Why Losing My Path Has Given Me A Strange Freedom

 Awakening-to-the-Divine

Discipline,focus,a clear cut path and a strategy … how many times have we heard this as a perfect recipe for success. How many times have we been told not to walk a path that shows no light, that not just to do things aimlessly without thinking of consequences. Not everyone is a genius , not everyone always knows what they want in life,not everyone wants to be Mother Teresa or Abdul Kalam. Well, accept it , majority of us don’t know until a ripe old age what we wanna do in life.

Firstly who decides the parameters of success? The parents, the society that has a shared value and everyone is expected to adhere to that, the luxuries that are proclaimed to be achieved as a result of monetary assets or what we perceive to be success.

An IITian leaving a hotshot job and turning to photography or music is a success story, an inspirational one but an illiterate person doing the same is a struggler or even a fool. Who decides?

Who says that you need to study a subject in the college and marry it for the rest of your lives? Study law, become a lawyer. Study engineering, become an engineer. And its not that coercion from the society, what amuses me is the intensity with which things have been imprinted onto our minds that if we take a career shift, we feel guilty about doing it.We feel ostracized , so scared as to what will happen if we are not accepted by people who just don’t care about what we do except for our bank balance.

I graduated as a lawyer but I love to write. In my entire school life and my five years at the law school I have thought a lot about what I want to do, panicked a lot about not having a secure career, freaked out a lot about not graduating from a top notch college, had sleepless nights about not having that PERFECT JOB PROFILE. Despite the fact that I knew that I was far ahead of my peers in the matters of the mind and heart(not bragging but one knows his/her capabilities), despite always receiving subtle omens, reminders and compliments from everyone around me all saying the same ‘you are different’,I panicked not for my destination but for creating a path for the same. 

Money, status, prestige, impressions all these factors were my considerations to choose what I wanted to do. When people were enjoying I was studying frantically for an exam I didn’t plan to appear for the next 2 years. Yeah! That was me…Mad!

But all through this i knew as i have always known I am meant to do something great in this world, leave a legacy, enter the hall of fame… but most importantly this greatness, this legacy shall not be for anyone else other than my own self, my soul… that’s whom I am responsible for. How can i be a good friend, a good daughter, a lover, a sister , a good wife and a good mother when I can’t love myself enough, respect the glory of my existence and the purpose of my birth.

And I am glad I freed myself. I closed my eyes , wiped all traces of the paths I had created for a destination I didn’t know, placed my hand on my heart and just spoke to the inner me LET THE MAGIC BEGIN! And boy! was i amazed???? I was baffled at the mysterious ways in which the universe functions and the tremendous freedom that it gave me. I finished my law, deliberately flunked my LLM entrance examination because my voice said its not what I want to do now. I took up a job in an altogether new city with no one I knew and I was pleasantly surprised at how conditions started turning favorable towards me. My mom stood by me.

The one thing I promised myself was I WILL NEVER SET ANOTHER GOAL IN MY LIFE except one – LEARN AS MUCH AS I CAN AND BREAK ALL MY COMFORT ZONE. That has become my new mantra.

And so I am free. I am writing at a place I love at this point of time in my life. It sets me free, trains me to get disciplined to be able to write each day , something I shall be needing to be a good writer. Practically everyone is telling me not to opt for army as a future career but I want to do it to break my comfort zone and to learn and just to answer a simple question. Do I have it in me?? Don’t forget that exam I was to take up two years later. I wake up at 6 each day and manage to churn out 5 Hours a day to study for that and I don’t regret a single moment I spent studying for it. It makes me a wiser and informed person whether or not I clear the exam. 

This is amazing, this is beautiful, the freedom that it gives my mind to learn without the pressure of a goal and be able to enjoy the journey called life … the rest are just milestones that come in between. Taking one at a time

Along the woods I walked,

Into paths long known ,

The trodden ways, the fixed destination 

was all so dusty all so rotten,

And i glanced upwards to see the little birds that flew ,

Little they were but with dreams that were new ,

Dreams that were simple yet so difficult,

Dreams to be free, to think free ,

To live free, to die free,

And off they soared onto the paths that blurred,

I took off my shoes ,

My feet kissing the morning dew ,

And in no path lies my freedom that’s all i knew

-Athena/ambika

Why India And Bharat Are Two Different Countries

  

I live in a land where not just in terms of wealth but also in terms of mindsets and intellects we have a huge gap. I choose to call this concept as CULTURAL LAG. So basically we are two different countries residing on this same piece of land India And Bharat.

One the one hand we have this ironical scenario where the wealth gap between the rich and the poor is so wide that you can almost find a skimpily clad girl stepping out of a Lamborghini and at the same place a skimpily clad man with just a bony skeleton and an empty plate.

What is more intriguing is the fact that how superficial have we become in our thinking. For God’s sake where is the this country’s intelligentsia? I search them because they need to give some lessons of basic common sense to these celebrities and hotshot people just like the RBI chose to give to the businesses.

There is a thing called as the corporate social responsibility whereby for each business house it is mandatory to put some amount of their profits into welfare of the common public. Indeed a wonderful concept! Like turning the tide of capitalism towards socialistic shores. Similarly what the intelligentsia needs to is to infest the influential people especially celebrities with the idea that you owe something to the social fabric of this country and that something is not money … It is ETHICS AND DECENCY.

In India people know that a girl wearing a short skirt is not a big deal but sorry to say in Bharat, a guy with that narrow a mindset doesn’t think so and it has nothing to do with the person. There are a plenty of reasons majority of them being sociological for such a phenomena. Shared values of a community, the personality, the individual’s environment and on top of that education and the proximity one has had towards his/her family to name a few.

While I would love to go into the details of each but for now what is pertinent to mention is that WE ARE NOT AMERICA. We don’t have a 100%literacy rate. We don’t have a 24/7 exposure to and availability of internet all over our country. We don’t have libraries in all nooks and corners of our cities , leave alone villages. Screw that! We don’t even have schools for all.

So to all the celebrities, godmen and other perpetrators of culture in this country… What are you thinking when you make item numbers.What are you thinking when you deliver sermons that this world is transient and you need to focus on the other world.
Do you have any idea what a laymen with not so developed cognitive skills to distinguish between these hi-fi philosophies would do? No, don’t think he would ignore you. Oh! he idolizes you Mr.Baba . He will just stop working, just stop fending his wife and children , take that bloody SANYASA and say that this world is transient.And that would just create a GOOD FOR NOTHING POPULATION.

And equally amusing is the Bollywood, the news more so the entire media industry of ours. On one hand we have a newspaper with the level of the Hindu and Indian express and on the other hand we have news channels like IBN 7 that show everything apart from the news. I personally beleive the most misused article of the Indian constitution is the Art 19 Freedom To Speech. While we as a democracy boast of giving the freedom of expression and speech to every citizen, we fail to realize that with rights come equal responsibilities and duties not to take advantage of them. 
So, while people like Honey Singh do have the freedom of speech and expression, they need to realize that what they make and produce is not just theirs but belongs to people as well. With such a huge fan following and the realization that whatever you say n make will be blindly followed and idolized by people who don’t have the intellectual capacity to just ignore and chuck it off as mere entertainment. When you commodify and objectify women, when you  proclaim that,”han mein alcoholic hu”, do you even realize that a 7 year old chap chants your songs like mantra and thinks its just cool to be what you show you are. 
A young college graduate from a top notch college has the wisdom to judge and understand what is meant and what should be just taken as joke but a person of the same age residing in a village, who may or may not have any access to education, who may or may not have ever spoken to girls and woman in a normal fashion, who has never ever been exposed to the basic ideals of liberty, equality, justice nad rationality that our constitution stands upon,who still thinks and believes that a man and woman are not the same thanks to the cultural lag this country has and the low levels of education what message do you think is passed on to him. And then we have the same people who think its cool and okay to assault a girl wearing short clothes because a girl’s character is directly proportional to the length of her clothes. 
 
So if you think Eminem abusing in his videos is bad. Well its not bad for America when 100% of America is modernized and educated and also because Eminem doesn’t write for India and Afghanistan and also because almost half of India doesn’t listen to Eminem but 99% of India listens to idiotic Bollywood item songs and plays them in all stupid wedding celebrations.
 
On that note , all I wanna say is please beware of what you are feeding this country and its people. Its not just the politics that is marred by this ‘chalta hai’ attitude , its not about corruption in economic spheres, its also about corrupting one’s mind . So please don’t go by things … don’t sell them because market mein yhi chalta hai… wo chalta hai kyunki wo bikta hai.
 
– Athena 
For the pledge I have been taken for the 15 years of my school life each morning
 
“To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion.In their well being and prosperity alone, lies my happiness”

How My Boyfriend’s Ex Became My Good Friend

303-2PrettyGirls-6

Sounds weird?? But it did happen to me. For one reason that I am essentially not a judgmental person. It all started with… of course a Facebook friend request but before that let me mention that my boyfriend had spoken to her about me and her reply was,”are you sure about her? If yes, then please don’t her.” 

So now why wouldn’t I look past the ex tag and see the wonderful lady that she must have been. So moving from facebook to whatsapp was a gradual step and thus began a teeny weeny exchanges of words and greetings, with an occasional compliment or two.  
Somehow I realized that I shared with this lady much more than phone numbers. I shared with her during different epochs of time, the man I was with. She knew him as closely as I know and that makes it all the more unique as this is something no one can categorize and qualify into a certain relationship.
And it so happened that on all the instances when I had problems with the Man she was the first one to come to me with a genuine and considerate helpful hand and advice. Of course she could do it better than anyone else as the beast that we sought to tame was ONE. It was more like roaming through the great school of Hogwarts holding an old friend’s hand and searching new pathways and juggling through the drifting staircases.
So why she became his ex was a question that would so naturally cross my mind. Whose fault was it? Why did it happen? Whatever the answer , the one thing I knew was that the glass through which we both had seen the Man was the same. The same set of positive qualities coupled with the same set equally annoying negative qualities…it all stood stark naked … the Vetruvian Man with all his virtues and vices. 
Amidst all this I found a good friend, a confidant, a lady with a genuine and wise outlook towards life… a partner in wisdom.Its just a matter of your patience and how efficiently you can ignore the otherwise so obvious vices. She chose to walk away because HE WAS NOT WORTH IT.
I, if ever choose to walk away, its obviously because HE WAS NOT WORTH IT.
I am yet to meet her but trust me I admire her for showing such maturity and integrity when it comes to dealing with people. I admire her for the amazing way in which she gave me reasons not to give up on my relationship. I admire her for being so upright and honest about what is right and what is wrong and even to the extent of telling me that no doubt you should love with all your heart but you should equally respect yourself and value your future if the guy isn’t worth it.
Because for once I know it well that she wasn’t the one to give up and neither am I. But somehow , may be sometimes IT IS WISE TO GIVE UP ON THE WRONG PERSON AT THE RIGHT TIME. 
 
– Athena 

The Real Family

A writer’s late night desk
-athena
The radiant skin , the shining eyes , the wide smile , the rushing tears … Nothing shall remain ,
And neither shall our ego, our status our bountiful health…
But one thing shall always haunt … Shall always linger , like a ghost , like the shadow of your old self …
One thing !
Losing the one who loved you with all their heart and soul ,
Losing those eyes that waited for a single glimpse ,
Losing those hands that prayed for your happiness,
Losing that heart whose only happiness was to see you happy,
One regret shall we all have …
When one day we stand at the afternoon n evening of our lives finding that noone really bothers , none really cares as they did and yet in the haughty arrogance of our youth , in the glittery world of the city lights , in the dripping drinks and the rising highs ,
In the puffs of smoke and the euphoria generated,
We forgot to treasure that hand which held us without a single word ,
We forgot to wipe tears from the eyes that cried for us ,
We forgot to lift the soul that bent down to support us,
We forgot to protect the love that was pure …
And in that moment shall we realise that not just have we been fools but cowards …
Because
‘Everyone finds love , but only the brave know how to treasure it ‘
© Athena
P.s – Leave your home, go live alone and you will know who is your family and who isn’t.

Breaking Your Comfort Zone – First Impressions Of An Independent Life At 23

Pebbles-Feet

Breaking Your Comfort zone – First Impressions Of An Independent Life At 23
-Athena
I moved to Delhi two weeks back and its a plethora of crazy emotions. Its not just for work that i have made this move , its for one simple and yet important reason – BREAKING MY COMFORT ZONE. 23 years of living under the protected arms of my mother it was imperative for me let it go because as they say,”life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.
So while I won’t proclaim to be strong or completely numb to the fact that as much as it was simple on the outside it was equally challenging on the inside. For someone like me who micro analyzes every small thing that runs in her mind it can be pretty daunting to move out of one’s comfort zone when millions thoughts run across. Thoughts of missing your loved ones, of having no friend, of having to learn the ways of big cities and of sheer anonymity.

Every night for the first few days was a saga of ramblings and rantings to go back home, with a million excuses for myself and each morning is a wake up call with a single statement – BREAK YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND LEARN TO SURVIVE
So from beating that odd feeling of seeing a lock upon the door when you arrive from work to maintaining that expressionless face while you travel in a metro , from getting used to no one waking you up to getting your own breakfast (which is always so dry without the special love of mom) its all those tiny little things in between that make you think ,”If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you have always got’.

And along the lane i stepped on some pebbles and spotted some gems. I picked them both. Gems as the proof that I have the spark in me and that the spark shines. The pebbles as subtle reminders that there are lessons that need to be learnt the hard way.
Each day is a new story with a million new faces that feel all the same and what amuses me is the thought that why do people here move like zombies going on a death trial. 🙂 Some sleeping, some sleep walking but all having one thing in common… the ‘LIFE IS A RACE SYNDROME ‘

The journey has just begun and all i know is,
My steps may falter,
My knees may get bruised,
I may lose my way,
I may lose my destination,
But i won’t lose myself and neither my words

My Definition Of What You Call Feminism- My Choice

athena___immortals_by_the_kirana-d6jrjf3-Athena
I am not a feminist if you say that feminism is crushing men and dominating them to prove your superiority.
i am not a feminist if you think that a woman has the right to break a man’s heart and yet thinks that the same should not be done to her. I am not a feminist if you think that a woman can justify all her mistakes, all her perverseness and yet accuse a man of having a dirty mind.
I am a feminist not just because i believe in equality but because I believe more in freedom. Freedom to just be yourself without interfering in anyone’s right to be themselves.
I abhor the feminists that preach feminism as allowing a woman to make a career and money and at the same time discard every woman’s decision to leave a job and raise her children as submission.
From breaking the stereotype that a woman must be confined to the walls of the home to raising a new stereotype that a woman isn’t complete unless she juggles between a career and family and has become perfect at being the best of both we have further enslaved woman from the domains of the kitchen to the AC cabins of corporate offices.
I abhor this sham feminism or any other ‘ism’ for that matter which tells any human being what to do and what not to do. Its a big world out there for everyone. If at all anyone wants to make it better for a woman just break all the barricades that stop her from exercising her choice, her ideas, her happiness.
A woman chooses to dump a hotshot job and travel solo! Go ahead . A woman decides not to have children because her priority is being a top notch CEO! her choice. A woman wants to raise a family and enjoy her time with her husband or boyfriend instead of slogging at an office! Her choice.That does not and must not mean that she can’t do the rest of the things . It just means that SHE CHOOSES NOT TO.
For God sake let it be. The only thing that is required of you is STAY AWAY ! And stop making her feel as if she is an endanger animal who needs your protection.
Empowerment is a hoax and so is your sham feminism.