Wednesday, April 05, 2017


I was sitting at Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore and the Guru appeared on a screen in one of the many Sadhana halls in the campus. The connect was instant and I was all ears. What he said for the next 45 minutes kind of stayed with me for the whole day and is still in my mind, processing itself and getting ready to internalize hopefully.

"You breathe in and you breathe out. One day, you breathe out and you don't breathe in, and you go "Puff". You are out. Its over, finished."
He went on to speak about how much we take our breath for granted, and that we infact mis use it, in a way that we don't use it at all. This was a powerful thought, I had heard about 20 years back at the art of living courses, but once again, another great saint was re inforcing it and was ready to take it all in, once again.

Never ever take anything for granted is what my heart told me, after some time. Yes we do take our breath for granted and do not spend even a second of our time thinking or staying with it, unless you are into serious pranayam and yoga practises. Even then, many forget about the breath and go forcing their body into impossibleness. Sadhguru reminded us that the day you don't breath in is the last day for you, so why the neglect.

This was one of the most profound learning for me at the centre apart from the many experiences I had. I will write about them in my future blogs. For now keep breathing and never take anything for granted. It may vanish in seconds.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Mera Jahan: Origin

Mera Jahan: Origin



What can I write, that hasn't already been written about,
what can I possibly think that hasn't been thought about.
The origin of thought,
the beauty of creativity,
the moment I think of a new thought, a new idea, the rush,

But, what can I write, that hasn't already been written about,
what can I possibly think that hasn't been thought about.

I pride myself, oh here is an idea!
I shout, oh, eureka,
I run for a notepad, I make notes on the sand even,
I scribble in the wall if i don't find any,

But, what can I write, that hasn't already been written about,
what can I possibly think that hasn't been thought about.

I sit down to pour my thoughts,
I visualize how my words would look when i write them down,
somewhere I cry over the possibility of the lost beauty once its out,
my mind is racing, my mouth is salivating with newer thoughts,
with a happy face and hungry hands I start typing,
But, what can I write, that hasn't already been written about,
what can I possibly think that hasn't been thought about.

A glow in my thought,
a fantasy about appreciation,
a pat on back from the seventh grade English teacher,
a slap from the Math one,
Oh i saw it all, in a second and just like that, I travelled back to now

I sit with trembling hands, eager to pour out the next word,
but before it is out, there is another thought
no wonder I thought they say,
write and feel time

But, o what can I write, that hasn't already been written about,
what can I possibly think that hasn't been thought about.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Different masks

Why is being someone so important?

Itseems there is a mask for each and every profession. It is called names. And seems to be we as a society, love it.

I have heard phrases like, "I sing, therefore I am", "I run, therefore I am."
For me, its, "I breath, therefore i am."

I am a writer, i am a singer, i am an architect, I am a dancer, I am a banker, I am a content developer, I am a scientist. Seems like even an act like running seems to be getting a name, "I am a runner".
Our very identities are locked up in who we became in this world, rather than who we really are, before we became all of those things. Once we manage to latch on to one of the many identities, the many words that the dictionary has about who we are, we seem to forget who we actually are.

If law is what i have studied, am I a lawyer, beyond this there is no identity? I find this the most with doctors, its almost like sainthood. And most doctors i have met, are so attached to their tittle, they even carry it into their marriages and other relationships they make. They love the tittle so much, that they forget their names, i have a neighbor who has named her wifi as, "Dr Radha internet". It shows up because.. everyone knows how we know, so i will save the explanation.

I was just reading about people who have created homes for stray dogs, all over the world there are such individuals who work towards causes like these. Wonder what they call them, oh, they did give him a name, "Dogfather". So now he is no more ... Shukla. He is dogfather. (So much respect for such work, by the way)

So what do you do? Next time try saying, I live?

I still struggle with the question, So what do you do?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Early morning and Yoga.

My entire life i have struggled to get up early, thats what i told myself. But something shifts every winter, in the months of November and December, and I end up getting up really early. I hope to continue this waking up early for the rest of my years, but i am waiting for the winter to pass by to really see if I continue and can wake up from the harshness of the fan or the AC chill in summers.

My wake up time went from being 6.30 with great difficulty, i had to push, to 4.30 in a day. How, one would ask. It was my yoga graduation day, and we had a ceremony which was huge and grand and very peaceful. So from that day, I began my journey of waking up early. The day I had my graduation, I woke up, just like that, headed towards my mat, and started stretches and did a little yoga. During the day, I got my certification from Pradeep our teacher and guide, I touched his feet took blessings from the other guests and came back with a big smile on my face. I had a degree in my hand, i was a yoga teacher, certified. Did it sink in, no, actually no, but what it did is i woke up everyday after that day. I woke up at the same time, and its been a month now, actually more than a month, i am into my second month of 4.30. It keeps getting earlier, sometimes i get up at 3.30.

How do I feel, I feel great about waking up that early, but a voice in me says, deepen yourself there, anchor deepen, like own your practice. So my attempt my prayaas, my goal, is to go deeper, where I am aware of my body, my mind, my movements, where i don't have a zillion thoughts while practicing, where my meditation is so deep that i use this precious time in my favour, and not just make it another ritual. Have I made it another ritual? Is it just about waking up at the same time? what ever it is, now that I have started my voice tells me, 'Just walk the path'. Just continue, your teacher has given you a lamp, light that everyday, feel the heat of that  light and go for it.

May the strenght of this great practice be healing. May i heal myself of anxiety and anger.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Yeh Dil Kyun Dhadakne Do!

Too many critical views on Zoya Akhtar’s latest Bollywood venture Dil Dhadakne Do. I found most of these views outright dismissive, which obviously proved wrong, in due course. Reviews with comments like, characters won't stay with you, the movie is too long, there is nothing to take away from this movie were floating in the papers and online. But going with Zoya's reputation, I would not miss the movie for a few reviews, by some overtly critical people. 

The reviews can take a walk as the movie has touched a chord with many a urban viewers and has even raked many intricate issues which usually are brushed under the carpet in Indian families. The movie also does leave you with a lot of thought. Of Course if you were looking for enlightenment then you would rather take a yoga retreat in Rishikesh than look for it in a commercial Hindi movie. 

I for one really liked the movie, and my “Aha” moments of the movie were many, and I would definitely like to point out a few of those scenes to the readers so that Zoya Akhtar's efforts are not buried under a heap of “Boos”.

a)   Unconditional love between siblings.
This was special; for me Kabir taking sister Ayesha’s side, come what may. how sweet that he actually feels the hurt of a daughter for being treated as second citizen in her own home was very refreshing to see. Kabir's stand for his sister is something, which really steals your heart. There’s something about a brother’s love, which makes most men insecure, and this is captured in a beautiful way. Watch out for Ranvir’s “aunty wo butter knife hai” scene with Zarina Wahab. It shows the naughtiness only a brother can get away with.

b)   Papa is always there.
Loved it when Kamal Mehra takes his son in law Manav by the collar. Manav incidentally exhibits his chauvinism to his wife in front of the whole family. Thats when Kamal decides enough is enough and stands up for his daughter. This scene moved me to tears, as finally the patriarchal mindset of Kamal understands a daughter’s anguish and protects her. This scene is a statement because though we speak of fathers having a soft corner for daughters, our society still refuses to speak up when she goes through turmoil by the hands of in laws or husband.

c)    Women Rock.
DDD is not a women’s empowerment movement. But there are scenes which are speaking of a new wave. When Farhan’s character, Sunny points out to Manav played by Rahul Bose using the expression “I allow my wife to work” as derogatory and not justifying his “equality” qualm. It’s quite a scene. Hats off to Zoya, its not overtly loud and preachy, but subtle and straight and hits the bull in the eye.
Also DDD captures the subtle things which people miss, women who have made it to the Forbes list on their own, daughters who are not given their credit, fathers who see the son as everything, mothers who advise their daughters to shut up in an unhappy marriage, there is also a display of steering of the stereotypical image of Muslim girls. Farah played by Anushka shares her story of running away from home for the love of dance and art. 

d)   Subtle Humour.
Anil Kapoor as Kamal Mehera will amuse you, and disgust you at the same time. In Piku we saw parents can nag, here we will see a much more hidden side shown brilliantly, that they can brag. “I am a self made man”, now, how many times have you heard that! Kamal Mehera and his wife are bitter about each other, but at the same time they will shock you with their unity in scheming to keep family money intact. So is the business world cunning? One wonders. What did your parents bribe you with? A toy car? An ice cream, a Cadbury? A Barbie?  I burst out into laughter when Anil Kapoor in a straight face asks, “Plane chahiye ke nai tumhe?” as bribe. Epic!

e)   Choose love, swim or drown.
Love doesnt have to be only between two people, it could be your love for music or dance or science too. Anushka or Farah is a Muslim girl who runs away from home to follow her love or passion for dance. She tells Kabir or Ranvir, when the time comes there are choices, either swim or drown. 

And also Love happens, believe.
I loved the instant karmic connection shown between Ranveer and Anushka. Guys, have we forgotten, this is how it, this is pure romance. But the director also doesn't wish away lust, yes that matters too. You need to lust after your object of love. Loved the openness with which the Farah and Kabir share about each other and show that they have a connection. No cat and mice games here. 

f)     Stand up for Yourself, no one else can.
Ayesha, Priyanka Chopra is stuck in an unhappy loveless marriage, she has unappreciative parents and inlaws. Still she starts her own company and takes it to great heights. She respects her husband and his family enough to keep quiet when she is silenced at every sentence at the dinner table. But she respects herself also enough to walk away when she can’t pretend anymore. What I saw is love is the greatest bond, if there is no love in a relationship, one can choose to make oneself happy. Loved the scene where she tells her husband, “I want a divorce”. Standing for oneself and not staying unhappy, go girl!

g)   Character artistes get a second chance.
Parmeet Sethi, where were you, welcome back.   

h)   Life is short, take a cruise, go on vacations
Yes, there is a lot of opulence and riches which most of us do not relate to and yes, many of us feel a pang of ‘ J’ (jealousy) in our tummies, but please loosen up and look at the brighter side.  You get to set your itinerary for the next trip. You can either be inspired or choose to wallow in your jealousy. Choose.  Though less beautiful than the Titanic, this cruise enticed me a bit though.
The scene where Ayesha stands on the deck looking at the sea reminded me of Rose in Titanic. And Jack aka Sunny here, says, “I read your mind, you were planning to jump isn’t it”.

e) Respect animals, never say shoo!
Amir Khans voice and the cute Pluto and his philosophical commentary, stole my heart. If my guess is right, Javed Akhtar has worked his magic of words in form of Pluto Mehera’s mind speak, or rather heart speak.

Did I just read, this cruise isn’t docking anywhere type of review somewhere. Don’t go for it, try DDD, probably your heart will learn to say Dhak Dhak once again.  Once again I would say Zoya Akhtar has captured some easy to miss emotions very typical to our society.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"All set to celebrate independence day, but how free are we really?? Pre-independence the British hit us, today our own ppl are out with moral Dikats spreading equal or more amount of violence.. Yesterday, we sang azadi songs and wantd it badly, todays generation badly thinks, "did we make it large, was it all worth it!!!"..
Corruption, child labour, female foeticide, honour killing, and more... Gandhi now exists in our memories/as statues/on currency notes... but not in our hearts, in our living, we have forgotten there is a Gandhi in all of us.. are we really free of jealousy, of fear, of insecurity, of maliciouness, of manipulation?? are we free spirited,, maybe only when on high spirits!"

Jug suriya (writer and columnist) - aapne mere mooh ki baat cheen li,)
 In an article that appeared in the TOI yesterday, he has reflected the voice of a few if not many in our nation, check it out!! worth a read..

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another idol

I am not sure if building homes for Gods is only a typically Indian fascination or it is throughout the world. Since every God and Godman is on facebook, I have subscribed to a few and get their updates everyday. Its interesting to note the number of temples coming up everywhere on a daily basis. I dont know how many schools or ashrams come up, but God-homes, yes, every day we mortals would have constructed one grand house for our favourite God. Today its Atlanta, yesterday, it was Toranto, before that Newzealand, and even before that... never mind, i have lost count.

If God is omnipresent and everywhere, do we need these many temples especially when, people are dying in droughts, children dont have enough to eat, there is not enough shelter for humans, there is poverty everywhere,  many people are living below poverty line and many dont even get to live a dignified life, with basic human rights. Though these are very obvious facts and look like table top discussions and we talk about it everyday, they are important questions.

Do we need these many temples? Cant that money be invested in serving humanity instead?