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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Immersing myself into Nature .... My mantra

My life till date has been like a roller coaster ride but with lots of downs and minimal ups and during this journey of life I have had different ways of coping with failures and emotions and it was not that #onething. During the Engineering college days when I feel down and broken I used to go to the beach alone and sit for couple of hours in silence lapping up the salt laden air and listen to the waves crashing on to the beach and then I was back to being normal and take on the challenge of life. Then after the college I took up a job that entailed me to stay away from family and many a times away from the sea coast that I had to find out ways and means to counter the feeling of failures and emotions and I turned to music to tide me over this feelings and yes it did wonders to me till such time I found out a new mantra to overcome these feelings.

Once i was back to India from my overseas assignment one of my friend asked me to accompany him to Mudumalai forest for a stay in a home stay that was adjoining the forest and to be frank that 3 days stay there immersing myself with nature had a calming effect on me and yes i had found the new mantra to combat the negative feelings and emotions associated with failure. So for the last 12 years when ever I feel down with emotions and failures I pack my bags and go into the wild and immerse myself into the nature for couple of days and return refreshed and pepped up to face the challenges of the life.

This post has been written for Indispire edition-182 - When you are down with emotions and failures... what would be the one thing or thought which would lift you up.. push your failures behind and bring you back on track #onething

Friday, August 11, 2017

Indian Movies ... Does it influences the youth's mind???

Current news that is grabbing attention of the people of India is that of the stalking and chasing of a woman at Chandigarh with intent of abduction as perceived by the victim. The police have lodged a FIR and the boys from influential families have been remanded by the law. On the same day a woman, mother of two boys was stalked by an educated middle aged man at Mumbai and he had the audacity to even go up to her apartment and ring the bell and confront the woman without an iota of worry about law and showed no remorse when the cops came over and arrested him. These are only the few of the incidents that has been highlighted by media because the women in question had the guts to take cudgels against their tormentors whereas a large number of such incidents does not make it to the print or news in India.

One politician had tweeted that the stalking of women is nothing new and these are due to influence of Bollywood movies which depicts such actions by hero of the movie to woo the girl. He was trolled on twitter for this comment as the public felt that it was insensitive comment in support of the accused in the Chandigarh stalking case but then thinking back about his comment I personally feel that it is a very valid point with respect to eve teasing, rapes and such incidents.

PC: Google Images
Going to a movie has become a craze among the younger generation and the Indian movies be it Bollywood or regional ones have become an integral part of the current day youth. It does influence the minds of the youth all because of the media blitz that is associated the movie and the stars in the current days and in many cases it mislead the people to construe that if they do the similar things they would attain fame and fortune as depicted in the movie.
Sadly most Indian movies show grossly vulgar and crude romantic scenes with hero chasing the woman, cracking double meaning jokes, and singing songs to woo the woman and finally does so, corrupt politicians and government officials, power hungry villains, rags to riches by immoral methods and so forth, this in turn does create an impression in the minds of the youth who try to do the same in real life enacting their favorite actor hero. There has been various studies on the impact of movies on the youth of this country and it is generally proven that many incidents of eve teasing, rapes, suicides and other immoral activities has festered in the minds of the people influenced by the movies they see.

Gone are the days of movies being simple and conveying social cause for it does not sell in this fast paced society we live in now a days. Not all movies are so bad and some that are made showing positive notes have failed miserably at the box office and hence the producers and directors generally stick to the proven formula of commercial movies with lots of romance, sex, violence and so forth with some tilting songs such as “Chikni Chameli” or “Baby Doll” or “Zandu baam” where women ooze sex simply to arouse the movie goers which in turn leads to experimentation by public in real life.

So definitely movies does play a role in shaping the outlook of the people and if they are foolish enough to believe that what was seen on the screen would work out then they are sadly mistaken. Reel life is completely different from Real life. So my advice is to the generations of people who are movie crazy to take what happens on the screen with a pinch of salt and do not get influenced unlawful acts seen in the movies. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Portrait- Spot Bellied Eagle Owl

Spot bellied eagle owl is also know as the "forest eagle owl" and the sighting of these are pretty rare as these owls are generally nocturnal. It is said seeing a spot belled eagle owl is equal to sight 10 tigers or leopards because of its rarity. I was fortunate to sight these beautiful bird three times in last 8 years of my trips into the wild. Here is a portrait of the spot bellied eagle owl.

This image was captured at Bandipur forest recently. Hope you guys like this image.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Eclipse or Grahanam (Sanskrit)

This morning I got a call from my Mother in law who has gone to stay with her niece for few days asking me and my family to finish our dinner very early in the evening on account of Chandra Grahanam. This did piqued my thoughts of the blind faith being followed by us Hindus and wanted to know more about the beliefs that are linked to the eclipse throughout the world and I was pleasantly surprised that Hindus are not the only religion having belief that eclipses are inauspicious. Here is what I got to know

As per the Hindu Mythology eclipses is caused by Rahu or Ketu the sworn enemies of the Sun or Moon. The story of this enmity was the consequence of the fight for Nectar or Amruth- a drink of immortality between the gods and the demons. When this nectar was being churned out of the ocean and given to the gods’ one of the demon disguised as a god drank it sitting among gods. The Sun and the Moon came to know of this and informed Lord Vishnu who in a fit of anger severed the head of the demon who was in the form of a snake. As the demon had already tasted the Amruth he became immortal and the head portion became Rahu and the tail portion became Ketu. Since then they vowed that they would extract revenge from the Sun and Moon by swallowing them whenever they come near to them.

Ancient Greeks believed that Solar Eclipse was sign of an angry god and it was the beginning of disasters and destruction. In Vietnam people believed that solar eclipse is caused giant frog eating the sun. In ancient China a celestial dragon swallowing the sun was considered the cause of solar eclipse; similarly in Korean folklore it was considered the mythical dogs trying to steal the sun and in Norse culture it was the wolf eating the sun. Similarly American Indians believed that the bear fought the sun and bit a part of it. As the story goes the bear then resolves its conflict with the sun then goes to the moon and takes a bite of it too…may be a explanation as to solar eclipses occurring two weeks before or after the lunar eclipse. Traditionally people from various cultures would make loud noises by banging pots and pan or drums during eclipse to scare away the demon causing the eclipse.

Various Hindu beliefs of eclipse that are still being followed by Hindus in spite of no scientific proof are listed below
  • As Eclipse are considered inauspicious do not undertake any work during Eclipse
  • Pregnant women should not go out during the eclipse to avoid deformities to the child they are carrying.
  • Pregnant women should not use sharp instruments like knife, scissors needles etc since the child they are carrying can get cleft lips or birthmarks.
  • Do not cook food during the tenure of eclipse and do not consume anything till the eclipse is over.
  • Should not go out of the house during eclipse
  • Avoid sex during Eclipse
  • Do not look at Solar Eclipse with naked eyes for it could blind you.
  • Take bath immediately after the eclipse and purify yourself

I still remember my school days when we used to take a piece of clear glass and darken it with smoke by holding the glass piece over fire to view the sun during eclipse without affecting the eyes.

Fear of Solar Eclipse still exists in the present day modern world as many see it an evil omen that brings death, destruction and disasters. Scientists and astronomers has debunked most of the beliefs of the eclipse but then people still follow the age old traditions in the event of an eclipse.

I need to thank my Mother in law since it was because of her Comment this morning i made it a point to browse the net and get to know more about these age old beliefs of Eclipse or Grahanam ,not just by Hindus but by people from various parts of the world. I know many would know of all that i have written but this note is for the people around me :) 

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Image Credits: Google Images
Having passed out from school at Delhi in early seventies most friends were only boys as the society then were too traditional in India and having a girl was frowned upon. After school most of us dispersed for our studies to various parts of India and the slowly the bond dissipated due to tedious communication protocols present at those times. The bond of friendship at an early age and if it continuous then they are the best as it grows with time and are very strong. Few are very lucky to have such friends in their lives --- langoti yaar with whom you could share everything that is happening in one’s life. Unfortunately I do not have one true friend though I do have many casual friends that I have picked up at work place or during trips out into nature with whom I can spend time and relax but cannot share personal details.

During this digital age you gather over thousands of friend be it on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media networks but then you may hardly know about the person unless your interaction with the said person is regular basis or meet in person. Many of these friendships are based on your interests or for mutual benefits … you scratch my back and I will scratch your type. This is very evident on the social media networks including on this portal… you like a person’s blog and you would notice immediately find that person liking your blog irrespective of the content of the blog. So these friendships gathered on social media networks hardly pans out in real life unless you know the person in real life. No doubt you may share all your personal problems with your efriend since you are very comfortable to venting all your feelings to a computer screen which is the medium of communication with the knowledge that you are anonymous and would not be ridiculed or judged.

Real life friends who move away can be in touch easily this day through various medium available and the bonds of friendship does not break so easily. So my take on the friendship during this digital era is that you can be in regular touch with friends irrespective of the distances and maintain the same. Due to this advancement in technology I was able to reconnect with few of my classmates from school at the dusk of my life and we do have a very lively group meeting up and reliving our school days.

Make good friends in life and maintain them throughout and I am sure you would reap the benefits of friends.

PS: Written for Indispire 181-#Friendship

Surviving Cancer yet again

It is said that Lightening does not strike the same place twice but then it did to my wife. In my Earlier post I had written of my wife surviving the breast cancer after 8 months treatment plan including 8 sessions of Chemotherapy, Left breast mastectomy and a month of radiation therapy. All was well after these treatments and the entire family started picking up the threads of life and moving forward. But then the providence had something else in store for us. Within months of stepping out from the dreaded disease my wife had lump on the right axial which grew big in days and she rushed back to the medical oncologist who was reviewing her for a checkup and she was asked to undergo a surgery to remove this lump immediately. The biopsy of this lump came back positive for cancer i.e. Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (a type of nodal cancer). This news indeed shook up my wife as well as us for it is pretty rare for a back to back cancer of different variety. The treatment plan advised by the doctors was six sessions of Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy with gaps of 3 weeks between each session which we started immediately.

Unlike the previous treatment of Chemotherapy which used to take just about 3-4 hours this time around the session used to last for over 9 hours and quite painful. After each session of the therapy my wife would become very weak and have bouts of high fever by the 7th day thereby emergency admission as in patient at the hospital. I was quite worrying mentally and also quite expensive financially. So during the entire course of the treatment she had been admitted into hospital on emergency 5 times in addition to the therapy admission. Finally the treatments were over by end January 2017 and three weeks later a follow up PET scan confirmed no presence of cancer cells in her body. I sincerely hope that the threat of cancer has vanished and I say this because I have read the NHL can only be treated but not cured and there is a possibility of re-occurrence over a period of time and if it does happen same treatment needs to be done.

In addition to my wife undergoing painful treatment process, the mental and physical stress on me was immense. My pillars of strength during the first cancer, my sisters’ were not around this time since my youngest sister had emigrated to USA and the younger one had taken up employment. This meant that I had to be around in the hospital each time my wife was admitted. I could not go out of the country where I was employed and work peacefully…if I do not work I would not be compensated and this did add financial strains and tensions. I was almost mad with all these stress and I really did not have a shoulder to cry on and I do not know how I pulled through these times. Fortunately I have been able to tide over these hurdles and I hope that these never repeat in my life again for surely I will not be able to take up the stress and strain once again.

My wife is a survivor again the second time and am proud of the way she has faced this dreaded disease even though there was a threat to her life during the treatments.

This post is just to vent out my frustrations which has been building up inside me and I am sure you would all understand the feeling

PS: Image Credits : Google Images