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). 
continue here...

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
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...




Saturday, April 9, 2016

Mouthpiece #16

Success or failure
Once we determine a certain goal in our life, we try to ascertain the quantum of efforts and work that needs to go in achieving that. Usually we categorize the outcome as either success or failure. It is quite ironical that when we fail, most often we end up brooding, feeling cheated, blaming multiple factors or reveling in self pity state. continue here...
What's Brewing (err... Chilling)? 
Thandai or Chilled Badaam MilkAlmonds : 20 (soaked for 4-5 hrs and peeled)Powdered sugar : 2tspPoppy seeds (khus-khus) : 1 tsp (soaked)Saffron : 3-4 strandsMilk : 2 cups (boiled and chilled)recipe here...

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mouthpiece #15

Being Me
खुदी को कर बुलंद इतना कि हर तक़दीर से पहले ख़ुदा बन्दे से ख़ुद पूछे बता तेरी रज़ा क्या है(Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehleKhuda bande se khud pooche bata teri raza kya hai)continue reading here...

Art in Kitchen
Corn BhelFrozen American Corn or regular local corn : 1 cup (boiled and drained)Onion : 1 big (finely chopped)Tomato : 1 big (finely chopped)Cucumber : 1 (finely chopped)Mint chutney : 1 tbspTamarind chutney : 1 tbsp Coriander leaves : 2 tbsp (finely chopped)Haldiram Bhujia (spicy) : ½ cuprecipe here...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mouthpiece #14

When Duty Calls...
Decisions, decisions, decisions. We believe that destiny plays a major role in determining the course of our life, yet, often we are expected to choose the paths that are to be taken. continue reading here...
Book Review : Yashodhara
Title : Yashodhara, the Wife of the Bodhisattva: The Sinhala Yasodharavata (The Story of Yasodhara) and the Sinhala Yasodharaopadanaya (The Sacred Biography of Yasodhara) Author : Ranjini Obeyesekere“Through unaccountable eons of measureless time he perfected the Virtues to become a BuddhaFor yet more multiples of measureless time he perfected those same VirtuesFor still more eons multiplied unaccountable times he strove to become a Buddha.Then as a bud matures and comes to bloom, he became a Buddha”


continue here...

What's Brewing? Tawa-baingan
Small or thin and long baingan/brinjal/eggplant - ½ kgRed chilli powder : 1 tspTurmeric powder : ½ tspCoriander powder : 1 tspGaram masala : ½ tspAmchoor (dry mango) powder : ½ tspSalt : to tasteOil : just to grease the tawa
recipe here...

Book Review : Yasodhara, the Wife of Bodhisattva

Title : Yashodhara, the Wife of the Bodhisattva: The Sinhala Yasodharavata (The Story of Yasodhara) and the Sinhala Yasodharaopadanaya (The Sacred Biography of Yasodhara)

Author : Ranjini Obeyesekere

"Through unaccountable eons of measureless time he perfected the Virtues to become a Buddha
For yet more multiples of measureless time he perfected those same Virtues
For still more eons multiplied unaccountable times he strove to become a Buddha.
Then as a bud matures and comes to bloom, he became a Buddha"

Becoming a Buddha is actually a state of enlightenment which is borne out of believing, practicing and executing the virtues like Generosity, Morality, Renunciation, Wisdom, Effort, Patience, Truthfulness, Resolution, Kindness and Equanimity.

Yashodhara : the wife of Bodhisattava, is the translation and compilation of two works : The Sinhala Yasodharavata (The Story of Yasodhara) and the Sinhala Yasodharapadanaya (The Sacred Biography of Yasodhara). While the former is a folk poem bringing out the pathos of a young wife bemoaning the departure of her husband, the latter is more of an account of how Yashodhara accompanies Bodhisattva through various births and her role in being his true soul mate through all their incarnations.

Prince Siddhartha leaves his wife Yashodhara and infant son to embark on his journey towards enlightenment. While being left behind in the palaces, she undergoes various emotions - of love and loss, despair and resignation, which eventually give way to equanimity that is born out of acceptance and understanding.

The author beautifully brings out the essence of the human emotions at the time of such deep loss, "Like all human beings faced with the finality of a loss, she tries to cope in the many ways women have - by recalling past happiness, mourning present absence, reproaching the lost love, questioning her own possible shortcomings. At the same time, because of her own great love, she wishes that no ill befall the loved one in this or any other existence."

The other half of the book focuses on the strong and confident queen who first decides to shun the worldly comforts as and when her consort does far away on his chosen path. Later she follows the footsteps of Bodhisattava as his disciple and a nun. She, who has been with Bodhisattava through all samsaric existences, acquires a state where she decides on the timing of her own death and on preceding the Buddha to nirvana.

The translations are quite readable and understandable. Though actual translated works form a part of the book, the rest of it is a commentary on various aspects including the time at which it is written, the comparison of writing style and detailed explanation of the original text. The author has done a great service to the humanity by extending the reach of this content beyond Sinhala language for wider readers.



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