I was sitting in a pitch dark field, observing the stars in the open sky. The galaxy could be seen after calibrating the eye for long. In that moment, sitting with my friends, enjoying the night sky at a peaceful and serene field, I realized how I can never be grateful enough for the life I have got. By no means I am trying to rub off any luxuries or privileges I may have earned/received because that is not my story. I am being grateful for abundance of happiness and comfort I can count every day of my life.

The day began with couple of my friends coming home and planning to take a new friend in the town to a good place in the city. So we headed to a nice beach facing bar, I have written before that I do not drink and only have fries and nachos at such places (my staple in a foreign country, lol). I enjoy the vibe, meeting new people, strangers who are compassionate and ever welcoming. It was a nice summer evening, they had a live band playing in the open bar. I was just waiting to join the few carefree people dancing to the live rock music. Honestly, this was my first experience of such a place. I wanted to go dance carefree. My friends were too shy, saying that they need a drink before they could hit the dance floor. I tried my luck with the new friend in the town, turns out the friend was carefree too! My moment to shine, is it 😂

I am hesitant to just go join strangers who are drunk as I have had silly incidents in the past, only to realize I was vibing with bunch of junkies and people who have no sense of what they were doing. So I always take somebody with me for my own sanity, I go wild while dancing!  So we hit the dance floor and started enjoying like there’s no one watching. Minutes later, an old man came and appreciated the friend who was dancing with me and said “You guys are the real spirit!!” Later the rest of the friends joined too and we were having a ball!

The beach, the bar and the dancing made me forget all my worries in the mind. I try to just be where I am, when I can not change the situation. I am saying so because this is not my ideal way of spending my weekends, I am not a party animal either. But I enjoy myself in the company of my friends, whenever I am at it. The evening was yet alive, and one of the friends wanted to go see the stars and the fire flies. I so wanted to head back home and sleep in time, if only I could resist enough and spoil everyone’s night as we were already far from home. I gave in, like many other times.

Here we were in the field, trying to find fire flies and sitting under the beautiful night’s sky to watch the galactic view we can not enjoy in the city. I just sat there trying not to think about the number of hours that I have been out, stretching my night. I see no point to think backwards once I have already said yes to a plan, I might as well enjoy the night while I am here and just be, isn’t that all we need? I know this is not the ideal way of leading a balanced life, but is there really a point in brooding over situations which are not in your hand while you have the beautiful nature around you? I promise I am not trying to seek validation 😁

The following morning was already planned, I was to visit the Gurudwara in my city with a dear lady who is like my mother here. At the Gurudwara, I sat in the pristine court of the great Guru Nanak Dev Ji, while listening to the beautiful kirtan live. I sat there meditating on the kirtan as I had missed my morning meditation session because of not waking up in time. It was my first visit to the Gurudwara too and I just felt at peace, lost in serendipity. It felt so good, the teachings of the sikh gurus were being recited and I was able to understand the meaning without knowing the language well.

The message was as follows: You seek happiness in the outside world, in the properties you own and things you buy, people you meet and relationships you seek when the real happiness is here in the company of the Satguru. All the religions try to tell us the same message, keep your Guru in heart and keep Hari‘s name in your Chit while you go about your day and that is real Anand. 

You see, for me, it was more about how I was doing inside at both the places rather than what was going on the outside. It was a 180 degrees shift in how I spent both the days and I could be unhappy at either of the places by simply thinking what better I could be doing right now(while at the beach/bar/field) and how I wasted half my night hanging out with friends(while sitting at the Gurudwara). I am learning to choose to be grateful for each moment I am living this life, be it enjoying with friends, doing my work, having a crisis, facing challenges, meditating or praying. I choose to be happy (it’s a work in progress).

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