Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Have updated more information on Good Friday on my website. Click:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yesterday, the 28th of March we celebrated our 45th Wedding Anniversary.
Life has been fulfilling...Children have turned out well...Caring and succesful.
Follows a poem sent to me by my niece Nitu and her daughter.

Dear Uncle and Aunty ;
Wishing you both a Very Happy 45th Anniversary

Your anniversary is a time
For sharing your affection;
It’s obvious the two of you
Have quite a deep connection!
We send glad congratulations
And heartfelt wishes, too,
For joyful happiness and love
In everything you do.

Jina and Nitu

...and I add:
Mujhe mere Maalik bahut kuchh diya hai,
Tera Shukriya hai bahut shukriya hai

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yes, I am being blessed by an elephant...and we must remember that Ganpati removes obstacles...and does'nt He have an elephant head?
Incidentally, it is a real elephant and it felt great!

Ram kehne ka mazaa jiskee zubaan par aa gayaa
dhanya jeevan ho gaya chaaron padaarath paa gayaa
I have heard: 'Ram se bada Ram ka naam'
And here, the stones floated on the Ocean with the name of Sri ram inscribed on it!
Sham Keswani with the floating stone in a small tub of water!

With Sham and Kanchan Keswani, my gracious hosts. This is the Gopuram in Meenakshi. The door through which one enters the main Temple. It was built in the 17th Century. various Kings built it along the 600 years.
There are countless beautiful pillars on the corridors of the Temples in Madurai, Meenakshi and Rameshwaram. At one point I rested at one of the temples which had Rudrakshas as curtains. Looking at the Pillars was a mesmerizing experience. What a rich culture does our Motherland have!

At Madurai, Meenakshi Temple. From Madurai we drove to Rameshwaram. I must tell you something interesting! After Sri Ram returned triumphant to Rameshwaran after having killed Ravan. Sri Ram could not escape the 'dosh' of having killed a 'Brahmin'so he had to atone. How? by bathing in 21 rivers. So Sri Ram called 21 rivers to Rameshwaram. So we follow His foot steps. We first bathe in the Ocean and while we circumbulate the Temple, we have a 'lota' of water poured over our head from 21 different wells. The strange thing is that every water tasted different and the water was clean and clear!
Another coincidence? On the flight back from Bangalore, I had a gentleman sitting next to me who is a de-salienation expert. Unofficially he said that the taste being different was a sort of 'miracle' but scientifically it comes from different platelets in the Earth!

Look up the map. This is the spot in Rameshwaram where I am told Sri Ram built the bridge to Lanka. At this spot, the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal meet!
We could see the tip of Lanka. If you google Ram Setu (Bridge) it is visible from Satellite! There are 9 submerged islands (5 with Sri Lanka and 5 with India) on which the bridgewas built! It is only 18Km to Sri Lanka. Sri Ram took the help of brilliant architects called Nal and Neel...Do you have any doubt? of what of the fact that Sri Ram and Nal and Neel were brilliant!

For those who know the Ramayan. Sri Ram prayed to the Ocean before He could build the bridge. The Sea promised to be calm. Today, the inhabitants gleefully and with faith and gratitude observe that the Ocean has kept its practice. No Tsunami came to their coast while it devastated those nearby.

This is the point from where Sri Ram surveyed the best point from where to approach Lanka to redeem Seeta. saw a temple called Govinda Raman. Sri Ram took upon Himself the name because it was at this spot that Vibheeshan surrendered himself to Sri Ram. Vibheeshan was Raavan's brother.

There are 4 chardhams. ie 4 pilgrimage places which needed to be visited by devout Hindus. In the north: Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri Jamnotri (I have been to Badrinath and Gangoti)
Then the Ancient sages urged one to travel the 4 corners of our blessed Bharat Desh to seek blessings.
So again we have 4 chardhams: Badrinath in the north, Dwarkanath in the West, Rameshwaram in the South and jagannathpuri in the East.
I have visited Badrinath, where my son in law Mohan took me,Dwarka where my husband took me. My next desire was to visit Rameshwaram...I tried several times but obviously the Bulaava had not come, so I had a private conversation with the Lord where I told Him that if He wanted to invite me to His Dhaam He would have to arrange it for me...I would not lift a finger and miraculously it did!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Real picture of Amelia Earhart

Saw the movie 'Amelia' yesterday. Amelia Earhart lived in the 30s. She wanted to pilot a plane. She wanted to fly. When she was asked: Why? She answered: "Why does a man want to ride a horse?" Sheis an inspiration of women everywhere, anytime. She lived her dream even though she had to give her life in return...But she truly lived...Another feather on a woman's cap: The movie was directed by Mira Nair!
Amelia's part was played by Hilary Swank

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I recently spoke at the Rotary on 'Literacy 2010 Vidya and Avidya'
One of the things I said is 'Literacy is not only about Learning' but also 'Unlearning' What is one thing we need to unlearn? That we are too old to learn and have fun!
See my friends the Mahajans enjoying themselves...and all it takes is 'shared coconut water.

National Pilgrimage:
The Cellular Jail (infamously called Kala Paani) which was used by the British for the dreaded criminals and later for the political prisoners, is to be treated as a National pilgrimage. Let us send our children and grand-children to Port Blaire to learn how our Azadi ke Diwane were sacrificed for the freedom we are enjoying today. The Light and Sound programme in the evening makes you emotional and I saw at least 3 persons wiping their tears during the 45-minute programme. Veer Savarkar was jailed here. Netaji Subhash Chander Bose visited the jail to get better facilities for the prisoners.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Painting: My daughter Madhavi
Women's DayTomorrow March the 8th is Women's Day.
I have written a book on the Power of the Feminine (qualities like compassion, love)
It is up for free perusal on my website.

The passage of the Women's Reservation Bill is a big victory for the cause of gender equality.
Maybe one day a woman will not need a special day...just like a man does not...because every day will be a woman's day like a man's has been since times immemorial...the reason for being man's day every day? Because man was physically (not in matters of health but physical strength) stronger...he needed to go out to hunt while the woman was supposed to keep the home fires burning...That scenario has changed!
I have always maintained that Meerabai was one of the 1st women who lived life on her own terms...and this week she features 1st in the Crest Edition of the Times of India.
Meerabai (1498-1547)
'...Meerabai has come to represent the enigmatic and indomitable nature of femininiy in its inevitable confrontation with the world. A cosmic consciousness, for which the world is not enough'

Friday, March 05, 2010

I just finished reading 'Have a little faith' by Mitch Albom, the author of Tuesdays with Corrie.

Some excerpts

'Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich'

Without the fear of God –or literally the hell we might have to pay –the rest of us would just take what we wanted.

The news headlines certainly endorsed that idea. In recent months, there had been terrorist train blasts in India, greedy executives sentenced in the Enron fraud case, a truck driver who’d shot five girls in an Amish schoolhouse, and a California congressman sent to jail for taking millions in bribes while living on a yacht.

‘Do you think that our nature is evil?’
Mitch asked the Reb
“No” he said, “I believe there is goodness in man”
So we do have better angels?
“Deep down, yes.”
Then why do we do so many bad things?
He sighed: “Because one thing God gave us-and I am afraid it’s at times a little too much-is free will. Freedom to choose. I believe he gave us everything needed to build a beautiful world if we choose wisely.
“But we can also choose badly. And we can mess things up something awful.
Can man change between good and evil?
The Reb nodded slowly. “In both directions.”

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I saw the movie Invictus episode from the life of Nelson Mandela.
Invictus is the poem that inspired him. It inspired me too..So here it is!

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley