Sunday, December 28, 2008

Moving on

Moved into a new house at JP nagar second phase,

And it still hasn't sunk in that i'm here for good. A part of me still feels like i'm on an

extended holiday, and will go back to Hyderabad.

This new house, the new job...all feels pretty unreal to me.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Walking the talk, being a journalist

Its been 5 days since i’ve Joined Deccan Herald, and am still reeling in a bit of culture shock.
Coming from TOI, which is more of a corporate setup rather than a newsroom, this place had overwhelmed me!

I mean the place even smells like old newspapers (not that I am complaining)

The first thing I noticed here are the people. I mean we could easily have a fancy dress competition for the most authentic journalist look. We have 3 Barkha Dutt lookalikes, one Sagarika Ghosh, two Sreenivasan Jains. It looks like they go through great lengths to painfully ‘create’ the journo look. I mean, how tacky! the signature jhola, jute earring (a la barkha dutt)if you look carefully enough, you’ll find that even the expressions on their faces match.
I mean its quiet amusing, the guys, uh....I think there is an unwritten rule that all men journalist have to be below 5’7 to qualify for the job, unfortunate for me (I happen to be 5'7) . There are always exceptions though.

Press conferences: The press kit and press lunch....the first PC I attended in Blore, I got a coffee maker for just having to write 150 words, and not to mention the brilliant lunch at Leela palace.

And I kinda enjoy the way PR guys suck up to journalists, and then we can act all hoity toity for having the talent of putting sensible sentences together (believe me, 90% of the population can't)

What I love about Bangalore is that it's so happening! I do more assignments and stories in a day than I used to do in a week!

In the beginning I sorely missed my private cubicle at TOI, then I realised that there is so much to do, that I don't need a private cubicle to stop getting caught taking a nap.

And oh, I love the 3 o'clock tea and snacks cart that comes in proper airlines style. Ok maybe Metrolife isn't the best metro supplement Bangalore, I mean not yet...but now that I am here, am sure things will change.

Reporting from Bangalore bureau, Madhuri Kalyan, Metrolife, Deccan Herald.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ayurvedic concepts

Its about 7 am in the morning, still unearthly in madhuriland......but I just cant resist posting!

have been pretty sick past few days, with my respiratory and digestive system screwed up (cold and stomach ache), have been taking ayurvedic treatments, these weird green gooey pastes, and am not sure if I am getting better because of the medicine or because my body is stunned by the shock treatment subjected due to the disgusting taste.

My eating habits sure have taken a toll this past month, not that it was ever brilliant. So I get to swallow ayurvedic preparation specifically tailor made so that you wont ever fall into trap of eating for 'taste'.

And I have ashram kitchen food to top off the effect, thank god for small mercies like 'canteen'.

On my check list of not to eat these were the things included by my ayurveda doc

Ice creams
milk products
Fried stuff

I just cant bear to go on as I am on the verge of nervous breakdown!
I mean how cruel is this!
So yesterday my mom came back from Bihar, after a month, and brought specialty besen ke laddu, and I could not make her feel bad by refusing....then there were Tirupati prasadam (of course prasad is not counted as calories), and Lindt-Lindor, which Sampath got from half way around the world. And I haven't even met Goli, who's got Belgian choco's from Brussels.....

Wow..its a wonder that my digestive system hasn't collapsed. Guess that gooey ayurvedic paste actually works, even though it makes you wish you never had taste buds.

I am now a totally fan of ayurveda, next time I might actually try them with the diet restrictions.

PS: According to Ayurveda, you need to fallow a healthy daily routine called 'dinacharya' and the fact that i'm up so early and ready for meditation shows that I am on the right track to ayurvedic enlightenment!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Confessions of an Ashramite

Akin to a self sufficient capsule, in idyllic environs, you loose count days, and time simply dissolves.
Living in an ashram, away from the chaotic hustle bustle of the city life was something I took for granted. Ever since my parents moved here a year ago, I've made countless trips.
I remember the first sight of ashram, almost five years ago, the first glimpse of the majestic Vishalakshi Mandap, proudly standing against the backdrop of a clear sky, with a dome that glistens in the sunlight, and changes color at night. It looked as if it was something out of dreams.

And then over the years, with numerous satsangs with the master in the VM, and the meditation sessions in His presence. The sanctity of the place only increased in my eyes. And now, I feel almost as if I have grown up in this ashram, as the world outside ceases to exist the moment I step in here. 

Life before the day I stepped into this enchanted land has slowly faded into oblivion. Every step I walk here feels sacred. Everything seems to take on an ethereal quality here. The colors seem more intense, music, more melodious, its as if mother nature is dressed in her best attire to please her lord.

Calm and meditative, yet alive and kicking. I've lost count of the time I've seen teary-eyed people, wishing they didnt have to ever leave this place. 

Home is where you come back to nature, where you dont have to pretend anymore, where you never need to prove anything.
Its where you get the deepest rest. Its where no matter how much you grow up, you still get taken care off like a child. 

Sometimes its not easy to accept things which are so blatantly natural, that truth shines from every pore of it. I got so accustomed to living in a artificial and pretentious world, that there were times when I felt uncomfortable, times when I felt my identity dissolved, times when I felt like rebelling.

And then I felt a presence, so comforting, so unconditional, that I knew, no matter what I did, I will always be taken care of. And those insecurities that lash on, only makes me stronger by the day, so that when I go outside, to take on the world, I would be able to extend the same unconditional love and comfort to those not as fortunate as me.

Ashram....even a simple act like typing this post in its space feels divine. 

Jai gurudev!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Note: am 15 days late posting this.

(27th sept 2008)

Its like a bizarre melting pot of events, situations, people, emotions and of course plenty of chaos adding to the hoopla.

Its the last day already, time has slipped by at an alarming speed, leaving us blissed and blessed!

Here are snatches of Bau's brilliant Q n A, for unfortunate souls who missed the action.

Q Why do Parsis worship fire and other elements?

A 'Bhoomi' or earth has the quality of acceptance, it doesn't differentiate who should walk on it.

'Agni' or fire burns all negativity, and also purifies as when gold is melted, all the purity is retained.

Vayu or air is present everywhere, so is our mind, like when you walk into a movie theatre a little late, you feel a bit uncomfortable, that's because all the other minds present there are attuned to the film, and your mind is not aligned to that. So mind has its presence everywhere

Akash or space is completely involved yet, totally detached.

Neer or water is very adaptable, it takes the shape of the container it is poured in, also it goes to depth. We feel alive only when we dive deep. So dive deep in love, knowledge and meditation. As only a dead body stays afloat.

Akash or space is completely involved yet, totally detached.

Bhoomi ka 'BHA', Agni ka 'G', Vayu ka 'W' Akash ka 'A' and Neer ka 'N'


Q What is wisdom?

A Knowledge with experience is wisdom.

During satsang, Bau enchanted all of us by explaining the symbolism behind each deity.

About Devi

The most important portfolios are given to women- Finance, Education and Defence, leaving men literally with nothing.

Saraswati- She carries a book in one hand and veena in other, symbolising that left brained and right brain activity should go together, and her vahan is swan. So when you have music and logic balanced, then you can fly high like a swan.

Lakshmi- sits on a lotus, symbolising that money is very unstable, like a lotus on water, and can submerge anytime, so you've got to be very careful in terms of finances, but if you do Narayan's work (god's work) lakshmi will follow.

Durga: Her Vahan is a lion, the most powerful, and the laziest animal. So your defence should be powerful, but should be used as the last retort, a war should should be absolutely the last option, hence, you should be lazy while using defence.

Bau also stressed on the importance of being proactive, and how good people should stand up and start shouting so that the negativity is put to an end (will elaborate that in upcoming posts).

The last day was filled with music and celebration, and some special time with Bau at Saket Bhaiya's house. But wait. Utsav hasn't ended, its in fact just begun...especially with navratri starting, i'm off for the advanced course, celebrating silence with gurudev.

Sigh...blissed and blessed

Friday, September 19, 2008

Utsav fever

Its less than a week to go and I am already feeling the heebee jeebies!
I mean just yesterday it was like a month ago and we just started working for UTSAV.
And now, the stage is almost set, the drums rolling!

For the past two weeks, a flurry of activity has overtaken the volunteers, and we cant think a thing past registrations and intro talks.
5 more days to be precise! Whoa!

One piece of knowledge I heard recently which made enormous sense

The two ingredients that help us evolve is Authenticity and Intensity.

Be very authentic in what ever you do, in your sincerity, for a cause,

to serve a higher purpose. And be intense, in you action, expression, emotions, feeling. That's what takes you back home, and brings you in touch with yourself, and you feel connected. Either laugh or cry, no in betweens. Also be intense, not extreme. Be normal, balanced on the outside, and intense within.

An Utsav has been an exercise in Intensity. Intense joy, intense frustration, intense love.
And its for a cause much much bigger that I could have ever fathomed.
Absolutely authentic

That's what Utsav is....Intensely authentic

Monday, September 8, 2008

Shut up...and take action!

20 more days to go, and the countdown for Utsav has begun.

As usual, there is utter chaos.
To me its as if stepping into a whole new territory.
A territory beyond, beyond what i ever thought was humanly possible.
An Utsav of 3000 youth, for four days in persuit of spirituality.

Up till now, it was something i took for granted. Miracles have become so
common, that this one just failed to register.

Up till now, it was something i 'had to' work for.

Global cooling- Cool inside, cool outside
Thats our campaign for Utsav

So my mind was reeling on the 1001 never ending small things 'my job', 'my finances', my future....blah blah.
I did kriya, and my mind just like shut up! (cool inside)
And i knew that nothing was more important at this point of time than Utsav!

Its madness...but its a miracle, its about getting 3000 youth to 'shut up' their mind and
feel bliss. 3000 youth will be planting 10,000 saplings and adopting them, as a part of 'stand up and take action' (cool outside)

Suddenly i feel so light inside, suddenly i feel as if worrying about small things is an insult to the cause and suddenly i realise how amazing it is to just SHUT UP!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The spiritual high

This is the article i wrote recently as a freelance for TOI...

Madhuri Kalyan
Times News Network

Intro: Hyderabad Times explores the new ‘coolness factor’ which the youth brigade flaunts, while getting high on spirituality

“Are you attending that hot party tonight?
“no honey I have early morning yoga lessons”.

It began as a fad, the Shiva printed t-shirts, the rudraksh accessories…for a while we thought it was the hippie era being revisited.
And then Yoga came along with a promise of a healthy lifestyle, with a generous dose of meditation….before we knew it, we were amidst a huge explosion of spirituality, where enrolling into a posh yoga studio and learning vedic chanting beat visiting the newest nightclubs in town. It was the phenomenon of ancient new age silently creeping into the lifestyles of the young and the restless.
Fad or fact?
For students and young professionals who have ‘Been there done that’, any new trend that hits is just a huge ‘yawn’, whether it’s retro, rock’n roll, boho or hippie. But spirituality is now rising into new heights, which takes it beyond being a fad and into a realm where youth discover a whole to dimension of life and living.
Says Devang Vora, a businessman and a teacher of yoga courses for youth, “for lot of youth it starts as fad but when they really go through it sincerely, they realize its significance and practical applications, like how to handle the mind and emotion, this aspect is missing formal education”.
Another aspect which attracts the youth to spirituality is taking a plunge into the unknown dimension of spirituality.
Says Venkatesh V, a game tester, “In an age where alcohol and drugs are synonymous to youth, spirituality comes as a breadth of fresh air. I experience a better high during meditation, that too without hangovers, so it was easy for me to give up drinking and smoking”.
For a healthy work-life balance
“It’s the easiest way to live a healthy lifestyle, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s cool! A decade ago, practicing yoga would have been considered archaic and uncool, not anymore”, says Shalini Singh, a HR professional with an MNC. Her daily routine goes like this- wakes up early at 5:30 am, by 6 am, she heads to her nearest center to do ‘group sadhana, where she does yoga and meditation with the group of youngster, all between the age group 18-30. Later the group discusses ancient knowledge discourses, and the various seva activities planned for the week. She also squeezes in a satsang or two in a week.
Shalini is a part of the growing youth brigade who turned to spirituality as a respite from her hectic pressure filled life.

Breaking religious barriers

Upping the coolness quotient of spirituality is that it deviates from all religious norms.
Spiritual practices cuts across all religious, social and even global barriers.
Says Khurshed Batliwala, the director of Art of living youth workshops, YES!+, “ do we become Americans if we wear jeans and Italians if we eat pizzas?, then why should spirituality be treated with an exception”.

Into the spiritual planes

So what plethora of experience does spirituality offer? Here’s what we found
Sadhana- (Yoga & Meditation) : all spiritual centers offer basic and advanced courses in basic yoga and meditation, each having a different flavors to it. Art of Living offers one of the most unique and specialized programs for young people
Satsang: Is an age old combination of singing and chanting, off late, we’ve witnessed a cool new avatar of traditional satsangs, called ‘Rock satsangs. These are simple bhanjans treated with rock and electronic acoustics.
Seva: “spirituality encourages a broad vision, which in turn inculcates values in young people, as well as empowers them to take responsibility for societal reforms of their choice”, says Khurshed Batliwala quoting an example of the same he says, “in Hyderabad we are conducting an event called ‘Utsav’, from 24th to 27th September 5-9 pm where in a span of four evenings the youth experience Sadhana, seva and satsang. As a part of ‘Utsav’, we are conducting a ‘Global cooling campaign- cool from inside, cool from outside’ by planting 10,000 trees, as a part of the UN ‘stand up and take action project’ in association with the GHMC”. Sounds like its USP -Uth turning towards Spiritual Power.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Clarity and confusion

My 23rd birthday....

There's nothing special about turning 23. It just turns out to be another day of the year.
but being the hopeless romantic that i am, i'd been waiting this day for ages, the day when i'd get to meet Guruji, and he'd totally pamper me- garlanding me, cutting my event that i'd see happening to every person for the past 3 years, making me feel insanely jealous.

That day finally arrived......and within no time, i was sitting at the satsang balancing a cake and a huge garland, and suddenly i wished the satsang would never end. Guruji sang 'Hari narayan...., and i really really wished time would just freeze. The closer i got to 'the moment' the more i wished it could be prolonged.

Then finally there i was on the stage, fighting for his attention with 15 others (i swear most had fabricated birthdays) almost like a shark attack on Him.
I remember suddenly realising that i was standing in front of him, and there is a garland on my neck, as well as my cake, cut. Time froze

It was almost as if i experienced eternity that moment. The moment he flashed an angelic smile.
That passed too.....
The following week was utter chaos and confusion in life, as if every doubt floating in the existence decided to grace my life.
And then one day, i go about doing my things, as un purposefully as ever, dangerously close to falling into the never-ending doubt pit, i get an SMS......i usually hate SMS's i think its worse than spam in certain ways, as most of the time you dont even have a choice but to open and read some really pathetic ones.

The SMS said "when you are neither confused nor clear, only then can you be the perfect instrument of the divine", sent by a close friend called Ashish.

At that moment, i remembered Guruji's angelic smile, and i realised, in that presence, neither clarity nor confusion matters. Just being. And i realised in clarity and in confusion.......there is no silence.

Its 12:30 am, on 29th august, and i am exactly 12 days late in realising Guruji's birthday gift to me. A blessing to be silent. A place where i can always go back and 'be' just by the memory of that smile, that was meant just for me. Sorta like a room of requirement ( refer to Harry Potters)

Neither being clear, nor confused.....just silent.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Intro talked

Okay, it's mon city's time for UTSAV.

The ball is set rolling, the YES!+ team is on a intro talk giving spree , and the registrations are slowly but surely trickling in.
Giving Intro talk's is a crazy experience in itself, here are some dont's while you address a group of students

Talks dont have optimum results when

just before lunch break
just after an exam
you've not done your kriya
you've already addressed some of the students in another class
you're the only person in a class full of zombies pretending to be students

Talks can become suicidal for you when

just after an exam and just before lunch,
you're the only person in a class full of hooligans pretending to be students (you never know where they have dangerous weapons concealed)

You know your talk is not going so well when the students are

-looking at you with a pitiful smile, waiting for your next screw up
-delighted at finding a 'bakra' to rag
- Frustrated, and looking at their watches
- oblivious to your presence, you might as well merge with the black board
- disturbed at the presence of an alien intruder telling them the art of living
- delighted that they've skipped their lab/lecture because of the talk, and looking at the door to safely sneak out and bunk.
- One by one walk out of the class pretending to take an important call.

So i have concluded that in spite of all these if we're still getting registration's...its because of something called guru's grace.
So my next post will be on the do's during intro talk.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Beeline Vs byline

My desk and my system sat there exactly the way i'd left them, my water bottle at the workstation with 'MADHURI' inscribed in it was filled with fresh water. The floor was abuzz with activity, calling me to join in the frenzy to meet the deadline of firing the pages.

A pile of press event invitation lay there, and i instinctively grab them to scan which of them would be exciting to cover. Then i realise, I don't work here any anymore.

It's then that the trauma of quitting your job hits you. The same chair and workstation where i sat for the past one year, where i cried with frustration, jumped with joy, stole afternoon naps, quietly devoured a whole bar of chocolate without sharing, watched youtube in spite of the pending deadline, decorated with stuff toys and feng shui artifacts and even meditated.......

All dissolves. Quitting this job has been enormously painful, especially the ending part where it dragged on for days.

And now its finally over, and it's sapped me dry of all the energy, on top of it, dealing with a lot of uncertainties that were hounding me. I'm sick of answering every other person 'whats next!' as if it makes any difference to them.

I shoot a mail to my team members, saying goodbye and how nice it was to work and blah, feeling numb inside. My emotions are dangerously bordering towards what i've not had for a long time.....depression! And am surprised at myself.

Like wow, its been more than two years since i've been properly depressed. Saying this,

i just laugh at myself. At how stupid the whole thing sounds. And suddenly i also feel enormously blessed, for understanding the tricks for not feeling low.

Its like a life jacket, when you see every thing in this world as transient and somehow finding a sense of certainty in uncertainty.

That's what i realised. The body needs to work, and mind needs to chill out, and most of the time i was doing the opposite, getting my mind worked out and freezing my actions, i guess we're programmed to do this, especially when we feel down.

Another trick i've discovered to get out of feeling down, is to not take it seriously, because every time it feels as if its gonna stay forever. But it doesn't.

Knowledge and meditation and kriya act as an anaesthetic to pain...even though you feel the pain, you can accept it and go through with it, feeling light inside. Without carrying a heavy load in your heart, coz that's what blocks love. And love is like oxygen.....

And i feel light as cotton candy inside. Though i might still burst into tears.

So that's me quitting as a copy editor of Times of India. And this will probably be the last time i type a story in this system. Stories have an ending and beginning, but they never stop. Even if they are not published, even if there is no byline. And i guess those are some of the best stories in the world. Stories that cant be told, but experienced.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Here's a list of my all time favourite books and movies...go grab hold of them if you havent been able to asap!

Eragon and its sequel Eldest are one of the best fantasy series I’ve come across. I loved the part where ancient sounds are used to evoke magic, very similar to Sanskrit. Also the fact that Eragon turns into a vegetarian.
Old path white clouds- About Buddha’s journey, before and after enlightenment and his disciple called Svasthi, a buffalo caretaker and Jataka Tales- Loved all the stories involving bodhisattva in different lifetimes as animals.
Kite runner- Love and compassion overflows in this book, with a beautiful description of Taliban rule as a background setting of this novel. One of the few books that made me weep.
Little women- One book I loved as a kid, and have read a hundred times. I love the family bonding and finally the four girls finding love (its three, coz one of the dies) in its sequel. I could relate a lot to Jo’s character, as a budding writer.
Bhagwatam: Especially the Krishna stories in it. Haven’t completed though. I plan to read and translate the Sanskrit version.

Movies should be made with a sense of purpose to deliver a strong message across. That’s what makes film such a strong medium. And these are a few movies that have left an impact on me.
The sound of music- Again an all time favourite. Am a big fan of its songs especially. It’s one of those perfect movies that would be watched by generations.
What the bleep do u know- A revolutionary concept that explores the depth of quantum physics. The ‘unreality’ of life is portrayed though physics.
Life is beautiful- My favourite movie of the whole list. Set in the backdrop of holocaust, a child is saved of the trauma of the events happening around, believing a story weaved by his father to explain the circumstance of concentration camp where they are imprisoned. Just like how Guruji saves us of all traumas with his incredible knowledge.
In pursuit of happiness- You have the ability to chase your dreams, no matter what circumstances you’re in. That’s the message that the movie sends.
Blood Diamond: I could relate a lot to Maddy’s character.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Utsav in Chennai

Okay, here’s the reason why, I’ve been gayab for a long time. ( hope this misses my employer’s eye, have supplemented them with all kinds of lies)
I was just part of the biggest phenomenon to touch the earth since Magna Carta.

It’s a condensed version of YES!+ in four day, with none other than Bawa and Dinesh da Here’s a report of all the four days

Day 1

6:00 PM
More than 900 participants, and utter chaos, especially regarding the nametags. After the Initial hitches, everything went on to proceed magicallywith Bawa delivering the 'bad news' (no tea, no coffee, no no-veg, no sutta,no alcohol...) and within minutes the thousand odd participants had themselves hanging on to every word that

Bawa said
" Do this course as if your life depends on it, because how you do thiscourse from now on, is how you're going to live your life. Its success andfailure depends on it."
" This is a blessing from me and Dinesh, all the problems in life that youhad, will stop, and all that you wanted in you life from now on, you'llstart getting it."

The course started in usual YES!+ style, with the merchant game etc, Suryanamaskar etc.and ended most perfectly with the long kriya, (Bawa ordered all volunteersto join in) So the participants experienced the Sudarshan Kriya right on the first day,and had brilliant experiences to share.
"I felt that my nostrils are going to bleed, is that normal?
Bawa: "perfectly normal"

9:30 PM, a crowd of youngsters emerged out of the ground, spaced out withthe experience of long Kriya, and excited about the prospects of Day 2

Day 2 & 3

More Intense, more bliss and more Bawa......But the participants couldn't wait for more. Day two and day three were clearly Bawa's, everyone was in love with him especially after the Q & A round!

Q: I am a christian, how can I say om?
A: exactly the way the Hindus say it! You are an Indian, but do u become a 'gora' if you wear jeans? then most of the people in Chennai will start wearing it, and Ram will be the first one Rashmin will be the second.

Bawa also spoke about farmers in India and said the reason why they were committing suicide were because American and Canadian MNC's were selling them hybrid seeds that produce bumper crops, but were sterile (didn't produce more seeds) so they were becoming dependent on MNC's who are hiking up the seed prices every year as the original seeds are becoming scarce.Only one person has worked for this cause and has managed to save 450 varieties of natural seeds, and he meditates everyday, the MNC's offered him 10 crores to buy those seeds but he refused!Session was sprinkled with Bhajans and Chennai rocked to it! As Rashmin said, all events start with bliss and end with chaos, while AOL events start with chaos and end with Bliss.

Day 4

Sorry for the delay on the final installment of update.....
This was due to the fact that i was supposed to return to Hyd, but popped into Bangalore ashram to say a quick hi to guruji.

Anyway, reminiscing Utsav's last day, is an experience in itself

The surya namaskar's transformed into blissful rain dance, as the rain gods decided to bless us with cool droplets that washed our sweat away, and then the sadhana under the ocean breeze. From the stage the view of 900+ participants doing sadhana was like music for angels to dance

The sadhana then transformed into action packed Q and A session with Bau and Dinesh da.

Q what is spirituality?
A It is what religion wants to be when it grows up! Its any thing that uplifts you, your spirit, and puts a smile on your face.

Dinesh bhaiya made a very interesting observation on prana
"Some people have only a bucket full of prana while others have an ocean full, now what happens when you plonk a stone into bucket of water, almost all the water spills out. But to an ocean, it hardly makes a difference. thats the difference for a person who does pranayam and sadhana.

There are 5 sources of Prana

cold water baths (secret source of prana )

On Satsang:

Usually it takes very heavy, hard core rock to shake one up, but for one who has become very light through sadhana, very soft music can stir your from within. And thats what we call satsang.

So there was dance, music, gyan and oodles of grace that swept the shores of Chennai. And Bau and Dinesh left with a promise to be back on the last week of august with another wave of Utsav.

The next day was a treat for math lovers with Bau's Mathemagic workshop and later Indiana Jones movie at satyam, which i missed coz I had to catch my Hyderabad train.
But half an hour sitting in my plush AC compartment I realised I was sitting in the wrong train (coolie's fault).
So rather than spending an extra day at Chennai, i booked a ticked for the same evening in Bau and Dinesh da's train (confirmed)

On the way to ashram (home) we met Guruji who was calling out to Indrani 6 am in the morning.
I still have no clue why am here. But it feels great! As if Utsav never got over.

And I guess Utsav is a perpetual phenomenon for anyone who has a guru in his life. And organising an Utsav just reemphasises this beautiful phenomenon.
Worries drop away, belongingness dawns, and you start being this person who is, full of bliss and light. Just like your guru. It’s a phenomenon that can only be experienced. For Shalini, Harini and I ( Rashmin jokingly said our names sounded out of one of bhanu didi's songs)
seeing this revolution sweeping Chennai's sleepy shores was a blessing. And we know we can take it one step ahead in Hyderabad

Friday, May 16, 2008

Birthday bash

Gurudev's B'day:
Previous night we got all the guru puja stuff ready, and woke up at 2:30 am with somebody's SMS, before i could utter a curse and go back to sleep, i suddenly realised what it said “happy guruji’s b’day…”
Happy was an understatement.
Woke up at 4:30 am and went to Viji di’s house to help with setting up the place, not much to do anyway though.
5:40 am: Long Kriya….felt like the shortest long kriya ever.
7:00 am: guru puja
Had a wonderful Satsang after that.
There are many types of singers here.
People who love their voice, and others love their voice, and people who love their voice but others hate it especially when the drone goes on beyond one excruciating song. They sing and they sing and they sing…and they sing badly!
But they seem oblivious to the mental agony and torture that they cause to the fellow ‘satsangees’. My mom has a really nice word for them, they’re called ‘mikaasurs’- you can spot the anywhere, ready to leap on to the mike, to sing in their most off key tone, rendering the audience tone deaf.
But AOL people are too nice and let every tone-deaf mikaasur have their turn, and another and another. What I do, is simply stop playing my guitar.
Evening was brilliant, Geetanjali Didi was here, but her voice gave away quite soon, and then we were again at the mercy of ‘mikaasurs’ but divine grace intervened and we were saved as dinner was announced soon. Came home tired and happy.

Happy b’day guruji.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A fly by visit to ashram

Crazy hyderabad heat is certainly NOT a favourite!

oh yeah i changed the heading of my blog, i stole it from a beautiful song in the movie 'the sound of music' (dont tell me u havent seen it!), i've always loved it.

My ashram visit:

As chaotic as can get: booked a last minute flight from hyderabad to reach ashram, to catch a glimpse of gurudev, and predictably, i got the last ticket in the flight :) and made it just in time for long kriya!

Had a yummy Sunday lunch (its worth travelling all the way for) with ashram curd rice and payasam, them the YES!+ group went to Bau's room and woke him up....he woke up grouchily, and said accusingly "how can u be awake in this weather"? confusing us Hyderabadis even more as the weather in ashram was paradise compared to Hyd.

then he asked us to go work for Utsav Jaipur and Chennai.....and i'm so gonna be there!

Hurrah, gonna book my tickets now, and will head there as soon as we wrap up with the yes!+ course that starts on Monday.

That reminds me, i have ta have ta finish filling up the TTC forms. Its like the weirdest TTC form ever! Imagine answering a question like

"if you could spend 24 hours with guruji, what would u do?"

Ans: be enlightened!

Its really hilarious, but also serious in a way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My wish basket

Back again,
This newness is quite subtle, its not like a makeover where, ppl notice immidiately, its more like a newness in the way i feel. Anyway, am waiting for the day i get transferred to the main desk, now i really hate page 3 with a passion! so hopefully that such be done by the end of this week.
I desperately need more sadhana, coz life's intensity is constantly ascending. So every extra minute am gonna contemplate on that.

Every one's talking about IPL, and Deccan Chargers, team owned by our stiff competitors Deccan Chronicle. And i think it would be fun to go attend one of those, tough all the hype and fanfare obviously don't impress me much.
But it would be fun to chill out there with YES+! group.... so maybe i could arrange some passes!
Mom's going back today, spent an amazing one week with her.

What else? am working 4 gift a smile programme raising funds to educate village kids, with Mallika di, Viji di is gonna be back frm ashram only by 5th may.....that's gonna be bad (but gr8 4 her), her place is my official chillout zone. But plan to team up with Shalini for some guitar jamming+ gyan session+ sadhana = some kick ass feeling of presence! what more could i ask for.
one thing.....upcoming AMC.
hmm today right this moment infact...thats 11:11 am, 22 april 2008, i write as a whole new person.
A person who
is beginning to understand how un-understandable life is
knows life isnt even 1% of what i see or experience
realises the fact that great things happen which greatest ease
knows challenges and tough times are a good sign, it means, you are qualifying for the next level
knows that if i dont care, i might as well be a bean bag, moulded into different shapes by ppl who sit on them.
realises life is about intensity
heart commands, mind demands - and u gotta figure out whats integrity in between them....

okay getting late for an edit meet, got lots more to rant on.. c ya

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

beauty and intensity

The more intense something is, the more side effects it has.

Take love for example, its so beautiful, bliss full, etc etc.....but with all that we get a free ticket of
pain, anger, jealousy etc etc.
That's why its so important to keep the purity and the sacredness intact.
it captures the feeling of falling in love for the first time eternally. An ancient scripture says truth is that which is eternal and eternal is that which is always beautiful....untouched by time or age
Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

Anyway enough of gyan stuff, went today for a fondue fest at was this weird cheese thingy cooked in disgustingly nauseous alcohol...sooo like tamasic!
....bad stuff doesn't last anyway. funny we spend most of our time thinking about it.

PS: have been tuning into radio v often.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

me again!

I knew i would fall prey to discontinuity monster....and i have!
Lots has happened between now and earlier, made a fly by visit to b'lore, and had a gr8 family reunion.
Life's changed so much! Two years back i was living with my family, and all i would do is fight with them, and now when they're not here i miss em so much....and mostly i miss those years i lost taking them for granted due to my self centered rebelliousness. That's a big lesson for me! if you take for granted what you have, it will eventually be taken away from you.
My bro's down there doing an Advance course, and what i wouldn't do to be in his shoes.

And oh, we finished one series of Ashtavakra Geeta discourse this week: it was mind blowing, i wanna keep repeating it as long as i live.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

short day...long night

Mahashivratri day…and for some reason, I feel really festive today. Especially after firing page 3. Making page 3 is like filling the page with 5% information and 95%…uh well…crap!
So ads are more than welcome, in fact I break into a war dance when I see a page full of ads. This isn’t the case always, there are times when we have actual news worthy events…. but that’s exactly when the ads decide to grace us.
Gotta rush…long day ahead…. need to go to the temple…. jam with my guitar…stay up all night…. and yeah am also fasting.
More tomorrow.

Monday, March 3, 2008

That's everything

Since i have nothing to talk about today (unless you want another crib session), lets talk about nothing!

................coz that's what am left with everyday when my head hits the pillow.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

late morning

Just got done with Page 3 gupshup for Monday, so that's a load off head....yesterday eve was pathetic! i mean, i never ever can relate to hard core party crowd.
Its as if people are really trying hard to enjoy, but they soo not!
Its pretty painful really. I donno, i never wanna attend that kind of party anymore. But thanx to my job.....
Okay crib time over! tomorrow is sunday, so thats a relief...pathi was angry coz i slept in late and skipped breakfast coz i reached home so late last night.
The days i wake up late, dont go too well....ever!
Just wanna go home now and play my guitar till i finally get bar chords

Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap year day

Yesterday was fun, Sam came to TOI and would start freelancing for us, later we went and had coffee at barista, and bestest part was the satsang! I really really really missed my guitar, but have made up mind to go every week from now on. Today morning pathi dragged me out of bed at 7 am and made me go for a morning walk! Which I hate to admit was pretty good….sadhana went superb after that. And after the initial heavy-duty tantrums thrown by mind, it’s really not that bad…I realize that life’s pretty ordinary really, it’s the mind which sensationalizes it!

Yet another lazy day at work, gotta interview bally Sagoo in da eve, so that’s cool!

40 minutes later….

People envy my work, coz I get to party as a part of it…what they don’t realize that for me, my party begins the minute I close my eyes, and feel the presence. Am kinda hungry, wondering if can go grab a bite!
Oh also today is leap year day.Ooops forget to think of a bday gift for krish…gotta think of something soon!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

India's soft power

Just got off the phone with dad, and he had something really exciting to say," there'll be a huge wave of spirituality taking over the world", courtesy of course, HHSSRS and his Art of Living!
How brilliant is that...and to think we've got the head start! I'd love to see the faces of all those who pooh poohed spirituality eat their words.

What makes me special

28 February 2008

It’s the knowledge that makes all the difference; today what I read especially touched me
‘Are you special or ordinary?
What makes you special on the path? (Everyone is silent) Your perception, observation, and expression have advanced. What makes you ordinary on the path is that you are special! (Laughter) . . . . Because everybody thinks they are very special in some way or another! Your perception has improved. You see the cause behind every cause, the Divine, and you see the great plan behind every small plan. You don't see the intentions behind other’s mistakes and you are not a doubting Thomas.

Was just another boring day at work, nothing significant, and I wondered if there was anything to look forward at all. Was supposed to go visit mom and dad in ashram, but had to cancel it due to Bhasker’s wedding next Sunday. And now here I am at my desk feeling low.
But I’ve learnt how to take all these feelings and emotions lightly, as ‘they all rise and dissolve in the self due to our very nature’ (ashtavakra gita). And that’s why I can still smile even though I feel like bursting into tears. Life just feels so surreal at times, I mean am in a prolonged state of ‘hah! Big deal…’ like nothing surprises me or excites me or…I don’t know, I’d love sound glamourous by calling myself vairagi. But I know that I am far from that, I’d probably sell my soul for a hot chocolate fudge right now.