It is a common knowledge that we in India have started aping the west some of the more forward ones young as well as old take pride in dating. The concept of one night stand has also found its route and is moving forward in the West.
Elders bemoan that youngesters are forgetting our original values. I am reminded off what Mahatma Gandhi had said at the time of Independence. “Desh to apna ho gaya lakin log paraye ho gaye”. While we have become an Independent nation our people have become dependents – dependent on the ways. It may not have been true at that time but when we look around the environment today one feels that foolishly we are aping the West. We want to the kind of parties that have been happening for decades in the West youngsters like their clothes to be modeled on the latest Western fashion. We eat pizzas instead of poori aloo, young ones like pepsi more than lassi and so on….In Mumbai Bhel puri was known as a common mans delicacies, its popularity was among many other cities but now the Chinese foodies have cropped up and Chinese Bhel ‘is gaining ground’.
There is a lot to learn from every civilization, unfortunately what we don’t learn is the civic sense and cleanliness of the West, and doggite determination and hard work of the Chinese.
Its distressing to find that nouve rich while stopping and the signals open the door of the car and spit out, little realizing the the roads belong to the nation. The local trains are disfigured with various posters. The process of cleaning the compartments we are told has become very expensive in view of the highly effective glue, besides littering the tracks with wrappers banana peels etc…. creating a nuisance for the railway authorities. They have to spend a lot of money try to keep the tracks clean. We don’t stand in qu pushing even elderly. we have become totally insensitive out of sheer selfishness, honking is rampant even when not required. We don’t observe the lane driving. We have become a nation of only I Me and Mine….By and large we are never on time and blame the traffic when late for appointments. There is a lot more to be said and a lot more to be thought off.
Let NGOs take up civic sense and cleanliness as their prime project which will surely will be good for the new generation.
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:
- Bhagwad Gita, ISKON:
- Seven Habits by Successful People by Steven Covey
- Power of Positive Thinking: Dr. Vincent Peele
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!
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…..
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…..
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…..
- Kabhi aar,kabhi paar laga teer-e-nazar….
- Kajra mohabbat wala, akhiyon me aisa dala….
- Le ke pahla pahla pyaar…..(CID 1956)
Her memories will last for generations.
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.
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 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.
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.
Today I shall describe three different situations from any first hand experience.
1. I was trying to sell a training programme for the vice presidents and senior vice presidents of reasonably large and fast growing private bank. The discussion was being held with an exceptionally sharp and forthright HR head. His concern was about how could he ensure that his well defined objective will be met during two days training.
My presentation had included feedbacks from officers of similar status in a larger bank. I rolled back the presentation and showed him those feedbacks. I hoped that he would be impressed. Politely, he brushed these aside and said, “normally trainers have a knack of creating fast paced activity. In the bonhomie that follows no one writes the ‘real’ remarks. Everything oscillates between good and excellent”.
This set me to thinking. I looked back and realised that whatever he said was more or less true. Two possibilities came to my mind. Either we were really good or we needed to ensure that the ‘real’ comments come out from the participants.
2. Recently a tall and smart young man came to meet me. He said that he was a trainer and has been conducting courses for the past three years, on management of personal wealth. His courses are conducted in one of the five star properties, and the response is reasonably good. Invariably, he takes feedback forms from the participants. Only recently one of the participants wrote in his comments that the trainer spoke so fast that he could not understand anything. The feedback brought home a number of revelations – that the participants often do hesitate to write their real comments. It is so because most of us are not assertive. Equally important was the fact that the trainer, nay, not anyone should speak fast. If the objective of communication is conveying the ideas, these must be achieved. How? By modulation you speech, that is by bringing about variance in pace, pitch, pause, emphasis on the keywords and the tone. Modulation of the voice is recommended for everyone. But for public speakers, advocates, lecturers, it is a must. The young man told me that he would have continued speaking fast but for this one assertive participants, “real” feedback. Surely, he would be a much better trainer now and owes the success to the feedback form alone.
3. On the 14th of this month, I left for Delhi by the Rajdhani Express. Ever since the cheap airlines, have started operating, the charm of air travel has gone. Earlier, one would have a nice breakfast, or a good meal depending upon the time of the flight. And all from a five star flight kitchen. Now, you have to buy your own sandwitch, or a packet of biryani. And I would not pay twice the airfare just for a free meal.
While travelling I got the news that my sister had fallen sick and she was admitted in a leading hospital in South Delhi. On reaching there, we would sit out as she was in the ICU. There were two types of chairs. One which could be turned as sleepers. These were extremely uncomfortable to sit. Besides, there would be more attendentants than the number of chairs. Though the place was supposed to be air conditioned, there were many mosquitos. The pesticide sprinkler would come more than once everyday, but the mosquitos seemed to reappear just as soon has he left. I didn’t see anyone cleaning or mopping the place. Families of four patients including my sister occupied most of the chairs.
In any case, we were more concerned about the patients. Medical care seemed to be good. Everytime the Doctor would come to examine the patient, he/she would politely talk to the relatives of the patient concerned.
After four days, my sister had recovered to the extent that she was moved to a single room. At this time, the sister-in-charge of the ICU gave a feedback form to my niece. So far we had been hapless watchers and mute listeners. Now it was the time for us to express our grievances. My niece poured out and wrote about all we had seen and experienced.
In the single room we found that there was a big sofa and two chairs which were rather unclean. Though the room was large, the maintainence was rather poor. The glass overlooking the garden had not been cleaned for days and gave a rather shabby look. Even the bathroom was not clean and properly sanitized. Meanwhile, my nephew had come in the room. Finding these shortcomings, he started checking the other amenities. When he tried to open the locker, it wouldn’t. He had brought with him DVDs which my sister liked, but the DVD player wouldn’t work.
Meanwhile, a supervisor came from the ICU and pleaded that my niece change the feedback. She even brought a new feedback form. On the other side, my nephew complained that the locker was not opening, the DVD player was not working, the glass window needed to be cleaned and the bathroom did not have soap and other accessories. Charging patient room rent equal to that of a five star hotel, and not providing facilities was very unreasonable. However, now there was a difference. As soon as the complaints were lodged, the hospital staff swung into action. Some came and cleaned the glass. Soap, shampoo, body lotion, and even the shaving kit was placed in the bathroom. Since the DVD player did not work, it was promptly replaced. The floor was thoroughly cleaned, re-cleaned and sensitized with profuse apologies. In short, they did all to please the patient and the attendants alike.
You may call it the power of the feedback form. Make it a point to fill feedback forms assertively whenever there is an occasion.
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
Wani Yoga – Lesson 12 Part 3
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Aayee Meherbaan, Bhaithiye jaane jana; Shauk se lijiyeji, Ishq ke inttiyaan……or
Mera Sunder Sapna beet gaya……or
Aye Dil mujhe bata de, tu kispe aa gaya hai, Who kaun he jo aakar, khabon mein cha gaya hai…
And list in endless.
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.