Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spirituality: THE YEAR 2012 – Part 2

To continue with where we had left off a few days ago…

The Bible also has references to the year 2012. One set of interpretations come with the idea of the end of the world with a meteoric strike or some such similar occurrence. The other interpretation is that Jesus Christ had promised to return along with his father – GOD - around this time to save the world.

I will definitely vote for the second theory. There are a number of calamities happening on Earth – as predicted by the Mayans, the Bible, Nostradamus and so many others – Earthquakes, droughts, famine, floods, typhoons, global warming, wars, accidents, terrorist attacks, bomb blasts, building collapses, plane crashes, epidemics and what not? It cannot get worse than this, can it? Man must be seeing the worst time ever.

There are those that claim that there is more to come. At the rate we are going and if we continue to deteriorate, there will be no Earth or human beings to save by 2012. This has to stop.

That is why God has come down to earth in the form of Amma Bhagavan – Avatars for Enlightenment – to herald the New Age.

Amma & Bhagavan are the Yin and the Yang; the Feminine and the Masculine; the Goddess and the God – call them whatever. They have come down to Earth to ring in the Golden Age or the Satya Yuga that will continue for the next 10,000 years.

During this age, Amma Bhagavan promise that Man will be able to ‘walk and talk with God’ while there will be ‘Heaven on Earth’.

There will be Oneness of spirit. Please understand here that they are not talking about converting us all into clones. We will all still be individuals with differing tastes. The important thing will be that we will able to accept everyone around us for what they are.

We will grow above right-wrong; good-bad; should-should not; etc. We will break out of the bonds that hold us back from doing what makes us happy. We will be aware of living in co-ordination with nature and stop fighting her at every point. We will be way more sensitive towards others needs. We will have a totally positive attitude in life.

We will grow towards the path of ONENESS.

To be continued…

Click here to read Part 1

Click here to read Part 3

Friday, August 28, 2009

Health: WONDER SEED ‘METHI’

Methi (Fenugreek Seeds) is a common ingredient that is used for cooking in most Indian households. These tiny seeds add an aromatic flavour to Indian cuisine and are used in full while giving a ‘tadka’ or are roasted and powdered to add taste. Methi greens are also good for health.

The seeds can be soaked along with Urad Dal before making the dough for Idli or Dosa. This increases the fluffiness of the idlis and crispiness of the dosas.

Methi
has a bitter taste and has a terrific and positive effect on one’s digestive system. I have heard of people recommending the intake of Methi in the form of powder or soaked grains. Believe me, this is one way of ensuring that no one will consume the seeds. Taken in either form, one cannot miss the bitter taste and hence, most of the people I know, refuse to have it. The best way is to swallow half a teaspoon of Methi seeds along with water the same way that you would swallow tablets. You don’t get to taste the bitterness while the wonder effect on your body is awesome.

Why consume Methi seeds at all?

Well, Methi has a wonderful effect on your whole system.

• It protects your stomach lining and ensures that you don’t get stomach ulcers.
• It acts as a digestive and ensures that you don’t get heartburn.
• It acts as a natural medicine whether you have constipation or loose stools. The effect is immediate unless the condition is chronic.
• Having Methi everyday sets your whole digestive system in order.
• It helps you lose weight over a period of time.
• Especially for those who consume alcohol, Methi saves you from most of the evil side effects.
• It helps in the functioning of the Pancreas that secretes insulin. Very helpful in the case of diabetics.
• Consumption of Methi in the long run helps your skin glow and your hair shine.

These are good enough reasons, I would suppose to use this wonder seed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sharing: DEATH METAL BY ‘ORION’

We got my son VigneshKumar a guitar as a stress-buster while began Standard X in school. That’s when he realised that he had a talent for playing it. Even as Vignesh learnt the music with a couple of teachers at two different points in time, most of what he knows is self-taught from the internet.
I guess it is more because he has a flair for it. Today, I am proud to say he teaches guitar to anyone who wants to learn it and is quite adept at imparting lessons on the instrument.
Vignesh has also won a few awards for taking part in competitions.
He is part of the band called ORION that predominantly plays Death Metal. He and three of his friends who have a taste and talent for this genre have set up this band together and hope to make a success of it.
Orion has also a few original compositions of lyrics and music that they have recorded. The band includes Anshuman (base/vocals), VigneshKumar (guitar/vocals), Cain (guitar) and Varoon (drums). There original songs are Reverie Hours, Oh! Sweet Ebullition, My Dying Prayer and Devoured Existance.
Anshuman is doing his TYBMM at KC College. Vignesh is at SIES College, Sion, doing his TYBA. Cain is at Wilson’s College in TYBMM. Varoon is doing his TYBCOM at HR College.
I wish the four young band members all success.
For those who are interested in listening to their music, log on to: www.myspace.com/orionmumbai

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sharing: GANPATI BAPPA MORYA

Wish you a Very Happy Birthday, Ganpati Bappa!

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important festivals in our country and is celebrated by one and all. In Mumbai, especially, this is a time for grand celebrations. I wish one and all a very happy Vinayaka Chaturthi.

I cannot but mention the importance of keeping our environment safe. I sincerely pray to Lord Vignaraja to make everyone aware of using materials that are difficult for the earth to digest. This creates a lot of pollution and also a gigantic problem for the people as well as the creatures living in the waterbodies where the Ekadanta idols are immersed.

It is also sad to see the huge idols of Balachandra that were worshipped with great pomp and ceremony, lying on the shores with parts of the bodies broken or smashed. Is there a need for using such humongous Sriganesha idols that the sea is not able to digest? Is that the only way that God will pour grace on one?

Time to put your thinking caps on!

Have a great day and a wonderful feast in the name of Ganaraya! May Vigneshwara bless the lot of us!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spirituality: THE YEAR 2012 - Part 1

What do you think will happen in 2012 – the world will come to an end or will the globe see a new age?

The Mayan Calendar highlights the year 2012 as the dawn of the Aquarian Age. According to this, this is the end of a time period of approximately 25,000 years when a new cycle will begin. 2012 has many things happening, in fact. There is the Venus Transit that happens every 122 years in twin cycles spanning eight years. The last pair of Venus Transit happened in 1874 & 1882. The very recent first-half of the event took place in June, 2004. The next part of the same is expected to happen on June 6, 2012.

What is happening?

As per Indian mythology, time is divided into the Four Yugas.

Satya Yuga: Also known as the Golden Age, this Yuga is when the Creator and his Creation function as one. It is heaven on earth and there is total oneness of spirit when all creatures – including man – live in absolute harmony. This Age lasts for approximately 10,000 years as measured by the Gregorian Calendar.

Treta Yuga: This is also known as the Silver Age. During this Yuga, God’s creation (read Man or Human Being), has moved away from his Creator by about 25%. It is not absolute heaven on earth. There is a percentage of evil that exists during these years. As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu took the Avatar of Lord Rama to save the Earth during this age. The Treta Yuga lasted for approximately 5,000 years.

Dwapara Yuga: Known as the Bronze Age, this is when Man moved further away from his Maker and approximately 50% of the nature of the people turned negative. This is when Lord Krishna came down to Earth to save the planet. The Dwapara Yuga lasted for about 5,000 years too.

Kali Yuga: This is known as the Iron Age. We are all living in this era, in fact, the tail end of it. The Kali Yuga lasts for 4,000 years when the negativity level goes to extremes – as much as 75%.

If it had continued in its downward trend, it would have ended in an Apocalypse or Pralaya by the end of 2012. But the Creator has again come down to Earth in the form of God and Goddess – Sri Amma Bhagavan – to take mankind into the Satya Yuga, which is the Golden Age. This will be the dawn of a new cycle of the Four Yugas (a total of 24,000 years) and will last for 10,000 years when there will be Heaven on Earth.

For this purpose, the Oneness University, founded by Sri Amma & Bhagavan, has set up courses that target to increase the consciousness level of man. Presently, it is the low level of consciousness that shows the humankind as separate entities and has landed man in a lot of negativity. With a shift in consciousness, what Bhagavan hopes to achieve is ONENESS, when the whole of humankind will get together as one, thereby breaking down the separated state that we are living in. This, Bhagavan plans to achieve by June 6, 2012, during the Venus Transit.

All of us can hope to go into the Satya Yuga – Aquarian Age – Golden Age around this time.

To be continued.....

Click here to read Part 2

Click here to read Part 3

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sharing: DAY OF LOVE

August 15 as we know it is the Indian Independence Day. It is one more important day - The day of love that happens to be Amma's birthday. The Avatar was born on August 15, 1954. That makes her 55 years old today. Amma is the Avatar of Love to balance Bhagavan's Avatar of Wisdom. Together they have come to the Earth to increase the level of consciousness of both the planet and the earthlings. Thus, they will lead us into the Aquarian Age or the Golden Age known as Sath Yuga by June, 2012. Let's all wish Amma a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY. And thank you Amma, for bringing LOVE into our barren lives. :D I wish and pray that the Sath Yuga is rung in smoothly and mankind attains mukti without any trials or tribulations.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health: BODY LANGUAGE

I am not mentioning the term Body Language in the sense that it is usually understood. By Body Language, I mean what the body has to say to you 24/7.

Yes, our bodies talk to us, tell us what is right with them and tell us what is wrong. Are we ready to listen?

If yes, then let me help you understand how to go about it. :)

The Creator has made the human body to last a long, long time. If so, He must definitely have provided the means too. That is what is known as the Survival Instinct.

When we touch a hot object, the hand withdraws immediately – the heat touches the skin on the hand, the message reaches the brain and the hand is taken away from the hot object, all in the flash of a second. This is but Body Intelligence.

In a similar manner, the body tells one when it is not happy. For example, when we have a fever, it could be because of one of many reasons. It could be a cold or an upset stomach or an allergy that the body is fighting by raising the temperature. But we tend to take a Crocin and bring down the temperature. Does this help us fight the actual problem the body is facing?

This is the very reason that we should listen to our Body Language. Try to understand why there is a fever. We all cannot be experts. Try to find out, if not consult the one who has paid a few lakhs of rupees to get the prefix of Dr. before his/her name. Don’t just pop a pill. In the beginning, it is only one pill. Slowly this keeps increasing without us bothering to keep count.

The body aches – why? Maybe we have strained it. Maybe we have sprained it. Maybe it needs exercise, for crying out loud. Do we know? Have we tried listening?

When there is a headache, the reasons could be umpteen. You could be hungry, have a BP problem, your eyes may need checking, suffering from dehydration or a disturbance in your digestive system. If you pay proper attention, you will easily get to know what kind of a headache you have. Try drinking a few glasses of water. Most headaches disappear this way.

Then there are those who don’t bother to eat their meals regularly. This results in headaches or acidity or both. When the body is hungry, it is in need of fuel. So feed it. This is simple logic. I have heard of those who say that their work needs to be done and so meals are postponed, etc. A few weeks of this and then you are sick at home with acidity. It helps neither you nor your office nor your boss. The sensible thing is to have your meals regularly or at least when your body calls out to you, in hunger.

The least one can do to take care of one's body:

A well-balanced meal of dal, roti, sabzi and chaas with least possible oil will keep you healthy. A half-hour of walk everyday will keep you fit. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day. This will ensure that most of your headaches are kept at bay. The water cycle in the body needs to be kept in order as this helps in the kidneys functioning properly and helping in the production of new cells.

DON’T pop a pill just because you have a headache, body ache, fever, acidity or whatever. Try to find home remedies or if it is too bad, go to your doctor. Medicines taken randomly will spoil your health for sure in the long run. The body is in for a long haul. Please take care of it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nostalgia: A TRIP TO MOVIES WITH PATTU PAATTI

Paatti used to take my elder sister Sujatha and me to the movies very often. In fact, this used to be a weekly affair. We got to see all the latest Tamil releases starring Sivaji Ganesan and MGR. We even went to see Amitabh Bachchan flicks with Paatti at Star Theatre that was quite far away from home. We never understood the dialogues was another matter altogether. She used to love the celluloid and the music. Paatti was a great fan of Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar too.

One such outing took us to the film Raja (Tamil remake of Johnny Mera Naam starring Dev Anand) that had Sivaji Ganesan, Jayalalitha, Balaji and Ranga Rao starring in the key roles.

Anybody who has seen either the Tamil or Hindi version must know about the famous striptease performed by Padma Khanna. My sister and I were school kids and one can imagine the culture of those times. We sat on both sides of Paatti in the theatre and were watching the film when the dance began. My shocked grandma ducked both our heads with her hands and told us not to lift them and look at the screen till she told us to.

Today I recall the scene with great hilarity. I remember checking out from the corner of my eyes whether she herself was watching. Yes! Paatti was watching the damned scene and later had quite a lot to say about the declining standard of cinema. The best part of it was, I don’t know about Sujatha, but I remember watching the dance from between the gap in the empty seat in front of me. ;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recipe: STUFFED BRINJALS

This is a recipe that I learned from my mother. By the way, she is a great cook and the flavour, texture and taste of whatever she makes turns out just perfect. She never even bothers to check for salt before serving the food. :)

Brinjals are also known as Eggplants or Aubergines.
Ingredients:

Brinjals (Choose the dark purple brinjals that are small and tender) - 1/2 Kg (Chop the green heads off and slit across - check picture)
Dhania Powder - 4 tsp
Channa Ka Atta (கடலை மாவு) - 4 tsp
Jeera Powder - 2 tsp
Haldi Powder (மஞ்சப்பொடி) - 1/2 tsp
Mirchi Powder - 2-3 tsp
Salt - to taste
Rai (கடுகு) - 1 tsp
Urad Dal (உளுத்தம் பருப்பு) - 2 tsp
Oil - 4 tsp
Curd - 3 tsp
Method:

Mix all the above-mentioned powders with salt and stuff the brinjals and keep them aside. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and crackle rai in it. Add the urad dal and let it brown before gently placing the stuffed brinjals one by one in the pan. Add the curd. This takes away the bitterness that is sometimes present in brinjals and also ensures that they are well-fried. Keep the flame on medium and cover the pan and cook stirring from time to time till the brinjals are crisp and delicious. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Health: CROWNING GLORY

Your hair that protects your skull and brain, that acts as a pad if you fall down - is also a thing of beauty. Everyone - be it a male or a female - would like to have luxurious locks, whether short or long. Hair grows right from birth till death. But then, if not taken care of, it tends to fall heavily or recede in some cases.

A proper diet with enough protein and iron helps grow healthy hair. One has to be careful while choosing shampoos and conditioners. Try to use as mild a shampoo as you can from a well-known brand. Use one that will suit your hair type - be it dry or oily or whatever. Hard shampoos, especially those recommended for dandruff, may be avoided. They dry the scalp and create more dandruff in the long run. Conditioners need to be used sparingly and maybe once or twice in a month. Continuous and regular use of conditioners will make you hair lank and lifeless.

Oiling the hair is a very important factor in growing and maintaining healthy hair. I have to share a couple of personal experiences here. My grandfather (still alive and kicking at 96) grew bald at the young age of 35. He never bothered with applying oil to his hair. He used to do it may be a few times in a year. Balding, as you know, is heriditary. My father began to bald in his late 50s. He used to apply oil regularly and also had oil baths atleast once a week. My son, Vigi, was four when he refused to take oil baths. He did not like the experience. His favourite star was Shah Rukh Khan. I remember persuading him to have an oil bath saying that SRK was such a great star only because he had regular oil baths. Believe me, it worked! :D

Getting back to the subject at hand, use almond oil, olive oil, coconut oil or til oil - whichever you like best. Massage the oil into your scalp and ensure it is spread all over your head. Take the snarls out with a wide-toothed comb and then with a fine-toothed one, comb right from your scalp at the roots to the tips of your hair. Comb as long as ten minutes. This will help nourish your hair and is also a therapeutic experience. Keep the oil on for a minimum of ten minutes or as long as you can. You can even keep it overnight if you can. For washing, please ensure that you do a single shampoo wash. Use a bit of extra shampoo, but DO NOT wash it twice or more times. The whole purpose of the oil massage would be lost in the process. Try to oil your hair once every two or three days. Regular use of oil will reduce hair fall and ensure healthy growth of strong hair.

Towel dry or air dry your hair. Avoid using an electric hair dryer as much as you can. It tends to make the hair brittle. Hope to see you all more cheerful with lusher hairlines!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spirituality: HOW TO PRAY

Why should we pray? This is a common question that arises in people’s minds – especially those belonging to the modern generation. There are many people who believe that one should just do one’s duty and leave things to take their own course. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this way of thinking. It is but a perception.

Well, for those who want that little bit extra – a blessing – from the Creator, well, this blog is for them.

God knows everything! Absolutely true. He is also present everywhere! This is also so true. But then, Shri Bhagavan (of Oneness University) says that God is an ideal parent. When He created human beings – His children – He took the sankalpa (vow) not to interfere in their lives unless they called out to him. And this is how an ideal parent should be, says Shri Bhagavan – to help one’s child when asked and not keep interfering all the while.

Prayer is but a means of communication. There are different ways in which one could communicate with God. One is the usual way of uttering pre-written prayers – sometimes in a language that we understand and many-a-time in one that we don’t – such as Sanskrit. The logic is very simple here. It is us humans that don’t understand all languages. God understands every language spoken on this earth as he is but the Creator of all of them.

The tendency while uttering shlokas in a not-too-familiar tongue is for the mind to stray around while the lips keep muttering. It is not that these prayers don’t get answered – only there is no power behind them. It is as simple as the food cooking faster when the flame is more powerful or the light bulb burning more brightly when the voltage is high.

The simplest and best way to communicate with God is in a language that you understand. When you want something, be clear about your wishes and ask HIM. When it is in a language that you know, you automatically have the right emotion to drive the thought and this way the grace flows very powerfully.

Prayer is but a communication with the Almighty. The same way that parents give birth to children and enjoy their antics and answer their needs, God has created us, is watching our actions and is waiting for us to call to him. A parent would like to be a part of the child’s joy and sorrow and not be there only in time of need. In the same way, God would like to be a part of our lives all the time.

Make it a point to acknowledge Him when you wake up and thank Him at the end of the day when you go to sleep and see how it changes your live forever.

You will realise that you are never alone in the world, that there is SOMEONE out there on call 24/7, happy to love you, help you, serve you and care for you.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Film Review: LOVE AAJ KAL

I had understood that the title meant Love Nowadays. Only on seeing the film did I realise that it means Love Today and Yesterday.

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Rishi Kapoor, Rahul Khanna
Director: Imtiaz Ali

Jai (Saif Ali Khan) is based in London and dreams of working for Golden Gate Bridge Co. in San Francisco. Meera (Deepika Padukone) lives and works in London too and dreams of going back to India and restore the heritage buildings. The two meet and vibe wonderfully from the word Go. They have a great relationship and never speak of marriage. And then one day, Meera leaves for India to fulfil her dreams. Jai and Meera continue their friendship over the distance. But what is there between them?

Then there is the other love story from 1960s Punjab that is interwoven with the present day scenario. Veer Paaji (Rishi Kapoor) runs a restaurant in London. He talks about his love life in a flash back to Jai. The young Veer (Saif Ali Khan) is in love with Harleen (a Brazilian model, no less), a girl from his town. In those days, it needed a helluva lot of courage to express one’s love. And this is a problem that Veer faces while loving Harleen from a distance. The rest of the film goes to show whether the two sets of lovebirds get to tie the knot or no.

Saif Ali Khan has given a terrific performance as chatterbox Jai and the quiet Veer. He has come a very long way and has matured into a great actor.

Deepika Padukone has arrived. While her 100-watt-smile had always been attractive, the woman has got tremendous acting talent. She is absolutely subtle while her eyes speak volumes.

The on-screen chemistry between the two main actors dazzles.

One can very well relate to the story as it is so much a reality whether it is the 1960s or the first decade of the 21st century.

The film has been extremely well directed with the present and the past blended so beautifully that the viewer is never once confused or irritated with the scenes switch back and forth. The editing is perfect with no loose ends while the movie is compactly fitted into a little over two hours.

Verdict: Go for it folks. It’s absolutely worth a watch.
Rating: ****

* Silly
** Shaky
*** Smart
**** Snazzy
***** Super