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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

the cool, cute customer for auto rickshaw !! - அழகிய பெண்களின் பழக்கம் உண்டோ ?

For those in sales, how do you select your customer ! – what will be your reaction when interacting with a beautiful person !  

In Baasha, Rajnikant plays Manickam, a pious auto rickshaw driver.  One day, Nagma walks towards the auto stand making every automan long for her to get into their vehicle.  While  Janakaraj imagines  her sitting in his auto, she would choose (who else) !!!  

Sivagami, a widow, brings up her only son Maran, in the worship of Karunagaran, as his father had died in tragic circumstances. She hides from him for a long time, the real version of the facts.   .. .. plot of “Deiva Thai (Divine Mother), released in  1964, produced and co-written by RM  Veerappan, directed by P. Madhavan  - starring MG  Ramachandran.   

In the film there was a song written by Vaali to the tune of Vishwanathan Ramamurthy – sung by P Susheela and TM Soundararajan  - where MGR asks this Q in the song !!  

இந்தப் புன்னகை என்ன விலை ??  என் இதயம் சொன்ன விலை  !!

அழகிய பெண்களின் பழக்கம் உண்டோ ? பாட்டுக்கள் பாடும் வழக்கம் உண்டோ ?? 

A trip to Chennai would never be complete without an encounter with them……… the ubiquitous three-wheelers painted yellow and called ‘auto-rickshaws’.  Chennai is well connected by road, rail, sea and air.  In the ever bustling metropolis, you have the State Transport Corporation buses, Metro rail, EMUs, MRTS, vans, call-taxies and more………. and then there is this ‘auto-rickshaw’  - a drive [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.


This auto (though driver is not around) has found an interesting customer, a beautiful calf getting into it.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

remembering Kariyamanikkam Krishnan, co-discoverer of Raman scattering !!

On this day, 95 years ago, the great Physicist Sir CV Raman   discovered what is now known as Raman scattering, for which he later became the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in Physics.  .. .. honestly, I understand nothing of this pic and have not heard of this great personality earlier (not CV Raman !!)

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman FRS (7.11.1988 to 21.11.1970) was  a physicist known for his work in the field of light scattering. Using a spectrograph that he developed, he and his student K. S. Krishnan discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, the deflected light changes its wavelength and frequency. This phenomenon, a hitherto unknown type of scattering of light, which they called "modified scattering" was subsequently termed the Raman effect or Raman scattering.  Sir Raman received the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery and was the first Asian to receive a Nobel Prize in any branch of science.

Raman scattering or the Raman effect is the inelastic scattering of photons by matter, meaning that there is both an exchange of energy and a change in the light's direction. Typically this effect involves vibrational energy being gained by a molecule as incident photons from a visible laser are shifted to lower energy. This is called normal Stokes Raman scattering. The effect is exploited by chemists and physicists to gain information about materials for a variety of purposes by performing various forms of Raman spectroscopy.

Light has a certain probability of being scattered by a material. When photons are scattered, most of them are elastically scattered, such that the scattered photons have the same energy (frequency, wavelength and color) as the incident photons but different direction.  

The Raman effect is named after the great  Indian scientist C. V. Raman, who discovered it in 1928 with assistance from his student K. S. Krishnan. Raman was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of Raman scattering. The effect had been predicted theoretically by Adolf Smekal in 1923.

For sure we read about Sir CV Raman in school text books but did we about Sir Kariamanikkam Srinivasa Krishnan who too was born in a Vaishnavaite family in Watrap, Tamil nadu.

KS Krishnan (4.12.1898 – 14.6.1961) was a great Physicis who was  co-discoverer of Raman scattering, for which his mentor C. V. Raman was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics. His father was a farmer-scholar deeply versed in Tamil literature. He had his early education in Hindu Higher Secondary school, in Watrap, after which he attended the American College in Madurai and the Madras Christian College. After gaining his degree in Physics he became a demonstrator in chemistry.

In 1920, Krishnan went to work with C.V. Raman at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Calcutta. There he engaged himself in experimental study of the scattering of light in a large number of liquids and its theoretical interpretations. He played a significant role in the discovery of the Raman scattering. In 1928 he moved to the Dacca University (now in Bangladesh) as the Reader in the physics department where he studied magnetic properties of crystals in relation to their structure. Krishnan, along with other rising scientists such as Santilal Banerjee, B.C. Guha, and Asutosh Mukherjee developed an elegant and precise experimental technique to measure the magnetic anisotropy of diamagnetic and paramagnetic crystals. Their findings were published by the Royal Society of London in 1933 under the title, Investigations on Magne-Crystallic Action.

In 1933 he returned to Kolkata to take up the post of Mahendralal Sircar Professor of Physics in the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science where he continued to collaborate fruitfully with Banerjee to elaborate on the magnetic properties of crystals in relation to their structure.  Krishnan was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1940.

His Royal Society candidature certificate in 1935 read: "Distinguished for his investigations in molecular optics and in magne-crystalline action:collaborated with Sir C.V. Raman in extensive theoretical and experimental studies on light scattering, molecular optics and in the discovery of the Raman Effect (1928). More recently has been publishing many valuable investigations (Phil Trans Royal Society and elsewhere) on the significance of magnetic anisotropy in relation to crystal architecture and thermo-magnetic behaviour at the lowest temperatures. Has published important work on pleochroism in crystals and its relation to photo-dissociation. Leader of an active school of research in Calcutta.

In 1942, he moved to Allahabad University as Professor and Head of the Department of Physics where he took up the physics of solids, in particular of metals. He was knighted in the 1946 Birthday Honours List and awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1954. He was the first recipient of the prestigious Bhatnagar Award in 1958. On 4 January 1947 K. S. Krishnan was appointed first director of National Physical Laboratory India. This was one of the earliest national laboratories set up under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

Inspirational !  - should we not be reading the life history of such great people instead of Babar, Aurangazeb, slave dynasty, Robert Clive Clement Atlee .. .. .. and you know who !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


Monday, February 27, 2023

Gir (Zebu) bull


Carl Linnaeus  was a Swedish botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, and physician who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy".  Many of his writings were in Latin; his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus and, after his 1761 ennoblement, as Carolus a Linné. 

The Gir or Gyr is one of the principal Zebu breeds originating in India. It has been used locally in the improvement of other breeds including the Red Sindhi and the Sahiwal. It was also one of the breeds used in the development of the Brahman breed in North America. In Brazil and other South American countries the Gir is used frequently because, as a Bos indicus breed, it is resistant to hot temperatures and tropical diseases. It is well known for its milk producing qualities and is often bred with Friesian cows to make the Girolando breed.  

The zebu -  indicine cattle or humped cattle, is a species or subspecies of domestic cattle originating in the Indian sub-continent. Zebu are characterised by a fatty hump on their shoulders, a large dewlap, and sometimes drooping ears. They are well adapted to withstanding high temperatures, and are farmed throughout the tropical countries, both as pure zebu and as hybrids with taurine cattle, the other main type of domestic cattle.  Zebu are used as draught and riding animals, dairy cattle,   as well as for byproducts such as hides and dung for fuel and manure. Some small breeds such as the miniature zebu are also kept as pets. In 1999, researchers at Texas A&M University successfully cloned a zebu.  

The scientific name Bos indicus was introduced by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 for humped cattle in China


Seen here is a beautiful Gir bull with drooping ears, pictured not in Gujarat or elsewhere but in Triplicane

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Tesco sends mouse when ordered 'mousse' !!!

Snapdeal, Flipkart, Amazon – all have become household names as we tend to browse regularly, ending up making up more ‘Online’ purchases.  Sometime back telemarketing was very popular on TV channels – just as ‘giving missed calls’ to …. …. Is now !!   A mousse  ~ pronounced “muːs”  is a prepared food that incorporates air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture. It can range from light and fluffy to creamy and thick, depending on preparation techniques.  A mousse may be sweet or savory.  Dessert mousses are typically made with whipped egg whites or whipped cream, and generally flavoured with chocolate or puréed fruit.

Recently read that a newsitem that there are over 87,000 different drink combinations at Starbucks, according to the retailer’s website… but you see hardly any of them on the menu. Sites such as and have collected dozens of DIY drinks -- from flu remedies to Harry Potter-inspired beverages.  Often people are bemused and spoilt by choice.   The first thing to know is that there are  many different sizes differently named by such sellers. 

Tesco PLC is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England.  It has stores in 12 countries across Asia and Europe.  Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as a group of market stalls. The Tesco name first appeared in 1924, after Cohen purchased a shipment of tea from T. E. Stockwell and combined those initials with the first two letters of his surname.  Tesco is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

BBC states that Tesco has pulled Schweppes from its supermarket shelves after falling out with Coca-Cola over the price to charge consumers for its drinks.  Britain’s biggest retailer has pulled 25 lines of the soft drink from its shelves after clashing with Coca-Cola Enterprises, which produces Schweppes, the tonic water and ginger ale brand. Tesco is looking to renegotiate deals with suppliers and cut the price it pays for products. The company has told suppliers that falling commodity prices mean it should be able to offer lower prices to consumers. However, Tesco and Coca-Cola have clashed over price, with the retailer unwilling to meet the American company’s request to increase prices, according to industry magazine The Grocer.

Schweppes drinks are the most popular branded mixers in the UK. They are used with alcohol or fruit juice. Schweppes used to be owned by Cadbury, but Coca-Cola bought the brand in Britain in 1999. As well as tonic water, Schweppes produces ginger ale, orange juice, tomato juice, and grapefruit juice.

~ this is a post about what an Online shopper received telling ‘mousse’.   MailOnline reports that an online shopper got the fright of his life when a live mouse leapt out of his grocery bags and ran around his kitchen.  Nick Bain was unpacking his Tesco shopping at his home in Clacton, Essex, when he noticed something stirring in one of the bags.

The 41-year-old was shocked to then see a mouse dart out from one of the plastic bags and scurry across the floor. After he phoned Tesco to complain, the supermarket sent a team of pest control experts whose trap later caught the creature.  It is further reported that the Company has refunded and replaced the shopping and sent Mr Bain's wife a large bouquet of flowers to apologise as she is petrified of mice.

It was one of the first times Mr Bain and his wife, Hayley, 28, had used Tesco's online delivery service. The car salesman said: 'I was going through the bag and I didn't realise it was there but when I put my hand in I saw something move. 'I told my wife there was a mouse in the bag and she jumped off the floor. It was just so fast. It's the last thing you expect with a delivery.' Mr Bain managed to film the mouse on his mobile phone shortly after it emerged from the rubbish.

The couple were worried about their two Staffordshire bull terriers, Max and Bruno, eating the mouse in case it was diseased. The mouse was later caught in a trap after 'scratching for two nights solid'. The animal ran around the couple's kitchen and disappeared into a hole before being caught by pest control.  Mr Bain said the incident left him wondering what might have happened to other people's shopping which was also on the delivery van.

He added: 'It disgusted my wife and it makes you think if it was in the van, whose other bags had it been in and whose other food had it urinated on. 'To be fair to Tesco, they gave us some flowers and some treats for the dogs and sent Rentokil around, they've been pretty good.'

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

10th Mar 2015.

57 storey sky-scraper in Nineteen days ! @ '3 floors - a day'

The oft heard statement from people visiting any place after a long time, say 10 years is – ‘lot has changed – so many new buildings have come up !’. 

All of us know that houses do not come up in a week or a few days ! and buying an existing home is some compromise.  For middle class people, house has always been a dream ~ [in recent decades independent house has vanished with apartments themselves becoming costlier].   Chokkalinga Bagavathar did a commendable performance in Balu Mahendra’s ‘Veedu’ depicting the travails of a middle class family man bent upon building own house. 

When you plan to build a house on a vacant plot of land, there are so many variables.  The plan / blueprint is just the start – there will be so many plans and procedures.  Again, one can leave everything to a Contractor or get involved in everything.  If it is an old house, demolition too can be cumbersome.  Experts estimate that building a new house can take anywhere from five months to over a year depending on  the many  factors.  One can get overawed at the pre-construction period itself,  thinking of various permissions and the cost escalation.   Laying of foundation heralds the beginning of the project – clearing out, levelling, foundation laying all can take some time.  Then framing,  construction of walls, pillars, roofs and the like can take more months.  Once the physical structure gets ready [there will be some overlapping] – wiring, plumbing, interiors and finishing – all will take more months towards completion. 

At the construction stage, curing plays an important role on strength development and durability of concrete. Curing takes place immediately after concrete placing and finishing, and involves maintenance of desired moisture and temperature conditions, both at depth and near the surface, for extended periods of time. Properly cured concrete has an adequate amount of moisture for continued hydration and development of strength, volume stability, resistance to freezing and thawing, and abrasion and scaling resistance.
According to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1973 it took, on average, six months to build a single-family home.   In 1980, that number was up to 6.9 months, and in 2009 it was up to 7.9. In 2013, the latest data available, it was back down to six months.  Another source of UK -  (2012) of Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that on average it takes about 7 months from obtaining a building permit to completing a new single-family home.

There are areas of Chennai which bursts with construction activity with tall buildings coming up so regularly ~ can you ever imagine building a skyscraper of 57 storeys coming up mere ’19 days’ at an astonishing ‘3 floors – a day’. 

How to build a skyscraper in NINETEEN DAYS: Time-lapse shows how Chinese firm builds 57-storey block at a rate of three floors a day.

MailOnline has this interesting report of a developer in China building  an entire 57-storey building in just 19 days.  The  time-lapse video shows, the Mini Sky City building was put up brick by brick at a rate of three full storeys a day in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province in south-central China. The building has 800 apartments and enough office space for 4,000 people. It was originally planned to be built up to a height of 220 storeys, but it was cut down because of concern it was too close to a nearby airport.

The prefab construction, which has 19 atriums which are each 10 metres tall, is also environmentally friendly, claims the developer, as large sections were put together at another location and taken to the building site to be stacked on top of each other.  That significantly reduced the number of trips needed to transport the raw materials, they said.  In all, 15,000 fewer truck journeys were made, greatly reducing dust and fuel pollution.    The company behind the construction, Broad Sustainable Building, previously accomplished constructing a 30-story building in Changsha in just 15 days. 

The building was also constructed with China's pollution problem in mind, using quadruple-thick glass and tight '99.9 per cent sealed' construction. Broad claims that its technology is 'the most profound innovation in human history'.  While the rapid construction is eco-conscious, some online users have raised concern over safety.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Mar 2015.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Pedler on streets !!

What an array of goods !! – mesmerizing – if only we were a child, a couple of items would immensely please us and keep us happy !!.


In Commerce (or was it Economics) read about -  Hawkers and Pedlers.  Some definition read :  a  hawker moves about in residential localities. He carries his goods in a hand cart or bicycle !  (are they still in vogue). He deals in low-priced goods of daily use. For example combs toys soaps mirrors bangles vegetables fruits ice-cream etc. A peddler also moves from house to house and sells articles of daily use. But he carries his wares on his head – that way Pedler is poor cousin who carries the commodities as head load or hand load and makes a living by selling.  

Modern day children (mostly) would not understand that sellers like the one pictured spend hours in pain and difficulty to earn their daily bread – what is more not understood is the fact that in our childhood (say half a century or so ago !) – these things were luxuries for most of us.  

Interesting !  - life moves on !!  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Man landing !!! - what you see is not what it is !!!

 Does that look like a perfect planned landing on the ramparts of once strong fort !


No far from it !!  - what you see may not be true !! – always introspect !!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Home alone ... .. .. remaining in solitude !!

Man is a social animal, now living in social media !  - how often are you alone ?  - can you remain without seeing your phone for say at least one or two hours ??  (when awake !) 

நீங்கள் எப்போதும் கூட்டத்தில் இருப்பீர்களா!  - அல்லது தனிமை விரும்பியோ ! - தனிமை வரமா !  சாபமா ??   

கும்பல் கூட தனிமையை போக்காது !!  சுற்றி நிறைய பேர் இருந்தாலும், பேசுவதற்கு நண்பர்கள் இருந்தாலும் தனிமையில் இருப்பது போல சிலருக்குத் தோன்றும்.  இது மனோ வியாதியா?  சிலருக்கு தம்  தோற்றமானது, மற்றவர்களின் தோற்றத்துடன் ஒப்பிடும்போது வேறுபட்டால், ' நான் மற்றவர் கள் போல் இல்லை, என்னிடம் இந்த குறையிருக்கிறது' என்ற உணர்வும், எதிர்மறையான எண்ணங்களுமே அவரை தனிமைக்குள் தள்ளிவிடும். மற்றவர்களோடு இயல்பாக பழக விடாது.   

இன்றைய நாகரிக உலகத்தில், உலகம் ஒரு பெரிய கிராமமாக கருதப்படும் போதினிலும் தனிமை. பாரபட்சம் இன்றி, அனைவரையும் கதிகலங்க வைக்கும் ஒரு உணர்வு. தனிமையிலிருந்து தங்களை தற்காத்து கொள்ளவே உலக மக்கள் அனைவரும் சமூக வலைத்தளங்களை அதிகம் பயன்படுத்துவதாக பல ஆராய்ச்சிகள் சொல்கின்றன. மக்கள் சில பத்து  வருஷங்கள் முன்னர் தொலைக்காட்சிகளுக்கு அதிக நேரம் செலவழித்தார்கள். "தனிமை நம்மை அரைப் பைத்தியமாக்குகிறது. அதிலிருந்து  தப்பிக்க சமூக வலைத்தளத்தில் இறங்குகிறாம் .. .. அதுவோ நம்மை முழு பைத்தியமாக ஆக்கிவிடுகிறது.  

Loneliness is intrinsic to the human experience, whether we experience it in small doses or regularly feel its soul-crushing weight. It could relate to our  innate desire for love in its varying forms – romantic, platonic, and familial. We wish to feel understood, appreciated and supported in a world that, as individuals, we enter alone, often resorting to cinema to witness characters experiencing similar emotions.

Think back to when you last gave yourself some mental space. Perhaps you were engaging in positive solitude, a phenomenon in which a person enjoys being by themselves to recharge or be creative.  Spending time with yourself is  something we all do when we’re in the absence of other people. But that lack of other people is only one element to well-spent time alone. The other element is what you do with that time.  

Solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, meaning lack of socialisation. Effects can be either positive or negative, depending on the situation. Short-term solitude is often valued as a time when one may work, think, or rest without disturbance. It may be desired for the sake of privacy. Undesirable long-term solitude may stem from soured relationships, loss of loved ones, deliberate choice, infectious disease, mental disorders, neurological disorders such as circadian rhythm sleep disorder, or circumstances of employment or situation. A distinction has been made between solitude and loneliness.  Symptoms from complete isolation, called sensory deprivation, may include anxiety, sensory illusions, or distortions of time and perception.  

Solitude is not reliant on physical aloneness; reading a book on a busy train or a park run with music both count as solitude. Each person may have their own way of being in positive solitude: it’s a state of mind that doesn’t rely on physical circumstances.  

Taxi Driver  releaed in 1976  was a neo-noir psychological drama thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, and starring Robert De Niro. Set in a decaying and morally bankrupt New York City following the Vietnam War, the film follows Travis Bickle (De Niro), a veteran working as a taxi driver, and his deteriorating mental state as he works nights in the city. “Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There’s no escape,” says Travis Bickle, the isolated protagonist of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. As a lonely war veteran-turned-taxi-driver suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Travis drives the seedy streets of New York at night, feeling completely separated from society. Bernard Herrmann’s evocatively moody score soundtracks Travis’ loneliness, as Scorsese introduces us to a man with no close friends, pining after a woman from afar, wholly detached from reality.

Be surrounded by people with good ideas and positive thinking  !!  

முதுமை, மனஅழுத்தம், நெருக்கமானவர்களின் பிரிவு என்று தனிமைக்கான காரணங்கள் நிறைய இருக்கலாம். ஆனால், தனிமையும் ஓர் உயிர்க்கொல்லிதான்  !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Reading habit !! - the morning newspaper !!

Do you read daily ? – Q might sound strange but has more than a tinge of truth behind !  .. .. a couple of decades ago, for sure, we would read the Newspaper early in the morning.  An year ago, in a meeting with the HM of a renowned school in Triplicane, was aghast to hear that school children have forgotten to read Text books coming back to school after Corona !!


A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.  Miles away in UK – The Morning Post was a conservative daily newspaper published in London from 1772 to 1937, when it was acquired by The Daily Telegraph.  The paper was founded by John Bell. According to historian Robert Darnton, The Morning Post scandal sheet consisted of paragraph-long news snippets, much of it false.  Its original editor, the Reverend Sir Henry Bate Dudley, earned himself nicknames such as "Reverend Bruiser" or "The Fighting Parson", and was soon replaced by an even more vitriolic editor, Reverend William Jackson, also known as "Dr. Viper".  You can draw comparisons locally !!!   

To most South Indians, day starts early with a steaming hot filter coffee and newspaper – Indian Express was  there; the Mail; in recent times came Deccan Chronicle, Times of India – but the one that appealed most was ‘The Hindu’ – and as it became more and more anti-Hindu always ridiculing Hindutva and culture, slowly even the die-hard chose to stay away.  

In the arterial Mount Road, nearer The Hindu Office, opposite to the new Govt. Multi-speciality hospital, adjacent to P.Orr & Sons, stands the building where once another English evening newspaper, the first of its kind from Madras was published. Old Timers would recall ‘The Mail, known as The Madras Mail earlier’.   

The Madras Mail was started by two journalists Charles Lawson and Henry Cornish in Dec 1868. Lawson and Cornish had earlier served as editors in The Madras Times before resigning from editorship.  In 1921, the newspaper was purchased by European businessman John Oakshott Robinson  and later in 1945,  by the Madras business tycoon – Sri Anantharamakrishnan of Simpsons [Amalgamations Group].

The newspaper referred as ‘Mount Road Maha Vishnu’ was so authentic that people used to say that even if an accident occurs in front of their office – they would not post without verification.  In my younger days, I was so fascinated by the language and style – and would always start the paper from the penultimate page, reading Sports (to us Sports is always Cricket) – the Saturday Sports Special was much liked page.  On the day of Pongal Test against visiting Clive Lloyd, the Hindu had a series pic of Madanlal bowling action, the paper cutting of which was a prized possession of mine for decades.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

the steamingly hot garam chai !!


Do you know – what is the second most consumed drink across the globe surpassed only by water !! – another surprising fact is all of them – Black, Green, Oolong, White and Pu'erh come from the same plant called Camellia sinensis, a sub-tropical, evergreen plant native to Asia but is now grown around the world.


Morning as one gets up – it is usual to have a cup of hot drink ie., Coffee for most South Indians – some have tea too !  A cup of piping hot water with a few tea leaves in it, some sugar and a few drops of milk – doesn’t it sound refreshing like anything else in the world? And now if you replace a cup of piping hot water with a cup of iced water and remove milk (which makes the perfect recipe for iced tea), it sounds equally refreshing, right?   .. .. .. do see this pipingly hot tea !! – an interesting process !! :


Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured or fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia.    After plain water, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world.  There are many different types of tea; some have a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavour,  while others have vastly different profiles that include sweet, nutty, floral, or grassy notes. Tea has a stimulating effect in humans primarily due to its caffeine content.  The term herbal tea refers to drinks not made from Camellia sinensis. They are the infusions of fruit, leaves, or other plant parts, such as steeps of rosehip, chamomile, and many other plant leaves, flowers, roots and the like.

For many of us, the  quintessential office tea round represented a social element in the workplace, boosting  camaraderie as well as healthy and wellbeing. .. .. and when the whole Globe worked from home, away from their Office premises, the meetings were conducted by Zoom type virtual meetings where people logged  in with  cuppa in hand!

BBC strives to be at the heart of controversies and Great Britain often is exposed for its wrongful deeds – and imagine what they would have done when they controlled colonies, people, media and more.  For sure, they were not the kind rulers, they were portrayed to be in our school text books.  Kenya's parliament has ordered an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse on tea plantations revealed in a BBC report. The BBC found more than 70 women had been abused by their managers at plantations operated, for years, by two British companies, Unilever and James Finlay.  The companies say they are shocked by the allegations. Four managers have been suspended.

The Fairtrade Foundation described the allegations as "appalling", and said the investigation - by BBC Africa Eye and BBC Panaroma - were "nothing less than a #MeToo moment for tea". Ms Kemei, who serves as woman representative for a tea-growing area in Kericho county, said the report highlighted the "entrenched" sexual harassment at "tea multinationals operating in our country". MP Beatrice Elachi said it was unfortunate that such incidents were still taking place. "Today is a very difficult day for me as a woman, leader and citizen of Kenya. Today I've been reminded that slavery still exists in this nation; I cannot explain how a man has violated women in tea plantations for 30 years and nothing has been done," she was quoted by local media as saying.

Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei ordered a committee of MPs to complete an investigation into the allegations within two weeks. In the BBC investigation, one woman said she had been infected with HIV by her supervisor, after being pressured into having sex with him. Another woman said a divisional manager stopped her job until she agreed to have sex with him. "It is just torture; he wants to sleep with you, then you get a job," she said.

A BBC undercover reporter, who posed as a jobseeker, was invited to a job interview by a recruiter for James Finlay & Co. It turned out to be in a hotel room, where she was pinned against a window and asked to undress by the recruiter, who has worked on Finlay's plantations for more than 30 years, and had already been flagged as a "predator" by a number of women who spoke to the BBC. Unilever faced similar allegations more than 10 years ago and launched a "zero tolerance" approach to sexual harassment as well as a reporting system and other measures, but the BBC found evidence that allegations of sexual harassment were not being acted on. The BBC's Tom Odula spoke to women who worked on tea farms run by both companies. A number told him that because work is so scarce, they are left with no choice but to give in to the sexual demands of their bosses or face having no income.

In History books, we read about – ‘Boston Sea Party’.  It was an  American political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773.  The target was the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, which allowed the British East India Company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes apart from those imposed by the Townshend Acts. The Sons of Liberty strongly opposed the taxes in the Townshend Act as a violation of their rights. Protesters, some disguised as Indigenous Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company.

The demonstrators boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. The British government considered the protest an act of treason and responded harshly.  The episode escalated into the American Revolution, becoming an iconic event of American history.  The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, a tax passed by the British Parliament in 1773.  The Boston Tea Party was a significant event in the growth of the American Revolution. Parliament responded in 1774 with the Intolerable Acts, or Coercive Acts, which, among other provisions, ended local self-government in Massachusetts and closed Boston's commerce.  

More than the read above, the video is ofcourse is very interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Bird's eye-view of Chennai city

Indian Railways is mammoth – millions use it daily.  The first train in India (commercial) ran in 1953 from Boribunder to Thane and developed rapidly.  When the Nation attained Independence, Railways experienced a strange phenomenon. Mandra-Bhaun line went to Pakistan.  In 2009 there were reports that the 75-kilometre-long railway track starting from Mandra and culminating at Bahun in Chakwal, laid during the British era was ordered to be demolished.  Dawn reported that the locals of the area used this rail link till 1989 when a passenger train used to shuttle from Chakwal to Rawalpindi in the morning and came back in the evening.  Two big systems, Bengal Assam Railway and North Western Railway were no longer in India.  Some 2955 route-km of NWR became the East Punjab Railway in India, leaving 8070km in the then West Pakistan. Part of the Jodhpur Railway also went to West Pakistan.  


Imp Pre-script  :  even to those who have a frequent flyer tag  - flight experience is exhilarating, especially as it leaves the ground, you are able to see vehicles, roads, buildings and in a trice – they become too small and you are unable to identify with the aircraft crusing at some thousands of miles above !!  

People like me clamour for a window seat to view these – and sometimes one has to purchase  a window seat !  - pay for everything !  

One may be quite comfortably seated and able to see a lot with naked eyes !  but capturing them on a camera is an herculean task .. .. once you see the output, you might be ashamed to call yourself a photographer !! ( at least that is what I have been experiencing !)  

To a new visitor what is Chennai metropolis – small congested roads, with vehicles of all hues, traffic jams, angry impatient  residents, hot weather .. 

The attractions could be : Temples like Sri Parthasarathi swami Temple, Mylai Kapaleeswarar temple, Central Railway Station (renamed as Puratchi Thalaivar MG Ramachandran Central); Rippon building, Chepauk stadium,  L&T stadium, Govt Hospital opp to Central, Fort St George, the long Marina beach, Chennai port – its ships, the winding coovum river – add some more that comes to mind !! – and imagine, how would heart of Chennai look from above !!  

Chennai Central (now Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. MG Ramachandran Central Railway Station) (station code: MAS), is the main railway terminus,  busiest railway station in South India and one of the most important hubs in the country with the distinction of having the longest name among all stations on the Indian Railways replacing Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta in 2019, when it was renamed. It is connected to Moore Market Complex railway station, Chennai Central metro station, Chennai Park railway station, Park Town railway station and is 2 km from Chennai Egmore railway station. This station connects to Northern India, including Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, as well as to Bengaluru, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and parts of Kerala.  

The century-old building of the railway station was  designed by architect George Harding.      The station was renamed twice, from Madras Central to Chennai Central in 1996, to reflect the name change of the city of Madras to Chennai, and then in 2019 named after the popular  Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MGR. 


This picture was taken by me recently on an air travel and to my happiness and pleasant surprise, am able to see so many places, more particularly Central Railway station.


Any comments !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Tri-colour Pigeon .. .. Danca do Pombo !!

 Yesterday I posted the flight of a beautiful chocolate coloured Pigeon – that was real – today it is a painted one !!  

Ever heard of Dança do Pombo (The Pigeon's Dance)  ??  

Richarlison de Andrade [ Richarlison] is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and the Brazil national team.  Likely you have heard this song from Annamalai, the Rajanikanth, Kushbu starrer  

ஒரு பெண் புறா;  கண்ணீரில் தள்ளாட

என் உள்ளம் திண்டாட,  என்ன வாழ்க்கையோ  

I fell in love with this coloured pigeon and its beautiful flight !!  

Richarlison does 'the pigeon dance' celebration after scoring important goals.  The Brazilian international, who joined Everton from Watford in the summer of 2018, has been known to do the 'Pombo (pigeon) Dance' after scoring some of his goals for both club and country. The celebration gained plenty of attention after Neymar joined in with the dance as Richarlison scored on his senior Brazil debut against El Salvador in September, causing some to mistakenly believe it was the Paris Saint-Germain star who was its creator.

The pigeon dance came from a group from Rio de Janeiro who had a song in around 2012. A trend was started when I did the dance at home. Everyone started copying me – Richarlison was to say on that.  

Whether we watch FIFA or not, one can watch this Pigeon fluttering ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar



Saturday, February 18, 2023

some get appreciated before performance !!

 At lunch at Kotla,   India struggling at 88/4;  KL Rahul adds one more failure, 100th Test man Pujara fails to open account and Shreyas Iyer fails !
There are times when some are appreciated before they could perform anything – this happens more for Mumbai players – from the mouths of Gavaskars & Manjrekars.

Yday after toss when teams were scrolled, the commentator said : Australia playing 4 spinners and 1 fast bowlers !! – that must be a feast for someone like Shreyas Iyer – not that he does not play pacers well, but he feasts on spinners ! (and today!)

the attractive choco - pigeon !!

How fond are you of sweets & chocolates ? (no foodie post though!) -  It certainly is not a cherished  feeling, when not able to ! or specifically prevented from eating them   ~ one feels the whole World is merrily eating; there are eateries everywhere around .. .. but, but, one could not eat – because of health conditions – restricted intake, and total abstinence of sweets .. .. most weak-hearted would succumb easily and would steal some sweets and eat them clandestinely ! – that feeling ! .. .. even for those who were not very fond of sweets in their childhood and for some good branded chocolates were simply not within reach ! 

I like Pigeons too and have been feeding birds for a couple of years now. One should not feed pigeons chocolate as it is toxic to them and can kill them in extreme circumstances. Pigeons will happily eat chocolate if they are given the opportunity as it is sweet, chewy and very tasty however it is not worth the risk.  

Parrots are green ! – Pigeons are generally grey, rarely white !  - variable in color, but most pigeons  are bluish gray with two black bands on the wing and a black tip to the tail. Most birds have iridescent throat feathers. Wing patterns may include two bars, dark spots, or can be plain.  

அன்பே சங்கீதா (Anbe Sangeetha) 1979 ஆம் ஆண்டு வெளிவந்த தமிழ்த் திரைப்படம். காரைக்குடி நாராயணன் இயக்கத்தில் வெளிவந்த இத்திரைப்படத்தில் ஜெய்கணேஷ், சுமித்ரா மற்றும் பலரும் நடித்தனர்.  இளையராஜா இசை -  பாடல்களை வாலி இயற்றி இருந்தார்.  அப்படத்தில் ஒரு சிறப்பான பாடல்  : -   

சின்ன புறா ஒன்று எண்ணக் கனாவினில்

வண்ணம் கெடாமல் வாழ்கின்றது..

நூறாண்டுகள் நீ வாழ்கவே.. நூறாண்டுகள் நீ வாழ்கவே...'


The domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica or Columba livia forma domestica) is a pigeon subspecies that was derived from the rock dove (also called the rock pigeon). The rock pigeon is the world's oldest domesticated bird.  Pigeons have made contributions of considerable importance to humanity, especially in times of war. In war the homing ability of pigeons has been put to use by making them messengers.  However, city pigeons today are seen as pests, mainly due to their droppings.   

Among the many pigeons that come to my terrace  was this shy choco-pigeon – first few days, it sat some distance away, carefully watching, perhaps after getting a feeling that the place and person are safe – it has started coming down and eat the grains of wheat and rice !


Miles away in USA, an  artificially pink pigeon, nicknamed Flamingo, was in news – it was  thought to be a victim of a gender reveal stunt gone wrong. The New York City Police Department’s animal cruelty unit has opened an inquiry. 

A domestic pigeon that was dyed pink and then released into the wild died this week, possibly from inhaling toxins from the dye, a New York City wildlife rescue service said.  The king pigeon, nicknamed Flamingo, was found last week at Madison Square Park and turned over to the Wild Bird Fund. In a tweet Tuesday, the center announced that Flamingo had died.  The center said it believes hair dye was most likely used to change the pigeon's color. Workers tried several methods to remove the dye but none worked. The bird was malnourished when it was found at the park. It appeared to be a fledgling and "had no survival skills."  

"Even without the added complication of the toxic dye, he would not have survived in a city park as a white, helpless bird," the center said in its tweet, warning that releasing domestic birds is dangerous. Domestic birds released to the wild will die of starvation or predation, according to the Wild Bird Fund. "'Dove releases' sound romantic, but take away the decorations and Instagram photos, and they are the equivalent of dumping your helpless pets on the side of the road. This is no way to celebrate anything," the center said. "Rest in peace, sweet bird." It's not clear why the bird was dyed or who is responsible for doing it.  

A diabetic eating chocolate may raise eyebrows amongst some people but within reason, chocolate needn’t be completely cut out of his  diet, some studies say.  In most cases, chocolate will cause blood sugar levels to rise and in light of this it’s best to limit chocolate consumption to small amounts, if one could not abstain eating when blood sugars are already higher than the recommended blood glucose levels.  

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar