Thursday, March 26, 2009

Birthday Bash!

Forgive my delayed post... I was still walking down from heaven, from a fantastic, fun vacation full of surprises for my dearest better half! So, what was the excitement about? It was Siddhartha’s birthday on Friday and the evening was overflowing with activity lined up for him... all of them surprises, starting with a trip to ISB where his (and incidentally mine as well) Art of Living teacher and friend was waiting to wish him. Ah! The look on Sid’s face when he met Vinod... after a long drive to Barista and lotsa catching up with Vinod, we let high and dry from Barista (welcome the Hyderabad power cuts!) to rush to Shalu and Kanishka’s place... there was an emergency you see! We were even made to give distant blessings ;) and when we finally enter their home, we find a bunch of enthu friends waiting to smear cream on his face. Ok Ok! I confess, I spear headed that team of butter facial providers... (I will post birthday pics once Ramesh, Shridhar and the others please pass them to me...)

After a delectable dinner conjured by our very own star Chef, Shalu... (Thanks for that lip smacking sattavic pav-bhaji) we left for a long long drive to a location that the birthday boy knew nothing about... he was merely following driving directions you see... and just before mid night... we checked into a weekend of pleasurable pursuits ;) (Now, don’t you get your minds working overtime...) At the Pragati Resorts, we played, swam, walked, relaxed... had tonnes of fun... got ayurvedic massages done, sang, danced, meditated... (Yes...we did meditate. So, there is a Knowledge Sheet by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji about vacations. He says, something on the lines of... you can go everywhere, see as many places as you wish but don’t forget to make breathing and meditation a part of your vacation. So, well, we did meditate!)

PS. By the way, the resort is beautiful... must visit... only please DON'T go on weekends, when all the corporate houses will bring their bunch of over enthusiastic employees who cant see beyond a swimming pool and loud, obnoxious music

That was a sneak peek into our holiday!

Friday, March 20, 2009


It's finally here... after a long wait, counting days, hours & minutes... it's finally here. For four days, I simply couldn’t contain myself, was bursting with excitement, day dreaming, imagining, planning, re-planning and planning again... new dreams, the exhilaration, it was palpable! And now, that the day has dawned... am still excited, but not quite as much... It’s true... the fun lies in the waiting, the love dawns in the longing... Anyway, let’s put-off the gyaan for another day... right now, I am on the verge of doing shoulder-stands and cartwheels... the surprises are in store for the evening... I can’t wait to see his response/reaction to all that is lined up! All of that and more when we are back next week... with lots of pictures! ;)

Monday, March 9, 2009

So hard to swallow

The healthy, humble Ragi Mudde
Why is it so hard?

It’s that time of the year when sun comes beating down upon you and saps you of all your hard earned energy. If you are living in Hyderabad and are already cursing the heat under your breath, brace up for the future, the sun here has barely begun shining... forget scorching :( Its the season when the A/c’s, the coolers, the matka’s, the barley water and the Ragi drinks come dancing to the forefront.

Oh yes, Ragi reminds me of a very interesting story I did during my journalism days... a story on the variety of foods in Karnataka and finding prominence in that story was the humble Ragi mudde. Yes. Yes! The same healthy breakfast food that Deve Gowda (the son of the soil) put in the international media’s frame. So, in the story I did, I not only helped make the mudde, but also did an interesting Piece to Camera while trying hard to swallow the Ragi cake... and that’s when the question popped into my head for probably the first time, “Why are the good things in life, all so hard to swallow?” In this case, quite literally so. Anyway, to cut a long, sometimes hilarious and mostly throat hurting story short, I finally did manage to swallow the mudde without a visible scorn on the face and smilingly spiel for the tube... a story that won much applause from most of my critics! Mission accomplished; and the chapter of the mudde and the question of why so tough to swallow were closed... until, in Hyderabad, the sun started to beat down upon me and the Ragi story began all over again.
Only that this time, I chose to drink the malt and ponder on the question “Why are the good things in life, all so hard to swallow?” All the good things in life: - waking up early in the morning (yaaaaawwwwwwwwwwnnnn!), eating fresh fruits and green leafy veggies (Eeeekkkkksssssss!), doing an hour of exercise (Ouch! that hurts)... all these “good habits” are the toughest to take on though we know extremely well that they are the only ones worth having!
The exercise especially, barely a week or two ago, the angel in me kindled the good thought of inculcating a good habit of waking up at the crack of dawn, doing some yogasanas, meditation, cooking, chatting with my plants et al. Since the angel was at work while I was in the best of spirits, I decided to act upon this thought! Next morning on, up I was fresh as a daisy at 4:30 am... I was exercising, breathing fresh, unpolluted air... wow! Such was bliss. Arduous as this was on my body, I thought to myself, “there is no such thing as a free lunch! I need to work for all these pleasures... I’m doing what is really good for me! I am emerging victorious in this battle against the bulge... I have arrived” the habit is now set, my life is now disciplined.
In the evenings, during those lovely early morning days, I was happy but sleepy... fresh but a little irritable... and sometime in that sleepy, happy state of mind, a thought flashed my mind, why not wake up just 20 minutes late tomorrow... you know what happened next. Within 4 days, I am now back to waking up at 7 am... gone are the early morning walks, exercises and meditations. But the ragi drink, just brought back to me the question, why is it so tough to inculcate and maintain a good habit? The answer came to me, when I was doing what I do best- munching on (what I like to believe is) health food! Time and again, we let the small mind, the little sly, cunning fellow overpower the all encompassing, all pervading big mind. The big mind always bids its time. It’s like a mother, caring, loving to its children, warm and smiling at the small silly follies we make. It gives us stern warnings, and when we still don’t follow, then the mother comes down to action- often, that’s when we regret not having followed the ominous signs. But till then, our small mind has a ball of a time finding every little nook and corner and loophole to skid out of the regimen/ discipline that we are struggling to fit into our lives... and every time that we let this small mind win, we loose the game of life... loose the larger perspective, confine ourselves, restrict the blossoming!
So, how do we overcome this small mind? The answer to this question came while Rajesh (a good friend), Siddhartha (my better half), Aditya (my darling brother) and I were having dinner (food again) ;) in Bangalore. Unnecessary details aside, here is what we figured; we don’t have control over our thoughts or our feelings. But we can control what thoughts we act upon and what we let pass. This discrimination power, to decide on what to act and what not to come with either the awareness (which can be heightened by regular sadhana) or by making the same mistakes again and again, till we finally see what we are up to and then, that awareness will enable us to overcome the pattern of making the same mistakes over and again; that awareness will ensure that we read the signs, follow the Big mind and never don’t over step the all pervading consciousness.

So, starting tomorrow, the early mornings begin again... this time, I choose to ensure that big mind emerges victorious! All the same, isn’t it amazing, the introspection that can happen over a cuppa Ragi!