Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Obsession! To Lie?

A colleague of mine resigned from the job and the reason she gave was that she was pregnant and her husband was moving to US so she would be going to her in laws place to make sure she is well taken care of. We would have believed her only if we had not known how much she liked lying. And to add on to that she booked tickets for herself and her husband for Dubai after a couple of days of giving that reason to all of us. The trip was supposed to happen after 2 months. Huh!

Obsession is a compulsive disorder which makes us to do something repetitively. I have seen people obsessed with checking time in their watches, washing hands, checking for messages on their phones or mail boxes. I am myself obsessed with cleaning. If I see dirt somewhere in my house, I won't relax until I clean that. But, can someone be obsessed with telling a lie? My observation says YES.

Now, this colleague of mine went to Dubai, had a nice time there and uploaded her pictures on facebook (the culprit :D ) and some of us saw those pictures. Not all can remain silent after catching a funny lie like this so another colleague of mine asked her why her husband has not gone to US and why she is still not looking like a mom-to-be (She meant the absence of swollen belly :D ). People with weak lungs please don't read further as your lungs might get exhausted due to continuous laugh.

Now this dear colleague of ours said that she had a miscarriage and so she was very upset. To bring her out of that depression, her husband planned a trip to Dubai and so they went there!!! Oh my god! We wanted to tell her - we would have believed you my friend only if you would have not booked those tickets to Dubai in front of us!!!!  May be she already knew she would have a miscarriage! :P

Now, if we look at these incidents, we will realize that there was no need to lie. All of us change jobs and we are not answerable to anyone for it, so why give lame excuses? But she did! And the only reason I can find for it is the OBSESSION to lie

This is just one of the several incidents I have come across with her and many others. People lie even if there is no need to do so and what they don't realize is that; one day or the other, they would be caught! Even if they don't come to know of it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Experience at The Art of Living International Center

I went for a YES+ course in Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore, India in August 2013. It was a 3 days course where in participants were supposed to stay in the ashram and do the course. It was fun and a good experience but it had its own loop holes as well. Its difficult to describe it in just "Good" or "Bad". Hence, I am sharing my experience here with as much details as possible.

I am a 29 year old who is living a content life. I have everything which one needs to live a comfortable life. I am an owner of high self esteem. Like anyone else on this earth, I have my share of problems but I am doing just fine.

Now, one of my friends who is a big fan of Shri Shri Ravi Shankar and has been with Art of Living since last few years suggested that I too take their course. Initially I was reluctant but when I heard about the benefits of it from my friend, I thought I might be interested. I searched about it on internet and read experiences of people who had taken their courses. The reviews were amazing! By reading them, I concluded that people changed their lives by this course. But I didn't have much to complain in my life. I wasn't looking for any change as such. So why should I be doing this course?

Now, my friend suggested me to take up the YES+ course which is meant for people of 18-30 years. It was meant to be a course for stress management, better performance, better concentration, more energy and much more. After giving it a thought for a few days, I decided to give it a go and enrolled for the course in the ashram. After hearing and reading so many things about it, I was super excited about it and was looking forward to it with lots of expectations.

Finally, the big day arrived and I reached the ashram at around 7:00 PM on Thursday as we were supposed to report a day before the course began. I submitted my registration slip, took my id/course card and left for my hostel from the reception. It was a bit scary in the night as it was too dark. The ashram was huge with several buildings and lots of greenery. It had its own peace and aura. It was good to stay there for a couple of days. The hostel was okay and the rooms were comfortable enough. It was a four seater room with attached bathroom. I had 3 great room mates who proved to be very nice companions for the rest of my stay there.

Aparna Hall for girls' stay in Ashram

After changing, we went for dinner in the kitchen. I was asked to serve food and I started serving rice. I served around 200-300 people and it was a really nice feeling. I thought the course has started with a good thing so may be it was a good omen :) .  After serving, I had my dinner. Food served in ashram is satvik without any spices, oil and all. It was a good break from all the junk food in those three days. We went to the room after dinner and as usual the girl-gossiping started and continued till 1 in the night. Next day we were supposed to report at 9:30 AM at the designated place for the session. Just like me, rest of my room mates were also very curious about what we were going to experience the next day. They were also asked by their friends to attend this course and had come on their insistence and had no idea about the content of the course. I don't know why followers of art of living never give any details of the courses and this is something which was mysterious. What was there in this course after all that no one was able to explain it!! With this thought, we forced ourselves to sleep.

Next morning, we had breakfast and reached the Krishna hall for the session. By now, our anxiety was at its peek. Finally the curtain was about to be raised! Two very sweet looking ladies were supposed to be our teachers for this course. The course started and so did my disappointment. We just did some introductory activities and were asked to go to the Vishalakshi Mantap as some pooja was being held there in guruji's (Shir Shri Ravi Shankar) presence. I thought, may be now I will feel something magical in his presence. We went for the pooja, took our seats and I was amazed to see the crowd there. It was huge.

Devi Pooja at Ashram

I saw people so engrossed in the pooja that I felt I was not normal. Why was I not feeling anything when other people were so involved in it! I tried to involve myself but I just could not and finally, I gave up. I waited for it to get over and went to have lunch. Over lunch, we discussed this and it was not only me who was feeling disappointed with the proceedings till now. There were more people who had come with different expectations and were now feeling lost. Finally we thought that only half a day has passed and the real thing is yet to come.

After lunch we went to the Krishna hall again. We again had some activities which taught us that we should not waste time, we should utilize it properly, we should maintain good relations with parents and friends and all. But I already knew this. Was there someone who didn't already know this!! Finally the day was over and we were asked to go and attend the satsang. And we thought, yes, now we will know why we have come here! Satsang was supposed to happen in Vishalakshi Mantap. It looked beautiful when we reached there and it looked even more beautiful when we left it.

Vishalakshi Mantap 

Vishalakshi Mantap at Night

During the satsang

The satsang started, some melodious, religious songs were played and then gururji answered a few questions asked to him. It got over with nothing extra ordinary for us. We went to have the dinner and got back to our rooms. I called up my friend who had suggested me to do this course and told her about my disappointment. She told me that the course has just started and there were two more days for many more things to happen.  I felt relieved and again me and my room mates consoled ourselves that it was still not over and started looking forward to the next day.

Next day wasn't much different. We started at 6:30 AM with some warm up exercises and yoga which was refreshing. Then we did some activities which again taught us something I already knew like we should not procrastinate things, we should cheer people even when they fail, we should do team work, we should not eat non veg food and all.

One thing which I had never done and knew was Sudarshan Kriya. This was something which I really learnt from this course. It looked like a combination of meditation and breathing technique. It was a good experience doing it and I felt refreshed after it. May be because I actually meditated or may be because I slept while doing it . We had hardly slept in the last two nights because of the gossiping of course, so many of us made use of this opportunity to get rid of our sleep-deprived status.

We did Sudarshan Kriya three times in those three days and it was really good. It has lots of health benefits when practiced continuously. This is something I plan to do regularly. Apart from this we did some more yoga and some more activities at the last day.

Our meeting with Guruji was planned twice but got cancelled due to some inevitable reasons. Finally our batch met him on the last day in the evening around 8:00 PM. I could not meet him as I had to leave the ashram at 6:00 PM.

The three days spent in the ashram were relaxing, comfortable, refreshing and fun. I made a lot of friends and had a really great time. Even now, I feel like going back to ashram to spend a few days to enjoy the peace there. We enjoyed the activities we did and the time we spent there. But if you are going with the expectation to learn something you never knew, then you would be disappointed.  But again, it also depends on the person. There were few people who were really disappointed and many who were delighted for different reasons. People who learn things when they are explicitly told about it, would find it beneficial.

I am aware that there are many Art of Living followers out there and I do not intend to hurt anyone's sentiments. This is my personal experience and opinion and you have the right to have a conflict with me :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Shailendra Singh

I am a proud sister and love to flaunt my brother's achievements. Here are a few :D

Indian Express published : http://newindianexpress.com/cities/bangalore/article1449888.ece

Another article was published in Dainik Jagran. The link is here:  http://epaper.jagran.com/epaper/10-feb-2013-86-Buxer-Page-9.html

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Lucky Escape

Unfortunate Indians – when they step out of their homes, there is no certainty that they would come back home safely. One can be a victim of an unfortunate accident, unintended murder, a young man’s foolish rage or even a riot for no reason! 

I wish we had strict laws in India to punish such people fairly enough to give others a lesson to not to repeat such incidences. Sadly but truly, that’s not the case here. When rebellions can happen at a national highway, they can happen in any part of the country.

The country boasts highly of its diversity when it has been a major failure in maintaining it as strength and has mostly seen the bad sides of it. One of such many incidences has been watched and suffered by me and my family from such a close distance that it became indispensable for me to put my thoughts to writing.

September 14th 2012, 6:50 PM, like any other weekend, we left for my in laws place in Hapur, UP from Noida. I was accompanied by my husband Tarun, his friend Sandeep, my son Aarnav and my Sister in Law Richa. Little did we know, a riot awaited us on the way. It had been a rainy evening and hence the traffic jam was the most obvious thing on the road. Moving slowly but relentlessly, we reached Dasna on NH 24 at 7:30 PM to find a huge traffic jam. Since we were used to such things on this highway, we thought it was just another jam like any other rainy day. We moved as and when the congestion allowed and suddenly a car came and tried to move ahead of us. In spite of my husband’s trials to not to let him go before us, he did - courtesy: Indian Driving Style which applies on both of them! And as soon as that car moved ahead of us, so did a couple of cars following it. Finally the congestion refused to move and we switched off the engine of our car. We saw a few cars taking U-turn and moving back from the side lane. Suddenly we saw a few people running, and failing to understand what was happening, Sandeep bhaiya got out of the car to check the situation. My husband too got out of the car and saw Sandeep bhaiya running back towards us! Suddenly both of them asked us to get out of the car and run in the opposite direction. As it was obvious, there was no way we could take our car with us from the midst of the jam.

We took my handbag, mobiles, and the papers of our car; left the car and started running in the opposite direction till the point where the jam ended. My husband carried our son in his lap and asked us to run as fast as we could. I was still not aware why I was running but sensed that something has seriously went wrong as there were a lot of people by now who were running to save their lives. By this time, the mob had started throwing stones on the people stuck in jam. When we reached the end of jam, I luckily boarded a bus which has taken a U-turn to go back on the wrong side seeing the situation ahead. As soon as I boarded the bus, I realized that only I have boarded the bus and Richa and Tarun were still struggling to board it. The driver was not willing to stop the bus as something unfortunate could happen any moment. Somehow, Richa managed to board the bus too but Aarnav was still in Tarun’s lap. Tarun pushed him in the bus but Aarnav was not willing to leave his hand as he was not aware that I was already there in the bus. Somehow I got hold of him and pulled him inside. The bus started moving in the opposite direction and Sandeep bhaiya and Tarun, unable to board the bus, started running along the bus. By this time, we had learnt that somebody had torn the papers of Quran (a Holy book which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God) and hence the Muslims were in rage and burning cars and creating havoc. Suddenly the bus came to a stop and our heart beats rose knowing that the riot is happening on the other end of the road too. Now, we had nowhere to go. Lot of people got out of the bus to run on their own. We had no clue what we were supposed to do and waited for Tarun and Sandeep bhaiya, still not knowing whether they would even reach us or not. And then we saw them helping the driver in taking a turn and moving the bus to some place we didn’t know. 

Our bus and a couple of more buses moved into the so called forest on the sides of NH-24. It drove for around half a kilometre and came to a stop. Tarun came and took my cell phone to make calls as his cell phone’s battery exhausted. Now, I, Richa and Aarnav were seated in the bus along with some more passengers in the midst of a forest with no water, no food and no idea about how long we were going to be there like that! After half an hour spent in praying to god, discussing the situation with other passengers and convincing my son that all was well, the bus moved again. We came to know that they were moving the passengers to a safer place which was inside the warehouse of a mill. All the buses and a few cars now moved deeper in the forest inside a mill. Though we felt safer here, we were not free of the thought that raged people could come there any time and do the unexpected as Hindu-Muslim riots have always been a disaster in the history of India.

In the meantime, my cell phone was busy throughout as who ever came to know of the riot, tried to talk to us. We sat there for around an hour as my husband was busy talking on phone and arranging for us to get to a safer place. More than a couple of his brave friends reached the last reachable point to help us but were unable to move ahead because of the riot. My father in law and other members of the family were ready with a cab to come and pick us as soon as the situation allowed. Some of the other relatives who lived nearby also came to pick us but were not able to reach us due to the heavy disorder. In spite of our repeated requests to them to go back to their homes, they waited and kept asking us to move to some location from where they could pick us. What they didn’t know was, there was no way we could get out of there. One more friend of Tarun, Aslam bhaiya who was stuck in the riot too, somehow managed to reach a friend’s house at a nearby place. He was safe but his car was broken by the crowd and was still on the highway.

Another hour passed and there was no sign of Tarun and Sandeep bhaiya! And I was without a phone! Unexpectedly, a person called out my husband’ name and I got out of the bus and talked to him. He was Mr. Aggrawal, friend of Aslam Bhaiya and had come to take us to his home on his request. He made me talk to Aslam bhaiya and tried to convince me that we were safe with him. We followed him and started looking for Tarun and Sandeep bhaiya. We found them on the way out of there and conveyed our hesitation to go out of the warehouse. We were confident that we won’t be safe outside and it was sensible to stay in the warehouse till morning or so. But Tarun didn’t agree with us and asked us to follow them. Sandeep bhaiya also told Tarun that we should not leave this place as anything could happen outside if we were spotted by some furious mob. But, we left! At the gate of the mill, we were told by the guard that if you are going with Mr. Aggrawal, you are safe! And it was a big relief to us. When we came back on the NH-24, there wasn’t even a dog out there on the highway! Do you still remember- we  are in India!

We followed Mr. Aggrawal through some villages with a doubt in our minds! People on the way watched us from their windows and terrace as if we were some celebrities!  Finally, we reached his home and took a sigh of relief. We were safe now!
Now that we were safe, I suddenly remembered that both of my laptops were in the car and we had no idea if our car was set to fire too or broken, or was lucky to be untouched which could happen only under less than 1% chance. We made our minds to accept the loss of our laptops, car and a few more stuff which was in the car. We couldn’t sleep whole night and Tarun and Sandeep bhaiya went to the spot early in the morning to see if the matter was resolved and if our car was still there.

It can only happen by the grace of god that when more than 90 vehicles were set to fire, many broken with rods, many with their belongings stolen, our car stood there without any mark and with all our belongings as it is! It was one of the very few cars which were untouched. The car which was just in front of us in the jam was set to fire as soon as we had escaped from our car last night. The car which had overtaken us the last evening, stood there all broken! Thanks to its driver for not letting us go before him. Tarun brought the car, picked us from Mr. Aggrawal’s house and we left for Hapur again! On the way, we saw lots of broken cars including Aslam bhaiya’s car, police van which was set to fire, Masuri police station which was set to fire too and the broken glasses all over on the road. Finally at 8:00 AM, we reached home safely but with an anxious mind and a urge to do something about it!
Now that all of this had happened, we tried to dig into the actual cause of it. We read the papers line by line and word by word for the next 2-3 days that is till today and discussed with our relatives who are in Police and whose team was sent to the spot to take the matter under control. So the actual story is that somebody heard on his journey in a train that a few pages of Quran were laying on the road somewhere. He came and discussed that with some people and people came on the roads to express their anger! Below pictures have been taken at the scenes of the spot.

Though we reached home safely, it was only after we read the papers that we realized how bad it could have been. The mob didn't spare the women as well. They misbehaved with them and even tried to rape them.

Six people died in the incident and a curfew was declared in Masuri which is still as it is! One can see PAC, local police and other officials spreading up in the area.

While the cause of the riots sounds funny to me, the actual cause could be something else. Media sees some other reasons behind the incident.

Moreover, as reported in a newspaper, the matter was resolved by the police and the process of filing an FIR was going on when suddenly the mob gathered on the highway and started creating havoc. There are a few things which point towards the fact that it was not a just like that  riot. It looks like it was planned for the benefit of someone. May god help Indians!

And after such a loss has already occurred, our modest politicians are still mouth-shut for their personal reasons. 

While I am still unable to figure out the significance, benefit of such riots, I have been able to conclude that illiteracy is the biggest cause of such incidences! Illiterate Indian population is unaware of the facts, consequences, losses, damage, output but still they act - just because they have been motivated by some selfish spearhead to do so!
                                I was astounded to see a 6-7 year old kid in a newspaper, setting fire to a police van. I myself being a mother know very well that nothing in the world can let me allow my son to do so. Then what is it that these people aren't afraid of anything? 

And as per the reports, 3 police men have been suspended for firing and may be killing someone! Its very easy to suspend the police men who were on duty and were doing what was the right thing at that moment. But, has anybody even thought about catching and punishing  those who created this mess, who set the cars and other vehicles to fire, who misbehaved with women and made the lives hell of more than 5000 people? I don't know but am sure the answer to this question is a big NO!

While I don't intend to hurt any body's sentiments, I would like to say that if they believed in Quran so much, they should have left the matter in the hands of Allah to take care of the person who did it. What purpose did it serve by doing so much damage? 

I wish Indians will grow up some day and before they do, our politicians do it! 
And the way I and my family have been lucky this time, we remain always! Amen!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Love Towards Stress

From what I have observed in the last few years, I have come to the conclusion that Homo Sapiens(human beings) have a tendency to stress themselves no matter what they have. Let’s have a look at some of the most common reasons we like to stress ourselves about:

• We are stressed because we don’t have a learning job. If it is a learning one we don’t have an envious salary. If we have an envious salary the workplace is too far away. If it is not far away then the work timings are not good. And if, by the grace of god, none of these conditions are applicable in one’s case then the job is too boring. Huh!!

• We are stressed because we are obese and not losing weight. If we are not obese then we are too thin. If we are not thin too then we don’t have an envious body. And if this wasn’t enough we stress ourselves about the fairness cream not doing wonders on our skin, the latest hair fall treatment shampoo not working for our hair and the footwear is not matching the attire. Gosh!

• We are stressed because we couldn’t pass the exam. If we passed, we are stressed because we didn’t score first division. If we scored first division, we are stressed because we didn’t get 80% and if we get 80%, we are still stressed because we didn’t stood first in the class. Can you imagine?!!!

• We are stressed because we don’t have a four wheeler and it’s too risky and hot out there to travel anymore on a two wheeler. If we have a four wheeler, then we are stressed because we don’t have a luxury one. If we have a luxury one, then we are stressed because we don’t have a Mercedes and alas, the neighbour has it! You got to get it right now.

So if you agree to the above stressful points and acknowledge that STRESS is an important part of our lives then please share your views so that I realize that I should not stress myself thinking that I stress myself too much. :P