‘For whom the bells toll…’

‘For whom the bells toll’ – The profundity of the phrase struck me almost immediately after reading it.
When he penned it down, Ernest Hemmingway was referring to funeral bells – and why one should never question for whom the bells ring, as, differences aside, we are all human. In extension, race,religion,caste, political stance are all to be overlooked, and when an individual dies, he is to be mourned, irrespective of all these factors.

Of course, the phrase is open to innumerable interpretation, but it reminds me of the sectarianism that exists in our society on the basis of religion. Communal violence is on the rise. As days pass by, the situation is only getting worse. The hate speeches, the lynching, the ruthless bloodshed. Here’s where the concept of secularism comes into play.
In my opinion, the word secularism has been misinterpreted the most as people use it to propagate the eradication of religion. For some reason, they think the absence of religion will solve the problem entirely. I can’t disagree more.

Fundamentally, secularism refers to the freedom to practice any religion. It dictates that every individual on the face of this planet has the right to believe, worship whichever God they want to. Since when did it start to mean ‘the only religion is peace’ or superficial nonsense like that?!

According to me, religion gives us a sense of identity; values and morals to live by. And to dissociate ourselves from it, is disassociating from our roots and who we are,fundamentally. There is absolutely nothing ‘backward’ about associating ourselves with religion, as long as we don’t become fanatics, obsessing over how our ideology is superior to someone else’s. The whole notion of an ideology being ‘superior’ or ‘inferior’ doesn’t make any sense, as there is no scale for comparison at all. They’re all completely unique.

So let’s be clear- society can be peaceful and harmonious if and only if people are allowed to practice their religion without any coercion. What does secularism mean to you?

Bangalore Nagarathnamma- the epitome of courage

The life story of Bangalore Nagarathnamma is a MUST KNOW for any Carnatic music or dance aspirant!

Just yesterday, I had the pleasure of witnessing a skit dedicated to her; a story of courage, sacrifice and inspiration. The theatrics were phenomenal, acting was immaculate, but what fascinated me the most was the valour and unshrinking attitude of Nagarathnamma.

For those of you who dont know, Bangalore Nagarathnamma was a Devadasi. A devadasi whose immense love for the art forms drove her to protect them, even when the odds were stacked against her.

Even to this day, the word ‘Devadasi’ sparks controversy. Initially, they were women who dedicated their lives to temples, to perform art forms such as dance and music. They were considered married to God and had a high social status.

The change started in colonial times. Academics dispute what the British thought of the custom, but their presence meant that kings and other patrons of temples lost their power and much of their economic influence.

So needless to say, many decades ago, she was shunned by the male-driven, misogynistic society and looked down upon.

The society was misogynistic to such an extent that the handful of women who were brave enough to perform were boycotted and humiliated , as Male accompanying artists thought it was ‘below their dignity’ to play for a woman.

There were numerous such instances where female artistes were discriminated against.

Bangalore Nagarathnamma was a woman way ahead of her time.

Her determination to bring about equality gets me contemplating on how different her attitude was , compared to the attitude of modern day feminists. Unfortunately , modern day feminists demand equal rights,but shy away from equal responsibility. In numerous cases, such as the Sabarimala case, modern day feminism has proven to be nothing but HYPOCRISY.

It’s only because of REAL feminists like Bangalore Nagarathnamma, that Carnatic music is as inclusive as it is today.

Your world and my world 🌍

Sir John Eccles, a physicist ,once said “ there is no colour in the natural world and no sound – no textures, no patterns, no beauty, no scent”

This quote left me feeling puzzled. The more I thought about it, the less sense it made. 

I understand that everyone’s perception of the world is different. The way I perceive something can be entirely different from the way someone else perceives it. 

A wooden table might seem diminutive to me, but the same table would seem gigantic to an ant. The table, which appears stationary to me, would appear to be revolving along with everything else on Earth, if I saw it from outer space. If the table is red, I can make it appear black by looking at it through green glasses. 

My point is, any detail about the table can be altered, simply by changing the perspective with which we look at it. Isn’t this the same with everything that we consider as real? When whatever we consider as objective facts upon which we base our reality is invalid, where is the question of right & wrong? Where is the question of real and unreal? 

When objective facts themselves  are so differently perceived, there is no question of how subjective factors like beauty, scent, texture etc are wildly different.

This would mean, that I can change my world just by changing my perception about it! 

There have been a lot of researches  proving that the thoughts and ideas we cherish directly impact our bodies.

For instance, it’s observed that people with higher levels of anger and hatred towards themselves wind up with more diseases and die early deaths. So it is a known fact that by changing our perception, we can change our reality! 

So what are we still waiting for? 

Swimming against the currents…

I wake up just a few minutes before the sky turns crimson. It’s almost time for sunrise, so I run towards the beach barefooted. I am struck by the salty sea breeze that whistles in my ears.the sun has just risen right above the vast ocean. The waves come crashing against the shore. I look across the vast ocean and feel one with it; how inevitable it is! 

I inch forward towards the water in anticipation and before I know it, the cool, gushing water washes my feet. 

After a few minutes, I decide to sit down by myself and simply enjoy the creation of existence.

You may call it life, or Shiva, or energy, or consciousness or Cosmos, if it exists within everything, doesn’t that make the waves just as alive as me? 

I mirror the serenity of the water in me and I realise that every creation of the cosmos has a purpose; a destiny; whether it is the continuous crashing of waves, or whether it is the tiny crabs fleeting away as the water approaches, or even the puffy white clouds that float away on their own journey.  What might my purpose be? 

Everything seems to inspire me;  I see a fisherman unflinchingly dive into the water with his fishing net. How much trust he must have in existence, to put his life at risk on a daily basis and go deep into the ocean, his fragile body completely at the mercy of the magnanimous waves of the water. It reminds me of a popular phrase people use to express their difficulties ; “swimming against the current”. Of course, people mean it figuratively, but here, I see it happening literally. I realise I have so much to be grateful for.

I absorb everything happening around me; all my five senses celebrate the very experience of sitting; simply, absorbed in the beauty of the present. 

The sun has now completely risen, it’s reflection causing the ocean to sparkle under its golden rays. It’s time for me to leave. 

#ecstasea 😉

Oops , I did it again!!!

“Don’t you feel ashamed of yourself?”

From the time we start going to preschool, we are constantly asked this question by the people around us; be it teachers or even parents. The feeling of guilt is shoved down our throats from a tender age. As children, the ideas of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are ingrained in us to such an extent, that we grow into adults constantly doubting our own actions and abilities; because the nagging question ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ is always lingering at the back of our minds.

But fundamentally, you might want to ask yourself, what is right ? And what is wrong? Is playing by the rules imposed on us always right?
The very ideas of right and wrong are completely subjective! What is considered right in one culture may be considered completely absurd in another , and vice versa. If you give it thought, you’ll come to the conclusion that there are NO objective moral principles! There is absolutely no scale to measure right and wrong! So where is the question of guilt??

After a lot of introspection, I have come to the understanding that guilt is just a controlling mechanism used by society. When the very ideas of right and wrong are arbitrary, how can we judge someone’s action and then go to the length of shaming them with guilt?

The more I think about it, the more it infuriates me! The fact that playful children are made to feel guilty just because they might be a handful to take care of. Or the fact that students are shamed for not studying enough to get top grades. Guilt is used to tame them; make them blindly conform to social norms and over a period of time, make them doubt themselves.

A lot of people might argue that living with guilt makes us more ‘humane’ because it makes us repent for the stuff we did. I beg to differ. I think living with the burden of guilt is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, it doesn’t allow you to flow freely with the life happening around you.
Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I implying that people should do whatever they want and get away with it; all I’m saying is the the whole idea of right and wrong should come from UNDERSTANDING, not from the context of fear or greed. Making a mistake is a perfectly normal thing, realising that what you did was not appropriate at that juncture and deciding to not make the mistake again , would be the solution.
There is a thin line between realising your mistake and deciding not to repeat it(because it’s not socially accepted) , and DROWNING in guilt because of it and in extension, beating up yourself.

Choose the former,not the latter! 🙂

I’m the favourite inheritor of the cosmos!!!

Life is constantly happening to us. Whether we might be stuck in a monotonous, mundane routine, or stuck in the midst of a dilemma, life is happening to us!

How often have you caught yourself thinking “why does this always happen to me? ” or “why am I always unlucky?” Not surprisingly, we manifest the same kind of situations around us.
We fail to realise that we are ENTIRELY responsible for the situations that confront us. We always meekly convince ourselves saying that there’s absolutely no way we can be responsible for something external.

The Cosmos is a big THATHASTU!” That means, the universe is constantly conspiring in our favour, manifesting whatever we think as a reality. So, don’t you think the words you utter to yourself are of significance?

Hinduism declares that everything is consciousness! We might all have different names for this consciousness, like God, or energy, or cosmos, but ultimately, we are THAT. Life is constantly chiseling and moulding us. Every situation, every person we come across is life’s way of moulding us into the Divine.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I had an encounter with an auto driver, where he lost his temper and started using abusive language. Only in that situation did I realise that I was afraid of standing up for myself! The situation was undoubtedly an unpleasant one, but it revealed to me something that even I didn’t know about myself!
Only after a lot of contemplation did it strike me that this was life’s way of chiseling me into the Divine that I truly am! If it weren’t for the incident, I would still be huddled up in my comfort zone, not facing life.

So, when you carry the context of ‘favourite inheritor of cosmos’ in your heart, even the seemingly unpleasant situations have an extraordinary impact on you, removing whatever needs to be removed and empowering you!

There’s another beautiful analogy to explain this; we are all stones rolling in the river Ganga. As we flow through the water, constantly, parts of us get chipped off, chiseled away and polished, only to make us into the Shiva linga that we truly are!

Am I pretty enough?

We are bombarded by stereotypes. We always have been! Society’s ideas are always injected into us, moulding us into adults with wildly inaccurate cognitions. We are blindfolded into believing that the amount of English someone speaks is a measure of their intelligence, we grow up believing that the number of zeroes in our bank balance determine our wealth, and we even go to the extent of believing that success is solely name and fame.

People are of a general opinion that India became completely free from the clutches of the British in 1947 . However, I beg to differ. So many British ideologies still influence our thinking to this day. One of these ideologies is the fallacy that fairness is beauty. Unfortunately to this day, majority of the Indian population struggles with the ‘fair skin complex’ . Conveniently enough, cosmetic brands make a profit from our self hatred.

At some point or the other in our lives, we find ourselves questioning; are we as flawless as the Barbie dolls we grow up playing with ? Is our hair as flawless as the models in advertisements? Are we as skinny as the actresses flaunting their bodies on TV? And is our skin as fair as the women who appear in fair skin commercials?

Personally, I always grew up wanting to be more fair, thinner(even though I wasn’t really overweight) and beautiful. At that point, society constantly repeated that God created everyone perfectly, and that I looked fine the way I was , that I needed to love myself and have high self esteem, be confident. However, there was only one problem. Society didn’t tell me HOW to do so.

After all, what is beauty? If it means being fair, does that mean all fair skinned people are beautiful and all dark skinned people are ugly? NO! If according to you the ideal beauty means having long hair, does that imply all short haired people are ugly? Of course not. If you actually give it some thought, you will come to the understanding that beauty doesn’t have a scale! Beauty can’t be measured in any way . There is NO ‘ideal’ beauty which exists. But the cosmetic industry continuously creates the concept of beauty and keeps it alive. So this new cognition makes us reprimand ourselves, what are we really comparing ourselves to?

A person becomes beautiful ONLY when they love themselves not because they fit into society’s idea of beauty, but when they express their own, unique type of beauty, which is incomparable to anyone else!

As a passionate, aspiring photographer, I’ve been going around, capturing unconventional ideas of beauty to break societal stereotypes and empower people to feel gorgeous in their own skin!

Be sure to like and follow these pages:



Why I’m not a feminist

Yes, you read the title correctly. I bet you’re so used to seeing people, especially women calling themselves feminists, that when you see someone declaring that they’re NOT a feminist, it raises your eyebrows.

You might wonder why, though. My answer is very concise and clear. It is because all modern day feminists are hypocrites. The very word feminism has stopped carrying any meaning!

Ideally, feminists ought to care about the empowerment of ALL women, irrespective of nationality, caste and especially religion. However, I don’t see this happening ! I see only selective outrage. Do these fake feminists care about the thousands of women whose lives are being destroyed by the triple talaq ? Do they even bother fluttering an eyelid towards the sad state of women who are sold as slaves in Middle Eastern countries? Do they stand up to the paedophilic practices of cults  ?? No, they don’t ! But all these hypocrites promptly hold up placards showing their ‘grief’ at something as non-oppressive as respecting the practices of an ancient temple like Sabarimala. You might have seen in the news, the thousands of Hindu women in Kerala who are willing to wait for their turn to enter the temple (#Readytowait campaign) , because they respect the tradition. So, who are these feminists actually representing ? And who asked them to take up cudgels on behalf of the ardent devotees ?? This definitely proves that these activists are firing from the shoulders of the women devotees and have some other vested interests.

My point is, they’re completely oblivious to the ACTUAL problems of women. The real question is, why are these hypocrites only targeting Hindu practices, which don’t actually discriminate against women ? Realistically, their focus should be on empowering women to proper health,education, financial literacy,etc.

As a practicing Hindu, my perspective is very simple ; I unabashedly believe in the empowerment of all beings, including animals ! I believe everyone has the right to be treated fairly, irrespective of where they come from or what they believe in. Hinduism has produced numerous powerful women figures, like Rani of Jhansi, a queen, battle commander who fought against the British in the 1857 War of Independence. Or even Kittur Rani Chennama, who questioned all societal stereotypes.

In Hinduism, there are 330 million Gods and goddesses. It might be surprising to know that more than 80% of them are women! When someone wants wealth, they bow down to Devi Lakshmi, when they want knowledge, they bow down to Devi Saraswathi. When they want protection, they pray to Devi Durga. Even the most feared kings would not enter the battlefield before prostrating to Durga!

Right from the Vedic times, there has been no need for any reforms or revolutions, simply because women were empowered to begin with. They never gave up on themselves and others and they always commanded respect just by the divine way they carried themselves.

Hither to, why do you think the concept of sati came up?? It was purely because of Mughal invasions and their inhuman practice of snatching away the queens and princesses of Hindu kingdoms that they captured.

In other words, as a practicing Hindu girl, I wouldn’t want to rely upon hypocritical , narrow minded, attention seeking women who have sold themselves to anti-National elements.

Hinduism empowers me to live as #Shakthi, the primordial divine feminine consciousness.

Sabarimala now, what next??

Hindu temples have withstood the test of time, standing victoriously even after several sinister invasions, mostly brutal; and also natural calamities.  Hindu temples are not merely places of worship; they have thousands of different dimensions which not many people understand. They serve as places for spiritual alchemy, places which heal people from deadly diseases and some are the epitome of occult.

I have been keenly observing the events which have been unfolding over the past few days relating  to the verdict of the Sabarimala case. My observation has  been  both from the perspective of a young woman, and that of a practicing Hindu.

There are so many ways one can argue to justify the actions from both sides; the Supreme Court and the handful of practicing Hindus . Feminists demand equal rights; they wanted to know why they had been historically “discriminated” against, by not being allowed into the temple.

After all, what authority does anyone have to not allow them ?How can the constitution show prejudice towards women when it has declared everyone should be treated equally? And most importantly, isn’t everyone equal before God? Is Hinduism misogynistic ?

On the other hand, there are a many of us who are flabbergasted that the Supreme Court has the nerve to poke its nose in matters which in the case of other religions, would be termed as ‘religious sentiments’ . Has anyone wondered why there isn’t a single woman who has entered lakhs of mosques across the world? Has it struck anyone’s mind why there isn’t a single female Pope so far nor any female pastors who are allowed to hear confessions? No! People don’t dare interfere in sentiments concerning other religions, but all the fake feminists who are oblivious to the ACTUAL problems of women, decide to speak up against Hinduism?

First of all, I want to emphasise that banning women to enter Sabarimala is NOT on the basis of discrimination. There are numerous temples in India which don’t allow the entry of men, simply because it is meant only for women. 

The nature of the deity and the argument that Sabarimala Temple is associated with celibacy is not even considered. It is ignored and considered as illogical.

I really wonder if there are female Aiyappa devotees who are very particular to visit only Sabarimala. I am not sure how many of them even went to other Aiyappa temples (18 of them in Kerala), where they are allowed.

How unnecessary of the anti-national , anti-Hindu feminists to pick Sabarimala to distort and defame traditional practices!

In essence, I think it’s time for Hindus to wake up to the reality , seeing the hypocrisy through the facade of ‘equality’ .


He who steals must steal no longer…

Carnatic music is one among the greatest treasures of South India and which is being performed since several millennia.  Carnatic classical music originated from the Sama Veda. Historically, this form of music is known to be the among the easiest way of connecting with the Divine, owing to the fact that Bhakti is known to be its driving force.

To this day, several enlightened masters who contributed the most to Carnatic music are remembered, respected, quoted by all Carnatic musicians and musicologists alike.  Among the stalwarts, were the Trinity of Carnatic music, consisting of shri.Thyagaraja Swamigal, shri.Shyama Shastri and shri.Muthuswami Dikshithar.

Now, I want to bring to your attention something horrific that has been happening in the world of Carnatic music, the last few months. For those of you who don’t already know, a few Carnatic musicians have been misappropriating  Kritis and other works associated with pure form of Carnatic music, plagiarising and presenting them in praise of other religions.  It is obvious that they are doing this to showcase themselves as being “secular” and have taken it upon themselves to ‘bridge the gap’ between religions.  Now, you might wonder, what’s wrong with this ? What’s the worst that could happen if a few words are edited, here and there ?

Well, lets be very clear in the fact that there is a VAST difference between appropriation and appreciation. Carnatic music in its original form is meant for the entire world to enjoy and this is irrespective of peoples’ race, religions, caste and creed. It’s meant to be shared with the whole world, for the whole world to experience the ecstasy of Bhakthi.  However, misappropriating the lyrics from Krishna to Jesus is unacceptable and such acts of plagiarism hurts the sentiments of thousands of Hindus world over. Such an act is as good as one Nation stealing the National Anthem of another Nation !

Currently, Carnatic music has become the newest platform for the intellectual recolonisation of India and is leading towards degeneration of Hindu culture in particular.  Hence we need to WAKE UP before it is too late.  At this rate, in about 100 years, future generations of Hindus will be made to believe that these Kritis and Compositions are based on the bible !


I urge you to read the above link, where a presstitute, Krupa GE, makes atrocious statements about how Cristian Carnatic music is already an ‘established genre’ of music. As an aspiring Carnatic musician, it boils my blood to see how Carnatic music is being ruthlessly plagiarised and then flippantly justified, without any respect or credit being given to the creators of this divine form of music.

As sacred sentiments were hurt, Carnatic musicians who had taken part in this horrendous activity received back lash to which T.M Krishna (a musician) called it ‘communalism’

As a practicing Hindu, I wanted to point out that in NO way do we cherish hatred towards any other religious group or anyone . After all, Hinduism states ‘ Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavanthu’ , which is a blessing for the entire world, saying ‘let the whole world be happy as everyone is an extension of me.’

So in essence, please don’t strip any Hindu practice of its originality, irrespective of whether it’s Carnatic music or even Yoga.  Learn and practise these in its original form only.

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