Sunday, December 4, 2011

Without you I am lost...German poem

Okay so this is my fist attempt in writing a German poem, the words in it are also the sum total of my measly A2 level vocab in German, if there are any grammatical mistakes, blame google translate, its German grammar sucks!

ohne dich, bin ich verloren
kann ich nicht ,ganz gut sehen und horen

ohne dich bin ich niemand und nicht
alles ich kenne, ist du bist

Ohne dich mein leben ist verpasst
uber diese, keine ahnung du hast

aber bin ich nicht ohne dich
du bist uberall, sicher sich

alle ich sehe, alle ich mache
alle ich denke, ist uber du bist

manchmal habe ich angst
manchmal bin ich nicht sicher

weil ich dich vermisse
und ich fuhle mich allein

Dann habe ich zu viel fragen
aber kein antwort, ya oder nein

Und dann habe ich realisiert
du bist mein lebens kriesvekher

alle antwort habe ich gefunden
dass ohne dich, bin ich verloren

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ayurveda, life and lessons learnt!

It came prettyly masked in a vodka shot glass, and looked no less than an expensive wine. it cant be so I boldly took a long gulp, and suddenly I felt a horrid explosion on my senses, I could feel each cell of my body loudly tastebuds wished they would die rather than suffer such inexplicable torture, and it wasnt long before I felt I would either pass out (I was already seeing stars) or puke out the everything (including the organs) that existed below my throat!

Life was going just fine, my long vacation in India had just begun, and then out of nowhere I suddenly loose a lot of money and my passport...added to that I had an ayurvedic treatment pending. Amidst all this confusion and a ton of paperwork to do (the worst thing that can happen on a vacation) three days ago, I was put between four walls, given a glassfull of the most distasteful ghee to quaff (part of my treatment).

Life was going just fine right...and then how come all of a sudden its nothing but chaos. And why did I ever agree to have this treatment, its not like I was sick or anything. At the most I pictured having exotic massages and sipping delicious herbal tea.

Then here I am three days into my treatment, my passport and other paperwork steadily growing into a mountain, my digestive system even more screwed than before and my mind, a raging furnace, with my family being the poor victims of my unpredictable outbursts (no wonder I cannot be unleashed to the unsuspecting public)

Its one of those moments in my life when everything I touch (smell, taste, breathe,speak) is destruction, one of those moments when I wonder how 'I' of all people who meditates everyday, is a good person (at least 99%...ok 95%) cares about people and the world, could end up in such a self created MESS! Its one of those moments when I just want to disappear into anonymity.
One of those moments when I feel all the bad karma I accumulated over all my past 86,000 lifetimes has just caught up with me.

As I ponder on all this...a certain lightness envelopes me, suddenly all those thoughts in my mind that are pulling me apart in thousand different pieces disappear and I realize, that this is not the first time I have been in a situation like this, the events may be different though.

Like the time I had no place to stay while in an internship in Mumbai, or missing the train to the most important event in my life. The same panic that gripped my heart each time with an intensity of 'its all over'.

And now this lightness feels like nothing but a play of mind, without which I would have nothing to learn from, nothing to share about, and no stories to tell.
Those moments in my life are like the bitter Ayurvedic ghee that I am forced to intake, whether I digest peacefully or with a tantrum and fight...its really my choice.

One thing is for sure, I always end up feeling light and cleansed after digesting it, if I take it in the right way.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Drowning in utter deliciousness apple cake!

So due to popular demand this recipe is already here...I don't think its easy to make this in India, as I am not sure if some of the ingredients I used will be available. Its flour less, eggless and you just need to mix in the ingredients and you are good to go. Not to mention thats its so delicious and magical, I cant seem to stop baking it!
This recipe is also special because it has been made in Bad Antogast many times, and been served to Guruji also. It was handed over from Danny our fabulous cook at the Berlin centre, perfected by Shailaja Patil..and finally passed over to me. Its also so exclusive that you can't find it anywhere online!

So here are the ingredients

1 pack (200 gms) hazelnut powder (I am sure you can powder almonds in a food processor and get the same results not tried it yet though

1 cup (250 gms) semolina (or suji rawa)

100 grams white butter

2/3 cup sugar (better to use brown sugar or maple syrup (150 ml))

3 grated apples or 2 pureed banana (depending on which fruit flavor you want)

cinnamon powder, 1/2 teaspoon

Baking powder (1 teaspoon)

little bit whole milk to mix.


preheat the over to 180 c for about 5-10 mins. Mix all these ingredients and use a little milk to make it into smooth gooey batter. Line the baking form with baking paper or grease it and coat it with white flour. Pour the batter into the baking form and shove it into the oven, and crank up the heat to 200 c. Bake it for appox 40 mins and until an unbelievable aroma of exquisite cinnamon and nut fills your kitchen. Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 20 mins.
And oh! do remember to invite me for a bite :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Confessions of an accidental hausfrau in Munich

Well as one would think life is not all about planning the menu for the next meal, or pushing huge shopping carts through the aisles in supermarkets (well that too of course). Its much more than that. But many that are not so obvious like-

Catching that extra minutes (okay maybe hours) of snooze after packing off hubby to school..sorry work.

Turning the kitchen into an experimental lab, and you-know-who into the Guinea Pig.

Coming up with creative idea to metamorphosis leftovers into gourmet delights

Being hours online researching new recipes and then deciding not to cook it

Taking Ayurveda seriously (when else do u have the time)

Watching the various changes of the weather from the window...its always too cold, too sunny..or too perfect to go out!

Ignoring a pile of steadily growing to-be-ironed clothes, until there is no more space or no clothes to wear

Walking into a furniture store and being utterly dispassionate, knowing you have to build each thing..nut, bolt and screw

Walking into a clothing store and being utterly dispassionate, knowing you will get better stuff, for a faction of the price in India (unless you are talking about trench coats and stiefels)

Walking into one of the cloned indian restaurants with cloned mango lassi and papad with 3 different dipping and chai that costs 3 euros

Just walking and walking and walking!

Wondering how come there are so many ways to waste time rather than spend it usefully.

Forgetting english...writing 'haus', instead of house three times in a row before realizing it.

The cheapest activity to do here is to do nothing (courtsy- Suman Ramaswamy)

Eating in Vapiano for the 80th time....and realizing that this is the ultimate Shanti sagar of Germany!

Either ridiculously easy or unnecessarily complicated- its German!

If you are late...just be late enough to get there early next day!

Cursing the transportation system for being so damm punctual! and more than occasionally praying that the U-bahn is late, for the sheer pleasure of watching the reaction of the German
population going 'Oh mein gott- es ist schlecht'.

Out of habit walking into a bookstore and walking out with an strong sense of betrayal...what! I live in a corner of the world that looks and feel like english...but is so not english.

Talking about the weather at least 40 times a day, no wonder is the most popular website, though not the most accurate in its predictions.

So guess I have summarized my whole life in a few lines. It doesn't end here though.....


Friday, June 17, 2011

New beginnings!

Its one of those times, when I feel this compelling urge to write (you can see that it doesnt happen too often), and then I am foolish enough to let it go, and once that moment is gone, that it! its over. But today I decided that I will chain myself to my mac, till the time I get a post done.
Many things have changed since I have come back to Germany...after the crazy, hectic action packed 3 months in India. Where I had hardly a minute for myself. Let me do a quick recap!

So as soon as I landed India (Jan end), I was thrown in the middle of the most brilliant musical extravaganza. That one evening, I think even gods and angels (we know for real as well) wouldn't have missed. That one evening, I transformed from 'couldnt care less about carnatic music' (I have no right to call myself tambram) to an ardent fan. One of my favourites was 'aadvome' written by Subramanya Bharathiyar a famous Indian freedom fighter. This song most brilliantly captures the spirit of joy and freedom. Now hearing this from a chorus of 7000 professional classical singers was one of those moments in life when everything comes together in a scale that is beyond perfection. Unfortunately I couldnt find the song in YouTube, so here is another one called 'Ananda amrutha varshini' litrally meaning 'rain of joy, which is also wonderful!

Manvathe Project
Made up for all my inactivity in Germany :) read my earlier posts :D.

Driving lessons
Now thats a story for a new post- how corruption has infiltrated into every nook and cranny
of Indian bureaucracy.

My nephews Upanayanam ceremony
I have the cutest pair of twin nephews, aged nine, and this was a big day for them. It was almost like a mini wedding. Upanayanam means taking near (to oneself), this is supposed to be the highest knowledge and very young children are initiated into it. As a child is ready to enter the outside world, when armed with the knowledge of the self, he is unshaken by the vicissitudes of life.

Poonal ceremony of Shyam (left) and Skanda.

Back to Germany
Well, it is very pleasant to be back, the weather is brilliant, and we spent three amazing days with Guruji in Berlin and Dresden. My childhood friend Pavitra flew from London, it goes to show, that going that little extra mile and keeping in touch especially with those who matter means a lot. Now we are just looking forward to the biggest event in Europe ever. The World Culture Festival on 2nd and 3rd July in Berlin. If you are in Europe or even if you have the remotest possibility to make it, be here. There couldnt be anything more exciting happening than 100,000 people celebrating the world culture and meditating for world peace.

I will have much more to share in the coming weeks. But this I think is a good start.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rural highs and lows

Rural highs and lows

I had just flown back after three months in Germany, and landed directly in the midst of Manavathe.

An Art of Living project where YES!+ teachers had to go teach ‘Human values, Yoga and Kriya for 45,000 second year students of Government colleges all over Karnataka.

So there I was fresh from experiencing the height of human technology and luxury from German train (upto seconds precisions) to automated vending machines like every five yards.

I was thrown into interior districts of Dharwad, villages, where the only signs of technological advancement existed in the form of cell phones and unmistakable satellite television that was spotted on top of the smallest thatched hut.

My first rural destination was in a tiny village called Kalas, there are only two ways to get to the village. Both of which will take no less then three hours. I boarded the train from Hubli and reached Kalas.

Not really, the village was about 20 minutes in a shared auto from the station. Now this contraption in motion called ‘shared auto’ is a phenomenon in itself. For the inexperienced like me it was the vehicle from hell. For one, if you don’t get into it(and I didn’t the first time out of pride), you take a one hour picturesque but torturous trek in the scorching sun. If you get into it (which you have no choice) you are squeezed into a eight by five box stuffed with twenty other human beings, and ten more on top of the vehicle (there could be animals, I was too much in pain to notice) and for the next twenty minutes you go on a blind ride on Kaccha roads.

I preferred to suffocate by holding my breadth than inhaling fumes of sweat and dust all directly assaulting my senses. Once the vehicle came to a grinding halt, and I was almost spitted out, I rejoiced in ecstasy on breathing fresh air.

And then there was the food…thankfully there was curd rice that I could depend on. It was really the water that gave me the horrendous bout of dysentery. Now that in a place with severe sanitary challenges is terrific. I started getting recurring dreams of a normal loo. I mean like the loo in Indian railway stations!

Before going to the village, my only concern was how I will get access to Internet. But throughout my five days in the village, I never once though about it.

And oh, I forgot to mention that the entire course was taught in my almost non existent Kannada vocabulary. If there was one thing I learnt, it was this.

I could be in the best place in the world, and complain about life.

I could be in the worst place in the world and not complain.

All these worries and complaints dropped in a second when I saw those shining faces of students so grateful for this beautiful knowledge. I knew that I would rather travel in those ‘shared autos’ in Dharwad, to do this work, than travel the fastest German trains for sightseeing Europe. I have the best experiences, best job, and the best BOSS ever!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A fairy tale christmas

The Akadamie Bad Antogast

Bad Antogast!!!

I first heard this name a few months after I did the Art of living course in one of the knowledge sheets.

An Ashram in the midst of German black forest….I would expect an old haunted castle, but an Ashram??? I was intrigued by the very idea.

And then one day we drove from Frankfurt through the picturesque village of Oppnau…it was the beginnings of Christmas season. The snow capped mountains were surrounded by forests of pine trees. It couldn't be more Christmassy

The village was scattered with quaint houses with cute steaming chimneys. It was right out of a fairy tale, and I was almost expecting kids called Hansel and Gretel or little Red Riding hood to come bursting out of the houses that had wooden doors, antique Knockers and decorated windows.

Through the windows of little shops I could see old men smoking pipe, reading daily paper and sipping on hot chocolate.

Finally our car stopped in front of ‘Akademie Bad Antogast’. Being enraptured by the picturesque beauty of the whole scene around, I didn’t feel like entering the building, lest I would have to leave the scene behind. I walked up the stone cobbled steps and entered a warm room with hot tea, cookies and a fire place.

It felt more like an exotic spa rather than an ashram. And yet, after an enthusiastic greeting

Jaigurudev!! sind sie kommen aus Bangalore….das is sehr schone!” I knew I was so at home.

The next day we went with out black plastic bags (okay the garbage bags) for a unique skiing experience down the snow covered steeps….the byproduct being frozen noses, butts and oodles of crazy fun.

A few days later I hear soft footsteps walking down the wooden staircase, and huge crowd standing to welcome him, he came wearing one of those ridicules Santa caps, which surprisingly suited him.....

The Satsang began…..the star on top of the Christmas tree was finally added.

It was one of those increasingly frequent times in my life, where I had to pinch myself to make sure ‘am I really here. The melody of ‘silent night trilled and I could see blissful faces from more than 30 different countries. The Dinner was delicious German cakes with salad, soup and Baked spiced potatoes.

Adventure, fun, music, grace, devotion, celebration……nothing can beat this, not even fairy tales.