My Journey From Head to Heart
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Message of Allah's Quran by SRK...

Well, it's no secret that I am a huge fan of Shahrukh Khan. Irrespective of the fact that he overacts in his movies, he smokes, asks money to dance in someone else's wedding etc. I see him as a warrior who came from no where, with nothing more than a dream and won everything. Very spiritual person in his own way, extremely hard working, focused, down to Earth and an honest Indian. This is what he had to say in an interview with CNN-IBN about Islam, fundamentalism and Quran. I just love the way he puts things across.


There's been a lot of things said about terror attacks. I truly believe it has brought all of us together. Be it a bhaiya from U.P or Bihar and others staying in Mumbai or be it Hindu and Muslims. Divide and Rule doesn't work anymore. But should it take a crisis of this magnitude to unite us all, to rise above our petty differences? I sincerely pray and I know - not anymore. Blaming is politicians game, masses take responsibility now.


People who planned and committed such horrendous act will never be able to win by there sick minds. I genuinely feel sorry for them, because they will never ever experience peaceful sleep in a warm bed in a safe secure home filled with the laughter of their family, they will never know the happiness of a child born or a union made or serenity that dawns after forgiving someone and hugging them or the bliss of making someone smile. Not because they are bad people, but they are misdirected and there focus is on terror, how can they feel peace. I am truly sorry for them and wish that they come to light soon and that no one has to live with so much hatred and anger and ignorance in their hearts, ever.

Despite of what Amir Kasab did, I feel compassion for him. He will be punished for taking so many lives. But he is just 21 years old. His aspirations, his youth angst being misdirected by a handful of people too scared to venture out of their caves themselves. If only he could have experienced Sudarshan Kriya and the knowledge of Guruji, he would have directed his commitment to uniting people, to helping them....I know because not so long back I felt hatred and anger about everything too.

"For a person to be a terrorist somewhere he has to block his heart. Somewhere he has to block his feelings. If that block is removed he can't believe in violence. By broadening one's vision, spirituality can help." - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

One question: In which corner were you hiding Mr. Raj Thackeray? Where was your Sena of eunuchs to fight against outsiders, the terrorists, now? You should have as well protested against non Marathi NSG commandos being deployed in 'your' Mumbai? Where are you bloody Bajrang Dal? Did you wear bangles in your hands rather than fulfilling your promise of being a self proclaimed protector of Indian Culture? Where the hell were you the communist gangs in Kerela? Why didn't you flex your muscles in front of Taj the way you do when spiritual courses are organized in Kerela? Shame on you! There is nothing Indian or even Hindu in the way you do things, you feckless thugs.

And lastly, as a youth, I feel proud that there has been lot of awareness lately, particularly among youths, and we all want change. We deserve better. So to start we must first become better ourselves. Come out of our 9-5 routine in tiny cubicles and do something much more important for youths accross the world and for our nation.

As it was said in 'Rang De Basanti 'Public memory is very short. Janta sab bhool jaati hai'. Let's not forget and go back to our slumber. We have awakened, let's get to work - together, in our own ways, may be, but let's do something about it. Let's bring the change we want, together. If you can't, at least support those who are, rather than criticizing or judging them. Only we can.

And one way to bring change is Yes!+ and Art of Living. It's a platform for Youths all over the world to bring a positive, peaceful and lasting change. It has already touched the lives of 300 Million people of all race, religion, age and preferences. It's a path of Love and Service. Peace and Strength. Serenity and Dynamism. Song and Silence. It's all-in-one.

That's my way. You are welcome too.

www.artofliving.org
www.yesplus.org
www.yespluschennai.blogspot.com

And as Mr. Obama says 'YES WE CAN!'.

Best Goodbye Ever...

Experienced an absolute Gem of a movie ‘Dasvidaniya - Best Goodbye Ever’. Extremely versatile and brilliant Vinay Pathak as usual is natural and Ranvir Shourey in a cameo is as always great. Music, supporting cast, dialogues, expressions everything are just top notch. It left me gasping for breath - laughter and lump in the throat, both. A must watch treat!!!

And it made me question what if you find out that your name is on somebody’s ‘Things to do Before You Die List‘? What if you drifted apart from that friend and it’s too late to make up? What if you are meeting a friend and you know this is the last time you will ever see her? Would I still live or be the way the I am now? Which false part of me will fall away?



HE
is making me realize again and again that the best way to lead a happy, successful, joyous life is to have as less expectations as possible. Live in the moment. Source of most disappointments, anger, petty fights is expectations. One expects something, consciously or otherwise, and that does not transpire, emotions & sensations come up. Emotions of ego, jealousy, resentment and what not well up. And then one oscillates between blaming oneself or the other person over the non-event.


For e.g.: you called your friend and wanted to speak urgently about something important. You already are restless and your friend does not pick the phone up. What happens? You start imagining things. Why did she did not pick up? Doesn't she know you are calling for something important? She thinks no end of herself? She doesn't have a clue, and you start blaming her for nothing. And you blame yourself then. When all that happened was that you had expectations of your own.

Or while volunteering you start imagining that someone will do something and he does not or you were certain that this person would definitely come for the course and you go all huff-and-puff in your mind. Unconditional Love, gone with the wind.

Doesn’t mean one stops expecting at all. That itself is an expectation. But be aware of what it effects inside you. Dream without doer ship. Give your 100% to the action not to the thought of results.

The more I see around more I believe that we touch more lives, directly or indirectly, than we’ll ever know. And that makes me ask myself, will I value what I have now or still keep languishing about things I aspire for? When will I realize that I am richer with what I have, by whoever I am or whoever is in my life. When will I believe that no matter what, I am blessed.

Whatever did not happen for you, yet, it’s because right now in your life something else holds more value, is more important, than THIS girl or guy, than THIS job etc. You may or may not be ready for that, may or may not have worked hard and dreamed hard for that BUT there are even better things in store for you. Something that you can’t/won’t see now. Insight is the foresight that you realize only in hindsight. In due course you’ll see that everything happens for a reason and the reason is always good…

Oh and yeah, Dostana is good fun time pass. Special mention - Abhishek & John’s kiss!!! That’s the way, to be Happy and Gay...Maahi ve!!!

Pay it Forward!

Saw this AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL new song yesterday - Saawarey. It'a Sufi song sung in the velvety voice of Roop kumar Rathod. He is another underrated singer in our industry. Song is very soulful & the expressions priceless. And the feel of the video is like a cloudy day, early morning, on your terrace overlooking the city, cool breeze...it just transported me to some other place. Very peaceful.Truly spiritual and poetic...



The expressions of the actors in this video are genuine and it got me thinking that I have become incapable of expressing my emotions with such honesty now, after what happened or what did not happen with her. Their have been many times when I wanted to say something nice, do something good for someone, but didn't.

Like saying a kind word to that old lady I met in the bus that day or dancing with that kid in the orphanage before Diwali or helping that girl in Landmark to decide the upon the DVD she was confused about or sharing a moment of lightness with that couple in the train that night or making a friend smile during the course etc...

I become anxious imagining how will that person react. Worse, if they say thank you and that look in their eyes that you are a wonderful, nice, kind, intelligent person. Somehow I have come to be uncomfortable about anyone thinking of me as a wonderful person. It's weird, because know I am a wonderful person. Not perfect in any way, but I at least have got a good heart which can't hurt or see anyone hurt. But somehow if someone responds nicely, to any thing nice that I do, something shakes inside...don't know what. Ego? may be..Shy? sure..Expectations from them that I'll am or always be this wonderful? Yes...They becoming my 'Friend'? Yes.

I have become very self-conscious with the thought of a relationship, any kind. It always ends. it always makes one sad. It always leaves a void. It always leads one away from oneself. I want to do good, but without being recognized for it. I am more of a background man then in the limelight kind of guy. You can shout at me if I do good to you. I would be fine with that, because in my heart I'd know i did the right thing and I'd be content. But if u praise me, if you admire me to my face, I'll shrink...

I saw this really amazing movie long time back starring Halley Joel Osment (the awesome kid of Sixth Sense) & Kevin Spacey - 'Pay it Forward', the story was about a kid who chooses an assignment in his class - to save the world. Project named - Pay it forward, which means that if someone does something nice for you, something big, you don't pay it back, you pay it forward to 3 more people. And those 3 people, in turn, pay it forward to 3 more people... And doing that, overtime, it will become a chain all over the world, connecting every person. So, if you like what I do, pay it forward..not just backwards.

That idea-turned novel-turned movie has become a huge movement around the world, changing the world by one act of random kindness at a time. Do watch the movie..it's beautiful! Three imperfect people - 1 perfect idea!



And that's how, I think, Yes!+ works better. Anyone who experiences it pays it forward, manyfolds. Innocent, plain & simple dream.

So, I guess if I feel pink when I think of doing something nice for someone, I'll think of it as paying it forward. Yeah, that's it!

Diwali - 4th & 5th Day.

Diwali: 4th & 5th Day:

Padwa & Govardhan puja:
4th Day of Diwali is celebrated as Padwa or Gudi Padwa, also known as Ugadi in A.P & Karnataka. This day holds special reverence for a newly wed couple. On this day the newly married daughter & her husband are invited for special meals and gifts. Traditionally her brother goes to the sisters' in-laws home to fetch her along with her husband. I did too on the 1st Diwali, after my sister got married.

In North people also celebrate this day as Govardhan Puja, in commemoration of krishna lifting the Govardhan mount. Legend goes that the people of Vrindavan, shri Krishna's village, worshiped lord Indra, the rain god. Krishna asked the Gopals to worship their cows instead because they are the ones who nourish them. Go=cow, Vardhan=nourishment. Thus, the villagers started worshipping their Cows instead of Indra.

Indra got furious and to show his power he flooded Yamuna with heavy rains. Terrified, villagers went to Krishna with their prayers. Krishna took them all to Govardhan mountain, on this very day, and lifted the mount with his small finger and the entire village took shelter under it. Embarrassed Indra realised his mistake and the rain stopped & the villagers celebrated & revered Krishna.


5th day is Bhaiya Dooj:
Legend goes, that after killing Narakasura,
shri krishna was welcomed home by his sister Subhadra by putting a Tilak on his forehead and doing his Aarti.


According to another legend, Yama (Yamraj, the Lord of death) visited his sister Yamuna on this day. He gave his sister a Vardaan (a boon) that whosoever visits her on this day shall be liberated from all sins. Yamuna in turn welcomed him by putting a Tikka on his forehead.
From then on, brothers visit their sisters on this day to inquire of their welfare. That is why this day of Bhai Duj is also known by the name of
"YAMA-DWITIYA"

Since then sisters express love for their brothers by putting Tilak on their forehead and blessing them with success & well being. Brothers in turn give them gifts. It's somewhat similar to Rakhi. Diwali is not complete without celebrating Bhai-Dooj or Tikka.

Thus, bhai dooj marks the end of the official celebration of Diwali festivities. However, the light of the Diyas & sweetness of prasad radiate one's life for all year long, in the form of wisdom, prosperity & knowledge.

Diwali - 3rd Day - DEEPAWALI!!! YAAYY!!

Wishing every one a very sweet, fun-tastic, happy & prosperous Diwali. May you receive a lot of wealth, both currency wise and heart wise. And may you be generous enough to share them with all around you (esp. the currency on me). And may you forget old fights & hug your enemy who was once your friend. And may your life be illuminated with the light of Guruji's Knowledge. And may your radiance be a beacon of light for others.


If you haven't read Diwali 1st day & 2nd day post, skip to the post below before reading read post...

Continued...


3rd Day:
This is the day when most people celebrate Deepawali by praying to Ganesh ji & Lakshmi ji, bursting crackers, offering gifts, devouring sweets, forgiving old fights and generally being merry & prosperous. All the rituals are done with much aplomb & fervor.

And this is the most famous legend of all. Ram ji, Sita ma. Lakshman and Hanuman ji returned to Ayodhya on this day after defeating Ravana. The villagers welcomed them by decorating all Ayodhya with Diyas. Since then every year we honor his greatness by lighting Diyas in his remembrance. Well, not much to say about Ramayana. Everyone has seen Arun Govil as Ram ji & Dara Singh as Hanuman ji on Doordarshan!


It is traditional to do Ganesh - Lakshmi puja in the evening. Only after that one can burst crackers, light diyas, have special yummy Diwali dinner & visit other houses to wish happy Diwali with sweets. I used to think that Ganesh & Lakhsmi ji are married and that's why we pray to them as a couple! Wondering at the same time, "isn't she married to Vishnu ji also?"

Ganesh ji is the god of wisdom & remover of obstacles. He is to be worshiped before other gods and before starting anything new for smooth sailing.

Lakshmi ji is the goddess of wealth & prosperity. She also denotes beauty & charm. It is believed that Laskhmi ji visits every house and brings peace & prosperity to all on the night of Diwali. That's why no corner of the house is to be left dark and doors are left open late into the night on this day, to welcome her in the home. As a kid, I actually used to wait for her to glide in to my home, as I also waited for Santa clause to slide into the house, until I fell asleep!

In Hindu mythology they are unrelated, but on the ev
e of Diwali they are placed together on the altar. Ganesh ji on right side and Lakshmi ji on left side. Together they hold a promise of a obstacle free year of fulfillment of wants, wealth & wisdom.

In Bengal Diwali is celebrated with Kali puja. Goddess Kali is 1st of the 10 incarnations of Goddess Durga. Legend goes that 2 demons shambhu & nishambhu grew so powerful that after endless battles all the gods had to go in exile in himalayas to Shiv & Parvati ji. They prayed to goddess Durga and Kali ma was born out of her forehead to save heaven and earth from demons.

Kali ma slaughtered the demons and chopped their heads off and made a garland for her out of it. There was so much energy that she started slaying everything that came into her sight. The terrified gods requested Shiva, Durga ma's consort to intervene. Shiv ji threw himself on her path and Kali ma in her rage stepped on his chest. She was so shocked with this act of Lord Shiva that she stuck her tongue out in disbelief and repentance. Thus, shiv ji succeeded in stopping the carnage. And thus the popular image of Kali ma with garland of demon heads, foot on Shiv ji's chest & her tongue hanging out.


Kali Puja is a very intense tantric invocation to the fearsome goddess. It symbolizes diminishing ego and negative tendencies that hinders spiritual progress & material prosperity. It begins midnight & goes on till dawn amidst bursting of crackers. I have actually witnessed little bit of the puja and I was petrified out of my wits!

P.S: Tomorrow I shall write about 4th and 5th day of festivities and more importantly about the spiritual significance of Diwali and the rituals behind them, as I understand it.

Diwali - 2nd Day - Choti Diwali

2nd Day: Choti (Little or Small) Diwali

If you haven't read Diwali 1st day post, skip to the post below before reading this...

The second day of Diwali is called
Narak Chaturdasi to commemorate the triumph of Lord Krishna over the demon lord Narakasura.
This day is celebrated as main Diwali in Chennai.

The legend goes that demon Narakasur, through severe penance received a boon from Bramha ji himself that he could only be killed by a woman and that woman be her mom, Bhudevi. Subsequently, he defeated all the gods and lord of Gods Indra dev. Thus the entire planet plunged into darkness & suffered under his tyranny. Dejected, all the gods pleaded to Sri Krishna to save them from his oppression.

Krishna knew about the boon (obviously). He asked his wife Satyabhama, the re-incarnation of Bhudevi, to be his charioteer for the fight with Narakasur. During the fight with Narakasur, Krishna feigns unconsciousness after being hit by an arrow of Naraka. Enraged, Satyabhama takes the bow and aims the arrow at Naraka, killing him instantly. Later Lord Krishna reminds her of the boon she had sought as Bhudevi.

This may also signify that parents should not hesitate to punish their children for their faults. Much like Russell Peters asks Americans to
“Beat your Kids!”.


It is a tradition to massage the body with oil and to bathe on this day, as Shri Krishna was massaged to relive him of his tiredness after the battle. According to an
interesting saying it is believed that those who do not bathe on this day, go to the Narak (hell). So, there are 2 days I have to take bath now…


Another legend concerns
King Bali, who was a generous ruler. But he was also very ambitious. He conducted a Yagya that was so powerful that even gods were afraid of what he’ll ask as a boon upon it’s completion. Some of the Gods pleaded Vishnu to check King Bali's power. Vishnu ji came to earth in the form of a Vamana (dwarf) dressed as priest. He approached King Bali and said "You are the ruler of the three worlds: the Earth, the world above the skies and the underworld. Would you give me the space that I could cover with just three strides?"


King Bali laughed. Surely a dwarf could not cover much ground, thought the King, and agreed to dwarf's request. At this point, the dwarf changed into Vishnu ji and his three strides covered the Earth, the Skies and the whole Universe! King Bali was send to the underworld. Vishnu ji being as generous as he is, gave a lamp of knowledge to Bali and gave him permission to visit his land once in a year, on this day. And thus, every year his return was celebrated as choti Diwali.
I wonder if this Bali is same as the monkey king Sugreev’s powerful brother in Ramayana?


3rd day continued...

Diwali 1 - A Festival of 5 Festivals!

This began as a casual conversation with a friend on why, in Chennai, Diwali is celebrated a day before the rest of India celebrates it. And as I was looking for answers I was astonished how little I knew about my favorite festival! There are many facets to this festival of light & as many reasons behind the significance of Diwali. And the more I found, more there was to know. So, this is my effort to understand Diwali and the legends behind it that makes it so much more beautiful.

Traditionally, Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated for
five days. Yeah! So Diwali actually is not just one night of fire crackers and lots of sweets and visiting friends and relatives - for more sweets.
Each day is special and has unique connotations, ceremonies and legends associated with it.

1st Day: Dhanteras
The very first day of Diwali celebrations is Dhantrayodashi. The auspicious day of Dhanteras, as it is popularly known, ushers in Diwali festivities. Dhan = wealth and teras is 13. 13 th day of the Karthik month of Hindu calendar. Dhanteras is the festival of Wealth.

One interesting legend behind Dhanteras is centered on the sixteen-year-old son of King Hima. As per his horoscope he was fated to breathe his last on the fourth day of his marriage owing to snakebite. On the appointed day his young wife illuminated the entire palace with numerous lamps and placed all her gold and silver coins and jewellery in a heap at the entrance of their bedroom. She did not allow her husband to sleep & regaling him by singing songs and telling stories. All through the night she sang songs and told stories.

At the stroke of midnight, God of death Yama devta, slithered in the Palace as a serpent. The lights of the lamps, and the dazzle of the coins and ornaments blinded the snake. Frustrated, he waited the entire night, on top of the heap listening to the sweet sounding songs before leaving peacefully the next morning. Thus, the wife succeeded in saving the life of her husband. This is why the Dhanteras festival is also referred to as “Yamadeepdaan". The lamps are kept burning throughout the night in reverential adoration to Yama, the god of Death & to protect our loved ones from untimely death.

According to
another legend, when the gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrit or nectar, it was Lord Dhanavantri (the God of Ayurveda, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) who emerged carrying the pot of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras and thus (after much fanfare) all the God‘s became immortal after drinking from the pot. And so, Dhanteras is also celebrated to honor Lord Dhanavantri, the divine Doctor.



There were 14 ratnas or jewels that came out of Samudra-Manthan (churning of the ocean of milk). One of them was Goddess Lakshmi. She is honored on this day by doing Lakshmi puja.

Dhanteras is an auspicious occasion to purchase precious metals like gold, platinum and silver. Women purchase Dhan like some gold or silver or at least one or two new utensils as a sign of good luck. For children, this is the day to purchase all those fire-crackers, they started making list of weeks back! This day is also considered auspicious for setting up new businesses, commencing new projects, housewarming, fixing wedding dates etc. Diyas & Rangoli’s adorn the house, starting from this day.

To be continued...

Adverts & Nostalgia...

I was thinking about how people start behaving like animals when they are edgy, frustrated and stressed, and this flashback of an old Public Service advertisement on Doordarshan just flashed in my mind.

It was like a bunch of guys jump into a moving bus and start pushing around passengers including ladies and make loud monkey like noises. The gang leader is interrupted by an old gentleman & the guy gets really angry and he starts shouting and his face is actually morphed into a devils face, red with horns! The old gentleman smiles and says something like 'at least behave like a human being and not like an animal". And the guy really gets embarrassed and his face turns back to normal and he offers his seat to the old uncle and gets down with his gang at the next stop. The message was, it's very easy to become an animal but it's not that difficult to act like a human. That was a great ad!

I was searching for that ad on Youtube and though I didn't find that one I found some other equally terrific ads. Here they are, bring back the memory of old times...

The Old Hamara Bajaj ad. Notice the Flouroscent Green Bajaj Super? That was my Dad's Scooter. :). I still remember one evening I came back from School and saw it standing non-nonchalantly to our garden, shining gallantly in the afternoon light! I hopped onto it, started shifting gears and made sounds that will put Need for Speed to shame, while I rode my sturdy stallion, green color albeit and silently parked!



And here's the Bajaj for new Generation, preserving our Indian Values. Another great ad. Same jingle.



Our very own Amul - The Taste of India...Love the Jingle!



And my watch! Titan...Apparently the Titan Jingle, which still continues, na nanana nanana nanananana...was composed by none other than A.R Rahman!



Another Titan!!! Love this ad..seeing it for the first time, though it is very old. And similar to this theme, Titan is now airing it's 'Move on yaar' theme for fast track. Guess, every good thing comes back or a trend repeats itself every decade.




"I am a Complan Girl, I am a Complan Boy!" - Remember? Notice Jr. Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia in this ad.



This is another one by A.R Rahman! I never knew that he wrote Jingles before storming into the movies...I love this music...very Rahman. It's for Garden Saarees.



I still remember, around Diwali time the Asian Paints ad will start streaming in "Khushi ke rang layin yeh ghadiyan..", and that, for me set the mood for Diwali...colorful, celebrative & Homely.



And of course Aamir Khan and Aish in Pepsi..before they promptly moved onto Coke.



There were many mor...Lalita ji's surf...Lijjat paapad with the human bunny's...Nirma's teeaaooooonnnn...Vicco tooth powder (that still continues, no changes!)...Liril, 1st glimpse of a lady under a waterfall using a soap!..Mile sur mera tumhara...Dinesh with Sunil Gavaskar...Shahrukh 'mayur' khan...Ketki ji and many more.

I guess advertisements also become a part of one's childhood woven into our fabric as we grow up. Many times they cultured our perceptions. announced what is in and what is geeky now, touched, inspired. Often forgotten, but when remembered bring back those sweet times of our lives.

And lastly, do you remember the smell of a freshly sharpened Pencil? My niece have a drawer full of them and today when I opened it, this earthly fragrance just wafted through and the 1st feeling that arose in me was - fear of exams & anxiety. Weird! hehe

And the best one...ek anek aur ekta...Unity in diversity... Very cute ad, Very sweet voice & diction and cutest lyrics will definitely make you grin! Amazing!! Can't miss this one.

I have been Tagged!

1. If your lover betrayed you, what will your first thought be?

Denial. After that, in the past I'd have moped for a year. But now, move on..the person's not worth your time & energy.

2. If you can have a dream coming true, what would it be?

A recurring dream that I've been having for longer than I can remember is to be loved by her as much as I love her. However, that dream is now transforming into being as steeped in knowledge as Rajesh Bhaiya & Dinesh Bhaiya. Being a better, more loving, caring, compassionate & strong human being.

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
'Literate' people littering around, physical & emotional garbage and being ignorant & arrogant about it.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?

Buy every material thing I want to...car, home theater system, lots of clothes, house, gifts for family and friends, travel....and then when I'll realize that no matter how much I can stuff outside, inside will still be restless. Then wisely I'll donate for the cause of homeless and mentally challenged kids and to take Art of Living to all the youths around the world.

5. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
I believe Love is friendship. If the person you love can't be your best friend then it won't last...

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Being loved back by someone you adore.

7. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?
Indefinitely...

8. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?

Be happy & do nothing...It's better actually cuz 1st it's a secret so there is no risk of heart break, awkwardness and 2nd I can love as much as I want without creating a relationship out of it and worrying about the challenges that'll bring. There is no attachment and no expectations of her response and the more I love more my consciousness will expand...

9. If you like to act with someone, who will it be? Your gf/bf or an actress/actor?

Guruji
Katrina Kaif!
Aamir Khan, SRK, Joey & Chandler.

10. What takes you down the fastest?
My unaware mind.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
Swami Ashwaneshwar Ji. :)

12. What’s your fear?
I am not as good as I can be.

13. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
(Aparna) Very smart, enthusiastic, innocent, dedicated & devoted. And a terrific dancer :)

14. Would you rather be single and rich, or married but poor?
Are they mutually exclusive...?

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Sleep again!

16. Would you give all in a relationship?

Yes, that's the only way...And giving and receiving goes together in a relationship...One can't give with an empty heart.

17. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?

Sadly & strangely, that does not happen with me! In the dream scenario, I'd choose me or sit back and relax & let them choose!

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?

Again in past, it took a very long time for me to forgive and forget if that someone means a lot to me. If not, then I'll just be indifferent. But now, knowledge lets me move on much faster.

19. If you get to go back in time and fall in love all over again , would it still be with the same person?

No...I would Rise in love this time around.

20. What will you do about climate crisis?

Frankly, I think that people who are just armchair activists 'thinking' about the issue just flatter themselves that they are doing something great & worthwhile & long lasting. But unless we do something on a large scale involving more people and continuously nothing lasting can happen. Numbers matter. Attitude matters more than that. We have to culture attitudes of people just lost in the periphery of their office and house, to responsibly care about our Planet.

I am planting trees, conserving electricity at home & office, saving Petrol, reducing plastic and paper waste, not litter, becoming aware and spreading awareness.

And I pass on the tag to

Oishee

Hari

Madhuri

Weekend's Here..Yay!!!

I don't remember when was the last time I was so looking fwd to a weekend! After a mind numbing, coma inducing week at work, it's as welcome as Himesh Reshamiya dropping his nasal twang. now if only he drops his acting 'career' too...Yes!+ kept the energy high.

I was co-coordinating Yes!+ from 10th-16th, so it kinda got hectic coming home at 11 and back to office at 7...But it was nice to balance them pretty effeciently (pats back)...Good course. I juggled between being a Yoga instructor, Photographer, The Laptop Guy, Music Arranger...I was blissed out by the point I rested my head on the Pillow...

- "I've been thinking Hobbes --"

- "On a weekend?"

- "Well, it wasn't on purpose..."

So Miss Aparna has tagged me...that'll be the next post madam!

For now, read few very good posts today. All good things must be shared, so:

Hari's post: http://thoughtshuttle.blogspot.com/ - True Love (Read the comments too)

Madhan's Post: http://madhanlalvs.blogspot.com/2008/09/our-own-mind.html (The Law of Garbage Truck)

Anir's Post: http://anirvachan.blogspot.com/2008/07/io-what-will-you-regret.html

Goli's Post: http://nonstopgoli.blogspot.com/2008/09/cola-life.html (Brilliant Coke intiative)

Oishee's Post: http://chatteratii.blogspot.com/2008/10/blah-blah-blah.html

Madhuri's Post: http://ephemeralflower.blogspot.com/2008/09/utsav.html (QnA with Bau)

Angeli's Post: http://just-for-jolly.blogspot.com/2008/08/story-in-5-words.html

And read My post on Bau & Dinesh Bhaiya's Blog!: http://bawandinesh.name/?p=297 (Read the comments too)

Loved this Video of the UN's Stand up and Take Action campaign seen in Ashram during Navaratri:



Another one with Ustad Aamir Khan, AR Rehman, Sachin Tendulkar...



And Sachin smashed all the records today...I bow down to the Genius. A question to his 'critics'-do u really need more proof? You are truly a Legend sir in more ways than one!

When Superman saved me from becoming a Hitman!


Managed to catch the climax of Superman Returns after returning from the course. Lois was going to light up a cigarette (a habit I guess she had left long time back) and at that moment she hears her son bidding good bye to someone from his room on the upper floor. She looks up and sees Superman 'hanging' around (who I guess she thought will never come back, for some reason) and she extinguishes the light.


There was a time in my life, a particularly ’bad’ time, when I was absolutely and utterly infuriated with everything and everyone that had the misfortune of existing on the planet. So enraged was I, that I desired to be a terrorist or a shooter or someone along those lines. Every little thing used to boil me. This all consuming desire will arise in me to just go out and let loose a FY71 semi automatic on anyone or everyone in sight. In fact, when I found out that according to the Mayan Calendar world is going to finally come to an end in 2012, I exhaled a sigh of relief and exclaimed 'Good Riddance' with lot of hope.

This went on for more than a couple of weeks. And so grateful am I that nobody in my close proximity is a cop, a soldier or a terrorist, for me to have an easy access of an assault weapon.

I was so full of wrath towards everything. And that made me completely terrified! Of myself. It’s one thing to be afraid of another person or to be scared of Ghosts or of the things unknown but to be petrified of one's own self, of what fury one is capable of unleashing…is extremely unsettling. There is no worse emotion that one can experience, than seeing the evil in oneself. Especially for someone on the spiritual path, who should actually ought to be seeing God in oneself and others!

And for me it was no different. For I can get angry as hell, for sure. But I've learnt, when I do or say anything during such time, I always end up hurting someone I don’t ever want to hurt and I always regret it for days later. And so I don’t really know the correct way of expressing my anger. But this thing I kept feeling was different. This was long pent up…something...something very solid and heavy.


Overtime I figured I was so angry because I trusted her a lot. Even before I had any ‘feelings’ for her, she was a friend to me, my best Friend. And I sincerely hoped and believed that she will be there by my side when I'll need her the most. That she will communicate. She never did. That our friendship was genuine. I wasn’t sure now. That she was different than other women, I knew till then. May be not. And that’s why I ceased to have any belief in Love & Friendship and Marriage and other such important things in Life involving more than two souls, because in my great wisdom, I concluded - people are selfish & evil.

And the result was this paranoid hatred towards everything.
But going through my anguish of having to face up to this baffling thought of me as a Villain, some things I never could have thought can happen, happened. Some of the subtlest and deepest lines enunciated by Guruji began making sense. I started to have an understanding of people who actually went on a shooting spree in colleges etc. And of people who commit other wrong acts in a moment of ignorance.

I think that ordinary people like us become victim of only 3 things: Bad Times, Bad Timing and ignorance i.e. not being able to understand one’s own mind and deal with it. And this happens in a matter of moments of judgment lapse. And the entire life goes awry.

This is why workshops like Yes!+ and organization like Art of Living are so absolutely vital in today's day and age for youths. To understand ones own mind and patterns and engage in helping others live a fuller life.

We affect the lives of more people than we'll ever know. And that is also why people like, friends should be genuinely caring and responsible and be like superman for their Lois Lane. To be there at the right time to stop their friends from doing stupid things like - smoking or killing!

Innocence and Landmark!

While I am waiting patiently and salivating at the same time for the Punjabi Makhani Pizza to be delivered, I figured I can divert my mind (and digestive juices) towards scribbling the 1st and looooong overdue post, from my brand spanking new Laptop.





Yep, finally got the beautiful Dell XPS 1530 delivered in Midnight Blue and it’s working like, me after an advance course with Guruji! That is to say it’s working clean, calm and fast and with pizzazz, élan and grace!



But I digress…

So now days I wander in the hallways of Landmark in search of accessories to glamorize my latest crush and software’s to build a long time relationship with her. And since I am still in the initial stages of relationship, I strongly support adorning it only with Original and handsomely expensive Software’s and Games, which I suppose, would last until she starts to nag me and start bailing out on me and stop being a good friend.

Thus far, I have accumulated GTA San Andreas, Sims 2 & breathtakingly scenic Crysis (Game of the year 2007) along with some random software’s. Haven’t finished either one yet though. I am more of a collector. An amasser of great things in life. Such as faithful friends and nurture them, which is another thing I haven’t done for quite some time.

I digress again…

So during one of such leisurely strolls in the fully stacked, brightly lit corridors of a shoppers delight in the heart of Spencer plaza - Landmark, I decided to check out the kids section. Her B’day was coming up and I thought to buy a gift (which I didn't), cuz the last time I bought it from the same section for her.


And just walking around in the tiny tots section by myself, suddenly I realized that I was feeling so much at ease here than in another sections! It was a strange yet uplifting feeling of being free to do whatever I wish to. This is the kids section, and they are free from judgments - to judge and to be judged at, both.

So I guess I, somehow got tuned to that energy of a child. Whatever a child does, it does with 100% originality and innocence without being wary of others watching. And that was the freedom I felt in the middle of the day, another afternoon when I was moping about job that isn‘t so great and random things, but more than that I was thinking about her.


The energy of the children’s section, of the fluffy Bears, Red and Yellow twin pony-tailed dolls, Puzzle pieces, basketball hoops, remote controlled toys, Indian Barbie, games we played as kids and some real kids strewn around is enough to raise anyone’s energy level, bring them in touch with themselves, drop the reality for sometime and fly with the imagination of a Kid, once again. And one can smile at another visitor there and they will smile back without reservations and without thinking “Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?”


And that’s what transpired that noon, in the kids section of bustling Landmark. Very simple, unassuming and underrated spiritual passage in the middle of the day.

Since then, I make it a point to be there whenever I am too much in touch with reality - which by the way is also described as Depression by authorities, to imagine again, dream the impossible again, see all the colors of life other than Black & White and realize that life actually is simple, until our mind and judgments complicate it and whatever the pressing problem seems to be at the moment, it is still an inconvenience and not a PROBLEM.

“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you've got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.”


Another children’s delight I have been to lately is at Westside. Strangely cute and freakishly small costumes for tiny toddlers. Only a puppy can fit into those, not an offspring of Homosapiens! But I prefer Landmark, as even the ceiling is designed for the Munchkins and I have to hunch while prancing around there. Although Moti would have fit there easily…

Academy Awards fever 2008.

I watched ‘Juno’ yesterday. Now it’s a movie about a teenage girl becoming pregnant. This is a premise that is so over-used and everybody knows how such a story unfolds and concludes. Add to it a step mom, the stigma attached to such a person & a community full of gawking peers and judgemental public.

However, this is where this movie is so unique & not clichéd. Juno is not preachy or depressing; it’s unapologetic and mature in its portrayal. It’s funny, quick, intelligent, warm & charming. And again, not ‘American Pie’ kind of funny, with wierd characters for friends, proms, booze, over dramatic parents or other such immature substance. But the humour comes from the soul of Juno.


The interactions between friends, boyfriends, parents, strangers etc. and the heartfelt way they explore there own truth as they trudge on along there path of life. It’s about following one’s truth, without explainations and also without being a martyr or a victim.

"I mean, I'm already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?" : )

It's not loud at the same time it's forthright. It’s a beautiful movie, and for an adult subject like this, there are no explicit visual scenes & stellar cast which just adds to the beauty of the movie.



As I love heartfelt, true to life genuine things in the world this movie was a great watch. It's also been nominated for Academy awards this year, in the best motion picture and best actress category. This movie doesn't falters once, unlike the other nominated movies in the same category like 'Atonement', 'The Great Debaters', 'Michael Clayton' & 'No country for old men' which start brilliantly but looses their pace/direction only to manage a decent finish.

My best movie for Oscar's this year is 'Juno' and best animated flick can be no one else than 'Ratatouille' & best action 'The Bourne Ultimatum'.

Musings of a free mind on Valentines Day : )

"Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me." -- Dave, age 8

"Ohh wow…I mean I am, I am uhh…flattered, really, but I am with someone else already, so…" or "What? Since when? Are you sure? This is news to me! I mean I am surprised!!! Of course, pleasantly surprised. Wow! Ok so what do we do now?” or “Well thanks a lot, it’s so sweet of you. But I always thought of you as a good friend. Really I never thought of you this way.” or “WHAT?!! You got to be kidding me. Are you sure? I mean ME & you? How’d you even come up with this idea?” or “Yes, YES I’ll be your Valentine. I LOVE YOU TOO!!! I waited for you to say this to me for such a long time!!”

Well, when I think of 14th Feb, invariably what comes to one’s mind are some of the reactions that anyone can possibly receive or bestow (as the case may be), after one wears his/her heart on one’s sleeve and march out with trembling feet, carrying the entire butterfly effect in one’s tummy, towards the apple of their eyes, just to vocalize the thoughts they have for the other, for a long time, usually.

"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too." -- Greg, age 8
"I think you're supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn't supposed to be so painful." -- Manuel, age 8

Also, like a dialogue of some Spider man flick “With great rejections & heart break, comes great wisdom”, these responses act as constant reminder of what constituted the Valentines day in the years that have passed by (not mine, one must make it clear but of friends & friends of friends :)) & thus arm one with the wisdom to decipher the hidden meaning behind such diplomatic utterances, should there be a need in the future to repair one’s or a friends heart, after indulging in such shenanigans.

So the 1st reaction translated into actual thought would be “Gee I knew you are enamoured by me. But what made you think that I am even interested in you at all, in the first place? So, thanks but no thanks! There is no one I am going out with currently, but if I reveal that to you, you will promptly begin stalking me and will get bolder the next time in your advances towards me. So, get a life!”

Also vice-versa, if some one professes the 3 most dreaded words in such modernistic consumerist times we live in, to me, and who I don’t like that much or that way I’d invariably think of response no1.

"If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don't want to do it. It takes too long." -- Glenn, age 7
"Once I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to find me a wife." -- Tom, age 5

So the main pitfall of being a free lazy goose on 14th of Feb is that you start imagining and wondering and thinking about your love life or rather the lack of one, and then the thoughts just start flowing. Some are bitter, resentful, sad thoughts. Few are bitter sweet nostalgic memories that bring a smile on your lips even as they leave you choked up with thin trail of tears from your eyes. And the wonder is, it doesn’t matter whether what you are thinking of actually happened or not but the mere thought of something you thought that might happen someday brings up emotions in you!!!


And ahh what bliss, what ecstasy it is to listen to the melody orchestrated by the sweet symphony of the words and it’s meaning and their feelings contained in the last response – love united, love accepted.

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." -- Noelle, age 7
"My mother says to look for a man who is kind. That's what I'll do. I'll find somebody who's kinda tall and handsome." -- Carolyn, age 8

Contrary to popular belief that’s not the end, the real journey begins now. It can take one through the grandest experiences one can ever have or the lowest valleys one can ever imagine. It can lead one to one’s soul or it can leave one disillusioned hopping from one person to another. In any case there is a lot to know, lot to apply, lots of choices & one guide - Love.

What V-day stands for:- http://ashcash1in.blogspot.com/2007/02/love-is-in-air-ya-i-know-corny.html

As for me, I love her. And she does too. She just doesn’t knows it yet. She’s not that bright, kinda slow she is. :) My kinda love is not called unrequited love. Love finds a way, one way or another.

"Make the Divine your Valentine (your sweet Beloved). See the Divine in your Valentine and make the Divinity your Valentine (your sweet beloved). Just BE. . .and know that you are LOVED... That is BELOVED." - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

So, Valentines or not, know that you are loved & blessed. Happy Valentines Day!!! For those who are single - Happy Independence Day!!!

Happiness is like a kiss, you must share it to enjoy it...!

This part of my life... this part right here? This is called "happyness."



Zindagi hai choti, har pal mein khush raho...
Office me khush raho, ghar mein khush raho
Aaj paneer nahi hai, dal mein hi khush raho...
Aaj gym jane ka samay nahi, do kadam chal ke hi khush raho
Aaj Dosto ka saath nahi, apne aap mein hi khush raho...
Ghar ja nahi sakte to phone kar ke hi khush raho
Aaj koi naraaz hai, uske iss andaz par bhi khush raho...
Jise dekh nahi sakte, uski awaz mein hi khush raho
Jise paa nahi sakte, uski yaad mein hi khush raho...
Laptop na mila to kya, Desktop mein hi khush raho
Bita hua kal ja chuka hai, usse meethi yaadein hai, unme hi khush raho...
aane wale pal ka pata nahi... sapno mein hi khush raho
Hanste haste ye pal bitaenge, aaj mein hi khush raho...
Zindagi hai choti, har pal mein khush raho.

Hanso aur hansao, na phaso na phasao! :)


~ An Art of Living Anthem.


"What is the worth of anything,
But for the happiness 'twill bring?"
-- Richard Owen Cambridge.

"Of cheerfulness, or a good temper -- the more it is spent, the more of it remains."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

"The supreme happiness of live is the conviction that we are loved."
-- Victor Hugo.

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be...”


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