Aswathi – Palakkadan Organic Red Rice (Matta Ari)

Palakkadan Matta Ari is a product with a geographical indication – it means that this product has a specific geographical origin (some products that have geographical indication include Aranmula Kannaadi, Darjeeling Tea, Mysore Agarbathi etc.). Paddy cultivators under the ‘Vadakkencherry Padasekhara Samithy’ produce “palakkadan matta ari” in an organic way (organic red rice). Marketed under the brand name of ‘Aswathy-Palakkadan Organic Red Rice’, the rice is sold at Rs 55 per kg. Red rice is more nutritious than white rice. Being organic, no pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used during the farming process. For details related to Aswathi – Palakkadan Organic Red Rice or for purchasing the same, you may contact Aaren Traders at 9745130398 or 04922204880.

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Idayante Hrudayathil Niranjoreenam, Oru Mulam Thandiloodozhuki Vannu…

 

SevaServiceSpiritual

 

 

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“Ikkruvinte Sathyanweshana Pareekshanangal”, translated in English as, “The ecstasy of being jobless”

 

MohanlalSreenivasanAkkareyakkareyakkare

Ikkru was attending an online interview.

“Ikkru, can you adjust the lighting? We cannot see your face clearly. We are seeing you very dark”, said the interviewer to Ikkru.

“Oh, thats unfortunate.” Ikkru adjusted the position of his laptop so that more light can fall on his face. “Can you see my face better now?” asked Ikkru to the interviewers.

“Not yet,” said the interviewer.

“Ok, hold on for a moment.” Ikkru now shifted both his seating position and also the position of his laptop. “How about now?” asked Ikkroo.

“No Ikkru. Your face is still looking dark… Anyways, leave it. No problem.” said the interviewer.

Ikkru thought, “May be the lights are not very bright.”

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Ikkru started taking classes for students preparing for their MBA entrance examinations. Ikkru have heard that teaching is the most noblest profession and it is teachers who create cultures and civilizations and humanity. People of wisdom have mentioned that the progress of a nation is connected to the dedication of that nation’s teachers. Ikkru thought, “Oh… what a great responsibility this society has bestowed on me. I will meet up to their grand expectations.  I will be a noble teacher. Ithu Sathyam Sathyam Sathyam.”

And then came that D-Day, where he got the opportunity to prove his mettle. A major decision happened in Kerala, and the entire Kerala was discussing about it. To understand the perspectives of the print media about this issue, and to analyse that with his students, Ikkru brought one copy each, of all the newspapers, both in Malayalam and English languages, that was available in the newspaper stand. He kept that newspaper bundle in his hand.

It so happened that he had to enter a shopping mall to buy lots of pencils. There was a security guard near the entrance of a store in that mall. As Ikkru reached near that store, the security guard told Ikkroo, “Pathramidaan Vannathaanalle… Aa vazhiye pokkoolu” (You came to put newspapers, right? You can take the other entrance.)

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Ikkru has been astutely observing a strange phenomenon that is happening with him in shopping malls. He has experienced that, many a times when he walks through these big retail stores, many people come to him, and asks him the price of a particular product that is in display at that store.

Compassion being his other name, Ikkru helps those people. He looks at the price-tag sticker in that product and tells them the price of that product. He also reminds himself about the mystical stories of how “The Chosen One”/ “The Messenger”/ “The Special One” always used to attract lay-people.

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For this particular blog posting, no comments are invited. Thankyou.

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World Community Grid – A project that uses the unused computing power of your computer and mobile-phone for humanitarian causes.

IndrasNet

The world is increasingly developing networks with more number of people connected to the internet. Here is one of the ways through which such a network can be used to serve and to create a better world.

World Community Grid enables anyone with a computer, smartphone or tablet to donate the unused computing power of their gadget to research projects related to health, poverty and sustainability. This includes finding more effective treatments for cancer, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Dengue, finding molecules that can more efficiently convert solar energy to electricity etc. More than 650,000 people from around the world have volunteered for this project, and 460 organizations that include universities, companies and research institutions have partnered with World Community Grid (WCG). This makes WCG the largest virtual super-computer available for humanitarian research. More than 35 peer-reviewed articles have been published in research journals, based on research conducted by WCG. WCG insists that all research results should be made available in the public domain, free of cost.

If you are interested to be part of this project, you can visit the WCG website at http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org, register there, and download and install an application in your computer or smartphone or tablet. This application connects your gadget to World Community Grid. WCG distributes millions of small data-based computer-based experiments to thousands of volunteers’ devices. Similarly, WCG would be sending you small portions of data for analysis, and all this is done automatically, and do not require your involvement. Using the unused computing power of your gadget, this WCG application analyses the downloaded data, gathers the results and returns them to WCG. Researchers look into the results of these data. The software also provides you with tools that helps you to decide how and when should the software function in your system.

WorldCommunityGridDashBoard

Due to WCG, research projects that would have taken decades to complete, were completed in a few years. I’ve contributed the unused processing power of my computer to WCG projects for many years, and using this application has not resulted in any troubles for my computer. I do not require more than 5 minutes of internet connection on a daily basis to run WCG in my system. However, in the initial phases, while downloading the application and downloading the initial set of experiments, you may require internet connection for a longer duration.

If you would like to know more about this project or would like to contribute the unused computing power of your gadget, visit their website by clicking on the below logo.

WorldCommunityGridLogo.

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 “When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe.”

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Unnikale Oru Katha Parayam… Prakrithiyum Samskrithiyum

Sreenivasan Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala

Unni was looking at his textbook with pictures of giraffes and penguins and dolphins and tigers and elephants. How interesting their life is, Unni thought, with no homework, tests, and progress reports, and they can sleep on Monday mornings too.

Interesting aroma was coming from the kitchen. Unable to withstand the temptation, Unni ran into the kitchen. “What are you preparing, Amma?” Unni asked.

Am making vegetable curry that you can eat along with the multi-grain bread. Do you remember Raju Uncle telling that multi-grain bread is better than the plain bread made of Maida? If you eat multi-grain bread, you will remember your lessons more easily.

Unni saw the vegetables in the cooking pan – carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, some green leafs etc. “Amma, won’t these vegetables feel pained when you apply heat on them?” Unni asked.

Amma was thinking how to reply. “Unni…, come here”, invited his grandpa who was sitting in the next room. Unni ran to his grandpa. Mutthachane valare ishtamanu unnikku. Eppozhum Katha Paranju Tharum. Muthachanu ariyavunna athrayum kathakalum arivukalum lokathil aarkkum ariyilla.

Grandpa took him outside the home. Lots of mangoes have fallen from the mango trees. Many insects were buzzing around them. They also noticed the white squirrel nibbling on a ripened mango that is still on the tree. He regularly visits Unni’s home. Unni calls him Kaku.

Grandpa told Unni, “Unni, in Nature, everything exist for everything.” “We should take from Nature only what we really need, as Nature belongs to everyone – the squirrels, the butterflies, the insects and the birds.”

“Yes, yes,” Unni added, “Mannira also…” Unni has a love-hate relationship with these earth-worms. He is expecting their arrival any time soon. Grandpa has told him to look for their arrival after rains.

They started walking home. “Unni, Bhakshanathinumunpu enthina praarthikkanu?”

“Pareekshakku Nalla Maarkku Kittan”.

“Yes, and your friends like Kaku has given their food to you, so that you will get good marks and remarks. So, before your eat, give your thankfulness to them for giving their food to you”.

On reaching home, Grandpa took an Appam and gave it to Unni.

“No, i don’t wan’t Appam, i like Noodles.”

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Best Devotional Malayalam Songs/ Songs with a Dedicational/ Spiritual Feel

StFrancisOfAssisiPranchiyettanSaint

It is the Navrathri season – nine days that provides opportunities for a seeker to experience the Divine in manifold ways. Here is the list of my favorite Malayalam songs with a devotional/ dedicational/ spiritual feel – the songs that accompanied me as i added age to myself…

1. Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa , Chembarathi, 1972.
2. Aa Divya Naamam Ayyappa , Aa Divya Naamam, 1975.
3. Neyyattinkara Vazhum Kannaa Nin Munniloro, Pushpanjali, 1985.
4. Vigneshwara Janma Nalikeram, Pushpanjali, 1985.
5. Kudajaadriyil Kudikollum , Neelakkadambu, 1985.
6. Nee En Sarga Soundaryame Nee En Sathya Sangeethame, Kathodu Kathoram, 1985.
7. Vadakkumnaatha Sarvam Nadathum Naatha , Ganga Theertham – Volume 1, 1989.
8. Devasabhaathalam , His Highness Abdulla, 1990.
9. Oru Neramenkilum Kaanathe, Thulasi Theertham, 1990.
10. Mookambike Devi Jagadambike , Thulasi Theertham, 1990
11. Sowparnikamrutha Veechikal, Kizhakkunarum Pakshi, 1991.
12. Hridayaraga Thanthri Meetti, Amaram, 1991.
13. Krishnakripa Sagaram , Sargam, 1992.
14. Neelanchana Poovin , Paithrukum, 1993.
15. Yaathrayaayi Yaathrayaayi , Desadanam, 1996.
16. Guru Charanam Saranam, Guru, 1997.
17. Karunaamayi Jagadeeswari , Itha Oru Snehagatha, 1997.
18. Machakathammaye Kaal Thottu Vandhichu, Chinthavishtayaaya Shyaamala, 1998.
19. Deena Dayalo Rama Jaya, Arayannangalude Veedu, 2000.
20. Chora Veena Mannil Ninnuyurnnu Vanna Poomaram, Arabikatha, 2007.
21. Nanmayakunna Kaanthi Kaanuvan, Calcutta News, 2008.

22. Daivame Kaathukolkangu

 

Love, because it is your nature to Love, because you know nothing else…

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Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam – Real Heroes of the World, Pathbreaking News

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The below is a screenshot of a newspaper article from Mathrubhumi daily on June 6, 2014. It speaks about a bus conductor distributing free tree saplings to the travelers of that bus.

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The below is a screenshot of a newsclipping that came in Mathrubhumi on July 25, 2014, a few days before Id. Its about an elderly lady gifting her land, which holds a Hindu temple, to the believers of Hindu faith. And, this too, in today’s world, when people clamor and crave for land and property, and inflame animosity against religions other than theirs.

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The state of Kerala, which also has one of the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in India, decides to go for prohibition of liquor in phased manner. The state expected to move towards complete prohibition in 10 years. Chief Minister and Finance Minister of the UDF government in Kerala states that the welfare of the people, and peace and serenity in home and the state, is more important than revenue accruing from taxes through the sales of liquor. Bravo!

Kerala Alchohol Prohibition

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Gifting life, even in death…

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The below picture is during Hurricane Sandy, a storm that occurred in 2012 in the Atlantic region, and resulted in widespread loss and disruption of essential services, including electricity…

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The below is the screenshot to a blog from Mr Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Motors… The electric automobile maker releases its technology to the public domain.

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Its not everyday that we see bold decisions, as indicated below, by a media house deciding to put the interest of citizens above their commercial interests… This was in the context of the Plachimada (Palakkad, Kerala, India) struggle, where there was protest against the exploitation of ground water by cola companies.

MathrubhumiPlachimadaVeerendrakumarPepsiCocaColaAs of date, Mathrubhoomi continues to refuse ads from cola companies.

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Zoologists welcome UGC’s decision to ban animal dissection for experimentation in undergraduate and postgraduate course. Below is a screenshot of an article published in The Hindu. This decision from UGC will save millions of animals from undergoing torture in the name of experimentation.UGC bans Animal DissectionIn the recent times, India has also banned dolphinariums, testing of cosmetics on animals, and Jallikkattu.

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The below are screenshots from the websites of two institutions that have created global benchmarks on Love@Work – Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, and Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

SriSathyaSaiInstituteOfHigherMedicalSciences

SriSathyaSaiInstituteOfHigherLearning

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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sets high standards of transparency in Indian political processes by disclosing their funding sources in their website. The party also releases their income-expenditure statements in their website.

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Kerala decides to shift to fully organic cultuvation by 2016, avoiding the usage of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

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FreeRice.com is a free quiz game website that is run by United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). This site allows players to donate 10 grains of rice for free, for every correct answer. By the second half of 2013, FreeRice.com donated more than 100 billion rice grains to the hungry, including in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Bhutan, Haiti, Uganda and Nepal.
Rice up against hunger

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Shri Narendra Modi asks government departments to discourage the practice of the need for citizens of India to get their application forms attested by government officials/ gazetted officers.

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In Nov 2014, one of the newspapers reported about a 15 year old tamed/ captive elephant, Indrajit, being released into the wild by its owner Mr TR Raghulal. Elephants generates huge market value in a state like Kerala.

To avoid troubles a tamed elephant may face in the wild, special arrangements were made by the forest-wildlife departments of the Government of Kerala, to ensure a smooth transition. The elephant is expected to live at least another 50 years.

IndrajitRaghulalElephantReleasedToWild

Mr TR Raghulal, who owns a business enterprise in Thrissur, Kerala, will not have his physical presence during the departure of Indrajit. He says, “Its better that i am not there. The departure of someone dear is a painful experience, irrespective of whether it is an animal or a human being. It is similar to extracting life. I can avoid that experience. To whichever dense forest he goes, my prayers and love will be there with him. I wish him well”.

Thankyou Mr Raghulal. Let your nobility in thoughts, words and deeds be a beacon for many.

Indrajit, wish you well too… Be Free!

 

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While organising the marriage of their daughter, this noble couple – Shri Muhammed Kutty Haajji and Smt Fatima, also organised marriage of another 11 girls.

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The 2015 National Games organised in Kerala was associated with green protocols. This was initiated by Suchitwa Mission that aimed for “zero-waste” venues. Waste Management programmes were implemented at the 29 venues. To make the event “disposable-free”, there was ban on the usage of disposable water bottles. The event witnessed the usage of reusable tableware and stainless steel tumblers. Athletes were provided with refillable steel flasks. It is estimated that these green practices stopped the generation of 120 metric tonnes of disposable waste. Suchitwa Mission requested the help of volunteers to achieve the green objectives, and the service of these 700 volunteers to achieve the green objectives were applauded by the Chief Minister.

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The below is a photo of a board that was displayed in the front wall of a residence. The writing on the board indicates the gifting of Kanikkonna (golden shower tree) flowers and Kanikkonna tree saplings during Vishu, a festival that gives significant importance to the inclusion of Kanikkonna flowers.

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Would you be having similar events/ news/ images to share? If yes, please post them through the Comments section below.

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Top Nostalgic Songs from Malayalam Films, Dramas and Albums

Nostalgia – Gruhathurathwam – is a universal phenomenon. A Malayalee also goes through the same. What is unique to Kerala is the large number of families being raised, where the children find that one of their parents have migrated outside to a different state or country, to give a better living standard for the family. Many Malayalees longs to return home, and finds solace in replaying their memories with the warm expectation that their loved ones are waiting for their return. Malayalees discover the deep connection between their nostalgic feelings and the natural bounty of Kerala. While returning after a long stay outside Kerala, how can one express the emotion that one goes through, when the train enters Kerala through the Palakkad region? I dedicate this posting to all the Malayalees who toiled and suffered in distant lands to give a better life to their near and dear.

Varavelppu

It was during my attempt with creating a list of leading romantic songs from Malayalam cinema, that i discovered the existence of many nostalgic songs that did not exactly fit into the romantic genre. So, Gruhathurathwathinte ormakal puthukkaan, here are some of the melodious nostalgic songs from Malayalam (album, drama, movie)…

1. Vellaram Kunnile, Ningalenne Communistaakki, 1952
2. Marivillin Thenmalare, Sarvekkallu, 1954
3. Oruvattam Koodiyen Ormakal
4. Aayiram Kannumaayi Kaathirunnu Ninne Njaan, Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu, 1984
5. Vellaaram Kunnumele, Revathikkoru Paavakutty, 1986
6. Ormakal Odi Kalikkuvaanethunnu, Mukundhetta Sumithra Vilikkunnu, 1988
7. Cheerappoovukalkkumma Kodukkanu, Dhanam, 1991
8. Tharalitharaavil Mayangiyo, Sooraymanasam, 1992
9. Varuvaanillarum, Manichithrathaazhu, 1993
10. Aaraattu Kadavingal Arakkoppam Vellathil, Venkalam, 1993
11. Shraavana Sankalpa Theerangalil, Ponnona Tharangini – Vol 3, 1994
12. Mazhapeythu Maanam Thelinja Neram, Oru Abhibhaashakante Case Diary, 1995
13. Aaro Kamazhthivechorotturulipole Aakashathaavanithingal, Thiruvona Kaineettam, 1998
14. Paraniraye Ponnalakkum Pournami Raavaayi, Thiruvona Kaineettam, 1998
15. Chandana Valayitta Kaikondu, Thiruvona Kaineettam, 1998
16. Sahyasanu Sruthi Cherthu, Karumadikkuttan, 2001
17. Keranirakalaadum Oru Harithachaaru Theeram, Jalolsavam, 2003
18. Punnellinkkathirola Thumbathu Poothumbi, Made in USA, 2005
19. Aaraarum Kaanathe Aaromal Thaimulla, Chandrolsavam, 2005
20. Uthraada Pooviliyil Keralamunarukayaayi
21. Thirike Njaan Varumenna Vaarthakelkkaanaayi, Arabikatha, 2007
22. Amma Mazhakkaarinu Kan Niranju, Maadambi, 2008
23. Shyama sundara kera kedara bhoomi, Signature Song of Asianet Malayalam

If you feel like recommending any other songs of this genre, feel free to mention it in the comments section below.

Nourish the Nostalgia! Care for the Ecology! Be God’s Own! Arrive Home!

Anjumoorthy Mangalam

 

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Search Engines, Internet, Barber Shop and Golaantharavaartha

KathaParayumbol

The power of internet has helped us to connect to information that is available globally. Ages ago, for a Malayalee, the local barber shop was his search engine to the events happening in the world. Now, its Google. No doubt, Google has been of immense help to all of us.

Have you heard about Ecosia, a websearch site that contributes significant part of their revenue to a green cause, thereby making the world a better and beautiful place to live?

Ecosia is a web search site that contributes 80% of its advertisement revenues (!!!) to the “Plant a Billion Trees” program of The Nature Conservancy, a not-for-profit organisation. Ecosia also neutralizes all carbon dioxide emissions related to its web-search. This organisaion, in less than five years of its existence, has donated more than 15 crore rupees. Ecosia also releases details and proof about their donation on their website. Their web-address is http://www.ecosia.com and here is a two minute YouTube video about Ecosia at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=493dwSP7dwI

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Annu Peytha Mazhayil

vlcsnap-155678Its April-May – That season of the year when villages and towns in north-central Kerala enters into festivities, called as Pooram or Vela. These are also the times when many earn a livelihood and support their families – by selling balloons, country toys like peeppi, shookki and pambaram, local snacks like pori, parippu vada, pazham pori, inji muttai etc. Times are changing, and so does the wares they sell. Still, the season continue to support many for earning their livelihood.

This season also witnesses intermittent thunder-showers, and in May, the South West Monsoon sets in. More often than not, these rains play spoil-sport. Somewhere in the end of May, during one such vela affected by rains, Saju ventured out to buy a peeppi from one of the vendors. Attempting to empathise with the vendor, for the potential loss of sales due to rains, Saju said, “Mazha kaaranam kachavadam koranju alle…” (rains would have decreased your sales, right?). The vendor replied, “Mazha peyyatte. Athu ellavarkkum upakaaramakum” (let the rains shower. it will be of use to all.)

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6 Malayalees and 60 Opinions – All for a Coconut

NariyalPaniIt is said that when Neil Armstrong reached the Moon, he found a Malayalee there, selling coconut water. After tasting coconut water for the first time in his life, Neil Armstrong was keen to know more about the coconut, coconut tree and coconut water. The Malayalee informed Neil about the majestic heights that one has to climb to pull down the coconuts from the coconut trees. Enthralled by that heroic story, Neil Armstrong expressed in awe, “That’s one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind”.

However, something has brewed in the land of spices in the recent times. A section of the society demands that a tax should be imposed on the coconut water sales done by the roadside hawkers. This blogger tried to get responses from various sections of the society, about their opinions about this demand, and the responses are as below:

1. Indian Center for Health Research (ICHR), a respectable think-tank, existing virtually, has found that Keralites are not having enough fats in their body, in comparison with many Europeans and Americans. ICHR believes that incentivizing the sales of cola drinks would enlarge the body structures of an average Keralite, especially children suffering from anemia and malnutrition. ICHR cites statistics that indicate that in countries where the sales of cola products are higher, people have an enlarged and expanded body. Analysts are of the opinion that taxing coconut water would level the playing field for cola companies, who already pays taxes, funds political processes related to decisions in transparent food labeling, and supports recycling initiatives. A level playing field will help cola companies to sell more cola drinks, thereby making Keralites enlarged and expanded, thereby solving the problem of malnutrition, once and for all.
2. Dr Know-It-All, Senior Assistant Junior Professor, Kerala Institute of Advanced Management, asserts, “It is simply unacceptable, unethical and unfair that cola companies are not given an equal opportunity to work in the Kerala market. Considering that one of the leading cola companies is headed by a woman CEO, I suspect whether this is an expression of the deep rooted male chauvinist mentality prevalent among the Malayalee males”.
3. Association of Keralites Living Outside Kerala (aokLOK) commented, “What is wrong in increasing taxes? Taxes are for good for growth. Kerala needs more flyovers, cars, buildings and shopping malls. We need at least one airport in every village. We are sad that Malayalees in Kerala are living like ostriches. Have they been to Luxembourg or London?” A similar sentiment was raised by a section of business community. Echoing the voices of the industry, the editor of Financial Times of Kerala responded that there will be a drastic fall in the investor sentiment if Government of Kerala refuse to tax the roadside hawkers.
4. A coconut water seller told, “This will make our business unprofitable. People should know the health benefits of drinking coconut water
5. The most vocal were the college students who are members of the active student unions. “Stones and coconuts are our weapons during strikes, bandhs and hartals. The construction contractors and the builders have taken away the stones. If hawkers stop selling coconut, what will we use during our expressions of democratic resistances?”
6. Intellectual Malayalees Living Outside Kerala (imLOK) sent a three sentence reply to this blogger, “How can you be so insensitive by thinking only about the coconut sellers of Kerala? What about the coconut sellers of Bolivia and Nicaragua? Why aren’t you blogging about the coconuts in Vietnam and Cambodia?

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My Favourite Top 25 Romantic Songs from Hindi Films

Call it the beauty of nature, a dose of stupidity, naïvety of age or a proof that innocence is not yet lost among youth – that even in this calculating modern world, we continue to find some of the youth falling in love, full of idealism and hope! Celebrating that spirit of love, here is an attempt to list out some of my favorite romantic melodies from Hindi movie songs.

But before listing that, allow me to introduce (some of) you to a conversation from the movie ‘Ustaad Hotel’, a Malayalam movie, among other themes, captures the affectionate relationship that develops between Faizi (a “good-looking, educated abroad” youth who is also a “professionally qualified chef”) and his grandfather, Kareem (“Kareem Ikka”).

vlcsnap-103915On the backdrop of the nurturing caress of the Arabian Sea, Kareem Ikka, shares his warmth with Faizi, and says,

Oro sulaimaniyilum orithiri mohabbat venam…, athu kudikkimbo lokam ingane pathukkeyayi vannu nikkanam”(“Every sip of tea should have an element of love, intoxicated, that the universe comes to stillness”).

This list is dedicated to those who have fallen into that abyss of intoxication…

1. Aap Ki Nazron Ne SamjhaAnpadh (1962)
2. Gaata Rahe Mera DilGuide (1965)
3. Likhe Jo Khat TujheKanyadan (1969)
4. Tere Bina Zindagi Se, Aandhi (1975)
5. Aaj Se Pehle Aaj Se Zyada, Chitchor (1976)
6. Kabhi Kabhi Mere Deil Mein Khayal Aata HaiKabhi Kabhie (1976)
7. Yeh Ladka Ha Ye AllahHum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977)
8. O Sathi Re Tere Bina Bhi Kya JinaMuqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978)
9. Do Lafzon Ki Hai Dil Ki KahaniThe Great Gambler (1979)
10. Sunayana SunayanaSunayana (1979)
11. Neela Aasmaan So Gaya, Silsila (1981)
12. Neele Neele Ambar ParKalakaar (1983)
13. Aye Dil e NadanRazia Sultan (1983)
14. So Gaya Yeh JahaanTezaab (1988)
15. Aey Mere HumsafarQayamat se Qayamat Tak (1988)
16. Tumhein Apna Banane Ki KasamSadak (1991)
17. Dekha Hai Pehli BaarSaajan (1991)
18. Ghoonghat Ki Aad Se Deilbar Ka, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)
19. Dil Hoom Hoom KarayRudali (1993)
20. Raja Ko Rani SeAkele Hum Akele Tum (1995)
21. Bahon Ke DarmiyanKhamoshi (1996)
22. Hum Tumse Na Kuch Keh PayeZiddi (1997)
23. To Chaloon, Border (1997)
24. Do Pal RukhaVeer Zaara (2004)
25. Tere LiyeVeer Zaara (2004)

I hope the above list has some of your favourite songs. There is a good possibility that the above list have some of your favourite songs, if you are someone who watched ‘Ustad Hotel’ and enjoyed the below conversation.

Faizi:
Uppuppa…, ingade mohabattinte katha paranjutaruo?
Kareem Ikka:
Uppuppaakku mohabbattundaarnennu anakkentada orappu?
Faizi:
Athu…, sulaimani kudicha aalkalle athinte ruchi ariyavullu!!!

Faizi:
Grandpa, why don’t you narrate me the story of your love…?
Kareem Ikka:
Boy, how in the world do you know that your grandpa was immersed in love!?!
Faizi:
Well…, only the one who sipped the tea will know its essence!!!

If you’ve been heart-broken, know that you have a blessed opportunity. While the bold fall in love – they dare to move beyond the divisions of religious, casteist, linguist and economic status, they are also rooted in the fundamentals of Dharma. Hazrat Inayat Khan, a Sufi master, says, “God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.” Allow your heart to be broken again and again and again so that it increasingly opens up for the entire Universe – fellow human beings, stones, plants, animals and lizards.

Did i miss your favourite song? If so, what would be yours? Mention on the comments section below…

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My favourite Patriotic Songs and Musicals

MohanlalThere is a quote attributed to Isaac Tigrett, Founder of ‘Hard Rock Café’ and ‘House of Blues’ chain of restaurants, about his spiritual quest:

…But this journey eventually took me to the mother ship of phenomenon, our beloved India, the most fantastic land on this planet. I mean it’s rich with everything to do with spiritualism….. It’s wondrous that this fabulous land, which many of us have been blessed to go to, is still there in the midst of this Kali Yuga to protect and proclaim that God is everything and everywhere ….

As August 15, considered the Independence Day for India, is approaching, here are some patriotic musicals that you may like.

The numero uno patriotic song – from the Bollywood movie ‘Karma’
1. Dil Diya Hai, Jaan Bhi Denge (6.10)

The nostalgic classics from our channel, Doordarshan
2. Mile Sur Mera Tumhara (5.48)
3. Desh Raag (8.05)

From A R Rehman Team
4. Jana Gana Mana – A Musical (6.41)
5. Only You – A R Rehman (5.41)
6. Gurus of Peace – A R Rehman and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (5.00)

From the brand builders
7. Tum Chalo, To Hindustan Chale (2.06)
8. The Silent National Anthem (2.34)

Before signing off, here is a quote from the speech given by Late Prof N S Ramaswamy, National Research Professor in Management and Founder Director, IIM Bangalore, during Athi Rudra Maha Yagnam (ARMY 1 and ARMY 2),  held at Prasaanthi Nilayam:

Out of the 49 civilisations existing in the world prior to the Christian era, ours is the only one which is living and vibrant. Why? Everything is conceptualized as a mother – Mathrutva Bhava…. In every century, in every part of India, great saints and evolved souls and Avatars were born… We are the only people to say that all religions lead to the same God… Akashat patitam thoyam, yatha gachati sagaram… our civilisation has continued for 5000 years because of sacrifice, suffering, modesty, chastity, sympathy, empathy and service of the women of India. The world is divided into two – the haves and have nots. But India has a third category – those who have but don’t want. Buddha, Mahaveera and Janaka belong to this exalted category.”

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‘Nenjae Ezhu’ – ‘Arise, Mind’ – Be That One! Be The Source.

VadakkumnathanTempleThrissur

The above picture indicates the entrance of Vadakkumnathan Temple, located at Trichur/ Thrissur/ Thrisivaperur/ Thirusivaperur. Visit many of the temples, and you will find that the money charged for most offering ends with a one rupee, such as Rs 101, 251, 501, 10,001 and so on. So why this extra one rupee and why not 100 or 250 or 500 or 10,000?

Before we attempt to explore an answer to this query, lets journey to Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. This city was built by a Rajput king, “Sawai” Jai Singh II. Sawai, in Hindi, means, one and a quarter of one (or 1.25 or Rs 1.25 etc.). “Sawai” was also an honorific title given to an exceptional king who have demonstrated an intelligence and strength higher than their contemporaries and continues the noble qualities set by his ancestors. Jai Singh, who displayed astute administrative qualities, was also associated with the founding of a series of astronomical observatories (or Yantra Mantra, now popularly known as “Jantar Mantar“s). His reign was also known for promoting culture and literary works. Thus “Sawai” aligned with an expansion and continuation in the noble deeds of his predecessors.

Michel Danino, an Indologist, says, “Recently when I mentioned this “extra quarter” principle in a talk at Adobe (Noida) and someone told me that often when students make an offering at a temple for success at their exam (better bribe the god than the examiner) the offering was one-and-a-quarter kilo…”. There is also a custom in the region of Kachchh, Gujarat, where during the fifth month of pregnancy the daughter-in-law’s brother comes and takes the daughter-in-law to her mother’s house and during the seven month of the pregnancy the mother-in-law takes one and a quarter kilo millet, jaggery and a coconut and puts it in the daughter in law’s lap.

Similarly, while engaged in an act of giving/ charity/ gifting, due importance was given in continuing the cycle of giving, an expression of the inherent natural qualities of Abundance and Love in an individual. The “one” extra rupee indicated the beginning of a continuation of a new cycle of giving. The event of giving was not an end an itself, but was the beginning of a new cycle of giving. And thus, the extra one rupee is included in auspicious offerings.

One

The lyrics of a popular song that i listened to, in the recent times, said:

Nenjae Ezhu, Nenjae Ezhu
Nenjae Ezhu, Nenjae Ezhu
Nenjae Ezhu, Nenjae Ezhu
Kaadhal Endrum Azhivadhillai

(Arise Mind… Love Never Dies)

“Love, because it is your nature to Love, because you know nothing else, because you cannot act otherwise than Love. Expand yourself, take in all.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, VII: 510)

Allow the river of Giving to flow through you. ‘Nenjae Ezhu’Oh Mind, Rise – Be That (extra) One. Be That One! Be the Source.

 

 

 

 

 

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Do You Have It In You?

INS_ViraatTo join the Indian Navy and being part of one of the naval vessels (pictured above: INS Viraat) is the dream of many youth. The following is the detail of a mission undertaken by Indian Navy.

The Mission: To navigate around the world, solo, non-stop, unassisted, in a sail boat. To sail south of all the great capes – Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope.

SagarParikrama

Name of the Ship: INSV Mhadei.

The Sailor: Lieutenant Commander Abhilash Tomy

Abhilash_TomySainik Samachar, the fortnightly publication from the Indian Armed Forces, had this to say about SagarParikrama: “Abhilash successfully completed the circumnavigation on March 31, 2013, having been at sea for 150 days and traversing 23,100 nautical miles or 42,966 kilometres through some of the most testing waters of the proverbial ‘saatsamandar‘. Mhadei, with Abhilash at the helm, had tasted the waters of the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The oceans in turn had tested the mettle of man and boat.” On successfully completing the mission, Abhilash was interviewed by Sainik Samachar.

The interviewer posed the question on whether Abhilash Tomy feels he have conquered the ocean. Abhilash responded to this, by saying,

In our culture, a mountain is not conquered by climbing it, but by circumambulating it. I am sure that I have not conquered the oceans in this voyage – merely understood it and spent time with it…

 

 

 

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Smasana Vairagya

SmasanaVairagya

A contest was conducted to find that city in the world where human values are given maximum importance, and citizens are in a state of joy and well-being. Cities from all parts of the world applied for this contest. A few among them were ‘The City of Gandhar’, ‘The City of Trigarta’, ‘The City of Kurukshetra’, ‘The City of Indraprastha’ and The City of I am Next’.

In the application form,

The City of Gandhar’ expressed: We have sensational performances in arts, music and dance.

The City of Trigarta’ bolted: Darkness is banished in our world. We’ve put high-voltage lamps everywhere.

The City of Kurukshetra’ thundered: We manufacture and export weapons for everyone’s self-protection.

The City of Indraprastha’ spelt: We mesmerize people with skyscrapers of 100 storey.

Vidura, the one-man judge for this contest, read through all the applications and finally selected ‘The City of I am Next’ as the contest winner. Many students visited ‘The City of I am Next’ to discover on why this city won the contest. On an evening walk, some of these students reached a spacious graveyard, located at the centre of this city. A faint tone of a musical drum beat was being heard. While walking, one of the students tripped, and fell down. He fell down on the lap of a person who was half-naked and had matted hair. This person asked, “Hey ignoramus, can you see me, now at least? The bulls here have a better vision!!”

 

 

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Tat Embodied.

Sri-Sathya-Sai-Baba1Sri-Sathya-Sai-BabaImage Credits: http://sandeepvarma.com/image-of-the-week-12/

I have come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts, to see that it shines day by day with added lustre. I have not come on behalf of any exclusive religion. I have not come on a mission of publicity for a sect or creed or cause, nor have I come to collect followers for a doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you of this unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of Love, this virtue of Love, this duty of Love, this obligation of Love.

Sai

His Work – Part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TFA8PwqJ9w
His Work – Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nKzDXyVLsQ

 

 

 

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The Horse Cart Driver

untitled8

Its more than a century back. A school classroom in the state of Bengal, in undivided India.

The teacher was asking students on what they want to be in life. Somebody said, “I want to be an IT professional” Someone said, “I want to be a doctor” Another student said, “I want to be in civil services” “And i want to be a management consultant”

The expressions were going on, and the teacher was encouraging their aims and aspirations. Soon, the chance fell upon a student, whose eyes were burning with inquisitiveness towards Truth. The teacher asked him, “So, what do you want to be in life?”

The student rose up and answered, “Revered Teacher, I want to be a horse-cart driver.”

Echoes of laughter bursted across the classroom. “Horse-cart driver!!! That’s an apt choice for you.” Some students started mocking at him. “So here comes our new driver.”

Upset by the insensitive nature at the classroom, the young learner returns home, moody. His mother sees him. A mother being what a mother is, she consoles the child and asks what happened. The child explained the horse-cart incident.

She holds his hand and takes him towards the prayer room at home. Taking him inside and then right into the centre of the pooja room, she points her finger to a wall-mounted picture, one among the many images and idols. “Do you see that picture of a horse-cart there?”

As the child nods the head approvingly, she looks deep into the child’s eyes and adds, “Be like that horse-cart driver.”

(Years later, that child went on to be a revolutionary who took the world by a ‘cyclone’ on a September 11, with a heart-felt speech that still echoes among the “Sisters and Brothers of America.”).

 

 

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The ecstasy of fighting a losing, yet dharmic battle…

This was in the 1970s, after the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) announced plans to begin dam construction across the Kunthipuzha river in the Nilgiri region. This region was one of the few undisturbed areas of tropical moist forests in India, and is estimated to be 50 million years old. This dense forest chunk is also the habitat of lion-tailed macaque (simhavalan kurangu), a species endemic to the region.

Mega dam projects have always been known for their negative environmental impact and the proposed project was not an exception. Considering the importance of conserving the pristine nature of the region, there was a small group of people who tried to bring about a change in the government’s decision. One of them was Sugathakumari, a poetess, also referred to as “Sugathakumari Teacher”. These activists had to face ridicule from many. Members of many political parties and commercial interests were supportive of the dam construction project. The debate pitched between the need to choose between human beings and lion-tailed macaque.

vlcsnap-123031As part of the conservation campaign, Sugathakumari Teacher wrote to the literary thinkers in India, stating, “The losing side in a battle also requires warriors. Please join us in this losing battle.”

The support to the losing side did came – from key literary figures in Malayalam like Vaikkom Muhammed Basheer, NV Krishna Varrier, Vyloppilly Sreedhara Menon, Sukumar Azhikode, Dr Bhaskaran Nair, OV Vijayan, M Mukundan, Anand and innumerable number of people. Mass petitions were collected and sent to public servants, including the President and Prime Minister of India. There were public protests. Soon, the campaign emerged as one of the globally visible environmental movements.

This movement gifted us the Silent Valley National Park. The Silent Valley forest plays a significant role in the creation and sustenance of Bhavani river, which provides drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people, including those living in Coimbatore.

 

 

 

 

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My Favourite Top 25 Romantic Songs from Malayalam Films

Call it the beauty of nature, a dose of stupidity, naïvety of age or a proof that innocence is not yet lost among youth – that even in this calculating modern world, we continue to find some of the youth falling in love, full of idealism and hope! Celebrating that spirit of love, here is an attempt to list out some of my favorite romantic melodies from Malayalam film songs.

But before listing that, allow me to introduce (some of) you to a conversation from the movie ‘Ustaad Hotel’, a movie, among other themes, captures the affectionate relationship that develops between Faizi (a “good-looking, educated abroad” youth who is also a “professionally qualified chef”) and his grandfather, Kareem (“Kareem Ikka”).

vlcsnap-103915On the backdrop of the nurturing caress of the Arabian Sea, Kareem Ikka, shares his warmth with Faizi, and says,

Oro sulaimaniyilum orithiri mohabbat venam…, athu kudikkimbo lokam ingane pathukkeyayi vannu nikkanam”(“Every sip of tea should have an element of love, intoxicated, that the universe comes to stillness”).

This list is dedicated to those who have fallen into that abyss of intoxication…

1. Devi Nin Chiriyil, Rajaparampara (1977)
2. Saradindu Malardeepa, Ulkadal (1979)
3. Sundari, Nin Thumbu Kettiyitta, Shalini Ente Koottukari (1980)
4. Thenum Vayambum, Thenum Vayambum (1981)
5. Thozhuthu Madangum Sandhyayumetho, Aksharangal (1984)
6. Mazhavillin Malar Thedi, Katha Ithuvare (1985)
7. Sukhamo Devi, Sukhamo Devi (1986)
8. Oru Kadalolam, Love Story (1986)
9. Paadaam Namukku Paadaam, Yuvajanotsavam (1986)
10. Aakaashamake Kani Malar, Namukku Paarkkan Munthirithoppukal (1986)
11. Vysakhasandhye, Nadodikattu (1987)
12. Manjin Chirakulla, Swagatham (1989)
13. Neermizhipeeliyil, Vachanam (1989)
14. Pathiramazhayetho, Ulladakkam (1991)
15. Tharam Valkkannaadi Nokki, Keli (1991)
16. Neelaravilinnu Ninte, Kudumbasametham (1992)
17. Allimalar Kaavil Pooram Kaanaan, Midhunam (1993)
18. Rajahamsame, Chamayam (1993)
19. Enthinu Veroru Suryodayam, Mazhayethum Munpe (1995)
20. Aaro Viral Neetti, Pranaya Varnangal (1998)
21. Oru Rathri Koodi, Summer in Bethlehem (1998)
22. Parayaan Maranna Paribhavangal, Garshom (1999)
23. Poomakal Vaazhunna, Kaattu Vannu Vilichappol (2000)
24. Oru Narupushpamayi, Meghamalhar (2001)
25. Oru Chembaneer Puvirithu Njanomale, Sthithi (2003)

I hope the above list has some of your favourite songs. There is a good possibility that the above list have some of your favourite songs, if you are someone who watched ‘Ustad Hotel’ and enjoyed the below conversation.

Faizi:
Uppuppa…, ingade mohabattinte katha paranjutaruo?
Kareem Ikka:
Uppuppaakku mohabbattundaarnennu anakkentada orappu?
Faizi:
Athu…, sulaimani kudicha aalkalle athinte ruchi ariyavullu!!!

Faizi:
Grandpa, why don’t you narrate me the story of your love…?
Kareem Ikka:
Boy, how in the world do you know that your grandpa was immersed in love!?!
Faizi:
Well…, only the one who sipped the tea will know its essence!!!

If you’ve been heart-broken, know that you have a blessed opportunity. While the bold fall in love – they dare to move beyond the divisions of religious, casteist, linguist and economic status, they are also rooted in the fundamentals of Dharma. Hazrat Inayat Khan, a Sufi master, says, “God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.” Allow your heart to be broken again and again and again so that it increasingly opens up for the entire Universe – fellow human beings, stones, plants, animals and lizards.

Did i miss your favourite song? If so, what would be yours? Mention on the comments section below…

 

 

 

 

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