Food for thought

Triple Talaq (Day 1086)

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As the debate on triple talaq continues, we invite actor, activist Shabana Azmi who is currently shooting for an International teleserial in UK, to share her thoughts.

The fight against triple talaq has been waged by very brave Muslim women – largely Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan. They have single handedly brought the issue center stage. Triple talaq in one go does not have sanction in the Quran and is anti-women. More than 20 Muslim countries have banned it and it must go from India too.

Let’s not forget that it was Muslim women who have worked over the years mobilizing the community against triple talaq because it is unjust and anti-women. AIMPLB’s call for boycotting abusers of triple talaq is not even a fig leaf because triple talaq in itself is an abuse! What pray is ‘misuse’ of triple talaq? Same as ‘misuse’ of molestation! These are tactics being used to stall the issue.

Demands for a model nikahnama have been made over the years by the community because in Islam marriage is a contract and can be negotiated between husband and wife. AIMPLB resisted it initially and then said let it be an optional one…Again that cannot possibly be feasible because a poor father in a village can hardly dare to ask his son in law for a model nikahnama if it’s not mandatory.

So let us collectively put our strength behind the demand to ban triple talaq.

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Are you listening? (Day 1085)

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This is an interesting story about Ram Dass expressed in his own words. A friend sent it to me and I am sharing the same with you. Read it carefully and if you have understood what Ram Dass and his guru are trying to say, listen and follow it in your personal life.

‘Karma is the unfolding of the laws of cause and effect that have made you into what you are, and that are still affecting you. When you think something, you’re not thinking within a vacuum, you’re thinking it as a result of how you’ve learned to think things in the past, and how your parents thought, and what your chemistry is inside your brain, and all sorts of things are affecting what you think at this moment. That’s your karma.

‘Your Dharma is that which brings you home. It brings you to truth, it brings you to God, it brings you to Oneness, to unity, it brings you out of the illusion of separateness. The Dharma is the Way or the path. It’s the appropriate action. So what you’re doing, as you listen more quietly, as you pull back more inside in a meditative space, you hear the way your Dharma is unfolding.

‘You intuitively hear and feel your route home and you keep feeling these things together.

‘At one point, my guru Neem Karoli Baba said to me after I asked, “How do I know God?” He said to me, “Ram Dass, feed people.” And I figured he didn’t understand or the translation was weird because I expected him to give me a mantra or something. I said, “How can I get enlightened?” and he said, “Serve people.” And that’s in me somewhere. That is my Karma. It’s also my Dharma. I’ve tried to resist it all the way and one day said to self, “What does he know? He’s an old fat man, I’ll go meditate and find out”… But every time I’d meditate, the quieter I’d get, the more I’d feel that I should be out serving people. So here I am. Can you hear that?

‘I resisted but when I listened I could sense the inevitability of it all. When your Karma and your Dharma come together, you get that feeling of rightness.’

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Yugpurush- Mahatma Ke Mahatma – Day 995

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rakeshbhai-2It was an evening to remember to watch Uttam Gada written and Rajesh Joshi directed Hindi play Yugpurush – Mahatma ke Mahatma in the newly refurbished Royal Opera House in Mumbai, an initiative by Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai, visionary and founder of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission, Dharampur.

There are five reasons why you must watch this play: First and most important, the social context is uplifting. The play introduces the guru of the mahatma which is remarkable because not many are aware of the unsung hero. For the innumerable props and the complex structure, it is a flawless productin packaged with amazing music from Sachin Jigar. Take a bow Rajesh Joshi for weaving an imaginative play from the writings of Raichandra and introducing us to a remarkable entity history has forgotten.

Yugpurush-Mahatma Ke Mahatma shoud be watched by every self-respecting Indian to understand the significance of a relevant teacher in your life. Who knows Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi would have remained an ordinary mortal without a Shrimad Raichandra in his life.


Yugpurursh Mahatma – Day 978

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Yugpurush-the play narrates the journey of Gandhiji imbibing principles like Ahimsa, Truth, Celibacy under the guidance of Shrimad Rajchandraji

Yugpurush-the play narrates the journey of Gandhiji imbibing principles like Ahimsa, Truth, Celibacy under the guidance of Shrimad Rajchandraji

Once in a lifetime a man like Mahatma Gandhi is born. Once in a lifetime he find a Guru like Shrimad Rajchandraji.

2017 marks the 150th birth anniversary of the great Indian saint, poet-philosopher, and spiritual luminary – Shrimad Rajchandraji (1867 – 2017.) Hailed as the spiritual guide of Mahatma Gandhi, Shrimad Rajchandraji had a tremendous and formative influence on the Father of the Nation that he is said to have said “Such was the man who captivated my heart in religious matters as no other man ever has till now.”

Celebrations in honour of Rajchandraji were launched from the Red Fort by Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi who in his uplifting speech on India’s 70th Independence Day said, “The country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandraji, Mahatma Gandhiji’s Guru. In one of His letters to Gandhiji, Shrimadji writes … the principle of non-violence has existed ever since the existence of violence. What is important is which one do we utilize for the welfare of mankind.”

His teachings have been translated into a play Yugpurush and has mesmerised an audience of over 4000 people. Over 50 shows have been booked all over Mumbai till 31 December and people are queuing up in large numbers.

This happens once in a lifetime.


Still from the play Yugpurush portraying an inspiring exchange between the Mahatma and His Mentor Shrimadji



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50 Shades of Mumbai -1 – Day 969

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Mahesh Karambele, who studied art sheer out of passion is trying to evolve his own style of water color and oil paintings. There is something about the monsoons and rains that feed the imagination, most artists have drawn creative sustenance from rains at some point or other of their career. Monsoon, the most romantic and creative season is a source of inspiration for Mahesh as well. So it is natural for him to get inspired by the small lanes in Kalba Devi crammed handcraft pullers, buses, cabs and pedestrians all in a hurry. For Mumbaikars monsoon that comes after the scorching summer heat is a relief and Mahesh expresses it through his mesmerizing paintings.



To be continued…



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Antara turns 10 – Day 967

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We have heard of personal invites for special birthdays of children and spouses, we have heard of careers being celebrated with fanfare but Nishi and Dinesh Khanna of originally The Holiday In and currently The Club are special in the sense they are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the hugely popular Spa patronized by all the film folks at The Club.

Going by the card it promises to be a holistic experience.



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Socrates thoughts on gossip! – Day 969

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Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumor or spread gossip.

It has a specific relevance to many of our journalists and anchors who routinely purvey planted falsehoods.

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.


One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?”

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied, “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

‘Triple filter?” asked the acquaintance.

“That’s right,” Socrates continued, “Before you talk to me about Diogenes let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say.
The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “Actually I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates, “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?”

“Not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?”

The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was having an affair with his wife.




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