Category: People & Lifestyle

This is a culmination on my views, sourced from various sources on how and where to make a new acquaintance with women!! Please understand that I have personally not tried all of them, if to be honest, none at all!! However, what I recall from “discussions” and “interactions” with friends and friends of friends during a leisure coffee or a dinner, I have put these here!! You are at your own risk when you want to try these!!

Bars are always touted as the best place to meet a potential new girlfriend. But think about it for a moment, and you’ll see it’s nonsense. Few women welcome approaches from strangers they can’t see properly, and who have been drinking – that’s even assuming she’s in there on her own, which is highly unlikely.

The crush and sweat of a club isn’t ideal either, unless you’re after the purely physical, since neither of you can hear what the other one’s saying above the relentless thump-thump of the music.

Parties sometimes work better, often because you have friends in common. You still won’t hear what she’s saying, but plenty of research into social proximity demonstrates the probability of people meeting is directly proportional to the number of shared contacts.

Then again there’s always a risk you’ll look like all the other party animals she’s met: on the prowl for a one-night stand. But don’t give up, just look elsewhere. Aim to meet ‘people’ rather than ‘girls’, and go somewhere you belong and find interesting. That way if you do meet someone you’re more likely to hit it off.

Oh – and you already know this, but you probably already have a great place to meet women delivered to you on a plate: your place of work.

Dance Class (or somewhere similar, say, painting or acting schools)

A chance to shine without showing off, physical contact is natural, and men are almost certain to be in the minority. Assuming you are straight it’s also the perfect way to demonstrate your less masculine attributes – although you’ve got to love it or you’ll stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Alumni Reunions

Alumni already have something in common, and these events are just made for singles because who’d bring a partner? In addition half those attending are probably there because they’ve just split up and want to reconnect – or fancy trying something new.

Local Park

You need a dog to do this or you’re just another stalker. A dog’s a great ice-breaker, providing he isn’t a rottweiler, and remember what they say about owners and their pets. If she’s got a yappy little chihuahua living in her It Bag she might not be quite the girl you’re after.


Again you need to pick an activity with a bit of physical interaction, rather than just hanging round the running machines trying to start a conversation. Yoga or some kind of martial art should do it – plus you know the wallflowers will have ruled themselves out by going to yesterday’s ladies-only session.

Supermarket or a grocery store

It’s a cliche, but like all cliches there’s something in it. Shopping’s something we all do, you don’t have to concentrate so it’s easy (and natural) to strike up a conversation, and guessing someone’s personality from the contents of their trolley is the sort of amateur psychology we can all understand.

A Queue

You need a witty or intelligent opener here, and if it falls flat you’re stuck until the queue moves on. She might just welcome the distraction, however, and at the very least it will take your mind off just how much of your life you waste waiting in line.

Bookstore, Music Store

If it looks like she’s into your kind of thing, it might be worth breaking the ice by asking if she can recommend anything. Many of the big chains – and museums – have coffee shops in the basement too, the perfect place to suggest visiting once you’ve got her attention.

Hobby or Activity Group Outings

Based around a hobby or an activity you enjoy, an organised outing can be a simple way to meet new faces in relaxed, neutral surroundings without any of the stress or expectations of a date. Plus, if you’re genuinely interested in a subject the chances are you’ll be more interesting to talk to.


It’s not everyone’s bag, but charity or community volunteering is a great way to bring like-minded souls together. It also offers new ways to interact with others in a different kind of environment, plus everyone gets a buzz from doing something selfless and genuinely worthwhile. Furthermore, some women for some strange reason feel that many men are selfish and mercenary, so this is an automatic way of disproving your membership of that particular club.
So, all you men out there, try your luck with one or all of these!! Again please do not blame me for any rebuke from the women!!


Winston Churchill, war time Prime Minister of Great Britain and a great leader of the Second World War, was a “Royalist” (grandson of the Seventh Duke of Marlborough) and a diehard imperialist who opposed India’s independence.

In the British parliament, he once called Gandhi “our enemy!” and said, “It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the Viceregal Palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor.”

Albeit Churchill’s diatribe, Gandhi further reduced his apparel to a bare minimum of a loin cloth, his well-known attire! There is a sequel to this metamorphosis.

Pothan Joseph was an eminent journalist and one time editor of Hindustan Times. In the pre-partition days, Mohamed Ali Jinnah employed him as editor of his mouthpiece The Dawn newspaper published from New Delhi. (The Dawn continues its publication from Karachi in Pakistan). Pothan had an elder brother George Joesph. George was a staunch, if not a fierce, nationalist. The British administration in India had imprisoned him several times for his Swadeshi activities. He had once shared the same prison cell with Jawaharlal Nehru. George’s grandson who lives in London, in his biography of his grandfather, mentions about Gandhiji changing over to his distinguishing loin cloth.

On a visit to Madurai in 1925, Mahatma Gandhi stayed with George Joseph and his family. At a public meeting in the city, many in the audience approached him for a darshan. Those from the villages were not only barefoot but bare-bodied except for a dhoti wrapped round their waists and a piece of cloth on their heads.

To Gandhi, a Gujarati, this appearance seemed strange and primitive. For, in Gujarat and in North India, people rarely went about so minimally clad. In surprise, Gandhi turned around to Rajagopalachari and George Joseph and asked them for an explanation.

It was explained that the main reason for their dress was poverty. That night in George Joseph’s residence, Gandhi spent a restless night thinking about the plight of the poor who could not afford even a covering. The next morning, to the amusement of those present, Gandhi turned up without a shirt and wearing a garb with which he soon became identified.

He wanted to identify himself with the struggling masses even in the matter of dress. It was a message to the British regarding their role in the impoverishment of India. His change of apparel was a protest against their profligacy.

When Gandhi attended the 1930 Round Table Conference in London, he was invited by the King Emperor to the Buckingham Palace. Someone suggested to the Mahatma about the scantiness of his apparel. In his usual witty reply, he said, “His Majesty is dressed for both of us!”

In spite of his struggle with the British Government, he maintained a very civil attitude in dealing with the British administration in India, particularly with succeeding Viceroys. In his correspondence, he used to address the Viceroy as, “My dear friend…” Also in spite of Churchill’s outbursts, Gandhi had many admirers in England, His London hostess Muriel Lester initiated the Pacifists Movement and visited the Mahatma in Sevagram on many occasions.

When Barcelona Captain Carles Puyol passed on the captain’s arm band to defender Eric Abidal so that the latter lifts the Champions League trophy, the moment turned memorable. In March, Abidal had undergone a surgery for a liver tumor and every football fan understood that Puyol’s gesture was as much about bonding as about humility.

In the recent times, Indian sports lovers would also recall a similar instance when the captain let his team mate corner the limelight. After India’s 2011 World Cup victory, captain MS Dhoni preferred to take the back seat as the team went around the ground with Sachin Tendulkar, for whom it was perhaps the last cup, on their shoulders. In each of his triumphs as a captain, winning the T20 World Cup in 2007, the back to back IPL wins for Chennai Super Kings, that’s been the mark of the man. As always, Dhoni preferred the soft glow of the penumbra, not the glare of the spotlight.

For those familiar with the business management theories, the act of shunning the spotlight by Puyol and Dhoni are perfect examples of the “humble” leadership approach. What was occasionally happening  in the corporate boardrooms is now taking place on the football and cricket pitches, for all to behold. They are perhaps the new management case studies.

One of the theory’s foremost proponents is management consultant Jim Collins, author of two much quoted works, “How the Mighty Fall” (2009) and “Good to Great” (2001). “The key ingredient that allows a company to become great is having a Level 5 leader: an executive in whom genuine personal humility blends with intense professional will” he wrote in Harvard Business Review.

The “humble leaders” are a sharp counterpoint to the Lee Iacocca and Jack Welsh school of leadership. For the former, the “I” is secondary to the “we” or “us”. Social scientist Shiv Viswanathan calls it a “collective understanding of creativity.”. He says that such leadership style recognizes and appreciates “the smaller actors in a victory” who contribute in minor but meaningful ways in a major team triumph. But it isn’t easy being a Dhoni or a Puyol. Adman and social commentator Santosh Desai believes that such acts require supreme self-confidence and wisdom. “Such gestures of humility also build your longevity as a leader. You get more latitude during bad times.”

Which is why authors and thought leaders Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman advise in “The Handbook for Leaders”, “Don’t flaunt your authority. Humility will make you approachable. It opens the door to building relationships.” In his well-researched work, Jim Collins also details the case of Darwin E Smith, who metamorphosed Kimberley-Clark into a leading paper products company in the 1970s and 1980s. Reticent and unassuming, Smith is said to have avoided attention. He grew up on a farm, went to night school at Indiana University and also worked in the daytime.

One day he lost a finger at work. “The story goes that he went to class that evening and returned to work the next day. Eventually, this poor but determined Indiana farm boy earned admission to Harvard Law School…. Smith is a classic example of a Level 5 leader, an individual who blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will.” writes Collins.

This is an article built upon a similar article that I read in the Times by Avijit Ghosh.

Buddha teaches that everything is projected by our mind; and of course this is clear when it comes to movies! But we like to be drawn into them as we like a good story, just as we usually allow ourselves to be sucked up by the drama of our own lives even if we know it is not real.

For me movies can be a time-wasting distraction or they can be helpful. It depends on whether I’m watching them out of some delusion/unpeaceful mind such as attachment or laziness, or out of some positive motivation such as the wish to expand my horizons to empathize with others.

Nothing is completely untransformable if we have the wish, capacity and methods to do it – even violent movies could be seen as a battle against delusions. Of course, it is risky to watch movies that may engender unpeaceful, uncontrolled reactions such as hatred or anger in us, so it is worth being honest to ourselves about our level of mindfulness and our ability to transform appearances to stay peaceful. It is worth protecting ourselves by not straying over certain boundaries (as in the practice of moral discipline).

If we’re going to watch a movie, some movies are probably easier for us to transform and derive meaning from than others, and I personally count Kung Fu Panda as an example. I watched it on the airplane and found a lot of uplifting Buddhist teachings in it. So I thought I’d share a few seeing as Kung Fu Panda 2 is already release in May 26 and no doubt some of you will be watching it, especially if you have the excuse of kids!

Masters and students

My favorite theme is the transformative relationships between the Masters and their students. The Panda Po says to Master Shifu, “You are not my master!”, but that changes when he believes he can learn to be a great Kung Fu warrior and that Master Shifu can teach him. Similarly, we only need a Spiritual Guide if we decide we want to follow in his footsteps along a spiritual path.

Shifu maintains great devotion to his own Master Oogway, even when he seems to be behaving erratically and appointing a very odd choice for the Dragon Warrior. He questions his Master but listens carefully to his replies and is inspired by them. “Obeying the master is not a weakness” says Shifu to the snow leopard Tai Lung. Tai Lung shows the treacherous contrast of what happens if we let our pride and self-cherishing run out of control, and how feeling superior to our own teacher inevitably ends up sooner or later in hubristic disaster.

What can we control?

Master Oogway says we have to accept that we cannot control everything. Shifu replies that we can control some things and shows this by hitting the Sacred Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom to get the peaches to fall and planting a peach seed from which a tree will grow. Master Oogway points out that we can only get a peach tree not an apple tree from that seed, teaching the definite relationship between cause and effect (karma). But then he shows the manner of passing away into the Dharmakaya Truth Body by dissolving into emptiness, showing that for whom emptiness is possible, anything is possible, as the famous Buddhist teacher Nagarjuna said.

Just believe

Po is lumbering and clumsy, at least for as long as he identifies with “me”, a limited self, in his case a big fat lazy Panda. But he doesn’t want to be “me” any more, he wants to change. And Master Oogway gives both Master Shifu and Po the confidence to believe in Po’s ability to do it, and believing is what we need to do if we are to let go of our ego, fulfill our potential and make spiritual progress. (However, unlike in the movie, we are all “chosen”). And Master Shifu also realizes there can be no cookie cutter approach to teaching one’s students, especially these days. The teacher and student sometimes need to think out of the box and find other ways, even if these are unconventional (and involve dumplings).


Po’s humility is what enables him to succeed. He has an ingenuousness and zest for life that is very refreshing for the five great and good warriors who have gotten slightly institutionalized and by the book in the Jade Palace. Po is down to earth and unobsequious but at the same time entirely and humbly in awe of Kung Fu and its masters. For me he was an example of staying fresh on our spiritual path, devoted to the teachings, teachers and living beings but not rigidly going through the motions, becoming sycophantic and/or developing a superiority complex in an ivory tower. We need discipline, but we also need lightness of touch and the ability to respect each others’ differences.

Even at the end when Po has defeated Tai Lung and the whole valley are prostrating to him and chanting “Master”, he doesn’t develop a trace of pride or identify with that praise. That word simply reminds him of his own master, so he turns around and rushes back up the steps to see him.

What is the secret ingredient?

And the other thing is that Po realizes something very important when he enters the mystery of the dragon scroll – he does not need to add anything at all from the outside to fulfill his potential. As his father, the goose Mr. Ping, finally confides about his Secret Ingredient Soup, the secret ingredient is …. that there is no secret ingredient! We don’t need a secret ingredient. We don’t need to be someone “special”. We all have the potential already to be great. This is our Buddha nature.

Movies and us

Okay, I know, I have read far too much into this movie! And a cartoon to boot! But I guess that’s the point; we can and do see anything anywhere because nothing is really out there, it is all projection of our own minds. I cannot find a world outside of my experience of the world, and when I change my mind, my world itself automatically changes. In Joyful Path of Good Fortune, my own Master Geshe Kelsang says:

Milarepa said that he regarded everything that appeared to his mind as a Dharma book. All things confirmed the truth of Buddha’s teachings and increased his spiritual experience.”

So, if we are going to watch movies, we might as well make them into spiritual teachings!

It is a lovely Sunday afternoon – the kind any man would give an arm and a leg to spend curled up on a couch in front of the television. We are pretty good at this sort of thing. No, not giving up useful limbs but parking our behinds on the sofa. For some inexplicable reason, this activity is completely beyond the comprehension of the wife. And it is exactly for this reason that you find men in a shopping mall on sunday afternoons.

It is not all bad. It is not that women need men to shop. They simply need us to drive them to the mall, carry their bags, and then drive them back home. This usually leaves us with an inordinate amount of time during which the sane amoung us have nothing to do save ogle at the wives of other men. There is this other species of men who goes around playing arcade games or checking out the latest electronic gadgets but since that is a species much lower than the salmonella bacteria we will not talk about it.

Sometimes, though, there is a higher purpose for our existence in shopping malls. Imagine a scenario where a Martian lands on earth, more specifically a pub when a cricket match is on. All he hears are chants of ‘Sachin! Sachin!’. The Martian is now confused. He had done his research on earth. He had come prepared. He spoke 11 languages. But he was unfamiliar with the term ‘Sachin! Sachin!’. Scratching his head the Martian goes out in search of answers. This is when he conveniently bumps into you.

This is an opportunity not to be scoffed at. You could possibly be standing at the cusp of inter-planetary war. What if the Martian mistook the chant for a war cry? After all, adrenalin-fuelled chants do get quite bloody vociferous. It is upto you to usher in an era of cosmic peace. Fortunately, your wife has just gone into the trial room with five tops which leaves you with enough time to explain facts to the Martian.

The most logical place to start would be with an elaboration of the game of cricket. No other game is so self-obsessed with its rules that it infact calls them ‘laws’. The easy bit first. Cricket is a game played by two teams with 11 players each. Now things get complicated. Somehow you manage to explain the intricacies of batting, bowling and fielding. Beads of perspiration appear on your forehead as you struggle to make the Martian understand the modes of dismissals.

For his part, the Martian has been quite a sport. He has listened intently and absorbed the essence of what you have said so far. Now comes the tricky bit. Out of the corner of your eye, you notice your wife has made her choice of the top. This leaves you with a window of time, yes. But a small window in which she gets the billing done.

You talk a little faster now. You try to explain to the Martian power play overs or field restrictions. During power play, there cannot be more than 2 or 3 (depending on which power play is on) fielders outside the 30 yard circle in the limited overs format. In any format, there cannot be more than 5 fielders on the leg side and not more than two between the wicket-keeper and the square leg umpire. The Martian wears an amused look. It is easier to send a man to the gallows than this. Heck, after this cricket session the Martian would gladly walk to the gallows himself.

But it is not done yet. You are still to explain the restrictions on bouncers, the wide rule, the beamer rule, the no-ball, the pitching outside leg stump LBW rule, the disinction between offering a shot and not offering one… Phew! On the bright side, your wife has been told there is a ‘buy one get one free’ offer on. She has gone back to trialling tops. So you still have the time.

You are finally done with making the Martian understand the game of cricket. Yes, your handkerchief is soaked in sweat. But you pulled it off. Bravo! It is now time to tell him about the phenomenon of ‘Sachin! Sachin!’. Your eyes light up in glee. This was your moment. The climax that made all the cricket gyan worth it. You take a deep breath, the hint of a smile beginning to form. You are about to tell the Martian about God.

Sachin is the best cricketer on our planet, you say. He is what makes us watch a match at 4 in the morning. He is to us what atmosphere is to a Martian. You stand back and smile. You feel this sense of glow that a mother feels on the success of her child, a sense of pride that a father has on the success of his child. You breathe in your greatest possible moment – of introducing to an alien being the joys of ‘Sachin! Sachin!’.

The Martian quietly muses. He is absorbed in thought. Perhaps he is coming to terms with the greatness he has been told about. After a long while he finally speaks:

“So, you are telling me that in a setting of complex rules this man is the best.”

He walks off into the proverbial sunset. That’s the last you see of him. But he leaves you with more questions than answers.

If this man is the best in a setting of complex rules, then you would be best too in another setting of complex rules. Unlike a sprinter who is the fastest human or a weightlifter who is the strongest human, given the right set of complicated rules you could be the best in that environment.

The thought stays with you as you drive home. May be you could aim to be the fastest driver with a load of shopping bags in his car.

Today’s youth seems to own a very special quality in them—something which wasn’t all that prevalent with the previous generations. They have a choice for almost everything but this super magical quality which the previous generations were void of and mostly denied, isn’t being used judiciously by today’s youth. With choice equipped in their inventory, one can choose a really nice looking T-shirt over a plain coloured not-so-good-looking T-shirt, can choose a high end multi-utility mobile phone over a phone which has just a VGA camera and an FM radio in it, a better person from the opposite sex and the list is practically never ending. In the end, it’s just a choice between Good or Bad!

While most folks from the previous generations introduced themselves to alcohol and smoking only after their teenage or during their late twenties, most teenagers these days live in a fast forwarded world, with access to a pack of cigarettes or a glass of whisky with little or no remorse at all.

I am not all that different from you guys, I’m just a few years past my teenage (a decade to be very precise). I noticed something really amusing, which I am sure you’ll agree with me at the end of this blah blah! As a teenager, I saw most of my classmates smoking away to glory and a few of them even found their new interest with alcoholic beverages. During our discussions during classes (Yes, when the lecturer’s busy explaining something, we’d talk about other things!), one thing seemed to be in common with all of them. They didn’t smoke or drink because they were addicted to it. They did it so they wouldn’t feel left out amongst the group. There’s this false notion amongst today’s youth that ‘someone who drinks or smokes is one who is being true to himself/herself or is a man/woman’. Hello? That’s a little too weird isn’t it? Haven’t you heard someone tell this to you? “Do this if you’re a man…” or whatever? And you often do it? WHY?

We always talk about using the power of discretion when it comes to doing certain things. Doesn’t it apply here too? There is a definite need to reinforce our decisions with another decision – a decision to make sure we use the power of ‘discretion’ or ‘choice’. Imagine someone coming up to you and asking you to do something you don’t approve of, and you reply with a “NO”. All of us love seeing that  harrowed “WTH” expression on our friends’ faces, don’t we? And you’re doing this for the right reason.

Well, I guess that’s about it. Think about all of it and decide for yourself. Nothing better than a healthy and happy life. It doesn’t mean you have to abstain from everything. It’s just the excess that you need to keep a tab on. I guess I’ll sign off now. I’ve got to get back to Facebook and have to do some modifications and corrections on my blog. Rock on!!

Kisan Bapat Baburao Hazare was born 15 January 1940), popularly known as Anna Hazare in a small village, Bhingar, near Ahmednagar India. Anna’s father Shri Baburao Hazare worked as an unskilled labourer in Ayurveda Ashram Pharmacy. Anna’s grandfather was in the army and was posted at Bhingar when Anna was born. He died in 1945 but Anna’s father continued to stay at Bhingar. In 1952 Anna’s father resigned from his job and returned to his own village i.e. Ralegan Siddhi. At that time Anna had completed his education up to 4th standard and had six younger siblings. It was with great difficulty that Anna’s father could make two ends meet. Anna’s aunt (father’s sister) took Anna to Mumbai. She was childless and she offered to look after him and his education.

Anna studied upto the 7th standard in Mumbai. He took up a job after the 7th standard in consideration of the economic situation back home. Anna’s father at Ralegan had to work as a daily wage labourer and found it difficult to sustain his family. He was slipping deeper and deeper into debt. He had to sell off one part of his land and mortgage the other. Anna started selling flowers at Dadar in order to make his living. But Anna’s working at somebody’s shop for Rs. 40 a month was not enough. After gaining some experience, he started his own shop and even brought two of his brothers to Mumbai. Gradually Anna’s income went up to Rs.  700 to Rs.  800 per month.

In a couple of years Anna fell into bad company and started wasting his time and money on vices. He also started getting involved in brawls and fights, especially when he found some simple person being harassed by goondas. He became irregular in sending money to his family. The word went around in Ralegan that he had become a bad character himself. In one such fight, Anna bashed up a person rather badly. Fearing arrest, he avoided coming to his regular work and residence for some time. During this period (in April 1960) he appeared in Army recruitment interviews and was selected to join the Indian Army.

Anna Hazare started his career as a driver in the Indian Army. He spent his spare time reading the books of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi and Acharya Vinoba Bhave that inspired him to become a social worker and activist. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, he was the only survivor in a border exchange of fire, while driving a truck. During the mid-1970s he was again involved in a road accident while driving.

He once contemplated suicide and even wrote a two-page essay on why he wanted to end his life. Anna Hazare was not driven to such a pass by circumstances. He wanted to live no more because he was frustrated with life and wanted an answer to the purpose of human existence.

The story goes that one day at the New Delhi Railway Station, he chanced upon a book on Swami Vivekananda. Drawn by Vivekananda’s photograph, he is quoted as saying that he read the book and found his answer – that the motive of his life lay in service to his fellow humans. Today, Anna Hazare is the face of India’s fight against corruption. He has taken that fight to the corridors of power and challenged the government at the highest level. People, the common man and well-known personalities alike, are supporting him in the hundreds swelling to the thousands.

For Anna Hazare, it is another battle. And he has fought quite a few. Including some as a soldier for 15 years in Indian Army. In 1978, he took voluntary retirement from the 9th Maratha Battalion and returned home to Ralegaon Siddhi, a village in Maharashtra’s drought-prone Ahmadnagar. He was 39 years old.

He found farmers back home struggling for survival and their suffering would prompt him to pioneer rainwater conservation that put his little hamlet on the international map as a model village. The villagers revere him. Thakaram Raut, a school teacher in Ralegaon Siddhi says, “Thanks to Anna’s agitations, we got a school, we got electricity, we got development schemes for farmers.”

Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption began here. He fought first against corruption that was blocking growth in rural India. His organization – the Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Andolan (People’s movement against Corruption). His tool of protest – hunger strikes. And his prime target – politicians.

His weapon is potent. In 1995-96, he forced the Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra to drop two corrupt Cabinet Ministers. In 2003, he forced the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state government to set up an investigation against four ministers.   Maharashtra stalwarts like Sharad Pawar and Bal Thackeray have often called his style of agitation nothing short of “blackmail”.

But Anna Hazare has soldiered on relentless. From one battle to another in his war against corruption. He fought from the front to have Right to Information (RTI) implemented. He is now fighting for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill, an anti-corruption bill drafted by leading members of civil society that envisages speedy action in corruption cases against everyone, including ministers and senior bureaucrats.

More than 30 years after Anna Hazare started his crusade, as the 72-year-old observes a hunger strike in Delhi against large-scale corruption at the national level, nothing really has changed except the scale of his battle.

I officially work in the internet field. Unofficially, I have Twitter, Facebook accounts, regularly write on this blog and post photos on Picasa. This idea was born thanks to the world wide web and grows thanks to its magic of connecting people. Many of my dearest friends live in other countries and the cheapest and faster way of communication is… the web. I sometimes think I live a parallel life. I feel like in some strange ways I’ve come to see and experience life through the coldness of cables and computer screens. Sometimes even through the coldness of a camera lens.

Yet there are two things I could never live without. A rucksack and a book. I’m spellbound to the adventure of travels and to the power of words, to the thrilling of discovery each is able to bestow on me in their own unique ways. Heading on a new journey, leaving your world and enter another, get to know its new rules and beauties, being fascinated by its colours, smells, sounds, savours… feeling the pages with your fingers, linger on some passages that strike your soul.

There’s a part of me that is profoundly Romantic. I like the smell of old book, the rough sensations of the worn paper on my fingertips. And when I travel I love to disconnect from technology, no laptop nor e-mails, even my mobile phone is switched off most of the time. Dip into another world, loose and find myself anew.

When I travel, even when I read a book, the only thing I just can’t leave behind is my camera. The only filter I allow myself, my compass, my North in unknown and fascinating realms.

What Makes a Man Angry

Scratch the surface of a suave man and you may find seething anger… what makes men more prone to violence? Times Life found out. This is an excerpt from an article in the Times Life.

From a Woman’s Perspective:

  1. Seeing a stranger cozying up to his woman
  2. Professional frustration
  3. When his ego is hurt
  4. When a woman does not understand his silence
  5. If he thinks the woman or person he addresses is subservient, he gets carried away with his own power
  6. Seeing his dented
  7. What he perceives as not enough sex
  8. Another motorist cuts you off while driving
  9. Making more money than him
  10. Rejection from a woman or a cheating spouse

From a man’s point of view:

  1. When he loves someone and is ignored
  2. When somebody overtakes when driving
  3. When his girlfriend / wife is openly flirting in a party
  4. If his plan is not followed
  5. When his sexual competence is challenged or joked about in public or private
  6. When his expectations are not met at work, in relationships etc
  7. When his car or mobile is damaged
  8. When he is denied alcohol
  9. When his bank balance is made fun of in public or compared to another man’s
  10. When someone crushes his ego

What do you think really makes a man angry? Post your comments!!!

The United Nations has declared 2011 as ‘International Year of Forests.’ Keeping this in focus, Doo Creative India Pvt. Ltd., a young, Hyderabad-based agency, has brought out a calendar called ‘Green Guardians’ that aesthetically draws attention to the need to protect and conserve nature.

Coming at a time when nature seems `upset’ at the denuding of green cover, global warming and toxic spillages, lensman Suresh Natarajan has balanced the worrisome cause with beauty by depicting models in organic wear and wielding primitive weapons with aggression as green guardians..

Shot entirely in South Africa with an international cast, stylists and crew, the models have successfully brought out the cause for the urgent need to protect nature and earth.

Here are the green guardians of nature…….


Forests are the lungs of the earth. But increasing commercialization has led to the denuding of trees. As winter bids goodbye and green shoots spring up, Shayra Coser is here with a message: we do not own the earth, we have merely inherited it.


As the earth `freshens’ up after a harsh winter, Jessica Lee Buchanan is zealous to protect the greenshoots and the green cover that should be passed on to the next generation.


The first signs of summer are here as Lisa Maree Van Zyl shows how to relax but at the same time protect the wonders of earth’s sun-burnt beauty.


Trees are the true inheritors of the earth. Shayra Coser tells us that trees are our friends and the time-keepers of nature.


When the summer sun filters through a canopy of green cover, the rays form an artistic pattern. Jessica Lee Buchanan merges herself with this canvas and shows how wonderful it is to be one with nature.


When the monsoon pours its bounty, the earth dances in `green joy’. Washed by nature, the green cover gets a new coat of paint that only nature is adept in. And Lisa Maree Van Zyl is a guardian of this `monsoon painting’ of nature.


“Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!”

Shayra Coser stands alone bathed in the golden rays of the sun holding aloft a sickle-headed staff even as the tall grasses bow in unison.


The leaves and grasses stand still heralding the arrival of Jessica Lee Buchanan, “the August avatar”.


Welcome to the abode of the Jungle Queen! Behold Lisa Maree Van Zyl, the guardian at the gates!


And you thought the trees can’t speak! Forest officer Shayra Coser is all set for a combat after hearing the cries of nature.


Hallo! Who’s here? That’s Miss Hallo-green Jessica Lee Buchanan, the runaway winner of the best Halloween costume.


“Do you hear what I hear?” Lisa Maree Van Zyl of the Aerial Forest Force strikes a pixie-like pose up on the tree-top as she listens to the distant jingles of the bells.