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!

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!

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! 😷❤️

Earth Day special

Happy Earth Day! 🌍

Every day, I feel blessed to have been born on this beautiful planet that helps us find beauty wherever we go. It also instills the need to protect this planet of ours in our own special ways. Instead of looking at it as a lost cause, what we can rather do is give it our best shot to save the planet. The big changes we talk about do start with us and our everyday lives.

Here are few ways you can help save the planet:

Decreasing use of plastic: Try to replace things made out of plastic with reusable materials. I’ve switched to using metal bottles instead of plastics at home and during travel. I would say I’m not even halfway there. But, taking one step at a time also does count.

Don’t litter: If you can’t help clean the trash that already exists, least you can do is not throw trash on the road or in the sea. Even a tiny chocolate wrapper needs to be thrown in the bin.

Plant more trees. 🌳❤️

PS: New York is brimming with such beautiful cherry blossoms right now, which make my evening walks more pleasant!

The grass is greener where you water it

“The grass is greener where you water it.” Read this quote on the Internet and thought it was an interesting twist to the old quote, “The grass is greener on the other side”. When we don’t like where we’re at, the unknown seems like a better option just because that’s our perception. We start seeing the other side as an escape, but we have to think for ourselves and not be simply blinded by the allure of the unknown.

Life is always about the choices we make. Even though the other side might seem greener, the choice always lies with us to choose the ground we would like to grow from. When you begin to believe in yourself and acknowledge your own grit and strength, your life will be a flowering garden with greener grass wherever you choose to go.

Prisoners of the free world

This image was taken at the Alcatraz prison, which is just 1.5 miles away by sea from San Francisco city. Walking through the matchbox sized cells with rusty metal bars, it made me wonder how the lives of the inmates of this prison would’ve been like. The prisoners had this beautiful view of the Golden gate bridge on one side and the SF skyline lurking on the other.

The tour guide told us, that the smell of chocolate from the famous Ghirardelli factory nearby, used to spread across the island. The irony for the prisoners here was that they could’ve had everything that one could wish for, just 1.5 miles away. And yet, because of the burden of their crimes, this small distance kept them away from the real world.

Alcatraz Island, California

I also happened to stumble upon a prisoner’s cell (above image) who’s art made me stop and wonder that, if he was out here in the real world, he would’ve definitely made it as an artist! Such a waste of talent. When I come to think of it, we as humans, sometimes imprison ourselves in this crazy web of life, that we forget about the beauty that lies underneath. I mean, this one life, wouldn’t you want to make it big?

This guy, he was stuck in one place and yet, he tried to make something out of literally nowhere! And here we are, free as birds, yet caged by these shackles of a monotonous life, societal pressures and procrastination. One of these days, I hope you break free from these chains and paint a beautiful picture in real life as well!

Human cages

Looking back at this picture, it reminds me of the beautiful world we live in. Last year, particularly hindered all our travel plans. However, this particular shot makes me think about how we, as humans, build some fences all around us, restricting our own growth and reach. How often do we wonder about what’s stopping us from doing the things we’ve always wanted to do?

Sometimes we are restricted by external factors whereas, sometimes, we unknowingly build a cage around ourselves and keep running in circles. A lot of things we worry about are just in our heads. If we don’t even try to wander beyond the usual, letting go of the insecurities, self-doubt and risk of failure, we might never get rid of the cages we’ve put ourselves in.

Pebble beach, California

The above picture is a gentle reminder of how free we truly are, to be anywhere in this big, beautiful world and become the person we really want to be. It’s all about the perspective. 

P.S: This is one of the lookout spots from the iconic 17-mile drive along the Pacific coast in California.

The flowers that bloom

If you ever wonder what you’re made of,
Think about the flowers that bloom through branches and thorns alike
Their purpose is to grow into these beautiful flowers
That makes walkers stop by to adore and smell
Or make people carry a fresh bunch home
To remind them how beautiful this world actually is
How even a single stem can brighten up your day
And how an entire bunch fills your entire room with fragrance

Let these flowers remind you
That you too, are meant to grow into something beautiful
Sometimes you need to just let yourself be
Maybe a sunflower, maybe an orchid, maybe a tulip
You don’t need to be a part of the same bunch

Choose whatever you want to be and sow the seeds today
Slowly growing roots and expanding your stems
Even if the world looks at you just as a bud today,
There will be a time when you too, will be in full bloom. 🌸

Ashwini

P.S: Came across these lovely flowers while taking a walk in New York City. Loving the spring vibes all around!

The waterfall..

They say, she tells a story without any words
All you have to do is pause and simply watch her flourish
Through the long branches of trees old and new
How she cuts through massive rocks that try to block her way
And flows over the tiny pebbles that people once threw

She doesn’t seem to care how they view her or judge her criss-cross path
For all she knew was to flourish through it all
Changing courses when the obstacles didn’t let her slide through
For one way or the other she was meant to endlessly flow

She moved seamlessly, being her unapologetic self
That grew and outgrew everything that came under her way
Roaring through the wild forests, “I am born this way and this is what I am meant to do”,
She gathered all of her forces and incessantly she moved

Leaving the world to see the marvel that she was
A natural beauty, creating magic wherever she falls ✨

Ashwini

P.S: This picture was taken at the Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina and was shot on my good old iPhone 8. Always fun to try something new in photography! Also, happy weekend!