Friday, July 29, 2016

RUNNING ON FAILURE




This article is written by Pradip who has just completed his Grade 12 Exam and is joining soon in Purdue University for his under graduate programme in Mechanical Engineering.  He is the son of my Family Doctor Dr.Gandhi Murugan, who has been directing me on all my health issues over the last 15 years.

The world isn’t short on quotes about failure; from Thomas Edison’s “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” to Bill Gates’ “Its fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed to the lessons of failure”.  Despite the negative connotations associated with “failure”, it never fails to motivate humans to get back on the path they were on, provided that they are strong enough to accept their mistakes and be able to brave the unknown that’s yet to come.  It’s been said that failure often works wonders but I stand by the opinion that failure is that rap on the head which serves as a reality check and what you do next defines the kind of person you are.


The failures that I was beset by growing up has moulded me into the person that I am now.                                                                                                                    

The most pertinent one occurred when I was in the 5th Grade.  I was up against a good friend named Joshua for the Gold Medal in Academic Excellence.  My school handed these out to only 3 students from a population of about 4500 every year.  I knew I had worked hard, and I thought I deserved it in every sense and, therefore, had to get it no matter what happened.  I felt like even God couldn’t stop me from getting that medal if He wanted to.  But come the moment of calling the winner onstage, I was the one who was left behind, broken down and defeated, in the half-lit spotlight when Joshua received the honor along with his parents.  It was then that I realized that bleeding hearts have an ironic fear of their own blood.  I did get a consolation prize, but no one ever understood why I let this loss get to me.  

After all, I was just a kid in secondary school with his whole life ahead of him.  But the world doesn’t reward the person who tried the hardest or longest or the person who came second, and this was the dilemma that the deterred 10-year-old me faced because I worked too hard to come within an arm’s reach of the prize only to have my hand cut off just before I seized it.  It wasn’t the loss of the medal that threw me off-balance, it was my failure to prove myself to my father. Coming from humble beginnings, my father is a testament that hard work and dedication is the key to achieving one’s dreams.  I was often reminded of this when my father recounted his stories of failure to me and how he overcame them to become the man he is now.  I fell short on my goal to make my dad proud that night and I’ll always remember it as the day I almost won.  I realized that failures are a necessity rather than a necessary evil on the path of realizing one’s dreams.  Even though it wasn’t much of a deal to those around me, it was a defining experience as my self-confidence was shattered that night which in turn fueled me to rebuild it stronger than before to make up for the moment that my father and I missed out on.


Going back, I later found out that I lost out on the medal by a paltry margin of two marks.  Every experience I’ve had from that night henceforth was both an attempt to make up for those two marks and a result of what I learned when my building blocks came crashing down. 



Staying true to the beginning, “It’s best to have failure happen early in life. It wakes up the Phoenix in you so you rise from the ashes”.

Pradip Krishna Murugan
Dubai, U.A.E.
29th July 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

7 CHAKRAS IN HUMAN BODY



There are 114 Chakras in our human body and Chakras represents a meeting point where several energy points meet.  Out of these 114 Chakras the most important Chakras are the 7 Chakras.

The Human Body can be regulated and controlled by the mind if all the 7 chakras are in alignment and properly controlled.  Each of these seven chakras are at different strategic points in the human body and they are meant for controlling and regulating our emotions and instincts.  Each Chakra has a connotation and is also associated with a colour.

These Seven Chakras are Mooladhara Chakra (Root or Base); Svadishtan Chakra (Sacral); Manipurak Chakra (Solar Plexus); Anahat Chakra (Heart); Vishuddha Chakra (Throat); Agya Chakra (Brow or Third Eye) and Sahasrara Chakra (Crown).  While the six chakras are in the body the Seventh Chakra which is Sahasrara Chakra is just above the body.  These chakras are aligned and arranged along the backbone in our human body.







The smooth flow of energy through the human body is extremely critical and important for our health.  A very healthy body would mean perfectly aligned body with all the 7 chakras well synchronized and aligned for smooth flow of energy.

Blocked energy in our seven chakras can often lead to illness, so it's important to understand what each chakra represents and what we can do to keep this energy flowing freely. Here's our quick summary:

1. Root Chakra — Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded.
  • Location: Base of spine in tailbone area.
  • Emotional issues: Survival issues such as financial independence, money and food. 
2. Sacral Chakra — Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences.
  • Location: Lower abdomen, about two inches below the navel and two inches in.
  • Emotional issues: Sense of abundance, well-being, pleasure and sexuality.
3. Solar Plexus Chakra — Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives.
  • Location: Upper abdomen in the stomach area.
  • Emotional issues: Self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem.
4. Heart Chakra — Our ability to love.
  • Location: Center of chest just above the heart.
  • Emotional issues: Love, joy and inner peace.
5. Throat Chakra — Our ability to communicate.
  • Location: Throat.
  • Emotional issues: Communication, self-expression of feelings and the truth.
6. Third Eye Chakra — Our ability to focus on and see the big picture.
  • Location: Forehead between the eyes (also called the Brow Chakra).
  • Emotional issues: Intuition, imagination, wisdom and the ability to think and make decisions.
7. Crown Chakra — The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually.

  • Location: The very top of the head.
  • Emotional issues: Inner and outer beauty, our connection to spirituality and pure bliss.
All meditation and yoga systems seek to balance out the energy of the chakras by purifying the lower energies and guiding them upwards.

Regards,
T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
17th June 2016


Sunday, May 8, 2016

JAGAT PAVANI GANGA


I was fortunate and blessed to attend the Kala Sadhanalaya presentation "Jagat Pavani Ganga" a unique Dance-Music-Theatre Presentation at Narada Gana Sabha (Sadguru Gnanananda Hall) on Saturday, 7th May 2016.

It was a spectacular presentation very neatly and tightly packed in 100 minutes with rich music and a great message on "Save River Ganga".  This presentation is truly a great contibution and education to the people on the need and urgency of a very serious issue.  We all know that Ganga is polluted but there is nothing that we are doing as responsible citizens of this country.  Here when I write we I am only thinking of my family as there are some people who are continuously making noise for keeping River Ganga Clean.

Photography and Videography was strictly prohibited and hence I do not have any photos or videos from the Programme.  However, there is a teaser released by one of the dancers Manasvini which will give you a very brief glimpse of the Programme.


The Hall was packed to full capacity and everyone was mesmerized by the presentation.  As a fitting tribute the entire audience gave a standing ovation to the Kala Sadhanalaya Team.  There was rich music, excellently synchronized dance, brief narrative with emotion, mimed play behind the white screen and thus a wholesome package.  A great treat to the eyes and ears conveying a very strong message but in a very nice, soothing, pleasant manner.  The presentation very elegantly showed the glory of the River Ganga with specific emphasis on preserving Her purity and sanctity.


The entire concept was designed and choreographed by Smt.Revathi Ramachandran who performed with the team on the stage.  The dancers were Revathi Ramachandran, Aarti Mohan, Anjana Anand, Aparnaa S, Divya Arumugam, K.M.Jayakrishnan, Madhusudhanan, Manasvini Korukkai Ramachandran, L.Nidheesh Kumar, Niyanthri Muthuramalingam, Saindhavi, Sreenath N.R.

The Music Composition was by Lalgudi G.J.R.Krishnan who has really done an exceptionally great job.  I wish this album is released by him as a CD for the benefit of music lovers.


I wish this programme is staged several times over the next several years until we see a Clean River Ganga.

Great & Unique Show - Well Presented - Very Pleasing - Touching - Unforgettable Experience.

Thanks a lot to the entire team for presenting such a unique Programme which was a very nice treat to the audience.

Regards,
TP Anand
Chennai,
8th May 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

R.S.MANOHAR


The lion of Tamil Stage Drama late Shri.R.S.Manohar was one of the finest actors in those days.  He passed away on 10th January 2006.  On the 10 year death anniversary of this great actor I have remembered him and thought of writing an article.

I have watched most of his stage drama in those days as a young boy.  I still remember the trick shots and the magic that he used to create on the stage.  The stage dramas that I vividly remember watching as a young boy are:


  1. Ilangeswaran (top of the list, ofcourse)
  2. Chanakiya Sabadam
  3. Sukrachariyar
  4. Naragasooran
  5. Indrajith
He started his career in stage drama went on to become a hero in Indian Tamil Cinema.  Very soon he got branded as a villain and hence he ended up acting in more than 200 films as villain.  He has acted in almost all the films of the Late M.G.R. as his villain.

I have always enjoyed his acting whether it is in movies or on stage plays.  He was a majestic man with a manly voice and used to roar like a Lion on the stage.

I am really fortunate to have been born in Chennai that too in the 1960s as I had the privilege of watching such legendary actors like R.S.Manohar both on stage as well as on screen.

Long Live R.S.Manohar's Drama and Legacy that he has left behind in staging mythological stories.

T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
10th January 2016

Saturday, December 19, 2015

B.K.S.IYENGAR - THE YOGA LEGEND


Shri.B.K.S.Iyengar is the Yoga Legend who is considered one of the greatest experts of all times.  My friend Sampath has written a nice piece in his blog on 14th December 2015 and I am reproducing that article here with his permission.

https://youtu.be/fcPjvp4La8A


===========================
14th December 2015

Did you google today and observe that different ‘0’ in Google !! ~ a search takes us to articles in Independent.co.uk; Telegraph.co.uk., BBC, Huffington Post – and all of them on a man who passed away last year, who would have been 97 today. 


It is Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, born in 1918 into a poor family in southern India - one of 13 children, of whom only 10 survived. He was sickly as a child - suffering from malaria and typhoid - and was introduced to yoga by a brother-in-law who ran a school in Mysore as part of an effort to restore his health.  At the age of 18 Iyengar became a teacher in the city of Pune, practising what he called an "art and science". His career was to  last more than than eight decades.  In Pune he taught Menuhin. The music maestro had complained that he could not relax or sleep, but in an interview with the veteran India broadcaster Sir Mark Tully in 2001, Guru Iyengar said “within one minute”, he was “snoring happily away”. The violinist was so impressed that he invited his guru to Switzerland in 1954.  It was the break that launched him on the West, and visits to the US and the rest of Europe followed.  Aldous Huxley, the author, was another of his famed disciples.

www.independent.co.uk writes :  BKS Iyengar: Four facts you need to know about the yoga guru behind today's Google Doodle.  Those four interesting facts are :   

1.His brother-in-law was known as the “father of modern yoga”  :  In 1934, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya first invited his young, sickly brother-in-law to train with him in what was then the kingdom of Mysore (now Karnataka state) in southern India to improve his health. Krishnamacharya was one of the key figures behind the revival of “hatha yoga” - from which Iyengar yoga developed - in the early 20th century which focused on the correct alignment of the body.  

2.  He owed his international success to an American violinist :  In 1952, Yehudi Menuhin befriended BKS Iyengar. Menuhin believed doing yoga improved his playing and invited him to Switzerland with him in 1954.  After that visit, Iyengar travelled frequently to the west to demonstrate his special technique and hundreds of Iyengar yoga centres sprang up around the world.

3. He taught the 85-year-old Queen Elisabeth of Belgium how to do a headstand :  Iyengar was first introduced to the dowager Queen in 1958 and she told him she wanted to learn how to do his signature sirasana headstand. She gave him a bust of his head which she had sculpted herself. In 1965, he visited her again to help her regain some control of her movements after she suffered a stroke at 92.

4. His children became celebrated yoga teachers as well  :  His eldest daughter Geeta and his son Prashant have become internationally renowned yoga practitioners and now run the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute - which BKS Iyengar founded in 1975 in honour of his late wife. He also trained his granddaughter, Abhijata Sridhar Iyengar as a yoga teacher for many years and she now teaches at the institute and abroad.

Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar (1918 – 2014), better known as B.K.S. Iyengar,  authored many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Light on Life.   The Indian government awarded Iyengar the Padma Shri in 1991, the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2014.  In 2004, Iyengar was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

Iyengar supported nature conservation, donated Rs. 2 million to Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore, thought to be the largest donation by an individual to any zoo in India.  Iyengar helped promote awareness of multiple sclerosis with the Pune unit of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of India.  His  most important charitable project involved donations to his ancestral village of Bellur, in the Kolar district of Karnataka. Through a trust fund that he established, he led a transformation of the village, supporting a number of charitable activities there. He built a hospital, India's first temple dedicated to Sage Patanjali, a free school that supplies uniforms, books, and a hot lunch to the children of Bellur and the surrounding villages, a secondary school, and a college.

Great man indeed !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th Dec 2015
===================================

Regards,
T.P.Anand
Chennai,India.
19th December 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

YELLAPRAGADA SUBBAROW



I am going to share about a great Indian scientist of the 20th century perhaps not just India but the entire world.

We all know that even today cancer is one of the most feared diseases of the world and till today scientists and doctors are working to completely cure it.  It is interesting to know that significant work in this field was done by a scientist

Yellapragada Subbarow led one of the most important researches in America during World War II.

He discovered the role of phosphocreatine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an energy source in the cell.  This lead to the foundation of biochemistry and all the further discoveries in this field are directly or indirectly influenced by this.

He developed methotrexate for the treatment of cancer.  This, without a doubt, is the single most important drug for the treatment of innumerable cancers.  He has saved literally millions of life through this drug.




He was one of the best minds India has ever produced.

Rhea Ravikumar
Toulouse, France
12th December 2015

Note: Rhea is my eldest brother T.P.Ravikumar's daughter and is 9 years old.

- T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
13th December 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

SUPER SINGER 5 - TOP 5



This year's Super Singer contest has been one of the best in my opinion and the competition has been very tough.  The competitors are so good that it is difficult to choose amongst the top 33 which has now got reduced to 9 today.

The top nine contestants who are in the fray for the coveted title of Super Singer 5 are:

  1. Lakshmi
  2. Priya
  3. Fareeda
  4. Anand 
  5. Arjun
  6. Raja Ganapathy
  7. Nirujan
  8. Siyad and
  9. Hari
While all the above 9 are good and there could be some surprise entrants through the Wild Card this competition can swing in any whichever way.  It is extremely difficult to predict who will ultimately make it to the Top 5 for the Finals.

My prediction based on the performances so far is that the following contestants will make it to the Final of the Super Singer Season 5:
  1. Lakshmi
  2. Fareedha
  3. Anand Aravindakshan
  4. Arjun
  5. Raja Ganapathy
Having said that I also feel that Siyad could give a tough time for Arjun and sneak into the final at the last minute.  Arjun has been performing exceptionally well particularly after forgetting the lyrics and hence I would give him an edge over Siyad.  The other two dark horses and surprise final contestants through wild card could be Kiran Shravan and Sowmya.  Both of them are great singers and very versatile singers.

Lakshmi:  She is a very consistent singer and I liked the way she is handling herself.  Very calm and composed and sings all the genres of music very comfortably.  Her presentation of Oh Butterfly in front of SPB was an ultimate treat.


Fareedha: Fareedha gave some extraordinary performances and had a bad patch as well for few weeks.  She has the experience of being a stage singer and is able to handle the melodies very well.  She tried a few songs outside of her comfort zone and did well.  I particularly liked her performance in the dedication round.


Anand Aravindakshan:  One of the most consistent performers in this season.  I like the smile on his face and the attitude.  To me he is the one of the best singers in this season right from the beginning.  Even in top 33 he showed the signs of reaching to the Finals.  Exceptionally well talented and high gifted singer.  He sang Kannamma in front of SPB very well and SPB was in tears.  I liked his rendition of the Raghavendra Song in the Classical Round:


Arjun Adapalli: Arjun has been a very special contestant and the attitude and involvement he has exhibited in every performance is fantastic.  He can inspire several other singers with his total dedication and involvement.  He has the rare ability to get into the spirit of the song and performs with ease.  Though he forgot the lyrics in one of the competitions, I feel he is a very good singer who will do well as a professional singer.  His rendition of Uchi Vagudeduthu was a great performance:


Raja Ganapathy:  Raja is a star and has been performing in the Super Singer Juniors for the last three years.  His versatility is clealy pitching him as one of the favourite contender for the title.  He was singing initially only classical songs because of his strong Carnatic Music training. 


Finally it could be a clash between Lakshmi, Anand and Raja for the title at the end.

All the best to all the singers.  You guys are doing a great job and the amount of entertainment you are providing to regular Super Singer viewers like me is invaluable and truly appreciated.

Regards,
T.P.Anand 
Dubai,
4th December 2015