A former chief agricultural scientist of Pusa Institute, Dr H L Grover, and his wife, Santosh, a retired principal of Kendriya Vidalaya, have found a new way to enliven their lives and those of others ~ Raj Yoga. Their flat in Vatika Apartments, Mayapuri, shaded by a weeping willow and exotic plants, now sports a red and yellow striped flag of the Brahmkumaris, who come from a nearby centre to initiate people into Raj Yoga.

Yoga is the new panacea of worldly ills in which the yogi is able to take the vital life force Bindu right up to the brain and control sensual desires. It offers three paths: that of the celibate, the tantric and the householder. Raj Yoga is on a higher plane, the key to which is with the Brahumkumaris.

As World Yoga Day (21 June) approaches, yogis and yoginis are all geared up for the occasion, which also marks the Summer Equinox, on which Stonehenge in the UK holds pride of place and the Qutub Minar does not cast a shadow. Votaries of Raj Yoga have the Brahmkumaris to thank them for initiating them into a unique aspect of life emanating from Prajapati Brahma and Lord Shiva.

Puppets on a string

A journalist once long associated with The Statesman keeps himself occupied by writing poems while recuperating from a kidney transplant. Probably inspired by the plight of the Kathputliwallahs of Pandav Nagar, who are being displaced from their old habitat, V N Shankar has sent this poem to friends by SMS in trying to forget his own travails. Watching the leaves falling from the garden trees in anticipation of the new ones that Nature bestows on them to quicken rejuvenation. Perhaps this too on his birthday last week, which took place 74 years ago at Mrs Massey's Rose Cottage in Agra:

"The puppets : Ah, this is what we are, we disappear/ Into the tunnels of our lives/ Our thoughts forsake us/ Like old friends who are forsaken even more/ And the puppets faltering find the strings/ That move their lives/

"Nothing saves us from our lives/ And nothing comes between the innocence and the pain/ The child loves and plays and breaks his toys/ And wants them back another day/ And no one knows his story/ No one finds the puppet strings.

"Release yourself all by yourself/ The fantasies fade/ Before coming chaos/ Find something that will not fall like leaves/ Or fall like gods you have painted/ In colours that were alas too few".

The moving poem is one of many that he has written to make up a whole anthology from a sick man's couch, which has become the favourite retreat of Shankar Bhaiyya.

Beating the heat

Many are the gadgets devised to beat the Delhi heat ~ fan, air-cooler and air-conditioner. But dunking oneself into a pool of water remains by far the best method, several inhabitants of this city-turned-furnace would vouch. For animals and birds too, even a puddle of water is enough, if they manage to find one.

Come summer and almost all newspapers carry at least a few pictures of children frolicking in the India Gate Boat Club waters. A colleague had an interesting chat with a bunch of children on their way to Boat Club, reinforcing the bliss that water holds in this hot weather. Boarding a DTC bus on her way to an assignment, our colleague was confronted by a group of children of varying ages. As the conductor patiently asked the kids to move back and allow people to board, some passengers asked who the parents were. The eldest among the bunch ~ a girl in early teens ~ responded that they were on their own. As bewildered faces turned around, our colleague asked them where they were headed and whether it was safe. In a chorus, the children said they were headed for India Gate to "enjoy the water". As for safety, the girl replied, "We are three girls and five boys, never mind our ages. We can deal with anyone!" As the bubbly children hopped off at their bus stand, they left behind a bus load of amused passengers.

Tailpiece

The education department has perhaps run out of guinea pigs and so is turning to students, quipped a Class XII student awaiting his CBSE results.