My article on green marriages(: … I had been to Mumbai last week for a cousin’s wedding, it was a interesting wedding expect for one thing I did not like, water for guests were served with plastic bottles and I never took water from there(: anyway there where lots of other interesting drinks to drink, like lime soda, for me great thrist quencher, add pudina aka mint and spice it up maybe some pepper then nice rasum and soup(: (: yum yum yummy… Anyway my article on green marriages. After this a super article on marriage vows coming up(: … the pundit ji who conducted the marriage explained to all the marriage vows. Now that divorces are on the rise I personally feel before the couple get married they attend a pre marital counselling session together. The pundit ji gave marriage wisdom along with conducting marriage…applause… and here is my article on green marriages… ta da
Eco-Friendly Weddings – Helpful insights
Since the past few years, couples have been opting for differently styled weddings than the usual traditional ones – there has entered the green weddings and wedding with vegan food. This trend is a catching on with more people wanting to do green eco friendly wedding and weddings with vegan palette etc. Links that give all information on eco-friendly weddings with news of people who have taken the step to have such weddings is provided at the end, please read them. A huge applause to them to have a wedding that’s eco-friendly and taking on Indian society which still prefers long, elaborate, traditional heavy weddings.
In eco-friendly weddings the idea is simple – the wedding should be conducted in such a way which causes minimal harm to the environment.
Here are some elements to look into for eco-friendly weddings, please go through the links provided at the end as well.
The simplest and basic thing to ensure is try to eliminate use of disposables completely, instead plan to arrange for steel cups, melamine utensils. There is also edible cutlery like spoons, they can be eaten after being used to have food instead of it being thrown away. Don’t know the details but they must be made of cinnamon, starch or something, this should be a good option.
After this disposal of waste should be adhered to by embracing the concept of ‘zero waste’ , no waste should go to landfill. The compostable waste like flowers, leafs, food should go for composting and other non-compostable waste should go to plastic centers.
Let’s be aware that many things we wear and do at weddings are not eco-friendly. The jewellry (gold) we wear are procured through mining that is harmful to our environment. The silk sari and dresses we wear as part of our Indian tradition are made after cruelly killing silk worms that would have otherwise been part of Nature and ecosystem as butterflies. If one can find alternatives to this it’s lovely. There are silk sarees that are made without disturbing the silk worms, they are called non-violent silk or Ahimsa sarees. They are made from silk left by silk worms without disturbing their lifecycle. You can check them out, though they are costlier than silk materials. You may opt for anything you like by being creative too, wear clothes made in eco friendly way by artisans. Through this you are also being Indian ambassador promoting the ignored artisan’s skills in dress making. Some people make clothes out of recycled materials too, in the links below you can find such instances.
For the garlands and even decor, it’s good to use local flowers instead of exotic ones like rose.Ensure the flowers don’t come with other accompaniments that you eventually have to throw away.
One can plan the backdrop in the stage with a theme they are passionate about. Making use of some indoor plants is good idea, as they serve a good purpose of giving clean air and freshness.
Let’s take care that there is minimum wastage of food as well. To grow vegetables, grains a lot of water has gone into it, so it’s a good value not to waste food, otherwise we are wasting water and vitamins and minerals that would have nourished many poor children and people who are malnourished. Our farmers worked hard to grow crops, it is a source of livelihood for them and to respect them we must respect every grain of precious food we get on the plate.
For this one has to tell the waiters to serve guests slowly and in less quantities, never serve food quantities that would be too heavy on a person’s tummy. One can opt for a buffet system where guests take food they want from the food serving area. Also it will be good if a sign is put on the area which sends the message to guests in a polite and good humored fashion to not waste food. Care should be taken to design a message but it can be done, many of your guests would appreciate your thought on not wasting food, a excellent value we people must imbibe.
Speaking about rich food to give to guests, it should be healthy. It would be eco friendly to use fresh Organic produce for food. It is not a good practice to serve too many sweets with so much sugar and ghee, also food that makes the stomach too full as happens in marriages is not a comfortable feeling. So, design a menu that won’t be too heavy on the stomach of the guests, ensure it’s healthy as well. One may use jaggery instead of sugar, have buttermilk that’s good for digestion after eating marriage food, light rasam etc . Let’s ensure there is not excess of oil and ghee, sugar. It’s not necessary to have too many varieties of food, let’s have food varieties that’s less but made tasty and healthy.
When serving water to guest, never serve disposable mineral water bottles.to them.Imagine so many plastic bottle wastes generated along with water in them getting wasted!! Arrange for enough steel or other material tumblers, cups and serve water from one mineral water can. You can be creative and always do more like serve zeera water and lightly flavoured water in earthen cups with a attendant who would serve the water to guests from jugs in the water serving area.
As memento for guests give them things like cooking turmeric powder or saplings of tulsi or lime. These are healthy and useful, ensure the packing material is useful and eco friendly. Some options are cloth bags, jute bags maybe with your marriage logo(: as momento (get creative).
It would be beautiful if the newly married couple show generosity to the less privileged too by giving them food as well that’s served to guests because starting a new life and chapter with a good deed is a good thing when combined with blessings of parents, well wishers and others, the goodness blessings just multiplies(it’s again a value, good Dharma and Karma) .
Also it would be good to mention in the invitation that it’s a eco friendly function, something like we only require the esteemed company of our guests and their best wishes and we appreciate it if they don’t bring any gifts wrapped in plastics, no flower bouquets as well, they would be thrown away and are meaningless.
These are just points for a eco friendly wedding… others can give more ideas. If planned properly, arrangements can be made well(:
Someone who has done a eco – friendly wedding for himself and arranged such weddings for few others is Vijetha Nagabhushan N . The news of how he arranged for his eco friendly wedding is in the link provided below. You can refer to him as well, he runs nursery where he grows plants.
Links – Here is article that tells you what you should do to have a eco – friendly wedding
The rest of the articles are news about people who have done done friendly functions -:
Attended the Akshar Power Yoga Academy’s Self Defence workshop for women… missed out on seeing Geetha Phogat, the Dangal girl who came early morning for Akshar’s yoga workshop yesterday. Self Defence is your respect … to show others and yourself that you can tackle troubled situations yourself, others have to respect you as a person, they cannot touch you or do something to your body without your permission, simple. Self Defence is self respect, and learning self defence or even making yourself stronger to face difficult situations is the least you can do to earn self respect from society that still considers women a gender who should be protected, secured and restrained from many things to keep them safe.
Modern women is empowered with education and economic power, but she needs other things to empower her as well(: , one of them being self defence.
On the workshop we were told to be focused and serious and it’s not a session to have fun but to equip you to face troubled times tomorrow but inspite these instructions ended up having lots of fun(sorry grand master Akshar yoga).
First thing in self defence to do is shouting loud and threateningly from your lungs – shout “hey or aye or oye” and point out to your opponent. Next is your stance to portray to opponent that you have no fear that should be enough to scare away the opponent as most of them target women thinking they would get scared and surrender. Truth is those men who do these things are cowards so just show them you are not useless enough for their ulterior purposes, you are tough and they would leave you off.
Please note, women do not shout like women did in old hindi movies –“bachao and help” they are outdated, shout like an aggressor, not like a helpless victim, got it?? … “oye. Aye… hey… no help”
After this if you still are in trouble, lets fight, good punches, kicks, blocking, we are free to bite, use nails, we know the weak points of man’s body – go bang there(eyes, face, groin, abdomin and things like that), hit them were it hurts and escape(: …please note, you want to be capable to do this so you need to build your body to be strong, flexible and your mind to be brave so you don’t get nervous. You need to be fast, you should be able to fall down and rise up and never give up, you still can hurt the opponent and have a great chance to escape, infact 100 percent chance to escape.
First attitude to adopt – You are to be respected, you don’t respect men who do these things(insult to the name of other good men who treat women well and are safe to be around with and are nice people)
Second, you are peace loving person, if you have to fight it’s because it’s necessary – you would first shout like an alarming aggressor this informs people that you are in trouble, plus would scare your opponents off.
Third, think you are strong!! … and show your power. As urban women in Bangalore, the City is generally safe, this is a City which rose up and got the politicians agree that women are free to go out anytime and wear anything and be safe . There are a lot of good people here mostly, so you do something like this it would definitely create an impact, you will get lot of support and appreciation, most of us want women to be strong and free unlike women in many parts of India who are a oppressed lot.
Fourth, be an agent telling men to respect women, treat them well, so keep working to change the mind set of men(those who need that mindset change). Tell them to think of girls, women as a person and respect them, as a human being. You can start initiatives or support initiatives like Ride for Gender Freedom. Concept is very simple society should think women as a person and be nice to her – not discriminate her, restrict her and worst not harm her. We need to do this(: … we don’t want a patriarchal society we want a society where all genders live peacefully, happily, freely, without fear.
After establishing these things lets venture into self defence training .
Start exercising women – you need to build your upper arm strength, the lower body core strength so do exercises start with warm ups it takes just 25 minutes of your day. Do jumps, warm ups for your arms and legs and shoulders then do squats, crunches and push ups(practice it dialy), squat walks, jumps etc.
Eat good food – fruits, veggies and whatever is required, eat right, drink water and establish a balance in your body system. You need to maintain perfect weight, not be fat or thin. Exercise makes you powerful, your body stance becomes smart and alert, you get happy because happiness harmone is activated, you get body strength too, endurance. You can cool off with 3 to 5 minutes meditation or more.
At the first day workshop we did jumps, did the super cool power stance(like fight stance), punch tecniques, back movement, squats and jump turns, things like that. Were encouraged to go fall down and rise up and get into that super cool power stance.
Second day practiced fight techniques which looked really like Dangal movie wrestling.
Both days Grandmaster, thin, agile, prompted us to build our bodies and get more powerful.
So now, we know some exercises to build our bodies – after which practice punches, kicks, blocks dialy. He told us to practice 3 defence techniques with someone stronger than us to develop our strength. It basically wrist twisting, catching opponents arm and locking it and lifting opponent using the lower body and upper body from back and throwing them off on ground.
Basically, women you can do some things without fighting to ensure your safety –
1) First keep helpline numbers – of police and other agencies etc who will help you when you require help.
2) Keep apps developed for women’s safety that send sos to people who can help you (contacts, friends)
3) Start knowing the police station near you – ensure that it’s a place you can report any difficult instances you face, if not lobby to make it so, it’s important!!
4) Please use your spirit and assertiveness with your vocal cord power – shout, make noise and such things.
Well, about women, they are very powerful their own way, let’s face it!! … think how much strength women has to give birth and so many other things, they are sensitive genders but does not mean they are delicate. Men and women should get rid of this inferior and superiority complex based on physical strength and stuff, else it’s not going to be a healthy relationship. They have to think of each other as equals and appreciate each other’s abilities and accept each other’s limitation and be happy.
You don’t need to be a body builder to be strong, you don’t need extra biceps, triceps, or big body, even if you are small, you have enough power, just build on your strength, use your strength to the maximum, it is common sense.
As for me being a former yoga liker, I had familiarity with many exercises, however for past 1 and half years my health has been unstable due to vitamin D and B12 deficiency. I am prone to get tired easily with dehydration many a times has proved uncomfortable. I have improved my health but never dared doing any exercise other than walking and checking out trees past 4 months. Was not able to tryout the outdoor gym which had all sorts of women and men of all ages trying out and enjoying their time, so I accepted the fact happily that I am not physically fit.
However, for this workshop I tried arm exercises, leg, thigh and shoulder stretches as a result I had arm and thigh pain even before this workshop which felt good, it meant my body muscles are used, its stretched(:
In the first day of workshop felt really good to do exercises… I was surprised I was not dehydrated which is common for a person suffering D and B12 deficiency especially me. That is why even though I was to be serious in the self defence workshop, I had so much fun and happiness, felt like my weak health days are over finally.
Today was the second day and I got dehydrated as usual which meant my vitamin battery needed to be recharged needed a dose of B-12 injection … yet did the exercises, surrendered to things I cannot do such as upper arm push ups, squat walks. Still, I know my body will get strong, the muscles would, it’s a matter of time, I will keep doing exercises and improving my fitness.
As for self defence, I already know and been sensitised to not be afraid whatever happens and surrender(even before the workshop), good to know that I should make shameless noise when necessary and not care. Will try my best to help myself or others when in distress. I support women empowerment and support agencies like police, looking forward to know about them and make it good women friendly place and very happy to propagate yoga and self defence anything which betters individuals as human beings and society(:
On women’s day Ashkar Yoga’s grandmaster would have self defence exercises at Cubbon Park (8th March) at 7 am, women and men are invited… self defence is not for fun, it’s for really training yourself to face tough situation tomorrow but still it’s a session where you can have a good time, feel good, then practice with focus and spread awareness.
Have to thank Askhar Yoga, because this workshop was completely free. If you have to be trained for such things say from a Organisation such as I Fit, you should shell out about 3000 bucks per month but here it’s free. 3 years ago, watched a free Askshar yoga performance, they were awesome, they were doing power yoga. The institution trains people to become yoga teachers(: … they provided us tasty satvik food too, enjoyed my while seeing the their yoga show.
Grand Master Akshar was serious, committed in training us women and men to become powerful. He really did make our time spend there worth it. Many thanks to cool grandmaster and Askshar yoga… (:
Dust Bin Santa Story Series starting this new year(: … This is the first Part 0.5 of the Story (note its 0.5 not Part 1 of story)
There was loud music on some celebration in the vincity, it was that time of the year after all the end of season. During the end of season, all talked of Santa and here an ordinary creature was magically converted to a character equal to Santa. There is music pouring into her ears with her earphone, she wore a smile that also had the power of cheer and on the side of her arm generally one would except her like other ladies to have some fashionable hand bag but she had something else… swing cha cha cha cha cha cha… yes swing… she has a swinging bucket, a swinging dustbin, she’s the dustbin Santa.
It was Christmas time, and she had some boring purchases to make all of a sudden because of a chatastrophy that took place at home, nothing severe, it was just that her maid broke the floor sweeper and another had to be purchased. Maids these days want hi-tech floor sweeperers, they would not bend and wipe the floor like the olden days, smart maids.
“Well, atleast it’s not like we have to purchase a vacuum cleaner, I will get one for Laksmi”, she told her Mom, who was blaming the maid for mishandling the floor sweeper and breaking it. A lot of good having to bend and clean floor with the cloth sweeper broom end would do to the maid as she can reduce her fat countenance with exercise, but certain facilities for maids need to be provided for the well-being of the maid , so there this lady later to be Dustbin Santa decided to get Laksmi her maid a floor sweeper/wiper.
(Sudden question raised by kid who was listening to her bed time story)
“Wow, what’s this Dustbin’s Santa’s name?” The narrator looked at his daughter, cute as she was, this obvious question put a smile on his face.
“Well…let’s call her Dustbin Santa”, he said.
“Daddyji and why is she not a Dustbin Fairy?”
This question got him thinking “hmm… well she liked being known as Dustbin Santa than Dustbin Fairy, it suited her, now on with the story”
Anjali, kept looking at her Dad, “Daddy, did Santa not Dustbin Santa have beard, you want to grow beard like Santa, Mom told you to shave beard”
“Shhh… look Anjali, you don’t want to know about Dustbin Santa then go to sleep, did Mommy tell you to comment on my beard”
Little Anjali noded her head and raised her eyebrows, “well your Santa, story Santa, will there be song in the story?”
“Yes, dear, we will compose, first let’s finish more of the story shall we?”
That was story teller Juggy husband of the lady who nick named him Juggy, the one who made this special story for children called Dustbin Santa, she had to leave him with Anjali as she had to go abroad for a story telling festival. Anjali expected tons of candies and chocolates from her Mom when she comes back, Juggy only wanted her to be there by his side, she was his favorite and most comfortable sole soul companion of his life.
The quarter moon shined and a star above twinkled, and Juggy kept narrating the Dustbin Santa story, this was his favorite story and he pictured his darling wife narrating this story, not as good as the Hobbit story but since his wife(his favorite companinon) was the author of the Dustbin Santa Story, he loved it, and loved being the narrator of the story to his daughter.
End of Part 0.5 of the Dustbin Santa Story… it would take another 0.5 part to reach Part 1 of story, wait for the next part coming soon(:
Happy New Year Every One.
Today is Gandhi Jayanthi and it is the perfect time to speak about one of Mahatma Gandhiji’s values, Babuji’s theme of ‘Ahimsa’ or non-violence. There are people who believe in being vegetarian so that they don’t harm animals, there are vegans who don’t take any animal products including milk a tall because that involves troubling cows, goats etc as there are people who believe in not wearing clothes or owning items that are made of animal skin or any other part of animal body etc avoiding things made of leather, silk etc. Came across Ahimsa sarees when checking out alternatives to silk sarees because any eco conscious, vegetarian person after reading about how silk worms are killed for making silk clothes would not like buying them(:
However, in Indian society for functions people can’t do without silk as many vegetarians can’t do without milk products even though it’s possible. There are alternatives to silk sarees and one of them is ahimsa sarees, the rest involves looking for non-silk alternatives but that is another theme.
Recently, came across Ethicus, Apachi-cotton shop on facebook. They specialise in making hand woven eco-friendly cotton sarees. They are not only eco-conscious, they also give livelihood for farmers, weavers by providing them job opportunities and supporting them so that these people get economically sound, get a decent standard of living and also heritage of India is maintained through those traditional weaving designs which all of us love but are extinct in these times except in few corners of India.
Checked Ethinus’s base showroom at Pollachi and to my delight I got a saree that is a Ahimsa saree. So, what is Ahimsa saree? It’s a silk saree that’s made from silk of silk worms but its procured by non-violent means, the silk used to make the saree is obtained without killing those poor silk worms (:, such a nice concept. The silk of the saree was of silk worms that left silk after they completed their life being a silk worm and turned into adult moths and flu away. It was silk obtained by not disturbing the silk worm and it would have anyway gone waste if it was not used to make saree/ or silk panchagacha etc .
Therefore it was extremely unique concept and I had to purchase atleast one ahimsa saree, it is light weight, simple, elegant, comfortable, hand weaved, how can this not be special?
My saree like all sarees of Ethicus had a tag on who weaved my Saree and how many days he took to weave it(; (Awesome!!!) … so when I purchase saree I get a product hand weaved by a weaver who was paid fairly for this and I get to purchase one saree that’s made with the concept of ahimsa(non-violence). Other sarees are organic cotton sarees, extremely soft textured lovely sarees. They have creative prints and patterns on them inspired by so many themes from birds, to ancient texts etc. To manufacture these sarees there are groups involved, from farmers who grow cotton for these cloths to weavers who hand weave the Saree. They get paid for these services, and are provided support for sending their kids to school etc, so this process develops community as well, sustainable development concept which is lacking in our Cities is on play here(:
For guys there was Angacastram and Dhoti set made out of ‘Ethical Silk’, that is Ahimsa silk. There was a plain one and another set had subtle parallel line patterns, the second one looked very nice. It comes with a handkerchief as it is designed for the Jain community who traditionally believe in not harming any little insect by mistake also (: …
After my visit to Ethinus, it felt good that there are enterprises that are Indian and successful, we all know about PM Modiji’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, and this enterprise in Indian. It tries to show the beautiful Indian heritage with its design concepts. There are also ignored communities of farmers, weavers and artisans given livelihood and respect. We really see how much hardwork and time the weavers put to manufacture each fabric, its manual labour with precision and patience.
We hear stories about garment factory workers being treated in an inhuman manner, it was nice here they are nicely respected and recognized for their efforts (: … The looms here are elevated so the weavers don’t need to bend and do their work, as their work hours are long, this helps them to maintain good body.
This is Ethicus… their website is http://www.ethicus.in … Their products are costly but still for those of us who can spend and want to buy different clothe collections, no harm buying their clothes it is for a very good cause, it will be a good experience. The shop has many popular people as clients from famous political personalities to foreign people.
In this note putting across Bapuji’s message of Ahimsa (: … Bapuji was himself a propagator of the concept of Swadeshi, he spun the wheel to make Indian fabrics, he was a make in India man, he believed he must keep the heritage of India intact. Happy Gandhi Jayanthi(:
There has been a lot of talk on women’s issues recently, one being the debate on women ‘period leave’ and another maternity leave. All this is for giving women peace of mind, comfort, happiness etc. so they can live comfortably doing their activities in good health etc. However while venturing to talk about this topic, let’s just throw our inhibitions away as everyone knows being a women involves the monthly biological phenomena and it’s something our mom’s had because of which we are born, it’s fact!!
Recently attended a Malyalam Christian wedding which was extremely musical with a choir of little girls giving chorus for the chants. The only English song sung was something I heard in my college chapel and was very nice to hear. More on the song later.
Other than the song, there was a portion of talk by the pastor in English about marriage which made very good sense, this was his advice for the newly to be married couples, it was a nice talk to listen to.
Pastor said there are these C’s in a successful marriage.
1St C is Cash
2nd C is Communication
3rd C is Chastity
4th C is Communion
5th C is Care
In marriages for most of us especially arranged ones Money is very important, you need money to survive. One of main qualifications to marry in society is one has got a good job, has money and cash to spend on essential and luxurious things. However, keep in mind that atleast in marriage money alone won’t give the two souls happiness, there would be times when couples face financial turbulence, this is the time when the ties of marriage is put to test many a times, as the unconditional support and cooperation of the partner is required in times of financial difficulties that is easy to arise considering the loans people take with EMI, credit card loans etc. Both have to learn to manage their cash well, whatever their earnings, match their lifestyle and expectations and make suitable financial choices.
Both husband and wife should have good, frank communication but more than that they must communicate and stay in touch with their parents and in-laws. They must understand that whatever they are currently is because of the sacrifices and care bestowed by parents. The pain Mom bore while she gave birth is beyond what humans can generally bear, she had 18 bones in her body broken to bring the child now all set to get married in to the world so that entitles parents to be considered important in life even after marriage.
Between the couple before marriage generally there is lot of enthusiasm and communication in virtual terms with wats app and face book. Many also have in person dealings with meetups and communicate but its different post marriage.
Earlier you may know just a facet of the person, now you get to know 360 sides of person, it is hoped at one point there is so much understanding in the relationship that communication happens without even saying a word. Also communication is more real in person than virtual, so opt to communicate in person spend quality time together and stay away from gadgets at times, this is very important to have a nice family later on.
Within marriage relations and dealings should be pure, the other cannot cheat the counterpart in any way. At this age when affairs do happen outside marriage it’s a valid point. Purity in all your dealings when you are together and away must be there.
It means fellowship of others, it is essential you always be part of your community and do good work along with your community. Be it church community, or any other community relious, social or otherwise. There will be commitments and time constraints with family but nevertheless you must be part of your community and be among good people, this would keep your perspective open always and keep oneself psychologically healthy.
Giving something essential to the deprived people is charity. This shows your generosity and your gratefulness on how privileged you are to be blessed with certain things in life. Always donate something to the needy or deserving person, it maybe your time, food, old but good clothes or money. There is belief that perhaps this would bring you luck in the long run but in the short run it would definitely give you happiness. Just a word of caution, donate to the deserving charity after verifying they are doing good work and do it with open heart else no need for this.
Without care there won’t be love. It means doing simple things for the other. If you ever want to impress partner or anyone do it with small things like maybe giving appreciation, helping out doing a chore, dedicating to your loved one their favorite song or any other thing that shows you notice and care for the person, it’s better than buying an expensive gift you brought just for the occasion.
Money can’t buy you love, it can provide for your needs and comforts. So if you have only the Cash ‘C’ and not the other Cs there would be vacuum in the marriage, its purpose would not hence be fulfilled and it would not grow you up in spirit.
After this short ‘C’ talk, the couples were blessed and married off eventually after chants and rituals.
The English song the choir sang was –
“There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.”
Song was perfect for visitors as the best gifts at that movement we as well wishers should provide were good wishes and blessings for the married couples(: and the song was wonderful background for showering our good wishes.
In that note wish my friend who got married there, good times in life ahead.
Here is a interesting article about wedding vows as well, nice to read.