Happy New Year 2015


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Random Thoughts-34: "World Savings Day"

October 31. Today is World Savings Day. I am definitely not qualified to say or write anything about savings. For me, savings is an eluding art, in spite of my having lived for nearly 40 years in and around Karaikudi, the stronghold of Nattukkottai Chettiars, who are well-known for their thrift.

Long back I wrote a poem for our inhouse magazine, WINGS. I recall that today and copy it below for your benefit:

proudly proclaims:
As for me
Always overspend
Overshoot my budget;
End with a deficit,
Every time I make a budget..
God saves;.
No wonder
God is great..

While waiting for the bus, I saw a neon-sign saying "God Saves", which pushed me to write the above poem in a lighter vein. Don't take it a blasphemy or some such thing. I trust in your sense of humour. Believe me, I am a very pious man.

A Thought for Today-259:

Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work body and soul - Charles Buxton

Picture of the day-68:

Recently I visited Rameswaram. On my way back, I took this photo of Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge connecting Pamban and Mandapam. I took the photo from the train; as I was in the 5th carriage, I could cover the Bridge as well as the train, while the train was negotiating a curve. Both the train and the bridge have come out nicely; what lies in between may be an eyesore, but that is what reality is!

Nellaiappan's Column-11: "Use-and-Throw Vs Mending

My father was in service for 39 years in Southern Railways in traveling ticket checking line and because of the nature of job he rarely stayed with us. But whenever he found time he used to attend to all household problems.

Binding our books (we are eleven), replacing worn-out/broken buttons to pants and shirts, repairing broken furniture with available tools, applying new wicks to the stoves, and taking appliances for outside repair such as changing broken handle of suitcase, repairing worn-out shoes and footwear and changing zips of bags were some of the works he casually attended to without any fuss. He never felt ashamed of doing such work. Neither his designation, nor his well-built stature nor age could stop him from doing so.

Today my daughters laugh at me when I try to take some of their garments for mending. Just because the stitching gave way in one or two places they have simply thrown away some costly dresses. Tailors too are very reluctant to take such work and tell excuses under the pretext of being very busy and having no time for such jobs.

Gone are the days and what now prevails is the use-and-throw culture. We applauded the idea when it first came for syringes and sanitary napkin. Students are relieved of the strain of filling ink in the pen and the stains that invariably follow it, thanks to the cheap, use-and-throw pens.

The concept got extended to paper cups, paper plates, water sachets, plastic water bottles, plastic carry bags and every day, some new item is added to this list.

It is cheap, easy to handle and no maintenance cost and time are required. Today no one talks about durability and quality. In the fast-moving mechanical world, the driving factors are cost and convenience.

People change things often. In industry too, durability has taken a back-seat. Everyone wants immediate returns, with minimum investments and no one talks about “long term”.

This use-and-throw culture is spreading like wildfire to every thing we do and to every walk of life, causing concern. Already heavy use of plastic is posing a threat to environment.

The use-and-throw culture is the order of the day and it started reflecting in every thing we do and “human relationship” is no exception. In the fast-moving materialistic world every thing is viewed and judged based on its material value only. The sense of belonging, the feeling of oneness, mutual usefulness to neighbors are slowly disappearing and causing concern.

I still remember the respect the postman, the station master, the EB wireman commanded from the public in those days of my childhood. No such relationship prevails any more. Even our family relations are becoming strained day by day. Our social contacts, if any, are all simply use-and-throw. Today everyone is a self-centered island and one has to wait for some big natural calamity or national crisis to bring us together.

Coming to Indian small scale industries the scenario is diametrically different. To meet the cut-throat competition, industries are not pumping any new money for capital items. Equipments and facilities are over-utilized and the maintenance team is always on their toes, going on repairing the machines and equipments again and again till the same comes to a grinding halt on its own.

People think that they are well managing the situation. The fact is, they are managing the situation with available resources, but at the cost of productivity. It is always crisis management and most of the people spend their time in first quadrant which means every thing is important and urgent. As a result the employees are put to overwork and hardship eroding their job satisfaction.

Because the younger generation is from the Use and Throw culture, they find themselves alien to the ever mending system of our small scale industries and they leave the job at the first excuse. This explains the heavy requirements for people on one hand, and the increase in unemployment rate on the other.

The mixie in my house is making hell of a noise. I told my betterhalf to clean it so that I can take it for repair. “Want to repair? It is as old as our first daughter. You know there is a festival offer. It is totally free along with a new refrigerator. Why not we try that dear.”- the echo is from my wife. Then what to do with our fridge?- as you guessed the feeble voice is mine. Well, there is another “offer” for that.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Thought for Today-258:

Men are often capable of better things than they perform; they are sent into the world with bills of credit, and seldom draw to the full extent - Alden

Picture of the day-67:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Thought for Today-257:

Without courage, there cannot be truth, and without truth there can be no other virtue - Sir Walter Scott

Picture of the day-66:

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Thought for Today-256:

Joy will be yours when you let your love go forth freely to everybody and everything - Thomas Carlyle.
Yesterday evening I went for a ride with Aravind. We were taking photos of the Lord Shiva Temple and Sri Kottai Nachi Amman Temple (Kottaiyur), plus a few natural scenery. These girls were watching us curiously and asked us whether the printout will come out of the camera. I was not a using a Polaroid, but only a Canon Powershot A590. I told her that it will not come and however we could see the photos. Then I showed the photos I have taken. They liked it and asked us whether I would take their photo. I took their photo and showed it them. They were delighted to see it. Then giggling, they ran away like little squirrels. This is their photo. I liked their curiosity and innocence and so decided to post it here.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eyecatchers-141: "Dr Deepak Chopra's 9-points for a Peace Economy

Grateful thanks to Dr Deepak Chopra,'New Realities', Alan Steinfeld and YouTube.

A Thought for Today-255:

In any controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for truth, and have begun striving for ourselves - Thomas Carlyle.

Picture of the day-65:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Thought for Today-254:

The surest antidote for worry is to keep busy - doing something useful - G.M.Adams

Picture of the day-64:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Random Thoughts-33: "The Story of the Tirupati Lock"

Many years ago, we, my dad and myself, had been to Tirupati as we had some work at Sri Venkateswara University. Then we left for Tirumala along with an influential friend. The friend helped us to get a quick and easy 'darshan' at Tirumala. On an impulse, I told my dad that I would like to stay overnight at Tirumala. We could get easily get a cottage. We hired a 'Godrej Nav-Tal' lock and key from a nearby petty shop after making a cash deposit of Rs.300/- and moved into the cottage. The atmosphere at the hill was serene and peaceful and I loved it.

The next day morning we vacated the cottage and went to the petty shop to return the lock and settle accounts. We got back our deposit and left for the bus station. The queue for the bus to Tirupati was long and it appeared it would take a long time to get into the bus. Fortunately for us, through the Railway Reservation Counter at Tirumala, we could get into a bus quickly, circumventing the queue.

As our bus was half way through, I opened my bag to look for something. I was shocked to see the lock and key there; somehow we have forgotten to return them; the shopkeeper also obviously forgot it. I did not know what to do. As you are probably aware, the buses from Tirumala to Tirupati do not have a conductor and they do not stop in between. I did not remember the name or address of the shopkeeper. So there was no way of returning the lock and key. I felt terribly sorry and realized that there was nothing I could do. So the lock and key came into my possession. I was using them for some time. When my kid brother, opened a shop, I gave him the lock and key. He was using it.

Then one morning when he went to open the shop, he found the lock broken and everything inside the stop stolen. The thief or thieves did not leave even a small chocolate. It was a clean sweep. When I heard the news, I was upset.

It occurred to me that there was some connection with misbegotten lock and the theft. The lock was not rightfully ours. We did not cheat the shopkeeper intentionally. Still there was a price to pay. For a 300-rupee lock, we had to pay more than Rs.10,000 worth materials. You can say we repaid it along with heavy interest. Generally, the dispensation of justice is not that simple. Still let us not forget the Law of Karma holds good for everybody and nobody can escape it. If you do something bad, you cannot escape the consequences; sooner or later, you will have pay for it.

You read, hear and see about people acting greedily, adopting all sorts of foul means, taking possession of other people's wealth. You can only pity them; for, they don't know that they will have to repay it with heavy interest; in the process, they will have to experience a lot of pain and misery. When you find that even rightfully got wealth do not remain with you for long, this covetousness is pointless and plain stupidity. If only people know this, there will be less greed and covetousness in this world.

At least, I have learnt my lesson.

Picture of the day-63:

A Thought for Today-253:

The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts - Landor

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Thoughts-32: "Crime and Punishment"

I have found morning walks energizing, enthusing, enlightening, stimulating, thought-provoking and a lot more things.

The other day I was performing my morning walk. Two middle-aged women were ahead of me. Though I was doing 'japa' mentally, I could not avoid their conversation entering my ears.

One of them was obviously a government employee. She was narrating of her tale of woe in getting some payment due to her from the government. She was harassed, made to run hither and thither. The villain, a clerk, would not prepare/pass her bill unless he is 'paid'. To make her pay, he was indulging in so many dilatory tactics. She became miserable and ultimately, after several months of suffering, paid him and got her payment. All along she had been mentally cursing him. It seems that fellow passed away within a month after that. She was gloating: "My curse was not wasted".

How simple it all looks! Crime-Curse-Punishment. A very simple linear equation! If it were so, there would be less crime, less corruption, less evil. Unfortunately, the dispensation of justice is more complicated, sometimes mind-boggling. Courts, lawyers, witnesses who do somersaults, police personnel, endless adjournments and a lot of other factors enter the arena to make it so. I recall a saying my dad used to mention: "Justice delayed is justice denied." If that is right, then you will have come to the painful conclusion that there is no justice in this world.

The divine dispensation of justice is even more complicated and would probably drive everyone crazy. We hear about good people suffering for their past deeds, unknown deeds they probably committed in some previous birth. Oh God! Does it mean that justice cannot meted out in one's single lifetime? Does it mean carry forward of your bad 'karma' to several births?

No wonder evil thrives in the world!

By comparison, our courts look better!

What do you say?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Thought for Today-252:

An inspiration is a joy for ever, a possession as solid as a landed estate, a fortune which we can never exhaust and which gives us year by year a revenue of pleasurable activity. To have many of these is to be spiritually rich. - R.L.Stevenson

Picture of the day-62:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Thought for Today-251:

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.

- Dryden

Picture of the day-61:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Diwali Greetings!


With Love


Thursday, October 15, 2009


U.S. coroners were reporting a sharp increase in the number of unclaimed bodies due to the recession.

-- Margaret Cordi
October 13, 2009

Grateful thanks to Harper's Weekly and Margaret Cordi.

S and T Watch-57:

Astronomers discovered the largest ring in the solar system, a colossal circle of debris around Saturn caused by the planet's moon Phoebe having been hit by wayward space rocks.

-- Margaret Cordi
October 13, 2009

Grateful thanks to Harper's Weekly and Margaret Cordi.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Picture of the day-60:

A Thought for Today-250:

Evil is wrought by want of Thought
As well as want of Heart.

- Thomas Hood

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Picture of the day-59:

A Thought for Today-249:

Even the ordinary man has some unique talent hidden in him. All he has to do is to identify it, find a way to manifest it and utilize it properly and fully, his life will become more rewarding and he will find fulfillment in this life. Then he becomes a real gift to mankind.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Picture of the day-58:

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Picture of the day-57:

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Thought for Today-248:

Joy is not in things, but in us - Charles Morgan

Picture of the day-56:

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Thought for Today-247:

The life that is lived without a purpose is rudderless, drifting through the years. It was not so that man was intended to live. A purpose is as necessary to the individual as life itself. - Abraham Lincoln

Picture of the day-55:

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Interesting Videos: "The Wonder of You" by Deepak Chopra

Grateful thanks to Dr.Deepak Chopra, 'Shift-in-Action'(shiftinaction.com) and YouTube.

A Thought for Today-246:

Four things make life worthwhile: To Love, To Hope, To Help, To Smile - W.S.Percy

Picture of the day-54:

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 02, 2009

A Thought for Today-244:

Wisdom is what to do next, skill is how to do it, and virtue is doing it - David Starr Jordan

Picture of the day-53:

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A Thought for Today-243:

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it. - Bernard Shaw

Picture of the day-52:

Posted by Picasa