Letters to self, Travel Poems
Comments 58

The Sweetness of Change

Moments arrive that take you to a world so far and different; that even though everything has changed around you, but It still feels familiar only within you, that you were this once, and that you lived like this once, a long time ago. And this feeling is impossible to share with anyone, rather it leaves one mesmerised for life and more so one’s ability to change. 

That, which once looked scary and uncertain is now settled, dealt with and is history; and that you can only be in gratitude towards nature, and the divine for that this happened. 

As few of my friends here, who are on this journey with me know that Road to Nara, is a fairly new blog, though my hand is old as much my eyes, even as my years might say otherwise; but this pandemic of course made us go through our lives past; we could rewind and to some extent refresh and relive. 

As I went through pages of my old diary yester evening- I came across this Change. A time when I had only recently finished reading Shantaram- and was blown away by the author’s writing, his story and then Siddhartha, one book that changed my eyes, my breath for life, and my thoughts completely that for years I kept recommending and gifting this book to friends on their birthday’s. And it was that time when I had only recently discovered Paulo Coelho and his beautiful and important poem Change. 

Sharing an excerpt from an old diary as it is. From a time I was probably some real sense young. I am smiling. 

“It’s been so long I moved my hand over my keyboard. Even quiet long since I picked up pen for a purpose. All this while, I missed writing. I then wanted to write when my teenage hero-Saurav Ganguly retired from cricket. As a small boy I looked up to him though from an opposite angle as I am a right-hander. He was marvelous in his stroke play at his prime. His inside out over the cover shots and so were those twenty rows back-out of the ground sixes. He gave me and Samarth(my childhood friend) a reason to argue and so many moments to cherish. Wow!!

I wanted to write about why I could not write for almost the whole year. I wanted to write when I happily left my job with the Traveler to travel. I wanted to pen down each day of my travels, roads I took, rivers that I bathed in and when I saw a jungle for the first in my life. The sounds i heard. Beds I changed and the foods I exchanged. Running downhill at four with an Australian. Rain and sun’s presentation. I wanted to write then, all day and at night too. 

By not writing I never meant I didn’t speak with its relatives. I read a lot of books last year and the last one was a masterpiece- To me it was Linbaba and not shantaram, I imagine Mr. Roberts must have liked the sound of calling himself shantaram than Linbaba. But no…no I don’t think it was my last; I think I read Siddhartha after that. O, one book I loved learning from. Each day, few pages and I felt at peace. So open, so free and so simple the book was. By Hermann Hesse. I remember recently a friend who is studying German telling me that I never told her that Hesse was German. I nodded with a smile. She smiled back but couldn’t understand why! Within I said, as if I had known.

Udit, my friend had been in midst of writing and blog searching for past few months and last day he shared a blog with me; it was Paulo coelho’s blog. I am still to read such a popular writer and thus I was a bit skeptical about laying my eyes over his writings. 
I read a day of his diary where he writes about his relationship, which has lasted for 29 years and is still on. He writes of a time when after they made love that day, he felt that it wouldn’t go on for more than two years. I somehow like him now and I want my eyes to sleep with his writings. I scrolled down and went through a beautiful ‘Change’. And then I thought why not share this ‘change’ with you. Let’s change it by writing it.”

Thanks Paulo,

 : ँ :

By Paulo Coelho


But start slowly, because direction is more important than speed.

Sit in another chair, on the other side of the table.
Later on, change tables.

When you go out, try to walk on the other side of the street. Then change your route, walk calmly down other streets, observing closely the places you pass by.

Take other buses. Change your wardrobe for a while; give away your old shoes and try to walk barefoot for a few days – even if only at home.

Take off a whole afternoon to stroll about freely, listening to the birds or the noise of the cars.

Open and shut the drawers and doors with your left hand.
Sleep on the other side of the bed. Then try sleeping in other beds.
Watch other TV programs, read other books, live other romances – even of only in your imagination.

Sleep until later. Go to bed earlier.
Learn a new word a day.
Eat a little less, eat a little more, eat differently; choose new seasonings, new colors, things you have never dared to experiment.

Lunch in other places, go to other restaurants, order another kind of drink and buy bread at another bakery.
Lunch earlier, have dinner later, or vice-versa.

Try something new every day: a new side, a new method, a new flavor, a new way, a new pleasure, a new position.

Pick another market, another make of soap, another toothpaste.
Take a bath at different times of the day.
Use pens with different colors.
Go and visit other places.

Love more and more and in different ways. Even when you think that the other will be frightened, suggest what you have always dreamed about doing when you make love.

Change your bag, your wallet, your suitcases, buy new glasses, write other poems.

Open an account in another bank, go to other cinemas, other hairdressers, other theaters, visit new museums.


And think seriously of finding another job, another activity, work that is more like what you expect from life, more dignified, more human.
If you cannot find reasons to be free, invent them: be creative.
And grab the chance to take a long, enjoyable trip – preferably without any destination.

Try new things. Change again. Make another change. Experiment something else.

You will certainly know better things and worse things than those you already know, but that does not matter. What matters most is change, movement, dynamism, energy.
Only what is dead does not change – and you are alive.

 : ँ :

NARA – 29.11.09

Image from my long term photographic Novel ‘KA : A study of Culture and Conflict along the border with Pakistan and China in Kashmir.”


This entry was posted in: Letters to self, Travel Poems


Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.


  1. shaletjimmymariam says

    Wonderful Post. I am yet to read Shatharam, though I have a copy. Paulo Coelho’s writing changed my life and still changing…Apart from The Alchemist, I read Brida and Zahir during this pandemic. Now reading ‘ The Pilgrimage’..

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I’m a fan of Paulo Coelho, and enjoyed reading his poem, “Change,” for the first time. His final verse struck home: “Only what is dead does not change – and you are alive.” Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi Rosa, really you didn’t know about ‘Change’, his poem. Then very happy to be st service to you 🙂 Yes. This poem was a revelation to me because i have kind of lived like him. Reading this kind of assured me i am not the only person people look strangely at 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Narayan, Change is a familiar theme for me. I like routine in my life, but I also like to break out of it frequently. I enjoyed the Paulo Cuelo poem. Thank you for a thought-provoking post. All the best! Cheryl

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Cheryl. Yes and you know as i read your comment here it just struck me that too much change as Mr. Coelho might suggest is not good rather, it is disciple and that routine is which will sort the life for you. And of course break out of it frequently, who stops 🙂 lovely to have your smile.


  4. I love Siddartha. I find myself thinking about the story often. And I’m about halfway through Shantaram (currently sidetracked by school). And “Change.” Lovely! Life is a continuous progression.

    Liked by 6 people

      • Oops. My books app says I’m 34% finished with Shantaram. Linbaba lives in the slum and is breakfasting with Qasim Ali Hussein. It’s long, but you motivated me to keep at it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • 1000 pages i guess, the best thing at that time when i was reading, and in my reading career, it was Shantaram that made me experience zero, or the cycle of work i.e where this book started, with events and an unimaginably fluid narration of geography and intimacy the book comes back to where it started; and well that could be my way of interpreting it dear Crystal. You must finish it. It will only grow you.

          Love. Nara.


  5. I’m so inspired by your posts. Your words “Moments arrive that take you to a world so far and different; that even though everything has changed around you, but It still feels familiar only within you, that you were this once, and that you lived like this once, a long time ago. And this feeling is impossible to share with anyone, rather it leaves one mesmerised for life and more so one’s ability to change.” resonate. And, oh that poem on change 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Although I find Paulo Coelho an engaging writer and will include his works in my Literary series of great books, I find your essay, writing as a professional reviewer, Narayan, more interesting. And here is why: your thoughts are so arresting in their originality, sometimes to the point of taking our breath away. You write as if you were thinking aloud, without the slightest self -consciousness, the thought-sentences logical in their conclusion. There is something in the way you are drawing readers’ attention that is other-worldly, mesmerising, and addictive.
    My advice would be, write a book, Narayan, it would be a bestseller.


    Liked by 1 person

    • My dearest you are becoming that one person-, that last important one who after diamond is robbed out of earth, without no labour knowing of it yet, it you pick them. Your confirmation makes it. I am not saying about me being the diamond, i dont even know nothing, shoonya i am as of now- but because i can feel, and i have read such stories of the people who lived as stories by the one who enlivens them every possible day, so many, weeks after weeks- i feel i know that you know.

      I melt in my affection, care and all the gratitude i must amass for you, not in abundance, no but kept for life. I will write. I will write so that you read, and will read the world.

      Thank you. No words ever gave me such hope, never.


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