Tuesday, 19 September 2017

I am my own Prince

Akira: Independence. Such an intriguing word. I wonder what its like to be independent. Surely its a thing for only the brave ones. 
Guru: That bravery is within every soul. Remember, you are your own Prince. You just need to realise it. 


I am my own Prince, as you are your own. Don't limit your abilities to the perceptions of your society, friends, parents and/or significant others. Break down the walls you have built for yourself, as you were born and destined to fly. This sounds like wishful thinking, but really it's the truth, awaiting to be realised. So start today, be your own Prince. Don't wait around for a nudge from someone else, be it whoever. You yourself are good enough to go out there and achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.

You are a beautiful person, drowned in self-defeat and judgments. You are tangled in words and gossip. But it's not too late. Break free. Explore yourself and bring out the best within you. Relieve your happiness from the suffocation of taunts and disbeliefs. The power is in you, realise it, release it.

Who else will come to your rescue, if you yourself don't? You are your own Knight in shining armour. You are your own Prince. 👑


Thursday, 24 August 2017

I'm An Extremist

In a conversation...

Akira expresses, "I'm an extremist, you know? Everything I do, is to the extreme. If I like something, I like it to the extreme. If I hate something, I hate it to the extreme. My happiness is extreme, and so is my sadness. If I set my mind onto something, I will spend sleepless nights to achieve it. And if my heart isn't into something, I will spend days sleeping instead of doing it. And not just mentally, materialistically as well. I like everything that I do to be different. And this can cause grave stress." 

"Dear Akira", the sage responds compassionately, "Extremity is good. It is for strong people. A great mass of population is stuck in average mentality."

"But isn't extremity bad? I have always heard that one should develop and practice a neutral attitude, and remain in the middle ground of situations, neither happy nor sad. How can I ever achieve this state with such an extreme personality?"

The sage smiles as he reveals, "Having neutrality towards everything is spiritual extremity. It is not an average achievement."

Akira left stunned at such a difference in perspective...


Extremity is a confusing phenomenon. It has an immediate and reflexive connotation of destructivity. Extreme reactions to situations are definitely destructive to mankind. However, there is a fine line distinction between extreme reactions and extreme personality. 

Extreme reactions are obviously a by-product of an extreme personality. However, an extremist, who who trains their mind and incorporates a regular check on these reactions, can do wonders! And this is why, extremity can either be destructive or constructive. Let yourself enslaved to your feelings and reactions, turning your life into a living hell  destructive! Freeing yourself from the clutches of your instinctual reactions, and directing the energy to create heaven on Earth  constructive!

Practice liberating yourself from the negative, to find the creative person in your extremist personality! Risk and achievement are companions. There is no gain without risk. Only the people who take risks in their lives, live a life that's unique. They live a life beyond normal, engulfed in wonders of extremity.


Thursday, 2 February 2017

You Don't Need To Be Happy...

"Akira, my beloved, I see sweat beads on your forehead. Is there something that bothers you?", asked the wise old sage.

"I guess... I'm unsure. I don't feel like myself anymore.", said the concerned Akira.

"This 'myself' that you mention, what is that self like?", the sage enquired.

"Well I guess, I used to be crazy, full of life and always happy. My friends say I used to exude happiness anywhere and everywhere I went, you know, like a bundle of joy. But, now they tell me I have changed. They tell me I have lost my spark. I wonder if this is real, you know? Have I really forgotten how to be happy?", said Akira as he poured his heart out.

A faint smile subtly painted itself on the sage's face as he looked at Akira and disclosed, "Akira, you don't need to be happy. Just be content."


Happiness is extremely overrated. The word happiness, with its simplistic connotation of pleasure, has gotten the whole world chasing and running behind an illusion of a perfect, happy life. People are inescapably judged based on their degree of happiness, and the amount of pleasure they derive from life. But really, one should watch out for this vicious circle of societal judgments and the need to acquire happiness as a measure of one's well-being. In this society, we are all just blind, leading blind. 

In the above interaction of Akira with the sage, those few wise words reveal how happiness is not what one's end goal should be. It should rather be contentment. One should work towards deriving satisfaction from their walk of life, rather than blindly running behind what society proclaims as happiness. Learning the skill of contentment is generally neglected as we have been taught to focus on attaining what we don't have instead of finding fulfilment in the realisation of what we do have. Contentment leaves you feeling fulfilled, satisfied and grateful, whereas happiness is fleeting, temporary and always accompanied by sadness. Hence, don't run after happiness, but rather work towards a well-balanced and well-prioritised life comprising of both materialistic and spiritual goals. 

People's perception of your well-being is not important, yours is. Don't worry about forgetting how to be happy, as long as you remember how to be content. 


Monday, 10 October 2016

Namo's Peanut Butter Banana Jelly

Snacking is probably a commonly shared favourite ritual of many of us. Now where healthy eating seems to be such a chore, most snacking choices are bound to be picked by unhealthy desires. 

My friend Namo, however, transferred her sweet tooth fetish on a nutritious banana by adding to it a generous spread of peanut butter, a pinch of cinnamon and a zigzag drip of brown rice syrup. 


Whole Earth's Crunchy Peanut Butter - made of only peanuts and contains no added sugar!
Biona Organic Brown Rice Syrup - a healthy, yet sweet, alternative to maple syrup 
Cinnamon powder

I just tried it out myself (pictures below), and it tastes as beautiful as it looks. 
Happy snacking!

#LaughingAnanas #VeganVarieties

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Zizzi goes Vegan!

Pizza. Everyone knows pizza, everyone eats pizza. Kids grow up eating pizza, in fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, kids between 3 to 11 years of age prefer pizza over all other foods. Americans alone eat about 100 acres of pizza each day, translating into 350 slices of pizza eaten each second. Crazy? Not at all. It's only normal. Pizza is like the world's staple food.

In fact, in going vegan, I'm sure one of the biggest concerns one can have is how they will ever eat their pizza again. It surprises me how some of the mainstream restaurants don't take the dietary requirements of their vegan customers into consideration. They're not naive or unaware, just ignorant by choice. I make this claim based on experience. Last year, I wrote to PizzaExpress about the growing customer concern for restaurants to get their dietary needs right, in the hope they would take my recommendation of pizza infused with vegan cheese into consideration. And now, a year has passed by and I'm still in the hope of a surprise announcement from PizzaExpress introducing vegan cheese, or at least a reply to that email. 

Anyhow, the patience of the vegan community hasn't gone unanswered. Zizzi has done it! Can't believe I'm just finding out about this! In their March 2016 update, Zizzi announced a whole new vegan pizza with actual vegan cheese for their vegan customers. This is way beyond exciting! Zizzi is also the first restaurant chain in the UK to offer a vegan pizza with a mozzerella substitute. I highly recommend other restaurants to follow their lead, and I absolutely cannot wait to try this one out! #HappyTimes

Meanwhile, check out some Instagram pictures of people who tried it and reviewed it to be 'amazing':


Thursday, 28 April 2016

Perspective; To Each Their Own

In a conversation...

Akira conveys, "You know what the problem with my life is? I never have anything I want. I've been dreaming to become the richest villager so I can finally afford to buy cattle and maybe a bullock cart and–"

"Dear Akira, look at this tiny snail gliding away on his path. Do you know the purpose of his life? He travels all day in the search of juicy leaves, and reverts back into his shell at the sight of predators. That is all he needs to survive. So Akira, do you have everything you need to survive?", the sage questions leaving Akira speechless. 

_ _ _ _

Perspective. When I think about this word, I remember a beautiful scene from the movie Ratatouille. If you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, well, see below. 

Perspective is the most individualistic and personal something. Everyone we know is half a glass of water, and the remaining glass is their perspective. It's your perspective that determines whether you see yourself as half a glass full of water, or half a glass short of water, whether you focus on what you have or what you're missing. Either way, it plays a very important role in our lives. 

More often than not, we outlook the role of this important aspect. We forget that it exists and we forget that it varies for every different person. For instance, an hour long workout may be a blessing to someone, and yet dreadful to someone else. Let's think of the caring husband who always remembers to bring red roses every Valentine's. If ever, he misses out on conducting the ritual, the wife is sure to conclude that with the forgone roses, the husband's love too is forgone. However, does this wife stop to think about the husband's day and probable stresses that may have been a factor behind his slip of mind? Maybe, maybe not. If she does, she's engaging herself in widening her own perspective to reach out to and see through that of her husband's, in which case she weaves a happy home. Contrariwise, if she doesn't, she's allowed dominance for her own perspective in disregarding his, leading to nothing but negativity and resentment, gradually weaving a discontent home. But, what's the point?

Is there really much point in feeling the need to change everyone's perspective to match your own? Where one can never have control or dominance over other people's thoughts and perspective, such feelings will only cause pain and suffering in the long run. In that case, isn't it much better to rather work on widening our own horizons, and so, our own perspective? 

Ask yourself, do you go about your life like Akira, counting only your misfortunes and losses? Or do you step away from that every now and again, and grasp the snail's attitude of counting your blessings and achieving a sense of fulfilment in your bare necessities? 


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

A Sunflower's Ego

"Akira, my beloved, why do you look so frustrated?", asked the wise, old sage. 

"Because I am! I'm extremely frustrated and angry!" exclaims the furious Akira. 

"Oh dear" says the wise, old sage as he comforts Akira. "What is it that makes you feel like that?"

"It's my friend, Habiki!", exclaims Akira. "He tires me, makes my head hurt. Whenever I tell him something, he resorts to an argument and we always end up fighting rather than resolving my problem. I do so much for him and I'm always being the bigger person. And Habiki? He only thinks about himself. He's selfish!" 

"Akira dear, come sit next to me," said the sage welcoming Akira into his space, "I would like to tell you the story of a sunflower.

"Once upon a time, there lived a sunflower who was the King of his kind back in the day. He was as bright as the Sun above us, and his charm had every flower in the field blush at his mere sight. He attracted the bees like no other, and flaunted his beautiful yellow petals all day long. His tall, sturdy stalk supported his large flower head, just as it also supported the cucumber vines that grew alongside. 

"The sunflower's pride was larger than his head, and he despised the cucumber vines growing on his stem. He would always complain that the cucumber is good for nothing, and all it can do is using his sturdy stalk to provide himself with a natural trellis. 'I am the mightiest of all,' he would say, 'without my shade and support, this cucumber would never be able to grow. I am done being used by him for his own selfish reasons, I want my freedom!' 

"With this thought, the sunflower decided to kill the cucumber plant by moving his petals to an angle and withdrawing his shade on the plant. The cucumber slowly starts to shrivel and burn in heat, while the sunflower is overjoyed with his victory. 

"As the weeks passed after cucumber's demise, the sunflower lost his charm and colour. Bees lost their attraction towards it and weeds took over all its soil, along with the nutrients in it. More so, the farmer's continuous over-watering loosened the soil in which its roots were engrained. The sunflower fell feeble. One day, his stalk wasn't able to sustain his weight anymore, and as it let loose, the sunflower clobbered down forgoing his life and his pride."

As the sage finished reciting his story, he looked at Akira fondly and said:

"Being a bigger person is not about validating our position, but rather forgoing the need to be right in every instance."


The sage's story depicts a powerful sunflower who saw nothing beyond himself. He felt mightier than the cucumber, and this feeling translated into his perception of being bigger and better than everyone else. The doom of the sunflower is a metaphorical representation of people who are deluded into believing they're always right and virtuous, failing to see the value of the person they're in conflict with. In the story above, the sunflower failed to realise that it was the cucumber plant that reduced the growth of weeds and assured the soil doesn't remain over-watered. All he could see was the support it provided the cucumber, and not the value of cucumber vines on its existence. 

The story portrays that strength, power and believing one is always right does not make them a bigger person. All this can achieve is the validation of one's own position, in victimising others with their own bitterness and insecurities. 

Thereafter, a person who aims to resolve a conflict and comes out of the battle feeling empowered as he confirmed to himself and to others that he was a bigger person by taking the charge of solving a conflict even though he was victimised, is still not a bigger person. 

On the contrary, a bigger person is someone who doesn't see himself as bigger or mightier than others, whether it's in their power or their action. For instance, if someone forgives the other and comes out as feeling like a bigger person because they let go of the issue, in reality hasn't let go of the issue. All they're doing is identifying with their ego of, in this case, being a bigger person and empowering it by conducting the action of forgiveness and directly or indirectly letting the other person feel indebted to them. Hence, a bigger person is someone like the cucumber plant, who goes on performing his duty without seeking any attention or having the need to feel superior than others.  

A bigger person is someone who forgoes the opportunity to be right and lets go of his attachment to the conflict situation. It's the one who understands that being right will not translate into peace of mind or any sort of fulfilment, and knows that in setting off to prove ourselves right, all we can ever end up doing is prolonging our own suffering. 

To end this type of suffering, one needs to train themselves into disidentifying from their ego and practice ceasing the need to always be right.