Thursday, 18 August 2022

A GARLAND OF POETRY TO LORD KRISHNA

 

 



 

Name is the unique identity of an individual and many have more than one name as nick names, pet names and the writers have pen names. Today’s birthday boy/ Lord of Mathura has nearly thousands of names in his praise.  One of the fine names is Mukunda.

Upon this name a king in Kerala named Kulasekhara composed a poem in Sanskrit language titled “Mukundamala”- a garland of poetry. In this poem the poet praises the Lord as

1.     Giver of desired boons

2.     Compassionate God

3.     Lover of the devotees

4.     Efficient in destroying the continuity of moral birth

5.     Protector

 

In the 21st sloka the poet address the Lord with beautiful adjectives and requests the Lord to save him. Here I quote:

“Oh Lord! You are the protector of the cowherds, the ocean of compassion, You are the Lord of Mahalakshmi, daughter of milky ocean, You are the death God to Kamsa, You have showered your choicest compassion on Gajendra and saved him. Oh Madhava ! Oh Ramanuja! (Younger brother of Balarama) Oh preceptor of the three worlds, Oh lotus – eyed Lord of Gopikas. Please save me. I do not know anybody else.”

 

The Hymn composed by King Kulasekhara reminds us to:

Always chant the names of the Lord

Accept Lord as medicine.

Any ritual done without the thought of the Lord is futile

Take refuge in Lord’s feet and live happily

Nothing equals meditation

 

Like these there are countless messages in this poem. Moreover this sloka is sure to inculcate devotion, that’s why it is first taught to children in ancient days by Acharyas and Gurus.

 

Listen to this recitation of the sloka and seek the blessings of the Lord :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTs6tcgm0lE


HAPPY KRISHNA JANMASTAMI

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

A GLANCE AT A BOOK BY GEORGE ORWELL

 




 ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

Animal Farm by George Orwell, first published #OnThisDay in 1945 states a today's tweet by Penguin Books UK

I thought to write  a blogpost on this  and what more can be a fitting tribute than to read and write about a book on the day of its publication.  It is well known that ANIMAL FARM is a novella written by Eric Arthur Blair  with his pen name George Orwell in 1943 when he started a new work and it turned out be   Animal Farm. By April 1944 Animal Farm was ready for publication. Gollancz refused to publish it, considering it an attack on the Soviet regime which was a crucial ally in the war. A similar fate was met from other publishers  until Jonathan Cape agreed to take it later Cape also rejected confirms an authentic  source. Finally Secker & Warburg had agreed to publish ANIMAL FARM, planned for the following March, although it did not appear in print until August 1945. That's how the book got published on this day after so many rejections.

 Eric Arthur Blair was born in Motihari, Bihar in the then British India . The bungalow was made into a museum and opened for public in May 2015.  His work which took a long time to see the light of the day was later made  a part of the school literature curriculum in UK.  A poll conducted in the UK in 2016 saw Animal Farm ranked the nation's favourite book from school.

  George Orwell himself described his work ANIMAL FARM as a satirical tale against Stalin  and it was the first book in which he tried, with full consciousness of what he was doing, " to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole ."


Pigs, humans, equines and other animals form the characters of the novel. This work was adapted in films, radio, stage productions and as comic strips too. The reach was far and wide. One more interesting information about the book's fiftieth anniversary is that In October 1945, Orwell wrote to Frederic Warburg expressing interest in pursuing the possibility that the political cartoonist  David Low might illustrate Animal Farm. Low had written a letter saying that he had had "a good time with Animal Farm – an excellent bit of satire – it would illustrate perfectly". Nothing came of this, and a trial issue produced by Secker & Warburg in 1956 illustrated by John Driver was abandoned, but the Folio Society published an edition in 1984 illustrated by Quentin Blake and an edition illustrated by the cartoonist Ralph Steadman was published by Secker & Warburg in 1995 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first edition of the Animal Farm.

An enhanced version of the book, launched in India in 2017, was widely praised for capturing the author's intent, by republishing the proposed preface of the First Edition and the preface he wrote for the Ukrainian edition.

Though the book faced challenges at the time of publication with not so welcoming reviews it gained momentum at later date and continued to be read even after decades. There rest the power of the content.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

THE SECRET BEHIND THE ART OF CHOPPING VEGETABLES

 

 



The art of cutting or chopping vegetable is indeed a great craft in itself. It takes a long time to master the art of cutting, chopping, slicing and also to finely complete the peeling, mincing, washing and cleaning vegetables. Checking for bruising and washing well to remove arsenic material to avoid contamination is all a science of cooking. Every step matters and interferes with the final out-come of the dish which decides the taste, flavour, fragrance, and the look of the dish.

 Vegetables are the major ingredients next to dal, spices, oil and ghee in the preparation of a dish. With the cutting itself many identify the dish being prepared because for every particular dish a vegetable needs to be chopped in a particular style.

 For example, Brinjal is chopped differently for bhajji, dal and curry. Still more easy way to understand is how differently the lemon is cut for juice and for the pickle. Vegetable added for sambhar are usually chopped in larger size, because the larger the slice, it will cook easily in the mud pot of hot water.

Onions undergo different styles of chopping from fine slices to just half of an onion. Cabbages are mostly finely chopped where cauliflower &broccoli go with a single floret.  The cutting of the vegetable and its size is directly related to the process of cooking and the methods differ with the vegetable and its cutting. 

 

How chopping is done ?

 


There are many types of cutters, knives, and chopping boards used by the chefs in hotels and cooking enthusiast at home.  Iron blade vegetable cutter (Arivaal-manai in Tamil) is mainly used in the households of Tamil Nadu. Handling these properly ensures in creating varying shapes of vegetables like

*round

*wedge

* slice

* stick

* Dice

*cube

*Julienne

*chiffonade – method of chopping greens

*Paysanne – this form of cutting includes flat, square, round or triangular.

 Many think that WHY, this sort of variation is necessary and why all can’t be one way. As the dishes are designed for a particular course and a definite process of preparation so as this also demands a standard code or style of cutting the vegetable. For instance in certain dishes the style of cutting vegetables provides

·        A good look

·        Helps to maintain the consistency

·        Helps to feel the taste when you bite

·        Enhance the taste and flavour of the dish

·        Greatly blends with the other ingredients

·        Floats and pop up in certain dishes just because of the way it is chopped

If all the vegetables are chopped in a similar way

·        Vegetables gets mashed , and makes the dish thicker in consistency

·        In some cases vegetables remain separate and unable to blend with the mixture. Because of its size, the gravy and the vegetable will be two different things

·        The flavour of the vegetable will not spread enough

There are whole some benefits of chopping vegetable in a particular pattern for a particular dish. Like any other craft this too takes its own course of time and no doubt with practice this art too can be mastered.

Do share it in the comments below about your favourite vegetable and the way you chop it  

Monday, 15 August 2022

REMEMBERING INDIA'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE WORLD OF HEALTH

 



On the historical event of the 75th  Indian Independence day celebrations , I was happen to read a blogpost in the Blogchatter's bestorified section. It dealt with the unique features of our country . Read the full article here : https://www.theblogchatter.com/BeStorified/trends/a-salute-to-our-nation-india/

One among the special features mentioned in the article was about Yoga. I thought to present a write up on the importance and benefits of yoga. It's a India's contribution for the well being of all around the world.

There are many ways to stay healthy and combat stress. Long before television was used to advertise ways to grow healthier, there was yoga to aid people in their desire to be healthier. People who practice yoga will tell you to turn off the TV, Grab something soft to sit on, and get ready to become healthier and say goodbye to stress.

Some people describe yoga as an ancient method of physical and mental exercises that can be practised anywhere. Unlike many other forms of exercise, yoga does not require any gadgets. People who use yoga to grow healthier can do so by simply wearing some comfortable clothes and using a blanket to do their training on. Yoga is practised by all kinds of people. You do not have to be big or small, young or old, a great athlete or a non-athlete. You do not need balls, gloves, expensive shoes, or anything with wheels to practice yoga. Everyone can practice it. You can also practice by yourself or with a group, indoors or out.

 Yoga teachers tell you that yoga is a series of physical exercises that use the body and mind to create harmony and health within yourself. Yoga allows you to gain strength, calmness and flexibility while relieving stress and tension from your body. About 2000 years ago in India, a wise man, Patanjali, outlined the system for yoga. In his writings, he explains how yoga tackles both physical and emotional aliments. Yoga not only can help you recover from a  physical condition, such a bad back, asthma, or high blood pressure, but it also can help those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression. Yoga can do what all those items you see on late night television claim to do, and you do not have to buy anything to get started.

 In this new age of technology, you know that “stress” is capable of causing problems with your health and in your life. Clearly, stress begins with the moment of birth. You spend your life adjusting to stress. Yoga, by disciplining the body and the mind, provides you with a very sophisticated and effective way to curb the effects of stress. Today, as you worry about everything from grades to terrorism, stress can take its toll. May be you do not need to add stress by trying to decide which television product to buy to make you healthy. By practising yoga, stress is minimised, and you can get back to the business of getting and staying healthy.  If you have not already done, you might want to learn more about yoga as a way to improve your health.

One more interesting blogpost I read today was  TRULY...UNITY IN DIVERSITY : https://sreedharb.blogspot.com/2020/01/truly.html , it's a interesting write up  dealing with the magnificent aspect of unity in diversity in India.  Don't miss it, it makes an enjoyable read. I  thought to share these two best articles I read today as they both will make you feel so special for being an Indian. It is a way of celebrating  about our country on our 75th Independence day. 



Sunday, 14 August 2022

3 QUICK WAYS TO CHOOSE AN IDEA TO WRITE



Choosing a topic to create a write up is as interesting as the writing itself. Writing on a topic of your favourite subject is therapeutic one way, and in the other way it is a learning process.  But, how to get an idea about what to write? 

Here comes the words of JOHN STEINBECK handy: "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."

Some of the places where there is a high chance of getting ideas to start writing are:

 PROMPTS:  These are used to conduct competitions and other programs on creative writing. To help bloggers in the process of writing Blogchatter - a community of bloggers is providing prompts every week to encourage writers and to keep the art of writing going together. Two prompts are given per week and the program is named as BLOGHOP.

CALENDER: It may sound different to read. Yes, it is the calendar which is a ready - made idea provider. There are always holidays, observances, and tribute months coming up in a month or in a week. Create write ups on the day's happenings and its relevance to a specific set of people.

Provide holidays plans for that time. Bring in a regional touch by describing the preparation and arrangements made in your locality, town or city. Decorated market places, fairs and about special trains to reach that place can be explained in detail.  Festivals, birthdays of great personalities and   anniversaries of important events are a great source of ideas to writing.

RAT: There is a famous creativity test called the Remote Associative Test (RAT) to evaluate creative potential. The test consists of finding a forth “unique” word that connects the other three words. The RAT measures convergent thinking. And convergent thinking is great for writing. It just needs a little twist. Try looking for original random words in the dictionary, or use a random word generator, if you don’t have a dictionary anymore. Pick three — or five — and try to find something common that would make them work together in a story, writes Maria Angel Ferrero a Feminist, Writer, PhD, Researcher & Professor in Innovation & Entrepreneurship U. Montpellier.

 

So, keep writing and try to go through this which once I tried to pen my thoughts on writing through a poem. Read it here: https://bookfoodlanguage.blogspot.com/2017/04/what-to-write.html

Saturday, 13 August 2022

HOW TO CREATE AN HEALTHY SET UP FOR READING AND WRITING ?




 Reading and writing are the two major works that are carried out in a day when ever time permits. It can be  a hobby and a profession for many. If it is  a professional deal, it needs to be done in a allotted time. A need for a perfect place to  complete the work finely without any delay is the utmost essential thing.

Reading can be done by simply holding a book sitting on the floor, mat or park bench or terrace . But when it becomes to work with a laptop a desk or  a table is essential to place the device. The recent trend of from home demands a professional set up.

 For any work , let alone reading or writing it needs to be done in a perfect ambience for best results and to finish it within the deadline.  Early writing or clerical work done with papers , note books , and pens. these days all the work is carried out using  a device. So, to complete such a task:

A cool room with well equipped lights, fans and A/c

A table and a chair or a writing desk

A laptop

wifi with high speed internet and other 

necessary documents either hard or soft copy

The furniture meant for a study room or  a office room  need to be in  a certain height to avoid postural issues like  pain in wrist, shoulders, hip, hands and fingers. More over the view should in correct length with the eye, with which some amount of strain and pressure on the eye can be ceased.   The furniture plays  a bigger role in the health issues of the one who works. To be away from these  problems few precautions need to be taken with regard to the proportionate height of the table and the chair.

Different office chairs have different ranges, though measured from floor to the seat, the typical range is from 16” to 22” (41cm to 56cm). Note that all of the above are standard ergonomic office chairs. Some office chairs for tall people can be adjusted beyond 21″ in height states a report.
When the same and the ideal measures are kept in mind while buying the furniture ,some amount of the problem can be typically avoided.
The right desk height depends on the height and body type of the user. However, a simple way to tell whether the desk is at a  proper height is to place both the hands on the desk and take a look at the elbow height. If the elbows sit at a 90-degree angle comfortably, then the desk is positioned correctly.

Along with this also ensure that 

* You should be able to place your feet firmly on the ground or a footstool
 * Knees and elbows should be at a right-angle
 * The keyboard and mouse should be in line with your elbows
 * The monitor/screen should be below the optical axis
confirms an orthopedist and an ophthalmologist. These can make the flow of the work smooth and the well being of the professional worker.

    Further, information on human factors and ergonomics can be read in detail here  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_factors_and_ergonomics


    Do set up a healthy space for the best of you and your reading and writing

    Friday, 12 August 2022

    24 WAYS IN WHICH ELEPHANTS ARE WITH HUMAN LIVES

     

     




    Elephants are friendly towards human beings and they help us in numerous ways.  On the world elephant day today, Elephants are greatly remembered and discussed about the ways they are in our lives in different situations.  Here is a list of it :

    1.  Elephants are known for their size. -Mammoth and gigantic are the words used to describe elephants

    2. Jumbo – nick name used by children while playing with the soft toy of elephant. Moreover jumbo size mosquito coils are in sales these days.

    3. Elephants are normally seen in temples and circus.

    4. When God and Goddess are taken out in procession Elephants lead them. Famous places are Tirumala &Tirupathi, Guruvayoor and Mysore

    5. Elephants are used as Mascots in games

     6. Elephants help in forest departments to move tree trunks and logs

     7. In religious terms Elephant is worshipped as Lord Ganesh who has an elephant face

    8. Goddess Maha Lakshmi is termed as GAJA LAKSHMI who has seated on an Elephant

     9. In mythology Indira’s vehicle is IRAVATHA- the white elephant

    10. When thought of largest mammal – elephant is put forth and the African elephants take the first place

    11. Elephant safari is highly enjoyed and loved by wild life enthusiasts or forest trekkers or jungle safari is done using elephants

    12. Elephant hair is used in jewellery making for gold rings and bangles

    13. Ivory is used in many miniature carvings and other art &décor activities

    14. Elephant caves in Maharashtra is a major tourist attraction for its

    15. In Mahabalipuram or Mamalapuram the elephant chariot or elephant herd sculpture was an un parallel work of art.

    16. Elephantiasis / elephant foot is a condition were the front foot becomes swollen with the bite of infected mosquitoes.

    17. Famous tea brand Brook bond’s GEMINI tea uses two elephants symbolising twins – a zodiac sign

    18. In Kerala a place called Punnathur kotta is a home of elephants. It’s a place of their shelter. Elephants together bath, eat play and stand in a line for tourists

    19. The eye of the elephant is photographed and displayed outside the houses to get rid of the evil eye.

    20. Elephants were used by kings in their army.

    21. In the game of chess, elephants moved in all the directions and cut the enemies easily in  one move

    22. In the films like HAATHI MERE SAATHI the bondage between elephant and humans were well portrayed.

    23. El rhino is a platform where the elephant dung is used to manufacture paper. https://www.elrhinopaper.com/ 

    24. Elders tend to become elephants by kneeling down and bent while playing with kids for an elephant ride.

    Do share  in comments about your experience with elephants, like elephant rides or best pictures with elephants  etc.

    Thursday, 11 August 2022

    DIFFERENT STYLES OF RANGOLI MADE DURING FESTIVALS

      


    Rangoli is a part of almost all the major festivals of India. Though there are various traditions and cultures in India, rangoli, kolam or pookkolam finds a prominent place in the festivities. It adds

    ·        A grand token of welcome

    ·        Colour

    ·        Décor

    ·        A unique touch

    ·        Auspicious sign

    Rangoli is mostly drawn at the front entrance of a house, temple, or any place where the festivity is planned to be held. Usually rice flour is used to draw the rangoli, (maakolam) then multiple colours are added in between to enhance its look. In south India semmannu( Red soil) is highly used to give an outline to the rice flour drawn rangoli. There are mainly two types of rangoli drawn in the households of south India




    ·        One with using points or dots and the other without dots.

    The streets of South India are highly colourful during the months of December (Margazhi), Thai January and August (Adi). Colours are mixed with rice flour or chalk powder and are filled in between the gaps in the rangoli. Mainly birds like peacock & butterfly, and then unique designs of flowers, chariots, sun, moon, stars, mud pots, Plantain trees, sugar cane are the major attraction in the rangoli.   

    Inside the houses, rangoli is drawn using a paste of rice flour along with the help of a cloth. (Izhaikkolam) Those who are not comfortable to draw, they use mould (achu, kuzhal) to make the impression of the rangoli with the rice flour.



    The art of drawing rangoli with rice flour is considered as one of the best art forms among the 64 fine arts stated in the Tamil Literature. All these 64 fine arts findings important place in the lives of humans. It enhance one’s creative skill and represents twist and turns, up and downs in life.

    In some parts of South India rangoli is done with the help of flowers called as pookkolam. This is an important ritual with respect to the Onam festival.

    These days, rangoli stickers are also available and it is simply sticked before the main door of the house. More to this stickers, design plates with beads in different sizes, shapes and colours are available in the market and it can be arranged in the preferred format or design. These patterns are used mostly during the festival of Dasara.


    Rangoli is also drawn in the place where the Tulasi plant is laid inside the house. Flowers are decorated around the plant and the pot. During Diwali lamps are laid around the rangoli. Many house- holds draw rangoli with paints on the floor and they last for many months.

    The style and size of the rangoli varies according to the region and there are plenty of unique designs drawn in various formats throughout south India.

    Today being the festival of Rakshabandhan and the Avani avittam festival in Tamilnadu. People decorate their houses with rangoli and other art pieces and lightings along with mango leaves &plantain leaves which showcases the tradition of a celebration.

    Draw rangoli of your own style and decorate with flowers & colours and add a dash of personal touch to the festivity at home.

                                         HAPPY RAKSHA BANDHAN AND AVANI AVITTAM

    Wednesday, 10 August 2022

    POETRY 'S FINE PART IN THE INDIAN FREEDOM STRUGGLE

         

     

     


     

    Poetry is a form of literature that is used to express and exhibit through use of words and its rhymes. Any form of Literature has got its own power and when efficiently used brings in desired results.

    Poetry is an age old form which is quite interestingly used to various works and with various purposes in varied artistic forms. Poetry is a fine collection of words systematically arranged to provide an information, message or an awareness and it is also finely utilised to motivate, inspire, educate and voice a cause. When used to voice a cause, thus poetry becomes a weapon.

    Here comes the role of poetry in the Indian freedom struggle. A weapon to fight against slavery & injustice and at the same time to instil harmony, love, and brotherhood and to sow the seed of patriotism poetry is undoubtedly stood as a sharp weapon to insert the required message to one and all the fellow countrymen.

    Poetry’s reach was far and wide and was a medium to associate with like- minded people and it proved to be effective in forwarding the strength of unity and diversity. It helped many to symbolise in describing the beauty &the importance of the mother land and to protect it from foreign hands.

    The poetry attained indomitable new heights with the advent of many renowned poets like Rabindranath Tagore, Bharathiyar, Sarojini naidu, Harivansh Rai bachan, Ramdari singh dinakar and many national and regional poets whose contribution towards freedom struggle was more than just penning a poetry.

    With this medium –poetry people of the country were united and they all sang in unison the glory of the Mother India. With the efforts and steps taken by those patriots we are all now enjoying the free air in our own land and with pride and dignity walking towards the 75th Independence Day celebration which is going to take place within 5 days.

    Take this form ahead with writings and reading poetry in any language of India. It is sure to expose you to a whole new experience and growth. Poetry has such a power and with constant exposure and interaction in poetry you will definitely agree that poetry has a magnificent power to help humans improve and evolve in a smooth way.

    Tuesday, 9 August 2022

    NOUN -THE FIRST ONE IN THE PARTS OF SPEECH





     Nouns may feature as the subject or object in  a sentence. Being the first words that one learns, nouns may be classified as :

    Common

    Proper

    Abstract  and 

    Collective.

    Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding "-s" or "-es" (birds, boxes).

    countable nouns have singular and plural forms and can be counted  (babies).

    Non- countable nouns do not have a plural form and cannot be counted. (oxygen).

    Nouns are used before other nouns (Teacher's organisation,  Student's association)

    Nouns are used as verbs as well (oiled machine, bottled fruit).

    Verbs used as nouns are called as gerunds (walking is  a good exercise)


    Examples :

    1. He works as a teacher (common noun) in a high school

    2. Susheela (proper noun) was a singer

    3. He was nostalgic about his childhood (abstract)

    4. The steering committee (collective noun0 meets every Monday.

    5. Since he inherited his uncle's library, he spends every weekend indexing his books.

     

    Monday, 8 August 2022

    IT’S TIME TO RAIN

     



    Scorching heat, undrying sweat

    Soothing talc, utmost a better bet.

    Ubiquitous sun rays, ushering heat waves

    Umbrellas of all types & ultra-sunglasses saves.

    Most tiring, more thirst

    Munch mangoes & mouthful of melons.

    Midday radiation, mounting towers

    Mild relief with a/c & coolers, makes it Mindful

    Elements of high summer, enveloping around

    Evenly breeze, entertain a little in the evenings.

    Raising temperatures, restless lives

    Rain to pour in, rescue in season.

    A GARLAND OF POETRY TO LORD KRISHNA

          Name is the unique identity of an individual and many have more than one name as nick names, pet names and the writers have pen na...