Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts



When you wake up in the morning, pray to the Almighty,  only peace and beyond that, ask nothing!  The reason is when you are in peace, you could handle any situation.  Peace means composure.

When I was in my 20s and freshly employed, my boss used to suggest me to pray God not  for abundant wealth,  but rather for a smooth flow of life.   Those eternal words of mid-90s  of my boss  who was an Army's colonel are still echoing in my ears.

One of my morning prayer doesn't put any wish list before God, but ask Him only one thing : Please don't snatch  peace from my life.  In fact, it is vital oxygen to my system.  Even not having it for a fraction of second, I feel deeply suffocated.  

There are so many unanswered questions.  If you see, you will find that not a single individual's pattern of life matches with you.  Some die in 20s, some others in 40s and some others remain up to their ripe-age.  

Constantly, we are caught in the game of uncertainties and don't know what happens next and what is in store for the next moment.   You don't even have a slight hint.  

In the process of understanding and controlling the wild mind, we need to pray. Therefore, the question of believer or non-believer doesn't arise.  Even if you are a hardcore atheist,  you must accept that one Supreme Force is working beyond the human realm.  Call it by any name.    But, I profoundly believe that we all must pray. Rather than adding your material wishes to that laundry list, simply do the following 'Serenity Prayer authored by the American theologian  Reinhold (1892-1971).  The
prayer covers everything, both your material and spiritual goals :

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference. 

It should be followed by this action  prescribed by  Swami Vivekananda :

Sit in a straight posture,
and the first thing to do is 
to send a current of holy thought
to all creation.
Mentally repeat,
''Let all beings be happy;
let all beings be peaceful;
let all beings be blissful.''
So do to the east, south, north and west.

The more you do that
the better you will feel yourself.

Prayer should be the background activity for every moment of your life. One can achieve progress only in small increments on daily basis. Mechanical way of wishing material prospects is the lowest form. We must raise with age.  All the civilizations of the world have made an institutional mechanism wherein  religions have some particular timings/days for prayers.  Whether you go to shrines or not, it doesn't matter but always feel your body as a temple of your Soul which is some way mystically connected with the Higher Self!



We generally put financial goals but health goals should override all other goals in life.

When it comes to health, it is this great Guru of Yoga - B K S Iyengar, who lived a fruitful and disease-free life of 95 years.

To reach to the level of perfection in Yoga like Iyengar, one must be a born yogi.

Iyengar through his yoga teachings spread the lamp of awareness on health to millions of lives which include the famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin in1950s. Menuhin factor helped a lot to Iyengar to spread his wings in the West. His celebrity disciples include Queen Elisabeth, the Queen Mother of Belgium who showed interest to learn yoga in her eighties. Even teaching to the royal woman, Iyengar did not compromise his style - to take the full charge of body of disciple to impart the error-free yoga postures with equal stress on mind.

We have very rare gurus like Iyengar. He should have lived little longer to serve the humanity. But, in nature, everything has its own exit date and it was Iygengar's turn to pack up his earthly sojourn.

When you see his life, it is apparent that he scored so high in life in terms of personal achievement as well as great service to the humanity. May the yoga live longer and its fruits reach to each and every individual on the planet!



My idea to call it  Black Book is basically of its importance accorded to my ideas, feelings and pent up emotions which have so far not find their place but are lurking in my mind and obstructing my progress both in personal and professional life.

Abu Bakr, the trusted advisor and close friend of Prophet Muhammad rightly said that knowledge without action is futile.  Rote learning is of no avail to you.  Keeping hordes of information will not come to your aid.  Wisdom is not something to please others.  Result oriented action is of utmost importance.   Giving sermons will not put you on higher pedestal.   You must reduce  your knowledge into action.

In fact,  this concept  of opening a Black Book came to me on one fine morning  on 25th May, 2014.   In fact this Black Book is my heart poured out on paper.  Psychologists say that when you reduce your desire to write, it gives a new thrust to your action mind.  My Black Book is a kind of  journal.  I don't necessarily write everyday.   When I flip through the written pages, I not only get   new insights to accomplish my goals,  but  learn a lot from my disasters/failures crawled over the years.

As mentioned,  the goals of my life are broadly categorized into six :

1) Physical fitness goals : Healthy life (disease free)
2) Intellectual Goals : Motivational speaker/ Knowledge sharer
3) Children career goals : Worthy of society
4) Financial Goals : Wealth at comfortable level
5) Family welfare and relationship goals - Lovable, Good Samaritan
6) Philanthropic goals : Silently do without publicity

I believe that the above goals are not only meant for me but for everyone who want to walk on the path of success !



When you are in creative mood, even the prose you are going to write gushes out like poetry.  Your  right brain takes over and do the wonders.  All these wonders happen only in solitary walks.

Do you know what's your  79th organ. Let me say ! You have 78 organs in your body, the Google Maa says.  And here is a recent addition : Mobile.  It stealthily added to your body and settled as super organ due to which hell broke loose with the kind of distractions being made.

The company of mobile phone becomes so obsessive and  compulsive  in today’s life and you can easily loose your cool.  No doubt that this gadget makes you  multi-tasking and put you in the centre of activity with all digital resources at  your beck and call.

It is so difficult  to  imagine our lives without mobile phone  in today’s world even for   a single moment. But  it severely distracts you and  mars your creativity, and pushes to different directions.  The best way to deal with the situation is remove this  phantom organ and then enjoy your solitary walks.

I,  being sick of keeping this organ (cell phone) 24x7,  one day left it at home and went to the near park to take  my 'morning walk'. Immediately, when I took my first stride, an air of freedom permeated my system.  Honestly, this phone keeps your amygdala - emotional hub of your brain - tormented.

When I entered the park, after a few steps my heart felt  to put to pen my inner canvas. Soon enough, I sat down on a side bench and started writing on the empty pages of a book which was taken to read.

The real joy started when two stray dogs started jumping, licking and caressing each other in front of  me reminding   the 'music' inside all  of us.  I know that many of the folks  are too busy to look such scenes in the din of daily routine.

By the time, I wrap up this passage, still the dogs dance was going on and I called one of the dogs and caressed it's head   ruminating my childhood moments with my pet dog !



In good olden days, it was mirror that catered our self-glorification and now it is Selfie.  

There is nothing wrong to make it as an obsession. When you post your selfie on social media, it means you are clamoring for attention which is understandable and is a basic human need.

My younger daughter when she was in class 9 was  a bit obsessed with  selfies.  She used to change her Whatsapp profile picture now and then.  More than that, she takes selfies and show us to  extol herself.  Anchoring is her passion.  Most of the time, she used to stand in front of mirror and rehearses her acts.

I read an interesting article written by  a women   in a prominent newspaper where she admonished her obsession with selfies. My reading reaction immediately felt to give my take on the issue.

When it comes to selfies, I want to make it clear that there is no abnormality associated with selfies.  In this internet age, everyone is content-generator and this free flow of information parades the inner canvas of a person which  is otherwise conjured up, in the din of daily routine.

Blogging is a social-networking platform where you can liberally share your views/image and candidly air your views virtually on anything.  It is a forum to ventilate your creative stuff locked up inside your mind. It is not wrong to think so.   Everybody wants to give his/her own sermon on life / issues they come across or experiences.  The quality of their argument/thought is based on their upbringing, their environment  and the people they live with.

Seeking outside validation for our talents is nothing abnormal.  In HRD (Human Resource Development) parlance, it is called Strokes.  In fact, it will help to fine-tune those talents.  In fact your mind is able to synthesize all your experiences to beam back a formidable lesson not only to you for future actions,  but  seek applaud from  like-minded people.   All this can't be viewed in bad light.  Taking selfie and putting in social media is not an alien concept.  In fact,  selfie is the younger sibling of blogging.

Whenever, you get positive comments on your selfie,  your self takes a bulge and you feel propelled.  This instant-gratification is a magic pill that must be swallowed.  That's why selfie becomes a mania from teenagers to country heads.

I feel that taking selfies and instantly sharing with friends  on social media can't be dismissed as neurosis.  All of us want to be bloated-selves before others.  This is the depth psychology.  One need not feel guilty for taking selfies.  Only the bottom point is that indulgence should not go to fanatic levels and the very awareness put you on check. The moment you are aware that you slipped into dangerous obsession, it would bring you back to normalcy.  To protect you from such behaviour,  take introspection of a day's affairs before you retire to sleep.  Raise your self to a level where other's  laurels don't matter much and your own savouring of moments  pay the rewards.


 When you utter the word yoga, people generally interpret it with religious connotations.   In fact  yoga means ''to unite''.   What to unite is a serious question we must pose to ourselves.

If you closely observe yourself, there are different layers of ego.  You feel different from your body and mind.   The real Self always wants to excel in every activity but the inspiration to pace up body and mind  to that level is always a daunting task.

It is almost a daily struggle  both to  layman and knowledgeable man. One must cultivate to find union within his/her Self on daily basis


A glib talker can't find balance in his/her daily activities.   He/ she is always a nuisance to others.  They distract attention of others in work premises.  It is more a sort of compulsive behavior over a period of time  without an inward look of what's problem.

There is a saying to interpret this phenomena :  The heart of fool is in his mouth and the mouth of wise man is in his heart.   It means one should not talk whatever he/she wants.  The talking stuff should filter through the eye of discrimination.   One sure way to achieve balance is Daily vow of  silence.  


In fact, observing silence is not a new concept.  Your system desperately needs on daily basis to come out from trifle thoughts/impulses.   If you read the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi - My Experiments with Truth - you could find how Gandhi strictly adhered to this practice of silence.  He says that     Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. 

 This attribute of  silence is one of the 13 Virtues of  Benjamin Franklin, one the Founding Fathers of United States.  While elaborating this virtue in his autobiography, Benjamin states that :Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself.  Avoid trifling conversation.  

 I think there is no greater yoga than silence.  Just close your eyes and sit still for certain amount of time daily and it empowers you and take you o new levels of awareness.



Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, the old adage goes.  The moot point here is, do we ever have time to pause and take a look around us to enjoy the nature daily ?  


We madly plan for outings or vacations to bring serenity back into our hustle-bustle life.   We  need to pay attention for the simple pleasures of life which are free  even to a penniless.  What we need is a tender heart and time to cherish.  


You need not go to  distant lands to savor the holiday.  The heaven  is just in front of you.  What you need is an attentive eye.   Of course, some tools are required to record the events, and in my case, it is reasonably a standard camera.


In fact, Ruskin Bond, the famous Anglo-Indian  writer who wrote more on Nature, Hills awakened my spirit to rest eternally on the lap of Mother Nature.  He is the force behind me to take more shots on nature. 


The image you are seeing above is taken from  my Samsung E7 mobile camera powered by 13 mega pixels, a few years ago. 


When I restarted my morning walks after a long time, suddenly the tiny park behind my Delhi apartment  looked more  stunning and  exuberated my mood.  The flowers, their unique blend of colours and textures are marvelous.  


I bow my head before the Creator who leisurely created those things with unmatched brain power. The honey bee above silently advises me with its gesture to enjoy each moment of my earthly sojourn. The message is simply not to me  but everybody looking at it.  


When I am struggling to wrap up this passage, a timely quote appeared on my mobile phone's notification bar :


"Why live an ordinary life, when you can live an extraordinary one''

                                          - Anthony Robbins 



Mental diseases are more dreadful than their physical counterparts.

A news magazine in it’s  2015 edition brought out one interesting article on such diseases which are the result of mindless ambitions of man in a fear-driven society.

See the list here:


CEO's Disease:


Hypomania: Those who suffer from this disease are called hypomanics.  They are exuberant, supremely confident, sleep little, have grandiose ideas and super human energy. In the process of accomplishing their tasks, they may lose judgement, insight and control.


Innovation Anxiety:


They worry constantly.  Will their technology become obsolete, will others come up something better, will someone steal their idea?   Unable to concentrate, they lose control over themselves.  Symptoms: shorten of breast, chest pressure, fatigue.


Fomo :  Fear of missing out. Unable to tear themselves away from their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


Modern life has offered so many gadgets for our comfort, but peace has to be earned individually amidst all pulls and pressures of daily life! 



For long, I thought that meditation is sitting idle which is synonymous with boredom.   I thought action makes me superior and I must cling to it.  But that proves to be the other way,  finally.

Various masks that I wear in my daily life seems to be blocking my progress.   I must first unlearn to find ‘inner balance'.   My experience in life says that pumping  information into mind indiscriminately does not put me on a higher path.

Why meditation is difficult for ordinary folks is that they do it as an activity, thereby problems crop up.  Meditation is freeing from that daily din of life.

Living on  'present moment' is the ultimate wisdom.   Here the words of Osho must be remembered:

'' if a person is not meditating at least one hour a day, then neurosis will not be accidental, he will create it himself.''  He says that one should disappear from the world into his own being.  For one hour, he should be so alone that nothing penetrates him - no memory, no thought, no imagination; for one hour no content in his consciousness and it will rejuvenate him and that will refresh him.  That will release new sources of energy in him and he will be back in the world, yuppie, fresh, more able to learn, with more wonder in his eyes, with more awe in his heart - again a child.


Meditation is a natural state of your being.      It is to remain clutter-free in terms of thoughts, assumptions and presumptions.  Once you get into the habit of being in this state of mind, not only you derive immense health benefits but could find more inner integration, harmony in life!    


Renowned Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar once said that youth needs more of Yoga today!' But yoga is  wrongly connoted as a spiritual practice.  It is time to come out from that orthodox  notion.


Some  years ago,  my sedentary lifestyle had taken its toll and my spine and leg joints became so feeble and I find it difficult to climb  staircase to reach my third floor home. That bitter experience turned me towards yoga when   I accidentally saw a Youtube video which is an interview of Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar with NDTV Chief  Dr. Pranoy Roy.

That video brought revolutionary change in me. Sh Iyengar, who was 90 then - April, 2008 looked like a fountain of energy and the way he talked to Dr. Roy ignited me to start yoga practice to maintain my fitness levels.  Then, I slowly started doing some yoga asanas daily after my morning cup of coffee, that too only for five 5 minutes. Since then, I could not remember when I got backache last time which was so frequent earlier.  


For a man of my age  - 52 -  those 5 minutes in the morning are so crucial and if I skip that I feel the pain.  My 5 minutes yoga include 2 minutes vajraasan and 3 minutes halaasan. 


After completion of 5 minutes yoga, I do one-minute meditation.  In fact meditation is your natural rhythm. You should not force your mind to do meditation  which backfires.  When you do it with an effort, it can't be called 'Meditation'. Jiddu Krishna Murti, the eminent Indian philosopher advises  to watch your mind as if it is a lizard on the wall. This makes your meditation qualitative. 


The importance of yoga has already been recognized by the United Nations which declared 21st June as the International Day of Yoga. The Yoga has it's roots in India which is a 5,000 year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice. It has tremendous physical and mental benefits. 


Further the practice of yoga  is totally secular with a mountain of health benefits leading to sound body and mind !



To live long is not easy that  too in a healthy state of body and mind. Only few are blessed with such boon.


Zohra Sehgal, the dancer-turned-actress of yester years offers so much wisdom.  She says that Life has been tough but I have been tougher.  I beat life at its own game.   


Many of us can  never forget  the famous song of Sharukh Khan's movie Dil Se. Zohra's dancing nuances in the  song Jiya Jale... are above board and you must bow your head for her doing flawless head movements  even in that ripe age.  The focal point in the song is her  eye-balls movement to  the tune which is so professional, chiseled to perfection.  


She started her dancing career with Uday Shankar in 1935 and thereafter entered into celluloid world and later on television.  She is often called the grand old lady of Indian Cinema and Ladli of entertainment with  7 decades of acting career.  Recognizing her contribution to the Indian Cinema, she was honoured with   Padma Vibhushan in 2010.  


She wrote her own memoir  Close-up Memoirs of a Life on Stage & Screen in 2010 which is an interesting read.  Further, her daughter Kiran Segal also wrote a book on her mother "Zohra Seagal: Fatty in October, 2012. These two books offer much of her personal life  to the world and how she weathered all difficulties in life. 


Her sense of humour could be  better emanated from the fact that  when asked what keeps her ticking, she replied , ' humour and sex !  Revealing her health secret, she says that Sex is very important for life to get going, I still want it !'    Till her last moment, she was a fountain of energy.  


When I see centenarians like  Zohra Sehgal, my mind slides into reflective mood of what  magic made  them to live such a long period. One lesson I learned  from their lives is their  child-like enthusiasm and Zohra's  persona overflows with this trait  and it is her main secret of   living 102 fruitful years.



When I watched a 3 minute YouTube video to write the story  of  my friend who participated in   Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on 23rd November, 2014, the visuals of event exuberated my mood.


The object of any such marathons is to raise the awareness on health and it is the need of the hour for  a country like India which has the highest youth population in the world. The motto of  the  organizers is to inspire the youth, the main target group to raise their fitness levels.


But in the event, more than youth,  it attracted  middle-aged people and one among them is  Ravi, 50.


With his wiry frame but radiant eyes, fully combed envious black  hair,  Ravi  is a fitness freak.  


Six months ago, a desire to participate in the Marathon put him on track. Since then, he started his practice without affecting his daily routine.


Weathering all the difficulties, Ravi proved that age is not a barrier  when a person makes up his mind. While talking about the event, he says that the event has taken him into a new orbit of personal health.


Some times, it appears to me  that  Body Mass Index (BMI)  is a faux.  For a height of Mr. Ravi which is 171 cm, he is supposed to have 63 kgs, where as he weighs only 54 kgs (as he claimed)  almost 9 kgs less than  threshold weight.   When asked about his health profile, he says that he follows strict exercise regimen and is decease-free.  He says that his daily workout includes yoga.


Talking about his preparation for  Half Marathon,  he says that it has in no way affected his work life.  A distance of 21.097 kms   was clocked by him  in 1 hr 59 minutes 31 seconds.  The maximum time a participant could take is 3 hours.


When congratulated by streaming colleagues and well-wishers, his beaming face accepts them with humility.  About his fitness levels, he says that, he couldn't remember when he got cold or cough last time.  Narrating his story of  fitness, Mr. Ravi says that he is doing  running practice since 2009  but not so vigorously which was started  only 6 months back  for this half marathon.   He also claims that  he  didn't  take any special diet  during practice and only simple diet and normal daily routine did wonders due to his iron will.




It is the cream of Upanishadic wisdom.  The Ancient  Indian Texts: Vedas  speak  of it  elaborately.

Is it  something with religious connotations or a subject every human must ponder irrespective of gender and social position ?

Even in this scientific age, it is still relevant  to dwell on it.  When the mind is ready, the first question that pops up immediately : why it is needed ?  It is needed because, we are all enduring existential suffering since our birth.  In fact dualities  caught our systems : Pain & Pleasure.  We use to be more inclined towards pleasurable things and stay away from painful ones.   The real struggle starts here  when we wrangle with others to take our best slice.   This is the root cause of suffering.

Up to 35 years bracket, the hormonal impact does not open up our eyes.  Once that threshold age is crossed, we want to look the world with superior wisdom.  Experience here factors a lot. If the daily experiences are not seen from the prism of the wisdom eye, the journey becomes wretched and the inner disharmony starts aching the heart.   At this crucial juncture, everybody must turn spiritual. 

What does it mean ? Spiritual means, looking life at the best vantage point.  If you can't properly choose the point,  the view you get about the  world  would be blurring and you go on indulging with non-sense stuff.


Rationality is the  key  for spirituality.  Indulging too much with anything is harmful at material plane.  Connecting with the core of our being always keeps the balance.  Being driven by senses is easy and notorious, but keeping a vigil on our own behaviour constantly is the need of the hour.


Self Realization is knowing our very potential. Noted Indian Spiritual Guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev has a remarkable ability of simplifying this wisdom into common man's parlance.   He says that the easiest thing in the existence is self-realization.  It is just that you are willing & unwilling at the same time.    

Talking on human potential, he says that you as a person is having the best technology within you.  It  converts the  bread into blood and no human innovation has reached parallel to this level of technology.  The Science is not able to unlock the how phenomena till today.


It means within you there is a  giant sleeping and you are equipped with the tools to unleash the potential.     That how process is called self-realization which is self-driven !