Archive for April, 2009

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Behind the bars

April 27, 2009

A human finds a talking lion in a zoo. He is amused and engages it for a conversation

Human: You may be the king of the jungle. But we humans rule the planet. Wouldn’t you agree?

Lion: Depends on how you look at it.

Human: Ha, an arguing lion! Remember that you are behind the bars!

Lion: You humans have the tendency to divert the topic, especially when you are afraid of losing an argument!

Human:
Do you know how many senses we have? Do you know how clever we are? That partly explains why we are free and you are not!

Lion: Let us come to my freedom later. How do you say you are free?

Human: What a silly question! We have a lot of freedom. Freedom of expression for example….

Lion: Freedom of expression is it? If you feel that your boss is talking nonsense can you tell him as much and ask him to shut up?

Human: That may not be a practical….

Lion: Can you say that to your wife?

Human: That is totally impractical!

Lion: To your five year kid at least?

Human: Oh no! At least in the other two cases, I may not get beaten up!

Lion: What other freedom do you have?

Human: We have freedom of choice. For example, we can do any job that we like….

Lion: I see. But you do not have the freedom to not work at all.

Human: How can you not work at all? You need to eat, have a shelter, buy medicines – do all that stuff, right?

Lion: Do you think I don’t eat, I don’t have a shelter, I don’t get medicines? Do you think I work to get all that? You don’t even seem to have the freedom that I do, in this matter!

Human: That’s because we are feeding you, we are giving you a shelter, we are….

Lion: Exactly. How stupid!

Human: Well you can’t beat us in this. We have intellectual freedom. We can acquire knowledge, grow our intellect and hence are enlightened beings.

Lion: And what exactly do you do with all that intelligence and enlightenment? Develop nuclear weapons, long range missiles and firearms to kill each other? Have you ever seen a lion killing another lion? But you kill each other. You kill other animals, you destroy forests, you pollute the environment, increase global warming and you claim you are intelligent! Do you think intelligent creatures will do all these things?

Human: At least, we can move freely outside. You are inside the cage. You are behind the bars!

Lion: In my point of view, even you humans are behind the bars. It actually looks like that from inside here! If you choose to call this a prison, then even you are in one – but slightly larger, that’s all! Even though your prison spans a huge geographical area, you have infinitesimally much lesser freedom than me!

Human: I can even shoot you right now!

Lion: You can’t. Do you know the procedure to own a pistol and get a license for it? Even if you manage that, do you know what will happen if you shoot a lion which is locked inside a cage? Haven’t you heard of the Protection of Endangered Species Wildlife act?

Destination Infinity

PS: Stop being cruel to animals 😉 BTW, humans are also animals 😛

You could visit the Quotations and Humour section of this blog for more such articles.
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Top 10 Slow Melodious and Soulful Songs

April 23, 2009

As mentioned in the previous post Best of Slow Melodious and Soulful Songs(Songs 20 – 11), please go ahead only if you can spend around one hour for pure enjoyment listening to some of the best songs from around the world.

And as mentioned in the earlier post, this selection is based on a theme – Love at first hearing, and hence I have not included the songs from popular languages like English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. I want this to be a Love at first hearing experience to you too.

This is a result of a Tag on Slow Melodious and Soulful Songs where I requested my fellow bloggers to list their favorite melodious songs in two languages and I am presenting to you what I think is the top 10 songs among the recommended ones. Since this is my selection, please remember that tastes vary depending upon so many factors and hence this list is by no means comprehensive. If you want to have a list of all the songs that were recommended in various languages, please follow the link given at the begining of this paragraph.

Enjoy………….. 🙂 (The songs are linked to the Youtube videos and you could right click on the song, open in a new tab and listen to it. The links are highlighted in blue)

Song #10: Sa Ding Ding – Alive

This song was recommended by Radha and is a Mangolian/ Han pop song. This is a very different song/ music where the visuals are as stunning as the song itself!

Song #9: Gli Ostacoli del cuore – Elisa Ligabue

This song was recommended by Radha and is an Italian song. I know this is not a slow or a melodious song. But the energy transformed to us by the singer is magical. And you will dance while listening to this song!

Song #8: Shaant Zarukhe Vaat nirakhti – Manhar Udhas

This song was recommended by Priya Iyer and is a Gujarati song. A nice melodious song in the style of a Ghazal and how much I wish I knew Gujarati!!

Song #7: Karat – Schwanenkonig

This song was recommended by Wortman and is a German song. Deep voice and fine music – a treat to the ears!

Song #6: Bulla ki jaana main kaun

This song was recommended by Dev and is a Punjabi song. I like the rhythm of this song along with the message it propagates.

Song #5: Liebe ist Alles

This song was recommended by Wortman and is a German song. The way the tempo is raised slowly as the song progresses is too good!

Song #4: Anisuthithe yaako indhu

This song was recommended by Su and is a Kannada song. I loved the song first time I heard it and that was long before doing this tag! Beautiful song, voice and music!

Song #3: The beatles of Hong Kong – Beyond

This song was recommended by Radha and is a Chinese song. If there was a soulful song searching for melody in melencholy, this was it!

Song #2: Paan Leelu Joyu

This song was recommended by Priya Iyer and is a Gujarati song. This is what I call a slow, melodious and soulful song. Too good!!

Song #1: Dheena dayalo Rama

This song was recommended by Nimmy and is a Malayalam song. Among all the songs recommended to me, I have listened to this one more times than any other. I just love such classical carnatic type songs! And some competition to Shreya Ghoshal at last!

🙂

Destination Infinity

You could visit the Music/ Photo posts section of this blog for similar articles

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The most important person of his life

April 18, 2009


“There is a holy mistaken zeal in politics as well as in religion. By persuading others, we convince ourselves”

Ravi was frustrated.

He was a very successful politician. And since he was in politics, he had all the big connections. He was one of the most influential persons in his city. Initially, it was hard for him to get recognised in politics, but later on he learnt how to manipulate – both people and situations. He knew exactly what people wanted and he exchanged this with what he wanted. He was clear about what he wanted – Power, influence, connections and to a certain extent money and the comforts it can bring. He was considered a successful politician because which ever party he joined in a particular election, that party won the state elections. His calculations were always spot on. He knew how to play the game.

There was only one person he was not able to understand – his daughter Pavitra. She was the most important person of his life after the death of his wife when Pavitra was young. Hence he wanted to give her all the comforts and luxuries that money can provide.

Any kid would love toys. Especially the flashy and expensive ones. But Pavitra never seemed to have an inclination towards these toys. She enjoyed a stroll in the park with him more than the wireless remote controlled TV Video games that he bought for her. Such strolls were rare as he was busy back then, like now.

Any girl would love jewellery. He had bought her a lot of jewellery – Gold, Diamonds and what not. But all that was safely kept in the locker. As long as he could remember, she wore only one thin gold chain with emerald – her birth stone. She also preferred simple cotton dresses over the expensive silk ones that he specially arranged for her from Kanchipuram.

She was good in studies. She was interested in reading a lot of books too. But he never bothered much about her academics as he knew that he had the power, the influence, the big connections – those that mattered the most. He was glad that she wanted to do the MBBS course after finishing school. Becoming a doctor was anytime prestigious. He was doubly happy when she was not able to get through the MBBS course though the open category inspite of scoring good marks as the competition was intense. He was happy not because she was unable to qualify, but he was happy because at last, he could make his daughter happy by getting an MBBS seat from one of the prestigious colleges in the city as he knew the dean and they could afford the donation.  He told her as much.

“No dad. I don’t want to join an MBBS course through donations and influence. If I am not able to qualify through the system by scoring the required marks, then I would rather join a B.Sc course”

“The system has been created by people like us for people like us who have the right connections, influence and money. Do you want to sacrifice your life time ambition for such a reason?”

He didn’t have to wait for an answer. Her eyes said it all.

Ravi was frustrated.

All the power, influence, connections and money that he had was not able to buy happiness for the most important person of his life – his daughter.

To read similar short stories, you could visit the ‘Short Stories (Fiction)’ section of this blog.

Destination Infinity

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Best of Slow Melodious and Soulful songs – Songs 20 to 11

April 12, 2009

 

Please go ahead only if you can spend one hour for pure enjoyment listening to some of the best songs from across the world.

This is a result of the Slow Melodious and Soulful Songs Tag which was done recently by many of you. Since I had listened to most of the songs (by bloggers whom I had tagged directly) and also some more bloggers who were tagged by them (I was not able to track this part fully though).

Love at first hearing:

Just like love at first sight, there were some songs that I loved the very first time that I listened to them. I have collected the best 20 of such songs which were recommended by my fellow bloggers and have presented them in this post and the next one. Since the theme is love at first hearing, I have not considered certain languages in which the songs are already familiar to me (Tamil, Telugu) and I have not considered certain languages in which songs are familiar to most of the bloggers (Hindi, English) as I wanted this musical experience to be a love at first hearing to most of you.

So go ahead and enjoy (The rating is my own and remember that tastes differ based on a lot of factors) 🙂

Song No. 20: Twelve girls band – Dudal Maria

This is a Chinese song and was recommended by Radha. The variety of instruments used in this song along with the wonderful chorus makes it a gem! The youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96KKxwQbFTQ&feature=related

 

Song No. 19: Wolfsheim – Kein Zuruck

This is a German song recommended by Wortman. The visuals are stunningly inter woven with the song! The Youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icUC32-0WuY

 

Song No. 18: Mazhayil raatri mazhayil

This is a Malayalam song recommended by Nimmy. A nice melodious song with good background music and lovely voice. The youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC91KfuFJoQ&feature=player_embedded

 

Song No. 17: Carla Bruni – Quelqu’un m’a dit

This is a French song recommended by Shefaly. It is just the voice and Guitar and the song will grow on you everytime you listen to it. The youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMUedRUJ_HA

 

Song No. 16: Roma nun fa’la stupida stasera

This is an Italian song recommended by Man of Roma. This has deep vocals and makes you feel like sitting in front of an orchestra! The pictures of Rome are equally good. The youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-SGACB54YI&feature=player_embedded

 

Song No. 15: Chandana manivadil

This is a Malayalam song recommended by Nimmy. A classical song with deep vocals. The youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0J1zCj1h9sg&feature=player_embedded

 

Song No. 14: Nee Amruthadhare – Amruthadhare

This is a Kannada song recommended by Su. A nice and melodious number. The youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko1rHVJDm_U

 

Song No. 13: Purano Sei Diner Kotha (Ravindro Sangeet)

This is a Bengali song recommended by Reema. A sweet old song which is a part of Rabindro Sangeet. The youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr_Vk7IaXQc&feature=player_embedded

 

Song No. 12: Hoove Hoove (H20)

This is a Kannada song recommended by Su. Nice voice and music. You can also dance to this song. I didn’t try though!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EolmhzZ8lEw

 

Song No: 11: Savariyo re maro

This is a Gujarati song recommended by Priya Iyer. The voice of the singer is blissfully soulful! The youtube link is given below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA0In3LmeZ4&feature=related

 

I will present the top ten songs in my next post(I have already selected them) but in the meanwhile if anyone else has done this tag in languages other than Tamil, Hindi, Telugu and English, please give a link – I don’t mind mentioning top 12 or 13 songs in my next post.Thank you for your contributions people. It has come at the right time for me 🙂

Update: Top 10 Slow Melodious and Soulful Songs (Songs 10 to 1)

You could also visit the Music / Photo posts section of this blog where you could find a list of similar posts.

 

Destination Infinity

PS: This post was inspired from the Top 20 format (Best of the whole year) used in Superhit Muquabla – The same old DD Serial that I just loved and miss so much!!

You could find similar articles in the Music/ Photo posts section of this blog.

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Bird Watching and Dr. Salim Ali

April 2, 2009

 

“My chief interest in bird study has always been its ecology, its life history under natural conditions and not in a laboratory under a microscope. By travelling to these remote, uninhabited places, I could study the birds as they lived and behaved in their habitats.” – Dr. Salim Ali.

 

crok-catching-a-birdflying-bird-with-wings-stretched1blue-orange-bird1

 

Picture Tag and story.

This post was actually a result of two things: The Tricky Photo Story Tag by Sahaja and my search for a photo. I have very rarely clicked photos (Maybe once in a year!) and store almost none in my laptop! So, I asked my friend Jags to allow put up a photo that he took on his recent trek to Ranganathittu. The first photo is for the Tag (An awesome click!) and the other two are from his collections. You can see the entire collection of his photos he took during this trek Here and Here. From there, you could view his other nature photographs. The story: The crocodile, not satisfied with the fishes and other things it ate under the water, decides to have a snack outside the water too! It was actually in the adjacent rock and quietly went into the water and from inside the water a short and fast leap – Got his snack. Wasn’t he quick for his size? (This also qualifies for the Story in 55 Words Tag!). 

Ornithology is the scientific study of birds. Ornithologists study every aspect of bird life. Some ornithologists look at how birds live in their environment, while others look at how the parts of birds work together to make a bird. Some ornithologists focus on how birds find food, while others focus on how birds digest food. Some ornithologist’s research changes in populations of birds across whole continents; others study changes in blood cells in an individual bird. Ornithologists sometimes study how birds evolved and what their ancestors looked like and still others study how birds are changing in today’s environment and how they might be affected by the ecological changes in future. It is quite a broad field with significant contributions from non-professionals. Source: Birdnet Website.  (http://www.nmnh.si.edu/BIRDNET/birds/ornith.html)

There are people who always defy the stereotype. It is their nature to do so. One such person was Dr. Salim Ali, who was the eminent ornithologist of India. He was known as the “Birdman of India”.  He has won numerous awards, including Padma Shree and Padma Vibhushan from the Government of India. What were the significant events of his life that led to such accolades? Read on….

·         When Salim was 10 years old, he met the Honorary Secretary of BNHS (Bombay National History Society) W.S. Millard, who showed him the society’s splendid collection of stuffed birds. This was the major influencer for him to decide to take a career in ornithology.

·         Since there were no jobs in Natural History in India back in 1919, Salim Ali went to Burma to look after the family mining and timber business. Since the business did not do well, he returned to India. But, this was a rewarding experience for a naturalist as there were endless opportunities to explore the forests of Burma.

·         After returning, he tried to get a job as an ornithologist with the Zoological Survey of India, but failed to get one as he did not have an M.Sc or Ph.D.

·         He even went to Germany to study under the guidance of the noted ornithologist, Professor Stresemann but still did not get a job in India.

·         Before Independence, there were these princely states in India. He offered to conduct the regional ornithologist surveys of these areas which were little explored earlier, for the BNHS. It turned out that the princely states were also eager to record their avifauna and agreed to his idea while funding the camping and transportation. There followed two decades of blissful bird watching for Salim across the subcontinent.

·         After Independence, he took over the BNHS and managed to save the institution from closing down due to lack of funds by writing a letter to the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who immediately came to its rescue!

Source: http://www.birding.in/dr_salim_ali.htm (You can read more about him here).

Dr. Salim Ali has done more than any other individual to popularize the study of birds in India. Today, there is an institute called Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History in Coimbatore, named after him and aided by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

 

As you can see, he did not achieve all that he did because of the facilities provided to him. It was rather in spite of the facilities that were refused to him. But determined people always seem to find a way. We need to learn a lot from people like him.

 

Destination Infinity

You could find similar articles in the Music/ Photo posts section of this blog.