Thursday, November 27, 2014

Best Thanksgiving Ever!

I clearly remember the day I met the boy - 18th October, 2014. He was explaining his thoughts about inventing a motor bike that will reduce the environmental pollution using electrical batteries. His dad does repairs of electrical equipment and that he would garner more knowledge about them as he grows up.

I was stunned at his clarity of thought, given that he is only in his 7th standard and might not even fully understand about environmental pollution or the engineering complexities involved. Yet his vision is crystal clear!

But what surprised us was his next answer and it just completely moved us. Abi casually asked him how he feels about studying in that school. The boy replied jubilantly that he loves the school, his teachers and above all would like to contribute the high marks in his school subjects to ... the donors of his scholarship. Yes, he studies on scholarship because his parents cannot afford even the minimal fee the school charges and he is 'thankful' to the donor. You can see one of the videos on YouTube like this one...

How many of us have cared to thank our parents for helping us with the most precious gifts of our life, our exposure to the world, our education,  college graduation, career, etc.? And here is a 12 year old boy who innocently (and with absolute sincerity and clarity) contributing his marks to his donors for sponsoring!

Tears well up in my eyes just thinking about it. This is not just my experience. Dozens of people who have visited the Isha Vidhya school in Sandhegoundampalayam at Coimbatore have a similar thing to share.

This Isha Vidhya school houses hundreds of students who come from such poor families that cannot afford couple of meals properly for a day, forget about quality english education. Yet the school provides no less to these students in terms of either quality educational aids, English classes, math labs (seriously!), computer labs or library books. More than 60% of the school's children are studying under scholarship provided by generous donors like you and me.

Do my colleagues know me well enough to wish me good always? I doubt it :)
Will my neighbours wish me good always? Probably no.
Would my very best friends wish me good always? May be, May be not.

But I can be absolutely certain that the kid I am sponsoring for school, will wish me good always in his / her life. What I am doing by a few thousand rupees is actually transforming a life! 

When I see the children greeting us with a loud & clear 'Namaskaram', folded hands, wide smile, following perfect orders without monitoring of any teachers, absolutely confident, jubilant and conversant fluently in English, I am assured of the dream that 'yes, India can be a super power'. It might just be that these kids will be driving us towards that dream even if nobody else does.

They come from poor families but their spirits are so high, it will be a crime not to encourage them further in their lives!

Please donate whatever amount you can for these kids. No amount is less for lighting the lamp of education in a child's life.

I have created a page "" for the cause. This might just be the best use of money you have ever put to in your life!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

(Re)Defining Law

Abi was petrified when she learnt on the day of her audit that the actions taken against some key risks in her IT project team had not been documented so far. Of course, her project auditor would quickly figure that out and grill her, leading to escalations and her senior managers jumping up & down! This is not an uncommon scenario for most of us who have been in IT for a long time. The designations could vary and scenarios could slightly vary, but you get the picture mostly.

When someone asks what would you do on encountering a problem (a risk), 99% of sane people would respond that they will fix the problem on hand now (also called contingency action) and also put a fix so the probability of the problem occuring in future is minimized greatly (called mitigation action). All of this is common sense, well ... mostly.

Why then is this common sense / knowledge not being applied to law? Let me draw a parallel from the above IT management scenario and show the link.

As a common citizen, I want law in my place (city, state, country) to be enforced in such a way that:

- First, a problem (lawlessness) can be identified and reported smoothly
- Secondly, a quick solution, even if temporary, be put in place to resolve the situation for now
- Thirdly, a long-term solution be put in place that acts as deterrent for anyone who tries to create such problems

At the risk of getting hit with some negative comments from readers, let me take the latest legal sensation - Ms J Jayalalitha, ex-CM of Tamilnadu (acting CM at that time) being jailed in a corruption case. Her bail pleas were also rejected. This led to some potential unrest situations in several cities and definitely impacted public life, even if the media claims it as minimal.

First, the reporting mechanism is not smooth under current law. As a common citizen, is it even possible for me to think of reporting against someone in that position? Definitely no. It need not be the CM, I cannot even go and lodge a legal complaint against the next door person who creates lot of nuisance to everyone in the street, at least not easily under the current system.

Secondly, the temporary solution that was put in place in this case was to arrest her and make her pay 100 crores as a fine.

Thirdly, what is the long-term solution that the legal system is putting in place for such crimes? Am ok with taking the money back part of it. In fact, take 200 crores and keep them under house arrest. At least, if THAT money goes to the country (properly used), it will be of some use. Strip a person convicted in a crime from their position and rank. All is well so far!

But why would you want to jail them? The legal / judiciary system would have to pay somebody to monitor that person, pay for their food, take care of their medical expenses, etc. Who would bear the brunt if something happens on medical grounds to that person in jail? Why should someone who has taken lot of money enjoy all such comforts with my tax-money!?

It has already become a joke (many a movie can confirm it) that if you do not have any money, do some petty crime and get into jail. You will enjoy food and comforts that you cannot find outside. I have begun to suspect that probably many crimes happen because of this!

We need to redefine the legal system in this country. The law has to be made simple enough for everyone to understand. We should not complicate things too much by putting many restrictions. Just give the guidelines that X, Y, Z has to be adhered to. If somebody violates it, accordingly the punishment has to be delivered & quickly.

I fully understand that any system when put in place, will look nice but will have to changed slightly over time. I understand that punishments will have to vary for a similar crime don't keep customizing the punishments every now and then, definitely not so many times within 70 years of the formation of such a system itself!

Will put in more thoughts about it soon ...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

What is the cost of trust?

"Wow .. this article is so cool!" You are my friend. So, I just read this and am sharing with you now. 

How many times have you had this impulse to share something with your friends and family? It might have been something that you read or you saw as video or heard as audio over the internet. But have you really confirmed the genuineness of the information & its source before publishing it? 

Of late, I am seeing too many articles - mostly opinions - being thrown around as if they are the ultimate source of information! Are we becoming a generation gone bonkers just blindly accepting information (especially some nameless XYZ's opinions on ABC person, just because they happen to write a big article about it or take a fake video) from the internet?

Ironically, some of these internet articles would be eye-openers for people who read and accept information on internet without questioning its authenticity:

This is not to say one cannot have opinions or post them online. Just don't pass it on as 'information' to someone who would take it so on face value.  Trust me, you will not appear as a fool much. Instead, your honesty will sparkle when you say "My friend ABC told this to me from his experience ..." than saying "I know this ...". Do the latter and you are doing an injustice to yourself & the other person.

The point is, treat everything you read on the internet with a healthy dose of skepticism. If the information is coming from your close friend or a relative who you really trust, you MAY choose to accept it. Still, while passing the same to another person, one should treat it as second-hand information only!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An ode to my love :)

Nay, am not a big fan of celebrating 'special' days!
10 years is too long a time, but passed off in a jiffy.
This celebration is not about the sweetness of just today
It is about all the countless days and nights
We loved, fought, argued, cried, laughed and played!
For my life would never've been so rich or beautiful or colourful
if you had not been my companion!
Wouldn't have wanted life in any other way when you are with me :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Thiru thonda thogai

Thiru thonda thogai - So very beautifully rendered by the Isha Samskriti kids!

The youtube link for video is:

thillaivaazh andhanar tham adiyaarkkum adiyEn
thiruneela kandaththuk kuyavanaark kadiyEn

illaiyE ennaadha iyarpagaikkum adiyEn
iraiyaanRan kudimaaran adiyaarkkum adiyEn

vellumaa migavalla meypporuLuk kadiyEn
viripozhil chool kunRaiyaar viRanmiNdark kadiyEn

allimen mullaiyandhaar amarneethik kadiyEn
aarooran aarooril ammaanuk kaaLE

ilaimalindha vElnambi eRipaththark kadiyEn
Enaadhi naatharthan adiyaarkkum adiyEn

kalaimalindha cheernambi kaNNappark kadiyEn
kadavooriR kalayandran adiyaarkkum adiyEn

malaimalindha thOLvaLLal maanakkan chaaRan
enchaadha vaattaayan adiyaarkkum adiyEn

alaimalindha punalmaNgai aanaayark kadiyEn
aarooran aarooril ammaanuk kaaLE

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sannidhi - A Revelation In Our Life

One MahaShivarathri night a few years back, after the midnight meditation with Sadhguru, many Isha meditators were gathering around something and taking turns to bow down. Some of them just sat still on the carpets there. I was a distant watcher for some time. When curiosity got the better of me, I went to see what it was. The long queues discouraged mere onlookers and only the persistent ones made it.

When I went closer, to be honest, I did not know what to make out of it. Though I had heard of 'paadham' before, this was the first time I am seeing something like that. I just bowed down, took the vibhuthi prasadam and moved on. That this simple darshan would bring a profound change in my life was not even in my distant dreams!

Over time, I heard from other meditators that Sadhguru Sannidhi was very powerful, charged up, etc. We also heard from one of the Isha teachers that his mother just used to sit before Sannidhi daily during the presence time (6:20 PM) without doing anything and bliss out!

Then, Abi and I registered for bringing Sadhguru Sannidhi home a couple of years back. As we were (rather stupidly) apprehensive of 'maintaining' its sanctity in our house, we registered it for my parents living separately. I vividly remember the day an Isha meditator came to consecrate it at my parents' house. The person said 'Anna - Please choose where you want to place. You should not move it around just like that later.'

My heart sank at this comment! It was with great difficulty that I had persuaded my mom to drive up the attic some of the gods in her pooja room and make space on the granite marble for Sannidhi. However the consecration went on smoothly. My mother was surprisingly hooked on and started doing the Sannidhi pooja almost daily.

The whole house felt quite different & charged up the very next weekend we visited them! I was doing my Surya Namaskar & Shambhavi Kriya in the hall (Sannidhi was a good distance away in the pooja room) and it was all happening so effortlessly for me. My 4-year-old daughter, who used to be very clinging to us all the time, was suddenly behaving so matured and still having fun with everyone around! That weekend was our first-hand experience of how Sannidhi can transform the atmosphere of an entire house within such a short span of time!

My mom still does the pooja on many days without fail. Her practices have become more regular, her health and the overall peace in family are so much better now. These are definitely not coincidental :)

It was almost one year back that His grace descended upon us and we were able to register for bringing Sadhguru Sannidhi home. It so happened that we were to receive one of the 108 Sannidhis being distributed in Chennai on the MahaShivarathri night of 2013. How fitting an entry!?

Brindha akka came to our home, inspected the space we were going to hold Him in and performed the consecration process. I remember even today how bewildering and unbelievable it was for me that we had taken such a step.

The transformation we have undergone started with Bhairavi entering our home and once Sannidhi came in, the pace has been faster thereon. We do our Sannidhi pooja quite regularly and the very experience of sitting in that space before Bhairavi Yantra and Sadhguru Sannidhi is enough to settle us down most of the time.

While offering Guru Pooja at home in any room feels like it is in His presence. Apart from our practices becoming more regular & more volunteering opportunities coming our way pulling us up higher, we have been blessed with Sadhguru's darshan ever so frequently and more visits to the Ashram.

Since then, we have had the good fortune of witnessing two blessed individuals convert the rooftops in their homes to house Sadhguru Sannidhi. The transformation of these spaces has been very visible and they are being revered as the Isha local centers now at Nanganallur and Medavakkam.

These lines truly resound what Sannidhi means in our lives.

            Un padam panindhen,
                        ennaye marandhen!
            Un padam panindhen,
                        ennulle malarndhen!! 

Similar experiences galore in our friends and family circle. Now, living in a consecrated space like this has sunk in so much, we feel odd when we see someone without such an opportunity!

[PS: This MahaShivarathri, there is an opportunity for willing individuals to receive Sadhguru Sannidhi in Chennai itself. Interested people can contact me or call +91 9789983260] 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Problem solving and Common sense

If all things remain the same, you will not get out of a problem. If you keep all the base parameters the same, when a problem arises, it will not go off until you change one or more parameters. I believe this concept stands fine against the causal analysis theory as well.

This is a well known idea in the scientific circles and a lot of people I know credit the quote or a similar one to Einstein. But how many of us relate it to our daily ailments?

I called up my dad and asked suggestions for the mild cough & throat infection that was kicking in. I had purchased some allopathy medicines and was hesitant to take them right away considering them to be of stronger dosage.

His advice: "See, your cough / cold has come from external atmospheric influence. And the weather is not going to change overnight! If that remains the same, the only way the cough / throat infection will behave is increase in intensity. So, take the medicine right away to curb it quickly."

Plain common sense in hind sight, but I was amazed at its correlation to the theory. I knew it but did not apply my thought in that direction. I do not know if he knows about this concept of parameters but he knows for sure how to apply it to daily life! :)

Mahashivratri 2019 - A fantastic celebration

Blogging after a long time... but could not resist how infectious the Mahashivratri event this time (March 2019) was. The local people th...