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Saturday, December 26, 2009

the 4-D human Life!

Human life is like watching a movie in a 4-D cinema hall where the events do happen on their own and thus affecting our all the six senses which can be avoided as it has nothing to do physically!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

All when I went for a sleep-Actions of Whispers

I wanted to map the actions of whispers through the waves entering into my ears and thus alerting my nerves to understand. The coding has to be decoded naturally which were encrypted neither in Japanese, Chinese or Sanskrit nor in any other language spoken in the civil fraternity.
The actions were so fierce that it staged a panoramic drama of life beyond life in a very sueful manner. It posed a question to me let to the throbbing of my heart that am I on the right path of the things? Am I tying to become a judge of my serene love towards simplicity? Am I playing a lie game with the static vibration of the truth? What I am doing?
Decoding the whispers is not an easy thing though not too tough if you are lashed with the hunters of blames and sorrows.
Awaken in the morning I checked my entire body for the pain which I suffered the whole night. Nothing on the flesh was found but the my soul was still not full conscious!

Whispers continued to act consciously!



The real target can never be seen or imagined but can be sensed only otherwise it is not a target!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to protect the virginity of spirituality post marriage?

The day I had started hunting for a life partner, I started developing a relationship between marriage and spiritualism. Prior to this I have been well married to the life's basic essence of spiritualism. I never wanted to give divorce to my earlier life for the sake of lust and love. Swami Paramhans the guru of great swami vivekananda had given her wife the stature of Devi and used to worship her. He said I see the Goddess in her. I dont know how many spiritualistic married people do see a goddess in their wives:-) Is this the right way to keep a balance between the two paths.
People who enjoy their married life feel that adopting a saint's lifestyle is like rusting our bodies. On the contrary a spiritual soul will think that after marrying lust will rust the soul; Body has no significance for them!
Indeed developing a relationship between the two is very tough.
Ramdev baba says that the only purpose of sex is to have babies to fuel the generations.Gita says that just do the things without enjoying their tastes. Eat the sweet for the sake of eating not just to test its sweetness. Now let me ask is the sex just a mechanical activity? Are there no emotions involved during the act? On these grounds I object Ramdevji's statement.
Instead Ramdevji should have developed a method in ayurved or yoga to fertilise an egg with a sperm without the bodies coming in contact with each other like test tube babies. Let there be a sperm bank and an egg bank; probabaly this would have been the best way we could have preserved the virginity of the spirituality.
Still I am looking for an answer...................................

Monday, December 7, 2009

Use Pennisense-Travel Internationa for Less

Recently I visited an International Destination the land of white elephant, a four hour direct fly from Mumbai to the east named as Thailand. It was my first international moonwalk ( A trip to International destination is no less than a moon walk for a middle class Indian like me). Before the trip many people prompted me to book the tour through some travel agent on a package as it is much safer and convenient; after all you are not travelling in India.
I checked with the Travel Agents and trust me over a period of time; thanks to immense information available on Internet I myself can become a travel agent for Thailand and can honorarily advise my friends in a professional way.
Packages with Travel Agents available were all out of my pocket for the type of journey I was looking at. Later I decided to be a smart traveller and I developed the art of pennisense in myself inspired by the famous hindi goldie "Around the world in 8 Dollars".
Certain tips I would like to share with you.
While Booking the Air tickets check website at It gives you the fares displayed on various travel agent websites as, etc.
Also you get to know the offers. Need not to say book in advance. Also I have found that bypassing the travel agent and booking directly through the airline's website will cost you dear.
For hotels booking best website is
Before booking read the reviews given by the travellers and you also don't forget to write your review after you come back. It is of immense help.
Register yourself at for the various updates for the destination. May be you come across some very good deal pooping up in your mail box some day.
Never forget to take a travel insurance. Check out at and compare the various options available. Also if possible I would recommend you to read the Policy document printed in small fonts before taking the policy to avoid any inconvenience.
Connectivity is a major issue while you are out of India and for you to be remain connected explore the possibility of getting a prepaid card of the country you are visiting.
Like In thailand you can get a prepaid card for 100 Baht with calling 35 calling minutes.
If you don't want to waste your energy into this simple take a matrix card from India. Incoming is free on Matrix Card. Search website for more details.
Food is a big problem for the travellers. Never forget to carry some dry fruits and snacks depending on the number of people travelling and number of days. This will save a lot of money outside.
Have a map of the city at the station and try using public transport system and use visual language like hands, maps etc. where you don't find English speaking people. Generally you will find people more cooperative in tourism rich countries.
Carry just as much required USD to the destination country and use your International credit card(for shopping) and International debit card(For withdrawal of Money) more as effective currency conversion rate is cheaper.
These are some of the tips for someone going for a international travel.
Indeed you can save a lot of hard earned money if you have done some prework.

Use Pennisense!

Catch u later with more information!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Honeymoon under the Sea!

huh! Returning after a long time. Got engaged in some very personal but most important stuff of the life. With your blessings I got married on 10th of Nov. Now honeymooning in the grandeur city of Bangkok, the city of night lights and enshrined with; easy to find temples of Gautam Buddha all across the city. Malls here are very big unlike India with full of activities with lots of food junctions but getting anything Veg here is not just tough but the most impossible task here.

Even the guy at Mc D gave us a bad look at us when we (Myself and Iti) asked about something Veg:-) To satiate our hunger we always carry some biscuits to keep our energy level up till we come across some Indian Joint.

Last whole week we covered pattaya, the city famous for night life and beaches. Though I didn't find the beaches good to my expectations except the coral island which is around 7.5 kms from the Jomtien beach via Sea.

One interesting thing we did there was walking over the bottom of sea in reality. It was something very adventurous. We touched the corals by our own hands and got the idea of the life the species live deep under the sea. Best way is that you dive into the sea yourself and explore. We did the same. We even fed fishes the bread down under the sea.

It was the best part of our honeymoon and a memorial of our love.

Got to go! Have planned to visit temples today at Bangkok!

Good Day!

...Ankur & Iti

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mahatma Gandhi is Obama's real hero!

US President Barack Obama has said given a chance he would like to have dinner with Mahatma Gandhi, whom he considered a real hero.

Obama expressed his desire in response to a question from a student Lilly during his discussion with 9th graders at
Wakefield High School in Arlington Virginia where he accompanied with the Education Secretary gave a national speech welcoming students back to school.

Obama called for students to take responsibility and to learn from their failures so that they succeed in the end.

"Hi. I'm Lilly. And if you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?," Obama was asked by one of the students.

"Dinner with anyone dead or alive? Well, you know, dead or alive, that's a pretty big list," Obama responded amidst laughter. The next moment he was serious.

"You know, I think that it might be Gandhi, who is a real hero of mine," Obama said. "Now, it would probably be a really small meal because he didn't eat a lot," he said amidst laughter. But Mahatma Gandhi is someone who has inspire people across the world for the past several generations, he said.

Terming the iconic figure as the source of inspiration for many, Obama said "he (Mahatma Gandhi) is somebody whom I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr King (Martin Luther), so if it hadn't been for the non-violent movement in India, you might not have seen the same non-violent movement for civil rights here in the United States." said.

"What was interesting was that he ended up doing so much and changing the world just by the power of his ethics, by his ability to change how people saw each other and saw themselves -- and help people who thought they had no power realise that they had power, and then help people who had a lot of power
realise that if all they're doing is oppressing people, then that's not a really good exercise of power," Obama said.

Expressing his belief in the way of change proposed by Gandhi, the President said, "I am always interested in people who are able to bring about change, not through violence, not through money, but through the force of their personality and their ethical and moral stances. That is somebody that I would
love to sit down and talk to," said Obama.

Mahatma Gandhi has always been a source of inspiration for this first African-American President of the United States of America.

"In my life, I have always looked to Mahatma Gandhi as an inspiration, because he embodies the kind of transformational change that can be made when ordinary people come together to do extraordinary things," he wrote in the ethnic India Abroad newspaper last year.

"That is why his portrait hangs in my Senate office; to remind me that real results will not just come from Washington, they will come from the people," Obama said.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Freebies! (IGI Airport-Delhi)

You are paid nothing for freebies offered to you and none damn cares about your precious time too. A freebie is a freebie that is a provided as a part of additional value added service probably sometimes comes at the cost of your inconvenience. The funny part is that you cant even raise objections if you are not satisfied with the services because you have not spent even a penny for to buy it tangibly. Tangibly?Yes, Nothing in the world comes for free, there is no thing as mecry, even the beggar has to plead hard for you to lose some of your weight of your wallet. Today sitting at the IGI-Delhi termial 1D I have come across one such bitter experience.The newly constructed Airport extensively displays that the Airport is Wi-Fi enabled. Wow thats great! Still I have some 1 Hr for my flight to depart. Who else can be your best companion at the airport other than the internet while you are alone but still connected to the pandemic world.I immediately booted my laptop and connected with the Wire Less Network of the IGI- Delhi Airport.I was just one step far to read some good stuff at the internet just at the expense of my laptop battery.First things first, rightly said, I opened the Internet explorer. A page opened as For verification it asked for my mobile number.Without loosing a moment I entered my no for them to send a username and password on my cell.5 Min passed10 Min Passed....20 Min Passed.....1 Hour Passed...........But the message never flashed in my cell's mini screen, the probabalt gateway to the world of free internet. I am still waiting.I dont know what they meant for the ausum and pseudo word of "Few Minutes".
Truthfully wether it is Lalu's railway station or prafull's airport anything offered as free is actually not free cos either it never reaches u or if it somehow reaches then it reaches at the cost of your inconvenience.SO beware of the freebies next Time.
Meet you soon with another story!

Now Boarding the Aircraft....................

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Health insurers want you to keep smoking, Harvard doctors say!

Health and life insurance companies in the U.S. and abroad have nearly $4.5 billion invested in tobacco stocks, according to Harvard doctors.“It’s the combined taxidermist and veterinarian approach: either way you get your dog back,” says David Himmelstein, an internist at the Harvard Medical School and co-author of a letter published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.The largest tobacco investor on the list, the 160-year old Prudential company with branches in the U.S. and the U.K., has more than $1.5 billion invested in tobacco stocks. The runner-up was Toronto-based Sun Life Financial, which apparently holds over $1 billion in Philip Morris (Altria) and other tobacco stocks. In total, seven companies that sell life, health, disability, or long-term care insurance, have major holdings in tobacco stock.Why is it a big deal? “If you own a billion dollars [of tobacco stock], then you don’t want to see it go down,” says Himmelstein, “You are less likely to join anti-tobacco coalitions, endorse anti-tobacco legislation, basically, anything most health companies would want to participate in.”The letter is the third report that the doctors—who all support a national health care program—have published in the last 14 years.
We decided to check in with some of the insurance companies mentioned in the letter to learn more about their policies with respect to tobacco stock. Prudential was unable to respond by press time. Sun Life, however, flatly denied the charges.“Sun Life does not carry significant holdings in tobacco stocks,” says representative Steve Kee, “We do not disclose specific holdings and, for good measure, we conducted a review further to your inquiry and our exposure to ‘tobacco’ stocks is less than 0.005 percent [about $5 million] of the investment portfolio. Importantly, tobacco-related businesses can be part of a broader conglomerate involving other aspects such as food production.”Himmelstein rechecked his numbers in the Osiris database, and said, “I fear that if Sun Life has a dispute, it is with Osiris not with us.”In any event, the doctors’ persistence over the years seems to be working to some extent. They targeted MetLife and Cigna in their 1995 and 2000 letters to medical journals, but neither is listed in the latest reckoning, indicating that the insurers no longer hold enough to stock to be noted on filings for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, a representative for Cigna says they currently have no direct holdings in tobacco stock unless it is part of an index fund.
But with $4.5 billion still invested in Big Tobacco, many insurers are reaping profits from a cancer-causing industry. As Himmelstein puts it, "Is this who we want running our health care system?"


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cost n Convenience? Make home shifting a fun.....

Think one Mr. John working as a Financial Consultant in the state of Otah and gets transferred to Newyork to take higher responsibilities at a higher profile.
There are lots of things that he has to do at the professional level to approve him as the best man for the job at the New Place. He need to focus on certain important parameters related to his work to have a command on his new profile. Unfortunately He has got only 1 week's time to make a shift.
Now see there are a heel lot of things to be done to transfer himself professionally but also personally which includes his family,his possessions, his liabilities and much more. Given the fact the Mr. Joan incidentally is not so perfect in the art of shifting his home as like other individuals.
He has lots of pre-works to be dont which looks so small but its a pretty hectic thing when faced. Like Moving in Meter Readings, TV Licence Transfers Etc. Seems small but a big deal and consumes a lot of time.
Then one of his friend Smith suggested him to visit
First Mr. John thought its a vague idea to explore such site as it would be further waste of time.
Anyways smith persisted and later Mrs. John's wife he finally opened the Google Chrome Window sipping a cup of tea during his normal course of googling.
The front of the website was so attractive that he kept staring it for 5 minutes initially. He thanked to Smith for giving him a clue from inside.
He just put rest other website windows on idle and just start exploring
Webservices not only provide the convenience but also the savings which was beyond his expectations and said a loud WOW which sounded across the dining room and it attracted the attention of Mrs. John which came nearby him and she could also not believe on her eyes that exclamatory remarks by Mr. Joan should not be taken as a Joke. Its just amazing, innovative,cost-effective and time-saving.
Its a smart move for a smart professional like Mr. John.
He clicked a link on the website:-
where one can get comparable quotes for gas and electricity. A big saving with convenience.
See This one:-

Exclusivity in everything man and van concept coined in

What more:-

where a whopping discount on packing was being offered without even being asked a courtesy gift from
For Home Insurance it is:-
Get the best deal.
There is something for everything.
Moreover it also acts as a mentor:-
Like visit this:-
You will feel urself a guru and much more confident while clinching a deal.
Try this:-
if you are a buyer or seller.
Over and above there is a seal of confidence. The website is partnered and accredited with many big-wigs.
like royal mall, virgin,BT etc.

Wanna move a company dig this out:-

So, from now on...if anytime anywhere you wish to move there is one online companion for you with you of you.
I would suggest to surf at least once and take a smart decision like Mr. John has taken.
Happy Shifting..
The site serves people who are looking for renting or buying homes, moving to new homes and looking for finance to take care of their helps you with- * Plan your move * Get FREE Quotes * Connect home services

(Mr. John is a fictional character used)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rituals in Marriage!

Customs & Rituals
A Sindhi Hindu Wedding is not simply an exchange of vows and rings. It includes a number of religious rites before and during the nuptials, which are performed in the presence of family deities. These represent the importance of the bond between a husband and wife. A Hindu marriage or "Vivaha" is incomplete without the blessings of a spiritual or divine element.
Nav Graha Puja
Ghari Puja
The Wedding

Misri (Ring Ceremony)
All prayers in Hindu ceremonies start by invoking the blessings of Lord Ganesha (Lord Ganesha unlike all the other Hindu deities has an elephant head as a result of the unfortunate conditions explaining Lord Ganesh's elephant head - his own father axed off his son's head and then replaced it with that of the first animal he saw - the Hindu devout shows his lack of preference between the Lords by making his preliminary prayers to Lords, Ganesha). Seven married ladies (portraying 7 forms of God for each day of the week) use red powder to make a Ganesh sign (clockwise swastika) on a pot of misri (crystalline sugar) asking him to bless the couple and ensure that the ceremony goes well.
The ladies also sew designs on a white piece of cloth to ward of any 'Nazar' (evil eyes cast) that may come upon the happy occasion. This cloth is worn by the couple on the wedding day. (Some couples leave the preparation of the white cloth until the Ghari puja.)
A puja is done by the couple and their parents welcoming God in different forms and asking for his blessings. They pray to Lord Ganesha, Varun Devta, Laxmi & Narayan, the Gods governing the 9 planets, and Om (i.e. Triumverate of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva).
Garlands are exchanged by the couple in order to welcome each other into their lives. This part of the ceremony is known as the Varmala.
As gold lasts forever, rings made of gold are exchanged by the couple in order to represent a long married life. It is believed that the fourth finger of the hand has a vein leading directly to the heart. Hence the groom wears the ring on the fourth finger of his right hand and the bride wears hers on the fourth finger of her left hand in order to form a complete heart.
The groom's family places a basket of fruits, clothes, cosmetics or ornaments on the girl's lap (in her jholi) to represent their acceptance into her family and bestowing her with happiness and prosperity.
The groom's family gives a verbal promise of marriage and feeds misri (crystalline sugar) to the girl's family to confirm the engagement. The eating of sweet is considered auspicious by the Hindus and thus is eaten on all happy occasions.
Mehndi (Henna - Painting of Hands & Feet)
This festive occasion, originally of Muslim origin, is usually held in the late afternoon. This is primarily a ladies tea party, however allowing the male relatives to be present. On the "mehndi", the future bride has her hands and feet intricately patterned with a paste, which is a recipe of henna, oil, lemon juice and some water tinted with tea. The application of mehndi or henna takes about four hours to complete. Ideally, the bride-to-be should not wash her hands until the paste has completely dried. Invitees at the party also design each other's hands with mehndi. Mehndi signifies the strength of love in a marriage. The darker the mehndi, the stronger the love.
Sangeet Party (Musical Party)
Music is the soul of any wedding ceremony, regardless of faith or origin. Without music & festivity, the wedding lacks sparkle. On the Sangeet night, entertainment is provided with the help of professional singers who sing 'ladas' and popular hindi songs. Family and friends eat, drink and dance the night away.
Sagri (Acquaintance)
The sisters and female relatives of the groom visit the bride-to-be in her home. They bring with them perfume, cosmetics and flowers that are strung together in the form of earrings, bangles, hairpieces and garlands. The sisters adorn their sister-in-law to be with the flowers, suggesting their affection for her. The purpose of this ceremony is to increase familiarity between the bride and her new family, creating an atmosphere that is fragrant and beautiful.
Nav-Graha Puja (Worship to the Nine Planets)
This is the prayer to the nine planets of our Solar System. Ancient Indian studies indicate that various celestial bodies have tremendous influence on the destiny of every individual, and among them the effect of the nine planets is "supposed" to be the most profound. During this puja, the Gods associated with these planets are asked to bless the couple and their families.
Ghari Puja
This is the final and most important religious custom that is performed on the eve of the wedding day. "Ghari Puja" is carried out in the respective homes of the couple. The priest performs the prayers with rice, coconut, wheat grains, oil, betel nuts, turmeric and a number of other spices. Married ladies grind wheat on a small old-fashioned grinder symbolising that the home will always be prosperous. The groom offers a handful of grains to the priest indicating that although he is changing his lifestyle, he will always give to charity and look after those less fortunate than himself.
The mothers of both the bride and groom dress up in their bridal finery. Carrying an earthen pot of water on their heads, they walk to the threshold of their homes. The sons-in-law of the respective families cut the water with a knife to ward off any evil spirits. The parents are adorned with garlands of flowers and money by their friends and relatives. The bride and groom wear old clothes that are torn off by their friends and family members amidst merriment, illustrating the end of their old life.
Swagatam (Welcome)
After the bride dresses up in her wedding ensemble, her sisters or female relatives escort the groom to the bride's house. At the entrance, the groom places his right foot on the top of the bride's foot, signifying that he should be the dominating strength in their life together. After the groom enters the house, the bride's parents rinse his feet with milk and water. It is believed that due to all the prayers that have preceded this moment, the groom is an embodiment of Lord Vishnu on this wedding day.
Hathialo (Joining of the Hands)
In this ceremony, the corner of the bride's sari is tied to a scarf, which is worn by the groom. The right hands of the couple are tied with a thread that has been blessed with religious incantations. The typing of the hands signifies an eternal bond that will join them forever. The couple then prays to the Gods to give them strength and bless their union.
The Wedding Ceremony
The wedding ceremony is performed by the priest in the presence of family and friends. The bride and groom are seated in front of a holy fire and the priest recites various religious sayings from the Holy scriptures. According to the Hindu religion, fire is considered the sustainer of life. It is believed that the Gods and Goddesses sit around this auspicious fire. The priest directs various family members to give offerings into the holy fire. The couple walks around the fire four times exchanging vows of duty and love, fidelity, respect and a fruitful union. the groom then places the brides hand on his forehead, to denote that he accepts her as his wife for better of for worse, in health or in sickness and that it his destiny to marry her. The couples heads are held together implying that although they are separate individuals, from this day onwards, they are one in body, mind and spirit.
Kanya Daan (Entrusting of the Daughter)
The bride's parents entrust their daughter in the safe keeping of the groom and his family.
Datar (Salt Ceremony)
After friends and family have greeted the couple, they leave for the groom's house. At the entrance of their new home, the bride's feet are rinsed by the groom's parents. A cover is placed over her head as she sprinkles milk in all corners of the house. This signifies that she will maintain the respect of the family and that if there are any misunderstandings within the family, she is supposed to help solve or "cool" them. Surrounded by her new family, the bride picks up a handful of salt and places it in the hands of her husband. He passes it back into her hands without spilling any salt. This is done three times. Similarly, the "datar" is carried out with all members of the groom's family. Exchanging salt symbolises that just as salt blends in and gives taste to food, so must the bride blend in and become a part of her new family.
This article on Sindhi Marriage Rituals was researched by Sonney Lalwani। We also thank Chander Navani for his help.


Monday, May 25, 2009

इतिशील विधाएं सिखाती है,

इतिशील विधाएं सिखाती है,

दुर्गम ओटन से झाक-झाक कर,

निर्मल होठों से परिमल होती,

गतिशील हवाएं,मन की भाषाएँ।


इत्तिशील निर्मल विधाएं।

पहला पत्ता अभिमान तान पर,

निर्भय है निर्माण शान पर।

आकृति कि निर्मल प्रतिमा,

उडे आज उत्कर्ष विमान पर।

प्रेम वियोगी परम सहयोगी,

शांत विमल है यह जोगी,

सहवास तपन कि आंधी से,

झुकते प्रति प्रचंड विरोधी।

सीमा को कन्धों से नापकर,

गरिमा को प्रेम में फात्कर।

इती हो रही प्रतिकृत कि,

में सुलझा ख़ुद को जानकर.

सजग दिशाएं व्यर्थ प्रथाये,

कोमल पाटों कि कोपल पर,

सहज ही निर्मित होती,

इत्तिशील निर्मल विधाएं।


Monday, May 18, 2009

The dawn of Prabhakaran!

Prabhakaran is Dead! Now there would be no more violence in the country of Budda followers Sri Lanka. President of The country and probably the Gandhi parivar of India would have taken a big sigh of relief. The day Rajiv Gandhi was killed brutally by Prabhakaran's WOMEN India could not never forgive this devil hero of so called some Tamils. It had put a indelible mark on the sanity of Indian Politics. Our Politics can be so bad but it was without any blood war until then; touch wood. Then who has given the right to play to him with the person;holding the topmost post of India. Well he ought to be limited to his territory.
This so called Tiger has died a shameful death. Reportedly he didn't died while fighting as ChandraShekar but as a rat, as a poor dog. How afraid and weak he was from within who presided the LTTE for 30 years?
I do understand that any kind of humility on Tamils in Srilanka is wrong. No human being has got the right to suppress another human being based on the caste, religion,color or country.
But the way Prabhakaran has adopted can be accepted. It should be non violent. The people who protest through violent means are most coward as they are afraid and weal from within.They don't have the power of patience and truth. Any kind of violence for any cause is prohibited in Human Religion. It is the nature of wild animals of the jungle who resort to such activities for fulfilling their demands. Be it LeT or LTTE. They are coward and impotent as far as humanity is concerned.
Violence never provides any solution in the long term. Its only provides a temporary measure.
It shows the fading shine of the person involved in violence.
Prabhakaran was on among them. At last he proved to be not a Tiger but a rat who died of the Bullet while running away. The man who took suicide bombers lives for granted could not gather courage to take him himself to the door of hell.
I am not happy that Prabhakaran as a human being is dead but as a violent being(not a human being) it gives me great pleasure that no more violence will evolve in the future.
Its an lesson to the extremist violent groups that their end may not be well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

गर्जित,अपनों का परिवेश!

रोटी सकलो परवानो की,
पर जानो यह कुछ विशेष!
नही भूलता भूतल पर,
गर्जित,अपनों का परिवेश!


की है एकत्रित प्रदेश!

मतभेदों की मट्टी मैं,

उपजे कुछ संदेश!

झलक दिखाते और समझाते,

की है एकत्रित प्रदेश!


पाकी यह संसार!

निर्बल आजा,
सजग व्यथा का,
पाकी यह संसार!
तुज्हे पूछता,
मुजहे भूलता,
यह कैसा आचार?


पर कृषक की माटी ही,

निरवानों की बेला पर,
चढ़े खूब श्रृंगार,
पर कृषक की माटी ही,
क्यो करती प्रहार!


और खाली कुरुषेत्र!

प्रेम प्रसंग,

और खाली कुरुषेत्र!

पीडाओं के वार,

नही चुकता अर्जुन का,

मतस्य प्रति वयवहार!


प्रतिसादों का आचार।

आकर्षित है जल थल मैं,

तेरा मेरा व्यभिचार।

निर्विघ्न समां जाता है,

प्रतिसादों का आचार।


गूंजे व्योम प्रतिकार!

निर्मित्त आकृति का सुविचार,

व्यभिचारी मेरा साकार,

आवेदनों के रथ पर,

गूंजे व्योम प्रतिकार!


प्रतिपल तुम श्रीगणेश करो,

प्रतिपल तुम श्रीगणेश करो,

आदेश स्वाश मैं भरे चलो!

निर्विघ्न विचारों की धारा मैं,

प्रवेश करो, प्रवेश करो!


झुरमुट की रानी!

अगन सायानी,
पर लगन पुरानी!
आवेश नया,
है झुरमुट की रानी!


तेरा मेरा यह संवाद,

तेरा मेरा यह संवाद,
न बन जाये अवसाद।
कहानी कि घुटन का,
तोड़ देता प्रतिसाद।


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Who is the Culprit?

World over the economy is facing the pain of Deep Wound made by the ailing economy.In this era of Globalisation succeeded by Glocalisation every country is suffering from an H1N1 syndrome which is highly epidemic. India is also not untouched!
I remember the quote which I had learnt in my school days that once India was nicknames as "Sone ki Chidiya". A bird made of Gold. A rich country with a equivalent rich culture indeed.
A beautiful past!
But where we stand today? We have been ruled by foreigners for over 1000 years. We lost a lot!
Not only the money but also the prestige. Interestingly I had read in a Newspapers long back that Indians do have the sharpest brain the world, quoted by French Education Minister.
More than 60 pathetic years have passed since we have got the freedom. But where we stand today despite the rich culture and a big pool of most intelligent breed in the world?
We are loosing jobs, Obama is respected more than our own Prime Minister. Bills passed in US are of more importance then the bills passed in our so called sabji-mandi, Parliament.
We thrive for H1 Visa. We have second highest population in India.
Even recently I have heard that the much talked about Swine Flu today have a cure in India. WHO has contacted and relied on an Indian company to invent a vaccine to counter attack the deadly virus.
Though Indian Origin brains are running the biggest economy of the world. Mr. Obama relies upon the people of India to make policy decisions.
Even big-shot Warren Buffet when talks about an Indian being the most intelligent brain working with him gives our morale a big boost.
I feel among all the habitats it is the brain which makes Human a superior breed which we have got by Birth, but sad fully to mention that more than 40% of the population of India is reeling under the Below Poverty Line whose annual income is hardly 10000 INR a year in a country where per capita Income is 24000 INR a year which is much less than Pakistan's per capita Income?
Off the track I gives me great pain to accept a fact that India do have the highest Polygamy rate of 5.6%. What culture we are proud of?
Time has come when we need to seriously think about changing the culture and economic policies.
In India the base of the pyramid is too big. Roughly over 60% of the population is dependent on Agriculture though day on day representation of Agriculture in GDP has come down to a mere 17% today. What a mockery?
Further you will be surprised to know that Agri Processed Food Account for more than 33% of the total GDP to which nil share is imparted to the toiling Farmer in the land. Why?
From over 50% in 1950 to 17% in 2009, where we are heading.
Why are we allowing the riches consisting of Indians and foreigners to eat up the over 33% of the GDP? For every 100 INR spent by a FI in India takes back 300 INR.
Are we sleeping or waiting for worse to come?
Being an Agriculture Rich country we have the opportunity and the command to rule the world.
For this we need to first enrich the farmer so that he can buy new technologies and harvest even more. We should never forget that farmers are the back bone of our country and they should be given a proper respect.
Can you recall how many farmers have been awarded with a Padamshree or Padambhushan Award?
Probably None.
The country is of Farmers,for Farmers and by Farmers.
Recently I happened to go to one place in Uttarakhand, a small village named Agrakhal near Rishikesh. Land Produces tons of ORGANIC Ginger. As a buyer I can buy Ginger from a farmer for just paying Rs.22 a Kg, though the market rate in Mumbai is Rs.140 a Kg.If it is processed in any form then you will get it for Rs.1000 a Kg. So what a big gap from a meagre 22 to 1000?
Who is earning out of the total game. definitely it is not the farmer who is producing it but the middle man who is getting richer and richer day on day on the ever increasing poverty of poor farmer?
Just declaring a relief package of Rs.60000 cr will not suffice. Its a temporary move. How we can ever dare to oblige a farmer who is giving us something without which we can survive?
At the end with the facts and figures I am leaving a question "Who is the real culprit for all this menace?"

Jai Hind..


Thursday, April 30, 2009

what the science is?

"Ability of differentiation is the basic of Science"


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Polygamy! Is it Logical?

I am touching a very sensitive and not to talked about issue today through my Blog.
I am sure you will find it interesting but please don't be shy in spreading the information that I am going to share with you on this forum.
We know that Polygamy is not allowed as per Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and as per Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Act 1939 Muslims can have 4 wives at a time. In Muslim Religion Polygyny is allowed but not the Polyandry (one woman having more than one husband) and Group Marriages (husbands having many wives and those wives having many husbands).
Polygamy is often confused as One Husband having many Wives though its not true; it includes Polygyny,Polyandry and Group Marriages.
One data published at wikipedia surprised me!
Ironically, according to the 1961 census (the last census to record such data), polygamy was actually less prevalent among Indian Muslims (5.7%) than among several other religious groups. Incidence was highest among Adivasis (15.25%) and Buddhists (7.9%); Hindus, by comparison, had an incidence of 5.8%.[55]

So, the religions in which any kind of Polygamy is discouraged are actually not following the virtues taught by their Religion. This is a matter of shame for them.
According to Theravada Buddhism, polygamy is discouraged and extramarital affairs are considered sinful. It is said in the Parabhava Sutta that "a man who is not satisfied with one woman and seeks out other women is on the path to decline".

Though I am an ardent opposer of Polygamy but Muslims do earn a pat on their backs.
Further, I would request the Government of India to ban Polygamy in India.
It has been declared illegal in countries like UK,USA,Turkey, Uzbekistan to name a few. Even in Iran the permission has to be taken from the first wife in writing. So why in India we are bind to follow this orthodox and nonsense practice of the religion.
Especially in a country with a population of over a Billion, is this advisable to continue such practices in the name of a religion.
Forget Population! My Muslim Brothers will accept that Marriage is a right and responsibility of every individual. In the words of prophet:
Prophet said:-“When a man marries he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.”This very wording of Prophet marks the importance of marriage, thus it could be well concluded that marriage in Islam is must.

Second it is also very clear that every religion discourages Divorce.

Now going with the current Male to Female Ratio for in India for every 1000 Men there are less than 900 Women. So, theoretically and practically there is not a single girl available for marriage for every individual Man. In this scenario if some religion encourages Polygamy will it not led to opposition by force to the saying of great Prophet?

What I understand Polygamy was put in practice when there Male to Female ratio was biased towards Female side. But biologically the bias has changed it direction over a period of time.
I hope the religions and the governments also understand this and scrap this law immediately.

Though this article may hurt someone's feeling but my pure intention was to discuss a social problem and not to hurt any community. I apologise in anticipation in case it has hurt someone even a bit.


A Trap for Non-Muslim Girls?

Refer the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 I found a very strange thing in it to which I would like to draw your attention.
If a Born Muslim Married Lady renounciates or is converted to some other religion and she looks for a Divorce then she can easily do that based on 9 grounds but in case of a Non-Muslim Girl converted to Muslim and later re-embraces her religion or renountiates Muslim Religion can't nullify her marriage or go for divorce based on the same 9 grounds.
So, it is a kind of trap for those Non Muslim Girls who marry to a Muslim Groom as it is very difficult for her to get the divorce and free herself from the mess that she may face in the future.
The 9 grounds on which the divorce can be sought.
i) that the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for a period of four years;(ii) that the husband has neglected or has filed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years;(ii-A) that the husband has taken an additional wife in contravention of the provisions of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961;(iii) that the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of seven years or upwards;
(iv) that the husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of three years;
(v) that the husband was impotent at the time of the marriage and continues to be so;(vi) that the husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease;(vii) that she, having been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of sixteen years, repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years:
Provided that the marriage has not been consumated;
(viii)that the husband treats her with cruelty, that is to say, (a) habitually assaults her or makes her life miserable by cruelty of conduct even if such conduct does not amount to physical ill-treatment, or (b) associates with women of evil repute of leads an infamous life, or (c) attempts to force her to lead an immoral life, or (d) disposes of her property or prevents her exercising her legal rights over it, or (e) obstructs her in the observance of her religious profession or practice, or (f) if he has more wives than one, does not treat her equitably in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran,
(ix) on any other ground which is recognized as valid for the dissolution of marriages under Muslim Law,Provided that:
(a) no decree passed on ground (i) shall take effect for a period of six months from the date of such decree, and if the husband appears either in person or through an authorised agent within that period and satisfies the Court he is prepared to perform his conjugal duties the Court shall set aside the said decree; and (b) before passing a decree on ground (v) the Court shall, on application by the husband, make an order requiring the husband to satisfy the Court within a period of one year from the date of such order that he has ceased to be impotent, and if the husband so satisfied the Court within such period, no decree shall be passed on the said ground.

I hope some may find it useful!



The Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939
An Act to consolidate and clarify the provisions of Muslim Law relating to suits for dissolution of marriage by women married under Muslim Law and to remove doubts as to the effect of the renunciation of Islam by a married woman on her marriage tie.
Whereas it is expedient to consolidate and clarify the provisions of Muslim Law relating to suits for dissolution of marriage by women married under Muslim Law and to remove doubts as to the effect of the renunciation of Islam by a married Muslim woman on her marriage; it is hereby enacted as follows:
1. Short title and extent.(1) This Act may be called the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939.(2) It extends to all the provinces and the Capital of the Federation.
2. Grounds for decree for dissolution of marriage.A woman married under Muslim Law shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any one or more of the following grounds, namely:
(i) that the whereabouts of the husband have not been known for a period of four years;(ii) that the husband has neglected or has filed to provide for her maintenance for a period of two years;(ii-A) that the husband has taken an additional wife in contravention of the provisions of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961;(iii) that the husband has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of seven years or upwards;
(iv) that the husband has failed to perform, without reasonable cause, his marital obligations for a period of three years;
(v) that the husband was impotent at the time of the marriage and continues to be so;(vi) that the husband has been insane for a period of two years or is suffering from leprosy or a virulent venereal disease;(vii) that she, having been given in marriage by her father or other guardian before she attained the age of sixteen years, repudiated the marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years:
Provided that the marriage has not been consumated;
(viii)that the husband treats her with cruelty, that is to say, (a) habitually assaults her or makes her life miserable by cruelty of conduct even if such conduct does not amount to physical ill-treatment, or (b) associates with women of evil repute of leads an infamous life, or (c) attempts to force her to lead an immoral life, or (d) disposes of her property or prevents her exercising her legal rights over it, or (e) obstructs her in the observance of her religious profession or practice, or (f) if he has more wives than one, does not treat her equitably in accordance with the injunctions of the Quran,
(ix) on any other ground which is recognized as valid for the dissolution of marriages under Muslim Law,Provided that:
(a) no decree passed on ground (i) shall take effect for a period of six months from the date of such decree, and if the husband appears either in person or through an authorised agent within that period and satisfies the Court he is prepared to perform his conjugal duties the Court shall set aside the said decree; and (b) before passing a decree on ground (v) the Court shall, on application by the husband, make an order requiring the husband to satisfy the Court within a period of one year from the date of such order that he has ceased to be impotent, and if the husband so satisfied the Court within such period, no decree shall be passed on the said ground.
3. Notice to be served on heirs of the husband when the husband’s whereabouts are not known.In a suit to which clause (i) of section 2 applies:(a) the names and addresses of the persons who would have been heirs of the husband under Muslim Law if he had died on the date of the filing of the plaint shall be stated in the plaint.(b) notice of the suit shall be served on such persons, and(c) such persons shall have the right to be heard in the suit:Provided that paternal-uncle and brother of the husband, if any, shall be cited as party even if he or they are not heirs.
Effect of conversion to another faith.The renunciation of Islam by a married Muslim woman or her conversion to a faith other than Islam shall not by itself operate to dissolve her marriage:Provided that after such renunciation, or conversion, the woman shall be entitled to obtain a decree for the dissolution of her marriage on any of the grounds mentioned in section 2; Provided further that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a woman converted to Islam from some other faith who re-embraces her former faith.
5. Right to dower not be affected.Nothing contained in this Act shall affect any right which a married woman may have under Muslim law to her dower or any part thereof on the dissolution of her marriage
6. (Repeal of section 5 of Act, XXVI of 1937)Rep. by the Repealing and Amending Act, 1942 (XXV of 1942), section 2 and First Sch.


Concept of Marriage in Muslim Law!

An Overview of Concept of Marriage in Muslim Law

Islam, unlike other religions is a strong advocate of marriage. There is no place of celibacy in Islam like the Roman Catholic priests & nuns. The Prophet has said “There is no Celibacy in Islam”.

Marriage acts as an outlet for sexual needs & regulates it so one doesn’t become slave to his/her desires. It is a social need because through marriage, families are established and the families are the fundamental entity of our society. Furthermore marriage is the only legitimate or halal way to indulge in intimacy between a man and woman.

Islamic marriage although permits polygamy but it completely prohibits polyandry. Polygamy though permitted was guarded by several conditions by Prophet but these conditions are not obeyed by the Muslims in toto.

Marriage:-Pre Islamic Position
Before the birth of Islam there were several traditions in Arab. These traditions were having several unethical processes like:-
(i) Buying of girl from parents by paying a sum of money.
(ii) Temporary marriages.
(iii) Marriage with two real sisters simultaneously.
(iv) Freeness of giving up and again accepting women.
These unethical traditions of the society needed to be abolished; Islam did it and brought a drastic change in the concept of marriage.

Marriage Defined
It is quiet relevant to know whether the Muslim marriage is a sacrament like the Hindu marriage, for this let us get acquainted with some of the definitions of Muslim marriage.

(a) Hedaya 1: - Marriage is a legal process by which the several process and procreation and legitimation of children between man and women is perfectly lawful and valid.

(b) Bailies Digest 2:- A Nikah in Arabic means “Union of the series” and carries a civil contract for the purposes of legalizing sexual intercourse and legitimate procreation of children.

(c) Ameer Ali 3:- Marriage is an organization for the protection of the society. This is made to protect the society from foulness and unchestity.

(d) Abdur Rahim 4:- The Mahomedan priests regard the institution of marriage as par taking both the nature of “Ibadat” or devotional arts and “Muamlat” or dealings among men.

(e) Mahmood J. 5:- Marriage according to the Mahomedan law is not a sacrament but a civil contract.

(f) Under Section 2 of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 Marriage or Nikah among Muslims is a ‘Solemn Pact’ or ‘Mithaq-e-ghalid’ between a man & a woman ,soliciting each others life companionship, which in law takes the form of a contract or aqd.

It’s a matter of query still existing whether Muslim marriage is only a civil contract or an Ibadat & Muamlat. While unleashing the various definitions it’s quite a big problem to say which one is the most appropriate, in my opinion although the essentials of a contract is fulfilled yet marriage can never be said to be a contract because marriage always creates a bondage between the emotions and thinking of two person.
J Sarsah Sulaiman6 has said “In Islam , marriage is not only a civil contract but also a sacrament.”

Muslim marriage can also be differentiated from a civil contract on the basis of following points:-
(a) It cannot be done on the basis of future happenings unlike the contingent contracts.
(b) Unlike the civil contract it cannot be done for a fixed period of time. (Muta Marriage being an exception.)

Purpose of Marriage
The word “Zawj” is used in the Quran to mean a pair or a mate. The general purpose of marriage is that the sexes can provide company to one another, procreate legitimate children & live in peace & tranquility to the commandments of Allah. Marriage serves as a mean to emotional & sexual gratification and as a mean of tension reduction.

Marriage compulsory or not ?
According to Imams Abu Hanifa, Ahmad ibn Hanbal & Malik ibn Anas, marriage in Islam is recommendatory, however in certain individuals it becomes Wajib or obligatory. Imam Shafi considers it to Nafl or Mubah (preferable). The general opinion is that if a person , male or female fears that if he/she does not marry they will commit fornication, then marriage becomes “Wajib”. However, one should not marry if he does not possess the means to maintain a wife and future family or if he has no sex drive or if dislikes children, or if he feels marriage will seriously affect his religious obligations.

Prophet said:-
“When a man marries he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.”
This very wording of Prophet marks the importance of marriage, thus it could be well concluded that marriage in Islam is must.

Capacity for Marriage
The general essentials for marriage under Islam are as follows:-
(i) Every Mahomedan of sound mind and having attained puberty can marry. Where there is no proof or evidence of puberty the age of puberty is fifteen years.
(ii) A minor and insane (lunatic) who have not attained puberty can be validly contracted in marriage by their respective guardians.
(iii) Consent of party is must. A marriage of a Mahomedan who is of sound mind and has attained puberty, is void, if there is no consent.

Essentials of Marriage
The essentials of a valid marriage are as follows:-
(i) There should be a proposal made by or on behalf of one of the parties to the marriage, and an acceptance of the proposal by or on behalf of the other party.
(ii) The proposal and acceptance must both be expressed at once meeting.
(iii) The parties must be competent.
(iv) There must be two male or one male & two female witnesses, who must be sane and adult Mahomedan present & hearing during the marriage proposal and acceptance. (Not needed in Shia Law)
(v) Neither writing nor any religious ceremony is needed.

Essentials Explored
(i) A Muslim marriage requires proposal ‘Ijab’ from one party and acceptance ‘Qubul’ from the other side. This must be done in one sitting.
(ii) The acceptance must be corresponding to what is being offered.
(iii) The marriage must be effectively immediate. If the Wali says “ I will marry her to you after two months”, there is no marriage.
(iv) The two parties must be legally competent; i.e. they must be sane and adult.
(v) The women must not be from the forbidden class.
(vi) The consent given must be free consent,. It must not be an outcome of compulsion, duess, coercion or undue influence.

Kinds of Marriage
Under Muslim generally two types of marriage is recognized
(i) Regular Marriage (essentials discussed earlier)
(ii) Muta marriage

Muta Marriage: -
Muta marriage is a temporary marriage. Muta marriage is recognized in Shia only. Sunni law doesn’t recognize it. (Baillie, 18). A Shia of the male sex may contract a Muta marriage with a woman professing the Mahomedan, Christian or Jewish religion, or even with a woman who is a fire worshipper but not with any woman following any other religion. But a Shia woman cannot contract a Muta marriage with a non muslim.
The essentials of Muta marriage are:-

(1) The period of cohabitation should be fixed.
(2) Dower should be fixed.
(3) If dower specified, term not specified, it could amount to permanent or regular marriage.
(4) If term fixed dower not specified, it amounts to void marriage.

Aspects of Marriage
(i) Valid or Sahih
(ii) Irregular or Fasid
(iii) Void or Batil

(i) Valid or Sahih Marriage: - Under the Muslim law, a valid marriage is that which has been constituted in accordance with the essential conditioned prescribed earlier. It confers upon the wife; the right of dower, maintenance and residence, imposes on her obligation to be faithful and obedient to her husband, admit sexual intercourse with him & observe Iddat.

(ii) Irregular or Fasid Marriage: - Those marriages which are outcome of failures on part of parties in non fulfillment of prerequisites but then also are marriages; to be terminated by one of the party is termed to be Irregular marriages. They are outcome of-
(a) A marriage without witness (Not under Shia Law)
(b) Marriage with fifth wife.
(c) Marriage with a women undergoing Iddat.
(d) Marriage with a fire-worshipper.
(e) Marriage outcome of bar of unlawful conjunction.
An irregular marriage has no legal effect before consummation but when consummated give rise to several rights & obligations.

(iii) Void or Batil Marriage:- A marriage which is unlawful from it’s beginning. It does not create any civil rights or obligations between the parties. The offspring of a void marriage is illegitimate. They are outcome of-
(a) Marriage through forced consent.
(b) Plurality of husband.
(c) Marriage prohibited on the ground of consanguinity.
(d) Marriage prohibited on the ground of affinity.
(e) Marriage prohibited on the ground of fosterage.

Effect of Marriage (Sahih)
The lawful obligations which arise after marriage are as follows-
(i) Mutual intercourse legalized and the children so born are legitimate.
(ii) The wife gets power to get ‘Mahr’
(iii) The wife entitles to get maintenance.
(iv) The husband gets right to guide and prohibit the wife’s movement(for valid reasons only)
(v) Right of succession develops.
(vi) Prohibition of marriage due to affinity.
(vii) Women bound to complete Iddat period & not to marry during Iddat period; after divorce or death of husband.
The obligations and rights set between the two parties during and after the marriage are to be enforced till legality. On the basis of a marriage husband and wife do not get the right on one another’s property.

Marriage is a religious duty of every Muslim and it is considered to be a moral safeguard and a social need. The Prophet has also said “Marriage is my tradition whosoever keeps away there from is not from amongst me.”

Unlike Hindu where the marriage is a sacrament, marriages in Muslims have a nature of civil contract. Marriage is necessary for the legitimization of a child. When the marriage is done in accordance to the prescribed norms it creates various rights and obligations on both the parties.

Foot Notes
1- Hedaya P. 25
2- Bailie P. 4
3- Ameer Ali, Mahomedan Law, Students 7th Ed., 97
4- Abdur Rahim,327
5- Abdul Kadir V Salima, (1886) 8 Allahabad, 144 at p 154
6- Anees Begum Vs. Mohammad Istafa (1933) 55 All 743

The author can be reached at:


Friday, March 13, 2009

Space Station Research Could Help Prevent, Treat Food Poisoning

Bug Busters -- Space Station Research Could Help Prevent, Treat Food Poisoning03.11.09
Astronaut Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, STS-115 mission specialist, works with the Yeast-Group Activation Packs on the middeck of space shuttle Atlantis. Image Credit: NASA
Germs are virtually everywhere on Earth and it’s natural that they would stow away for the ride into space when humans go there. New NASA research shows some of those germs, or microbes, are more infectious after spending time in “zero-gravity.”

While that may sound like a bad thing – and certainly it is a challenge that needs to be met to keep astronauts healthy – there is a silver lining. Using spaceflight studies to understand the mechanism for this increased virulence could help us develop new strategies for fighting the spread of such disease-causing microbes here on Earth.

"This research opens up new areas for investigations that may improve food treatment, develop new therapies and vaccines to combat food poisoning in humans here on Earth, and protect astronauts on orbit from infectious disease," said Julie Robinson, program scientist for the International Space Station.

Experiments with Salmonella were flown on shuttle missions to the International Space Station in September 2006 and March 2008. The 2006 experiment surprisingly showed that the spaceflight environment causes a short-term alteration in Salmonella virulence. The 2008 experiment demonstrated that a change in growth media controls the virulence effect. There is no evidence that the space-grown bacteria sustain these effects long-term upon return to Earth.

Cheryl Nickerson, a scientist at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, led a research team that investigated the importance of the microbial growth medium to gene expression and virulence during spaceflight. Image Credit: The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University
Salmonella is a leading cause of food poisoning and related illnesses, and their unpleasant effects on our digestive systems are well documented. In the U.S. alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.4 million non-typhoidal Salmonella infections resulted in 168,000 doctor’s office visits annually from 1996–1999. Salmonella infections caused 15,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths in each of those years. Recently, Salmonella has been in the news as the agent responsible for infectious disease outbreaks in the U.S. linked to contaminated food products like peanut butter that have sickened thousands of individuals and caused several fatalities.

Bacteria like Salmonella use an amazing array of techniques to outwit the human body’s defense mechanisms and cause illness. By changing their gene expression, they adapt to different environments to alter their disease-causing potential or virulence.

Although the study of factors related to microbial virulence is now well advanced, many key pieces of the puzzle still are missing. Cheryl Nickerson, a researcher in the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, led the team that investigated the effect of spaceflight on Salmonella on both space flights. The 2006 experiment was the first to identify the molecular “switch” that activates the increased the virulence of Salmonella caused by spaceflight. The follow-up experiment in 2008 showed that adjusting the ion content of the bacteria’s growth medium can be used to turn off the increase in Salmonella virulence observed in space. Nickerson’s initial findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and her collective findings, published in the journal PLoS ONE, hold promise for new strategies to combat Salmonella food-borne infections.

These space experiments helped researchers show that a mechanical force known as “fluid shear,” which is the motion of fluid that cells sense as they pass over a surface, could have a dramatic effect on Salmonella's disease-causing potential. Lower fluid shear conditions, it turns out, are found both in microgravity and in our intestines. The bacteria cultured in space are more virulent, and Nickerson’s work showed that by modifying the medium in which the cells are grown, the virulence could be reduced or turned off.

Astronaut Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, STS-126 mission specialist, works with the Microbe Group Activation Pack containing eight Fluid Processing Apparatuses on the middeck of space shuttle Endeavour while docked with the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA
In other words, space travel may trick the bacteria into behaving as though they were in the low fluid shear environment of the intestine, essentially turning on a switch inside the microbe that increases virulence. Changing the chemistry of the medium in which the bacteria are cultured reverses this effect.

This research opens up new opportunities to improve food treatment methods, develop new therapies and vaccines to combat food poisoning in humans here on Earth, and help better protect astronauts in space from infectious disease.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Risks of Global Warming Rising: Is It Too Late to Reverse Course?

The risk of catastrophic climate change is getting worse, according to a new study from scientists involved with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Threats—ranging from the destruction of coral reefs to more extreme weather events like hurricanes, droughts and floods—are becoming more likely at the temperature change already underway: as little as 1.8 degree Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) of warming in global average temperatures."Most people thought that the risks were going to be for certain species and poor people. But all of a sudden the European heat wave of 2003 comes along and kills 50,000, [Hurricane] Katrina comes along and there's a lot of data about the increased intensity of droughts and floods. Plus, the dramatic melting of Greenland that nobody can explain certainly has to increase your concern," says climatologist Stephen Schneider of Stanford University, who co-authored the research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as well as in several IPCC reports. "Everywhere we looked, there was evidence that what was believed to be likely has happened. Nature has been cooperating with [climate change] theory unfortunately."Schneider and his colleagues updated a graph, dubbed the "burning embers," that is designed to map the risks of damage from global warming. The initial version of the graph [left] drawn in 2001 had the risks of climate change beginning to appear after 3.6 or 5.4 degrees F (2 to 3 degrees C) of warming, but the years since have shown that climate risks kick in with less warming.According to the new graph, risks to "unique and threatened systems" such as coral reefs and risks of extreme weather events become likely when temperatures rise by as little as 1.8 degrees F from 1990 levels, which is on course to occur by mid-century given the current concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases. In addition, risks of negative consequences such as increased droughts and the complete melting of ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica definitively outweigh any potential positives, such as longer growing seasons in countries such as Canada and Russia. "We're definitely going to overshoot some of these temperatures where we see these very large vulnerabilities manifest," says economist Gary Yohe of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., another co-author. "We're going to have to learn how to adapt."Adaptation notwithstanding, Yohe and Schneider say that scientists must also figure out a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reverse the heating trend to prevent further damage.Several bills pending in Congress would set a so-called cap-and-trade policy under which an overall limit on pollution would be set—and companies with low output could sell their allowances to those that fail to cut emissions as long as the total stays within the total pollution cap. Any such federal policy would put a price on carbon dioxide pollution, which is currently free to vent into the atmosphere, Yohe note. He, however, favors a so-called carbon tax that would set a fixed price for such climate-changing pollution rather than the cap-and-trade proposals favored by the Obama administration. "It's a predictable price, not a thing that bounces around."But even with such policies in place—not only in the U.S. but across the globe—climate change is a foregone conclusion; global average temperatures have already risen by at least 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit (0.6 degree C) and further warming of at least 0.7 degree F (0.4 degree C) is virtually certain, according to the IPCC. And a host of studies, including a recent one from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have shown that global warming is already worse than predicted even a few years ago. The question is: Will it be catastrophic or not? "We've dawdled, and if we dawdle more it will get even worse," Schneider says. "It's time to move."


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Optical Illusions and the Illusion of Love!

This is the seventh article in the Mind Matters series on the neuroscience behind visual illusions.
It’s Valentine’s season, which means that everywhere you look there are heart-shaped balloons, pink greeting cards and candy boxes filled with chocolate. But what is true love? Does it exist? Or is it simply a cognitive illusion, a trick of the mind? Let us count the ways. Contrary to the anatomy referenced in all of our favorite love songs, love (as with every other emotion we feel) is not rooted in the heart, but in the brain. (Unfortunately, Hallmark has no plans to mass-produce chocolate-covered arrow-pierced brains in the near future.) By better understanding how the brain falls in love, we can learn about why the brain can get so obsessed with this powerful emotion. In fact, some scientists even see love as a sort of addiction. For instance, neuroscientist Thomas Insel and colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta discovered that monogamous pair bonding has its basis in the same brain reward circuits that are responsible for addiction to drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Their study was conducted in the prairie vole, a small rodent that mates for life. But the conclusions are probably true for humans, too, which may explain why it is so hard to break up a long-term romantic relationship. Losing someone you love is like going through withdrawal.
This month’s slide show features a number of visual illusions with a romantic motif. We hope that you and your special one will enjoy them. And remember, even if love is an illusion, that doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful and real (to our brains, anyway).

Pop! Goes My Heart
Nothing is more romantic than curling up in front of a fire with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, as you lovingly whisper, “chromostereopsis.” Okay, maybe it’s not as passionate as a sonnet—unless you are a vision scientist. Look at the red and blue hearts and examine their depth with respect to the background. Most people find that the red heart pops in front of the blue background whereas the blue heart sinks beneath the red background. This illusion comes about because our eyes’ lenses refract blue light more than red. This phenomenon is called a chromatic aberration; another example of this effect is seeing a rainbow when you shine white light through a prism. When both eyes view the red and blue images simultaneously, the cornea and lens of the eyes refract different amounts of the colors, which results in their systematic and symmetric binocular mislocalization. The brain deals with this sensory aberration by imagining depth—the red heart is in front of the blue background and vice versa—even though none actually exists.

Illusions That Move the Heart
Your wandering eyes pull at your lover’s heartstrings. In this illusion, the heart appears to move and even pulsate as you look around the image. When your eyes move, they shift the retinal images of the white/black edges in the pattern, activating the motion-sensitive neurons in your visual cortex. This neural activation leads to the perception of illusory motion. Note that if you focus your gaze on a single point, the illusory motion slows or stops.

Illusory Neon Heart
Notice that the yellow fields inside of the heart appear paler than the fields forming the contour of the heart, which appear to be a darker shade of yellow/orange. Right? Wrong. Actually, all of the yellow fields in the figure are identical. Any differences that you see are all in your mind. This effect is called “neon color spreading,” because it resembles the effect of the light spreading from a neon lamp. The neural underpinnings of this effect are not yet understood.

Love and Hate
Even more ambivalent is this mirror-symmetric ambigram of love and hate. Talk about mixed feeling—we hope she brings a mirror on her Valentine’s Day date. There’s even a T-shirt available at

For Coffee and Tea Lovers
“Yuan yang" is a typical Hong Kong beverage mix of tea and coffee, and also a symbol of marriage and love. Sculptor Tsang Cheung-shing has united both concepts in a beautiful ceramic work, in which tea and coffee poured from two stylish cups meet and kiss each other.

Love Is All Around
Romance is not just a concept for humans and voles. This slide shows that love, and illusions, surround us all.

How To File PIL In India!

How To File PIL In India
These days in India, the only way to get things done is to file PILs. Here is how to do it:
1. How can I file a PIL? PIL is filed in the same manner, as a writ petition is filed. If a PIL is filed in a High Court, then two (2) copies of the petition have to be filed (for Supreme Court, then (4+1=5 sets) Also, an advance copy of the petition has to be served on the each respondent, i.e. opposite party, and this proof of service has to be affixed on the petition.The Procedure: A Court fee of Rs. 50, per respondent (i.e. for each number of party, court fees of Rs 50) has to be affixed on the petition. Proceedings, in the PIL commence and carry on in the same manner, as other cases. However, in between the proceedings if the Judge feels that he may appoint the commissioner, to inspect allegations like pollution being caused, trees being cut, sewer problems, etc. After filing of replies, by opposite party, or rejoinder by the petitioner, final hearing takes place, and the judge gives his final decision.2. In which cases, can a PIL be filed? PIL can be filed only in a case where “Public Interest” at large is affected. Merely because, only one person is effected by state inaction is not a reason for PIL.There are some of the possible areas where PIL can be filed.· Where a factory/ industry unit is causing air pollution, and people nearly are getting effected.· Where, in an area/ street there are no street lights, causing inconvenience to commuters.· Where some “Banquet Hall” plays a loud music, in night causing noise pollution.· Where some construction company is cutting down trees, causing environmental pollution.· Where poor people, are affected, because of state government’s arbitrary decision to impose heavy “Tax”. · For directing the police/ Jail authorities to take appropriate decisions in regards to jail reforms, such as segregation of convicts, delay in trial, before the court on remand dates.· For abolishing child labor, and bonded labor.· Where rights of working women are affected by sexual harassment.· For keeping a check on corruption and crime involving holders of high political officer.· For maintaining Roads, Sewer etc in good condition.· For removal of Big Hoarding and signboards from the busy road to avoid traffic problem.3. Who can file the PIL?Earlier it was only a person whose interest was directly affected along with others, whereby his fundamental right is affected who used to file such litigation. Now, the trend has changed, and, any Public-spirited person can file a case (PIL) on behalf of a group of person, whose rights are affected. It is not necessary, that person filing a case should have a direct interest in this PIL.e.g. a person in Mumbai can file a PIL for, some labor workers being exploited in Madhya Pradesh or as someone filed a PIL in supreme court for taking action against a Cracker factory in Sivakasi Tamilnadu, for employing child labor or the case where a standing practicing lawyer filed a PIL for release of 80 under trials in a jail, than the period prescribed as punishment for offence, for which they were tried. It is clear that, any person can file a PIL on behalf of group of affected people. However, it will depend on every facts of case, whether it should be allowed or not.
4. Against whom a PIL can be filed? A PIL can be filed against a State/ Central Govt., Municipal Authorities, and not any private party. However, “Private party” can be included in the PIL as “Respondent”, after making concerned state authority, a party. For example- if there is a Private factory in Delhi, which is causing pollution, then people living nearly or any other person can file a PIL against the Government of Delhi, Pollution Control Board, and against the private factory. However, a PIL cannot be filed against the Private party alone.5. Can a Letter Explaining Facts to Chief Justice be treated as a PIL?In early 90’s there have been instances, where judges have treated a post card containing facts, as a PIL. Many PIL has been filed on this basis in the past. Since, many people have tried to misuse the privilege of PIL, the court has required a detailed narration of facts and complaint, and then decide whether to issue notice and call the opposite party. However, as there is no statute laying down rules and regulations for a PIL still the court can treat a letter as a PIL. However, the letter should bring the true and clear facts, and if the matter is really an urgent one, the court can treat it as a PIL. Even a writ petition filed by the aggrieved person, whether on behalf of group or together with group can be treated as a PIL.6. What are the various reliefs available by PIL?There are many kinds of remedies, which can be given in a PIL, to secure the public interest, at large. They are:· The court can afford an early interim measure to protect the public interest,· The court may appoint a committee, or commissioner to look into the matter and· The court may also give final orders by way of direction to comply within a stipulated time.
Painstakingly compiled by Subhashini.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

DIRT is Good!

Babies Know: A Little Dirt Is Good for You

When my young sons were exploring the streets of Brooklyn, I couldn’t help but wonder how good crushed rock or dried dog droppings could taste when delicious mashed potatoes were routinely rejected.
Since all instinctive behaviors have an evolutionary advantage or they would not have been retained for millions of years, chances are that this one too has helped us survive as a species. And, indeed, accumulating evidence strongly suggests that eating dirt is good for you.
In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system. Several continuing studies suggest that worms may help to redirect an immune system that has gone awry and resulted in autoimmune disorders, allergies and asthma.
These studies, along with epidemiological observations, seem to explain why immune system disorders like multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and allergies have risen significantly in the United States and other developed countries.
Training the Immune System
“What a child is doing when he puts things in his mouth is allowing his immune response to explore his environment,” Mary Ruebush, a microbiology and immunology instructor, wrote in her new book, “Why Dirt Is Good” (Kaplan). “Not only does this allow for ‘practice’ of immune responses, which will be necessary for protection, but it also plays a critical role in teaching the immature immune response what is best ignored.”
One leading researcher, Dr. Joel V. Weinstock, the director of gastroenterology and hepatology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, said in an interview that the immune system at birth “is like an unprogrammed computer. It needs instruction.”
He said that public health measures like cleaning up contaminated water and food have saved the lives of countless children, but they “also eliminated exposure to many organisms that are probably good for us.”
“Children raised in an ultraclean environment,” he added, “are not being exposed to organisms that help them develop appropriate immune regulatory circuits.”
Studies he has conducted with Dr. David Elliott, a gastroenterologist and immunologist at the University of Iowa, indicate that intestinal worms, which have been all but eliminated in developed countries, are “likely to be the biggest player” in regulating the immune system to respond appropriately, Dr. Elliott said in an interview. He added that bacterial and viral infections seem to influence the immune system in the same way, but not as forcefully.
Most worms are harmless, especially in well-nourished people, Dr. Weinstock said.
“There are very few diseases that people get from worms,” he said. “Humans have adapted to the presence of most of them.”
Worms for Health
In studies in mice, Dr. Weinstock and Dr. Elliott have used worms to both prevent and reverse autoimmune disease. Dr. Elliott said that in Argentina, researchers found that patients with multiple sclerosis who were infected with the human whipworm had milder cases and fewer flare-ups of their disease over a period of four and a half years. At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dr. John Fleming, a neurologist, is testing whether the pig whipworm can temper the effects of multiple sclerosis.
In Gambia, the eradication of worms in some villages led to children’s having increased skin reactions to allergens, Dr. Elliott said. And pig whipworms, which reside only briefly in the human intestinal tract, have had “good effects” in treating the inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, he said.
How may worms affect the immune system? Dr. Elliott explained that immune regulation is now known to be more complex than scientists thought when the hygiene hypothesis was first introduced by a British epidemiologist, David P. Strachan, in 1989. Dr. Strachan noted an association between large family size and reduced rates of asthma and allergies. Immunologists now recognize a four-point response system of helper T cells: Th 1, Th 2, Th 17 and regulatory T cells. Th 1 inhibits Th 2 and Th 17; Th 2 inhibits Th 1 and Th 17; and regulatory T cells inhibit all three, Dr. Elliott said.
“A lot of inflammatory diseases — multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and asthma — are due to the activity of Th 17,” he explained. “If you infect mice with worms, Th 17 drops dramatically, and the activity of regulatory T cells is augmented.”
In answer to the question, “Are we too clean?” Dr. Elliott said: “Dirtiness comes with a price. But cleanliness comes with a price, too. We’re not proposing a return to the germ-filled environment of the 1850s. But if we properly understand how organisms in the environment protect us, maybe we can give a vaccine or mimic their effects with some innocuous stimulus.”
Wash in Moderation
Dr. Ruebush, the “Why Dirt Is Good” author, does not suggest a return to filth, either. But she correctly points out that bacteria are everywhere: on us, in us and all around us. Most of these micro-organisms cause no problem, and many, like the ones that normally live in the digestive tract and produce life-sustaining nutrients, are essential to good health.
“The typical human probably harbors some 90 trillion microbes,” she wrote. “The very fact that you have so many microbes of so many different kinds is what keeps you healthy most of the time.”
Dr. Ruebush deplores the current fetish for the hundreds of antibacterial products that convey a false sense of security and may actually foster the development of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria. Plain soap and water are all that are needed to become clean, she noted.
“I certainly recommend washing your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, after changing a diaper, before and after handling food,” and whenever they’re visibly soiled, she wrote. When no running water is available and cleaning hands is essential, she suggests an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Dr. Weinstock goes even further. “Children should be allowed to go barefoot in the dirt, play in the dirt, and not have to wash their hands when they come in to eat,” he said. He and Dr. Elliott pointed out that children who grow up on farms and are frequently exposed to worms and other organisms from farm animals are much less likely to develop allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Also helpful, he said, is to “let kids have two dogs and a cat,” which will expose them to intestinal worms that can promote a healthy immune system.