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Bye bye 2012: Looking back with Gratitude to God and Guru

Bye bye 2012. I am grateful to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, my beloved lord, guru and best friend, for all His love and blessings throughout the year. I offer my humble pranams  to Bhagawan for His love, constant presence and protection in my life and for my family members. I am equally grateful to you, Bhagawan, for the wonderful friends you have brought into my life at the right time and the many ways in which you are taking care of me and my family. The year 2o12 also marks my 25th year at the lotus feet of Bhagawan Baba. 

Bye bye 2012, Welcome 2013





Many things make 2012 one of the happiest years in my personal life. My husband's law firm Axess Legal Corp opened its second office at Lajpat Nagar in May 2012. This is also the year I visited many new places that I hadn't visited before: Ooty, Gavi, Coonoor, Manali, Pune, Hrishikesh, Haridwar. These trips are far more precious and priceless to me because those I love and respect and revere were with me. The experience of being …

Why I started Petals! blog

Six years ago, I began to blog on ‘Petals’ with no idea about what blogging was all about. My only reason for blogging was to document the little milestones, the highs and the lows of an ordinary woman’s life, in a way that perhaps decades later, my son would be able to read and understand about the person that his mother was and struggled to be. My son’s journey into my heart would probably tell him more about who his mother was as a person and as a spiritual seeker than as a mother – which is truthfully a very miniscule part of me. At some point of time, my writings would also convey to him how deeply his mother cared and loved him even when she had to leave him when he was just three months old to get back to work. It may tell him about a mother’s inner conflicts, her core beliefs and her little joys in ways that he may not have known about her directly as her son. This is the reason I began to blog – to share my world with him, to leave a trace of myself for my son and his children…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Movie Review ‘Talaash’: Impressive performances that reveal Secrets of the Spirit World

The ‘Talaash’ movie reviews that I read across various sites disappointed me and discouraged me from going to watch the film. But let me share a delicious secret with you: Whenever reviews badly thrash a movie, I make it a point to watch it in the theatres. Most of the time, I actually like those movies because they are different. 2012’s best movie is not ‘Talaash’ but it is definitely one of the best and most impressive performances put forward by all of the three main leading actors namely, Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor. Credit goes to Reema Katgi’s direction and Zoya Akhtar’s script. Cheers to them – because good performances are what film goers look for when they spend their precious time in a theatre. 
Talaash story: Murder on the Surface, Guilt sinks deep The story of Talaash begins like this: Superstar Armaan Kapoor’s car nose dives into the sea in Mumbai. Inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (starring Aamir Khan) is investigating the case. While investigating, he get…

'Theevram' Movie Review: Theevram fails to Impress but Dulquar Salman delivers sans romance

Impressive and varied performances from the young actor Dulquar Salman will definitely strengthen his position in the Malayalam film industry. 


As you already know, Dulquar Salman surprised many by delivering two back to back hits starting with his debut film 'Second Show' and then in the super hit 'Ustad Hotel.' Theevram - Dulquar Salmaan's new movie is directed by Roopesh Peethambaran and produced by VC Ismayil.

I went to watch 'Theevram' because there is an expectation that has been set from Dulquar Salman's previous films. The fact that he is cutting away the typical 'star son moulds' and daring enough to experiment with debut directors and varied genres is sort of reassuring to Malayali film goers like me who want to see a positive change in the Malayalam film industry.
'Theevram' Story is smartly crafted but gets stuck in 'revenge' rut Theevram is a modern, smartly crafted and well scripted revenge story that begins with a crim…

Messed up Relationships:Three Easy Ways to Tackle it

In relationships, there's a lot that happens. We make mistakes, we fight it out and based on what happens thereafter, we forgive, let go or we walk off without a backward glance. Worst case scenario? We split up. But there's one thing though. Nothing erodes trust more than a lie or a ridiculous excuse that borders on being as dishonest or ethically incorrect or just plain malice or meanness. These are the surest culprits in eroding relationships and reducing them to nothing. Happens all the time. 

(Source: Getty Images)
1. Live in the Present, Take Responsible Action We live in the 'now' moment. The present is all that eventually matters. So if you have been lied to or your lie has been discovered, don't waste more time by thinking and worrying about it. ACT now. OWN up if you are guilty. CONFESS it with all your heart unless you don't feel guilty about what you've done. If you have been lied to, be at peace. Karma has a natural way of coming back to the perpe…

The Buddhist Belief: How not to have a Rebirth

The Buddhist recipe for this is quite simple. Firstly, have minimal desires. Secondly, do not harbour any feelings of anger, hatred, and jealousy towards any individual.                                                                                  (Source: Getty Images)

Arike malayalam movie review

Director Shyamaprasad’s ‘Arike’ starring Dileep, Mamta Mohandas and Samvrutha had got mixed reviews and ‘the movie is boring’ comments from many friends and acquaintances. When I sat down and watched it, the experience was slow, sweet and painful. It was an intoxication of sorts.

Arike malayalam movie: Simple story, Subtle Performances ‘Arike’s story is simple. It revolves around the perfect couple Shanthanu (starring Dileep) and Kalpana (starring Samvrutha Sunil) whose best friend is Anuradha (starring Mamta Mohandas). The characterisation is what makes the movie interesting despite its slow pace. From the start, we see that the happily in love couple relying solely on Anuradha to arrange their clandestine meetings.  Anuradha doesn’t believe in love but she desperately wants her best friend’s affair to culminate in marriage and prove her wrong.
Arike malayalam movie: Striking Characterization in Arike Best friend Kalpana is from a rich Brahmin family and she is pampered by her parents w…

Penguin India Book Launch: Three Essential Elements to seduce all Book Lovers

When I received the invite to attend the book launch of “Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857”, edited by William Dalyrmple and Yuthika Sharma, I was over the moon. I have been an ardent fan ofWilliam Dalyrmple’s books. Let me begin with a note of appreciation with regard to the book launch that was organized by Penguin Books India with Shangri La’s Eros Hotel at Café Uno lawns, 19 Ashoka Road, New Delhi.  It was almost a fairy tale book launch because there was flawless perfection in all the arrangements that were made. Congrats to the teams of both Penguin Books India and Shangri La’s Eros Hotel that made this book launch almost unforgettable.
Make it special Having attended several book launches in New Delhi, I liked the attention to detail that was a real treat for the guests. There was a stamp of personalized service. Each guest was individually greeted by a small team of enthusiastic staff from Shangri La’s Eros Hotel and gifted an envelope that offers a ______ sshh! I…

Lesson from Ravan

The triumph of good over evil also marks the triumph of our soul's goodness over that of the egoistic mind. As a spiritual seeker, I believe that Ravan is not evil the way we like to portray him to be. His qualities such as his knowledge, his intelligence, sharp thinking and his mastery over anything he chose to undertake have not been appreciated but his ‘misdeeds’ have been highlighted over and over again.
Every character in the Ramayana has a well defined role and message to give to the world. We tend to see them all as the background characters but in fact, if you read the Ramayana carefully, you will realize how beautifully etched out each character is. Needless to mention, Ravana's character deserves more analysis and a deeper study. All I am saying is that Ravan is not evil the way we like to believe he is, period.
To me, Ravan symbolizes all that is perfect in us till we allow one powerful desire to blind us to what is ethically right. Ravan was a great spiritual seeker …

Do you know why you act the way you do?

In spirituality, motive is everything. Why you said what you did, why you acted the way you did and why you allowed your mind to think in a particular way. Yes, your motive is the most important thing, that one parameter on which you can judge yourself and be judged when the time is ripe.


(Image: Unsplash)

When you do an act of kindness, are you propelled by a need to be admired and respected? Then it's best not to do it at all. 

If you are doing good because it makes you feel your heart expand from within, embracing all of humanity, as part of your own Divine consciousness, you are at the right place.

Instead of judging others, concentrate on understanding and filtering your motive for every word and action that you undertake. Live in the moment but be aware of every breath you inhale and exhale. 
Your awareness of your own self is the essence of true spirituality. What are you doing each and every thing for? What is the real motive? You've got to develop the habit of understanding…