An Ode

This is to honour the memory of my late grandparents. My maternal grandparents passed away when I was 8 years and 10 years old and hardly understood what had happened. My paternal grandfather passed away in February 2020 when I was 15. Over this last weekend, when my parents, my sister and I were visiting our maternal cousins in Malad, Mumbai, we talked about ‘it’. To be honest, everybody else was talking, and I was only nodding and listening. Why? Because I was the only person in that house who had only a few instances in her mind about her maternal grandparents that wouldn’t even count as memories. I hardly remember them. I know their faces from pictures, but I have no visual memory. Their voice is in my head. But with time, it is fading away. And it hurts so much. I cannot put it into words. The other day, when my girlfriends were talking about how strict their grandmas are, I just said ‘yes, maybe my grandma would be like that too. I don’t know.’

And when these girls talk about how much they love their grandparents no matter what, that they often meet with them and tell them stories about school and laugh with them, it just makes me feel so lonely. In some part of my heart, it hurts so much. I miss them. I miss them so much. And I wish they could be here. Last year, my paternal grandpa shifted here to treat his health. And I had my 10th grade. And a lot of health issues myself, too. But somehow, we got through it all, smiling. And then I outdid myself when the results came in September 2020. And some of my classmates had to hear some serious scolding from their grandparents while others were being praised. It just showed that all of their grandparents cared about them. But you know, my grandparents never got a chance to show that, because they aren’t here. They aren’t here to tell me I did so well, that they’re proud of me, or even just scold me, telling me I could’ve done better. I would be ready to take all of it. I just wish they were here.

So, when my cousins, my sister and I were talking, they were telling us about Nana and Nani (maternal grandparents). My Nana was the chairperson of the society committee. And he was such a respectable man. My cousins told me that everyone else would argue and fight during the meetings and in the end, they would look to my Nana, who would have the final word which would be accepted by all. And actually, his last word was always right. And about Nani, my cousins told me that she would have her sarees dried in the hot sun and then ironed to perfection. Then she would drape them impeccably. And then when Nana Nani would go out together everywhere, people would look up to them and respect them and give their highest regards. Nana and Nani were big on cleanliness and learning things the right way, and basically yes, they were kind of strict. But that’s what made them different. They taught everyone else the most integral values of their lives. And since I was the youngest, I’m pretty sure they must’ve only showered all their love on me.

Nana and Nani

At least I remember that my Mama (maternal uncle) did that for sure. We lost him to health problems. I was 12 years old when it happened. But I remember his face, and his voice. I remember that he used to call me his ‘takiya’ (pillow) because he used to keep his head on my lap and use it as a pillow and pretend to sleep. He used to come in the evening from work and after getting freshened up, that’s the first thing he used to want to do. And I would laugh and push him away. Now it feels like I pushed him away forever. 

When Baba (paternal grandfather) was here along with Dadi (paternal grandmother), we cut a cake for his birthday on the 8th of January 2020. We took some pictures, laughed and talked and spent the evening together. He passed away unexpectedly on 1st February. So, the last time I saw him when he was alive was almost a month before it happened and I never got a chance to say goodbye. Baba and Dadi lived at my native place, i.e., Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, where Dadi still lives. So, our visits to meet them were only once a year. And we always went to Bilaspur during Diwali. It was our tradition. We would celebrate all the five days of Diwali together, travel around the neighbourhood to see the ‘lighting’ and just pray with each other and for each other. And this time in 2020, for the very first time, we had a Diwali without Baba. It felt so different. It just didn’t feel right. I don’t think it will ever feel right again.

Baba

And I just want to end by saying that yes, these people have left empty places in my heart that I will never be able to fill. That is the truth, and I will not sugar-coat it. I will remember them and cry like I did two days ago at 3 am in the morning. When I will have cried my heart out, I will remember that they’re all watching me from up above, and they’re a little far away but they will still always, always be with me

You left too soon,   
Left me all alone.   
The rest of the family is there to keep me company,   
But no one can take your place.   
Your little girl can grow up all she wants,   
But you will always be her first love and that’s an epiphany.   
I can feel it in my heart,  
And I miss you so dearly.   
Somehow, I wish you could come back,   
But one day, I’ll come to you.    
And even though leaving this earth behind would be kind of sad,   
I wouldn’t miss it for the world,   
Because then I would be able to tell you that I love you. 

A Thoughtful Letter by The Thought Factory

Do participate in this #writingexercise and share your thoughts with the world!

It is your chance to make the most of this opportunity and take a moment to think that with the New Year around the corner, what piece of advice you want to give to your future self, or what pressing issue would you like to bring to the notice of the PM of India, or if only your favourite fictional character could hear you, what would you tell them?

Last date to send in your letters – 13th January 2021, 10 PM (IST)

PS : Letters can be posted anonymously as per demand.

I will be waiting for your letters so hurry up and send them soon!

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Road trips

On last weekend, I went on a small 1-day trip with my family. We went to the ‘Alibag Beach’ and also stopped at ‘Karnala Bird Sanctuary’ on the way. We visited a beach after about 18 months and in fact, we had a family trip after about a year. And I had longed so much for this day to come. Of course, we took all the proper precautions at all times. We had an amazing trip, enjoyed ever so, and bonded better as a family. I had the best time throughout the day, but what I’m going to talk about today is those moments I had only to myself. The road trip! All the while we were on the road, all I did was sit quietly and comfortably in my seat and stare out the window. It was pure bliss. To tell you the truth, I felt like I reconnected with myself.

While going to Karnala in the morning, I could feel the sun on my skin. It was a little hot, but I didn’t mind. After staying cooped up in the house for like forever, a little vitamin D was always welcome. And then while returning home in the evening, I watched the sky turn colours from yellow to orange to pink and purple and finally the sun set. After that, it was only the stars and me. I watched them as they twinkled brightly in the night sky. There was a sense of peace in watching them. As I rested my head on the seat and continued to stare blankly at them, I felt like I wanted to stop the car for a moment, stand under the sky and just take it all in. But we kept moving, and the stars kept passing me by until we reached the city and they were visible no more.

For the record, road trips are totally my thing. And when I was sitting on that seat in my car, watching the endless world before me, I felt like the wind was releasing tension from every nerve of my body and taking it all away with it. I felt calm. As the wind kept brushing past my face, I knew nothing but freedom. Freedom from my thoughts which were all put on hold to watch the sky, freedom from the world and every worry that seemed so unimportant in that moment. I stared at the trees and the houses and the clouds with an empty and peaceful mind. It showed me the beauty in everything. The beauty in the colours of the sky and the all-mighty sun; the beauty in the huts and small houses we passed by; the beauty in the greenery that was there everywhere we looked and the beauty in those high mountains that kept changing shape.

The entire world was moving in front of my eyes. But I was still. Right there. On that seat. And nothing else really mattered. I felt serene. Even the cawing of the crows was soothing to my ears. As I became more and more comfortable, my shoulders felt light and I felt happy from within. My hair was airy and my body seemed to be weightless. I felt pure and charismatic in those moments. I was nonchalant, and I seemed to have forgotten all about the world in those moments, for my soul seemed to have flown away with the winds and the leaves. And I do not know about the next chance I’ll get to experience this all over again, but when you do, don’t miss those moments for the world.

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Savouring moments

When I was young, well, younger than I am right now, there was a time when I would endlessly fight with my mother. I was confident that she didn’t understand me. Maybe she fully didn’t. But I didn’t understand her either. There was that enormous generation gap between us, and it made me wonder if we would ever be like other moms and their children who seemed to be each other’s best friends. Over the years, I have come to realize that I haven’t been an easy child like those other children too. I had grave physical and mental issues at a young age. And I am still dealing with them to this very age. But what has changed is my equation with my mother, my entire family; and my equation with myself.

I learned to come to terms with my personal issues. And I’m not about to tell you a magical secret to how I did that. There’s only one word: experience. I stumbled on my own, fell on my own feet and got up on my own. And what helped me is not necessarily the same thing that is going to help you. You will fall and get up on your own too. And when you will look back, every experience will have something to take away from. And with every experience that you have, the list of things you learnt from it will continue adding up till the day you die. It is on you to apply those teachings to every new situation that you are in. That’s how you grow.

But I wouldn’t ever deny that I couldn’t have done it without my mother and my family. We had our issues, but we worked through them because that’s what families do. In the end, it’s a happy ending. But not without the support of the people that you love and the people that love you. Now, it wasn’t important to begin this by talking about my issues with my mother. But I did that because I want you to know that it is true and it does happen. Families fight, friends fight. Sometimes they hate each other. But if someone has truly loved you, they will never stop wishing the best for you. And that’s what people around me do for me, and I couldn’t ever be more grateful.

The COVID-19 virus managed to find its way inside my family as well. And it has been very difficult ever since. We have all been trying to stay strong and just be there for each other. Now more than ever, I realize the need to savour every moment with my family and friends. I sit in the day and mindlessly go back to that late-night party I danced at or the long drive I went for. Now that I don’t get to do any of it, it makes me want to savour every moment the next time I get to do it all. And there is hope that there’s going to be a next time. There is always hope. So, I cling on to that hope, in the hope that everything will get better.

I am closer to my mother now more than ever. And whatever little we get to do together in these tough times, like go for a long walk, I savour it. I savour those talk sessions with my sister and video calls with my friends because I don’t know what’s coming next. Nobody does. In the meantime, it is essential to reflect upon what you have right now and make sure you don’t take it for granted. The good and the bad days, together they make life. And every moment of this life is important. So don’t throw it all away without careful consideration. Savour every moment that you can. Take mental pictures! And keep it all safe within your heart.  

When I was on one of those long walks with ma, she said that like Diwali is called the festival of lights, the light in our house this Diwali is going to be the good health of every member of the family. And I think she is absolutely right. While talking to me, my neighbour told me that this Diwali doesn’t feel like Diwali. True. Spending Diwali with my paternal grandparents is a ritual. But this is going to be the first Diwali without my grandfather since he passed away in February 2020. And even with a COVID-19 patient in my family itself, everything is different. But what I know is not different is that we’re still family and more than anything in the world, we want everybody to be healthy and happy. And if that happens this Diwali, it is going to be a true festival of lights for us.

I wish all of you a very ‘Happy Diwali!’. May your homes shine with health and happiness too.

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Journaling and me

I’d already read about innumerous benefits of journaling when the thought to start it myself came into my mind. As per various people and posts, journaling can help improve physical and psychological wellbeing from boosting memory to providing oneself with a safe space for self-talk. Although I first began journaling 7 years ago, I hadn’t really kept up with it. Now, stuck in lockdown with really not much to do, I took it up again. I pulled out a diary from the dusty shelf of a closet and here’s what I wrote on its first page in black ink:

This diary belongs to SHIRISHA VARMA. I intend on using it as my very first journal. I will be capturing daily events, random thoughts and day-to-day musings in here. I plan on making this book an exclusive account of my life. I plan on making this diary, this journal, a mirror-image of my brain. I’m finally beginning journaling because I want to record what goes on in the life of a regular human being and not let the stories get lost in the essence of time. I want to note down every single thing I feel, think, comprehend, just so I can always remember and stay connected to my roots, to who I was. Let’s begin…

Pretty dramatic, huh? I filled the coming pages with episodes of laughter and joy, sorrow, anger, confusion, frustration and more. Some days were so mundane, yet others made my hands ache with every detail that I was trying to cram in. On some days, life seemed to have lost its colour, yet too much was happening on others. In our peaceful yet chaotic lives, I’d try to find solace in writing. I wrote about every person who upset me and every person I loved. I wrote about the dullness of our lives in lockdown and the serene times we spent as a family.

I think my journal is a mixed account of my life that if even I go to reread, I may not fully understand. But that makes me think, is this how confused I am on the inside? After all, my journal is supposed to reflect my truest, unfiltered self. So that makes me conclude that my most honest version cries on one day and laughs on the next, with no second thoughts in her mind. Then how do I decide if I’m a happy person or sad?

After a great deal of thought, I’ve come to realize that I’m neither. Instead, I simply embrace every type of situation. Under upsetting circumstances, I become a sad person and under happy ones, I’m the happiest at heart. Allowing myself to feel each of these emotions deeply helps me ever so. And that is exactly what my journal has done for me. It has made me angrier while writing the emotion of anger and happier while describing my happiness. But after it is all put down on paper, again I feel like an empty canvas ready to perceive the most human side of being human i.e., really, our emotions.

My journal is ultimately the ‘mirror image’ of the gazillion thoughts that is Shirisha Varma. I like to think I am my thoughts. So, this makes me (pause to search for the correct answer) a pensive and emotive woman at the same time. And my journal has helped me discover that. Though, not only discover, but over the course it has also helped me to accept that part of me, and accept who I really am. Needless to say, I thank my journal for doing that for me; for providing me empty pages to colour with my life.

Words

It is mystifying-how small, tiny words can come together to form deep, profound meanings. There are 26 independent letters. They join in a random sequence and there you have it–a word! And then these uncountable words again join in a random sequence to give you the most powerful weapon in the world–a sentence. It takes only one sentence, just one, to make or break your life. That is it. These trivial elements literally make up your entire life. Have you ever noticed that? We never realize how significant every single word is in our daily life. Sometimes, I find the whole concept of language to be mind-blowing. Simple words can come together to stir up emotions in you that you never thought you were capable of. With no difficulty, I’m able to tell you everything I’m thinking right now and you’re able to comprehend what I’m feeling even though we are so far away from each other. Isn’t the thought simply marvellous?

Communication is the key to healthy living. Talk it out. Every single time. What you want to say could be the smartest or the silliest thing in the world, you just have to say it. It’s better than not saying it and going around with the thought of what would’ve happened if you had. Communication is the safest, easiest and the most effective way of letting people know who you are and what you want. And letting people know that is super important, trust me. For me, communication is my mighty tool. I try to use it to the maximum of my benefit. And I believe that is how we should use it. Without it, we would be only individuals with no sense of belonging, right and wrong, emotions and a basic understanding of each other and this world. Without it, we would be incomplete.

It is these words that cohere to form all our favourite type of entertainment–songs! We can all imagine how incomplete the music of ‘Ek Do Teen’ on one hand and ‘Kabira’ on the other would be, without their extraordinary lyrics. Sans their lyrics, these songs could never leave the mark they have on the people of India. Whether it be a heartbreak, happiness or tears, Bollywood has songs for every emotion and feeling. And it still hasn’t run out of content. How cool is that?

I want to sum it up by reminding you that if you have the gift of speech, please use it. It is indeed a gift, and I hope you treat it that way. Make use of every word at your disposal to benefit yourself and the people around you. Compliment your loved ones and even strangers. Little appreciations can go a long way. Form your sentences to inspire people, to change the world. Put together speeches to express what’s inside of you. Your voice matters. You matter. Misusing language is going to only cost you your peace of mind. Weave your thoughts into beautiful words and make the world a better place.

A FOREVER KIND OF LOVE

Love. Who is the one person that immediately comes to your mind when you think of that word? The feeling of love is powerful, encompassing and the most beautiful feeling you’d ever experience in your life. Comparably, to lose a loved one is a grief that I believe we never completely overcome. Written below are the thoughts of an ardent lover whose significant other passed away. The couple grew old together, but never grew apart. With now only memories to keep them company, this ardent lover reminisces their days with the love of their life. In their thoughts, they talk to their loved one who left all too soon.

‘Shy, yet beautiful, you had an extraordinary smile. One which had the power of love and the magic of truth. One which did wonders on me; the one which I fell for. Among thousands of pairs of eyes, I’d only be searching for yours. To be understood, to be felt is all that I’d ever asked for. And you gave it to me. Our first date together, the first laugh that we shared always brings back our happy memories. We would talk for endless hours, our conversations flowed with ease. And when we’d look into each other’s eyes, the silence would be only so superficial. Inside, our hearts would be beating loud and fast.

When I look back at our days together, I feel a sense of peace in my heart and I grin. Today, my face may be wrinkled, my skin loose. My smile may not be as beautiful as it was back in my 20s. But it’s the same one I wore since the first time I saw you. It is this Duchenne smile, the smile of true happiness, that I know I will die with. It is so because I know during my last breaths, I will have a flashback of our life together and with the thought of your warmth and your ever-smiling face, I will die in peace. I will die in peace because it will mean coming close to you and coming to you is what I’ve always longed for.    

You meant everything to me. My life turned upside down the day I first saw you. You gave me the greatest gift of life- love. I miss those privileged days when I could snuggle up in your arms, my head against your chest. I was truly blessed by life to have crossed paths with you. And as fate would have it, eventually our paths became one. On that path, we lived life together. We lived its ups and downs, we fought, we grew. But our love for each other was eternal. Our bond was unshakeable. Even the fiercest of storms stood nothing in front of our love. We had fate, destiny, the universe on our side. Baby, we were meant to be.

To get lost in your arms again, under the stars, in a world of our own, has been my deepest desire since the day you left this world to finally meet with God. It was the most unfortunate moment of my life. I had physically lost your touch. But of course, you continued to live in my heart. I did not and will not ever stop loving you because when it is my time to go, our souls will finally reunite and spend the rest of eternity together. To tell you, the day I first saw you, my life changed forever. It was the most fortunate moment of my life. And I count my blessings to this day, for God blessed me with you.

To the person who loved me unconditionally, who never left my side; of course, my best friend and my confidant who I also fell in love with, the person I shared a beautiful life with, today, I want to remind you that I too will love you, always and forever.’

SELF-AWARENESS

Self-awareness is the first step to inner healing. Self-love is the first step to rejuvenating. You see, in the end, it is all about the word ‘self’. It is by far the most important word. More often than not we think about work, society, family, friends and the entire world. But the equation always seems to lack the word ‘self’. And no matter how much you avoid having a one on one with that word, it will hold the same importance tomorrow as it did yesterday. It is vital to focus on that word no matter which age, gender or country you belong to. Its essence remains the same. The one on one with it that we’re all so afraid of has to take place someday. In my opinion, it is now time for the ‘self-talk’.

  1. Honestly, what is it about problems that makes it so easy to run away from them? Is it the fear, the panic or the anxiety? Regardless of which suits you, one thing is for sure- the easiest way to solve a problem is to flee it. But I believe that’s where lies the mistake. We focus more on the problem and its repercussions. We focus more on what’s already done and happened. What we forget is that the future is still in our hands. And the power to change that with every decision we make is our leverage on the future. ‘Self-strength’ is at the heart of each of those decisions. Use your inner strength to make the future you dream of.
  2. To be straightforward- own your problems, own your failures. Unless you own them, you cannot rightfully own your success. And in order to get to that success, own yourself. Fight what you believe is worth fighting for and love who you believe is worth loving. But don’t ever run away from the harder times. Face them too. Face your inner demons. What is it that you are actually afraid of? Be honest with yourself-no judgements allowed. Make this about yourself. Have that difficult talk with yourself and finally clear your head. If its still a mess, own that mess. This time, it’s about yourSELF and nobody else. Despite where you stand today, self-love must be a part of who you are. Make it a habit. Whether you’re perfect or a mess, LOVE YOURSELF.
  3. Caring about the entire world is called being selfless and caring about yourself is called being selfish. But the real question is – why is ‘selfish’ a negative word? Unless it doesn’t harm anyone else, in order to survive the hustle and bustle of this big, wide world, a little selfishness is mandatory. Once in while you need to think about what you want and what you need, what you like and what absolutely doesn’t work for you. Self-care is everything. You’re here to ‘live’ this life. Don’t ever forget that.

I suppose it is finally time to be aware of who you really are. Who is __________? What do they believe in? What do they really stand for? Where are they currently and where are they headed? Trust me, these questions are baby steps to finding your true self. And baby steps, I’m certain, make the winner. It is this process of ‘one at a time’ that will help you find what works best for you. Mental healing is an experience. It is lived and relived for as long as required. Self-awareness is a process. It’s slow but totally worth it. Self-strength is really your own voice. It is strong, bold and unafraid. Self-care and a little bit of pampering is the cherry on top. It truly adds the flavour to your life.  And self-love? Anything and everything in your life is going to be incomplete if this chief ingredient is missing. It is the most important of all. Take care of it, embrace it and carry it in your heart.

The Girl Gang

It is my home,
It is where I belong.
In the name of melodies,
It is my simple song.

The Girl Gang they call us,
‘GG’ in short.
Hugs and kisses we duly share,
Shopping, indeed, is our favourite sport!

We share tears of joy and sorrow,
We share laughter and the hope of ‘morrow.
We share the bond of true love,
We share a friendship as sacred as the white dove.

These beautiful women deserve a world full of happiness.
They deserve love and a lot of kindness.
They deserve an eternity of peace,
They deserve an eternity of benevolence.

They have the perfect smiles,
I light up when I see them.
My eyes twinkle immediately,
And I begin to narrate them as a poem.

Our unity is our strength,
It is also our weakness.
But more than that it is our pride,
It is more evidently shown in our stride.

Sitting under the stars,
We chat for endless hours.
The warmth in our togetherness,
I record safely in our memoirs.

No amount of fights can keep us apart,
In the end, it’s always a hug from the heart.
It works like a soothing medicine for me,
I always end up shouting with glee!

This is my fairy tale –
My girlfriends and I living life together.
I’m so full of their love I desire nothing more,
It is this love that is an example of forever.

The six of us are so different from each other,
But that’s what makes us unique, I think.
Our sisterhood defines one another,
The affection among us is pure and pink.

I dedicate the above poem to my group of girlfriends who have been with me through thick and thin, loved me unconditionally and treated me like family.

FAITH

Our faith, I think, is what binds us close. It is what keeps our humanity alive. The one thing that all of us believe in. According to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore,

“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.”

And by faith I don’t particularly mean god. It differs from person to person. You can have immense faith in the people that you love, in god, in life, in your work, in your country. For me, I believe in all of these things. I have immense faith in the love of my friends and family. For me, their love is my god. When push comes to shove, I’d do anything, sacrifice anything for them. And I’m so certain I can do that for them because the people that I love have showered me with their infinite love, for all my life. My parents and my sister have loved me since before I was born. Their love is incomparable to any other in the world. My extended family has always looked out for me, in good and bad times. My teachers at school and otherwise have been my guiding light. They wished all good for me always. And I am eternally thankful for the love I’ve received from my friends. They have stood by my side for as long as I can remember. I guess this is just me trying to find a way to tell each of these people how grateful I am to have them in my life.

God. It is a rather controversial subject. But keeping aside all of those debatable topics, especially in India, when I see masses of people coming together on festivals with hope and belief in their eyes, united by the power of their faith, it leaves me overwhelmed. You know, it truly doesn’t matter which religion you belong to because what I believe gods and goddesses symbolize is positivity. Our faith in them is nothing but a strong positive force which leads to all good things like ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (truth alone triumphs) and the ‘victory of good over evil’, etc. These festivals, I believe, are simply a means to bring those people together who also believe in such philosophies, to let them gather together, united as one, and rejoice in an optimistic environment, having, in their eyes, the hope for a utopian world. After all, that is why initially the world famous Ganeshotsav was started in India – as a means for people to unite. It is why we should embrace our cultures and have faith in them, because they give us the power to connect with people in this otherwise, less connected world.

Having faith in life, I presume, is the toughest of all. When we are in difficult situations, for the moment, they do make us feel dejected and lost. We may end up feeling like our worlds are going to come crashing down. I wouldn’t argue that living life is a Herculean task, indeed. It is exhausting. But wouldn’t you agree that the good moments are worth it all? Or even if you believe there have been no good moments, why not give life a chance and make some? You have to have faith in your life or nothing is ever going to go right. You have to believe that whatever happens, happens for your own good. You have to remember that it is your life and only you can make it count.

Many people state that their work is their religion. And if your work truly involves helping other people, I don’t see why not. If your work is your driving force, you optimistic feeling, then you might as well put all your faith in it. Know that doing good will only bring you good and if that’s where you’re headed, you definitely are in the right direction. Share the benefit of your work with the people around you. Trust me, it will give you true satisfaction of the heart. Just knowing the fact that you could be of use to somebody else is indeed a great feeling. It is going to make you feel happy from the heart. Put your all in your work for the greater good. Have faith that your work is your ultimate goal and it is for the better, always. And even if you don’t get back good in return for all the good that you have done, don’t ever let that change your attitude or your goal. You must fulfil your duty, your purpose in this life and that is all that matters.

Having faith in your country is something I needn’t stress on. Most of us are in love with the place we live in. Loving your country is indeed a crucial factor in shaping all of our lives. It is important to believe that all your country wants and all you want for your country is prosperity. Every country is made by its people. If its people believe that their country will shine someday, it definitely will. You have to have faith in your country because that means having faith in yourself because you are going to be a part of those people working for the betterment of your country. You need that faith to believe you can make things better, that if you strive together along with your brothers and sisters, one day, your country will be a much better place to live in. People paying visits to your country will begin to love it just as much as you do. That will be not only because they will be standing in a prosperous land but also because they will see you and all the people who succeeded in making it that way. They will see that faith and hope in your eyes and be inspired.

Lastly, to not forget the most important one, have faith in your own selves, come what may. No amount of failures and setbacks could stop eminent personalities like Colonel Sanders and Helen Keller from achieving what they believed in. Trust that like them, you too have the strength and power to break through the highest of mountains and swim through the deepest of oceans. Believe that it is all within you, you just have to have faith in yourself. Quit contemplating, life is too short. Take that leap, take a risk. Understand that you will overcome it all because you are a survivor and nobody can change that. Have faith in your abilities, remember, ‘you can do it’ because if you think you can, you really can. If you have a dream, make it happen. And if you don’t have one yet, begin to dream. No matter what it is, YOU can achieve it. It is going to be hard, but hard does not mean impossible because I have faith that YOU will make it all possible.