Saturday, 31 October 2009
Friday, 30 October 2009
In a circular (No. UDD 17 Aa Pra Sa 2001) issued on 12-11-2001, the Karnataka Government has clearly reiterated this point. It says that establishment of a mobile tower is a commercial activity and that it is subject to the provisions of zonal regulations of the approved Comprehensive Development Plan for the city... continue reading
1. There are several major dams across the Krishna river and its tributaries and these dams were supposed to prevent such disasters. So the dams have failed in one of their primary purposes. Not just... continue reading
We saw a small hothouse with flowering plants and stopped. There was a cluster of buildings belonging to the Forest Department and we didn't want to enter without permission. A little boy was the only person in sight. He looked nothing like a forest officer, but he told us we could go in, and then ran off, shouting that he would call the 'Beat Babu'.
Thursday, 29 October 2009
I believe an artist sees the world in many different ways and his/her illustrations may or may not strike a chord with the viewers. One may also see something entirely different from what the artist set out to illustrate.
Anyway this is not about paintings. But because of my ignorance about artists and paintings I never knew that 94 year old M F Husain has been living in exile (in Dubai) for the past few years.
Did India really sent an artist away from his country of birth for his paintings?
Wikipedia gave the following:
One of the most highly rated artists in the world today, his work sells at astonishing prices and are grabbed almost instantly by international art collectors.
According to Forbes magazine, he has been called the "Picasso of India".
At the age of 92 Husain was to be given the prestigious Raja Ravi Varma award by the government of Kerala.
In early 2008, Husain’s Battle of Ganga and Jamuna: Mahabharata 12, a large diptych, from the Hindu epic, fetched $1.6 million, setting a world record at Christie's South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art sale.
Unfortunately the higher in stature he grew, the bigger the controversies too. Every religious / patriotic sensibility seems to have been battered by this frail old man.
In the 1990s some of Husain's works became controversial because of their portrayal of Hindu deities in the nude or in an allegedly sexual manner.. The paintings in question were created in 1970, but did not become an issue until 1996, when they were printed inVichar Mimansa, a Hindi monthly magazine, which published them in an article headlined "M.F. Husain: A Painter or Butcher".
Husain's film Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities was pulled out of movie theatres a day after some Muslim organisations raised objections to one of the songs in it. The All-India Ulema Council complained that the Qawwali song ‘Noor-un-Ala-Noor’ was blasphemous.
And now he wants to return to India as per this report.
Centre plans to pave way for M F Husain's early return
Is the stage set for the next political drama?
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
By and large, the history books have bypassed Kerala Simham (Lion) Veera (Brave) Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, the ruler of Kottayam in
The poor elephants were still stranded when we returned down that road around sunset time. The gawping crowds had grown, and now it was like a mela - a fairground - with so many motorbikes, cars, cycles and drifters.
The elephants had stood without a sound and without a drink of water, intent on protecting their young. They showed no signs of wanting to harm the crowds of people. There was no shade where they were standing, and they had been hurling mud on their backs to keep cool. Read on
Monday, 26 October 2009
Vaikom is a small town, but one of the oldest in
The place is also prominent in history for the Vaikom Satyagraha (1924-25) led personally by Mahatma Gandhi. The objective of the agitation was to secure the right of passage for all sections of people along the roads around the temple. At that time the lower castes were not permitted on those paths....
Sunday, 25 October 2009
"Don't ever underestimate the Mysorean, who generally appears contemplative and self-effacing. You will take some time to realize his wit and wisdom, which unfolds slowly and unobtrusively - majjigeyolagina benneyanthe - like butter emerges from buttermilk. There is an unintended artistic expression by the people even in seemingly ordinary matters." Read more....
But was there no way to punish them in a decent and civilized manner, something that would have been in tune with the 21st century? Is the barbaric practice of lashing the only way out to maintain the so called social, cultural and religious purity of the famous Middle-East kingdom? More....
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Interestingly King Jr was also one of the few who observed another Gandhi technique, as he observed “Mahatma Gandhi never had more than one hundred persons absolutely committed to his philosophy. But with this small group of devoted followers, he galvanized the whole of India.”
One fine day he came into contact with such a follower of Mahatma Gandhi who was convinced that MLK should visit India to see all of this for himself. After discussions following the unfortunate incident involving the Curry letter opener stabbing, MLK Jr finally decided to tour India. In February and March 1959, the 30 year old Dr. Martin Luther King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, traveled throughout India. King aptly told a group of reporters gathered at the airport, ‘‘To other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim”.
While much of King’s visit to the big cities of India is well remembered and documented, most may not be aware of his days spent in Trivandrum and the glorious weekend that King and his wife spent at Kanyakumari.
Read the full blog post here
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Anyway I was in the indoor stadium in Calicut named after him to check out the books displayed at an Onam book fair (Now tell me where else in India would you have a book fair during a festive holiday occasion? Only in Kerala!! You will never see a Navarathri or Diwali book fair). Well, there I was, and Lo and behold, I found the very book I had wanted to peruse some time back, but had forgotten about. It was a book titled ‘Not a nice man to Know’ by the writer journalist Kushwant Singh. I wanted to read it only because it had one of those rare articles on the persona of Krishna Menon. Singh had been roundly abusive of Menon in his biography and had done another article in this very book. Strange is it not? Buying a book reviling Menon from the very stadium grounds named after Menon! Well, such is life. I will not write here all that stuff that Singh enjoyed doling out in his book, but I will give you some of the more contentious and salient points.
Click here to read the full blog
Monday, 19 October 2009
As long back as I can recall, the jungle book and Mowgli has been part of my life. Rudyard Kipling's enchanting tale of a little boy brought up by wolves, befriended by the friendly but dangerous when provoked Bagheera , the lovable Baloo and the terrifying Sher Khan!
It had all the elements of a block buster, come to think of it, and I remember being enthralled by it. I remember reading the book, coming across abridged versions in English text books, brought to life by my wonderful teachers, who knew just how to modulate their voices to enact the vicious, bitter Sher Khan, the sweet cuddly Baloo, and the cutest of them all, Mowgli! more
It seemed like a never-ending round of visiting the doctors, diagnostic center for tests and medical opinions - with no real solution in sight. Things then precipitated, probably because I got a bit frustrated. Let me give a bit of a background first. More...
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Hyper-Desi sentiments, Uber-Desi attire, Ultra-Desi feasts .
Diwali is one such excuse and a grand one at that.
In the ghetto of the factory -campus in a smaller- than -small town of Indonesia, where we once lived, Diwali was always a Big Fat Desi Affaire par Excellence - yeah, Bollywood dances religiously included !
Have you ever taken a ride in a hand pulled version of the rickshaw? Or even seen one? Well, may be in Kolkotta. That is the last bastion of the original two wheeled rickshaw. The Government tried to ban this mode of transport which turns men into beasts of burden, but the rickshaw pullers would not agree...
Friday, 16 October 2009
Did you know listening to the radio is a popular hobby pursued by thousands across the world? The radio is a wonderful instrument that provides entertainment, information and what not. Not every house had a radio some decades back, now everyone has one in their pockets, thanks to FM transmission which has revived the radio listening habit. Read more...
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
The nut of this tree is a bit of a nutty business. What is called ‘cashew apple’ (and is commonly believed to be the fruit of the tree) is actually a false fruit. It is a developed part of the receptacle of the flower of a cashew tree. The real fruit is the kidney shaped drupe that is found on the bottom end of the cashew apple. It is the kernel inside it that is the most valuable part of the cashew tree, ‘the cashew nut’...
Saturday, 10 October 2009
The usual post crisis finger pointings are going on , full steam. "Avoidable tragedy" is the unanimous verdict. We do have Disaster Prevention and Management committees. Also, pertinently, Disaster Relief Funds......Even marmosets learn, at least by pavlovian reflex. We never learn.
It was quite eerie to see images of the Tunga flooding the shrine in Mantralayam. Never have i seen the river there being anything more than a thin, sluggish stream, coursing well away from the bank . One always had to cross expanses of hot rocks to get the mandatory holy sprinkle.
.....Now I think of a little girl - is she safe ? Sadly, "Hungry and shelterless" may not be a new situation for her.....
We must remember that Maoists are mindless people left completely brainwashed by their leaders. The only truth for them in this world is the order from the top brass, which they carry out without any question. In that sense they are no different from the foot soldiers of the Taliban. And so the only way to deal with them is extreme savageness. More...
Friday, 9 October 2009
During my school days I was a voracious reader of novels and short stories. One day Appan told me that kind of reading alone was not sufficient, that I should broaden my coverage of different subjects.
He gave me an article by Nagavally RS Kurup on Netaji Subash Chandra Bose in a magazine. This was shortly after the trial of Indian National Army (INA) personnel in the Red Fort was over. I found the piece of writing fascinating and read up everything I could about Netaji and the INA....
Now, for the Moon Mania blog:
They've now got people asking if the moon is going to break up and maybe chunks of it will hit the Earth. One tweeted asking if this was going to result in high tides and trigger Global Armageddon like in the movie "Day After Tomorrow". Then we have a female tweeting in despair and wondering if it is going to mess up her periods! One guy now says it's not cool, dude, to bomb the Moon. Back off NASA. One girl asks if we voted for this kind of sh*t? One guy asked a profound question. He says "did we consult other countries before we decided to bomb the Moon? It's their Moon too you know". Wow, I am deeply humbled by this guy's magnanimity. Read all about the latest Moon "bombing" here..
Thursday, 8 October 2009
What would you do if you were intimidated Mr. Minister? Go after them?
Then please get intimidated Mr. Minister. Because I am intimidated by these events and more so by your nonchalance!More...
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Monday, 5 October 2009
Last week on TV I watched the Malayalam movie Raappakal directed by Kamal, and starring Sharada and Mammootty. A good one. The theme is something that is happening quite frequently in Kerala these days – ancestral homes (tharavads) being sold. The buyers convert them into resorts or residential complexes....
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Thursday, 1 October 2009
That is an interesting thought from the book Empires of the
But I suppose you would've guessed anyway by the dirty heap of cricket whites that can be found heaped in various spots of the house at any given time. And the long line of cricket bats, balls, helmets, gloves , etc., etc. that mark the way from the verandah to the bedrooms.
I received this fantastic article in an email newsletter and was eager to share it. I loved it and I hope you do, too - because it is so relevant in all our lives.
What business are you really in?
Ever get a great idea, and then you are flying high with inspiration and possibilities? You outline your idea, you mind map it, you buy books on the subject, you easily draft up copy for an email campaign... you take a few steps, and then you share it with a few people close to you and... Bam! You hear "How will you do that?" "I don’t get it..." "Someone else I know has done something similar..."
Next thing you know, your inspired actions have turned to staring at the computer and aimlessly reading tweets.
Then your own psyche joins in the game and pipes up. "You’ve never done anything like that. What makes you think you can do it? Last time you tried a campaign, you didn’t get very many people signing up. Your message isn’t clear enough. Your list isn’t big enough..." Not enough...More