Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The time was sometime in the early twentieth century and the place a remote village in Tamil Nadu. The story is about a young mother who lived with her husband and infant son along with her pet mongoose of a few years. She was very attached to the mongoose that she had nurtured like a baby before her son was born. On this particular day in the mid-morning, she felt the need to go to the river to fetch a pot of water. The journey would require the better part of an hour. Her husband, who was a purohit, was out for the day. She wondered about leaving her baby alone in their small cottage. But she needed the water urgently. Her eyes alighted upon her pet mongoose. A wide smile lit her face. She instructed him to stand guard over the baby who was sleeping peacefully in a homemade cradle of his mother’s sari that hung from the rafter in the ceiling. The mongoose nodded his head sagely as if he could comprehend what his mistress was telling him. In fact, he had understood the gist of it. He was to take care of his little master. The lady of the house left with a metal pot on her hips, swinging them as she hummed a song on the way to the river. The mongoose watched her reach the end of the road before she disappeared around the bend. He ran into the house to keep vigil on the sleeping child until his mistress’s return. All was well until the mongoose sighted a snake creeping through the open window. It was moving noiselessly towards the centre of the room where the cradle with the sleeping baby hung. We all know that the snake is the natural enemy of the mongoose. The moment he realised that his little master’s life might be in danger, he pounced on the snake, his sharp teeth bared in a snarl. A silent tussle took place with the huge snake twisting and turning to escape the bites from the mongoose. But the latter was too fast and agile on his feet. The battle ended with the mongoose emerging triumphant, his face bloodied and the dead snake lying at his feet. He heard his mistress’s footsteps outside and ran out to greet her. He was too excited about his victory and wanted to convey the great news to her. The woman walking inside the gate saw the animated mongoose prancing around. There was blood all over his face and he appeared to be grinning from ear to ear. She felt a thrill of shock run through her as she presumed that her pet of the past few years had bitten her newborn baby. Tears coursed down her face as she lurched forward with a screech and brought the metal pot filled with water on the innocent mongoose’s head with a loud bang. He died on the spot. She ran into the house feeling no remorse for her dead pet. The sight that met her eyes was horrifying. A big snake was lying on one side in a pool of blood, obviously dead. Her baby was sleeping peacefully; totally undisturbed by the chaos that surrounded him. A dry sob tore at her throat at what she had done in her haste. She had killed her pet mongoose that had but followed her instructions and had saved her son’s life.

I was all of eight years when I heard this story at my grandmother’s knee. My eyes were wet and my chin trembled as my heart went out to the little mongoose whose death had been such a horrible thing to happen.
I used my imagination to give the story many endings, but not the one that was. If only the mistress had trusted her pet…. If only she had not been so hasty…. If only the mongoose could speak…. If only….
I was in fact, quite upset with my Patti for telling me such a torrid tale.
But now, with the wisdom of age, I realise the impact it had had on my little heart and never fail to thank my grandmother for teaching this lesson on TRUST.
The mistress had had sufficient ‘trust’ to ask her pet to guard her child. But this ‘trust’ had not stretched far enough for her to believe that he had actually done it. His bloodied face had made her react in haste.
This is the problem most of us face today. The lack of implicit TRUST.
• How many parents can TRUST their children to choose the way they want to live?
• How many parents can TRUST their teenage offspring out late in the evening?
• How many parents can TRUST their grown up sons and daughters to choose their own life partners?
• How many wives TRUST their husbands who work late at night or who travel a lot on work?
• How many husbands TRUST their wives who work with other men?
• How many of us TRUST our own parents or siblings or friends?
The list goes on and on. Trust is not something that can only be built over a period of time. It is either there or it is not.
Of what I have perceived of life so far, I have realised that people either had the quality in them or they did not. A person who has the tendency to TRUST others will always do so. And the ones who do not trust, never do.
At the end of it all, one understands that one trusts when one is trustworthy himself.
But again, it is not impossible to learn the quality of TRUST. The improbability of the situation lies within you. Every man to his own, as the saying goes.
We generally tend to seek those qualities in others that we ourselves possess.
When we have the tendency to lie, we expect the people around us to be untruthful. Similarly, we cannot TRUST anyone unless we ourselves are trustworthy.
One important point has to be reckoned with here. Do remember that it is easier to change and adapt yourself than to change and adapt the people around you.
Learn to TRUST and realise that it will automatically make you worthy of someone’s TRUST. You can build your own paradise on earth.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Spirituality: GOD ON EARTH

Does that startle you? But believe me, it has happened. The solution to all the problems man is facing today – floods, famines, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, bomb-blasts, accidents, thefts, murders, recession, etc. etc. etc.
God has finally descended on earth to help man get out of the vicious cycle he has fallen into.
Amma Bhagavan are - Goddess & God; Yin & Yang; feminine & masculine however you interpret the universal power that has taken human forms and come down to save us.
Amma Bhagavan have established the Oneness UniverCity at Varadaiahpalem, Andhra Pradesh, India. The courses conducted by this University helps people understand themselves and those around them. One learns to set right one's relationships with those around one, especially parents and children. One also learns to accept oneself for what he/she is.
There are separate courses offered for youth between 15 & 30 years. The duration is just 3 days, but what they learn is enough to get them by for their whole life and beyond. Youth are taught how to become successful in their careers, to achieve their dreams and goals and to respect their parents.
There are courses for older people too. This is a chance of a lifetime. Give just three days of your life and a nominal amount and you are set for life.
One can also take darshan of Amma Bhagavan at the Oneness Golden Temple, a mammoth structure made of marble – a temple built for man.
If you are a Hindu, just imagine coming face to face with Ram/Sita, Krishna/Radha, Vishnu/Mahalakshmi.
If you are a Christian, think you are face to face with Jesus Christ along with his parents - God and Goddess.
So on and so forth. A darshan of Amma Bhagavan takes you so much forward in life. What is the purpose of the birth of these Avatars?
Amma Bhagavan have taken birth on this earth to end man's sufferings and turn Kaliyug into Satyug or the Golden Age.
They are not for promoting any particular religion as Bhagavan says that God has no religion or all religions have sprung from the same God or power.
Bhagavan's teachings are all through our own experiences. He insists that one should not believe unless one has a specific experience of God.
Some of the sites that you can visit for more info and pictures are:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Film Review: NEW YORK

Cast: John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Irrfan

Director: Kabir Khan

What the film is about: Omar Aijaz (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is a cab owner in Philadelphia. The FBI traces a consignment of AK-47s and explosives to his cab storage area and Omar is detained. While questioning him, Omar recalls his life ten years ago when he had been a fresher from India and joined the New York State University. There he had befriended Sameer Sheikh alias Sam (John Abraham) and Maya (Katrina Kaif). Omar falls for Maya but moves away when he finds out that she is in love with Sam. After ten years, the FBI wants Omar to help them nail Sam as a terrorist. Even as Omar insists that he has not been in touch with either of his friends since seven years, FBI Inspector Roshan (Irrfan - yeah, that's what the title says) finds a way for him to get back into their lives. Whether Sam is really a terrorist and whether Omar is of any help to the FBI goes on to form the rest of the story.

What we liked about New York: Neil's acting and Irrfan's dialogue delivery - not necessarily in that order. Neil is very expressive, especially his eyes and he has done his role with great subtlety with the nuances just perfectly turning out. Irrfan's style is his own and the dialogues seem to just slip out with the right bite and satire. John and Katrina had performed well and there is not much else to say about it. The camera work and sound effects were perfect. We have to mention the editing here. It was just right - not one extra scene or an extra dialogue and more importantly, not an extra song to drag the picture along.

What we did not like about New York: This is not a fault with the film itself. But we were startled when we realised that it was a terrorist flick. We were going to the multiplexes after more than three months and wanted to be entertained - with just some fun. And believing that the film is from the Yash Raj House, we expected just that. But the dark film came as quite a shock and not the best we would have chosen for a pleasant Saturday evening.

Rating: ***

* Silly
** Shaky
*** Smart
**** Snazzy
***** Super

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The Malhotra Bride is my first novel. I had written it in August 2000. And the novel is finally published in the year 2009. I don't think I had to wait for anything this long. But it is definitely worth the wait. The thrill I felt holding the published work in my hand is beyond compare. This is all thanks to Raider Publishing International, USA - my book's publisher. The book looks gorgeous, even if it is only my opinion. It is very glossy and appealing to the eye. As to how it reads - I am hoping that people will get back to me regarding this. The Malhotra Bride is available around the globe on the internet for purchase in most parts of the world - USA, England, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Africa, New Zealand and most importantly, in India. I am hoping that The Malhotra Bride will find its way into the shelves of Crossword Bookstore, Oxford Bookstore and Landmark very soon. Hope to catch one and all at book signings.