Building life step by step

Looking back at this picture today and this tall pyramid, which is called the ‘Temple of Kukulcan’, all I could see is how tiny we humans are and how our lives revolve around these other tiny lives while there exists a gigantic universe out there beyond our comprehension. There was a time when these other tiny people called the Mayans built this entire ancient city of Chichén Itzá.

At times, we live in such bubbles that we tend to forget how we are all a part of a greater purpose and there is so much meaning to each of our lives. While I stood besides this structure, it inspired me to give back to the world something powerful enough that would withstand all storms and generations. These pyramids are the some of the oldest standing man-made structures built by the Mayans. It evokes the thought in me that if those tiny people could do it, we too, carry all the strength and power we’ll ever need within us to change the world.

It also reminds me that you have the strength and power to create things larger than yourself and all you need is to expand your thinking beyond trivial things and broaden your horizons. To think beyond your bubble and start thinking about this world and how you could make it a better place. When you start building towards something meaningful in life, brick by brick, step by step, there will be a day when you will look back and simply marvel at the beautiful world you’ve created. ✨

PS: If you ever do get to visit Chichén Itzá, definitely hire a tour guide because this place is filled with so much history and interesting facts that merely taking pictures with the pyramid won’t do any justice to it!

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 thousand magical suns

A wise old man once asked me, “Son, do you want to hear the story about the thousand suns?” Intrigued by the man’s question and worn from my own exhaustive journey, I sat down to hear more. Then he said, “There are these thousand unique suns out in the world and if you let their rays fall on you, your life will be filled with inner peace and happiness, no matter what. You will find them either during sunrise or during a sunset. There won’t be any signs, but make sure you look towards the sky each day and you will just know.”

I searched for long, trying to find these magical suns that would be the light of my life. I visited that old man again after a few years, desperate to find out how I wasn’t even able to find even one of the thousand suns. He looked at me and started laughing. I thought I had made a fool of myself trying to find something that didn’t exist.

The old man then said to me, “Here you are talking about how you failed to find the magical suns that would enlighten your life. And yet, you couldn’t think about every sunrise and sunset you saw during your journey. Those were the rays of sun you were supposed to collect and you’ve been doing it all along. Every time you paused to stare at the magic of this universe, the different colors of the sky and let it grasp your attention, you did collect all the magic out there.”

That day, I thanked the man and walked away to catch another sunset.

P.S: Took this shot of a beautiful sunset at Tulum beach, Mexico. Missing the beach life a lot! Do you guys prefer to watch the sunrise or the sunset?

We’ll meet at the shore

On days when it gets cold and gloomy,
I’ll dream about the sunny skies ahead
In every moment of darkness,
I’ll embrace the light that engulfs me from within

When the days seems to be passing by slowly,
I’ll reminisce of the time I ran to jump into the sea
When I’ll be looking for a quick escape to paradise,
I’ll think about the time I kept running along the shore, the waves rushing to hug me

For if I ever feel alone,
I know the waves will find me
Sometimes in my memories and sometimes we’ll meet at the shore

– Ashwini

P.S : It’s been a crazy week. But more posts coming your way! Happy weekend! ✨

Let’s go live on a tiny island..

Let’s go live on a tiny island filled with people like you and me
A place where the winds sway as they may, and the people breathe free

Where on days when it rains, we go dance with our favorite songs playing in our heads instead of trying to find a shelter
And when the sun comes out, we sit under a tree and bury our faces in books, sipping a seltzer
And on the coldest of days, when there’s nowhere to go, we’ll ignite the dried logs of our memories
Let them provide all the warmth we’ll ever need to get through a cold breeze

If you wonder what will happen to the people you would want to see
The ones that care would even walk on thin ice just for one more meet
The houses won’t be fancy, but for all their guests, they’ll always offer a seat
Where they all grab a bite together and drink some lemonade to escape the midsummer heat

It’ll be a home for lost souls who are wandering around looking for something
And it’ll be a solace for us, a paradise for our dreams to cling
For this island would welcome all those who dare to dream
And for the ones who don’t, a distant utopia it would seem

It might not be a place where there will be millions of things for you to do
But it will all be enough to last you a lifetime or maybe even two!


Ashwini

A timeless beauty

And some places, they remind you of a timeless beauty that exists through nature’s different courses

These trees, they provide shade to the people gathered with their families having fun
And yet, now with their leaves gone, these very trees, they glisten in the wintry afternoon sun

The residual snow reminds you of the howling winds that rattled your windows
And the playful laughs of the kids who jump with joy, every time it snows!

Some places, they instill the faith in you that every time you come back
The sun will always rise and shine to provide you some warmth in this New York cold.

PS: This picture was taken at Brooklyn, New York in Feb, 2020. What a beautiful mess it was! ☃️

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. ✨

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!

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.