Tuesday, January 30, 2024

MADURAI , RAMESHWARAM AND KANYAKUMARI

 Madurai , Rameshwaram  and   Kanyakumari  are three key temple towns of Tamil Nadu and relatively far off from the city of Bangalore.The temples built in these cities are similar to the other ones seen in the Deccan Plateau with stone structures and similar in design and construction. 


Madurai is a city some 500 kilometres from the city of Bangalore in the plains of  Tamil Nadu and houses the Madurai Meenakshi temple.The temples are designed with towers facing the four directions and have a large inner space with a central sanctum sanctorum and are largely stone structures.

MADURAI  MEENAKSHI TEMPLE


Away from the city of Madurai is the city of Rameshwaram towards the coast of the Bay of Bengal. This is a Shiva temple and very huge and mammoth in size possibly the largest temple of its kind with one of the gates opening into the Bay of Bengal. Ramanathapuram is a town in between Madurai and Rameshwaram.


The tip of the Indian sub-continent is Kanya Kumari and the land mass tapers into a vertex of a cone here leading to the Indian Ocean. There are  many ancient temples in and around this place. Nagerkoil is a township some twenty kilometers from Kanya Kumari. Basically the ocean here houses two hillocks one of which has a large statue of Thiruvalluvar.

The weather at these places is for practical purposes arid and good for a visit for a couple of days.


Recently in the wee hours I was at the beach at Kanya Kumari taking a stroll down my hotel room into the ocean and happened to chat with some fishermen there. In the back-drop was a large church and sipped tea at an outlet operated by Jerald. I was told by the fishermen that they set out into the sea at 3pm and return the next morning at 7am.They spend the entire night at sea. Fishing is an arduous business ..the first activity is hooking the bait on to hooks and then carefully fitting it on the nets and then spreading it into the seas..and it is a long wait for a big catch.I noted one of the fishermen lost one of his eyes due to some smaller variety of fish jumping into his eye and hurting it with irreparable consequences. I was told the bait is available readily in the market. Most of the fishing vehicles here operate on petrol. I did have lunch at one of the hotels here being served with rice and fish curry which was tasty and the fish was some separate kind which I had not tasted before.

Some automation could be considered in this process of fishing. The bait could be hooked to the hook and presented directly to the fishermen so that time is not wasted by the fishermen at hooking them...and even the process of fixing them and removing them from the nets could be automated.Some engineering people could consider developing such tools and machines.





Saturday, January 6, 2024

MIRROR, CARAVAN AND THE ILLUSTRATED WEEKLY

 In the 1970's there were three popular magazines..The Illustrated Weekly, Mirror and  Caravan. Each of these magazines had a good circulation and covered current news and related affairs.The Illustrated Weekly was of larger dimensions with few pages and smaller fonts..the Mirror resembled a small book ..and the Caravan of a typical magazine size.

My father used to bring these books home ..sometimes all of them at one go as he was a member of a magazine club within his department in ITI(Indian Telephone Industries). I  remember  the Ilustrated Weekly  had carried a major article about Amitabh Bachchan much before he became a popular star. My father had a skill of pulling the right kind of chords for his children when it came to educational support. He used to support us with the right kind of inputs.He has bought for us a dictionary called the  "KINGSWAY MODERN DICTIONARY" A illustrated dictionary small in size but very informative.

I remember these three magazines for their own reasons. The Illustrated  weekly for its news, Caravan for its cartoons  and the Mirror for  its pen pals section..there used to be an ocean of addresses in the Mirror magazine  of  Pen pals.

During this era I had a pen pal by name TARIQ NOMANI FROM KANPUR. Iam not able to forget him. In spite of many decades I still remember his name. I found him on FaceBook  but for some reason he did not respond to my friend request....I even had some message interaction with his son on FB.

For some reason these three magazines stopped circulation ..may be with the advent of  TV they became redundant.


TARIQ NOMANI

Saturday, November 11, 2023

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED STUDIES N I A S -BANGALORE



The above is the portrait of Dr. Raja Ramanna and the NIAS National Institute of Advanced studies. This campus is a separate entity established in 1988 as an independant autonomous organization since inception within the campus of Indian Institute of Science. Decades ago I used to walk into this place and listen to lectures.. I have met and spoken to Dr. Raja Ramanna myself at this place.

NIAS has affiliations with many universities and offers Doctoral programs. The unique aspect of this place is its inter-disciplinary nature with departments in Science ,Engineering,Economics and Humanities and even areas of Sociology.

It is worthy to have a look at how this institute is organized.Basically there are four schools under which many programmes run.

The four schools are SCHOOL OF CONFLICT AND SECURITY STUDIES ; SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES ; SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING and SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES.

It is worthy to have a look at some of the key programmes at these schools. 

At the SCHOOL OF CONFLICT AND SECURITY STUDIES they have the International Security studies program which focus on the diplomatic and technical components of International security from various stand points of Security abilities and delivery systems.There are programmes on Conflict resolution, Science and Technology of International relations and many such similar studies.Needless to say such research and learning have a major relevance in the world that we live in.

At the SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES there are progrrames on Heritage, Science and Society.. Conciousness Studies programme that focusses on issues of human wellness and the like.Humanities would also cover many technical areas of Economics and Sociology.

At the SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING there are academic activities on Climate Change and its effects...Animal behaviour and cognition..issues of Energy and Environment.

Finally at the SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES  the focus is on various aspects of Education, Inequality and Human Development,Urban studies including Urban mobility and Urban economics.

It is worthy to note that the NIAS indulges itself in a large set of academic areas very relevant and futuristic and the institute contributes in a big way in being proactive to study various emerging concerns and areas leading in providing priceless inputs to the Government and the community at large.