Yog Daily

  • Of family visits and bittersweet moments…
    Had family visit me over the past few days. Good time spent, but now it’s time to leave. Visits are often bittersweet isn’t it? The time spent is usually never enough, and the days just fly by until it’s time to go back. A lot remains unsaid, a lot remains undone… But humans are never …

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  • Are you at your very best?
    We underestimate our own capabilities. And by we, I mean everyone. Without exception. I have seen this in various fields – be it martial arts, studies or work. We think that we aim high, but we aim a lot lower than we are capable of. No, I don’t want to sound like one of those hyper …

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  • The art of doing nothing…
    Ok, everyone has their lazy days. I mean everyone – even the productivity pundits have days when they just don’t feel like doing much. If it comes on the weekend, great. If mid-week, well, a lot of guilt accompanies the laziness. And even more so when this work-from-home thing is on…because now, you can be …

    The art of doing nothing… Read More »

  • A better way to spend your time…
    Remote working, work from home, not going to a physical office… Largely absent or implemented in very few pockets, Work from Home became a common phrase during the pandemic. While we are still waiting for it to officially end, Dubai has largely been open for a while now. We are still in WFH mode though. …

    A better way to spend your time… Read More »

  • Of rewards and families…
    I think I had written about this before, but it has gotten worse now. The clinic that me (and my family) go to, has initiated a ‘rewards’ program. Yes, being rewarded to visit the clinic – the more often you visit, the more points you gather. Which can then be redeemed against meds and stuff …

    Of rewards and families… Read More »

  • Of meditation and closing one’s eyes…
    The west has sold meditation in a very superficial manner. Sit in this way, close your eyes and witness. And maybe an ‘Om’ or a ‘Shanti’ thrown in for good measure. What they don’t know is that meditation is a continual process. Once you start on the path of meditation, you have to make many …

    Of meditation and closing one’s eyes… Read More »

  • Of Sat, Sang and Satsang…
    सत्संगत्वे निस्संगत्वं, निस्संगत्वे निर्मोहत्वं। निर्मोहत्वे निश्चलतत्त्वं, निश्चलतत्त्वे जीवन्मुक्तिः ॥९॥ Satsaṅgatve nissaṅgatvaṃ, niḥsaṅgatve nīrmohatvam  nirmohatve niścalitatvam, niścalitatve jīvanmuktiḥ from Bhaja Gōvindam, written by Jagadguru Adi Śaṅkarācārya Through good company arises non-attachment; from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion; when there is freedom from delusion, the mind becomes steady and unwavering, from a steady mind comes liberation.  This śloka is another …

    Of Sat, Sang and Satsang… Read More »

  • Afraid of the unknown…
    Status-quo bias – The tendency for people to stay committed to current situations, for fear of changing to the unknown. Status quo bias is also caused by laziness, aversion to complexity, unnatural learning style demands, reading small print, etc. I have been reading this book – Nudge – by  Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein. The crux of the …

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  • Of performance pressures…
    We underestimate our own capabilities. And by we, I mean everyone. Without exception. I have seen this in various fields – be it martial arts, studies or work. We think that we aim high, but we aim a lot lower than we are capable of. No, I don’t want to sound like one of those hyper …

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  • Of evil and perspective…
    There is no good and evil, only perspectives. Mahishasura is probably the first (and only one) name that comes to mind when one speaks of Devi Durga. Mahisha was an Asura. Asura is typically construed as evil, and is used interchangeably with Danavas, Daityas and Rākshasās, mainly because in English, they are all demons! But …

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  • Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam…
    अयंनिजःपरोवेतिगणनालघु-चेतसाम्।उदार चरितानांतु वसुधैवकुटुम्बकम्॥ ayaṃ nijaḥ paro veti gaṇanā laghu-cetasām |udāra-caritānāṃ tu vasudhaiva kuṭumbakam || 37 || This is mine, and that is yours – such thinking is for lowly minds. Minds that are noble and wise, think of the entire world as one family.  Many of you may have heard of the last two words of this …

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  • The primordial sound…
    அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் ஆதிபகவன் முதற்றே உலகு.  Akara Mudhala Ezhuththellaam AadhiPakavan Mudhatre Ulaku (1) The alphabet begins with the “A” sound, so does the Universe begin with the universal consciousness. अकारादेव निर्यान्ति समस्तान्यक्षराणि च ।चराचरप्रपञ्चोऽय मीश्वरादेव जायते ॥ (१) Tiruvalluvar begins with an invocation to God, the universal consciousness, the supreme being. The first 10 couplets …

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  • Let’s pray!
    Eid is celebrated across the Gulf today. And so we decided that it’s time to pay a visit to the divine. We have a temple at home, so prayed there first. Then trudged down to the Gurudwara at Jebel Ali, where we prayed and had the langar. Finally, walked across to the cluster of churches …

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  • as you think…
    तस्मात् यत् पुरुषः सनसाअभिगच्छति। तत् वाचा वदति। तत् कर्मणा करोति। यत् मनसः रेतः प्रथमं आतीत्। तद्  कामः अग्रे समवर्तताधि। तत् एषाअभि अनूक्ता । Whatever one thinks from one’s mind, that one does, what is first in the mind as a seed, later becomes desire, and then becomes what we are. So watch your thoughts, words and …

    as you think… Read More »

  • If not you…
    If I am not for myself…who will be? If I am for myself alone…who am I? If not now…when? And if not you…who? Four phrases that shook me when I heard them. Hillel the Elder was a Jewish philosopher who lived over 2000 years ago. While I have not read his teachings extensively, I am …

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  • Is the black belt a culmination?
    A black belt in Karate is an achievement…a big achievement. Its a culmination of years of blood and sweat, of hard toil, of pain and perseverance. A Kyokushin Karate black belt is even more treasured, since it carries with it a silent testimony of hard practice and a spirit of never-give-up. But what happens next? …

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  • The more we get, the more we want…
    भोगा न भुक्ता वयमेव भुक्ताः, तपो न तप्तं वयमेव तप्ताः । कालो न यातो वयमेव याताः तृष्णा न जीर्णा वयमेव जीर्णाः ॥ bhogā na bhuktā  vayameva bhuktāḥ,  tapo na taptaṃ  vayameva taptāḥ ।kālo na yāto vayameva yātāḥ, tṛṣṇā na jīrṇā vayameva jīrṇāḥ ॥ Vairagya Shatakam by Bhartṛhari Pleasures aren’t satisfied, only we are consumed by our …

    The more we get, the more we want… Read More »

  • What do we take with us?
    नामुत्र हि सहायार्थं पिता माता च तिष्ठतः । न पुत्रदारं न ज्ञातिर्धर्मस्तिष्ठति केवलः ॥ २३९ ॥ nāmutra hi sahāyārthaṃ pitā mātā ca tiṣṭhataḥ | na putradāraṃ na jñātirdharmastiṣṭhati kevalaḥ || 239 || Manusmriti 4.239 The Manu Smriti tells us: namutra hi sahayartham pita mata ca tisthatah. na putradarah na jnatih dharmas tisthati kevalah. “When you depart from this world, your …

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  • Of earth days and earth hours…
    ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत् । तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा मा गृधः कस्यस्विद्धनम् ॥ īśāvāsyamidaṃ sarvaṃ yatkiñca jagatyāṃ jagat | tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā mā gṛdhaḥ kasyasviddhanam || Īśopaniṣad Verse 1 Whatever exists in this Universe, is pervaded by the eternal Truth of the Self. Protect your Self through detachment. Or – Do not covet, for whose is wealth? …

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  • A clue to the nature of your mind…
    सत्त्वानुरूपा सर्वस्य श्रद्धा भवति भारत |श्रद्धामयोऽयं पुरुषो यो यच्छ्रद्ध: स एव स: || sattvānurūpā sarvasya śhraddhā bhavati bhārataśhraddhā-mayo ‘yaṁ puruṣho yo yach-chhraddhaḥ sa eva saḥ Bhagavad Gīta – 17.3 The faith of all humans conforms to the nature of their mind. All people possess faith, and whatever the nature of their faith, that is truly …

    A clue to the nature of your mind… Read More »

  • Of success and being the best…
    यशोधिगन्तुं सुखलिप्सया वा मनुष्यसंख्यामतिवर्तितुं वा |  निरुत्सकानामभियोगभाजां समुत्सुके वाङ्कमुपैति सिद्धिः || yashodhigantum sukhalipsayā vā manuśyasamkhyāmativartitum vā nirutsakānāmabhiyogabhājām samutsuke vānkmupaiti siddhih Kavya Prakasha Success itself is keen to fall in the lap of and embrace a person who is not very keen to be famous, or who is not desirous of attaining pleasure or happiness, or who wants to …

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  • The right desire…
    सर्वं परवशं दुःखं सर्वमात्मवशं सुखम् ।एतद् विद्यात् समासेन लक्षणं सुखदुःखयोः ॥ sarvaṃ paravaśaṃ duḥkhaṃ sarvamātmavaśaṃ sukham |etad vidyāt samāsena lakṣaṇaṃ sukhaduḥkhayoḥ ||  Manusmriti 4.160 All that is dependent on others is painful; all that is dependent on oneself is pleasing; he shall know this to be, in short, the definition of pleasure and pain. A very simple, …

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  • No better time than now…
    यदपि स्यादसमये यातो वनमसाविति ।अकालो नास्ति धर्मस्य जीविते चञ्चले सति ॥ yadapi syādasamaye yāto vanamasāviti |akālo nāsti dharmasya jīvite cañcale sati|| Buddhacarita 6.21, by Aśvaghoṣa Though he might be said to have gone at a bad time to the forest, in dharma, in truth, no bad time exists – life being as fickle as it is. The Buddhacarita (Saddharma-pundarika) by Aśvaghoṣa is …

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  • of expectations and rewards…
    उदेति सविता ताम्रस्ताम्र एवास्तमेतिच।  सम्पतौ च विपत्तौ च महतामेकरूपता॥ udeti savitā tāmras tāmra evāstameti ca |  saṃpattau ca vipattau ca mahatāmekarūpatā || Kavya Prakash 7.245 The Sun is red at the time of rising, and red at the time of setting too. Likewise, great men remain alike in both good times and bad times. In …

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  • Of language and potential…
    अमन्त्रमक्षरं नास्ति नास्ति मूलमनौषधम् ।अयोग्यः पुरुषो नास्ति योजकस्तत्र दुर्लभः ॥ amantramakṣaraṃ nāsti nāsti mūlamanauṣadham ।ayogyaḥ puruṣo nāsti yojakastatra durlabhaḥ ॥ Samayocitapadyamālikā There is not a syllable which is not a mantra; there is not a root that is not a medicine. There is no person who is not able, but rare is the person who knows how to apply …

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  • Leading by example…
    Work, work and more work. Work is good. But when it is Ramadan, it gets tough, given the reduced timings. Am thankful that my team is braving it out in spite of this. It gives me strength to work even harder, for leadership has to always be by example. कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादय: |लोकसंग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि …

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  • Of mirrors and identities…
    आत्मौपम्येन सर्वत्र समं पश्यति योऽर्जुन | सुखं वा यदि वा दु:खं स योगी परमो मत: || ātmaupamyena sarvatra samaṁ paśhyati yo ’rjuna sukhaṁ vā yadi vā duḥkhaṁ sa yogī paramo mataḥ Bhagavad Gīta 6.32  I regard them to be perfect yogis who see the true equality of all living beings and respond to the joys …

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  • So, who defeated the mighty Arjuna?
    Arjuna was the most prominent warrior in the Mahabharata. The best archer in the world, with the avatar of Sri Vishnu as a guide, and the establishment of Dharma as the objective, on the biggest stage that humanity had ever seen. It is only natural that the tools available to him had to be exceptional. …

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  • Of knowledge and intelligence…
    विद्या ददाति विनयं विनयाद्याति पात्रताम् । पात्रत्वाद्धनमाप्नोति धनाद्धर्मं ततः सुखम् ॥ vidyā dadāti vinayam, vinayādyāti pātratām | pātratvāddhanamāpnoti, dhanāddharmam tatah sukham || Hitopadeśa Knowledge makes one humble, humility leads to worthiness,worthiness creates wealth and enrichment,enrichment leads to right conduct, right conduct brings joy and contentment. Vidya – this term loosely translates into knowledge. The issue with …

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  • Flower samjhe kya? Fire hu main…
    Main jhukega nahi! Sher ko pakadne ke liye shikari chahiye… I hate violence…but violence likes me! Three movies have changed the game. Actually four. The first was Bāhubali, that showed the power of Telugu cinema to India and the world. Then came Pushpa – a low-key affair in the North but ended up shattering many …

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  • Of drops and drops and oceans…
    क्षणशः कणशश्चैव  विद्यामर्थं च  साधयेत्  |क्षणत्यागे कुतो विद्या कणत्यागे कुतो धनम् || kṣaṇaśaḥ kaṇaśaḥ ca eva vidyām arthaṃ ca sādhayet । kṣaṇa-tyāge kutaḥ vidyā kaṇa-tyāge kutaḥ dhanam ॥ Subhashita Knowledge and wealth are procured with every moment and grain (respectively). If a moment is wasted, how can knowledge be accrued? If a grain is wasted, how can wealth …

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  • Fifty years and counting…
    50 years. That’s how long my parents have been married to each other. We sometimes cannot wrap our heads around such numbers. You know, when you realize that some actors have been in the profession since six decades, or when you realize that Warren Buffet is 91 years old and still going strong – that …

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  • Food for thought…
    Today is Ekādashi – the 11th day of a fortnight in a lunar month, as per the Hindu calendar. Since there are two fortnights, Ekādashi is celebrated twice a month. It is typically characterized by observance of a fast. And the fast can be of many types. From Nirjala Ekādashi – where one does not …

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  • Of treasures that measure eight…
    The Germans call it milchreis, the Spaniards call it arroz con leche, Malaysians pulut hitam and the Greeks call it rizogalo…any guesses? How about ‘eight treasures’? or Shola-e-zard ? Still no? Kheer, payesh, phirini, payasam? The first mentions of payasam were recorded in the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana, as ksheer or kshirika in Sanskrit, which translated to a dish made …

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  • Like the seeker, is his truth…
    Why do we pray? Today, on the occasion of Ram Navami, I booked a new temple for my house. I was running out of space to keep temple-related items, and Rohāmrta was having a field day reaching out for the agarbattis after they had been spent. These daily disruptions prompted me to lookout for options …

    Like the seeker, is his truth… Read More »

  • रामो द्विर्नाभिभाषते…
    द्विः शरं नाभिसन्धत्ते द्विः स्थापयति नाश्रितान् ।द्विर्ददाति न चार्थिभ्यो, रामो द्विर्नाभिभाषते ॥ Rāma doesn’t aim twice, he doesn’t give refuge twice, Rāma does not give twice to a seeker, he doesn’t speak the same thing twice. He does it perfectly the very first time. लक्ष्मीश्चन्द्रादपेयाद्वा हिमवान्वा हिमं त्यजेत्।अतीयात्सागरो वेलां न प्रतिज्ञामहं पितुः॥ lakṣmīścandrādapeyādvā himavānvā himaṃ …

    रामो द्विर्नाभिभाषते… Read More »

  • Of weekends and rest…
    Today’s the weekend. Or what we have been calling (largely) Saturday and Sunday from the past 90-odd years. A gift from the factory-based economy. A 9-5 working day being the other. But have you wondered how it was before that? Did people have a weekend? Did they look forward to two days of rest (or …

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  • When is a good time to start?
    So when is a good time to start? I spoke about Tithis in my past two posts. It is said that certain tithis are not conducive for study or beginning new efforts. In gurukulams (schools) and aadheenams (monasteries) these are times of retreat. As they occur in pairs four times per moon, they are roughly …

    When is a good time to start? Read More »

  • Of 31 and 30, and 28 as well…
    Yesterday I had written about how to read a Panchāngam, or Hindu calendar. Today, we look at a few more interesting concepts. While we normally follow the Gregorian calendar in our daily lives, the Panchāngam holds a special significance. The Gregorian is quite arbitrary, with months having 30 or 31 days with no apparent logic, …

    Of 31 and 30, and 28 as well… Read More »

  • How to read a Hindu calendar…
    Reading a Hindu calendar can be complex, especially for beginners. So here is a quick guide, just for you! Start with a Panchāngam – Drink Panchang is a good option. It has an app and a website – so take your pick. Let’s assume that you are using the app. Ensure that the location is …

    How to read a Hindu calendar… Read More »

  • Of tubes and you…
    A deviation today, from the usual Navratri talk. I have been watching various “village cooking” channels over the past few months. First, there was one from Tamil Nadu – a grandpa with his grandsons – an energetic take on cooking a monstrous amount of food and then distributing it to the needy. Entertaining, and I’ve …

    Of tubes and you… Read More »

  • When fasting is starvation…
    Fasting without feeding your spirituality is starvation. All it does is make you feel hungry the whole day and crave for food, when you should be working on developing your spiritual capabilities instead. Navratri fasts are a bit different from other fasts. Depending on where you come from in India, the rules vary. Some days …

    When fasting is starvation… Read More »

  • It’s not just a cat who loves the number nine…
    Number nine (9) is the most intriguing digit of all the numbers. It is an absolute number which when multiplied by any number always reproduces itself; the sum of digits in the product will always be nine. In Sanskrit, nine is known as Nava; and Navathi means ninety; Navaka means group of nine, fresh, new, …

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  • The dawn of a new age…
    Friday, April 1, 2022 Sunrise: 06:15 AMSunset: 06:39 PM Tithi: Amavasya upto 10:23 AMNakshatra: Uttara Bhadrapada upto 09:10 AMYoga: Brahma upto 08:07 AMKarana: Nagava upto 10:23 AMKarana: Kinstughna upto 10:21 PMPaksha: Krishna Paksha Weekday: ShukrawaraAmanta Month: PhalgunaPurnimanta Month: ChaitraMoonsign: MeenaSunsign: Meena Shaka Samvat: 1943 PlavaVikram Samvat: 2079 RakshasaGujarati Samvat: 2078 Pramadi Twice in a year, followers of Sanatana Dharma observe unique festivities in the name of the great Mother of the universe, these two occasions of worship being called Vasanta Navaratri and Sharada Navaratri.  Tomorrow is the first …

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  • Of Sharmajis and namkeens
    I started watching Sharmaji Namkeen today. Rishi Kapoor’s last movie, one that he couldn’t complete, and so Paresh Rawal stepped in to make what should be a rare occurrence in cinema – two actors playing the same character in the same movie. The story largely follows what happens to Sharmaji after he retires – a …

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  • Of fruits and attachments…
    Is attachment good? By attachment, I mean attachment to anything – people, joys, pleasures, money, materialism, even attachment to spirituality… Well, the rest you may understand, but isn’t attachment to spirituality a good thing? Indian philosophy believes in renunciation as a path to liberation. Moksha is the goal, not heaven. Freeing oneself of the bondage …

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  • Mine is bigger than yours…
    Something that happened today reminded of something that I had written around a couple of years back. Reproduced here below. A few years back, I met an old friend. Actually, we had studied in college together. We hadn’t kept in touch, and so we spoke for quite a while. He had recently changed jobs, and …

    Mine is bigger than yours… Read More »

  • Of slappy awards…
    Ok. The slap. By the way, for a star that has made quite a few action movies, when it came to it, he wasn’t able to deliver a very convincing slap. I mean, its Will Smith – Man in Black! Surely he could manage something that would have sent the recipient sprawling onto the floor. …

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  • Of prunes and ragi…
    A few days back I spoke of OTT, mobile and in general – screen addiction. Today, I speak about food addiction. Specifically, bad food addiction. The problem is that food that is good for us is almost never addictive, and food that is bad for us is always addictive. From the colas, to the chips, …

    Of prunes and ragi… Read More »

  • Of EMIs and debts that we forget…
    Who isn’t familiar with the concept of EMI? This craze has driven us to over-consume and under-save, and it is only getting worse with ‘solutions’ such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) or sometimes, never at all. We are also familiar with the dark side of credit – those who don’t pay suddenly find the …

    Of EMIs and debts that we forget… Read More »

  • Three steps forward, stepping back two…
    அகழ்வாரைத் தாங்கும் நிலம்போலத் தம்மைஇகழ்வார்ப் பொறுத்தல் தலை.  Akazhvaaraith Thaangum Nilampolath ThammaiIkazhvaarp Poruththal Thalai (151) To bear with those who revile us, just as the earth bears up those who dig it, is the greatest of virtues. धारणात् खनकस्यापि धरण्या इव नि:समा ।स्वापराधिषु या क्षान्ति: स धर्म: परमो नृणाम् ॥ (१५१) क्षमा क्षमा कर ज्यों धरे, जो …

    Three steps forward, stepping back two… Read More »

  • Of OTT and zombie land…
    OTT…how the world changes! When the history of cinema will be written in the future, there will be two distinct parts – before OTT and after OTT. OTT has changed the game in a way that in a few years, theaters will be obsolete. New releases anyway show up online faster than they used to, …

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  • Of Gods and preferences…
    Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. And if you want to immerse yourself in the song, without a care in the world as to what it may mean, click here. Can God have favorites? I don’t mean favorites as in people, but favorites as in colors, or flowers, or sweets…we often hear of …

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  • Of correct meanings and right ones…
    Yesterday, I wrote about Sojugada Soon Mallige, a soulful folk song that was beautifully sung by Ananya Bhat. As I reflected on the inner meaning of this song, many thoughts came to my mind. I sought answers, and interestingly enough, I stumbled upon a blog that had quite a lot of them. So here are …

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  • I offer you flowers, and then some more…
    Today, as I was driving, the OST of Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana (Kannada movie) was playing in the car when Sojugada started. A different rendition, but my ears perked up nevertheless. And it brought back memories of the first time when I heard the song at the Mahashivratri celebrations. Ananya Bhat, stole hearts and minds …

    I offer you flowers, and then some more… Read More »

  • Of buses and wheels…
    The wheels on the bus go round and roundRound and roundRound and roundThe wheels on the bus go round and roundAll through the town If you haven’t heard these lines before, chances are that you don’t have a kid yet. I have, and this has become my daily mantra. If it was the Gayatri mantra, …

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  • Of strangled priests and widows of railway employees…
    Did you know that strozzapreti (a type of pasta) means ‘strangled priests’, or that vermicelli means ‘little worms’? Or that the Scottish word sgiomlaireachd (yes it’s a mouthful) means ‘the habit of dropping in at mealtimes’? Of course, you know that German is full of jaw-crunching words like Wirtschaftstreuhandgesellschaft (business trust company), Bundesbahnangestelltenwitwe (a widow …

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  • Of Holi changes…
    I’m watching an intriguing new series on Apple TV – it’s called Severance. Set in a fictional company called Lumon Industries, the workers of Severance have volunteered to allow their minds to be separated into work life and home life—a process called severance—with neither half having a memory of the other. It’s engaging till now, and …

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  • Isn’t life a celebration?
    Festivals are beautiful. They are fun, filled with joy, food and enjoyment. We celebrate, because life should be a celebration, with a bit of work to sustain ourselves. Unfortunately, we take things to be the other way around. Usually working ourselves to death, while thinking that the good stuff is just round the corner – …

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  • Random thoughts on films…
    Why do we watch films? Some of us watch to get entertained, others to get informed. Some watch to pass time, others to spend time with family and friends. As Indians, we have always been passionate about films, especially in the South, where heroes are demi-gods with massive fan followings. A lot of this has …

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  • Shyam piya mori…
    Holi is usually called the “festival of colors”. But can you celebrate Holi, without these colors? As part of the countdown to Holi, a few thoughts – some old, some new… Truth be told, I have never (save one time) celebrated Holi in it’s traditional flavor. In a sense, I missed out on the fun …

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  • Color me red…
    श्याम पिया मोरी रंग दे चुनरिया । ऐसी रंग दे, के रंग नहीं छुटे ।धोभिया धोये चाहे सारी उमरिया ॥ लाल ना रंगाऊं मैं, हरी ना रंगाऊ ।अपने ही रंग में रंग दे चुनरिया ॥ बिना रंगाये मैं तो घर नाही जाउंगी ।बीत ही जाए चाहे सारी उमरिया ॥ मीरा के प्रभु गिरिधर नागर ।प्रभु …

    Color me red… Read More »

  • Discipline and consistency…
    It’s been around two years since I started writing everyday. I know for sure it crossed the two year mark this month, but when? That I don’t know since I didn’t make a note of when I started. More on that later. In these two years, I’ve written every single day, and completed multiple series …

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  • Follow your heart…with a bit of brain alongside…
    I took an interview today. During the course of the interview, I came to learn that the candidate’s passion was yoga, and she wanted to open a practice of her own. Why don’t you start? I asked her. I cannot right now – she said. Reminded me of the famous essay by Paul Graham. How …

    Follow your heart…with a bit of brain alongside… Read More »

  • Of the not-so-small businesses
    A small business is anything but small. What it lacks in size, it makes up in impact. If you think of it, prior to the Industrial Revolution, a majority of the businesses, if not all, were small businesses. Traders, livestock, armorers, home smiths, potters…that sort of thing. Guilds were the next stage of evolution, where …

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  • Of cycles and bulldozers…and booze.
    Tomorrow is the day that will determine India’s future for the next thirty years. Good, bad or ugly – all depends on tomorrow’s result. Twenty-four hours later, the people have spoken. Today, the 10th of March, will have ramifications for not just India, but for the whole world, beyond this decade, and the next, and …

    Of cycles and bulldozers…and booze. Read More »

  • I’m dying to get this to you…
    You know that your food kills you. Some slower than the others. The very process of eating and digestion takes us closer to the end, one meal at a time. But eating is inevitable, because the only other option is bringing that eventuality very close, very fast. And while “heaven” is a great place from …

    I’m dying to get this to you… Read More »

  • Or rights and wrongs and everything in between…
    What is free speech? Is speech free, as long as you say what I think is right? Should the “bad” be allowed to speak at all, or is free speech only for the “good”? Who decides who is bad, and who is good? Does the coin not have two faces? Is it right to take …

    Or rights and wrongs and everything in between… Read More »

  • Of aims and dilemmas…
    चलने ही चलने में कितना जीवन, हाय, बिता डाला!‘दूर अभी है’, पर, कहता है हर पथ बतलानेवाला,हिम्मत है न बढूँ आगे को साहस है न फिरुँ पीछे,किंकर्तव्यविमूढ़ मुझे कर दूर खड़ी है मधुशाला।।७। Chalne hi chalne me kitna jeevan, haaye, bita dala‘Door abhi hai’, par, kehta hai har path batlanewalaHimmat hai na badhu aage ko …

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  • The sun shines in Malayalam…
    Ok. My apologies. No Bachchan today. Try Venjaramoodu instead. For those unfamiliar with this tongue-twister of a name, you should see more Malayalam cinema. Suraj is his first name, and much like the rising sun, Venjaramoodu shines throughout all the movies that he stars in – subtle, understated, yet an essential ingredient without which the …

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  • Of taverns and wine…
    भावुकता अंगूर लता से खींच कल्पना की हाला,कवि साकी बनकर आया है भरकर कविता का प्याला,कभी न कण-भर खाली होगा लाख पिएँ, दो लाख पिएँ!पाठकगण हैं पीनेवाले, पुस्तक मेरी मधुशाला।।४। Bhavukta angoor lata se kheench kalpana ki halaKavi saaki bankar aaya hai bharkar kavita ka pyalaKabhi na kan-bhar khali hoga, lakh piye do lakh piyePathak …

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  • Of googlies and magic…
    If there was one bowler who I found enigmatic, it was Shane Warne. That first ball of the Ashes…he changed the way the world looked as spin. Outside the subcontinent, he was by far the best, but let’s not measure him by mere records. His battles with Sachin were legendary – every Indian hated him …

    Of googlies and magic… Read More »

  • Of bullets and Shanaya…
    How does one remain sane nowadays? With a war raging on one side and Shanaya Kapoor’s imminent launch in a Karan Johar wrapper? I wonder what would happen if an alien visit earth today, possibly for a reconnaissance before an invasion sometime in the near future. Let’s assume he is on a fact-finding mission, and …

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  • Of keyboards and wars…
    Today’s war is not fought in the battlefield. It is fought in people’s minds. The downside of easy access to information is the promulgation of wrong information – so it is difficult to know truth from fiction. But a larger question looms – why do we all fight armchair wars? People take sides, even if …

    Of keyboards and wars… Read More »

  • Om Namah Shivaya!
    From the past few years, one cannot think of Mahashivratri, without thinking of Sadguru and Isha. The Mahashivratri event has now become the must-see event of the festival, which can be good or bad, depending on how you view it. Some people think of this as a well-marketed event, others wonder if there is a …

    Om Namah Shivaya! Read More »

  • Don’t give up anything this Shivratri…
    A lot of questions may arise in our minds, when we think of Shiva, and Shivratri – or the night of Shiva.
  • Of mitochondria and kill switches…
    Do you know about Mitochondrial Eve? If you recall (or don’t) from biology class, mitochondria generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions. Chemical energy produced by the mitochondria is stored in a small molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Now, as nature has it, All mitochondrial information is transferred from …

    Of mitochondria and kill switches… Read More »

  • Somethings to remember…
    It’s good to be reminded of somethings sometimes. So today, as you wake up to birds chirping outside, and as you step into the washroom you have running (and warm) water, spare a thought for the blessed life you have. Yes, maybe you woke a hour too early or have to leave for work in …

    Somethings to remember… Read More »

  • Of new mothers and sacrifices…
    I had a couple of interviews earlier today. Both were women who had married and given up their jobs to take care of their kids. One had been out the workforce for around 8-10 years, and the other for two years. I thought of the challenges that married women face, having to give up their …

    Of new mothers and sacrifices… Read More »

  • Of productivity and Putin…
    Today was not a very productive day. When I say productive, I mean that kind – the LinkedIn motivator kind. I wake up at 4.30 and don’t waste a minute of my time kind. It’s almost as if one has to wake up and set out on this roller coaster throughout the day, ensuring that …

    Of productivity and Putin… Read More »

  • Is learning ever wasted?
    Is learning ever wasted? Someone asked me this question the other day. She wanted to go for a course – short-term, around 2 weeks, and an introduction to something completely different from what she had done till now. The apprehension was – what if I don’t learn anything and it all goes to waste? What …

    Is learning ever wasted? Read More »

  • Of Malayalam and today…
    Today is like Malayalam. That sentence did make sense, if you know what a palindrome is. 22-02-2022 is today’s date and reads the same forwards and backwards. Like Malayalam. Actually, today is an ambigram as well – which means it reads the same upside down. For all this lingual interest, I hope that your day …

    Of Malayalam and today… Read More »

  • Of visionaries…
    How does one write “visionary” in one’s own title on LinkedIn? Imagine going to a networking event and extending your hand out to someone who you’ve just met and saying “Hi, I’m Rohit, and I am a visionary.” Hmm.. LinkedIn is anyway full of tripe nowadays. Everyone and his uncle has something to say about …

    Of visionaries… Read More »

  • Of abilities and attitudes…
    What matters more? The ability to learn, or the attitude towards learning? Some might argue that we don’t have the ability to learn anything and everything. After all, mental capacities differ. Maybe, but that is not the point. The ability to learn is a factor of the attitude towards learning. our educational system makes us …

    Of abilities and attitudes… Read More »

  • Of veggies and treadmills
    Can you guess the most eaten vegetable in the United States? Well, I can safely say that whatever you guessed, was wrong. The answer, and winner by a wide margin, is the French fry. It accounts for a quarter of their entire vegetable intake. And if this surprised you, try guessing the second most consumed …

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  • My baby speaks to me!
    Babies cry. Sometimes little, sometimes a lot. Sometimes when we least expect them to. And sometimes when we least want them to. As parents, we care for them, but get frustrated when they don’t stop crying. Parents try everything to soothe the baby, some steps work, other’s don’t. Some work sometimes, and sometimes not. So …

    My baby speaks to me! Read More »

  • Of Zen stories and Kancho…
    Zen stories. They bring back fond memories. Of times I spent with my master – sometimes in larger groups, other times just with the uchideshis – live-in students. Kancho – my master – used to conduct meditation discourses, and in between the philosophy, we used to wait eagerly for the Zen stories to make their …

    Of Zen stories and Kancho… Read More »

  • Of stories and proofs…
    A few days back, someone told me that they had received credible information (via WhatsApp), that Sita had not actually travelled to Lanka. The story goes that she created an avatar of herself, and Ravana then took her along instead. Hmmm… Anyways, my response was – what does it matter if she went to Lanka, …

    Of stories and proofs… Read More »

  • Of jacks and trades…
    A hectic day today. I had calls with three new clients, all of who are investment advisors, and target the retail segment. In English, you and me. People who make a modest living and struggle to handle their finances. Hence the experts. Finances – so simple, yet so complicated. People who make an obscene amount …

    Of jacks and trades… Read More »

  • Of teeth inlays and baby outlays…
    I was at the dentist today. It’s so bad nowadays, so bad that I qualified for the clinic’s in-house rewards program. No I am serious. They have invested quite a bit (or so they think) into tech, and this includes a WhatsApp bot (intelligent they say, Bot I say) to schedule appointments, an app to …

    Of teeth inlays and baby outlays… Read More »

  • Food, and more food…
    Food. Yesterday – none of it. Today – too much of it. Yesterday was Ekādashi, and as usual, I fasted the whole day and night, with water and a banana when I felt the pangs. Today, as usual, I woke up and broke the fast with simple food that I cooked myself, and then had …

    Food, and more food… Read More »

  • Of breaths and molecules…
    “In breathing, as in everything in life, the numbers are staggering—indeed fantastical. Every time you breathe, you exhale some 25 sextillion (that’s 2.5 x 1022) molecules of oxygen—so many that with a day’s breathing you will in all likelihood inhale at least one molecule from the breaths of every person who has ever lived.” “And every …

    Of breaths and molecules… Read More »

  • Time and tide…
    We love our watches, don’t we? Yes, their significance in actual timekeeping may have lessened, given the number of digital devices we have on us, but a watch is still a watch. Smart or not. So which watch is the best in the world? The obvious answer may be the one that keeps best time …

    Time and tide… Read More »

  • On choices…
    And we are in election mode again. Unless the “one nation one election” proposal is implemented, this election process will continue throughout the year, year-on-year, perpetually. One set of assembly elections gets over, panchayat elections take over. Then another set of assembly, and so on and so forth, until the Lok Sabha elections, and then …

    On choices… Read More »

  • The art of coping…
    ONE ART The art of losing isn’t hard to master;so many things seem filled with the intentto be lost that their loss is no disaster. Lose something every day. Accept the flusterof lost door keys, the hour badly spent.The art of losing isn’t hard to master. Then practice losing farther, losing faster:places, and names, and …

    The art of coping… Read More »

  • Of destiny and perfection…
    “It’s better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” You may have read this quote and many derivative formats, and it’s core message seems to be the same. Be yourself, and content on your own path rather than trying to imitate another and be somebody …

    Of destiny and perfection… Read More »

  • Ships that sail, and you who changes…
    If the ship on which Theseus sailed has been so heavily repaired and nearly every part replaced, is it still the same ship — and, if not, at what point did it stop being the same ship? The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned had thirty oars, and was preserved by the …

    Ships that sail, and you who changes… Read More »

  • Of simplicity, talent and ideology…
    Simplicity, talent and ideology all captured in one frame. From morning, I have read a lot of op-eds, each trying to outdo the other in paying tribute to her. Between nightingale, silence and loss of one’s voice (ah and yes, end of an era), everyone says nearly the same things, seemingly focusing more on the …

    Of simplicity, talent and ideology… Read More »

  • Vashishtadvaitam of Ramanujacharya
    Rāmānujācharya was one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vasihnavism Sampradaya within Sanatana Dharma. He was also the proponent of the Viśiṣṭādvaita school of Vedānta. I must confess that I have not read much of his teachings, but I recall something I read a few years back, that I reproduce here: Whether we …

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  • Bolt, buckle and dust the child…
    Ok. What’s common between bolt, buckle, clip, consult, left, dust, screen and Rohāmrta? They are all contronyms. That is, they can, depending on context, have opposite or contradictory meanings. For instance, bolt can mean to secure, or to flee, dust can mean adding fine particles, or removing them…and so on. Which is why many words …

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