How long would a vow of non-violence last?

If one were to take a vow of peace and non-violence in all its forms – speech, thought and action – chances are it wouldn’t last five minutes in the big world. Every sphere of life is ridden with conflicts that never fail to arouse us, and it is always the passionate animal inside that they ping on. It did not take long for Moses to lose control and break his first commandment. If you get up in the morning and your thoughts are full of hatred, curses, and ridden with reactionary violence, that is the time to remember that what makes us human is that part of the psychological iceberg that rises up above the water, on which shine the bright rays of the sun. Anger is the most stupid thing in the world. How bad it makes us feel long afterwards? Recently in the overcrowded train, a young man argues with an older man over a most silly situation. As is...
Read More

Walking to health

I’ve always wondered if it makes sense to exercise in an enclosed air conditioned gym, or in fresh open air. The latter always appears to be an obvious, common sense answer. This is the common wisdom we grew with, that early morning exercise in fresh air was the best one could do to stay healthy. So it is that I’ve found doing stretching exercises followed by a free walk to be a regimen that quickly brings the body back into shape — after a week, or even several days, you begin to literally stand on your two feet, your legs appear straighter, and the back is more free to move. The bonus is, you feel fresh even after returning home from some gruelling office work. I began with a quarter-to-hour walk routine, and added stretching exercises to make it even more beneficial. It takes determination to ensure you get up in time. But once the habit sets in, the alarm clock isn’t...
Read More

Richard Cory and the world

There was this poem, Richard Cory, that we read in school. Richard Cory was a gentleman, from sole to crown. He was rich, fluttered pulses, and was graced in every virtue. Everyone wished to be like him. And yet, one fine evening, he went home and… The last line, when we read it, only amused our young minds. We didn’t wonder much about his last act. It even seemed like, sort of natural… a result of some hidden misfortune, pain or grief. Adults could harbour such pain, we felt, and it could happen. It was a normal, volitional act of a well meaning, healthy man. There was no point speculating on what ailed him; the poem gave no clues. That’s how complex life could be. Looking at today’s booming world, it could drive normal sensitive men nuts. Is there a cause to be happy? The ones who are happy are happy. The sadder lot carries its misfortunes alone. Some can take it in their...
Read More

Some thoughts on beating modern life stress with habit formation

Man is a creature of habit  (Photo credit:: Wikipedia) There is no instrument so malleable and adaptive than the human body. Biology may have gone deep into the cells and tissues, yet how much our bodies take care of themselves with a little help from us is an insight known to the few. We know of the timers that are set in us, the ones that make us go to sleep and wake up at fixed times. The same habitual patterns can be inculcated or set by us in other aspects of bodily health and functioning in order to maintain good health. Our diet or what combination of food we take during the day and at night can influence our health to a great extent. Sticking to the combination that one likes and that works best, and then varying it with seasons is a good strategy for maintaining health. Selecting food that does good to the body is a process that we must...
Read More

Quitting Cigarette smoking isn’t a big deal

Cigarette smoking ought to be self-controlled, not state controlled There is no doubt that we are in the middle of a sustained and multi-pronged attack on the freedom to smoke. From government to NGOs, medicine to municipality, every quarter has some good ground of opposing this age-old habit. But is it really worth it, and do we really need this outside help? By now every single chemical component of tobacco might have been analysed for its adverse effects on the human body. The chemicals have been counted as well, thousands of them, and over 10 considered carcinogenic. The medical spent on fighting these illnesses is said to be 10-12% more than the tax revenue earned in India.Yet, the share prices of cigarette companies have soared. With work stress perceived to be at an all time high, what will we turn to for relief? ‘A woman is a woman, but a cigar is  a smoke,’ so said Kipling. Those were the days when even...
Read More