Unwinded

It was one of those days when I got time to ponder upon something that had been shunted to one corner of my mind for quite a long time. It so happens that we are so wrapped up in our routine and we tend to easily gloss over the intricacies and the minute aspects of the things that make us what we truly are. Run behind the big things- that’s what they tell us. But can’t we just-perhaps for some time- slow down a bit and look more closely at the smaller things?

There are almost a million things that go on daily in each of our lives. But when was the last time you stopped to actually think about something that only you yourself could fully appreciate? At times, it so happens that something just strikes a chord with you, something so deep and yet impeccably simple. I mean, anything as plain as a cup of hot tea on a wintry morning can make you feel happy for the entire day. 

We go on chasing happiness in every possible way we can. But the tiniest of things can leave us feeling satisfied and content. Isn’t this paradoxical?
Don’t all of us feel happy when our favourite song plays on the radio, even if we perfectly know that we can just plug in to Spotify to listen to it anytime? Doesn’t a beautiful sunrise spread a glow in our hearts everytime we feast our eyes upon it? Doesn’t a simple ‘how was your day’ fuel us to talk endlessly about random stuff? That’s just what it is. We get so attached to the things we like that it’s like we embed a part of ourselves into them.

Ever heard the gentle tinkling of your grandmother’s bangles? Or the chirping of a small bird in the early hours of the dawn? These might seem insignificant to some, but they can mean a lot to others. The more I think, the more clearly I realise that happiness is that thing which is hidden in the most unlikely places- all around us. It’s there in the cream on your coffee. In the smell of the pages of your recently bought book. In the messy notes and doodles in your class notebook. In the oldest of your dresses- those to which even you can’t explain so as to why you are so dearly attached. In the warmth of your favourite sweatshirt. In the late night brainstorming sessions with a close friend. In the loud laughs and conversations at the dinner table. In those quotes that you run through again and again, especially when you need them the most. Yes, these are often neglected but believe me, these are the things that complete us. And the best part is that no two individuals can ever share the same set of things that they have a personal connection with. This is what precisely defines the vibrancy in the human race. And it’s beautiful. It is exactly like a plethora of emotions that gets hooked onto every person associated with a feeling. All these trivial things sum up to portray what we, as individuals truly are. All these thoughts crossed my mind like a series of blurred images in just a few minutes. But I understood more firmly than ever, that it is the smallest of things that redefine what the big ones truly ought to be.
-Mugdha Deshpande

Even the butterfly was once a caterpillar.

Even the butterfly was once a caterpillar. He didn’t know what he would eventually become. Yes, he had a very trying time when he wasn’t at his best. His transforming phase wasn’t something that was admired by all. And yet, he didn’t give up. Do you think the caterpillar knew that he would one day become a beautiful butterfly, who would spend his days dancing on flowers? Surely not. And yet he went on. Isn’t this so relatable to us humans too? No one appreciates you when you are in a moulding phase. You have to face innumerable challenges the moment you wake up each day. There are some days when you are totally clueless about what’s going on. You are one big, confused bundle of threads, struggling and trying to figure out what you would become. Yes, sometimes challenges do seem endless. Sometimes things you want seem to be sailing out of your reach right in front of your eyes. And believe me, that is the most unexplainably painful feeling you can ever feel. But you have just got to trust that all this is simply a part of your developing period. There might be days when the extrovert in you turns into an introvert and avoids talking to people mainly because they question your choices to make you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, all you need is to give yourself the generous amount of time that you deserve. Have faith and trust the process. I know all this might sound far-fetched when you are actually caught up in the middle of a storm. You have all the logic and critical thinking you need but you just can’t think logically. Everything just goes haywire. Minutes seem like hours, hours seem like days and you try in vain not to think too much, not to revolve in the same round circle again and again. But in spite of all the odds, you hang on there. You stand there, rooted to the spot with all the energy you can muster. And that is what makes things change. Slowly first, and then so rapidly that even you find it hard to comprehend them. It is your belief and grit that finally does what it has to do. The once terrible dilemmas reach logical conclusions. You discover what you really want. After days and days of incertitude, your brain finally finds its sorting algorithm and tries to place thoughts in an orderly way. Things begin to fall in place, magically like the pieces of a puzzle. Distorted tiles come together to form a mosaic. The abstract shapes begin to make sense. Shaky lines materialize into figures. And again, you are awestruck. You can’t do anything but just sit and stare and perhaps try to understand all that is happening quite suddenly. That is the moment when everything seems worth dodging all those obstacles that tried so hard to make you take a detour. You are fully aware that challenges are perpetual and getting through this one can gear you up for the next. And at this point in time, there is no one who can appreciate yourself more than you can, when you finally sail successfully through that intimidating storm. And that is when the caterpillar in you transforms itself into a butterfly.

-Mugdha Deshpande

Dear Eighteen..

Dear eighteen, 

Well, umm hi! To be honest, none of us knew what you would look like. And that’s what you were to us, a delusion. I literally thought that the world would look different once I was 18. And I’m sure most of us did think the same. But here we are, the world just the same and many of us flaunting the #Being18 and ‘Adulting vibes’ thing. We all turned 18 in just a day, but the more I ponder upon it, dear eighteen, you were always something so vast that it wouldn’t be possible to fit you in a span of twenty four hours ever. You make us realize of responsibilities each day. You propel us to stretch our horizons and discover something. But that’s the good part. Eighteen, let me be frank with you. Sometimes we do yearn to become small, with two ponytails, school bags on our shoulders and nothing to worry about, except perhaps homework. Also, there’s this question that occupies a big chunk of my head and it keeps nagging me. Am I mature enough? Looking back at the early teens, I definitely feel that I’ve come a long way. But then the idealistic picture of being 18 pops in the mind and I come to the conclusion that though I’ve changed for the good, there’s still a long way to go. But I’ll say this too. We definitely have learnt a lot. We’ve witnessed transitions in us that make us feel a tiny bit proud. We learnt to make decisions for ourselves, understood the fact that everyone has different choices and experienced what it was to passionately work for a goal. We learnt that there actually existed things like challenges and that they weren’t just a part of motivational poems. Conversations were steered to different, unexplored waters, from assignment submissions to driving license applications. Seemingly nonsense conversations materialized into deep life changing decisions. From seeing people around us change to ranting about some random stuff, from making new friends to realizing how the old ones are true gems and from debating over the uncertainties to concluding big dilemmas, each day, we all grow. We see people around us being happy on fulfilling their dreams. The people who were once studying under the same roof have been dispersed all around the globe, in pursuit of their dreams. And that’s something amazing. It is fascinating to see that we all have grown. There’s no doubt that everyone’s a tangled bundle of threads, trying to be better than they were yesterday. Yes, occasionally stumbling, falling ungracefully, but getting up all the same. Dear eighteen, there’s a plethora of emotions associated with you. But today I’ll tell you- you are beautiful just the way you are. Yes, you make me feel a little lost, but a lot found. Just be the same, always.

Yours very truthfully, 

A young adult

Words.

Sometimes, you stumble upon a bunch of words and they somehow hit you differently. You feel an inexpressible rush of emotion because those words mean something different to you just because you can perfectly relate them to your life.  It’s like you find solace in those words, it’s like some long lost friend has finally returned. To others, those may be simple but to you, they have a meaning that no one, not even you can explain.
Isn’t this so beautiful? It’s like some thread that binds together minds of people through words. As it is said, words are definitely the most inexhaustible source of magic.
I often ponder upon the fact that how can a few short sentences have the power to influence your thinking process.  Its just that you feel so nice when you realise that people have similar thoughts, similar emotions. Maybe that is what connects the dots among people and maybe that is what makes the world a well knit fabric intertwined with different people.
When someone writes something, it does not belong to the author alone. It belongs more than anyone else to the readers who experience that it has somehow struck a chord with them. An invisible connection is created between millions of minds as the reader embarks upon the journey to venture through the inner heart of hearts of the author. I mean, daffodils were never given much attention before a poet like Wordsworth looked at them.
This speaks of the power which words possess. And at the end of the day, this is what you call wording the feeling.
~Mugdha Deshpande

The starry night

That day, everything just had to go against my mind. At the end of the day, I was a frustrated person snapping at everyone for no logical reason. I decided to walk into the gallery to get some fresh air. The city lights sprawled in front, with the skies spread above. There was coolness in the air. Somewhere I could faintly smell the aroma of a nocturnal flower. As I began to take a closer look at all this, my mind somehow managed to calm down a bit. But the real impact was when I turned my eyes skywards. It was as if a whole new world had opened up there, a world of which most people including me, were oblivious of.
The stars twinkled beautifully, it was as if sequins were spread across a vast expanse.
This spectacle enthralled me and I was automatically compelled to think beyond. As I stood there, my thoughts travelled from the fact that in this ever expanding cosmos, we humans were so busy with our own self that we didn’t have time to discover more. ‘Look at me,’ I thought. ‘Making unnecessary mountains out of mole hills.’ Small problems become colossal ones only when our mind decides that they should. Here I was stuck up with my own problems, revolving in the same circle, round and round, without even making an attempt to go any further. I began to think of all the people who wore a smile, inspire of facing real challenges. With my eyes on the stars, I realised that they somehow had said something that couldn’t be fitted into words. I smiled. Perhaps, sometimes you need something beyond words to make you realise your mistake. As the cool air swept over me, I remembered reading a quote somewhere, ‘If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.’ At that point in time, I couldn’t agree more. As I stepped indoors, I realised that I hadn’t got direct solutions to all my questions, but I certainly felt much better. My bad day had long been forgotten. As I closed my eyes that night, the dazzling sight of the sky seemed to have been etched in my mind and without a further thought, I rolled over and fell asleep.
~ Mugdha Deshpande

Choice.

Choice. That one word which creates diversity in the world. Each person in this world has a different choice. No two persons have the exactly same choices. Isn’t this a beautiful thing? But quite often this beautiful thing is the cause of conflict among people. It is human nature to think that the person in front of us must have the same opinion as we do. And if that person doesn’t have the similar view, one begins to question the reason for their choice. In this world, each one has a choice for a reason. Behind every seemingly absurd choice, there is always a determined reason in the mind of a person.
Everywhere around you there are so many colours, so many different shades, millions of hues. No one ever questions the way they are, instead each one admires them as a mesmerizing riot of colours. No one compels them to be the same. Instead every enchanted onlooker is appreciative of their contrasting shades. Why doesn’t this thought apply to people? Why does one have to question the choices of people?
Everyone cannot have the same opinion. Everyone cannot find the same thing appealing. Everyone cannot be the same. The world just needs to be full of distinct people. The world just needs to be vivid and vibrant to be beautiful.
~Mugdha Deshpande

Sonder- The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own

‘Sonder’ – A beautiful word coined by John Koenig

Quite often, we think about our own life..about the ups and downs
About the smiles and frowns
Each one of us marvels at the vivid life we live..
Our mind revolves around our own self..
My strengths, my weaknesses, my struggles, my achievements, my hobbies are the thoughts that dominate our mind. Quite often we are so wrapped up in our own world that we forget the fact that each one has a hike on the road of life. Realization of fact is called sonder.
In reality each and every person of this world feels and lives a complex life just like you feel you do. Every one has their own struggles, challenges and obstacles.
Every passerby, every person who smiled at you from the morning has his own difficulties.
And yet we smile, we laugh over frowns. That is because somewhere deep down a tiny ray of hope stays illuminated that we can learn to gloss over the insignificant things we call as colossal problems.
‘I am facing this obstacle just because I have the ability to fight my way through it’ is a beautiful thought that propels us to keep on paving the way of success.
But in the end, some people make mountains out of mole hills and keep going on and on about their troubles.
Some just accept everything with a smile and say that ‘life- it has so much more to enjoy.. Inspite of all the imperfections, life is yet so beautiful.’
~Mugdha Deshpande

The wabi-sabi way

Wabi-sabi (Japanese)
The discovery of beauty within the imperfections of life..

We humans consider ourselves to be some kind of superior species. We just want everything we crave for. Somewhere in the mind’s eye, each one of us is busy drawing a picture perfect scene of what we want our life to be.
We look at this picture every single morning, strive hard for it and at the end of that day whenever we somewhat achieve the task of painting that picture into reality, we begin to find faults in it.
‘My picture is imperfect’, is that one thought which dominates the mind.
The art of finding imperfections in life is one of the arts possessed by every single human.
But the art of seeing the beauty of being an imperfectionist is possessed by a handful few who accept the fact that no one is perfect. In reality, each one of us is imperfect in some or the other way. But you know, there is beauty in an imperfect life.
You can enjoy being the unique mess you are.
Instead of running behind what is never going to be yours, you can live the way you are. You stop comparing yourself with others, you stop criticizing yourself and start to live life to its hilt. No one can be perfect, no one is perfect.
Once one realizes this thing, one begins to find beauty in everything. And this is what you call wabi-sabi.

~Mugdha Deshpande

Where the sky meets the sea..

The sun woke up stretching its wide arms.
It spread its shine on the sea sprawled beneath. The pure rays of the rising sun fell onto the waves, blending them with a golden aura..
The waters of the sea sparkled, and the sea too woke up for a new day.. The waves gently caressed the shore, with their familiar noise that sounded so much like a melody..
As the waters mirrored the sky above, it gave the feeling that the sky itself had materialised on the Earth..
The clouds broke apart to give way to the sun
with a riot of colours, and a confluence hues.
I stood there, transfixed and awestruck,
as I feasted my eyes upon this magical sight.
The unfathomable sea stretched before me and my eyes traveled as far as they could..
As I treaded sofly on the sand, I realised that we were so small in front of this..
What if we just leave our desire to be the supreme and instead blend into the beauty of creation?
We too can have a place, not by being superior than nature, but by being a part of it..
You know, there is nothing wrong in being small, instead it changes your outlook in a positive way..
Just as the rays of the sun blended with the sea water thereby creating a sight nothing short of heaven, we too should become one with the earth instead of trying to prove our might against a creation that is thousandfold superior than what we are..
And then we can realise the true meaning of what is called beauty in being small.

~Mugdha Deshpande

The wanderlust in you

Travelling is that thing that showers you with impeccable joy, a heavenly solitude. To go to a place, to explore it gives the mind sheer bliss.
Its an amazing feeling to feast your eyes upon a snow capped peak, a pink cloudy sky, the vast expanse of a sea or on a dazzling night sky. The scenic roads, deep valleys just compel us to take a peek into our own mind.
You begin to discover a different world. And at the same time, you also discover your own self. Feeling perfectly at peace amidst the lush foliage, you begin to marvel upon the fact that you actually live in a life of partial oblivion.
The smell of the fresh mountain air, the feel of the wind whipping on you, and the tiny raindrops sliding down your face is a mystical feeling.
You realize the gravity, the magnitude of the magic of nature. All melancholy, all sadness just falls apart. Humming your favourite tune, you just want to capture as much as you can in the camera of your mind. A smile plays on your lips as you delve deeper into the magnificence of nature. You begin to envy the creations that spend their life in this perfect place. The pleasant, earthly smell after rains, -petrichor as it is called- just adds to the tranquility of the moment.
This is what is called utopia. This is the precise epitome of what you call ethereal. This is like experiencing pure happiness.
This is something ineffable. This is like getting lost and being found ’cause this is called the true beauty of life.

~Mugdha Deshpande