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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Are you a Swiftie - am great fan of that chirpy little bird !!

Chirping loud ! – is that a disturbance or most welcome – depends on your attitude !    know what is a ‘Swiftie’ – it is not associated to being swift !  ~  ‘Small is beautiful’ is today’s theme !

If in recession, how do you expect the Economy to swing back !  Several European cities have already reported a sharp rise in demand for hotel and short-term rental accommodation over the summer, when the Swift hurricane will arrive. In Edinburgh, Liverpool and Cardiff, rooms at the Travelodge chain around June dates have been sold out since August 2023, a month after tickets for the shows went on sale. In Paris, where fans anticipate   debut an updated version of the Eras show with songs from the new Tortured Poets Department album, 80% of hotels and apartments listed are already full up. In Warsaw on 2 August, only 9% of hotels listed on the same site are still available. Hang on, what is this about ?

Most sensible living beings, you would think, would abhor and shun living in Indian cities. Who needs the noise, traffic and polluting fumes, the weird emanations from cellphone towers, the fertiliser-laced food and (human) neighbours who are almost wholly unaware of your presence, let alone know your name? And yet, to one’s surprise there are so many different birds that come calling daily !!  - observed them, especially this little bird, which lands at one corner, before you could more your eye-lid jumps to another, to another and another .. ..   this bird is famous for its the ability to sew the edges of large leaves together to form a cone or container in which to build nests.  

Possibly one of the first English words that we (Tamil medium folks)  started using was Tailor .. .. .. there were so many tailor shops – on the compound of Sri Parthasarathi swami temple at Peyalwar koil street run by Subramani, a small 10 x 12 shop – there was– Jupiter Tailors at Big Street / Alangatha pillai St was much bigger ! – VIP tailors was a famous name – and in 1980s a well dressed bearded Cheenu stitched his pant for Rs.100/- - we spoke about that !! 

After learning the English word for the person who stitches clothes as Tailor, we developed doubt on whether it is ‘Taylor’ or ‘Tailor’ and one Prof told me that Taylor is a name; Tailor is a profession !  .. .. ?!? – perhaps some Spanish/ Latin  connection.  "Taylor" is a proper noun which is often translated as "Taylor", and "tailor" is a noun which is often translated as "el sastre".  A tailor helps make your clothes fit you better. The word tailor comes from the Latin taliare, meaning "to cut." A tailor is someone who cuts and adjusts your clothing to better fit. When you tailor a jacket, you have it taken in to better suit your physique. 

Read that  letter Y was at one time far more commonly used where we nowadays would use the letter I. The reason we now use I is because, in the course of the Nineteenth Century, scholarship about words improved dramatically, and scholars discovered that lots of these words they had been spelling with a Y came originally from Latin, which had really used an I; and which had only used Y for words of Greek origin. 

Though this post is intended to be one on Tailor Bird, it gives an opportunity to write something and post a photo of Taylor Swift.  The term Swiftie refers to a fan of musician Taylor Swift. It is commonly used as a self-identifying term by Swift fans and by others to refer to Swift fans. Calling someone a Swiftie often implies that they are a very passionate and loyal fan—as opposed to just a casual listener.

A post-pandemic appetite for live music events has fuelled huge worldwide interest in the American singer-songwriter’s Eras tour, which surpassed in $1bn sales in November to become the highest-grossing series of concerts in history.  The pop culture event of the summer will arrive in Europe next month, kicking off in Paris on 9 May and wrapping up in London on 20 August with 49 dates in between in Sweden, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Austria, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The unique nature of the tour’s ticketing system, which was tweaked after a number of hitches last year, means there will be a mass movement of travelling fans who will not only be Swiftie in affiliation but swift-like in their willingness to travel across the continent.

In expectation of intense demand, Ticketmaster introduced a pre-registration system that rewarded some early applicants with access codes to the ticket sale proper, via staggered windows for each city. Notionally designed to prioritise genuine fans over “scalpers” – people who buy and resell tickets for a quick profit – the pre-sales system also meant many fans registered for tickets in multiple destinations across Europe to increase their chances.

Down under, when India played Aussie in finals of ODI championship, Krish Srikkanth was brilliantly caught by a jumping Peter Taylor – Taylor who ? .. .. had read that the man  answered the car-phone, he  had just begun a 650km drive to visit family in Sydney. Their 18-year-old son Charlie was making his way in grade cricket as an offspinner for Northern District, where Peter had played. Peter grew up in Sydney. His family owned a car dealership, but, uninterested in selling cars, he studied agricultural science at the University of Sydney. He hoped one day to become a farmer. He had been an outstanding junior cricketer, at the same time as Allan Border, and when the new of his selection was made known to him – he expected it to be  Mark Taylor and asked ‘Taylor-who ?’. 

His final Test was against India, at the MCG in 1991. He was replaced by Shane Warne for the Sydney Test.  Taylor later  bought a wheat and cotton property outside Moree, which he still farms, and has since developed a cattle property at Inverell. For a while in the late 1990s he was an Australian selector.  

In serene atmosphere, you hear them loud .. . chirpy and in a trice, they fly away ! flirting between trees and shrubs … found hard to capture them on lens.   They make an intriguing quirk   Understand them to be ‘common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius)’,  a songbird found across tropical Asia. Popular for its nest made of leaves "sewn" together and immortalized by Rudyard Kipling as Darzee in his Jungle Book.  The common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) is a songbird found across tropical Asia.   Although shy birds that are usually hidden within vegetation, their loud calls are familiar and give away their presence. They are distinctive in having a long upright tail, greenish upper body plumage and rust coloured forehead and crown.  

This morning was able to capture some clicks of this chirpy bird !!  Away from Mark Taylor, Ross Taylor, little known Peter Taylor, Sarah Taylor [the wicketkeeper batswoman, played for Sussex alongside men too]………….the local Tailor was the person who made and altered clothing for men and women…. while ‘women’s tailor’ still exist – the men’s tailors are fast vanishing in city.  

I am happy with the catch of Tailorbird featured here. . 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th Apr 2024 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Auto Aristotle ! - roadside learnings !!

Do you know what is ‘Lyceum’ ?- it was best known to be a school of philosophy – this is a post is on ‘learning that we get on streets’ !  ~  a powerful message on avoiding bribes. 

பிச்சை எடுத்தாவது படி !  ஆனால் படித்து பதவிக்கு வந்தபின் பிச்சை எடுக்காதே !!


A trip to Chennai (or for that matter most Indian cities)  would never be complete without an encounter with them……… the ubiquitous three-wheelers painted yellow and called ‘auto-rickshaws’.  In the city so well connected by road, rail, sea and air.  - a drive  in this [the peculiar sitting posture of the driver, the cuts and turn-arounds of the vehicle – its capacity to turn at right angles and wade through milling crowds], the language of its drivers, the missing meters and the bargain – can all force mortal fear in you no ends. 


File photo of Mr Balaji, a friendly auto driver of Triplicane kulakkarai


In the Ajit starrer ‘Attahasam’ – Karunas  is an auto-driver – Ajit & Co would pull the vehicle from backside, as the vehicle could not move –  help would be sought – first Ajit would adjust the mirror and allow the vehicle to move ~ next Ajit, would stop a way-side auto – adjust its mirror, then vehicle would move – confused Karuna would mumble on the logic  !! ….. in the super hit ‘Basha’ – Manikkam (Rajinikanth) is a humble auto driver who helps the needy. He also keeps away from unnecessary fights and quarrels.  

All great philosophies and philosophers of the world have been those who made man premier of their teachings. The first entity that man encounters in this boundless universe is his own self. Centuries before, Socrates, who was influenced by Sophism,  asserted that the real subject of man’s knowledge is the man himself. Out of copious philosophers who emerged in ensuing phases some assumed prominence in comparison to others.Philosophy (from Greek  philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras.  

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  -  Aristotle.   

Aristotle (384–322 BC) was an Ancient Greek philosopher and polymath. His writings cover a broad range of subjects spanning the natural sciences, philosophy, linguistics, economics, politics, psychology, and the arts. As the founder of the Peripatetic school of philosophy in the Lyceum in Athens, he began the wider Aristotelian tradition that followed, which set the groundwork for the development of modern science.  

Aristotle was revered among medieval scholars as "The First Teacher", - his works contain the earliest known formal study of logic. Aristotle was appointed as the head of the royal Academy of Macedon. During Aristotle's time in the Macedonian court, he gave lessons not only to Alexander but also to two other future kings: Ptolemy and Cassander. Aristotle encouraged Alexander toward eastern conquest, and Aristotle's own attitude towards Persia was unabashedly ethnocentric. 

There are many Aristotles locally and sometimes you find their writings on Auto rickshaws.   Some times such thoughts are mind boggling and thought-provoking.  Here is one found in Bharathiyar Salai recently. 


It roughly translates (but so catchy when you read it in Tamil) :  Begging is not wrong if it for Education; but  ‘ one should never beg after reaching official  status by virtue of education’  conveying  meaning “never take bribes”. 

The Lyceum  was a temple in Athens dedicated to Apollo Lyceus ("Apollo the wolf-god", best known for the Peripatetic school of philosophy founded there by Aristotle in 334 BC. Aristotle fled Athens in 323 BC,and the university continued to function after his lifetime under a series of leaders until the Roman general Sulla destroyed it during his assault on Athens in 86 BC.The remains of the Lyceum were discovered in modern Athens in 1996 in a park behind the Hellenic Parliament.

Interesting !
With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Sumo wrestler Akeboni Taro dies young !

A decade or so ago TATA SUMO ruled the roads – just as comedian Vivek would say,  ‘it was a tough vehicle for rough villains’ as many of them would only hang on the vehicle (and not sit inside) in Tamil movies. 

Brands are more than just a name or a logo; they embody a story and a legacy. Behind every brand, there is a rich history and a unique set of circumstances that have shaped its identity and contributed to its success.   It was a great hit yet Tata Motors retired the iconic Tata Sumo in 2019 after a long 25 years.

Then there is this game with this name !  -  ‘Sumo wrestling’.  Sumo (lit. "striking one another") is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling where a rikishi (wrestler) attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring (dohyō) or into touching the ground with any body part other than the soles of his feet (usually by throwing, shoving or pushing him down). The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally. It is considered a gendai budō, which refers to modern Japanese martial art, but the sport has a history spanning many centuries. Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo, and even today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt purification, from Shinto.

Life as a wrestler is highly regimented, with rules regulated by the Japan Sumo Association. Most sumo wrestlers are required to live in communal sumo training stables, known in Japanese as heya, where all aspects of their daily lives—from meals to their manner of dress—are dictated by strict tradition.  .. .. not a post on the game but tribute  Akebono, the first foreign wrestler to reach the pinnacle of the sport of sumo, who has died aged 54.

The wrestler, who was born Chad Rowan in Hawaii, is regarded as a pioneer after he broke down cultural barriers in the centuries-old sport to become the first non-Japanese yokozuna grand champion in 1993.He won 11 major sumo tournaments, which are held six times a year, before retiring in 2001 and turning to K-1 and professional wrestling. He was runner-up at 13 other tournaments, despite being plagued by injury.

Akebono Tarō was an American-born Japanese former professional sumo wrestler and professional wrestler from Waimānalo, Hawaii, who rose swiftly up the rankings.  One of the tallest and heaviest wrestlers ever, Akebono's rivalry with the young Japanese hopefuls, Takanohana and Wakanohana, was a big factor in the increased popularity of sumo at tournament venues and on TV in the early 1990s.  Akebono became a Japanese citizen in 1996, and after retiring in 2001 he worked as a coach at Azumazeki stable before leaving the Sumo Association in 2003. He passed away of heart failure in 2024, less than a month before his 55th birthday.

Rahm Emanuel, the US ambassador to Japan, said he was “deeply saddened” by the news.He said in a post on X that the wrestler, who was 203cm (6ft 8in) tall and weighed 233kg (514lb) at his heaviest, was “a giant in the world of sumo, a proud Hawaiian and a bridge between the United States and Japan.“When Akebono became the first-ever foreign-born grand champion … he opened the door for other foreign wrestlers to find success in the sport. Akebono is survived by his wife, daughter and two sons.

In case you are wondering why Sumo wrestlers look so heavy weights! – a couple of years back, Japan’s flagship carrier was  forced to lay on an extra flight at short notice after concluding that two of its planes were at risk of exceeding their weight limits. The culprit was not excess baggage, however, but a passenger list that included some of the country’s heaviest men.The sumo rikishi were scheduled to take Boeing 737-800 flights from Haneda airport in Tokyo and Itami airport in Osaka to Amami Oshima, an island in the far south, where they were due to compete in a sports festival, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said.Concern over fuel capacity emerged when staff learned late that the passenger lists included sumo wrestlers, whom they estimated weighed an average of 120kg – far more than the 70kg average, the Yomiuri said.The Amami airport runway would have struggled to accommodate a larger aircraft, the newspaper said, forcing JAL to lay on an additional service for 27 wrestlers, including 14 who had to fly from Itami to Haneda to board the special flight.

The Tata Sumo, a bull of a car, with its innovative design and adaptability, resonated wonderfully with the Indian market. Its introduction marked a new era for Tata Motors, solidifying its position as a manufacturer capable of delivering vehicles that met the diverse demands of Indian consumers. The car was not associated with Sumo wrestling but with Mr Sumant Moolgaonkar  who had his  early education in Pune and then pursued a degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune (COEP). He later joined the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company(TELCO) now called Tata Motors Industries as Director in charge and later became Vice-Chairman, Managing Director, and Chairman of TELCO. His work was so seminal in the organisation that he is referred to as the architect of TELCO. In honouring him, Tata Motors named their multipurpose vehicle Sumo as a fitting tribute. 

With regards – S Sampathkumar
11th April 2024. 

Butterfly attraction !


Whatever be your liking ! – somethings attract and are good to start the day seeing !


அவள் அப்படி ஒன்றும் அழகில்லை, அவளுக்கு யாரும் இணையில்லை

அவள் அப்படி ஒன்றும் கலரில்லை, ஆனால் அது ஒரு குறையில்லை


சினிமாக்களில் மிகைப்படுத்தப்பட்ட ஓர் உயிரினம் - வண்ணாத்திப்பூச்சி .. .. மிக அழகாக இருக்கும் -   வண்ணத்துப்பூச்சி என்று மற்றொரு பெயரும் உண்டு.   மனதில் காதல் வந்தால், உங்கள் தேவதையை பார்த்தவுடன் சுற்றி சுற்றி வண்ணாத்தி பூச்சிகள் பறக்குமாம் !  உங்களுக்கு பறந்ததுண்டா அல்லது எவ்வளவு முறை அவ்வாறு பறந்துள்ளது ?!?