Posts Tagged ‘country’

The 64 squares of war

February 27, 2019

In every chess game, it is the pawns who get sacrificed first, and then, maybe, some of the others up the heirarchy.
The kings remain, stodgily moving, perhaps, a square or two…and the game ends before any king can be slain. We mourn our soldiers, and similarly, the other country will also mourn its brave soldiers.
As for the terrorist training camps…I weep for the poor youths who are brainwashed by evil ones. It is the evil that must be wiped out, and it is the youth that get wiped out instead….these are my thoughts on the 64 squares of war.

Meanwhile, I find wheels….230614

June 24, 2014

Yes, I know I have plenty of Linkoping posts to catch up on, but a couple of days ago, PC and I had been to “Biltema”, where he buys a lot of cycle stuff. I’d looked at a folding bike (with longing) and at the price tag (with revulsion…at 2190 SEK, the revulsion was strong!)

Yesterday evening, PC came back and said, “We are going to Marvin’s place to buy his folding bike for you!”

It appears that Marvin, a colleague and friend of PC’s, is no longer able to cycle due to health issues. He is a dimunitive Indonesian, and so we went off to his place, hoping that the price tag would not be too high.

I fell in love with the cycle (I really don’t cycle long distances, so I don’t need a geared bike; with my fear of falling, often justified, I need a cycle where the saddle is low to the ground.) and PC pumped up the tyres for me, and I did a few rounds with a very gleeful expression on my face, thinking to myself, “Now don’t grin like an ape, the price will go UP!” but quite, quite unable to stop doing so.

And my grin nearly met at the back of my head when PC told me that Marvin was quite keen to LEND me the bike, instead of selling it to me. I very nearly hugged and kissed the poor guy, and only stopped myself from doing so at the thought of the heart attack he might have.

PC got this picture of me on the cycle:


We came home, and PC has lent me one of his three helmets, and excuse me, I am off to Roxen Lake now! I’ll get another pic of me with the helmet, all right and proper, this evening, when PC gets back from work.

Sweden is a DREAM for cyclists, with its dedicated cycle paths, perfect weather at this time of year, and wonderful green areas to cycle through. OOOOOH, how did I get so lucky! Thank you, Prashanth !

Update: now you can see me APH…All Properly Helmeted!


Alas, this morning, the vertigo that I suffer from (and which has attacked after a long gap) resulted in a fall, and cycling is off for at least a day or two….

Sumana and Deepak’s garden, Goteborg, Sweden, 120614

June 13, 2014

I’m just going to say it with flowers…!




This one, I know, is Azalea:




Daisies are supposed to be weeds, but they are SO pretty!



I think this is a variety of Dogwood, eaten by caterpillars!


Wild raspberry?


Who decides what are the weeds? This is some kind of dock, and yet so beautiful!




Here’s where to sit and soak in all this beauty:



Here’s one being who enjoys all these through taste, not sight or smell:


One hundred years….Republic Day post

January 25, 2012

It’s been one hundred years since the

Indian National Anthem

was written.

Here is the translation, in Rabindranath Tagore’s own hand:

jn gn mn rob writing 240112

It is a beautiful anthem, and

here are the complete lyrics with a translation

Here’s the Nobel Laureate, reciting it (rather tonelessly, I must add)

Here’s the official version, sung in the “regulation” 52 seconds:

Here is one version of the song:

In spite of the controversy about the song (and its various versions!), it remains our national anthem, and much beloved of the Indian people!

Not just flying the flag

August 18, 2011

On Independence Day, I found that almost every auto had a Tiranga flying:

auto flg 150811

But surely, pride in one’s country should not just be a matter of flying a flag for one day. If, after flying the flag, I spit (and urinate and defacate) on the roads, cheat my customers, want (and pay) bribes, try to get ahead at the cost of my fellow-citizens, and am rude to people…am I really showing my pride for my country, or my contempt for it? Dhould my love for my country not show itself in a constant attempt to keep it clean, observe its laws, and respect its citizens?

Here’s the decoration at the Bangalore Club.

150811 blr club

In this Club, they won’t let men (this restriction is only for illogical as can be!) into the main dining hall without shoes and a shirt or a tee shirt with a collar (no sandals or “sports shoes”!)…and does not allow men into the next-door restaurant if their “sports shoes” are not made of leather. Which century are they living in?

When we take pride in enforcing such idiotic laws…are we proud of being Indian?

Songs the Nations Sing

July 15, 2011

Sometimes I feel that patriotism, or its negative form, jingoism, causes a lot of strife in this world. We are , I think, now so interconnected that surely we don’t belong to just ONE country any more? I feel just as comfortable in Europe or the US or in Africa, because I do feel that people are the same everywhere…it’s just that customs may differ, and appearances. But the emotions and ties that bind us, the thoughts and ideas that move us, seem to be much the same all over the world.

However, the love of the county one was born in (or more importanly, grew up in) seems to be such a lovely thing, and nowhere have I seen a better demonstration of it than here in America, when their

National Anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner

is sung….

In vocal, here:

(several celebrity singers have sung can google for them)

and with instrumentals here:

The not-so-good part about the lyrics, of course, the references to war and rockets and perilous fight and bombs bursting…in this sense I love the Indian anthem, which is more exalted and which rather pragmatically describes the diversity of India.

Most public gatherings still start with the rendition, and it is moving to watch the entire audience on their feet, singing. The wonderful part is that almost every American places hes hand over hes heart as s/he sings. I cannot sing this anthem, but I am moved by the rendition each time, as I am by the love of the country that I see all around me, as the Americans sing.

Now this is definitely a practice that, I feel, should be re-introduced in India. For many years, we had

Jana Gana Mana

played at the beginning or end of plays and movies.

Here’s the version (instrumental) that used to be played (with that billowing flag!):

When did we stop the practice? I used to feel unhappy at seeing people walking and sidling their way even though the anthem was playing. Perhaps the lack of respect given to the anthem was instrumental in its rendition being stopped?

Here is one rendition:

One by various musicians, with A R Rahman:

If we truly do love and respect our country of birth and life, surely we can take three minutes to stand respectfully when the anthem is sung, and reflect on what our mother has given us. Patriotism is not only cheering the cricket team on… consists also of these moments of silent reflection, of these occasions when the person sings with the heart as well as the voice, praising the nation and revering its flag.

I wish there were now a global song…perhaps We Are The World would be a fitting World Anthem?

Here’s a rendition by some well-known singers, including the two who wrote the song

It moves me without fail. I don’t propose to go into the issues of different countries, different languages, different cultures. Each national anthem is so beautiful, and surely no one could ever choose one above all others…so I feel a global anthem would be best.I would love a global anthem that exalts what is good, without referring to strife or war or poverty, or need…. just as the Indian anthem does.

Dar es Salaam

August 2, 2007

We are staying with some extremely affectionate friends here; but the last two days have been difficult because:

1.There always seems to be a very Indian trait of being fearful of walking around the immediate area (I found this when I lived in Muscat,Oman, too)..don’t go walking on your own, some *incident* (unspecified horrifying fate worse than death) will befall the unwary tourist.

2.Neither KM nor I are very keen on visiting the tourist shopping areas and picking up those long lean human figurines that are being churned out in the thousands. My friends say that there is little else of interest to see in Dar, a statement which I strongly disagree with, but cannot do much about, short of taking a taxi over the warnings of our host and hostess!

3. Both KM and I are really short on sleep and rest, having spent every available daytime minute in being out, and much of the night hours in charging the camera batteries, downloading all the pictures, during the times that the electricity works at night…so we are both tending to utter slothfulness before we get back to the daily routine.

Today I have decided to go for a drive around the beaches of Dar; it is a day of unseasonal, heavy rain, so walking is not to be thought of…

Tanzania seems as poor a country as India, if not actually poorer; people here tell me that Julius Nyerere, with his communistic ideas, set the country back by five decades and made the people lazy…but I do like the low population after the extreme crowdediness of Bangalore, and the lovely art deco buildings and the general laid-back atmosphere….of course, 3 days is just not enough to form any but fleeting impressions…

Very keen to get back home..the concert went very well yesterday and I seem to have collected a whole new battalion of fans…I had no accompaniments, but I enjoyed singing, and when I enjoy myself, my audience, I know, will enjoy itself too. They did, and that’s not just because they said so!

A dreadfully slow connection, with my hostess glued to it throughout the morning for her stock market dealings (Indian stock exchange) means that I don’t get much access, or much enthusiasm for it, either.

Heaven was the Serengeti and the wildlife experience…but now, Heaven is increasingly the prospect of getting home!