Presenting the most powerful workshop ever!

Imagine yourself in a workshop, where the greatest thinkers of all time are your teachers. Imagine Buddha, Lao Tzu, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Sigmund Freud, Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell, Ralph Waldo Emerson and many more luminaries gently guiding you into transforming your life in the way you always wanted. What a thought! is such a workshop. It comprises 21 powerful thoughts, elaborated to help you understand, and benefit from, the wisdom and insights from the world’s most respected thinkers. You’ll be delighted to find that, irrespective of when and where it was expressed, each idea featured in the book has the ability to raise you to a higher plane of thought and action.

What a thought! is a rare opportunity to learn from those we admire the most and whose lives are an example for everyone.

What a thought! Front Cover Snapshot

What a thought! back cover snapshot

Another struggle for independence

It’s hard to accept but our blood sucking politicians are a reflection of our collective attitude and mindset. We ought to stop accepting abuse of power and anarchy. A second “struggle” for freedom is needed—one that frees us from our own apathy, cowardice and passivity. Only when we’re freed this way can we ever become free from the greed of the current crop of politicians.

Politicians

A filthy, appalling breed
that is sucking our nation dry
by their abysmal greed
while the rest of us cry

As long as they succeed
Mumbai will never be Shanghai
I think it’s only when they die
will we heave a collective sigh

Politicians and horror flicks

Millions of ordinary citizens are sending SMSes to TV news channels expressing their shock, anger and other emotions at the recent terror attacks on Mumbai. Many of these SMSes are being telecast on tickers scrolling at the bottom of the screen.

One citizen’s SMS expressed helplessness asking: “When will our politicians wake up?”

I would like to answer this question: Never.

That is because, to wake up, you need to be asleep, not dead. Out politicians are actually dead. Their hearts don’t beat. They souls don’t feel sadness. Only dead people can react the way our politicians do.

In fact, now I am pretty certain that our politicians only shed crocodile tears whenever any terror strikes.

Dead people are supposed to be buried or cremated – but we see them freely roaming everywhere, especially on TV channels. No wonder our TV channels often resemble Hollywood horror flicks, atrocious looking dead men coming out of graves to “terrorise the neighbourhood”. Remember Michael Jackson’s Thriller video?

Mumbai attacks: the lethal combination of business, politics and religion

Rage, shock, disbelief, and hopelessness are some of the many emotions that we in Mumbai are experiencing right now. But we are also feeling helpless. What should we do in such a situation? Is there even a modicum of hope that we will emerge out of our vulnerability to face any crisis in the future?

It is indeed very sad that we can do little except live in fear and speculate about how our self-serving politicians, from ruling parties or otherwise, will use this to further their own utterly selfish agendas.

The problem is much more complex than apparent. And perhaps the root cause is the lethal combination of business, politics and religion. The financial crises, the terror attacks and lots of other grave issues we face today are the result of these three forces conspiring hand-in-glove.

I reckon that the world is a victim of the “business of politics” and the “politics of religion.” Notice that the common thread is politics. Yes, politics is no more than business for our politicians, who leave no prospect of raking in millions. These same politicians also use religion to terrorise the core human spirit. They design dirty divisive strategies just so that they can come to power and then abuse it to their advantage. What is tragic is that people fall victim to the ideologies of political and religious leaders who have nothing but their own self-interest in mind.

Whenever there is a crisis, our political leaders grab the opportunity to point fingers at their political rivals. Their holier-than-thou attitude is unbearably nauseatic. Every politician portrays himself as the son-of-the-soil who would lay down his life for the countrymen. But all they do is vote for more and more privileges for themselves. With top security for each of them, why would they bother about the security of the average citizen?

Unless we break up the unholy nexus between business, politics and religions, I see little hope for the average human being anywhere in the world.

No difference between politicians and terrorists

Most politicians are no better than the terrorists. The only difference between terrorists and politicians is that while terrorists are victims of a kind, politicians are in fact the victimisers.

Spare a moment to think about the modus operandi of terrorists: their primary means of achieving their goals is to identify the vulnerability of the people and then exploit it. In the case of the Mumbai attack, the terrorists studied every vulnerable aspect of Mumbai and then used each of them effectively to terrorise us.

Our politicians too use every opportunity to exploit the people of the country. The vote-bank politics is a case-in-point. When BJP uses the Hindutva card, it is exploiting our country’s vulnerabilities. When MNS chief Raj Thakeray provokes Marathis against the north-Indians in Mumbai, he is very effectively misusing the susceptibility of the average unemployed Marathi residents of Maharashtra.

Every single politician in the country has consistently abused the vulnerabilities of the common man to their advantage. Then, can you see the similarity between terrorists and politicians?

Mumbai terrorised but NOT immobilised

The media, especially TV channels, must stop glamourising terrorism. I appeal to TV channels to stop spreading terror and report only facts, sans exaggeration. Mumbai has not been attacked. Only a few locations in South Mumbai has been attacked.

I feel a sense of tremendous anguish at the thought that the masterminds behind the attack on Taj, Oberoi and CST station must be celebrating their success, perhaps even rejoicing the killing of our top cops. But in spite of what’s happened, the truth is that Mumbai is normal. We citizens are shocked, yes. We are shaken, yes. But we are not immobilised. By repeatedly broadcasting “Mumbai Attacked”, we are only helping the cause of terrorists.

Their objective is to terrorise the whole world… why give them free advertising? We should, in fact, play it down.

It is also high time that we “ordinary” citizens step out and start an extraordinary movement against the incompetent and inept governance of this country. Collective action is the need of the hour. If we don’t do something soon, the self-serving politicians of this country will lead us into irrreparable destruction – not just of property but also of the human spirit.

Welcome to Sajjanpur is engaging

I saw “Welcome to Sajjanpur” yesterday. I thought it was nice. Easy on the mind. The songs were totally unnecessary, otherwise it was pretty engaging.

Shreyas Talpade is brilliant in his portrayal of an educated rural young man who dreams of becoming a fiction writer someday. The character is basically a noble creature at heart, complete with ordinary human weaknesses. He is believable. So is Amrita Rao as a young married rural girl waiting for her husband to return from the city. Not at all glamorous, Amrita still looks beautiful and fresh.

The other cast and crew were OK. Ravi Kishen was at his irritating best. Ila Arun added to the irritation quotient of the film.

Through “Welcome to Sajjanpur” Shyam Benegal shows that you can make a film on an extremely simple story, without too much conflict and yet keep it engaging. Not among his best. But still pretty good.

Freedom from second-hand smoke

India is far behind in the list of countries that have banned smoking in public places. But then, it is better to be late than never, especially when it concerns the health of millions.

I support the ban comprehensively. It is about time we took the dangers of passive smoking seriously. For those who believe that the ban is unfair, this is what I think: smokers can smoke as much as they want to – after all we live in a democracy and we have no right to object to an individual’s choice. But, the same individuals must respect a non-smoker’s choice too. I don’t smoke because I think it’s not for me. I am convinced that smoking harms me. Then why should I be subject to passive smoke? By smoking in public places, you force non-smokers to inhale the smoke. And that, mind you, is definitely unfair.

There are some who think that instead of banning smoking in public, there should be a ban on manufacture and sales of cigarettes – at least there won’t be a moral dilemma among smokers. It’s a democracy thing again – won’t we take away their right to smoke? Yet, we have banned drugs altogether, haven’t we? I reckon that if the government is so sure of smoking being injurious to health, it should ban it altogether.

But at least banning in public places is a good start. Let us enjoy freedom from second-hand smoke.

New Complete Wellbeing website rolled out.

We humans are complex creatures! We are always striving to decode the universe we inhabit… but we often forget the basics in the process. We want to conquer the world, but we forget that we must first conquer our minds, then conquer the hearts of others, and then, surprise-surprise, the world will not be needed.

In our upside-down, topsy-turvy scheme of priorities, Complete Wellbeing reminds us of what we tend to forget in our daily lives – that what we intrinsically value is good health, happy relationships, satisfaction at work and a purpose in life.

Recently, we rolled out the new website of Complete Wellbeing. This is just the beginning. We have great plans for making it one of the most useful websites in the world.

To me, Complete Wellbeing is much more than a magazine or a content portal. It’s a philosophy, an attitude, a movement. It’s a way of living, in which we value the gifts nature has bestowed on us.

I am convinced that the new website will promote the philosophy of Complete Wellbeing and spread health, happiness, love and fulfilment to millions of people around the world.

Click the link image below to visit the new website.

Stay well!