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Showing posts from January, 2014

Food in Hinduism: The Significance of Offering Food to God

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it. – Lord Krishna (Bhagawad Gita)
Food brings a sense of warmth, hospitality and loving awareness when it is prepared. In most Indian homes, we place considerable importance to the preparation of food and how it is served. For the same reason, in most Indian homes, food is served with care and love to a guest. I have found it interesting that food can bridge differences, bring people together rather than divide them. If you have missed my post on 'Three Types of Purity While Preparing Food,' you can read it here.
Food in Hinduism: Importance of Naivedyam In Hinduism, food is considered to be an aspect of Brahman (the Absolute and Almighty one). The rationale for this in Hinduism is that  - food nourishes, sustains and it is ingested into the body for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. That is one reason why great spiritual masters such as Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, Swam…

How to grow out of bondage in our quest for eternity

There are many paths to Divinity but the hurdles ahead are much more than we anticipate. It's not always material possessions that stand in the way of our spiritual goals as hurdles. 
Sometimes, it is we ourselves who are responsible. Why? Because of our stubborn refusal to acknowledge the mistakes we make even though we know deep within that we are doing it all wrong. When it comes to managing relationships, we make bigger mistakes despite spiritual awareness. This often causes disharmony, makes us feel lousy, hurt and angry about the contradictions and spiritual conflicts that arise within us. Here's my post on 'Messed up Relationships: Three Easy Ways to Tackle It'and 'How to see God clearly'
For those on the spiritual path, here are some important questions to consider such as:
1. How do we choose those whom we love and those we don't love? Is there a logical pattern to our choices? 
2. Do we go with intuition, what the heart says or with the indications …

How to practice silence on a daily basis and what to learn from the experience

A Hebrew teaching by the sage Hillel the Elder: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me?" (Tiny Buddha)

I am not a quiet person by nature. I love to talk. I keep talking with those I am close to. Sometimes I think my mind and voice can never remain still. 
I am the chatterbox in the family but family members say that wherever I go, I make it a festive celebration of sorts. So, you can imagine how difficult it can be for some one as talkative as me to practice silence on a daily basis. But if I can do it, be assured that you will be able to do so too. 
Lessons from Silence
Here are some vital lessons I have learned from practicing silence and I truly hope you find it useful:
1. Silence makes you stronger and it helps you to think deeper about anything you are facing in a serene, energizing way. Sometimes you are able to decode the big problems and come up with easy solutions because your mind is clear as crystal after you practice silence.
2. Silence brings you closest to yours…

Movie Review: Fahad Fazil & Amala Paul Sizzle Together in Oru Indian Pranayakatha

It was a pleasure to watch Sathyan Anthikad's latest film "Oru Indian Pranayakadha" which marked the veteran director's clear departure from his signature style films. 
[Confession: I never miss a Fahadh Fazil movie. I am a HUGE fan of his right from Chappa Kurishu.] 

Of course, there are several other actors who play their part very well in this film but you should go watch the movie to enjoy it better. I don't want to spill the entire story here.
Right from the first scene, brace yourself to be bowled over by Aimanam Siddharthan, a young upcoming politician who leaves no stone unturned in his path to become an MLA. He charts out his every move to win the hearts of the people, gain visibility with the 'High Command' and extract political mileage out of every public appearance he makes. You get the feeling that he likes to have every move charted out in advance and planned in a way that reaps political dividends for his growth as a politician. 
But his plans …

Life is quite funny or we make it so

Life is funny sometimes. The way it makes you act and react to situations, it can be hilarious at times.

Just the other day, I ran into an old friend. Lets call him A. He happens to be a former colleague of my husband, a good friend of mine because we share exactly the same interests pertaining to writers, books, films & music and we became good family friends. So, you are thinking "What's the big deal?" 
Nothing much. Except that we stopped talking for the last five years. Or rather, I completely cut off this friend from my life altogether. Ah, now grab some coffee if you want to listen to this story and have a good laugh at the end of it too.
It's like this. The three of us spent the early years in Delhi hanging out together most of the time especially after work. We would watch movies together, eat dinner together, go to the nearby Guruvayur temple together and party together. We were an amazing team and had an enviable friendship. 
Together, the three of have cel…

World of Books: It’s not demand that creates supply, it’s the other way around

In one of my recent blog posts, I had written that many Indian writers are going overboard with their social media book promotions. It gives me some relief that I am not the only one who thinks so.  In this article, here are three key points that sync with my blog post: 1. Anyone can publish a book these days, and just about everyone does. But if the supply of writers is increasing at a velocity unknown in literary history, the supply of readers is not. 2. Competition is rather fierce. Result: ceaseless self-promotion by eager beginners. 3. The poet Joseph Brodsky, who wrote that "in cultural matters, it is not demand that creates supply, it is the other way around. You read Dante because he wrote 'The Divine Comedy' not because you felt the need for him; you would not have been able to conjure either the man or the poem."   Read the third point again. It tells us what we suspected all along. Readers aren’t a bunch of idiots who listen blindly to what authors tell them ab…

The Power of Words

The power of words cannot be under estimated.It is not always people who hurt us as much as their words do. Perhaps we all live such rush-filled lives that we don't even pause to think before we say something that can be hurtful. Sometimes words can make you cry. Think about this when you feel tempted to use words to hit back.

Words have tremendous power. They have life. They spark love, hate and a melange of emotions in the human mind. They trigger actions and reactions that have far-reaching implications in an individual's life. 

When you offer hope and compassion, it lights up a person's life. When you criticize someone without thinking about how deeply it hurts that person, it is your words that will never be forgotten by that person. 
Have you ever recalled the words of those who have hurt your feelings? Then you would know the importance of using words with more care and compassion.
Pause and think of the most beautiful words some one special has said to you. As you refl…

My Book Wishlist in 2014: Read more, Refine your writer's voice

The year is 2014. And I have a wishlist. But it is a different kind of wishlist that has been inspired by Mark Rubinstein's thought-provoking article as given here 



So, here you go. This is my 'book wishlist' for 2014.

Good fiction across all formats and genres
Well-written fiction - be it in short story form, novel or literary form - should be welcomed, promoted and discussed.  Renaissance of non-fiction books We are seeing a renaissance of non-fiction books being published, discussed and promoted across the country. This is terrific and I hope this trend lasts. Unlike in fiction, it is the subject of the book that becomes the bait for a reader to pick it up. Interestingly, it is the very same subject that drives a publishing company's marketing plan. This means that a publishing company may have several non-fiction books in the pipeline but their marketing of it would vary based on the topic itself. 

In fact, TOI had ,in a recent report, cited 'According to Bahri, th…