Popular Posts

Followers

About Me

My photo
Graduate in Maths, Postgraduate in English literature. Worked as a medical transcriptionist, also as a teacher.

Blog Archive

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A visit to Tirupathi.

Hi everybody,
                     How has been the year 2011 for all of you? Did you work on the resolutions you made? Did you feel you could have worked harder? Well, you all will be holidaying somewhere someway or other till the Monday blues start. This may well explain the reason why Anna Hazare's 3rd round of fast was a damp squib. Sorry Annaji, we are in a mood to eat, drink and make merry and so please excuse us!!!
                           We ended the year with a visit to Tirupathi Temple which was long pending in our list. I believe, a visit to any place is incomplete without seeing the surrounding areas there. Most of the people  come to Tirupathi just to have a darshan of Lord Venkateshwara which itself may take about a day, depending on the waiting time. We were in the queue for 6 hours and got the darshan of the Lord at the stroke of the midnight!! Imagine to everybody's chagrin that these thousands of devotees are made to wait for hours together when the VIPS, politicians or top Bollywood stars descend there!! With crores of rupees pouring in there, I felt the crowd could have been managed in much better way to have a smoother darshan. There were some places where these queued people had to squeeze due to the narrowing of the space which can create stampede-like situations. Cleanliness part left much to be desired. There were lot of waste in the form of plastic covers, paper cups, plates thrown around. What was praiseworthy was the round-the-clock bus services, food stalls functioning for whole day along with voluntary food distribution. And of course, devotees' level of tolerance and patience to view their favorite Lord. We were totally exhausted and finished for the day when we reached our hotel.                                    
                       
                                 
      
            The next day we visited Sri Kalahasteeswara temple which was about an hour's distance from Tirupathi. Legend says that there were three staunch devotees of Lord Shiva: Sri(spider), Kala(serpent), Hasti(elephant) who worshipped Lord in different ways. Lord Shiva gave moksha to these devotees for their selfless devotion. This temple which was started by Pallava dynasty was later developed by Chola and Vijayanagara kings. The temple's architecture is symmetric with well-imposing, central gopuram surrounded by 4 small gopurams and strong, symmetrical  pillars  which looked similar to famous temples like SriRangam in Tamil Nadu. To the side of the temple is a hillock over which the idol of Kannappa, a staunch devotee of Shiva who was ready to remove his eyes and place on linga, is installed. We got a good overview of the main temple and the surrounding place. There were lot of ladies with earthen pots or buckets selling diluted buttermilk or sambharam which is a definite winner for the parched throats. We spent about five hours in that temple, but had a more satisfying day as the temple was far less crowded than the Tirumala temple. This temple is a must visit for anybody touching Tirupathi.


                                       Some snaps below are related to Kalahasthi temple.

    
                                   
                                           
                                                

                                     
  
                                  


                        On the last day of our visit, we again went atop the seven hills(or Yedu Kondalu in Telugu) just to enjoy the nature. The bus ride itself is a pleasure as we can see thick forests on both sides. As we go higher and higher, the valley on one side gets picturesque and densely green with trees. Each section of forest is named after ancient sages. We explored the surrounding areas of Tirumala temple which included Papavinasham, Akashaganga falls, Gogarbham dam, and some beautiful gardens belonging to Mutts. This part of our trip was very soothing and we really felt connected to the Lord through the nature. So friends, if you ever visit Tirupathi, do not miss the nature part where the real God exists!  These are photos near Tirumala temple.

                                   
         
                                                  On a trail opposite to Akashaganga falls.



                                           A few miles from the Tirumala temple.



                                           Akashaganga falls (Teertham).

GOGARBHAM DAM.
INSIDE THE GARDEN OF VANAMAMALAI MUTT.



       WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!

Take Care,

Deepa.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Why this Kolaveri on lyrics?



Hello,

    'Oh, you did not listen to the newest sensation? Dai Kolaveri(You, Kolaveri) !!.' This will be the reaction from somebody if you say you have not heard Dhanush's Promo song 'Why this Kolaveri'? This song, for which the actor Dhanush penned the lyrics and sang in his own voice to the tune set by an eighteen-year-old debut music director, has become an unexpected rage with more than 8 million viewers touching the YouTube for the song within the first 10 days. This should break all the Guinness records for the YouTube search if there is one.
          I have to say that I listened to this song out of curiosity. To be frank, I could not make any sense of the lyrics in this song. The tune of this song is definitely catchy which made me hear the same multiple number of times. Many of us would have now searched for the meaning of the word 'Kolaveri.' There is one word which still does not make sense to me. This word is 'bouv-u' coined to rhyme with cow-u and love-u,now-u. After hearing this song, I feel any one of us can pen lyrics to a song. One need not be a poetic expert like Sahir Ludhianvi, Javed Akhtar, Vairamuthu, Vali, ONV Kurup etc. who will put down years of sweat and hard work to become an acclaimed lyricist or a poet. You need not be a veteran in a particular language. One can sprinkle some random words and see to it that the tune is catchy. Is this a kind of slap in those well-established lyricists? How long will this kind of music with scanty lyrics last? I do not want to be a pessimist or a person whining with nostalgia as to 'oooh, during the 60s and 70s we listened to those golden oldies with beautiful poetry(lyrics) set to melodious tunes which today's youngsters do not understand.' We have to accept the fact that the current generation does not have the time and patience to listen to the lyrics and grab the true essence of a song. The careful emphasis on good lyrics for a film song started to decline by the 90s and it was enough to have some catchy tunes to make the song a hit. We do find here and there some really soul-stirring music with good lyrics, but those have become far and few.

                   What will make a film song or an album a hit? There cannot be a definite answer to this. The catchy and imposing tunes set to the lines do play a major part. A soulful song or an album which will live through the generations should have good lyrics, melodious tunes and even the scenes that will blend accurately with the song. Many songs are more enjoyed by the public by watching them on the screen than just listening to them. Coming back to the Kolaveri song, this adds an unexpected feather to the cap of the actor Dhanush who doubles as a singer, and also to the cap of the first-time music director, Aniruddh. But, this is a kind of 'Bubble hit' and if the music directors attempt to bring out more songs in similar lines, they maybe in for disappointment.

Thanks,
Deepa.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Glimpses from my Hometown Visit

Hi everybody,
                  As the old adage goes: East, West, home(or rather hometown) is the Best. For all of us, our hometown or the place we grew up always holds some special place in our hearts. Every visit is a chance to re-live those lost moments, be it connecting with the childhood friends, visiting the landmark places, or loving mummy's food which was most fussed while our growing up. For a woman who is married off, a visit to her parents' place is even more special or a sort of luxury that she can afford a few times in her life. An old song mostly associated with Christmas goes like this:
         "There is no place like home for the Holidays                      
           For no matter how far away you roam -
           When you long for the sunshine of a friendly gaze,
           For the holidays - you can’t beat home, sweet home!"
       
       Having grown up in the 'God's own country-KERALA', I took the place for granted until I moved out of Kerala after marriage. Having lived in metros, the serenity and the greenery of my place is even more mesmerizing with every visit. My recent visit which was unplanned seemed to rejuvenate me like never before. As there are lots of trees in the backyard there, a variety of birds can be spotted everyday. My favourite passtime was to watch the various birds from the terrace while having the morning coffee. Here are some glimpses from my hometown visit.
          The above image is a closer look at 'Gowli coconuts' which are colourful and photogenic and used for decorative purposes in functions like wedding.


    Inside of my 'Home, sweet home.'
                               Puja room.

                                  My water-colour painting.





                      A striking TULASI MADOM from the neighbour's house.



 
                                                   BOUNTIFUL JACKFRUITS!!!!
  

                                   One of my early artworks-A gift to my parents.

                                             Kingfisher perched on a twig!!!


                                           Kingfisher again!!!!   Lucky ME!!!!!!!                                           
               
   Crow Pheasant or 'Uppan' in malayalam.

                 A view of  'arecanuts'.

                      Our dear 'common crow-helping to clean the 'leftovers'.

                                 
            
                                        A woodpecker in action!!!!!!

                             
 

Another view of 'crow pheasant.'     
Enjoy & Keep smiling, :-))))))))
Deepa.
             




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Arab Spring, Indian Spring, voice of the women



 
 




Hello,
           How is everybody out there? Did you all have a bursting and cracking diwali filled with delicacies, get-togethers? I know. Though diwali is only for a day, unlike Dussera, the celebrations start after the finish of Dussera  and the hangover remains for some more days which will continue upto the New Year.
              As this year draws to a close, many historical events have taken place for good or bad. The most notable among them were the series of popular uprisings in the Middle-East. A self-immolation in Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia triggered a series of street demonstrations in December 2010 which led to the ouster of the President Ben Ali on 14th January 2011 ending the 23-year rule. The movement was fuelled by unrest due to corruption, unemployment, poverty, lack of freedom of speech. It was like a volcano waiting to erupt. It not only erupted, but the heat spread across the country of Egypt.
             Egypt, the land of historical ancient wonders (The great pyramids), the land of one & only ancient glamour queen, Cleopatra, witnessed the latest historical revolution in Tahrir Square this January. President Hosni Mubarak stepped down from the power in February 2011, after an autocratic rule of 30 years. The Tahrir Square revolution was more or less peaceful as Mr. Mubarak himself decided to step down without trying to suppress the movement.
                    The third major revolution began in Bayda in Libya this January. This revolution began with protests against the poor living conditions and grew into all out anti-government protests by the middle of February. Though the Government tried to suppress the movement by using mercenaries, the casualities were running into thousands which drew the international attention. The Western allies(US, UK, France) joined together and started attacking the pro-Gaddafi sites. By late August 2011, the dictatorial rule of 42 years was ended with the help of coalition forces. It is hard to forget the brutal attack on Colonel Gaddafi and the images of a bloody Colonel Gaddafi which was flashed across the media all over the world.
                 There were many uprisings in the countries of the Middle-East which were not strong enough and so the ruling Governments could suppress them.  But the spring has just begun and it should bring the much needed change from the autocratic Governments in the Middle East. The other countries where the protests started, though not loud enough, are Algeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, to name a few.
                How much of  women's voices are heard in these parts? Women in many parts of Middle East are yet to enjoy equal rights as men. While some countries there are more liberal, the most conservative one is Saudi Arabia. Women there are still fighting for right to drive on their own, right to vote, right to travel outside the country without the company of a male etc. Hats off to those women who came out and drove their vehicles by organising through the social networks even though they were threatened to be lashed. In Egypt, many laws were amended in favour of women in the name of Hosni Mubarak's wife which are known as 'Suzanne's Laws'. Now that his leadership has ended , these laws may be changed which can go against the women. The bottomline is, as the rulers are always men there, if the rulership changes, women's laws will be changed according to their (government's) whims and fancies.
                        Coming back to our own country, we witnessed the movement against the corruption through the 2-week  fast of Shri Anna Hazare. It received enormous support directly and through the social networking sites that our government had to bow down to pass Shanti Bhushan's version of  'Jan Lokpal Bill.' Will our Government pass this bill sooner? But, why is it that Irom Sharmila's 11-year old fast against AFSPA Act yet to get this kind of response? Is it because the affected people are confined to the state of Manipur or because she is a WOMAN? Does a woman in our country need to raise the Voice twice the decibel levels of men to be heard?
                             Before I end this topic, I would like to share with you something that has been in my mind for sometime, which is not very much related to the above topics. Barring few Indian films, women-centric roles are less and most heroines are limited to song-dance roles and an extra decoration to the hero. As my viewership is confined to mostly  Malayam movies, I have observed that most of the female roles' voices are dubbed. This is because of the stereotyped perception that women need to have a 'sweet, acceptable' voice all the time. For an actor/actress to do full justice to the role, it is desirable that he/she speak their voice. The famous award-winning dialogue of Manichithrathaazhu movie 'Vidamaattai, appo nee ennai inkerndu engum poka vidamaattai....'(You will not allow me to go anywhere) was dubbed by the artiste Bhagyalakshmi! Asked about this in an  interview with the actress Sobhana, she replied that she very much wanted talk in her own voice, but was not allowed to do so as her voice pitch was lower than the 'required level'. 
                           Women have still a long, long way to go!!!!!

Take care,
Deepa.      
                  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nature's work of art -- Coppersmith Barbet Birds

Hi folks,
                 This time, the subject is more into nature, birds, arts. There is a small story behind this topic. On my recent visit to Lalbagh botanical gardens(Bangalore), I came across a board which displayed the pics and names of different types of birds existing there. I jotted down 2-3 names of species of birds (because they are forgettable and also we do not get to see them around in our tree-less cities).
             One such bird is Coppersmith Barbet. I googled and wikipedied for more information, and I came across some wonderful pictures of this Wonder Bird. OOOH, I'd like to meet you live instead of seeing you on a screen.                            
                                            A Little information on these birds.
                                             __________________________
                           These birds are found in some parts of South East Asia and also in India. They are known by this name because they make a characteristic 'Tuc Tuc Tuc' sound that reminds us of a coppersmith striking with his hammer. They are also known as 'Crimson-breasted Barbets' as their forehead and the neck are crimson coloured. The crimson forehead, the bright-yellow eye ring, bluish green body make them striking and stand out from the rest.

                                                           NATURE'S ART
                                                    ______________________
                                            
         The moment I saw some pics of these birds, I knew I have to capture (or recreate) in my drawing sheet . The crimson forehead and the bright-yellow eye ring was too hard to resist. Given a chance, my favourite passtime will be bird-watching. If any of you come across these exotic birds, be sure to capture them in your camera. Here, I would like to share with you a borrowed photo and my attempt at recreating from that image.


                This photo, which I borrowed from Google images, is taken by Mr Umang Dutt. HATS OFF!!!! to this excellent photographer for capturing this PRICELESS image in his lens. It is never easy to get the best view of birds like these.
 
                                            My Attempt at recreating !!!!!!!
                                             ________________________




  
                                                             This is my finished artwork.

    FINALLY, I have to confess that nature is the best artist and we can be inspired in endless ways from our BOUNTIFUL NATURE.
  
Enjoy,
Deepa.                      
              
            
                   

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ARE WE REALLY WORSHIPPING LORD GANESH?

          



  Hi folks,
               Today is September 11, the 10th anniversary of famous 9/11 which shook the whole world. Today is also declared as 'Grandparents' day, to highlight the role of grandparents in the society.  Why should I not write about one of these topics? A lot has been already written about 9/11 and will be done in future. As for the 2nd topic, nothing much to write about my grandparents. But, today is also the major immersion day of Ganesh idols in many parts of India. Celebration of Ganesh festival and subsequent immersion of idols in lakes, rivers and seas which is repeated every year set me thinking  whether we are killing all these waterways.

                            Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the first among the dieties in Hinduism as He is looked as the remover of all obstacles when one wants to start something new. This elephant-headed, pot-bellied God has always fascinated our minds and He is the most sought after diety compared to many others. He has captured the imagination of people so much that one can find a vast collection of Lord Ganesha in many houses in various forms and types, but not Lord Rama or Lord Krishna. No wonder, He is depicted as one of the favourite cartoon characters playing with small children.

             Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi start months in advance and the artisans and workers come from
many parts of India as well as from outside. The 10-day festival is celebrated in a mega scale more in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and to a lesser extent in other states. The making of big Ganesh idols in a large scale and the subsequent immersion was made more popular by Freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak to bring communities together against the British. Today, the practice still continues and it has become a big business and livelihood for so many families in India. The big idols are made mostly from Plaster of Paris material as they are light-weight and cheaper and can be transported easily. Thousands of POP idols(plaster of paris) are made and adorned and kept in pandals only to be taken for immersion ten days later. The immersion is mostly done in lakes and rivers and sometimes in sea-water.

             The big idols are bought by various societies to be installed in the corners of lanes and streets along
with glaring music and various cultural activities. The idols are painted in myriad colours and dyes which pollute the lakes and harm the aquatic creatures and plants. POP contains harmful chemicals like gypsum,which does not dissolve easily in water. Though there have been efforts to spread awareness about the harmful effects of these big idols, the demand for those idols only keep growing every year. The eco-friendly Ganeshas which are mostly made of clay and painted with vegetable dyes are used for home-pujas and more people are buying these types of idols. This year also, the sale of clay idols in Andhra Pradesh was more than the last year. The clay idols can be immersed in a bucket of water and that can be thrown in our garden. Lord Ganesha will be more pleased with that, I believe. Though sales of these eco-friendly idols have gone up, they are still overshadowed by the purchase of large POP idols.

                 I have stayed in Hyderabad for few years and I have witnessed the grand-scale celebrations. The one major attraction during this season is the giant-sized 'Khairatabad Ganesh idol' which is about 50-feet tall and keeps getting taller every year. In addition to that, there will be thousands of POP Ganesh idols installed in every nook and corner only to be immersed in the major lakes like Hussain Sagar as it is a land-locked city. The major immersion day is accompanied by traffic chaos and revelry among the youth remniscent of the New Year's eve. One could imagine the plight of those lakes and rivers which will be highly polluted with harmful chemicals from the colours and has the potential to kill the aquaitic life. Human deaths and injuries also happen with these massive immersions. Since POP material is light weight they do not really immerse but float in water. The presence of harmful chemicals from the colours increase manifold after the immersion. The clean-up that follows is a huge process and money-consuming. Bull-dozers are used to crush the idols and it is anybody's guess as to how they are disposed. This is repeated every year. My heart really pains to see this whole affair. Are we really respecting and worshipping Lord Ganesha by spoiling these lakes and seas? Is it not time we bring some change in the way we celebrate this festival?
        (1)   The first step is to create strong awareness about the harmful effects of the materials used and
should be done about a month in advance. People should know that they are harming the environment rather than worshipping the diety.

          (2)  The second step should be to place limitation on the height and the number of these type of idols and anyone who is seen crossing these limits should be heavily fined.

          (3)   The third step is to refuse contributing funds to the organizations who ask for installation of POP idols.  Reasoning should overtake the religious sentiments.

           (4) The fourth step is to provide alternative livelihood to artisans and workers involved in this. Their creativity and skills can be used in a better way like making artistic items and exporting them.
       
            We look forward for real, eco-friendly Ganesh festival which will not only please this favourite God, but also the precious environment.

Thank you,
Deepa.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Anna, Anna, rock the empire!!!


   


Hi folks,
           Yes, the fever has gripped the whole nation! The fight against corruption and the unity, solidarity of our people against the government witnessed as never before. People from all walks of life-school going, college going students, employees, home-makers, businessmen, senior citizens, even the dabbawalahs of Mumbai got together to be with the 74-year-old gandhian who want to see the effective JanLokpal Bill paassed by the government. He is now seen as an icon, the Pied piper of India etc. As I write this, Shri Anna Hazare is preparing to head to Ramlila maidan to begin his 2-week fast (which can be extended-we see here the bowing down of government) . What has amazed me is the power of people getting together to bring a change, inspired by gandhian, peaceful demonstrations. Recently, we witnessed the upsurge of people in countries like Egypt, Libya against the dictatorial regimes, but could not feel the pulse as the uprising was 'somewhere'. Now, I see the strength and unity of people in our own country, I can feel the power, the pulse. But wait! Are these bills the be-all and end-all against the corruption?
                   To put in layman's language, the highlighted differences between the government's version of Lokpal and Jan LokPal are:

  Government's version                                       Jan Lokpal

 1.Lokpal can probe complaints of             Lokpal will have power to
    corruption which are forwarded by         take action against
    speaker of Loksabha or the                   corruption on their own.
   Chairperson of Rajyasabha.        
                                              
2.Lokpal will have no police                    Lokpal will have both police
   powers and   no ability to                     powers and ability to
   register FIRs.                                       register FIRs.                

3.  The CBI and Lokpal will                  The CBI and ant-corruption
      be unconnected.                              wing of Lokpal will work
                                                              together .

4. Punishment for corruption is             Punishment for corruption is 
     very less.                                        much more and reasonable.

5. The Prime Mininster does not         The Prime Minister can be 
     come under the investigation          investigated under JanLokpal.
    of Lokpal.                     



                  As we can see here, if the Jan Lokpal bill is passed, it will be more people-power than the political power. That is why, there has been stiff resistance and postponement of the Bill , though it was proposed by Mr. Shanti Bhushan in 1968. Different parties have come and gone, but this bill is yet to see the light of the day. Corruption has spread throughout our country like cancer, and each one of us is affected by the corruption and lethargy in one way or other. To think of a corrupt-free system is like a utopian dream.
                   People of our country are so fed up with corruption that they saw Anna Hazare as a catalyst that was needed to come to the streets for crusade against corruption. How long will this steam last? How much more time is it going to take for the REAL LokPal Bill to be passed? Is that REALLY going to end corruption? I believe many of us will have doubts and skepticism regarding that.
                          Once the dust settles, are we really ready to give up our corrupt, lethargic practises in our daily lives? This bill may not put an end to corruption, but at the most control it. The implications of the Jan Lokpal Bill are to be seen to be believed. We are all so used to the tardiness of our law system, that a stricter one will be hard to accept. Can we get things done from the government officials without greasing their palms?
                   The change that we wish to see in our country should start coming from each one of us.  This Jan Lok pal is NOT going to work without our change in attitude. Our minds need a lot of cleansing. Each person should be considerate to the fellow being. You and me should take the country as a whole. Then only, it is going to work wonders!!! To give one example, a person here violates the traffic rules, runs the red-light signal. The same Indian meekly follows the traffic rules in US or UK for the fear of law.
                         We wish each other all the best for a less corrupt system in our country which will make lives easier for the coming generations.

P.S: The gandhi caps which were becoming extinct have made a strong comeback as a result of this revolution.

Thankyou,
Deepa.

        

Friday, August 5, 2011

Energy Prospects for future

    Stock Photo - unit of modern 
oil refinery. 
fotosearch - search 
stock photos, 
pictures, wall 
murals, images, 
and photo clipart

        
Hi Folks,
          How are you all? This time, the topic is a departure from normal, light ones but, nevertheless, one which requires some serious thought and attention by the current generation, if the generations after us should not suffer.
                                                    WRITE UP
                                                                       
     This is a write up on our energy scenario 50 to 100 years from now; and the same has been prepared by my father after carrying out in depth studies. Being a topic of relevance for all I am putting the same here
                                                       
We intake energy every moment, and therefore we are alive. In other words when we stop intake of energy in the form of food we die. This reason is sufficient for us to acquire awareness on availability of energy for all for the future.
The young ones of today are unaware of the conditions in which our great grandfathers lived. That was before petrol, diesel, cooking gas or electricity became available. There were no cars, buses, railways, ships or aircrafts in those days. They did not have the wonderful aids of today such as phones, television or even a radio.
Then how did they live? Our forefathers lived largely in villages by utilizing the limited quantities of (renewable) energy available then. Grains and vegetables were largely cultivated using manure of biological origin in river basins. Cooking of delicious food was largely done using the intense heat of fire obtained from burning firewood. They walked, and used animal driven carts and country boats to reach places beyond walking range. None belonging to the younger generation of today can imagine as to how our forefathers lived.
Then what was the root cause of the revolutionary types of changes that have taken place in our lives? Undoubtedly we could say that the unbelievable types of aids that have come into the lives of the modern man in the form of a large variety of home appliances energized by electricity, environmental conditioning systems, various transportation media as well as the computer assisted communication systems and many more have been realized by utilizing unlimited quantities of hydrocarbons.
Nowadays, petroleum is mined out, processed and distributed as per demand (more to satisfy the greed in us than need, according to this author). This gives an impression that petroleum deposits shall be available eternally. This is one side of the story.
Look at the other side of the energy scenario of the recent times. A couple of years back the Chief of British petroleum sent out a message that petroleum shall be available for meeting out needs only for around four more decades. A question came in my mind as to how we shall be able to operate our cars, trucks and buses and aircrafts after four decades from now. However, no one seems to have noticed this statement which according to me is life threatening. May be petroleum could last for another one hundred years more; even then, what do we do for liquid fuels afterwards? This is a question that is kept away from our discussions. However, we seem to have some idea on the energy shortage which is expected to seriously affect the functioning of our economy in the not so distant future; therefore we are looking at the possibility of deriving energy from alternative sources.
This could be the reason for us to seriously pursue with measures for deriving electricity from nuclear energy to the maximum possible extent. However, we seem to be running after the oasis of accelerated capacity additions of nuclear electric power plants. Since we do not have the capability for establishing a large number of them in a short period utilizing our indigenous production capabilities alone, we have gone to countries that could make them available for us. However, we are in a pathetic situation in which they provide us hope one day, and the very next day makes us desperate.
Then we are promoting the generation of grid connected solar electricity in a big way; we therefore have the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission aimed at a capacity addition to the tune of 20000 MW by the year 2022.  We are investing a huge quantum of money and in turn our precious resources for this. However while doing so we are overlooking many negative aspects of solar electricity generation; some of them are:
·         Compared to the intensity of energy we get by burning hydrocarbons, the intensity of solar energy is very weak. 
·         The efficiency of conversion of solar energy into electricity is also very low.
·         The life of many of the sub systems of solar electrical plants is very low; eg. Battery.
·         The cost of solar electric plants is very high.
An analysis carried out by self indicates that we spend more energy largely in the form of electricity for the manufacture and operation of solar electric plants, than the quantum of electricity we get from them over their lifetime performance. This important aspect seems to have been overlooked by our energy planners.
Books on energy refer solar energy as the energy of tomorrow. I believe that this statement is being made without understanding its limitations with respect to generation of electricity.
We also seem to believe that energy from nuclear fusion reactors is sure to provide us as much energy as required in the hydrocarbon depleted era. However, its technology seems to be so complicated that nuclear fusion reactors providing us energy even after a century or two seems to be very remote.
On the whole the energy scenario of the coming centuries seems to be very bleak. Whether anyone is aware of this aspect is not clear. By not being serious about working out an energy-population planning for the coming times, we are doing great injustice to our succeeding generations who might face very serious energy shortages.
This author would like more and more of us to develop understanding on what are happening on the energy scenario, and what it is likely to be 50 to 100 years from now.

 
   Thanks to my father S Muthukrishna Iyer on his efforts to spread awareness about ever(never)lasting energy scenario through this article.
    

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The humble, obstructive tamarind seed

      




Hi folks,
                How r u all?? It has been raining  here off and on and the Software city (previously Garden city:))) is back with windy, gloomy (sleepy) days. Steaming cups of tea with snacks, a nice book,  a corner couch, good backgroud music-if you have all these, voila, heaven on the earth!!
            We South Indians cannot do without sambar, or many other preparations with tamarind pulp. Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) (from Arabic تمر هندي, romanized tamar hind, " Indian date") is a tree in the family Fabaceae. (source Wikipedia).  I remember my mother storing tamarind in ceramic jars (or bharani) mixed with table salt. ( still do not know the purpose of storing like that!!Maybe, for preservation) Tamarind in natural form is seeded. To make the lives easier for working women, we find seedless tamarind, tamarind concentrates these days in all the markets. 
                I don't know why, suddenly, one day, I fell in love with these dark-brown, obstuctive tamarind seeds. It is common to throw away these seeds while squeezing the juice from tamarind. When I closely observed a tamarind seed, I felt it has a shining, bright texture, hardness, smoothness making it ideal for purposes other than throwing away. I keep collecting them so that I can use for art purposes. When I googled for artworks out of tamarind seeds, I could not find much. I would like to share with all of u, some photos of my artworks where these seeds were used. I am trying to bring out more artistic ways of using these seeds.
                     If you have any fantastic ideas about this seed, share them.

Deepa.