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Showing posts from 2014

It’s the funny,heart-to-heart conversations that make us happy

I asked my 8 year old son, “Frame 3 sentences quickly about your mother as a person.”
This was his answer: 1. Amma is a good cooker. 2.Amma is beautiful. 3.Amma works at.....
Look at it from a language perspective and you know that the first sentence is not correctly framed. 
But you also know one thing: it is straight from the heart. He meant 'good cook' and I burst into laughter because 'Amma is a good cooker' reminds me of my 2015 resolution: eat less, exercise more!


Of the three sentences, the first one made me smile. 
It’s no different in our interactions with others. It’s not the “perfect comments/conversations” we recall. It’s the flawed, funny, heart-to-heart ones that stick like glue to the heart. 

Like J Krishnamurti says: Happiness is not a remembrance, it is that state which comes into being  ever new, never continuous. Happiness is in transformation, not in acquisition. 
As the year comes to an end, I'd like to know: What made you happy? What made you smile?

You just reached a turning point in your life. So what?

In every individual’s life, there comes a stormy turning point. It leaves a mark on you forever. For me, that turning point came on 27th December 2007. I call it the ‘Year of Shivam.’ Shivam means “That which is indestructible.” Funny, it left an indestructible impact. That's what turning points are all about.
2007 is the year I experienced my first near-death experience at an astral level, followed by a series of out-of-body experiences.
You can laugh. But that was my first spiritual turning point. I was alone and I didn’t understand what had hit me then.
                      [Image: Unsplash]
Last year, I read books by writers  such as Khurshed Bhavnagari, Nan Umrigar, Ruzbeh N Bharucha. Then I understood that I wasn’t going crazy, turning stoned or hallucinating. I was actually having an astral experience and being guided to the Spirit World.
Another book I read is called A Journey of the Souls. A doctor documents the inner journeys and experiences of many individuals who had out-o…

A Prayer for Peshawar

When you send your kid to school, you don't expect a massacre to happen there. That's why it's so inhuman and horrifying! 
This has been a heartbreaking day for most of us who have heard about the massacre of innocent school children in Peshawar by terrorists. I sat at my desk, feeling the tears leap to my eyes. Over 100 students are reported to have been killed, shot at mostly in the face and head....I can't get over it.
This is SICK, BRUTAL and INHUMAN. 
Think of the mothers whose lives have snapped today. No mother can ever be or feel the same again when a part of her, more precious than her own life, is ripped out. 
It's not just the children who died today.
It's their mothers too.
Today, my prayer is for Peshawar: the innocent children who died and their families who have to find strength from within to accept this reality. 

Read these tweets. You will understand what I mean.



I pray to God for the well-being and peace of each and every mother in Peshawar, whose lo…

How I made my first Kerala Fish Molee

I have something to confess! Are you ready?

I made my first fish curry. And here it is - Kerala Fish Molee.



The recipe is from the popular cookbook The Suriani Kitchen. The flavors came out so well and it was delicious! You must try this recipe at least once.



The Mother-in-Law: The Other Woman in your marriage

Every day, we read or hear horrific accounts of daughters-in-law being mentally or physically harassed. There are plenty of statistics on cases relating to bride burning, dowry harassment and domestic violence in Indian homes. As long as it does not happen to us, we don't give it any serious attention.
But this book will make you SIT UP and PAY ATTENTION.
Narrated factually and with a dash of wit, Veena Venugopal explores the lives of eleven Indian women and tells us shocking truths about their mothers-in-law.Each story has a lesson for every woman.
There is a mother-in-law who justifies her alcoholic son beating and raping the daughter-in-law, another mother-in-law who delights in taking her daughter-in-law for her check-ups because the latter is suffering from cancer and after each hospital visit, the mother-in-law uses it against her! The premise of this bold book is this: Your mother-in-law is NOT YOUR FRIEND.
                                        [Veena Venugopal, author of The…

Aravind Balasubramanya's 'Capturing Divinity' released today

It's a divine "incidence" and not a "co-incidence" that on the very day that I have finished reading Aravind Balasubramanya's book, "Memoirs of a Sai Student" THRICE, I get an email from Brother Aravind, sharing details of the book release of the sequel titled, "Capturing Divinity." 


I am so happy to know this because I enjoyed reading Aravind's earlier book. He writes with sincerity and a great sense of humor. The way he writes captivates your heart because he goes into the tiny details of Swami's personality and his own and does a fantastic 'Bhakti-mapping' too! 

"Capturing Divinity"  has been released and can be bought from the Sathya Sai Bookstore. The ebook will be arriving very soon.
You can also write to orders@sssbpt.org to order your copies.. If any queries, please write to enquiry@sssbpt.org.

3 Posts on the Awesome Power of Staying HAPPY!

Here’s a fantastic round-up of the three HAPPY blog posts I read. You could try looking at it too. Go ahead, give it a shot!
Don’t POSTPONE joy
There’s something about being happy that makes all of us happy. I mean, come on, do you honestly enjoy seeing anyone suffer? We want the world to be a happy place, don’t we? We all want to lead happy lives.Do read: 5 Exceptional Posts that will motivate you today 
                        [Image Credit: Unsplash]
This post from Helen McKay, who says, “Don't postpone joy” makes sense. Her wise words also say, “I believe happiness is about appreciating small things and simple experiences: the kind of things that leave lasting, enjoyable memories. Our lives are full of joyful experiences, yet many folk don’t value them, as they should. So often, people put off the things that will make them happy, until they have achieved a set goal; but then – having reached that goal – there is always another reason why they cannot enjoy a state of bliss. Procra…

Breast Cancer: 7 facts you need to know about how to protect your breasts

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As this is a cause I feel strongly committed to, I decided it’s time to pitch in and write about it. From the moment I wake up, there is so little time to reflect on anything.But after talking to many women - those who are working in offices and those who are at home, one thing is clear: women get no rest or "Me" time. It is your life, your body and your happiness. Make time for your health no matter what.
                                                 [Image Credit: Unsplash]
Breast Cancer: Early Detection, Exercise and Detecting Breast Density    Here are seven facts you need to know about your breasts – and what you can do to protect them [Source: Prevention Magazine, October 2014]

Doctors say that early detection of breast cancer can improve the chances of survival by a whopping 99%. Start yearly breast check ups and mammograms. It is not enough to get cleared. Remember to follow up with your doctor on a regular basis. 2.This is one…

Lots of Travel, Lots of Fun

The unexpected is always more fun.
Lots of travel in 2014 - this is not something I had expected because of the water tight, hectic schedule that is a part of my life. Like a bolt from the blue, travel simply happened...just like that. And the best part of my trip to Sydney is that I am getting lots of time to spend and enjoy with my nephew Vihaan, whom I have just seen fleetingly across the last few years. This isn't a guilt trip. It's an unexpected gift from God, bringing me lots of happiness and love. Thank you, God and dear Angels.
And I am loving every minute, as if it's a delicious feast to savor.


Daawat-e-Ishq review: Aditya Roy Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra showcase memorable moments in this Love-Dhokha Story

Daawat-e-Ishq is not about a love story that revolves around food. It is about Love and Dhokha. It is about a young girl's 'daring to dream' story. Are you ready for this?



Daawat-e-Ishq: Love, Dowry and Dhokha
The opening scene in Daawat-e-Ishq takes you straight into a ‘bride seeing’ ceremony in Hyderabad. The boy’s mother looks her nose down at everything offered. It’s the typical “no girl is ever good enough for my son” scene that is shown.  The prospective bride is Gulrez Khadir (starring Parineeti), who is a sales girl in a shoe shop. She has many dreams: of going to the US to study fashion design, of designing her own shoes and opening a shoe shop….yes, she is street smart, ambitious, full of amazing energy and she has a “weak spot for men who speak English well.” So, when the boy and girl get a chance to talk alone, all hell breaks loose! Gulrez Khadir is incensed that the prospective groom asked her if she watched “beelue” films instead of pronouncing it correctly as …

Seven Exceptional Posts That Will Motivate You to Own Your Choices in a Fast Changing World

Here you go with my favorite posts for this month’s reading list:
23 amazing women writers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka talk about what it means to a be a writer .
Is there a connection between writers and pubs? YES, says Billy Wilder. Head out to ScotlandsPubsandBars.co.uk, a great resource detailing dozens of pubs with connections to music, industry, literature, sport, architecture and more. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? 
If you aren’t tipsy yet, you have to read: Vidya Sury’s thoughts on the book “The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker”

Alice Walker’s book 'The Color Purple' had given me sleepless nights because of the heart wrenching narrative. 
Another heart-wrenching post is from Vishnuabout  the “We own you” mindset of Indian parents wherein “your success is their success, your failure is theirs, your income is theirs….” For those of us who are in the denial mode, just look around. You will see this popping up everywhere – in schools, a…