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म्हणूनचं शुभांगीताई कडे बघत आम्ही कधीच नाही घालवला अभ्यास करताना वेळ वाया..


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लहानपणापासून कबीरला आवडतो खूप खेळायला ट्रॅक्टर,
माझ्या यशात आहे आई बांबांचा मोठा फॅक्टर,
ठरवलं एकदा की मी आहे फर्म कॅरॅक्टर,
विक्रमरावांचं नाव घेते होऊनचं दाखवलं की नाही मी शेवटी डाॅक्टर!!

What an Idiot Box taught me?

“A pathetic attempt of justifying my addiction to entertainment.”

“Long time ago, not so far away land from where I am writing this blog, lived a little girl. She hadn’t even started school yet. She didn’t know how to read books. She used to play in backyard with her friends and dolls. One day she suddenly found herself in front of a black box. But that black box was a magic box. It was shooting out beautiful colors and was telling funny stories about a blue cat and a cute little brown mouse. She had never laughed so hard with all her family enjoying the same experience.” I literally remember this event as I was trying to remember what first tv program I watched. . I keep forgetting to make grocery list but I remember my childhood memories as if it was yesterday. . .

I blame Tom and Jerry to make me watch tv with an open mouth, frozen in one pose without blinking.

Gradually I started watching many beautiful contents on tv. Thankfully my Mom was naturally a very good parent so I never spent too much time in front of Tv and mostly watched age appropriate and good content. . Mom used to take us to watch beautiful dramas and movies. I watched Drama about Helen Keller with my Mom and that memory still gives me goosebumps. Our Mom enriched our childhood with these kinds of quality entertainment along with sending us to camps and playgrounds etc . If a really rare and once in a lifetime live program comes around in city and our exams are nearing, my Mom would choose taking us to program than pushing us to achieve first-class. Partly credit goes to our national television channel Door Darshan too. One and only channel at that time who telecast mostly good content.

As a kid who didn’t like schools and found it hard to pay attention to teachers reding from textbooks, failing to teach and expecting to just copy notes from blackboard, Tv and reading comics or novels actually provided me wisdom. I like history because of comic books. I like Sanskrit because I watches Chanakya and listened to that title song based on Sanskrit shlokas. Even though I never succeeded in Math beyond passing exam I really learned that Math can be very cool from educational programs on DD channel. I actually stopped hating Math and people who were good at it. I also learned a great deal of Agriculture form DD agriculture programs. I have tremendous compassion for hardworking farmers and respect for food. I would have never picked a book about agriculture from library in my life. Even now with Discovery channel and Ted talks I keep learning so much and about so many things I would have never cross path with.

I remember me and my brother used to watch morning programs of Bal Bharati on DD, an educational program for kids. They used to show interesting science facts and little experiments that schools at that time would never conduct. Me and my Brother once made two spoons of tea, in a very small paper bowl on a tiny toy kitchen burner. Seeing paper not catching fire while boiling tea on a little candle flame, we put in toy burner was such an outstanding sight. It was thrilling and tea never tested so good before. Sharing a spoonful of special tea with my brother was special bonding moment. Plus, it was our secret for years, since we usually did these kinds of things only when Mom wasn’t around. So, it might have been “secret” part of it which was more strengthening element of our bonding . . .

Anyways, moving on to our knowledge about our culture and mythology. I don’t think without Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana and Mahabharat our generation would have this through knowledge of Mythology. Ram, Krushna, Arjuna, Karna were my Superheroes. Bheem was my Hulk! Ok Well, I can go on and on how Tv educated while entertaining me when I was in school. But let’s move on to College life. .

When you pass out from a Marathi school and start going to art college it doesn’t hit you hard what was missing until you become friends with peers from semi English school or convent school or simply who paid more attention in English class than you. I actually own my English to International channels like HBO, Discovery, Cartoon network, MTV, VTV etc. Especially Reading all Harry Potter books and watching the most loved tv series in the world called “Friends”! Thanks to entertainment industry I can think in English and thanks to spell check I am able to write in English!! And you know once you learn English then sky is the limit. Whether its entertainment or education, or communicating with your clients with different nationality. One like it or not English is a Universal language and brings world closer.

Also, tv and media made me aware about ways of world rather than spoiling my brain. I mean, who would have explained me difference between just friends, a crush, love and stoker better than movies?  I heard somewhere that; Successful people choose Education over Entertainment! But I firmly believe that if you choose entertainment carefully it can be as enriching as any educational platforms. Educational books and courses will give you knowledge, enhance your IQ and might help you be successful. But quality entertainment will heighten your Emotional Quotient and help you be happy and establish great relationships with people you love.

Word of caution though, you should restrict the time limit just like you do for your kid’s screen time! (this is literally a note to myself as an entertainment junky) Nowadays with platforms like Netflix, Amazon prime etc. we can really have options and not forced to watch same thing other people are watching at home. We can choose our own time, place, device and programs. This actually is golden age of quality entertainment!

So, I would just like to say, start choosing wisely and turn that Idiot box into the magic box!! But don’t forget to return to real life and create your own magic, because even in a fairy tale Cinderella can’t party after midnight!

अरे माझ्या मित्रा

अरे माझ्या मित्रा
होऊ नको दुःखी
दुनियेवर रुसून
बनू नको खच्ची

रडण्याने का कुणाचे
दुःख कमी झालाय
लढणंच आयुष्य आहे
दुःख थोडच चुकलंय

कोणी नाही आपलं
अस नको मानू
दुसऱ्यांच्यातला राम शोध
आणि काम ठेव चालू

प्याद्यांच्यातील नाहीस तू
आहेस तू राजा
दुनियेच्या पटावर
गाजवतो जो सत्ता

परत आता रडताना
दिसलास जर मला तू
नाही वाईट माझ्या सारखा
लक्षात ठेव तू !!!

— निरंजन कुलकर्णी (२६-जनुकारी-२०००)

काळी रात्र


काळी रात्र, थंड वाऱ्याची मंद झुळूक
बाभळीचे झाड त्याचा तो विद्रुप आकार
मनात आलेले हे असले विचार
आणि अंगावर पडलेली ती पाल

— निरंजन कुलकर्णी (२२-मार्च-१९९९)

प्रिय सखी

माझी तिची गूढ मैत्री
मला हवी ती रोज रात्री

दिवसातील एक त्रितीअंश वाहिला तिज साठी
न विसरता आठविते दिवसाकाठी

कॉलेज मध्ये असते नेहमी माझ्या पाठी
विसरतो फाक्त तिला परीक्षे साठी

अंधारच साकारतो तिचे येणे
उजेडच घडवितो तिचे जाणे

मेल्यावरही आहे जिला होप
ती माझी प्रिय सखी झोप

— निरंजन कुलकर्णी (०७-डिसेंबर-१९९७)

Baby रॅप

आई जरा ऊठ
आर्धा तास झोप झाली
तुझ्या साठी खूप
आई जरा ऊठ

बाबा ला हवाय चहा कॉफी
मला थोडा दूध
आई जरा ऊठ

बाहेर पडलीये हवा मस्त
फिरायला जाऊ सगळे दोस्त
आई जरा ऊठ
आई जरा ऊठ

लंगोट माझा बदलताना
बाबा चिडतोय खूप
आई please जरा ऊठ
आर्धा तास झोप झाली
तुझ्या साठी खूप
आई ऊठ….आई ऊठ.. आई ऊठ ..आआआआ ..आ आ आ आ ….

–निरंजन कुलकर्णी (१८-सप्टेंबर -२०१९)

Daily dose of interesting facts

  • The fingerprints of Koala and Humans are very much similar so much so that they were confused with human prints at a crime scene.
  • You cannot hum by closing your nose. You tried it didn’t you ?
  • The mother of irony: The inventor of fire hydrant is not known because patents filed were burnt in a building which caught fire. However, the invention is credited to Frederick Graff Sr, there is no further evidence indicating that Graff was the first person to develop the fire hydrants.
  • Horse is the only animal that cannot vomit.
  • Earth is the only planet which is not named after a Greek or Roman god or goddess. No one knows who named The earth.
  • Kiribati is the only country in the world which is on all 4 hemispheres.
  • Antarctica is the largest desert in the world. Whereas Sahara is the largest sand desert in the world. The word Sahara itself means desert in Arabic. Atacama is the driest desert in the world.
  • Uncopyrightable is the longest word in English without any repetition of letters.
  • Leap years as we all know are the years that are divisible by 4. So is the year 1900 a leap year? Most of you said “yes” because it is divisible by 4. But it is not, centennial years must be divisible by 400 to acquire the tag of leap year. So the years 1600, 2000 are leap years and the years 1700, 1800, 1900 are not leap years. This is primarily done to adjust the gregorian calendar which we use to align with earth’s revolution around sun.
  • A pinch of irony Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words.

Curious kids or parents at test 😲-Part 1

I am 11 year old mother… Oh please don’t misunderstand!! It simply means I am mother of 11 year old kid.. For that matter mother of a naughty and very very inquisitive kid. Today I am going to share with you this journey of question answer sessions, how to answer simple questions for perfectly taken for granted things, mother’s dimemma and of course mother son “we time” 

My journey of story telling began when my son started speaking and started asking me questions. Initially his questions were limited to “what is this?” Or “what is that?” Being from a genre of modern mothers who believe that one should not kill the curiosity of the kid I tried to answer as many questions as possible. 

My son would point at perfectly ordinary things and demand a story about them. He never liked typical stories meant for toddlers. Probably he was not able to correlate with them. Today I would share with you few of such mother- toddler stories and question-answer sessions.

Once while we were traveling by car he demanded, “Mamma please tell me story of this flyover” What the heck?? Story of a flyover?? Poor Mamma gathered her wits started narrating: The way which takes us from one place to another place is called as road. The road above road is called as flyover. The road below this road is called as subway. We use flyover and subway for…..The story went on.. Most importantly he seemed satisfied.

Once we went on our building terrace for cool air.. Again my 2.5- 3 year old question bank opened his mouth “Mamma tell me story of this water tank” My little one was pointing towards overhead water tank. Hmm.. Story?? That of a water tank??… I made a brave attempt…

Me: Ok tell me how do we get water??

Little one: by tanker (we were getting water supply by tankers for couple of months due to some problem)

Me: Great!! Do you know we do have one underground tank near society entrance??

Little one: Yessss

Me: The underground tank is filled with tanker water. 

Little one: Then how it comes in this overhead tank??

Me: With the help of motor pump.

Little one: Then what happens??

Me: You see all these pipelines?? These pipelines carry water to taps in our kitchen and our bathroom. Now you tell me what do we do with this water??

Little one; Drink water

Me: Good!! And??

Little one: We bath… 

Me: Correct!! We clean utensils and clothes, we water the plants….

I was feeling totally lost while telling this story but my my toddler’s eyes were gleaming with fascination.

Slowly we all mastered the art of story telling.. Many such stories were created about chairs, tables, trains, cars, crains. These stories centered around the what are these objects made up off, their utility, mode of operation etc.

Do you also get baffled as a parent when our little ones ask questions about perfectly ordinary things?? Can you also correlate with such unstoppable question banks?? I would love to hear about your experiences. Stay tuned for many more such stories, awkward questions and parenting experiences.

Karma Yoga (Swami Vivekananda)

Below is the summary of Karma Yoga. The book is written based on lectures the Swami delivered in his rented rooms at 228 W 39th Street in December 1895 and January 1896. The classes were free of charge. Generally, the Swami held two classes daily- morning and evening. I hope this summary will help you understand about Swami Vivekananda.

  1. Watch a man do his most common actions; those are indeed the things which will tell you the real character of a great man.
  2. Great occasions rouse even the lowest of human beings to some kind of greatness, but he alone is the really great man whose character is great always, the same wherever he be.
  3. A fool may buy all the books in the world, and they will be in his library; but he will be able to read only those that he deserves to; and this deserving is produced by Karma
  4. The power is inside every man, so is knowing; the different works are like blows to bring them out, to cause these giants to wake up.
  5. Unselfishness is more paying, only people have not the patience to practice it.
  6. A carriage with four horses may rush down a hill unrestrained, or the coachman may curb the horses. Which is the greater manifestation of power, to let them go or to hold them?
  7. Even a fool may rule the whole world if he works and waits. Let him wait a few years, restrain that foolish idea of governing; and when that idea is wholly gone, he will be a power in the world.
  8. “To work we have the right, but not to the fruits thereof.” Leave the fruits alone. Why care for results? If you wish to help a man, never think what that man’s attitude should be towards you. If you want to do a great or a good work, do not trouble to think what the result will be. The ideal man is he who, in the midst of the greatest silence and solitude, finds the intensest activity, and in the midst of the intensest activity finds the silence and solitude of the desert. He has learnt the secret of restraint, he has controlled himself. He goes through the streets of a big city with all its traffic, and his mind is as calm as if he were in a cave, where not a sound could reach him; and he is intensely working all the time. That is the ideal of Karma- Yoga, and if you have attained to that you have really learnt the secret of work.
  9. But we have to begin from the beginning, to take up the works as they come to us and slowly make ourselves more unselfish every day. We must do the work and find out the motive power that prompts us; and, almost without exception, in the first years, we shall find that our motives are always selfish; but gradually this selfishness will melt by persistence, till at last will come the time when we shall be able to do really unselfish work. We may all hope that someday or other, as we struggle through the paths of life, there will come a time when we shall become perfectly unselfish; and the moment we attain to that, all our powers will be concentrated, and the knowledge which is ours will be manifest.
  10. The extreme positive and the extreme negative are always similar.
  11. I once met a man in my country whom I had known before as a very stupid, dull person, who knew nothing and had not the desire to know anything and was living the life of a brute. He asked me what he should do to know God, how he was to get free. “Can you tell a lie?” I asked him. “No,” he replied. “Then you must learn to do so. It is better to tell a lie than to be a brute, or a log of wood. You are inactive; you have not certainly reached the highest state, which is beyond all actions, calm and serene; you are too dull even to do something wicked.” That was an extreme case, of course, and I was joking with him; but what I meant was that a man must be active in order to pass through activity to perfect calmness.
  12. Inactivity should be avoided by all means. Activity always means resistance. Resist all evils, mental and physical; and when you have succeeded in resisting, then will calmness come. It is very easy to say, “Hate nobody, resist not evil,” but we know what that kind of thing generally means in practice. When the eyes of society are turned towards us, we may make a show of nonresistance, but in our hearts it is canker all the time. We feel the utter want of the calm of non-resistance; we feel that it would be better for us to resist. If you desire wealth, and know at the same time that the whole world regards him who aims at wealth as a very wicked man, you, perhaps, will not dare to plunge into the struggle for wealth, yet your mind will be running day and night after money. This is hypocrisy and will serve no purpose. Plunge into the world, and then, after a time, when you have suffered and enjoyed all that is in it, will renunciation come; then will calmness come. So fulfil your desire for power and everything else, and after you have fulfilled the desire, will come the time when you will know that they are all very little things; but until you have fulfilled this desire, until you have passed through that activity, it is impossible for you to come to the state of calmness, serenity, and self-surrender. These ideas of serenity and renunciation have been preached for thousands of years; everybody has heard of them from childhood, and yet we see very few in the world who have really reached that stage. I do not know if I have seen twenty persons in my life who are really calm and non-resisting, and I have travelled over half the world.
  13. It is the most difficult thing in this world to work and not care for the result, to help a man and never think that he ought to be grateful, to do some good work and at the same time never look to see whether it brings you name or fame, or nothing at all.
  14. A householder who does not struggle to get wealth is immoral. If he is lazy and content to lead an idle life, he is immoral, because upon him depend hundreds. If he gets riches, hundreds of others will be thereby supported.
  15. One idea comes out of all this–the condemnation of all weakness. This is a particular idea in all our teachings which I like, either in philosophy, or in religion, or in work. If you read the Vedas, you will find this word always repeated–fearlessness–fear nothing. Fear is a sign of weakness. A man must go about his duties without taking notice of the sneers and the ridicule of the world
  16. A spiritually strong and sound man will be strong in every other respect, if he so wishes. Until there is spiritual strength in man even physical needs cannot be well satisfied.
  17. Ignorance is death, knowledge is life
  18. What I am just at this moment is the effect of the sum total of all the impressions of my past life. This is really what is meant by character; each man’s character is determined by the sum total of these impressions.
  19. If a man continuously hears bad words, thinks bad thoughts, does bad actions, his mind will be full of bad impressions; and they will influence his thought and work without his being conscious of the fact
  20. Work, but let not the action or the thought produce a deep impression on the mind. Let the ripples come and go, let huge actions proceed from the muscles and the brain, but let them not make any deep impression on the soul.
  21. The whole of nature is for the soul, not the soul for nature.”
  22. Work through freedom! Work through love!
  23. Do you ask anything from your children in return for what you have given them? It is your duty to work for them, and there the matter ends. In whatever you do for a particular person, a city, or a state, assume the same attitude towards it as you have towards your children–expect nothing in return. If you can invariably take the position of a giver, in which everything given by you is a free offering to the world, without any thought of return, then will your work bring you no attachment. Attachment comes only where we expect a return.
  24. Be cheated millions of times and never ask a question, and never think of what you are doing.
  25. When we begin to work earnestly in the world, nature gives us blows right and left and soon enables us to find out our position. No man can long occupy satisfactorily a position for which he is not fit. There is no use in grumbling against nature’s adjustment. He who does the lower work is not therefore a lower man. No man is to be judged by the mere nature of his duties, but all should be judged by the manner and the spirit in which they perform them.
  26. Let the end and the means be joined into one.
  27. According to Karma-Yoga, the action one has done cannot be destroyed until it has borne its fruit; no power in nature can stop it from yielding its results.
  28. If we give up our attachment to this little universe of the senses or of the mind, we shall be free immediately. The only way to come out of bondage is to go beyond the limitations of law, to go beyond causation.

This is just the summary of his speeches. I request you to read the book to give you some idea about Swamiji’s philosophy and hopefully you will understand who he really was and not go by what we see or hear on the internet and from few people who project Swamiji differently.