Showing posts from November, 2011

Types of Love

Swami Chinmayananda 

No activity in human life is taken up with so much sincerity and elaborate preparation as is man's search for the joy of love and yet, no enterprise of man fails so constantly with such regularity, as his quest for love. He helplessly waits to receive love and yet everyone is always disappointed. 

In a nutshell, the love that leaves us with agitation is lower love and the love that leaves us with profound peace and joy is higher. In true love, every action and sacrifice you make towards the object of your love reduces your egocentric desires and calms the agitation in your mind. When love is directed towards a Higher or Nobler object or person than yourself, it is called prema. When it is towards a lower object, it is called sneha. Higher love alone can help us come out of our sense of incompleteness and alienation.

 The lower type of love called sneha is an escape from a person's sense of loneliness. Without this protection the person feels lonely, isolated …

Harnessing Potentials

Swami Tejomayananda 

Most of us will agree that we are born rich and yet somehow we are unable to truly realize and harness our true potentials. In order to harness the great potential that lies within each one of us, it is important to manifest it and for that it is necessary to have a great goal in life. Our potential lies in the body, speech, mind, intellect and also through external means. Indeed, the treasure that we possess is vast and invaluable. It is due to this reason that psychologists would agree that we are not entirely using the true potential of our brains which is why we remain as extras in our own movie.

Much of our potential has been manifested out of necessity to survive or thrive. A police officer once tried catching a weak-looking thief who escaped. When asked why the thief outran him, he said, "I ran as part of my duty. He ran to save his life. His motivation was greater." Great potential may at times manifest out of sheer necessity but usually if your go…

Control Freakery

Arun Jaitley

The chairman of the Press Council of India, Justice Markandey Katju, lost little time after his appointment to make known his contemptuous views about the Indian media. The obvious danger of talking out of turn in order to crusading is that one ceases to be objective. You only have to tabulate the weak points of the target institution and emerge as a reformist yourself. 

While doing so Katju overlooked the fact that despite many weaknesses, the Indian media is a key protector of our democracy and does not need to be regulated. The argument that every institution in a democracy needs to be regulated is not a valid one. It is this mindset that produced the Indian Emergency of the mid-1970s. Has anyone dared to suggest that the Supreme Court is unregulated and hence needs to be regulated? This "control" psyche is destructive of democracy.

The media, both print and electronic, is today judged by the readers and viewers. It is for this reason that some newspapers and ch…

Movie Review: Traffic

The 2011 Malayalam film "Traffic" is a multi-narrative thriller that intertwines multiple stories around one particular incident. The narrative of the film has been told in the hyperlink format dealing with plot twists, interwoven storylines between multiple characters. The film follows the life of six main characters--an aspiring journalist Raihan (Vineeth Srinivasan) and his friend Rajeev (Asif Ali), who are travelling in a bike and are fatally hit by a speeding car at a signal, a superstar Sidharth Shankar (Rahman) who is getting ready for the release of his new film, a young cardiac surgeon Abel (Kunchako Boban), City Police Commissioner Ajmal Nazar (Anup Menon)  and a traffic constable Sudevan (Srinivasan). 

The story takes place on a certain September 16 at a crowded traffic junction in Kochi. It has been an inspired from a real-life event that happened in Chennai. As the film follows the hyperlink format, an accident changes their lives forever and how they tackle with…

Movie Review: Ananthabhadram

The 2005 Malayalam film "Ananthabhadram" concerns ghosts, black magic and spirits. The film begins with little Ananthan hearing a folk tale from his mother Gayathri (Revathy) telling him that his family comes from a line of powerful magicians and that they are responsible for protecting a "nagamanickyam", a jewel on a serpent's head. The jewel, she narrates in the ancient village of Sivapuram in a house guarded by snakes, including a tiny snake called Kunjootan. 

Years later, Ananthan (Prithviraj) returns to Sivapuram with his deceased mother's ashes. His mother wanted him to light the lamp at Shivakaavu, a dark and mysterious temple of Lord Shiva. During his stay in Sivapuram, he meets his cousin Bhadra (Kavya Madhavan) and encounters the local black magician Digambaran (Manoj K. Jayan). Soon enough, we are shown that Digambaran is not a friendly character as he opposes the lighting of lamps on the grounds of local superstitions in order to get his hands on…

The Decline of The West

R. Vaidyanathan
IIM Bangalore

Ten years ago, America had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Now, it has no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash. Or so the joke goes. Only, it's no joke. The line is pretty close to reality in the US. The less said about Europe the better. Both the US and Europe are in decline. I was asked by a business channel in 2008 about recovery in the US and I mentioned 40 quarters and I was never invited for another discussion. Recently, another media person asked me the same question and I answered 80 quarters. He was shocked since he was told some "sprouts" of recovery had been seen in the American economy.

It is important to recognize that the dominance of the West has been there only for the last 200-and-odd years. According to Angus Maddison's pioneering OECD study, India and China had nearly 50 percent of global GDP as late as the 1820s. Hence, India and China are not emerging or rising powers. They are retrieving their original position. The dollar …


The song "Nee" is certainly one of the well-composed non-film songs in recent times. The lyrics for the song have been written by Aisoorya Vijayakumar and sung by my childhood friend Jaya Vidyasagar, a talented and classically trained singer from Mumbai who has lent her voice for this song. It has been composed by Rishi S. for an independent music label called "Sonore Unison".

I imagined the song as an expression of a young girl waiting by the window as she was disillusioned and depressed since the boy whom she was in love with had moved to the city for higher studies. However, it was on a rainy morning, when her lover returned as a true gentleman from the city, it was as though the young girl almost received a new lease of life. On the joyous occasion of his arrival, she breaks into this song and sings it as tears roll down her eyes as she welcomes him back into her life. The song is a wonderful tribute to her lover's arrival back into her life.

The rough meanin…