February 27, 2006

The Alchemist - Paula Coelho

Over the weekend, read 'The Alchemist' authored by Paula Coelho and presented to me by my Appa.

Refreshingly different Book, one must say.
Few books take u along with the story like Da Vinci Code, few books race ahead with little time to catch up, like most of the sidney's novels, few books emotionally surprise you like Kalli Kaatu Idhikaasam(by Vairamuthu), few books inspire you like (Life of Thandai Periyar- a revolutionary legend). Only few books make u look inside, do a comparative study with ur life and the protagonist’s. Almost at every page I stopped and re-read beautiful, well worded conversations.
Inspite of being laden with 'personality development' thoughts, the book never looks preachy.

I'm not going to dwell into the story..But I shall jot down few thoughts from the book.

""I'm alive...When I'm eating, that's all I think about. If I'm on the march, I just concentrate on marching. If I have to fight, it will be just as good a day to die as any other. Because I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man. You'll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we're living right now." "

"world’s greatest lie….is that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate"

"people are afraid to pursue their most important dreams because they feel they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them"

"To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation"

"And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.It's called the principle of favorability, beginner's luck. Because life wants you to achieve your destiny. But at the end of the Journey, you would be severely tested"

"When you want something with all your heart, that's when you are closest to the Soul of the World. It's always a positive force...this was not just a human gift...everything on the face of the earth had a soul, whether mineral, vegetable, or animal—or even just a simple thought"

I almost fell over while reading this..(On drinking wine!)
"It's not what enters men's mouths that's evil," said the alchemist. "It's what comes out of their mouths that is."

"...Happiness could be found in a grain of sand from the desert...Because a grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it."

A must read for all book lovers.

February 21, 2006

Hyderabad Blues

History was made when there was an open auction and the winning price - Rs. 1.19 lakhs per square yard of land. The Hindu reports that all of five acres at Jubilee Hills checkpost — went under the hammer for a staggering Rs. 1.42 lakhs per sq.m., earning the Government a whopping Rs. 335.25 crores. . Thatz Big Money man..

City-based players — Nagarjuna Constructions, Maytas and ICICI Venture — clinched the hottest deal.

Jus hope my telugu friends have some land there!

Art Of Living - Silver Jubilee Celebrations

On Sunday, there was this massive celebrations for commerating 25 Yrs of Art Of Living in Bangalore. We hd a live telecast of the program too. You had 2 million people from 140 countries just for one man - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
I liked the music part of the program - It was a very grand event with over 3000 musicians on stage. - Lovely music. Jus one Shankara Bharanam by SPB was enough to make my day.

February 18, 2006

Shock value of ADs

I like this particular article on the shock value of ADs, Charu has a good writeup on it.
I would luv to circulate this cigar AD among my friends!

February 15, 2006


Now, U know what I do in my office ;-)

ASI - Buddha or Mahavira?

Was thrilled, when I read the headlines "Buddha statues unearthed near Chennai". Bcos very little has been documented on the rich lineage of buddhism in TamilNadu.

The report read fine, till I had a closer look at the photograph - the statues looked more of the Jain tradition than the buddhist tradition. The customary triple umbrella was there with the chakra symbol. The report too had a reference to it
"One sculpture has a dharma chakra on either side of the Buddha. This was sculpted in the ancient region that is now Tamil Nadu.[what a discovery! - me] The other sculpture has a three-tiered umbrella above the Buddha's head and women bearing fly-whisks."

The full report in Hindu.

ASI people had earlier found a 10th century A.D. inscription in Tamil that mentioned the donation by a king from Sumatra, "Sri Vijaya Maharaja," of land to a Shiva temple at Kolapakkam. Dr. Satyamurthy and Dr. Rajavelu explored the area and found the ruins of a Buddhist temple close to the Agatheeswarar(shiva) temple.

With this info, I presume they had drawn the buddhist conclusion. I had a nagging feel that something was wrong. But I am a big nobody in this area & I felt the ASI cannot afford to make such big a mistake.

To my surprise, I found a Letter in "Letters to the editor" the next day by Theodore Bhaskar, a famous historian pointing out that there was a mistake in identifying the sculpture. And he says the statues are very much that of Mahavira.(Jain). He has asked the ASI to clarify.

Now, this episode casts a long shadow on the discoveries and conclusions of ASI. I'm waiting for the ASI to clariy this issue.

February 09, 2006

My native - Kallakulathur

Was on a trip to my native place - Kallakulathur, near Tindivanam. My cousin got engaged yesterday. Had a fun trip back & forth. The roads were superb clean & posh - NH 45( or 47?).

I could see the after effects of the rains that had lashed Tamilnadu. Everywhere, it was green ..green and more green. The fields were brimming with paddy and its likes.
cool breeze..the whole atmosphere was surreal.

Photo of my ancestral house
(should be 100+ years)

See the temple which is the center of the village. Man..u gotta have a native village to fall back on & njoy unadulterated nature.

February 06, 2006

Rare Jain sculpture - Madurai

A team of epigraphists have found a Jain sculpture of Lord Mahavir, which belonged to the 9th-10th century (Pandya rule), while undertaking survey in Karaikkeni, a village in Peraiyur taluk near Madurai.

The sculpture depicts Mahavira sitting under a papal tree. The encircled branches are intricately chiselled.

Unfortunately the face and hands of the stone image have been defaced and broken.

The Hindu report gives us these details. Kudos to the team of epigraphists.