Monthly Archives: April 2019

The Last Beating Heart

I don’t know if you ever have days when you feel like you’re the only beating heart in the world. The last real thing in the universe. Like everything and everyone around is just a prop. Paper people, hot air actions, entirely fictional situations.

And this is not a place of sorrow or pain or grief. It may be boredom, briefly but that’s only because one is used to thinking in terms of bustle and entertainment to feel alive and meaningful. Yet, if this place is to be held and beheld for a minute, the judgement shifts, the restless thoughts settle and it’s quiet. Serene, even. Peaceful. Calm. All but restless. Everything that you’ve been told life is not. And yet this is living in a very different way. Like you are all that life is and you’re keeping the universe alive.

Yesterday, I went swimming undisturbed by sunlight or crowd. I discarded paint, fabric and words by the poolside. As I plunged in, even the indistinct noises of other swimmers faded. And with every stroke, the water moved closer to the rhythm of my breathing, the beat of my heart. Underwater looks a lot like moonlight. And this night, the universe was quiet and pulsing to just one rhythm. Mine.

When I came out an hour later, the paper world stood waiting quietly for me to dry off, to forget the rhythm of my heart and to believe that all that is paper is real again. I’ll do it. Just until the next time I fall between the pages, underwater into the only real thing. Me.

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THE LAST BEATING HEART I don't know if you ever have days when you feel like you're the only beating heart in the world. The last real thing in the universe. Like everything and everyone around is just a prop. Paper people, hot air actions, entirely fictional situations. And this is not a place of sorrow or pain or grief. It may be boredom, briefly but that's only because one is used to thinking in terms of bustle and entertainment to feel alive and meaningful. Yet, if this place is to be held and beheld for a minute, the judgement shifts, the restless thoughts settle and it's quiet. Serene, even. Peaceful. Calm. All but restless. Everything that you've been told life is not. And yet this is living in a very different way. Like you are all that life is and you're keeping the universe alive. Yesterday, I went swimming undisturbed by sunlight or crowd. I discarded paint, fabric and words by the poolside. As I plunged in, even the indistinct noises of other swimmers faded. And with every stroke, the water moved closer to the rhythm of my breathing, the beat of my heart. Underwater looks a lot like moonlight. And this night, the universe was quiet and pulsing to just one rhythm. Mine. When I came out an hour later, the paper world stood waiting quietly for me to dry off, to forget the rhythm of my heart and to believe that all that is paper is real again. I'll do it. Just until the next time I fall between the pages, underwater into the only real thing. Me. ——————————————————————————- 🎶: TIME – Pink Floyd #theideasmithy #alonetime #peaceful #meditation #lifelessons #moon #fullmoonvibes #single #thoughts💭 #dream #dreamer #dreamcatcher #mood #moodygrams #swimlife #swimmer #healing #healthylifestyle #healthyliving #cancerian #magickingdom #underwater #nightswim

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Say HELP!

I’m reclaiming the ability to ask for help.

We have a warped notion of what it means to be strong or independent. To be strong is not to be unbreakable. To be independent is not to be devoid of need. To be a whole person is not to be cut off from all other people.

We live through need-shaming, connection-blaming. Workplaces hold up those who ask for the least, as paragons of ‘good’ workers, as if the needs they’re suppressing won’t take their toll on health & productivity. Relationships are all about assessing who is likeliest to give most and demand the least in return. Cue, the transactional nature of everything from arranged marriages to the hookup culture. Guilt-tripping is the champion currency of all regular relationships. Perhaps because it feels unthinkable to say let us embark on this journey of realising each other, listening, sharing, helping, asking, always communicating.

The picture below, was shot in Goa a few years ago. Nearly two years after surviving a broken engagement with an abusive person and all the shaming that is par for the Indian course, I said to a friend, “I need to make a trip. It must be outside Mumbai because it has been my cocoon but also the place where all this trauma happened. And it should be Goa because I went there with him last and I need to reclaim it beyond the memory of him. I do not have it in me to travel alone, even to a distant suburb of Mumbai. Will you help me?” A month later, he met me at Goa airport, flying in from another city but also timing his arrival there so I wouldn’t wait alone, staying on the phone with me till I got on the plane and he, on his. In the four days we were there, I read, slept, ate and swam while he worked. I reclaimed my smile, my travel suitcase and Goa. And after I got back, I built a stage career, a body of written work, a new partnership and my own health.

Anybody who shames you for asking for help, is probably not in a position to help you anyway. Because there’s nothing more human than need and the ability to communicate it. And there’s no better way of affirming your own humanity than in the willingness to address that need, without agenda.

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SAY HELP! I'm reclaiming the ability to ask for help. We have a warped notion of what it means to be strong or independent. To be strong is not to be unbreakable. To be independent is not to be devoid of need. To be a whole person is not to be cut off from all other people. We live through need-shaming, connection-blaming. Workplaces hold up those who ask for the least, as paragons of 'good' workers, as if the needs they're suppressing won't take their toll on health & productivity. Relationships are all about assessing who is likeliest to give most and demand the least in return. Cue, the transactional nature of everything from arranged marriages to the hookup culture. Guilt-tripping is the champion currency of all regular relationships. Perhaps because it feels unthinkable to say let us embark on this journey of realising each other, listening, sharing, helping, asking, always communicating. This picture was shot in Goa a few years ago. Nearly two years after surviving a broken engagement with an abusive person and all the shaming that is par for the Indian course, I said to a friend, "I need to make a trip. It must be outside Mumbai because it has been my cocoon but also the place where all this trauma happened. And it should be Goa because I went there with him last and I need to reclaim it beyond the memory of him. I do not have it in me to travel alone, even to a distant suburb of Mumbai. Will you help me?" A month later, he met me at Goa airport, flying in from another city but also timing his arrival there so I wouldn't wait alone, staying on the phone with me till I got on the plane and he, on his. In the four days we were there, I read, slept, ate and swam while he worked. I reclaimed my smile, my travel suitcase and Goa. After I got back, I built a stage career, a body of written work, new partnerships and my own health. Anybody who shames you for asking for help, is probably not in a position to help you anyway. Because there's nothing more human than need and the ability to communicate it. And there's no better way of affirming your own humanity than in the willingness to address that need, without agenda.- 🎶: HELP – The Beatles #theideasmithy

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The 30s Are A PostWar Dream

A classmate called. He said he missed true friends. I said, “It’s early mid-life crisis after the disillusionment of the 20s. We are all in it.” The 20s are a maniac’s dream. Everything is available & possible. There is an unrealistic shine on everything. It takes a few knocks to realise how harsh it is.

A month before my 30, I quit a job I’d coveted for a decade. I needed to, to be able to look back without regret. I’ll never trade the sense of achievement from my career highs. I wouldn’t exchange the confidence built brick by brick. It would be unrealistic to hold onto these but not the things that made them possible.

I look at my life and then all around me. There’s divorce, suicide, career failure, drug abuse, financial crises, abortions and dead-end jobs. There are also reunions & rediscovering people who were close an eon ago. There are healthy diets, exercise regimes, budgeting, tax planning. There’s cutting back and there’s making time.

I spent a long time wanting many things very much, some of which I didn’t get and much else for which I paid too dearly. I had some bad stuff happen to me which messed me up. But those people are not connected to me by anything but memories. It wasn’t my fault they were bad people or bad decisions or bad luck. Unpredictability is what you sign up for when you quit a career cold-turkey. Or get divorced or don’t get married ‘at the right age’. Or well, are born.

People make mistakes. Sometimes they get lost. Maybe you get to remedy it, maybe not. You just cope better the next time.

My friend said he’d wanted to be a big success but it felt so lonely at the end. I said I hadn’t spent enough time on the things I now know are important – Love. Friendship. A body that works without medication. Food in my stomach before I’m hungry. The safety to walk on the roads by myself.

He said that was the MBA talking. I said, “That’s just one more thing on my resume now, not my identity.” What is my identity now? Who knows? I have a new life to discover. Maybe 40 is what comes after one masters survival and starts looking for life instead.

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THE 30s ARE A POSTWAR DREAM A classmate called. He said he missed true friends. I said, "It’s early mid-life crisis after the disillusionment of the 20s. We are all in it." The 20s are a maniac’s dream. Everything is available & possible. There is an unrealistic shine on everything. It takes a few knocks to realise how harsh it is. A month before my 30, I quit a job I’d coveted for a decade. I needed to, to be able to look back without regret. I’ll never trade the sense of achievement from my career highs. I wouldn’t exchange the confidence built brick by brick. It would be unrealistic to hold onto these but not the things that made them possible. I look at my life and then all around me. There’s divorce, suicide, career failure, drug abuse, financial crises, abortions and dead-end jobs. There are also reunions & rediscovering people who were close an eon ago. There are healthy diets, exercise regimes, budgeting, tax planning. There's cutting back and there's making time. I spent a long time wanting many things very much, some of which I didn’t get and much else for which I paid too dearly. I had some bad stuff happen to me which messed me up. But those people are not connected to me by anything but memories. It wasn’t my fault they were bad people or bad decisions or bad luck. Unpredictability is what you sign up for when you quit a career cold-turkey. Or get divorced or don’t get married ‘at the right age’. Or well, are born. People make mistakes. Sometimes they get lost. Maybe you get to remedy it, maybe not. You just cope better the next time. My friend said he'd wanted to be a big success but it felt so lonely at the end. I said I hadn’t spent enough time on the things I now know are important – Love. Friendship. A body that works without medication. Food in my stomach before I’m hungry. The safety to walk on the roads by myself. He said that was the MBA talking. I said, "That’s just one more thing on my resume now, not my identity." What is my identity now? Who knows? I have a new life to discover. Maybe 40 is what comes after one masters survival and starts looking for life instead. ——————– 🎶: COME AS YOU ARE – Nirvana #theideasmithy

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A Bowl Of Soup For Hungry Minds

I wish learning were about curiosity, not a degree. I wish I didn’t live in a world where questions were deemed stupid, caring was uncool, interest was intrusive and curiosity killed. Because my curiosity is my compass, leading me mind-first into every path that makes it possible to be me.

When what we know is bartered and doled out like so many bowls of pitiful, tasteless soup. No wonder then, we treat it with hatred and fear. Information as power and knowledge as currency keep us all fearful and stupid. The most richly bound Bible is still just a fancy paperweight, unless you open the page and read. And we’re meagre in the knowledge of ourselves, scared to go inward and read and suspicious of anyone else who wants to.

The quest for knowledge has always been driven by all-consuming passion. Marie Curies and Galelios strayed blind into the valley of death, in its pursuit. Van Goghs and Sylvia Plaths soldiered against pain, in a quest to understand, to know more more MORE.

I wish we didn’t have to beg fearfully for answers, veritable Oliver Twists begging for another bowl of soup. Because knowing, unlike possessions, is free. How can you put a price on the experience of meeting an idea, welcoming it into your mind, turning it into thought and finally giving it a home inside your life in the form of knowledge?

Knowledge is not power. It is life, sustenance for hungry minds.

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A BOWL OF SOUP FOR HUNGRY MINDS I wish learning were about curiosity, not a degree. I wish I didn't live in a world where questions were deemed stupid, caring was uncool, interest was intrusive and curiosity killed. Because my curiosity is my compass, leading me mind-first into every path that makes it possible to be me. When what we know is bartered and doled out like so many bowls of pitiful, tasteless soup. No wonder then, we treat it with hatred and fear. Information as power and knowledge as currency keep us all fearful and stupid. The most richly bound Bible is still just a fancy paperweight, unless you open the page and read. And we're meagre in the knowledge of ourselves, scared to go inward and read and suspicious of anyone else who wants to. The quest for knowledge has always been driven by all-consuming passion. Marie Curies and Galelios strayed blind into the valley of death, in its pursuit. Van Goghs and Sylvia Plaths soldiered against pain, in a quest to understand, to know more more MORE. I wish we didn't have to beg fearfully for answers, veritable Oliver Twists begging for another bowl of soup. Because knowing, unlike possessions, is free. How can you put a price on the experience of meeting an idea, welcoming it into your mind, turning it into thought and finally giving it a home inside your life in the form of knowledge? Knowledge is not power. It is life, sustenance for hungry minds. ———————————————————————————– 🎶: THE FOOL ON THE HILL – The Beatles 📸: @lumographer07 at @alphabetsambar – IIT Bombay #StorySeekers #theideasmithy #knowledge #knowthyself #knowing #answers #answer #curiosity #learning #mindfulness #mindbodysoul #curious #student #studentoflife

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All That You’re Not

Don’t hang yourself on the noose of someone else’s attachment. It’s nice to feel needed but nice is an illusory trap. You are the sand and the ash inside a dormant volcano. You won’t be held inside a fist or even an embrace that breaks at the first sign of heat.

Do not shatter over the sound and fury that is the face of a person’s humanity turning on itself. You are not glass, not paper, not wood, not stone. You are the center unbound, holding the chaos outward. You are the eye of the universal storm. You won’t be snuffed out by a few angry breaths.

Don’t string yourself together on other people’s definitions. Those thoughts are full of knots, ones they’ll never care to disentangle because they’re about someobody else. You are the water of churning whirlpools. You won’t be contained in a net that tears and loops so easily and is discarded like straggling threads.

Do not find yourself in tatters when toxic thought and poisonous words infect your being. You are not the wastelands laid bare in these fumes. You are the chemistry that gives everything a place, a season, an identity. You are all that was and also all that comes after – the death, the survivor, the guilt, the redemption and the reprise.

You are more than can be imagined. Take the rest of your life to find out what all. 

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ALL THAT YOU'RE NOT Don't hang yourself on the noose of someone else's attachment. It's nice to feel needed but nice is an illusory trap. You are the sand and the ash inside a dormant volcano. You won't be held inside a fist or even an embrace that breaks at the first sign of heat. Do not shatter over the sound and fury that is the face of a person's humanity turning on itself. You are not glass, not paper, not wood, not stone. You are the center unbound, holding the chaos outward. You are the eye of the universal storm. You won't be snuffed out by a few angry breaths. Don't string yourself together on other people's definitions. Those thoughts are full of knots, ones they'll never care to disentangle because they're about someobody else. You are the water of churning whirlpools. You won't be contained in a net that tears and loops so easily and is discarded like straggling threads. Do not find yourself in tatters when toxic thought and poisonous words infect your being. You are not the wastelands laid bare in these fumes. You are the chemistry that gives everything a place, a season, an identity. You are all that was and also all that comes after – the death, the survivor, the guilt, the redemption and the reprise. You are more than can be imagined. Take the rest of your life to find out what all. ———————————————————————— 🎶: BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER – Simon & Garfunkel #theideasmithy

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Second Best

I see you look with yearning eyes for people who don’t make time and space in their life for you.

I can only give you second best – my company. I say second best, not because our conversations are less than the ones you could hope to have with anybody else. But I can only be second best to the company you keep with yourself. For what are we in intense friendship and passionate love, but students of our own natures?

We are learning with every interaction in life, pleasant and otherwise, what we like and what inspires us. We examine what brings out the best and worst in us and also, how our best and worst look. A lesson is always more fun with props and with other people. So, let us love together we say to each other, meaning let us walk side-by-side on these solo journeys into ourselves.

When you yearn for the attention of someone who isn’t there, take a minute to ponder that absence. Savour that sting, the emptiness inside your mouth where words usually tumble about. Allow yourself to taste your hunger. And tell me, whether or not, you caught a glimpse of YOU in there.

Lonely is just the space to check if you’ve learnt a new lesson. It’s the full stop between labels, the deep breath between words that defines these things. You’ll never be lonely again when you remember you. And when you forget, I’ll be there to remind you as second best.

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SECOND BEST I see you look with yearning eyes for people who don't make time and space in their life for you. I can only give you second best – my company. I say second best, not because our conversations are less than the ones you could hope to have with anybody else. But I can only be second best to the company you keep with yourself. For what are we in intense friendship and passionate love, but students of our own natures? We are learning with every interaction in life, pleasant and otherwise, what we like and what inspires us. We examine what brings out the best and worst in us and also, how our best and worst look. A lesson is always more fun with props and with other people. So, let us love together we say to each other, meaning let us walk side-by-side on these solo journeys into ourselves. When you yearn for the attention of someone who isn't there, take a minute to ponder that absence. Savour that sting, the emptiness inside your mouth where words usually tumble about. Allow yourself to taste your hunger. And tell me, whether or not, you caught a glimpse of YOU in there. Lonely is just the space to check if you've learnt a new lesson. It's the full stop between labels, the deep breath between words that defines these things. You'll never be lonely again when you remember you. And when you forget, I'll be there to remind you as second best. ———————————————————————————- 📸: @unstable_elemnt 🎶: SHE LOVES YOU – The Beatles #theideasmithy #loneliness #missing #missingyou #solitude #solo #lonely #lonelytogether #lonelyquotes #lonelygirl #feelinglonely #flyingsolo #alone #alonequotes #missingsomeone #thoughts #thought #thoughtoftheday #thoughtful #thought_of_the_day #thoughtsoftheday #life #lifecoaching #lifelessons #selflove

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A Nice Place To Visit

What if we were all places instead of people? Towering construction. Sweeping grasslands. A rabbit hole. A pothole. A wrought iron staircase. A treehouse. The ground floor of a building under redevelopment plans. A library. A cell for illegal aliens. The verandah of a brothel. A nursery. The last window of a factory floor. A town square. The green room of a fading star. A shop.

Aren’t we all places already? We are worlds unto ourselves with gates & doors called identity. Know me and gain entry.

Some of us are plush, luxuriant drawing rooms that invite guests to sink in and never leave. Some are spider webs, some carpets, some thresholds. Someone is a transit point on public transport, bright, always impersonal, always busy. Somebody is a bus-stop in the rain, holding both promise and fear. There’s always a person who is the most comfortable spot under a tree, perfect at a particular time and one season. And there’s the one who is your favourite spot on a threadbare sofa with creaking hinges, whose prods & pokes spell comfortable familiarity. One person is an amusement park and another is a discotheque – one lively in the day, another at night and each full of gloomy foreboding at other times. There are even those who are museums, furniture shops, antique stores.

And what else are those we envy but places we look at in a glossy brochure, wishing we were there? Ah, but they tell us, you wouldn’t want to live here.

What is the place that you are? And is it your favourite spot in the world

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A NICE PLACE TO VISIT What if we were all places instead of people? Towering construction. Sweeping grasslands. A rabbit hole. A pothole. A wrought iron staircase. A treehouse. The ground floor of a building under redevelopment plans. A library. A cell for illegal aliens. The verandah of a brothel. A nursery. The last window of a factory floor. A town square. The green room of a fading star. A shop. Aren't we all places already? We are worlds unto ourselves with gates & doors called identity. Know me and gain entry. Some of us are plush, luxuriant drawing rooms that invite guests to sink in and never leave. Some are spider webs, some carpets, some thresholds. Someone is a transit point on public transport, bright, always impersonal, always busy. Somebody is a bus-stop in the rain, holding both promise and fear. There's always a person who is the most comfortable spot under a tree, perfect at a particular time and one season. And there's the one who is your favourite spot on a threadbare sofa with creaking hinges, whose prods & pokes spell comfortable familiarity. One person is an amusement park and another is a discotheque – one lively in the day, another at night and each full of gloomy foreboding at other times. There are even those who are museums, furniture shops, antique stores. And what else are those we envy but places we look at in a glossy brochure, wishing we were there? Ah, but they tell us, you wouldn't want to live here. What is the place that you are? And is it your favourite spot in the world? Location: Opening set of #GuardsAtTheTaj by @dan.husain, @vrajesh_hirjee & #JoyFernandes #theideasmithy #place #architecture #setdesign #space #location #people  #relationships #stage #favoriteplace #safespace #myplace #myplaces #places_wow #architectural #architects #architect #architecture_greatshots #architecturelovers #beautifulspaces #beautifulplaces #beautifulplace #gate #gates #selfcare #healing

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Memory Diving

You may look back more often than the world tells you that you should. You may linger in places you’ve already spent too many dark moments in, with no increasing clarity. Why did she leave? Why did he stay silent? What were they thinking? Did they ever consider how you feel? Do they ever think of you?

Your past-diving may be more than your body can bear, even if your emotions are hungry. Your gaze may sear across unresolved incidents and unnamed feelings, seemingly never reaching conclusions. Why. When. What.

You may plumb all these depths over and over because you are the boundless universe. Your life has had fathomless lessons that are too big, too nuanced, too glorious and too stark to keep up with time. It is true. You may need to read a story again to make sense of it. A joke could make you laugh no matter how often you hear it. And a song may ring on in your head for years without your ever understanding its words.

Maybe some day clarity will come. Maybe the answer will materialize in the sky that you look up to, for guidance or the sea that you gaze at, hoping for a reason to hope. Maybe knowledge will find you in a book or a conversation or a new teacher. Or maybe the lessons will just seep into your skin, more mist than rain and settle on your bones.

A lesson in letting other people live out their crashes. A lesson in not get hit and run over. Lessons of goodbye. Lessons in silence. Shh.

You can look all you want. Underwater, no one hears you scream.

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MEMORY DIVING You may look back more often than the world tells you that you should. You may linger in places you've already spent too many dark moments in, with no increasing clarity. Why did she leave? Why did he stay silent? What were they thinking? Did they ever consider how you feel? Do they ever think of you? Your past-diving may be more than your body can bear, even if your emotions are hungry. Your gaze may sear across unresolved incidents and unnamed feelings, seemingly never reaching conclusions. Why. When. What. You may plumb all these depths over and over because you are the boundless universe. Your life has had fathomless lessons that are too big, too nuanced, too glorious and too stark to keep up with time. It is true. You may need to read a story again to make sense of it. A joke could make you laugh no matter how often you hear it. And a song may ring on in your head for years without your ever understanding its words. Maybe some day clarity will come. Maybe the answer will materialize in the sky that you look up to, for guidance or the sea that you gaze at, hoping for a reason to hope. Maybe knowledge will find you in a book or a conversation or a new teacher. Or maybe the lessons will just seep into your skin, more mist than rain and settle on your bones. A lesson in letting other people live out their crashes. A lesson in not get hit and run over. Lessons of goodbye. Lessons in silence. Shh. You can look all you want. Underwater, no one hears you scream. PC: @professor.shonku #theideasmithy #memory #nostalgia #movingon #lifelessons #sentimental #feelings #emotions #healing #hurtinginside #thepast #lingering

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The Kindness Of Strangers

It’s not something we take into consideration. We even consider it so rarely that if it does happen, we are quick to assume ulterior motive. And we continue to buy into the myth of the cold cruelty of cities, of a story where characters never speak to each other or care about one that falls, of people who never touch each others’ lives at all. We believe humanity to be a rapidly evaporating commodity that’s barely contained only in the oldest and most decripit of associations. Yet, every close friend and every great love was a stranger once.

Growing up in 90s Mumbai meant dealing with the reality of terror attacks, political unrest, union conflicts & bomb blasts. There were also people sheltering together, unknown hands helping one another through floods, acts of blind trust & good faith in humanity that probably saved more lives than the authorities.

Once, I fainted in a Mumbai local. I had been indoctrinated well enough in public transport safety to get down, stumble and collapse onto a seat, holding my bag tightly to me so no one could steal it. A stranger sat down next to me, offered me water, offered to drop me home. When I refused, she gave me her shoulder as she half-carried me across the pedestrian bridge, 2 staircases and to the auto stand. I never knew her name and I don’t recall her face.

A month later in another train, the woman before me swayed and might have fallen off had it been in the other direction. The train was so crowded, she didn’t even hit the floor, just sagged onto me. I held her till the station arrived, walked her down, sat with her and asked if I might drop her home. She consented and I escorted her home. It was no bother at all. I think the universe was giving me a chance to give back and a big lesson too.

Look around you. These are not zombies, not monsters, not cold machines, not malicious agenda. You are surrounded by a world of human beings and the possibility of connections. Kindness and good faith are the magic ingredients in a connection. It’s all there, if you allow it to happen and allow yourself to be a part of it – the kindness of strangers.

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THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS It's not something we take into consideration. We even consider it so rarely that if it does happen, we are quick to assume ulterior motive. And we continue to buy into the myth of the cold cruelty of cities, of a story where characters never speak to each other or care about one that falls, of people who never touch each others' lives at all. We believe humanity to be a rapidly evaporating commodity that's barely contained only in the oldest and most decripit of associations. Yet, every close friend and every great love was a stranger once. Growing up in 90s Mumbai meant dealing with the reality of terror attacks, political unrest, union conflicts & bomb blasts. There were also people sheltering together, unknown hands helping one another through floods, acts of blind trust & good faith in humanity that probably saved more lives than the authorities. Once, I fainted in a Mumbai local. I had been indoctrinated well enough in public transport safety to get down, stumble and collapse onto a seat, holding my bag tightly to me so no one could steal it. A stranger sat down next to me, offered me water, offered to drop me home. When I refused, she gave me her shoulder as she half-carried me across the pedestrian bridge, 2 staircases and to the auto stand. I never knew her name and I don't recall her face. A month later in another train, the woman before me swayed and might have fallen off had it been in the other direction. The train was so crowded, she didn't even hit the floor, just sagged onto me. I held her till the station arrived, walked her down, sat with her and asked if I might drop her home. She consented and I escorted her home. It was no bother at all. I think the universe was giving me a chance to give back and a big lesson too. Look around you. These are not zombies, not monsters, not cold machines, not malicious agenda. You are surrounded by a world of human beings and the possibility of connections. Kindness and good faith are the magic ingredients in a connection. It's all there, if you allow it to happen and allow yourself to be a part of it – the kindness of strangers. #theideasmithy #city #cityliving #citylife

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