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Archive for September, 2014

Made in India

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Our free-write is back by popular demand: today, write about anything — but you must write for exactly ten minutes, no more, no less.

MOM

India’s space programme has achieved a massive boost with the success of Mangalyaan – the Mars rover which was developed at a very low budget  of approximately $67 million.   But the credit for this must go to the pioneer of the space programme in India Vikram Sarabhai the Father of the Indian space programme, who with other passionate scientists laid down the foundations and helped India develop self-sufficiency in space research.  Today , India can launch satellites for several countries at a shoe-string budget.  Mangalyaan is the cheapest inter-planetary mission to be undertaken anywhere in the world.

Reading “Wings of Fire” the autobiography of Dr. Abdul Kalam gave me a glimpse into the passion and dedication of our pioneering space scientists who laid the foundation for space research .  The success of Mangalyaan is a result of the vision of our pioneers .

In June, ISRO put five foreign satellites into space in a single launch. The main cargo was Spot-7, a high-resolution Earth- observation satellite belonging to European consortium Airbus Defence & Space Co. It also carried four other smaller satellites: one each from the German Aerospace Center and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and two from the Space Flight Laboratory at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in Canada.

The search for methane in the Martian atmosphere is probably the most significant part of the MOM mission. The Indian spacecraft will also examine the rate of loss of atmospheric gases to outer space. This could provide insights into the planet’s history.

India’s Mars mission has a price tag of about $74 million, a fraction of the $671 million cost of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s latest Mars program.

A success would be an important advertisement for a business India hopes to enter: sending satellites and spacecraft aloft at a fraction of the cost of U.S. and European competitors.

In June, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasted that India has spent less to reach Mars than Hollywood producers spent on the movie “Gravity,” which cost $100 million to make.

To hold costs down, India relied on technologies it has used before and kept the size of the payload small, at 15 kilograms. It saved on fuel by using a smaller rocket to put its spacecraft into Earth orbit first to gain enough momentum to slingshot it toward Mars.

Some critics say India, a country where more than 300 million people live on less than $1.25 a day, should concentrate more on terrestrial issues. Others argue that the space program will help to fight poverty and boost development by driving innovation in communications services and meteorological forecasting for the country’s largely agricultural economy.

I believe that if there is one area in which India has done the right thing – it is space research and it will pave the way for tremendous opportunities in the future!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://thedespicablehuntress.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/the-daily-prompt-ready-set-and-done/
2) http://sayadpoet.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/freedom-relived-daily-prompt/
3) http://fibercompulsion.com/2014/09/25/ready-set-done/
4) http://linusfernandes.com/2014/09/25/ready-set-done-test-of-time/
5) http://anrichinglife.com/2014/09/25/10-minute-challenge/

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Categories: Books

Flash Talk

September 23, 2014 Leave a comment

You’re about to enter a room full of strangers, where you will have exactly four minutes to tell a story that would convey who you really are. What’s your story?

Faces staring at me
Strangers
A child, a father
A husband, an engineer

In this house of mirrors
Where am I?
I look from one image
to another, seeking myself!

© copyright skm, 23rd September, 2014

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/stranger-things/
2) http://lifeconfusions.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/a-story-of-a-lifetime/
3) http://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/daily-prompt-flash-talk/
4) http://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/my-story/
5) http://clydelied.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/flash-talk-or-flash-back/
6) http://agirllikemee.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/just-forget-about-me/
7) http://ourgorgeouschaos.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/me-in-a-flash/
8) http://threepsandq.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/prompt-the-daily-postflashtalk/
9) http://fibercompulsion.com/2014/09/22/flash-talk/
10) http://tnkerr.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/daily-prompt-flash-talk/

Categories: Books

Absolute Beauty

September 17, 2014 1 comment

We’ve all heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Do you agree? Is all beauty contingent on a subject point of view? Here is a poem I had written earlier that is in response to this prompt:

A pure mind
Discerning and dissecting
Living in a world of forms and shapes
Still revels in the true essence
Beauty in truth

When beyond mere looks
Your presence enlivens
Brings meaning to my life
A feeling  unexplained
Beauty in love

A child at play
Looking, touching, querying
Lost
In wonder
Beauty in innocence

The artist looks at his canvas
And it becomes his world
Everything else turns to nought
A flourish of colours and strokes
Lost in creation
Beauty in work

This universe infinite
Defying all imagination
All we can do is surrender
In awe, In admiration
Praying for inspiration
Beauty in devotion

© copyright skm, 21st May, 2011

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://pollyannapress.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/beauty-good-design/
2) http://ubecute.com/2014/09/12/its-a-beautiful-world/
3) http://morganorchard.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/behold-the-beauty-within/
4) http://loisajay1213.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/daily-prompt-absolute-beauty/
5) http://xxjustmywayofthinkingxx.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/beauty/
6) http://stepstimestwo.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/there-is-beauty/
7) http://pepperconnection.com/2014/09/16/love-creates-beauty/
8) http://thegadabouttown.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/daily-prompt-beauty-is-truth-truth-beauty/
9) http://basicallybeyondbasic.com/2014/09/16/daily-prompt-absolute-beauty/
10) http://waxyworld.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/i-am-beautiful/
11) http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/morning-beauty/
12) http://ambitiousdrifter.com/2014/09/16/beauty-is-a-personal-view/
13) http://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/daily-prompt-absolute-beauty/
14) http://lifeconfusions.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/beauty/
15) http://fightingfatblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/absolute-beauty/
16) http://agirllikemee.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/beauty/
17) http://quotosphere.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/true-beauty/
18) http://linusfernandes.com/2014/09/16/absolute-beauty-picture-it/
19) http://maniparna5002.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/fair-is-beautiful/
20) http://sayadpoet.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/beauty-and-beholder-daily-prompt/

Categories: Books

Overload Alert!

September 16, 2014 Leave a comment

I am reminded of this beautiful poem “Leisure” by William Henry Davies:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

We have come a long way since that first call by Alexander Graham Bell that revolutionized communication.  Today the mobile phone has become a ubiquitous medium of communication so much so that the vegetable seller, the milkman, the cleaner and everyone else are dependent on it for their daily livelihood.

Starting with the newspapers, television, mobile phone, smart phone, personal computer, laptops and tablets – today instead of people looking out for information we have an information overload.  Today, we have a plethora of choices and our time is spent in discerning as to what we need to do.

But this gadget-craze has had an impact on our face-to-face communication.  Today, we find very little time to share thoughts over a cup of coffee or to spend time having a conversation with our family.  This is the form of communication that is of vital importance.  Speaking is important as it helps us to bridge barriers and understand each other better.  It helps to connect, resolve conflicts and strengthen bonds.
Technology has grown by leaps and bounds and today most of us are slaves of technology.  Smartphones, tablets, the
internet have pervaded our lives.  Today, very few people look face-to-face and smile or exchange pleasantries.  So having
a conversation is a rare thing nowadays.

We are over-reliant on google for all our answers and we trust all the content that is there even if it is not from a trustworthy
source.  Social media sites like facebook and twitter take up almost 40% of our time and this is spent just reading posts , liking posts and sharing photos and videos.

There is hardly and time for little joys like reading a book, sharing time with family or going on an outing.  So much so that
for many sports and an active lifestyle have become secondary considerations.

Our children are communicating less nowadays as they spend most of their time in the virtual space on smartphones and tablets.

Communication is slowly proving to be a lost art.  People hardly find time to exchange pleasantries or chat over a cup of coffee.  Written communication like letter writing is already obsolete and is today replaced by email.  Technology has simplified our lives but it has also made us a lazy lot switching from one gadget to another in a different virtual world.

Do you feel that you are spending too much time online or with gadgets?  Are you missing out on networking with friends and face-to-face communication?

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://reallyjustwords.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/overload-alert/
2) http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/my-information/
3) http://mesardonicmesarcastic.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/wordpress-overload/
4) http://sayadpoet.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/overloaded-me-daily-prompt/
5) http://goodgollymissmollie94.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/overload/
6) http://pippakinclawz.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/daily-post-too-much-information/
7) http://fibercompulsion.com/2014/09/15/overload-alert/
8) http://linusfernandes.com/2014/09/15/overload-alert-common-sense/
9) http://epentesi.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/madness-alert/
10) http://joantatley.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/information-is-information-is-information/
11)http://anrichinglife.com/2014/09/15/are-you-overloading-your-common-sense/
12) http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2014/09/15/daily-prompt-overload-alert-where-theres-an-internet-there-is-a-way/
13) http://jaysnaps.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/overload/
14) http://emo1956.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/information-overload/
15) http://lynneayersbeyondthebrush.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/overload/

Categories: Books

Curve Balls

September 15, 2014 Leave a comment

When was the last time you were completely stumped by a question, a request, or a situation you found yourself in? How did you handle it?

Why is your tummy so big ? Are you pregnant, daddy?
That was prick on the balloon of my ego – how could  I call myself a man anymore?

I have heard that seahorses are the only species where the male can get pregnant and the only human that I have heard got pregnant was Arnold  Schwarzenegger in the Hollywood movie “Junior” .

In Kerala, where I hail from a tummy is considered a sign of prosperity (proportional to one’s bank balance). This is how I consoled myself.  But not for long.

I decided it was time to hit the gym.   Else, how could I resurrect my crestfallen ego.

I started on a strict regimen of exercise 2-3 times a week – starting with 20mins of treadmill then other exercises and ending with weights.  I also did jogging, inline skating, cycling, marathons, yoga and swimming.

Apart from exercise I also took care of my diet – but this was proving to be difficult. I have a weakness for sweets and icecream.  Whenever I come back from the gym.. my kid asks invariably  — daddy can we buy icecream today?

After a few months, I am beginning to see some effect – now the tummy is getting smaller and when I take a deep breath – it is quite flat.  I cannot boast of a 6-pack but this can be called a “family pack”!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/a-simple-question/
2) http://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/daily-prompt-curve-balls/
3) http://ajvalliant.com/2014/09/14/ask-sam-my-kids-stupid-questions/
4) http://thatamir.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/daily-prompt-curve-balls-and-how-to-play-it/
5) http://alanewart.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/curve-balled-by-a-compliment/
6) http://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/daily-prompt-uuhhh/
7) http://fibercompulsion.com/2014/09/14/isurrender/
8) http://grieflessons.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/the-prompt-becomes-itself/
9) http://linusfernandes.com/2014/09/14/curve-balls-opinion/
10) http://allthingscuteandbeautiful.wordpress.com/2014/09/14/daily-prompt-being-stumped/

Categories: Books

Voice Work

September 12, 2014 1 comment

Your blog is about to be recorded into an audiobook.  If you could choose anyone – from your grandma to Samuel L. Jackson – to narrate your posts, who would it be?

BachchanAmitabh

If I could choose anyone to narrate my blog posts it would be Amitabh Bachchan.  The bollywood superstar has a rich baritone voice which attracts his audiences and adds to his great charisma. Also known as Big B he has rendered his voice to many films, documentaries and is the host of Kaun Banega Crorepati the Hindi version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

The angry young man as he is also called has won 3 National awards, 14 filmfare awards and numerous awards at international film festivals.  Bachchan made his Hollywood debut in 2013 with The Great Gatsby, in which he played a non-Indian Jewish character, Meyer Wolfsheim.

He has been a narrator, a playback singer and presenter for numerous programmes. Renowned film director Satyajit Ray was so impressed with Bachchan’s voice that he decided to use Bachchan as the narrator in his 1977 film Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players).  Bachchan lent his voice as a narrator to the 2001 movie Lagaan which was a super hit.  In 2005, Bachchan lent his voice to the Oscar-winning French documentary March of the Penguins, directed by Luc Jacquet.

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://anglo-swiss.blogspot.sg/2014/09/wordpress-daily-prompt-voice-work.html
2) http://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/daily-prompt-voice-work/
3) http://sayadpoet.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/voicework-daily-prompt/
4) http://alanewart.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/van-morrison/
5) http://average31.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/voice-work/
6) http://lifeassirli.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/voices-of-my-blog/
7) http://linusfernandes.com/2014/09/11/voice-work-read-aloud/
8) http://ripplesnreflectiontimes.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/my-fav-baritone/
9) http://emilykarn.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/fantasy-voice/
10) http://sweetykannoth.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/voice-work-daily-prompt/

Categories: Books

Not Lemonade

September 8, 2014 2 comments

When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.

It boils down to a matter of perspective..every situation is how we want to see it – a glass half full (optimistic) or a glass half empty (pessimistic).

Life has its ups and downs and we cannot expect every situation to be conducive for us. Some experiences are meant to teach us, to enable us to grow and our life would be easier if we did not judge every situation and just listened to our inner voice.

I have had many situations where people dont turn up on time for meetings or things do not work as expected. So I capitalise
on what I have at the moment and try to do a workaround. Once at a meeting the projector did not work. Luckily, I had made some flipcharts. So I relaxed and quickly used the flipcharts. The presentation was different and still proved to be engaging and well appreciated!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://tuckedintoacorner.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/lemonade/
2) http://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/daily-prompt-not-lemonade/
3) http://mcswhispers.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/wake-up-and-smell-the-lemons/
4) http://jaynesdailypost.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/not-lemonade/
5) http://angloswiss-chronicles.com/2014/08/09/daily-prompt-not-lemonade-no-stress-just-a-little-angloswiss-logistic/
6) http://loisajay1213.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/daily-prompt-not-lemonade/
7)http://joatmon14.com/2014/08/09/when-life-gives-you-a-friend/
8) http://jaysnaps.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/limonade/
9) http://marthakennedy.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/lemons-are-not-always-lemons/
10) http://stepstimestwo.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/lemonade-with-a-twist/

Categories: Books

Zoltar’s Revenge

September 3, 2014 1 comment

In a reversal of Big, the Tom Hanks classic from the 80s, your adult self is suddenly locked in the body of a 12-year-old kid. How do you survive your first day back in school?

Given a choice I would prefer the mind of a 12 year old in my body rather than my mind in a 12 year old’s body.All of us have that child within us and every day we are faced with this constant struggle between the child in us and the adult in us. We must not let that child lose in this battle!

A childs sense of wonder, innocence and enthusiasm are the magical traits that keeps us alive, bubbly and vibrant.

If there is no choice and I have to accept the predicament of living with my mind in a 12year olds body – I would try 
to look in the mirror often and remind myself that I am still young and evergreen and there is a wonderful life ahead of me!

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://sugarcoatingsince91.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/12-again/
2) http://tombalistreri.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/little-outside-weird-within/
3) http://grieflessons.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/small-again/
4) http://vexingpoint.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/daily-prompt-zoltars-revenge/
5) http://almostamemory.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/i-could-be-twelve-years-old-again/
6) http://zainabjavid.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/back-to-school-for-mom/
7) http://badosto.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/daily-prompt-zoltars-revenge/
8) http://pocketexts.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/zoltars-revenge/
9)http://agirllikemee.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/my-twelve-years-old-school-day/
10) http://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/junior-high-again/

 

 

Categories: Books

The Mirror Crack’d

September 1, 2014 1 comment

You wake up one morning to a world without mirrors.  How does your life – from your everyday routines to your perception of yourself – change?

 

Did you take a look at yourself in the mirror today? Did you like the look of your nose, your chin, your ears, your eyes, your eyebrows, and for guys your biceps, your abs?  Did you yearn for a Hale Berry look or did you want a body  like Sylvester Stallone?

Did you take a look at yourself in the mirror today? Did you like the look of your nose, your chin, your ears, your eyes, your eyebrows, and for guys your biceps, your abs?  Did you yearn for a Hale Berry look or did you want a body  like Sylvester Stallone?

My point is today, people are so obsessed with looks that they even resort to cosmetic surgery to change the way they look – they do surgery on their nose, chin, eyebrows, ears.. they go for silicone, collagen implants and to look trim they go for liposuction.

Cosmetic  surgeries cause chronic pain, allergy, blindness and even death.  And people are still willing  to take such risks.

 Recently, a 22 year girl from Russia  had 100 silicone injections because she wanted the worlds biggest lips in the hope of resembling her favourite heroine Jessica Rabbit. And in Singapore,on Dec 30th, 2009 Franklin Heng, property management tycoon died due to multiple holes in his intestines and stomach in a liposuction surgery gone wrong . 

All of us are born, attain youth, old age and eventually we have to die.  There is no eternal youth whatsoever and ageing is a natural process.  So, why are we trying to create a mask and hide what we truly are?.

We are born with flaws and each of us has our own unique looks, strange mannerisms and behaviours.  That is what makes us stand out from the crowd.  That is the beauty in us.  So, let us celebrate our imperfections.  Let us seek to be imperfectly perfect.

Cosmetic surgery does not make you a different person.  Very often our external appearance is more a reflection of how we feel.  And if you feel great inside you will natural exude a radiant charm.

Cosmetic surgery distorts appearances that we are born with.  It enables us to alter the bodies and come up with something different.

Magazines, music videos and television are also responsible for creating this disgusting obsession with beauty and perfection.  We have slimming advertisements and beauty pageants.  Cosmetically enhanced celebrities are redefining the concepts of beauty and fans are blindly aping them.

Beauty is not skin deep.  I think that putting on those layers of makeup do not make you a beautiful person – although many of you ladies may disagree to that.

After seeing the dangerous results of cosmetic surgery, some Hollywood stars like Kate Winslet and Emma Thomson are now crusading against cosmetic surgery.

Now then what do I consider as true beauty.  It is the beauty in people like Mother Theresa who served selflessly and tirelessly. She was small in stature but rocklike in faith. She started orphanages, schools, hospices and homes.  Her life-long devotion to the care of the poor and destitute in Calcutta won her the Nobel Peace Prize.

Let us find that beauty in the values that we hold, in the work that we do.  The glow in you when you touch someones heart – when you make a change in someones life is true beauty that is everlasing, that is forever.  So, I urge you to find a cause be it only once a month or once in 3 months or atleast once a year  to do something for which you expect nothing in return – not a cent.  Just go and spend some time to plant a community garden, help children at reading, help at an old age home or with the intellectually disabled.  We have to stop always thinkiing from the selfish confines of only our family to include our neighbours, our community and the world at large  We can sow small seeds of change by pitching ourselves for such a higher cause .

Volunteering connects you to others.  It helps you to make new friends and increase your relationship skills.   It can bring fun and fulfilment to your life.  It increases your self-confidence, fights depression and helps you stay physically healthy.

I think the need of the hour is to take a good look within – to do an inner surgery – to find that peace, that happiness, that beauty that we were born with and is always within us. True beauty is that invisible essence that binds all of us in a universal chain of brotherhood.  True beauty is your inner nature and does not require any makeup.

 

Other interesting posts in this category:
1) http://anglo-swiss.blogspot.sg/2014/08/wordpress-daily-prompt-mirror-crackd.html
2) http://spadethought.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/31-08-14-a-world-without/
3) http://linusfernandes.com/2014/08/31/the-mirror-crackd-reflected-mirroring/
4) http://ambitiousdrifter.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/in-my-mirror/
5) http://beartales.me/2014/08/31/well-my-mirror-is-cracked/

 

 

Categories: Books
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