We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves

~ Gautam Buddha

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The reluctant food writer

My reluctance to write food articles have nothing to take as dearth of readership. But something else, as bloggers are congenially bore. They are aerial souls, who get delight to soar the sky instead to walk. So some maniac behaviors are normal to some of them. When everybody in the bash talks, they prefer mum and scrutinize others. Back home when the normal unwinds in front of TV and cozily snugs in the bed, the marooning soul will torment the brain to stir out stuffs.

Now back to the work, food article! Yes, I do cook for my family. My favorite watch on TV is TLC. Does merely watching TLC qualify one as a food writer? I mean here, that I researched enough how to present the words and foods items aesthetically.

But real crook here is something else! The muse of food comes to me in terms of calories and its benefit. Whenever I cook my attention gets fixed on calorie and taken oil rather than taste. Recently during Holi festival while frying the bara- my attention was in the frying oil, maintaining the heat as over heating at smoking level is not conducive to health- it increases the LDL –the bad cholesterol. The entire concept of molecular biology was floating in the frying pan. Naturally the baras were of different geometrical shape. With accumulating guilt I completed the frying work, incurring the karmic effect of sinful act-to load the unsuspecting family members to those extra…..

When I dine I say hello to those few recipes only which my palate is acquainted. The fusion food and all different genres of experimental food appeal me visually only. I don’t see any valid reason to try them. The pretext of trying food of distant shore makes me nostalgic and I get feel of bartering my own family members to foreigners.

Any sweet dessert gives a good quiver to my pancreas. Even the soft textured syrupy gulab jamun hardly entice me. No I don’t have ailment, instead I horrify to have one! While eating and viewing others, I get more concerned about how a poor pancreas would have to cope up with the barbaric attitude of the diner. I am always towards the rescuers side rather than inflictor.

Still there is hope I can write about diet food, not a bad idea after all. “But any way, who is going to eat the stuff of my research?-I and hubby,” he cannot escape me. As a newlywed on several occasions he had boosted my spirit by mouthing terrible stuffs cooked by me, simply to check my tears and guilt-earning my faith in parents’ choice and arrange marriage. Children cannot be trusted. Perhaps I missed to inculcate politeness in them that to refuse food doesn’t come as good manner.

Now a pertinent point to mull! After all we have five sense organs, then why to encourage single one. Listening to palate only! Are the over activation of taste buds and single zone of brain good idea, not at all? Distribute the work and engage every sense organ to use. Instead of eating enjoy watching the color and smell of the food. Why to strain the system by eating it and loading the unwanted calories?

So what is going to be food item of my write up? Well, salads-easy to make and rich source of nutrients, tea-full of antioxidant and brain booster, sprouts- full of beneficial enzymes, roughage and toxin buster. Quite confident! Yes, I can write about any.

But, now feeling a bit uncomfortable- a pang in the stomach! In the evening with a cup of tea I had started the musing. It is dinner time now, better to take refuge in food cooked by my help and postpone the idea for the while. Good night!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The stuck up lives

The roaring train thumped into the platform and a sudden motion surged over there. The emptying of trash bin and unloading of furnishing started.

Putting at the shoulder the nylon net of collected empty water bottles Vilash walked off with Malesh and Tulsi. He tied the lower edge of the shirt to put sachets of edibles which he had got from train.

The western fringe of the platform was joined with the slum. They stepped out of the station and crossed the drain. The over powering stench of uncollected garbage and excreta signaled him the border of slum. The nauseating smell would tell him – his breakfast time of Paw with fried snacks-before to pick up the day’s job. After scrutinizing the trash occupied place they mounted the fenced wall of railway’s colony for their breakfast. The congestion had been rising day by day as the station was getting bigger and busier.

Just outside the platform the smell and the slums were the shock of the city for the first timers. Especially the foreigners who gape abhorrently the contrasts of the city-the muck and the heritage site of the city. But still, the open soaring trash and littered garbage had been the fact- a part of the city though a contrast to- swanky- would be- world class platform, like their lives and the lives of well to do.

The day’s soaring mercury ensured the brisk business to him and in few hours he hurried the sale of more than half dozen of sealed fake water bottles. Only few had left in net, might be he would have to frequent the slum for another dozen!

The descending sun had mellowed the heat. Sitting on the bridge he had been watching the commuters of the elite train who were trading the way carefully evading the glance of choked drain and heaped trash.

Till evening he had filled the quota of his twice meal. At night he never cared for food. To soothe the strain of the day he had been depending upon the sniffs. Sleeping along the deserted dividers the starry night would herald nightmares to him. For last couple of years he had been on the seduction of adhesive sniffs for night sleep. The enforced drowsiness would blur the reality of dark hours and nightmares.

Near the dividers at night with other children he would huddle to sleep. The hard come sleep would vague the difference of glitz urbane crowd and Spartan life of choking drain and repelling smell.
During the visit of VIPs and big events in the city they would have to evade the platform. Then they would move to the parking bay for buses, right across the old station building.

Few years back during the raid the children had been picked up by the cops and were sent to a NGO for night shelter and learning. For two years he had been to a school and had learnt to read. He remembered the quotes of his school day about the Kashmir, “ if there is heaven on the earth it is here ,here, here.” he glanced upon the trash and drain and mused about renovating platform-the disparity of places.

Few railway officials walked ahead putting the handkerchief on nose. “ The smell is disgusting.” Another added-“It amazes me how such obnoxious air can prevail for such a long time even on this busiest Metros platform.” But before making the report make it clear-“What can be done to refurbish it?

He moved ahead near the bridge and stumble upon heaps of garbage. The uncollected muck had been a play ground and treasures of some good finds for them.

He moved from the fetid, unhygienic environment to sparkly railway station. The election was round the corner so it was declared as world class station. The work of renovation was going inside, the adjoining areas had been renovated. The new garbage bins were placed at regular intervals with dark plastic bags neatly tucked inside. These days not a single bin was overflowing with trash. The sweepers were swooping down on every piece of discarded paper, food packets, plastic cups and other trash. There was not any filth on the station. The bags were removed from the bins before they start spilling over. He trudged the foyers of the platform which was being sprinkled with water to settle the dirt.

Till dawn to dusk the day changed, the sparking world class place would transform into appalling sights after the walk of few yards -akin to his life. The day again passed and the next dawn ascended but every change and move would be same for him. To pass another day of non waiting..in the array of movements the stuck up lives of theirs…

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The paradoxical faiths of life

Hardships-the package of opportunities-pushed aside by all of us-so we push the opportunities. Hardship entails tackling the unknown-venturing the unknown territories. It is creator of fear so it is shunned. Every opportunity involves risks. Calculated risks (according to our strength) are necessary for progress.

Calmness or equanimity- mistaken as vegetative stage of being or renouncing the life and world-it is the state of complete alertness with total relaxation. A state of total awareness in witness mode gives clarity of the circumstances. To achieve the state- a regular practice is needed.

Peace-the thing of ascetic or can be striven at old age. Is the present age or time is entitled to slave in negative thoughts and misery or to waste in agitated state and tension? Or is a time to harbor the unpleasant thoughts – a product of unaware mind? Or allowing all those negative thoughts to root inside for long so ruining the mind and body it can create ailment in long run. EVERY AILMENT HAS CAUSE IN MIND.

Anger- view as a tool of strength- in fact it a sign of weakness- a weak person gets threatened easily and shows anger unable to cope up with situation. To beat the blue and anger- an exercise of compiling the self must be taken by us so we should not waste energy. Anger dissipates energy- it is like poison.

Perception of world -Usually by many of us the world and people are viewed as competitor. I have seen many people in life they are always at competition - at home, at work place and everywhere. They generate competitor at first step and starts competing losing the bliss of the moment and work in hand.

We are not here to impress anyone and the world outside. We are here with our own special talent to display with complete fullness according to our potential. We are here to enjoy the bliss of life giving complete awareness to the work in hand and to enjoy the moment. Success and failure are all relative in the world. No success is ever final so any failure cannot be allowed to be fetal.

The hurdles of success reside inside us-as inertia, procrastination and compliance-which restrict the growth and best of ours. The world for us must exist inward to outward. First we organize our inner world, instinctively it will handle the outside world in best way.

Spirituality- a refuge of non action or like renouncing the world. It is actually art and science of life- a sure shot technique of empowered life- yoga, japa (the vibrations have the power to tune the mind and body),Hindu figurines (energy patterns like Yantra-has certain pattern, color and symbols to understand- empowered tools to restore the lost mental and physical strength). To achieve these a regular practice and understanding require.

Bhagwat Gita –a book of elderly people meant for old age. It is the best book of human psychology-in the form of Krishna-the self- how to strength it (the self)? The mental frame and gain best of life is illustrated-a crying need of today’s world- for youths as well as for all of us.

In today’s life-where childhood ends at twelve and thirteen years- a teenager and twenty plus(and all of us) are seen coping with all insecurities or fighting the world-that range from fear, loneliness, peer pressure, careers, coping with failed affairs and sex/marital problems.

Under the friction of harsh world often the sustainability of life raises the skepticism -how long the throat cut life style allows one to breath in.? Sometimes life seem totally on the mercy of nature that raises question on their sustainability whether he/she will be able to push it for longer or peril in depression or in more unfortunate grave decision…

In this era of roving insecurities it time to precept right and wrong and choose the savior for protection.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The plateau village

Walking behind the herd of goats Topno stopped near the red tower alighted on the rugged earth few years back. In the last two years many pyramid shaped red block towers had been erected imperiously on village hillocks over the bay of Sapura.

At the foot of the hill he walked over the remnant of the bridge that never got built. The concrete stump was hidden under the over grown grass and mosses. The flashes of memories dismayed him further.

The sequel of disturbances created by the Maoist had sucked the development works of the bridge. And then under the threat fearing for their lives engineers and construction workers left the site. The construction work of the bridge once had been a regular means of hearth and home for villagers like him. Now the thoughts of paucity stricken summer on Mahua blossoms marooned his face.

Since morning the urgency bent urbane crowd was pushing to the otherwise desolate Sapura. Last evening the abduction of big official had suddenly awakened the geography of his oblivion village. For naive villagers the fleet of officials’ vehicles and lens lashed journalists stranded in his remote village were both startling and amazing.

His remote village of thousand square areas was pulsating to the life with urgency stricken crowd. The non access of basic amenities over there had been proving ordeals for official visitors and TV journalists. Thus the ongoing debate of the no man’s land was the no accessibility of Mobile network, potable water and electricity. But for him and other village folks it was the way of life.

A decade back a dam had been built on river Mogini that had added another figment to their woes. First the government took the land of villagers and tribal. Under the forced eviction many dispersed in the adjoining areas and got scattered across hills and forests in cut off areas.

A private company was roped in to build a dam over there.The built electricity was being sold by the state government to neighboring state. The darkness seemed allure to the Maoists and best refuge to their activities.

Under the dark cover the business of abduction by the Maoists warmed the tribal areas, sending the already poverty ridden village to another shock. And now the government every move of development –pension schemes for senior citizens and social benefits were drawing wrath of Maoists.

The industrialization- initiated to develop the zone-by the government had added further figment of hardships to their lives-one more twist of fiction. Now the government had been grabbing the land at throw-away prices, pushing scores of them in abject poverty–and then an another forced displacement was waiting for him. Till then he had forgotten the real counts how many times since his birth he had moved the places-the despairing thought bored more emptiness in his caved eyes and wrung his already tired muscles.

For Topno it was another death to cross the stationed paramilitary troops on the border of the village. And those days the dilapidated police post had also came alive with armed battalion positioned there. The surging Maoist activity and stationed troupes at his otherwise sleepy village had forecasted the empty stomach in summer night at the home or coating the tar at the sweltering summer on the road of cosmopolitan. He was born to choose between two.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Feeling low -just try it.

Are you feeling low? Isn’t catering the mood is a costly affair as it depletes energy and wastes time. In the fiscal language it is like squandering the money mindlessly at one hand and complaining about the perennial poverty at the other hand. Nobody likes misery but it shadows one uncalled.

What exactly is the extravagant mood?
It is a feel of defocused mental state. Usually strikes one in physically and mentally stressed state. It grips one intermittently as a habit and pattern. IF A HABIT CAN BE FORMED IT CAN BE BROKEN ALSO.

Then why not analyze it when it strikes us?
It will be amazing to find that actually we are willingly and willfully making ourselves miserable. It is our choice to make ourselves miserable. Not convinced just try it.

How to tackle the vicious cycle of low mood?
Simply be aware of the moment that you are in low mood or feeling low.
Just try to keep the feel of low being aware of its presence. When the low mood diverts at other point bring it back to its position. Try to devote full day on low mood consciously.
Amazingly you won’t be able to carry it for long.

Reason-the feel of low needs ground of passivity or unawareness, a kind of surrendering to it. It grips when one is physically or mentally stressed.
The moment one starts taking care of self by being aware of its presence, it is bound to leave him/her.

To utilize our full potential we must remove low moods from our mental mirror.
One should introspect each day in order to understand the nature of his mood, and how to correct it.

More often fighting with bad mood doesn’t help instead it leaves one more tired and frustrated. Sometimes whatever is suggested does not help as one is simply not interested and finds difficult to incorporate it practically.

To save time and energy we should not waste the day by surrendering ourselves to bad mood. Make up the mind that we are not going to be moody anymore; and if mood comes in spite of the resolve, it is better to analyze the cause that brought it on and do something constructive about it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lord Shiva- Prayer

The God of love
The boundless
The savior and guru
The beloved of Uma
The Satyam, Shivam, Sundram, Kantam
The Supreme light
The all pervasive form
The supreme soul
The whole,eternal,the stainless
The ultimate particle’
The Supreme Shiva’
The all pervading
The ultimate Jiva
The Hamsa
The soul of Sakti
We pray to you
Om Namah Shivay!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lord Shiva-prayer

We worship Lord Shiva
The Threyambakam-the three eyed Lord
The Yajamaha-the fragrant one the nourisher
The Vardhanam-all pervasive,
The bestower of moksha-the liberator,
The sun, moon and fire eyed lord
May the Lord protect us! from
All miseries, disease, poverty and fear
And bless us with prosperity, longevity and good health
Om Namah Shivay!