My Digital Universe, Portfolio

Hearts of gold but no gold to show

One of the workers on the diving boat was getting ready to have lunch. He smiled and invited me to join. His invitation was so sincere, that I couldn’t resist it. His eyes communicating nothing but friendship, that of a brother to his own. I opened up his newspaper-wrapped lunch packet. The smell of basmati and spices added to the spectacular view of the coast of Nusa Penida,  a small island off the coast of Bali, Indonesia. I took one bite of his yellow rice and his buddy walked over and offered me another packet.

As I was unraveling his royal feast, wrapped in a common newspaper,  I noticed that he was sitting at the back of the boat, with a smile, looking out into the clear blue ocean.

That’s when I realized that he has just offered me his lunch!

Then it hit me. I was in Asia. Where roots of hospitality has run in the hearts and veins of people for thousands of years. The experience made me realize that I cannot enjoy their land and its fruits without respecting their way of life and their sincere smiles.

Wealth in this part of the world is stored in the hearts and souls of the people. People’s hearts are made of gold there. They don’t have fancy cars and luxury suites. They eat their rice with bear fingers and don’t think twice about offering their meal to a total stranger.

The reality, today, is dominated by a materialistic ideology, enforced by imperialistic attitudes. In this system, these kind-hearted islanders can only be great hosts to tourists that work in the “developed world”.

A taxi driver in Asia cannot goto the west and afford to take a taxi to see the Eiffel Tower. But a taxi driver in the West can come to Asia and afford the luxuries only the wealthy in the East can afford. Even though they both do the same job, one is able to experience luxury, while the other has to deal with bargaining tourists all day to make a living.

Let’s not forget to look at the whole picture when discussing ideas. Equality is not only about gender, race or religion. Development is not only the measure of external possessions, but also the development of the mind and the heart.

Indonesians have hearts of gold. As I walk these streets, I see wealthy individuals that have no gold to show but smiles to offer.

My Digital Universe, Portfolio

The mind reader

There was a man that could read minds.

At first, he thought, wow this is an amazing skill to have. So, he went into restaurants and started listening to conversations. It was quite entertaining at first. Then, he started using his skill for his advantage. He patted himself in the back when he got what he wanted. He thought, “Huh, they have no clue that I know what they think”.

A few years passed by. He had now gotten tired of using his skill for his benefit. Now he was simply observing others. He started diving deep into his interactions. He analyzed the thoughts that were going through someone’s head when they were speaking to him. He tried to give them what they wanted or what they wished for.

One day, he was hanging around some friends and felt extremely uncomfortable. He could no longer just enjoy life. He was constantly concerned about what someone else was thinking; what they were going to say to another person about him or someone else. His life was suddenly filled with other people’s thoughts. His own thoughts were now drowning.

For the first time since his realization, he felt burdened. What once felt like a blessing now weighed him down like a curse. He looked around him and saw thousands of people that couldn’t read minds. They were just happy to live based on what they saw and heard. They had no clue that sometimes their loved ones were not being honest.

Then he wished that he couldn’t read minds. He wanted to be normal. Years passed by. He found himself getting farther and farther away from civilization. He just couldn’t deal with the make believe comments and conversations anymore. One day, he met an old man. He asked him “Son, how are you?” He realized that this man was sincerely interested to know how he was doing. He shared his experience with the man and explained why he was living in the outskirts of civilization.

The old man smiled and said “I was like you once. I too got tired of reading other peoples’ minds.” The mind reader was excited. He wanted to know how to deal with it. The old man said that he simply decided to not read other peoples’ minds one day. He said that he realized even when he read someone’s mind; he still enjoyed listening to what the other person had to say. Words, he said have power. It still takes effort to make a thought into audible, comprehendible sounds. He left the man with the poem below and said “Go back to the city if you want. It’s not as bad as you think. You have two ears. Keep them clean. Don’t let what you don’t like stick in between. Listen from one and let it go from the other.”

“Opinions are like onions,

They are tasty when cooked.

But if you peel one out in bed,

You will wake up stinking like one”



My Digital Universe, Portfolio

The cutie flew again

This cute little thing came crashing down and fell on the couch right behind me at this quaint coffee house in Rishikesh India. I was having a cup of coffee with a sweet Brazilian couple I met at the yoga school I will attend next week, when Jeanie said “oh my I think she didn’t see the glass”.

I’ve always had a sweet spot for animals and have rescued a few as a kid. So naturally, I was drawn to do something for the poor bird. Jeanie is a very kind hearted person, she was right there with me as I grabbed a newspaper that was on the table to get the injured bird outside, in case it tries to fly inside the coffee house and run into more trouble.

It was apparent that it hurt its feet in the process of crashing into the window. They looked crooked and unusual. I asked the waiter to bring us some water. The bird had its mouth open, and a closer look made me feel as if it was in shock. So, I figured some water might help. Jeanie’s kindness was so admirable. She was holding a napkin over the bird to keep away the sunlight.

It was apparent that the bird didn’t have the senses to reach into the bowl to get water, so I let some water drop from my fingertip.


The bird was drinking the water!

It gave us both hope. We couldn’t help but have compassion for this beautiful creature as we caressed it gently with love, wishing for it to get better. Jeannie was constantly telling positive things to the bird and it was so pleasing to my ears as well. After a while, the bird closed its mouth, so I stopped offering it water. We got the waiter to bring us some rice hoping that it would eat it.

A few minutes passed as we both intensely stared at this beautiful bird with nothing but kindness and well wishes. Little by little, it appeared that the bird was regaining its senses. A feeling of utter joy entered my heart every second as I watched it turn its tiny head from one side to another. To me, it seemed like it was now observing us: two strangers staring at it, offering it water.

Jeanie said, “It’s amazing how this bird is trusting us”. I said, “I think animals can sense what we feel towards them”. A minute or two later, it attempted to fly. It wasn’t that successful as it landed a few inches from the table. We were very optimistic. We said “agh, its getting better, look! The feet doesn’t seem to be crooked anymore!”

The bird flew away with elegance a minute later and landed on a near by tree. We high five’d as Jeanie said, “yay, we did it”. Pure bliss and peace filled my mind. There’s so much joy in helping someone for in and of itself. There were no heroes in that moment. There was only that moment. That shared experience.

In this materialistic world, everything seems to be some sort of transaction. Sometimes happiness is doing something for someone that can never return the favor. I was the one that was blessed by the opportunity to experience that moment. To watch a beautiful bird fly again.

Perhaps nothing I did contributed to it. Perhaps it had everything to do with the love Jeanie and I showed it. But it’s not about that. It’s about that split second. That split second that we saw the bird fly again. That rush of bliss that entered our hearts. That … is worth everything. It was not forced, staged or had any sort of ulterior motive.

My Digital Universe, Poems

When the sun fell in love with the moon

He rose up early and painted beautiful skies,
Even for a few minutes, he tried!
He stayed up as late as he could at night,
Even when he was drowning,
He tried to shed some light.

Then it dawned on him:
It’s his arrival that makes the moon go away,
And entire planets depended on his arrival.
With sadness and without choice,
He decided to forever paint the skies for the moon 🌙 
Hoping she will realize why he has to go away every night. has some beautiful moonstones and a variety of natural gemstones. 

Follow them on Instagram at: LankanSapphires 

My Digital Universe, Portfolio

Gemstones are like butterflies 

A trained eye knows the value when they find a gem in the rough, covered in mud. We all have gem like qualities, talents covered in mud, waiting to be found. Perhaps they have been found and are now getting polished. Maybe they are already found, polished and ready to be adorned by the person that’s truly seeking it. 

Whatever phase we may be in, we shouldn’t get frustrated. 
The caterpillar will eventually turn into a butterfly and fly away. 

Life will look different then. Your perspectives will change and new possibilities will open up when you flutter your wings. The “oh no’s” will change to “oh my’s”. Then you will appreciate the time you spent in the mud even more. 

There’s beauty in everything. If we remember to be mindful, we can appreciate each stage instead of drowning in hopelessness. 

There’ll be enough hands along the way that will toss you around because they won’t see your value through the mud or the inclusions. Those tosses are not your failures. They are THEIR mistakes. Through that, harden yourself and embrace your natural tone. A gem’s value increases with its hardness. It’s also more fitting for it to be in the hands of someone that appreciates and knows what they have when they wear it. 

Remember, a monkey won’t know the difference between a gem and an ordinary rock. But a princess does. 

Find your gem here:

Miscellaneous, My Digital Universe

So, you think you know it all?

Don’t expect someone that didn’t see you break a sweat to understand your journey.

Sometimes it’s all about how you interpret something. For some, a journey is straightforward, so when they see someone that is curious and don’t mind getting lost, they may interpret the wanderer as someone that’s lost. But, isn’t life more about the journey and less about the destination? Then again, sometimes it’s less about the journey and more about the destination.

Some journeys, like the Annapurna circuit in Nepal, is about the journey AND the destination. Which brings me to my point: it’s always better not to jump to conclusions about another’s experiences or choices. Don’t play God.

A person’s experiences in life, what they do and why they do it, is a subjective mystery for everyone (except the person). Who can see the insides of someone’s mind, their emotional state, their true desires, to be able to accurately decipher why they chose chocolate over ice cream?

Perhaps I am one of those that feel as if I can sense the pressure of the probing eyes of those who know me, wandering what I’m doing with my life. I feel as if I can sense their judgmental (not always negative) interpretations as to what may be going on with me. Perhaps they are right. If so, they know about the inner workings of my mind and heart more than I do. But, do they really? On the other hand, they are making judgments based on their subjective understanding of the world and the even more limited understanding of who I am as a being. For in reality, we all pick and choose what we share with the external world.

We share our sense of fashion with total strangers by the way we dress (whether we intend to or not), while our smile can communicate our stress-levels to someone that’s known us for years. Since there’s no exact science (to my knowledge) that accurately decipher what’s goes-on inside someone, the goal is not to figure out how to get that information. It’s none of our business to figure out something that another person is purposely hiding. THAT, is an invasion of privacy and extremely annoying. What’s more annoying is when people THINK they know what’s going on and try to interpret or TELL the person as if they know what’s going on with them.

In my opinion, it’s better to make anyone feel at ease and accepted, so they can freely share and be themselves around us without fear of judgment. Let them define who they are to us. Listen more and remind yourself to put your interpretations in check. That will open up an opportunity for honest conversations rather than playing hide and seek. Hide and seek is best played with kids, not adult behavior.

My Digital Universe, Poems

For a realistic win

Whatever you do with integrity,
When taken away abruptly,
Don’t panic, simply hold steady.

Not every victory is straightforward,
Even when you feel cheated, defeated,
Do something else you always wanted.

Let time decide when it’s over,
Use your time, it’s not forever,
Hardships inflicted may be a favor.

Let compassion be always dominant,
Without it, never try to be prominent,
Be real, kind-hearted and persistent. 
With time, your story will unfold,
It’ll bring to light the pain untold,
There’s more to life than more gold.