Uncategorized: de-cluttering life Facebook life changing project Lifein2suitcases Moving on Pratishtha Durga Simplifying Life
by Pratishtha Durga
I am not a big fan of the rains. I have been, and will always be, a sunshine woman. I like to be enveloped by a hint of warmth. Not the wet cold that monsoons bring. The dull, grey weather forces me into some not so happy introspection that really brings out my blues. And in my kind of life, grey and blue don’t go well together.
So I have been trying to work my way around this. I am determined to uncover tiny slivers of sunshine in my daily life. This morning, for instance, I had a bit of help from Joanne Gero, a Vegan Raw food Goddess, and a facebook friend. Her delicious Orange smoothie recipe made my day. Cool and refreshing, and packed with raw nutrients, it was a great way to start my day and face its rain-drenched hours. It’s pouring outdoors, and I have just downed a tall glass full of the sunshine smoothie. I will now get ready to go to office, while listening to music on the radio. Well, whatever helps you find happiness, however transient.
I am slowly beginning to realize that you cannot depend on anyone for your happiness. You have to find it within yourself. And hence, you are not responsible for anyone else being unhappy. This is slowly, but surely helping me let go of past bruises. True, I will never let people who hurt me come close to me again. But I also realize that I always had the choice to get up and go away. I have that choice now too. And I have been trying to convince myself that my going away will not be an act of selfishness and irresponsibility. It will be self-preservation. And the world around me will just have to deal with it. Our being on this planet makes a difference to a really small number of people. And we spend a large part of our life trying to ensure that we do not hurt them in any way. What a waste of time! Ask me. Because you don’t really know which one among the people you hold so dear, is right now doing something that will break you into a million bits. So if a relationship does not feel right, chances are, it isn’t. If there is a tiny, nagging doubt, explore it. Face up to the fact that now might be the time for you to stand up and walk out. Regrets are long-lived only if you don’t act on them. You can keep regretting all your life and nothing will come out of it.
There is lots that is keeping me back. But what parts of it are truly worthwhile? I guess that in the process of finding what I want from my life, I just might end up discovering what I don’t want.
Uncategorized: de-cluttering life life changing project Lifein2suitcases Moving on Pratishtha Durga Simplifying Life The Big Purge Challenge
by Pratishtha Durga
Wow, what a day! A page and a half in Sunday Mid-day… With a huge over-statement that makes me sound like such an over-achiever! The picture caption says that my life fits into 2 suitcases. While I wish it was true, it’s a bit off the mark. Oh well, it’s a lot off the mark. The Big purge Challenge is my personal journey towards de-cluttering my life. I am sharing the process with the readers of my blog. It’s a day to day purge of material, spiritual and emotional baggage from my life. It began, in true sense, just a couple of weeks back when I posted THIS.
So, here is the article. Just discount the picture caption, and you have the facts.
Uncategorized: de-cluttering life Lifein2suitcases Moving on
by Pratishtha Durga
It’s the Easter weekend, and the beginning of another month. I am kicking Lifein2suitcases into full gear now. And I need suggestions from you all. In concept, it sounds easy. Get rid of all the clutter in your life and move to a promised land where the sun never sets and the rainbow’s golden pot of happiness is right there, within your reach. But in real life, it’s a bit complicated. The “things” I have to get rid of, have memories attached to them. Plus, they are incredibly beautiful. Well, some of the things are. And there is this bond we create with all things material, which becomes so difficult to get rid of. Which is precisely what makes this project so challenging and exciting for me. I have some beautiful saris, some of which have never been worn. I plan to sell them off. Ebay seems to be a good option. Then there are other things that can be given away to friends and family. And some basic stuff like casual clothes, shoes, and books go to charity. Everything needs to be sorted and slotted. And the house will have to stay in a state of mess for about a month’s time. I guess that’s another compromise I have to make. So what do I get out of this? Space. And more. I am yet to define the “more” bit, but whatever it is, it seems enticing. As the space taken by the material things I own shrinks, my world becomes larger. I am ready to move to the horizon and beyond it. So the last month was full of experiences. I went to Agra and we let go of our old house. We moved into dad’s new house, an absolutely stunning, happy little three bedroom number that I know is just perfect for him. I went out with my family and we ate at our favorite joints. We revisited childhood memories and shed a few bitter-sweet tears. Back in Mumbai, my attempts to overcome my fear of water continue. And I am slowly but surely rediscovering the joys of simple cooking. In all, no two days of the month of March looked alike. In April, let’s get back to the basics. To the very foundation of our personalities. To the time we were born and maybe before that. To the influences in our parents’ life that made them who they were and in turn, made us who we are. To the blueprints of our mental make-ups, and to what ties us to our beliefs and dreams and the inability to act upon them. One step at a time. I hope that you are not just reading this blog, but are actually making an attempt to remove a few “extras” from your life. Believe me, it works!
My mother believed that religion, when not understood, will become mankind’s biggest fallacy. That it will change the course of history. That many stories will be wiped out before being written. And some stories will be written that never should have existed, drenched in blood and gore and tears. And I see it happen every day. I see lives taken, trust broken, hatred nurtured, and loves lost. In the name of religion. Could the pursuit of something so beautiful, complete and serene turn so bitter? And angry?
Where does it all stop? What do we do? When names become our defining points, our identities, and everything else fades away, who do we blame? And what will be the story of our generation?
So I choose to lock out the stories that religion writes. I look for my stories in random faces to which I cannot put a name. I find words strung together in anticipation of an image, a progression of thought and ideas that is neutral to mankind’s vices. Observant but dispassionate, without being cold. Like the story of the old man. Every morning, as I hurriedly leave for office, I see this old gentleman. Ravaged by decades of living, he walks slowly down the road across my house. Bent at the waist and visibly frail, he measures every step, and his progress down the road is inevitably slow. He wears shorts and a worn out but clean white t-shirt. And he carries a tennis racquet. Yup, he does!
So I start weaving stories about him. Of lost loves and forgotten friends. Of life’s small but unique pursuits. In some stories he is the hero, in others, he is an observer. And the stories keep coming, evolving and growing with every sighting of the old man.
There are stories waiting to be told. Everywhere you look, in every person, every object, there is a history, the dream of a future. Weave them together, and in their warp and weft, a thousand images will spring forth. Stories without a religion. Tales as they should have been, could have been. As only you and I can write them. And in doing so, maybe, you and I can rewrite the history of our race.
Uncategorized: Lifein2suitcases Moving on Sunita Shrotriya
by Pratishtha Durga
I leave for my home town Agra today. My parents owned a beautiful house there. After Mom passed away last year, the house got to be too big for my Dad to maintain alone. So he decided to sell it. It’s sold now, and my brother and I leave tonight, for some legal paper work. My Dad has bought himself a three BHK apartment in a lovely residential complex in Agra.
So I have to leave tonight. And I leave with such mixed feelings! On one hand is the excitement of seeing my Father’s new house, and revisiting the place I grew up in. On the other hand is the immense pain of letting go of my childhood memories. I had a small room on the first floor of the house. Its door opened into the balcony in the front part of the house. And I would sit there, in an easy chair, reading, or just watching the kids play in the big grounds across the road. It was such a wonderful feeling. When I would fall sick, Mom would open the six feet high windows in the room, letting the fresh air in. And there was this tree in the grounds which always had hundreds of parrots resting on it every autumn morning. If you tossed a pebble in that tree’s direction, you’d think that the tree was flying away. Over the years, the birds vanished, and the tree’s branches got cut.
Then there were the monsoons. The perfect time to get drenched in the rain, standing on our house’s terrace. We’d sometimes carry our dinner upstairs and eat on the terrace. On a good, cool night, we’d sleep there. My friend’s family owned a horse, and I often went for a ride across the grounds. I remember that the horse was called Rani.
There are too many memories to recall. And not enough space. So well, I leave tonight to say a final goodbye to my house. To the people who were our neighbors, who stood by our side during the toughest times. And to a lifetime of cherished memories. Another journey awaits me, and another lifetime. But my old house will be gone. And it will be missed.