Thursday, September 24, 2009

Da Vinci Code…re-visited..Part 1.

 DA VINCIBasically, my interest in reading is towards history (I scored School first rank in History & Geography Subject), history based fictions, treasure hunt type, investigative (Coding & De-coding), war related stories. In that search, I stumbled upon the book “Da Vinci Code” – Thanks to the Media Coverage and controversies surrounded . In fact I also have some interest in Leonardo, Michael Angelo, Van Gough, Raja Ravi Verma, Ajanta, Ellora arts & paints – not as an expert. Only as an admirer and onlooker. In my previous employment at New Delhi, I needed to go to Europe more often. Incidentally, during the reading of the much hyped “DA VINCI CODE”, got an opportunity to visit France for customer meeting. I was elated to travel (That was a 3rd or 4th time to France) this time than the previous visits. I took 4 days off in France (Weekends – 2 Saturdays & Sundays). Just to follow the references made in this book.Reading Da Vinci @ Airport

During this visit, I had a great company of my colleague who didn’t want to explore any thing – It may be Food, History, Country, Culture, System, etc, etc,. Just opposite to my nature. I believe in walking through the new streets irrespective of country, city, language or culture. Of course, it did give me an opportunity to make the company interesting and bring closure to my natural urge to explore. We had travelled to Germany (My all time favorite foreign destination) and after finishing our duties, we flew to France – Paris – CDG Airport: One of the busiest and unique airport in Europe.

PARIS: Capital of France: Fashion Capital of the World: Wine capital of the (drinking) World: Housing one of the 7 Wonders of the World – Eiffel Tower: Louvre Museum: Mona Lisa: Napoleon: Arc-de-triomphe: etc, etc, etc,

 Eiffel Tower @ NiteMuseum Louvre 

Important Fact About France which most of the world do not know is: 30%+ citizens of France say they do not have / follow any religion!

Visit report shall continue…………

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Let us take action for saving 300,000 lives…

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The Campaign for Peace & Justice in Sri Lanka has been founded by individuals concerned with fundamental humanitarian and human rights issues. It is totally independent of all parties and groupings inside and outside Sri Lanka. Specifically, this Campaign has no ethnic, religious or regional affiliations – its concern is the well-being of all Sri Lankans.

The Campaign is supported by a Council of Advisors who are influential/expert figures from all walks of life and all regions of the world who support the seven demands of the Campaign. Aside from public commitment to these demands, members of this Council promote the Campaign through media advocacy, private lobbying, fundraising and peer recruitment to make this Campaign grow.

The Campaign has a Steering Committee, from amongst the Council, who make all decisions. Steering Committee members are identified by an asterisk. The Committee speaks together regularly and makes decisions by consensus, taking on board the advice of other Council members.

Campaign Objectives

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Our immediate priority is to help save the lives and end the suffering of nearly 300,000 civilians currently held in crowded and insanitary camps where conditions are rapidly worsening as the monsoon floods get under way. Beyond that, we support the right of all Sri Lankans, irrespective of race or religion, to voice their opinions peacefully and without fear of assault or murder. We seek a full investigation of crimes committed by all parties during and since the recent conflict. And, without favouring any particular political or constitutional formula, we urge the government and all other parties in Sri Lanka to lose no time in working together for a peaceful political solution of the problems and grievances that have given rise to so much violence in the past.

This Campaign is staffed by volunteers who come from many different countries and ethnic groups – none are paid.

  • 280,000 innocent civilians who have survived a long and very bloody war are now imprisoned in detainment camps in northern Sri Lanka by their Government.
  • These victims of war are being treated as prisoners and suffer from lack of water, sanitation and medical treatment, widespread disease and separation from loved ones.
  • The monsoon season is now starting. At least one camp has already been flooded, and if they are not soon allowed to leave the camps thousands more detainees will die from epidemics of cholera and typhoid simply because they are being detained illegally in inhumane conditions.
  • The Sri Lankan Government has severely restricted ICRC, UN and international NGOs' involvement, prolonging the misery and raising grave concerns about what is happening out of sight.
  • Wartime policies continue with severe restrictions on the press and systematic use of extra-judicial murder and torture. Pro-government paramilitary groups have free run of the camps.
  • The Government is now reportedly engaged in an ethnic 're-balancing' - moving Sinhalese and others into the region, while giving political control to Tamil war-lords it has selected.
But this is not just about Sri Lanka Today
  • Sri Lanka - a conflict which has seen over 100,000 deaths over the last 25 years, with 20,000 civilians reportedly killed in the last days of this latest war - has been dismissed as too complicated and not important enough by foreign governments and the UN. The approval of a large IMF loan to Sri Lanka is evidence of just how little the international community cares.
  • If this approach is allowed to continue, we are setting an awful precedent and forgetting everything that was said after Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.
  • The Sri Lankan 'peace through war' model is already being promoted in Burma, Pakistan, and elsewhere.
  • Having won the war, the Government's support for the illegal use of force and violence is now sowing the seeds of the next stage of this conflict. SRILANKA4
If all the people who read this choose to act & send this email, it WILL make a big difference. Many in power have effectively abandoned the people in these camps - please don't abandon them too.

http://www.srilankacampaign.org/takeaction.htm

http://www.srilankacampaign.org/form.htm

We are all human beings. Join hands to help this barbaric situation to end soon…………..

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dining… In a Table?

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I had a German Guest to my home couple of weeks ago. She was requesting me to show her the Indian Household and daily choirs and so on. She is obsesses with Indian Food – DOSA, IDLI & VADA. Hence I told my wife to prepare DOSA. She was amused by seeing the way and easy sailing of my wife in the kitchen making DOSA, CHATNI (Side dish for DOSA), SAMBAR (Side Dish for DOSA) within half an hour.  She could not believe this is possible. TAN1

And one more thing which surprised her was that how could my wife accommodate and agreed to prepare to make food with a short notice. As usual I have informed my wife only five minutes in advance that we shall be coming home and having dinner. Because it is highly impossible in any German Home to have social visits in such such short notice. IMG_1376TANYASince, she is an European, we needed to have all the paper napkins in the Dining Table and Paper Rolls in the Toilet and so on. We had our DOSA, CHATNI, SAMBAR, etc on the dining table.

It was a very nice experience for her and with great sincerity  she took photos of each moment right from pouring the wet DOSA flour on the hot pan till we seen her off with TILAK (Red mark) on her forehead as typical TAMILIAN HINDU culture (Indian).

IMG_0991 Do you know after that as a family how we had our real dinner (Same DOSA, Same CHATNI, Same SAMBAR)? We all sat on the floor and had the dinner. That is the real real dinner.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rendezvous with Bi-cycle

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When I was a kid, say 2nd Standard /3rd Standard (7 or 8 years old), very fond of bicycles. Naturally Father’s cycle was out of bounds. Hence, we needed to rent the cycle from the cycle shop. Those days cycle shop used to be for renting as well as repairing (Maintenance) work. Cycles were properly numbered. So, I got INR 0.25 (25 paisa) from my mother, once Father had gone to the work during the vacation. It was a great feeling. First few days, mostly just pushing the cycle. After a week, I did the monkey pedaling. That means, the legs were in between the triangular frame pedaling and not sitting. Then came the day when I climbed above the frame and sat on the seat. My goodness – What an achievement. Here comes the real experience. With excitement, I was riding very fast. As usual, when we need certain things, that fails without a hint. The brake failed and I ended up in a bush of thorns. My mother had to search my back for the remaining of the thorns. Even after that rendezvous, I used to rent the cycle till I got my own. I got bi-cycle for my own purpose when I started to attend my college. That was when I turned 18 Years old and most importantly my Father got a new cycle.

Bicycle

The last time I took the luxury of riding the cycle most recently is 2 years before when I presented to my son for getting 3rd Rank in his 3rd Standard.