Thursday, 28 January 2016

Organic Food

Agriculture was almost completely dependent on nature till about a century ago. The fertile soil contained organic matters from decomposed plants and refuse from animals; rain, rivers and lakes were main sources of water and new plants grew from seeds or other parts of older plants. So all food stuff was 'organic' as this term is used now a days. If there was severe famine or flood, people as well as animals, birds etc. in the affected areas used to go away or perish. Thus a natural balance was maintained between soil, water, plants, free animals, cattle and human population. 

The situation changed drastically in the last century, as the population went on multiplying and food habits also went on changing, thereby needing production of more food, while land under cultivation and water resources were limited. The food production was artificially increased by use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, development of high yield seeds, taking multiple crops (depleting soil) etc. Several chemicals manufactured and used for various purposes as intermediaries, catalysts, preservatives, cleaning, painting, medicines etc. were also ultimately discharged into the environment in increasing quantities. 

As their harmful side effects were increasingly known to the public, there was a move to go for 'Organic food' to avoid them. So the wheel is turning through full 360 degrees and people want to go back to cultivation of food as was done a century ago. But it would certainly not be sufficient to feed the present population of the earth, so only those who can spend more money are able to buy it.  

This post touches some points on this currently talked about topic.


Raghuveer Rustagi:

1. Now a days, we are inundated with the term multi-dimensional, be it our health, our investment portfolio, our children education, our choice of friends, or foes. My conclusion is multi-dimensional approach is good, but it must be mellowed in common sense.

2. I make all the grocery purchases. The rule in the home is-  organic only. Non-organic is like a DCR. I patronise two or three American stores, reputed in everything organic selling fresh and authentic organic veggies, fruits, daal/ lentils, milk and what not.  As you may be knowing, the price of organic stuff is excessive- nearly double or more of the regular non-organic food. 

3. I therefore, have done some research in the city library or internet-  does buying organic make a real difference to your health?  

I would say...yes and no. 

Yes, if it is pure organic meaning the soil, water and air it grew, is also clean and pure.   

No, if it is cross breed of GMO because a farm next to the organic field is a genetically modified crop like soya or corn. No, if the spraying of the farm next door is also traveling into the soil and air over the organic farm.  Similar to nuclear radiation.

4. These are real modern day issues we face even as we try to consume the best products possible. But besides buying produce from the local farmers market to minimize our exposure to toxins in our food supply, does eating organic really help our health. 
If we are eating organic food but we stress a lot, then it makes little difference to our health if we eat an organic carrot or a non organic one. The effects of stress are far more devastating on the body than any inorganic products. Stress doesn’t allow for good digestion. 

If we are over eating it also won’t make much difference if we are eating organic. Over eating puts a stress on our body organs, no matter the quality of the food. It is the quantity of food that brings on issues like obesity, cholesterol or heart disease. 

If you eat many varieties and combinations of food to the point they give you digestive issues like acidity or indigestion then it won’t make much difference if you eat organic. This is because whether organic food or not, the variation and combinations of foods together still create health issues and have nothing to do with food being organic or not. 

It won’t make much difference if you are taking a lot of medication or drink alcohol regularly. Both of these produce a very acidic system that ferments food so even if you eat organic all the goodness of the food will be destroyed. 

It will make little difference if you eat organic while sitting at your desk at work while on the computer, phone or talking a lot. All these activities break down the bodies immune system and digestion. All the goodness of the food you eat will only have a little benefit to your over all well being.
So these are just a few reasons organic food won’t have much impact on your health unless you also have healthy habits. The BIG mistake people make is to think it is sufficient to just eat organic while all of their other habits are not as healthy. Remember most of our social and cultural habits are normal to us but not always so healthy. 
Finally, if you can afford to buy organic, go ahead. It may give a comfort feeling, similar to giving charity donation in a temple with the black money. 

Hope people will realise a multi-dimensional approach of the ancient times- dharma, artha, karma, moksha. 
Have we really progressed, in time or technology?

-- ------------------------------------------------------ 
Ashok Malhotra:
Thanks Rustagiji for bringing under the spotlight an issue being marketed very  aggressively now a days and touching its utility and otherwise.
     In our good old days, a lot more importance was given to the water quality of an area. Even today every one affirms that the water of Punjab gives a different taste to its grains,fruits n vegetables. One's digestion improves considerably in Punjab and western UP areas mainly due to the water quality.
     I am yet to come across any report by FSSAI, the agency responsible for certifying all eatables or  recommendation by any dietician that the normally marketed food products are containing harmful ingredients and that the "organic" marked products are specifically recommended, except that all fruits n vegetables be amply washed before eating, and that a healthy mix of proper diet, exercise n stress free life be maintained. 
      With today's life style, one may be eating >30% food sourced from unknown agencies, making it difficult to stick to organic foods any way. Is there any Govt. agency to certify "inorganic free-non genetically modified products"?
   But of course we may shortly be ordering food n vegs. grown in ISS like places, under zero gravity, out of the polluted earth. 
 Rustagi  :
  There are several issues facing us in the pursuit of happiness amid misery, order amid chaos, smart amid tradition, organic amid toxic laden is the latest. One never knows what next? You already hinted- food n veggies grown in ISIS like places…..

Pertinent question is: what can be done, similar to what our friend from Dehradun had asked the other day? For sure, your free will, your choice, the way you act, think or feel is your own. No one can alter these faculties; there is no parliament to amend- this is your constitution. 
Perhaps, you are guessing what I am about to say next?  
I  would sincerely urge you, dear friend in time of conflict to think of a positive antidote,  pratipaksha bhavnam in Maharshi Patanjali’s yog sutra II.33. Instead I would say - "hope we, our children, our grand children will be ordering satvik food n veggies  from an advanced tech farm of the future” 
Hey you never know, a thought acts like a seed, someday it may sprout forth. Make a hey while the sun shines.

Mohan Rao:

 I read your take on organic foods with vivid interest as it is one of the transformative things in our lives and definitely a yes/no question. My opinion is that the interest in organic foods originated decades ago when they discovered that pesticides contribute to food/water/soil contamination. To day organic foods has become a world-wide business and there are organizations promoting organic foods (my daughter has an organic garden in Sweden, belongs to WOOF (an org) and trains volunteers from Europe and other places in OF). OF in the marketplace these days are available but at higher cost. Fortunately, I would imagine that in India pesticides may not be as prevalent and generally food is organic by default although my knowledge in this area may be outdated. Nonetheless, awareness in this area is always welcome to forewarn people of potential issues. My parents never used pesticides, nor did they use manufactured fertilizers. Paddy fields and veg. and coconut orchards were fertilized with our own fertilizers (made with composted leaves and animal dung). If the soil is contaminated it would require chemical analysis and either decontamination or importing of clean soils for replacement. Contamination of soils from various industrial uses of land would also be a factor to consider. These days, there are regulatory agencies that control and monitor the food industry and land use whose advisories would be of interest to the general public.
I share your view that while there are so many things to worry about in today’s world, putting money where the mouth is easier said than done. I would definitely put priorities on: eliminating tobacco (chewing, smoking and second-hand smoke) and excessive alcohol; diet and exercise; proper health and dental check-ups; cutting down of processed foods; air and water quality; stress-free living; reducing salt, trans fat, etc. and certain degree of moderation in whatever we do, positive attitude, etc.

R S Vaghasiya:
I may be wrong in my assumptions but want to put it here.

If supplemented by medicine it does not make any sense in using the organic. The medicines are non-organic and body has to works against any product which does not suit it.

One fundamental logic - south Indians eat more rice and north Indians eat more wheat - the body in case prepares fro these in-gradients  what it wants.
Natural leaving will normally solve most of the issues. Your body is renewed fully once in a year. That's why Ayurvedic medicine course is of at-least three months by what time the body is renewed 90%. 

Anand Ghare (myself):

Organic foods is a somewhat misnomer, actually pure water is an inorganic compound and alcohol, even meat is organic in nature. This term generally means, in India, vegetarian meals prepared from food crops, fruits, roots, vegetables etc. grown without using genetically modified or high breed seeds, chemical fertilizes and insecticides. 
There is a misconception that India is by and large free from these dangerous artificial agents. Actually India has progressed from a Food importer country in 1960s to self sufficiency in food, in spite of almost doubling of the population, only thanks to Green revolution, meaning use of high yield seeds, fertilisers and insecticides. Flouting of norms regarding toxic effluents by chemical and other industries, bad sewage treatment by local bodies and enormous increase in use of chemical detergents by all people has polluted the earth, water and air to such an extent that harmful chemicals have found a way in to the human food chain. So the normal food we are eating in our daily life cannot be called purely 'organic'.
Some shops in metro cities have now a days started supplying 'organic' food at exorbitant prices, but they are patronised only by a few health conscious wealthy people. One of the main problems is the general atmosphere of mistrust, full of stories of rampart corruption and negligence at all levels in trading practices. There is no simple way of checking the food for its being 'organic'. So why spend extra money to get a doubtful product? 
We are not always eating only home made food. What about the food we eat in hotels or bring home from stores, sweetmeat shops or bakeries? Every packaged food item will have some chemical preservative added to it.
Thirdly even if we eat only organic food but not in the right quantity or proportion, if it is too oily or spicy, it is still going to be harmful to our body.
Lastly, at least I have not come across any deterministic explanation correlating the health parameters with the use of chemical fertilizers or hybrid seeds in raising crops. It goes by statistical probabilities.
If we can have a kitchen garden, where we can see what we are sowing, can give pure clean water and natural manures to grow the plants, do not sprinkle any pesticides or weedicides and still protect the plants, we can be sure of its organic nature. The added benefit would be we can then eat the fruits and vegetables with out skinning and washing and losing beneficial minerals and nutrients. But that is a big IF!
At present we can only have small control and hope for the best.

Nandkishore Agarwal :
I wish to share that in India also use of pesticides is quite extensive now as compared to the earlier times. It may still be much less compared to USA. I believe there are lobbies propagating in a big way the use of Organic foods in India also. But the cost of organic foods is much higher in India compared to the normally grown food stuff and that is one deterrent in the wide usage of organic foods. Also because of this reason, even the availability of the organic foods is restricted to some big outlets/ malls etc where people with comparatively deeper pockets visit and who can very well afford to spend money for these things. For a common man, cost of organic foods is still a big deterrent.
I agree with you that right priorities to be taken care of before thinking about or giving priority to organics foods.

Ravi Rustagi :
Traditionally Education and Health were considered the basic needs, and should be affordable in the so called civilised society. Alas, this is not so - both items have been converted to industrial high tech products. This trend started in the USA, and slowly spreading all over the world including India.

Although it is not possible to completely disregard the ho-ho going around, or close our eyes, yet as informed citizens we can make better cost-benefit based thinking.

The following factors could help, in matter of saying yes or no to organic food -
i. Develop Self- Awareness: which food items are consumed in more quantity in the home, sort of A B C analysis, and the relative increased cost if OF?

ii. Make Proper Choices: A veggie or daal if consumed with its skin should be organic. OF stays fresher, and tastes better too from my experience in America. 
Kitchen garden is a good suggestion, but I do not know if it is viable in the metro towns. But it can be selective container-based gardening in the balconies.

iii. Develop Healthy Habits: Cook fresh meal as much as possible in the home. Then you know what you are eating, as well as less or no over-eating?
Eating out or partying be restricted. 
I may add- in my teaching job in Pennsylvania State University, I decided to give 10 bonus marks if a student cooks one meal a day in the apartment. Students welcomed the idea, it saved them money, it became a life-time hobby, plus their health and grades improved, and they wasted less or no food.

Time and Technology are on your side. This is a positive outlook.

Sushil Chadda :
I have read with interest the comments by all. Largely it depends in trust on the vendor that what he is claiming is really so.
At kharghar navi mumbai , a new shop had opened selling only organic products but prices were very high. On my query how do i know that what you are selling is organic. His response was crisp that i trust my source and sir balance is your choice.
The shop is closed now in less than six months due to low business.
Similarly i had difficulty in deciding a vendor store at govandi selling organic mangoes transported from Gujrat as claimed by him , to buy at three times the price. This was during mango season when you find variety and abundence in market on every street.
Therefore i agree with all the comments  on the technology of growing food products in modern days & associated advantages on health (not deterministic) and endorse without reservations the observations of Ghare ji in indian context.

Finally there is some good news for Indian enthusiasts for "Organic Food".

A K Chandra : Forwarded message ----------

Dear Friend,
CSE has been a strong advocate of what we call 'good food' - food that is good for nature (rich in biodiversity), nutrition (not junk food and without poisons) and livelihoods (where local people derive benefits). A few years ago, we had published our book, First Food, which many of you I know have seen. In this book we celebrated the diversity of such food and recipes from across the country.

To take this work forward we are organising an Organic Farmers’ Market on January 30 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The event will bring together farmers who will showcase and sell their produce - healthy, nutritious and pesticide-free vegetables, fruits, millets, staples, oils, milk products and more - and will also offer an opportunity to sample healthy dishes.

On this day, we are also planning a series of talks and interactive sessions on the issues that matter to us from how to grow vegetables and making our own compost. We hope to also have live cooking demonstrations so that we can together celebrate this food, that we have always known and loved and rebuild a strong tradition of food as nutrition in the country.

My colleagues and I will look forward to meeting you on Saturday, January 30, 2016, anytime between 10am to 3pm on the Margosa Lawn of the India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road. We are finalising the programme for the day and we will send that out soon. Otherwise, please check our website: or for more details.

Please bring your own carry bag(s).

Best regards,
Ranjita Menon
Programme Director – Environment Education Unit

- Freshest organic farm produce of vegetables, fruits, pulses and staples, oils, healthy dairy products, whole grains such as millets and much more.

- Through the day, attend interactive sessions on kitchen and roof top gardening, composting, live cooking demonstrations.

- Meet the Farmers who grow organic produce

- Feast on Winter Foods such as Makki ki Roti and Saag; Pickles; Smoked Lassi with Ajwain; Raagi ka Poora; Chila with Chutney; Herbal teas; Healthy salads

January 30, 2016 : New additions

Ravi Rustagi :
A very significant topic was missed- how to feed the exploding population?
A few years ago, my grand-daughter had performed a research study on the scientific logic in favour of vegetarianism-
1. Over 90% of grain produced in America is used to feed livestock- cows, pigs, lambs and chicken- the animals that finally wind up on the dinner tables.
2. Per the USDA information, we get back one pound of beef for every 16 pounds of grains.
3. It takes over 5 000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.
4. A diet based on grains, veggies, and beans will support 20 times more population than a diet of meat.
5. If the earth’s arable land were used primarily for the production of vegetarian food, the planet would easily support a human population of 20 billions or more.
6. A visit to an American slaughter house is an eye opener; you instantly change to vegetarian diet. Such a visit is almost banned. It more horrifying than terrorism.
6. Americans are paying more for meat than they think- in terms of rising health issues, environmental issues etc.

In short, the world hunger problem is largely illusory.
I am amazed at the advanced Indian thinking declaring cow as holy, an economic asset more than 5 000 years ago.
Hats off to my India, and the Indian people.

Palivela ANANDA RAO :
This is a great subject put on record. Due to the various reasons like famine, increase in population etc,. the whole world had put lot of efforts in green revolution and white revolution and finally achieved almost success in providing the food for all. Now it is known to all including the little farmer that the use of chemical fertilizers and  pesticides had resulted the depletion of soil which was developed over millions of   years. Now the little farmer finds this chemical cultivation is no more economical and as per literature and Youtube lot of farmers are going for organic means of cultivation.

The organic cultivation is costly because the farmer has not been educated much to recycle the waste  produced during harvest. Majority of agricultural produce is being consumed by the urban areas and the waste of the vegetables etc is not being taken back to farmer for recycling to form the compost. This is the only way we can improve the soil. The urban population is only responsible for this problem. We are only receiving from the Anna Data, but not giving any thing in return. Some part of subsidy provided for supply of chemical fertilisers can be diverted to a scheme which can convert the vegetable waste  in urban areas in to compost and supply to farmer as a goodwill.

It is really unfortunate that all our organic waste is going to dump yards.

What we can do least is by not throwing our vegetable waste and convert in to compost in house and use for our balcony/ terrace gardening. Every society can collect the vegetable waste and use it in their lawns and plants.

We should grow vegetable plants in the balconies and terraces instead of ornamental plants. Compost/ vermi-compost created from our home is adequate for our balcony plants. Growing leafy vegetables in containers in balconies is the best option. Leafy vegetable we eat in Mumbai are grown in very bad and un-hygienic environment.

In addition we can enjoy the growth of vegetable plants like sprouting, flowering and fruiting in our balconies. Harvesting and eating our own produce will give lot of satisfaction even though it is little.

In nutshell the organic is only the means of cultivation and no other choice for the Humans. We have to protect our mother earth.

Anand Ghare (Myself):

Since this aspect of meat production indicated by Shri Rustagiji was not covered in earlier debate, it was not included in the first edition of this blog post. 
Actually the cattle is not fed with food grains in India.  They are given the chaff to eat and when they are lucky they also get green grass (in rainy season). The high yielding varieties of wheat produce less amount of chaff and increased mechanization in farming practices is rendering oxen superfluous. The husk produced by harvesting machines may be used else where for burning as the bagasse from sugarcane is used. 

Thus the agro-economics has taken a Topsy turvy turn. Hope it will revert back to Indian traditional way soon because of the pressure of necessity.
Shri.Ananda Rao has made a very valid point that urban population is not giving back its organic waste to agriculture. The farmers are also some what ignorant about importance of recycling. I know some NG Organizations around Pune and Nasik are trying to popularize mini bio-gas plants that serve three fold purposes. 1. Get energy, 2. Get natural manure 3. Reduce burden on waste management systems of Municipal Corporation. Unfortunately public acceptance is slow in coming but we hope, it will catch up.
Mohan Rao :
 Home-gardening and home-composting are definitely worthy ideas to pursue given the availability of terraces, balconies and the limited size of lots in Mumbai buildings. There should be an arrangement to import clean soils if necessary due to soil contamination due to the history of the lots (previously industrial zones, cottage industries like foundry, various metal industries such as smelting, refining, metallurgical shops etc).  Another arrangement for organic farming would be greenhouses which could provide large prepared areas for growing all-season harvests such as tomatoes which have large markets in city environments. This may help in alleviating the dependence on expensive organic vegetables from the market. In the past development of urban areas has been rather ad-hoc driven by population influx than properly planned and perhaps in the case of new cities under development, a more holistic approach needs to be adopted.  however it may not help the harvesting of grains such as rice, wheat etc. which requires substantially larger fields and animal husbandry to manage oxen, cows etc to generate large amounts of animal waste for composting. Large-scale agriculture and farming would still remain in the realm of non-urban areas.

 Mohan Rao  wrote:
 Further to my earlier blog below, I read about some new info which may be of interest to you as well as our friends.
A new ‘revolutionary’ urban farming technology seems to be in the offing in a university in Canada (Ryerson) which aspires to quadruple the amount of produce in urban communities currently spouting on green roofs using technology to automate these green roofs. Using technology programmed with precise algorithms and wireless nodes, food growing on roofs would be made possible and easier on any roof. Furthermore with the well-known hydroponic technology, farmers can grow produce in four or more tiers upright saving space. The new technology is being tested in a “Growing North” project in Nunavat, a territory in Canada. The technology may be outsourced as an economic opportunity for Canada.

Palivela ANANDA RAO :

Mohan Raoji has nicely pointed out towards sprouts. All we know that the sprouts are the power packs of vitamins and other important nutrients required for us. Very small space is enough for growing the sprouts/ micros. Unlike Canada, we in India are very fortunate to have tropical atmosphere. Most of the time through out the year India has right temperature for germination of seeds. We all should have sprouts/ micros in our food preparations and salads.

Monday, 25 January 2016

My Childhood Days

ये दौलत भी ले लो, ये शोहरत भी ले लो,  ........  Whatever I could manage to earn.
भले छीन लो मुझसे मेरी जवानी । ......... It has already Diappeared!
मगर मुझको लौटा दो बचपन का सावन,
वो कागज़ की कश्ती, वो बारिश का पानी ।।

और ........

वो छत पर का सोना सुनते कहानी ।
वो आँगन में रख्खी खटिया पुरानी ।
वगैरा वगैरा .............

Many of us have spent our childhood days in villages or small towns in India in 1950s or 60s. Life was very much different in those days. Even though we are now enjoying a lot of comforts and some luxuries available these days, we feel nostalgic about those golden old days when life was relatively tough but more secure, peaceful, love-full and enjoyable. These feelings are nicely expressed in a Punjabi poem contributed by Shri Tasweer Singh. A number of responses were received, some remembering bye gone days and some lamenting the change that has taken place not only in cities but also in rural areas.

Two more beautiful poems added on 04/06/2016 at the end.
ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ....

Tasweer Singh :
मंजीया (चारपाई)ते बैंदे सी,
कोल कोल रेंदे सी
सोफे बैड आ गये ने,
दूरियां वधा गये ने
वेड़े विच रुख(पेड़) सी,
सांझे दुख सुख सी ।
छत्ता ते न सोन्दे हुन ,
गलां  वि न पान्दे हुन ।।
बुआ खुल्ला रेन्दा सी,
राही वी आ बैन्दा सी ।
कौवे वी कुरलान्दे सी,
परौणे वी घर आन्दे सी ।
साईकिल ही कोल सी,
ता वी मेल जोल सी।
रिश्ते निभान्दे  सी,
रूसदे मनान्दे सी।
पैसा भांवे घट सी,
पर मत्थे ते न वट सी ।
कन्दा कोले (दीवारें,खिड़कीया) कच्चे सी
पर साक (रिश्ते) सारे सच्चे सी।
शायद कुज पाया है,
ते बोहता कुज गवाया है।


Translation and comments by Shri Ravi Mago

Dear Taswir has sent  such a nice and touching poem .
I thought it  would be much better if  ALL our members ( especially non Hindi speaking ) are able to understand  and appreciate..
I would therefore attempt to transliterate , to the best of my ability.The rhyme maybe absent or
 the 'meter' may not be accurate  but surely the feelings would be conveyed.

I give below the meaning in English after each sentence.

मंजीया (चारपाई)ते बैंदे सी,
कोल कोल रेंदे सी
We all used to sit  close to each other on the cot
सोफे बैड आ गये ने,
दूरियां वधा गये ने
The coming of sofa beds has only increased the distance or the gap.
वेड़े विच रुख(पेड़) सी,
सांझे दुख सुख सी ।
There was a tree in the quadrangle and we all used to share our joys and sorrows.
छत्ता ते न सोन्दे हुन ,
गलां  वि न पान्दे हुन ।।
Now we do not  sleep on terrace, cannot  talk
बुआ खुल्ला रेन्दा सी,
राही वी आ बैन्दा सी ।
The main door used to remain open,  even a passer by would come in and rest.
कौवे वी कुरलान्दे सी,
परौणे वी घर आन्दे सी ।
Crows used to caw caw, guests used to walk in
साईकिल ही कोल सी,
ता वी मेल जोल सी।
 Although one used to own only a bicycle, still there was a camaraderie
रिश्ते निभान्दे  सी,
रूसदे मनान्दे सी
The relations were meant to carried forward and we would cajole the annoyed .
पैसा भांवे घट सी,
पर मत्थे ते न वट सी ।
Although there was paucity (or dearth ) of money,
it never showed on our forehead
कन्दा कोले (दीवारें,खिड़कीया) कच्चे सी
पर साक (रिश्ते) सारे सच्चे सी।
The walls and the windows were not very rigid or firm,
but the relationships were true and faithful.
शायद कुज पाया है,
ते बोहता कुज गवाया है।
Perhaps, we have achieved  'something',
but have lost a lot in this  process.

Dear Taswir, Bear with me if the 'exact' feeling has not not been conveyed .

Sometime back , I had posted something similar;
In olden days ,the main door/gate had a sign board "YOU ARE WELCOME "
These the the board reads " BEWARE OF DOG "

Above is narration of days during childhood when resources with the family were bare minimum but intensity of love with neighbours, friends and relatives was much more.
The crux of the panjabi- hindi poem is if we have got something, we have lost much more.......
 Some brief comments:
Shri Taswir Singh's poem...superb...yes has reminded many of us our childhood

Ref Shri Mago's post, these days some time u may see the sign board reading as "DOG LIVES HERE.  ENTER at YOUR RISK". Obviously, it refers to perhaps the house owner.....

Jindgi tan changi hai
Par kadae kadae purania yaadan  vi  chatae aa jaundia han. ..

Punjab which bitya hoya bachpan yaad aa giya
Hun naa te vo panjab hai naa o bachpan
Phir vee jindgi changee hai

Fantastic recreation of our childhood; very nostalgic and emotional. Reminds of song  'Koai Lota De Mairai Bitte Huai Din'

After a very very v.... long time  I could read such an excellent poem .Even though you are not the writer of the poem ,but the credit goes to you for making it available to us for reading and enjoying.

Very heart touching reflection of by-gone days.
Anand Ghare:
Thanks Tasweer for giving such a nice poem. As I have spent a lot of time Punjabi mundaonde wich, I could understand most of it.Thanks Mago to clarify it further.  
The open door culture was not a specialty of Punjab alone. We used to keep our doors open through out the day and welcome people coming in unannounced even in Karnataka. Those were the days when we lived without the fear of somebody barging in and causing us any harm or stealing something. Famous Marathi writer P L Deshpande used to call living in self contained flats as बंद दरवाजा संस्कृति. 'Closed Door Culture' and was very critical about it.
Any way gone are the days of our childhood. Now we may not be able to talk to many people personally, not sitting close to each other on a Charpai, nor under the shadow of a Tree in the Chowk, but we are able to get connected on internet with many more people. I do not think we have distanced ourselves too much from others because of our new concept of 'Space'  So let us be happy.
 Thottappilly Premachandran :
Beautifully crafted poem. The open door policy may be in every villages of India, and Kerala was not an exception.Borrowing and giving is another habit which made the relations much warmer. Now no one wants to depend on their neighbour and even friendly visits are becoming rare.
Taswir Singh:
In metropolitan city like Mumbai, where most of the apartments are flat type this open door culture may not be possible but still once for some time I followed it in Anushakti Nagar and it worked and believe me my amount of happiness increased and tension reduced.
Similarly after retirement luckily I am able to follow this policy as mine is row type house and full size widows with only grills and having no slides doors. For many years door was grill type only.
This way I am able to enjoy the childeren playing and lively life in the lane.
Also security feeling is enhanced.
I think if people leave hesitation at least where residents are from the same background grilldoor policy can be practised.
In most of the cases level of happiness, feeling of oneness will increase with added advantage of secured feeling.


Unfortunately it is not true fully. The people in Kerala are now building houses with compound and many doors are remaining closed with very few elderly inmates. Kerala is rapidly getting westernized and combined family is fast disappearing.
What pains me is the changing traditions. Every house had a pond and with the cost of land skyrocketing, people had filled it and planted coconut trees. The ponds had ensured availability of water in summer . Many Keralites worship snake God and in our family we had three to four snake deity installed at various corners of our land. Over a period of time, lot of trees grows around the place and now each has become a small forest. It gives us a cool surroundings. Now a days this is also fast disappearing.
When I watch my little grandson trapped in a small flat with no one other than his parents to play I  can only envy my childhood .

K. Balakrishnan :

It is true.None of the doors are opened now a days. If you keep opened, you will not see anything in the house. There are no one expect elderly people in one of the rooms. If you happened to be away from  your house one or two days, you can expect house burglary. None of the neighbours will come out of their houses, if they hear any sound also due to fear or otherwise. If you see local papers daily , you can see at least 10 house braking/chain stanching etc Most of them are aged between 18-25 years school/cpllege children.
Most of old tharavadu is divided separately and constructed  houses for nuclear families  They don't have time / not interested to do anything as well as they won't get anybody to do any work.  Most of them started moving for flats .  Since they are staying separately, the grand children are forced to be alone in the house sometimes. You cannot enjoy the older days now.

 Shri.Mohan Rao
 I fully appreciate your point of view. As I child, I lived within a school compound (as my grand pa was the builder/manager of the school)in a small village hamlet. We had an open door policy and children used to wander into the house often for a glass of water. There was lot of action in the daytime: children trying get mangoes and other fruitys from the large orchid we had, playground PA classes through-out the day, after-school cricket in the maidan, etc etc. The only negative side was that I had to change clothes every night, because of the dust from the ground used to soil our clothes pretty much all the time. My mother also got asthma which I attributed to aggravated dust levels. Overall, it was an ambience that we all enjoyed, particularly my grandfather for whom the school was his life’s legacy as well.

Tasweer Singh
Thanks respected Mohanrao ji for sharing your childhood experience of keeping the compound wall doors open. It is but natural that some disadvantage got incurred the like soiling of clothes and enhanced asthma to your mother but as stated by you it gave more ambience and happy experience.

Added on 04/06/2016

P.D.Sharma :
कमीज के बटन ऊपर नीचे लगाना
वो अपने बाल खुद न काढ पाना
पी टी शूज को चाक से चमकाना
वो काले जूतों को पैंट से पोछते जाना
😔ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ...
वो बड़े नाखुनो को दांतों से चबाना
और लेट आने पे मैदान का चक्कर लगाना
वो prayer के समय class में ही रुक जाना
पकडे जाने पे पेट दर्द का बहाना बनाना
😔ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ...
वो टिन के डिब्बे को फ़ुटबाल बनाना
ठोकर मार मार उसे घर तक ले जाना
साथी के बैठने से पहले बेंच सरकाना
और उसके गिरने पे जोर से खिलखिलाना
😔ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ...
गुस्से में एक-दूसरे की
कमीज पे स्याही छिड़काना
वो लीक करते पेन को बालो से पोछते जाना
बाथरूम में सुतली बम पे अगरबती लगा छुपाना
और उसके फटने पे कितना मासूम बन जाना
😔ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ...
वो games period के लिए sir को पटाना
unit test को टालने के लिए उनसे गिडगिडाना
जाड़ो में बाहर धूप में class लगवाना
और उनसे घर-परिवार के किस्से सुनते जाना
😔ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ...
वो बेर वाली के बेर चुपके से चुराना
लाल –काला चूरन खा एक दूसरे को जीभ दिखाना
जलजीरा , इमली देख जमकर लार टपकाना
साथी से आइसक्रीम खिलाने की मिन्नतें करते जाना
😔ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ...
वो लंच से पहले ही टिफ़िन चट कर जाना
अचार की खुशबूं पूरे class में फैलाना
वो पानी पीने में जमकर देर लगाना
बाथरूम में लिखे शब्दों को बार-बार पढके सुनाना
😔ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ...
वो exam से पहले गुरूजी के चक्कर लगाना
लगातार बस important ही पूछते जाना
वो उनका पूरी किताब में निशान लगवाना
और हमारा ढेर सारे course को देख चकराना
😔 ऐ मेरे स्कूल मुझे जरा फिर से तो बुलाना ..
वो मेरे स्कूल का मुझे यहाँ तक पहुचाना
और मेरा खुद में खो उसको भूल जाना
बाजार में किसी परिचित से टकराना
वो जवान गुरूजी का बूढ़ा चेहरा सामने आना ...v
😔 🙏 🙏
तुम सब अपने स्कूल एक बार जरुर जाना .....

P.D.Sharma :

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Ponder a While. जरासा सोचिये।

You must have heard this advice n times before. You may also say it is ten or twenty years late to think about. .... still it may be useful, if not to you, but to somebody else you may know.

Somebody may say it is like the proverb "Grapes are sour." Such advice is given by people who are any way not earning as much money as they want. You can earn money and also have good relations with your family, friends and the society. They are not mutually exclusive. Just think about it.  

They say "The best thing about advice is to pass it on to somebody else" so I am doing it. You may also read and pass it on.

Ponder a While....Realistic...Interesting-Useful Thoughts in Life

Are we earning to pay builders and interior designers, caterers and decorators?
Whom do we want to impress with our highly inflated house properties and fat weddings?
Do you remember for more than two days what you ate at someone's marriage?
Why are we working so... so... hard in our prime years of life?
    How many generations do we want to feed?
    Most of us have two kids. Many have a single kid.
    How much is the "need" and how much do we actually "want"??
    Think about it.
    Would our next generation be incapable to earn, that we save so much for them!?!
Can't  we spare one and a half days a week for friends, family and self??
Do you spend even 5% of your monthly income for your self enjoyment?

Are we giving back part of our fortune to the Society, the Nature which gave so much in making our lives successful and prosperous, and the needy around, less fortunate?

Also why can't we enjoy simultaneously while we earn?
Spare time to enjoy before you have slipped discs and large prostates.
We don't own properties, we just have temporary name on documents.
GOD laughs sarcastically, when someone says,
     "I am the owner of this land"!!  

Do not judge a person only by the length of his car.
Many of our science and maths teachers were great personalities riding on scooters!!  
It is not bad to be rich, but it is very unfair, to be only rich.
Let's get a LIFE, before life gets us, instead....

A lovely little girl was holding two apples with both hands.
Her mum came in and softly asked her little daughter with a smile; my sweetie, could you give your mum one of your two apples?
The girl looked up at her mum for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite on one apple, and then quickly on the other.
The mum felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment.
Then the little girl handed one of her bitten apples to her mum,and said: mummy, here you are. This is the sweeter one.
No matter who you are, how experienced you are, and how knowledgeable you think you are, always delay judgement. Give others the privilege to explain themselves. What you see may not be the reality. Never conclude for others.

Which is why we should never only focus on the surface and judge others without understanding them first.
Those who like to pay the bill, do so not because they are loaded but because they value friendship above money.
Those who take the initiative at work, do so not because they are stupid but because they understand the concept of responsibility.
Those who apologizes first after a fight, do so not because they are wrong but because they value the people around them.
Those who are willing to help you, do so not because they owe you any thing but because they see you as a true friend.
Those who often text you, do so not because they have nothing better to do but because you are in their heart.
Those who take out time to chat with you, does not mean they are jobless or less busy, but they know the importance of keeping in touch.
One day, all of us will get  separated  from each other; we will miss our conversations of everything & nothing; the dreams that we had.
Days will pass by, months, years, until this contact becomes rare... One day our children will see our pictures and ask 'Who are these people?' And we will smile with invisible tears  because a heart is touched with a strong word and you will say: "IT WAS THEM THAT I HAD THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE WITH".

एक चीनी धनवान मर गया और अपनी विधवाके लिये 190 अरब डालर छोड़ गया।
उसकी विधवाने उनके ड्राईवरसे शादी कर ली।
कुछ समय बाद उसकी बीवी भी मर गयी।
ड्राईवरने कहा" मैं... सारी उम्र ये सोचता रहा कि मैं अपने मालिको के लिए काम करता हूँ, लेकिन आज मुझे ऐसा लग रहा है कि मालिक लोग मेरे लिए काम करते थे"।

एक कटु सत्य:
जिंदगी ज्यादा उम्र तक जीना, स्वस्थ और सुखी रहना ज्यादा जरूरी है, बजाय इसके कि अधिक धन संचय किया जाये।
हम दौलत और शोहरत के पीछे भागते रहते हैं, और अपने मनका चैन खो देते हैं।
जीवनकी कुछ सच्चाईयाँ-
- एक महंगे मोबाइल फ़ोनके 70% आकर्षण हम उपयोग नहीं कर पाते।
- एक बहुत महंगी कारकी 70% रफ़्तार की हमें जरूरत नहीं है।
- एक आलीशान बंगलेका हम 70% उपयोग नहीं कर पाते।
- एक कपड़ोसे भरी अलमारी के 70% कपड़े हम नहीं पहन पाते।
- एक पूरी जिंदगी की कमाई का 70% हम दूसरोंके उपयोग के लिए छोड़ जाते हैं।
इसलिए हमजो 30% का उपभोग करते हैं, उसकापूर्ण उपयोग करें और इस में ही सीमित रहने
का प्रयास करें।

Friday, 15 January 2016

Don't laugh alone - कामवाली बाई

Some light stuff after going through the mind boggling theories of creation of universe from beginning to the end in a pralaya (प्रलय),  that too again and again, through the process of one becoming many who turn into zero that is actually equal to one and the only one ! ...... Got it?  . 

1.       Written by a confident lady...

After a meeting, I was coming out of a hotel and I was looking for my car keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search in the meeting room, it wasn't there too.

Suddenly I realized I must have left them in the car.
My husband has shouted many times for leaving the keys in the ignition.

My theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them.
His theory is the car will be stolen if left at the ignition key slot..

Immediately, I rushed to the parking lot, I came to a terrifying conclusion.
His theory was right. The parking lot was empty.

I immediately called the police. I gave them my location, Description of the car, Place I parked, etc, I equally confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that the car had been stolen.

Then I made the most difficult call of all, to my husband, "Honey", I stammered; (I always call him "honey" in times like these 😉.) "I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen."

There was a big silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard his voice.
"Idiot", he shouted, "I dropped you at the hotel !"

Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, and happy aswell, I said, "Well, then pls come and get me."

He shouted again, "I will, as soon as I convince this policeman, that I have not stolen your car."...

Don't laugh alone...


Man to super beautiful airhostess:- "What's your name?"

Air hostess:- "Eva Benz.."

Man :- "Lovely name...any relation to Mercedes Benz?"

Air hostess:- (smiling) "maintenance cost is same"

Don't laugh alone.

Wife: How much do you love me
Husband: l love you so much, l can't measure.
Wife: No just tell me in
Husband: Okay, l am like a cell phone you are my sim card, l am nothing without you.
Wife: wow! dats so romantic.
Husband (saying to himself):
Thank God she doesn't know l'm a China phone,
with FOUR sim cards.........

Don't laugh alone ......



Sorry Dad, I got married yesterday.. Forgot to invite U..

U naughty.. It's Ok.. But Don't forget next Time..

Population Comparison :
INDIAN : I hav 4 sis 3 bro. Wat abt U?
AMERICAN : I hav no sis or bro.
Bt I hav 4 Moms from 1st dad, 3 dads from 1st mom...

Don't laugh alone............ Give the URL of this post to your friends.


New Additions on 27/05/2016 on Kaamvaalee Baai कामवाली बाई

कलजुग के रावण
"माई, भिक्षा दीजिये। "
"ये लीजिये। "
"माई, जरा दरवाजेसे बाहर आइये। "
महिला बाहर आती है।
"हा हा हा, मै भिक्षुक नही, रावण हूँ। "
"हा, हा, हा, मै भी सीता नही, कामवाली बाई हूँ। "
"हा, हा, हा, मै तुझे घर ले जाऊँ तो मेरी घरवाली बहुत खूश होगी। "
"हा, हा, हा, अरे मूरख, मुझे ले जाओगे तो सारी बिल्डिंग मुझे ढूँढते तुझतक आ पहुँचेगी।"
What did you think?

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Happiness can be a habit

Happiness can be a habit

You may think this post is about some tips to make your present life happy. The first article indeed begins with that purpose. However, the dialog progresses in diverse directions. It touches various topics such as Vegetarianism, Solitude, Aloneness and loneliness, creator and creation of universe, Maya, Lila, Dwaita, Adwait, Vishishtadwait, the ultimate happiness or pure bliss of merging of Jeevatma with Paramarma. Finally it is concluded that Happiness is not an achievement, it is a choice and it is mostly in our hands.
A rather long journey through thick jungle of philosophy of vedic style, with part passing through ancient and contemporary western thinking also. 

Raghuvir Rustagi:
Dear Friends, Namaste
Let us examine the creative Options to spend time in retirement!

OPTION 1. Hobby.
Hobby is defined as a favourite pursuit or pastime.
It may be a new pursuit  or a ‘ forgotten’ hobby from the past. For example: I remember  the chief design engineer of a NJ valve company retired in 1988 and moved to Florida. His interest was not consultancy, but to pursue sculpture as a hobby. He enrolled in an Art College in Florida. I had met him once, and he seemed to be happy with his decision, I found his health had improved too. Hobby of such kind is however, a dedicated solo effort. Similarly singing, dancing, painting, writing are other good hobbies.

Similarly, one member in our group is enjoying video movie-making as his favourite hobby.

I also know an engineer-friend in Michigan USA; he and his wife decided to devote the retirement time together. The husband-wife team are collecting charity donation on behalf of India Development Fund, and travel once or twice a year to India. He had initially tried investment as a new hobby, to realise the american dream of making million dollars. He gave up as he got more busy, more removed from the family at home.

In my opinion, a hobby in retired living should involve both - the husband as well as the wife- to utilise their intellectual and emotional levels together, assuming they do not have serious financial restraints be compelled keep working to making money.

OPTION 2. Habit.
Habit is defined as a tendency to repeat an action, thought or feeling in the same or desired way.
The popular pursuits are- quit smoking, dieting, reading/studying scriptures, exercise each morning, going to bed at a certain time, informing wife at home if arriving late from friendly parties, not to interrupt people while talking etc.

A good habit can be acquired, it  is not an inborn talent. It is simply an outcome of putting your skills, and intellect together to good use. Newer habit skills can be learnt through part-time courses, online distance coaching, and so on.

Usually smoking can be quit in 14 days. A dog can be trained in 14 days; the puppy in my son’s home had jumped at the Fedex delivery boy, the court ordered the dog is trained in better behavioural manners.

I call these good habits of medium complexity. Every one has a few bad habits to sacrifice, and there is a constant need to create good habits. This is called change in life style.
There are other habits of greater complexity, as outlined in option 3.

OPTION 3. Habit of Happiness.
Can the Habit of Happiness be developed?
Happiness is a goal which appears to be as perplexing as trusting or meeting God, but I submit it need not be so, nothing is out of reach if you sincerely believe something can be achieved by hard work, good planning, and discipline. Your experience of gaining material success in your career has to be re-oriented or modified for non-material pursuits in the retirement days.

The following steps are suggested for developing the Habit  of Happiness.

Step 1. Make a Decision.
Pledge whole heartily in your body/mind/heart: from today, I will make my best efforts to remain happy 24/7.
In my personal experience, such decisions/pledges should be taken in the morning meditation. Routinely, I have been able to remember some important dates, important documents, important commitments, simply from taking the decision at that hour of the day. It works as a solemn tryst with self. The secret is body/mind/heart working in harmony.

Step 2. Be patient. Think of the rewards.
Trust the new goal/change is possible. Being a better person, or shedding a wrong habit of several years, however does not happen overnight.
The good news is many others have benefitted. Why not you? You will gradually realise better memory, and win over forgetfulness in older age.
In my home, I constantly watch the 20-month grandson, his innate happiness is inspiring. It is my conclusion, our natural habit is to be happy. The retirement period is an opportunity because happiness can be regained in the remaining lifetime.

Step 3. Analyse the cause(s) of sadness.
Your sadness is not the initiating cause, it is the result/effect, a ghost perception in mind, sort of tendency in social behaviour such as lack of knowledge, poor health, a bad habit of blaming others, drifting mind, forgetting the present task in hand, remembering the past, or worrying unnecessarily of the future. It is a complex affair, but scientific analysis helps. Mind needs problems, anxieties, tension, and anguish for its survival.  Mind can also adjust to a new regimen. A simple chore of making the bed right after waking, works to create a happier environment.

The trick is creating higher awareness, and looking deeper into the causes.

Step 4. Plan your task.
Break the task in sequential parts, instead of doing haphazardly. The trick is devote all your energies to the part of the task in hand at the present moment. I apply this strategy in the shower, in cooking, gardening, typing and everything I do. It soon becomes a handy tool of relaxing.

Step 5. Relax and watch.
Every few minutes, while typing I close my eyes, deep breathe, silently ‘witnessing’ I run my consciousness from the lowest toe to top of the head systematically.
Is each limb relaxed? If there is a strained limb such as the lower neck, I perform instant relaxing exercise to preferentially focus on the strained limb, before resuming the work. The quality of your doing is transformed.


B K S Nair :

I have gone deeply into our (India's or Bharath's) trditional, ancient culture.  I find it to be deeper, more broad minded and broad-based than any I have a smattering about. It is most unfortunate that our young intelligentsia with their IT exposure and gadget addictions are ignorant of it and, worse, often pooh-fooh it.  But the big flip side of the generation subject to the above influences is that they fail to develop mind and and consciousness, the most precious gifts of the Suprme Reality--call it what you prefer.  The overall result could be a gradual degeneration of a good section of the population with its attendant deleterious effects on the nation as a whole..

If you are agreeing we can continue these metaphysical discussions.  One thing I miss in my otherwise peaceful and fulfilling senior years or the golden years is the dearth of an intellectual/s  with whom I can have highbrow discussion mutually delightful.

Ravi Rustagi :
You will be glad to know I am now vegetarian by choice, mostly I cook my simple satvik meal. This lifestyle change took place 2-1/2 years ago. You will be glad to know my health and well-being has now improved. I was led to believe in favour of non-veg diet by doctors and nurses attending my wife. But no complaints, they advised her to the best of their knowledge. Such experiences make the world a better place to live and learn than merely reading the books.

It will be a pleasure to continue enriching our lives together.
B K S Nair :

I have been keeping myself intellectually busy though rather quiescent physically.  As you have pointed out my spiritual practices and diet control have seemed have paid some dividends.

In the future, we can go further into the spiritual side of our life and metaphysical ideas which are slowly crystallizing

Ravi Rustagi

Nice to meet you friends first thing in the morning, after I am done with the routine yoga practice, and simple chores.
I have further experienced that engaging in a professional training class of similar age group people to learn something new, or which you like to repeat in joy, is very helpful.
It may be a group related to health, entertainment, volunteering, helping less privileged people, study of scriptures, establishing contact with friends like what we do in this Retirees Group  etc

The key issue is not to feel lonely. While Aloneness is a wonderful gift, loneliness is not. Dictionary and most people often confuse- don’t we hear a cry from a youngster- Dad Leave Me Alone?

Refer to BG Ch. 6- the Yoga of Self Control- sloka 6.10. Lord Krishna began with discipline, then he told Arjuna to remain in solitude, and then he added the word alone. Being alone means separating yourself from things that keep you from being with God. In retired stage, you must carve out time for Aloneness. This is not a matter of distancing from people, buildings, and obligations. In this state of Aloneness कैवल्य there is no loneliness.


Raghavan Varadhan :

Prof.Rustagiji's comment "Aloneness is a wonderful gift, loneliness is not" tickled my thought process on the following lines!

In the beginning "He was alone".Silence and Stillness prevailed. Everything was in a state of Static equilibrium. "He felt lonely". The One wanted to become Many. He moved and the process of Creation began. Silence gave way to Omkara. Stillness gave into dynamic movement. Sada Ananda Thandavam, the Cosmic dance, is what we see as the Universe of names and forms. The universe is in a state of Dynamic equilibrium. It is therefore natural to seek Al-oneness, Silence, and Stillness in the form of Dakshinamurthy. When feeling bored with being alone, be one with the Cosmic dance of lord Shiva.  Advaita, Visishtatdwaita and Dwaita are all beautiful perceptions of the same Reality by the three great exponents of Sanatana Dharma after they attained Atmasatshatkara. Even the Vedas are not able to fully describe and define Paramatma. So, without knowing "Who am I", it may not possible to understand fully about Jivatma and Paramatma.

Mohan Rao :
Raghavanji: This is a masterpiece that I have no problem agreeing with. No one is foolish enough to think that there is a two-handed two-legged creature called God busy creating us, dispensing daily staple, solving our problems etc etc. We needed to metaphorize, create a narrative, and do all that we have done to perpetuate and inspire ourselves with the idea. Life is an opera and God is a phantom in the opera who has fallen in love with us for having made him (or her or it) a figureless genius looking for the soprano in a dark and dingy opera house. Some call him among other things the Holy Ghost, some call him Bhuta and have found all kinds of words, destiny, karma, maya, lila to describe his (or her or its) antics. Some take him ( or her or it) for what he is, formless, shapeless, timeless Absolute. Some divide him, a bit to keep within ourselves (atman, Self) and the rest out there everywhere (Paramatma).  From a para I wrote some twenty years ago:

“The post-modern man is free to conduct his business the way he likes. He is free to stay within the ‘promontory of thought’ as Victor Hugo calls it, or to break loose into the experience of the heights. If he stays within, he stays within the conventional norms of society and there is nothing wrong with that. Like prisoner in Plato’s cave, he perceives a shadow for reality like a tied prisoner in the cave. If he breaks loose, the skies and the oceans in front, among the winds, the waves and the heights, he is in for more than an experience. He is in for the dream of all dreams, the adventures of all adventures. He is in for the extraordinary, the boundless, the mystical, the worlds that moved the Blakes, the Einsteins and the Buddhas, the Christs and the countless yogis of all stripes. The experience of the mystical awakening of the Self belongs to the one who steps across the abyss, and chooses light over darkness, freedom over shackles, and eternity over death. The one who crosses carries the cross for the one who doesn’t”.

Ravi Rustagi:
I couldn’t have used better words to describe Aloneness. Still I cannot gulp, ‘God feeling Lonely’. I would rather describe the world-manifestation as Lila of God or Godly play. My intent was to distinguish between synonyms in practical manner.


Raghavan Varadhan :
Perhaps, it should have been "Did He feel lonely?" Why did the One want to become Many? Isn't that also a desire? So, Lila of the One as Many,is a mega serial, drama, a play,Maya is perhaps more appropriate. Even in that He alone is the Director !

Bhisham Menghani :
Koti Koti Namaskar

Raghvan Sahib: Thanks for beautiful  explanation of Creator & Creation  in very simple and authentic words.
He wanted become many so created All Living & Non living things  including Marvelous,Fantastic Human Body- (शरीर) loaded with Pranmayi kosh, Manomayi Kosh,Vigyan mayi Kosh and more over SELF present  as ANANDAMAYI KOSH(Witnesser/ Experiencer~ अनुभव कर्त्ता )

To create a Lila/Maya,he allowed human beings to perform the role as per script with Ananda(happiness)  & Love .
But  Mind present in Body wants to take the credit that the drama/Lila running around him is created by him and forgotten the script & identity of self (happiness and joy).
So if human being known as "Bhisham"  realized that he is not the Bhisham, actually  performing the role of Bhisham in the LILA he will be happy and joyful.

Mohan Rao :
A beautiful thought to get up to: Behind every thought there is a Thinker, behind everything seen there is a Seer and behind every deed there is a Doer. Furthermore, if you care to see we are all safely tucked in a pouch like a kangaroo baby and there is a Carrier holding the pouch close to his stomach. Let us enjoy being cared for.

Ravi Rustagi
A nice commentary indeed, Bhishamji.

Can it be summarised in the following words-
While our Destiny is inscribed at our birth, it is worthwhile to remember, we may alter it, through our choices, the power of our will, our actions, our ego, and entanglement in Maya, or disentanglement by Self-realisation.
Destiny then becomes our Fate.
Does that lead to the conclusion- We can’t control our Destiny, but can control our Fate?. Fate becomes our Destiny in the next life. This is cycle of Mayajaal!


Ravi Rustagi:
Very beautiful relationship between God and man. Thanks Shri Mohan Rao.

Raghavan Varadhan :
Destiny is the result of ones karma,a reaction to ones past deeds. The Director of the Lila, is an Indestructible ( Kootasthaha),Witness(Sakshi) and Catalyst(Antaryami) in the reaction.Without Him, There can be no action or reaction.Remaining alone as Jivatma, He directs the "Lila".

Krishan Chopra :
Such appropriate narration by all, about creator, creation, destiny etc have inspired me to add a few words. Any action, physical or otherwise starts with thought. Thought in turn is the result of tendencies ingrained in the mind based on past experience superficiously analysed and saved in mind . Call it past Karma. Only way to negate these past karma or say not to allow these to cause unhappiness or negativity is to realise the cosmic law and its inevitivity,This requires tremendous effort ,will to undergo pain and regular practice to still the mind.(meditation) Physical yoga is the first step to cultivate the habit of true observer i.e practice to observe the sequence , movement of muscles and other parts of body not visible on the surface. Then prctice to observe the ways of mind better to say research the ways of mind understand the  tendencies and perhaps may teach the coorrective action

From Rustagi

I cannot but agree to your experience, to your wisdom.

How To Be Lucky Can Be A Habit too.

In the same vein, more information has come to light that even good fortune(How to Get Lucky) can be a sub-set of four(4) simple habits-

The first step is to start believing: the outcome of your effort is going to be good. Feeling lucky in the background boosts you optimism, and lets you do your work with greater self-assurance. It works like a harmonious Tanpura music going on and on. This may explain why many people wear Lucky Charms!

Modern Social Science research has revealed the 'fortunate few’ by habit, talk to lots of people, attracting people to them, and keeping in touch via letters, phone calls, SMS. They are known to attend conferences, sign up for a new lesson-hobby. Hey you never know, a chance encounter may end up as your soul mate, your business partner, your mentor. The goal is to stay open to possibilities.

There is a value even in a bad luck, so say the scriptures. If you sincerely believe in this maxim, your brain then begins to process the ‘bad’ situation differently. Lucky people are able to transform a stumbling block into a positive stepping stone. Lucky people face a setback with these questions: What have I learnt? What do I want next? How can I get it? You may have heard this- Throw a lucky man in the stream, he will come out with a fish in his mouth. The trick is POSITIVITY. Do not find fault with the Nature.

I read in a book by Dr. Dipak Chopra, M.D. A lady-patient of his in the Boston hospital suffered from severe abdominal pains. On detailed diagnosis, it was a case of Cancer.
The husband however, requested Dr. Chopra not to reveal the ailment to his wife. Dr. Chopra told the patient, Madam, you can be cured with pain-killers. The patient shouted,' Doctor Thank You for the good news that I do not have cancer in the abdomen.’ Dr. Chopra wished her good luck, and the patient got discharged. Surprisingly, the patient returned after six months of vacation in a health resort in the catskill mountains in NY. There was no trace of cancer.

It is shown in many research studies, you always get a silent forewarning of the impending danger. Call it an instinct or intuition, or an inner voice. The lucky ones are known to trust their instincts, they are apt to tune in to their inner voice, in meditation, and taking solo walks. This applies to many successful business managers.

I had taken my 6 month long practical training in 1957 engineering college days in the ball bearing factory NBC in Jaipur. The company was owned by the Birla group. One of the senior managers was a typical Marwari in his speech and attire. He was in the habit of taking business decisions in unconventional style, so was his reputation. The company made good progress under his leadership.

My friends, Either you believe, or disbelieve in it. No arguments will reveal any better.
It can be mathematically proved, how dramatically your chances of success improve by taking all the four steps simultaneously.

If each sub- habit has only 20% chance of success, the overall success rate is 60%;  [1.0 - (1.0 - 0.20)^4]= 0.60

In any case, I would not discard the professional advice. Let that contribute the remaining 40%.


Mohan Rao :
Chopra Saab: The topic we are talking about is the crux of the Gita and the Upanishads both of which spend almost their entirety discussing the “cosmic law” and is perhaps the only places where it has been taken head on and elaborated. The process of understanding our own body, mind and spirit (yoga) shows two venues, one of ego or self-aggrandizement, and the other of leading the mind to void itself of the clutter of thoughts which ends in a state of ‘prajna’ or pure consciousness. The former path leads us to choreography of an objective reality in which we live our lives. The latter state is one of the Absolute in that it exists by itself and without relation to anything else. We discover it by looking within and not at the outer reality that it views as an illusion (maya). It is immutable in that cannot be destroyed (BG: ...what cannot be slayed, swords pierce not; arson burns not; floods drown not; elements destroy not...). It is part of the same Absolute that we refer to as God, Brahman or by so many ways in various religions/scriptures. It is without limits because space, time, physicality are all nothing but thoughts that our mind creates from time to time. On the other hand, it is part of the “nothingness” which is the womb of all creation where man’s intuitive understanding seems to converge with the knowledge and speculations of our origin. It is in this Absolute that we will realize love, hope and joy. As sage Brigu Varuni says in Taittreya Upanishad:

“And then man saw that Brahman was Joy.
For, from Joy all beings have come,
For Joy they all live, and unto Joy they all return.”

Happiness is the worldly good that we all seem to seek. Many people have argued that chasing happiness in the material world is judged to be morally right and desirable (so-called Happiness Principle). But the path of the ego leads us to realize soon that such a hedonistic path may offer happiness that is temporary but inevitably leads to sorrow, as Buddha discovered and announced life is dukka (or sorrow).  It is the submission to Self and realization of Self that puts us in the path of God and lasting Joy or Bliss.

Nandkishore Agarwal :
Another beautiful quote I came across in the Sacred space of Times of India regarding Happiness reads as:" Happiness is not an achievement: it is a choice. Nothing can make you happy until you make the decision to be happy.. And there's no need to be perfect to inspire others: let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfection."
I liked it very much and wish to share it with our friends in the group.

Ravi Rustagi :
It is a beautiful quote. It further reinforces the Topic 'Happiness Can Be A Habit’.

1. If we look at our routine daily acts, thoughts and feelings, these reflect our habits.
The way we address or ignore a family member in the morning.
The way we keep the dirty plate after breakfast in the sink or leave on the table.
The way a student wastes food in school cafeteria or fills only as much as needed.
The way we keep the appointment on time or be late.
The way we relax or not relax.
The way we react angrily or maintain calm and smile, when poked.

Surely, the above is a pattern of controllable acts. These are our doings. We have enough resources mainly the free will to discard a bad habit, and acquire a good habit.

2. Then there are other experiences such as our hunger and thirst (when to feel hungry or thirsty), the crowd in the street, the accident on the highway, or the rain causing the cancellation of train etc, these are happenings. Yet we have a choice in how we behave in these unplanned or ‘godly’ event, pray or curse, read a book in the car you never had time before, or waste the gift of time; help the affected person involved in the accident, or ignore or loot the victim etc. Are these acts a matter of our habit? No because we are not the primary cause of the event; yes, we still have a responsibility, a citizen role, an opportunity to help, learn and make progress. This is Davit philosophy. Eswar has a role and we too, as instruments, media of Ishwar on earth.

3. There are many other mind-boggling situations- why was I born in India, not in the UK; why my wife bore a girl; why my friend married in a rich family to drive a loan-free BMW, and I drive simple Suzuki purchased on loan etc. I would say these are definitely not your doings. This may be your destiny. At best a reflection of your previous life Karmas, which we know nothing about.  Still you can keep cool in the struggling life, follow the rules, and come out a winner in the end. You can thank God that you were not born a donkey, or a lizard.

4. In conclusion, Happiness Is Mostly In Our Hands.
To experience more of this happiness, Yoga is the key. The latest good news is the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin AAPIUSA are spearheading yoga studios all over USA in 2016 to provide Low cost treatment for BP, aches/pains, anxiety and other common afflictions. Traditional Yoga, Ayurveda and modern MD network are bowing Namaste to each other. You will be wondering- why this change of American heart? The new President of the Association, a reputed lady Dr. Seema Jain, it is the result of her early upbringing back in India. This is India shining! Acche Din for USA.


Raghavan Varadhan :
Thought is a powerful entity. Our mind is a flow of thoughts.Through Ashtanga Yoga, when one reaches"Samadhi",it is said to be a state of "Thoughtless Awareness". Paramatma is said to be in "Yoga Nidhra" after Maha Pralaya for two hundred Brahma years. He is alone. All Jivatmas, Prakriti, Mahat,Trigunas etc are attached to Him. At the end of 200 Brahma years, it is time for restart of Creation. He is in a state of thoughtless Awareness. Then a thought that He is alone arises! To become many, He just moves a bit and process of creation starts with Brahma as the Chief of all creative activities!
It is therefore necessary to be fully aware of ones thoughts as they arise.

Mohan Rao :
The universe is unto itself. Every piece of creation reflects how it came to be there and how the future is going to unfold in its nature. I discussed sometime ago the upswings and downswings of every piece of creation as well of the universe at large (nature of entropy). As long as there is energy in the system, it keeps building from energy to matter and once the energy dwindles, matter dissolves into disorder ultimately to a state of a sea of nothingness. What your narration calls yoga nidhra (sleeping state of the universe), pralaya (matter dissolving to a sea of energy) metaphorically address to this state. At this point the universe in a state of pure thoughtless awareness (in other words, just energy fully dispersed, all particles/matter dissolved reflecting nothingness, only pure thoughtless awareness). Restart of the universe is metaphorically described by you as “He alone arises” or elsewhere “God said: Let there be light and there was light (Holy Bible)”. Cosmologists and particle physicists narrate or speculate that quantum fluctuations in that primal energy state can restart the process of creation, from energy into matter and anti-matter particles which use energy and build block by block into primordial matter which build themselves into galaxies, stars, suns and planets, finally into self-replicating cells as in the case of our planet into life including humans. We sense this creation through only four dimensions while there in fact more than four and we see only the shadow of reality not the reality in its entirety. We may even be living in a multi-verse, a family of universes each unique, often occupying the same cosmological space. What we call ‘prajna’ or pure awareness we experience is nothing but a flash of this universal consciousness. In my view this is the point where philosophy, religion, science and our own intuition and experience come together. Most of these relate to areas outside the space-time continuum, the cocoon we are restricted to see and live in, no thanks to our physical limitations. In that sense, our origin, will always remain somewhat of an unknown to be awed at, experienced with our mental abilities and capacity to story-tell among ourselves. Who knows how our own future unfolds?

Sunday, 10 January 2016

क्या यही जिंदगी है ?

यह रचना मेरे मित्र श्री विनोद अगरवालजीने ई मेल पर भेजी है। उनको प्रणाम और धन्यवाद।

ज़िंदगी के 20 वर्ष हवा की तरह उड़ जाते हैं। फिर शुरू होती है नौकरी की खोज। ये नहीं वो, दूर नहीं पास। ऐसा करते 2-3 नौकरीयां छोड़ते पकड़ते, अंत में एक तय होती है और ज़िंदगी में थोड़ी स्थिरता की शुरूआत होती है।
और हाथ में आता है पहली तनख्वाह का चेक। वह बैंक में जमा होता है और शुरू होता है अकाउंट में जमा होने वाले कुछ शून्यों का अंतहीन खेल।

इस तरह 2-3 वर्ष निकल जाते हैँ।
'वो' स्थिर होता है।
बैंक में कुछ और शून्य जमा हो जाते हैं।
इतने में अपनी उम्र के पच्चीस वर्ष हो जाते हैं।

विवाह की चर्चा शुरू हो जाती है। एक खुद की या माता पिता की पसंद की लड़की से यथा समय विवाह होता है और ज़िंदगी की राम कहानी शुरू हो जाती है।

शादी के पहले 2-3 साल नर्म, गुलाबी, रसीले और सपनीले गुज़रते हैं।
हाथों में हाथ डालकर बातें और रंग बिरंगे सपने!
पर ये दिन जल्दी ही उड़ जाते हैं और इसी समय शायद बैंक में कुछ शून्य कम होते हैं।
क्योंकि थोड़ी मौजमस्ती, घूमना फिरना, खरीदी होती है।

और फिर धीरे से बच्चे के आने की आहट होती है और वर्ष भर में पालना झूलने लगता है।

सारा ध्यान अब बच्चे पर केंद्रित हो जाता है। उसका खाना पीना , उठना बैठना, शु-शु, पॉटी, उसके खिलौने, कपड़े और उसका लाड़ दुलार!
समय कैसे फटाफट निकल जाता है, पता ही नहीं चलता।

इन सब में कब इसका हाथ उसके हाथ से निकल गया, बातें करना, घूमना फिरना कब बंद हो गया, दोनों को ही पता नहीं चला।

इसी तरह उसकी सुबह होती गयी और बच्चा बड़ा होता गया।
वो बच्चे में व्यस्त होती गई और ये अपने काम में।
घर की किस्त, गाड़ी की किस्त और बच्चे की ज़िम्मेदारी, उसकी शिक्षा और भविष्य की सुविधा और साथ ही बैंक में शून्य  बढ़ाने का टेंशन।
उसने पूरी तरह से अपने आपको काम में झोंक दिया।
बच्चे का स्कूल में अॅडमिशन हुआ और वह बड़ा होने लगा।
उसका पूरा समय बच्चे के साथ बीतने लगा।

इतने में वो पैंतीस का हो गया।
खूद का घर, गाड़ी और बैंक में कई सारे शून्य!
फिर भी कुछ कमी है।
पर वो क्या है समझ में नहीं आता।
इस तरह उसकी चिड़-चिड़ बढ़ती जाती है और ये भी उदासीन रहने लगता है।

दिन पर दिन बीतते गए, बच्चा बड़ा होता गया और उसका खुद का एक संसार तैयार हो गया। उसकी दसवीं आई और चली गयी।
तब तक दोनों ही चालीस के हो गए।
बैंक में शून्य बढ़ता ही जा रहा है।

एक नितांत एकांत क्षण में उसे वो गुज़रे दिन याद आते हैं और वो मौका देखकर उससे कहता है, "अरे ज़रा यहां आओ, पास बैठो.!"
चलो फिर एक बार हाथों में हाथ ले कर बातें करें, कहीं घूम के आएं। उसने अजीब नज़रों से उसको देखा और कहती है, "तुम्हें कभी भी कुछ भी सूझता है. मुझे ढेर सा काम पड़ा है और तुम्हें बातों की सूझ रही है।" कमर में पल्लू खोंस कर वो निकल जाती है।

और फिर आता है पैंतालीसवां साल।
आंखों पर चश्मा लग गया, बाल अपना काला रंग छोड़ने लगे, दिमाग में कुछ उलझनें शुरू हो जाती हैं।
बेटा अब कॉलेज में है।
बैंक में शून्य बढ़ रहे हैं, उसने अपना नाम कीर्तन मंडली में डाल दिया और...

बेटे का कॉलेज खत्म हो गया, वह अपने पैरों पर खड़ा हो गया।
अब उसके पर फूट गये और वो एक दिन परदेस उड़ गया ।

अब उसके बालों का काला रंग और कभी कभी दिमाग भी साथ छोड़ने लगा।
उसे भी चश्मा लग गया।
अब वो उसे उम्र दराज़ लगने लगी क्योंकि वो खुद भी बूढ़ा  हो रहा था।

पचपन के बाद साठ की ओर बढ़ना शुरू हो गया।
बैंक में अब कितने शून्य हो गए, उसे कुछ खबर नहीं है। बाहर आने जाने के कार्यक्रम अपने आप बंद होने लगे।

गोली-दवाइयों का दिन और समय निश्चित होने लगा।
डॉक्टरों की तारीखें भी तय होने लगीं।
बच्चे बड़े होंगे ये सोचकर लिया गया घर भी अब बोझ लगने लगा।
बच्चे कब वापस आएंगे ? अब बस यही हाथ रह गया था.!

और फिर वो एक दिन आता है।
वो सोफे पर लेटा ठंडी हवा का आनंद ले रहा था। वो शाम की दिया-बाती कर रही थी।
वो देख रही थी कि वो सोफे पर लेटा है।
इतने में फोन की घंटी बजी, उसने लपक के फोन उठाया, उस तरफ बेटा था।
बेटा अपनी शादी की जानकारी देता है और बताता है कि अब वह परदेस में ही रहेगा।
उसने बेटे से बैंक के शून्य के बारे में क्या करना यह पूछा।
अब चूंकि विदेश के शून्य की तुलना में उसके शून्य बेटे के लिये शून्य हैं इसलिए उसने पिता को सलाह दी, "एक काम करिये, इन पैसों का ट्रस्ट बनाकर वृद्धाश्रम को दे दीजिए और खुद भी वहीं रहिये।"
कुछ औपचारिक बातें करके बेटे ने फोन रख दिया।

वो पुनः सोफे पर आ कर बैठ गया. उसकी भी दिया बाती खत्म होने आई थी.
उसने उसे आवाज़ दी, "चलो आज फिर हाथों में हाथ ले के बातें करें।"
वो तुरंत बोली, "बस अभी आई।"
उसे विश्वास नहीं हुआ, चेहरा खुशी से चमक उठा, आंखें भर आयी।
उसकी आंखों से आँसू गिरने लगे और गाल भीग गए।
अचानक आंखों की चमक फीकी हो गई और वो निस्तेज हो गया।

उसने शेष पूजा की और उसके पास आ कर बैठ गई, कहा, "बोलो क्या बोल रहे थे.?"
पर उसने कुछ नहीं कहा।
उसने उसके शरीर को छू कर देखा, शरीर बिल्कुल ठंडा पड़ गया था और वो एकटक उसे देख रहा था।

क्षण भर को वो शून्य हो गई, "क्या करूं" उसे समझ में नहीं आया।
लेकिन एक-दो मिनट में ही वो चैतन्य हो गई,  धीरे से उठी और पूजाघर में गयी।
एक अगरबत्ती जलाई और ईश्वर को प्रणाम किया और फिर से सोफे पे आकर बैठ गयी।

उसका ठंडा हाथ हाथों में लिया और बोली, "चलो कहां घूमने जाना है और क्या बातें करनी हैं तुम्हे!"
बोलो.. ऐसा कहते हुए उसकी आँखें भर आयी।
वो एकटक उसे देखती रही, आंखों से अश्रुधारा बह निकली।
उसका सिर उसके कंधों पर गिर गया।
ठंडी हवा का धीमा झोंका अभी भी चल रहा था।

यही जिंदगी है...??

संसाधनों का अधिक संचय न करें।
ज्यादा चिंता न करें।
सब अपना अपना नसीब ले कर आते हैं।
अपने लिए भी जियो, वक्त निकालो।

सुव्यवस्थित जीवन की कामना...!!
जीवन आपका है, जीना आपने ही है...!!


एक और रचना  - २७ मई २०१६

२. आधुनिक युग के पारिवारिक जीवन पर एक व्यंगात्मक कविता  ***

मियां-बीबी दोनों मिल खूब कमाते हैं
तीस लाख का पैकेज दोनों ही पाते हैं
सुबह आठ बजे नौकरियों परजाते हैं
रात ग्यारह तक ही वापिस आते हैं

अपने परिवारिक रिश्तों से कतराते हैं
अकेले रह कर वह  कैरियर  बनाते हैं
कोई कुछ मांग न ले वो मुंह छुपाते हैं
भीड़ में रहकर भी अकेले रह जाते हैं

मोटे वेतन की नौकरी छोड़ नहीं पाते हैं
अपने नन्हे मुन्ने को पाल  नहीं पाते हैं
फुल टाइम की मेड ऐजेंसी से लाते  हैं
उसी के जिम्मे वो बच्चा छोड़ जाते हैं

परिवार को उनका बच्चा नहीं जानता है
केवल आया'आंटी को ही पहचानता है
दादा -दादी, नाना-नानी कौन होते  है?
अनजान है सबसे किसी को न मानता है

आया ही नहलाती है आया ही खिलाती है
टिफिन भी रोज़ रोज़ आया ही बनाती है
यूनिफार्म पहना के स्कूल कैब में बिठाती है
छुट्टी के बाद कैब से आया ही घर लाती है

नींद जब आती है तो आया ही सुलाती है
जैसी भी उसको आती है लोरी सुनाती है
उसे सुलाने में अक्सर वो भी सो जाती है
कभी जब मचलता है तो टीवी दिखाती है

जो टीचर मैम बताती है वही वो मानता है
देसी खाना छोड कर पीजा बर्गर खाता  है
वीक ऐन्ड पर मौल में पिकनिक मनाता है
संडे की छुट्टी मौम-डैड के  संग बिताता है

वक्त नहीं रुकता है तेजी से गुजर जाता है
वह स्कूल से निकल के कालेज में आता है
कान्वेन्ट में पढ़ने पर इंडिया कहाँ भाता है
आगे पढाई करने वह विदेश चला जाता है

वहाँ नये दोस्त बनते हैं उनमें रम जाता है
मां-बाप के पैसों से ही खर्चा चलाता है
धीरे-धीरे वहीं की संस्कृति में रंग जाता है
मौम डैड से रिश्ता पैसों का रह जाता है

कुछ दिन में उसे काम वहीं मिल जाता है
जीवन साथी शीघ्र ढूंढ वहीं बस जाता है
माँ बाप ने जो देखा ख्वाब वो टूट जाता है
बेटे के दिमाग में भी कैरियर रह जाता है

बुढ़ापे में माँ-बाप अब अकेले रह जाते हैं
जिनकी अनदेखी की उनसे आँखें चुराते हैं
क्यों इतना कमाया ये सोच के पछताते हैं
घुट घुट कर जीते हैं खुद से भी शरमाते हैं

हाथ पैर ढीले हो जाते, चलने में दुख पाते हैं
दाढ़- दाँत गिर जाते, मोटे चश्मे लग जाते हैं
कमर भी झुक जाती, कान नहीं सुन पाते हैं
वृद्धाश्रम में दाखिल हो, जिंदा ही मर जाते हैं

सोचना की बच्चे अपने लिए पैदा कर रहे हो या विदेश की सेवा के लिए।

बेटा एडिलेड में, बेटी है न्यूयार्क।
ब्राईट बच्चों के लिए, हुआ बुढ़ापा डार्क।

बेटा डालर में बंधा, सात समन्दर पार।
चिता जलाने बाप की, गए पड़ोसी चार।

ऑन लाईन पर हो गए, सारे लाड़ दुलार।
दुनियां छोटी हो गई, रिश्ते हैं बीमार।

बूढ़ा-बूढ़ी आँख में, भरते खारा नीर।
हरिद्वार के घाट की, सिडनी में तकदीर।