Thursday, December 22, 2005

Autos in Bangalore

Hey this is a topic most of the auto commuters would love to discuss. These auto guys are a big pain. They say NO to every place you ask. They say NO more to females and less to males. They say NO more to females in western and less in Indian....

They are the necessary demons. Nowadays I just agree to 1.5 rate in the nights as I am chugging one laptop on my shoulder and a bag...sometime I have an additional bag after some some shopping done at Food world..then I am really desperate for one...

Check out this blog ...I hit upon:

http://yamini.nomadlife.org/2005/09/autorickshaw-drivers-in-bangalore.aspx

Sometimes these guys are so used to saying NO that they turn back and realize its ok to go in that direction and without any argument I jump in. Look at the brighter side we become such patient human beings, we improve our selling skills (sell our desitination we are heading to..), egoless personalities (like eggless ;-)).....want to add some...do let me know ;-)

Friday, December 16, 2005

My favorite Mantras and Shlokas - Part 1

I have learnt Mantras, Shlokas and Meditation at a small age of 5 years in School as well as home. Let me share with you people some knowledge I have (it’s just a drop in the ocean but sure will help you guys on some learning trip).

To start of with you can check this site: http://www.hindunet.org/shlokas/ that introduces you to Mantras and Shlokas. Also you can check http://www.indif.com/nri/mantras/default.asp

The first Mantra we were taught was Gayatri Mantra, which we had to utter as soon as we got up in the morning. A bell would ring around 5am and the teacher would announce that we can start reciting the Mantra.

The Gayatri Mantra
Bhoor Bhuwah Swah Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasaya Dheemahi Deeyo yo naha prachodayat
The Guru Mantra
Gurur Brahmaa Gurur VishnuGurur Devo MaheshwarahGuru Saakshaata ParabrahmaTasmai Shri Guruve Namah

Shree Vishnu Mantra
Twameva Mata Cha Pita Twameva
Twameva Bandhu Cha Sakha Twameva
Twameva Vidya Cha Dravidam Twameva
Twameva Saravam Mama Deva Deva

The Devi Mantra
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu Maa rupena samsthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu Shakti rupena samsthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu Buddhi rupena samsthita
Ya Devi Sarva Bhutesu Laxmi rupena samsthita
Namestasyai Namestasyai Namestasyai Namo Namah

Invocation to Lord Ganesha
vakratu.nDa mahaakaaya koTisuuryasamaprabha .
nirvighnaM kuru me deva sarvakaaryeshhu sarvadaa

Thats enough for now, more in the next post.....!!!

Tom & Jerry - Game

My friend Paul sent this nice link on tom & jerry game, you may want to check it out:

www.cartoonnetwork.com/games/action/tj/whatsthecatch/game.swf

Gratitude

Gratitude (symoblization), a totally new concept. I practised it and gives me a totally new and free feeling.
Tim mailed me this and I thank him for this, check it out:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I found this interesting stuff on the net. Something told me to go for it. I have signed up for the 42 day email session.
If you find it interesting, you may want to check this out and sign up.
Given below is the link which will give you a demo and then the next page is the sign up page, its absoluely free.

http://www.GiveMeTheMasterKey.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Why meditate?

"Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom."
-- Buddha


Meditation is considered an essential practice for those who seek self-knowledge and self-mastery. Why? Basically, meditation brings awareness of how our minds work. Over time, we become watchers, able to detach from the thoughts and emotions that play out in our minds.
With this detachment, we gain the freedom to choose whether or not to act on our thoughts and emotions. We learn to distinguish between objective reality and our mental and emotional dramas.


"Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."
-- Hans Margolius

Book Reading – 2005

From past 10-11 years I have been reading mostly non-fiction (stopped fiction after college when I graduated to non-fiction). Year 2005 I decided to read fiction and I did read lots of them.
Feb 2005:
Well I started the year with “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” and this certainly was not a fiction per say. I want to mention this book here because this quite inspired me to start my weight-loss program and I did successfully lose 15 kgs to get back to shape. Thanks to Robin Sharma and well Mom too (she was the one who kept coaxing me to it)

May 2005:
Sridhar went to Paris for 3 weeks and I started reading as I had lot of spare time. It was Paulo Coelho time :-). I read 3 Paulo Coelho books in a stretch Valkyries, Veronica Decides to Die & Eleven Minutes. I had read his Alchemist in 2003 and that had left an impression on me. What I liked about Paulo Coelho was he was able to share so freely, he could touch the rawness of humans with no difficulty. I got inspired on Astral Travel in his book Veronica Decides to Die; I tried practicing it, not successful though!! :-)

I read Fatal Cure, written by Robin Cook. It was about a doctor couple who go to a new place and how they witness series of deaths in their hospital. I followed Robin Cook till the mystery gets solved :-)

Jun 2005:
Sridhar was still in Paris and I read Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I shared with him different aspects of Da Vinci Code as he was in Paris. It was a book that opened a whole new chapter in history and religion in particular. It was certainly a brave attempt by Dan Brown. Sridhar got so bugged of my references to the book that he decided to read it when he got back to India.

For some reason I picked up Sobha De’s “Spouse”. Read a couple of chapters, reinforced the marriage institution. This was the first Sobha De book I read and here I felt she did try to get her point that one needs to work on the marriage for it to succeed.

Then I read the Wrong House, don’t remember the author now. It was also kind of a mystery novel, well written. It had shades of romance of a 35+ divorced lady with a painter and about her parents an aging couple. Well written book, it was part of the Readers Digest collection I picked up at MG Road.

Jul 2005
Sridhar was back from Paris and I didn’t have so much time at hand but I managed to read Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. I didn’t know anything about antimatter and this was a good learning of that. Most of the book was like a dreamy novel but the introduction to some aspects of science was good. Also I particularly like the connection between Religion and Science brought about.

I read the book The Child in the Family by Maria Montessori. Guess this should be a must read for parents, helps give perspective on how we need to treat children. Not as weak dependant beings whom we unknowingly dominate but as respectable spiritual beings.

I started reading the “The World of Fatwas” by Arun Shourie. I couldn’t read the entire book, read only 25% of it. It’s a good insight into the world of Shariyats and the Fatwas they render.

Aug 2005
I read the book Five Point Something by Chetan Bhagat. Frankly speaking I relate a lot to Chetan Bhagat because his writing style is like mine. What I mean is he is not like the great writers but reaches out to the crowds’ faster, guess that’s what matters. Liked the book, took me the world of IITians. Sridhar is one and was curious about the IIT life. Hostel life, trying to achieve grades and some romance paved an interesting and quick read.

Work got me busy…

Sep 2005
I read Deception Point, now Dan Brown was getting predictable in his style. I still want to read his books as I feel the story is just to give an interest in the topics he wants to introduce to the readers. In Deception Point one learns about meteors, space program expenses NASA, the government and the political parties.

I get back to reading after a hiatus of 2 months. Work kept me real busy and then other personal obligations occupied me.

Nov 2005
Embarked on Arundhati Roy’s book “The God of Small Things” and the first few pages and I new I would be hooked on till I finish the book. Its a poignant story with black humor and one can relate to some of the childhood observations. For her first book she has done a nice job of creating an impression in the mind. I still can visualize pictures of the place in Kerala the story revolves around, the smell of pickles and the greenery around. The characters are so distinct and are etched in my mind.

I read the 2nd half of the book during my taxi drive in Coorg and finished during the return journey back to Bangalore.

Dec 2005
I am currently reading Chetan Bhagat’s novel One Night @ the Call Center; it gives us an understanding of the lives of people working at the Call centers in India. I haven’t completed it, more about this in my next post

Also in parallel I had started reading Sogyal Rinpoche’s The Tibetan book of Living and Dying. I will continue on this once I finish Chetan Bhagat’s book. More about this too in my next post :-)

Hope you enjoyed my book reviews …!!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Live now

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
-- Annie Dillard


We lose the power of the moment because we're so rarely in it. We're reliving the past or speculating about the future. We continue to believe that tomorrow's the day when I'll be more capable, more wealthy, more fit and more loving. Meanwhile, I'm just putting in time, dreaming of better things but not making any concrete move to realize them.

When you find yourself thinking of the future or the past, bring your awareness into the present moment. Really experience how you feel and what’s happening around you, without judgment. If we can treasure each moment, our lives will be rich, no matter what we have accomplished.
"Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever."
-- Horace Mann


"If, before going to bed every night, you will tear a page from the calendar, and remark, 'there goes another day of my life, never to return,' you will become time conscious."
-- A. B. Zu Tavern

Diet Plan

I have mailed this to so many colleagues and friends, that I thought it best to put it on the blog so that more people can benefit. I have successfully followed this diet plan and reduced 15 kgs (along with exercise).
This diet plan mainly works on the 5 meal plan (short meals) and lot of liquid in the diet. Always keep an apple handy when very hungry, dont binge eat. Also remember the 3 main meals should include rice or wheat or both.

So here you go, tune it as per your lifestyle and schedule:

Morning:

5:00 am - Warm Water+1/2 lime+1/2 tsp honey
5:30 am - Yoga
6:00 am - Walk (if possible)
7:00 am - Coffee (1/2 tsp sugar)
Ist Meal
7:30 am - Breakfast: Fruit Juice+ 2 idlis (no coconut chutney) OR Pongal OR vermicelli pulav (less oil) (Avoid Rava idli/upma - they have lot of calories)

2nd Meal
10:30 am - Juice & Fruits (Avoid pineapple, banana, mango, chikoo..)...you can have orange , apple , sweet lime etc

Afternoon

3rd Meal
1:30pm - Juice + Rotis(2) + less oil sabzi OR Rice(1 bowl) + Sambar

4th Meal
4:30pm - Juice + Bhelpuri

Night
5th Meal
8:30 pm - Thin ButterMilk + Rotis(2) + less oil sabzi OR Rice(1 bowl) + Sambar

Some tips:
Keep 1-2 apples in your bag everyday, whenever you feel very hungry have that...you wont increase weight and it will satisfy your hungr.
Buy lot of fruits & vegetables

Friday, December 09, 2005

Babu in an IT company

Working in a big IT company for 7.5 years and a total work experience of 10 years made me believe that the way people see bosses & subordinates have changed a lot compared to what we have seen years back. Well that’s what I thought; one man here proves it quite wrong.

He is totally inspired by the Babu style. He would be on the phone or mail and if someone approached him at the desk, he can shamelessly spend 10-15 minutes ignoring the person all together. He doesn’t do this to the boss but certainly for all non-boss people. At the least he can acknowledge the person if it takes too long but that never happens. Phone is understandable to an extent as it may be difficult sometimes to abruptly end a conversation but what about mailing? Yes there is a thought process one may not want to break but there is a guy who has come personally to meet you, show some respect dude.

There is this colleague who has come back from a short trip from the US. This is not his first trip and has traveled many times earlier. Anyway in this trip he had great insight which he shared with me (something one should know anyway). He approached an employee at the client site and the person immediately stopped all work to attend to him. So my friend was surprised and asked him to continue what he was doing (he was used to our Babu here :-)). That man explained my friend that the reason he has left all current work to put 100% attention for him is because he believes one should appreciate the fact that someone has come to his seat to meet him.

Once I approached this Babu and he indicated he was busy as he was on the phone and his indication was more like shooing me off. I then remembered a joke I read somewhere (there were no mobile phones then :-)). It goes like this: A patient visits a doctor at his clinic. The doc gets a call before the patient could explain his problem. Once the doc is done with the call and tells the patient to tell him what his complain is, the doc gets another call on his phone. Once done with the call the patient tries the 3rd time but the Doc has another call to attend to. The patient gets up and walks out of the clinic. The doc shouts out “Where are you going?” and the patient replies “To call you on the phone to explain my problem, which would be a faster & easier way to reach you”

This joke inspired me and thought that would be a good way to deal with the Babu. So if I had anything I sent mails which was fine, once I had something I wanted to discuss but seeing the way our Babu reacts to face to face interaction I decided to call him. When I began talking to him, he laughed at the fact that we are so nearby and we are on phone. I told him “This is an easier way to get you!” I don’t know if the Babu understood this but we got off our phones and discussed the issue in hand.

It’s a regular sight at the Babu’s cubicle where you would see a person waiting for him to get off his phone or mailing. I am always amused when I watch the place. I wonder if this Babu is inspired by something he saw in his childhood, like a big man having many people wait on.

Yesterday Babu did something really amazing that I decided to write this post today. There was a guy waiting at his seat, as Babu was away from his desktop. After sometime he arrives, picks up his lunch, starts eating it and discussing whatever they were supposed to discuss. The guy who came to meet Babu kept looking at his hand movements as he picked up food and put it in his mouth. There was one interesting thing I observed that the guy was talking something (maybe important who knows ;-) ) and Babu was busy digging food in his lunch box totally oblivious to the world.

I don’t know when Babu will change his ways but what is frightening is that this Babu is holding key position in the organization and later more senior roles. He can probably create more Babus, who knows….like mentor them :-)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Trip to Delhi & Chandigarh (Oct 26 - Nov 06 2005)

Paul Coelho's quote on travel in his book Pilgrimage was really inspiring to plan on some travels. Well to start of I thought of Delhi so as to visit my in-laws and also plan for Chandigarh in the vicinity. That would mean just a 2 day trip to Chandigarh and some sight seeing in Delhi

So I made a plan for a 12 day off from work, informed my supervisor much before hand and we were off to Delhi on Oct 26 2005 to match my Mother-in-law's birthday. Things went as per plan and we celebrated the birthday with sweets and gifts were given but 2 days later my little daughter Nidhi fell sick with Viral Fever. I got all worked up that it would be Dengue or Bird Flu or some thing scarier. We visited a local doctor and my daughter was fed with loads of medicines which she detested and that was the days we spend in Delhi. She was fine by the time we went to Chandigarh.

In Chandigarh we visited the Sukhna Lake. We were staying in the center of the city so this was quite close by. It’s a relaxing place where we went for boating and watched a lot of ducks. It was a beautiful place and we enjoyed the sunset and the general crowd around.






Next day we went to Pinjore gardens, it’s a Moghul gardens (I think so :)). It’s around 25 km from the city so we took an hour to reach there. It’s a 5 layered park. It’s a good exercise for the body & soul walking down the different layers of the park. The weather was good at this time of the year and Nidhi enjoyed playing in the garden. We ended the garden walk with a fruit salad in the end (fruits picked from the grove)

Evening we visited the rock garden. Natural is beautiful but human creation can be so breathtaking was unbelievable. There are narrow passages winding between high walls as if one was in a mountainous place and then surprised by a waterfall. There were so many sculptures done by waste material like bangles, old china ware, waste building material etc. Series of sculptures of animals, birds, humans etc. were lined up. It was fun trying to figure out what it could be made of…Very inspiring place and one develops great admiration for the person behind it.

The highway ride was good to & fro. It’s good sight passing through Haryana and catching a glimpse of a totally different lifestyle as we sped in the taxi. Smooth long roads, unobstructed drives were the high points of our stay in Delhi and Chandigarh. Did we want to comeback to Bangalore to the madding crowds and clogged roads...no way if wishes could come true... :-)?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Satsang

"Satsang" means Good company. I had been introduced to Satsang in childhood as I was in Sai Baba's school. Satasang was always fun time, I enjoyed it thorughly. It went on for some years but got lost in college and career race.

Got re-introduced to Satsang when I attended the AOL (Art of Living) course of the Sri Ravi Shankaji's fame. Sridhar also attended this course and he too enjoyed going for the weekend Satsangs. This was before Nidhi was born. Nidhi took an immediate liking to Satsang and we take her atleast once in 15 days. Mom takes her atleast once a week to Satsangs which happen in her flat.

Last week we went to Satsang on both the days in the weekend. The saturday one that happens in Jayanagar and the Sunday which happens in the Vishalakshi mantap at Guruji's Ashram. Well more than us Nidhi had fun as she was running around the place dancing and clapping. Our job was to keep her in check... :-)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Fun filled weekend

Aaah, finally I get time to write a post. Blogging is addictive, I waited to finish work to write something.

Weekend was real good. Saturday Morning we took Nidhi to Jagruthi at Electronic City. This is the family day conducted by my company. It was good fun. Nidhi interacted with the kids there and we all had a good time. One funny incident was when she took a granny's walking stick while she was relaxing and having coffee. She started playing with it and didn't want to return it. The Granny was laughing a lot at Nidhi's mischief.

Saturday Evening Tim, his project mates, Sridhar & I met at Canopy to celebrate Tim's B'day. It was nice to meet up with the meditation group folks: Sidhartha, Amit & Arushi. Vilas is in the US so we missed him. It was good to see Naveen again. Met Karthik & Vinatha, I had met them earlier at Toastmasters. Met the Sidhartha 2 & Meera for the first time. Sidhartha 2 is from Kerala, acted in a serial there and smiles a lot :-) Meera is from Gujarat and she is going to be green card holder soon.

The interesting thing we noted was that all of us were from different states in India...so that was good mix of people there. We enjoyed the food, with Sidhartha's Assam stories to entertain us. Also Sidhartha gave us interesting insights about Sholay. He is currently studying the character Jaya Bachan in Sholay :-)

Arushi was the team lead for the non-veg group. She did an excellent job at that :-) Only problem was she ordered for a sizzler item but there was some confusion and she had to settle for a baked one.

On the whole it was good partying, we reached home around 11:30pm...

Sunday Evening Sridhar & I we went to PVR at Forum to watch Bunty & Babli. It was kind of drag and had a weak story line. It wasn't a good movie at all but critics like us need to watch movies not just for the entertainment bit but more to give an opinion ;-)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Introduction to Blogging

June 14th 2005, Amit's Birthday and I wanted to buy some good gift for him. I had known Amit throught the meditation get togethers. I wasn't quite sure what could be a good gift for him and finally I decided to buy a pen. There was this thing in the back of my mind 'Software Engineers, why would they need a pen, its the keyboard' :-) Anyways I bought the gift and send it across to Amit through internal courier.

Amit replied that he was really pleased to receive the gift of a pen because now it got him back to his writing days. He then shared his blog site with me. This was the first blog site I had ever seen and I really liked what Amit had blogged there. It inspired me to start a blog site of my own and this is how I started blogging :-)

This blog is my way of thanking Amit for introducing me to the world of blogging!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Working Woman

I enjoy being a "working woman" as named by the society. There are so many aspects of life I get exposed to & my education and hardwork get its due. There is a kind of confidence when I face the world but there were some "not so pleasant" experiences I have gone through. When I look back I am quite amused, as now I know how to cope to a certain extent.


  • I had just got married and the only thing men would ask is if I knew how to cook. Their only way to believe it was to be invited home which I was never comfortable as they were just colleagues and not friends. According to me, to like cooking is more of a personal interest rather than being a working/non-working woman. I actually enjoy cooking but I did not want to relent to these males just to prove my cooking skills.
  • There were some colleagues who would have a standard joke if they ever saw me eating of my lunch box. The joke would be 'Did your husband cook it for you?' and my standard response would be 'I am looking out for a cook, would you like to apply for the post'.
  • There was one guy who out of the blue asks me 'How does your husband manage?'
  • Recently one incident was a bit too much. I was leading a team which required the team members to put in stretched hours. My daughter was around 6 months old when I joined the project. Since my Mother is baby sitting her I had no worries at all and I worked as late as the job required. Once while having breakfast with 2 other team mates, I was stressing the point of staying late as we needed to cover lot of work. One of the guys tells me "I don't know why you stay so late. You should think about your daughter. Looks like you are really cruel and don't have a heart of a mother". I was taken aback. Without getting flustered or letting my emotions out I gave him the explanations and reasons.

I sometimes wondered what could be the basis of these questions. Then I came up with this theory. These questions usually come from men(my context here is the workplace) who haven't seen their mother working or is married to a house wife or is a bachelor who is just a 'baccha' in the world!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Yoga Addicts

Yoga is such an Indian thing. I have practiced Yoga & Pranayama as a child to my teens. As we grow older we have other modern areas to explore. Yoga then becomes a forgotten world. We then learn it through the westerners and get inspired.

My husband - Sridhar & I are not the western inspired kind. So it didn't help at all. Then came Ramdevji on Aastha Channel. We heard a lot about him here and there. Sridhar started practicing watching TV early in the morning. I was too lazy for that.

Few months later we saw ads on TV & newspapers about an Yoga camp by Ramdevji in Bangalore. We jumped at this opportunity and got the tickets.

It was a week long session. We used to get up around 3:30 am every morning to reach in time for the camp. I had cold and a running nose but nothing deterred us. Ramdevji taught us Pranayama & Yoga. He concentrated on Pranayama more and further stressed a lot on a Pranayama technique called 'Kapalbhaati'.

To lead an healthy life he suggested a 15 mins Pranayama package everyday (possibly twice a day). This Pranayama package included 7 basic exercises:


  1. Bhastrika
  2. Kapalbhaati
  3. Agnisaar
  4. Baghai
  5. Anulom Vilom
  6. Brahmhari
  7. Uthgeedh

Every morning we try catching up on these exercises. If there isn't time for all, I don't forget the "Kapalbhaati" :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My nephew Ananth

One of my colleagues who is just 2 years younger to me feels so young that he calls me Aunty. I shared the 'Mediation' post with him and this is what he says:

"u write ur self as being a fun loving person etc ..
then why these serious topics ... "

I reply to this:

"Meditation? serious? you got it all wrong boy :-)"

And Ananth gets at his creative best and here is what we got:

gyaan do ... aunty ji ...
is bacche ko gyaan do ...
chota hoon ...
naadaan hoon
akal ka kaccha hoon
gyaan do
gyaan do ... aunty ji ...
is bacche ko gyaan do ...

Meditation Group

My friend 'Tim' as I call him wanted to start a Meditation club. The plan was to spend 20-30 mins everyday on meditation. So that this doesn't hog our work time we decided to have it during the office lunch hours.

So initially Tim, Vilas, Siddarth & I met up for a discussion. Tim told us what meditation was about. Meditation is bringing about awareness to oneself. We forget we are such powerful sources and if there is this self realization we can do wonders. We discussed for sometime and we decided to meet.

I couldn't attend the initial sessions as I was caught up at work. Then finally I made it and there we were, around 5-6 of us. Tim was leading the meditation. He told us the steps to do it.

Quite simple: Take 5-6 long deep breaths, this relaxes the body. Then let the breathing be normal and focus on the breath. Initially there were so many thoughts. They were crazy running around like mad. Slowly the mind quietened and there was peace. End of the session I looked around and it felt so good. This lasted for 20 mins.

We repeated the sessions for 21 days so as to see that this becomes a part of our system. We continued and we enjoyed each and every session. It got better everytime.

To me I value each and every person in the meditation group. There is a feeling that we share so much with each other. Amit, Sidharth, Tim, Vilas, Arushi are like the best friends I ever had.

We had some get togethers in Coffee Day and then b'day get togethers and I must say it was always fun time.

Now I have moved to a different office location and miss the meditation sessions. Vilas was here for a short period and we had 3-4 sessions but now he isn't at this location so back to no-meditation days. I hope I find a group here soon so that we can start a meditation group here too...