Friday, October 30, 2009

'Teaching in a school,

is more difficult than teaching in a college.' she said. Yup, she is a school teacher. Who 'tested' me today as I gave my first 'demonstration class' in a school, where I may join as an English teacher ( :) ), if I pass the test.

And, she was right. Teaching in a school, one has to go down to their level. I thought being a mother has prepared me, but a classroom is different.

I taught the poem, 'The road not taken,' by Robert Frost. And went hoarse trying to explain to them again and again that the road less traveled is not a geographical location, but a path, a method, a career.

To begin with, city kids these days know not what a 'wood' means. They don't know what a 'grassy road that wants wear' is, cos they have never stepped on one. So sad.

When I asked them to name a different career, they couldn't go beyond Doctor, Engineer, Journalist, Air-hostess. One boy wanted to be an Astronaut. Why are all of them going away from the earth?

And yet, and yet and yet. Why am I feeling so happy? Because twenty kids were raising their hands saying 'Miss! Miss!'?

'Are you going to be our new teacher, Miss?'

Although I have no idea, I gave them a homework: Write a four line poem.

'Our own poem, Miss?'

'Yes, darling. Your very own, fresh poem.'

'So do I pass the test? Do I get the job?' I asked the senior Miss.

'Well, I could tell that you enjoyed yourself. We shall call you on Monday to let you know.' She said, with a sweet sweet smile.

Those of you who want more posts about teaching in a school, pray for me do.

As for me, I know whatever is best will happen. Inshaallaah.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Play the video do

My mother is a smart lady. She is the first software programmer of India. Ok, one of the first. And yet, she knows not how to play the videos on my blog. So either I will have to transcribe all of them for her sake, which is not a bad idea, but then we lose out on the cinematic experience, Mom.

I told her to search for 'how to play a you tube video' on my blog, but she says she is too lazy to even do that.

So this post is dedicated to her and to other blog-lazy group of duffers.

Coincidently, this post is almost exactly one year old.

First, click on the play button. The bottom one, next to the line.

You will see a circle going round round in the middle of the frame. Wait for a few seconds, till you hear a sound. As soon as you hear a sound, click on the play button quickly, so that it becomes a pause button, and then again becomes play, after changing color. If you stare at the place next to the button, you should see a red (or any deep) colour spreading towards the right. If this happens, well done. Now your video is getting buffered. Till this happens, keep clicking the play button, it will work only if you click when the sound is heard.

Another sign that your video is getting buffered is that the circular dots in the center of the screen disappear. And the video stops playing.

Wait for a few minutes till the complete line is coloured, This means your video is buffered. A Buffered video is something that plays continuously. Streamlined. Whatever.

Oh, by the way, I learnt this method through trial and error, so I might have got the technical bits all mixed up.

Sometimes, it is not possible to display a video (because the embed code is not available), but a link is given. Click on the link, you will go to you-tube directly, and play stop play till the video gets buffered, the same as above. You can search for your old favourite songs on you tube and do time pass all day.

And if you want the 'link' to the video even if it is posted on the blog, double click on the image, you will go to the you tube page and the url on top is the link.

This is an old Sunil Dutt and Nutan song sung by Mukesh.

I saw this movie with Aai, long long back. I remember that she noticed how softly Sunil Dutt sits on the floor near Nutans bed as he sings her to sleep.

You taught me to appreiciate this stuff, Aai, called body language and all that. So please play the videos on my blog, do.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

user freindly children

Are your kids friendly to you? Can you live with them? Are they user friendly or do they bite?

We have made our children 'employable'. They are useful to society but are they caring? Are they, spiritually smart?

Also, what kind of children are we? Do we really spend time with our elders? Are our parents happy with us? Are we happy with ourselves?

Yes, these are heavy questions, and I might have spoiled your mood.

So please watch this video and lighten up.

This discourse contains vision laid out by living enlightened master Paramahamsa Nithyananda. In this discourse Swamiji talks about how bringing up the kids with the principles of the ancient vedic system, he has been successful in creating and embedding principles of Jivan Mukthi in children. Swamiji, at this discourse laid the framework for establishing 108 Nithyananda Vidyalayas where education will teach life skills and employable skills in an integrated fashion

'Swami Vivekananda says that if you can tell a four year old the great vedantic truths of jeevan mukti, he will be able to accept and understand them.

The reason we do not teach children about spirituality is not because they cant understand it, its because we don't know how (or even what ) to teach it.

True secularism is not is rejecting all religions, but in accepting all religions.'

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Film Appreciation Course in Mumbai

This is for my younger sister, Rajashree, a bestselling novelist (Trust me) and award winning film maker (Rebel).

Film Appreciation course in Mumbai

Deepen your understanding of Cinema with a month-long course in film
appreciation and the history of Cinema in India and the rest of the
world. Conducted by an award-winning filmmaker and bestselling novelist
who has taught at FTII, Pune, and some of the best film schools in

This course is suitable for:
• Film buffs
• People who are interested in film-making. (While this is not a course
that teaches you how to make films, a knowledge of the basics of FA and
the history of cinema would definitely help film-makers.
E.g.,cinematographers won't learn how to light up a set, but they would
benefit from seeing the way low-key, high-contrast lighting was used in
German Expressionist films. )
• Film journalists and critics
• Students and teachers of mass communications and the arts FACULTY

Rajashree’s been a film buff since she was a kid – she once stood in a
line for five hours to get tickets for Sholay. She studied film
appreciation at the National Film Archive of India. She has been
working in Bombay after learning direction at the Film and Television
Institute of India, Poona. She’s assisted Mansoor Khan and Sanjay Leela
Bhansali. A film she wrote and directed, The Rebel, was screened at
many film festivals, and won the National Award and the Golden Ten
Award. Her critically acclaimed first book, Trust Me, is a lighthearted
romantic comedy set in the Bombay film industry. According to figures
given by The Times of India and The Sunday Telegraph, Trust Me is the
biggest-selling Indian chick lit novel. She has taught at FTII, Pune,
and some of the best film schools in Bombay.


Full-day classes on Saturdays over one month beginning on the 31st of October


The students would be given certificates at the successful completion of the workshop.


Classes will be held at Goregaon, Mumbai (urf Bombay :)).


The fees are Rs 4,900. They would be paid at the time of admission.

Lunch and refreshments are included.


Please call 97694 49556 or email
• 'In the beginning comes the word' - the script Acting Art direction
Costume design
• An introduction to screen grammar: Cinematography: Image Size, Camera
Angles, Camera Movements, Composition, Lighting, Camera Speed,
Graphics, Colour, Rule of Thirds & The Golden Points, Depth of
Field, Selective Focus Editing Transitions – Cut, dissolve, fade, wipe,
bleach Principles of Editing Sound Design: Speech, Sound Effects,
Music, Silence • Types of films Feature films –fiction Short films
Documentary films Ad films
• A brief overview of how films are made would be given to the
students, so that they can understand the process of film-making -
pre-production, production and post-production.
• Silent Era Lumiere Griffith Chaplin Eisenstien German Expressionistic
• History of World Cinema: Talkies American 30’s films: Analytic
Dramatic Style, Studio System, Genres Italian Neo-Realism French New
Wave The Auteurs. Bunuel, Tarkovsky, Ozu Contemporary World Cinema
Iranian Films
HISTORY OF INDIAN CINEMA • Save Dada, Dadasaheb Phalke Studio Period:
Prabhat’s Sant Tukaram, Ashok Kumar Post-Independence films: Raj
Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar 60’s films: Guide, the rise of Rajesh
Khanna Art Cinema: Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak
• Sholay and the Angry Young Man The Parallel Film Movement 80's and
90's Hindi Films Contemporary Cinema Analysis of the structure of
Commercial Hindi Cinema Analysis of the structure of ‘Multiplex’ Hindi

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the second time, this year

The title of this post is making me laugh.

Actually, a minute ago, I was in a state of tears. Not for the mobile phone I lost. But for the way it said goodbye.

First, I cant accept the cheque I am supposed to take home, because of some clerks stupidity in spelling my name incorrectly.

Then I have a tiff on the phone with a friend I am supposed to meet for lunch. She is giving me directions to get to her house and she tells me names of every single shop, every bump (there is one gentle speed breaker, then one giant one) on the way. If I go from this direction, I have to turn left, if not, then from right. At this point, I stop scribbling furiously, and say,

'Look darling, all this info is mind blowing. I will just call you if I cant find it.'

'No, please don't call me. I am making kulfis for us.'

'Kulfi? But how will it freeze so soon?'

'Its a special recipe. It will freeze.'

I cannot believe this. She continues with the million directions. In response, I bang the phone on her. ( I switch it off with a vehemence.) And that is the last I time I use my phone.

All I remember is an auto ride where I am resolving not to eat her kulfi.

It is not just men who have problems with women.

Unfortunately, I did not need to call her, her directions had stuck in my mind. Needless to add, I forgot the cell in the auto.

I know not if there is a moral to this story, but I do feel like saying sorry to my phone. I took it for granted and it left me high and dry.

Thank you, phone. You are so beautiful and blue. May you find a better owner.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is this why I love you?

A fellow disciple of Ramakrishna asked Vivekananda why the latter thought of Ramakrishna as God. ‘After all, he is human, just like you and I. I agree that he knows a lot more than us, but how can he be God?’, this man asked.

Vivekananda countered, ‘What do you think God is like?’

The other disciple said, ‘Well. God is omnipresent, omnipresent and omniscient.’

Vivekananda said, ‘Stop. If God is omnipresent you should be able to see him. Have you? Tell me honestly.’

‘No, but..’ stuttered the other man.

‘You fool’, Vivekananda said compassionately, ‘God to you is a mere concept. You have a few words that you have learnt to describe him. To Ramakrishna, God is a realized experience. He radiates that God. He is the closest you will ever get to experiencing God. Make use of this opportunity.’

To those who try to experience the divine as the formless without realizing it in form, God is a mere concept. He is another intellectual tool to influence, control and terrorize others. He is not the friend, the brother, the mother, or the intimate lover that Kabir, Ramakrishna and Theresa visualize. Without a form first, these relationships cannot be born and nurtured. Once experienced, the umbilical cord of the form gets severed on its own, and the formless experience stays.

---Copied and pasted from a book I am reading, cant tell you more, or I will get caught.----

Who is a genius

A genius is a person who escapes the societal training, of creating a strong logic.

Only then can the deeper logic of the genius penetrate the zones, the spaces in you, because your inner space will be open.

The so-called logical people feel that emotional people who can trust easily are fools. What they don't understand, is that to question, to doubt, you don't need intelligence. Any fool can do it.

Only to trust, to open up, to relax, you need intelligence. Very rarely, only intelligent people can relax. These rare people, for them, living, and leaving, are both so graceful.

For those who are caught in logic, living and leaving, both are hell.

Although I am really enjoying this process of transcribing Swami Nithyanandas talk, I think I better stop. Better hear it directly from the master:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

from head to the heart

I ask him to read out from his science book. He takes ten minutes to figure out the first sentence. When he cant read out the word, he spells it out.
F I Z E D. he says. I move away from the gas stove and look at his book, upside down.
'Its FIXED. This is X, Pavan, not Z. How can you forget your ABC?'

'I don't have practice, Ai.'

I leave the kitchen and sit with him in the balcony. I look at the sky and ask for inspiration. I want to say something that will make sense to him, and not vent my frustration.

'Look, kiddo. You don't need practice of ABC at your age. You just have to use your mind more sharply. You allow your mind to become very lazy, just when you are studying. Otherwise, your mind is so sharp. The same mind you have to use sharply when you study. Got it?'

'The same mind?' he wants to make sure.

'Yes, its the same mind.'

Next day, we are going to a friends house on the scooter. I don't want to take the main road, and he claims to know the inside route.

'Turn this way', he slaps my left shoulder.

'Now say the same thing without touching me.' I tell him, slowing down.

'Turn left.' he says.

'Correct. You got it.' I say.

'Ai, this is the same mind that I have to use when I study, no?'

'Yes, baba. Same to same.'

Later , we are trying to figure out how to use the Charkha, a gift from his grandfather, from Ahmedabad.

'How come there is no instruction manual with it?' my friend asks.

'The instruction manual is in our genes. Our father of the nation has done it long enough. We just have to get in the zone, I guess.' I say.

It takes us three days of trail and error, zonal and otherwise, to get the spindle to move with the wheel. We still don't know how to get the cotton to become thread, but both of us are thrilled with our progress.

'Ai, this is the same mind that I need to use in my studies, no?'

'Yes, Tukru, same to same.' I am not too sure I like this mind talk. I don't want to be accused of being an intellectual, ever. I wonder how to get him back in the heart, where he belongs.

Its bedtime. He is too exited to sleep.

'Ai, give me a healing, sing me a song, and tell me a story.' I do the first two, for the story I call Papa.

Papa tells him a quick, half minute story and runs back to his comp.

'I want a longer story.' he cribs.

'Look, I am too tired. Besides, I have to finsih the blog. Why dont you tell yourself a nice long story?'

'Good idea. With the same mind which I am to use in my studies?'

'Yes, darling. Just remember one thing. There is but one mind. In everyone. In everything. Its for all of us to use, whenever we need it.'

As I type in these words, his legs are playing with the pillow, balancing it md air. I wonder if he is daydreaming, and I try to remember what I daydreamed of at almost nine?

This is Pavan on the pradakshina road, in front of the Mountain, sitting down to pat a stray dog.

And this is a close up of them closer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Only at a Satsang

Where else would you find all these beings sitting together quietly?

1. Beautician who colored my hair in the morning.
2. Old neighbor from downstairs.
3. Pavan's classmate's mom.
4. Creative Writing ex-student.
5. Estate agent who had walked in to ask for his due.
6. Dhobi couple who iron our clothes.
7. A young brahmachari, Maharaj from the Dhaynapeetam Ashram.
8. A Nithya Yoga Teacher.
9. me
10. Swami Nithyananda (in spirit, through photo.)

(I am not including the kids, because they were all over the house, they only came in for the prasad.)

Flood releif, please donate

We of the Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam Family are well aware of the terrible devastation caused by the floods in North Kannara and Andhra Pradesh.. While we ourselves give gratitude to Existence for being spared this onslaught of havoc, let's look within our hearts and dig deep into our pockets to contribute generously to swell the 10 lacs Swamiji has already mobilized ... let's create a huge fund so that the lakhs of people who have absolutely nothing left can begin to put their lives back together.

Sri Swatantra and Sri Sajeeva of Mysore are working alongside the Ashram round the clock for the Flood Relief Operations. Mysore collected 1.5 lacs in one day! Contributions of money only are being collected...
materials for distribution are being sourced from wholesalers directly by the Ashram / Coordinators.

If material received as kind , then pls collect:
a) rice (reasonable quality) in 5 kg packets
b) wheat flour ..1 or 2 kg packs
c) cooking oil .. in 500g packets
d) salt ( in packets) ..500g packets
e) sugar .. 1/2 kg packets
f) sarees - new only. medium quality will do
g) blankets - new only. medium quality will do
  • Items above form 1 pack for 1 family. we need to create the packets and then go.
  • Each packet works out to approx: 150+50+40+2+16+100+125 = 500/- approx. say that by contributing 500/- people can sponsor 1family for 2 weeks at rock-bottom existence level!
  • Please ask for contributions for 5 or 10 or more families wherever possible
  • Cheques to be made out to: Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam
  • for online donation, pls visit the website of the ashram: Click on the link for 'donate for flood relief'.
  • Enquiries can be mailed to swatantra: or Sri Sajeeva at

Let each one of us be pillar in carrying out Swamiji's messages in action to the outside world..

Kannappa:The first eye donor and surgeon

About half-way around the Mountain Arunachala, on the Pradakshina road, is a path that goes in to touch His feet. There is an element of mystery to this path, it is shrouded with trees and one loses sight of the mountain as one goes near Him. After a good kilometer, one comes upon a quiet, and beautiful temple dedicated to someone called Kannappa. They say this is THE most powerful place of the Mountain, because the mountain is Shiva, and here are Shiva's feet, from where the blessings flow.

I always wondered why the best place was in such a remote corner, and why it was given away to this Kannappa.

To make the long story short, Kannappa got this corner because he was an uncivilized, meat eating hunter devotee. He was the best because he performed his own eye surgery, because Shivas eyes were bleeding. He is thus Lord Shiva's eye donor.

Best to hear the story from Swami Nithyananda :

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The car is alive

Once there was a car. And another car. They lived together.
They had a race. One cars colour- was red, another ones was blue.
And the red colour car won. Then they went to a beach. They had lot of fun. Then they went to see a movie. It was boring. One day they had a fight.
Both got hurt. Then they said to each ather sorry.
Then they had lot of fun.

by Pavan Abhinav
(almost nine)