Life is Fragile

I recently heard about some tragic losses a few of my acquaintances faced lately, and I came to realise how precious and delicate our lives are.

There are no convenient truths. No guarantees. No orders or set amounts of time our loved ones will be there for us. No promises that how we feel now will be how we feel tomorrow. No promise that the health and relative wealth we enjoy today will be with us the next morning. There is a haunting touch of fragility in every single one of our lives, and facing up to it can be terrifying.

Whether the loss of a loved one is personal or public, it serves as an intense reminder for each of us to stop, reflect, and take inventory of our priorities in life. I didn’t know the people who died in a plane crash a couple of months ago. Or the people currently dying from Covid all around the world. But my heart breaks for them. For all of them, and for everyone who knew and loved them.

However, these thoughts have left me with a conviction to make the most of my days. Every time I travel and visit new countries with my family, I take a moment to pause and reflect on how lucky I am to experience this adventure. To be able to enjoy my life that I get to live with my family. To have them by my side. To share my experiences with the three people I love the most in the world.

Facing up to the fact that we all have a temporary place in this world should be a reason good enough to start living our lives. Making time for the people we love. Making time for ourselves. Making time for our dreams and our goals. Never taking anything or anyone for granted.

I shudder to think about loosing someone I love. It reminds me of the immense vulnerability that life is made up of. But bearing in mind how unpredictable and short it is, let’s do everything we can to make it a fulfilling one – by believing in love, forgiveness, and gratitude for the people and things that matter.

-SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

Never Doubt Your Worth

We hold a power
That no body can break
A distinctive talent
That no one can take
Let’s stop paying heed
To what people have to say
The path to our dreams
Only we can carve the way
We’re valiant and brave
Let’s stand tall and proud
To the person in the mirror
Let’s say it out loud
Within our struggles
The battles we fight
Nothing in the world
Can ever dim our light
A branch about to break
Isn’t the worry for a bird
For her trust is in her wings
And not on the world
Why do we follow people
To the places they go?
Why do we say yes
When we want to say no?
The dispiriting words of others
We must learn to ignore
For our mind is the one thing
We solely have and can control

– SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

Failure isn’t Fatal

Nothing good is ever given to us easily. When we are on the verge of something, there is always a chance for failure as there is for success. In fact, most of the times, things never go perfectly as planned!

I often look back at the times I wasn’t doing too well at school. I moved countries and was finding it exceedingly difficult to catch up on all of the work I had missed. This was simply devastating for me because I had never seen myself going through this before, ever. I was always regarded as a great student.

The more I let myself feel the overwhelming anxiety of failure, the worse things seemed to get. But over time, the more I pushed myself to bounce back again, the more I saw how the whole world began to help me. My teachers helped me, my friends helped me, my parents helped and supported me. And it was like magic! I revere the words of Paulo Coelho when he writes in The Alchemist, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it”.

However, I do think it is us who need to think big, trust ourselves, and dedicate our lives into achieving whatever it may be (keeping in mind that the world may not always support our dreams). What happens then is never in our hands, the universe may reward us with attainment or it may burden us with failure. In my riding lessons, I fall over and over before learning how to horse ride. Similarly, getting unexpected low grades was a nightmare for me. But I soon realised that I can get way past it. And in the end, I had been broken down, only to get back up stronger. What I tell myself now is: If I learnt from my defeat, I never really lost.

Speaking of The Alchemist, one of my dear readers Navya, who lives in India, made a magazine over the summer that explores and unravels the science behind many such books, and delves into how the world of literature has heaps to teach us. I found it exceptionally interesting, and am therefore honoured to share it here on WordPress. Let me know what you think, and I’ll pass on the thoughts! : click on ‘Science and Literature’

-SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

The Power of Positive People

Our happiness is not just a personal experience, it is often passed on to the people around us. It’s almost like when a pebble falls into the water causing ripples around it. In a similar way, our words, our actions, and our behaviours affect the ones around us, who in turn affect the ones who come into contact with them, and so on.

I can think about how my own mood is influenced by the lady at the Starbucks drive through who smiles, is happy, and is kind versus the one who is bitter, miserable, or rude. In both situations, a complete stranger’s attitude has the power to impact my own! And I now may pass it on to my friends, my parents, and the people around me.

While our emotions shouldn’t be at mercy of other people, our mind is something we do and can have control over. It’s important to note how our irked behaviours, moods, and attitudes aren’t something people like to keep up with. I can think about the times I have influenced my mood to my family, people like my parents and my sister. When I am in a bad mood, it doesn’t take a while for them to feel the same way. And when I am happy and buoyant, so are they!

With every new day that arrives, and with each new day we wake up, we have the power to touch on lives. We all want to have a good time. We all want to hear good news. None of us want to spend our life in doom and gloom. Let’s be the change we wish to see in the world.

-SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

The Language of Friendships

In times of crisis and struggles, we all want someone to turn to. Relationships are important, and therefore friends are important. The word ‘Friendship’ doesn’t quite fit into a single definition, it’s a relationship that cannot be described using words.

Even though I am not a social butterfly, quality counts more for me than quantity does. While it’s good to cultivate a diverse network of friends and acquaintances, I have nurtured a few true friendships over the years.

When I find myself going through a hard time, my friends help me get through it. When I find myself not feeling good about myself, my friends are the ones who lift me up. When I find myself in between sobs, my friends are the ones who make me laugh. When the world turns its back at me, my friends are right there by my side. True friends are the ones who are there for you when you need them the most, and the importance of friendship in our life is beyond any explanation.

During our childhood, friendships help us grow and develop. We play and learn together with friends. As teenagers, friends become all the more important as we go through numerous emotional, physical and mental changes. As adults, friends help us go through the emotional upheavals or the “mid-life crisis” as we endure an entirely new set of problems. I suppose friends are equally important during old-age too, I see my grand dad’s face beaming with laughter and smiles when he is around his friends!

When we cultivate a close circle of friends, living life becomes just a teeny tiny bit easier. On that note, a very Happy Friendship Day to everyone who reads my posts here on WordPress, young or old. I am truly grateful for this WordPress community!

– SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

Life’s Little Indulgences

On my visit to Denmark and other Scandinavian countries like Finland and Norway, I wondered how these countries have been at the top of the happiness index charts for five consecutive years. Upon chatting with some Finnish, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish people, and doing a bit of a research, I found several reasons for why this was so. I happened to stumble across an interesting Danish concept of Hygges (pronounced hyoo-ga). It loosely translates to “Cosyness of the soul”, or a feeling of wellness and contentment attained from life’s little indulgences – things like leaving our evenings free to relax, having a family dinner, or staying indoors with a hot cup of cocoa.

Walking down the streets of Copenhagen, I saw every little café with blankets on the tables and fireplaces on the sides to keep us warm – a cosy city indeed! My family and I spend every weekend together either playing a board game, cooking something together, watching a movie on Netflix, or doing a fun activity. And we definitely feel the ‘Hygges’ during times like these. It is quite evident to me that we can retrieve happiness if we learn to appreciate the little things in life.

I also think that every day comes bearing its own gifts, we just need to untie the ribbons. One of my favourite restaurants to eat out in is T.G.I Friday’s. It is quite interesting to note how this restaurant is open not only on Fridays, but all week long. This is quite an accurate example of how most of us don’t live our lives. We wait for perfect conditions with the anticipation of good times, relaxation, and celebrations. We long, maybe for the last day of school, our birthday around the corner, or for the summer to begin. But during the wait, we waste much of our lives not living the present moment. Why can’t we feel that ‘Friday-Feeling’ every day? Why can’t we learn to find wellness in every day? Why can’t every day be special?

– SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

A Sweet Story

Happy Friday! Here’s a poem I wrote for my relatives for their 50th marriage anniversary. Being together (and happy) for fifty years is truly incredible, and their love story immensely amazes me! I hope you enjoy it, let me know in the comments below.

We fall in love
Hoping to share a life together
With someone special
Who will be there forever
An emotional bond
Where the hearts get paired
Where the bliss is shared
As well as each despair
Enduring life
The thicks and thins
The joys and sorrows
The losses and wins
To stick together
Through uphill climbs
And sharing laughter
In happy times
Love brings you sunshine
When all you see is rain
Love makes you smile
When all you feel is pain
Fifty years of togetherness
Bring out a meaning today
You both have truly shown us
That love can find a way

⁃ SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

Let’s Spread our Sparkles!

Here is a poem about letting out our inner sparkles! (And today is my birthday!🎂)

Let’s spread our sparkles
Wherever we are
Like the effulgent moon
And the scintillating star
The world isn’t fair
It doesn’t always listen
But let us be grateful
For the life we’re given
The daunting diseases
The cataclysmic wars
Take hundreds of lives
But we still have ours
The ability to wake up
The opportunity to live,
To start another day with
The power to dream big
It’s easy to hate,
To be a scoundrel and a snide
Let’s retrieve the kindness
Found deep inside
Let’s flash our lights
When it’s so dark
For it’s time for us
To ignite our spark
The anger we spew
The fears we feel
The problems around us
Only love can heal
We refuse to be kind
And unfurl love along the way
But when we open our eyes and see
It’s what this Earth needs today
It may go unseen
It may go unheard
But it’s these tiny bits of love
That will overwhelm our world…

⁃ SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

Mary’s Room

The Australian philosopher Frank Jackson devised a thought experiment to represent a Knowledge Argument in 1982.

Mary is extremely smart, she is educated on neuroscience to the point where she is an expert on the subject. Mary has read about everything there is to know about the perception of colour in the brain as well as the physical facts about how light works in order to create the different wavelengths and colours and about how the brain processes visual stimuli. She knows every scientific fact about what happens when we see colour.

Except, Mary herself has never seen a coloured object. A red strawberry, a brown chocolate, colourful m&m’s, the blue ocean, the yellow sun… Mary has never seen any of these!

Mary has lived her entire life in a black and white room. Her books are black and white, her hair is black, her T.V is black and white, and even her clothes. She has never directly experienced or seen anything in colour, all she knows about colour is given in her textbooks.

But one day, the door opens to the outside world. Suddenly, she sees what she has been researching for all these years – colour! The question is, even though she knows everything about what should happen inside her brain now, does she learn anything new? Does she learn anything new by seeing a green tree or a red apple that she couldn’t get out of reading textbooks?

If she does, we’ll have to conclude that mental states like seeing colour cannot be perfectly explained by physical facts. There has to be more to it, something that’s dependent on conscious experience.

If she doesn’t learn anything new, we’ll have to go with the idea that knowing physical facts is identical to experiencing something.

I think that there are some non-physical properties and attainable knowledge that can only be discovered through conscious experience. A tiny bit like love – we have read about it and most of us even know the hormones like dopamine and serotonin involved. But when we actually experience love for the first time, it feels like something completely out of the world!

Is the way in which we experience the world more than just simple biochemical processes in the brain? Is our mind more than our brain? What do you think?

⁃ SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️