Kiss of love and Indian Society

I participated in one of the essay writing contests on Facebook prize, more than the results of contest i was excited that i got the book for free :) .  Now i am ready to lose my religion :)

Here is the winning entry:

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Imagine this, what if your own child asks this question why two people can’t kiss in public. Will you be able to answer the question with confidence, or will you tell a readymade answer that it is against the moral of our country.

Before we look into the Kiss of Love we need to look into the question what is meant by society and what is Indian Society?

What everyone in India is thinking currently isn’t it?

Why do we have Indian way of thinking, American way of thinking, Chinese way of thinking etc.? Can’t every human in world think same and speak one common language, the language of love? I feel more than answers, questions are important.

We are living in world where expression of love is shaped by laws of country. If we look at carvings in temple of Khajuraho we as Indians can’t believe it. Why did we become so conservative in last 3000 years? There isn’t a single thing which has contributed to India becoming conservative, there were religions, politicians, British rule and many more things which has changed and created current pattern of thinking. Does that mean our culture got influenced in last 3000 years? What is the meaning of Freedom for Indians? What is the meaning of freedom when we can’t kiss in public? Are we really free?

Why is kissing in India considered a taboo in India? Most of us have a readymade answer to this question. It is against our morals. When we hear answers like this than another set of questions appear. What are our morals, who decide our moral? Are morals dependent on geographic location?

There are another set of people who have another readymade answer fort this: It will take time for Indians to change. Would you settle with this answer? Is change in human behavior dependent on time?

The answer of this question lies in conditioning which has taken place in last thousand years. It is the pattern of thinking which is passed from one generation to another. Can’t we as Indian break the pattern and get rid of falseness which has spread for last thousand years?

If we Indians can break the barrier it will certainly give the courage to other human beings in different part of world.

Like fear, courage is contagious. If we keep sitting with fear and don’t take an action than we will be enslaved forever in current pattern of society. By participating and having an open minded discussion we can certainly bring a change.

Bringing the change will not be easy because it will meet tremendous resistance from large set of people, we need courage and open minded discussions.

Zen of baking pizzas and bread

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Few weeks back i stepped out from my shell to put fire to my passion i.e. making Pizzas and also get a knack of of baking bread. I started it by attending a instructor based workshop.

Before attending the workshop  i used to to bake pizzas at home, i was successful in making Pizza but also sensed that there are lot of things i could improve on. For e.g. I realised that making a pizza sauce can be simplified, the toughest challenge was how to knead.  In the past i have watched videos and articles but i couldn’t figure out how to knead. Some where deep inside i realised that kneading, bread making is something that you cant learn from books, online videos. Online videos didn’t work for me.

This is where Nutritionist : Nandita Iyers cooking class came to rescue. https://www.facebook.com/SaffronTrail.

Initially i was hesitant to pay a huge amount of money. One of the reason’s i was contradicting myself was, there are plethora of online videos and book from which i could have learned. The problem with too much of information and so online content is that you are not able to judge when you should give up :) . One online resource after another, one youtube channel after another, one blog after another, ohh gosh online world is endless.

I decided that best way to learn something is stand next to person and learn it.  Also a big thanks to my Wife for pushing me to attend the class.

While attending the class, initially i was hesitant to come in front and learn. Thats where skilled Nandita Iyer spotted and brought me to front.  A slight push really helped me to break the barrier and learn the art of kneading.

Comparing attending a workshop to online learning here are the differences:

1. Involvement – You are really involved, you have taken a dedicated amount of time to do only one thing. If you are learning through online class, there are chances that you might get distracted. Take away is “You are there”

2. Feedback – My friends we know that computer is a machine without a consciousness, it works on knowledge not intelligence. Machines have started becoming intelligent but we are not there yet.  Hold your breath for a while.

As of now Machines can’t tell you what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. On a instructor led workshop you will get lot of feedback on what you are doing wrong and sometimes pat on back for doing it right.  You can ask questions, discuss things in detail. Nonetheless i am waiting for days when computers will be intelligent enough to give you feedback.

3. Visual treat - Attending a workshop is a visual treat, when you are communicating with a computer sense organs involved are : Eyes and Ear. When i attended a workshop i realised that smell plays an important role, ability to touch and feel.

There are other things like networking, meeting people, etc which also adds to joy of attending a class.

There are couple of things that i noted.

1. Online learning is a fad - Online learning works in scenarios like learning programming, technology etc but when it comes to things like Cooking you better start with attending a workshop. Once you are skilled enough you can pick up from videos and books

2. Lost – I can easily say that we are lost in age of online world, we have started believing in things which doesn’t work.  There are lot of people who are purchasing apps, videos but my gut feel is amateurs like me will fail and waste there money.  Not saying apps, videos are fail, the point is no one educates that first step is to learn by standing next to instructor.  Videos, apps , books has to come later.

I don’t know if there are any communities, software to promote this kind of learning. I have a long way to go, to improve my pizza making skills but while we are learning we have discovered there are good problems to be solved. Lets bring back traditional way of learning. Like Zen, from master to disciple :)

Image credits : Nandita Iyer, Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/SaffronTrail/photos/a.676440005734302.1073741846.107892849255690/676440035734299/?type=3&theater

Solving dimension of time through awareness

Image credits : Pixabay

Most of the problems and suffering we experience in our life is due to lack of understanding of time. Understanding means self knowledge not given by some one else.  We can try reading so many books, philosophers, but until we see things from our own it will not make sense.  Lets examine it together what time is.

Children’s don’t suffer from dimension of time, for e.g. you he or she may fall down and get hurt but he will not suffer much in future.  Children’s understand only one thing that is living in NOW.

Where does this feeling of time comes from?  In a nutshell “Past” “Present” and “Future”.

Lets try to examine past in this post.

Past is based on experiences stored in memory.  If there is no memory there is no past. Please understand that memory is needed its not bad.  Without memory we cant function.  Which implies there are memories which can bring suffering and which will not. For e.g. You danced so intensely that you just have memories of it, it doesn’t bring any good or bad memories.  When you have lived the moment so intensely with your total attention than it will never bring suffering in your life.

Until or unless we learn to live in NOW we will always suffer.  Sometimes when i look at my child i feel, that we in childhood were also like that.  So what happened in between childhood and earning livelihood that we got caught up in time?   Its a tough question to answer but if we start looking into it we will understand what happened.

Understanding things ourselves bring a different kind of energy and it destroys the false automatically with out making an effort.  For e.g You are given a task to work on photoshop and this is the first time you are doing it. For the first time you will have lot of apprehensions about it but later when you learn it will become easy.  You see the difference of before and after?

In the same way if we start watching our own life, how we create memory, why we suffer than it brings more understanding. Once we understand, false will drop away automatically.  Having an awareness in the present moment is all we need to understand the time.

Have fun living in present.

Bye!

 

(Image credits : Pixabay :Source: http://pixabay.com/en/clock-time-hour-minute-watch-272483/)

Creating signed app for Xamarin.Android app

It took me a while to figure out how to create signed Android apk file using Xamarin Studio 4.2.  These are the steps i used to create a signed/zipaligned apk.

I found these steps in Xamarin forum and it works:

https://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/578/apk-signed-in-debug-mode

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The way I sign an APK with Mono for Android app:

Within Visual Studio <– Make sure dropdown is “Release” NOT “Debug” 1. Build – Clean 2. Build – Rebuild 3. Package YOUR_APP_NAME for Android (.apk)

Open folder that contains APK (c:\PATH TO MONODROID PROJECT\bin\Release 4. Copy apk file (NOT -Signed.apk) to Java folder (c:\Program Files\Java\JAVA VERSION\bin)

Open command prompt 5. redirect to java folder where you paste APK file to (cd c:\Program Files\Java…. etc) 6. sign APK with certificate (jarsigner -verbose -keystore KEYSTORE_KEY APK_FILENAME KEYSTORE_ABBREVIATION)

  1. Copy signed APK to Android-sdk folder (c:\android-sdk\tools)
  2. redirect cmd prompt to android-sdk folder (cd c:\android-sdk\tools)
  3. zip APK (zipalign -v 4 APK_FILENAME NEW_FINAL_APK_FILENAME)

That final APK file can now be uploaded to Google Play.

If you are just testing your app on a phone real quick… follow steps 1-3, then at step 4, copy the YOUR_APP_NAME-Signed.apk file to your phone and install it. That will work for testing on your phone.

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Digging Buddhism

While browsing internet i found someone mentioned a comment on an article titled : Why i don’t dig budhism 

The comment is to way i think about buddhism.

The Buddha said:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

So, I don’t care the labels someone can put. You could label Buddhism to the fact of following the instructions of the Buddha to achieve the truth. If so, read the quote above again.

I don’t like some aspects of Buddhism. In fact I don’t consider myself Buddhist, I don’t need any label. I search for the truth and happiness and I have found within Buddhism many useful tools for that purpose. Many more than in any other religion, because according to Buddhism, you can achieve enlightment using those tools by yourself, without any dogma.

The goal of Buddhism is to become enlightenedd not to become a Buddhist. So it doesn’t matter if you consider yourself Buddhist or Christian or whatever. Just pick from the Buddhism the knowledge that is useful to you and continue your path.

Best regards.

Typography

Good looking font text over nice background is enough to convey your message effectively.