Hi! This blog is testament to the fact that the voices in my head are truly out of my control! Rather than going crazy about it, i've decided to channel them constructively!
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Organic Terrace Gardening weekend workshops in Pune (various places) over April 2016
Facilitated by Hemal Patel, who was among the organizers of the recent
Sustainable Living Pune Convergence last Sunday.
Contribution: Rs.1000/person, 50% discount for kids/students.
Contact number: 9011355709 (Hemal)
Monday, March 28, 2016
Please don't give up on love
Please don't give up on love yet. Let time pass, let the wounds heal.
Don't be so hard on yourself; don't go too much into the concept of
what happens on outside being reflection of inner defects only.. it's
all nice n spiritual n all but I think there can be times we take that
too far. We're only human, babaa, there's no need to witch-hunt each
and everything about ourselves. Heck, what characteristic has manifested
as a negative in your experience in relationship, might even have a
positive manifestation in another sphere of your life. By trying to eliminate
one, what if you end up degrading even what's good about you? We
might be better off seeking structures, being in environments that better
accommodate those characteristics of ours, that channel them
You may have to analyze your patterns till now and change the way
you look for love. Girls with great looks do attract the worst-fitting
of the males around at first tries :P
- Simplify your tastes (especially when it comes to consumerism),
- Raise some bare-minimum ethical / health standards that had earlier been lowered in the interest of being progressive, non-judgemental, unconditional etc,
- Introduce some grounding parameters, like alignment with causes you're passionate about, or integrity etc in worldly life too (yes, it does matter, our worldly and personal lives aren't completely separated. Extent u decide.),
- Involve community in the search, let your close friends / folks whom you gel with, find and recommend someone, or ask them to help you evaluate someone you're considering.
But please don't give up on love. There will come a time when you'll be
ready for it again, and if you make room for it in your life, it will
be wonderful, something that will make all those trials and
tribulations worth it.
Let it slumber, but please, please don't give up on it. You deserve this. It
will happen, please let it when the time comes.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Sustainable Living Convergence - March 27th 2016, Pune
newspaper clips and a graphic, thought I'll put it up on the blog once
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Event : Sustainable Living Convergence, Sunday 27th March, full day @ Gandhi Bhavan, Kothrud, Pune
Mark your calendar & be there on Sunday, 27th March @ Gandhi Bhavan, Kothrud, Pune with your friends & families from 10am to 8pm
Registration is mandatory in case you are having healthy lunch with us else entire event is having Free Entry.
For Registration Contact on below numbers :-
Neeta Agarwal - 9175905462
Sharad Bhojane - 9850223494
Priya Phulambrikar - 9766623409
Hemal Patel - 9011355709
Bhushan Patil - 9850000313
OR log in to our website:
This convergence is a place of gathering for Sustainable Living Members to know more about challenges & resolutions related to Food, Air, Water, Energy, healthy lifestyle. These natural resources of Mother Earth once in abundance & available in purest form are scarce & highly polluted in today's times. At convergence you will be interecting & listening to our Sustainable Champions working in synchronization with Mother Earth where how we can turn around from this point.
The future generations are relying on us to hand them over a better,cleaner & healthier planet. Come be part of this full day event on 27th March at Gandhi Bhavan, Kothrud, Pune
(on behalf of Hemal Patel and the organizing team)
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Education as the Domestication of Inner Space - by Layla Abdel Rahim
have you come accross Layla Abdel Rahim? Worth exploring her explorations.
Education as the Domestication of Inner Space
How Ivan the Fool Defeats Civilized Pedagogies
Wild Children – Domesticated Dreams: An Interview with Layla AbdelRahim
"Schools teach children the principles of death and of suffering. They
do not teach them the principles of life, which is diversity, which is
being out there in the world. They teach them within closed systems,
within closed buildings and walls, separated from the rest of the
world. They teach them that violence is legitimate when it is applied
from the top to the bottom and that it is illegitimate when it is
practised in resistance or defence of diversity and life.
Layla AbdelRahim is an interdisciplinary author who uses a variety of
research methods and disciplines to understand civilization,
wilderness, and our place in the world. Her recent book, Wild
Children–Domesticated Dreams: Civilization and the Birth of Education
(Fernwood, 2013), examines the connections between civilization,
domestication, and education relying on her journal entries as well as
on anthropological and ethological research.
For more on her critique of education, civilization, literature, and
culture visit her website: www.layla.miltsov.org
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Web-mapping Pune's Development Plans for better citizen engagement
Here's something you can do that might help in bringing more transparency to this matter. At any point on the map, if you click, you get the exact latitude-longitude of the point. You can select and copy that (press Ctrl+C).
So, the wrong places, misallocations, deletions etc that were mentioned recent petitions.. please identify them, copy their exact lat-long points, and then write it out in the comments section at the bottom of the page, with lat-long (this is key!), so that it's publicly available, and then other people seeing the page can go to that location and check it out and give futher inputs. Also it would be great to just zoom in to your own neighbourhood, check out the DP map for your area and explore the various allocations etc.
Tip: You can post comments anonymously also, by checking on the "I'd rather post as a guest" option when you are typing your comment.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Simple is more mature
He shared how as he got to know more and more about how the money
system really works, his advice (as a reputed financial advisor) got
simpler and simpler. He offered this simple talisman-type thing:
If he/she seems like a nice person,
you like what they're doing,
and the world needs more of them,
then invest in them.
I felt myself connecting with this. I couldn't help but feel that this
applies to even other realms.
Over the past few years, in multiple interest fields, I'm converging
on similar thoughts : that keeping things simple is actually a sign of
wisdom and maturity, whereas making things overly complicated implies
immaturity, and is another example of the tricks the mind plays to
maintain its hegemony. Could it be that going complex only serves to
deviate us from the simplicity of reality?
So that brings me to one focus topic...
He's a nice guy.
You like what he does.
And the world needs more people like him.
Please. Forget all the other complications.
Just say yes!
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
A nice poem and a not so nice critique
the context in which it can be used:
> LOVE'S DEEPER COMMITMENT
> Let's not commit to a future together. The future is so unknown, and we are
> so fluid, and tired of pretending that we know.
> Our thoughts and feelings are ever-changing, uncontrollable, like a wild
> ocean of love.
> Our desires wax and wane; our dreams are born and die in every moment.
> Let's not commit to a form of love. The forms are always shifting, like the
> We do not need security here. We are not seeking comfort, but Truth.
> Let's make a deeper commitment; one that cannot be broken or lost.
> To presence. To meeting in the here-and-now.
> To bringing all of ourselves. To knowing, and letting ourselves be known.
> To telling the truth, today; knowing that our truth may change tomorrow.
> To bowing before each other, even if our hearts are broken and tender.
> No promises, no guarantees.
> Loving takes courage! Yes!
> For love is a field, not a form. Let us commit to the field, remember the
> field in every moment of our precious days on this Earth.
> In ten years' time, we may still be together. We may have children. We may
> live together, or live apart.
> We may never see each other again. This may be our last day.
> If we are honest, we really do not know; not knowing is our Home.
> We may be friends, or lovers, or strangers, or family, or we may remain
> undefined, beyond narrative, our love unable to be captured in words.
> Here at the edge of the known, on the line that once divided sanity from
> madness, and doubt from certainty, we play, we dance, we drink tea, we
> touch each other, we cry, we laugh, we meet.
> We sacrifice comfort and predictability. But what we gain is astonishing:
> This tremendous sense of being alive. No longer numb to the mysteries of
> love, the mysteries of our bodies.
> A little raw, perhaps. A little shaky. Maybe a little disoriented, but
> perhaps this is the price of being totally free.
> Maybe an old part of us still seeks mommy or daddy, that Magic Person who
> will never leave, always be there, take away the loneliness repressed in
> our guts. Loving that frightened part too; bowing to that part too, but no
> longer being controlled by it.
> And they will ask:
> What about your future?
> What happens if you have children?
> How the hell do you define yourselves?
> Why are you afraid of commitment?
> Why do you run from security? Comfort? Future?
> They will say you are crazy, or you don't understand love, or you are lost,
> or you are unloving and selfish, and you will smile, and understand their
> fear, for their fear was once yours, and you cannot abandon your path now.
> And nobody has to walk with you. Ever.
> At some point, only Truth will satisfy. A living Truth, renewing itself
> each and every moment, the wild Truth of the open heart.
> When Love and Truth are One, when the Commitment is deeply rooted in the
> breath, we can finally face each other without resentment, and explode into
> the most melancholy sunsets, held in the most profound joy.
> Walking alone, together, alone
[Allright so here it comes! But first, think about this : Who is this poem for?]
But I've seen something relatively more wonderful in the companionship
rooted not in fear as this poem tries to ascribe, but in a tacit
acceptance that if it really makes no difference if there is
attraction or not, then might as well be there for each other, in a
grounded sense which honors head, heart and body. And that strategy
accounts in the difference in time: I may feel more attracted to you
this week and you may feel more attracted to me during a week next
month. Or, I might feel physically attracted to you while you feel
intellectually attracted at this time. By being abundantly there for
the other, both's needs are met even if there is a slight mismatch in
I think the fourth dimension of time is important; and we can extend
our caring, our love over this dimension rather than restricting it
only to the three dimensions of space and neglecting time. It's great
to make a big deal about being present and in-the-now, but can we
check if we're not just doing that to run away from honoring the
And can we balance things? Why not be both present and keep that
presence finely weaved in with the past and the future? Too much
planning may be bad, but not all planning is bad. Being in-the-now may
be good, but being absolutely that only could cause trouble to you and
others whose life you're part of. It's unfair to disrupt the "now" of
others around you to make way for just your "now". Can there be a
middle path between these extremes?
This poem seems engineered to associate any actual committment with
only one feeling of fear whereas reality begs more, and the lack of
committment with only all sorts of positive things while conveniently
omitting the negatives. We can similarly use all manner of nice
wordings to associate the lack of committment with fear, scarcity and
greed (for better deals coming by that one would want to swtich to at
a moment's notice), and committment with abundance, with being alive. It's up to us which stories to weave : if one is fair then so is the other.
After all, if we're comfortable being together as well as alone, then
why not do precisely that instead of going around looking for
entanglements with other people, which seems to be the implicit thing
we're trying to enable here? Wouldn't that be indicative of a scarcity
at our end : that we need getting entangled over being in solitude?
Why not keep things simple instead of trying to justify increasing
levels of complexity with more complex narratives?
Who says it's not possible to feel alive while in a thriving committed relationship? On the contrary, there's far greater chances of that sense lasting longer and not quickly disappearing as quickly as it came.
Ultimately I'd love to see how it gets implemented in real life. For
instance, in our circles we know a couple that renegotiates and renews
their committment after a certain period of time (every month or every
year I don't know), agreeing that if anyone thinks its not working
out, simply not renewing means they're free to walk away. But during
that time period between renewals they are together and are there for
each other even if one feels less attracted. So being-in-the-present
is implemented over the long run, but the quantum of time (what we
call as "now") isn't as short as a second or a day.
Coming back to the poem, on a practical level it seems most
advantageous to people who already have something else going on and
want to keep things loose but want to not feel bad about not having
the abundance within to let the other person go and find a more
wholesome way of being. If I want to have a secret affair while being
in a steady relationship and keep lying to my main relationship-partner,
then a good way to keep my affair-partner under my control and
on my team will be to give her this poem.
I then get to feel "in-the-present" and
enlightened and soulfull and all, while planning all my timings
smartly and lying wholescale to one partner. While I agree with the
poem's declared intent and know there are many different ways of
fulfilling it, I'm going to acknowledge its potential of being
repurposed as a very convenient affair-enabler. And anyone who
questions that, can simply be judged away as a judgemental person
since the poem, like the bible and other such texts, has already built
in verses to define itself as unquestionable.
My advice to the affair-partner would be this : Stress on the
importance of being honest with all stakeholders and not being
meticulously planning and lying to anyone (if you're open and
in-the-now, then what's there to lie about? If you have to lie your
way through, are you really being present and in-the-now?), and then
maybe this poem won't get used in the way I have alleged. And if you
don't want to do that, then please be comfortable with the reality as
it is and don't make claims about things being oh-so-wonderful and
enlightened just to fool yourself.
Lookup: A great international experiment in redifining love and
restoring the sacred in relationships while acknowleding and honoring
polygamousness where it is, by doing away with the deception game and keeping things honest: http://www.tamera.org
A little context to explain how this critique came about... check out this basic personal-life profile of a friend of mine who shared this poem with me : she's sleeping with someone who has another person in his life as his girlfriend, and she insists its not really a relationship. And she is intellectually in a relationship with someone (hey, I don't get it at all but that's what it is for her) who is about to get married. Both these men in her life, quite some years her senior, are people she values very highly as brilliant intellectuals; is fascinated by.
The fact that those guys are comfortable with keeping the significant women in their lives in the dark and still keeping them and my friend and God knows some more in their life in mutually isolated boxes, have no intention of changing the official status and are happy to plan things efficiently to ensure smooth operations... that they don't have the abundance within to just let this girl go and help her find something more wholesome for herself.. doesn't really hold relevance in my friend's evaluations.
What might be the situation on those females' ends who my friend knows are being kept in the dark (nevermind the inconvenient little detail that this amounts to a form of emotional abuse and that no one likes being lied to).. they're much older than my friend is and I don't think they've figured at all in her realm of consciousness. How about some unconditional love and Truth for them also? Or wait, is that only applicable to the people doing the lying and not to the people being lied to? How will she feel when in their position, at an older age, not much other options left, needing companionship and security much more than an early tweener? How would she feel if she gets to be the one kept in the dark? Well, theoretically they'll stay happy if they never find out but when they do, it's magically supposed to be their problem and will probably be chalked up to their inability to be like what is dictated by the poem, with no consideration for the real life circumstances.
So there you have it : What the original oh-so-beautiful concept is, and one example of how it gets implemented in real life. Still looking so nice? Or are things getting messy?
And in all this, somewhere I'm feeling that my friend isn't being genuine with herself; I feel like she's cageing her heart and letting her brain only call the shots, going for the short term pleasures and interpreting them as proof that things are good.. "a tremendous sense of being alive". And I worry that the associated loss of dignity, integrity and empathy can and will spill over to other realms of her life too. So the poem and things like it, I'm seeing, are a very convenient responsibility avoidance (and reality avoidance!) tool, especially for those at the benefiting ends, to keep the status quo going and use impressive language to make things look a lot fancier and nobler and fairer than they actually are.
In case you're not getting where I'm seeing the problem or are feeling I've been too judgemental, please consider this analogy: Let's invent several layers of reasonings to make one's habit of compulsively and excessively eating junk food look like it's a very healthy and noble thing to do; pretend that by doing so you're really being true to yourself, proof given by the short-term sensual pleasures you get from it and "feeling alive" while you willfully ignore any long term consequences because you're only living in the now. Make all sorts of complicated justifications and beautifications instead of just admitting and being comfortable with the simple fact that you're just indulging yourself for now. See, I don't think the indulgence is wrong. A little indulgence could be great, I'm all for it. My problem is with creating the artificial constructs to justify and propagate it beyond its natural time instead of letting it be just what it is : an indulgence. Maybe because that would bring about a sense of responsibility to end the binge and get real at some point?
Heck, in all likeliness, the present scenario is a reaction to the ruthless suppression of indulgences so far, and the over-burdening of committment on people in a hypocritical way. But we don't need to swing all the way to the extremes. I believe we have it within ourselves to find a middle path.
And do check out Tamera : If you really want to keep the polygamous nature then it's possible to go about it in a totally different and much more sustainable way.
PS: To clarify finally, I am in agreement with most of the poem itself. My critique is regarding its ham-handed application to real life that I'm seeing around me and the misery that's causing, and its use as justification for things that we'd rather not have more of in our world.
Trip for students by Academy for Earth Sustainability
Last month, 40 of our students spent a week with the Academy for Earth
Sustainability <http://www.aeslife.in/>, for their Eco-Embark program.
Located on a farm in Karjat, Maharashtra, the program introduced children
to sustainable living, diving into critical issues around and solutions for
food, water, waste, and energy.
I am an educator and a difficult one. I am a thorough planner and i always
expect that from people who work with children. I am writing to all of you,
because that's what I found extraordinary about the program of AES. They
were heartful and soulful and skillful in their way of dealing with
children and their understanding about sustainability!
They were wonderfully communicative about the program design and it was so
beautifully custom made for us! :D It was not just do-do-do-do but it was
about reflecting emotionally and intellectually! :)
If any of you parents, educators are looking for something heartful and
valuable for your children, I recommend this. You can get in touch with me
to know my experience on <comment below>. I work in Hyderabad and I took
children all the way from here and it was worth all the effort :).
If someone wants to know more they can directly contact Chandan Mulherkar
at [..] chandan [at] aeslife.in .
This is NOT an advertisement. This is an honest sharing for I want more
children / adults to meet these inspiring people, who care so much about
the Earth and are doing something about it :)
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Heres a thought thats coming up for me this morning. Its a bit controversial, so apologies if offense caused :
If there is a wonderful person in my life whom i respect highly for some wonderful traits in their personality, if i put him/her up on a pedestal and praise and idolize them, then i don't really have an inclination to implement those good practices in my own life. Because thats only something that "great people" can do.
But on the other hand if I see that person as another person who's not very different from me, then it becomes my responsibility to also implement those good traits in my own life. I cannot excuse myself saying that only great people can do that.
I wonder if that is one reason why we make mahatmas and bhagwans out of our best humans : so that we can escape from the responsibility of emulating those good traits? I know there are other reasons also, but I want to provoke these questions:
What are good traits in my idols that i am refusing to inculcate by boxing them into the great-box and saying i can't be like that?
Is my refusal to do so, then leading to problems in my life that those idols don't have?
Am I then claiming that I have too many problems so I cannot be great like those people? Isn't that then an implicit accusation that those people I respect have it easy and aren't really so great after all? So doesn't this policy (of great-boxing people) become self-contradictory and self-defeating?
Breaking out of that cycle, would my respect for that great person be higher and more authentic if I considered him/her as another human being like myself?
Friday, March 11, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
An India who loves the World
An India who loves the World
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Interesting Links for February 2016
Story: the 99 Club
Story: (shared over whatsapp)
Once upon a time, there lived a King who, despite his luxurious lifestyle, was not happy at all.
One day, the King came upon a servant who was singing happily while he worked. This fascinated the King; Why was he, the Supreme Ruler of the Land, unhappy and gloomy, while a lowly servant had so much joy?
The King asked the servant, 'Why are you so happy?'
The man replied, 'Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but my family and I don't need too much - just a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our tummies.'
The king sought the advice of his most trusted advisor. After hearing the story, the advisor said, 'Your Majesty, the servant has not yet joined "The 99 Club".'
'The 99 Club? And what is that?' the King inquired.
The advisor replied, 'To truly know what The 99 Club is, just place 99 Gold coins in a bag and leave it at this servant's doorstep.'
When the servant saw the bag, he let out a great shout of joy... so many gold coins. He began to count them. After several counts, he was at last convinced that there were only 99 coins.
He wondered, 'What could've happened to that last gold coin? Surely, no one would leave 99 coins!'
He looked everywhere, but that final coin was elusive. Finally he decided that he was going to work harder than ever to earn that 100th gold coin.
From that day, the servant was a changed man. He was overworked, grumpy, and blamed his family for not helping him make that 100th gold coin.
And he had stopped singing while he worked.
Witnessing this drastic transformation, the King was puzzled. The advisor said, 'Your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club.'
He continued, 'The 99 Club is a name given to those people who have enough to be happy but are never content, because they're always wanting that extra 1, saying to themselves:
"Let me get that one final thing and then I will be happy for life."
We can be happy with very little in our lives, but the minute we're given something bigger and better, we want more ...and even more! We lose our sleep, our happiness, as the price for our growing needs and desires.
That's "The 99 Club"...
Zero Membership fee to enter, but you pay for it with your entire life! ☺
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Beauty of the Mosaic by Rosalina Chai
Beauty of the Mosaic
-by Rosalina Chai
For as long as I recall having memory, I've found mosaic incredibly
mesmerising. Alongside the increasing presence of grey hair on my head
grew my awareness of how aptly the mosaic can serve as a metaphor for
perceiving and understanding the human condition.
Mosaic is at once intricate yet majestic. And it is precisely its
brokeness that lends mosaic its perception of fragile beauty - the
space between the tiles is as much an intricate part of its language
of beauty as the mosaic tile itself. And isn't this true too of our
Whilst there are numerous titles out there extolling the necessity,
power and beauty of our essential brokenness, more often that not, our
daily interactions with our fellow human beings appears to be
motivated by unconscious "should-ism" that demands perfection of one
another. What is it about brokenness that we find so offensive?
What would happen when we accept and embrace that being broken is an
essential part of humanity's be-ing? What would happen when we cease
to label brokenness as bad? What would it take for us to cease
labelling brokenness as bad? I can imagine one certainty ... more
Accepting and embracing brokenness is not the same as using another's
brokenness to feel better about ourselves. Rather, it is an
acknowledgment of our common humanity. When I accept my own
brokenness, and do not judge myself harshly because of it, I find
myself capable of more compassion towards others regardless of whether
I am aware of the form of brokenness they've experienced.
Finally, it is the coming together of many many many mosaic tiles that
the meaning of its language of beauty is expressed. We were not meant
to be alone in our brokenness. We were meant to come together, so that
another form of beauty may be birthed through the collective.
I would like to leave you with this story.
At the beginning and end of time, Truth was a beautiful glowing orb.
One day, the orb was shattered into shards that outnumbered the stars
in the universe by one to infinity. These shards became souls. Thus it
is that each soul represented one part of Truth. But Life intervened,
and many souls believed that they were Truth, and so Hatred was bred.
But some souls held onto the memory, and attempted to remind the souls
I do not know the end of the story as it is yet to be written. But I
do know that when all the souls are reunited, the space between the
shards would be where the light shines through. And that Truth's
beauty would then take another form.
Roslina Chai is an author, mother, and "seeker of beauty, curator of
experiences, and holder of space." She lives in Singapore, and the
excerpt was originally taken from her blog.
- See more at: http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=2138#sthash.TZWNQ5Fh.dpuf
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Article on a teenager murdered and then accused
And try to understand the consequences of continuing the hatred that makes things like these happen. We can't keep on chalking up everything to the Mughals, at some point we need to take responsibility and start behaving better than the Mughals did.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Psychological chilling effect of using "negative", "dark" words in physics
"It turns out that roughly 68% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the Universe."
Well, there's other things the instruments haven't been able to detect. And their technology's failings has been used by them (the scientific mainstream) as an excuse to refute the existence of what they're failing to detect.
Belief and trust induced healing, growing of plants.
People's movements where without any real central structure or source material that everyone would have looked that, the same ideas spontaneously spring up in many minds at once.
The word "dark".
What if pranic/orgone energy that is being used to heal and purify and transformed harmful into beneficial, is coming from that "dark energy" that, as per the scientific status quo, encompasses our universe?
Ok, back to...
What if (sorry for the sacrilege my materialistic friends) dark energy / dark matter actually has an inherent positive bias or positive nature to it?
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Is planning ahead being logical or being caring?
I'm really appreciating the ability of mothers to extend their emotion of caring across the 4th dimension of time. If guys try to do that then they get accused of being too logical.
(PS: there's no ads or revenue sources of any kind on this blog)