August 2009

Bootlegging

Bootleg or bootlegging usually refers to making, transporting and/or selling illegal alcoholic liquor or copyrighted material. The term originates from concealing hip flasks of alcohol in the legging of boots. These flasks are nowadays collector’s item. It size is suited for a trouser pocket or hiding in the stocking under the petticoats. That is why the term is called bootlegging. The hip flask began to appear in the form recognized today in the 18th century, initially used by members of the gentry. During the 18th century, women boarding docked British warships would smuggle gin into the ship via makeshift flasks,… Read More »Bootlegging

Was it a Cobra?

Yesterday, I was coming back from city. I took a detour towards my office from the normal road. My wife was sitting in the back seat. Suddenly she told me that we have just missed overrunning a huge serpent. I could not believe because, I missed seeing it completely. May be my mind was engrossed somewhere else. The snake was still sitting with its hood totally opened. May be when our car just missed it and for a moment it became angry. I reversed the car and reached just near it. I have never seen in life such a majestic… Read More »Was it a Cobra?

Mumbai Magic-Dabbawalas

Mumbai is always on the go. There is no concept of night here as in the other parts of the country where people shiver at the thought of moving out at night. Here local trains which are the life lines of the city keep running till 3 O’clock in the morning. The VT station alone, now named after the great Maratha warrior, Shiva Raje Bhosle, called CST, short for Chhatrapti Shivaji Terminus, records 0.3 million passengers daily on it 6 platforms making it the busiest railway stations in the world. Similar is the story of Churchgate station on western line.… Read More »Mumbai Magic-Dabbawalas

Serendipity

The word has become very popular in usage after it was coined by Walpole. Serendipity means accidental discovery of something. A scientist is working on the synthesis of a particular compound he has in his mind but discovers an entirely new product. This is called serendipity. Discovery of penicillin by Dr.Alexander Fleming is the example of serendipity. He forgot to disinfect cultures of bacteria when going for long vacations, only to find them contaminated with molds of Penicillium which had killed the bacteria. There are ample number of other examples of serendipity which can be found in different spheres of… Read More »Serendipity

Dream of Kekule:Benzene

Continuing the subject of dreams, it is pertinent to mention that lucid dreams had helped many to make great discoveries and inventions. Since my subject is chemistry, I will touch upon one such famous dream which laid the foundation for understanding the structure and chemistry of  aromatic compounds. As every one versed with chemistry knows, the benzene is the starting compound of aromatic compounds. Its structure was derived by Kukule’. His full name was Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz. Benzene was analyzed to have 6 carbon and 6 hydrogen atoms. Existing formula of all the organic compounds did not fit… Read More »Dream of Kekule:Benzene

Dreams

Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar has said “O, dream, you are a Sultan“, not for nothing. Dreams are safety vents which help us humans to fulfill and therefore  release the suppressed desires. To achieve and get what we cannot get in real material world. Dreams recreate the world around us according to the individuals experiences and inputs obtained by the interaction with the world. There in the dream, our suppressed feelings like unrequited love for someone who is in reality out of reach, shall be realized. The dream will bring two people thousands of miles apart together within no time. No… Read More »Dreams

Guided by Heart

If someone asks me to write again the article on same subject, I am almost certain I will not be able to reproduce it. My composition will change drastically. I think this happens with persons who write using their heart, not with their heads. Heart is not as stable as the head. It controls the emotional part of our personalities. As the emotions depend upon the short term happenings, they tend not to be repetitive. Such persons can write fiction, poetry but not prose. Such person cannot be good managers. May be if I had tried, I could have been… Read More »Guided by Heart

Disillusionment

Life seems to an illusion. In fact, whole world seems to be a figment of falsehood. People seem to be too trivial, becoming too happy and too distraught with small achievements and losses. There is opaque gossamer which Maya has spread over this world to keep us away from the real truth. Maya schemes day and night to keep us mired in trivial attachments and actions. It dangles morsels of earthly sensual pleasures from time to time to maintain its sway over us. It makes every effort to keep us away from our creator, the real contentment and peace. By… Read More »Disillusionment

Magic of Poetry

A few days ago, one of my friends told me that she likes the songs of “Veer Zaara” very much. I, too, like any lover of celestial music, do that. I also knew that the tunes of the songs had been created long back by the inimitable Madan Mohan. I did a small search on the net and soon reached a website created by his son Sanjiv Kohli devoted to his father. In this site, I found the tunes hummed by Madan Mohan Ji. Not only were these for Veer Zaara Songs but so many other songs. How the tunes… Read More »Magic of Poetry