This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.
Months are based roughly on the moon.A lunar month is 29&1/2 days,or the time from one new moon to the next.
12 lunar months leave 11days remaining in solar year.
At the time,there were only ten months in the calendar while there are just over 12 lunar cycles in a year.The month of January and February were added to the calendar and the original fifth and sixth months were renamed as July and August in honour of Julius Caesar and his successor Augustus.
January is named after the Roman god Janus,protector of the gateway to heaven who presided over doors and beginnings – appropriately enough, for the beginning of the year Indeed, Janus was usually depicted with two faces looking backwards and forwards, Janus word for words that have two opposite meanings.
February is ultimately based on Latin februarius, from februa a time period when sacrifices were made. February is a divisive issue in modern pronunciation, with both Feb-yoo-ary and Feb-roo-ary being commonly heard.
Which god gets a planet and a month named after Mars,the god of war, signifying that the campaigns interrupted by the winter.In ancient Rome several festivals of Mars took place in March, presumably in preparation for the campaigning season, since Mars was a god of war.’
We know that the English word April comes from the Latin Aprillis,’to open ‘especially buds. Its the fourth month of the ancient Roman calendar, but things are less clear after that. In Old English, April was also sometimes called Eastermonab, ‘Easter month’.
The month is connected with Maia,the goddess of growth of plants.Maia in Greek mythology was daughter of Atlas and mother of Hermes. She was considered a nurturer and an earth goddess, which may explain the connection with this springtime month.
Having conceded one month to a Greek,June is named after the ancient Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and goddess of marriage and childbirth. June was also once sometimes known as midsummer month.
The first month in the calendar named after a real person, July was named in honour of Julius Caesar after his death in 44 BC, July being the month of his birth. Before it was renamed, the month was known as Quintilis.which means ‘fifth’.you’ll know that July isn’t the fifth month,we’ll come on to that when we reach September and October.
In 8 BC, the month Sextilis ‘sixth’ was renamed after Augustus, the first Roman emperor and great-nephew to Julius Caesar. Augustus himself was given this title when he became emperor, having previously been known as Octavian. It came from the Latin augustus meaning ‘consecrated, venerable’ which gave rise to the English adjective august, ‘respected and impressive’.
September follows on from Quinitlis and Sextilis, in that it comes from the Latin septem, ‘seven’. the numbering is a bit off now: September was originally the seventh month in an ancient Roman ten-month calendar, which started with March.
More of the same: octo is the Latin for ‘eight’, for that ten month calendar. Two months were added to the end of the calendar year around 713 BC, and the beginning of the year was moved to 1 January in 153 BC.
The pattern continues: November comes from novem, ‘nine’. November is also,the characteristic are greyness and gloominess, associated with it in the northern hemisphere’.
And we finish off the year with December, from decem, ‘ten’. The month also comes with a brace of adjectives: Decemberish and Decemberly, the latter of which can also be used as an adverb.
There are many wonders to behold in the animal world, but few offer such enchantment as that of a summer evening punctuated with the twinkle of fireflies. It’s a singular experience, like handfuls of Lilliputian stars tossed from the sky, falling to flit and over among the grass and brambles. But behind their charming facade, fireflies are fascinating little insects.
They are beetles, not flies.Fireflies are nocturnal members of Lampyridae, a family of insects within the beetle order Coleoptera, or winged beetles. Yes, they are officially beetles.The family name, Lampyridae are the family of insects in the beetle order coleoptera with over 2000 described species.Lampyridae comes from the Greek “lampein,” meaning to shine … just like a lamp.
While they don’t actually turn base metals into gold, they do create light as if by magic. When a chemical called luciferin inside their abdomen combines with oxygen, calcium and adenosine triphosphate, a chemical reaction occurs that creates their spectacular light. And then there bioluminescence is produced.
There are fireflies in the western United States, they just lack the ‘fire’
California has perfect weather, palm trees and stellar food. Actually, doesn’t have fireflies that light up. Of the more than 2,000 species of fireflies, only some come equipped with the ability to glow, the ones that are able to don’t generally live in the West.
They are light geniuses.Firefly light is incredibly efficient. The light produced by the firefly is the most efficient light ever made. Almost 100 percent of the energy in the chemical reaction is emitted as light, in comparison, an incandescent light bulb only emits 10 percent of its energy as light, the other 90 percent is lost as heat.Fireflies does not produce heat they only emit lightEach species has a specific pattern of light flashing, and males use this pattern to let the ladies of the same species know that they would be a fine match for one another.
Commonly fireflies or lighting bugs are conspicuous during twilight to attract mates or prey.When a female notices a suitable suitor, she replies with her own species-specific flash. Females may also use flash information to decide which male to mate with.
They come in a rainbow of colors.Well maybe not the whole spectrum, but they do come in yellow, light red, green and orange.
But they taste disgusting.Fireflies are simply elegant by day, but apparently, they are not very tasty.
Beware the lightning bug. Firefly blood contains lucibufagins, which sounds like something out of a Harry Potter book but is actually a defensive steroid that tastes really gross. Predators associate the bad taste with a firefly’s light and learn not to eat bugs that glow.
They light up the underworld Or underground, at least. While it’s true that many an insect larvae lives underground, firefly babes have them beat in the “neat tricks” department; some species emit a subterranean glow. Among some species, even the eggs glow.*
Some are aquatic And then there are the freaky fireflies whose larvae live in the water; they have gills and on aquatic snails, before inching their way for their next phase in life.Most fireflies live on pollen and nectar.
They have strange diets.Contrary to the storybook image of cute bitsy baby fireflies nibbling on flowers, the underground-dwelling larvae of the lightning bug are carnivorous and feast on slimy slugs, worms and snails. Once they grow up, some move on to cannibalism and eat other fireflies, but most subsist on pollen and nectar ,while some don’t eat anything at all during their short lifetimes.
Their numbers are declining If you’re seeing fewer fireflies each summer, you’re not alone.Most likely due to a combination of light pollution, pesticide use and habitat destruction. If a field where fireflies live is paved over, the fireflies don’t migrate to another field, they just disappear forever.
My favourite bug is Fireflies and called மின்மினி பூச்சி in Tamil.They do not bite,do not have pincers,do not carry disease and in fact they are quiet harmless.
People are prone to have a more positive outlook when they smile, so smiling is similar to putting on your rose-colored glasses.when we subconsciously copy someone’s actions or mannerisms, ensures that your smile is literally contagious. People who see your smile will mirror your actions. This doesn’t work on everybody, but does have a significant effect. I’m the kind of person that smiles at everyone when I walk down the street or through the school hallways, and the amount of smiles I get in return are definitely worth the effort. You never know who is going to need that boost of positivity during their day!.
Save money and stop splurging on caffeine and detox products by relying on your own endorphins for a pick-me-up. Natural smiles which come from positive thoughts,release serotonin — a neurotransmitter that wards off depression — and other feel-good endorphins. This is an easy, natural stress buster.
Smiling increases trust in relationships and increases the amount of attention people pay to you. Simply smiling can make you more appealing to potential.
It can be hard to keep a smile on your face with meetings, homework and all of the other responsibilities that come along with being a college student. But having a “whistle while you work” attitude actually increases productivity and motivation. What’s more, slapping a grin on your face is proven to reduce stress and anxiety. By smiling and keeping a positive attitude, you can achieve a quick pick-me-up and actually be excited for that crazy to-do list you have to work through.
Ever wonder why we smile in awkward situations, or when we are embarrassed? As it turns out, smiling is a reaction that helps you, and others, to feel more comfortable in these scenarios. The human brain is programmed to seek what is safe and familiar–not situations where we are the center of attention, uncomfortable, or trying something new. This study shows that smiling helps us to deal with awkward situations by making us more comfortable and confident. Other research has shown that smiling is a great leadership technique as well!.
When we smile, there is a cycle of activity that occurs in the brain. In a positive situation, your brain first interprets the information it is taking from your environment before sending a signal to the brainstem, and the signal is then sent to the smiling muscles in your face which doesn’t just mean the muscles around your mouth, but around your eyes as well!. When the smiling muscles are activated, a signal is sent back to the brain to tell it that you are feeling good. This positive reaction is the same feedback we receive from eating a piece of chocolate or exercising. Smiling is an intrinsic behavior–something that we do for the sake of doing, without an external reward.
There is nothing wrong with crying over stress, frustration, heartache, or loss. It is much healthier for you to shed a few tears than for you to put up emotional barriers. Give yourself permission to get in touch with your emotions because there are plenty of health benefits of crying.
That have built up in a healthy way.It shows the depth of the position and value of particular entity in your life.
Toxic substances are released from the body along with our tears. Just like sweating, exhaling, and urinating, crying gets rid of substances that should not be present within our body. It also encourages us to clear our nasal passage.
Tears contain lysozyme, which is capable of killing 90 to 95 percent of all harmful bacteria in just five to ten minutes. That means crying is not only good for our emotional health — but also for our physical health.
Crying releases oxytocin and endorphins which make us feel better both emotionally and physically. Instead of acting like we are fine when we suffer from an injury, it actually benefits us to cry because it could raise our pain tolerance.
Tears lubricate our eyeballs and eyelids. When we cry, the tears help wash away dust and debris. It also prevents dehydration which can cause blurriness.
Since shedding tears causes us to relax, it puts us in a more peaceful state of mind, making it easier for us to fall asleep and stay asleep.
When we cry, we are confronting our emotions instead of hiding from them. We are growing as a person. We are becoming more emotionally mature.
It is a step toward recovery. By hiding our feelings, we will have a hard time receiving closure. The more we allow ourselves to feel, the better we will feel in the long run. It gives us a chance to move forward instead of staying stuck in the past.
There are interpersonal, social benefits to crying. When we are struggling to explain the way we are feeling, crying can help emphasize the strength of our feelings about a subject. It can get across a point that we are unable to make with words.
Crying can bring us closer to another person because if we are comfortable being vulnerable in front of them, our relationship must be strong. We must really trust each other. Sharing our deepest feelings with someone will make them more likely to share their own feelings with us in the future.
Crying is about expression, healing,emotions, love,excitement.It is beautiful.It is a relief.
Crime Records in India are pending for ages. There could be 10% which have immediate judgements in India. Also every judgement will have an option to come out of it. In order to avoid any crime the penalty for each crime should be severe and immediate, and no option should be given as an alternative for the judgement finalized. Every individual who committed crime must undergo the severe punishments, which will not allow the any other person in the country to commit the same crime.
India is now in the trend of rape. Every day in the paper we read at least an average of 2 incidents of rape. There has been no reduction in these cases. Men attempting do not fear of anything. Single punishment for rape should be “Death”. Men should be scared even to touch a women when this is the case. Any kind of eve teasing should also have severe punishments to avoid any sexual harassment.
Corruption is our major threat. Every year we come across a major scam and multiple crores are in picture in such scams. However people forget as the year passes, reason being there are no judgements given for such, which allows people to perform such scams as they wish. As mentioned above, there should be immediate judgement and severe punishment .Were Bangalore stands first for corruption case in the Country.
Black Money – In India, Black money refers to funds earned on the black market, on which income and other taxes have not been paid. The total amount of black money deposited in foreign banks by Indians is unknown. Some reports claim a total exceeding US$1.4 trillion are stashed in Switzerland. If every Indian takes up the responsibility to pay the Real tax promptly and effectively, the money which is supposed to be utilized for India development will be utilized efficiently and India do not have to look forward from other World Organizations.
Similar to UK, USA and other western countries, India must implement improvised National Minimum Wages Act and make the employers follow it strictly. No citizen must work less than a certain amount of daily wages. This will benefit towards the country’s development in many ways.
The long-term aim of a minimum wage is to remove the problem of poverty pay, which exists when the earnings from paid work do not result in a living wage and fail to push people out of poverty. There will be no citizen in the country below poverty line.
India is supposed to be a Green India however when we enter any hi tech city we see only buildings and no trees. As a result there is pollution, no rain and people end up with suffering from unknown diseases. Every individual should take up responsibility of having a tree per house at least to make India a Green India.
The local village or panchayat or colony or ward knows which the best decision for them is, in terms of electricity/roads/farming/dams. They should be given fair right to make that decision. Centralizing it is like trying to “fit one size for all”. Also, it will reduce the corruption as funds are not
Transportation is a major issue in multiple states of India. 10% of the cities have good transportation, but the 90% do not. Issues seen: Public transport vehicles not in a good condition, not neat, the bus/railway stations are not neat, buses are always almost crowded, no sufficient frequency of transport, no queue system while waiting for bus/train. Metros are having such facilities, however not every village in India have a metro. In order to make India a developed country the transportation system should be proper, neat and fair.
This is one of the difficult task to look for. There are spit marks, urine, vulgar graffiti, random garbage and overflowing sewers at every nook and corner of India. NO city in this country has managed to fight the menace. It is easy to pin everything on the government, but people must first question themselves and their own civic sense. Roads are not dirty because nobody cleaned it, but because somebody had made it dirty in the first place.
Common sense is nothing but social ethics. Even swine flu, which is quickly spreading across the country, was caused by the absence of hygiene. This must be followed by every citizen without having the excuse “everybody does it”
Recommendation and Reservations are making the skilled and eligible people to move away from what they are supposed to do. Every talented individual is eliminated just because of the system of recommendation and reservations from higher and known people. All Indians should be treated as one.
Most of the accidents are due to undisciplined traffic. Time is something which is making us not to follow the rules. Best way is to start early and follow the rules to avoid accidents.
Have you ever seen a neat and clean public toilet in any of the bus stations ,railway station may be very few. This is something which lies in our hands and the government. Every individual should ensure the toilet is ready for others to use when you leave. This doesn’t mean you have to clean it, you have to use it well. Government should ensure we have a neat, clean, hygienic public toilets for use.
Day in and Day out we need to work with multiple departments with the government. Of course everyone knows that the response in government offices and drastically less compared to private companies. Every government agent should take up the responsibility and accountability to do their work promptly and effectively.
Every year we have multiple engineers and doctors coming out of India. Efficient individuals leave the country and provide their expertise in other countries, which makes Indians to reach out to other country for services given by Indians outside India. Most of the developed countries have around 20% of their growth due to Indian minds.
What is the condition of our major rivers of India? Every corner of the river/water body there are waste items, all rivers are polluted, and all water bodies in the cities are having a wicked smell when you cross it. We need to have clean and neat water bodies in India. Responsibility lies with every Indian and the government. Do not throw garbage in the water bodies, it is not a dustbin.
Agriculture is the back bone of India. 75% of India is agricultural land. Most priority should be given to agriculture and farmers to make India a developed country. Every year there has been increase in the rate of farmers’ suicides. And the generation of farmers look forward for IT rather than agriculture. Priority for agriculture will help in maintaining our back bone steady.
Public Health care are not as effective as private health care. And the private health care is not affordable for every being in India. Government should take extensive measures of having effective and affordable public health care which is accessible at every part of India
The literacy rate in India stands at 74.04% in 2014. The literacy rate should be 100% in order to make India a developed country. The understanding of every part of what we do can be achieved only though education. And this education should be proper and the result should be effective.
Pollution is another major threat. Everywhere there are pollution, especially in cities, air pollution, water pollution etc. Eradicating pollution will be a difficult task, but controlling the pollution lies in the hands of each individual and the government.
Again a difficult task to look forward. Nowadays every product we use is a foreign product, sometimes we do not realise which is Indian product and which is foreign made. As Narendra Modi says, if we use and purchase only Indian products for a span of 90 days, the value of 1 US $ will be equal to 1 Rupee.
Every field is losing efficient resources due to corruption. Especially sports field. The selection of players are not done in a fair manner for most of the sports which is making us lose multiple gold medals in international level games. Corrective and Fair decision should be made in in Sports and other fields.
Cleanliness is something which is not prevailing in India in almost 90% of areas. Every Indian should be responsible enough, not to dirty your own nation. Clean up your own mess and the nation will be clean by itself. Ensure your surroundings are clean and neat and you should not be the factor of littering on roads and in public places.
India should be in a state where a woman should be able to walk alone at will even during night times. There should be no threat to her from the society
Government is bringing up multiple plans to make India a developed country, however everything in vain. This is due the stage where the implementation of such plans are not effective. Major reason is due to corruption and scams. If the plans proposed are implemented successfully as expected, India will become a developed country soon.
Bribery is one of the major reasons keeping India still a developing country. Giver and taker are responsible for such crimes. This should be considered as a huge crime and punishment should be severe. Giving 100 to the Traffic police for not wearing helmet has become a fashion nowadays. All such activities should be controlled and bribery should be eradicated.
“Dr.A.P.J Abdulkalam strongly advocated and believed that a action plan to develop India into a strong nation by the year 2020.He regards his nation as a knowledge superpower and developed nation.Dr.kalam has also said that it should be the dream of all the citizens to see India as a developed country.”
Ho’oponopono is an ancient spiritual practice that originated in Hawaii and before that, from the Polynesian Islands of the South Pacific. It was used as a ritualistic method to help one island kingdom settle their differences with another. Later it was adapted to facilitate cooperation and forgiveness between individuals and usually required a third party to mediate over the process.
Ho’oponopono can be practiced by one person. In their mind. No one else need even know about it. It takes just a few minutes and the benefits of regular Ho’oponopono practice are so good for us.
Ho’oponopono means reconciliation and forgiveness. But not necessarily directed at another person. In our vibrational, connected Universe, any good that you send out is ultimately received back to yourself. If you believe that you create your reality, and that you are responsible for your life, then you have to accept that you create everything you experience. Ho’oponopono is like pressing the reset button. It is a spiritual cleanser.
eg: You use it daily just like you’d take a shower and remove your make-up. It clears out the negative energy accumulated and removes any bad feelings towards yourself or others. It brings the practitioner to an emotional state of zero.
It is becoming a widely accepted that illness is caused by a disruption to the emotional balance, and Ho’oponopono is a method of resetting that emotional balance to maintain a healthy mind and body. So imagine how good it would feel, before you go off to sleep every night, to have all your negative and unbalanced emotions discharged. How easily you could let go of those repeating thoughts and worries. How much faster you would get to sleep.
Ho’oponopono is made up of four parts:
Admitting responsibility, “I’m sorry.”
Asking for forgiveness, “Please forgive me.”
Expressing gratitude, “Thank you.”
Giving love, “I love you.”
It’s important to understand that it really doesn’t matter who you are saying these things to. It is a connection between you, your inner spirit.
For eg:Perhaps you are feeling bad because you have over-eaten. The communication is with yourself and the Divine.The communication is still between yourself and the Divine,
You can practice Ho’oponopono anytime throughout the day, but just before you go to sleep is a good time to clear out the day’s emotional debris.
Learn the four steps and the phrases:
I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. You can use them in any order. As you mentally or verbally repeat them, hold the vision of what it is you are clearing out. So if you are hoping for a reconciliation with someone, then direct your words to them. If you are wanting to heal, direct your words to Source.
The key thing is that you must feel the words as you think or speak them. Just reciting them without a thought won’t work. You have to experience those negative emotions draining from your mind and body. Feel resistance seeping away. Bringing yourself back to a natural zero emotional state where everything is in balance and stress has evaporated.
Although it is classed as a meditation, it really only takes a minute. You can focus on it longer by repeating the words, holding the vision of the problem and what you want to accomplish. You will know when it is done by the immediate feeling of relief.
Hope you all practice and stay in peace.
Professor Stephen William Hawking was born on 8th January 1942 noted as 300 years after the death of Galileo,and also died on birth anniversary of Einstein on march 14, in Oxford university England. His parent’s house was in north London but during the second world war Oxford was considered a safer place to live. When he was eight his family moved to St. Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At the age of eleven, Stephen went to St. Albans School and then on to University College, Oxford in 1952 his father’s old college.
In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Professor Hawking received over a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the CBE in 1982. He was a fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Science. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein.
Stephen wanted to study mathematics although his father would have preferred medicine. Mathematics was not available at University College, so he pursued physics instead. After three years and not very much work, he was awarded a first class honours degree in natural science.
In October 1962, Stephen arrived at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) at the University of Cambridge to do research in cosmology, there being no-one working in that area in Oxford at the time. His supervisor was Dennis Sciama, although he had hoped to get Fred Hoyle who was working in Cambridge. After gaining his PhD in 1965 with his thesis titled ‘Properties of Expanding Universes’, he became, first, a research fellow in 1965 then Fellow for Distinction in Science in 1969 at Gonville and Caius college.
In 1966 he won the Adams Prize for his essay ‘Singularities and the Geometry of Space-time’. Stephen moved to the Institute of Astronomy in 1968, later moving back to DAMTP in 1973, he was employed as a research assistant, and published his first academic book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, with George Ellis.
During the next few years, Stephen was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974 and Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology in 1974. He became a Reader in Gravitational Physics at DAMTP in 1975, progressing to Professor of Gravitational Physics in 1977. He then held the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics (1979-2009). The chair was founded in 1663 with money left in the will of the Reverend Henry Lucas who had been the Member of Parliament for the University. It was first held by Isaac Barrow and then in 1669 by Isaac Newton. From 2009, Stephen was employed as the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at DAMTP.
Professor Stephen Hawking worked on the basic laws which governs the universe. With Roger Penrose he showed that Einstein’s general theory of relativity implied space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes in 1970. These results indicated that it was necessary to unify general relativity with quantum theory, the other great scientific development of the first half of the 20th century.
One consequence of such a unification that he discovered was that black holes should not be completely black, but rather should emit ‘Hawking’ radiation and eventually evaporate and disappear in 1974.
Another conjecture is that the universe has no edge or boundary in imaginary time.
This would imply that the way the universe began was completely determined by the laws of science.
Towards the end of his life, Stephen was working with colleagues on a possible resolution to the black hole information paradox, where debate centres around the conservation of information.
His many publications included The Large Scale Structure of Spacetime with G F R Ellis, General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey, with W Israel, and 300 Years of Gravitation, with W Israel. Among the popular books Stephen Hawking published are his best seller A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell, The Grand Design and My Brief History.
Professor Stephen Hawking received thirteen honorary degrees. He was awarded CBE in 1982, Companion of Honour in 1989 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom 2009. He was the recipient of many awards, medals and prizes, most notably the Fundamental Physics prize in 2013, Copley Medal 2006 and the Wolf Foundation prize 1988. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.But he was not nominated for noble prize.
I feel happy to live in the same decades of professor Stephen Hawking lived.
Birthday is one day of the year when a person irrespective of age can call it his/her day of the year. It is a day which every person wants to be celebrated & what is celebration of a birthday without cutting a cake!
But while blowing off the candles, have you ever thought about how this tradition of cakes on birthdays came about?
Well, this tradition harks back to the time before recorded history begun Of course this ceremony comes from western cultures. Historians and experts of the ancient age are of the opinion that this ritual began at the very birthplace of western civilization- Ancient Greece. They are of the opinion that the ancient Greeks made cakes or rather bread mixed with honey & nuts on birthdays. They called it ‘plakous,’ which is the origin of the word ‘flat.’ They also prepared ‘satura’- a flat heavy cake & round shaped cakes to offer their moon goddess Artemis. To make the cake glow like the moon, they put lighted candles on them. That’s how the practise of putting lighted candles on cakes came about in the modern birthday celebrations.
Later on, the Romans continued this custom the idea of celebrating the date of your birth is a pagan tradition they called it ‘placenta’, which of course is derived from the Greek word ‘plakous.’ Modern researches show that the placenta was actually a type of cheese cake. Its ingredients had a pastry base. But the ancient Romans celebrated three types of birthdays- one in private with kin kith and the other two were public- one was the birthdays of cities and temples the other was birthdays of the past and present emperors as well as members of the imperial family. They usually celebrated the 50th birthday with a cake prepared with honey, wheat flour, grated cheese & olive oil.
Oh don’t have your mouth watered just yet with all the talk of this delicious desert. These are not the cakes that we usually have. Their primary ingredients were cereal grain meal, moistened with water or wine. They also had at least some form of yeast & the only sweet thing about it was the honey. These ancient people simply referred their cakes as bread as there was barely any difference. In medieval England, they called it pastry. There they would hide different objects in the batter like for example a coin. Whoever would get it in their piece was thought to become very wealthy in future. The word cake as we call it came from the Old Norse word “kaka.” In Germany as well cakes were being prepared since the medieval age. The true cake as we think of it today emerged only in the 16th century in France & Italy, which contained batter based on egg & sugar foam. Gradually this evolutionary art spread throughout Europe, which were then again modified further by the cooks around the continent.
However, it was only in the 18th century, with the age of mercantilism, that the tradition of cakes on birthdays and other occasions began to spread round the world. Ingredients and items like nuts, lemons, oranges, vanilla, chocolates & sugar became accessible & hence added to the cake. Then beaten eggs were being used as raising agents instead of yeasts. In the 19th century baking powder became available with the Industrial Revolution & mass production started with it.
In India, the British used to make cake only for themselves in what we presently call the state of West Bengal. Then a certain Mambally Bapu founded the Royal Biscuit factory in 1880 in Thalassery, Kerala. He started making cakes there from November, 1883. From then on it became a very popular desert among the Indians & it rapidly spread throughout India.
Well that is the story of how & why we all cut cakes on our birthdays & everyone sings “Happy Birthday” when we blow out the lighted candles.
In 18th century in Germany the history of candles on cakes can be traced back to kinderfest was conducted, a birthday celebration for children. This tradition also makes use of candles and cakes . German children were taken to an auditorium like space.
Krishna McKenzie, a native of England, finds his happiness in Indian farming, mainly Tamil farming culture in Puducherry. Krishna McKenzie is a degree holder in acting, music, biology, French and jazz guitar from J Krishnamurti School in UK. He shifted to Auroville in the year 1993 the age of 19. He selected his career as farming, when his friends planned to study in US.
Living in a mud block house with wife Deepa and daughter Chandni at the Solitude Farm, life here is also about coming together as a community; over cooking and dining in the common kitchen, or diving together into the huge well for a fun dip after a sunny day’s toil in the fields. Routine life here also includes checking out on windmill and solar energy devices, organising jam sessions on Saturdays with the fruits grown in the farm, creating buildings in natural materials, running an organic restaurant, and holding eco-music fests occasionally.
“It is all about connecting with nature. The life that is disconnected from nature is not worth living,” feels Krishna. He adds quickly, “It is not that software engineering is bad; it is a fantastic thing, but people are now caught up in a techno-social world, without balance.
They have no clue as to where the food on their plates is coming from, or what the earth feels like under the skin.” At Solitude Farm, volunteers who wish to get the experience of working at a farm are welcome, and are given boarding and lodging at a nominal expense. “But they have to inform me in advance. It gets crowded sometimes,” Krishna says, a smile crossing his face.
At Solitude Farm, Krishna grows millets, India’s staple food of yore, from which we have turned away now, in favour of rice and wheat. In this place though, farming gets exciting and thoughtful. Ordinary people apply multifarious perspectives to farming, and this includes everything from integrating crops and having fruit trees as permanent crops to creating cyclone-resistant shelters. Even the kids living here, including tiny Chandni, raise crops, harvest seeds, and learn from experience. And then, there is music, of course.
Krishna says he is ‘Iyarkai vivasayi’ meaning organic farmer with natural resources. His love towards Tamil culture made him marry a girl from Tamil Nadu and settled with her in Auroville, Puducherry. Krishna’s wife Deepa is a native from Thiruvannamalai. He loves her wife just as much as he loves farming and this lovely couple has two children.
This nature loving family lives in a strip cut house and farms on their 6 acre land. Krishna is deeply inspired by “Masanobu Fukuoka” and Nammazhvar. In 1996, Krishna started Solitude Farm which was based on “social agriculture” – creating a dynamic community around local food, permaculture and natural farming.
He also runs a small hotel which is nestled in the lap of nature which had regular visitors who are served organic produce from his farms. Millet dosa, Indravalli green dosa, wood apple salad, cucumber pachadi and papaya salad are their iconic organic food servings to their customers. The couple says they run this hotel to only to make people aware about natural farming and not for income.
Krishna has 140 unique plants on his farm which also include plants of medicinal value like Piper Longum. Krishna says, “We need natural potion for us. Farming comes naturally to people here and everyone has good knowledge about the same. But, we tend to forget the essence of farming and get wooed by false goals like money. If food is not good, water is not pure then what is the meaning of money and employment in life?”
He adds that he is neither English nor Tamil, he lives under one sky and one land for everyone. His efforts surely stand out and help people in becoming aware of the pros of organic farming.
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