Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bad Egg...

I came across this video Bad Egg on YouTube and it got me thinking...

The quote at the end which says 'Mother Earth has enough to satisfy every man's need but not every man's greed' - How True...I don't know when will all human beings realize this truth.

Today most of us are just involved in plundering Mother Earth and her precious resources. Why can't we learn to live like our ancestors who lead a much simpler life? In the name of progress and civilization we have eroded Mother Earth of everything and we are testing her patience to the limit. I am not sure how much more nonsense she is capable of handling but one thing is for sure, we will end up paying the price one way or the other.

Man thinks himself to be very smart and in his ego he may find another distant planet which would sustain human life, no doubt. But is it fair? Is it fair to use up Mother Earths' resources and leave her once our needs are no longer satiable by her? The Movie Wall-E also depicted how Mother Earth is depleted to the level until she was just a 'wasteland'. The message of this movie is something which we can't just ignore since this may be a sad reality within the next few decades. Also the truth is that we may not be in a position to face Mother Nature's fury when this happens.

Recently I read an article that sending an email actually takes up more power and is actually not 'eco-friendly' as was projected earlier. The other day one of my friend had indicated on her blog that she wished that iPhones existed maybe 20 years back when we were little kids so that she could capture the little beauties of nature like the sparrow, crows and beautiful flowers which were very much part of city life then. But the fact is that if cell phones existed then we wouldn't have had all the beautiful little things of nature that we enjoyed back then. Why? Just look around yourself today, do you see any small squirrels, sparrows, mynas, cuckoos, small shrubs, flowering plants? I read an article which stated that cell phone towers are responsible for creating radiations which are destroying the natural flora and fauna in their surrounding areas. So it is all a question of we have traded nature to have the most advanced technology in our hands and we are not stopping at that. But how long will this trend much time we have left??? How long will we be the bad egg???

My tryst with music...

This post is about my experience with Carnatic vocal music which I have been learning for the past 3 months. Music and me were always poles apart. I loved to dance but music what something I wasn't too familiar with. So the desire to learn Carnatic music formally was a big one, given that I had no inkling of what Raagam, Taalam or Shruthi is all about. Anyways this craving in me got kindled thanks to the devotional bhajans we sing during our meditation sessions. I started getting quite good at it (ahem!) and thought I could do better justice to the devotional songs if I had some formal training. I signed up for an online Carnatic music course where my teacher is remotely located and we can schedule classes based on our convenience. Thus began my Carnatic vocal music sojourn.

I must say that after starting the classes, I realized that it is something which I have terribly missed all these years without even realizing it. I just wish I could have started learning music some 25 years back. But better late than never I hope. My life after music has changed a great extent and hence this post is dedicated to my experience post-music.

First of all, music really opens up avenues in our brain which you didn't even know existed. Generally after one hour of music class I feel so refreshed and energetic and my brain is usually at its peak performance! Also my cognitive faculties and those pertaining to paying detailed attention have also improved quite a bit. I think people who are into music know this already but I guess it is one of the best exercises that our brain can have!

But my joy with music doesn't end at a mental level only. I have come to realize and experience the fact that music is the direct step to ascend in our spiritual connection with the divine. It is so easy to connect to the Divine with music. Our ancestors knew very well that each musical note (Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma...) corresponds to one of our energy centres (chakras). This means that a true musical person will also be spiritually elevated. I guess it is one of the reasons why all the saints of ancient India were known for their musical compositions in praise of the Divine.

I personally like different kinds of music but after my spiritual aftermath I feel that music should be of the elevating kind. There are lots of genres of music and people do feel uplifted in varying degrees spiritually or otherwise but the real question I guess is, is the music is helping us ascend spiritually? Is the music in tandem with our spiritual system? This will help us filter out through a lot of clutter that is being marketed as music today. I personally feel that it is not just the technique of music but how connected we become when we sing / listen to a piece.

I would also like to thank my music Guru Mrs. Chamundeeswari P for sustaining my interest in music. The things I have mentioned in this post may not be new to the person who already is familiar with the alphabet of music but for the ignorant, I hope this blog would inspire them in some way to start pursuing the musical journey right away. Ideally, music should be made mandatory for all junior classes in all schools because I do not want children to miss out on this divine nectar. Also there is no room for doubt that it is also one of the best ways to relate to our culture. I have just started on this journey...I still have a long way to they say, the journey of a thousand raagas begins with the Sapthaswaras...Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma... :-)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Children of Heaven...

This was an old post on a different blog of mine...reposting it here...

Children of Heaven - hmmm....this is one movie which has moved me like no other movie has until now. Simply superb, Awesome...and I think the dictionary is short on words to describe the pure magic of this movie.

This movie has its heart and the whole in the right doubt about that...

There are so many subtle and beautiful truths about life that have been represented in this the love and trust between a brother and sister...and the sacrifices which kids make by understanding the problems of their parents.

This movie is at a far far higher plateau than most other no-brainer, techno-babble movies that are churned out today.

The whole movie is just a single pair of shoes...this pair of shoes take the brother and sister duo of Ali and Zahra on a whirlwind adventourous journey...and also takes the viewers along to heights which no theme park fun ride can...!!!

Also I feel that people who are 'well-off' may not be able to relate to the heart of this movie since they have everything aplenty. The value of losing the only pair of shoes you difficult to understand while you have like 10-20 pairs in your shoe closet...!

This movie teaches so many children and adults alike...

There are several times when the brother Ali gives his sister many of his the new pencil, the pen which he got for scoring good grades...I initially wondered if he is bribing his sister to keep the 'secret' from his Mom and Pop...or does he really like her to have those things...? But eventually...when he runs the race during the finale of the realize the true love that he has for his sister...

The moment when he asks...with great anticipation...'Am I third Sir..??' ...really is heart shows us that sometimes in life...coming 'first' is not always the optimal end...sometimes we have to lose the winning place to win something... :-)

A must watch for everybody...

Complete Harmony....

This is a post inspired by Axinia's blog 1000 petals which I follow...

The following is one of Gandhiji's sayings mentioned in her got me writing the below...

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Today people think one thing, say another thing and end up doing something totally different! Most people today find it hard to remain as one person...they are different people in different places. They wear different masks at depending on the situation and people they have to interact with. They wear a 'nice' mask when they are with their near and dear ones, they wear a 'serious' mask at work and a 'jovial' mask with their friends. They never really expose the person who they really are deep down and maybe that person is unknown even to them. It is very easy to preach 'Happiness is what you choose' and that you just have to make a choice but that is easier said than done...!

People nowadays always find it hard to sync up the person they are at the Mental, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual level. Each level seems to have different needs which don't seem to fall in place harmoniously with the other levels. So people try to satisfy their needs at one or two different levels and ignore the rest. This results in cacophony and discord between the different levels resulting in imbalances that affect not only individual lives but also societies as a whole. That is how things slowly start disintegrating and people start losing faith and start believing in things which are just superficial. If you see this video on how pimples are formed (sorry for not being able to come up with a better analogy...) you can get a better idea of what I am talking about. First say a person is not satisfied at one level say the physical level, then he / she gets blocked at that particular level with all the 'bacteria' of ego, superego and conditionings. Then the person tries to satiate all their desires at that level and goes to the extremes like earning crores of rupees by any means to keep themselves 'happy' at the physical level. But like a drug the high stays for a short duration and the effects wear off gradually. Slowly things start welling up in them and then one day everything explodes - just like a pimple!

According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs the step of Self-Realization is the highest pinnacle among the needs of the homo-sapien species. But I believe it is not something which has to be achieved in steps.

I think human beings today are much more advanced than their ancestors and have come to realize the futility in hankering after material desires and also the emotional drain they experience being in unhappy relationships. So the ideal solution for this problem would be to start at the top end of Maslow's hierarchy. I have experienced in Sahaja Yoga meditation that once our spiritual needs are met then all the other lower level needs fall into place and it all happens very spontaneously. It works just like a pack of piece falls and the rest of them automatically falls in place and you become completely synchronized and in tune with yourself. So you become just the 'one person' that you really are and lose the maddening duality. So anything you do from then on becomes a beautiful rendition of a song by a master soloist who is none other than the Divine and you just step aside and enjoy the soothing music. :-) so be happy and be yourself - inside and out!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

He is 2.5 years old now... :-)

The last post about my son was when he was 6 months old but I think it is time to devote another post for him since he has grown so much since then...

Actually this post got delayed and my son is almost 2.9 months I think I can write some more about him. He is still the same sweet child which I had described in my previous post about him. But now there is a whole bunch of things which he can do and amaze us at the same time. For instance he is very fluent in both Marati and Tamil - his Mother and Father tongues. So while he is talking to this Dad he speaks in Tamil and with Mom in Marati and he also translates for his Dad when required...he is our little translator :-D It is amazing to see how kids pick up languages at this age...just like that! I think some research into how kids do this will help us grown ones also to follow the same technique. Personally, I think it is because they have an open heart and open mind and are not biased by anything.

He is also very, very naughty now unlike the last time when I wrote about him where I described him as a sweet angel. But his naughty little pranks are all engineered to make us laugh or sometimes even scream depending on how much post-cleaning work we have to do... :-)

Also the most important part of his growing up is his fixation with cars which started quite early but is still very stead. He just loves them! Actually he loves any kind of automobile but he probably likes his Dad's van the best. I realized how much fixated he was with them when the first thing he learnt to draw was a Car few months back and he draws nothing else but that...! Also his favorite letters in the Alphabet is C (for Car) and V (for Van)...hmmm.....I don't remember when exactly his fascination for cars started but boy it has stayed for quite long and I am not sure how much longer will it stay....

He also does a lot of sweet things trying to help me which fortunately or unfortunately turn out to be double work for me! This one time he tried to help me clean the rice and spilt the whole thing on the floor :-O which make me furious at that given instant but later when I think back about the intention with which he did it makes me feel warm and I also feel sorry for yelling at him.

As he is growing up he is more closer to me than his Dad which I guess is a normal tendency for boy babies. Also I think the main thing about bringing up children right is by being a good example for them to mimic. There is no use telling them or disciplining them about right and wrong. You just do the right thing and they will follow you.

Now he understands what is happening around him much better and this has motivated me as a mother to do things which would help him understand our culture and heritage better. Hence I make it a point to celebrate all festivals by following the same rituals and traditions to whatever extent feasible. Hopefully all this will form a good treasure of memories for him to cherish as he grows older.

I can go on and on about him and his antics but I think I will stop here and will continue in another post after a few months....

Friday, November 11, 2011


This is a collection of some of the old Doordarshan serial songs and ads...hmmm.....feels good to be back to our childhood... :-) If you were a child in the 80s and 90s then you will surely enjoy these nuggets when life wasn't so complicated and we used to just have one channel on TV and a couple of channels on the Radio...and very few ads which we can still remember...

One of the songs which used to play on AIR...Ghanashyama Sundara

One of my favorite serials and title song (Tehkikaat)...I used to never miss an episode of this..

Another one of my favorite detective serials...I used to loveeeeee thisss....Byomkesh Bakshi

A funny serial which I used to watch regularly - Flop Show Great job Jaspal Bhatti ji...

A regular serial to watch to build up my General Knowledge bank - Surabhi - wish there were more programs like this one...

One of the earliest animations on DoorDarshan channel - for National Integrity - Need to play this even now on all channels...

Cute ad - can't forget this one - Jalebiiii....

mmm....Diary Milk ...sweet memories...

Patriotic ad - Hamara Bajaj

My favorite cartoon (obviously second to Tom & Jerry) - Jungle Book aka Mougli

Another good title song from those days - Chandrakantha

I think when we are kids we always aspire to be superheroes just like Shaktimaan

My first introduction to Arabian folk tales - Alif Laila

Another of my favorite patriotic song - Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

Really got me into the meditative mood early on - Om Namah Shivay

Freedom Run - old memories are flooding back...

Another favorite classic which I just stumbled upon in YouTube - Pingu - I don't remember this being telecast for long...but really brings back a lot of memories :-)

I will keep updating this list as and when I come across any of the old favorites...

Monday, November 07, 2011

Operation UnPlug - One!

This post is a continuation of my previous post which was quite grim. After giving some thought to it I decided to come up with a list of things which we can-do based on our feasibility to lessen our dependence on the 'crumbling' economy and at the same time respect Mother Earth a little bit more. These are just beginnings of a new perspective of life for me...but I can guarantee that there are people out there who are already very actively leading lives which are very self-sufficient and very if you are such a person and you happen to stumble across this post of mine please share your thoughts and ideas...and maybe we can make this world that much more nicer to live....

There are many things which we need to unplug ourselves from. Take for instance the food inflation which seems to be getting worse day after day. The best way to 'unplug' from this is to grow our own vegetables. Ok, I agree, it's not easy - we live in a flat too with very little gardening space but what is stopping us from having a few potted vegetables like tomato, potato, carrot, cucumber and so on? This will not only help reduce our dependence on the expensive vegetable hawker but will also give us the satisfaction of cooking our own home grown vegetables :-) which I can bet will be more tasty and fresh. This will also increase the 'green' quotient of your home and you will do your part in making the planet greener...

The next main thing is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. For this we need to reduce our dependence on driving a vehicle or even renting one. I for one rent autorickshaws when I have to travel out but they are a species of humans I think I would be better off dealing without. If they gas prices go up by one unit these guys increase their rates 10 units. There is no one to question their rowdyism. I always abhor traveling in one but end up traveling as I have no other choice. To find a solution to my problem I started researching if there are electric bikes (remember I want my solutions to eco-friendly as well) which I could buy. But then I realized that were a couple of electric bike choices but their maintenance costs were way too high. Every year the maintenance cost would be about 50 % of the initial purchase price!!! I think there is a huge potential for electric bikes in India which is currently being ignored by the government for their own selfish purpose. Then I realized that in China there are a lot more varieties of electric bikes. If any business men are out there I would request you to please tap into this potential market which is the best solution from an environmental angle as well.

This is the first post among a series of UnPlug posts. I think people who think in favor of the environment and talk 'big' are still ridiculed upon today. But I think it is high time that the others wake up to the damage that has already been done and unplug themselves from all selfish associations and try to lead more fuller more eco-friendly lives. Their life may not be on the 'fast lane' but it will definitely be on the more 'sensible lane'.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Corporate Sustainability...the new buzzword

I came across this word in the newspaper the other day and it caught my fancy. hmmm...what does it mean...? There was an interview with Mr. So & So where he mentioned that it refers to companies considering all aspects of their business from a social, cultural and economic environment with the main focus being on creating a 'green' strategy...he mentioned that 'CSR' (Corporate Social Responsibility) was just frou-frou (there goes another keyword down the drain!) and he said that 'CS' or Corporate Sustainability was the catch-all word.

So what exactly is CS? According to the Brundtland Commission's Report it means - "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". I guess it is high time that we woke up to this truth...given the fact that we have already started paying a heavy price for the mistakes made by our previous two generations...

The first and foremost thing to be done based on the above definition of CS is that basically as corporate's or as individuals we have to become 'less greedy' - easier said than done. People today blinded by their greed want to earn and stash away $$$ by any possible means for themselves and for their future generations...but they forget to realize that who will enjoy all their wealth if there are no humans left alive on this earth???!!!!! 7 BILLION - a staggering number - maybe if medical science had not tampered so much with nature's cycle of life and death - maybe our population would have been at a much more sustainable level today. Don't take me wrong, I am not in favor of people dying early due to epidemics / pandemics (or) probably wouldn't want to have the average age of human being to be just 60...but when we talk about sustainability, all I am saying is that nature has its own laws and man has tampered with those basic laws.

There is a saying which goes 'Mother Earth has enough to satisfy every man's need but not every man's greed' - but 7 billion...just will Mother Earth sustain this number, even if every individual transforms into a 'non-greedy' person!

Also I came across another term called 'Geo-engineering' (Yes, one more branch will be available very soon in all our engineering colleges). Since the problem of global warming is reaching alarming proportions they want to put mirrors in space to deflect sun's light :-O in addition to a host of similar plans including sprinkling salt on clouds to make them absorb the sun's light!!!! There will be numerous side effects to this including around 20 -30 % less rainfall in India......hmmm....and this is just the first one...! Why can't people just plant more trees which is the simplest solution to Global warming...No, wait...trees need space and who has it with 7 billion Homo sapiens occupying the same real estate...I am not sure how far people will go in their technological advancement....looks like they are hell bent on destroying Mother Nature's delicate balance...I think the time is not far off when Earth will look all arid and dry filled with 'man-made junk' as depicted in the movie 'Wall-E'....that will be a very sad day...very sad day for all of us....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

100 Monkey Syndrome

I recently came across this phrase '100 Monkey Syndrome'. I started doing some googling and found out that it is a phenomenon that says, when a certain critical number is reached any behavior spreads spontaneously across the entire population.

This was supposedly proved by an experiment conducted by Japanese scientists on Macaque monkeys. Under this observation they found that some monkeys on an island were taught to wash their sweet potatoes before eating and gradually this behavior was learnt by other monkeys. When this behavior was learnt by the 100th monkey then the behavior seemed to spread across to all monkeys even to those not on the island, almost simultaneously. So the phenomenon states that when a particular behavior reaches a certain critical number then it automatically spreads to the rest of the population.

The actual experimental results are not based on much factual evidence but I have seen similar samples of the same in our daily life albeit in the Homo Sapien population. :-) I find it interesting that people have begun to now see the benefits of meditation almost spontaneously. You do not have to tell them that you are meditating and hence you have seen such and such a benefit. Everybody seem to already know about it! It seems like a certain critical number has been reached...can you take a guess what number it is???

Not only this, but suddenly the people practicing Sahaja meditation in India have an intense desire for the removal of corruption. And lo and behold, things are working out, now everybody seems to be having the same strong desire. Especially in India there seems to be some sort of a mass movement against corruption. Kalmadi being arrested, Anna Hazare's fast, Wikileaks and more...I feel all this boils down to a basic fact that all of us are somehow connected to a main energy. So when one of us gets a desire that is strong enough it does seem to spread to other minds through telepathy or some other unexplained seeing this in effect I would like to conclude that let us all desire strongly for something good, good for the whole community, good for the whole world and let us unlock 'The Secret' and watch the magic happen. Also chances of your plea being heard by this energy are higher if you practice Sahajameditation. :-)

Happy Connecting!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Anyatha Sharanam Nasthi

A beautiful devotional song which I like...

Anyatha Sharanam Naasthi
Twameva Sharanam Mamah (3)

Hridayam Samarpayami
Praanam Samarpayami
Tava Paadah Padmi Maatah
Sarvam Samarpayami

Anayatha ... (2)

Twameva Saakshat Haripriya...
Twameva Maa Waageshwari (2)
Maha Durga Mahakali
Mahamaaya Maheswari

Bhaagyam Samarpayami
Karmam Samarpayami

Tava Paadah Padmi Maatah
Sarvam Samarpayami

Anayatha ... (2)

Swayam Saadhya Swayam Siddhi...
Swayam Siddha Swayam Prabha (2)
Suguna Ratna Sukrutha Krutha
Sumathi Ganga Samojwala

Maanam Samarpayami
Gaanam Samarpayami

Tava Paadah Padmi Maatah
Sarvam Samarpayami

Anayatha ... (2)

Anirwachaniya Anandi...
Sukhakarani Dukhaharini (2)
Yoga Sampsthapanarthaya
Avirala Vishwa Viharini

Sangam Samarpayami
Punyam Samarpayami

Tava Paadah Padmi Maatah
Sarvam Samarpayami

Anayatha ... (2)

Dhrimira Vrutha Disha hina...
Aatmasya Paapa Naashini (2)
Bahujana hitaaya Vanithava
Saashwatha Sathya Prakaashini

Aadhyam Samarpayami
Antham Samarpayami

Tava Paadah Padmi Maatah
Sarvam Samarpayami

Anayatha ... (2)