Yellow memories of the lake

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“No. I’m never gonna miss this place. I’m gonna miss this chocolate though. It’s only found here isn’t?” she said, munching on her chocolate stick.
“Yeah, a local brand. They fill generous amount of chocolate into it!” Ria smiled in satisfaction as she nibbled her’s.

They heard the church bells ringing as they walked lazily on a gentle downhill. Late evening walk was one thing they liked doing the most after a tiring day. Five to six hours of classes everyday was tough to bear. Those walks on the cleanest and the smoothest roads in India, admist the greenery and peace, used to be stress busters for them.
“The angel bells!” Ria closed her eyes in contemplation. She had done her schooling from a Christian convent and carried it’s ethics in her blood.
Chhaya had never been in a Christian vicinity before. Hence the two years of her Btech life had been interesting as she learnt about a completely different community then her’s. They were in a place where seventy percent population was Christian.

Walking, they reached the lake side-the most beautiful spot of their campus. On the other side of the lake was the Multiuse convention hall. It faced away from the lake. The lake reflected the light from the hall. Ria played Chhaya’s favourite, “Yellow” by Coldplay on her cellphone. Dusk was over and night had fallen by then.
“Look at the stars, look how they shine for you…” they both looked up at the full moon as they duetted.
A lazy spring evening, a full moon at the edge of the lake with your best mate, contemplating life. What could be more serene!

“I wish I was Elsa from Frozen. I would’ve turned the water into ice and would’ve danced on it…watching the reflection of my steps. Wouldn’t it have been like dancing on a mirror? Or like dancing among the stars it reflects? Imagine walking on it Ria, it would feel like the whole world is upside down! You will just walk on it effortlessly like an ant on the ceiling.”
She picked up a stone and threw it into the lake. It created ripples with edges glistening like some shiny metal.
“I wish I was a paperboat and these ripples would’ve taken me to the hall. I wish I was a shadow. I would’ve walked my way to the hall…”
“You are a shadow Chhaya” joked Ria as she gestured double qoutes around the word Chhaya.
“Yes..I’m a chhaya. I’m a shadow…” she replied half awoken from her thoughts.

They stood there without saying a word, immersed into deep thoughts, sinking as deep as into the lake itself.
“Come on let’s go. It’s seven already. The guard won’t let us into the hostel.” Ria checked her phone.
“Huh…yeah..”Chhaya rose from her thoughts.
As they walked silently towards their hostel, Chhaya weeped “I’m going to miss this place”
“I know” said Ria as she spread her arms around her and smiled.
“You’ll be the one to miss it the most baby…”

Photo by: Mike Gildon Lyndem (one of my best mates)


How to be a soldier at heart

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To fight the evils inside and outside one’s body, to progress in heart, mind and soul and to help one’s peers, family and country to prosper is known as being a soldier at heart.

Not everyone is capable of being a soldier who fights for and protects the country being in the border or a battlefield, but each one of us can become a soldier at heart. Each one of us can promise to strive for the betterment of the system, society and ourselves.

Firstly, why is it important to be a soldier at heart?

Ours is a world that is constantly evolving in every field. Be it science, technology, religious or political ideas. It is because of a portion of the society that it is evolving-the thinkers, philosophers, visionaries. Constant change is a must or, the system rots. But at the same time there are forces that break this down. These forces aim at breaking down the advancement in the society-forces like terrorism. Admist the two positive and negative portions, remains the working force, that functions like automated machines in-spite of having human brains. This portion of the society is functioning just to survive. Is that enough for a life that you aren’t sure you are going to live again? Now imagine that this portion of people joins the positive force which in turn works towards demolishing the negative one. Wouldn’t the so called evolution process work faster? If Earth has to end in some million million years, why not die smarter, happier? If each one of us can become a soldier at heart, this world can become a better place to live in!

So, considering that most of us want to do something about it, where do we start? Let’s begin at the lowest level that is-ourselves.

I, me, myself are selfish words. But these are the most important ones. I am the one who knows myself the best, what I’m best at and what is best for me. I am the one who will be with myself each second from the moment of my birth till death. Rest are temporary and it is a harsh reality. If each person starts believing this, he/she will start caring for and improving oneself. He/she will realise how important it is to be progressive to have a fulfilling life. The person will improve upon his health, skills and career. Half work is done because in any case, that person has the tools to support himself/herself. When the same person will pour out his/her heart and soul towards the society, it will improve. So the first step is to love ourselves. We need to fight our insecurities in order to grow. We need to demolish our weaknesses and polish our strengths.

Second level is family. Cleansing one’s family of wrong ideas and activities is the key. We can’t think of opening up the mindset of the society we live in if our own family is narrow minded or lacks awareness. “Going against” one’s family to prove them that they are wrong is not the idea. It can never be. It is not an act of heroism either. It will only leave them thinking they raised a family member in vain, to loose him/her to wrong ideas. To face them, make them understand and convince them of our idea is the only acceptable thing one can do. Sometimes unawareness leads to nasty ideas. Demolish this evil first and move forward.

Zooming out to get a larger view, we look at our surroundings. Do I feel something is not right around me? Is the place where I live, study or work is not as I wanted it to be? I will fix it rather than ranting and whining about it. I’ll think about ways to improve it, make it better rather than wasting my time being depressed about it and complaining. It may take time, it may not happen in my time. It may happen years after I have stopped living, working or studying in that place, but if it happens, my successors, my juniors or people coming to that place after me will be benefitted. I should think about the future beings besides the people I know in the present. Not thinking about the people of the future is being selfish and soldiers at heart are not selfish.

Still larger picture shows us the world. I want to protect it. I want to keep it clean. I want to motivate the people here for good things, to grow. But why do I have to think about the world? I alone cannot change the world. Then why even try? Mother Teresa beautifully quoted an answer to this by extrapolating the same line in a positive way-

I alone cannot change the world but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples

Sure if I only promise myself not to pollute my surroundings, and clean up the dirt which I can, the earth is not going to shine! But if I can inspire one or two people in my life to do the same, it will.

The small steps that we take today to make the world better in any way will lead us to create something big tomorrow!

Image from Uplift the world