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Mickey Mehtas 10 commandments of wellness – Hindustan Times

Posted: August 31, 2020 at 1:56 am

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While doing asanas, you preserve your breath and conserve your body, says fitness guru Mickey Mehta.

In 1970, when Mumbai was Bombay, an eight-year-old boy was restless. It would be his birthday the next day and all he wanted was to join a gym. His mother suggested he should ask at the nearby YMCA.

So I went to Lamington Road YMCA. As I sprinted up the stairs, I was bubbling with excitement. I could see some of the members working out. It was where I wanted to be.

But They said I was too small and I should buy equipment and train at home. This seemed a very good idea and I told my mom. But she said it was not something we could afford. And she then said the strangest thing. She told me to use my mind and body to build my physique instead of depending on equipment.

Not sure what exactly his mother meant, the very next day, on his birthday, Mickey Mehta locked himself in his room and started stretching and doing freehand exercises.

Fifty years later, Dr Mickey Mehta stands tall as one of the leading holistic health gurus and corporate life coaches in the world, having trained Bollywood superstars, top politicians, beauty queens, and the personnel of the police, army, navy and air force. He is also a published author and a regular on various television and radio shows.

Seek and find

Just a few days after the newly nine-year-old Mehta began freehand exercises in his room, one of his uncles dropped in, carrying a book by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar. I was so fascinated by the book that my uncle gave it to me, says Mehta. That was my first initiation into real yoga.

Iyengar led to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who led to Osho, Ma Hansaji, Sadhguru, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev and Deepak Chopra, all of whom Mehta considers his gurus. But he is actually the quintessential Eklavya, having never really trained under anyone.

Still, Mehta has met most of his gurus. The common thread among them is that they are always in a state of joy, always smiling, he muses. Never go to a guru who is too serious. Go to people who can loosen you up. Laughter is a miracle drug! When you meditate, you realise that life is not something one should get too serious about. Because everything is transient.

Half a century ago, Mehta began doing yoga to build his body. Now he understands that yoga is about the mind and soul. Here, he shares his 10 commandments of wellness.

From HT Brunch, August 30, 2020

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Mickey Mehtas 10 commandments of wellness - Hindustan Times

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August 31st, 2020 at 1:56 am

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Could a return to primal living help us live longer and healthier lives? – woman&home

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With the world navigating health concerns on a global scale, in an unknown climate asking us collectively to slow down, simplify our living, return to our roots and reassess our values, it seems fitting that when it comes to our wellbeing, going primal is the new progressive.

The mind/body connection is well versed and well understood and the new decade sees us move away from faddy diets and false promises of fast results in favour of optimising our health through holistic approaches, yielding long-term results on both the physical and metaphysical level.

MORE:Easy ways to improve your gut health and boost your immune system

We chatted to founder of Primal Health, solicitor-turned-spiritual Holistic Health and Paleo Diet Coach, Charlne Gisle, about how taking note from our ancestors could boost our health today.

Primal principles recommend that we eat as our ancestors would have done, so think foraging, hunting and gathering. Of course that may not be possible in todays society, but the point is discernment moving away from instant availability and industrial processing in favour of quality and nutrient-dense foods and treating your body with respect by loving what you are fuelling it with.

For me, a truly holistic and healthy approach to food is one that gets as close to the source, (nature) as possible. Choices that we can all make are to select foods that are local, organic, seasonal and whole, when it comes to eating in a Paleolithic way.

Enjoy meat, poultry, eggs and fish as healthy sources of protein, try cooking with butter or extra virgin coconut oil as these fats are very good for you, eat your fruit and vegetables as fresh as possible to benefit from all of their nutrients, and sprinkle seeds on your meals for extra nutritional value.

MORE:What is forest bathing and where can you go forest bathing in the UK?

For me, a healthy approach to eating is to see your diet as abundant, to love what you eat and to think about it in terms of what you are adding so a richer variety of fruit and vegetables or good quality, organic meats.

However, going a little Konmari in your kitchen is essential as its crucial to also know what you should be eliminating from your diet as well. Think foods that were entirely absent prior to civilisation, which includes all refined sugar, sugary beverages, all processed food, refined grains such as pasta and breakfast cereals and industrial/chemically altered oils (canola, sunflower). The Primal Principles also recommend limiting the consumption of alcohol.

We know we are not meant to be sedentary creatures, with numerous health implications associated with spending too much time seated or inactive.

You may not be able to help having an office job, which requires a fairly sedentary lifestyle but there are so many helpful ways that you can stop it having a negative impact on your health, wellbeing and fitness levels.

Start the day with some yoga, a morning workout or a short bike ride (even if to the shops or to run errands) before you set yourself up for work. Break your day up with lunch time activity perhaps a brisk walk to ensure you are getting your heart pumping, your blood circulating and a break from your computer screen.

Studies have found many mental health benefits for a 30-minute walking lunch, such an increase in enthusiasm, a greater ability to relax, improvements to physical fitness and other measures of health

This law harks back to the days when our Paleolithic ancestors, in their tribes, would have carried wood for fires, large stones which were used as tools or heavy buffalo and bison that would have been hunted.

The modern equivalent might be to incorporate some functional bodyweight training into your routine essential movements that humans were designed to be able to do, such as lifting your own body weight, push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and planks.

With so many, free online body-weight and Calthinestic work outs available online at the moment, this primal law can be done from the comfort (and isolation!) of your own home.

Weight training isnt just about building muscles, its benefits include improved posture, better sleep, gaining bone density, maintaining weight loss, boosting metabolism, lowering inflammation and staving off chronic disease.

This law also nods to our ancestors hunter gatherer lifestyles and the short bursts of cardio required to chase and hunt their food.

A great way to replicate this way of living in modern routine is with Tabata or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) work outs. Trainers everywhere love HIIT because theyre usually fast, always efficient, can be adjusted to just about any level of expertise, and can be done from your living room. Short bursts of cardio are also a great way to burn maximum calories in a minimal time.

In the Paleolithic era our ancestors started and ended their days in alignment with the sun and natures circadian rhythm, illuminating sleep disorders and mid-afternoon slumps. -I certainly saw these benefits (and more!) when living by the suns ritualistic simplicity during my time living with monks in an authentic Indian Ashram, Govardhan Eco Village, north of Mumbai.

While Im a huge advocate of living my life by natures circadian rhythm, I know that waking at sunrise and winding down as the sun sets isnt possible for everyone. However, we can all create regular sleep habits and even relaxing bedtime rituals like going to bed at night and waking up in the morning around the same times (including on weekends), and aiming for around 6 hours sleep a night to help reduce stress, inflammation and depression, while improving your memory, keeps you more alert and may help you lose weight.

We know from studying cave drawings that the Paleolithic tribes spent around 6 hours a day playing, creating and making art and under the idea of play is the importance of human connection, exploration, intimacy and sex.

MORE:The best vibrators for a buzz with benefits with expert recommendations for dryness, sensitivity and toning pelvic floor

The number of adults dealing with stress and depression are increasing all the time with work pressures regularly cited as a reason so we know that we should be striving for a better work/life balance, and making more time for things we love.

Carving out time to play, make love and be creative boosts endorphins, improves cognitive function and reminds us that intimacy is a sacred part of our lives. I believe that we should make time every day for love, laughter and playfulness perceiving play time as quality time where you return to your inner child with your own children, spending time with friends in activities that do not involve screens (think tribe-esque sister circles), enjoying your partner and even playing with a pet.

For anyone in lockdown with a partner or lover, there is never a better time to embrace elements of a Tantric lifestyle, which I offer as part of my Holistic Coaching Service, whereby intimacy, connection and sex is considered sacred and pleasure considered a birth right!

Primal law waxes lyrical about the benefits of spending time outside as our ancestors would have done. For me time outside in nature is an essential part of my wellbeing, and in fact, my approach to holistic health coaching is centered on the five elements:

Air for breath work and Pranayama (breathing techniques), Water for ice-bathing and fasting, Earth for Primal Diet, earthing and grounding, Spirit for meditation and Fire for Tantra and sacred sexuality as well as sun exposure.

Getting outside every day, even if just for a walk or run and a dose of vitamin D, produced naturally in your body when directly exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D fights disease, reduces depression and boosts weight loss.

This may sound an obvious one, but in the primal sense this law applies to not doing too many things at once in essence, being present in the daily.

Todays society is anesthetised to modern environmental dangers by distraction and overstimulation. We all do it: texting while driving, sending emails during meetings, chatting on the phone while eating dinner.

Taking time to do just one thing at a time seems downright luxurious, even wasteful but research shows that its not nearly as efficient as we like to believe, and can even be harmful to our health.

Doing too much can be harmful to your relationships, cause you to overeat as you havent processed what youve eaten that day, stifles creativity, is dangerous and causes stress. Make time to be present in your routine, fitting in both the things you need to do and the things you want to do

As Osho said, To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty.

Not only does creativity infuse life with a different sort of depth and richness; creativity allows self-discovery, the opportunity to share a hidden side of ourselves, promotes thinking and problem-solving and reduces stress and anxiety.

I know from my time as a London Litigator that using your brain does not (and should not) mean in the intellectual sense only when it comes to fulfilment and a healthy, functioning mind; so make time to do something you love, which stimulates you creatively, every day. It can be art, singing, making something, a hobby or a passion project.

A simple and truly beautiful way to integrate this law into our modern life is to start journaling and set some time aside to write every day.With practice, negative thoughts can be replaced with positive ones using tools such as a daily gratitude, simply writing a list of five things I am grateful for every morning to set myself up for the day.

With time and dedication to these practices you can replace negative thinking patterns with thoughts that actually help. This can make a huge difference in your day-to-day happiness and comfort

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Could a return to primal living help us live longer and healthier lives? - woman&home

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Tuesday’s Reading FC transfer news as Osho wanted by Royals’ rivals and target Mendes told to leave Sporting – Berkshire Live

Posted: August 14, 2020 at 5:51 am

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Welcome to today's live Reading FC transfer news blog.

We'll be keeping a close eye on all things Royals as pre-season clicks into gear.

It's less than five weeks until the start of the new 2020/21 Championship season so managers will be keen to get their sides in shape as quickly as possible to give themselves the best chance of a positive start to the campaign.

Find out how you can get the latest news from BerkshireLive delivered straight to your inbox

Reading players are now back for pre-season at their Bearwood training ground so Mark Bowen will be assessing each one to determine how they fit into his plans moving forward.

The Welshman has some big decisions to make with the size of the squad still relatively large and reinforcements needed to freshen the side up.

We'll have the latest Royals developments as they happen throughout the day in the live blog below so keep an eye on our updates as much as you can.

Remember we are on social media too. You can follow our Twitter account @readingfclive and our Reading FC reporter Jonathan Low @jonathanl50

And get the latest news and views on our Facebook page Reading FC Live

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Tuesday's Reading FC transfer news as Osho wanted by Royals' rivals and target Mendes told to leave Sporting - Berkshire Live

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August 14th, 2020 at 5:51 am

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Priyanka Chopra on staying connected with family during pandemic: There have been lot of Zoom calls,… – Hindustan Times

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Priyanka Chopra has been living in Los Angeles with Nick Jonas since the beginning of the lockdown in March.

Priyanka Chopra has been away from her mother and brother ever since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March. She has been living with singer husband Nick Jonas at their Los Angeles home, but has found ways to stay connected through it all.

Speaking to People magazine, Priyanka said it was important to maintain a sense of normalcy. Im asthmatic and my husbands type 1 diabetic, so we have to be even more careful. But there have been a lot of Zoom calls and Zoom brunches. We have a really large friends and family group, and Ive had a lot of birthdays in my family that have happened recently, so weve done a few socially distanced lunches, she said.

If you have the ability to have a human connection with friends, family, whether thats virtually or whether thats in a socially distant way, I think thats really important to feel a sense of normalcy, she said.

Talking about returning to work, Priyanka said she will make sure everything is safe when she does. The rumblings are that a couple of projects should go on set by the end of the year, if not by mid-fall, maybe September or October, but the world is so uncertain. I am prepared to go back to work. I know Ill have to make sure that Im extremely disciplined, super careful for myself and for everyone else, and take the quarantining and testing measures seriously. Its a new normal, and its not going to turn back into being what it was anytime soon. So we just have to come to terms with that reality, she added.

Also read: Sooraj Pancholi slams reports connecting him to Disha Salian, Sushant Singh Rajputs deaths: Never met, spoke to Disha

Priyanka has multiple projects in her kitty right now. Her next release will be Netflixs The White Tiger with Rajkummar Rao. She has also signed a multi-million dollar deal with Amazon. She will be seen in their shows Citadel, made by Anthony and Joe Russo and co-starring Richard Madden; and reality show Sangeet that she has produced with Nick Jonas.

Priyanka also has Robert Rodriguez movie We Can Be Heroes and will also be seen as Osho aide and convicted attempted murderer Maa Anand Sheela in a biopic.

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August 14th, 2020 at 5:51 am

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Sachy introduced me to Osho: Amala Paul – Times of India

Posted: June 22, 2020 at 2:43 pm

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Filmmaker, scriptwriter and producer KR Sachidanandan, fondly known as Sachy, passed away recently. His untimely demise has come as a major shock to the members of the film industry. Many from the industry have paid tribute to the director. Amala Paul too shared some fond memories of the director. She said that director Sachy gave her one of the biggest hits of her career and that he was the one who introduced her to the mystic Osho. In a heartfelt post, Amala wrote, A shocker after a shocker! Ace screenwriter, director and a good friend ~ Sachy is no more. Sachy gave me one of my biggest hits in the Malayalam movie industry with Run Baby Run. The character Renuka lives on in everyone's heart! Sachy knew everything about everything, he was the one who introduced me to Osho and we spent a lot of time talking about life beyond the movies during Run Baby Run. ce=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> Amala Paul (@amalapaul) on Jun 19, 2020 at 2:35am PDT

Just when I wanted to rekindle my friendship with him, he's left the mortal world!He entered this world, mastered his art and moved on to another dimension.With fond memories of our times together, I wish you farewell my dear friend. Goodbye, until we meet again.

Sachy introduced me to Osho: Amala Paul - Times of India

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June 22nd, 2020 at 2:43 pm

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Blast from the past: When Parveen Babi suddenly joined Kabir Bedi in Italy – Filmfare

Posted: June 3, 2020 at 12:46 pm

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Parveen Babi was considered as one of the most glamorous stars of the 70s and 80s. She had a westernised image that perhaps came in the way of her getting roles that depicted her as a girl-next-door as filmmakers were keen to bank on her Eurasian good looks. She was one of the highest-paid heroines of her era and appeared with Amitabh Bachchan in eight films, all of them being superhits. She was known for her item numbers. Numbers like Jawaani Jaaneman and Raat baaqi baat Baaqi in Namak Halaal, and Pyaar karne wale in Shaan still remain popular today. She was being featured on the covers of all major film magazines. Apart from her good looks, she was known for her bohemian lifestyle. She always spoke her mind and never hid her affairs and lived life on her own terms. Parveen Babi created a stir when she joined beau Kabir Bedi in Italy on the sets of Sandokan. Kabir became an international star when he agreed to be part of the Italian serial Sandokan. Directed by Sergio Sollima, it was based upon the novels of Emilio Salgari featuring the pirate hero Sandokan. They were two beautiful people very much in love and the European press, who had been hailing him as a sort of superstar from India, played up their relationship. It was widely reported and they even merited covers in Italian and Spanish media. Their romance was intense but short-lived. He was increasingly becoming popular in Europe and was seemingly flooded with work. After Sandokan he even signed an adventure film calledThe Black Corsair (1976), where he reportedly played a pirate. She was one of the most sought after heroines of the time and couldnt afford to give her Bollywood career a miss. Its said she had around 40 films lined up when she left and producers in Mumbai gave a collective sigh of relief when she came back. Her career soon picked up and she was back to top again, it was as if the two years with Kabir had never happened. A long-distance relationship seemed out of the question, as Kabir was already married to Protima Bedi at the time. However, it was said that their marriage was already on the rocks. Protima reportedly admitted that she considered her marriage to be over and hence she didnt mind his having a fling with Parveen. In an interview, Protima stated that when Kabir finally left, she felt a sense of relief. She mentioned he had been trying to get away from her and Parveen came into her life at the right time.

Parveen didnt regret leaving him. She understood that things wouldnt have worked out between them in the long run, especially when his career was very much centred in Europe and when he wanted to be away from Promita. She said she had her own life and could never consent to roam around the world in his shadow. She later reportedly started a relationship with director Mahesh Bhatt. Both were spiritually inclined at the time and used to visit UG Krishnamurti and Osho in his company. Sadly, it was during her relationship with Mahesh Bhatt that first signs of schizophrenia began to appear.

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Blast from the past: When Parveen Babi suddenly joined Kabir Bedi in Italy - Filmfare

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June 3rd, 2020 at 12:46 pm

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On Vinod Khannas 3rd death anniversary, a look at how joining Osho became the most defining moment… – Hindustan Times

Posted: April 29, 2020 at 3:43 am

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Vinod Khanna with son Rahul.

OnApril 27, 2017 when Vinod Khanna died in a Mumbai hospital, Indian cinema lost one of its most handsome and successful stars. Vinod was unlike any other in the Indian film firmament - a star who quit it all at the height of success only to return five years later to reclaim much of what had been lost. As a successful actor, handsome star, with a successful career in politics later on, Vinod had it all but nothing defined his life the way his association with Osho would. On his 3rd death anniversary, heres a look at how can be such a big part of his life.

Vinod as born in Peshawar in 1946 in undivided India. A year later, when Partition happened, his family comprising his parents, three sisters and a brother moved to Bombay (now Mumbai). His younger days - school and college - were spent in Mumbai, Delhi and Deolali, near Nashik in Maharashtra. Though Vinod made his film debut in 1968 with Sunil Dutt in Man Ka Meet, his heart truly was in cricket. He loved the game and played a fair bit of it while in Bombay. The public may think I am just another filmstar but there was a time when I played fair cricket with (test player) Budhi Kunderan. Later, I played with Eknath Solkar at the Hindu Gym. I used to bat at No 4 but settled for films the moment I realised I couldnt be Vishwanath! Even so cricket not films, is my first love, he had written in The Illustrated Weekly of India in 1979.

Yet films would be where he would earn name, fame and money. In the 70s era, he was one of the highest earning stars alogwith Amitabh Bachchan. Starting off playing the roles of villains, Vinod soon graduate to playing hero. Between the late 70s and early 80s, he had starred in a string of successful films such as Kuchhe Dhaage, Gaddaar, Imtihaan, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Inkaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Rajput, The Burning Train, Qurbani, Kudrat, Parvarish and Khoon Pasina.

In his personal life too, life couldnt have been better - he married his college sweetheart, Gitanjali Taleyarkhan and a proud parent to two boys - Rahul and Akshaye - both of whom would go on to become actors. Life couldnt have been better and yet, in early 1980s he quit it all and moved into Rajneeshpuram with his spiritual guru Rajneesh. He had become his disciple in 1975. The developments shocked India.

Speaking about it, his younger son Akshaye in an interview to Mid Day had said how he was only about five or six years old when his father left them. At that time, it meant nothing to him. It was only when Akshaye turned 15 or 16 that he began to learn and listen about the man who influenced his father so much that he was willing to renunciate life and take sanyaas. Akshaye said, To not only leave his family, but to take sanyaas (renunciation). Sanyaas means giving up your life in totality family is [only] a part of it. Its a life-changing decision, which he felt that he needed to take at the time. As a five-year-old, it was impossible [for me] to understand it. I can understand it now.

It is indeed life coming a full circle when ones child, most impacted by ones decisions, turns empathetic. Akshaye went on to explain how he now understood what his father must have felt. In the sense that something must have moved him so deeply inside, that he felt that that kind of decision was worth it for him. Especially, when you have everything in life. And when life doesnt look as though theres much more that you can have.

A very basic fault-line/ earthquake has to occur within oneself to make that decision. But also stick by it. One can make the decision and say this doesnt suit me lets go back. But that didnt happen.

Akshaye explained how Vinods renunciation was complete and had it not been for the unfortunate developments vis-a-vis Rajneeshpuram and the US government then, Vinod would never have come back. And circumstances in America with Osho and the colony, friction with the US government that was the reason he came back.

There were constant murmurs that Vinod was disillusioned; Akshaye thought the contrary. He added, From whatever memories I have about my father talking about that time in his life, I dont think that was a reason at all. It was just the fact that the commune was disbanded, destroyed, and everybody had to find their own way. Thats when he came back. Otherwise I dont think he wouldve ever come back.

By the time Vinod returned to India, he and Gitanjali had divorced. He went back to working in Bollywood, working in films like Dayavan. Vinod married again, this time to Kavita Daftary, daughter of industrialist Sharayu Daftary and had two more children. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and won four Lok Sabha elections from Gurdaspur and remains the most successful Bollywood star in politics. He successfully launched his son Akshayes film career too. All his life, Oshos philosophy remained central to his existence.

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On Vinod Khannas 3rd death anniversary, a look at how joining Osho became the most defining moment... - Hindustan Times

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April 29th, 2020 at 3:43 am

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Amala Paul: ‘When she is not even free of one pregnancy, the husband is ready to make her pregnant again’ – International Business Times, India…

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Who is Amala Paul's new boyfriend? The name and photos of her Mr Right revealed

Amala Paul is reading 'The Book of Woman', written by Osho and the influence of the author can be seen on her as the actress has raised pertinent questions about love, marriage and notable about the women's treatment in the society.

Amala Paul.Instagram

Amala Paul's Bold Message on Social Media The 27-year old talks about how the women are subject to slavery and claims that pregnancy brings death to child in her. Amala Paul stated that the men uses women as an object of lust to fulfil his sexual desire.

The complete unedited text can be read below:

All the best questions in THE PROPHET are asked by women- about love, about marriage, about children, about pain-authentic, real. . Not about God, not about any philosophical system, but about life itself. Why has the question arisen in a woman and not in a man ? Because the woman has suffered slavery, the woman has suffered humiliation, the woman has suffered economic dependence, and, above all, she has suffered a constant state of pregnancy. . For centuries she has lived in pain and pain. The growing child in her does not allow her to eat. She is always feeling like throwing up, vomiting. .

He simply uses the woman as an object to fulfill his lust and sexuality

When child has grown to nine months, the birth of the child is almost the death of the woman. And when she is not even free of one pregnancy, the husband is ready to make her pregnant again. It seems that the woman's only function is to be a factory to produce crowds. . And what is man's function ? He does not participate in her pain. Nine months she suffers, the birth of the child she suffers- and what does the man do ?

As far as the man is concerned, he simply uses the woman as an object to fulfill his lust and sexuality. He is not concerned at all about what the consequence will be for the woman. . And still he goes on saying, 'I LOVE YOU'. If he had really loved her, the world would not have been over populated. His word 'love' is absolutely empty. He has treated her almost like cattle. . #osho #thebookofwoman #woman #slaverystillexists #ancestralhealing #powerfulwords

Amala Paul.PR Handout

Amala Paulon Work Front: On the work front, she is busy with South Indian version of Hindi web series Lust Stories. She is also part of Mahesh Bhatt's yesteryear actress Parveen Babhi's biopic.

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Amala Paul: 'When she is not even free of one pregnancy, the husband is ready to make her pregnant again' - International Business Times, India...

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April 29th, 2020 at 3:43 am

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Poem of the week: The New Divan by Edwin Morgan – The Guardian

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Charged and complex Edwin Morgan in 2003. Photograph: Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian

Three poems from The New Divan

1.Hafiz, old nightingale, what fires there have been in the groves, white dust, wretchedness, how could you ever get your song together? Someone stands by your tomb, thinks as a shadow thinks: much, little, any? You swore youd be found shrouded in another grave-cloth of pure smoke from a heart as burning dead as beating but the names of cinders are thick where passions were. Whole cities could be ash. But not the song the Sufi says we have but our dying song, you knew, gives us our beings.

86.Not in Kings Regulations, to be in love. Cosgrove I gave the flower to, joking, jumping down the rocky terraces above Sidon, my heart bursting as a village twilight spread its tent over us and promontories swam far below through goat-bells into an unearthly red. He dribbled a ball through shrieking children and they laughed at our bad Arabic, and the flower. To tell the truth he knew no more of what I felt than of tomorrow. Gallus, he cared little for that. Ive not lost his photograph. Yesterday, tomorrow he slumbers in a word.

92.Angels with abacuses called their calculations once, in an ancient scene of souls. They shrug now, its not calculable, dive in pools, dry out half human with their wings on rocks and let computers mass the injuries let computers mess the injuries let computers miss the injuries let computers moss the injuries let computers muss the injuries of merely mortal times. Consequently waters break on earth but not for them. And those who see them in this labouring place have shadows watching them, not angels. It doesnt matter which. When was our ACHTUNG MINEN ever their concern, or the tears where our bodies were?

Edwin Morgan (1920-2010) considered his 100-poem sequence, The New Divan, his war poem.

A conscientious objector, Morgan served in a non-combatant role in the Royal Army Medical Corps in north Africa during the second world war. He wrote the sequence years after the experience, and published it in 1977, by which time his major collections, The Second Life (1968) and From Glasgow to Saturn (1973) had established his reputation. He chose the right moment for himself as a poet: its as if the poem had always been waiting for him to find his hail voice.

The sequence is non-linear. There are narrative glimpses only. Many of the poems have a swift, strange jostle of images, like vivid dreams, almost surreal. Wars violence is more often hinted than described, part of the symbolism of red, a favourite colour in the swirling weave. Blood, roses, sunset, fire, wine, the eyes after drinking all shades and moods of red connect Morgans divan (the word means in Persian a collection of poems) to the original Divan by the 14th-century Sufi poet Hafiz.

Love, for Morgan as for Hafiz, is the major theme. In a context where homosexual relationships were officially forbidden, its a charged and complex business. As the second poem here affirms, to be in love was against Kings Regulations. It would not have been an easy subject for Morgan at the time of writing, either.

Sufi mysticism and carnal ecstasy merge for both poets. Of course, Morgans persona isnt seeking union with God, but the ecstatic union with the man he desires, Cosgrove, is a spiritual matter in that its a quest for the utmost personal authenticity. The shapes, colours and syntax of Morgans poems, so unlike Hafizs stately ghazals, make them seem to dance like whirling dervishes, the Sufi worshippers who seek divine connection through bodily movement. As the Indian mystic, Acharya Rajneesh, (Osho), explained, Sufis sing, they dont give sermons, because life is more like a song and less like a sermon. And they dance, and they dont talk about dogmas, because a dance is more alive, more like existence, more like the birds singing in the trees ... The whole life is a dance, vibrating, throbbing, with infinite life. Sufis like to dance; they are not interested in dogmas.

In Poem 1, Morgan addresses the old nightingale Hafiz himself, and refers to the text where Hafiz declares: Open my grave when I am dead, and thou shalt see a cloud of smoke rising out from it; then shalt thou know that the fire still burns in my dead heart; yea, it has set my very winding-sheet alight. (Gertrude Bells translation). Death in Morgans poem is retrospective transformation: But / not the song the Sufi says we have / but our dying song, you knew, gives us our beings. It seems likely that Morgan wrote the Divan after Cosgroves death; it was certainly written when the realisation of that love was no longer a possibility. But the love gives Morgan his song.

No 82 is a long way ahead in the sequence or would be if The New Divan were chronologically structured. This poem has a lighter, airier voice: insouciant as well as sad, it captures the character of Cosgrove, and the obligatory playfulness which both defuses and heightens the relationship. Gallus (line 10) is an adjective in Scots . The fact that Gallus is a proper noun in Latin creates an ambiguity: might it also be read as a reference to the Roman prefect-in-Egypt, Aelius Gallus, whose expedition was described by Strabo, among others?

No 92 laments the disunity jarring the heart of Morgans wartime experience. Angels are imperfect, or invisible. Capital letters shout, Beware Landmines. An excursion into concrete poetry results in a mechanical, anti-creation hymn . Mass, mess, miss, moss, muss: the hissing litany of words chancily formed by the sequence of vowels, recalls a device used humorously in The Computers First Christmas Card. Poem 92 is a cry of pain, but still a word-dance.

Edwin Morgans 100th birthday would have been on 27 April. Im delighted to have an excuse to return to his work, and for PotW to play a small part in his centenary celebrations. No 20th-century poetry has brought me more varied, intense and unfading pleasure than Morgans. His is the song of our time the living, not the dying, song which gives us our being.

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Poem of the week: The New Divan by Edwin Morgan - The Guardian

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April 29th, 2020 at 3:43 am

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Surviving COVID-19: What We Learned from Seun O’s Interview with Elizabeth Osho – BellaNaija

Posted: April 26, 2020 at 4:43 am

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In an InstaLive interview, Elizabeth Osho had a chat with a renowned photographer, Seun O, one of the many COVID-19 survivors who got people talking after attending a high profile award event in Lagos.

Seun spoke about his experience, what happened, his time at the isolation centre, and how he overcame the virus.

Heres what we learned:

He left the UK on the 12th of March, and arrived Nigeria on the 13th of March. He was an official photographer for the award event which took place on Saturday, March 14. Carrying out his task during the event, he was all fine, in good spirit and felt no symptom of the virus. The next night after the event (Sunday night), he started to feel ill with symptoms of tiredness and fever.

When he suspected hed contracted the virus, he got in touch with people he was in close contact with, and one of his conversations with a trusted friend got leaked and made the rounds on social media. He was in isolation for five days, and later went to the hospital to get tested.

Upon visiting the hospital and providing the necessary information such as his symptoms and travel history, the hospital then contacted Lagos State and the NCDC about him. Describing how the COVID-19 test procedure went, he said a stick-like instrument goes up the nostrils, a very uncomfortable and painful process.

When the Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Akin Abayomi, contacted him about his COVID-19 positive status, he was scared. He said he felt like his world was crashing down because he had the virus that was killing people around the world.

Did anyone he came in contact with test positive for the virus? Seun O said, Not one single person has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The isolation centre: For Seun, it was an experience he will not regret. The people in his ward were exceptional characters, he said, and all 15 to 16 patients in his ward are now COVID-19 survivors.

His treatment: Everyone in his ward had different symptoms. The first time he got to his ward, after dinner, he had his first antiretroviral, antibiotics, calcium and paracetamol.

Stigmatization: It is a very serious issue for Seun. He met people in the isolation centres who didnt want their families, friends or colleagues to know they had coronavirus.

Watch the full interview here!

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Surviving COVID-19: What We Learned from Seun O's Interview with Elizabeth Osho - BellaNaija

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April 26th, 2020 at 4:43 am

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