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Boundary of a fort

Kangra fort entrance

This is the entrance to the famous Kangra Fort which is located 20 kilometers from the town of Dharamsala, India. The fort was first mentioned in Alexander the Great‘s war records, referring to the 4th century BC.

The Kangra Fort was built by the royal Rajput family of Kangra State (the Katoch dynasty), which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India.

wall of the fort

Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque, green and luxuriant valleys of lower Himalayas sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range. It is one of the most important or famous district of Himachal Pradesh. Kangra is mainly famous for its natural beauty and tea gardens.

Note: The written information is copied from Wikipedia. The photos have been clicked by me.

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Challenges don’t have to be big

Challenges don’t have to be big; they can also be small tasks. We all have our comfort zones, and everything that lies within its periphery is safe to try. Anything outside it is a challenge or a task to accomplish.

Years back, I remember we had a drawing competition in school. I was not ready to participate in it. Not that I doubted my capabilities but in my mind I was unprepared for the challenge. When I told my mom she asked me (not forced me) to participate. Getting past my (own self made) hesitations I participated and later received a bronze medal.

Before the drawing competition I thought about failing or someone laughing at me or how my drawing would not be up to the mark. But when I got started, I just focused on my work. I did my best. Once I had participated I already felt like I had achieved a target. There were drawings – some better, some good and some worse. Good ones did bother me for a moment but I was happy participating. I was not the winner till then, but I already felt like an achiever.

There were the if’s and but’s of why I should not have been participating rather than why I should have been a part of it. I had asked myself, “Do I want to do it?” And the answer was a yes. There could have been a straight no or a shaky maybe (but it was not). It only meant that I had convinced myself and had crossed that mental bridge of self doubt. As I stood on the other side of the bridge, I was ready for my journey. All the if’s that had stopped me earlier didn’t matter then.

The truth is even before I went for the drawing competition I knew I could draw. I didn’t know how good or bad… but I knew I had the ability to draw…something, at least. I mean what do you need other than a pencil, a few paint brushes and a whole set of colours. In the absence of this ability, convincing would not have played an active role. Just because it was there, I had the job of convincing, deciding and then crossing the mental bridge of resistance and doubt.

In the moment of flight, however, there was a fear of losing, a sense of insecurity as I stepped out of my comfort zone. But when I was on the other side of the bridge – it didn’t matter. That day’s challenge gave me the opportunity to draw. And by doing so I found out that I was not bad at it. I found a new quality in me which had been hidden till now.

There will always be a task. There will always be a question and an answer to go with it. There will be times to fly high and fall. All this would be guided by an inner strength. A flight would measure a distance but a fall would also measure some. What matters is the distance covered.

I terminated my doubts and was guided by an inner strength to meet a challenge (one that I was not ready for). There were moments of fall and flight but the journey was a helpful one to make me realize what I had and what could or could not be acquired in the process. In a desire to meet the challenge I discovered a hidden gem in me. I discovered something new in me.

I’ll fly like a bird

I have seen the birds flying in the blue sky. I have seen some gliding high, very high, some flying so low that I could catch them and keep them.

I wonder if they fly because of some requirement or is the body that is build to function in this manner or it simply loves to fly. It is very difficult to fathom, as a human being.

As humans, we are inspired by the birds when we see them soaring up in the vast expanse of the sky. I have never been able to ask any bird if they really enjoy flying. I have never been able to decide if they are tired by covering their journey of life in small flights, say per km. I have certainly no knowledge if they enjoy flying or just seem to be doing a mundane job of theirs. It’s difficult to know if they really think so much before a take off.

I have always seen them as free creatures- stretching their wings, flying in a distant unknown land, free from the earthly bounds- and maybe that’s why I want to fly like a bird, someday. Every human, maybe once in life, has a deep desire to acquire a pair of wings and take off to a mysterious land… be a free soul.

Come to think of it, I’m sure it would face certain hardships in such a lifestyle of- doing nothing, flying, sitting, chirping, eating and sleeping in trees or their nests. But when it spreads its wings all charged to meet its new day, ready to fly, claim its freedom for yet another day, discover an unknown territory or claim a known patch of sky or land once again, it knows no bound. It is possessed with a sprite of flight.

But I’m sorry, I don’t see all this. All I see… is a bird on a flying adventure… a free soul to a mysterious land/ sky. And that’s why I fancy them, I imagine to be like them.

So, as the new day awaits me I’ll borrow a set of wings. I’ll fly, venture out the new day with a new spirit as my wings of courage fan out and help me to claim a patch of blue sky. I’ll fly each day with a smile that chirps, ready to meet challenges of any sort.