Doors

For this week’s Door photo challenge, I chose these two pictures (since I couldn’t decide which one I liked better)

Both are excellent works of architecture I happened to stumble across in two different spiritual places.

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the architecture inside is exquisite. It is one of the oldest churches in Goa and in India. Sadly, I was unaware of the great importance of this place at the time I visited and only looked at it from the curiosity and wonder of a tourist.

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Enter a caption – Basilica of Bom Jesus

 

The Global Vipassana Pagoda has bone relics of Gautama Buddha  enshrined in the central locking stone of the dome.The  center of the Global Vipassana Pagoda contains the world’s largest stone dome built without any supporting pillars. Peaceful environment, natural beauty and serenity are main attractions at this haven, which surprisingly charges no fees for entry of visitors.

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Global Pagoda

 

Here’s a short poem I wrote about Doors –

The thrill, the novelty,the curiosity

the fear of the unknown

which of these dominates

will determine the jump through the door.

The leap of faith, the leap of folly?

A leap into something, beyond the ordinary.

To go or not to go, 

The heart says yes, the mind says no.

What shall you do?

Take the foreign roads

or sail the familiar route?

Will you chose to open the door,

and see what is in store?

Or will you stay back,

and enjoy the predictable present

that may adventure lack.

 

 

_________

 

For more detail and in depth history of the two places mentioned above have a look at

  1. http://www.goatourism.gov.in/destinations/churches/130-basilica-of-bom-jesus
  2. http://www.globalpagoda.org/

_______________

Copyright © 2016 Sneha P All Rights Reserved

Image source – Self Clicked.

 

 

Women

Being a woman is something that cannot be articulated into words.
People often relate it with being compassionate, kind, nurturing, forgiving nature. However, with time the adjectives have changed.

I read this somewhere –

The idea that women are innately gentle is a fantasy and a historically recent one. Kali, the Hindu Goddess of destructed is depicted as wreathed in human skulls. – Naomi Wolf

Today women are breaking stereotypes in all areas. Be it choosing unconventional career paths,  making lifestyle choices that are unorthodox,  speaking up about issues that were earlier discussed in hushed voices or putting themselves and their needs first, without any feeling of guilt. And why should they feel guilty?
Before being a daughter, sister, mother or  wife, they are themselves first.
An individual with needs, Dreams,  hopes,choices,  opinions  and aspirations.

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Happy Women's Day

There were times when women with strong voices and fierce opinions were looked down upon by society, they still are to some levels, but that has never stopped them from marching ahead.
What kind of a world do we live in where if a man’s bossy,he has a strong personality. Where as if a woman is bossy, she is a control freak?

They say –

People only fear what they cannot understand.

In my opinion, that’s why strong women are often criticized. People have a hard time dealing with change. A changed society where women can speak up for themselves without being judged.

Often people talk about liberation of women from shackles. I say liberation isn’t some big moment that we should await.
It could be something as little as letting your daughters/sister dress the way they want to, or work wherever they want to. Because to begin with, who said they needed your approval?
Or something as simple as changing the basic stereotypical views held in our mind.
Here are two ads that have managed to deeply touch me. –

 

This one is about breaking gender stereotypes and starting to do so at the very basic level.

 

 

When did “like a girl” become a bad thing?

 

I had read this one statement by Indra Nooyi

Women can’t have it all.

I say, why not? In my opinion women need to stop feeling guilty for wanting it all. Nobody will judge a man for staying at work till 12 am, or traveling the world leaving his family behind, but God forbid a woman should make the same choice.

Once women embrace their true self, once they decide to be unapologetic for who they are, nothing stands in their way. The illusion of a patriarchal society will be lost once the veil of ignorance is lifted.

This women’s day, instead of just wishing the wonderful women in our lives, let’s do something that will actually make a difference in the lives of all those beautiful women in our lives.

Dhanteras

The Indian festival of Dhanteras, marks the 13 the day of the month, two days before Diwali which falls on a new moon night or amavasya.

Dhanteras – “Dhan” meaning wealth. “Teras” meaning the thirteenth day.  So this day marks the day of wealth, luck and prosperity.

Festivities begin in every household from today. However, preparations for Diwali including cleaning up the house,  preparing delicacies and snacks, shopping for new clothes begin a month in advance. 

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Namkeen - A salty Indian snack.

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Sev a deep fried delicacy

The day of Dhanteras which happens to be today this year ( The date of the festival differ every year based on the tithi ) is an auspicious one.

People celebrate by worshipping the Hindu Goddess Laksmi, the Goddess of wealth and Lord Kuber, the custodian of wealth. Prayers for wealth, prosperity and well being throughout the year are made.

Lord Dhanvantari, considered to be the physician of Gods is worshipped today for good health. It is believed that he emerged from a sea today, when gods churned the sea,carrying a pot of Amrit or Elixir.

The main doors of houses are decorated with powdered colour called rangoli and earthen oil lamps called diyas. This is done to ward off evil.

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Rangoli

It’s customary for people to buy Gold, silver or metal ornaments or utensils are purchased to bring luck into one’s home.

In the evening, auspicious temple bells can be heard from several houses as people perform evening prayers or puja and sing praises or aarti.

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Diyas

Windows of houses twinkle with electric lights, paper lanterns and the likes. The whole nation is lit up and a sense of joy is felt pulsing through the air, in the brightly lit homes and the laughter of people enjoying this auspicious day.

However it’s not just about the lights and celebrations, it’s about a sense of family. About coming together to share the joy of the festival.

Happy Dhanteras to everyone out there ☺

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Lit up buildings

What you hide

You want to say it out loud.

All these words, these feelings just fighting  crawl out of their carefully crafted cage. To spill out. They crave to be heard by someone. By anyone.
The desire to scream and say it. Say all of it.

But the fear of being judged overpowers the urge to express them. So you keep them locked up.

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This darkness, this loneliness,  this emptiness you feel digging a hole in your chest.. that is not all who you are.
There is more to you.

There are days when you want to crawl into your bed and not get out. When you want  walk off somewhere and never to come back.
Days when you want to say hurtful things that you don’t mean, just because you are hurt and you can’t deal with It.

But there are good days too.

Days when you are grateful for everything. Where you feel you will be okay afterall. Where you can appreciate the beauty of life.
Days when you are fun to be around.
Not always though.

You fear that once you let the other part, the dark part be seen, then you’ll become vulnerable. 
Because people will always see you in that light.
The lonely one. The sad one. The depressed one. The grumpy one.
That makes it even worse.

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Feelings

You have your good and bad days.
But that’s hard to explain to someone. Someone who would accept the whole package.
Accept the gloomy and embrace the cheerful days.
Because who said that just because you have your bad days, you are a bad person?

Copyright ( c ) [ Sneha P ] Rights reserved.

The lies we tell ourselves

In my personal experience, I feel, somehow we tend to block out those feelings, emotions, experiences and memories that make us feel bad. Psychology calls it – “Fading affect bias

This is probably one of the reasons (among a rather long list of memory biases) that tend to affect our judgement.

Which is probably the reason we constantly lie to ourselves. Unknowingly, except for those moments of clarity where we finally begin to see the truth.

It begins with smaller lies like – I will definitely start exercising soon (After reading a rather scary article about health disorders associated with a sedentary lifestyle). However soon never comes in most of our cases.

Another one – ” I am sure he/she is just going through a rough time, we’ll pull through it. This relationship can work.”

Slowly going on to bigger ones like – “I am happy in my job”. ” My anger there was justified.” “It wasn’t my fault” “Just one more” ” Just this once” ” Never again”.

Really?

Procrastination-at-its-finest

My point here is not to question our decisions, but rather just like everyone else try and understand why do we lie to ourselves?

Is it to protect ourselves in that cocoon of lies we have built in our mind? To keep us in our comfort zone? To avoid facing whatever it is that is really going on?

Rose colored glasses. The lies we tell ourselves

I think its a defense mechanism. To prevent the shattering of the illusion. Some of us like to keep our rose colored glasses on.

For how long though?

Source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_memory_biases