Thursday, March 19, 2009


"Order” is a word when repeated thrice, ushers my imagination in a flash ..into a court room setting. I see vividly in my mental image , a picture of a court room.. jam packed with audience brimming with curiosity, incredulity and repugnance. I hear a case being argued about and counter-argued(??) in a foreign language that I am unable to comprehend….I see a man with a grim face at a distance who has been convicted of some abhorrent crimes and I hear the verdict of the judge

“A life imprisonment”..

Well.. what is all this???....This was the projection of my mind (which had been quite dormant of-late) … when I read the news of the verdict of the Austrian Josef Fritzl‘s case. A case that has shocked the entire world!!!! Perhaps half of my imagination is a bit of an intumesced version of the court room scenario in reality!!!!..

But what is the undeniable reality??!!!… Austrian Josef Fritzl, locked his daughter in a cellar and fathered her seven children. The very statement emphasizes the fact that the torment undergone by the daughter has not been a short lived one…but has extended to a gruesome 20+ years… The cellar had been maintained as a dungeon..deprived of sun light and typically characterised by lack of moving space.

All this sounds like a horror story …. A story that one might think could possibly happen only in movies. It is scary to even think that perhaps horror movies take their inspiration from real lives.

I was pondering on what could be the root cause for such a behavioural trait of Fritzl which defies all logic and reasoning. First few thoughts pointed towards a possible psychiatric disorder, mental instability and what not. But his Modus operandi of the entire torture process that has happened surreptitiously …..definitely seems to be a product of a rather sane, intelligent mind albeit a perverted one. One cannot fail to notice the ingenuity of his crooked mind in making the cellar a secret location which was so well hidden that when the police searched the property they failed to find it until Mr Fritzl showed them where it was.

Further shocking is the outcome of analysis of the convict by psychiatrists and experts in the related professions. They have tentatively stated that Fritzl is quite a “sane” person and his authoritative and domineering natures have been the root cause for the entire problem.

What remains baffling to me is… How could even one of his behavioural abnormalcy ..not have been spotted by anyone around him…his friends, his colleagues, his family ?!!!!...Or was it that… it was noticed, but not reported of ???..Or worse still ..was it not noticed at all??!!!!

This brings to question the very mode of functioning of our social structure of the current days. Are we so less concerned about the people around us and so busy with our own lives that we fail to take notice of people , their traits and happenings around us?.. Have we got too much used to the concepts like “personal space “and “intrusion into one’s privacy “ that we formally create a safe distance between ourselves and the rest of the world and create a bubble around ourselves??. Getting in and out of the bubble becomes our own discretion as and when required and we do not let others decide the dimensions of our bubble for us.

Are we struggling to draw a line between being too judgemental and being too tolerant and accommodative of shortcomings of others??. As a community and as a society what should be our responsibility and course of action towards preventing such crimes from happening in the future?. Are we going to be lamely blaming the Government for anything and everything that happens around us or are we going to address the root cause of such problems ourselves??. How do we prevent such Fritzls in the world from continuing to be so menacing of unimaginable magnitudes??.

Although these questions keep reverberating in my mind….I do not know of a conclusive answer to any of these.. …The pondering continues!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Greeting the New Year

With the New Year just around the corner it is time for new new hopes to spring and for the hope of resurrection of peace and prosperity to unfold across the globe.

The year of 2008 has been quite challenging and the world has been experiencing some worst blows in both social and economic areas.

The economic downturn and the recession have created havoc in the lives of many and many. Great retail giants, banks and manufacturing units spanning across a variety of domains and sectors that have previously stood the test of time …have had a disastrous debacle in 2008 .Millions have become jobless rendering them clueless about their future. Thousands of homes have been re-possessed from mortgage defaulters. The Governments of various countries are aggressively fighting out these undesirable turn of events.

However even the Superpowers are struggling hard to restore economic normalcy. We have to wait and watch to see what the victory of Obama in the U.S is going to mean for the rest of the world and how his policies are going to get translated to the welfare of the rest of the world. Well, there is hope in the air that things would change for the better.

On the other hand, the plight of Zimbabweans is so pitiful. It is abominable that the hunger for power and pride could deprive some bureaucrats of their fundamental sense of humanity. The wide spreading epidemic and lack of proper sanitation have been blissfully ignored by the people ruling the land in their repulsive dispute for their authority over the piece of land. Well, there is hope in the air that things would change for the better.

2008 has witnessed some of the worst testimonials of deep rooted terrorism that has interwoven itself with unidentifiable sections of the society. Terrorism has become a global issue and it has been manifesting itself in a very different dimension. There are no specific demands these days put forth by the terrorists ….no scope for negotiations….but there is only one massacre after another. It is heart wrenching to know that many young adults are being misled into erroneous psychotic beliefs under the garb of religion and being instigated to involve themselves in homicidal activities. Well, there is hope in the air that things would change for the better.

Just remember ….“The darkest hour is just before dawn” . Now that darkness seems to already be the order of the current situation….…let us hope that dawn is not too far away!!!!!

Wish You All A Very Happy, Peaceful And Prosperous New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dhoom Machale!!!!

Life seems so renewed and refreshing after one and half months of vacation well spent at India. There was a thread of festive mood extending throughout the span of the vacation either because it was Navarathri or Diwali or because there was the wedding of this person who shared my mom’s womb with me darling sister.

Life in UK for a few years now .. a few thousands of miles away from the homeland had in fact alienated us from hard core celebrations and rejoicing of these festivals . In comparison to jubilation in India ...I should say that whatever we observe in the foreign land on the festival days is just downsized version of the original one.

I still remember ...during my childhood days I would stay awake and restless the whole of the Diwali eve night in anticipation of the next day (Diwali day).Every single aspect of Diwali would be so exciting ... New dresses, crackers, sweets, relatives visiting our house, special TV programmes and what not!!!..More than anything ...we did not have to go to school on these festival days!!!!!!! I would secretly put up a row with the great GOD asking him why there was only one day of Diwali in the whole year....I would yearn for every day in my life to be as special as Diwali day.

But as I grew up and set my footprint into adulthood ...that feeling waned away slowly and all these celebrations seemed meaningless and very artificial. Generally in one’s life ...late teens and early 20s are the formative years for fresh thinking when one usually tends to challenge and question the so called usual practises and norms. Trying to be different and rebellious would seem very appealing. In my observation, that would generally be a very short lived phase ..and very sooner do we get drawn back and absorbed into the ways of the society around us and sooner or later we direct some of our efforts towards the understanding of the very purpose and significance of such facets of life.

Festivals have been an integral part of our culture and have been handed over from one generation to another for so many centuries now. In my opinion appears that such occasions have been created with the intention to strengthen our social spirit . The modes of celebrations of both festivals and weddings seem to focus more on social gatherings ..renewing relationships, reinforcing the already established hierarchical structure of our society where elderly people are held in respect. Values like sharing, giving, recognising are being vehemently reminded and triggered. These were purposely meant and designed to break away from the monotony of routine life ...provide an opportunity to think of the next of our kith and kin which is very much needed especially in the current set up of a self centred life .

More than anything these occasions help us to open the doors of our culture and traditions to our kids who are being born and brought up in a completely foreign land. These create a binding to our roots and help our kids in understanding the true substance of our values.

Of course is completely understandable that it is very difficult to emulate the Indian festive ambiance in a foreign land . That is why we should try and spend at least one such occasion in India so that our kids get a real time and firsthand experience of what it is all reality. On the flip side be prepared to endure a heavy damage to your money wallet and get spoilt for choices in terms of shopping.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Ooh Aah Ouch!!!

Just as I flipped through the newspaper, I could notice a lot of references made to the economy of UK and its future. Even as I scroll through the pages of BBC News everyday morning, I see a lot of references being made to the looming outbreak of recession. Clearly from what I can understand, UK is set to confront some difficult times. Inflation has been soaring and we get to hear about downsizing being the current trend in a lot of major organisations. House prices have been falling steadily and quite a significant number of mortgage payers have been trapped in negative equity.

For a few quarters now, Bank of England has been attempting to keep the situation under control by keeping its base current unaltered. How far this decision of Bank Of England has really helped economy get back to its track is being subjected to a lot of criticism. Lots of mortgage lenders have tightened their reins and there is a dip in the number of first time home buyers trying to climb up the property ladder. The current downward trend is also an effect of the global economic setback and its cascading impacts.

Well ...what does all this mean to a common man and how does it boil down to his day to day life?.

Wife: hey John...why don’t you take me to some place expensive and make me feel special?

Husband John: Oh sure honey..I shall take you to the gas station.

This was a joke published in Readers Digest. One can just not be practically oblivious to the changing times. The prices of all the commodities have been steadily increasing. Petrol seems to be ridiculously overpriced. Although the supermarkets are fiercely competing with each other to offer the cheapest prices for its still can’t escape the pinch of steadily and sneakily increasing grocery bills . The energy providers are adopting a very impressive way to declare the increase in the charges. They claim:

“We are one of the last companies in UK to increase the energy prices ” .

As though.. this is going to be a source of solace for its customers, especially with the winter fast approaching.. At least I am happy that these energy providers know how to break a bad news with a sugar coated wrapper. There are waves and waves of price increases .Such is the state in UK today.

But what do we really like to hear???

It is not all gloom and doom

We could console ourselves that this condition of uncertainty and instability has not been forecasted to hang around forever. The general word is that by the end of 2010 , we could see a change for the better. I hope it is ok to believe this.. as it helps to keep my chin up during difficult times and keep hoping for some positive changes to happen soon.

Another area that we could capitalise on the attractive interest rates offered by the banks in return to our savings .Some short term and long terms saving accounts have been offering interest rates between 7 and 10% .This is a good news for people with a considerable amount of cash to stash away. Personally I have found the Motley fool’s site:

to be a very informative and a useful site that gives me regular updates on almost every financial aspect under the sky.

Regular use of price comparison sites and hunting for the best deals in supermarkets and high street shops never fail to offer an advantage over impulsive shopping. The clubcard deals offered by Tesco is truly a wonderful opportunity for us to visit a lot of places or enjoy a variety of experiences from days out, activities and holidays.

Make the most of all this and Enjoy!!!!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cradle of the Great!!!

A pair of legs dressed in black trousers disembarks from the helicopter that has its blades spinning ,cutting across the plane of air that surrounds it. The legs then speed through a long stretch of pathway surrounded by breath taking greenery on either sides and reaches the entrance of a palatial house(??) or is it a palace???.

Let us now move our focus from the legs to the face ..OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH it is none other than Shah Rukh Khan and what I just wrote above is a scene from “Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham”. Am I going to write a review of the movie???..I can hear you mumbling “it was a movie that got released in 2001 and enough has been written and talked about it. It would almost be an anachronism to write about it now!!!”.

Let me give you some relief that this post is no review of a movie ..but of the famous palace that appeared in the movie “Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham”. It was none other than the Blenheim Palace located in Oxfordshire in United Kingdom. The palace is notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Last weekend was our much planned and much procrastinated trip to Blenheim palace. For those who have visited Windsor Castle before Blenheim palace, the interior of the palace would seem relatively less impressive. Just as I finished writing the previous line, it occurred to me that it is only too obvious that a Queen’s abode would be any day be classier than any other palaces in UK. Every attempt would indeed be pursued to glorify a Queen’s palace to make it matchless.

We basked in the scenic beauty of the parks and gardens surrounding the palace. It is a realization of the vision of John Vanbrugh, an architect, who wanted to see a messy valley get converted to the splendid beauty as it is seen today. The formal gardens include Water Terraces, Rose Garden, Arboretum, Cascades or the Secret Garden. I do not want to get into the task of recounting the technical details, as I am pretty sure that there would be a dearth of adjectives in my limited vocabulary to bring out the splendour of the scenic beauty in its entirety. So to compensate for that, please find a few pictures of them that I have tried to capture.

We then went to watch the “'Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story' a new permanent visitor experience that brings dramatic events from the history of Blenheim Palace to life”. At least this is what is claimed by the authorities of the palace. Although lot of innovative ideas have gone into this and there has been a sincere attempt to create an awe using some unique areas of technology, it still fails to impress or even create an impact in the minds of the visitors..perhaps as it was more like a play portrayed in a too very dramatic manner, that one fails to relate to it.

We had a very pleasurable walk around the gardens, cascade and Arboretum, the memories of which would linger in our minds for quite some significant time to come. Finally we took a miniature train to the pleasure gardens. The narrow gauge train trip was very amusing for my daughter, much more amusing than the row that the parents (of 4 kids) seated in the adjacent coach were having. It was evident that they were exasperated after a daylong picnic especially with 4 kids ..I don’t think I need to elaborate anymore here.

To conclude..Blenheim palace is definitely one of the “must-see” places in UK and you should easily allocate a day in whole to witness and completely absorb the true beauty of the place.


Friday, July 18, 2008

The Greener Side Of Life

“Welcome Welcome!!!!” I whispered ..mentally lost in the beauty of the newcomers to my home. What colour and splendour they exuded!!!!!.. Would “Miss Universe” be humbled in front of them??!!! Are they the loveliest creations on earth??!!!...S led the newcomers to our patio and gave them their comfortable positions which would turn out be their permanent place of habitation henceforth.

We had just returned from a nursery carrying a set of potted plants to adorn our patio. Although we intended to do this as a measure to primarily beautify our backyard..a strange feeling crept in just after we lodged those plants. It was as though they were an extension of our family and that we now had the responsibility to help these life forms thrive and flourish. I felt it a bit weird to feel so sentimental about something that was not even half the size of my daughter. I thought this be some impulsive, transient, ephemeral feeling which would decamp after a short nap. Perhaps I was wrong in thinking so!!!!.

Shutting the door that leads to my patio..I came into my house..I could not help taking a second look at my patio through the glass doors of my home. We had carefully selected the plants in such a way that no two plants birthed flowers of the same colour. There were gorgeous red roses on one end and the lavishly elegant Marigold French on the other. Marigold French bear flowers which have a brilliant combination of bright yellow, orange and red. One look at them, we tend to wonder how nature is the master and superior most of all artists. Could colours be even blended more tastefully? In between them we had arranged the plants that gave out pure white, lavender and pink flowers respectively.

Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.- Gerald De Nerval

Amidst these, was the handsome shrub, the evergreen conifer, enjoying the company of the delicate breed of darlings all around.

My daughter became a little uncomfortable in the last half an hour or so as she was brimming with jealousy. She just felt undue attention was being given to some other entity at her home other than her own self. This attention was something she had got so much used to, being the indisputable boss of our home. It was as though she started to harbour “sibling rivalry”. In an attempt to cheer her up, I told her that she could have an allowance of two flowers per day and that she could place them over the pictures of GOD in our prayer room. We began this ritual on the first day itself. She was really excited doing it and little did I know that it was going to become a regular feature in her typical day in the forthcoming weeks.

Next morning, as even I woke up I made up a mental note of the list of tasks for the day and was quite amused to find that “watering the plants” cropped up immediately after the task of feeding my daughter. The unconscious sequencing of the tasks made me wonder if I considered both the tasks to be almost of equal importance.

Yes subconsciously this addition to our patio has brought about a subtle change in all of us. The following weekends, I observed S getting his hands dirty with “Compost” to provide nutrition for these plants and was busy changing those plants to bigger pots. Every time it rained during the day(the crazy British weather!!!) my daughter and I would run almost involuntarily towards the glass door which would unfold the view of our patio. My daughter would point out at the plants and would make a gesture as though she was feeling sorry for them getting wet.

On a relaxed day, when everything around us is calm... each one of us in our family would be caught unaware by the others, at different times , for silently gazing at the resplendent flowers endlessly.

Where flowers bloom so does hope.- Lady Bird Johnson

For those of you who have not ventured into gardening yet, I can say with certainty that you are missing out on a great source of pleasure and gratification.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

blah blah kiddie corner

“OOOOOOOO”,”IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII”,”EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”....are you someone passing by my home ??..then you are sure to hear these monosyllables repeated over and over again relentlessly. Oh no..please do not jump to a wrong conclusion that this could be due to domestic violence....”S” is too much of a good person for all that .Of course I would not dare to raise my hands against the only other option is also ruled out. Breaking the suspense(???) , it is because of the coaching of a mum to her daughter ..Itz Me!!!!

My daughter, who has stepped into her toddler years recently, has been needing a bit of pepping up and help in improving her verbal communication skills. It is quite surprising that she is taking her own sweet time in this area because both the people whom she has known for her entire life and who have introduced her into this world ,need to be reminded often to shut their mouths and their nonstop yackety-yak(ing).

With a bit of help and inputs from the professionals in that area, I am able to see some steady progress in her. I wanted to share whatever little I have learnt from my experience with the rest of the mums who might need some techniques and tools to deal with similar (not so serious)problems. First of all, I am being told that this is a common problem with kids exposed to multilingual household. I am still having to question the veracity of this popular statement. Anyway our family also falls into the category of being conversant with and speaking in more than one language at home.

So the first step forward is to confine our day to day talks to one single language preferably our own mother tongues. This way our child is being given an opportunity to have a strong foundation laid in one language. Once this has been established well then getting acquainted with the secondary or more languages becomes relatively easier for them.

Often communication between the parents and children are encouraged to happen face to face. This way kids get to observe our lip movements and they eventually try to mimic the same. So we have to get down to their eye level whenever we talk to them and utter the words at a slow pace so that it could be easily followed.

The sentences that we use for the expression of our thoughts have to be as short and simple as possible. Preferably not more than 3 words in a sentence.

For ex: instead of saying “why don’t you remove your shoes” we could say “shoes off”
Instead of staying “ you should wear your shirt”, it could be put forth as “ shirt on”

Lots and lots of encouragement and appreciation need to be given to the little ones. Whenever they speak to adults they have to be made to feel very important and listened to. This not only offers them confidence to pursue their newly acquired skill, but also infuses a sense of pride in them simply because:

Their WORDS mean a lot to their parents who in turn mean a WORLD to the kids themselves!!!!

Stick on to routines that are very regular and try and use the same words as a part of the routine over and over again. For instance, every day after lunch, we could read out the same book to our kids and try and point out the same set of objects in the book day after day. Familiarity and repetition with a definite set of words goes a long way in stimulating the speech process.

Online games like the ones below come to our aid as well:

Real world objects and their association with names for identification accelerate the pace of learning. Instead of monotonously uttering the names of vegetables, fruits and other objects, a trip to a nearby local supermarket where the kids can see and touch every such vegetable and fruit and thus learning to identify and relate those using their names prove to be a fruitful technique.

I am no expert in this field nor do I do R&D in this area.. These are a few ideas from experts which have proven to be of some help to me. These could or could not work for others. Please do not hold me responsible for any kind of outcomes...Common Sense as well as trial and error methodology overrules everything!!!!!


Friday, May 30, 2008

The Karma Chameleon

The word karma meaning “action” in the strictest sense has always been a topic of debate and discussion in all parts of the world.

In India, this word has got so much integrated with our thought system that with or without much contemplation, we are instantaneously able to relate this to “As we sow, so we reap” . Hinduism elaborates on the laws that are pertaining to karma and how the entire phenomenon of creation is governed by the laws of karma. We shall come to it later.

Let us begin from the standpoint of a novice. Throughout our lives we see all sorts of diversities and disparities around us. There are always opposites in every aspect of creation ...the rich and the poor ..the able bodied and the disabled...birth and and sorrow.

What could we possibly attribute these differences to?.

Why are some babies born in affluent families treading upon the path of aggrandisement while a few others are born into families that lead impoverished life?

Can we dismiss all these differences as a random outcome of creation?.

But then as the Vedic exponents have claimed and propagated :

We ourselves are the witnesses of so much of orderliness in the way the elements of nature operate .The sun never fails to rise in the eastern direction and set in the western direction , the earth never takes a break from revolving around the sun or rotating on its own axis. The sea never stops experiencing the continuous evolution and expiry of waves. All these are essential components of this cosmic creation. When all these behave in such a predictable manner as though they are abiding by the laws of creation with utmost obedience and discipline, how could the human beings and the circumstances that determine the quality of their lives alone be a random outcome of creation?.

There needs to be an answer to all this. The only difference between the other elements of creation and the rational human beings are that we are blessed with the faculties of “free-will” and “intellect”. The omnipotent creator of the universe has empowered and authorised us to decide and enact our actions and thoughts in a way WE CHOOSE TO ,while the other elements of creation have been deprived of this faculty.

To be endowed with such a privilege does not come free of cost. The cost we pay for this is to hold the complete responsibility for all our actions and reap the consequences accordingly. Even according to scientific theories, every action triggers a reaction. Hence good actions fructify as positive experiences and bad actions fructify as undesirable experiences in life. This is the law of Karma.

But the next question that crops up in our minds is:

Then all good people should lead a blissful and gratifying life and all wrong doers should be punished intensely in their lives. But sometimes we do see contradicting happenings in our own lives and the ones around us. The answer proposed by Vedas is that we should not confine our assessment- only with regards to our current lives. We have to take into consideration that we are all a part of cyclic and multiple courses of birth and deaths in the cosmos. So the effects of our actions could be felt in either the current life or any one of our reincarnations.

But first and foremost we should have an unshakable faith in the fact that the Superpower that is the cause of all creation is unbiased and just at all times and does not endeavour to inflict unwarranted pain at any point in our lives. Every iota of happiness and sorrow that we experience in our current lives is what we have earned for ourselves because of our past actions. No one else or any other entity in the universe is to be blamed for it.

Strong belief in the above theory has two fold effects. The first one being, it serves as an incentive for us to lead an ethical and moral life so that our current doings would pave way for a good future. If our past actions are responsible for our current life, then drawing a corollary, our current actions should determine the quality of our future life (or lives).

The second effect being we can free ourselves from feeling victimised and getting entangled in the clutches of self-pity. To elaborate on this, if we believe that all the happenings in our lives are just random outcomes of creation, while we immensely enjoy the happy moments, we shall feel victimised when we are subjected to undesirable happenings. We shall wrongly conclude that the sorrow that we are undergoing has been unduly imposed on us. This would further reinforce the feeling of helplessness in us. On the other hand if we realise that only because of our “not-so-good “actions in the past , the current sorrows are inflicted upon us, then we shall reconcile to the fact and start thinking ahead on what needs to be done next to set everything right and do the needful.

The law of karma goes a long way in giving us a mental makeover to take control over our lives and feel the necessity to adhere to the Dharmic laws. It teaches us not to affiliate ourselves with the concept of fatalism. It reinforces the fact that how and what we want to be henceforth is completely in our hands and minds.

To demystify the key concepts of life and get a better insight into the very purpose of all this, lectures on the interpretation of Vedas and Upanishads go a long way.
A living legend is Swami Paramarthananda, a disciple of Swami Dayananda Saraswathi. His logically organised lectures and his methodical reasoning out of the various concepts of Vedas makes it very easy for us to comprehend the essence of the great works.


Friday, May 9, 2008

The Abode Of The Queen

Last weekend was a long weekend as the humankind chose to commemorate the achievements of the labour movement. Simply put ....May Day holiday. S and I decided to spend one of those days in a place of historic importance. Windsor Castle was the closest and the most practicable option.

Anybody living in the United Kingdom would be aware even in the deep slumber state of the following fact. Getting hold of a parking space for their car in any public place in UK is a nightmare. So to beat this, we left for the Castle much before a British(er) would wake up on a holiday. That was around 9:00 in the morning. The roads of Windsor looked deserted and we were bestowed upon with the rarest of the privileges of getting to choose a suitable parking slot for our car, amidst hundreds of vacant slots.

We had a couple of tens of minutes at our disposal before the Castle was going to be opened for public view. We expended those minutes on the banks of river Thames while my daughter was becharmed by the ducks and swans in the river. Those were comparable to my daughter in size and were a delightful source of entertainment to her twinkling eyes.

Finally the gates of the Castle gave way for its visitors. The enormity of the building(s) and its surrounding open space would leave anyone gaping and gasping for breath. Throughout our tour of the Castle, we were provided with a “walkie talkie kind of thing” with key pad on it. Each key in the key pad unfolded the description and specialities of a particular area of the Castle through an audio clip. To this day, the Castle is one of the official residences of the Queen.

One of the wonders of the castle is the “Doll House” . This doll house has been created for the queen Mary as a gift by her husband. Whether it was originally intended to be a display of affection of a husband to his wife or was it more of an effort to leave its onlookers flabbergasted, is for its visitors to ruminate.

The Doll House has magnificent collection of miniature items , figurines and art pieces. In fact there was a miniature replication of the castle itself. One could estimate the amount of efforts, time and skill that has gone towards the creation of these exquisite items from the extent of details that has been brought out on them. Awesome is one word that could describe them. Every piece of display item, starting from the carpets to the flower vase to the functional flushable toilet were identical to their original counterparts, except that they were reduced in size of the order of 1:12.

As we moved on to the State Apartments, we got to witness some of the finest pieces of art and collections belonging to the Royals. The resplendence and the sumptuousness of the palace was a testimony of sheer power and wealth that they held, once upon a time. A great portion of them were the acquired wealth obtained as and when the empire colonised and took over the other parts of the world. One of them worth mentioning is Tippu Sultan’s gold Tiger’s head. If only our fore fathers had been united in India a few centuries back, we would have had the opportunity of boasting the ownership of such marvels today.

People who are interested in the complete details of the collection please visit:

As we moved on, we wondered about the workmanship of silver furniture, stunning chandeliers, ceilings covered with elegant drawings, wooden carvings transformed into architectural wonders that have touched unspoken horizons of perfection. The grandeur of every section of the palace, be it the State Dining room or the audience chamber or the drawing room makes us think if this is the closest representation of heaven.

It was a visual treat in the truest sense. Once out of the Castle I came to my senses that there were 2 more people who had accompanied me and at that moment I was incognisant of their whereabouts.


I could spot S distantly carrying our little one on his shoulders as she had fallen asleep hours before (and obviously had refused to get into the pram). The rest of the day got spent tending to S’s back pain and my little one’s crankiness due to lack of undisturbed sleep. Is this what people call as “paying the price???”.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Once Upon A Time

While I was whiling away my time on the Internet, I could overhear the dialogues of a movie, making references to World War, from the idiot box in the next room. Of course it was S enjoying a few hours of his evening time peacefully without being bothered by me or my little one. This, to him, is one of the vital necessities to refresh him after a tiring day.

Meanwhile I went back virtually in time by more than a decade. Back then,I was attempting to be a studious and an attentive student in school. Whether I ever succeeded in becoming one or not , is a zillion dollar question.

Until the tenth grade we were not offered with many options with regards to the subjects that we had to hear the lectures of and take exams. “History” was one subject that never failed to lapidify me. I always used to think it was such an utter waste of time and the tutors who handled the subject were invariably vocalising the text books ,word for word. That “one hour” or so of the lecture would seem like an interminable torture. I always used to prepare for history exams with an intense dislike, as I failed to see a purpose with “History”.

I used to think :
What use is of “History” when compared to Science and Maths which were going to help us realise our dreams of becoming doctors and engineers in future.

I was on the first day of my ninth grade .Our Maths teacher had just completed her session and we were waiting for our history teacher to step in. “Oh My God” how many more days do I need to endure this torment was what I thought to myself. I was waiting for a miracle to happen.

The miracle did happen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Much to my surprise, this new teacher never got on board with the textual lessons in the first session. She dedicated the whole hour for highlighting the significance of “history” and why it is so important to us.

History may be called, more generally still, the Message, verbal or written, which all Mankind delivers to everyman-Thomas Carlyle

I came to realise that, the present can never be fully appreciated and hailed without the information or idea of the past. What we are today is a consequence of what we were and what we did yesterday. It is from history we know what good was done in the past for us to realise its benefits now and what atrocities happened in the same past that has led us to where we are now. History shows us the correct path that we need to tread on and helps us distinguish the bitter from the better one.

The study of great civilisations, the downfall of great empires and dynasties, the study of renaissance , revolutions, the great wars and every other area of “history” casts light on some or other human behavioural tendencies and what man has been craving for from the beginning.

Instead of viewing history as a few lines in a text book, I learnt to treasure it as a snapshot of the world at any particular instance of time. It explains the evolution of mankind from being primitive Homosapiens to the ultra modern kind that they are today.

History teaches everything including the future-Lamartine

I take this opportunity to thank the teacher who showed me the bigger picture of the subject and helped me appreciate its true essence.

As long as there is a present , there will be a history- Itz Me!!!