Covid and me – BBC Reflection series

Members of our society are participating in a reflection series organised by BBC on their experiences during these difficult Covid times.

The series will run this week (Mon 30 Nov-Sun 6th Dec) each day at 7.20 am and might then be repeated at 8.50am too on the ‘BBC Radio Devon breakfast programme’

They could also be repeated later in the day. This is of course not guaranteed as sometimes breaking news comes in, or things need to be altered for timings, but those times mentioned above are definitely in the plan.

The plan is to broadcast all of the pieces (i.e. Monday through until Sunday) probably in the following order:

Dr. Mahrukh Mirza – Mon, 30th Nov

Dr. Surajit Sinha – Tue, 1st Dec

Ms. Ruby Arora – Wed, 2nd Dec 

Dr. Shagun Khera -Thu, 3rd Dec

Dr. Sarita Nesargi -Fri, 4th Dec

Ms. Rachna Mohan – Sat, 5th Dec

Dr. Vasant Raman – Sun 6th Dec

Free Yoga sessions for Health & Wellbeing

backlit balance beach cloud

The impact of the pandemic on health and wellbeing is well documented. A multitude of organisations, centrally and locally, are trying to do their best to help us overcome this challenge. Beyond the actual effects of the virus, the long term impacts on ones physical and mental wellbeing are acknowledged but are still being researched.

In such gloomy times, it is but natural to feel anxious and demoralised. While we cannot control external factors that impact our lives, we can certainly dive deep within us to find the strength and energy to mitigate and where possible overcome the negative impacts on our health and wellbeing.

In order to facilitate such a journey “within”, South Asian Society of Devon and Cornwall is delighted to offer 3 preliminary free Yoga webinars for community members across the region. We are partnering with the internationally renowned “Isha Foundation” who are accredited partners of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Locally we are delighted to be partnering with Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Devon and Cornwall who are co-sponsoring the event with us.

All sessions listed below will be delivered by trained “Isha Foundation” facilitators.

SessionDate & TimeSign up
Yoga for Mental Health28th Nov 2020 (10 – 11 AM)Register for Free
Yoga For Immunity29th Nov 2020 (4 – 5 PM)Register for Free
Yoga for Wellbeing5th December (10 – 11 AM)Register for Free
No previous experience of yoga required
This session is open to anybody over the age of 12

Through simple postures, breathing practices and guided meditations, these tools will
help you become the architect of your own wellbeing; fostering a peaceful, joyful and
most importantly balanced state of body, mind and emotions. The practices require a
space the size of a yoga mat and some can even be done whilst sitting at a desk.

No previous experience of yoga required
This session is open to anybody over the age of 12

Depending on the response and demand we will look to provide further sessions in future.

Virtual Annual Event 2020 – Update

people in concert

Due to the recent national lockdown announcement, we have postponed the Virtual Annual event to 19th December. This will allow members more time to prepare while we are not allowed to meet in small groups.

Please find attached details on Guidelines for the virtual event.

There will be a nominal charge of £5 per family to cover the costs of the virtual platform.

Key Dates:

10th Nov 2020 – Entry registration deadline

16th Nov 2020 – Notification of entry acceptance

13th Dec 2020 – Deadline for submitting pre-recorded performance

19th Dec 2020 – SAaS Virtual Annual Event

We recognise that it is relatively short notice but as we will use pre-recorded videos, we feel there will be sufficient time to plan and deliver good quality performances. Through your active, enthusiastic participation and cooperation, we look forward to organising a successful and memorable virtual cultural evening.

Yours sincerely

SAaS Trustees

Hoping that hope transcends this crisis: Notes from the Editor’s Desk

Our war against the Coronavirus remains unabated. This war has brought in unprecedented and quirky changes: the novel and stylish addition to our wardrobe through the ubiquitous masks. We see the emergence of a new evolving on-line culture with its own new norms and correlated expressions of identity, social etiquette and social skills. I am fascinated by the new types of everyday practices that are mushrooming as virtual work, zoom meetings and online communication become more prevalent.  We need to be building a repertoire of new social skills for the new media within the new normal! When should one raise a hand rather than blurting out one’s contribution? Or, how often should one go on typing out messages in Chat? The emerging etiquette is still evolving within the boundaries of online hierarchies and may consider or reject other sensitivities.

Colourful, printed, embroidered and matching masks represent an opportunity of expression not only for the fashionistas and style aficionados but also for those who like me have not yet mastered the art of online retail clothes therapy. The masks with their patterns and colours are amazing – polka dots and paisleys, tartan and pleated with three or two layers; the range is enough to satisfy the most finicky and discerning tastes. On a more serious note, the many acts of kindness that we have heard of, and seen, during these unprecedented times have the magical power of a rainbow across the rain-lashed skies that never fails to lighten our spirit and infuse us with hope.

Keep hoping, keep smiling and stay safe

Smita Tripathi

Editor, SAaS Newsletter and Trustee

Ray of hope…healing hand for nature

Another day passes. The night is swallowed by the morning light. The days are smaller and British Summer Time has been swept back, left behind.  All around me nature goes on giving. Autumnal colours are at their peak. In the obvious gloom and despair which follows the rampage of this global pandemic, there appears to be a silver lining for Mother Nature. Unintended consequences perhaps, but nevertheless true; lockdowns and travel restrictions have ushered in a cleaner, less polluted airspaces, renewed interest in sustainable industries and a welcome positive focus on the ability of human beings to co-exist with nature. While the human toll relentlessly surges, killing more than a million people, nature is getting some respite – it is perhaps able to breathe more easily! The polluting haze has somewhat cleared as lockdowns, factory closures and other Covid 19 restrictions have led to temporary falls in carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide levels in many parts of the world.

Kingfisher

Oddly enough, there is either excessive anxiety about getting ill and possibly dying, or in sharp contrast, there is unhealthy denial and scepticism. Why cannot we be guided by nature and react in a healthy and sustainable manner? Accept the transience and fragility of life, yet take reasonable precautions for keeping oneself and others safe. This kind of positive and balanced outlook will go a long way in ensuring that humanity will emerge from this horror into a healthier, cleaner world. But we need to keep the pressure on and continue to have the required debates and conversations, keep the pressure on for green jobs and clean energy, balancing infrastructure, efficiency and sustainable futures. After all our collision course with nature probably brought about the pandemic. The Covid 19 crisis surely overlaps with the climate and biodiversity crises. For instance, all the infectious diseases of the recent past have come from animals – either wild ones or the livestock we farm in ever larger numbers to satisfy our demand for meat. So it is pertinent for us to keep a balanced perspective and demand a more holistic and equitable policy of sustainable public health that is in tune with the health of the natural environment.

Robin

When I think of nature, in all its bounteous charm and beauty (although danger too lies in its wings), autumn is special, for the magic, it weaves with its tana bana of colour and contrasts before the onset of grey and dark days of winter. I think too of another bird Neelkantha (the Indian blue jay or roller, Coracias benghalensis) which has relevance and significance for so many of the Asian cultures. And, that reminds me of the Kingfisher and the beautiful poem by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris so evocatively in their awesome book called The Lost Words. And, if you are thinking of buying a gift for someone you love, I can, and do recommend this book as a special gift.

Kingfisher: the colour-giver, fire-bringer, flame-flicker,

         river’s quiver.

Rainbow bird – that sets the stream alight with burn

         and glitter!