Warrier's COLLAGE June 11, 2021

Welcome to Warrier's COLLAGE Friday JUNE 11, 2021 Tat Thwam Asi* : Sarvapriyananda https://youtu.be/LYBpbYSKdQM *Uploaded in May 2021 Language of God : Book Review https://www.uccfleadershipnetwork.org/blog-post/the-language-of-god-book-review (Links Selection : M G Warrier) Good Morning Muthulakshmi Subramanian said : "Major Gen.S.P.S.Narang's anecdote was very touching, .almost brought tears. Thanks" Nice Day M G Warrier A Select Responses 1) V N Kelkar Mumbai Today's (June 10) Economic Times carries on p.11 a notice by Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai of its Monthly General Body Meeting to be held on 21st June, 2021. Out of curiosity I went through the agenda. The following item attracted my attention. "26. Raise in the pension/ family pension for the pensioners/ family pensioners from MCGM of age 80 years and above wef 1st January, 2019." This appears as the last item in the list of proposals received from the Standing Committee. Note that even a civic body gives additional pension to its senior pensioners on reaching 80 years. When will RBI do so ? (I think the credit should go to the leadership provided by the present BMC Commissioner Shri Iqbal Singh Chahal. Listen to him : https://youtu.be/9-rvyPGEAeQ This video link was shared in Collage a month ago and is a repeat for those who accessed then🙏-Warrier) 2) R Jayakumar Mumbai I have not come across a place on earth where I could hide my house from the pigeons and the sparrows and the crows, although the sparrows are doing a vanishing act sometimes. In the village neither the pigeons nor the sparrows were prevented from entering the house, as well as the hens and the ducks. But they were kept in check by the cats who also lived in the house. In Pune I never prevented Pigeons making nests on the plants' pots. The balcony was big and pots were little away from the room. Somehow the chicks raised by pigeons on the plant pots rarely survived. In Mumbai the balconies are not real balconies but a little spce enclosed by grills and close to the rooms for keeping plants and also for drying clothes. (We have many home plants both inside and outside the rooms..) The pigeons are also found in big numbers all around the housing colonies and the buildings in Mumbai. But luckily I find them never making any effort to build a nest in my house. In one corner of the so called balcony a little space is kept for placing feeds for the crows who are regular visitors, who make their nests on the mango and badam trees. As soon as the feed is spread during the day two or three crows come to eat but immediately some pigeons come and chase the crows away. Only after the pigeons are satisfied they allow the crows to pick up some ghatia seve. I have heard that crows chase away eagles but I am wondering how the crows are afraid of the pigeons who are mostly silent, harmless and are temple birds. Madam Vathsala's different methods suggested to keep the pigeons away from my house is not needed for the present. R Jayakumar 3) Muthulakshmi Subramanian "Major Gen S P S Narang's anecdote was very touching, almost brought tears. Thanks" B Nostalgia : Recipes VETTA KUZHAMBHU AND VENGAYA SAMBAR* If Valmiki and Vyasa took Indian Epic writing to pinnacle of glory, -if Shakespeare and Milton lent lustre to English Literature, -if Lindwall and Miller tormented the batsmen the world over and always haunted in pair, -if Gandhiji and Vinobhaji instilled spirituality in politics, Vetta Kuzhambhu and Vengaya Sambar, demonstrate the Tamil Brahmin's culinary skill at its sharpest best. Vetta Kuzhambu and Vengaya sambar, like Sehwag and Sachin, would always dominate the scene and that is the reason perhaps they are not served on plantain leaves in marital lunches. Any other sambar, needs the support of a Thayir Pacchadi, Avial, Olan, Paruppu Usili and Kara-Kari, to survive the lunch. Remove the support of the various vegetables save one and sambar would surrender at once - a roaring lion, only when there is a retinue around. But not Vengaya Sambar. It can stand its ground even in testing times. When Vengaya Sambar is around, like one's own wife, who would glance at Avial or Pacchadi, mere coquettes, though they may have inviting looks? "In small things we just beauty see, In short measure, life may perfect be", says Shakespeare in one of his sonnets, underlying the fact that it is the small Vengayam that we are talking about. In Travancore, small Vengayam is called Ulli or Eerulli. The larger one doesn't deserve a treatise to write about. Vetta Kuzhambu and Vengaya Sambar can conquer the world with the help of a single vegetable to play a subordinate role, as Kapil Dev played that world conquering game, with Syed Kirmani at the other end. When Concerns in Mumbai served Vengaya Sambar with Potato kara-kari on Thursdays, a serpentine queue with saliva oozing out, would wait for hours. If no vegetable is available, Vetta Kuzhambu can still hold its sway with the help of a roasted Appalam. Sorry my Palakkad brothers and sisters. Our Pappadam cannot measure upto the expectations of Vetta Kuzhambu. They are not made for each other. It is always ensnared by the amorous advances of Appalam. "I prepared only Vetta Kuzhambhu and Chutta Appalam today", a Thanjavur Mami, would murmur in humility, oblivious of the fact that the aroma from her kitchen has already reached eight houses ahead in her Agraharam. Chutta Appalam, like Chundaikai or Karela, can also immerse in Vetta kuzhambhu, reiterating the fact that it is part of the household and not a mere catalytic agent. And yet, we deny them their legitimate place in marriage lunches; instead we relegate them to the light dinner on the marriage day when all the ceremonies are over and only a few are around. Why treat your best batsmen as tailenders? Is it because all other vegetables have ganged up to isolate Vetta Kuzhambhu and Vengaya Sambar, so that they too are noticed? Would it be a blasphemy if we serve Vetta Kuzhambhu and Vengaya Sambar in saddhies of Sasta preetis, instead of several vegetables and varieties of payasams? After all payasams were dictated by palate and not prescribed by Shastras. Idli and Mulagapodi are always made for each other. And yet, Chutney and Vengaya Sambar are not looked upon as 'the other woman'. What more, Vengaya Sambar can also lend legitimacy to Idli and dosai and take them to dizzy heights. If Vengaya Sambar and Potato Karakari is unparalleled, Koorkai, Chenai and Banana also go well with it. It does not need varieties of vegetables or pathnis as it strictly follows Lord Sriram. It chooses one and remains loyal. However, Vetta Kuzhambhu is too strong a personality to entertain Idli and Dosai. It prefers to stand alone or mingle with a few lesser mortals. It is a little complex personality and yet has popular appeal. One needs the arbitrating skills of a Solomon Papaiah to decide whether Vengaya Sambar emerges out better when prepared with Sambar Powder or ground coconut and other ingredients. To put in Brahminical tamil, whether Podi potta sambar scores over Arachuvitta sambar, if Vengayam is the main ingredient? I am for one, is a protagonist of vengaya sambar, prepared with sambar powder. The vengayam here is endowed with a rare ability, as the overcast sky does to a swing bowler. When ground coconut is used, the sharpness of Vengayam is bludgeoned as the effectiveness of a pace bowler is, in a flat wicket. Fortunately, Vetta Kuzhambhu does not face such a threat from coconut. I may be torn into pieces by some of the well known professional cooks or mamas and mamis from Palakkad for this sacrilegious statement. It is availability that dictates the ingredients and develop the taste. One major area where Vetta Kuzhambhu differs from its brother Vengaya Sambar is in longevity. As some of its ingredients are basically preservatives, Vetta Kuzhambhu is blessed with a longer shelf life. Vengaya sambar suffers from Balarishtams if not alpa-ayusu. Vengaya Sambar, as the very name suggests, leans on good quality small onions, for survival. Vetta Kuzhambhu does not need such singular support. It needs varieties of ingredients and deft handling which is available aplenty in Thanjavur and Trichy. ( yours truly is a poor soul from Travancore). It is not Sandhya Vandhanam or various other rituals that bench mark brahminical eminence. Ability to prepare, enjoy and evaluate quality Vetta Kuzhambhu and Vengaya Sambar is what marks brahminical endowment. *Received from S Venugopal Chennai (Vengaya is small Onion. Sambar is a lentil-based vegetable curry, cooked with pigeon pea and tamarind broth. It is popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines. Vatha Kuzhambu is a very traditional recipe in any Tamil Brahmin Kitchen. Vatha Kuzhambu has the balanced mix of tangy, spice and sweetness. Serve the delicious Vatha Kuzhambu with hot steaming rice along with a teaspoon of sesame oil or ghee and enjoy the traditional Kuzhambu. Access recipe @ https://www.padhuskitchen.com/2011/02/vatha-kulambu-vatha-kuzhambu-recipe.html/amp) C Language and Communication 1) Role of Language in Communication https://en.iyil2019.org/role-of-language/ "Given the complex systems of knowledge and culture developed and accumulated by these local languages over thousands of year, their disappearance would amount to losing a kind of cultural treasure. It would deprive us of the rich diversity they add to our world and the ecological, economic and sociocultural contribution they make. More importantly, their loss would have a huge negative impact on the indigenous cultures concerned. It is for this reason and others that the United Nations chose to dedicate a whole year (2019) to indigenous languages, to encourage urgent action to preserve, revitalize and promote them." 2) Hiring for professional skills* https://chennaimemes.in/im-not-looking-for-an-english-professor-ceo-on-hiring-a-skilled-youth-with-lack-of-english-speaking-ability/?fbclid=IwAR0cBl8F2fnFICPp8wyi_7v6cqHv_6qEENCK3JNEwWWyWIr_VxDFUnm4PoU Arun Krishnan, CEO of nFactorial Analytics shared his experience on hiring an intern from a small town in Maharashtra. He ended up hiring him for his coding skills despite of his poor English communication, saying that he was not looking for an English professor role. The tweets uploaded by him impressed many users of the micro blogging social media site, including ace Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. He shared the tweet in his twitter time line and said that Language is a communication medium and should never be a point of difference. *Link shared by S Thyagarajan Chennai 3) Role of English : Reality Check https://www.deccanherald.com/amp/content/249714/importance-english-employment.html The reality is that the companies consider the candidate’s ability or inability to speak fluently in English as one of the major selection criterion. The mere domain knowledge won’t guarantee one a good job. The situation in most of the companies has changed from a scene where all employees are isolated and would concentrate on their individual performances. ‘Team work for better success’ is the mantra followed by most companies. So there is no space for individual glory. Employees are expected to be interactive and communicative with others in the team and outside. D Readers' Contribution "Mattuvin Chattangale" (Change the Rules) : V Babusenan Thiruvananthapuram If one happens to read what that famous historian Sreedhara Menon wrote about the social set-up of Kerala towards the end of the 19th century, one would shudder. The caste discriminations continued to be inhuman and ruthless and were, therefore, deplorable; but, more deplorable was the discrimination among sub-castes. During that period and the early years of the 20th Century, lived and wrote three great poets: Ulloor Parameswara Iyer, Vallatthol Narayana Menon and Kumaran Asan. If one views them from the caste angle ( though not a desirable thing), one will find that the first two, having luckily born into the upper castes, escaped the slings and arrows of caste discrimination, but that, unfortunately, was not the case with Asan. Strangely, he suffered indignity mostly from his own community on account of the sub-caste hatred. Here is an example: Once Asan was invited to a wedding function. It was the wedding of his friend's daughter. On the way to the wedding venue, his vehicle was stopped by a well-meaning common friend. He said that, if Asan attended the wedding, the bridegroom's party would en bloc boycott the function. In other words, the wedding would not take place! Would you like to know the reason? Asan belonged to a lower sub-caste! He turned back with a heavy heart. Similar and worse insults prompted Asan to write: "Why do you cry Mother India? Why do you need Swarajya? Dependence is your fate. Can't you see that, intoxicated with thoughts of castes and sub-castes, your children are fighting among themselves and perishing?" Many raised a hue and cry against him saying that he was against the freedom struggle. Most of them didn't know how much it would hurt when insulted in the name of caste! The injustice caused by caste discrimination was whirling in Asan's mind throughout, and in the1920s, he gave poetic expression to it in two of his longer poems published in succession in 1922. The first one named 'Duravastha (Bad Situation) was based on the agrarian revolt that stormed northern Kerala in1921. The story is that one Namboodiri Brahmin landlord's family was brutally killed in the uprising except a girl Savithri who took shelter in the hut of Chaathan, a Pulaya youth. Gratitude yielded way to love and Savithri married Chathan. The agrarian revolt, as it were, gave a convenient platform to the long-suffering poet to harshly criticize the caste system. He says: "Madvachanangalku maardavamillenkil Uddesasudhiyal mappunalkin". (If my words are not mild, forgive me for the good intention) The insensible caste system has produced a society, says the poet, where there are untouchables, unseeables and sub-castes which do not intermarry and inter-feed.(This decadent society is what Swami Vivekananda called 'mad house') Because of this system, how many kings, how many Sankaracharyas, how many Ezhutthachans, how many Kunchan Nambiars (in Gray's words : 'mute inglorious Miltons') we have lost! Practices, useful at one time, become irrelevant with change of time and, quite often, stand in the way of social progress. Law makers have, therefore, to be very vigilant in weeding out such practices if progress has to be achieved: "Mattuvin chattangale swayam allenkil Maattumathukalee ningaletthaan." ( Change the rules on your own.If not, the very rules will change you.) The above two lines became most famous although the poem that contains these lines was not adjudged that great in quality. Even a casual visitor of Thiruvananthapuram cannot miss Asan's statue with this message-cum-warning. Where he stands cannot be more appropriate.Behind him is the head quarters of the Kerala University,in front of him ,on his right, is the University Library and,on his left,more importantly,stand the residential quarters of the law-makers! Flowers are of two kinds from the point of view of the bhaktha:flowers suitable to be offered to God and those which are not.In big temples there are gardens to grow the former type. One is not sure if the Lord had in His mind such a distinction when He said: "Patram, pushpam, phalam, thoyam" in the Gita. But Asan was clear about it. Such discriminations are wrong. He reminds: "Devan Vanamalikkaanandamekattha Poovonnum illennathorthukolvin." (Remember, there is not a single flower that is not pleasing to the Lord) Asan fervently wished that this 'madhouse' of castes and sub-castes would turn into a beautiful garden of the type envisioned by him. Unfortunately, forces are at work to see that it remains as a distant dream only, even after passage of a century. E From here and there 1) Ruskin Bond Ruskin Bond on childhood, beaches, pandemic and more: https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-authors/ruskin-bond-interview/article34780720.ece "Childhood is another recurring theme of your works. The experience of childhood has changed too in this era of technology and gadgets. What do you make of it? True, but some things don’t change like friendships, school days, festivals, games, food and ice-creams. Had you been a millennial, what would you have written about? Most of my writing stems from my personal life – so it would reflect the prevailing circumstances. The last few months have been difficult for a lot of people due to the pandemic. What can one do to deal with this situation? If at home, write more, read more — but don’t eat more. Also stay in touch with friends, loved ones. Don’t stop working." 2) Rural Healthcare Scenario Rural health care needs fixing, and now: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/rural-health-care-needs-fixing-and-now/article34721348.ece Collective responsibility In conclusion, I will only urge all stakeholders to revisit and refurbish our health infrastructure in the rural areas and build them in a better manner. As more than 65% of the population resides in the rural areas, we cannot ignore their health needs. WHO has its norms and yardsticks. We can have our own, perhaps even better than what has been stipulated by WHO. We also know health is a State subject, but all those living in the rural areas are not only the responsibility of the States or the Centre but also a collective responsibility. Just spending money will not take us anywhere. We have to see and ensure that the money being spent improves facilities and contributes to people’s ease of life. It is hugely challenging as a task but we have to firm up our strategies, their execution and by rigorous auditing so that we are ever well prepared not only to meet this pandemic effectively but also to make our rural folk healthier. We must remember that no one will survive unless all of us survive. As Bertrand Russell has put it, “It’s co-existence or no existence.” F Leisure 1) Fishing in rainwater* The rain was pouring down heavily in M.G.Road, Bengaluru. And standing in front of a big puddle outside a pub, was an old Parsi Uncle, drenched, holding a stick, with a piece of string dangling in the water. Arun, a passer-by stopped and asked, "What are you doing, uncle?" "Fishing" replied the old man. Feeling sorry for the old man, Arun said, "Come out of the rain and have a drink with me, uncle." In the warmth of the pub, as they sip their whiskies, Arun cannot resist asking, "So how many fish have you caught today?" "You're the eighth" says the old Parsi. *Received from S Thyagarajan Cheñnai 2) God's language https://voices.uchicago.edu/witnessingmedievalevil/2020/05/12/what-language-does-god-speak/comment-page-1/ "In the ancient Greek tradition, poets are able to connect the gods and mortals through poetry, since poetry is the language of God. With language, poets communicate the gods’ will to the people. Perhaps similarly, the Bible manages to record God’s will and commands to distribute to the people." 3) Are you dreaming? https://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-study-reveals-interesting-facts-about-dreams-and-what-they-actually-mean-read-here-2894426 "Dreams result from a process that often combines fragments of multiple life experiences and anticipates future events, according to novel evidence from a new study in the Journal Sleep. The journal Sleep is the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society." *Link Courtesy : G Mohandas Chennai G Quotes about language skills https://www.azquotes.com/quotes/topics/language-and-communication.html Like : "Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite." C. S. Lewis (Clive Staples Lewis was a British writer and lay theologian. He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University and Cambridge University)

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