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Archive for June, 2012

Mango tree, a symbol of love


“A beautiful, golden radiant princess, the daughter of Sun God landed on Earth. The King of the land instantly fell in love with her, and desired to marry her. However, a sorceress fell jealous of how King was enamoured by her, and turned her into ashes. From these ashes a huge tree with dark green leaves grew, which bore golden fruits taking to the radiance of the princess. As one of the fruits ripened and fell on Earth, it instantly turned back into the same Princess Surya Bai. The King recognised her, and they got married.”

This is how the legend of the origin of a mango tree, symbolizing  eternal love, is mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature.

The tree is known to date back to 4000BC in India and the fruit it bore, has been known as the ‘fruit of Gods’.

There is another legend which says that :

Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati were gifted with a golden fruit by Narada, the son of Lord Brahma and with an instruction to be eaten by only one person. So they chose to give to one of their two sons, with a condition that whoever will take 3 rounds of the universe first will be rewarded with this fruit. Ganesh being a smart child took three rounds around his parents and reached back earlier than the other brother, Karthik, saying,  “My parents are my universe”.

Hence Ganesha got the fruit, owing to his unequivocal love for his parents.

Not just the fruit, the whole mango tree is revered in Hindu mythology.

Considered auspicious, its dark, big leaves are  used to adorn the house in festivals like Diwali and Pongal.

In the weddings too, as a symbol of love and fertility, the leaves are held in a row by a string and hung at the door to welcome the new bride into the house.


A
uspicious mango leaves adorning the door.

As an evergreen mango tree starts to blossom with buds, it heralds the onset of spring, and hence called madhu duta( the messenger of spring) that invites love.

A sanksrit couplet says:
aṅkurite pallavite korakite vikasite ca sahakāre |
aṅkuritaḥ pallavitaḥ korakito vikasitaś ca madano ‘sau ||

As the mango flowers begin to swell, to put forth sprouts, to bud and finally to blossom,
Love too swelled, sprouted, budded and blossomed.

The dark green leaves, with fragrant buds and blossoms attract the swarms of humming bees and singing cuckoo birds. The relationship of Mango tree laden with blossoms and Cuckoo bird is that of a lover and the beloved.

The secret of Cuckoo’s melodious voice is associated with the sweet fragrance of mango blossoms and honey laden mango fruits. Perhaps owing to this, mango buds were known to be eaten by singers in old days to make their voice melodious.


Cuckoo on a  mango tree.

Kalidas in his poetry Seasons( Ritusamharam) describes the Spring (Vasanta) as:

” Intoxicated by the nectar of mango blossoms ,
The cuckoo kisses his mate happily in love,….”
“The lovely mango shoot is his choicest arrow,
the swarm of bees is his bow string,
……….
May the world-conquering Manmatha,
Accompanied by vasanta,
Grant you more and more joy.”

Amir Khusrau relates them as:

sakal ban phool rahi sarson
ambva phootey, tesu phule,
koel boley dar dar,
gori karat shingar

The mustard blooms in every field,
Mango buds snap open, the flower blooms,
The cuckoo sings from every branch,
The damsel adorns make-up.

Apart from Gods, even the Rajas, Maharajas, Mughal Emperors and Nawabs could not contain their love for Mangoes, and it is no secret. They were known to keep mango orchards, and took pride in showing off their orchards to the royal guests and spending time with their queens in the orchards when they trees were laden with fragrant blossoms.

Sending a baskets of select mangoes to friends and kins was considered a coveted gesture. Along with the sweetness and aroma, it carried the affection from its sender.

There are folk songs, passed on from generations, relating to Cuckoo bird as the beloved of mango tree:

A Hindi song from India:

Amuva ki dali bole: “Kaali koyaliya, aajaa balmuva hamaar, aja balamuva hamaar.
~The mango branch calls out: “Oh the black cuckoo, come my beloved, come my beloved.” 

Yet another one a Punjabi folk song from Pakistan:

Ambewaan de booteyan pe lag gaya bore nee, rut we milaapan waalin, chann mera door nee.
~There are blossoms on  mango tree, and the season of being together is there, but my friend is away. 

 

A  dussehri mango shaped like a heart, a gift of nature, grown on the mango tree in  Reena Satin`s garden.

 

P.S. A few more blogs to follow on mango and a some  interesting recipes using mango 🙂

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Great little stories of Love


Many stories in our lives, no matter how little, but  leave us changed.

I begin with my own family’s story, which  broke my barriers of India-Pakistan, and changed my life for all times to come:

Living in a rented house in New Delhi, India  for some time, we were faced with a senior couple as out Landlords, who were old workers of a radical extremist organisation. They put restrictions on my parents for the list of food items we would not be allowed to cook in the kitchen.
Auntie, as my parents called her, would come and check the kitchen often. But since my parents were complying to their demands, respecting their sentiments, they did not object. In fact, they let her reassure herself.

Once my Papa’s Khala in Lahore, Pakistan went sick, and he wanted to see her before she passed away. Luckily we got the visa too, easily. My parents informed  Uncle-Aunty that we are going for a visit to Pakistan. Honestly we expected a negative reaction.

On the contrary, a day later, the senior couple came upstairs to us and made a ‘moving’ appeal. They said they lived in some house in Lahore before migrating in 1947, as newlyweds, and if we could get the picture of that house. The house address, they had memorised by heart, even after almost 29 years, in 1978

The address was (some number), Ram Gali, Lahore.

We went to visit their house, took pictures of it. The current residents were very hospitable and showed us all the different curious things about the house they had left preserved “as it is’ in the house.
One such thing was the OM installed at the head of the entrance of the house.

When we returned back, first thing my Papa did was to develop the photos, and present it as an album to them.

The couple cried in tears seeing the pictures and hearing the details we had told to them from the residents. They were particularly moved at the OM still in place, and the name of the street still being Ram Gali.

Almost the same time, my Nani had passed away, and Ammi would feel depressed. Auntie said, “You are my daughter, as it is I have none “.  She had two sons, who were living away.

Auntie never came up for checking the kitchen, but to give guavas from her tree in the back yard to us kids, or jasmine (chameli ) flowers from the garden, which my mother loved so much.

Our house was under construction. Uncle offered, “Take me there, since I have experience in house building I can give you some suggestions”.

After 6 months we moved to our own house. But the relationship of love continued. They did not visit much as they were very old, but whenever we visited their house as family we were received  by  hugs  with “We are your Nani Nana.”

Another…

Attending  an AGM of an NGO for seniors, Mr Roy, from DELHI, INDIA narrated a story with emotions & tears:

“My 89 year old mother was admitted in a hospital emergency in Toronto, in a semiconscious state. The attending doctor, considering her age & condition, to my horror said

“You must prepare yourself for an end-of-life measures for her”. 

Mr Roy replied: “She is my mother, so I do not accept your offer and demanded for a change of doctor.” 
They complied. And another Dr Kirmani, with origin from KARACHI, PAKISTAN was assigned. He told me “Just pray for her, I will try my best.”

“After 3 weeks in hospital, my mother came back home, with mild recent memory loss, but is active and reads newspapers but she forgets easily. My mother is alive and prays for Dr Kirmani’s well being each day”

I would beg  anyone who has any story of LOVE, please share here in the comments  and on event page:

Celebrate India, Pakistan Independence Days for PEACE on 14, 15 August

https://www.facebook.com/events/185174041611282/

Nirala Sawera


Dedicated to the events :  

Pledge for Peace Launch in UTM, Mississauga, ON.  https://www.facebook.com/events/398846800175596/

Aug 14-15, 2012 Pakistanis, Indians, celebrate Independence Day for Peace
https://www.facebook.com/events/185174041611282/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/amankiasha1/#!/events/243690589069619/

Nafrat ki gathri ko mein ney
Phenk diya hai gireh laga ker
Hasrat se ab khol rahi hoon
Yaadon bharey iss thailey ko
Pyaar ki taaza hawa lagaane
Aman ki roshan dhoop dikhane.

Tum bhi aao, kholo apni
Saari gaanthein, saare bull
Tum bhi apne jholey mein se
Bujhe huwe woh deep nikalo
Un yaadon ke, un baaton ke
Un qisson ke, jo itne zyada
Dohratey the jab Nana Dada
Chehre unke damka jaate the
Ankhein unki chamka detey the.

Usee dhamak ki roshni mein tar
Usee chamak ki lau ko lekar
Mein bhi apna deep jalaaoon
Tum bhi apna diya jalaao
Roshan phir se rahon ko ker dein

Taaron se  khwabon ko bher dein.

Apna apna diya jalaa ker
Saare apne dard bhulaker

Mil ker jab sub saath chalenge
Haath me lekar haath chalenge
Dhal jayegi ghurbat ki sham
Ho paayegi khush haali aam.

Lekin saw nahin, hazaar nahin,
Saath her ek ko chalna hogaa.
Sirf mera ya tumhara nahin,
Diya her ek ka jalna hogaa.
Karoron diye jo saath jalenge,
Dil mein nai umang bharenge.
Pher door jab andhera hogaa,

To kya nirala yeh SAWERA hoga.

Ilmana Fasih
June 6, 2012

Stress~the silent killer


You are not alone. Stress is a phenomenon affecting all people from all walks of life, in all countries.

Stress is man’s psycho-emotional response to everyday challenging issues and its overload of demands, in excess to his capacity to cope.

What causes stress? 

Stress can  be caused by multiple reasons that occur in everyday life,  like  unexpected turns and twists in career, relationship problems in family or outside, financial losses, fear of disease or death, even a small tiff with near and dear ones may cause stress.

As goes the saying, “There is no stress either before birth or after death”

How does stress affect us?

The manifestation of stress depending upon its intensity or duration. It begins in the head, but descends down to affect the whole body. There can be a healthy body only when there is a healthy mind. It may manifest outwardly as:

  • Insomnia
  • Involuntary weight loss or gain
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Anger/ Rage

Stress being silent operator, most people do not realize that they are dangerously living with it, till they suffer from its grave after affects.
And when prolonged without intervention can lead to serious issues like:

  • Bodyache/Backaches ( all pains seem exaggerated in stress)
  • Asthma ( not all but some asthmatic attacks are result of psychogenic stress)
  • Hypertension
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Diabetes
  • Heart (cardiovascular) diseases.
  • Depression
  • Suicides.
Studies show: Stress is a major contributing factors either directly or indirectly, to coronary artery disease, cancer, respiratory disorders, injuries due to accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicides.

DO YOU KNOW?  

One American is reported to be dying every minute due to stress related cardiac arrest. The medical costs due to direct or indirect consequences of stress alone have been estimated in the United States at well over 1 billion US dollars per year.

A person tries to commit suicide in China every two minutes, giving the country one of the highest suicide rates in the world. These have positive correlation with high intensity stress, owing to an ultra modern life style in a highly competitive environment.

What should you NOT do during stress:

 Smoking
 Drinking too much
 Overeating or under eating
 Long hours in front of the TV or computer
 Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
 Using pills or drugs to relax
 Sleeping too much
 Procrastinating
 Keeping toobusy to avoid facing problems
 Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
 Carry your office work or stress at home.

KNOW THAT: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ~Mark Twain

How to control Stress:

The key principle to follow in case of stress would be to ignore what cannot be controlled and to control what cannot be ignored.

Face the music: For managing stress there can be two approaches ‘fight’ or ‘flight’. Either face the music or escape it. You cannot wish away stress. It is and will be an integral part of modern and increasingly competitive society.

Stay in control: Do not let the stress to control you. Keep stress under check through will power, proper cultivation of mind, cultivation of positive psyche and meditation.

Be an optimist: Optimistic outlook, cheerful temperament, positive attitude, cultivating sympathy, self discipline, all help to keep mind in good shape. Session with God can be a kind of divine-de-stressor.

Eat Healthy: By having a healthy diet, doing regular exercise, and getting enough sleep your body will be able to cope with the stress.

Move forward: Do not needlessly get tied to the past, get over hangover of the last night and start the morning with a hope for a bright day and brighter tomorrow.
Think of pleasant past, enjoy your present and plan for a future with cheers.

Be a home pigeon: Make home your love nest, where office does not exist. Parents, wife, children are your love companions. Reserve Sundays and holiday for spending time with your loved ones, for relaxation and recreation. Your family is the last line of defense against stress.

Tickle your funny bone: Include humor in your life. Laugh away the oddities of life.

Love yourself: Have a me time. Listen to music, see movies, read favorite authors, cultivate hobbies.

Be a social animal: Invite friends over at home, eat together, laugh together, spend week ends or vacations out with friends.

BOTTOM LINE: You can yourself pose to CALM down stress, what ‘CALMPOSE’ cannot do. 🙂

This text of this blog is generously contributed by Dr Raminderjit Singh. Thank you, Doc 🙂