A Touch Closer

Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2010 by Kratik in
25


If you have ever had a dream and you dared to follow it, you must have realized that it’s not always that you find yourself seated in the prettiest position. As the time passes and the things don’t go in your favor, you tend to lose hope and start looking for alternatives. Somehow, from somewhere, when you think all is lost, he shows you a light in the dark that presents you with a glimmer of hope.

Even as a ten-year-old kid, all I wanted to be was a Sports Commentator. Due to a sudden turn of events, I find myself currently working for Real Time Sportscast as a Phone Football Commentator.

Tuesday, December 2: It was almost 10 o’clock at night and I was, as usual, whiling away my time surfing the internet and accessing Facebook; also wishing for my guru to ring his grace bell and shower blessings for my life to take a dramatic but an astonishing turn, especially after a torrid week which saw me not making it to Tieto for the post of a software engineer. For me to be searching and applying for an engineering job was an irony in its own, solely because in spite of being an electronics engineering student, I was one of few rebels in college who always mocked about an engineer’s job.

As the facebook chats with the same-old-people started to take its toll on me , my phone rang and it was a call from a school friend, Kush Sharma (Boon). We usually talk on weekends or before / after football matches in order to discuss about football or jobs / careers / opportunities in the world of journalism and sports. Thus, it was a bit strange for him to call me on a Tuesday evening, also because he usually is busy on the weekdays with his MBA and his college stuff.

He started, “Hello Kratik, you won’t believe what just happened; an awesome awesome thing happened to me now.” And I thought, “Ok good, what can it be?” What he told me next, literally took the wind out of me. He said, “Remember Anis, the guy to whom we wrote regading that 30 Euros a game commentary job, he called.” For once, I was shell shocked.

Anis Meziane, Country head, Real Time Sportscast (Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait, India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan), had offered Boon a job as a phone football commentator for the Indian Football League (I-League) matches to be held in Pune and he was willing to pay him 30 Euros/match. I continued to talk to Boon for a few minutes and all I told him was to tell Anis to somehow take me in as well. Boon asked me to write Anis an email. I opened my gmail account and wrote Anis a mail as fast as I could; don’t know if I have ever written a mail faster!

Ten minutes on and Boon called me once again. All he said was, “Did you mail Anis now? Because as he was on the phone to me, he just read your mail and is willing to offer you a job as a phone commentator in Kolhapur so as to cover the I-League matches of the teams from Mumbai.” I jumped off my bed and started to celebrate like I had scored the winner in the injury time of a world cup final.

The following morning, I received an email from Anis letting me know that the commentator’s job in Kolhapur was vacant. I gleefully accepted whatever challenges the job had to offer and all I knew was that I had just started my journey.

Couple of days later, when I was experiencing music and melody with silence at Vikram Hazra’s concert, I suddenly received an international call. I ran outside the auditorium in order to attend the call; believe me, had I ran as fast at all times, I could have represented India at Olympics.

Guess what! It was Anis’ call. He told me that the games in Kolhapur were played over a course of two days and offered me a staggering 70 Euros/two games for Real Time Sportscast; 10 Euros more than the other reporters, thereby, taking care of my travelling expense. I confirmed my decision to work for Real Time Sportscast as a Sports Commentator and made my way back into the auditorium. If for a singer, Vikram Bhaiya’s voice wasn’t the best ever, it sounded even sweeter. He made me experience an unparalleled, ‘high’ bliss and had me dancing in trance, even after the concert was over. On my ride back home, it felt as if his voice reverberated in every corner of the street and it made me sing and literally move on my Kinetic.

For once, I didn’t know what was happening and the feeling was absolutely magical. I reached home, and told my parents that Anis Meziane called and that I’m officially working for Real Time Sportscast as a phone commentator. They had mixed feelings on me travelling to Kolhapur and covering football matches but they knew to what extent this opportunity really mattered to me and so, they obliged. As of now, I am currently two weeks into my job and have covered six games for RTS.

A special thanks to Kush Sharma (Boon) for everything.

Although I didn’t get the job as a software engineer at Tieto but now, I am doing something that is my passion. Even though this job with RTS is only about a percent of my dream, which is to Head the Sports Commentary section for Sky Sports, UK, it is at least a start to my journey and has taken me, if not much, a touch closer to my goal.

As they say, “When he doesn’t give you something, it’s only because he wants you to have something better.”

Jai Gurudeva J


Premiership: Weakened or Strongest Ever?

Posted: Sunday, December 5, 2010 by Kratik in
2

Premiership, probably at the moment, is the most open league for anyone to win since its introduction in 1992. The emergence of teams like Bolton and Sunderland is making them competitors worthy of testing the best in the league. The league in my mind has stretched across a different range all-together, watching a resurgent Newcastle United side under Chris Houghton and a spirited Blackpool side under Ian Holloway, who in their own way have silenced critics that wrote them off even before the season kicked off. However, the question lies, is the league getting any stronger or in contradiction, getting weaker to such an extent that even an average side on any day can take points off so-called “The top four”?

Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have clearly dominated the premiership; with Manchester United winning the league remarkably eleven times off the eighteen that the league has been contested. However, this season appears to be a bit different.

Manchester United

United, though unbeaten, have looked raged at the back and have already drawn seven games out of the fifteen that have been played. Johnny Evans, most notable, ever so brilliant looks completely out of sorts this season and has been criticized for United throwing away games at Everton and Fulham. United though have played smart in the transfer window getting in the likes of Javier Hernandez, Bebe, Chris Smalling and Gabriel Obertan and Sir Alex has been a magician over the years in getting the best out of the youth by playing them with the experienced players, one can’t stop thinking that these players have been brought for the future and still have a lot to learn. Although, United were brilliant against Blackburn at the weekend but they still lack that touch of class that has been a feature of United’s play since years. United for sure have weakened since the departure of Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo. Though United might be stronger than what they were last season but they are definitely not the Manchester United we know.

107327281_crop_340x234Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Arsenal

Arsenal, though they look stronger than the last couple of seasons, they still are extremely vulnerable at the back and are horribly inconsistent to be even regarded as a serious title threat. Holding on to leads or finishing the game has simply gone out of the window since Henry-Veira-Pires era. Even though they play the best football in Europe alongside Barcelona but how many times have Arsenal been regarded as “bottlers who never reach their potential” and a side lacking mental toughness to challenge for top honors. The lack of experience and Arsene Wenger’s fear of handling egos has lead to Arsenal fans not seeing silverware since five years. Arsenal though stronger than the last season but their problems continue to persist and are definitely not the once called “Invincible Gunners”.

Chelsea

Chelsea, though played well at the start of the season, can’t seem to get over the loss of four influential players in Ricardo Carvalho, Joe Cole, Deco and Michael Ballack. It is so evident seeing their recent form and vindicates the fact that it is a side that lacks depth. Chelsea also have an ageing core to their side in Lampard, Drogba and John Terry with the likes of Essien, who is either injury prone or not the players he once was. They might have Malouda and have brought in Ramires but they lack a flair player like Robben, Joe Cole or a Damien Duff back in the day. Except Josh McEachran and Bruma, who are a couple of the best young players in England, they lack players who can walk in to the first team, unlike United and Arsenal.

107180191_crop_340x234Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Liverpool

As for Liverpool, I think even the Liverpool supporters wouldn’t deny that this is the weakest Liverpool team to have played in the premiership. Gerrard and Jaime Carragher aren’t getting any younger for the reds. They also lack replacements for Alonso and Mascherano. Poulsen and Raul Merieles are decent players but are they Liverpool quality, you have to question yourself. It’s a puzzle in its own as to how Lucas Lieva is playing at Liverpool. Liverpool have simply failed to replace quality with quality. Aquilani was a quality signing who failed to make an impact. He is performing exceptionally well at Juventus during his loan spell and so, there is a strong chance that Juventus, who have an option of buying Aquilani will make his loan move permanent. Kelly and Shevley are good players but you have to think that they are too young and inexperienced to make an impact at the premiership level. I mean, just have a look : Riise out, Konchesky in, Mascherano out, Poulsen in, Alonso out, Lucas in, Crouch out, N'gog in, Bellamy out, Jovanovic in, Benayoun out, no one in. Signing average players like Konschesky and Poulsen, a manager in Roy Hogdson seems to be turning Liverpool into Fulhum than into the Liverpool of old.

Spurs and Man City

Manchester City and Spurs are the only clubs who are getting stronger every day but still don’t look to impose a serious title threat. City with the owner Shiekh Mansour making multi-million signings doesn’t seem to be getting desired results and it only underlines the fact that money can’t buy trophies. Their title aspirations were questioned when City played for a draw at home to Manchester United. Having a manager in Harry Redknapp, Tottenham seem to be heading in the right direction. Spurs have a balanced side, with pace, experience, zeal combined with a team that plays some of the best football. But again, they majorly lack consistency. On one day, they teach the Champions of Europe a lesson; four days later, they get outclassed by Bolton 4-2 and the following week, they beat Arsenal at the Emirates 3-2. That’s Spurs’ story.

107179855_crop_340x234Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Rest of the League

For the rest of the premiership, Steve Bruce’s Sunderland and Owen Coyle’s Bolton has surprised a lot of people. Though they have won only four games this season, Sunderland have their tails up and their 3-0 victory against Chelsea has set a benchmark for anyone who wants to go to the home of the champions and literally insult the champs by playing better football for periods in the game. Sunderland have bolstered their squad by making top four loan signings in Nadeem Onuoha, Menshah, Elmohamady and Danny Welbeck, along with spending 13 million GBP on Asamoah Gyan. These are great signings who have performed well this season but you really have to wonder, if these players would have performed the same way had they been playing in the league five years ago. Same thing applies for Bolton, Fulham, Aston Villa, etc. and rest of the teams battling relegation; though saying that some of the managers like Chris Hougton and Ian Holloway have done a commendable job.

The fact of the matter is that the gap between the top four or now, the top six has reduced remarkably and it’s not because the entire league has gotten stronger. This is because, the top teams have weakened to such an extent that they are becoming challenged by the teams that would normally not stand a chance to even compete and would finish mid table. These top teams often finding hard to get results even against the teams that might eventually end up getting relegated. For example, Arsenal lost to West Brom 2-3 at the Emirates and United played a 2-2 draw against West Brom at Old Trafford. Chelsea in the recent past have proved my contention by picking up only five points out of the possible eighteen.

The English Premier League has turned into a weird league but one that has turned into probably the most entertaining league in the world. The reason of the overall competiveness and weakening of the league is not due to the teams outside of the top four getting ever so strong, which admittedly is a slight factor, but because “The Top four” have not been replacing “older” players and creating a new fresh cycle with the same level of quality.

A Guru Story

Posted: Thursday, November 11, 2010 by Kratik in
4


Watching the flier make its move,

On the F1 track, we drove.

On an island, through the groove,

Like reptiles, we continued to rove.


Hearing the sea sing its song,

The dolphins and lions began to dance to its beat.

Vegetarian food unavailable, our stomach bells began to bong,

Having soft drinks and snacks, we loped down the Sentosa street.


Feeling the gullet cry out its screech,

Asking for something to pass, ending the drought.

Like ravenous wolves, our belief leached,

When, in the atrocious desert, he made a clove sprout.


Bencoleen street roaring with silence,

10:30 PM and vegetarian food not for the offering.

So, I prayed to the master, in essence,

Out of the blue, at the road’s end, he sent his messenger having a magical wing.


Cornucopia of grace overflowing with blessing,

Somehow and from somewhere, a Thai restaurant conjured,

Though small, it served the best food in Singapore, grace bells ringing.

Deep inside, I knew, all that while he had heard.


Experiencing the Guru play his game,

The wind began to rave out applause with a storm,

Smiling, laughing and feeling blessed, I called out his name,

Feeling ever so grateful, this is how a guru story is formed.

..................................Jai Gurudeva :)




The Singapore flier making its move


The sea singing its song




The sea lions dancing

Rambling along in search of vegetarian food


The Thai restaurant where we had food, Guru grace

Jai Gurudeva :)

90 minutes

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2010 by Kratik in
5

Well, I've started with my own radio channel on ubroadcast.com

I have started this channel in order to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a professional commentator.
Here is the link to my channel. I should be on air during the Manchester United game tomorrow. United host Spurs at Old Trafford.
My channel is called 90 minutes and I would use it to broadcast stuff on the premiership games.
Here is the link to my channel:

Hope you guys like it and support me, also pray for me to become a sports commentator.

Cheers :)
Jai Gurudeva :)
Love :)
Kratik

1

People attend college or university for many different reasons (for
example, new experiences, career preparation, increased knowledge).
Why do you think people attend college or university? Use specific
reasons and examples to support your answer.

A person must always practice what he loves and must always pursue what he is passionate about. In order to follow your passion and achieve your dream, attending college is a must. Other tahn the degree, a college also helps in socializing, provides a person with exposure and campus placements which would help a person achieve his dream.

A college is absolutely neccesary for people for people who want to pursue a particular field of study. It provides a person enough knowledge to compete at different levels. For some students, knwoledge is extremely important, even more than degree. In Chetan Bhagat's novel: Five Point someone, one of the college students goes to a college for the sole purpoe of learning and thereby, establishes a name for himself in the future. Thus, people do go to college to learn.

Some student go to college also for the purpose of obtaining a degree. With sixteen years of education a minimum criteria in the countries like the United States, some people do tend to go in for an engineering degree which offers four years of graduation, thereby, satisfying the criteria and gives the student an option of directly pursuing a masters degree abroad.

Also, some students do take up relatively easier courses in Commerce and Arts, rather than an engineering or medical, as these people at the end of the day, they want to do MBA which can be pursued by having a degree in any field.

Most of the colleges offer on campus placements where companies pick some talented students. People do look at a college as a medium to gain exposure to the outside world by gaining placements and working in the field and with the people that they have always desired.
Some examples from the past including the likes of Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, have suggested that there have been people who have not gone to college but worked hard hard and made a name for themselves but according to me, a college or a university is extremely important for a person in order to provide sufficient, gain exposure, socialize and also achieve his/her dream.

GRE-the rapid pace of life today causes more problems than it solves.

Posted: by Kratik in
0

The author asserts that the rapid pace of life today causes more problems than it solves. Well, I agree with the author but only partially as according to me, although the rapid pace of life leads to increased stress and staying away from the family, it also breeds innovation and give rise to new developments day by day.
The rapid pace of life does lead to less mixing of the members of the family. Taking an example of a friend of mine named Franid. During his school days, attended school, then, came home and completed his school homework, had dinner and slept. Now, he would do this day and day out. Slowly and gradually, he got completely cut-off from his relatives and soon started to feel aloof. This is so different from the time a century ago when the life wouldn't be at such a rapid pace. The people would have more time with their respective families and not be so pre-occupied with themselves.
On the other hand, the fast moving life of nowadays also gives rise to new developments day by day. With the help of another example, this time of the developments of the Intelligent Electronic Device (IED), I would like to explain my point. Technology in substation automation was limited to a single substation and monitoring data from various stations would not be possible. Due to the rapid pace of life, day by day the scientists moved closer in attaining their target and now, with the help of an IED and advanced processors, we can monitor the data from a number of subtations which also adds revenue to the state electricity board.
The rapid pace of life also leads to increased stress levels and has seen several people take up extreme decisions. The rapid pace of life has seen a number of farmers from the Vidharbha district of India commiting suicide after succumbing to problems like poverty. Rapid movement of life had also had it's effect on the Real Madrid Football Club board who want rapid success and are not prepared to offer football managers enough time to build their squad, thereby, sacking them after several months when they have unable to come up with results. This also happens due to the pressure from fans and media. Thus, the life that moves at blitzkrieg demands success at every moment, leading to increased stress.
But a fast moving life of today has also lead to people like Ratan Tata come up with the cheapest car in India, Nano worth Rs. 100,000. Tata told his employees to design and manufacture a car that even a middle class man can afford and so, there they were, Tata came up with Nano within an year. There were obviously increased stress levels and a lot more work load than usual but it also lead to Ratan Tata serving the society.
Though the rapid pace of life nowadays might cause problem but it has also benifited people in a number of ways. Looking at my personal life, I think that a man usually perform to his fullest potential when he is under pressure but again excessive pressure also leads to people going to extremes.

GRE : The destiny of the society is determined by how the children are socialized.We haven't really learned how to raise children....

Posted: Friday, September 24, 2010 by Kratik in
0

According to the author, the destiny of the society is determined by how the children are socialized. He also states that we haven't really learned how to raise children, who can bring about a better society. I do agree with the author but only partially as accoring to me, other than the friend circle of a child, perants also have a duty towards raising the child and making him a better human being who can help the society in the future. In response to author's second assertion, I again do not agree with him completely as there have been examples from the past that have seen people come forward and help the society by bringing about a change that has been experienced by the future generations.

Several examples from the past have indicated that socializing a child has lead to the good or the bad of the society. Taking one such examples of this friend of mine named Gavin. Gavin played guitar as a ten year old for a local band in my city as often performed with kids who were usually older than him. As these kids were usually teenagers and felt like rockstars, they occasionally engaged in gambling and at times even stole ornaments to buy quality instruments for their band. As Gavin spent an awful amount of time with them, he too slowly and gadually got involved in these practices. Their band, including Gavin were convicted once and were put behind the bars. This activity certainly didn't help the society and helped make new criminals. Thus, socializing does help in determining the destiny of the society as such socializing may lead to criminals and can have bad effects on the society.

The perants and the elders also have a responsibility towards the child and they too must take action. Taking another example, this time of a star footballer, Wayne Rooney. Rooney's brother is a professional boxer. During his Everton days and early days at Manchester United, Rooney's attitude always came under scrutany as the current Manchester United star would openly abuse the opposing team players, at times also the referee. His behaviour and im abusing the fans, while playing many club games and also for his country, England, has seen him face have fine, at times suspension from football matches as well. Thus, it's only not the socializing of a child that determines the destiny of the society, it's also what he learns at home and how has he ben baught up that determines which direction the society heads.

Subash Chandra Bose, a famous Indian freedom fighter was extremely socializing and got the people from various regions and terretories to fight for a comman cause being the freedom of India. This helped and resulted in a massive dent during the British rule. It also united the country as a whole and eventually lead to the British leaving India. Thus, socializing does help in determining the destiny of the society.

Sri Sri Ravishankar, the founder of the art of Living foundation, often known as the spiritual Guru of the world lived with his perants. Good teachings by his perants resulted in Sri Sri learning the holy Indian traditions and engaging himself into spirituality. From the age of four when his recited the Bhagwad Geeta, Sri Sri has come a long way into creating the Art of Living Foundation which aims at relieving stress and making people smile. The Art of Living foundation conducts it's worksops in more than 150 countries and has helped prisoners, people affected by war and millions more by teaching them to smile and making them live a stress free life.

Thus, socialzing has it's good as well as bad effects but is not the only thing that can determine the destiny of the society; the impact of perants and elders also helps to a great extent to determine what kind of a society we eventually will end up living in.

Vasudeva Kutumbhakam

Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 by Kratik in
2

Har pal ek awsar, muskurane ke liye,

Har Lamha, ek mauka kisi ke prati samarpit hone ka.

Umr bhar rehti khushi, ye aarzoo se jalen diye,

Ek sath chalen hum, dikhate rah.


Holding hands and fly,

An everlasting bliss, experiencing camaraderie.

In present we live, feeling ever so high,

We are one world, one family.


Tuhin mehsoos karte chale ek safar par,

Sansar ki kashti me rehte hai hum.

Chahat, hamara ek hi pehlu,

Tairen sath sath is pyar ki nadi me, Vasudeva Kutubhakam


Gushing through us, our spirits united,

Together we stand, smiling freely.

On a divine venture, we feel blessed,

We are one world, one family.


Na dharma ka bhed, na koi atithi,

Ek Garv, ki hum sub hain saman.

Gayen ek geet, muskurana sikhayen, hamari kriti,

Harshit hain hum, Vasudeva Kutubhakam.

GRE: People who are the most deeply committed to an idea or a policy are the most critical of it

Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 by Kratik in
1


The author asserts that the people who are the most deeply committed to an idea or a policy are the most critical of it. Well, I agree with the author but only partially as according to me, being critical or fault finding depends on the trust that you have on the person carrying out the task.

In author’s support, taking an example of my personal final year project which was based on the idea, I along with my partner, we started off the project well by considering each others point during the designing. As soon as we came to the actual implementation part, both of us were extremely critical of the idea that we had taken ourselves. Every single step would require us to look at every single parameter and at times contradict our own idea. In fact there were times that we changed our decision to carry out implementation in a way how we had earlier planned. Now, one of the reasons why this was happening was because both of us were deeply committed to the idea and never wanted to hamper our project. Thus, on the behalf my personal experience, I agree with the author that we are highly critical of ideas that we are deeply committed to.

Also, examples illustrate that contradiction does exist to the author’s assertion. Considering the example of Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata group of industries, Tata while commuting in his car saw a family of four people commuting by means of a scooter. Tata wanted to change this and so he did. Considering the economic condition of India, he his employees to design and manufacture a car which a middle class man can afford and so Nano was launched, the cheapest current Indian car available for Rs 100,000. Tata trusted his employees and didn’t get critical enough of the idea and policy of Nano. Thus, according to me, not being crictical comes with trust. Going back my project example, maybe I and my project partner didn’t trust ourselves and our idea enough to pull of making an Intelligent Electronic Device. Had we done that, maybe, we wouldn’t have been critical of ourselves and our idea.

Arsene Wenger, the manager of Arsenal football club follows a policy of not buying the so-called “stars” from world football. Millions around the globe follow Arsenal and though Arsenal haven’t won the premiership since six years now, Arsenal fans are confident of Wenger and his policy as they trust him to the fullest. Arsenal play the best football in Europe along side Barcelona and as Wenger has seen it and done it in the past, there is no question as to why he can’t come up with yet another team which can bring the premiership crown to the Emirates Stadium.

If a graduate wants to go the United States to study and for his pursue master’s degree, then, come parents are highly critical of the idea. Although his parents and deeply committed to the cause of him learning more in the field that he is interested in, they become extremely critical of the idea of him going abroad and pursuing his education. This is largely due the costs that they have to bear for his education, also having a thought of how would it help him. The idea here is the son going to the United States and the parents want him to excel and gain knowledge but they do tend to become critical of him pursing education abroad. In the example mentioned by me, maybe the parents are afraid of their son’s failure or maybe don’t trust his credentials to acquire what the degree has to offer.

According to me, a doubt only creeps in when one is afraid of failure or when one doesn’t trust the person carrying out the operation. Apart from these reasons, the way I look at it, a person is usually calm no matter how deeply he is committed to the idea.

GRE - Facts are stubborn things. They cannot be altered by our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of out passion

Posted: Saturday, August 28, 2010 by Kratik in
4

A fact can be regarded as anything which can be proven true. Some of the facts are unchangable, thereby, cannot be changed, whereas, examples from the past have suggested that developments in technology and intense hardwork can provide us with a freedom to alter facts. The author asserts, a fact as being something impossible of being altered by our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion. Thus, I agree with the autor but only partly.
It's a fact that earth revolves around the sun and now matter how much we want it, it's out of our hands to change the path of revolution of earth. Now, a fact like this one can be termed as a fact which is stubborn and has no scope of changing. Taking another example, this time of the 9/11 World Trade Centre bombings in New York. It was an event which lead to carnage and mass killing of thousands of innocent people. Now, it is a fact that these bombings have taken place and nine years on, we can't do anything about it. It is a fact which is stubborn as we can't go back in time and prevent these bombings but if we could and prevent such a calamity, then, would have been changing a fact that exists in today's world.
Similarly, humans previously believed that the earth was flat, which was a fact then. A sensational theory which stated that the earth was sperical in shape wa introduced by Coppernicus and the made people think different. Coppernicus's claim was vindicated by Galileo, who discovered the telescope and proved earth to be round. The fact that once was, exists no more as the developments have made it possible to change the fact. In the 1996, Arsenal football team wa called "boring" as they would rely on long balls and hardly play football through open play. It was regarded as a fact that no one could change the way this club plays their football. It was then that the Arsenal board took a brave decision in hiring Arsene Wenger, a Frenchmen whose passioins was to play quick attacking football. Within five years of the appointment of Arsene Wenger, Arsenal were as fast a football team as any in Europe. Thus, one man's passion lead to the change. It was once a famous saying in Greek, "A man can never jump higher than his head." Several atheletes due to years of practice and dedication, also a will to succeed made this theory go right into the dustbin. Nowdays, we find people jumping as high as two meters and striving for more every moment. Thus, due to developments, wishes and a strong inclination can change facts.
But if you see, no matter how much humans strive, some facts are simply unchangable. For example, some centuries back, humans couldn't fly, we still can't but due to developments, we are getting closer every moment. Right from the first air plane being discovered by Wright brothers to the air busses that we find now, humans are getting closer. Taking another example of a person who smokes tobacco, it will affect his lungs, no question about that and it is presently a fact but scientists have come out with several things that lessen the effects of cigarrete smoking.
Thus, developments are being made and we are getting closer day by day in changing most of the facts, however, there are certain facts which can't be altered by our inclination, wishes or passions. What's happened in the past can definately not be changed (as for now) and that remains a fact. All we can do is give our best shot at everything that we do in order to have a better future.

GRE - Money spent on research is almost always a good investment, even when the results of the researches are controversial

Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 by Kratik in
2

A successful research is marked by its outcome. If a research involves an enormous amount of investment, the investment would be considered its worth if the outcome is fruitful and produces beneficial results. The research might result in a number of controversies but at the end of the day it also solves out purpose to a great extent in bringing about useful information.

Technology is an application of science and in order to carry out the developments in technology, a profound research is essential. A research could be as simple as gathering information and carrying out a survey regarding the product to be designed in the near future or as complicated as composing of modeling, simulation, experimentation, analysis, a lot of paperwork and documentation. To carry out a strenuous successful research, we need highly skilled personnel as well as highly advanced equipments. Now, for this, it is absolutely certain that a decent amount of money needs to be invested to keep the wheel rotating.

A controversy is never a controversy till the time the information hasn't come about. Famously, a number of researches are on going regarding the Stem Cell. The Stem Cell project can be extremely advantageous to mankind, leading to the regeneration of a damaged tissue/organ in the body, thereby, becoming useful in curing diseases such as Parkinson's disease, cancer, diabetics, etc. The project in its own way has become a controversy as it might also deal with production of clone humans, which according to some is unethical. Even for such projects which might be very helpful in the future, "bold decisions" are to be taken for the sake of development. Discoveries and researches are always exciting but we must keep one thing in mind, to maintain equilibrium and not crossing the borders by going against the nature.

Even though some researches might not be particularly as useful as the others, the information discovered at the end would serve as of some help for sure in the future. This information can be utilized to carry out further projects and lead to further more discoveries. For example, in terms of the developments in substation automation, the first substation was formed by the Tokyo Dento company in October 1930. Slowly but gradually, due to researches and developments, with time, one substation gave rise to multiple substations. Use of microchips, PLCs, Intelligent Electronic Devices and computers took their place as the time passed. The current situation is that different power parameters can be controlled, monitored and analyzed from a remote place. These developments though took time and an awful amount of money but were extremely essential. Gradual developments also breed a scope for random discoveries. One such example is of the discovery of a microwave oven. Microwave ovens were founded during the early space research.

Well, it is easy enough to get swept away by developments. A number of medicinal researches have a number of tests done on animals. Most of the animals on which these vaccines are tested, end up dying. Even though it’s necessary to find a cure to diseases, it is also extremely essential to care for animals and protect the animals. It is highly important that the man controls the technology and it’s not the other way round. Thus, it is a must to draw a line which must not be crossed.

Research is great for development, completely harmless and a tool that grooms us with knowledge. It is for this reason that the research is essential and deserves a capital to be invested irrespective of any controversy it creates.

TOEFL-Besides money, what are some more reasons that people work for?

Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 by Kratik in
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Words: 810

Time 70 mins

As it’s famously said, "Money might give you pleasure but it can't buy you love." Almost every person dreams of living a mansion with a swimming pool, a gymnasium and a jacuzzi. So, in order to achieve your dream what do you do? Well, you work towards being rich. Some also work so that they can feed their respective families in an appropriate way. But this world has also seen some individuals whose ideas weren't idealist at all. In fact, their thinking was so different that they worked for their respective passions and achieved what the others could hardly contemplate.

Lets take an example of a man who took birth in the year 1956 in Karnataka, India. He recited the Bhagwad Geeta at the age of four and grew up with an aim to make people smile. The man that I'm talking about here is His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar, The founder of the Art of Living Foundation. He is man who works for the society and not for money. The revenue generated from the Art of Living courses is invested back into the society. He has a major hand in globalizing spirituality. The Art of Living foundation now is the largest volunteer based NGO in the world and aims at making people smile by meking them have a stress free mind and a better place to live in. Art of Living has taken up several projects like Go Green Project, Clean Yamuna Project, etc and is a functioning body in more that 150 countris around the globe. With more than 300 million people undergone the Art of Living workshops, Sri Sri Ravishankar is for sure taking major steps in achieving his dream of making this world a happier place to live in. Also a graduate in Science, had money been important to him, Sri Sri would have taken up a job, probably done an MBA degree (like most youths nowdays) and been a rich person but he worked for the people and for the society, giving up the idea of living of most of the youths in order to start the Art of Living.

Apart from working from the society, what people also work is to pursue their passion. An engineer who has a passion to be a journalist, might be a good engineer but would he love working as an engineer, I doubt. He would always look forward to a journalism job. Though the job might pay well, you still might feel unsatisfied at some point and wish for you to go in for a degree in the field that you want to end up working. Taking another example, this time of my favorite commentator and presenter, Mr. Harsha Bhogle. Bhogle is an MBA from the best management institute in India, IIM, Ahemdabad. He now works as a commentator for ESPNSTAR. Having rejected several job offers from some the top MNCs in the world, Bhogle started to walk on a different path, a path that lead to him achieving his dream of being a sports commentator. His will, stills, ability and quality made him reach the zenith of Indian Sports Commentary for which he is popularly known.

Some work for a cause, the couse being their love something. Alan Smith was one person who certainly did that. Famously known as "Smithy", Alan Smith played football for Leeds United without pay in the later part of season 2003-2004. His love for the club was such that he refused to demand compensation from Leeds, who were already in crises. Though he couldn't save Leeds from being relegated from the English Premiership, Leeds fans still love him and regard him as a hero.

As Sir Alex Ferguson, The maager of Machester United, the most supported football club in the world popularly said after winning a premiership title, "When you have tasted that blood, you want it again." Sir Alex manages United because he wants to win more. He has more than 20 titles under his belt and is regarded as one of the greatest managers ever. Had it been for money, like Peter Kenyon, even Sir Alex would have gone on to join Roman Abramovich and Chelsea. But it was his love and a team that he made himself that he decided to stay at United.

But apart from all these examples if you see, a person needs money to survive on this planet and to feeds his family. It is for that reason that a person to an extent tends to work for money and and not sway towards his passions. It is high time that we all recognize what we love and start working towards it because according to me, if you do what you love, you can reach the pinnacle of anything and when that happens, money automatically begins to flow in.

Arrive Alive Sunrise with Nico Pfitzenmaier

Posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 by Kratik in
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In case you guys are wondering, I am not asking you to “arrive alive” with Nico Pfitzenmaier anywhere. I just thought of making my blog take an aberrant turn. As for “Arrive Alive Sunrise”, it is a famous non-alcoholic drink from South Africa, the thought of me having which is still arid.

Venerated, resolute, an exceptional cyclist, a regular at XTERRA European Championship, an art of living devotee and one of the most down to earth sportsmen that I have ever come across, Nico Pfitzenmaier spoke to almost a hundred youths and gave them a delightful time during the Art of Living YES!+ Summer Magic 2010 program at the International Centre of the Art of Living Foundation in Bangalore on June 30, 2010.

Although, the conversation with Nico turned out to be quite equivocal, it proved to be one which served to bolster the ideas of various youths present. Nico started his talk emphasizing nutrition as the key factor and was quick to realize the problems affecting the youths with respect to their eating habits. He being a vegetarian himself, talked about the need of eating fresh vegetables and preparing a diet which is free from sweets and chocolates, especially for ones, who are intransigent towards sweets. He was firm in his speech and said, “Stay away from bread and eat highly nutritive food because nutrition affects 70% of the body energy.” It was an inspiring message right down from probity from a sportsman, who even at the age of 39 was fit and competing at the highest level in world sport.

When asked about aggression and violent behavior, Nico said, “You can’t be aggressive in your appearance but being aggressive in the performance you put up is decent.”

Talking about his experience after the Sudarshan Kriya, a powerful breathing technique that energizes you, he said “After the Sudarshan Kriya, when I got on my bike, I felt absolutely fresh. I had to ride for eight days and it enabled me to cover a distance of 140 kms. If you can feel mentally and physically strong ever single day, it’s really awesome!”

According to the expert cyclist, “Kriya” has helped him to breathe through better and pump more air into his lungs which has helped him to improve his stamina. He went on to corroborate its influence by regarding the breathing technique as his inspiration and wants every sporting personality to undergo the practice.

Nico was quick to underline the importance of spirituality in the lives of sports personnel, who according to him would ameliorate from this knowledge. He reiterated saying, “Some of the players, especially football players, get overpaid but somewhere deep down they are still empty. They might be able to afford anything but they are not centered enough. Spirituality makes that happen.”

Well, the talk with Nico was another Summer Magic highlight and the one from which a bunch of people (including me) got a chance to learn a lot in terms of what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Summer Magic 2010

Posted: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 by Kratik in
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I came to rejoice, I ended up getting knurled.

I came to enjoy, I ended up celebrating.

I came to rejuvenate, I ended up dancing with the world,

I came to smile, I ended up laughing with him I am writing.

My Guru, the master.

As the YES!+ song (Breathe) still reverberates beyond the ashram and in my room, it’s not the most difficult thing to visualize several moments of the ten day fun filled adventure called Summer Magic 2010. Though flashback might not be the correct word as it all seems to be in the so called “now”, it still is close enough to be appropriate. So, here it goes…

Awful exams, horrendous project demonstration and viva, agitated but lazy, also getting frustrated with my own self, all I knew was it was time!

Two advance courses done including Winter Break ’09, I thought I knew what was in store but I still “somehow” decided to give up on the World Cup for Ashram. Believe me, I’m glad I did it because it was so awesome, so different as to what I had thought it would be, it sure was magic in the summer of 2010. Convincing by parents, to filling up my YES!+ Advanced form, to packing by bags for Bangalore all happened in the span of a week. After five continuous days of watching football at Toons Sports Bar, it was a perfect build up for going to the Ashram.

June 20 morning, my smile erect, me buzzing with enthusiasm and overfilled with energy, I reached the Pune station where the teachers, Shashank and Ajinkya, along with the others were waiting.

This time there were several new faces, in fact I hardly knew ten from the eighty odd who were traveling. A combination of
satsangs, guru stories and hours of dumb sheraz made for a decent train journey.

Hours of traveling and we had reached Bangalore. A couple of hours away from the “heaven” on earth, I couldn’t stop smiling. An hour in the bus and….yes…I could see the International Centre of the Art of Living. As the bus entered the gate, I said in my heart, “I’m home Guruji!”

June 21

After we were allotted rooms, I met unexpectedly met my YES!+ teacher, Srividya Natarajan, at Kitchen. Oh mine! if that wasn’t cool, I called and expectedly met Satwik Mehta at the reception to round off a perfect start to my time in the Ashram.

Ashram food!.... It was amazing. It was soon evening and by then, there were almost a thousand youths in the Ashram already. Evening also meant, it was time for satsang. I knew he was to come and excitation grew with every moment passing by. I decided to meditate and soon there were people shouting like maniacs, I just knew he was here. When taking the last few breaths to come out of mediation, my smile grew bigger and bigger and as I opened my eyes, I saw him sitting on his singhasan and it felt as if I walking but still, shouting but silent, excited but calm.
It was just an awesome feeling, couldn’t stop looking at him, it was just magical. An awesome satsang in his presence was marked by him, H. H. Sri Sri Ravishankarji, Guruji making me experience bliss, joy, love and affection at the same time. A silent but long walk back to my room (Chinese Dorm) with a feeling of absolute bliss made me feel in a world to which I’m was an alien.

June 22

Next morning it was quarter to 4 and I was up only to realize that there were more than a dozen people waiting to let go, lol. I waited in the queue telling myself, “Mera number aayega.” 45 minutes of wait and I had finally got the green card. Several minutes later, with a bright smile again I was at peace with myself and sure it felt good. As I came out, I saw a longer queue for taking bath. Believe me, that was that! I said, “Jai Gurudeva” and walked out in despair into my room. Soon, Satwik was back from his shower. I had decided I ain’t bathing here, even Vishala seemed like a decent option. So, I walked with Satwik…from Chinese Dorm to the Vishala Bathroom, oh! and yes, it wasn’t as full…I was only the fourth one in the queue! I was on time and it was awesome to feel so fresh. Wonderful sadhna followed by breakfast, masti, lunch, story writing, masti, dinner, masti and satsang was so much fun. Satwik and I both felt sheer gratitude for Guruji. We also prayed to him to somehow change our rooms. Though we knew it wasn’t possible but we still went to the housing in anticipation. Guess what, we got Buddha!

Only one person was allowed to enter the housing and Satwik, the man was “The man”, who went in and spoke and even I don’t know how we got Buddha. Though it was sixteen sharing instead of eight but it still felt a lot better. Ironic I know but we were jumping at 9:30 PM as though we had won gold medals at the Olympics.

Leaving our luggage at Chinese Dorm, we went and slept at Buddha.

June 23

Next day again, I got up at 3:45 AM and got ready. A nature walk at five to the Chinese Dorm to change my clothes was “extra” warm up but it was fun, I did that with a smile. 6:01 AM in my watch and there I was, at Yagyashala. When I reached Yagyashala, there was buzz around the entire auditorium for the second upgrade. Alien to even the theme, I loved the dilemma and the excitement of the moment. Long Kriya followed by Padma Sadhna energized me more than ever and made me feel enliven. Even the thought of nerve-wrecking challenges gave me butterflies in my stomach but I felt gratitude towards Guruji for making me be a part of this enthralling venture called Summer Magic 2010. With a smile we ran and sat and the groups were formed. My will to be away from my Pune group in order to cross my own boundaries made me not join them, most of whom ran together and then sat together. But it felt good. The theme for the upgrade was countries involving clues, Q/A, quizzes and tasks about the countries, respectively. The upgrade involved 60 groups which were given one country each. Completing a country made the groups move from one nation to the other. It also gave three flags which were necessary to determine the outcome. We were group number 4, with a group leader who was Idiot number 4. We were also a group with no coordination. I had lost the count to the number of times I said “shut up!” to my ego. Our country was England and the questions on football. My thing?....NoT! as I wasn’t informed, underline the no coordination. Couple of songs by The Beatles…and they gave up on the challenge. Look, I’m not saying I would have pulled it off single handedly (maybe I would have) but they could have kept me informed. Time to say shut up (again) to my ego. One challenge given up, probably the one that had my name written all over it but never the less Italy next. It all went fine, we completed Italy. Next was China, I remembered Bawa laughing with Priyamani over China and here we were doing China. First task, collection of centipedes! Am I not scared of them, sure I am! I made that clear at first itself. At times its good to look like a scary pooh and not be a hero when you can pee even looking at something. Somehow, from somewhere we got the centipedes and after a couple of more tasks even China was done. With each group pushing hard to win, the nail biting encounters continued with each group giving their 100%. It made for an extremely close contest. Tired but pumping with adrenalin, we returned to VM for a session with Dinesh Bhaiya. He had invited someone from the Yuva magazine to come and speak. The man started well. We were all buzzing with energy and the moment he said, “Our magazine has successfully completed one year”, everyone in VM went “PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!” It was a crazy moment but PARTY became the anthem of Summer Magic 2010. No matter who starts boosting about themselves, everyone would go shouting “PARTY!” We all sure were having a party.

Soon, we had guest lectures from Rajesh Krishnamurthy who made us aware about the six degrees of separation. Then, Dr. Hari and his wife were greeted to the stage with a bundle of applause. Dr. Hari spoke extremely well regarding the ancient history, om and his researches.

We also had the APEX team speaking to us about the Sri Sri University in Assam, Orissa. The university looked a part of the heaven that we were already on, it was so absorbing and beautiful. It also offered a post graduate course in Broadcast Journalism, me interested….oh yes!

Soon a couple of meditations and it was time for Satsang with Guruji which turned out to be a divine experience again. I meditated and moved with the beats, loved it!

As the satsang ended, it was time for a musical called Anand and Benaifer. Anand and Benaifer was a comic love story between a Parsi girl named Benaifer Soda water bottle Openerwala and a South Indian boy named Anand . It was directed by Priyamani and Sidhika, quite superbly done! The highlight of it was that whether it was singing, speaking or dancing, everything was live and nothing pre-recorded. The musical had two parts to be performed on two separate days. The first part was performed after the satsang on the 23rd. The first part of the play was rounded off by a YES!+ song that took 2000 breaths away (including mine). I remember, when I went back to my room in Buddha, I was still singing that song….Breathe, Breathe YES!+….The magic of YES!+

June 24

The day had arrived, it was the start of the advance course. Chirag Aggrawal started the day with dance yoga teaching us to dance on the “Zoobi Doobi” song from the movie 3 idiots. Dance followed by Surya Namaskar and then, Sadhna filled me with joy. Breakfast and then seva at the VM was quite immaculate.

Dinesh Bhaiya’s session started and we were called into action with the fantastic Dr.Giri teaching us the ways by which attack can be used as the best form of defense. Our own Gauri didi and Dinesh Bhaiya got on the stage to demonstrate Dr. Giri’s art.

It was a perfect exhibition of what seemed to be a need for every youth in the society. What followed was even better, the CEO EDUCORP made us clear about social entrepreneurship. He also gave us an insight to EDUCORP and what is their company doing for the society in terms of providing education.

Another special guest invited by Dinesh Bhaiya was Amol Bhaiya, a man who was working in the villages. He was a man who touched my heart and spoke in such a way that hundreds (including me) sitting in Vishalakshi Mantap(VM) wanted to do something for the people in the villages. It was extraordinary to see a healing wave of seva spread with that force only by the words of a man. I even now, feel like planting trees and doing my bit to make this place a better place to live in.

Later, Jigeesh Bhaiya joked, sang and danced with us. He also shared his guru story and experience about silence and what he did while going into moan.

The surprises continued and this time, it was my own teacher (Srivi ma’am) along with Priyamani on the VM stage with both the girls dressed in traditional South Indian outfits. I, sitting with the Pune group, was puzzled and thought to myself, now what? Srivi mam caught the microphone and everyone in VM greeted her with applause. Soon, I was doing what I never thought I would ever do….dancing Bharatnatyam! But let me tell you, it was so much fun. In fact, more fun than sitting on a platter to gossip and rubbish around about a traditional dance that holds a vital position in the forte of Indian heritage.

Soon, it was time for a nature walk and we were off, walking through trees, feeling the winds, dancing with the dropping dew and sitting next to the lake. It was time satsang and this time I danced like no other in divine’s presence. As soon as the satsang got over, it was time for Anand and Benaifer Part 2 and guess what, this time Guruji was also here to watch the musical. The musical this time brought with itself even more energy, possible due to Guruji’s presence. From the moment it started to the time it ended, the atmosphere was mind blowing. The YES!+ dance was scintillating, the crowd was dancing with the dancers on the stage. How on earth can anyone forget that amazing moon salt by Chiraj to give Guruji the flower, it was simply stunning. The play was funny, action packed, romantic, full of music, in short, perfect!

Well done Sidhika, Priyamani and everyone associated with the play including the Dakoos, the Pirates, every single person…you guys rocked!

As once Mandy told me…Bawa is a perfectionist…all I can say is Vindicated!

At last it was so cute to see Dinesh Bhaiya and Bawa doing a couple of steps of the YES!+ song.

It was a perfect start to the advanced course.

June 25

I was at the Yagyashala before six and guess who made his entry at dot 6 AM, Dinesh Bhiaya. I knew what was in store and yes, I was correct.

Believe me, I have never done Surya Namaskar that slowly. We did some Asanas in Ujjai breath also but it was a great start to the day. After sadhna, I felt overjoyed. The conventional advance course processes started after breakfast and by evening we were all ready for silence. The silence commenced as the satsang with Guruji terminated and I prayed to Guruji, “Guruji no girls this time, I want to concentrate only on being silent.”

Silence

June 26-28

June 26

I was up early again and it felt extremely good as I was maintaining silence. It was only five and I had reached Yagyashala, where I had a pleasant sleep for an hour after which the yoga started. After an impeccable morning sadhna, seva and breakfast, we were pulled into meditation by a series of vintage advance course processes which continued on either side of lunch. Soon, it was time for satsang with Guruji. The satsang was again awesome and looking down I walked back to my room, Buddha 4.

June 27

3:45 AM and I was up again! I reached Yagyashala early and had a nap once more. I guess I was in sleep when I suddenly started to hear “OM sounds” and that too plenty of them. I suddenly got up and realized that it was 6 AM and Dinesh Bhaiya was here. Jumping, shaking, warming up exercise, surya namaskar and sadhana gave me a perfect start to the day. Breakfast was followed by a super strong talk by Captain Raghu Raman, who inspired us to stand up for the country in order to be counted. He also carved in each one of us a relentless spirit that he as a jawan held during his time with the army. Capt. Raman also did his bit to make us aware about the problems faced by the jawans fighting on the Siachen Glacier and the need there exists to rectify each problem whether it would be related to their pay or what the pressures that they have to undergo during their time at the glacier. There were smiles, tears and a number of staring future jawans willing to let the Indian flag fly high. Sadhana, seva and satsang did wonders for me on the second day of silence which resulted in me having a day during which I maintained “perfect silence.”

June 28

Early mornting and Dinesh Bhaiya was at Yagyashala again. After an advance course process we came out of silence. The silence was awesome, probably better than ever. I walked looking down and hardly spoke. I wanted to be in silence more but it was good to be out of it as well. The date June 28, 2010 that meant my mother’s birthday.

The first thing that I did was wish the most special women in my life ever at 6:30 AM. It was great to wish her Happy Birthday, hear her voice.

Shortly after, the Rudrapooja in Guruji’s presence started. Pooja was like a breath of fresh air that drove me into meditation almost automatically. Rudrapooja was followed by breakfast and Guruji’s meet.

His meet was magical, if magical is not an understatement. I remember, when Guruji was coming towards me, I expected nothing at all. All I had for him was gratitude for all that he had given me. He came to me, stopped, smiled as asked me, “Are you happy?”…. I was blank! He again asked me, “Are you happy? “ and I not in my senses, said, “Pakka Guruji.” He smiled and went ahead, it was then that I realized that today is also my Mummi’s birthday. So I asked him to bless my mother and he again smiled…I was lost again! He then, blessed and I have been smiling since.

Lunch was followed by people celebrating like crazy. I guess they were overwhelmingly happy to come out of silence. I on the other hand, wished to remain numb. Plenty of hugs and everyone around expressing their joy, it wasn’t the worst feeling on the planet. Moments after we had assembled in the VM, we had the most amazing seven minutes, ever! They were seven extremely precious minutes with Mr. Yezdi Batliwala, the chairman of VVKI (Vyakti Vikas Kendra, India) who is also Bawa’s father. Mr. Batliwala spoke in a strong manner and introduced the concept of microfinance to everyone around. His straight forward approach and his terrific sense of humor caught everyone’s eye and turned out to be the highlight of his seven minute delightful cameo talk.

After an array of performances, if anyone still doubted the talent of the Summer Magic participants in Ashram, they were proven further wrong. Bhargavi along with a summer magic participant stunned more than a thousand, singing the songs that were given to the pair in reverse fashion which left me (at least) jaw dropping!

It was soon Bawa time! Bawa got his fingers on the piano and played a scintillating mixture of rhythm and melody that in itself demanded a standing ovation from the crowd.

Look, I knew Bawa was a concert level piano player but it was as though his fingers were casting a spell for the instrument to play. It was just astonishing watching and listening to him play! He was simply superb. Next was probably the most famous show of talent and skill that people would talk for years to come. Bawa called Chirag on stage to perform with him and the two of them literally stole the show. Chirag danced to Bawa’s piano rhythm and this time it wasn’t only me, everyone else as well were left jaw dropping.

It was another splendid exhibition of expert artistry by the man I started to believe was the perfectionist, Mr. Khurshed Batliwala.

I had that wide, glowing, internally happy smile and believe me it felt so good to be in that atmosphere. We continued to have more fun in the VM with Dinesh bhaiya and Bawa and later, went for dinner. It was a super cool session.

Satsang was full of life and great energy. This time around, along with Guruji, Mrs Indu Jain (The Times Group chairman), Dr. P C Reddy (Chairman of Apollo Hospitals) and his family were present at the satsang. They unveiled their heart campaign and pledged to defeat heart disease with smile and yoga. The satsang ended and I down with cold, headed back to my room to sleep. Everyone in the room was in a mood for discussion and so, they started off with their own philosophies, going back to what Swami Vivekananda said, further back to the epic Ramayana to the movie Ravan starring Abhishek Bhachan, to everything on planet earth possible! The talks continued and it was close to mid night when Satwik suddenly heard Bawa talking and walking past Buddha. One voice we had heard and that was the end of talks! Our hearts in our mouths, before midnight we went off to bed.

June 29

Up and ready at 5:30 for sadhana again, unlike my room mates who wouldn’t wake up, I reached Yagyashala after doing some “time-pass”. While walking, I thought to myself, “No more drama left, it’s been a wonderful course, what more can they add?” Yagyashala on this occasion had a lower turn out as compared to the other days and Virat Bhaiya was as usual, brilliant taking the kriya again. After breakfast, I and Satwik took appointment for three people for Guruji’s Darshan and headed to VM for the session.

Before the main session, the summer magic photographs were clicked with more than a thousand people sitting, standing or posing at different parts of the VM. The main session started with Rashmin bhaiya speaking on how NOT to give introductory talks. He also shared his experiences of intro talks and his courses, both in India and in Norway. Dinesh Bhaiya had invited a Yoga Specialist, Ghanashyam, who demonstrated different asanas, leaving me blown away. I was startled to see him do surya namaskar. He did those twelve asanas like I haven’t seen them done, ever. It was like a slap on the face that one must get time and time again, especially, when he has turned into a lazy bum. Just watching Ghanashyam, in itself it acted as a source of serious inspiration and enabled me to give more than what I usually did.

Remember the second upgrade…?...uuh.yes!...what about the results?...yes, it was upgrade result time!

Though, results were the last thing on my mind and even though I had kept on complaining about there being “no coordination”, but I, like any other participant, obviously wanted to win. Shouting on the top of my voice, “Group number 4!” whenever Bawa would call out the number of the group that had finished as the runner-up or won the upgrade, was great fun. Though we didn’t win but it certainly was worth an experience. I soon met people from my group and guess what, I joked around with them. I then realized, they all weren’t as irritating as I once thought they were, though some of them still held on to their unprecedented reputation! But it turned out to be fun. Minutes later, lunch was taken. Post lunch session was used to give away wonderfully designed T-shirts, bags and bookmarks as a Summer Magic 2010 memento.

I looked at my watch, it was 4 PM which meant, it was time for Guruji’s Darshan and guess what, I and Satwik had taken entry for three. So, I asked my childhood friend, Aarushi Goyal (who also got me into the world of the Art of Living) to join us. We were super excited and overjoyed. We sprinted down the VM stairs and into the darshan queue to enter the Badri Vishala. We were so excited that we were smiling, laughing and screaming to ourselves in excitation saying, “YES!!!” It was just a very crazy moment and the overall feeling of realizing that we are going to meet Guruji was even crazier. I for once felt that if I jump now, I’d touch the sky!

After an hour of wait, we finally met Guruji and the meet was special again. Just seeing him was an experience in its own and it’s so different when he looks into your eyes, that’s the drug that you need to heal all the negative emotions that ever existed.

Another pleasant surprise, though I didn’t speak, Guruji still heard me! The satsang that evening in Guruji’s presence took place at the Vishalakshi Mantap. The satsang at the VM had a different energy all together and it also showered highest degree of bliss that I felt throughout the Ashram trip. The sleep was pleasing as well.

June 30

Satwik left for Pune at 6 in the morning. On the other hand, my sleep was so pleasing that I woke up at 7 in the morning. My plans of a nature walk at 6 AM went right down the gutter. I remember, I saw the watch, it said 7 AM and I jumped off my bed like a ninja only to look around and see people were still sleeping away to glory. 15 minutes and I was ready. I patted myself on the back, said, “Job well-done mate!” It felt great and I was smiling as though I had scored from 36 yards in the dying moments of the world cup final. I walked quicker than ever and finally reached the lake. I went and sat right at the corner, walking through the pathway. I closed my eyes and felt the winds, it was as though I was flying! I also meditated for sometime, it was a different feeling, I felt silence. It was better than meditating on marine drive. For the remaining time that I was at the lake, I just sat and felt the nature glow. It was so magical. It was me, the nature and the divine.

After having breakfast at the canteen, it was Bakra time! I had met this guy from indore named Rohit Raghuvanshi, who from no angle looked like an Indian. He also was a brilliant actor. We started off with this girl, standing in the canteen queue. To the girl, I said , “This boy named Edward (Rohit) is an Australian and wants to know how to say his name in Hindi. Inspite of all our efforts, we haven’t been able to teach him, can you please help?” The girl gave her best shot in making Edward (Rohit) say, “Mera naam Edward hai.” She spelt the individual words, told Edward (Rohit) which letters the word contained, tried every single trick in the book. It took her five minutes and she did a decent job. After Edward (Rohit) in FAKE Australian accent said, “Mera naam Edward hai.” He asks the girl, “Have you been to Australia?” The girl replies, “No” and then Edward (Rohit) says, “KABHI AAYO GHUMA DOONGA.” The girl went crazy but it was a perfect bakra! We made a lot of people bakras…and it was fun, without a doubt…..If any of you have become Bakras and if I was involved….apologies!

Later, I with a bunch of friends went to the city where we had lunch. We reached the Ashram and it was time for satsang, which was at the VM again. This time Guruji didn’t speak a word but the satsang was incredible. We soon went off to sleep and it was a wonderful day.

July 1

It was my last day in the Ashram. I woke up with mixed feelings. On one hand I was sad to leave the Ashram but on the other, grateful to Guruji that he had given me some unforgettable moments this time around. I walked a lot and saw almost the entire Ashram. It was really cool. I took back with me teachings and a bundle of memories about which I’m writing now. YES!+ Summer Magic 2010 has been a learning curve, not only in terms of inner silence and centeredness but also in terms of art. From dancing to Zoobi Doobi and the YES!+ song with Chirag to doing Bharatnatyam with Srivi ma’am and Priyamani to learning Dr. Giri’s art to experiencing so many different emotions during various guest lectures, I feel grateful to Guruji for making me a part of this extraordinary venture.

A special thanks to Satwik, Aarushi, Srivi ma’am, Himanshu, Ajinkya, Shashank, Mandy, Mihir Joshi, Saiyam, Aditi,Rutuja, Aniket, Jayashree and everyone else for making my trip a perfect one.

Jai Gurudeva J

Love

Kratik


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