Tuesday, November 21, 2017

8 Years of Goodness And THAT Blog Named 'My Yatra Diary...'

Arti at My Yatra Diary...

Wisdom begins in wonder.

~ Socrates.

We are 8 today. Me and My Yatra Dairy… As I sit down to type the post, I realize it’s not easy to put words to my thoughts today. How to get across an impact which is more transformational in nature by weaving everything into a single blog post? Everything… thoughts, feelings, emotions… one life!? In honor of what I have learnt from this journey, I am still going to give this a try but not without making an upfront confession: Right now, behind the curtain of my eyes, it’s all becoming a bit of a blur…


'Let's name this Padchinna' (Padchinna is Footsteps in English). No, retorted my brother enthusiastically, My Yatra Diary is better! (Now you know, I was SEO-ically retarded right from the word go). How does it matter anyway…? I thought as I gave in to his zest, after all it was his idea of starting this thing called blog and he was the jumping jack on a hot tin roof – not me.

Writing my thoughts puts things in perspective

So, it's not gonna be easy.
It's gonna be really hard.
We're gonna have to work at this every day,
but I want to do that because I want you.
I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.
~ Nicholas Sparks.

There was no way I could possibly know at that time… this wasn’t a mere idea, but a huge blessing in disguise coming to me. There was no way I could possibly know at that time… that by pushing me onto an unknown path all my pre-existing beliefs of a ‘perfect secure life’ (I am having a strong urge to sneak in the word 'ideal' in there as well) were to be called into question. And that, I was setting foot on a momentous journey that was to change me and transform me in ways we both could never have imagined before.


IB groomed me. What’s more, their way of grooming was unlike the ones you’d find in any so called success strategy lists that we have today: it was much more simple and one that instantly resonated with me. At IB, everyone simply, purely celebrated everyone else – the quirkiness, the madness, the friendliness, the stubbornness, the goofiness – everything was embraced wholeheartedly, as it was, in all its totality, no questions asked, no eyebrows raised. IB was far more than just a place, it was a community, a culture, a family, a family that was founded in a kind of humble, sincere love that made us believe in ourselves and then in our dreams as well.

I fondly remember winning trips to Japan and Melbourne and some more prizes as part of various contests held by IB. For someone who stepped into the community as a nobody, carrying a blank pen and paper in hand, with eyes twinkling in buoyancy, and no prior inclination towards the writing medium or reading, such appreciation and acknowledgement of my most tiny, nondescript efforts filled me such an euphoric feeling that life and living itself felt like nothing shot of a beautiful dream. The entire phase proved to be a very humbling experience for me, expanding my blob of confidence and swelling my heart in abundant gratitude.

Feather on the shore

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -
they must be felt with the heart.
~ Helen Keller.

They say, be patient... God brings you everything at the right time. Perhaps, it was time for the shy girl to come out of her shell, make some noise and find her own feet find her own wings and fly. I still struggle to step out of my shell sometimes and speak my heart even after all these years but I am a learner and a patient one at that – I'm confident I'm getting there with every passing day.


'We will see you here one day' he said pointing towards the article printed in the Explore section of the Speaking Tree newspaper. 'But my writings are nowhere as good to appear here.' I tried to convince him.

You write beautiful, I always look forward to reading your blogs.

For as far as I can remember, my family has held dreams for me when I was too young or unconscious to hold them on my own, my dad being the pioneer among them all. Not the one to lavish expensive gifts on her daughter, the best one that he did give me was having believed in me and My Yatra Diary. The only credit I can take upon myself is that I believed in him and whatever he told me. So, yes, may be I did in fact write beautiful if HE loved reading them. And may be, just may be, I could one day appear in The Speaking Tree as well.

Published in Speaking Tree

Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to,
but it takes action, perseverance, and facing your fears. ~ Gillian Anderson

This happened during one of our breakfast sessions, around 4 to 5 years back. After a few failed attempts to get through, I was delighted when I finally made him proud this year. Not one but two of my articles from Soulie Series were accepted to be published in the newspaper subsequently. To taste the sweetness of print, to reach a benchmark envisioned, after all the hard work of many long years felt like tasting nectar. I also got interviewed on Radio One 94.3 for a quick travel chat and just recently, one of my articles appeared in Life Positive magazine this month, a magazine both, me and father, have loved reading for a few years now.


My blogging yatra does not come without its ups and downs, without its own hiccups and speedbreakers and rough days but what has made the journey so far so easy is the genuine joy I feel while holding the pen or tapping the computer keys to create something I can call my own. I feel like I am an extension of my diary and she is an extension of me. A kind of fit which is incredibly rare and highly liberating. And did I mention magical? Honestly, I can ask for no other blessing.

Bird in free flight

O, do not pray for easy lives.
Pray to be stronger men!
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks!
Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle.
But you shall be a miracle.
Every day you shall wonder at yourself,
at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.
~ Phillips Brooks.

It is only by some divine design that my blog sprang to life 8 years ago despite my incompetence in the arena and that I continue to feel empowered to fill the pages of my dear diary despite the rapidfire changes in the industry. Looking back at all these fragments today, I cannot help but wonder at the richness of life that has come to me by the grace of God. The confidence to embrace my vulnerability, to be sincere and authentic in my words that bind our hearts together, the joy of learning and to share my perspective and voice without apprehension has undoubtedly been some of my biggest achievements of my blogging journey.

Anniversary card for blog by Mohini

I don't cry because we've been separated by distance,
and for a matter of years. Why?
Because for as long as we share the same sky and breathe the same air,
we're still together.
~Donna Lynn Hope

Surely, one of the greatest gifts of this little space of mine is to have been surrounded by all you kindred spirits in my life. Your beautiful comments, encouraging support and appreciative feedback have seen my heart through the good, bad and beautiful and have been my biggest motivation through all these years telling me all my labour is not in vain. Over the past many years, all of you have left an indelible mark on me and enriched my life in more ways than you can possibly imagine enhancing my path of curiosity, growth and learning.

Thank you, Friends.

It's not the length of time we know someone that makes them so special.
It's what they brought into our lives.
~ Sandra Kring.

And all this has been possible for me only because of that one someone… My Yatra Diary.  She has been my teacher, my friend, my mentor, my everything rolled into one. She has given me the breathing space and the freedom to just be besides so many wonderful experiences for which I have no words to thank her for. All I can do is pray to always be able to give my best to her.

There is still a lot that remains to be shared but as I said, it's not easy... as much as I am trying to hold on to all these feelings right now, I understand the best way to treasure them is still to let them all go... free... so that they can fly, and be, just like me.

Canoe on a river in Allahabad

8 years back I took a leap of faith and started a yatra.
8 years hence, that yatra continues…
is life.

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