Enjoy light reading

 

 

  • Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

    A Beautiful poem by Rabindranath Tagore!!

    Have A Blessed Day!!!

    (contributed by: Mohan Rao on 28.06.2011)

  • My Ticket

    Because you paid for my ticket from Bombay to Bangalore!

    Sudha Murty, chairperson, Infosys Foundation and author, is known for her ability to glean interesting stories from the lives of ordinary people and weave these narratives into a unique blend of anecdote and fable.

    Her latest collection of stories, ‘The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk’, features a fascinating cast of characters, each of whom made an indelible impression on the author. Extracted here is a nugget from ‘Bombay (Now, Mumbai) to Bangalore (Now, Bengaluru)’, one of the most heartwarming stories in this collection:

    It was the beginning of summer. I was boarding Udyan Express at Gulbarga railway station. My destination was Bangalore. As I boarded the train, I saw that the second-class reserved compartment was jam-packed with people. I sat down and was pushed to the corner of the berth. Though it was meant for three people, there were already six of us sitting on it…

    The ticket collector came in and started checking people’s tickets and reservations.. Suddenly, he looked in my direction and asked, ‘What about your ticket?’ ‘I have already shown my ticket to you,’ I said.

    ‘Not you, madam, the girl hiding below your berth. Hey, come out, where is your ticket?’ I realized that someone was sitting below my berth. When the collector yelled at her, the girl came out of hiding.

    She was thin, dark, scared and looked like she had been crying profusely. She must have been about thirteen or fourteen years old.She had uncombed hair and was dressed in a torn skirt and blouse. She was trembling and folded both her hands.. The collector started forcibly pulling her out from the compartment. Suddenly, I had a strange feeling. I stood up and called out to the collector. ‘Sir, I will pay for her ticket,’ I said.

    Then he looked at me and said, ‘Madam, if you give her ten rupees, she will be much happier with that than with the ticket.’

    I did not listen to him. I told the collector to give me a ticket to the last destination, Bangalore, so that the girl could get down wherever she wanted.

    Slowly, she started talking. She told me that her name was Chitra. She lived in a village near Bidar. Her father was a coolie and she had lost her mother at birth. Her father had remarried and had two sons with her stepmother. But a few months ago, her father had died. Her stepmother started beating her often and did not give her food. She was tired of that life. She did not have anybody to support her so she left home in search of something better.

    By this time, the train had reached Bangalore. I said goodbye to Chitra and got down from the train. My driver came and picked up my bags. I felt someone watching me. When I turned back, Chitra was standing there and looking at me with sad eyes. But there was nothing more that I could do. I had paid her ticket out of compassion but I had never thought that she was going to be my responsibility!…

    I told her to get into my car. My driver looked at the girl curiously. I told him to take us to my friend Ram’s place. Ram ran separate shelter homes for boys and girls. We at the Infosys Foundation supported him financially. I thought Chitra could stay there for some time and we could talk about her future after I came back from my tours.

    I was not sure if Chitra would even be there. But to my surprise, I saw Chitra looking much happier than before. Ram suggested that Chitra could go to a high school nearby. I immediately agreed and said that I would sponsor her expenses as long as she continued to study. I left the shelter knowing that Chitra had found a home and a new direction in her life.

    I got busier and my visits to the shelter reduced to once a year. But I always enquired about Chitra’s well-being over the phone. I knew that she was studying well and that her progress was good.. I offered to sponsor her college studies if she wanted to continue studying. But she said, ‘No, Akka. I have talked to my friends and made up my mind. I would like to do my diploma in computer science so that I can immediately get a job after three years.’ She wanted to become economically independent as soon as possible.. Chitra obtained her diploma with flying colours. She also got a job in a software company as an assistant testing engineer. When she got her first salary, she came to my office with a sari and a box of sweets.

    One day, when I was in Delhi, I got a call from Chitra. She was very happy. ‘Akka, my company is sending me to USA! I wanted to meet you and take your blessings but you are not here in Bangalore.’.

    Years passed. Occasionally, I received an e-mail from Chitra. She was doing very well in her career. She was posted across several cities in USA and was enjoying life. I silently prayed that she should always be happy wherever she was.

    Years later, I was invited to deliver a lecture in San Francisco for Kannada Koota, an organization where families who speak Kannada meet and organize events. The lecture was in a convention hall of a hotel and I decided to stay at the same hotel. After the lecture, I was planning to leave for the airport. When I checked out of the hotel room and went to the reception counter to pay the bill, the receptionist said, ‘Ma’am, you don’t need to pay us anything. The lady over there has already settled your bill. She must know you pretty well.’ I turned around and found Chitra there.

    She was standing with a young white man and wore a beautiful sari. She was looking very pretty with short hair. Her dark eyes were beaming with happiness and pride. As soon as she saw me, she gave me a brilliant smile, hugged me and touched my feet. I was overwhelmed with joy and did not know what to say. I was very happy to see the way things had turned out for Chitra. But I came back to my original question. ‘Chitra, why did you pay my hotel bill? That is not right.’ Suddenly sobbing, she hugged me and said, ‘Because you paid for my ticket from Bombay to Bangalore!’

    (Excerpted with permission from Penguin Books India from Sudha Murty’s ‘The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk: Life Stories From Here and There’)

    (contributed by : amr on 23.4.2013)

  • Old History of India

    The history of India is one of the grand epics of world history and can be best described in the words of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as “a bundle of contradictions held together by strong but invisible threads”. Indian history can be characterized as a work in progress, a continuous process of reinvention that can eventually prove elusive for those seeking to grasp its essential character.

    The history of this astonishing sub continent dates back to almost 75000 years ago when the evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens. The Indus Valley Civilization which thrived in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from 3300- 1300 BCE was the first major civilization in India.

    Following is the history of India through the Ages:

    The Pre Historic Era

    1. The Stone Age:
      The Stone Age began 500,000 to 200,000 years ago and recent finds in Tamil Nadu (at C. 75000 years ago, before and after the explosion of the Toba Volcano) indicate the presence of the first anatomically humans in the area. Tools crafted by proto-humans that have been dated back to two million years have been discovered in the Northwestern part of the country.
    2. The Bronze Age:
      The Bronze Age in the Indian subcontinent dates back to around 3300 BCE with the early Indus Valley Civilization. Historically part of ancient India, it is one of the world’s earliest, urban civilizations, along with Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Inhabitants of this era developed new techniques in metallurgy and handicraft and produced copper, bronze, lead and tin.

    Early Historic Period

    1. Vedic Period:
      The Vedic Period is distinguished by the Indo-Aryan culture which was associated with the texts of Vedas, sacred to Hindus, and that were orally composed in Vedic Sanskrit. The Vedas are some of the oldest extant texts, next to those in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Vedic era in the subcontinent lasted from about 1500-500 BCE, laying down the foundation of Hinduism and other cultural dimensions of early Indian society. The Aryans laid down Vedic civilization all over North India, particularly in the Gangetic Plain.
    2. Mahajanapadas:
      This period saw the second major rise in urbanization in India after the Indus valley Civilization. The word “maha” means great and the word “janapada” means foothold of a tribe. In the later Vedic Age a number of small kingdoms or city states had mushroomed across the subcontinent and also find mention in early Buddhist and Jain literature as far back as 1000 BCE. By 500 BCE, sixteen “republics” or Mahajanapadas has been established, namely; Kasi, Kosala, Anga, Magadha, Vajji (or Vriji),Malla, Chedi, Vatsa (or Vamsa), Kuru, Panchala, Matsya, Surasena, Assaka, Avanti,Gandhara, and Kamboja.

      • Persian and Greek Conquests:
        Much of the Northwest subcontinent (currently Afghanistan and Pakistan) came under the rule of the Persian Achaemenid Empire in C. 520 BCE under the rule of Darius the Great and remained so for two centuries. In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great conquered Asia Minor and the Achaemenid Empire, when he reached the Northwest frontier of the Indian subcontinent he defeated King Porus and conquered most of Punjab.
      • Maurya Empire:
        The Maurya Empire, ruled by the Mauryan Dynasty from 322-185 BCE was a geographically extensive and mighty political and military empire in ancient India, established in the subcontinent by Chandragupta Maurya in Magadha (present day Bihar) and was it further thrived under Ashoka the Great.
    3. The Mughal Empire:
      In 1526, Babur, a descendant of Timur and Gengis Kahn from Fergana Valler (present day Uzbekistan) swept across the Khyber Pass and established the Mughal Empire which covered modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The Mughal dynasty ruled most of the Indian subcontinent till 1600; after which it went into decline after 1707 and was finally defeated during India’s first war of Independence in 1857.
    4. Colonial Era:
      From the 16th century, European powers such as Portugal, Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom established trading posts in India. Later, they took advantage of internal conflicts and established colonies in the country.
    5. The British Rule:
      The British Rule in India began with the coming of the British East India Company in 1600 and continued till Indian independence from British rule in 1947.
    6. The Indian Independence Movement and Mahatma Gandhi:
      In the 20th century Mahatma Gandhi led millions of people in a national campaign of non-violent civil disobedience to contain independence from the British.
    7. Independence and Partition:
      Religious tension between the Hindus and Muslims had been brewing over the years, especially in provinces like Punjab and Bengal. The Muslims were a minority and they did not feel secure in the prospect of an exclusively Hindu government and hence made them wary of independence. All through this Mahatama Gandhi called for unity among the two religious groups. The British, whose economy had been weakened after World War 2, decided to leave India and participated in the formation of an interim government. The British Indian territories gained independence in 1947, after being partitioned into the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.

     

     

    (source:http://www.mapsofindia.com/history/)

     

  • Islam Religion

    Islam is derived from the Arabic word “salaama” and has a two-fold meaning: peace and submission to God. This submission requires a fully conscious and keen effort to submit to the one Almighty God. One must intentionally andconscientiously give oneself to the service of Allah.

    Religion 3

    It is a universal religion and its objective is to create and cultivate in man the quality and approach of Islam. The faith of this religion is the oneness and sovereignty of God, which has shaped and looked upon all human races as one family.
    Islam religion is against the idea that there are privileged people. Islam stands for the equality of all humanity without any discrimination on the basis of race, caste, sex, place of birth etc.

    Unlike other living things human beings have thinking potential and so they are invited to summit to the goodwill of God and obey His law i.e. become a Muslim. Anyone who follows Islam is known as Muslim.

    Eid Mubarak

    The word “Muslim” is originated from the Arabic word signifying a person totally devoted to the will of the God. And the word “Allah” meaning “the one True God” is also of Arabic origin.

    The history of Islam centers around Muhammad (messenger of god)(PBUH). He was born around 570 A.D. and was brought up by his extended family after the death of his parents. As he grew, he became discontented with polytheism and came to believe in one God, Allah. He began to have religious visions around age 40. During these visions, Muhammad (PBUH)would receive “messages” or “revelations” from God. He would memorize them and teach them to his followers. These visions are now recorded in the holy Qur’an (or Koran). Muhammad (PBUH)continued to receive these visions until his death in 632 A.D. The Quran has 114 suras. The Quran is believed to be the last revealed word of Allah and the basic source of Islamic teachings and laws.

    Eid MubarakThe Quran covers a variety of issues such as creeds, morality, history of humanity, worship, knowledge, wisdom, good-man relationship, and human relationship in all aspects. Comprehensive teaching on which can be built sound systems of social justice, economics, politics, legislation, jurisprudence, law and international relations, are important contents of the Quran.

    The complete acceptance of the teachings and guidance of ‘Allah’ as recorded in the Quran is the religion of Islam. Islam preaches faith in the oneness and sovereignty of Allah, which makes man aware of the meaningfulness of the Universe and of his place in it. This belief frees him from all fears and superstitions by making him conscious of the presence of the Almighty Allah and of man’s obligations towards Him. This faith must be expressed and tested in action. Faith alone is not enough. Islam religion has five pillars, essentially to be followed by every good Muslim, and they are:
    (1) confession of faith in God and in Muhammad (PBUH)as God’s messenger
    (2) daily prayer at the five appointed times
    (3) fasting during the month of Ramadan
    (4) paying an alms-tax and giving charity to the poor and
    (5) pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca and its sacred shrine, the Kaaba.

    Islam protects all the human rights: rights to life, liberty, freedom, equality, and justice and above this one of the basic concern is the security of the person. Islam teaches that the closest to Allah and the most beloved of Allah are those who are the best in piety. Thus all people, male and female, and regardless of race, color, nationality or ethnicity, are considered and treated as equal before Allah and before the law. Today Islamic religion has become the second largest religion in the world. Muslim occupies 20% of all the people of the world. In today’s world racism, prejudice and discrimination have become a widespread problem of the entire mankind. Islam, for the last 1400 years has tried to end this discrimination and a unique example of oneness and brotherhood of all mankind can be seen clearly during the Hajj. Islam has established a universal brotherhood. It has stressed that a true brotherhood can be established only by virtue of mankind’s strong relationship with one another through Allah.

     

     

    (source:http://www.theeid.com/history/)

  • Fairer Skin.

     

    Fairer skin.

     

    The masks mentioned below are very good to lighten the skin tone and add a glow to the complexion. They must be followed for the specified time and inculcated as a daily routine.
    Tip 1:
    Soak 4 almonds overnight. Make a very fine paste grinding them almonds with milk.
    Fairer Complexion

    Apply this paste on the neck and face before going to bed. Wash with cold water in the morning.
    Repeat daily for 15 days, and afterwards repeat twice a week.
    The results will speak of themselves.

    Tip 2:

    Take 1 table spoon of gram flour and 2 tsp of raw milk and 2-3 drops of lime juice. Mix well and apply. Wash after 15 minutes. Repeat for 4 weeks and follow up with once a week.

    Tip 3:

    Grind a cup of mint leaves to a fine paste. Apply and leave for 20 minutes. Wash. Continue for 15 days.

    Tip 4:

    Grate a tomato. Add 2-3 drops of lime juice. Apply and wash after 20 minutes. Do this morning and evening for 15 – 20 days. Apply well on the neck area also.

    Tip 5:

    Add diluted Vinegar and Potato juice with 2-3 drops of lime juice.
    Add Cucumber juice with 2-3 drops of lime juice.
    Use it for 4 weeks and see the change.

     

    Read more:Face Fairer Complexion – Beauty Tips | Medindiahttp://www.medindia.net/beauty/facefairercomplexion.asp#ixzz1j96IAzPh

  • Amazing Road Art.

     

    Amazing Road Art

     

     

     

     

     

     

    (source : http://www.worldsamazings.com/2009/10/amazing-road-art-must-see.html)

  • Lord Shiva

    Lord Shiva

    Shiva (pronounced /ˈʃiːvə/; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, meaning “auspicious one” ) is a major Hindu deity, and the Destroyer or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine.[2] In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the Supreme God. In the Smarta tradition, he is regarded as one of the five primary forms of God [3] and in the Brahma Kumaris perspective, he is known as Father, or Shiva Baba.




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