Posted in Food For Soul

The Charvakas.

The nine schools of Indian or Hindu philosophy are:

Samkya, Nyaya, Yoga, Vaisheshika, Purva Mimamsa, Vedantha (the Vedic school branching off into Advaita etc), Charvaka, Buddha, Jaina. The nine schools contain sub=schools within themselves.

Of the nine, Charvaka makes for interesting study. Charvakans deny everything that is not tangible and therefore for them, there are no five elements or Pancha bhoothas. They recognize only four and discount the sky because the sky cannot be felt by any of their sensory organs. Osho and similar preachers and their followers must belong to the school of Charvaka philosophy where physical pleasure overrides everything else. Bodily satisfaction, momentary satiation mean more to them, and their mortal body is their prime focus. This type of men and women live for physical gratification and hence they have addictions taking to the bottle generally. Sex addiction and substance abuse are widely prevalent among them. They justify their preoccupations just the way they argue that there are only four natural elements earth, water, air and fire but never the sky that they cannot touch and feel. The charvakas have no respect for boundaries and have no walls defining their boundaries either. Its free for all for them. Since the charvakas consider themselves beyond answering the questions on morality, they do not believe in Karma. Charvakas in short are Bhogis. Their entire lives get devoted to fulfillment of their physical cravings. For charvakas, not just morality, even ethics are an issue. Not always clean hands for them. They will not hesitate to grease palms if they have to move matters and they won’t mind if someone greases their palm to get things going.

So for Charvakas, nothing is sacred, nothing is sacrosanct and nothing is too personal or private. Typically, Karpu does not therefore apply to them. In colloquial terms, we call charvakas, loose characters (with loose morals and ethics). Interestingly, the charvakas can charm their way into your heart with fakeness. Charvakas may also be non believers. Needless to say the Charvakas sell their soul that they are not borne with, without a second thought.

Charvakas may exhibit the Rajas guna typically, being materialistic. Charvakas do not bother about collateral damages either in their pursuit of their physical pleasures. Supremely selfish.

How brilliantly Indian/Hindu philosophies study the human species for their weaknesses and strengths.

Posted in Food For Soul

Bad behaviour and bad character are not one and the same.

Bad behaviour is bad enough. It could be being rude, arrogant, haughty, boorish, brutally honest calling a spade a spade to one’s face even if you know it would hurt. Throwing temper tantrums is bad behaviour. Resentment is unhealthy. Being anxious is not desirable. Being negative can damper your spirit. Being inflexible, rigid could undermine you. But all or any of this cannot be summed up as bad character. Sometimes your tough posture can actually stand you in good stead. There are matters where a compromise is never advisable like in your basic character. This means, you are a solid man or woman not a shallow existence, weak enough to manipulate or be manipulated by others. Bad behaviour can shrink your friends circle but those who know you will never give up on you. Ones who break bonds with you are good riddance – blessing in disguise.

Bad character is entirely different story. Bad character is untrustworthy, unreliable chameleon character that can adapt to situation to one’s benefit. Bad character is betrayal of friendship, of friends, of relationships. Bad character people are not honest people. Bad character people lie and would do anything to take care of their selfish interests and motives. Bad character people are jealous and copycat others trying to impersonate them or become them. Bad character individuals have no or loose morals. Bad character guys/girls have no dignity, grace or integrity. They will stoop to any level to satiate their physical and materialistic needs. Which is why bad character people are always positive, jingoistic, boasting and attention seeking. Mostly the politically correct ones will have questionable ethics. Gossiping may be bad behaviour. But controlling friends and ties with money and influence is bad character. Flirting cannot be exactly bad behaviour but online s*x definitely speaks of bad character. Bad character is cheap. Plastic. And that is just the starter. Promiscuity is bad character. Strong self-confident people steer friends to better ways of life. Good characters inspire others and correct others if and when they stray. Bad character women encourage peers to take to boozing and have extra marital affairs. Bad characters have no standards and are fakes. Typically the hypocrites are of bad character. Being proud is bad behaviour but aspiring for unearned things is bad character. Bad character is toxic, cancerous, home breaking, wrecking havoc leaving behind a trail of destruction. Bad character people don’t think twice about bartering or pledging or selling their soul for even a pittance. The ends justify the means typically for the bad characters. For the righteous people, its the journey that matters not the destination in itself.

Deep souls never sell short of their value. Deep souls are not for sale whatever the price. The intensity of the deep souls, their vibrations are reserved for equally deep, sensitive souls. Low key people with depth are too very self-aware never making the shrill noise to draw attention. Good character people have this aura about them, they are authentic. Good people are no-nonsense no-frills people who don’t have to sugarcoat their words. You fear good people. They are like fire that can get your fingers burnt if you dare to stoke them. If good people are misunderstood its the third parties’ loss. Its okay to exhibit bad behaviour but it is important not to taint your character. Vices can be attributed to bad behaviour if they must have a reason. A man who is stressed enough with manual work at the end of the day like a carpenter or farmer earns his right to booze. A man mentally stressed with his occupation where he earns a living is entitled to some relaxation. No excuses for housewives boozing in the day that is morally corruptive and disruptive. No family where the woman of the family boozes in the living room in broad daylight can be having a good honourable life. India is still not the west. The west is too cold that surviving without alcohol is tough for them. Liquor is a necessity not a luxury. India is a tropical country where liquor consumption can mean only damage to the family. Liquor addiction and s*x addiction in housewives is BAD, WORSE, WORST CHARACTER not something anyone can be proud of or jealous of. It can lead to serious complications in family life and make us lose our respect in the eyes of our own children at a later stage.

Posted in Food For Soul

Inside the mind of a narcissist.

When the narcissist is calling himself ‘Ghajni’ you have to have alarm bells ringing. Who is Ghajni exactly. He was someone who invaded India, ransacked our ancient temple, razed it to the ground and pilfered our riches. So when someone calls himself Ghajni it means he has been studying you for a while, contemplating moves, educating himself on your connections, weaknesses, lifestyle, family, finance etc., with hacking tech so that he can finally swoop down on you knowing that his prey is within his grasp. The same narcissist may have attempted calling himself Sabyasachchi to some strong woman indicating that he was in the habit of identifying his victims and paying them detailed and special attention bombarding them with complements. One hint at the designer opened her eyes to the fact that he had a queue of conquests that put her on alert mode. So it is imperative to listen to the vocabulary of the narcissist.

If the narcissist is a celebrity, you can trust the matter to be even a family affair. Over 90% you can be sure that at least half of what you share is no news to the spouse. The missus is aware of what is afoot. The families are aware how this kind of thing works. In the art field, family cooperation to secure sponsors is basic. When the narcissist pulls the brake on your relationship, it means that the family has stamped down on the control saying enough is enough. It means, enough has been done for you to secure you steadfast that you won’t slip away and it is time to concentrate on next target. This bit of information I gleaned from a friend who is an avid follower of the narcissist’s art. Except for some very private or personal exchanges in the relationship, the narcissist could be already sharing your info with his wife and may be with you with her permission. This is pretty common in the life of stars that the public miss. Filmy lifestyle exactly works in this fashion as we are aware of. So right away this is for your understanding: your relationship is not privy or sacred. Every word passes on to the wife and sometimes even the social media handles especially whatsapp/signal messages may be texted by the better half of the artist. The wives allow some space to the performing artist because they would like to believe that this diversion is essential for their creativity. A very fine act of manipulation put to you to win your sponsorship. If you notice, normally the narcissists may have beautiful, gifted and blessed family life unlike yours and they may have no reason to stray. Relationships are a lie because there is no intent in the first place. They are securely and emotionally invested in their own families. This is ‘sampradhaaya’ for them. That is the exact name this practice goes by. Sponsors form the backbone for artists and the family involvement is key to achieving their financial goals.

So how to disengage from the narcissist systematically:

First of all admit to yourself that you have be misjudged issues and read people wrong. Coming out of denial is one major step when it comes to healing. Its okay for your closest circle who have been aware of the developments to be appraised that you have been shamed. You accept and move on. That admittance to self is key to resolve conflicts at mind level. We all make mistakes and no mistake is not retractable. All you have to is question the motive of the narcissist. Any financial interest already betrays the reason for the relationship that straigth away suggests manipulation.

Secondly engage yourself productively and remove yourself from petty cheap thrills and focus on actual happiness. Write more and get into social activities. For instance, even a visit to an orphanage can make you change your perspectives. Prioritize yourself. Make your happiness top on the list and the narcissist should figure nowhere in the list.

Thirdly it may come as a surprise to you that the narcissists do not even leave the reluctant ones free. Once marked, they will pursue their targets to the end of this earth. When in a relationship you suffer, there may be those who suffer without getting entangled. The constant stalking by the narcissist can also at times send you to depression. This is the way the narcissist would like to ensure that the marked person is not getting attached somewhere else. This can throw spotlight on the way a typical nar mind works.

Fourth, you will still be pursued long after leaving the relationship but keep going. Learn to take it in your stride but pay no attention. Don’t be fooled that you are exclusive or someone special. As of this moment, the narcissist may be doing this to multiple women. Whoever takes the bait falls prey.

Fifth, if you truly have an emotional need it is not wrong to go for a safe, steady, consistent, decent and lowkey soul mate but to have someone like that you must be prepared to bide your time. At least now you learn that there is no such thing called ‘love at first sight.’ Plant a seed and watch it grow slowly taking its own time. Do not work at it. When it is ripe, you will know in your heart without a declaration. Nobody in love professes love. Your situation must create the love and YOU MUST NOT BE FOUND. This is what is true love.

One dead giveaway about a narcissist is that, he would never dump you or upset you for no reason. The true love of our life will never emotionally abuse us. Someone capable of hurting us women that way can never hold love or warmth ever.

Sixth, do not feed the narcissist’s ego. Do not sponsor. Do not have common links. Do not respond/react. This shall solve 50%. the problem right away. If the victim card is played by the narcissist, IGNORE. Save your sanity and do not succumb to emotional blackmail. Lovebombing is crude and easiest way to down a weak person. Decent men never resort to this low level. If you are following a celebrity narc, switch over another artist of similar calibre to maintain your art interest. That way you sustain and nurture your art interest and stand to lose nothing.

Finally become your old former self, heal and live a happy life in front of the narcissist not giving him the satisfaction of making you sad. If you find new love, flaunt it. Even if you don’t, be happy and wear your happiness in your sleeve for the whole world to see. Regain all that you lost because of the narcissist: your self esteem, your friends, your enthusiasm, your cheer, your spirit, your ENERGY, your peace, your happiness. Make an attempt to stay real positive and put it in your daily practice.

There are women who are undergoing stress silently because of nonstop pursuit by narcissists. They are fighting a bold, brave battle for no fault of theirs. But may we become stronger with each passing day. I read somewhere that, it is not that we women lack the strength, it is just that we lack the will. NARCISSIM IS TOXICITY. Have no two thoughts on that.

But whatever it takes, do it today because our family deserves our best version. Our former natural normal self must return. We must not stay a damaged piece, carelessly hacked to bleed to death by a sadist manipulator. We owe it to ourselves and to our family our original buoyant self.

YOUR HEALING IS IN YOUR HANDS. But if you are a willing victim, be ready to sacrifice your entire energy reserves for the sake of the narcissist and lose your mind slowly. You will never be happy again in your life and that is it.

Posted in Food For Soul

Energy Vampires.

Energy vampires are narcissists who feast on your energies and decamp with all that you have to offer, leaving you high and dry. The sooner you identify the patterns and get rid of them, the better for you. Otherwise you will be footing a heavy price that can leave you shattered and take months to heal. Our energies must be reserved for our families first and our dearest friends. Love and affection don’t normally start from day three with you first brush of online sex and blossom into full relationship in three months. Anyone lovebombing you is stealing your energy. Narcissists typically identify and zero in on high energy women. Your enthusiasm is something they can draw, benefit and grow from. However narcs also get bored easily once the initial chemistry wears off. Their interests will be always short lived. You will tire them soon and they will already be looking for other preys to continually feed and fire their own ego. They will have justification for every misdeed of theirs. The self serving creative or artistic men may say that this is what keeps them going. But what about the destruction they leave in their wake. Why should gullible women be bearing their brunt when they go on and enrich their own self centered lives. You can see that the pattern will repeat itself every now and then so that the narcs hold on to you by the threads never allowing you to leave. You are a source of great energy for them and if you can supply them with free online sex and finance, it is all the more better, a blessing for them. The narcissists are not fools to let go of the goose that lays a golden egg everyday at their whim and command. If you are vulnerable and weak, you play right into the hands of the narcissists. It is upto the women to break the cycle and liberate themselves from these brandishing chains. The narcissists can leave you devastated, breaking you and making you believe that you are loved. They can emotionally abuse you. They lie, play double games and never have remorse for dumping you like soiled toilet tissue when they have no temporary use for you. They know that you are theirs whenever they may want to claim you back because they hold you by hook. In their eyes you are still trash not worthy of respect and you are too psychologically dependent. To anyone reading this I suggest, be bold and strong enough to say a big NO and walk off these killing traps. Just think of all that you have lost over months: your positive vibes, your energy, your happiness, your self confidence, your self respect, your friends, your feel good and upbeat mood. Nothing is worth our natural carefree and happy state of existence – that we took for granted before the narcissist turned our world upside down. Some damaged women can not easily return to their precious previous self. It will take them months or years to heal completely. Even so you will know that, something about you has permanently changed. You become less trusting. You become a little less happy and you brood a lot. YOU ARE NO MORE SOMEONE YOU USED TO BE THANKS TO THE NARCISSIST. Some women even get into depression. If you already booze, you are done in. This is why boundaries are important. Narcissists target women with no boundaries because it is easiest for them to steal energy from unlocked hearts.


In today’s online world, you need to be a lot more wiser. I thank my stars for the guiding light I got keeping me away from trouble. I haven’t lost my sanity and neither am I for sharing my precious energies with unworthy kind. MY ENERGIES ARE FOR MY FAMILY AND FOR CONSISTENT, LOYAL, HONEST , DECENT AND WORTHY FRIENDS I HAVE EARNED OVER YEARS not days/weeks/months. Having said that, I still believe in Soul Mates but beware, it takes eons to form that kind of deep meaningful bonds. If you find one that grows on you quiet without having to dance and sing around trees filmy style, then you are lucky. We are all entitled to that kind of meaningful company, I don’t deny. It can do us a lot of good and improve the state of our mental health. And may be sometimes such a soul mate already exists in your life but you haven’t figured it out yet. Don’t trust the FLASHY avalanches that can excite you but carry you to deep depression. Women in late 40s and early 50s also have to factor in the menopause mood swings. This could be a reason for women to fall easy prey to narcissists. Truth is a bitter pill to swallow.

Posted in Food For Soul

World Peace Day.

Today is International Peace Day. May be a bit late to write on this. Attended a demo session of Heartfulness meditation at ICC Doha (that we do every year). On and off I do the heartfulness kind of meditation wherein we say we meditate from our heart. This kind of meditation is different from other typical Hindu meditation techniques that focus on progression of the seven Chakras. Meditation is essentially Om Mantra vibration for me which is why I am unable to come to terms with Heartfulness. Also, there is always a conscious attempt by many groups, in my opinion, to delink anything basically and intrinsically Hindu and make it universal. Yoga is compromised and even in the Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) Om mantra is eliminated. But if you eliminate the Om, how can it continue to be the authentic Surya Namaskar. In any case, most Yoga stretches are patented by Americans who have had nothing to do with Yoga or Meditation. There are two kinds of existence as per Hindu Dharma: Yoga and Bhoga. Yoga is renunciation essentially for both Hindus and Buddhists (and Jains) which means detachment to prepare yourself for the ultimate Enlightenment or Nirvana (self consciousness or self awareness). Bhoga is voraciously materialistic. The American or western practice of Yoga is without a soul that way – because they have killed the Yogic aspect of the fitness regime where body and soul merge with discipline. Yogic exercises in the west are mostly bhogic that they even have beer Yoga, Yoga with goats etc – which shows how least they grasp the elements of Yoga and how ignorant and disrespectful they are about something that is too very profound and disciplined way of life. Meditation is the other branch of Yoga like the Mudras. Now we have even the Transcendental mediation and Kundalini awakening selling like hotcakes; there are crash courses on Chakra progression and on Kundalini for sale. Which is why I have developed such a distaste for any kind of meditation that disassociates itself consciously, purposely from Hindu Dharma. Is that want you need to market a philosophy to worldwide seekers?

Meditation was mentioned as a tool to achieve peace both internal and external. Someone who spoke said what gave him peace was social service to the community. To those like my husband, work is worship as a friend stated the obvious truth. Peace to this kind comes from discharging their responsibility to such an impeccable perfection and contributing to realizable productivity.

As for as I am concerned, we all have our schools of thought that we adhere to. Hindu dharma has six clear cut philosophies to achieve the internal peace and I am for pursuing one of the six folded path. Sorry, I have no appetite for meditation, and if it does have to be, it will be the Om Mantra chanting for meditation for me. Now, that is the original meditation. No harm in entertaining, contemplating the various options but I guess, Hindus must eschew meditation techniques and yogic methods that try to misinterpret the Hindu practices and try to make them non communal. It is true yoga need not have to be communal, meditation need not have to be communal, but neither then must they be sold commercial. If you have to pay for them, then they may as well be patented. Yoga is not about the mere body. It is that which unites the body with the soul and takes you to the the next step of self awareness. It gives you mind control. Indian govt missed patenting yoga through decades since independence. Too late, but won the patent for Surya namaskar finally! However in the meantime the west came out with their own Pilates that is blatant takeover from yoga. Zumba, Taekwondo, Kungfu, Karate everything is patented by the respective origin countries. But then the greatest weakness of a Hindu is, you do not want to charge for the universal goodness that you give the world. What the heck. its not a question of charges. Its about preserving the essence of the tools of our Sanathana Dharam without dilution.

We spend years on deciding which route to take to the top of the pyramid. I did. Its worth testing every tool. With trial and error we can eliminate what won’t apply to us. Heartfulness is okay but I resent the delinking of Hindu aspect from this form of meditation. I don’t think this will give me peace at all! But practitioners of Heartfulness vouch for the peace and harmony in their lives. That stillness of the heart – i guess I can still have with the quiet Om vibration from the base of the Mooladhara chakra and then go on working up.

Before I close I cannot help emphasizing on peace at home before we go seek solace in the outside world as almost all the speakers underscored. That was the takeaway for me from the evening.

Posted in Food For Soul

Sheep Mentality.

Re-blogged from my old post with edits.

You know nothing about God if you are going to refer to God as ‘Him, him, him.’ For me it is She, Her, first and foremost. Or both Him and Her. He is nothing without Her.

Secondly, who told you God can only come from Israel or ARabia. My Gods came from the Himalayas.

Who says God must be only Arab or Caucasian. My god is INDIAN. BROWN. My gene. My DNA. Well, well. are we not having the Black Jesus now!

Who says God must have spoken Arab or Hebrew or Latin. My god spoke only Sanskrit and Tamil.

Who says Idol worship is not to be. If idol worship is not to be, why not rip your national flag to pieces. Why have a holy book and why the hue and cry when it is desecrated. Anything symbolic is idol – not just a sculpture, is it not. A number is idol. A book is idol. A bead is idol. Even a wall hanging or tapestry of your holy place is idol. A sculpted idol is as symbolic to a faith as the national flag is to a nation. No fool believes the idol is God. An idol is point of focus. If you can decipher this simplest basic truth, you won’t be berating idolatry.

Who says rituals are not fine. If you rule out rituals, then your religion will become violent. Are we not seeing this? Rituals are escapism and iron out the rigidity of a rigorous religion.

Why should you want to convert anyone. No Hindu ever tried to convert or conquer because we believed we were good. We don’t want to expand.

Who says there is a heaven or hell. There are conversion lobbies in both Christianity and Islam. But those who convert to Hindu Dharma convert because they understand the Hindu philosophy of God that can be attained only through a super consciousness. The ant and the boot story that I have written a lot about in my old posts. Your religion is what you see as an ant in front of the imposing boot of a tall man who is a miniscule in this world among the galaxies. That ant brain cannot think much more than that. If it tries, the ant brain will explode. But there are some ant brains that can break through the roof with meditation and reach higher realms of conscience. That is what God is. The Christ or Prophet or Buddha or Vivekananda or even Sai Baba or Ramana Maharishi all could do that. The sufi saints probably mastered the technique. The only other way you can crack the iron shell of your limited conscience is when our soul leaves our body or the temporary abode. Why do you think many in the west are embracing Buddhism and Hinduism on their own accord. Only because finally they understand that Dharma is not what they find in the Hindu temples or idols. This is for beginners. Like the base of the pyramid. Dharma is self realization or higher spiritual conscience that is possible only when you can break through the jinx still being the ant. When the ant in you can look beyond the boot, at the imposing man, at the sky, at the galaxy with a literal brainstorming, beyond its limited mental faculties, the ant becomes the so-called ‘Enlightened soul’ as per Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Like physical training, this can happen only with mental training: when you exercise your brains, with meditation. Transcendental meditation. (Yoga is an effective tool that can help you achieve such a physical-mental discipline).

The Enlightenment concept itself is originally Buddhist-Hindu. It literally means REALIZATION. You realize in your limited human faculties, something that cannot be imagined/realized otherwise.

What do you think Avatar is all about? Its nothing but such a Hindu philosophy. I am comfortable with my friends debating that perhaps Shiva is that alien who we can realize only with such a super conscience. Its a relief to know that a majority of Hindus believe that Shiva is a visitor to Earth. From a better evolved galaxy. Whose one whole day could be our one century. Like the life of an ant is just a few minutes of the lifespan of the imposing man whose boot the ant is staring at having no clue. This is what Hinduism is all about. Can you guys ever think the way a Hindu can. Nobody confines Shiva to mere Shiv Ling. This must be an eyeopener to critics of idol worship. Because, you don’t subscribe to idol worship, you say nobody can even draw your god or even your prophet because God is formless, ageless, but you have no issues assuming God is male or God could come only from your Arabia. Did God tell you He is arabic and that he is male. Only arabic and only male, to be precise? Well, mine most certainly IS NOT ARABIC, NOT ENTIRELY MALE. In fact She is half of Him who came down the Kailash.

How many islamists will have the open mind to think like a Hindu. Unlimited possibilities and permutations and combinations. It is irritating to see God reduced to a son of God, self-styled prophet, middle east and a self-authored rigid code book. These are not definitions of God. This is debilitating, very confining, restrictive.

The British/west understood the essence of the eastern faiths which is why the churches are collapsing. Not a single middle eastern religion could crack what the ancient eastern faiths could. Even today, the buddhist monks in Thailand or Tibet can leave their bodies at their whim to blend with the super consciousness. When the British realized the superiority of eastern faiths, they made mountain out of the molehill called idol worship trying to cover up the aura of the super consciousness or the concept of God as we know in India.

I am not a theologian but Hindu faith encourages all schools of thought. To a Hindu, only the super consciousness is God. Attainable only by your mind. Until your brain can break the chaining shackles and promote itself from the ant’s bodyframe to reach the upper echelons of conscience, you will be reborn in multiple janams – even a 1000 or more if it takes to. One fine day you can hit the jackpot with your ant-sized brain cracking it. Or perhaps human size, which is still easily said than done. And then you become the part of the superconsciousness. You merge with the Jyothi (light). You become one tiny constituting cell of the collective consciousness called God. Tree of life. The spirit tree as you see in Avatar. And then you will know that God is both He and She, that God lives both in Arabia and Himalaya and speaks Arabic, Latin and Sanskrit. That God is black, white, brown, yellow. And of course, that God never sent His son or Prophet because She had none! Only a few Gurus who worked it out right can train you with discipline how to attain that super consciousness when still alive in this body, in this janam. One of those gurus could be that son of god or prophet. As simple as that.

Posted in Food For Soul

The Joy Of Giving.

Today one more dot connected me to my mother. We the club ladies, as part of our yearly projects, gave a cheque to a partially blind couple who are on a mission: in their limited capacity, they have rented two flats that they have turned into a hostel for blind girls from outstation who have arrived in the city to attend schools and colleges. Their magnanimity touches the very core of my being. The poorest, humblest among us have the biggest heart. Out of the fifteen girls they are sponsoring or aiding with food, residence, clothes, travel expenses, education fees, books etc., I found that two of the girls attend my mother’s school – I mean the school for the deaf and the dumb that my mother taught at until the last day of her life. Its forty years exactly since she left. I am no stranger to the blind section of her school where the Thamizh picture ‘Raja Paarvai’ starring Kamal Hassan and Madhavi was filmed in the year 1981. Until 1982, disability was part and parcel of my life. We sisters routinely went to our mother’s catholic convent to attend sports day to annual day. We were there for vacations and when my mother would go there for paper corrections during term holidays. We lit candles in the chapel for Christmas or whenever we went there. There are memories of blind children competing in sack race, running race, lemon and spoon etc. I think I have blogged a lot on this. I wonder what message my mother wants to pass on to me now: i have had three consecutive signs in matter of months that I WILL NOT dismiss as coincidence. I didn’t know that the trust was for the blind girls because I hadn’t browsed our group posts with attention. I don’t want to share the photos I clicked with the girls as I want to protect the privacy of the teenagers who are already at a disadvantage having no eye sight. It felt good interacting with them and with their caretakers. I was almost on the verge of tears. One of the ladies is sending them sanitary napkins every month: now that is rare sensitivity. Normally a selfie person, if there is one place I would rather not, it is when we are helping someone. I hate those pictures but the club is insistent on them. With banners and all. I wish we women spend more time chatting up the beneficiaries trying to know them better. The pleasure was ours not theirs. Which is why whatever I do, I do private and don’t always go through organizations.

This was my very first field visit for a project. In fact second after the one to a home for the aged. Today we had it back to back. Years ago I have visited a hospice that housed destitute women. Government partially funds these managements. The rest they source from sponsors/private benefactors. Of course, this one was run by a Christian charity. If I may: how many Hindus have it in them to engage themselves in selfless service. This is monumental and committed work. Incidentally, my mother’s institution was one of a kind and the very first in the city in those times although now we have many more.

One of the discoveries I have made is that, these charities are finding it difficult to run their day to day affairs. Food sponsors sometimes send hotel food that would not agree with the aged inmates’ health. Clothes are well taken care of. There are those like rentals, staff salary, bills to be paid, medical treatment, hospitalization expenses etc., that cannot be met with the trust funds. The needs are varied and not always rice and lentils. Senior citizens for instance may be waiting for their turn of cataract surgery.

Arriving well before time, I could spend some valuable time with aged abandoned women who had been brought to the home by the police. With no family to go back to, the women said they were fortunate to have found a home away from home. They had great company and good Samaritans took care of them! The blind girls can’t wait to graduate and make it on their own. I guess finally I found the one true positive vibe that sounded meaningful and made real sense.

The blind girls use Whatsapp effectively. They’ re keeping abreast with technology and are very well informed. Got a polite reminder that normal people like us never go through settings that enable non visual posts to be read by the blind. Pleasantly surprised to see the Braille in the reverse of their visiting card. For the first time in my life, I also got to touch and see the actual Braille text books – huge, huge volumes of them. I do intend to go back.

My intention is not to advertise but to merely show what an unfair world we live in. I feel subdued after this evening. I did go for shopping on my return but not without a guilty feeling. I couldn’t dismiss the girls out of my mind. I am satisfied I spent some quality time today with two different age group ladies: one too senior and sick; second lot young and raring to go inspite of their disability. Humbling experience.

It only takes a moment or less for our world to turn upside down. One heart attack. One diagnosis. One phone call. One accident. So what are we waiting for.

Yet another connecting dot to my mother. This was her world. She lived their life. She lived among them. With them. She was a different woman with kindest heart. I am proud she was my mother even if I hardly knew her.

Posted in Food For Soul

Elegance Is Character.

If you think elegance has got anything to do with clothes and manners and table etiquettes you cannot be further wrong. Elegance is not in the modulated tone of your voice and in the way you sashay. Elegance is more than skin deep. Elegance has nothing to do with your breeding or social status. Elegance is character: solid character.

Elegance is in love when love has integrity.

Elegance is kindness.

Elegance is neutrality.

Elegance never gets corrupted.

Understated elegance is when you don’t overdress to steal the spotlight from your host.

Elegance is when you underplay your self-importance.

Elegance is not attention seeking.

Elegance is modesty not flashy.

Elegance is empathy when you don’t suffuse the atmosphere with your toxic positivity.

Elegance is the joy of giving: your left hand knowing not the right hand giving away

Elegance is responsibility and justice.

Elegance is rationality

Elegance is DECENCY.

Elegance is self-love NOT narcissism.

Elegance is humility.

Elegance is authenticity not fake.

Elegance is the dignity of the soul.

Elegance prerequisites standards. Elegance enforces boundaries.

Elegance must not stop you from screaming your heart out for right reasons. Elegance should not have you putting up with emotional abuse. Elegance is NO NONSENSE. Elegance must let you ask for help if the situation demands. Elegance is honesty.

There is no elegance is selling your soul.

Elegance is the way things are. Natural. In their element. No over projection. Just the way it must be. Elegance is character that you cannot dismiss. Elegance is 24 carat gold.

Posted in Food For Soul

Toxic Positivity

It is next to impossible to stay upbeat all the time. If someone says he/she stays positive for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 30 days a month, 365 days an year, then it must be toxic positivity that is the subject matter. Nothing else makes sense. Toxic positivity has the nature of dismissing cautious optimism as negativity while overplaying a false optimism. Negativity at its worst can be discouragement but toxic positivity can be seriously damaging.

Toxic positivity is not only a state of denial but is also a blatant negation of others’ emotional experiences. That makes it selfish and heartless.

We all carry our baggage. Happiness by itself is a relative term. You can make a child orphaned at five years relatively happy as he grows up from the state of mind he was in when trauma struck. But you cannot take his past away. The scars will remain for a lifetime even if the wound may heal. Sometimes memories are all we are left with to make a precious connection. Empaths can slip into the shoes of the little boy. To toxic positive men/women, undermining and invalidating the latent grief in the boy will come natural. The boy may grow up to be a cheerful man with a healthy body and mind yet retain something from his traumatic past.

It is possible that some of us are toxic positive about ourselves. In that case, we are not doing ourselves any good. False hope can be toxic positivity.

Toxic positivity is deliberate underplaying of others’ legitimate emotional claims. It is belittling of someone’s authentic experiences in an attempt to make them feel less sure about themselves. Victims of toxic positive abuse may end up questioning their sanity and inferences that would be perfectly rational. One could have their confidence shaken and will broken. To put it in a capsule, toxic positivity is misplaced control.

Toxic positivity is emotional abuse. It is false reassurance when it is directed at oneself. It is important to identify the patterns of toxic positivity in friends and stay away.

Posted in Food For Soul

The Dharmic Money

Okay there are so many many inspirational, motivational quotes flooding our social media timelines. Here is something on what I may term ‘the Dharmic money.’

What is Dharmic money. Are you a believer in Sattva, Rajas, Tamas and Rakshasa gunas that have something to do with the food we eat. If so, you gotto believe in Dharmic earnings and spendings as well. Dharmic earnings are hard earned money for which we work. Which means nothing comes free to us. Suppose we hold title to movable and immovable assets passed on to us by our ancestors who had had earned dharmic incomes building their wealth, then what they bequeathed to us is also dharmic that we can enjoy without a guilt. This kind of income benefits everyone, the benefactor (our forefathers), the beneficiary (ourselves) by way of good Karma. In turn those who we spend our money on, such as teachers, physicians, artisans, tradesmen, bankers, performers, servants etc share the dharmic quality of our white money. What we pay them for their goods and services will be wholly absorbed by the community with full benefits. This is the power of EARNED INCOME OR DHARMIC EARNINGS/MONEY. DHARMIC MONEY IS THE PRIDE OF THE INDIVIDUAL, PRIDE OF A NATION. A sense of satisfaction prevails with all concerned parties. The recipients of dharmic money register a gradual growth in their economic status and start/keep flourishing. Mostly the middle class families have dharmic incomes with nothing to hide by way of tax evasion or ill gotten wealth. The booming middle classes lower, middle and upper support a whole range of services and professions and arts and crafts with their hard earned money. Industries are sustained by this honest income, taxed and transparent. India’s economic engines run on this CLEAN WHITE DHARMIC EARNINGS AND SPENDINGS. Trades and businesses prosper with the infusion of this dharmic money. From fruit and flower seller to sole proprietors, dharmic money reaches many levels. Even showrooms and hotel chains and cinemas and auto manufacturers do well when dharmic earnings are expended on entertainment sector. This is because the dharmic money has the nature of the sattva guna. It is generally harmless and productive.

On the other hand may be the UNEARNED INCOMES, ILL GOTTEN WEALTH that are also spent lavishly on vanity but never on philanthropy generously. Taxes evaded, accounts and figures fudged, there is nothing dharmic about this other kind of money that can buy anyone fake friends and relationships. Wherever this money is spent, adharma rears its ugly head. The adharmic money is like the rakshasa guna. The character of the unearned corrupt incomes manifests in its every spending. This is why for instance, pictures financed by mafias bomb at the box office. Big businesses floated with pomp run aground. Most adharmic funds expended as investment projects do not bring about a big positive changes. Typically the adharmic money is not only unaccounted black money, but it also goes into shady businesses such as breweries, drugs, weapons etc., for instance. The adharmic money helps in buying out law enforcement, justice system everything. Money power also translates into muscle power. The adharmic incomes never stick to us. This is why when we lose something valuable and gain it back we say, hard earned money can never go waste but will get back to us.

Typical loss of Adharmic money/earnings can be witnessed even today in fallen kingdoms such as the Afghan, etc. Like individuals, nations have Karma.

The adharmic money we earn or the adharmic money we are paid with for our goods and services may be meeting our hospital bills who knows. Or take the form of stock market crash depleting our holdings. In short losses we suffer in life are those gains we make with adharmic incomes with or without our knowledge.

The dharmic-adharmic money is never discussed in public forums. It is not the subject matter for speakers on podiums. It is not for those who sell their soul for a share in the unearned income pie. Only the middle class with their hard earned money have the conscience to openly claim their sources of incomes and list their honest spendings.

Dharmic money is sattva. Adharmic money is rakshasa. The sattva money recipients prosper in the long run with the goodwill that is associated with the dharmic money. The rakshasa guna of the adharmic money will seed greed and sin in their recipients and precipitate adharma. The adharmic money is spent mostly on tax evasive channels. The routing of the unearned incomes also remains mystery. Unexplained incomes, unaccountable incomes always give this moneyed circle a wrong sense of entitlement. The adharmic moneyed classes run a parallel black economy harming the nation. Unearned incomes easily take the form of bribes. The adharmic money earned is exactly the plundered or looted share of public wealth from the masses without a shame. The adharmic money spenders/inheritors are none but freeloaders. Unlawfully amassed real estate bank to unearned commissions and agencies and licences, the adharmic money deprives the general janata a decent and comfortable living and just and equitable opportunities. Adharmic money inheritors/spenders prosper parasitically at the cost of public welfare. To sum up, adharmic money is bad Karma.

So, like the food we eat, the incomes we earn also have a quality about them. Finally they come to define who we are and our lives.