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Showing posts from October, 2009

Diwali, fog and consumption

Outlook's Saba Naqvi writes about the pall of smog that envelopes Delhi during Diwali.



Diwali In Kalyug
The religious dimension has gone missing. We seem to have reduced it to commerce, chaos, and the fog that envelopes the city. Most Indians, living on the margins, are excluded from this bonfire of consumption.

I love lighting my house on Diwali, the daughter tried her hand at rangoli, the maid was delighted with her gifts, mithai boxes were distributed, I prepared and lit traditional oil diyas at a friend’s house, lost a modest sum of money at cards, and developed a respiratory allergy by the time the evening ended.

It was Diwali as usual.

But watching the fire-crackers light up the sky, the wanton manner in which noise and air pollution continued in Delhi (all in the spirit of the festival of course) I have come to the conclusion that if we were industrially as advanced as western countries we would be one of the worst polluters in the world.

We are getting all indignant and self ri…

Arundhati Roy in Outlook

She writes about the Maoists and the internal situation in India with the abuse of tribals in Orissa.

Mr Chidambaram’s War
A math question: How many soldiers will it take to contain the mounting rage of hundreds of millions of people?

The low, flat-topped hills of south Orissa have been home to the Dongria Kondh long before there was a country called India or a state called Orissa. The hills watched over the Kondh. The Kondh watched over the hills and worshipped them as living deities. Now these hills have been sold for the bauxite they contain. For the Kondh it’s as though god has been sold. They ask how much god would go for if the god were Ram or Allah or Jesus Christ?


Red terror?: A tribal woman with her children in Dantewada
Perhaps the Kondh are supposed to be grateful that their Niyamgiri hill, home to their Niyam Raja, God of Universal Law, has been sold to a company with a name like Vedanta (the branch of Hindu philosophy that teaches the Ultimate Nature of Knowledge). It’s one o…

thought for today

To be free from all attachment does not mean running away from all occasion for attachment. All these people who assert their asceticism, not only run away but warn others not to try!. . .
For fear of being mistaken in our actions, we stop doing anything at all; for fear of being mistaken in our speech, we stop speaking; for fear of eating for the pleasure of eating, we do not eat at all - this is not freedom, it is simply reducing the manifestation to a minimum. . ..
No, the solution is to act only under the divine impulsion, to speak only under the divine impulsion, to eat only under the divine impulsion. That is the difficult thing, because naturally, you immediately confuse the divine impulsion with your personal impulses.



- The Mother [CWMCE, 10:196-97]

Vultures

Friday Poem
Vulture

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside

Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling

.....high up in heaven,

And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit

.....narrowing,

.....I understood then

That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-

.....feathers

Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.

I could see the naked red head between the great wings

Bear downward staring. I said, "My dear bird, we are wasting time

.....here.

These old bones will still work; they are not for you." But how

.....beautiful

.....he looked, gliding down

On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the

.....sea-light

.....over the precipice. I tell you solemnly

That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak

.....and

.....become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes--

What a sublime end of one's body, what and enskyment; what a life

.....after death.

by…

titli rani

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Mira's mama..

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It does take a village to bring up a child..

Ikat Story

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Home Workshop has a great article on Ikat and how it is made.

thought for today from the Mother

You see, in the present condition of the world, circumstances are always difficult. The whole world is in a condition of strife, conflict, between the forces of truth and light wanting to manifest and the opposition of all that does not want to change, which represents in the past what is fixed, hardened and refuses to go. Naturally, each individual feels his own difficulties and is faced by the same obstacles.
There is only one way for you. It is a total, complete and unconditional surrender. What I mean by that is the giving up not only of your actions, work, ambitions, but also of all your feelings, in the sense that all that you do, all that you are, is exclusively for the Divine. So, you feel above the surrounding human reactions - not only above them but protected from them by the wall of the Divine's Grace. Once you have no more desires, no more attachments, once you have given up all necessity of receiving a reward from human beings, whoever they are - knowing that the only…

Predator Drones and Pakistan

Jane Mayer writes a disturbing article in the New Yorker about how Predator Drones are fighting the U.S. war against terror. Often their are mistakes and innocent civilians die, for the people sitting in Langley, this is a video game played with using a joy stick to target and destroy sometimes innocent people. It seems the Obama administration under pressure to reduce troops in Afghanistan is putting all its eggs in this basket.

Here is an interview by her.

Jane Mayer on Predator Drones and Pakistan
In this week’s issue of the magazine, Jane Mayer writes about the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of drones to kill terrorist suspects in Pakistan—a program that the Obama Adminstration is relying upon more and more. (Subscribers can access the entire article; everyone else can buy access to this issue online.) Mayer spoke about the costs of a remote-controlled war, the C.I.A.’s lack of transparency, and the Pakistan’s complicated response.

How has the use of Predator drones by the United …

An Education

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A wonderful movie done with subtley and a light touch dealing with difficult issues like love/lust between an older man and a very young girl, the limits of education and the importance of it at the same time. The father Albert Molina acts very well on the one hand wanting his daughter to go to Oxford and on the other totally swept away by David the smooth talker/crook.

Schoolgirl Jenny is 16 and a virgin. Sophisticated David is twice her age and ready to pounce. The time is 1961. The place is England just before it learned to swing. So begins An Education; a quiet miracle of a movie that quickly disabuses you of the idea that you've seen it all before.

Prepare to be wowed by Carey Mulligan, whose sensational, starmaking performance as Jenny ignited film festivals from Sundance to Toronto. The incandescent Mulligan, 24, is a major find who makes Jenny's journey from gawky duckling to sad, graceful swan an unmissable event. As David, Peter Sarsgaard is shockingly good at walking…

David Briscoe

I went to an inspiring lecture at the Sivananda Center in NYC, by David Briscoe about Macrobiotics and how changing your diet can make you well from sickness and disease.

He spoke about face diagnosis and by observing the lines on the forehead can tell you about the state of your liver or the cleft on the nose can tell you about the condition of your heart. The bags under your eyes about your kidneys. And how changing your diet and eating a macrobiotic diet, which seems very Japanese inspired and eliminating hard proteins and sugars can improve your life. Frequent urination is a sign of kidneys being overworked and losing minerals. Hair loss is a sign of eating too much sugars. For Kidneys to work better he recommended taking a salt bath and typing your waist with a cotton cloth during winters to provide the kidneys warmth.
Do check his website out here

Yelling at kids is the new spanking

NYT's reports that yelling at kids is increasing, with detrimental effects.

JACKIE KLEIN is a devoted mother of two little boys in the suburbs of Portland, Ore. She spends hours ferrying them to soccer and Cub Scouts. She reads child-development books. She can emulate one of those pitch-perfect calm maternal tones to warn, “You’re making bad choices” when, say, someone doesn’t want to brush his teeth.

That is 90 percent of the time. Then there is the other 10 percent, when, she admits, “I have become totally frustrated and lost control of myself.”

It can happen during weeks and weeks and weeks of no camp in the summer, or at the end of a long day at home — just as adult peace is within her grasp — when the 7- or 9-year-old won’t go to sleep.

And then she yells.

“This is ridiculous! I’ve been doing things all day for you!”

Many in today’s pregnancy-flaunting, soccer-cheering, organic-snack-proffering generation of parents would never spank their children. We congratulate our toddlers for…

Ram Dhamija

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South Waziristan

Ahmed Rashid writes about the situation in South Waziristan and how the Military is playing a double game and threatening the stability of the civilian government.



The Pakistani military has been sleeping with the enemy while keeping the civilian government down
Ahmed Rashid
YaleGlobal , 19 October 2009

Enemy within: Pakistani army has launched an offensive against Islamist Taliban in the country's South Waziristan region.
MADRID: After nine suicide attacks in just eleven days that killed 160 people, including many from the security forces, the Pakistan army has finally started its long awaited offensive in South Waziristan where the Pakistani Taliban are based. The success of the offensive, against the backdrop of a serious civil-military division in Pakistan and unresolved debate in Washington, could be critical for the fate of Pakistan which is financially broke and politically paralyzed.

The army and the civilian government are once more at odds over policy towards the US and India…

Reasons I need an apple!

When the going gets Tough, The Tough Get an Apple Stop FollowingYou are no longer I've been ruminating the past few days on why Apple (AAPL) is doing so well with it's pricey high-end products and services during a recession. The answer came as I was reading Wednesday's New York Times column by Thomas Friedman, whom I deeply admire and read anything and everything he puts out.

Friedman points out that the winners in today's fast-shifting U.S. job market are the ones demonstrating "entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity." He says, "They are the new untouchables," in contrast to other still highly educated but less creative types.

Friedman cites Harvard University labor expert Lawrence Katz, who explains in the column that the now disadvantaged are "those engineers and programmers working on more routine tasks and not actively engaged in developing new ideas or recombining existing technologies or thinking about what new customers want. ... T…

Math

A new way of making math fun, and away from drills and memorization.

Orton Gillingham for Language Based Learning Disabilities

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Adria Karlsson has a good article on teaching the Orton Method for kids with spelling and reading issues.

Overcoming reading difficulties with Orton-Gillingham
Guest author Adria Karlsson writes about teaching children with language-based learning disabilities how to read.

There are many different types of learner in the world. Within any given classroom a teacher is likely to encounter a myriad of learning styles, skills, special talents, and learning differences. Although this can create an exceptionally enriching environment for the students, it requires a teacher that can encourage students to shine in areas where they are strong, and to learn in areas where they struggle.

As a teacher of student with language-based learning disabilities, I encounter students with very different learning styles each day. I work with students from first through seventh grade, and it is remarkable the ways in which each student’s profile is unique. The common strand throughout though is their difficulty…

scrunch

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boots

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my angel

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thought from the mother on Diwali

There is only one way of getting out of the confusion (which is the result of mixed and conflicting desires); and that way is quietness, peace, confidence in the Divine's Grace and silence in the mind, to let it receive the right inspiration which is waiting above for the silence and the quietness to enable it to manifest.



- The Mother [p-162, White Roses, Sixth Edition, 1999]

Happy Diwali

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Wish I was in Delhi celebrating!!

The Mother

When you have a problem to solve, instead of turning over in your head all the possibilities, all the consequences, all the possible things one should or should not do, if you remain quiet with an aspiration for goodwill, if possible a need for goodwill, the solution comes very quickly. And as you are silent you are able to hear it.
When you are caught in a difficulty, try this method: instead of becoming agitated, turning over all the ideas and actively seeking solutions, of worrying, fretting, running here and there inside your head - I don't mean externally, for externally you probably have enough common sense not to do that! but inside, in your head - remain quiet. And according to your nature, with ardour or peace, with intensity or widening or with all these together, implore the Light and wait for it to come.
In this way the path would be considerably shortened.



- The Mother [CWMCE, 9:423-24]

Hanging Fire

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NYT's reviews Hanging Fire an exhibit of contemporary art from Pakistan. I was surprised that this exhibition was so small, just one floor of the Asia Society. But it certainly provides a wide variety of mediums and ideas circulating in Pakistan today.
Rashid Rana's carpet was extraordinary.


Known to many New Yorkers primarily for art exhibitions, Asia Society is a grander entity than its Park Avenue galleries might suggest. According to its press materials, the institution’s overarching mission is to “promote understanding among the people, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States” and to generate new ideas in “the fields of policy, business, education, arts and culture.”

Are those fields listed in order of importance? If so, it might explain why the work in the society’s surveys of new art, like the current “Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art From Pakistan,” tends so often to be topical in content, market ready in format and didactic in delivery.

One of the first of t…