Dreams Covered in Wrappers

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Like every child, my five year old is very much fond of gifts wrapped in colourful wrappers. Every day she demands new surprises from us, and it is quite a task to keep her enthused, by giving in to her little desires. The moment she reaches home from school, she wants mommy genie to present her with a surprise. So much is her obsession with the gifts that we hardly leave any birthday party without her having cried her heart out, for not receiving as many gifts as the birthday kid
Down and out, we finally decided to throw a party to ring in her sixth year, so that she doesn’t feel left out. I and my husband are generally against such grand affairs, but this time the parent in us had to bow to her whims. She was happy and excited for being the centre of attraction and her little eyes use to reflect colourful hues, on receiving every single present wrapped with those glittery covers.
So the birthday party ended in a blink and we landed at home, with all her newly acquired possessions. We had hardly stepped into the house and she was jumping with excitement to unwrap all the new acquisitions. We were in no mood to spoil her fun, so once again we gave in to her childish tantrums. One by one, the floor was covered with colourful packaging and the presents were being piled up mercilessly over the bed. She was hardly interested in those covers and was equally disinterested in those gifts. Her happiness was only till the point those gifts were wrapped. So there I sat, surrounded by all the trash, for which I had to scout a place soon, to store it securely for some godforsaken reason. While I was mulling over the fate of those presents, the realisation struck me like a bolt of lightning.
“What have I been collecting all this life? Lumber and only lumber; trash and more trash.” Like my daughter, don’t we all dream for such presents day in and day out? It’s just that as we age, the nature of the present changes and its monetary value goes through the roof. For some it could be a big house, a big car, a diamond necklace or for some it could be something as intangible as love or fame. Come on friends, please answer me honestly-Are we really interested in the present or are just lured by its packing? Do we really get permanent happiness by just converting a 3bhk into a 4bhk? If we do, then why does our mind raise up the bar every time and wants to add another room. Even if, one gets satisfied with the number of rooms, then we want to add a garden, followed by a pool.
Our desire to achieve a dream is nothing different from packaging and it keeps us glued to that dream. The moment that dream is accomplished, the wrapper comes off and like a five year old, we move on to chase yet another “present”. So, the question remains that how we grown-ups are any different from a child? What these years of growing up have done to us, if we are still lured by these dreams covered in wrappers?
How light this journey of life can be, with a little less of wrapper and unwanted presents. It took me 30 plus years to learn this valuable lesson and I have decided to choose my presents wisely, as I want to travel light, on this journey called life!

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Breaking the Shackles of the Past

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In the physical realm, human brain is the most complex tool, which provides an added edge to our species. Its complexity not only baffles a common man, but also astounds even the neuroscientists. It is the house of our consciousness, in which our mind and intellect are submerged. There is a thin line which separates the mind from the intellect. Mind is a repository of experiences and feelings, whereas intellect tirelessly goes through this data, and in an attempt to make sense of the present, creates countless thoughts. Yes, unbelievable it may seem, but our intellect is capable of creating around 50,000 thoughts in a day. Perhaps, death is the stage when this process stops, as it continues even in our sleep. Through our sense organs we receive stimuli from the external environment and every such stimulus is bound to create ripples in the still waters of our mind. These ripples evoke past memories and feelings, and give shape to our thoughts. So, the seeds of our thoughts were mostly sown in the past. Does it mean that our past still controls our present and future? Isn’t there any way out, to break free through these shackles of the past? Was human created so helpless to remain a slave of his destiny?

At first, it may seem difficult to accept, but most of us are still controlled by our past, knowingly or unknowingly. If we are waiting for that elusive transformation to take place on its own then that’s sheer foolhardiness. If I ask you to drive a car without any fuel and you are prohibited from even pushing it, then what you will call me? Certainly, a fool. In physical world, nothing moves or changes its state of motion, unless a force is applied. Then why do we wait for miracles to happen in the thought world? The force in the thought world, is the force of will-power and mindfulness, which can control our mind from straying into the by-lanes of past and cajole it to remain in the reality, that is present. Let’s admit, that we do realise when our mind is about to stray, and more often than not, we don’t want to let go off the pleasure, of basking in the glory of our past or to shed a tear or two on our past misfortunes. Past can only be a good teacher, if we learn from it. It surely is a terrible master, if it controls our present. So, it ought to be handled with utmost care.

Problem arises when we associate ourselves too much with our mind and intellect, and feel a sort of helplessness over them. The fact that we think that we are what our intellect is, that very moment we transfer all of our power to our ego. Intellect is the seat of ego. Ego creates divisive thoughts as it is designed to shield us, even at the expense of causing harm to our near and dear ones. Ego fetches only those memories and feelings, which are sure to make us feel powerful, comfortable and when everything fails, it can even protect by turning us into a victim. To gain control over them, it is important to realise the true nature of our form which is quite distinct, all pervasive and all inclusive. It is this form, which is the true master of our body, the ruler of our senses and the driver of our mind. Sages meditate day and night to search for this form, which is the very basis of our existence. Our worldly pursuits may refrain us from the early encounter, but it is not the destination but the journey that matters the most. This is the journey of self-discovery, which only can lead us to the truth.