Personal Productivity

A few days back, we had a brain storming session on personal productivity. Organisational productivity is a subject that may attract more attention than any other in the management field. But what is personal productivity? Does it mean how does one manage his/her time? The answer is yes and no. Yes, time is an important aspect of personal productivity. Rather, it could be so provided your activities are aligned with your goals. And yet it is a lot more. Does it mean one’s achievement towards realization of personal goals? Not just that! Personal goals may change. Personal vision may change. And if one may say so personal mission statement if one ever cares to establish that – that also may change.

When we talk of mission statement or vision or an organization, that hardly ever changes. But when we are talking of an individual, the factors that affect a person’s likes and dislikes, desires, drastically change with changing circumstances, or even without these.

According to me the most important factor for a person’s success is his/her personal productivity. Now I will like to define it as far as I am concerned. As one grows one realizes that it is not just money, not just health, not just family, or your social status, hobbies etc., that bring to you happiness, but it is a combination of all these in varying proportions.  So what we need to do is to align all our activities to achieve whatever we want in the aforesaid different fields.

Therefore a daily review of what you do becomes very important. In the highly competitive world we have today, the targets that the organizations set for you are hard ones. These sap your energy and rob you of the power and ability to think what you must do. You only start following sometimes even unachievable targets. In the process, you totally destroy you concept of personal productivity.

Hence, what is really needed is to have the right balance and proper perspective towards life. It is only such a healthy attitude that strikes a right balance between family and friends, home and work, health and money that will lead to a truly happy and successful life.

Lots of good books are available which help you develop a proper perspective some of these are:

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Hanuman Jayanti

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Shree Hanuman Jayanti

Hanuman Jayanti was celebrated yesterday with devotion and religious fervor. Hanuman temples were decorated with flowers and colorful lights all over the country. Bhajans and Kirtans to celebrate Shree Hanumanji’s birthday were also organised in many places.

What is the importance of Shree Hanuman in the Hindu Religion? Why do  so many people worship Shree Hanuman so ardently? They even observe a fast and eat only once in the evening and that too only sweet food, no salt.

Shree Hanuman is known for his devotion towards Lord Ram. His selfless love and comitment to serve Lord Ram empowers him to achieve anything that may be required to serve his Lord. It is this unique power that enables him to fly to the far off mountains to bring the rare herb that is needed to revive Lakshman.

Laye Sanjivan Lakhan Jiyaye

Shree Raghuvir harashi ur laye                              

It  is the same power that enables him to burn half of the Lankan Kingdom, in order to teach Ravan a lesson. His dedication and desire to serve his master Lord Ram is so intense that the only path which is seen by his eyes is the road to success to achieve the desired goal.

Durgam Kaj Jagat Ke Jete

Sugam Anugrah Tumre Tete

 Meaning the burden of all difficult tasks of the world becomes light with you kind grace. (These choupais are taken from Hanuman Chalisa

Many thinkers and life coaches of the Western world have emphasised the power of visualisation. Shree Hanuman is an embodient of that very visualisation. In this state, the person only sees success till he/she achieves it. And when one is totally devoted to a particular cause which is the goal there is no distraction whatsoever. So the total focus and dedication to the work accelerates the process of success.

That is why people read the Hanuman Chalisa with devotion and the following choupais motivate and reassure that whatever is desired will be achieved.

Sab kuch lahi tumhari sarna

Tum rakshak kahu ko darna……

All comforts of the world lie at your feet. The devotees enjoy all divine pleasures and feel fearlesss.

Bhoot pishach nikat nahi aave,

Mahavir jab nam sunave

All the ghosts, demons, and evil forces run away when one recites your name.

Sankat se Hanuman Chudave,

Man kram vachn dhyan jo lave

Those who remember Shree Hanuman, think about him, his words and deeds with sincerity and faith are rescued from any crisis of life.

Ashta siddhi nav nidhi ke daata,

Us var deen Janaki Mata

Shree Hanuman can grant all ‘siddhis’ – power to become light and heavy at will and also yogic powers to attain riches, comfort, power, prestige, and good relationship.

The daily recital of the Hanuman Chalisa with your goal in mind empowers you to take such actions which will enable you to achieve your goals easily.

Jai Shree Hanuman!

Shamshad Begum is no more!

Shamshad Begum
Shamshad Begum (1919-2013)

I have been discussing great female singers, development of their voices, and the quality of the singing in ‘Wani Yoga’ postings.
Today, when Shamshad Begum has passed away I would like to pay my heart felt tribute to her. Her voice always depicted a strong personality. Just as a Manager with a deep authoritative but polite voice shows his/her personality in verbal communication, Shamshad Begum established the unique depth of her voice in her singing. Her voice needed no change, no development. It only matured like a good wine with the passing years. Her devotion to singing and the ease and spontaneity is conspicuous in her songs. It will always be remembered.
Many great Music Composers used her voice to render their compositions. Notable among them are Naushad, C. Ramchander, and O.P. Nayyar. Her rendering of different of types of tunes of the great masters leaves an impression that no other female singer could have done. She appears most apt for the songs that she sang. Let us examine some of these.
C. Ramchander – Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon, kiya hai wahan se telephoon…..
mere piya gaye rangoon
mere piya gaye rangoon – song by shamshad begum

This song is from the film Patanga and is a duet, but Shamshad Begum is outstanding.
Naushad – O gadiwale, gadi dhere hank re…..
Whenever I listen to this song played on Vividh Bharti, the entire scence of running bullock carts before my eyes. That is the impact of Shamshad’s voice in the song.
Another song from Naushad that I particularly remember is a duet with Talat Mehmood from the film Babul – Milte hi aankhein dil hua diwana kisi ka, afsana mere ban gaya afsana kisi ka…..
milte hi aankhein
milte hi aankhein

Yet it was O.P. Nayyar, who exploited her voice to the best of her ability. Therefore I have chosen a number of songs:

  • Kahin pe nigahein, Kahin pe nishana…..
  1. kahin pe nigahein
    kahin pe nigahein
  • Kabhi aar,kabhi paar laga teer-e-nazar….
    kabhi aar kabhi paar
    kabhi aar kabhi paar
  • Kajra mohabbat wala, akhiyon me aisa dala….
    kajra mohabbat wala
    kajra mohabbat wala
  • Le ke pahla pahla pyaar…..(CID 1956)

Her memories will last for generations.

Shakespeare

William_Shakespeare
William_Shakespeare

Traditionally, it is accepted that Shakespeare was born on 23rd April, 1564. He was the third child of a tanner, father of eight children. Shakespeare left a lasting legacy. Today, after nearly four centuries, people are so fond of his literature, that they think that Shakespeare is still living among us. His plays, his characters, his poetry, and his knowledge of the human mind – all transcend the limits of time and space. He died on the same date 23rd April 1616. Within his short life, he created poetry and plays the essence of which has influenced generations of writers throughout the world.
His spontaneity and the magical music of the sounds of the words cannot be described in words. It has to be experienced to understand what it is. The sheer intensity of his life and the strong desire to express himself resulted in the wonderful treasure that we have in the form of his poetry and plays.
King Lear by William Shakespeare
King Lear by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s characters are real and life-like. His tragic heroes suffer from one major tragic flaw. For example, King Lear is credulous and gives in to the flattery of his two elder daughters. The youngest daughter who truly loved him would use no such flowery words and got nothing out of his kingdom and his wealth. In the play, King Lear has to suffer for the rest of his life due to the one tragic flaw of being credulous and prone to flattery. How many of us continue to suffer even today.
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar on the other hand was extremely ambitious. Thus, it was the tragic flaw of ambition that led other senators to murder him. Even today, there are people like Shakespeare whose unbridled ambition causes them to suffer from this tragic flaw.
Extreme hunger for Power saw the end of Macbeth. In fact, each of Shakespeare’s tragedies ends in a nemesis that gives an inspiration to all of us to improve and develop and grow. Because left to themselves, things can only go from bad to worse.
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

His play ‘ The Merchant of Venice’ leaves a harsh message for extremely harsh negotiators. Demands must draw their own limits. So, negotiators must look for win-win situations, rather than facing flak in the end.
More on this great man and the lessons to be learnt in my next posting.
Thank you.

Murphy's Laws

Most would think that Murphy was a pessimist.  His pessimism alone drove him to be a negative thinker.  In the circumstances, it is neither necessary nor prudent to take him or his laws seriously.
What does Murphy say?  And what is the implication of his controversial laws?
This is what I propose to share with you, today.
Murphy’s most talked about law is:
‘If anything can go wrong it will.’ Corollaries are interpreted by many as below:
1. Anything is not as easy as it looks. To me, this is a valid caution.  Often times a task appears a bit too easy.  It is so because we don’t all the aspects.  Thereafter the difficulties that we face in completing the task leave us discouraged.  So, if we keep this dictum in mind, we shall be better prepared to do our own job surmounting whatever difficulties come our way.
This attitude could be either due to casual conduct or being over optimistic, over confident and taking things for guaranteed.  Hope we all agree it calls for an improvement – for better productivity and happier life.
Yet, if we take it literally and don’t rely on the intent, it remains no longer a caution.  Instead of being helpful the dictum will result in procrastination or even pessimistic.  Both are equally undesirable.
2. Second corollary: Everything takes longer than you think is very similar to the first one and should be dealt accordingly.
3. Next: It has been interpreted that if there is a possibility of many things going wrong, the one which will cause maximum damage will be the first one to go wrong. I have no personal experience so therefore cannot comment.
4. The fourth corollary is interesting indeed. It says that if you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong and you circumvent these, than a fifth way will promptly develop. This again should be taken positively as a caution.
5.  The fifth one is important and needs serious attention:  ‘ Left to themselves things tend to go from bad to worse’.
Surely, one must not hope that anything important, be it a relationship, or a project which has hit a stumbling block will improve with time.  No, never.  It definitely requires your considered action or even ‘inaction’.  But in both the cases it should be a deliberate and thoughtful decision.  There are more. But we will discuss these some other time
Thank you

Wani Yoga – Lesson 12 : Part 3

Wani Yoga – Lesson 12 Part 3

Asha Bhonsle
Asha Bhonsle

Today, I’ll talk to you about another very important female playback singer I.e,. Asha Bhosle. The younger sister of Lata Mangeshker, Asha could not get any worthwhile opportunity for a long time. She had to settle for singing in B & C grade films. Music for these films was composed by lesser known music composers. So, there was no development so far her singing is concerned.

It was music director O.P. Nayar who gave h

O P Nayyar
O P Nayyar

er a big break. Besides, Nayar’s music became very popular. So, she had plenty of opportunities to sing. Her voice was recognized to be aesthetically sensuous. Many films during 60s & 70s would have cabaret dance sequences. While Helen was the choice performer, Asha would invariably sing those songs. Therefore, the opportunities for her increased. It was during this time that rivalry between the two singing sisters started. Nayar once said that Lata and Asha stayed on the same floor of the building on Pedder Road and they had one common maid. Whenever the maid informed Asha that Lataji had a wonderful recording, it would be enough reason for Asha to lose the poise of her vocal chord.

Starting with extremely popular songs in CID in 1956, Asha’s associations with OP Nayar continued till the middle of the 70’s. During this period Asha sang many unforgettable numbers. Her duets with Mohamad Rafi like “Maang ke saath tumhara maine maang liya sansar”, “Sathi hath barhana sathi re” created history in popularity.

Maang ke saath tumara
Dilip Kumar & Vaijanti Mala singing Maang Ke Saath Tumara

Working constantly with music compare of substance results in great development of the singer. The music director is able to secure the best out of the singer and the process results in bringing excellence in the singing quality. Her association with Nayar lasted till the mid 70’s. by then, she had established her name as an aesthetically sensuous and also versatile singer. Music composers like SD Burman, Ravi and R D Burman engaged her to sing their songs. During this period her songs – ” aaja aaja tu hai payar mera, alha alha ikrar mera”, “oh haseena zulfu wali jane jahan, dhonti hai kis ke nishan…, piya tu abh to aaja” brought her an immense popularity.

Asha Bhonsle's famous song
Shammi Kapoor Helen and Asha Parekh – Song: O hasina Zulfon wali

In spite of that she was stereotyped. It was music director Khayam who realized that if Asha could sing at a scale half a note lower she would do be able to sing Ghazals. He ensured that Asha reduced her scale by half a note.
Rekha in Umraon Jan : Ghazal Sung by Asha Bhonsle
Rekha in Umraon Jan : Ghazal Sung by Asha Bhonsle

With the reduction of the pitch by about half a note a new Asha the ghazal singer came to life. Ghazals comprise a totally different genre of singing. Now, Asha could sing these very well. The Rekha starrer Umrao Jaan is the best example.
Khayyam
Khayyam

What method Khayam adopted is not known. But in practice of ‘Wani Yoga’ we have various exercises and procedures by which we can achieve this objective of lowering the normal pitch on which a person speaks as well as that of singer. In the same manner some other exercises when carried out consistently can help in raising the normal pitch of a person.
Human voice is dynamic. Big changes can be brought about in it. You don’t have to think that this is a God given gift and therefore you have to live with it. Often times we have executives complaining that their voice sounds that of a lady and vice a versa. These attributes of human voice can be all together altered with wani yoga.
Asha has sung more songs than any other singer in the world. She is featured in the Guineas book of work records. She has also received many awards – both from the music field and national recognition. She has earned Padma Vibhushan among others.
Thanks for your time.

Wani Yoga Lesson 12 – Part 2

Regarding Wani Yoga , in my last post, I talked about the talent and development of Lataji’s great singing. The other famous female singers of the same era are many. Today, we’ll go forward talk about Geeta Dutt. There Asha  Bhosle, Suraiya, Runa Laila and Anuradha Podwal. Each of them has her own voice personality. They have learnt classical Indian Music from well-Known Gurus. Some of these singers could have also achieved excellence on their own and working with great music composers like Naushad, op  Nayar, Shanker Jaikrishan, C. Ramchander, Madan Mohan and others. Their achievements have been are driven by the unsuitable hunger for some immortal songs. And all of them have worked real hard.

You might ask, if the singers have gone through structured or unstructured with rigorous training, then how does Wani Yoga come into the picture?

Any form of yoga requires consistent and constant. Riyaaz or ‘abhiyaas’.

 What is Abhiyaas?

Abhiyaas is practice with devotion with a passion to learn. Following any passion, be it concerning art or science needs years of ‘Abhiyaas’ to culminate to its full bloom. Only then it leaves an indelible mark in the society. And, Abhiyaas about singing is ‘Wani Yoga’. Your own active listening improves the quality of your voice. Your own passion for music creates unforgettable combinations of ‘Sur and Taal’ of songs that haunt millions of followers.

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Geeta Dutt:

An enchanting singer – her songs put the listeners under a strange spell. Even prosaic messages of her simple songs keep on ringing in your ears:

Babuji dheer chalna, pyaar mein zara sambhalna…..or

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Aayee Meherbaan, Bhaithiye jaane jana; Shauk se lijiyeji, Ishq ke inttiyaan……or

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Mera Sunder Sapna beet gaya……or

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Aye Dil mujhe bata de, tu kispe aa gaya hai, Who kaun he jo aakar, khabon mein cha gaya hai…

And list in endless.

What do you need?

What do you need
What do you need

Now a days, life is full of stress. Stress is the caused by multifarious reasons. Firstly, there is work pressure. This has increased due to the ever increasing competition. Life in the city is also becoming difficult due to distances and slow moving traffic. You take more time in travelling from home and to your work place than you ever did in earlier times.  Pollution is another major factor that saps your energy. On the one side you have less time for your productive work, with reduced energy level you tend to take more time in completing your daily tasks. So time-management becomes another issue.
So what should you do? You cannot change the environment, the way the society is moving forward, the social conflicts are increasing. But you can certainly do one thing. Change yourself. Bring about a change in your personality, your perspective, the way you look at things, and the way you solve your daily problems.
In order that you successfully do so you need to recognize what you needs are. Your own needs specifically! While overall our needs may be the same but these differ due to reasons like our personality, family background, requirements etc.
Needs have been classified by Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs theory.
Keeping these in your mind you may define your own needs. This need not be done in one sitting. But what you can do is to write a broad overview first, and then by contemplating on it on a daily basis you will be able to develop the clear chart of your personal needs. The biggest advantage of such an exercise is that the burden that one carries due to mental fog will be removed and you will start looking at things clearly.
Furthermore, it is only after clearly defining you own needs that you can chart out a plan of action to achieve these. It will also enable you to deal with the stress problems. Of course, this will be you first step. A lot more will need to be done. But then you must appreciate that this is for your own life. Your constant efforts to improve will undoubtedly be enjoyed by you. Besides, these will bring about better results. Further on this in my next blog.
Thank you.

Exploring a new Route

Bhaucha Dhakka

Yesterday, I started from office around 5pm. The dark of the evening was still away. I thought, reaching home early, I will have to walk in the podium garden. Lots of children of the society play all kinds of outdoor games at that time. Many maids with the small babies in the prams which is an uncommon sight in Mumbai. Elders leisurely  walk on the walkway. I thought let me also join them and also witness the lively joy of the juniors and seniors in the garden.
While driving back home, I got another idea. Normally, we drive back through the BPT road paying a nominal toll of Rs. 30/-. A friend of mine had told me that there is another road which takes about half km more but there is no toll. I thought to myself “why not explore this new road”?

Fisherwoman at Bhaucha Dhakka

So, we found a road turning right. Thinking that eventually it will join our normal route, we ventured into this new found road to the right. We drove through their rather zigzag road with lots of turnings to left and right and vice versa. To our big surprise we reached a dead end. Unlike other road that end, this place was full of life.
We had reached Bhaucha Dhaka (Ferry Wharf). While driving to office or back home I had seen buses with sign “Bhaucha Dhaka” often. There was a bus terminus. On one side there were fisher men and women moving around in their large baskets on their heads. On the other side I saw lots of people rushing towards the small passenger boats. I knew that some people who stay in Karanja, an island across the sea daily travel in these small ferries to and fro coming to work in Mumbai. Today, looking at this boat station gave me an uncommon joyful experiences.
I took some pictures of the place and the colourful boats which I would like to share with you.

Fishing Boats at Bhauch Dhakka