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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

'Jagadamba' - the talwar of Veer Shivaji

In our Puranas and in History, Swords have played major role in the battlefields .. they are portrayed strongly in Historic movies too.

Sudeep played a cameo in SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), Aslam Khan,  a weapons trader from Kabul,  tries selling a special sword to Kattappa (Sathyaraj). Kattappaputs forth that  his own sword is better than it.  In a show-off, Kattappa rips apart Khan’s sword. Khan is so impressed with Kattappa’svalour and loyalty towards the kingdom of Mahishmati that he offers him huge sum and a better position in his camp. Kattappa refuses and continues to be loyal !!

Well, it does not end there, there is another more important sword of Baahubali.  During the climax battle, Kattappacalls his horse  Siddha on whom the sword is placed;  as it comes running towards, Mahendra Bahubali leaps on air, takes possession of the sword, and beheads Bhadra. 

Collection of swords at Museum

Veer Shivaji  was crowned king of Maratha Swaraj in a lavish ceremony on 6 June 1674 at Raigad fort. In the Hindu calendar it was on the 13th day (trayodashi) of the first fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha in the year 1596. Gaga Bhatt officiated, holding a gold vessel filled with the seven sacred waters of the rivers Yamuna, Indus, Ganges, Godavari, Narmada, Krishna and Kaveri over Shivaji's head, and chanted the Vedic coronation mantras. After the ablution, Shivaji bowed before Jijabai and touched her feet.  He also took the title of HaindavaDharmodhhaarak (protector of the Hindu faith).

Shivaji Bhonsle, famously  Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,  Veer Shivaji - carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahisultanateof Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire.   Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organisations. He innovated military tactics, pioneering the guerrilla warfare methods.  Veer  Shivaji was a great hero and   the very embodiment of a born ruler of man as typified in our great epics. 

‘Jagdamba’, the ceremonial sword of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, which is in a museum in London, is likely to arrive in Maharashtra to mark the 350th anniversary of coronation of the Maratha warrior king this year.

A meeting was held between Maharashtra’s Cultural Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and British Deputy High Commissioner Alan Gammel along with officials of the Maharashtra government in this regard recently.  Gammel gave a positive response on behalf of the British government to bring the ‘Jagdamba’ sword and tiger’s claws of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj back to India, an official said.

Mungantiwar said that the discussion with Gammel was very satisfactory and that the wish in the heart of every Maharashtrian to get back the sword of Shivaji Maharaj is going to be fulfilled.The state government is planning to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj’s coronation on a grand scale, and the British government has decided to hand over the ‘Jagdamba’ sword and tiger claws of Shivaji Maharaj to the state government to mark the occasion.The meeting  was also attended by Imogen Stone, Deputy Head of the Political Department of the British High Commission.

Shivaji’s Battle swords Bhavani and Tulja are presently located at Satara and the Sindhudurg Fort, respectively. The ceremonial sword Jagdamba, which is in the purview of the British Royal Family, is kept at Saint James’s Palace.The first of these attempts were undertaken by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak when he travelled to London to defend a libel lawsuit he had brought against the writer Sir Valentine Chirol for remarks made in Chirol’s book, ‘Indian Unrest,’ that were considered disparaging. Following independence, Yashwantrao Chavan, the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra, pursued the issue. Confusion arose about the name of the sword as the sword in London was referred to as ‘Bhavani’ at the time. The Britishers countered that a sword bearing that name already exists in Maharashtra’s Satara.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who possessed at least three swords, also used the ‘Bhavani’ sword, which is presently in Satara. Nevertheless, this sword differs from the one in London that is listed as ‘Jagdamba’ in the Chhatrapati of Karveer catalogue.

Swords are important and History is more significant.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1st June 2023 

Twilight attractions ! - பொன்மாலை பொழுது !!

பொன்மாலை பொழுது; இது ஒரு பொன்மாலை பொழுது

வானமகள் நாணுகிறாள், வேறு உடை பூணுகிறாள்   .. ..

ஆயிரம் நிறங்கள் ஜாலமிடும்  .. ..  ராத்திரி வாசலில் கோலமிடும் ..

இசைஞானி இளையராஜா இசையில் பட்டிதொட்டி எல்லாம் ஒலித்த அற்புத பாடல் நிழல்கள் படத்தில் இருந்து


Evening is one among the most beautiful times !  - to everyone looking at sky, the horizon provides astonishing things.  

Sunset is simply the point that the sun disappears over the horizon.  Twilight is the period between sunset and dusk. During twilight there is still light in the sky. There are three types of twilight: civil, nautical and astronomical.  

Civil twilight occurs when the Sun is less than 6 degrees below the horizon. In the morning, civil twilight begins when the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon and ends at sunrise. In the evening, it begins at sunset and ends when the Sun reaches 6 degrees below the horizon.  

In its most general sense, twilight is the period of time before sunrise and after sunset, in which the atmosphere is partially illuminated by the sun, being neither totally dark or completely lit.  

For astronomers, astrophotographers and casual skywatchers, astronomical twilight is a great time to spot objects in the sky.  Astronomical twilight generally happens twice each day: It begins in the morning before dawn or ends in the evening after sunset when the geometric center of the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon. When the sun is at or above 12 degrees below the horizon, it's no longer astronomical twilight. 

During astronomical twilight in an area without light pollution, the horizon disappears from view and even the dimmer planets and some less visible stars can be spotted with the naked eye, according to Nature Scientists. For casual observers and those in urban or suburban areas, the sky may appear fully dark, and viewers can get a good look at objects like planets and stars that appear as a bright point of light. In higher latitudes, rare formations called noctilucent clouds are sometimes visible against a dark twilight sky. However, astronomers wait for truly dark skies to observe galaxies, nebulas and anything else that creates diffuse and tricky-to-spot light sources. 


Forget all the above – simple – sky offers most brilliant shades – it was day 7 of Sri Varadharaja Perumal uthsavam and at Triplicane in the evening there was no thiruther purappadu as it rained – Sri Varadharar had purappadu in tholukku  iniyan. 

Here is a photo of the dark but illuminated sky at the time of start of purappadu around 5.15 pm and the iridescence of Sun as it was setting around 6.20 pm.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Life - beautiful roses - பட்டு வண்ண ரோசாவாம் !!

 Life is too beautiful to be spent worrying !


An unusual movie that hit the screens in 1979 -  directed by B. V. Balaguru, starring K Bhagyaraj, Rajesh and Vadivukkarasi as heroine.  The story was daringly different that of  an impotent husband,  who got injured by a bull in a village jallikattu event –  story revolved  around how they deal with the daily pressures of society and another man, who wants to have an extra-marital relationship with the woman. 

Flowers are beautiful whether they are in heap or solitary !  .. .. Plants existed on Earth for hundreds of millions of years before the first flowers bloomed. But when flowering plants did evolve, more than 140 million years ago, they were a huge evolutionary success. What pollinated these first flowering plants, the ancestor of all the flowers we see today? Was it insects carrying pollen between those early flowers, fertilising them in the process? Or perhaps other animals, or even wind or water? 

The question has been a tricky one to answer.  Many researches state that the first pollinators were most likely insects. Despite some evolutionary detours, around 86% of all flowering plant species throughout history have also relied on insects for pollination.  A very high % of   modern plants –are flowering plants, or what scientists call angiosperms. To reproduce, these plants make pollen in their flowers, which needs to be transferred to another flower to fertilise an ovule and produce a viable seed. Small and highly mobile, insects are  highly effective pollen transporters.   

There are flowers and then there is Rose – one portrayed as  the most universal of all symbols, the rose represents true unconditional love. Since ancient times, the meaning of a rose hasn’t changed at all.   

எழுபதுகளின் மத்தியில் திரை உலகம் சற்று மாறியது. இசையில் கம்பீரமாக இசைஞானி இளையராஜா முத்திரை பதித்தார்.   பாக்யராஜின் கதை, வசனத்தில் உருவான ஒரு படம் அனைவரையும் சற்று வித்தியாசமாக பேச வைத்தது.  பட்டிதொட்டியெங்கும் ஹிட் ஆனது.  ராஜேஷும் வடிவுக்கரசியும். முக்கிய பாத்திரத்தில் - அந்த படம் - கன்னி பருவத்திலே !  - இசை சங்கர் கணேஷ் - இந்த பாடலை கேட்டு இருப்பீர்கள்.


பட்டு வண்ண ரோசாவாம்; பார்த்த கண்ணு மூடாதாம்

பாசம் என்னும் நீர் இறைச்சேன்,  ஆசையில நான் வளர்த்தேன்

அள்ளி வச்ச வேளையிலே,  முள் இருந்து பட்டதம்மா 

Don’t worry too much about the relevance or cogency !  - a day starts better with nice interesting objects 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


ICC World Test Championship 2023 - Ruturaj Gaikwad marriage

Utkarsha Amar Pawar bats right handed and bowls medium pace.  From 2015–16 through 2017–18, she represented West Zone Under–19, Maharashtra Under–19, and West Zone Under–23.  Later, Utkarsha took part in senior teams for Maharashtra and the West Zone. She also played for India C in the 2019 Under-23 T20 Challenger Trophy. Although her name was on the list for the Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction with a starting bid of Rs. 10 lakhs, she wasn’t bought.  – Utkarsha – who ?

Now comes WTC Final -  WTC final is essentially,  the World Cup final  for Test cricket. Since 2002, the ICC has awarded a trophy annually to the team that has topped the rankings, but since 2019, they began the World Test Championship (WTC), which sees nine teams compete in two-year cycles in a league. The top-two teams eventually face off in the final… .. and it is just a day away !

The final of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship, the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship, will be played from 7 to 11 June 2023 at the The Oval, London, England, between Australia and India.  Yes, you are reading it right – match between India and Australia played at Oval, England.  

Australia and India qualified for the final as the top two teams in the league stage of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship. While both teams had the highest number of points at the due to the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple series being postponed, the league standings were determined by win percentage. Walking into the final India held the top position in the ICC Men's Test Team Rankings while Australia secured the second spot. Australia is making their debut in the world test final, while India, who were defeated by New Zealand in 2021, will be without several key players due to injuries. India has won only 2 at Oval thus far.

Significantly,   ICC has  removed the "soft signal rule" and the rule would not be in effect starting from the World Test Championship final.

Indian squad reads :  Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, KS Bharat, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadakt, Umesh Yadav. Reserves: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Mukesh Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav

The winners of the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023 will take home a purse of USD $1.6 million.  Runners-up will receive USD $800,000 in prize money. The nine teams that have participated in the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 will share a total purse of USD $3.8 million.  The prize money is the same as was in the inaugural edition of 2019-21.  

Chris Gaffaney of New Zealand and Richard Illingworth of England are  the on-field umpires for the World Test Championship Final. Richard Kettleborough of England will be the TV umpire, while Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka will be the fourth umpire. Richie Richardson of the West Indies is  the match referee.

For CSK star Ruturaj Gaikwad, it is so near and yet so far -   Gaikwad was part of the Reserve members but could not accompany the team that gave Yashaswi Jaiswal, opportunity to  fly to London, as decided by   India coach Rahul Dravid.

Ruturaj Gaikwad married Utkarsha Pawar in a grand wedding on June 3.  Ruturaj and Utkarsha have been  dating each other for some time.   Best wishes to India’s Cricket couple and best wishes to Team India, for winning the World Test Championship 2023

With regards – S. Sampathkumar