Saturday, April 25, 2015

#FriFotos - #Spring is here

Here is my entry for this week's #FriFotos  - a weekly photo forum to share photographs from around the world. The theme for this week is Spring!

Here is a whiff of spring from the beautiful farms of Morachi Chincholi, near Pune, Maharashtra

Monday, April 20, 2015

Languages - you can only speak so much

Reducing someone to the number of languages he or she speaks trivializes the immense power that language imparts. After all, language is the living testament to a culture’s history and world view, not a shiny trophy to be dusted off for someone’s self-aggrandizement.
Excerpt from

I discovered this link on my facebook feed today, it was shared by the good souls running the TEDxGateway page -

Being a language aficionado myself, I eagerly clicked through to know what this article had to share, and landed on something that I myself have come to realise over the years. The following paragraphs quoted from the link above, particularly, resonate with me -
Reducing someone to the number of languages he or she speaks trivializes the immense power that language imparts. After all, language is the living testament to a culture’s history and world view, not a shiny trophy to be dusted off for someone’s self-aggrandizement.

Language is a complex tapestry of trade, conquest and culture to which we each add our own unique piece — whether that be a Shakespearean sonnet or “Lol bae g2g ttyl.” As my time in the media spotlight made me realize, saying you “speak” a language can mean a lot of different things: it can mean memorizing verb charts, knowing the slang, even passing for a native. But while I’ve come to realize I’ll never be fluent in 20 languages, I’ve also understood that language is about being able to converse with people, to see beyond cultural boundaries and find a shared humanity. And that’s a lesson well worth learning.”

And I completely agree with the above points. Reducing someone to the number of languages that person speaks is sheer injustice to the power of expression that each of those languages bring along with them. And trust me, it takes a lifetime along with a lot of persistence, to learn any language. And even then, we need to etch in our minds that it will still be only a tool to communicate, and that the actual communication is a skill that resides in our brain, that needs constant nurturing. When these two come together, is when the magic happens. And the language that you spend the time most on, will become your language of fluency. And it is ok to not be fluent in 'N' languages, your ability to communicate matters more.

And this is why, perhaps, one of the slokas in my sanskrit lessons from my 10th standard lesson says that to be able to speak sentences that are non-provocative, yet true, yet are kind on the ears and beneficial to the person hearing it, yet reflecting what is put to practice from one's self studies, is akin to penance, a penance of speech, a penance of the spoken word. The original text -

अनुद्वेगकरं वाक्यं सत्यं प्रियहितं च यत् |
स्वाध्यायाभ्यसनं चैव वाङ्ग्मयम् तप उच्यते ||
And I am sure, my english teacher who blogs at will agree with this.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Short Story : Alamu's tryst with the speaking squirrels

This post is to aggregate my short story blog posts for easy reference.

Alamu's Journey Into the World of Ramayana is a short fictional story based on Vatsala Dorairajan's reading of the Valmiki Ramayana as part of the Read Ramayana Project. It is the story of a young girl called Alamu(shortened from Alamelu) is a young girl, who is known to often wander into interesting and intriguing places with the help of Nidra Devi, the sleep fairy. In this episode, she is transported to a world of speaking squirrels and spinning trees, and she discovers an indirect connection between two parallel worlds.

This is published in three parts  - Part 1 , Part 2 , and Part 3 .
You can download the entire piece and read it as a PDF from here.

Happy Reading! :)

#FriFotos - Sunset at Bhandardara #Peace

There is this famous Indian Hindi movie song which goes - "Jab Life ho out of control, hoton ko karke gol, seeti bajaake bol, 'All is well' " - meaning when life is slipping out of control, just purse up your lips, whistle away your worries and say 'All is well'.

The only ultimate goal for everyone is to find that little thing called Peace, and when all is well, there is nothing but peace.

During one of my recent travels to Bhandardara, I found that peace and tried capture some of it, to bring back and share with the readers of my blog. :)

Peace out folks, and keep going! All is well!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Of accepting realities and living life inspite of it

This is more a self-conflict-acceptance-trying-to-deal-with-it post. So expect more rant than rationale. Of late, I have been having to deal with a slew of (totally undesirable) health issues that keep prompting me to take a sabbatical from work. I am trying very hard (combined with a very understanding workplace) to not give up a role that came to me after a lot of hard work.  But, the mind is a beast which is very difficult to control in times of difficulties. So it wavers from being very strong to very weak - all within the few hours of a day. The most easiest part of my life are my night sleeping times when I dont have to think about anything in particular.

Want to and need to get past this phase ASAP.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

LinkLog : Sukanya Samriddhi - A way to save up money for your child

The Government of India announced a savings scheme in January 2015 called the Sukanya Samridhdhi Yojana - which enables parents to save money for their girl child for use when the child turns 21 years of age, with the highlight being that the returns from this scheme will be tax free and the money invested in this can be filed under the 80C scheme for current income tax benefits.

Here are some links that give more details about this -

Sounds like an interesting scheme.

Here is a downloadable PDF link to the above OneMint article incase you find the blog link to be dead.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Transferred Money to a Wrong Account?

Today, I came across this very useful article about what to do if one ends up transferring money to a wrong bank account by mistake. I am re-posting it here. All credits go to the author of the original blog post.

In the 5 years that this blog has been alive, I have found that some of the links that I share go dead in a couple of years making my blog post meaningless.  Here is a PDF print of the same article, that you can download from here