I really have to ask this question. Look anywhere, whether it’s the papers or magazines or the electronic social media…two things stand out clearly; nutrition and the need to be fit. As far as the latter is concerned, well, there are many routes starting from the gym to yoga and other exercising varieties, ranging from the most basic to the exotic ones, and then there are the spas and massages and the pills and the surgeries for the lazy ones, who search for the easy way out and are willing to shell out whatever is required, more for aesthetics than health.

The fitness of children, adults and the old are all making headlines and of course commerce is not far behind, and we see the mushrooming of a variety of supplements, health drinks and food, all claiming to be natural and chemical free. Charging the earth in the name of purity and literally making hay while the sun shines.

Its ironical that nutrition never saw so many  words written about it in the old days nor was such a hue and cry made….If one were to look back at the past generations they had fewer problems the food , climate, atmosphere  and just about everything …even behavior and the mindset was more healthy.

So why so much drama. It’s all very simple….glamour, the so called high living and the percolation of the western attitude in the moneyed circles and the increasing laziness has taken its toll. We are responsible, we brought this on ourselves. The Indian society, agricultural processes and the food produced was already healthy. Our tradition and culture and religion had taken care of that in a very scientific way. But good received is never appreciated until it is destroyed and side effects to the new so called enhanced and technologically rich system start showing .  This is exactly what has happened, entering the rat race and in the name of economics, increased incomes and standard of living, and a need to hasten the pace for a balanced growth we have completely undermined our health, instead of enhancing it WE HAVE SYSTEMATICALLY DESTROYED IT.



I woke up early to the call of a cuckoo, followed by the call of other birds. It was Saturday and there was no particular agenda so I decided to take it easy although there was always a list of chores o be done.  After feeding the birds and the fishes and taking a short walk to refresh myself from the oxygen filled air, I went about making some breakfast. It was a bright day but last night’s rain had left its imprint on the foliage and the there was a general feeling of goodness in the air. I carried my cup of tea to the hall and sat down contemplating on what I had seen last night. I wondered whether I would find any more changes. I opened the book again with some trepidation to look again at the shadow less world.

The picture looked the same generally…but on looking more closely I perceived a lake beyond the trees. It was dark no more and the sun shone in the sky and the water twinkled in the lake as it moved and made ripples in the wind. The picture seemed to be alive and moving with the present. Night had turned to day too and again there were no shadows and no birds or animals in this wood. It was very quiet. I looked out of my window and my garden was rich with many sounds, but the wood in the picture seemed to be living a life of its own. The house continued to be as it was and beyond the river the girl was no longer pointing out, her outstretched arm now lay in her lap and she was looking down at something.

Continue reading A KNOCK ON THE DOOR -4



We think a lot about matters we don’t know,

We profess continuously, on researches that are hollow

On the passage of time, many questions are raised,

And then they just go away, paying much for answers ungrained.


We took this birth but the soul reaps nothing!

Yet we just keep on asking, while life’s teachings go a begging

Theories are laid on foundations none,

Great palaces built on a path unknown.


We know not where we come from,

We know not where we are going,

We are ignorant of our life here

What knowledge are we storing?


Life here is no story,

T’is a mere repetition of things gone awry

By our very own hand!

Oh Life!  Where is thy Glory?


  Life is a tedious journey or not! After all it’s a matter of perception and our attitude and the courage of conviction, wit, a sense of confidence and enthusiasm. But this is not all! This not the end of the road.

To the lazy and the least bothered, who have no sense of responsibility and have no feeling of guilt, life is about a series of events, and they take life as it happens without feeling its burden and have no care…so one day all is fine and another day there is hell to pay followed by another upswing and so on. It’s a day to day existence and….. ‘Tomorrow is another day and we shall see when the sun rises’ …. ‘At least today has been taken care of’ …. And that is all that matters.

For some this is a matter of choice because they have good financial backing and little worries for tomorrow and someone to take care of them, at least up to a point and so well…’ let’s take full benefit of it and make hay while the sun shines ‘so to speak. For others it is due to circumstances which force them into such a life style and they get bogged down into its vicious circle.

But those that are born in a reasonably supportive environment things are different. Awareness of this fact is of utmost importance…. It’s all about being in the present and projecting it into the future to maintain a smooth functioning system.

This has to be imbibed at a very young age where the need for details are considered important, and breezing thru life like it was a joyride is definitely not an option. Of course to the young and the adult this spells of boredom and an unnecessary exercise in increasing unwanted burden and hence leads to a laidback attitude. Continue reading THE ART OF BEING PARTICULAR


It was getting late and the sun had risen pretty high in the sky. I became aware that it was time to start the day’s chores. There was a long list of things to do. Setting aside the feeling of unease, that is wont to happen when there are unanswered questions, I set about the day’s work which would keep me busy until night. However the question mark hung ominously in the air and it continued to bother me even as I handled different problems that the day threw at me. Seeking solutions to them might have been a temporary distraction but the feeling of unease never seemed to leave me and I was tempted to set aside everything to seek answers for the strange episode.

It was soon night fall and I wondered if I might have another visit. It was a breezy night and the atmosphere was pleasant. The rains had taken a breather and the earth around the house had dried. There was a freshness that brought a certain lightheartedness in the mood and I decided to look at the books again. There was still time for dinner and I wasn’t particularly hungry.

I collected the books from my room and walked down the passage to the hall. The couch seemed more comfortable today for the work in hand. I was about to make myself comfortable when I felt the hairs raise on the back of my head and then the knock on the front door. Three distinct knocks… dog went into a barking frenzy …. The next instant I rushed to the door opened it. Nothing! All looked normal and I could feel the refreshing cool breeze on my face….

A thought arose that perhaps the knock was to tell me of the next development in the evet and perhaps there was no need to get perturbed. Deciding that it was probably harmless I sat down to look at the books. Placing them side by side I opened all the books to the page that had the picture in it. The picture in the first book was no longer the same as in the other two. There had been a change. The girl was now pointing in another direction more towards the house in the woods across the river. The floating object was no longer there and the river itself seemed to have changed color slightly and the sky looked cloudy. I turned the page and could now read the faint print on the first page…..there was just one line….it said…… ‘Look Beyond the Trees’

The pictures in the other two books were the same as before and the page after that remained blank. I proceeded to examine the picture which was no different than similar pictures that I had seen… it was difficult to interpret a seemingly simple line that could mean anything. My perception at this late hour on an hungry stomach were not at their best, and so I decided to first refuel my body before I sat down to analyze the message.

One thing was certain. I was caught up in this mystery and was no longer afraid to delve into the unknown in search of the Truth.
Being of a philosophical bent…I was not new to the mysteries of the cosmos and their way of showing the road to travel or the turns to take in the most unorthodox ways. I have always kept an open mind to anything without casting unnecessary speculations or making hasty judgements.

Be that as it may, I proceeded to study the picture and the changes in it. The girl had definitely shifted her position from the earlier relaxing one to that of sitting up straight, her legs earlier extended now bent under her and she was sitting on her heels. Turning my attention to the background I found that the clump of trees behind her had vanished and in its place was a large spreading oak against which she rested her back. I brought my eyes back to the river and it seemed at once still and flowing. I stared hard at it willing it to change under my very eyes but it only resulted in my eyes getting watery. I wiped my eyes, wondered a little at my silliness and looked at the water. Sure enough the water had flowed…the floating object was missing. I compared it with the picture in the other book…and the object was clearly seen though I could not really make out what it was. The water ripples had changed too. So clearly, this was another time in the same place. I decided to study the wood in more detail. The skyline seemed the same, here the trees were thick and there was not much foliage on the leaf covered ground…it looked beautiful, almost real.

Some of the trees were ablaze in orange color indicating that it was the fall season, and one could see to quite a distance at eye level as most of the trees were big and tall …may be more than eight decades old. It was a pretty cool wood, one would like to spend some alone time in, and nothing eerie about it. The moon was full in the sky and its light shone on the trees making it a pretty sight. It was dusk actually more towards night…..suddenly I felt the same chill I had experienced the previous night…..the woods had changed ….the original picture depicted the day albeit sans the sun …more in a light when the sky is overcast but still quite bright…..actually all the trees looked dark…strange how did I see the orange of the trees…was is just the memory of the original picture superimposing on this one…..or was I perceiving!

I moved my attention to the house….it was a typical village house with sloping roof and big enough to house at least eight people. The front door was painted green as was the roof but the windows were white…this looked pretty too. There were some flowering bushes on the side of the path that led to the house. There was a first floor too and a tower on the side not too high with a room on top. The house had a side entrance too …perhaps the kitchen was there…one window on the top floor was open and one could see the light emanating from the window in a yellow glow. It seemed to exude a silence that was speaking volumes ….in fact it may have been a scream. The little light outside the front door cast its appropriate shadows. Then it suddenly occurred to me and I moved my eyes back to the trees in the woods…the moon light was bright …yet the trees cast no shadows…a shadow less world in a world full of shadows!
Yes the message had said to look beyond the trees….it was very late and I had an early morning session to take are of along with the routine work. Further I was now feeling tired and the eyes would stay open no longer. The busy day had taken its toll and the body was demanding its daily rest. I left the books in the hall and went up the stairs. A part of me still wanted to study the picture further….but I left it at that soon slipped into the peaceful world of sleep.


I have always found that one can learn more

from nature than from academics…

it takes one to new heights and to

new horizons…

While academics is necessary for the life on


crossing cosmic boundries and self

evolvement can only be learned by connecting

to nature;

and being and existing within its structure,

and  waiting  until its ready to take you across the boundry,

that binds us to this realm.



There is a distinct pattern in the way each individual lives his or her life. This is the consequence of many variables that go into the making of what we are at any particular time. In fact the variations are so great that it is no wonder that there are continuous dissensions and arguments that have ranged from passive confrontations which include dialogues that are either shouting matches or word fights to the extreme position of an out an out war.

While the whole situation may seem petty or even hilarious to a watcher, it’s no laughing matter for the parties concerned, they are very earnest in their arguments and each thinks he knows better and that the other is wrong. Each individuals lives by his or her  own set of codes, values and rules, some learnt voluntarily, others by following the lead and still others by force , or because there was no other alternative.

Above all is the individual ego, when one refuses to accept the wrong, and this escalates matters even further, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness and then comes the inevitable break in relations. Of course this creates a number of problems as one wants to be as far away from the problems that may occur if one were to come across such a person…the awkwardness, embarrassment, hostility, anger and a range of emotions that make the social atmosphere unpalatable, leading to tension and the spoiling of a good environment both internal and external,

Breakdowns will continue to occur as long as the mind is active and the emotions rule the day. Further our aspirations and the need to get what we want without due thought to others is bound to result in a difference in opinion.

Continue reading BREAKDOWN




Mamta Apte





                      HOW MANY OF US ARE READY

                     TO DO GOODNESS TO ‘LIFE’ ?