Home remady for Swine flu

It is essential to remember that all kinds of viruses and bacteria can attack you when your immune system is weak, or they can weaken it easily. Hence, building your own defences would be a better, more practical, long-lasting and much more economical idea.

Here are some easy steps you can take to tackle a flu virus of any kind, including swine flu. It is not necessary to follow all the steps at once. You can pick and choose a combination of remedies that suit you best. However, if you are already suffering from flu, these measures can help only up to an extent. And, if you have been infected by H1N1, visiting a hospital and staying in solitary confinement is a must.

1. Have five duly washed leaves of Tulsi (known as Basil in English; medicinal name Ocimum sanctum) everyday in the morning. Tulsi has a large number of therapeutic properties. It keeps throat and lungs clear and helps in infections by way of strengthening your immunity.

2. Giloi (medicinal name Tinospora cordifolia) is a commonly available plant in many areas. Take a one-foot long branch of giloi, add five to six leaves of Tulsi and boil in water for 15-20 minutes or long enough to allow the water to extract its properties. Add black pepper and sendha
(salt used during religious fasts), rock or black salt, or Misri(crystalised sugar like lumps to make it sweet) according to taste. Let it cool a bit and drink this kadha (concoction) while still warm. It will work wonders for your immunity. If giloi plant is not available, get processed giloi powder from Hamdard or others, and concoct a similar drink once a day.

3. A small piece of camphor (kapoor) approximately the size of a tablet should be taken once or twice a month. It can be swallowed with water by adults while children can take it along with mashed potatoes or banana because they will find it difficult to have it without any aides. Please
remember camphor is not to be taken everyday, but only once each season, or once a month.

Note: People with G6PD deficiency ( I am one of them) should not use camphor, its a poison for them. If you feel weak after having camphor, consult your doctor immediately. If you are not sure of your G6PD status, don't take risk.

4. Those who can take garlic, must have two pods of raw garlic first thing in the morning. To be swallowed daily with lukewarm water. Garlic too strengthens immunity like the earlier measures mentioned.

5. Those not allergic to milk, must take a glass of hot or lukewarm milk every night with a small measure of haldi (turmeric).

6. Aloe vera (gwarpatha) too is a commonly available plant. Its thick and long, cactus-like leaves have an odourless gel. A teaspoon gel taken with water daily can work wonders for not only your skin and joint pains, but also boost immunity.

7. Take homeopathic medicines — Pyrogenium 200 and Inflenzium 200 in particular — five tablets three times a day, or two-three drops three times a day. While these are not specifically targeted at H1N1 either, these work well as preventive against common flu virus.

8. Do Pranayam daily (preferably under guidance if you are already not initiated into it) and go for morning jog/walk regularly to keep your throat and lungs in good condition and body in fine fettle. Even in small measures, it will work wonders for your body’s resistance against all such
diseases which attack the nose, throat and lungs, besides keeping you fit.

9. Have citrus fruits, particularly Vitamin C rich Amla (Indian gooseberry) juice. Since fresh Amla is not yet available in the market (not for another three to four months), it is not a bad idea to buy packaged Amla juice which is commonly available nowadays.

10. Last but not the least, wash your hands frequently every day with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds; especially before meals, or each time after touching a surface that you suspect could be contaminated with flu virus such as a door handle or a knob/handle, especially if you have returned from a public place or used public transport. Alcohol-based hand cleaners should be kept handy at all times and used until you can get soap and warm water.

For point 8 above, you can contact me. For point 9, you can order over telephone on Uniheal Foods. Delivery any where in India. Amla Panchamrut is very good to improve your immunity. All required herbs already included.

Source: Modified version of a forwarded mail

Sixth Sense: the technological way

MIT Media lab project:

'SixthSense' is a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information.

Dialing a number with dialpad projected on hand:

The device consists of a camera, a projector, and a mobile for communication. Simple hand gestures are recognized and online help is available any time. If you want to take a picture, simple, just make a gesture of taking a picture and its done..


Live demo

Or: Youtube link

Pranav Mistry is IIT Bombay Alumni, M. Des. 2005 batch from IDC IIT Bombay.

Qualifications of a Researcher

Researcher: One who is keen in learning/knowing about some thing that interests him/her.

Having the following qualification, a researcher can accelerate in his/her research. The more you are having these qualities, better will be your research outcome.

  1. Acknowledging that I know very little and there is so much to learn: Acknowledging this fact is the first qualification of a researcher. The moment a researcher develops an "I know everything" attitude, his/her growth diminishes.
  2. Urge to learn more: Many will acknowledge that they know little but will not have an urge to know more. The burning desire to reach the very depth of your problem is absolutely essential in attaining excellence.
  3. Non-judgmental open-hearted attitude towards research: Based on your prior experience, there will be some notions about research, particularly related to your area. You need to step out of the familiar confines of these notions and be open to new ideas, new ways of doing things. This is like looking at a diamond. If you look at it from one side, you will get only one view thereby missing all the other possible dimensions of the same diamond. A non-judgmental and open hearted attitude will open all the perspectives for you.
  4. Giving priority to Truth and Research before your personal comfort and conveniences: Research has to be the priority even preceding your personal comfort. If you are comfortable with yourself then you will do your research of that level only. You will not achieve the highest level of research and hence the satisfaction. If you are resisting discomfort, your process of learning is always hampered. If you have this attitude then you will not be able to see the depth of any thing. Your relationship with discomfort plays a major role. If you are comfortable to be uncomfortable, your learning process is much faster. The discomfort is because of certain weakness within yourself. Suppose you are required to work on a research problem in the subject in which you are weak, then in such a situation 1) You will try to avoid the work; or 2) If you can not avoid it then you will be unhappy/frustrated doing that work. A true researcher has a different perspective. You should take this as an opportunity to learn something new. Once you have mastered the topic, you will be looking for something new to explore.
  5. Complete Commitment to Research Area: Once you have zeroed down on a particular area of research, you must be totally committed to that topic and stop moving around in different areas of research. This is important because as you go deeper and deeper into one particular field of research, your line of thinking develops in a particular way and the moment you change your field, your thinking has to again realign with that new area. If you want to dig a well for water then your need to dig deep at one place and not small pits at many places. The same way you need to focus on your research area rather than just moving around.
  6. Having patience and perseverance: This quality is a key to the success of a researcher. Many a times, what you think will work, will actually not work and you will get dejected, feel low and might even think of giving up. Having patience and perseverance will help you to be on the path till you get to the success.

Apart from knowing the qualities of a researcher, it is also interesting to know why people turn away from research. The three reasons that puts people off from research are:

  1. Confidence in their own inabilities: People are so much confident about their inabilities that they do not even think of research as an option. They are not aware what they can do and hence are not even thinking of research. A saying in this regard goes very well here: If you know what you can do then you will progress. If you don't know what you can do then you will progress by leaps and bounds.
  2. Fear of failure & What will people think about me: This is another reason for people turning away from research. Their insecurity regarding the research outcome compels them not to go for it.
  3. Lower level of energy: A person with lower enthusiasm toward study will take research as burden and will not opt for it as a career option.

Make research your journey and not just your goal

PS: The article is an adaptation of an article on “Signs of a seeker” by H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Celebrating Silence and a discourse by Rishi Nityapragya, Art of Living advanced course teacher on “Qualifications of a seeker”. A seeker in this context, is a person who is interested in knowing more about Self.

PPS: Thanks to all those who helped me fine tune this article.

चुनाव की चाट !!

पत्नी बोली, चखकर देखें, इस बार के चुनाव की चाट !!
इस चटपटी चाट की, कुछ अलग लग रही बात !!

Congress की खस्ता कचौड़ी, BJP की पानी पूरी
3rd Front की खिचड़ी चाट, 4th Front की अभी अधूरी !

Varun की stall पर स्वागत हुआ, धर्म के उसी आलू से
Bulldozer से कुचल दिया, रहा गया ना लालू से !

Mayawati ने तुरंत छिड़का, NSA का गरम मसाला
BJP ने अपनाया आलू को, और प्रचार कर डाला !

Advani ने "week PM" की, लाल मिर्च तबियत से डाली
PM ने भी पुरानी Kandahar की, बड़ी हरी मिर्च निकाली !

Modi बोले Congress की खट्टी चटनी, अब बुढिया जैसी दिखती है
Priyanka की मीठी चटनी पड़ने से, "गुड़िया जैसी दिखती है" !

Advani ने "गुलाम" के छोले संग, पानी पूरी पकडा दी
Sonia ने "संघ के गुलाम" की, खट्टी दही बिखरा दी !

चटनी के संग अब चाट में, कीचड़ भी पड़ने लगी
आचार संहिता की श्वेत साड़ी, काली सी दिखने लगी !

Chidambaram, Advani की stalls पर, जाना ज़रा सम्भल के
तीर चल रहे उनके stalls पर, जूतों और चप्पल के !

Pawar छिड़क रहे मीठी चटनी, सारे ही चाट stalls पर
PM बनने का मौका है, बात है उनके होठों पर !

कौन किससे मिल रहा, गठजोड़ की इस मजबूरी में
सेव-पूरी है टिक्की संग, दही-बड़ा डूबा पानी-पूरी में !
मीठी चटनी लिपट रही, हरी मिर्च के संग
लाल संग गठबन्धन में, मिल रहा है हरा रंग !

खट्टी, मीठी या तीखी हो, चाट तो हमको खानी ही है
पेट सलामत रहे पांच वर्ष, उम्मीद तो कम लगती ही है !
लगता है जल्दी ही हम सबको, पेट-दर्द की गोली खानी होगी
एक - दो वर्ष में ही हमको, नयी चाट बनानी होगी !!

- Raj Seth
18th April, 2009

Disclaimer: This is a forwarded mail. I would like give credit to the author, who so ever he/she is. Could not get any pointer on google.

Spirituality, politics deal with people

by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar...

Both spirituality or religion and politics deal with human beings. A politics devoid of spirituality is infested with corruption and creates an unethical atmosphere of manoeuvred situations, circumstances and people. If you do not recognise the individual or universal spirit, there is no reason for you to be ethical. Politics without ethics and human values would result in chaos, crime and corruption.

The goal of politics is to bring good governance and increase material, emotional and physical comfort of people. The aim of spirituality is to boost morality and human values. Both politics and spirituality need to go hand in hand.

For good governance, spirituality is necessary. Only spirituality can invoke commitment, care and confidence. Spiritual people live the values, which are absolutely essential for those in governance. A leader has to be a samadarshi , one who sees everyone as being equal; satyadarshi , who moves with the Truth; paradarshi, who is transparent in action; doordarshi, being broad-minded and a visionary; and priyadarshi, embodying love and compassion.

On the one hand, religion has been the cause of many wars on this planet. On the other hand, religion and spirituality have thrived only because of the patronage of the state. If a society is chaotic and has no spiritual values it is difficult to govern and if there is no official patronage, it is difficult for spirituality to survive.

Spirituality makes people honest and committed and this is necessary to create a crime-free society. State patronage makes spirituality spread faster to all sections of society. While many wars are fought in the name of religion, spirituality has given courage, confidence and commitment to people even in the toughest of times. Many saints, prophets, Sufis and sanyasis have been victimised due to lack of political patronage. For example, many Sikh gurus were persecuted by the state. This affected the morale of society and resulted in bad governance.

Religion has created conflict, but irreligious societies have created chaos and corruption. Did not millions suffer in Russia, China and Cambodia in the name of freeing society of religious beliefs? Today, both religion and politics need reform. Religion has to become more spiritual to allow freedom of worship and broader to encompass all the wisdom in the world and politicians have to become more righteous and spiritual.

When spirituality and politics don't coexist, then you have corrupt politicians and pseudo-religious leaders. Spirituality is ingrained in the Indian polity. Since ancient times rajgurus have guided and counselled rulers and in turn rulers have supported religious and spiritual leaders. Rama's guru was Vasishta and Krishna's guru was Sandipani. Jainism and Buddhism flourished under the patronage of the rulers of their time. Shivaji gave patronage to Samarth Ramdass.

M K Gandhi appealed to people across the board because of his spiritual approach. Spirituality brought freedom to India. Indian spirituality has given a secular ethos to the world.

The need of the hour is a prejudice-free political system. Consensus can emerge only when politicians learn to drop prejudices of religion, caste and gender. To be able to drop prejudices, politicians need to widen their sense of belongingness. This can happen only when they are free from stress and gain a spiritual perspective.

Politics is mainly about caring for people, providing for their welfare. Spirituality gives you a broader vision of life, teaching all to share, care and nurture each other selflessly and with equanimity.

The writer is founder, the Art of Living and the International Association for Human Values.

Source: TOI-6 Apr2009

March against corruption, terrorism held in Delhi

Citizen activism against corruption and terrorism saw a new high on Sunday when prominent personalities, including former top cop Kiran Bedi, ad guru Prahalad Kakkar and others, came out in a unique march to pledge support against the two evils.

Under the aegis of WAYE, the youth wing of the art of living, and youth for equality, the citizens undertook the March against corruption and terrorism from Jantar Mantar in the national capital, which they claimed is the launch of a "nationwide movement" against the evils.

"A positive step towards a positive direction has taken place today. Our 'chalta hai' attitude towards corruption, which is ingrained in us, has to be forced out from the individual level," Anirudh Bahl, who is editor of the 'Cobrapost', said.

Commenting on police's "apathy" towards security, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi said, "Crime registration is your right. Ask the number of entries in police control rooms to get data which is otherwise never revealed by the police."

Bedi also appealed to the youth to "fearlessly exercise their right of no-vote if they were not satisfied with their candidates during the polls".

Appealing citizens for greater use of the RTI Act, social activist Arvind Kejriwal said, "Using RTI is more effective than paying bribes." to get rid of corruption.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Kiran-Bedi-leads-march-against-corruption-terrorism/articleshow/4209035.cms

Let's march for a better India

Let's march for a better India

HIS HOLINESS Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder, Art of Living, has conceptualised this march to awaken and empower citizens in order to create an on-ground structure that will actually effect a change in societal circumstances and situations, in keeping with his vision and mission of a stress-free, violence-free planet where individuals contribute towards the goal of a One-World Family. The objective of the march is to awaken and empower the people of India, especially the youth, to participate in the democratic process. This march is the first step of a nationwide campaign aimed at amplifying the collective voice of the citizens and propelling the youth of India against Corruption and Terrorism. We endeavour to catalyze this movement, across the nation, with a three fold solution: Awareness, Accountability and Action.

With this motive Youth for Equality along with WAYE and AOL has planned a march on March 1, 2009. India has been badly hit by terrorism in the last decade or so and yet our government hasn't taken any concrete step to enhance the security and intelligence of the country. Corruption, another evil in our system, is eating up all the progress which we are making towards becoming a developed nation. If we want to prosper it is very essential to uproot terrorism and corruption. As a country, we need to actively start moving in a concerted way against these twin evils that are now threatening our very existence. So let us send out a call to our country to create a safe society. A society where there is no fear in walking into an airplane, a train or a bus. Or when we enter a mall, a cinema or a hotel, with our children. Or even our very own homes.

Let us take responsibility and bring the change - for our future and our future generations. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what can you do for your country.

We need to take the future in our hands; see it resting on our palms and take nation ahead.

Change is inevitable and it is important that Indian youth takes the responsibility to bring the change. So, here is the call for all the citizens whose conscience is yet awake and they want to make the system effective.

Be the Change.

Join the march on March 1, 2009 (www.themarch.in)
Time: 2 pm to 5 pm
Venue: Parliament Street, New Delhi

Remember, it is no good when citizens of nation only complain and expect someone else to fix their problems.


Aamir Khan celebrates Valentine's day in IIT

Aamir Khan celebrated his valentine's day in IIT Bombay :). Well, he was in IIT to shoot his movie 3 Idiots based on Chatan Bhagat's bestseller 5 Point Someone- What not to do at IIT. I was filling up my water bottle in the department when I saw few student running and few like me, lazily following the others. I asked the lazy ones and came to know about Amir's shooting.

I too got curious and decided to visit the location. The shooting location is less than 100meters away from my department else, would have given up on the idea. Students as well as campus residents were gathering to see Aamir. Got the news that he had just gone inside the workshop for and will not be coming out soon. So came back and continued my work.

Later, went to Lake side to watch the Sunset and met two kids who were telling me about Aamir and were also disappointed that they could not meet him. Gajani effect?

Meanwhile, the sunset happened as usual. No Aamir effect on it and I enjoyed that, with my Valentine :).

Jai Guru Dev!
Sandeep (Pitamah)

Are you in LOVE? Decide yourself

V-day special :)

* If you like to get out from a noisy party and walk together outside only with him/her, you are in love with him/her.

* When you are together with him/her, you pretend to ignore him/her. But when he/she is not around you, you might look around to find him/her. At that moment, you are in love.

* Although he/she is someone else who always makes you laugh, your eyes and attention might go only to him/her. Then, you are in love with him/her.

* Although he/she supposes to call you a long ago to let you know he/she is safe arriving at home, your phone is quiet. Then, you realize that you are in panic for the waiting. At that moment, you are in love with him/her.

* When you look at a group picture, you might rather look for him/her ( to know who was next to him/her or how he/she look like in that picture ) than look for yourself. Then, you realize that you are in love with him/her.

* You have to hook out your telephone line for your busy study, but you can not do it for one phone call from him/her. Then, you are in love with him/her.

* If you are much more exciting for one short e-mail from him/her than other much long e-mail, you are in love with him/her.

* When you find yourself who can not erase full of messages in you answering machine for one message from him/her, you are in love.

* When you get a couple of free movie tickets, your first thinking will be to take him/her with you. Then, you are in love.

* You keep telling yourself, "He/she is just a friend," but you realize that you can not help avoiding the special attraction from him/her. At that moment, you are in love with him/her.

* (Very important) While you are reading this mail, if someone appear in your mind, you are deeply in love with him/her. (no cheating please?!!!)

TRUE? Isn't it.

Hey I am happy that I have made you think about and recognize your partner.

Thanks for sharing your precious time.

Hope you enjoyed this............

Jai Guru Dev!
Sandeep (Pitamah)

My Country is My Valentine

Recently there has been regular terror attacks on many cities in INDIA and these attacks were taken like a regular day to day happening by most. Every attack, involving multiple bomb blasts had become just another news, till the Mumbai Terror Attack happened and then every one came out of their so called secured shell to demand an overall change in the system. The need to stand tall against terrorism was felt for the first time. Terrorism can be stopped if and only if every citizen of INDIA is committed towards the cause.

Corruption is another big obstacle for growth of INDIA. We boast ourselves of future economical superpower but unless corruption is completely trashed out of the system, things are going to be only in the dreams. Right from the birth till the end corruption has made its way. To get the birth certificate; the death certificate, and all the certificates in between.

The World Alliance for Youth Empowerment (WAYE) has appealed people to join their hand to spread awareness about the two issues and participate in the march on 1st March 2009 in Delhi, Parliament Street.

This year My Country is My Valentine is the tagline of The March and rightly conveys the need to change the mindset of citizens for their country.

Excerpts from http://www.themarch.in

Against Terrorism. Against Corruption

The objective of the march is to awaken and empower youth to participate in the democratic process. It is the very spirit of patriotism that has been corrupted – resulting in blatant and brutal acts of terrorism that threaten each citizen. This march is the first step of a youth campaign aimed at amplifying the collective voice of the citizens of India against Corruption and Terrorism.

Why are we marching?

Corruption in India is shockingly rampant.

India has the dubious distinction of belonging to the category of the most corrupt nations in the world. The World Economic Forum Survey 2003 ranked India 45th out of 49 countries based on the honesty of its officials.

A study conducted by Transparency International India estimated that Rs. 883 Crores in all was paid as bribe by BPL (below poverty line)households in the year 2007 in availing 11 public services. Due to corruption having seeped into the roots of the governance system, our progress as a nation has been severely stunted.

Visit: http://www.themarch.in

Jai Guru Dev!
Sandeep (Pitamah)

Farmers' suicide: Do we really care?

India reported 122,637 suicides last year — an average of 336 every day — with more men ending their lives than women, the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has revealed.

As far as suicides committed by farmers (16,632) are concerned, Maharashtra (4,238) surpassed all other states, with its Vidarbha region having become the focal point. According to the NCRB’s report, Karnataka saw 2,135 farmer suicides, Andhra (1,797), Chhattisgarh (1,593), MP (1,263) and Kerala (1,232).

The number of farmers who committed suicide in Maharashtra accounted for more than a quarter of the total suicides reported in the state.

The farmers suicide has been happening since more than 10 years. There was a big package announced by the Indian government but had hardly any impact. Once the package was declared and it was even heard that the normal deaths were also being reported as suicides and then the compensation by the government was mainly kept by the concerned officer and a small part was given to the family. Essentially, nothing noteworthy was achieved by the government.

But there are people in this world who do care, even about the poor farmers and every one else. With the blessing of Guruji - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Project Vidarbha was started in Amravati district in August 2006 with 32 Yuvacharya ( 6 Girls and 26 Boys) selected after a rigorous training of 10 days. The outline of the project was also decided during these 10 days.

The people were reached out via the Navchetana Shibeer, Health Workshops and Satsang by going closer to them and listening to their problems. Slowly people started accepting the change and started smiling. The smiling virus was soon spreading and covered other districts of Amravati Division (507 villages of 6 districts). Lot many workshops were conducted which could impart practical training to the people and youth. The youth themselves came forward and started taking responsibility of their own villages, after undergoing proper training.

Till 15th October 2007 (I have a copy of that report only), no suicide was reported in the villages where The Art of Living foundation has reached and started their work and I sure none will happen in future.

There are three types of people
- People who make things happen
- People who see things happen
- People who wonder what happened!

If you are determined, you can make things happen and I am proud to be associated with organization which makes things happen. Many people ask why the foundation charges money for their course, and here is the reason. The organization utilizes the money collected from the people who can pay, and redirects it for development of the poor and the needy. There are about 35,000 villages adopted by the Art of Living foundation and many more are in the waiting. I will write more later about the program and the success stories.

With such good people around, happiness is going to be all around. I hope to be part of the instrument that spreads happiness in the whole world.


Report on Suicides

5H program

The 5H program - on lifepositive.com

Jai Guru Dev!
Sandeep (Pitamah)

Commitment to Life

By His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Creating a Stress-Free Mind and a Violence-Free World.

Every living creature wants to be happy. Whether it is money, power or sex, you get into it for the sake of happiness. Some people even enjoy misery because it gives them happiness!

To be happy, we seek something. But, despite getting it, we are not happy. All of one’s life is spent in preparing to be happy someday in the future. It’s like making a bed all night, but having no time to sleep. How many minutes, hours and days have we spent our life being happy from within? Those are the only moments you have really lived life.

There are two ways of looking at life. One is thinking that, “I’ll be happy after achiev- ing a certain objective.” The second is saying that “I am happy come what may!” Which one do you want to live?

Our life is like a river. A river needs two banks to flow. The difference between floods and a flowing river is that in a river, water flows regulated in one direction. During floods, the water is muddled and has no direction. Similarly, the energy in our life needs some direction to flow. If you don’t give direction, it is all confusion. Today most of the people are in confusion because there is no direction in life. When you are happy, there is so much of life energy in you; but when this life energy doesn’t know where to go, it gets stuck. When it stagnates, it rots! Just like how the water has to keep flowing, in the same way, life has to keep moving.

For life energy to move in a direction, commitment is essential. Life runs on commit- ment. If you observe every small thing or big thing in life, it goes with certain com- mitment. A student takes admission in a school or college with a commitment. You go to a doctor with a commitment saying that you are going to take the medication or listen to whatever the doctor says. Banks work on commitment. The government works on commitment. Needless to say, a family runs on commitment: a mother is committed to the child, a child is committed to the parents, the husband is committed to his wife, and the wife is committed to her husband. Whether it is love, business, or friendship or at work or any area of life, you take, there is commitment.

You cannot stand someone who does not commit, but see how much commitment have you taken in your life? Of course, our commitment is proportional to what we have our power, our capacity or capability. If you are committed to taking care of your family, that much capacity or power you gain. If your commitment is for the community, you will get that much energy, joy, that much power. More will be given to you only if you utilise properly what you already have! This is a law in nature. Why should nature give you more when you are stuck with your little mind?

The tendency to seek more is there in you; you only have to give a twist to it. Instead of “What more can I have?”, just start asking yourself “What more can I do?” Then you will see that there is joy. The more responsibility you take, the more power will come on to you.

Greater the commitment you take, greater the power you gain to fulfil that commit-ment. Greater the commitment, easier things are. Smaller the commitment, suffocating it is for you. Smaller commitments suffocate you because you have more capacity, but you are stuck in a small hole!

If you just sit and think, “What about me, what will happen to me?” you will get thor- oughly depressed. The way to expand from individual to universal consciousness is to share the sorrows and joys of others. As you grow, your consciousness should also grow. When you expand in knowledge with time, then depression is not possible. The way to overcome personal misery is to share universal misery! The way to expand personal joy is to share universal joy. Instead of thinking “What can I gain from this world?”, think “What can I do for the world?”

Mumbai Marathon: A conversation with the Self

My preparation for Mumbai Marathon started just after Diwali. Although not very regular, I was on the jogging track about twice a week and had managed 3-4 km at a stretch. Things were in right direction and I was targeting completion time of about 3hrs for 21KM (half marathon), which is my previous worst, the best being 2 hr 50 mins.

Amey specially came from Banglore for the Mumbai Marathon. On the eve of the Marathon, Amey and me were discussing things to do before and during the marathon. Amey encouraged me to set the target time to 2 hr 30 mins and I reluctantly agreed to it as I knew its a difficult task to achieve, looking at my level of practice and my previous records. Still, we planned how we can achieve our target. We even chalked out hour by hour plan along with detailed route analysis, the hurdles we might face and few contingency plans. We did not wanted to keep any stone unturned. We were handling the event as professional marathon runners ;) and followed what we could. We went to have Pasta, which is very rich in carbohydrate contents and recommended before Marathon. We bought few energy bars, chocolates, lots of bananas and dates. To save the time on the D-day, we even booked the Meru Taxi so that we don't have to walk to get out of IIT to catch a rick. Every thing was set for the D-day, including the alarms :).

We woke up early and made sure that all of us get ready in time. The taxi arrived sharp at 5.00am. We got in and reached there at 5.42am. It was about 1hr to start the race. Amey and me were running the half marathon for the third time and the other two with us were the first timers, also running the half marathon. So, we were having some fundae sessions for them. We had enough bananas to get some instant energy. We completed other mandatory tasks and were there at the racing point at 6:45am. By the time we reached the start line, in a big queue, it was already 6.54am. So, we had started 8-9 minutes late. As Amey and me had opted for the timing chip, the time we started is noted automatically by the system so we were not worried about that.

To start with, it was very crowded, even smooth jog was also difficult and hence it was difficult to get the rhythm. I burped initially as we had more bananas than we should had. The first two kilometers were like warm-up. After that I got into the rhythm. Amey and I got in touch with each other over mobile and got to know that we were close but still not together. We first met at 5km milestone but separated soon due to nature's call break. We met again at the 12th kilometer milestone and then thought of running together so that we can encourage each other and keep our target of 2 hr 30 mins. It was at 8.20am and about 7 km were remaining. The target was very clear, one more hour to go and 7km. We decided to go for it and hence started running in full swing. We continued till 15 KM mark where I thought that Amey is running faster than me and I am not able to cope up with his speed. I asked him to continue with his own speed and that relaxed me. I was just behind him, but for a short time only. Unfortunately Amey suddenly developed some pain in his knees and hence slowed down. I overtook him and aimed at the target time. I was left alone. Up to that point it was only because of Amey's encouragement that I was targeting the 2:30hrs time. Now suddenly I was running with out him. Both of us continued running independently and kept encouraging each other via phone. Things continued that way, till I managed to reach 17 km mark when my body was all drained. I had no energy to continue jogging. I just wanted to walk the remaining distance.

This was the time when I started conversation with my Self. All the knowledge points that I got from the Art of Living YES!+ course and advanced courses surfaced into reality. I was given a chance to implement all of them. My stamina was all over So, there I was to go for the target time or to let it go. All this conversation continued in my mind and I kept running and walking alternately. Running was for a longer time than walking but still the body was saying the other way round. Finally the equation was left to 2KM and 7 minutes. It was a difficult task to achieve but I wanted not to give up at any cost. So, continued running. The body was not supporting, so the mind started giving me alternatives and giving me option of ditching the target. But I was fresh from my advanced course and hence all knowledge points were alive! The most striking point was Live life on commitment and not on emotions.

So, I decided to go with my commitment and not by emotions. Fitness was not an issue and hence it was only a matter of continuing till the end, with increased speed. I needed some different way to tackle my mind as I was thinking more of the future than being at the present. I was continuously thinking of the distance and time equation. I knew, live in the present moment but how to do that? And it just clicked!!! I committed myself for the goal, and just surrendered to my Guru and the Divine. I dropped the distance-time equation and concentrated on only the next step that I was going to take. At every step, I was asking this question to my Self, can I run the next step and most of the time the answer used to be YES. This helped me and I could run more compared to walk. I was still walking in between but the ratio was 200 meters running to about 10 meters walk. This continued till Hutatma Chauk, from where the finish line was enough to go for the final assault.

The final assault was to start now. I decided not to stop for the last phase of about 1000 meters. I kept going and going. I was totally drained by that time but commitment was to my Self and not to any one else and hence had no option but to continue and continue running. In between, I took a walk break, for about 10 seconds but then got into action immediately. Finally, I could see the finish line, about 500 meters away. It was like "कितने पास और कितने दूर". The sight of the finish line gave me another boost and I increased the speed, although marginal, there was increase in the efforts from my side. And there I was, crossing the finish line and it was 9:25am in my mobile. My time was 2 hr 32 mins, creditable for me. There was no one to welcome me on the finish line but I was celebrating myself, as also all other finishers. Just missing the target time was of no importance to me compared to the satisfaction of making it against all odds and being victorious.

Soon Amey also finished in 2 hr 45mins. As he was having pain in his knees he walked from 15KM till end. The other two friends, Kishore and Pranav, who were participating in half marathon for the first time completed the race in about 3 hrs.
A very good time indeed as they hardly had practiced for the same.

A perfect experience of When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going.

Jai Guru Dev!
Sandeep (Pitamah)

Diary - A Day at the Gym

Today was my first day in the gym. I know I was procrastinating. So evening I just forced myself to go. It was terrible. I felt my legs cramping in the first 10 minutes. Nothing was going right for me.

As I entered the sauna I saw five huge sweaty bodies. And I suddenly felt home sick. I was an alien among these ogres. What was I doing in this country I thought.

Shortly, two of them walked out.

I always sit on the top one; perhaps a psychological ploy so as not to get intimidated by these hunks.

As I started sweating , I was thinking about where my life was going.

Suddenly the one below me looked at me and said, “ I was fired this week”.

Now I am never very good at handling these situations. But I had to say something.

“Stop feeling sorry for your hairy ass. I am jobless for the last 4 months”

There was a moments silence. I thought I am a dead man.

And suddenly they all exploded. Big giants. Big laughs.

One guy between gasps said ”Fuck Bush”. The third one turned to me “hey you look like Bush.” “don’t fuck me. I wouldn’t be able to handle your weight.” I said.

There was again huge laughter. and suddenly the first one said come guys shower we are going for a drink. I was among friends!

As we sat gulping beer in the Applebee’s ,This is home I thought happily.

Slowly as the beer started giving its effect, the atmosphere became somber. Each man narrating his travails. Rodney, the guy who first spoke with me , was weeping silently.

I couldn’t take it any more. So I said my good byes to my new friends. Lots of high fives and patting each other and promises to see next day in the gym.

I sat in the car for some time. I don’t know how long I sat there till suddenly I heard a tap on my window. A cop was asking me anxiously if I was alright. I assured him I was fine and thanked him for his concern.

He had an avuncular smile on his crinkled face. “don’t worry son. Things wont remain the same. “ he winked. He had an infectious smile.

I smiled back at him and waved.

“God Bless America. “

Now the officer was grinning from ear to ear.

I was laughing as I drove. There was this one thought.

If winter comes can spring be far behind?


Run Mumbai Run...

Run Mumbai Run are the magic words that inspire me and many other Mumbai Marathon runners to continue their journey toward the finish line with out giving up in between. This slogan has the power to keeps me going on and on till I cross the finish line. The crowd cheering with this slogan has made me complete successfully the half marathon twice.

I still remember my first attempt of half marathon (21 km). No one believed that I could complete the marathon and they were constantly discouraging me from participating in the marathon. On the eve of the marathon my close friend me advised me not worry about completing the marathon and advised me to take shelter of the medical camp in case of emergency. On the marathon day I met few other friends who also had similar experience, people in the same boat. Frankly, we were also not sure of what we are diving into but had very high energy to get experience it.

The marathon started at 6.45am. It was still dark when it started and cold enough not to get exhausted early. The real test was later during the race when sun comes up and shines bright enough to exhaust the runners. There was a sunny patch with no cover of the buildings, near the Girgaon Chaupati and that was the testing period for all the immature runners. I was almost exhausted but kept running. There was no water booth in that area and we all kept sharing our reservoir. The scene was similar with all people. Every one was looking for water and was happy share if they had any water left. The humanity was seen live. After that sunny patch of about 1km, I could sense the finish line coming closer but still about 4 km away. Now I was confident of finishing and just continued running and finally in about 2hr 50mins I crossed the finish line. It was an experience of the lifetime, satisfaction at its peak. At the same time I had tremendous boot in my confidence. I could see it as removal of a big mental block in my life. In the next few days I could see myself doing any task with increased confidence and had no problem in taking new challenges.

The second year was comparatively simple as I had my prior experience with me. I had hardly practiced and hence could finish the half marathon in 3hrs, still not bad.

Many celebrities like Anil Ambani, Milind Soman, Rahul Bose, Gul Panag actively participate in Marathon.

Now, all geared up for tomorrow's 6th Edition of Mumbai Marathon and to hear Run Mumbai Run.

Jai Guru Dev!

Amla & Vitamin “C”

As promised in my last post, here is the guest article, by Mr. Ninad Deshmukh, CEO Uniheal foods.

Why we need Vitamin C?

We need vitamin C to improve resistance of body i.e. to build immune system. Deficiency of vitamin C could lead to Scurvy

Why we have to take Vitamin C from outside?

For all except four mammalian species, ascorbic acid is not a vitamin, because they make their own abundant supply. Man is one of the four exceptions. Of the four enzymes necessary to make vitamin C, man has the first three. Somewhere in our evolution, we lost that fourth enzyme, and ascorbic acid became a vitamin for us — we have to obtain it from our diet. Animals make that amount of vitamin C that would be the equivalent of four grams (4,000 mg.) daily for an average size human.

While the U. S. government RDA (recommended daily allowance, some say “recommended deficiency allowance”) is 60 mg., this is merely the amount that will prevent death from scurvy. Optimal health requires the higher dose levels. This enzymatic defect in humans undoubtedly accounts for a shorter life span than we were designed to have. Advocates of vitamin C prescribes very high daily dose of vitamin C.

What is Vitamin C?

(Vitamin C a.k.a. Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbate)

This well-known vitamin is important in the maintenance of collagen, the protein that holds most of the soft tissues of the body together. Along with B6, it is also vital to the utilization of amino acids. It enhances the absorption of iron from vegetable sources. It inhibits the synthesis of nitrosamines, compounds implicated in cancer. Fruit sources are citrus fruits, fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapples and guava. Vegetable sources are broccoli, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, spinach, kale, green peppers, cabbage and turnips. Regular intake of vitamin C insures health of the soft tissues of the body and perhaps an ounce of cancer protection. There is ample research evidence that substantial doses of vitamin C, taken regularly over the course of years, prolong a person’s life expectancy by lowering the probability of vascular disease. (The same is true of vitamin E.)

One of the many functions of ascorbic acid in human biochemistry is to regenerate oxidized vitamin E that, in turn, serves to protect cell walls from oxidative damage.

The ascorbate form of ascorbic acid is the form that is effective in the treatment of colds and flu. Do not bother trying to treat a cold or flu with ascorbic acid. It will not work. The L- form is the bioactive form of vitamin C. The D-form is just so much stuff the body must get rid of. Synthetic ascorbic acid contains equal amounts of L- and D- forms. Natural sources of vitamin C contain only the L- form. Read the label to know what you are getting. If it is not specified otherwise, assume it to be synthetic. If it doesn’t say “ascorbate,” assume it to be ascorbic acid.

Natural Vs Artificial Vitamin C

There is great fight between manufacturers of Synthetic Vitamin C and manufacturers of supplements based on Natural source of Vitamin C. Each one claiming that there is better! My Common sense says that Natural is always better (Disputable)!

Studies indicate that the naturally occurring Vitamin C is easier for body to absorb than synthetic Vitamin C. This and other studies indicate that naturally occurring Vitamin C may be ten times more beneficial to body than synthetic ones.

Why Vitamin C in amla is more powerful?

The natural tannins in Vitamin “C” complex of amla prevent oxidation of the vitamin content in dry condition-in other words it is heat stable. Sabinsa Corporation has prepared a high tannin standardized extract at 40% polyphenols (mostly in the form of tannins), leaving behind some of the other carbohydrates. The presence of a large proportion of tannins in the fruit may easily explain some of the more prosaic proclaimed benefits of amla, including treatment of respiratory and intestinal disorders, particularly intestinal ulcerations. In addition, polyphenols have been shown to have numerous health protective benefits, including lowering blood lipids and blood sugar, enhancing blood circulation, and blocking the action of carcinogens, which together contribute to the anti-ageing effect. The apparent superior effect of the mistaken “vitamin C” component is actually the more stable and potent anti-oxidant effect of the tannins that appeared to be the vitamin.

Dr. Shibnath Ghosal, at the Banaras Hindu University, published his findings about active constituents of emblica fruits in 1996, reporting on the mistaken identification of vitamin C. He turned his research findings into a patent just four years later; describing the production of the mixture he called Capros. It is derived from amla by a careful process of extraction that prevents breakdown of the tannins. It contains:

Emblicanin-A: 27% ;Emblicanin-B: 23%; Punigluconin: 8%; Pedunculagin: 14%
Gallo-ellagitannoids : 18%; Rutin: 10%

The first four ingredients listed are polyphenols (tannins); the next constituent is a combination primarily of gallic acid and ellagic acid, the tannoid components that are linked together to make the other tannins. Rutin is another phenolic compound, a common flavonoid found in many plants and isolated as a natural health care product. Dr. Ghosal describes his extract (U.S. patent # 6,124,268) as having a greater antioxidant potential than vitamin C, while being more stable against heat and oxidation. It can be formulated into skin creams that are designed to protect the skin from damage due to excess sun exposure and may also be used as a component of internal remedies for health protective effects, especially for cardiovascular risk factors.

So vitamin C in amla is powerful as it is a complex of ascorbate, tannins and polyphenols.

Several properties that are talked about amla are as follows:

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, Immuno Modulator, anti-bacterial, expectorant, antipyretic, cardio tonic, anti-emetic, anabolic

It is considered to cure or help in skin problems, hair problems, acidity, diabetes, asthma,cholesterol and cholesterol induced atherosclerosis (Obstruction of the arteries), etc.

Amla is getting popular all across globe among people as well as commercial organizations (Pharma MNCs), as rich source of Natural Vitamin “C”.

Why amla never become table-top fruit like mango or apple?

When amla fruit is having such powerful medicinal values, why it is not consumed like other fruits such as mango, apple or other berries? The answer to this question is its sour taste! Amla became famous worldwide as main constituent of Chyvanprash, which is the most popular rejuvenator in the world. In India, it is consumed in almost every home in the form of Murabba (Amla preserved in sugar syrup).

Now amla processing is picked up in India and efforts are made to develop products that are good in taste so that people can consume amla everyday and improve health.

Amla is getting popular all across globe among people as well as commercial organizations (Pharma MNCs), as rich source of Natural Vitamin “C”.


Some Amla products that are available in market are Amla Candies and Amla Juice. If you are interested you can contact:

Uniheal Foods
113, Block 1, Emerald Plaza,
Hiranandani Meadows,
Thane (W) - 400 610
Phone : +(91)-(22)-4012 1186
Fax : +(91)-(22)-4012 1190
Web: http://www.uniheal.com/
Email : info@uniheal.com

Customer Care:
Mobile : 09967210489
Email : customercare@uniheal.com

If you are interested in any of the Uniheal products, they can be ordered over the phone and can be delivered free of cost within INDIA.

मध्य प्रदेश शांत तो जम्मू कश्मीर से कन्याकुमारी तक का रास्ता साफ़ (If Madhaypradesh is peaceful, then JnK to Kanyakumari road is clear )

I will not be talking of the geography or even politics of INDIA but will be more interested in mapping these areas to the human body and their functioning. Madhya Pradesh symbolizes central part is our body, mainly the digestive system; Jammu & Kashmir the upper part; and Kanyakumari the lower part of the body. The upper part, especially the head symbolizes the thinking process while the lower part symbolizes the physical work required to convert those thoughts into action.

If the digestive system is not functioning properly, then you feel low on energy. Although in the busy schedule, you tend to neglect the indications given by our body and especially the digestive system, you attempt to think and work as usual. Possibly, that is some thing we have accepted so well that we don't even give much importance to our bodily signals. We keep on ignoring them as if thats the reality of life.

On the other hand, if the digestive system is doing well, all the other systems perform well. You are fresh and alert, able to think positively and quickly. At the same time you are physically active and better able to convert the thoughts into action. You feel very much relaxed and contented and your productivity goes up.

In these days, where you are busy with your work, whole day and night, acidity, gas, constipation has become part of life. You just gulp in some tablet to get it under control and move on. These tablets only suppress the cause but never removes them completely. For example, acidity is caused due to the the pitta dosha, due to increased secretion of acid required for digestion. In Ayurveda there are simple ways to control acidity and in general most of the digestive problems. If these measure are taken on regular basis then your digestive system is perfect for most of the time and you can feel the difference.

As usual, I am not different from the excuse of busy life and hence used to have acidity, constipation and related problem. Hardly used to think them as problems as possibly had accepted them as part of day to day life. But once I started having Awala Juice as a medicine, on a daily basis, I could see a sudden change in my health. I could feel myself fresh in the morning and could feel light in the stomach. The lightness of stomach spread into my mind and body and gave me enthusiasm to work better maintaining my freshness for longer time. I felt boss, if I can be so fresh and active then why was I living like a dull guy for so for long. Triphala is another churna which can be taken before going to bed to balance all the three doshas and is bowel cleanser.

In this busy life, we never give importance to keeping ourselves fit. Most of the problems will not arise if we are fit and our digestion system is well. But then we need to put in that extra awareness NOW to avoid the issues in the FUTURE. This is where most of us lack the zeal to follow up on good things. We are aware that some thing needs to be done NOW to avoid problems in FUTURE but we just ignore all that with our chalta hai attitude and then are hit back some time later to realize our mistake. Unfortunately, very few learn from their mistakes and continue to be ignorant.

As I could experience the silence of Madhya Pradesh and its effect which caused peace in Jammu & Kashnmir to Kanyakumari, I requested my brother who is in food processing industry to write a guest column here, focusing mainly on Awala/Amla and its benefits. Hope to post that soon on this blog.

(For those who are not aware of the geography of INDIA, Madhya Pradesh is the central part of INDIA and Jammu Kashmir and Kanyakumari are the northern and southern ends of INDIA, respectively.)

Resolution 2009: Rude or Phony

A guest article by my Mentor/Friend/Uncle Mr. Sudhir Kekre. I am sure you are going to enjoy new/different thoughts here.

As the year 2008 draws close, the New Year ushers in ; albeit quieter than usual carrying the hangover of recession and bomb blast.

There’s a sense of relief more than joy that 2008 is over.

Nevertheless we have a new year and now its time to take stock.

Everyone must imbibe at least one good quality each year. Something that would be a value addition. Most of us are adults. Think if we had started early we would have at least more than a dozen good ones to be proud of.

I have been globe trotting for almost a decade now; straddled three continents and worked across various cross sections of people across various Nations.

A common complaint I hear is that Indians are rude. Something which I vehemently deny.

On introspection and discussion with many Indians I find that our perception about politeness is different. We have a notion that being honest at the cost of everything is always correct. We generally also lack a sense of humor ; perhaps because we take life too seriously. Also we feel that the western people are phony , they believe in flattery and are artificial. Something which is not true. Flattery is not always bad. Specially if it brings happiness and joy. A sense of humor can help in a big way in making you popular and also furthering your career.

I give below a few experiences and leave it to you to decide.

“Madam , is your father a thief” the American woman’s cheek went red. She was furious. the other members of her group looked at her strangely. This was Agra railway station. And she was being stalked by a skinny teenager. “ how dare you” she said her eyes smoldering. “ because madam , he stole the stars from the sky and put them in your eyes” he said, his eyes twinkling mischievously. Now the whole group was roaring with appreciation. The boy was hired as a guide that very moment leaving a very very competitive field. This was narrated to me by an American friend.

Once I was having a drink in Taj residency in Hyderabad. I saw the barman mixing a drink . “ Margarita “ I smiled at him. It’s a tequila based drink very popular in Miami , my home for the past few years. The barman mixed the drink expertly and giving me a smile gave me a small shot to taste. “ Hmm” I said “smacking my lips appreciatively . “ you could make a Mexican proud.”. The barman beamed with pride and left with the order.

My friend eyed me suspiciously . “ Is it really that good.” “ little weak “ I confessed. “ lacks the punch of the real one”. My friend was annoyed. He said this is the problem with you guys who live abroad. He could have improved if you had told the truth. “ he didn’t quite understand. The barman was looking me with professional pride which as a guest I couldn’t shatter. Besides I was no expert. There was no way I could advise him on what was missing. Least I could do was make his day.

Another time I remember I met one guy from Honduras in the swimming pool in my community in Miami. He said that lot of people mistake him for an Indian . I immediately agreed and said that you know when you were walking in I thought hey there comes one of my Indian brothers. His face lit with joy. The same friend derisively commented

“ Even a blind man can tell he doesn’t look Indian. You are phony!”

So guys call me phony! Call me a liar. Call me what you will. But if one lie can bring even a little happiness I shall keep doing it.

I think of that American woman who was on a Vacation in Agra. Vacation must be full of fun and joy. And if that skinny guide spiked his marketing with a little flattery he didn’t do any harm to anyone? I am sure the lady will go back and tell happy tales about our great land.

So guys, if you agree make this your resolution. Bring happiness and cheer in others life- a little deception or a little flattery will be forgiven.

Here’s wishing you all – the loveliest and most beautiful people on the planet - a great and a happy 2009.

Now WHAT? At least I didn’t call your father a thief!!!!!!!!!