Monday, 28 January 2008
Many years ago three soldiers, hungry and weary of battle, came upon a small village. The villagers, suffering a meager harvest and the many years of war, quickly hid what little they had to eat and met the three at the village square, wringing their hands and bemoaning the lack of anything to eat.
The soldiers spoke quietly among themselves and the first soldier then turned to the village elders. "Your tired fields have left you nothing to share, so we will share what little we have: the secret of how to make soup from stones."
Naturally the villagers were intrigued and soon a fire was put to the town's greatest kettle as the soldiers dropped in three smooth stones. "Now this will be a fine soup", said the second soldier; "but a pinch of salt and some parsley would make it wonderful!" Up jumped a villager, crying "What luck! I've just remembered where some's been left!" And off she ran, returning with an apronful of parsley and a turnip. As the kettle boiled on, the memory of the village improved: soon barley, carrots, beef and cream had found their way into the great pot, and a cask of wine was rolled into the square as all sat down to feast.
They ate and danced and sang well into the night, refreshed by the feast and their new-found friends. In the morning the three soldiers awoke to find the entire village standing before them. At their feet lay a satchel of the village's best breads and cheese. "You have given us the greatest of gifts: the secret of how to make soup from stones", said an elder, "and we shall never forget." The third soldier turned to the crowd, and said: "There is no secret, but this is certain: it is only by sharing that we may make a feast". And off the soldiers wandered, down the road.
To read other Monday morning Inspirations click here
Saturday, 26 January 2008
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Thursday, 24 January 2008
I have planned to get a data card over this weekend, which i guess should solve all the problem and get me back to my blogging regularly .
Life in hostel is so much fun , get a lot of free time in hand and about my new class that is awesome as well. Thanks to all of you who wished me good luck . Its been almost a week time since I'm here and its all been great :)
We are three people in a room and i'm glad to have such fun room mates. They are really sweet and fun to be around with and we also have the same frequency in thoughts .So, that puts everything in place :)
Its jus' a few days I have been around them and still the thought of them leaving the hostel in a couple of months makes me feel so upset. When I get back home tomorrow evening will drop by all your blogs and reply to your comments.
Have a great weekend !
Will be going home for the weekend and
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Friday, 18 January 2008
I have not been dropping by many of your blogs much these days, I apologize . I should be well settled and back to my usual blog hoping in a couple of days after moving into hostel I guess :)
Have a great weekend everyone! :)
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Thursday, 17 January 2008
Lena and Preetilata have gone a step further and have honored me with some wonderful awards last week . Thank you so much Lena and Preeti , it has always been great getting to know you and you guys have always made me happy with your regular visits to my blog and not to forget your comments and awards :) .
My first award is from Lena . It is called the lovable blog award :)
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Thus, Maatu Pongal is a day when cattle are given a well deserved day of rest and are given pride of place. Therefore the farmers honor their cattle friends by celebrating it as a day of thanks-giving to them.
On this special day cows are decorated with flowers ,their horns are painted with various colors and covered with shining metal caps, color beads and tinkering bells . They are also offered special food especially cooked for them and are taken around the villages with the people sitting on the carriages behind and enjoying the day.
Jallikatu(Bull fight) is also a part of the paatu pongal celebrations in various parts of the state.
The fourth and the final day of the pongal celebrations is the Kaanum pongal , this day is again dedicated to the sun god which has played a major part in giving some wonderful harvest to the farmers .
In certain parts of the state this day is also celebrated similar to Rakhsa Bandhan and Bhai Dhuj where women offer prayers for the wellbeing of their brothers.
And the most important event here is visiting relatives , friends and outing with family. So, you can find most of the entertainment centres, beach, shopping malls overflowing with people today.
So, thats how the four day pongal celebrations proceed in South India. To read how the first two days of pongal are celebrated click here and here.
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I thought it would be cool to have a meme where we post links. We can post up to five. Then we tell five more people to share their links. If we all share who tagged us, our links are sure to be seen! )
They can be business links, favorite sites, affiliate links, whatever you want…
There are Five Rules:
1. MUST be clean. No R rated sites.
2. Only FIVE links.
3. MUST tell 5 people.
4. A link back to the person who tagged you ;)
5. Lara's Place is the meme originator. ;) (an active link is appreciated)
Now here are my favourite links
1. Google (gmail, blogger, google search.. ) - It has indeed become a part of every internet addicts life .
2. Tata.com - yes, I drop in here almost everyday to get to know what's the latest with the TATAs
3. Wikipedia - To help me do assignments
4. Smorty - It helps me earn some quick bucks by blogging ads
5. SRM - That's my University's site
I tag Shanthini , Vasanthan , Melanie, Preetilata and Lena
All those of you who would like to play along can also take up the meme and drop me a comment, so that I can drop by your blogs .
Thanks for playing along :)
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
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With it, it is not just bring the cheapest car tag, but brings in a revolution of its own in the car market. Ratan Tata , Chairman of the TATA Conglomerate has kept up his word of giving the world the 1 lakh car.
"When others said NO, he said NANO" and yes, he has kept up his promise thou' the commodity prices have shot up from the time he had promised years back :)
Thou' there were a lot of critics talking about safety norms, pollution control and the car adding to the ever increasing traffic in the Indian cities , those issues never seemed to bother me (more so because I was a TATA fan myself) . But one thing that I was always a little concerned about was "How will the car look?" .
After bringing about a whole new revolution in the car market, you don't want the car to look like a share auto or a some metal box with wheels .
You, don't want the car to look like this rite??
And , finally here is the answer to all the critics "the 624 cc, 33 HP petrol engine meets Bharat Stage-III emission norms and can also meet the Euro 4 norms. " as told by Mr.Tata himself .
And what does the car look like??
I think it looks really cute . It is to hit the roads by Nov 2008 . If I make adequate money by blogging ads, I might also think of buying one for myself :)
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
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A view of the hotel's car park
We got this ez-link card , it can be used in both MRT as well as the buses. From then on MRT turned out to be my favourite mode of transport and it also helps get a feel of the place and its people. The closest MRT station (Somerset) was a 10 mins walk from our hotel.
On the way to Somerset
The Skaters ground near Somerset
At the Somerset station. We had to take the train to Boonlay and later bus 194 to Jurong Bird park
Inside the MRTIn the bus stop at boon lay
And finally we reached Jurong by around 12 pm
At the Penguin expedition
This is the panorail that took us around at the bird park . The park has around 3 stations where in you can hop on and off to see the birds surrounding each station and then move on to the next and so on...
Hornbill (OMG! these birds are so huge!!)
Crowned pegions at the Royal rambleAfter viewing the Hornbill , toucans and the Royal ramble section we moved on to have lunch in a restaurant near the lory loft area ( not to sure of the restaurant's name). We were there right on time during the lory feeding session . So, got to feed them as well .. Had like about 3 lories in my hand .
We got the special nectar mix which is sold at the counter and before I turned around with the cup, I was flocked with lories - this is one of the times when I got up close and personal with the birds, but thats only till you have the nextar in the cup :)
With the lories
Scarlet Ibises - I love their color
Jurong Bird park also conducts some wonderful shows , I got to watch the Birds and buddies show and the Birds of prey show - there were a few lucky people who got to handle the birds , no I wasn't lucky enough then *sigh*
In the birds and buddies show at the Pools Amphitheatre
In the birds of prey show at Fuji Hawk walk
Birds in the wet lands
And finally the parakeets at "photography with the birds" area, it was a wonderful feeling when the birds hold on to your hand , all of us took pics with these beautiful feathered friends . Initially I was a little scared as these were bigger than the lories but later it turned out to be a wonderful experience.
Hope you had a colorful journey through Jurong bird park! :)
It was around 7pm when we headed back to out hotel and then the night went by shopping at Mustafa .
P.S. I'm sorry to keep you waiting to read new posts at my travelogue, I'm jus' planning to give more info in that unlike here where I jus' talk about my experience . So, that's taking me a little time plus the ongoing festival and the nearing college reopening .
You can read my experiences at Singapore # 1 here.
Unlike what you see in the picture, most of the house hold these days use stainless steel pots instead of clay pots
After which the prepared pongal and other food items and sugarcane which plays an important part in this festival are offered to god before one can eat.
The rice is cooked and prepared as a dish called pongal, which is rice with dhal and sugar. This Pongal variety is called venpongal, ven meaning white is made using milk and rice. Another variety is also prepared with dhal and jaggery (sweet), called chakara pongal, chakrai meaning sweet. To accompany the venpongal, people eat brinjal (eggplant) sambar (stew), vadai and spicy accompaniments.
Wishing all those of you who celebrate pongal a very safe and happy pongal!
* pics source - Internet
Monday, 14 January 2008
Pongal is the most popular harvest festival in South India, especially Tamil Nadu. Pongal falls in the mid-January every year and marks the auspicious beginning of the sun's journey north wards.
The celebrations include drawing kolam ( a design made out of powdered rice and some times also color powders) , cooking , visiting relatives et all..
The pongal festival is celebrated for four days
This first day of the festival is called Bogi or Bohgi (is celebrated today) in the honor of "the god of clouds and rains- Indra" for the abundance of harvest and the prosperity brought to the land.
On Bhogi, people clean their homes and collect all unwanted goods . Keeping the home clean is one of the essential parts of the Pongal festival , so in places like my home cleaning starts almost a month ahead - if you remember we jus' repainted our home last month so that we could get it done before this festival.
On the eve of Pongal homes are decorated with kolams (designs made out of rice powder or liquid rice paste). Fresh harvest of rice, turmeric and sugar cane are brought from the field as preparation for the following day (but these days its bought from shops).
Another ritual observed on this day is Bhogi Mantalu(bon fire), when useless household articles are thrown into a fire made of wood and cow-dung cakes. Girls dance around the bonfire, singing songs in praise of the gods, the spring and the harvest. The significance of the bonfire, in which is burnt the agricultural wastes and firewood is to keep warm during the last lap of winter.
(But, due to pollution issues many of them have stopped performing this ritual, but on the other hand you can still find the roads of Chennai filled with smoke when you get up the day after Bhogi)
Now, I got to have my dinner in sometime and start making kolam in front of my home :)
Wish you all a Happy Pongal! Yen Iniya Pongal vazthukal :)
* Pics source - Internet
Sunday, 13 January 2008
I spent a weeks time in this lion city and at the end of my trip I'm truly enthralled with the way the city works, its people and what it has to offer to its tourists.
I reached Singapore on the 5th of Jan and returned on 12th Jan.
While planning for the trip a lot of my blog friends, people I know had all told me that there would be lot of stuffs to shop for and you will be confused but I was always wondering that its all going to be the same stuff... clothes, gadgets, house hold items et all . But the minute I entered any shop , I was so dazed with the amount of varities they have in each thing be it the shop houses , malls or the Singapore's very own Mustafa.
I have planed to divide my Singapore experience into 7 parts initially where in I will be writing about my each days experience and later on if there is something exclusive to share that would follow the 7th post :)
I started from Chennai on the 5th of Jan (Saturday) by Jet Airways. Thou' it was mentioned that our flight was a Boeing737 we got the new A330. This is how the business class looks
We opted for the economy one, it wasn't bad either .. A few views from the flight
The in-flight entertainment
View of the Chennai city from the flight
View of couple of islands before nearing Singapore
View of the Singapore harbour
Sky View of the Singapore city
We reached Changi airport at around 5:45 pm on 5th Jan and it took us about an hours time for immigration, baggage collection et all before we were out.
In the entrance of Changi airport arrival hall . The airport looks so huge , it is a mall in itself . Changi airport has got three terminals the last one terminal 3 was inaugrated jus' a few days back on 9th Jan 2008.
We checked in at hotel SHA Villa (Will make a separate post about it later)
After an hours rest, it was around 8 pm, we headed to Little India for dinner and had masala dosa( the one in pic)
After which we headed to Singapore's very own Mustafa shopping centre. This place here is a 24 hour shopping mall . It is actually didvide into 2 different malls . The serangoon plaza closes by 11pm and the Mustafa centre is open 24/7 isn't that awesome . So, every night we were here atleast 5 nights and believe me we haven't finished seeing the whole store.. Its so huge . Thou' its divided into 2 plazas , both of them are equally huge and incomparable...
Got back to the room at around 1am .. Thats how my first day went by :) It is very short compared to the other days as we hardly had half a day time to explore...
More to come.. I haven't started writing in my travelogue yet might take a couple of days I guess :)