One of the nicest aspects of being a reporter is that it affords you unimaginable exposure and access. The worlds of ideas, politics, luxury, art and culture, and the personalities who drive them, are the bricks that make up the edifice of our lives.
And in this list we gratefully count the exposure and access we have been given to the great spiritual masters of out time.
Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
We have been hugged, not once, but several times by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, sat in the front row in Pune at Osho’s lectures when he was a gurgling brook, before he took his vow of silence; met and interviewed Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ramesh Balsekar and Deepak Chopra on many occasions, and on one memorable afternoon, stared for up to 10 minutes (but seemed like an eternity) deep in to the unfathomable depths of Eckhart Tolle’s eyes in the hope that it would allow us to experience the ‘Now’ — it had not.
Whether all this has resulted in us becoming more enlightened or spiritually realised is hard to say. What it has taught us though is that we live in an extraordinary country and time, and that there does exist another dimension, beyond the one of brick and mortar and flesh and bone, which we would do well to turn our attention to.
A few years ago, a kind friend introduced us to the writings of Swami Satyananda Sarasawti who had established the world famous Bihar School of Yoga in Munger, Bihar in 1963.
We recall we had stayed up all night marvelling at his immense knowledge of not only Indian philosophies and texts but also history, science and world affairs.
What had impressed us even more was the fact that when the Swami had realised that his work at the ashram had been completed and that the organisation he had established was in good hands, he renounced all that he had set up and gone to live in seclusion in Rikhia to enter an even higher spiritual plane.
In a world where people cling to pelf and position, it is only a spiritually realised being that can walk away from it all.
But before he left, Swami Satyananda appointed as his spiritual successor the young devotee Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati who had come to live at the ashram at the age of four!
To him he gave the mandate of taking care of the ashram, its spiritual flock, guiding its growth and carrying his message forward.
Why are we telling you all this? We are telling you this, because after many years, Swami Niranjananada will be coming to Mumbai tomorrow on the first leg of his Bharat Yatra whose aim is to bring about a reawakening of the purity and spirituality of yoga through out the land.
What makes the occasion so special is that a living master is coming to our city and will be conducting entry free, massive sessions open to all, to answer the four eternal questions of mankind: What is the reason for suffering? How do I find happiness? What is the purpose of my life? And how do I achieve it?
And amongst the many thousands drinking in his wisdom, we will be there. At the NSCI lawns at Worli or the RCG grounds in Chembur, one amongst thousands at the feet of the master.
Are we looking forward to the encounter? By God, we are!
Savvy women and men
Monday night saw us hotfoot it to the F Bar to partake of Savvy magazine’s ‘I BELIEVE FELICITATIONS’ where a clutch of beautiful women who’d bared their souls to the prominent women’s title over the years were being honoured.
Kicked off with a performance by singer-composer Shibani Kashyap, the women felicitated on stage were our sister Devieka Bhojwani, Farah Khan Ali, Mahie Gill, Shilpa Shukla and Parveen Dusanj, who at one time or the other shared their wisdom and wit with readers of the magazine.
And standing there to welcome and congratulate all the women and their families was the legendary Nari Hira, Chairman, Magna Publishing Co. the magazine’s publisher who had almost single-handedly launched the whole lifestyle and glamour publishing industry more than four decades ago!
Now that’s Savvy!
No we are not saying that they are an item. But the delightfully named Yo Yo Honey Singh and Jacqueline Fernandez attracted much attention when they partied over the weekend, first at Tryst and then at Exo, with a group of friends.
Honey Singh, (left) Jacqueline Fernandez
And given that Sri Lanka had just won the World T20 final, we can only hope it was Sri Lankan beauty Fernandez’ treat.
A rare beauty and grace
Amongst the cluster of people at the Savvy party, the statuesque presence of Dilshad Sheikh, sister of actors Sanjay, Feroze and Akbar Khan stood out for its beauty and grace. Sheikh who lives between Srinagar and Delhi was on a rare visit to Mumbai and had accompanied her niece, jewellery designer Farah Khan to her felicitation.
And while speaking about the influence of the strong women in his life Farah’s dad Sanjay made a special mention of his beautiful sister Dilshad whose abiding dignity and courage in an often turbulent and challenging life certainly called for Savvy cover story herself!
Public interest notice
One look at their wasted and drawn faces and any one can see that the rumours of substance abuse are not unsubstantiated regarding this good looking Bollywood couple. No one is a prude here and one man’s recreational drug is another’s poison of course, but this is a public interest notice to alert their friends and loved ones to reach out and rehabilitate them.
As it is, with his once blossoming career going nowhere and his status in industry suffering on account of stories of him being a procurer for his drugged out industry friends, this affable star has enough on his plate. It shouldn’t take the tragic death of Peaches Geldof to remind us about the hazards and pitfalls of living life on the fast lane.