A Cup of Nostalgia…!

“For all Chai (Tea) Lovers”

Chai (Tea) is so symbolic in our Indian culture …it never just means ‘chai’ alone… it means so much more than that hot sip of ginger, cardamom and freshly brewed tea leaves….!!

It brings back the memories of so many late night gossip and music sessions with our besties whom we met after ages and those endless and mindless conversations done at the college canteens while bunking classes…👯‍♀️

It reminds of those family get togethers where chai means a full blown party with food along with a complimentary 2 hour chit chat session filled with laughter and heart to heart talks 🏠

And Chai surely brings with it an intoxicating aroma of that cool drizzle, that falls on the leaves in our patio on a rainy day, that makes us say to ourselves “yaar aaj ek chai to banti hai”😀☔️

So cheers to all chai lovers on this National Chai Day ..Because it’s not just a cup of chai … it’s a cup of nostalgia !!! ☕️

September 21- Indian National Chai Day ❤️

Love and Life with Guruji… My Tryst with the Divine

I am … Because You Are

I was….Because You Were

I will be…Because You Will Be….

…Always Within Me

Have you ever wondered how our life is like a beautiful story? A story that begins with our innocent childhood, is built over our experiences as free spirited youth and finally shaped by our actions and reflections as a growing adult. And like every story has an author behind the scenes, our life is also beautifully woven together by someone invisible and something powerful that resides within all of us, that makes us the character who we are today or who we want to become in the story of our life.

This post is for all those who’ve felt that invisible guiding force at some point in their lives and who have tasted the ‘nectar of divine love’ that leaves one craving for more….more love, more gratitude, more ecstasy and more to life!

My story with my Guruji (my author) began many many years ago but the curtain was raised on a cold winter day in 2011, when Guruji called me and my family to his temple, fondly called the Bade Mandir. It was probably time for me to meet that invisible magician behind my story.

I only have faint memories of the day when I walked into the most beautiful and blessed temple for the first time and absorbed all the exuberance of the place, not realising even once that this would be the day that would change my life forever.

A few months later, I went again with some hesitation, and then again after a few weeks with some conditions and then again after a few days with some expectations and then again and again and yet again.

They say you find magic when you are ready to believe and you meet your divine when you are fully ready to receive. And when the divine unveils itself, all your accumulated ego and invincible logic of the past fails miserably and the only thing that wins is your faith and complete surrender.

So while my mind was still trying to reason out, there was something happening which was way beyond my control. Before I could realise, I was happily cruising in an ocean of love, a love that was no ordinary. Every look at Guruji’s Swaroop (picture) was making me go weak on my knees and I was finding myself talking to him, confiding in him, smiling with him and crying with him at every given opportunity. His magic was working and not just on me now, but also on my husband, my son and other family members. We all felt his blessings and love in our own unique ways that are hard to put in words.

And while he was alluring us all with his little external gifts of love like flowers, pendants and langar prasad (blessed food served in Bade Mandir), little did we know, that these were his unique and simple ways of redirecting us inwards and helping us realise our true divine power. It was like someone was cleansing our lives and saving us every moment from the ill effects of our daily and past karmas (deeds). Everything that was happening felt a part of a bigger plan, a plan that was carefully crafted by the master himself.

With every visit, our faith was getting bigger than our fears and our hearts were becoming warmer. Every Friday, me and my husband would walk into the Bade Mandir with a mind full of questions and fears and walk out with our faces gleaming with pure joy and our hearts full of content and gratitude. We would anxiously wait for every Friday to immerse ourselves into Simran (Divine songs and prayers) and Sewa (A task performed without any expectation)

There was no denial, no hiding. Every question had an answer, every problem had a solution. We knew that a divine power was taking care of every aspect of our life. There were days when we felt our world would crumble, when it seemed our professions were at risk and when nothing in life went as planned or desired, but through all those bright and not so bright days, we never felt alone. One sign from him and our biggest of problems seemed no more than some tiny puddles of rainy water.

We knew there was one thing that was constant in our life – it was this divine love and an unprecedented strength we were getting from him and his Bade Mandir which is like a true Sach Khand (a place of union with God). His blessings were overflowing through our small hands and we were grabbing them all bit by bit like his curious little children.

We were so busy in absorbing the magic of Bade Mandir and his daily blessings that somewhere probably we started taking it for granted. And then suddenly one day, the world came crashing down due to the global pandemic and the doors of Bade Mandir had to close for public indefinitely. Something which none of us were prepared for.

Aug 2020…..Life goes on as we speak, but his magic continues. The blessings that we so gratefully received over last so many years continue to keep us safe and warm and His love continues to give us the strength we need to fight our daily battles with love, hope and belief.

Life is beautiful in all its colours, even the darker ones, they’re here for a reason. And while we eagerly await for the mandir to open, we also know that the divine power continues to protect and lead our way.

We continue to surrender our fears and have full faith in all the new dreams that he is manifesting in our lives. Guruji is with all of us, all the time, because once the divine decides to unveil its magic, it never leaves us alone.

His blessings are Sampoorn (complete) , Sarvatra (at all places) and Samaan (equal for all). And we humbly bow down our heads and thank him for accepting us for the way we are and for guiding us every step of the way. For he undoubtedly is that invisible power and that magician, who has beautifully rewritten the story of our lives forever.

Jai Guruji 🙏🏻

Astha (August 2020)

Straight from the heart and archives of a traveler …

It’s a beautiful world and we’ve all felt this at some point for sure…..

We live in this world everyday, but we’ve probably never valued this so much before!

Those mountains, those beaches, those lush green valleys and those beautiful countryside roads…

That daily sunrise that gives us courage and that sunset that fills our heart with hope

That regular chirping of birds in the patios of our home and that rare spotting of peacocks galore

Oh yes, it’s a beautiful world .. but we’ve probably never valued this so much before.

That bustling street, that sizzling local food and that unknown roadside guitarist who eases our worries and touches our soul

Those hugs and coffee dates with our friends and those happy and sad moments when our families never left us alone

Oh yes, it’s a beautiful world .. but we’ve probably never valued this so much before

How often do we pause and how often do we wonder? What are we taking for granted in this creation of God and what is that we are ready to surrender?

Will our life continue to be all about our unending desires, our well-preserved egos and our constant battle with time and power?

Or will it be about every person we meet, every small creature that breathes and every single moment that we choose to spend with gratitude and love from here on?

Life gives us many chances, nature shows us all the signs…If only we choose not to ignore them and if only we realise…

That we live in a beautiful world but we are not living here alone …. We are all tied in it together and we’ll all learn to value this world a little more!

Astha

April 2020

#simplylifebyastha

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