Sunday, March 30, 2008

"If you ask me to describe my career in a nutshell, this is how I will do it. The longer I work as a journalist and multi-media person, the more I am convinced that I was born for this unique, rewarding profession!"
- Vimla Patil

The media-world in India recognize Vimla as one of the country’s senior and respected journalists and media persons.
Vimla initiated the Miss India contest in the mid-sixties for the journal and brought it to its present international stature.

Breaking rules is Vimla's passion! After finishing her long stint with Femina,(She was the editor of the famous magazine who according to me played a major role in 'awakening women to their potential) Vimla built a brand new career for herself as a freelance multi-media person writing features, books and scripts; creating events, sound and light shows; holding workshops and training seminars; and many more activities in her busy portfolio...

And I, Shakun, am proud to state that she is my friend and mentor in activities that are close to my heart.

I do believe in the statement:
Life in itself has no meaning...Life is an opportunity to create a meaning...It is a poem to be composed, it is a song to be sung, It is a dance to be danced...

Vimla shared the following very interesting observations which I am sharing with you:

Emperor Ashoka and Emperor Akbar

The strange conincidences do not end with both these royal personalities being the greatest rulers in the history of the world and their names beginning with A. Here are some other facts which should amuse us.
1. Ashoka is called the 'tallest' emperor in world history by top Western historians. Akbar's is one of the four grand monarchies of the world.
2. the Bollywood film Ashoka was produced by Shah Rukh khan, a Muslim and he acted the main role of Ashoka, a Hindu and then a Buddhist. SRK is a Muslim married to a Hindu wife Gauri who has stuck to her religion
3. Akbar was played by Hrithik Roshan, a Hindu who has a Muslim wife who retains her religion.
4. SRK spoke chaste hindi for his role as Ashoka and Hrithik spoke chaste Urdu for his role as Akbar!
Does this sound strange or is it the real secular India?
Vimla Patil

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Meet Ms Basanti Roy (divisional secretary Mumbai, Maharashtra , Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education).
When we started the Women's Movement for Peace and Prosperity, we figured that a woman should lead the movement because she has more compassion and less of an ego. But then a woman is present in every family as a mother, sister, then why is there so much violence...we concluded that the reason may be because a woman does not have a voice...(Actually she has a voice, but mostly hysterical due to the fact that that voice is not fine-tuned) so we proceeded to try and fine tune that voice by various means...Through education, health, spirituality, a lesson in 'Gems of Faiths' which leads to Communal Harmony...
Anyway coming back to Ms Basanti Roy who is the Vice Chairperson of the Movement (Yours Truly is the Chairperson)
A Call was put to Ms Basanti Roy who directed 17 year old Omkar Pimple an HSC examinee to the closest station Dahisar (Shailendra Education Centre to take his exam. You see young Omkar suffered a panic attack as he was sure that he would not make it for his 11 am Sanskrit paper at an HSC Centre in Churchgate.
Once again a woman has time...NO! finds time to use her heart...
Love you, Basanti!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

We have always been told that Life is our own Creation.

I Read an article by Jim Donovan and I thought that the following was rather interesting:
Let's supposing for a moment you're in a bad mood. You're feeling pretty negative. At that particular moment in time your personal vibration, the energy of your thoughts and words is in the lower frequencies. Let's call this particular mood "Frequency X" Now somewhere off in the distant Universe, there is another negative experience. Maybe it's a flat tyre whose frequency happens to be "X" as well. By virtue the law of attraction, you will begin attracting that or some other undesirable experience to you. There are no accidents. The Universe works on a specific set of principals that do not waiver. Like attracts like whether we believe it or not...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Alongside, close friends, and blood relatives...Shanti and Ramesh Ramchandani...We go a long way...had kids around the same time...were there for each other during ups and downs of life...was delighted to have them visit us and we look happy don't you think?

People who need people are the luckiest people in the world! I must say that I believe in people and specially in people who have found what they believe in and pursue their dream. Below Mr Dial Gidwani and his charming wife Lakshmi. They were visiting Bombay and we shared a meal.

Dial is the Founding President American Institute of Sindhulogy.

While I am on the subject of Sindhis, I shall honour my web blog by mentioning names like Acharya Kirpalani, Mr Hiranand Karamchand and Ms Kamla Hiranand.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Alongside Swami Nirmal and myself. Swamiji patiently answered all my queries. He is now in his 80s and lives in Amritsar. He was visiting Bombay last week and I was so happy to go and visit him there!

Swami Nirmal Chetan was born in Amritsar. He was only one year old when his mother died.

His father married a second time and had more children.

The boy whenever lonely would turn to the soothing prayer hymns that would emanate from the Golden Temple.

At the age of 21 he met his Master Swami Nirmal from Punjab, who seemed to be the answer to all his longings and prayers. The Master refused to initiate him as he would not allow him to run away from his household duties.

Alone and dejected Swami Nirmal Chetan headed towards the Himalayas where he had a near - death experience. He experienced visions of an indescribable nature which filled his soul in such a manner that he experienced fear and loneliness no more.

On his return his Master had to admit that he was made for the spiritual path.

I met Swamiji at a time when the answer to my one question would give rise to a dozen more. Many other masters that I came across during that time would find my questions impertinent or maybe they thought that I was trying to test their knowledge.

As far as I can look into the recesses of my heart that was not true, I really wanted to know.

What endeared Swamiji to me, was his extreme patience and equilibrium of character.

Swamiji’s teachings are simple. He says that:

God has given us one room (heart). It is up to us whether we want to turn that room into a Hotel or Godown or a Temple. That is we could spend our lives being attached to different people in which case we would have turned our “room heart” into a hotel. We could fill our room heart” with material things (possessions) in which case we will have turned it into a Godown, or we could convert our heart into a Temple where we could place the Lord at its altar.

Do read more, Click:

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Today is Women's Day.
I celebrated appropriately the "Eve" of Women's Day with a Lunch with longtime Girlfriends, Tea with an Introductory talk of Catharsis of the Soul and a Dinner with Aarogyaanjali where Dr Indu Shahani, Sheriff of Bombay was the Chief Guest.
Did you know that the present Women's Day Celebration is an apt reminder of when 15000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours better pay and voting rights in 1908?
According to a compilation by Ismat Tahseen, a few years later, the first Women's Day was launched in March 8, 1911 on Copenhagen, by Ciara Zetkin, leader of the Women's office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany.

Alonside, the multi faceted young intelligent charming Dr Indu Shahani, Sheriff of Bombay and Chief Guest at AarogyAnjali.
Within 2 months of her appointment she has kick-started various projects...The ones closest to my heart is how women in distress can email on: and also sms 'HELP" to 573333

I cannot stop myself from adding that I have known Indu as a child and she was always an outstanding young girl who has blossomed not only into a beautiful woman but a great human being...One of the points that she put accross at Aarogyanjali was that women must pursue their passion...and become pro-active to lead a change...and she looked at me and stated like 'Mrs Kimatrai has' and I was touched, and I 'saw' that she is in touch with her roots...and I think that I am right in my perception that though she is soaring high, she has her feet firmly on the ground!

Atta girl, Keep going! We women are behind you!

Alongside Dr Indu Shahani, Sheriff of Bombay lighting a lamp at AarogyAnjali A Tribute to Women's Health an initiative of Times Foundation.
However busy you may be, cull out 30 mins for your very own self advised psychiatrist Anjali Chhabria...
Infertility Specialist Ms Anjali Malpani explained how women are always on a roller coaster ride because of hormonal ups and is time that a woman stops neglecting her health...
Nutritionist Ms Anjali Mukherjee explained how food is not only the foundation to health but also to beauty...

Alongside Ms Leena Prabhoo, one of the Founder Trustees of Women's Movement for Peace and Prosperity urging the 'Life' Group to get rid of the emotional garbage that we have accumulated over the years!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Melinda, the leader of the Brahmakumari, Jakarta branch, was seeking some old photographs from Hyderabad Sindh. Alongside is one of the photographs I shared with her, clicked during the 40s.
See me as a child and my goodlooking wonderful parents!

I shall be updating 1940s photographs that I own from time to time...
Do save the link and keep visiting:

Melinda and myself at my residence during her visit.

I met Melinda whose name now is Mala, a short for Vijayantimala, through the Internet...She is a Brahmakumari, and belongs to a Spiritual Organization, which has spread world wide but whose founder was a Sindhi gentleman who belonged to the Sindhi Bhaibund community that I belong to. The Brahmakumari organization was initially called Om Mandli.

My family and I, all hail from Hyderabad Sindh which now is in Pakistan.
But at that time it was Undivided India.
The Spiritual Founder of the Brahmakumaris,is now known as Brahma Baba but I have always, since I was a child heard him being addressed as Dada Lekhraj.
Melinda was drawn into my life through the Origin of Sindhi Surnames which is up on my website:

Some interesting points that we discovered:

Dada Lekhraj had worked in Calcutta before he returned to Hyderabad Sindh and started his jewellery business...

Sadguru Sadan, right opposite the Babulnath Temple in Bombay was originally called Gangaram Building.
My Masi used to live there so I would visit often as a young girl...I was surprised to learn that Dada Lekhraj, Brahma Baba had a vision on the 5th floor of the building...

I am going to let Mala tell you what she is seeking through the note that she wrote to me:

Dear Shakun,

Om shanti and greetings from Jakarta.
I just wanted to thank you for all the time and attention you gave when I was there in Bombay. The discussions that I had with you and your husband gave me a good background. Thank you also for introducing or rather reintroducing Kamla Assoomull to me. She is a great story-teller and I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting. The whole visit was a series of coincidences that were all linked together. Meeting the family of the former owners of Tarachand Parsram and Sons of Calcutta was completely unexpected as was meeting someone that I met 26 years ago in Bombay in connection with the same purpose!
Thanks of course to you for your persistance and interest.

In the context of seeking further information regarding the origins of Om Mandli for the purposes of producing a film I would like to hear from anyone who can tell me more information about the founder Dada Lekhraj Khubchand Kripalani and his jewelry business in Calcutta which was called Lakhiraj Shewakram and Sons, in Hogg Market, otherwise known as New Market. This business was in operation during the 1920s and 30s. The building where the store was still exists and I have seen photographs of the store. I am less interested in what happened in Hyderabad Sindh and Karachi as I am well aware of that, but am more interested in his business and his clients. Prior to opening his own business he worked for Tarachand Parsram and Sons also in Calcutta. I am also interested in making contact with anyone who has old photographs (pre-partition) of Hyderabad Sindh in particular the buildings, streets and public places, modes of transportation and style of dress. I can be contacted at

Would you direct any Sindhi who could help on to this link?