April 29, 2009

That's gully cricket!

With summer holidays and IPL season 2, things cannot get better for children all over India. I took a detour yesterday on my way back home and chanced upon some kids playing cricket. They were having immense fun. Seeing my car approaching, the batter quickly towed the stumps. Wondering how? That's convenient cricket aka gully cricket.

Generally it's a brick or a plastic bottle that is found roleplaying stumps. But this is indeed cool, right? There was someone silently on the watch, or should I say umpiring the game. He looked quite appreciative about the whole thing.

I wanted to capture the fun but didn't want to interrupt the game and annoy them. I pulled over on the side of the road, went up to them with my cam and meekly asked, "Can I take a few pictures?" They gave the nod in unison. They were more than happy and seemed to be enjoying the attention.

April 22, 2009

Wow! We have an earth day too!

Manu sure thinks I have a thing for meteorology. He talks to me about March Equinox and I am blinking. No no! I am not talking about snow-blink or ice-blink. A bit of googling and I realise Equinox and Solstice mark the change of seasons. On a side note, auto correct tells me there is no such word as googling and suggests me to 'go ogling'. I just need that motivation. :)

Whoever googled yesterday would have known that it was Earth day. Surprisingly I hadn't and realised it only after Manu told. Later I spotted this email from WWF India in the spam folder asking to switch off the lights once again.

Wikipedia suggested there are two earth days. A lot of sites talk about March 20 (as per United Nations) as the 'authentic' earth day. We have an earth hour, two earth days. Are we not simply overdoing it?

Searching for news on earth day, I came across this site on earth day crafts using recycled materials. Check this out. http://crafts.kaboose.com/. See what you can make out of an egg shell. Isn't it just adorable?

It is really interesting, specially if you have kids at home, you can make their holidays more worthwhile. If you create an awareness in them now, we will have an eco-friendly generation for whom each day will be an earth day.

April 21, 2009

Mac's already home!

After all that hoopla, my friend couldn't wait any longer and brought Mac home a little earlier than decided. Here are some pictures of Mac. He looks dispirited and is not in any mood to be photographed. Probably the change of address has left him a little wary. Hope we will have more interesting snaps once Mac gets back to his lively self.

Apparently he's already found a friend in Cooper, a 3 month old St. Bernard in the neighbourhood. That is Cooper below. Is that a dog or a ball of fur?

April 20, 2009

Path to bliss with Ananda Spurana Program

I underwent Ananda Spurana Program (closely translates as Life Bliss Program) the last weekend. Earlier a colleague had literally run out of words describing the 'experience'. It got me curious and there I was at the centre to bliss out. It is an introductory level 2-day meditation program that works on the seven energy centers (chakras) in our body. The program is organized by Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, a worldwide movement for meditation and healing. Nithya Dhyaan is a unique meditation technique devised by Paramahamsa Nithyananda and Ananda Spurana Program (ASP) is the precursor which looks at cleansing the seven energy chakras.

The energy chakras (picture courtesy: Dhyanapeetam.org) when blocked by the negative emotions affects your well being and ASP helps eliminate the negativity in you. More about energy chakras in another post. Though I found the introduction to each meditation technique a little sleep inducing, the meditations as such were interesting and left me refreshed.

We were a small group of 11 people from different backgrounds, out of which 7 were ardent followers of Swamiji and were already practising Nithya Dhyaana. At the end of the first meditation which focussed on the Heart Center (Anahata Chakra), I could feel an energy wave propogating through my body. This tells me I might have had a heart blockage ;) Another interesting thing was out of 7, 6 exercises were done blindfolded. At the end of some meditations, I found myself at an entirely different location from where I started, without realising that I moved. The last meditation was Nithya Dhyaana itself which probably was the longest with 7 minutes of chaotic breathing followed by 7 minutes of humming in Vajrasana. This is followed by 7 minutes of bringing awareness to the 7 chakras. Then 7 minutes of silence and 10 minutes of listening to guru mantras (chantings). A mantra that goes like 'Brahmanandam paramasukhadam' was a familiar one from Rig Veda which used to be one of my school prayers. It's a pleasure to silently listen to these mantras.

I haven't undergone any major transformation. But last night I had the best sleep in some time and am smiling a little more than usual. It's definitely an experience to cherish. The guided meditation CD costs Rs.100/- which comes with a booklet that explains the process. Once you have your chakras activated, you can meditate playing back the CD. I'm not sure if I would become a part of the Nithyananda community but I intend to practice Nithya Dhyaana. If that makes me a happier person, why not!

April 16, 2009

Her Mac, my Cloud

Exactly a week ago, my friend Chandana who lives in Troy, Michigan announced, "We are getting a puppy home!". I thought she was kidding. She never had anything, even remotely, to do with dogs. Then she sent me a picture (below) of a 2 week old Mac, a Labrador pup. Mac is indeed cute, though I would have called him Cloud. I have a thing for the name and always have wanted to name my pet that. I was more than willing to donate the name, but she was no taker :(

Chandana feels Mac is going to be the sole solution to the mundanity of their life. Also, having to look after him, they will grow more responsible. When asked about her new found love for dogs, she told me she has been watching 'Dog Whisperer' in National Geographic Channel and she couldn't wait to get one puppy home.

The search for a pup was on. They found Mac, the cutest of a litter of 10 and connected instantly. He is still with the breeder. Mac's home-coming is on the 24th of this month. I am excited.

A clean and organized home will be a thing of past now. Very soon territories will be marked all over. Her footwear, bags, couch will turn his favourite chew toys. Nothing worries her. She is determined to bring up Mac to a good boy. I hope Mac will make his parents proud one day.

Happy Parenting Chandana & Hemant! :)

April 4, 2009

April, the cruellest month

Had T.S Eliot been a banker, he would have spared April and called March the cruellest month, says Manu, a friend and a banker himself. Apparently in the UK, where Eliot lived, the fiscal year ends on April 5 every year unlike March 31 in India. This revelation certainly would make my friend feel better, who is done with his March woes and celebrating the happiness April brings in.

However, with mercury on the rise, April's ignominy isn't entirely questionable. Temperature has already crossed 40° Celcius in most parts of India. Also with the general election campaigns in full swing, it's great deal of pressure on our politicians to come up with new promises so charged with magic. For a good majority, April is indeed cruel if not cruellest.