http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/a-letter-to-young-men-who-protested-against-rape/article4278356.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/the-happy-persons-meal-plan/article4398708.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/no-workout-worries/article4278370.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/thank-you-for-the-music/article4398699.ece –  reminds of my dad trying raga recognition……….

My brother and mother then began to ask me (the newly-discovered savant) — “what feeling does this song give?” And I would reply “sad” or “happy” to start with, and on to “like praying” or “like boyfriend-girlfriend” or “like king-and-queen” (much to my family’s amusement, because I didn’t yet know the words “devotional” or “romantic”, or “regal”, but that is what I was trying to express). And so there it was: the raga name, its identifiable face or mukhda in a film song, and its bhaav or emotional charge, all “taught” to me in a non-lesson.

As I grew, Hindi film songs of the time and older ones became a rich repository of raga recognition. My mother would then often “staple” a raga that she was learning with a song that we liked, providing one more approach-road to the rich farmland of classical music. Was this a thought-out strategy to transfer music knowledge to her kids? I don’t think so. There was very little that was premeditated in my mother’s personality. So it is likely that she was simply joining some dots for herself and us, in a casual, relaxed journey of discovery.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/wellness-read/article4398710.ece -John Perry’s new book, Don’t Buy This Book Now!: The Art of Procrastination argues that procrastinators are often perfectionists, and structured procrastinating or doing one thing as a way of not doing something else is sometimes extremely effective.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/the-two-faces-of-tokyo/article4278372.ece   –  Everywhere I turn in this city, there is a visible dichotomy between the old and new. I get off the Metro and walk through a shopping area inside the station, larger than many malls in India. And at a short distance from the exit, I enter a Japanese home to witness a traditional tea ceremony. It is a different world here. The lady of the house is in her kimono and the students, here to (re)learn their traditions, are men in business suits.

There is a lot of talk about Japan’s, in particular Tokyo’s, global identity and modern ways but to my uninformed eyes, they seem as conformist as ever. While the style on the street is definitely avant-garde (think of Tokyo as an Asian Milan), people with tattoos are viewed with suspicion. Even tattooed teenagers trying out their newfound coolness are not allowed in several places including city buses and trains.

And they take their rules very seriously. My guide almost weeps in embarrassment when her cellphone suddenly rings in the middle of a Metro ride. There is no written law; it is just impolite and therefore not acceptable to disturb other passengers. That kind of discipline is ingrained and imparts them with a great dignity, even while noisily slurping noodles from a bowl.

I have read a lot about the Japanese love for all things aesthetic and sensual. Their preference seems to be for straight lines rather than curves, perhaps an extension of their need for tidiness. On my way into the city from the airport, I see building after building, a Legoland of little square boxes balanced delicately on top of each other.

This is the most fascinating culture I have seen, even if for a short time and from a distance. Japan is a country torn between the allure of a shiny modern persona and the strength of its strong traditional heritage. And nowhere is this struggle more evident than in Tokyo.

Must-dos in Tokyo: Visit the Asakusa Kannon temple and Roppongi Hills tower, make a day trip to Mount Fuji, watch a kabuki performance, attend a baseball match, buy a kimono, shop at Shibuya district and eat sushi.

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