Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

You are the change!

Posted: January 17, 2013 in Events, Life, People, Questions
Most of the software engineers in Bangalore or any other city don’t go out and vote! They don’t even appear concerned with the state of affairs around us! Are they really not interested about the country they live in? This thought and a little QnA led to a startling discovery. Read on to find out!
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Me: I want a better country! So lets go out and be a part of the change! Lets volunteer for a better India!
ITP(Random IT professional): Why should I do it? Why should I go out n vote? Anyways nothing changes, all the parties are the same. So how does it matter to me? Volunteer for a better India? Hahaha! Good joke! 😀 Kuch nahi ho saktha is desh ka! I know! I work in a IT company which pays me enough for the slavery I exhibit. Basically I don’t have time yaar! See, I am too busy working for my client that I don’t have time to think about anything else other than me n my family. Monday through Friday goes off in a flash. On weekdays, I have time for coffee and lunch breaks. I walk over to my colleague’s cubicle and chat/rant relentlessly for hours. I discuss about some stupid random topic which does not help anyone. I work till 9/10pm every single day and satisfy myself to be working very hard. But I never think about finishing my work faster and spend time doing the things I love to do.
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Me: So why dont you start doing what you love?
ITP: I don’t know how to do it! Why? Because that is how it happens at my office. All my colleagues come at the same time. How can I be a odd man out? My project demands it! I am just so used to this lifestyle that anyone who offers me a change; I don’t agree with them. I fear what would happen if I do things differently. What will people think about me?
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Me: But atleast weekends you must be free right?
ITP: After a week of slogging, Saturday and Sunday are the days to relax. Basically to catch up on my sleep, complete some pending duties etc. Sometimes I prefer to go out on weekends and I want to be free from the thoughts of corruption, rape, increase in prices etc. I want to spend time peacefully with my friends/family. But sadly wherever I go, I end up being more tired on the way back. I know this but I don’t know what to do :(. I don’t have time to think about what can I do for the people around me (this excludes my family) and society; forget my nation at large! I have lost my personal life, my body n mind is screwed, have drooping eyes and a paunch. At the end of all this, I just earn a few thousand more than my colleagues. A 1% difference in hike can trigger a turmoil in my mind and I keep brooding over it for days. 
I am tired of everything...

I am tired of everything…

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Me: But you would definitely want to do something for the society right?
ITP: Yes, I do my part for society! I think and discuss about the current societal scenario over lunch with my colleagues. They are all good people like me. We all feel that someone should stop the negative activities happening around us. I have plenty of ideas how India can be improved but I will keep those ideas to the discussion table only. I will pass comments/suggestions/ even sneer at the people who are in power. Finally, it stops there! We all finish our lunch; also swallow the ideas and get back to work. But I don’t move my ass to do anything. Apart from being concerned about how much business I am generating for my company, I am concerned for the people on the streets too. I do my bit by visiting some NGO once in 6 months; organized by my team. I feel good I did something for the not so fortunate people! I click on ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons for the African children photos on Facebook knowing well that not even a penny goes out to them. But I am doing my bit.
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Me: But all these don’t make any difference! Why don’t you share your ideas with someone?
ITP: I have a debt of 15-20 lakhs for my house which pinches my pocket every month. I almost have to shell out 2-3 times for the fuel, vegetables and other products I buy! And what do I do when I need to increase my affordability? I switch companies, I invest in shares; but I never question why are the prices increasing so rapidly without any visible explanation. I am not comfortable with the increase in prices but I don’t know what to do :(. Whats the point of sharing with anyone. Everyone is the same!  
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Me: See all these issues are a resultant of the poor voter turnout during elections! Congress is screwing the country! These brilliant article by Dinesh Ghodke opened my eyes 🙂 Read it and you will know.
ITP: I agree and I understand. I want to do something for my society, my nation. But I don’t know what and how! Moreover I am alone. What can I do?
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Volunteer for a better India!
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Me: You are not alone… I heard that Volunteer for a better India is a great initiative. And its people like you and me who can make a difference! I am going to be a part of this. Will you also join me?
ITP: Yes! Definitely! If someone can show me the way, I would love to contribute effectively. Its time for all my qualities to surge up and I put them into use. I believe its not enough if we just discuss in our cafeterias, family functions, social media etc. We need to raise awareness and work for a cause. I will select one of the causes from the VFABI website and work for it. Will be in touch!
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Does the above discussion sound too familiar? Is your life also little similar to the ITP I met? I realized that the IT professionals just need a person to guide them towards this. They are more than willing to contribute!
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Can you be that person for someone else?
Can you inspire them to volunteer for a better India?
Yes?
Go ahead, Do it now!
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Many pals in Manipal…

Posted: April 9, 2012 in Events, Guruji, Travel

I had been to Manipal last week to conduct a YES!+ course. 54 Manipalites were SoHummed, my biggest course till date. All thanks to Tanu who could not make it ;).

“When you care for the society, nature itself bends down to serve you” these words by Guruji H.H.Sri Sri Ravishankar were echoing in my head throughout. Reason? I did not even have to move my little finger for anything. Everything I needed just landed in my lap. The best and cutest volunteers – Rimi, Shrey, Toyaj, Naman, Prachi and many more were just there for me. Rimi was our Annapoorneshwari for the whole week. They took care of my stay, food, travel and what not. Felt like Guruji ;). I have never laughed so much ever. The course ended on a super duper high!

One of the volunteers Harshpreeth has penned down a few words about it.

http://manipalblog.com/2012/04/yes-more-than-just-the-art-of-living-a-photo-story/

On Saturday, 42 people participated in the Yogathon in Manipal. 37 of them won the GOLD certificate. Some people who have not done any AOL course also participated and were able to complete 108 suryanamaskars!!! Pure grace in its fullest glory :).

Mookambika temple

Sunday marked the visit to Kollur to see Sri Mookambika devi. It is believed that Adi Shankaracharya had a vision of Sri Mookambika Devi and installed the deity here.

Sri Mookambika Devi

Just behind the sanctum sanctorum, is an idol of Shankaracharya where we meditated. Despite the sound and clamour inside the temple, the meditation was deep and still. We then had lunch served as prasad adjacent to the temple. The ultra hot, molten boiling rice(I mean every word of this…) with delicious sambar and rasam filled our starving stomachs. Everyone were licking their fingers clean :).

Udupi Krishna mutt

We then proceeded to Udupi to see Manamohana aka Krishna. The route from Kollur to Udupi was the bumpiest to say the least. The sun added to the effect. Almost wornout we went inside the mutt. As soon as I entered the mutt, a sense of freshness took over me. All tiredness just evaporated in his presence.

Shri Krishna

Witnessed a glowing Krishna within a dimly lit sanctum santorum. Felt so relaxed and calm. Something inside had settled down. The elephant in the temple looked so sattvic with its chandan and kumkum. The lake within the temple was refreshing. Feeling grateful we returned back to Manipal.

Love,

Suman.

And so it happened…

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Events, Music

Recently I got the oppurtunity to participate in a historic event organised by Art of living and Ranjini Kalakendra, titled ‘Sahasra Veena Jhenkara’ which showcased a grand symphony of 1,110 Veena players playing Veena all together on one platform in Bangalore. It was presided by H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and also the Chief Minister of Karnataka.

Pic courtesy: Vanshul Arora

YES! for all those who didnt know, I do play the Veena(the instrument). But when did it all begin? Lets go into the history a lill bit…Dec 2008 to be precise. I started to learn the Veena, the divine instrument played by goddess Saraswati.

I was contemplating on learning it from a very long time due to following reasons –

1. I had read somewhere that a person even belonging to the lowest of castes; if he has a veena in his hand, he will reach heaven.
2. My friend Akhilesh plays the veena. I heard him play it one day and I was so awed and overjoyed by it that I wanted to learn it right away. You can listen to him playing Narayana Hari Om here.
3. The music of the vibrating strings does some magic to explain which I am at a loss of words.
But even now I am not sure why I wanted to learn. Just wanted to learn, thats it!! Playing it gives me a feeling that I have known the instrument for a very long time. I am not sure whether I had learnt it in my previous birth :-) .
 
I spoke with Akhilesh and also his teacher. Things came together and so off to the shop which sells Veenas. Akhilesh had a big hand in choosing the right one for me. It was also reviewed by four more people including my guru. Finally it was decided and I bought it. A pretty old one maybe about 25-30 years old or maybe more. Thats what the experts say. In the case of Veena, the saying – “Old is Gold” fits perfectly since the instrument would have good or better Nada after being played for decades together. Lucky enough to get one so quickly.
I was learning it regularly for an year…and slowly the usual story began to unfold. Laziness, loss of interest and so on…and I stopped playing it, let alone going for the classes. But at the back of my mind I always wanted to continue.

Now fast forward 2 years… A regular evening in Feb 2012, I was tired after office work and KK calls me.

KK – “You know to play the veena right?”

I hesitantly said, “Yes”.

KK – “Ok, So you will play in the ‘Sahasra Veena Jhenkara’ along with 1007 more people”.

“1008 people! No, No. I have not been in touch for 2 years, I cant!”, I replied

KK – “Just shut up and come. You have time to practice”.

At this moment Gayatri takes over. She says,”Suman, its enough if you can just hold the veena properly. You can play Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma… right? There are only 7 songs. You can manage”.

“7 Songs! Om Namah Shivay!” Finally after 5 mins, I agreed. Practice started and continued every now and then.

Too much work in office, irregular practice and irregular sadhana drove me to an emotional decision of pulling out of the event. This drew flak from a person and I got my ass kicked (well almost) by sharing this decision. The decision is reverted and I decide to practice well.

 Photo sessions was in full swing during the rehearsal event itself 😉

Gayatri n I @ the stage rehearsal

Me 🙂

Finally the day arrived. Veena artistes had arrived from all over Karnataka. Veena vidwans and vidhushis decked the stage. Women of all age groups from 8 till 80 were dressed in cool blue/cream. Matching nailpolish, bindis, earrings and what not adorned them. Men were in pure white to beat the heat ;).

A few pics from the event courtesy our brilliant photographer Vanshul Arora

The event was massive and I am glad that I got this oppurtunity.  It doesn’t come everyday! You can also watch the entire event here.

Love,

Suman.

Berlin – II

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Events, General

Contd from the earlier post Berlin

So what did I do? Nothing! Sat over those thoughts for days…

Chuck it! Decided not to go. Will watch the event via webcast. Big deal! And what about the trip? I had already visited some of the places which were in the plan. So it was not all that bad either…I consoled myself. 😥

My appraisal had just got over couple of months back. Thoughts like – “Oh! I should have asked for a onsite trip that time itself. Probably they would have agreed.”, “Should I go and ask now?” etc were bombarding my head every now and then. All this was happening just before and during the Manavathe season :).

It was another regular Friday afternoon in office. I was in no mood to work. Whats new you might ask. But more importantly, now what has this to do with Berlin? It does!

That friday evening, my manager calls me and says – “We have planned travel for you to Germany for 3 months. You will have to leave in a month or so…” I coolly replied – “Ok.” and came back to my seat. Just browsed through the calender to check the dates. Taking passport,visa factors into account, I might mostly travel by May end. 3 months, so June, July and August. Wait a second! July?! Will I be there? For a minute(or little more) I didnt know whether to laugh, cry, feel grateful…absolutely stunned! Tears just brimmed in my eyes and a drop just trickled down from the right eye…

WCF Logo

Thats the month…July 2nd, 3rd the dates for the World Culture Festival which I badly wanted to witness. Can it get better? 🙂 In the last 4.5 years in the Art of Living, I have heard many a times that Guruji takes care. I have experienced it many times but then…this small mind has the tendency to get into its own ideas and complications galore.

Guruji had charted out a plan already and I was here doing all circus to be there and finally when I gave it up, he offered it to me in a platter. As i was driving back home that evening, i was thinking what had I done to deserve this? The answer was – Nothing! I had done nothing to deserve this. Probably this is what is called as GRACE. 🙂

Totally taken care of. 🙂 And I am all set to fly to Germany this weekend. 🙂

Love,

Suman.

P.S. I had earlier named these posts as ‘Taken care’ but then the title itself would give away the surprise element and hence changed it 🙂

MEOW…

Posted: November 9, 2010 in Events, General

From the makers of “I donno what” comes another another brilliant masterpiece.

Vini Ideas and Enlightened Entertainment present

in association with Aditi pictures

A Viniditi production

“MEOW” – Men Empowerment of Women.

From cat to Tiger; from meow to Grrr…Guaranteed!

Now for the story behind MEOW…

Vini, Aditi(two enlightened souls) and I were doing the Guru Pooja course and even without my knowledge I was inducted into the MEOW workshop. Vini and Aditi were the main trainers. Being a good friend, I agreed to be one of their subjects for study(If not for me, how would they proceed with their study ;)).  This workshop was a full on training(most time of the day) and when I got some spare time I went in for the GuruPooja course :). Actually Bhanu di was so awed by both of them that she kept looking at them every now and then ;)(Only we know the reason why). Ok, coming back… the workshop basically empowers men on how to speak to any girl/girlfriend/wife. What to speak, what not to, what to observe and comment on and what not to observe 😉 etc. Patience and perseverance are the two most important add ons which I got in this workshop.  Although I knew many things(thanks to YES!+ :)) this was a real eye opener.

Suddenly in a span of 1-2 days I felt like I had mastered everything. Thanks to Viniditi. I decided to use my learnings and it really worked! I was delighted! But the happiness was short lived 😦 Reason? i realized that the techniques taught are in general to any girl which will work most of the time (YES!! :)) but still your gf/wife might have something specific. So you need to know that too! Ya, I too was lill sad after hearing this. 😦

Small observations like – “Oh! new earrings?”, “Nice hairstyle!”, “You are looking great today” etc are welcome!  But at the same time, it is advised not to comment on too many things and stifle them. You may feel great but it might backfire! 😮 .I am sure many of you may differ on this issue, so please go ahead and comment… 🙂

The MEOW trainers

No! they were not demonstrating how to feed… 🙂

Remember those add ons(two P’s) I told you about. Use them! And do remember to use them again and again. Punah, punah! It works. Its completely an experiential workshop so would invite you all to come and attend this.

Viniditi are great (to say the least) and the workshop is ready to be launched. Final studies are almost over and the results will be published very soon.  Both are quite busy with their schedules and are planning to travel all over the world and train people. Unable to control their enthu, one of them has almost booked her tickets to fly to the US! 😉

But there is a good news. This course can be done via correspondence also. Yaay!! For further questions you can get in touch with me.

Also the person coming up with a better/most suitable full form for MEOW has a surprise in store! 🙂 They get a … hello! its a surprise! So go ahead and unleash your creative full forms in the comments section…

 

Trainers and me 🙂

 

Grrrr :),

Suman.

Bhakthi Concert

Posted: September 4, 2010 in Events, Music

World Alliance for the Youth Empowerment (WAYE) Youth wing of Art of living is proud to organize the

BHAKTI CONCERT” – An Evening  of music and wisdom

Performances by :

  • Young talented group of YES!+ graduates led by renowned classical vocalist  Mr.Harshal Pulekar.
  • Concert interspersed with stories about devotion from the Indian epics and our own lives by Bawa (Mr.Khurshed Batliwala) and Mr. Dinesh Ghodke.

Date – September 7th, 2010.

Venue – Chowdiah Memorial hall, Malleshwaram. Bangalore.

Time – 6pm to 8pm.

The proceeds of Bhakti will go towards building Centers for Youth Empowerment(CYE) which will serve as an epicenter of knowledge, meditation, art, dance and music for India’s most vital asset – her youth! As yoga and meditation are being recognized more and more as tools to a more sensitive, holistic and sustainable leadership, CYE will provide a fertile ground for India’s future sustainable leaders.

To Grab Ur Passes, Call

Suman – 9900269112, Vinod – 9611255226 , Ananth – 9886732357

Pictures from Last Bhakthi Concert

Bhakthi Concert

Posted: June 16, 2010 in Events

World Alliance for the Youth Empowerment (WAYE) Youth wing of Art of living is proud to organize the

BHAKTI CONCERT” – An Evening  of music and wisdom

in Bangalore, the first of its kind in the city.

Performances by :

  • Young talented group of YES!+ graduates led by renowned classical vocalist  Mr.Harshal Pulekar.
  • Concert interspersed with stories about devotion from the Indian epics and our own lives by Bawa (Mr.Khurshed Batliwala) and Mr. Dinesh Ghodke.

Date – July 1st, 2010.

Venue – Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleshwaram. Bangalore.

Time – 7pm to 9pm.

The proceeds of Bhakti will go towards building Centers for Youth Empowerment(CYE) which will serve as an epicenter of knowledge, meditation, art, dance and music for India’s most vital asset – her youth! As yoga and meditation are being recognized more and more as tools to a more sensitive, holistic and sustainable leadership, CYE will provide a fertile ground for India’s future sustainable leaders.

To Grab Ur Passes, Call

Suman – 9900269112, Karpagavalli – 9886651708 , Ananth – 9886732357