Working to make it Work!

As we complete 26 years of this blissful journey of togetherness – a journey that we began as 23 year olds, with joy in our heart and hopes in our minds, someone asked me why I write (by now the customary) blogs acknowledging her gracious (for me grateful) presence. I have so many reasons to do that.

Definitely not for this!!!

Firstly, I got to acknowledge that she deserves much more than whatever even the best of my words and language that I possess can ever express and secondly, considering the alternative – a Card – Sorry! that would be a pathetic replacement to what I want to really say (also there is not enough space on it to write these or for photographs). This is also done to let the world know that this journey is possible even in these days. Finally, I also write to remind some folks who would have forgotten that it is a special day for us, to wish and bless us to continue this journey into eternity.

“Only spiritual elevation can take away loneliness, not soul mates” said, Founder of Art of Living and our Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji. Yet He blessed us all along to make it easy for me to elevate myself spiritually taking away my loneliness but also ensured that soul mate made it even more easier.

Those who know us would congratulate me, but they would agree and credit Aparna for this wonderful journey – that could well be an example of what & how it is supposed to be – Woman who is fixed, robust and capable of restoring any fallen ones around her. Someone who with lot of sacrifice, unknown to all of us, ensured that “Life is a celebration” not just for the immediately family but to the extended family (Let me assure you that it is definitely not a small one). This was evident just 2 days ago, on the Ugadi day – Painstakingly prepared fares, everything home made with a touch of love (that can never come when eating out) – egging us to do this or do that to ensure that guests simply feel WOW and want more! This has been the feature everyday of the 26 years that Aparna has embellished my life.

I am sure children wouldn’t disagree that life, without her constant but extremely caring and loving nagging, would never been the same. How much ever they are grown, they are still the 1-5 year olds in her eyes and thoughts. Without being overbearing, her care is simply overpowering. Same with her colleagues at work. I am yet to hear someone saying anything “not good” about this wonderful soul, who took up the huge challenge to live with me for 26 long years, bearing all my idiosyncracies (especially when it comes to food) and still working to continue this journey into eternity.

Then we have the extended family – Sindhu, Swathi, Iti, Asha, Meghana, Arun, Raghu, Yathin, Vidya, Giri, Binoy, Nagesh, Leela, Parinith, Rijina and this list goes on… who also bear the brunt of her love and care.

Sindhu, Vishnu, Aparna, Swati, Me, Iti and Divya On Ugadi Day
Vidya, Vishnu, Aparna, Me, Yathin, Giri and Divya On Ugadi Day

For those who want to know how it works! This journey comes with lots of ups and downs. My confession upfront! It is definitely she who goes more than half way to make it work. It is more “up” for her than me. It is more down for me than her. So all credits to her there! There are many things that we may not see eye to eye, that keeps cropping up again and again. We chose to work around those differences, accept those differences and lived with them. After a couple of years, we both gave up our attempts to change the other (though we haven’t stopped trying, we don’t insist that the other person changes to meet our expectations). This concept of marriage is what amazed our friends from Germany (Ulrich, Steffen, Tobias and many others) who worked in our office (Crompton Greaves Limited) as interns, during the initial years of our marriage. I had only one thing to tell them – In India, we don’t change our spouses – we change ourselves. Not so easy but we grow up seeing our parents making extreme degree of surrender of one’s compromisable principles, mindset and also beliefs to keep a marriage going and keep it blissful. I added, “We got to work to make it Work

A few months later in a contemplative mood, she asked how is it that our relationship of absolute opposite working – we only looked at each other, grinned and then picked up another argument to keep this relationship firing. It got to be a miracle. Did we believe in miracle? No! We don’t just believe, we rely on it (as Sri Sri spoke during one of His discourse). Our journey is a living example. And I would be claiming false credit if I say it is because of me. Thanks my Dear! For making all those philosophy work in our case.

Happy Anniversary, dearest Aparna. You are simply the best. As I wrote in one of the earlier pieces, “You Complete Me”

Loads and Loads of love!

Decided to gift ourselves a Pilgrimage Trip to Tirupati to express our gratitude to the Lord for this amazing present. Sharing some pictures of the journey so far

A friend whom we met exactly 2 months ago in same place
Lady of the Day!
Kanipakkam Vinayaka Temple
Kanipakkam Vinayaka Temple
Kanipakkam Vinayaka Temple
Kanipakkam Vinayaka Temple
Kanipakkam Vinayaka Temple
Our Meal 🙂

Srinivasa Mangapuram
Srinivasa Mangapuram
Kapaleshwara Temple, Tirupati

Signing of as always with a song chosen just for you

Pictures & Facts Don’t Lie – #WCF2016

Presenting a joint report, majorly contributed by Rajaque Rehman, my good friend and colleague. Could not resist sharing details of the Press briefing The Art of Living Foundation held to clarify on and expose the lies that were being peddled by Obstructionist activists Vimlendu Jha and Manoj Mishra backed by Media houses, specifically The Hindustan Times (who seem to have taken it up as their obsessive objective to defame Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Art or Living). Smarting under the resounding success of the World Culture Festival, this motley bunch of town criers who are feeding themselves citing death of Yamuna for year, but do nothing to change the situation, the attacks were incessant. While many links have been unravelled (cannot disclose them at this time, since the game is truly on now) it is pretty obvious that these guys linked up with and acted on behalf of some interests against India and more specifically the Hindus.

What must have come as a shocker is that the Media is truly split into two these days. While some Media houses (not difficult to guess) were conspicuous by their absence, the press briefing was attending by most of them. The evidences based on past Satellite images, the status of the site before and after the World Culture Festival 2016 was telling. This trump card was played well and at the right time (or wrong time for these obstructionists). Well! This must be a real education on the real Yamuna even for these 2 penny activists, who have only tried to milk this issue to line their coffers.  While writing this, we still don’t have the Transparency documents on Vimlendu Jha Sweccha Foundation website (Check my earlier blog for the screenshots of 404 error!)

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living made a high-pitched presentation to media in New Delhi claiming it has scientific evidence that will vindicate its contention of causing no damage to air, water and soil to the site where it hosted the World Culture Festival in March 2016.

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All the allegations of damage to floodplains are scientifically mala fide. An analysis of available independent satellite images of the site taken in 2000 and 2016 clearly proves that the site had no water body or wetland,” said a statement from the organization issued after the presentation. It also added that a Survey of India’s map of Delhi dating 1986 confirms the site had not wetland.

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All the allegations of drastically tampering with water bodies and wetlands for which the Art of Living is being made to compensate will fall flat and will raise serious questions about the motives behind raking up the case. Or we have to concede the Art of Living of processing an unseen power to tamper with something that doesn’t even exist!

The Art of Living reiterated its contention that all conclusions on the issue so far have been reached without any scientific studies or investigations. “Ecology, environmental science and biodiversity being established disciplines of modern science with clearly defined scientific procedures, we demand that any conclusion on the same must be based on established scientific method(s),” the statement added.

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It alleged that decisions with huge implications are being taken on the basis of ballpark calculations and by casually surveying acres of land in less than an hour. It also termed the allegations of destroying the natural flow of the Yamuna as outrageous, saying the only activity over the river was construction of three temporary pontoon bridges which were dismantled immediately after the event.

Responding to the allegations of harming aquatic life around Yamuna, the statement said the Yamuna had already sunk to a pit with toxic levels which has severely affects not only the aquatic life, but also the birds that feed on them. It alleged an attempt to put the blame for years of neglect of the Yamuna on three days of Art of Living event and make it pay for it.

It also denied constructing any ramp or paved road on any portion of the Yamuna floodplains. It cited satellite images that show the existence such road even in 2000.

Saying it is committed to restoration of the floodplains if damages are scientifically established, it expressed apprehension that the compensation amount collected from it could be used up in the guise of restoring damages which are yet to be established.

Alleging that process of natural justice has been severely violated, it demanded an independent panel of experts to assess the alleged damage as per fair and scientific parameters for damage assessment.

With the Art of Living pegging its stance on standing up for the sake of saving the principle of justice, no quick end seems to be in sight.  They never expected that this organization will stand up to the bully. We are at a stage where the NGT itself may be facing an existential crisis. While it turns a blind eye to permanent structure that has been existing, it played to some rogue’s gallery who had a vested interest in trying to sabotage this world recognised event.

And as I tweeted! The Game is On! Vimlendu and Manoj’s Yatra begins 🙂

Left not aware of Right – Curious case of Hindustan Times

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Front Page News!
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Page 6 continuation. Lie big and Truth tucked away

 

These are the First page and Page 6 coverage of The Hindustan Times, the scrawl owned and operated by Shobhna Bhartia, the KK Birla Family heir (the only qualification for the position she has assumed)

Then tucked in Page 3 is a rejoinder from Art of Living, albeit with a picture they use from file (without mentioning it). By the way, all the pictures used are not current as it is made out to be. As is their wont, from the word go, Hindustan Times, at the behest of someone (it is anyone’s guess) have tried to derail the Nation’s show piece World Culture Festival 2016. While we (and the world) focused on the now famous WCF Rainbow, like gutter snipe they focused on the slush and dirt caused by the rain.

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HT Uses File Pictures & passes it off as current

Here is their piece that was supposedly Art of Living’s statement, but conveniently use some old file picture and not what was shot just before the site was handed over to DDA. You can view the “Dated” pictures in my previous piece – NGT Committee as (Im)Perfect Weapon

Here is the Video that was also viewed by everyone in the media including Hindustan Times

What is the real agenda of Hindustan Times? Who are their backers? Why are they and their motley bunch of journalists incessantly attacking (and peddling lies). Time for Art of Living to really investigate their interests.