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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Navrathri Goluvukku Vango !!

Dear Friends

Most of you know Triplicane - lying close to Bay of Bengal, (the famous Marina beach).    Triplicane derives its name from the sacred lily pond (Kairavani pushkarini) of Lord Sri Parthasarathi.  Here is google map of the location of my house

During Navrathri time, traditionally display of dolls are kept in houses - relatives and friends are invited and makes it a festive occasion exchanging friendship and bonhomie.  Here are some photos of the display - golu at my house :

A close up of view some dolls :

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Remembering the greatest revolutionary Poet Subrahmanya Bharathiyar - Sept 11

Sept. 11, the world over is remembered for different reason. In the minds of patriotic Indian, especially Tamil community, this is a day to remember the versatile revolutionary born as Subbaiah - as common a name any rustic village child would have. For the National activities, he was put in the list of list of anarchists, political suspects whose movements were shadowed closely, followed and arrested if they were to move into British territory. Though hailed as a genius, he lived in a single room and only a handful of people partook in his funeral procession.

In many countries, places significantly identified with great men are considered revered and are preserved. The house where this great man lived and breathed his last, was sold – exchanged hands and decades later, Govt. thought of converting it into a monument. For the past two years, public have been denied access in the garb of renovations and there are rumours that it might house some Govt. office as well.

It is unlikely that you remembered this Great Man today. If not, please read  on………………………..

The annals of history book has recorded it that he was struck by elephant of Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple but factually his health had badly been affected by very many confinements and punishments by the British. His failing health was perhaps primarily behind the tragic premature death of this genius on Sept 11, 1921 – not even forty years of age. In this short span, he implanted his foot prints as an undying symbol of vibrant nationalism and unity of the Country. He was born in a small village called Ettayapuram in Tuticorin district.

This great freedom fighter notably was a Great Poet, a prolific writer, philosopher, a great visionary of immense genius who in those days of repressive British rule ran few magazines. His national integration songs earned him the title “Desiya Kavi” (National Poet). His patriotic songs emphasized nationalism, unity of India, equality of men and the greatness of Tamil language. Though his life span was very short, he left an indelible impression in the National history and stoked the flames of independence in the minds of people. He waxed eloquence in the national scene as an inspirational patriotic poet. With a simple and yet fabulous technique of combining the rhythm of spoken language in a ceaseless flow of prose and poetry, Bharati captured the imagination of the Tamil people. Bharati introduced spiritual dimension to the freedom movement and deliberated on important aspects in a marvellous literary combination ofprose-poetry.

He was a linguist - fluent in many languages including Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, and English and frequently translated works from other languages into Tamil. In April 1907, he became the editor of the Tamil weekly ‘India’; he also edited the English newspaper ‘Bala Bharatham’. He participated in the historic Surat Congress in 1907, which saw a sharpening of the divisions within the Indian National Congress between the militant wing led by Tilak and Aurobindo and the ‘moderates’. Subramanya Bharathi supported Tilak and Aurobindo together with V.O.C. In 1908, he gave evidence in the case which had been instituted by the British against ‘Kappal Otiya Thamizhan’, V.O.Chidambarampillai. In the same year, the proprietor of the ‘India’ was arrested in Madras. The British Govt imposed curbs on publication of his nationalistic and patriotic works, he was placed under surveillance by the government. To avoid arrest by the British which forced him to move to french territory of Pondy. This period proved to be the period of his prolific writings. During 1918 he was arrested and incarcerated in the Central prison in Cuddalore. Bharathi met Mahatma Gandhi in 1919 and in 1920, Bharathi resumed editorship of the Swadeshamitran in Madras. He breathed his last on Sept. 11, 1921.

Despite his literary genius, he lived in extreme poverty and died in chill penury. He was not merely content of being proud of the motherland but outlined his visions of a free India, not as wild dreams of some living in imaginary world but specifically outlined aspirations of a true patriot with clearly planned ideas on how different regions of the country can live happily, share the resources for their mutual benefits.

Blessed are those, who have scented the soil where Mahakavi lived. The house where he lived should be a sacred place of pilgrimage for all those who love the Nation.

the signature of the great Poet Barathi

Today is certainly a day to remember the Mahakavi SUBRAHMANYA BHARATHIYAR who underwent untold sufferings for the cause of this Great Nation.

Desiya paniyil - S Sampathkumar.

What was learnt and begotten - the sad demise of great Sujatha

28/02/2008   அன்று நான் பெரிதும் விரும்பிய சுஜாதாவின் மரண செய்தி கேட்டு எழுதியது இது.

There are days when something hurts you sentimentally. Today is one such day, for it started in a very melancholic mood. Morning gave me the news of the passing away of a great genius, a man most revered by me and one who was loved by vast multitude of tamils interested in reading – short stories, novels, fiction, question & answers, religion – to capitulate whoever were interested in reading.

His great novel “Manal kayiru’ enamoured me to read more about him. It was first published in Kumudam on Aug 1968. I perhaps had not started reading tamil alphabets in that year and read it much later. One of his science fictions written in the early 70s “Sorga theevu” portrayed his understanding of computers and many of us even today do not understand computer better. There were more fictions like " Moondru nimisham Ganesh, En Iniya Iyandira" and "Meendum Jeeno" which vividly captured my imagination in my formative years. His skillful mix of crime and science is unrivalled by any of the contemporary (or past) tamil writers. Sujatha wrote over 100 novels, 200 short stories, essays, stage plays, and popular articles on science. His fictional character of Gansh / VAsanth (lawyers) are extremely popular. Whilst Ganesh was the soft spoken, suave kind, Vasanth was more vibrant. Here is a sample of his style and science writing….

Alas he is no more and today we have lost one of the most revered writers. Sujatha (May 3, 1935 - Feb 27, 2008, Aged: 72) was the pseudonym of the Tamil writer S. Rangarajan who authored of over 100 novels, 250 short stories, ten books on science, ten stage plays, and a slim volume of poems. He was a regular contributor to topical columns in Tamil periodicals such as Ananda Vikatan, Kumudam and Kalki. He had a very wide readership, served for a brief period as the editor of Kumudam, and has also written screenplays and dialogues for several Tamil movies. He was a great scholar in Sri vaishnavism, could quote at ease alwar pasurams and was in fact writing detailed commentary for one pasuram a week in a popular weekly.

His schooling was in Srirangam. He attended St.Joseph's College, Trichy, where he was classmate with our Ex president APJ Abdul Kalam. Sujatha graduated in the 1954 class with a B.Sc in Physics (1952-54) and masters degree in Electronics from the Madras Institute of Technology. He worked first in Civil Aviation Department of Government of India and later for Bharat Electronics in Bangalore, India before his retirement to Chennai, India, where he lived till his last days. As an engineer, he was a forward thinker and enabled many engineers to think ahead of times. He enabled the development of advanced word processing before the days of personal computers. He supervised the design and production of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) during his tenure in Bharat Electronics which is currently used in elections throughout India.

Sujatha received an award from Govt of India's National Council for Science and Technology in 1993 for making Science accessible to the public through his books, magazine contributions and other media.

Sujatha wrote a number of science fiction stories in Tamil and has sought to explain science in very simple terms to a layman. He routinely used to answer science questions in magazines like Junior Vikatan. His science FAQ has been released as separate books called En, Etharku, Eppadi and Athisaya Ulagam by Vikatan publications. With "Katradhum, petrathum" in Anantha vikatan and "Sujatha Bathilgal" in Kungumam he sought to explain many complicate issues in a simple languid manner.

'Lateral thinking' was a hallmark techniques fluidly used by him. He had the uncanny knack of explaining some of the most difficult scientific concepts with amazing ease. . Here is an example:"you boil the lentils in the pressure cooker while cutting vegetables for the curry. that is parallel processing".

Some people felt that his stories had an overdose of science. What Sujatha was trying to do was to kindle the scientific temparament and increase the awareness. Apart from being an author, he has also extended his writing skills and expertise on science to movies. The first of his were Gayathiri and Priya. In Priya his fictional character Ganesh comes to the screen done by superstar Rajinikanth but without vasanth (because the actor who was supposed to play vasanth did not get passport). Kamal Hassan's Vikram, which was written by him. He penned dialogues for the movie 'Roja' (directed by Maniratnam). In recent times he has been associated with Mani Ratnam (for Iruvar, Kannathil Muthamittal, Aaitha Ezhuthu etc) and Shankar (Boys, Anniyan, Indian, Mudhalvan, Sivaji). He was also a co-producer for the banner MediaDreams which went on to produce critically acclaimed bio-pic, Bharathi, of the great Tamil poet Bhaarathiyaar. He was working on Shankar's Robot before passing away on Feb 27, 2008. This is what he had written earlier about death :-

If there is something which I am avidly fond of more than cricket, it was  ofcourse  Sujatha……..
With regards – S Sampathkumar.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Dear (s)
The 2007 edition of the World Cup was a disaster – not only because India crashed out in the initial rounds itself losing to Bangladesh but because of the tournament lasting beyond comprehension with sarcastic comments that it could be running in Caribbean somewhere still. Subsequently there have been glittering T20 WC and IPL which have sparkled comments on the epitaph of One dayers being written around.
One Day Internationals started on a experimental basis in 1971 when a Test match could not be completed and in 1974 India tested it for the first time at England surrendering abjectly. More humiliation was to follow in 1975 when Sunil Manohar Gavaskar carried his bat through the entire 60 overs chasing a mammoth 338 and ending up with an unbeaten 36.
Cricket to those days was lot different and lot bitter to Indian fans – not many wins and no single century to boot till the epic 175 not out of Kapil Dev in the WC 1983 against the Zimbabweans. The wheel has come a great circle – when Sachin scored his 44th ton in the Compaq cup. In the first decade there was only one Indian with a century and then came some from the bats of Srikkanth, Shastri, Mohinder, Manoj Prabhakar &………. Now we have Sachin at the zenith with 44 much more than that of Zimbabwe (36) and Bangladesh (15). India leads with 163, Oz have 146, Pakis 141, WI 130, Lankans 98, England 90 and Proteas 85. How interesting !!!!!!
Cricket lovers are on the anvil to another major 50 over tournament at South Africa – 8 nations vying for top honours – with some run up of people trying to write off the 50 over version and making so many suggestions virtually tampering with all tenets that had existed all along. It would be surprising to know that Champions Trophy which started with a different purpose has survived six editions. It has generated money all along and had also spread the game. The first editions were staged in Bangladesh which was not even a test nation then and then at Kenya !! – a wild life safari. The 2002 tournament did not even produce a final verdict and the 2006 one was uncomfortably closer to the World Cup. There were qualifying phases prior to the earlier versions. This time the format appears sharper and keen tussle with only 8 in two groups : India, Pak, WI & Aussie on one side; Kiwi, Eng, SA & Lankans on the other. Two from each half will quality and two will get eliminated. The setting looks ideal on a place where bowlers, especially spinners showed their wares in the IPL. Crowds are expected to be good. For the good of the cricket, some forlorn due to their ties with ICL are also back – mainly Shane Bond.

Test Cricket is for the purists and One days with room for innovations and adjustments should survive. The tournament got off to a nice start with our IPL star Tilakaretne Dilshan scoring a fine century and placing Lankans with a score close to 320. The belligerent player in opener’s role scored 106 off 92 showing glimpses of his hand-eye coordination and his ability to pick the length early. It was also an exhibition of bowler being able to come back in this format after being torn apart early – Wayne Parnell being the example. In a rain curtailed match, which generally gives some extra impetus to the chasers, South Africans were all at sea against Malinga and Mendis – unable to read the mystery spinner.
An interesting tournament is ahead. Watch them. I have plunged into blogging with some test. Request your feedback on the article and on the blog.

With regards
S Sampathkumar.

Fertilizer split into sea

This article I had converted into pdf and then into picture image. Uploaded as picture to see, how it looks like

the sweet thing - SUGAR TRANSPORTATION

Dear (s)

Sugar – ‘the sweet thing’ would need no detailed description. Human taste buds interpret its flavour as sweet. Sugar as a basic food carbohydrate primarily comes from sugar cane. Sugar is a class of edible crystalline substances, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose. The English word "sugar" originates from the Arabic and Persian word shakar, and has its equivalent ‘sharkara’ in Sanskrit.

After tur dal, it’s the turn of sugar. There is spiralling price rice and the stocks of the sugar companies are in great demand in the Exchanges as Investors expect the retail sugar prices to gain further gain as there reportedly is a five million tonne gap between production and demand. Statistically, Sugar production has been pegged at 16-17 million tonnes in 2009-10 against 26.4 mt last year. The annual demand is about 22.5 mt. Internationally, it is projected that price of raw sugar would hit a 28 year high.
The Union Government recently allowed private traders to import refined sugar at zero duty, which was so far restricted to public sector trading firms such as STC, MMTC and PEC. However, the 10-lakh-tonne quantitative restriction on import still remains. The Govt regulates duty free import of refined or white sugar to be done only through Electronic Data Inter-change (EDI) ports.
There is some marine news connected to the present sugar crisis, which would make this article interesting.
There was hectic activity in Indian coastal waters with North Korean ship MV Mu San detained off Andaman and Nicobar islands after a six hour long chase by the Indian Coastguard. This vessel had dropped anchor without permission near Hut Bay Island and tried to escape when approached, finally succumbing after shots were fired in air.
MV Mu San dropped anchor without permission near Hut Bay island. Since the ship was trying to escape when approached the coastguard was forced to fire in the air. The ship's captain, told the investigators that the ship had made an impromptu change in schedule to take the cargo to Kakinada, though it is not often that merchant vessels do this.
The vessel had sets its sail from Thailand on July 27 with 16500 tonnes of sugar and it is now revealed that subsequent to the Govt. announcement on import of sugar at zero duty, the charterer had instructed the Capt. To divert the vessel to Andhra but not before Aug 5 offering huge money for the act. Unable to slow down any further the vessel had dropped anchor at Hut Bay and was spotted by a Ferry Passenger ship. Thus it was not a mechanical snag or a navigational mistake but the lure of sweetness of sugar and that consignment reached only after the zero duty came in to effect.
In another unrelated maritime incident, the Greek-owned, Panamanian-registered bulk carrier "Ioannis NK" (14,498-gt, built 1977, IMO 7700946) took water and sank approx 95 NM off Lamberts Bay, northwest of Saldanha Bay. This bulker owned by Agios Fanourios Shipping and managed by Seabound Maritime of Piraeus was carrying 22500 tonnes of sugar loaded in Brazil bound for India. The efforts of salvage tug ‘Smit Amandla’ proved futile.

There are clouds over the sinking – all the crew were picked up and there questions on the seaworthiness of the vessel. The class certificates of this 32 year old vessel were due to expire on Aug 16 by which time, vessel would still have been at sea. The consignee and Insurance details were not known and there are strong possibilities of the same being insured in India.
Across the border, the Pak Govt had also allowed import of raw sugar into the country - a whooping 300000 tons to mitigate the impact of crisis ahead of Ramadan, which poses a serious political challenge as Politicians own sugar mills there !

Look forward to your feedback
With regards
S Sampathkumar
E : s.sampathkumar @ M : 99400 86033

Burglary Insurance and key clause

Dear (s)

Burglary Insurance is an Insurance which incorporates proposal as the basis of the contract and states that the Company provides coverage subject to the terms of the Policy as stated in the document.

Under various heads, it seeks to interpret the terminology used in the Policy.  In a given case (cited as example) the facts portrayed are :

·        Entry into the premises was by removing two locks of the shutter – (whether by use of keys stolen earlier???). No force on shutter / entry point.

·        Inside the premises, the drawers had been forcibly opened, cash box broken.

·        Crime registered under Sec 379 (Punishment for theft) and 461 (dishonestly breaking open receptacle containing property).

The question is whether this would be construed as falling within the ambit of standard burglary Policy ? (special reference to key clause ?).   Loss ascertained to be genuine otherwise.  For analysis let us see both the Policy wordings as also the probable intention behind the construction of the Policies.

The key clause under Money insurance excludes ‘loss or money from safe or strong room following the use of key to the safe or strong room or any duplicate thereof belonging to the insured, unless this had been obtained by threat or violence’.

The Burglary Insurance  provides indemnity for loss of cash ( not in transit) from a strong room / safe, this is an exclusion meant to exclude disappearance  of cash (possibly with the connivance of insured / employees or others who have access to cash).

Here the loss is under Burglary Insurance Policy. This policy would cover subject matter(s) of value being items of insured’s trade, money & securities (when specified).

The Policy provides indemnity in respect of loss of or damage whilst within the insured premises as a direct result of burglary which is clearly defined as : - an actual theft or an attempt thereat a) accompanied by an actual forcible and violent entry into or exit from any Building at the premises or b) following assault or violence to any person or threat thereof.

Though there have been more than couple of judgments by the
Apex Court :  Insurance being a specific contract, the agreeing terms between the contracting parties should prevail and the policy would indemnify only losses arising out of burglary as defined above.

Whilst a general understanding and liberal interpretation of the Burglary policy has been ‘loss of subject matter with an element of force being applied for such removal i.e., goods not simply missing without a trace, a literal interpretation of the wording would mean that “”There has to be an actual theft or attempt accompanied by actual forcible and violent entry into or exit from any building. Though it may sound illogical, going by the construction, the use of force / violence needs to be at the entry / exit of the building and breakage of property inside when not accompanied would still be outside the purview.

On the query as to whether Burglary policies have ‘key clause’ - the specific exclusion no. 4 is to be read. (the no. might differ with Insurers) it reads : ‘loss or money and/or property abstracted from any safe following the use of the key to the said safe or any duplicate thereof belonging to the Insured, unless such key has been obtained by assault or violence or any threat thereof’.

Here though loss of money or other property is mentioned, the specific mention is of the key of the safe and not those of the main building or premises.

There are general conditions and this one is of relevance. It makes it a duty on the Insured to take all reasonable precautions to prevent loss and damage and to keep all locks, bolts, protective devices in full operation when premises are left unattended or closed. There is another condition which imposes that all keys shall be removed from the premises or placed within a locked safe or strong room.

Each case might throw up a different verdict in Legal Forum depending upon the presentation of the facts and circumstances.

First, the indulgence in any manner of the Insured / family member / employee will have to be thoroughly ruled out, especially when the keys have found their way to the assailant’s hands.

However, it appears that using the key clause against the insured for defeating the claim might appear to be on a weak wicket, provided there are enough indicators of violent removal of the goods from the premises.

If one were to go by intentions, then coverage should be against a burglary (not being mere theft i.e., use of force) then this claim, subject to the foregoing should present itself as one which would merit consideration.

In my view, the """ Policy should deal with force & violent means being employed in taking away the property and should not be merely related to breakage of premises / door. """  A classic example would be air conditioners being stolen from the building by forcible removal but without entering the business premises, thus no forcible entry but force used in removal of the subject matter insured. The key clause should be more of excluding complicity of the insiders.

Views of an Insurer with the available experience. There can be logically other views as well. Will benefit all immensely, if the other perspectives are also shared by you……………………

With regards

S. Sampathkumar



Dear (s)

Samarao School in Singarachari Street, Triplicane is the Primary School where I joined 1st standard in 1970.  This school still exists offering Tamil medium till Standard V.  This is the place where I learnt Tamil aksharams and was initiated to writing for the first time in life.

Ageing is a natural phenomenon and all humans age – not all learn and not sure whether I have learnt anything at all over the years.  From Samarao School in Triplicane to what I am now,  sure I have travelled  some distance in life.

For more than a decade now, I have been sharing my views on Insurance (with great passion for  Marine Insurance), Sports (to most of us it is nothing other than cricket!!) and Current affairs with a group of my friends through e-mail.

Some of my friends have been insisting that I place them on a blog also and here is my maiden entry into blogging.  Request all my Friends and Well Wishers to view my blog and provide their feedback helping me to improve. Whatever I am going to post is my views and one need not concur with all or any of them. 

Welcome to Samp Speak  - or rather me getting welcomed with this first post in

Wishing that I also grow with this Blog with the blessing of   you all  …. ……

With regards
S Sampathkumar