Sunday, October 26, 2008


Pleasure and Happiness

[A Diwali Resolution – Be Happy]



The primary aim of philosophy and spirituality is to help ordinary people live a life of happiness, fulfilment, inner peace and tranquillity.

Every day you ask yourself - How do I live a happy life? Is it simple to be happy? What is the art of happiness?

Let us see what the Taoist philosopher Mingliaotse has to say: “The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild."

You know that whenever pleasure is present you are happy - this is a fact that cannot be denied - for a pleasure is an enjoyable event or delightful emotion which is bound to make you happy, at least for that moment.

Highfalutin philosophers and spiritual gurus may prescribe various impracticable esoteric paths of renunciation, asceticism or sectarian precepts eschewing enjoyment and pleasure as the sine qua non of happiness, but the fact of the matter is that to the ordinary person happiness and pleasure are inextricably intertwined.

Discovering simple enduring pleasures which you can easily and regularly achieve, realize and enjoy in your day-to-day life will produce contentment, fulfilment and happiness.

Pleasure is certainly not a bad thing in itself, but wanton pursuit of pleasures is counterproductive as it leads to over-indulgence and excesses which bring with them disturbances which are detrimental to our happiness and well-being.

In your search for happiness you tend to indulge in extravagant parties, unrestrained extravagance, conspicuous consumption, compulsive shopping, thoughtless profligacy, limitless spending, expensive entertainments and try to enjoy everything at once, instant gratification by over-indulgence in wining, dining and dancing, stretching yourself to the maximum limits possible.

At first you enjoy yourself and feel happy but when you come to the point of satiety you begin to feel a sense of repulsion, and if you overdo yourself, next morning wake up sick and feeling miserable with a sense of sadness and depression rather than happiness.

Grandiose, complicated, ostentatious, lavish, unrestrained and intemperate indulgences which you think will ostensibly make you happy, in actual fact, render you stressed-out, unhappy and cause you harm and misery in the long run.

There is no need to overdo things in order to be happy.

Just keep your pleasures mild.

Enjoying a simple, tasty and healthy meal with your loved one's and friends, or just sitting quietly and leisurely reading a good book, taking a walk enjoying melodious music, enjoying your work, leisure, hobbies are some mild pleasures which will make you happy and keep you healthy too.

It is simple to be happy.

The first thing you must do is to introspect and list your most pleasurable activities - things that give you true joy, happiness and satisfaction - in all aspects of your life.

Make your “happiness list” as exhaustive as possible and from this list select those “mild pleasures” that you can enjoy every day or very frequently, often. Then incorporate these pleasures in your routine and fit them into your daily life.

See what happens. Some “pleasures” that you thought would make you happy actually do the opposite, don’t they?

Delete those "pleasures" that you thought would give you happiness but actually made you stressed-out - things you think would be satisfying but turn out to be unrewarding.

Experiment, make changes, be watchful, dynamic.

Do not hesitate to add new items to your list - you can always remove them if they fail to produce the desired results.

Fine tune and religiously put into practice your list and experience happiness every day.

This prescription of keeping your pleasures mild will enable you to structure your life in way where your happiness will be in your control and you will find greater joy in your life.

It will be feasible and within your control to ensure that you enjoy these mild pleasures daily or at least fairly regularly and, with only so many hours during the day, these enjoyable events will begin to crowd out the neutral, unpleasant, and irrelevant activities in your daily life and make you feel fulfilled and happy.

Dear reader, start today, on the auspicious day of Diwali and discover the true art of happiness, the art of living.

Discover your mild pleasures that make you truly happy and joyful.

And do let me know your experience – did this simple philosophy of keeping your pleasures mild make you happier?

It is simple to be happy, isn't it?



Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Leisurely Day in Pune




[A Treatise on the Art of Leisure – Nostalgic Memories of glorious moments of idleness and leisure in Pune - my favourite city]

Art of Loafing

Please tell me Dear Reader: What is loafing? Idling away your time on useless things?

Aimless Loitering?

Loitering! Sounds a bit derogatory, isn't it?

Okay lets say it's aimless wandering. Perfectly useless time spent in a perfectly useless manner!

Yes. That’s how I would like to define the art of loafing - spending perfectly useless time in a perfectly useless manner!


And what is foodwalking?Loitering, or rather walking, in search of good food. Not so aimless loitering!

That's what I did once – long back. I loafed in Pune.

Foodwalked. In search of good food.

I spent a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner – “Foodwalking in Pune”.

I still have fond nostalgic memories of that glorious day. Let me tell you about it.

A Glorious Day

It is a beautiful morning. I try to furtively slip out of my house unnoticed, but I am stopped in my tracks by my wife's piercing voice, "Where are you going"?

"I don’t know?" I answer truthfully, and this adroit answer probably precludes the next question she is about to ask me, "What time are you coming back?" for she knows I will again truthfully answer, "I don’t know".

It’s true – I really don’t know where I am going!

"Take the mobile with you," she shouts, but I pretend not to hear and make myself scarce and disappear as fast as possible for I do not want the manacles of technology to ruin my day.

Dear fellow loafer - If you want to truly enjoy life beware of the technology trap!It's a bright day. I feel good.

Flush with a sense of carefree irresponsibility, I walk with a spring in my step. I am going to enjoy my leisure. Should I turn left? Should I turn right? Should I cross the road and go straight ahead?

I am free. Free to go wherever I desire. Free to enjoy my day as I want.

True freedom – to be able to travel at will with no destination to reach, no task to complete, no deadlines to meet.

Just Loaf. Aimlessly. Timelessly. Pure Leisure. Spend a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner. I see a bus. I stop it and hop in. "Where do you want to go?" the conductor asks.

"Where does this bus go?" I ask. "Pune Railway Station."

"Okay. One ticket to Pune Railway Station," I say holding out a tenner. The conductor gives me an amused look and hands me a ticket and a rupee coin.

I sit down on a vacant window-seat.

I think interesting thoughts and enjoy the view through the window.

On these trips of mine I prefer travelling by bus and, of course, I love to walk on foot.

Driving my car on the terrible potholed, crowded and chaotic roads in the terrible traffic of Pune makes me go crazy, and, at my age, I dare not venture out too far on my scooter, lest I land up with broken bones in hospital or, worse, lifeless in Vaikunth or Kailas crematoriums!

That's what I sometimes do on these glorious trips of mine. Just jump into the first bus that comes along and let it take you wherever it goes.

Just go where life leads you.

Last time I landed up in the heart of Pune near Shaniwar Wada.

In Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi loafing is even more exciting, as there are so many more routes and choices, trains, buses, walks, and you can serendipitously explore so many novel and exotic places you would not dream of going to in normal course.

The bus reaches the Pune Railway Station. It’s been a smooth ride.


I get down and admire the magnificent heritage stone building of Pune Railway Station. I stand in the porch and look inside. Trains, crowds, announcements, horns, cacophony, and chaos – I love the “railway” atmosphere.

On impulse, I enter, and stroll on the platform, panning my gaze all over, and stopping once in a while to feast my eyes on any attractive object that arrests my attention.

"Want a seat?" a porter asks.

"No," I say.

"Where are you going?" he pursues.

"Nowhere," I say.

"Waiting for someone," he asks, probably in anticipation of porterage.

"No," I say.

He stares at me for a moment and walks off with a look of perplexed dejection.

I look around. Everyone is waiting to go somewhere, or for someone.

I am waiting to go nowhere, and for nobody.

So I walk out of the station and head for Shiv Kailash Milk Bar bang opposite on the other side of the road. If you arrive at Pune by train on a hot morning, never make the blunder of heading for the rickshaw stand. You'll get all stressed up waiting in the never-ending queue and haggling with the rickshawallas trying to con you.

Just cross the road to Shiv Kailash, sit under the shade on one of the stainless steel stools placed on the pavement, invigorate yourself with a tall glass of cool refreshing lassi (which is guaranteed to banish the depleting effects of the tiresome train journey) and tell the waiter to hail a rickshaw from the many hanging around.

This is what I have been doing for so many years, during my numerous homecomings, since the days when Pune was called Poona. Shiv Kailash serves the best lassi in Pune. It’s almost as good as the one at Pehelwan at the end on Lanka near BHU in Varanasi. The lassi freshly made in front of you topped off with a generous dollop of soft fresh cream. The sumptuous fulfilling soothing lassi is thick, lip-smacking, nourishing, and gives me a heavenly feeling.

I sip slowly, relishing every mouthful, almost eating the delectable fluid after letting it perambulate on my tongue, as I watch the world go about its business outside.

People come in a jiffy, gulp their lassis down the hatch in a hurry, and rush away, while I blissfully savour each and every drop of the delicious lassi.

I walk leisurely towards Camp. Past Mira College, GPO, Zero Milestone, Police Headquarters, Nehru Memorial Hall, where I cross the Moledina Road admiring the imposing Lal Deval Synagogue, and turn left, past the place imperial Dorabjee Store Building used to be once. Now there is a huge shopping complex and a glitzy mall opposite. I reminisce. West End, New Empire, all the adorable landmarks gone. Now there are Malls and modern places like Landmark. Landmark – you know it don’t you?

Landmark is Pune’s swanky new music-cum-book store. Like Crossword – giving competition to the grand old Manney’s, International, Popular, TBS and the bookshops at Appa Balwant Chowk.

I walk in. The place is swarming with chic salesgirls and sales-boys. No one pays any attention to me. Maybe I blend well with the surroundings.

I realize the tremendous advantages of obscurity and the benefits of anonymity.

Had I been a successful person, rich and famous, or someone with a striking personality, people would notice me and I doubt I would have been able to enjoy myself with such carefree abandon.

Only non-achievers like me can truly enjoy a life of carefree irresponsibility and the unadulterated joys of genuine leisure. I roam around the ground floor music section. There are no music stations where you can listen to music like they have in Rhythm House and Planet-M in Mumbai. So I go the first floor bookstore. It’s spacious, neatly laid-out and looks impressive.


The books are arranged subject-wise, clearly visible from anywhere. There are cushioned stools to sit and browse and also two long sofas below the huge tinted windows towards the far side.

I start from the left side. Food, Philosophy, Self-Help, Travel, Coffee Table, Erotica, Classics, Fiction, Computers, Children, Indian Writing there are books on every topic you can think of.

The tranquil ambiance is so soothing and conducive that I browse to my hearts content, loosing myself into that wonderful state of timelessness I experience sometimes when I am totally immersed into doing something I love. By the time I leave Landmark, cerebrally satiated, it is almost three in the afternoon, I am hungry, and in desperate need of gastronomic satiation. So I walk past Manney’s, West End, turn right on Main Street, cross Aurora Towers, turn right, walk past ABN Amro Bank, and turn left on Dastur Meher Road, a walk leisurely towards Sarbatwala Chowk till I reach Dorabjee and Sons.

A Leisurely Meal

I dive in through the low entrance and look around. The eatery is crowded, with noisy families bashing away regardless greedily devouring the heaps food before them. The mouth-watering aroma, and the sight of the appetizing food, creates in me such ravenous pangs of hunger that I quickly sit on the only vacant table and order a Mutton Biryani the signature dish of Dorabjee.

As is the hallmark of specialty cuisine restaurants the menu is select just a few choice dishes a single page. There's Sali, Curry, Masala and Biryani in Mutton and Chicken; Kheema, Brain, Eggs, and combinations thereof, cutlets in gravy, and a few Veg dishes, for appearance sake. On Sundays, you can have Dhansak, maybe on your way to the races in the season.

Pune may have changed but heritage institutions like Dorabjee still preserve the flavour of yesteryear Pune. I spoon some Biryani onto my tongue, seal my lips, close my eyes, turn my senses inwards with full consciousness to imbibe and savour the unique medley of juices released by the succulent piece of mutton, the bitterish-sweet taste of the slightly burnt crisp fried onions, and the spicy flavoursome rice. It is superlative delicious authentic cuisine at its best. Dorabjee serves the best heritage mutton biryani in Pune – no doubt about it. [Blue Nile and Good Luck are nearly as good].

The fervent atmosphere of the place and exquisite quality of the food is such that one eats enthusiastically, with wholehearted zest and gusto; not apologetically and self-consciously, as one tends to do, trying to be prim and proper, in highfalutin restaurants.

At Dorabjee, you can enjoy every morsel of your food with passionate ardour.

And as I reach blissful satiety I realize that a well-filled stomach radiates a kind of spiritual happiness.

The Art of Leisure

The ideal way to end this rich spicy repast is to cool it off with a Falooda.

So I walk down Sachapir Street, cross Main Street, and head for Badshah on East Street to down a deliciously sweet and chilled Rose flavored Royal Falooda.

And then to Kayani, down East Street, to pick up some Shrewsbury Biscuits and Chocolate Walnut Cake. I stand outside Kayani, wondering what to do. Maybe I can go to Manney’s and browse some more. If Landmark has got the ambiance, Manney’s got the books!

And then just loiter down Main Street admiring pretty looking things, till I am tired and hungry.

Maybe I will have some sandwiches, a roll and cold coffee at Marzorin. Or pastries and a softy at Pasteurs.

Or a Burger at Burger King, or a Chopsuey at East End, down East Street.

Maybe Kathi Rolls at Olympia, Chicken Masala at George, Chana Bhatura at Monafood, Sev Barfi at Bhavnagri, Wafers at Budhani, or Sizzlers at The Place next to Manneys, or one more Biryani at Blue Nile near the GPO.

The possibilities are endless!Or should I see the movie at Victory opposite, or at West End nearby?

Maybe I'll jump into the first bus I see and let it take me wherever it goes.

How about going for a long walk on Laxmi road into the heart of town?

Or an idyll beside the river in Bund Garden, or Saras Baug, or Sambhaji Park?

Or maybe I will just head home.

Oh, yes indeed, the possibilities are truly endless!

I am free to do whatever I choose to do! Loaf to my heart's content! To continue to spend a perfectly useless day in a perfectly useless manner! Relish moments of perfect leisure.You can take my word for it, dear reader.

There is nothing you will enjoy more than loafing.

It is when you cease to do the things you have to do, and do the things you like to do, and you want to do, that you achieve the highest value of your time.

The freedom to enjoy life is the ultimate reward.

Why should you defer happiness waiting for some elusive abstract rewards?

What reward could be greater than a life enjoyed as it is lived? If you do not find happiness as you are, where you are, here and now, you will never find it.

There is always plenty in life right now to enjoy for one who is determined to enjoy it.

The feast of life is before you. Do you have the appetite to enjoy the feast of life?
So my dear friend, discover the art of loafing, and you will redeem the art of living from the business of living.

The Art of Travelling, The Art of Happiness, The Art of Eating, The Art of Living, The Art of Loafing, The Art of Leisure - all inextricably intertwined, aren't they?

Dear Reader, do tell us about your glorious carefree leisurely loafing experiences in your favourite city too!

And let us know what you think about the Art of Leisure.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Art of Amrutatulya Tea - Pune Style




When I was a small boy in the nineteen sixties Pune was a “Tea Town”. Everyone drank tea and all over the town there were chiefly two types of tea for the laidback discerning gourmet Punekar to relish – AMRUT TULYA CHAHA at the ubiquitous Amrut-tulya Tea Shops in every nook and corner of Pune, and the peerless IRANI CHAI served by the numerous Irani Restaurants all over Pune City and Camp like Café Naaz, Lucky, Good Luck, Volga etc.

Amrut means Nectar, and Tulya means Comparable, so “Amrut Tulya” means “Comparable to Nectar” and indeed, true to its name, Amrut-Tulya Tea is comparable to nectar – sweet, ambrosial, like the elixir of life! Amrut Tulya Chaha is not brewed in the traditional Tea service style – the tea is “cooked” in front of you.

Come, my dear Tea Lover, let me tell you how to make Amrut Tulya Chaha - The Art of Tea – Pune Style.

Assemble the following Ingredients for Two cups of Amrut Tulya Tea “Special Chaha”

Assam CTC Tea or, if you live in Pune, get the famous CTC+OP “Family Mixture” Tea Powder from your favourite “Tea Depot” in the heart of Pune City.
[By the way, the acronyms are: CTC – Crush, Tear, Curl; OP – Orange Pekoe; BOP – Broken Orange Pekoe].

Full Cream Buffalo Milk [I like Chitale’s]

Fresh Water


Fresh Ginger Crushed [Better still you can crush the juicy fresh ginger with the chimta directly in the water-milk concoction to let the ginger juices flow out and blend in smoothly]

Cardamom – peel, crush and powder the pods

[NB – Amrut Tulya Tea is not your traditional Masala Chai so please don’t add any Tea Masalas or spices like clove, cinnamon, black peppercorns or herbs like gavati chaha (lemon grass?), tulsi leaves etc. and neither is it the “khada chamach” or “cutting” Chai so please don’t boil away to glory – remember, you must achieve Amrut Tulya Chaha of just the right consistency!]

In a brass vessel [or stainless steel, if you can’t get a brass vessel] mix one cup of water and one cup of milk. Add four teaspoons of sugar. Put on the stove. Medium heat.

Squeeze in a bit of crushed ginger and add a pinch of cardamom powder and the peel.

Lightly stir, let it warm, and bring to a boil.

Smartly add two teaspoons of tea powder and keep stirring gently to ensure the boiling concoction does not spill over. Keep boiling till the tea attains beautiful bright golden-orange colour – the moment you see a reddish tinge, give the heavenly brew a loving last stir, twirl the vessel, and sieve the Amrut Tulya Tea Special Chaha directly into the cups.

Sip the delicious tea slowly and mindfully, roll it on your tongue, let it emulsify in your palate, close your eyes, absorb, discern the flavour, the rich taste, relish every sip lovingly.

Tell me, isn’t Amrut Tulya Chaha lip-smacking tasty and soul-refreshing? Blissful ambrosia, an experience of nectar, isn’t it?

Now you know why they call it Amrut Tulya – comparable to Nectar!


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Monday, October 06, 2008





I love tea.

You too love tea but don’t know how to make a good cup?

Let me tell you how to make tea.

Get some good Assam CTC Tea [CTC is an acronym for Crush, Tear and Curl]. CTC teas have a granular appearance and the fact of the matter is that if you are really interested in a Stimulating, Refreshing and Invigorating cup of traditional Indian Tea, Orthodox Leaf Teas [the OPs, the BOPs, et al] just don’t fit the bill – you need CTC tea to brew your strong, bright and full-bodied cup of milky Chai which looks deliciously appetizing – a lively reddish orange colour, not the dull muddy brown colour you get when you add milk to tea made from leaf teas the orthodox “teapot” way.

Take two cups of fresh water [one for you and one for me!] in a stainless steel vessel. Add four teaspoons of sugar. Put on the stove, cover with a lid and boil. Once the water starts boiling, remove the lid and boil for one and a half minutes – yes, exactly one and a half minutes!

Now briskly add two teaspoons of CTC Tea leaves, one teaspoon for each cup – the boiling water will suddenly erupt, and surge up, like a volcano, so smartly switch off the flame before it spills over and quickly cover tightly with the lid. Brew for five minutes till the liquor is full-bodied and the infusion is complete.

Have ready some freshly boiled full cream buffalo milk – yes, fresh creamy buffalo milk is a must – in Pune, I prefer Chitale’s. First pour in some hot milk in the cup, and through a strainer, pour in the rich tea brew and till you get beautiful reddish orange colour. Remember – always pour tea into milk, never milk into tea. This is the secret of the appetizingly attractive bright lively carroty red colour as it facilitates the perfect blending of the strong rich full-bodied intense tea liquor tea brew with the creamy white milk without producing any bitterness.

Now, go ahead, relish every sip, and enjoy your cup of ambrosial divine rejuvenating tea.

And do tell us how you liked it.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Quit Smoking - The NLP Way





The first thing I decided after completing NLP Practitioner Training was to try and apply the concepts I had imbibed on myself. I was a smoker, had tried to quit many times and now I’d try NLP to give up smoking. [The proof of the pudding is in the eating].

I succeeded, gave up smoking in a day, conquered the craving, the urge for smoking, never suffered any “withdrawal symptoms” and quit smoking forever.

Let me describe to you, Dear Reader, that red letter day of my life.

I woke up early in the morning, as usual, made a cup of tea, and the moment I took a sip of the piping hot delicious tea, I felt the familiar crave for my first cigarette of the day.

I had identified my first “Smoking - Anchor” – Tea.

I kept down the tempting cup of tea, made a note of the craving [anchor] in my diary, quickly heated a glass of water in the microwave oven, completed my ablutions, stepped out of my house, and embarked upon my customary morning constitutional brisk walk-cum-jog deeply rinsing and cleansing my lungs with pure refreshing morning air, which made me feel on top of the world. I felt invigorated and happy. I had overcome my craving and not smoked my first cigarette of the day.

Returning from morning walk, I stopped to pick up the newspaper, and spotted my friends ‘N’ and ‘S’ across the road beckoning me for our customary post-walk tête-à-tête with tea and cigarettes at our favorite the tea-stall.

Here lurked my second “Smoking - Anchor” – my smoker friends.

I felt tempted, but I steeled my resolve. I waved out to them, turned away and briskly headed home. They must have thought I’d gone crazy, but it didn’t matter – I had avoided my second cigarette of the day.

That’s what I was going to do the entire day. Be aware, conscious, and identify all the stimuli that triggered in me the urge to smoke – my “smoking anchors” which could be anything, conscious and unconscious, internal and external, tangible or intangible – people, situations, events, feelings, smells, emotions, tendencies, moods, foods, social or organizational trends, practices, norms, peer-pressure.
And then I would conquer and triumph over these stimuli, demolish these negative “smoking-anchors” and establish and reinforce new positive “healthy” anchors using a Technique called Force Field Analysis.

I’ll tell you more about Force Field Analysis later. Dear Reader, read on and see how my first non-smoking day progressed.

After breakfast, I didn’t drink my usual cup of coffee – a strong “smoking anchor” which triggered in me a strong irresistible craving and desperate desire to smoke. I drank a glass of bland milk instead, and thereby averted my third cigarette of the day.

It was nine as I reached my workplace and I hadn’t smoked a single cigarette [or not smoked my customary three cigarettes!]

It was a long day ahead and I had to be cognizant, observe myself inwardly and devise strategies to tackle situations that elicited craving for smoking – recognize and conquer my “smoking anchors”.

Anchoring is a naturally occurring phenomenon, a natural process that usually occurs without our awareness. An anchor is any representation in the human nervous system that triggers any other representation. Anchors can operate in any representational system (sight, sound, feeling, sensation, smell, taste). You create an anchor when you unconsciously set up a stimulus-response pattern.

Response [smoking] becomes associated with [anchored to] some stimulus; in such a way that perception of the stimulus [the anchor] leads by reflex to the anchored response [smoking] occurring.

Repeated Stimulus–Response [SR] action reinforces anchors and this is a vicious circle, especially in the context of “smoking anchors”. The trick is to identify your “smoking anchors”, become conscious of these anchors and ensure you do not activate them. And then transcend from the SR Paradigm to the SHOR Paradigm to set and fire new positive anchors. What’s SHOR? I’ll tell you soon.

The moment I reached office I saw my colleague ‘B’ eagerly waiting for me, as he did every day. Actually he was eagerly waiting to bum a cigarette from me for his first smoke of the day [“I only smoke other’s cigarettes” was his motto! ].

I politely told him I had quit smoking and told him to look elsewhere. He looked at me in disbelief; taunted, jeered and badgered me a bit, but when I stood firm, he disappeared. I had not smoked my fourth cigarette of the day!

I removed from my office my ashtray, my lighter, all vestiges of smoking, declared the entire place a no-smoking zone and put up signs to that effect. The working day began. It was a tough and stressful working day. I was tired, when my boss called me across and offered me a cigarette. I looked at the cigarette pack yearningly, tempted, overcome by a strong craving, desperate to have just that “one” cigarette. Nothing like a “refreshing” smoke to drive my blues away and revitalize me – the “panacea” to my “stressed-out” state! It was now or never! I politely excused myself on the pretext of going to the toilet, but rushed out onto the terrace and took a brisk walk rinsing my lungs with fresh air, and by the time I returned I had lost the craving to smoke and realized that physical exercise is probably the best antidote – a positive “non-smoking” anchor – and, of course, I had not smoked my fifth cigarette of the day!

It was the famous Stoic philosopher Epictetus who said: Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and cannot control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.

We often let our feelings set our anchors, govern our lives. We let feelings drive our thoughts, not realizing that thoughts drive actions, actions produce results, and results in turn produce more feelings, reinforce anchors, causing a vicious circle which may ultimately lead to loss of self-control.

Such “feeling-anchors” not totally controllable, as many times feelings are produced by external circumstances beyond your control, and if negative feelings are allowed to drive our thoughts and actions, then undesirable results emanate.

The best solution is to establish “thought-anchors” as drivers of your actions. It is in our control to think positive, good and interesting thoughts. [The happiest person is he or she who thinks the most interesting and good thoughts, isn’t it?]

That’s the essence of NLP. Reprogram your anchors, recondition your mind, control your life, change for the better and enhance your plane of living. This technique works for me, and I’m sure it’ll work for you too. It is so effective, so breathtaking in its simplicity.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 2008
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Art of Eating


[Foodie Adventures, Simple Recipes, Authentic Value For Money Food in Mumbai and Pune and Musings on The Art of Eating]



Please click the link and read the review of Appetite for a Stroll titled Food for Soul in the Indian Express [Pune] Sunday 7th September 2008

expressonline book review

Happy Reading and Happy Eating


PS: If you want to get the book just click the links below:

I am sure you will enjoy reading the book.

Appetite for a Stroll - My Foodie Writings Book

Are you a passionate foodie?

Want to learn the ART OF EATING?

Searching for yummy heritage cuisine? Especially in Mumbai and Pune.

Then you must read APPETITE FOR A STROLL.

Want to know more?

Just click the links below:

Happy Eating

Vikram Karve

Pratap Joshi - RIP - Last Post



In the early hours of the 22nd of September 2008, Pratap Dattatraya Joshi, breathed his last, and departed for his heavenly abode, at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune.

Pratap Joshi was an epitome of simple living and high thinking. Born on the 6th of March 1932, he imbibed sterling values from his father, DP Joshi, a Teacher and Scout, a legend in his lifetime.

A product of the prestigious First Course of the National Defence Academy [or 1st JSW, as he liked to call it], Brigadier PD Joshi was certainly not the archetypal pompous hard-drinking handlebar-moustached high-falutin Colonel Blimp type of Officer. He was a simple, down-to-earth, Spartan, unassuming, dedicated, sincere, patriotic, scrupulously honest, erudite person possessing a golden heart filled with humility and compassion. Throughout his distinguished career spanning 37 years, and even thereafter, he spread happiness, benevolence and goodwill owing to his cheerful disposition, kind-hearted nature and inimitable sense of humour.

Forever young at heart, Pratap Joshi didn’t suffer from the Auld Lang Syne Complex. After retirement he didn’t live in the past, languishing and brooding about the “good old days”, but moved on with exceptional enthusiasm and childlike zeal to his new loves – music and social work.

Starting from the scratch, he studied classical music with sheer dedication, resolute grit and passionate zest for many years till he was bestowed with the prestigious post graduate degree of Sangeet Alankar. Then he taught music to one and all, free of cost, making special efforts to teach the needy and underprivileged.

Travelling extensively, and roughing it out in the heart of the mofussil, to rural and far flung regions, he made a significant social contribution to enhancing primary education in backward areas, as the Chief Trustee of the Natu Foundation Educational Trust. He eagerly contributed his expertise to Jnana Prabodhini and for improving the efficiency of Hospitals.

Pratap Joshi loved animals, especially dogs. He always had pet dogs, and showered his unconditional love on them and all the dogs that he came across in the neighbourhood, pet and stray. It was distressing to see Dolly desperately searching for him soon after he had gone away from us forever. We shall always remember the love with which he snuggled and cuddled Sherry, our Doberman girl, when she was a baby.

He had a genuine zest for living, and enjoyed every moment of his life, indulging himself in his favourite foods, movies, travel, music – anything he liked, he did it! He laughed, and made others laugh.

I first met Pratap Joshi in March 1982 and he left such a lasting impression on me that I became his fan ever since. He was my father-in-law, more like a loving father who I could count on to stand by me, advice and inspire me, in happiness and in adversity, and I shall forever cherish every moment I shared with him. My son, a seafarer, was his favourite grandchild, the apple of his eye. It was a pity he couldn’t be with his beloved grandfather during his last moments as he is sailing on the high seas. Such are the tragedies and travesties of life, and death.

We will miss you dearly “Daddy”. You lived your life to its fullest and loved all of us from the bottom of your heart. We are sure you will shower us with your blessings from your heavenly abode. You were a noble and virtuous man who always did good to everyone you met and wherever you went. May your Soul Rest in Peace.