Sunday, 31 January 2010

Beauty of the full moon

So much has been written about the beauty of the Moon. Read a bit how it looked like on the full moon on Jan.30th - some pictures also....


The Kite festival included night flying and this was a first for me. I had not seen Kites all lit up with LED lights take to the skies and do those wonderful dances they did. There was a dazzling display of kites with Lites at night, looking like a UFO invasion. Watch LED Kite flying videos in this blog.

Funny Oxymorons

1.) As I said before, I never repeat myself.

2.) Clearly misunderstood.

3.) Exact estimate. More

The Five Indian Villages Where Sanskrit Is The Everyday Language

I have come to know, from a couple of online and printed sources, about 5 Indian villages where Sanskrit is spoken as the everyday language. Residents of these villages reportedly speak the language during every kind of communication, ranging from holding serious discussions to buying goods from grocery stores to having casual chats with friends. More

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Happy Republic Day!

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments  ...More

Sunday, 24 January 2010

I debut-ed on "Ginger Chai" today!

Hi Folks! I debut-ed on Ginger Chai today with my first post as a member of their Author Panel.
I intend to write there regularly. 

Here is the post. Enjoy!

Anne Frank diary-keeper dies

Miep Gies,to whom all those across the globe who cherish human values owe a deep sense of gratitude, for having guarded this extraordinary document and giving a new lease of life to this young girl, died at the age of 100 in Amsterdam...More....

The Dak Harkara

The Harkara literally ran with the mail, not necessarily from point A to point B, but as part of a relay system. In the Moghul days, they ran 8-10 miles in each direction and back (i.e. 20 miles a day), but in later EIC times, they ran 5-6 miles per direction, before they handed it over to the next Harkara. The harkara was not only a delivery man of letters, but also a person who conveyed news to both ends, officially and unofficially, publicly or surreptitiously. They were sometimes purveyors of intelligence to authorities of far flung areas, reporting on troubles and important happenings at both locations. In many an instance, they were letter writers, transferring the word of mouth of an illiterate man to paper.............

This is the story of one such harkara.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

A More Effective Handling Of Post-Disaster Scenario

Why do we keep the victims of a calamity in the affected region itself, without evacuating them from the same? (I have noticed that the evacuation usually takes place only if there is any threat of further calamity). Isn’t it better to take them away to a place where they can have a more-or-less normal life, only to bring them back when the restoration process has brought back the affected region into normal condition? More

Need Of The Time – Environmental Diplomats

However, the liberalization and globalization of the world resulted in the emergence of a special breed of diplomats, named “Economic Diplomats”. They are the diplomats exclusively focused on all the economic aspects of diplomacy and foreign relations, such as pitching for funds and aids from international organizations (WTO, IMF, etc.), identifying their respective countries’ business opportunities in other countries and charting out necessary roadmaps to tap the same, etc. Economic diplomacy is now a specialized wing of Statecraft, with almost every nation having a pool of expert Economic Diplomats.

The emergence of Economic Diplomats was the result of the dynamic character of Diplomacy, which is understandably very receptive to the changes in world affairs. And it is this dynamic characteristic of Diplomacy that is today signaling the need of another specialized wing of Diplomacy – Environmental Diplomacy. More

The Recent Sugar Price Issue – Some Thoughts

I feel instead of focusing on exchange of criticisms and blame game, we should now focus on how we can prevent the emergence of such situations in the future. Taking preventive measures to prevent future crisis is more important than identifying the “culprits” of present crisis and criticizing them for their failure. Right?

So do I have any suggestion? Yes, I do, though I am not sure about its practicability. And I also do not know whether any decision to this effect has already been taken or being considered. All I can say is that I have a suggestion, and I will love to share it with everybody. More

Effective Implementation of Plastic Bag Ban

Despite a ban on its use in India, plastic bag is very much in use in India. One of my colleagues from Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh is claiming that the ban is very much successful in that state. May be. But that the ban has been not that effective at least in Delhi that is very much established.

Fine. But why are people, mainly the shopkeepers, so unwilling to follow the ban? Is it merely a callous attitude towards the cause of environment? No! We all know that the actual reason is something different. More

Thursday, 21 January 2010

RIP Bagan Babu

I always knew Bagan Babu was very old, but he just didn't look his age. If you met him anywhere in the garden, he'd be on his motorcycle. I wonder how many people visualize themselves working full time after the age of 75 or so. Not too many, I’ll bet. Our Bagan Babu worked at his post until the end of his life. He died on Christmas day, 2009, aged 92.

More on killing the bottle

If a man walks into a bar and orders beer by the peg someone is sure to tell him that is not the way the stuff is to be consumed. Different types of alcohol are to be taken in different ways...

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Relief!

finally got placed yesterday! IBM-GBS now. It's a great feeling having the security of a job, especially when there's added pressure on you when all your friends have gotten jobs. There's always the fear of the unknown. A slight probability of not getting placed at all, that, no matter how unlikely, never fails to worry you. You begin thinking of the realm of possibilities, examining your threshold levels like i mentioned in my previous post.

Amusing - ? Bemusing -? Obfuscating -? headlines

Whether or not you are personally concerned about gm foods you will hopefuly raise an eyebrow at least -

Try as I could, I found no explanation for the date. The son helpfully said - "No Mom, there is no 'double leap' year"...

Monday, 18 January 2010

National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum, New Delhi

It's always a pleasure to discover and rediscover treasures from the past. And we did just that all day Sunday on a visit to the National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum in New Delhi.. more

Not trick photography

Here's a picture to tickle grey cells....

Hint: more...

Popeye Had A Point

Rather, Popeye the Sailor Man had several points! But let's talk about the main one - Spinach!

This super food packs a healthy punch.  It's no coincidence that Popeye's strength had its foundation on a diet rich in spinach.

The health benefits of this easily-available green leafy vegetable are tremendous, and it is a powerhouse of energy. Spinach is chock-full of vitamins like Vitamin B, Iron, and Folate. Best of all it is....MORE

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Jacana Junkies at the Bird Race

There were 4 birders from Madras
who had not birded for a while, alas!
So they decided to change their ways
And take part in the Chennai Bird Race.


Saturday, 16 January 2010


I am happy to report that the Seaplane Pilot Association of the United States has stepped in to help in the relief efforts in Haiti. They are appealing to the Seaplane community to bring in small medical supplies, water purifying tablets and other essential supplies. Seaplanes will be able to land in certain designated sea lanes near the shore and deliver aid to communities that are nearby.

A Tale About A Donkey

One day a farmer's donkey fell into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. The farmer thought - the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He got his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement....More

And another day begins

Read here

Uttarayan 2010

I have come across an excellent article in the TOI about an 86-year-old Ahmedabad-resident Homi Pestonji Ghadiyali who has flown kites every day, for most of his lifetime...


Thursday, 14 January 2010

Random thoughts on the procedure to become a Christian, Syrian Christians

In several non-Christian communities, birth decides the religion of a child. It is assumed that the baby belongs to the religion of its parents. In Christianity, only when a child receives baptism it is accepted into the community as a Christian...

The futileness of hypocrisy

While we condemn the attack on Indians and lately on a Gurudwara in Australia, aren’t we conveniently forgetting that attacks on Churches, Mosques and Temples are routine in our country with hundreds of people dying over these buildings every year?

We protest over Indian students being attacked, while we conveniently forget that Graham Staines and his two sons were burnt alive in our country and thousands of people lose their lives every year in communal and caste clashes.

We condemn racist taunts conveniently forgetting that we attack pubs and beat up women and harass young couples who dare to walk together in broad daylight and impose silly restriction on people due to our inherent intolerant nature!...more.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Travelling The World Without A Bag !!

Jonathan Yevin is an landscape artist in New York who designs roof top gardens. He works from March to September each year and the rest of the months is off travelling, off course without a bag.He also doubles up as a travel writer, Having authored the Rough’s guide for Ecuador and many more. When I asked him if he doesn’t ever feel the need to have atleast a small backpack. He said “No, I Never found it necessary.”

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Wat Phra Mahathat, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Wat Phra Mahathat famous for the Buddha head of sandstone embraced by the roots of a huge tree. A religious wonder; nobody knows how the head got embedded there. One of the theories is that a broken image could have been abandoned there after the Burmese attacked Ayuthaya and ransacked the Wats. Actually there are a lot of interesting stories around all these... waiting to be told. If only the language wasn't a barrier. Read more here...

A Mouthful

One of the worst things in life is a mouthful of ulcers.  And it's a fact that at some time or other, almost everyone gets mouth ulcers. I hardly need to tell you that the larger these are, the more painful they turn out to be. Can't eat, can't talk and can't just about anything! Add to it a rotten mood ! Women, in particular, develop ulcers mostly when they are exhausted or premenstrual. Sometimes, if you are allergic to something or have nutrient deficiencies, mouth ulcers turn up. Stress also causes mouth ulcers.

Okay, so enough of rubbing it in. What can you do to prevent these ulcers?

You can: MORE

Your Choice

Thought for Today
"I believe that when you stop renewing, and are no longer open to change and the possibilities that continually unfold, you stop being alive and are just getting through the years. Transformation doesn't happen unless you're willing: It's your choice."
- Oprah

An exit could be moving up, not out

There's a trick to the graceful exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over, and let it go. It means leaving what's over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.
--Ellen Goodman

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Soliman the Elefant

This is the sad story of Soliman the Elefant, one that is quite familiar to Europeans of an older era, and they are reminded of it constantly by museums, pictures, hotels where Maximillian stayed and where the elephant is still being proudly shown off in a sculpture or a picture.

If one has to juxtapose something in between, he needs something of equal grandeur. Thus I choose the story of Suleiman from Malabar in Europe. It is a very charming but at the same time sad story of a man’s indulgence and pompousness. If I were to tell you that this magnificent creature (presumably from the Nilambur forests, but I must admit that one source indicates it could have been from Sri Lanka – nevertheless my love for the elephant does make me tell this story) died of loneliness and poor diet while in a rich king’s stable, you may be surprised. I will get to it by and by, for when I delved into the story, it proved to have a life of its own, the story of an emperor’s pet that had captivated Europe since 1505, has been immortalized in currency, medal’s and sculptures, and has finally been resurrected into a Spanish novel by a Nobel Prize winner, soon to be published in English.

Some recent photographs

And more...

How are you?

Even the light of the computer screen sparks a headache. The slightest sound, that of the rustling of a polythene bag, can trigger a ferocious fury. This, barely two days into the new year, seems unfair and jinxed.

Still here I am, writing for strangers and friends alike, writing for myself. For writing is the best medicine for me. Medicines, often as costly as the doctor thinks you can afford, have also been prescribed...

Suitcase left and found

The missing suitcase puzzled us. We tried to rewind our memory to each and every move we made, frame by frame, from the time we got out of our bogey and it was showing clearly the suitcase was in my hand.... [..more]

Friday, 8 January 2010


....In the olden days it was an unwritten law that a woman in her young days had to obey her father (see not her parent, here also the mother had no voice); later on, her husband with his favourite all-time words -- you don’t know anything; and, in her old age, her son....More here

Goodbye Clutter, Hello Happiness!

De-cluttering = Health, Wealth and Happiness 

It is. Getting rid of clutter is equal to freedom, both mental and physical and I am enjoying this everyday. After probably months and months of reading tips about Feng Shui, and how de-cluttering improves life, I have finally begun to act on it. Of course, I did plan to do a certain set of things before the New Year began, but hey, I did get a pretty good score of 32 out of 40 things done. That's a major achievement for me...considering my routine since the last few months.

However, I managed to do the following...MORE

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Kill the bottle

Every year the turnover of the liquor outlets keeps increasing. This is not because of any escalation in prices. More quantity is sold. Even when the prices are hiked the quantity of spirit sales is on a high. And according to one report the demand for premium brands is growing...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

From Darkness To Light


Apparently you can choose the intensity of your hangover based on the color you choose to drink!

It's winter - and the cup that cheers is most likely booze, followed by that unmistakably nasty hangover.

While most people might have their patented cure for a hangover, the good news is, you...MORE

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Ruchika Girhotra Case – Something So Enjoyable And Enchanting For Me

The Ruchika Girhotra case has been one of the most enjoyable and enchanting incidents that I have seen in my life so far. And I am really so happy that the incident has happened in my country, India.

No, please do not get me wrong. I do not mean that I have found it to be enchanting what happened to unfortunate Ruchika, who was prevented by destiny from growing up into a successful lady (apart from being an asset for the Indian tennis fraternity). I also do not mean that I have relished the harrowing and nightmarish experiences that Ruchika’s family had to go through. More