Thursday, August 30, 2012

Onam in Kerala for two days, elsewhere festivities last 2 months ..

It is interesting to note that Onam in Kerala is important only for the first onam and the second Onam which is also called Thiruvonam.  Some houses do have pookkalam ( rangoli with natural flowers) for another week or so.. The festivities in kerala get over by day 2 of the Onam season..

File:Thiruvathirakali kerala.jpg

When we compare the Onam celebrations of people settled outside Kerala and outside India too, I was listening to the Malayalis in Delhi , they were telling that the festivities for them  will last for another two months. Depending on the availability of people and non clash with onam festivities of nearby reas, different societies celebrate onam now onwards for a period of a month or more. Mostly either on Saturdays, the flower Rangoli, followed by cultural programs and the traditional Onam lunch ..

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Near-West, Mid-West West and Far-West and Extended-West ..

Why can't we classify the Western countries as Near West - Germany, Switzerland etc, Mid-West - France,Spain, Italy and others, West - UK, Scotland, Nordic countries and Far-West - US, Canada etc ..

The South American countries, Mexico , Gautemala, Panama etc will be the extended west ..

This classification makes sense as the classification will now be truly based on geographic location than the economic status ... But if the real intention is to segregate developed and less developed or developing countries, we should instead use the words developed and less developed or developing etc..


Monday, August 27, 2012

Setting up a Dolby 5.1 speakers for a Sony TZ 215 HTS ..

After a long time, one of my dreams is getting fulfilled ..

I have finally got a decent Home Theatre system at home a Sony 600 W (RMS) TZ 215, Home Theatre System .. I got the HTS from
DAV-TZ215-DVD Home Theatre System
The Sony TZ 215, Home Theatre System ..

These are the tech specs of the TZ 215 system from the Sony India site .. It is not as expensive as what friends flush with oil money or US dollars would buy, but it is an intelligent buy, to say the least .. If 1 INR could fetch $55, the scenario would have been totally different ..

Setting a Home Theatre System for superior quality sound is an art by itself. I have been going thru many sites offering tips on how to do this till I found the link from Dolby Systems itself, given below.

Ever since my two kids were growing up I have not used a decent sound system at home, as there was always a risk of damage. My original Philips system in 1990, with seperate amp, deck and tuner ran for ten years, till my daughter came in 1999. The new VCD Aiwa system bought from Mumbai lasted for barely 2 years till DVD came .. Then when everything was set, we kept moving from place to place and academic interests took priority over listening pleasure. Heavy expenses saw that money never came. !!

Speaker placement for the 5.1 HTS ..
The distance from the TV screen to the "sweet spot" is
app 6-8 ft, from ears to TV screen. The speakers height need
to be arranged at listening height, the rear surround L and R,
2 ft above the height of ears.. The sub woofer O/P which catches all
low freq sound at < 80 hz is non-directional and hence sub-woofer
placement is by  moving it around the room for proper bass.
Finally I am breaking the dry run now with the latest Sony 5.1 ( 2 Front speakers 200W RMS each, I central speaker 100 W RMS, 2 surround Speakers 200 W RMS each, 1 Sub-woofer 100W RMS) TZ 215 ..

I already have a 32" Toshiba LCD, HD ready to get best viewing quality. More than buying the most expensive audio systems around, it is very important how well we arrange the speakers to get a theatre like surround system in our homes, how simple be it .. Given that this system has both Dolby and DTS sound, and a perfect A/V amplifier built in, this is true value for money !!

From the reviews across flipkart and other sites, it is a great buy. Let me see.

How to set the speakers from audioholics .. (another link ..)

If I had some more money, as my b-i-law was cajoling me, could have gone for a slightly advanced set. ( He has a 7.1 fully home built system, Onkyo circuitry, with Bose speakers system ..) But then technology changes and one would not like to get checkmated with obsolete equipments if one spends a fortune on a sound system.

With covered floor and thick curtains covering the windows, with enough wall hangings, one can be assured of getting the best acoustic effect in the front room which ensures that there is no unnecessary reflection of sound waves in the room.

TV viewing at home is going to get a new meaning, as is DVD viewing ..


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shaping up the bigger picture ??

This is a short thought which happened to me some days back and I thought of penning it for posterity. It talks of why Kerala is still very close to my heart, with its ever green greenery, large hearts of the people and friends, in spite of its dirty politics and politicians !!

Maybe because my father was working in the bank, SBI, the exposure it has given me to the different places and culture of kerala at a very young age, is tremendous .. The only regret I have is not staying to the north of Kerala, ie. Calicut , Kannur, area, though I have passed through this area for many years during my stint in Goa.

When I came to Kerala around, 5 years of age, after stint in Andhra and Chennai ( in Chennai I did my nursery and started schooling ), it was Kerala for the next seventeen years. Shoranur, Trichur, Irunjalakuda, Ernakulam, Alleppey, Trivandrum, Palghat, Kottayam, Kollam, Adoor, Chennithala, Wayanad, Tirur, Tiruvalla, Peermade, Idukki etc. etc .. I cannot recollect the many places I have stayed may be some for weeks, some months, but many for years !! My studies in Kerala ended at the Govt College of Engineering, Trivandrum after graduation in Mechanical Engineering in 1986.  Thereafter I worked with MRF Tyres, Goa and continued education outside Kerala, in Goa and Bombay.

It was just divine providence to be born into one of the top and noblest Christian family of Kerala. When I say this, I am sure to invite lot of criticisms and comments, but I should stress here that point again. At a time when the Travancore Maharajah was looking at communal classification of the population in Kerala for political eligibility for self rule and freedom from the British, to be at the forefront of the struggle for independence is indeed a great sacrifice. When I was studying Kerala history while in 6 th or 7 th standard in Kerala, we came across the term Thrimoorthikal of Kerala, meaning the three great leaders, Pattom Thanu Pillai, C Kesavan and T M Varghese. My mother at that tender age told me how my grand uncle T M Varghese, quit a very successful legal profession and jumped into the Indian independence movement. Though he held top positions in the cabinet as Home minister and so on, it was service of the state and the people foremost for him.

The benefits of staying at many places within Kerala, is that you are not subservient to the culture and traditions of one place, but are exposed to the many dialects of language, festivals, culture, behaviour of people, the camaraderie etc. I have friends from all places of Kerala and many many of them, Good God ..  That way one can distinctively look at the culture detachedly, and enjoy the goodness of everything .. No bitter feelings, only pleasant thoughts !!

In my many encounters with people and cultures, a simple and lasting finding has been this one. The people from Central Travancore ( I am one among them) are not so open and sincere as are people from North of Kerala ( zamorin effect ? ). The same reason why I hold people of North Kerala to such great admiration and adoration .. I even had the good opportunity to stay at the house of the grand son of Zamorin of Calicut in Irinjalakuda for two years .. My close friend Ramachandran from NIT Calicut and my former colleague from College of Engineering, Goa is a living example of how straightforward, simple and less complicated  North Kerala people are with respect to people from South Kerala. In fact, it is the North Kerala people who have borne the brunt of attacks by Tippu Sultan from North, unlike the South Kerala people who only had to face the navies of Dutch and English forces ! 

The beauty is that all my experiences throughout the length of Kerala have been very pleasant and memorable. Nothing in the world can replace it. If given a second chance to live, I want it to happen the exact way it has happened to me till now. 

Indeed for a simple Malayali, educated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering / Operations Research from top Engineering / Technological Institute in the country, who consciously took the decision not to fall into any material trap to "migrate" or make a quick buck, the pull of the motherland and the lure of temporal pleasures on the other side, was very tempting .. However, I stayed back in India.

I should bow my head to all my Professors, colleagues and relatives who preferred to stay back in India and contribute to her, despite its highly competitive academic and job environment. Despite the temptations of Akkara pacha and resistance to the lure to make some quick oil  money, or for that matter heavily "debted" US dollars ( which is nothing but Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen or Gulf oil, loaned out by these countries to US), the experience in God's own land has been very pleasant all the time. Indeed I get pained when I see the incidences of corruption, political murders, high handed militant trade unionism and irresponsible politics by our present day illiterate and less educated politicians cutting across ideologies and leanings, which if eliminated could take our country to the forefront of the world ..

( though silently I should clearly mention the patriotic stand taken by my father Mathai Easaw and mother, as I finishhed my Engg studies at Trivandrum,  to motivate me to continue my studies and job in India, despite a highly competitive academic and job environment. Most of my cousins and uncles having migrated to US, it was a tough decision then, but looking in hindsight, that was one of the best decisions I had ever taken in my life. My father did not even allow my elder sisters to be married amd sent out of the country. A highly competitive and exacting environment at home of accomplishments and the competitiveness it builds in oneself is also something that matters .. A loving, supportive wife, kids and relatives to share in the ups and downs of life counts maximum in life ..)

Over the years, I have understood that if we are sincere, even "remotely" patriotic, hardworking and dedicated to the cause,  India does provide enough opportunities to study at the best Institutes in the country under the best professors of the country, learn from the experience of others and lead a very fulfilling, satisfying, respectable, culturally rich life, despite the terrific competition for jobs and educational opportunities !! You will come across local family issues and money problems in life here at times, not to forget about the perennial issues of corruption and as Justice Santosh Hegde calls it, the "Greed over Need" disease ..

But the understanding that anyone who indulges in corruption, will not go out of this world, without themselves or their generations suffering for it, and that whatever you make here has to be left behind, not taken to the other world once you die, gives you total peace of mind. And though the Indian legal system is slow and lengthy, giving the guilty many opportunities to defend themselves, it is sad, that this magnanimity of the State is misused by the corrupt and mighty to escape the long arm of law !! But it does catch up with the corrupt, ten in hundred ...

If material riches and pleasures pursuant to the pressures of the Western civilization is what one is slave to or what one desires for, India or Kerala does not give a solution, true !! We are living in a totally different intellectually higher plane of cultural, social amity and common well being, not, personal material pleasures and wealth !!

Because my cousins consider themselves politically more mature and conscious than me, they find some of my writings very irritating and show their resentment at all opportunities, though I care less for their resentment and objections..

The other great advantage for which I will ever be indebted is to my parents, grand parents and society is to be born into an educated and forward looking religious family of teachers from my father's side in Mavelikara / Chengannur, for whom education was the corner stone of all activities in life and to a very patriotic, nationalistic family, educated too, who took part in the Indian Freedom struggle from my mother's side .. It is just divine blessing to be born into such a great family, you have many a brother, uncle, brothers-in-law as Industrialists, CEOs, Central Govt Secretaries, State Govt Secretaries, businessmen, social entrepreneurs running Medical colleges in the state, educational entrepreneurs running Engineering colleges, respectable Professors etc etc..

Pen is a very sharp tool, it can expose one's shortcomings and create impressions much deeper and permanent than any other tool known to mankind .. To be able to point a wrong thing and tell it is wrong, requires guts and courage. Education has provided me with that !!

The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict - William Ellery Channing


Friday, August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong, disgraceful sports personality ..

To be from a land of sporting CONS and FRAUDS ..!! what a disgrace to the sporting world ? How Lance fooled thousands of his fans and supporters over the years !!


What a disgrace .. Lance Armstrong is set to lose all his 7 Tour de France titles !!
I am speaking for the other cyclists who lost to him .. How many cyclists' has he cheated and had their careers ruined ? His crusade against cancer ( as he suffered from testicular cancer and recovered from it totally) will suffer a big blow as ethically he is so weak. It will be seen only as a diversionary tactic to deflect attention from the drugs issue .. As reported in Times of India, , he has decided not to fight the case against him of having used performance enhancing drugs, as it was sapping his energy and time. ( a specious excuse though..)

Marian Jones was the other US athlete who was stripped of her  3G and 2 B medals from athletics in 2000 Olympics  after she was found to have used performance enhancing drugs.  

When the young people of the world are looking up to these stars as role models, there comes some startling revelations and down they go into the dustbin of history with lot of disgrace !!

This just goes to prove that man's quest to extend his/her performance to super-human levels has ethical issues too, besides the normal ones of continuous effort, dedication and hardwork ...  Roger Bannister, the neuro surgeon from England who for the first time in 1952, ran a mile under 4 minutes and put human endurance and strength to its limits, did it when performance enhancing drugs were not known to humanity.

Usain Bolt is so far above any doubts, let us hope he keeps up to the expectations of his fans and the sporting community and not ditch them in future....

Usian Bolt at 2008 Olympics ..2009 IAAF meet .. and 2012 Olympics ....

Sports personalities should understand a fact that they owe it not only to themselves, but also to future younger generations of the world to preserve the sanctity of sports and athletics, to help build a better, stronger, healthy world. Let them not succumb to temporal temptations of fame and glory and put their accomplishments and hardwork in the sport at risk and disgrace ..

Another issue for discussion is, why is this happening only to US athletes and sports personalities ? Is the pressure by society on them to perform, make a name and gain fame so much, that they have to resort to unfair means to defraud others ?? Why are "values in life" held so weakly and disdainfully in one of the greatest countries of the Post-Industrial era world ?

The sad fact is that the genuine ones among those left behind, feel cheated after a life of dedication and hardwork. They also have to go through the ignominy of being classified as one among the 'bad and the ugly ..', just because they are from US, the land of sporting frauds !

If only the sports anti-doping authority were vigilant enough, many such incidents could be avoided. When China gets Olympic medals, the American society raises doubts about their performance, whether it is doctored or chemically engineered. But no one can or should raise doubts about the US performance, because by nature, they are very sincere and hardworking and can never do anything against fairplay. Everything fraudulent there happens with such complexity and completeness, it is very difficult but for the most trained and experienced eye, with the most advanced technology to catch fraudsters. I sincerely hope this is not just the tip of the iceberg in sports frauds in US ..

As a sweet reminder, no one in the world can beat this financial con of the century, Bernie Madoff, for sure .. again from US .. Master swindler ..

Can the frauds please raise their hands ? My son still finds it difficult to believe that Lance, one of his greatest heroes, was indeed a great fraud .. He is stunned and is having a rethink on what for and why values like sincerity, hardwork, compassion, sportsman spirit etc .. should be there in life ?


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hallelujah Chorus ..

Hallelujah Chrous -  (for Bishop Cotton Girls High School, Bangalore)

       in whole

                       in alto 

                       in Soprano

                       in tenor

                       in bass


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why Indians fail to rise above corruption ? An open Letter to President of India..

An Open letter to the President of India ..

18 August, 2012, 

Dear Respectful President of the country, 

I have to bother you with this problem which has been plaguing our nation for the past many years. In spite of so many governments, so many political parties, so many ideologies, the problem is yet to be solved.

This is a very serious question we need to ask of all Indians. Why is it that we are unable to rise above corruption when it comes to public activities / public natural resources when governmental regulations / interference etc is concerned.

Why is it that even the custodians to whom we have handed over to be in charge of our resources and its governance, falter so badly and are squandering it, trying to run away from reality ?

Why is it that we as Indians are unable to come over urge of grabbing personal benefits over societal benefits ? Why is it that we first think of self, before our fellow being, the society and the country ?

The CWG scam, The Adarsh scam,  the 2G scam and now the coalgate scam, I am getting really fearful, where the country is being taken by our very experienced politicians and leaders ..

Any one has a solution to this ?

In spite of all these negative actions, slowly and limping, we find the country is marching ahead.. It speaks of the indomitable mindset of the common Indian, on the road, farms, in factories, in mines and the hot sun, toiling day in and day out to eke out a living and see the next day with hope and conviction that one day this country will become big and this country will then benefit from all what they are doing now..

Our growth is in spite of what the politicians and the intelligentsia ( me, included) do or shout about from rooftops .. it is due to these poor people, the prime movers of the economy ..

My request to you Mr Pranab Mukherjee, President of the country, who is supposed to be a great luminary and politically experienced person, is to intervene in this and find a solution to this vexing problem facing the country. 

How long can we give charge or depend on inefficient people who are deceiving us and taking the country down the drains ?

Please help Sir ..!!

George Easaw

Friday, August 17, 2012

Flag hoisting Aug 15 at Alliance ..

Flag Hoisting, 15 Aug, 2012 ..

The function was organised and conducted well. Chief Guest was Mr Rajshekhar, Registrar, Exams and Evaluation.

Something more about Alliance University ..


Very pleasing to the eyes ..

White flowers in full bloom, Aug 2012.
White flowers in full bloom at Alliance campus in Chandapura, Bangalore ..


Monday, August 13, 2012

Baba Ramdev's protest against black money ..

This is a June '11 blog .. The situation now, is no less different ...  Couple of thousands of crore rupees more has gone out .. 

With the latest news talking of opposition uproar in the Loksabha, and opposition leaders joining him in the march to Loksabha, Congress has to finally agree to publicise the list of swiss account holders of illicit money .

For God's sake, let us get the black money back to our country, how much ever be it ..


Two things I missed in Kerala ..

Seeing Trichur (Trissur) pooram live and seeing the Nehru trophy boat race on the Punnamada lake near Alleppey live have been the two great events which I still miss in Kerala .....

I stayed at both these places, Trissur and Alleppey for three years each and can't believe that I missed out on both these cultural and sports events of global fame ...

Trissur Pooram is the temple festival and the competition between the two temples Paramekkavu and Vadakkumnathan in the city centre showing off their percussion skills, pachydermal assets and pyrotechnic prowess !!

Click here for wikiwebsite 

Paramekkavu temple elephant procession ..

Vadakkumnathan temple elephant procession .. Caparisoned
elephants are a treat to the eyes ..

The peak of the enjoyment .. Kudamaattom,
exchanging the decorated umbrellas .. 
View from Vadakkumnathan temple side ...

Punnamada Kayal, in Alleppey is witness to the greatest annual snake boat race in the world where boats of different classes and sizes compete for the coveted Nehru Trophy.

Click for wikipedia site ..

Nehru donated the trophy in 1952 .. In the excitement
of the moment, Nehru jumped into the water ..

A view of the starting point of the race ..

More info on the boat race from here ..

.“To the winners of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore Cochin." the words inscribed on the trophy, which was donated by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first PM of India ..

I am looking at the next earliest opportunity to witness these two events live ..

Ge.. (courtesy, and

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Usain Bolt compared to Roger Bannister ..

The 4 x 100 m men's relay was the most exciting event at the 2012 London Olympics with Jamaica once again reaffirming their superiority on the tracks, pushing the inimitable Americans to the second place .. ..

What a performance by the Jamaican quartet  ??

The Jamaican quartet of Nesta Carter, Micheal Frater, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt ran to the thunderous uproar of spectators in the Olympic stadium at London to win the 4 x 100 m relay in record timing of 36.84 sec .... 

Watch this video ..

Now I am convinced that Usain Bolt is indeed a LEGEND !!

The legend thundering his way to the finish line in the
4 x 100 m relay in record time ..

Being the first man in athletic history to regain gold at  the 100 m, 200 m and 4 x 100 m relay in two successive Olympics, Usain Bolt has not only trashed his detractors, among them being the former athletic great of Carl Lewis, he indeed lives a historic moment in history when Sir Roger Bannister, the famed neurologist,  then a medical student in 1954, broke the under 1 minute barrier for running a mile ..

See the video here .. 

ge .. (courtesy and Reuters)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

World Economy through the ages ..

Gives the good picture of world economy over two thousand years ..

Indeed, we do inherit a great lineage .. 


The story of Mumbai Suburban rail in videos by BBC ..

Over-whelming, mind-blowing, astonishing, breath-taking, eye-popping, mind-boggling, startling, astounding .. Many feelings representing the same emotions connected with the city of Mumbai and Bombay Railways ..

The Oscar winning Slumdog Millionnaire had it as the theme of a romantic lovestory and continues to entice the whole of the country .. There is a world of life, hope, success and failure around these railway lines.

The first railway in India ran on 16 April 1853, between Victoria Terminus and Thane in Mumbai, 21 kms away ..

This series of videos shot by BBC on the Mumbai suburban rail system is nothing but a marvellous documentation of the grit, determination, wisdom and endless enterprise of the people of Mumbai fully depicting its truly cosmopolitan nature .. .. There is life and death here, hope and desperation, victory and defeat, affluence and poverty .. It is a sublime mix of all !!

I doubt there could be a better presentation of the life and soul of Mumbai than through these two sets of videos aptly named as The Pressure and Dreams respectively.

Mumbai does not belong just to India, it belongs to the whole world !!

Part 1 :  Pressure  ( 10 mins each..)

Part 2 : DREAMS (10 mins each..)


Having stayed and studied in Mumbai for a good six years of my life and having enjoyed the crowd, sunshine and rain of Mumbai, it is but natural for any Mumbaikar to feel nostalgic about his/her association with this great city of 20 million plus people ..

Thank you Mumbai .. you are as enchanting as ever !!

george ..

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Panjim church ...

Panjim Church in Panjim , Goa, otherwise called Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, a very important landmark in Panjim and every visitor to Panjim comes here without fail, it is part of any itinerary ..
Panjim Church on a busy Monday morning ..

The view is very majestic and reaching out to the whole of Panjim .. Really worth visiting. During feast time, it is brightly lit up and is a feast to the eyes to see..


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Rains in goa

Deserted road from Ponda to Margao in rains ..
Goa has already got 70 in of rain already, about 45 % of its normal quota. Some years it even goes upto 150 in of rainfall.

In Bangalore it is just 30 % so far ..


Famous tatos panjim ...

The famed Tatos of Panjim for bfast, lunch, tea and snacks.. How many times I have had tea from here earlier. This time too I went there for a tea .. 

Near to Old Secretariat, Panjim 


Thank you Goa ..

Thank you Goa govt, my colleagues and students of Goa Engineering College, Farmagudi, Ponda, Goa ..

Goa Engineering College Main building front view .. 

In my tenure with Goa Govt for 19 years,, I benefited a lot and enriched my experience and educational qualifications.  Life has to move on and in my pursuit for more challenges and experiences, I have moved out of Goa.

I am thankful to everyone, especially my colleagues from the Mechanical Engineering department and my students from 1990 to 2006, with whom I have interacted in these 18 years in Goa govt.

I am extremely indebted to them for having enriched my life  .. You have enriched my life beyond words can explain ..

Thanks a zillion once again ..

Why I  love teaching ??

Career shift ..

Shifting to Peermade from Goa


Curiosity in "Curiosity "

Curiosity, the Mars rover launched by US, has taken this image of Mars with Mt Sharp at a distance .. Shadow of Curiosity in front .. Can we get some indication of any organic molecule from Martian surface, which could possibly say that life once existed on this planet . . The next two years will say something in this regard. The Mars launcher to be sent by India next Dec will hopefully throw more light on Martian surface ..

An image taken by NASA's Mars science rover Curiosity shows what lies ahead for the rover --- its main science target, Mount Sharp, in this handout image released by NASA. The rover's shadow can be seen in the foreground, and the dark bands beyond are dunes. Rising up in the distance is the the distance is the highest peak Mount Sharp at a height of about 3.4 miles, taller than Mt. Whitney in California. The Curiosity team hopes to drive the rover to the mountain to investigate its lower layers, which scientists think hold clues to past environmental change. This image was captured by the rover's front left Hazard-Avoidance camera at full resolution shortly after it landed. It has been linearised to remove the distorted appearance that results from its fisheye lens.

A photo of Martian surface - to be preserved for posterity ..

Mars, first colour image, courtesy Dailymail and NASA ..

Courtesy NASA and Reuters ..


Sunday, August 05, 2012

Better than at Harvard and MIT ..

To teach at Harvard or MIT still remains my dream .. Till then I strive to, where ever I am, to deliver in the class as best, if not better than either of these places ..

I relive my dream everyday in the class !!

This belief and conviction takes me through every day of my life ..

I am confident, Harvard and MIT like institutions can be built here in India itself, like the Nalanda and Taxila of 800 - 1200 AD time period  .. Let us strive towards that ..


Saturday, August 04, 2012

Role of a citizen ..

There is no role in this democracy more important than that of being a citizen .. Author unknown

Huawei .. - a threat or a saviour ..

China's Huawei is now the world's largest telecom equipment manufacturer. It's 2G telecom networks fuelled Africa;s rise in mobile telephone penetration. It has also supplied 50 % of all 4G telecom equipments installed in Europe.

China's Haier is the world's largest white goods manufacturer ..

China's Lenovo is the world largest PC and laptop manufacturer ..

Feeling threatened ?? No need to worry, the avalanche has just started . ZTE, Huawei's competitor in China is next set to storm the world. Both are set to supply cheap, high quality, technically superior equipments which the world cannot resist !!

This leaves China with the capability to sneak into other countries networks and possibly make them dysfunctional during times of crises .. 

Just like the West tried Stuxnet virus to damage Iranian nuclear networks, ( the same fear is with the West that China also would use the same strategy against it..), China is open to entice the world with its ever low cost, high quality technical equipments and in turn flex its muscles to the outside world ..

The future is indeed interesting to watch regarding these developments ..


Why am I so upbeat about the Travancore Royal family..?

Learning from history is the most gainful thing anyone can do ..!! From history we learn a lot of things and in turn, we become history to posterity, so that the future generations can learn from our experiences and never repeat our mistakes ..!!

First of all, let me pay obeisance to the Travancore royal family as I hail from Central Travancore .. Swami Vivekananda once called it the "mental asylum of the world', but still we can learn a lot from the rich cultural and literary legacy of this place.

This was a real life incident / interaction which happened in our family with the Maharajah, narrated by my maternal grandmother Estheramma Oommen, at Adoor, Kerala, at an age of 95+ years .. maybe she got this from earlier narrations .. I thought it very proper to document this for posterity ...

When she was just married and brought to my appachen's family she was just fourteen ..  (my maternal grandmother was from Thandaneth family, Pallikkal, Kayamkulam, just younger sister of Late Sri T M Varghese, a veteran of Kerala freedom struggle ..) My appachen was from Puthenpurackal of Chittundayil family in Adoor.

During  this time, around 1700-1715 AD, the royal family in Travancore was under attack by the British to establish their control. The boy King (Prince) Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma at that time was fiercely resisting it. Ettuveettil Pillamaar were colluding with the British. The King was put on exile and driven out of the palace. He was roaming in the kingdom to avoid capture. Mostly he used to be dressed differently and used to move from place to place.
Anizham Tirunal Marthanda Varma, the first and
the most capable of them all !!

The boy King in his exile, reached Adoor from Kottarakkara, about 75 kms from Trivandrum ... The story goes that the young King first came to my great great grandmother's house (Chittundayil) dressed as a beggar and asked for food and to see the mother of the house.  My great grandmother who was little haughty at that time, (I am assuming, due to affluence), did not care to check who the beggar was and directed the maid to give some food to the beggar and send him off. The little boy did not want the food, but wanted shelter from the warriors of Ettuveettil Pillamaar. The police were searching the whole of Travancore hounding for the boy King to capture and finish him off.

Depressed, the "beggar" did not take any alms and instead went to our neighbour, Nellummoottil family, another great family from Adoor.  Maybe the mother of the house there was less haughty, She wanted to see the beggar herself. When she saw the beggar, she was astonished. An able, 'sumukhan', fairfaced, young boy with all royal grandeur, in a beggar's dress seeking alms. She immediately asked the boy to come inside the house. She gave him milk, honey etc, gave specially prepared food, asked him to take bath, and took care of him well. He was allowed to stay inside the house for three days, all the time taking care of him. The lady of the house never knew who the beggar was.

When the Ettuveettil Pillamaar warriors came about asking whether a beggar had come in their direction asking for food, my great grandmother told the police that yes, indeed a beggar came and pointed the direction in which he went. The police went to the next house, of Nellummoottil and asked the mother there whether she had seen a fair beggar who had come in their direction. The Nellummoottil ammachi by now knew, whom the police were searching for and misdirected the police saying the beggar went in a different direction. She spoke with such conviction that the police never cared to inspect the house for the beggar. The "beggar" left the house, thanking the inmates so profusely, and after some months he assembled his armed forces, defeated the ettuveettil pillamaar, regaind power and went back to the palace. 

Among the first decrees which the King passed after assuming power was to take away all 'excess' land from the Chittundayail family in Adoor ( history says a thousand para of land) and give it tax-free, "karamozhivayi"  to Nellummoottil family .. My great grand mother realised her folly , though a bit late, but was ever after so careful in all her dealings with people then onwards. My grandmother who had just come into her husband's house when she was just 14 years then, found this truly amusing and narrated to me many years, at least 275 years after, when I was staying alone with her in Adoor during one of my school holidays around 1975-78 period.

Chittundayil and Nellummoottil family continued their good relationship without any grudge, marrying into and from each others family. I was so fortunate , I have stayed with my late grand mother together, sometimes for one week, once for two weeks too. This was a story, real life incident she narrated to me one of those days..  The kanji, payar and chutta  pappadam I had with her, will be relished for ever .

This story and my granduncle's association with the freedom struggle of India and Kerala remains one of the main reasons why I still today have a great fascination and affection for the Travancore royal family, the simplest and most philanthropic of all royal families in India for three to four centuries, yet the most rich ( having the combined wealth of all other royal families in the country) and most powerful ( having defeated the Dutch and the British navies, the penalty from their excesses adorning the vaults of the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple in Trivandrum,) amusing the whole world of its rich legacy and riches !!

It is said that the riches of the Travancore royal family now, parked in the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple at $200 billion, can buy 30 British Royal families !!

See the present state of the coloniser and the colonised !!

Read a related article on the Travancore royal family at this link ..


Friday, August 03, 2012

Questions I always ask my students in all batches ..

1. Which is the one and only watch co. which has kept time at all the Olympics ?

2. Which is the one and  only watch co, whose watch is the only one to have crossed the atmosphere of the earth ?

The answer to both is 


O M E G A   ....  I also have an omega  ..


Our Deepest Fear - Marianne Williamson

This motivating thoughtful poem was used by the Chancellor of Alliance Uty, Prof. Madhukar Angur (NITK, IIMA, Ph.D.,Uty of Texas (Austin), Uty of Michigan Flint campus), at the Foundation Day Address on 2 August, 2012. He was motivating the faculty and staff to come out with their best and by doing so, quoting the poet, not being selfish, indeed liberating others from the fear of performing to their best !! The founders including Mr. Sudhir Angur IITB, IIMA and Mrs. Sheila Chebbi were felicitated ..

Indeed, a very impressive motivational piece from Marianne Williamson !!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

It is amazing to know how much we can achieve, when nobody cares who takes the credit !! 

It is also a fact that nobody rises above low expectations !! So keep your expectations real high, higher than the stars ... An inspirational quote from a great leader ......

The clarion call from the Chairman exhorting the faculty to carry out research, basic and application, of the highest degree was indeed the sweetest melody to the ears, for me !! When there is full support and push, let us strive and bring out our best, honing the intellectual acumen of discussions both within the classroom and outside .. The recent International Doctoral student consortium in marketing is an example of this ..


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