Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It is time for the rains and more...

Soon it will be time for the rains and another Onam.

After many long years, Onam would be in Kerala this time.

Hubby has told the kids that we shall see the Nehru boat race too, especially since it is held not very far from home. Promises are seldom kept but one can always dream of things to come. I am told that the river right in front of the house is brimming and may soon breach it’s banks.

We would have landed in the new airport terminal at Trivandrum if the inauguration was not postponed. I hear that the user's fee would be retained but am hoping that it would be put to good use and that the impressive terminal would be maintained. I am also looking forward to the drive through the MC road instead of the NH. The road has now been repaired and is supposed to be good. This used to be the road frequented before the advent of the NH 47 and is a scenic route.

So, it is time for a vacation and maybe also a blog break?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Powered by the big guy!

The world’s first solar powered Air Craft landed safely. Good news indeed!

The aircraft, flown by Andre Borschberg, touched down today at Payerne near Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland at 9 a.m. local time, the project known as Solar Impulse said on its website.

From their website:

The adventurers of the last century were constantly pushing back the limits of the impossible. Today, human and technological enquiry must go on, aimed at improving the quality of life on our planet. In building the first solar aircraft able to fly day and night, and piloting it right round the world without fuel or pollution, Solar Impulse's ambition is for the world of exploration and innovation to contribute to the cause of renewable energies, to demonstrate the importance of the new technologies for sustainable development, and to place dream and emotion back at the heart of scientific adventure.

I am not sure how feasible the idea would be commercially. The project cost is mentioned as $95 million which comes close to the price of an Air Bus –A320( This stretched fuselage aircraft has an overall length of 44.51 metres (146 ft.) and an operating range of up to 3,000 nm./5,600 km with the maximum passenger payload)

But then this is just the beginning of a splendid revolution.

Hats off to those who dared to dream!

Source: Businessweek

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Is there a cure?

Tell me, is there a cure for this obsession? If it is not obsession what could it be?

Yea.. it is me and religion again! But this one was a shocker and I am yet to come to terms with it. In Kerala one is used to chopped off hands, feet, head and hence one may ask .. so what is new? Well, the Keralites take politics very seriously and would be the only species that is ready to die and to kill another ever so ardently in the name of a political party. And since this lawlessness was so ridiculously  let off in many instances, we dulled our conscience and now it is showing it's ugly head in the name of religion. Sadly communism couldn’t cure us from our religious idiocy and whatever good it ever did for Kerala is now being slowly wiped off by the same party.

Now, why should I be blaming the Communists alone when the Congress itself is no better? But the difference is that the Communists used stay away from religion in the yesteryears while now we see them woo every religious leader ardently for votes. We now see all the parties lift and then lower these leaders as and when it suits them. And in turn these religious leaders think themselves to be greater than what they really are. We see them dictate to the faithful from their thrones; asking them to chose the party of their choice.

Kerala is still in shock after the news that the hands of a teacher was chopped off since he offended a certain section of the society. The incident happened some time back and caused much protests and furor. The said teacher was then arrested and continues to be under suspension from the college. But this punishment seemed not enough for a few and hence the unthinkable happened. And the family was threatened earlier too. Now, I am not supporting this teacher if he thought that his religion is above any criticism so as to throw mud on another. But from the facts that I gathered over the net, I read that the play from which he copied the offending part was written by a Muslim himself. It seems the original author himself witnessed a mad man speak thus to God and this was turned into a play. Somehow the name got changed to Mohamed which as you know is the most common name for a Muslim. Honestly speaking, I am not sure if this teacher intentionally changed it but our Education Minister called him a stupid teacher. Well, he could be stupid, but when did one start measuring levels of stupidity only for religious matters? One can point out much sillier, stupider species in his own ministry and not to mention in other political parties too. Can we say “off with their heads/hands/legs/tongue”?

And when did we start behaving like the ancient world or the ones not so far from our country's border?

And if there are sinister elements behind this to disrupt the communal harmony in Kerala then it is time to act.  But I do see a lull among the political parties. Are they scheming to turn this around for their own political gains?

Let me hope that the law of the land rises to the occasion and punishes the culprits.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


The other day I was watching a Food & Travel show hosted by the famous Padma Lakshmi. She was in Udipi and inside a 400 year old kitchen. I googled to know more about this temple which gives free food for all devotees irrespective of caste, color, religion or whatever divisions the world has given to the human being over the years. I could not get more information and the closest find was the Dharmashala and the Krishna temple. Upon searching for Dharmashala, I was delighted to land on GVK’s blog and a blog post that I had missed reading. He has given an account of his visit to the Dharmashala and put up some pictures too for the readers.

To many, Udupi brings to mind the lovely vegetarian “thali”.

We have these restaurants here in Kuwait too, though I am not sure if they are indeed serving authentic “Udipi” meal . But it is only when you eat such a meal do you realize how vegetables can be cooked in a variety of ways and how delicious it is to eat them. I read the following on the Udipi cuisine: This cuisine was developed by Shivalli Madhwa Brahmins who cooked food for Lord Krishna, and at Krishna Matha in Udupi, the food is provided free. I was much intrigued to know that it was the pujaris themselves who cooked these meals and that these meals are given to all and sundry free of cost. Normally none is allowed inside this kitchen but I do know how Padma was given an entry. But it provided a good look inside one of the oldest functioning kitchen in the world and one could see big pots and pans and the poojaris in various stages of cooking. The meal was also served by them and it was done so efficiently. The speed at which the rice and accompaniments were served on the banana leaf to the waiting devotees is awesome. I hear that more than 1000 are fed thus daily. ( I could not get more information on this anywhere and hence I am assuming that this is a daily affair)

The money for this is from the devotees themselves. I am also not sure if there are many such temples which provide free meals. The idea itself is very heart warming. Since India has a long way to go on hunger and poverty, I am hoping that more places of worship catch up on this idea. The closest to this that I have come across in a Church is during special days like Easter, Good Friday etc. But then the food is served only to the devotees.

While thinking about the money that the faithful puts into the coffers of famous pilgrimage centers, would it not do wonders if it was used to feed the needy! After all, isn’t the need of food the most basic and the most important, unless of course you have acquired the skills of the Swamis who claim to eat nothing. And I believe it would be only a few who would continue depending on this since most would eventually stand on their own feet. And it is also a fact that believers of all religion give happily to a Temple/Church/Mosque more readily than to a real person in need. And the sad fact is that we seldom care what happens to this money. Some of us believe ardently that building a Church worth crores is more important than giving the same money to the poor.

But then isn’t it only a wishful thinking? And my dreams of seeing for example the Christian priests cook and serve food to strangers needs to be squashed right away before I am accused of mental illness :)

Source: Wikepedia

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