Team Work For Success


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Radha Prathi, Jan 20, 2016

All of us know that the world is presently riddled with umpteen number of problems. If we want to redress them, no single person, team or organisation can hope to claim success. If we have to bring about a radical change in the world, we must do it unitedly. Everybody without exception must contribute his or her mite for the mighty cause.

In other words, team work is the panacea for all our ills.

The Vishnu Purana catalogues the importance of coming together despite differences in order to achieve a common goal.

The natural enemies, Devas and the Asuras were hankering to become immortal. They were keen on consuming the nectar which was at the bottom of the ocean.

They were aware of the colossal work involved, hence they decided to work on the project together and share the yield. They approached Lord Maha Vishnu and apprised him of the situation. They worked on a strategy to churn the ocean.

Accordingly, Maha Vishnu would metamorphose into a tortoise and form the base, the Mandara mountain would be placed on him as the churning pole, Vasuki, the celestial serpent would serve as the rope, the Devas and Asuras would assemble on either side to churn the ocean. And churn the ocean, they did.

They were rewarded with divine invaluable gifts at regular intervals. Nevertheless, the team continued to churn away till they roused the toxic gases of the sea.

Though they were famished, they were reluctant to give up before they achieved their set goal. They invoked Lord Shiva for help.

The lord appeared and consumed the poisonous fumes and cleared the air for them. The team was rewarded with the much-sought nectar after another bout of energetic hard work. That Maha Vishnu intervened in the imbalanced distribution of the nectar is another story.

The takeaway from this episode of Kurmavataram happens to be thus: Whenever we take up a micro or a macro project, we must make sure that each one of us puts aside our differences and work with complete commitment.

We must ensure that we are in a harmonious equation with Mother Nature, lest we are shaken up rudely for our apathy.

Remember, how the representatives of nature mountain and the serpent chipped in to help out? If obstacles come our way, they should be handled practically and confidently, for, we will turn into losers if we buckle down to the hassles.

When we consider our work to be worship, no impediment can stop the blessings of the Almighty to percolate down to us and ensure our success.

The Vintage Advantage


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Sun, 17 Jan 2016

The Nightingales Medical Trust and The Nightingales Elder’s Enrichment Centre, had their 16th Anniversary Celebration in style last December. They not only bid 2015 a jolly goodbye, they also celebrated the various skills the senior club members had to offer with music and dance. S Radha Prathi sent us this writeup about this versatile and talented show by senior citizens. 

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Namma Bengaluru just proved that it has not lost its knack for springing its pleasant surprises on us in the most unexpected ways. Even as people resolved to attach the epithet Pensioner’s paradise to good old Bangalore, Nightingales Elders Enrichment Centres (NEEC) gently prompted its denizens to reconsider the old title. Accordingly, the members of the Malleswaram branch decided to have a gala time on the second Saturday of the last month of 2015. It was the sixteenth year of their collective identity. When they looked further north they sighted their two year old sibling branch in Sanjay Nagar whose members were also working towards making a statement of their existence. It did not

senior yogatake long for the wise old souls to realize that more the merrier would make a more meaningful phrase if they came together. After all, the guiding spirit of the clubs is the same. NEEC serves as a haven to those who care to register themselves as its members to keep them engaged, educated, updated and entertained right round the year. The club has made it a point to culminate each such vibrant year by celebrating an annual day. The fact that they ensure that they make it the crowning glory of the year has now become a tradition unto itself.

nmtThis year around, they decided to gather at Seva Sadan at Malleswaram around mid morning and showcase their variegated and vintage talents. If it was a treat to the senses to watch them display their skills in Yoga or Tai Chi, sing, dance, play act and spoof creatively, the take away was homework for our minds and mindset. For all of us, who are under the impression that old age is a curse of sorts, beset by aches and pains and deteriorating strength, the show was stimulating. Do not for a moment think that all these glittering stars on the stage are blessed souls without a care in life. On the contrary they happen to be sensible souls who know how to put behind the setbacks of life and put their best foot forward to make life pleasant for themselves and those around them. The fact that they had meticulously planned, practised and played out their program with utmost enthusiasm and sincerity spoke in volumes about the wondrous qualities of sincerity and passion which must have been the guiding forces of their lives. Dedication and determination came through the veneer of the light heartedness displayed on stage in each and every piece. That was not all; while the souvenir brought out on the occasion celebrated their cerebral capabilities, the sumptuous lunch enjoyed at the end of the function gave a glimpse of the gourmets who had nurtured a fine taste for all the beautiful gifts that life has to offer.

The fun filled full house, the fanfare and the feverish fervor that ruled the day was fittingly presided over by its founder members Dr Radha S Murthy and S Prem Kumar Raja who had dreamed it all up for them. May their tribe increase manifold!

If you are a senior citizen who wishes to join the Nightingales Elders Enrichment Centre, visit:
No.149. 11th Main
Between 16th & 17th Cross
Malleswaram
Bangalore 560 055
Ph: 080-23342929

Transparent Beauty Accents


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Radha Prathi, January 8, 2016

The ever-rising urban buildings are making it increasingly difficult for the vintage homes that don’t go beyond the first floor at best to get their fair share of ventilation, despite the fact that they have not flouted a single rule about leaving enough space around their homes.

Though not much can be done about the new buildings, a little thoughtful makeover can actually lighten up the place. If you want your home to glitter and glimmer on all days and all times of the day, glass is the way to go.  You don’t have to actually construct a new building to integrate glass in your building. A little imagination coupled with some professional help can translate your home or office into a state-of-the-art premises.

These days, we get glass sheets that are as strong, if not stronger, than corrugated sheets. They can be bullet-proof, transparent, smoky or featured with visibility from one side. You can make an educated choice about this. Once fitted, these partitions will prove to be cost effective in the long run. The number of walls to be maintained will come down. Plus, the new walls will spell low-maintenance rates. If your electricity bills come down because you don’t reach out to switch on the lights, fans or air conditioner as often as before, then consider that to be an additional bonus. Here are a couple of practical and economical glassy solutions that can transform any area into a roomy, well-lit and expandable place.

Bring them down

Old buildings take up a lot of interior wall space. When renovating such places, take a careful stock of the walls that can be done away with. For instance, you can consider the walls that can be brought down to make way for open kitchens, dining areas, corridors, foyers and service areas.

Once you decide on the walls that are going to come down, remember that the entire wall should not be affected. It will be wise to leave about six inches of it from the floor upwards and about two feet from the roof downwards.

The wall should be immediately plastered and allowed to cure for a couple of days before proceeding with the work. Plain or stained glass of your choice can be fit between the bracketing walls of the ceiling and the flooring. Those of you who value their privacy, can unleash their creativity and paint on the glass.

One of the best ways to make glass an intrinsic part of your home decor is to bring in glass paintings, specifically, DIY glass paintings. First of all, decide on a design and then, simply print it out in the exact dimensions you need. Place the glass on the sheet. Procure a small sample tin of black acrylic oil paint and a set of pearl paints. You will also need some thinner to erase mistakes that you might make and two round-tipped brushes numbered triple zero and one.

You could fill in the colours in a series of sittings. When you draw the outline and paint, you are actually working on the reverse side. If you want to give special effects like shading and dimensions, remember that in glass painting, the colour applied first will be seen foremost. In other words, it makes perfect sense to use your shading techniques in the reverse format for best results.
Make them portable

There are times when we feel the need for a temporary wall, say near the wash basin or one corner of the study room or even in the drawing room. At such times, a portable glass wall can come in handy. Glass walls need not always extend from top to bottom. Nowadays, you can have frosted or stained glass cut and fit into a metallic or wooden frame. If you choose to use plain glass and then paint on it, your very own personalised wall will be ready. You can fit small wheels at the bottom and a little stopper to make it portable.

Matter of strength

For those of you who do not want to use glass sheets because they might obstruct air circulation, glass pillars happen to be the next best option. Long, slender, readymade columns are available in all circumferences, heights, designs and colours. There are some firms which also take orders and make customised pillars that can be installed around the home, according to your necessity. Lighting between the pillars, either from the top or bottom, can actually add an ethereal appeal.

The cost of glass pillars is certainly much more than glass walls. If you are apprehensive about the cost factor, it can be a better idea to have a pillar or two on either end or in the middle and have narrow panels of glass fitted in between. This measure will take care of your ventilation needs too.

Outside in

Balconies, porches or sit-outs that face busy streets can be a perpetual problem because they keep gathering dust. Such places can be best covered with a strong and suitable variety of glass. Ensure that the glass can be slid open and close, to let in air as and when necessary. You can also go in for translucent glass, wherein, you will get plenty of light and also avoid people peeping into your homes. There’s a ‘glass solution’ to almost every decor challenge at home!

Fighting for Rights from the Wrong Side


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Fighting for rights from the wrong side

Radha Prathi, Jan 7, 2016

Most of us want to be decent, dependable and honourable human beings. We do not have any intentions to flout the law or accept the degenerate qualities displayed or practised around us.

On any given day, we would like to condemn the wrong and support the right. We are often inspired by great souls who have achieved great things in life by the virtue of sheer perseverance, patience, values and their convictions. Many of us actually manage to trudge along the difficult path till we are inadvertently tricked otherwise.

When we are at crossroads, some of us gather the courage to go back and set right what went wrong, whereas a majority of us slip into what could possibly be a bottomless pit. Then there are a handful who follow the path physically due to logistic constraints all the while retaining the spirit and sense of purpose till they achieve their ends.

The character of Shalya in the Mahabharata personifies the third set of people. When the war of Kurukshetra was declared, the warring cousins got busy acquiring military support. At that time, Shalya, the king of Madra, and the maternal uncle of Nakula and Sahadeva decided to support the Pandavas.

Accordingly, he rallied his army and proceeded towards Hastinapura. Duryodhana had arranged hospitality services for all the armies that were coming to support him. When he saw the massive and powerful army of Madra, he wanted it for himself. Hence the Kaurava prince instructed his welcome team to shower warmth and comfort on Shalya’s army.

The honoured king accepted the generosity with grace. He was under the impression that the Pandavas were welcoming him so. When the king went to thank his host personally, he discovered the truth.

He could have pursued his plan A after sorting out the confusion. Yet, his intrinsic values guided him to support Duryodhana for the simple reason that he had consumed the Kaurava salt.

When faced with the predicament,the king of Madra decided to take things forward based on the values instilled in him as a child. However, the worldlywise adult in him prompted to him, that he could be useful to the Pandavas even when he fought from the opposite camp.

Although he fought bravely and well for the Kauravas till his last breath, he never lost a chance to point out their misdeeds and undermine their confidence by praising his nephew’s side effectively.

When Shalya was appointed as the charioteer of Karna, he distracted the latter’s attention by making snide albeit factual remarks. Later on when the king was made the commander in chief of the army he fought well and felt very happy and vindicated when he was slain by his beloved nephew.

A lesson in balance to children of Gen X


http://www.deccanherald.com/content/521405/a-lesson-balance-children-gen.html

S Radha Prathi, January 6, 2016

We are denizens of an age when most people consider it a delight to have children for company, especially when the children are not your own. Bringing up children as responsible, sensible and sensitive adults can be a tall task in contemporary times.

The increasingly changing society, with its new-fangled electronic devices, has made the world of children much more tantalising than ever before. Even children who belong to lower-income groups are exposed to or have access to the latest gizmos and the Internet, to which they have been introduced at schools.

The reading habit and playtime have taken a brutal beating as a result of this extensive exposure. Yet, parents and teachers feel that though these drawbacks have introduced many lifestyle issues, an acute shortage of general knowledge and a dip in sensibilities, they have definitely not made the children any less smart.

It is high time we, as a society, come to terms with the fact that today’s children are born into a new world, where there is a radical change in the way everything works. Their lives are very different from those of us who are more than two decades old.

They have many more miles of challenges, insecurities and indiscreet exposure than we ever dreamt of.  It is but natural that they learn, play, respond and function according to
their times.

We, as responsible adults, should remember this sea change and work towards channelising children towards developing a balanced personality. We need to be conscious that these youngsters are observant and learn more from what transpires around them than from any other source.

Therefore, logic must become the driving force when convincing young minds of what is good for them. While old world values like truth and compassion should be passed on in an undiluted manner, we must spell out the sub-clauses of certain other values.

For instance, children sho-uld be taught to be respectful and obliging towards elders but they must also be aware of the difference between a good touch and a bad touch.

Children must be sensitised to the futility of violence, but should also be mentally prepared to punch their abductor or abuser on the face when necessary.

No sensible adult should give in to the noisy tantrums of a child; yet, the young ones must be taught that it is okay to scream murder if their

modesty or lives happen to be in danger. Children should soak up lessons on the joys of sharing, but should also know how to hold back passwords and pin numbers lest they are duped or fleeced.

Youngsters must be allowed to handle money to manage emergencies but must exercise self-control and not waste away their body and lives on tobacco, alcohol or drugs. Since we are leaving an almost barren and polluted earth for our children, we must ensure that they imbibe green practices for life.

Life values

Even as families around the world are shrinking in size, we must remember that children blossom best when they grow up with other children. They learn the basics of healthy competition and mature faster mentally when they learn to share, accept and acknowledge differences without being judgmental.

Pediatricians and psychologists feel that while society overrates sibling rivalry as a negative trait, it can still be tweaked into a healthy one under parental supervision.

As babes toddle out of infancy and step into childhood, they realise that a whole new world lies beyond their snug homes, exciting their curiosity. They experiment with a range of new experiences that life offers them with a certain amount of timidity and temerity for the next few years.

These formative years have to be cautiously monitored for it is better to be safe than sorry. However, at no cost should we try to become the architects of their lives because as Khalil Gibran said of children:

“You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”