Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lightning strikes twice

They say, lightning never strikes twice at the same place. The Bird's nest in Beijing begs to differ as a second bolt struck tonight.

A little while ago I made a not so good critique of the opening ceremony. The ceremony might have lacked energy but the Games sure didn't. The tumbling of records by Phelps and Bolt have truly made this edition the most spectacular ever.

Add in a dash of patriotism in Bindra's Gold and Sushil's Bronze and you have a recipe of pure joy to the Indian Sports fan.

Wishing lots of luck to the India boxers. Picture abhi baaki hai.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The birth of Ginger and garlic

A long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away (time and distance amount to nothing in a mythological story), the Devas and Asuras were at war. Neither were immortals and there were heavy casualities. So, the Devas decide to churn the Milk sea(Vishnu's private Jacuzzi)to get the Divine Nectar called Amrit.

So, they approach Vishnu, use Vasuki as rope, Mt. Mandara as churning rod, yada yada yada.. find it here..

Now, most retellings of this story leave out a very important part. As Lord Vishnu took on the form of Mohini(a very beautiful Apsara) and tried to seduce the Asuras while slyly distributing all the nectar to the Devas, two guys from the Dark side saw through his/her bluff. They were the two strapping young Asuras named Rahu and Ketu (They had their fair share of celestial nymphs and could easily spot the wolf among the sheep).

So these two Demons jump line and join into the Deva queue and Mohini busy with the clever show she was putting on, feeds the Amrit to the two. On Surya's prodding and realising her folly, she releases the Vishnu chakra(a very deadly discus) on the two and cuts their heads off.

Now, here's the interesting part. Since the Amrit had already passed by their heads and throats by then, their heads were immortal which became the stars Rahu and Ketu. These are termed in Hindu Mythology as Demon stars (Rahu.. Ketu.. Demons.. stars.. get it?). They are mighty pissed off at Surya till this day and occasionally gobble him up to create eclipses.

The Amrit, which went through their throats spilled on the earthly ground and gave seed to the Ginger and Garlic plants. Since they are born from Amrit, these two plants have medicinal properties. While the Asura qualities make them harmful at times.


(This story was told to me by a teacher of mine back in 3rd or 4th standard in an SUPW class. SUPW stands for socially useful productive work. We were taught to stuff like Knitting so one day we guys took a stand and refused to do any knitting in that class. The teacher decided to tell us this story to pass the time. I couldn't find this story anywhere else on the Internet and so decided to reproduce it here.

On a sidenote, I have always wondered why Mohini isn't counted among Vishnu's Dashavatar. Anybody have any idea?

ps1: Devas->the good guys(Jedi), Asuras->the bad guys(Sith), Vishnu->Yoda, Apsara->celestial nymph, Surya->sun god

ps2: for those whom it is not obvious enough.. True Story is Barney stinson's catchphrase for all the totally far fetched stories he tells

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mashup feeds

I subscribe a lot of feeds on google reader and sometimes the number of feeds feels overwhelming. Thus, in my attempt to organise my feeds I have come up with a couple of mashup feeds. Feel free to use them. I might come up with some more categorized feeds in the future so bookmark this post to find the edits.

Harsha's comic feed (Abstruce Goose, Dilbert, Cyanide and Happiness, PHD comics, POPsickleSTRIP, The Perry Bible Fellowship, We The Robots, xkcd) :

Harsha's Quiz feed (Daly Haal, QFI , Keep Guessing, Quintessential Theory and more..):

Use any rss reader to subscribe and let me know some good blogs/feeds that I might have missed.

ps : the string "feed" occurs 11 times in this post

Friday, August 08, 2008

Fireworks Do Not, A Ceremony Make!!

Boy, do the Chinese have a sense of Grandeur!! The Magnum Opus that was, was truly a remarkable spectacle. The Chinese government pulled out all the stops in their attempt to make a ceremony to remember and kudos to them.

And that's done with the positives. This critique of the Beijing opening ceremony is being written before I read any other review. I am sometimes swayed with the public opinion and so let me record my honest view before I read the newspaper tomorrow and start agreeing with the reporter that this was indeed the greatest of all time.(I have noticed that people often rate every new opening ceremony as the best ever). That honor truly belongs to the Sydney games.

Now, I myself have a relatively small memory and I honestly do not recollect the Sydney games in their entirety, but what I do remember is the immense joy I felt when I was watching the opening ceremony. It was magic and the energy I felt in the performance was awesome. In contrast, the energy at Beijing was oddly subdued.

To be fair, Beijing was grand. It was colorful and it was Magnificent but it was BORING.
I thought the paper scroll with the Chinese history and the performances and the art was truly genius. And the 100000++ drummers in sync was just sweet. All good, but for me, not good enough.

BTW, Doordarshan has the worst possible commentators on the planet. The Hindi commentator in particular was pathetic. For god's sake (note: I am an agnostic and I don't exactly believe in God. It is just a phrase) Doordarshan, next time you are looking for someone to cover such events, give me a call. I honestly believe I can do a better job.

LONDON, the yardstick is still SYDNEY!

ps: It was very disappointing to see the very small Indian contingent. A small country like Czech republic seemed to have a bigger contingent. And the response we got(or rather, the lack of it) was very sad.
pps: I have this huge fetish for straight, shiny black hair (the kind Chinese and the Japanese have) and it was wonderful to see so much on display. :P :D
ppps: I need to find out who the flag bearer for Jordan was. I developed a big crush on her.
pppps: Just found out on google news that some Tibetan monks attacked the Chinese embassy in India. That is really a sad act on the part of the monks of a peace loving religion. More on that in a future post.
ppppps: I think this is the last of the postscripts.
pppppps: Unless this is the last one.

ppppppps: Or maybe this :)
Template by: TIMLACO.VN