Sunday, April 22

Mahabharata Contest : Answers & Winners


So, the contest is finally over and I apologize for publishing the answers so very late in this blog.

The winners are :

1.       Bikram from Me & My Random Thoughts
2.       Rajesh from Destination Infinity
3.       Raghav from Chaos

Well done guys !

Bikram Veer ji made a very good attempt in answering the questions and Arti's 1 answer was a new learning about Mahabharata. Thanks once again for the participation and making this contest a success.

DI, Raghav : You guys were best in answering the questions correctly!

Here’s what you get (you may post the image (award/memento) on your blog wall):


Alright, now comes the main part of answering the questions:

1.      What led to Abhimanyu’s death inside Chakravyuh?

Ans: Subhadra slept while learning the entire lesson from Arjun about entering & breaking the Chakarvyuh. She did hear how to enter, but slept when it was about breaking it. Abhimanya was in his mother's womb at that moment.

2.      Why did Lord Krishna laugh when Bheema’s son Ghatotkch died while fighting against the Kauravas?

Ans: Bheema’s son was proving too fatal for Kauravas and inorder to avoid defeat, Dhuryodhana asked karna to use the mighty Brahmastra weapon against Gatothkach. Karna actually preserved the weapon to be used against Arjuna and Krishna knew if karna used it against Arjuna, it’s end of Mahabharata with Arjun’s death. So he laughed on seeing Ghatotkach die because the last chance which Duryodhana had to win the battle through Brahmastra was actually used for killing Bheema’s son.

3.      What was the main reason for Mahabharata to take place? Was it greed or was it something else?

Ans: Draupadi.

Pandavas built a fort for Draupadi which had a magical mirage effect. Pandavas invited Kauravas once to their fort and Dhuroyodhana fell on the floor due to the optical illusion of the fort. So Draupadi laughed at him and said, “andhey ka beta andha!!!” (blind son of a blind man) which was a tip-off for Mahabharata to take place.

4.      Why doors of heaven opened for a dog but Yudhishtir was shown the way to hell?

Ans: Yudhishthir never lied in his life so his chariot always flew above the ground. But on telling about Ashwathama’s death to Dronacharya, his chariot came down and touched the ground as he lied which turned out to be a main reason that instead of yudhishthir, doors of heaven were opened for a dog but not for him.

5.      Which important character from Mahabharata met one of the main character’s from Ramayana? And, what was its significance in Mahabharata?

Ans: Hanuman met Bhima. The only reason to meet Bhima was to make him realize that with Power comes great responsibility. Hanuman Blessed Bheema with strength to fight against Dhuryodhana and gave blessings in the form of saffron colored flag tied to Arjuna’s chariot which gave power to the pandavas.

6.      What was the curse given to karna which led to his death?

Ans: His Guru, who was surprised to see his strength when bitten by crab, cursed him that he'll not be able to use any of his powers given/teaching's learnt when desired the most during war.

7.      Duryodhana was blessed to be immortal. Who gave him this power and what led to his death?

Ans: Gandhari gave him the power to be immortal by blessing him with her vision throughout his body, which she had stored within for entire life. The reason for his death was Krishan, who advised him not to go fully naked in front of a mother who is going to see you after a long period of time. He asked Duryodhana to cover his personal parts/thigh areas which led to his death.

8.      How many brothers did Duryodhana had?

Ans: 99

9.      Who was Karna’s foster mother?

Ans: His (foster) father was a charioteer married to a dhobin named Radha.

10.  Who was the only warrior who had power to beat Arjun but was never made to fight Mahabharata?

Ans: Eklavya. 

He couldn't fight because he wasn't a Kshatriya with unknown family origins and was asked to give away his thumb for learning Dhanush vidya from Arjun's Guru without his permission.

11.  Who was Barbarik?

Ans: Barbarik was son of Ghatothkaj who was son of Bheema. Barbarik had power to kill all in 1 minute. He wanted to join Pandavas so Krishna asked him to demonstrate his skills. On seeing his power, Krishna beheaded Barbarik to avoid mass annihilation which may end the battle in 1 minute.
Krishna asked Barbarik’s amputated head his last wish. Barabarik wished to see the entire battle of Kurukshetra through his eyes, so Krishna took his head and kept it on top of the hill to view entire Mahabharata.

Saturday, April 21

Ta Ta Tagged


Ta Ta Tagged – Once Again!!!

I’ve been tagged once again and this time by Bikram Veerji from ‘Me and My Random Thoughts’ Blog. Thank you Veerji for the tag and also for the Eureka Award I received last month. Sincere apologies for replying so late about the award you shared with me. There’s a small picture of the memento I’ve pasted on my blog. Thank you once again for the appreciation.

Alright, as per rule 1, I must publish the rules first J

1. You must post the rules.

2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.

3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.

4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Rule 2: Answer the questions:

Here are Bikram’s questions from the tag:

1.  What is it that you love to do, most, and would rather spend your time doing it?

I love solving mathematical problems whenever free and would like to see myself do the same thing as I grow old.

2.  What do you think others think of you?

I am not sure what others think of me. Fact is I am least interested to know what others think of me. We humans don’t think about ourselves, who has time to think about others.

3.  Where do you see yourself end the next 10 years?

I see myself here at the same place where I am today. Life is not a race take it easy.

4.  What is one quality of yours you admire the most?

Patience.

5.  Have you played a trick on someone that went bad, what is it?

I am like a ‘door knob’ when it comes to act clever or play tricks. What worst it can get, I am a victim of my own tricks.

6.  Who would you say made you who you are today (other than your parents, if that is what you would answer)?

Leo Babauta from Zen habits.

7.  What gives you joy?

Satisfaction in whatever work I do.

8.  Who is your favourite hero and Why?

Hrithik Roshan and Tom Hanks.

The Greek God for his physique and for his dance and acting talent. He’s a human prodigy.

Tom Hanks, the protagonist, for the excellence he has achieved in the world of commercial cinema.

9.  Why do you blog?

To share my ideas and my thoughts with the world I know least of.

10.  Do you believe in love stories, if yes why?

Yes, off course. My marriage is a result of a sweet and unique love story.

11. Tell us an incident that you remember always.

Late night 3 AM, year 2007, 1.5 Blender’s Pride (Whisky) Bottles down my spine, I walked on the veil of my first floor flat (thinking I was on road), sudden thunder, veil shattered into pieces thanks to my weight and I landed on the car parked below shattering the front mirror into pieces. I bled for the rest of the night, somehow saved myself from police charge but came under 50k fine for the car repair and was forced to leave the flat soon after.

Now my turn to ask 11 questions to the taggers I’ll tag in rule 3.

1.       If you are given a chance to time travel, which part of your age would you like to rewind your life upto?

2.       One blogger’s blog you look forward for newer updates?

3.       How many times you check your facebook account for new updates / notifications?

4.       What if you are without a facebook account today? (this question is an extension to the previous question)

5.       If you are asked to teach in school, name one subject you are most comfortable in explaining to kids?

6.       One thing you want to do good for the humanity?

7.       Your epitaph should read … “…”?

8.       The person (not in relation) you admire most in your life and why?

9.       One group/organization/club you would like to be a member of for the rest of your life?

10.   If you could have dinner with anyone from anytime in history, whom would you like to dine with?

11.   What as per your understanding is ‘an ideal life’?

Rule 3: Tag 11 people:

Here’s my list of 11 people I tag. All the best guys!
1.       Jenny
2.       Raghav
3.     Sujatha
4.    Ruchi
5.    Kajal
6.    Vishal
7.    Medhini
8.    Komathi
9.    Akila
10.  Anupama
11.  Saru

Monday, April 9

Ways To Live A Healthy Lifestyle


It's Time To Change!

With the dawn of 21st century, advancement in technology with new gadgets making foray in human lives along with perky salaries has turned down yesteryear’s ideas of simple living to give way for sedentary and lethargic lifestyle. But all this has come with a price. This fast paced life blended with technology advancement has made every individual not only fat on the salary but health wise as well. Competition to perform, pressure to excel has negated the inner stability of an individual and degraded their lifestyle.

It seems like Individuals today have removed the pause/relax button from their life’s remote control. This has turned into a rat race where every individual want to outdo others at cost of their health without knowing the fact that there’s no end to this race. Life is not a race, one must slow down. One must enjoy the journey and should not worry about the destination.

Love Yourself: “A kid always loves himself. He has no idea who Jesus or president of the country is. His love is undivided and only for himself. Society and parents forces him to love them, love all and so his love gets divided. He stops loving himself. If you cannot love yourself, you cannot love others. So love yourself first” [OSHO – The Book of Man].

If you cannot take care of your health, you will not be able to take care of the job/work you love most. Similarly, Stop cigarettes if you love yourself and your lungs.

Give time: Extract time for yourself. Free yourself for at least 1/24th of the day and relax. Free yourself from the clutches of iPod, ipad, laptop, internet or jukebox for at least an hour. Try to be in the moment. Calm down. Go on a walk without your phone and enjoy nature.

Improve your Lifestyle: if you are in a deskbound job that makes your life sedentary, break the jinx and get out of it if you love yourself. Incorporate as much physical activity/movement you can in your daily routine to minimize future consequences.

Here’s some of the ways you can improve your lifestyle:

Drink Water: Drink enough water, at least 2 liters a day: Drink as much water possible, it acts as a cleansing agent to clean your body and keeps you hydrated.

Walk whenever possible: if it’s really not possible for you to extract time for walking, make conscious efforts. Avoid use of lift whenever possible in home or office and if market is near to your place of stay, avoid igniting the fuel and prefer walking.

Sleep for at least 6 hrs: Do not stretch beyond 7. Try to get up before 6 in morning. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. Make sure you enjoy at least 6 hours of sleep to keep you active for the whole day.

Avoid sitting in front of system (pc's, desktops, laptops) for too long. Give your eyes rest after day’s hard work: if you are in front of system for too long, stretch your back for 15 minutes whenever possible in the day. Wash your eyes with clean/fresh water whenever you feel sourness in eyes.

Quit Facebook: Ever wondered how much of the day you actually fritter on facebook? A recent study shows that 70% of the teenagers in India spend 8 hours on an average on social networking sites like Facebook. You cannot quit facebook at once but can make efforts to reduce the number of hours invested in a day. Make friends in real not virtually.

Pick a hobby: if you think the day’s sundial is moving too slow for you, pick a hobby, something that is of interest to you and keeps you busy. You may not know but you may do wonders in your area of interest someday.So follow your passion.

Have a healthy diet: A recent analysis says 8/10 professionals suffer from various health issues thanks to overconsumption of junk food and unhealthy diet system. More than 70% of the kids in Pune are obese and cannot run or perform physical activities.

Nothing can replace homemade food. Have a healthy and a nutritious diet. Integrate your food with milk and fruits.

Avoid Tea to Avoid Acidity: if you have acidity issues, avoid tea. Make sure your count stays below 2. Try to make it 1 and slowly reduce it to 0.

Exercise: if you are not the step-up kind and find it hard to shake a leg, try Surya-Namaskar in your daily exercise for complete mind and body and relaxation. 5 minutes of Surya-Namaskar exercise will not only strengthen your heart muscle but will give agility to your body.

Run: Run as much as possible to completely eradicate all health problems.

Love yourself to enjoy the journey called LIFE!!!

This post is written for an ongoing IndiBlogger and Stayfree contest “TIME TO CHANGE” on indiblogger.in!

You can follow/join the “Stayfree India” Campaign on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/sftimetochange

Sunday, April 8

Hope Through Change

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow
-          Albert Einstein

Change is the only thing in nature that remains constant. Change is mandatory and it always happens for good. Change helps an individual break the monotonous circle of life one is involved in since ages. So change is always better and necessary.

A serious change comes only when there’s room for hope. An individual without hope is without life. Let me explain the above statements through a story I’m sure you all must have read during school.

Here’s the condensed version of the story “The Last Leaf” by O. Henry:

The patient kept staring out of the window at the tree to count the number of days remaining in his life with the number of leaves left on the dead tree. The cold weather and storms everyday forced the dormant tree to shed leaves daily, thus reducing his days of survival.

Meanwhile an old and frail protagonist painter was trying his best to make a masterpiece in drawing, one that writes his name in the history of art. But he was waiting for inception of an excellent idea to draw his imagination on to the canvas from quite a long time.

The painter came in acquaintance with the patient and they became good friends in few days. Every day the patient will show him the tree which has few leaves left and relate that to his life. The painter felt sorry for patient’s deplorable situation.

Days passed by, it got colder and leaves kept falling from the tree. The patient’s health was worsening with each falling tree. The painter could not do anything but wait and watch patient’s dying condition.

Now a day came when there were only 2 leaves left on the tree and the patient has figured out the D-day has come for him to depart and move on.

Midnight while working in his study, the painter saw the tree without a leaf and rushed to the site where the tree stood tall. He knew the patient must have fallen asleep by now and will look for the last leaf on tree not before tomorrow. It was blistering cold and freezing when he decided to paint his masterpiece “The Last leaf” on the tree to keep the hope alive in patient as he opens his eye to a new tomorrow.

The patient got better with every passing day as the leaf never fell from tree and thus protecting the patient’s hope from dying.

The painter peacefully died after few days as his health worsened but he was more at peace with himself because he knew that he managed to save his friend’s life through the masterpiece.

One must keep the hope alive by trying something new, by not giving up and by trying to be the change one wants to see in life and make way for others to follow. After all, hope is not such a bad thing.

This was an abridged version of the story I read 10 years back and now I faintly remember.

I hope this story inspire readers to keep hope and optimism alive every moment in their life and keep evolving with time. There’s always a good day after a bad day.

Saturday, April 7

A Visit To Sihanghad Fort, Pune


My Blue Ninja

I and my wife along with my brother in law and sister in law recently went on a road trip to Sihanghad Fort, 30 kms from Pune.

The journey was pretty amazing for 2 reasons. Firstly, it was my first road trip on my (Splendor) bike and secondly, it’s been almost 2 years that I went out to explore a new place considering my love for travelling and adventure.

We got up at quarter past 4 and were on road by dot 5. With all the preparations in place as assumed, we happen to miss out the most important point in our ‘to do’ checklist, there was zero fuel in our bikes and finding an open garage in Pune at 5 in morning was quite an impossible task. But, we somehow managed to get our bike tanks fueled from a petrol pump in ‘Null Stop’. I am sure the person on job must have had a hard time fuelling the tanks as witnessed from his zombie walk.

Anyways we were back on track in 15 minutes. But before we could vrooooooom our bikes on the fast lane, we came across another roadblock in our ‘to do’ list. Pune was freezing in the month of February, especially at 5 in mornings and we were without covers, esp. hand gloves to beat the extreme cold wave while on the move. A dire consequence, our speed was capped and we crawled.

The track gets curvy and rough as you slowly move out of the city. For a normal journey of 30-35 minutes, it took us 45 minutes to touch the starting point of our uphill journey to the fort.

It was pitch black as if we entered some black hole. The only thing visible to naked eye were small light bulbs, may be torch or mobiles dangling as dozen of trekkers made their way uphill. And we decided to be a part of the crowd and let them lead the way till sunrise.

It was a 45 degree steep and 12 km (approx.) track uphill, not easy to cover. We could see people missing the oomph factor and making u-turns half way of their journey. It took us one hour 35 minutes to reach Sihanghad fort irrespective of the fact that we walked continuously and never stopped in the middle. If you want to experience sunrise from the fort, one must hit the road at 4 in morning else experience the sun in the middle of your trek like we did.

let me share my experience through the snaps we clicked during the trek.

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 This was clicked at around 6:45 AM!
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 The main Entrance door to the Fort
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 This was the food we had up there in Sihanghad Fort!!!
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 A visit to the Khadakvasla Dam while moving back from Sihanghad Fort to Pune!!!
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You can read more about Sihanghad Fort here.

Thanks for taking out time to read this post!
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