#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…

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2015/12/02/honey-singh-uttarkhand-lo_n_8695396.html

[2]  http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/RL/tradition-of-vedic-chanting-00062

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fast1

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.

Err!!

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 🙂

 Citations
http://www.nia.nic.in/?ref=12&id=38

http://www.panchakarma.com/10-day-ayurvedic-balancing-detoxing-fast-a-298.html

 

 

God/dess , Godmen and the likes

A series of internet activities, AIB, the movie ‘PK’ , MSG (Leela Samson) and allegations and a recent Facebook post which i stumbled upon, motivated me to write this.
Now that I’m at home, unemployed I am finding new avenues and reviving old habits to release my stress.

I will take a step wise approach

  1. PK targeted the concept of idol-worship, god-men and the likes
    I will try to not dwell on the flaws here. Idol worship – the reasons seem silly to many atheists, agnostics (non-believers). How can a stone carved beautifully seem to solve worries and fulfill desires?
    When a person says that s/he has ‘faith’ in Ganesha, it is the faith that is the driving factor here.
    It does not matter if you pray before a piece of paper, pen, rock, statue; It is the faith which one person holds. On that note, an atheist is most spiritual as s/he has immense faith in her/himself about non existence of God/higher powers.
    If I were to ask you do you trust your choices, the question that should first rise is ‘do I have faith in myself to trust my choices’?
    The rationale behind idol worship could be varied.
    i. For those who believe God created the universe, place of worship is heaven’s abode,
    ii. For some best way to let go off their problems and the best part being the idol does not have ears (most humans do not care about your problems including me ),
    iii. The daily chants in and around the place of worship makes it serene and peaceful away from the chaos , meet like minded people, gossip time.
    iv. Coming to god-men, the true essence of guru-shishya parampara is not what we often see today. Upanishad, means sitting close to the master. A master/teacher would not only initiate young minds then into rituals but also the science.Self-inquiry and not imposition, reasoning not mere blind faith in religious doctrine was what Bharata was.  The word guru sounds creepy. Black magic and standing in odd postures are what we are being told.
    Mind you, the western countries today profess about those odd postures (yoga, meditation) more than we do!Power yoga, hath yoga, TM are all a craze there! By that I do not imply that do not question the science behind the rituals. Just the way you are selectively reading this article between the lines, we can choose what we like as per our needs.
  2. Can taking extreme stance help?
    Extremism in any area has never helped the history of human kind.
    Ridiculing a ritual will never help open eyes, though it may to some.
    Religion can never be uprooted. Period.
    Most Indo Aryan pagan religions have a message to offer, and some of them literally and not figuratively. I wish media took time to make movies, present the good work, love, humanity and peace instead of choosing negative means to send out the message.
  3. Atheism is analogous to blind faith
    I’m neither a theist nor an atheist.
    I see many call themselves atheists (specially among Hindus) because they simply follow the herd. I do not see anything wrong in that yet to me it is same as blind faith in religious practices.
    I openly patronize yoga and meditation, and have no qualms if I am called a baba/dhongi.
    I was initiated into Art of Living (AOL) practice many years ago. I had fun doing surya namaskara and pranayama even as a teen. I didn’t know then that it was uncool to people. And today when I look around I find it cool to say that I am choosing a holistic approach to remain healthy. I have nothing against gym but yoga, aerobics make one self-reliant.
    And it (AOL) gave me many opportunities to work with other NGOs.
    I live in Bombay which means stress seeps into the system the moment I step out of my house, I can reach Delhi by air plane before i can reach home from the airport.
    Any organization, eminent person is never without flaws.
    Likewise I accept spiritual outfits do have their set of flaws, people around tend to brainwash and scare people. Some consider it a good way to make money 😀
    But we can certainly choose to pick the good and ignore the flaws. If it really bothers someone so much, go ahead and choose a strategy, mechanism to highlight them.I do not intend to patronize AOL as an organization but i can assure you that yoga, meditation and pranayama have umpteen benefits and i learnt the easiest ways through this organization. There are many research papers on them, I need not cite references. Each one of us can choose to have a mind of our own.
    Media is one of the most important pillars in democracy.
    Today is the world where internet has made world a global village and free press is  freedom of expression  on digital media. 
    I believe as a citizen of this country, as a global citizen each of us could seek truth before falling prey to unscrupulous, brain washing ideals.Let truth alone triumph!
    Satyamev Jayate !