Monday, March 2, 2015

GIVERS GAIN PHILOSOPHY





Mahabharata is the epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War which was written by Sage Vyasa.  It is the longest poem ever written with over 1.8 million words in total.

Lord Krishna is the central figure in the Mahabharata and he provides the necessary guidance and support to the Pandavas in the Kurukshetra War.




Arjuna the third son among the Pandavas is pitched against Karna.  Karna is born to Kunti before her marriage to Pandu and is a close friend of Duryodana.  He fights the War on behalf of the Kauravas.

Karna is known for his generosity and the following is an interesting story from Mahabharat to depict the greatness of Karna.


Once Krishna and Arjuna were walking towards a village.  Arjuna was pestering Krishna, asking him why Karna should be considered an unparalleled Donor and not him.

Krishna, turned two mountains into gold and then said, “Arjuna, distribute these two gold mountains among villagers, but you must donate every bit of it”.


Arjuna went into the village and proclaimed he was going to donate gold to every villager, and asked them to gather near the mountain.  The villagers sang his praises and Arjuna walked towards the mountains with a huffed up chest.


For two days and two nights Arjuna shoveled gold from the mountain and donated to each villager.  The mountains did not diminish in the slightest.  Most villagers came back and stood in queue within minutes.  Now Arjuna was exhausted, but not ready to let go of his Ego, told Krishna he couldn't go on any longer without rest.


Then Krishna called Karna and told him to donate every bit of the two gold mountains.  Karna called the villagers, and said “Those two Gold mountains are yours”, and walked away.


Arjuna sat dumbfounded and thought “Why this thought has not occurred to me”.
Krishna smiled mischievously and told him, “Arjuna subconsciously, you were attracted to the gold, you regretfully gave it away to each villager, giving them what you thought was a generous amount.  Thus the size of your donation to each villager depended only on your imagination.


Karna holds no such reservations. Look at him walking away after giving away a fortune, he doesn't expect people to sing his praises, he doesn't even care if people talk good or bad about him behind his back. 

That is the sign of a man already on the path of enlightenment.  Giving with an Expectation of a Return in the form of a Compliment or Thanks is not a Gift, then it becomes a Trade.  Give without expecting anything in Return.  Givers Gain.

T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
2nd March 2015








Friday, January 30, 2015

S.AISHWARYA - THE RISING STAR


I was fortunate to attend the concert of S.Aishwarya in the Auditorium of Indian Consultate today morning.  It was a real pleasant treat for the ears as she sings so well.


S.Aishwarya is the Great Grand Daughter of the legend Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi and when I heard the Concert I felt as correctly mentioned by the compere "the legacy continues...".  Aishwarya is the Grand Daughter of Smt.Radha Viswanathan and whenever we listen to the great M.S.Subbulakshmi songs we will get to hear the voice of Radha Viswanathan who was a pillar of support for the legendar MS Amma.

S.Aishwarya gave her first solo concert in 2007 when she was only 11 years old.  She has given more than 200 concerts in the last seven years.  At the age of 17 she really sings very well.  S.Aishwarya is truly a rising star and will be one of the most renowned singers in Carnatic Music circuit in the years to come.



I was completely mesmerised by the singing and some parts of her singing clearly resembled the great MS Amma - not surprising at all.  It was a delight to listen to her as it was the purest form of Music with perfect rendering.  One could see the dedication, sincerity and devotion when she was singing.  I think this youngster will carry on the tradition in the family and continue to sing well for the next several decades.

She has very good tone, range and excellent breath control.  She has all the qualities required for a good Carnatic Singer and above all has the music in her blood being part of the family of great musicians like Smt.MS and Smt.Radha.  When she sang "Kurai ondrum illai" I was taken to a completely different world and I had tears in my eyes.  I heard her sing with eyes closed and could picture the great MS Amma in some parts as there was very close resemblance in the rendition and style.  I think S.Aishwarya will be the true musical heir of the great MS Amma and will shine like her Great Grand Mother in the years to come.

While I am extremely delighted and happy that I attended the concert and heard this great singer, I am little disappointed that I could not record the songs and take pictures as they did not allow mobile phones to be taken inside the Auditorium.

I wish her all the very best and look forward to many more such concerts.

T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
30th January 2015.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

SOMETHING SMAK


SOMETHING SMAK is a new born enterprise which was founded on the 1st January 2015 by two young first generation entrepreneurs in Dubai.  2015 is going to be a year of start-ups.  I read recently in a magazine in India that lot of new ventures will come up in the year 2015.

The products are services are now being transmitted more than being transported.  In this era of technological advancement we will see more and more start ups which will be operated only with one laptop and no other infrastructure.  These start ups will have the greatest advantage of being low or almost zero on fixed costs and hence the products and services are bound to be priced reasonably.

In any buying decision the clinching moment when the decision is made is actually when the consumer mentally compares the Perceived Value with the Price.  Irrespective of whether the product is needed or not the buying decision is made when the consumer feels that the perceived value is higher than the price.

Start Up Enterprises also have the greatest advantage of using the social media and hence do not even need a Server or a Website for advertising and showcasing their products and services.

I am going to write a series of articles on Start Ups in 2015 and first one I have chosen is Something SMAK.

The idea and the concept of focusing on Jewellery  is very good.  The young and old today are keen to possess Jewellery, Accessories which are in fashion.  
We have a saying in tamil "Aal paadhi aadai paadhi" which means that the person is only 50% and the other 50% is the dress and accessories that one is wearing.  

If you look good you will obviously feel good.  When you feel good you are confident and you perform better.  Hence it is important for all of us to look good first.
I have invited quite a few friends of mine to like the facebook page of Something SMAK today morning and then decided to follow-up with this write up with some pictures.
 The art of making jewellery with paper is called "Quilling". It is handmade with quilling tools. These paper quilled jewellery are absolutely light in weight and can be made to suit the taste of any generation.

Terracotta jewellery is made out of Clay. The clay is made into the desired shapes and sizes, baked in an oven and then hand painted. Terracotta jewellery look very elegant on any Indian outfit.









The designs are trendy and some of the products I feel can be worn by all age groups.  The concept, designs and style are really very eye catching and appealing.  

These Jewellery are quite nicely done with natural products which are environmentally safe.  Each piece is hand crafted with precision and comes with unique design and high quality.

The two youngsters who have started Something Smak in Dubai are doing this as a pastime with lot of passion and involvement.  
Please visit the facebook page and order for the Jewellery of Something SMAK:

https://www.facebook.com/SomethingSmak

I wish the Something Smak Team all the very best in 2015.  You have made a good beginning and you will surely grow your business and be successful.  

T.P.Anand
3rd January 2015
Dubai, U.A.E.




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

KONARK SUN TEMPLE



Konark Sun Temple is an architectural marvel built in 1250 and truly an amazing and astounding structure.  I was stunned by the level of detailing and the precision with which this structure has been built so many centuries ago.

This magnificent Sun Temple is designed in the shape of a huge chariot which is pulled by seven horses and has twelve pairs of wheels each 10 ft. height fixed on either side.  It is part of the World Heritage Sites.

The Sundial in the Sun Temple which is used to tell the time is a marvelous creation.  Watch this wonderful video on the Sundial:



I have seen the photos of Konark Temple and I have also had a glimpse of the temple in some of the movies.  The real impact was felt only when I visited the temple with my wife on 21st December 2014.  It was really stunning to stand in front of the Temple and quite bewildering to go around and see this architectural marvel from close quarters.  You can see the sculptures with such precision.  There was one sculpture where the teeth is clearly visible.  The images carved on the walls of the temple truly depict the day to day life with such precision and immaculate detailing.


Every single carving in the temple is so intricate and stunning that I was in a trance.  It is indeed a very rare monument and I was really foturnate to have looked at it in real.  The guide we engaged was really amazing as he explained each and every part of the temple.

There is a separate structure in front of the Chariot called the Natamandir.  There is a tradition of dance festival in December each year and the dancers perform in this Natamandir right in front of the Sun Temple.

The trip to Odhisha, West Bengal and Assam over the last couple of weeks has been an unique experience.  There is so much more to see in India and so much more to learn about the tradition, history and culture.

WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.

T.P.Anand
Guwahati, India
30th December 2014


Saturday, December 6, 2014

HIMALAYAN ROCK SALT


Himalayan Rock Salt is the purest form of Salt and contains several minerals.  It is very good for health.  I remember my grandmother and mother using rock salt for cooking in those days.  I visited recently PME General Trading in JLT and was astonished to find that there are so many products that are made out of Himalayan Salt.  I am going to visit their outlet in Outlet Mall today evening and get some of these products.

All the products have their own specific application and every one of them is actually applied for Health and Wellness.

1. Cooking Salt:
This is the purest form of salt that is very healthy and is best for use as cooking salt.  There are no chemicals in the Himalayan Cooking Salt and hence it is healthy and keeps you in wellness.

2. Horse Salt Lick: 
Horses need intake of salt like human beings.  Whenever they feel the need for salt they would lick the salt block that is kept in the stable.

3. Salt Lamps: 
It's really quite simple... a heated crystal salt lamp...
  • Attracts humidity causing the surface of the salt crystal to become moist
  • Creates a buildup of ions and removes moisture from your air
  • Binds excessive positive ions with their negative ions
  • Helps to neutralize the "electro-smog" in your air and reduces allergens and irritants
  • Creates potential soothing effects for you from multi-colored salt crystals
4. Salt Candle Holders:
Salt crystal candle holders can help relieve fatigue by reducing the electromagnetic pollution put out by office equipment and help improve your concentration. Because the negative ions released by the salt crystal calm the air around you, it can also help you sleep better at night. This will leave you refreshed in the morning instead of overtired from the reliving the stress of the day in your dreams.

5. Salt Bowl:

6. Salt Plates:
You can place the Salt Plate on the gas stove and cook the food on the plate.  It stays hot for a long long time and the food gets tastier.  You can even put ice cream on salt plate and it will not melt for a long time.

7. Salt Pipe Inhaler:

8. Salt Bath Soap:

9. Salt Massage Stones: 

10. Bath Salt: 

11. Salt Room:
An hour's relaxation in the Salt Room can do a world of wonders for your mind and body.

The Himalayan Rock Salt is coming from Pakistan where there is a 300km stretch on which the Rock Salt is available.

The Khewra Salt Mine is the second largest salt mine in the world, the first being Goderich, Ontario in Canada.  The Himalayan Salt is 250 million years old and has 84 different minerals and elements which are essential for our body.

Listen to what a renowned Physician says about the benefits of the purest form of Salt:



This is a natural product with no preservatives, no additives, no artificial flavours and is very healthy and is the purest form of Salt.  It is truly amazing to see how the Himalayan Salt has so many applications and use for the Wellness and Health.  Let us use the Himalayan Salt and stay healthy.

T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
6th December 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

SPECTACULAR MISSION



There are many many people in this world who have visual impairment and are unable to afford even a pair of spectacles.  There is a seventeen year old Indian Girl who is on a "Spectacular Mission".  She collect used spectacles and donates them to a Non Government Organisation, who in turn make these spectacles usable for the needy.

This Spectacular Mission is started by Aarushi Gupta who is a resident in New Delhi in India.  She says providing spectacles to the poor people can fill a is a very basic need as it will eliminate the avoidable blindness.  What a spectacular effort and noble thought.  Hats off to Aarushi for taking this unique initiative at that young age.

This young girl has collected more than 1500 spectacles and helped poor people to regain vision.  If a young girl can collect 1500 spectacles through her sustained efforts, I am sure each and every one of us can collect atleast 100 spectacles each year through our own known contact circles.

I am sure in every household there will be atleast couple of old spectacles which is catching dust in one of the corners of the house.  These old spectacles are of no use to the people living in that house but can be very very useful to a poor person in some corner of this world.  

Throwing the unwanted or used spectacles in the Dust Bin is not at all a good decision.  These spectacles can be probably used by someone in need.  Secondly, by throwing them in the dust bin we are only causing environmental hazard.  By donating the used spectacles to the poor we are not only helping someone with vision but we are also saving the environment.  Recyling the used frames would mean lesser amount of metals and plastics ending up in the landfills thus reducing the carbon emission.



Vision 2020 is a global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness.  This is a joint programme of World Health Organisation and International Agency for the Preventive Blindness.
According to some reports there are more than 285 million people in the world who are visually impaired.  Out of these 39 million are completely blind and the remaining 246 million have low vision.  These are people who need a spectacle to be able to see clearly but cannot afford to buy them.  I clearly understand the need for spectacles as my vision is very poor without the spectacles and I just cannot read if I do not wear them.

Vision 2020 is a great initiative to complete remove avoidable blindness by the year 2020.  It is a very small action at our end to donate used spectacles but it can made a very big difference as it will provide vision to a needy person somewhere in the world.

It is so amazing that many such small actions makes a big difference in life.



Let us start with some small actions - if not every day atleast one small action every week.  That would mean 52 small actions in a year making 52 very big differences in very many peoples lives across the globe.

T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
1st December 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

RETRO WALKING



Retro Walking is nothing but walking backwards.  Yes walk backwards by looking over your shoulder.

The Backward Walking or Retro Walking is said to have originated from China where people have practiced it for good health.  Retro Walking became quite a rage in Japan and some parts of Europe as people took to this to build muscle and to improve their performance at sports.  When you walk backwards it puts less stress on the heals which leads to changes in the pelvic alignment.  This would inturn help to open up the facet joints in your spine, potentially alleviating pressure that may cause lower back pain in some people.  Walking backwards also puts less strain on the knee joints thus making it ideal for people who have chronic knee problems or knee injuries.


This has been proved medically to be a very good solution for those who have lower back pain and for those who have knee problems.  How easy or difficult it is to walk backwards something which can be answered only when you try that.  Research has proved that 100 steps Retro Walking is as good as 1000 steps of normal/conventional walking.

There are basically 10 benefits that you would get by doing Retro Walking:

  1. The muscles of the front (tibialis anterior) and back (gastro/achilles) of the shin and ankle are strengthened, owing to the increased strain of performing an unfamiliar exercise.
  2. Walking backward increases cardiovascular endurance significantly more than walking forward under the same conditions.
  3. We expend more energy and burn more calories than those who work out at the same pace consistently for a longer duration. When engaging in a new activity which requires a greater effort, we exert ourselves more. The increased metabolism will result in weight loss for those who press on.
  4. Studies have shown that using other muscle groups by performing different exercises protects our muscles and tendons from overuse. The knee joint and the patella joint (the joint where the kneecap glides on the knee), in particular, benefit from backward walking.
  5. Adding a new activity to our regular exercise routine prevents boredom, so we are less likely to stop exercising.
  6. For those over 50, improving our balance and coordination is even more important. Backward locomotion improves the functions of our cerebellum which coordinates and balances our bodily movements as well as flexibility.
  7. Because we are on the constant lookout for danger and obstacles on our path, practically all of the five senses (and even the sixth) are sharpened.
  8. Our reflexes are sharpened at the same time.
  9. It can help prevent the development of a hunchback.
  10. It promotes blood circulation and prevents lumbago.

I have decided to do RetroWalking as part of my daily walking routine and walk backwards atleast for about 500 meters a day, to start with.


Mr.Mani Manithan has been walking backwards for the last 25 years in his private protest against war and violence.  He lives in Tirupattur in Tamil Nadu, India and has been consciously walking backwards for the last 25 years.  He says he started walking backwards not to turn his back his back against violence but to attract attention of people and make them think of ways to bring about world peace.  He even maintained silence for nearly 17 years from 1989 to 2006 and during this period he refused to talk even one word.  


After 25 years of walking backwards, Mani has forgotton how to walk normally like everyone else.  He says he has become comfortable walking backwards and now it is almost impossible to walk forwards. Hats off to Mani Manithan for whatever he has been doing so far to create the awareness on world peace.

Whilst it is important to work towards World Peace, it is difficult to emulate what some of the people are doing to achieve it.  At best we can admire them and try to get inspired by them.

Regards,
T.P.Anand
Dubai, U.A.E.
22nd November 2014