Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Open- Eyed meditations - a book review

The moment I saw the title 'Open- Eyed meditations’ By Shubha vilas on blogadda book review program, my instinct said this could be my kind of book.  The word ‘Meditation’ itself has a calming effect on me and the authors previous books on Ramayana which I read and reviewed here had left me  pondering and contemplating even after I had finished reading those  books. I expected this book to have a similar effect on me and, I must say I was not disappointed.

Open-Eyed  meditations was not a breezy read for me, I had to read and re-read at many many places to understand, accept and absorb what was written in the book. With the exams of my son and so many other commitments, it took time for me to finish the book.  But, I enjoyed each and every page of the book. 

The book is actually a collection of thoughts about various aspects of  modern life , the situations we deal with and offers profound insights and solutions to those situations . The way the author has beautifully drawn analogy  between the situations we encounter in modern life to the stories  or characters or situations  from our epics The Ramayana or the mahabharatha is commendable.

The book is divided into 64 small chapters, each one dealing with a modern day problem like the art of communication, making right decisions in life, can talent be your enemy?, Are you scared to be offline?, can your success be your failure?, how to let go, art of leading leaders, Do ‘likes’  make my life?, quality vs quantity, making leadership last etc.,

Each of the  64 is independant , complete and offers nugget of  wisdom and action to be taken within the chapter to the modern day malady. At the end of each chapter is the summary highlighted in a box enclosure.

The language is very simple and   beautifully rhyming. Some of the lines can make great pin up quotes on  hardboard or can serve as our status to inspire us.

A few lines that inspired me are..

“A simple mind accepts the unchangeable reality, whereas a complex mind dwells on it indefinitely creating immense  negativity”

“letting go at the right time and in the right mood allows you to blossom without hindrance. Either that or you shrivel in self-pity”

“Real perfection of a man is to find joy in accepting his imperfections as potential for his growth rather than as a source of his fears”

Like I mentioned, the book has many short stories embedded and while the author has elaborated the stories, situations and characters in many chapters, he has also missed completing them or he must have taken for granted that the reader knows the story. For instance, in the chapter “ A story about communication”. He talks about Kanika neeti in which Kanika convinced Duryodhana to have faith by narrating the story of a fox that tricked its four friends to part wth their share of the hunt by its cunningness.  Elaborating the story crisply could have helped correlate the situation.  The author says this story was the inspiration for the infamous gambling match.  This passage left me curious to know what the fox story was.

Otherwise, this is a marvelous book  that takes us by the hand to deal with modern day situations. This book(279)  is certainly not a one time read and has to be a part of our personal library and has to be picked up from the bookshelf often to absorb the brilliant insights.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Life's little moments

For the past months, When i was at work or at leisure, I would often hear an inner voice  telling me that i am ignoring my blog,  Everytime, I heard the voice i would silence it by telling that i have other priority work/busy   or usefully occupied now and will blog the next day...but  busy with  what? I know not....i simply know that was a super excuse for losing interest in blogging and indulging in other new tasks. 

Today, after two months when i picked my laptop to check on a page which was not opening on phone, I decided to open my blogpage and write something. 

Even now, as i am typing this....i don't know what do i fill it with.....My blog which is my storehouse of my memories, my anecdotal happenings, my travel diary is blank, ..but i want to say something and don't like this page staring blank at me. 

Have i said it all? seems like I have nothing to share or maybe i don't know to construct my thoughts  coherently.

Hmmm......may be i  should just write randomly about the little happenings of my life in the last two months ( dec16, jan,17) 

So let me first start with  a confession,

 The reason for ignoring my favorite space must be that I am hooked to my  smart phone.

While on the phone,  All my thoughts are shared through a different media where there are specific groups. I seem to be dabbling in too many things using the phone, making friends, meeting virtual friends in real, connecting with them on my interests, sharing thoughts ...ofcourse all this happens after i have attended to my work .

While lot of learning and connecting is happening through these groups, i find sometimes it is  too much of information explosion too. Ignorance is sometimes bliss and why learn about too many things..

Lot of learning is happening offline too. I had joined a sketching and watercoloring workshop, a rangoli workshop( sanskar bharati) and .....and.....the two left footed me is learning dance too  and i did give a public performance with our group on republic day in our campus. Unbelievable for anybody who knows me, because i hated dancing or watching dance unless it was my children's show....what a change!!! I know everything in life goes through a change, i am no exception!!! I am doing all things which i once would never have thought of doing. 

This republic day was a defining day for us personally, " the other man in my life" turned 18. 

my little organic garden is throwing me surprises. Every morning, when i open the balcony door, a new ripe red tomato says 'hi' to me. 

There are times, when my zero mile food dictates my menu,  methi paratha, methi thepla, menthiyakeerai vatthakozhumbu, methi alu fry,  tomato rasam, tomatoes in salad, pesto sauce, mint raita.... and waiting for more now that,  spring has ideal weather for veggies.

I am living and enjoying the little moments of life than photgraphing them, ( finding the charger, perfect lighting such a pain, by then I lose the moment), one such moment was during our year end break.

Our original road trip  to horsley hills was broken as we could not afford a 3 day break due to sonny boy's school but we did take a 1.5 day trip to a " watersport resort" cottage  near Chilkur.

While here, we threw ourselves back into pre-technology era and indulged in sports( tennis, badminton, billiards, carrom, table tennis), walking, breathing in crisp fresh air and eating healthy food.

It was fun moon gazing and star gazing, nature watching here......reminded me of my childhood days, when i had time, i would sit on the steps of my home and stare at the moon and think.....Ah!.....may be a separate post on this "Moon gazing".

hey wait, i have written a pretty long post.

For somebody, who started with "what to write"....this is a pretty lengthy one.

More on my next.....

but before that what should i title this post? .....have i said it all? or  "life's little moments".......the latter sounds better and optimistic...what say folks?