Let us Start
“Good morning, sir! I’d like to order two boiled eggs, one of them so under-cooked that it’s runny, and the other so overcooked that it’s tough.”
“Wwwhat?” stammered the head waiter.
“Let me finish,” said the guest. I also want some rubbery bacon, burnt toast, and butter that’s so cold it’s impossible to spread.’
The head waiter opened his mouth to protest, but once again was shushed by the guest, who continued, “Finally, I’ll have a pot of extra-weak coffee, served at room temperature.”
“Sir! We cannot possibly serve such an awful breakfast to you here!”
“Why not?” the guest replied. “You did yesterday!
(contributed by: kishor mehta on 13.12.2012)
Diwali is a festival, which brings a series of festivals with it. One after another we get a chance to celebrate five festivals together. Narak Chaturdashi is one of these festivals and it is celebrated on the second day of Diwali celebrations, just one day before the actual Diwali celebrations. The Narak Chaturdashi, falls on the fourteenth day of the Hindi month, Kartik is more popular by the name of Chhoti Diwali. It is celebrated with same zeal and enthusiasm as the main Diwali but it is on comparatively lower scale. Just like Diwali people light diyas on Chhoti Diwali to fill their homes with light and worship Goddess Laxmi.
One famous story behind the celebrations of Chhoti Diwali or Narak Chaturdashi is about the demon king Narakasur who was ruler of Pragjyotishpur, a province to the South of Nepal. During a war, he defeated Lord Indra and snatched away the magnificent earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi who was not only the ruler of Suraloka but also a relative of Lord Krishna’s wife, Satyabhama. Narakasur also imprisoned sixteen thousand daughters of Gods and saints in his harem.
When Satyabhama came to know about this malevolent act of Narakasur she got furious and she prayed to Lord Krishna to empower her so that she could destroy Narakasur. The legend also tells that Narakasur was under a curse that a woman would kill him. So, Lord Krishna empowered Satyabhama to fight with Narakasur and himself became the charioteer of her ‘Ratha’ in the battlefield. Thus, by the grace of Lord Krishna Satyabhama beheaded Narakasur on a day before to Narak Chaturdashi and released the imprisoned ladies from Narakasur’s harem and also recovered the precious earrings of Mother Goddess Aditi.
In order to save all those imprisoned ladies from embarrassment Lord Krishna accepted them all as his wives. As a symbol of the victory over Narakasur, Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with this demon king’s blood. Then Lord Krishna returned home with his new wives early morning of the Narak Chaturdashi day. The womenfolk massaged scented oil to his body and gave him a good bath to wash away the filth from his body. Since then, there is a custom to take bath before sunrise on the day of Narak Chaturdashi, especially in the state of Maharashtra. It is said that the mother of the Narakasura, Bhoodevi, declared that the death of her son should not be a day of mourning but an occasion for celebrations. Since then people celebrate Chhoti Diwali with joy and fun every year.
Another legend is about King Bali, who was king of the nether world. His power and increasing influence posed a threat to the security of all ‘Devatas’ so they prayed Lord Vishnu to help them out. To help Devatas and to curb King Bali’s powers Lord Vishnu went to King Bali in the guise of a short-height ‘Brahmin’, who is known as incarnation of ‘Batu Waman’, and begged to give him only that much area of land that he could cover with in three steps because King Bali was well known for his philanthropy. King Bali saw just a short-height ‘Brahmin’ asking for a little piece of land so he proudly granted him his wish.
That very moment that short-height ‘Brahmin’ disappeared and there was almighty Lord Vishnu in place of him. In his first step, Lord Vishnu covered the heaven and in the second step the earth and asked King Bali where to put his third step. Then King Bali offered his head to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu put his third step on his head and pushed him deep into the underground. But at the same time being impressed by his generosity Lord Vishnu gave King Bali the lamp of knowledge and allowed him to return to earth once a year to light millions of lamps.
Chhoti Diwali – The Narak Chaturdashi Celebrations
People wake up early in the morning break any bitter fruit and apply the kumkum-oil paste, which is called ‘Ubtan’, on their foreheads and then take bath. The breaking of the fruit represents the head of the demon King, Narakasur and the kumkum-oil paste symbolizes the blood that Lord Krishna smeared on his forehead. In the state of Maharashtra, people take the traditional early baths after applying the paste of gram flour, fragrant powders and oil on their foreheads. As long as the ritual of bath takes place, deafening sound of crackers and fireworks could be heard so that the children enjoy bathing. At dusk, people start lighting Diyas and candles in and around their house to mark the celebration of Chhoti Diwali.
(source:http://festivals.iloveindia.com/diwali/chhoti-diwali.html)Diwali is a festival, which brings a series of festivals with it. One after another we get a chance to celebrate five festivals together. Narak Chaturdashi is one of these festivals and it is celebrated on the second day of Diwali celebrations, just one day before the actual Diwali celebrations. The Narak Chaturdashi, falls on ...
Toakai Teitoi of Kiribati credits a shark with his dramatic rescue at sea after 105 days adrift.
Toakai Teitoi of Kiribati, a Micronesian island nation 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, did not think calamity was awaiting him when he agreed to get a lift on his brother-in-law’s boat. A two-hour sea journey turned into a 105-day odyssey, filled with death and despair, that ended with a miracle.
On May 28 Teitoi, 41, and his brother-in-law Ielu Falaile, 52, got into a 15-foot wooden boat that would take them back to Teitoi’s hometown of Maiana from the capital of Tarawa, where Teitoi had flown to be sworn in as a policeman.
Halfway through their journey the two men came upon a school of fish and decided to stop for a while to catch some. But engrossed in the fishing, the two soon lost track of time — and worse, their reserves of water and gas, Teitoi told the newspaper Marianas Variety.
For the next five weeks, Teitoi and Falaile drifted on the central Pacific Ocean, beset by dehydration. On July 4, roughly 38 days after they set out, Teitoi woke up to find his brother-in-law dead.
“I left him there overnight and slept next to him like at a funeral,” Teitoi told the newspaper. He gave the body a burial at sea the next day.
A few days later, a storm hit after five weeks of drought. Teitoi, revitalized with fresh water, felt he had narrowly escaped death, at least for now.
“There were two choices in my mind at the time. Either someone would find me or I would follow my brother-in-law,” the father of six said. “It was out of my control.”
A Catholic, Teitoi said he prayed often during those long and hopeless days. Besides praying, he spent much of his time shielding from the sun by hiding under a small cover in the bow.
On the morning of September 11, he faced yet another setback when a ship some distance away seemed to have passed him by. With nothing else to do, he took a nap in the bow after eating fish for breakfast.
What happened next baffled Teitoi: A six-foot shark banged on the hull with the intention, he said, to wake him up. The shark circled around the boat, and then suddenly swam off. When Teitoi raised his head, he saw the stern of the ship that he thought had missed him earlier. The crew was looking at him through their binoculars, he said.
“He was guiding me to a fishing boat,” Teitoi said of the shark, whom he now credits with his rescue. After a few more days at sea, Teitoi was scheduled to be reunited with his family on Sept. 16, and would finally be able to start his duty as a policeman in Maiana. Asked how he would like to return home, he answered resolutely.
“I’m taking a plane,” he told the newspaper.Toakai Teitoi of Kiribati credits a shark with his dramatic rescue at sea after 105 days adrift. Toakai Teitoi of Kiribati, a Micronesian island nation 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii, did not think calamity was awaiting him when he agreed to get a lift on his brother-in-law’s boat. A two-hour sea journey turned into a 105-day ...
Moravia, Czech Republic
Tunnel of Love – Kleven, Ukraine
Anna Hazare has given an ultimatum to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to enact stringent anti-corruption law – the peoples “Jan Lokpal Bill”! Jail to the corrupt must happen! We have been betrayed by those that are leading us!.
Fast unto Death from 5th April 2011 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
Anna Hazare is a soldier, lone survivor in his unit in 1965 Indo-Pak war. Anna dedicated his life to the well-being of society. A bachelor, an ascetic, he has no possessions, no bank balance and lives in a temple. He is a living Mahatma Gandhi.
In Maharashtra, Anna has single handedly transformed barren and dry regions into green and food surplus areas. He has fasted unto death on several earlier occasions. He forced the Maharashtra government to dismiss the corrupt – 6 ministers and 400 officers. Due to his fast, the govt enacted the Maharashtra RTI Act. In 2006, when government of India tried to amend the Central RTI Act, he again went on an indefinite fast and forced the Indian government not to amend RTI Act.
(forwarded by firstname.lastname@example.org on 25.03.2011)Anna Hazare has given an ultimatum to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to enact stringent anti-corruption law – the peoples “Jan Lokpal Bill”! Jail to the corrupt must happen! We have been betrayed by those that are leading us!. Fast unto Death from 5th April 2011 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. Anna Hazare is a ...