Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Just when I was about to delete yet another random email from my inbox, my curiosity got the better of me. The subject line read “Make your blog carbon neutral - 1 Blog, 1 Tree”.
Monday, 29 March 2010
Saturday, 27 March 2010
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
There was a great deal of excitement in our home last week. My wife Annie was ecstatic. The potted lily plant in her balcony garden had flowered. She started telephoning/emailing everyone she could think of to break the happy news. Some of the close ones in Chennai came home to see the beauties. More...
Monday, 22 March 2010
We went on a short tour of the countryside around Madurai, to explore Pandyan history. I came back from this tour with a better understanding of a strand of history that I knew so little of - the Jain influence in Tamil Nadu. I have written about various highlights over a few blog posts, that I have summarised here.
We visited Thenparankundram and Thirupurakunram, rock cut Jain caves from the 7th and 8th century AD.
Then there was the Vettuvan kovil - the most beautiful rock-cut temple I have ever seen.
Did you know there are some hundred Jaina sites in Pandya country? Kazhugumalai was one such. It was a seat of Jain learning in centuries past, and the Jain bas reliefs we saw date to around 800 AD.
After some off-road driving we arrived at Arittapatti village, in Melur taluk. Once again there was the side-by-side existence of old Hindu relics and vestiges of Jainism. Arittapatti has one of the earliest known Tamil Brahmi inscriptions.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
It has always been like that with me, some friends may remember my experience with the taxi driver or the jump into the pond, articles published elsewhere. Act first, think later was my motto in those impulsive younger days. So that morning, on my way to the bus stop, on a Saturday, alone and lonesome, I was out planning to go for the Mardi Gras at IIT Adayar, which none of the others in Ambika Nivas were the least interested in, I decided to step into Amir mahal and take a look at the prohibited grounds, the place from where all those burkha clad females and shehenai wadan had emanated. I had to clear the mystery in my mind.
Friday, 19 March 2010
Early last month Kerala received shipment of a rare kind. The vessel called at
Can you guess what the ship carried? It was not rice.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Monday, 15 March 2010
Sunday, 14 March 2010
We took a bypass and were on a narrow road. I used to come this way as a kid very often. My favorite grand aunt lived here. She was called Ellaimma (because she was junior to other aunts), the youngest sister of my grandfather...more.
Thursday, 11 March 2010
I am writing a post because my mother suffered from CKD and one of the reasons she passed away was because of the complications of CKD. I am probably at risk for it, with a family history of diabetes.Here are some facts about this scary disease.
CKD = Chronic Kidney Disease
CKD is the permanent loss of kidney function. Possible Causes: physical...More
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
The chapters on the Paramaribo parrot and Fermima's varied pets are entertaining. That the parrot got excited seeing the pretty maids amused me no end. Dr. Juvenal Urbino's patient lessons to teach the bird Latin and French were also impressive, given my personal indulgence with all things animal. Marquez writes in a splendid style, extremely detailed and full of the darker sides of human character.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Monday, 8 March 2010
Munnar-Devikulam area in Kerala’s tea country is, or, rather was, a beautiful hill station, undoubtedly one of the best in
Sunday, 7 March 2010
This story takes us down to a place some 100 miles south of Alexandria and today’s Cairo, to an ancient Nile river city called Oxrynchus .......
Among the fragments they discovered at Oxyrynchus was what we now know as fragment 413 or POxy 413. Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 413 (P. Oxy. III 413) is a manuscript of an adaptation of Euripides' Iphigeneia in Tauris (Iφιγένεια Ταύροις). The setting however is shifted from Greece to India. The anonymous adaptation is known as Charition after the main character. The manuscript is held by the Bodleian Library as Ms. Gr. Class. b 4 (P).
Ok, so what is great about it? We do have writing samples from Greece, but this one was a very interesting play. This Papyrus 413 and the whole play was what they termed a ‘farce’. It was a farce with plenty of farts, a princess, devadasi’s, booze, a king and many big bodied amazons with bows and arrows and so on. OK, that is also familiar, at least some of it. What is unique?
The interesting part was that the entire play was set in a Malabar coastal kingdom and the ‘Greek’ play has liberal doses of an ancient South Indian language. When it was first discovered by Western historians, nobody had much of a clue. Then word spread around, Indologists were involved who eventually determined it was a Dravidian language. But as you can imagine, experts were divided in opinion. Some said it was an ancient Prakritic language, while most others agreed that it was Tulu or Kannada. The Tulu and Kannada factions have been discussing ever since on which one it is. But I will get to all that eventually. Let us get back to the play and the situation.....................
Saturday, 6 March 2010
I am not here to defend him or run him down. But I feel that religion has become big business now and mega bucks are for the taking if you know a few prayers; posses’ good oratory skills and tones of hypocrisy and know how to harvest people’s insecurities and weaknesses...more.
Monday, 1 March 2010
I closed my eyes to try to make out the letters - but failed. Pre-formed mental images were poor assistants to overcome the challenge. My salutations to Sant Surdas...