Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hypothetical Questions

# What is usually your first thought when you wake up?
Cigarette. Tea.

# What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?
I can't sleep without fantasizing. I usually fantasize about rescuing Indian actresses from cannibals / pirates!

# Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?
Yep. I love UFO stuff.

# Do you believe in ghosts?
If you mean Jinns -- yep, of course.

# Name 1 thing you love about being an adult

# Which would you rather have, $50,000 or true love?

# Ever wish you were born the opposite sex? If so, why?
Nope. By the way, isn't that Gender Identity Disorder eh?

# What do you value most in life?

# How would you explain love to somebody who had never heard of it before?
Blog. Put a picture. Let her decipher it. :-)

# If you were one of two people left on this earth, and the other was a man; would you go gay?
Nope. I'd Social Engineer him: Sex Reassignment Surgery! ;-)

# Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

# What is the worst sin you have committed?

# What do you consider the most important event of your life so far?
Saroooooooooooo. When I found her on the Internet.

# Who has had the most influence on you?
My mother. Osho. Saroo.

# What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Saroooooooooooo. I love the right girl.

# What is the one thing for which you would most like to be
remembered after your death?
Adherence to my manifesto.

# Do you have any phobias?
Yep. Nyctophobia.

# Do you think people should eat the fish they catch, or just let them go? What about if they catch a dog, does the same rule apply?

# You have just been told that you could drop dead at any moment from some kind of rare disease. You may only live one more day but no more than two weeks. You have $50,000 in the bank. What do you do?
I'd like to die in her arms like the protagonist in the movie: Cold Mountain.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull / Richard Bach

"Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight--how to get from shore to food and back again," writes author Richard Bach in this allegory about a unique bird named Jonathan Livingston Seagull. "For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight." Flight is indeed the metaphor that makes the story soar. Ultimately this is a fable about the importance of seeking a higher purpose in life, even if your flock, tribe, or neighborhood finds your ambition threatening. (At one point our beloved gull is even banished from his flock.) By not compromising his higher vision, Jonathan gets the ultimate payoff: transcendence. Ultimately, he learns the meaning of love and kindness.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The sailor who set out to see it all

David Henry Lewis, Adventurer 1917-2002

David Lewis is dead. Into his long life he packed as much adventure and achievement as any man, but he will be most remembered for making known the traditional systems of navigation used by the Pacific peoples and for leading the movement of private enterprise into the bureaucratic preserves of the Antarctic.

Lewis was born in England, of a Welsh-Irish family, and brought up in New Zealand and Rarotonga, where his unconventional father sent him to the Polynesian school - for ever after he was really a Polynesian under the skin. He always called himself a New Zealander.

In his late teens he took to mountaineering and skiing in New Zealand. He was short, sturdy and tough, well suited to the strenuous mountaineering of those days.

He left New Zealand in 1938 to finish his medical training in England, then joined a British paratroop regiment as a medical officer. After the war, married and working as a doctor in London, he became involved in setting up the new National Health Service.

He seemed then to have left the Pacific and the mountains behind, but then his marriage broke up and he was set adrift.

Lewis would admit later to having been often married, and to numerous less formal relationships. Throughout his life he was an enthusiastic, happy, unashamed womaniser but he was as much seduced as seducing. Women were strongly attracted to him; a succession of beautiful, intellectually superior and strong-minded types sought him out.

Before the failure of his marriage he had been bitten by the sailing bug and when the first single-handed trans-Atlantic race was announced in 1960 he decided that now, without family ties, he could get a small yacht and enter.

This he did and in spite of a chapter of accidents he finished third (Francis Chichester came first) and wrote a book about it. His style was very readable and he was embarrassingly honest about his own mistakes and shortcomings; the book was a success and was to be followed by 11 others.

After the race he returned to England and medicine, but not for very long.

His bedside manner was unusual - sometimes he would advise a patient to "see a proper doctor". When living on Dangar Island in the Hawkesbury River, examining a patient with his best professional manner but dressed only in bathing trunks, he might look up to see his hens in the house, fouling the carpets, and he would roar at them, "You bastards".

When he decided to go adventuring with his second wife, Fiona, and two small daughters, he built the ocean cruising catamaran Rehu Moana and cut his ties to the National Health Service.

After a fairly disastrous maiden voyage towards Greenland, he entered the 1964 single-handed trans-Atlantic race, picked up his family in the United States, and set off to circumnavigate the world by way of Magellan's straits, the South Pacific and the Cape of Good Hope.

He had always been interested in the old navigational methods used to explore and populate the Pacific, and used what was then known by Europeans of these techniques to make the Tahiti-New Zealand leg of the voyage without using a compass, sextant or chronometer.

Back in England, after completing the first circumnavigation by a multihull, Lewis sold the Rehu Moana and in 1967 bought Isbjorn, a ketch-rigged fishing boat. With a research grant from the Australian National University and with Fiona, two daughters and 19-year-old son, Barry, as crew, he set out for the Pacific again to study traditional navigation techniques.

For 200 years sailors from the Atlantic hemisphere, amazed at the Pacific peoples' ability to find their way across their vast ocean, had dreamed up ingenious theories to explain it, but Lewis tackled the problem differently. He went to a Micronesian island whose sailors were known to make voyages in their canoes without modern instruments, and in due course he was invited to a meeting of elders, where he was asked, "What is your name, where are you from, and why are you here?"

His iron will and stubborn persistence were always masked by a humble, apologetic manner - he was, indeed, "the mildest-mannered man who e'er cut throats" - and he quietly replied: "My name is David Lewis, I come from the village of London in the island of England, and I have come to sit at the feet of your wise men and to learn how to find my way across the sea."

They recognised him as one of their own, took him on their canoe voyages and taught him their navigational lore. Their navigation skills had never been lost but had been in continuous use up to the present day, unrecognised by Europeans.

In Isbjorn they accompanied him to islands further afield, where he met and learned from other native navigators. Their navigation depended on a memorised nautical almanac referring to many more stars than our own. They used only vertical and horizontal observations and therefore did not need a sextant, and for a compass they used their almanac of "amplitudes" for the rising and setting of stars.

Lewis recorded all this in his research thesis, and in his books We, the Navigators and The Voyaging Stars.

Others began to study under the native navigators. The arts of canoe building and voyaging, which had died out in many parts of the Pacific, were revived, and Lewis earned respect as an anthropologist.

He still hankered after another, bigger sailing adventure. His dream was of circumnavigating the Antarctic continent single-handed, which he planned to do in Isbjorn.

His son Barry prepared to bring her to Sydney. Isbjorn, after several years in tropical waters, was in a bad way and foundered in a storm, uninsured. Barry was unable to save her after a watertight bulkhead failed, but the crew was unharmed. Lewis, without a ship or money, managed to get a small steel yacht, which he renamed Ice Bird, and prepared her for the voyage in desperate haste.

Ice Bird was given to capsizing in big seas, and did this in the high latitudes, losing her rig and damaging the cabin side. Nothing was heard from Lewis for 13 weeks but, against all probability, frostbitten and exhausted, he brought her into Palmer Base on the Antarctic Peninsula under a jury rig. There she was repaired, and he set out to complete the voyage, but was capsized again. This time he brought her into Cape Town and handed her over to Barry, who took her back to Sydney while Lewis wrote Ice Bird - which became a bestseller and was translated into many languages.

Like Fred Hollows and some other New Zealand medical students who had grown up in the Depression years, Lewis became a communist. He was opposed, not to capitalism alone, but to any ruling system whose bureaucracy victimised the underdog - he was equally critical of British colonial government in Jamaica and of Russian government in east Siberia.

In his Antarctic voyage he found that the governments which had claimed sectors of the Antarctic were bitterly opposed to anybody, even their own nationals, entering the territory at all.

After that voyage, his next project was to get private expeditions into the Antarctic despite the bureaucrats, and we were treated to the wonderful spectacle of a communist successfully leading a private enterprise against entrenched government.

In Australia in 1975 he began to set up the Oceanic Research Foundation with the object of sending private expeditions to the Antarctic. Cunningly, he used the same tired old pretext of scientific research with which the governments justified their occupation of the territory, to justify his own irruption into it.

Fellow adventurer Dick Smith immediately saw the value of Lewis's enterprise and helped him with organisation and finance, and soon he had the ocean racer Solo with a crew of eight on their way to the Ross Sea.

After this successful start, Solo was replaced by the converted fishing vessel Tunny, renamed Dick Smith Explorer. In her, Lewis made a summer expedition to Commonwealth Bay and wintered over in Prydz Bay, in the Australian sector.

Crews of up to 12 were sailing with him, but Lewis was almost as unfortunate with them as Jason was in crewing the Argo. Some set the ship on fire, wrecked the machinery, sent out bogus distress calls, steered a reciprocal course, mutinied and even tried to kill him. Lewis never left anyone in doubt as to who was the captain, and dealt with these difficulties with a firm hand.

The many small craft he sailed were another continuing worry. It has been said that no ship ever left port that was in all respects ready for sea, but Lewis's were less ready than most.

The very nature of his projects required him to prepare for voyages in great haste and short of funds. In his own words, "problems that were not solved were pushed aside". It therefore came as no surprise when Cardinal Vertue broke her mast at the start of the 1960 trans-Atlantic single-handed race, Rehu Moana's rig fell down on her maiden voyage, Isbjorn foundered before the first Antarctic voyage, thereby undoubtedly saving Lewis's life, Ice Bird capsized repeatedly, Dick Smith Explorer was rolled twice in the Ross Sea, Cyrano sailed better sideways than forwards and put Lewis in hospital with stomach ulcers, and Taniwha broke her foremast on her first voyage and sank.

Lewis always brought his crews home intact. He was a typical Polynesian sailor, getting into trouble through haste and neglect, then, with near superhuman courage and seamanship, fighting his way out of it.

He knew the right time to quit, and when he had seen the Oceanic Research Foundation through its first three Antarctic voyages, and others were following through the breaches he had made in the bureaucratic defences, he left to continue his researches into traditional navigation among the Inuit on both sides of Bering Strait. With this completed, he retired to New Zealand to write his autobiography, Shapes on the Wind.

By this time his many achievements had been recognised by the academic, adventure, sailing and anthropological worlds, and he was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

In the second edition of Shapes on the Wind, to be published in December, he tells how he returned to Australia after the loss of Taniwha in New Zealand and got himself a small cheap yacht with the help of Dick Smith.

Smith writes:

"David Lewis was the most wonderfully fantastic scallywag I have ever met. His love for the ocean can only be balanced by the love of beautiful women for him.

"His ability to charm people, not only myself but many others, into raising the funds for his many adventures should be an example for all young people who want to follow in his footsteps."

Lewis fitted out Leander and travelled quietly up the Australian east coast, with his eyesight failing, until, at Tin Can Bay, he became blind. From there, with the help of friends, he continued cruising to Rockhampton and among the Keppel Isles, then returned to Tin Can Bay, where he died, aged 85.

His last conscious impressions were of the sea, his ship and his friends about him. He leaves three wives, four adult children and many, many friends.

Lewis's ashes will be scattered in the Pacific in January.

Colin Putt

Colin Putt is a fellow New Zealander, mountaineer and adventurer, who sailed with Lewis to Antarctica.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Zindagi . . . .

Do pal ke jeevan se ek umr churaani hai
Ek pyar ka nagma hai, maujon ki ravaani hai
Zindagi aur kuch bhi nahin
Teri meri kahaani hai

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Osho World: Vision Of An Enlightened Master

Monday, June 22, 2009

P.S. I Love You / Cecelia Ahern

Sometimes it's about living life one letter at a time.

Set in Ireland, Holly Kennedy is beautiful, smart and married to the love of her life - a passionate, funny and impetuous Irishman named Gerry. So when Gerry's life is taken by an illness, it takes the life out of Holly. The only one who can help her is the person who is no longer there. Nobody knows Holly better than Gerry, so it's a good thing he planned ahead. Before he died, Gerry wrote Holly a series of 10 letters that will guide her, not only through her grief but in rediscovering herself. The messages are Gerry's way of informing Holly life goes on. The messages include various tasks and treats Gerry has left for Holly. This is his way of letting her know he will always be there for her. Each letter sends her on a new adventure and each signs off in the same way: "P.S. I Love You." Holly's mother and best friends, Sharon and Denise, begin to worry that Gerry's letters are keeping Holly tied to the past, but, in fact, each letter is pushing her further into a new future. With Gerry's words as her guide, Holly embarks on a journey of rediscovery in a story about marriage, friendship and how a love so strong can turn the finality of death into new beginning for life.

Cecelia Ahern's debut novel, PS, I Love You, follows the engaging, witty, and occasionally sappy reawakening of Holly, a young Irish widow who must put her life back together after she loses her husband Gerry to a brain tumor. Ahern, the twentysomething daughter of Ireland's prime minister, has discovered a clever and original twist to the Moving On After Death concept made famous by novelists and screenwriters alike--Gerry has left Holly a series of letters designed to help her face the year ahead and carry on with her life. As the novel takes readers through the seasons (and through Gerry's monthly directives), we watch as Holly finds a new job, takes a holiday to Spain with her girlfriends, and sorts through her beloved husband's belongings. Accompanying Holly throughout the healing process is a cast of friends and family members who add as much to the novel's success as Holly's own tale of survival. In fact, it is these supporting character's mini-dramas that make PS, I Love You more than just another superficial tearjerker with the obligatory episode at a karaoke bar. Ahern shows real talent for capturing the essence of an interaction between friends and foes alike; even if Holly's circle of friends does resemble the gang from Bridget Jones a bit too neatly to ignore (her best friend is even called Sharon).

While her style can be at times repetitive and her delivery is occasionally amateurish, Ahern deserves credit for a spirited first effort. If PS, I Love You is any indication of this author's talent, readers have much to look forward to as Ahern matures as a novelist and a storyteller.

To Cut a Long Story Short / Jeffrey Archer

To Cut a Long Story Short reads like a series of modern fairy tales. In each story, Jeffrey Archer presents a moral problem, and a character finds himself tested in a dark hour. Evil manifests itself in the form of selfish relatives, corrupt cops, racist men. Good arrives in the form of unselfish minor characters who suddenly emerge as the real center of the story, or lost souls who come out the other side of corruption and renounce their old ways.

Archer (Twelve Red Herrings; The Fourth Estate) maintains his obsession with surprise endings, producing a collection of 14 cleverly twisting tales, nine of which are "based on true incidents." If most of the stories fail to produce a lasting effect, they are characteristically fluid and occasionally satisfying. Among the most successful is "Something for Nothing," inspired by a real story. Jake, a New York City father making a routine telephone call to his elderly mother, overhears another conversation in which instructions are given to pick up an envelope containing $100,000. Jake dashes out of his apartment and intercepts the loot before the intended recipient, but discovers that nothing is ever as foolproof as it sounds. In "A Change of Heart," another fact-based tale, a white bigot in South Africa gets a heart transplant and discovers the heart belonged to an African man he killed in a car accident. The incident inspires the bigot and others to reconsider their narrow views. "The Endgame" has a smart premise a multimillionaire widower tests his family's loyalty by declaring himself bankrupt yet the characters move as predictably as the chess pieces on the valuable set that is the focal point of the tale. "A Weekend to Remember" features bachelor-hotel owner Tony Romanelli and a sexy arts writer named Susie. Tony prides himself on being able to read if a woman is "interested" by the feel of her greeting or parting hug, but he reads the wrong story in Susie's enthusiastic squeeze. Perhaps cutting these fictions short was a mistake, their complex premises demanding lengthier elaboration. However, Archer's following is legion and the collection will doubtless find its readership.

Wise and Otherwise: A Salute to Life / Sudha Murty

Fifty vignettes showcase the myriad shades of human nature

A man dumps his aged father in an old-age home after declaring him to be a homeless stranger, a tribal chief in the Sahyadri hills teaches the author that there is humility in receiving too, and a sick woman remembers to thank her benefactor even from her deathbed. These are just some of the poignant and eye-opening stories about people from all over the country that Sudha Murty recounts in this book. From incredible examples of generosity to the meanest acts one can expect from men and women, she records everything with wry humour and a directness that touches the heart.

The Magic Drum and Other Favourite Stories / Sudha Murty

A princess who thinks she was a bird, a coconut that cost a thousand rupees, and a shepherd with a bag of words . . .
Kings and misers, princes and paupers, wise men and foolish boys, the funniest and oddest men and women come alive in this sparkling new collection of stories. The clever princess will only marry the man who can ask her a question she cannot answer; the orphan boy outwits his greedy uncles with a bag of ash; and an old couple in distress is saved by a magic drum.
Sudha Murty’s grandparents told her some of these stories when she was a child; others she heard from her friends from around the world. These delightful and timeless folktales have been her favourites for years, and she has recounted them many times over to the young people in her life. With this collection, they will be enjoyed by many more readers, of all ages.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weaver birds . . . .

Weaver birds . . . .

Weavers . . . .

The weavers are named for the highly complex woven nests . . . .

Tell Me Why: Why do Arabs hate Jews?

Tell Me Why: Why do Arabs hate Jews?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kisi raah mein kisi mod par

Kisi raah mein kisi mod par
kisi raah mein kisi mod par
kahin chal na dena tu chhod kar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

kisi haal mein kisi baat par
kahin chal na dena tu chhod kar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

mera dil kahe kahin ye na ho
mera dil kahe kahin ye na ho
nahi ye na ho nahi ye na ho
kisi roz tujhse bichhad ke main
tujhe dhoondhti phiroon dar badar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

tera rang saaya bahaar ka
tera rang saaya bahaar ka
tera roop aaina pyaar ka
tujhe aa nazar mein chhupa loon main
tujhe lag na jaaye kahin nazar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

tera saath hai to hai zindagi
tera saath hai to hai zindagi
tera pyaar hai to hai roshani
tera pyaar hai to hai roshani
kahaan din ye dhal jaaye kya pata
kahaan raat ho jaaye kya khabar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
kisi raah mein kisi mod par
kahin chal na dena tu chhod kar
mere humsafar mere humsafar
mere humsafar mere humsafar

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Village By The Sea / Anita Desai

The Village By The Sea / Anita Desai

A Classic of Our Time.
Untouched by the twentieth century, Thul, the small fishing village near Bombay, is still ruled by the age-old seasonal rhythms. Hari and Lila have lived in the village all their lives, but their family is now desperately down on its luck. Their father drinks; their mother is seriously ill; and there is no money to keep them fed and clothed.