Posts for 2005
In early 2005, Indi Kaur released a unique CD. The CD is the result of Indi Kaur working closely with her producer, MaJiKer and powerful lyricist Harjit Singh. What we have today is the blend of soulful and spiritual sounds that touch that special place in everyones hearts. What is it about each track that affects anyone that listens to it?The first and penultimate tracks of the CD are ideal mantras for meditation the sound is tranquil and peaceful, meditative yet contemporary. An additional final track (seven) is also provided for longer mediation periods.
The second track of the CD outlines the story of Baba Deep Singh, a great Sikh hero. Initial wording such as, Waheguru’s light gives him his glow immediately provides vivid imagery. A fusion of traditional instruments, modern keyboards, extended synthesised vocals, Indis harmonys and quick start and ending shuffles gives the track the quality of travel to parallel the associated story of the journey of courage for freedom.When I first heard the third and title track, Keep on Walking I found that it was both uplifting and inspiring. It communicated the way Guru Nanak worked to bring peace, love and harmony to a world caught-up in superstition and inequality. The soulful nature of the track is climaxed again and again with the words, he is shining, he is shining with the rising sun. The chorus is made-up of echoed harmonies linked to the words Waheguru, meaning wonderful lord.
The forth track entitled, A Khalsa Woman (Mai Bhago) comprises of a back beat based on a rhythmic smooth groove. The song gives credit to Mai Bhago who back in 1705 enthused and energised both Sikh men and women to return to battle the Mughal forces. As the Sikh forces made they made their way back, groups of Sikhs from various villages along the way joined them in support of the great Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
The track entitled Sacrifice communicates the greatness of the Sikhs tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. It commences with marching drums combined with what sounds like orchestral kettledrums. The track then settles into a steady pace of story telling we learn about how the Gurus entire family were sacrificed for the cause of freedom. The chorus flows with multiple harmonies peaking with an appreciation of Waheguru.
To summarise, this CD consists of seven tracks mainly in English and great meditative mantras, providing a bridge of accessibility for Sikhs and those from different faiths to understand the wonders of universal spiritual messages.
For further information please visit:http://www.mus1k.com
Where you can also purchase the CD A great & recommended essential treat for the soul !
What a poor start to the day it was on Friday 9th December 2005. I boarded my train to head to the office. I moved towards my seat ready to take my coat off. Then suddenly behind me, I and the rest of the passengers heard a loud clunk. A man had fallen down and hit is head. He lay on the floor shaking with blood starting to ooz from his head. He looked like he was approximately sixty years old. The train guard emerged from his cabin in shock and quickly got onto the internal phone to ensure that the driver would not shut the doors and move on. He also called for an ambulance (that in the end took 15minutes to arrive). We saw the mans face turn read and as blood continue to seep from his skull, a few of us, a girl and two plain cloths police men (they told us at the end of the unfortunate episode), a Doctor lay the gentleman into the recovery position.
Things got worse. The bravery of the girl was outstanding as she ran to the side of the fallen gentleman and tried to raise his head. Blood then smothered her hand. She was wearing a sky white woollen coat staining it was the last thing on her mind, her focus along with the others was to help. The police searched the mans trousers for any sign identity, for example a wallet or medical card. An identity chain/ bracelet was also not located. There was a thought at one time that he maybe epileptic but no information was found to lead anyone to this conclusion. The gentleman continue to shake and would occasionally let out a burst of blood and air from his mouth. His head was kept by the girl and I raised slightly. For a moment I wondered how much people knew about first aid.
The guard then reappeared with a full size first aid kit that appeared to have never been opened before. The situation then worsened. Although the fallen mans jumper, shirt and tie was loosened he was gurgling and his face turned purple. He occasionally made a groaning noise and gasped for air. After five minutes it appeared that his pulse stopped together with visible signs of not breathing.. Collectively he was pulled into the resuscitation position and given CPR. He didnt make it
As he lay there motionless, somebody placed a newspaper over his face, although one could argue there was nothing else available.
Passengers were asked to leave, the train was going no where for a while. The only thing that had gone anywhere was the dead mans soul. I hope to a place of peace.
Imagine, he had got ready to go the office/wherever in the morning and knew nothing of his fate or as one of the policemen put it, when your time is up, it is up. During the day the event started to sink in. Life is precious and in our day to day interaction with its bustle we can forget that it can be over in an instance. We may occasionally remember the importance of life but this thought has the potential to be superseded / clouded by distractions of materialism and selfish actions.
When you get this close to seeing a death it makes you wonder that all you take with you is what you did in life. One of my favourite films is Phenomenon. The movie is atmospheric but more importantly at the end of the movie John Travolta suggests that after he has eaten an apple he will take the energy with him when he dies. What this implies to me is life experiences, knowledge gained and the good that you do enhances your soul – it is these items that will travel with you.
It is not too late to do good and be good.
Ever wondered when watching – Have I got news for you, Never mind the Buzzcocks, QI or lets face it any topical comical or quiz show there is an established set of guests. These guests often are described either as celebs or those that have come to fame through different routes to show business. Or, is there a more sinister aspect to this? Is there an secret agenda that allows only the select few to appear to comment Why do the same faces appear on Newsnight (BBC) or World News (BBC) !? Is it favouritism or is this another example of media management of telling us (the people) what they (the media) want us to hear and then repeat?
I thought we all paid our taxes not to watch reality TV but to be educated with commentary based on real life events. History tells us that during World War II and the bombing of selective cities in the UK by the Germans the UK media was extensively controlling (by the Government of the day) the release of information to ensure that sprits would be kept high, panic low and a spirit of defiance to the enemy (this was in a way a spin).
On another note, recently, the BBC were accused of disrespecting the importance of religion and although they produce a wide a varied set of programmes, it is the content of programmes that are not labelled as religious that need to be monitored. For example, who is checking what is being said about religious groups or mis-guided storylines in plays?
In recent years programmes such as Heaven and Earth are shown to feature different religions and occasionally their customs. This is a move in the right direction but mainstream scheduling is not allowed to be interfered with. The BBC appears to slot religious programmes in the early Sunday morning or early Sunday evening broadcast slots. You are lucky if you get to see any religious programmes during the week, unless there is a late night daily broadcast to coincide with a religious period for example Ramadan for the Muslims.
In summary, although some ethnicity has entered the broadcasting world, for example you only have to look at the excellent presenters on CNN (from Atlanta USA) or both the BBC and ITV channels, the broadcasting agenda has not changed for either general entertainment or religious observance. A lot may also be connected to who is in power in terms of the heads of media corporations, links to marketing and political positioning.
Unfortunately, I also fear for the Blogging world Recent articles reveal to me that it is also about to become commercialised – with organisations establishing themselves as outlets of so called independence or independent thought!
One way to help get a clearer picture (sorry about the pun) is to use the mechanisms that exist at media corporations. They need to know that many are not happy about the way some aspects of license fee are used. If we want value we need to keep the faith, work hard to write and fight for a greater presence of true reality not ratings.
Yesterday the 77th Royal variety performance took place in Wales (UK), in the presence of HRH Queen Elizabeth II. This charity event takes place on a regular basis and can also be considered as a showcase of popular talent.
However, I have difficulty in coming to terms with the report that the general public (what does that mean?) stood outside the venue in the freezing cold for several hours to spot the stars or celebrities. This is a topic that I have written about before but it is something I feel very strongly about. Just because certain people have musical talent does this make them role models? The answer has to be no. It is almost as if society has moulded itself into a hierarchical existence. The 5% at the top appear to be chosen through inconsistent, contradictory and glamorous criteria.
Interestingly, the BBCTV (UK) has been broadcasting a terrific series on the developing city of Dubai called Dubai Dreams. Dubai is now a leading tourist resort and has had a major infrastructure and construction development for the last 20-30 years. Their shiny skyline shows years of investment and new settlement. When I visited Dubai a few years back the roads were clean with drivers seriously adhering to traffic disciplines. The sand was white, the people were friendly, the hotels and shopping centres were plush and the tours are extremely fun. With regard to the latter, if you ever visit do take the sand safari trip (NB only if you love 4 wheel drive jostling). Last nights episode featured an American lady originally from Seattle who had married an Arab and had spent the last 20 years in Dubai. She is also passionate about helping children and many women that may have been caught-up in the unfortunate net of trafficking humans and abuse.
The pace of the programme was fast as it attempted to keep-up with this ladys support activities: rescuing children, setting-up a shelter and meeting-up with the Body Shop founder to collaborate to support its charity. In my mind this is an example of commerce coming together with Charity. It shows us that there is another way to help people. Clearly, government support is also essential but many selfless volunteers are not appreciated. One of the questions asked by the Body Shop founder to this lady was, Do you have a web site? The answer was no. Hey! Clearly a web site could help but the situation on the ground is the true reality.
It is the same with the Pakistan relief fund. Only $120M of the overall pledged amount has been received.
We are in a society of contractions. A night out at the theatre or rushing out to watch the latest Harry Potter is a sense of escapism from the reality of life. Im certainly not suggesting guilt or the removal of personal pleasure. I would like a society where true heroes are acknowledged and the theme of equality rises high in our minds, motivating us to help others and support those that challenge evil.
Unfortunately, smokers are still in disbelief that that they are not immortal. I see it everyday, especially and increasingly amongst the less than 20 age range. A fresh face person will suddenly blot out their face with a cigarette. I have written about this subject before, especially in the context of the need for a ban on public smoking and by providing some statistics showing the predicted worrying burden on future health care.
Last week I was shocked to hear that one of the founders and producers of Have I got news for you (UK BBC1 TV) died of passive smoking at the age of only 45. Statistics, facts and preventative approaches through numerous anti-smoking campaigns are continuing to fail.
Interesting, although commercial advertisements have now been banned for both smoking and alcohol, the use of these substances continue to be featured and glamorised in plays, movies, situation comedies and during chat show banter. For example American comedies often depict the smoking of cigars as a way of showing opulence or a decedent lifestyle. Clean and ethical living is positioned as boring and the domain of the weak. Could it be that the very same writers that depict such negativity themselves lack confidence and are insecure about their own addictions?
The statistics speak for themselves:
Smokers face a higher risk than non-smokers for a wide variety of illnesses, many of which may be fatal (see Deaths caused by smoking below). However, many medical conditions associated with smoking, while they may not be fatal, may cause years of debilitating illness or other problems. These include:
Increased risk for smokers
Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (gum disease)
Angina (20 x risk) Neck pain
Back pain Nystagmus (abnormal eye movements)
Buergers Disease (severe circulatory disease)
Ocular Histoplasmosis (fungal eye infection)
Duodenal ulcer Osteoporosis (in both sexes)
Cataract (2 x risk) Osteoarthritis
Crohns Disease (chronic inflamed bowel)
Depression Psoriasis (2 x risk)
Diabetes (Type 2, non-insulin dependent)
Skin wrinkling (2 x risk)
Hearing loss Stomach ulcer
Influenza Rheumatoid arthritis (for heavy smokers)
Impotence (2 x risk) Tendon injuries
Optic Neuropathy (loss of vision, 16 x risk)
Tobacco Amblyopia (loss of vision)
Ligament injuries Tooth loss
Macular degeneration (eyes, 2 x risk)
Symptoms worse in smokers
Asthma Graves disease (over-active thyroid gland)
Chronic rhinitis (chronic inflammation of the nose)
Diabetic retinopathy (eyes) Optic Neuritis (eyes)
Disease more severe or persistent in smokers
Common cold Pneumonia
Crohns Disease (chronic inflamed bowel)
Deaths caused by smoking
One in two long-term smokers will die prematurely as a result of smoking half of these in middle age. The most recent estimates show that around 114,000 people in the UK are killed by smoking every year, accounting for one fifth of all UK deaths. Most die from one of the three main diseases associated with cigarette smoking: lung cancer, chronic obstructive lung disease (bronchitis and emphysema) and coronary heart disease.
Maybe in a world of reality TV we need programmes to cover the life of a cancer victim. It certainly wont be glamorous or form part of ones drone like entertain me attitude. However, it will publicise the seriousness of the issue.
Many countries have been serious enough to ban smoking in public places in a number of Capital cities. In the UK we need a stronger commitment instead of going for pleasing voters through fudge tactics.