Looking at life through a kaleidoscope!

Life is a like a kaleidoscope of colours: beautiful, unexpected, intricate!

The Wise man

Every once in a while, life seems to be colourful, symmetrical and amusing; it’s like looking through the tiny eye-hole of the kaleidoscope. It is just like the vibrant and symmetrical patterns made by the shards of colourful glass and translucent bits of paper in the cylindrical tube of the kaleidoscope.

The one who looks at it from the small eye-hole, gets fascinated and unknowingly tends to envy the flawless beauty. But the onlooker forgets or sometimes is so naive to realise that the intricate patterns, the symmetry, is merely the interplay of the mirrors that have been installed in the kaleidoscope to give a sense of completeness and beauty to the broken pieces of glass and bits of paper.

In today’s world, the pretty pictures that showcase our lives on social media do the same. For the onlooker it is like peering through the eye-hole of the kaleidoscope. The mirrors of the kaleidoscope are replaced by ‘filters’. It is the interplay of these filters that eventually produces a detailed, aesthetically appealing picture. The picture becomes a source of envy. The audience fails to realise that the beauty is the handiwork of these filters. The life in reality is like the shards of glass: though colourful, but in pieces and strewn across the myriad canvas of life – held together reluctantly by societal norms. Isn’t it? The society provides it a structure, an empty space to gather the pieces of life. Though some may rebel but ultimately they have no option but to stick around.

While peering through the kaleidoscope, we forget that by just a twist of the hand…the whole picture changes. Yes, life can change with a slight twist and along with it changes the destiny. The new pattern configured by the kaleidoscope is equally enthralling but there is a total disconnect from the previous pattern. How much ever you rotate the tube of the kaleidoscope…you can never get the previous pattern. The change is permanent!

Likewise in our lives, we encounter a slight twist and everything changes. There are no remnants of the previous life. Yet, as the shards in the kaleidoscope are the same, the people and places in our lives are the same. Some move away, some come closer, some take occupy a bigger space, a more important role in our lives and the rest maintain a distance throughout our lives. The arrangement changes and so does the picture. But like I said, the shards remain the same. Our future remains connected to the past. Only the pieces rearrange. You never know when you would bump into someone from the past. No wonder, the sages preached about living in in harmony with the people around.

Whether the new arrangement is better, much more beautiful or disappointing; it depends on the person peering through the eye-hole. Everyone has their own perceptions. Each one of us receives change in a different way. The new pattern that you see, seems to be designed with utmost care. Like the previous one, it is complete, symmetrical and though not astonishingly beautiful, you begin to live with it, accept it and enjoy it. The keyword is ‘accept it’, hai na!?!

One of the hardest lessons in life is ‘letting go’. Whether it is guilt, love, anger, loss, etc. Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go….!


The colourful pieces of glass and paper, the positioning of the mirrors, the symmetrical-vivid patterns: they can bring out the magic of the kaleidoscope, right? Nah, we can’t enjoy this magic without the glint of light! The kaleidoscope has to be held against a source of light to unfurl the magic. Likewise, we need direction and a source of energy so that we are not left rudderless in this world. The source could be ‘that’ one person, the Guru, the Almighty or the divine!

And then when all is settled…again…the slight twist of the hand…the rearrangement of the shards…the interplay of mirrors…the formation of the new pattern…with the same shards…and life goes on unabated!!


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