Sound Advice
Its been a long time since I felt really excited about an innovative interactive advt. Sonetimes they are so technology heavy, and look as good 'ideas' but difficult to implement. Here is one concept that really wants you to go ahead and implement it.
"Ground Zero Los Angeles develop a new way for parents to communicate with their kids about drugs. The execution must be innovative and stimulating to an audience that has grown up with new media and technology as the norm not the new." Just click on image below to check the site.
How I found my salvation
“The sense of separateness “ – what a wonderful concept. Speaking Tree, a column of Times of India had this article by Dr. Deepak Ranade. He says “The more we endeavour to attain salvation; the sense of separateness only gets reinforced.”

In my daily endevour to live my life as sanely as possible I often feel that if I can get through the day without one major confrontation – emotional, professional or ethical, that itself was salvation. Yes alcohol can be recourse to achieve the momentary ‘disconnect’. But how often in the day do I feel like I want this disconnect?
Each day in the evening when I return home, I often wish – what if there was no one home – and I had the house to myself. What if I don’t have to answer “what’s for dinner tonight?” Over a period of time what I have experienced is that ‘giving-in’ to a situation makes it more pleasant. Let me explain that when I say ‘giving in’ here I do not wish it to be interpreted as ‘giving up”.
At some point in time did I not crave for just these things – someone to wait for me at home, someone to ask when I was coming home, someone to appreciate what I cook? I soon realized that my sense of happiness was only one-sided. “I am happy ONLY when things work my way”. So taking the above case – when it was MY need to be appreciated for the food I cook ; I wanted someone to cook the food for. The moment it becomes someone else’s need my unhappiness was generated from the feeling that I was ‘giving in’ to someone else’s need. Over a period of time this interpretation seeped into my relationships too. Is happiness the product of convenience?

I also discovered that having been in the role of the ‘giver’ it is difficult to become a ‘receiver’. And to be a ‘receiver’ I realized I had to ‘give in’. I needed to give others a chance to ‘do unto me’.

And that’s when I found happiness, without a trade-off. To quote Deepak once again "Connection or disconnection is relevant only in duality or an illusion of duality. Once this illusion of duality vanishes, what remains is unity. An impersonal awareness."

I had been able to experience the inclusive disconnection – a state of realization. "The disconnect that occurs by inclusion is everlasting, beyond any time-space considerations. Compassion for all life then becomes the effect rather than any imbibed virtue." I finally had my salvation.

Thanks Deepak for making me think all this.
I made my choice
I voted. Did you?
The Great Indian Democracy
What great timing...the general elections of 2009 and me reading The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor. I do hope Mr. Tharoor sticks by what he has to say about democracy in India. In the chapter 'The drop of Honey – A Parable' Vyas is having a discourse on the fall out of emergency (the Siege as it is referred to in the Novel) Vyas says -

“ The Siege was accompanied by a declaration of 20 point socio-economic programme which the government seemed determined to implement. With strikes and political demonstrations banned, there was a new sense of purpose where earlier there had been drift and uncertainty. In the slothful, yet oh-so vital world of officialdom, the officialdom in whose hands rests the hope of progress for so many of our national poor, habitual absentees were reporting for work all over the country....I felt that if the Siege, however base its basic motive, was going to permit the government to serve the common man far more effectively than before, then people like us who had lost the freedom we alone knew how to exercise, had no right to object. The purpose of democracy was the greatest good for the greatest number, and I had no doubt that more Indians would benefit from the abolition of bonded labour and the implementation of land reforms than would suffer from the censorship of (press) articles...”

Why is it so that we as Indians do not implement social reform in its true spirit unless we are forced to by law? Why does our ‘holier than thou’ attitude not make us conscious of our social responsibility before pointing at flaws in any social reform plan? How many of the government programmes for the benefit of the farmers/ruralite have actually served their objectives.

Who will measure this? And if measured who will take a look at the results (however negative they may be) and dwell upon it to look for a way forward, rather than pointing accusing fingers. Its only we who can make it happen... or is an emergency state, focussed on reforms, our only hope of bringing an indent however small in the Human Development Index.

And yes, lastly is media ever going to be repsonsible... or should i say who is reponsible for the media? I dont know, the lines have surely gone all grey here.
Of Churches and Spires
A temple evokes a very different feeling in me..I mean I am not a religious person. But the atmosphere or call it the ambience, always leaves me with a sense of awe. And so it also happened in case of The St. Philomena's Church in Mysore.
On a recent visit in January’08, Vallarie and myself decided to visit Mysore, and our first destination was the Church. I guess it was a wrong time of the day for photography, as we were in the blazing afternoon heat of 2.00pm, and equipped with only a digital camera – these are all the images we could get.
The tall imposing spires makes you feel you have entered Tolkien’s world, and except for the heat and the mulling people you could be on the sets of "the lord of the rings". Oh I know this is my imagination running wild. But seriously that’s just the kind of feeling I got.
I was very surprised to note that the church came into its current state of existence not long ago, but as early as in 1933. I mean earlier there was a smaller church in these premises over 250 years ago. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III , the king of Mysore built a small church for the resident Britishers.
My notes are poor here, but I got to know that a Frenchman named Daly designed the church. The church floor is in the form of a cross. The long part of the cross is the 'nave', which is the congregation hall. The two arms of the cross are the 'transepts'. The fo
urth part containing the altar and the choir is the 'crossing'. Wish I could get an ariel view!
The church is built in the Gothic style and is one of the largest in South Asia. The significant story is that it has the relic of the 3rd century St. Philomena that is in a beautiful catacomb right below the main altar. You can go through dungeon pathways having names of all those who have contributed to the church, inscribed on black polished stones. It was my first time in a catacomb - very eerie.
So after the St Francis' Church in Goa I have voted this to be one of the best churches I visited.