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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Pandan Mini- Marshland, Singapore

Singapore doesn’t import air. Everything else, it does.

Yes, everything except air.  And that includes water. There is a long term water sharing agreement with Malaysia. But that has not deterred the country from creating its own sources of water. It has built many reservoirs – small and large. Pandan reservoir is one such.

One of the causeways to the reservoir has a marshland. It is a man-made marshland. It is small, scenic and soothing. Here are some pictures of the marshland. Do pay a visit if you are here. You would be fortunate if you see some exotic birds as well. But that is a rarity.

Why did Singapore develop the marshland ? The vegetation would help absorb the nutrients from waste water flowing in the well connected canals and let a relatively clear water into the reservoir. 

Whether it serves that purpose or not, it definitely helps spend an evening relaxing in that location, with a book in hand.

the mini-mashland

A view of the mini-marshland

 I spotted some birds in the twilight. As I am Ornithology deficient, I don’t know their names. Nor their species. They were frantically searching for some last minute food grabs just before flying to their abodes.

How do you get there ? The place is reachable by public transport from  Clementi MRT station.

How does the background look like ? Here are some pictures. 

And there is a Chinese temple  close by. So the religiously inclined could get some peace of mind and let their mind wander from the mundane to the spiritual.

Worth a visit.

Pandan Marshland Route Map

Pandan Marshland Route Map

Pandan Reservoir Marsh;and

Pandan Reservoir Marsh;and

Fantastic background in the marsh

Fantastic background in the marsh

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2014 in English Posts, Writers

 

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Kerala's fatwa against ISIS

In a first of its kind in the world, a Sunni Muslim cleric from Kerala, India has issued a fatwa – religious direction – against the ISIS – the terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq. The cleric has denounced the outfit and has condemned its activities as even anti-Islam. 

The cleric, his followers, the state of Kerala and the Union of India need to be congratulated for having been bold enough to take a stand even when Chuck Hagel, the US Secretary of Defence had said that ISIS was beyond his imagination. Even progressive leaders who have no religious inclination have refrained from making any noise on ISIS. 

The contents of the cleric’s fatwa are noteworthy. He says that the outfit was causing harm to Islam itself. He has also denounced any support to the organization. and supporting it was forbidden and such support was against the basic tenet of the religion.

Extremely bold step indeed. Hope the Shahi Imam of Jamma Masjid in Delhi and the other top leaders of the different congregations pay attention to the Kerala cleric.

Kerala is truly God’s own country.

 http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/muslim-cleric-in-kerala-issues-fatwa-against-islamic-state-584286?pfrom=home-lateststories

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in English Posts

 

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Kerala’s fatwa against ISIS

In a first of its kind in the world, a Sunni Muslim cleric from Kerala, India has issued a fatwa – religious direction – against the ISIS – the terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq. The cleric has denounced the outfit and has condemned its activities as even anti-Islam. 

The cleric, his followers, the state of Kerala and the Union of India need to be congratulated for having been bold enough to take a stand even when Chuck Hagel, the US Secretary of Defence had said that ISIS was beyond his imagination. Even progressive leaders who have no religious inclination have refrained from making any noise on ISIS. 

The contents of the cleric’s fatwa are noteworthy. He says that the outfit was causing harm to Islam itself. He has also denounced any support to the organization. and supporting it was forbidden and such support was against the basic tenet of the religion.

Extremely bold step indeed. Hope the Shahi Imam of Jamma Masjid in Delhi and the other top leaders of the different congregations pay attention to the Kerala cleric.

Kerala is truly God’s own country.

 http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/muslim-cleric-in-kerala-issues-fatwa-against-islamic-state-584286?pfrom=home-lateststories

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Writers

 

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அரிசி வாளியும் தர்மமும்

‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ என்று வசதி குறைந்த ஒருவருக்கு 5 கிலோ அரிசி வழங்கும் நிகழ்வு பிரபலப்படுத்தப் பட்டு வருகிறது. அதைப் படம்பிடித்து வேறு போடுகிறார்கள்.

வசதி அற்றவருக்கு அரிசி வழங்குவது நல்லதே. ஆனால் இது முன்னமேயே இருந்து வந்துள்ளது. திருமூலர் கூறுவது :

“யாவர்க்குமாம் இறைவர்க்கோர் பச்சிலை யாவர்க்குமாம் பசுவிற்கோர் கையுறை
யாவர்க்குமாம் உண்ணும் போது ஓர் கைப்பிடி யாவர்க்குமாம் பிறர்க்கு இன்னுரைதானே”

நாம் உண்ணும்போது இன்னொருவருக்கென்று ஒரு கைப்பிடியாவது எடுத்து வைக்க வேண்டும் என்று சொல்கிறார் திருமூலர்.

இந்த வழக்கத்தை ‘பிடி அரிசித் திட்டம்’ என்று காஞ்சிப் பெரியவர் எடுத்து முன்னுரைத்தார். தினமும் சமைக்கும் முன் ஒரு பிடி அரிசியை எடுத்துத் தனியாக ஒரு பாத்திரத்தில் போட்டுவிட வேண்டும். இத்திட்டத்தில் ஒரு புதுமை உள்ளது. ‘சமைக்கும் முன்னர் வீட்டில் பெண்கள் ஒரு கைப்பிடி எடுத்து வையுங்கள்’ என்று சொன்னது தான் அங்கு மாஸ்டர் ஸ்ட்ரோக். தானம் பெண்களிடம் சொன்னால் தான் நடக்கும். அதுவும் தினமும் ஒரு கைப்பிடி என்பதால் பெரிய சுமையாகவும் தெரியாது.

நெய்வேலியில் வளர்ந்த போது மாதம்தோறும் ஒரு பெரியவர் வந்து அரிசி வாங்கிச் செல்வார். இது பின்னர் நெய்வேலியை அடுத்துள்ள ‘வேலுடையான்பட்டு’ முருகன் கோவிலில் நடைபெறும் ‘பங்குனி உத்திரம் திருவிழாவின் போது பொதுமக்களுக்கு அன்னதானமாக வழங்கப்படும். காவடி எடுத்து வரும் பக்தர்கள் பசியாறிச் செல்வார்கள். நானும் சென்றது உண்டு. ஏனெனில் அங்கு ‘உருளைக்கிழங்கு’ பொரியல் கிடைக்கும். அதில் என்ன விசேஷம் என்கிறீர்களா ? அதில் ‘வெங்காயம்’ சேர்த்து சமைத்திருப்பார்கள். வீடுகளில் வெங்காயம் சமைப்பது ‘ஆசாரம்’ இல்லை என்று கருதப்பட்ட காலம் அது.

‘Rice Bucket Challenge’ற்கு வருவோம்.

தானம் கொடுக்கும் முறை என்று ஒன்று இருக்கிறது. தானம் பெறுபவர் கை தாழாமல் இருக்க வேண்டும். எனவே தானம் தருபவர் தன் கையைத் தாழ வைத்திருக்க வேண்டும். இதனால் தானம் பெறுபவர் மன வருத்தம் அடைய மாட்டார்; தருபவர் அகந்தை கொள்ள மாட்டார். அத்துடன் தானம் தருபவர் ,”நாம் தானம் கொடுக்கிறோமே, இதை இவர் வாங்கிக்கொள்ள வேண்டுமே”, என்று மிகவும் கோரிக்கையுடன் நிற்கவேண்டும் என்று சொல்லப்படுகிறது. 

எது எப்படியோ. ‘Ice Bucket’ ற்கு ‘Rice Bucket’ தேவலாம் தான்.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Writers

 

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Versatile Blogger Award

vERSATILE BLOGGER

I have been rendered speechless by Mrs.Anne.T.Bell ( http://www.talesalongtheway.com) for nominating me for the ‘Versatile Blogger’ Award.

She is a retired elementary school teacher based out of the US. And more than that she is in love with India. She appears to know more about India than even many Indians . Her undying passion for Gujarat, a state in India, and Ahmedabad, an important city of the state, is visible in most of her posts.

For the first time I have come across an American blogger whose knowledge of geography has extended outside of mainland America. Her knowledge of the history of India also points to her keen academic rigor.

Thank you for the nomination, Mrs.Anne.T.Bell. Namaste.

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominates you publicly in the post and by linking back to  his/her blog.
  • Display the image of the award on your blog.
  • Share 7 interesting facts about yourself.
  • Nominate a minimum of 5 bloggers for the award and notify them  on their “about” page or another page of their blog.
  • Facts About Me :
    • software architect who works for a bank. I write software during day and blog during night.
    • love non-fiction books, writing and speaking – in that order.
    • read anything written including that on the back of wrappers
    • interested in economics, international relations, data analytics in that order
    • favorite authors include Wodehouse and R.K.Narayan among 30 others
    • favorite poets include Wordsworth and Frost among 5 others
    • also blog in Tamil ( a south Indian language ) at www.amaruvi.com

I nominate the following bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.

http://workingwithgrace.wordpress.com/

http://iamstri.wordpress.com/

http://ranjaninarayanan.wordpress.com/

http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com/

http://threadsaround.wordpress.com/

http://ramanan50.wordpress.com/

Congratulations to the bloggers.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in English Posts, Writers

 

When The Hindu showered hatred

Please visit this twitter url and know about the completely irresponsible reporting by The Hindu, an Indian News Paper. In their anxiousness to paint the BJP black they have taken to slander of the lowest kind.
What a fall from the papers’ high standards!
There used to me a time when it used to be like: if it is not in The Hindu then it is probably not true.
What a fall !
: https://twitter.com/mediacrooks/status/504836517412368384

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in English Posts, Writers

 

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Ferguson, what ?

Furguson might be far away. But the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the place are present all over the world. Not one country is bereft of the two question beginners. If that can happen in a developed country and still be under-reported, there is every reason that the same can happen regularly in the developing world and is not reported at all. That is the reality. Reality is not always pleasant.

The  African American who was killed – was he guilty of something, was he an offender, did the police officer do justice ? These questions would be answered variously depending on the side of the racial and political divide you are located in. The truth of the matter might not even come out. We are still waiting to know who killed JFK and why, after 50 years. From drug lords to cold war Russia to Prez. Johnson – we have been given various whys and hows. 

The same would happen in this Ferguson case as well.

Prez Obama famously declared to shut down Guantanamo bay. His second term presidency is shutting down in a couple of years. Not an inch has progressed in the prison closure case. In Iran’s case, excepting Ahmedinejad, nothing else has changed. Iraq situation seems to invite the US back into its quagmire. Afghanistan conundrum is not fully over yet. Similarly Ferguson would be forgotten in the next political battle between the President and the Congress.

Whether it is Ferguson or Guantanamo or Economic Crisis, nothing matters. An emotional and well body-languaged speech by President Obama would wash over any dirty scar on the American political discourse. James Foley et al would disappear into the collective American amnesia when Apple introduces the next iPhone.

So wait for the next speech and prepare for the holiday season. Life goes on. Economic prosperity is just an invasion away.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in English Posts, Writers

 

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StanChart does it again !

StanChart Bank has its cup of woes brimming. US regulators have fined it USD 300 mn on Anti-Money Laundering charges.
The bank has been fined several times in the past, the result being its stock declining 34% in 15 months.

Two years ago it paid USD 667 mn as fine for violating sanctions on Iran.

So lessons have remained lessons and have not been learnt.

Stanchart’s downward spiral has also affected the results of Temasek Holdings, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore.
Temasek has 18% stake in Stanchart.

Shall I tell you a joke ? Fitch, one of the leading rating companies in the world, has given AA+ rating to StanChart indicating that it has a stable outlook.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in English Posts

 

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Soldiers in the Streets

A sad spectacle concerning America. Furguson will long be remembered for the dirt value it has brought upon the USA. A great country going down the drain in this manner that too in this century is a sad spectacle.
I still remember the JFK speech on Civil Rights when a student was not allowed admission into an University. He had to call the Federal Forces to ensure normalcy. After 50 years we are back to where JFK left us.

TalesAlongTheWay

Protests in Ferguson, MO - August 13, 2014

This week has been hard to watch unfold on TV, much harder for people in Ferguson, Missouri , and horrible for the Brown family who had their son  executed on the streets of their hometown.

I am including a video for all to see of the urban violence that has transpired. Don’t get me wrong, I know and respect the need we all have of police protection, that thin blue line between all of us and the violence and  chaos that is obviously a reality none of us wants to see or even imagine.  But I am against the militarization of police that has happened since 9/11. We have heard that  equipment from the military has been sold to local police departments.  This week we saw it and it was horrible.

A6A1F7C2-388D-4D46-A530-EB908259C838_cx0_cy3_cw0_mw1024_s_n

Has this happened before, you might ask?  Sadly it has with rioting in the streets in places like Watts…

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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in English Posts, Writers

 

"We Know Jimmy's Free. He's Finally Free" John Foley,Father

James Foley’s brutal murder has evoked sympathy around the world. Here is how he lived. Versatile blogger Anne.T.Bell blogs about that.

TalesAlongTheWay

  • You Know How James Foley Died. This Is How He Lived.

Heated debates are still unfolding about the ethics of looking at the image or watching the video. Does it play into propaganda? Does it deprive a man of his dignity? Or is it our responsibility to bear witness, even if it’s disturbing?

There are no easy answers. But there is one sure truth: James Foley is much more than that last, awful moment. His life is not summed up by his barbaric murder. He was…

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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in English Posts, Writers

 
 
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