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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ten bonus years


In 2007, my father fell sick. He needed constant care. Therefore, I left my profession to take care of him. My family members and I took good care of him. He followed all the precautions, diet and exercises suggested by the doctors. He disciplined his life as per the doctor’s advice. With the result, he lived happily for ten more years.



While he was recovering, I attended to him as well as family business. In the beginning, I did not know the ABC of business, money management and financial transactions. I was naive. 



While looking after him, taking care of his smallest needs, we spent a lot of time together. During these years, I got his full attention and time. I learned from him not only budgeting, saving, investing, spending, money making and business tactics but also much more about life.



Those ten years were the bonus years! And the best time of my life!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Goodbye PAPA!


My father, Dr. Madan Lal Saini was the most hardworking person I ever knew! He worked near about 18 hours per day. He never took any break from work. In his life, there were no holidays. Even during festive time like Diwali or Holi he was busy working while the rest of the world was busy in enjoying lights and colours. In spite of whatever happens in the world, he strictly followed his working routine.



His hard work made him successful in academics as well as in business. He retired as Professor of Plant Breeding, CCS Harynana Agricultural University, Hisar. Earlier in his academic career, he was a bright student and always secured excellent marks in his school and college time. He was awarded Dr. V.K. Kashyap Gold Medal in recognisition of the best Ph.D. research worker for the year 1974. He worked on genetic improvement of gaur crop for about 12 years and remained associated in development and release of eight important varieties of guar. He was awarded ‘The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize for Agriculture Research for the biennium 1982-83 for outstanding contribution in the field of plant breeding and genetics. Associated with wheat varitety WH542 and had been awarded ICAR Team Award for Multi-disciplinary Research in Agriculture and Allied Sciences for the Triennium 1994-96.



In the field of teaching, he guided four M.Sc. and seven Ph.d. students. He was awarded Best Teacher Award of the Department of Plant Breeding for the year 1998. He also received The Outstanding Teacher Award, a national award in teaching for the Biennium 1998-99 for outstanding contribution in the field of Plant Breeding and Crop Improvement by the ICAR.

He was selected for the prestigious B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship Award for Biodiversity for the year 2002 by Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi to work on grasses and medicinal plants in arid region.



He wrote three books namely ‘Plant Breeding and Crop Improvement’ Vol I and Vol II and Practical Manual on Plant Breeding. He wrote near about 200 papers including research papers, review articles and popular articles.



In business, he was keenly interested in introducing new technologies, starting new projects and launching new schemes for the betterment of society.



Surprisingly he followed his working schedule punctually even after he fell sick. His poor health could not restrict his working hours. In the last days of his life, he was discussing business, suggesting innovative ideas to make money and guiding me to tackle problems.



He led a very simple and disciplined life. He was kind, honest and was always ready to help everybody in need.



With moist eyes, I said ‘Goodbye’ to him last night.


Photo : While searching album for his photo, I found the pics were mainly about taking awards, giving talks or researching in the field/ lab. There were hardly any photos with friends or relatives. So here is one taking The Outstanding Teacher Award with Mr. L.K. Advani.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A breeze of romance


FIRST DAY OF SADHANA CLASS



When I opened my eyes after practicing anuloma viloma, I saw teacher’s helper standing in front of me quite confused. Before I could ask her, she inquired, “Do you know who live in the room adjacent to your’s?”

That was a million dollar question for me! I suggested her to ask Ms. ‘G’ who must be aware about this. She hesitated to ask Ms. ‘G’ because of language problem.”

Just to help her I went close to Ms. ‘G’ and whispered ‘Excuse Me’ as I did not want to disturb the rest of the class who were practicing sadhana.

“Excuse me.” This time I said a bit louder.

“WHAT!” She opened her eyes and inquired with anger.

“Who are your roommates?” I asked politely.

“I am doing sadhana, can’t you see. You can ask me later.” The anger was still in her voice.

I calmly said, “The teacher’s helper wants to know. I am asking you just because she can’t converse in English. Please tell if you know.”

My calm tone brought down her anger. She told the names.



LAST DAY OF SADHANA CLASS



I was feeling thirsty; I got up from my yoga mat and went towards the main door of the asana hall. I was quite surprised to notice that Ms. ‘G’ was not present in the class even though one hour class was over. I went down the stairs. I found my water bottle empty. I took it to fetch some water in it. I noticed her sitting with Mr. ‘V’, one of our batch mates on the stones near river Ganga. Many a times they were sitting together, enjoying each other’s company generally during the free time. When I came back I noticed the teacher’s piercing eyes and Ms. ‘G’ and Mr. ‘V’ walking slowly in opposite direction with their heads down. Ms. ‘G’ came late for about 70 minutes in the sadhana class.

“A breeze of romance disturbed her sadhana!” I thought.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Memories on a paper


“What are you writing?” An ochre robed middle-aged woman asked me. I was writing on a paper while sitting with her in a shared taxi. Unlike other ochre robe people, she was too talkative and was only silent when she was munching something.


The local villagers had blocked the road to Gangotri as some young person died because of landslide. The government officials were searching the dead body but the fall of stones, mud was too heavy, and the flow of river was speedy as well. Above all, it was raining making the land slippery and searching a difficult mission. They were also trying to convince the villagers not to block the road. All this was taking time and I was feeling bored so decided to pen down my experiences. On searching my purse, I found a piece of paper. On that, I had to jot down my memories of 30 days living with people of different cultures, living away from home for the first time, studying in an ashram and funny situations that happened. I did not want to miss out a single such situation. The space was less, words were more, and to manage them I was writing extremely small.


“Why are you writing so small?” She inquired again. “I can’t read.”


“I was jotting the points so that later on I can create a blog post out of each point. And I do not want them to be read by anyone till they appear on my blog after mixing a little fiction and some more humour to it.” I thought, “A piece of paper was journal of my 30 days memories!”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Examination Fever


“Chandrika, ask me any question from the course. I have prepared for the examination. I am ready to answer any question out of the syllabus.” Mr. ‘J’ said as I was filling up my glass with aromatic drinking water. I looked up perplexed as what to ask. I had not prepared for the exams yet which was going to held after two days. Moreover, I had read only one question by that time.

“Ask me any question, just any question.” He repeated.

I said, “What are different types of kriyas?”

He told, “For nasal cleaning, jalneti (Cleaning with water) and sutra neti (Cleaning with thread), for respiratory cleaning, kapalbhati, for food pipe cleaning, antar dauti. It is of four types plavini, kunjal kriya, agnisara and vastra dauti. Danta dauti (teeth), hrid dhauti (throat), moola shodana (rectum) cleaning are some more.”

He took a deep breath and said, “Abdominal churning, vama nauli, dakshina nauli and madhyam nauli for stomach cleaning. For cleaning of lower intestine, basti.........That’s all!”

“You forget to tell about eye cleaning, trataka.”

“Oh, yes. One is candle gazing.”

“Ya. Frontal gazing, gazing between the eyebrows and nasal gazing, gazing of the tip of nose.”

He repeated frontal and nasal gazing. He seemed to be impressed with my knowledge.

“Bye. I have to prepare for exam now.” I said.



“I have prepared only ONE question which I asked him and the rest of the course I have yet to go through!” I thought. “After talking to Mr. ‘J’, I was suffering severely from examination fever.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sadhana Intensive (SI), Sivananda Kuitr, Netala, Uttarkashi


Place : Bhiwadi

Time : October, 2008


I was explaining different concentration exercises to focus mind and experiences in meditation to my students. After practicing concentration exercises, I asked them to close their eyes and focus. After ten minutes of silence, I noticed that the tears started flowing from the eyes of one of my students. That was an unique experience in meditation! About which I had read in books only but had never experienced. There was a little feeling of jealousy in me but a very strong desire to experience it. I desperately wanted to practice hard and experience the magic of purity in the form of tears.


Place : Sivananda Kutir, Netala, Uttarkashi

Time : September, 2016
          
           


After completing my Teacher Training Course from Netala, I went to nearby places like Dayara Bugyal, Gangotri, Gaumukh and Tapovan as there was a week gap until my next course Sadhana Intensive started in Netala.


Trekking to these places was mesmerising, adventurous and quite hectic. When I returned to Sivanada Kuitr near Siror Bridge on the evening before Sadhana Intensive began, I was suffering from dehydration and fatigue. Even plenty of liquids and fruits didn’t help me and my health further deteriorated. Now I had cold, cough, constipation and muscular pain in limbs. I was feeling extremely tired.

For one week I attended the classes regularly but decided to leave the course in between as I was not feeling well and there was nothing new to learn and experience. I had to drop this idea as I found it impossible to travel to Dehradun airport (6 hours horrible journey for me because of travel sickness) alone in taxi with my poor health. It was better to pull one more week and travel down hills with friends. Hence, I continued the practice.

            



In the second week, they introduced new techniques for focusing mind like mahamudra,        mahabanda, mahaveda, viprit karni. They as well increased the duration of practice. One practice was of three and a half hour and every day it had to be repeated thrice, which means more than ten hours of sadhana. I practiced sincerely whatever I could with my not so good health.

           


Sivananda Kuitr near Siror Bridge was situated near river Bhagirathi (Ganges). It was amazing experience to live, to learn, to study, to practice and to meditate near the sacred river. Hindus believe that bathing in the river Ganges causes remission of sins. While taking a dip in river, people leave something behind generally bad habits, food items or negative thoughts. As I took dips in Ganges, I forgave two individuals whom I was finding extremely difficult to forgive. A huge unnecessary burden from my mind was removed. The river Ganges helped me and I felt light from inside, really very light!


On the last day of practice, while doing Anolum Vilom, the tears started flowing from my eyes. I had waited and practiced quite long to experience this ecstasy. The ashram’s calm and serene environment, restricted diet mostly khichadi and moong dal with less salt and no spices, doing neti (cleansing exercises) regularly, Mataji’s guidance and caring attitude helped me in purifying myself and growing spiritually.  

            I highly recommend this course for spiritual aspirants.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Colgate Mega Space Launch Project


Col-boy and Col-girl were selected for Colgate Mega Space Launch Project even though thousands and thousands of girls and boys had applied for the project. Colgate Mega Space Launch Project was a unique mission to experience the space launch of rocket, moving around in space stations, doing space walk, watching planets, comets and UFO and if lucky then might get a chance to say ‘Hello’ to an Alien.

Col-boy wore orange colour space suit that weighs 127 kg with 13 layers of material to protect him from adverse conditions in the space. Col-girl wore a green colour space suit that provided her with oxygen to breathe in outer space. They got into the rocket upper part with sufficient stock of food, water and Colgate toothpaste for cleaning of their teeth after meals. The reverse counting began. ‘Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two, One and Zero.’ The rocket was lifted off which exerted more power than 13000 train engines.


Once they reached in Earth’s orbit, they tied their respective cords to the space stations and did the space walk. Space adventure was quite exciting for them! Col-girl saw the beautiful sun wearing sunglasses to protect its eyes from the glare and heat. She told Col-boy that the sun is Helium except 3/4th of its mass that is Hydrogen. Col-boy pointed towards a comet and explained to her that it gets heat up when close to the sun and its long tail is made up of dust and ice crystals. They noticed Venus together which was fuming with anger while rotating in the opposite direction to most other planets. Far off, Saturn was smiling because it has rare rings made up of ice, rocks and dust.

Col-girl asked, “What is the name of that red coloured planet?”
Col-boy confidently told, “Mars!”
They admired the beauty of red planet and could not take off their eyes from the ‘red planet’.
Col-girl suggested, “Let’s see it from close.”
They turned their space shuttle towards Mars.



On reaching Mars, they left their space shuttle. They were trained astronauts to work without gravity in space and their space suits were so designed that they could easily breathe in outer space. They were moving in rover, a space exploration vehicle that moves across a planet’s surface to collect red stones from Mars. Then Col-boy saw an UFO, unidentified flying object with a great speed coming closer to them. He could not change the direction of rover as a big rock was in front of them. UFO was about to hit them, then an alien came from nowhere and pushed UFO too hard with his little hands. The powerful alien had a big face, lean body and sharp mind. UFO took a sharp U turn. He took out his laser pistol, shot UFO twice and broke it’s edge. To escape from unexpected attack UFO returned and disappeared in the space.


Col-boy and Col-girl came out of the vehicle and said thanks to the alien. They offered him chocolates, which they had taken with them from Earth. As he took a bite from a chocolate, his gums started bleeding. He had a strong body but very weak teeth. They gifted him Colgate toothpaste with Calci-lock protection and asked him to brush his teeth after every meals.
“Soon your teeth will become as strong as your body!” Col-boy said with a sweet smile.


The Alien presented him rare red stones of Mars.
The mission of Col-boy and Col-girl was accomplished. They returned to Earth after spreading Colgate smiles on Mars.

“I’m blogging my #ColgateMagicalstories at BlogAdda in association with Colgate.