Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Pinchas Gutter and the Young Girl in the Nazi Camp.

Today, as I was reading up articles from the big web, a name fell upon my eyes

                                      Pinchas Gutter

My mind raced," I think I have heard this name before", 'No, you haven't!' argued my other mind-ego.

No issue, let me check up on him. The news article read:

Pinchas Gutter - Holocaust Survivor

I had read in my childhood about the terrible, cruelsome and inhumane Nazi camps and their workings a little bit. But as I grew up, I forgot all about the history until today.

This 87 year old Gentleman - Pinchas Gutter, the article said was sharing his experience of his childhood in a nazi camp with the kids in a Canadian school.  

He said, he couldn't remember his twin sister as her memory had gone completely out of his mind. 

I wondered why? What had transpired?

Then I read further:

His sister was a young girl back there in the 1940's who Ran over to their mother for one last hug before she was separated and taken to a gas chamber.

This line literally ran a chill down my spine.

How could the nazis or the 'Humans' if they can be called  'allow, or have the guts or even the conscience to murder or kill young kids or more specifically girls.

Imagine the scene where the girl knows what's going to happen next as well as the parents know what's going to happen to all of them. 

That one last hug from a child!

Enough said.

Friday, November 9, 2018

How I read 100 Books in 2018 and counting!

Any avid book reader knows how it is when one starts to read a book and the feeling when one finishes the book.

I can not vouch for myself that I am a voracious reader, as my genres are limited and I have not read Sidney Sheldon, Agatha Christe or other famous authors. 

At the start of the year 2018, Goodreads presented a book reading challenge for the year as always. Last year, it was 50 books reading for me. This time, I kept the count to 45 as I thought I would only manage to read less. 

However, it was not to be!

Gradually, I managed to go past 45 books in 4 months, 50 books in 4.5 months and then it reached 80 in August. Today as I write this on 9th November, 2018, I have managed to go past 100 books reading.

Which genres did I manage to read?

1. Health & Spiritual
2. Light novels
3. Business and management and 
4. Couple of Computer language books.

I will write down the books I read below and found interesting to share from the beginning of the year and a brief intro, if the book is worth a read if anyone is interested. 

1. Krishnayan-Kajal Oza Vaid. (Spiritual-Worth a read) 
     A book in Gujarati about the possible unseen aspects of Lord Krishna's personal life with his queens, Childhood Friend Radha and his clan.
Worth a read.

2. Bhangarh to Bedlam-Deepta Roy Chakraworthy (Haunted)
   A book from the author recounting her experiences at the notable haunted location in India's Rajasthan. 

3. 7 Karma Codes: Heal the Storm Within. -Suzy Singh. 
         (Spiritual-Worth a read) 

 Everyone wants to know and explore the karmic codes and knowledge. The author takes you through the intricacies of why things happen and what you can do to transform your relationship with yourself and others. 

4. Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success
       By-  and  . (Motivation)

 A great read. I personally recommend this book for anyone who has suffered a personal physical setback and wants some motivation to win life and challenges. The book highlights the lives of people who suffered physical strains and how they won the challenges!

5The Present: The Secret to Enjoying Your Work and Life, Now!   
    By- Spenser Johnson. (Motivation) 

This book is for everyone of us who can not stay in the present and rue either the past or the future and stress about life, work and more!

6. Kundalini: An untold story-  By- Om Swami. (Spiritual-Worth a read)

In this confusing world of spiritual mis-information and fake people claiming to raise Kundalini power of anyone, this book provides a personal account of a renunciate who gives the genuine knowledge or information about what a Kundalini is and what a seeker can do to progress in his spiritual quest without anyone's support to raise his Kundalini. Do it Yourself!

7. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americas Wealthy

      By- Thomas Stanley. (Financial Knowledge)

  Ever wondered how the rich get richer and have more money? This book gives an account of the habits of the multimillionaires in the United States and what they do to increase their wealth.

8.  Mudras: 25 Ultimate techniques for Self Healing. By-Advait. (Health)

  They say that the secret to health is in our hands and no one else. The book simply and effortlessly illustrates how one can remain healthy through certain hand postures or Mudras and keep the energy flowing in the body. 

9.  Explain the Cloud Like I'm 10  By-Todd Hoff. (Computer)

Ever wondered what the whole noise about cloud computing is all about but overwhelmed with technical bombardment of information?
This book very simply lays out what cloud computing is all about in a very detailed but interesting and simply manner that everyone can understand.

10. Netflix: What Happens When You Press Play?  By-Todd Hoff. (Entertainment)

Who doesn't know Netflix? Everyone does as it has taken the entertainment world by storm by placing excellent movies before us! But what goes behind the scenes? This book by the author explains us about what goes into the Netflix website when you play a movie or scroll through the movie list. Interesting!

11. The Healing Properties of Water. By -Chidebe Achunine (Health)

 Water can heal! Yes, the water we drink has the power to heal our body. If only we know how to drink. A worthy read for sure!

12. Indian Spices & Condiments as Natural Healers - By H.K. Bakhru. (Health)

 Sometimes, the ingredients to health lie in our own kitchen. The book demonstrates the various spices and food that we consume daily come to our help and heal our body.

Although I read more than 100 books, I felt that these 12 books were worth mentioning about. I read about 3 books every 10 days. That makes about 9 books a month. Did I do speed reading? 

No. I just read books when I was free for few minutes or waiting for someone or something outside home, before bed and after I woke up, whenever I could. 

Books are best friends for sure!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Musings from the Past Months

Sometimes, you have lots to explain or describe and sometimes you are at a loss of words. 

Only when you move around or travel, you see the double edged sword of life. You come across people who are living in much lower conditions than we and yet happily living life better than us. What is it that separates them from us in terms of satisfaction or fulfillment? 

Acceptance, I guess! or the ability to take one day at a time in life?

What is much better to have-Dengue or chickengunya?

One can say, both are worse. Yes indeed! Dengue gives you fever, headache and a life threatening situation. Chickengunya as I have learnt is not fatal, but leaves you irritated and exhausted. 2 Weeks before, my family contracted chickengunya, beginning with my father than my mother and then me. Dad recovered soon. For me, it was 2 days of the usual fever and rounds of doctor but it left my bones feeble along with irritating skin rashes. 

Ever heard of the Vishwamitri River? If you are from Baroda-the city where I live in, you probably have. For others, its a small river running through our city. A few days back, I read in the newspaper that in the earlier days, the river was used for washing and bathing and people actually used to drink water from it. 


Now, it is worse than a gutter. Literally! Even animals dont venture near the river, but yes, you will find lots of crocodiles in the river for sure!. I often come to think of what we humans have done to the environment. In the greed of money and power, we set up industries and put all the waste in the rivers and oceans. 

There were demons and monsters in the olden mythology times. Now there are humonsters as I call it. 

Just some thoughts.....

Monday, April 2, 2018

My Bhuj Diaries 2018. Part-1

Sometimes parents want to take a day trip some 500 km away for a particular reason or so. They don’t even prefer to visit the nearby famed locations even if there are 4 days of holidays ahead.
My Mum wanted to visit Bhuj-Kutchch and a famous goddess temple-Mata no Madh from quite a year now. I had some holidays lined up ahead and I was excited to again visit Kutchch. But as usual, my excitement was punctured by her.
” I only want to visit there for a day. Take me if you want to, otherwise I can go by myself”.
As all of my attempts to pacify her failed, I booked railway tickets at the last hour for just the two of us. The journey was fruitful.
We all know there are some ‘Characters’ that we find in the train in India. This story is about one of them.
As we boarded the train, there was an uncle in his early 60’s sleeping on the upper birth opposite us. One assumed that he was there from earlier station. He preferred to maintain his position till Ahmedabad came, sleeping merrily.
A lady came into the scene next and awakened the gentleman after prodding him at least 5 times. He awoke from his beauty sleep only to question the lady with:
She: Uncle, ye meri seat hain ( Uncle, this is my seat)
He: Oh, Ahmedabad Aa gaya? ( Oh, has Ahmedabad come?)
She: yes, Uncle.
He: Kab Aaya Ahmedabad? ( When did Ahemdabad come?)
She: 5 Min Pehle aaya. ( 5 Mins before)
He: Yeh aapki Seat Hain ( Is this your seat?)
She: Yes
He: When will the train leave the station?
She: (Getting Irritated) In 5-10 minutes uncle. Can I now please get the seat.
He: Yes.
That was the end of the episode. But the nature of questions he put before the lady looked stupid and irritating.
Some more anecdotes coming up in few days.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Instagram Irritables

Are you on Instagram?

I recently joined Instagram.

Not because I am a narcissistic guy. No, I like to click pictures and to improve or to take some inspiration of other great pictures taken by hundreds of others, I joined it.

I am glad that I did for I came across hundreds of examples of how I could improve my photography.

But, At the same time, I am little irritated of how people are using this medium to gain thousands of followers on Instagram, people are following others randomly irrespective of their storyline or subject and when the others follow back or don't follow, they unfollow them.

Then there are food bloggers or foodgramers. While some businesses understandably upload pictures of their delectable cuisine, other people upload food pics at random and expect people to like them.

Then there are inspirational quotes fanatics on Instagram. As if FB was not enough, these guys post these quotes even here.

Another type of guys I found are Narcissistic ones. They go to the gym, they click themselves, they go to work, they click themselves, they are on the way, they click themselves, repeat!

And then the travelers.

I am an occasional traveler myself, but I dont include myself in all the pictures. People want to see new destinations never seen before online, not you. Once, twice or five times is OK, but every-time?

And the last. These guys post nature pictures of sunsets and landscapes. Fine, good. But in order to reach out to hundreds of others, they over-edit the pictures. Too much saturation or use of colors make you think if a sunset over a landscape looks really this red?


Sunday, December 31, 2017

How I read 40+ Books in 2017


There is a proverb that a man's best friend is a dog. Another one that goes with the dog is a book. Only if one is a bookish nerd. 

I am not a voracious reader, but yes, I do manage or try to touch up to 50 books a year. This year, I did read 40+ books and wanted to share how one can manage to read more than 10 or 20 books.

  • If you find the books too hard to purchase from a bookstore, make an amazon account.
  • Next, download the kindle app in your cell. 
  • Next, search your favorite book in the website. Generally, the price of the book for the kindle app will be less than the purchasing cost. In some cases, it will also be free. 
  • Download the book in your app and start reading.

It is not the end of the story yet. 

Resolve to read at least 10 pages a day from kindle app. That way, you can end up with generally 2 books a month. 

Of course, if you are an advocate of reading physical books, that's wonderful and great! Nothing can substitute the feel and the smell of the book while it's in your hand. In this case, try to read 15 or 20 pages a day.

I followed both these approaches. Until I purchased my kindle app, because of my dad, I would purchase books and still do sometimes.

Some of my favorite books that I read were generally sourced from Goodreads, a website that connects books and authors to people and much more.

The books that left any impact on me this year are:

1. The Mahabharat Secret- By Christopher Doyle

2.  Autobiography of an Avadhoot - By Avadhoota Nadananda ( Part 1 and 2) 

3.  Dhanwantari- By Harish Johri

Just some thoughts on books.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chef Saif

This is my first timer in reviewing a movie. Some edits and improvisations will eventually follow.

The film-'Chef' opens to a brief introduction of the protagonist’s (Saif as Roshan) childhood which shows that he was interested to learn cooking different cuisines and would frequently learn from a kind gentleman near his home. As usual, young Roshan's father disliked the concept of his son cooking food and would rather prefer to make him an engineer instead, which made him run away from home.

Fast forward to the present day and we see the chef as an arrogant individual who can’t digest any criticism about his cooking from a customer and ends up bashing him, ultimately landing up behind bars only to be rescued on bail by his partner cum friend. However, he is soon fired from the restaurant by his friend.

Roshan has a hi-bye relationship with his near teenage son back in Cochin-India, who is eager that his father come and to see him perform on stage in school. However, upon insistence and a good sense-uploading about an ideal father-son relationship from his ex-colleague, he lands up in India to be with his son.

We then see Roshan, a father, trying to do a decent job by being a modern dad and aligning well with his ex-wife-Radha, a trained classical dancer. We see him gradually opening out with his son at the boat picnic when he gets fooled by his son into jumping in the water as the kid makes him jealous by mentioning a certain Viju Uncle’s,(Milind Soman), close to Radha.

His son does not know what ‘Cholle Bhature’ the famous food item is, which gets the chef surprised and ultimately, we see the father-son duo visiting Amritsar and around to relieve the times gone by, of course, eating the ‘Cholle Bhature’.
The kid then visits his ailing grandfather who shares a strained relationship with Roshan for following his passion.

The bond strengthens between the father-son as they roam around, where the kid learns about his father’s passion about cooking practically with local cuisines.
Fast forward, we see Roshan meeting Biju, on the latter’s request, pre-assuming that his ex-wife and Biju are planning to get married but instead, is shown the host’s vintage car collection gradually getting himself irritated and then angry

Yes, angry, because Biju gives him an offer to start a mobile restaurant on a dilapidated bus which he can’t digest as he is used to a fat paycheck and a professional touch and storms out.

What follows after is a heated argument between Radha and Roshan, who believes that he has still that ‘thing’ to help him find another great job.
This sets him into some soul-searching about his passion, interests and his priorities that ultimately form the remaining part of the story.

Chef Roshan is very ethical and professional when it comes to cooking and occasionally teaching son about it along with the practicalities of life. Vice-Versa, He learns a thing or a two about the power of social media from the kid that eventually helps him out somewhere or the other.

Saif has put on a slightly different role here portraying a life of a chef and coming to terms with himself and establishing a bond with his son and someone else as well. Guess who!

The movie is definitely a one-time watch on a lazy weekend for those who want to see Saif performing a different character.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dont Buy More Books

These are the words that my father often says to me nowadays.

I have been a good book reader along with my brother from my childhood. Due to that, my cupboard has been overstuffed with books. That irritates my father who believes that since books have been read by us and are no longer been read regularly by us, it is time that they are sold or new books are not purchased at all. 

We have inherited this book reading habit from my mother and father-partly. My father reads-Newspapers 3 times a day... 

I can't afford to sell books or do away with them. Half of them have been purchased by my elder bro, who refuses to part with them even while he's settled in Canada.

So the situation is: I can't sell the books or do away with them nor I can purchase new, because my dad goes into hyper mode if he sees new books. He thinks its a waste of money.

So I took the alternate mode- I purchased a Kindle Device. Now, I can read books, mark anything I want to and delete it when read. 

My father obviously was not happy-Waste of money.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

WiFi Addiction?

  WiFi is everywhere. 

  Except Antarctica of course!

 Have we humans become so overdependent on technology or the Internet that everywhere we go, we expect WiFi? We go to a friend's place and we ask for the password. We go to a public place and search for a free connection. Every 3 hours, we want to be connected to virtual world to know the latest news, see stupid stuff and what not! Yet, are we aware of our immediate neighbor?

Let me give you some interesting facts that I read here about a WiFi Survey.

It came to the fore that at least 73% of Indians surveyed said that they would exchange something for a strong WiFi Signal. Wow, that means we would unknowingly press the 'Accept' button for some minute of internet for something that we are unaware of!

What can be these things that we exchange the Wifi For?

It can be a small advertisement that wants to know our preferences for a product. It can be something that 'asks' us to allow an access to our personal emails, bank accounts or online dating websites. Not to forget those famous advertisements that ask for permission to edit our social media profiles. 

Indians are increasingly becoming addicted to the Wifi. In their homes, in public places. The urge to stay connected with their peers, remain updated with latest news.....

But we are forgetting that when we access internet at public places, we put our personal information at stake. This can invite some trouble from wannabe hackers. 

One more disadvantage is WiFi's effect on birds. Have we noticed that sparrows are becoming less or extinct now? Why? Probably because of WiFi rays everywhere and cutting of trees to make way for 'Development'.

Protect yourselves.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Flight of 2 Birds

A month ago, a robin bird started building a nest in our verandah in one of the paper boxes that comes nowadays built like an actual nest.

It soon began apparent that it had laid some eggs as it would sit continuously for longer duration to give them some body heat. Mummy asked us not to disturb the nest. The ceiling fan was also not to be started in the last days of summer, lest one of the parent birds has an accident with it.

Of course it did happen. The accident! 

The small babies began to come out of the eggs and mark their presence by chirping. We could see 2 of them, then we noticed there were actually 4. Great! In-between, one of the parent birds, probably the male  happened to change it's course midway and thrashed onto the fan. It was probably dead as mummy lifted it up and looked for some signs of life. It did not move.

She kept it in the corner for some last minute hope. And hope did come. Someone told her that there was some movement, and the bird came back to life again after sprinkling some water on her. 

The birds then knew, we meant no harm, yet they chose to stay away from us.

Then came the rain and Strong Winds that come along.

The strong winds shattered the nest of the birds. However, mummy again came to rescue and rearranged the paper nest. The babies however were impatient to test the world waters and hence made a long jump on the ground. One of the fledgling was powerful to fly away in the vast world as it was of ripe age. One of them had died inside the nest, while the other one was consumed by a predator.

The last one interestingly tested our patience. 

It was only a baby of a week. We took turns to protect it as it hopped around while the mother came and feed the baby all day long. We had to protect the baby from the regular cat and the rain. In the evening, we kept it in our storeroom. It also made it a habit or rather liked the new place for night-sleep as it would automatically go hopping to the store-room gate.

I would try to lift it up when it needed to get a shelter, but it could not come easily in my hands. However, mummy would always pick it up with precision and it would always accept her hands. It seemed that both had developed a bond. 

It was only a week after that Mummy had to go abroad to visit my brother. It seemed that it would not fly that easily as it looked lazy and seemed to sit all day long not bothering to even give it a try. 

However, on the day that mummy had to catch a flight, I noticed that the baby was sitting on a higher platform and then a wall. 

As we were leaving for the airport in the afternoon, I noticed the baby become an adult and fly away confidently. 

Mother gave a satisfied look.