Monday, June 28, 2021

Sights During the Morning Walk

 I come across some really interesting sights during my morning walk. Most of them are small shops that I love, with people already at work in them, some interesting people, sometimes animals and their human friends. Sometimes I get some fun pictures, sometimes I don't.

I thought I'd do a series on small businesses - like shops out of a window almost. I could get only one though - a biggish shop - a pumpchar shop (puncture shop). In fact the first time I heard of a Pump Char shop is when this guy under Sanjay's room had one such. Here I found two gentlemen waiting in front of a reasonably sized shop, for customers to pop in with their punctured tyres and egos.

And near Vengal Rao Nagar I see this old man clad in a coat, in a rather impoverished state. He does not look happy or unhappy, does not appear to be seeking anything, just sits there on the pavement by himself. As always I wonder how he must have been as a child, what he saw in his life, what aspirations he must have had. I wish him well and lots of peace.

And then I saw this couple one day, the husband seems to be recovering from a stroke, and the wife is ever so kind and compassionate as she walks him so gently, carefully, slowly. Again, one of those karmic relationships one feels. Beautiful.

And this cute little fellow, snacking on some spilt milk I am hoping, or something healthy, looking expectantly at the GHMC worker. I am not sure what the worker did, but I know most are kind so it might have got a bite. And I hope it's alive and kicking.

This is a bad pic and I'll hopefully get a better one - of this young ten or eleven-year-old who is manning these fruit shops in the area beside AG Colony. All bathed, fresh at 7 in the morning. Good on you kid.

And so life goes on, this way and that. Everyone seems caught up in their own thing.

eCanteen Fundas - Double Your Energy, Double Your Income

 Based loosely on Frank Bettger's book - double your energy (access it) and double the good!

E-Canteen Fundas: How about cranking up that energy in here and see positive results in life?

My lecturer says we need more energy in our class,’ said Rahul. ‘But he didn’t say how.’ 

‘I’ve heard of high and low energy too,’ said Rinku. ‘What does it mean, bhaiyya?’ 

‘We all possess energy within us,’ said Rakesh. ‘But we don’t access it or use it. We’re scared of our own potential perhaps. But the higher our energy, the better it is for us.’ 

‘Why, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku. 

‘High energy attracts high energy stuff — people, opportunities and happiness,’ said Rakesh. ‘They raise our energy and make us feel good. To raise the quality of life, raise your energy.’ 

‘But how, bhaiyya?’ said Rahul. ‘I don’t feel very energetic.’ 

‘With some practice,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘Your energy’s within you, so don’t wait for external factors to turn it on for you. Like performers who’re always high on energy, set a context that raises your energy. Act with double energy, even if you don’t feel like it, and keep practising until you feel the difference.’ 

‘What’s ‘setting the right context’, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.

‘A low-energy context of doing things could be saying things like ‘Hope something exciting happens’,’ said Rakesh. ‘But you can decide upon a high-energy context instead. To illustrate, let’s do a role play. Rinku, meet Rahul like you hate meeting him.’ 

Rinku met Rahul with zero interest, making no eye contact, speaking with a dull, listless voice. 

‘Now, meet him like you’re meeting your best friend after twenty years,’ said Rakesh. 

Rinku whooped and smiled at Rahul. 

‘Whoa,’ said Rinku. ‘My energy zoomed ten times.’ 

‘Same here,’ said Rahul. ‘What happened?’ 

‘We changed your context into a high-energy one,’ said Rakesh. ‘And you drew all the energy stuck in the past and future, into your present.’ 

‘It’s good,’ said Rinku. 

‘High energy lifts you and those around you above fears and doubts,’ said Rakesh. ‘Energy is precious, the highest paid resource in the world — and it’s within us. So double your energy and double the good things.’ 

‘But bhaiyya, won’t we be abandoning people with low energy?’ asked Rahul. 

‘No, Rahul,’ said Rinku. ‘We pull them up with our high energy. Thanks, bhaiyya. I’m doubling it now.’

Pro Tip: Energy is everything and vice versa. Change the context of all moments to a high-energy one, act doubly energetic and see positive results in your life

Johnny English -- Movie

 I love laughing and I love  Johnny English so I didn't mind watching it again. Found out that the female lead is Natalie Imbruglia who sang the song 'Torn' which was my favorite for a while. Anyway back to the laughing - loved his capers. 

Johnny is a secret service agent and despite his ways, is known to solve some of the toughest cases the British Intelligence encounters. This time Britain is faced with the danger of a Frenchman who wants to become the King of England and English has to stop him with the help of his assistant Bough and the shapely Ms Campbell, Natalie Imbruglia.

English does it!     

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Nothing to Hide - Movie

 French. A bunch of old friends meet at a dinner and play a game where everyone must reveal every single message and call they get during the time at the dinner. Out pop secrets from everyone (which makes you wonder why they all agreed to play such a dangerous game in the first place). But its fun and watchable.

Thought for the Day - Live Like You Have Everything, Work Like You Have Nothing

 I think I finally cracked it.

Courtesy Satish Nargundkar

One problem with having nothing is that you work hard so you can everything, if not, something. However the fear that you don't have anything will always make you work in a manner that will never get you anything. So the key is to live, like you have everything and work without a care or fear.

That way, you'll work without fear.

But then, when you feel like you have everything, you may not feel like working anymore and may simply become fat and boring. So to defeat this possibility, you must work like you have nothing. That way you will show some hunger towards your work.

I know its a bit convoluted, but I am going to try it. If someone has to fool me, I'd rather it be me. 

The Vedas and Upanishads for Children - Roopa Pai

This is a book I would have loved to read when I was a child - but I guess this was as good an age as any to start. I am immensely grateful to Roopa Pai for putting it down so easily and simply (any further complexity and I would have given up) so I could make sense of things that never made sense as a whole. I could never figure Hinduism out as a whole and always wanted to know what  the Vedas were that everyone keeps referring to. I learned the names of the four Vedas and that was it. As always I made notes for myself after reading this wonderful book for future reference.

The Vedas are 3500 year old sacred, hymns of praise to the elements written in Sanskrit. They contain poetry, philosophical stories, spells, mantras, incantations, musical notations. The Upanishads are part of the Vedas, a new layer to the Vedas (2700 years old) and are stories, conversations between teachers and students discussing the principles written in the Vedas. They illustrate the ideas and make them easier to practice and follow. Many unknown sages have put together this compilation of distilled knowledge - Veda actually means Knowledge. There are four Vedas - Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. 

In its original form the Vedas were oral - they were not written down - and were transmitted orally for 2000 years. (In 500 CE the Rig Veda was written down.) The oral transmission is what's called Shruti - sometimes set to music and song. It's said that the sages were able to tune into the song of the universe (as most natural wisdom happens) and were inspired (a state of using instinct, reason and intuition). One of the key findings they found and put down in the Vedas was that there is Universal energy that pervades everything (Brahman) and there is indestructible energy within each of us (Atman).

Oral transmission meant that teachers and students had to learn by heart using the ear, tongue and mind. Vedic gurukuls had a tough entrance - only from Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya classes - leaving out Shudras who were ineligible just as women were. The student entered the gurukul at 12 years and left at 24, learning the Vedas along with a practical application of that knowledge, in the right learning environment. The basics of the sounds, patterns, sequences, tricks and techniques were taught exhaustively. To remember the exhaustive number of hymns, in the right manner they used memory techniques in chanting like Prakrithi (nromal sequence) and Vikrithi (jumbled sequence). When said right, one is said to attain a stillness where one can learn anything, when all your energies converge.

The Vedas are attributed to be the handiwork of the Aryans, a race of cow herders that descended from Central Asia. From initial settlements in Punjab thy grew in all directions.They split into janapadas or dynasties like Kuru and Kosala (Mahabharata and Ramayana). Being big on pleasing Gods, they were into hymns and yagnas. The yagnas were mega feasts with a purpose, for showing gratitude, and required much planning and protocol. Yagnas needed a Yajamaana, the one who owned the yagna, and the priest, to conduct it well and get paid for it. 

The Upanishads reexamined the Vedas and came with more holistic and universal meanings - where all were considered equal etc. Jainism and Buddhism which came afterwards rejected the idea of caste, Jainism also rejected animal sacrifice and preached ahimsa or nonviolence. 

There is no mention of 'Hindu' in the Vedas or the Upanishads. In fact the name Hindu comes from what the Persians called the people who lived beyond the river Sindhu. These people who lived beyond the Sindhu, the Aryans, believed in Sanatana Dharma or eternal law - a universal code of ethics and duties prescribed for them in the Vedas.

The Aryans believed in three main components - Bhu (earth, fire, rivers), Svah (sky, sun, moon, dawn) and Bhuvah (all that's between the earth and the sky, winds, clouds). Their Gods were Indra. Agni, Soma, Ashwins, Varuna, Maruts, Ushas, Savitr, Vayu, Brihaspati, prithvi, Apas, Vishnu, Rudra, Saraswati, Yama - and they believed they were all the manifestations of One God, Ishvara. There is some evidence of a Pashupati seal found at Harappa, dated 5000 years ago, 1500 years before the Vedas!  

Each Veda consists of four parts - Samhita, Brahmna, Aranyaka and Upanishad. The Samhita is a collection of actual set of hymns chanted during the rituals, the Brahmana is an interpretation explaining the significance and meaning of each mantra and ritual with details of how to carry them, the Aranyakas are questions on the interpretations in the Brahmana and making new interpretations, and the Upanishads (also called the Vedanta or the end of the Vedas) do not refer to any rituals but explain the thoughts from the Aranyakas in a practical manner through stories. While the Samhita is about the 'doing', the other three are about the 'thought' behind it. (The Bhagavad Gita carries the essence of the wisdom of the Upanishads.) Like - to win the war one needs both wisdom and action.

The Samhita of Rig, Yajur and Sama Veda are about Gods, yagnas and philosophy while the Samhita of Atharva Veda is about everyday human concerns. The Samhita of Rig Veda is the oldest, hymns of praise to the Gods, with 10 books or Mandalas comprising 10, 600 verses which are part of 1028 hymns. Mandalas 2- 9 are hymns to Gods and Mandala 1 is the story of creation. The Samhita of Sama Veda is 1875 Rig verses set to music, to melodious chanting. The Samhita of Yajur Veda is a mix of prose and poetry - prose comprising of formulae recited during sacrifices (again broken into two -Yajur Shukla or the pure version and Yajur Krishna, the impure version). The Samhita of the Atharva Veda is less about gods and more about the fears and hopes of common people mostly about spells, prayers, mantras, plants and herbs and their healing powers. This is the inspiration behind Ayur Veda that Charaka and Shusrutha (1120 illnesses and treatments) wrote about. 

To perform the yagnas which were of daily, fortnightly, quarterly and harvest significance four types of brahmins were required - the hotri (who knew the Rig Veda), Udgati (choir), Adhvaryu (for clearing, preparing sacrificial ground, slaughtering animals, cooking) and Brahmana (the high priest who overlooked the entire process).The top 3 yagnas were Ashwamedha Yagna (where a horse was let loose and all the lands it travelled became the lands of the king who performed the yagna and if challenged the challenger had to face war), Rajasuya yagna (all invited to a major feast and all who came conceded that the one who is performing the yagna was their lord) and Soma yagna (welfare of humanity). The rituals were important to the Aryans and so were yagnas which they believed improved willpower, focus and discipline. 

The Vedic poetry has 7 chandas (beats) - Gayatri mantra, Ushni, Anushtubh, Brikati, Pankti, Trishtubh and Jagati. There is reference to a fifth Veda called the Panchama Veda which can be accessed by all including Shudras. This was told through storytelling, dance and drama. The epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana, form part of what is called the Itihaasa Purana, which are composed by humans. There are 18 major and 18 minor works considered Puranas. The works include Mahabharata, Bhagavata Purana (a eulogy to Krishna), Natya Shastra (composed by sage Bharata), Ramcharithmanas (Tulsidas), Divya Prabandham and Tevaram (verses for Vishnu)>

There are also Suktas about Aryan Gods (thousands of them) but chiefly to the lord of Fire, Agni Sukta. Stories about creation are those that were - born of thought, word or dream, from a divine being, from dismemberment, from a cosmic egg and from an earth diver. The Hiranyagarbha Sukta is the hymn of the golden embryo, the Nasadiya Sukta is the hymn of that which is non-existent, the Vishwakarma Sukta is the hymn of the Divine Architect, the Purusha Sukta is the hymn of Man (where the Brahmins become the upper parts and Shudras form the lower parts), Yama Sukta is the hymn to Yama, the Pavamana Sukta is the hymn for purification, the Sapatna Nashana Sukta is the hymn for destruction of enemies and the Sangacchadhvan Sukta is the hymn of unity.

There are Upavedas, applied knowledge - and they comprise of Dhanurveda (art of warfare), Yuddhakala (art of war), Ayudhavidya (knowledge of arms), Veeravidya (science of a warrior), Shastra vidya (weapons), Svarakhsaakala (self defence), Sthapatya Veda (Architecture, Vastu shastra), Gandharva Veda (knowledge of divine musicians, music, dance, music as therapy, drama and poetry) Ayurveda (science of life - treatment of children, extraction of foreign objects, antidotes, body maintenance tonics, exorcism of spirits). The rituals are detailed in the Atharva Veda and they are meant to be followed to the T with no short cuts. The idea being that one should not be flexible with rituals but be flexible with ideologies.

The Upanishads reveal the secrets or insIghts behind the knowledge of the Vedas. They are the texts on which the Gita is based on. There are 200 Upanishads of which 10 are considered principal. They are part of the Shruti literature and were composed between 700 BCE to 1 CE. Upanishad means - sitting close and at a lower level.

Some of the big ideas discussed in the Upanishads are of Samsara (the cycle of birth and rebirth), Karma or action (there is no right or wrong, only consequences), Dharma or potential (know your role, play it to the best potential), Moksha or liberation (highest goal of lasting happiness breaking Samsara's golden chains). The Upanishads conclude that the - universe is not random and there is an underlying order, God is not out there, you are God, the world we see is make believe, a shadow, the body is a costume and the real you is the Atman, you contain the universe, the Supreme Consciousness, there is one universal energy the Brahman and you are not created but you are God.

The Cliffnotes to Upanishads are - Brahma sutras, the Gita and the Badarayana (555 stories, 4 chapters, collates and organises lessons of Upnishads, a handy guide for logical learners). The Gita written by Vyasa tells the 4 goals of human life through a story - Dharma (do your duty, fulfill responsibility, live to your potential), Artha (accumulate material wealth, give extra wealth away), Kama (pursuit of pleasure) and Moksha (ultimate happiness, detachment from worldly pleasures). The idea of Nishkama Karma or doing our duty without being attached to the results of action is given here.

The Muktika Upanishad gives the definitive list of 108 Upanishads. The 10 chosen as the Principal ones are - Isha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taitiriya, Aitareya, Chandogya and Brihadaranyaka. Each has its own Shanti mantra to be recited before studying it.

The Isha - the sameness of things - says that renouncing attachment is the way to bliss, the source of unhappiness comes from seeing others as different, and if we see ourselves in everything we are blissful. Balance is the key to  blissful life. The Kena says that nothing happens without desire, the Brahman cannot be grasped and can only be explained through Neti, Neti Neti or 'not this, not that'. Treat everything as you would treat yourself. Katha is the secret of eternal life, death is of body and not soul, letting go of expectations is the key to happiness. The Prashna asks questions like where all beings come from, which power is most important, where is lifebreath born and such other questions. The meditation on AUM is a big release. The Mandukya is also about chanting of AUM (A - chant with devotion to make you serene, U chanting makes you master your dreams, M chanting stills your mind and the pause after that is the Turiya, the Atman and Brahman are experienced). The Taitereya talks about the many layers or Koshas of the human body - body (Annamaya kosha), life breath(Pranamaya kosha), mind (Manomayakosha), personality (Vijnamaya kosha) and heart (Anandamaya kosha). The Aitereya talks of three births to the self - soul to the body, baby created, baby born. The Chandogya talks about consciousness, and says something very profound - don't take yourself and your life too seriously. The Brihadaranyaka talks about making things possible and how by staying strong you can achieve it.

Out of the Upanishads come the four Mahavakyas or Great truths - Prajanam Brahma - "Insight is Brahman", Ayam Atma Brahma - "This Self (Atman) is Brahman",Tat Tvan Asi - "That are you" and Aham Brahmasmi - "I am Brahman".          

In the 8th century, a boy scholar named Shankara was born in Kaladi, Kerala and he advocated Advaita (not two) and equated Atman and Brahman as one. He proposed a system of six popular gods - Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti, Ganesha, Muruga and Surya and formulated a system of ritual worship for each. he established the Chaturdham - the four centres of Advaita - Sringeri math (Sringeri), Sarada math (Dwaraka), Jyotirmath (Badrimath) and Govardhan math (Odisha).   

It is this version we follow now. There is a lot of wisdom contained in these texts, but also many interpretations of it, some mischievous. The discrimination against certain castes and against women is certainly one - however it is a known fact that anyone in power would like to keep it to themselves and find ways to perpetuate prosperity for themselves and their own. So take the best of it and leave out what's not relevant. 

I for one am not convinced about why anyone falls under this ambit of religious choice -  even more as a Hindu - a term that is loosely used, unless by choice. To hold the texts of the Aryans and impose them and their interpretations on people who have neither read them nor had access to them seems arbitrary. The Vedas and Upanishads have their own place and that is great for those who follow them and who have practiced them, like the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas too perhaps, but to the rest who have been kept out, its like being forced into something you never chose, something that never treated you right. (If you're not there, you're here.) Once we see the whole in context, simple as it may seem in this book, we can clearly see that it's choice that rules - one cannot arbitrarily bring everyone under the umbrella and say we're all one and equal and lets pray to these gods like this - when clearly we are not even aware of what all this is about. So for all the wisdom of the sages and of Shankara, I'd still say, great, but let us choose what to do, eat, pray for and label ourselves in this day - and most importantly, like Lal Bahadur Shastri said, let it be a private affair. No one, certainly no political party can appropriate a whole population under the theme of a religion and claim majority backing. Certainly not when the majority of this population cannot put their religion or its basic tenets in perspective for themselves. It would be interesting to know how many Hindus know basic questions about the religion, its sacred texts and history.     

I love the  fact that Roopa Pai has made the effort to understand and put it down in a manner that a child can now understand what was so inaccessible to most people. She may have done more to explain the ideas than anyone else has in the past and in a manner that is so easy and fun to read. Thanks Roopa Pai for your wonderful effort and for this wonderful book!                   


Thursday, June 24, 2021

India Loses the World Test Cricket Championship - Lessons to Learn

 India, despite top billing, lost the final of the World Test Championships to New Zealand. We cannot take away anything from New Zealand because they have beaten us in the one day World Cup and for all purposes beat England too in the final and they have beaten us here fair and square. In fact we may have many lessons to learn form this tiny cricket playing nation about what cricket is all about. 

Some lessons that come to mind are about leadership, playing together like a team and doing the small things right. Other factors could be the way they keep an eye on reality and make adjustments to the process.

There is much talk that goes on about process and how we should not be worried about the result as long as the process is right. But there is another important angle to this - if the result is not right most times, then we must revisit the process, the execution. The result is the outcome of your process, the feedback on your system. When the results are a bit stark and in your face, we must have the humility and learning mindset to analyse what went wrong, revisit the process and make necessary adjustments. In the end, the outcomes must reflect processes and must be used as valuable feedback for the processes.

Of the many lessons, I hope this is the first one to learn. To accept mistakes, to correct them and not look for reasons elsewhere. It is not about one session or one Test - New Zealand have ticked more boxes with far lesser resources than we have - and twice. Including winning the crucial sessions. Ponder over that instead of glossing over it.    

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The African Doctor - Movie

 Nice feel-good movie, a true story of an African doctor who is hired by a remote village in Northern France and finds life diffocult because they have never seen black people before and do not believe he is a real doctor. His struggles and those of his family and how he overcomes them to become a respected member of society is the story. Very easy and nice watch.


Original Wisdom - Robert Wolff

 Robert Wolff is a psychologist who spent much time living and working with ancient civilisations in South America, Indonesia, Malaysia and tried to understand their way of living and knowing, their natural wisdom. It is a fascinating account of his experiences, mostly with the Malaysian tribe Sng,oi, a nomadic aboriginal tribe that is cut off form the rest of the world. They have no phones, no schedules, they feel they are part of all things living and non-living and have an acute sense of energies, emotions and intentions.

The tribe is difficult to access as they live deep in the woods and keep moving. Villages are small with about fifty members or less in each village.  His first experience with one of the tribes happens when he is sent to conduct a survey on their nutritional needs and methods. He finds a woman in great discomfort, and somehow convinces everyone to move her to a hospital and they do. Only later does her sister in law tell him that she was being taken care of at home, with her people around her, but he had moved her into an impersonal space where she might die all alone. Worse, she might not even get buried according to their customs because of his actions. Wolff realises that science may not always be the answer, however advanced. In another experiment he asks children to draw - a classic way to understand their minds - and finds that they cannot draw anything because they have no references set in their community. It's like a blank paper. 

Wolff finds that these tribes people speak very gently, softly. To speak loudly is to be rude. They have their own system of living, everyone sharing all resources, not having institutions like marriage, education coming through experiential and tuned in knowledge. The medicine men or bomoh were people who would come, hold their hands, gently question and arrive at what the problem was and treat it - they were expected to know and they would never ask the patient what the problem was. All this was done for free. Their special delicacy was monkey, they'd eat roots, only as much as they want, throughout the day and keep the rest for someone else who might wander that side. They would sit for hours doing nothing, not being contaminated by the concept of time.

Wolff learns their language and they accept him as part of them. He is amazed to find that each time he tries to meet a new group, one person in the group would be waiting as if to meet him and take him to their village. They believe that this is not the real world, it is a world of illusion, of shadows, and only when we see past the veil can we experience the real world. They in fact are so humble, they call themselves slaves. 

Once he takes the bomoh of a village to the main town with him and he sees the ocean for the first time. Wolff notices the bomoh watching the ocean intently the next day and after they return to the village, he holds a meeting and tells the rest of the village people about the ocean - details about how the ocean covers the land but not enough to pose danger, of how there's life inside the ocean, geography of the ocean and so much more that Wolff knows could not be known by merely watching the ocean from a distance. But the bomoh has seen an ocean for the first time and Wolff realises that there is a knowing in the universe if we are tuned into it. He asks the bomoh to teach him and he asks Wolff to join him on a walk - and they walk and walk in nature for days without any instruction and after many such, Wolff realises how to tune into the universe and its wisdom.

Another powerful realisation is when one of them actually invents a machine - but it is not put to use. They do not see any use for machines because they know that the machine will take the work of 100 people and their question is - what will the 100 people do then? Like we are now wallowing in more and more time to fill ourselves with distractions from the real world. They believe in taking care of each other - something we have lost a bit. 

There are so many wonderful ideas and experiences described in this slim and easy to read book and I described only what I remember. But it is a worthy read, one that will make you think about the way we have allowed our minds to control us, and have lost our connection with our selves, our intuitive selves that know.          

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Sherni - Movie

 Lovely. Absolutely smashing. Amit Masurkar makes it all appear so real. Wonderfully researched and narrated. The story of wildlife and eco conservation in small town India. Watch.

The Abundance of Nature!

 I don't even remember planting papaya trees but a few of them grew - lean, spindly fellows with no sign of any fertility. I thought they were all male until the other day when I went to pluck mangoes from the terrace and found a few fruit on one papaya tree - the biggest one.

Home grown papayas - after the mangoes!

And when Rajesh bought a couple I was impressed. But when they turned a beautiful golden brown I was thrilled.ow abundant is nature I wondered - it just gives these perfect fruit away for free.

Tomorrow I plan to cut one of them. I will report on the sweetness of the papaya then. Until then, feats your eyes! 

Anjali - And Then There Were Two

 Sona and Zor continue on their journey with Akela, with all the enthusiasm and joy as before. Anjali has also made peace with the passing of Zindagi. Shobha has put up Zor and Sona for prospective adopters on her Facebook page - so far no takers.

Akela, Sona and Zor resting under the Santro

Life goes on as the three have now moved back under the Santro which is relatively safer than the road. Every now and then I hear the two young ones bark and worry if they have picked up a fight with someone bigger than them and hope they are OK. Of course every now and then Akela picks up a fight with poky dogs who seem to venture in just to trouble her and the pups.

Sona settling scores with Anjali's slipper

But otherwise they are full of beans and look forward to playing with Anjali at all times of the day, coming into the house behind her and playing with her slippers and any other random stuff she might give them to knock around. These days they mostly sleep, blissfully.

Zor - Bagged!

And life goes on.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Johnny English Reborn - Movie

 Funny! Like anything Mr Bean does!

eCanteen Fundas - Your Self-Worth Decides What You Get

 Your self-worth is your gateway  to receiving!

E-Canteen Fundas: Are you worth it or not? Your self-worth decides what you allow into your life

My aunt wants me to bake a cake and charge for it,’ said Rinku. ‘I love baking but I’m very uncomfortable charging her for it.’

‘Watch out,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘You’ll end up with low self-worth if you don’t value yourself.’

‘How, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku. ‘Giving free stuff is good, right?’

‘Self-worth is what you think you’re worth,’ said Rakesh. ‘When you don’t think you’re worth much, you treat yourselves poorly. You’re like a seller who doesn’t value his product — others won’t value it either. But if you know your worth and quote the right value, others value it too. To charge or not is your choice, but if you’re not because you feel unworthy, then you’re in trouble.’

‘Does low self-worth affect us, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku. 

‘Your self-worth is your gateway,’ said Rakesh. ‘It determines all you get in your life. Low self-worth has a small gateway — it restricts your capacity to receive and hold on to love, material good, opportunities. Your self-worth affects everything.’’

‘But we have different capacities, right, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.

‘Nope,’ said Rakesh. ‘We’re all like hundred rupee notes that have the same intrinsic value whether we’re in a posh handbag or have been trampled upon. We’re worthy as we are equal.’

‘Whoa, how can we improve our self-worth?’ asked Rinku.

‘Since self-worth is your perceived worth, as you are, without external things, people or conditions, begin with accepting yourself exactly as you are,’ said Rakesh. ‘If external things make you feel unworthy, get over them — do test drives, sip coffee at star hotels, etc. Know you’re bigger than any external thing. Don’t deny yourself, have fun within your means. And start treating yourself like you’d treat someone with a healthy self-worth.

‘I was confusing low self-worth with humility,’ said Rinku. ‘And healthy self-worth with arrogance.’

‘You’re not demeaning anyone by treating yourself well. With a healthy self-worth, you don’t accept any less. So Rinku, quote a price that makes you feel good, that’s fun for you — and double it. Your aunt will love buying your customised cakes.’

‘Eight hundred rupees, bhaiyya, and no less,’ said Rinku. ‘And I’m already feeling really good about it too.’

Pro Tip: Your self-worth decides what you allow into your life. Increase your self-worth and treat yourself like you’re worthy, accept nothing less

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Anjali - Happy Father's Day!

 Anjali is a great one for surprises and planning etc and is very old fashioned in that sense because she takes care to order what she wants in advance  so the gifts reach in time. I knew she would do something special and thoughtful as she always does and she did.

Happy Father's Day!

So the moment she woke up she gave me and hug and wished me a Happy Father's Day and handed me a gift wrapped in a shoe box covered with newspaper with some nice pictures cut out of the papers. There was this nice card she made, a yellow shirt made of card paper with the card inside wishing me. Inside the box was a book - 'The Plague' by Albert Camus with a message that she likes Camus and that she hoped I liked the book too. And there were five Pilot pens to do my writings which is so thoughtful of her again.

Of course Shobhs decided to make it special as well and ordered in some nice food from Hard Rock Cafe. And Prarthana, my niece, ordered some wonderful dessert for me from Pune.

Thanks you Anjali (and Shobha and Prarthana). For making it such a special day.  

Saturday, June 19, 2021

No Country for Old Men - Movie

 2007. Coen Brothers. 10th best film of the 21st century.

Anjali - RIP Zindagi!

 We got the call from the PFA people today - that Zindagi finished her part in this life and moved on. It was expected, though I had some visions of a miraculous recovery. But then that's life and we have no control over many things and must accept them as they happen.

Zindagi - at home!

We decided to celebrate Zindagi's life - short - at 2 months. Give Akela, Sona and Zor something nice to eat too. Playfulness, that curiosity and mischief of Zindagi - that is what will always stay. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Anjali - Recovering from Zindagi's Departure

 It left a bigger void than we thought,more so because it seemed so unfair that a young playful pup of two months is brutally bitten by a full grown dog. If nothing it shows us how unfair, unpredictable and cruel life can be. 


The other two pups sensed it perhaps and were uncharacteristically whining outside the door at 12 in the night. Anyway by morning they had settled down (though I suspected Shobhs hadn't). Anjali was fine and when I asked her if she was ok she said - When I first decided to give Akela food, I knew that this was a short term thing and that I was not going to get attached to her or the pups. So its ok really.

Whatever it was, the day was rather muted. We couldn't get ourselves to call the PFA chaps to find out her condition. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Anjali - Zindagi Grievously Injured

 And this evening, the one thing we dreaded happened. The pups keep going off to play and forage outdoors and these days spend quite a bit of time outdoor. I set out for a walk at about 5 pm and all three followed me to the gate and outside and I could not resist taking a picture of them.

Sona, Zor and Zindagi seeing me off on my walk!

I came back an hour and half later and found Anjali, Vajra and Shobha around Zindagi. Apparently she had just been attacked by a big dog while she was playing outside and was in bad shape. She had deep bite marks on the side of her abdomen, deep enough for her to leave pools of blood, was in a state of shock and could not move when she tried to move her hind legs. A friend later told me that dogs commonly attack the spine and paralyse the ones they attack.

Zor and Sona came and slept alongside Zindagi. Shobha called the People for Animals and they were like god send again - this time their vehicle was at Kukatpalli and two young boys came in half and hour. They said it was perhaps paralysed but they would do some physiotherapy and it might recover. All information would come tomorrow when we speak to the vet.

Zindagi was bundled off into a carton, made as comfortable as she could. Even as they lifted her e could see a pool of blood where she was lying. Shobha wished her well, asked Anjali to wish her too. And after she left, Shobha broke down. It was very traumatising for all of us, and though I have been very stand offish as far as their care was concerned, I felt sad to see the playful pup go to an unfamiliar place, with such grievous injuries. All we could do was send her energy and good wishes.

Life is life that. Shobha said 'I wonder if we could have done any more? Protected them.' But we did the best we can. Anjali was amazingly stoic through this whole episode. Though she was with Zindagi comforting her, cleaning her, holding her, seeing her pain, she was like I said stoic. 'I have become rather used to this since ajji's death,' she said in a way of explanation.

Zindagi being taken by the PFA volunteers - Get well soon!

I could not keep images in my mind of Zindagi in a distant and unfamiliar place for a while. end her energy and good wishes and hope the best thing for her happens. Lots of love Zindagi. Loved the way you'd roll on your back when you saw us, or go at my ankles, or stick your head out beside the gate. Until later then.       

Jokes and Cartoons!

 These are some jokes and cartoons I found on WhatsApp - Chitra is a major contributor just as my schol group is. Have some fun! 


Acknowledgements to those who made these jokes and cartoons, don't know many, but thanks for the laughs. You made my day.