Tamilnadu, a Belgian's second home
Artist oochappan's hometown is Lokeren, Belgium. However, he considers Tamilnadu his second homeland. In his own words -
"Did you ever had that feeling that you went to a total strange place and you felt yourself straight away at home, rediscovering your sleeping alter ego magically awakened by people and their way of living ? That place is called Tamil Nadu that I visited first in 1987 and from since I go back there every year, the first three months of the year. I started to learn the Tamil language to discover the essence of this beautiful culture. In 1994 I met Ochappan, a poor Tamil tricyle-man. He inspired me to use the derived name oochappan to spot his world out with wondering eyes. - oochappan"
For more poignant pictures of India's elderly and to learn more about the artist, please visit his webpage.
Yoga Class in Delhi
Ankur Ahuja, a freelance cinematographer, accompanied her mother to an early morning yoga class.
by Mrs. Rajni A.
Our neighbourhood park sees furious activity early every morning. Participants at this Yoga Sadhana Shivir are guided through a comprehensive hour of yoga exercises by Mrs Shanta Taneja and her assistant Mrs. Asha who are trained Yoga instructors. Over the past one year the number of participants has grown from twenty to fifty. People as old as 70 and as young as 25 have benefitted from it.
I am 62 years old. Though I am healthy, I have suffered from chronic constipation for the last ten years and sciatica for the past one year. I took allopathic treatment and underwent physiotherapy but it provided only temporary relief. It took just one and a half months of regular yoga at this class for both the problems to disappear. Of course, I have to exercise regularly to keep it that way. I feel it is better to spend an hour doing yoga in the fresh morning air than get dependant on painkillers for normal mobility.
A 70 year old gentleman made remarkable recovery from pain in the knees after a couple of months of regular yoga at this class. When he joined he was unable to walk due to the severity of the pain and now he is able to perform the most complicated asanas.
Women, 50-60 years of age reduced their weight within a month which helped them control diseases like hypertension, backache, acidity and diabetes.
Yoga is great for building general physical strength as well as one of the basic things it teaches you is how to breathe properly so your organs get as much oxygen as they are supposed to.
With several religious heads promoting yoga as therapy, and holding instructor courses for people, such neighbourhood camps have become quite widespread. With increased accessibility, yoga is becoming a lifestyle choice for many of us for whom it could have remained a form of ancient therapy shrouded in mystery.
Mrs. Rajni A. is a retired school teacher and resident of Delhi.