Archive for January, 2010

9 Emotions of the Ocean

Posted by on Jan-30-2010

Oceans make our planet unique. The deepest oceans have many untold mysteries, legends and stories. The beauty of the ocean has been well described by many great poets and writers. The water in these oceans has made our life on earth possible. Water gives life but the same water leads to destruction.

As a mariner my life is always tied with these oceans which make my life incredible. I am emotionally bound to them. The thing that I have realized about these deep oceans is that they too have emotions as we have. The sea depicts the Navarasas, the nine rasas. Navarasa is an emotional theme; the movement of the waves can be associated with the nine rasas of emotions.

If we carefully observe the waves we can realize that they too portray all the Navarasas. The waves remind me of Hasya when they shatter like the white pearls on striking the shore as if they are giggling. They portray ‘Shringara’ when it tickles us with the gentle waves in the beaches of Miami. The ocean shows its ‘Karuna’ compassion by been the home for thousands of species which thrive in it and also to the human beings who depend on it for their livelihood.

I have been through many sea routes but the one which has astonished me is the ‘Dead Sea’ where everything floats on the surface, thus it depicts Adbhuta. The deep treasure hidden in the base of the ocean is also a wonder to me. Antarctica surrounded by the Southern Ocean; in the southern hemisphere is completely silent place where even the ocean is frozen as if it is trying to maintain the calmness of the place. The ocean portrays the Shanta Rasa by showing its tranquility.

Tsunami, even the thought of the word fills us with fear of the black day. The ocean showed it’s most terrorizing face when it struck the shore as the violent tsunami waves taking away the lives of thousands, where it portrayed ‘Bhayanaka’.

Sometimes due to some internal pressures or disturbances in the ocean bed the marine life gets destructed. It’s very disgusting when we see the same ocean taking the life of the creatures which are thriving on it. Here the ocean portrays Bibhathsa. The ocean portrays Raudra when it shows its anger through the violent storms in the ocean. I myself have witnessed quite a few storms like this where it seems the ocean is avenging.

The waves of the ocean always stand for strength and courage. Though they get shattered when they strike the huge rocks they never give up but they show the courage to strike back as much stronger waves.

Woes behind the picturesque dam…

Posted by on Jan-23-2010

The Three Gorges dam, the most spectacular section of the Yangtze River, is filled with breathtaking sceneries. But who ever can predict the tears behind the picturesque dam. The dam filled with the tears of emotions….. Dams are built with promises of providing benefits to the local inhabitants, but in reality does it happen??? Never….. The fruits of someone’s sacrifice are enjoyed by the some others.

Most of the time, the decisions are made according to the interests of the powerful people and is imposed on the powerless and the helpless. The powerless and the helpless people thriving on the deltas of these valleys tend to be the scapegoat of these developments. In the name of development the local inhabitants are forced to migrate to mitigate the environmental issues. Though strategies are developed for resettlement, the problem arises with where to relocate them and how will they survive.

The Three Georges Dam was build with a purpose to provide cheap energy and to prevent draught and flood but now it has already relocated 1.24 million people as their homes were flooded with the water from dam. Now it is yet another 300,000 people is to be relocated to escape land hazards. Relocation due to development is historically associated with the construction of dams for hydroelectric power and irrigation purposes and it is a social problem affecting all levels of human organization.

The Dam is negatively affecting the wildlife of the area by altering habitats. A large amount of animal habitat will also be destroyed which include the endangered species like Siberian Crane, the Yangtze river dolphin and Yangtze sturgeon. The fresh water fish in the area has also affected due to the change in temperature in the area. About one billion tons of dirty water flow into the Yangtze River each year. The dam would stop this dirty water from being washed away, and lead to serious pollution problems.

This region has long been known for its rich biodiversity. It is home to 6,388 species of plants, which belong to 238 families and 1508 genera. Of these plant species, 57 percent are endangered. These rare species are also used as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines are also affected by this project.

Future dam projects must be evaluated more thoroughly, and the capacity of the Ministry of Environmental Protection to do so must be strengthened. Most of the issues concerning the environment have roused due to the lack of study done before implementing the project. While evaluating these projects the advantages and disadvantages should be looked in properly to avoid these kinds of concerns. A proper and impartial study can avoid such environmental issues in future. It’s like the two sides of coin which has to be identified and evaluated properly.

Costa Rica has it all….

Posted by on Jan-18-2010

The sun was rising up sharing its light, driving away the dark night. I was standing in the deck and I could see a tropical paradise. This time my destination is Costa Rica. I was getting closer to the Costa Rica Island. Costa Rica, officially the Republic of Costa Rica. is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the east and south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Costa Rica, which translates literally as “Rich Coast”, constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. Costa Rica is composed of seven provinces, which in turn are divided into 81 cantons each of which is directed by a mayor.

It is an ideal tropical paradise for your vacation. Tourists can enjoy the pristine beaches and see whales and dolphins play. For Nature lovers there is a great variety of exotic wildlife and tropical plants. Butterflies and orchids, crocodiles and sharks, turtles and Toucans´ are everywhere. The rainforest covering the mountains are a paradise for eco tourism. Life is good in Costa Rica, a friendly, democratic and peaceful country.

Its varied landscapes and mild climate make this small country the perfect getaway for a spectacular vacation, medical or health tourism, a memorable business meeting or convention.

For action vacation you can surf, hike, do rafting, canopying, diving, deepwater fishing and snorkeling. You can go with a low budget or seek the more exclusive resorts. For relaxation there are beautiful unique golf courses and luxury spas. The hotels have all the modern comforts in the most private and secluded environments.

Exuberant nature, pristine beaches, active volcanoes, contrasting landscapes, impressive places of scenic beauty, biological diversity…

… this is Costa Rica …

The Navarasas

Posted by on Jan-9-2010

Human life is a rich fabric which gains color and feel amidst the series of happenings that shape it. These dull actions that characterize every day as well as the extraordinary happenings make life further interesting while evoking feelings in human being. These feelings are the emotions or rasas, which indeed offers life colors and pattern. Rasas thus define the unedited realities of life amidst their vibrancies of emotion.

The theory of Indian art is housed within the rasas as expounded by Bharata Muni in Natyasastra and Nandikeswaran in Abhinayadarpana. A rasa is the essence or a dominant mental state evoked in the audience by the performer.

Rasa is created by bhavas. Bhava is the permanent mood and rasa is an expression of it. So as an example, when bhaya (fear) is the bhava, the rasa created is bhayanaka

Indian masters have identified nine rasas or Navarasas and we see that man lives his life through these nine basic expressions. A study of the Navarasas helps us understand basic human emotions and human psyche.

The Navarasa, in the Indian scriptures refer to the nine expressions that humans often show. These are shringara (love), hasya (laughter ), karuna (kind-heartedness or compassion), roudra (anger), veera (courage), bhayanaka(terror), bheebhatsya (disgust), wonder or adbhutha (surprise) and shantha (peace or tranquility). In addition to the nine Rasas, two more appeared later Vatsalya and Bhakti.

The Nine moods or the rasas are associated with colors. The nine colors of Navarasa speak the emotions that they depict. Shringara (green), hasya (white ), karuna (grey), roudra (red), veera (orange), bhayanaka (black), bheebhatsya (Blue), wonder or adbhutha (yellow) and shantha (white).

Rasa is best described as the interplay of moods expressed by various characters in a work of art. The theory of rasas still forms the aesthetic underpinning of all Indian classical dance and theatre, such as Bharatanatyam,kathak,Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, Kudiyattam, Kathakali and others.

Set Off to 2009

Posted by on Jan-2-2010

Time runs like winged chariot, leaving behind a lot of cherishing memories. Time is like sand, it slips from our hand when we try to hold it tight. We can never hold time and tide as it waits for none. We keep flowing accordingly. We all keep going…
The year 2009 has ended and we have welcomed the New Year 2010 with great expectations. Before we totally move into the New Year lets have a look at some of the major events and happenings that took place across the globe in 2009. 2009, like most years, has been eventful.

The Year began with the swear in ceremony of Barack Obama, the first African American, who became the 44th President of United States of America. Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America on 20.1.09. Not only is he the first ‘black’ president but he is also of Muslim descent. It would not be incorrect then to say that in a country that was once actively discriminatory towards the blacks and is today fighting wars to end Islamic jihad, Obama managed to break quite a few stereotypes.

Then a few gunmen gave great shock to the cricket lover in March by attacking the Srilankan team during their Pakistan Cricket Tour. The consequence is now no country is ready to play cricket in Pakistan. When gunmen attacked a bus full of Sri Lankan cricketers in Pakistan on 3.3.09; it was another nail in the coffin of Pakistani cricket. Now no one is willing to play in Pakistan. Without tournaments, there will be no money to improve cricketing infrastructure. Without which their standard of cricket will fall. Poor cricket means low entertainment and lesser money. It was a HUGE nail in the coffin of Pakistani cricket.

The G-20 London Summit on 20.4.09 saw the state leaders and not financial heads gather to discuss the continuing financial crisis. They decided to provide 1 trillion USD to various programs designed to improve international finance, credit and trade. More importantly, there was a shift in the power nexus at the summit. While America finally seemed to be loosing some of its stronghold, China was very influential.

The death of Michael Jackson on 25.6.09 shocked all the music lovers. The media circus around his death was appalling with conjecture over cause of death, custody of his children, evaluation of his estate and who would get their hands on all that money. In the middle of all of this, there were many tributes to Jackson and his contribution to music. It was only then that we remembered how great he really was. MJ you were a genius.

We witnessed the longest total solar eclipse of the century on 22.7.09. In fact, it is not to be surpassed until June 2132. Southeast Asians were especially lucky as it was best visible in China, Japan, India and Nepal. In India, thousands of pilgrims gathered on the banks of the Ganga to experience the eclipse from a religious or spiritual perspective. This event of astronomical reminded us once again, how small our role is in this humungous universe.

Though the WHO had declared the H1N1 or swine flu outbreak a epidemic in June, the panic did not hit India till 8.8.09 with the death of a 14 year old girl. The government failed in handling the crisis as they restricted availability of treatment to government run facilities which we all know are inefficient. The need for a better health care system and faster dissemination of information became undeniable.

The G-20 Pittsburg Summit on 24.9.09 resulted in the announcement that the G-20, replacing the G-8, will now become the permanent council for international economic cooperation. This was a much needed step towards dissemination of power in international politics. Developing nations like India, China and Brazil will now have a bigger role in decision making.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was awarded the responsibility of hosting 2016 Summer Olympics on 2.10.09. Rio thus became the first South American country to host the Olympics games. Winning such a bid is sure shot way of ensuring a boost to a city’s infrastructure – sports, hospitality, transport, security et al. As we have seen for Delhi with Commonwealth Games, the responsibility can be overwhelming and let’s hope that Rio handles it better!

The economy of Dubai was valued at 46 billion USD in 2006. Following the recent economic slump and therefore a halt in its massive renovation and development projects, the city requested a debt deferment on 27.11.09. The announcement caused a sharp downturn in global stock markets reminding us that the recession is not over yet.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is one of the biggest events in December 09. On 18.12.09, it was announced that a meaningful agreement had been reached between the United States, China, India, South Africa and Brazil pledging 30 billion USD to the developing world over the next three years and sets a target to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

Thus went the year 2009 leaving behind both good and murky events. Though some ghastly events kept us smacked but it did not stopped us from moving. We all kept going and welcomed the New Year with a whole heart.

Happy New Year 2010…