Saturday, July 04, 2009

Lamp, Sickle & differential lighting

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Guindy Children's Park -- Photos

Monday, March 30, 2009

The tales of beedle the bard -- Book Review

J.K.Rowling should be one of those unique authors around for she has the interesting characteristic of writing stories that are equally appealing and engrossing to both mature and young audiences. The ability to add layer after layer to the stories, making the stories rich in content – without ever making it too complex for a young reader to follow – have been the trademark signature of Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.

When I got hold of a copy of “Tales of Beedle the Bard” (I was not somehow so enthusiastic about the release of this book….), I was expecting something similar to her previous books. May be I should have followed the news and the gossip regarding the release of this book. That way, I would have known that this book was meant more for children and less for adults. This would have avoided the disappointment I had after finishing the book.

The book has 5 small stories (Fables, to be precise) for the young wizards and witches of which Potter and his friends belong to. The stories were too simplistic and none of the stories made any kind of impact/impression in my mind. The fact that I had to find the book and look at the chapter listings to remember the number of stories in it pretty much summarizes how the book was!

Bottom Line: If you are a Harry Potter book fan, this book would surely leave you sourly disappointed. And if you have never read Harry Potter books before, this book would make no sense to you at all. Either ways, you won’t miss much if you decide to skip this book.

A Search In Secret India -- Book Review

Every person born in this world, at some point of time in their life invariably comes up with this question: what is the meaning or purpose of their life? The other question that one might strive to get an answer to is “Is there a way to eternal happiness?” The author, Paul Brunton, from an early age starts seeking the answers for these questions. Having heard about the mystic nature of India, he decides to travel to India in search of a spiritual Guru who can guide him to enlightenment.

What follows after Brunton lands in India is vividly described in this very interesting travelogue on the saints, rishis and the ‘so-called’ fakirs of our country. When I first read about this book in “Ramana Saritham” by Mathura Bharathi, I was greatly excited and wanted to get my hands on this book so that I can learn more about Ramana Maharishi. I also had read somewhere that Brunton is lead to Ramana Maharishi by none other than the Great Sankarachariar (Chandrasekara Swamigal) itself. These two things greatly piqued my interest and I was bracing myself for a great spiritual book. Unfortunately, there are not much of spiritual enlightenments in this book. This book is more about Brunton’s search (Externally & internally) and his experiences during this search. Fortunately, his encounters with so many rishis and saints are captured in such a poignant fashion that the book turns out to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Brunton’s eye for detail and his free-flowing narrative – with details so evocative that they spread the image right in front of your eyes- should be considered the hallmark of this book. Brunton, having been trained in the western school of sciences, is no blind believer and he keeps questioning the mysterious things that he comes across till a proper conclusion is reached. This aspect of his lends a great deal of authenticity to his recordings.

Being a person of British origin & with the time of the travelogue happening to be pre-independence, a little amount of superiority complex does seep through and shows up in a couple of places. It is a very minor irritant or a non-factor when compared to the brilliant narration of his experiences.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a spiritually enlightening book, this book might not be a good choice; but if you are looking for a free flowing narrative interspersed with glowing accounts of the greatness of the spiritual background of our country, then this book is a must read.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The 'zoomed' in flower

The photography course that I have joined is indeed helping me! I would have never 'planned' and 'executed' such a photo without the training that I am undergoing. The trick for the photo is to zoom in using a telephoto lens (I used a 300mm lens) and to have a wide aperture (5.6mm) to throw everything other than the intended subject totally out of focus. I could not completely cut out the wall in front of the flower and is a minor irritant in an otherwise nice photo (According to me, obviously!!!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Book Fair 2009 -- The Haul!!!

Book fair in Chennai is something that I eagerly wait for every year. With each passing year, the number of books that I set out to purchase keeps increasing. The remarkable thing about the Chennai book fair is that the number of stalls that are being put up is also steadily increasing every year. This time, I found that the number of stalls selling Tamil books outnumbered the stalls selling English books. I was not able to find some of the English books that I set out to purchase like "Into The Wild" and books of George Orwell. I think I will buy these books online and start using the book fair for buying Tamil books alone!!! Given below is the list of books that I got this time.

Tamil Books

Koovam Nathi Karaiyinilae -- Cho Ramasamy
Zen Thathuva Kathaigal -- Guruji Vasudev
China Thathuva Kathaigal -- Guruji Vasudev
Thaneer Desam -- Vairamuthu
Kaakitha Malargal -- Aadhavan
Theivathin Kural (Part II)

English Books

Business Plans for Dummies
White Tiger -- Aravind Adiga
The inheritance of loss -- Kiran Desai
A search in secret India -- Paul Brunton

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thana-Nana Thaana-Nana: Yaar Yaar Sivam

The best thing about some songs is that it connects with you in a highly emotional level that it is virtually impossible for you to distance yourself from those songs. When a song connects with you not because of the singing or the music but due to the lyrics, you can be very sure that the song would connect with you at all times. Yaar yaar sivam from “Anbae Sivam” is one such song that has done wonders to me.

I am not sure when I started paying attention to the lyrics of this song; may be it was when my brother-in-law pointed it out to me. Or may be when I started questioning the philosophy of God. May be it was when I started realizing the importance of the greatest invention of man – namely God himself. The time of my realization of the truth of these lyrics is really immaterial. What is NOT immaterial is the eternal truth that is contained in these lyrics by Vairamuthu. The fact that the world would be a better place when people start loving one another casting aside their differences cannot be stated in a more simple and yet powerful way. When I read in “The Zahir” by Paulo Coelho that this world keeps spinning because of the existence of love in this world, I did not understand it completely at that point of time in my life. Now I am slowly realizing what it means. And then there is the small introduction that comes in the Pandavas background score. “When man gives up hatred and learns to love one another, peace and joy will rule this world”. Those statements and this song take additional significance at this juncture in time when India is struggling to come to terms with the unprecedented terrorist attack on its soil. I only hope that people listen to this song & spread the wings of love across borders.

The song

யார் யார் சிவம்? நீ நான் சிவம்.
வாழ்வே தவம் . அன்பே சிவம்.

ஆத்திகம் பேசும் அடியார்க்கெல்லாம் சிவமே அன்பாகும்.
நாத்திகம் பேசும் நல்லவருக்கோ அன்பே சிவமாகும்.

அன்பே சிவம் அன்பே சிவம் என்றும்,
அன்பே சிவம் அன்பே சிவம் எங்கும்.

இதயம் என்பது சதை தான் என்றால் எரிதழல் தின்று விடும்.
அன்பின் கருவி இதயம் என்றால் சாவை வென்று விடும்.

அன்பின் பாதை சேர்ந்தவருக்கு முடிவே இல்லையடா,
மனதின் நீளம் எதுவோ அதுவே வாழ்வின் நீளமடா.

(Thanks to Sampath for helping with the translation)

Who are all God? You and me are God.
Life is a penance. Love is God.

For theist God is love.
For atheist love is God.

Love is God love is God eternally,
Love is God love is God universally.

If heart is just made of skin, it becomes a mortal thing;
If heart is an instrument of love, it becomes an immortal being.

Anyone who has taken the path of love has no end;
And their longevity amounts to the expanse of their hearts.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Poster Creator

Found this cool website where I can create my own posters. It's an awesome website. The only problem is that it allows very less options for manipulating the font size and other stuff. Check it out.....