December 2012

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: 4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 28,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals Click here to see the complete report.

Journey to Amritsar

Just as every Muslim desires to go to Haj at Mecca, every Christian to Bethlehem and every Buddhist to Tibet, it is the Golden Temple -Swaran Mandir in Amritsar for a Sikh. It is holiest of all Sikh shrines and one of five Takhats. Golden temple was built by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru of Sikhs. Almost every person must have seen it in pictures. A holy tank in which the Gurudwara called Golden Temple is situated. There is a pathway from one side of the rectangular tank leading to the Sanctum Sanctorum. The building can be approached from… Read More »Journey to Amritsar

My trysts with Fog

In my younger days at Chandigarh in North India, we experienced Foggy days and nights during winter season. Firstly, it begins to lurk over the fields which are irrigated and water is not dried. Along with the smoke which rises from the burning hearths in the huts of villages, it stays suspended low over the fields and homes. Afterwards, when temperature drops further it begins to engulf whole region rising from the water bodies like ponds and rivers. With breeze breaking, it floats here and there. Visibility begins to reduce and the people walking a certain distance suddenly seem to… Read More »My trysts with Fog

Blood: Our lifeline

Blood is the lifeline of bodies. It performs the vital functions to keep our body healthy. It is vehicle for transporting the oxygen which we breathe to the individual cells without which they will perish. Oxygen is bound to the iron present in the red blood cells and the metalloprotein is called hemoglobin. It also collects the resultant carbon dioxide to bring it back to the respiratory organs to be dispensed from the organism. When the supply of oxygen to the body is low at high altitudes, you can see the reddish spots in the cheeks of many people because… Read More »Blood: Our lifeline

Mutual Aid or Cut throat Competition?

Darwin, father of the theory of evolution, taught us the behavior of species. The main tenet of his theory was that when the resources for which the members of an animal are competing are not sufficient, there is a fierce struggle amongst the members to outdo one another and in the end it is the strongest and fittest which emerges the winner. This theory has many opponents not only in religious quarters but within science itself. And the issue is not satisfactorily settled. For almost 100 years, no single person did more to promote the study of the evolution of… Read More »Mutual Aid or Cut throat Competition?

Professor Yasmin Saikia

One day a program on Ahoms-the kings who ruled the state of Assam for almost 700 years-was telecast on Doordarshan TV. It talked about how Tai Ahoms came to Assam from Yunnan province and settled here bewitched by the natural beauty of the land. I have been to the place and stayed there for 3 years and I can vouch for the fact. Although they ruled the state for such a long period, adopted the language of the region, married into the local inhabitants, the truth about the history is not all that clear. I searched on Google and the… Read More »Professor Yasmin Saikia

Winter is becoming Intense

Except for a few sporadic appearance of clouds, the days begin with very bright mornings. The day breaks late. The sun comes out only at about seven o’clock although the darkness begins to melt into grey and then visible by half past six . The sky which looks black before sunlight begins to take on bluish hue. There are groups of birds flying over against a clear sky. Cranes fly in groups to a river nearby to remain there all day and forage for food in the icy cool waters of the river. They can be seen returning in the… Read More »Winter is becoming Intense

Moors Last Sigh

Last of the Moors to rule Granada was Boabdil (Arab. Abu-Abdallah or Ez-Zogoiby, the Unlucky). In 1491 the Moorish capital fell to Ferdinand, though Boabdil fought with a courage strangely at variance with his infirmity of purpose. As he rode away to the coast he halted on a ridge at Padul, still called El Ultimo Sospiro del Mora (The Moor’s last sigh), to take a farewell look at the Alhambra, and burst into tears at the sight. Whereupon his mother is said to have thus reproached him: “You may well weep like a woman for what you could not defend… Read More »Moors Last Sigh

Wajid Ali Shah and Boabdil

Both Boabdil (Arab. Abu-Abdallah or Ez-Zogoiby, the Unlucky) the last occupant of the Moorish throne of Granada and Wajid Ali Shah, who ruled Oudh, a princely state in Uttar Pradesh India from 1847  to 1856 are separated both in space and time from each other. Why I am putting them on the same page is that both lacked the attitude which is required to be a ruler. The mind of Wajid Ali was on other things like arts and poetry. He was the tenth and last Nawab of Oudh. Boabdil ascended to  rule the Granada after he drove out his father… Read More »Wajid Ali Shah and Boabdil

Cotton: The fiber that covers us

When Adam, the first man and Eve, the first woman, ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of wisdom, they become conscious about their nudity. They became so embarrassed that when the Father God came to see them, they were hiding behind the trees and God understood that they have violated the condition which was laid down for them to live in the Eden Garden without ever to do anything for their needs. When God commanded them to come out of hiding before Him, they wrapped their sensitive organs with leaves. They were expelled from the Heaven condemned to toil… Read More »Cotton: The fiber that covers us