Love is selfish

Radha loved cooking and was a great cook. She was all set to make dosas. She put in lot of efforts to prepare the batter and chutney in the traditional stone grinder.
She looked at them and smiled with a smug. She thought that she would first offer them to Lord and then serve her family. Meanwhile, in the backyard she saw an old man in rags asking alms.
Her heart sank, she immediately prepared two dosas and gave him those.

She fed an old hungry man, angels in heaven would have rejoiced she thought. She felt content.

In love, any selfless act brings contentment. Contentment is the by product.
Love is selfish yet brings contentment.

Meenu loved her cosmetics. Brand conscious, she had a collection of Body Shop and L’Oreal products.
One of her cousins had come over to her place during vacations.
Her eyes fell on Shea butter cream. while Menu was away, she slid open the cream box and applied a little.

Meenu realized that her cousin loved it.
She paused for a moment and then gave the brand new box of cream to her.
Sacrifice was Meenu’s nature.

In love, there are moments of sacrifice.
Love is selfish yet sacrifices liberate us, make us feel close to ourselves.

Ajay had a long and tiring day at work. 6:15 PM was the last fast train to Borivali from Churchgate before 7 PM.
He always rushed to catch that train like many others did. He was successful in boarding the train and finding a place to sit. That is a eureka moment in a place like Bombay during peak hours.
In few minutes, he saw an old man-old enough to have seen India attain independence.
Ajay offered him his seat. The old man resisted but Ajay insisted and made him sit and even offered him water. Ajay had to stand for more than an hour till he reached his destination.

When they both reached the last destinations, the old man thanked and blessed Ajay deeply.

Ajay believed that random acts of kindness made his day complete.

Love brings pain and hurt is inevitable.
In joy, in sacrifice, in celebration there is happiness.
Love is selfish.
Is there anything that is devoid of love and consequently any act minus selfishness?


Who wins?

She: Death probably gives peace to the dead and shatters the living

He: Yea, but life moves on

She: It does and one learns to live with the loss. Hole in the glass can never be filled. Replacing does not mean the person will return. You never know where soul travels.

He: I believe once a human dies, he just dies.

She: Maybe. But, i believe that person lives through. We never realise how much our loved ones influence our lives until we lose them. We are a product of their qualities and the environment we grow in.

He: They do influence us. Then life moves on. There will be a day when we will all be gone. New set of folks will come and discuss. You see how insignificant these things are.

She: If they are insignificant then why do we live ? In all that we have we want to live our best, right? Every moment is significant to me.

He: Today you are discussing over the death of your loved one. How different is that? Many have come and gone. Each one of them would have thought that their love was most special. were they immortal? No! Unless, you were or are a legend, yours and my death will make no difference.

She: Yet, it will mean the world to the ones living and ones who care about you. you do not have to move mountains to make a difference. Sharing love will leave a better world. Even if it leaves one human in a better place.
There won’t be anything special in our love. Many have written peans and still write, yet that moment that love is all they need to satisfy their souls, to do right? We do not have to measure success and love on the basis of who features in news and in the history text books, right!

He: I entertain your thoughts but cannot buy it. Anyway, who cares who is right or wrong. what is good or bad. Everybody will eventually die. Who wins when both the sides die?!

She: Conscience wins as long as we are alive. Soul is satisfied as long as we are alive.


#HappyToBleed NOT

Personally, I do not care much if I am not let in and i am rarely happy to bleed except that bleeding is an indication that my uterus and ovaries are functionally well, if not very efficiently. Unless, i want do not want to bleed for straight 9 months.

Infrastructure and changing mindsets of people go hand in hand. If toilets are built, it is equally essential that mindsets are shaped to use them.
Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan cannot be lauded on social media alone. We too play a role in keeping our homes, neighbours clean and tidy. Just let’s begin with carrying waste till we spot a garbage bin.

Menstrual cycles and women

In South India, onset of periods is considered very pious and calls for a celebration. As a teenager, i rebelled. It is now that i realise how Hinduism like worshipping fertility, worships this as well.

Menstruating woman undergoes hormonal changes. Cramps, excessive bleeding, PCOS, and various issues bother women of this era.  When i discuss with octogenarian women, they seem to have had almost pain free periods, something that rarely happens to me.

So, what helped the octogenarian women?
Despite having less nutritious diet, rest and physical activities kept them hail and hearty.
Those impositions were absurd, yet rest in those 4 days helped them to a great extent.

In my case good food, rest, exercises have ensured smooth menstrual cycle and flow to me.  These and shatavari milk drink have helped me sail through those days with ease.

Whisper, stay free help only urban middle class and above section women. Majority of Indian women still use cloth and cotton.

Why do we not see banners asking women to eat fruits, vegetables during menstrual cycle?
Why can we not have volume based businesses that focus on women’s health?
Several urban girls face PCOS . Why can’t the same women who want us to enter temples understand that most women are not uncomfortable to even make long journeys due to lack of toilets and usage of cloth and cotton?

On that note, Arunachalam Muruganantham is the man I would look up to. He not only has built infrastructure but also, employs women, is playing an important role in changing mindsets.

Feminazis like to blare like honking cars in slow moving traffic. That will not clear the traffic but result in noise pollution.
When you proclaim #HappyToBleed I hope that you factor in other dimensions like health care, cleanliness, rest, functioning of woman’s reproductive system and sustainable methods to achieve the above.

Rohith Vemula and education system

Rohith Vemula’s suicide is disturbing to me for reasons other than stated by social media and main stream media (MSM). I wishfully choose to discard his religion, caste background.
Suicide is a social evil cutting across gender, caste, creed and nationality.

Suicides until now took a center stage in politics due to farmer suicides.
Farmers most often have no choice. Poor yield, landless, daughter’s wedding, unable to pay dues are the reasons we hear. They often have no alternative sources of income.
Agriculture is rigidly under the control of the government and unshackling that will set many things right.

Rohith Vemula was a PhD scholar. If a student, an educated youth commits suicide it shows that our education system, value system and culture system have failed us.
If education cannot ensure healthy mind, body and spirit to fight things out bravely, then literacy 100% will not indicate progress of the nation.
Excellence is to be chased, but the ecosystem to accept failures, remedies to tackle depression springing from various reasons are also needed.
But when you commit suicide at campuses where red chaddis move then ‘narangi’ men are at work.

But who cares about death of an open category man or woman in India?
Have they shown their suicide notes to the world? We cannot make politics out of open category humans. Sub-humans that we are to the human rights crusaders.
Ultimately, we are the bourgeoisie to the human rights crusaders!



The show must go on…

Each time a legendary Indian artist dies (danseuse, vocalist, musician etc), the responsibility to carry the legacy increases on each one of us.
Until two or three decades back art was pursued by the elite more. Anyway, art cannot flourish when life is unstable.
Today, scenario has changed. Some carry the legacy as-is, some have modified and each of those artisans play a role in not only living the art form but also increasing the acceptance.
Music has come a long way. As much as I enjoy listening to khayal, ghazal, folk music or keertanam i equally enjoy listening to fusion, rock.

Indian classical music has mainstreamed. Folk music, ghazal, thimri, khayal, percussionists have made us proud. One can find singers signing to tunes of old ragas untouched, and can also hear fusions where the soul of music is untouched.
Indian classical dancers have a long way to go. Certainly, the context has to change.
That is one of my important goals: to make classical dances mainstream.
People should not find it difficult to recognize dance forms. Until then, we will find people by hearting the names against the names of states for examinations.

Legends have played an important role in leaving a better world behind.
Whenever you listen to Rafi saab, he leaves you at a better place, mentally. Lyricists, musicians brought life to those bandishes.
I hope that i play a small role in this and pray that today’s youth embrace Indian art with an unbiased mind as I see this steeply declining. It somewhere saddens me when I am told that classical music is boring and scare crow man [1] is our mantra.
What is more appalling is that youth who belong to the land that made classical music most mainstream with abhanga, natya sangeet are in dark when it comes to these forms.

On one side we have veterans who are upset and seem to be reserved about embracing changes and the other side we also see songs that are good enough to scare wild boars at farm fields away[1].
Westernisation, anyway, seems to disturb many Indians.  Modernization and westernization are quite different.

We have been given few of the best inheritances.  We are responsible in flourishing art forms by participating in them: in listening, watching and taking the main stage.
We do not wish to see more names in the list of intangible heritage being under threat.

Talent is for others to enjoy and time is most precious gift.
Both the seer and scene are important to keep the shown on…










How can i please God by fasting on a Tuesday? Part 1

I have been hearing and many have tried analyzing how God will know about a Monday or a Tuesday.

Atheists might totally reject the concept of fasting.


I spent some time to understand the effects of fasting.
I will write in a gist on scientific, spiritual, and psychological aspects of fasting.

Observing fast was never restricted to a particular religion: Most religions in the world observe this. Hinduism,  Sikhism, Taoism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity to name new a few , practice fasting.

Why Observe Fast?

When people observe fast what we notice more often is that they refrain from eating ‘xyz’, drinking liquor (something common to most religions ), restricting on certain food items, taking meals before sunrise/sunset/after moonrise.

These days’ nutritionists have coined a new term ‘detox’. Liberals like to use that and find fasting for Divine very regressive.

So the question ‘why fast’ hounds us.

Fast is observed for myriad reasons:

  1. Give stomach ‘CL’
    Happens after festivals and weddings.
  2. Revisit food habits.
    Specially caters to people who eat with no control, whatsoever. Fasting for a day helps to keep digestive system up and running. Especially after bouts of diarrhoea.
    Remember that day’s ‘thelevala’ pani puri and you heard thunderstorm inside.
  3. Revitalise
    According to Ayurveda, all objects in the universe including human body are composed of five basic elements (Panchamahabhutas) namely, Akash (Ether), Vayu (Air), Agni (Fire), Jala (Water) and Prithvi (Earth). There is a balanced condensation of these elements in different proportions to suit the needs and requirements of different structures. By knowing one’s own prakruti (true nature), one can plan and practice an appropriate daily and seasonal dietetic and behavioral regime. With this simple effort, the body will maintain balance of the doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). From an Ayurvedic perspective, this balance is considered the “healthy” state of humans. And fasting is one of those activities that can help [2].
  4. What follows fast?
    Fasting is often clubbed with chanting, prayers, people coming together and serving.
    It is seen as a part of a bigger celebration. Some take to spirituality, give up bad habits, and give up on things not suitable to their body.
  5. Anna Hazare, or so that your mom prepares your favourite dish.


Why only on Monday, Tuesday etc?

Will Shiva be pleased and descend from Kailash and perform tandava?
Will Ganesha be gleeful and give you more delicious food and knowledge?

Answer to above is a ‘NO’.

No(,) God will be pleased. Your dining table or utensils also won’t be lured into this drama.

So, why?

Let me state an example:
Let’s say you are a smoker and want to quit but are finding it hard to do so. Your resolve seems weak.
Your best friend, whom you really care and who cares about you, is upset and would like to help you. Best friend is worried about your health.
You promise your best friend that you won’t smoke for the next 21 days.
each time your hand reaches out to the cigarette packet that is in your pockets, you remember the promise and might stop yourself. Cheating is out of scope because you can’t belittle the trust your best friend has in you.

This is one of the reasons why people observe fast remembering Shiva, Ganesha, their guru.
This way they can have a control over their eating habits on that day or few days because God has come into play. Some assume that their God will be upset.
It served the purpose. If one wants to learn to have control over taste buds, give stomach a break and the nutritionist based reasons, pleasing God works.

Incidentally, these days only menu changes on the day people observe fast (:-D).
Rajgira puris, shrikhand, sabudana vades, farhali items replace plain daal chawal.

However, we tend to see that these fasts have become merely ritual; the spiritual aspect has been lost in many cases. People observe fast because they’ve done it for years, or because their parents did it, or because they were instructed to do so.
Understand your body prakriti, your body nature and accordingly check if you find any idea convincing- health or spiritually health.

To me observing fast would be NO (internet, cell phone, junk food, tea, coffee) and above all my mind SHUT! 😀

i will be sharing the other aspects soon in the next part. 🙂
i do not want to go wrong on the scientific basis and might as well rope in an experienced doctor for this 🙂




Man role model, err did i say man? – Happy Women’s Day!

She was the only woman in the board room apart from another junky amidst 20 men, who had come to pitch new deal for the company where she worked. She saw a young girl there sitting behind, a junky taking notes and contributing a few points here and there. When the meeting ended, the woman went to the junky and praised her “You’ll do well, Good luck”. The junky smiled from ear to ear, with renewed assurance of her dreams.

She had argued with her mother in law that morning before leaving for work. When she came home, she complained of menstrual cramps. Her mother-in-law who disliked her very much felt her pain. The mother in law prepared a health drink for her and offered it. Anger melted, pain reduced.

Her husband was a mill worker and the family lived hand to mouth. On February 14, he saw young couples holding hands and offering presents to each other. He enquired and realised that the day is celebrated as Valentine’s Day. Realising that he has few pennies left in his wallet, he brought her favourite mogra flowers for his wife. She blushed.

She was a florist who beautifully weaved the beads of devotion outside the temple. Her radiance was reflected in her eyes when she smiled, albeit had no teeth. A young girl who passed by complimented her, “you are so cute!”  Florist was resplendent in her beautiful smile.

She was a domestic servant and had participated in a cookery competition. The most enthusiastic supporter was her husband. His chest swelled with pride when he learnt that his wife had won the competition.

She is that common woman whom we see on the streets fighting against the odds, some created by society some by her own mind. Empowerment is not only about providing incentives, it is a gentle reminder that she is powerful, complete and full.
Globalisation has made world a global village and we live in an inter-dependent society. In the world of stereotypes where women are confined to house hold chores and all men are rapists, it is time men are given a pat on their shoulders as much as women celebrate their glory.
There will be a time when men will be called successful home-makers.
True independence is not that of financial, but emotional and mental.

In a country where Savitribai Phule, Raja Ram Mohun Roy were born, we glorify only board room and we glorify only board room and politically successful women.

A country where women are worshipped, wealth (Laxmi) , strength (Shakti)  and knowledge (Saraswati) are our pillars of success.

Women role models, lie everywhere around us in trains, buses our own neighbourhood.
She is the woman next door (figuratively and literally).

Behind every woman role model, there is a high probability of existence of a man who is a role model to many men in the society.

May daivi shakti embellish in every man and woman!