This splash of pink against the dark night sky is an expression of the meditative mind of Ratnamala Hegde, the pillar of our firm. Amidst the demanding clients that she handles, she finds time on the weekends to unwind with her easel and brush. She is into Yoga in her own way I would say. “Stilling the fluctuation of the mind” or “Yogas chitta vritti nirodhah”, as propounded by the Father of Yoga, Patanjali.
International Yoga Day was celebrated on 21st June all over, albeit in confined spaces this time as against mass asanas over the last few years. Well, practising asanas or postures is for the body and only one aspect of yoga. There are 8 other aspects with Meditation (Dhyana) being an important element that enables us to escape from the ‘monkey mind-cycle’ temporarily. This brings in the other aspect of Focussing attention (Dharana) as part of Yoga.
Another yogi for me is my young nephew who has managed to co-publish a scientific paper on Artificial Intelligence even amidst this pandemic that has created pandemonium all over the world. I would say he is practising Dharana !
My cousin’s wife who is regularly posting yesteryear’s golden melodies sung by her on Smule is a sensation of sorts now. Despite a demanding day job and young children to take care, she is finding time to rediscover the singer in her. Almost everyday her beautiful voice transports us to a bygone era. Isnt this meditative yoga too ?
What do we call an initiative of a celebrity who is feeding millions of people everyday in India when he himself is living in New York ? Recently I watched a BBC interview of the famous Michelin Star Chef (only one from India) Vikas Khanna. To a question from the journalist, he answered with his typical smile “What motivated me to start mass feeding during this crisis time is not the hunger experienced in India during my struggling days (Amritsar where I grew up feeds hundreds of people from the community kitchens it has) but the hunger experienced on the streets of New York. I slept on the benches and went hungry for days as it was tough for a brown-kid who wanted to make a name for himself during the post 9/11 days”. He also recalled how the initial efforts to mass-feed people failed and he had almost given up, until his mother’s admonishment shook him up and he started with a different strategy of partnerships to achieve the goal of Anna Daana (Food Charity) during COVID-19. Without a still mind and focussed attention, an initiative of this scale and magnitude is not possible. Isn’t he an Yogi of sorts ? Someone said “The point of a goal is not what you achieve. The point of a goal is who you become.” Be it my colleague, my nephew, my relative or the celebrity chef, I am sure all of them have ‘become’ someone while pursuing their goals – whether professional or social.
“The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.” It’s time #ForNature, as June 5th marks World Environment Day, June 8th World Oceans Day and June 21st International Climate Change Day. Biodiversity is the theme for World Environment Day, 2020. Now than ever before it’s time to act together #ForNature. Isn’t it for us too ? #ForLife too ? Should this remain a mere slogan for a day earmarked in a year or should it be an year-long sustainable activity ? No brainer. Of course it should be a collective action of ‘Live and Let Live’ on a long-term basis following the tenet
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah May All be Happy
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah | May All be Free from Illness|
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu May All See what is Auspicious
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet || May no one Suffer||
It seems simple but it is a tall order considering the times we are in. Let me share a personal experience. Last week, my refrigerator stopped cooling. We started noticing that the veggies started to wilt, milk went bad, curd turned soar, fruits rotted and the ‘stale-food-box’ (that’s how my grandmother would refer to a fridge?) had stopped cooling. Thanks to the lockdown, the service technician could attend to our ‘box’ only on a Sunday after 10 days of complaint. He had a list of service complaints that was as long as Hanuman’s tail ! Jokes apart, Sadiq, the technician took less than 5 minutes to pronounce that the copper wire had corroded due to which ammonia was leaking. He came back after another week and replaced the wires, giving life to the refrigerator. As I got talking to him, he shared some startling information. Thanks to the notorious Bellandur lake, overflowing with obnoxious chemicals (this has been creating a stench not only in the neighbourhood but also globally with the infamous pictures), about 4 kms around this lake is polluted which includes Koramangala, where I live. Sadiq said these toxic chemicals in the air corrode the copper in the refrigerator which is the reason for maximum number of complaints from residents in and around Bellandur. Shocked, I probed – has the company (Samsung) done any research on these complaints ? He clarified “Yes madam, for last several years we have been getting maximum number of warranty complaints from Bellandur and Koramangala customers within 8 months of sale of refrigerator which is quicker than other areas. The reason is the pollution levels.” He added that Samsung has undertaken research and come up with a replacement metal for copper to tackle the pollution related corrosion. While this gave me some comfort that Samsung listens to its customers, I was disturbed – If the invisible, invincible chemical in the lake effluents can corrode copper, it can be replaced, but what about our bodies ? Our health ? How much damage can this pollution afflict on all of us, on the metal in our bodies, on the water we drink, air we breathe, food we eat and the climate we live in ! What are we doing about it ? Is observing a day in a year solving the problem ?
Friends, watch the 2017 Naseeruddin Shah starrer ‘Irada’ to know more about how ground water pollution causes many diseases including Cancer. The movie did not get the recognition it deserved but the chilling effect of pollution due to the toxic ‘politician-industrialist-bureaucrat’ combo in our society is telling. It is a must watch ! We must act #ForNature.