Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Life is like a Bicycle

"Life is like a bicycle. To keep the balance, you must keep moving!"
Who said that? None other than Albert Einstein!

Continuing with our PQs- Picturesque Quotes series- finding an appropriate picture was no problem. I retrieved a picture of school going children in Pilani. Shot one morning in 2013 when we were in Pilani for our Reunion to celebrate the 40th Year of graduation from BITS Pilani-- the picture shows high school children on the way to school. The teenagers are riding the bicycles maintaining perfect balance.

We need a similar balance in our lives such as:
  • Physical balance meaning good health
  • Emotional balance-- staying calm even in times of crisis
  • Economic balance-- earn a living and invest for future
  • Spiritual balance-- needed when we suffer bereavements/ trauma etc
  • Relationship balance-- with friends and family
  • Work-life balance-- between work and personal life and so on.
Maintaining such a balance is easier said than done. However, the key is to keep 'moving'! Keep trying and never giving up.

Happy riding the cycle of life!

Just in case you missed browsing earlier PQs, click the links below:
Knowledge Sharing 
Dance gives you... 
Rose petals and life  

Thanks for browsing.
Your feedback is always welcome

    -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 24th March 2015

Postscript: For some people like our son Ankush, 'Bicycle is life!' Thanks Prabjoth our daughter-in-law, for this apt rejoinder. See the picture below with the bicycle having a pride of place in the living room in Chennai:


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Ugadi is here

Come Ugadi and the Neem नीम buds start flowering as if on dot! Synchronised with Nature's own calendar, year after year.

Ugadi is celebrated on the 1st day after the dark phase of moon-- 'Amavasya' अमावस्या of 'Phalgun' फाल्गुन month as per the lunar calendar. It heralds onset of spring in India. 
Ugadi is a combination of 'Yuga' युग meaning age and 'Adi' आदि meaning the beginning of a new age! It signifies beginning of the new year as per lunar calendar. Being spring time, it is also celebrated in other parts of India with different names.

Ugadi:  Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka
Gudi Padwa: Mahrashtra
Thapna: Rajasthan
Cheti Chand: Sindhis
Navreh: Kashmir
Sajibu: Manipur 

This is an example of rich diversity in India! So, here is our Ugadi and Gudi Padwa greetings to all our friends and readers. The neem buds and flowers were shot yesterday on our terrace.

Ugadi celebrations include buying new clothes, decorating the doorways with mango leaves, rangoli रंगोली , puja पूजा  and preparing Ugadi Pachhdi उगादी पचड़ी . The pachhdi is prepared using multiple ingredients which signify various experiences/phases/stages of one's life. Details courtesy Wikipedia, as follows:
It is semi-liquid in form and has multiple tastes. And as our friend Kinnera Murthy said, "The taste you get first on your tongue is the one which dominates your experiences during the year." So much for Pachhdi, its ingredients and its flavour.

How can the custard apple शरीफ़ा tree lag behind when spring arrives? New leaves sprout all over. And like Neem, custard apple शरीफ़ा buds and flowers also emerge. But with the harsh summer which follows, the custard apple buds/flowers would soon die. And come up again after the monsoon! See the picture below:

  While getting down from the terrace after taking these pictures, I found  a cat sitting snugly under the spiral staircase. It gave me a not-so-welcome-look.

So, once again Season's Greetings to all. May the New Year bring peace and joy in your lives.

Thanks for browsing

   -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ Ugadi, 21st March 2015

Friday, 20 March 2015


World Sparrow Day 20th March

Today is World Sparrow Day.
Sparrow or 'House Sparrow', because it made nests in our homes-- in the ventilators, windows, roofs and ledges of slant roofs. But alas, we don't see them anymore. At least not so regularly.

There are many theories as to why the sparrows have disappeared. One theory is that the cell phone frequency interferes with them. On the city outskirts, we still find them because cell phone penetration is not so severe. Like our enclave in Yapral, Secunderabad or my father's house in Malviya Nagar Jaipur. We still spot this chirpy bird.

We also spot them in wildlife parks. Like the picture below taken in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka India. The sparrow was nesting in the wooden runners of a tiled roof. Notice the sinusoidal shape in the background? It is a male sparrow perched on the wooden ceiling log.
The sparrow seams to say "If you keep the environment clean, I am still around".

Greetings on World Sparrow Day.

Let us keep the environment clean and green so that birds like Sparrows not only survive but also thrive!

Thanks for browsing!

    -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ World Sparrow Day 20th March 2015

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Why I Love Golfing

Why I love Golfing?

I love Golf not because:
·        Golf gives you exercise—hardly! A 6-km stroll over 4 hours is hardly an exercise.
·        Golf keeps you fit-- far from it! 19th hole bashes add to your bulge. And the 'battle of the bulge' continues.
·        Golf makes you get up early—yes but only on the days you are golfing. Most golfers laze around on remaining mornings.
·        You make friends on the golf course—not until you play a round with them! And if you lost the round because of a 2-footer putt, friendship evaporates in thin air! You then have sworn enemies!
·        Then why do I play golf?

For me the best part of golfing is the greenery, flora and fauna on a 
golf course. Unpolluted air, variety of trees, shrubs, flowers, changing seasons-- all of it makes golfing a treat!

The other day Prakash my golf buddy and I went for a morning 
round even though it was Holi होली  —a holiday. We took the chance but carried our cameras along.

Instead of playing a round of golf, we walked the course. What we 
saw and observed, we don’t usually do when we are playing a round.

Like we never knew that par-4 10th hole was named ‘Hussain Sagar’ because it has a huge pond just short of the green. You are lucky if your 2nd shot doesn’t go into the pond—symbolic of the lake named Hussain Sagar in Hyderabad city!

We also observed for the first time that 11th hole was named ‘Runway’ because this long par-5 has a long and wide runway-like fairway! It is a different matter that you still drive your tee-shot into the woods on either side of the fairway.

But that morning, it was a treat to ‘shoot’ the course.
Let the pictures do the talking!

 I love golf because of the greenery
 Fairway after fairway and
 Green after Green
 are so soothing to the eye!
You can admire the contrast-- lush green putting surface with a backdrop of trees which are absolutely dry!

Trees shedding leaves before spring add to the colour on a golf course.
Even the beans of an Acacia tree look so beautiful.
  And then there are flowers and flowers. Riot of colours simply!

 Nature recycles everything. Like the dried up beans of a tree are food for white ants. See the picture below.
Cultivated fairways, greens, trees and flowers attract number of birds to a golf course. Here is a pair of Cattle Egrets on 18th fairway-- keeping a safe distance from the golfers.
 An Egret in flight.

Driving through a tunnel like this is a challenge. But once you are across, a visual treat awaits you on the other side.

 Hues of yellow and pink...
  Even the rough beside a fairway, looks so beautiful!
 Now its the turn of the bougainvillaeas.
 Nature's own carpet!
Whether you play golf or not, now you know what a golf course offers you. If you are a Nature lover, a golf course is a paradise on earth.
Hope you liked Ghumakkad's outing on a golf course.
If you missed reading previous post of Golfing-in-Coorg, click on the link below:
Go Golfers Go

As always, your feedback would help us to improve.

Thanks for browsing
      -Harsh-The-Ghumakkad/ 19th March 2015

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Learn Yoga and find the right life partner

Learn Yoga and find the right Life Partner

The benefits of Yoga in today’s stressful world are well known.

Learn and practice Yoga for:

  • Inner Peace
  • Managing Stress
  • Reducing Anxiety
  • Controlling lifestyle ailments like hypertension, diabetes 
  • Keep fit etc.
But this story brings out another dimension of Yoga. Centered 
around two disciples of Bihar School of Yoga at Munger in Bihar, 
we bring to you the tale with a twist. An interesting and pleasant twist.

Ravi Kiran and Gillian Woodman, both from Hyderabad enrolled 
for the three year program at Bihar School of Yoga 
( ). Though they knew each other, but it is Yoga which brought them closer as disciples. And cemented their bond for rest of their lives!

Both are Yoga instructors now. Together they conduct workshops 
for domestic as well as overseas clients. Soon, they will be 
spreading their wings abroad. They love yoga and each other.

On 12th March, they tied the knot in Secunderabad. Pictures of the wedding.

The wedding card.

The Venue. Peter woodman's residence in Swarnandhra.
Peter has been an old friend. Interests that we share are golf, bird watching, nature walks, writing and good humour.

Gillian the bride, all decked up, with Dad and uncles and a cousin form Mumbai.
Gauri Puja. Gillian-- all concentration.

Pretty bride

Ravi the groom arrives in traditional attire and equally traditional footwear-- wooden sandals-- खड़ाऊं !
Traditional welcome by bride's father by washing groom's feet.

The yogi look...

The lotus bloomed exactly on Muhurtam time  मुहूर्त -- as if to convey God's blessings! Both pictures taken few minutes apart.

The groom getting ready by wearing the sacred thread जनेऊ 
 Peter chanting the mantras मंत्र confidently, while Ravi listens.

Playing Nadeswaram-- traditional instrument.

Bride being dressed up for the wedding by her in-laws. 
Ceremonial arrival of the bride in a lotus basket. Being carried by her cousins.

Gillian hugs Peter after Kanya Daan, कन्या दान 
 And the ceremonies continue...
 Ravi and Gillian become man and wife.
 Peter, the gleaming father
 Ravi with his Yoga mates from Bihar School of Yoga. From L to R: Ravi, Akshay, Yoga Priya, Agya and Om.
The atmosphere was truly festive with ladies applying mehndi and donning men's saafa साफ़ा ! 

After a short break, the bride returns in gleaming white attire. Seeking husband's blessings- don't miss the smile on Gillian's face.

The happy couple. 

So, the moral of the story—weddings are made in heaven, surely—but also in Yoga Schools!

Cheers to the lovely couple. As we said earlier, both Gillian and Ravi love Yoga and they love each other too.
Both have adopted new names for their profession. Ravi calls himself  Atmagyanam whereas Gillian is Gangamurti as per their business cards. Their website .

Wishing them a happy married life

-          Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 12th March 2015