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Book Review: When the Chief fell in Love by Tuhin A Sinha portrays second chances and forbidden love in Kashmir

Tuhin A Sinha's novel, When the Chief Fell in Love plays upon second chances to bring two of the most unlikely individuals to come into each other lives, with a big 'political' bang! In life and in love, second chances are rare, more so when two individuals who are married to others, fall in love with each other. The consequences are unlikely to be happy but this love story demolishes conventional myths in the typical love story narratives we often read. 

Seen through the eyes of lovers, there can be no greater paradise than Kashmir, which is why India's youngest Defence Minister Vihaan finally comes back to solve problems of a troubled state that is rife with political disturbances.

Given the violent times we live in, imagine the perils of a love story that involves the country's Defence Minister and the daughter of a separatist leader.  It sounds inconceivable. And that is exactly the myth the young Defence Minister Vihaan strives to demolish in his journeys to Kas…
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Actress Trisha's favourite actor in Malayalam cinema is.....? Her answer and the reason will leave you inspired!

If you enjoy watching movies, you are sure to have a favorite star, right? However, isn't it funny that most actors and actresses choose not to reveal their favorite stars? I find this particularly so in Malayalam cinema. Recently, I found an interesting exception to this and as a movie buff, I was delighted by the candid admission. 

When asked who her favourite Malayalam actor is besides her co-star Nivin Pauly who plays the lead role as Jude, actress Trisha's reply was immediate, 'Mohanlal sir. He's brilliant.'  In the interview hosted by Surya' TV channel, the Telugu -Tamil super star Trisha shared lighthearted moments about her role as 'Crystal' in acclaimed director Shyamaprasad's latest film, 'Hey Jude!' She didn't hesitate to say a few words in Malayalam and didn't look red-faced when she got some words mixed up - that's the spirit of a confident, vivacious personality and I really like that about Trisha.  [MUST READ: Nivin …

What is dark night of the soul, how long does it last and why it happens? Three great Masters share powerful tips!

Just as writers go through a phase known as 'writer's block', spiritual seekers pass through a much dreaded phase called 'Dark night of the soul.' Know what the 'Perfect Masters' say.  [READ: Feeling depressed and low? Guy at Costa Coffee shares amazing lesson]


Speaking to Ruzbeh N. Bharucha on this, Dada Vaswani, ''Everyone has to go through it. It is like being stripped naked. There were Spanish mystics such as St. John of the Cross, St Teresa of Avila, Raymond and others who described it as 'dark night of the soul' and even in Christian literature, there is a chapter titled 'The Cloud of Unknowing'.'' This phase is known to visit even the best and most perfect 'Masters' before they achieve a state of ''illumination.''

So, what exactly does a seeker feel and experience during this scary sounding phase called 'Dark night of the Soul'?

[READ: Who is Meher Baba? The Ira…

Feeling depressed and low? This guy at Costa Coffee taught me something invaluable about being at peace!

At Costa Coffee outlet at DLF Mall in  Noida today, I hovered blankly over an iced latte. I wasn't in my best mood. You know how it is, there are days when one feels disappointed and let down by the self and withdraw into an inner shell.  [READ: Does sincerity have any value?]


And so it happens that the server at Costa Coffee who brought to our table what we had ordered is a smiling young man. He has a big, happy smile on his face.
We looked up. He was conveying something with his fingers to my son, who had his headphones switched on and was listening to music. I looked up and understood then that the young man was deaf and unable to speak, which is why he was using sign language to communicate.
This is what I think he communicated to my son, ''Enjoy your sandwich.You have a good smile and a good day.  Thank you for coming today, happy to serve you."
My son was also gesturing back to him with a bright smile and conveying thank you. [READ: Chil…

Parenting together with love and limits: 7 Time Management Tips to Manage a Super Busy Family Schedule

Last Friday, it was Holi, the festival of colours. Guess what I wanted to do? Sleep!  [MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter he loves]
I know what you are thinking, ''What kind of mother wants sleep on Holi?" 
I do. Yup! But what happened is the opposite. That's life, isn't it?
[READ: Why Parenting is Important to Child Development]

During Holi, I was busy cooking, washing the dishes, moping the floor that had messy footprints.  Yup, welcome to the Working Mom's home life on a 'Holi' day:)
Now I have put together a few things which helps me to stay focused:
1. Start the morning with something that perks you up
Anything that lifts your  dormant energy (remember, you woke up from sleep, right?) can work to get your morning rocking. What perks me up is the view from my balcony while I make tea.While the tea leaves boil, the view keeps me grounded and calm as I prepare my mind for a busy day. I see the sky light up slowly, the…

Who is Meher Baba? The Irani Zorastrian Perfect Master who was a disciple of Hazarat Babajaan

Few Indians know about Meher Baba, known as the Perfect Master, worshiped as 'Avatar Baba' by the Parsi community. His devotees are called 'Baba lovers'. For instance, Bollywood's Shiamak Davar is a very well-known 'Baba lover'. 
I am not a follower but I have experienced the electrifying love energy that is a pure and pristine extension of his community of followers. 

Image: Avatar Meher Baba Lovers on Facebook

Meher Baba was born into a well-to-do family in Pune. He was named Merwan Sheriar Irani by his Irani Zorastrian parents. At the age of 19, he underwent a powerful spiritual transformation that scandalised the Irani and Parsi community.  Meher Baba is known to have recieved the divine powers and blessings of 5 great spiritual masters of the time such as Upasni Maharaj and Sai Baba of Shirdi but most significantly, he was closest to another Perfect Master, revered and worshiped as Hazarat Babajaan.

His mother Shireen loved him deeply but disapproved of th…

Why love matters - Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh has an amazing insight to share!

What is love? It means different things to different people. 

Have you thought about it? Do read: POWER OF LOVE

When a mother loves her child, have you noticed that the mother's love doesn't change with time or place or even when a child does not reciprocate it? 

Perhaps there is none of the ''my happiness', 'my priority', 'my desires' sort of mentality in the relationship. There is an element of being desireless, in the sense, that the mother wants no material or physical gain from the relationship. The mother may have big dreams of her child becoming X,Y and Z but not necessarily to materially benefit from this. Being itself is enough. 'Being a Mother' is tinged with a sense of happiness despite all the daily struggles and challenges that it brings.

Typically a mother is so engrossed and involved in raising her child, without a sense of a separation of the Self. In a sense, everything else ceases to matter. That kind of love doesn't change…

What is true knowledge? Dada Vaswani's teaching on knowledge offers a valuable lesson!

These days, everyone is an 'expert' on a given topic and this is most evident on social media.  From make up to nutrition to every topic under the sun including coffee, wine and herbs, there are experts on every social media platform. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it can prove helpful in your quest for knowledge but sometimes these are misleading as well. Not all that shines is gold, remember? So how do you figure out the mark of a person with knowledge as compared to those who proclaims it the rest of the world?
Here is a wise quote from Ruzbeh N Bharucha's book, 'Conversations with Dada Vaswani' offers us a powerful insight about knowledge and what it means.
[MUST-READ: Sage Tiruvalluvar's Golden Advice on Friendship]

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Sadhu Vaswani, who is much loved and revered as a spiritual master, shares the crux of what knowledge stands for. True - there is no wisdom greater than this.

Hey Jude movie review: Nivin Pauly and Trisha shine their magic in this feel-good, heartwarming entertainer

Acclaimed director Shyamaprasad's latest movie starring Nivin Pauly (as Jude) and Trisha (as Crystal) is a heartwarming love storyof two completely different individuals who find a rare bonding of friendship with each other, helping the other to deal with the distinct quirks in personality. The story also touches upon a very important aspect of human life - no human being is perfect and it's okay to be different and quirky but you also need to find a support system and practical ways to overcome it.

                                                    [Image: Hey Jude Facebook Page]

Jude is different but he still makes you laugh
From scene 1, you can sense that Jude is different from other men of his age - his reactions are slow, unpredictable and borders on immaturity unless it has something to do with the topics that interest him - for example, marine life or oceanic pollution. There is nothing laughable or frivolous about Jude but this is exactly where Nivin Pauly's portray…

Why parenting is important to child development - First outgrow the ego shell

Over the weekend, I watched a Malayalam movie called '''Hey Jude'', which is about 28-year-old Jude, who behaves differently from others. A trip to Goa throws up surprises when he makes friends and they try their best to help him tackle the real issues, which is something his parents had never done.

This quote by famous Japanese author on Zen, DT Suzuki, makes perfect sense.

''The ego shell in which we live is the hardest to outgrow....We are, however, given many chances to break through this shell.''


When it comes to children, parents prefer to deny than accept. When it comes to parents, children prefer not to listen than to accept. 

To first identify and then to outgrow the ego shell is a huge challenge.

So, how did Jude's parents deal with what seemed like an impossible situation?

There's a valuable lesson for all of us - Jude's parents accept the situation with grace, knowing that the only thing they can do is…