My SCRAPBOOK (సేకరణలు): A COLLECTION of articles in English and Telugu(తెలుగు), from various sources, on varied subjects. I do not claim credit for any of the contents of these postings as my own.A student's declaration made at the end of his answer paper, holds good to the articles here too:"I hereby declare that the answers written above are true to the best of my friend's knowledge and I claim no responsibility whatsoever of the correctness of the answers."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

తరంతరం నిరంతరం...

రెండు దశాబ్దాల రెండేళ్ళ కిందటి మాట...
అప్పటి ప్రధాని ఎర్రకోటపై మూడు రంగుల బావుటా ఎగురవేసిన జండాపండుగపూట- దూరదర్శన్బుల్లితెరపై తేనెలూరే పాట! భీమ్సేన్జోషి మొదలుగానగాంధర్వుడు బాలమురళి దాకా రవిశంకర్సితార్తో జకీర్హుస్సేన్తబలాతోతలపడి నరేంద్ర హీర్వాణీ ప్రకాష్పదుకొణె వంటివారితో కలిసి ఆడుకుంటున్నట్లుఅమితాబ్బచన్‌, హేమమాలిని వంటి హేమాహేమీలతో జతకలిసి చేసినశ్రుతిలయల మాయ అది. ఇన్నేళ్ళు గడిచినా నవ్యమై భవ్యమై ఉండటానికికారణం- సమైక్యతారాగతోరణం మట్టి నుంచి పుట్టింది కావటమే! పీయూష్పాండే పద్దెనిమిది సార్లు రాసి చించిన పల్లవిని సురేశ్మల్లిక్‌, ఆర్తి, కైలాస్సురేంద్రనాథ్ఎంతో ఆర్తిగా సృజించారు గనకనే- ఆనాటి రాగేంద్రజాలం మనజాతిపాడుకునే మరో వందేమాతరంలాగా అనధికార జాతీయహోదాను అందుకోగలిగింది. ఆసేతుహిమాచల పర్యంతం
‌‌ ‌‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 'మిలే సుర్‌ మేరా తుమ్హారా' గీతం అంత మన్ననలందుకోవడానికి రాగం తానం పల్లవులకన్నా అంతర్లీనంగాఅందులో మిళితమై సాగిన మన జాతీయతనమే ప్రధాన కారణమంటే కాదనేవారెవరూ ఉండరు. 'నా స్వరమూ నీ స్వరమూ సంగమమై మనస్వరంగా అవతరించె'నంటూ- దేశ నదీనదాలలోని వేదనాదాన్ని సాగర గంభీరతతోజతపరచి మేఘమాలికలవంటి రాగాలను కూర్చి సుతిమెత్తని భావుకతను అత్యంత హృద్యంగా ఆలపించి నేలనలుచెరగులా జాతి మత కుల వయో లింగ భేదాలకు అతీతంగా స్వరగాంధర్వులు చిరుజల్లులుగా కురిపించడమేఅపురూపం. రాగాల వర్షంలో తడిసి ముద్దగా మారని భారతీయుడెవడూ ఆనాడు లేడు, ఈనాడూ ఉండడు. గీతానికి కాలానుగుణమైన గుణాత్మకమైన మార్పులు చేసి 'ఫిర్మిలే సుర్‌' అంటూ గణతంత్ర వజ్రోత్సవ వేళ మరోమారునగారా' మోగించటం హర్షదాయకమే కాదు- దేశ కాల పరిస్థితుల దృష్ట్యా తక్షణావసరం కూడా!

ఆధునికతే నాగరికతగా భ్రమించే నేటి యువతకు వేల సంవత్సరాల ఘనచరిత గలభారతీయతలోని విశిష్టతపైన శీతకన్ను ఉండటం కలత కలిగించే విషయం. దాదాపు ఆరు వందల జిల్లాల్లో పదిహేడు రకాల భాషలు, రికార్డులకెక్కని మరెన్నోవందల యాసలు, రకరకాల మతాలు, మూడుకోట్ల ముప్ఫై లక్షల చదరపుకిలోమీటర్ల పర్యంతం పరచుకుని ఉన్న సువిశాల భారతంలో వృత్తుల వారీగాలెక్కకు అందని ఎన్నో కులాలు- ప్రవృత్తి రీత్యా చూసినా అత్యంత వైవిధ్యంగా నిత్యచైతన్యంతో సాగే జనజీవనానికి విభిన్నత్వమే బలం. ఏకత్వ భావలేమి బలహీనత. బౌద్ధం పుట్టిన హిందూదేశం ఇది. థెరెసాను మదర్గా గౌరవించిన వేదభూమి మనది. మైనారిటీల నుంచి నలుగురిని రాష్ట్రపతులుగా ఎంచుకున్నలౌకికరాజ్యం ఇది. రాష్ట్రపతి నుంచి సభాపతుల వరకు మహిళలు పాలన సాగిస్తున్న నేల కూడా మనదే. యోగులుబాలలైనా సాగిలపడే ఆధ్యాత్మిక విశాలత భారతీయులది. బడుగుల నుంచి ఎదిగిన మహానుభావుడు దేశానికిరాజ్యాంగ కల్పన చేశాడు! 'భారతదేశం నా మాతృభూమి... సుసంపన్నమైన బహువిధమైన నా దేశ వారసత్వ సంపదనాకు గర్వకారణం...' అని చదువుకొనే ప్రతిజ్ఞ పాఠాన్ని వాచకాల మొదటి పుటల వరకే పరిమితం చేసే ప్రజ్ఞావంతులుపెరిగిపోతున్నారిప్పుడు. వరస మార్చి అయినా సరే, మన సంగీత్మహాన్ఏఆర్రెహమాన్‌ 'వందేమాతరం' గీతానికి కొత్తరాగాలను కూర్చి నవతరానికి ఉత్తేజం కలిగించిన తీరులో- 'ఫిర్మిలే సుర్మేరా తుమ్హారా'కు సైతం అదే సురేంద్రకైలాస్నాథ్నూతన స్వరాలను సమకూర్చడం తప్పేమీ కాదుకదా- తప్పనిసరిగా మిగతా సామాజిక హితుల తక్షణ విధి!

దేవులపల్లి వారు గీతించిన విధంగా కవి గాయక వైతాళికుడైనా భావ తాదాత్మ్యతకు దివ్య గీతామృతాన్నేనమ్ముకుంటాడు. 'అర్థమతులహంకృతులు అంధమతులు రాని/ నిరుపేదలు నిర్భాగ్యులు నిరంకుశులు లేని/ కొత్తజగం కొత్త యుగం కోరుకునే వారెవరికైనా, కులందాటి మతం దాటి కొద్ది గొప్ప దాటి/ సమభాగం సమభాగ్యంసమసంస్కృతి నాటి/ కొత్త శాంతి, కొత్త కాంతి జగతి నిండాలని, భావించేవారికైనా పాటను మించిన వజ్రాయుధం లేదు. పల్లవిని మించిన దేవదత్తం లేదు. ఆకులందున అణగిమణిగిన కోయిల వలె పలికితే పలుకులకు పులకలెత్తిదేశాభిమానాలు మొలకెత్తుతాయని మహాకవి గురజాడ ఏనాడో పలికిన మాట. తెల్లవాడి పాలన తెల్లారి నేటికి భారతానఆరుపదులు దాటినా- ఉగ్రవాదం అగ్రవాదం ధాటికి మన ఇంట చీకటి తెరలింకా విడిపోనేలేదు. చీటికి మాటికిభాషాద్వేషాలు, కులం కుమ్ములాటలు, మతం మాత్సర్యాలు, ప్రాంతాల వారీగా పెరిగిపోతున్న పంతాలూ పట్టింపులతోవేడెక్కిపోతున్న వాతావరణం- 'ఫిర్మిలే సుర్‌' వంటి సుస్వరాలు కడుసొంపుగ కడలికి చేరి... మబ్బులై పైపైకి లేచిచల్లగా మెల్లగా మళ్ళీ మళ్ళీ చిరుజల్లులుగా కురిస్తేనన్నా చల్లబడుతుందేమో! ఇరవై రెండేళ్ళ కిందటి రాగమాలికనుమంది నవతారలతో కలిసి ఆరుపదుల కళాకారులు అరవై ఏళ్ళ గణతంత్ర దినోత్సవం సందర్భంగా అతి నవ్య రాగాలతోవారి వారి భాషల్లో గొంతెత్తి పాడటం దివ్యంగా ఉంది. ఇలాంటి జాతీయ సమైక్యతా గీతాలు మరిన్ని వచ్చి జాతి గుండెలమధ్య అడ్డుగోడలను కూలగొడతాయేమో చూడాలి!
(ఈనాడు, సంపాదకీయం, ౦౭:౦౨:౨౦౦౧౦)
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Never, never, never be late to your appointments!!!

A priest was being honored at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish.

A leading local politician and the member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and give a little speech at the dinner.

He was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited.

"I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession. I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss's wife, taken illegal drugs, and gave a venereal disease to his own sister. I was appalled!

But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people."

Just as the priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his speech. "I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived," said the politician. "In fact, I had the honor of being the first person to go to him for confession."

Moral:

Never, never, never be late to your appointments!!!

(An email forward)

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Predictions that went wrong

1. In 1894, the president of the Royal Society, William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, predicted that radio had no future. The first radio factory was opened five years later. Today, there are more than one billion radio sets in the world, tuned to more than 33 000 radio stations around the world. He also predicted that heavier-than-air flying machines were
impossible.
The Wright Brother's first flight covered a distance equal to only half the length of the wingspan of a Boeing 747. He also said, "X-rays will prove to be a hoax."

2. In the 6th century BC Greek mathematician Pythagoras said that earth is round - but few agreed with him. Greek astronomer Aristarchos said in the 3rd century BC that earth revolves around the sun - but the idea was not accepted. In the 2nd century BC Greek astronomer Erastosthenes accurately measured the distance around the earth at about 40,000 km (24,860 miles) - but nobody believed him. In the 2nd century AD Greek astronomer Ptolemy stated that earth was the centre of the universe - most people believed him for the next 1,400 years.


3. In the early 20th century a world market for only 4 million automobiles was made because "the world would run out of chauffeurs." Shortly after the end of World War II (1945), the whole of Volkswagen, factory and patents, was offered free to Henry Ford II. He dismissed the Volkswagen Beetle as a bad design. Today, more than 70 million motorcars are produced every year. The Beetle became one of the best-selling vehicles of all time.


4. The telephone was not widely appreciated for the first 15 years because people did not see a use for it. In fact, in the British parliament it was mentioned there was no need for telephones because "we have enough messengers here." Western Union believed that it could never replace the telegraph. In 1876, an internal memo read: "This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." Even Mark Twain, upon being invited by Alexander Graham Bell to invest $5 000 in the new invention, could not see a future in the telephone.


5. Irish scientist, Dr. Dionysius Lardner (1793 - 1859) didn't believe that trains could contribute much in speedy transport. He wrote: "Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers ' would die of asphyxia' [suffocation]." Today, trains reach speeds of 500 km/h.


6. In 1927, H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, asked, "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" In 1936, Radio Times editor Rex Lambert thought "Television won't matter in your lifetime or mine."


7. In 1943, Thomas Watson, the chairman of IBM forecast a world market for "maybe only five computers." Years before IBM launched the personal computer in 1981, Xerox had already successfully designed and used PCs internally... but decided to concentrate on the production of photocopiers. Even Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, said in 1977, "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."


8. After the invention of the transistor in 1947, several US electronics companies rejected the idea of a portable radio. Apparently it was thought nobody would want to carry a radio around. When Bell put the transistor on the market in 1952 they had few takers apart from a small Japanese start-up called Sony. They introduced the transistor radio in 1954.


9. In 1894, A.A. Michelson, who with E.W. Morley seven years earlier experimentally demonstrated the constancy of the speed of light, said that the future of science would consist of "adding a few decimal places to the results already obtained."

(An email forward)
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YOUR BOOZE



What is single malt?


Single malt is so-called because the malt comes from a single distillery. It is a whisky refined by a single distillery, using malted barley as the only grain ingredient. Each distillery has its own distinct taste, flavour and style and single malts bear that. Some world-renowned single malts are Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, Glenkinchie and if you move into the rarevarieties, PortEllen, Dalmore, Glenfarclas, IsleofJura, Knocdhu, Lagavulin,Laphroig, Macallan, Oban,Taliskar, Cragganmore. Enjoying a single malt is a connoissseur's job and you have to learn to be one. A single grain, as distinct from a single malt, is a grain whisky made at one distillery, while the single malt is made with barley.



What is Blended Whisky?

Blended whisky is a mixture of single malt whisky and ethanol derived from grains. Developed for those who could not stomach the strong taste of whisky, it is a combination of malt and grain whiskies. First distilled and bottled by Andrew Usher in Edinburgh in the early 1860s, it turned out to be softer, lighter and more palatable.

The character of the whisky is determined not only by the proportions of malt and grain whisky, but also by the ages of the individual whiskies and the manner in which they are combined to bring out the finest qualities in each other. Most whisky drunk across the world is blended whisky. Famous Grouse, Bells, Teacher's, Whyte & Mackay and Johnnie Walker are a few that are well-known.


What is the difference between Whisky and Whiskey?

Alcohol, malted or not, made from grain which is produced in Scotland is called WHISKY, while it is called WHISKEY if it is produced in USA or Ireland. American whiskey is called Bourbon and is made from grain. Bourbon is at least 51 per cent corn or maize.

Scotch whisky is generally double distilled, while Irish whiskey is generally distilled three times. Wheat whisky is the rarest whisky. Rye whiskies are mostly
popular within the US. Scotch whisky is whisky that has been distilled and matured in Scotland for at least three hours in oak casks.

What is Alcohol?

Alcohol is obtained after breaking down natural sugar of grain into C02, ethanol or ethyl alcohol and residual content. Yeast from grains and vegetables changes the sugar into alcohol. From the cheapest beer to the most expensive wine or after dinner liqueur, all alcohol is made with the same fermentation process.

The different colours, tastes, potencies and flavours come from the different fruits or vegetables used as well as the additives, by-products and diluting substances employed during the fermentation process.


Why should you never drink on an empty stomach?

Experts say eating food before drinking retains alcohol in the system where it is absorbed slowly into the blood stream. This gives the liver more time to break the alcohol down. Otherwise, it is directly absorbed without being broken down into simpler compounds into the blood stream. This can be harmful for the
liver and general health. The kick comes when the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream directly and slows down the central nervous system. The absorbed alcohol blocks some of the commands the brain sends to the body; hence the reflexes and reactions are slower.

Does drinking water before or between drinks help you hold your drink better?

Dehydration causes your blood volume to go down and alcohol will cause it to go down further. So make it a habit to drink enough water before you go out for a hard drink. Experts say in case of alcohol consumption, the bigger you are the better it is. Big people have a larger quantity of blood, so alcohol they take in is more diluted as it mixes with the blood.

Women are generally smaller than men. They also have proportionately more fat and less water in their bodies and so the concentration of alcohol in their blood is higher for the same amount drunk.

What goes better with Whisky - Water or Soda?

Whisky is preferred with water more than soda as soda is carbonated water and it kills the taste of whisky. But real connnoisseurs of whisky like to have it neat or with water on side or with two cubes of ice.


What is Cognac?

The wines of Poitou, La Rochelle and Angoumois, produced from high quality vineyards, were shipped to Northern Europe where they were enjoyed by the English, Dutch and Scandinavians as early as the 13th century. In the 16th century, they were transformed into eau-de-vie, then matured in oak casks to become Cognac.. That was the start of the adventure for a town, which was to become the capital of a world famous trade.

Cognac is a living thing. During its time in the oak casks it is in permanent contact with the air. This allows it to extract the substances from the wood that give both its colour and its final bouquet.

Aging is indispensable if an eau-de-vie is to become Cognac. It takes place in casks or barrels that hold between 270 and 450 litres. The natural humidity of the cellars, in which the casks are stored, with its influence on evaporation, is one of the determining factors in the maturing process. With the balance between humidity and dryness, the spirit becomes mellow and ages harmoniously.

Making Cognac is the work of the Master Blender. Applying strict control, experience and intuition, he subtly blends eaux-de-vie of different ages and crus, producing a Cognac that through the years will not only retain its own personality, but will also keep a place in the heart of the consumer.

What is the difference between Scotch, Irish, Rye and Bourbon Whiskies?

Scotch Whisky is whisky, which has been distilled and matured in Scotland.
Irish Whiskey means whiskey distilled and matured in Ireland.

Whisky is distilled in Scotland from malted barley in Pot Stills and from malted and unmalted barley or other cereals in Patent Stills. The well-known brands of Scotch Whisky are blends of a number of Pot Still and Patent Still whiskies.

Irish Whiskey distillers tend to favour three distillations rather than two, as is general in Scotland in the case of Pot Still whiskies and the range of cereals used is wider.

As regards Bourbon Whiskey, the United States Regulations provide:

(I) that Bourbon Whiskey must be produced from a mash of not less than 51% corn grain;

(ii) that the word 'Bourbon' shall not be used to describe any whiskey or whiskey-based distilled spirits not produced in the United States.

Rye Whiskey is produced both in the United States and Canada but the name has no geographical significance. In the United States, Rye Whiskey by definition must be produced from a grain mash of which not less than 51% is rye grain. In Canada, there is no similar restriction. The relevant Canadian Regulation states: 'Canadian Whisky (Canadian Rye Whisky, Rye Whisky) shall be whisky distilled in Canada and shall possess the aroma, taste and character generally attributed to Canadian Whisky.'

Canadian Whisky is in fact often referred to simply as Rye Whisky or Rye.

What is the Origin of VODKA?

Vodka is a drink, which originated in Eastern Europe, the name stemming from the Russian word 'voda' meaning water or as the Poles would say 'woda'.
The first documented production of vodka in Russia was at the end of the 9th century, but the first known distillery at, Khylnovsk, was about two hundred years later as reported in the Vyatka Chronicle of 1174. Poland lays claim to having distilled vodka even earlier in the 8th century, but as this was a distillation of wine it might be more appropriate to consider it a crude brandy. The first identifiable Polish vodkas appeared in the 11th century when they were called 'gorzalka', originally used as medicines.


Medicine and Gunpowder

During the Middle Ages, distilled liquor was used mainly for medicinal purposes, as well as being an ingredient in the production of gunpowder. In the 14th century a British Ambassador to Moscow first described vodka as the Russian national drink and in the mid-16th century it was established as the national drink in Poland and Finland. We learn from the Novgorod Chronicles of 1533 that in Russia also, vodka was used frequently as a medicine (zhiznennia voda
meaning 'water of life'). In these ancient times Russia produced several kinds of 'vodka' or 'hot wine' as it was then called. There was 'plain wine' (standard), 'good wine' (improved) and 'boyar wine' (high quality). In addition stronger types existed, distilled two ('double wine') or more times. Since early production methods were crude, vodka often contained impurities, so to mask these the distillers flavoured their spirits with fruit, herbs or spices.

The mid - 15th century saw the first appearance of pot distillation in Russia. Prior to that, seasoning, ageing and freezing were all used to remove impurities, as was precipitiation using it in glass ('karluk') from the air bladders of sturgeons. Distillation became the first step in producing vodka, with the product being improved by precipitation using isinglass, milk or egg white. Around this time (1450) vodka started to be produced in large quantities and the first recorded
exports of Russian vodka were to Sweden in 1505. Polish 'woda' exports started a century later, from major production centres in Posnan and Krakow.


From acorns to melon

In 1716, owning distilleries became the exclusive right of the nobility, who were granted further special rights in 1751. In the following 50 or so years there was a proliferation of types of aromatised vodka, but no attempt was made to standardise the basic product. Types produced included: absinthe, acorn, anisette, birch, calamus root, calendula, cherry, chicory, dill, ginger hazelnut, horseradish, juniper, lemon, mastic, mint, mountain ash, oak, pepper, peppermint, raspberry, sage, sorrel, wort and water melon! A typical production process was to distil alcohol twice, dilute it with milk and distil it again, adding water to bring it to the required strength and then flavouring it, prior to a fourth and final distillation. It was not a cheap product and it still had not attained really large-scale production. It did not seek to compete commercially with the major producers in Lithuania, Poland and Prussia. In the 18th century a professor in St.
Petersburg discovered a method of purifying alcohol using charcoal filtration. Felt and river sand had already been used for some time in Russia for filtration.

Vodka marches across Europe

The spread of awareness of vodka continued throughout the 19th century, helped by the presence in many parts of Europe of Russian soldiers involved in the Napoleonic Wars. Increasing popularity led to escalating demand and to meet this demand, lower grade products were produced based largely on distilled potato mash. Earlier attempts to control production by reducing the number of distilleries from 5,000 to 2,050 between the years 1860 and 1890 having failed, a law was enacted in 1894 to make the production and distribution of vodka in Russia a state monopoly. This was both for fiscal reasons and to control the
epidemic of drunkenness which the availability of the cheap, mass-produced 'vodkas' imported and home-produced, had brought about. It is only at the end of the 19th century, with all state distilleries adopting a standard production technique and hence a guarantee of quality, that the name vodka was officially and formally recognized.


After the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks confiscated all private distilleries in Moscow. As a result, a number of Russian vodka-makers emigrated, taking their skills and recipes with them. One such exile revived his brand in Paris, using the French version of his family name - Smirnoff. Thence, having met a Russian émigré from the USA, they set up the first vodka distillery there in 1934. This was subsequently sold to a US drinks company. From this small start, vodka began in the 1940s to achieve its wide popularity in the Western World.


What is the origin of GIN?

The first confirmed date for the production of gin is the early 17th century in Holland, although claims have been made that it was produced prior to this in Italy. In Holland it was produced as a medicine and sold in chemist shops to treat stomach complaints, gout and gallstones. To make it more palatable, the Dutch started to flavor it with juniper, which had medicinal properties of its own.

From Dutch courage to William of Orange

British troops fighting in the Low Countries during the Thirty Years' War were given 'Dutch Courage' during the long campaigns in the damp weather through the warming properties of gin. Eventually they started bringing it back home with them, where already it was often sold in chemists' shops. Distillation was taking place in a small way in England, but it now began on a greater scale, though the quality was often very dubious. Nevertheless, the new drink became a firm favourite with the poor.

The formation by King Charles I of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, where members had the sole right to distil spirits in London and Westminster and up to twenty-one miles beyond, improved both the quality of gin and its image; it also helped English agriculture by using surplus corn and barley. When King William III - better known as William of Orange - came to the English throne in 1689, he made a series of statutes actively encouraging the distillation of English
spirits. Anyone could now distil by simply posting a notice in public and just waiting ten days. Sometimes gin was distributed to workers as part of their wages and soon the volume sold daily exceeded that of beer and ale, which was more expensive anyway.


The Gin Riots

The problem was tackled by introducing The Gin Act at midnight on 29 September 1736, which made gin prohibitively expensive. A license to retail gin cost 50 and duty was raised fivefold to 1 per gallon with the smallest quantity you could buy in retail being two gallons. The Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole and Dr.
Samuel Johnson were among those who opposed the Act since they considered it could not be enforced against the will of the common people.. They were right. Riots broke out and the law was widely and openly broken..

About this time, 11 million gallons of gin were distilled in London, which was over 20 times the 1690 figure and has been estimated to be the equivalent of 14 gallons for each adult male. But within six years of the Gin Act being introduced, only two distillers took out licenses, yet, over the same period of time, production rose by almost fifty per cent.

Respectability, High quality and Patronage

The Gin Act, finally recognized as unenforceable, was repealed in 1742 and a new policy, which distillers helped to draft, was introduced: reasonably high prices, reasonable excise duties and licensed retailers under the supervision of magistrates. In essence this is the situation, which exists today. These changes led to more respectable firms embarking on the business of distilling and retailing gin and it became the drink of high quality, which it has since remained. Many companies established themselves as well-to-do manufacturers, often becoming patrons for major enterprises; one such was the sponsorship of the attempt to discover the North West Passage 1829-33: the attempt failed, but the expedition did establish the true position of the North
Magnetic Pole.

Gin had been known as 'Mother's Milk' from the 1820s but later in the century it became known as 'Mother's Ruin', a description perhaps originating from the earlier 'Blue Ruin' of the prohibition era in the previous century.

What is Tequila?

First the history: Tequila was first distilled in the 1500-1600's in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco and the city of Tequila was established in about 1656. This is where the agave plant grows best. The agave is not a cactus as rumoured, but belongs to the lily family and has long spiny leaves (pincas). The specific plant that is used to make tequila is the Weber blue agave. It takes 8-12 years for the agave to reach maturity. During harvest, the leaves are cut off leaving the heart of the plant or pina which looks like a large pineapple when the jimadors are done. The harvested pina may weigh 200 pounds or more and is chopped into smaller pieces for cooking at the distillery. Tequila was first imported into the United States in 1873 when the first load
was transported to El Paso, Texas. In 1973 tequila sales in the US topped one million cases.

There are two basic types of tequila, 100% blue agave (cien por ciento de agave) tequila and mixto. The 100% blue agave tequilas are distilled entirely from the fermented juice of the agave. All 100% agave tequilas have to be distilled and bottled in Mexico. If the bottle does not say 100% blue agave, the tequila is mixto and may have been distilled from as little as 60% agave juice with other sugars.

Grades of Tequila:

• Blanco: 100% agave tequila that is un-aged and untreated with additives.

• Reposado: 100% agave, "rested" tequila that has been stored in oak between two months and one year.

• Anejo: 100% agave, aged tequila that has been stored in oak at least one year.

• Mixto blanco: mixto tequila that is unaged.

• Mixto reposado: mixto tequila that has been stored in oak between two months and one year.

• Mixto anejo: aged mixto tequila that has been stored in oak at least one year.

• Joven abocado: mixto tequila that has been treated with additives to achieve an effect similar to aging.

How many types of Beer are available to Drink?

Here are the different styles you may come across at our stores or your favourite local brew pub.

Ale - originally liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation, as opposed to beer, which was made by the same process but flavoured with hops. Today ale is used for all beers other than stout.

Alt - means "old". A top fermented ale, rich, copper-coloured and full-bodied, with a very firm, tannic palate, and usually well-hopped and dry.

Amber Beer - an ale with a depth of hue halfway between pale and dark.

Barley Wine - dark, rich, usually bittersweet, heavy ales with high alcohol content, made for sipping, not quaffing.

Bitter - the driest and one of the most heavily hopped beers served on draft. The nose is generally aromatic, the hue amber and the alcoholic content moderate.


Bock - a strong dark German lager, ranging from pale to dark brown in colour, with a minimum alcoholic content of about 6 percent.

Brown Ale - malty beers, dark in colour and they may be quite sweet.

Burton - a strong ale, dark in colour, made with a proportion of highly dried or roasted malts.

Christmas/Holiday Beer - these special season beers are amber to dark brown, richly flavoured with a sweetish palate. Some are flavoured with special
spices and/or herbs.

Dopplebock - "double bock." A stronger version of bock beer, decidedly malty, with an alcoholic content ranging from 8 percent to 13 percent by volume.

Hefe-Weizen - a wheat beer, lighter in body, flavour and alcohol strength.

Ice Beer - a high-alcohol beer made by cooling the beer during the process to below the freezing point of water (32 degrees Fahrenheit) but above that of alcohol (-173 degrees Fahrenheit). . When the formed ice is removed and discarded, the beer ends up with a higher alcohol-to-water ratio.

India Pale Ale (IPA) - a generously hopped pale ale.

Kolsch - West German ale, very pale (brassy gold) in hue, with a mild malt flavour and some lactic tartness.

Malt Liquor - most malt liquors are lagers that are too alcoholic to be labelled lagers or beers.

Muncheners - a malty, pale lager distinguished from the darker, heavier Munich Dark beers by the term "dunkel".

Octoberfest/ Maerzen/Vienna - a copper-coloured, malty beer brewed at the end of the winter brewing season in March.

Pale Ale - made of the highest quality malts, the driest and most highly hopped beer. Sold as light ale or pale ale in bottle or on draft as bitter.

Pilsner - delicately dry and aromatic beers.

Porter - a darker (medium to dark reddish brown) ale style beer, full-bodied, a bit on the bitter side. The barley (or barley-malt) is well roasted, giving the brew a characteristic chocolaty, bittersweet flavour.

Stout - beer brewed from roasted, full-flavoured malts, often with an addition of caramel sugar and a slightly higher proportion of hops. Stouts have a richer, slightly burnt flavour and are dark in colour.

Sweet Stout - also known as milk stout because some brewers use lactose (milk sugar) as an ingredient.

Wheat Beer - a beer in which wheat malt is substituted for barley malt. Usually medium-bodied, with a bit of tartness on the palate

Enjoy.. now you know what you are drinking





(An email forward)
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"Have Breakfast… or…Be Breakfast!"


Food for Thought!

It is a little lengthy but it is worth the reading. An interesting article- defines competition and tomorrow’s products.

by Dr. Y. L. R. Moorthi
(a professor at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, an M.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and a post graduate in management from IIM, Bangalore) .
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Who sells the largest number of cameras in India ?
Your guess is likely to be Sony, Canon or Nikon. Answer is none of the above. The winner is Nokia whose main line of business in India is not cameras but cell phones.
Reason being cameras bundled with cell phones are outselling stand alone cameras. Now, what prevents the cell phone from replacing the camera outright? Nothing at all. One can only hope the Sonys and Canons are taking note.

Try this. Who is the biggest in music business in India ? You think it is HMV Sa-Re-Ga-Ma? Sorry. The answer is Airtel. By selling caller tunes (that play for 30 seconds) Airtel makes more than what music companies make by selling music albums (that run for hours).

Incidentally Airtel is not in music business. It is the mobile service provider with the largest subscriber base in India . That sort of competitor is difficult to detect, even more difficult to beat (by the time you have identified him he has already gone past you). But if you imagine that Nokia and Bharti (Airtel's parent) are breathing easy you can't be farther from truth.

Nokia confessed that they all but missed the Smartphone bus. They admit that Apple's Iphone and Google's Android can make life difficult in future. But you never thought Google was a mobile company, did you? If these illustrations mean anything, there is a bigger game unfolding. It is not so much about mobile or music or camera or emails?

The "Mahabharat" (the great Indian epic battle) is about "what is tomorrow's personal digital device"? Will it be a souped up mobile or a palmtop with a telephone? All these are little wars that add up to that big battle. Hiding behind all these wars is a gem of a question – "who is my competitor?"

Once in a while, to intrigue my students I toss a question at them. It says "What Apple did to Sony, Sony did to Kodak, explain?" The smart ones get the answer almost immediately. Sony defined its market as audio (music from the walkman). They never expected an IT company like Apple to encroach into their audio domain. Come to think of it, is it really surprising? Apple as a computer maker has both audio and video capabilities. So what made Sony think he won't compete on pure audio? "Elementary Watson". So also Kodak defined its business as film cameras, Sony defines its businesses as "digital." In digital camera the two markets perfectly meshed. Kodak was torn between going digital and sacrificing money on camera film or staying with films and getting left behind in digital technology. Left undecided it lost in both. It had to. It did not ask the question "who is my competitor for tomorrow?" The same was true for IBM whose mainframe revenue prevented it from seeing the PC. The same was true of Bill Gates who declared "internet is a fad!" and then turned around to bundle the browser with windows to bury Netscape.

The point is not who is today's competitor. Today's competitor is obvious. Tomorrow's is not.

In 2008, who was the toughest competitor to British Airways in India ? Singapore airlines? Better still, Indian airlines? Maybe, but there are better answers. There are competitors that can hurt all these airlines and others not mentioned. The answer is videoconferencing and telepresence services of HP and Cisco. Travel dropped due to recession. Senior IT executives in India and abroad were compelled by their head quarters to use videoconferencing to shrink travel budget. So much so, that the mad scramble for American visas from Indian techies was nowhere in sight in 2008. ( India has a quota of something like 65,000 visas to the U.S. They were going a-begging. Blame it on recession!). So far so good. But to think that the airlines will be back in business post recession is something I would not bet on. In short term yes. In long term a resounding no. Remember, if there is one place where Newton 's law of gravity is applicable besides physics it is in electronic hardware. Between 1977 and 1991 the prices of the now dead VCR (parent of Blue-Ray disc player) crashed to one-third of its original level in India . PC's price dropped from hundreds of thousands of rupees to tens of thousands. If this trend repeats then telepresence prices will also crash. Imagine the fate of airlines then. As it is not many are making money. Then it will surely be RIP!

India has two passions. Films and cricket. The two markets were distinctly different. So were the icons. The cricket gods were Sachin and Sehwag. The filmy gods were the Khans (Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and the other Khans who followed suit). That was, when cricket was fundamentally test cricket or at best 50 over cricket. Then came IPL and the two markets collapsed into one. IPL brought cricket down to 20 overs. Suddenly an IPL match was reduced to the length of a 3 hour movie. Cricket became film's competitor. On the eve of IPL matches movie halls ran empty. Desperate multiplex owners requisitioned the rights for screening IPL matches at movie halls to hang on to the audience. If IPL were to become the mainstay of cricket, as it is likely to be, films have to sequence their releases so as not clash with IPL matches. As far as the audience is concerned both are what in India are called 3 hour "tamasha" (entertainment) . Cricket season might push films out of the market.

Look at the products that vanished from India in the last 20 years. When did you last see a black and white movie? When did you last use a fountain pen? When did you last type on a typewriter? The answer for all the above is "I don't remember!" For some time there was a mild substitute for the typewriter called electronic typewriter that had limited memory. Then came the computer and mowed them all. Today most technologically challenged guys like me use the computer as an upgraded typewriter. Typewriters per se are nowhere to be seen.

One last illustration. 20 years back what were Indians using to wake them up in the morning? The answer is "alarm clock." The alarm clock was a monster made of mechanical springs. It had to be physically keyed every day to keep it running. It made so much noise by way of alarm, that it woke you up and the rest of the colony. Then came quartz clocks which were sleeker. They were much more gentle though still quaintly called "alarms." What do we use today for waking up in the morning? Cell phone! An entire industry of clocks disappeared without warning thanks to cell phones. Big watch companies like Titan were the losers. You never know in which bush your competitor is hiding!

On a lighter vein, who are the competitors for authors? Joke spewing machines? (Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, himself a Pole, tagged a Polish joke telling machine to a telephone much to the mirth of Silicon Valley ). Or will the competition be story telling robots? Future is scary! The boss of an IT company once said something interesting about the animal called competition. He said "Have breakfast …or…. be breakfast"! That sums it up rather neatly.
(An email forward)
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విజ్ఞత

- దానం శివప్రసాదరావు



.........................................................................కుండలో చిక్కగా తోడుకున్న పెరుగులాంటిది జ్ఞానం. విచక్షణ అనేది చిలికే కవ్వం. కమ్మనైన చిక్కని మజ్జిగగా అప్పుడే రూపాంతరం చెందేది. ఇది నిరంతరమూ సాగాల్సిన క్రియ. ఎదురయ్యే ప్రమాదం, భయం, అమితమైన అలజడి కాలమేఘంలా ఈ క్రియను క్షణకాలం కట్టడి చేస్తాయి. సహజం. ఆ క్షణకాలాన్నీ తన అదుపులో ఉంచుకోగలిగినవారే జ్ఞానమూర్తులు.
విశ్వామిత్ర మహర్షి బ్రహ్మర్షి అయ్యేందుకు సుదీర్ఘ కాలమే పట్టింది. కోపతాపాలకు గురైనప్పుడు, పంతాలకు పట్టుదలలకు పోయినప్పుడు విచక్షణ కోల్పోవడం వల్లే తపశ్శక్తిని ఎంతో కోల్పోయాడు. ఈ ఉదంతాలు, ఉదాహరణలన్నీ మనకు గీతావాక్యాలు.
సూర్యకిరణ కాంతులు సోకనిదే కమలాలు వికసించవు.
విచక్షణ లేని జ్ఞానమూ భాసిల్లదు.



(ఈనాడు, అంతర్యామి, ౧౩:౦౩:౨౦౧౦)
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మీరూ ఔతారా లీడర్

అదిఏమిటో ... కాలేజీలో ఎంతోమంది గాయ్స్‌ అండ్‌ గాళ్స్‌ ఉన్నా అందులో కొంతమందే సెంటరాఫ్ఎట్రాక్షన్‌. చదువు చెప్పే టీచర్లనుంచి తోటి స్టూడెంట్స్‌ దాకా అందరికీ వాళ్లంటేనే వల్లమాలిన అభిమానం. అలాంటి అమ్మాయిలను ఆకట్టుకోవాలని అబ్బాయిలు, ఆ తరహా అబ్బాయిలను అట్రాక్ట్‌ చేయాలని అమ్మాయిలు ట్రై చేయడం కామనే. వీళ్లను చూసి 'వాళ్లలో ఉన్నదేంటి? నాలో లేనిదేంటి?' అని లోలోన కుళ్లుకునే స్టూడెంట్సూ లేకపోలేదు. ఒక్కముక్కలో చేపపాలంటీ వాళ్లకున్నవి నాయకత్వ లక్షణాలు! వారిలా మీరూ లీడర్అయిపోవాలంటే సింపుల్గా కింది ఐదు సూత్రాలు పాటిస్తే సరి.

1. భయాన్ని భయపెట్టండి:
'ఏం మాట్లాడితే ఏం కొంపలంటుకుంటాయో? ఏం తప్పు జరుగుతుందో' చాలామందిలో ఉండే అనవసర భయాలివి. నిజానికి ఈ ప్రపంచంలో తప్పులు చేయనివారెవరూ ఉండరు. అయితే మీరు చేస్తుంది తప్పా ఒప్పా అని తెలుసుకోవాలంటే ముందు విషయం బయటకి రావాలి కదా. తప్పైనా ఒప్పైనా నలుగురిలో నిర్భయంగా మాట్లాడండి.

2. నచ్చిన సబ్జెక్టులో మెరవండి:
అందరూ అన్ని విషయాల్లో నిపుణులు కాకపోయినా ఒక్కో విషయంలోనైనా పర్‌ఫెక్ట్‌గా ఉంటారు. ఉదాహరణకు కొందరికి మ్యాథ్స్‌ను రఫ్ఫాడిస్తే ఇంకొందరు ఫిజిక్స్‌ని పిండి చేసేస్తారు. అలా నచ్చిన సబ్జెక్టులో నెంబర్వన్గా నిలిస్తే గుర్తింపొచ్చి మీ ఒళ్లో వాలదూ?

3. సంకోచం వదలండి:
టీచర్లుంది చదువు చెప్పడానికి. మీలో తప్పొప్పులు ఎంచుతూ కూర్చోడానికి కాదు. సంకోచాలు వీడి అర్ధంకాని విషయాలు అడగండి. మొహమాట పడితే మొదటికే మోసం. 'వెన్ఇన్డౌట్కట్ఇట్ఔట్‌'.

4. బాధ్యతగా మెలగండి:
నాయకుడికుండాల్సిన ముఖ్య లక్షణం బాధ్యతలు స్వీకరించడం. రిస్క్జోలికెళ్లనంటే రేస్లో వెనకబడిపోతారు.కాలేజీలో ఏ కార్యక్రమం జరిగినా బాధ్యతలు తీసుకొండి. ఎవరికే ఇబ్బందొచ్చినా ముందుండి అండగా నిలవండి.

5. వందశాతం మనసు:
దాహం వేసినపుడే బావి తవ్వుతానంటే కుదరదు. ఆటలో గెలవాలన్నా, పరీక్షల్లో మెరవాలన్నా ప్రణాళిక ప్రకారం వెళ్లాలి. అన్యమనస్కంగా చేస్తే అర ఫలితాలే వస్తాయి. మనసుపెట్టి చేయండి ఆల్‌రౌండర్‌గా నిలవండి.
(ఈనాడు, ఈతరం, ౧౩:౦౩:౨౦౧౦)
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Friday, March 12, 2010

చంద్రనగరి


ఆబాలగోపాలానికీ మామ వరసయ్యే అదృష్టశాలి ఆ చల్లనయ్య సెంద్రయ్యే! దేవతలు దోసిళ్లతో విరజిమ్మిన పారిజాతాలేమోననిపిస్తూ, చమక్‌ చమక్‌మంటున్న నక్షత్రాల నడుమ- వెండిరేకలతో విప్పారిన తెల్ల కలువలా మిసమిసలాడే రేరాజును చూడ ఎవరికైనా ముచ్చటే. అతని మీది కతలూ కైతలూ ఎప్పటికీ వినవేడుకే! పదహారు కళల కాణాచి అనిపించుకున్న అతడు- బువ్వ తినకుండా మారాంచేసే బుజ్జాయిలను బుజ్జగించే వేళ అమ్మ తోబుట్టువవుతాడు. 'సిందూరంలా పూస్తే చిట్టి చేయంతా... అందాల చందమామ అతనే దిగివస్తాడు' అని పాడుకుంటూ గోరింటాకును అద్దుకుని సిగ్గుమొగ్గలవుతూనే మురిసిపోయే కన్నెపిల్లలకు కలల రాకుమారుడవుతాడు. దూరాన ఉన్న జతగాణ్ని తలచుకుంటూ 'కోడి కూసే జాముదాకా తోడు రారా చెందురూడా' అని సాయాన్ని అర్థించే పల్లెపడుచుకు నేస్తమవుతాడు. పెళ్ళయిన జంటలు వలపు తేనెలపంట పండించుకునే వేళ వెండిదారాలల్లిన వెన్నెల పానుపవుతాడు. ప్రేమికులకు ప్రియబాంధవుడయ్యే చందమామ ఒక్కోసారి వారికి బద్ధశత్రువూ అవుతుంటాడు పాపం! శుక్లపక్షంలో దినదిన ప్రవర్ధమానమవుతూ, కృష్ణపక్షంలో రోజురోజుకీ తరిగిపోయే చంద్రకాంతుల మాదిరే- జాబిలిపై ప్రేమికుల్లో పెల్లుబికే రాగానురాగాలూ సందర్భావసరాలను బట్టి నిష్ఠురాలు, నిందోక్తులుగా తర్జుమా కావడం అదో ముచ్చట! 'ఆమె చందమామై అందగించిన/ నేను నీలిమొయిలునైన చాలు'నన్న అల్పసంతోషంతో ప్రియురాలి కోసం ఎదురుచూసే చిన్నవాడు... 'ఆమె కానుపింప అదె నాకు పున్నమ/ మగువలేక పున్నమయె అమాస' అని- విరగకాసిన వెన్నెలపై విసుక్కోవడమూ కద్దు.

మనసుకు చేరువైనవారి ఎడబాటు ఎదలో ముల్లుములుకులా తొలుస్తుంటే వేగిపోతున్నవారికి చంద్రుణ్నీ, అతగాడు వెదజల్లే వెన్నెలనూ జమిలిగా నిందించడం అలవాటే. అందులో మగవారు, మహిళలు సహాధ్యాయులే. అయినా, చంద్రుణ్ని దుమ్మెత్తిపోసే విషయంలో తమ కావ్య కథానాయికల్నే కవులు ఓ మెట్టుపైన ఉంచారు. చెంతలేని ప్రియకాంతుల్ని తలచుకుంటూ, అసలే తాము చింతాక్రాంతులై తల్లడిల్లుతుంటే, ఆ విరహాగ్ని రెట్టింపు చేసేలా వెన్నెల కుంపట్లు రాజేస్తున్నాడంటూ- మన ప్రబంధనాయికలు చల్లనయ్యకు వేసిన అక్షింతలు అన్నీఇన్నీ కావు. కిరణాల్నే పాశాలుగా ప్రయోగించి 'విరహిజనుల డాసి, ప్రాణముల్‌ తీసెదు దోసకారి/ రాజవా నీవు? యమధర్మరాజుగాని' అంటూ- కృష్ణుడి రాకకోసం నిరీక్షిస్తున్న రాధ నింగిలోని చంద్రుడిపై రుసరుసలాడుతుంది 'రాధికా సాంత్వనము'లో! సాగరమథనం సందర్భంగా హాలాహలంతో పాటు పుట్టిన జాబిల్లీ లోకకంటకమవుతుందన్న భయంతోనే సముద్రుడు ఆ రెంటినీ- 'త్రాగు తలబోసికొమ్మని వేగ హరునికిచ్చె'నంటూ ఇక 'నీ రుచి నెంచనేల చంద్ర' అన్నది 'విజయవిలాసం'లో సుభద్ర ఈసడింపు! విరహజ్వరాన్ని ఇంతలంతలు చేసే 'నీలో చల్లదనం వట్టి నేతిబీరచందం' అని 'ప్రభావతీ ప్రద్యుమ్నము' కథానాయిక తీర్పు ఇచ్చేసింది. నెలరాజు ఇన్ని దూషణలకు నెలవైనాడనే కాబోలు... 'చంద్రగోళం చవిటి పర్రమీద వెతగ్గా వెతగ్గా/ ప్రబంధనాయికల ఉపాలంభనలు దొరికినవట' అనికవి తిలక్‌ చమత్కరించాడు.

ఆ తిట్ల మాటేమోకానీ, చంద్రగోళం మాత్రం వట్టి చవిటిపర్రే. శాస్త్రీయ విజ్ఞానాన్ని మధించి, ప్రకృతి శక్తులను జయించి, విశ్వరహస్యాలను ఛేదించిన మానవ త్రివిక్రముని పాదముద్రలు- అవనీతలం నుంచి అంతరిక్షందాకా ప్రత్యక్షమవుతున్న రోజులివి. చంద్రమండలానికి మనుషుల ప్రయాణం సాధించరాని స్వప్నం కాదన్నాడు శ్రీశ్రీ తాను వెలిగించిన 'శరచ్చంద్రిక' గీతంలో. 'పరమాణువు గర్భంలోని పరమ రహస్యాలూ/ మహాకాశ వాతావరణంలోని మర్మాలూ తెలుసుకున్నాక/ సరాసరి నీ దగ్గరకే ఖరారుగా వస్తాంలే' అంటూ చందమామకు ధీమాగా చెప్పాడు. మహాకవి వాక్కులను సాకారం చేస్తూ, మనిషి చంద్రనగరిలోనూ పాగావేశాడు. అక్కడ లోయలు, గుట్టలు తప్ప- కవులు చెబుతున్న సుధలు, సౌందర్యాలు గట్రా లేవని తేల్చేశాడు. అంతమాత్రాన చంద్రప్రభలకు వచ్చిన లోటేమీ లేదు. కొన్ని లక్షల కిలోమీటర్ల దూరాన ఉన్నా- ఆ మేనమామ ఆవాసం- మనిషికి మానసోల్లాసమే. అక్కడి లోయలైనా శిఖర సమానమే. అవి తన పేరిట చలామణీ కావడం మనిషి ఘనతకు మరింత వన్నె తెచ్చేదే. నోబెల్‌ పురస్కార గ్రహీత సి.వి.రామన్‌, భారత అంతరిక్ష పరిశోధన కార్యక్రమ పితామహుడు విక్రమ్‌ సారాభాయ్‌, భారత అణు కార్యక్రమ పితామహుడు హోమీ భాభా, మేఘనాథ్‌ సాహావంటి మహామహుల పేర్లతో అక్కడి బిలాలు కొన్ని అలరారుతున్నాయంటున్నారు. బాలీవుడ్‌ బాద్‌షా షారుక్‌ఖాన్‌ 44వ జన్మదినోత్సవాన్ని పురస్కరించుకుని, చంద్రమండలంలోని ఓ బిలానికి ఆయన పేరిట నామకరణం చేసినట్లు న్యూయార్క్‌లోని 'లూనార్‌ జియోగ్రఫికల్‌ సొసైటీ' ఈ మధ్య ప్రకటించడం సంచలనం రేపింది. చంద్రగోళంలోనూ స్థలాల క్రయవిక్రయాలు సాగుతున్నట్లు అడపాదడపా వినవస్తోంది. చంద్రబిలాలకు వ్యక్తుల పేర్లు పెట్టడం, అక్కడి స్థలాల కొనుగోళ్లు, అమ్మకాలవంటివి ఉత్తిమాటేనన్నది అంతర్జాతీయ అంతరిక్ష సంఘం తాజా వక్కాణింపు. 'ఇంక నేనుందు ఇందుమండలమందు' అంటూ రెక్కలు కట్టుకువెళ్లి, చుక్కలలోకంలో వెన్నెలవిహారం చేయాలని ఉవ్విళ్లూరుతున్నవారిని ఉసూరుమనిపించే వార్తే ఇది. భాగ్యనగరంలోని జూబిలీ హిల్స్‌, బంజారా హిల్స్‌ మాదిరే- భవిష్యత్తులో చంద్రమండలంలోనూ జాబిలీ హిల్స్‌, బింబా హిల్స్‌ పేరిట విలాసనగరులు వెలుస్తాయని ఆశించినవారిది అడియాసేనా?
(ఈనాడు, సంపాదకీయం, ౩౧:౦౧:౨౦౧౦)
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THE SEXES- Osho, the original thinker

By Shobhaa De


It has taken 20 long years after his death for a small section of society to acknowledge and celebrate Osho. With the publication of Life’s Mysteries—An Introduction to the Teachings of Osho (Penguin India), perhaps a new generation of readers will get the chance to access Osho’s formidable work sans prejudice and bias. His was a life touched by genius… and madness.

In a country as hypocritical as ours, a person has to be a little crazy to say what Osho consistently said, knowing all along that his ideas would be mangled beyond recognition by those who were so conditioned by convention to conform to centuries of clichés about our ‘great culture’. Osho was horribly misunderstood during his lifetime. And rendered largely irrelevant to the next generation (after his death) that didn’t quite understand just how ahead of his time Osho really was. It was easy for an ignorant press to label him a ‘sex guru’ and focus on wild orgies at his commune in Pune.
Sure, Osho had dedicated a large part of his life to deconstruct and demystify sex—he’d consistently mocked those who gave it such exaggerated importance, he’d laughed at others who treated sex as a terrifying affliction. Sex, Osho declared, was like eating, sleeping, breathing, drinking. It was our problem if we attached any more significance to it.
His irreverence and wicked sense of humour (nothing was sacred in his book, and nobody was a holy cow) were misconstrued by people who refused to look beyond his flamboyant lifestyle (a careful construct that was actually a sly and subversive send-up of our fascination for money and symbols of wealth), his velvet robes and an impressive fleet of Rolls Royces (he changed cars every day to drive the short distance from his home to the meditation hall in which he held his discourses).

This was the essential Osho—as mischievous as a child. Ready to play intellectual pranks on the world, then sit back and chuckle at the furore those created. Behind the diamond bracelets and elaborate headgear was a man with complete and absolute control over his subject. Forget dubbing him a philosopher who had mastered comparative religions—any academic can rightfully make such a claim. Osho was an original.

His take on religion was radically different from anybody else’s. And as an original thinker, he challenged everything and everybody. In the bargain, he managed to annoy the world. Perhaps that was his intention. If there is one thing Osho hated it was complacency and smugness. He provoked with deliberation, aiming his barbs at those who were cosily ensconced in their bubbles of certainty about life and its ‘rules’ (BORRRRRING!!). Osho abhorred humbug and didn’t miss a single chance to debunk all those pious, pompous asses who sat in judgment over others. In the process, he acquired a terrible reputation and was seen as a threat to ‘civilised’ society. This positioning would have suited him fine as well had he not had to pay such a stiff price for it in terms of his physical health.

Post his ordeal in Oregon, which nearly cost him his life, Osho was a mere shadow of his former self—frailer in body and spirit, he more or less abdicated and left his vast empire in far less capable (even wily) hands. Today, the commune in Pune is no better than a swanky resort or spa, without a charismatic leader to head it. Yes, it still attracts foreigners looking for a warm winter break in Pune from the brutality of European winters, and I’m sure it makes serious money, too. But ‘Brand Osho’ has been devalued and diminished. The great scholar that Osho was, may just find the recognition denied to one of the last century’s most iconoclastic thinkers, thanks to the book. He died an inglorious death. But his vibrant life was his true message. Here’s hoping Osho lives vividly in our imagination once again. I was, and remain, Osho’s ardent admirer.
www.shobhaade.blogspot.com
(The Week)
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WICKED WORD- Cheese and sandwich

By V.S. jayaschandran



Cookbook writers can whip up wacky titles. Tushita Patel has named her book Flash in the Pan. Though clever, it smells of gunpowder.

The phrase “flash in the pan” comes from a pan in the old flintlock gun. The pan, with a lid, held a trace of gunpowder. On pulling the trigger, the flint hit the pan, causing a flash, which ignited the load of gunpowder in the barrel for the bullet to fly. Sometimes the flash did not ignite the load. Shooters called this failure a flash in the pan.

Writers used it to describe a “failure after a promising start”. Later it came to mean a “brief spurt of success”. The phrase had little to do with cooking or gold panning—or flipping one’s lid and flashing one’s privates.

The explorer Captain Cook’s name for Hawaii was Sandwich Islands. He named it after his mentor, the fourth earl of Sandwich. While gambling, the earl hated to leave for dinner, and asked for slices of bread packed with meat. People who saw him eat it named it sandwich.

Batter he may not have liked; but banter he did. He teased the actor Samuel Foote, saying he would either die of syphilis or hang from a rope. “My lord,” Foote retorted, “that will depend upon one of two contingencies—whether I embrace your lordship’s mistress or your lordship’s principles.”

Captain Gopinath declined a sandwich massage in a Phuket hotel, but ordered a masseuse each for himself and his Deccan Aviation partner, the pious K.J. Samuel. They were sharing a room. Sam spoiled the fun, says Gopinath in his autobiography, Simply Fly.

On another page, the author massages his ego and his fly. A female trekker befriends him as he explores the Grand Canyon. They swim naked in the river Colorado, pitch a tent, cook a meal and hit the bed. “I still remember the night vividly,” he writes.

The captain based his principles on the Kipling poem titled If. He memorised it at the National Defence Academy. It is framed and kept on every NDA cadet’s desk. The players’ entrance to Wimbledon’s centre court bears these lines from the poem: “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/ And treat those two impostors just the same.”
But ‘if’ does not interest P. Chidambaram, who is willing to date the Maoists. “I would like no ifs, no buts and no conditions,” he said, asking them for a simple statement abjuring violence. It is no longer a class war between the bourgeoisie and the booboisie. It is danse macabre, the dance of death.

Bihar knows how to sidestep the dance. It is slipping out of the BIMARU group with a healthy economic growth rate. The legislator Shyam Bahadur Singh displayed another side of the state when he gyrated with dancing bar girls in Patna. He thrust his hips at them and wriggled like a man bitten by tarantula.

The Italian town Taranto yielded the word tarantula, though it had no such species. It harboured only the milder wolf spiders. A dance of the town, called tarantella, apparently could give relief from spider bite. Doctors thought the dance was a hysterical response to a strong urge to wriggle. The Pelvis of Patna has this urge, no doubt. He should not delay calling his voters for a lap dance.

Raveena Tandon danced into stardom with the song Tu cheez badi hai mast mast in 1994. The suggestive Persian word cheez, meaning thing, led to the English phrase big cheese. Big cheese originally meant first-rate in quality, the real thing. Later it signified an important person, a big fish.

‘Mast’ also is of Persian origin, meaning intoxicated. It is another word for the elephant’s musth. Musk is more exciting. It descended from the Sanskrit muska (testicle), as the ancients mistook the source of the aroma. But they didn’t go wrong with mushkara (bully in Sanskrit). He is one with large orchids.
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(The Week)
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WICKED WORD- Duck the dogs of war

By V.S. Jayaschandran


Romans were keen bird watchers. They had priests, called augurs, who studied vultures and other birds of omen. Augurs watched the flight of birds, their feeding and their singing, and predicted auspicious times for inaugurations. The words augur, inauguration, auspicious and auspices all come from the Latin avis, meaning bird.
The biologist Thomas Huxley loved birds, but didn’t care two hoots about omens. The rationalist was neither a believer nor an atheist. He called himself an agnostic—a word he invented in 1870 by prefixing ‘a-’ to Gnostic. A Gnostic is one who knows. Huxley was better known as the defender of evolution who called himself “Darwin’s bulldog”. He asserted that birds evolved from dinosaurs. Scientists last month proved him right, after studying a fossil found in China.

Canary evolved from canines. The bird was native to the Canary Islands, which got its name from the large dogs (canis in Latin) that roamed the islands. The place, in turn, lent its name to the bird. But some Canarians growl that it is all a canard. They say Romans named the place after seals called sea dogs.

Frenchmen eat canard. It is their word for duck. The English word canard, meaning false report, came from the French saying vendre un canard à moitié—that is, to half-sell a duck. If you half-sell a duck, you are playing a hoax on the buyer.

The forces fighting the Maoists dismiss reports of state terror as canards. There is no collateral damage, says P. Chidambaram. But officers on the Maoist hunt would like some airborne action and have asked for helicopters. If Indians could strafe Nagaland and Mizoram in the past, why deny them the pleasure in the drone age.

Germans chanted Gott strafe England during World War I. It meant God punish England, a pun on the anthem God Save the King. They printed the phrase on buttons, badges and wedding rings. It became a greeting that rivalled Guten Tag. But they admired Roland Garros, the French aviator who found a way to fire through the propeller blades of his plane in dogfights. They copied his technique. An American newspaper called him ‘ace’ when he shot down five German planes.

Tennis ace Andre Agassi loved to give the bird—a gesture with the middle finger. He writes about four dogs in his autobiography, Open, and senses ill omens in two of them. One is a dog that his first wife, Brooke Shields, tattooed on her hip without telling him. Another, her albino pit bull called Sam, eyeballs him all the time. The marriage goes to the dogs.

The presence of dogs in a Paris restaurant unsettles him at the Roland Garros in 1988. He writes: “The first time I walk into a café, on the Champs-Elysees, a dog raises its leg and unleashes a stream of pee against the table next to mine.”

Agassi is all praise for the fourth dog, which appears at a match in Indianapolis in 1996. He is well ahead of his opponent, Daniel Nestor, who breaks his serve. In a fit of anger, Agassi whacks the ball out of the stadium and abuses the umpire and referee with a word that rhymes with duck. They stop the match and declare Nestor winner.

“The fans start a riot,” Agassi writes. “...They are booing, firing seat cushions and water bottles into the court.” The tournament mascot, a dog, trots onto the court. “He reaches the middle of the net, lifts his hind leg and pees. I couldn’t agree more. He makes a jaunty exit. I’m right behind him, ducking my head, dragging my tennis bag.”

The words tennis, tenure and lieutenant descended from the Latin word tenir, meaning to hold. Lieutenant was one who held tenure in place of another person. Its American pronunciation, lieu tenant, reveals the root. Lieutenant generals facing court martial in the Sukhna case should court the bawdy poet Martial. He can teach them how to give everyone the bird.
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