August 24, 2005

Raja Ravi Varma's Master Pieces

Stumbled upon a terrific link in
The Genius of Raja Ravi Varma

Ravi Varma was born in the royal palace of Kilimanoor, which is situated 25 miles from Thiruvananthapuram, in Kerala, India. He got the patronage of Ayilyam Thirunal Maharaja of Travancore when he was 14 years of age, and was taught by the palace painter Rama Swamy Naidu. He was later taught oil painting by a British painter Theodor Jenson.

Raja Ravi Varma came to widespread acclaim after he won an award for an exhibition of his paintings at Vienna in (CAN U BELIEVE!!) - 1873.

The lighting works in this painting of the Lady giving alms is astounding.

Found some criticism on the wikipedia
He is criticised for having overshadowed the traditional art forms.
He lacks dynamism of expression. Moreover, his approach of frontality, which is in turn an application of the western "Academic Art", has severe limitations in terms of space and movement

Another article in on Ravi Varma.

Whatever may be the pros & cons...I was spell-bound by this painting. Just notice the detailing in all the costumes..Great Orchestra! I should say!!

August 23, 2005


Sittannavasal ('sith-than-na-vaa-sal') is the best-known archaeological site in Pudukkottai, TamilNadu. It is famous for its cave paintings, which are second only in importance after Ajanta paintings in the art history of India. It is perhaps the only place where you can find inscriptions in Tamil from the 3rd century BC to the 13th century AD. Also there are megalithic monuments such as stone-circles, urn and cists burials spread in the plains around the hill

One of the steep hills in the village contains an isolated but spacious cavern. Locally, this cavern is known as Ezhadippattam, a name that is derived from the seven holes cut into the rock that serve as steps leading to the shelter. Within the cave there are seventeen stone berths aligned into rows, and each of these has a raised portion that could have served as a pillow-loft. The largest stone berth has a distinct Bramhi inscription assignable to the second B.C.E., and some inscriptions belonging to eighth C.E. are also found on the nearby beds.

The Sittannavasal cavern continued to be the "Holy Samana Abode" until the seventh and eighth centuries. Inscriptions over the remaining stone berths name mendicants such as Tolakunrattu Kadavulan, Tirunillan, Tiruppuranan, Tittaicbaranan, Sri Purrnacandl"an, and Nityakaran Pattakali as monks, who no doubt, were resolved to spend their lives in isolation at Sittannavasal.

The neighboring hill, not far from these natural caverns, possesses a rock-cut temple The basement mouldings of the shrine are rather simple and its architectural style belongs to seventh century.

The shrine has a row of three Tirthankaras carved on the rear wall. These icons are almost identical in seated padmasana posture and crowned by triple umbrellas. They are said to be Adinatha, Neminatha and Mahavira, even though their identifying symbols are conspicuously absent. The lateral walls of the mandapa contain two niches accommodating bold relief's of Parsvanath and another unidentified icon, probably of a preceptor. The image of Parsvanatha is majestically shown seated in the dhyana posture and is canopied by a five-hooded serpent. The calm countenance in contrast to the sturdy nature of the torso exhibits the superior skill of the Pandya sculptor. gives details on the Jain Cave Temple, the Sittannavasal Paintings, Ezhadippattam, and The Navach-chunai,

The Hindu also covers sittannavasal in their Rocky Retreat.

August 18, 2005

Lucky Bum - Porsche as a Tip

A waitress in Sweden thought her elderly customer was joking when he offered her his Porsche as a tip, but he kept his word and gave her the keys to the car, daily Aftonbladet reported.

Times of India gives this "smoke in the ears" Report.

Justin was waiting tables at the Njuraanger Cafe in Sundsvall in central Sweden when the man, who had recently retired and was dining with a group of gentlemen, asked her age. When she told him, "he said I would get his Porsche as a tip."

Hmm...Some careers can be really rewarding!!

Arundhati Roy - Narmada Bacho Andolan

Thanks to Abi! I read one powerhouse of a book.
The Greater Common Good
And Thanks to OutLook , I'm able to share the Essay on whats happening in Narmada.
(Inadvertently, I have stumbled on the links to her other writings too...Need to catch upon with those)

The Essay gave me a different and a rather moving perspective of Dams, Narmada & Tribals.

Few Insights:

" India has 3,600 big dams—they have devoured 50 million people already. Silently. Now it's the turn of the Narmada."

"India lives in her villages, we're told, in every other sanctimonious public speech. That's bullshit, just a fig leaf. India dies in her villages."

"The Bargi dam cost 10 times the budget, submerged three times more land, and irrigates only 5 per cent of the area planners claimed it would."

"Between 1947 and 1994 the World Bank received 6,000 applications for loans from around the world. They didn’t turn down a single one. Not a single one. Terms like 'Moving money' and 'Meeting loan targets' suddenly begin to make sense."

"Time and again, it's the same story—the Andhra Pradesh Irrigation II scheme claimed it would displace 63,000 people. When completed, it displaced 150,000 people. The Gujarat Medium Irrigation II scheme displaced 140,000 people instead of 63,600. The revised estimate of the number of people to be displaced by the Upper Krishna irrigation project in Karnataka is 240,000 against its initial claims of displacing only 20,000.

These are World Bank figures. Not the NBA's. Imagine what this does to our conservative estimate of 33 million."

"Day by day, river by river, forest by forest, mountain by mountain, missile by missile, bomb by bomb—almost without our knowing it, we are being broken.

Big Dams are to a Nation's 'Development' what Nuclear Bombs are to its Military Arsenal. They're both weapons of mass destruction. They're both weapons governments use to control their own people. Both Twentieth Century emblems that mark a point in time when human intelligence has outstripped its own instinct for survival. They're both malignant indications of civilisation turning upon itself. They represent the severing of the link, not just the link-the understanding-between human beings and the planet they live on. They scramble the intelligence that connects eggs to hens, milk to cows, food to forests, water to rivers, air to life and the earth to human existence."

Anna University + IT Park

It is a good move on the part of Anna University to open an IT park on its campus for research and development with the involvement of multi-national IT majors.

The University is also looking at using open source software to provide cost-effective solutions to the colleges that need to constantly upgrade their systems and software. This is a very prudent way to cut costs!

Letz wait & see, if things materialize ;-)

Photo Moment - ShivSena's warring cousins

I think this photo in the front page of 'The Hindu' has come out brilliantly! It has captured the mood of the scene!!

FIRST COUSINS AGAIN: Uddhav Thackeray (right), executive president of the Shiv Sena and son of Bal Thackeray, and his cousin Raj Thackeray emerge from a reconciliation meeting at `Matoshri,' the Sena supremo's residence in Mumbai. Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray patched up after a meeting with party chief Bal Thackeray.The crisis erupted after Mr. Raj's trip to the Konkan region. On his return, he alleged that Mr. Uddhav had sent Sainiks to the region, causing tension.

NDTV report - Useful Impact

Few days ago NDTV had covered Theni, a southern district in TamilNadu in their newsbyte. The medical college hospital here had tones and tones of biomedical waste heaped in its compound, triggering a threat of an epidemic.

After the coverage, Governmnet has acted on it & cleared up the bio waste.

It was heartening to read NDTV impact: Theni hospital cleaned up Report on

Wish the local channels regularly feed these kind of reports to increase awareness instead of sensationalising a Frog & Frog marriage!!

August 17, 2005

Bangalore, Autos, LPG, Kerchief

Last weekend, we (me, my hubby & MIL) had been to Bangalore..The chill weather was very inviting...a welcome change from the hot, hotter, hottest chennai!!
The autos are an integral part of blore..The most positive aspect would be the correctly running meters & the peace of mind, very unlike chennai, where commuting by autos & paying the "huge" amount demanded is very much akin to Day light robbery!
BUT,there was this suffocating smell of the LPG cylinders that are fitted into most of the autos. Gosh!! I never used my hand kerchief so much in my life..
The once famous Garden city is fast transforming itself to a highly polluted city..
Hey Banglore!! Pull up ur socks!!

August 12, 2005

IDFC - Sizzling Debut in Dalal St.

Infrastructure Development & Finance Corporation (IDFC) took a very impressive opening in the Stock Markets.

The IPO was for Rs. 34 & the markets closed on a high of Rs. 69.55 ( 104.56% increase )
And that is quite a number!!

Analysts recommend a long-term hold.

World's Tallest Topairy in Manipur

Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1999 The family, which nurtures the 61-feet tall topiary, does not have enough money for the tree's growth and maintenance

The Hindu reports that the topiary is locally called Sambanlei Sekpil & the botanical name is duranta repes linn.

The owner had this interesting grumbling
"The growth rate has almost come to nil as we do not have enough money to buy the required [a small amount of] chicken's blood for its maintenance. We had approached the Government several times. But only assurances are given but till date we have not received any money. Sometimes, the chicken traders help us,"

Topiary: n 1: a garden having shrubs clipped or trimmed into decorative shapes especially of animals 2: making decorative shapes by trimming shrubs or trees

August 11, 2005

Saturn & Oil prices - Great Astrology!!

All economists would give their left hand & leg to this astrologer..I guess..

"In the millennium chart, Saturn is neecha in the eighth house. Oil is related to Saturn. So the prices are bound to go up."

Read the full prediction in

"Oil prices will further go up. It can reach even $ 65 per barrel before the year-end. There are bound to be fluctuations in mid-August.
The Indian government will try to resist a fuel hike, due to Left pressures, and increase the oil prices in the margin of Rs 2-Rs 5. Kerosene and diesel will still run on subsidy."

So much for breaking ur head on oil price control!!!!

August 10, 2005

Kamat's Potpourri - Indian historical treasures

Amazing website
Kamat's Potpourri is a very large website -- perhaps the largest personal (mom-and-pop) website on the web
And one great Kamat Family...
All Indian History lovers should definitely visit this site.
I'm completely hooked to this website...One day..I should also be having something like this...;-))

Archaeology on the move

A travelling exhibition, Realise India, that aims to inculcate patriotism in students by educating them on India's ancient civilisation is currently underway.
The expo features 40 exhibits, mostly photographs, of various archaeological treasures unearthed during excavations in Taxila, Dwaraka, Arikkamedu, Adhichanallur, Mohenjadaro and Harappa. "Indian ivory statues unearthed during excavations at Pompeii in Rome show the strength of ancient trade links between the two countries," T.K.V Rajan, founder-director of Indian Science Monitor said.

More in the Hindu report.

August 05, 2005

Madras Day - Aug 22 1639

The Madras Day' celebrations will begin on August 22 and will go on till August 28.
Lots have been planned...visit to know more

AUG 22 - 1639

It was on that day, in that year, that a silver of land, where the Fort. St. George and the secretariat now exist in Madras - now called Chennai, was sold to the East India Company.

The deal was struck by Francis Day, his 'dubash' Beri Thimmappa, and their superior, Andrew Cogan, with the local Nayaks.

It is believed that this deal was made on this day and these three men are considered to be the founders of this city.

Mercurial Mamata

Once again!Phew!! This lady never tires!!
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday caused a sensation in the Lok Sabha by flinging papers at the Speaker's podium and announcing her resignation from the House as she was "being denied to speak."

Read the entire Hindu report.