Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Creating Happiness

I am kind of filled with restless energy at the moment. I have to let it out and share. Random surfing on the net might sometimes land you on a Treasure Island. I found something that linked so well with a recent post of mine STAY CREATIVE

I was stumbling yesterday and I found this beautiful website called HIGH EXISTENCE. The first post I read was Titled The Simple Truth about Happiness. 

But haven't we read so many things about happiness already . Why did I click that post only ? It was 'cos the image in it showed a guy painting  the word CREATE on a white wall with bold red strokes. I was instantly attracted. What I read was marvelous and I was fascinated so much that I actually printed out the article and read it several times.

It talks about a simple truth we all experience. We pursue happiness and for that we learn all the tricks . To be open and more friendly. To take things in a good spirit. To live in the present moment and so on. But still we have days when we feel all torn and negative with our heads studded with thoughts of self-defeat. 

The author found a wonderful answer to the question that why are we not able to sustain the happy spirit on a daily basis when nothing is apparently wrong? 

He talks about Creating Vs Consuming. I was surprised that reading a book was an act of consumption. I always limited consumption to buying stuff like groceries , cosmetics , clothing and luxury items etc. But I realized reading of course is consuming someone else's creative work . It does not involve creating. I was again surprised that creating was not limited to painting,writing, sculpting and other forms of arts . Giving someone a compliment was also creating. Perhaps creating positive vibes for the other person. 

I would strongly recommend to read this post and work on WHATS YOUR CREATION VERSUS CONSUMPTION RATIO.

I would like to thank the author Max Nachamkin for writing this wonderful post.

For me I am already on the five day test and totally hooked to the Principle


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Masoom Shahar

I have  been downloading and watching sitcoms ( Canadian/ American/ British) for past one and a half years. They have become a very reliable source of entertainemnt for me. Providing the much needed rescue from remote control fights and forced feeding of 'Saas Baahu ' Drama. However watching something on the laptop means multitasking. The social networking sites and the chat apps taking away some moments of the sitcoms.

That day a friend suggested a children's movie , the full length of which was freely available on Youtube. I had watched the movie years ago  and the associated nostalgia drove me to finally watch it a few days later.


The movie was "Kabhi Pass Kabhi Fail". The protagonist Robin is a happy-go-lucky , loved -by- all child living in a beautiful village in Goa. He is creative and playful but never scores in exams. One fine day he does a mathematical calculation mentally and his parents are taken aback. Slowly his talent and mathematical genius gains popularity in the village . He becomes the village genius. Then enters the villain ,his step uncle who schemes to use Robin's talent to make money. Robin gets caught up in his uncle's evil plans and eventually loses his mathematical magic due to sheer exhaustion and sadness.

It is a very beautiful story of discovery, loss and rediscovery . The child actor and his dog Coco have done such realistic work. The other cast has stalwarts like Deepti Naval and Naseeruddin Shah. Almost all the actors are recognizable as most have them have been on famous serials on TV.

I loved the storyline for it's simplicity and crispness. All characters have been played well and not a single shot deviates from the storyline. I was struck by nostalgia and enthralled by the simplicity of the movie once again.


Then I stumbled upon another Children's Film " Mahek Mirza". Just clicked and was surprised to find a more recent and wonderful creation of the Children's Film society of India. It is a story of a girl who wants to excel in everything. when she runs for class President she dreams of becoming the first female President of India. However the reality is the exact opposite of her dreams. She loses . Still dreams. Loses some more. In the midst of dissapointents meets a 'Modern Fairy' who guides her towards finding her one true talent. One fine day Mehak loses the will to try again cos she doesn't  want to fail one more time.

 Again it is a very sweet, refreshing kid's tale with it's share of magical moments without the abra-ka-dabra. The child actors have  done a brilliant job. Specially the lead actor who played Mehak (Shreya Sharma).


The third one I watched was not as good as the other two but hit upon a topic of child labour. Lilki a garwali kid is taken to Mumbai to work  by a good-hearted couple who want to help her mother financially. She takes care of their baby and tries to adjust with the new surroundings. Develops friendship with the kids of the appartment who accept her after discarding her for being poor and a maid servant. It's over all a happy film which utilises a very burning topic but stays in a very secure surrounding. Focussing more on the mental state of Lilki who otherwise is among a very good lot of people.

I wonder what kids watch these days. But  watching these beautifully picturized simple tales based on  the innocence , inquistiveness  and creative potential of childhood was very heart warming. A respite from everyday unrest, violence, discontent, dishonesty , growing distances among people and surprisingly from multitasking. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The First Breath

 Breathing is integral to our being. We inhale and exhale countless times without even  being aware. It is when it’s difficult to breath that we think about it. Being a doctor I know the physiological , biochemical and pathological intricacies of gaseous exchange ... functioning of the lungs and various respiratory diseases. However that is not where I want to go.

The words “Inspiration” and “expiration” are related to breathing  and have such deep meaning of life and death. Still this is not what I want to talk about. It is the first one of all the countless inspirations and expirations that fascinates me. The beautiful effort that first breath  demands . The significant first achievement of a nascent human being.

This phenomenon is intricately related to my everyday work.  I see them being born and I worry over there breathing and finally find solace when I can certify “cried immediately after birth”. Medical science has explanation regarding surface tension of air sacs (alveoli), about the origin of the substance called surfactant and a lot of things that makes it’s pretty explainable through physiological and biochemical aspects. All that however has failed to bring out the beauty of that first valiant effort and why it makes the newborn cry?
A little eccentric as I am ... I mused over it and tried to give it my own explanation... a little magical.. a little philosophical... and a little heart warming and enlightening.. I like to bask in that thought and I love the way it sounds ...

I nested that thought for a couple of years but I feel like sharing now...in the form of poetry...

A union of halves had occured
A brief journey had found its roots
Then a holy heart had suddenly flickered
Gradually  a consciousness emerged
In a sea of knowledge it  immersed..

It had sounds of the past ,present ,and future
A deep understanding of life and distant visions
The true understanding of the supreme creator
The serene sanct fluid totally soaked the creature

The maternal loving abode grew and nourished
The consciousness moved and kicked with vigour
The knowledge was still there dreaming unblemished
But it was time for another journey to trigger....
It was a sudden rush of pain and alarming contraction
The abode threatening to push the conciousness away
It was time and there was no escape no retraction
And suddenly the sea of knowledge gushed out of the window

The little being  felt the first touch of cold air
Suddenly abandoned by  the caring sea of enlightenment
The final bits threatening to gush out of its swelling chest
It could hold no more it was it’s final quest...

And a herculean effort pushed the fluid away
And the lungs were filled up with worldly air
And the newborn cried to it’s dismay...
Cos it was nascent again by the loss of wisdom
And it was the beginning of another journey .

 Crying newborn baby girl after bath. Stock Photo - 10315070

Thus my crazy thought it’s the loss of the collective wisdom of the universe dissolved in the liquor surrounding a the growing fetus in the womb and its replacement by the worldly air of ignorance ; that makes the first cry. The deep awareness of the loss of all knowledge 
and beginning of a lifetime to gain it back.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Baingan (Brinjal) chicken style

This sunday I finally decided to try a Chicken curry recipe. The result was delicious. However I am not going to exactly share the chicken recipe cos I ended up doing a very interesting experiment.

The thing is that Mom and me are non-vegetarian but dad became a vegetarian a couple of years back. So whenever we cook a non-veg dish dad is kind of left out. The only fitting substitute has always been a nice Paneer dish. Today we were out of paneer. But I wanted to cook something equally nice for Dad . Brinjal( baingan) is my Dad's favourite vegetable and we have some growing right in our back yard.

So I decided to use the phenomenon of 'Transfer of learning' and cook brinjals exactly the way I went about with the chicken so that dad can enjoy the vegetarian version.

Since the vegetable came right out from my kitchen garden so I could cook them with the skin without worrying about chemical contamination. I sliced the brinjal's in longitudinal fashion and then marinated it with yoghurt (dahi) along with salt (small quantity as more would be added during cooking ),coriander(Dhaniya) powder , cumin (zeera) powder and garam masala. A little bit of powdered red chilly . After marination I left it in the freezer for approximately 30 minutes.

In the meantime I made a paste of a medium sized onion , few garlic cloves , ginger, two small tomatoes and  a green chilly.

The paste was cooked in a non-stick pan with olive oil ( use oil of your choice) and then the marinated brinjals were added. Salt to taste with meat masala was added and brinjals cooked on medium heat . 

The final result was a  mouth watering Chicken style baingan garnished and served.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stay creative...

There was this conversation with a dear friend on phone . Recently married, she was narrating her experience with the change in life. Then the conversation turned to how marriage slows down a woman's career. She gave the example of another friend who has just stepped into motherhood .How she is dealing with the mental conflict of her sphere of influence shrinking down to the baby and the home chores complexed with the husband's lack of cooperation.

I  listened to her and said 'perhaps those professional women who have some creative outlet cope up better in such professional breaks. Creativity could be in general such a wonderful channelizer of all negative energy and frustration into something absolutely marvelous.'

I had slept over the thought  and perhaps would have forgotten about it completely had a fantastic article  not been shared on my FB wall.

Reading it I realized that even people who are creative face deep frustrating rejection of their work. This could perhaps blunt their creativity and make them give up.

 But a truly creative spirit turns the table around and makes a rejection a trigger for creating something awesome .

This is exactly  what two Irish designers Mark Shanley and Paddy Treacy  did by Turning worst client comments into Posters! (Click on the link and have a look at the posters ) . The posters were exhibited and they became so popular that within 5 days of exhibition they raised thousands of Euros and donated it to a Children's Hospital.

So hold on to whatever creative tools you posses you never know when it would turn your life around. Ok! if thats a bit exaggerating it might just turn around your mood or outlook . Not a bad deal at all!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Abode of all Penance: Naimisharanya

Moksha is the ultimate desire and destination. I wasn't looking for Moksha though . I was overcome by a simple desire of escaping the rut and see a place I haven't been before. It was back in summers of 2010.

 A few pics of that 'escape' caught my attention as I was browsing for something in my picture folder today.  I realized it is a unique place worth sharing. This again like my earlier post is a sacred place . Now I am not religious but mythology has always been very interesting.

Naimisharanya  is an ancient forest mentioned in the Mahabharata and the Shiv Purana. It is said that after the battle of Mahabharata sages and the wise men were very concerned  by the fact that Kal yug would arrive someday so they gathered and went to Brahma to leave a place sacred enough where Moksha could be attained even in the dark Kal Yug. Brahma spins a sacred wheel and says wherever the centre (Nami) of this wheel stops on earth it would be that sacred place. Sages follow the wheel and it stops in a forest which was named Namisharnya ( the forest where the centre fell). Thus it became the abode of penance.

This place harbors the exact spot where Ved Vyas sat and wrote and divided vedas into four main parts and created the puranas. It is named as Vyas Gaddi .

It was a bit unbelievable to witness the exact place where the source of all sacred knowledge in Hindu religion began. 

The second site was Chakrateerth i.e, the exact place where the Centre of Brahma's Chakra fell. It turned into a pond where one can wash away all his/her sins. It was circular pool of very contaminated ( as all sacred places capable of washing away sins have ) water . However it was a sight to see with people taking the holy dip oblivious and unmindful of anything else. I, of course, enjoyed it from a distance and moved away with a few pics and my sins intact :P. 

I also visited Hanumaan Gaddi and Pandav Kila and the temple with all the Avataars of lord Vishnu. I fail to find the pics and recollect any bit of information. 

There are a few pics of a giant Hawan kund we visited at Naimisharanya and performed a few rituals . The star shaped deep well for the Hawan agni (fire) and the high thatched canopy like  roof top with a hole to let out the Hawan smoke was captivating.

 The smoke rose from a perpetual Hawan Kund where the fire never dies and rose through the aperture to negotiate with the heavens.

(P.S .Well for those interested in religious and sacred places Naimisharnya aka Neemsaar is located on the banks of river Gomti in District Sitapur. To know more click on the link)