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Friday, January 27, 2017

Goldfish multiplies and causes trouble at Teller Lake, Colorado

Boulder County is one of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado of the United States.  The Teller Lake in Colorado is in news as experts believe, it  may have to be drained !  

Fishes are attractive and pleasing to look at ! – there are many species of aquarium fish that are kept in smaller tanks.  Gold fish in a small round bowl looks pretty  pleasing to eyes!  Some species of Gold fish and koi are amongst the most common pets of modern aquarium.  In the holy ‘Kairavini Pushkarini’of Thiruvallikkeni, there were varieties of guppies.  In the 70s, Corporation workers would carry them in small earthern pots and dispense a few of  them in the wells at homes after making an entry on the wall of the building.  Legend has it that the famed Temple tank was fully of lily flowers giving it the name – but did not have fish.  Guppies were introduced in the middle of last century as they were effective against mosquito eating its larvae.

Gold fish exist in a far wider range of colours than the name implies.  Gold fish are associated with ancient pottery of Ming dynasty and there are 100s of varieties.  It is considered one of the earliest domesticated fish.    The goldfish (Carassius auratus auratus) is a freshwater fish in the family Cyprinidae of order Cypriniformes.  Goldfish breeds vary greatly in size, body shape, fin configuration and colour.  There are some who like keeping many varieties of fish together – community aquaria.  

The ones inside have to be compatible in temperament [requirement of any good society]  and water requirements.  We tend to think that aquarium pets live in protected environment and if introduced to natural lake or other water bodies, could get killed and could vanish soon ! – perhaps not the case !!


Some say that they grow according to its container and would grow bigger in bigger water bodies – here is some news of them multiplying in Colorado lake, threatening to destroy the natural ecosystem.

News sites are replete of Teller Lake in Boulder, Colorado, being  overrun with 3,000-4,000 goldfish.  Officials believe four or five fish were dumped two or three years ago !... the lake becoming a big fish bowl is the news – the  lake in Boulder, Colorado, now stands  invaded by thousands of gold fish, which wildlife officials say started as someone dumping 'four or five' of their pets in the water two or three years ago.

The animals have now multiplied to over 3,000 or 4,000, it's believed, and are threatening to over-run the natural species in the lake, by eating up all their resources and spreading unnatural diseases.  'Dumping your pets into a lake could bring diseases to native animals and plants as well as out-compete them for resources,  ‘Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) spokeswoman  is quoted as telling  ABC News.

Goldfish are not a native species in Colorado and are very harmful to the local aquatic ecosystem, it is stated.    Fish that are native to the lake that are now being threatened by the invasive goldfish include channel catfish, blue gill fish and sun fish. It is stated that local officials are considering two options - electroshocking the fish or draining the lake – which can be quite arduous.  

The lake is spread over 12 acres and draining could be cumbersome.  The other method is  electrofishing, where the fish are stunned by an electrical current and removed while they are paralyzed, which again could involve many workers.  Reportedly, it was  a successful method used in November 2012 at Thunderbird Lake, also in Boulder, to remove koi goldfish from the water that had been improperly introduced.  With electroshocking, crews go out in a boat, stun the fish to paralyze and then collect the floating fish.

'Nonnative species can be devastating to native populations by causing disease outbreaks and creating competition unbalance. – and hence people should not be introducing exotic species to the environment – is what a Senior aquatic biologist is quoted as saying.  Despite the amount of fish in the lake, officials have warned locals against retrieving some of the fish and taking them home as pets. The gold fish will likely end up at a local raptor rehabilitation program as food.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th April 2015.


Passport rule change ~ Madras High Court directs issuance indicating step father !!

It is still considered a ‘pride of possession’ and a document distinguishing between elite few and the ordinary others  - it is the ‘Passport’ – a document issued by the Government, without which a person cannot embark on an International travel, a document certifying the identity and nationality of the holder.  The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth. 

Till a couple of decades ago, In India, only rich had them or whoever possessed one was considered rich !  - the others were who felt the dire need to go abroad for work and earning !  - the procedures were considered cumbersome and was obtained after some difficulty of standing in winding queue after filling up pages and providing substantive documents.  It is widely accepted in all places in India as a mark of identity either for opening of bank accounts or for any other purpose.  Factually it is more of a document of identity and not a document of travel into another country  or of consular protection whilst abroad nor provide any privileges.  But without passport one cannot obtain the entry permit or visa enabling travel to a foreign country.

The Indian Passport application would bemuse one at first look requiring special skills to fill it up properly, though the requirements are lucidly explained. There are columns of : Name (provision for name upto 75 character long which would include the Surname;   If one has ever changed name, the previous name in full is to be indicated; Male / Female option; Date of Birth; Place and country of birth (if born before partition of India at a place which now falls within Pakistan or Bangladesh, the name of place is to be filled with Country specified as ‘undivided India’)………………….. The Name of Father, Mother and Spouse are required to entered. [ write full name of your parents with expansions of initials ….. ] In fact there is need for writing the maiden name of the mother.  Then there are the requirements regarding the place of residence with details of duration in that particular place; details of Educational qualifications et. al.  (this is no post written to help one in filling up a passport application !)

A couple of years back, in UK (especially after pressure from Gay lobby) – it was  no longer be Father / Mother but the option of  :  ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’.    I had posted earlier on that and concluded asking – considering that India has all along followed British rules, whether this rule too would impact us at some point !!

Here is an interesting judgment delivered in Jan 2015 by the Honourable Thiru Justice V. Ramasubramanian at Madras High Court, on a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the Passport authorities  to issue a passport for the daughter of the petitioner " mentioning her adoptive father as her father.

In the impugned case, the petitioner was the mother of a minor girl for whom passport was sought to be issued.  The petitioner had married in Sept 1998 and had a girl child in 2001.  The marriage was short-lived and dissolved by a decree of divorce.  The petitioner is having the custody of the minor child for the past about 13 years, without any claim by her former husband. After the decree of divorce, the petitioner changed the name of her daughter  which was  also published in the Government Gazette.  After about 10 years of the decree of divorce, the petitioner married another person.  According to the petitioner, she gave her minor daughter in adoption to her new husband and the same was also evidenced by a deed of adoption registered.

With both of them in software industry and intending to travel abroad, they wanted to take their minor daughter out of India and hence applied for passport.  Later it was known that the application was pending on account of the discrepancy between the name of the biological father and the name of the father indicated in the application form. Hence, the petitioner  came  up with the writ petition, seeking the issue of a writ of mandamus to direct the respondents to issue passport to her daughter indicating the name of the adoptive father.

A circular to the effect that the name of the step father or stepmother of a child cannot be written in the passport of the children stood in the way. Going by the same it was  contended by the learned Central Government Standing Counsel that though there could be a divorce between the husband and the wife, there cannot be a severance of the relationship between the parents and a child.  There appears to have been similar instances and a stricter interpretation perhaps could deny the prayer.  It appears that even in the United States where such questions arise more frequently than they do here, there is no procedure for replacing the name of the biological father with that of the stepfather.

The Hon’ble Court observed that unfortunately, in their anxiety to provide immediate relief and succour to the separated mothers and their minor children, Courts appear to have forgotten the larger issues arising in these cases. Some of the issues that may pose difficulty of being resolved : the names of biological parents  as entered in the Hospital Records and in the Birth Register Extracts can never be changed, as they reflect true statements of fact.  Assuming, (God forbids) that there is yet another marriage, as it happens without much ado in Western Societies, is it possible to change the name of the parents every time there is a divorce followed by a fresh marriage.
           
When society evolves and relationships constantly get redefined, legal issues become more and more complex. Therefore, before jumping into a solution, Courts have a duty to think of the problems that the solutions themselves may throw up. Unfortunately, law on this issue has not evolved in India and hence, we have to look up only to International Conventions and the manner in which the Courts in other countries deal with such situations.  The Hon’ble Justice mentions of a resolution of UN General Assembly popularly known as "Convention on the Rights of the Child", which  indicates several parameters. Under Article 7 of the said Convention, a child should be registered immediately after birth and it shall have the right from birth to a name. It also has a right to know and be cared by his or her parents. Article 10.2 of the Convention also speaks about the right of the child to maintain direct contacts with both parents. Therefore, internationally, it is a well recognised principle of law that the relationship between parents and children do not get dissolved, except in cases of valid adoption. But, some religions do not recognise or accept adoptions.

Though the petitioner was Hindu, the deed of adoption registered, it was not done in accordance of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956.  The  fundamental premise, on which, the Hindu Law of Adoptions proceeds is that the relationship between the biological parents and the children can never get severed, except in accordance with the provisions of this Act. In such circumstances,  Courts could not issue directions to replace the name of the biological father or mother with that of the stepfather or mother.  The Hon’ble Justice also observed that for instance, the right of a child to inherit the estate of its biological father, will get defeated by a direction to effect correction of entries in the statutory records.

The Court opined that they are of the view that the Ministry of External Affairs is obliged to come up with innovative steps and measures to resolve problems of this nature. The Passport Manual may perhaps have to be amended suitably to incorporate additional columns in the applications for the issue of passports. Apart from the columns where the names of the biological parents are to be indicated, the application form may also contain additional columns where the names of the step-parents could be indicated, wherever applicable. This will reduce or even eliminate the possibility of any discrepancy between the entries in the Birth Register and the School Records or other records.

Therefore, the Court concluded that they are of the view that the writ petition could be disposed of with certain directions, both to the Union of India and to the respondents herein, so that persons similarly placed like the petitioner are not compelled to approach the Court every time for the issue of passports.  Disposing off the writ petition, the Court directed :

            (1) The Ministry of External Affairs, Union of India may incorporate suitable provisions in the Passport Manual and incorporate suitable columns in the applications for the issue of passports, to enable the parties to indicate  either the names of the biological parents or the names of the adoptive parents or the names of the step parents or all of them, according as the situation demands.
            (2) In so far as the case on hand is concerned, the respondents shall issue a passport to the daughter of the petitioner, by indicating the name of the stepfather, in the column reserved for filling up the name of the father.

The Regional Passport Officer was further directed to issue passport within 4 weeks. 

Appears to be a very logical conclusion to some complex issues.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

13th May 2015.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Nesta Carter tests +ve of Methylhexanamine - strips Usain Bolt of a Gold medal - of 2008 !!!!

Usain St Leo Bolt,  the  Jamaican sprinter is regarded as the fastest human ever timed. He is the first person to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records since fully automatic time became mandatory. He is the reigning World and Olympic champion in these three events.  An eight-time Olympic gold medalist, Bolt won the 100 m, 200 m and 4 × 100 m relay at three consecutive Olympic Games ! – you may have to read a rewritten story for no fault of his !!

Do you still remember 2008 Olympic Games, held at Beijing in Aug, 2008.  A total of 10,942 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competed in 28 sports and 302 events.  China became the 22nd nation to host the Olympic Games and the 18th to hold a Summer Olympic Games.

Not many of us may remember or know that Nesta Carer was (yes, WAS) a Gold medallist.  Nesta Carter, a Jamaican sprinter, who specializes in the 100 metres event, was successful as part of the Jamaican 4 x 100 metres relay team, taking gold and setting successive world records at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 London Olympics. On August 11, 2013, Carter secured an individual 100m World Championship bronze medal in Moscow, behind Justin Gatlin and teammate Usain Bolt. He followed this with another gold in the 4 x 100 metres relay. In August 2010 he became only the fifth sprinter to run the 100 metres in less than 9.8 seconds.

All that is under a cloud as he goes under the ice taking a medal off Usain Bolt as well as today,  the International Olympic Committee sanctioned Carter for doping at the 2008 Olympic Games, meaning that Carter will lose his gold medal for the Men's 4x100m Relay.

Methylhexanamine has been on the banned list since 2004 and was reclassified as a specialised substance in 2011. It is also known as 'DMAA' and can be found in sports supplements. Until 1983, it was sold as a nasal decongestant in the United States. The US Food & Drug administration say Methylhexanamine 'narrows blood vessels and arteries, which can elevate blood pressure, and may lead to cardiovascular problems such as shortness of breath, arrhythmias, tightening in the chest, and heart attack, as well as seizures and other neurological and psychological conditions.' The useful effects mean it helps as a body building aid and with weight loss.

The IOC have disqualified Jamaica's Nesta Carter from 2008 Olympic Games, as re-analysis  of Nester sample, gave a positive test for prohibited substance methylhexaneamine. Jamaica have now been stripped of their medals - with Bolt and Co disqualified. The decision means Bolt's triple-triple of Olympic gold medals is no more
Bolt is no longer owner of the hallowed ‘triple-triple’ of Olympic sprint titles and will have to hand back the 4x100m relay gold medal won at Beijing 2008 alongside Carter. The Jamaican had realised this was a possibility after it emerged last summer that Carter had retrospectively failed a drugs test from the Beijing Games nine years ago.   It was the team of Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Usain Bolt and Michael Frater who won there.  His worst fears were confirmed when the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday announced it was to nullify the result of the Jamaican 4x100m team and reallocate the gold medal to Trinidad and Tobago.

Japan will now be promoted to silver and Brazil bronze but the Great Britain team, which was disqualified in the heats, will be unaffected. Carter ran the first leg for Jamaica’s 4x100m team and Bolt ran the third on the way to a gold medal inside Beijing’s Bird Nest stadium where he announced himself as a sprinting superstar.

There was much fanfare last summer when Bolt became the first person in history to clinch the ‘triple-triple,’ completing the task with victory in the relay inside Rio’s Joao Havelange stadium.  While Bolt is faultless in this unfortunate situation, a victim of his team-mate’s cheating, Carter’s use of performance enhancing drugs again casts a shadow over Jamaica’s sprint medal factory.  In 2013 Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson all tested positive leading to suspicions as to how this tiny island became so dominant on the world stage. Medical opinion varies as to how potent a drug methylhexanamine is, with one prominent professor claiming it is only slightly more powerful than a cup of coffee.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Jan 2017.

news and photos credit : dailymail.co.uk

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Presenting January 2017 issue of Bliss ~ Voice of SYMA

Presenting  January 2017 issue of Bliss ~ Voice of SYMA


Dear (s)

The newsletter of SYMA – Bliss is in your hands.  Click here : SYMA Bliss Jan 2017  to download the issue :

At the time of harvest festival across the country, much water has flown under the bridge with some strong protests turning wayward and looking rudderless !

SYMA over the years has been greatly supported by kind-hearted donors.  This month, we had another addition to the long-list of Corpus Fund donors.

The present issue has in detail
·         Goldwinner – SYMA Childfest 2017 – the two day festival, wherein we expect more than 100 schools and 3000 students to participate in different events
·         the venue is famous NKT National Girls Hr Sec School, Triplicane – Bliss has all details of the event
·         Chief Guest for Prize distribution would be Mr Rajesh Lakhoni, IAS, Chief Electoral Officer and Principal Secretary, Govt of Tamil nadu and Ms Chinmayi Sripada, Singer and CEO, Blue Elephant. 
·         a write up on Eye camp conducted on Independence Day.
·         Q on Mysore War of 1767 and some details on the Col. Who headed East India Company.

Bliss ~ the voice of SYMA, the newsletter has silently crossed 100 **  – the present issue is 106th  one.  Of late, I am not in a position to bring out in time every month, thus missing a few months.  Sincerely regret the missing issues and look forward to the support / contribution of youngsters in ensuring that it hit the stands every month.

See you all at SYMA Childfest on 28th & 29th of Jan 2017 – Welcome and invite you all to the function.   இவ்விழா சிறப்புற நடைபெற , உங்கள் அனைவரின் ஒத்துழைப்பையும் கோருகிறோம்.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
Editor – Bliss.

22nd Jan 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

animal welfare activists acts bring down curtains for Ringling Bros century old show

At a time, when much is happening at Marina and entire State is chanting ‘Jallikattu’ – a chance reading of  message from Kenneth Feld, a CEO – brought some melancholy ! – it is a farewell message, a message about conclusion by May 2017 !!

The film Kumki had an elephant as a main character, though the storyline dwelt around the hero.  Elephants are not new to tinseldom. In  ‘Nalla Neram’, a MGR starrer  released in 1972, the storyline was around choice between love (his wife) and friendship (his loyal and devoted pet elephants). Rajnikanth and Sripriya too had a hit number – Annai Or Alayam, the story of a hunter  who helps the baby elephant to reach the mother elephant. Perhaps that song ‘Amma nee sumantha pillai’ or was it Aimbathilum aasai varum ~ the last of TMS singing for Illayaraja ?  Kamal’s attachment with his pet elephant coming in the way of his love for Sripriya was the plot for Ram Lakshman.

In earlier days, Elephants and Bulls were featured repeatedly in Tamil films as the story be it mythological or village themes, mingled with life of animals.  Slowly mythological films faded, more specifically Animal Welfare movement came into fore doing propaganda on the perceived ill-treatment to animals in movies.  The film industry spoofed this concern.  In Kamal / Simran starrer ‘Pammak Sambandham’ -  a group of women activists, led by the heroine would barge into the studio holding placards shouting that animals are tortured.  Kamal would be shown seated on a platform not directly touching the bull ~ there would be a couple of similar other scenes too.  Animal welfare has strangled so much that one can notice that recent films have a disclaimer that animals were not used / tortured and in mega Bahubali, the bull taming scene was a graphic affair. 

Ringling brothers  were seven American siblings of German and French descent who transformed their small touring company of performers into one of America's largest circuses. Born in McGregor, Iowa and raised in Baraboo, Wisconsin, they were the children of harness maker Heinrich Friedrich August Ringling of Hanover, Germany, and Marie Salome Juliar of Ostheim, in Alsace.  They merged their Ringling Brothers Circus with America's other leading circus troupes, ultimately creating the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The news now is that the famed American traveling-circus company, would fold its tent forever in May 2017. According to Ringling’s parent company, Feld Entertainment, the decision was forced by declining ticket sales and high costs.

The sons of August Rüngeling, in 1882 formed a song-and-dance troupe, the Classic and Comic Concert Co., and went on the road with it for two seasons. They began adding circus acts to their show, and they organized their first small circus, in  1884, in their hometown of Baraboo, Wisconsin; from there they toured the U.S. Midwest. Their progress was slow until they acquired their first elephant in 1888, after which the circus expanded rapidly.  Now perhaps the same elephant has unwittingly caused their downfall !

Kenneth Feld, the chief executive of Feld Entertainment which produces the circus, noted on the Ringling website that ticket sales had been declining for a while but dropped dramatically after the elephants left the show in May 2016. The show retooled itself and added new human acts but was still full of lions, tigers, alpacas, llamas, and dogs among other animal species; but the drop in sales and high operating costs “made the circus an unsustainable business,” Feld wrote on the website.

There’s no question that it was time for the circus to retire its elephants —just as it was time for SeaWorld to retire its killer whales and stop making them perform. Many animal welfare advocates believe that no wild animal should be used in an entertainment show. For a decade, Ringling fought back against lawsuits and evidence from animal welfare groups and elephant experts that hauling elephants across the country in rail cars and getting them to  perform constituted cruel treatment. Ringling always maintained that its elephants were treated with the utmost care.

Ringling’s audiences had been shrinking for several years, reflecting changing tastes and sensibilities in its audiences and, notably, the influence of negative publicity generated by animal rights and animal welfare organizations, which had staged protests and filed hundreds of legal complaints against Ringling Bros. and other circuses over alleged animal abuse, particularly of elephants. Had Ringling continued with its elephant act, it would not have been able to bring the circus to any venue in California with its changed rules.  Sad is the fact that Ringling, which has been enterprising enough to stay in business for more than a century, could not transform its circus into an elephant-free entertainment feature that could thrive in a world of children and adults.

Ringling’s final performance will take place on May 21 in Uniondale, New York. So what do you feel ~ though, for sure, we are unlike to watch them perform there !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th Jan 2017.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

audacious robbery at Cannes

People wear watches, some wear for time and some as a brand value ! ~ gone are the days when HMT was the best seller in India.


One of the very famous International brands is Harry Winston, founded in New York city in 1932, by a gemologist business person.  

From the acquisition of some of the world's most famous gemstones, to adorning generations of famous faces, from Hollywood legends to international Heads of State, for over eight decades, the Harry Winston name has been reported to be one among the best.   The American jewellery company, Harry Winston, Inc. produces  Swiss timepieces.  Founded in 1932, it was the first jeweller to loan diamonds to an actress for the Academy Awards, in 1943 !

Cannes is a city located on the French Riviera, a commune of France located in the Alpes-Maritimes department, and host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival, this  city is known for its association with the rich and famous, its luxury hotels and restaurants, and for several conferences.  Many would have read and followed the ‘Cannes Festival’  named until 2002 as the International Film Festival (Festival international du film) and known in English as the Cannes Film Festival,  the annual event previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from all around the world.

The 2016 Cannes Film Festival took place  in  May 2016. Australian film director George Miller was the President of the Jury.  In 2017, the festival will celebrate its 70th anniversary edition. The city of Cannes is in news, not because of any celebrity value but for a audacious robbery.

Media reports state that an  audacious robber held up a jewellery shop in Cannes with a pistol and a grenade and escaped on foot with £13million worth of diamonds.  The man, who was in his 30s and wore sunglasses, strolled casually into the Harry Winston luxury jewellery shop on the city's famed Croisette promenade. Security camera footage is being examined in an effort to identify the robber but the Mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard said the robbery 'could and should have been avoided' and he called on the government to allow jewellery shops to use biometric recognition software.

France has a notoriety for big robberies.  In Dec 2008, 4 men including 3 wearing women’s clothes stole watches and pieces of jewellery worth £50million from the Cartier boutique in Cannes.  In Feb 2010, a thief, targetted and took away a handbag with £4million worth of jewels from Christina Chernovetska, the daughter of the Mayor of Kiev, as she drove into Paris from Charles De Gaulle airport in a chauffeur-driven car. 

Reporting of the incident, the regional prosecutor, Alain Guimbard, said the man claimed to be looking on behalf of a wealthy sponsor: 'He asked to see diamond ornaments on behalf of a sponsor. The saleswoman was suspicious and gave him a catalogue.' He then pulled out a 7.65-calibre automatic pistol and a grenade, forced security guards to lie on the floor and ordered the two saleswomen to open the display cases. It is not clear if the grenade was real but the staff clearly were not taking any chances.

Nobody was injured in the heist and the robber was in and out of the shop within eight minutes. Harry Winston is a New York-based jeweller that popular with billionaires and actresses who are often seen wearing its gems on the red carpet at the Oscars.  It is not the first time the Croisette has been targeted.

France is gaining an unwelcome reputation as an easy target for jewel thieves. In October last year £8.5million worth of jewellery belonging to Kim Kardashian was stolen from her at an apartment in Paris. Several men were arrested earlier this month but they have not been charged and experts say her jewels have long ago been sold on to a fence and recycled.

For some, Crime pays but for some, it is painful memory.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

19th Jan 2017.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Audi Wanderer that transported Nethaji from Bihar to Delhi in 1941

On 23rd Jan,  We will be celebrating the 120th birth anniversary of the greatest  person of our Nation ***

I first heard of Audi Car, when Ravi Shastri was the player of the tournament down under in 1985.  Audi,  is a German automobile manufacturer that designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury vehicles, having its HQ at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.  Decades ago, existed – Wanderer, another famous  German manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, vans and other machinery. Established as Winklhofer & Jaenicke in 1896, the company used the Wanderer brand name from 1911, making civilian automobiles until 1941 and military vehicles until 1945.  During the Great Depression, in 1929, the company owner, Dresdner Bank, sold the motorcycle business  and in 1932 divested the rest of Wanderer. The car division with its Siegmar factory became part of Auto Union together with Horch, Audi and DKW.


The post is certainly about  Subhas Chandra Bose – whose birth anniversary falls on 23rd Jan.  Subhas Chandra Bose, (Bengali: সুভাষ চন্দ্র বসু, (January 23, 1897 – August 18, 1945 [disputed],  very popularly known as Nethaji (lit. "Respected Leader"), was one of the most prominent and highly respected leaders of the Indian Independence Movement against the British Raj.

Bose was elected president of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms but resigned from the post following ideological conflicts with Mahatma Gandhi. Bose believed that Mahatma Gandhi's tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure India's independence, and advocated violent resistance. He established a separate political party, the All India Forward Bloc and continued to call for the full and immediate independence of India from British rule. He was imprisoned by the British authorities eleven times. 

His stance did not change with the outbreak of the Second world war, which he saw as an opportunity to take advantage of British weakness. At the outset of the war, he fled India and travelled to the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan seeking an alliance with the aim of attacking the British in India. With Japanese assistance he re-organised and later led the Indian National Army, formed from Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from Malaya, Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile, regrouped and led the Indian National Army to battle against the allies in Imphal & Burma during the World War II  .. .. there is unresolved  mystery in the life of reverred Netaji and more so, surrounding his disappearance and perceived death  .. .. now read this intresting piece from Daily Mail.  Nethaji Audi Car

President Pranab Mukherjee will unveil the car that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose used to escape from his residence in Bihar to catch a train to Delhi in 1941. The Audi Wanderer W24 will be unveiled at Netaji Bhavan in Kolkata.

On January 18, Sugata Bose, Netaji's grand-nephew and also a Trinamool MP, will accompany the President to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the great escape.  In 1941, the 1937 Audi Wanderer W24 transported Netaji from his Elgin Road residence in Kolkata (then in Bihar) to Gomoh railway station to catch the Kalka Mail to Delhi despite 24x7 surveillance by the British.

A group of 10 mechanics from Audi Kolkata have restored the iconic four-door Audi (then Auto Union) Wanderer W24 to its former glory. In an interview with a newspaper, Sugata Bose said: 'Audi gave technical expertise and a vintage car restorer, Pallab Roy, and his team started working in May 2016 to restore it fully. 'It is the most prized possession of the Netaji Research Bureau museum. Now, once a week, people will see this car in motion in the driveway of the building.'

In the 1937 Wanderer W24 lies a 1767cc, four-cylinder engine that produces 42hp @3500rpm which can take it up to a top speed of 108kmph. The engine is mated to a four-speed manual transmission and has a fuel capacity of 40-litres. The Wanderer W24 came with a wheelbase of 2600mm, with a length of 4280mm, width of 1645mm and height of 1600mm. It has a ground clearance of 200mm - the same as of the present day Audi Q5.

Auto Union had manufactured only 22500 units of the Wanderer W24 and Netaji was said to be the first Indian to own an Audi vehicle in India. 

Great feeling !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
18th Jan 2017.

Photos and news in blue : credit  www. Dailymail.co.uk 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

பொங்கலோ பொங்கல் ~ மாட்டு பொங்கல் ~ thanking cattle for the harvest 2017

Today, 15th Jan 2017 ~ is a day of special significance. After Bhogi and Makara Sankranthi [Pongal], today is dedicated to the cattle popularly known as ‘Mattu Pongal’.   A day celebrating the cattle, particularly cows and bulls that play a vital role by working hard to help the farmers to raise crops on their fields.  The festival is an occasion when the fresh harvests from the fields are shared in the form of food and sweets not only with the community but also with animals and birds.

India is the famed land of Ramayana.  Great preceptors Shankara, Ramanujacharya, Madwacharya,  Gautama Buddha & Mahaveera  taught peace and patience –Western World, would try depicting  it is a land of snake-charmers, a place where one would encounter cruelty and people are barbaric.  There is no matador spiking the bull or 'Toro Jubilo' where bull is caked in dry mud having fireworks attached to its horns – what right they have in trying to depict us having our bulls and cows, which are worshipped here.

Sadly, there has been developing  a big Urban rural disconnect – the modern day youngsters see rice only in boiled form on their plate, perhaps not knowing how it is cultivated and how the animals have been  so intertwined with people.  Triplicane, the famed land of Sri Parthasarathi is different – you see so many cows on the road.


By coincidence, today is the 8th day of Irapathu Uthsavam ……… today it was ‘Raja Mannar’ Thirukolam……….. it is but natural – Krishna was the King of cowherds and Sri Parthasarathi  in His natural self…as  Rajamannar, blessed  His bakthas.  The whip and the crowning glory were of unparalleled beauty – one could also notice the small calf at His lovely feet and the beautiful cow behind Him.





Here are some photos of the Lord with the divine cow as also the other natural ones, decorated and paraded on roads, with people offering them sweets and their owners some money.  It is sharing of happiness everywhere.

பொங்கலோ பொங்கல் ~ மாட்டு பொங்கல் - நம் கால்நடைகளை பேணுவோம்.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

15th Jan 2017

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Gujarat wins maiden Ranji Trophy 2017

Honestly, even those of us following the fortunes of 27 teams this season, may not be able to identify at least 5 palyers from this line-up : SB Gohel, PK Panchal, BH Merai, Parthiv Patel, MC Juneja, RH Bhatt, CJ Gandhi, RB Kalaria, CT Gaja, Rudra Pratap Singh, & HP Patel – two of better known players – Bumrah was away on National duty, Axar Patel nursing an injury !

The news is Mumbai is beaten and Gujarat has won their maiden Ranji trophy. 

For those who do not follow Cricket history much, Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between different city and state sides, equivalent to the County Championship in England and the Sheffield Shield in Australia. The competition is named after Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji (Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, also known as "Ranji") This Indian King born in 1872 played in Tests for the English Cricket team and also first-class cricket for Cambridge University, and county cricket for Sussex.  Neville Cardus described him as "the Midsummer night's dream of cricket  Ranji trophy was inaugurated in 1934 by the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala.  The first ball was bowled by MJ Gopalan to N Curtis on 4th Nov 1934.

Today, the Ranji Trophy final was delicately poised – Gujarat set a big 4th innings target could have had it easy playing for a draw as it had the first innings lead.   They were in for some trouble as they lost 2 quick wickets this morning at 51 and then were 89/3,  A good 53 by MC Juneja and a Captain’s knock of 143 by Parthiv Patel (with 24 fours) ensured they chased 311 and won !  Chintan Tarunbhai Gaja had a six for in Mumbai’s 2nd innings.

Of their 45 appearances in the finals, Bombay has won 41; followed by Karnataka 8; Delhi 7 and Baroda 5.  From 1956-57, Bombay established a remarkable stranglehold over the tournament, winning 15 straight titles and 18 in 19 years.

Jasprit Bumrah’s finely calibrated with pace, six wickets for 29 in 2nd innings broke Jarkhand and landed them in the finals after 65 years.  Parthiv Patel scored 90 and 143 – yet, Aditya Tare, the Mumbai captain, said, "He played a good knock, he rode his luck quite a bit. We have ourselves to blame for the catches dropped behind the wicket”

For those interested in statistics, Gujarat played Finals in 1951 against Holkar and lost by 189 runs.  In the match played at this same venue, Indore, Holkar playing 1st made 429 aided by Mushtaq Ali 187 and KM Rangnekar 97. Vinoo Mankad took 6 for 132.  Gujarat made 327 with Kishenchand top scoring 98; JH Shodhan 75; Paul Umrigar 57 & Walter DSouza 50.  Holkar posted huge 443 with Chandu Sarwate making 234.  In the chase, Gujarat were all out for 356 last man JM Patel making 152

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Jan 2017.

Vandalur Zoo; Island Ground Trade fair remain closed during Pongal 2017

Cyclone Nada weakened to a depression but  Cyclone Vardah made a landfall in the city, leaving behind a trail of destruction, including a few deaths and massive damage to property. The city was shaken by its sheer velocity and devastation.  The gutsy  winds  uprooted thousands of trees, removed sheets on tops, felled hoardings and towers  across the city, many of which fell on power lines and caused outages .. .. .. .. this is an unexpected fall-out !

The harvest festival Pongal brings cheer and happiness to everybody – Chennai is a city of people who had moved in from their villages decades ago or even centuries ago – the city wears a great cosmopolitan outlook housing people from North and North-eastern India, and many foreigners as well.  On Pongal and more specifically for Kanum Pongal, thousands of city residents would throng important places – topping it would be Marina beach, Vandalur zoo and Trade fair at exhibition grounds.

The exhibition which generally is open for around 70 days, apparently is not on – perhaps after the passing away of the Hon’ble CM as it occurred after the death of MGR.   crowds would continue to throng Marina-  city Policy would step up security arrangements.   Barricades would be  erected preventing people from entering water and special podiums  equipped with public address system to take care of small children who wander away from their parents and relatives.  Temporary watchtowers with public address systems will also be set up.    There will be change in traffic arrangements as well.

Then there is the Zoo – Vandalur Zoo, in the suburb after Tambaram attracts thousands – and during Pongal (3 days) the nos. are over a lakh.  It has come a longway since its yesteryears at Moore Market Complex.  The Zoological park spread  over an area of 602 hectares (1,490 acres), including a 92.45-hectare (228.4-acre) rescue and rehabilitation centre, houses 2,553 species of flora and fauna; many of the animals are in open enclosures, visible on the moat.  Open safaris for deer and lions, the Otteri lake, an elephant bath area and white tigers are among the attractions at the zoo.


The Zoo remains closed and will not be open to visitors during Pongal, due to Cyclone Vardah.  According to zoo officials, more than 15,000 trees were uprooted in the cyclone. Pipelines supplying water to the moat area, created around enclosures with wild species, have been damaged. Electric poles and two low-tension (LT) transformers were also damaged, resulting in disruption of power supply to zoo.

One media reports puts the loss caused by cyclone at over Rs 10 crore to  the zoo. However, there was no loss of life. No animal escaped from the zoo, officials said. “Although the animals were safe, they were startled by the intense cyclone,” added a  ranger.  Facilities for the public, including safari centres in the park were damaged.

With cut in electricity, providing water to animals itself was quite a task. The caring staff carried food on their head, walking a few kilometres to reach the enclosure as passage was blocked by fallen trees at many palces.  During last floods, there were rumours of wild animals having escaped.  This time too, initial reports said that an adult Lion-tailed Macaque had escaped after the cyclone damaged the enclosures of several animals. However, zoo officials clarified that it was the langurs that had gone missing after a big tree fell on the iron mesh and damaged it completely.  Zoo officials, however, expected the langurs to return to their enclosure at the time of feeding.  Forest Officials had to work overtime to ensure that  the animals and birds are not stressed.  There were special patrol teams for checking the fallen walls and whether any animals could have escaped from their enclosures.  This was a major challenge for the zoo managers as the animals could easily swim and escape or  can even drown the pool of water.  The continued wet conditions posed health hazard to the animals also.

It is stated that there is progress in repairing ~ as of now, the zoo remains closed to public.
Edward Green Balfour (1813 – 1889) a Scottish surgeon, orientalist and pioneering environmentalist,  founded museums at Madras and Bangalore, a zoological garden in Madras.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Jan 2017.