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Monday, December 5, 2022

Elephant impersonation !

Elephants have been the central theme of many films : Yanai Pagan, Yanai valartha Vanampadi, Nalla Neram, Ram Lakshman, Annai Oru Alayam, Kumki; more beautifully portrayed in some Malayalam movies like -  Aanachandam, Gajaraja Manthram  and the ultimate  Guruvayur Kesavan … the love of the film industry dates back to 1937 movie ‘Elephant boy’ made   at the London Films studios at Denham, and in Mysore.

Remember the blockbuster ‘3 Idiots / Nanban / Snehithudu’, a  film that  distinctively  featured inventions ingenuously made.   When the two friends try finding out the other colleague who was so innovative in their college, comes the turn that a rich Estate owner had in fact utilized their servant to study in guise and his son taking the credits.  Impersonations are oft repeated in tinseldom.  Aiyampettai Arivudainambi Kaliyaperumal Chandran does exhibit his comic skills in that interview before Sriramachandramurthy in his import-export company, and then fools him by impersonating that he has a twin brother.  That was hilarious ‘Thillu Mullu’ – the Rajnikant starrer, directed by K Balachander.  Another Rajnikant blockbuster ‘Billa’ – storyline featuring a mafia don, who gets fatally wounded in an encounter too had impersonation.  The police plant a decoy, a villager impersonating the don and providing vital clues ~ [though the film ran for many days, I always feel, that naming of the movie  after a cruel criminal was in bad taste].   Well this is no cinema review – but an interesting story of impersonation of an elephant.

Ivory, the hard, white material derived from the tusks and teeth of animals, especially the mammoth elephant is very costly. It is used in art and manufacture.  Prior to the introduction of plastics, it was used for billiard balls, piano keys, Scottish bagpipes, buttons and a wide range of ornamental items.  Whether it is costly or useful ~ it looks good on an elephant and is its body part, not an ornamental piece meant for your display…………..

The use and trade of elephant ivory is criminal and controversial, and this has contributed to seriously declining elephant populations in many countries.  The Asian elephant preceded its African cousin in becoming part of the endangered species.   In our own state, there was the poacher Veerappan dealing on sandalwood and ivory.   Chinese styled jewellery  and Japanese ornamental markets had done incalculable harm to the tuskers.  Remember in Africa both male and cow elephants have tuskers unlike their Asian cousins.    

The  international ivory trade was banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in 1989. One hundred and eighty-four countries are now bound by this agreement. However, some illegal markets still thrive.  In Japan, commercial trade of ivory (elephant tusks and its products) is prohibited in principle and is permitted only under specific conditions.   Given the long-term reduction in Japanese ivory demand,  there are suggestions that  Japan’s ivory market no longer represents a threat to elephant populations. Yet it remains important to prevent illegal exports to countries where ivory is still highly valued.  

Women dressing up as men to cheat people or for their livelihood have made headlines several times.  Lakkidi Indira, pictured at the start  is majestic, commands large fan following, has FB page of her own – yet a couple of years ago, was disguised and paraded !!     under the name, Kollamkodu Keshavan in Ezhunnallathu at Thootha Pooram.  Situated on the banks of the Thootha River, Sree Thootha Bhagavathy temple is one of the main Bhadra Kali temples in Malabar.

It does sound strange !  .. .. yet happened.  This was against the tradition, and not received well. The temple central committee and the trustee board asked the group for explanation from the group  that paraded Lakkidi Indira as male for the elephant procession and banned her participation in the important functions of the festival for an year, as punishment.

It was stated that they could not find the required number of male elephants which was to be 15 but they were short by one – most of the male elephants had been away in other temple festivals, including famous Thrissur pooram – so the contractor tried to fool the people by adding tuskers to the female elephant and paraded her in disguise. 

Strange are the ways of people ! – this perhaps was not only against tradition but also cruelty to the elephant.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Simply blue-hens !?!? or Western Swamphen ?!?!?

Simply blue-hens !?!?  or  Western Swamphen ?!?!? 

Imp Pre-script :  post of an amateur photographer, quality may be ordinary (taken with Nikond7500 with Nikkon 70-300 lens – more importantly, claim no knowledge of  winged wonders – even the name could be wrong !! – just google image-checked !) 

Bird photography is quite interesting ! but most of us would not be attracted by common birds say – Crows, Hens, Pigeons and what we normally get to see !! 

The One seen and photographed today – resembled a common hen, uncommon by its colour, this species was making   loud, quick, bleating and hooting calls which are hardly bird-like in tone. It is particularly noisy during the breeding season. Read that despite being clumsy in flight, it can fly  distances and is a good swimmer, especially for a bird without webbed feet. 

The western swamphen (known as Purple Swamphen) (Porphyrio porphyrio) is a swamphen in the rail family Rallidae, one of the six species of purple swamphen. This chicken-sized bird, with its large feet, bright plumage and red bill and frontal shield is easily recognisable in its native range.   The western swamphen is found in wetlands in Spain, India, Portugal, France, Italy,  and northwestern Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia).


இன்று நீர்நிலையில் பார்த்த இந்த பறவைகள் சற்று சாதாரண கோழியை ஒத்து இருந்தன - உடல் நீல வண்ண நிறத்தில் இருந்தது.   இப்பறவைகள்  பறக்கும் திறன்கொண்டவை. சிவந்த  நிறக்கால்களைக்கொண்ட இவற்றின் விரல்களிடையே சவ்வு இல்லையென்றாலும் நன்றாக நீந்தக் கூடியவை. இவற்றின் உணவு நீர்த்தாவரங்கள், சிறு உயிரிகளான தவளை, நத்தை, வாத்துக்குஞ்சுகள் போன்றவை. 

நீலத் தாழைக்கோழி அல்லது மயில்கால் கோழி அல்லது சேமன்கோழி (Western swamphen) என்பது கோழியை ஒத்த உருவத்தை உடைய பறவையாகும். இது ஏரிக்கரைகள் போன்ற ஈரமான நிலங்களில் வாழ்கிறது.  

Porphyrio is the swamphen or swamp hen bird genus in the rail family. It includes some smaller species and  are distributed in the warmer regions of the world.  The genus Porphyrio was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the western swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) as the type species. The genus name Porphyrio is the Latin name for "swamphen", meaning "purple". The male has an elaborate courtship display, holding water weeds in his bill and bowing to the female with loud chuckles.  

The grey-headed swamphen was introduced to North America in the late 1990s due to avicultural escapes in the Pembroke Pines, Florida area. State wildlife biologists attempted to eradicate the birds, but they have multiplied and can now be found in many areas of southern Florida.  

After terming rats, mice, fruit bats, and crows as vermin for destroying crops, pokkali rice farmers in Kerala demanded the High Court to add Grey-headed swamphen or "Neela Kozhi" to the list. The grey-headed swamphens are usually found in uncultivated paddy fields or swampy areas of wetlands where they roost and breed. Bugged by the persistent invasion by these birds of their paddy fields, where a special salt resistant variety of rice called ''pokkali'' is being cultivated, an Ernakulam-based association of farmers  moved the Kerala High Court urging it to declare this particular species of swamphen as vermin.   

Pokkali cultivation is a form of mixed farming, where five months are devoted to growing rice, another five months for prawn or fish breeding and remaining 60 days are a transient period between the two. According to the experts, the bird is a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act and that it can be declared as vermin only by the Forest department of the state. The state government, on the other hand, opposed the plea saying the bird was migratory and this was the first time such a complaint had come. It said the farmers ought to have first approached the forest department before approaching the court.  

The court, however, asked the state government not to take such a technical objection, saying if the farmers did not have a problem, they would not have filed a writ petition. The High court had earlier permitted farmers to hunt down wild boars attacking farmlands in certain parts of the state and had asked the state government to declare the animal as vermin in those specific areas. A similar relief was being sought by the pokkali rice farmers for their fields in Ernakulam.  Besides urging the court to declare the bird in question as a vermin as far as their fields are concerned, the farmers also sought that they be protected from any action under the Wildlife Act if they kill, injure or trap the grey-headed swamphen while trying to protect their crop, which is primarily grown in Thrissur, Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts of the state. 

Greedy man wants everything to Himself – given a choice, he would kill at will, destroy and wipe out every species but at times will cry that some animals are treated badly, especially if they have some Hindu Temple connection.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Friday, December 2, 2022

Life's bad - whatever happens, happens ! - என்னதான் நடக்கும் நடக்கட்டுமே

In Office – you accidentally delete a file after putting in much work into it – that is irretrievably lost …. What do you do ? – worry ! feel frustrated ! – would you think it as an opportunity to create something even better !!  

The pristine sands of Marina beach offers many things – the cool breeze, beautiful waves, different hues of people and more !  ~  and this photo taken today exemplified the spirit of one waiting with his white horse for customers, some walking near the waves and one with a red shirt coolly remaining with gay abandon ! 

It is quite easy to become very annoyed by the little things that go wrong in the day. Having the mindset of whatever happens, happens allows you to take that situation of this being a negative to a positive. 

They say don't dwell, but I got an eye in the past man

But I say, Oh well whatever happens...happens

I mean who's gonna try to take my game down

I may be on the run but I tend to find my way around  

Read the above to be a song from Cowboy Bebop,  a Japanese neo-noir science fiction anime television series which originally ran from 1998–1999. It was created and animated by Sunrise, led by a production team of director Shinichirō Watanabe & others collectively billed as Hajime Yatate.   

 “Whatever happens, happens”, need not necessarily convey that things happen the way they are destined and one should leave everything as fate!  - do put in the maximum effort one could and leave the course to its natural logical way – never try to control those not within your control !!   Whatever happens, happens is a mindset, a way of handling situations good or bad.  The expression in some ways drives home the point of going with the flow.   Learn to accept bad things and swim with the current !!  

என்னதான் நடக்கும் நடக்கட்டுமே

இருட்டுனில் நீதி மறையட்டுமே

தன்னாலே வெளிவரும் தயங்காதே..

தலைவன் இருக்கிறான் மயங்காதே  

a beautiful song written by great poet Kannadasan for MGR movie  directed by K. Shankar, released in Jan 1963.  Saroja devi was the heroine.   

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Vijay Hazare 2022 - finals - Sourashtra ?!?!? = Kathiawar

At Perth on day 3 at lunch – West Indies were 150 for 1 (Brathwaite 62*, Blackwood 9*) trailing  Australia 598 for 4 dec by 448 runs.  Debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul (yes son of Shivnarine Chanderpaul who aggregated more than 20000 International runs) fell after notching his half-century, but a gritty West Indies showed resolve against an accurate Australian attack on a pivotal day three of the first Test.  No. 3 Nkrumah Bonner retired hurt after being hit on the helmet from a Cameron Green bouncer, as captain Kraigg Brathwaite led their rear-guard on a pitch playing few tricks so far.  

Elsewhere at Rawalpindi, a  quartet of centuries helped England plunder a record 506 for 4 on the opening day to put the tourists in command of their first Test appearance in Pakistan for 17 years.  Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett, who put on a 233-run opening stand, were joined by Ollie Pope and Harry Brook - the latter playing just his second Test - in posting hundreds on a remarkable day in which England's run rate scarcely dipped below a run a ball as they became the first side to score 500 runs on day one of a Test.

When we grew up – Cricket was Ranji Trophy for the States, Deodhar / Duleep Trophy for the zones and Irani Cup between the winner of Ranji Vs Rest of India – there was also :Palayampatti shield for the 1st division in Chennai and .. MJ Gopalan Trophy between Ceylon and Tamil Nadu !.. .. life was interesting.

Now there is –‘Vijay Hazare Trophy’ , the Ranji One-Day Trophy, that was started in 2002–03 as a limited-overs cricket domestic competition involving state teams from the Ranji Trophy plates. It is named after the famous Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare.  Today is the finals – no Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Delhi or Karnataka but finals between Maharashtra and Saurashtra ..  .. .. and I described Vijay Hazare Trophy as between State teams !?!? -   Saurashtra is no State !

Saurashtra  is a  language spoken primarily by the Saurashtrians of Southern India who migrated from the Lata region of present-day Gujarat to south of Vindhyas in the Middle Ages. Saurashtra, an offshoot of Sauraseni Prakrit  is now chiefly spoken in various places of Tamil Nadu and are mostly concentrated in Madurai, Thanjavur and Salem Districts.  A friend by name Murali studied with me in Hindu High School.  The language has its own script of the same name, but is also written in the Tamil, Telugu, and Devanagari scripts.  

Today they are in the finals of VH trophy -   Saurashtra's previous Vijay Hazare Trophy success came in the pre-IPL era, around the time Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja were beginning to make a mark in domestic cricket following their success at the India Under-19 level. Current captain Jaydev Unadkat, who hails from Porbandar, a town remembered by history as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, was inspired by their heroics as he took to cricket. Both Pujara and Unadkat would make their Test debut two years after that Hazare triumph to put Saurashtra firmly on Indian cricket's map.  Jayadev  Unadkat has established himself as a domestic legend, spearheading a revolution in Saurashtra. In 2020, they won their maiden Ranji title with Unadkat picking up 67 wickets in the season, one short of the all-time record. It was the result of several years of trying and being blown away at the final hurdle, most notably twice against Mumbai.

When red-ball success was achieved, Saurashtra decided to rewrite their white-ball template. A team that didn't have a full-time fitness trainer until the start of this season vowed to become better tuned to the one-day game. Players who would take the safe option were told to be bold, while receiving unequivocal backing. Where teams struggle to have one seam bowling allrounder, Saurashtra have unearthed and nurtured two - Prerak Mankad and Chirag Jani. Unadkat too has reinvented himself as a handy lower-order hitter. In between, they've helped wicketkeeper Harvik Desai, who played a crucial part in India's Under-19 World Cup win in 2018, by backing him ahead of some tried and tested options. On top of all that, Sheldon Jackson is back.

Saurashtra were unlucky at the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s, where they dominated the group phase before enduring a final-over heartbreak against Mumbai in the quarter-finals. Here, in the 50-over tournament, they have set the record straight, comprehensively beating two white-ball giants Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.  Standing in their way is Maharashtra, fuelled by Ruturaj Gaikwad's glut of runs and their itch to win a maiden List A title. They may be in uncharted territory, but Maharashtra are riding a wave of confidence like never before, overcoming stiff competition from Mumbai and Bengal to come through the group stage unscathed.

Kathiawar  is a peninsula, near the far north of India's west coast, of about 61,000 km2 (23,500 sq mi) bordering the Arabian Sea. It is bounded by the Gulf of Kutch in the northwest and by the Gulf of Khambhat (Gulf of Cambay) in the east.   Kathiawar ports have been flourishing centres of trade and commerce since at least the 16th century.  Referred to as Saurashtra and as some other names as well over a period of time, since the Mahabharata and Vedic period, this region is mentioned again as Surastrene, or Saraostus in the first century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Saurashtra, also known as United State of Kathiawar, was a State of India that existed between 1948 and 1956.

Saurashtra State was originally named the United State of Kathiawar. It was formed on 15 February 1948, from approximately 200 large and small Princely States of the colonial Baroda, Western India and Gujarat States Agency of the British raj territory under direct colonial rule. The name of State was given after the Kathiawar and Saurashtra region, both of which generally denote the same geographical region of lands on the main peninsula of Gujarat. The persuasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the dominant force in ensuring most of the States of Kathiawar to join the Union of India and sign the Instrument of Accession. Patel met and managed to convince the local princes and petty subas, totaling 222 in Saurashtra region alone. Among these in Kathiawar Agency were 14 Salute states, 17 minor and 191 petty Non-salute Princely States and 46 Estates (Jagir-level). Most of the native rulers of the Kathiawar States entered into a Covenant for the formation of the United States of Kathiawar on 24 January 1948.

Interesting ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd Dec 2022. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

very proud moment for the Nation - INDIA assumes Presidency of G20

 What a historic day for the Nation !  - 75 years after Independence, INDIA is shining, becoming a leader of the Globe under Shri Narendra Modiji.


In a historic moment today, India formally assumed the G20 Presidency, from Indonesia.  The G20, or Group of Twenty, is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s 20 major developed and developing economies, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation. 

                 On the occasion, Prime Minister penned an article outlining India’s vision for the G20 Presidency. This was carried by publications across the world. In his article, the Prime Minister said that India looks forward to a Presidency of healing, harmony and hope. . A key element of India’s G20 Presidency will be taking the G20 closer to the public and making it truly a ‘People’s G20’. To realize this, Citizen engagement and large scale public participation through various Jan Bhagidari activities are planned throughout the year. 


The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU). It works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development. The G20 is composed of most of the world's largest economies, including both industrialised and developing nations; it accounts for around 80% of gross world product (GWP), more than 60%  of international trade,  two-thirds of the global population, and 60% of the world's land area. The G20 was founded in 1999 in response to several world economic crises.  Since 2008, it has convened at least once a year, with summits involving each member's head of government or state, finance minister, or foreign minister, and other high-ranking officials; the EU is represented by the European Commission and the European Central Bank. 

As of 2022, there are 20 members in the group: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Guest invitees include, amongst others, Spain, the United Nations, the World Bank, the African Union and ASEAN. Representatives include, at the leaders' summits, the leaders of nineteen countries and of the European Union, and, at the ministerial-level meetings, the finance ministers and central bank governors of nineteen countries and of the European Union. 

It is a matter of real pride and happiness that today,  India commences its Group of 20 (G20) presidency. The previous 17 G20 presidencies delivered significant results for ensuring macroeconomic stability, rationalising international taxation and relieving the debt burden on countries, among many other outcomes. We will benefit from these achievements and build further on them, Shri Modiji said in his speech and added -: 

However, as India assumes this important mantle, I ask myself – can the G20 go further still? Can we catalyse a fundamental mindset shift to benefit humanity as a whole? I believe we can. Our mindsets are shaped by our circumstances. Through history, humanity lived in scarcity. We fought for limited resources because our survival depended on denying them to others. Confrontation and competition – between ideas, ideologies and identities – became the norm. Unfortunately, we remain trapped in the same zero-sum mindset today. We see it when countries fight over territory or resources. We see it when supplies of essential goods are weaponised. We see it when vaccines are hoarded by a few, even as billions remain vulnerable.


Several centrally-protected monuments, including UNESCO world heritage sites spread across the country, were lit up today marking the occasion of India becoming the President of G20. ,  ''The size of the logo projected on the monuments will depend on the nature and design of the site,'' the official said.   Among the sites   illuminated – there are -  Metcalfe Hall and Currency Building in Kolkata, Nalanda university ruins and ancient structures and other monuments at Rajgir in Bihar, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Church of Lady of Rosary in Goa,  and Sanchi Buddhist monuments and Gawlior Fort in Madhya Pradesh. 

A day to cherish and the moment of pride for the Nation.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Winston Churchill - Bengal famine ! - dog as mascot !!

Seventy-five years after the colonial retreat, India has improved. A new generation of Indians, more self-assured about our place in the world, are questioning why there isn't more widespread knowledge and condemnation of the many dark chapters of our colonial history, like the Bengal famine of 1943. ….  the disaster that unfolded in British-ruled Bengal   has largely been forgotten – as the World remembers its perpetrator’s birthday.

If your car is undriveable, we'll give you up to £100 for immediate travel expenses. Comprehensive cover only, onward travel to one UK destination, excludes glass only claims. Payment excludes weekends and bank holidays.   .. .. what ??  .. .. do you own a Motor vehicle and do you know that you must have a valid Certificate of Insurance covering the vehicle !? 

Diaries written by British officers responsible for India's administration show that for months Churchill's government turned down urgent pleas for the export of food to India, fearing it would reduce stockpiles in the UK and take ships away from the war effort. Churchill felt local politicians could do more to help the starving. The notes more importantly  reveal the British prime minister's attitude towards India. During one government discussion about famine relief, Secretary of State for India Leopold Amery recorded that Churchill suggested any aid sent would be insufficient because of "Indians breeding like rabbits". On February 13, 1943, Churchill wired the viceroy, Lord Linlithgow: “I have heard that Gandhi usually has glucose in his water when doing his various fasting antics. Would it be possible to verify this.”

The Bengal famine of 1943 was the only one in modern Indian history not to occur as a result of serious drought, according to a study that provides scientific backing for arguments that Churchill-era British policies were a significant factor contributing to the catastrophe.  Five of the famines were correlated with significant soil moisture deficits. An 11% deficit measured across much of north India in 1896-97, for example, coincided with food shortages across the country that killed an estimated 5 million people. However, the 1943 famine in Bengal, which killed up to 3 million people, was different, according to the researchers.  

The Bengal famine of 1943 is a dark chapter in the annals of Indiah history whence an estimated 2.1–3 million, out of a population of 60.3 million, died of starvation, malaria, or other diseases aggravated by malnutrition, population displacement, unsanitary conditions and lack of health care. Millions were impoverished as the crisis overwhelmed large segments of the economy and catastrophically disrupted the social fabric. Eventually, families disintegrated; men sold their small farms and left home to look for work or to join the British Indian Army, and women and children became homeless migrants, often travelling to Calcutta or other large cities in search of organised relief.  The financing of military escalation led to war-time inflation, as land was appropriated from thousands of peasants

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (30.11.1874 – 24.1.1965) was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Apart from two years between 1922 and 1924, he was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1900 to 1964 and represented a total of five constituencies. Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, he was for most of his career a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955. He was a member of the Liberal Party from 1904 to 1924.

                As First Lord of the Admiralty during the First World War, he oversaw the Gallipoli Campaign but, after it proved a disaster, he was demoted to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He resigned in November 1915 and joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front for six months. In 1917, he returned to government under David Lloyd George and served successively as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, and Secretary of State for the Colonies, overseeing the Anglo-Irish Treaty and British foreign policy in the Middle East.  Out of government during his so-called "wilderness years" in the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in calling for British rearmament to counter the growing threat of militarism in Nazi Germany. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was re-appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. In May 1940, he became Prime Minister, replacing Neville Chamberlain.  He lost the 1950 election, but was returned to office in 1951.   In declining health, Churchill resigned as Prime Minister in 1955, although he remained an MP until 1964. Upon his death in 1965, he was given a state funeral.

Certificate of Insurance is a summary document issued by Authorised Insurers containing details about the vehicle, policyholder and insurance policy itself. As per the rule 141 prescribed under The Motor Vehicles Act 1989, every insurance company should issue an Insurance Certificate to the policyholder along with other policy documents.  

 Last year, MailOnline reported about the car insurance certificate issued to Winston Churchill 90 years ago going  up for sale at £1,500. It gave him permission to drive his Wolseley Landaulette between January 1 and June 28 in 1931, when he was 56 – his 'wilderness years'. The one-page document, issued by the Alliance Assurance Company Ltd, was auctioned  by Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire. It records his car registration number YP 4107 but does not disclose the cost of his insurance.   In 1911 he purchased a Napier 15hp Landaulette in 'Marlborough blue' from a racing driver for £600 - £54,000 in today's money.

The photo of dog at the start is the symbol of Churchill Insurance,  a British insurance company based in Bromley, London. Founded in 1989,   the company has expanded to offer a range of general insurance products. Since February 2012, Churchill is part of the Direct Line Group; policies are underwritten by the parent United Kingdom Insurance Limited. Churchill is notable for its advertising that features a talking nodding dog mascot.

In 1994, it was decided that the company needed a mascot to represent the Churchill brand, and differentiate it from the former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. A staff competition led to the adoption of a bulldog, a well known symbol of British identity. The first Churchill dog was a real bulldog called Lucas. The company first used a nodding dog in 1996. In the company's television advertising, the computer-animated Churchill dog was asked whether he could save people money on their insurance and he responded with his catchphrase: "Oh, yes!".  Churchill was once again redesigned in October 2019, where his long serving nodding dog design was changed, to a new, CGI version.

Interesting ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Cute Calf - Beauty is transient !!

செண்பகம் ஒரு பணக்கார பண்ணையார் வீட்டு பெண் - ஒரு பால்காரனை காதலிக்கும் படம் - 'எங்க ஊரு பாட்டுக்காரன்" - கங்கை அமரன் இயக்கத்தில், ராமராஜன் நடிப்பில், இளையராஜா இசையில் அனைவரையும் கவர்ந்த படம்.   செண்பகமே, செண்பகமே பட்டி தொட்டியெல்லாம் ஒலித்த ஓர் இனிமையான இசைஞானி பாடல்.   - : 

பேச்சி பேச்சி நீ பெருமை உள்ள பேச்சி

பேச்சி பேச்சி நீயும் அருமையான  பேச்சி

ஏழூரு சீமையிலும் உன் போல யாருமில்ல

எட்டாத ஊரில் எங்கும் உன் போல பேருமில்ல  !!

என்று மனசு ராமராஜனை போல துள்ளியது, அவளை கண்டவுடன்.


On any day, you would chance across so many cattle in Triplicane, more so in Singarachari Street  .. .. this calf was extraordinarily beautiful, making me fall head over heels attracted by the lil beauty of hazelnut brown and milk white mixed in unequal proportions ! 

Even as I was bowled over by the maiden, realized after a few seconds that not all ogling at her – life had not come to standstill, earth was still rotating and people walking not noticing her !!  

திருவள்ளுவர் - நிலையாமை என ஒரு அதிகாரம் வழங்கியுள்ளார்.  

நெருநல் உளனொருவன் இன்றில்லை என்னும்

பெருமை உடைத்திவ் வுலகு.  

நேற்று இருந்த ஒருவன், இன்று இல்லை என்னும் நிலையாமையாகிய பெருமையை உடையதுதான் இந்த உலகம் ஆகும்.  இதோ இங்கே நாலடியார் பாடல் ஒன்று :   

பனிபடு சோலைப் பயன்  மரமெல்லாம்

கனியுதிர்ந்து வீழ்ந்தற்றிளமை - நனிபெரிதும்

வேல்கண்ணள் என்றிவளை வெஃகன்மின் மற்றிவளும்

கோல்கண்ணளாகும் குனிந்து.  

இளமைப் பருவமானது, குளிர்ச்சி மிக்க சோலையில் உள்ள பயனைத் தரும் மரங்களெல்லாம், பழங்கள் உதிர்ந்து வீழ்ந்தாற்போல் ஆகும்! ஆதலால் இப்போது இப்பெண்ணை இளமை அழகுமிக்க, வேல் போன்ற கண்ணையுடையவள் என்று வியந்து, இவளிடம் மிகவும் ஆசை கொள்ளாதீர்! இந்த இளம் பெண்ணும் ஒரு காலத்தில் முதுகு வளைந்து கூனியாகி, கோலாகிய கண்ணையுடையவளாவாள்! (கனிகள் உதிர்ந்த மரம் விரும்பத் தகாததாகி விடும். அதுபோல இளமை கழிந்த உடலும் விரும்பத் தகாததாம். முதுமையில் பார்வை குறைவதால் கோலைத் தட்டி வழி கண்டு செல்வாள் என்பதை உணர்த்த 'கோல் கண்ணள்' என்றார்.)  

For sure many of us attended Seminars wanting to hear scholastic versions …. The topic may be Astrophysics, Anatomy or Economics !! - instead of listening to an erudite lecture on “Macroeconomic Variables”, many would wait to see how the Speaker arrives, the attire, the gadgets, the presentation, the diction and more are weighted amidst look at the noted professor’s simple clothes, dark skin and diminutive stature.      

"Beauty is transient and changes with time. I have always extended beyond a singular dimension. I haven't been just a model, actor or title winner. The course I charted out for my career made me multi-dimensional and gave me opportunities to represent India on many global platforms," Aishwarya Rai, winner of the Miss World 1994 pageant.  

A person’s age might be just a number, the first strand of grey hair, the first wrinkle, the first year of a new decade — all mark a new milestone in the journey of life. Whether we embrace it with fervor or disdain is up to us. The pro-aging or anti-anti-aging movement is  picking up in different parts of the world. Early millennials and baby boomers (people over the age of 45 years) are embracing natural beauty as time’s gift. The focus isn’t on anti-aging but aging with grace  taking care of one’s physical and mental health.  

People ascribing to the idea of transient beauty view physical beauty, like glowing skin, as a temporary form that fades over time.  They approach the topic of beauty from the perspective of lack — the mindset that beauty depletes with age.  People ascribing to the concept of timeless beauty believe that attitude and mindset ignite an inner glow that is immortal.  

Forget the above article – the calf did look exceptionally beautiful – appreciate and enjoy beauty.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Monday, November 28, 2022

CSK Ruturaj Gaikwad's day out ! ... TN way out of QF

At Manchester in 1982, Sandip Patil hit Bob Willis for six fours (4440444, the third ball being a no ball) -  racing from 73 to 104 in nine balls. He was 129 not out when rain brought an early end to the match. Years later at the Oval Chris Gayle hit Matthew Hoggard for 6 fours in a single over in 2004; Ramnaresh Sarwan hit Munaf Patel at St Kitts in 2006 and Sanath Jayasuriya hitting James Anderson for 6 fours in an over at Kandy in 2007. – all these are Test records !! 

Not many would have followed Vijay Hazare Trophy – but all would be searching the score card of one of the QFs after that breath-taking performance of CSK star Ruturaj Gaikwad.


In the  4th quarter final at Nadiad, November 28, 2022, Saurashtra 293/8 beat Tamil Nadu 249 by 44 runs !!  - in the second QF Maharashtra 330/5 beat Uttar Pradesh by 58 runs !   A good century – 159 off 143 balls with 18 fours and 3 sixers by Aryan Juyal was eclipsed by Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 220 off 159 studded with mere 10 fours and 16 sixers !!  

Till our College days in Cricket Quiz, there would be one Q on Malcolm Nash whose moment of shame came on 31.8.1968 when Garfield Sobers captaining  Nottinghamshire hit the left arm spinner of  Glamorgan   Malcolm Nash to all parts of the ground for 6 sixers.  Ben Stokes escaped a similar fate – when Carlos Braithwaite looked on course to become the second West Indies international to hit six sixes in a row, in the T20 World Cup final in 2016, but his fourth  consecutive sixes off the first four balls of the final over clinched the title.  

Years later in Jan 1985, Ravi Shastri who was rather a docile player with leg side glance bringing him most runs, ran amok against Baroda’s left arm spinner Tilak Raj for 6 sixers – have not seen any video of that match.   In the WC 2007 at West Indies, which India and Pakistan would like to forget for obvious reasons, South Africas Herschelle Gibbes tore into  Daan van Bunge of the Netherlands hitting six sixes.  Perhaps the top most of them all came from Yuvi.  Yuvraj Singh brazen assault on Stuart Broad in T20I WC I 2007 -  Broad bowled the 19th over,  balls kept disappearing to stands.   

Read that Worcestershire’s Ross Whitely  carted Yorkshire Vikings spinner Karl Carver in a T20 Blast match at Headingley for 36 runs; Hazratullah Zazai  bludgeoned his way into the history books off the deliveries of the hapless Abdullah Mazari in Afghastan local match. Canterbury Kings batsman Leo Carter joined the party.  Famous big hitter from WI - Kieron Pollard hit Akila Dananjaya for 6 sixers after he  had taken a hat-trick in his previous over.  Thisara Perera hit 36 in a lankan match  

Today it is all about Ruturaj Gaikwad shattering List A Cricket record slamming 7 consecutive sixers off Uttar Pradesh bowler Shiva Singh  and finishing unbeaten on 220 off 159 balls.  Gaikwad's 43-run over also became the joint-most expensive over in the history of List A cricket, previously achieved by Northern Districts's Brett Hampton and Joe Carter in New Zealand's domestic 50-over game in 2018.  That time it was by 2 batsman and that over consisted of 2 no balls.  Today it was a solitary no balls and all the 7 were sent outside the fence  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Benevolence ! - act of compassion from a pushcart seller

How often do you do charity ! – and would you like those to be seen by others ! 

USS Benevolence (AH-13) a United States Navy Hospital Ship, was built as SS Marine Lion in 1944 by Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., in Chester, Pennsylvania, under a Maritime Commission contract. She displaced 11,141 tons fully loaded, with  maximum speed was 17.5 knots. She was sponsored by Mrs. Daisy Unter, transferred to the United States Navy on 31 July 1944, converted to a hospital ship by Todd-Erie Basin Shipyard, Inc., Brooklyn and was commissioned on 12 May 1945. 

Live your life in such a way that you’ll be remembered for your kindness, compassion, fairness, character, benevolence, and many other good things, a life of compassion to fellow humans, especially those under-privileged.

Omnibenevolence  is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". Some philosophers have felt  that it is impossible, or at least improbable !! 

Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has donated more than $750 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock to the four foundations run by his family recently, but unlike with his planned annual gifts to charity each summer, the donations didn't include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


This evening was intrigued by crows following this pushcart merchant .. .. perhaps his entire stock/capital can be purchased with a few hundred of rupees, yet he exhibited nobleness.  He was taking out some of his product and spraying it for the hungry birds ! those crispy morsels falling out of his hand can be clearly seen !! – appreciate his benevolence. 

அன்றறிவாம் என்னாது அறஞ்செய்க மற்றது

பொன்றுங்கால் பொன்றாத் துணை.  

வள்ளுவர் வாய்மொழி :   இளமையில் நல்ல உடல் நலத்துடன் உள்ள போதே  அறம் செய்ய வேண்டும்.   பிற்காலத்தில் பார்த்து கொள்ளலாம் என்று எண்ணாமல் அறம் செய்ய வேண்டும். அதுவே உடல் அழியும் காலத்தில் அழியா துணையாகும்.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Sunday, November 27, 2022

I love elephants ! - this is not a real one !!

 I love elephants !  ~  and this is not a real one !!!  - in the background of Thiruvetteswarar temple, Triplicane

Millennium kids may not even imagine that these gentle giant pachyderms walked on the streets of Triplicane and elsewhere in Chennai and .. Tamil Nadu  – not so long ago !! 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Remembering our Heroes - sad day when Nation was under siege 26/11

We see them in every street corner, at busy traffic intersections, some movies come ridiculing their efforts,   RED SALUTE  to them – the Army and Police are the real protectors and WE live happily and peacefully because of their sacrifices. This is the photo of Tukaram Omble, who died this day 14 years ago ! – must have been part of our history and school curriculum .. .. were you able to recognize him ? 

From every angle, the Taj Palace near the Gate way of India, the imposing arch monument on the Arabic sea erected  to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder on their visit to India in 1911, prior to Delhi Durbar. The hotel preceded it – the Queen could have seen the hotel, but not the monument.                                

                                             The historic Taj Mahal Palace hotel first opened its doors to guests 113 years ago, on December 16, 1903. Located in Colaba, Mumbai, the Taj Mahal hotel, or the Taj Palace hotel, was the country's first ever harbour landmark. Over the last century or so, the hotel has played host to royalty, several dignitaries, and eminent personalities from all over the world. A popular theory states that Jamshedji Tata built the hotel because he was refused entry at Watson Hotel, one of the grandest hotels of that time, which was for 'whites only.  

In the beautiful motherland, there have been debates on surgical strikes with politicians calling for proof !! -  Nation can never forget this day  26/11 when it was  under siege by militants from across the border.  How many felt sorrowed and spoke for those martyrs of Police and jawans of the motherland ??  .. .. and blatant media who were for ratings showing all the plan and movement of Army jawans !! – how mindless it was.

The horrific memories of the night when the terrorists hijacked the police vehicle  and killed top cops and then went on shooting innocents haunts people.  The illustrious   Bhaskar Kadam, Hemant Bawdhankar, Sanjay Govilkar, Tukaram Omble,  Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte ,  Vijay Salaskar, Shashank Shinde, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Hawaldar Gajendra Singh – and the like should be the heroes whom the Nation must be reading and knowing.  There were so many unsung heroes too – for example the Fire Service of Mumbai whose personnel did not flinch once as they grabbed their gear and rushed to douse fire amid an intense gun battle.   

On that unfortunate day in 2008, 10 Pakistani terrorists arrived by sea route and opened fire indiscriminately at people killing 166, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others, besides damaging property worth crores.  The attack began on 26 November and lasted until 29 November. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Oberoi Trident, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Leopold Cafe, Cama Hospital, the Nariman House Jewish community centre were some of the places targeted by the terrorists. Ajmal Kasab was the only terrorist captured alive. He was hanged four years later on November 21, 2012.  

Tributes poured in on the 14th  anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeting 'Terrorism threatens humanity' while remembering the victims of the 26/11 attacks. "Those who planned and oversaw this attack must be brought to justice. We owe this to every victim of terrorism around the world," EAM Jaishankar said, sharing a short video from the deadly attack that left 166 people dead and more than 300 people injured.  

On Friday, India told the UN that its efforts to sanction those involved in the 26/11 terror attacks have been blocked in the past for political reasons, enabling them to walk free and organise further cross-border assaults against the country. India's remark came after China's repeated efforts to block the proposal by India and the US to blacklist Pakistan-based militant and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed’s son, Hafiz Talah Saeed and designate him as a “global terrorist”. Hafiz Saeed is the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.  

Sadly after the gruesome attack which had clear evidence to the involvement of neighbours, there was no reprisal.  It is now reported that on December 2, 2008, India's military, political and intelligence leadership went into a huddle in the Prime Minister's Office in South Block. The agenda at hand was weighty. The dozen or so men in a room deliberated options that had the potential of triggering a possible fifth India-Pakistan war. It was just a week since 10 Pakistani terrorists had targeted Mumbai and killed 165 people. The incident had provoked national outrage and there was tremendous public pressure on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to retaliate.

Almost all the options discussed by the heads of the military, spy chiefs revolved around punishing the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which had masterminded the attack. The range of options included special forces missions, covert attacks, strikes by the air force on terrorist training camps and even an option of a limited war. Indian investigators had traced the Pakistani hand in both the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts and the July 2006 suburban train bombings. These attacks had killed more people-257 and 187 respectively. But 26/11 was different. It was the first attack carried out by Pakistani nationals who hit civilian targets and foreign nationals with calculated brutality. Unlike the December 2001 attack on India's parliament where all five terrorists were gunned down, one of the Mumbai attackers, captured alive less than six hours after the attack began, had revealed the full extent of the conspiracy.  

It was only meetings and perhaps no action .. then there was another meeting   of India's security establishment which  was more focused on the military option against Pakistan. By now, the Manmohan Singh government had clearly ruled out either an Operation Parakram-style mobilisation of the Indian military or the Cold Start option that replaced it. Options now almost exclusively focused on punitive strikes against the LeT, which had carried out the attack. Exactly a week after the attack, Indian intelligence agencies had built up a comprehensive picture of the LeT's complicity in the attack-confessions from the sole terrorist arrested, Ajmal Kasab, and several hours of conversations intercepted between the LeT handler in a Karachi control room and the Mumbai attackers.  

They perpetrators of heinous crime against our Nation  are still at large enjoying the hospitality and benefits of Pakistan !!  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Nov. 2022

PS:   Ajmal Kasab, the face of Mumbai terror is no more; he had been given a name ‘Sameer Chaudhury’ with red thread around his visit; their heinous plan would have succeeded if all terrorists had been killed but destiny was otherwise, exeuctued by  martyr Tukaram Omble .. . if not some organization would have fought for his release and some would have invoked human rights !!!