Friday, 13 January 2017

AFRICA SMILED – A poem by Bridget Dore, dedicated to Nelson Mandela

When you left.
“We know you,” Africa said,
“We have seen and watched you,
We can learn to live without you,
But We know
We needn’t yet.”

And Africa smiled a little
When you left.
“You cannot leave Africa,” Africa said.

“It is always with you,
There inside your head.
Our rivers run in currents
In the swirl of your thumbprints;
Our drumbeats
Counting out your pulse,
Our coastline,
The silhouette of your soul.”

So Africa smiled a little
When you left.
“We are in you,” Africa said.
“You have not left us, yet.”

~ Bridget Dore

For a little piece of Africa resides within, no matter where I am in the world.

Monday, 2 January 2017

A beautiful end to the year!

2016 is an hour away from reaching its end and I can’t help but reflect on how beautiful this year was - filled with varied adventures, achievements, set-backs, and a stream of emotions. I am so grateful for all the places I travelled, people I met, things I learned and memories I made. While, many will refute and see 2016 as an upsetting year - with Brexit; Mr. Trump's presidency-elect; the compounding hostilities in Aleppo and the attacks in Turkey (just an hour ago). A sad reality. It was a tumultuous year indeed; browsing through the New Yorker and Global Mail was a nightmare almost each day. But just selfishly retrospecting on my own 2016 journey (since it’s my blog), I throughly relished so many incredible moments this year. And even the disappointments feel so right now because they taught me something unique. 

Exploring different parts of the world and assimilating in unique cultures was a lesson well-learned. Grad school happened. Being accepted in one of Canada's most prestigious programs was a very humbling experience. The research work I did for professors, and learning from them was intellectually stimulating and rewarding in ways untold. 

I remain hopeful for the coming year - 2017. I am hopeful that I will continue my passion for learning and education. I am hopeful that this year will instil our hearts with wholehearted love for this world and its people; that it will give us the reassurance that everything will be just alright even when it's not, and that it will teach us self-love in times of doubt and despair. This is all I hope and wish on every shooting star this year.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Do you ever feel this way?!

Current state of mind - a feeling of being in a state of conundrum, where my heart and mind are in conflict. Current location: In Canada's beautiful capital, Ottawa, and right now basking under the sun sitting on a wooden bench facing Dow's lake. A peaceful and throught-proking picturesque to say the least. I just finished work and thought of coming here and penning down my emotions in this post. My mind's clear while my heart feels heavy. My mind has all the rational explanations for my presence in this city but my heart refutes it all; all it wants is out. It wants to be back in a time when everything synced together with ease. But why do I feel so torn? I have everything going for me or if I may so, I have almost everything with me that I once desired, at least academically. I knew I wanted to do my Graduate Studies in Ottawa and here I am. On the other side, to make ends meet, I got a very special position as an Attendant Service for students with disabilities; something that has further made me realize the many blessings I have in my life. And sometimes (actually often) I wonder what have I done to be this fortunate. Maybe I'm just a lucky one!

I have a sweet place with an even sweeter landlord, who is actually one of the kindest people I've met in a while. I remember the very first thing he told me when we met: "Sonia, it's all about relationships. Good and healthy ones. And that's vital, in the world of business (between a client and manager), between a teacher and his students or a landlord and a tenant." It all basically boils down to pleasing oneself while not infringing on someone else's happiness. I feel those are few but unique things I've learned from him in just a matter of three weeks. Besides, I've met few really pleasant and hard-working people in my Graduate Program - who are inclusive and warm. And, to top it all, I have my wonderful sister, who just moved to Hamilton (6 hours away from Ottawa) to pursue her PhD. So hopefully, this country won't feel isolated to me anymore. On those Christmas breaks, easter and thanksgiving dinners, I'll finally have someone to visit that I can call my own.

See, it's all so right, almost great enough but still something feels a miss. Is it that my over-anaysing mind is straining itself too much? Or is it my heart, which fails to grapple with these abounding opportunities?

I feel as if I left a huge part of me elsewhere, in the past, that will remain nothing but a precious and self-discovering past. I realize that it will never be the same; that I'll never be able to re-live those moments again. And rightfully so, why should I? Isn't it all about moving forward in life according to life gurus? I understand but I want to be back in time when it all made sense. When my heart was filled with unconditional love and happiness. Immense gratitude and fear of losing it. I just want to be back in that time. I'm living in Ottawa but my heart's elsewhere. I'm not exactly always present here. I travel back in time (in my head) and safely be there with no urges to alter anything or return. This state of dichotomy that I'm uncomfortably sitting in, may either linger on or cease to exist with time. Maybe soon enough my heart will reconcile and realize what my mind already knows. Maybe..

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Reminders - Not so long ago!

I was just flipping through my diary the other day, and came across this brief note I penned not too long ago. It brought back memories, good and bad. But most importantly it testifies of something meaningful - if not completely, at least in parts. Read on...

There's this thing with life that every time you feel happy, on top of the world, thinking that this is it, you couldn't feel more happier than before, and your heart is filled with this burning passion, hoping that it'll never end, but just before you realize and open your eyes, you see its all gone. It was just a fleeting experience, and you return to where you started. To yourself, where there's only you and your unfettering mind - filled with thoughts. Your heart pounding out loud, while sitting by yourself. Shouldn't this be a realization that never base your feelings or thoughts on someone or something, who/which is just a euphemism. Once here and forever gone. Shouldn't this be a realization that the only person who you'd ever be with, is you and only you. Shouldn't this be a realization that life will go up and down, but you have to stay strong for yourself. That you have to be confident with yourself. Love yourself, and feel that nothing, literally nothing can  ever waver your self-worth without your consent.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Hey Amsterdam :)

Whenever I travel, I travel either as part of my work assignments or just visiting family and friends. However, recently, my trip to Amsterdam was neither of those. It was solely by and for myself. For leisure? Perhaps. But most importantly, to just re-connect with myself again. On walking out of the airport, I hopped on a train that took me straight to Amsterdam Central Station. The view, the sights and the smell were refreshing. Life seemed fast-paced. And, I stumbled to find my way at times. I, reached early and bright, and in contrast to Toronto, the city wakes up a little later in the day. The shops open around 10 am. I walked around, and was completely blown away by the abounding beauty. Amsterdam is built on canals that shapes its character, and makes it the commercial capital of Netherlands. Cycling is a way of getting around, and from children to senior citizens, everyone is peddling their way away. I sat down at a cafe to enjoy some freshly brewed coffee; rolled with the staple when in Amsterdam, and then carried on with my day - walking in and out of small, lovely shops, and chatting up the locals to plan my day ahead. I encapsulated few glimpses of the city to share :)