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Star of Mysore / Mysore Mithra

Archieves: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
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for one more Column "Teekasthra: 
Click here for Columns from Editor of Star of Mysore Sri. K.B.Ganapathy.

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T. J. S. George: If Politics were an event in Olympics, India would have won all medals
We are an honourable capitalist country, so we can't resort to communist methods. But why are there not enough entrepreneurs setting up sports schools with honourable profit motives? Perhaps they have no prospects when politicians are meddling in sports. So we are back at the mercy of the State. Unless the Government bans political leaders from sports, our athletes will have to find gold in bronze and the nation must hold its head between its knees. How about FDI in sports? At least PPP? Read On

Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji: The Inner Perfection
Be thankful for all the qualities you have. These qualities are not of your own making and they depend on the part that you have been given to play. When you understand this basic truth, then your inner perfection becomes stable. Psychologists often say there is fear, guilt and anger deep inside. These psychologists know nothing about the mind or consciousness. I tell you that deep inside, you are a fountain of bliss, a fountain of joy!
Read On

Manmohan Singh and the Tragedy of India; Fortunately, the Future Looks Good
The big mystery of our times is why Dr. Manmohan Singh carries on the way he does. Every scandal, every policy failure, every problem that festers due to inaction brings him discredit — for no fault of his. He is allowed little real power and he exercises less. Why does he hang on? It was the economic crisis of 1991 that catapulted him to fame. Today's economic crisis has shown him up as a tragedy, with Standard & Poor's latest report specifically mentioning his ineffectiveness. The tragedy of the good and capable Dr. Manmohan Singh is the tragedy of India. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Three Imaginations
Humans can imagine a world without hunger, where there are no predators or prey: this is Kailasa, abode of Shiva, the hermit. It is a snow - clad mountain of rock where no grass grows, still Shiva's bull is happy. It is friends with the tiger belonging to Shiva's consort, Sati, who does not eye it hungrily. The mouse of Ganesha, Shiva's son, does not fear the snake around Shiva’s neck, and the snake does not fear the peacock of Shiva’s other son, Kartikeya. This is the world where Lakshmi does not matter. This is the world of yoga. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Mysore Eye: A Cock – Eyed Idea
Oh, Lord! How much more misguided “good news” can we Mysoreans handle? Let the Karnataka Exhibition Authority first increase the number of toilets and keep them clean at the Exhibition Grounds. Let them increase the security and protect the women from eve - teasers in the Exhibition. Let them organise and make transparent the tendering process first and then they can talk about “Mysore Eye”. Until then, which we are sure will be a long time to come, the KEA can be rest assured that there is nothing better than our god-given Mysore Eye — the Chamundi Hill. Read On

Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji: Choose Between Happiness and Misery
There is a beautiful Sanskrit proverb that says “Nobody gives happiness or misery. It is created by one's own self, one's own mind”. Nobody is a giver; you take unhappiness from others. You question people, "Why did you behave like that? Why did you insult me?" It is useless to do so. If they have insulted you then there is something wrong in their brain. You should have compassion and feel, "Oh this person insulted me. He is not a yogi. He does not have that refined level of consciousness." If somewhere, the guitar is not giving off a good sound that doesn't mean there is something wrong with the strings. That is how the strings are. It needs just a little tuning. So if you don't want to be insulted, then nobody can insult you. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Tagore in Bangalore
Subba Rao's son Rama Rao was a High School student and he invited Tagore to his school. He readily agreed but asked “what donation do you give to my school if I visit your school”. The boy was perplexed and simply said ten rupees. Tagore went to the school and spent ten minutes with the students and while leaving asked “where is the promised donation?” Rama Rao had collected ten rupees which he gave to the poet. He shook hands with students and left. After reaching Shantinikethan, he invited two women Savitri and Shivakami to Shantinikethan and heard many Kannada songs from them and sang Bengali songs in those ragas. This made him closer to Karnataka and her music and culture. There was no exaggeration when Tagore said that Bengal was his home and Mysore State was his second home. That is a great tribute to the land of Kannada indeed! Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Jumps, Hug, Kisses…. A lot of sweat
When I was a kid, I went for a movie “The Great Dictator” starring the legendary Charlie Chaplin with my parents. Like all Chaplin movies, this one too was hilarious. But I did not laugh. I remember coming out of the theatre with my head deep between my collars. Why you may ask? One reason: My over - joyous father. He has this good habit of being happy easily, but unfortunately he expresses this joy very loudly and for a prolonged period of time which starts getting embarrassing. It so happened that somewhere in the middle of the movie, Charlie Chaplin started to bounce the globe on his bum; to say he can play with the world, as he is a dictator. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: From Sunfilm to Shunfilm
The interesting obesrvation here is that the darkness of the tint is directly proportional to the status of the person in the official hierarchy! Incidentally, I have not seen a single car used by any high - ranking Police or Army officer anywhere in the country without sunfilm. I wonder why any Hoysala or Garuda Police jeep should have dark tinted glasses, as they now have, especially when it is very important for those inside to have the best visibility of what is happening outside? Although there is no official word about it yet, I am told that VIPs, Z, and Z + security category people have been exempted from this ban. I do not see why this should be so when enough security is around for them round – the - clock? Read On

T. J. S. George: Dynasty, Communal Manipulation, Murder - are these the choices for our democracy?
India can do without such a party. But it can also do without the sycophantic mindset that sustains the concept of hereditary power. It can do without the game of inciting communal emotions for political ends. What a mature democracy needs is a choice of democratic platforms — like Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism. If the decline and fall of communism takes us a step closer to such a denouement, even the politics of murder would not be in vain. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Satyameva Jayate: The Better Pill
It has now become a fashion to simply blame multinationals for all our problems. If your doctor insists on your buying a particular brand of medicine, it is often because he or she has established faith in it. On the other hand, if you end up buying a generic drug whose manufacturer is unknown and whose quality can therefore never be ensured, with what confidence can he or she treat you? People may accuse doctors of yielding to the enticement and pressure of pharma companies but that is not the whole truth. Read On

T. J. S. George: Balraj Sahni and the age of Excellence, when creativity mattered above all

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The Talking Thali
Kitchen is full of symbols and rituals that shape the mind of the child. Change these symbols and rituals and you change the thoughts of the children and with it the culture of an entire community. It is surprising that this has not been realised or noticed by child psychologists. Perhaps the humble kitchen as a place of learning seems too far - fetched for the modern mind. A traditional Indian kitchen was a sacred space. It was decorated with auspicious signs. Sometimes, it doubled up as the puja room. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Choreographed Mourning

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Satyameva Jayate: Let the whole truth prevail
The show goes beyond a lay talk show, which at least pretends to allow different shades of opinion to argue, debate, agree or disagree with a situation. It only shows a blind judge without any qualification, showing his audience the subtle shades of difference that lend charm to the sunset that his stardom dreads. Await more comforting truths next week! Read On

T. J. S. George: Black Money, Cocaine and “Walking Porn”: The Corrupting Culture of Cricket
Who was the nastier spoilt brat, Shah Rukh Khan who berated hapless security personnel or Siddharth Mallya, whose normal language seems to be of the filthy kind? Were the Income Tax searches on some IPL owners' premises more belittling than the match - fixing deals in which some players were caught? Was the rave party with cocaine and other drugs in Mumbai a bigger breach of law than the five - star punching of a fiancé - boyfriend in Delhi? Was Subramaniam Swamy's allegation that IPL promoted black money and prostitution more shameful than BCCI buying the silence of former players with bonus cheques while pointedly leaving out players turned critics? Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Common Man Dead, Long Live Dodo
The Indian middle class is the most abused golden goose. Yet it remains silent. The ruling elite has figured that they don’t need to care for the middle class. They know that the middle class is greedy and neck - deep in loans as they have bought for themselves things they don’t need with the money they don’t have. Now they are too busy to protest as they are living a pseudo - American lifestyle with a very realistic American “EMI” - fulfilling life. Where do they have the time or courage to revolt against injustice? Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Death of the Common Man
After all, who is this common man everyone talks about, all the time, without anyone seeming to notice him on the crowded street? I think he is only a figment of our imagination and I therefore do not think he exists anywhere anymore. We certainly would have noticed him if he had existed. He would have been seen raising his voice against the rampant corruption that we co - exist with so happily. Had he been there, he would have been shouting himself hoarse at the rising crime rate today. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Bridging the Great Divide
Have you ever realised that the person who serves you from behind the counter at a mall or a multiplex usually cannot afford the things he sells? Not the tickets of the theatre or the popcorn or the clothes in the boutique. India's great divide is so common place that we have coped with it by rendering it invisible until it explodes on our television in the form of Maoist attacks and railway motormen strikes.
Read On

Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji: Towards a Stress – Free Life
Have you seen animals when they get wet or when they play in the dust? What they do when they come out? They shake their entire body. Get all those things out of them. But we human beings hold onto everything, all the stress. When you come to office, you should shake the home off. When you go back home, you should shake the office off your back. All the yoga postures and exercises are made by nature. If you observe a baby, from the time it is born to the age of 3, he or she does all the yogasanas. You need to observe their breathing patterns too.
Read On

T. J. S. George: Parliament: First Years were Glorious, then the Warnings Came True
Ironically, it was during the Indira years that pride began giving way to shame. Sanjay Gandhi, pampered as a son and feared as a politician, changed the goal posts with immunity. For the first time, India saw a public figure doing what he jolly well pleased in public life, with neither the Constitution, nor Parliament, nor the courts able to check him. He brought street culture into Parliament by introducing the tactic of shouting down opponents. That set a trend which continues to this day. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Bloody @#%$&!
Yes, we believe in Ahimsa, but that is only at a physical level. But when it comes to mental trauma we Indians are unbeatable. Just walk into a government office and you’ll experience post - traumatic stress. Being abused in foul language is a form of mental - himsa. This is as bad or worse than physical - himsa. But what is it that makes us so fond of cursing — from the senior citizen and former PM Deve Gowda to the young, British - educated Siddartha Mallya, who so immaturely tweeted about an incident in foul language. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Lord Narasimha in Puranas
When I heard this incident from my grandfather, almost seventy years ago, I expressed a doubt in believing in it. He was not just a traditional Sanskrit scholar but was also an honorary Magistrate. He simply said that unusual things are happening this way only for the past thousands of years and the majority believed it while a minority does not. That makes no difference to me and still I continue to stick to my position. He used to narrate this story to visitors with great aplomb and they used to listen to it with awe and amazement. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The Snake and the Rope
I remembered also an episode of Yes Minister, a British comedy series. The honorable minister is irritated by the security cover given to him following threat of an assassination; it strips him of all freedom. Later he is depressed when the security cover is taken away. He tells his wife, "Even assassins don't think I am worthy of their bullet." That someone hates us enough to want to kill us makes us, in a perverse way, feel significant. And so we end up turning ropes into snakes all around us, and find vicarious pleasure in terror. Read On

T. J. S. George: Politicians play Games instead of calling in Professionals
Ultimately, the Chief Ministers too are political animals with ulterior motives. They want to abuse their Police powers as comprehensively as the Central Government has been abusing its CBI - IB powers. That Police officers openly form associations on the basis of party loyalties may be a speciality of Kerala. But in other States too they are ready to please their political masters for return benefits. In the process, counter - terrorism becomes — like education, road development, agriculture, spectrum auction and everything else in our country — an extension of politics, instead of the professional task it ought to be, conceived and administered by professionals. It's a win - win situation for politicians, but it's lose - lose for the country. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Action Police or Fashion Police
Fashion Police is good only on MTV, but in real life we prefer Action Police. It's not the Police’s job to stitch scarves; instead they simply have to inform the people about appropriate clothing and then continue to find better investigative methods to catch the culprits. Yesterday a cop Ramaswamy did it. He aided in the arrest of 21 chain - snatchers by his own initiative. Kudos to him and so there is hope… but still, please watch your neck, who knows, we may have scarf - snatchers on the rise now. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Packaging the Truth
Stories play a key role in shaping our lives. Stories told by Hitler led to the Holocaust. Stories told by the British led to the Partition. Stories told by George Bush led to the attack on Afghanistan and Iraq. Stories are shaping our attitudes towards Pakistan and Pakistan's attitude towards India. The Chinese people are told only those stories that the government wants them to hear. Where is the truth, I wonder? Read On

Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji: Homework for Happiness
First, learn to laugh at the problems and do not be afraid of failures in life. When can you solve a problem? When you take it as a challenge. When you take something as a problem, you are part of the problem, not the solution. When you take something as a challenge, then you become part of the solution. If you laugh at whatever happens to you, then you have achieved something very profound in your life because laughter will give you strength to manage any situation. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: J. K. Grounds: A Few Suggestions
Someone may point out here that I am emphasizing this because I am myself on the way to becoming a senior citizen very soon. But I am not very eager to seek any concessions here in a hurry although, thanks to my prematurely grey hair, every time I have stood in a queue, some kind soul has always made way for me or pointed out that I can skip the queue altogether as a senior citizen! This is just one instance but I shall write sometime very soon about the joys that come out of premature greying! Read On

T. J. S. George: There is an untold crisis story in China, And it concerns other countries too
The pendulum has swung to the other side now. Instead of socialist excesses, China today reels under the excesses of crony capitalism. China's new leadership will have to admit that these are times when even America and Europe are witnessing popular uprisings against the greed and exploitation that capitalism breeds. There should be vast sections of people in China who would welcome some kind of "core socialist values" checkmating the freebooters and fat cats. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Batting Himself into a Political Trap?
We love Sachin. We want to remember him as the baby - faced legend of the kind there never will be. We don’t want to remember Sachin as a Congress mascot, or an entertainer. We want Sachin to remain in our minds as the fearsome willow warrior and a gentleman. We want to remember him as the 16 – year - old who tamed a seasoned bowler like Abdul Qadir; we want to remember him as the gentle giant of cricket. It’s not that we don’t want Sachin to grow up or move on. It’s just that we don’t want to see Sachin retire hurt. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Missing the Train of Reason
This indeed is very good news for all those like me who agree with the Railway authorities that ticketless travel is a social evil and needs to be discouraged. However, has anyone given a thought to whether all those who paid the fine on that day were indeed intentionally ticketless with the idea of defrauding the Railways and enriching themselves by a few rupees? I think not, going by my own experience of how difficult it is to procure tickets at our Railway Station. Read On

T. J. S. George: A New Moment of Crisis for the Congress
Calamities do come in battalions. For a country with an economist Prime Minister, it is no small matter to be downgraded to the “negative” category by the rating agency, Standard & Poor. It has diminished India in the eyes of the world. So has the rebirth of the Bofors scandal. For a party leader to please whom the entire machinery of the party and the government is geared, it is no small matter to be reminded that Rajiv Gandhi protected Italians who took the Bofors bribe money. To crown it all, presidential election manoeuvres have brought up the name of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the one man Sonia Gandhi would like to keep out. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Shamba Joshi, a Unique Kannada Scholar
In fact I had reviewed his book Poorvapitike at the instance of Dr. Mallepuram Venkatesh, now the VC of Sanskrit University. I had pointed out one flaw in his methodology, namely his weakness in prehistoric archaeology. When I pointed out this to him, he said: “Young professor! An archaeologist is like a magician who brings out ancient relics from the earth. But a man of literature cannot do it." How true it is! Shamba's books read like books on metaphysics and hence difficult to digest. That is his strength and weakness too. By the time this article is published, I would have received an award in his name at Shimoga. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Burden of Unity
Diversity of India is most evident in Bollywood films. The world of Karan Johar (KJ) is so different from the world of Ram Gopal Verma (RGV) which in turn is so different from the world of Vishal Bharadvaj (VB). Their stories reveal their respective subjective truth. In the KJ mythosphere, there is no poverty and everything is spotlessly clean, designer labeled and delightfully shallow. In the RGV mythosphere, there are only angry gangsters, and corrupt politicians and policemen. VB’s mythosphere is gritty and dirty and feudal. Which is the real India, I wonder?
Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Pitfalls of Doorstep Doctoring
I was recently passing through a very small town where a friend of mine happened to be the government medical officer. Thinking that it would be a good thing to say hello to him, I called on him at the government primary health centre which was his place of work. He was very surprised and pleased to see me and asked me to be seated while he disposed off the last few of his patients for the day. I sat across his table and watched him at work. An elderly patient accompanied by his son came and sat on the examining table. My friend proceeded to take a history of his symptoms which to me seemed very clearly related to hyperacidity. Read On

T. J. S. George: War on Terror was in fact war of hatred; Now hatred triggers renewed terror
Obviously India is a victim of this expansion. While spectacular events like the Mumbai terror attack hit headlines, more sinister is the sustained effort to subvert the economy and simultaneously fund terror modules in India by circulating vast amounts of fake currency. Eleven Bengali construction workers were arrested in Hyderabad a week ago with ten lakhs worth of fake Indian notes. A few months ago fake notes worth 2 lakhs were seized from a lodge in Kerala. Now Mumbai Police has tracked down large quantities of counterfeit American dollars made in Pakistan. Read On

Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji: Don’t Postpone Your Happiness
Every living creature wants to be happy. Whether it is money, power or sex, you get into it for the sake of happiness. To be happy, we seek something. But despite getting it, we are not happy. A school - going boy may think that if he goes to college, he will be more independent, free and therefore happy. If you ask a college - going boy whether he is happy, he feels that if he gets a job, he will be happy. Talk to somebody who is settled in their job or business, and you will see he is waiting to get a perfect soul mate, to be happy. Read On

"Bahuroopi" Rangothsava Special:
Spreading Literature thru Theatre
| Rangayana Director Dr. B. V. Rajaram speaks
| Mysore Rangayana @ 23 | Doyens of Kannada Literature |

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Touchy US, Silly Them
One of the best Indian stand - up comedian named Papa CJ mocks the British in a show in England where he says, “Yours is the only country so insecure that it needs an adjective before its name — “Great” Britain.” Then he continues, “I came to England because my grandfather said the sun never sets on the British Empire, but I now see that the sun never rises on the British Empire (in reference to the gloomy British weather).” He also says, “We both are alike, while you'll think that there is a stupid person at the other end of the customer service telephone line, we think the same.” Papa CJ finally adds, “You may feel offended with the things I've said about your country, but I don't care. After all, I'm from the land of Kamasutra and I can screw you in a 100 different ways.” Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: My travails with an “L” Board
I have never driven a car with an “L” board at any time in the past, including the almost forgotten time when I was learning to drive, nearly forty years ago. This is for the simple reason that by the time I was old enough to apply for a driving licence I was already driving pretty well, having learnt the art in a WW II vintage Jeep on the slushy private roads of our coffee estate much before it was legal for me to drive on public roads. This perhaps explains the fact that even now I drive better on bad roads rather than on good ones! Read On

T. J. S. George: Rogue Politicians at their Cynical worst; Will People’s anger reach Crisis Point?
We can put the question to the BJP bosses as well because that party quickly absorbed into its ranks several of the dismissed plunderers. The rejects of Mayawathi will now be the heroes of the Party with a Difference, now renamed One More Party of Hypocrites. What a cynical abuse of elections? How crude can these manipulators get? Politicians do not realise that people have started seeing through their trickery. The anger of those who took to the street all over India will intensify as rogue politicians grab power through deceit and intrigue. The neutralization of good men like Dr. Manmohan Singh and the indifference of power - wielders like Sonia Gandhi will aggravate public discontent. What shape will the Indian Spring take, and when? Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Where the Hell is Heaven?
As of last evening, after I read about the "suicide for heaven" news report and after a discussion about heaven, hell and why people would die for it, I sang the “Time to be happy” children’s song. Just as I ended my rhyme with “we’ll have a heaven right here,” my wife smiled and said, “Heaven is just round the corner…” She wanted to go to Corner House ice cream parlour. My heaven was right around another corner… I prefer Joy ice cream — mango duet. So probably heaven is not where we go after we die, it is how we live while we’re alive. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Snobbery by Geography
When I live at the right address, I feel good about myself, I feel elevated as I belong to a more special group or place, never mind if it means being trapped in traffic for hours on the way to the office, or the roads outside my window is noisy. And it is this desire to feel significant through our apartments that pushes the realty prices even higher. Humans have always given meaning to directions and locations. In fact, this is what gives rise to the occult art of geomancy or Vastushastra, where directions are associated with power. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Flee - dom at Midnight, Fleece - dom in Daylight
It is baffling how an intelligent, ingenious and survivalist people like us are unable to make logical choices when it comes to our politics, rights, and nation. Hopefully, time will heal what reason cannot. Hope, next year will be a step towards mature India and politically mature Indians. Dear readers, I hope you all have a fantastic year ahead, filled with enriching experiences. I also thank you all for reading what I write and hopefully I have done my job of entertaining, informing and evoking a moment of introspection or a smile in you. Once again, wish you all a very Happy New Year. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Welcoming the New Year a little differently
To tell you the truth, I have never ever celebrated the arrival of any New Year in my life although I have seen a good many new years now. I don’t think any of my friends, either tipsy or sober; can recall seeing me at any New Year celebration simply because I refuse to be drawn into the celebration of an event which I do not consider eventful. To me, a New Year is simply the time when I have to be a little extra careful in making sure that I write the correct year while writing the date after every prescription which fetches my bread and butter! Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Usha’s Pleasure
Finally, an Asura's daughter becomes the grand daughter – in - law of Krishna, indicating that Asuras were never seen as evil as is popularly believed but merely as a class of beings different from humans and gods. The association of the East, Bengal and Assam, with Tantra probably inspired the character of Chitralekha who has knowledge of sorcery and black magic. The story of Usha and Aniruddha is clearly a medieval ballad full of romance and passion, valor and magic that still captivates us. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Unsafe India or the Unsound Indian?
But why are safety rules neglected? It is usually for greed, need or convenience. Also people feel that even if you follow the law you have to pay a bribe anyway, so, why must one spend that extra money to make a building safety compliant? After all, a fire incident may never occur and even if it does it can be easily handled with compensation to the victim’s family and some kind “gesture” towards the investigating agencies. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Censoring the Gods
Often I am approached by well - meaning people who want stories to be told to their children. So which story must one tell children? "Tell the Ramayana."So I begin — Once upon a time, there was a king with three wives… And they interrupt, "Skip the three wives part. How can one talk about polygamy to children?" And then I come to the part where Ram abandons Sita following gossip in the city. And they interrupt again, "Can we end the Ramayana with the coronation part and skip this tragic ending?" Read On

T. J. S. George: Sure, we are a Happening Country, but what shouldn’t happen is happening
“What is happening in this country?" asked Pranab Mukherjee in the aftermath of the Sharad Pawar slapping incident. Every tax - payer and voter in this country has been asking the same question, though not in the sense in which Mukherjee meant. What indeed is happening under the auspices of the eminent leaders of the Government and the opposition? Read On

K. Vijay Kumar: My Rail Journey with the Railway Magistrate in his Bogie!
The nostalgia of my daily travel to Mandya from Mysore in the 69 - 70s is very interesting. I was posted to Mandya as the District Publicity Officer on transfer from South Kanara and I used to travel daily to my office in Mandya from Mysore like as many other officials. Then, it was very common to buy season tickets for the daily travel as it worked out cheap and also the rail journey was very convenient to reach our offices in time. The passenger train to Mandya was in the morning at around 8.15 and we would get the same train or some other in the evening by six for our return journey. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: A Bookwormish Week - One bland, another good
One may not like Steve Jobs after reading the book, but there is no doubting his contribution to the way we interact with devices. He helped modern man step into the 22nd century. Steve Jobs was not here on earth to make friends, he was here to make beautiful technology. To marry aesthetics with technology. And in that sense, Steve Jobs has done his job. The book is a must read for any entrepreneur. It is a book for all students and teachers who think only stellar marks bring success — passion does too. And most importantly Steve Jobs’ story kills the derogatory adage “Jack of all, master of none.” Steve Jobs was a jack of all — electronics, marketing, product design and development; he wasn’t a master of any of these, yet he was a success. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Suicide City?
We should also first accept the fact and then reassure our children that everyone cannot achieve excellence in academics and doing reasonably well too is an acceptable and respectable outcome of the education process. Parents too should have realistic and reasonable expectations from their children and from a very early stage make them understand that there is nothing shameful in living within our means and abilities. All those amongst us who live in despair should realise that any defeat and failure is never final and that suicide is therefore usually an extreme and unnecessary permanent solution to what may only be a temporary problem. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Rotis for Ranganatha
In South India's majestic Srirangam temple, the presiding deity, Ranganatha, a form of Vishnu, receives a daily offering of rotis — made with wheat (in contrast to the orthodox rice meal) and even wears coloured lungis (not the white cloth worn by Hindus) to please a Muslim princess. Her name is not known but she is addressed by her title as Thulukka Nachiyar or Bibi Nachiyar. The story goes that Malik Kafur raided the temple for its riches on behalf of the Sultan of Delhi. The priests covered the primary deity (that is fixed to the ground) with a wall and placed before it the secondary deity (that is mobile and taken out on processions) before it. Read On

T. J. S. George: Our Own Grand Prix: Rath Versus Formula 1
Corruption cannot be tackled with gimmicks and cliches. It is doubtful whether Advani's purpose is to tackle it at all. The yatra is more like an internal party manoeuvre. He started not from his constituency in Gujarat but from far away Bihar. The ruler of Gujarat is known to be eyeing the chair that is dearest to Advani's heart. The party's President has even gone through a stomach surgery in his bid to get close to that chair. Ambition is a noble thing, but the wise have told us that ambition also drives many men to become false, to have one thought locked in the breast, another ready on the tongue. Read On

K. Vijay Kumar: Judge adjourns court to visit a ship
These days we read court news almost every day from the Supreme Court to the lowest court which was very rare in the earlier days. Adjournments, bail, non - bail, warrants have all become common terms. This takes my memory back to over 45 years ago when I was serving in South Canara District. In a strange manner, a case was filed in the local court by the DC in the capacity of the Chairman of Transport Authority against a Transport Operator. There is a long interesting story behind this case which the readers should know. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Chest pain on court day keeps jail - time away
Celebrity offenders have, for a while now, exploited the facility of getting admitted into a hospital. From politicians to bureaucrats, from white - collar criminals to film actors, all of them use health problem as an excuse to keep themselves out of jail or at least to buy time till they can get bail. Actor Darshan physically abused his wife for a long time before it got to the point where she had to be hospitalised. But all it took for him to get admitted to the hospital was the fear of bail plea rejection. Read On

T. J. S. George: Look Beyond Chidambaram – Pranab Drama; The Real Drama is in Secrecy Games
They have not even told us what her ailment is. How then do we believe what they say? How do we know that she is really back in India? How do we know that she is cured when curing is rare in cancer cases? Photographs are strictly no - no, so how can we not believe that she has lost hair through chemotherapy? By hiding facts, they feed rumours. This is not privacy. This is secrecy. Evidently Congressmen think that there are things about their ruling dynasty that must remain shrouded in secrecy. That is why they panic at the merest sign of a crack in the wall of secrecy. Unfortunately history shows us that walls crumble some day, somehow.
Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Slow and Unsteady
A child’s passport came from the United States, without having to go beyond three hours from Mysore in 5 weeks. To get an approval for a visa took 12 weeks, one visit to the nation’s capital and 6 visits to the FRRO office. But this delay in signature cannot be blamed on the officer; the government must be blamed for giving him so many responsibilities. How much can the officer do — from catching a thief, to welcoming politicians, to attending community functions and court duties and then to signing a visa approval from? Quick service has never been our system’s forte, when it must be, considering that we are a nation of a billion people, and to keep up you have to be quick. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Boulevards or Broken Streets
With only few days to go for the world famous Dasara festival, Mysore is still getting readied for the Naada Habba. It is a festival which draws crowds from across the country and the globe. However the tourists and citizens are welcomed by roads decked with potholes hindering movement of vehicles. Also with some of the roads being closed for repair work, commuters have to take a roundabout route to reach their destination. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Shivanasamudra, the Bluff
Originally called Heggur, now it is known as Shivanasamudra (sea of Shiva) because of the volume of water. The river Cauvery branches here into two streams each of which makes a descent of about 200 ft in succession of picturesque rapid waterfalls. The water body is about three miles long and a mile broad. The Western branch is called Gaganachukki while the other is referred to as Barachukki. Francis Buchanan, a traveller (1800 - 01) from England and an officer of East India company and personal surgeon of Lord Wellesley exclaimed “I have never seen any cataract (waterfalls) that could be compared to this grandeur”. Thus it is attracting lakhs of visitors for the past many decades to the present. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Genuine Festivals
Valentine's Day is when people send text messages of love or buy teddy bears. Parties are organised. And people say, "Happy Valentine's Day." Then there will be articles accusing the “festival” of westernization and commercialisation, and not being genuine. So one wonders: what is a genuine festival? Festivals are man - made constructs, not natural phenomena. Republic Day did not exist before India's independence from British Rule. But today it is an important day to reaffirm our faith in the Indian Nation State. Does that make it a genuine festival? Read On

T. J. S. George: What about breaching people’s privilege? Dirty tricks experts blunder again!
If Kejriwal broke his service rules, why is action taken only now? If he "amassed crores" through his non - government organisation, why is legal action not taken against him, instead of leaving it to Congress's official loose cannon Digvijay Singh to make yet another allegation out of it. (This is the man who said Suresh Kalmadi was innocent). Clearly the dirty trickwallahs are engaged in a harassment campaign, an exercise in vindictiveness, at a time when the Government should be trying to create trust, not confrontation. Hazare is right when he says that sending "wrong signals" now can well lead to unrest in the country. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Change Please….
While everyone is talking about change, I too want change. But my expectation is different. I just want my change, my money. But instead I keep getting Cadbury’s Eclairs and cheap candies! Since the past year I am having trouble getting my change back. Whenever I ask for my change, I am promptly sent back in time; sent back to medieval times and forced to indulge in an unfair barter system. Every time we step in front of a cashier, we are asked “Change please.” If you say “No,” you get a candy. They don’t even give you a choice of the candy. Whatever is in their cash drawer is what you get. Or whichever candy company pays the most commission to the store, their candy becomes change. Read On

T. J. S. George: Are Sports Bodies also corrupt from head to toe? Who’s afraid of RTI?
Ram Jethmalani was more astute than Lord Acton. He put things in current perspective when he said: "Power corrupts, and the fear of losing power corrupts absolutely". That explains many of the abnormalities of our seemingly normal politicians. The presumed power of a mere party spokesman went to the head of that unfortunate Congress factotum called Manish Tewari. In the Congress especially it is a survival necessity to be more loyal than the King. So, the robot in Tewari went for Anna Hazare's jugular. The Gandhian was corrupt from head to toe, the robot said. The world laughed at him. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Drive through good times and bad times
It is sad that these priceless artifacts which are intimately linked to our history and heritage have to suffer this fate with the passage of time when they should have rightfully enjoyed a place of honour and pride in one of the many State-owned museums in our own country. But going by what we have seen in the recent past, it is unlikely that the Indian government will try to acquire and preserve these items for Indian posterity. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Governance of Vengeance?
It seems the government is not done with anti - corruption activists yet. For many of us, its attitude seems to be “How dare you question us? How dare you embarrass us, the elected representatives, How dare you make us bend? We are the government and we’ll teach you a lesson. Now that the anti - corruption movement has mellowed, the masses have left and the cameras are gone, the government has sneaked in to serve sweet revenge served in the form of a Government notice. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: All dug up for Dasara
Dasara is just around the corner and Mysore is nicely dug up all over. Especially in all the right places which are most importantly connected with our most important annual event. The grand “Raja Marga”, some modern day maharaja's grandiose dream, which I called “the mother of all money spinners” in my column last year, lies in shambles as if after a modern day Kurukshetra. Yes, a battlefield is what some parts of our city resemble most now with misguided attempts to beautify it.
Read On

T. J. S. George: Congress has lost the next elections. So who’s next? Brand Yeddyurappa?
We can also say: Take the media away and there would be no Manish Tiwari, or Abhishek Singhvi or even Kapil Sibal phenomenon. They took the media away during the Emergency, yet the phenomenon of Indira - Sanjay Gandhi's defeat in the elections happened. It's the people who matter and you can't take the people away. Today's Congress leadership has proved that it has no capacity to govern this country. It must go and it will. The tragedy is that the people have nothing to fall back upon, except the party of Yeddyurappa. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: India in Transit?
Now for the other argument that “most of the protestors don’t know what Lokpal or the Jan Lokpal Bills are.” Should a high school student who was forced to pay a bribe for his bus pass know both the Bills in and out to show his support against corruption? Should a housewife, who has struggled to get her ration card and her weekly ration, know every clause of both the Bills to support Kiran Bedi? Should a 90 – year - old man who struggles to get treated in a government hospital know both the Bills before he decides to trust an Anna Hazare over a politician? No. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: What can poor Anna Hazare do for us?
If millions of citizens who are the most powerful components of a democracy are willing look away from their misdeeds and kiss the ground on which their elected representatives walk, what can one Anna Hazare do to help them? Is it not tragic that while this old man was forced to continue his fast to end corruption in a cell of the infamous Tihar jail, the very same people who were guilty of it were feasting on home cooked delicacies in the adjoining cells? Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Comic Myths
Uncle Pai passed away some time back. He is the man who brought mythology to a whole generation of Indians through “immortal picture books” or Amar Chitra Katha (ACK). I remember waiting for that monthly dose, admiring the art, relishing the story and imagining myself in those mythic worlds. Those moments came into my life because of this one man, for that I, and many more, will be eternally grateful. Had it not been for him, would I have immersed myself into mythology, I wonder? Read On

T. J. S. George: Why do Citizens get angry in democracies? What the Riots in Britain Tell Us?

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Trigger - Happy
But we fear our modern Indian Police will not be as considerate as the British, considering that of late they seem to have become trigger - happy. Independence Day is almost here as we continue to live in a half - baked democracy with a well - cooked culture of corruption and so it is very easy to beat back protestors who, let alone an ideology, don’t even have an idea of what they are protesting. But in case you do, then beware, the men in khaki and white are only too ready to fight… may be even fire.
Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: When do we forgive?
A Minister is accused of inciting and permitting riots. He is also being applauded for ushering in development of an unprecedented scale, creating jobs and opportunities for millions. On one hand, there is blood. On the other, there are jobs and prosperity. Should the crime be forgiven and forgotten? Should we move on? When one teacher suggested it, he was condemned and stripped of his post. Forgiveness was seen as pandering to the enemy. A young politician with Right - wing leanings recently got married. Neither his aunt nor his cousin brother nor his cousin sister — all senior politicians — attended his wedding. They all claimed to be busy or ill disposed. Cleary old family quarrels and current political rivalry came in the way of forgiveness. Pettiness was celebrated. And from this family will come the future rulers of India! Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Wholly…. Un “Holy”…
Ganga is the holiest river for the Hindus. So where are the lakhs of Ashrams and Swamijis of the country when it comes to cleaning the river? Why don’t they come out in full strength like they do in full regalia to perform political theatrics during elections? Of all the Swamijis, why did only one Swamiji fast? And only one ashram call for the banning of quarrying by the river Ganga? Why don’t these Australian - Indian lovers of the Ganga ask these holy ashrams, Swamijis and the Indian Environmental Ministry to explain and apologise?
Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The Strange Tale of Oghavati
Oghavati was the While he was away, a guest did arrive but his needs were a bit excessive. He wanted to have sex with her. Oghavati agreed. And while the two were thus engaged, Sudarshan returned home. "Wife, where are you?" he asked. Oghavati was too shy to reply. So the guest shouted from inside, "She is busy with me on your bed attending to my desires." Sudarshan replied, "Oh ok. I will wait outside until you are done." Eventually Oghavati and the guest come out and the guest blesses the couple for their generous hospitality. The guest, Bhishma reveals, is none other than Dharma, God of righteous conduct. This story can be rather discomforting.
Read On

T. J. S. George: A Story of threats, Tricks and Family Love: How a CM became a Marvel
The community has good and competent leaders with a clean image in contrast to Yeddyurappa's sullied reputation. It is a pity that such elements are unable — or unwilling? — to speak up for the community. With leaders like Nijalingappa and Veerendra Patil, Lingayats had become part of the glory of Karnataka. Resurrecting that glory is important not only to the community but also to Karnataka and India. The Nobel Prize can wait. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Yeddy, Reddy, Go…… but where does it finish?
The Congress, on the other hand, is releasing lofty statements such as “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” If so, will the Congress ask Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who is named in the Shungul report on CWG scam, also to resign? The fact is, none of the parties are better than the other. They are all friends bound by wealth. After all, there is honour amongst thieves. Why else would former CM Kumaraswamy, who made a big deal about Yeddyurappa giving out “G” category sites, also allot a “G” category site when he was the CM to the present BJP Higher Education Minster Dr. V. S. Acharya? Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The Yaksha’s Potbelly
This medicalisation of the potbelly has hurt Ganesha most. Ganesha, the most popular Hindu deity of the 21st century, is lambodara, the one with a huge belly. It is the container of wealth. He is the god who removes all scarcity and provides food for all. He is associated with vegetation and wealth. His favourite sweet, the modaka, is shaped like a moneybag. His belly represents a warehouse of a farmer that is full of grains. Around the belly is the snake that stops rats from stealing the grain. Read On

Tahasildar takes to Sanyas: Aged parents blame fate
Upon coming to know of our Correspondent's visit, the couple rushed back to the house, only to say that their prayers be heard by the Almighty, wondering if the God does hear their plight. Lingaiah is now 71 years old while Nagaraj's mother Gangamma is 60 years. Nagaraj seems to be an exception where in a country; children take their aged parents on a pilgrimage as a mark of respect to their elders. "Despite all odds, we funded our son's education, labouring hard for every rupee, in the fond hope that our son may one day take care of us. Our toil bore fruit, with Nagaraj becoming the Tahasildar. But the present situation is like a slip between the lip and a cup of tea," say the old couple, ruing over their son's decision. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: POLO in Karnataka: Thousand Years Ago

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Boo…. Hoo…
Santosh Hegde, the Lokayukta who is well - respected and trusted to do his job, walked out of a media conference for a few minutes with tears in his eyes. This immediately brought back memories of another eminent man of justice, Nani Palkhivala. Speaking of India, Palkhivala had said: “This is a country where kings gave up their thrones and went into the jungle to uphold their dharma. Where have those values gone? Now we are a nation with a first class Constitution and third class leadership.” Today, our leaders go for a holiday no matter how much adharma they might have committed. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Offering of Hair
In Mahabharata, Draupadi's unbound hair represents her fury. In Ramayana, the last jewel of Sita is the hairpin that she gives Hanuman to convey to Ram that her honour, and his reputation, stands in a precarious position. Shiva's dreadlocks represent the potent power of his mind that enables him to catch and bind the unruly and wild river - goddess Ganga. Shaving the head is associated with asceticism. Buddhist monks shaved their heads. Jain monks plucked their hair from the roots; to survive the pain is to convey that one is willing to suffer the challenges offered by monasticism. Brahmins shaved their head but left a tuft in the end, an indicator that they were not monks but very much part of worldly life. Read On

T. J. S. George: Systems exist to detect terrorist plans; But we focus on cabinet shuffle tricks
The Cabinet reshuffle — essentially a defeatist's exercise — had raised major issues concerning the morality of coalition politics and the Government's very approach to governance. The ensuing public discourse reflected serious worries across the political spectrum about the way the country was going. Presumably that debate could have at least led to a clearer understanding of how not to handle high responsibility. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Brindavan Revisited: A Few Mysteries Solved

Flower no longer bloom at our Brindavan Garden

T. J. S. George: Media becomes a Calamity when it’s used as a means to achieve private ends
In our country, the worst of scandals produce action only when the judiciary or the channels force the Government to do so. Even then it's sluggish. Obviously we have people at the top who have much to hide. And we have desi Murdochs who blithely eliminate the institution of editor and turns news into a profit - oriented product handled by marketing whiz kids. If Rupert Murdoch wants to start life all over again, he should come to India. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Death of Fast – unto - Death
He appeared like the ever - smiling Narada to fix things. So finally has URA shed his intellectual sheep clothing and fearlessly displayed his ambitious political wolf skin? Finally, can we, the readers who enjoyed his literary skills now to believe the rumours that have floated for many years that he does harbour very strong political ambitions and has been harbouring them for well over a decade - and - half? Is this URA's new avatar borne out of many years of frustrating wait? Couldn’t he take the wait anymore and felt compelled to join in on the theatrics? While Ananthamurthy was, ahh.... so lovingly feeding juice to Kumaraswamy, many of us were left wondering; one of the reasons Kumaraswamy ended his fast was because he was a diabetic. So wouldn’t it have been more dramatic and appropriate for URA to appear on stage with a syringe filled with insulin? Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Dum Maro Dum
But still, it is amazing to see Indian television soap operas directed at women showing Bhang being prepared from leaves of the Cannabis plant and consumed by the family during Holi. We have Bollywood songs where heroes and heroines run around trees consuming Bhang and singing "Jai Jai Shiv Shankar" and then we have the famous "Dum Maro Dum" with a very young and very beautiful Zeenat Aman surrounded by hippies smoking pot, hoping it will destroy all sorrow. No one is upset or outraged. An acknowledgment that Cannabis is sacred in India — it is sold in the temple markets of Varanasi, Puri and Nathdvara. Every sadhu smokes this potent drug. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Brindavan: A Dream turned nightmare
Since the portion of the page which carries the date and year was missing, I am not able to throw much light on when this incident occurred. From the rest of the news items that were there alongside I have surmised that the year was perhaps 1957. The world wide net too was not of any help. If there is a Sherlock Holmes among the readers, he or she may be able to throw more light on this event. Otherwise you will have to wait till I get my chance to meet Sir Arthur himself and tell you when it happened! Read On

T. J. S. George: The World’s Richest Gold – Jewel Collection? Our new pride and responsibility
The other unique factor of the Kerala find is that it is not just gold and hundis. It comprises works of art. The valuation given to it in daily reports (one lakh crore rupees with a major cellar yet to be opened) no doubt gave it a feel of gigantism, but it was completely meaningless. You can value a bar of gold by its weight. How do you value an exquisite “broom” made of intricately woven gold wires, intended to dust offerings to the Lord? Or a delicately wrought, jewelen crusted crown? Or ancient, rarest – of - rare gold coins? Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Lamps, Devotion, Noise and Seeds of Hope
Like many Mysoreans, I too am part of a group that walks up the Hill, usually all the way to the top during monsoon and winters. Yesterday, vehicles were directed to park at the helipad from where free buses were plying the devotees to the Hill very effectively. We chose to walk instead. At 5. 30 am, while we were walking on the road, we heard a Policeman screaming, looking frantic and suddenly the dreaded political lights appeared; the CM’s entourage with its lights and whistles were zooming in. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Wealth of Lord Padmanabha
The media has created a competition between this temple and the famous Tirupati temple which has been relegated to second place. Perhaps, the authorities of the temple at Tirupati may explore the possibility of searching secret cells, if any, in that temple. This may enthuse other smaller temples to search for hidden treasures. In fact, temples acted as banks in ancient times and hoarded gold and other treasures there, as they were confident that the wealth was safe under the nose of the Lord. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Cultural Roots of Evil
A few years ago, the Dalai Lama spoke that there is goodness in all human beings, even Hitler. This idea annoyed and irritated many in the West. How can anyone say anything good about Hitler? Recently someone tried to say that the punishment against Shiny Ahuja was too harsh. He was silenced with the rhetoric: how can we speak in favour of a rapist? Read On

T. J. S. George: Bring “Outsiders” in, Keep Usurpers Out
This is no longer Indira Gandhi's India. Nor P. V. Narasimha Rao's or A. B. Vajpayee's. In today's prosperous, middle - class dominant India, old - style political engineering cannot work. Even contrived transparency cannot work. Look out, Sri Kapil Sibal, Sri Chidambaram, Sri Manmohan Singh, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Sri Nitin Gadkari. Look out and see the new wind that is blowing. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Muscle Marie
Once upon a time, Bollywood heroes were noble and pensive. Then they became delightful dancing heroes. Then they became angry young men. Then came the stud muffins, strong men who loved to flaunt their sexuality and gym - toned bodies. And now, slowly, one is witnessing the rise of the Muscle Marie: muscled macho heroes who sell fairness creams to young men, so that they do not get tanned in the sun. Indians have always been colourists: we love white skin. The most venerated beauty was called a suryasparshya, the one who has never been touched by the sun. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: I Swear...
When we were young, we all used the phrase “I swear on my mother” or “mother promise.” Yes, this was the ultimate pronouncement of the truth because as a child you never ever imagine losing your mother because we were told that if you swear on your mother and lie, your mother will die. Of course, there was “father promise” too but unfortunately it wasn’t the ultimate. But as we grow older, in modern India we fear not the loss of our loved ones but of wealth and power. In a greedy society that believes that justice will be delivered in the afterlife, oaths are meaningless. Read On

T. J. S. George: The Miracle of Malaysia: A makeover in just two decades, Like in China
The Malay, son of a poor school teacher, never went beyond Singapore to complete his medical education and remained proud of his traditional Malay values. When he confronted double-speak and double standards, he made no attempt to hide his resentment. If he felt he was on the side of righteousness, he didn't care who was offended. It was easy for the West, self - serving as ever, to adopt Kuan Yew as one of its own, and reject Mahathir as an oriental potentate. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Goddess Maramma is here to stay
Actually, Maramma is a village deity protecting the population from epidemic diseases. She is known by various names like Mari, Maramma, Masanamma, Chaudi, Kali, Karali etc. She is believed to be a Dravidian and pre - Aryan deity. But she became popular in Aryan area also and hence scholars equate her with Parvathi, the consort of Shiva and explain her as Maheshwari. According to another story, she is the embodiment of Renuka Devi, the mother of Parashurama. By some misunderstanding, he severed her head which multiplied in hundreds. He became remorseful and requested her to be born in every village. That is why every village has a place of worship for Maramma. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Dear Prime Minister where Art Thou?
Has our brilliant economist PM crossed over to the dark side? Has he too become just a politician like his other intellectual Cabinet colleagues? Or is he just in a very confused phase in his career right now? India is in too much crisis to wait till August 15th to hear him. One show a year is no show at all. Looks like “Singh was never the King” to begin with. It was only the Queen all along. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Shankaralaya – An interesting heritage building
A rich and influential person had his bungalow on the other side and objected to this new temple as he had to go round this temple. He went and complained to the Maharaja. The Maharaja chastised him and is said to have told him, "By going round this temple, your sins may vanish and you may accrue religious merit (punya). Thus this traditionally built structure is not merely a heritage structure but has a history of about a century and is a great land mark in the cultural history of Mysore city. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Sniffing Cops and Drunken Lots
For a moment, you are confused whether the cop is offering you a drink or asking if you have been drinking. They can be very polite when they want to be. If you say no as softly as they asked you, they then move closer to your face and once again ask, “No hard drinks sir?” If he does not sniff any alcohol, he withdraws out of the window like a slithery uninterested anaconda and you are cheerfully asked to go on. But as you raise your windows, you are left with a nostril full of chaos and your brain is numb processing the fact that your nostril was just violated by the bad breath of a sniffing cop. You end up being a bad - breath analyser. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Doctors and Rural Service
Instead of talking of the kind of rural service that he is now envisaging which seems unworkable Mr. Ramdas can do much good to society by improving the health services in our villages with some practicable measures. Let him win the trust and goodwill of doctors by first appreciating the good that they are doing and then expect them to stand by him in his plans of providing better health care to our villagers. I agree he has good intentions and the dynamism to match them but he should proceed with caution and patience. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Dumb and Beautiful
We are constantly told that Kunti loves the Madreyas as much as she loves Kauntaneyas, but one wonders. Is this a display of excessive love to hide the underlying rage, after all Madri was the favourite wife? But one can only speculate. For all the love, one must not forget that the first brother to be gambled away by Yudhishtira is not a son of Kunti but a son of Madri. Clearly they were more disposable than others. Read On

T. J. S. George: Promise of a new future for Bengal and Tamil Nadu, but not Kerala
Opportunity has been called "thou strong seducer". From A. Raja to B. S. Yeddyurappa, from the Bengal communists to the UPA - 2 high commanders, they have all allowed opportunity to seduce them. This is a pity because opportunity is also a provider of inspiration for great and noble work. Following the recent Assembly elections, three States saw historically significant regime changes. How are the novice Chief Minister in Bengal and the veterans in Tamil Nadu and Kerala using their newly - won moment in history? It is barely a month since they took charge. Yet, a tentative appraisal is possible based on first impressions. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Balarama’s Favorite
Balarama's character is very different from Krishna's. Balarama is silent, somber, simple but has a fiery temper that is fast to rise and quick to fall unlike Krishna who sweet talks to get his way, always smiles and never loses his cool. Physically too, the brothers are different. Balarama is fair and has smooth straight hair while Krishna is dark with thick curly hair. Balarama dresses in blue while Krishna dresses in yellow. Balarama carries the plough and the pestle, associating him with agricultural activities while Krishna carries a flute, associating him with animal husbandry. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Wild Humans & Angry Elephants
We all witnessed the elephant attack in Mysore city three days ago. The TV reporters and the forest officials screamed that wild elephants had entered the city, but the people who were around the elephants chasing it and chiding them seemed “wilder” than the wild elephants. With urbanisation, man - animal conflict is bound to increase. In this conflict, the animals will lose; after all man is the smarter creature though unfortunately, his behaviour with nature does not reflect it. Read On

U. K. Rumana: Sleek School Bags & Stylish Umbrellas
Shopping is not yet over for many, even as schools have opened; late - shoppers still crowd the city shops in search of a replacement for previous year's school bag, a new umbrella to welcome the rains, raincoats, lunch boxes or water - bottles. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Arre Baba ...What do you really want?
To begin with, he can go over his own donors’ list and make sure the money he has received is clean or else, it will become his weak link while negotiating with the government and a credibility issue for the people he needs to garner support from — his non - yoga students. Anyway, both are noble fasts but the solidarity for one comes straight from our hearts while the other is generated from thick wallets. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The Other Wives
Thus the world of the Mahabharata very comfortably refers to polyandry (many husbands for one woman) as well as polygyny (many wives for one man). What is interesting to note is that most storytellers are embarrassed only by the former than the latter; hence there are tales to “explain” Draupadi's many husbands but none to explain each Pandava's other wives. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Grime in Grand Hotels
Today it is a domain where most common people can only dream of setting foot, let alone of dining at least once in a lifetime. It is therefore a shame that it has set such poor standards for itself and has allowed itself to become the target of ridicule and condemnation when in fact it should have stood out proudly as the best example of the high standards of excellence that are naturally expected by anyone who pays for the luxury of five star tourism. Read On

Thus spake Swami Baba Ramdev
The objective of our life is to believe in the Supremacy of the power of Guru and the power of God to worship the nation - deity through disciplined hard work, and to discharge our righteous actions and duties with complete dedication, competence unsparing endeavour and enterprise (aggressiveness). Read On

T. J. S. George: Assembly - Line Manufacture of Books, the Surest Way to Lose Readers
But the super cars ensure that they remain super; even if they sell only a dozen cars a year, the price tags will justify their overheads. Book publishers have to have large volumes to sustain the overheads. So the diligence that goes into the manufacture of cars cannot go into the manufacture of books. There are publishers who decide, inside the majesty of their board rooms, that they shall publish 300 or 400 titles per year. Car makers can put in more shifts, add more assembly lines and turn out more units. How do book publishers manage to get 300 or 400 titles to publish each year? Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Head Strong Weak Knees
Men in power control their environment. Powerful men set the agenda of nations. But for some reason many of them just can't seem to hold on to their zippers. Sex and power have always gone hand in hand. Unfortunately, just power is not enough to impress women. Powerful men have forgotten this as a result of prolonged exposure to “yes – men”. And so they simply lift their hands up in expectation while letting their pants fall down. Read On

Shwetha Pangannaya: A Champion of the oppressed class
This became the foundation for the installation of a statue of Babuji, as he was endearingly called, in front of the City Railway Station in the year 2000. The bronze statue of Babuji was sculpted by V. A. Deshpande, a renowned sculptor and the present Dean of Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA). The imposing statue is 9 feet tall and cost around Rs. 8 lakh. Another Rs. 2 lakh was utilised for the construction of the platform. Read On

Travelogue: A Visit to Dreamland Switzerland
It was in 1995 that the famous film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge starring Shahrukh Khan and Kajol was released. From then on, I had a desire to visit Switzerland, since some of the scenes were shot there. Life with its various twists and turns could ensure that it happened in 2011. Thanks to Thomas Cook, I could go with my wife and daughter in tow to this wonderful dreamland. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Public Works, No Public Safety
Unfortunately, we tend to respond only to extremes and continue to be only reactive. Road works during the day, tree - felling in the presence of heavy traffic, flyover construction during peak traffic are all causes for death due to negligence. Prarthana has left two kids motherless due to sheer negligence of an irresponsible timber merchant and the lax attitude of the government when it comes to public safety during public works. Will they respond only when their own die? Read On

T. J. S. George: The Big Winner? Not Mamata or Jaya! The Losers? Not Buddha or Karuna!!!
The Congress princeling made a couple of visits to Tamil Nadu, taking care not to meet his ally Karunanidhi. Nor did he do anything to put life into the dead horse that is the Congress party in Tamil Nadu. The big political story from this election is that the Congress is losing ground across India. But don't expect it to learn any lessons from the decline. That is the beauty of democracy, you don't have to learn anything. Read On

M. S. Apoorva: The Grand Old Man of Mysore
Though daily thousands of people walk along this park in front of the Lansdowne Building and city bus stand, very few among them know the significance of the place. The statue of Thathaiah goes almost unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of city life and unfortunately, the only time it may be remembered is on the occasion of his birth anniversary. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Needless Death
Next week if you happen to pass that way, I am sure that you will see the same killer contractor with the same band of inept workers continuing to fell the remaining trees. On many occasions, I have seen tree - felling and even rock - blasting work being done with explosives along the roadside without the presence of any Police personnel or even warning signs. Very often without men in khaki, which is the only deterrent colour which Indians heed a little, road - users too simply ignore any warning signs that may have been put up for their own safety. Read On

M. S. Apoorva: Kindarai’s Lilting tunes reverberate through Rangayana
This was also the first production of city’s theatre repertory Rangayana and was staged by its artistes who were then still its students. The play was staged under the direction of Rangayana’s Founder - Director B. V. Karanth. With the success of the play, Karanth wanted to make sure Kindari Jogi left his mark in the city and in the hearts of its citizens forever. Hence, he got the statue of Kindari Jogi installed in Rangayana premises which we now see. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: War – Monger Vs Bomb - Monger
So how different are the Americans from terrorists? Not very. Terrorists are unilateral, so is America. Terrorists invoke god, so does America. Didn’t Bush say that god told him to invade Iraq?! Terrorists say they are freedom fighters, America assumes it is god's “democracy delivery mechanism”. Terrorists tell their people “Americans will kill you so help us save you”, Americans say “the terrorists will kill you all and destroy the world so let us clean them out for you”. Terrorists kill their own while achieving their goal, Americans have lost thousands of their own fighting wars they didn't need to. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Homage to three saints
This is the month of three saints. Curiously their birthdays (Jayanthi) fell on 6th, 7th and 8th of this month (May) though the times they lived were different. They are Basavanna, Ramanujacharya and Shankaracharya. The festivals of all 3 saints are celebrated with gaiety and religious fervour all over Karnataka. A grateful nation remembers these great men and pays homage to them and brings awareness among their followers, their teachings which are undoubtedly the heritage of mankind. That is the purpose of all festivals. Read On

U. K. Rumana: The Aesthetics of Board Games
King Chandaiah Hegde wanted to appease his pregnant wife Neelamma. So, according to her wish, the couple engages in Chenne mane, Neelamma's favouite game, in which Chandaiah embraces defeat every time. Finding his prestige dangling, the king moved the pawns in his favour, as Neelamma calls for a recess. The Queen, on return, smells foul play. She was so vexed that she returns to her native. Her brother, who takes vengeance on his sister's behalf, leads a battle against Chandaiah, in which the king dies. Later Neelamma, who couldn't bear her husband's demise, dies of heart burst. The tragedy is Sediyapu Krishna Bhat's short story “Chenne mane”. Fiction or non - fiction, it is true that board games were played erstwhile in immense excitement. Read On

T. J. S. George: People’s Notice to Crooks: Change or Go
Television has spawned many evils. One of them is the animal called “party spokesperson”, a species that is found only in India. By occupational necessity, they are motor - mouths; just turn the battery on and they go blabbering nonstop. They are also robotic; they see and hear and speak nothing except what their creators have programmed them to see and hear and speak. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Saffron Costumes
The first time I saw him on a video, I heard him speak on the Mahabharata, connecting it with the Upanishads. I was truly impressed. Such clarity of thought was unusual. The next time I saw him on video, he was in bed, intimate with two women. To me, the latter was an invasion of privacy. People have the right to do what they wish in private. But this was a scandal: for the man in both videos was wearing saffron robes and claiming to be a celibate monk. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Air India, Another PSU bleeds us
It was reported that when Pramod Mahajan was the Telecom Minister, BSNL did not supply SIM cards for a while during which time private players made merry. It was rumoured to be an intentional move. How can BSNL with the largest number of connections not be competitive in a market that it has monopolised since Independence? The loss is ours, the tax payers. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Seer of Sringeri: Sixty Years of Dharmic Guidance
About 1,200 years ago, Adi Shankaracharya came to Sringeri in Karnataka from Kerala and founded a great religious centre to preach Indian thought and culture with special reference to Advaita (Non - dualism). This centre has blossomed into a celebrated institution with the help of a chain of Jagadgurus since then. Perhaps this is a record for any Mutt in our country. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Finally There’s Hope
Also when Anna Hazare was asked if he would stand for elections, his reply was, “I will lose my deposit.” This shows that there is another India that actually votes, albeit for the wrong kind of people and for the wrong reasons. Hence before we go about expecting a corruption - free India, we need to have corruption - free Indians. We need voters who reject TVs, laptops, mixies and grinders. Corruption goes beyond just a government official taking a bribe or a politician siphoning off funds, it is about the fabric of morality. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Calrion Call to Doctors
And, may I ask why only doctors have been selected for this regulatory move when there is no effective system in place to regulate “private practice” in other professions like teaching where tuition classes are thriving? As long as a government doctor does full justice to his or her job during working hours, it should not be the business of the government to worry about what he or she does afterwards. Since the doctor - patient relationship always has a personal element too, is the right of every patient to have access to a doctor of his or her choice at all times. Read On

M. L. Krishnaswamy: The Mysore That Was…....
In 1951, in a household on Vani Vilas Road, death visited both husband and wife in a brief span of a few hours. After all the rituals connected with this tragedy, the mourners of this family thought it was a bad omen and they decided to shift to Geetha Road where they had a rice mill. The house was deserted and plants and trees grew merrily for a few months. People walking on the road used to avoid looking at the house in fear. Then, one day it caught the attention of Suttur Seer Rajendra Swamigalu, who used to visit the neighbouring Sanskrit Patashala every day, driving in his green Austin sedan car. Read On

T. J. S. George: No need to bribe a British Journalist
But we should never make the mistake of assuming that Maxwell wrote the damn - India book at the behest of China. For one thing, China is too smart to make use of hacks with questionable powers of prediction. For another, as Humbert Wolfe reminded humanity: It is impossible to bribe or twist / Thank God, the British journalist; / But seeing what the man will do / Without a bribe, there's no occasion to. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Humour, Thy name is Koravanji
The college in which he was studying auctioned all the old magazines including Punch and Shivaram managed to collect Rs. 3 to buy them. But the Principal himself purchased it at Rs. 4. The boy was highly disappointed. But the understanding Principal presented all these volumes to Shivaram as a gift. This precious gift from the Principal was a turning point in the career of young Shivaram and years later he started the monthly magazine Koravanji. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: April Fooling?
It has today become the most lucrative “Low investment, Low risk but High return” business in our country as chances of getting caught and convicted are very remote and penalties are simply too mild. For instance, just see what sentence one official who has been convicted for his crimes has got recently in our city. He has been asked to pay a fine of Rupees Sixty Three Lakhs for his misdeeds and in the event of his being unable to pay the fine, he has the option of undergoing imprisonment for just three short months. Now, which criminal will not think it sensible to keep the ill - gotten money intact and sleep away three months in a cozy cell at government expense? Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Understanding Indian Thought
In the Ramayana, Ravan behaves like an alpha male while in Mahabharata, the Kauravas behave like alpha males, clinging to other people's wives in one case and other people's land in the other. Ram and Krishna are different from each other — one upholds rules and one breaks them. Yet, they are similar to each other — they uphold dharma. Thus there is a pattern beneath the apparent cacophony. It is this consistency of theme despite the apparent randomness that makes it “post – post – modern”. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Right Hand Feeds All
Ancient Hindu seers known as Rishis believed that the purpose of life is to enable the soul to engage with the material world. To do so, the soul needs a vehicle, a body. Food nourishes this body. This makes food sacred, fuel for the fire of life, worthy of worship and contemplation. Food therefore was only served using the auspicious right hand. The left hand was reserved for polluting ablutions. But who should the right hand feed? Only oneself, or others too? And what constitutes the others? Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: No less than a heart transplant
Just last evening I noticed that some giant rain trees that had been standing for perhaps more than a century in the premises of the former Palace garage adjacent to our Police Commissioner’s office had been chopped down to make way for a building there. I understand that the place on which those trees had the audacity to stand may now be private property and someone may point out that I have no locus - standi to question how they are treated. But still my heart bleeds because I cannot help feeling that whoever owns that place could have been a little kind - hearted to spare the trees which would have been a natural asset to whatever man - made structure that is going to come up there. Read On

T. J. S. George: Leaders win always; India loses always
Small men dominate our politics, their smallness surfacing most dramatically at election time. Unpopular communists keep popular communists out, Congressmen secretly work for the defeat of Congressmen, the Muslim League disregards its moral postures and fields the immoral, BJP "sells" votes in constituencies where it can not win. When bribery, deceit and selfishness become "the great thing about democracy," leaders enrich themselves, cadres suffer and India loses. A pity. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: My views on Women’s Day
Incidentally, while birthdays and anniversaries have been very much a part of our personal lives for the past so many years, it is only over the recent past that this new tradition of earmarking a special day in the year for almost everything has crept in. And, ever since we have started doing this it is no surprise that we have been adding new special days to the now already long list. I feel that at the rate at which we are going, it will not be very long before we run out of place in the 365 day long year for all the special days we would like to observe. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Fighter Air Craft designed by Sage Bharadwaja
Finally, a question arises in our mind as to whether these techniques were just in theory or were they practiced and if so where are the evidences for the same. It is very difficult to give a satisfactory answer to this. More research is required by competent scholars to explain these technical details. In the absence of these details they cannot be dismissed as imagination. In the meantime, it is our duty to bow our head in reverence to sage Bharadwaja, who may perhaps be considered as the first aeronautical engineer in the world. Read On

Musings... by JP: Recalling a Tsunami felt a 1000 Kms away from where it originated
One interesting fact that emerged much later is that the gulls, crows and the ever present dogs that live off the scraps from the beach shacks had suddenly vanished at least an hour before the sea showed its might against the puny humans. Birds and animals always seem to sense when a natural calamity is about to occur. That is another story. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Could Dream Girl Haunt Us?
So the question is not of whether one should be a Kannadiga or a non - Kannadiga but of whether we are effectively represented at the Centre. A local representative tends to be under pressure as he is answerable and accountable, hence preferred. After all, he has to come back and live amongst his own. An outsider does not feel this kind of pressure and tends to be nonchalant. When is the last time Sonia or Sushma came to Bellary to see the state of the people there? So we may have the Dream Girl representing us, let’s just hope it does not become a nightmare for us. Read On

International Women’s Day has done nothing defiling
But all liberation begins with the liberation of consciousness, even before liberation from family and social security, even before economic independence. Liberation is the freeing of herself from man’s ability to “blackmail” her into compromising at every phase of her life. But the trouble is that men cannot imagine the deep internal and external struggle that a woman undergoes merely to achieve the courage to speak of her commitment to independent consciousness. It is a kind of Catch 22 situation with no solution except wait for the next International Women's Day and another round of feminist discourse. And, of course, a cafe au latte at the chic restaurant! Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Chopping off the Nose
That this practice was ancient is attested to by Kautilya in his Arthashashtra. He has prescribed the punishment of cutting the nose and ears for the theft of pet animals and also for adultery. In the tenth century, this punishment was common in Kashmir. Here the nose - cutters were women. A cook who was suspected of poisoning had his nose chopped off before his wife as a punishment. This punishment was in vogue even during the days of the Sultans of Delhi. The nose of the General Yaklakhi was cut off in public. Even Babur seems to have resorted to this as a punishment, for those who refused to join his army. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Love in the Millet Field
But a few centuries later, a poetic - story emerged that celebrates Muruga, the great god of the hills, the very virile warrior - god who rides a peacock, who holds a lance, whose symbol is a rooster. Known as Tirumurukarruppatai, “An ode to the Lord Muruga”, this Tamil work is also a love story. It describes in detail the courtship of Valli. What is interesting in this narrative is its rawness and unbridled passion, devotion mixed with eroticism, devoid of Brahmanical and monastic restraint. Love and lust are seen as two sides of the same coin and there is no shame or guilt associated with desire. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Shameful and Cruel Joke
Although the unnamed CESC official, who has been quoted may have thought that he has made an earth - shattering statement, that informs us all about how technologically advanced we have suddenly become with just a swing of the cricket bat, I think he has only saved himself from a most shameful kind of personal humiliation by not letting his name be printed alongside his claim. When his organisation has not been able to provide the much needed uninterrupted power to our exam - going students over the past so many years and has not been able to change its style of functioning or the quality of its service despite changing its name more than once, can we expect it to do any better now just out of its reverence to the Gods of the English game? Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: And…. There was no one left to speak up for me
Caste politics works because Indians are overtly caste - conscious. It is a misconception that only Dalits and minorities are victims of casteism. There have been many instances where even upper castes have been victims of casteism by lower castes. All one has to do is visit a government office, a college teachers’ meeting or a business house’s appraisal sessions. We can witness a continuous game of casteism being played out in full swing. I have been made to stand outside the house because I was a meat - eater. I have been chided for being a pork eater. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Blades of immortal grass
In Hindu rituals, grass plays an important role. Rings made of grass are often worn before starting either the ritual of Homa (offerings via fire) or Puja (flower offerings). It is said to purify the participants. Grass is used as offering. At Ganesha temples, offerings of blades of grass is very common. Use of grass in ritual dates back to Vedic times. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Nadir or the peak of greatness?
We call ourselves civilised and announce to the rest of the world that we were the ones who first rocked the cradle of civilisation. We also claim to be riding on the wave of a cultural and economic revolution right now. But it is significant to note here that every wave has a nadir and a peak. I am tempted to ask at which one of these two points on this wave do we Indians stand today? Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Our Cash, But in their Stash!
We must not fail to notice how our government is taking its own sweet time in requesting for the documents. The delay almost seems intentional. The intent being — give time for tax evaders to move their money out. By the time our sleuths get the required documentation through, all we are going to get are account numbers with no money or name in them. Everyone is safe. It’s a win - win for both parties. What an idea Sirji?! Read On

S. K. Sinha: Army Must Live Up to Cariappa
The year 2010 was a year of scams. The image of the Army was also besmirched along with that of the judiciary, the bureaucracy, the media, and, of course, the political leadership. The Army needs to recall the high standards set by late Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa and endeavour to live up to them, says S. K. Sinha, retired Lieutenant General, who was also the Vice - Chief of Army Staff and has served as the Governor of Assam and Jammu & Kashmir. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Painting the town blue
A parable is a story with a moral ending. A parable is not a myth. Myth comprises of a set of stories that creates belief that shapes the way we see the world. Myths are never prescriptive. Parables are. Here is an example of a parable... Once upon a time, there was a kingdom and the kingdom had a king and the king had a pair of eyes. And with these eyes, he looked at his subjects and ensured all was well with them. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Strained by the Strays
In Romania, it is said that dogs know that if they cross the zebra crossing with humans, a car will not hit them. May be pretty soon with all the modern buildings coming up in Bangalore with fancy escalators and elevators, we might see strays taking the escalator to enjoy the spoils at UB City's food courts and they are sure to take their urban adventure to a new level once the Metro comes. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Sankranthi, Festival of the Sun
Due to changed circumstances, this festival has become mechanical. Most people buy what is called “Nylon Ellu” from the supermarkets. The excitement of preparing ellu at home by grandmothers has become a rare sight. In spite of this change, this festival is celebrated with religious fervour. Sankranti festival has a message “Ellu tindu olle matadu”, meaning “Eat ellu and speak good words”. That is the most important aspect of this festival. Read On

T. J. S. George: Our Lost Moral Universe
Our post - Emergency heritage has wiped out all that was before it. In Kosala, as Kambar described it, "None were generous as none was needy; with no liars around, Truth never needed to speak up; no learning stood out as all were learned". In Brashtachar Virodhi Bharat today, all are needy yet none is generous; Truth speaks up but liars shout it down; no learning stands out as all are unlearned. We are a blot on the fair name of Kosala, we have no right to talk about its capital Ayodhya, and we have badly let down its king Rama. We are not even ashamed. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The Faithful Mandodari
An upcoming film star allegedly raped his maid servant. His wife stood by him. A Police inspector allegedly molested a young sportswoman. His wife stood by him. Are these women Mandodaris of modern times? Media has tried and judged the accused. They are, for the media, Ravan — demon men who do not respect the rights of women. The court is undecided. They are probably Ravan. Or probably Ram. Read On

Musings... by JP: What made that book a best seller?
Books do not make it to the top ten best - seller lists because thousands of people have read and have sung praises of the book! One or two may but the rest make it to the list because the publisher planned it that way. Since I spent more than a few years with the book publishing profession, I can say in all sincerity that when it comes to determining a best - seller, nobody knows anything. No one knows for certain if a book will be a best - seller. The first question that the Publisher asks of his editorial minions is, "Can we make it a best - seller?" Read On

M. S. Apoorva: An Ode to Artists
A close study of the paintings in Karnataka indicates that instead of reflecting life as it was during those periods, the painters had adopted conventionalised settings and highly stylised postures. Vijayanagar tradition of painting encouraged three distinct schools of painting, namely the Deccani School (Sultanate), Mysore School and the Tanjore School. While the rulers of Bijapur, Gulbarga and Bidar were responsible for the development of a distinct style known as the Deccani style, the southern parts of Karnataka continued the ancient style which was developed at Vijayanagar and the rulers of Mysore extended patronage to art. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Musings on incense sticks
Coming back to agarbathi king Ranga Rao, he is an excellent example of hard work and sustained interest. As a boy of eleven, he began selling biscuits in his school. Another boy also began doing the same and became a competitor. Immediately Ranga Rao began giving a peppermint free with a biscuit and his rival vanished from the scene. Ranga Rao never spoke about his agarbathis but allowed his product to speak for him. The so - called concept of “Customer being the king” was put into practice by this person at least half a century ago. That was the quality of the best marketing man. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Agro – Tourism?
When it comes to addressing the farming issues, suddenly most politicians become farmers; so also our Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa who claims he is a farmer and wants his fellow farmers to get updated as he himself put it: “Going outside and learning always expands the horizons of your knowledge, their trip is going to help them and the way they do farming here. Many taxpayers would feel this business of government - sponsored trips for farmers to “learn and expand their horizons” is as futile as politicians going on the same kind of “expanding their horizon” tours.
Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Save the Varuna Lake
I have had the experience of being urged on by frowning men in white who have on many occasions banged the roof of my car with a stout baton to draw my attention. When I have in turn drawn their attention to the day - long usurpation of our legitimate share of parking place for illegitimate activities, they have always given me their most genial smiles and advised me to Swalpa adjust madkolli, sir, Yen madokke agathe, Kaala sari illa! It is time we introduced paid parking facilities at least on this stretch of road where free day - long parking now seems to be the rule. Read On

T. J. S. George: Nine dreams and One Wish
Even from the depths of gloom, human nature longs for happiness. At the dawn of a new year the longing surfaces with vigorous anticipation. This time the anticipation has a desperate edge to it because, during the year that has just gone, our trust in many of our institutions and individuals was shattered. We badly need to restore that trust; without trust in the basic structure of society and the custodians of that structure, survival itself would be under threat. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Caught in a Whirlpool
According to another story, Abhimanyu was actually the son of the moon who was cursed to live on earth as a mortal. The moon missed his son so much that he begged Krishna to find a way to kill his son in the sixteenth year of his life. The only way to do so was to prevent him from learning the secrets of Chakravyuha. The third, more sinister reading is that Krishna knew how much Arjuna loved his son. Only the death of his son at the hands of his teacher would goad Arjuna to take the war more personally and fight intensely. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: It’s 2011
2010 has been the harshest year for the Indian citizen to digest, with over 5 scams in one year. But thanks to our film directors’ eye for “items”, we get a nice item break after every scandal. In the early 1990s, when we were all heartbroken that our first, young and only handsome PM Rajiv Gandhi was involved in the Bofors Scam, Madhuri Dixit came on screen and her “dil” Dhak dhak kar ne laga and people soon began to forget the scandal. Soon there was the Hawala Scam and once again Madhuri rescued us with her choli, as she pranced naughtily to “Choli ke peeche kya hai.”
Then it was the sugar import scam and Raveena Tandon drenched us with her sweetness in “Tip tip barasa paani.” Soon it was Lalu time as fodder scam made headlines and we had an apt song as Shilpa Shetty screamed “Main ayi hoo UP Bihar lootne.” Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Price of Onions
Despite much reading and many sessions of discussion too with some very intelligent professors of economics I have still not understood why prices keep rising especially when you consider the fact that to keep pace with them we invariably end up demanding more salaries from whoever employs us or more fees for our services if we happen to be self - employed like me. I am right now in the process of planning how much I should charge as my consultation fee from the New Year. The only thing that has held me back is the yet unannounced hike in the price of diesel since the cars I drive run on it. Read On

Indian democracy at the crossroads
Between the idea, And the reality… Falls the shadow," wrote T. S. Eliot in “The Hollow Man”. He may have had in mind the current state of the Indian Constitution which celebrates its 60th anniversary in Jan. 2011. Sixty years of Indian Constitution, whether you like it or not, is like Eliot's poem. Though constructed in an Utopian mould, the Constitution is yet to create a just and egalitarian society. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Our Own Greens
Many may remember that even if one lived in a small house there was always enough space to grow a little beans, a few tomatoes and the must - have “kothambari soppu” (coriander leaves). If the house had a little space in front, then there would be a sapota tree in the corner and a guava tree in the back with the easy growing papaya and of course, there was always place for a coconut tree. Today we are so busy that let alone buying fresh vegetables from the market, we buy packed and frozen vegetables stored deep in the freezer of a supermarket. May be it’s time to get back a little to the old ways and start enjoying a little time tending to a real kitchen garden instead of playing gardening game on Facebook. Read On

T. J. S. George: Does Pawar Know His Onions?
Like all crises that have occurred during Pawar's watch in the Food Ministry, the current onion crunch could also be seen coming well before it actually hit. The rains misbehaved and onion traders quickly noticed another opportunity shaping up to exploit the people. A watchful Food Ministry could also have seen what the traders saw, but it chose to be otherwise busy. Even when the crisis exploded threatening grave political fallout, Pawar was typically indifferent. The rains caused it, he said — as if we didn't know. The high prices would last a fortnight or so, he said — as if that was all there was to be said. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Musings on Christmas
Actually, the word Christmas is an abbreviation of the ancient English Phrase “Christ's Mass” which in the course of centuries became the popular word Christmas. The word has been in use for the past 500 years. The festival commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, considered as a new hope for the down - trodden masses of ancient days. Thus this day is celebrated as a sacred day, remembering Him who sacrificed himself for the sake of his fellow human beings. Read On

T. J. S. George: Who’s protecting the guilty?
Why on earth are these hated men still in their posts? Who is their protector? Why? Again the protector has to be at the very top. Is there someone at that height who is desperate to hide something? Silence and the tactic of brazening it out brought the Prime Minister under the critical scrutiny of the Supreme Court. Sonia Gandhi and her unseen advisors will also be under public suspicion if this brazening - out continues. Read On

T. J. S. George: Leaks: It’s People Vs Governments
In this case, even when you hang them, they don't die. An Ellsberg may escape jail, a Manning may languish there. But the bid by sinners to hide their sins will never succeed. Even if Assange is taken away by a vindictive America, new forces will come up daring to reveal the secrets of those who should not have secrets. That reality applies to America, to Spectrum Raja, to the Tatas and to celebrity journalists. That's why we will have more WikiLeaks and more Niira Radia tapes. And so be it. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: ... And the Fourth Pillar too Cracks
This change in the media business should not come as a surprise considering that today media is a serious business, unlike earlier when it was considered a prestigious service. Almost all media companies born within this decade are Public Limited companies. So they are driven by numbers and not by service. Their first allegiance is towards their shareholders and not their readers. They want their shareholders' confidence rather than the readers' trust. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Between the Rangoli Lines
Once, this was a daily practice. In many parts of rural India it is still so. But in most parts of India, this practice is restricted to festival time, Diwali being the most popular one. Other times are Kojagiri, the full moon before Diwali, and Krishna Janmashtami, the birth of Krishna. These patterns are also seen during weddings. This practice of decorating the threshold is even seen in Parsi households. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The New Book & the Old Bookshop
I had once written about how along with Geetha Book in K. R. Circle, Newspaper House, just a stone’s throw away at the very edge of Lansdowne Building and at the former location of the famous Elgin Fountain, had not only served me as a fountain of knowledge but also as a source of much solace, comfort and joy. With its endearing owner never even once showing any resentment or displeasure at my prolonged stays there whenever I happened to visit his shop which used to be about once a week as it was for many years my favourite weekend destination. Read On

T. J. S. George: Is Congress courting disaster?
The Congress leadership desists from punishing the crooks in its ranks. From Bofors days, it has shown a tendency to defend the indefensible. It should not forget what happened when it ignored public opinion, ignored even common sense, and went on justifying Bofors. That one case of corruption was the reason why Congress was defeated in the 1989 election. There are many cases of corruption round its neck today. And the next election is not too far away. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Shift Race Course?! Shift Race Course?!?!
See what happened to Bangalore Race Course. It was to be shifted only to make space for two towers to be built by a Dubai builder. Thankfully, the Supreme Court has issued a stay and the High Court has said it should remain the lung space of Bangalore. Mysore Race Course too, once shifted, may slip into becoming the playground of two kinds of people: Sultans of concrete — builders and their support staff, the politicians. These people don’t even spare war widows. Do you think they will spare a land that is already in the government’s name? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Tribute to a Blind Vedic Scholar
Simple in habits and always engaging himself in his pet project of the Vedas, Swamiji lived for 111 years and attained samadhi on Feb. 14, 1922. Thus he merged himself with the Veda Bhagawan. A huge endowment has been created in the name of this great saint called Sri Guru Gangeswaranandaji Veda Ratna Puraskar. The award is presented to 6 Vedic scholars each year. Perhaps this is the most prestigious award in the realm of Vedic studies. The Swamiji was physically blind but had a great vision. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Spectrum Spectacle
But then let’s not forget when it comes to money, all the parties are the same. Each party might have a different agenda but when it comes to “fund raising” they are truly democratic. They protect each other. That is why no matter which party comes to power, it never has and never will take up corruption charges that they themselves levied against the previous party. The NDA did that with the Bofors Scam and the Congress did the same with Pramod Mahajan’s “SIM card” deal. While the politicians scratch each other’s back and continue on their fund raising spree, we remain mere spectators threatened to pay our taxes on time. Read On

Down the Memory Lane: Dasara Authority…. A 25 – Year – Old Issue!
So, this tradition of delay is being observed to conduct this traditional Dasara every year at a huge budget. Now, the time has come to constitute a Dasara Authority and the government must give due attention to it. Can we take the just commenced work on Rajpath as the first step on the way of constituting the Authority? Read On

T. J. S. George: Glamour is not Credibility
At one point she actually tells another contact that "I made [the journalist] call up Congress and get a statement." This is Radia speaking, not a naïve greenhorn. To say that this kind of work on behalf of a lobbyist is legitimate journalism is like Yeddyurappa saying that all he has ever done is development work. To say they promised to talk to the likes of Sonia and Rahul only to out-smart a war - horse is like BJP high command saying it has outsmarted Yeddyurappa. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The War Lord of Gods
In ancient world, there was a god of war, whose name was Skanda. Scholars are of the opinion that perhaps the name Skanda has something to do with Sikandar which is the Persian name of Alexander. In the fourth century BC, when Alexander's ferocious army came to the North West India, the terror that they struck had such a dramatic impact on the people of the land, that Sikandar became the symbol of violence and war. From this, perhaps, came the idea of Skanda or the great warlord who came from the North. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A taste of “Inglish
From time to time we all get to read some very interesting signboards and announcements which can be quite hilarious. Recently, I saw a sign outside a mutton shop which said: “As you lick mutton hear by at Rs. 250 par KG. Cheap but no Cheat”. It took me a little while to realise what the sign said was that here you could buy the kind of mutton you liked at a most reasonable Rs. 250 per kilogram without any kind of cheating! Very close by was another sign, perhaps drafted by the same scholar, which very crisply said: “plis no pis” under which I found a man standing and relieving himself unhindered. Since the man was very helpfully doing what the sign said he should not be doing there I needed no further help in deciphering it! Read On

T. J. S. George: Salute to Purushothama
Professor Lal taught at St. Xavier's College for 40 years. Devoted friends called him Profsky, rather reminiscent of D. G. Tendulkar (biographer of the Mahatma) calling Dom Moraes Domsky. Was it some kind of a psychedelic association with radical thinkers like Trotsky and Laski? Lal did not look like a radical, but his achievements were reformist. Glamour - obsessed Indian media might have ignored him, but The Economist featured him in its famous page - length Obituary column. That must have surprised Purushottama Lal, whose first name now shines like a title the country has bestowed on him.
Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Biking on the Roof of the World
I walked back to my tent drenched in thoughts, but with everything falling into place like a Rubik's Cube that was getting all its colours in place without a single false move. Soon my mind felt clearer. My view on life was reset to “factory default setting”, the way it was before the complexities of urban life and social conditioning had changed it. What millions of visits to a temple had not done for me, mother nature did in one brief moment. My moment of enlightenment? May be; but I won't be opening an ashram, nor am I going to get preachy. I don't want to be the guy who rode up as a “wild boar” and came down a “big – bore”. The night in the tent was scary with howling winds and bone - chilling cold, but sleeping bag came to rescue. We all slept like well - fed bears in hibernation. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Remembering Nalwadi
Maharaja went on a tour of Europe including London. At London arrangements were made for his stay at Hotel Dorchester. The officials had arranged two rooms for him, one as his bedroom and the other to meet guests. Then he enquired "Where is my puja room? Do you think Chamundeshwari does not live in London? She is everywhere and particularly where ever I am.' Immediately one more room was arranged for him. During his stay there he had to perform upakarma (wearing a new sacred thread once a year). With his personal priest he went to the banks of river Thames and performed the ritual. In one of the rituals at the Mysore Palace, the priest forgot to fill up the Kalasha with water. Later he realised the mistake but without loosing his composure, asked the Maharaja to fill the Kalasha with water. The Maharaja smiled and said, “I have already done that as I usually do”.
Read On

Down the Memory Lane: Mysore was breathed by Sir Mirza Ismail
This made me bring out a few facts which I have come across for the readers. My father used to tell me when I was still young, the loyalty of Mirza towards Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar and their friendship (since they were classmates in the college) and this made the Maharaja to make Mirza sit behind him on the elephant in the Golden Howdah in one of the Dasara processions though some people resented this and disrupted the procession. Look at his love towards Mysore and how aptly and beautifully he describes Mysore Produces in a Radio Broadcast in 1938 Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Mouth of the Gods
Lamps, therefore, are associated with Goddess Lakshmi. Just as domesticated land (the field) offers food, domesticated fire (the lamp) offers good luck and fortune. It creates around it a bright and warm circle of light in which one can sit and pray and study and feel safe. It is in this space that Lakshmi resides. In the festival of lamps, a lot of lamps are lit especially in the front of the house so that more light spaces are created to attract Lakshmi. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: The Brave Die when Cowards Rule
While we criticise the defence forces, we must also remember there are over a million soldiers who are still standing, ready to give their life for us — standing in the dead - cold conditions on Siachen just so we can sleep well and won't have to wake up to a communist dragon forcing egg noodle soup down our throats for breakfast. But what do we give in return? How many of us have ever let a Jawan move ahead in a queue at the train station? How many private schools have ever given a donation - free seat to an army widow’s child? How many of us have ever offered a smile to a cycle - peddling Jawan or even offered a lift to a Jawan waiting for a bus? We have become so blinded by greed that we are now rich in ungratefulness. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Lamps: Guiding from Darkness to Light
The English word “lamp” or “light” does not convey fully the meaning and the significance of the traditional Sanskrit word Deepa or Jyothi. However, almost all the Indian languages have a word for lamp mostly derived from the Sanskrit words. The concept of light originated when stone - age man discovered fire thousands of years ago. Obviously he used it for the purpose of light later. The Rigveda gives great importance to Agni, the God of fire who has been praised in a large number of hymns. Agni has been described as the one who illumines the three worlds by his brilliant light. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Garbage Everywhere

T. J. S. George: The World’s Favorite Dumping Ground
How else can we explain the recent spectacle of a shipload of New York City municipal waste being dumped in Kochi port? Or a condemned ship with most of its parts deadly with radioactive material coming to our west coast for scrapping? It is well known that medicines banned in the West are freely sold in India and that poor Indians are used for field testing that are not allowed on American citizens. Such things happen because some Indians like to get rich at the expense of their fellow citizens and their country. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Gitanjali and Me
It is a poem which is so simple that even a child can understand its meaning and message without the slightest difficulty. Along with the prayer of St. Francis of Assasi: “Lord Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace”, it is one of the inspirational passages that my mother wrote in a small yellow book which she gave me when I came to Mysore from Chickmagalur to start my schooling. As I have said earlier it seemed so touching and meaningful to me even as a child that it has served as a guiding beacon in keeping my sense of patriotism alive and properly focussed all through my life. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Lost Symbols
Man has always sought the purpose of life. In fact, that is the hallmark of being human. We are not content just with food, clothing and shelter. We are not just content with entertainment. We want more. We want to know the point of it all. Why are we here? And more importantly, is there an easier way to get things done?
Read On

T. J. S. George: Evil as Spectator Sport
The Opposition consists of the JD (S) which will never command popular support because of the negative credibility of party patriarch Deve Gowda, and the Congress which has never been as bereft of credible leaders as it is today. In other words, the voter has no one to vote for. That situation is unlikely to change. The relatively popular elements in the JD (S), including former Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, will not have the courage to keep Deve Gowda out of the picture.
The Congress has lost its will to power and therefore will not put its untainted leaders, including the younger ones, at the helm. This is the era of the unworthy who win by default. Taxpayers in Karnataka are forced to sustain a circus that’s felonious and venal. At least Gadkari and Jaitley must recall Tilak's words: "Defending an evil does not make it good." Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Two glimpses of greatness
Actually, as a young medical student in the late seventies when I first met her most unexpectedly in a night train from Bangalore to Guntakal and spent much of the night in a hushed conversation of awe and enlightenment, munching on the sandwiches she shared with all her co - passengers, it never occurred to me that I was talking to a future Nobel Laureate. She never said one word about the nobility of her work or about the greatness of her God and instead only encouraged me to talk more about my own life, aspirations and ambitions as a budding doctor. Read On

T. J. S. George: Good Indians Vs Evil Indians
Such was the hold of the demons that the Devas had to appear in multiple avatars — as Bharat Bala, as Shyam Benegal, as Prasoon Joshi, as the all - conquering Keshav and as hundreds of nameless but astonishingly coordinated school children. Together they made the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games a moment of pride for us, effacing if only for a while the shame of greed and incompetence that preceded it. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Naada Habba for us, Duddina Habba for MLAs
Instead, sadly our politicians are busy playing monopoly in which only they will get rich and the State will get poorer. Karnataka politics is a circus and it's filled with trapeze artistes who jump from one party to another. The slaying of Mahishasura by Goddess Chamundeshwari after 10 days of fighting signified the victory of good over evil; but who is going to slay our modern day Mahishasuras who are destroying our State? In fact, our modern day Asuras would have given Mahishasura an inferiority complex. Read On

T. J. S. George: A Witness who walked tall
"There was no air conditioner in the room as the previous incumbent was a mere Deputy Secretary who “as per rules” was not entitled to feel overly hot. The official theory was that the blood grew thinner with ascending seniority, entitling the officer to one, two or more air conditioners. The same theory worked for arm rests, back rests and foot rests… Nor did I allow my chaprassi to hover around the car park in the morning to relieve me of my briefcase the moment I arrived.
Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Raja Wadiyar
Suddenly the name of Raja Wadiyar is on the lips of every politician, big and small officers, even common man and more importantly print and electronic media. This year's Dasara is associated with Raja Wadiyar and is considered to be the 400th in the Dasara series ever since he celebrated this festival as an independent king during September, 1610 AD. Raja Wadiyar is perhaps the most colourful king in the Wadiyar family of Mysore. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Common Wealth Dasara?
Our Dasara which is an annual event unlike the Commonwealth Games has already started. But like the Commonwealth Games, at least in the Indian version of it, where work never seemed to stop even after the event itself started, all the works which have to be undertaken just to conduct the Dasara seem destined to go on for a long time even after the festival itself concludes. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Mythic Evolution
In India, the story of Dashaavatara gave many a reason for chauvinistic pride. Vishnu descends on earth first as a fish (aquatic), then as a turtle (amphibian), then a boar (terrestrial), then a man - lion (early man?) and only then as human. The conclusion was: ancient Indians were scientific, and knew of evolution, even before Darwin. It became a matter of national pride. But what was overlooked was the details of the human avatars: there was Vamana (priest) followed by Parashuram (priest-warrior), then Ram (prince), then Krishna (royal cowherd and royal charioteer), then Buddha (hermit) and finally Kalki (invader, destroyer). This very obvious reference to caste system was ignored by all, because it embarrassed all Indians, whether on Left or Right. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Remembering the Mahatma
This has become an annual ritual. Most of the Municipal Corporations have atleast named some road as Mahatma Gandhi Road and as people are too busy to pronounce this long name, it has been shortened as M. G. Road. One TV channel spoke to persons walking on the M. G. Road at Bangalore and most of them did not know the expansion of MG. It seems that a school teacher asked her students to write an essay on Gandhi; some wrote on Indira Gandhi while others wrote Rajiv Gandhi and a small number wrote on Mahatma Gandhi. Though it looks like a joke, it is a fact. Read On

P. Manivannan: “Do not stand at my grave and weep…”
On 11th September night, a 15 ton tipper - truck hit the car we were travelling and smashed it. I did not realise how lucky I was, until I heard the Traffic Inspector reporting to his boss, "I really don't know how they escaped Sir. It is a miracle. Mani Sir was lucky." The same night, the citizens of Mysore were not so lucky. Death knocked at the door of a man, who worked for Mysore, day and night, tirelessly, and silently. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: When Bangalore became Venice
Even ambulances with their sirens muted and their preference over other vehicles helplessly forgotten had to just wait for their turn to crawl out of the chaos. At every place where this pileup could be seen it was not until the rain stopped fully and the Policemen in raincoats arrived on the scene that the tangles of helpless vehicles could be undone slowly to let their owners go home in a daze. Many people simply had no other option than to abandon their stranded vehicles and walk home wading through the waters. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Kal Bhairav’s Dog
In Hindu mythology, the dog is the most inauspicious of animals, to be kept away from wedding altars and holy sites. A howling dog becomes a harbinger of bad luck. In fact, even the sight of a dog is considered to bring bad luck. Why is it so? Dogs are such lovable creatures, obedient and affectionate. Even in the Rig Veda, the role of a dog as a protector, is acknowledged when Indra sends the mother of dogs, Sarama, in search for missing cows. Read On

T. J. S. George: A Failure of leadership
And where has been our Prime Minister? A few "PM steps in" headlines appeared in the eleventh hour when several star athletes had already pulled out. BBC was showing humiliating pictures of filthy beds and bathrooms and government leaders of Australia and New Zealand had publicly expressed concerns. All that "steps in" meant was that the PM called another meeting of Ministers and officials — behind closed doors. What stopped him from making a public statement, acknowledging the lapses and promising remedial measures? Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Adding life to our years
"What would you not pay to watch the moon rise if nature had not inadvertently made it a free show?" There are a whole lot of free shows going on all the time all around us which we hardly notice and which if noticed with the seeing eye can give us much solace and peace of mind. Sunsets and moonrises are only a few among them. Take for instance the chirping of birds. It is divine music for which most of us have sadly lost the ear due to our hectic lives. You may ask where it is available with all the birds having been driven far away from our cities.
Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Clean Home, Yes; Country, No
Indians have two cleanliness standards — one for the house and one for the road. We make our guests take off their shoes when they come to our house. Some businesses even make their clients take off their shoes when they come to the office. We step into the puja area only after a bath. Yes, we believe “cleanliness is next to godliness,” but only when it comes to our homes. Once outside, we spit, shit and piss with the same carefreeness and vigour of a canine. Yes, agreed it’s called the “nature’s call” but do we have to take it so literally as to relieve ourselves on the lap of mother nature? Read On

Raju Hotel kitchen shifted to KRS Hotel at Midnight!
I was serving then in Mangalore and my services were drafted to assist in the conference. I think it was a two - day conference. Our Minister Devaraj Urs was hosting morning breakfast to all the delegates. It occurred to him the previous night of giving typical Mysore items at breakfast, particularly, Mysore Set Dosa and Kesari Baath, Mysore Pak. KRS Hotel and Metropole at Mysore were run by Bombay's Ritz Hotels Group then and Devaraj Urs knew very well that they were not able to serve these items. He also knew that only famous Raju's Hotel at Agrahara Circle in Mysore was the right choice. Raju's Hotel in those days was a landmark for Mysore Set Dosa and other local delicacies and one could see many old Mysoreans addicted to the taste of these items and flocking at the Hotel in the morning. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Elephant Lore
She dreamt of an elephant entering her womb, and the next day the queen declared she was pregnant. The child grew up to become the Buddha. In his previous lifetime, so say the Jatakas, the Buddha was Vessantara, prince of Sivi, who had in his stables a magical elephant that drew rain clouds wherever it went. And so, when there was a drought in Kalinga, the king requested that Vessantara's elephant be sent there and draw in the rain. Stories such as these clearly indicate that in India Read On

T. J. S. George: Starve: This is incredible India
Large property owners across the country will benefit and perhaps another well - connected foreign consultant. The problem is beyond Ahluwalia’s wizardry to solve. The culture of middlemen and politician - bureaucrat nexus will triumph because the wizards make no attempt to counter it. Therefore wheat will rot, cotton will go up in flames — and the starving will continue to starve. We are incredible India indeed! Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Watergate: A Series of Scandals
Recently, my grandson studying in a lower class came out with a funny story. Some student asked the teacher about the Watergate, which he had heard from his father. The poor teacher obviously did not know anything about it or perhaps took its literal meaning. The teacher thought that it was a gate to allow water to go out as in the case of KRS dam where there are a large number of gates. I enjoyed the joke but did not comment on the teacher. This made me write about Watergate. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: ATMs: Any Time Misery?
When he explained the problem to the truck driver, he outright accused him of trying to dodge and delay the payment due to unavailability of funds. He was given the option of riding in the truck to his bank from where he then drew the required sum of money through a withdrawal slip and cleared himself of the stigma and embarrassment of being a dodger. When he complained to his bank, the manager simply told him that it was a technical problem that had to be sorted out by his higher - ups. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Confucius, the great master
When he was just three – years - old, his father died and was taken care of by his step - mother. At the age of 15, he began learning philosophy and literature. As he himself has said "At 15, I set my heart on learning; at 30, I was firmly established; at 40, I cleared my doubts regarding life; at 50, I learnt the secrets of heaven; at 60, inner voice began to speak; at 70, I began to work according to my inner voice." His magical personality attracted thousands of people in China and thus he became famous. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Two – Thirds God
Between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, in the land called Mesopotamia, in the brick city of Erech, lived Gilgamesh, a king who was two - thirds god and one - third man. His love of war meant no son was left to any father and his love for pleasure meant no woman was left for any husband. The people of the city begged the gods to create someone to distract their king so that they may have rest. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Junk the Junkets
What is even more questionable is the fact that AKKA has accepted Rs. 45 lakh grant from our government. We are a poor nation and they are living in a prosperous nation. If they have any concern, they must send us money. If they want an Indian taxpayer to pay for their cultural and business meet, then let them guarantee us a return on our investment or else let them run it within a budget that they can afford. Why should the Indian taxpayer spend on entertaining people richer than us, who were once upon a time Indians? Why should we pay so our richer country cousins can have fashion shows, Miss AKKA pageant and AKKA Idol contest? Let them do it with their own dollars. Not our rupee. Read On

T. J. S. George: Options We Have; Have we the Will?
Another war with India is unlikely to be on China's agenda. But menacing military build - up and other needling tactics to divert India's energies and attention is central to its agenda. It's an old ploy. But the level of aggressiveness is new. India's politicians, the TV channels in particular, have a way of reacting to such unfriendly actions in an emotional, high - decibel style, which is reminiscent of the Nehru - era cries like "We won't let them get one inch of Indian territory." If anything, such declamatory posturings only reduce our own ability to work out counter - strategies in a cool and calculating manner. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Riti, Niti and Dharma
There is something noble about keeping one's word. It speaks volumes about commitment and integrity. But this commitment and integrity has its roots in the “law of the Raghu clan”, which is riti or tradition. Is that the same as dharma? Why does Ram agree to go to the forest? Is it because he feels it is the right thing to do (dharma), or is it because that is what is expected of him as the eldest of the next generation of the Raghu clan (riti)? Or is he simply upholding the law of the land (niti), which says sons must obey their father? Read On

Common Wealth Games: Adjust & Pray
In his interviews, he does not give straight answers, instead gives convoluted excuse. He seems to believe that if you cannot convince, then confuse. What is amusing is his new habit of ending each of his answers with “it’s going to be the best games ever!” Some people may say “what a misplaced sense of over - confidence” and call this “delusional” behaviour and some like Sharad Yadav have simply called Kalmadi “thick skinned”. Read On

Destitutes’ Rehab Centre: Children of a Lesser God?
Walking through the corridors of the Destitutes’ Rehabilitation Centre in Jyothinagar, Mysore, one could see the overwhelming despair in the faces of the inmates, many of whom have been brought here without enquiry. They say they have families and wish to be released from the Centre, which has failed to be a home even to the homeless due to the impassivity of the officials concerned. The roofless rooms, windowless bathrooms, corridors overfilled with the “children of a lesser god” feature in this article. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Return of Dengue, the Dark Evil
I can say this because he happened to be my close personal friend who used to spend much time with me all through his last posting as we used to share our place of work in what was then called “Veerappan Territory”. Like me, he too had great love for books and he had a fabulous personal collection in his home library. He was a great “conversationist” with a phenomenal knowledge about many subjects especially weapon systems and aeronautics. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Good Horn, Good Brakes & Good Luck
As far as India’s traffic problem is concerned, one needs to have a sense of humour, patience and the biblical attitude “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…” As much as we get irritated in traffic, we must not lose our mind. Its better we laugh at it. The comedy of Indian traffic and people’s behaviour on road may not be a laughing matter but it sure can be turned into a satisfying laughter therapy. As a TV host said, “In India you need Good Horn, Good Brake and Good Luck”. You also need a good sense of humour to survive it. Read On

T. J. S. George: Why greed is endless
Whether the man is punished or allowed to escape, the people of this country have formed a clear opinion that he plundered everything he came across in his days of power. Why would such a man insist so loudly on a big pay increase? It must have something to do with the attitude of mind politicians develop after several years of looting and grabbing with immunity. When you can do such things and still get elected as a patriot, then you develop special complexes. You feel that you are elected because people admire even the way you plunder.
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Decoding Hindu Mythology: The Axe of Parashurama
This shift happens before the arrival of Ram and is marked by another of Vishnu's avatar, Parashurama, which literally translates as “the axe - bearing Ram”. He is also called Bhargava Ram or “Ram of the priestly Bhrigu clan”, distinguishing him from Raghava Ram or “Ram of the royal Raghu clan”. Parashuram's grandmother Sathyavathi was a princess, daughter of Gadhi. She was given in marriage to Richika, Parashuram's grandfather. It was common practice for Rajas to offer their daughters to Rishis, along with cows. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Padayatra or Publicity Jatra?
So is the Congress which is so disturbed by the “looting of State’s wealth” going on a padayatra to conduct a CBI probe on their own partymen also? Why are these leaders whose names are in the list of illegal mining even allowed to take part in the padayatra? If Congress was really sincere, then it should have suspended the Congress leaders who, according to Lokayukta, are involved in illegal mining and demanded that they too be investigated by the CBI. They could have always reinstated them back to their positions if the probe proved that they were innocent. Read On

T. J. S. George: US trapped by ISI; Advantage Taliban
By contrast, India gives America everything America wants — nuclear treaty clauses as stipulated by the American Congress, favoritism to companies like Union Carbide, virtual immunity clauses in the event of future industrial accidents, even a false declaration to ex - President Bush that the people of India loved him. What does India get in return? Repeated verbal declarations that Pakistan must do more to contain terrorism. Why doesn't America do more to contain Pakistan? Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Love for Baldur
He was the gentlest of Viking gods in whose memory people kiss under the mistletoe. The Vikings believed in the large number of gods and these gods lived in the great city of Asgard, high in the heavens. The story goes that the most favoured of all gods was one Baldur while the most hated god was a slimy trickster called Loki. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Columbus, the Discoverer
In the meantime, he started his voyage in 1477 to Ireland and Iceland. Next year a merchant commissioned him to buy sugar and deliver it to another merchant. He did it satisfactorily. He developed friendship with a rich widow and married her in 1479. He started living with her happily in Madeira. They had a son by name Diego. It is said; Columbus had affairs with many women and had many illegitimate children. Normally this happens with navigators who live outside their homes for a long time. Then Columbus went on a voyage to Guinea. By these voyages Columbus learnt the technique of sea - going experience which became useful later. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Beggars too can be choosers
As I go about my daily grind, I stand at an unobtrusive distance and watch this daily drama which can be a free lesson in the art of living for any one who would otherwise only be too willing to pay and hire a spiritual guru or God - man for it. Whether the likes of me watch it or not, I feel certain that God above watches it unfailingly with its reward held in his hand. When most of us have reached a stage in our lives where we lead a ‘dog eat dog’ life without caring one bit about doing something for others, here is a beggar who chooses to go about doing his good turn day in and day out. Who says beggars can’t be choosers? Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: ACICM NGO or Lobbyist?
Having a District in - charge Minister from the same district is not enough to put that district on the path of progress. We need a Minister who has the ears of the Chief Minister, the trust of the bureaucracy and the goodwill of the Police force. If the Chief Minister does not take the words of the in - charge Minister seriously, he will not be well - disposed to do work in that district. If the bureaucracy is not happy with the Minister, then everything will move at a snail's pace. And finally, if the Police does not do an honest job, then the district will always remain chaotic.
Read On

T. J. S. George: Conspiring against the People?
One excuse for not introducing this system countrywide is that it is expensive. Certainly the Railway Minister can find the money to introduce it at least in and around West Bengal so that the treacherous CPM's conspiracies can be defeated once and for all? Mamata Bannerji is like a train that has gone off the rails. It is running on rail less surface. There is danger ahead.
Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Divine ordained Joan of ARC
History has been a witness to many unlucky women who by their hardwork, sincerity of purpose and bravery served the society in different walks of life. Queen of Jhansi, Kittur Chennamma, Belavadi Mallamma of our own history may be cited as good examples. Perhaps, Joan of Arc who also belonged to this category suffered more than our own brave women. More poignant is her death at just 19 years at the hands of cruel people.
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Decoding Hindu Mythology: Etana and Adapa
In Mesopotamia, now called Iraq, in the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, there bloomed one of the oldest civilisations of man. And the people there, who built great brick cities with tall towers for the gods, believed so long as man served the gods and offered them sacrifices life would be good; any sign of defiance and the angry gods would bring down storms and floods and pestilence. This world where man feared gods had many tales to tell.
Read On

Shikaripura Harihareshwara passes away
He served the cause of Kannada during his 30 - year stay in the USA, being the Chief Editor of the bimonthly Amerikannada. He had rendered yeomen service in organising Kannada movement in that land, apart from authoring 17 literary works. The State Government had honoured him with Rajyotsava award in 1999. Harihareshwara's wife Nagalakshmi and daughters Nandini and Sumana are also writers, serving Kannada literary world. He and his wife had taken an initiative on bringing out a collection of essays and other writings in connection with the ensuing AKKA meet. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Putting an end to dirty linen
When we pay for a good room at a hotel or a resort, we naturally expect it to have a good laundry service that ensures safety of our health. That is why we feel so good when everything there feels, looks and smells clean and good. The broad paper ribbon across the toilet seat and the tiny labels at the corner of every towel which announce that everything has been sanitised just for us seem very reassuring. But do we pause to wonder whether what looks so spick and span is really so?
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T. J. S. George: From Cicero to Sushma (Via Bellary)
What motivates the BJP top brass when the Reddys are (a) not BJP - wallahs in any ideological sense and (b) an obvious liability to the party? The short answer to that one is: Sushma Swaraj. The Reddys publicly worship SS as their mother. Sushma Swaraj ignores their sins, ignores their unpopularity and gives them full support because perhaps she sees a day when brazen Reddy money can install a BJP government in Delhi as it did in Bangalore. No prices for guessing who will be the Prime Minister in such a government.
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Menaka Gandhi: Octopuses are more intelligent than Dogs
“Octopuses can learn, they can process complex information in their heads and they can behave in equally complex ways. Consciousness means they can combine their perceptions with their memories to have a coherent feel for what's happening to them at any moment. The star of the FIFA World Cup was the octopus Paul. How sad that one day later, all the disgusting food shows on TV had octopuses on their menu! Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Elephanta, a Karnataka Contribution
Any visitor to Bombay (now Mumbai) will not ignore visiting the famous Elephanta caves. Actually, Elephanta is a beautiful island with an area of 5 miles and about 10 kms from the Apollo port which can be reached through a streamer or a boat. Elephanta is a modern name given to it in the 17th century. In ancient times its original name was Sripuri, it was also called Gharapuri. The Mouryas ruled it in the early period. It was then a part of Konkana. When the great Karnataka emperor Pulakeshi II came to the throne, he defeated the Mouryas and this island including Maharashtra became a part of Karnataka. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Urban Bumpkin
It is also time that the Indian “Executive Class” is reminded that soft skill comprises more than merely wearing a tie and a crisp full - arm shirt. Yes indeed, the rural student has to struggle to make it in a pompous English speaking urban environment such as Bangalore. Mysore is much better. But what is worse is the non - encouraging attitude of their English speaking urban cousins which makes it even harder for them to survive, adapt and climb the corporate ladder. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Hegde’s emotional liability
Justice Hedge did not budge even when Home Minister P. Chidambaram requested him to withdraw his resignation. Instead, he replied, “No way am I going to withdraw my resignation. I am not that fickle - minded to resign over an issue and then withdraw and make it a tool for gaining publicity. The decision was taken after great deliberation with my family.” But just a few days later, our beloved Lokayukta has done a volte - face. Yes, indeed we appreciate, respect and welcome him back but does he have the same sentiment towards us? This question has risen in our minds due to the reason he gave for his withdrawal of resignation: “L. K. Advani is like a father to me”. Justice Hegde seems to worry more about the feelings of his “father” than the doubts he has cast in the minds and hearts of Kannadigas. Read On


T. J. S. George:
When leaders fail, tragedy follows
Do the big leaders in Delhi have that quality? The Prime Minister visited Kashmir recently. That was another good opportunity to announce a policy shift or two that would have reassured ordinary citizens. The opportunity was missed. All that Delhi could think of was a march by the army and an exhortation from Home Minister Chidambaram to parents in Srinagar to keep their boys home. Read On

Menaka Gandhi: Sleep patterns of animals, it is not beauty sleep either!
It must be at least 30 years since I slept more than 5 hours a night. When I got married, we shared the bed with an Irish wolfhound the size of a small donkey. Since my husband died, there have been three dogs on the bed and while they change every few years, their habits of wanting to go out every few hours or of squeezing me into a corner or kicking while dreaming never does. Along the way, I have developed a very odd feature — I need to be lulled to sleep by a voice and so the TV drones on through the night. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Our “handicapped” perception?
A few days ago Srirangapatna, the popular tourist destination near Mysore, was all over the news, thanks to an uptight and unkind priest at the famed Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. Anikesh Kuber, a 23 – year - old wheelchair - bound boy, was not allowed into the temple. The media went all out in broadcasting this issue. But the question is how many media companies employ handicapped persons? Do they encourage it? For that matter, how many of us employ or are friends with handicapped persons? And how many of us would spend time with them or take the “trouble” of taking them out? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: The beauty named Helen
Many young men who were mad after her were waiting for an opportunity to abduct her. Prince Dionisus who found her alone in a temple abducted her and brought her to a place called Atticia. The name of the abductor is given as Theseus in other sources. She gave birth to a child. Helen’s brothers came to know of this and brought her back to Sparta. Many Spartan youths wanted to marry her including heir - apparent (Yuvaraja) Ulysis. But her father told all these contenders that she is free to marry anybody she liked, and once married others should support this marriage. Ultimately Helen married Prince Menelaus who later became the King of Sparta. She delivered a daughter Hermione. She was happy for about three years. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Yearning for the Divine Beloved
It is impossible to think of Krishna without thinking of Radha. Theirs is an eternal love story, the stuff of romantic songs. And yet, some of the biggest Krishna temples in India do not enshrine the image of Radha. In Puri - Orissa, Krishna is enshrined with his sister, Subhadra and his brother Balarama. In Udupi - Karnataka, Guruvayoor - Kerala and Nathdvara - Rajasthan, Krishna stands alone as a cowherd boy. In Pandarapur - Maharashtra and Dwaraka - Gujarat, he stands alone with the temple of his wife Rukmini nearby. Even the most sacred book of Krishna, the Bhagavat Puran, does not mention Radha. To understand this, we have to look at the historical development of Krishna worship in India.
Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Itchy fingers make bad art
Is it fair for the City Corporation to collect money from legit businesses for their hoardings while turning a blind eye at the huge flex boards that are erected for free by various groups? What is the message the Corporation is trying to convey — break the law, have a mob and there will be no reaction from the authorities? That apart, another new trend has started in Mysore — vandalising hoardings. But of late, this activity has gone to a new level in a display of perversion. On Hunsur road next to “Mystore” (formerly Nilgiris), there is a hoarding for a clothing store called “Hot Chilly” that no one can miss. Vandals have gone ahead and tarred it.
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Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Story behind Vivekananda Rock Memorial
Vivekananda rock memorial at Kanyakumari is a world famous monument and attracts thousands of visitors from different parts of India and abroad. Apart from the greatness of the monument, it stands out prominently in the vast and unlimited expanse of the blue waters of the oceans. Without our knowledge we thank the persons and organisations which were responsible for this great memorial. But most of the people do not know or even cannot imagine the trouble, frustration and disappointment experienced by the persons behind the memorial. Like a Trivikrama and Nakshatrika, Ekanatha Ranade stood by this memorial and ultimately became successful. This story is not only poignant but also brings to light the meanness of the politicians of the contemporary times.
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Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Ending a controversy & an eyesore
I vaguely remember a poem in my old high school grammar book written by Wren and Martin which says; "Whether a hero perish or a sparrow fall, He sees with equal eye, as God of all." So, big or small, a martyr is a martyr, irrespective of whether he or she is a high ranking officer or an ordinary constable. This is the reason why it could be construed as unfair if not improper to build a martyrs’ memorial with the likeness of just one officer.
As it is impossible to install busts of all those who died in service, it would have been fine to call the place a Police Martyrs’ Memorial to honour all the dead without any suggestion of importance to any particular person. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: What Darshan means
Darshan is a very simple ritual; one does not have to say any prayer, make any offering, perform any ritual; one is expected to just look at the image of god, and that act of looking is enough to bring about spiritual and / or material upliftment as the case may be. The word darshan literally means outlook, viewpoint. Technically, it means “philosophy”. Thus by looking at the world, one forms an opinion about the world. By looking at a person, one forms an opinion about the person. Better the observation, better the understanding. Read On

T. J. S. George: ... And Football Produces Gods
Not all the misplaced genius of the Lalit Modis and the Sharad Pawars of our land can generate the drama and passion football inspires. India is a net loser in becoming a cricket - only country. On the one hand, it destroys the spirit of cricket itself by turning it into a crass money machine. On the other, it leads to the neglect of glorious games like hockey and football. Cricket covers but a few countries; football is universal. Cricket is colonial; football is democratic. Cricket, especially today's commercialised format, is an artificial creation; football is utterly natural. Cricket needs cheer leaders; football doesn't. Cricket corrupts; football enlivens. Cricket produces heroes; football makes gods — like Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Kaka, Messi, Drogba.
Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Sri Venka Avadhoota
About a month back, TV 9 beamed an interesting story regarding a holy man by name Venkusa, referred to as Venkavadhoota Swamy. The greatness of this person is that he was the guru or the teacher of the internationally famous saint Shirdi Saibaba, who was an epitome of social and religious amity. As this appeared interesting, we (myself, my wife, Mrs. and Mr. Ramanuja) undertook a trip to the place where Venkavadhoota lived and died more than a century ago. The place is a small village called Husainpura in Pavagada taluk of Tumkur district. Its original name was Chaudesvaripura. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The springtime of my childhood
With most of the flowering trees in and around at their best display, Mysore is awash with colour. All those who have the Seeing Eye cannot fail to see how the summer rains have decked the trees around us with the flowers that they were designed and destined to display year after year. Long ago while we were at school, we used to be taught that there are four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. This teaching was certainly lingering British legacy although by the time I reached school the British had left our shores and reached theirs long ago. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Lakshmi’s Owl
Owls are solitary creatures, who sleep all day and prowl at night. Because of their nocturnal activity and screeching call, they have been associated with bad luck and death, leading to the conclusion that she is Alakshmi, Lakshmi's elder twin, the goddess of strife and misfortune. But because of its round eyes that never move and stare straight ahead, the owl has been associated with wisdom in many parts of the world, especially ancient Greece, where it was closely associated with Athena, goddess of wisdom. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Escape from PUT
For several days and nights, Rishi Jaratkaru was tormented by visions of old men hanging precariously upside down from a ledge extending across a dark bottomless pit. "Save us, save us," they cried. "Who are you?" asked the sage. The old men replied, "We are Pitrs, your ancestors. Save us. Save yourself." "How?" asked Jaratkaru. "Here is how," said the ancestors, "get a wife and beget children. If you don't, we will forever be trapped in Pitrloka (the land of ancestors) hanging upside down, and you will be trapped forever in the hell known as Put." Read On

T. J. S. George: God’s chosen rogues
Israel's greatest exceptionality is the immunity it commands in the world. It can do pretty much what it likes — and get away with it. Other countries get damned by "the international community" for all kinds of assorted sins: India is attacked for not signing the nuclear proliferation treaty; Iran is threatened for following a nuclear policy; Iraq was blown up for possessing nuclear arms it never possessed; China and Russia are criticised for persecuting their dissidents; Serbs and African leaders are tried for war crimes. Read On

Menaka Gandhi: Transforming a Free Chicken into a Headless Glob of Meat
The next scenario is as macabre as anything thought up by a twisted mind. Ordinary looking men and women in lab coats are creating a humongous glob of meat with no head, no heart, no liver and no intestines but alive. Think of all those horror movies coming alive! Once upon a time this blob used to be called a chicken. And once upon a time, it was free and happy as a chicken could be till man decided he would play god to feed his appetite. Now do you still want that chicken burger? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Enchanting Cleopatra
Thus ended the life of a charming woman who could lure kings to achieve her objective of becoming a Roman Queen. As per their wish, she was buried by the side of the grave of Antony. Cleopatra is dead. But her memory is kept alive by many literary works dealing with her charm, conspiracy and ambition. Even Shakespeare could not ignore her and hence, wrote a drama about her. That is the attraction of Cleopatra who lived 2000 years ago. Read On

MLS: Kathiawari Horses
God must have been a poet, so they say! According to a middle - eastern legend, God created a particular four - legged creature from winds blowing from four different directions: the mammal was given the spirit of the north wind, strength of the south wind, speed of the east wind and intelligence of the west wind. To cut a long story short, we mortals prefer calling this animal as the “horse”! Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Lokayukta Big Bark, No Bite
In the video of the raid, a copy of which was sent to our office, Ramachandra has an absolute look of arrogance when his hands are held up by the Lokayukta officer. Not just that, he also kept a menacing stare pointedly on the young legal counsel who had set up the trap as if to say “I will come back for you”. The disturbing fact is that he just might be right, considering that Lokayukta till date has never ever taken a case to its logical end. The Lokayukta only fixes the symptom but never the problem. How can it, when it has no real teeth? Thus the Lokayukta has a big bark but absolutely no bite. It remains a mere pussy cat in the garb of a menacing tiger. Read On

T. J. S. George: Karnataka: Will Congress Survive?
Today the Congress has a State leadership which has virtually zero credibility. Election after election, this has been proved, but neither they nor their High Command learn any lesson. The aforesaid Shiva Kumar called a press conference to say he failed. He failed more than once, and he will fail again because his image is against him. So why doesn't he do a favour to his party by calling it a day? The other President, Deshpande, can also likewise oblige his party, having done nothing so far to earn people's trust. The Congress cannot even begin to make a comeback unless it finds the courage to think out of the box and restructure itself. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Timur: Over – ambitious conqueror
History has been a witness to the cruelty inflicted on innocent men and women though they had nothing to do with wicked persons, except that they had the bad luck of being the contemporaries of these notorious persons. Historians, unhesitatingly and with justification, have included Timur (1336 - 1405 AD) in the list. Historians are happy that the achievements of Timur have been described by himself in his autobiography titled Malfuzat – I - Timur. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Doctors and the Lay Press
But of late I find that much publicity is being given even to the routine successes that should be the natural outcome of the very expensive treatment that is offered by most super specialty hospitals. The sadder part of this trend is that very often many of the patients whose recovery is spoken of highly in the press will actually either be convalescing in a less expensive hospital close by or will be struggling to come to terms with their disabilities, both medical and financial. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Swan Lake
In Hindu mythology, a swan is called Hamsa. The word Hamsa is believed to have its origin in two other words, hum and so. Hum indicates expiration or exhalation of breath while so indicates inspiration or inhalation of breath. Thus the word, Hamso which eventually becomes Hamsa, is the embodiment of breath which gives us life. Hamsa, the bird, is the physical manifestation of that thought; it symbolizes pran or the life - force whose movement into and out of the body generates life. But is Hamsa a swan or a goose? Scholars are divided. Read On

T. J. S. George: Caligula Cripples Cricket
What indeed was going on among these colleagues, especially the BCCI and the so - called Governing Council consisting of some of cricket's most celebrated stars? The first and foremost crime of these bodies was their secrecy. Playing with public money and public emotions, there should have been a system that enforced at least a modicum of transparency on them. But their only system was mounavrit. Was this because they were scared of Caligula, or was it because Caligula was generous with his loot? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Dhanvantri, the Divine Doctor
According to our tradition, he was a divine doctor and the inaugurator of Ayurveda. He is not mentioned in the Vedas. The first reference to him is found in Kaushika Sutra (8th century BC). His origin is traced to the famous episode of churning the ocean of milk. It is said that Lakshmi came first followed by Dhanvantri draped in pure white with a pot containing amrita or the divine elixir which made gods immortal. Bhagavata purana considers him as the twelfth incarnation of Vishnu. He is considered as a specialist in treating the poison from snake bite. As he also good at treating other diseases also, Gods requested him to be their physician. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: An overdose of Sleaze and Slush
Looking at the scandals and skeletons that seem to be tumbling out of the most hallowed cupboards with sickening regularity across the length and breadth of our country, most of us can only agree that something is going radically wrong these days with our leaders, both political and spiritual. They seem to be no longer bothered about what image they have in society or what example they set to others by their actions, most of which seem to be wrong. It is indeed unfortunate that many of our government officials, political leaders, Ministers, Governors and even God - men think that they should make hay and also have a good time before thinking of doing their duties as expected of them. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Reflection of our ungratefulness
What is disappointing is that we tend to forget our people in uniform very easily. We never hesitate to curse them saying they are corrupt and ruthless but when the good ones die serving us, we keep their bust wrapped up in dirty rags for years. Why did not the citizen groups take up this inexcusable show of disrespect towards our officers? If this is the respect we show to our men in khaki, then we seriously doubt if any more officers will come forward to do their duty sincerely. Read On

T. J. S. George: Why won’t we learn from New York
Circumstantial evidence gives some credence to the sensational theories former Maharashtra Inspector General of Police S. M. Mushrif spelt out in his book Who Killed Karkare? His answer is that the Pakistani terrorists carried out only the Taj – Oberoi - Trident attacks. The train terminus - Cama hospital attack was organised by India's own sleuths in order to eliminate Hemant Karkare, the anti - terrorism squad chief who had unearthed uncomfortable facts about "Hindu terrorism." Mushrif betrays an Islamic bias and thereby weakens his case. But the many questions he has raised call for answers. And no answers have come. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Prestigious Club? No, Fight Club!
These days when a member of a social club says he is going to the club, his family members are worried! They are confused whether he means he is going to the club — the place where people relax and enjoy each other’s company — or if he is going to, literally, “club” another member down. In fact, these days when a youngster says he’s going clubbing, the mother is OK; but when her husband says he’s going to the club, she and the kids nervously ask why, with whom and at what time he will return. The reason? Of late, reputed clubs in Mysore have become brawling grounds instead of being a place where people exchange ideas, indulge in sport activities and relax. They have become centers for petty politics and cheap liquor. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Nur Jahan: Beauty & Power
History has been a witness to many queens and empresses all over the world for almost over two thousand years from now. The list is long enough to include Cleopatra, Gupta Queen Kumaradevi, Hoysala Shantaladevi, Chandbibi, Queen of Jhansi Kittur, Channamma, Belavadi Mallamma, Queen Victoria etc., each one was famous for a particular aspect. Cleopatra had a unique personality of attracting men; Kumaradevi was a benevolent queen, Shantaladevi was famous as a dancer, Chandbibi was just a ruler, Queen of Jhansi, Kittur Channamma and Mallamma were heroic queens. But none of them is famous for the beauty coupled with unmatched political power as Mughal Queen Nur Jahan was. Read On

T. J. S. George: Rascal or Rogue? The Choice is yours
Shibu Soren is a star of Jharkhand. He became people's "Guruji" when he fought the moneylenders who were terrorising the adivasis. But, with the first whiff of political power, he turned into one of the most cynical leaders of our time, accused in at least two murder cases and several graft cases including the notorious JMM bribery case for which he was jailed. He had to resign his Union Cabinet position as well because of criminal cases. Our politics allow such a man to manoeuvre for his son to become Chief Minister while he himself moves on to a Cabinet post in Delhi. Read On

A Letter from a Golfer and a Member of MRC
This was the letter late C. Srikantan, owner of Lakshmi Talkies, who was a member of Mysore Race Club (MRC) and also a golfer, wrote to MRC members and all golf players in 1989 after noticing the overbearing conduct of Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Golf Club (JWGC) formed in the year 1985. In retrospect, we can say, Srikantan has indeed been vindicated in his perception and opinion in the matter of the MoU with the JWGC. He could see the danger within four years of MRC signing the ominous MoU with the JWGC. In this letter, it may be noted that nowhere Srikantan has mentioned the name of JWGC but an inference can easily be made by a careful reader. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: MCI should heal itself first
My charge that the MCI was most well - known not for its contribution to upholding medical ethics but for its own corrupt practices was proved right when its chief Dr. Ketan Desai was arrested last week for taking a bribe of two crore rupees to grant permission for a private medical college to be started in Rajasthan. This is actually a very paltry sum which will certainly seem like peanuts when you consider the fact that he was not only caught and prosecuted but also convicted for corruption of a much higher scale a few years earlier. But since big money can always get you out of big trouble, he never had to pay up for his misdeeds. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Secrets of the Parrot
In another story, the wife discovers her husband hiding under her bed while she is with her lover and has to think fast how to save herself from the situation. She then shouts loudly at her lover, winking as she does, "The only reason I am doing this terrible thing with you is because an astrologer said that unless I do this, my husband will die in a week's time of a snake - bite. I don't mind going to hell for being an unchaste wife so long as my husband is safe from that cruel snake." Read On

T. J. S. George: Media is amoral, but it works
Arrogance of this kind has marked many high - society crimes in recent years. This murderer was arrogant because of his money and his pedigree as a former Minister's son. Spoiled rich kids ran their limousines over pavement sleepers in Delhi and Mumbai because of their social arrogance. Police officer Rathod in Haryana raped an underage girl because of his power arrogance. Sons of politicians, police officers and IAS babus across the country have been caught indulging in activities civil society should be ashamed of. They also use their influence to make an ass of the law. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: IPL mess a moment for reflection
There was indeed a serious lapse of judgment on the part of the Minister Tharoor. Like Bill Clinton, during the Monica Lewinsky days, who looked straight into the camera and told all Americans “I did not have sex with that woman” because he did not indulge in a conventional sexual act commonly perceived, Tharoor said he has done nothing wrong for he has no stake in the filth cake that is now IPL. But the fact is a “close personal friend,” a lady he has been spotted with often, a lady he is said to be dating for a while and planning to marry, was given Rs. 70 crore free! It's just wrong. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Krishnaraja Wadiyar III and Dewan Poornaiah
"Is it a crime to understand the administration? I have no work to do. Sitting idle in the palace is shameful. It is not befitting for a king. Let the Dewan run the administration for hundred years; let him sign the documents with his seal. But I have every right to know how the administration is going on, its revenue and other details. These details should be made known to me. Resident Cole brought this letter to the notice by Poornaiah and he laughed and said that this is due to the misdirected energy of the youth, coupled with wrong advice: Some wicked people are behind this boy and he is dancing to their tunes." However, Cole did not accept this explanation. But Poornaiah was stubborn. He told "I have obtained this position by contract and not by the grace of anybody. After me, my son or relative will become the Dewan." Cole told Poornaiah not to entertain such foolish ideas. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Many meanings of Yarn
In another event, Krishna himself removes the clothes of women. He hides these clothes while the milkmaids are bathing. The mood here is different. There is no lust but mischief. There is prank, there is love, there is affection. Here, the clothes represent not law but the mask we wear to survive in this world — the mask of pretence and politeness that enables to engage with people. When Krishna removes the clothes, he is asking the maids he is informing them playfully that what he seeks is not their public face, but their true, honest, private face. Wrinkled, fat, bent or ugly, he loves each one of them for who they are and not for how they decorate and present themselves. Read On

T. J. S. George: Batman faces Svengali in Money Game
Indians have the rare genius to turn everything into an item of trade. Who else has turned God into such profitable commerce? We discovered early that this line of business required the least investment. And the returns are huge. All it takes is the right kind of uniform — saffron robes or bishop's cassocks or a neutral white that looks now like a saree, now like a winter shawl — and some kind of marketing mantra. Then you get enough believers around the world to keep you in eternal wealth, not to mention attractive fringe benefits provided by young devotees. Read On

K. Rathna: Learn to Laugh, Laugh to Live
Ha, Ha, Ha… Ho, Ho, Ho… Hee, Hee, Hee… Are you wondering what this lot of homosapiens are upto? A common enough sight that we come across in our city parks daily, either early morning or late evenings. A hectic life - style or loneliness may make us forget to laugh. We laugh when we find that everything looks rosy and bright … smiles everywhere, for laughter is contagious. Who really knows? May be it releases some chemicals in the brain. Perhaps that is why, people having discovered this secret, are gathering everywhere for laughter therapy classes. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Before the Rains arrive
The one thing that I have noticed in connection with all our tree planting drives is that while the whole exercise always starts with much fanfare and enthusiasm, the trees that are planted at great expense, are never looked after even for the first few years they need to be watered and protected till they can sustain themselves without human help. We can see a classical example of this kind of neglect in the hundreds of saplings that were planted all over the vast grounds of our Government House two years ago under the “Vanamahotsava” scheme in the presence of many politicians and public functionaries. Read On

Jai Ho! What does Jai Ho! mean? Certainly not what is conventionally assumed
Jai means victory. Vijay also means victory. Why two words? Do they mean the same thing? Jai Ho means “may you be victorious”. But the phrase is never interchanged with Vijayibhava, which also means “may you be victorious”. Jai Ho is used almost as a greeting in many parts of India or as an exclamation. But Vijayibhava is used very specifically when one is setting out for a conflict, confrontation, duel or competition. What exactly is the difference? Like in all things Indian, no clear answers are given anywhere; meanings have to be derived. A clue perhaps rests in the Mahabharata whose original title was Jai. Read On

Dalit Question and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
When Dr. Ambedkar’s turn came to speak he remembered B. G. Kher's remark and corrected it saying, "I would say I am an Indian first and Indian last." Indeed. It is not surprising, therefore, today he is not only adored like a demi - God to the point of being worshipped, but his writings and thoughts are also being studied and analysed in the context of nation - building in all its dimensions — political, social, educational and economical. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: One Summer Holiday, Too Many Summer Camps
This whole summer camp fad is a recent phenomenon that has grown for three reasons. First, today's parents want to give their child a taste for everything. There is a new term for this — hyper-parenting — where a parent thinks by controlling all the child’s activities the child’s success will be guaranteed. They are in an over - enrichment mode for their kids. They don't want to miss out on an opportunity that their ward might actually become a Pankaj Advani, a Sachin Tendulkar, an A. R. Rehman, an Aamir Khan, a Sania Mirza……oh! that… no, not anymore. The fact is parents are desperate to test their child's aptitude for too many activities. And they want to know it in 2 months so that they can develop the child's skill. Great, Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: The Story of Oedipus
One of the most popular stories in ancient Greek mythology is the story concerning a king by name Oedipus. He was a king of Thebes, a kingdom in ancient Greece. His father was king Layas; his mother was Iocoste. They were living happily, and a son was born to them. At that time a supernatural voice announced that king Layas would be killed by his own son. The king became sad and consulted his Ministers and they advised the king to kill his son. The king accepted their advice and injured the boy severely in the leg by sharp nails and abandoned him in the forest to die. Read On

T. J. S. George: Much ado about nothing
The level of these televised recriminations is pretty low. A Congress spokesman said, with patriotic emotion, that Mr. B must make his position clear about the Gujarat riots. A BJP spokesman, with louder patriotic emotion, asked who were "these guys" to talk like that after massacring Sikhs for several days. The logic is: You massacred Sikhs, so it’s okay for us to massacre Muslims. To which the people will say: A plague upon both your houses. Such puerile debates divert attention from the business acumen of the main protagonist, Mr. B. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Created in delight
Folk tradition has it that Krishna's great grandson Vajranabhi commissioned three artisans to make images of his illustrious ancestor based on the descriptions given by Abhimanyu's wife, Uttara. Abhimanyu was the son of Arjuna, the Pandava, born of Krishna's sister, Subhadra. But none of the images could capture Krishna's beauty in totality. In one, the face was identical, in another it was the upper body, while in the third it was the lower body. Vajranabhi built temples for each image in Vraj. Temples were also built to mark spots associated with Krishna's feats. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Hussain’s Travails
Hussain may be a very great painter by the standards of the society he moves in and I move away to make way for but I fail to understand why, to retain his greatness; he has to paint something that hurts someone’s sentiments. It does not matter one bit whether he means to hurt them or not. What matters is that in a civilized society everyone is entitled to a little bit of respect from everyone else for what he or she holds sacred, even if it means nothing or makes no sense to the offender. Islam clearly underlines this and it is only to highlight this that I am writing about this issue here. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Hussain is no more an Indian
This being the case, where was the need for Hussain to draw a woman sitting between Lord Hanuman’s tail and name the painting “Sita”? Where was the need for him to draw a woman in “sexual union” with a lion and name it “Durga”? Where was the need to draw Goddess Lakshmi sitting in nude on Lord Ganesha’s head? Even if it is said that Hussain did not give the captions, it is obvious that they are paintings of Hindu Goddess and Gods. Some secularists argue that most of the Hindu temples have nude sculptures, so he just painted what was already there. Yes, they do. But the sculptures are not of goddesses or gods. Now we ask, if this is his inspired work, how come he is inspired only to draw Hindu goddesses in the nude? Why did he not try something like this with his own religion? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Pledging the Sons
We are all familiar with pledging a property or any other thing for taking a loan or getting some advantage. Pledging takes place in ample measure in clubs, race courses or wherever gambling takes place. Mahabharata has a solitary example of a woman (Draupadi) being pledged by Dharmaraya to Duryodhana in the game of dice. He loses her also. Thus there are not many examples of this nature in our tradition. Pledging sons is unheard of in our tradition and not even in our mythology. Sons and daughters are everything to a father or mother and hence pledging them was considered a heinous crime. Read On

T. J. S. George: India is losing out. Beware!
It is clear that America now sees India as a country that can be taken for granted. In all honesty, America cannot be faulted for this conclusion. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lost half the game when he turned the civil nuclear treaty into a personal prestige issue, even risking the survival of his Government. The other half of the game is being lost by his eagerness to get Parliament approval for the nuclear liability bill that virtually absolves US companies of financial responsibility in the event of an accident. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Horse – Headed Beings
Hayagriva means one with a head of a horse. It is said that such a creature once stole the Vedas and hid under the sea forcing Vishnu to take the form of fish, seek him out and destroy him. In another story it is said Vishnu was unable to defeat this horse - headed demon because the latter had a boon that he could be killed only by another horse - headed creature. Tired after many battles, Vishnu went to Vaikunta, his abode, and there he rested, wondering of a method of killing the demon, placing his chin on one end of his bow. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Live – in & Lovin’
Unfortunately, the modern media has discovered that bare - midriffs and cleavages are an easy way of filling space and time, in turn influencing the attitudes of young Indians and even the old towards sexuality. It seems the urban Indian suddenly has become sexually active, or should we say hyper - active, considering that many IT companies have reported plumbing problems as condoms have clogged their pipelines. Suddenly youngsters don't find it too hard to say “I'm going on a date.” There is no hesitation to show off one's girlfriend or boyfriend and introduce them as such. The same goes for adult companionship. Middle aged men and women seem to act just as “cool” as their teen counterparts.
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Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Gandhiji in Belgaum Congress Session
Thus except for a short period of less than 100 years when it was under the Marathas, remaining 1,900 years it was under the direct control of Karnataka Kings. This fact cannot be ignored or erased out of the minds of Kannadigas. With the idea of pleasing the people of Belgaum, the government of Karnataka has been spending crores of rupees for the development activities there. This is politics. Thus Belgaum is in news. But Belagum made news in 1924 for a worthy and laudable reason and that is Gandhiji presided over the Congress session held at Belgaum. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Disgraceful Government Doublespeak
“The government has failed to provide electricity with just one - hour power cut to help our students. Why not the government provides free inverters and baby - generators just like free distribution of cycles to students? Although it is not very surprising, considering that it has become an almost indispensable attribute of most governments, our State government too seems to be having a forked tongue. Otherwise how do you explain why it always seems to say one thing while doing just the other the very next moment? Read On

T. J. S. George: Lessons from UP’s Louis XIV
But she won't change because she won’t understand her critics. She is absolutely convinced that she is doing the right thing for the empowerment of Dalits. For the same reason, she sees everything proper in her followers giving her gifts including cash. The system itself was not invented by her. Many parties have taken this road. Even communist leaders received garlands of 2 - and 5 - rupee notes in the old days, though it has now grown to big bucket collections. Karunanidhi once travelled by foot from Rameshwaram to Madurai in an emotion - packed political show and there were cash collections all along the route. Chandrasekhar's famous padayatra also featured collections. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: A Humble Journey
Then I saw the person and immediately recognised his face but could not recall his name. I knew he is a singer with a very different voice, I also knew from my friends in Chennai that he was a fantastic poet and that I had seen him a million times in the famous national integration initiative song “Mile sur mera tumara” music video. No, it was not Bhimsen Joshi, it was not Hari Prasad Chourasia. And then it came to me: the person sitting ahead of me was the revered Karnatak vocalist, Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna. I walked up to him and introduced myself, had a little chit chat and excused myself as I didn't want to be too intrusive. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Double trouble for Doctors
For every medical college and post - graduate institute with adequate infrastructure there are at least a dozen others in our country which do not have even the vestiges of what they need to be called centers of learning the art and science of healing. Most of them do not have full - time teachers to impart even the rudiments of the knowledge a doctor or dentist needs to practice safely. Most members of their teaching faculties are actually well paid “migrant birds” who are airlifted from one corner of the country to the other, sometimes in the very same aircrafts along with the MCI inspectors, to be physically present at different colleges at the time of inspection! Read On

T. J. S. George: Women and Yaduvamsha Reality
If and when 33 percent seats in legislatures are reserved for women, around 30 percent of that will likely go to wives, daughters, nieces and girlfriends of male politicians. Lalu Prasad himself put his unlettered wife in the Chief Minister’s chair while Mulayam Singh could only find his daughter – in - law to contest a Lok Sabha seat. The Kanimozhis and Supriya Sules will multiply when reservations become law. And what will happen when they sit as law - makers? Will it mean an end to the killing of newborn girls in the villages of Tamil Nadu and Haryana? Will it stop crimes against women which increased by 30 - 40 percent in recent years as against 16 percent increase in general crime? Will it bring down dowry killings which doubled in the last decade? Will it make a difference to one - third of married women in India being children below 18? Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: If there is will, No need for a Bill
Now if 33.3 per cent reservation for women is added to the already existing 22.5 per cent for Scheduled Castes and Tribes, more than 55 per cent of seats in Parliament would be reserved. So what is left is 45% for others. The members who come under reserved constituency can also contest in the non - reserved category. Is this fair? In a country of over a billion, 55% of the House of Representatives are from reserved constituency. Will they be fair to the non - reserved 45% who constitute 500 million Indians? Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Is this how dispensable our youngsters are?
The gut - wrenching scene that you see in the picture is the scene that greeted me as I left my home for work on Tuesday morning. Tuesdays, as most people who know me, would know are the days when I drive out of town to attend to my outdoor clinic at Kollegal. It is a drive which, though I have dreaded for long, I now look forward to because the road I have to take is now almost in the final stages of the repair it had been begging for over the past 25 years. Read On

Prof. A. S. Dasan: Seek integral Spirituality, Be like a swan
The immediate provocation for writing this is the alleged scandal surrounding Swami Nithyananda. In the light of the unveilings, many questions can be asked. One of them may be: How can one cope with the situation if one were to be a believer in God or a follower of Godmen or God - women? I am of the view that my relationship with God and the people around me is independent of those who have impacted my life. Irrespective of the scandal with which a person, who has impacted my life, is associated, I still hold on to the view that the insightful wisdom I have derived from the messages and the writings of the person has certain transcendental connotations independent of the particularities of the person or a particular predicament arising out of his or her past or present culpability. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Kalajnana is not astrology
In recent years the word Kalajnana has been made popular by the print and electronic media. The highly respected an admired Swamiji of the famous Kodi Mutt is always in the news for his accurate predictions, particularly with regard to politicians and some significant events. These predictions are supposed to have been based upon Kalajnana works. Kalajnana is not astrology. It is an occult knowledge obtained through intuition. This is obtained not by reading Vedas or religious literature, but by the divine revelation to such persons who have attained that power through a form of Yoga. Patanjali, the great Yoga saint of ancient India, attributes this to supernatural powers.
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Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Lighting up as a special gesture
About 25 years ago, when I was doing my post - graduation at the Mysore Medical College, I was in charge of the hospitality arrangements for a group of three examiners from outside the State who were here to conduct the final year MBBS examinations. It was a Saturday and the last day of the examination and all of them were very keen on visiting the Brindavan Gardens that evening after finishing their work. But I sensed well in time that despite doing their best, they seemed all set to miss the deadline of the illumination timings which would make their visit to the place meaningless. So I hit upon a plan to save their day. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Godman? No, Just Human
Nithyananda certainly seems to have made some people’s lives better. He smiled his “toothpaste smile” all the time. But to be happy he needed more than just “pada pujas” and money, it seems he also needed “intimate healing sessions”. Now the question is, did Nithyananda do something wrong by having sex? Legally, No. Two consenting adults had sex, it’s a non - issue. But the problem is that he said he was a swami and a brahmachari. Accordingly, he was treated like god by his devotees who now feel he defrauded them. To be sure, there are also other criminal charges of destroying evidence and the possession of illegal materials. But why is everyone so surprised? Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Greek Tragedy
As the years pass, the drama remains the same but those watching the drama are growing up or growing old. They discover different layers of meaning in the same play, in the same character, in the same dialogue. With that consistent and repetitive interaction with theatre more light is thrown on the meaning of life. The goat’s song thus joins us in our struggle to make sense of existence. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Only Bovine is not Divine
Cow lovers need to wake up and get their priorities straight, and that priority should be to make the life of all animals as painless as possible. Where are the cow lovers when cow owners leave their cows on the roads to eat plastic bags next to dustbins? Where are these bovine fanatics when overloaded bullock carts are dragged by suffocating bullocks behind smoke-spewing tempos? Where are these saviours of holy cow when cows are overloaded into a lorry to be transported hundreds of miles without water? Guess they are too busy saving a cow from being slaughtered. I would rather be dead than be tortured and I’m sure the cows feel the same. Read On

T. J. S. George: Whose security is Pawar working for?
His friends say that Sharad Pawar is more knowledgeable about agriculture management than any other political leader. May be. What the public knows is that he pays less attention to his portfolio than any other Minister. The little attention he pays leads to dubious results. Farmer suicides have become a feature of life in India, with Vidarbha in his own State at the heart of the tragedy. But the minister never seemed worried about it. Food prices went up so badly for so long, that his own government colleagues openly pointed a finger at him. He replied casually that the Cabinet as a whole was responsible and went off to play games at Bal Thackeray's house. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Real Life and Reel Life Medicine
But I have my reasons for being backward by choice. To tell you the truth, long before it became available, I too had yearned for news on television and had even succumbed to the temptation of watching it when it first came to our country. But in just a few years when with the advent of cable TV and with the need to hold on to the attention of the viewers round – the - clock, when news channels began succumbing to sensationalism, television completely lost my attention. Even if I happen to watch a few discussions on the small screen occasionally, serials are an absolute no no for me. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Mirza Galib, Distinguished Urdu Poet
One distinguished Persian poet explained the concept of creativity and this exposition was admired by one and all. But young Mirza pointed out certain flaws in that exposition and explained it in his own way. The emperor was greatly pleased by this young poet and requested him to write the history of Moghuls from the time of its originator Timur, on a monthly remuneration of Rs. 50. Further he appointed him as his chief court poet. Other scholars became jealous of Mirza. Read On

The Voyage of Watery Melon
In our younger days, summers were fun; not just because of two months of sweaty and muddy playing, but also because of the cool delicacies we would get on the pretext of heat. And the cold, juicy watermelons were among the most desired fruits enjoyed by all. Then, eating watermelon was all about its crispy taste and large red messy flesh, spitting out its numerous black seeds. Now, we seem more interested in the numerous health benefits of the fruit which is packed with antioxidants like lycopene which prevents prostate cancer, Vitamin C, B & A etc. thus having a special cooling effect on the body, protecting us against macular degeneration and being a natural viagra. Read On

T. J. S. George: Why Pakistan gains, And India doesn’t
The terrorist wins when he does not lose. Security forces lose when they do not win. This universal law gives small bands of insurgents an edge over large Government formations. In a country as vast and diverse as India, it is impossible to keep track of every man with a backpack in Aurangabad and Puri, Anantapur and Mandya. Rather often, our security men seize caches of explosives or detain people with strange interests, like recording, from the privacy of their hotel rooms, airline pilots' conversations with the control tower. Each such capture is another terror strike averted. Yet some slip through the net and we pay a bloody prize. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Coronation of Krishnadevaraya: A Controversy
Once a teacher of history was dictating notes to his students. Most of the students were taking down notes. But one student was not taking down the notes of the teacher. The teacher got angry and asked the student why he was not taking down the notes. The student replied, “Sir, my brother was your student two years ago and your notes taken by him is available with me”. Then the teacher saw another student sitting idle, and chastised him. He replied “Sir, my father was your father’s student. The notes dictated by your respected father has been preserved by my father and he has given that to me. Your father’s notes which you are dictating is very good, Sir”. Read On

Sri Krishnadevaraya: The 16th Century Rajaneethi Thajna
The Government of Karnataka celebrated the 500th anniversary of the coronation of King Krishnadevaraya from January 27 to 29, 2010 at Hampi. The extravaganza consisted of an exhibition at Kamalapur on the life and times of the King. The cultural events were staged on six platforms erected in different strategic locations, including the one inside the Virupaksha Temple, besides the main stage, said to be the biggest stage erected in India. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Iqbal Fareed: A Voice forever stilled
It has been rightly said that if you intend to do something good you must do it immediately for you never know what may befall you if you procrastinate. This is exactly what happened to me a couple of days ago in the case of a man about whom I had been planning to write for many months now. My first brush with this man was many years ago in the sixties when as a schoolboy during my first visit of the year to the Dasara Exhibition, I used to always look forward to what he had drawn on his typewriter. At least one new portrait of a national leader or some other important personality used to be displayed at the “Mysore Police” stall there. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Elephant Lore
In erotic literature, elephants are symbols of unrestrained raw sexual power. According to the Kamasutra, an elephant - woman or Hastini is the lustiest of women, crude and vulgar in her carriage. In the Mahabharata, queens such as Draupadi were addressed as Madagajagamini, women who walk like cow - elephants in rut. The translation does not paint a pretty picture, but it basically means a large - hipped voluptuous yet graceful woman. Read On

Millennium Year of Tanjore Temple
Exactly a thousand years ago in 1010 AD, there arose a temple with a lofty tower (sikhara) trying to touch the sky in Thanjavur (Tanjore). The creator of this marvel was Rajaraja the Great, the most illustrious ruler of the Chola dynasty. In his rule of 31 years (985 - 1016 AD), he made the Cholas a power to reckon with, not only in South India but also in far - off South - East Asia and Sri Lanka. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: The Keyboard Generation
A few days ago, I wanted to send a “thank you” note to a friend. As I opened my Microsoft Word Processor to type the letter, the office peon came in and handed me an inland letter from one of our readers. It was a note of appreciation. It had been a while since I got a hand - written letter. It somehow felt more real, more personal, and more heartfelt than a sheet of typed paper. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Wives of the Gods
The Devadasi tradition has a long history that can at once be seen as liberating and exploitative.
She wanted to go across the river at night to attend Damu’s wedding. But the day was drawing to a close, the sun had slipped past the horizon, the river was rough and the boatman was eager to return to his house. "Oh please, please, lord, take me across, I do not know the way," she said. "Here, lord, take my nose ring," she said. "I don’t want it," said the impatient boatman. "Here then, lord, take my bracelets," she said. "I don’t want it," said the boatman again. "Here, then, lord, take my anklets," she said. "I don’t want it," repeated the boatman. And so she kept removing her jewels, and he kept saying no.
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Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Agony of “My Sore” City
While most people with common sense intact may wonder why he is so senseless, Kailas seems to be in complete control of his senses knowing where his happiness lies. Now going back to his daughter’s wedding, it appears he told his wife Bramaramba that they should shun all gifts brought by guests. His wife, perhaps with a little more practical wisdom, is said to have convinced him that instead of hurting the sentiments of well - meaning friends and relatives, they could donate all the cash collected on the occasion to charity. And, that is exactly what they did. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Fat in Khaki
Fitness is crucial to crime - fighting for the simple reason that one has to be as strong as his advisory, not just mentally but also physically. We never see fat thieves, do we? (Sorry, politicians cannot be considered for this particular argument) A person cannot be both fat and a thief; here by thief we mean criminals involved in crimes that require physical ability. So in order to catch a shifty thief or a gang of tough dacoits, cops must also be strong and agile. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Nanjangud: The Southern Abode of Shiva
A unique feature of this temple is that it has devotees from both Vaishnava and Srivaishnava sects. When I think of the Nanjangud temple, a funny incident comes to my mind, not because of the deity but because of the administrators of the temple. This incident took place about twenty years ago. I received a letter from the Muzarai Department asking me to quote my lowest rate to write a book on Nanjundeshvara temple! I laughed at the ignorance of the officers and ignored the letter. I do not know if any scholar (?) quoted his lowest rate for the job and the lowest rated book has been published.
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Decoding Hindu Mythology: Three faces of all religions
Imagine you are walking in the woods and suddenly a leopard leaps in front of you. What will you do? Flee? Fight? Freeze? These are the standard three reactions to any stressful event. Imagine if this leopard standing before you is life itself. How will you cope? Will you flee, fight or freeze? An exploration of these standard reactions to stress helps us appreciate how religions have helped man cope with life through the ages. Read On

T. J. S. George: New License Raj and Hindiwallas
Infighting Thackerays are indulging in competitive chauvinism and there is no Maharashtrian leader willing to call their bluff. Linguistic chauvinism is of course a factor in most of our States. But in no other city has it been developed into a political constituency. Yet, what are the Chavans and the Deshmukhs and the Pawars doing? They have the stature and, as office holders, the responsibility to treat law - breakers as criminal offenders. Instead, they act in a cowardly manner. They are politically foolish too because they won't get the parochial votes anyway. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Rare Royal Brothers: Hakka and Bukka
About seventy years ago I heard the names Hakka and Bukka in my primary school and as the name sounded a bit odd, I laughed and the class teacher used the cane generously on me. That was my first encounter with Hakka and Bukka. Later, when I became a serious student of history, I was specially attracted by these two brothers who were responsible for the establishment of Vijayanagara Empire, generally referred to as the golden age of South Indian history. Read On

Pages from History: Kumbha Mela
Kumbha means a pot also. This also is associated with this festival. When the ocean Ksheera Sagara was churned during the mythological Samudra mathana, pots full of Amrita (nectar) appeared and the demons took them away. The gods fought with them for twelve days and twelve nights (equivalent to twelve human years). It is believed that during the battle, Lord Vishnu flew away with the Kumbha of elixir, and that is when drops of amrita fell at four places on earth: Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik, and that is where Kumbh Mela is observed every 12 years. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Fashion Show? Again?
I thought this college fashion show business was over when I left for the United States to study, but I was wrong. I visited a fest by the Indian Students Association there which comprised almost completely of Americans of Indian origin, and the moment I saw “fashion show” on the invitation I wondered if fashion show had now become part of our cultural identity. I had also taken an American friend along who appreciated the beautiful Indian sarees but could not understand why they were modelling jeans pants and skirts in a western country. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Will all quacks now shut shop?
The law should insist that every doctor should not only display his certificates in his clinic or hospital but also clearly mention under what system of medicine he is practicing. Finally since it is their life that is at risk, it is the patients who should have the courage to discuss a doctor’s qualifications and his claims before blindly swallowing his pills or baring their biceps to his ever - ready needle. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Value of Symbols
They did not attack just any building. They attacked Taj and Oberoi and Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly Victoria Terminus (VT). The Chief Minister of the State did not just go to the site with his son and friend. He went with a Bollywood film star and a Bollywood director, known to make commercial films based on real people and real events. Another Chief Minister did not just go to pay his respects to a dead soldier. He went there with dogs. They did not just feel sad. They lit candles. These four events display the place symbols hold in human consciousness. Read On

T. J. S. George: Our Leaders on the Marx Scale
Even A. B. Vajpayee chose to miss the bus. Both his instincts and his intellectual thinking told him that there were serious limitations to the politics of hatred in a country of India's diversity. He even dared to speak up when all boundaries of democratic decencies were broken by his party colleagues in Gujarat. But he buried his better instincts and let evil prevail. He had the stature to save his party just as Jyothi Basu and EMS, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv had. None of them rose to the level of their abilities. The loss was not Karl Marx's. It was India's. Read On

Kiran Kumar & Shwetha: Mandakalli Airport – Will it take off?
Mysore Palace is said to be the second most popular tourist destination in the world after Madame Tussaud’s Museum in London attracting about 2. 5 million visitors annually. In this backdrop, there is an immediate necessity to make the non - operational airport at Mandakalli village near Mysore city an operative one. Industrialists, software giants and stakeholders in the tourism sector have been urging the State Government and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to make the Mandakalli airport operational at the earliest. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Walking down Sayyaji Rao Road with a bucket and a car in hand
Sayyaji Rao Road, the business hub of our city which used to be our pride, has today become our best example of traffic mismanagement. Nobody seems to realise that all the cumbersome if not outlandish measures that are being implemented to improve the chaos there are only increasing it. The officers who survey the scene from behind the tinted glasses of their air- conditioned chauffeur - driven limousines and suggest remedial measures never have to park their own cars or do their own shopping. They never have to get down and walk along almost non - existent footpaths occupied by hawkers or try to cross fully barricaded roads taking long detours or suffer the sickening smells and sights of the underpasses they have so graciously provided to lesser mortals. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Mob & Property Damage
For a country that got its independence through non - violence and for a nation of people who never miss a chance to remind the rest of the world what a peace - loving bunch we are, we sure love protests and destroying public property. Let us face it folks, we are living in denial. We are nowhere close to what the Father of the Nation expected of us. Let alone non - violence, India today is packed with uncivil citizens and they are starting to move in packs like wolves wrecking havoc wherever they want, whenever they want — yes, we are talking of the new trend “mob – o – cracy” in our democracy. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Ashoka, the Father of advertisement
He is the first king to have issued inscriptions on stone boulders and pillars. Encomiums have been heaped on Ashoka for his decision to eschew wars. Actually he waged a war against Kalinga (Orissa) and was victorious. But he found thousands of people dead and this changed his mental attitude and he became a changed man. Consequently, the Mauryan army became inactive and useless and the result was the downfall of a mighty empire within two decades. Thus historians have put the blame on Ashoka. That is a different story. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The dance of wisdom
Everybody who has danced in a party knows how wonderful it is to dance. Scientifically speaking, moving the body vigorously to music that one enjoys releases endorphins in the brain that makes us happy. But that is not the reason we dance. We dance because it liberates us from the otherwise rigid social rules that govern body movement in daily life. Every culture has its own rigid way of sitting, standing, moving for men, women and children. These rules of body language become a prison, from which we are liberated when we hit the dance floor. Read On

T. J. S. George: Australian Violence Jai Ho!
One reason for the continuing attacks by White Australians on Brown Indians is the Australian Government’s refusal to take them seriously, let alone see racism in them. They don't take it seriously because they don't take India seriously. And they don't see any racism because Australian racism is part of a rising tide of racism across the world. Read On


Vikram Muthanna in Black & White
:
Bloody @ #%$&!
Bloody bastard, does he have any shame? Bloody bastard, who is he? This is the man who sent Shobha Karandlaje begging to my house to say that he will resign from BJP and join JD (S) if made a Minister. What is this nonsense?” These are not the words of a disgruntled party worker or a disgruntled voter but that of the former Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world — H. D. Deve Gowda. Luckily, Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa did not encourage this debate to continue, although it would have been very interesting to see how creative they could get with their abuses. But all Yeddyurappa said was, "I am deeply hurt and he has lost his mental balance". Read On

T. J. S. George: Every citizen is a stake – holder
Appointments inside a newspaper are usually of no concern to the general public. But what happened in Business Standard last week should interest every citizen. For it was a re-assertion of values we all hold dear and yet are vanishing almost unnoticed by us. Outwardly it was a simple matter of re - styling. The editor of the paper was made chairman of the company and a new editor appointed in his place. But the significance of the move is wide-ranging for a variety of reasons — its rarity, the quality of the players involved, the importance of the values they represent, and the universality of stake-holders in this field. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Who are the real idiots?
The movie makers must stop hiding behind contractual technicality saying they have given Bhagat the credit. The idea of giving credit is so the audience knows who has contributed what to the movie. Ask anyone among the audience who has not read the book and they'll say Joshi wrote the original story; no one will know it was based on a book. Did the movie makers do this so Joshi can get an award for original story? Who knows, but thanks to a few “idiots”, people were distracted from a very important message that this movie conveys. But this issue has generated enough publicity to make people go watch the movie and also buy the book. So who are the real idiots?!
Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Remembering Dayananda Saraswathi
He preached that there is only one god and he has no forms and no names and no families. He is a principle of divinity; he is not born like men and animals. He does not take avataras also. Rama, Krishna and others are not gods but human beings who rose to the highest level by their deeds. Hence they should not be worshipped in temples. This will send wrong signals to ordinary people about the multiplicity of gods which is not true. If a Muslim can convert a Hindu to Islam; If a Christian can convert a Hindu to Christianity against his will out of compulsion, should the Hindu suffer it for ever, questioned Dayananda. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Finding something pleasurable to do
Personally, I have never been bored at any time in my life and so I am always a little surprised and even amused whenever someone says that he or she is bored. I find that most people, especially youngsters, these days complain that life is boring. Finding something to do when there is nothing to do seems to be the most difficult thing to do these days. Despite all the newer forms of entertainment available today which could only have been a part of some science fiction movie fifty years ago, people feel that they do not have enough of it. Read On

Murali Rao: Depression in the physically ill
Feeling sad or blue alone does not necessarily constitute clinical depression. However, the wide range of symptoms of feeling sad or low, fatigued or being disabled to the extent that one may be unable to even get out of bed in the morning or do simple routine tasks, should alert the clinician to the possibility of coexisting clinical depression. Depression can be a complex and challenging condition especially in the physically ill. Read On

T. J. S. George: Happy New Year? For whom?
What is it if not the class character of our politicians that makes the indefensible defensible? What explains a popular hero whom adoring masses called "Guruji" turning into a personification of corruption the moment he gets power? The hero – turned – convicted - murderer has again become Jharkhand's Chief Minister. What explains Madhu Koda, Karnataka’s Bellary Brothers, communist rulers with capitalist tastes? For that matter, what explains the sex maniac former Police chief of Haryana and the rapist Police chief of Rajasthan absconding for a decade? They all think that power gives them the right to plunder and rape and kill. Read On


Vikram Muthanna in Black & White
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It’s 2010
Once a person graduates, he generally moves on to hard liquor and more uncoordinated dancing. The rate of throwing up tends to reduce substantially but one still wakes up with a hangover. Finally when one is married, the gear shifts to a comfortable 3rd gear, like in a car; you can go fast but not fast enough and you can go slow but not too slow that your car would look aged. It’s a perfect time for young couples where you don’t have to worry about looking for a partner to dance and at the same time even if you dance alone its OK, people will not think you are a lonely loser. But there is a problem… planning. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: The Battle of Talikota
“Battles maketh history” is an often quoted popular statement. If all the historical events all over the world are analysed, the common factor would be the battles or wars, big or small, just or unjust. Thus there is no history without a war. One or two greedy men declare a war and thousands of people pay a heavy price for this. The medieval history is notorious from this point of view. Even mythology is not free from the havocs of war.
Whatever might have been the provocations for battles, Ramayana, Mahabharatha and puranas stand accused in this direction. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Tulsi in your courtyard
What is the story of the Tulsi plant? A clue comes from the Hindi movie, "Mein Tulsi tere aangan ki" starring Nutan. In it, the protagonist sings, "I am just the Tulsi plant of your courtyard. I claim no right over your husband," and one wonders what that song means. What is the poet trying to communicate? As one delves into the scriptures one comes upon a startling tale that makes us question notions of marital fidelity. And one realises why this name has been taken by up many a soap character in the saas - bahu tele serials. Read On

T. J. S. George: Festivals? They are all business now
The end of anything is supposed to cause gloom. But the end of a year magically produces rejoicing everywhere. Is this because one year's death is another year's birth? And because a new year always means new hopes? It's rather like the sentiment behind the saying, "The King is dead, long live the King."
But royal successions have not been commercialised as cynically as our festivals have been. Every celebration today, religious or social, is an occasion for high - pitched marketing frenzy. Look at Diwali, for example. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: A Crafty Warning!
In the early 1990s, there was a very popular government - sponsored anti - smoking advertisement in India. Many may remember it; the advertisement begins with a young college student lighting a cigarette and trying to look cool. Along with this, the background music also begins with the booming voice of the then India’s famous English singer Gary Lawyer singing “With a cigarette in my hand, I felt like a man.” Soon the boy gets older and succumbs to cancer and the jingle ends with “With a cigarette in my hand, I was a dead man”. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: A Khan who killed his wives
Ancient India presented a different picture. Deliberate sacrifice of women and attendants do not seem to have been followed. Hundreds of queens of the Kadambas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas and other dynasties were found to be living even after the death of their husband kings. Some of the queens committed sati on their own free will. While Attimabbe's sister committed sati, she her self did not resort to it; served the society with great devotion and became a celebrated Jaina lady in Karnataka. But in a rare instance queen Kamayi (Yadava Ramachandra's wife) refused to commit sati as per the practice of those days and ultimately she lived for many more years. Read On

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana: T. S. Satyan, My Dear Friend
Therefore when the agent came in the morning Satyan told him that he would like to shift to Madras hotel in Connaught place which is familiar to south Indians and it was no star hotel. The agent was taken aback and said his superiors would not agree to it for it is a matter of prestige and that he was entrusted to reserve in the best hotel. But Satyan was firm and would not relent as he said he would be more comfortable in Madras hotel. Finally, a deal was struck that they would keep this a secret from the superiors and that Satyan would get the allowance as though he is staying in five star hotel! Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Prescription for our ailing Mysore city
They may argue that our city needs much change and that time is a great healer for our sense of loss of all that is old and dear to us. While I agree that our bruised emotions can be healed over time they should remember that squandering public money without caring for public opinion is an unpardonable crime even if funds are freely available. So, before their every deed let them understand our every need. Let them realise that if the only tool they have is a hammer, every problem will indeed appear like a nail. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: The Man from Venus
Friday is named after Frigg, a Germanic goddess associated with marriage, household, love, and fertility. She was the wife of the Odin, king of the gods, and only she was allowed to sit on his high throne and look upon the world. She had the power of prophecy but she never shared what she knew with anyone. She sat in the high heavens and spun clouds, and she rode a chariot pulled by cats. Scholars have traced the name “Frigg” to the Sanskrit word “priya” meaning the beloved one. Read On

Forever in friends’ memory: Satyan – A Legendary Personality
I cannot forget an incident in Melkote Temple where he was taking pictures. He came across a brass image of Garuda which was kept mounted on a wooden base. He asked the Chief Priest to decorate it with ornaments and flowers. Surprised, the Priest said that can be done only when devotees ask for a Garudotsava by paying the required fee to the temple. Satyan asked me to arrange for it immediately. When I expressed my apprehension as to whether the Department would bear this expenditure, he immediately took out a postcard from his bag and wrote a very interesting short note to my Director and asked me to post it from the mail box near the temple (the content was that the Director would receive the choicest blessing of Garuda if he reimburses the cost to me). Later, the Director told me how he had preserved Satyan’s postcard for posterity. Read On

Satyan through the eyes of his wife
As Satyan was adamant in his decision that he would not marry for another two years, the talks stopped and there was no proposal of marriage for two years. Though I was staying in Kolar at that time, he kept in touch with me through letters once a week. Mother blushed when she learned that he was writing love letters. Though I was extremely happy reading them, I never replied to his letters. Getting angry at this, he wrote another letter, asking why I didn't reply. I wrote whatever occurred to me. He used to drop by suddenly to see me. I still remember the days when we both went for a walk on the banks of the lake. Two years later when his father asked Satyan to marry his uncle's daughter, he replied that the first girl he ever saw was Rathna and said he would marry only her. Finally we got married on Aug.31, 1950. Read On

T. J. S. George: Seas are rising. Is the end nigh?
We let hazardous wastes to be dumped irresponsibly, our rivers to be systematically killed by sand mafias. In Copenhagen, the world's worst polluters fought for their right to pollute. Perhaps we deserve what the Bhagavatam has predicted for us: Lord Kalki will kill by the millions those thieves who have dared to dress as Kings. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: A Gentleman from Mysore
Earlier this year, I had written a posthumous article on the legendary Professor G. T. Narayan Rao. Mr. Satyan called that evening after reading that article to appreciate it and jokingly asked if I would write one about him after he died as I knew him also since a very young age. I laughed and didn't think more about it. Three weeks ago at a party, he grabbed me by my arm and said, “I know you didn't take me seriously when I asked if you would write a posthumous piece on me, but if at all you do, I'd prefer the headline to be — A gentleman from Mysore” and added that we must meet for a drink and chat the following week. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Darbari Seth of Coorg
Mr. Seth was very close to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB). He knew Ramakrishna very well. One day the latter approached Mr. Seth for a donation of Rs. 50 lakh. Seth laughed and said, “Ask for a crore, you will get it. By 5 in the evening, your application should reach me in my office (Bombay)”. He was anxiously waiting for Ramakrishna's letter which arrived a bit late. But the money was sanctioned. When Ramakrishna thanked Seth, he said "I am grateful to you for making me an agent of the divine in giving".
Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: An adieu to T. S. Satyan: The King of Black and White
In recognition of his contribution to the field of photography, among many other distinguished places his pictures have been put on display at the Smithsonian Institute too. I think our government should acquire some of his best pictures and put them on a permanent display at one of our art galleries both at Bangalore and at Mysore too, his birth place, as a fitting tribute not only to his talent but also to highlight the fact that it is an essential part of our rich heritage. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Fourteen Year Mystery
She casts aspersions on the Dashrath’s integrity: why was the coronation taking place while Bharat was away? Given this, Kaikeyi’s first boon, that Bharat should be made king in place of Ram, seems fair, even appropriate. It ensures that Dashrath does not go back on his promise to Kaikeyi’s father. But why did Kaikeyi have to ask the second boon, insisting that Ram go to the forest? The simplest answer given is that Kaikeyi did not want any rivals to the throne around when her son was crowned king. But then why was the exile given for a finite period of time? Why a finite period fourteen years? Why not forever? Read On

Book Reviews: Coorg, an Insider’s perspective
The newly released book on Coorg — Rise and Fall of the Coorg State, Kodagu's Loss, Karnataka's Gain — tries to throw light on the circumstances leading to the unpopular merger of the erstwhile Coorg State (now officially known as Kodagu District) with Karnataka in 1956. The book also deals with the neglect ever since of the scenic Kodagu by successive governments in Karnataka. Authored by the Bangalore - based freelance journalist P. T. Bopanna, the book finds answers to some of the questions like why the key players, including the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, took such a shortsighted decision resulting in the snuffing out of the prosperous Coorg State forever from the Indian map. Read On

T. J. S. George: From Patriotism to Parochialism
What on earth does this status signify? Is Raj Thackeray's violent chauvinism helping Marathi develop? As for development of the State, there is not a single case so far of linguistic identity having helped a State progress. On the contrary, it has produced undisguised enmities among States. Just look at the war - like posturings of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra over water sharing. The next stage will be when one - dimensional leaders like Mulayam Singh and M. K. Azhagiri become the rulers of the land — unable to talk to one another or understand one another. It will be not unity in diversity, but disunity in distrust. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Mistress Distress
True, Tiger Woods did what was not morally acceptable to the society. But what about the women? It seems every time there is an affair, it is always the man who is portrayed as the villain while the woman is looked upon as a victim when in almost all celebrity affairs, the female has been a willing partner. And why is it that they always come out after the press has published the story? Is it because while they are in the midst of the affair, they enjoy the power of being a powerful man’s girlfriend which comes with money and luxury, the kind they cannot afford with their limited qualifications? Read On

K. M. Chengappa: Mir Mukhtiar Ali’s Roohi Rang
The shayari about a lover who becomes an alcoholic by merely looking at the eyes of his beloved; Yeh jo halka halka suroor hai, sab teri nazar ka kasoor hai, jo sharab peena sikha diya, mujhe ek sharabi bana diya... was truly intoxicating. In another verse, Ali, citing himself as an example, sung; Gaoon bajaoon... sab ko rijhaoon... albeli mastani... deen dharam se begaani... (I sing and play instruments, entertain everyone, I am unaware of caste or religious barriers). Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: An invisible Temple at Talkad
When I was moving about on the sands of Talkad, an old man asked me a question. He appeared highly agitated. “Sir, when I came here about ten years ago, I had seen a huge Vishnu temple: two eyes were not sufficient to look at that Vishnu image, four hands, sanka, chakra, gada; I also saw Lakshmi; I am searching for that temple now; no Policeman could give me a proper reply; the young volunteers have not even heard of that temple; you are an old man like me and I am sure you must have seen it. My real apprehension is if it is destroyed for some reason or the other”. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Really Royal Walk
But very recently I went out for a different kind of walk, a real one in the true sense of the word and this too was a unique kind of experience. It all started with a young lad Vinay walking into my office one morning and introducing himself as the chief of a one - man organisation called the “Royal Mysore Walks”! He said that he was an engineer who had been working in Singapore for a brief while and had been inspired by the extremely well - organised walking tour of Singapore which had become immensely popular with the tourists there. He had therefore decided to return to Mysore the city of his birth and try out this new venture here. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Snakes for Hair
She was once a beautiful woman, until a goddess turned her into a revolting monster. A prow refers to the pointed projecting front part of a ship. In ancient Greece and Rome, a carved image was fixed on it. The most common of these was known as a Gorgoneion. This was the head of an ugly woman with wide opened bulbous eyes, sticking out her tongue, baring her fangs. Most noticeable of her features was her hair — made of snarling venomous serpents, ready to strike. Images such as these were also found at the entrance of temples and public buildings, on wine jars, treasure chests, on the clasp of belts and on shields that warriors carried into battle. Read On

T. J. S. George: A Rare Case of Wit and Wisdom
Ashok Gehlot’s Congress Government in Rajasthan today has a Minister, Golma Devi, who could barely read her oath card and took three days to learn how to sign her appointment letter. And she is Minister of State for nothing less than Home, Civil Defence and Rural Industries. In Karnataka, a wanton family that plunders the earth controls the Government. Unworthy men and women abound in Parliament. These are the realities that should make us grateful that a man like P. V. Narasimha Rao, warts and all, lived in our midst once upon a time. Read On

Saving Mysore: Act before it is too late
Mysore city is growing rapidly both in terms of population, geographical spread and more importantly, thegrowth of vehicular traffic on the roads. The available infrastructure of the city is unable to handle this growth and hence the discomfort experienced by citizens. The chaos that prevails in our neighboring city Bangalore is well known to all of us. Today most of the measures taken by the Bangalore city administration is crisis management. The situation could have been avoided if we had visionary leadership who would have foreseen the things to come. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Snatched!
The Indian population suspected that “their houses were targeted because they were Indian”. Soon the Police figured out that only gold was being stolen from these houses and soon they caught the thieves. How? The Police picked up a telephone book and looked for all Indian names, especially Patels, since it is a popular Indian surname in that area. They waited around the vicinity of a few Patel residences in nice neighborhoods and finally when the burglars struck, they caught them. It turned out the burglars were not targeting Indians because they were “Indian” but because they knew Indians like gold and they always bought a lot of gold jewellery. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Lure of Antiquity
The traditionalists would hate the very idea of fixing the age of Sri Rama or Sri Krishna or the heroes of Mahabharata, Ramayana or Bhagavata. According to tradition, our gods and goddesses are age - less and eternal; they have no origin and no end. That is the strength of our tradition. This is not just in theory but is seriously believed and practiced. When one visits even a small temple we experience the truth of this concept. For the question 'how old is this temple?' the reply would be highly interesting. We believe that this is a very ancient temple going back to thousands of years; nobody knows the age of the god. Read On

Shwetha: Street Artisans
It is indeed saddening to know that the traditional, ancestral arts like pottery and idol - making are vanishing not due to industrialization or due to the influence of other modern arts, but because of non-patronisation from the local bodies or the public. As the artisans do not have money to rent a shop or take part in the handicraft exhibitions, they eke out a living on the road sides. Instead of evicting them, the City Corporation authorities ought to make a sincere effort to provide them free space for marketing and living, and if they cannot do so, at least let them alone so that they can live in peace. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Rational Minds
In India, there was always a conflict between the logical and the emotional. And while logic was associated with the Devas, the occult secrets associated with Asuras were given equal importance. Logic played an important role in engineering hence the close association of Vishwakarma and Brihaspati. But Logic did not create poetry. The design of the altars and the meter of the hymns that were used in yagnas were all based on logical and mathematical principles, but the ritual itself was magical and potent with occult power. Read On

T. J. S. George: Aapka Swagat Hai. Of Course
The sari is perhaps the most gracious dress a woman can wear. But it does not lend itself to fashion variations like a Western woman's gown does. The Indian male faces the same disadvantage as his dress too is confined to a black bandhgala shut jacket. The Western male can mark formal occasions with black tie and cummerbund. Or white tie and tails. At the much - discussed State dinner at the White House, our Prime Minister looked extremely well - dressed. But the style was the same as on any other occasion: black shut - coat suit and trademark blue turban. Barack Obama’s dress showed that it was indeed a special occasion: black bow - tie and black studs on a starched white shirt. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Liberhan Report, Just a distraction?
While BJP leaders are being blamed for their over - action, the Congress, the ruling government at the time along with the Muslim leaders should be held responsible for their inaction. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi when asked if Congress was also responsible for the demolition, said with his hands on his chest “I am touching my heart that Congress is not responsible”. Our leaders touch their hearts in one hand while they slap us with the other. The fact that this report was leaked, and that too only certain parts that could lead to communal disharmony, at a time when Congress is in troubled waters shows that “whoever” leaked it cares very little for public peace and harmony. ‘Whoever’ is responsible for the leak must be booked for attempting to incite communal violence. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Panchalingeshwara at Govindanahalli
The concept of Panchalingas is as old as Puranas. According to a mythological story, the gods met Shiva and told him that “you have thousands of forms and it is difficult to concentrate and worship all of them. If this is difficult for us gods, what will be the plight of ordinary mortals?” Hence gods requested Shiva to manifest himself in smaller number of forms. Shiva agreed to their request and told them that he would manifest himself in five forms each representing directions north, south, east and west and finally the Kailasa in the centre. This came to be called Panchalingeshwara. By worshipping Panchalinga aspect one would get the merit of worshipping all the thousand and more forms of Shiva. The gods became very happy and expressed their gratitude to Shiva. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Farewell to the City of Nawabs, Kababs and Heart Throbs
You will find people of all classes, some having come in swanky cars, holding currency notes of all denominations in their outstretched hands, trying like beggars to draw the elusive attention of overworked vendors with plaintive wails of “O, Bhai, O, Bhai”. The ones blessed with a little luck or maybe a little extra bulk to elbow themselves in, seem to be the only ones who are served while the others only seem to endlessly wait cursing their fate. And among the other shops that sell everything else, from crisp golden parathas right down to the Luckhnawi paan, “Tunde Kabab” is the king. Read On

Escalators: A Boon for Elders
The electric escalators are based on “Censor Technology”. As soon as commuters arrive, the doors will start opening; as soon as they climb the first step, it will start moving upwards automatically. The steps will be stationary when there are no people. A large quantity of fuel could be saved through this technology, he said. Around 30 passengers can use the escalator at a time with luggage. There will be normal steps at either side of the escalator too, he added. Read On

K. M. Chengappa: NAZ India: Home for HIV positive orphans
Asked whether her work hampered her personal family life, Anjali replied, "Serving the AIDS - affected children itself is my life and my family. I see no difference between work and family. I have totally dedicated myself to the cause. I did not want to have children of my own. If I had, I may not have been able to rear the children at Care Home properly." "Most of the older children know about their status (orphaned and tested HIV positive) and they understand. They are resilient and are able to take care of themselves. As they reach adolescence, they have the natural sexual urge. The adolescents are made aware of the need to protect their partners and to be honest to them," said Anjali. Read On

T. J. S. George: A Wall collapses, the World Changes
Our press and patriots made quite a splash to mark the 25th anniversary of Indira Gandhi's tragic death. As it happened, it was also, to significant sections among us, the 25th anniversary of the tragic massacre of Sikhs in Delhi. So the controversies will go on, the accusations not blunting the justifications. The violations of the time were as heinous as the loyalties were blind. In the hurly - burly of the Indira Gandhi emotions, we barely noticed the 20th anniversary of an event that changed the course of history — the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Rakshasas in the forest
Calling Rakshasas demons is perhaps a convenient rather than a correct translation. In Himachal Pradesh is a temple dedicated to Hidimbi reaffirming that Rakshasas were not demons, rather guardians of the forest. Their way of life perhaps did not appeal to the heroes of the epics but it did not stop Manavas from taking their help in times of crisis. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Marathi Manoos or Indian Manoos?
But then, one can never know because as long as there are fanatic Islamic extremists targeting Mumbai, Shiv Sainiks will be tolerated by even educated Hindus as Bal Thackeray himself said speaking of the 1992 - 93 Bombay communal riots: “If my boys would have not come on the street, I'm sure Hindus would have been slaughtered.” In the same interview, Bal Thackeray said he will oppose a Muslim “if his body is here (India) and his heart is in Pakistan”. We agree, but Mr. Thackeray, what about a Marathi like yourself, whose body is in India but the heart beats only for Maharashtra? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Iqbal, the author of “Sara Jahanse Achcha”
Most people including school children are familiar with the famous song “Sara Jahanse achcha Hindusthan hamara” and majority of them may not know that it was written by Mohammad Iqbal (1877 - 1938). This enchanting song was written by him on August 16, 1904 and published in a weekly called Ittehad. It was written for children. Next year, he recited it in a college and overnight it became famous as Taran – E - Hind (Song of India). Then it attained the status of a patriotic song. When Rakesh Sharma, the Indian astronaut was flying in the airship, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked “How does it feel?” Sharma replied, “Sare Jahanse achcha”. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A City and a Mausoleum like none other
Since I was looking for another bookshop which had been listed as a “must visit” site in my tourist guide, I asked him for his name. He seemed a little sad at my perfectly normal question and quickly proceeded to inform me with raised eyebrows and a stern look that Jawaharlal Nehru and three Presidents of India, not to mention many famous writers and diplomats had visited his shop in its heydays. Now it was my turn to raise my eyebrows, a reflex I could not restrain quickly enough! Among the dusty tomes, I quickly picked up from the four corners of the spooky place one book called “Lost Monuments of Lucknow”. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: A Rajput who defeated Ghori
So he arranged a svayamvara (the process of the bride selecting her husband) and invited all Rajput kings except Prithviraj. On the contrary, he had made a wooden statue of Prithviraj dressed as a door keeper and placed it at the entrance of the hall. Princess Samyukta entered the hall with a garland and not finding Prithviraj came out of the hall and garlanded his statue. Jayachandra became furious and before anything could happen, Prithviraj who was hiding there carried Samyukta on his horse and married her at his capital. A highly insulted Jayachandra was waiting for an opportunity to take revenge on Prithviraj, and the opportunity presented itself when Mohammed Ghori invaded the kingdom of Prithviraj. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Nawabs and the British: A fatal friendship
The Residency was a very extensive complex of many lavishly furnished buildings with a distinctly European style, which were built by the Nawabs of Lucknow in 1800 to house the British residents and their attendant staff under a treaty that has been very aptly described by historians as a “Fatal Friendship”. The British who came to India as ordinary traders and established the East India Company, befriended the gullible Nawabs of Oudh and succeeded in getting them to accept the patronage of alien might in protecting their kingdom from home - grown strife. It was only subsequently, after they had established themselves firmly that they removed the dagger of their real intentions from behind their cloak of deception and intrigue for which they became notorious all over the country. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: No Baby Yet?!
A friend called recently after a long time and asked if I had any kids. I said I don’t and he half - jokingly asked, “It’s been a while since you got married, isn’t it?” I said yes, but we want to take our time and he mischievously asked “Your equipment working alright?” All I could say was, “Yes, my equipment is in perfect working condition, but maybe you’d like to take a look at it when you come to Mysore next time, just to be sure.” Then we have a few posh friends who use the age old fancy metaphor when they see us — “No bun in the oven yet!” and all I can say is, “We’re not baking anything as yet.” Read On

T. J. S. George: India goes unipolar, Alas!
The most disappointing — and the least surprising — of political collapses is the CPM's. Not a single seat won in West Bengal. Not a single seat won in Kerala. What a fall for a party built on the dreams of the masses. Yet it surprises no one because the party of the proletariat had become the party of five - star leaders. The Bengal leaders at least accepted their defeat and said they would try to correct their ways. The Kerala leaders are justifying themselves by saying that the percentage of their votes had gone up and that anyway it was all the fault of an abominable media conspiracy. Read On

Shwetha Pangannaya: Children’s Day: Celebration of Children’s spirit
Imagine living without parents; especially bearing the tag of being the children of criminals. The society will call the child a future criminal, despite the nature of the child. The parents of other children will shun the child, avoid their children from mingling with the child and the relatives of the children refuse to support them fearing that he or she would become like their parents. Most such children become vagrants and beggars. Some resort to violence to fill their empty stomach and in turn become what the society feared they would become — criminals. To avoid this and to give a home to such children Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Liminal Beings
Both the Yali and Budh are what is known in mythology as liminal creatures. These creatures challenge the imagination because they cannot be confined to a particular box. Budh is neither male nor female. His Yali is neither lion nor elephant. One can say they are a bit of both. Mythology has high regard for such liminal beings. The most famous liminal being is Narasimha, the manlion incarnation of Vishnu. In that story, an Asura tries to escape death by seeking refuge in liminal space. He says, "I should not be killed by either a man nor an animal, neither a weapon nor a tool, neither inside a house nor outside, neither at day nor at night, neither on the ground nor above it." Read On

T. J. S. George: The Kingdom of Money is here
What a splendid procession of cultures, customs, traditions and fashions! What a heritage! But have you noticed a glaring lacuna? From the Mauryas and Yadavas to the Chalukyas and the Hoysalas, everyone was there. But not the Reddys. The absence of such a heroic and ancient dynasty was a blot on the fair face of Bellary. So God decided to step in for the second time. The first time was when the Rakshasa named Bella was wrecking havoc in the region. Indra appeared and slayed the demon, thus giving Bellaari its name. This time God did a double whammy. He put both the Kingdom of Bellary and the Kingdom of Kadapa under Reddy dynasties. After all, Kadapa and Anantapur were part of Bellary until the British separated them.
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Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Between Gods and Resorts
It’s been over two weeks now and the BJP is busy working out numbers while farmers in North Karnataka are barely surviving. While the politicians are sitting like well - fed fat cats in resorts in Goa and Hyderabad, the State is left unattended. No wonder the absence and incompetence of our political representatives makes the bureaucracy so powerful. Between the political representatives’ time spent in the laps of priests and luxurious resorts, the people are completely forgotten. The question that comes to mind now is, have the gods too become incompetent or have our political leaders gone beyond the reach of any form of enlightenment that the gods have given up on them? Read On

The Boston Tea Party
In recent times parties have become the order of the day. Oxford dictionary defines a party as "a social gathering especially of invited guests at a private house as dinner or tea party". Once upon a time it used to be the privilege of the elite in cities or big towns. But now it has spread to the grassroot level and even school children take part in parties. We search for a pretext to throw a party and the invited guests would not like to miss the party. Thus this is the age of parties of all sorts and it is no longer a fashion or a prestige. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: God of War
Animals fight for food and territory and mates. Humans fight over the same thing. It is the animal side of us — that side which seeks domination. Sometimes, however, war is noble — fought to defend independence, to defend honor. Greed or need, there is no escape from war. That is why every culture has need for a god of war. In Hinduism, Kartikeya was the god of war. And to be the god of war, he had to be virile, hyper - virile in fact. That is why scriptures describe him as having one father but many mothers. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Lucknow Gun with Mysore Connection
Despite what her detractors say, I will not be surprised if she actually succeeds in her mission considering the luck if not the lineage of all those who have ruled over our destinies, and made their own, sitting on the most sought after chair at New Delhi. Hundreds of acres of land have been enclosed by monotonous pink sandstone walls to create parks and memorials to commemorate leaders, both dead and strangely the living too. Read On

T. J. S. George: Shankara: The Power of Passion
Shankar Nag combined passion with energy. The result was something like ten men in the form of one man. He was everywhere at once, doing everything at once. Now he was planning a ropeway to Nandi Hills, now a Metro rail for Bangalore, now affordable prefab housing for ordinary folks. Shankar dreamed ahead of his times. But instinctively he was a theatre man forged in the crucible of Marathi theatre in Bombay. Then elder brother Anant became a hit in Kannada cinema and Shankar abandoned Bombay for Bangalore. Marathi’s loss was Kannada’s gain. Read On

Vivek Cariappa and Juli Cariappa: Fight Bt. Brinjal, Save Indians
There has been a widespread debate in the Indian agriculture sector over the possible release of Bt. Brinjal seeds into Indian agricultural production system, which has caused a lot of apprehension among the public. Vivek Cariappa and Juli Cariappa, Krishi Pandits and members of Organic Farming Commission, probe the risks involved in genetically modified crops and suggest steps to block the entry of the technology.
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Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Flood of thoughts
Later in the day, we visited renowned speaker Siddeshwara Swamiji at his ashram. He spoke of how this flood had brought us together “no more North Karnataka and South Karnataka, we are all one” and ended by saying “you have come and seen broken homes, I hope you will come again and see beautiful homes with happy families living in them that you help to build.” After a long time, I have heard a Swamiji who sounds sincere, sensible and seems above pettiness and publicity. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Glory, Thy name is Karnataka
Kannadigas did not lag behind in taking part in the war of independence, the fruits of which we are enjoying now. From all these achievements, the definition of Karnataka meaning its “glory lingers on in the ears” is apt and meaningful. Perhaps no other State is dotted with heritage building as Karnataka has. Our duty is to protect our great culture and pass it on to the posterity. This is a great responsibility indeed. This is the message of Nov. 1, the celebration of Rajyotsava. Read On

T. J. S. George: We use sports to destroy
There is a lot of money in sports (and money is to politicians what honey is to ants) and there is a lot of patronage bossmen can dispense at will. There is some obligatory auditing of moneys received, but the sports federations function largely free of accountability. As for privileges and patronage, we only have to remember that Indian sports delegations that go to international meets are notorious for having more officials than athletes in them. What we lack is a national vision and a national pride. If we had these in sufficient measure, we would have seen in international sports events an opportunity to achieve overall national progress. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Musings on Ravana
Actually Ravana was not the name given to him by his parents. Having performed a severe penance, he obtained a boon from Siva that he would not be killed by any god or goddess, assuming that no human being would even think of killing him. With this pride and over - confidence, he wanted to remove Kailasa from his path. In the process the Mount Kailasa was just shaken. Observing this, Siva sitting with Parvathi pressed his toe and Dashagriva's hands were caught in between and he roared with pain and anger which was heard in the three worlds. Read On

Spectrum Pectacle
Is the Congress pampering its allies too much and giving them too much freedom to handle Ministries? Should the country lose over Rs. 22000 crore just so Congress can stay in power? The Congress’ attitude has always been that of nonchalance when it comes to dealing with corruption, right from Nehru’s time when Krishna Menon allegedly received kick backs for ordering more than necessary jeeps for the army. Then it was Indira Gandhi who resorted to “fund raising” for elections. Then Rajiv had his share with the Bofors deal and now Sonia Gandhi seems to be turning a blind eye to the activities of DMK and YSR Reddy family. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Laughing and Singing away our differences
Sometimes bad or even sad events can have some unexpectedly good fallouts. A case in point is the recent communal unrest that we witnessed in parts of our city and which was thankfully quickly contained due to some quick action by the Police and some quick thinking by a handful of concerned citizens too. For the first time in the history of such events in our city, which thankfully have been very few, the district administration, the concerned political leaders and particularly the Police thought it pertinent to arrange discussions involving citizens to mull over the causes and to find preventive strategies to such problems in future. Read On

Lakshmi Palecanda: A Nobel Prize called Lottery
The very fact that Indian - born scientists do very well abroad shows that Indians have the potential to do well, given the right circumstances. In fact, there are many, many people trying to do good work right here. But they are hobbled by poor facilities, poor training, favoritism, and all forms of corruption, not to mention lack of funds. Funding agencies are headed by babus who are unaware of the scientific implications of the research stated in the grants submitted by scientists and, what’s more couldn’t care less. So scientific grants are given out on the basis of who knows whom, not who knows what. Students get into Ph.D. programs to get a degree, not to do research. And research programs are biased in the favor of finding the “correct” answers to problems, instead of experimentation, observation, and truthful recording of data, whether or not it supports a hypothesis.
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Decoding Hindu Mythology - Lunar Tales
In India, the moon is never seen as a goddess but rather as a charming romantic god called Chandra who constantly flirted with the stars. He is also called Soma, the one whose waxing and waning influences the rising and ebbing of earthly fluids. The most visible impact is seen on the sea where he causes high and low tide. He is believed to have a more subtle impact on the sap of all plants, making him the lord of all vegetation. Read On

T. J. S. George: Genetically Engineered India
Prolonged court cases, the Supreme Court’s intervention, scientists’ arguments and vociferous campaigns by civic groups have amounted to nothing. The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has allowed commercial cultivation of the dreaded Bt. brinjal. If this decision is ratified by the Government of India, some 170 of our commonest food items will also become chemically altered. Rice and wheat, potatoes and onions, mustard and bananas will all be genetically manipulated for us. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: In search of Sanjivini
The word Sanjivini occurs in Ramayana and Mahabharatha and also in some Puranas. But unfortunately some people are doubting the very historicity of these epics and feel that they are figments of poetic imagination and literary bunkum. This has recently come to the forefront when the issue of Rama's bridge came up for protection. Fortunately, more number of scholars and scientists and historians are believing in the historicity of Ramayana and Mahabharatha though there are bound to be some poetic exaggerations. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Yes You Can….. Say No
To give is up to them, but then, to take or not to take, to accept or reject is solely one’s own choice and when the ball was in the court of the 44th President of the United States, he accepted. Does President Obama think he really deserves the Nobel Peace Prize? If he did think so, then he definitely seems to have been confused between words and actions; if he didn’t think he deserved it, then he should have politely declined it. Obama was one of the 205 nominees for this year’s Prize and the decision came as a surprise to many as it was Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who was the favourite. Read On

Lakshmi Palecanda: Banana cultivation success story
A Banana Field Day was held at a farmer, Venkatesh's field at Thandavapura in Nanjanagud taluk recently to celebrate his banana cultivation success story. An average yield for banana is about 15 kg per plant but Venkatesh has managed to get an average yield of 40 kg per plant. The secret to his success is the use of tissue culture - propagated plants and schedule of agronomic practices, both provided by Labland Biotech Private Limited in Mysore.
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Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The London Cabbie & the Mysore “Rickkie”
After reading this letter, I could not help wondering how very different things are here from the rules that govern the licensing procedures in London for anyone who aspires to get into the driving seat of the famed London Black Cab. I used the word famed because the gleaming black London taxi which has a distinctive and almost menacing look is one of the most well - known and prestigious taxi services in the world today. Naturally, all those who are licenced to drive one of these cabs are considered to be members of a team of very highly trained and polished brigade envied by thousands who fail to get their badge. Read On

T. J. S. George: Making a farce of Vulgarity, too
Mukesh Ambani's salary is Rs. 44. 2 crore a year, about three – and – a - half crore a month. In a country where the poor outnumber the well – to - do, that seems vulgar. On the other hand, the big salary works out to 0. 23 per cent of the Ambani companies' net profits. That doesn't look vulgar. Sun TV's Kalanithi Maran and wife Kavery take a salary of Rs 37. 08 crore each. That works out to 16. 96 per cent of their net profits. Is that vulgar? Anil Ambani's salary is Rs. 30. 02 crore a year, or two – and – a - half crore a month. Is that vulgar? The answer is really simple: Vulgarity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. When Serena Williams obliges an ESPN publication by posing in the nude (Good heavens, Serena Williams of all people!) it is vulgar according to the Tennis Federation. But it is inspirational to herself and to others according to Serena. Who is wrong? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Was Taj Mahal originally a Palace?
He has collected a mass of information from this point of view and has published a book titled Taj Mahal: The True Story. It is not our intention here to speak for or against this view. Our main aim is to bring this view to the general readers who can take decision on their own. Nowhere in any Muslim country a tomb is referred to as a Mahal. Several Europeans and Muslim writers refer to it as Taj – e - Mahal because it was previously famous as Tejo Mahalaya. As it was a temple, Shahjahan and Aurangazeb have avoided the use of the name and refer it as a holy tomb or grave. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Golden Hour and a Golden Era
Very often we lose accident victims because there is much delay in reaching the patients to the safety of a hospital or in making available to them the trained personnel and basic life saving equipment on board an ambulance. Like the dictum that says “Justice delayed is justice denied”, in the field of medicine too “medical care delayed is medical care denied”. Reaching a good hospital often serves no purpose if you do not reach there in time. In medical parlance, there is what is called the “Golden Hour”, which is the crucial time during which accident victims must receive appropriate first aid if they have to survive or even fully recover their physical and mental functions. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Kubera, Treasurer of the Gods
Kubera, the pot - bellied king of Yakshas is a close relative of the Rakshasas and ruler of the northern direction in Vaastu Shastra. Kubera is not worshipped today as he once was in ancient India. So popular was he that even after the rise of Buddhism and Jainism, he remained a part of their mythology as guardian and fertility gods such as Manibhadra. Hindu, Jain and Buddhist stories are full of Yakshas who tell puzzles and cause trouble. Read On

T. J. S. George: Hail the All – American World!
Even at the height of its superpower omnipotence, it was not the military - economic might that really gave America the power it wielded. Arms were just the icing. The cake was the cultural hold America established over the hearts and minds of people across the world through music and cinema, education and books, food and drinks and glamorous drugs, jeans and T - shirts and brandnames and the thousand tantalising ingredients of pop culture. Read On

Circus is our home
A circus is a traveling company of performers. It includes acrobats, clowns, animals, trapeze acts, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt - oriented artistes. The word also describes the performance that they give, which is usually a series of acts that are choreographed to music. A circus is held in an oval or circular arena called a ring with tiered seating around its edge; in the case of traveling circuses this location is most often a large tent called the big top. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: A Kannada Minister in Tamil Kingdom
Movement of scholars, poets, saints, merchants and others from one linguistic area to another is commonly seen in our history. At this distance of time it may not be possible to say with certainty whether such movements and migrations were unwelcome. But from the extant records and literary works it appears that they were not opposed and were welcome and even praised for their contribution to the migrated land. Read On

T. J. S. George: Why the Cat and Mouse Show?
As Mr. Hardy would have sternly told Mr. Laurel: "Well, there's another nice mess you've gotten me into." Except that Manmohan Singh and associates are not doing a Laurel and Hardy show. It's more like a cat and mouse show. India, rising economic power and IT giant, looks today like a cornered mouse being teased and taunted by a gang of sadistic cats. Consider the fine mess. America's military boss reports that growing Indian influence in Afghanistan is a problem because it will invite Pakistani counter - measures. Washington is finalising an aid package to beat all previous aid packages to Pakistan. To Indian protests that American-supplied weapons are used by Pakistan against India as Musharraf testified, America replies that Musharraf is a private citizen.
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Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Austerity?! Enough Please
Keeping politicians looking austere is an expensive business. In an interview, famous film - maker David Lean mentions how the first Indian Prime Minister Nehru told him that though Gandhiji traveled simple, they had to have a separate carriage for him to house a goat as Gandhiji drank only goat's milk because the poor in India drank only goat's milk. All this cost a fortune. In fact, Freedom Fighter Sarojini Naidu, who was known for wit and humour, famously said in public "It costs a lot to keep Gandhi poor!" Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Krishnadevaraya’s Dasara
The entire arena of Dasara was so vast and far flung, Domingo Paes was provided a horse to go around. He states that to look at various sights he had to turn right and left so often that he had to fall from the horseback out of giddiness! Ultimately his conclusion is that the entire ten-day programme of Krishnadevaraya's Dasara was marked by richness of gold and precious stones, decorated horses, elephants, acrobatics, wrestlers, young dancing girls and hence pomp, pomp and pomp everywhere. The Dasara of later dynasties is nothing but an imitation of the same with suitable changes. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Dasara of my childhood days
The arrival of Dasara used to be a much awaited affair over many weeks in every household all over the city. Since it was an extravaganza exclusive to Mysore, it used to be the privilege of Mysoreans to host the event by sending out postcards well in advance inviting friends and relatives from far and near to come over for the event. Almost every household used to have some guests for Dasara and my maternal grandfather’s house where I had been left to pursue my studies was no exception. Read On

T. J. S. George: YSR & the problem with Empires
By every Indian standard, N. T. Rama Rao and M. G. Ramachandran were mass heroes of a kind that Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy could never be. The succession battles following their passing were ugly, but relieved by a semblance of ethics. Chandrababu Naidu mounted what looked like a family feud primarily to save his father – in - law’s reputation from the clutches of Lakshmi Parvathi who suddenly surfaced to claim the late patriarch’s mantle. MGR had a legal wife to claim his mantle, but everyone knew that the politically innocent Janaki was propped up only to block Jayalalitha, the political heir. The gritty heir prevailed in that war. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Saligrama, the Sacred Deity
Salagrama, also called Saligrama is a sacred stone of unique character. Though it has a scientific explanation, its origin is shrouded in puranas and legends of great antiquity. Salagramas are found in almost all the important Mutts, temples and traditional homes. Salagrama is a village on the banks of the river Gandaki in the Himalayas. Sage Vishwamitra's son Salakayana had the darshan of Vishnu in a Sala tree in his house and hence the village came to be called Salagrama. It is also the name of a type of stone available in the Himalayas and Nepal, mostly on the banks of Gandaki River. The Gandaki River is an ancient river referred to in puranas and Mahabharatha. Its sacred nature has been described in Mahabharatha. Sri Krishna, Bhima, Arjuna and others are said to have crossed this river during their journey. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Death Traps
We as a people are never proactive and are only selectively reactive. The so - called “saviour – mobs” who protest against women going to pubs and denim pants would get a little more acceptance if they directed the same blind - fury towards badly constructed roads that kill people, open government manholes that kill children and unscientific speed breakers that break heads. People in India have an obsession when it comes to saving even at the cost of their life or for that matter someone else’s. The very fact that people break dividers to cut across the road and drive up one - way streets to save 200 mts worth of petrol shows how irresponsible we are. No wonder we are probably the only nation where there is a Traffic cop right under a traffic light. Read On

T. J. S. George: Point of view of Desire, Logic and Social Conscience
The Buddha describes lust / desire as the origin of suffering. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad states point - blank that a person consists of desires. For Manu, desire is one of humankind’s ten vices. Every source of wisdom warns us against desire, greed, avarice, the craving for more and more. Yet, desire drives us. The latest example of this is cricket star Harbhajan Singh driving an unlicensed Hummer vehicle in Chandigarh. It may seem like a minor matter, but it is a symptom of what seems to have become a national trait — the arrogance of money. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Jurist Vijnaneshwara of Karnataka
That there was corruption during the period is hinted by Vijnanesvara. If the juries acted with bias or received bribe they were to be fined. In case a Minister or an officer accepted a bribe and delivered judgment they should be fined one thousand gold coins and the king himself should deliver judgment. Thus Vijnanesvara made a deep impact on Hindu judicial system. Read On

Interview: Man behind the “Maharaajas”
Since it's a Mysore team, should the team be ion Mysore? Wouldn’t it make Mysoreans more interested? What happens is, Mysore region has had a tradition from the beginning. By following that tradition, everyone knows that this is our team. Now we have a troupe that goes from taluk to taluk chanting “Mysore Maharaajas ki jai! Adu namma teamu”. They come saying that they are our team. I am putting up hoardings everywhere — 32 hoardings, each representing a player. I'm putting up hoardings in Mandya, Mysore, Bangalore, Madikeri at taluk headquarters. So people will show interest and come. It will also encourage their family and friends to participate. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: KPL: Wadiyar speaks his mind
Karnataka is the first to come up with KPL, when others could also have done it. Was this your idea or did you have any assistance? No, I will never say that it is my idea. It is something we decided with the company who got the tender for stadium rights, the Frontier Group. They came up with the idea initially and someone mentioned it to me at the office. I told them to put it before the respective committees. And if the members approve, I have absolutely no objection at all to this form of the game. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Unique Tribute to a Teacher
But very sadly, most often our teachers never get the share of our tributes that is their rightful due. However, it is good that one day in our calendar is marked as Teachers’ Day as it helps us all to remember from time to time that we should recall the role of our teachers in moulding and shaping our personalities, our careers and our lives. But as we all prepare to pay our debt of well earned and well deserved gratitude to all the members of the teaching fraternity tomorrow by observing Teachers’ day, somewhere in the heart of rural Tamil Nadu a group of students is all set to say ‘thank you, sir’ to one of their school teachers in a very unique way. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Legends of Thiruvalluvar
Ever since our Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa decided to install a statue of Thiruvalluvar in Bangalore and accomplished it with great success in spite of some opposition, most people are wondering as to who this Thiruvalluvar was. The print and electronic media have given maximum publicity to this event due to their own reasons. Most people have satisfied themselves by understanding Thiruvalluvar as a counterpart of Sarvajna. Read On

Decoding Hindu Mythology: Layers of the Hindu World
Since Hindus believe in rebirth, there are ample opportunities to enter Devlok, but stay there is temporary, limited by the balance of equity of past deeds in one's karmic account. When this runs out, one is out of Devlok. The good news is, stay in Patallok is also temporary. By doing good deed, one can move up to a higher realm of more happiness and lesser work. Thus a Deva can become an Asura and an Asura can become a Deva. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Hungry Nation is Angry Nation
At the present rate, it is only a matter of time before our political class' greed for land and power will render this nation hungry. Mahatma Gandhiji said India lives in her villages but thanks to the urban India's greed for land, India today is dying in her villages. Let's not forget every time a farmer goes hungry or commits suicide, we in the cities too are a step closer to hunger and chaos. Read On

T. J. S. George: BJP etc: The death of ideology
First, the BJP was the only national formation that rose to challenge the Congress which inherited its all - India mantle from the independence movement. For our nascent democracy, the two - party choice was bad enough given the country’s size and diversity. It grew worse when one of them developed into a family oligarchy and the other pursued a communal divide – and - rule policy. The worst may happen now if the challenger leaves the arena and the voter is left with a choice of one. That will put us on par not with China but North Korea, for though China has a one - party system, it has no family rule. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Lurking death and Appalling Apathy
What makes this a very sad event is that while Swine Flu is not easily preventable with the technology available to us as of today, Dengue fever and the high mortality that it carries can be thwarted a great deal if citizens and civic authorities wake up to the danger and act. While some awareness about its mode of spread and prevention have been disseminated from time to time whenever there have been sporadic outbreaks, nothing seems to have been done as a continuous and sustained effort to curtail its deadly march. On the contrary, we seem to be doing everything possible to facilitate its spread. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: King Kaun
It seems like Shahrukh Khan, aka King Khan was upset because the official treated him with a “King Kaun?” attitude. In fact, he joked that when he was asked to come into a room for a more detailed questioning, “For a second I thought I was going to be accorded VIP treatment.” Jokes apart, we are sure for a moment our Bollywood Badshah must have actually thought that he would be getting a Police escort to the performance venue like he gets here often. Moreover, recently he was also voted one of the most influential people in the world by America’s top news magazine “Newsweek”. So Shahrukh must have for a moment had a rude shock when he was actually being questioned like a suspect. Read On

The Prophet and the Poet: A Review
The play starts with Tagore's voice — he reciting "jana gana mana" written by him and the National Anthem of India — a thrilling experience indeed. The experience continues by the instrumental music of “Raghupati Raghava Rajaram” a very favourite bhajan of the Mahatma and musically composed by the great vocalist of India — late D. V. Paluskar. I remember having heard by my father that Pandit Paluskar had the capacity of playing just eight lines for more than an hour singing with many spontaneous novel varieties to the delight of the Mahatma. He has also composed memorable compositions like “Payoji maine raamaratana paayo”, “Vaishnava jana to tene kahie” and other bhajans of saints of North India. Any meeting in Sabarmati Ashram started by his vocal music. Read On

T. J. S. George: BJP’s gift to Jinnah: A New Life
All monolithic organisations feed on their collective myths. For the BJP - RSS ideology, survival depends on establishing Jinnah and Pakistan as evils. To allow any dilution of this doctrine will be like the Vatican allowing Catholics to question the infallibility of the Pope or, for that matter, the Congress Party allowing its members to question the infallibility of Sonia Gandhi. Certain divinities must remain divinities. Or they’ll collapse. Read On

Shwetha Pangannaya: The unseen hands behind Ganesha idols
Once upon a time, Ganesha Chaturthi was just a festival like any other in Indian households celebrated with enthusiasm and reverence. Then freedom fighter and social reformer Bal Gangadhar Tilak gave the festival a patriotic and mass flavour by giving a call to celebrate it in public. Thus Ganesha Chaturthi became the most widely celebrated festival where people of all castes participated without cultural and traditional restrictions. Read On

T. J. S. George: From Mount Rajiv to Rajiv Rajya
It is the eternal, inviolable Law of Democracy: You serve the people meaningfully, they will reward you with votes; you fool the people, they will bide their time to punish you. This law was dramatically in evidence in this year’s election. Congress gained significantly because it was seen actively promoting a programme that helped jobless masses — the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS). It was not politics, but service. Alas, it is now going to be politics. Recognising the voter appeal of the programme, State Government leaders began exploiting what was a hundred percent Centrally sponsored scheme. Mayawati has launched a campaign in UP with her portrait in all publicity material — as though it is her idea and her implementation.
Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Swine Flu need not scare you
There is a passing reference in the report that the government is likely to consider awarding of financial compensation to the family members of the victim which is likely to open a Pandora’s Box and churn up a very big controversy. Since the epidemic is likely to remain active for some more weeks or even months and claim some more victims in the process, the question that arises here is whether the government will be capable of doling out similar sums to all the affected families? Read On

Bhamy V. Shenoy: "Tryst with destiny speech of Nehru: But where is my freedom?”
As we celebrate our 63rd Independence Day, it is time for us to reflect upon the kind of freedom we have in our city. When we look at those unfortunates who live below the poverty line (often forgotten people excepting during the election times), do they have the luxury of celebrating it? Do they even know what it is to be free? When 30% to 40% Mysoreans are enjoying Independence Day holiday, those street shop owners, street cart vendors, daily wage earners, and many such cannot take a day off. If they do not earn even on Independence Day, their families will go hungry that day. How many of us follow the advice given by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle that we need to look into the eyes of the poorest of the poor and ask ourselves how we are helping them through our programmes? How many are really helped by NREGS which is supposed to provide employment to the poor? Read On

T. J. S. George: Our Poverty + Their Wealth = India
Why have the many governments of India allowed the poverty of India to continue as a humiliating spectacle? The main reason must be that our politicians were busy with other things. When they did talk of poverty, it was only for purposes of gimmickry. Indira Gandhi sold the slogan "Garibi hatao," won elections — and that was that. In his otherwise insubstantial book After Nehru, Who? American author Welles Hangen wrote in 1963 what is true to this day. "The tragedy of India," he said, "is not poverty, but the mentality that accepts, even condones, poverty." That mentality persists. When a film depicting the horrors of Indian poverty wins Oscars in Hollywood, we protest against foreigners looking only at the negative side of India. We don’t do anything about eliminating the negative side. In fact, we, too, try to profit from it by starting "slum tourism" in Dharavi. Read On

K. Rathna: Who Let the Dogs out….
"Oh, my God, I can’t forget that day in my life. When I was casually walking on the road for my tuition, suddenly a stray dog attacked me. I ran madly as it continued to chase me. Somehow, I managed to reach home safely. Even today I am afraid to walk on that road. Now, I have changed my route to the tuition classes," recalled Yashwanth, a student in Yadavagiri. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Krishnadevaraya’s 500th Year of Coronation
Five hundred years ago and to be precise, the first week of August 1509 AD, there was a lot of activity at the Vijayanagara royal Palace in Hampi. Elaborate preparations were being made for the coronation of Krishnadevaraya, son of Narasanayaka. The latter had four sons by different wives and they were Narasimha, Krishnadevaraya, Achyuta and Sriranga. Krishnadevaraya's mother was Nagaladevi, in whose memory, the town Nagalapura was established later. Krishnadevaraya is believed to have been born in 1487 AD either on Krishna Janmastami or closer to that day and hence he was given the name Krishnadevaraya. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: UID: Will it work?
My name is Kaliyatanda Vikram Muthanna, well my passport says so. But my father’s name is spelt as Kaliatanda Ganapathy and my brother’s name as Kalyatanda Bopanna. Same family name spelt differently in three passports. This is just a small example of how clerical errors creep in a very important identification document in India. Now considering that in our nation attention to detail is as casual as our attitude towards hygiene, it makes us wonder how the new and rather ambitious Unique Identification (UID) project will do. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at least seems very serious and sincere about it, like he is towards all his projects. But is he being realistic? Read On

Expert’s views on Gas Pricing dispute between Ambani Brothers
The legal and now political battle being waged by Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil, regarding Krishna Godavari (KG) gas reserves, has now become daily news, thanks to questions asked in the Parliament. When North and West of India are getting the benefits of all this gas, no one from the South is taking part in this debate. When they are demanding gas be charged at a low price of 2.34 dollars, we in South may well remember that when we get gas we will end up paying international price which could be as high as 17 dollars based on last year's prices. This involves subsidies of not just a few dollars, but billions of dollars to the North and the South will end up supporting this. Where are our big time politicians? asks Dr. Bhamy Shenoy, who has over 30 years of experience in the international oil sector. Read On

T. R. Dakshina Murthy: Keep Tourist Spots Sparkling - An Australian Experience
Gaganachukki and Bharachukki falls in Shivanasamudra continue to be dry. However, even the view point at the falls is in pathetic condition. It shows how we are maintaining the beautiful tourist centres in our country. The lack of basic necessities at our famous tourist spots which are frequented by a large number of our countrymen and foreign tourists is a matter of shame. In contrast, in Australia, even a small attractive piece of land with a small lake, a waterfall or an old monument is converted into a beautiful tourist centre or picnic area. The government provides all basic necessities to the tourists who frequent these places. Read On

T. J. S. George: What makes beautiful women beautiful?
Leela Naidu was of course an extraordinarily beautiful woman. It was not the Aishwarya Rai kind of beauty. Its brilliance was not wholly, or even mainly, physical. It emanated from, and was embellished by the beauty of an active, comprehending mind. That was what made Maharani Gayatri Devi beautiful even at 90. That's what makes Nandita Das or Arundati Roy or Mallika Sarabhai stand out in a crowd. That — and not Mallika Sherawat — is the reason for the poetic proclamation that "beauty is truth, and truth beauty." The best of them know that what they are born with must make them grateful, not boastful. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: A Friendly British Officer
A group of Europeans came to India with the intention of trade in which British became successful. Because of the weakness and disunity of Indians, they entertained political ambitions and again became successful in this too. No doubt these merchants were highly adventurous and hard working but they lacked moral and ethical principles so as to attract criticism even from their own countrymen and the queen had to supersede the East India Company and take over the administration through a Viceroy. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Old Horse and a Thoroughbred
The old horse Muzzafar Baig might have thought Omar was just a one trick pony who could be bullied and done away with, but he must remember, and he will now, that Omar is a thoroughbred stallion of politics. Politics is in his genes, three generations of it. He might be young and many may say he is inexperienced and is having teething trouble, but now that he has outmaneuvered the PDP’s old horse, he just might chew through his troubles. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Passing Away of an Era and a Princess
She was also one of the most photographed personalities and our own T. S. Satyan has done much justice both to her beauty and to his own talent. He too says that among all the persons he has photographed she was the most beautiful and has dedicated a full chapter: "The Maharani at the Hustings" to her in his autobiography, "Alive and Clicking". In fact he was the first person I telephoned this morning for some inputs when I decided to write this article. Read On

T. J. S. George: Must End - Users end up as Fools?
In 1994 in the wake of the Bhopal gas tragedy, we allowed Union Carbide boss Anderson to walk free. Indian law was rendered toothless. In 1995 after a foreign aircraft dropped arms in the remote area of Purulia, five Latvian and one British crew were finally sentenced. But all of them were given executive pardon and allowed to go home. Will the American system allow any such leniency to jailed fashion designer Anand Jon who is widely believed to have been framed by business rivals in Los Angeles? Six decades after independence, we are still to learn how to stand up for our dignity. Read On

T. J. S. George: The CPM's Last Hurrah
Perhaps we need not be surprised that the CPM is being driven by a death - wish. Perhaps the CPM should die away so that a genuine, progressive Left movement can take shape in India. It is written that destruction precedes creation. Kerala, more than West Bengal, demonstrates the lethal certainty of the death-wish. For it is in Kerala that the CPM has turned against itself with devastating effect. In Bengal, it is the people who turned against the CPM - the result of three decades of terror rule. That it was indeed ruled by terror, the world is only now beginning to learn. Read On

Dr. Manik Bengeri: Gangubai Hanagal: A Guiding Star
Many singers change their style of singing as per the changing times but Gangubai is perhaps the only one amongst few to maintain the tradition of classical singing and Khyaal gayaki. No doubt a big vacuum has been created by her death but she has lived her full life and contributed a lot to the music field, which will remain a big treasure forever. She was a true guiding star. Her achievements were many but my big achievement was to know her, meet her several times and get inspired at every time in a different way. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Emperor and the Nightingale
The title of my article today is bound to remind some people about the fairy tale of the same name which is a very touching story of how a Chinese emperor once fell sick and was about to die of depression, after the nightingale which used to enthrall him every morning with its song, flew away. It flew away heartbroken because someone presented the emperor with a toy bird that also sang when wound up with a key and he began to love it more since he could make it sing at his will. Read On

A Tribute to Gangubai Hanagal
One of her grand daughters was going to be married to a young man from Mysore, a photographer. Gangubai remarked that Mysore had remained a quiet place unlike Bangalore, which had become so large that one had to spend Rs. 60 on an auto rickshaw merely to go from one place to another. Even Hubli had become too large. The new broad gauge platform at Hubli was so long that once or twice she had not been able to board the train. On one occasion a taxi driver had offered to take her to her destination before the train she had missed had reached there provided she paid Rs. 300 and he had been as good as his word. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Music: Balm for Mind, Body and Soul
I was hooked on to western music and guitar became the new instrument that had won my affection. I played the cassette almost everyday and once an elderly professor who had come home, heard the music from my room and later confronted me saying "Enappa, English haade? Raaga illa, Thala illa, sumne kugkothare" (What is this child, this English music has no raga, no proper beat and they simply scream loudly). Then he cheekily added, "Modern boy, modern music ahh?" Soon I picked up a guitar but unfortunately did not find a good teacher. I stuck to what I could play by ear. I still play the guitar but of course, as you can see, I didn't get very far with it professionally. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Alwars: Flowers of Vaishnavism
The most important character of the Alwars is that at the height of Vedic orthodoxy, they made no distinction of caste or sex and thus appear to be quite modern in this concept. One was a Vellala, another belonged to mleccha or thief's profession, one was a Harijan, and only three were Brahmins while the precise caste of the other four is not known. Above all one is a woman. But all were equal in stature in divine love and not distinguished on any other count. Read On

S. R. Krishna Murthy: Veene
Mysore is synonymous with many things. Be it Mysooru Mallige (Jasmine), Chigurele (betel leaf used in pan) or Eranagere Badane kayi (Brinjal) and so on. But one thing stands above all these, the grace of veena playing (Veeneya Bedagu). Read On

T. J. S. George: Why Rs. 1417030000000 Won't save us
A gentleman like A. K. Antony would be unaware of such goings - on, let alone be party to them. But the innocence of leaders like him only helps the crooks who operate unseen. This ground reality adversely affects the quantity and quality of our military purchases and therefore of our capability to counter a hostile neighbour or an invading terrorist group. Unless this problem is addressed and solved, one followed by all the zeroes in the world won't help us. Read On

Dr. M. Renuka: Sibling Rivalry - A Universal Phenomenon Why brother fights brother...
You aren't really a parent until you have had your second child. In today's scenario of nuclear families and working parents, sibling rivalry is no news to anyone. Sibling rivalry simply refers to jealousy among off springs who are reluctant to share the parental love with a brother or a sister. Constant fighting, putting downs, arguing and comparisons among children are the causes of sheer frustration and concern for most parents. Read On

Bharat Shetty Barkur: A Tribute to K. K. Srinivasan
During weekends when time permitted the kid's parents visited Srinivasan's house here and then. He always hugged the kid with his trademark tight grip, and the kid smiled supremely. He always asked some questions to check the kid's rational analytical abilities and gave some suggestions to the kid's parents. Mama: Neenu ivattu newspapers odideya (in Kannada)? Did you read newspapers today? What was the major news that you read (in English)? The kid, confused by the sudden change of languages, stared baffled at his mother, who asked him to repay attention to Mama. Kid: Are you asking something about the newspapers? (In Kannada). Mama: Smart guy, you should try and learn English slowly and try to reply in English (in Kannada). Kid: Will try. Mama: No trying, you can do it. The kid grows up and manages to confound his parents by his sustained consistent academic performances at school and finally enters the college. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Confessions of a Chocoholic
When I was younger, my favourite sweet was "kadle mitai  (peanut candy). A sweet candy where each peanut is coated with thick sugar which comes only in two colours, red and white. I loved it and even better, I could afford it. It was two rupees for a paper cone full. But as I grew up, I was introduced to Cadburys eclairs when a classmate distributed it on her birthday. Then came the divine Chocolate fudges of Kapali stores. Since then I have been addicted to chocolates. I eat them as I drive to work; while at work, after lunch and finally I have just a little piece before I go to bed. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Mylara - A Unique Deity
Mylara, Mylari, Mylarappa, Mylari Rao etc., are some of the popular names in Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra even today. In my college days, there used to be an excellent English professor Mylari Rao at Maharaja's College, Mysore, whose thousands of students are spread not only all over Karnataka but even abroad. In recent years, Mylari Hotel has become famous for tasty and crispy dosas. That is a different matter.
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T. J. S. George: Spectacular Music, Spectacular Wreck
Marriages and divorces, children from hired wombs, plastic surgeries one after another, chemical treatments to make his black skin white, sleeping in coffins, dangling a baby from the balcony, and the man was a psychological wreck. And the drugs. They ve calculated that he was taking drugs worth 24 lakh rupees every month. There was no food intake. What the post-mortem revealed was a skeleton sustained by narcotics. And an accumulated debt of nearly 3000 crore rupees. What is the use of fame? What is life worth if it gives you the whole world, but not one day s peace of mind? The biggest truth revealed by Michael Jackson s death is a truth all of us know but few of us accept: Money cannot buy happiness. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Kittel, the Doyen of Kannada Dictionary
Kittel studied ancient Kannada works which were written on palm leaf (not yet printed) in a short time. He also learnt Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu and Sanskrit. The missionaries normally learnt the local languages so that they can mingle with the local people and explain the tenets of Christianity to them. But Kittel's study of Kannada took him beyond Christianity and thus he distinguished himself as a Kannada scholar. However, he had to fulfill his obligation as a missionary and hence he wrote many books in Kannada relating to Christianity. He also wrote many Kannada songs in praise of Christ. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Let s Get Sporty
As they get older, they stick to a sport not to be the best in the world but to get government jobs under sports quota. The only way India is going to ever get sporty is when they have an audience and a few officials with honesty and vision. And, of course, we must encourage local talent by going to the venue and watching a match or a sport live. Watching sports only on TV will only narrow our love for games. Don t let television dictate what you love and what you don t. Get out, go to the field and see and feel for yourself, you just might love the agility of hockey and the hyper athleticism of basketball. Read On

T. J. S. George: How we smashed a Jewel
What a pathetic plight Air - India has reached. It's become the first Government - owned company that is unable to pay salaries. The Unions blame the Government and insist on their privileges. Which means the irresistible force of business economics is in head - on collision with the immovable object of employee resistance. Disaster beckons. Public sympathy is unlikely to be with Air - India. For one thing, it has been unpopular with passengers for many years. The reasons range from unreliable timings to on-board discrimination against Indians. In the Gulf sector, where it maintained a lucrative monopoly for as long as it could, its ill - treatment of passengers on delayed flights had become a scandal. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Michael Jackson Music and Madness
But then, what kind of parents send their child for a sleep - over in a 40  year - old, single man s house? That too, a 40  year - old black man who has turned himself into a 30  year - old white woman? If Michael is accused of child abuse, then the parents who sent their children to his house should be guilty too. But Michael Jackson s real issue began when he started to change his persona from being a cute African American 11  year - old boy singing catchy tunes, to a single white female and finally to an alien like creature. So was Michael Jackson trying to become Caucasian? Did he think he would be more accepted throughout the world if he was white? Well, if he did think it and if that s why he got his skin grafted, it worked considering that Michael Jackson was, and still is, one of the most loved musicians in Europe in a time when some European countries were still racist. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Mudduraja and Alamanda Doddavva
History of Kodagu is a fascinating chapter in the history of Karnataka because of its geography, people, coffee estates, sportsmen and military Generals. Recently, I was reading a book on the history of Kodagu by a great Kodava D. N. Krishnayya. This bulky book reads like a novel with anecdotes collected from the local people. These folktales have been now elevated to the position of oral history. One or two such stories attracted my attention. The author has based his work mostly on the source Rajendraname, which narrates the history of Kodagu from 1600 to 1807. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Is our Police Commissioner s post a musical chair?
In asking this question even as another Police Commissioner has just occupied the hot seat, I think I am only voicing the doubt that has no doubt been nagging the minds of most Mysoreans. I am saying this because the impermanence of our Police Commissioner s post even for the minimum three years, which is the unwritten but accepted minimum tenure of every government post, is the topic of discussion at every place where Mysoreans of any importance gather. Read On

T. J. S. George: Our country deserves a Rightist party, a Centrist party and a Leftist party
The overwhelming difference between this election and every previous election is the change in the character of the electorate. Times have changed and people have changed for a variety of reasons, economic liberalisation, the emergence of an affluent middle class, the spread of internet and the civilisational shifts in attitudes it has brought about, the rise of youth power, popular disgust with political corruption, a growing tendency to hold rulers accountable. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Emerson: The Boston Brahmin
Emerson died in 1882 at the age of 79 at Concord and unprecedented number of admires paid homage to this great friend, guide and philosopher. The church bell tolled 79 times to mark his 79th year. I had the good fortune of visiting both Boston and Concord about fifty years ago. Emerson is no longer with us today but he will remain in our minds for ever. A great historian has said: "Emerson had all the wisdom and spirituality of Brahmins and perhaps he was the best Brahmin outside India." Most Brahmins are so by birth but Emerson was a true Brahmin by culture. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: By George! This is too Good to be true
When I picked up the Star of Mysore last Tuesday, very late in the night, after a really hard day s work, I was pleasantly surprised to see a note from the editor at the lower right hand side of the front page announcing that the very popular column Point of View  by T. J. S. George would henceforth be a regular weekly feature in Star of Mysore. Incidentally, when a man is smiling and when he has a drink in his hand it is only a matter of time before secrets begin tumbling out! Although I have shared K. B. Ganapathy's smile often, I have never ventured to share his drink despite much persuasion from him. When it comes to praising the virtues of wine he has no equal but thankfully he has not made any headway with me. Once I got away by telling him that I was in no need of his wine since I had my wife by my side! Read On

M. Ashwini Kumar: Is cash withdrawals from ATM a boon or bane?
Finally I got Unable to process, Transaction Denied  slip. I tried at the other ATM of ICICI bank in the same booth, only to get Transaction Denied slip again. As advised by the security guard, present at that time, to try again in the first machine, if I get the same type of response not to try further. So I got the same type of response from the ATM. Finally I was left with three Transaction Denied Slips. Next day, say 31st May 2009 around 8 am I withdrew a cash of Rs. 5000 successfully and got the print out slip of balance. To my surprise, I found the balance cash in my account was less by Rs 10,000 instead of Rs 5000. Read On

Akhila Mithanthaya: Greeting Grandma in our midst
Thayamma sits at the T - junction behind Dasprakash Paradise in Yadavagiri where she spends most of her time greeting, wishing and waving at passersby. She takes bath in one of the quarters there, thanks to some kindhearted residents. She has her first meal of the day, which comprises of bun and milk at the nearby bakery. People in the locality are so concerned about her that they panic if they do not see her for a day. Thayamma stays there till four or five in the evening during which many passersby offer her food, clothes, money, fruits, etc. In fact, she is now an expected fixture behind Dasprakash Paradise. She is addressed by many as the Hello Ajji  as she keeps wishing everybody. Read On

T. J. S. George: Point of View: Diffident US Vs Combative Them
By any standard, the violence against Indian students in Australia is nasty business. What lends an astonishing edge to it is the Indian Government s routine, pedestrian, unfeeling handling of it. Indeed, non - assertiveness seems to be a characteristic of the Manmohan - Sonia leadership. By contrast, Australia took a combative position. First, Police bosses remained almost indifferent, refusing to see any racial angle in the repeated attacks on Indian students. At the political level, high-ranking leaders chose to express themselves against violence in general terms while declaring Australia as "the safest country in the world" for students. Read On

S. R. Krishna Murthy: The string sings from the City
Rajiv Taranath, internationally acclaimed performer, is undoubtedly in the top echelon of the exponents of music today. A distinguished Sarod player, disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, can take his audience to the higher realms of traditional music with imagination and intensity. Turning 78 in October next, he has ultimately chosen Mysore as his residence, much to the delight of the music fraternity and his innumerable friends. He feels that, the Sarod, his chosen media, can bring out the inner feelings and beauty of a Raga. Read On

Nireekshe - A School for Special Kids
Teaching a special child  needs special skills and a lot of patience. Moreover, it is not possible for any teachers to impart teaching to these children but they need to be specially trained. There are very few schools in Mysore city to provide such extra care. Nireekshe is one such school in city that has been in the forefront of providing education to special kids  making all possible efforts to make them lead normal lives. Nireekshe, a school for special children and slow learners was started by Hema Malini Krupakar with the sole intention of serving such children in and around Mysore. Now the school is run by Kripanidhi Foundation Trust. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: No Pain, No Gain
"Will my child be able to read and understand his lessons painlessly if I buy him the concentration enhancing goggles that are being advertised on TV." "Can the body armour that is shown there improve my child's posture and personality?" "Will I be able to get rid of all the spare tyres around my middle with the help of the vibrator belt that is being sold at all the exhibitions I visit?" "Will I be able to say good- bye to my diabetes and blood pressure if I start wearing the bracelet that is available by post?" I am writing this article because as a practicing doctor I am invariably asked questions like these by at least one patient every day. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Road Vs Tree
It s the Road Vs Tree debate again. To cut or not to cut. In the last couple of days, everyone from NGOs to government officers, to politicians have jumped on the issue of widening the Narasimharaja Boulevard. I would like to air my opinion too, considering that I travel on that road 4 times a day and have been doing so for the past 4 years. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: The Story of an Unborn  Report
Some political parties and some prominent men complained to the President of the country that religious conversions were going on in the country and asked him to intervene in the matter before the problem became serious. The President sent for sociologists, anthropologists and historians and asked their opinion in the matter. They showed him the census reports which were educative in character which had projection of population growth, poverty, sex ratio and other details. The President was happy and asked the concerned Minister to appoint an officer for this job. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Racism? We don t have it, but we have.....
Indian students in Australia have been targets of racism. But is it really racism or just a bunch of thugs taking advantage of the weak and the docile? Indian students have been harassed there for a while now. My brother who went to study in Australia came back after his first semester saying All they want is our money, not us . So why do students go to Australia and other countries to study in the first place? Is it because in our country also there is discrimination? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Centenary of Arthasastra s Publication
One fine morning in 1905, he picked up palm leaf manuscript from a heap. He examined this palm leaf and was pleasantly surprised to know that it was a work on Arthasastra or administration written by an author called Kautilya, Chanakya or Vishnugupta before the dawn of Christian era. Some people thought that it must have been a hoax: others looked at this with suspicion; but the introduction written by Shamasastry in 1909 giving the details of the author and its authenticity convinced that it was a genuine literary wonder of the ancient world. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Heroic Maratha Tarabai
Even her adversary Khafi Khan had a word of praise for Tarabai. She was the only lady capable of taking over 6 provinces of the Moghul Empire, a great feat indeed!  Another eye witness recorded: Marathas became dominant over the area because of Tarabai . Another Muslim historian wrote: The Maratha leaders and their troops with great confidence ushered in by Tarabai cowed Moghul commandos and inspired fear in them. At present Marathas move under her command showing no fear of any Moghul troops . Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Terrific  Signs
The incoming Bangalore - Mysore road is the road taken by almost every one who happens to visit our city and one can imagine what kind of confusion it may be causing to the visitors. Leaving aside the commoners like you and me, I wonder why no one from the Police top brass or the political bigwigs has noticed this situation. Is it because they move at such a fast pace, enjoying the immunity from traffic rules that their position offers, that they have no time to take in roadside trivia such as this? Read On

Pattabhi Jois: A Tribute
Jois considered yoga to be a form of mind medicine: Ashtanga yoga is helping many people throughout the world to balance the mental, physical and spiritual pressures and stresses posed by the modern world we live in today . Pattabhi Jois is the author of two books Yoga Mala  and Surya Namaskar . A book, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois: A Tribute , chronicling his introduction and lifetime dedication to yoga was published in 2002. As a tribute to his achievements, the Triyoga centre in Primrose Hill, North London, issued a statement saying: Guruji was much loved for his heart, his smile, his humour and his devotion, both to his family and to Ashtanga yoga . Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Indian influence on Tibet
Exactly fifty years ago, His Holiness Dalai Lama came to India in exile after the Chinese aggression of Tibet. From then on, the fourteenth religious leader of Tibet has been living in India hoping to get back to his motherland when the congenial atmosphere sets in there. Actually, Dalai Lama is not a personal name but it denotes the exalted position like Shankaracharya, Jeeyar, Jagadguru etc. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Subway Muddle
Only very recently I wrote about a book I read about successful Sikhs abroad, written by a much younger namesake of Khushwant Singh, one of our most well - known writers. Just a couple of days ago I picked up the latest offering of the real Khushwant Singh, the title of which seems to be co - incidentally in tune and in time with our election results. It is called Why I Supported the Emergency  and since our election results have been a very successful Italian Job , the book may sell and even gel well with the readers. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Return of the Yuvaraj
Sonia Gandhi took over the party in 1998, seven years after the death of Rajiv Gandhi. Since then, the Congress party has seen a steady rise in its fortunes in spite of the menacing drag and pull of the multi-layered and multi-faceted regional parties. No wonder the Congress party workers screamed, Our pride Mother India. Our guide Mother Sonia  and, of course now, they have brother  Rahul to add. So why did people vote for Congress? Was it Rahul s dimple or was it the charm of his handsome sister? Was it Rahul's massive campaigning and youth movement? Or was it just that the people are slowly getting tired of small regional parties whose only purpose seems to be that of splitting votes and blackmailing for plum portfolios while hindering development. Read On

K. Rathna: Mango has become dearer
Mango flowering begins usually towards the end of January but this time the flowering took place in November and the fruit ripened early. But unfortunately rains, fog, gusty winds and excessive atmospheric moisture affected the flowering, resulting in powdery mildew, a fungal disease affecting the flowers. This powder - like substance on the flowers prevents fruit formation and even if fruits are formed, they drop off early, resulting in less yield. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Pre  University Blues
As Prof. Ken Robinson says If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will not come up with anything original  This issue is global but in a PUC - crazy India it is worse. Oh! Yes our students are good. Our education makes them work hard but the question is, can it make us work smart? Will it make us innovators and entrepreneurs? No. So will PUC be a judge of your intelligence? No. Intelligence is dynamic and ever accumulating and growing. So for the smart ones who passed with flying colours, congratulations and for the ones who did badly or failed nothing to worry. There is a long way to go. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: The Manuscript that Frightened the British
It is said that he was not supplied the pen and ink to write and he used a pencil to do his writings. Thus he had prepared a huge number of white sheets using pencil only. He kept all these loose sheets close to him as they were precious to him. Thus legally it was his property in jail. As per the law he should have been allowed to take these pencil written sheets with him when he was released from jail. But it did not happen. The Jail Superintendent told Tilak that these sheets would be sent to him later. Any amount of argument with the jail authorities did not bear fruit. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Fine time to forgive and forget
The thing that has to be decided quickly is who to kick and whom to hug and for how much money, although most people with some knowledge of the way our politicians think say that it has all been already decided. It seems all our political parties have worked out all the possible strategies to adopt for all the eventualities that come up tomorrow. For them there will be no surprises but only possibilities with the surprises remaining only for us the voters. Tomorrow is going to be a unique day for all Indians. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Some thoughts on Shoes and Chappals
According to folk belief, beating a person with shoes or chappals brings bad luck to the beater and good luck to the beaten person. That is why the elders in the villages advise not to use chappals or shoe for beating even your enemy. We can verify the veracity of this belief if all these people beaten by chappals get good luck during the recently - concluded elections. Read On

S. Sharath Chandra: Mystic Musings of the Sadhguru
Everything that we see, hear and feel happens within us . It is the individual who comprehends the reality around him. The Sadhguru illustrated this with an example. If there were to be a debate between an owl and a man as to what is daylight, who would be right? To the owl which is awake in the night, the moon would appear like the bright sun, what the man sees in the day. When somebody in the audience cried that both could be right, the Sadhguru replied such an answer was given mostly by diplomats and those who had successful marriages!" Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Let s Pay Up
Government services are usually inefficient because most of us are corrupt. The bureaucrats want an ego massage or a cut, the politician wants to favour a particular contractor or get a cut and the citizens want it free or else they steal. Over 50 % of agriculture and domestic consumers in villages steal power through illegal connections. Commercial consumers also indulge in power theft, either by directly hooking up to overhead transmission lines or installing hi - tech remote controls directly to power meters. Meter tampering is another common method of pilfering. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Musings on our Elections
What has been called the Greatest Indian Show by many writers is finally over. But I call it the Greatest Indian Tamasha because it was a Tamasha and nothing more. A Tamasha is any show that is meant to delude and entertain the audience and that is exactly what our elections always have been doing ever since we started having them almost sixty years ago. It is wrong to say that the politicians who were the pioneers of our democracy, whom we all hold in high esteem as its pillars, were a class above our present ones. No, not at all. Most of them too were just as selfish, just as unpatriotic and just as evil as our present day ones. But the only difference was that the magnitude of corruption then was much smaller for the simple reason that they were not as bold and brazen as they are now. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Touchy!
Before I could finish my greeting, grabbed both my cheeks and pulled them outward like they were made of elastic. I squirmed in awkwardness and pain. She let go but before she left, she gave my cheeks a quick rub, like how doctors do after they have given a painful injection. The rest of the afternoon I stayed away from both the groom and his family. Instead I safely placed myself between my wife and a glass of whiskey. Soon I was feeling better and felt glad that the groom hadn t gone for my butt cheeks instead. Then suddenly I realised how babies and young children felt. Because babies and young children are the most touched and harassed creatures after pets in the world. Read On

P. Manivannan, District Election Officer and Deputy Commissioner, Mysore: Missing Voters: Let s Solve the Problem
The BLOs are normally primary school teachers, water man, bill collector etc. At that level they do not realise the importance of the roll completely. As we all know, quite a number of them are also inefficient, demotivated and do not take the job seriously. Thus deletions at times may not be genuine. One may ask, What are the senior officers doing? And why can t the system be devised in a way that it doesn t allow the subjectiveness of the BLO?  The answer is: The senior officers are so few (1 DC, and 12 senior officers to manage 21 lakh records, that too part time!). Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Manjayya Hegde: A Noble Savant
Karnataka has seen hundreds of Heggades in its long history who have been forgotten. However, the word continues even today as a popular personal name as a suffix. But when the word Heggade is uttered our mind goes to Dharmasthala, a great religious institution of the type of Vatican which is well-known all over the world. Thus the word Heggade and Dharmasthala are inseparable from ancient times. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Youngistan Meri Jaan
Yes, there are many youngsters who do not care about caste but more about their future, the nation s future, but there is also an equal measure of youngsters, if not more, who believe in the upliftment of their own caste. We pin too much hope on our youngsters, while berating the old brigade. Have you all ever wondered; every time there is a riot you don t see older people burning buses, do you? When Raj Thackeray moved to chase the Biharis we didn t see older people beating up innocent fruit-sellers, did we? Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Tantya Tope: Was he really hanged?
The British were unable to catch Tantya and this caused great resentment in the British circles. Hence they enacted a mock court martial and brought another freedom fighter Narayana Rao Bhagawat. His grandson still has a portrait of this man in his puja room. He states that Narayana Rao sacrificed himself so that Tantya could continue his work against the British. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Tragic end of An Officer and Gentleman 
He was no philosopher but he had put all his faith in the simple belief that in a civilised society all citizens should respect the law and anyone who refused to believe in this truth should be brought to book. His role along with that of his two colleagues, Dharmesh and Puttaswamy Gowda while they served on the Anti- Rowdy Squad in putting an end to the then prevailing Rowdy Raj  was most noteworthy. One hallmark about him was that he was most approachable by anyone in trouble and he would promptly look into the merits of every complaint, big or small, brought before him, following it up with prompt action. Read On

Azlan Shah Cup: Kannadiga Sunil shines despite Father s demise
Sunil received the tragic news through telephone. Already playing in the tourney, he was in a fix whether to rush back to India to participate in the last rites of his father or continue playing. Several players along with the team coach were learnt to have advised Sunil to get back to India. Initially, Sunil too felt he should return and pay his last respects to his dad. On a second thought, he strengthened his mind and preferred to play for the country and thus fulfill his father's ambition. Speaking to media on his arrival at Delhi along with the team, Sunil recalled that his father Vittalacharya gave him a lot of encouragement to play hockey. Playing the game and winning the trophy was paying a tribute to him, observed Sunil. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Nalanda Educated Tibetan Naropa
One night he was studying a Buddhist text in his monastery and suddenly a female voice accosted him and asked him, Can you read this text?  Naropa was astonished but calmly answered Yes, I can study . Again the female voice asked, Can you understand this text?  This time Naropa really got frightened but with composure replied, Yes, I can understand . The female voice laughed and said Your answer to the first question was true; but your reply to the second question was false. Without the guidance of a Guru you cannot understand any Buddhist text . Naropa felt sorry and remembered his teacher at Nalanda who had asked him to take guidance at the feet of Guru. Read On

Ashvini Ranjan: Swiss Bank deposits our men in white
In this struggle for power no holds are barred. Be it tearing people apart on the grounds of caste and religion or dragging one s reputation into dirt. The latest addition to the arsenal of catching eyeballs is moral policing in the name of championing the sanctity of a religion. This includes beating up of women or breaking up of an evening party and throwing innocent revelers into jails. Anything to create an identity that will win votes. Call them the Indian chapter of the notorious Taliban and the Al Qaeda? Securing a ticket through a recognized party is half the battle won or even more. The other half can be won with the monies stashed away in the Swiss Banks. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Sole for the Soulless
It is said that "The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr." But when the ruling class has lost its sense of guilt, shame, conscience and soul, does the pen really wield that much power and is the martyr s blood still sacred? Though the behavior of Jarnail Singh was wrong, it turned out his shoe finally did what his pen could not. In frustration he gave a little sole to the soulless political clan. Oh! On the down side, thanks to our new flinging Sikh , we journalists just might have to leave our footwear outside when attending a press conference. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Festivals and Holidays Galore
While this kind of inter-faith interaction may even serve a very important purpose in bringing us all together across the self - imposed divide of hate and mistrust that have become the bane of our society today, I think we Indians are wasting too many precious man - hours or more rightly, person - hours  by having perhaps the highest number of official holidays in our calendar. I do not know of any other country which has as many holidays as we have. Read On

Board Games
Playing games is for everybody. When it comes to board games, however, aged people favour them more because they need less physical and more mental exercise. Yet, the age-old board games, once famous among kings and poor alike, are now being liked by kids also for their ingenuity and thrill of using mind power. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Human Sacrifices and Dams
Human sacrifice is an ancient practice that was in vogue all over the ancient world. It is said that when Stone Age man understood the principles of black magic, he resorted to human sacrifice stealthily so that he could get plenty of animals for his hunting. As soon as various religious practices developed, animals and human sacrifice became a part of the social order. Their main aim was to propitiate Gods and Goddess for fulfilling their wishes individually or in groups. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Saving Lingambudhi Lake
This lake which certainly was the largest of the five lakes that were once an integral part of our city has been much vandalized in recent times. Much construction activity, both legal and illegal, has encroached upon its borders, blocking its natural springs and feeder channels and, therefore, from a huge perennial lake it has now only become a seasonal one. This lake which had been nurtured over time immemorial by our rulers and their subjects alike, once served a very important irrigation purpose for the vast tracts of fertile agricultural lands around it. Read On

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Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: A Poor Girl Who became a Queen
Mythology and folk tales describe poor women becoming queens by a magic wand or the blessings of a god or a goddess. Such things are very rare in real life. Ahalya Bai becoming a distinguished queen is a good example to this phenomenon. Ahalyabai was born in 1725 in village Chondi in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. Her father Manek Shinde was a village headman with a meagre income. Though Ahalya was not permitted to go to school, she began to read and write from her father secretly. She was helping her mother in domestic work like bringing water from well or washing clothes etc. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Waist  Ing Away
I have officially become an uncle as my cousins are all having kids; but what made the uncle  term hurtful was when my 25  year - old cousin s friend called me uncle! I thought she was just teasing and while everyone was laughing at it, consoled myself by saying that she called me uncle out of respect. After all, in India everyone older than us becomes either our uncle or aunty. But then last week in Bangalore, I met an old junior and she said, Oh Vikram, you look like an, I mean you look married . I immediately knew she was actually going for look like an uncle , but then chose look married , so as not to hurt my feelings. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Burning Problem
Driving around in the vicinity of the area late at night and early in the mornings, I used to frequently find thick black smoke billowing out of the bus depot premises from the heaps of burning rubber. It is strange and lamentable too that the residents of the area never thought of complaining to the Corporation authorities or even of raising the issue through letters in newspapers although many people confessed to me that life had become miserable due to the problem. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Pollibetta  Born British War Hero
Immediately, he took his aircraft and guns and started the air attack. The German bomber was firing at Robinson but he tried to escape by gaining or losing height in the sky. Finally, at about 2. 30 am, Robinson shot at the German bomber, which exploded in the air and people saw the whole sky had turned red because of the flame. Thus the first German bomber was destroyed by Robinson, the lad of Pollibetta. This was a great disappointment to the Germans for it was believed that Zeppie bomber could never be destroyed by an ordinary weapon being used by the British. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Black & White: Basking in reflected glory
Soon the media began a systematic mental indoctrination to celebrate Sunita Williams' space odyssey. Indeed Sunita Williams must be appreciated for her work but it seemed people were celebrating because of her Indian name Sunita  rather than her achievements. There were young Indian girls looking into news cameras and saying We are praying for Sunita didi . Sunita Williams had become Sunita didi  in just a matter of weeks. Sunita doesn't look Indian, she doesn't speak any Indian language, she is not married to an Indian, she had never visited India before, yet we so easily made her our beloved didi . If anything, Sunita Williams is a caucasian, all - American gal! Poor Rakesh Sharma, our very own astronaut, was never referred to as Rakesh mama . Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Playing Cricket with Pakistan
With the recent incident of Sri Lankan cricket players being fired upon while on a goodwill tour there, Pakistan certainly seems hell bent on holding on to its reputation of being a rogue State. While as a State it will leave no stone unturned as usual, to give all kinds of plausible and impossible excuses to absolve itself of the guilt, Pakistanis should realise that the way they are conducting themselves is most shameful and not conducive to a good international reputation. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Bangle  Seller turned Saint
Sri Nareyana Yogi became famous in the area as a perfomer of miracles. Stories of turning the stone into sugar candy, giving hot jaggery, travelling to Tirupati and returning from there within minutes, gift of eyes to Mallayya, causing rains at Vadigenahalli etc., are quite popular in folk form in the area of Kaiwara. Sri Nareyana Yogi was a great composer in Telugu and wrote many books of verses like Narayana Sataka, Brahmananda Kavi Sataka, Brahamandapuri Sataka, Taraka Brahmananda Sataka, Krishnacharita Yogasara etc. His well known work is Kalajnana. Read On

Jai Ho  Vijay Prakash goes down memory lane
"There are innumerable memories of Mysore that will remain evergreen in my mind. Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hill, St. Thomas School in which I studied, JSS College and many more. All are great places. Mysore Masale Dose, Masalapuri sold near Sterling Talkies, the solemnity of Chamundivana, the sweetness of Mysore Pak, and scores of other delicacies continue to captivate my thoughts. It is a heavenly feeling to ride a mobike and go round the city. I can never take away the city off my mind. No other activity is dearer to me than to savour the delicacies of my city. Oh! the hot and fresh Masale Dosa of Gayathri Tiffin Room in Chamundipuram ", he recalled. Read On

... And the Oscars go to &.. Why a Slum Dog ?
And Bang! In the midst of all this joyous hoopla, I didn t even think twice about the name. As soon as someone said "Slumdog," the contrary image of Rehman winning the Golden Globe and two Oscars floated across. Therefore, it came as a surprise to me that there was somebody terribly bothered and unhappy about the name "Slumdog Millionaire." But someone certainly is; to the extent that he has registered a case against all the Indians associated with the film. "Why did Danny Boyle call the film Slumdog Millionaire? It s the most humiliating and offensive name on earth. It sounds most derogatory! Is Danny Boyle s a case of some long lost British dream of Colonial India?" Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: False Case against Aurobindo
A secret and underground group of freedom fighters met secretly and took a decision to kill the British Judge of Muzafarpur by name Kingsford who hated Indians and was awarding hard punishments disproportionate to the petty offences committed by the Indians. It is said that he had taken a vow to eliminate his district from the menace of the freedom fighters whom he always referred to as traitors. Thus the freedom fighters had every reason to hate this British judge and unable to bear his atrocities in the name of justice they thought of killing him. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Recession - Let s get thrifty
Many have just started a family and their life revolves around EMIs right from their house to their washing machine. But then we don t have to feel bad for the arrogant grasshoppers of the tech age; the ones that over - spent and over - indulged. Many may defend this as beneficial to the economy. Yet every party has to end at some point. Management guru Professor Lynda Gratton rightly said, We should train all our executives to understand the nature of recession. Young kids today don t understand; they only understand growth. We should help organisations to rehearse the downside on a much more frequent basis . Read On

Veene Sheshanna: A Legend
There are many anecdotes associated with his caliber and his playing skill. Once it appears that many veterans like Tirukkodikaval Krishna Iyer, Sharabha Shastri, Mahavaidyanatha Iyer, Ghanam Raghavaiah, Srivallipudur Muthaiah Bhagavatar and Seshanna chanced to stay at the residence of Tanjore Krishna Swamy Nayakar. Not to miss a chance of listening to so many veterans at the same time, Nayakar organised a musical programme and placed a precious ring to be presented to the best performer. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Folk tale behind Omkareshwara Temple
Perhaps there is no temple worth the name which does not have the support of folk tales. In most cases they are referred to as Kshetra Mahatmya. Though historians do not accept these stories as facts, they are so strongly intertwined with our tradition and culture; people do not hesitate to give them almost the same status as that of mythology. Madikeri is famous for Omkareshwara temple. It attracts not only local people but also visitors in limited numbers. Its architecture itself is unique as it is built in Islamic style with a central dome and four minarettes and a tank in front which has a small mantapa in the middle. Read On

Save Elephants
Elephants are the largest terrestrial animals on earth. They are the most loved animals in the world. They are regarded as a very social, emotional and intelligent group. Baby elephants are especially affable and adorable. Asian cultures represent elephant as a symbol of "wisdom," especially for their memory and intelligence. India is home to over half of Asia's elephants. In the past, the forests of India literally teemed with elephants. They have played an important role in the country's history and cultural heritage and remain revered today. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Five Star Fiascos
Contrary to what we naturally expect for having paid for them through our noses, it is indeed true that some five star experiences can turn out to be memorable for their bitterness rather than for their pleasantness. This holds good to the comforts or the unique but very real discomforts of staying there and also to their exclusive cuisine. Although having travelled a lot, I will comment on the travails of staying there at some other time and restrict myself to the vagaries of their cuisine here. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Love? Oh! No
If the Rama Sene has a problem with Valentine s Day being akin to Christian culture, then may be they must start a Hindu version of it and what better than a day to celebrate love named after the great mediator between lovers in the Hindu pantheon, Manmatha (churner of hearts)? He is represented as a young and handsome man who wields a bow and arrow and rides on a beautiful parrot. His bow is made of sugarcane and his bow string is made of honeybees, his arrows are decorated with five kinds of fragrant flowers. Maybe the BJP government should introduce a Manmatha Dina  or Manmatha Day , where instead of roses they can encourage the exchange of jasmine flowers. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Second dose of the best medicine
I hope my readers will relish this second dose of my medicine and find it invigorating. Hopefully, like the proverbial apple, a laugh a day too may keep the doctor away! So, here are a few more rib - tickling incidents from a doctor s black bag, which although once as much a symbol of our art as the stethoscope, has now almost become extinct along with our house visits. Read On

Maj. Gen. S. G. Vombatkere: India at the Crossroads
A demoralized or fractious military denied the right to free speech, cannot be in the best interests of the nation. Restoring the izzat of the military and providing faujis at various levels salary commensurate with their onerous duties on a consultative basis appears to be possibly the most important and urgent step that government needs to take at this juncture, to rejuvenate its instrument of last resort. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Memories of Hundred Feet Road, Mysore
In fact, 100  ft - Road was the most prestigious in Mysore after Sayyaji Rao Road. The story goes that one day the Maharaja was passing through this road along with the Deputy Commissioner and the latter explained that the road looks almost like hundred feet after its repair. The magic word hundred (Satamana) seemed attractive to the Maharaja and he exclaimed Why not call it 100  ft  Road?  Thus the name struck. Read On

Culture Vultures
Today every one of us is screaming, India shining!  This is a very ignorant, arrogant, pompous and misdirected phrase. India is shining yes indeed, if you are on the bright side of that famous line, the Below Poverty Line. Let us not forget a nation does not shine because of its gold and riches but because of its people s happiness. So now we ask how many Indians today are happy and smiling to make this nation shine. So, for the people who are harping on our culture  on the stupid premise of pub culture and jeans pants, you are losing track of priorities. There are more important issues at hand. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Now, Baby  Sitting  for Grandpa and Grandma
Some time ago I asked an elderly but a highly educated and very well  to - do man coming to me with complications of uncontrolled diabetes and the associated depression, why he was not able to comply with my instructions about his medications and follow-up visits. After a moment of introspection he looked deep into my eyes with a sad smile and said, "Doctor, my problem is not something your medicines can treat. It is far beyond their reach. My problem is of dear ones not being near and near ones not being dear." Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: When Sir Jennings criticised our Constitution
Sir Alladi Krishnaswami was another Constitution expert who was always consulted on matters of Constitution by the Judges, Ministers and administrators. An endowment was established on Alladi's 60th birthday and it invited Sir Ivor Jennings to deliver three lectures titled Some characteristics of Indian Constitution . He accepted the invitation and delivered these lectures. Read On

Ashwini Ranjan: Economic Slowdown: Steps to soften the blow
The effects and the extent of global recession on industries in Mysore come as a shock. About 50 % of 22,000 industries being closed and 30,000 jobless is a serious situation. If this be true of a class two city, one can imagine the country as a whole. It does not augur well as many business pundits are of the opinion that 2009 will not see the situation getting any better. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Showcasing our vintage wares
Although I surmised that it was some kind of an industrial measuring instrument, it was only when I took it home with me and searched the internet that I found that it was a mathematical calculator from the pre - electronic era, manufactured in England sometime in the early twenties. Once I downloaded its operation manual, I was amazed at the ease with which it could per- form complex calculations, even involving decimals. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Cheers &.
To all the people who say that pub  is not part of our culture, you are wrong. May be it was not called a pub  but during the period of great rulers such as Chandragupta Maurya and even the Mughals, there were public houses that served alcohol. They also had proper regulations in place to monitor these taverns. The governments now don t have able administrators. So they say pub culture  is not our culture and so ban it. It is not the right attitude to have in an ever - changing modern world to ban anything just because you are not competent enough to regulate it. It s like announcing a curfew in a city after 8 pm just because the Police cannot handle the traffic.
Read On

T. J. S. George: Obama: Do we expect too much?
We can almost say that he has assumed office not as President of the United States of America but as President of the United States of the World. This is risky for him. When expectations are so high and so many can any human being meet them? When the world is in such a complicated mess, can any one person solve even half its problems? When hopes are too high, disappointments come too fast. Will the world's honeymoon with this new kind of leader prove to be just that a honeymoon? Read On

Sujata Rajpal: Global Recession: Make the best of it!
The moot point is how employees can pitch in to enable the rough weathers to pass off without any turbulence. How they should react to this? One thing is crystal clear that we can no longer take our job for granted irrespective of our experience and loyalty to the company. We need to question: How I as an employee can add value to my job . Read On

When Lives are Ruined
I was born into a family of musicians and State awardees. I was a good son and never failed my parents' expectations. I was and still am a good musician. I drank occasionally at first for some years and it was nothing serious. Then I started drinking more and more. I believed my intelligence and the capacity to carry out any job increased when I drank more. I thought I could give good music when I drank. At first it seemed so. I even wanted others to drink like me so that they can improve their intelligence and working abilities like me. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Stained and Pierced
Last week I had mentioned about my tattoos and how my parents didn't react believing that their son would never do such a thing and thought that I was only joking. But I believing that my parents were cool, went and quenched my long time curiosity about earrings. I got my ears pierced. But for my bad luck, my aunt from Texas landed with her family two days later. Suddenly, I was a bad example for the younger cousins. Read On

An Astrologer s Interpretation: Solar Eclipse on January 26
It is popularly believed that eclipse always gives negative effects. However, that is not true. Eclipse points are in essence "energy junctions." Whether the energy is manifested positively or negatively depends on the position of the ascendant and other planets with reference to the eclipse point.
Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Surapura Venkatappa s Murder?
The hunter community normally considered as an uncivilised tribe rising to the position of the rulers of Surapura province is a brilliant chapter in the history of Karnataka. Surapura is the headquarter town of Surapura taluk in Gulbarga district. The hunters of Surapura (Bedas) formed a principality of their own and had political relations with rulers of Vijayanagara, Chandabibi, Sultans of Bijapur, Aurangazeb, Marathas, Nizam, Hyder, Tipu and finally with the British, who eliminated them by foul means. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Only some solace for doctors
Even the question of why the medical fraternity alone should enjoy the protection of a special Bill has an answer. It is only in the medical profession in which unlike in any other, one works in a tricky situation, which demands a very delicate balancing act between what is expected by pained and anxious human beings and what is humanly possible. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Defeating Death on our Roads
Our present fines and penalties which are just a pittance are simply incapable of deterring either the errant parents or their incorrigible kids. What difference does it make to an errant youngster as long as he can shell out a couple of hundred rupees for his offence and ride away unhindered on the same bike for which his dad has so readily paid a fortune? Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: School Children in Freedom Struggle
Though educationists normally do not encourage school children taking part in political agitations, this advice is not taken seriously. In any agitation of political or social nature, the school children are made to take part in it as if they are directly and immediately affected by the agitation. Because that is the easiest way to get a good crowd and get maximum sympathy from the public. Read On

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Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: An evening in soft focus with T. S. Satyan
Being a world class photographer and photo - journalist, richly honoured all through his long professional career, although T. S. Satyan needs no introduction, I feel a few words of how I got introduced to him would be in order. My first exposure to him was way back in the late sixties when I was in high school. I used to be among the few boys who would arrive at the school well before the first bell every day. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Vande Mataram Vs Janaganamana
From these comments it was taken for granted that the song Vandemataram of thirty years' standing would automatically be elevated to the status of the national anthem. But things changed suddenly because of the opposition of the Muslim League to accept Vandemataram as the national anthem. They felt that this song represents Goddess Durga in whose honour the song was composed and does not represent India as Hindus claimed. Hence on religious grounds, they objected to this song. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: Sounds of Silence
Do we ever see a tiger roar every time he licks his cubs? Do we ever see an elephant trumpeting every time she caresses her calf? No we don't, it's just us humans who give our kids an early start in senseless vocal modulation. What is even worse is I have seen parents make that silly low - toned hissing noise like perturbed snakes that Sssss Sssssss  sound to encourage their children to urinate. What is this habit? Does it ever occur to these parents that may be the child finds this noise irritating and may be the baby urinates just so you will stop? Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Homage to Hanuman
Even Sri Rama has expressed his indebtedness to Hanuman for the services rendered by him. Sita was more vocal: You will be worshipped all over the country; People will carve your images and worship them in villages, hamlets, towns, forests, mountains, river banks and gardens. By worshipping you they will get rid of all obstacles and evil spirits.  This benediction of Sita Devi has come true as we have thousands of temples where Hanuman is worshipped. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: A Bloodied Chessboard
It said Let s not worry too much about those who came by boats. Our security forces can take care of them as we have seen. Now let us worry about those who come by our votes as they are our nation s real enemies . The two Thackeray tigers by carefully remaining unseen and unheard all through the crisis and even after, have proved beyond the shadow of any doubt what we had suspected all along?... that they are only made of plain paper and yellow paint. It was plain that they were trying to avoid drawing the attention of any of the terror groups to their own existence. Read On

Maj. Gen. C. K. Karumbaya: A War Record - All for a bottle of Scotch?!
It was a proud moment for our Bn. 5 Maratha L.I (Fifth Royal) when our GOC Maj. Gen. M. S. Brar, PVSM, presented us a bottle of Scotch whisky, which he had promised during the height of the Bangladesh Liberation War. The occasion was the gala victory dinner for the officers of 4 Mtn Div (Red Eagle Division) at Jessore cantonment. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: IAS, the steel frame
In recent days, scathing attack is being made on the officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) by elected representatives including Ministers. Prof. D. Javare Gowda (Dejagow) has published a fine essay on these officers, which shows them in poor light. It is not our intention here to argue for or against these opinions. In fact in every field of our activity, whether it is administration, education, engineering, medicine or even religion, there are bound to be black sheep. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Balck & White: Mumbai Terror: After thoughts
While the icons of Mumbai were burning, while scores of people were being killed, while 100s of Police officers were toiling and while millions of people were watching in disbelief at the havoc, there was another group of misguided youth causing their own type of damage. As I was still reeling in shock and anger watching the telecast of the Mumbai massacre, I saw something on TV that disturbed me even more. I was so disturbed of what I saw that for a split second I was embarrassed to be an Indian. Well, if you saw what I saw, I m sure you would have too.
Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: African Natives in Karnataka
Anthropologists have been studying the physical and cultural traits of these rare tribes. Some of these tribes are living in Karnataka also in some isolated areas in Kodagu, north Karnataka, interior Malnad etc. The Jenu Kurubas, Soligas, Billavas, Badagas etc are some of the well - known tribes in Karnataka. Anthropologists have used such jargons as pre - Dravidian, Negrito, Austroloid etc to describe some of them which are technical and not much of interest to common readers. Read On

Shwetha Pangannaya: Are there any lesser humans?
Some years ago, I used to teach a few children in my grandparents  house in a small village in Dakshina Kannada. They used to skip school and go to work around the village. But they did not dare to skip my classes because my mother would scold their parents. But after sometime, they stopped coming to me too. I went to their houses and asked the reason. Their parents said they had gone to collect firewood and that they will not come to classes again. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Tackling Terror with tact and commonsense
The only way to set things right is to set our fences right and the time to do it is now. The gun in the soldier s hand should only be a deterrent to the misguided. It should never become the only source of our peace. Dialogue and not just the willingness to die for a cause is the key to winning any war. Commonsense can win where even intelligence fails. Read On

Vikram Muthanna in Balck & White: For the Sins of a few
When we vote, we need to vote as Indians; not as a Lingayat, a Gowda, a Christian or as a Muslim, but as Indians who are preparing this nation for our children. Today we have problems all over the nation, Islamic terrorists in Kashmir, Hindu terrorists in Assam, Sikh terrorists in Punjab and Christian terrorists in Nagaland. But one cannot blame the whole community for the sins of a few. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Nandi in Indian Tradition
With the introduction of mythology, he was elevated to the position of Nandi, the vehicle or the vahana of Shiva. There is a unique story regarding his birth. Actually he was found when the sage Silada was digging the ground for sacrifice. Siva was pleased by his penance and gave him Nandi and made him the chief of the ganas. Thus he was obliged by Shiva by making him his Vahana. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Vanishing values and fading stars
Until a few years ago, the twinkling stars that adorn the night sky used to be readily visible to everyone who decided to just look up. Today, due to intensely bright city lights, it is sad that this simple pleasure is being denied to us city - dwellers and especially our kids as an unfortunate consequence of the progress we all clamour for so eagerly.
Read On

Vikram Muthanna: NARCO  Test, Not the Best
The logic is that a person in his semi - conscious state cannot manipulate the truth and hence ends up speaking the truth. If this is the case, then I know many people who have told me the truth about themselves and their deeds after a few pegs of whiskey but I have also met many more who have told me tall tales about their adventures with famous actresses and their financial prowess, once again thanks to the truth serum  whiskey. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Mangalore, the Home of Khaki?
As soon as we hear the word Khaki, also written as kaki, our mind immediately remembers the Police right from the Constable to the Director General. Nowadays, women Police use khaki sarees. Thus khaki has become universal in the country for our Police. Read On

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Roopika Muthanna: Adventure of riding a tiger: White Tiger
If there were any chance of my losing interest in this book as I so often do with books these days? Such thoughts were quelled within the first 40 pages when Balram mentions that he murdered his boss. But, of course, he will tell us more about it later. Who wouldn't be compelled to read further? Read On

Now Mudra Therapy for Your Maladies!
Here is good health without medicines! Shocked? Surprised? Fooled? Well, in these days of wealth and prosperity with its collateral damage to our health and the ever-increasing number of hi - tech hospitals and specialist doctors to help us with our health, at an enormous cost, who will not welcome if good health is available without medicines. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Highways, Low  Ways and No - Ways
I am just back from a whirlwind, week - long road - tour of North Karnataka in a wide loop covering Bellary, Raichur, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Belgaum and Dharwad Districts. That was the reason why this column went missing last Friday, although I am not too sure if any of the readers noticed it. I would be flattered if they did. I do not write on the go. At least, not yet, although I may learn to do it sometime soon. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Baba Saheb, the King of Naragunda
He was the king of Naragunda from 1842 to 1858. He had a son who unfortunately died when he was young and from then on, started his problems and troubles. In fact, this became a turning point in his career and made him a freedom fighter. Read On

Vikram Muthanna: A Night at the Circus
The first thing that came to my mind was Raj Thackeray and then I got a headache, like I always do when irrational and irresponsible people come to mind. Raj Thackeray came to my mind because he is the architect of what is going on in Mumbai these days, a circus, metaphorically speaking that is. Years ago, his Uncle had also started a circus, only back then it was against the South Indians, the Madrasis  or the lungiwallas  as he called them and his nephew Raj has now started a New Bombay Circus, albeit targeting the North Indians. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: The Glory of Karnataka
The arrival of November brings great enthusiasm among the Kannada speaking people of Karnataka of all sorts, hues and political leanings. Right from the common man to the highly placed persons, an unusual love and respect to the land, water and language of Karnataka are shown. Thousands of functions take place, hours and hours of speeches are made and music and dance flow in the land. The mantra of Kannada and Karnataka are repeated like Sahasranama. All this jubilation fades away gradually. Read On

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Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Limited Time, Unlimited Elation
A very well - known and time - tested proverb says that we should never promise anyone anything in a moment of great joy or elation. Our exuberant and energetic lady district in - charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje seems to be doing just what the proverb warns us all not to do. Among the many changes that she enthusiastically wants to usher in, she has very recently stated that she will ensure that our fast expanding city will be slum - free, not in five or even ten years but by next Dasara. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Let us be Indians in India first
Can all Kannadigas irrespective of their qualifications and aspirations remain content within the confines of our State alone? If other States and countries were to resist the entry of Kannadigas in a reciprocal attitude of intolerance, would we be able to cash in on the opportunities that we so eagerly seek outside our State? Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Is our Dasara only for Kannadigas?
When we are talking of a world famous Dasara, let us do it in a language the world understands. As a Kannadiga I am asking this question just after Jumboo Savari, the grand finale of Dasara, the biggest and certainly the grandest event associated with the city of Mysore. Dasara is celebrated in our city spending crores of rupees each year and the reason why we spend so much money and put in so much of collective effort is only to make the event as grand and as attractive to the guests we want to attract.
Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Mahishamardhini in Stone
That this tradition is being continued even today is attested by the panchaloha image of Durgi now taken in procession on Vijayadashami Day. It was sculpted by Srinivasachar and Janardhan Murthy of this city in 1989. It is in Hoysala tradition. This is the strength of our ancient tradition. Read On

Nandini Srinivasan: Woes of Tongawallahs, our Unofficial Tourist Guides
The wagon rests in winter, the sleigh in summer, the horse never, says an Yiddish proverb. Back in our Royal city, it s not just the horses but also the tongawallahs who depend on these horses and their carriages who don t rest. For, if they take rest, they and their families have to go without food. Mysore Tonga, the principal mode of transport in erstwhile Mysore and one of the most important heritage symbols of the Royal city, is struggling to make its presence felt amidst its more faster and motorised competitor, the auto rickshaw. Read On

EX  Dasara Special Officer goes down memory Lane
It was in 1986 that K. Vijaya Kumar was appointed Special Dasara Officer much to his surprise as there was very little time left for preparations. Due to drought situation, the opposition parties opposed the Dasara celebrations arguing that a huge sum (Rs. 25 lakh) of money should not be squandered in the name of Dasara. In this exclusive article, Vijaya Kumar recalls those difficult days. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: JAWA: Vintage Heart  Throbs of Mysore
I may not be wrong if I say that without any exceptions whatsoever, a motorcycle is every boy s favourite fascination and heart-throb. It still remains mine too since, at heart, I still feel like a boy although my wife dissuades me from owning one on the plea that it is rather unsafe to ride one today considering the dangerous traffic conditions. Read On

Prof. A.V. Narasimha Murthy: Dasara 500 Years Ago
Persian traveller, Abdul Razzak who was invited to witness Dasara festival during 1442 - 43 AD, by Vijayanagara emperor Devaraya II. This is how he has described Dasara of that year which he saw: "The infidels of this country who are endowed with power are fond of displaying their pride, pomp, power and glory in holding every year a stately and magnificent festival which they call Mahanavami." Read On

Dr. N. N. Prahlada: World Teachers  Day
Every day, in millions of classrooms around the world, the universal endeavour of teaching and learning takes place. The gift of literacy is passed on from one generation to the next, along with a love of learning and thirst for knowledge. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Building Bridges across troubled waters
Conversions have been a part of every religion without any exception. Our world famous Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebid which we all proudly present as one of the best examples of our rich culture was in fact built to commemorate king Vishnuvardhana s conversion from Jainism to Hinduism in the 12th century. But it does not provoke any resentment in our hearts whatsoever. Read On

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Indians succeed abroad, But fail in India: Why?
The lack of transparent rules, properly enforced, is a major reason why talented Indians cannot rise in India. A second reason is the neta-babu raj, which remains intact despite supposed liberalisation. But once talented Indians go to rule - based societies in the west, they take off. In those societies, all people play by the same rules, all have freedom to innovate without being strangled by regulations. This, then, is why Indians succeed in countries ruled by whites, and fail in their own. It is the saddest story of the century. Read On

Chandrayaan: Bold Endeavour to Moon
We should be really proud to have world famous scientists in our country. This persistent and bonafide venture will invariably be grand success. India will become second to none if this pragmatic endeavour is successful. The legitimacy and certain features of our natural satellite are still to be explored.
Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Karnataka, the Land of Gold
Dasara of ancient and medieval periods provided an opportunity for the kings and queens to exhibit their treasury of gold. This attracted the attention of the invaders who mercilessly looted the treasures of the gold-loving kings and took away their wealth including the gold of the temples. But today, gold has become prohibitively expensive. The present day Dasara glitters not with gold but by electric lights which we admire. Read On

His Highness Sri Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar
There was no sense of pride or superiority. His inborn grace and unassuming dignity endeared him to all. He had a profound desire to raise the general condition of the country and the status of women. Knowledge obtained, by wide travel tended to purify and sharpen his perception of the Indian trouble. His speeches bear witness to his throbbing love for India and intense loyalty to civilised values. Read On

S. G. Vombatkere: Conversions, Lawlessness and the State
If a chronically hungry person is offered food, if a socially despised person is treated with decency or if a poor person is offered medical treatment, only a very exceptional person may question the source of the help. Most will begin to bond with the helper. It is facile to argue that Christians should not offer food to a hungry man, treat a social outcaste with decency. If a poor man's own society and his own government do nothing for him when he needs it, can a helper be blamed for helping? Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Bridges across Time
Someone, somewhere, high up on the bureaucratic ladder, seems to have realised just in time that a tiny bit of our heritage is inextricably linked to this no longer useful but yet unique structure, whose origin is so humble that the details of its construction have perhaps been irretrievably lost in the mists of time. Read On

Ajith Pai: Antarctica: The Coldest Place on Earth
During the many landings, we were fortunate to come in close proximity with many of the wild life species of Antarctica. It was astonishing to watch the abundant variety of penguins and seals that were moulting and getting ready for yet another winter, completely oblivious to our presence. We had strict rules on keeping a physical distance from all these animals and that nothing could be left on or brought back from the Continent. Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: The Backward March of Mysore
While accountability of public funds has never been the forte of our politicians and bureaucrats all over the country in recent times, this lacuna seems to take the cake in Mysore during Dasara. Dark and evil over enthusiasm to make a fast buck seems to be the mantra of every one vested with some power during the brief Dasara, which strangely is supposed to be a celebration of the victory of good over evil. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: People s victory at Junagadh
The British did not like to go out of this country and hence went on giving frivolous reasons to continue to rule over India which they thought was a prerogative ordained by the God himself. Nobody knows who that God was! Read On

Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem: Understanding the Spirit of Ramzan
It is also meant to help a person to develop tolerance and self-control. It is therefore meant to be a means of building up spiritual self - discipline and self-purification. Allah says in the Koran, O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you; that you will perhaps guard yourselves (against evil)  Read On

A Super KSRTC Bus Driver
Just a few days back, while on my morning walk, an old man wearing a monkey cap greeted me very humbly as I walked past him. Soon I perceived that he was keen to talk to me as well. So I looked back and found him following me hesitantly with the intention of talking to me. I obliged. To my utter surprise, I recognised him as the one who used to come to my office in Saraswathipuram in the 80s Read On

K Rathna: Onam
It is celebrated to commemorate the homecoming of King Mahabali, considered as a beloved ruler. Onam recalls the sacrifice of the great king, his devotion towards God, humbling of his pride and his final redemption. The name Mahabali means Great Sacrifice . Onam was recognised as the Main Regional Festival of Kerala in 1961. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Impact of Lord Krishna
From time immemorial (Dwapara Yuga according to tradition), Lord Sri Krishna has been inspiring and guiding lakhs of Hindus. He lived the life of an ideal human being dedicated to Dharma and gave to the world the universal song of life, Bhagavadgita. Read On

Dr. Javeed Nayeem: Pedaling Backwards?
I have so far not seen a single Traffic Police officer reprimanding a bus driver even for any of his most dangerous transgressions let alone successfully stopping and booking him for the offence. And ironically it is the same cops who are so duty- conscious and unforgiving when it comes to stopping helmet-less two-wheeler riders, who while imperiling their own lives, pose no danger whatsoever to other road users. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Two distinguished foreign Kings
During the early centuries of the Christian era, many foreign dynasties came to India and tried their luck in establishing small kingdoms in parts of North India. Most of them could flourish only for some decades. But what is important is that most of them were attracted towards Indian culture and thus they became champions of Indian religion and way of life. Read On

Are you buying an apartment?
Are you buying an apartment? Then read this and know all that you always wanted to know The Karnataka Ownership Flats (Regulation of the Promotion of Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act, 1972 - KOFA deals with most of the problems apartment owners face with promoters of the buildings or neighbouring apartment owners. Read On

Partial Lunar Eclipse
On August 17, it is possible to comprehend the genuine essence of astronomy and sky - watching by witnessing Partial Lunar Eclipse. Indians are really privileged to witness Partial Lunar Eclipse visible on August 17, since it is visible from all parts of India. An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when one celestial object moves into the shadow of another. Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: A Royal Cook: Ramakrishna Sastri
Royal cooks are mentioned in our ancient records which are at least 1,200 years old. In our inscriptions, they are referred to as Banasavergade. Actually, he is an officer working directly under the King looking after the cooking of the Palace. As poison could be mixed with the food easily, Kautilya prescribes special rules and regulations for the selection and appointment of royal cooks. Read On

Dr. Javeed Nayeem: A Mockery of Indian Cookery
Anyway, last night I decided to sit through for a while and watch the show that was about to begin. This was not because I had nothing better to do but because although not a food in the true sense of the word, I have a strong fascination for the evolutionary history of food. Read On

The number theory: Superstition or blind belief?
It is such beliefs which sustain man and his life in this world, including the belief that someone above us controls our all activities. Long live our beliefs. One such belief is the Number Theory belief. Read On

Save the Karanji Lake
I have seen Hussain Sagar Lake. It is more of an amusement centre with toy trains, power boating, water play area and other such entertainments. Whereas Karanji Lake is an ecosystem by itself. It is very ideally located without much human traffic. Read On

TB Awareness is the need of the hour
A TB patient should take medicines for at least 6 to 8 months, but more than one - third of the patients discontinue the treatment when they feel better or they may forget to take their medicines. Once they do this, the patients may fall sick again Read On

Prof. A. V. Narasimha Murthy: Javanese King Erlanga: An incarnation of Vishnu
According to tradition, Ajishaka, who was a minister under the Pandavas at Hastinapura for the first time went to Java and taught them the elements of civilisation. In course of time people from Andhra and Karnataka went to Java and made this island a great center of Hindu culture. When Chinese traveller Fahien visited Java in about 400 AD, he noticed Vedic Hinduism occupying an important position there. Read On

Dr. Javeed Nayeem: Saving our dying lakes
Being almost as large as the Kukkarahalli Lake, it used to serve as the main water body of the city in addition to irrigating the agricultural lands lying to the south of it. The very ornate water- gate tower that still stands at its extreme southern end bears mute testimony to its once important role. Read On

Bomb found in Koramangala: Youth wearing red T - shirt kept the bomb and fled: Eyewitnesses
A major disaster was averted on Saturday, 26th July, a day after serial blasts in the State Capital, with the Police defusing a live bomb near a busy mall in Koramangala. The bomb was detected in a pot near the busy Forum Mall of the locality in the limits of Madiwala Police Station. Top Police officials and a large number of Police personnel rushed to the spot on receiving information.
Read On

Dr. Javeed Nayeem: Wayside Wisdom and Endless Enlightenment
I had stopped at the traffic lights near the Railway Station with my eyes intently focussed on the countdown timer waiting eagerly for the red to become green. I noticed him only when he asked me in his very soft and apologetic voice, "Sir, if you don t mind, can you please drop me off at the Railway Hospital?" I turned my head to see a stooped, tired looking, elderly man with bright eyes and a prominent and meticulously applied vermillion caste-mark on his wide forehead. Read On

GTN As I remember
Namaskara, Narayanrao  would be the answer as he picked up the telephone whenever I called up GTN s number. Introduction over, his first question would be how is my classmate??  referring to my husband who called him GT  from the school days of Central High School, Madikeri, way back in the 40s.The two lost contact with each other for a very long period and re - established it in the 80s when we settled down in Mysore. Read On

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