Saturday, May 21, 2016

Mouthpiece #22


Vyadha Gita - I had heard about it (not sure when and where) but never tried exploring the history behind it. In Swami Vivekanand’s lectures on Karma Yoga, he talks about this Gita which is part of Vana-Parva in the epic Mahabharata. This was told to Yudhishthir by the sage Markandeya.
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An epitaph for the physical bookstores...
I belong to a generation that was born in 70s and general reading beyond the books prescribed in the school curriculum was a rare phenomenon. Literature for kids was practically unheard of. Tintin, Chacha Chaudhary, Champak, Chandamama and some similar such were a few periodicals that represented the kidlit category in bookstores or on newspaper stands. Hardy Boys, Famous Five and Nancy Drew series were a few series which were available to young adults of those times. Written words could be beyond the ‘ABC of Physics’ or Lakhmir Singh and Manjeet Kaur came as a realisation to me when I completed my schooling years.
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What's brewing? Potato curry 
Potatoes : 4-5 (boiled, peeled and cut in small cubes)
Asafoetida : 1/8th of a tsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : ½ tsp
Red chilli powder : ¼ tsp
Salt : to taste
Green chillies : 2 (slit)
Kadhi leaves : 8-10
Coriander leaves : 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
Garam masala : ¼ tsp
Oil : 2 tbsp
recipe here...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mouthpiece #21

For Love's Sake...
While the Pandavas were in their exile along with their queen Draupadi, once Draupadi asked Yudhishthir, how it was that he, the most virtuous of men and a disciple of Lord Krishna should suffer in so much misery? To this Yudhishthir answered, ‘The Himalayas, how grand and beautiful they are; I love them. They do not give me anything, but my nature is to love the grand, the beautiful, therefore I love them. Similarly, I love the Lord. He is the source of all beauty, of all sublimity. He is the only object to be loved; my nature is to love Him and therefore I love. I do not pray for anything, I do not ask for anything. Let Him place me wherever He likes. I must love Him for love’s sake. I cannot trade in love.’
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Magic in Kitchen (to stay cool...)
Aam Panna (Mango summer cooler)
This drink is supposed to be ideal for peak summer noons.
Raw mangoes : 4
Jaggery/powdered jaggery : as much as the pulp of the mangoes
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp (roasted and powdered)
Black salt : 1 1/2tsp
Black pepper : ½ tsp
Mint leaves : 8-10

recipe here...

Friday, May 13, 2016

Mouthpiece #20

Not all who wander are lost…

The World Beckons
Vacation, time to look for ways to unwind and recharge the batteries for next span of routine. With travelling on the upswing these days, the question is, which type of locations offers the maximum succour to the exhausted nerves (physically and mentally). Some find the much required and much deserved relaxation in locations that are bustling with activity - heart of the cities, while others just want to stay put nestled in the lap of mother nature. Whether within the country or on foreign locales, once this basic decision is made, the options are aplenty.
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What's Brewing ? Rice Idli
Rice (Sona masoori) : 3 cupsUrad dal : 1 cupPoha : ½ cupSalt : to tasteOil : to grease the idli moulds

recipe here...

Saturday, May 7, 2016

श्रद्धा सुमन

कभी अकेला पा घेर लेता है यादों का मेला मुझे
सोचती हूँ कैसा होता आज अगर होता तुम्हारा साथ साथ में
देती हूँ मन को दिलासा यह कह फिर, जितना मिला, मिला तो
एक उदाहरण है उस ऊँचाई का और उस-से जनित एक उद्देश्य भी

ढूँढती हूँ वो सुकून वो अपनापन कुछ छोटी बड़ी चीज़ों में
कुछ साथ बिताए लम्हों में और छोटी छोटी बातों में
शायद हो पाये उस स्पर्श की थोड़ी अनुभूति फिर से
शायद पा सकूँ तुम्हारे आशीर्वादों की लड़ी फ़िर से एक बार

बेसन के वो लड्डू जो तुमसे बेहतर कोई बना न सका
सबसे छुपा कर चार और डाल देती थीं तुम उस डिब्बे में
तुम्हारे प्यार और आशीर्वाद की अभिव्यक्ति ही तो थी
पहुँच जाती थी जो मुझ तक बिना कुछ कहे सुने भी

एक अनुपम सुख का अनुभव करतीं थीं तुम शायद
तभी तो अपने हिस्से की खीर भी हमें खिला देतीं थीं
बादाम की वो कुछ गिरियाँ जो तुम प्यार से देतीं थीं
वो चंद गिरियाँ ही बहुत थीं तृप्त कर देने को हम सब को

अनेकों बेड़ियों से बद्ध रहा तुम्हारा सम्पूर्ण जीवन
पर अपनी सादगी सरलता से कर दिया नतमस्तक उन्हें भी
अपने कर्म और धर्म के प्रति सदा तत्पर और सजग रहीं तुम
रिश्तों को इतना सींचा कि हो गए परिभाषित वे भी फ़िर

नहीं हैं मोहताज मन के भाव और उदगार शब्दों के
कैसे सिमट सकता है कुछ असीम, शब्दों की सीमाओं में
मन से कुछ श्रद्धा सुमन समर्पित कर रही हूँ तुम्हें
शायद पहुँच जाएँ तुम तक, हो हवा के किसी झोंके पे सवार

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Mouthpiece #19

त्रि-ताप (Tri-Taap or Three Pains)
I have been having two volumes of Bhagwat Katha with me for more than a decade now but never got the chance to read them. Last week I began reading the first volume of the same. After the customary obeisance to all Gods, it begins with how humans in Kaliyug are afflicted with Tri-taap or trividh-taap (the three kinds of pains) - आध्यात्मिक (Aadhyaatmik - from one’s own body and mind in the form of some physical discomfort or disease), आधिभौतिक (Aadhi-bhautik - from people and other creatures around us) and आधिदैविक (Aadhi-daivik - from natural calamities like flood, storm, drought, earthquakes and so on). 
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What's Brewing? Milk Toast
Bread slices (brown or white) : 6Milkmaid : ¼ cupMilk : ½ cupAlmonds : 5-6 (soaked, peeled and sliced)Cardamom powder : ¼ tspOil : for deep frying
recipe here...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mouthpiece #18

Towards faith
Usually our insecurities and uncertainties about what is going to happen make us fearful and apprehensive almost every moment that we live.There is no denying the fact that these insecurities get created out of some experiences and as reactions to some actions. So these are, infact, outcomes of something we did or did not do actively.
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What's Brewing - Waffle/Pancake
2 cups maida1 ¾ cups milk½ cups oil2 eggs1 tbsp sugar4 tsp baking powder½ tsp vanilla extract
recipe here...

Book Review : The Leadership Sutra

Title : The Leadership Sutra
Author : Devdutt Pattanaik
Publisher : Aleph
ISBN : 978-93-84067-46-5

"Leaders often equate themselves with lions, and indulge their desire to dominate when, in fact, the point of leadership is to be secure enough to outgrow the lion within us, and enable and empower those around us."

This thin 124 pages book is actually derived from Devdutt Pattaniak's Business Sutra. As the name suggests, the book talks about power and leadership at the work place and the analogies are taken from mythological anecdotes. It analyzes the fact that humans seek power, importance and significance and how much are they ready to bargain to achieve the same.
It is an innate human need to feel they matter, to feel recognized and to be envied by others. This recognition brings in security and power and in turn satiates the desire to dominate. Domination imparts a feeling that one can exert control over external things. Through various means humans try to satisfy this need whether it is in the form of any social rules, position or things like property which gives the delusion of immortality.

The whole book is categorised under four broad sections addressing - Significance, Property, Rules and Stability. The book begins with discussing how Durga, the external power is distinguished from Shakti, the inner power - physical and mental prowess. And this distinction becomes a common thread through all the sections. Building and nurturing Durga is important but more significant is working on the Shakti because that is what imparts wisdom and innate strength.

To bring home a point, various interesting anecdotes are picked from the mythology followed by case studies from the corporate. His signature line drawings keep the narrative mind-stimulating. His writing style is par excellence and 'The Leadership Sutra' just validates it even further. It was a sheer pleasure to read this book.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mouthpiece #17

Anger is a very natural human emotion. It is impossible to get rid of it completely. In fact, we must learn to acknowledge its arrival and its presence to understand its nature and to learn to tame it. The problem arises when temper starts controlling our mind and we start acting driven by our anger. In that situation, our rational mind loses control which usually leads to not a pleasant scenario. In all probability, no good can come out of the heated words that are exchanged at that time. Moreover, it leaves us with an emotion which we can never feel happy about.continue here...
What's Brewing? Sabudana Khichdi
Sabudana : 1 packet (250 gm)Oil : 2 tbspPeanuts : ¾ cupCumin Seeds : 1 tspMustard Seeds : 1 tspPotato : 1 big boiled, peeled and cubed or raw peeled and chopped into small piecesCoriander leaves : ½ cupGreen chillies : 2 (chopped or sliced)Salt : to tasteTurmeric powder : ½ tsp Lemon Juice : 1 limerecipe here...

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

कविता : गति

एक और मील का पत्थर राह बदलने का संकेत या आशंका
कौन सी राह से जुड़ना है निश्चित जो बनेगी तक़दीर
कुछ राहें, कुछ मोड़, तय हो जाता जीवन का पूरा सफर
बदल जाता मकसद, बदल जाता नज़ारा और नजरिया

कुछ अपने, बहुत अपने कि जिनसे अपना कोई हो न सके
छोड़ देते साथ, हमेशा के लिए, करके सबको अलविदा
उस समय से दूरी बढ़ती रही जब साथ था उनका साथ
लम्हें तब्दील हुए दिनों में और दिन सालों में

वक़्त घाव भर देता है, कहते हैं सब, सुनते हैं हम
पर कटा हिस्सा कभी वापिस नहीं आता, यह जानते हैं हम
कमी उसकी खलती है कभी ज़्यादा कभी कम, पर हर दम
कैसा होता आज अगर होते वो भी साथ, सोचते हैं हम

समय कभी थमता नहीं, काम कोई भी रुकता नहीं
निरन्तर गति ही जीवन का है पर्याय, और उसकी नियती भी
पर एक टीस मन में चुभती है जब याद आते हैं वो पल
जब हम भी कभी अमीर थे, उन रिश्तों के साथ से

fabric painting - white, infusing life into colours...

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