Thursday, October 22, 2009

Daily dosage from the world of books

" If you are not cheating, you are not trying".

Mark Grace

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Image(s)of the week

Endangered Art forms
Chennai city police’s latest crackdown on fancy number plates is posing a serious threat to an art form.

Soon these art forms will become a thing of past.

Probably they can be part of some art gallery dedicated to motor vehicles!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mahabharata, what is not in it, is nowhere!


Sidharth Basu
, the person synonym with “Quizzing” in India, famous for his Quiz time series in 1980s and later Mastermind India series in late 1990s to early 2000s.

It was reported in national dailies that the sales of various books on General Knowledge went up. The whole India was keen on answering Basu’s questions.

Even before Basu’s Quiz Time, in 1970s there was another Quiz show “The Cadbury Bournvita Quiz Contest. It was started as a live Quiz show in various cities across India; it later became a radio show hosted by Amin Sayani and then, a television show hosted by Derek O'Brien. Then there were G.S.Pradeep’s reverse quiz’ Aswamedham’ on Kairali TV, DD Podhigai the Tamil channel’s Live Sports Quiz Programme conducted by Dr.Sumanth C.Raman.

In Mahabharata there is an interesting Quiz. Pandavas were on their 13th year in forest. One day Nakul was asked to go and fetch some water. He went and found a pond and was about to fetch some water, a yaksha’s voice was heard warning him not to do so. Nakul ignored the voice but before he could drink the water he fell down motionless. Same fate happened to Sahadev, Arjun and Bhim. At last Yudhishthira went and found all his four brothers dead near a pond. He also tried to take water but again Yaksha asked him to stop and said if he could answer all the questions correctly he could get back his brothers. Yudhishthira agreed and answered all the questions correctly. Yaksha was Yama, Yudhishthira’s father. Thus Yama became the first quiz master and his son Yudhishthira the sole participant and winner also. His prize was his four brothers’ lives.

(To be continued...)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Daily dosage from the world of books

"Just consider how terrible they day of your death will be, others will go on speaking and you will not be able to argue back."

Raja Ram mohan Roy

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Image of the week

Smart marketing idea. Found on the rear window of a taxi in Chennai

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mahabharata, what is not in it, is nowhere!


Walkouts are daily affairs nowadays. You see walkouts at Parliament, at General assemblies, even in party meetings. Generally opposition stage walkouts. They are there to oppose as the name suggest. If you are against some policies or if some issues are not discussed, if some people are not given the permission to talk they stage walkout. Some times walkout happens in the same party. If they don’t agree with the party or some persons the same party men stage walkout
So walkouts are most common nonviolent protest. There is a reference to walkout in Mahabharata also.
Occasion: Rajasuya performed by Yudhishthira. As per the custom, the Pandavas invited the other kings after the slaying of Jarasandha and performed the Rajasuya. Time came for doing honours of the occasion. The custom was to render first honour to the guest who was considered most worthy of taking precedence over all others.
The question arose as to who should be honored first. Bhisma and Yudhishthira's choice was Sri Krishna, the king of Dwaraka.
Yudhishthira followed the advice and under his instructions Sahadeva offered to Sri Krishna the honors enjoined by tradition. Sisupala, the king of Chedi, who hated Krishna, could not tolerate it. Sisupala after protesting rose from his seat and walked out calling upon the other kings to join him in resenting the insult. Many of them followed him.
And the tradition continues walkouts also.

(To be continued..)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Daily dosage from the world of books

"An equation has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God".

Srinivasa Ramanujam

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The year of the moon: 1969 and 2009!

On 9 Oct 2009 NASA successfully bombed two spacecrafts, Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) into moon’s South Pole in search of hidden ice, another milestone in moon expedition. Weeks before, Chandrayan 1, India’s first moon exploration had helped in finding flakes of water particles on moon’s surface.

Year 1969, an article in Reader’s Digest 1969 May issue carried an article titled “The year of the moon”.

The article is an interesting read. It carried in depth details on various preparations carried out for the moon mission. The preparation had started way back in 1961 in 20,000 industrial plants and 200 US universities. 4, 00,000 people involved in the project and had spent almost 24,000million USD.
The article also carried detailed scripts on sequence of events right from blast offs from Houston to landing in moon to collecting the moon’s particles and photographing
The instruction given to astronauts included to stand still for a moment as soon he steps his foot in the moon the after a while twist and turn.
Without moving take the bag and collect loose rocks and soils and later take photographs

The 1969 may issue also had a advertorial of a journal “The plain truth”. The journal contained an article named ‘who will rule the space’ that had shocking answers to the Apollo 8 moon expedition.

Now 40 years after the first moon mission, 2009 is also turning out to be “The year of the moon” especially for India after the successful Chandrayan 1 mission. Now let’s wait for the year 2014 for India’s first manned mission to Moon.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The so called real (ity) show!

Lady almost in tears telling her friends how she cleaned plates and utensils

A devoted mother praying for the wellbeing of her three kids

Jobless celebrities walking here and there telling outdated jokes

You can see them getting up from bed, brushing the teeth, fighting and abusing each other and lot more

Welcome to Bigg Boss, season 3, the so called reality show.

Now some statistics of Bigg Boss
13 celebrities, so called
4,000 sq feet of space. Highlights of this time. A smoking zone, bathroom and toilets are inside the house?????
250 crew members working on eight-hour shifts
Around 50 security guards (Is anybody really interested in these so called celebrities or the security is to protect from the wrath of viewers?
34 cameras to capture memorable moments
2 switchers, remote operators, loggers (transcribers), shaders (computer animation specialists)

So let’s enjoy the wonderful lives of these people! after all our lives have become so unreal that we go behind reality TV shows like these

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Mahabharata, what is not in it, is nowhere!

War live commentary

Gulf war (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991) fought between Iraq and the coalition force from 34 nations, with the purpose of expelling Iraqi forces from Kuwait after Iraq's occupation and annexation of Kuwait in August 1990 is considered to be the first war that was live telecast. Channels like CNN, NBC, ABC, and CBS showed live footage of US’s Patriot missiles engulfing the Saddam’s Iraq.

Footage of Gulf war
First day

Air strikes

But was there anything like this in Mahabharata, the great Indian epic?

The Great War between Pandavas and Kauravas at Kurukshetra (believed to have happened some 3000 years before Jesus Christ’s birth) was the first war that was telecast live. If millions of people around the world saw the Gulf war live, there was only one person who saw live the Kurukshetra war, Sanjaya the charioteer of blind King Dhritarashtra. Just before the war, Veda Vyasa visited Dhritarashtra and asked if he was interested to see the war. Dhritarashtra did not want to see the war between his sons and their cousins so Vyasa gave ‘Divyachakshus’ (Special yogic power) to Sanjaya to see the war live. Sanjaya not only saw the war live but gave an excellent running commentary of the war to Dhritarashtra. And by doing so Sanjaya became the first commentator, the true predecessor of John Holliman and Peter Arnett of CNN and David Green and Andy Thompson who were part of CBS crew that reported the Gulf war.

(To be continued..)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Blast from the past
Found this interesting ad in 1969 issue of Readers Digest. The Ad is for HMV Fiesta, (not the Ford one) the record player. Being a part of Ipod generation, HMV’s offers were quite interesting. HMV Fiesta is easy to carry and operate and works on AC mains or batteries,

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Daily dosage from the world of books

'When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either'

Leo Burnett

Monday, October 05, 2009

Gandhi Jayanti’s true spirit

The Twitter Minister said in his recent tweet that Gandhi Jayanti should not be a National holiday but instead everybody should work on that day and that’s the right way of remembering the Mahatma.( read the news here)
This Oct 2 we celebrated in a different way. we worked.In schools on Gandhi Jayanti day students clean up the school premises). Normally on any Oct 2 you sit in front of the TV and watch the Oscar winning movie ‘Gandhi’, that too in different languages in different channels but On Bapu’s 140th birthday we painted our home.

Now painting can be such an agonizing exercise

packing the things, shifting the packs to various rooms and dusting the place after the place is painted.

You mood swing from agony to ecstasy

But once you see the walls start getting their shades, your mind also brighten up

We celebrated the birth day of the man who said that ‘work is worship’, in true spirit, by working!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Image of the week!

In search of ever invisible menu