Tuesday, December 26, 2006 Vishaal 1 Comments

Date:26 Dec 2004
Local Time:7:58:53
Earthquake on Richter Scale: 9.1 - 9.3
Location: West of Sumatra coast
Lost: 2,29,866
Dead: 1,86,983
Nationalities: 43
Toll In Indonesia:1,30,736
Injured: 1,25,000
Missing: 42,883
Displaced: 16.9 lakhs
Countries affected on 3 Continents: 15-18
Women victims compared to men: 4 times

From Vijaytimes Bangalore


This Christmas Bedecking with Paper

Saturday, December 16, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Gold money cli...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
With Christmas around the corner it is time to get decorative in attire. And, what better than natural jewellery, that is amazingly eye-catching in prettiness?

The trinkets in question are of modest paper, made by Ms Juliet Neussl a Siolim resident settled for long in far-away Austria. Down for a small stay, the lady dropped in at office, obviously to publicise her wares prior to a 10-day long exhibition. But, nobody minded because she had something really original to offer.

Capable of drawing admiring gasps, the ornaments looked nothing like nondescript paper. On the contrary, the gold and silver neck pieces in the cache, shone as if they were in precious metals. While, the long and dangling earrings were equally bold in making a fashion statement. Quite a smart way to cut down expenditure in jewellery, these recessionary times, we all exclaimed.

Apparently, this is not the first time that Goans are being treated to the talented artist's line. There has been an exhibition before, one learns- in November 2007- which received "a very good response."

Eager to explain her work, Ms Neussl says, "I make art out of nothing. My jewellery is made from pieces of broken pots, glass or waste material." Further, "they are well-crafted, finished pieces sold in the European market with Greece as the biggest buyer," we are informed.

So, how did she land in Austria, a place with relatively few Indians? "In the eighties there were plenty of my friends migrating abroad. I wanted to be different and go somewhere unusual. So, coming across an advert for a gold-smith course, decided to opt for it," is the reply. In the course of time, marriage to a resident Austrian followed and now there is a family of three kids to go back to.

What about Goa, does she miss it? "Of course!" is the fervent response.What you have in Goa you can never get anywhere else in the world, says Ms Neussl before adding "it is the place where I feel most at home."

Thus like all expatriate Goans, our lady gold smith carries bottles of rechaddo masala in the suitcases for everybody in Austria which is polished off in no time. About her jewellery, our visitor signs off with, The ornaments on display are all made in my factory in Austria. In the future, I plan to spend more time in Goa. Perhaps, I may start manufacturing them here although there are no plans to start stocking them with local outlets for the moment."
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Hockey In Doldrums

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 Vishaal 1 Comments

What is becoming of the great Kapil Dev? He has now joined the bandwagon of those who are bemoaning the dismal performance of the Indian cricket team. He says that this team can never expect to win the World Cup. Remember Kapil: Our World Cup winning team were never the favourites to win the Cup in 1983. Why are you blaming only Chappell for the stalemate? Remember not many teams, captains or coaches can take credit for the success against South Africa. This sort of discouragement and criticism are unwarranted prior to the World Cup.

The sad news is that India are out of medal contention in the Asian Games hockey for the first time in 48 years and that is not breaking news.


Creamy Drama

Friday, December 08, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Reservations were meant to be a stop-gap measure. But the stop-gap has attained permanancy. Each party is trying to outdo the next in wooing the weak. Paradoxically they want the weak to remain weak. Taking a cue from their leaders, the weak call themselves weak, even though they have become strong.

Reservation is a dope. The more they get, the more persistent will be the cry for more, yet more. It is a game whose end is near . In spite of its sacredness, our Constitution has been amended many times to appease minorities in lots of cases and all the successive governments have perpetuated this farce for nearly six decades.

The harsh reality is: reservationists will never become part of the mainstream unless they discard the label.

It is time these people call a halt to th politicians game. They can take a leaf from the history of Parsis and bluntly refuse the quota that comes their way . This will ease social pressures, and help them gain respectability from power groups.

The only people who capitalise on reservations are fairly well-to-do Dalits and OBCs. They exploit the opportunities available and don’t even allow the government to look for alternatives to raise the downtrodden. They simply refuse to give up their privileges but shed crocodile tears for the Dalits and the dispossessed.


Karkala & Lord Venkataramana

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 Vishaal 3 Comments

Karkala is a place in Udupi district, Karnataka, India and is located about 40 km from the city Udupi and about 450 km from Bangalore. The name Karkala has been derived from the Kannada word karikallu, meaning black stones.

Karkala is a town of historical importance and a famous pilgrim centre for Jains. The famous single stone 42-foot (13 m) statue Gomateshwara is located about 1 km from the center of the town. There are about 18 Jain basadis here. The statue is the second tallest in the State.

Each year, thousands flock Lord Venkatramana temple in Karkala with the firm belief in the deity's power to grant wishes. Better known as 'Padu Tirupathi' , Lord Venkatramana temple is considered the main deity of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins.

Legend has it that a family of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins brought Lord Venkatramana's statue along with them while migrating from Goa. As they decided to settle down in Karkala, the family built a temple for the Lord and started worshipping him here.

When the rulers of Mangalore attacked the temple, the priests saved the main idol and other valuables by throwing them down a well in Mulki. As things cooled down, they could retrieve the belongings of the temple except for the main deity. However, a person in Mulki found the statue in the well, which was taken as an indication that the Lord wanted to stay there, instead of in Karkala.

It's said that the Lord appeared in people’s dreams and asked them to leave his statue with residents of Mulki. He seemed to have reassured them that a hermit would present them his statue in which he resides.

As told by him, a hermit, who was a staunch devotee of Lord Venkatramana from Tirupathi, came to Karkala and presented the Lord's statue with the condition that the proceeds of the temple be given to Tirupathi. Heeding to the condition, people of Karkala undertake a pilgrimage to Tirupathi each year to present the temple's proceeds.

Since the rites and rituals at the Karkala temple are similar to that of Tirupathi, it is regarded as Tirupathi in the West (while the original shrine is located in the east). So, it's called Padu (or West) Tirupathi. A ritual called Vanabhojan is conducted each year, when the deity is taken to Lake Ramasamudra and is kept facing Tirupathi.

This is done as the deity can't be taken to Tirupathi itself, to comply with the hermit's condition. Presenting the offerings to Tirupathi at Karkala itself had been an old custom. In the past, these proceeds were also given to Tirupathi once in 12 years. Although this is no longer in practice, it is said that people still present their offerings to Tirupathi here. In front of Lord Venkatramana's shrine lies a Hanuman temple, whose statue towers over 15 feet.

It's said that this statue was found under the grounds of Annekere (near Karkala), when it was dug. Tippu Sultan was among the ardent devotees of this Hanuman; the silver ornament he had offered to the Lord is still seen around his neck.

Several legends illustrate Lord Venkatramana's power to grant wishes. One of them happened in 1912, when the British government at Madras decided to make Moodbidri instead of Karkala the taluk head quarters, which disappointed people here. They prayed to the deity. When a British officer was on his way to Karkala for re-inspection of the place, as he crossed Moodbidri, all of a sudden his horse collapsed and died on the spot. Somehow he managed to reach Karkala.

On reaching there, he paid a visit to Lord Venkatramana’s temple. After the visit, the British officer dropped the idea of making Moodbidri the taluk headquarters and decided on Karkala. Such are the miracles of the Lord. Right outside the sanctum-sanctorum (garba-griha) of the temple, there are four massive stone pillars decorated with exquisite carvings.

More Photographs and Info

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Tags: karkala, , Venkataramana, , Gomateshwara,


Mass Meditation

Monday, December 04, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi claims that-

"simultaneous mass meditation creates a wave effect that calms the world, influences stock markets, decreases crime rates and prompts other positive societal behavior." (Link)



Wednesday, November 29, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Shigmo is a joyous festival that welcomes the arrival of spring. Like the Holi festival celebrated across the rest of the country, Shigmotsav is celebrated in Goa and is also marked by a similar exuberance of spirit and a bright array of colours that symbolize the rich hues of spring.

Every year around the Month of March, the streets of Panjim come alive in a spectacle which in recent years surpasses even that of Carnival. From 5 - 6pm in the evening until the early hours of the next day, select streets in Panjim are blocked and for hours crowds of young and old, rich and poor, Hindu and Christian, gather and watch as the Shigmo parade winds through the crowded streets.

Long before Christianity made itself a lasting presence of the shores of Goa, Hinduism was the major religion practiced by Goa's people and even today two-thirds of Goans adhere to the Hindu faith. The Hindu pantheon is divided into three - Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. While Brahma has taken a back seat, most followers of of Hinduism divide themselves into two main sects - Vaishnavites and Shaivites.

Shigmo, besides being an amazing form of entertainment, is also a cultural exhibition of Goa's history from time immemorial upto the present day. The procession begins with the brass bands reminiscent of the Maratha conquerors, followed by a series of Kunbi Folk-Dances performed by village tribal women bedecked in gold and brightly-coloured sarees.

Men marching with poles to the beat of drums, others dancing with decorated umbrellas, both sexes parading in elaborate costumes representing various deities; all can be seen during the Goan Shigmo Parade.

The procession culminates in a line of illuminated
floats atop which larger-than life mechanical figures
represent important deities and some even re-enact their heroic deeds.


Shocking !

Monday, November 27, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

I am an ardent fan of the Indian cricket team and I am one of the billion cricket fans across this vast country called India. When India plays, this country spreads to every nook and corner of the world where Indians live...... In short India is a truly global country when it comes to cricket.

Every one of the Indian fans has an opinion about how the game should be run and every Indian cricketer knows this.

I loved the way Chappell used to speak about his dream and the process which he wanted to put in place for the Indian team, when he applied for the Job of coaching India. I loved the way he presented his concepts and thoughts to the Board of Cricket and then the way he interacted with the Media. I believe I was not the only one to think that he had a plan and would see that our team would progress well under him. I was one among those who praised too early the "initial success" of Chappell. I did not pause to think that it was only the momentum of a team already built by my favourite Indian Coach, a certain, John Wright. It was not yet Greg's team.

Over the past few months the defeats of the Indian team have been mounting.... I still continued to believe that Chappell would turn things around. The team would rally under Dravid and once again we would regain the momentum. The performance of the team in the DLF cup was an aberration.. we would do well in India. The Champions trophy will be won by my team. But then we could not make it even to the Semis... there was something missing in the team... Could I be mistaken? Have we lost the steel we had under Ganguly? No... Maybe we were expecting miracles from an inexperienced bowling line up. ( I conveniently forgot that the same bowling lineup had decimated the Sri Lankan, Pakistani and English teams on feather bed pitches).

Sachin was back in form and was performing as he used to in the past. He was playing strokes that we as a country had thought he had forgotten. He was not as consistent but then the joy of watching the master was back.(It was a pain to see him play like a mere mortal after the last world cup).

But where were the others? What had happened to Sehwag? What about Dravid? Why was the wall crumbling? Was the Steel getting corroded? Pathan? Where was Swing? The Akram of India ? Was he in hibernation? How could a player with such immense self-confidence lose it all of a sudden? As these things were pointed out again and again by the opposition teams , a small doubt crept in... Was the Chappell agenda a farce? Did we put our trust in a Coach who was inexperienced to chart out a course for a country at this level?

Then came the Debacle of Durban. When had we last seen our team crumble without a fight? I couldn't recall a score of less than 100 that India had scored in the near past and had to go all the way back to Sharjah and Mutthaih Muralitharan's wonderful 7 wicket haul as India were bundled out for 54. But 91 all out was not the point. Better teams have scored less. It was the manner in which they crumbled that was sad to see. The commentators started pointing out Technical flaws, of which I am no expert, so I can't comment about them. But what is the job of a coach then? Shouldn't he be the one to see that the errors are stopped before they creep in?

Of course adjusting to the bounce and pace at Durban has been difficult for most teams, let alone the ones from the sub-continent... so I let go my doubts and waited for the next game. India had a better record at the Newlands and we would come roaring back into contention for the Series trophy.

And joy oh joy.... Zaheer was menacing as we rolled over the top order and rolled over the middle order and we were going to dish out the South Africans a taste of their own medicine... We were going to bowl them out within Hundred... Oh ! The wonders of cricket! The Joy of cricket! wait a minute... Was that not a catch that Sachin dropped? Kemp was on 9! Wasn't that a dolly that Sachin dropped? Ah forget it ... Another will be held... They will get out within 150... We have good bowlers.. experienced bowlers in the likes of Kumble and the first choice spin bowler Harbhajan Singh. But then things panned out differently.. As it happened " Sachin drops Kemp" became the turning point. Ah what a magnificent hitter of the cricket ball... but relax we have our own. Do not worry 274 is chaseable.

But then what happened? Sehwag gone.... Sachin gone.... Kaif gone.... Karthick gone.... Dravid back in form?... Dhoni Blasting into form .... Team India flatters to deceive again.

Now I have serious doubts .... loads of questions... It has been a shocking turnaround over the past 6 months.... a team which was number 3 in the ODI rankings has slipped so badly....

  • What is the reason?

  • Aren't they the same team members?

  • Why was Karthick chosen over 3 other specialist batsmen?

  • Why is Sehwag given so many chances when Ganguly ( I am no Ganguly fan or supporter) was pushed out for the same reason?

  • Why did we not bowl Sachin or Sehwag when they were going after our Seamers?

  • What was the plan of sending Karthick ahead of Dhoni?

  • What was our Chairman of Selectors doing?

  • Was that Chappell sleeping in the pavilion?

The Indian fan is now very desperate and lonely. Our team is not performing. the World Cup dreams seem to be fading away. Chappell once said..."The World Cup of Cricket is not the be all and end all of Indian cricket, we have to prepare for the cricket after that too..." or something along those lines.... Does it mean that we do not want to win the World Cup? Are we going to end up like the current England Cricket team who unlike us have focused only on the Ashes and have no Ashes and no other trophy in their cupboard... Will we end up as an also ran.......

I still am a Chappell fan... but might not be for long..... But for Team India.... I will support till the end....


The Time Traveler’s Wife

Monday, November 27, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Audrey Niffenegger

Reading sci-fi has been one of my habits from younger (or toddler) days which unfortunately stayed on (proves that the innocent child is still alive and kicking inside adult me! DISCLAIMER: I am a male, if you wonder). Curious about the strange title, I picked it up and read a bit from the back cover. "How bizarre!" - It was the first thought that crossed my mind when I read that the main character Henry is suffering from a genetic condition which makes him travel through time. My medical knowledge revolted at such a weird concept.

I decided to give it another chance. I was curious to know why any doctor will find it interesting. So, I read a bit more about the plot. "Fascinating" - my mind reflected in a sudden U-turn! This book was not about time travel, nor does it have anything to do with science fiction. It is same age old love story with a novel twist. Henry is in love with Claire, but at the same time he is suffering from this time travel disease which makes him travel to and fro in time. He has absolutely no control over these travels and they can be precipitated by almost anything. The only thing that is consistent is that in every such travel through time, he always ends up with his wife. So he can be with his wife at different stages of her life, and the author has dealt with such an unusual concept with an imagination which is beyond comparison. After a couple of chapters I even wondered whether it is possible for any human being to imagine such an impossible thing in such detail. The powerful focus of the book on the dynamics of such a relationship makes one wonder whether the author suffered from such a disease itself? The narratives, the intricacies of their relationship with varying time, are simply enough food for my mind to last a lifetime. Henry interacts with Claire at all possible ages, right from when she was three.

It made me think. I made me think a lot. About time, about our ignorant relationship with time, about the change in our relationships with someone we love with time. Every time Henry took that involuntary leap into the past, I glided along to see my own past. It’s amazing to see the myriad of possibilities which open up in the past when you arrive there with current intellect. You learn a lot along time, taking this experience along with you, to your past, is just one thing we wish to have with us many a times (in simple words: hindsight). And if you can apply this knowledge, this experience, this intellect to the past of relationships, you do not make those mistakes... In fact, you tend to make new mistakes then... and that gives you a new mirror for your present... a new perspective.

Like the theme of the book, I wonder how fascinating will it be if we can just hop into our past with one such person, relive the best times together, fall in love again... to come back to present with those thoughts still fresh... the corroding effect of time on relationships won't be there then, isn't it?


Beauty and brains

Thursday, November 23, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

During the past few years Indian women have dominated the world beauty contests and we have Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Ray, among others. Of late Indian women writers have also come into prominence by winning awards like the Booker Prize. We have Arundhati Roy and now Kiran Desai winning the coveted Booker Prize for her book, The Inheritance of Loss. The latter’s mother Anita Desai, also has been nominated thrice for the Booker award. This shows that Indian women excel both in beauty and brains


Best Bond after Connery

Monday, November 20, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Film : Casino Royale
Cast : Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench
Director : Martin Campbell

James Bond is dead! Long live James Bond!

IT IS official. Daniel Craig and Casino Royale have kicked the ageing franchise out of its comatose existence. But is the kick so strong that it marks the beginning of the end for James Bond? Only time will tell.

Casino Royale takes us back to the beginning. James Bond (Craig) has just been promoted to ‘00’ status, he now has the license to kill. He celebrates it by blowing up a foreign embassy in Madagascar, breaking into his boss M’s residence and flying off to the Bahamas on the trail of an international terrorist financier. He then enters a very-high-stakes poker game at Casino Royale with the monetary aid of the British Treasury, whose agent Vesper Lynd (Green) makes it a bit difficult for him to concentrate on the game.

Daniel Craig’s selection as the next 007 was greeted with the hostility usually reserved for Osama and Bush. He was written off before a single scene was filmed. Let us collectively eat mud pie. He is the best Bond since Connery and the most plausible Bond ever. Discarding the slick playboy image, Craig brings to the screen a reckless, ruthless attitude reminiscent of Mel Gibson in

Lethal Weapon . Bond does not bother about his attire and (gasp!) he couldn’t care if his martinis are shaken or stirred. In short, he is the most original of all the Bonds that followed the original.

Eva Green displays a luminous presence, but her character is one-dimensional. Mads Mikkelsen is boring, while Judy Dench brings nothing new. The only other interesting person is professional parkour (freestyle running) star S├ębastien Foucan, whose art is as amazing as it is unbelievable.

Casino Royale is a very bold Bond movie. Credit should go to screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, ‘script reworker’ Paul Haggis (Crash) and director Martin Campbell. Unfortunately, they chose the wrong story. How thrilling can you make a poker game? After an initial buildup, the entire second half is anti-climactic. For action seekers, James Bond may be more human, but he has lost the license to thrill. Casino Royale could end up being a critic’s delight and the common man’s poison. If the cash registers don’t ring enough, we know how the next Bond movie will be. Which is a shame, because this experiment deserves a longer innings.


Bloody Indians ! We Finally Get It Right ! !

Friday, November 17, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Bloody Indians! is what Angelina Jolie's bodyguards reportedly said to the parents, whom they abused and manhandled. And imagine, these are the same people, the Pune police (obviously Indians) had provided them with Y Class security even though they are a Nobody!

This can happen only in India that an outsider can come and call us Bloody Indians and the police standing will listen patiently. What would happen if an Indian had done the same in the US or UK. Remember a few years ago, post 9/11 when our then defence minister Mr.George Fernandes was asked to strip down at a US airport! When a person of that repute can be asked to do a thing which is against protocol, I believe an ordinary Indian would maybe have jailed if he had called the security at the airport 'Bloody Americans'.

Please tell me, who is Angelina Jolie!! What is the claim to fame of jolie, other than being perceived as sexy?? An emaciated Jolie by any Indias standard is no beauty queen to throw so many tantrums. What the heck ! Give a close look at Angelina & another one to any of Ash, Rani, Riya etc, etc. Its always been like this. We always bend down on our knees for the fair skinners.

If she feels she is so insecure in the outside world she better stay at home.And then i wonder about all the drama of being a UN ambassador. Angelina and UN Goodwill Ambasador, doesn't that sound a bit weird? How is she going to gain any goodwill if she and her bodyguards are not prepared to interact with people. If she values her privacy then she should have sat at home and done washin, cooking & mopping before deciding to jump into acting bandwagon.

The school authorities are to be blamed for all this and should also be put behind bars. How can they allow shooting during school timings thereby endangering school children's lives and making a fast buck out of it. They should have done it on a weekly off(Sunday) if they were so hard pressed for money.

Indian police for the first time has taken the right action on the appropriate time by arresting the three men. But i guess nothing is going to happen after this. The British Embassy will take this with our govt and our Indian govt will be more than happy to release them (Recollect: Purulia arms drop case??).


Apna Sapna Money Money

Thursday, November 16, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Film : Apna Sapna Money Money
Cast : Riteish Deshmukh, Celina Jaitley, Shreyas Talpade, Kim Sharma, Anupam Kher
Director: Sangeeth Sivan
APNA Sapna Money Money revolves around a bunch of characters that eat, drink, sleep and worship money, and their counterparts, the people of a poor suburb in Mumbai. A fastpaced tongue-in-cheek comedy that just escapes being cheap, a sometimes confusing assortment of interesting characters, the plot revolves around a mechanic, a conman, a club dancer, an upright cop, an obsessed father and his homely daughter, atabela owner, a ruthless gangster, a deadly don and his moll and a cute unpredictable dog. A journey filled with rib-tickling moments throughout.

A hilarious journey, a limitless quest for money, and a tale of love, both requited and unrequited; the money swings around them and creates amusing and maddening circumstances. A dramatic turn evolves when all the characters start looking for hidden diamonds that are worth crores. Greed, craze, obsession, fun takes over. A veritable crazy-house of crime, love and complete nuttiness. A complete masti

filled movie with enjoyable, unhummable songs, yet a full paisa vasool for the aam janta .


Varamahalakshmi Vratha

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

VARAMAHALAKSHMI Vratha is celebrated all over south India on the second Friday of

Shravana month. Origin of this Vratha dates back to the Vedic age. Lord Shiva describes the glory of this Vratha in Skanda Purana. On this day, the Divine Mother Mahalakshmi (wife of Lord Vishnu and Goddess of wealth) is worshipped since she is the abode of all auspiciousness and prosperity.

Significance : On this auspicious day, married women worship Goddess Mahalakshmi and pray for prosperity, peace and happiness for their families and long life for their husbands.

The process of the Vratha : Goddess Lakshmi is invoked in a Kalasha (a silver pot) filled with rice and dry fruits or water and coins as the custom may be. The Kalasha is placed on a bed of rice before the Rahukalam , signifying the entry of the Goddess into the house. Coconut smeared with sandal paste, vermillion and turmeric is placed on the silver pot with fresh mango leaves around it.

An image of the Goddess made of different materials, especially of silver, is affixed to the Kalasha, which is deemed to be the Goddess herself.

The ritual : The Goddess of wealth is decorated with various flowers, jewellery and a new silk saree. She is also offered cash, gold and other valuables. Married woman wear new sarees and perform the pooja with their husbands and seek the blessings of the Divine Mother for prosperity, progeny and good health. The sacred yellow thread is tied on right wrist after performing the Vratha.

Celebration : Women folk from the family and neighbourhood are invited for the Arathi in the evening and offered vermilion or kum-kum.

Married women perform the Varamahalakshmi Vratha with strict observance of certain practices and austerities and remain on a fast.

Those who do not perform the Vratha , celebrate the festival in a simple way by offering pooja to Mahalakshmi.

Festival Menu : Normally, Holige is prepared on this auspicious day and offered as naivedhyam to the Goddess. Payasam, chitranna and other sweets form the menu.

As the name Varamahalakshmi goes, indeed the Goddess Mahalakshmi bestows a boon on all those who worship her.

Tags: varamahalakshmi, vratha, , , , mahalakshmi



Wednesday, November 15, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Coming close on the heels of Holi, Ugadi marks the beginning of New Year. The festival is celebrated with great fervour in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. While it is known as Ugadi in Andhra and Karnataka, it is celebrated as Gudipadava in Maharashtra. Keralites celebrate the New Year with Vishu and Tamilians call it Varshapirappu.

Vishu kani

Ugadi derives its name from Yuga Aadi (Yuga and Aadi means beginning of new age) and marks the beginning of Vasanth Ruthu (spring). It also symbolises new life. For the festival, preparations begin a week ahead. Houses are washed thoroughly and people purchase new clothes. Entrance of houses are decorated with fresh mango leaves. Poojas are conducted.

Ugadi is also considered to be the most auspicious time to start new ventures. People consume Bevu (neem) and Bella (jaggery). The inner significance of this is to indicate that life is indeed a mixture of good and bad, joy and sorrow.

Preparations for the festival begin a week ahead. Houses are given a complete wash. Raw mangoes spread its aroma in the air during the season and fully blossomed neem trees makes the air healthy. Special dishes are prepared for the occasion. Jaggery with sugarcane adds a renewed flavour to Ugadi. Ugadi Pachchadi is synonymous with the festival. It is made of new jaggery, raw mango pieces and neem flowers and new tamarind.

In Andhra Pradesh, eatables such as pulihora, bobbatlu and preparations made with raw mango are a must on the occasion. In Karnataka too, puliogre and holige are the specialties. Maharashtrians make puran poli or sweet rotis. With raw mango available in abundance only during the two months of April/May, people in Andhra Pradesh make good use of mangoes to last until the next season. They pickle the mangoes with salt, powdered mustard and powdered dry red chilli and a lot of oil to float over the mangoes. This preparation is called avakai and lasts for a whole year.

In Tamil Nadu, varshapirappu is celebrated with pooja and elaborate cooking. Some of the delicacies include payasam, mango pacchadi, curd Pacchadi and vadai.

In Kerala, Vishu is celebrated in a traditional manner. Keralites follow the custom of viewing Vishukani (the lucky sight) at 3 a.m. Vishukani is later taken and distributed among the poor.

People wear new clothes (kodi vastram) and the elders of the family distribute tokens of money to the children, servants and tenants. These tokens are called Vishukaineetam and are usually in the form of coins. People carry on this custom believing that in this way, children will be blessed with prosperity in future.

The families then celebrate the day with gay abandon by bursting crackers after seeing the Vishukani. The feast or the sadya is prepared and relished by the family. Dishes are prepared from vegetables and fruits like jackfruits, mangoes, pumpkins, a variety of gourds, and coconuts apart from varieties of payasam.

Devotees throng temples like Guruvayur, Sabarimala and Padmanabha Shetram. Special pujas are held in these temples where people go to worship and pray for a prosperous New Year. They also view the Vishukani prepared in the temples.

For Vishukani, konna pua (yellow laburnum flower), fruits like jackfruit and mangoes, vegetables like gourds and snake gourds, ornaments made of gold, bell metal mirror with a white pleated cloth tied to its handle (supposedly used by Goddess Parvati), the traditional bronze vessal Uruli filled with rice, items used for daily worship (asthamangalam), clothes with pure gold zari, a split coconut, some coins in a silver cup, some water in od, a traditional vessel and a grantha, which is a palm leaf manuscript or the Bhagwat Gita are arranged.Vishukani is prepared by the oldest member of the family the night before Vishu and the family members supposed to view it only after midnight. The kani is place in front of an image of Lord Vishnu and diyas are lit.

Early morning, the oldest member of the family, after having viewed the kani and finished her puja, blindfolds each member of the family and sets them in front of the display. The idea being that all the members of the family view the Vishukani the first thing in the morning.

They first look at the image, then the yellow light of the diyas and the kani in the yellow vessels. So the dominant colour of the festival is yellow.

The Malayalees believe that viewing the kani ensures good fortune through out the coming year.

Tags: Vishu, Gudi padwa, Ugadi, , ,



Wednesday, November 15, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Sankranti marks the beginning of the Sun's journey to the Northern Hemisphere. Curiously, Sankranti is the only Indian festival that follows a solar calendar and not a lunar one. Also the day and night on Sankranti are exactly of equal hours.

The festival signals the onset of Uttarayana Punyakalam, an auspicious time in which people worship the sun and take holy dips in the Ganga. How typical of us to invent a simple ritual like bathing to shrug off our sins but the symbolism of the act also shows just how much we rely on Nature. For us, Nature is not just a mother goddess who sates our hunger and thirst, it is also a priestess who with her holy touch, cleanses our spirits. On Sankranti, devotees and believers in quick renewal indulge in a ceremonial cleansing in the Hooghly river, near Calcutta. Thousands head for the Sangam at Prayagraj where the rivers Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswathi flow together. It is also on this day every twelve years that the Great Kumbh Mela is held at Prayag. How significant this day is established by a Mahabharata legend according to which Beeshma Pitamaha lay on a bed of arrows and waited for the dawn of Uttarayana Punyakalam to give up his last breath so that he could depart from a sorrowful life and win freedom from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankranti most of all is a time for gratitude. Everywhere in the country, toiling farmers celebrate the onset of harvest with prayers of thankfulness. It is the time when Winter softens its chill and warmth begins to seep back in the air.

Like other traditional festivals, Sankranti also focuses on the rituals of cooking and sharing. The staple ingredients in Sankranti treats are til, jaggery and rice. In Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, rice dominates ethnic cuisines on this day. The sharing of til and jaggery laddoos in Maharashtra is symbolic of exchanging good will and spreading happy thoughts. Married women rejoice in Haldi-Kumkum ceremonies.

In Karnataka, the same ritual is repeated with just a little modification. Bits of sugarcane, fried til, molasses, pieces of dry coconut, peanuts and fried gram are shared. The gesture combines fruits of a rich harvest and conveys the interconnectivity of human beings with each other and with Nature.

The ritual also reaffirms the sweetness of old bonds and the initiation of new ones. The feeling of interconnectivity is also extended to farm animals like cows and bulls who are bathed and ornamented.

In Gujarat, rainbows of paper kites criss-cross sedate skies in celebration. In Tamil Nadu (where Sankranti is famously known as Pongal) and Andhra Pradesh too, Sankranti is celebrated with detailed rituals and festivities spread over nearly four days.

Traditional songs, fresh coats of white-wash on walls, heady

cooking smells, rangoli or kolam patterns outside decorated doors, infuse new life in jaded spirits and remove us from the prosaic minutae of everyday life. In Punjab, Lohri, another interpretation of a harvest festival is a spectacular time when crackling bonfires are built and all regrets of the past year along with offerings of abundance like sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown into the leaping flames.

The morning after is celebrated as Maghi. Village fairs, folk dances and sumptuous meals mark the day. Be it rice surging in boiling milk or soft til-polis or the smell of pure ghee wafting from humming kitchens or the coming together of strangers and relatives and friends and all the elements of Nature, Sankranti is basically about giving back a little of the bounty that Nature bestows on us. With festivals becoming less about sharing and more about wasteful expense and entire generations growing up without strong roots, Sankranti gives us an opportunity each year to rediscover the innocence of tradition, the symbolism of simple rituals and gratitude that tastes as sweet as sugarcane and teaches us never to take life's gifts for granted.

Tags: sankranti, , , uttarayana, ,


Xmas In Kerala

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 Vishaal 1 Comments

In December, the whole of Kerala plunges into a festive mood due to the presence of a huge Christian population in the state. But the birth of Christ is celebrated in different ways by different sects with the conservative Syrian Christians abstaining from non-vegetarian food while the Roman Catholics binging on ducks and chicken. The Anglo-Indians and Latin Christians have their own mode of celebrating Christmas.

Syrian Christian adhere to a strict vegetarian diet from Dec 1. For them the only decoration is a brightly lit star hung in front of their house. But with the present generation getting more and more Westernised, even the Syrian Christians’ front yard is now sported with artificial trees glittering through out the season.

More spirited are the Anglo-Indians and Latin Catholics of Kerala during the season with their Portuguese and Dutch influences giving a different hue to the celebration. They embellish their houses with stars, trees and crib brightly lit with lights of different colours. Christmas is also a festival to reckon with family get-together, carols and fireworks. Gourmets look forward to the day when the dining table bubble over with delicacies ranging from duck roast and chicken to pork vindaloo. From homemade goodies to plum cake from the local bakery, Christmas, with each passing generation, has witnessed trends and eating habits changing tremendously.

The highlight of the festival is the midnight mass, when the whole community gets together at the local church to pray. Later in the day, family members toast the day with cake and wine. The highlight of the day is the sumptuous meal of roast turkey or roast duck if the turkey is not available. Unlike Latin Catholics who opt for fish on Christmas day (thanks to their coastal ties), Anglo-Indians relish the day with a variety of meat preparations. Some of the exotic snacks like kulkuls, paitoonda, rose kokis, diamond cuts and the ambrosial dho dhol also has huge demand on that day. The elders also give away presents to youngsters.

The much-spirited goodwill and the message of ‘peace on earth’ is spread around with the young crooners of the community carolling in the crisp cool of the night. The festivities reaches its climax on Dec 31 when the fireworks rend the still of the night and ‘Ole Santa’ is burnt amid the rapturous crowd. Though shops proclaim reduction sales during the season, most of the members of the community do not think twice before stretching their purse strings a little further giving ‘Christmas comes once a year’ as the excuse.

No matter how old they are, Christians welcome the day of Christmas with the same innocence and gaiety they had as children for with the birth of Christ comes the message of peace and hope.

The angel’s message is as true today as it was 19 centuries ago, ‘‘Behold, I bring you good tidings... peace on earth and good will among men.’’

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Diwali a carnival of lights

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

It’s Diwali, the festival of lights. Diwali, or Deepavali, usually comes 18 days after Dasara.

The festival is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. But the message is invariably that of the victory of good over evil. After sundown on Diwali, homes light up with rows of blinking diyas and smoke and sparkle of crackers fill the yards.

Legend says, it was on this day that Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after 14 years of wanderings across forests, accompanied by his brother Laxman and wife Sita. That dark night, the citizens of Ayodhya greeted Ram with rows and rows of lighted lamps.

While the celebrations are centred mostly around this belief, there are other legends as well. In Gujarat, the festival is in honour of goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In West Bengal, it is in honour of Kali. In the South, there is also the legend of Narakasura the demon. He challenged Krishna to battle and after a fierce two-day long fight, the demon was killed. To commemorate this, on Diwali, pumpkins are smashed in homes to symbolise the death of evil and people smear vermilion on their foreheads. This is followed by the ritual of oil baths, prayers and visits to the temple.

Everyone at home gets up early. Have an oil massage and bath. Crackers bursting all around will wake us as early as 4 a.m. Everyone wears new clothes. There will be a long pooja – we sing bhajans and recite shlokas. My mom makes sweets and other snacks and these get distributed to neighbours, friends and relatives. In the evening, it’s time for more crackers.It was such fun in my childhood days. I remember how all of us –– cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents –– got together on Diwali. There would be poojas for two or three days before the festival day itself and on the final day, we had all the fun in the world.

Diwali remains one of the most-looked-forward-to festival for all the good times that it brings along.

Tags: , deepavali,


Festivals of India - Shivaratri

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

On Shivratri day in Rishikesh the urchins ten deep around the manjira man and dholki will lustily sing all night: “Humre Bhole Baba ko bhikari na samajhiyo. Humre Bhole Baba ke haath mein damru: damru ke sanga se madari na samajhiyo!” (Don’t take our Shiva for a beggar. Don’t mistake him for a bear-trainer by his drum). Further,”Humre Bhole Baba ke haath hai trishula: trishula ke sanga se samhari na samajhiyo!” (Don’t mistake him for a destroyer by the trishul in his hand) and “Humre Bhole Baba ke sanga hai Gauri: Gauri ke sanga se sansaari na samajhiyo! Humre Bhole Baba ko bhikari na samajhiyo.” (Don’t take him for a debauch because Gauri is by him. Don’t take our Shiva for a beggar).

This street song is a pretty neat philosophical text. It says that Shiva is not just a maker of lilas (divine play), a destroyer and a sensualist. He is all three: the mahayogin, bestower of great repose who also stirs things up with his creation, the grhasta or householder of the First Family, who preserves life and also bhairava, the fiery dissolver of creation, who unmakes to remake in time cycles. (So he’s not a ‘destroyer’, which is a finite, linear term). In the final analysis, he is the Supreme One who resolves all contradictions. It is to declare their faith in these three aspects of Shiva: thesis, antithesis, synthesis?

But informing all three activities is what drives the worldview of Shaiva Siddhanta: ‘Anbe Sivan’ (Tamil for ‘Shiva is Love’ or perhaps better, ‘Siva is Love itself’, expressed in Thirumoolar’s ’Thirumandiram’). Shiva stories are rarely cautionary tales that cruelly punish people for small oversights. If anything, Shiva is ‘Asutosh’, easily pleased, as I guess we love to remind ourselves. The least spark of sincerity and Shiva extends his hand to protect you, hence his affectionate name in north India, “Bhole Baba” and “Bhola Nath” (the Simpleton).

Maha Shivratri (the Great Night of Shiva) happens on the thirteenth night and fourteenth day of the dark half of the month of Phalgun (February-March). Shivratri is so highly personal that it’s not a family and neighbourhood tamasha like Holi-Diwali. Instead, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari (truly!) a devotee fasts all day and in the evening keeps an all-night vigil with visits to temples, pujas, aratis and bhajan-mandalis. The Shivling is offered chandan and bilva leaves and ritually bathed. The next day is all feasting.

In the Puranic origin myth, an evil hunter stays awake all night by a Shivling, unintentionally dropping water and bilva leaves on it. He earns great merit for his accidental devotion. And so it is that the thirteenth-fourteenth of each month is a little Shivratri, as a regular detox and build-up for the big one.

Tags: Shivaratri, , Puran,


Festivals of India - Dassehra

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Dassehra or Dasara is a 10-day-long colourful annual festival that celebrates the victory of the forces of good over the evil. Being a festival that worships the palpable power of a woman, Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped according to certain traditional practices. Goddess Saraswati who embodies knowledge, Durga symbolising dynamism and Lakshmi, an epitome of willpower are revered and offered prayers.

Dasara in Karnataka is known for its legendary
magnificence and splendour. Apart from the high profile Dasara processions, breathtaking illumination of the Mysore Palace, craft fairs, lights and exhibition, the festival has gathered enormous significance among the households as well. It is perhaps one of the few festivals in the country where pomp and show have not quite managed to steal away the real essence and meaning from it.

The festival comprises a long drawn series of poojas and arrangements for which preparations start much earlier. During the first three days, we do Durga pooja, then Lakshmi pooja and the last three days, we worship Saraswati. We invite guests and offer them Harishina Kumkuma. Pooja happens in the mornings and in the evenings, we make sweets and sundal.

It is a festival that is taken care of completely by the women in the family.

In Tamil Nadu, the nine-day Navaratri celebrations more or less resemble that of the Kannadigas. The festivities start after Ammavasai (full moon). Of the nine-day-celebrations, three days are dedicated to the worship of Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga. The day is celebrated to commemorate the death of demons in the hands of these three goddesses who killed them to save the people. Betel leaves, betel nuts, mirrors, combs, fruits and other gifts are given to guests on that day.

During the festival we make sundal with boiled green gram and keep kalasam, a small pot with a coconut on top. Later bommai kolu, which is arranging dolls on artificially constructed steps, is made and it is then decorated elaborately with lamps and flowers. We put up the bommai kolu on the first day of Navaratri and is removed on Vijayadashmi.

Navaratri celebrations end with Vijayadashmi, a day to worship goddess Saraswati. Books are placed in front of the goddess and pujas are done.

This is believed to be an auspicious day to start anything new. ‘‘Brahmins usually wear the nine-yard saree and have a special menu each day,’’says Bhuvaneswari Sriram.

Compared to other states, Dasara in Kerala is a low key affair. Vijayadasami is celebrated as Vidyarambham, marking ritualistic initiation of tiny tots into the world of art and letters.

This is done by writing the letters Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah Avignamastu and all the letters with a piece of gold on the tongue of the child. The child is also made to write the same letters with his index finger on raw rice kept in a steel plate and utter each word while writing it.

Either the father of the child or an eminent teacher officiates at this ritual. A lot of children get initiated into learning in temples dedicated to Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and learning on Vijayadasami.

Kochi adorns a special look due to the presence of Gujarati community. With Krishna, Devi and Jain temples close to each other, it is easier for these Gujaratis to celebrate their functions in all its grandeur. Bharat Khanna, board member of Gujarati Mahajan, Parwana Mukh, Kochi, says ‘‘every year in Kochi, we celebrate Navratri in a very traditional way, unlike in Mumbai. We have the ladies’ Garba in the evening and men join them later in the night. The women will fast through out the day and on the ninth day of the festival, we immerse the Devi idol in a river or the backwaters.’’

The Brahmin community in several parts of Kerala also celebrate Navaratri with grandeur.

In Andhra Pradesh is season for the devout. Big or small, every village, town or city has a temple of Goddess Durga/Shakti. Starting from day one of the festival, the Goddess is decorated in one of the incarnations like Balatripura Sundari, Gayatri, Annapurna, Saraswati and Mahalakshmi. Special pujas are performed on each day. On the ninth day, the jammi tree is worshipped. Devotees write their wishes on paper slips and attach to the tree in anticipation of getting them fulfilled.

In Hindu homes, Dasara is celebrated with great reverence, especially by the women. There is the nine-day puja ritual wherein the Goddess is worshipped with offerings of one particular colour each day. For instance, on the first day, Rajarajeswari puja is performed by offering dark blue saree, blue bangles and flowers. Another interesting tradition that’s in vogue in Telangana is Batakamma. It is a floral arrangement in the shape of a cone.

This is believed to be Goddess Gowri. Starting from Amavasya, village belles prepare Batakammas, congregate at the temple pond and leave it in the water. On the ninth day, huge Batakammas are prepared. But that’s about tradition. The present generation doesn’t have time for rituals. The festival and its significance is reduced to new clothes and festival delicacies.

Tags: Dassehra, , , , , Mysore Palace, , , navaratri, vijaydashmi


Festivals of India - Durga Puja

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

It’s in Autumn that Hindus celebrate Durga Puja, the main festival of Eastern India.

The festival attains greater prominence in West Bengal. In the past, Goddess Durga used to be worshipped only during Spring. The scriptures say that Lord Rama worshipped Goddess Durga during the battle with Ravana, to rescue Sita. The prominence of Durga worship has a telling connection to this.

In West Bengal, Durga Puja is celebrated for five days. It is one of the main festivals of the Bengalis. Women shop for the entire family and relatives much before the commencement of the puja. On the first day, the Sosti Puja, Bengalis have Debir Bodhon to welcome the goddess in the evening. A puja is performed by the Ghata Stapon where the image is brought to life. This is called Pran Pratishthan.

On the second day or the Shoptomi, Bengalis begin the puja after the Nobo Patrika - the binding of branches of nine trees together. Then, the assortment is bathed in the Ganga, after which it is draped in a red-bordered white saree and placed beside Lord Ganesh. Later, the Saptaari Puja is performed according to the auspicious timing, i.e. according to the lunar position. On the third day comes the Moha Oshtomi Puja. The last 24 minutes of Oshtiomi Tithi and the first 24 minutes of the Mobomir Tithi ’follow and then, the Shomdhi Puja is performed, with all its rituals, including an arati and lighting of 100 lamps.

On this evening, a virgin girl who hasn’t reached her puberty is worshipped as the Goddess incarnate. This is the Kuari Puja. Moha Shakti is a puja which symbolises woman power - The Shakti. On the fourth day with Nobomi Puja, a Yagna or havan is performed marking the completion of the puja and dedicating to the Goddess. That’s Aahuti, summarising the three-day offerings.

On all the above four days of puja, women of Bengali families play a vital role. The women on the first day of the puja welcome the goddess with Ulurdhoni and blow the Shonkho (conch). In all the puja days, women prepare the wicks for the oil lamps and also light up the lamps, with the blowing of conch. The women also lend a helping hand in the puja by cutting fruits for ‘prasad’ and such chores.

On the fifth day, on Doshomi (Dasara) marked as a day of immersion a puja is performed in the morning. The earthen pot placed in front of the Goddess is shaken by the priest to mark the end of the festival.

Then the priest walks around the idol a few times after which a sound ritual is performed by the women called the Shidur Kheia and Debir Boron.

Here, married women get together and smear vermilion on the forehead of the Goddess and offer sweets and betel leaves.

The women also wipe the face of the Goddess with the betel leaves to mark farewell and keep the rest of the vermilion at home to welcome the Goddess next year and seek blessing so that they can spend the rest of the year happily.

They later break into a revelry by applying Sindoor on each other and wishing a happy and long married life, saying Shubho Bijoya. The idols are taken to Ganga with music bands accompanying the procession, and are immersed in the river.

The women then cheerfully join the immersion procession, singing and dancing all the way.

But much more than the festivities, it’s the celebration of Shakti, the ultimate woman power which lends a definitive touch of difference to Dasara.

Tags: Durga puja, , , , , , dassehra


Festivals of India - Pongal

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 Vishaal 1 Comments

Sankranti is termed Pongal in Tamil Nadu and falls in the month of January (Thai). Pongal literally means boiling over. It is traditionally celebrated at the time of harvest of crops and hence is a celebration of the richness associated with the event.

It is being celebrated for four days. Therefore the month of Thai is considered to be an auspicious month for every kind of activity. The houses are white washed and decorated and the kolams (Rangoli) are drawn at the entrance of the house to welcome the guests.

At the centre of the kolam is a lump of cow-dung is put with a five-petalled pumpkin flower, which is a symbol of fertility. The Sun God is worshipped during this festival. The four-day festival starts with Bhogi celebrated on January 13, Pongal on on January 14, Mattu Pongal on January 15 and Thiruvalluvar Day on January 16.It is the time when the people get ready to thank God, earth and their cattle for the wonderful harvest and celebrate the occasion with joyous festivities and rituals.

During the first day -- Bhogi, the house is cleaned and all the waste materials are collected and burned, representing the destruction of iniquity. The second day is dedicated to Sun God, wherein the dish called Pongal, a dish with new rice, dal, jaggery, dry fruits, sugar and milk is cooked in a new clay pot in the open and allowed to boil over, and laid before Sun God and pray him to give them joy and peace throughout the year.

This is offered to the Sun God and taken as prasad. When the rice is boiled and when the water comes up in the clay pot and spills down, there is a strong belief associated with it which, represents the good and bad omen in the house. The third day is devoted to worship of cattle-- Mattu Pongal, since cattle are considered to be the most vital contributors for agriculture related activities.

During the Mattu Pongal Day, women would pray for the welfare of their brothers which is called Kanu Pongal. The fourth day is devoted to Thiruvalluvar.

In addition, the most significant aspect of festival is an event known as Jellikattu. The villagers try to catch the horns of ferocious bulls and try to get the money tied to their horns.

Those days an individual who catches a bull would be considered to be a brave and courageous person.

When the harvest is over, the Tamils express their gratitude to gods, the earth and their cattle through this auspicious festival known as Pongal.

Tags: sankranti, pongal, , bhogi


First 15 Cricket Blogs

Thursday, November 09, 2006 Vishaal 2 Comments

01. The Corridor
  • On the boundary-edge of the corridor of uncertainty. It’s about cricket.

02. Wicket to Wicket
  • Where Cricket writers Talk


04. Cricket India
  • A blog on Indian Cricket.

05. It's Only Cricket!

06. King Cricket
  • Things about cricket explained using words. Words used to explain things about cricket.

07. The Burnt Bail
  • An irreverent look at all things cricket. From Botham's belly to Freddie's sunglasses and everything in between.

08. Cricket 24x7 - All the cricket

09. Sight Screen

10. Different Strokes
  • A group blog written by selected Cricinfo readers.

11. West Indies Cricket Blog
  • Fan site devoted to covering West Indies cricket.

12. Cricket's Outside Edge - A World Cricket Blog
  • Cricket O Cricket ... Is there a sport more divine ? Be it a damp summer day at Lord's Or Eden Gardens bathed in sunshine Be it the huge concrete jungles of Oz Or the beaches on the Caribbean Coastline ...

13. Cricket-Blog.Com
  • Cricket From An Aussie perspective.

14. Willow and Leather - A Cricket Blog

15. Coffee and TV
  • Fans' opinions and analysis on all aspects of the 2006/07 Ashes - from the Barmy Army to Shane Warne, via Monty Panesar.

New Additions:

1. Gully Cricket
  • Get the latest updates from the World of Cricket no matter where you are. Its all about cricket


Bleak prospects

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

From what appears from the mid-term poll in America, the Gulf War has doomed the prospects of Republicans’ hopes to enter the Senate, the House and the Governors’ post. It therefore means that the Bill on nuclear technology for India awaiting approval in the Senate must be presumed to die a natural death. This had become inevitable after the North Koreans had conducted nuclear tests.

The Americans giving India nuclear technology without having India sign the NPT was immoral. That is why North Korea taking a cue from the American and the Nuclear Supplier Group’s ambivalent stand over the NPT went ahead with testing the nuclear device. We think, with such double standards of America, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will also detonate nuclear bombs.

With the American public’s tolerance with the Gulf War having reached an end the Republican candidates are shying away from it from their campaign. It would be best for peace in Iraq to divide it into three parts — Shia, Sunni and Kurd, so that the American troops can be back home for their Christmas turkey dinners. They have done well but we must allow them to live and fight another day.

It would be wrong to extol the virtues of Saddam Hussain in keeping Iraq together. He was doing it but with massive human right violations. American intervention was thus imperative. But now it must end. If Iraq is divided into three states, fighting and civil strife will stop and the Americans will not feel humiliated as they did after their withdrawal from Vietnam, as partition of Iraq will give stability to the region and all three states will look up to America for its statesmanship.

Instability in West Asia will end. Only the Israelis will remain a problem and if Americans deal with them fairly and not pamper them, the Palestinian problem will also be solved.


Following The Example Of The Devil's Advocate

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

If you have committed rape or murder, indulged in extortion and also associated with Pak-based terrorists to attack the Parliament, or if you have kidnapped someone or yourself you can be assured that there is one Devil's Advocate who will prove that you are innocent in a court of law. In fact the degree in law he obtained is to safeguard such people only. Criminals be happy. He is there to save you. Three cheers to him.

He is none other than Ram Jethmalani! The Congress party too likes him very much in spite of the fact that he defended the murderer of Indira Gandhi,Beant Singh. He is going to defend the murderer of Jessica Lall now. If you want to be a famous criminal lawyer like him, learn from him how to defend anti-social elements. He will transform you into India's most popular advocate. Hurry up and approach him as early as possible.

Tags: , , ,


Sunita said...

I'm also your opnion:
Read this:

Dr.Vishaal Bhat said...

@ Sunitha Taken Note.. Linked your thoughts in the post.


Delhi Sealed !

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

The traders are holding the city to ransom. There attitude is 'my way or the highway.' They should work constructively rather than destructively. Attacking the city is not the way. This city is not just made up of traders there are lots of others also and such rampaging traders should be punished.

The sealing drive in the capital is completely justified. The traders along with all the other commercial establishments have hijacked the city. The residents also have a right to live peacefully. I don't need a shop selling cement and sand as my neighbours. However the additional shops and adequate commercial space should be created for the traders to carry out their livelihood. The government has to take a lead in this.

SC is abiding by the rules of the Nation. Government is supposed to maintain law and order under all circumstances. Loose approach as regards to rules and maintenance of law and order may adversely affect each and every one. After voting, the voted Government must stick the rules of the country, rather look forward to win voters for next election to maintain a victory for the party. Party should also fought for the country victory. Moreover no one wants to leave politics specially after reaching to ultimate height as at extreme height he gets all the facilities which person at the bottom can never imagine.

Law and order must prevail and no loss to public property. As political parties never bother, in case public properties are damaged, but what if their own properties, even political parties properties are put at risk. Rules must be framed this or that way i.e. either let loose and rules allowed to rule, which is only in the custody of Supreme Court. Political party while in Govt. could frame rules to woo voters, but sooner or later neither the voters remains stick to one party nor one political party remains stick to running a government all the times. All time prevalent rules and their implementation must be framed keeping all in confidence.

We must understand that if we want a developed National Capital, then such harsh majors have to be taken. If we call ourselves responsible citizens of Delhi, then we must accept our fault. SC orders doesn't comply to any individuals interests but to all citizens. If we want to rectify these past mistakes then it is the time before its too late. Why, in the first place, traders went opening illegal shops? You know this is illegal and you are wrong. Then why are you protesting the sealing which is correct.

I agree that MCD, govt. personnel, DDA all are culprit but that doesn't mean traders are justified. And if we want all this to be corrected, then we need a beginning. And that is what SC has done.

Traders did it all for their personal interests. And now they want to prove that they are social workers!! They must not be shown any mercy and those who are breaking down buses must be punished strongly.


Rajan said...

Can you tell me that what is the biggest crime in this whole earth ? If you least of the little brain you can easly answer. THE BIGGEST CRIME IS TO "KICK ON THE STOMACH" You should start fasting from right now to feel the pain of the traders.


"Kicking on traders' stomach" is just one side of the picture. This should not be an excuse for justifying illegality. It needs to be understood that not adhereing to the masterplan for Delhi will cost us much more- rise in temperature, horrible drainage system and so on, just as we have been seeing in Mumbai's case.
However I hope that these trders are given some alternative options so as to continue their business.

To the contrary, I somehow feel, that by being so arrogant and inconsiderate in their conduct traders are actually kicking on the somach of a large number of other Delhites who cannot go to work.

Dr.Vishaal Bhat said...

Each individual is entitled to his opinion. But we have to understand that the traders should have resorted to more peaceful methods rather than damaging government and private property, besides causing great angst to the residents of delhi and a waste to the economy.

@endeaouring evolution
Thanks for that opinion. I too believe that before the sealing commenced alternative arrangements should have been made to solve the traders concerns.(If it had already not been done)