Saturday, March 26, 2011

Animal Similies

i hope that this post does not trigger the wrath of the animal rights activists.

no offense intended directly or otherwise to any other living beings.

for humans, i leave it to the reader to interpret the similies as compliments – as much as a nmirror would be considered one.

if you feel offended, you know whom to blame!

i have wondered many times how some of the analogies or behaviors are associated with specirfic species.

as .. as a sloth or as .. as a dodo.

isn’t it their nature? i get very uncomfortable when someone remarks on somebody else’s physical form [size, for example] or their eating habits [quantity].

when one says as poor as a church mouse – do mice have a desire to be rich?

or as crazy as a bedbug .. i know that bedbugs drive me crazy, are they crazy? maybe they are stupid, by our standards – to expect a feast by biting me!

if dogs are geneticaly condition to be faithful to their contemporary masters – can that be considered lotyalty – as we define for humans?

the Chinese name their years after animals. the soothsayers attribute qualities to an individual based on the animal associated with their with their year of birth..

i have come across many references to the region influencing expressions in the local languages.

while it is very positive to be received warmly, in the west – in south India at least, it is a compliment when someone talks to you cool or cold. I had rationalized this as a quality that is sought after in that region – in cold climates, it is good to have warmth – and in hot climates, anything cold is welcome.

but, in today’s context – it is great to be cool whereever one is.

before my mind wanders off like a monkey i want to tell you about this research paper that i read recently – that is about some theory behind some of the animal similies in English.

warning: this is not a very deep research paper that you might find very educative. but, if the topic interests you, it might be worth a quick read.

p.s. why is a wandering mind like a monkey and not like a butterfly?

one of the amusing expressions that i have heard some persons say about secrets that aren’t is [in tamil!] Kamba sootram, kazhudai m…… [rhymes with sootram]

don’t ask me the connection or the exact meaning

Friday, March 18, 2011

SOS day : 20 March 2011

No, it is not SOS due to the supermoon effect.

In a way, it is an SOS of a different kind.

it is the Save our Sparrows movement. i noticed it in a news item a couple of weeks ago. Got curious, as the organization,  Burhani Foundation was distributing free bird feeders, not too far from home.

as i drove towards the Burhani Masjid, i was welcomed warmly by the volunteers and given priority treatment and taken to the distribution desk; after filling up a simple form – with contact details, i collected my bird feeder.

they were setting a record of number of bird feeders distributed in a day.

on the way out, some birdfeed was also distributed.

this was on one of my long time wish lists and i was very thrilled to have a birdfeeder in the garden.

an earlier attempt to have one


was not very successful as the birds could not recognize it, i guess.

i was hoping that this would have a better result.

though this had a clearly printed label, what it could attract was

110318 111

a squirrel family!

other birds come to the garden, but i am yet to see a sparrow.

this does not seem to be a crisis only in India.

the facebook page indicates that this is possibly an international problem.

Friday, March 11, 2011

communicating briefly

i grew up in the era of correspondence.
and letter writing.
i used to look forward to the weekends, to catch up on the 'snail mails' from pen friends and radio stations, to write back to them.
the challenge was to write something different and personal for each letter.
even if it was the same, one had to write it all over again.

then came email. the ability to send the same content to many, by just adding them to the To, CC or worse, BCC  lists!

i was amused when i saw a Microsoft Word template called letter to mom. one could not miss the humor, that was part of the letter - that complained of how everything is being automated and simplified, but nothing could replace the joy of writing a letter to mom!

then came the world of blogs. one could just go on and on on whatever one wanted to fill cyberspace with.
a recent research that i read mentioned that most blogs have just one reader [i hope it is other than the person who wrote it!]

in the post facebook and twitter era, blogs seem to have lost their attraction for the Gen Y. but the facebook generation is freer with comments and discussions.

when i connected this blog to my facebook account, i find that more comments are on facebook, though, when i meet in person, more people talk to me about some of the posts.

can we not have a universal blog that could be read and commented on from various applications?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

agastiyar everywhere

it started as a drop .. as it rightfully should have, at the origin of the river cauvery.

the recent trip to talacauvery became more interesting when i knew that the complex houses a temple for sage agastya.

agastya being one of the sages of our 'gotram' that is named after him, has been associated with water.
there are many stories including how he drank up the ocean, how he spilt water from his 'kamandalam' to create rivers, how he acted as the counter weight to prevent the sub continent from tilting, when everyone was attending Lord Shiva's wedding in the Himalayas.

Agastya is also known as the deity of the Siddhas.

the initial drop became a major flow with multiple instances all having an agastya connection, all happening pretty much on the same day!

a couple of weeks ago, i came across an organization called atree - an NGO working on research in ecology and environment.
their newsletter is called Agasthya!
they have a focus on the agastyamalai biodiversity area.

as i was reading that, a friend had a status update on facebook about agastyar falls that he was visiting
all this was during a recent visit to pondicherry for a weekend. Pondicherry - aka Vedapuri - was said to have been the abode of many Siddhas.
Agasthya was supposed to have worshipped the 'swayambhu' deity of Vedapuriswarar, the god of Vedapuri - now known as Pondicherry or Puducherry.

while talking to someone about the building housing sri Aurobindo Ashram, i was pointed to the following reference:

According to the archaeologist, Prof. Dubreuil of Pondicherry, on this very site there stood thousands
of years ago, a Vedic College, a centre of culture. The legendary Patron of the city was the great sage

I could not stop thinking is there is some hidden message for me - from Agasthya..