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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Dahlia ! - No problem - மலர்களே மலர்களே

Steven Kapur  is a British singer-songwriter and reggae DJ. He had a series of hits during the 1990s and is best known   for the song "Boom Shack-A-Lak”. 

மலர்களே மலர்களே இது என்ன கனவா

மலைகளே மலைகளே இது என்ன நினைவா

உருகியதே எனதுள்ளம்… பெருகியதே விழி வெள்ளம்


All flowers are beautiful – not  all flowers are fragrant!   Spaniards reported finding the plants growing in Mexico in 1525, but the earliest known description is by Francisco Hernández, physician to Philip II, who was ordered to visit Mexico in 1570 to study the "natural products of that country". They were used as a source of food by the indigenous peoples, who both gathered wild specimens and cultivated crops.  The indigenous peoples variously identified the plants as "Chichipatl" (Toltecs) and "Acocotle" or "Cocoxochitl" (Aztecs). From Hernandez's perception of Nahuatl to Spanish (through various other translations) the word is "water cane", "water pipe", "water pipe flower", "hollow stem flower", or "cane flower", all referring to the hollow plant stems. 

In 1787, the French botanist Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville, sent to Mexico to steal the cochineal insect valued for its scarlet dye, reported the strangely beautiful flowers he had seen growing in a garden in Oaxaca.  In 1789, Vicente Cervantes, director of the Botanical Garden at Mexico City, sent "plant parts" to Abbe Antonio José Cavanilles, director of the Royal Gardens of Madrid.  Cavanilles flowered one plant that same year, then the second one a year later. In 1791 he called the new growths "Dahlia" for Anders Dahl.  The first plant was called Dahlia pinnata after its pinnate foliage; the second, Dahlia rosea for its rose-purple color. 

It has evolved over the years and has wide spread across the globe as an ornamental flower – “Dahlia”  is a genus of bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plants native to Mexico and Central America. As a member of the Asteraceae (synonym name: Compositae) family of dicotyledonous plants,  its relatives include the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum, and zinnia. There are 49 species of dahlia  with flowers in almost every hue (except blue), with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants.

Dahlias were known to the Aztecs until their Spanish conquest, after which the plants were brought to Europe. The (high in sugar) tubers of some varieties are of value to humans.  The first tubers were sent over to Europe by Spanish settlers in Mexico. Before insulin, the tubers of dahlias were used to balance blood sugar due to their high fructose content. The petals were used to treat dry skin, infections, rashes, and insect bites. 

They are not all that fragrant yet its leaves and stems are used in  commercially made fragrances.  The song at the start was from movie ‘Love Birds’   directed by P. Vasu starring  Prabhu Deva and Nagma released in 1996. The film was average  commercially.  It was a  remake of the 1986 Kannada film Ratha Sapthami for which Vasu was the co-screenwriter.  Steven Kapur described at the start better  known by the stage name Apache Indian was featured and sung the song ‘No Problem, no problem’ !

With regards – S Sampathkumar

Friday, July 12, 2024

Cat in the feet of Peyalwar

நெருக்கிடவே இடைக்கழியில் நின்று திருக்கண்டேன் என உரைத்த தமிழ் தலைவன் திருவடிகளில் தஞ்சம் புகுந்த பூனை - திருவல்லிக்கேணி திவ்யதேசம்

Black Kite ! - பொன்னோவியம் கண்டேனம்மா எங்கெங்கும்

பொன்னோவியம்..  கண்டேனம்மா எங்கெங்கும் கொண்டேனம்மா பேரின்பம்  ..  அன்பில் ஒன்று சேருங்களே;  இன்பம் என்றும் காணுங்களே  !! 

என்ற பாடல் கேட்டுள்ளீர்களா ? -  இளையராஜா & எஸ்.ஜானகி  பாடிய பாடல் - இசை: இளையராஜா.

பருந்து, பறவை வகுப்பைச் சேர்ந்த ஒரு ஊனுண்ணி ஆகும். இவற்றிற்கு நீண்ட சிறகுகளும் பலம் குறைந்த கால்களும் அமைந்திருக்கும். இவ்வகுப்பில் உள்ள இனப்பறவைகள் பெரும்பாலும் உயிரற்ற விலங்குகளையே உணவாக்கிக் கொள்கின்றன.  

There are many – Hawks, Vultures, Falcons, Eagles  and more .. .. perhaps ‘black kite’ is what  we call as  பருந்து.  The black kite (Milvus migrans) is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors. It is thought to be the world's most abundant species of Accipitridae, although some populations have experienced dramatic declines or fluctuations.  The black kite was described by the French polymath Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon in his Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux in 1770.  

For urban wildlife, adaptability is the key to survival.  On one end, several animals are now accustomed to cityscapes and can derive their needs from the urban environment. However, the ever-growing, dynamic cities have also brought unpleasant challenges that need urgent redressal.  Black Kites have become urban city dwellers and are well settled in building tops, tree tops and the like.   Spread across Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia, this highly opportunistic bird owes its diverse range to a flexible diet, and the ability to thrive in both natural and concrete jungles. They find their vantage points on the tops of trees and towers.

The song at the start is from - Kazhugu (Eagle) directed by SP Muthuraman, starring Rajinikanth, Rati Agnihotri and Sumalatha, released in 1981.  Upon release, the unconventional story, which revolved around hypnotism and human sacrifice did not go well with the audience and Kazhugu failed in the box office.  It is an adaptation of the 1975 American film ‘Race with the Devil’. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


Thursday, July 11, 2024

A Turtle ..... ......... ..... and some moral stories !

                                    A tortoise or perhaps a Turtle pictured at Kairavini thirukulam of Sri Parthasarathi Perumal Thiruvallikkeni.


All tortoises are turtles— i.e., they belong to the order Testudines or Chelonia, reptiles having bodies encased in a bony shell—but not all turtles are tortoises   Tortoises  are exclusively land creatures. They live in a variety of habitats, from deserts to wet tropical forests.  Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines, characterized by a special shell developed mainly from their ribs. Modern turtles are divided into two major groups, the Pleurodira (side necked turtles) and Cryptodira (hidden necked turtles), which differ in the way the head retracts. There are 360 living and recently extinct species of turtles, including land-dwelling tortoises and freshwater terrapins.  Turtles live in Sea, river and Ponds and occasionally come out of water too! 

Coming out of water is not all that easy as experienced by Olive turtles - Under cover of darkness,  they swam harsh conditions, prepare the sea shore sand and lay eggs - baby olive ridley turtles hatch from sun-warmed eggs on remote beaches.  They try to return to the sea and not all of them make it back !   some lose their way, some get killed by predators ! – it is not a life of charming existence !   

There are many stories involving tortoise, the most popular being  its winning a race against a hare.  Then there  is  this  interesting story of ‘tortoise flying’ and ‘speaking madly’ in Panchatantra.   Once upon a time, there was a tortoise by the name of Kambugriva and two geese by the name of Sankata and Vikata.  When the local pond dried up totally, the geese offered to  shifting the tortoise by air, with firm advice that it should keep its mouth shut throughout.  The geese took each side of a lengthy sticky, to which tortoise was to hang by holding on its mouth…… midway, curious to answer, the tortoise spoke, opening its mouth, letting off the stick in the process, fell down and died……..  

Moral : listen to friendly advice and never speak when not required.   

There is Chinese fable – a little turtle that was afraid of coming out !  On one stormy night, a little turtle and his older sister were moving towards the pond. The little turtle was so scared of lightning and thunderstorms that he was not coming out of his shell.  His sister kept on encouraging  to come out of the shell and move towards the pond. The scared lil one told her about how a flash of lightning once stroked him, fortunately, it struck his shell, and he was alive.  As they kept moving, he saw a beautiful turtle,  fell in love and came out of his shell. 


Moral :  come out of the shell, to see and enjoy better things in life.  

Read somewhere a Turtle & Elephant story of African origin.   

Once a small turtle was sleeping in the grass,  an elephant came stomping along with his fat heavy feet. The ground was shaking, but tortouise  did not wake up or stir his shell.  The elephant shouted, get out of my way or get crushed ! Tortoise poked his head out and said, do whatever, I am stronger than you.  That hurt the ego and big pachyderm trumpeted louder and walked his way!  It weighed thousands of tons and  he placed his foot on the small one – much to the surprise, the tortoise was not crushed to death – his shell could withstand the weight of elephant.   

Ignoring the giant elephant, the tortoise continued his nap.  But that news stirred the neighbourhood – all animals gossiped and some spoke loud on how tortoise got the better.  By evening, tortoise went to a pond to be greeted by a hippopotamus.  Hippo warned him, don’t venture nearer, my jaws are much more powerful than an elephant and I crush crocodiles too.  

The proud tortoise had become headstrong and challenged the Hippo too but this time differently – he invited him to a game of   tug-of-war.  While one end was taken by the Hippopotamus, tortoise took the other one with lot of dirt and in the cover reached the river bank where the once defeated elephant was standing.  Snugly tortoise challenged elephant again and the elephant took the bite.    

Now without caring to check who was at the other the end – the elephant and the hippo started pulling the rope – one gave way a few steps, regained and pulled the other fiercely.  When the rope got snapped, both the animals fell and got injured.

This time the stock of Tortoise went further up as animals started telling the story of how tortoise defeated Hippo on one side and elephant on the other side 

Moral :  not all fights are won with muscle power, think, use your brain and put one against another – the brainy win is most likely to win  !!   

As you read this don’t waste your time pondering whether this could really happen – life is all about imagination, dreams and perceptions and thinking that one can be victorious against tough conditions too.

With regards – S Sampathkumar

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

பூவே செம்பூவே உன் வாசம் .. ..Hibiscus fragilis, the mandrinette

The biological diversity (biodiversity) of our planet is rapidly decreasing in great part due to the direct and indirect consequences of human activity. Ironically, it is also through human activity and intervention that threatened and endangered species are offered their best chances for survival. 

Thillainathan, a young graduate, leaves his village getting a bank job ! and in the new place falls in love with Jeyakodi. His favourite singer, his favourite poet and his favourite politician all come, one by one, to see him in his new house. Thillainathan is amazed by the words of his mentor's about somebody named Thenmozhi, goes on search of his heart-throb, unknown Thenmozhi … and his life gets caught in whirlwind !!  

You may not know the movie but sure have heard this Illayaraja melody hundreds of times !!  

பூவே செம்பூவே உன் வாசம் வரும்;  வாசல் என் வாசல் உன் பூங்காவனம்

வாய் பேசிடும் புல்லாங்குழல் .. ..  நீதான் ஒரு பூவின் மடல்


Solla Thudikuthu Manasu !  [My heart pulsates!]   directed by B. Lenin, starring Karthik and newcomer Priyasri was released in 1988 and was a big musical hit.  This song composed by Vaali set to Carnatic Gourimanohari by Isaignani Illayaraja was a super hit.    The flute portions in "Poove Sem Poove" were performed by Arunmozhi. 

Hibiscus  is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are renowned for their large, showy flowers and those species are commonly known simply as "hibiscus", or less widely known as rose mallow.   

Hibiscus fragilis, the mandrinette, is a rare shrub that is endemic to steep slopes of the mountains Corps de Garde and Le Morne Brabant on Mauritius – they are planted elsewhere too.  The mandrinette looks rather similar to the Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and the introduction of that to Mauritius as a garden plant is one of the main reasons for the dramatic decline of the mandrinette.


Here is one pictured by me and kept in an unnatural surrounding of White Vrutchi poo Ixora coccinea (also known as jungle geranium)
With regards – S Sampathkumar

Monday, July 8, 2024

Javan Pond Heron !


For people living in  concrete jungles and inside cramped homes, villages are welcome changes – the greenery, trees, chirping birds, cattle all offer great feast to eyes and heart !  - this beautiful small bird was in the middle of lush green field and a google  image search puts it to be ‘Javan Pond Heron’ !!



Herons are long-legged, long-necked, freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, with 72 recognised species, some of which are referred to as egrets or bitterns rather than herons. Egrets do not form a biologically distinct group from herons, and tend to be named differently because they are mainly white or have decorative plumes in breeding plumage. Herons, by evolutionary adaptation, have long beaks. 

The Javan pond heron (Ardeola speciosa) is a wading bird of the heron family, found in shallow fresh and salt-water wetlands in Southeast Asia. Its diet comprises insects, fish, and crabs. The Javan pond heron is typically 45 cm long with white wings, a yellow bill with a black tip, yellow eyes and legs. Its overall colour is orange, slaty and white during mating season, and brown and flecked with white out of the mating season. It is migratory.


Interesting !
With regards – S Sampathkumar

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Abhishek Sharma - super star - India beats Zimbabwe by 100 runs !!


Social media is ripe with ‘negativists’ !  .. .. India lost to Zimbabwe yesterday and social media was ripe with criticism that – 1) selection is worst (many of them said the same when team of ICC T20 WC was selected when they felt that players like Hardik, Rohit, Virat should have been dropped and some top performers of IPL should have been on the plane !)  2) this is a B team and youngsters can never replace the likes of Rohit, Virat, Jadeja (the same group was braying for the blood of those 3 is altogether different) 3) it is a great disgrace that Team has lost to lowly ranked Zimbabwe 4) IPL is bad 5) the top performers of IPL are unlikely to perform elsewhere especially in International Cricket 6)


Me belongs to a generation that saw India lose so many matches – in late 1970s, India would hardly win a Test abroad and in 1980s, despite the great success of 1983 Prudential World Cup and World Championship 1985, Team India would lose so many matches that we were feeling desolate but losses were but common !!!! 

Now when a young Team India embarked on journey to Zimbabwe, some instead of appreciating the chances youngsters  were getting, started vocally criticizing ! 

Zimbabwe  is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. It’s capital is Harare.  Understand that Zimbabwe has 16 official languages with English, Shona and Ndebele being most common.  Many will remember Zimbabwe beating famed Aussies in 1983 WC and pinning India down at 17 for 5 before cavalier Kapil Dev played innings of life. Even die-hard fans may not remember Charles Coventry who for sometime held the World record for most runs in ODI along with Saeed Anwar.  

Yesterday at Harare, there were 3 debutants – all well known to Indian Cricket followers – Abhishek Sharma (who with Travis Head was hitting bowlers over the ropes with remarkable consistency in IPL 2024); Dhruv Jurel the wicket-keeper and the man who scored many runs in IPL - Riyan Parag 

Yesterday was not their day !  -  Captain Gill and India were stunned. Raza roared. The Harare Sports Club roared with him. They knew that their captain was onto something, and that something was Zimbabwe beating India for the first time across formats in over eight years.  Z scored 115/9 and won the match by 13 runs – there was strong criticism on Washington Sundar in refusing singles eternally and even when the mathematical probabilities were over !! 

Today, match 2 was on a different plane.  Team scored 234/2 and won by 100 runs !  Abshiek Sharma at latter point of his innings  clattered  72 runs in his last 23 balls at the crease, hitting five fours and seven sixes in that time.  In playing that gem of an innings, Abhishek Sharma became the first Indian to complete his century in men's international cricket by hitting three consecutive sixes.   He needed just 46 balls and became the   the joint-third-fastest for India in men's T20Is. Rohit Sharma's 35-ball century in 2017 and Suryakumar Yadav's 45-ball ton in 2023, both against Sri Lanka, are the two fastest tons for India, while KL Rahul also had a 46-ball hundred against West Indies in 2016.  He joins Evin Lewis, who like Abhishek, has a duck and a century as his first two T20I innings, while Richard Levi's maiden ton also came in his second innings.


If Zimbabwe had any hope going into their chase, it lay in the composition of India's attack. Having picked the extra batter, they were playing only four frontline bowlers, which left four overs to be completed by part-timers Abhishek and Riyan Parag. Abhishek isn't a part-timer in domestic cricket, and has plenty of variations to go with his stock left-arm orthodox, but he discovered how difficult bowling in the powerplay in an international game can be, conceding 19 in the second over with Bennett in an aggressive mood. But Indian bowlers - Mukesh, Avesh and Bishnoi wrapped  it up making it a huge win ! 

So those critics who wrote so hard against Team India – what will they write today ! 

Back in May 2018 - IPL – 16th over against RCB – Mohammed Siraj finally got Shreyas Iyer – in walked a young Abhishek Sharma and instantly became a hero hitting 46 off mere 19 with 4 sixers !  Abhishek first came into the limelight with a century on Under-19 debut for Punjab in the Vinoo Mankad Trophy. Acquired by Daredevils for INR 55 lakh ($85,000) at the IPL auction, he is among three players in their squad from India's U-19 World Cup-winning side, apart from Prithvi Shaw and opener Manjot Kalra.

With regards – S Sampathkumar

Shake a leg !! ~ கான மயிலாடக் கண்டிருந்த வான்கோழி

‘Shake a leg’ is not figuratively moving one’s leg – it would mean - to perform a series of usually rhythmic bodily movements to music  !  - dancing !!.  Many of us may not ‘dance well’ !  but certainly would like good dance ! – and do you know that is the National bird of Botswana – they call is Limpopo-Lipadi locally !! 

கான மயிலாடக் கண்டிருந்த வான்கோழி

தானும்  அதுவாகப் பாவித்துத் — தானுந்தன்

பொல்லாச் சிறகை  விரித்தாடினாற் போலுமே

கல்லாதான் கற்ற கவி

 –   மூதுரைப் பாடல்  /  ஒவ்வையார்

இதற்க்கு நாம் புரிந்து கொண்ட பொருள்  :  வானில் மேகங்கள் திரண்டு வரும் போது  அழகான மயிலானது தனது அழகிய தோகையை விரித்து ஆடுவதைக்   பார்த்த வான்கோழி  தன்னையும் அந்த மயிலாகப் பாவனை செய்துகொண்டு, தன் பொலிவு இல்லாத சிறகுகளை விரித்துஆடினால் எப்படி இருக்குமோ, அப்படி இருக்கிறது கல்வி அறிவு இல்லாத ஒருவன் கற்றறிந்தவன் பாட்டைக் கேட்டுப் பழகிக்கொண்டு பாடுவது  !!!  . கற்றோர் நிறைந்த சபையில் கல்வி அறிவில்லாதவர் எடுத்துறைக்கும் சூழலுக்கு ஒவ்வாத கருத்துக்கள் எவ்வாறு இருக்கிறது  என விவரிக்கும்.

இதில் ஒரு பெரிய பொருள் பிழை !!  'கானமயில்' என்பது மயிலல்ல !!!!!!!   தமிழ் இலக்கியத்தில் பதிவான இந்த கானமயில்  இன்று வழக்கொழிந்த ஓர் பறவையாம்.  ஆங்கிலத்தில் Great Indian Bustard என்றழைக்கப்படும்,  பறவை என்கிறார்கள் சில மொழி வல்லுஞர்கள்.

The one pictured here is ‘Turkey’.  The turkey is a large bird in the genus Meleagris, native to North America. There are two extant turkey species: the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) of eastern and central North America and the ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata) of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Males of both turkey species have a distinctive fleshy wattle, called a snood, that hangs from the top of the beak. They are among the largest birds in their ranges. As with many large ground-feeding birds (order Galliformes), the male is bigger and much more colorful than the female.  

The earliest turkeys evolved in North America over 20 million years ago. They share a recent common ancestor with grouse, pheasants, and other fowl. The wild turkey species is the ancestor of the domestic turkey, which was domesticated approximately 2,000 years ago by indigenous peoples. It was this domesticated turkey that later reached Eurasia, during the Columbian exchange.  

In English, the name "turkey" probably comes from birds being brought to Britain by merchants trading to Turkey and thus becoming known as turkey coqs or turkey-cocks. This happened first to guinea fowl native to Madagascar, and then to the domesticated turkeys themselves which looked similar.   

Limpopo-Lipadi – the National Bird of Botswana is ‘Kori Bustard’.  The kori bustard (Ardeotis kori) is the largest flying bird native to Africa. It is a member of the bustard family, which all belong to the order Otidiformes and are restricted in distribution to the Old World.  This species, like most bustards, is a ground-dwelling bird and an opportunistic omnivore. Male kori bustards, which can be more than twice as heavy as the female, attempt to breed with as many females as possible and then take no part in the raising of the young. The nest is a shallow hollow in the earth, often disguised by nearby obstructive objects such as trees.  

The kori bustard is cryptically coloured, being mostly grey and brown, finely patterned with black and white coloring. The upper parts and neck are a vermiculated black and greyish-buff colour.  The ventral plumage is more boldly colored, with white, black and buff. The crest on its head is blackish in coloration, with less black on the female's crest. There is a white eye stripe above the eye.  

Interesting !
With regards – S Sampathkumar


Friday, July 5, 2024

Squirrel in love - giant leap !!

It was indeed a giant leap for the little Squirrel chasing its lady love !  - reminded of a song :  (heard this !)


Love is fine darling when you are mine; No sun no shine summer rain

Without you dear life is pain - When youre mine darling always fine

Its always dream ever green; See that screem oh my queen 

July 1969. It’s a little over eight years since the flights of Gagarin and Shepard, followed quickly by President Kennedy’s challenge to put a man on the moon before the decade is out.  It was only seven months since NASA’s made a bold decision to send Apollo 8 all the way to the moon on the first manned flight of the massive Saturn V rocket.  

On  the morning of July 16, Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins sit atop another Saturn V at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The three-stage 363-foot rocket will use its 7.5 million pounds of thrust to propel them into space and into history. After one and a half orbits, Apollo 11 gets a “go” for what mission controllers call “Translunar Injection” – in other words, it’s time to head for the moon.  

Three days later the crew is in lunar orbit. A day after that, Armstrong and Aldrin climb into the lunar module Eagle and begin the descent, while Collins orbits in the command module Columbia.  On 21.7.1969 at 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”  

Moving away that English song was from Tamil movie ‘Thava Puthalvan’ starring Sivaji Ganesan and KR Vijaya,  directed by Muktha Srinivasan released in 1972.  The Tamil words that follow would be :   

நான் ஒரு காதல் சந்நியாசி...  நாளொரு மேடை என் ராசி....  

The movie released on 26.8.1972 ran full house for 100 days ! – this song set to the music of legend MS Viswanathan was written by Vaali & Randor Guy and sung by LR Easwari & Ajit Singh !   

The hero Sivaji is one afflicted by Night blindness [மாலைக்கண் நோய்] also known as nyctalopia  where people have trouble seeing in dim or dark settings. It can happen if eyes have trouble quickly adjusting to changes in brightness or have issues with detecting light.  Night blindness is a symptom of other conditions, not a disease on its own. It’s possible with a wide range of conditions that can affect different parts of  eyes.  
Interesting !
With regards – S Sampathkumar


Thursday, July 4, 2024

Can Men Cry in Public !!

Sure you have had moments of depression and cried ! if not Onions would have made you cry !  -  Can Men cry in Public ?  – is that an absurd Q !?!?  We were brought up with firm opinion bias that ‘women are weak and would cry ! – Men are strong and should not cry !’ !!  

On that night at Bridgetown Barbados, emotions ran high as Hardik Pandya and Rohit Sharma broke down after India beat South Africa in the T20 World Cup 2024   to win its first major trophy after 11 long years. 

Decades ago, there was an exponent  [his losses made me cry – though he remained stoic is another matter] – with his punishing topspin ground strokes, Ivan Lendl won eight Grand Slam singles titles, reached the final of at least one Grand Slam tournament for 11 straight years;  advanced to 19 Grand Slam finals -  was ranked No. 1 for 270 weeks – had many honours – but never could win a Wimbledon.  Lendl had to move away due to back injury –  later he coached  Andy Murray, Lendl would look more like a modern art - with his arms crossed, or his chin resting on his left hand;  reserved and serious rarely showing any emotion. 

Men are generally strong and hide their emotions well ! ~ remember the sad end to Andre Agassi's 20-year career  beaten by German qualifier Benjamin Becker [no relative to more famous Boris Becker] at the US Open.  Agassi was clearly affected by the chronic back injury which hastened his decision to retire. Backed by a fiercely patriotic crowd, Agassi battled courageously but Becker's power proved too much. The man thought as a legend was shattered and was in tears. He was crying on the ground and later on screen too……


29th June 2024 was really an emotional moment for all Indians – India beating   South Africa in the T20 World Cup 2024 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados to win its first major trophy after 11 long years. Team India skipper Rohit Sharma was seen rolling on the ground and got emotional. Team India players Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli all  got too  emotional and there were tears all around !  It was a nail-baiting finish; South Africa were very much in the game until the 17th over during their chase of 176 runs, when Jasprit Bumrah bowled a match-saving over.  The  highlight of the game was the final over, bowled by Hardik Pandya. South Africa needed 16 runs, but Team India won by 7 runs. 

Keeping in mind the same Q – why do men Cry or should they cry in public at all ? – Indian Cricketers are not alone ! – nor will be the last ones !

Cristiano Ronaldo, regarded by many as the greatest football of all time, cried nothing short of a river recently,  so frustrated was the Saudi-based striker with his inability to find the back of the net in the Euros knock-out match against Slovenia. And the footballing superstar isn't the only one to howl at the moon in public. Taylor Swift's squeeze Travis Kelce has cried on camera on multiple occasions during his football career.  When King Frederik of Denmark took the Danish throne in January this year, he couldn't stop the tears flowing from his eyes, using his formal white glove to dry his moist eyes.  Made In Chelsea star Sam Thompson has also appeared emotional in public, amid reported 'crisis talks' with his girlfriend Zara McDermott. 


But should men wear their heart on their sleeves, or have the male species got a little bit, well, mushy?  One journalist from London said MailOnline that   men should be 'stoic, sturdy and strong'.  Yes, crying is a good release but this was generic life stuff. And dare I say it, menial.  Another writer says   she has little time for men who 'trauma-dump' in public.   She added, Call me old fashioned but at one point men were stoic, sturdy and strong. They would open doors, be the shoulder to lean on and take a pragmatic approach to life. They were dependable and something that many now turn their nose up at; chivalrous. Now you have men who want to 'trauma-dump,' live in a coffee-cup festering bedroom at 40, and bawl their eyes out at any given opportunity. Sorry, it's a hard pass from me. 

She felt that while expressing emotions is healthy and of course, is beneficial for us all to find a network of friends and family for support, in my opinion, it's unnecessary for it to be so public.  With so many emotional baggage boys around,  perhaps women  actually find it attractive to see a very composed man.  Some believe  men crying in public will only lead to unwanted attention, speculation and while they may feel better for letting it all out, that's what toilets and snivelling under the duvet is for. 

Cristiano Ronaldo's tears have certainly revived the discussion over emotional expressiveness in leadership, and whether there is a place for it. Emotions are a natural part of our lives, and acknowledging them is essential for true leadership - but there are productive ways of doing so.  Leadership shouldn't be about perfection, or ego, but should be about inspiration, motivation and empathy. Ronaldo's emotional display doesn't indicate weakness, but the essential test of a leader is how they manage their emotions.  Leaders who learn to skillfully control their emotions within the workplace are in a stronger position to motivate their teams and foster a culture that values emotions. 

It's important not to hide emotions in public, but it's important to embrace healthy communication over intense expression, as this is more productive.  Read that in Japan there are   'crying clubs'   called 'rui-katsu' which translates as 'tear seeking' which are seen as  an incredibly pragmatic way to support our mental health.    

Lest we forget, this is not about crying at the time of loss of near and dear, but more of a lesson for those in Public, be it sportsperson or otherwise – a good or bad day on field need not necessarily be followed by open unabashed display of emotions !
You are entitled to your own thoughts !
With regards – S Sampathkumar



Identifying colours !!!


Colour, colour – what colour do you choose !!  - remember, some of them could be unreal too.  While humans can easily distinguish the mistake as in here, can AI really spot this ??


Colour is an engaging and powerful form of communication. Colour piques emotional interest in products. Many times, even the best design gets trumped if appropriate colours are not used. For designers, colour is about expressing their emotions and bringing in certain emotions in users.   In school, our moral science books taught us never to judge people based on their looks. Yet the colour bias does exist !  often than not a person’s complexion becomes the focal point of existence. Those with an extra dose of melanin are preferred less when it comes to marriages and some jobs too.   

In 1666, Sir Isaac Newton’s work with white light led him to the discovery of the visible spectrum of light. So, the first colour wheel dates back to Newton’s period. Newton’s experiments led to the theory that red, yellow and blue were the primary colours from which other colours are derived. Since then, several variations of this concept have evolved with time.  Thus there  are three primary colours: red, blue and yellow. These cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colours. Mixing two primary colours together creates the secondary colours: green, orange and purple. Tertiary colours are formed by mixing a primary and a secondary colour. 

Artificial Intelligence select  colours using various algorithms and techniques, such as:  Colour theory, Machine learning, computer vision and random generation.   Meta AI claims that AI can distinguish real and artificial flowers, as well as identify colors, using various techniques.  AI can analyze images of flowers using convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to identify shapes, textures, and patterns, allowing it to differentiate between real and artificial flowers.  While AI uses colour models, color recognition,  object recognition and the like, its  accuracy depends  on the quality of the images, lighting conditions, and the complexity of the flowers and colors. It would require advanced algorithms and training, to make AI   increasingly proficient in distinguishing real and artificial flowers and colors! 

It was once thought that animals, including cats and dogs, could only see in black and white. However, Scientists have proven this to be a myth. In all animals, including humans, the perception of colour is determined by the presence of cells in the eye called cone photoreceptors. Cats and dogs have two kinds of cones, which are sensitive to blue and green light. This means they have a useful level of colour vision.  The level of colour vision in other animals depends on the presence and types of the cones. 

The rainbow looks different to a human than it does to a honeybee or a zebra finch. That’s because these animals can see colours that we humans simply can’t. Now scientists have developed a new  analysis technique to better understand how the world looks through the eyes of other species. The accurate and relatively inexpensive method, described in a study published in PLOS Biology, is already offering biologists surprising discoveries about the lives of different species. 

Humans have three types of cone cells in their eyes. This trio of photoreceptors typically detects red, green and blue wavelengths of light, which combine into millions of distinct colours in the spectrum from 380 to 700 nanometers in wavelength—what we call “visible light.” Some animals, though, can see light with even higher frequencies, called ultraviolet, or UV, light. Most birds have this ability, along with honeybees, reptiles and certain bony fish. But it’s difficult to document the moving world through these animals’ eyes.   

Algorithm, understanding, eye, perception, mind power – call it whatever be – never challenge any woman you know on colours – if thou can think and distinguish  of a dozen colour – they can beat you with their colourful knowledge of 100+ in blue alone.  Only person who can win such identification is the man working in a Saree shop or blouse matching shop to be precise !!

Interesting !
With regards – S Sampathkumar

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

human animals bonding - keeping pets !!

In life there are people who are exceptionally good and kind to animals too.    From time immemorial Humans have always exhibited a fascination with animals.   In the present busy world, people may  have less time and the finer things in life are not appreciated.  Many are not able to appreciate nature.  The chirping birds, squirrels are found lesser  as their habitat is lost.  Some find solace in having pets. Some would quip that humanity is slowing losing their tolerance and first should love fellow human beings before patronising pets.   Going by available statistics, Cat tops the list of pets followed by Dogs, Fishes, small mammals, small birds, reptiles, amphibians and equine – but keeping a pet  would be more driven by one’s liking than by any empirical evidence.  There are some peculiar pets as well.


Monkeys, chimpanzees, and humans are primates. Primates are mammals that are characterized by their advanced cognitive development and abilities, grasping hands and feet, and forward-facing eyes, along with other characteristics. Some primates (including some great apes and baboons) are typically terrestrial (move on the ground) versus arboreal (living in the trees), but all species of primates have adaptations to climb trees.  Millions of years ago, primate ancestors evolved different defining characteristics from one another, branching into many species within different groups.

In 1863 T.A. Huxley made a scientific attempt to the problem of man’s origin in his book “Man’s Place in Nature” and established that our closest relatives are apes. Later, in 1871 Charles Darwin published his idea about man’s ancestor in the book “The Descent of Man”. He did not know any human fossil. 

Hunter-gatherer societies dominated early human civilization, creating opportunities for human involvement and interactions with the animals in their environment. It is likely these first interactions were centered on humans obtaining resources from animals, such as meat, bones, and skins. However, as humans continued to coexist with animals, humans found similarities between themselves and the animals they encountered. Humans also became more invested in the activities of animals, such as identifying migratory patterns, food sources, and behavior. Animals were eventually included in cultural ceremonies through worship, sacrifice, and symbolism. 


The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial relationship between people and animals. It's influenced by behaviors essential to the mental, physical, and social health and wellbeing of both. People around the World cherish their pets. Millions are spent on pet maintenance and food – it  is not just about spending habits. The ways in which pets interact with their owners on a daily basis show what pivotal positions they hold, and how today, people treat their pets the way they might treat another person. The New York Times reports that 70 percent of pet owners say they sometimes sleep with their pets, 65 percent buy Christmas gifts for their pets, 23 percent cook special meals for their pets, and 40 percent of married women with pets say they get more emotional support from their pets than from their spouses. 

Never overlook the human-animal bond as a one-way street. Pets need their owners to meet their basic needs of food, water, shelter, and welfare. But, humans can gain a different kind of wellbeing from their companion animals. Research shows that pets can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, raise blood oxytocin levels, and, in some cases, may reduce direct pain.


Here is a very special bonding between a woman and her monkey – these people may even stay without eating but would provide their pets all care, food, clothes and everything.  

Moving away, a  ship chandler is a retail dealer  who supplies things needed by the ships.   They need to stock a wide variety of goods, including food, cleaning supplies, marine electronics, and other sundries people may need to smoothly run a ship. Few decades back when fax, long distance calls were very costly, Telex was an official means of communication.  A Russian vessel called at a small port and the Captain wanted a pet monkey.  The Chandler agent  in trying to be brief telexed ‘Russian Captain like monkey’………..

With regards – S Sampathkumar