Chithra Muraleedharan Temples are located strategically at a place where the positive energy is abundantly available from the magnetic and electric wave distributions of north/south pole thrust. The main idol is placed in the core center of the temple, known as Moolasthanam. This *Moolasthanam* is where earth’s magnetic waves are found to be maximum. We know that there are some copper plates, inscribed with Vedic scripts, buried beneath the Main Idol. The copper plate absorbs earth’s magnetic waves and radiates it to the surroundings. Thus a person regularly visiting a temple and walking clockwise around the Main Idol receives the beamed magnetic waves and his body absorbs it. This is a very slow process and a regular visit will let him absorb more of this positive energy. Scientifically, it is the positive energy that we all require to have a healthy life. Further, the Sanctum is closed on three sides. This increases the effect of all energies. The lamp that is lit radiates heat energy and also provides light inside the sanctum to the priests or poojari’s performing the pooja. The ringing of the bells and the chanting of prayers takes a worshipper into trance, thus not letting his mind waver. When done in groups, this helps people forget personal problems for a while and relieve their stress. The fragrance from the flowers, the burning of camphor give out the chemical energy further aiding in a different good aura. The effect of all these energies is supplemented by the positive energy from the idol, the copper plates and utensils in the Moolasthanam / Garbagraham. Theertham, the “holy” water used during the pooja to wash the idol is not plain water cleaning the dust off an idol. It is a concoction of Cardamom, Karpura, Tulsi(Holy Basil), Clove, etc...Washing the idol is to charge the water with the magnetic radiations thus increasing its medicinal values. Three spoons of this holy water is distributed to devotees. Again, this water is mainly a source of magneto-therapy. Besides, the clove essence protects one from tooth decay, the saffron & Tulsi leafs protects one from common cold and cough, cardamom and Pachha Karpuram (benzoin), act as mouth fresheners. It is proved that Theertham is a very good blood purifier, as it is highly energized. Hence it is given as prasadam to the devotees. This way, one can claim to remain healthy by regularly visiting the Temples. This is why our elders used to suggest us to offer prayers at the temple so that you will be cured of many ailments. They were not always superstitious. Yes, in a few cases they did go overboard when due to ignorance they hoped many serious diseases could be cured at temples by deities. When people go to a temple for the *Deepaaraadhana*, and when the doors open up, the positive energy gushes out onto the persons who are there. The water that is sprinkled onto the assemblages passes on the energy to all. This also explains why men are not allowed to wear shirts at a few temples and women are requested to wear more ornaments during temple visits. It is through these jewels (metal) that positive energy is absorbed by the women. Also, it is a practice to leave newly purchased jewels at an idol’s feet and then wear them with the idol’s blessings. This act is now justified after reading this article. This act of “seeking divine blessings” before using any new article, like books or pens or automobiles may have stemmed from this through mere observation. Energy lost in a day’s work is regained through a temple visit and one is refreshed slightly. The positive energy that is spread out in the entire temple and especially around where the main idol is placed, are simply absorbed by one's body and mind. Our practices are NOT some hard and fast rules framed by 1 man and his followers or God’s words in somebody’s dreams. All the rituals, all the practices are, in reality, well researched, studied and scientifically backed thesis which form the ways of nature to lead a good healthy life. The scientific and research part of the practices are well camouflaged as “elder’s instructions” or “granny’s teaching’s” which should be obeyed as a mark of respect so as to once again, avoid stress to the mediocre brains.
Chithra Muraleedharan A woman's period should never be a mystery to you. It is important to break the silence and stigmas around menstruation and to help in ensuring that more efforts are taken to educate men about it. While menstruation has "men" in the word, not many men understand what it's like to go through having periods. It’s something men can learn about but never experience. Going with the scientific explanation, at an average period of 28 days the female body sheds its old uterine lining Or say when the egg is not fertilized, the lining of uterus sheds which is called causing menstruation. Menstruation is not just blood flowing out of woman's body; it involves severe cramps, hormonal imbalances. Periods cramps occur because of the contraction of the uterus to expel its lining. The sheer amount of misogynist jokes that are shed over PMS over the years is not worth it. What men need to understand is it is an authentic problem. PMS occurs during the week or so before her period begins, and it really can make her feel like total crap. Menstrual cycle involves hormonal fluctuations, fluctuations in serotonin levels and chemical changes in brain. An Italian study has found that over 80 percent of young women reported pain with their periods. And for about 1 in 3 of them, the pain was so bad that it made them miss out on social events or other obligations. You may find her over sensitive, losing her temper quickly during the period. Instead of cribbing over it try to understand her and make her feel better. She would go mad over small things. It is less likely that she would remain calm. But before yelling or getting angry on her try and understand that it’s something that’s purely natural and that the mood swings and hormones are not in her hands to stabilize or balance. Suppose for some reason you are under pain, take for instance you have a severe headache and you have you wife telling you how her day was at office. Will you be in a position to stay calm and listen to her? Or will you get irritated and mad over her? Can you take any arguments at that point of time? It’s the same with her. Don’t expect her to take arguments or criticisms lightly because the physical pain she's facing is already irritating her. If she argues over little things and gets mad over you for no reason don’t take it too personally, understand that it’s because of her hormones and has nothing to do with you. Menstruation is a biological occurrence and is not something a girl chooses for herself .So please resist the urge to make a PMS joke next time.
Some journeys can be summed up in a photo, a tweet, a souvenir. But others are so filled with inner riches, they defy easy description. For our guests, this has always posed a challenge: How to best capture the world of luxury that is The Leela? For one visitor, it’s a lobby – and a welcome that makes her feel like royalty. For another, it’s discovering a hidden garden, guided only by the scent of jasmine. To some, it is small touches that few others notice – the warmth of a gesture, the extra care in the simplest dish. Finding the right words for this distinctly Indian brand of luxury is made all the more difficult because it is constantly being refined and enhanced by each person we invite to join our staff. From the start, we have been on a continuous journey to delight each traveller who crosses our threshold. It is The Leela’s goal to provide the most demanding guests with memorable, magical stays that deliver the essence of India and discover a 5-Star experience found only in India, and only at The Leela. In a span of 30 years, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has grown to comprise a world-class collection of nine award-winning luxury hotels spread across key destinations in India with many more on the anvil.
Prerna Mistry As I sit down in front of a screen holding my refreshing cup of tea on a bright morning, I scroll through the daily news and after a while, move my cursor to the entertainment section and I am taken aback by what I see---a headline on supermodel Gigi Hadid being the latest victim of body shaming. What shook me was that today, even women on the level that of Gigi Hadid are also not safe from the vicious cycle of bullying. Yes. Bullying. Call it what you may, but at the end of the day, criticising someone for who they are, what they do or how they look like is a form of bullying. What I cannot fathom yet is how people believe that they are somehow entitled to a privilege that of berating people and judging them when it is not their place to. Like the aforementioned Gigi Hadid piece for example, she was criticised for her fluctuating weight and was slammed for being too skinny; what is funny is that these are the very same people who had an issue with her being not skinny and even unfit for the modelling career. While the model did write a tweet explaining her constant weight fluctuations, it got me thinking, does she really have to? Why is a person really explainable to people he/she doesn’t even know? She doesn’t need to. However, reading the tweet made me feel quite irked at this point because what I realised is that people sometimes can be quite insensitive to issues and to other people as well to make opinions on matters without having no concept of contexts. On an episode on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, even Kim Kardashian had once expressed her anxiety of being randomly photographed by the paparazzi and the pressure of the pictures being perfect for if they’re not then the backlash from people body shaming and criticising stands. She even asserted that for people to think that it’s okay (body shame) is so frustrating. And I couldn’t agree more. It is quite frustrating when people disregard other people’s feelings irrespective of who they are. What is sad is even celebrities today are victims of body shaming. Which is an alarming fact that when celebrities aren’t spared, what with all the sources they have to prevent the situation, what may become of a regular person? Body shaming doesn’t always happen directly. There are many instances such as social media and adverts promoting only a certain body type as an ideal or a certain product stating that if only you are fair, you are lovely. What is worse is that today, body shaming is seeping down to such a dangerous level where it is affecting the younger generation, comprising of teens as well, as there is an underlying pressure of perfection that everyone wants to achieve due to which people are made fun of for their weight, their looks and even colour. It is often neglected though, that this habit of criticising really affects a person’s mental health as a person who is constantly bullied and jibed at, starts self criticising which leads to depression, low self esteem and also eating disorders in some cases. We need to be aware that we as human beings need to be empathetic to each other. Let each other live as they are. Criticising someone for being their own person is crossing the line. Celebrate every body type because there is no such thing as a perfect body because things like perfection and beauty are very ambiguous. What may be your idea of perfection or beauty may not be the same for the next person. People should be respected for who they are, as they are. Also, for someone who has been bullied and been a victim of peer pressure for not being perfect, you must learn to embrace all your flaws and love yourself because you are awesome the way you are and you do not need validation from some random person. Stop chasing the idea of perfection and chase happiness instead.
Whom Shall I call Appa? Sunitha Anand Day thirteen they said, shanti homam they said, your father's soul is on its way they said You did all you could as a family they said How do we learn to live with the void he has left I ask Who do we call when there's that word of advice we need Did we do everything to make him comfortable as he did for us all his life I wonder Who will call me Sunitha in his voice Whom shall I call Appa... He taught us to take on the world with confidence So what if we were the so called weaker sex He was a champion of women and not a person in need was turned away from his doorstep He showed us the value of friendships The joy of shared laughter and sweet secrets It's evident in the way His friends swear by him It's evident in the affection they showered on him To do right by people, no matter what the circumstances And to learn from challenges, indeed rise above them! To keep faith in the power above Plan, organise, preempt and succeed were his mantras You could set the clock by his time Come rain, hail or sunshine Every shirt in his wardrobe lined up like soldiers Meticulous to the T, impeccably turned out in his sharply pressed clothes His presence was the highlight of every occasion The quick wit and great sense of humor drew a laugh from even crusty old men More of a friend to his granddaughters and sons in law Mentor, advisor, buddy and the world's best father to my sister and I He lived by a code that made bigger men salute him Colleagues loved him, he had a kind word for anyone who met him He lived for my mother, lived up to the promise given to his father in law He made her independent, and her happiness came first in his book Other people have envied him for his prowess in the kitchen As for us we used to wait for the Wednesday when he cooked for us He would entertain us for hours with stories of adventures from his youth Each one had a nugget of wisdom in them His values and morals are what we carry forward Our every action a reflection of his teachings It will get easier with time they say At least he didn't suffer too much they say He had a good life they say But as I close my eyes every day These questions repeat themselves in my mind Who will call me Sunitha in his voice Whom shall I call Appa….
The big C Sunitha Anand Cancer… this word is usually uttered with myriad emotions attached to it. There's the limb numbing fear, the helpless anger, the hopeless cheer, the neverending tears. Even if there is hope of statistics that say ‘95% curable’ there is always the scare of whether the patient would be able to withstand the side effects physically and mentally. There is also the effect on family and friends. Here is one disease that affects those associated with it closely as much as the patient themselves. Is there any pattern to the attachment the big C has? Nope! It could be an amazingly wonderful Mom who took tuitions to pass on her knowledge and then left behind her husband and only son as survivors. It could be a happy go lucky young girl who dreams of completing her CA at the first attempt. It could be a dad of two who knew how to live life and had no other ailment till he was 70. Or it could be a tiny tot who hasn't learnt to walk yet. Amazing how non-biased this thing is. There are millions of heart breaking stories out there and it's more easy now to know someone who has cancer than the common cold. One visit to Tata memorial hospital will change anyone's life and outlook to it. The costs are prohibitive in this disease and the wait for treatment is also sometimes unimaginable. So what can we do when you or your loved one is a chosen one? There is no correct answer that fits all. Though I have found that the one thing that makes it bearable is the support of family and friends. Because the mental turmoil far surpasses the physical problems one faces. Of course the decision of chemo or no chemo will always haunt you but in the end it's a choice that needs to be made keeping the well-being of the patients in mind. One can never be prepared for the change in the person you knew all your life in terminal cases, but when I read about the ones that defeated cancer and lived enriching lives, it shows how indomitable the human spirit is! A recent example being a 40-year-old man who will run the marathon after defeating cancer. Just reading about him and others gives me hope. Hope - that one day there will be a cure, hope - that one day we might even prevent the occurrence of cancer. Till then we fight!
Prerna Mistry Don’t Judge Someone Just Because They Sin Differently Than You. This famous saying is what you’d call #Relatable in today’s social media savvy age. As the world is shrinking, the overall scenario today is what you would call a ‘melting pot of cultures.’ And it is because of this right from fashion to music to even lifestyle; there is an overlapping of different cultural influences on everyone’s life on an everyday basis. Besides this, today majority of people speak at least two languages which makes interaction easy. Before globalisation and the age of internet it was really hard, but now it is easier and convenient to communicate from one place to another. Thanks to the rise of social media it is also easier to meet more people who share your views and has also opened more platforms with regard to self expression. All this accelerates to the realisation that people are the same with similar human problems everywhere and that, extending communication helps to share cultural backgrounds and knowing more about different customs as well. While all this would lead us to believe that it is the pathway to a unification of cultures of sorts, it is sadly not the case. Even today, despite having received education, there are many people who still possess a very narrow thought process as they stoop down to create judgements of their own when it is not their place to. Noting that, even a social media giant such as Facebook recently took action against controversial, hate comments on the site. Whereas today, the world is evolving with people taking keen interests in other cultures and issues as well especially in pop culture with movies, food, fashion, lifestyle etc. Even in the world of music, the very recent rise of K-Pop with K-Pop artists such as BTS collaborating with artists of other countries as well is a fairly good example of people accepting and appreciating other cultures as well. The culinary world also represents the harmonious melange of different worldly heritages as everyone loves food in any form! And just like how you mix and match ingredients, we often unknowingly mix and match techniques from other cultures to create our culinary masterpieces. Besides this, the same goes with fashion and lifestyle as well as we often take inspiration from platforms and people from all over the world. While all this sounds great in context but the reality remains that it’s often just for show on social media and not really imbibed in real life. Worse still, people are often criticized for their choices as well. However the thing that we often forget is that instead of trying to ‘reprimand’ people and judge them for who they are or what they do, take a moment to reflect and ask yourself are the actions of the other people causing distress to society? Are they harming you in any way? If it isn’t the case, then Live and Let Live. Even if it comes to people judging you for your choices, be confident in your choices as, as long as it doesn’t harm anybody including yourself, then You Do You. If you believe in your choices then be brave to go through with whatever you want to do and don’t let societal norms get you down. Even if you catch yourself judging someone else, it is okay as long as you immediately rectify yourself, as self-awareness and respect is important to lead a good life. At the end of the day we all need to accept each other for who we are and where we come from because ultimately, we all want to be happy. The happiness that we gain shouldn’t be at the cost of someone else’s happiness. However, if you want to rock short hair with funky hair colours, do it! If you want to listen to Korean, Rock or Metal music on blast, do it! If you choose to eat food with chopsticks instead of using a spoon and vice versa do it! Embrace your inner self and be confident about who you are and that, the opinions of a person shouldn’t define you. Be You(nique), be your best extra self. Love yourself and love and cherish everyone for who they are instead of indulging in hate, bullying in real life or even online bullying and attacking others’ self respects through harsh judgements and criticism. Go ahead, be your extra self and live your best life! (Inputs by Divya Mistry)
Can a mother’s love be measured? Sunitha Anand When the word mother is uttered, there is an automatic feeling of home that arises in most people. Of course, we all have our share of a favourite parent, but the position of a mother cannot be discounted. However, we all grew up with fairy-tales and the one common theme somehow was around the ‘Stepmom’! Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel…the list goes on about how they struggled due to the wicked, jealous and evil stepmom. No wonder then on how influenced we are as adults too. Isn’t it true that the word stepmom itself is said in hushed, embarrassed tones? The memory and stereotype grows with the multiple remakes of these stories being made into movies every year. The eternal fight of good against evil is always applauded and as humans we revel in such depictions. But the generalising and labelling ‘step-moms’ does seem unfair considering that life expectancy is unpredictable and some choices are made with the heart. The bible also says remarriage should be encouraged. Then why is it frowned upon or so difficult to convince families if two souls find each other after being widowed and want to share the love with each other’s children? Somehow the father has always been seen as a provider and the onus of proving her love and commitment has fallen on the mother. Does a woman become less of a mother if she has not given birth – who decides or measures the extent of love she showers on ‘her’ children? There is a Stepmother’s day observed the Sunday after Mother’s Day since 2000 – most of us didn’t know that. But then, why have a separate day for someone who chose to love children who are not her own, someone who chose not to have children but became a mom by choice, someone who fate deemed childless and still she chose to adopt orphans…the combinations are endless. Eyebrows are raised if parents go for adoption after a biological child too. In such a situation, the mother and father probably over compensate in the amount of affection and care they shower on the second child. Does that mean there is ‘step motherly’ treatment given to either child I wonder. A person is valued by the character, morals and integrity he or she displays. You may be a model student, a great mother yourself, an upstanding citizen in society or a politician – feedback boils down to how you were brought up, especially by your mom/ mother figure. The credit could go to the mom, stepmom, mother-in-law, grandmother or heart-mom. We have all had such Amazons to look up to and become better human beings because we grew in her heart and not her stomach. Let us break the shackles of prejudices and old wives’ tales, let’s not judge on face value and give the lady a chance.