Monday, 27 November 2017

Second Chances In Life


"I have become convinced that God thoroughly enjoys fixing and saving things that are broken. That means that no matter how hurt and defeated you feel, no matter how badly you have been damaged, God can repair you. God can give anyone a second chance." -Melody Carlson

GIVING YOURSELF SECOND CHANCES

Second chances are the greatest gifts to yourself. The opportunity of a second chance is a new beginning, the ability to right a wrong, to encourage love, to ask for forgiveness. It can be life altering.

Damaged people can survive. There are points in our lives when we are damaged -emotionally, mentally and you feel like you are stranded on an island, all by yourself. We forget our abilities on such tough days.

Sooner or later, we all go through a crucible. Most believe there are two types of people who go into a crucible. The ones who become stronger from the experience and survive it, and the ones who die. 
 
So choose yourself. Value life. TRUST, LIVE!

At one of stage of my life, my fear and depression decided the fate of my life. However, today, I am the one who is ruling it. I morphed from a damaged to happy personality. And, I believe I am capable of follow the steps, that surely turns me into happy person in future.

Life can knock us down, especially when we’re faced with problems that seem almost impossible to overcome. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Try and try until things get better because you deserve all the wonderful things this life can offer. So go ahead, make mistakes, learn from them and live life to the fullest.

Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, was the first to coin the term “synchronicity” as a synonym for “meaningful coincidence.” Synchronistic events may at first appear to be random, but actually reveal a deeper meaning and order in one’s life.

Synchronicity often happens during major life changes. Significant loss, a new birth, personal crisis, and illness are powerful breeding grounds for synchronicity. It’s as if your soul is inviting you to take a new direction in your life. If you stay open and aware, you’ll start to notice synchronous events that act as guides for your next steps. By looking deeply at general themes or patterns that emerge, you can see where in your life your soul is asking you to grow
 
So instead of sulking and feeling gloomy and let desolation creep in because of your failure, let there be a ray of hope – a hope to get that hard-to-get second chance, which may transform your life in a way that you always wanted and waited for. Second chance that can give a new meaning to your existence and help you regain the lost confidence that is affecting your happiness. Second chance that would determine how serious you are about things that matter in your life! Second chance that’ll help you take a decision whether you still can fight against all odds and make things sail smooth.

Look around, analyze situations and ask yourself - Hasn’t life been kind to you ever? Has life always given you miseries and then not giving you a chance to correct your mistakes? Can’t be the case! It’s might be the case that you haven’t been attentive enough to notice and grab that second chance that came your way at some point. So it’s your mistake and you are at fault. If you have become used to living with regrets and don’t want to take or give second chances, then it’s not fair to blame life either.

GIVING OTHERS A SECOND CHANCE

Giving someone a second chance doesn’t mean that you “lost” as if life were a game where we keep score. The second chance is a process of self-healing. It is an opportunity for self-growth. The second chance is your new beginning to make a difference in yourself and your life.

There are many reasons that we wish to have a second chance. Perhaps, you want to mend something or a relationship with someone or pass that one exam. It may be because you made some sort of misstep on your career path. Or you have made mistakes in a past relationship and want to rekindle that relationship. Whatever it is, you want another opportunity, and you want to make some changes in yourself. In essence, the second chance is about just that: an opportunity.

Giving someone a second chance means trusting them again, it means believing that against all odds that they can rehabilitate themselves or abstain from creating the same problems. It means faith, and an understanding of what it is to be an imperfect human being.

The truth is - 
 
We’re all capable of terrible things. We all do damage. But we are all creatures of redemption, if we seek it. First, we have to give ourselves a second chance. No matter what mistake we’ve made or how many of them we have made, there are more of them to come. Each time we have to learn to forgive ourselves, and to teach ourselves an unwritten lesson.

More than the chances that others have given to me, I’m thankful of the second chances that I have given others. Some did deserve them, while others definitely didn’t. Whether they sabotaged their stroke of luck is irrelevant, because I’ll never be left to wonder if people are capable of change.

Embrace second chances!


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Steadfast In Love





Sometimes when we are sitting side by side, I look down at your shoulder blades. I follow their soft slope down your arms to find your hand locked into mine. There is both a softness and a strength behind the shapes of your body.
The rounded lines almost tell lies, but I know the endurance they have faced. I know the weight they have lifted—the hardships can’t be seen on the canvas of your skin, but I know they are there, just an inch below.
We can’t describe our lives as anything less than blessed. The clashing of our personalities is heavenly. We only become stronger and more steadfast in our love…because our love is not a fragile thing. I smell your existence like smelling a nearby daisy field. We were two accidents, that were waiting to happen.

As I hurled myself into your destiny, I found you, when I wasn't even looking for you. Love found us both. And joined us together like two continents colliding with one another. We were meant to be.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

How Much Does Skin Color, Height, etc. Really Matter in Indian Marriages?



From skin-lightening lotions and creams, to matrimonial ads that specify ‘light-skinned’ or ‘fair’ bride, it is often implicitly understood that a woman with a lighter skin tone is more desirable. However, would it still raise eyebrows in an urban set-up? Yes, it does.

We are all curious beings; sometimes judgemental as well.

Are you “fair,” “wheatish,” or “very fair” or "white"?

Probably you are “wheatish” or “dark”, and hence you stumbled upon this post. And if you are fair, “very fair”, probably you have things a little simpler in this world, as far as marriage goes, probably.

Have you seen matrimonial ads on newspapers and internet? Most of the families want ‘fair’ brides and grooms. Don’t you find it funny? But this 'colourism' is a very serious issue to be discussed. 

This make youngsters in India, especially girls depressed who are in marital age. Not only women, men too experience these kind of hurdles in India when it comes to arranged marriages.

Why should you marry a guy or a girl from a family who care about your ‘skin tone’ but not your talent or nature? Doesn’t it sound odd to you? Do you think you will have a happy life with your partner if you change your born skin color by applying those fairness creams and doing beauty treatments?

So many people are all rounders; good at studies and etc but why people become so submissive when it comes to this kind of Indian traditional rules?

A person’s skin tone is decided by genes and birth. Being pale doesn’t mean that you’re a beauty queen and being dark or wheatish doesn’t mean that you are ugly. Being healthy and confident is the ‘real beauty’ in my view. Fair or dark, you are beautiful if you have a beautiful mind and healthy physique and not to forget a happy smiling face all the time. 

I have seen hundreds of dark and beautiful people including top celebrities. First understand that your skin tone is not a factor that measures your beauty. I kindly request you NOT to undergo any skin lightening treatments or something to WHITEN your skin for marriage purpose. Marriage is a beautiful bond between two loving humans and their families. Let it not become a business deal.

Several girls, from infancy, carry the burden of marriage on their young shoulders. And if that weren’t enough, there’s the added worry of skin colour that decides your fate, both for social acceptance and future marriage. Being fair/light is a solution for some, and for dark/wheatish, is to watch their parents save money for dowry, or better still, heed mother’s advice and use a fairness product. I was always proud of being a girl, but in a world like today - I feel it is a burden to be one.

The Internationally-acclaimed, Indian social beauty-meter says you need to be SLIM, BEAUTIFUL, FAIR (In some cases, WHITE!), have a height good enough to get married. Agar aapke paas inme se koi ek cheez bhi nahi hai, toh sorry, aapka kaam zara mushkil hai!  

The girl is also judged based upon her efficiency in domestic chores such as cooking, stitching, and cleaning. Why? Maybe she doesn't know all the above, because she was too busy educating herself. She will eventually learn.

Most matrimonial ads today tout skin colour, especially when the person being advertised is fair. Most ads, though, sell skin as the ubiquitous “wheatish,” a word describing skin colour that ONLY exists in India, and whose etymology I am still unclear about.

After all, just take a look at the Indian consumer market, crowded with umpteen varieties of men’s fairness screen, and then the advertising, more robust than ever before, where even men have jumped on the fairness bandwagon, led by the ironically dark-skinned role-model Shahrukh Khan.

Educated girls, aren’t getting married these days, because they fail to meet the beauty standards set by the groom and his beloved mother! Every mother wants a bahu endowed with at least fair skin for her adorable son. And their most hilarious reason is: fair bahus will give birth to fair, whiter-than-milk grandchildren.

 No one asks you about the struggle you put up to educate yourself, firstly you are checked for your skin color, height, and educational qualifications if any, come quite later, girl.

I want to question the society which breaks a million girls’ hearts on a daily basis, that why is fairness the ONLY meter to judge someone’s beauty? Why? Her mindset will raise your children, not her body and good looks. Choose wisely. Stop falling prey to dogmatic views.

For the spineless guys, who are scared to fall for a dusky or a dark girl -

Probably, I have nothing to say to you, except that you will only realise the impact of this discrimination when it will come down to your own daughter, some day.

Girls – Be proud of your skin tone, you don’t need to apply ubtans, and other fairness remedies, or choose a foundation 2 shades lighter than your skin. There’s absolutely no need for it.

I agree that these practices are slowing fading away, but still it hasn’t been completely abolished. Only if you don’t support these silly cultures, our country will develop. We shouldn’t follow the wrong path knowingly as that will be a bad example for others. As much as I love Indian culture and traditions, there are few things I hate about it to core. To abolish these kind of practices such as choosing brides seeing skin color, dowry system and etc in India, we youngsters should STOP following it! 

I don’t understand this idea – some Indian guys and their families who do this match fixing preludes, where they check out the potential bride physically and then set an eye on another girl in the house, the base being that girl is better looking than the bride and that is directly proportional to being fairer than the bride. Excuse me, are you in a cow market for you to choose a cow? Are Indian women decorative items for you to select and spurn at will? What if the girl you came to scrutinize says that your brother is better looking than you and that she would choose him over you? You’ll get bull mad right? 

Indeed, dark skinned Indian girls who have been rejected by potential suitors are made to believe that the fault lies within themselves. They are told by every Indian aunty to settle for any loser because they have a perceived lesser skin tone. Dark skinned Indian girls of marriageable age are told to play down their expectations when searching for a man to marry. If they are too choosy, they will end up being spinsters, such busybody aunties say.

If a dark skinned Indian girl in her 30s is still unmarried, Indian people are quick to comment that she must be meticulous in choosing a husband, hence left on the shelf.

So many girls see their parents struggle to find a groom for them and get married as early as possible so that later their age does not pile on to their“ugliness” and further lessen the chances to get married. This is the story of thousands of ‘unmarried daughters’ in our society. They face this bitter truth everyday, where their families fight their concern over how to get their daughters married and settled overcoming their being ‘unbeautiful’.

This is evil. Every girl, every woman and every human being is beautiful. Beauty is a state of mind. Beauty is a feeling. We are all worthy of being married to good men and live a happy life- without compromising, giving a huge dowry or anything of the sort. Such behavior of the family and society is very dangerous for a girl to build her self-esteem and realize her worth.

Mindsets need to change. Collectively, Indian people should learn to give credit to dark skinned Indian girls’ potential and ability rather than harp negatively over their skin tone. A girls’ potential and abilities will move mountains and make a home – their skin colour won’t.

This obsession with fair skin doesn’t seem to be fading any  time soon. It is so far ingrained in our society that it has now become a  subconscious part of our psyche. So much in the name education,  emancipation, love and holy matrimony!

Girls are also rejected on the grounds that they wanted to work after marriage and do something in their life.

At times, grooms are just looking for partners who are hep but, after marriage, they want the same woman to be a homemaker. They want arm candies outside the house but a working cow once you are inside the four walls of a house.

Discrimination will never end. In fact, it's discrimination that is pouring money into the pockets of Fair & Lovely. I really am truly sorry to see the intellectual capacity of such people who value appearances. "All that glitters is not gold".

But, but... Real relationships are complex!

I can only say that they require a lot of patience, a large heart, the willingness to learn and unlearn and to be able to do so with grace and goodwill. Fortunately, none of these things are dependent on how a person looks – be it, the man or the woman. Of course, you need to be attracted to each other but attraction works on several levels. And in the end, whether you have had an arranged marriage or a love marriage, most marriages that are happy are the ones in which both the husband and the wife, are working hard – listening to each other, communicating, improving.

To all dark skinned Indian girls out there, you are worth so much more than your skin colour and if anyone tells you otherwise, don’t believe them. Their small mindedness is not your fault. If anyone downgrades your deliciously choc colour, tell them, "Then it’s your problem, not mine," and strut away, head held high, bursting with confidence of being a sexy dark skinned Indian girl. Feel sorry for those who failed to see you as the awesome dark skinned Indian woman you are both inside and out. It is your life so marry a man who loves you for all your virtues and convictions and character, not one who nitpicks on your skin tone.

Remember, marriage is not what life is all about. I have made marriage a centre point in this post - because colorism and shade cards are concepts prevalent in the matters of marriage. If you have to compromise on your self-respect and be with someone, I would suggest, be alone!

Disclaimer: This post is not meant to hurt anyone. Apologies if you are sensitive!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

When My Soul Sister Got Married!

“A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we’re pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we’re safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we’re two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we’ve found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life. ” — Richard Bach

Stefi, she means the world to me. She is a sister I never had.

As you start this new chapter of your life, as you unite with timeless love and friendship, I just want to tell you how emotional it is to see you as a bride-to-be! You mean so much to me! My first friend, my first confidant.

She had the most elegant bridal shower one day before her wedding :)


Her close family and friends dressed her up in all white. The white gown  hugged her perfectly. The most hip bride with sneakers under her ever so beautiful gown - my beautiful friend!



Today was the day she was getting married. She had to start a new journey and had to travel an unknown path that she had never traversed before.

While she arose and gracefully walked to begin her new journey, she looked the most beautiful!

More importantly though, the tradition, the love, and the pure happiness in that space as family & friends all gathered in celebration for our dear Stefi was truly undeniable.

“What do you do when you go to a friend’s wedding?” is one of the questions I get asked most.  It is utter joy to attend a close friend's wedding,  to enjoy their big day with them and embrace the spirit of their celebration!

It is an unparalleled feeling. Celebrating one of the biggest moments in my best friend’s life was absolutely priceless. There’s nothing like seeing your friends with that magical glow about them. Amiright?! The joy is such, that I never danced, but I did! And I did it HAPPILY, without getting conscious!

The small details become the big picture, Stefi & Jimmy did an incredible job incorporating meaningful details into every part of their wedding. They carefully planned the tiny details and elements of their wedding - something that made it look like everything was given so much thought!

The caricature on the card was beautiful. The wedding hashtag was lovely - #ElevatorLove - since they both stay in same building, just different floors! Such cuties!




I enjoyed the wedding to bits!

Congratulations to you both. :* Wishing you and Jimmy a lifetime of love and happiness. Let this adventure begin. Love you!


Watch their First Dance on this beautiful song J


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Let the fall make you stronger!

I believe that love is a light switch: Something flicks on.We get an overwhelming sensation.It hits us like a bag of bricks. Or a strong arrow.When we know, we know. Right?  Love is a series of choices.

The way he looks at me. How hard he makes me laugh. How unexpectedly, he tugs my arm and rests on my shoulders. The way he makes me feel when I don’t feel anything.

But like an airplane flight, there will be turbulence. The fights. The disagreements. The little things that will bother us. His socks. Her shopping. We might start wondering if we’ve made the right choice.

Once we are in doubt, we have to make another choice: to continue to fly with this person or jump out of the plane.

Love is making a choice every single day, to either love or not love. That’s it. It’s that simple. Either to continue the process or not.
Sometimes it is easy to love. Sometimes it is extremely difficult. But at the end of the day, it’s always a choice.

Always choose each other, fly and soar higher, grow stronger each day. And let the love deepen – the longer you stay on the flight and embark on the journey together, the more fruit the process will bear. The investment will pay off. 

Let the fall make you stronger!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Book Review : Ramayana: The Game of Life – Book 4: Stand Strong



Author - Shubha Vilas

The Ramayana is not a story. It is a way of life. It is the game of life.

Life is a constant reminder that nothing, however powerful in one season, remains so in the next. These endless cycles of change could really spook someone who is unprepared to face the realities. Remember that situations of helplessness are always created by one’s own limited imagination.

• Perception appears larger than reality. Many were afraid to battle the Lankans, but grounded in reality, Rama and his army managed to free Sita.
• Fear results in pain. Lying broken and bruised, Sampati did not believe he could help until he did and it made all the difference.
• Clarity leads to freedom. Rama never wavered in his single-minded pursuit, and eventually got exactly what he wanted.

Do you have the courage to face your fears?

AUTHOR :

Shubha Vilas is a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker. He helps people in dealing with modern-day life situations through the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharmic traditions. He conducts leadership seminars in premier institutes across the world and inspires deeper human values.

REVIEW:

Stand Strong is the fourth book in Ramayana: The Game of Life series. A modern retelling of the Kishkindha Kanda of Valmiki’s epic, it reminds us through the tragic story of brothers Vali and Sugriva that life is like a dangerous treasure hunt. One must be resilient while running through confusing, zigzagging paths to acquire essential wisdom.

This book is an authentic narration of the epic life lessons helping readers keep faith and conquer their fears. I have read the previous three parts. I feel that everything is alright and in control as long as I read this series. It gives meaning to my life and give me an intrinsic changeless core inside my heart to rely upon, in this ever changing and forever shifting external world.

Amazing book for the youth, it is filled with the practical situation in our life relating them to the incidents of the Ramayana. Things are nicely explained and filled with the touch of suspense and with it a nice teaching of our daily life. It is a beautifully written book covering even the most intricate details of the period.

I liked the book and I am sure people with a taste in Indian mythology would like it. And, for people who are still to read about it, Shubha’s books can be a fitting beginning. Overall, I recommend this book. Read it. It will not disappoint you. There is something or other to learn for anyone from this Game of Life.

I wish that may this Shubha Vilas' Ramayana may touch many more hearts, and enable them to improve their game of life. This book is a nourishment to your soul.

Rating – 4.5/5