Colours Of Life
The Yongs' Pic Album since 1998
World Seva 2011
Robyn's Diary
About the Yongs


13th Year: 2011
- Piano Recital by Robyn, Mosaic Art Portrait & CNY Reunion Lunch
- Chinese New Year, PA Got Talents, Alvin's Birthday & Opening of Clay-Street New Studio
- Bye-bye Heni
Seva Wk 01: Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore
Seva Wk 02: 1st Seva with Divine Karnataka Project & On Course
Seva Wk 03: Sponsoring Rural Village Sport Clubs & Bridge at Chikmagalur
Seva Wk 04:
'WHY DKP' Corporate Fund Raising
Seva Wk 05: DKP Helps Rural Farmers, Gadag & Koppal, Karnataka
Seva Wk 06: Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Konark, Puri & Sri Sri University
Seva Wk 07: Tribal School Project, Jharkhand
Seva Wk 08:
Tribal School Arts Festival on Facebook
Seva Wk 09: Tribal School @ Dumuria & Ranchi
Seva Wk 10: Tribal School Digital Contest & Kolkata
Seva Wk 11: Kolkata to Delhi to Himachal Pradesh
Seva Wk 12: Shoghi, Shimla & Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh

Seva Wk 13: Homestay @ Tirthan, Kullu Valley
Seva Wk 14: Sangla, Peo, Nako, Kinnaur Valley
Seva Wk 15: Tabo, Kaza, Kye, Spiti Valley
Seva Wk 16: Demul to Komic on Yaks, Spiti Valley

Seva Wk 17: Kaza to Manali to Gurgaon, Delhi
Seva Wk 18: Gurgaon & Barefoot College,Tilonia
Seva Wk 19: Jaipur & back to Bangalore
Seva Wk 20 & 21: With the Murthys in Bangalore

Seva Wk 22-24: Meridian 101 Ambassadors for India & Bye Bye India
Seva Wk 25: Seva in Africa - Jumbo Kenya!
Seva Wk 26: Seva at the Children's Garden Home
Seva Wk 27: More Seva Projects at CGH
Seva Wk 28: Self-drive Safari to Masai Mara, Lake Naivasha, Hell's Gate
Seva Wk 29: Short Break to Arusha, Tanzania
Seva Wk 30: Safari at Nairobi National Park & Children's Day Celebration
Seva Wk 31: Launching BEADwear for Christmas
Seva Wk 32: Robyn turns 13 in Kampala, Uganda
Seva Wk 33: Rafting the White Nile, Jinja, Uganda
Seva Wk 34: Sipi Falls, Uganda & African Child Mega Dance in Kenya
Seva Wk 35: Nairobi to Mombasa, Malindi & Lamu
Seva Wk 36: Seva@Lamu - Donkey necklace + Kaya
Seva Wk 37: Seva@Lamu - Hands Up 4 Kids
Seva Wk 38: Bye Africa, Hello Istanbul, Homeward-bound Singapore
- Home Sweet Home in Singapore

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SEVA WEEK 6 (11-17 Apr 2011)

r e f l e c t i o n : ON DEVOTION


Intellectual Stimulation at Hyderabad

11 - 12 Apr 2011 - Thanks to Feroz, we were so honored to meet his father, Mr Moid Siddiqui, who hosted us at his home in Hyderabad. Moid is a distinguished author of 20 books on management incorporating spiritual and human values. It was a short and intellectually stimulating homestay with superb homecooked meals. I learnt so much and absorbed lots of training ideas from Moid. His website is
Siddiguis and Yongs
Siddiquis and Yongs

Intellectual exchange
Intellectual exchange...

Fairina and Bash, and kids
Fairina and Bash, and kids.
Mr and Mrs Siddiqui
Mr and Mrs Siddiqui.

Robyn with Shoaib and Daanish
Robyn with Shoaib and Daanish.


> Robyn and Shoaib

Robyn and Shoaib
Beautiful Mashael
Beautiful Mashael.
Moid Siddiqui
Distinguished Moid Siddiqui.


Bhubaneswar - Sri Sri University, in the making...

13 Apr 2011 - The train ride from Hyderabad to Bhubaneswar was 23 hours and we spent another night on the train. Thanks again to Ragini's caring arrangement, we were so well taken care by the Art of Living family - Vijayalakshmi, Jyoti and Kishore from the Sri Sri University.

We stayed at the Utkal University guesthouse, a simple but clean and spacious accommodation. Robyn especially enjoyed the daily toast and omelet breakfast.

Utkal University Guesthouse
Simple but clean and spacious accomodation Jin enjoying a good read

An amazingly huge charriot fit for the god with wheels bigger than a human

Bhubaneswar is known as the "City of Temples".

We arrived in the middle of the Sri Sri Lingaraj Festival, a major Hindu religious event in Bhubaneswar. Thousands of people visited the many temples and there was a festive mood in the air.

The Lord Lingaraj Temple (below R) is so majestic and very ancient as it was built around the 13th century. It's a pity that non-Hindus are not allowed in so we appreciate it from afar.

As part of the celebration, an amazingly huge chariot fit for the god with wheels bigger than a human was extravagantly decorated. The entire structure was made of wood including the big wheels, and there's no steering axle so it could only move in a straight line. The chariot is to be towed by devotees from one temple to another by putting logs under its wheels to steer it. It was a pity that we were not able to see this amazing feat in action.

Sri Sri Lingaraj Festival
Lord Lingaraj Temple

Jyoti and Kishore showed us around Bhubaneswar, including the Old Town, where Jyoti stays. The streets and especially the walls are so full of character.
Robyn in the Old Town at Bhubaneswar

Madhu weds Ajay
We noticed the people here proudly announce the love birds who own each home. I wonder if our good friends, Madhuri and Ajay from Pune, have another home here in Bhubaneswar... : )
Prof Bal of Utkal University
Lecturers in slippers

We were introduced to Prof Ranjan Kumar Bal, the Dean of Post-Graduate Department of Commerce in Utkal University. He invited us to share our experience in banking and business with his post-grad students.

It was the first time that we address a group of university post-grad students in slippers! Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable session. Jin shared her banking experience while Alvin talked about social business and how the students could help to uplift the rural poor as financial professionals.

Alvin talked about how the rich can help uplift the poor
Jin sharing her banking experience
No one slept in our lecture so it should be good...
Alvin shared how rural farmers become stuck at the bottom as 'modern slaves'

Vijayalakshmi directs the Corporate Social Outreach and Government Licensing department in Sri Sri University. She is also an Art of Living teacher.

She was away conducting Sri Sri Yoga at her village, some 350km away, when we arrived and she only got back on 16 Apr. We discovered she is another AOL lady who could seva away without sleep!

We shared with her the corporate fund raising strategy we helped DKP developed.

Kailash Chandra MishraWe were so honored to have a chance to meet Prof Kailash Chandra Mishra, Dean of Management Studies in Sri Sri University. This distinguished gentleman of immense international corporate and academic experience is playing a leading role in shaping up the Sri Sri University.

At the home of KC Mishra and Sumitra

Thanks to Vijayalakshmi who took us to Prof Mishra's home for a friendly chat. It was so nice to meet Sumitra (Mrs Mishra) who pampered us with delicacies.

Sri Sri University

Sri Sri University is a full university that will be built by Art of Living at Cuttack, Orissa. Construction has begun and the pioneer batch of students is expected to begin their term in mid 2012.

This is an exciting time for Prof Mishral, Vijayalakshmi, Jyoti and the rest of the SSU team as they are building from scratch and creating history.

This is where Sri Sri University will be Sri Sri University

Masonry training

A Construction Skill Training Centre was set up at one end of the SSU ground to provide free vocational training to tribal youth. This AOL training centre was created to help tribal people gain employable skills.

We met the principal who shared with us as part of a collaboration with a construction firm, a portion of the trainees would be employed by the firm upon completing the skill course.

The trainees have come from faraway tribal villages to learn masonry and steel bar bending skills. They live in the hostel provided here for the duration of the 3-month course. They practise pranayama and kriya every morning, and have satsang every evening. The AOL training has enable them to develop inner strength, focus and concentration.

We were impressed with their enthusiasm and good mannerism. We wish them a great future ahead.

Steel bar bending skill
AOL Construction Skills Training Centre
Guruji's lodge
Guruji's lodge
Situated at the start of SSU ground and opposite to the Construction Skills Training Centre is a gated compound that houses Guruji's lodge. This is where Guruji would live whenever he is here on visit.


Puri and Konark - alive with ancient wisdom

14 Apr 2011 - Today's a holiday because it's Lord Hanuman's birthday. Jyoti and Kishore spent their holiday with us in Puri and Konark. They took us to visit many ancient temples.

We first visited the Shanti Stupa at Dhauli, a Buddhist temple with historical significance. This is the very place where Emperor Ashoka laid down his sword after years of brutal battles and bloodshed, and turned Buddhist. Looking out into the plain, I imagined the scenes of the Ashoka movie, the charging warriors on elephants and how the river turned red with blood...

Robyn, Jyotic and Kishore
Shanti Stupa at Dhauli

It was a feeling of awe to be standing in a place where tens of thousands of men and women, and children, had perished in just one battle for the sake of one man's anger and feverishness. The righteousness of a leader is so important...

Yongs at Shanti Stupa

Robyn and Buddha
Lord Jagarnath Temple in Puri

Our next destination is Puri, 60km from Bhubaneswar. The Lord Jagarnath Temple is a 12th century masterpiece in Puri. It was crowded with devotees but as non-Hindus are not allowed in, we could only appreciate its grandeur from afar. I'd a field day zooming my new 55-300mm Nikon lens to capture many interesting faces and sights...

Hair of wisdom?

Meditative state...
Indian granny
Indian man
Elderly man
Rickshaw rider
Sugarcane seller
Rickshaw rider
Signalling on bike Beggar Cross road don't look

Grape and Chiku seller

The colours of Puri...

Youth in Puri

After a good lunch at the Hari Krishna Veg Restaurant, we visited the Puri beach where hundreds of Indian holiday makers were enjoying themselves. The Bay of Bengal extends out to the horizon without a single boat or ship in sight. The waves were high and strong. It was beautiful and the water was really inviting.

Puri beach

Alvin, Robyn and Jin at Puri beach

From Puri, we headed to Konark where the famous Sun Temple, a world heritage site, is situated. Also built round 13th century, this temple was built so magnificently, incorporating astrological and vedic designs. Stone wheels were carved and placed around the temple that actually tell time from the sun position throughout the day.

Our guide invited us to visit his village where a Lord Hanuman birthday celebration would be held in the evening. We gamely accepted the invitation to experience such an event.

Sun Temple at Konark
The Yongs at the Sun Temple Night lighting at Sun Temple
May the ancient wisdom descend upon Robyn and guide her to live out a life of purpose and seva to the world...May the ancient wisdom descend upon Robyn and guide her to live out a life of purpose and seva to the world...

May the silence and peace that surround this ancient temple find as equally restful place in our hearts...






May the silence and peace that surround this ancient temple find as equally a restful place in our hearts...

Robyn and Jin at matiapala VillageThe Lord Hanuman birthday celebration at the Matiapada Village was really an eye-opening feat for us.

On our way driving into the village in darkness, following behind the guide on motorbike, we'd a feeling we were getting into some pretty remote and probably a simple celebration. But when we arrived at the village temple where we walked under a LED-lit gateway, with a joyous crowd gathered in celebration, we were pleasantly surprised. When they brought me to see the field kitchen set up at the back of the small temple, I was amazed to see gigantic pots cooking up enough food for 5000 villagers!

Cooking to feed 5000 people
Traditional dancers
Tribal performance using Daskathia (bamboo and wood) to Palla (song mixture of epic tales with mockery).
Woman in dining
Beau in dining.
Alvin and village kids
Alvin and village kids.
Happy kids
Bye, see ya!


Dinner at Kishore's Village Home

Kishore and Binata

15 Apr 2011 - Kishore was so kind to invite us to his village home for a homecook meal by his wife, Binata. We visited his parents' home, met his cute 7 year old daughter, Liju, his parents and his 13 year old niece, Buja.

Binata expertly cooked poori and chicken using a kerosene stove outside her home. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and more significantly, warm friendship.

Kishore's village home
Kishore's village home
Binata cooking poori
Binata cooking poori
Homecooked meal is best!
Homecooked meal is best!
Buja, Liju, Kishore and his mum
Buja, Liju, Kishore and his mum


Meridian 101 @ Sikh Temple

17 Apr 2011 - We met Miss Kulveen Kaur at Prof Bal's office. She's a PhD student doing a thesis on Youth Entrepreneurship. It turned out that she is a volunteer at an acupressure therapy centre. When I shared with her about my essentiallyMERIDIAN business, she immediately invited us to meet with her teacher and fellow trainees at her Sikh temple before our train ride to Ghatsila on 17 Apr.

This was probably my quickest Meridian 101 for Everyone workshop done within 20min. I shared with them Avita herbal essential oils and left a 5ml Forsythia essential oil for Kulveen for her personal use.

Acupressure therapy in a Sikh temple
Kulveen, Jin and Robyn
Kulveen, Jin and Robyn at a Sikh Gurudwara.
Meridian 101 in a Sikh Gurudwara premise
Meridian 101 in a Sikh Gurudwara premise.

Alvin demo the use of guasha board on Robyn
Alvin demo the use of guasha board on Robyn.

Head scarf must be worn to cover one's hair while on temple ground. Do we look good? or cool?!?

Alvin at a Sikh Gurudwara


> Week 7: Tribal School Project in Jharkhand...


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