Monthly Archives: March 2010

Music-to the ears and soul

Listening to music has it’s own advantages.  When you listen to quiet, soothing music, you are relaxed, happy, calm, focused. Your concentration is more sharp.  Your energy levels are at their high and you have a calm attitude.

Doctors have experimented with this aspect on new born babies.  The babies were made to listen to Mozart and Beethoven and the results were astonishing.  The babies who listened to music not only had the above said traits, but also their imagination was improved a lot.

Even plants are known to have given positive growth results when exposed to good, soothing music.

When babies and plants can develop so much, why can’t we? We also can use the art of listening to good music to excellent results.

I write this because I have experienced the effects of listening to music. In a way, it lifts your spirits and boosts up your self confidence. I have personally found myself getting calm and relaxed when I listen to my favorite records after a busy day.  I would listen to whatever I had, the only condition was that it has to be soft and melodious.

When my spirits are down, I listen to some of the MGR collections I always have with me.  And what happens you know? My spirits are boosted up.  A happy smile comes in my face.  A thousand tons of energy gets implanted in my veins.  There are many songs I can happily quote as an example of motivational boosters.

Unnai arindhaal nee

unnai arindhaal

ulagathil poraadalaam

uyardhaalum thaazhdhaalum

thalai vanangaamal nee vaazhalaam

maaberum sabaigalil nee nadandaal

unakku maalaigal vizha vendum

oru maatru kuraiyaadha mannavan ivan

endru potri pugazha vendum

from the MGR starrer Vettaikaran(Tamil). The lyrics mean this-if you know yourselves, you can fight in this world.  You can survive without losing your respect in any condition. You must be adorned with garlands when you enter great halls. People should admire you and treat you like a king.

Anbu manangale

nambi irungalaen

naalai namadhe

indha naalum namadhe

dharmam ulagile

irukkum varaiyile

naalai namadhe

indha naalum namadhe

From MGR’s Naalai Namadhe.  The synopsis is that the lines asks the viewer to believe in himself.  That belief will make him do anything.

namadhu vetriyai naalai sarithiram sollum

ippadai thorkkin eppadai vellum?

From MGR starrer Ulagam Sutrum Valiban.  The lines proclaim this-History will declare our victory tomorrow. If we lose, then who will win? The lines may have been written in a political context, but are very encouragive in nature.

yeh dosti hum nahi chodege-from the super hit Sholay.  The meaning is know to all.

These are some of my favorite songs which encourage me whenever I listen to them.  They support and boost me up in any situation.

Also good carnatic numbers will reduce stress and cool your temperature.  Listening to good instrumental music, especially Veena is a prescribed therapy for mentally stressed patients and normal people alike. If I am looking cheerful all day, that means I listen to music constantly. I also hum my fav numbers in my mind and aloud, and that helps kindle my imagination and helps me finish my day well and good.

So if you have not yet tried listening to good soothing music, start it now.

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Announcement

To my readers-I am also blogging at blogspot.com. To see my other blog, go to http://harish-ragunathan.blogspot.com.

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33%

Do we really need reservation for women? That too a 33% reservation?

Let me give you a brief flashback of the past.  In the past, women were as important as men.  They performed yagnas, participated in intellectual debates, fought in armies, ruled states, spied upon enemies, entered politics, wrote poems, administered provinces and did everything on par with men.  They occupied equal status in comparison with men.  The only criteria was talent. If you had talent, you were respected. If you did not have talent, you were not taken in-say in any place like politics, administration, teaching.

We would have heard and read about the Mughals and Afghans who invaded India for it’s vast wealth.  Whatever was their notion, they had one thing in common-they gave equal importance to their women and did not go for reservations/quotas. Razia, who succeeded Sultan Iltumish as Sultan of Delhi is a perfect example for this statement. The great Shershah, the Afghan ruler had the habit of including women in his armies. According to him, it was talent that mattered and not sex or wealth or lobbying.  Similarly in the courts and administration of Emperors like Akbar, Jehangir, Krishnadevaraya, and our own Cholas, Pandiyas,  women occupied prominent places through merit of their capabilities and not through any reservation.  The administration was just in those places.

My aim is not to degrade women, but only to question the credibility and viability of this so called reservation for women. Shri.Cho.Ramaswamy, the Editor of the Tamil Weekly magazine Tughlaq has questioned the same thing in his write up in the recent issue(March 24, 2010).  His reasons for opposing the Women’s Bill is simple-he fears that it may be used by unwanted forces to further cripple the nation.

Why should we color ourselves by proclaiming that we belong to this caste/tribe/sex? Are we all not citizens of a nation? If we truly respect individual talent, why this need for quotas and reservations? Of course the answer is obvious-vote bank. We have our own example of women in high posts whose selection to the high office/posts came without reservations. We have Sarojini Naidu, Indira Gandhi(even though it might be politics, we gotta respect their will, I say), Pratiba Patil, Dr.Muthulakshmi, Fathima Beevi, Jayalalitha, Dr.Banumathi Ramakrishna, Indira Nooyi, Dr.Kiran Bedi, Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy.  Did these women make it to the top because of reservations? No.  Because of their will, determination, talent, intelligence.

There may be an argument that fewer women are able to make it to the top because they are not given ample opportunities and hence this reservation.  No.  The very argument is weak here.  Change the mentality, and you have a total change.  We as men find it difficult to gulp down the fact that a woman is among us as our colleague, making strides rapidly which we find difficult to swallow.

Further, our mentality is of such a nature that we still see a woman as only a child bearing machine. Pardon me ladies, but in most parts of India, this is still the case.  Even in well developed metros. That’s why we have female infanticide.  That’s what makes people who have daughters hurry up to get them married to someone(burden over!) and settle down happily.  I had a visitor once with a daughter specializing in Economics(M.A).  On asking him what he intended to make her study or work for, he coolly replied that he was looking for a groom! Don’t they have their own ambitions like anyone else?

Then why educate women? Why not keep them in the house and sell them off to someone in the name of marriage? Shame. I am writing this incident to highlight the fact that unless we change our mentality about the way we look upon and treat our women, no bill/law will create wonders. In short, we do not require reservation or laws to bring a change in womens’ status. All we need is a change in our mentality.

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The Power of Thoughts

Watch your thoughts

for they become words;

Watch your words

for they become actions;

watch your actions

for they become habits;

watch your habits

for they become your character;

watch your character

for it becomes your destiny.

The above quote is an oft repeated one of a dear friend of mine from my school days. I was intrigued by that quote then, having not fully understood the meaning.  But now I know.

Consider this – you want to buy a book.  But do not get it when you go to the book store. But the desire of buying that book is some where in your mind,  in your subconscious self. After some time you forget about that book and when you go again to that bookstore for another purchase, bingo! The book you so coveted is lying before you, at an affordable price.  You lap it up happily.  This is a result of your thought process.  You deeply desire that book, and circumstances bring you to the place the book is sold, with an affordable price, so that you can buy it.

Take the above example as a simple one illustrating the power of your thoughts. If a book can be bought by just thinking about it, imagine what else you can achieve by your thinking power?

I have often witnessed this – a particular scene from any movie I have seen some day earlier would run through my mind like a tape recorder.  It would be like disjointed speech.  Any scene.  The very next day/week, the scene would be played in the television and I would be watching this.  Even as I am writing this, a particular comedy scene with Goundamani and Senthil which was running in my mental theater is running in the television. What will you call it?

That is why my mum would forbid me and my bro from watching TV during exams, citing this reason – whatever we see will register in our mind and come out in a future time and may be disturbing us. Such is the power of the mind to retain whatever it sees through the eyes.

Sample this – I am a fan of Robin Cook and years ago, bought a copy of Chromosome 6.  A family friend who shared my passion with books borrowed it and forgot about it.  The friend went abroad.  But I had a desire to get back that book, at least a new copy.  Imagine to my surprise years later  I was browsing in Higginbothams, Chennai and found the same book! I bought it, of course.  On narrating the incident to my mum, she said, “My boy, thought have powers.  Think about a thing deeply, and watch it happen before you.  I have often experimented with this power and found it 200% true.”

Indeed. There are lots of anecdotes I can put to prove it.  I have taken exams like ice creams using my visualizing skills and have found the same questions I visualized in my mind coming in the question paper. During my 10th science practicals, I utilized this technique and found it coming true scene by scene without a change.  Lots are there like this.

The point is that our mind is a powerful weapon.  We have the ability to harness it’s capabilities and utilize it’s resourcs to our best benefits. So, lets do it!

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