Monday, September 29, 2008

Do poems need to rhyme?

The younger one said that in her opinion, poetry that does not rhyme may very well be classified as text.

she may be right
it may be prose
not poetry ....
but would you agree
that what may
not sound good
to the ear
'tis definitely
easier on the eye!!

Anyway, I stumbled upon this The Famous Pig Song(Clarke Van Ness) and will quote a portion of it -

It was an evening in November
As I very well remember,
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
But my knees were all a-flutter,
And I landed in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter,
When a colleen passing by did softly say
‘You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses’ —
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A day in your life..

It has been found that people are spending more time commuting to work. Possibly due to worsening traffic conditions or living in suburbs to enjoy a better quality of life. If you spend 45 minutes one way traveling to work, then on an average that would work out to 24 hours spent commuting in a month. A whole day in your life!! So what do you do in that time? In Mumbai trains there are women who cut vegetables! A tough task for sure. If you are at the wheel there is nothing much you can do beside concentrating on the road. However if you are lucky enough to be the passenger, there is a whole lot you can do. Consider the possibilities or just ensure that you rest your aching limbs.
But make sure you just do not let the day go by....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Add the dash of colour to your food

An article in the newspaper today suggests that the curcumin present in the turmeric powder (Curcuma longa), known for the antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties may serve both as a preventive and treatment for Alzheimer's Disease. A WHO regional article points out that this could be the reason for lower incidence of the disease in India.

That is good news. There can never be a kitchen in India without this ingredient.

The turmeric powder has always been part of so many of our traditional practices. No baby soaps for the little one. A mixture of chick pea powder (besan) and turmeric with a little milk cream is applied liberally and washed off with warm water. As they grew and played in the sun, turmeric would be the solution for the sunburn. Sore throat? A home made remedy of milk and turmeric.

It is always a mystery to me, just like most other things, that men in ancient times discovered the miracles the world had to offer. And left it to the modern day human, with the sophisticated equipment to find out that they were indeed right in their findings.
Why on earth would they have dug out a rhizome, dried and ground it to make a powder that would have the world use it extensively and for some to fight over its patent .
That's beside the point. So cut out that extra oil, the salt, the sugar in your cooking and add the dash of colour.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Does it need to end like this?

photo credit: The Hindu images
I made a similar post last year voicing my thoughts about the Ganesh puja and the festivities that go along with it. It is sad that the idol that is brought with a lot of fanfare and the pujas that follow for 10 days has to end like this. Is this devotion of any sort?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Another blast !

Yet another blast in India, this time in New Delhi. Of course there were indications, they say, of blasts in major cities. And for the bombs to be placed in prime areas of the Capital, where I presume security would be very tight is frightening!
I often feel that it must be a tough task to nab terrorists and detect bombs. But with media coverage that is present these days there are certain issues that are brought to light. For instance, why are our emergency services so poor. The manner the injured are handled is appalling. No proper stretchers and lack of ambulances is a sad state of affairs. At least there should be proper training for para medical forces and ensuring these units be kept in ready to act in emergencies. With the vast human resources that we have, we can train persons and in turn provide livelihood to some.
And what about the handling of vital clues? Less said the better. The police are seen trampling over evidence, handling objects with bare hands!
Terror attacks may not be under our control, but factors under our control should be given total priority. Atleast let the government ensure its people that in case of disasters it can at least offer the best resources and care to those affected.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Birthday /premier anniversaire

139 posts. My blog is a year old. Happy Birthday. First anniversary

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beep Beep Beep Beep yeah...

That is part of a Beatles song and could very well be what you would hear when the man is driving . Constant sound of the horn. He would whole heartedly with George Carlin, who said 'I know that everyone going slower than me is an idiot and everyone going faster is a maniac' .
Till I get my hands on the book - Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt, I will be content with the reviews. I have for long ( seated at the back ) tried analysing the drivers on the road. Who would have thought that it is matter worthy of a book and a succesful one at that. The book has been written after great thought, research and surveys of traffic in the west. If only the author had spent a week in our city, he could have probably written several volumes on the lines of the Britannica Encylopedia. There would have been no end to his research.
The author says that each time a safety device is added to the vehicle, drivers get more confident to drive at greater speeds and cause more problems. It is indeed true, not just the car design , but in our city, we have most vehicles with a small idol of their favourite god, a lucky charm or signs that say Jesus Saves and vroom there he goes speeding with not a care in the world.
Quote -Researchers have estimated there are anywhere from 1500 to 2500 discrete skills and activities undertaken while driving. At any moment, as one is navigating through terrain, scanning environment for hazards and information, maintaining position on the road, judging speed, making decisions (about twenty per mile, one study found), evaluating risk, adjusting instruments, anticipating the future actions of others -- he may be sipping a latte, thinking about last night's episode of American Idol, quieting a toddler, or checking voice mail' . One should realise that at the wheel he is operating heavy machinery, not driving a big phone booth or a make-up mirror. Every glance away from the road, every phone call, every fumbling for your last McNugget, not only disrupts traffic flow, it boosts the risk for an accident .Unquote.
I have always believed that the manner in which a person drives and parks his car not just reflects his driving capabilities but also is a reflection of his personality. Those who are in total control of their temper, drive at a consistent speed, no speeding or squealing of brakes, are those most likely to be well organised at their jobs as well.
But when it comes collectively to the city drivers, I am left searching for an answer. My theory just does not fit in here. For a city, known for the laid back attitude, I cannot understand why most drivers are in a tearing hurry. They cut across, weave through the traffic as if there is an emergency, only to pull up at the side of the road within minutes, for a roadside purchase.
A reviewer states that reading the book may give some insights of traffic do's and dont's and one may just be a better driver and more alert on the road. And where does that leave me. Since I don't drive, I could probably avoid reading the book. As it is I am nervous and back seat driving has probably resulted in the receding hairline of the man.
I should continue with my attempts to solve the crossword and leave the driver alone.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Discovery of India from the West

I read an article in The Hindu that Joshua McGuire a double Olympian in fencing, former World Under-17 champion and the gold medalist at the last Commonwealth championship came straight from Beijing to learn the art of Kalari Payatu in Kerala.
He believes that it could teach him better hand eye coordination and agility which are important in his sport of fencing.
I am sure there are researchers in India who have studied some of our traditional sports like Kalari Payatu, the Mal Khamb, the Aranmula Boat Race, who could propagate some of the skills that are imparted so that we could produce some world class fencers, gymnasts and rowers . With yoga thrown in during the training we could improve their mental prowess as well.
It is strange that a foreigner had realised , just from a demonstration in Canada, that there was something in this art that could help him improve his game!!
It seems that it was not just Vasco da Gama who discovered India....
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