Friday, 26 September 2014

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


It is a mirror for us to see ourselves. 

Actor Varun Pruthi is from Delhi. He is trained to be actor from Hollywood. He creates interesting experiments about humanity on video. The experiment in this video is the most shocking one. Very sadly it screams loudly - 'India I don't Care!!'

Can we bring back the humanity?


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Kashmiri Heart opens up...

 to the stranded tourists from Bangalore..

Niveditha (extreme right) and her team members from Bangalore with family members of Mohammad Yunus Bhat, who hosted them in flood-hit Srinagar.

Niveditha, extreme right in the above picture, an important functionary, and member of 'Raja Rajeshwari Nagar I Care', in Bangalore, was one of the thousands of tourists stranded in Kashmir during the last week's unprecedented rain fury. We, the other members of RRN-I-Care, were all concerned about her safety and did various things to trace her down to check if she was safe. But finally she returned to Bangalore safely. Here is what she shared with Deccan Herald -

Karnataka tourists bowled over by Kashmiri hospitality
Niveditha (extreme right) and her team members from Bangalore with family members of Mohammad Yunus Bhat, who hosted them in flood-hit Srinagar.
Niveditha (extreme right) and her team members from Bangalore with family members of Mohammad Yunus Bhat, who hosted them in flood-hit Srinagar.
Not all tourists caught in flood-hit Srinagar are carrying horror stories home.A group of vacationers from Karnataka were left impressed with the hospitality of Kashmiri families in the hours of crisis. 

Undeterred by the devastation that has brought untold misery, the locals offered them food, water and shelter. Towards the end, they also doubled up as porters, shouldering the tourists’ luggage and wading through water and slush-filled ravines to drop the visitors at the airport.

Narrating her experience, Niveditha Sunkad, a Bangalore-based tourist, was overcome with emotion at the hospitality she received from a Muslim family. Niveditha, of Rajarajeshwarinagar, was safely brought to Delhi by the armed forces on Friday. "In the hour of tragedy, there was total communal harmony as Muslim families hosted several Hindu travellers,” she said.

This story is different from the loot and scoot incidents coming from the Valley. Recent reports highlighted that some locals heckled tourists and looted them. Sunkad along with five others landed in Srinagar on September 5 to go trekking in the snow-capped Sonmarg hill range. However, soon after landing in Srinagar, they were informed by the organisers that the programme was cancelled.

"With no option left, we stayed in a hotel on the bank of Dal Lake hoping for the rain to stop. However, on September 6 morning, the hotel’s ground floor got submerged and by noon, the second floor was also engulfed with gushing water”, Sunkad, techie on a break from her job, said.

Sensing danger, the hotel owners left the place leaving behind some employees to look after property. "As no help was forthcoming we began following other tourists as they were moving towards the upper reaches by walking in knee-deep water. Seeing our plight, a young Muslim boy, Mohammad Yunus Bhat, took all of us to his house in Brein Nishat area...the family members vacated one room for us and said 'don’t worry, we are here to help you’”, Niveditha recalled.

The Bhat family also accommodated several other tourists.

From elderly to younger ones all the 10 members of the family joined to help distraught tourists, Niveditha said.

Even after going towards Raj Bhavan, several Muslim youth helped us by carrying our bags as we had to climb steep hills to reach Raj Bhavan where the Army has set up camp to airlift people to the airport, she said.

In Brein Nishat area, several people opened their houses to tragedy-struck people, be it locals or tourists, and provided food and shelter. Some mosques have opened mass kitchen to feed people day and night.

"They treated us like their family members...Now we have doubt whether they have anything left in their home for eat themselves.We will never forget the hospitality provided by residents of Brein Nishat. They are angels sent by God or we would have been stuck there to die,” Niveditha said.
- See more at:

Now this is what is an act of India I Care...


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Dharavi through the eyes of its own product!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Mile Stone 25K

Mile stones are not destinations...

But, the milestones do reassure the direction, and mobility.

It is with this sentiment that this post records here that the viewership of this blog crossed the milestone of 25,000 page views with 97 published posts and 155 comments on 6th Sept, 2014. The figure of followers is stuck for some time at 82. Help us increasing this.

Thank you viewers.

D I L I P 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Eco friendly Ganesha

Gods can't be crazy..

In the next few days many parts of the country will get into festive mood, beginning with Ganesha festival. Especially in Maharashtra and Karnataka thousands and thousands of Ganesha idols will be brought home/established in public places. And after the festivities are over, on the day of closure of the festival all these idols will be immersed in water bodies. Tons of chemicals from the paints on the idols will  contaminate the water.

RR Nagar I Care, an NGO in Bangalore inspired about 50 students of National Hill View School in the neighbourhood of Raja Rajeshwari Nagar  to create eco friendly Ganesha idols by teaching them to make using safe potter's clay. And the next day they all went into the community and engaged scores of citizens into conversation about water pollution and need for not using painted idols. As the students demonstrated actual making of the idols, many citizens got inspired and carried home the clay packs to make Ganesha by themselves.

Now, that is India I Care!

D I L I P   P A T E L

Friday, 15 August 2014

Easy is Right..

An extract from the book 'The Razor's Edge' by Osho.

A very interesting read. Enjoy.

D I L I P.

Easy is right
Question 1:





Anand Shanti, Chuang Tzu is very rare - in a way the most unique mystic in the whole history of man.
His uniqueness is that he talks in absurdities. All his poems and stories are just absurd. And his reason to choose absurdity as his expression is very significant: the mind has to be silenced. With anything rational, it cannot stop; it goes on and on. Anything logical and the mind finds nourishment through it. It is only the absurd that suddenly shocks the mind - it is beyond mind's grasp.

His stories, his poems and his other statements are so absurd that either people simply left him, thinking that he is mad.... Those who were courageous enough to remain with him found that no other meditation is needed. Just listening to his absurd statements, the mind stops functioning. And that is the meaning of meditation.

Meditation is not of the mind.

Most of the Western translations of treatises from the East on meditation have fallen in the same track. They have used the word meditation as if it is concentration. And in fact the English word meditation seems to be synonymous with concentration.

English has three words - concentration, contemplation, meditation. None of them comes even close to the Eastern word dhyana, that became in China ch'an and in Japan zen. The root is the Sanskrit word dhyana, and it will be very good for you to understand the distinction. In concentration your mind is focused, narrowed only on one object.

A famous story about one of the great master archers.... Arjuna says that his teacher, Dronacharya, was giving the final examination of his disciples. He had put a dead bird far away on a tree as a target.
He asked one of his disciples, Duryodhana, "What are you seeing?" Duryodhana said, "Everything!
The trees, the sun rising behind them, the bird that you have put as a target. I am seeing everything."
Dronacharya asked another disciple; he said, "I see only the bird." He is more concentrated.
Duryodhana has his mind spread all over the place. The second disciple says he is seeing only the bird. But the master is not satisfied.

He asks Arjuna, "What are you seeing?" Arjuna says, "Only the eye of the bird that you have told us is going to be the target. I don't see anything else." His concentration has come even more narrow.
And for an archer, this kind of concentration is needed. But meditation is not archery.
Contemplation is not being concentrated on a single object, but thinking about the same object from every possible aspect. For example, somebody is contemplating about love - what does it mean?
He remains confined to a certain line of thinking, not to a certain object, but to a certain subject.
And "meditation", in all the languages of the world except the Indian, Chinese and Japanese, also gives the feeling.... The archer is concentrated, but he is not concerned with the eye, the bull's - eye. His concern is how to shoot the arrow so that it reaches the eye; his concern is not to miss the target.

Meditation, as far as Western languages are concerned, is going deeply into one object - thinking, in its deeper implications. Contemplation was linear; you were thinking about a subject from all possible aspects, but the mind was moving. In meditation the mind is not moving. It is similar to concentration without any arrows. Your thoughts are the arrows, but they are hitting the same subject deeper and deeper and deeper - not in a line, not horizontal but vertical.

There is no word in Western languages which can translate the word dhyana absolutely and adequately. "Meditation" has been chosen because there is no other word, but it is a wrong choice.

Out of the three words, it is the best, but dhyana, ch'an or zen have a totally different meaning: mind has stopped.

In concentration mind has narrowed, in contemplation it is flowing in a line on a particular subject, in meditation it is concentrated, and instead of arrows it is throwing thoughts deeper and deeper into the same object. But all three processes belong to the mind.

Dhyana means the mind has been put aside. There is no concentration, there is no contemplation, there is no meditation. It is a state of no-mind; it is absolute silence, not even a small stirring of any thought.
In the East, so many devices have been tried... how to stop the mind chattering continuously, how to bypass it, how to stop it, how to go beyond it. Chuang Tzu has his own, unique contribution. He talks to his disciples in absurdities, and the mind cannot tackle them. The mind needs something reasonable, rational, logical; that is its territory. The absurd is beyond it.

I have told you the famous story about Chuang Tzu: One morning he woke up with tears in his eyes, so sad and so depressed. His disciples had never seen him sad or depressed or with tears; he is an enlightened master... what has happened? They all rushed and enquired, "Can we be of some help?" Chuang Tzu said, "I don't think so." They said, "Still, we want to know what is the problem that is torturing you so much. You are beyond problems!"

Chuang Tzu said, "I used to be, but last night I saw a dream and it has disturbed my whole attainment, achievement, self-realization, enlightenment - everything has gone down the drain."

They said, "Just a dream?" He said, "It was not just a dream, it has shattered me into pieces." They said, "Still, please tell us the dream!"

The dream was that Chuang Tzu saw that he had become a butterfly. All the disciples laughed. They said, "Unnecessarily being depressed and crying and tears and thinking that your enlightenment and self-realization have all gone down the drain.... It is an ordinary dream, nothing to be worried about it. In dreams people see themselves becoming many things, but a dream is a dream."

Chuang Tzu said, "I understand that a dream is a dream. The problem is that I am worried, who am I? If Chuang Tzu in his sleep can dream that he has become a butterfly, a butterfly in her dream can see she has become Chuang Tzu. And now I am puzzled. Who am I? - a Chuang Tzu or a butterfly?

"If Chuang Tzu is capable of dreaming himself to be a butterfly, you cannot cancel the possibility of a butterfly taking a nap on the rose bushes and dreaming that she has become Chuang Tzu. Who can prevent her? And the question is, have I awakened, or is the butterfly dreaming that she is Chuang Tzu? You tell me who I am! - the butterfly or Chuang Tzu."

They were all at a loss... what to say? This man goes on finding such absurd things. Millions of people for millions of years have been dreaming, but nobody has raised this question. You have been dreaming, but have you ever raised this question? - that when you wake up perhaps it is the beginning of a new dream.
What makes you so certain that you are not dreaming? - in the dream you were so certain that you are a butterfly, and now you are so certain that you are Chuang Tzu. There is no difference in certainty. In fact when you are awake the possibility of suspicion is there, you can doubt; but when you are dreaming, there is even no doubt at all, no suspicion, no question mark - you are simply a butterfly.

He said, "Sit down and meditate and find out the answer - who am I?" They looked at each other - how to meditate upon it, how to think about it? It is unthinkable, it is beyond the mind. His closest disciple, Lieh Tzu, had gone out to the nearest village. He returned; he saw the whole scene:

Chuang Tzu in tears sitting on his bed, all the disciples with closed eyes, their minds completely stuck.
What can the mind say about it? The question is absurd. He asked one of the disciples who was near the door, "What is the matter? It seems to be really serious! I have never seen such seriousness here. And why is our master crying? Has somebody died or something?"

The disciple said, "He has created a new absurdity. Nobody has died and nothing has happened; he is torturing us and nothing else! Now we have to meditate upon it." And he told him the problem.
Lieh Tzu said, "Don't be worried. You meditate; I am coming."
He went out, brought a bucket full of ice-cold water and poured it on Chuang Tzu. And Chuang Tzu said laughingly, "If you had been here before you would have saved all these idiots! They are looking so serious, as if they are really thinking. And you would have saved my tears and my misery. Just wait; don't pour the water, it is too cold."
Lieh Tzu said, "Has your problem been solved or not?" Chuang Tzu said, "It is solved - you are my successor!"

It is not a question to be solved by the mind.

The mind is absolutely impotent.

Chuang Tzu has hundreds of stories and he must have had a very strange kind of genius - even to invent those stories is not easy - but his teaching was very simple. And those who remained with him; all became enlightened. That is a rare phenomenon. He defeated even his own master Lao Tzu - a few people became enlightened, but most of Lao Tzu's disciples remained in their old ignorance. He defeated Gautam Buddha - a few of his disciples became enlightened, but that was a very small proportion, because he had thousands of disciples and not more than a dozen became enlightened.

Chuang Tzu has a rare position in the history of mystics. All his disciples became enlightened....
he would not leave you unless you had become enlightened. He was so much after you that finally people decided that it was better to become enlightened. Every day new torture... the only way to save yourself is to become enlightened. But his method was very simple, and this poem, Anand Shanti, tells in a very aphoristic way his whole approach.

"Easy is right." Nobody has dared to say it ever. On the contrary, people make the right as difficult as possible. To you, who have all been conditioned by different traditions, the wrong is easy, and the right is arduous. It needs training, it needs discipline, it needs repression, it needs renouncing the world, it needs renouncing the pleasures....

Lies are easy, truth is difficult - that is the common conditioning of humanity. But Chuang Tzu is certainly a man of tremendous insight. He says, easy is right. Then why have people been making right difficult? All your saints have been making right very difficult.

There is a psychology behind it: only the difficult is attractive to your ego. The more difficult is the task, the more the ego feels challenged.

Climbing Everest was difficult; hundreds of people had died before Edmund Hillary reached the top alive. For the whole century groups upon groups of mountaineers had been coming, and when Edmund Hillary reached, there was nothing to be found! Just at the very peak there is not even space enough... only one person can stand there, on the highest point. He was asked, "What prompted you? Knowing perfectly well that hundreds of mountaineers have lost their life during one hundred years, and not even their bodies have been found... why did you try this dangerous project?"

He said, "I had to try. It was hurting my ego. I am a mountaineer, I love climbing mountains, and it was humiliating that there is Everest and nobody has been able to reach there. It is not a question of finding anything, but I feel so immensely happy."

What is this happiness? You have not found anything! The happiness is that your ego has become more crystallized. You are the first man in the whole history who has reached Everest; now nobody can take your place. Anybody who will reach there will be second, third... but you have made a mark on the history; you are the first. You have not found anything, but you have found a deep nourishment for your ego. Perhaps Edmund Hillary himself is not aware of it.

All the religions are making the right difficult, because the difficult is attractive - attractive to the ego.
But the ego is not the truth; The ego is not right. Do you see the dilemma? The ego is attracted only towards the difficult. If you want people to become saints you have to make your right, your truth, your discipline very difficult. The more difficult it is, the more egoists will be attracted, almost magnetically pulled.
But the ego is not right. It is the worst thing that can happen to a man. And it cannot deliver to you the right, the truth; it can only make your ego stronger. Chuang Tzu is saying in a simple statement the most pregnant statement: Easy is right. Because for the easy, ego has no attraction.

If you are going towards the easy, the ego starts dying. And when there is no ego left, you have arrived to your reality - the right, the truth. And truth and right have to be natural. Easy means natural; you can find them without any effort. Easy is right means natural is right, effortlessness is right, egolessness is right.

BEGIN RIGHT AND YOU ARE EASY, CONTINUE EASY AND YOU ARE RIGHT. They are just two sides of the same coin. If, beginning to live a right life, you find it difficult, then remember, it is not right. If, living the right, your life becomes more and more easy, more and more a let-go, flowing with the stream....
Going against the stream is difficult, but going with the stream is not difficult. So either choose the easiest things in life, the most natural things in life, and you will be right; or if you want to begin the other way, remember the criterion that the right has to produce easiness in you, relaxedness in you.

CONTINUE EASY AND YOU ARE RIGHT. Never forget for a moment that the difficult is the food for the ego, and the ego is the barrier that makes you blind to see, makes you deaf to hear, makes your heart hard to open, makes it impossible for you to love, to dance, to sing.

CONTINUE EASY. Your whole life should be an easy phenomenon. Then you will not be creating the ego. You will be a natural being, just ordinary. And to Chuang Tzu, and to me also, the ordinary is the most extraordinary. The people who are trying to be extraordinary have missed the goal. Just be ordinary, just be nobody.

But all your conditionings are so corrupting; they corrupt you. They say; to be easy is to be lazy, to be ordinary is humiliating. If you don't try for power, for prestige, for respectability, then your life is meaningless - that has been forced into your mind.
Chuang Tzu in these simple statements is taking away all your conditionings.

CONTINUE EASY AND YOU ARE RIGHT. Never for a moment get attracted towards the difficult. It will make you somebody - a prime minister, a president - but it will not make you divine. Easy is divine.
I have heard about an American super-rich man. He had all the things the world can offer and he had been striving all his life to be on the top; now he had reached and was feeling stupid inside because there was nothing on the top. If Edmund Hillary was intelligent enough, he must have felt stupid standing on Everest... for what have you been trying? The man who walked on the moon must have looked very embarrassed, although there was nobody to see him.

This man had come to the top as far as money is concerned, and as far as money can purchase, he had purchased everything. And now he was looking stupid. What is the point of it all? Inside he is hollow. He has no time to give to his inner growth, no time even to be acquainted with himself.
He dropped all his riches and rushed towards the East to find the truth, because three-fourths of his life was almost gone - just the tail has remained, the elephant has passed. But if something could be possible there were a few days left. He rushed fast. He went from one master to another master, but nobody could satisfy him, because whatever they were saying was again another trip of the ego.
And he was well acquainted with that trip.

It does not matter whether you are accumulating money or whether you are accumulating virtue, whether you are becoming respectable here or you are becoming respectable hereafter - it does not matter, it is the same game. Whether you are becoming a world-famous celebrity or a world- worshiped saint, there is no difference; both are ego numbers.
And they were all telling him difficult disciplines and difficult, arduous ways of finding the truth; they were all saying, "It may not be possible in this life, but start anyhow. In the next life maybe.... The journey is long, the goal is a faraway star."
But now nobody could deceive him. He had found that just becoming somebody special is an exercise in stupidity. Finally he heard about a saint who lived in the Himalayas. And people said, "If you are not satisfied with him, you will never be satisfied with anybody. Then forget the whole thing."
So tired and tattered, walking for miles, finally he found the old man. He was very happy seeing the old man, but was shocked. Before he could say anything, the old man said, "Are you an American?"
He said, "Yes, I am."
The old man said, "Very good. Have you got any American cigarettes with you?"
He said, "My God, where have I come! I have come to seek truth, to find the right...." He pulled out cigarettes and the old man started smoking.
The American said, "You have not even asked me for what I have come here, tired, hungry...."
He said, "That does not matter."
The American said, "I have come to find the truth!"
The old man said, "Truth? You do one thing, you go back. And next time when you come, bring a lot of American cigarettes, because here in this place it is very difficult to find cigarettes. And I am an easy-going man, I don't make any effort; people come on their own. But I like the best cigarettes.
Here Indians come with beedies...."
"But," the man asked, "what about my search?"
The old man said, "Your search? This is the discipline for you: go back, get as many cigarettes as you can get and come back and remain here with me."
He asked, "Any discipline?"
The old man said, "I am an ordinary old man - no discipline, no religion, no philosophy - I only like to smoke cigarettes. You come here, and slowly, slowly you will also become just as ordinary as I am. And I tell you, to be ordinary, with no pretensions, is the right."
And as the man was going back, puzzled, the old man said, "Listen, at least leave your wristwatch here, because I don't have any wristwatch so I don't know the time, what time.... And anyway you are coming back, so you can bring another wristwatch." Chuang Tzu would have liked this old man.
EASY IS RIGHT. BEGIN RIGHT AND YOU ARE EASY. That has to be the criterion. If you feel uneasiness, tension, then what you have started cannot be right.
And the last part is something never to be forgotten. THE RIGHT WAY TO GO EASY IS TO FORGET THE RIGHT WAY - because even to remember it is an uneasiness. THE RIGHT WAY TO GO EASY IS TO FORGET THE RIGHT WAY AND FORGET THAT THE GOING IS EASY. What is the need of remembering these things?

Relax to such a point... be as natural as the trees and the birds. You will not find in the birds that somebody is a saint and somebody is a sinner; you will not find in the trees that somebody is virtuous and somebody is full of vices. Everything is easy - so easy that you need not remember it.

I agree with Chuang Tzu with absolute, unconditional, categorical attunement. I would have loved to meet Chuang Tzu. If I were given the opportunity to meet one of the mystics of the whole human history, Chuang Tzu would be my choice. I have named this place Chuang Tzu Auditorium.

He was very much misunderstood. It is obvious... because he was destroying all the priests, all the popes, all the imams, all the shankaracharyas; he was destroying the so-called great commandments for being right, and destroying them so easily. He was one of the most natural men the world has seen. He has not given any discipline, he has not given any doctrine, he has not given any catechism. He has simply explained one thing: that if you can be natural and ordinary, just like the birds and the trees, you will blossom, you will have your wings open in the vast sky.

You don't have to be saints. Saints are very tense - more tense than sinners. I have known both.
and if there is a choice I will choose the sinners as a company rather than the saints. Saints are the worst company, because their eyes are full of judgment about everything: You should do this and you should not do that. And they start dominating you, condemning you, humiliating you, insulting you, because what they are doing is the right and what you are doing is not the right thing. They have poisoned your nature so badly that if real criminals have to be found they will be found in your saints, not in your sinners. Your sinners have not done much harm to anybody.

I have been visiting jails, meeting the criminals, and I was surprised that they are the most innocent people. And perhaps because they are the most innocent they have been caught. The cunning ones are doing far greater crimes, but they are not caught. Every law has loopholes. The cunning ones find the loopholes first; the innocent ones get caught, because they don't have that cunningness.

It is really strange that when America forced me into jail without any cause.... And since they had no cause, and no reason to keep me in jail, they tried, as long as they could manage, to keep me in jail before the trial began, because once the trial began they didn't have any evidence for anything.

But pre-trial they kept me for twelve days. It was a good experience to know... I had known criminals, prisoners, but only as a visitor - and this was a totally different experience, to be one amongst them.
And it is surprising that I was taken to five jails just to harass me - for twelve days they went on changing jails - but to me it was a good experience.

All the inmates of the jails received me, welcomed me. Behind their bars they were waving their hands and shouting, "Osho, don't be worried, truth is always victorious." And they were showing me the sign of victory from every cell, whenever I would enter a jail or I would get out of a jail.

They would send me small notes: "We love you. We don't know you, but we have seen you on the television. We have heard you and we know you are innocent." Looking into their eyes and looking into the eyes of the law enforcement authorities, one could see the difference... who are the real criminals? The jailers, the marshals, the judges, they were the real criminals. You could see it in their eyes, in their faces.
To torture me they refused to supply vegetarian food because no vegetarian has ever been in their jails - "So we don't have any arrangement." And when the inmates heard it, they started bringing fruits, nuts, milk, which was given to them, and they would say, "Osho, you take it. We can eat non-vegetarian food and it hurts us that you are hungry, that you are starving and we cannot do anything." My cell was full of fruits. And I used to tell them, "I cannot eat so many fruits, I cannot drink so much milk."
But they would say, "Don't take this opportunity from us. You are not going to be here for long.
Tomorrow they will move you again."

And they would bring cuttings of my photographs from newspapers to be signed in their name, because this will be their memory - "We have lived with you, even if it was only for one day or two days."
It is a very strange world in which we are living. Here criminals are rulers, here criminals are politicians, here criminals become presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers, because except the criminal, who wants power? An authentic human being wants peace, wants love, wants to be left alone, wants freedom to be himself. The very idea of dominating others is criminal.

Chuang Tzu is right that if you feel any tension, then remember, whatever you are doing is not right.
Relax into nobodiness.

And this is also my message to my sannyasins: be natural. You don't have to be Christians, you don't have to be Hindus, you don't have to be Mohammedans - these are all ways of creating difficulties - you have to be just natural like trees and birds and animals. Become part of this relaxed universe - so relaxed that you forget all about easiness and you forget all about rightness. To me, this is enlightenment. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

How to identify fake currency notes

Monday, 4 August 2014

Building Bridges..

I am simply reproducing what Zooni wrote on her facebook. It is a great experiment with honesty, truth and sincerity. I hope it inspires one and all.


Building Bridges..
Something I wrote to the newspapers in Nagaland a while ago, extremely important every moment never the less. Sharing it here with the hope that we can all, make a difference, really build bridges.
“Will you be my friend?”
I come from Mainland India, the only time I use this identity is when I am in the north east and I question why.I get some answers and I think it would have been much better if we could have left it to be just a geographical identity, if at all we needed to use it.
This is my 4th visit to the North East of India and 2nd time to Nagaland and each time, I am overwhelmed by the love and care I receive. I am here for a wedding and never before have I seen friends and family helping so much; I had never seen people in cars calling out to people standing on the streets asking if they wanted a lift. And also, I had never met anyone who felt as strongly about their identity as people here do.
Feeling that “I do not belong” is one of the worst feelings ever, be it in the family, at school, or the place we live in. During my last visit to Nagaland, I saw the pain, the hurt you still carry in your hearts. I felt responsible. Since that day more than a year ago, my heart is full of acknowledgement and apology for all the hurt you carry against India, a country you feel you do not belong to. My deepest wish is to help you come out of the hurt and bitterness.
I am sincerely and deeply sorry.
But here, I want to share one more thing. I am a 25 year old woman and I love traveling. Many times, I am looked at as an alien or an object in my own country. People from different states laugh at my way of speaking. I often get into an argument with the rickshaw wallas in Delhi because they never charge the same price and I feel so angry. But, what I don’t want “is to feel like a victim”. Yes, there are people who are indifferent, who taunt me because I am fat. Who make me want to run away but I know that I am not the only one who feels that way just as I am sure you too feel in the rest of India.
There is indifference in the world but we need to remember that everyone is fighting a battle.
I agree that the way some of us from mainland India behave with people from the North East is just not right. But at the same time, there is injustice against some of us the moment we step out of our houses.
I am beginning to understand what you must feel coming from your traditional backgrounds trying to develop your relation with a very ancient civilization like India. I also understand that you have a very deep rooted history. I still do not know much about it but I understand that it is underlined with blood, pain and loss. But should we let the past ruin the present and the future of our children? My uncle here says “Hurts not transformed are always transferred”. Are we unknowingly doing the same?
I just want to say that you are not alone especially when facing difficulties, the intensity and context I am sure are different but we face it too, I face it too. We are fighting against humans when we should be fighting for humanity, for ALL of us and with love!
No one can make you feel like a victim, like you do not belong, till you let them. We need to hold hands and work towards creating love and peace in the world. It is in the shelter of each other that we survive.
Please help me, I love you and belong to you as much as I belong to my own brother.
“What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for others?”
Will you be my friend?
Yours, most sincerely,

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The whole world is in the same boat!

It is after a long time that I am putting up a new post. Hope you all like it.

I am actually reproducing a post by Leo Babauta which is self explanatory. The issues that bug us are the same issues bugging the whole world. 

The minimalist living is what seems to be the solution to let our coming generations to survive.

Do write back your thoughts and about actions taken.


"A Call for Revolt: Advertising is the Anti-Minimalism

By Leo Babauta
The biggest obstacle to a wonderfully minimalist life is advertising.
Let’s think about that statement for a minute: what is a minimalist life, and what stands in our way from reaching it? How is advertising involved?
A minimalist life can be many things, but at its heart is becoming conscious about what we have in our lives. Space is limited: we have limited hours in a day, limited years in our lives, limited physical space in our homes.
And we fill all that limited space up unconsciously, packing it to overfull without much thought to whether that’s the best use of our space.
Minimalism is about pausing, and asking what’s necessary. What belongs in this space, and what can we toss out? Is the fantasy we have in our heads, that’s causing us to fill things up unconsciously, really what we thought it would be?
Advertising has the exact opposite aim: it wants us to spend without thinking about it. It wants us to buy on impulse. It wants to implant fantasies in our heads that cause us to go out and buy.
Think about an ad for clothing, or an Apple product, for example: they show us beautiful people living gorgeous lives, centered around the simple solution of having their product in our hands (or around our bodies).
Ads for a cleanser make us think we’ll not only have clean skin, but a perfect complexion and high cheekbones and a hunky boyfriend who adores us.
Ads for a new app make us think that all of a sudden we’ll be more organized and productive and all of our needs will be magically taken care of with this beautifully designed program in our smartphone.
Ads for a new kitchen appliance give us the fantasy of perfect health and a beautiful body, if only we had this magical tool in our homes.
Of course, none of this is true — we will be no more organized or productive, no more healthy and beautiful, no more likely to have a hunky boyfriend (or lithe girlfriend) if we buy any of these products. We’ll just be poorer, with more stuff in our already full lives.
What’s worse is advertising not only implants a fantasy in our minds that we instantly want … it gives us the self-conscious feeling of lack. We all of a sudden are not complete, not happy, because we don’t have the fantasy lives. We aren’t good enough yet. We aren’t happy yet.
And the buying does nothing to placate that lack. We buy, and still don’t have the fantasy, and so we still feel bad about ourselves. We still have the void inside our hearts that can never be filled.
Advertising is the insidious whisper of the bad angel of commerce.
I don’t blame advertisers: they are caught up in a game where they have to advertise, or they die. I don’t blame consumers: this is the society we live in and we have never lived in any other way.
I don’t even blame advertising companies: the Googles and Don Drapers of the world are just trying to make a buck like everyone else, and have figured out what works. Why not do what’s effective, right?
Don’t blame the player. Blame the game.
We are caught up in a game where we must make more money, and therefore must advertise, and to be effective at that we must instill fantasies that cannot be reached, a feeling of lack that cannot be eased.
We are caught up in a game where this entire process is OK with everyone, in fact cheered on because the most successful at it — Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Steven Speilberg, Walt Disney, et al — they are the winners of our society. We worship them.
The people who opt out of this game are ridiculed as hippies and bums and weirdos.
I say we toss out this game. Grab it by the belt and send it skidding to the sidewalk.
I say we revolt.
We can revolt by simply opting out. They don’t have an “opt in” checkbox on the form of this game, but we can still opt out even if we aren’t given this choice.
We can opt out by not watching ads. Not having them on our websites. Not buying into movies that are simply clever ads. Not believing the fantasies. Not buying on impulse. Not using shopping as therapy. Not using buying as a solution to everything. Not supporting media that’s just there to get us to read the ads between the stories. Not going to websites that have intrusive popup ads. Not listening to ad-supported radio. Not watching videos online that have ads. Not using ad-supported email. Not wearing logos on our clothing. Not getting logos tattooed on our bodies. Not going to theme parks that are just big ads for their products. Not shopping when we’re on vacation. Not buying presents to celebrate the holidays. Not buying smartphones because of an ad we saw. Not buying clothes or makeup or skin products to make ourselves look like a fantasy. Not reading magazines that try to make us have a fantasy of what we should look like. Not watching TV shows supported by ads.
Sound like too much? Yes, I agree: we are too entrenched in ads. We can’t get out of them. We are dependent. The revolt is too revolting. Back to your regularly scheduled program."

A Public Servant..

...From Meghalaya.

This is what I call a true India I Care spirit. Malthus, salutes to you. I reproduce his mail to some of us, some time ago.

 Hi Friends!!
It's been a long pause to our communication and sharing with each other! Hope things are ok with everyone of you.... With the temperature rising here in Guwahati, perhaps my days here are numbered and I'll be back soon to Shillong to head the new Shillong Passport Seva Kendra!! During my tenure here, as all of you are aware of Passport Offices anywhere in India, I have come across many challenging situations especially in terms of "Bribes" by applicants or agents!! But thanks to the Inner Voice that still works in me and telling me all the time that it is wrong to accept bribe!! I am happy to help people where ever possible seeking nothing in return. I consider myself a Public Servant than a Govt. Servant... As a team, we have been able to detect so many applicants with fake it Birth Certificate, EPIC, Mark Sheet, Driving License and even Bank Passbook!!!
Pl share your experiences so that together we can make a difference!! God bless u all!
Malthus S. Sangma
Deputy Passport Officer,


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Touching Tale of Delta Flight 15 post 9/11

Rekha Shahani, Principal of Kamala Highschool, Mumbai, also a Trustee at Initiatives of Change,India, contributes the following heart touching account:

Since the story brings out the 'care' part so vividly, and it has an universal appeal, I thought this India I Care platform should present this story to inspire viewers for doing their bit in their parts of India.

Rekha writes --

 Although this was a long time ago, i had never read this story. And, it is so heartwarming, that I hope you are touched by it as much as I did.

 " Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that "All Business" look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta's main office in Atlanta and simply read, "All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination."

 No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland.

 He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately -- no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.
 While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.
We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, New Foundland, to have it checked out.
 We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that's nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM! .... that's 11:00 AM EST.

 There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the U.S.

 After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason." Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the U.S. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

 The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane. In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were U.S. commercial jets.

 Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC. People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada. Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

 Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm. We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

 We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning. Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

 Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing. And they were true to their word. Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

 About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

 After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander! We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the U.S. airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

 We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

 Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the "plane people." We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

 Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days. What we found out was incredible.

 Gander and all the surrounding communities (within MATCH about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

 ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the "guests." Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

 Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration. 

Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered "Excursion" trips. Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests. Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.

 Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft. In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

 Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.

 It was absolutely incredible.
 When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

 And then a very unusual thing happened.

 One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said "of course" and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days. He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers. He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

 "He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte. He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

 "The gentleman, a MD from Virginia, promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

 As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

 "I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.
It reminds me how much good there is in the world."

 "In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today's world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.
 *This is one of those stories that need to be shared. Please do so...*
Much love 

Hope you all liked the story of human compassion, and gratitude.

for IIC