The dying practice of snail mail is being revived in a truly engaging way by PostCrossing. By signing onto Post crossing one can network with millions of other people world-wide and send and received postcards from them. Additionally, it is also a great pastime for philatelists.
I was introduced to PostCrossing by my wife and have been hooked ever since so that we even encouraged our daughter to join.
The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive at least one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.
Apart from the power of networking, the additional benefits of such a hobby is collecting of beautiful postcards and stamps from around the world.
Here are some of the postcards I have received so far
It is a great delight to receive postcards in the mail as nowadays people are all on social media only and it is refreshing to see handwritten mails from people of all ages.
I enjoy Post Crossing.
Try it out – its great fun!
Meandering across limitless skies
Dark grey clouds
A whiff of fresh air
brings the smell of dry earth
The first rains of the year
Fall down like pearls
And glitter like stars
On fresh green leaves
Little friends gather
In street side puddles
To play with paper boats
As soon as school breaks
© copyright skm, 18th July 2012
Lurking in the shadows
Casting sly, furtive glances
Treading slowly without a sound
Thief who steals precious life
Hiding behind window blinds
A cold, silent stranger
Lying in wait for the right moment
To devour his prey
With a coy smile
He takes you in his embrace
Showering kisses all over
Taking your last breath away
Writhing in pain and agony
The sick pray for him
Yet he turns a blind eye
To their fervent pleas
He acts in mysterious ways
Sometimes striking a fatal blow
With bullet wounds, blood and gore
Or taking you away in your sleep
After the job is done
He flees the crime scene
Without leaving a trace
Of his presence behind
He dances in joy
Ignorant at his folly
The heart does not beat
But the spirit lives on
Death – Are you friend or foe?
Should I love or abhor thee?
Trailing life – like a shadow
Death – Do you ever die?
© copyright skm, 17th July 2012
We will always be indebted to the scientists of the Renaissance era and the earlier centuries who gave us the building blocks and the fundamental discoveries. They were multi-talented geniuses, philosophers, artists, engineers, architects, musicians etc who worked with a passion in search of the truth. The quest to find out answers linked them to the divine and that resulted in a creative outflow which was spectacular.
Alas, science in the modern world is propelled by a desire for power. Scientists are in a mad rush to churn out papers for journals rather than satisfy their curiosity and wonder.
Some of the great scientists and philosophers who inspired us and will always be remembered for their great contributions are:
Albert Einstein is well known for his theory of relativity an d the Quantum theory. Besides this his work with Satyendranath Bose on the Bose-Einstein statistics and the Bose-Einstein condensate is well known.
Leonardo da Vinci the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer whose genius encompassed marvelous paintings like the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper and whose engineering designs included models of helicopters, solar cookers, study of human anatomy etc.
Galileo – Using first modern telescope, Galileo revolutionised our understanding of the world successfully proving the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around
Sir Isaac Newton was an astronomer, physicist, inventor, mathematician, and philosopher. He has developed laws of motion, principles of momentum, and invented the reflecting telescope.
Marie Curie – Discovered radiation and helped to apply it in the field of X ray.
Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose – who made important contributions in the field of radio and microwave technology
Charles Darwin the English naturalist famous for his Origin of Species on the theory of evolution and survival of the fittest
Michael Faraday was a phenomenal chemist and physicist who contributed to the fields of electrochemistry and electromagnetics
Aryabhatta is one of the oldest Indian mathematician who is credited with the invention of zero and place values.
C V Raman was an Indian Physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for discovery of the Raman Effect for his experiments on the scattering of light
Archimedes one of the greatest Mathematicians from Greece is well known for the Archimedes principle and the Archimedes screw.
Nicholas Tesla – was a renowned physicist, inventor, and engineer. He has made phenomenal contributions to science and has been classified as the “world’s greatest electrical engineer.”
Thomas Edison the American inventor is famous for the invention of the light bulb in 1879.
Alexander Graham Bell for his invention of the telephone in 1876.
Ramanujam was an Indian mathematician who with almost no formal training in pure mathematics made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions.
Louis Pasteur for his work on developing antidotes for anthrax and rabies and pasteurization of milk
Who are the people who have inspired you? If you could go back in time, which era/period would you like to be a part of?.
What values do you want to pass on to your child?
As parents, I think one of the best gifts one can give one’s child is inculcating the right values from childhood to stand them in good stead throughout their lives. Our core values are like beacons that light our path.
To children, parents are their role-models, their superstars, their idols. They learn many habits through imitating their parents, so it is important that we set a right example for them.
We can provide them a good education and instill the right values from a young age. This will enable them to become independent and mature individuals who can think beyond their self.
Teaching life skills gives immense confidence and empowers your kids . They grow up with the belief that they can achieve. Being with your child and sharing in their joys and disappointments, empathizing, collaborating and discussing their feelings will increase their self-awareness and develop their emotional quotient.
‘You have to teach them to fish’ rather than do the fishing. So sometimes when I teach my daughter I let her explore the problem and come with solutions even wrong ones to develop her thinking skill rather than spoon-feeding her. I also give her the confidence and faith in her ability to solve any problem if she can focus and work hard at it.
Here are 25 values which I would like to pass on to my child are:
Respect for people
Respect for nature
Sense of humour
Think before you speak
Speaking & listening skills
Stand up for yourself
Agree to disagree
What are the values that you hold close to your heart and would like to instill in your child?
When I just want to chill out or relax, I find peace in soothing music – instrumental, pop or bollywood . I sometimes also grab a book and read. A weekend getaway is also one of my favourite ideas to rest and rejuvenate. On such trips, I try to travel with bare minimum luggage and I try to avoid phone calls or mails.
On a recent trip to Bintan, we enjoyed a traditional Indonesian massage followed by sauna and jacuzzi. It was really invigorating.
Closer to home, I enjoy light exercise like jogging or cycling which are great for stress relief. Playing a musical instrument also takes your mind off mundane chores. I have been learning to play the Indian classical violin for the past 2 years.
I have also been following a routing of waking up early in the morning for prayer and meditation. This time of the day when it is dawn is ideal as there is solitude and peace.This helps me to remain focused on my work and also to keep my thoughts positive.
I also like to take pictures of the clouds, the skies, sunrises and sunsets.
Occasionally, I would play a board game with my child or spend some time with her.
On my table is a drawing block which I use to jot down ideas or anything to remember. I also write down a poem when I am inspired. Sometimes, I just sketch and colour.
During the weekend, I enjoy an afternoon siesta for atleast 2 hours-this is something very refreshing.
How do you find ways to relax? Let me know how you chill out