South India Country Director:
Director of Technology and Academics
There is a lot to experience in India while you are visiting in March for APCDA’s upcoming 2020 Conference. Consider including some days before and after the conference to explore. The country not only is one of the most diverse lands found anywhere in the world, it is the 3rd largest Asian nation, covering an area of over 3.2 million square km (1.269 million square miles). Currently, it has 29 states, each with their own unique languages, traditions and religions. ‘A sethu Himachalam’ denotes that India stretches from the southern tip of Kanyakumari to the northern Himalayas. From Kashmir in the North to the Indian Ocean on the South, the Sub-continent is about 2,000 miles long. Additionally, India has a population of more than 1.324 billion individuals, making it the second most populated country in the world. The country makes up the vast majority of the Indian Peninsula and has coastlines along the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Inland, it is home to a variety of habitats, including the Thar Desert in the west, the Himalayan mountain range in the north, and the Indo-Gangetic watershed region in the north and east.
|Beyond its geographic diversity, it can be said that there are many Indias within India. This statement is from the standpoint of the nation’s diverse cultural, lingual, geographical and economic perspectives. India is among the most miscellaneous societies with a plurality and diversity of cultures which marks it out as perhaps the largest multicultural society in the world. People from all the major religions in the world—Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians (Parsis) constitute its vast population. Although Hindus constitute the majority of the population, India is home to the second-largest population of Muslims in the world. The diversity is coupled with enormous cultural variations from one state to another, including different languages, cultures and traditions.||Religion plays an important role|
India's rich heritage is embodied in its architecture as well. The Taj Mahal, Jain caves at Khandagiri and Udayagiri, Bhubaneswar, Sun Temple Konarak, Jagannath Temple, City of Puri, Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneswar, Red Fort of Agra, Delhi‘s Qutub Minar, Mysore Palace, Jain Temple of Dilwara (Rajasthan) Nizamuddin Aulia‘s Dargah, Golden Temple of Amritsar, Gurudwara Sisganj of Delhi, Sanchi Stupa, Christian Church in Goa, India Gate etc., are all important places that have been passed down to the present ages to denote how varied the people and customs in this land have been.
Besides the architectural creations, monuments and material artefacts, the intellectual achievements, philosophy, treasures of knowledge, scientific inventions and discoveries are also the part of Indian heritage. In Indian context the contributions of Baudhayana, Aryabhatta, Bhaskaracharya in the field of Mathematics, Astronomy and Astrology; Varahmihir in the field of Physics; Nagarjuna in the field of Chemistry; Susruta and Charak in the field of Medicines; and Patanjali in the field of Yoga; are profound treasures of Indian Cultural heritage. Indian culture is one of the most ancient cultures of the world. The ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc. were destroyed with time and only their remnants are left. But Indian culture is alive till today. Its fundamental principles are the same, as were in the ancient time.
Indian literature and scriptures namely Vedas, Upanishads Gita and Yoga System etc. have contributed a lot by way of providing right knowledge, right action, behavior and practices as complementary to the development of civilization. One can see village panchayats, caste systems and joint family system. The teachings of Buddha, Mahavira, and Lord Krishna are alive till today also and are source of inspiration. Indian society accepted and respected Shaka, Huna, Shithiyan, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist cultures. The feeling of tolerance towards all religions is a wonderful characteristic of Indian society.
Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) is the soul of Indian culture. Indian culture has always answered and activated itself by receiving and adjusting to the elements of foreign cultures. Indian culture has received the elements of Muslim cultures and has never hesitated in accepting useful things from foreign cultures. Therefore, its continuity, utility and activity are still there today. Spirituality is the soul of Indian culture. Here the existence of soul is accepted. Therefore, the ultimate aim of man is not physical comforts but is self-realization. The philosophy that Hinduism as a religion teaches and India as a nation preaches is that of tolerance and acceptance.
|Geography seems to have played an important role in engendering Indian unity and the sense of Indianness. Shut off from the rest of Asia by the inaccessible barriers of the mighty Himalayas on the north, seas on both sides, to Cape Comorin on the south, India is clearly marked out to be a geographical entity. Thus, Indian geography has facilitated unity and continuity of her history as a country. Attempts either to divide the country or to expand it beyond its natural frontiers have mostly failed. The great variety in landscape, climate and conditions of life prepared in the mind a readiness to accept differences. Besides, the vast spaces offered room for slow infiltration by newcomers and allowed each locality unhampered scope of development along its own lines. A||Cape Cormorin|
|Krishna River||With all this diversity India is a unique place to visit and live in. The Indian subcontinent is separated into two by the Krishna River. The northern part of India is more explored and known and hence this article focusses on the southern part of India with its myriad fascinating stories and places. I, myself, hail from the southern part of Indian state, called Kerala. Kerala is known as God’s own country owing to the natural beauty and ecological diversity. Its enchanting beaches, backwaters and timeless tradition lulls both residents and visitors. Etymologically, the word, Kerala, could be interpreted in a number of different ways. Basically, ‘Kera’ means coconut tree and ‘alam’ means land or location. Coconut tree are abundant in Kerala and a main source of livelihood of the people from a very early age. While the mythological origin of the state revolves|
Kerala is most famous for its scrumptious food. Healthy and tasty, using spices to enhance flavor and tantalize the mouth, delights foodies all over the world. Kerala is also known for the Sadya, a traditional feast with rice, sambar, thoran, olan and varieties of pickles and coconut chutneys. If you get the opportunity, do sample the yummy Appam, Iddiappam, which is served as breakfast throughout the state. With so much to serve on one banana leaf, Kerala is sometimes referred to as “God’s own country”. Kerala is also known for some sports events. One of the most famous sports in Kerala is the Snake boat race.
South Indian cities differ from her North Indian sisters in a variety of ways. There are several states in South India region and all of them offer their own wonderful culture and attractions. The richness of South India culture beautifully reflects in its attractions like rituals and beliefs, temples, architectural masterpieces, art and craft, cuisine and monuments. Some major cities from South India stand out as prime tourist destinations. Cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad offers a bird’s eye view into the vastness of South India.
|Bangalore (officially known as Bengaluru) is the capital of Karnataka and located on the Deccan plateau in the southeast part of Karnataka. Bangalore is the 5th largest city in India. It is witnessing a tremendous growth in industry, trade and commerce; leading to a rapid growth of the city and large-scale urbanization. It is a multi-cultural city; permeating class, religion and language. Even though it is a cosmopolitan city, Bangalore holds on to its traditional features. There are a lot of festivals & events hosted in Bangalore. The city is a fine mix of work and leisure. It is the hub of where you can witness the vibrant youth of the India. With several pubs and restaurants, architectural marvels and natural getaways, Bangalore can be a traveler's delight. It is India’s third most populous city after Mumbai and Delhi. Due to its crucial role as the country’s leading IT exporter, it is||
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bengaluru
|Tamil Nadu Temple Architecture||
Chennai, formerly known as Madras City, is the capital of Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of India. Tamil Nadu is known for its temple architeture and encompasses a large part of southeast India. Chennai and its suburbs have more than 600 temples. The oldest is the Parthasarathi temple built in the 8th century by Pallava Kings. The first British church in India, St Mary’s Church, is situated here. The city is also considered as the cultural hub of South India which is famous for its affluent heritage in classical dance, music, architecture, sculpture, crafts, etc.
Chennai keeps many of its riches in its kitchens, and the city is famous for its elaborate, spicy cuisine. With street-side sizzling, hot-plate griddling, frenzied lunchtime ‘messes’ (canteens), and a skyrocketing fine-dining scene, Chennai, the increasingly cosmopolitan capital of Tamil Nadu, continues to stake its claim as the capital of South Indian dining. Vegetarians are in for a treat because Tamil cooking is mostly meat-free and bursts with
|the flavors of chilies, curry leaves and coconut. But Chennai also packs in enough top-notch non-vegetarian treats to keep even the most devoted carnivore happy. Breakfast brings out Chennai’s favorite foods, too. If you visit, consider starting with the humble idli – a steamed, spongey rice cake, dunked into tasty sambar (lentil broth) or coconut chutney. Also plan to sample Dosas, a savory South Indian breakfast crepes made with rice flour. Similar, but thicker, is the uttapam, chock-full of coriander, green chillies and tangy onion. And do try to include tasting some vadas, a deep fried, doughnut shaped lentil meant for snacking. Finally include some of the city’s famous brew, South Indian kapi - filter coffee made with milk, sugar and chicory. It is delicious, addictive and easily available at every street corner.||Idli|
|Rameswaram Temple||Rameswaram, an island containing a temple with one of the most venerated of all Hindu shrines, is one of the most popular destinations in Tamil Nadu. The great temple of Rameswaram was built in the 17th century on the traditional site said to be sanctified by the god Rama’s footprints when he crossed the island on his journey to rescue his wife, Sita, from the demon Ravana. The temple is built on rising ground above a small lake. The temple is perhaps the finest example of Dravidian architecture. Sacred to both Vaishnavas and Shaivas, it is the most holy place for Hindus in India after the holy city of Varanasi. Adorning the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea, the island|
My description of some major north and south Indian sites provides only a short version of what India has to offer. I look forward to tantalizing you with additional information about India in future Newsletter issues leading to our upcoming APCDA March 2020 Conference.
|Lifology – A Paradigm Changing Intervention into the Career Development Landscape|
by Praveen Parameswar
Lifology is the study of the influence of profession in human life. It asserts that profession is not simply a means of life, but very significant segment of life itself.
In this world, there are many people who feel a vacuum towards the end of their lives when they revisit the years spent living. They feel their lives were "hardly fulfilling". They might have been engaged in different professions, tasks, studies, organizations, families, social setup etc. during their early years, but none of these would have conferred on them the real spirit of life. Many people are confused about the answer to the existential question "Why have I lived in this world? More often than not, another question that troubles them is "Why do I exist?" It is really sad that a person has to face the end of his precious life with such pain.
Please stop reading for a while and contemplate the following scenario: If today is the last day of your life, "would you be able to bid adieu with a fulfilled heart"? Now you may continue reading.
The answer you received from your inner mind would have shed light on the importance of being fulfilled during the last days of your life. It is important to reach this level of fulfillment at every point in life. It is equally important to help everyone around us attain this level where they too feel "fulfilled" in life.
It would be a bit tough to help the older generations in this aspect due to multiple but obvious reasons. However, with intensive efforts, it is possible to make sure that no youngster in the present world will feel unfulfilled when they reach the dusk of life. The concept of Lifology is an attempt to make a move towards carrying out this challenging mission, to facilitate access for every person in the world towards self-awareness through lifometric assessments, access to labor market information, Lifology coaching, lifo-mentoring and life-ware lessons from the experts. This access and experience would lead every person to a meaningful life and the experience Pleasure, Power and Purpose throughout their lives in its real spirit, as opined by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Viktor E. Frankel, respectively.
A recent analysis suggests that the average life expectancy for human beings on Earth is 72 years. Let’s assume that many people would be fortunate enough to cross this number and live up to the age of 80 years. Most of the days, on an average, they sleep for 6 hours, carry out routine activities for 2.5 - 3 hours, travel for 1.5 - 2 hours, involve in professional terrain (school/college/office) for 8 hours, engage in media and entertainment for 1.5 - 2.5 hours and pack the rest of their activities in the remaining 3 - 4 hours. In total, out of a life span of 80 years, around 25% of the time is spent sleeping, 30% of the time is engaged in professional activities, 25% of the time is occupied with routine work, travel, media and entertainment and another 20% for the remaining activities.
According to the above calculation, "professional time" plays a very integral role in life as it is the only independent segment in life and the one where we spend the longest time doing. More than the time spent on sleep and every other independent activity, we spend our time for professional purposes.
Moreover, it is what we do during the professional segment that shapes our identity as well as image in the world. It is our contribution in this segment that chiefly makes our mark in this world. Whether it is Barack Obama, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Sachin Tendulkar, Sreenivasa Ramanujan or Bill Gates, we know them for what they have done/are doing in their professional segments of life. They are what they are depending on what they do.
Thus, it is notable that the professional segment plays the major role in the life of a person to decide whether a life is fulfilled or not, meaningful or not. To explain explicitly, if a person can feel Pleasure, Power and Purpose during this 33% time of life, they would be able to extend to the rest of the segments as well. This tempts us to underline that the professional sphere is the most important aspect of life.
It is also articulated that this 33% period is an integral timeframe that decides how successful we feel at the dusk of life. This increasingly convinces Lifology to anchor its activities by keeping professional segment as the center of human life, rather than considering it merely as a means of life.
Our close observation and in-depth analysis on this concept reveals that 3 critical factors are indeed important to help people move forward in professional sphere.
Every concept in Lifology would be grounded on the above 3 factors, which will support people to move forward in life and find meaning in all their functional areas. Each of these factors can be explained.
1. Deeper reflection into the self and the world around.
2. Systematic support from a coach/guru in selecting and pursuing a profession.
3. Fundamental grounding on the philosophical paradigms of life.
Lifology.com is an attempt to implement the concepts, ideas and theories in Lifology into practice. The digital platform helps people, especially children between the age of 13 and 17 years, to know more about themselves, be aware of the world around, receive support from lifologists, learn life-ware (the fundamental life skills) and move forward towards fulfilment.
We, as the founders of Lifology and Lifology.com, believe this intervention will make significant changes in the way people consider career and pursue profession. We invite you to reveiw our website and look forward to hearing from and working with you.
Praveen Parameswar is the CEO of Lifology.com, a sophisticated growth ecosystem for children powered with technology and human factors. He is a passionate entrepreneur who cherishes a vision to create a world where every child is led towards a meaningful future. Before venturing into Lifology.com, he was heading Thoughts Academy Plc, a pioneer in Organization Development Interventions across South India. Mr. Parameswar is a TEDx speaker, educated at the London School of Economics, holds a MBA from the University of Cardiff (UK), and is a Sir Julian Hodge Prize winner for the best performance in Human Resource Management.