Indian Seasons

It’s been a slow opinion week so far so instead here’s something I learnt recently. Something that I should have probably known all along but…

In India 12 months of the year are divided in six seasons (ऋतुएं) – Greeshma, Varsha, Sharad, Hemant ,Shishir and Basant. Their timeline on English Calendar is as follows:

  • शिशिर (Winter) – 22nd December to 19th February
  • बसंत (Spring) – 20th February to 21st April
  • ग्रीष्म (Summer) – 22nd April to 21st June
  • वर्षा (Monsoon) – 22nd June to 21st August
  • शरद (Autumn) – 22nd August to 21st October
  • हेमंत (Pre-Winter) – 22nd October to 21st December

7th September, 2010. Mumbai.

Saina, media and their first tiff

Saina Nehwal, the undisputed darling of Indian media since last year has been rudely jolted out of her innocence. The flight of fame which the media was piloting her on has experienced it’s first turbulence. Her ability to stay away from the journalists, focus on her sport and keep her targets in sight have all been disturbed.

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal.

In an innocuous interview on the sidelines of an event at her mentor’s badminton academy she stated the following:

\"Looking at the stadiums and looking at the progress, I don’t really think we are capable of holding such big tournaments because you know, I have seen many Games like the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (in 2006) and Olympic Games in Beijing (in 2008). Compared to that it’s not upto the mark.

But I am sure that before 3rd or 2nd of October it will be ready and people will like it. But with the comparison of these Games seems not upto the mark."

The second part of her statement where she expresses hope about the Games being a success was considered not newsworthy. Reading at the screaming headlines one would be lead to believe that Saina was being disloyal to the organization who chose her as their ambassador. Pitting Saina against the CWG team in a cat fight and cheering from the sidelines for subsequent newsworthy nuggets to fall out seems to be the only motive behind this edition of the media’s circus act.

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Saved by Aundha – part II

Context warning!

This is a continuation of Saved by Aundha It may be necessary to read that in order to establish the intended context

How had I missed such a significant pilgrimage town on my research I wondered. I had visited Bhimashankar twice, another jyotirlinga town closer to Mumbai. Both times a hike through the day, spent the night there and returned the following day. Both times I had liked the ambince of the town and would have certainly pencilled in Aundha had I known. A stroke of providence, I contended.

As I was finishing my tea, Anoop beckoned me from the manager’s office. Beckoned by Anoop meant that the matter could not wait. Otherwise, he was the kind of chap who would walk all the way to you, explain the matter and lead you to the manager’s office.

As I walked towards the room, I gradually kept getting a better view of it’s inside. It was actually a much smaller room than it seemed from the outside. Just a desk and a man sitting behind it. An old, frail looking man with prominent upper teeth, which was made even more prominent by a gap left by a missing one. I waited outside the door, not wanting to be one spreading claustrophobia. As the man spoke I noticed he was anything but frail. His actions and speech betrayed his frail look and revealed his inner exuberance. Briefly glancing at me he proceeded to inform Anoop that the room would be no problem, Rs. 200 for the night and that we’ll just have to wait a few minutes until he settled some other business. Then, with incredible agility he got up from his seat and exited past me, clutching a red ledger book in his left hand.

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Rajiv Gandhi Speaks Against Nuclear Weapons

This is yet another pearl of a speech delivered by India’s Prime Minester, Shri. Rajiv Gandhi. It was addressed to the United Nations General Assembly session on June 9, 1998. This speech delivers comprehensively in setting a matter of immense gravity in the right tone before an audience of dignitaries. It is effective in painting the grim forecast of repercussions caused by our action… as well as our inaction. It succeeds in setting the stage for the crux of his speech with the imagery it creates using words like:

\"Nuclear war will not mean the death of a hundred million people. Or even a thousand million. It will mean the extinction of four thousand million: the end of life as we know it on our planet Earth”

“Astronomical sums are being invested in ways of dealing with death”

“…that everyone can be saved by ensuring that in the event of conflict, everyone will surely die."

This speech also manages to succinctly describe the state of human affairs at the time:

\"It is true that in the past four decades, parts of the world have experienced an absence of war. But a mere absence of war is not a durable peace.”

“Peace which rests on the search for a parity of power is a precarious peace.”

“Deterrence needs an enemy, even if one has to be invented."

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