Sunday, January 31, 2010

On the 19th of January 2010 I attended a meeting at the IMC where Varkha Chulani (Clinical Psychologist) spoke on the Management of Anger.
Some points:
Whenever you are angry
1) Accept reality
2) Don't blame
When I blame others...for my misfortune, it is lack of education
When I blame myself, education has begun
When I neither blame myself and others, education is complete...

An angry person compromises himself too much...
We adjust too much...lose ourselves and then become angry...
...Self sacrificing is self defeating

2 Rules
Love least one person will love you

Dont needlessly deliberately harm another human being

We have a dangerous idea: Others come before me...I dont matter...

People say we are conditioned to adjust and self sacrifice...the Question is...We were condition to go early to bed and early to many of us follow conditionings?

You believe:
I am good when I am perfect...So everytime you slip you are angry and hate yourself...

Don't be a superwoman, allow yourself the permission to trip...

We are always validating ourselves by others opinions...

Then I went to a talk by Rohini Gupta.
She was the icing on the cake
She reminded us that
False Evidence Appearing Real

Thursday, January 28, 2010

School friends meet

We had a lunch at Shobha Jethmalani Gehani's place in Mumbai.
In the photograph from right to left: Shobha Jethmalani Gehani, Sajni Melwani, Rani Jethmalani, Sheila Moorjani and Myself.
It was interesting, meeting my school friends, touching, to be able to connect, awe inspiring to see Rani, the medical miracle (she has had a kidney and liver transplant) looking as young and lively as ever...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Are you a Shirdi Sai Baba devotee?
If so see see photograph and read the article of

Laxmibai holding the 9 coins given to her by Sai Baba.

I am standing on her right.


I received the following comment from a reader:
Comment :

Friday, January 22, 2010

Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

I, Shacune am a writer...You may read my books on my website they are up for free perusal...No, I have not received an award, but I know that I do what I was meant to do...and I feel exactly what Anna feels...Read what she has to say

This was a speech made by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Anna Quindlen at the graduation ceremony of an American university where she was awarded an Honorary PhD.

Most brilliant, to the point speech to get all of us thinking....

"I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don't
ever confuse the two, your life and your work. You will walk out of here
this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be
hundreds of people out there with your same degree: there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk or your life on a bus or in a car or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank accounts but also your soul. People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter' night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've received your test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I am a good friend to my friends and them to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut out. But I call them on the phone and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, at best mediocre, at my job if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are. So here's what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do yo think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on beer and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if yo do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough.

It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours, and our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the colour of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of to live.

I learned to live many years ago. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this: Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the back yard with the sun on your face.

Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived".


Monday, January 18, 2010

For our November meeting of the Group 21, we invited one of our own members, Ruksana Vahanvatty to enlighten us on various forms of Divinations and Ancient Knowledge.

She explained:
From the 'Void' comes 'chi' also known as 'prana; or Cosmic Energy.
From the chi, also comes the ying and the yang (google search the terms (chi, ying, yang, I ching) if you would like to know more about it.

I Ching is a form of divination...
One of the elements is Martial Arts...another is Medicine...Acupressure, Acupuncture, Shiastu...Tea Ceremony is a Meditation...One should try and raise ones energy all the must aspire to feel connected and centred every day...
Thankyou Ruksana for your enlightening talk!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Must see speech by Dr Shashi Tharoor

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dear Friends,
This note came from Deepa Chauhan. She is a dear friend...


I am closely invloved with Saathi and now also with FACSE - forum against child sexual abuse - for which we have taken up convenorship last year (it goes to various NGOs by rotation). Do spread the word to at least start a dialogue about this issue

Child sexual abuse is a crime that most of us keep reading in the papers about. Some of us push it aside as it is a crime, like many others that don't seem to fit into our scheme of problems. Some of us want to do something about it but just don't know how a single person can make a change. And some of us just plain don't understand it. But that's exactly what we have to do. It is a reality that has its arms closer than you may think.

Forum against Child Sexual Exploitation (FACSE) is an unregistered network comprising of different professionals and organizations, working towards addressing the concern of sexual exploitation and abuse of children. The aim of FACSE is to create awareness about the issue of child sexual abuse among different target groups as well as the general public and to handle individual cases through home visits, psycho-social intervention and referral to other NGO’s.

“We are Children” is a national Campaign attempting to understand how child sexual abuse affects a person and a community by collecting narratives of reactions, experiences or perceptions of child sexual abuse. A story not only concerns the survivor but understand that even denial or misconceptions make the issue what it is today. Every voice counts – the dissenting and the supportive, the skeptical and the hurt. FACSE is a part of this Campaign and would like to introduce it to its world. Awareness about Child Sexual Abuse is a good starting point.


Join the campaign. 19th Nov 2009 to May 2010

Contribute your story at

Take a stand against child sexual abuse. Make a difference.

PS - Please forward this mail to everyone on your contact list.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Masi (Ma jaisi) Guli

I know that this photograph is bound to bring a smile to the face of those who knew Aunty Guli. This photograph was taken in Hyderabad Sindh when she was a young damsel.
My Masi Guli is no more. The incense has burnt out but the fragrance lingers on.
The fragrance of her soft spoken words and humility will never fade away.

My Aunty Guli played a very important part in my life.
As most of you know I was brought up in Spain. At the age of 13 my mother (My father passed on when I was 4 years old) brought me to Bombay. She wanted to open out the world for me. She wanted me to learn english and learn about our Indian culture and Hindu Way of Life.

I had to get admission in a good school. It was difficult as I knew only Spanish and Sindhi and I had to be admitted in the 8th Standard...To make the situation more difficult I was not willing to repeat a class.

My Masi, tirelessly did the rounds of every good school until I was admitted in Queen Mary High School, Bombay.

The above opened a new chapter in my life.
That Chapter opened the world to me.
Read about it, click:

I thank her for being Ma jaisi to me.
Yesterday I was discussing with her sons the fact that she always 'acted' never reacted.

May her blessed Soul rest in eternal peace at the lotus feet of the Lord!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Epiphany Christ and Krishna

Dear Children,

Did you know that there are interesting similarities in the life of Christ and Krishna? Their names also sound similar.

Kansa, the king of Mathura was warned that a child (already born) would kill him (Kansa) when the child grew up.

So Kansa decided to kill young babies.

Herod, the king of Palestine was also warned of being killed at the hand of a child born recently…Herod also decided to slaughter the new-borns.

Krishna was born in jail and Christ in a manger.

Both were saved from the wrath of Herod and Kansa.

Hindus believe that Krishna is an Avtaar (Incarnation) of God.

In simple words, God came to earth taking the body of a human being.

Christ's birth commemorates the manifestation of divinity in the world.

In simple words, it means that godly things came to earth along with Jesus' birth.

While we are on the subject of Jesus' birth, let me tell you a few more things connected with it. You all have heard of Christmas. Have you heard of Epiphany?

Epiphany is called the 'Festival of Lights' and it falls on the 12th day after Christmas. When I was a child and lived in Spain, we used to get gifts on the day of 'Reyes'.

Reyes literally means 'Kings' and it is on that day (5th of January) that the Wise men from the East visited baby Jesus and gave him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

It is believed that the Wise Kings, were led to baby Jesus by a bright star in the sky. I like to believe that it was the position of stars. The kings were probably learned astrologers, and the stars predicted the birth of a divine child.

The Kings came from the East. I like to believe that maybe they came from India.

Read what Marguerite Theophil has to say:
Most of us know the genial red-suited Christmas giftgiver as Santa Claus or Father Christmas. Interestingly, in many countries there are traditions of gift-bringers known by other names, too. Many of these bring gifts to children not in December, but on January 6, celebrated in some places as the feast of the Three Wise Men.
An interesting gift-bringer tradition is that of La Befana, a character in Italian folklore who delivers presents to children on the eve of January 6, filling their stockings with candy and presents if they are good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. Being a good housekeeper, many say she will sweep the floor before she leaves. A small glass of wine and a plate of food are often left for her – the disappearance of which ‘proves’ she did visit!
Though depicted as a witchlike old woman, complete with sharp nose, black shawl and a broom, she is no figure of fear, but children in Italy eagerly await her visit. Several tender stories are associated with La Befana.
One story tells of the three wise men, wandering in search of Christ the child. They decide to stop at a small house late one night to ask for directions. An old woman holding a broom opens the door to see who is there, and finds on her doorstep three colourfully dressed men, asking for directions to where baby Jesus could be. She has no idea, but generously provides them with shelter for the night, and before leaving, they ask her to join them on their sacred journey in thanks for her kindness to them.
She declines immediately, saying she has so much housework to do – sweeping, dusting, chopping wood and cooking for guests who might drop in. But after they leave she feels as though she has made a terrible mistake, and packing a bag of gifts for the newborn, decides to catch up with them. Even after many hours and days of walking and searching, sadly she is not able to find them.
Each year on the eve of the Epiphany she sets out looking for baby Jesus. On her journey, she leaves all good children toys and candy, and in an attempt to get children to behave well, parents warn that naughty children would get a chunk of coal instead.
Another Christian legend takes on a sadder tone with Befana who loses her dearly loved child. Her resulting grief maddens her. Hearing news of Jesus being born, she set out to see him, delusional that he is her son. She eventually meets Jesus and presents him with her gifts. The infant Jesus gives La Befana a gift in return – she would be the mother of every child in Italy.
It is interesting that one take on her name could be a mutation of the word Epifania or Epiphany, which can be translated as ‘the display of Divinity’; a revelation of a great, enduring truth. An epiphany is a deep understanding of the nature of the world that can change the way one looks at things. ..

To continue with similarities between Christ and Krishna, Krishna said: "Sarva bhuta hite ratah" which means that ones must act for the good of humanity. Christ's main teaching was that of love and service. All religions that I have read about practice meditation, and chanting in one form or another. For a Christian, to practice meditation is to become aware of God who resides in the stillness of ones heart.

Do you know what Chanting means? It means 'to repeat a spiritual word or short phrase from a Scripture, over and over again'. It is a kind of prayer. And it is supposed to be powerful. If you ask me, I believe the constant chanting keeps one, from thinking unnecessary thoughts. One listens to ones Mantra as one repeats it…And God likes that! God does not like it when we constantly think and worry about things and situations that cannot be helped. God likes it, when after one does ones best, One lets go (of the problem) and lets God (handle it).

Chanting is practiced in all the major religions. Hindus chant Mantras with the help of a 'mala' and Christians repeat the 'Hail Mary' with the help of a rosary. Hindus chant Aum, Christians say 'Amen' Both sound similar.
Hindus chant 'Hare Rama' Christians chant "Maranatha" (Means: The Lord comes) I believe that both the prayers reach the Lord at the same time. What is important is to pray with a pure heart. And all Great Masters appeared on Earth to teach us the above fact. Ponder on the above facts. Jesus said: "Love thy neighbor as thyself" And your neighbor is one who lives next door to you and shares the same neighborhood or building. We share the same planet and as such, all who live in this world are our neighbors. And we must learn to love one another.

Think about it.

If you would like to know more about Jesus, click:

Sunday, January 03, 2010

In the photograph, Ms Asha Anand and Milkman Mr Lalji Upadhyaya

One fine day my good respected friend Dr Anand called me and told me: Shakun, I would like you to come for this month's 'MRA Initiatives of Change' Meeting. This Saturday we shall meet a 'gentleman'who has been delivering Milk on a bycicle for the last 30 years...What is so unique is the fact that the man is so serene and content. We are going to have an informal evening and ask him the raaz (secret) of his joy!

When I saw Lalji (7th of November 2009) he looked more like a 'Swami' and as he belted out couplet after couplet from the Ramayan, I just thought that the 'speaker' had changed at the last moment...but I was wrong, He was Lalji Upadhyaya.

We asked him the secret of his contentment. He felt he had enough to live for and so he would not compromise his honesty (By mixing water with milk or whatever else was dishonest) He had full faith in the Lord. Once when his bycicle was stolen, He complained to Hanumanji, rather than complain to those who may be 'robbers' themselves...A friend who had attended the meeting said 'Is'nt it good to be ambitious? Ambani and Gates were ambitious and brought up the economy...Another gentleman who attended said: 'It is creditable that living in the place of Dreams, Bombay...Lalji could continue to live in a contented manner...His son who is succesful by material means offered Lalji a car. Lalji refused.Someone asked, What if you became old and crippled? He said then maybe I will accept it. Who knows? Live in the moment and do your best and leave the rest! That is what Krishna says in the Bhagvad Geeta...In the 12th verse of the 12th Chapter Krishna says: Better than rituals is Knowledge, better that knowledge is meditation, better than meditation is renunciation of fuits of action...Peace immediately follows!

Early in Life Lalji learned:
It is important not to measure personal success and sense of well being through material possessions.
Success is about the sense of independance; it is not about seeing the world but seing the light.
Imagination is everything. If we can imagine a future, we can create it,If we can create the future, others will live in it. That is the essence of success.
You should leave your newspaper and your toilet, the way you expect to find it. This lesson is about showing consideration to others.

Happy New Year!