Thursday, December 29, 2016

How A1/A2 Milk Conspiracy relates to Jallikattu

Here you come, the reason of bringing-up the Jallikattu bulls are not just for the sport, but mainly for servicing the cows.

During Jallikattu, all the healthy and strong bulls are brought and exhibited. Small farmers who cannot afford bulls, take a note of the top agile bulls and seek them for servicing their cows.

The intricate connect between these events and Tamilnadu farming process can be seen from the chronological timeline of these events; Jallikattu happen first (where they exhibit the bulls), then the shandies’ (markets where they trade/seek the bulls) and then the main farming season starts.

Unlike the western bull, one bull which was raised for Jallikattu can service up to 40 cows., which were a big problem for the western semen selling companies. If they are to sell semen the Bulls should die or become redundant.

First they tried to make the bulls “redundant”, like the introduction of tractors. I am not against mechanization. But the machines should only make the work of men and animals (in this case) easier. Not make them redundant. The tractors made half the bulls unemployed. Even men don’t find a place in their house if they are unemployed. So there was no place for bulls too :)
But, still some people were caring for their long tradition of having stud bulls So the western milk & semen companies decided to kill all the native breed bulls!!!! , using the animal activist groups for campaigning and passed the “Cow slaughter law”.

Have you ever read the rules of Cow Slaughter Law. Read the judgement here.  In summary,
  • Any Bull that is incapable of reproducing and any cow that is incapable of producing milk can be killed.
  • Any bull that is not verified by the authorities or in other terms “The Organisation permits this Bull to reproduce on whatever grounds” should not be allowed to reproduce. Else the Organisation has the right to cut off the Bull’s balls.
Basically the law says “If they are not useful to human, kill them”; satisfying the lobbying of western milk & semen companies. Don’t you see Coca-Cola has already started selling “Milk” in India!

Now Jallikattu is the only reason which makes a common farmer who is not well-educated, who’s not aware of A1/A2 milk, who is still unaware of the business politics behind the so called “milk revolution” – to keep his bull alive!!

So please don’t scribble against Jallikattu, without understanding any history or reasoning behind it. If you really care for animals, please protect the native breeds which are in the edge of extinction!. I support #savejallikattu
#banjallikattu #milkrevolution #peta  #lobby  #tamilnadu

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I support Jallikattu

It’s really sad to see a lot of outcry on “Jallikattu Ban” all over media. Especially now since the Central government has lifted the ban officially, the so called animal rights activists makes a lot of wrong propaganda all over the media.

As a person who’s seen and experienced the traditions and reasons behind #jallikattu, I feel I should clear-out some misconceptions and wrong advertising.

First of all, believe me: I am a vegetarian, not because of any religious reasons, but of moral reasoning. I do love animals and I too fight against the animal cruelty; But I support Jallikattu and am against banning it. Let me explain why!   

The actual name of the sport is: Eru Thazhuvuthal meaning ‘Embracing / Hugging the Bull’, not bull baiting. Jallikattu is an ancient tradition. The seals of the Indus Valley civilization proofs that this sport was in trend 5,000 years ago. Many ancient Indian (not just Tamil) literatures of 2nd BC have detailed references to Eru Thazhuvuthal.

If you are comparing Jallikattu with the Spain bull fight, then you’re completely wrong. Spain bulls are trained to be dumb and vigor, whereas our bulls are trained to be intelligent and sharp. Jallikattu is like a game of tag between the bull and the players. And the bulls are intelligent enough to evade the players. Each bull takes only 20 - 30 seconds to complete their turn in the arena, and I think not even Superman can do the so called " torture" to the bulls during that short interval:)

And very importantly @separatists, please be aware: All classes of people and all castes take part in Jallikattu. There is an egalitarian standpoint where it’s people and their cattle, nothing more nothing less. Please go and check it yourselves.

Now, coming to the main reason...Why I support and Why PETA is so keen in banning Jallikattu – NATIVE BREEDS & A2 MILK

Many of us do not know the difference between an Indian cow and a western cow. The cows you see on the streets now are hybrid-western cows., they produce unhealthy A1 milk what we all drink nowadays. The native cow breeds of our country has a hump on it's back and it gives nutritious, safe A2 milk.

To explain further: There are two types of cow's milk: A1 & A2. The main difference between the A1 & A2 milk is their protein components – A1 & A2 Beta Caseins.

The A1 beta casein is a toxic component while the A2 is harmless and safe. It has micronutrients like cytokines and minerals which enhances your immune system. But the western cow's milk gets digested differently and is not suitable for human consumption!

Are you still wondering how does the A1/A2 milk issue relates to Jallikattu? Please read my next post "How A1/A2 Milk Conspiracy relates to Jallikattu"

Bottom line is: Your mother's milk is A2 and so is the Indian cow's. To know more facts, read this article The A2 milk case: a critical review published in one of the highly regarded international journal.

I support Jallikattu


It’s really sad to see a lot of outcry on “Jallikattu Ban” all over media. Especially now since the Central government has lifted the ban officially, the so called animal rights activists makes a lot of wrong propaganda all over the media.

As a person who’s seen and experienced the traditions and reasons behind Jallikattu, I feel I should clear-out some misconceptions and wrong advertising.

First of all, believe me: I am a vegetarian, not because of any religious reasons, but of moral reasoning. I do love animals and I too fight against the animal cruelty; But I support Jallikattu and am against banning it. Let me explain why!

The actual name of the sport is: Eru Thazhuvuthal meaning ‘Embracing / Hugging the Bull’, not bull baiting. Jallikattu is an ancient tradition. The seals of the Indus Valley civilization proofs that this sport was in trend 5,000 years ago. Many ancient Indian (not just Tamil) literatures of 2nd BC have detailed references to Eru Thazhuvuthal.

If you are comparing Jallikattu with the Spain bull fight, then you’re completely wrong. Spain bulls are trained to be dumb and vigor, whereas our bulls are trained to be intelligent and sharp. Jallikattu is like a game of tag between the bull and the players. And the bulls are intelligent enough to evade the players. Each bull takes only 20 - 30 seconds to complete their turn in the arena, and I think not even Superman can do the so called " torture" to the bulls during that short interval:)

And very importantly @separatists, please be aware: All classes of people and all castes take part in Jallikattu. There is an egalitarian standpoint where it’s people and their cattle, nothing more nothing less. Please go and check it yourselves.

Now, coming to the main reason...Why I support and Why PETA is so keen in banning Jallikattu – NATIVE BREEDS & A2 MILK

Many of us do not know the difference between an Indian cow and a western cow. The cows you see on the streets now are hybrid-western cows., they produce unhealthy A1 milk what we all drink nowadays. The native cow breeds of our country has a hump on it's back and it gives nutritious, safe A2 milk.

To explain further: There are two types of cow's milk: A1 & A2. The main difference between the A1 & A2 milk is their protein components – A1 & A2 Beta Caseins.

The A1 beta casein is a toxic component while the A2 is harmless and safe. It has micronutrients like cytokines and minerals which enhances your immune system. But the western cow's milk gets digested differently and is not suitable for human consumption!

Bottom line is: Your mother's milk is A2 and so is the Indian cow's. If you want to know more read The A2 milk case: a critical review 


HOW DOES A1/A2 ISSUE RELATES TO JALLIKATTU?

Here you come, the reason of bringing-up the Jallikattu bulls are not just for the sport, but mainly for servicing the cows.

During Jallikattu, all the healthy and strong bulls are brought and exhibited. Small farmers who cannot afford bulls, take a note of the top agile bulls and seek them for servicing their cows.

The intricate connect between these events and Tamilnadu farming process can be seen from the chronological timeline of these events; Jallikattu happen first (where they exhibit the bulls), then the shandies’ (markets where they trade/seek the bulls) and then the main farming season starts.

Unlike the western bull, one bull which was raised for Jallikattu can service up to 40 cows., which were a big problem for the western semen selling companies. If they are to sell semen the Bulls should die or become redundant.

First they tried to make the bulls “redundant”, like the introduction of tractors. I am not against mechanization. But the machines should only make the work of men and animals (in this case) easier. Not make them redundant. The tractors made half the bulls unemployed. Even men don’t find a place in their house if they are unemployed. So there was no place for bulls too :)
But, still some people were caring for their long tradition of having stud bulls So the western milk & semen companies decided to kill all the native breed bulls!!!! , using the animal activist groups for campaigning and passed the “Cow slaughter law”.

Have you ever read the rules of Cow Slaughter Law. Read the judgement here.  In summary,
  • Any Bull that is incapable of reproducing and any cow that is incapable of producing milk can be killed.
  • Any bull that is not verified by the authorities or in other terms “The Organisation permits this Bull to reproduce on whatever grounds” should not be allowed to reproduce. Else the Organisation has the right to cut off the Bull’s balls.
Basically the law says “If they are not useful to human, kill them”; satisfying the lobbying of western milk & semen companies. Don’t you see Coca-Cola has already started selling “Milk” in India!

Now Jallikattu is the only reason which makes a common farmer who is not well-educated, who’s not aware of A1/A2 milk, who is still unaware of the business politics behind the so called “milk revolution” – to keep his bull alive!!

So please don’t scribble against Jallikattu, without understanding any history or reasoning behind it. If you really care for animals, please protect the native breeds which are in the edge of extinction!. 

I support #savejallikattu

#banjallikattu #milkrevolution #peta  #lobby  #tamilnadu

Friday, November 25, 2016

Manual Scavengers need a better life

I just happened to see a documentary film about Manual Scavengers in India and I just broke to shame :(

"I don't think there will be a day when I don't have to do this work, But I do not want my son to be like me….” A person in the video says before he breakout in tears.

"No one respects me in the society, I better die rather than doing this work for survival" a lady cries... "Am I also not a human being?" an elderly person asks.

"I have had many suffocation, There are many times I feel afraid that I will die" other person says. It is risky work; the buildup of waste emits a lethal cocktail of carbon monoxide and methane. Getting into a man-hole or a latrine is something very dangerous than you can imagine.

It's an extremely degrading and dangerous occupation. Most manual scavengers don't have suitable equipment. They don’t have gloves, No boots often they handle’em in plain hands or self-made bamboo/aluminium plates.

"I had no choice ; Perhaps it was my destiny." the other lady nods quietly. 

Isn’t it a shame to have manual scavenging still existing in India? Dry latrines, which are cleaned by manual scavengers still exist in public establishments and private houses in many parts of India, defying the basic human rights.it’s the most degrading still existing practice of "untouchability" in the country.

India’s Constitution, The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, prohibits compelling anyone to practice manual scavenging. In 2013, the Indian parliament enacted The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act (the 2013 Act) outlawing all manual excrement cleaning. But still the below figures are really worrisome. 

Source: Lok Sabha

Though a majority of the Indians has access to mobile phones, it’s really pity that more than 25% of the Indians do not have proper sanitation, including toilets or latrines, affecting the environment, human health, dignity  security, and social and economic development.

As long as, there are dry toilets, there will be a need to clean them and so the manual scavengers. Unless, everyone realize of the badness around manual scavenging and #opendefaction, it’s near impossible to scrap the shame of manual scavenging.

Successive Central and State government attempts to end this shame, but have been derailing by discrimination and local complicity. The government needs to get serious about putting laws banning manual scavenging into practice and assisting the affected caste communities.

#untouchability  #opendefaction  #manualscavenge #india

Manul Scavengers need a better life

I just happened to see a documentary film about Manual Scavengers and I just broke to shame :(


"I don't think there will be a day when I don't have to do this work, But I do not want my son to be like me….” A person in the video says before he breakout in tears.

"No one respects me in the society, I better die rather than doing this work for survival" a lady cries... "Am I also not a human being?" an elderly person asks.

"I have had many suffocation, There are many times I feel afraid that I will die" other person says. It is risky work; the buildup of waste emits a lethal cocktail of carbon monoxide and methane. Getting into a man-hole or a latrine is something very dangerous than you can imagine.

It's an extremely degrading and dangerous occupation. Most manual scavengers don't have suitable equipment. They don’t have gloves, No boots often they handle’em in plain hands or self-made bamboo/aluminium plates.

"I had no choice ; Perhaps it was my destiny." the other lady nods quietly. 

Isn’t it a shame to have manual scavenging still existing in India? Dry latrines, which are cleaned by manual scavengers still exist in public establishments and private houses in many parts of India, defying the basic human rights.it’s the most degrading still existing practice of "untouchability" in the country.

India’s Constitution, The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955, prohibits compelling anyone to practice manual scavenging. In 2013, the Indian parliament enacted The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Act (the 2013 Act) outlawing all manual excrement cleaning. But still the below figures are really worrisome. 


Source: Lok Sabha

Though a majority of the Indians has access to mobile phones, it’s really pity that more than 25% of the Indians do not have proper sanitation, including toilets or latrines, affecting the environment, human health, dignity  security, and social and economic development.

As long as, there are dry toilets, there will be a need to clean them and so the manual scavengers. Unless, everyone realize of the badness around manual scavenging and #opendefaction, it’s near impossible to scrap the shame of manual scavenging.

Successive Central and State government attempts to end this shame, but have been derailing by discrimination and local complicity. The government needs to get serious about putting laws banning manual scavenging into practice and assisting the affected caste communities.

#untouchability  #opendefaction  #manulscavenge #

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Concern for Street Children

I felt so shamed and depraved too see a NGO hoarding in the Amsterdam Central Station - featuring Child beggar of India. It was a fund raising poster from a NGO to support the cause for street children.

I was also the one who yelled against Danny Boyle’s portrayal of India in Slumdog Millionaire; but over the years…after living in 2-3 metro cities of India, now I realize that environments of street children in India is not as bad as Boyle showed it - In fact they are even more worse😢.

Among the many impossible tasks, the counting of exact number of street children is also a mere impossible. Some estimate from UNICEF says, there could be approx..10 to 40 million in India alone, whereas the percentage of YoY increase is alarmingly so high !.

Street Children is a challenging issue for most of underdeveloped and heavily populated countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and several other countries of the world but unfortunately, there hasn’t been any motivated effort ever made to widely discuss the matter of “street children” anywhere around the world. There is no well-managed, well-coordinated, detailed research and study ever conducted or existing on this issue of prime importance.


Who are they? How do they become street children?

Children can be found in railway stations, near temples/Churches/Masks, in markets, under bridges, near bus depots and stops, etc. According to UNICEF street children fall under two categories: “On the street” and “Of the street”.

"Children of the street" are homeless children who live and sleep on the streets in urban areas. They are on their own and do not have any parental supervision or care though some do live with other homeless adults.

"Children on the street" earn a livelihood from street such as street urchins and beggars. They return home at night and have contact with their families.

The distinction is an important one because children of the street lack emotional and psychological support of a family and the impact they’d create in the society when they grow is also very critical!.

How should we solve this problem?

Solving the issue is not an easy job; It’s expensive, tough and really a long term mission. Government of India began the Integrated Programme for Street Children. And there are many NGOs’ working together to help these children through steps like extending extra health facilities, establishing nutrition programs, providing vocational training, protecting children from abuse, distributing dry-food poly packs, providing night shelters, providing ration cards, and creating bathing and toilet facilities...etc.

We, as a common man, whatever effort, be it spreading awareness, making donation or whatever small things we do would reward in long-term. Nothing could be more satisfying than witnessing a child who was pulled off the street, graduating from university and making his way in the world. #streetchildren #EveryLastChild #slumdog

Concern for Street Children

I felt so shamed and depraved too see a NGO hoarding in the Amsterdam Central Station - featuring Child beggar of India. It was a fund raising poster from a NGO to support the cause for street children.

I was also the one who yelled against Danny Boyle’s portrayal of India in Slumdog Millionaire; but over the years…after living in 2-3 metro cities of India, now I realize that environments of street children in India is not as bad as Boyle showed it - In fact they are even more worse😢.

Among the many impossible tasks, the counting of exact number of street children is also a mere impossible. Some estimate from UNICEF says, there could be approx..10 to 40 million in India alone, whereas the percentage of YoY increase is alarmingly so high !.

Street Children is a challenging issue for most of underdeveloped and heavily populated countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and several other countries of the world but unfortunately, there hasn’t been any motivated effort ever made to widely discuss the matter of “street children” anywhere around the world. There is no well-managed, well-coordinated, detailed research and study ever conducted or existing on this issue of prime importance.


Who are they? How do they become street children?

Children can be found in railway stations, near temples/Churches/Masks, in markets, under bridges, near bus depots and stops, etc. According to UNICEF street children fall under two categories: “On the street” and “Of the street”.

"Children of the street" are homeless children who live and sleep on the streets in urban areas. They are on their own and do not have any parental supervision or care though some do live with other homeless adults.

"Children on the street" earn a livelihood from street such as street urchins and beggars. They return home at night and have contact with their families.

The distinction is an important one because children of the street lack emotional and psychological support of a family and the impact they’d create in the society when they grow is also very critical!.

How should we solve this problem?

Its so easy to ask, but the solution is a giant task. There are Many NGO’s and government agencies are working together to help these children, steps like extending extra health facilities, establishing nutrition programs, providing vocational training, protecting children from abuse, distributing dry-food poly packs, providing night shelters, providing ration cards, and creating bathing and toilet facilities are some of the steps that may lead to improvement in these children’s life.

In order to provide services to this vulnerable group of children the Government of India began the Integrated Programme for Street Children.

If you care for these poor kids and willing to help, please reach out the supporting government & NGO/volunteers and help whatever you can - to bring them out of the streets .  #streetchildren #EveryLastChild #slumdog

Monday, October 31, 2016

Hoe het Zo Kwam Dat de Ramenlapper Hoogtevrees Kreeg

I watched my first ever Dutch movie yesterday, and I am glad that it was so pleasant and felt good (though I don’t understand the language well).

“Hoe het Zo Kwam Dat de Ramenlapper Hoogtevrees Kreeg” is a romantic comedy short film of about 50minutes, was telecasted on NPO in the “One Night Stand” series. The movie is about Alfred, a 65 years old window cleaner.

Just one day before the start of his pension and just a few hours before his 65th birthday, Alfred suddenly finds himself stricken by vertigo. Fear strikes high on the ladder, just below the window of Dirkje, for whom he harbors a secret love for 44 years.

A dizzying history of 64 years and 364 days reveals that Alfred, as accidental Cupid, had been the reason for many love lives, but never had a luck to get himself arrowed. But today, 44 years after meeting Dirkje for the first time, Alfred realizes that it is high time that he has to point the arrow at himself at least by now and goes to propose to Dirkje.

The story/screenplay in the beginning was bit lagging and boring, but the movie gets you involved with-in 15minutes. Especially, things like Bright colors all over the movie, always sunny shots, an eloquent voice- which explains many shots extensively in detail, calm piano solo soundtrack all made the movie alive.

Overall, it’s a very good attempt of a tragic romantic comedy. My first dutch movie was not disappointing at all :)

#npo #onenightstand #filmfestival #dutchmovie

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Moths to the Flame: The Seductions of Computer Technology - by Gregory Rawlins


It’s been nearly 2 years since I completely read a whole book; life was so busy (or you call me lazy:) that I got a chance to pick a few books here-and-then, but never managed to finish one. To its credit, this book “Moths to the Flame” from Gregory Rawlins, published by MIT Press made me to hold it tight till I complete it.

Moths to the Flame is a perfect mixture of visualizing/learning through the futuristic computer technologies through a historical view.

As the author Gregory Rawlins, who is a professor of artificial intelligence engineering at Indiana University, himself says,
"For two decades now I've been awaiting a book explaining computers and their social consequences to literate readers without using any unnecessary jargon or pedantry—or math….....I particularly wanted a book that I could buy for my father, who's an accountant of the old school, to explain something of the mysterious world I live in.”
He sets the goal for this book very clear that It’s not for computer geeks -for whom this book may look like a Montessori scribble; rather it is for the old school of people who has no/less knowledge about modern computers– it’s a kind of “computer technologies for dummies” book :)

In this book, the author takes us on a historical tour of the world surrounded with modern technologies, with a lot of humor, yet in a thought-provoking script. The technology area he introduces, are not limited only to hi-tech industry, instead he explains technology from events applied to everyday life, video games, movie animations to space engineering and deep root military innovations.

The book's first four chapters explore the worlds of privacy, virtual reality, publishing and computer networks, while the last four focus on social issues such as warfare, jobs, computer catastrophes, and the future itself. Throughout unusual analogies and historical comparisons - from Egyptian pictograms to the codebreakers of World War II - gives us a context for the computer age, showing how new technologies have always bred intertwined hope and resistance.

I enjoyed this book, at least it taught me the skill of explaining some hi-tech stuff in simple words. But, for some reason the book was not a big hit in the market though, people complaining as the author did not explain the technologies not as deep as the famous technology writers Neil Postman or Roszak; but if you want just a simple book about modern technologies, and would like to buzz through in a couple of days, go get it – you’ll not be disappointed.   #mit #mothstotheflames  #computer #technology #gregoryrawlins

Saturday, September 17, 2016

In the train..

The trains here, have silent coaches #Stiltecoupe with the “Stilte/Silence” logos. In these coaches everyone is supposed to be silent. No phone calls, no chats inside these coaches!

Silence.. Pin drop silence inside !!!!. It’s a rule that is taken seriously, and there’s always someone in these coaches who will play policeman if you do chat for sure :)

I was on such a stiltecoupe last evening, reading a book and enjoying a quiet travel – till that cute little girl and her father got-in. They seem to be Britons, touring Holland; the girl was full of energy and excitement, she got into the coach skipping and screaming (same as my daughter; P), and they both took a seat adjacent to me.

Little Girl: Pappa, Pappa … Papppaaaa….

Father: what?
(As usual, an old lady warned them “IT IS A SILENT COACH !!!!”)

Father: sshhh… we’re in a silent coach baby, we need to speak with inner voice, you can’t speak louder!
(The girl was silent for a moment, and then started...)

Little Girl:(in a loud voice) Pappa.. Pappa…it’s important…
I just forgot how to speak with my inner voice :) .. What should I do now !!!

Not just her father, I also started laughing out loud!! Of course, many others looked us like crazy morans ; but who cares ?, I still enjoy the moment!   #ns.nl #amsterdam

Friday, September 9, 2016

Use social media responsibly

Just happend to see a report done by thinktank Demo researchers, claiming that more than 10,000 racists and abusive tweets are being tweeted everyday. That is approximately about 7 hurt-ful messages every minute!

Everyone can type and share whatever they want on their social media because – it is called as ""the freedom of speech"", correct? But it's also important for those people to realize that they have no rights to demean the ‘freedom of speech’ by sharing useless hatred.

I really don't understand, What these keyboard warriors are trying to achieve by posting such absurd comments and forwards?

Let's be responsible in handling our social media.

Friday, August 5, 2016

La Madeleine, Paris

To my shame, I wasn't aware of this architectural and cultural gem earlier - it was not in our itinerary; we got into it only by a chance, or I should say only by mistake :) . We were navigating to Notre-dam, but our Tom-Tom went crazy for some reasons and made us to round about the La Madeleine three times. So we stopped our car nearby just to fix the GPS, then decided to hop-on to the beautiful La Madeleine Church.

La Madeleine is one of the beautiful Catholic churches of Paris, but it’s is unique and totally different from most of what you will see in Paris, both inside and out. . Though it’s one of the authentic churches, from its exterior it doesn’t look like a church at all!!. It gives a feel of typical traditional Greek Temple has just been transported from Athens to Paris !

In 1806, Napoleon began commissioning this great monument to himself and his Grand Army, following his great victory over the Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz. Pierre-Alexandre Barthélémy Vignon (1763-1828) designed this monument to the Army, in neo-classical style. Looking like the Parthenon in Athens, this massive structure was completed after Napoleon's downfall. King Louis XVIII decreed that it would be a church. And so it was consecrated in 1842.

The exterior features beautiful carvings and massive columns with fantastic flower arrangements and the interior is serene and lovely. My favorite part of this one is the lovely and unusual altar figure of the Magdalene ascending into heaven with the help of several angels, and the half dome above it with the illuminating paintings of many saints.
Here's a nice panorama of the interior: http://www.panoramicearth.com/1516/Paris/Eglise_de_St-Marie-Madeleine_Church

If you go to Paris, don`t miss this wonder, even just to see the building!!    #madeleine #napoleon #magdalene

Monday, August 1, 2016

Beautiful Bridges of Paris

Paris is a river city; The river #Seine flows all around the Paris.

Paris has close to 35 bridges (French call it “pont”) across the Seine throughout. Most of these bridges are more than 200 years old, built in the 18th century. From what I experienced, I think each one of them is unique with different architecture and history behind.

On a nice weather, you just walk through these beautiful bridges all along the river Seine to adore the views of iconic buildings/architectures, you’ll love Paris till your life time!

We had a chance to go through two of the most famous ones: The #Pont #Alexandre III and the Pont au Double.

1) Pont Alexandre III:
The Pont Alexandre III connects the Champs-Élysées quarter of Paris with it’s other side of the Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower. The bridge is named after Tsar Alexander III, who set-up the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892. 

The bridge is a perfect example for the marvel of 19th century engineering, consisting of a 6 metres (20 ft) high single span steel arch. The bridge is lined-up with the most beautiful street lamps all through; And the statues !!! Each corner of the bridge has huge columns with a gold gilt-bronze statue of Pegasus. Also some coloumns with the statues of cherubs, lions, and beautiful ladies. It’s simply gorgeous!

Not just me, everyone who visits it, will say this is one of the most decorative and extravagant bridges in the world!!!.


2) Pont au Double :

The Pont au Double is yet another beautiful (and probably one of the oldest) bridge over the river Seine, just right next to the Notre-dam.

The bridge was originally built in 1643inly for the purpose of carrying the sick people & wounded soliders to the Hôtel-Dieu (Man, it’s not a hotel! It’s one of the oldest hospitals of Paris :)

As the city traffic increased, general public also started to use the bridge, but eventually had to pay a toll money of – a “double denier” for each man on crossing the bridge. Hence the bridge got the name as “Double bridge (”Pont au Double).

The Pont au Double collapsed in 1709 but was rebuilt to the identical. The Pont au Double was demolished once more in 1883 and replaced with the current bridge.

This bridge is much smaller and very less intricate compared to the magnificence of the Pont Alexandre III. , but still I liked it verymuch , it’s bridge with subtle beauty that Paris is known for !!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Napoleon's Death Mystery

Every country has dozens of stories about the mysterious death of their beloved leaders/heroes - John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, Subhas Chandra Bose… are a few that instantly come into my mind at least...

Likewise, the French too never get tired of stories about the death of their greatest warrior Napoleon Bonaparte! I always thought that napoleon died due to stomach cancer, but most of the French people refuse it and call it he was poisoned!  There’s more than enough of mystery around napoleons death, burial, tomb and even on his DNA!

The greatest emperor of Europe - Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to St. Helena – an island in the Atlantic Ocean, after loosing his final battle at the #waterloo in 1815. He was in the custody of British for 6 years and died at St. Helena in 1821. Ever since, the circumstances of his demise have been creating a lot of debate.

Arsenic Poisoning:
Autopsy reports of Napoleon shows high amount #arsenic in his body, which is more than a poison. Many of the French believe that the British might have poisoned napoleon fearing that he might escape the #exile again* and reconquer the France!

(* Even before the Waterloo, Napoleon had lost the “Battle of #montmartre” in 1814 and was exiled to the Elba Islands. Brave Napoleon spent nine months of exile at the Elba - only to plan and regain the Paris back. But, this time he was out of luck, he could led France only for the next 100 days till he was defeated again at Waterloo and exiled to St. Helena Islands where he died)

But the doubt of poisoning got strengthened when Napoleon’s coffin was dug-up in 1840 from Helena and bring it back to France. There was the surprise: His body was intact in perfect condition even after 25 years of burial !.

This made the scientist to suggest that Napoleon might have slowly poisoned with arsenic - which is apparently one of the most effective preservative too!

Le retour des cendres 
Another conspiracy was around the “#retour_des_Cendres – the return of the remains of Napoleon from St. Helena to Paris.

18 October, 1840 the coffin of Napoleon was exhumed  St.Helena and transferred to the ship “Belle Poule ” sailing back to Paris. The trip from #Helena to Paris was too long over two months, in between the body of napoleon was shifted twice to different boats, giving ample opportunities for speculations J

There are some stories saying the body buried at Les #Invalides in Paris is not actually Napoleon’s, but it was one of napoleons caretakers from St.Helena!. These people are still asking to exhume his body again from the Invalides and do go for a DNA test !

Napoleon remains in news even after he dies! His death, burial, ashes, tomb…everything are still a matter of debate!

Read the detailed history at : 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Les Invalides - Musée de l'Armée - Église du Dôme

Les Invalides, also called as “Hôtel des Invalides” meaning to “The National Residence of the Invalids”, is a building complex in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. The big campus houses three museums (Musée de l'Armée, Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the military museum), and a Cathedral of Saint-Louis.

King Louis XIV constructed this huge campus in 1670 with a main purpose to provide accommodation and hospital care for wounded soldiers (you can still see a hospital and rooms of retirement home), along with the large Church (Cathedral of Saint-Louis des Invalides). Some of the wounded/died war heros of France were buried here, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte!

All the three museums and church/burial site all put up around French army, hence you can see all the exhibits of their old armor, canons, pictures explaining their war strategies, many artifacts, war forms, …and even their tombs.

One of the highlights of anyone whio wants to visit to Les Invalides is of course to see the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was interesting to learn about about his history and was surprised to know that his body was first buried at St. Helena by the Britsish, and later his remains were unearthed and carried to De Invalides Paris in 1840.

To inginite your interest towards the french history (escpecially about Napoleon), French Military, and to embrace the French architecture, the Les Invalides should be on your itinerary!!!,  

You’ll be amused. #napoleon   #invalides  #bonaparte  #helena

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eiffel Tower

What could be an iconic picture of Paris other than the incredible Eiffel Tower!. After making a quick drop off at the hotel, by default we also started our trip with a visit to the Eiffel Tower.

#Eiffel tower doesn’t need any introduction to anyone in the world, right? There are millions of people across the world have dreamt long time for seeing this structure in reality, myself included!. Once I took my first sight of its magnificence, I was just mesmerized and comprehended that dreams too come true.

Of course, In today’s standard the 324 meters (1,063ft) high Eiffel tower is not a miracle, but not to forget that it was built in 1889 and held the title of world’s tallest building for many decades. I was excited to know that tower faced a lot of criticism & protest from the people of Paris, fearing that this metal structure might spoil the credibility of beautiful Parisian architecture.

It’s #Gustave Eiffel – the designer of this wonder had just changed those criticisms to exclamations; you can see his anger statements of Gustave “
"My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?"
He’s true. Though his creature doesn’t have any of the antiqueness that the pyramids do, the eiffel tower undoubtedly has turned out to be one of the most famous buildings of the world, and an iconic symbol for the City of Love.

You can see the Eiffel Tower from almost all over the city of Paris, but you’d feel it’s fullness only when you climb to the top floor. The tower is open almost all through the day, you can visit from 9am to midnight, subject to the time & weather of the season.

Upto the second floor, youc an use the stairs (obvious, its not even an option for lazy chaps like me, I took the lift from the ground:). But, everyone must take a lift from the 2nd floor if you want to climb the top – to enjoy the real beautiful view of the Paris Skyline.

The first floor contains a restaurant, expositions, various presentations about the Eiffel tower and other famous attractions of the city, a souvenir shop, a cinema showing information about everything related to the Tower’s history and so on…

The second floor too homes a number of displays, a restaurant and a beautiful (??) view to the ground (don’t try to look down if you’re afraid of heights!). You can see a wall full of pcitures explaining the history of the tower again and its height comparision with other famous tall buildings all over the world.

The Top floor – wow that was amazing. The views you get from 1st and 2nd floor are no way comparable to the top one. You get a 360 degree view of Paris and surronding areas, truly mind blowing!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Trip to Paris

Paris has been the “City of Love” for years; but I must admit that I have been falling in love with the city itself!

My interest towards France and Paris had started from MY TRIP TO PONDICHERRY,INDIA. I was very much excited and just attracted to their fantastic history, beautiful architecture, delicious food But, I never imagined that might visit Paris so soon. Lucky me :)

We had two wonderful days in Paris this weekend. Bit sad that two days is really short, we missed so many wonderful places, still managed to wander around some of the main attractions: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Les Invalides, Notre-Dame, Triumphal Arch, Madeleine Church, Pont Alexander III , Petit Palais, Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries), Concorde Square (Place de la Concorde) and Grand Palais. Will try to write about each of them.

But this short visit to these attractions has only increased my adoration to the city. I must come here again at least a week - to walk for hours down the main streets to narrow roads, cherish more time at the museums, to stop-by a café for lattes and macaroons, to applaud their fashion, a little bit of shopping and generally loving every corner of the gorgeous city of Paris. #TRAVELOGUE #PARIS

Friday, July 15, 2016

What's the name of this country?

Most of us think “Holland” as the same as “The Netherlands”. Isn’t it?

Oh yes!, but we’re wrong!!. 

Holland and The Netherlands are not the same. What is the difference between Holland and the Netherlands then?  Hmm.... To answer the question, I must go little into history and geography :)

Holland Vs. The Netherlands:
The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces: Groningen, Friesland,  Drenthe, Overijssel, Flevoland, Gelderland, Utrecht, North-Holland, South-Holland, Zealand, North Brabant and Limburg.

Two of them - North Holland and South Holland are the home for the major cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague (Den Hague), Delft, Leiden and Haarlem

These were the cities which established all the trading routes during ancient times; made the major influence to the entire nation’s economy and wealth. Most of the time the sailor response would be that he was from Holland wherever he goes. Ever since the name “Holland” became the synonym to indicate the entire country.

Got it? Great, don’t be too happy yet, because it's going to get a bit more complicated :).. Now the question is: 

What is  “Kingdom of the Netherlands”?.

The Netherlands / Holland is just one country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the kingdom contains three more countries and six more Caribbean islands. 

Little surprised, Isn't it? some more interesting history behind...

It was once “The Dutch Republic” aka “The Republic of Seven United Netherlands” until the 16th Century, comprising roughly to the present-day Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Then in 1795, the whole area was conquered by the French troops and became the “Batavian Republic”.

King Napoleon appointed his brother Louis as the king of these low lands in 1806, turning the country into a kingdom. But soon after Napoleon’s defeat, Belgium and Luxemburg got separated around 1830 from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

From then the todays’s Kingdom of the Netherlands evolved consisting of four, equal constituent countries (The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten).

And while you may be surprised to know about these four countries in one kingdom, it doesn't stop there here too, because the country of the Netherlands also spreads its boundaries to three more Caribbean islands: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba !!!

Too much confusions and you really need some summary, right? Here you go: 6 Caribbean islands, four countries, twelve provinces, two Hollands, two Netherlands and one kingdom, all together – It’s DUTCH !

#Holland #Netherlands #kingdomeofthenetherlands #Islands #dutchrepublic #batavian

Friday, July 8, 2016

Moving to The Netherlands

Here, under the tag #MOVING-TO-HOLLAND, I am sharing some of the practical useful information about moving to and living in the Holland. These are all the things I wish I knew before I first arrived here.

So bad that I had not much/ no knowledge about the Netherlands, before I actually moved-in here ; I must admit that I couldn’t even spot this country in world map at one point of time; so good was my cognizance towards the Netherlands :)

But now more than ever, I can tell you what it’s all about to live in this country as an Expat.

My move-in journey to the Netherlands was so vague; it’s unfortunate that there was not much practical facts, especially the things what an Indian will be looking for. And I really had to spend a lot of time and effort to battle the storm!

I thought that some of my stories would resonate with many of you people who envision a new life at the Netherlands, and that some of my experiences could serve as a guide to help overcome some of the surprises and challenges that I went through.

Hope it’s useful!  #holland #netherlands #indiansinnetherlands

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Why Indians move abroad

India is one of the oldest and richest civilizations in the world. It is home of world's first university in #Takshila, India, in 700BC, with records of more than 10,500 students from all over the world studied on 60+ subjects. And the “The University of #Nalanda, built in the 4th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
"We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made" - Albert Einstein
Our contributions to the world of Mathematics and Science is invaluable. Our ancestors have not taught us only yoga and meditation, but we did had a strong hold on complementary medicines too; Two thousand years ago the Indians pioneered plastic surgery.

The ancient Indian astronomers had tabulated the movement and positions of the sun, planets and the stars in space, long before Isaac Newton came up with the theory of gravity after the apple had fallen on his head.

I can go on writing the past glories of India; but what happened to the education system of present India? Why would every Indian parent want to send their kid abroad for higher studies?
Whilst we praise, India’s diverse culture & heritage, vibrant traditions, colorful festivals, mouthwatering foods, loving people and the depth of relationships, we are also the largest #diaspora population in the world.
As of 2010, over 1.7 million Indians live and work in the United States of America and over 75,000 Indians were granted US permanent residency. The UK Office of National Statistics estimates around 1.5 million Indians currently live and work in England, making them the single largest visible ethnic minority population in the country.

India is the second largest source of legal immigrants to Canada, with between 25,000-30,000 immigrants settling in Canada every year. India is the fourth major source of permanent migrants to Australia.

But, still why we Indians should we move abroad?

It’s hard to answer the question of why Indians go abroad, reasons can vary from one individual to another and needn't be symptomatic of the mindset of every Indian. But it is the sad truth that every Indian wishes to go abroad at one point in life or another. 

I will try to explore some of the top reasons in the coming threads.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why Indians move abroad - SOCIAL STATUS & PEER PRESSURE

When I completed my electronics engineering and got a job, the first word that some of my friends and relatives said was,

“You are so lucky, you will go abroad in no time”.

Yet, even after almost 7 years of work in the most prominent IT – R&D industry, my passport was still afresh. But by then, I too had no awareness or intentions to travel abroad; was completely happy working for my passion and having good time with family and friends. Ignorance is always a bliss!

But suddenly there was a crucial period, I went-in shortage of my close friends, one after the other all my friends in the Software Industry had started travelling abroad; Send-off parties and get-togethers became a weekly routine.

At one point, I had more and more friends in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut than in Chennai! But I tried to remain undisturbed, at home. But people around me did not leave.

Whenever I end-up in a situation to say that “I have never been outside India”, I used to get comments that range from funny to outrageous, crazy to disgusting, hurtful to astonishment.

“What, I can’t believe, are you so dump?”

“Oh dear!  You’re lacking in some political skills, you should learn to work smartly and impress your manager”.

“Threaten your manager with resignation if he doesn’t send you onsite”.

And some encyclopedia “uncles” - fathers of my friends, friends of my father, neighbor and house owner uncles said: 
“You know my son/relative ABC? The moment he joined the company XYZ, they realized his potential and he was beseeched to join the workforce at US. I tell you, these multinationals have an eye for talent.”  - Which means I am a complete idiot, does not have any potential even to think about going abroad!

I was a getting an assortment of free advises every day, though I did not ask for. This is not just my story; most of the Indian software professionals go through the same.

This may sound very silly, but in today’s scenario, going abroad has become more of a level-statement today rather than a necessity.

Indian societies are still stuck in a web of unreasonable judgements wherein comparisons take center stage. For some Indians, it is this mindset thatsows the first seeds of thought to go abroad.

Recognition in society and its derivative #peerpressure still remains one of the foremost reasons why Indians go abroad.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Why Indians move abroad - TO GAIN A MOMENTUM

Isn’t it true that even Swami Vivekananda was not recognized as a national hero until his Chicago conference? His glorious thoughts and visions reached a larger crowds only after he uttered the words “Sisters and brothers of America ...," in Chicago by 1893.  The twenty long years that Gandhi lived in South Africa, is the foundation for all his political ideologies and the philosophies.

Independent India’s first Prime Minister - Jawaharlal Nehru, the man who laid down the framework of the Indian constitution - Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Impeccable leader - Netaji Subash Chandra Bose,.. Haven’t all these Indian luminaries have studied abroad?

Didn’t Ratan Tata and Anil Dhirubhai Ambani studied and practiced their business abroad, before they come back to make a huge difference in India?.  I can go on writing.. The list will go really big; even in the modern times, legends like Dr. Manmohan Singh and Raghuram Rajan have returned to after seeing their accomplishments elsewhere in the world.
If even these geniuses need a stint aboard to learn, practice and gain their momentum & recognition, what are the chances of tiny mediocre brains like me encompass, in getting discovered among the huge competitive crowd in India! In today’s scenario in India, no job gives you the freedom to experiment / try-out new things; we can’t afford to make even a single mistake, even if it’s during the process of learning. Most of the times, we are allowed to “just do what is said or asked”.

For many of us, the spell in a foreign country certainly give an opportunity to learn, experiment things, and ultimately to gain the confidence, momentum and recognition in our respective career. I completely agree that the real worthy brains will get recognized wherever it is... But, no one can deny the “probability of success rate” among 1.3 billion populations.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Why Indians move abroad - SPOILT WORK CULTURE & TIMINGS

It was just another day at office in Bangalore; I was still in India, working for one of the Top-3 IT firms of India.

I wanted to leave bit early from work on that day, so I requested my manger:
“Hi, I have some work…, would like leave office around 4’ O clock today, is that OK?”

“Sure, No problem. Do you need any taxi/cab to drop you back at home?” my manager replied caringly.

For a moment, I thought he was sarcastic; but he was not. It took a while to understand that he actually was going to approve my request to leave by 4AM,by the next morning!
*Not a joke; it's a true incident

Yes, it was my mistake; I should have asked him specifically as 4 in the evening. But, this is the reality and expectations of most Indian Managers; Working 10+ hours a day and frequent weekend working is a standard norm in most of the IT firms.

Not just the over timings, another point what actually irks me is the poor work ethic and expectations of some of the Indian managers.

Most of my American or European colleagues and managers are extremely happy to hire an Indian Engineer, they firmly believe that an Indian Engineer can easily pick-up sharp and deliver a superior result.But they are never in favor of outsourcing the work to an Indian firm, or even to invite an Indian programmer on deputation.

You may call out several different business to political motives for their behavior, but one of the factual reasons, I would accept is the bad business practices statistically associated with the Indian way of working.

A Polish friend told me a story of a man who constructed a complete house from the materials he stole from his work.

During the communist period in Poland, There was a guy who was able to steal all the materials, bit by bit every day and from his job factory and built an entire house in few years. He was a considered as a local hero and “smart” in his village for this brilliant skill. But won’t we call the same person as a “corrupt” today? Well, most of our Indian managers have a little bit of the same “smart” syndrome.

I have seen many such “smart” managers who try to double or compensate his revenue margins by asking their engineers work on two projects simultaneously. The manager is seen as “smart” by his boss, but eventually, his team loses their “quality” while compromising for the “quantity” of work.


In this scenario, even just talking about the work life balance is a joke, so I better skip the topic.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Why Indians move abroad - FINANCIAL ADVANTAGE

“Debt can take you places” - Mostly to court rooms, prisons and all sorts of hell; but for a change, it took me to a heaven of Europe, fortunately!

Yes, I too prey fall for the typical Indian middle class’s greed of buying an own house; bought a smallish 2 bed house in a lively locality in Bangalore, of course with the aid of Home loan.

Soon a major chunk of my salary started going towards the EMI (Equated Monthly Installment) for the home loan. Within a year, the floating interest rate for the loan peeked-up at the same rate as my company reduced my take-home salary with their innovative salary restructuring policy.

And on the other side, Indian inflation was inching close to double digit. Cost of rice was doubled, while the vegetable and provision prices had gone over the roof, from the day I signed-up my loan. Needless to say that all my initial budget calculations went bamboozle and I was so feeble in-front of the terrible trio of increasing EMI, reducing Income and Inflation.

Yeah, let me admit it! More than any other above factors, the single biggest reason for my departure was the “Money” – the dollars, Pounds and Euros!

On my situation, finding a job abroad was the only option. That’s not to say that the first class countries are welcoming Indian Engineers with red carpet and just giving money away here. The weak Indian currency is always in favor and could help me to save more and settle the loan sooner, while still I can lead a better quality of life abroad.