Take a moment..

Take a moment from your walk back home
And walk into that cozy café that you see everyday
For once, just grab an empty table there
The one where you see groups of friends laughing
And the couples that sit on one of the corner tables
Where the fairy lights brighten up a dark winter evening
And the decor still reminds you of the holidays
Where a cup of cappuccino comes with a heart made out of cream
Don’t forget to smile at the small gesture
Instead of grabbing your phone, grab a nearby book or get one of your own
Or simply look around and see the world around you
The world that doesn’t just exist in your head
But is living and thriving with warmth and love
So instead of pouring out all your thoughts today
Ask the lovely waitress to pour you another cup of coffee
The one that comes with a heart
And take a moment to lean back and just live! ✨

– Ashwini

P.S: This picture was taken at one of my favorite cafes in Brooklyn, New York called Pasticceria Rocco. Have been a regular customer since last 5 years and I simply love this place!

Internal and external freedom

Few years ago, I saw the Broadway show, Aladdin, in New York City. It really is one of my favorite Broadway shows and it does leave you spellbound. There was a scene in this show, where Aladdin asks the Genie that what would he want if the Genie was granted a wish. To which, the Genie replies, “I want freedom”. “Not the riches of a palace or exotic food, just my freedom.” He could’ve asked for any lavish thing in the world or any crazy imaginable thing for that matter. But, all he wanted was his freedom! Freedom from being enclosed in a metal lamp and being answerable to no one.

This tells us how freedom varies from person to person. For some, it’s being able to live lavishly and not having to worry about spending a single penny, whereas for some, it’s about not depending on material things for their happiness. For some, these palace walls are everything that they could dream of, the riches of this world at your feet, not ever having to worry about what to eat and where to get the money for buying food and yet, for some, these same walls are merely pillars which they want to climb out of. Because being able to afford such luxuries also means guarding yourself from the evil world.

When they’re looking out of this window, maybe someone wishes to live in a place like this, amidst these high walls. And there are some, who peek through the window and adore the view, awestruck at how beautiful the city looks, wanting to explore its small lanes and tiny shops. And yet, these same high walls which guard them from intruders could also feel like a cage sometimes.

We all here, seek freedom from a place and some seek freedom from their thoughts. Our mind has this amazing capability to store even the minutest of details. Once we start overthinking, it boggles our minds and causes so much chaos that it feels like it is going to explode. We search and search, for an escape, running through the long passages of memories we shared and passing through the garden of secrets. Sometimes, all you have to do is climb out of that window and take a walk, let peace find you in the most unexpected places. Let the beauty of this world and its people make you find the magic you’re looking for.

Most importantly, believe in the magic that resides within you. Be your own Genie and fulfill your wish. ✨

A color for the sky!

Let’s choose a color with which you would want to paint the sky
How about the yellow that brings with it all the warmth and cheer?
The scorching orange ignites a fire, allowing to embrace my fierceness just how it spreads throughout the sky
Yet, the soft pink hues make you forget about everything and simply look up at the cotton candy world
The grey sometimes matches with the gloomy clouds of doubt, that later subside to make way for sunshine
And the dark black sky with its shining stars and the moon, reminds me of the universe where in we reside
I love how the blue sky brings out the different shades of the deep blue sea, almost feels like a cosmic love affair
So, how about we choose a sky that unfolds its own magic and we just sit and stare?

Postcard

I sometimes wish I could send you postcards from all the places I had never been to before and yet I felt like I have always belonged.

I wish I could write you long paragraphs describing my journey and sometimes, I could just write a single line that would sum it all up.

I could write to you about all the strangers who helped me find my way home every time I got lost and the ones from whom you should stay away.

I wish I could write to you about all the feelings that engrossed my mind
and the moments when I felt nothing yet everything seemed alright.

Most of all, I wish I could tell you that there exist places beyond your imagination, just waiting for your arrival. ✨

New Year, Upgraded Me.

The start of a new year acts as a cue to hit the reset button in our lives. We see this as an opportunity to reassess our lives and find things we would want to get done in the upcoming year. However, rather than the cliched “New Year, New Me”, I’m more of a “New Year, Upgraded Me” kind of a person. I feel that you don’t need to uproot your whole life right away in the name of change. But what we can do, is choose to focus on things we’ve been wanting to achieve since so long and tackle it one day at a time.

Also, I believe it’s important for these “resolutions” we set to be realistic as well. I remember when I used to try to quantify these resolutions just to feel like I’m achieving something. And a week later into the new year, I used to forget about them because they felt far-fetched. However, I feel it’s more helpful if you choose a niche you really wanna improve at and give it your honest try. Change takes time. For example, instead of directly trying to cut out sugar from your diet, why not focus on being healthy first? Find a diet plan that’s going to help you stay fit and gradually decrease your sugar consumption .

This blog, too, was a part of my last year’s goals. And well, here I am! Finally after years of convincing myself that I need to start writing again rather than just talking about it, I finally did find the strength to do it. During previous years, I had set a goal of writing one blog post a day and I failed in doing so. So instead, now I chose to focus on getting into the habit of writing first. I can now choose the frequency of my posts because I can anticipate the amount of time and efforts it takes to finish up everything.

So, whatever you are working on or want to, keep going. You don’t have to take the giant leap of faith every time. Sometimes, even one baby step towards your goal is all you need to get going. It’s only the first month of this year. So, even if everything is not going according to your plans, you still have the rest of the year ahead of you. Don’t give up now thinking it’s already the end of January, rather, focus on utilizing the remainder of your time. Trust me, it’s never too late to start something. Just go for it!

Being okay.

Throughout life, we often tend to train our mind into being okay. It is a good thing you know, but only when there are no options left. But when you do have options and you still choose to give up on things you’ve strived for and loved for so long, would you really be okay? Did you really work your ass off all this while to give up when it counts the most? To leave the person, who till date meant the world to you? To give up on your lifelong dreams just because the timing isn’t right? Do you really wanna be that person who’ll just be okay with what comes next?

And yes, you can be okay with a lot of things and still live a happy life. But that moment when you’ll be breathing your last, your brain will be scanning through your memories before it goes blank and it’ll stop at the things you gave up on which meant everything to you. And most probably you’ll carry that guilt even after the end. Wishing then that what could’ve been only if you wouldn’t have given up when you had the time. You will find the strength to live, we all do, but do you have the courage to go after what you want?

We’ve got this one and only life. And if you don’t go all out for what you want, there’s a chance you’ll be stuck in the rut of a mediocre life that you chose to settle for. It won’t be so bad after all you know. But that’s what, that’s how it’ll be, not bad, okayish, liveable. Instead, why not make it an incredible, large, living-the-dream kinda life? ✨

How far would you go?

How far would you go?
For those dreams that keep you awake at night
And the ones that enlighten your soul during the day

Tell me, what would you do?
When you see your dreams lying right ahead of you, waiting for you to claim them
Would you simply walk or run towards them with all you’ve got?
Or would you turn your back and walk away in the abyss?

You spent all these years weaving the tapestry of your dreams that has comforted you when no one else did
You carried them in your heart, which glowed with pride all this while
Would you just cast them away as dead weight
Or would you travel through space and time just to make them come true?

You could walk away at the first sight of failure and join the herd as they say,
But your real strength lies in how far you’re willing to go because your dreams are what separate you from rest of the world

So, tell me now, how far would you really go?✨

PS: Hope everyone’s having a great start to the year. Even if you’re not, stay put and believe that better things are coming your way soon! It all does work out, sooner or later, but it does. ❤

This picture was taken while flying off from snowy New York to sunny Florida in Dec, 2020!

Chasing sunsets.

We were literally chasing after this sunset during our drive through the Florida Keys. Our phones showed that the sunset was in 10 minutes and so we started running towards the point where we could see the sun going down. Later, I just sat on one of the stones nearby watching the beauty unfold. I couldn’t help but think about the magic of this universe and how it just naturally paints the whole sky with all these vivid colors. I purposely chose not to add any filters to this picture because the twilight sky did a pretty good job here!

With the start of a new year, I hope you all too, chase after real happiness, run towards things that brighten up your life and run away from those that suck the light out of you. I hope you find work that motivates you and takes you one step further towards your life’s purpose. And most importantly, I hope you’re surrounded by people who bring out the best colors in you and genuinely make a conscious effort to be a part of your life. Choose people who choose you and hug them a little harder next time!

This past year was really a roller-coaster ride of events and emotions. But, it also helped me to re-evaluate things I never really had time to ponder over. Mostly importantly, it has taught me that happiness is a choice. So when things go awry, if we begin to focus on the positive things in life and let go of all the things beyond our control, life does seem simple and less complicated. And whatever you’re chasing towards, don’t forget to cherish the little joys of life! 💫


PS: I’m finally back to blogging after a two-week break in Florida. This picture was taken at the Bahia Honda Key in Florida Keys. I already miss the Southern warmth in this New York cold. Looking forward to creating and writing more this year. ✨
Happy New Year folks! 🎈

We all have history, darling!

Someone said this to me a few days ago and I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it. Isn’t that true, though? You, me, all of us. We all have been through different things in our life. And that lady didn’t refer to it as some sort of a bad experience. What she meant was, we all have had brief or enduring chapters in our lives which have had a significant impact in our lives. This history that you’ve had has probably led you to become the person you are today.

Remember, how you used to sit for history lectures and listen to your Professor talk about these astounding people who fought battles, who created change, even led revolutions, fought for independence? And we learnt about these men and women because they were brave enough to do something significant that it lives on even after they’re gone. We, too, are modern day heroes writing our own chapters. Some have to fight battles with outsiders who come to rob the love that resides in our hearts, while some have to fight their own vicious mind and achieve control over it.

The scars that these battles leave, might hurt you out of the blue. A sting that hurts you so bad, you lay writhing in pain. But let these very scars remind you, that you fought the battles that have brought you here, you showed up on the battlefield! And though you might have lost some battles, don’t forget what they taught you. You always learn from your failures. And darling, you don’t have to carve out tombstones for the love that died or the people that left or your failures. You don’t need to build a memorial park where once stood a fierce warrior who fought back. But rather build an empire, that thrives with people, who uplift you and who would fight these battles with you. Build an army that would be ready to fight for you, roaring with the battle cries of hope and wearing shields of love as armor.

We are all modern-day warriors. Today, we fight. We fight against injustice, inequality, patriarchy. We fight for the things that our hearts want and we stand our guard against people who try to break down the walls of our mental peace. We are the unsung heroes, that fight bravely everyday. Because if you are going to create history, why not make it a glorious one! A history which doesn’t end up in ruins, but an empire that still stands mightily after fighting hundreds of battles. And one fine day when you will look back, you will think about the braveheart that fought through it all.

PS: This picture was taken at Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Gujarat, India in Dec 2019.

Let go a little.

Start with your vulnerability, you don’t have to hold it all in.
You can let go a little, vulnerability is really not a sin.

Moving on to your anxiety, why do I have so many troubles you say;
Let go a little, you don’t have to worry about everything that doesn’t happen your way.

The things and people that bring you bouts of sadness, let them go a little;
Make some room for happiness, you don’t always have to settle.

The fear that’s eating you alive, it’s just in your head;
Let go a little more and you’ll know life is really not that bad. ✨

Epilogue: We are often afraid of letting things go just because once they meant a lot to us. Things, people, memories. But if it’s troubling you so much, do you really want those things in your life? Letting go is hard. So much harder than me just saying it. But, more than anyone else, do it for yourself. You deserve all the happiness in this world and it begins with inner peace. So, try to let go of things that are weighing you down and just soar high with wings of freedom in the clear sky!