Day!

Throughout my life, it’s the women around me who have been my biggest influencers and inspired me in life. These strong women made me realize I don’t need to thank anyone for letting me live the life I choose to. It was and will always be my decision. 

We celebrate Women’s Day once every year, yet women are daily being subjected to all sorts of conscious and unconscious biases. The society has always been judging women for what they look like, how much they weigh, how loud they are.

We are so much more than all of these things. 

Women not only have the power to uplift themselves, but the entire world around them. We are the front-runners, the home-makers, the accomplishers and the fighters who wouldn’t stop until the world hears us roar! 

In a world where even today women are deprived of basic human rights just because of their gender, there are these brave hearts who stand up for their sisters all over the world. Here’s to the ones who are breaking stereotypes, fighting for a place at the table, the ones who wouldn’t accept an unjust world and continuously strive for a gender-neutral society.

Also cheers to all the men who believe in an equal world, respect and support us in all the ways they can.

Let’s celebrate women today, but also practice it everyday. 

Happy International Women’s day to all the amazing women out there!

Take time to heal what’s broken

I absolutely love the outdoors and even a small walk outside makes me escape the monotony of life, allowing me to get lost in the beauty of the outside world. Sometimes, the outside noise you hear when walking through the streets of a busy city seems to quieten the train of thoughts that flood your mind. When you are a person who just can’t sit idle for a long time in the confines of your home, life sure does seem difficult when you are stuck at home for a long period. Hence, being able to step out of my apartment after almost a month due to a leg injury surely felt like a huge deal!

However, it has led me to tell myself that it’s okay to let life change gears and set it on “cruise control” mode for a while. Generally, when a driver feels exhausted, they can set the car on cruise mode which controls the speed of the car and maintains a constant speed. Whatever you want to do in this life and whatever you are currently doing, gets affected if you don’t focus on your health first. Being sick takes a toll on you physically and mentally. January being the start of a new year, just like the majority of people out there, I was pumped up to begin this year with a bang. Life seemed to have other plans for me. However, I took this time to focus on healing my injured leg so that it heals faster and catching up on some tv shows I had been meaning to watch.

With one of my goals for this year being getting healthier, I haven’t been able to exercise right from the second day of this year. Life has been slower. But the only option for me was to rest and let my leg heal, so that I would be up and running soon. Jumping into the 2nd month of this year (not literally :P), all I can say is, if any of you are having a rough start like me, we still have the rest of the year to hustle. Whatever you’re going through, it’s okay to take some time off to heal from it. I am not just talking physical injuries, but mental trauma too. Our mind and body need time to process the curveballs life throws at us. Get some rest, relax for a while, get back on your feet and chase your goals with all you’ve got.

New year, Better me

I am one of those people who rarely go out to celebrate New Year’s eve. Most of my life, I’ve fallen asleep even before the clock struck midnight. But after entering the somewhat grown up phase of life, I began to see it is for what it is – a reason to celebrate the start of something new. It is also a great way to assess what you did last year, look for growth opportunities, let go of the bad habits or cutback on them and have a rough draft of how you want the upcoming year to look like. The beginning of a new year gives you an opportunity to have something to look forward to for the rest of the year. Well, I may be late to the party, but here I am!

Ditching the new year clichés like ‘New year, new me’, I now look forward to ‘New year, better me’. This entails that with the start of a new year, I don’t need to change into a completely different version of myself. A lot of us don’t really want to turn into a whole different person. I would rather do things that would turn me into a better version of myself and even if you like where you are at right now, there’s always an opportunity to learn, to grow.

Previously, a new year meant creating multiple resolutions that I generally lost track of in the first two weeks itself. Most of the times, I didn’t even bother to get back to them fearing it was already too late to begin. As I had mentioned in one of my previous posts, this blog itself had lost track because I had failed to follow-through on my yearly resolutions to write more. However, a few years later, I realized that all I needed was a start. Even if it wasn’t on the first day of the year, what mattered was to write, to finish an article and post it. Once I got into the rhythm of it, the next step was consistency.

Even today, procrastination gets the better of me on a lot of days. But let me tell you a secret, sometimes, all that matters is showing up. Build little by little. Because at the end of the day, even a small step means you’re improving, going ahead rather than being stagnant. I still dream of posting at least one blog every day. Even though I haven’t gotten there, I have also realized it’s okay to take small breaks or even long ones. What matters is, not letting go of the things that you really want in life. Which is why, here I am again, hoping to write more this year!

Here’s to looking forward to a healthier (COVID-free), happier (inside-out) and flourishing year ahead!

The journey of becoming a writer

Exactly a year ago, I started writing and updating my blog regularly on WordPress and Instagram (I created ‘The Shooting Star Blog’ in 2015 as a hobby). Being stuck at home due to covid-related lockdowns, I had finally found the time and determination needed to write consistently. And here I am, a year later, holding a book that has one of my pieces in PRINT!!

From writing poems on the back side of my question papers in school to finding one of my poems being printed in a physical book (e-book as well!), it’s been quite an amazing journey. Also, my favorite part of it all is that one of my poems I had written celebrating Women’s Day is being published.

This also reinstates my faith in the Universe and makes me believe that if you pour your heart into something you really care about and put in your honest efforts, things do tend to work out. Generally, for the best.💫

P.S: It’s available for purchase using the following link:
https://www.amazon.in/dp/9391228410/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_api_glc_fabc_JSZ4505HQ5HEXATWPST1

Life change ahead

Here I am, already crunching my knuckles, ready to step back into the world of blogging! Have been meaning to do so since a month, but procrastination got the better of me. After a 4-month break, I feel ready to get back to writing and this post is more of a life update for all of my amazing readers.

Moving across continents is a major life change. Especially when you’re moving from your home-away-from-home (New York, USA) to your real home (Mumbai, India). At the start, I was really annoyed about not being able to write due to this big change. But the whole process of moving has been overwhelming and I decided it was a good thing to take a break before starting anything since I was finally back home for good. I realized how important it is to acknowledge and dedicate time for things that you hadn’t originally set in your schedule. This whole move was one such priority.

I must admit, nothing beats the joy of being home and seeing your family after a long gap (due to covid-related travel restrictions). And trust me, sometimes it’s really worth taking a break to adjust to your new life and just enjoy where you are. Do everything that you feel is necessary for a smooth process. Even if it means putting things on hold for a while. Speaking of which, now that I am all settled in, cannot wait to jump back on this writing journey!

Hope you all are doing great! I really missed this space!

World Environment Day

It took me a moment to realize this pretty structure was made from trash collected from Jacksonville beach itself. They had put up an entire display of art made from all sorts of ocean trash. Nature has its own way of saying what goes around, comes around. The trash we throw – the small empty bag of chips, use-and-throw glasses, plastic bags, our small actions today contribute to what our future would look like and if we want it to be pretty, we need to be mindful of our own actions. The need for change that we all talk about, starts with us. 🌿

Happy World Environment Day! 🌎 🪴

Jacksonville beach, Florida

Life of a dreamer

A friend of mine sent me a slam book entry I had written in her book which read, “Life goal: To become a computer engineer”. I had written down this goal probably when I was in the 5th grade. Back then, computers were the new thing and I was fascinated by them. The only related job I knew back then was becoming a computer engineer. My friend also pointed out, how that dream of mine eventually did come true!

Pondering over it made me realize I did manage to achieve my dream without even acknowledging it. I have been a huge nerd my whole life. Though there was a moment in my life, where I stopped running behind grades (the nerd in me still exists!). Today, it reminds me about the amount of efforts I used to put in, the sleepless nights, the influx on information, the drive to study as much as I can to get my degree. I slogged really hard and seeing your hard work being reflected on report cards gave me a great feeling back then.

It also made me realize that with the same attitude, if I really put in all my honest work into achieving my other dreams, I can achieve them as well. Because I am that hard working kid. I had the headstrong determination and drive to become a computer engineer. Now, that same kid has different goals, but the sheer thrill of going after my goals still excites me. Life doesn’t need to be limited by a single dream. This was a beautiful reminder that when you start manifesting your dreams and do all the groundwork, even though it may take some time or even longer, but one day, you will get there. Keep going!

Museum Day

Happy International Museum Day! 🦕

The best part about museums is the unsaid stories that you try to uncover, dreaming about a world that existed thousands of years ago or sometimes trying to understand an artist’s thought procedure, wondering what really inspired them to go out there and create those beautiful pieces of art.

Looking back at this picture taken at the American Museum of Natural History, it reminds me of how we have evolved and mainly, adapted. We, ourselves, are a striking reminder that humans have made it through so many difficulties and changes over time. And even though this pandemic has upturned this world, we, this resilient species, will make it through again. ✨

PS: Finally getting back to writing after a short break. The covid crisis in India has been heartbreaking and overwhelming. Trying to slowly get back in the groove. Hope everyone out there is doing well! Thanks for reading. 🙂

A blooming garden

Today, you may think you’re all alone, my friend
The storm that has hit you, has shattered the windows of millions of other houses
But they say, when you look directly at the eye of the storm
Gather all your grit and strength that you would need to endure it
Holding hands of your loved ones, singing sweet lullabies
And hold your ground, staying in one place until the storm wears off

There will be a day when the grey clouds of fear will disappear
When the chaos and uncertainty will all end
And the rays of sunshine will bring along great joy
That day, don’t forget the day you looked at the eye of the storm
And think about the amount of bravery it took for you to withstand it all
For soon, there will be a blooming garden for you to walk
Just wait a little longer, my friend, together we will brave the storm. 🌸

PS: Dedicated to everyone fighting the covid crisis back in India. We are in this together. Stay home and mask up if outside! 😷❤️