Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Some facts about Republic Day of India...

The thing we must do is not be content with mere political democracy. We must note that our political democracy can not last unless there lies at the base of it social democracy. What does social democracy mean? It means a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life" - Dr.B.R.Ambedkar

Every year we celebrate Independence Day and Republic Day as national holidays. Both are related to Indian Independence but still has a lot of difference between them. Independence Day is the Day India became Independent from the rule of British. Republic Day is the day when India was declared a sovereign, independent, self sustaining nation with its own government. 

Today is the day we got our fundamental freedom, duties, right to vote and a working law to maintain our order and declare it to the world that We Indians are now not under any rule but our own. 

In my opinion Republic Day is more important if not equal to Independence Day. You might wonder (I had wondered as kid) there is a 3 year gap between our Independence Day and Republic Day Or what is the importance of Constitution, Did Dr. Ambedkar alone wrote the constitution??.  I imagined him in a dim room surrounded by books and papers and writing on his own. 

So let me enlighten you today with some facts about our Republic Day and Constitution. 

  • Constitution was not written by a single person but a whole assembly was selected for it. It was called Constituent Assembly consisting of 385 members. This assembly took almost three years (two years, eleven months and seventeen days to be precise) to complete this momentous historic task of drafting the Constitution for Independent India. Interesting fact is among these 385 members 15 were women. 
  • It is universally accepted that Ambedkar has made an immense contribution to the philosophy of our Constitution and to the constitutional jurisprudence. He was the chief architect of the Constitution to define the will, goal and the vision of India. He is regarded as the father of the Constitution and the Constitution is his brainchild. Therefore, whatever principles have been incorporated in the constitution, Ambedkar is regarded as a source of it.
  • Our constitution came into effect on January 26, 1950. But it was adopted on November 26, 1949. January 26th was specifically chosen to commemorate the Purna Swaraj declaration of Independence of 1930. 
  • Our constitution is the longest constitution in the world consisting of 448 Articles in 22 parts, 12 Schedules.
  • Our constitution has borrowed many principles from the constitution of many countries. Separation of powers was from United States, Directive principle of state policy was adapted from Ireland, the idea of Nominal Head - President, Cabinet system of Ministers, PM post, Parliamentary type of government was from UK constitution. Suspension of Fundamental rights during emergency was from Weimer constitution of Germany. the concept of 5 year plans were taken from the USSR, the law on which the Supreme Court functions was taken from Japan, so on and so forth.
  • Even with mix and match of ideas from many countries, it was blended so well that even today Indian constitution is hailed as one of the world's best constitution. 
  • Indian constitution was not typed or printed, it was hand written both in Hindi and English and signed by 308 members. These two original signed copies are preserved safely in the Library of Parliament house.
  • India's motto "Satyamev Jayate" is taken from the Mundaka Upanishad from the Atharvaveda. It was translated into Hindi by  Abid Ali in 1911.
  • Many symbols of India were declared by the constitution like National Anthem - wrote by Rabindranath Tagore in Bengali, it was translated by Abid Ali into Hindi in 1911. Indian emblem is adapted from the Ashoka pillar at Sarnath, dating back to 250 BC. Indian flag was conceptualized and designed by Pingali venkayya a farmer from Machilipatnam.
  • The right to vote, maybe one of the most important democratic right, the right to chose our government was given to us by The constitution of India, along with many such rights and freedoms to live a free life without stepping toes with anybody else. 
  • Dr.Rajendra Prasad was unanimously chosen to be the first president of our nation and he unfurled the Indian flag on this day and declared our nation to be a sovereign republic. 

Republic Day celebrations
  • Every year On the occasion of Republic Day, a parade is hosted in Delhi. To exhibit India's acheievements, strength, defense capability, cultural and social heritage. This parade is the soul of Republic Day celebrations.
  • The festivity lasts for 3 days. The last day is known as the "Beating of Retreat", wherein drums are played and Mahatma Gandhi's favourite song, the hymn "Abide with me" is played to signify the end of Republic Day celebrations on January 29th. 

  • On this day, distinguished and brave people are recognised and awarded. The awards given today are Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, Param Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Ashoka Chakra.
  • Every year to strengthen our bond with other nations, the head of state or ruling govenment of other countries are invited as chief guests.
  • President Sukarno of Indonesia was the chief guest in the first republic day. Last year, we had President Barack Obama, the first U.S. President to be ever invited ! This year President Francois Hollande of France will grace the occasion with his presence. 
  • For the first time a foreign army - a 76 member French Army contingent led by a French military band comprising 48 musicians, marched on Rajpath and presented a ceremonial salute to the President of India.
  • Indian Army dogs marched down the Raj path after 26 long years. Reportedly, the Army has selected 36 dogs out of total 1200 Labradors and German Shepherds for the event. 
  • An all women stunt contingent also performed during the event. 

With all those negative things you read about India in the recent times, there are so many reasons to be proud of our country and to say we are Indians. Today, The Republic day symbolizes the reason we have a voice to say what is wrong in our country, so rather than only berating it, lets hold up its idols and celebrate our country. Be proud to be Indians. Be proud to be part of heritage and country which the world celebrates. Jai hind.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

In your arms ....

On a cold day, when am down, when my confidence is low,  all I crave for is a hug. A warm, sweet, reassuring hug. Whether it is from my bestie, my mom, my darling son or my sweetheart hubby. Its awesome because it feels good and makes me smile.

Am sure even you crave for a hug. That one small gesture can make us feel warm, loved and secure. 

And this is not just what we feel, because of the person we are hugging. It is awesome because it actually does something to our body. Its a scientifically proven fact that hugs have healing capacity. 

Its much more than that warm feeling. It affects the entire body to such an extent that many scientists claim it is equal to the effect of many different drugs operating on the body at a time. Sometimes just a pat will also help people to move back from the emotional tipping point.

It is known to Reduce worry of mortality - As unbelievable as it sounds but it is proven that hugging, even a teddy bear helps soothe a person's existential fears. 

Hugging stimulates oxytocin, Dopamine and Serotonin - Oxytocin A neurotransmitter that acts on brain's emotional center, promoting feelings of contentment, reducing anxiety and stress. Actually another interesting fact about this is, oxytocin is released during childbirth, making our mothers forget all about the pain of labour and still love us whole heartedly without hating us for putting her into so much pain. 

Dopamine keeps you from being depressed, it is responsible for feel-good feeling and motivation.. 

While Serotonin makes you feeling significant and important.  In short hugging makes you feel happy, smiling, bearable and important. 

Hugging lowers your heart rate - Means there is less chance of you getting High BP if you have somebody to hug.

Other than all this hugging enhances your immune system and balances your nervous system

Who thought there is so much science behind a simple hug. But wait - don't think this means you can just walk outside and start hugging everyone. Hugging doesn't work like that. All this positive effects will only happen if you are hugging people who trust and love you. 

It seems so easy to hug our loved ones but there are people who find it difficult to relate and connect with another human being. People who are Autistic have difficulties in social interactions and are sensitive to sensory stimulation of human touch. Temple Grandin invented a therapeutic, stress relieving device called "Hug machine" to provide sensory relief to them. It helps to calm them down without overwhelming their senses. It is also known that this machine works as a therapy for autistic kids to interact with humans without anxiety. 

So whether you are embracing your partner or getting a warm hello hug from a dear friend or even from a hug machine, hugs have a way of making us feel warm and fuzzy inside. So whether it is a simple squeeze, a big bear hug or some cute cuddling - there are plenty of reasons why we should embrace the act of embracing someone. Whatever it does to our mind and body, you can't refute that hugging makes you feel good. So go on be generous in giving hugs to your loved ones. 

P.S. : Did you know that well hugged children are less stressed as adults. So no matter how angry you are with your kiddo, never stop hugging them. Children need minimum 8 hugs a day :)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

In conversation with....

Health is wealth – And so I told every chance I got while munching unmentionables. But finally I decided to end my long sabbatical towards fitness and started going for a morning walk. I know I know - Who starts going for morning walk when the whole nature is conspiring to freeze us to death. I talked myself into deciding to take up the gauntlet with determination.

Now every morning I wake up, sit on the bed and let myself list out all the reasons that I should miss going today and snuggle up cozy in my bed. And after I list it out, I say to myself “That’s all you got?” and I get up.

When I told this to my mother, first she looked at me with skepticism then she nodded with a solemn look on her face. Agreeing that, giving myself a pep talk will make me more determined to continue towards my goal.

 I wondered how many talk to themselves. The only person you ignore to talk to in this busy busy world is: You.

I know you might think am going crazy, asking you, if you talk to yourself. Isn’t that what crazy people do?

As a matter of fact, Talking to yourself is said to be a sign of genius. The smartest people on earth talk to themselves.

Albert Einstein talked to himself. reports that he “used to repeat his sentences to himself softly”

Our mind is muddled with so many thoughts and processes, unlike many of them think it is not at all like a book, it is more like heaps and heaps of papers and the wind is blowing it around in a room. So talking to yourself makes the wind stop for a while and calm down. All your attention will be focused on the words you are telling yourself. 

Talking to yourself makes your brain work more efficiently. Saying things out loud sparks memory. It solidifies the vision and makes it tangible. It helps organize your thoughts. While making a decision or faced with a complex problem, saying every point aloud to yourself and the steps you took or discarded will organize and streamline your thoughts.

As a matter of fact you might have noticed that children talk to themselves, especially while playing or solving a problem in the play. So it is not something you have to learn particularly after growing up. We will learn to talk to ourselves as children, but as we lose touch with most friends and near dear ones, we lose in touch with ourselves too.

It is stated by many researchers that talking about your goals to yourself (not only boasting to outside world) will help you achieve them faster.

Because talking to yourself means you are self-reliant. That you value your own thought process enough to seek help from it. These kind of people can solve any problem by themselves and acquire immense confidence about their person.

So go on, make your favourite drink, find a comfortable place and talk to yourself. Ask yourself how have you been? Are you happy or sad ? Are you satisfied or discontent ? Know yourself.

Whenever you are feeling lonely, whenever you are feeling demotivated, when you need a partner to bounce off your ideas or discuss a problem, when you are so angry that you are blowing steam from your ears, when you need consoling, when you just cant remember something, when you are stressed and just need to concentrate. Give yourself a talk, help yourself through.

Swami Vivekananda said "You have in you a thousand times more than is in all the books. Never lose faith in yourself, you can do anything in this universe. Never weaken, all power is yours"

The answer lies in you.

Did you ask ?

Thursday, 7 January 2016

That small curve which changes you :)

Smile is the one of the most beautiful expressions according to me. A baby knows how to smile as instinctively as how to cry. Before you smirk and say you need a reason to smile. Let me explain smile to you.

Smile is never only about muscles of the mouth moving in a particular direction. It involves eyes, cheeks, body language. Your whole body and mind reacts to smile. Individually all these parts might be very average but put together working into a smile. It is dazzling.

I have been asked many times how somebody’s smile seems more sweeter than others. But then I have always believed that smile is never only about a physical expression and in all instances the person whose smile was sweetest was very close to the heart of the person wondering.

But there are certain smiles which just makes you smile involuntarily even if they are not connected to you in any way. A baby’s smile, Grandmother’s or Grandfather’s smile, a happy mother’s smile, a proud father’s smile, a winning team’s smile. Because as soon as we see this we associate these smiles with positive emotions.  

Before you smirk and say you always need a reason to smile. In my experience smile never needs a reason, a reason will find smile. If at all it is necessary to find a reason, You are the biggest reason for You to smile.

If you are still not convinced, let me tell you some interesting facts about smiling (Just to change your mind)

-          According to a study conducted by University of California there are 19 different types of smiles categorized into two basic groups  “Social” – This is your work smile, grinning in front of your boss, and “Felt” smiles

Where Social smiles use only muscles of your mouth, Felt smiles used the muscles of your mouth and those around your eyes , felt smiles light up the left frontal cortex of the brain where pleasure is registered

-          It is also identified that there are six basic types of smiles to express feelings.
o   Polite smile
o   Asymmetrical smile
o   Embarrassed smile
o   Genuine smile
o   Loving smile
o   Synchronized smile

-          Physiologically and emotionally, a smile tells our brain that we are safe, that we fit in (or wants to fit in) and that we can relax. When we smile at others, it sends a message of trust and goodwill. And also we are seen as open and approachable.

So smile at store owners, you will get better service (spoken with experience)

-          It is found that a single smile can generate the same amount of brain stimulation that of 2000 chocolate bars or 16000 pounds ($25000 or Rs. 16,72,500 – according to today’s rate ). So we can honestly say that your smile is worth lakhs.

-          When you smile Neuro transmitters called endorphins are released. Which are responsible for making us feel happy and lower our stress.

-          Faking a smile also works because the brain doesn’t differentiate between real and fake it only recognizes the facial muscle movement.

-          Laughing expands the lungs, stretches the muscles in the body and stimulates homeostasis, - replenishing the cells from a lungful of oxygen and gaining all the benefits of exercising the body.

By now you might be frowning, but if all these reasons are not enough –

In ancient china, the Taoists taught that a constant inner smile to oneself, insured health, happiness and longevity. Why ? Smiling to yourself is like basking in love : you become your own best friend. Living with an inner smile is to live in harmony with yourself.
So be your best friend, smile for yourself.. Stay happy and healthy

P.S  : Did I mention smiling is contagious. Spread the smiles :) 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

And so it beginzzz......

Being a mom is a very tough job. But being a mom to a voraciously curious child is a challenge. He asks questions without giving me time to answer and most of the time I end up saying "uahhhhhh".

It helps that am curious as a cat myself. I hear about a new topic and I would want to know about it. I would want to discuss it and I would want to enjoy it. There have been times that I have read whole series of books just because I was absolutely thrilled about a dialogue in it. :P 

So here I am today to unravel some of my favourite topics to you. There is no category, no limit, this is about anything and everything under the sun. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did knowing about it.