Saturday, May 17, 2014

Indian Democracy and elections - a new hope is born

One thread that united india was the recently concluded Indian elections. It cut across caste, creed, religion and social status. It was a topic of discussion in the tea stalls to boardroom. Every indian has opinion on the elections. You talk to security guard or auto wallah or to CEOs or  artists. It affects and is part of out blood.

That is the nature of true democracy. A democracy into which life was fostered again, which got revived this time on mantra of development and good governance.

During the campaign politics of dole, freebies, fear, religion (clouded by various epithets like secular/communal ), character assassination, untouchability was superseded by politics of hope, of good governance , of development.

A new era is born in India. The youths have chosen to chide away their caste and religion and opted for their bright future and linked it with strong leadership.

Like any organisation democracies are also led from top. When the top inspires the whole value chain perspires to realize their and ours dream.

I had a past that was averse to politics, distanced from any hope in political system or deliverance of Indian democracy.

Now with the hope kindled in my heart and fanned by the warmth in the environment it has come to stay.

We live on hope and dream of brighter tomorrow.
We work hard to convert hope to reality.
We are on ground, realistic dreamers.

I am a believer today,

Where are you?

#credits goes to Gurudev +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, +Narendra Modi ji and the tireless workers and dreamers of India who worship in the temples of Indian Democracy.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Distributing Voters ID and slip

Sujatha who is leading the volunteer for better india campaign at LnT South city called and asked

DAY 0 - Sunday
S- Have you distributed the voters id card?
I- No
S- They are available at BBMP office.
I - When can I collect it and whom to contact?
S - Fatima and Umesh ji and I will message the number.

DAY 1 - Monday
Next day reached BBMP. The place was a chaos with every corner people falling over each other trying to locate their voter id card. Managed to locate Mr Umesh.

Mr. Umesh gave the typical government employee look. Here are the gardenia cards, check and go.
I - Sir, I had organized the voters id registration drive on behalf of volunteers for better india and have come to collect the cards on behalf of residents.

See how the master makes an entry. A lady was standing beside me. Later found her name was Radhika and she was also from gardenia. She started interpreting my English to Umesh's kannada responses and vice versa. Finally Mr. Umesh expressions changed.

Mr Umesh - I had called your association and they said they could not distribute it.
I - Oh
Mr Umesh - Here are the cards, please count and sign here and leave your contact details.
Ms Radhika - can i help you with counting?

Just like that and I was - of course!!.

Just as we finished counting about 240 cards for gardenia Mr Umesh pushed the voting slips towards us.

Mr.Umesh - Can you distribute these also?

I did not know what were and Radhika explained it was required for voting.
I -  It is in kannada, how will I distribute?
Radhika - I know kannada and I can help.
I - Shall we sort it in sometimes in evening.

Meanwhile sent email to Brigade gardenia yahoo groups that they can come and collect it from my residence in the evening from 5-6 PM


Nagaraj a successful entrepreneur was the first to come. He humbly agreed to sort the cards block wise. We found some more cards not belonging to gardenia and kept them aside.

Radhika promptly came on time and started segregating the voters slip sheet block wise.

DAY 2 - Tuesday
I went to BBMP office to return the outside gardenia cards and slips. While coming out met Bhavani who was also a fellow resident.

She came in the evening and said she will come again tomorrow to help with sorting.

Brigade gardenia apartments owners association secretary Mr. Ravi agreed to distribute at association office from 6-7 PM in the evening.

DAY 3 - Wednesday
Manisha  came forward to distributed cards in Golden Magic.

Bhavani  came in the evening and helped to sort the slips. Surekha and Indira ji also collected many slips of their neighbours.

Satya said he was free for whole day on thursday.
DAY 4 - Thursday
Pratima took her voting slips as well as for tonnes of her friends.
Satya came early in the morning and distributed cards for one of the block during the day.
Arthi and Smruthi came forward after work and distributed the voters id, door to door.

DAY 5 - Friday
Mr. Viswanathan Kollur came for their slips and shared his disgust with one of the ancient party of India since partition. I was amazed to hear that the same secular (sicular)

DAY 6 - Saturday
Art of living organizes followup in elita every saturday at 7AM at yoga room. I got a message from teacher that I need to take it this time as the teacher felt sick.

Look at the so called mere coincidence of master entering again in story. I was coming back from followup when Sonia and Deepa were coming out from augusta club.
They - we came but you were not there.
I - Sorry, I may have gone out for food.
They - can we distribute slips now.
I - of course

What started as One person initiative became 14 person drive in no time.

Finally, I am grateful to HH +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for starting this movement volunteer for a better india and giving me courage and inspiration to participate in the voters ID registration, distribution and awareness drive 2014.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

knowledge cleanses the mind

You know there are 5 ways to depress the mind. The same 5 ways are to uplift the energy levels of the the mind.

  1. Time - the mind simply goes down for no reason. There is not much you can do here except pray for the times to change.
  2. Food - The right amount and type of food at the right time can keep you energised. The excess intake of food may depress you. The more depressed you are you may take more wrong food at wrong time and the vicious cycle continues.
  3. State of body - Some disease or illness can also bring down the energy of the mind. Here everyday pranayama and sudarshan kriya and other yoga practises keep body out of sickness and inactivity and inertia. 
  4. Singing-dancing -  otherwise known as satsang wherein you chant, sing and glorify divinity in its various manifestations, you increase your energy. This also helps release emotional blockages.
  5. Seva - Doing something for others. Not being lost in your own world 24/7. When you come out of your own world and exchange energies only then do you enliven the life in you. 

Do seva and see. Take it as a challenge. Take it as training. What will happen even if you fail?

Meditation alone for the whole day will not help. Without seva your meditation can never go deeper. Its IMPOSSIBLE.

Seva happens at the right time and place. The time has to be right and the place has to be right. And it has to happen. There is not much planning or analysis of personal gains or losses. It has to happen then it has to happen.

All the first 4 points above are not effective if not followed by 5th point. Its not possible to keep singing dancing or chanting or practising or meditation or eating for the whole day and keep growing. Without seva you evolution is stunted.

Yesterday meditation toned down the colossal agitations of the mind. It is nature of the mind to pound and erupt like volcanoes and its the nature of the knowledge to reduce the eruption into a stream of river.

Yesterday Gurudev first took us through meditation highlighting the tatva gyan.  The tatva gyan is that universe is made up of five elements and all elements flow in the space or akash and are part of divinity.

Also, vairagya or dispassion also helps to settle the mind. Knowing that this body and life is only for a while. The human body is required and is inevitable for the cleansing of the mind to happen. Therefore, the human birth is precious. So, while you have it, put it to good use.

Every soul past, present or future resides in the space and is there all the time. Honouring and reposing in the space brings you closer to your self. Have the faith. Have this belief that divinity is in you as much as out of you.

Meaning of kala bhairava.
A form of divinity whose vehicle in svana.  Svana means dog but also has a different meaning in sanskrit. Sva means yesterday and tomorrow and na means NO. So which is not yesterday and tomorrow but is the present moment, the NOW is where kala bhairava resides.


Most words originated in yesterdays evening satsang with Gurudev at art of living international ashram.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Voters ID registration drive

VBI (Volunteers for better India) organised voters ID registration drive in Brigade Gardenia on 18th and 19th of Jan 2014. We had 191 application forms submitted.

Some highlights

  1. A couple aged 74 and 78 registered for first time.
  2. An elderly gentleman who was barely able to converse and shaking body congratulated us. He brought in forms of his and his wife who were born before India got independence.
  3. A youth brought in his laptop with datacard and needed to know why his mothers name was not reflecting in electoral roll.
  4. A teen who was to turn 18 on April asked can he register now?
  5. A girl who filled her form with picture perfect, clear and beautiful handwriting.
  6. Few sons with no proof of address for their mother, sticking around till we figured out a way for them to register her for voters id.
  7. Few photos and video 1 and video 2.

Organizing and executing the drive was heartwarming experience. You get to see the beautiful sides of so many fellow residents that you wonder why did not shake hands before. The names below may not make much sense to you if you don't know them but these are the names which will start to matter once you reach out in your neighbourhood.

The motive for the drive came from Sujatha from LnT south city who continuously pushed me to get into it. Then it was the support of Shankar and Ujval. Once in there was no looking back :).

We did three skits as part of Brigade Gardenia Kite carnival. This could not have been possible without support from Manisha ji, Swati ji, Aparna ji and Shuchi ji. Not to leave behind Vishal from cultural committee and Nisha ji from kangaroo events.

Then the focus shifted to Kavita ji who helped gather her group of friends and with only two meetings we were all set for the D-Day.

The camp went on smoothly. Bala and team created beautiful Google spreadsheet to manage the volunteers and their time slots. Some updated actively and some simply walked in. Some were late and some were early and some kept coming once in a while to see if all is well.

Viju would not leave her seat and neither would Sandeep. They just wanted to stay put for some more time. Their is intoxication when you serve selflessly and we were happy to witness same.

Sonia would wait for her reliever and so would Raghu unless ofcourse there is better half in vicinity and you need to go somewhere. Raghu would come back again after the home duties to check if we needed him . So did Sagar.

Deepika had to cook for 20 guests in evening but she cheerfully completed her hours of service and came back again the next day. She called in when the photo/videographer arranged by VBI came in and I was having the last bite. Its difficult to leave a plate when your spouse has cooked with so much love and there is only the last bite but her enthusiasm pulled and I ran out.

The cheerfulness of Prabha and Deepa and Soumi and Shilpa and Arthi and Swati and Manisha ji was infectious. Sujatha brought in her spouse and lots of stationary which she forgot to take back.

Poonam could not sit idle at home and the restlessness of service pulled her before her time and then she went back and got some sweet tea and biscuits for all of us.

Devraj just walked in and asked what was happening and Kavita gave her a crash course in how to register fill form 6?

The enthusiasm of Raji and her force to get more people involved for smooth functioning.

When the camp was about to end Chitraji handled an anxious couple pretty well and Prabha gave her a big hug to say it all that it was "JOY that carried us through".

Fantastic Team!!

Now we wait for next series of events that will help us vote on coming days.

If you want to organize voters ID camp in your neighbourhood DO reach out to VBI team.

As Bod Dylan said long time ago
Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

PS--Please add names and events which I am sure I would have missed as I went home to take a nap...

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