Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conquer Inferiority

  • Formulate and Stamp permanently on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding.
  • Whenever a negative thought concerning your personal powers comes to mind, deliberately voice a positive thought to cancel it out.
  • Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.
    • Depreciate every so-called obstacle. Minimize them. Difficulties must not be inflated by fear thoughts.
  • Do not be awestruck by other people and try to copy them.
    • Remember: Most people despite their confident appearance and demeanor (behavior, conduct), are often as scared as you are and as doubtful of themselves.
  • 10 times a day repeat these dynamic words...
    • "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
  • Make a true estimate of your own ability, and then raise it 10%.
    • Believe in your own God-released powers.
Source: Norman Vincent Peale in "The Power of Positive Thinking"
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blood a SMS away in India

Now it has become easier to get the blood we need.

All you have to do is just type

"BLOOD and send SMS to 96000 97000"



So please pass this message to all. It certainly would save many lives.

Its a Must to Know &  Share. Do it now....

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jewellery: You can wear this ring & eat it too

Logo of NIDImage via Wikipedia
A student of lifestyle and accessory design at the National Institute of Design (NID) here has a unique pill for people faced with sugar levels dropping fast to pregnant women and children in need of energy — edible jewellery. If a diabetic can munch on sugar candies embedded in her ring to keep the level up, a pregnant woman can gorge on the delicious “imli” stored in her pendant.

“These are jewellery, parts of which are edible. They also have compartments, which can store small amount of food items. The jewellery, that I am in the process of creating, can be in gold, silver or any semi-precious metal. The range will have pendants, rings, and key chains. These accessories will have molded sugar candies in the form of beads or other shapes,” added Kureshi. 

Sugar, in the shape of diamonds, will replace real diamonds in my range of jewellery,” said this NIDian, also a fine arts graduate from MS University. “I am also working on storing sugar, honey and even chocolate in the jewellery. They will be laminated in plastic or wrapped in silver and gold foils. This could also be developed into jewellery for children and pregnant women,” added Kureshi.

read full story here

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Friday, April 24, 2009

One man's waste is another's Resource

A creche, second home for toddlers, is recycling haven.

Keyboards on the ceiling, bicycle pedals to play with on the door and a second hand bath tub to splash in!

Mixed & matched odd-shaped pieces of Kota, Jaisalmer, Dholpur, Granite and mosaic to create a trendy flooring! these have been picked up from construction sites declared waste...

The floor also has motifs of Sub, Moon, Flora and Fauns while a dash of local mud  mirror craft makes a wall glitter!

The ceiling is a collage of glass bottles and clay bowls stuck into concrete while door has cycle parts, wheels, axles, chains, handle and pedals set in a grid of scrap iron bars.

A colorful rooftop pavillion is made od cloth rags and torn bamboo mats sandwiched in fiber reinforced plastic.

Fly ash bricks, a waste product of thermal power plants have been used in construction. They also keep the rooms Cool...

"We've tried to bring beauty with what was available" says Yatin Padya, architect and urban planner the master mind behind the Creche for slum dwellers in Ramapir no Tekro in Juna Vadaj, Gujarat, India.

Source: Report in TOI on 22 Apr 2009

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

God won't ask...

  • God won't ask what kind of Car you drove; he'll ask how many people you drove that didn't have transportation...
  • God won't ask the square footage of your house; he'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home...
  • God won't ask about the clothes you had in your closet; He'll ask how many you helped to clothe...
  • God won't ask what your job title was. He'll ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability...
  • God won't ask what your highest salary was. He'll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it...
  • God won't ask how many friends you had. He'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend...
  • God won't ask in what in what neighborhood you lived. He'll ask how you treated your neighbors...
  • God won't ask about the color of your skin. He'll ask about the content of your character...
  • God won't ask why it took you so long to seek salvation. He'll lovingly take you to your mansion in heaven and not to the gates of hell... 

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Green Ahmedabad among 90 cities in the Global Low Carbon City Index

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's (AMC) composite efforts to go green' in its fight against global warming might get rewarded soon. Ahmedabad has been shortlisted among 90 cities in the world to be rated on the Global Low Carbon City Index (GLCCI) later this year.

"GLCCI rating is being undertaken by International Council for Environmental Issues (ICEI) under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)," says municipal commissioner IP Gautam.
"A large part of dwellings in the city are in the traditional pols which are well-ventilated and control heat well," says a senior AMC officer.

With more than 60,000 autorickshaws and 600 buses running on CNG, carbon emissions in the city are down by 20 lakh metric tonnes per annum. The ambitious BRTS will also help reduce carbon footprint by 25 per cent.

For reducing urban heat islands, AMC s policy changes have led to almost 25 per cent of newly constructed buildings having white roofs made of Chinese mosaic that reflect heat. Besides, development control regulations have made it mandatory for three to four times of the built-up area to be reserved for greening.

In terms of streetlights, about 18,000 high voltage lights have been replaced by 11 watt compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), thereby conserving energy. About 20 per cent traffic lights run on solar power, while 70 per cent of the traffic lights have 15 watt Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps.

In terms of waste management, measures are being taken to convert 1,500 tonnes of garbage to power source, while about 500 tonnes of organic waste is being converted to compost.

Read full story here
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day! ~ Planting More Trees

Eucalyptus plantation in Galicia in Northwest ...
"He that plants a tree loves others besides himself."
Irrational utilization of Natural resources has led to environmental concerns. Thus putting the very existence of living being into question. 

A proactive way is to support the local community on plantation drives. Planting tree has direct impact on reducing carbon presence in the air and planting shrubs and grasses help to recharge ground water in drink water aquifers.

Planting shrubs and vegetation is a key to stopping and preventing the rapid flow of storm water and helps to infiltrate water back into the drinking water aquifers that can eventually be put to good use.

Environmental Benefits Of Planting Trees 
  • Trees serve as a natural habitat, which provide support to a wide variety of flora and fauna. They provide a sense of privacy and security to the wildlife, seeking shelter in the woods.
  • Trees remove excess amount of carbon dioxide and air pollutants present in the atmosphere, including sulfur dioxide, ozone and nitrogen oxide.
  • Planting trees is very important to improve the quality of air and reduce its pollution.
  • The visual quality of a landscape is improved by planting trees, which, in turn, improves the quality of life.
  • The biodiversity gets enriched by planting trees.
  • Trees provide shade, thereby moderating the summer temperature.
  • Trees reduce soil erosion, because they bind the soil through their roots. They also help improve the fertility of soil.
  • The greenery of trees adds color to the landscape and enhances the picturesque beauty of the environment.
  • According to a recent study, houses and properties on tree-lined streets are found to be attractive places to live in.
  • Trees are great absorbers of noise. Noise pollution can be reduced, to a great extent, by planting more and more trees.
  • Planting of trees facilitates better management of flood water. Trees also moderate flood hazards, by allowing the rainwater to percolate into the soil, instead of running off it.

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You've got it right and others are on a 'wrong' path

I am ready for my quiet sitting time in the morning. This is the time when ideas, impressions, new possibilities, even pieces of dreams from unknown sources come visiting. Today though, they seem to fit together, creating a cohesive story that unrolls itself before me. 
We are about a hundred or so in number, sitting together and ready for the satsang of this clean-shaven white-clad teacher.

He began: Try to say 'complimentary religion' rather than comparative religion. Compare is often followed by the word contrast; there is nothing to compare or contrast. Do not study other traditions to find holes in their belief systems. Honour the strengths of your own tradition. And if you notice similarities with others, be gracious enough to acknowledge and appreciate the gifts of other traditions. Cure yourself of thinking that you've got it right and others are on a 'wrong' path.
Familiarise yourself with the mystics of all spiritual paths; Kabir, Rumi, Tukaram, Julian of Nowrich, Hassids, Sufis. Be conversant with the Bible and see how Jesus tries to spread love, and cut across discriminative barriers; reflect on the Bhagavad Gita and the call to a life of sattva and selfless action; explore the intricate web of the Quran and recognise invitations to mercy and justice; appreciate the stress on self-work and enlightenment in the Dhammapada.

Consider all these as intimations of a larger implicit order; parts of an unseen wholeness. At all times look for 'invitations' ^ what are the divine messengers inviting us humans to think, to be, to do?
No traditions, if you've studied them with sensitivity and understanding, incite their followers to violence. Abstain from defiling any tradition by placing its name before such words as terrorism or bomb.

We were a deeply silent crowd a mix of young and old, ordinarily dressed, as well as saffron-clad, robed, bearded, turbaned; of priests, nuns, intellectuals of various shades. Yet the teacher addressed us as if individually, with integrity, intensity, and uncommon humility. As we let it all sink in, we smiled at each other in confirmed fellowship.

Enigmatically, he lifted a pair of scissors and a paper punch in each hand: Strive not to cut asunder nor punch holes. Placing them down, he picked a paper clip and stapler and added: Try rather to be a connector, a uniter. 
Steer clear of a worldview of distancing, division and dominance. Do not subscribe to any ideology of hate. If you set up TV channels, do so not to malign others with voices that sound fierce and uncompromising or worse reasonable-sounding yet slyly malicious. Use the power of the media to spread the message of peace and real community.

All spiritual traditions care as much for the soul as for the soil and the social, because both agriculture and culture have their common root in the Latin cultus meaning worship.

If your benefactors or flock are ready to raise funds, use the money, time or attention not simply for proselytising but for building schools, hospitals, homes for the aged, and hospices.

In your prayers, while wishing happiness, health and prosperity for your family, friends and colleagues, raise the bar higher to include the rest of the six billion of the earth who breathe the same air, and whose blood runs the same colour as yours.

He ended: Think at all times how to remain centered, sane and intelligent. One's efforts should be directed towards acquiring enlightenment, refining desire and will by purging them of selfishness, by learning to endure pain, getting rid of hate, cultivating love.

Turn to the side where the light is. 
Source: here

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"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts.... We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes." - Charles R. Swindoll

"Always remember that the fresh, the present has to be totally lived, and anything that hinders has to be dropped" ~ Osho
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shaping Young Minds

A lecture series - Shaping Young Minds - organised by All India Management Institute (AIMA), Ahmedabad where the four guest speakers (Indian Icon's) share their life's experiences with the students on the role of youth in nation building:
The seminar was meant to inspire young people, mainly students and young professionals to channelize their thoughts and energies in right direction on Saturday, April 18th, 2009. Below, I share the thoughts and advisory given in the seminar where more than 500 people participated:
"Do what your heart tells you and you may just end up doing right."~ Kakkar
"If you know your worth and are honest in what you do, speak up and stand by what you think. In all probability, you will be heard."~ Kakkar
"If you really want something badly and think you cannot live without it, then leave it because you will anyway not get it."~ Kakkar
"In this sensitive period, huge responsibility is on youth to vote for right reasons. We should shun criminals in public life and use our voting powers. Politicians are accountable to people not the other way round."~ De
"The country needs to change for the better and we all should contribute to make India more democratic and tolerant."~ De
"Youth must work together for a unified world without any mindless bloodshed." ~ Khan
 "Music is one religion and it speaks only one language of love and peace."~ Khan
"We have numerous memorials for political leaders but not for any single artist who have given up their life in service of music."~ Khan

"Life is nothing but a bunch of stories and we learn more from stories than instructions. Management education is all about people, life and experiences." ~  Gopalkrishnan
"Leadership is not about speaking, it's about empathy. Be human." ~ Gopalkrishnan
"It is music that helps me connect with God." ~ Khan
"Every one comes and leaves this world without anything on hand. Then why should everyone be treated differently? There is need to realise that we only have a common God." ~ Khan
"Whatever you do should involve a lot of passion. Then there is no chance you will not succeed." ~ De 
"The day you close your mind to responses, voices and emotions of other people, you are finished." ~ De
"Young minds can contribute significantly in steering the nation forward. This programme will provide a unique platform for professionals to interact with leading icons from different fields." ~ S K Swamy, President AIMA
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Namaste, Namaskar or Namaskaram (Sanskrit: नमस्ते [nʌmʌsˈteː] from external sandhi between namaḥ and te) is a common spoken greeting or salutation in the Indian subcontinent. It is derived from Hinduism and Buddhism, and in India it has multi-religious or else common usage where it may simply mean "I bow to you." In religious formulation, it can be translated as:
  • "I bow to that inherent in you" ("that" here refers to divinity, or that which is divine')
  • "I respect that divinity within you that is also within me."
  • "the light within me honors the light within you" (in yoga)
The word is derived from Sanskrit (namas): to bow, obeisance, reverential salutation, and (te): "to you".[1] Namaskar is considered a slightly more formal version than namaste but both express deep respect. It is commonly used in India and Nepal by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists, and many continue to use this outside the Indian subcontinent.
When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly and carry the same meaning. In Indian and Nepali culture, the word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication. However, upon departure only the wordless hands-folded gesture is made.

Meanings and interpretation

Namaste is one of the few Sanskrit words commonly recognized by Non-Hindi speakers. In the West, it is often used to indicate South Asian culture in general[citation needed]. Namaste is particularly associated with aspects of South Asian culture such as vegetarianism, yoga, ayurvedic healing, and Hinduism.
In recent times, and more globally, the term "namaste" has come to be especially associated with yoga and spiritual meditation all over the world. In this context, it has been viewed in terms of a multitude of very complicated and poetic meanings which tie in with the spiritual origins of the word. Some examples:
  • "I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me." -- attributed to author Deepak Chopra[3]
  • "I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One."[4][5]
  • "I salute the God within you."
  • "Your spirit and my spirit are ONE." -- attributed to Lilias Folan's shared teachings from her journeys to India.[citation needed]
  • "That which is of the Divine in me greets that which is of the Divine in you."[6]
  • "The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you."[7]
  • "All that is best and highest in me greets/salutes all that is best and highest in you."
  • "I greet the God within."
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thoughts for Meditation

  • "The ever-moving is a continuous cycle of change, moving in a smooth and rhythmic motion. I am in the center, steady aware."
  • "Let me watch the circumference from the center. Let me observe the kaleidoscope of changes from that point which views all points."
  • "Each turn of the wheel can be either a cause of my bondage or a cause of my freedom. With awareness, I can use each turn as a challenge, to free myself from karmas, to bring out transformation, to feel new life, and to lead me closer to my reality."
Earlier thoughts for Meditation:
  • On Apr 09th 2009 here
  • On Apr 10th 2009 here
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Bless or Curse?

"In order to gain the most benefit from blessing, you will have to give up or cut way down on the one thing that negates it: cursing. This doesn’t mean swearing or saying “bad” words. It refers to the opposite of blessing, namely criticizing instead of admiring; doubting instead of affirming; blaming instead of appreciating; and worrying instead of anticipating with trust. Whenever any of these are done they tend to cancel out some of the effects of blessing. So the more you curse the harder it will be and the longer it will take to get the good from a blessing. On the other hand, the more you bless the less harm any cursing will do."~ Serge Kahili King

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Love Quotes

  • If the people in the world knew only one religion - LOVE - the world would be paradise. ~ Osho
  • In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.~Janos Arany
  • True love begins when nothing is looked for in return~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Love makes you feel needed, and to be needed is the greatest need. Nothing else can fulfill that great need. ~Osho
  • We can only learn to love by loving~Iris Murdoch
  • Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.~Henry Louis Mencken
  • Love is not a matter of counting the years... But making the years count.~Michelle St. Amand
  • True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If youhear bells, get your ears checked.~Erich Segal
  • Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.~Wayne Dyer
  • There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.~George Sand
  • Love is a choice you make from moment to moment.~Barbara de Angelis
  • I love to see a young girl go out & grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to out & kick ass.~Maya Angelou
  • Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.~Robert Heinlein
  • Love floods us with hope.~Jareb Teague
  • Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Love is being stupid together.~Paul Valery
  • At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.~Martin Luther King
  • Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.~Zora Neale Hurston
  • Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away.~Elbert Hubbard
  • Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself.~Leo Buscaglia
  • Hate leaves ugly scars, love leaves beautiful ones~Mignon McLaughlin
  • What the world really needs is more love and less paper work.~Pearl Bailey
  • True love stories never have endings ~Richard Bach
  • Love is the poetry of the senses.~Honoré de Balzac
  • Love is the magician that pulls man out of his own hat.~Ben Hecht
  • Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. ~Robert Heinlein
  • Life is the flower for which love is the honey ~ Victor Hugo
  • Love me and the world is mine.~David Reed
  • Love is a game that two can play and both win.~Eva Gabor
  • Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.~Henry Louis Mencken
  • Love is the silent saying and saying of a single name~Mignon McLaughlin
  • Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it destination full of hope.~Maya Angelou
  • Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.~Maya Angelou
  • One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life.That word is Love. ~Sophocles
  • You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.~Ami Carmichael
  • A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears~Woodrow Wyatt
  • Lovers who love truly do not write down their happiness~Anatole France
  • I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.~Mother Teresa
    Love is therapy & there is no other therapy in the world except love. It is always love that heals, because love makes you whole. ~Osho
  • Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition ~Alexander Smith
  • Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.~Karl Menninger
  • You call it madness, but I call it love.~Don Byas
  • Love can make you do things that you never thought possible.~Phil Collins
  • Love is a choice you make from moment to moment. ~Barbara de Angelis
  • There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. ~William Shakespeare
  • The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. ~Theodore M. Hesburgh
  • Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • "However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship." ~La Rochefoucauld
  • "Friends show their love in times of trouble..." ~Euripides
  • "There is nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends." ~Hillaire Belloc
  • "Friendship is love without his wings" ~Byron
  • "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." ~Mother Teresa
  • Music is love in search of a word. ~Sidney Lanier
  • Love is how you share your feeling to another & forgive with your heart and mind ~ Liza
  • Love cannot exist in peace, it will always come accompanied by agonies, ecstasies, intense joys and profound sadnesses.~Paulo Coelho
  • There is not enough love and goodness in the world for us to be permitted to give any of it away to imaginary things. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
  • "Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference" - Libbie Fudim
  • "Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal." - Alfred A. Montapert
  • "The story of life is quicker then the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye." - Jimi Hendrix
  • "Men say they love independence in a woman, but they don't waste a second demolishing it brick by brick."~Candice Bergen
    A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one. --Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  • Don't frown because you never know who is falling in love with your smile. SinVyeSt Tan
  • "Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning to dance in the rain!"~ Unknown
  • "To give and not expect anything in return that is what lies at the heart of love" - Rupert Everett
  • Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination. - Francois Marie Arouet (Voltaire)
  • “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge." ~Bertrand Russell
  • Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.~David Frost
  • "When we are being compassionate, we consider another's circumstance with love rather than judgement. ...
  • Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.~Sir Arthur Pinero
  • "True life lies in laughter, love and work."~ Elbert Hubbard
  • Age does not protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age.~Jeanne Moreau
  • The moment we set off in search of love, it sets off in search of us. And saves us.~Paulo Coelho
  • Love gives us the strength to perform impossible tasks.~Paulo Coelho
  • "Anything a man does can bring him closer to the Supreme Wisdom, as long as he works with Love in his heart." ~ Paulo Coelho
  • It is unnecessary to talk about Love, because love has its own voice and can speak for itself.~Paulo Coelho
  • The moment we set off in search of love, it sets off in search of us. And saves us.~Paulo Coelho
  • “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.” ~Unknown
  • "Love is an irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly." ~Robert Frost

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Narendra Modi- Best Chief Minister of India for 2009

Narendra Modi - India Economic Summit 2008Image by World Economic Forum via Flickr
When it comes to politics, it doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, illiterate or educated, urban or rural, old or young, Hindu or Muslim, upper caste or Dalit.
Everybody has an opinion and everyone believes he or she is right. Narendra Modi is not among the dozen or so men and women who barely conceal their prime ministerial ambitions but if a political version of “Indian Idol” were to be chosen, irrespective of these divides, the Gujarat chief minister is likely to win hands down.
Since 2002, when INDIA TODAY and pollsters AC Nielsen-ORG-MARG broadened the scope of the Mood of the Nation poll to assess the performance of chief ministers across the country, Modi has always been rated among the five best chief ministers in the country.
In our last three polls, he has held the number one slot and this year, with a nationwide approval rating of 20, Modi polled almost as much as the first and second runners-up, Sheila Dikshit (11) and Nitish Kumar (10), put together.
For the 15th Mood of the Nation poll, 12,374 voters in 19 states were asked to rate the performance of the chief ministers of their own states as well as their perceptions about the chief ministers of other states. Though chief ministerial writ does not extend beyond the boundaries of the respective states, some like Modi have come to acquire a pan-Indian image.
That Modi’s approval rating is a phenomenal 80 per cent in his home state should come as no surprise, but what is truly astounding is that across several states, he has got between 20 and 25 per cent of the votes.
Across the country, 12 per cent of voters who voted for the Congress in the last elections say they will vote for Modi if they get a chance. Proof perhaps that people believe in his development mantra.
The overwhelming endorsement is also a proof that despite the controversies that have surrounded Modi these past few years, people are by and large taken in by his image as an absolutely incorruptible politician, something that sounds like an oxymoron these days. Read full story here.

Narendra Modi says:
"For me whole Gujarat is SEZ - Spirituality, Enterprise and Zeal"
"IT+IT=IT Indian talent + Information technology = India Tomorrow"
"Desire + stability = ResolutionResolution + Hard work = Success"

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Poila Baisakh: Global Tag to Bengali Festival

Celebrating Pohela Boishak.Image via Wikipedia
Poila Baisakh is a major celebration and the first day of Baisakh remains a holiday in Kolkata.

The first month of the Bengali calendar, Baishakh, marks the beginning of the crop cycle in Bengal. The first day of this month is called Poila Baisakh is celebrated as the Bengali new year. Chances are, if you step into a shop in Calcutta on this day, you'll be offered sweets and maybe the odd gift or two. Traders start the new year by inaugurating new accounting books.

It is considered the most auspicious month for marriage, the most auspicious month for undertaking any business venture and it is also the month when all agricultural production process begins. Bengali’s think that any child born in this month would acquire all the qualities of being a prodigy. No wonder, the great Rabindranath Tagore, was born in this month. Rabindranath was born on the 25th of Baisakh.

On that day, people wear new dress and go about socialising. The houses are thoroughly cleaned and freshly painted. People decorate their houses to welcome the New Year and the season of flowers. Women make elaborate rangolis on the ground near the entrance to their house. Beautiful designs are drawn with the help of a paste made of rice flour and rows and rows of houses with intricate patterns in front of them make a pretty picture. Cultural programms are held, sweets are distributed and greeting are exchanged.

Special prayers are held for the welfare of the family. Procession called ‘Prabhat Pheri’ is held early in the morning to welcome the New Year. Women dress in white saris with red borders while men wear ‘dhoti’ (loincloth) and ‘kurta’ (shirt) to take part in the procession. Cultural programs are held.
In global terms its a Bengali New Year and just like Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Friendship Day and ofcourse X Mas and New Year. Every other retail outlet seem to be making the most of it.
While some have made a mix and match of tradition and change, others have caught the mood of the times with band music, CD launch etc. And not to be missed are the lavish food fares at star hotels with a mad rush for bookings.

Celebrities add to the fun, say for instance Manthan invited Chiranjeet and Papiya Adhikari, to flag off their specail Poila Baisakh spread. Tanushree Shankar, who participated in one such event at a city mega store, believes there's nothing wrong in the new trend.

"Its one way to keep the spirit alive. In an age where the youth identify with glamour and glitz we must cater to their tastes. Its one way to ensure their involvement in Bengali festivals just like Valentines Day or X Mas."

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Baisakhi : A Day For Self-renewal

Guru Nanak DevImage via Wikipedia
BAISHAKHI on April 13 is celebrated throughout India in many ways. In the Himalayan region, it is also called `Baishakh Sankranti'. It is observed even in far-off Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, where it is called Songkaran and celebrated on April 14 as the Water Festival. Children visit their parents and elders and offer scented water in homage to obtain their blessings for the New Year.
Baishakhi traditionally marks the end of the month long `New Year' celebrations of the Hindu Calendar. The new `Samvatsar', an astrological forecast of things to come during the New Year based on position of the different planets, and the culmination of Navratras with the birth of Lord Rama, are the two main religious aspects of these celebrations. In northern India, Baishakhi also marks the harvesting season and village folk celebrate the occasion by holding community-wide festivities - sports, fairs, offering of sweets and community feasts, etc.
In Punjab, Baishakhi celebrations encompass both the religious and cultural sentiments in equal measure. It was on this day over 300 years ago, that the Tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singhji Maharaj, established the `Khalsa' order. The word `Sikh' means disciple and all the followers of the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and subsequent nine Gurus, were called Sikhs or followers. They included both Hindus and Muslims. The fundamental message of 'universal brotherhood' was propagated by Nanak Devji in a unique manner by insisting on the triple principles of Seva, Pangat and Sangat. All the followers were to share in community service (Seva), meals (Pangat) and prayers (Sangat). All were equal before the 'Order'. Even the king had to share Seva and Pangat before meeting the Guru in Sangat.
The teachings of the Sikh Gurus were so simple in comparison to the complicated ritualistic orders of that time that they appealed to the masses far and wide.
Read more at Editorial in TOI

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