Showing posts from May, 2017


There was an unusual commotion in the sleepy village of Hallipura. When the villagers assembled at the trouble spot, they saw the young widow of Kotiah sobbing. “Someone tried to assault her when she went for her early morning bath in the pond,” said her nephew, with whom she lived. “It was still dark, so she couldn’t see her assailant. Luckily he ran off when she started screaming.” The villagers were outraged, especially because she was the most pious, kind hearted woman in the village. She spent her time either in the temple or attending to her nephew’s needs or in the service of some needy people. Also, such ugly incidents were unheard of in this village and nearby areas. “Do not go alone, especially at such early hours,” they cautioned, “If you doubt anyone, please tell us, we will have a talk with him.” She shook her head, indicating she didn’t know his identity. The village elders had their suspicions about two or three known village ruffians, like


There is a very beautiful and heart-warming story of the Rajput princess Mira bai, who, it is said, “burnt herself like a moth in the candle of love...”for her celestial lover, the Lord God Krishna himself. The fable of Mira’s devotion to Krishna is one of the most revered household stories in many Indian households. Various biographers have given beautiful expression to the touching story of this indefatigable love of Mira for Lord Sri Krishna. The story is set in the year 1557 in a place called Marwar in present day Rajasthan. Rajasthan was home to some of the most valiant kings who belonged to the Kshatriya community and were the fiercest enemies of the Mughal regime. Mira was born in this Royal clan and was hence destined to marry in Royalty. She, as per the traditions and rigid customs of those days, thus married a Rajput prince by name Bhoja Raja, eldest son of a powerful King. However Mirabai had already given her Heart and Soul to the Emperor of Love, Lord Krish


Karnan is one of the finest mythological characters from the great epic Mahabharata. He is the first-born of Kuntidevi, mother of the Pandavas who fight the Kauravas in this epic war, lorded by Sri Krishna. But as Destiny would have it, Karnan, the mighty warrior and among the noblest and most generous of Kings has to alas! perish fighting on the wrong side...the side of the Kauravas. Abandoned by his mother as a baby due to force of circumstances, the Royal blooded but unfortunate Kshatriya is adopted and brought up by a humble charioteer but grows to become a great archer and mighty wrestler, by overcoming great odds and prejudices of that time.. He was so generous that the word Karnan has become a synonym for generosity in India. But his own great qualities of generosity and loyalty lead to his tragic downfall. Karnan’s fate is sealed when he is given due recognition for his might and talent by Duryodhana, the arch enemy of the Pandava brothers, on being insulted by othe


You may worship a multitude of faith symbols, Or chant prayers and clang many cymbals, But if your heart doesn't hurt for a suffering brother, All your chanting is just a lot of wasted bother. You can call Him whatever, it's all the same, For God who is Infinity, what's in a name? Before attempting to reach out to God, every man Ought to first reach out to the fellow human.


After pondering for a long time, Azad decided to make the call to the suicide prevention center,before taking the final step-There was nothing to lose anyway. With gun in one hand and a suicide slip in the other, he dialed. An electronic voice immediately came on line: “Hi! Thank you for calling Self-Destruct Prevent Center.” “ Press one if you plan to use poison, two for gun, three for knife, four for drowning…” Amused at this, Azad pressed two. “Press one if you are neurotic, two if psychotic, three if bi-polar, four if OCD……” Slightly irritated, Azad continued by selecting an option. “Press one if gay, two if bisexual, three if transvestite and four if none of above…” So on it went till finally a human voice came online, “Good morning, sir, how may I hinder you?” “You have hindered me sufficiently already… I am now toying with the idea of homicide!” “Glad to have been of help, sir. Unfortunately, homicide is not our specialty, sir.”


Hearing the annoying announcement that his train was late, Sajan decided to enjoy a quick snooze on the hard stone bench provided in the station. During this short nap, Sajan had a strange dream- that a small girl was pleading for his help, “Please sir, help me. I am scared.” The dream seemed so real and weird that Sajan got up with a start and looked around him anxiously. He breathed in relief knowing that it had been just a dream. There were no girls of that age to be seen on the platform. As he was recovering from this weird daydream, a train chugged in. Since it was not Sajan’s train, he did not get up from his bench. But as the coaches were rolling past, he was shocked to see a little girl in one of the coaches, sitting between two people… apparently her parents… looking remarkably like the girl in his dream. Sajan started sweating at this apparition appearing twice within minutes. It took some time for him to recover, but as the train left the station, he again felt r


    Thayumanavar, a great soul from the ancient Tamil city of Thanjavur, Started life as an adviser to the King of Tiruchi, Sri Chokkanathar. When he sought spiritual initiation from maunaguru, the great Sivachariar, The latter advised him to ‘keep quiet’ and continue with his household career. But the king who saw the saintliness reflect in the soul of Thayumanavar Felt that he was destined for a greater purpose than just being an administrator. Thus it transpired that the learned adviser gradually mastered his own mind,  And by meditation and contemplation, he left his material life far behind. By his austerities and self-control, he developed such awesome mind power, He was able from afar, to sense and extinguish a temple deity on fire. At Rameswaram, seeing the drought affected people and their pain, He prayed fervently to the Gods and was able to bring them rain. Composing in his lifetime more than 1400 Tamil poems in silence, Thayumanavar


The stranger stared at the bearded man in amazement. “Aren’t you the fearsome Durjan Singh?” he whispered in awe, and then started shivering in fright as he realized he was indeed the notorious dacoit. Sitting in solitude under a tree in the remote village, Durjan looked more like a Swamiji than the merciless killer he was reputed to be. “Fear not, you will come to no harm,” said Durjan, “And you need not whisper. All of them know,” he said, pointing to the village. As he spoke, a boy of about nine came up to him, in a wheel chair. Durjan’s expression softened and he reached out to the lad with unbelievable gentleness.  Seeing the puzzled look on the stranger’s face, Durjan sighed, realizing that it was story time again. “May I, papa?” asked the lad sweetly. Durjan smiled and said, “Go ahead, Dilshan dear.” *** “Two years ago, papa rode to our village to plunder, along with three others. Most of the villagers were terrified and ran off…” “T


  “Nanu is unwell. He is refusing to smile,” announced the village milk man to another villager. The news galloped at the speed of Arab steeds throughout the village. Soon, a few village elders went to Nanu’s house with grave concern writ on their faces. Nanu not smiling was kind of a catastrophe in the small village. The villagers looked forward to Nanu’s gentle smile everyday even more than to the mail he delivered. “Entirely my fault; I should be hit with slippers for this stupidity!” wailed Nanu’s wife. “There there,” said one of the elders, “Tell us quietly what happened.” “It happened a few days back,” said she, “We were discussing this and that. Suddenly I asked Nanu, ‘You’ve been distributing letters everyday, but have you ever received even one? No one indeed to write to us.’ From then Nanu started brooding…and fell silent… and now he is bedridden for the first time in recent years.” “You have foolishly rubbed in about your childless


“Carpe Diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary”. These lines (uttered by a character played by the great actor Robin Williams) from the movie, ‘Dead Poets’ society’ have become very famous and are probably ranked among the best film quotes. Robin Williams, who plays a literature professor in this movie, exhorts his students to live a full life in the present, pursuing their dreams. He points to a portrait of long dead old students of the institution and says that they are now fertilizing daffodils. His intention is to convey about the transient nature of life and that ‘tempus fugit’- meaning ‘time flies’. Hence the present moment is to be fully utilized for achieving one’s dreams. His unconventional approach to teaching is not taken kindly to by his colleagues. The institution gets an opportunity to get rid of this unorthodox teacher when one of the students takes his own life on being denied the opportunity (by his father) to indulge in his d


  It was when the epic Mahabharata war was all set to begin: Lord Krishna was sent by Yudhishtir, the eldest Pandava To try and talk to the Kauravas-for a peaceful solution- Though vengeful Draupadi was dead against a peace accord. The all-knowing Lord Krishna, though aware of the outcome, Went anyway to discuss peace with the over-ambitious king Duryodhana. Though the arrogant king warned his courtiers against showing respect to Krishna, He was the first to stand up sheepishly when the smiling Lord set foot in his presence. Lord Krishna charmed everyone in the palace with his Divine charm, But Duryodhana refused to give even a pin-prick area of land to the Pandavas In spite of words of wisdom and caution from his own sagely elders. Thus the Lord Krishna, who had ordained such an outcome, returned smiling To announce the war.


     It would be befitting to humbly seek his Blessings, performing a mental Arati ; Before venturing to write a few lines on the saintly Avatar Sri Sai of Shirdi. In 1858, having arrived along with a wedding procession in the village of Shirdi , He gracefully accepted the name Sai as bestowed on him and settled under a neem tree. Later, shifting to a Masjid which he fondly named as Dwarakamai, He enthralled the blessed folks in and around, this exalted Saint Sai . About his miraculous powers there are instances galore- -His devotees know them as true and not mere folklore. A God of the commoners, he was an embodiment of humility; He set an example for all as to how to live happily in simplicity. Sri Sai loved to cook himself and distribute food in plenty; No one came to his door and left with a stomach empty . Playing with children to their heart’s wishes, Sai and his devotees sang and danced like dervishes. Full of love and compa


                                                                                                          THE FOUNDER OF LOGOTHERAPY Many know him as the founder of the third Vienna school of Psychotherapy-‘Logotherapy’- first being that of Sigmund Freud and second that of Alfred Adler. Logotherapy is a kind of existential analysis based on having a purpose or meaning in life. Frankl developed this new philosophy of therapy based on his own and others’ terrible experiences as Jewish prisoners in Hitler’s concentration camps. The therapy also supports Nietzsche’s theory that ‘He who has a why can endure any how’ . Born in 1905 in Vienna, middle among three children, Frankl evinced a lot of interest in Psychology and did his medical studies in this field. He met the iconic Freud and had a lot of interaction with him, though he liked Adler’s theory better. He worked in various capacities in Vienna in the years before Hitler, and even was in charge of a ps


  Govindan was facing the problem of plenty. A very large ancestral house. Relations of all hues- in dozens-living as a disjointed joint family, of which he was supposedly the head. Huge quantity of valuables, including cash and jewellery-which he found hard to safe guard from the greedy cockroaches calling themselves his relatives. Try as he might, he could not dislodge a single one among these detested people for fear of offending either a brother, a sister, mother or his wife. He tried hiding the stash at different places in his ancient thirty-two roomed bungalow and changing places every few days… but was shit scared that someone or other would find out. Thus, among plenty of other things, he had plenty of angst also. One day, Govindan got a flashy idea after watching a Malayalam movie about a haunted room in a large house like his. ‘Why didn’t I think of this before?’ he thought. Without wasting time, he made a plan with one of his trusted aid


Soman was happy. The young man was headed home for a brief holiday after a long time. As always, he was well dressed and took pride in his appearance. While walking home from the bus stop, he was day dreaming about how he would spend his valuable four days- the friends he was going to meet, the movies he would see and so on. For reaching home, he had to walk by an apartment complex. A strong wind which was blowing that time dislodged a man’s underwear that was hung up for drying in the balcony of one of the apartments. This piece of flying dress item landed securely on the unsuspecting Soman’s handsome shoulder. The young man who was blissfully unaware of the underwear which now adorned his shoulder, walked home merrily. Meanwhile, Soman’s large joint family was agog with excitement at the prospect of his coming. Meena, the younger sister was teasing her kid brother saying how Somananna was always very well dressed, “…unlike you untidy chap, Varun!” Soman’s gr