Ikigai – The Japanese way of life !

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Japan has been a very fascinating place and after visiting the country last year, I  just couldn’t get over the simplicity of the people.
Even with the writers and teaching, Japanese writers have written some of the most thrilling books and some of the simplest concepts, becoming the way of life. Think about all the concepts Wabi-Sabi appreciating the beauty of imperfection as an opportunity to grow. or a simple word  “Kaizen” meaning continuous improvement, and becoming the concept of one of the leading automobile company from Japan.  Or a simple practice of tidying up that distress you.The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
Recently  I Just read the Ikigai and thoroughly enjoyed the book and the concept. “Ikigai” a single word that is a combination of two words “Iki” Meaning life and “Kai” the realization of hope. Making it in simple words ‘A sense of Purpose in life.” 
Japan is a country filled with Mysteries, surprises, and awe. That  when you get  to know about Ogimi village in Japan  in Okinawa district is  known as the village of longevity with  the highest number of Centurions in the world ((People who live a hundred years and above )Ogimi is not just a place in Japan, But,they also have a way of living that the had become the subject of the book “Ikigai” The Japanese Secret to a long and Happy life. Written by Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles. 
 
The Diet of Okinawa the locals follow to lead a healthy life and a long life. 
 
1. Locals eat a wide variety of foods.
2. They eat at least five serving of fruits & vegetables every day ( Rainbow)
30% calories from vegetables.
3. Grains are the foundation of their diet 
4. Rarely eat sugar (Cane sugar is the substitute)
7 gms of Salt a day, Compared to 12 gms.
 
15 Antioxidants part of Japanese diet,We must include in our diet. 
 
1.Tofu
2.Miso
3.Tuna
4.Carrots 
5.Goya(Bitter lemon )
6.Kombu(Sea Kelp)
7.Cabbage 
8.Nori(Seaweed)
9.Onion
10.Soy sprouts
11.Soybeans ( Boiled or raw ) 
12.Sweet Potatoes 
13.Pepper
14.Sanpin-Cha(Jasmine Tea)
15.Hechima (Cucumber like gourd)
16. Shikuwasa – Is a type of an orange also known as a Taiwan Tangerine mainly found in Taiwan & Okiwana in Japan. It is beneficial as it has a compound Synephrine that enhances lipid metabolism and increases the metabolic rate.
 
It’s also the way they think that makes them lead a  long life. 
Their secret to longevity is. 
 
  1. Don’t worry 
  2. Cultivate good habits 
  3. Nurture friendship everyday 
  4.  Live an unhurried life.
  5. Optimistic
 
 
 
Rules of Ikigai one must follow. 
 
1. Stay active don’t retire
2. Take it slow 
3. Don’t fill your stomach (80% rule )
4.Surround yourself with good friends 
5. Get in shape for your next Birthday.
6.Smile 
7.Reconnect with nature 
8. Give thanks
9. Live in the moment 
10. Follow your Ikigai 
 
 
These are some of the concepts and learning from the International bestseller Ikigai that I thought would be worth sharing.
 
Before I could conclude the blog.  
 
 
Sun Simiao essayist of the sixth century believed in the six healing sounds for remaining calm
 
 
Xu, pronounced like “shh” with a deep sigh which is associated with liver 
He pronounced like “her” with a yawn, which is associated with heart
Si pronounced like “sir” with a slow exhale, which is associated with lungs. 
Chui, pronounced like “chwee” with a forceful exhale, which is associated with the kidneys
Hoo pronounced like” who”, which is associated with the spleen 
Xi pronounced like “she,” which connects the whole body.
 
And now the Poem. 
 
In Spring breathe xu for clear eyes and 
so wood can aid your liver.
In summer, reach for he, so that heart and fire can be at peace.
In Fall, breathe si to stabilize and gather metal, keeping the lungs moist.
For the kidneys, next, breathe chai and see your inner water calm.
The Triple heaters need your xi to expel all heat and troubles.
In all four seasons, take deep breaths so your spleen can process food.
And, of course, avoid exhaling noisily; don’t even let your own ears hear you.
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2018 Dairies !!

2018 has been a Journey filled with lots of travel Stories. Right From Jaipur to Jodhpur in India to Monoco and Morocco for Work. And not to forget the highlight –  Japan for Family Holiday. 
Culture
Experiencing the Rajasthan culture in India to experiencing the Japanese culture and living the  Moroccan life. 
All these places either had Food, lifestyle or architecture. And these  Culture  became another Journey in itself.
Books worth the Read In 2018. 
Journeys through the books. 
Starting from Exiting West to Landing at the port of Mokha and Many reads in between from open by Andre Agassi to “Killing Commendatore by Murakami  below are the top 5 reads of 2018.
1.Exit West – by Mohsin Hamid  stories of immigrants. 
2.Homo Deus – by Yuval Harari  How the Technology  is collecting data and using it. 
3.Born a Crime – by Trevor Noah A true story of a comedian born in South Africa with a mother being a black and father a white. 
4.Monk of Mokha –  by Dave  Eggers – Story of how The port of Mocha coffee travelled across the international waters.
5.Killing Commendatore – by Murakami
Noteworthy Movies of 2018 
1.Puzzle -How a simple gift of a puzzle changes the perspective of one individual 
2.Crazy Rich Asians – The Big fat Indian wedding going global 
3.Searching – How technology helps track down a father daughter and her murderer. 
4.Ben is Back – A  young drug addict and his mother’s story to come in terms with reality. 
And the Hindi film industry had many movies to choose to watch this year! 
But there a few out there you couldn’t miss at all . 
1.Pad Man by R.Balki was one of the great stories the year began with and continued till Raid, The income tax issue can sometime come as a surprise-Ajay Devgn needs to experiment.
2.Hichki -Though a inspiration from the west.Brought Rani Mukherji Back as a actor and the production house for their content. 
3.Missing the only missing from this psychology thriller was the audience who missed one of the best thrillers of the year.
4.October – Simple stories are the most difficult to tell.And October by Shoojit Sircar was one such story.
5.Beyond the cloud by Majid Majidi -Had the world  take notice of Ishan Khattar as an actor & performer 
Raazi,Soorma,Parmanu,Andhadhun,Badhaai Ho ! And Manmarziyaan were a few movies to watch out. 

Reading reality!

Reading as a hobby could be such a pleasure,You can  always learn about places,Culture,People,psychology of people and while you are idle, your  mind is imagining all that’s written. And what if you end up in the country,You have read so much about?Have you ever wondered about the same ? Would you have a sense of familiarity or moments of Déjà vu? 
For me as a reader,I have enjoyed reading Murakami books a lot right from the first book I read of his “colourless tazaki “to the most recent read “Norwegian wood.”May be because his stories are slightly eccentric or because he is a writer based in Japan,And there has always been a fascination for me as there is so little we know about the Japanese. And since Japan is the backdrop for all his stories the curiosity remains. 
I read Norwegian wood last month.A book who’s inspiration is from the Beatles song Norwegian wood (This bird has flown )this was  Post my visit to Japan about six months ago. And when I started reading the Norwegian wood 
And as I kept turning the pages of the book,While reading. I sensed being in Japan and it wasn’t my imagination that was going wild,But a sense of reality that I was living in. I enjoyed reading the book even more because may be the perspective had changed as I had already travelled to Japan and could now relate to the place,People and culture even more than ever.

2017 Reads!!

1984- By George Orwell’s .There is a reason why it’s called a classic and a book you must read.The period when the book was written nearly 50 years ago and even today 50 years later  you can relate to it. The book was on my shelf for nearly 1 and half year.

Into the water:Paula Hawkins the girl on the train Writer is the next mystery thriller writer which you must read once to get hooked.

Pancake in Paris: A book that was on my reading list for about 2 years ever since I heard about it.This book is about a journey you would like to savour and has a long after taste lingering.

Shoe Dog: A brand that you aspired in your childhood is a story of confidence and believing in yourself and chasing your dream by telling yourself Just Do it.

Kohinoor: A diamond that wasn’t forever for India and what’s all is it about! Tracing the historical roots.

The prisoner of geography: Book for the wandering mind to know why the relationship of love-Hate are their amongst the countries and why some of the harsh decisions cannot be taken.Even if they have to be taken.

Men without women by Murakami: Is a short read,telling you what  the world without the opposite sex and vice Versa could be.

These are some of the books I enjoyed,while there are a few others too. But,these were worth mentioning.

Book Review !!-Personal review .

Hi!!I just thought about trying  my hand in book reviewing and here it begins with this book .Hope you enjoy it .And can honestly post your suggestion in the comments column .
 Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami is a story about Tuskuru Tazaki ,who had four friends at school and their names symbolised colours , The two boys Akamastu meaning’ red pine ‘,Oumi ‘Blue Sea’ while the two girls were shirane ‘white root’ and Kurono ‘black field ‘ ,but only Tazaki whose name had no connection with colour hence the book is titled colorless Tazaki .The story moves ahead ,with one day out of the blue ,Tuskuru Tazaki friends announced they din’t want to see him ever again . And abruptly ending friendship,and since that day the thought has been troubling him Why did they cut of friendship But soon he meets Sara ,Who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened and where are they all Will he be able to solve the mystery ?

The writing is descriptive ,describing the setting very well ,the story moves very fast and you are so hooked ,you don’t feel like keeping the book away and the only time you want to keep it away is once you have known the complete story .The second half of the book moves faster solving the mystery and getting closer to the climax ,You must surely read the book it’s very engaging and worth a shot.The writer is a Japanese writer who is also known for his book

Kafka on the shore .And this one colorless book has been his most recent writing .The book also brings you closer in understanding how common and uncommon are names that contain color in Japan .And not to forget you get another perspective of Japan culture .