Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why education is so important?

I am troubled with conflicting thoughts today.

Here is why according to me. I had never been a great fan…(why am I being so politically correct today?) of any political party; partly because I had never been too affected by them. Or at least I thought I had never been too affected by them on a daily basis. I have studied in a fairly good school and completed my graduation. The town I come from has two government schools; one for boys and one for girls. They also had a mid-day meal system there.

But, I never saw the class room full at any time. Agreed that people coming to free schools are from poor families and they need to earn the living for the family and hence no time for school. But, when the government is making an effort to run schools and give food, why aren’t parents still making an effort to send children to school? And later when they grow up, they are going to say that government didn’t do anything for them.

What am I missing? I am puzzled. Why are we expecting government to feed us? We don’t live in a communist society, so why?

I do understand that they are there for the well being of the society but to expect that they feed us…isn’t that a little too much to ask?
If you are educated, you will be able to find a job right? You will be able to pull your chin up and survive. For that matter, it’s the will power which takes us a long way. Even a person who doesn’t know a b c d has succeeded!

What am I missing? What are we…or what should we expect from government?

I am trying to write an article about UP’s CM Mayawati. Please do wait for it.
Her quest for power, money and eventual honor of Goddess is something we all need to admire…however cynical. Nite nite now. Have sweet dreams. Mine have been preposterous lately. Ha!!! Perhaps deserve it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I am not 100% sure how this ‘tag’ works and if I doing right but Samvedna tagged me and I am glad that she did. Most of time we get so caught up with lives that we fail to stop and have some “my” time. So, here is some of my “my” time.

1) What is your current obsession?
Getting the weeds out of my grass

2) What are you wearing today?
Skirt and a blouse.

3) What’s for dinner?
I made mango Dal and Okra fry for tonight’s dinner

4) What’s the last thing you bought?
Coffee just about 30 minutes ago.

5) What are you listening to right now?
Not right now but the last song I heard was…my, I am actually thinking now. Yeah that old song, Rim jhim gire saavan….suag sulag jaaye mann.

6) What do you think about the person who tagged you?
A lady with so much balance in thoughts that I come back to her blog everyday to check if she had added anything new.

7) If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the
world, where would you like it to be?
Never thought about this but I think I would like to have a small island with all the amenities required.

8) What are your must-have pieces for summer?
Shades and sunscreen.

9) If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
Any where quite…so quite that I can actually fall asleep while reading a book.

10) Which language do you want to learn?
I want to learn to write Tamil. I can speak it well but cannot write so far.

11) What’s your favourite quote?
Never argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

) Who do you want to meet right now?
My sister

13) What is your favorite timepass?
Always been either reading a book or gardening.

14) Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.
When you don’t know how to do your hair according to what you are wearing, just blow dry your hair and leave it loose; add a string of pearls on your neck and you ARE going to look simple and sweet.

15) What is your dream job?
I love gardening so I would love to open my own nursery sometime.

16) What’s your favorite magazine?
None so far. For some weird reason that I never got in to reading magazines.

17) If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
I had been meaning to buy a new hand bag, so $100 for a hand bag I guess.

19) Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
Paris Hilton

20) What kind of haircut do you prefer?
Shoulder length.

21) What are you going to do after this?
I would reach my work place shortly, so start working 

22) What are your favorite books (Movies was the question but I couldn’t come up with an answer, so I changed it to books)?
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Jane Austin’s, Persuasion

23) What inspires you?
I fell in love with photography after I had seen my friend’s collection of pictures. So, I think when ever I see something tasteful I get inspired by it.

24) What do your friends call you most commonly?
My name

25) Would you prefer coffee or tea?
Coffee always

26) What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
I try to walk it off. If it’s not working, I call a friend.

27) What makes you go wild?
People trying to intimidate me at work or any place.

28) Which other blogs do you love visiting?
All in my blog list and many more.

29) Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Fruit salad with custard.

30) How many tabs are turned on in ur browser right now?

31) Favorite Season?
Rainy but I don’t like earth worms.

32) If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?
Fresh pan cakes with maple syrup 

33) What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
I don’t know if it’s the right way but I usually tell them that I am hurt and leave it at that. And after that, I try and avoid further contact with them.

34) What are you afraid of the most?
Me going blind or disabled.

35) When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I still need to work out more and what’s up with my hair today!

36) What brings a smile on your face instantly?
When ever I imagine a baby, I smile.

37) A word that you say a lot?
Oh my!

38) A prayer always made ?
Be sensitive while keeping up your chin.

39) What is that one thing that keeps you going.
Hope. It’s the magic word.

40) what is more impotant to you...being right or adjustment?
Depends on whom I am dealing with. Call it hypocrisy but if I am with family I usually let many things pass.

I am tagging the below people. I am sorry Samvedna, I am unable to tag more than 3.

1. Invincible
2. Gouri
3. Dolrama

Friday, May 21, 2010

Couple of things...

Couple of things has been going on in my mind. Please PLEASE drive safe on roads! Follow the speed limits; they are there for a reason. If you are angry, intoxicated or not in the right frame of mind, take public transport. Just wanted to share this with you all, even though you are all wise enough not to act stupid on roads. Split second is all it takes…

Long weekend coming up for us! I am planning on getting lots of yard work done. We are also planning to go picnic to a near by beach. Yeah yeah…I will take lots of pictures :)

Here is the poem which I had written to my nephew, who is due to arrive in this world in the second week of August :)

I have known you since a few months now;
I am so exited; arrive soon love.

You won my heart before I had seen you,
this could happen, I had no clue.

Mommy set your room all ready,
Complete with a big new teddy.

Daddy painted your room blue,
and stuck pictures of Winnie the Pooh.

Diapers they bought in hundreds,
your beauty I am sure exceeds Worlds wonders.

Momma collected books she had listened as baby
you will like them too my precious ruby.

We bought you bibs and mittens,
on which there are brightly knitted kittens.

We bought carefully selected toys
Shopping for you is such a joy!

Oh! Please come soon dear one,
I am so excited, I can hardy wait now Hun.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Golconda Fort- Hyderabad

Have you ever been to Golconda Fort in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh)? If, not what I am going to say would pleasantly surprise you. I am going to tell a little bit of history about the fort and the current situation. Pardon me for the long post (but this deserves a big post), you can read this at your leisure; perhaps with a cup of coffee! (Click on the pictures to see the original size).

The fort was first built in 13 century by Kakatiya kings. The name is derived from Telugu (of course), Golla Konda; shepherds hill. Built on a granite hill, the fort is 400 ft high. The Kaktiya Dynasty (Warangal in Andhra) was conquered by Islamic Bahmani Sultanat and then by Qutb Shahi Dynasty in early 15th century. In 1687, it succumbed to Aurangazeb and then entire fort underwent siege and ruins.

During the Qutb dynasty is, the city/fort was expanded and renovated. The mud fort was rebuilt with granite. The fort was protected by two walls, 5 km the inner forts circumference and 7km the outer ‘protective’ wall. In between were the deep waters and the alligators!

Here are a few pictures of the remaining splendor. Below is the main entrance to the fort. Do you see two peacock cravings on the top? Right above them, do you see a small rectangular black opening? That is used to pour hot oil below, should the enemy manage to come near the gates. Also the entrance (I couldn’t capture the entire pic) is just wide enough to fit one elephant. And the yard is constructed in such a way that once the elephant is inside, it does not have enough space to turn around and go back. So it is stuck here with the enemy burning in the hot oil. (The one wearing the blue striped shirt was our guide).
Remember this yard well as I will come back to it later.
Below is the picture of the granaries. You can also see the fort partially from here. Apparently the kings used to order the soldiers to carry the grains every day on top of the fort for cooking. The reason why the granary is so far is because the king didn’t want the soldiers to be lazy during peaceful times.
Below you can see the inner wall I was talking about and the 3 out of 7 Qubt Tombs (will post a separate thread on this later).
Below is ‘Ramdas’ prison, VVIP prison; an interesting story actually. The pictures you see are hand carved by Ramdas. Like some of you might know, Ramdas is a famous poet and a composer of carnatic music. The legend goes like this: Ramdas is the revenue collector in one of Abdul Hasan Shah’s ruling. Ramdas is a great devotee of Lord Rama. Apparently he sent a request to the emperor to grant funds to build a temple of Lord Rama in Bhadrachalam (Andhra). There was some miscommunication (king claims that he never received any request) and after the temple was built, Ramdas was imprisoned be cause he did not take permission to use the funds.
After 12 years, two young warriors (believed to be as Rama and Lakshmana) mysteriously enter the court and repay the money in full for Ramdas’s release. When the emperor realizes that it was Rama and Lakshmana, he feels that it was the miracle of Allah and sends the entire money back to Bhadrachalam, Rama temple. Since that year, till date, every year during Ram Navami, state government sends funds to Bhadrachalam temple.
Below is the bird’s view of Hyderabad. In here you can see Charminar also. Like I said in the beginning, the small 2 arches (beside that vertical trimmed tree in middle of the picture) was the entrance where the hot oil used to be used. If you stand there in one particular spot and clap, you can hear it here {right side one spot (I put a small stone) in sand beside the big rock}. No pones and no radios! Just one clap in an angle and even now we can actually hear the clap all the way down there! This is used for communication between soldiers down there and up here with coded-claps.
Below is the picture which is quite interesting (no, we have no idea who those guys are in the picture). The small arch opening (which is now covered with stones) is the secret passage to Charminar. This was constructed as an escape route in times of trouble.
Below is the picture of Maha Kali temple constructed during Kakatiya times. The passage was so narrow that if you are even on the heavier side, you might not fit in the entrance! There is also a small mosque.
Below here, you are seeing a part of Hyderabad, inner walls of the fort and Kings resting quarters.
Below is the picture which I am posting for a special reason. If you see properly and visualize, you can see the outline of the main fort. This was constructed in such a way that all the blind spots are covered and the soldiers if placed properly can shoot arrows and cover the fort completely. Far below to the left, there are chairs placed for the evening’s light show.
This picture is special too because it’s showing off the beautiful fort and the kings, the queens resting rooms and the stairs. The court is all the way up in the fort and king and the queen are carried in a palanquin every day. If they are being carried up, then 2 short soldiers are placed in the front and 2 very tall soldiers are placed behind to carry the palanquin to have the balance and comfort of king and queen inside. (Other way round while coming down). And no, that wasn’t me with a green basket.
Notice the way the top edges of the pillars are carved. This is the guest room for VVIP’s from other states. The beauty of the room is such that, if you stand close to that corner and whisper something, another person standing right across the room, ear close to the wall (and all the way to the other side) can hear the whisper as if it’s being said in a loud speaker! My husband and I tried it! In those days, apparently kings used to receive many guests and to make sure that the guests are not plotting against the king, there is always someone listening to the conversation from the other corner. The parable, “walls have ears”, is so true in this case.
Absolutely amazing architecture! I was so surprised that even in those days people had such powerful technology.
Below is another amazing piece of architecture. The platform which you see just above the arch is where the king sits and sentences traitors. Just like above example I quoted, the room is built with stone in such a way that if the traitor tries to open his sword or do anything other than stand with folded arms, the king would hear the motion so loudly. We tried it and I almost jumped out of my skin at the loud sound made by a mere pen cap!!! Also, the arch is placed in such a way that if the traitor manages to pull a trick and shoots and arrow/throw a sword at the king, the arch obstructs anything to go beyond. But the king is seated in such an angel that he can throw what ever down. Really, you need to see for yourself that I am telling the truth.
Do you want to make a guess what those tiny lights are? Yes! They are bats! The sight sent chills that time and even now I shiver at the sight, smell and the noise of them in one of the un-used dark chamber.
The first picture is the view of the fort from ground above; the top most chamber is the court. The storage spots you see were once used to light the candles and as a show case for various diamonds which the Qutb’s collected.
And not to forget, the sanitary and plumbing works were excellent! I took the picture but am unable to post. I will use pointers to highlight the hot/cold water lines. YES! They had a special broiler for hot water!

Last but not the least, just before going to the fort, we came across this “Homoeo World”. Any one wanting to prevent swine flu can get medicine from “Homoeo World”! What fun we had!!!
More stories to write….will share them all soon.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My garden pictures

Finally spring is here! Well, it doesn’t feel much like spring though. Because of the frost warnings, I had to transfer my little ones back to the garage! As the season progresses, I promise to post more of my garden pictures.

Yes…I have a huge project coming up this year. It’s the second season since the time we moved in here and slowly I am getting the hang on what my back/front yards like.

This pink one is the dwarf tulip which I picked up recently. Beside that is the yellow pansies. Its supposed to attract butterflies, lets wait and see.

This is the experiment I am doing. This is a small ginger root which I planted. I hope to see some ginger growing soon, like in 6 weeks. Will post a picture then.

A loner this tulip has become. I often forget the name of the lavender flower which looks like a lilac! The pink one is the thick seed.

Some annuals which I absolutely adore. They also are a great fillers.

I started a few flower plants from the seed (left). Hopefully they grow up. Right now they are still germinating...If they bloom, I will post a picture later in the season.

And who would forget the daffodils and Wordsworth?

This is the strawberry seedling i bought. 3 weeks ago this was the size and now its still the same. perhaps I am over-watering and killing it with love.

I don't seem to get over my love for tulips!

I also bought them in purple, red and orange. Once they bloom, I will post the picture. Yeah...this year mine are coming late.

Here is methi, coriander, green chilly and peppers. Methi and Coriander seem to come before the rest.

Below is the Asiatic Lily. Hopefully the weather warms up before winter for them to bloom :) They give a nice fragrance when in full bloom. I will post another picture when in full bloom.