Mind power

Food for thought: Memory ‘power’ or the power of the mind

In a stellar demonstration of the power of the mind, a Jain monk yesterday recalled from memory 200 items that were recited to him, in ascending and descending order as well as randomly. The demonstration, which spanned about three hours, began with an invitation to the audience to recite brief quotations. Other items to be  memorised included verses from the scriptures, proper names, mathematical calculations, synonyms and antonyms of words featured in the interactions, etc. And, not all of it was oral. There were objects that were displayed and written; and calculations had to be made drawing on figures from the memory of the numbers that had been reeled off by members of the audience as well as an expert panel of examiners.

The practice of retaining in, recollecting and reciting from memory is an ancient Indian technique called Avadhaana. The title Shatavadhana  is a rare, coveted one, given only to those who can demonstrate the ability to deal with one hundred items at once. But this young monk, just twenty-two years old, juggled with 200 items!!

On suicides:

Twenty-four year old Manjula, a tailor, tried to commit suicide by setting herself ablaze. Though married, she is alleged to have had a paramour: a childhood friend of her husband’s and a close family friend. The reason for her suicide is said to be that her paramour suspected her ‘fidelity’ after going through the calls on her mobile. Manjula allegedly told him off as her own husband had not questioned her about it. This led to a quarrel, with the woman setting herself ablaze in the presence of her paramour, who ran off instead of trying to save her. Manjula was eventually found in a ‘burnt’ state by her husband and shifted to the hospital, where the former has alleged that her paramour set her on fire.


Shweta, 24-years, whose husband is running a travel agency, hung herself from a fan using her dupatta. Family disputes are supposed to have led Shweta to suicide. Her father suspects physical harassment by her husband to be the cause and has registered a police complaint on these lines.


Chaitra, 35-years, wife of a garment factory worker, hung herself from the fan using her sari. Family disputes are said to be the cause. She was found by her 14-year old child, who had returned from playing with friends.

Food for the palate: Carrot halwa

Grate carrots, fry them on a low flame for 8-10 minutes in a pan with a few teaspoons of heated ghee. When the raw smell of carrot dissipates, add milk just enough to cook the grated carrots. When the milk is completely absorbed, add sugar [measuring about the same quantity as the grated carrots] and keep on pan till the entire mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Stir continuously towards the end. Add cashew, almond pieces and raisins, all fried in ghee. Stir and serve hot or cooled. Keeps well without refrigeration for a few days.


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