Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review : Chakra

'Chakra : Chronicles of the Witch way' by Ritu Lalit is the third book by the author.She has penned two books earlier ....namely 'A bowlful of Butterflies' & 'Hilawi'.The 'Chakra' cover shows two grey eyes of a woman through a slit in some ancient manuscript.The manuscript is shaded in hues of blue,navy blue & green .The manuscript has some Hindu symbols  Om,Trikon & others imprinted on it.The grey eyes are hypnotic...they seem to piercing through as if searching for something .The paper quality is good.The printing is very good .The book is neatly arranged into chapters.There is a prayer to Ma Kundalini, at the beginning ,before the story unfolds.It sets the stage for the saga which is based on yogic power of those who practice & swear by it .

This is the story of Parineeta, who runs a detective agency in Delhi & is caretaker to her nieces & nephew .She also takes care of Mickey ,an orphan. Parineeta searches for baubles of the rich  ladies & also goes after the flirtatious husbands.One day ,just as vacations are about to begin in school,her brother's daughter gets into some act ,which makes heads turn.All hell breaks loose after that .There are  many twists & turns in the book from then onwards, till the very end.Parineeta is frantic as she finds her nephew & niece missing.Will she be able to locate them ? Have the kids gone on a frolic of their own ? Or have they been kidnapped ? As Parineeta begins her search,she has to come to terms with her forgotten legacy.She does not want to have anything to do with it.She has lost so much because of that ,she opines.Yet,it seems, only her past can make the future better for generation next.There is a prophecy which talks of the age of the Japnis. Is Parineeta going to usher in that age ? Will her nieces be also part & parcel of that age of the witches ? And if so ,how ? How far is that day ? For all the answers,Parineeta must connect with her clan & even with rival clans & many others.There is hardly any time left before rivals close in on her nieces & nephew. Parineeta has to act fast.She has to trust those with whom she never wanted to associate.Will others heed her now, when she needs them most ?

Chakra is the story of Japas & Japnis who have a very strong Kundalini which is awake from birth.This is the saga of the clans of Bhoomars,Jalajs,Pallavs,Varunis & others like Koylas.Koylas are those who drain others emotionally.The author talks of people who venerate the elements....air,earth,fire ,water etal. She writes about the serpent ...our inherent Kundalini power which must be awakened to make us what we actually are.Ritu lalit has made the saga so interesting by taking bits & pieces from Indian myths,puranas that Chakra makes for a truly fascinating kahani !

Chakra has its bits of humor .Witness the tee shirts worn by the heroine which say it all ' HIGH MAINTENANCE BUT SO WORTH IT ','HOT n SPICY ','TALK TO MY FACE,TITS CAN'T HEAR 'etc.References to the traffic in Delhi says   that people take pot shots on traffic lights with their guns ! The tale is feminist, in its approach.Witches are going to claim the age.Witches are better at power play.The book also states that many girls are female infanticide & other crimes are making survival of women difficult.

In a nutshell,this is a very readable story, set in the present age with connections to our heritage of mudras,yoga,kundalini & the power each one of us have .That innate power, which is dormant & sleeping, needs to be awakened to claim our future, from corrupt netas & an ; inefficient bureaucracy.An inspiring read  indeed

Friday, October 11, 2013


Prarthana is praying to the Almighty .Nowadays we pray but seldom is  our longing  for the  Lord.We pray to Nature to give us rain ,to stop rain ,to stop Tsunami,etc.We pray to our children though not in that  sense - we are actually begging of them to pay heed. Electrorate prays for roads,hospitals,toilets etc .Netas pray for winning  elections.All pray for different reasons & in various ways.

People pray in places of worship like the temple,church ,mosque,the fire temple,gurudwara or in their homes.Some people may pray daily & some only sometimes.Some people never pray though they meditate.Meditation is a form of prayer & as healing as prayer.Some are atheists.To each his own ,as they say.

Prayer is asking the Almighty for forgiveness -for redemption .We pray as we feel secure after praying & in the act  of praying itself.We pray for others -though rarely, like asking that a friend be healed,an aging relative be freed from his terminal illness etal. We pray in anticipation also -for future benefits.We pray so that our sins will be forgiven .We pray to ask God for forgiving our innumerable follies.Not that we will never sin thereafter.We will commit new sins ! Even the Almighty would get bored seeing us repeating our follies .Till we are alive,we continuously & perpetually sin -knowingly as also  unknowingly.

Prayer heals us  all from within & we become better human beings than we were before.I was always demanding ,"I pray so much & yet my problems seem to be increasing ...never ending like a relay  race.Others seem to have all the best in life & they are such sinners ." My friend told me that prarthana does not lessen my problem/s ...prayers make me stronger to deal & withstand any storm/s in life."

Prarthana or prayer means complete surrender to the Almighty.Though we all pray,do we surrender ? Doubtful as surrender means giving up our egos which is rarely done.We nurse our egos the most.A tiny prick is enough to burst it.Men have bigger inflated egos compared to women.And men pretend to be custodians of prayers etal  especially ritualistic aspects of it.Women pray in different manner by keeping vrat,upvaas,etc.Moreover,most of the times  women will pray for others in her family or friends....very rarely for herself .Men are more selfish-they pray for self alone.

Prayer helps us to deal with the situations which we face in the best possible manner .This is because we know that the Almighty is there with us.It is as if the Lord is besides us  sharing our burden with Him.Prayer does not guarantee successful outcome.It just makes us wiser to face situations & deal with them in a manner which will surprise us.Before we prayed,we never imagined,we could take on such problems& after praying ,it becomes second nature to us.

Puja is a prayer done in a ritualistic manner ...with flowers,fruits or anything else cooked as prasad .Prasad is an offering to the God/s.It is actually for our consumption after the puja is over.We need other things as well.... like Cycle agarbathis  or incense sticks ,a bell ,a prayer book to recite the shlokas,some lamps with wicks to light up the ambience.Our puja will be incomplete without all this colourful paraphernalia.Cycle Pure agrabathis  will make the atmosphere so very fragrant  that I can pray in the scented  atmosphere with rapt attention !

I pray on Tuesdays & Fridays to Ganesha & Lakshmi respectively as both are needed in this age ..Ganesha for knowledge  &  Lakshmi for wealth ! I pray for other things as that my kid can eat healthy & stop eating fast food,my husband should become more liberal,I should become calmer ,& so on....I draw  rangolis on Tuesdays & Fridays.The purpose is draw the attention of the Almighty towards the rangolis as my bhakti is as good as non -existent ! This is so even though I know many shlokas by heart .I recite & yet my mind wanders after some time. I light incense sticks so that the air smells divine ! That is where Cycle pure Agarbathies will  create the apt ambiance, for me to remain steadfast in prarthana.

Sri Lakshmi puja during Deepavali is supposed to be all the more auspicious for abundance ! So ,I am going to do Lakshmi Puja with renewed vigor during this Deepavali ! And what better way, to do this, than by using the Lakshmi Pooja pack of Cycle Pure  agarbathies .It contains all the things needed for the pooja...tradition delivered to us...packed , in this age ! I have to just open the box,follow instructions & complete the pooja. No need for the priest ! I can double up as the priest !

My family including my husband & kid will join me in this auspicious venture of welcoming Goddess Lakshmi into our midst ! I am sure,Goddess Laxmi will be spellbound, by the aroma wafting in my home as I light up the Cycle agarbathies for Laxmi puja during Deepavali ! My home will sparkle with the infinite  blessings of the Goddess of wealth ! I am so eagerly awaiting Deepavali this year so that I can do full justice to Lakshmi puja ! It will be a complete pooja as the pack name says  it all "Sampoorna Lakshmi Pooja "  !

My prayers are infinite. Daily as I wake up ,I have a new demand & end up praying.Not that my demand will be satisfied...just that may I see reason & stop my silly demands.I wish someday ,I could start praying  for others ...that would be true redemption ! And the best prayer !

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