Author Archives: cloudsaffair

How to Stop Negative Thoughts

Here are some ways to stop negative thoughts:

  1. Identify and challenge negative thoughts by questioning their accuracy and considering alternative perspectives.
  2. Practice mindfulness and observe your thoughts without judgment, allowing them to come and go without getting attached to them.
  3. Engage in physical activities like exercise, yoga, or meditation to reduce stress and improve mood.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people and seek support from friends or family.
  5. Focus on positive affirmations or self-talk to counteract negative thoughts.
  6. Try cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other professional treatments to learn effective strategies for managing negative thoughts.
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Rise of the Abomination In Indian Cinema

There was a Time when the larger audiences would throw the movies like Pushpa right where they belong, in a big stinking garbage box, but there seems to be an abyss, a chasm in the intellect of the audience and among the general society, there choices are reflecting that some thing has gone really haywire, we are turning rapidly into a society that embraces mindless violence as a cultural reality and rejects the quality and creativity for which the Indian film industry was known once.

I watched a brilliant movie today Shabash Mithu, the biopic on the ace cricketer Mithali Raj, the movie was bang on target on all the parameters, acting, screenplay, writing, every thing was spot on, yet the movie made one of the poorest openings ever and it will soon be removed from the theatres. This isn’t the only only good movie that got the drubbing in recent times, be it Jersey, Runway 34, all good movies all flopped.

The common aspect among all the resent hits is savage violence sold like a hot cake across the length and width of the country, this is concerning, acceptance of such shameless violence which was contemptible few months back, is now celebrated by the likes of Virat Kohli.

Whats happening on the silver screen is a symptom, the embrace of violence by any society is like the beginning of a cancer which inadvertently annihilate it self. We are drifting away from the ethos of compassion and cohesiveness and we are loosing the very core of existence.

Success of movies like Pushpa, KGF, Vikram etc and the drubbing of good family meaningful movies like Mithu are like the first appearance of ugly mole on a flawless body

Ashneer Grover–The Elizabeth Holmes Of India

Shark Tank India season 1, was both Fascinating and Dramatic, the Magnus opus which had Love, Compassion, drama, Sympathy, patriotism etc, it wasn’t just a reality show that deals with entrepreneurs presenting there business ideas to a diverse set of investors, but a spiced up family drama where the wannabe brides were trying to impress the grooms family members, with a tadka of IIM.

Anupam Mittal reminded me more than once of the elderly Tauji, who would be silenced by the other aggressive family members, his tag line “Yaar koi mujhe bhi to bolne do”.

Namita Thaper, the vivacious diva, the Badi Bhabhi of the family, would always ensure to encourage the contestants, but mostly beg herself out of the deals.

Aman Verma : The Chota Devar, the daredevil, who would show his flamboyance more than once in every episode, his tag line “Brand to bana denge hum”.

Ashneer Grover: The evil uncle or chacha, he would abuse at will, would love to demean the bride and her family, he was like the Gulshan Grover of 80s and 90s, his tag line “Sab Dogla Pan hai” and “Band Ker de tera business”.

Vineeta Singh : The chooti bahu (younger daughter in law), too talkative, always smiling and empathetic while bowing out of a deal, she had no particular tag line.

The spiced up reality show caught the imagination of the entire country, business ideas became dinner discussions in the average Indian households, we saw young men and women from marginalised sections of the society, taking  lead in identifying the problems and putting forth the solution, we saw inventors showcasing painless or no needle blood sugar diagnostic machine, we also saw portable ecg machine which has the potential of saving many lives, and we also saw the humble son of a farmer, hailing from the region which has thousands of agrarians committing suicide every year, coming up with a jugad to make the excruciating work of the farmers easy.

The judges became the instant gods among the average youngsters, there success stories, there struggle and there perseverance made them god like for the average Indian youth, Aman Gupta, the candid and rusty Millionaire, Ashneer Grover the biggest shark in the tank, was brutally honest and calculative, Namita Thaper, very charming but had impressive business acumen, Anupam Mittal had tons of experience and he is probably one of the oldest angle investor in the country. The show topped the TRP charts in no time.

And then came the infamous Ashneer Grover call with the hapless Kotak Bank employee, it shocked me like many loyal Sharktank viewers, it exposed the GOD syndrome pathogen Grover was carrying in his head, in fact it was so dominant that it had simply annihilated the persona of the young billionaire, when I heard Ashneer abusing, I felt disgusted and wondered how a shallow man like him came at the helms of one of India’s leading fintech companies!

The infamous but viral phone call then opened the can of worms, exposed the rotting underbelly of one of the leading Fintech companies of the country, what I understood was that Ashneer and his wife were robbing investors of there money to finance there extravagant lifestyle, there luxury cars and abroad vacations, even the makeup stuff of Madhuri Jain was billed to the company.

Ashneer had stark resemblance with Elizabeth Holmes, slightly miniaturised or probably was in the making of it, a person with compromised morality knows no dearth and can sink the entire ecosystem of budding entrepreneurs for his personal gains, luckily he was caught before he could inflict fatal blow on the fragile ecosystem, or even worse getting away with it, creating a narrative of a system where the fraud and embezzlement becomes a norm and acceptable evil.

Once the rot was out in the open, Ashneer was sent on a forced leave, his wife was sacked, It was meteoric fall of the demigod of the startup world of India, it broke many hearts but it raise some very important questions:

  • How can, in todays world, RBI and GOI can leave the fintech companies unchecked and unsupervised?
  • With the tons of customer data, including personal data of the millions of users, is there a mechanism to check the likes of Ashneer from profiting from it? Or should they have an unchecked control over it?
  • How to save the the image of the Ernest entrepreneurs from taking a hit because of the deeds of a bad unicorns like Ashneer grover?

These are some very important questions which need to be answered before the budding and booming atmosphere of Indian Startup world takes a permanent Hit…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ye Kali Kali Ankhein : 90s Pop Culture Reincarnated to Perfection!!

Kudos to the supremely talented Director “Sidharth SenGupta”, for delivering a perfect entertainer, stellar performances by Aanchal Singh and Saurabh Shukla, and Tahir, well, what he lacked in the looks, he makes up with his acting, but the showstoppers for me are the father and daughter duo of Akhiraj and Purva, and the pervert but funny and pragmatic sidekick Golden.

Indian cinema is no stranger to the femme fatale. From Madhubala in Howrah Bridge to Aishwarya Rai in Khakee, we have seen a wide range of top actresses play the charming seductress to perfection. What the new Netflix show Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein does differently is that it brings the said femme fatale to a small UP town, surrounded by the politics and violence of the hinterland.

An excellent Tahir Raj Bhasin plays the hapless engineer Vikrant, who wants nothing more than to live the life that he has mapped out for himself. After getting an entry-level job at a steel plant, he’ll marry his sweetheart Shikha, and perhaps get an MBA degree some years later. He’ll shoot the breeze with his childhood buddy, a buffoon nicknamed Golden, and most importantly, he’ll stay far away from the shady man his father has spent his entire life working for.

But as fate would have it, Vikrant is sucked into the seedy world of UP politics when he crosses paths with the infatuated daughter of a fearsome local ‘vidhayak’ named Akheraj, played by Saurabh Shukla in proper Ramadhir Singh mode. The woman, Purva, has spent the prime of her youth obsessing over Vikrant, whom she went to school with. She puts in an unsolicited good word for him when his father forces him to interview for a position in Akheraj’s posse of ‘gundas’.

Played by Anchal Singh, Purva is a real femme fatale, straight out of the Manohar Kahaniyan that the show has such a palpable fondness for. The moment he first laid eyes on her as a kid, Vikrant knew she meant trouble. This is perhaps as much as you should know about Purva and her plans; revealing the rest would be spoiling your experience.

If you don’t apply your brain much and if you have an inkling for Mirzapur and Patallok, Yeh Kaali Kaali Ankhein is a perfect appetiser for you, the end of the season one was very cleaver, as a viewer you are bound to wait for the release of the second season, Vikrant is doomed as we know it, but the way first season has unfolded, its open for every one’s imagination.

Survival of the Tolerant—Hinduism

Hinduism has always fascinated people across the world, only religion whose date of origin is absolutely open for anyones guess, some theologists dated the origin of Hinduism as about 3400BC, some say it dates more then 5000 BC, astonishing as such an old religion still thriving and more and more people in the world are being attracted towards it.

The reason behind the success of the Hinduism lies in its ethos of acceptance of every kind or nature of person, it values all the philosophies and forces none.

Here is my Summarisation of the essence hinduism:

  1. Believe in God ! – Aastik – Accepted.
  2. Don’t believe in God ! – you are Accepted as a Nastik.
  3. You want to worship idols- please go ahead you are a Murti Pujak.
  4. You don’t want to worship idols – no problem you can focus on Nirguna Brahmin
  5. You want to criticise some thing in our religion, come forward, we are logical, Nyaya, Tarka etc are core elements of Hindu schools.
  6. You want to accept beliefs as it is, most welcome please go ahead with it.
  7. You want to start your journey by reading Bhagwat Gita – Sure!
  8. You want to start your journey by reading Upanishads – Go ahead.
  9. You want to start your journey by reading Purana- Be my guest.
  10. You just don’t like reading Puranas or other books, no problem my dear, go by Bhakti tradition.
  11. You don’t like the idea of Bhakti ! No Problem do your karma, be a karma yogi.
  12. You want to enjoy life, very good, no problem at all, this is Charvaka Philosophy.
  13. You want to abstain from all the enjoyment of life and find God, Jai Ho! be an ascetic.
  14. You don’t like the concept of God, you believe in nature only- Welcome (Prakriti or nature is worthy of worship).
  15. You believe in one God or supreme energy Superb! follow Advait philosophy.
  16. You want a guru go ahead obtain Gyaan.
  17. You don’t want a guru …Help yourself! meditate, study!
  18. You Believe in Female energy! Shakti is worshipped.
  19. You believe every human being is equal, you are awesome, come on lets celebrate Hinduism “Vasudev Kutumbakam” (the world is a family).
  20. You don’t have time to celebrate a festival, don’t worry, one more festival is coming, there are multiple festivals every single day of the year.
  21. You are a working person, don’t have time for religion, its ok you will still be a Hindu.
  22.  You like to go to temples, devotion is loved.
  23. You don’t like to go to temples, no problem you are still a Hindu.
  24. You know that Hinduism is a way of life with considerable freedoms.
  25. You believe that evert thing has god in it, so you worship your mother, father, guru, tree, river, Prani-Matra, Earth, Universe!
  26. And if you don’t believe everything has GOD in it – No Problem we respect your view point.
  27. “Sarv Jana Sukhino Bhavantu” (May you all happily).

This is exactly the essence of Hinduism, all inclusive, that is why it has withstood the test of time inspite of repeated onslaught both from within and outside, and assimilated every good aspect from everything. That is why it is eternal! There is a shloka in Rigveda, the first book ever known to mankind which depicts the Hindu Philosophy in a nutshell “Ano bhadrah krathavo yanthu vishwathah” let the knowledge come to us from every direction.

Politics of Religion

Only thing common in every religion is love and compassion…be it Islam, Judaism, Hinduism or Christianity, the foundation of every religion is peace and justice. Religion gave legitimacy to the union of man and woman, laid the foundation of family, we learnt to remember our ancestors, thus laying the foundation of our modern society. Religion served and helped humanity to modernise and grow.

But now, all the major wars across the world are being fought in the name of God, religion being used as a tool of oppression and persecution, innocent men women and children being slaughtered, its abominable to see how priests abused hundreds and thousands of children in France, or how some mullahs banned the education for girls in Afghanistan, it breaks my heart, kids in there teens waging war in the name of religion and killing innocent men women and children of different religion, it filled my heart with disgust,

The important question is that who should be blamed for it? is it the religion itself that’s driving people monster, can religion which carved the fundamentals of our civilisation become the ultimate destroyer of it, where people would consider it as a valid excuse to kill other human being each other.all I see and so the important question is that where dose it all go wrong?

I may have understood the problem, which lies in the ethos of every religion (almost), which is that the disciple or the believer must surrender to the god, must abnegate logic and follow every instruction verbatim, he must obey the instructions given by the monks or the priests or the mulla, and each one of them started interpreting it, in a way that suits them. And then came the politics of religion, and the politics became the religion.

It was easy for the power mongers to exploit the vulnerable class, which eventually constitutes the majority in almost all the religions and countries, they understood the fact that people are more concerned not about the life but the life after death, the idea that every human being exists  on this planet to serve a greater purpose and a greater being, and they bow down to that Fictitious being.

Politics successfully exploited the situation, the Mulla military alliance successfully defeated the soviets in Afghanistan, after the USA, Pakistan became the torchbearer of international jihad and wedged proxy war to snatch Kashmir from India, which is still going on, the body count is close to tens of thousands of innocent people, US paid a heavy price for its ignorance when 9/11 happened, for the first time the USA was attacked on his own soil. Along came ISIS, midivil islamic monstrosity which appealed to a handful of young men and women across the globe, which basically said that its Ok to kill an infidel or a person of different faith, they infected horrors to the innocent people which is beyond comprehension.

Rather than understanding the real problem, West responded by painting the billions of muslims as ISIS supporters, innocent muslims in the west and east faced discrimination for no fault of there.

US used Mullas to drive away USSR from Afghanistan, the war in Afghanistan was depicted as a holy war, hundreds and thousands of uneducated muslim youth joined it and defeated the Russians, once the the objective was achieved, the USA left the region to its fait, which created the monsters like Osama.

With great power comes great responsibility, this famous line from Toby Maguire’s Spiderman is true to the essence, and if the responsibility isn’t taken by the one with power, he too will pay a great price.

I can conclude that basically like any lie which is spread to achieve a political Goal, Religious extremism is pure politics, its spread to win wars, and to weaken a country by igniting civil wars, people who became a participant in these sinister conspiracies are mostly uneducated and extreme poor, they are those who have left all hopes in this world, and there only hope is life after death.

The only vaccine for this pandemic is education, If the USA would have spent 2% of the money it spent on war in Afghanistan, world would have seen a reincarnation of the old Afghanistan, and complete eradication of the Taliban.

 

 

10 ways to become more intuitive

Do you hear yourself often, ‘only if I were more intuitive’? Especially when you are at crossroads of life, where you do not know where to go. Or during times of trouble, when you are desperately looking for an answer but your inner voice seems to be as unresponsive as a dormant volcano.

Yet, intuition is not just a torchlight in the darkness. It is a tool that can help make better decisions at work and in relationships. It can also help you create a life that is uninfluenced by your and society’s prejudices and biases.

Fortunately enough, there are concrete ways to enhance the subtle power of intuition.

 Still the mind

We all have intuitive abilities. We all have that tiny voice that tries to guide us through life. However, the world fills our head with so many thoughts that we eventually lose the habit of listening to that voice. A daily meditation practice is a way to still your mind every day. When you silence your thoughts every day, you are able to listen to your inner voice with more clarity and ease.

Acknowledge the limitation of logic

Our logic depends on the knowledge that we perceive from our senses. This makes our knowledge limited. Our logic cannot be beyond what we know. Thus, logic and knowledge are intertwined in the same pool. When we recognize the universe and the truth are beyond that, we give a chance to our intuition.

Practice Sun Salutations

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations are a set of 12 yoga postures. Its regular practice affects a mass of nerves in your stomach called the solar plexus that directly influences your intuitive abilities.

Feel contented

Whether we like it or not, desires bring mental noise and restlessness which don’t allow intuition to shine forth. Simply because this subtle power thrives on silence. Feeling contented is one way to satiate restlessness and cut unnecessary noise. You may wonder, how is it possible to feel content just like that? According to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the answer is being of service. As Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, “When a few people get comfort and relief because of you, then the happiness and contentment that you experience cannot be expressed in words.”

Tend to your gut health

Numerous studies have shown the connection between the gut and the brain. A healthy gut promotes intuition, wisdom, and the feeling of positivity. You can strengthen your gut by reducing stress and supplementing your diet with good bacteria. You can minimize stress from your life with yoga, meditation, proper sleep and diet.

Pay attention

Be more observant of the world around you and within you (the mind-body complex). As you pay more attention, your mind will be more rooted in the present and mental noise will reduce. Intuition thrives on the practice of attention and quiet.

Engage in right-brain activity

While the left-brain is involved in analysis and logical thinking, the right-brain promotes intuitive thinking and creativity. As the left side of the brain promotes thoughts, it can create noise when overactive. To silence the left side of your brain and activate the right side, you can get involved in creative pursuits and listen to music regularly or especially when you find yourself overthinking.

Slow down

If you feel tired or burnt out, your intuition is likely to weaken. On the other hand, a refreshed mind is the perfect home to intuition. To slow down and rejuvenate, get away from the world, and relax for a while. Go on a sabbatical, a retreat, an unplanned holiday, or spend time with nature. A treat to your soul is fuel to your intuition.

Focus on your values
Our minds are sensitive beings of their own. They get muddled in the world and get trapped in a vicious cycle of negativity. Negative thoughts clog our intuition. Yet, a focus on values like kindness, forgiveness, contentment helps one break the cycle of negativity. Keep a focus on these values and allow your intuition to blossom.

Be comfortable with your intuition
Many times, we ignore our intuition or run away because of the fear of the unknown. However, intuition is like a shy child. It will only blossom if you pay heed and allow it to blossom.

 

UNKNOWN MANIBEN & an ungrateful Country

Maniben Patel was Sardar’s only daughter. When only 16 she switched to Khadi and worked in Gandhi Ashram!
When 17 she put all her gold bangles, earrings Gold Wrist Watch and all ornaments & jewelleries in a bundle of cloth and obtaining her Father’s nod, deposited them in Gandhi Ashram, for the cause of freedom.
All the garments Sardar used to wear after 1921 were woven out of the yarn made by Maniben.
Unlike Nehru’s daughter Indira, Maniben was a freedom fighter, who actively participated in the non-cooperation movement.
In 1928, in the Bardoli Satyagraha she helped out Satyagrahis in Camps.
She was arrested and Jailed in 1930 in the Salt Satyagraha!
Thereafter, she was arrested and jailed on several occasions.
Defying ban in Bardauli, arrested in 1932 again re-arrested for defying ban in Kheda and Sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, for arousing people in villages of Rajkot arrested in 1938!
Gandhiji complimented the girl that he had not seen another daughter like Maniben!
Under Gandhiji’s selective disobedience, Maniben was arrested in 1940 and was released from Belgaum jail in May 1941. When she again wanted to court arrest Gandhiji had prevented this frail girl for ill-health!
She got arrested during Quit India 1942 with
Kasturba Gandhi and released in March 1944 and again re-arrested in May 1944 in Bardauli and was sent to Surat Jail & then to Yervada jail!
She didn’t marry and served her father till
Sardar Died in 1950!

Here is a shocking episode relating to Maniben based on various sources, specifically Dr Kurien’s autobiography: ‘I too had a dream’!

Sardar Patel had no bank balance or property!
Even though he had substantial earnings as a very Successful Lawyer, he gave up everything after plunging into the Freedom movement.
He used to say: THOSE IN POLITICS SHOULD NOT HOLD PROPERTY, AND I HOLD NONE!
(Today Everybody in India may think Sardar a Big Fool)

When Sardar died, he kept nothing for his daughter!
With Sardar no more she had to vacate the house!
With no roof over her head and no money
Maniben had to fend for herself!
Obeying Sardar’s parting instruction, Maniben had gone to Nehru to hand over a bag and a book!
Dutifully, she took an appointment with PM Nehru, she handed over the bag and the book to Nehru in person!
The book was an Account Book!
The bag contained rupees Thirty Five Lakhs! (It was 1950)!
After delivering both to Nehru, she waited a while!
Nehru did not thank her!
Nehru didn’t enquire what she would do!
Nehru didn’t ask where she would stay!
Nehru didn’t ask if she had any money on her!
Nehru didn’t ask if she was in need of any assistance or help!
Nehru didn’t ask, if he could do anything for her!
Nehru, not to speak of sympathy, had shown absolutely no interest in her!
For him, after receiving the huge sum of Rupees 35 lakhs Maniben didn’t exist!

Maniben went back to Ahmedabad to stay with a cousin the rest of her life, forgotten by an Ungrateful Country !

Via.. Dr. Gour Mohanty

The Afghan Betrayal

It’s incredible to watch how fast the USA can forget the biggest attack on its soil, once again  turning its back on the dark world the AFPAK region,  and my fear is that whenever (not if ever) islamists attack the USA, it won’t be as simple and medieval as the 9 “11”.

Islam is the most violent religion in the universe, it advocates and justifies killing innocents in the name of God , they glorify revenge and allows pedophilia. Taliban, ISIS, and Al Qaeda are the true disciples of the Islam, they are blood thirsty monsters who want to destroy life on earth, the monstrosity they manifested on the innocent women and children in Afghanistan, would put the most dreaded historical monsters to shame.

Exit of USA is like a surgeon leaving the patient in the middle of surgery, within a week of the exodus of US forces, Taliban baked by Pakistan, has started wracking havoc on Afghanistan, they have already conquered 2 provinces and it will be only a matter of time, when Taliban will have the country and millions of men, women and children, under there bloody claws.

Reeling under popular political pressure, Joe Biden made the decision of abruptly leaving Afghanistan, no prise for guessing, who would be the first country the Taliban would come after, they are unabashedly supported by nuclear armed Pakistan, in fact they are proxies of the Pakistan Army.

Last time the US turned its back on Afghanistan, was right after the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of USSR, it resulted in 9’11, once again they are leaving the country in an even precarious situation, in the hands of Taliban, Pakistan and China.

In the last 20 years of US occupation, the various US administrations were concerned only about achieving the military objectives, they never tried to uplift the average Afghani, they spent billions on bombs and missiles, pounding Taliban and afghans in general, but not a single dollar was spent on education or health care which the Afghans needed so badly, its a deja vu, USA did exactly the same in the 80s when they supported Afghan uprising against the USSR.

I won’t be surprised that the next attack on the US soil would dwarf all earlier terrorist attacks, including 9’11, and it would for sure emanate from Afghanistan.

 

 

Self Care

Once upon a time, there was a cobbler who was famous for the elegant shoes that he used to make. He was also generous and kind hearted, helping anyone in need. He lived in a small village and he was the only talented cobbler in that village. He was responsible for repairing the shoes and making new shoes for everybody in that village. After some days, he noticed that his own shoes were torn but he was busy tending to the needs of the villagers and making exquisite shoes for some of the rich, getting a lot of praise in the process. He completely ignored the worn out shoes that he was wearing. Initially, there was no problem, but slowly there was a big hole in the sole of his shoes and it started becoming frail and torn. However he neglected the state of the torn shoes and kept on making footwear for others, feeling happy with the appreciation. He felt satisfied when you made free shoes for the people who did not have the means to afford it.
In due course of time, his tattered and worn out shoes started giving him painful blisters and he began walking with a limp, some of his customers started to worry about it, but he reassured them that it will get cured in a while. They continued to shower him with blessings and wishes for a selfless service and hard work. He was lauded for doing a fantastic job in spite of the boils, blisters and the limp.

 

 

After a few months, the blisters became extremely painful and the infection started spreading to the extent that he could no longer work. He could neither repair his shoes nor make or repair anyone else’s. He started regretting the gross neglect of his part as he lay on his bed tending to his wounds.
Does this story seem familiar to what many of us have done with our lives or what we have faced? This is a simple story which would have struck a chord with many of you to address an important issue this significant aspect of our life which we tend to ignore often is self-care and self- love.
In this self absorbed world, we tend to ignore the fact that our cup is not only half empty, it is almost empty. We spend years neglecting the poor state of our own half filled cup while tending to the needs of the people around us. Taking care of others gives us a sense of satisfaction and contentment. We often ignore ourselves and our own needs were trying to appease others.

If you do not look after yourself, after a while, the hollowness within you will make you incompetent to tend to the needs of others. Even with the best of your intentions, you won’t be able to radiate or share any happiness, or take care of the needs of anyone if youareempty from within. If one does not have time to care for themselves, then no one will.
This principle is applicable in the current global scenario where in we are under tremendous stress and pressure due to the ongoing pandemic. This is particularly in the case of frontline workers and all those who are impacted by the invisible monster, who have barely any time for self care and self grooming.