Tag Archives: happiness

Of Sugar & Light: The Year When Diwali Led Halloween


Diwali may actually be the direct opposite of Halloween. And yet, here are these two festivals, being celebrated within a day of each other in 2016. The light and the dark. The good and the supposed evil. As Hindus around the world light the world with diyas and pray for prosperity, graveyards pop up on the front yards of the western world. As spiderwebs are cleared to make way for clarity in Indian homes, fake cobwebs are places over wooden door trims and corners in America . But there is one thing in common…


Whether it be in the form of candy or pedas, sugar is the high that makes everyone feel happy, and both traditions make it a point of exchanging lots of it! So have something sweet and be merry. After all, a festival is merely a means for communicating with the people who matter to us, whether it be in costume or in spanking new gold jewelry. Happy Diwali & Happy Halloween! May you conquer evil, find joy, revel in prosperity and enjoy a decadent meal with the people you love…<3 Shilpa


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Of Seeds and Sand: How Words Transform Us


Have you ever gotten an email that you never expected (and didn’t think you deserved) and it changed the course of your day? Yep. I got one yesterday. I was going about my calculus homework when I clicked on a random private message on Facebook. Although I won’t quote their words because it was rather personal, I will however share the most beautiful thought presented in the message…

Place trust in the digital universe like the real universe…Thoughts are like seeds…if you spread them out and tend for them, they will blossom into something incredible.

So not only am I blogging as this kind stranger urged me to do, but I am spreading these beautiful thoughts to you through this blog. It appears that no matter how small we are when we stand alone, together, we can be (and are) enough… ❤ Shilpa

P.S. Thanks MJ for this brilliant shot on one of my favorite beaches! 

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#truth Mr. Dalai Lama ❤️ Shilpa

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Dear Pilgrim


My memorable trip to the Arctic Circle earlier this year was one moment where I felt completely ‘present’ as to where I was… #lifechanging

I came across this poem today and felt that it was the perfect thing to share. I hope it reminds you, as it did me, that where you are, you were meant to be and where you will be, you deserve to be... ❤ Shilpa

DISCLAIMER: Don’t get bogged down by the ‘religious-ness’ of the text below because it will distract you from the gem of the human truth that this poem contains 🙂
This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.
Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
Against the earth and the sky,
The Beloved has bowed there –
Our Beloved has bowed there knowing
You were coming.
I could tell you a priceless secret about
Your real worth, dear pilgrim,
But any unkindness to yourself,
Any confusion about others,
Will keep one
From accepting the grace, the love,
The sublime freedom
Divine knowledge always offers to you.
Never mind, Hafiz, about
The great requirements this path demands
Of the wayfarers,
For your soul is too full of wine tonight
To withhold the wondrous Truth from this world.
But because I am so clever and generous,
I have already clearly woven a resplendent lock
Of his tresses
As a remarkable truth and gift
In this poem for you.


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Good Over Evil, Happy Over Sad- This Diwali, May The Choice Be With You

Shubh Diwali

Shubh Deepavali! I couldn’t resist pulling up this beautiful shot taken by Subashini Vanangamudi at the Satori Studios and making a little Diwali-gram!

Every time someone asks me what Diwali signifies, my throat dries out a little bit. India is so complex and our festivals are rooted in so much scripture and celebrated with so many rituals, that it makes me dizzy. 

In my defense, how am I to explain, in proportionate detail, the story of Lord Ram and good triumphing over evil (and all the other demons slayed during the five days that entail our very illustrious celebrations). This would just open up the conversation on the millions of gods we pray to. How am I to explain why we buy gold on Dhanteras? How do I sort the days which are dedicated to celebrating marriage or siblings or our ancestors correctly? How do I explain why we celebrate by lighting a million diyas and bursting firecrackers on the already tumultuous streets of India? How can I bring into light, how this festival unifies a very diverse population in a very large (and often divided) country?

So, I cop out and just say its a celebration of light and love. And money. I suppose, in all practicality, its a celebration of property and good fortune. 

To me, however, Diwali signifies family-time and an opportunity to hit the reset on my life and change things I don’t like. It also ends up making me feel pretty darn grateful. Anyone who knows me knows that there isn’t a day when I don’t light candles. They soothe me and remind me of what a great lady had told me once, ‘the hottest part of the flame is the smallest and the coolest to the sight.’ Most importantly, it reminds me of the power of choice. To always choose good over evil. To always choose what’s right over what’s convenient. And most importantly, to always forgive myself when I falter, because I will. And that’s OK.

Happy Diwali everyone! May you chose how you live your life! ❤

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Ordinary This

It was that kind of morning: ordinary, with a hollow feeling inside of me and a desire to curl up in bed and stay in dreamland. I was low on inspiration fuel. But Pinterest saved me! 😅 

It’s like Steve Jobs famously said, “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

I don’t believe all of us operate with that sense of purpose (especially some mornings more than others) but I do know that if we stay sensitive to our emotions and gut-reactions, without letting our egos (or that pesky fear) over-ride them, we have an internal compass that somehow points to our bliss. And as long as our bliss doesn’t interfere with the happiness and livelihood of another human being in a negetive way, there’s no reason not to follow it! (Especially if our bliss entails chocolate chip cookies and a hazelnut latte!😋) ❤️

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Lessons & Such

Expectations come up in behaviors, not in conversations. #ExpectVictory #ConductYourDreams #CreateValue

It really sucks to not fulfill your potential. STOP. Recuperate. Recondition. A lost week/ month/ year of reflection can change the course of your life and therefore the world. I’m right there with you (and I’d be happy to talk about it).

❤ Shilpa

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Elusive & Downright Scary…


I used to wonder about people who lived for others. I used to take offense to their dependance on other people’s approval for meaning. But I’ve grown to realize that to be happy, truly happy, even for someone else, is happy still. Just because the source of happiness is through another person, it doesn’t dilute the feeling itself.

Yes, loving and placing hope in others dooms you sometimes. It opens you up for betrayal, abuse and let downs. But when you do it unconditionally, that love is enough in itself. Somehow, in your heart, you realize that it won’t be lost.

I spoke to my grandma today &  I realised that she is a person in my life who will walk with me, behind me and ahead of me depending on where I need her, no questions asked. She lives to see days through my eyes. She lives to live through me. And the irony of the situation is, when I see me through her eyes, the world feels that much better. I feel that much stronger.

I hope to give such love to people in my life. To live for them as I would for me. It’s not seeking for approval. It’s hoping for triumph. It’s like grasping the threads that pattern the world. It’s slippery and you may never succeed. But what’s a human being that doesn’t desire the elusive?

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