Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Flower Therapy
Maintaining good health, I feel, is more important than curing bad health. I am sure most of you who are reading this article will agree with me. 

Popping pills is a pet peeve with me. There are ‘n’ number of tablets that could be bought off the shelf. It never seems to matter that some of these medicines have been banned in countries other than the third world.

Have a headache, swallow Saridon, Crocin, Anacin, Nice or anything else that you could lay your hands on. Having a headache generally means that your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong with it. 90% of the time, a headache means that you are dehydrated. Keep drinking water and you will find that the headache disappears almost immediately. Drinking Coconut Water works like magic. Headache also happens because of indigestion. Suppressing it with a pill is not the cure. I am sure you are able to understand that. STOP and THINK before taking a tablet.

Have a cold, pop Action 500 or something similar. I did that a couple of decades ago. Had just one Action 500 and had a nose bleed. The tablet lives up to its name. It probably performs 500 actions within our body and not all of them positive. My doctor fired me for swallowing such a strong pill for just a cold. Nowadays, I drink glasses of warm/hot water with a few drops of lemon juice and my cold disappears within 24 hours – the simplest way to treat the body without harmful side effects.

Allopathy is the most accepted form of treatment today in the world. But is it the best?

Allopathy offers the fastest cure for any disease. It is good for that reason. A course of medicines can last for a couple of weeks or may be a few months. What we need to understand is that medicines with heavy chemical content (Allopathy medicines are high in chemicals) should not be taken for a prolonged period. They will definitely have harmful side effects.
Doctors generally specialize in certain fields. The diabetic specialist does not understand the heart and both of them don’t know anything about your bones. Okay, maybe ‘anything’ is going overboard. But they definitely don’t know the total effect of their treatment for a particular disease on the rest of their patient’s body.
Continuously medicating a diabetic patient with medicines such as Insulin weakens the Pericardium. You might know that this is the wall that protects the heart. When the Pericardium weakens, a diabetic patient automatically becomes prone to heart attacks. Listen to my voice of experience. This is the problem my mother faces today.
Because she had a heart attack ten years ago, my mother was advised to take Ecosprin, once every day. Ecosprin thins the blood and this ensures that the blood flows freely and makes sure that another heart attack does not occur. Almost a year ago, 9 years after she had been on Ecosprin, her doctor felt that she needed a stronger dose and suggested Ecosprin Gold. She has been on that since 11 months. This probably led to her second massive heart attack about 20 days ago. I cannot vouch for this, but all the specialists at Vijaya Hospital, Chennai – there was a cardiac surgeon, a vascular surgeon, a psychiatrist, a diabetic specialist and a couple of others – felt that Ecosprin Gold was the culprit. This is the reason why I mentioned at the beginning that a course of medicine should not be given for a prolonged period.

Well, I am no doctor and this probably means that I don’t know anything about medicine. But I do know my body. And that’s what everyone needs to do.

The body has an in-built IMMUNE SYSTEM. We need to keep that alive. We need to have balanced meals, exercise regularly, drink water and take proper rest.

When we overload the system with pills, we keep interfering with the immune system. The White Blood Corpuscles (WBCs) play a very important role in holding up our Immune System. They form the front-line defense system. When a virus gets into our body – cold, stomach upset, fever, cough, headache and more – the white corpuscles put up a strong fight and most of these problems get set right by themselves. Feed in medicines, the pills push the WBCs out of their way and do the work themselves.

For example, when artificial insulin is injected into the body of a diabetic, the Pancreas are forced to take a back seat and over a period of time, they almost die due to idleness. Does this help in the long run? You need to THINK.

Okay, the doctors give you medicines - say when you have a body ache, the doctor advises you to take a Brufen. The next time you feel an ache – maybe after a long walk that you have taken after a couple of months – you immediately pop a Brufen. Do you really consider the side-effects? In this case, one can’t even blame the doctor. When your feet begin to ache suddenly, it mostly means that you have suddenly put on weight. Or they ache because they have not been exercised over a long period. Is Brufen the solution to this problem? THINK!

When someone has periods, she may have abdominal cramps. One pill might just cure it in a jiffy. But what else does this pill do to your uterus? THINK!

It’s very important that the Excretory System functions perfectly for the Immune System to do its work.

Constipation is a common problem at least 90% of the world seems to be facing. Popping a pill for this every day of your life IS NOT a solution. Lemon and warm water first thing in the morning; OR a teaspoon of Methi will clear up your intestines in a jiffy.
Body Odour occurs a lot of the time because the intestines are not cleaned up and also because the body is not sweating enough. Please realize that ‘sweating’ is also part of the Excretory System. The sweat throws away toxins that are not required by the body. Block this with body spray, etc. and watch the bad health implode. Shocking? But that is the truth. When you watch the Desi Boyz on advertisements going around cool after using body sprays, you think ‘WOW’ and ape them. Believe me, it is NOT AT ALL Wow. You block all your pores with chemicals – they smell great, alright – and you stop your skin from breathing. Do this day after day and what do you think happens to all the toxins that the body intended to shed through your sweat? THINK!

God has created our body perfectly, with a classic Immune System that takes care of it. We need to be aware of it and be careful before spoiling it. WATER is a very important ingredient to balance one’s IMMUNE SYSTEM. I know at least five people that I can remember offhand who refuse to drink more than half a litre water every day. One hates the taste of water, two of them are bored of the effort and the rest of them believe that drinking water gives them a bloated look. Incredible! Can we stop breathing? Or let me put it like this – what will happen to us when we stop breathing? We just die. It is the same with drinking water. Not doing it is killing our body over a period of time.

HEALTH once lost can be recovered, with very great difficulty. Please STOP, THINK and PROCEED before you fool around with your body.

There are number of alternate therapies such as Ayurveda, Siddha Vaidya, Homeopathy, Flower Therapy, Naturopathy and more. Opting for one of these for prolonged treatments will go a long way in maintaining good health.

Then there is Yoga and Meditation. You can’t beat that!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Artist Rupa 'Bawari' lighting the lamp at the inauguration
Artistic Expressions by Amit Makwana was inaugurated at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Prince of Wales Museum) at 5.30pm on November 9, 2011. For those interested the exhibition will be open from 10 am to 7 pm at the venue until November 13, 2011.

At the entrance
I reached early to take pictures without the crowd. I reached there at about 3.40 pm to be welcomed by the artist, Amit Makwana and his wife, Kruti. They were very happy with the response that they had got at the exhibition at Jaipur and were quite confident that it will be as good here in Mumbai. I wish them all the very best!

The hall where the exhibition is being held
The hall at the museum was huge and the poems and digital art by Amit Makwana along with the paintings by Anuradha Thakur and Shefali Chauhan were displayed all over and made for a beautiful ambience.

Artist Rupa, her husband, Artist Amit Makwana & his wife
The Chief Guest, artist Rupa 'Bawari' arrived at the venue at 5.30 pm along with her diamond merchant husband. Click on the artist's name to go to her website and know more about her.

Celebrate Life Forever - art by Anuradha Thakur, Poem by Amit Makwana
I spent a while longer at the exhibition as my friend Nilima Kadam arrived there to catch the show. Click here to read her blog on the same. My daughter Vinitha also landed up there to check out the poems and artwork and enjoyed the show.

Love-The Art of Living - Digital Drawing by Amit Makwana, Painting by Shefali Chauhan
Snacks and cold drinks were served to all the guests. The event had been organised by Nandita Choudhury of Media Pulse Public Relation.

Artist Amit Makwana & wife Kruti, his inspiration. The digital art behind is 'I Wish You a Happy Birthday,  My Love'

Newspaper Coverage of Jaipur Exhibition

These are some of the paintings that were on display. All are by artist Anuradha Thakur. I simply loved them.
Painting by Anuradha Thakur

One more artwork by Anuradha Thakur

Also by Anuradha Thakur

Click here to read my interview with Artist Amit Makwana. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


The Reception

Washrooms and Beyond is a one-year-old lifestyle magazine that celebrated its first birthday at JW Marriott on November 4, 2011. It was a gala event with 10 people from the washroom industry receiving awards for the innovative strategies that they have adopted in the construction of washrooms under different categories. The evening also saw the release of the 1st Anniversary Issue of ‘Washrooms And Beyond’ and the launch of their spanking new website

Grand Sangam Ballroom where the function was on

I received an invite for the event from Nandita Choudhury of Media Pulse Public Relation to cover it in my blog FLAMING SUN, and here is the story…

We arrived at JW Marriott at 7.30 pm on the dot only to find that very few people had reached at that point. The event was delayed by 2 hours due to Mumbai traffic or so they all claimed. I think, by now, most of us are prepared for the traffic and ensure that we leave well in advance to reach any place at the given time. International Designer Rock Galpin and a few other foreign guests had arrived well in time.

Ms. Sheital Shetty, Publisher & Editor of Washrooms And Beyond
Prominent names like Jimmy Mistry, the Chairman and Managing Director of Della Tecnica, R K Somany, Chairman and MD of HSIL, Dr. Prem Jain, the founder of Spectral Services Consultants Private Limited and international designer Rock Galpin amongst many others were present at the function.

Mr. Anurag Yadav, Consulting Editor, on the large screen at the venue
The event started at 9.30 pm with a speech by Ms. Sheital Shetty, Publisher & Editor of Washrooms And Beyond. Mr. Anurag Yadav, the Consulting Editor for the magazine, continued from where she left off and spoke about the journey of their magazine from its inception in June 2010. The Quarterly magazine’s anniversary issue looks stylish and is a classy repertoire of information about stylish washrooms and fittings from around the world including lifestyle brands such as Grohe, Ideo Bain, Mastella Design, Dornbracht, Nagina Waters Luxury Bath Collection and Hindware.

International Designer Rock Galpin at the podium
Rock Galpin is a London-based designer who has created the ultimate washroom of the future called Bathroom Interior 2020. He has showcased his futuristic design at KBB London 2011. The man himself was present at WB Honours 2011. The trophy that was given away to the ten best awardees has been designed by Rock Galpin.

Mr. P C Jain receiving the award
There were short video clippings of every washroom that was awarded and why. It was quite interesting and I found the ones on The Oberoi Gurgaon (for ideal glass usage) and Devi Garh Udaipur (Restoration of washroom in Heritage buildings) pretty amazing.

The Anniversary Issue being launched
Below is the list of categories and the names of winners:

1. Innovation in Public Convention – Eram Scientific Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Trivandrum, Mr. Vinod MS – Executive Director

2. Special Contribution to Plumbing Design and Development - Spectral Services Consultants Private Limited – Founder Dr. P. C Jain

3. Efficient Bathrooms at Building Complexes – Hirandani Group, Mumbai, Mr. Cyrus K Pithawalla – Director Engineering Department

4. Ideal Glass and Accessory Usage in Washrooms – The Oberoi, Gurgaon. Ms Suchitra Gambhir, Executive House Keeper, Mumbai received the honours on behalf of The Oberoi, Gurgaon

5. Developing Model Public Washrooms with State Government – Hythro Engineers Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Jinesh Shah, Vice President, International Sales of Prime Time International Services Pvt. Ltd received the honours on behalf of Hythro Engineers.

6. Intelligent Washrooms Design at Airports – Delhi International Airport (P) Limited, Mr. Jitendra Jain, CFO – Corporate Finance from the GMR GROUP received the honours on behalf of Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd.

7. Best Washroom Restoration in Heritage Buildings – Devi Garh Palace, Udaipur, Ms. Poonam Sethi from The Hotel Firm received the honours on behalf of Devi Garh Palace.

8. Green Washrooms – The Orchid – Mumbai, Mr. Pradipta Biswas, General Manager

9. Unique Interior Design in Hotel Washrooms – (Sponsored by Donbracht India Pvt Ltd) – ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru, Neelam Kaul, Front Office Manager

10. Technology Driven Washrooms – (Sponsored by Grohe India Pvt. Ltd.) – The Oberoi, Mumbai, Ms. Suchitra Gambhir, Executive House Keeper

The winners of WB HONOURS 2011
All in all, it was an interesting evening and brought about a lot of knowledge about the washroom industry. While cocktails and starters were served throughout the evening, the function ended with a yummy buffet dinner.

I wish Ms. Sheital Shetty and Mr. Anurag Yadav the very best in all their future endeavours and I am sure WASHROOMS AND BEYOND will go a long way in bringing information to all those who are keen to have gorgeous restrooms at their homes, offices, hotels and anywhere else.

I also wish that people who take such interest in washrooms will also look into the subject of public conveniences, an area that needs tremendous improvement in a country like India.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


1. Poem by Amit Makwana; 2. Digital Art by the same artist; 3. Painting by Anuradha Thakur; 4. One by Shefali Chauhan

I went to meet Amit Makwana at his office at Borivli to talk about his upcoming art exhibition at Prince of Wales Museum.

Makwana writes poetry and gives life to them by creating Digital Art as another form of expression of the same words. Born and brought up in Mumbai City, the artist is an interior designer by profession. With his digital arts potential I wonder whether he went to graphic design college.

Makwana used to be pretty good academically and hence, despite being good at art and winning drawing and colouring contests at school, he opted to study Digital Electronics.

After working with HCL for a while, Makwana presently works with his brother builder Dharmendra Makwana in their family business. He did a number of projects along with his father and brother and learned designing on field.

Now, Makwana is an established Interior Designer who works with NGOs, designs logos, brands and more. His company is Makwana Designs and he has branched off into Ripples of Art, which is an expression of both his poetry and art.

While Amit has been writing even during his school days, he has been doing it on a regular basis since five years.

So what does he write about? Anything that touches his heart! He writes about his Mom, Dad, his babies, Woman, Romance, Sensuality and more. What interests the artist most are The Tri-colour and when a woman becomes a mother.

Amit writes poems voraciously. Sometimes on a daily basis and at times it takes a whole month before he writes anything. He writes with pen on paper, directly on to his computer and many times on his mobile too. Once he gets the words right, the artist sets out to create Digital Drawings out of them. He creates them on AutoCad, then transfers them to Corel Draw and finally creates a Jpeg image.

The ideas burst forth suddenly. Amit feels very restless and moved and over a period of time he has come to realize that it is his creativity waiting to burst forth. Nowadays, whenever the feeling arises, he immediately puts pen to paper or fingers to his keyboard and sets out to create his poems.

He has a tale to tell for every poem that he has created. One of them was when he got engaged to Kruti, his wife. The poem and art work are both titled ‘I Wish You A Happy Birthday, My Life’. This work had gone on display at the art exhibition the artist had held at Jaipur in November 2010. The audience had been highly appreciative and had been very keen to meet Kruti Makwana after seeing this work.

There is more! Amit’s younger daughter Yashvi (now 2 years old) had been admitted to ICU when she was barely a month old. The doctors had given up on the baby as her breath had stopped for almost a minute. That’s when Amit came up with the poem ‘I Love You So Much My Baby’ and subsequently a drawing to match. The baby survived, of course! Amit’s elder child is Palaksi who is 6-years-old.

Then there is the one on the SUCCESS LADY. I liked this one the best. The title is ‘She Is Waiting For Me’. Amit believes that Success is awaiting him and he need not go rushing around looking for it. He believes that life is a flow and need not be struggled with. A wonderful concept, indeed!

I feel that Amit should give a short write-up of what went before he wrote a poem. This would definitely make them more interesting to the public.

Not that the artist is very keen on pushing his works. He has published three books of his. Book 1 has only his poems. Book 2 contains both his poems and digital drawings. Book 3 has his poems, digital drawings and the paintings that have been done by other artists on reading Amit’s poems. All books have been printed and published by Amit Makwana. He has not sold any of his books or his other works. Amit gives away his books to people who show interest in them. He is holding exhibitions to show his works to the public. As of now, he has no plans of selling his works, unless he finds someone who is passionate to own them.

Amit says that the people who visited his exhibition spent at least a couple of hours reading his poems and comparing them against his drawings. Amit has taken a step further and has commissioned two artists to express their views of his ‘words’ through their painting. The concept appears unique and Amit is keen to take on artists who he feels will bring life to his ‘words’ by being able to understand them from the depths of their hearts.

The artists who have painted Amit’s poems are Anuradha Thakur from Ahmedabad and Shefali Chauhan from Baroda. Amit got introduced to both through the internet.

You can connect with Amit Makwana on his email:

In case you want to set up a meeting with the artist, you may contact Nandita Choudhury on 9869571695 / 022-26848022

Catch Amit Makwana’s art exhibition:

Artistic Expressions by Amit Makwana 
Date: November 9 to 13, 2011 
Timings: 10 am to 7 pm
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya,
(formerly Prince of Wales Museum),
159 / 61, M.G. Road, Fort,
Mumbai - 400023

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Film Review: 7AAM ARIVU

You can't miss this one as Surya has done a brilliant act. But the violence literally blows one's mind

Cast: Surya, Shruti Haasan, Johnny Tri Nguyen
Director: Murugadoss

I am a great fan of Surya and I was quite fascinated when I watched the promos of this film on TV. Venkat was also keen on watching the film. All this, despite the niggling feeling of doubt as I had not liked Ghajini at all considering the violence that was prevalent in Murugadoss’s earlier work. And so, Venkat and I went for the show last Friday night at Cinemax Sion.

THE STORY: The film begins 1600 years ago and is about Bodhi Dharman (Surya), a Prince of the Pallava Dynasty ruling from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. Bodhi Dharman is well-trained in Kalari payatu, herbal medicine and mesmerism. He decides go to China to spread his knowledge. It takes him three years to reach a small Chinese village. The people there are aware of a terrible problem that is to come. On seeing Bodhi Dharman, they decide that he is the perpetrator of the trouble. He goes to live a solitary life in a cave when he realizes that he is unwelcome. But soon, disease strikes the village and they get a cure only with Bodhi Dharman’s help. Later, when enemies attack, the village is once again saved by Bodhi Dharman’s valour. Soon, the people persuade Bodhi Dharman to train them in martial arts and herbal medicine at The Shaolin Temple there. They call him Damo and believe that he is their God and savior. That does not stop them from poisoning Bodhi Dharman as they are keen that his body should be buried in their soil to ensure their welfare. He consumes the poison despite knowing the truth and falls in with the locals’ wishes.

Cut to the present, Dong Lee (Johnny Tri Nguyen) is the best student of The Shaolin Temple. Only he is Evil incarnate. The Chinese decide to send him to India to start a Bio-war, instigating a viral disease. They hope to rule over India as they have the cure taught them by Damo.

Subha (Shruti Haasan) is a student of bio-technology research and she is doing a research on human DNA. During her research, she finds out that Arvind (Surya) is a direct descendent of Bodhi Dharman and his DNA matches 80 plus percent with his ancestor. She hopes to treat him in such a way that he becomes 100% compatible with his ancestor.

Will she get permission from the government to go ahead with her tests? Will Arvind agree to be her guinea pig? How can Dong Lee be stopped from being successful at the bio-war set off by the Chinese against India? Watch the film to find the answers to these questions.

MY PERCEPTION: The story was simply amazing, especially considering that Bodhi Dharman really existed in yonder days. Of course, there is a bit of back and forth about his being a Pallava Prince or otherwise.

Surya was just fantastic as Bodhi Dharman. He looked too handsome and with no dialogues to utter, he spoke just perfectly through his expressions. His eyes said them all, in fact. The fight sequences, the suffering villagers, his travel to China in yonder times, etc. etc. etc. were just brilliant. I just loved the first 45 minutes of the movie.

While the story was amazing, it was scripted very badly. The music and songs were wonderful, but distract the viewer from the film. Whenever the film seems to take off, the hero breaks into song and dance with the heroine. Why?????????? Despite all that, the songs and their picturisation were excellent. The male voice – Kartik, I think – was superb.

Every situation was authentic and well-researched. But sadly, the negativity came across as a slap to the face. Johnny Tri Nguyen made a good villain, but somehow I felt the film was more focused on him rather than on Surya playing Arvind.

Shruti had been simply terrible in Luck. While her acting skills have improved in this film, her Tamil diction was horrible. To believe that she is Kamal Haasan’s daughter! I know it’s not fair to compare. But come on, I am not comparing her acting skills to her father’s. For a girl who has spent at least half her life in Chennai and probably with her Tam-Bram parent, Shruti speaks Tamil horribly. Or is it a kind of ‘style’ to pronounce the words so badly? Believe you me, Shruti Haasan, it does not sit well at all. What worked for Shruti were her looks and her figure. She looks beautiful and has a terrific dress sense.

The film ran for 2 hours and 40 minutes and had some terrible fight sequences. I suppose I should have expected them considering Murugadoss’s record. But it still hit me hard.

The first 45 minutes were simply amazing and gave me a lot of hope. The film is negative till the end and turns positive just 2 minutes before the screen went off. One would think that with so much build up towards the whole thing, the director would have given a little more time to show the positive changes wrought about by the DNA changes in Arvind. Nope! No such hope in this movie.

The worst thing that hit me was Arvind’s preaching on TV at the end. Thank God, it was short even if it was rather painful. Who wants to be preached? The film should talk for itself. Preaching used to happen in the songs in Sivaji / MGR days. Today, we look forward to more subtle expressions.

With this kind of story idea, the film could have been way better than it was. The star rating that I am giving belongs exclusively to Surya and his work.

VERDICT: You have to see it to watch Surya as Bodhi Dharman if nothing else.

RATING: **** Snazzy (for Surya)
Otherwise ** Shaky

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