letting souls touch

The old man sat on his porch, rocking gently. He watched the neighbor boy dash across the street, shouting to a friend. “You know,” he said to me, “folks don’t listen much anymore.” I waited, sensing more to come. “They’re all wrapped up in their own stories,” he continued. “Can’t hear past ’em.” His eyes crinkled at the corners as he looked at me. “But you, you’re different. You’ve got curious ears.” I smiled, unsure what he meant. “Curious ears,” he repeated. “They don’t just hear words. They reach for the truth hiding behind ’em.” He paused, considering. “It’s not always easy. Sometimes the truth bites. But it’s worth it.” The neighbor boy laughed, a clear sound cutting through the evening air. “That’s the thing about honest talk,” the old man said softly. “It lets two souls touch, just for a moment.” He fell silent then, and we sat, listening to the crickets begin their nightly song.

sarah’s awakening

As she watched the sunrise through the trees in her backyard, an epiphany came over Sarah. This brief moment of beauty was a reminder of why she had come into this world – not simply to accumulate wealth and status, but to express herself and make meaningful contributions however she was able.
She didn’t need to climb the corporate ladder at the cost of her soul

Sarah woke with a start, the dream still vivid in her mind. She saw herself decades from now, alone in a big empty house, surrounded by possessions and achievements but feeling utterly unfulfilled. As the morning sun rose, she knew she needed to make a change before it was too late. Rather than rushing off to her high-pressure job as usual, Sarah took some time to reflect. She thought about her passions from childhood, back when life seemed full of promise and opportunity. Art and nature had always brought her joy, yet here she was working endless hours in a career that drained her creativity and disconnecting her from the world around her.

As she watched the sunrise through the trees in her backyard, an epiphany came over Sarah. This brief moment of beauty was a reminder of why she had come into this world – not simply to accumulate wealth and status, but to express herself and make meaningful contributions however she was able. She didn’t need to climb the corporate ladder at the cost of her soul. There were other paths that could provide fulfillment if only she had the courage to walk them. That evening, Sarah began resigning from commitments she no longer believed in and drafting a new plan. She would take the spring and summer to rediscover her artistic talents, volunteering with local environmental non-profits in her free time. Come fall, she would teach art part time while also launching an online business selling her nature-inspired paintings. It would be a risk to her financial security, but staying on her current route would be a risk to her well-being. As the days grew longer, Sarah found herself waking each morning with a renewed sense of purpose. She had rediscovered the deep roots of her being and was watering them once more. There would still be challenges ahead, but she was finally living in alignment with who she was born to be.

As you read these lines, look and reflect within you for a moment before you check your phone for the barrage of messages and instagram notifications ready to distract you for the day. There’s a piece of Sarah in you. Life is short.

the daydreamer’s Lamp : a Kashmiri mirage

Nestled in the lap of the serene valleys, a lamp from Kashmir found its way to me, a gift from a friend who recently travelled there. It was a lamp with intricate patterns that seemed to weave the very fabric of dreams into its golden skin. Under the watchful eye of a waning moon, the lamp sat on my desk in the hall, a relic from the valleys of Kashmir, with a story etched into every curve of its ancient brass. It was as if a master craftsman had poured his soul into its creation, adorning it with stones that caught the light, turning it into a mosaic of stars. The base, wide and welcoming, rose into a delicate neck.

On a night steeped in the ordinariness of life, my fingers danced over the cold, jeweled surface of the lamp, tracing patterns that might have been inscribed by spirits of the earth and air. There was a warmth there, a heartbeat almost, pulsing through the intricate filigree of metal and gem.

As I sat, lost in the lamp’s beauty, the room suffused with a soft glow, my idle caresses became more purposeful. Without a thought spared for the consequences, I rubbed the lamp, and the world held its breath. From the spout, where no flame dwelt, came a wisp of smoke, unfurling like silk in the still air. It twisted and grew, a cyclone of azure and cream, until there, in the center of my small study, stood a genie of immeasurable majesty. Its form was both fluid and constant, a paradox of the ethereal and the tangible.

This genie spoke not with words but with the very essence of thought, filling the room with a power that hummed against my skin. Desires unspoken twined around my consciousness, an interplay of silent promises and whispered secrets. It was a moment of pure magic, a breach in the veil between the real and the imagined.

But then, as swiftly as it had appeared, the vision began to dissolve. The genie’s form scattered into a thousand motes of light, the room grew dim once more, and I was left with the echo of a presence never truly there. The lamp sat innocently on my desk, just a lamp, devoid of genies and the magic they wield.

The world snapped back into focus, the hum faded into the distant call of reality, and the lamp was just a lamp once more. A smile curled at the corner of my lips. It was but a daydream, a sweet dalliance with the world of ‘what ifs’. The lamp from Kashmir sat quietly, its secrets safe, its stories untold, a silent companion to my reverie. In the quiet that followed, I knew that while the lamp was but a vessel of metal and stone, it was also a vessel for dreams — and in dreams, even a simple lamp could hold the universe.

permanent address

My father had forwarded a beautiful message and it was thought provoking. This being my garden of thoughts, I feel this needs to be here. I’ve refined it with some modifications and I’m posting it here.

Somewhere during a stop in the village of Mahonda on the island of Unguja

The Permanent Address

I was 9 years old when my father received orders of transfer to a small village in Rajasthan. We were living in Ahmedabad at the time, and my father was in the process of building a new house next to our ancestral home.

I had witnessed him grapple with countless numbers, managing loan accounts of his staff, assessing fixed deposits, and leaving question marks scattered over blank spaces in the total.

Building a house is a once-in-a-lifetime effort for most people, so everyone goes Building a home is often a singular endeavor, a once-in-a-lifetime investment that pushes one to the limit. Despite all efforts, one always finds their dream home one room short. Renowned poet Javed Akhtar, captures this sentiment eloquently, “In Bombay, there’s but one sorrow, everyone’s home lacks one more room.”

The joint family home that I grew up in housed 14 people, from the ages of 5 to 95. Now, I observe both houses standing deserted, with nature reclaiming the garden that my mother once lovingly nurtured. The Plum, the Moringa, a few Sorrowless trees, Neem and Bodhi, persist. Yet, all aesthetic pleasures are ephemeral and delicate, succumbing to the relentless law of entropy. The vibrant blooms have all vanished. I often ponder about the fate of the peacock family that used to feed from my mother’s hand. Where are the nightingales, sparrows, parrots, pied flycatchers, cuckoos, and the large group of monkeys that would periodically disrupt the tranquility?

Once people leave, a home becomes a house. I didn’t feel like selling the house at first, but now I don’t feel like going back either. Time has taken away ten of the fourteen people who once lived here. Wandering through our neighborhood, I observe a similar destiny befalling numerous homes, once teeming with life, now lying dormant or replaced.

Why do we stretch and stress to build houses? In most cases our kids won’t need it or worse fight over it. What is this human folly of attempting permanent ownership in a leased life with an uncertain tenure given by a landlord whose terms are non-negotiable and there is no court of appeal. One day, all we have built with love and EMIs will either be demolished, fought over, sold, or lie in ruins. Every time I fill out a form that asks for my “permanent address,” I smile at the human folly.

There is a Zen story about an old monk who walked into a king’s palace and demanded to spend the night. The guards told him that this was a palace, not an inn. But the monk replied, “I came here a few decades ago, and someone was staying here then. A few years later, someone else took the throne. And so it has continued. Any place where the occupant keeps changing is an inn.

George Carlin once said, “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.

As houses get bigger, families get smaller. When the house is full of people, we crave privacy. And when the nest empties, we crave company.

Birds and Animals must be laughing at us humans that give up living in order to build their dream home and in the end depart the Inn they mistook as a PERMANENT RESIDENCE.

the inward path

Once upon a time, a man found himself in a new situation. He had purchased a cow, but he was not familiar with the ways of cows. As he was trying to take his new cow home, he made a mistake – he held onto her horns and tried to drag her along. The cow was resistant, as she longed for her old home and previous owner.

As fate would have it, a wise saint happened to be watching the scene unfold. He kindly approached the man and offered him some sage advice. “It seems you are new to this,” he said, “and that you are not familiar with the ways of cows. This is not the right way to approach it.”

The man was perplexed, and asked the saint what he should do. “I am not that strong,” he said, “and the cow is stronger than me. She is dragging me along and I don’t know how to handle her.”

The saint then gave the man a beautiful green grass and instructed him to leave the cow’s horns alone. “Take this grass and move ahead of her,” he said. “Keep the grass close to you, but don’t allow her to eat it. As she moves towards the grass, you move towards your home.”

The man followed the saint’s instructions, and to his surprise, it worked! The cow was so enticed by the beautiful, green, and fresh grass that she forgot all about her old owner and her old home. All she could think about was getting her mouth on that delicious grass. And so, with the man slowly leading the way, the cow followed him all the way to his home.

Now, think for a moment if you can correlate this with your life.

the bus was always coming.

” the bus was always coming ” fine art

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a group of young friends were waiting at a bus stop. They had been waiting for what seemed like an eternity, for nearly an hour and a half. As they stood there, growing increasingly impatient and frustrated, they noticed an old man standing a bit away from them at the same bus stop.

The friends were curious about the old man and his calm demeanor, despite the long wait for the bus. Suddenly, they saw the bus in the distance, and one of the friends exclaimed, “Oh finally, the bus is coming!” The old man just turned to them and said, “The bus was always coming.

The friends were confused by the old man’s words, but as the bus arrived, they boarded and continued on their journey. As they rode, they couldn’t help but think about the old man’s words and how they applied to their own lives. They realized that just as the bus was always coming, so too were the answers to their problems, and the fulfillment in their lives. It’s about shifting the perspectives.

transcendent truth

transcendent truth | original fine art from The Border Of a Mind Studios

Once upon a time, in a far-off land, there lived a young man named Emaan. He was a seeker of truth, and had devoted his life to the path of knowledge. He was filled with a deep longing to understand the mysteries of the universe and the secrets of the divine.

One day, Emaan found himself in the midst of a great crisis. All of the doors that had once been open to him seemed to have closed, and he found himself wandering aimlessly through the desert of despair. He felt as though he had lost his way and that he would never find his way back to the light.

But as he stumbled through the sands of his sorrow, he remembered the wise words of his spiritual guide: “Ponder upon the vicissitudes of life, I implore you to abstain from venturing into the vicinity of despondency and despair. Despite the apparent obfuscation of all avenues, the divine shall unveil a novel trajectory solely for you.

With these words in mind, Emaan decided to focus on gratitude. He was thankful for the blessings that had been bestowed upon him, but also for that which had been withheld. He understood that there was a reason for everything, and that even the darkest moments of his life had a purpose.

As he walked through the desert, he began to notice the beauty of the world around him. The stars shone brightly in the sky, and the sand sparkled in the moonlight. He realized that the desert was not a place of despair, but of wonder and wonderment. And in that moment, Emaan knew that he was exactly where he needed to be.

And so, he continued his journey with a newfound appreciation for life and its many twists and turns. He knew that the divine had a plan for him, and that all of his struggles were leading him to a greater understanding.

Although this story is of Emaan, this is also of me, of you

Whatever happens, never fall into despair. Think about the brighter and positive sides of events in your life and what you can do positively in this moment to move forward. This would make significant changes in our lives. Despair is the keyway to laziness and inconsistency. A giant leap of faith is required and it’s built on the process. God bless you, and thank you very much for the time you’ve taken to read this. My only wish is to stir your soul towards a positive frame of mind regardless of whatever you’re going through.

the degree of trust

the degree of trust – learning from a samurai story | theborderofamind.com

I’m presently reading a really well-written book, and the old story of a samurai that was mentioned in it piqued my interest, so I’d like to share it here.

A newlywed man was returning home with his wife. They were crossing a lake on a boat when a massive storm erupted. The guy was a warrior, but the wife grew terrified since it appeared hopeless because the boat was little and they were about to sink. But the guy remained still and at ease, serene and tranquil, as if nothing was occurring.

Are you not afraid?” said the scared lady. This might be our last breath! Only a miracle may rescue us; else, death is inevitable.

The guy smiled and removed the sword from its sheath. The lady was even more perplexed: what was he going to do? Then he brought the bare sword up to the woman’s neck, almost touching it.

Are you afraid?” he asked.

She began to laugh and said, “Why should I be afraid? Why should I be terrified if you have the sword in your hands? I know you adore me.”

“He retracted the sword and remarked, “You have the answer.” I believe God loves us and that the storm is in His hands.

So whatever happens is going to be good. If we survive, that’s great; if we don’t, that’s also great, since everything is in His hands and He can’t go wrong.

Moral: Develop trust in God, who is capable of transforming your whole life. Everything occurs for a reason.

reclusive vibes

When your thoughts resonate well with someone else, that’s a beautiful moment. I was listening to the thoughts of a very famous singer’s view on privacy and how precious it is. Basically he was asked about his family, but he preferred to keep everything private, which is very hard these days, especially for public personalities. Along with his brilliant music, I admire him for his wisdom as well. I’ll quote his wise words on this.

"First of all I'm a very private person, and secondly because it'd be disrespectful to them.  Privacy to me is precious and it saddens me that it has become devalued as people eagerly share details of every aspect of their lives online and feed the social media machine but I'll tell my young listeners especially something that my wise grandmother used to say. "Before you speak, cook your words". Think about the consequences of what you are sharing. You can't put the toothpaste back into the tube. Whatever you put out there about yourself and anyone else would be there for ever. Think carefully whether will you or others benefit from it. Do you think it'll represent you in five or let's say 10 years time. You'll change and grow throughout your life. Valuing your privacy will allow you to have second chances and reinvent yourself without being followed by regrettable things posted online. To me, questions about my family are absolutely connected to privacy and privacy is something that I want to protect not only for myself, but those close to me. Because I have a career that has a public face doesn't mean that I have the right to share information about people in my life nor do I want to. Actually, just the opposite, I beleive I have an obligation to protect their privacy. I rarely share personal details about my own life, let alone those of my family. It'll be disrespectful to disclose information about them. It'll violate boundaries of trust. I'm a composer, a musician and to the extent that I want to be known, I want to be known for my contributions to the field of music, especially to reviving and continuing the rich legacy of traditional music still existing in this world. Because, in the end, it's the work that matters, not the person behind it. As long as that person strives to develop a character worthy of his or her goal. So when I find misleading  false statements about myself in various sources,  I don't feel the need to rush out and correct them, thus revealing more about myself and my close ones than we would want and straying to the realm of celebrity. I keep in my mind by this quote from long before the information age by Ralph Waldo Emerson " “Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.” For those who have asked about my family and other personal aspects of my life, I hope you will now understand my reasons for remaining silent when it comes to this."

Can’t put it in a beautiful way than this.

art color life

There are visual treats that come with exploring unknown spaces. The slice of time from an early morning walk with the sun warming up the sky and the buildings gleaming in this vibrancy. Sometimes we get humbled by the privilege to experience this piece of art forming around you every day in a different hue.

Sunrise vibes at Muweilah, Sharjah

..“Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.”

― John Lubbock,

Quoted from The Pleasures of Life