Friendships

The aggregate bounty of involving friendships and uninvolving acquaintances.

Friends 2

#Friendships #Sowing #Involvement #OldSchool #Vulnerable

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I’ve always been fond of growing amongst friends, and be unbothered with what we do together. We may end up doing something – play board games when bored, sing or listen to songs, read comic books, play outdoor games, chat, go for walks, watch TV etc. – or simply do nothing.

The choices of “doing” something together is endless, but simply “being” together is priceless.

There is a purposeless transaction which manifests, when friends come together regularly, want to be with each other aimlessly, and create a sort of merging, where words are meaningless, actions futile, and an existential alignment occurs where the hidden divinity of being human finds expression, unbeknownst to its recipients.

 

 

Usually, I ain’t shy of expressing my fears, confusions and vulnerability to selective friends, not because I trust them, or they are my best friends, or I am loyal to them etc., but just because, I feel they’re my friend and I want to share. It never bugs me that they can’t solve my problems, or guide me in any particular direction. I am usually overjoyed and overwhelmed that they are simply available to listen and pay attention. To me, attention is intrinsically more valuable, than any sordid ideas we exchange, in the name of helping.

I never really care for answers from my friends, instead, feel very comfortable that we can reach out unplanned, make ourselves available, and be willing to listen – that’s enough involvement!

 

 

Friends 0

Lately, friendships seem to have taken a strange turn, “we feel connected with each other, only to the extent we need each other“. Its a rigged affair, where we think our affairs should be towards gaining something, for ourselves, from others, else it is useless partaking it. Well, times are changing fast, and over the years, I’ve met many, who come near, but are unable to come close.

Something is different, people are frightened and burnt, unreasonably busy and stressed, and expressing vulnerability is considered an embarrassing sign of weakness. Hardly anyone listens, most want to talk, and everyone takes selfies. Distances seem shortening, friendships seem broadening, and social media allows friends to be made in frenzy. We seem to only talk about our problems with work, people, spouses, children, bosses, employees, employers, staff, shopping etc., and turn our involved friendships into uninvolved acquaintances.

We only consider coming together, if there is something to do, somewhere to go, or something to buy. Beholding, genuinely asking “how are you?”, engaging in silence without interference of words or action, is considered useless and waste of time, while only hanging out, catching up and binging is considered exciting and useful.

 

🍂

 

I must be old school, who values vulnerability over confidence, silence over boisterous, listening over talking, feeling over discussing, beholding over binging, and although considered old fashioned and naive, I don’t mind, as the values I seek in friendships, allow me to offer myself, connect purposelessly, involve intelligently, indulge consciously, speak diligently, advice hesitatingly, avoid frivolousness, encourage intimacy and thus experience friendships based on real lessons from life versus pseudo ideologies.

Arguably, I feel friendships need sowing, involvement and tender caring which goes beyond the “addictive need” to be hanging out, catching up, doing things or binging somewhere. It is an inclusion of energies over ideas, effervescence over effort and patience over preponderance.

 

🍂

 

Although times have changed, and we live in an era of assumed advancements, relentless activities, impatient communications, narcissist attitudes, prejudiced opinions, it doesn’t seem wise to destroy certain core values so sporadically and drastically. Nature offers few free tips and immediate methods to retrace ourselves when lost, and involved friendships is one of the easiest method to bring back our sanity and balance.

I like to think that, involved friendships, stemming from vulnerability and not usefulness, assists in dealing with the animal within, brings forth our humanity, provides emotional stability, protects from ignorance, keeps us grounded to identify and indulge with real opportunities of growth, in a world of rampantly diminishing intimate values, where there is an inherent confusion between well being and ill being.

 

 

Friends 1

I don’t hesitate or feel ashamed of being vulnerable, seek vulnerability, exhibit involvement, avoid the uninvolved, distance from the toxic and thus invariably have fewer friends, even on Facebook, no Twitter account, and seldom responded WhatsApp messages, yet I remain reasonably confident that the next time we pick that phone impromptu, to seek for advice, rant or pleasantries, it will be enthusiastically answered, and the voice on the other end will be tender, attentive and knowing the purpose of calling, without having to text first or subjecting to an uninvolved or hurried response much later. And, of course, it would be blasphemous to write anything about actually meeting in person, impromptu 🙂

Isha Yoga Center

112-ft Guinness award Adiyogi, Dhyanalinga, and part of Incredible! India – Isha Yoga Center, India, @11°N,76°E is a MUST to visit.

 

#IYC – Isha Yoga Center 
🍂
A burgeoning yoga center at the foothills of the Velliangiri, part of the Western ghats, in Coimbatore, Isha Yoga Center (IYC) is a beauty and surprising place to visit, invest & benefit. It’s been around for 25 years, and overtly popular only for the past 10. This space has been designed under the guidance of Sadhguru and thousands of volunteers who have poured in their love, willingness & commitment towards creating an infrastructure & platform for offering technologies of self-transformation & raising human consciousness.
🍂

The tools offered are subjective, powerful & very apt for the modern man, who has forgotten to invest in the only two instruments through which he can experience life, his body & mind. Applying the tools offered by Isha Yoga upon oneself, is a direct commitment on owning up to one’s life and willing to enhance it.

It offers an unique realization in one’s life, when after all the trials & tribulations one allows himself to succumb to, and fall prey to an assumed benevolence in trying to organize one’s life excessively – one only keeps on coming back to the cyclic experience of occasional triumph followed by an expected fall. This simple realization, if kept alive & unsullied, has the possibility of invoking an inward journey of tremendous significance!
🍂

Investing is an art of getting rewarded for having an insight into something in the present, whose potential or possibility is realized only in the future, immediate or distant. Humans in general, are not good at it for the simple reason, they lack balance, to be able to perceive what is happening in the present properly, since they muddle what they want to happen, with what is already happening in the present, on the screen of their perception.

Its a continuous issue with us & we erroneously look for solutions outside of us, except within, where this distortion is occurring. Subjective tools, like what is offered at IYC, are unique investment opportunities, which opens up the dimension of proper perceiving, by raising our inner energies, where we can start seeing the mechanics of how we’re distorting our own perception, and thus benefit significantly in the way we handle the affairs of the world and regain a balance within, which helps us in experiencing life with equanimity, a remarkably big deal worth investing in! 🙂
🍂

For most successful human, who has decent food, shelter & clothing properly organized for himself, life seems stressful and complicated, an unique attribute of the modern man.

He struggles with the lopsidedness of his emotions and logic, and finds himself cornered and confronting recurring challenges, because all his ideas of organizing his life should have given him freedom and happiness he’s frantically running after, except that, it seems fleeting or outright distant, at some imaginary horizon. Since, most of us exhibit the same experience of life, it seems like a natural way of strife, which happens to everyone, except that, its a fallacy to make such an assumption, without experimenting with subjective tools of transformation. If someone has a genuine intent at scrutinizing the anomalies in his perception of life and applies the technologies offered at IYC, it is pretty much assured, this person is on his way to freedom, because he’ll start seeing the shackles he applies upon himself.
🍂
Isha Yoga Center, spanned over hundreds of acres is surrounded by one of the 18 biosphere reserves of the country, and houses a broad variety of flora & fauna.

It’s an eco-friendly space, where only electric bikes & bicycles are promoted inside, and buildings are standing on organic & natural ingredients with an abundance of beautiful trees, flower bearing plants, intricate stone work, unique architectures and subtle aesthetics, augmenting the beauty of the space.

This message is an invitation to visit IYC, which houses the Dhyanalinga, an unique meditation temple, along with Guinness award winning 112-feet bust of Adiyogi, the originator of the science of yoga. If one is wise, tired, confused, confident or seeking, it is advisable to come for doing the introductory yoga program, aptly called “Inner Engineering”, details of the program and registration can be found at: http://www.ishayoga.org/program/isha-yoga-center/inner-engineering-retreat
🍂
There are comfortable & super comfortable rental accommodations available, which need advance booking for anyone interested in visiting this space. Along with the burgeoning yoga center, the popularity has also been burgeoning and it makes a lot of sense for someone visiting, to book their rooms much in advance, to avoid any disappointment by calling +91 422-2515 470 / 471. People attending the Inner Engineering program get accommodated as part of the program schedule.
🍂

Investing is an art, while the science of yoga offers variety of subjective tools, and us humans need to marry this art & science, to create wellbeing.

Marrying this two can also help us in arriving at a space within, where struggles can be easily mitigated by fine tuning our inner energies to bring balance & harmony towards external stimuli, rather than seeking rampant counseling, incessant bickering & gossiping, succumbing to avoidable diseases, seeking answers in tabloids or self-help gospels, dulling the mind with soap operas, venting over phone, endlessly browsing the internet, or fatally & slowly falling for destroying habits of smoking, alcohol or drugs.

Linga Bhairavi Devi Yantra

An esoteric science needs an open mind, without falling for preconceived biases. Linga Bhairavi is a blessed opportunity not worth missing!

 

#Yantra #Devotion #Intelligence #Seeking #Devi
🍂
It’s hard to understand a science we don’t fathom, easy to speculate a science we don’t understand, but simply appropriate to share the experiences of applying that science, as it becomes a reality in one’s life!
🍂
Linga Bhairavi Devi, came into our lives on December 11, 2015, unplanned and forcibly. It wasn’t that we weren’t inclined to her grace, since her creation in January 2010, but we were totally swept off our feet, by her unusual entry, in the form of Linga Bhairavi Yantra, initiated together as a couple, on that fateful new moon night in the winter of 2015. In retrospect, her sudden move felt natural, as if a formidable presence, rightfully forced her way, without bothering for permission, and showering immediate and abundant blessings, by aligning our lives towards taking responsibility for creating wellbeing and rubbing it off on anyone who allowed contact.
🍂

A logical mind looks for easy or complex explanations for the happenings of life. If it can’t find one, it imagines one, thus avoiding an immediate feeling of stupidity or helplessness.

It seems easy that way, but is hallucinatory! Its not easy to gauge the simplicity of allowing a ritual and devotion to invoke one’s intelligence in living life, amongst the amalgamated complexities of human distress. Learning to surrender to the simple daily ritual instructed for performing the process with Devi, has very easily catapulted the experience of life, from constant “hamstering”, to a smooth, effective and lubricated way of living. Its not that suddenly all the challenges of an unaligned body, improperly applied mind, incongruous life energies, disappeared in a jiffy, but, the sweetness of slowly learning to surrender one’s ignorance, allowing the initiated presence of a Linga to be imbibed, observing the fallacies and limitedness of one’s knowledge, recognizing the restlessness towards the uncertainties of living, slowly learning to accept the pride and prejudices we love to cling on, becomes radiantly visible with her association, and it serendipitously leaves us in a space of eased seeking, gentle strides and gleeful demeanor.
🍂
Needless to say, we feel her benediction, as we learn to conduct the affairs of our lives, sometimes smoothly, other times, passing the necessary tribulations, but the guided presence of Devi, remains an obvious blessing beyond normal recognition. A yantra seems to be a simple tool, calibrated towards creating wellbeing, under the aegis of the energies of the form, created by someone who understands this esoteric science!

We may be city slickers, trained to be suspicious of tradition, lest we get jipped, but we are also city slickers, who recognize the value of a tool/device/machine/yantra, which helps lubricating the sophisticated human system, and stumbling upon one, are bound to unlock its value, by applying it in our daily lives, lest we forget how fragile we are!

🍂
Garfield unhesitatingly expounded: “Hard work never killed anyone; but why take a chance!” We’ve learnt not to take a chance, and seek out the blessing & grace of Devi, in guiding our daily lives, without any excitement, passion or faith!
🍂

Fruits & Veggies

 

#KISS #Fruits #Vegetables
🍂
In a milieu stimulated by external influences, insidious jargons, lackluster vision, fashionable culinary, imbalanced ambitions, confusing information, we seem to have relegated our health to improper & arguably toxic diets, where we’re clueless about the source of our food, its imminent effect on the body, the knowledge of diet based on existential considerations, our strong & conditioned likings for certain food, the barrage of broken down information which the food companies feed us with their obvious bias for maintaining quarterly profits, reading the deliberately cryptic Nutrients labels, the composition of the food in terms of its elemental values and the grander, evolutionary perspective on which is the most absorbable and effective food we should consume to ascertain health.
🍂

There are many modern perspectives on this topic and an entire industry is attempting to make some sense on food, while parallelly the healthcare costs keep sky-rocketing, and even the most affluent nations face the scornful plight of having to eat packaged, processed and modified food for their daily meals.

For a lay man, its all confusing as the supermarkets fill themselves with variety of packaged foods and the heavy advertising behind it creates the necessary raucous to keep us confused.
🍂
KISS (Keep it simple stupid) principle, popularized by the US Navy in the 1960’s, states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. Our body’s ability to ingest, digest & excrete food, suggests that it is a system, and keeping a simpler diet, filled with more fruits, veggies, nuts & berries, implies a simple & powerful defense against the confusion around our daily diet. In the spirit of KISS and consuming easily digestible & absorbable food, sending some local varieties of fruits & veggies for a culinary merriment!
🍂
Happy KISS-ing 🙂…

Hometown

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-26 at 12.26.55 PM

#Hometown #Nostalgia #Perspective #Seeking
🍂
It is nice to feel nostalgic and have a romantic bias towards one’s hometown, as long as it remains confined to our memories, and does not obstruct our perception of present realities. Even a dense metropolis looks serene, when we’re not caught up in its own maze, from a far distance above. Distance matters, especially, the direction from which it is observed. A linear distance within a metropolis rarely screams serenity, since it can only scream of horns and hawkers, while a distance from above, can scream of beauty and beatitude. Perspective Matters, Opinions Don’t!
🍂

When 20 million people live so close by, there’s bound to be minimal agreement amongst them, and restraining their cacophony is the last thing in their minds, to showcase a pseudo idea of civilized behavior under the guise of etiquette and social mannerism.

But, the opportunity to have a better survival then anywhere else, lures us to build up the steam in an already heated up city, and yet the menace created by the city life seems worthwhile after all. Taking infrequent nature holidays becomes the fad, at the expense of filling the bronchioles with some form of carbon on a daily basis.
🍂
I grew up in this city, my hometown, some long time ago. This is the finer section on the map, affectionately called the “Queen’s Necklace” at the southern tip of the town, and it is a matter of wonder, if like the elusive necklace, the name was also robbed by the invaders during their brutal reign of over 200+ years. But, the spirit of the hometown does not get diluted by the violent strokes of history and its devastating recordings. Growing up, playing on the streets, running barefoot, drenched by monsoons, fascinated by real games like marbles and tipcat, hide and seek, board games when bored like Monopoly and Ludo, attending school while awaiting the 2 month summer holidays, the unfailing care from parents, the involved attempts by teachers to get us ready for the real world, the suburban train and bus commutes, and so many other things make up for many lovely and harsh memories, all clubbed together in a collage of impressions which stay with us, until we die.
🍂

I may claim I’ve grown up, but I’ve a distinct feeling, I’ve only grown older, and growing up must be something else.

A friend send this photo from an aircraft, and as it usually happens with memories and photographs, an array of feelings and thoughts, interspersed with a collage of vivid dialogues, events and hopes from the past, flared up and a few unrealized tears must have escaped, in this bewildering attempt at figuring out the game of being born, taken care of, living amongst the herd, getting older, seeing elders die, and ending the game with an abrupt death.
🍂
Nostalgia can be overwhelming and a much needed trigger for seeking existential truth, which we carefully avoid, knowing well, that without questioning and striving for some answers, its only going to bring confusion and paranoia as we age towards a finish, unless of course, some friend sends you an aerial photo of one’s own hometown of that elusive necklace.
🍂

Go Slow

 

#GoSlow #Calvin&Hobbes #Meditation #Flipism #Randomness #Decisions
🍂
It would be a mistake to think that comic strips are meant for amusement and entertainment only. It would also be a mistake to think that our lives are much more than a comic strip. Calvin & Hobbes epitomizes the conflicting nature of confusion and enthusiasm within us human beings. “Flipism” was philosophized by Donald Duck in which he retorts, all decisions in life are made by flipping a coin, and are considered effective due to randomness being an active ingredient of life. While this seems radical, its the duck’s way of sharing wisdom and indicating that, we may be giving much more credit to our decision making ability, than it truly counts for. Alas, not all Donald’s are wise, some come with vice!
🍂
Charlie Munger, the genius billionaire and partner of Warren Buffett, of Berkshire Hathaway fame, has been known to repeatedly ascertain: “It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”
🍂
Naseem Taleb has written books on Randomness, and has titled his amazing trilogy, “Fooled by Randomness”, “The Black Swan’ and “Antifragility”.
🍂

Osho, incessantly reminds us: “Life is not a problem to be solved, it’s a mystery to be lived.”

🍂

While identifying with our thoughts seem to be the only way of perceiving reality, and asserting that our decisions are the only reason for our success or failure, there’s a side to this whole perceiving business, which remains unexplored, to the fatal unawareness on how consciously were we making those decisions. While it is easy to say and see, that my ability to think, be rational, logical, analytical and present is the basis of my decision making, it is not very easy to realize that simply thinking may not be sufficient to be making conscious decisions and at the end of the day, how conscious we are, decides the fate and quality of our decisions, over simply exemplifying the ability to think.
🍂
Much to our chagrin, we might have erroneously empowered ourselves, with the help of our teachers, parents, friends and solace-laden quotations which we worship, in relying upon our instant ability to be making decisions using thoughts as a supreme vehicle.

A random peek at truly successful beings, indicate a rather opposing view on how they never make instant decisions, knowing well that their first level thinking is heavily conditioned and usually lacking deeper insights. Delaying, yet paying significant attention, is the method employed by them, where they deliberately pause and enable extra sensory attention towards their personal biases and activate a second level thinking to go deeper into their decision making ability. They delay, not to stall, but to bring clarity by being conscious.

🍂
Matters of real significance, have hidden layers of buried impressions, which are not easily visible to the naked eyes. It requires careful and unhurried attention to see those layers, and be able to attribute the connectivity between the outcome and the roles these hidden layers play in their manifestations. Pausing, consciously delaying, adapting to second level thinking, waiting to be more informed, not jumping to immediate conclusions based on our conditioned thoughts etc. are all creative habits we need to cultivate, they aren’t taught. Not adapting these valuable habits, should be seen as the primary reason for a disgruntled world and our desperate attempts at fulfilling our lives. When everyone is in a rush to make things happen, burdened by the instincts of self preservation, seeking immediate attention, wanting instant gratification — the outcome of such rushing, cannot be beautiful or fulfilling. It can only be an endless loop of recurring dramas and furthering of futile attempts at desperately creating beauty. It is easy to see these outside of us, but it takes a pause, a delay, a moment of steadiness, to see it happening within us, to our own lives, and realizing that, we are the mess, we claim to be seeing in the world.
🍂

Its worth keeping a check on the way we make decisions. Its worth being more conscious. Its worth enabling second level thinking, investing in quietude, equanimity and being attentive yet lazy, and acting only upon real opportunities which does not create hindrance.

#GoSlow should not only be a mantra, but a trick to keep our psychological rushing at bay.
🍂
Flipism is not necessary, its risky, enjoyable by a duck within a comic book, but realizing the probability of randomness in life, enabling conscious attentiveness and second level thinking, adopting meditation as an active tool to invite deliberate slowness to our psychological rushing — are real, effective and essential acts needed today, which can prevent us from falling, and provide us a platform for rising beyond the compulsions of improper habits we’ve succumbed to. After all, “There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do.”
🍂

Rama Nayak Udipi

A delectable experience of a South Indian cuisine in Central Mumbai.

Rama Nayak Udipi
#RamaNayak #SouthIndianCuisine #Matunga #Mumbai
🍂
For an eatery to exist for over seven decades, be celebrating their platinum jubilee, and still be appreciated for its simple food & ambiance, staff & owner courtesy, inexpensive billing and be frequented by the locals, is a feat beyond compare, in today’s fast pace world where everyone wants to go everywhere and try everything new, and the plethora of net-based companies providing delivery services for cheap & greasy food in a heartbeat.
🍂
Rama Nayak’s, is an exception worth exploring, with a simple ambiance, located right off Matunga (C.R.) station in the bustling Mumbai city, it offers meals, which are close to some homemade meals & far better than many other homemade meals. It offers a remarkably clean facility, with an opportunity to visit the kitchen at defined times, with a smiley, meditative & extremely efficient staff, simple & healthy vegetarian food, while the original owner’s kin sit happily at the cash counter welcoming & guiding the patrons and pocketing the cash (no plastic, just like their plates) in exchange of a metal token which we’re supposed to put in front of our plates. The peach colored walls give a soothing feeling of ease, the sitting is mandatory in pairs of two & as we consume the much anticipated food for its simplicity and taste, it suddenly occurs to the palate, that not all meals be finished with a laxative. Interestingly, the first item served is a pinch of salt and they’ve traditional desserts to be decided upon arrival too, a  blessing for the sweet-toothed. Do drop in at this delightful joint on your next trip to Mumbai for an enjoyable surprise!
🍂

Oh, did I forget to mention that they provide the services for “dabba” (“tiffin”, “carry-out”, “to go”) for us to take it with us for lunch before work or pick up after work for dinner, and this service by itself, is a benediction for anyone in the neighborhood, considering the fattening, unhealthy & unhygienic choices to consider otherwise, unless one still cooks at home.
🍂
Please don’t mind the drag of this note, but the brag is all worth it & kudos to the Nayak’s for managing, maintaining & sustaining such an establishment with vigor & hoping to be around in 2042 to celebrate their first century! 🙂
🍂

Power of Introversion

Introversion

 

Power of Introversion (TED Talk by Susan Cain)
🍂
#Introversion #Quiet #SpeakSoftly #SusanCain
🍂

Introverts are better listeners, quietly process their thoughts, have humility, are calm and collected, and make more meaningful connections. – Bruna Martinuzzi.

🍂
Settling down with reading a book and overjoyed by sky diving, are two extreme activities. When looked internally though, at the individuals who are performing those activities, the residual experience of their activities within them are not so different. Internally, they both find comfort, pleasure and derive a sense of being at ease and inclusive with everything, because they’re not messing with their mind, while performing those activities.
🍂
The whole debate about introversion, extroversion & ambiversion is kind of moot, because what we’re after is that internal experience of stillness, loosing ourselves, finding ourselves, satori etc., regardless of the activity which we choose.
🍂
Introverts have been severely misunderstood over the ages, have been assigned labels including being dull, lethargic, boring, having mental problems etc., because inappropriate recognition has been given to being expressive, loud, talkative, movement-laden etc. in our world.
🍂
Statistics show that between 1/3 to 1/2 of the population are introverts, who feel comfortable and are super productive when they’re are quiet, contemplative, reflective etc. and who prefer deep work over shallow work.
🍂
Statistics also reveal that many successful people are actually introverts for their abilities of going deeper with their work, emphatically understand the needs of the people, being sensitive without compromising their work or relation, contemplative & reflective with deep ideas, which can be stretched into creative manifestations of successful companies, marriages, partnerships, friendships etc. where gentleness, caring, quietude are valued and being shy, silent or speaking softly is not considered a problem.
🍂
Some surprising and prominent names, including Eisenhower, Jefferson, JFK, Gates, Buffett, Einstein, Lincoln, Darwin, Jung, Nixon, Obama, Zuckerberg – were all introverts, and their leadership & contributions to humanity are obvious.
🍂
Here’s a TED video from Susan Cain, campaigner for introversion & popular author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That can’t Stop Talking, expounding upon the misunderstood biases towards introversion, and how a society can benefit from a healthy mix of introversion & extroversion, to create a mixed and balanced milieu of carpe diem & goal driven development.

Nelliyampathy

 

#Nelliyampathy #Diwali2017
🍂
Diwali is the festival of lights, on the darkest night of the year! The darker the night, the closer the possibility of light. While the country tweeted & trolled over whether fire crackers should be banned, firing nonsecular trolls via the latest platforms of communication, the social media, we decided to skip the noise about crackers, with a Diwali getaway to the Nelliyampathy Hill Station, part of the Nelliyampathy Forest Reserve (Western Ghats) in Kerela.
🍂
At an average height of 900 meters, cultivated during the British Raj, there’s abundance of tea & coffee plantations, with few resorts, and we were delighted to be encountering the Nilgiri Langurs, a Barking Deer, Malabar Giant Squirrels, leeches, parakeets, a snake, on a 2-day nature visit, in an otherwise serene locale. Needless to say, the temperatures were pleasant, the meals delicious, stay cozy, company enchanting, drive curvy, as the entire green forest, compassionately spread its vast embrace, in anticipation of a few sapiens, escaping the 2017 Diwali fervor.
🍂
We inadvertently started a few kilometers walk at dusk, and it turned out to be the most beautiful experience on the darkest night, without torch lights, the eyes gradually adapting to the darkness, while the earth rotates away from the sun to bring forth the Diwali night, suddenly exposing the hidden screen of the mind where our drama endlessly projects, on a pleasantly cool Amavasya night! It is quite fascinating, once the fear subsides, mind calms down, senses predominate, how the eyes start attuning to the light of the darkness and one suddenly becomes attuned to the oneness of nature, calmness of the being, moistness of the elements, caress of the breeze, drumming of the heartbeat, smoothness of the breath, only to find a few bloody leech bites after reaching the lighted rental home.
🍂
Nature teaches in prolific ways, if we call upon it for learning. Fear can keep lingering in our life, to become the darkest experience & darkness can keep freeing us to our life, to become an enlightening experience!
🍂

Borivali National Park

#BorivaliNationalPark
🍂
As someone wise could’ve said: “To be free, one should not be very busy. Life passes by fast, one should not miss it slowly.” A metropolitan city like Mumbai, has lots of thrills, frills & shrills, but to our absolute surprise & excitement, excluding the extensions of Thane and Navi Mumbai, it also has a 100 km2 protected forest, nestled within the city, in the northern suburb, called Borivali. The inappropriately renamed National Park is a beauty, which remains mostly unexplored, in stark contrast to all the jazzy offerings by this vibrant city, which never sleeps. The park, roughly occupies 17% of Mumbai’s 600  km2 acreage and is an absolute treat to visit for a hike. Admittedly, the periphery of the park is stormed by frequent visitors in this overly populated city for casual, un-nature like activities, but with the help of a forest ranger, called a naturalist, one can actually go deeper inside the park for a 6 hour, 12 km hike, to view the highest point of the city at 483 m & an aerial view of 3 of the 5 man-made lakes, which serves as the water reservoir for the city, and to be pleasantly awed by the flora & fauna of this gem, right within city limits.
🍂
It is one thing to hesitatingly breathe the air of the city, nestled within a maze of train tracks & roads, which is unreasonably filled with masses overflowing the bogey’s and occupying the seamless pool of vehicles, trying to reach somewhere, in a purposeful & hurried manner, avoiding and disliking any diversions to their daily plans. Most people find themselves commuting a significant portion of their daily life on these roads & tracks and consuming the compromised air, one way or another.

In stark comparison, the National Park provides a hue, scenery & oxygen, once inside the fabulous density of the park, which is natural, freshening, a bit moist and tickles the nostrils.
The park is a necessary reminder of the possibility of visiting Nature, to understand our own nature, at such close proximity and expectedly, is infrequently visited.
🍂
We cherish our misunderstanding of freedom as an act of being free from our necessary duties. Freedom from an act, which is necessary for survival, is an essential responsibility, while a sense of immediate freedom, is the process of having a really long term vision of our life, which includes our death, and prioritizing the blocks of activities and experiences we intend to have, with a sense of joy, knowing well that death can happen to us at anytime.
🍂

Kiyosaki strikingly points out in his 26 million sold, famous book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad: “Busy people are often the most lazy… If they aren’t busy at work or with the kids, they’re often busy watching TV, fishing, playing golf or shopping. Yet, deep down they know they are avoiding something important. That’s the most common form of laziness. Laziness by staying busy.
🍂
We like the original name Borivali National Park and would suggest to hike there and merge among the wonder, oxygen, fungi, large spiders crawling in their home waiting for a prey, anonymous & majestic bird-calls resounding a prayer, lizards, 360° breath taking views of the city, possibility of sighting one of the 35 leopards still prowling, long-tailed monkeys, archaic caves showing signs of intelligent water harvesting and a vibrant & dense natural ecosystem in action, inviting and belittling the hectic and maddening man-made ecosystem just outside the main gates.
🍂