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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beauty Vs Ugliness


While walking on the side road, I noticed a car stopped on the other side of  the road. The father (I assume) sitting on driver seat drew the kid’s attention who was sitting on the next seat towards something on the trees may be. The kid searched for a few moments and then looked with surprise. The view brought a big smile on the kid’s face.



I heard some loud rasping screeches. Although loud braying were not at all pleasing to the ears but I was sure that such a high pitched voice must be of some big birds. I could recognise most of Indian bird’s voices but they were new to my ears. I hurried towards that spot, looking in that direction to get a glimpse of a surprise. In between the trees, in a far off balcony, I saw two long-tailed blue and yellow caged macaws. The two birds were huge, magnificent and vibrant. I was mesmerised with the view till two ugly crows came from nowhere and sat on the balcony railing.



“Their beauty caged them whereas their ugliness freed them.” I thought.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

On my father's death


“Chandrika, forget everything as if nothing has happened.” One of my elderly relative tried to console me when I was crying uncontrollably on my father’s death.

“I can’t forget him.” I replied amidst of my sobs.

“You have spent so much time with him. He taught you so many things. You have lots of sweet memories to remember. But look at me, I have never seen my father.”

I stopped crying and looked at him with a surprise.

He told, “When I was one and a half year old my father died. I couldn’t remember his face.”

“You must be having his photograph or portrait.”

“We were not rich enough to afford them therefore there is a vast blankness for me on remembering him.”
“One person, Mr. ‘X’ was walking bare feet on hot summer. His feet were burning and he was cursing God because God had made him so poor that he couldn’t even afford a pair of shoes for himself. On the way, after sometime he met a person who didn’t have lower limbs and was creeping on the hot road with the help of his hands while his hips were rubbing against hot road with his every move. Mr. ‘X’ thanked God for giving him feet.” I recalled the story and wiped my tears.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Courier-wala


“Madam, courier-wala is coming.” Security guard informed me.

“Fine.” I said and put the receiver down.

It was hot and humid. To quench my thirst, I took out a cold water bottle from refrigerator and pored the water in a glass. While I took the first sip, the door bell rang. I hardly drank two more sips then it rang again. I put the glass unfinished and almost ran to open the door for impatient courier-wala.

He handed the courier to me. I signed the receipt of courier and returned back paper and pen to him.

“Do you send couriers?” He asked.

“No. Not much.” I was bit shocked with his blunt question.

“I can do the free pick up of courier from your house. We have a shop near to your society. Please note down the address of my shop ................ and phone number................ Whenever you need it just call me. My number is......................and my name is......................Generally a person provide the service for only one courier company. But we provide service for all - First Flight, Blue Dart, DTDC,..................You name it and we have it.”

“Thanks!” I ended his endless marketing.



“He didn’t have the time to wait patiently till I attended him but he had plenty of time to do marketing of his recently started business. Bahoot aage jayega ye banda to! (He will reach for the sky)” I thought.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ten bonus years


In 2007, my father fell sick. He needed constant care. Therefore, I left my profession to take care of him. My family members and I took good care of him. He followed all the precautions, diet and exercises suggested by the doctors. He disciplined his life as per the doctor’s advice. With the result, he lived happily for ten more years.



While he was recovering, I attended to him as well as family business. In the beginning, I did not know the ABC of business, money management and financial transactions. I was naive. 



While looking after him, taking care of his smallest needs, we spent a lot of time together. During these years, I got his full attention and time. I learned from him not only budgeting, saving, investing, spending, money making and business tactics but also much more about life.



Those ten years were the bonus years! And the best time of my life!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Goodbye PAPA!


My father, Dr. Madan Lal Saini was the most hardworking person I ever knew! He worked near about 18 hours per day. He never took any break from work. In his life, there were no holidays. Even during festive time like Diwali or Holi he was busy working while the rest of the world was busy in enjoying lights and colours. In spite of whatever happens in the world, he strictly followed his working routine.



His hard work made him successful in academics as well as in business. He retired as Professor of Plant Breeding, CCS Harynana Agricultural University, Hisar. Earlier in his academic career, he was a bright student and always secured excellent marks in his school and college time. He was awarded Dr. V.K. Kashyap Gold Medal in recognisition of the best Ph.D. research worker for the year 1974. He worked on genetic improvement of gaur crop for about 12 years and remained associated in development and release of eight important varieties of guar. He was awarded ‘The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize for Agriculture Research for the biennium 1982-83 for outstanding contribution in the field of plant breeding and genetics. Associated with wheat varitety WH542 and had been awarded ICAR Team Award for Multi-disciplinary Research in Agriculture and Allied Sciences for the Triennium 1994-96.



In the field of teaching, he guided four M.Sc. and seven Ph.d. students. He was awarded Best Teacher Award of the Department of Plant Breeding for the year 1998. He also received The Outstanding Teacher Award, a national award in teaching for the Biennium 1998-99 for outstanding contribution in the field of Plant Breeding and Crop Improvement by the ICAR.

He was selected for the prestigious B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship Award for Biodiversity for the year 2002 by Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi to work on grasses and medicinal plants in arid region.



He wrote three books namely ‘Plant Breeding and Crop Improvement’ Vol I and Vol II and Practical Manual on Plant Breeding. He wrote near about 200 papers including research papers, review articles and popular articles.



In business, he was keenly interested in introducing new technologies, starting new projects and launching new schemes for the betterment of society.



Surprisingly he followed his working schedule punctually even after he fell sick. His poor health could not restrict his working hours. In the last days of his life, he was discussing business, suggesting innovative ideas to make money and guiding me to tackle problems.



He led a very simple and disciplined life. He was kind, honest and was always ready to help everybody in need.



With moist eyes, I said ‘Goodbye’ to him last night.


Photo : While searching album for his photo, I found the pics were mainly about taking awards, giving talks or researching in the field/ lab. There were hardly any photos with friends or relatives. So here is one taking The Outstanding Teacher Award with Mr. L.K. Advani.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A breeze of romance


FIRST DAY OF SADHANA CLASS



When I opened my eyes after practicing anuloma viloma, I saw teacher’s helper standing in front of me quite confused. Before I could ask her, she inquired, “Do you know who live in the room adjacent to your’s?”

That was a million dollar question for me! I suggested her to ask Ms. ‘G’ who must be aware about this. She hesitated to ask Ms. ‘G’ because of language problem.”

Just to help her I went close to Ms. ‘G’ and whispered ‘Excuse Me’ as I did not want to disturb the rest of the class who were practicing sadhana.

“Excuse me.” This time I said a bit louder.

“WHAT!” She opened her eyes and inquired with anger.

“Who are your roommates?” I asked politely.

“I am doing sadhana, can’t you see. You can ask me later.” The anger was still in her voice.

I calmly said, “The teacher’s helper wants to know. I am asking you just because she can’t converse in English. Please tell if you know.”

My calm tone brought down her anger. She told the names.



LAST DAY OF SADHANA CLASS



I was feeling thirsty; I got up from my yoga mat and went towards the main door of the asana hall. I was quite surprised to notice that Ms. ‘G’ was not present in the class even though one hour class was over. I went down the stairs. I found my water bottle empty. I took it to fetch some water in it. I noticed her sitting with Mr. ‘V’, one of our batch mates on the stones near river Ganga. Many a times they were sitting together, enjoying each other’s company generally during the free time. When I came back I noticed the teacher’s piercing eyes and Ms. ‘G’ and Mr. ‘V’ walking slowly in opposite direction with their heads down. Ms. ‘G’ came late for about 70 minutes in the sadhana class.

“A breeze of romance disturbed her sadhana!” I thought.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Memories on a paper


“What are you writing?” An ochre robed middle-aged woman asked me. I was writing on a paper while sitting with her in a shared taxi. Unlike other ochre robe people, she was too talkative and was only silent when she was munching something.


The local villagers had blocked the road to Gangotri as some young person died because of landslide. The government officials were searching the dead body but the fall of stones, mud was too heavy, and the flow of river was speedy as well. Above all, it was raining making the land slippery and searching a difficult mission. They were also trying to convince the villagers not to block the road. All this was taking time and I was feeling bored so decided to pen down my experiences. On searching my purse, I found a piece of paper. On that, I had to jot down my memories of 30 days living with people of different cultures, living away from home for the first time, studying in an ashram and funny situations that happened. I did not want to miss out a single such situation. The space was less, words were more, and to manage them I was writing extremely small.


“Why are you writing so small?” She inquired again. “I can’t read.”


“I was jotting the points so that later on I can create a blog post out of each point. And I do not want them to be read by anyone till they appear on my blog after mixing a little fiction and some more humour to it.” I thought, “A piece of paper was journal of my 30 days memories!”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Examination Fever


“Chandrika, ask me any question from the course. I have prepared for the examination. I am ready to answer any question out of the syllabus.” Mr. ‘J’ said as I was filling up my glass with aromatic drinking water. I looked up perplexed as what to ask. I had not prepared for the exams yet which was going to held after two days. Moreover, I had read only one question by that time.

“Ask me any question, just any question.” He repeated.

I said, “What are different types of kriyas?”

He told, “For nasal cleaning, jalneti (Cleaning with water) and sutra neti (Cleaning with thread), for respiratory cleaning, kapalbhati, for food pipe cleaning, antar dauti. It is of four types plavini, kunjal kriya, agnisara and vastra dauti. Danta dauti (teeth), hrid dhauti (throat), moola shodana (rectum) cleaning are some more.”

He took a deep breath and said, “Abdominal churning, vama nauli, dakshina nauli and madhyam nauli for stomach cleaning. For cleaning of lower intestine, basti.........That’s all!”

“You forget to tell about eye cleaning, trataka.”

“Oh, yes. One is candle gazing.”

“Ya. Frontal gazing, gazing between the eyebrows and nasal gazing, gazing of the tip of nose.”

He repeated frontal and nasal gazing. He seemed to be impressed with my knowledge.

“Bye. I have to prepare for exam now.” I said.



“I have prepared only ONE question which I asked him and the rest of the course I have yet to go through!” I thought. “After talking to Mr. ‘J’, I was suffering severely from examination fever.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sadhana Intensive (SI), Sivananda Kuitr, Netala, Uttarkashi


Place : Bhiwadi

Time : October, 2008


I was explaining different concentration exercises to focus mind and experiences in meditation to my students. After practicing concentration exercises, I asked them to close their eyes and focus. After ten minutes of silence, I noticed that the tears started flowing from the eyes of one of my students. That was an unique experience in meditation! About which I had read in books only but had never experienced. There was a little feeling of jealousy in me but a very strong desire to experience it. I desperately wanted to practice hard and experience the magic of purity in the form of tears.


Place : Sivananda Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi

Time : September, 2016
          
           


After completing my Teacher Training Course from Netala, I went to nearby places like Dayara Bugyal, Gangotri, Gaumukh and Tapovan as there was a week gap until my next course Sadhana Intensive started in Netala.


Trekking to these places was mesmerising, adventurous and quite hectic. When I returned to Sivanada Kuitr near Siror Bridge on the evening before Sadhana Intensive began, I was suffering from dehydration and fatigue. Even plenty of liquids and fruits didn’t help me and my health further deteriorated. Now I had cold, cough, constipation and muscular pain in limbs. I was feeling extremely tired.

For one week I attended the classes regularly but decided to leave the course in between as I was not feeling well and there was nothing new to learn and experience. I had to drop this idea as I found it impossible to travel to Dehradun airport (6 hours horrible journey for me because of travel sickness) alone in taxi with my poor health. It was better to pull one more week and travel down hills with friends. Hence, I continued the practice.

            



In the second week, they introduced new techniques for focusing mind like mahamudra,        mahabanda, mahaveda, viprit karni. They as well increased the duration of practice. One practice was of three and a half hour and every day it had to be repeated thrice, which means more than ten hours of sadhana. I practiced sincerely whatever I could with my not so good health.

           


Sivananda Kuitr near Siror Bridge was situated near river Bhagirathi (Ganges). It was amazing experience to live, to learn, to study, to practice and to meditate near the sacred river. Hindus believe that bathing in the river Ganges causes remission of sins. While taking a dip in river, people leave something behind generally bad habits, food items or negative thoughts. As I took dips in Ganges, I forgave two individuals whom I was finding extremely difficult to forgive. A huge unnecessary burden from my mind was removed. The river Ganges helped me and I felt light from inside, really very light!


On the last day of practice, while doing Anolum Vilom, the tears started flowing from my eyes. I had waited and practiced quite long to experience this ecstasy. The ashram’s calm and serene environment, restricted diet mostly khichadi and moong dal with less salt and no spices, doing neti (cleansing exercises) regularly, Mataji’s guidance and caring attitude helped me in purifying myself and growing spiritually.  

            I highly recommend this course for spiritual aspirants.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Colgate Mega Space Launch Project


Col-boy and Col-girl were selected for Colgate Mega Space Launch Project even though thousands and thousands of girls and boys had applied for the project. Colgate Mega Space Launch Project was a unique mission to experience the space launch of rocket, moving around in space stations, doing space walk, watching planets, comets and UFO and if lucky then might get a chance to say ‘Hello’ to an Alien.

Col-boy wore orange colour space suit that weighs 127 kg with 13 layers of material to protect him from adverse conditions in the space. Col-girl wore a green colour space suit that provided her with oxygen to breathe in outer space. They got into the rocket upper part with sufficient stock of food, water and Colgate toothpaste for cleaning of their teeth after meals. The reverse counting began. ‘Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One and Zero.’ The rocket was lifted off which exerted more power than 13000 train engines.


Once they reached in Earth’s orbit, they tied their respective cords to the space stations and did the space walk. Space adventure was quite exciting for them! Col-girl saw the beautiful sun wearing sunglasses to protect its eyes from the glare and heat. She told Col-boy that the sun is Helium except 3/4th of its mass that is Hydrogen. Col-boy pointed towards a comet and explained to her that it gets heat up when close to the sun and its long tail is made up of dust and ice crystals. They noticed Venus together which was fuming with anger while rotating in the opposite direction to most other planets. Far off, Saturn was smiling because it has rare rings made up of ice, rocks and dust.

Col-girl asked, “What is the name of that red coloured planet?”
Col-boy confidently told, “Mars!”
They admired the beauty of red planet and could not take off their eyes from the ‘red planet’.
Col-girl suggested, “Let’s see it from close.”
They turned their space shuttle towards Mars.



On reaching Mars, they left their space shuttle. They were trained astronauts to work without gravity in space and their space suits were so designed that they could easily breathe in outer space. They were moving in rover, a space exploration vehicle that moves across a planet’s surface to collect red stones from Mars. Then Col-boy saw an UFO, unidentified flying object with a great speed coming closer to them. He could not change the direction of rover as a big rock was in front of them. UFO was about to hit them, then an alien came from nowhere and pushed UFO too hard with his little hands. The powerful alien had a big face, lean body and sharp mind. UFO took a sharp U turn. He took out his laser pistol, shot UFO twice and broke it’s edge. To escape from unexpected attack UFO returned and disappeared in the space.


Col-boy and Col-girl came out of the vehicle and said thanks to the alien. They offered him chocolates, which they had taken with them from Earth. As he took a bite from a chocolate, his gums started bleeding. He had a strong body but very weak teeth. They gifted him Colgate toothpaste with Calci-lock protection and asked him to brush his teeth after every meals.
“Soon your teeth will become as strong as your body!” Col-boy said with a sweet smile.


The Alien presented him rare red stones of Mars.
The mission of Col-boy and Col-girl was accomplished. They returned to Earth after spreading Colgate smiles on Mars.

“I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Power of mantra

"You do meditation!" A man uttered with a surprise. "How do you do that?"
I replied, "I do Japa Meditation in which I chant the mantra of my personal deity repeatedly."
"Then you are not doing meditation, you are only increasing the bundle of your thoughts." He was in a mood to argue.
"Mantra chanting cleans all the negativities from mind and improves concentration power. Moreover repetition of mantra produces vibrations that are soothing for mind. It is a panacea for getting peace of mind." I said.
"Meditation means no thoughts and only bliss. Whereas mantra is a thought and you are increasing it with every repetition therefore it is not meditation."
"One can't experience bliss on mere closure of eyes. It is experienced only after continuous practice and repetition of mantra. You neither you have faith in the power of mantra nor you know the power of mantra. Only those who repeat it continuously knows its power. If you want to know more than you must read the book 'Japa Meditation - The Easiest Way to Calm the Mind' authored by me."

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

To take a break from my work, I looked at my mobile. It showed a voice message from my close friend, Mrs. 'P'. I played it. It was not her voice but her little son's sweet voice.

He said, "Happy Valentine's Day, Chandrika aunty! I love you!!"

It was the sweetest message I have ever received on Valentine's Day. I took a leave from my office and went to the market to shop a nice gift for him.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Blue-green river


Soon after the monsoon showers, water in the river was flowing swiftly making it muddy and dirty. At the curve of the river, the river was quite deep and water was very clear. Surprisingly, it was not muddy. It was clean. It was clear. It was calm. It was serene. It was blue-green in colour.



I was watching the gently flow of water and enjoying the soul uplifting moment. I was so immersed in tranquillity that I forgot about the rest of the world. Honk of a horn brought me back in the reality. I turned to saw which vehicle was it. And found two staring eyes!



The colour of eyes was same as that of the river Bhagrathi. Blue-green! The eyes were transparent, pure and serene just like river water. These days, like muddy water there is so much dishonesty and trickery in the eyes of the people. But these gentle eyes did not have a tinge of deceptiveness. In the twinkling drops of blue-green dew, innocence and purity could be observed clearly - as pure as freshly melted snow! The truthful eyes were so transparent that the reflection of his soul could be seen in those eyes.



My heart said, “Who will not have unconditional love for those eyes? Never changing emotions for those lustrous gems?”

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Small gifts for friends and relatives


I like to give small gifts to friends and relatives and most of the time gifts are not costly. Generally, the presents consist of little things that go perfectly with their taste. I held the gift in my hand, pray for the person’s success and well-being and then give it to him/ her.



Although, I did not want to give a present to Ms. ‘F’ but out of courtesy sake I gifted her three unique silver coins. Goddess Lakhshmi, Lord Shiva’s family and Lord Ram were respectively engraved on them. In her fit of anger, that arrogant woman threw away those silver coins on the floor. Looking at those scattered silver coins, I thought, “Does she throw away her good fortune?”

Friday, February 3, 2017

Best b’day gift at Sheraton Hotel, New Delhi


This year I wanted to celebrate my b’day in a different way! I want to be alone. Neither with my family nor with my friends but with myself. To experience inner silence unlike others who went to ashrams or in forests near a lake or a river, I booked a suite in luxury hotel in Sheraton Hotel, New Delhi. It was quite expensive somewhat out of budget but I did not mind spending lavishly occasionally, especially if it was my b’day and I wished to celebrate it in a unusual way!



As soon as I entered Sheraton Hotel, Delhi I was mesmerised with the beautiful ambience. It was illuminating as if the stars came down on the earth to reside permanently in Sheraton Hotel. Crazy me, forgetting about the rest of the world, started clicking photos.

I clicked my photos from every angle, not missing a single niche of a hotel. If you have many photos to upload on Facebook and Instagram what else, you can wish! ;)



I felt tired; I retired to suite to take rest physically and mentally. Unpacking my bag, I realised that I forgot to bring my slippers. I turned to call the reception then I glanced at a pair of beautiful white slippers lying on the doormat of bathroom. The luxury hotels take care of guests tiniest needs.



Sitting on the comfortable chair, I closed my eyes and experienced the inner peace like never before! It was beyond the description of words!! Bliss!!!



Next day, I have to check out. At the reception, in the line to hand over the keys there was one foreigner in front of me. Waiting for my turn, I adjusted my dupatta on the shoulder. While doing so, my hand touched my ear. Oh my God! I forgot my earrings that my granny gave me. I rushed back to the room in search of them. I found them on the side table. I looked into the mirror and wore them. I took a look of the room again to confirm that I am not forgetting anything else here. I closed the room and walked towards the reception.



When I was walking through the passage, I saw Karishma Kapoor, great Bollywood star coming out of a meeting hall. She was wearing long cream top with crimson red skirt. Her hair was plaited and she was smiling. I hesitantly requested for a click with her. She agreed. I had a selfie with Karishma Kapoor one of my favourite Bollywood stars.

It was the best b’day gift I ever had! :)

That photo is still enhancing the elegance of my drawing room! :)



“I am blogging about my luxury stay experience for an activity at BlogAdda in association with MakeMyTrip

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tapir

"Today my teacher told me a story." My little cousin told me.
"Great. What was the story about?" I asked.
"It was about the goat and other animals. My teacher told me to learn more about the animal that looked like a pig."
"You know about pig and goat."
"It was a new animal which I had not seen before. It had white and black stripes."
I showed the picture of zebra and asked, "Was it zebra?"
"No. It was small in size like pig and has pointed face."
I searched the animals with black and white stripes on interent. While surfing, I found an animal which looked like a pig and had black face and white body.
"Is this animal about which your teacher told about."
"Yup." He exicitedly said.
"This is Tapir."
"Yes, tapir, tapir."
"Tapir was a new anilmal for me too." I thought. "While teaching him, I am also learning new things with him."

Friday, January 20, 2017

What is your age?

A elderly man while conversing with me asked, "What is your age?"
"My age.......why do you want to know?" I said.
"So, you do not want to share. O.K. Let me guess. It is 60."
"60!!!!!! why don't you get your eyesight tested?" I thought.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Good Samaritan

"Do you want to read this book?" A senior citizen who was holding an old book asked me. I have neither met him before nor have noticed him walking or sitting in the park athough I took my yoga class daily in the park at the same place.
"Yes, Sir." I said politely. "Thank you very much."
He handed me that book and asked, "This book is written by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Have you heard his name?"

I nodded and glanced at the book. On its faded page, 'Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha' was boldly written. I said, "I have read some of the books written by him but not this one."
"I was yoga teacher. I saw you teaching everyday. Read this book and return it."
"Sure, Sir."