Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Like anyone belonging to the pre-independence era, he has been through a lot of hardships in stabilizing his family and bringing up his children. An immensely spiritual man, he has always believed that an unknown force always leads one to his or her destiny. That must have made him fearless, for I have never seen him afraid. He is a very rigid believer in consistency and regularity, not just in education, but also in games and fitness. When I was a child, ye used to say
"You have to play one hour everyday! Poet Bharati told 'Malai muzhudum vilaiyattu' (Play though the evening""
But he would allow the evening play no longer than that! He would call me back exactly after an hour, make my chant the evening prayers and get me started off with my homework. I honestly wish he had spent a bit more time staying with us (then he was at Trichy and would visit us only occasionally.) so I could have used a bit more of his regularity! :)
I have also noticed that he has been very balanced in digesting joy and sadness. Be it the death of his beloved and eldest son (who I hear was exceptional in college, before he died suddenly of unknown reasons) or the more recent convocation of my cousin Priya (who is the first Ph.D of our family and an early pupil of my grandfather), he always attributed it to God's will and took the feeling into heart in. Which explains why the young man is so young.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Thatha! :)
Friday, June 26, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
CPI's absence should allow the UPA to be more decisive without getting into a big and often useless argument with an ally. But that may also make a big citizen activism only possible force to stop them from doing something that the society considers detrimental, and I believe the current UPA governemt has as lot of potential for that considering that there are a handful of incompetant and not-so-society-minded individuals and leadership qualities, like Azhagiri and A.Raja looking at cabinet ministries, that too ministries like IT - a sector that is almost unique selling point for India.
While I am glad that the openly non-secular BJP especially led by Advani is decisively routed out, I am simultaneously cautious about over-estimating the competence of current government. As almost in anything that has to do with India. We have to wait know what really is going to happen
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I have been to Oppiliyappan temple half-a-dozen times earlier. But the visit this time was refreshing since the temple was recently renovated and the murals repainted. The temple elephant has grown up into a dignified adult from a playful adolescent he was during my earlier visit.
A short note about Oppiliyappan. It is one among the 108 vishnu's divyadesams (temples sung by at least one of the 12 aazhvars). This particular temple was sung by nam aazhvar, poigai aazhvar, paei azhwar and tirumangai azhvar. Oppiliyappan is considered Tirupathi Lord venkateshwara's elder brother and is also called Lord Srinivasa.
He marries rishi Markandeya's daughter, a reincarnation of Bhoodevi (mother earth) in this place when she was still young. So young and naive that she cooks for Lord Oppiliyappan without salt So, all the prasadams distributed to devotees here have no salt till date.
In the sanctum sanctorum he appears in a standing with rishi Markandeya seated to his left and Bhoodevi seated to his right. In one of his right hands palm is written "maam ekam saranam vraja"
After the visit, my mom suggested that we go to a nearby place called Tiruvelliayngudi, about 10 km from Kumbakonam. It was a very small village with serpentine, narrow yet relatively well-laid roads. It was as typical a village as any other in Tamil Nadu, with lush green paddy fields with fresh water gushing out of electric pumps, and with tall coconut trees bordering them. I had visited the temple in the evenings, contrary to the burning afternoon, have enjoyed the village atmosphere more fully.
The temple was ancient, and evidently very rarely visited by devotees travelling from outside the village. But was not yet in a dilapidated condition. But for a temple that is forgotten to the outside world in these modern times, it has a lot of historical and mythological significance.
The stories has that Lord Vishnu married Maragadhavalli Thayar in this place and transferred his conch and chakra to Garuda for doing so. As a result, in this place it is the Garuda who has the conch and chakra instead of the Vishnu - the only such temple in the whole world. The Lord appears in the sanctum sanctorum as blue-skinned Lord Rama, in a sleeping posture. There are only three temples among the 108 divya desams in which Lord Rama appears in a sleeping posture in different colours. The other ones are in other lesser known village temple called Tiruppullani (Dharba sayana Ramar) and in in Aadanur (Valvil Ramar).
The temple tree is Sevvazhai, a plantain that yield red coloured banana (what is English for that?). The outer wall of the sanctum sanctorum is lined with this tree and it is said that any tree growing in this particular place doesn't survive when transferred else where.
This temple is also considered a very good place of worship for those with any sort of eye-related ailment. As the story goes, Shukran was once blind and after offering prayers unsuccessfully in various temples, he gained his eye sight only after offering prayers here. For this reason, this is a shukra stalam. Further, the sanctum sanctorum has a lamp that is kept lit for 24 hours a day. This temple becomes one among the 108 divya desam because it was sung by Tirumangai Aazhvar.
I recommend this temple not only for the devout, but also for the the mythological inclined.
Friday, April 24, 2009
I have come across enthusiastic appeals to contribute towards saving the environment by modifying the way I go about my everyday life. For example, I am piling up dozens of used batteries simply because I am yet to find an environmentally safe way of disposing them, even after actively searching for a recycling plant or safe-disposal facility close to Hyderabad. The same predicament applies to anything that can be connected to electricity from cellphone chargers to television sets. More importantly,
I find it very difficult to avoid using plastics. I buy juice in a tetrapack as against a plastic bottle, only to find that even they use plastic linings to make it waterproof. After little research I come to understand that there is no environmentally safe, affordable water-proofing alternative to plastics available to common man. If such a solution is not available, how is one going to avoid plastics?
Often those who make the transition to the green lifestyle would be forced to spend more on a regular basis!(either as cash or as time trying to figure out a green work-around). As a result, such a community will always be small. Worse, there will always be someone who says, "You know. Its too tough to be green" and will get back to the bad-old ways! (Consider the poor. They generate a lot of waste, but don't participate in waste management in proportion. But is it their fault?)
On the other hand even when solutions are available for an environmental problem, common man is not effectively sensitized. Consider the case of disposing kitchen wastes. Composting them to manure and using them as manure for plants is a tried and tested solution. However, the process of composting or the fact that such small compost bins are available in the market are known only the to environmentally conscious. Good intentions of appeals to be environmental consciousness not withstanding, a tangible impact can be achieved only if proven green alternatives are available and affordable so that common man doesn't really have to subscribe to the green movement to be green
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Elizabeth Gilbert shared her insecurity about surviving success - one that she now shares with any other successful people (some of whom died because of it!) in the creative field, after the of her recently published bestseller "Eat Pray Love" in captivating 20 minute speech. Watch out especially when she talks about a 90+ poet she met and her picturesque narration of how the poem "barreled down at her with earth shaking underneath". Evidently Elizabeth is not just an accomplished writer, but probably an even better speaker.
I have placed an order for her book - and this is the first time when I have bought a book I have never heard of, written by someone who I have never heard of - purely based on her talk. She says in her talk that she wonders if her best is already behind her and if she would ever surpass her first success. I personally wonder if her book would surpass the speech that she gave on TED.
Enjoy the video!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
While that is still there, now I am beginning to come across scrabble in quick succession. While at office, about a couple of weeks ago I heard someone talk of scrabble while passing by me. Then I thought "may be its a good gift to give for kids!". A week later, my niece who twisted her ankle in my earlier post >[:-D] received a scrabble set as she was celebrating her birthday. Now I have come across an interview of a New Yorker journalist who has wrote an article about Scrabble (registration required. Those beep!), its influence in America and how it has reemerged in its online version. In the audio, I found that India is big in scrabble. Now I am thinking I will take it all in and start off with scrabbling, and am banking on Scrabble's recurring encounter with me.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
I have a school near my work that is looking for teachers.
I have my idea of doing the teaching with as much demonstration as possible.
I have the rickety infrastructure that the team at my office prepared once and gathering up dust.
I have a new set of 25 DVDs dedicated to physics demonstrations (thanks to the sincere belief in social and educational change of a few executive level managers of Synopsys!) that I have not yet started watching.
May be it is time to set aside an hour of my mornings to start teaching science. This is in a way going back to where it all started. The first of my thoughts on social change was to teach and teach at schools.
For now though, this thought has to remain as just another thought and the extent to which it fructifies over the next year hinges upon how much hit my conviction can take over the next couple of months! All the best to me!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I found the following article on "Do's and Don'ts of First Aid" in LiveMint, which can come in as a handy guide. Recall your college days, brush up your memorizing skills and learn this one by heart! :). This is also a handy guide that should reside along with your first-aid kit!