Let go?

How do you know when it’s time to say goodbye to something? How do you decide that you do not want to revisit something that is stuck in your head like termites to a wall – creeping and slowly taking control of your mind?

Well, it’s not that simple.

There are steps to saying goodbye to something that was once a part of your life. I won’t go through all of them. I don’t want to preach.

The hardest thing about letting go of something is accepting it’s presence and interference in your life now.  You see, a lot of the times, we consciously choose not to let go of things because we’re scared of finding things better than that – of creating things better than that. We only want what we had – we’re scared of finding something better – something new.

Why do we do that? Why do we trap ourselves in a position that we could easily get out of, if we just gave control back to the gut not the mind?

The mind plays games. It makes us think we’re rational when we’re not.

Now for those of you who have nothing to let go, this blog may not make any sense, sorry about that. But for those of you who do, you have already adapted this to fit your own personal narrative.

I’m glad you did that, because I have a follow-up question already.

Is it worth it?

The thing you’re trying to let go – is it worth keeping in your head and life for so long that you let yourself feel miserable every time you think of it?

Before you start thinking I am talking about my love life here, hold that thought. Look, this doesn’t have to be that dark. We let go of a lot of things on a daily basis: that awkward thing you did that gave you social anxiety and now is the only thing you’re thinking of, that sweater that you love but you know you’re never going to wear it so you know you have to give it away, that tasty bowl of pasta that sit in the fridge too long and now is not so tasty anymore?

But we also do let go of things on a grander scale – a thing that you had an emotional connection to, a person that you had an emotional connection to, a pet that you had an emotional connecti-

Wait a second. Emotional. EMOTIONAL. AH.

It all clicks now. Letting go is hard because of them good ol’ emotions! Ah, them sneaky little individuals.

Let’s revisit my question now. Is it worth keeping in your head? Are they worth keeping in your head?

I know what you’re thinking – Sakhi, duh. Yes they’re worth it. That’s why I’m still reading this stupid blog post of yours that seems to have no ending and tons of random bs. 

I promise it’s coming to an end. I promise.

You said they’re worth it, because you have an emotional connection with them (yes okay I know that’s super obvious, I’m sorry). But I guess one thing I never realised was that while they were worth it, the stress and anxiety that comes with holding yourself back for them is just… it’s exhausting. I guess I just realised that it is not worth controlling my present if it was in my past (clichéd, I apologise for it).

Accepting this is hard. Accepting that my past life has ceased to exist was so hard, I’m not going to lie. Snapchat memories and throwback YouTube videos just make it even harder. Accepting that my emotions around that were interfering my present life was even harder.

There are at least 12 things that I can think of that I’m trying to let go, but they are all tied to my past. I yearn to live in the present, you know. I know some of you do too. There are days when I fall back right into the trap of questioning why I’m even trying to let go of things that I don’t want to let go of. On those days, I make myself a hot cup of coffee, take a book, and just read. I read whatever I can. And when I read, I find myself resonating with lines that aren’t even supposed to be about my life.

I fit them to my personal narrative.

Every line feels like a calling from my gut, every word feels like a message from the soul. It feels like it is telling me to take action about these pent up thoughts and emotions. More than often, the words feel like a direct call to let go of things in my brain.

So here’s to the things I want to let go of. I don’t want to accept that I want to let you go, but I know I have. For the longest time. I yearn for you to go away – only because it’s easier to be more present and love my future wholeheartedly.

Throw away that pink sweater that is taking up space in your closet – you know you deserve better sweaters. Let go of that one exam you scored poorly on. It may feel like the end of the world but it isn’t. I promise. Let go of your fear of not being good enough. Your worst enemy is only you. Let go of that shame you have from something bad you’ve done. You deserve the world and you know it. Let go of anything that makes you feel like you’re trapped or stuck. You deserve freeness. Let go of anyone that makes you feel like you’re too little or too much of. You’ll find your people.

The only thing that’s stopping you is accepting its presence. Fit this to your personal narrative.

 

 

 

 

 

An Essay for my Closest Friends

An Essay for my Closest Friends

Until a year ago, when they used to say that your childhood and high school friends would fade away, I would laugh. I would laugh until my stomach hurt because I knew that these were the closest friends I’ve ever made, and I could never lose them.

I was content. I belonged.

I had a family outside of home.

Life took us all to different parts of the world, exposing us to different experiences. Some of grew, some of us didn’t, but the one thing that I kept looking for was you. I kept looking for you so much, that I didn’t even realise I was losing you.

You guys had shaped my life in a way unimaginable. You had given me a safe space – not just a friendship, but a true family – a bond stronger than anyone.

I took pride in us. We were different than the rest. We were kinder, more caring, more understanding and certainly, way less judgemental.

You taught me what being a nice human being was. I learnt a bit from all of you every single day, and I embodied the good parts in me, and loved your bad parts nevertheless.

We stood strong through all thick and thins – but does such a romanticised concept of friendship only exist in movies?

I remember this one full moon night last September, my roommate and I were sitting on a bench and I just couldn’t stop crying. I kept telling her – “I keep looking for my old friends in my new ones.” And for some reason, I just couldn’t find that level of friendship or comfort with anyone.

But how could I? When you experience a love, a bond so fierce and true, how can you learn to settle for something that doesn’t match that bond?

I didn’t feel like I belonged. Don’t get me wrong, I have loving friends who are absolutely amazing. But sometimes, I miss my old friends – not just because I used to see them every day, but because I used to experience their positive environment every single day – which I don’t feel like I do here.

Over the last couple of months, I haven’t really spoken to any of you. I spend countless moments in a single day just thinking about how I felt with I was with you guys – how I loved every single moment, even the ones I hated.

For some, home is four walls and a bed but for me, home means the right group of friends, the right circle – the one that wants just the best for you, the one that you love being with, no matter how tired you are. The one that you make countless plans to go to Imagica with but never end up going because some of us can’t go beyond Andheri (also we do not trust half the drivers in our group). The one that you go do amazing things with – like sitting in a room after school with the rain falling outside – and all of us talk about insane things and order Taco Bell (yaar, I miss the crunchy taco). The one with whom you study in Starbucks’ all over the city – the one with whom you feel the most yourself, even to this date, and you know you always will continue to. The one that scolds you for not watching chick flicks (I watched Legally Blonde the other day by the way! You’d be proud haha). The one with whom you aimlessly want to drive around the city – oh and the one that ends up at the wrong Phoenix Mall. The one that I share my creativity with – the one that I owe my formative years to – the ones that were my first ever best friends – the ones I still feel the most creatively inclined to (Capital Youtubers ayy).

I know I haven’t spoken to any of you for the longest time. How could I? I was going through a reflective path of self-discovery myself – I needed to know what I was and who I had become – and who I wanted to be. I needed to know how I could be a better friend – to you and to the new ones I make. Most of you know who I really am, and I’m sorry if I ever hurt you.

But the realisation that people move on exists, and I recognise that. After a certain point, all that is left is memories of the truest friendship you’ve ever felt – a friendship you know will never end.

Let the communication dim out, let the memories keep fading away – but the feeling of being with you guys will never will. I will continue to defend who you are to me, and who you mean to me. Just like I have, you’ll never know the ways or the situations I had to stand for you in – because that’s what true friendship is – be a support system without boasting it – something I learnt from all of you.

And now I know while our paths must continue to grow even further apart, I hope we find a way to reconcile one day again – in a way we always used to. For some that’ll be sooner (say less than 20 days until I’m back ayy), and for some, it’s years away.

I don’t feel like I belong much anymore. But discomfort results in growth, so I’m going to let myself feel what I’m feeling. I just hope to find you in someone else one day, just so I can feel that feeling of belongingness even more often than I do.

Here’s an essay for my closest friends – yet the ones who are geographically the farthest from where I am.

 

(I usually insert a song to compliment my writings – I feel it may help you understand the mindset behind each writing much better!)

 

Time

We think we have time. We think we have the chance to redo things or fix them.

But what if time is an illusion? What if time is nothing but a mere tool that makes us believe that we can keep making the same mistakes until the “right” time comes and we get to magically stop doing what we have or everything fixes itself automatically?

What if time depends on us?

What if the ultimate realisation is that time is constant but what we do with it alters how it feels to us, and that time is reliant on us, and not the other way round?

What if time is meant to keep us in check with reality? With every passing second, what if time is meant to keep reminding us to breathe? To exist in the moment?

To make decisions that affect the ‘now’. For the good or for the bad.

What if time is telling us that what’s most important is that what we want from the future isn’t going to come unless we let the now matter?

What if time is telling us that now is what we have. And yet, blip, there it went. ‘Now’ is the past now. And another ‘now’ brings another opportunity to go behind what your heart yearns.

People may forgive mistakes in time, but time never forgives anyone.

It simply doesn’t have the time to do so.

 

A Roar, A Lioness

शेरनी. Sherni. Lioness.

A warrior, a word connotated with a powerful female.

I am imperfect. I have hurt people. I have shot down help from the people that cared about me and I didn’t recognise the love and warmth of people who spent their nights awake for me. I made mistakes.

But that doesn’t define me. Mistakes don’t define me or who I am.

It is the recognition of a mistake that makes me a Sherni. It is the courage to face it and apologise that makes me a Sherni.

It is the courage to co-exist with myself and face everyone and prove to myself that I’ve grown that makes me a Sherni.

For some people, I will only exist in memories now. I will only exist in the good and the bad, I will only exist in their past.

But, I exist today for myself. I wake up today with a bright new chance to change everything and give myself a rebirth. I exist today with a chance to be a phoenix and rise up from the ashes that were meant to bury me.

Amidst self-help books, posting on social media, maintaining friendships and getting good grades, I am not going to let my growth get lost.

They won’t see me growing, but they don’t have to. I don’t control who I am in someone else’s eyes. All I control is who I am in my eyes, and I know exactly what I am to me.

I am strong. I am empowered. I am vocal. I am thoughtful. I am forgiving. I am loving.

I am a Sherni.

 

5 Photo Editing Tips for Beginners!

(this blog post focuses on editing using the VSCO app for iOS and Android)

Hello there, lads!

It’s been a long time indeed. Well, that was because I had my Arangetram last month! I’ll be talking about my Arangetram experience in my next blog post!

I get asked quite often, “Sakhi, how do you click such good pictures?” In all modesty, I don’t! It’s all the magic of editing. You don’t believe me?

Well, look at this picture of some random flowers in a little San Francisco Cafe.

before

And this is what it looks like after I add a filter to it.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Edits for this picture:

HB1/Hypebeast (Filter):             +12.0

IMG_2559.PNG

Insane what a little tweak can do to the entire aesthetic of a picture right? Today I’ll be giving you 5 tips to edit your photos in a way that they translate to who you are!

1. Decipher the feel of the picture.

How do you want your picture to feel? It makes a big difference when picking the filter and adjusting other factors like the brightness levels and exposure. Do you want your picture to have a mysterious, gloomy look? Or do you want it to be a very happy, summery vibe to it?

Here are some questions to consider:

  1. Where was this picture taken? What is the setting? A beach? A spooky bungalow?
  2. How is the lighting in this picture? Bright? Dull?
  3. What is this picture of? Food? Car? Children? Flowers?

TIP: If you are editing pictures of fruits of vibrant colours, have fun with the filters and try to highlight the vibrancy! You can try filters like F2 on VSCO.

2. Don’t make anything too dark or too light.

We get it. You want your picture to be very mysterious and very gloomy. Well, reducing the brightness to the least might not work well for your image, especially if the original image is already lacking enough light! At the same time, don’t make the image so bright that no one can see anything on there.

3. Have a theme!

Now, I have never been a fan of themes since they limit me from posting a lot of good content as themes mean that there should be a similar colour palette or feel to every picture posted. And trust me, I’m not a person to follow that many rules! But if you want to have a theme, here are some gorgeous accounts that you can go through to inspire you:

@ihavethisthingforfloors – random colour scheme, but photos taken in the same way and visually appealing patterns

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 6.10.34 PM

@dabito – bright, vibrant, green plants in every picture

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 6.13.03 PM

@carleyscamera – white, minimalistic (not a recommended theme if you have sky photos, since the editing makes the sky look completely white)

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 6.12.46 PM

4. Play around with different filters

Sometimes, there are pictures that you don’t really know what to do with. In these cases, just play around with all the filters and see which one looks best. Don’t just stop here, change the other factors like exposure, saturation, contrast, temperature, grain, fade etc!

TIP: For pictures with green plants, try using G3. Works wonders!

5. Too lazy to edit so much? Rely on some “safe” filters

Some VSCO filters tend to work on almost all pictures. A6, HB1, HB2, JM1, NC and P5 are some of my personal favourites. However, if the image get’s too dark or too light, don’t be afraid to increase or decrease the level of exposure and contrast to make the image look like you want it too!

ORIGINAL IMAGES

A6

HB1

HB2

JM1

NC

P5

You can see more of my edited pictures on my official VSCO page: http://vsco.co/sakhikale

Hope these tips help you! So, what are you waiting for? Go get explorin’ and editin’!

For additional and more advanced help with using VSCO, visit this link: https://iphonephotographyschool.com/vsco/

“New Year, New Me”?

First and foremost, Happy New Year!

Since it was a new year, I heard a lot of people being inspired to “change” themselves in one day but there were more people who, well, went salty and practically single-handedly brought down the entire excitement for the new year.

Yeah, I do agree with those salty people. By changing one number in a year of four digits, it doesn’t make you a better person over the night. Because trust me, that resolution is going to dissolve into thin air the moment you get back to work on January 2. But to the people who were inspired to improve on something about themselves, well, that’s a brilliant idea, but just don’t expect it to happen in a day! In fact, I believe that if that change in number is giving you hope to do something, to change, improve or build something new, do it! The only difference is that it’s going to take just as much time, if not more, than it would take if you started on any other day except January 1.

My point, don’t wait for the new year if you really want to change something or start something new.

Short post, but I had to write something about the cold war going on between these two parties (yes, it’s Jan 4th and people are STILL going crazy).

Be kind to one another.

Love, Sakhi.

 

 

Oh and here’s a hilarious Harry Potter meme to finish off the post with.

 

 

 

Agra – Bazaar, Pani Puri and Pethas

India is associated with Taj Mahal.  People come from thousands of miles just to visit this place. And guess what, I hadn’t yet. So this Diwali break, we made a plan of literally three days (dad had a flight to the U.S.) to touch base, see the Taj Mahal, eat Pethas and pretty much just chill for the rest of the time that we had there (which wasn’t much AHAH).


Saturday, 29th Oct

A 7:30am Vistara flight took us to Delhi, where we met our driver and head out on what was supposed to be a 3-hour journey to Agra. We thought we’d reach by 1  but to our dismay, the journey took us more than 5 hours and we were nowhere near Agra until 4:30.

img_8835
Largest Model of the Taj Mahal, made entirely of marble.

We decided to not go to the Taj Mahal on that day and just go shopping. And boy, was it fun! Our first stop was a Marble Emporium which had the largest Taj Mahal model ever. It was made out of Marble and the intricate design was just the same.

They showed us what the actual Mahal would look like on a Purnima, or a full moon night, and it was perhaps the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on. People could view this magic by paying some fee and there were restrictions on the number of people allowed. Unfortunately for us, there was no full-moon night until the 15th of November.

IMG_8836.jpgNext, we went to the main market there – Sadar Bazaar – which was nothing but a street with one side full of shops.  Because it was Diwali the next day, the shops were decorated with colourful string lights. The vibrant yet calming (what?) vibe made me want to explore this bazaar more.

IMG_8838.jpgWe saw a couple of ethnic shoe stalls but what caught my eye was this entire lane of – guess what – FOODSTALLS! The Pani – Puris looked too inviting to deny. But, this time, we had a Puri made out of wheat and it tasted different, but it was really good! We had dinner at a South Indian restaurant called Dasaprakash and headed back towards our hotel, The Grand Imperial, a heritage hotel. It was gorgeous! Our room – the prince suite – also specifically called the Emperor Akbar room, was very, very pretty. The old red-brick walls made me want to stay there forever.

The day ended with a good night’s sleep. We needed that since we were to wake up early for the seventh-wonder of the world – the Taj Mahal!

Hope you had a great Diwali!

Love, Sakhi.