How the Maharajah Got Its Wings: The Story of Air India’s Iconic Mascot…

One of India’s most recognisable and loved mascots, Air India’s portly Maharajah with folded hands has held a special place in the hearts of its citizens for years.

“We can call him the Maharajah for want of a better description. But his blood isn’t blue. He may look like royalty, but he isn’t royal. He is capable of entertaining the Queen of England and splitting a beer with her butler. He is a man of many parts: lover boy, sumo wrestler, pavement artist, vendor of naughty post cards, Capuchin monk, Arab merchant…”

These are the words of Bobby Kooka, the man who conceived Air India’s Maharajah nearly 72 years ago. One of India’s most recognisable and loved mascots, this portly figure in regal garb has held a special place in the hearts of its citizens for years.

Here’s the fascinating story of Air India’s iconic Maharajah.

A part of Air India’s campaign to distinguish itself from its peers, the jovial and rotund Maharajah first made his appearance on an in-flight memo pad in the mid-1940s. He was conceived by SK (Bobby) Kooka, who was then a Commercial Director with Air India and sketched by Umesh Rao, an artist at J Walter Thompson in Bombay.

Back then, India was known as the “Land of the Maharajas” and Air India was its only international carrier, flying to destinations such as Cairo, Prague, Damascus, Zurich and Istanbul. So Kooka wanted to create an illustration for Air India’s letterhead that would symbolise graciousness and elegant living.







SK Kooka with Captain V Vishwanath in May 1948 
It was somewhat along these lines that his creators, Kooka and Rao, gave him a distinctive personality, luxuriant moustache, aquiline nose and the quintessentially Indian turban. Eventually, the regal figure became Air-India’s mascot for its advertising and sales promotion activities.

For the next few years, the Maharajah was ingeniously used by India’s national airline to introduce new flight routes. His funny antics and quirky puns also allowed Air India to promote its services with subtle humour and unmatched panache.

For instance, one of the posters from Air India’s “retro collection” shows the Maharajah as a Russian Kalinka dancer to advertise its flight to Moscow. Another one shows him on a speedboat surfing in Australia with the boat replaced by two mermaids. Yet another one shows him being carried as a prey, hands and feet tied, by two lions in the jungles of Nairobi.

Here are some iconic posters that show the Maharajah in his quirky avatars, looking quite at home in famous locations around the world.

              Photo Source: Air India on Imgur.

   As such, the Maharajah came dressed in various garbs, but his trademark twirly moustache and his roly-poly stature remained — until 2017 when he lost of a bit of his flab and traded his traditional attire for blue jeans, trainers and a low-slung satchel to align himself with the modern times.

Unsurprisingly, the Maharajah has won numerous national and international awards for Air India for originality in advertising and publicity.

Interestingly, at one point in time, the mascot’s regal connotations triggered a controversy with politicians expressing doubts about using such a symbol to represent a nation with socialist aspirations. As a result, Air India did away with the Maharajah in 1989. But there was such a hue and cry from various quarters that the popular mascot had to be brought back.

In fact, during these years, Maharajah stickers and dolls were common in most middle-class Indian homes, even those where air travel was considered a luxury!


                                                                       So like all great men, the Maharajah has had his critics. But the millions of travellers who love him far outnumber them. For many of them, the inimitable mascot is a real person, almost like a friend who reaches out with warmth and hospitality, even to the farthest corners of the world.

As Rahul Da Cunha, the ad man behind the equally iconic Amul India campaign, once said,

“The Amul girl and the Air India Maharaja are the most brilliant characters ever created. The Maharaja encapsulates everything Air India should be: Indian luxury, hospitality, services and above all, royalty. It is royalty combined with humility. What can be a more iconic symbol for an Indian carrier?”


http://www.the better





When Donald Trump demanded a role in Home Alone 2 in exchange of a shoot in his hotel !!!!!!

In an interview, Matt Damon mentioned how President Trump would only let the crew of the film on his properties if they wrote him a part in it. That’s how he featured in Home

Alone 2: Lost in New York. Donald Trump and Macauley Culkin in a scene from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Back in 1992, Donald Trump played a six-second cameo role in the adventure/comedy movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. And now, Hollywood actor Matt Damon has spilled the truth behind the “apparent” cameo appearance.

Damon revealed the deal that Trump made to the filmmakers in exchange for the use of his Manhattan hotel for the shoot.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 46-year-actor told that President Trump will only let the crew of the film on his properties if they write him a part in the movie.

He said, “The deal was that if you wanted to shoot in one of his buildings, you had to write him in a part.”

Adding, “[Director] Martin Brest had to write something in Scent of a Woman, and the whole crew was in on it.”

“You have to waste an hour of your day with a bullshit shot: Donald Trump walks in and Al Pacino’s like, ‘Hello, Mr. Trump!’ You had to call him by name and then he exits,” noted Damon.

“You waste a little time so that you can get the permit, and then you can cut the scene out. But I guess in Home Alone 2 they left it in,” he explained.

The Downsizing star also revealed that he has never met Trump in person and he clearly isn’t a fan of him.

Damon is currently promoting his new movie Suburbicon at the Venice Film Festival alongside Hollywood actors George Clooney and Julianne Moore.





வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை ….” நினைவு பெட்டகம் 2017 “


நினைவு பெட்டகம் 2017
ஆண்டின் ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் ஒரு அனுபவமே
கற்கண்டு போல் இனித்த நாளும் உண்டு
கசப்பு மட்டும் காட்டிய நாளும் உண்டு
இனிப்போ  கசப்போ …கட்டாயம் சொல்லும் அது
ஒரு பாடம் …நாளும் ஒரு பாடம் கற்று நானும்
மாற்றிக்கொண்டேன் என்னை எல்லா நாளையும்
இனிய நாளாக ஏற்க !
இந்த ஆண்டு நினைவு பெட்டகமும்  ஒரு பொக்கிஷமே
எனக்கு … இந்த பெட்டகம் திறக்க தனி ஒரு  கடவு சொல்
வேண்டாம்  …திறந்து படிக்க  ஒரு மடிக் கணிணியும்
வேண்டாம் எனக்கு !
கடவுள் கொடுத்த Memory Power ஒன்று மட்டும்
போதும் எனக்கு இந்த பெட்டகம் திறக்க !
வாழ்வின் ஓவ்வொரு நாளும் ஒரு பொக்கிஷமே
இந்த ஆண்டின் பொக்கிஷ நினைவை நான்
அசை போடும் நேரம் புத்தாண்டு விடியலுக்கும்
ஆசையுடன் காத்திருக்கிறேன்  நான் !
இனி வரும் எல்லா நாளும்  இனிய நாளாக அமைய
வேண்டும் … என் பொக்கிஷப் பெட்டகம்
திறந்து பார்க்க வேண்டும் நான் ஒவ்வொரு
ஆண்டும் இன்று போல் …ஒரு கடவு சொல் ,
மடிக் கணிணி துணை இல்லாமல் !
1st Jan 2018

வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை….” என் முதல் கனவு “


என் முதல் கனவு
அம்மாவின் கருவறையில் நான் கேட்ட முதல் ஒலி
அம்மாவின் குரலும் பாட்டும் …இதுதான் உன் அம்மா
என்று என் அம்மாவின்  முகத்தை என் மனத்
திரையில் படம் பிடித்துக் காட்டியது
என் முதல்  கனவே ..அதுவே  நான்
பார்த்த முதல் ஒலியும் ஒளியும் !
நான் கண்ட அந்த முதல் கனவு  நனவு ஆனது என்
அம்மாவின் முகம் நான் பார்த்த முதல் நாள் !
வாழ்வில் எத்தனை எத்தனை கனவுகள் !
கனவு அத்தனையும் நனவாகவில்லையே !
அத்தனை ஏன் ?  நேற்று இரவு கண்ட
கனவு என்ன என்று விடிந்தால் புரிவதில்லையே !
என் முதல் கனவு மட்டும் எனக்கு இன்னும்
மறக்க வில்லையே !  ஏன் ?
அது எனக்கு முதல் கனவு மட்டும் அல்ல !
நனவை கனவில் அடையாளம் காட்டிய
இனிய புதுமைக் கனவும் அதுவே !
இன்றும் என்றும் அதுவே எனக்கு
முதல் கனவு ! முடிவே இல்லாத
முதன்மை கனவும் அதுவே !
My Kavithai  in dated 26th Nov 2017

The Fascinating History of the Iconic Mysore Sandal Soap…

A soap that has held a special place in the hearts of Indians for more than a century, Mysore Sandal Soap’s legacy is intricately interwoven with Karnataka’s history and heritage.

There is something beautifully Indian about the fragrance of sandalwood. Sweet, warm, rich and woody, it is a scent that is deeply interwoven with the nation’s history and heritage. This is, perhaps, one of the many reasons why the Mysore Sandal Soap has held a special place in the hearts of Indians for more than a century.

Here’s the fascinating story behind India’s most-loved sandal soap.

One hundred and one years ago, in May 1916, Krishna Raja Wodiyar IV (the then Maharaja of Mysore) and Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (the then Diwan of Mysore), set up the Government Sandalwood Oil factory at Mysore for sandalwood oil extraction.

The primary goal of the project was to utilise the excess stocks of the fragrant wood that had piled up after World War I halted the export of sandalwood from the kingdom of Mysore (the largest producer of sandalwood in the world at the time).

Two years later, the Maharaja was gifted a rare set of sandalwood oil soaps. This gave him the idea of producing similar soaps for the masses which he immediately shared with his bright Diwan. In total agreement about the need for industrial development in the state, the enterprising duo (who would go on to plan many projects whose benefits are still being reaped) immediately got to work.

A stickler for perfection, Visveswaraya wanted to produce a good quality soap that would also be affordable for the public. He invited technical experts from Bombay (now Mumbai) and made arrangements for soap making experiments on the premises of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Interestingly, the IISc had been set up in 1911 due to the efforts of another legendary Diwan of Mysore, K Sheshadri Iyer!

From the talent involved in the research happening at IISc, he identified a bright, young industrial chemist called Sosale Garalapuri Shastry and sent him to England to fine tune his knowledge about making soap. Affectionately remembered by many as Soap Shastry, the hardworking scientist would go on to play a key role in making Visveswaraya’s dream a reality.

After acquiring the required knowledge, Shastry quickly returned to Mysore where the Maharaja and his Diwan were waiting anxiously. He standardized the procedure of incorporating pure sandalwood oil in soaps after which the government soap factory was established near K R Circle in Bengaluru.

The same year, another oil extraction factory was set up at Mysore to ensure a steady supply of sandalwood oil to the soap making unit. In 1944, another unit was established in Shivamoga. Once the soap hit the market, it quickly became popular with the public, not just within the princely state but across the country.

However, Shastry was not done yet. He also created a perfume from distilled sandalwood oil. Next, he decided to give the Mysore Sandal Soap a unique shape and innovative packaging. In those days, soaps would normally be rectangular in shape and packed in thin, glossy and brightly coloured paper. To help it stand out from the rest, he gave the soap an oval shape before working on a culturally significant packaging.

Cognizant of the Indian love of jewels, Shastry designed a rectangular box resembling a jewellery case— with floral prints and carefully chosen colours. At the centre of the design was the unusual logo he chose for the company, Sharaba (a mythical creature from local folklore with the head of an elephant and the body of a lion. A symbol of courage as well as wisdom, the scientist wanted it to symbolise the state’s rich heritage.

The message ‘Srigandhada Tavarininda’ (that translates to ‘from the maternal home of sandalwood’) was printed on every Mysore Sandal Soapbox. The aromatic soap itself was wrapped in delicate white paper, similar to the ones used by jewellery shops to pack jewels.

This was followed by a systematic and well-planned advertising campaign with cities across the country carrying vibrant signboards in neon colours. Pictures of the soapbox were noticeable everywhere, from tram tickets to matchboxes. Even a camel procession was held to advertise the soap in Karachi!

The out-of-the-box campaign led to rich results. The soap’s demand in India and abroad touched new heights, with even royal families of foreign nations ordering it for themselves. Another important turning point for the company was when, in 1980, it was merged with the oil extraction units (in Mysuru and Shivamoga) and incorporated into one company called Karnataka Soaps and Detergent Limited (KSDL).

However, in the early 1990s, the state-run firm did face a rough patch due to multinational competition, declining demand and lack of coordination between sales and production departments. As losses started rising, it was given a rehabilitation package by BIFR (Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction) and KSDL grabbed the lifeline with both hands.

The company streamlined its way of functioning and soon it had started showing profits again. Thanks to rising profits year after year, it had soon wiped out all its losses and repaid its entire debt to BIFR by 2003. The company also successfully diversified into other soaps, incense sticks, essential oils, hand washes, talcum powder etc.

Nonetheless, the Mysore Sandal Soap remains the company’s flagship product, the only soap in the world made from 100% pure sandalwood oil (along with other natural essential oils such as patchouli, vetiver, orange, geranium and palm rose). Due to tremendous brand recall and loyalty associated with the soap, it also bags a prized position on the shopping lists of visiting NRIs.

In 2006, the iconic was awarded a Geographical Indicator (GI) tag — that means anyone can make and market a sandalwood soap but only KSDL can rightfully claim it to be a ‘Mysore Sandalwood’ soap.

Thanks to this near-monopolistic presence in the market for sandalwood bathing soaps, KSDL has also become one of Karnataka’s few public sector enterprises that turns consistent profits. In fact, the company registered its highest gross sales turnover (of ₹476 crore) in 2015-16.

Such is the legacy of sandalwood and this earthy, oval-shaped soap in the state that even Karnataka’s thriving film industry calls itself Sandalwood!

Today, there are a multitude of branded soaps in the market but Mysore Sandal Soap continues to hold a distinctive place among all of them. Its production figures continue to rise, even as the availability of sandalwood is on the decline.

To counter this, KSDL has been running a ‘Grow More Sandalwood’ programme for farmers, that provides affordable sandalwood saplings along with a buy-back guarantee.Working in partnership with the forest department, it is also working to ensure that for every sandalwood removed for extraction, a sandalwood sapling is planted to replace it.

The story of Mysore Sandal Soap and its enduring appeal is an inspiration not just for Indian PSUs but for the entire FMCG sector. Here’s hoping that its future is aromatic as its history!




வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை…. ” புதிய ஓட்டம் ” …


புதிய ஓட்டம்
ஓட்டமாய் ஓடுது வாழ்க்கை …தினம் தினம்
ஒரு ஓட்டம் …புதிய ஓட்டம் !
என் தாத்தாவின் கை பிடித்து ஓடிய நான்
இன்று என் பேரனின் பின்னால் ஓடுகிறேன் !
பேரன் குரல் கேட்டு ஓடுகிறேன்  அவன்
சொல்லும்படி  ஆடுகிறேன் … இது புதிய
ஆட்டம்  நான் ஓடும் ஓட்டத்தில் !
இந்த புதிய ஓட்டமும் ஆட்டமும் சலிக்கவில்லையே
எனக்கு…தினம் தினம் நான் புதியதாய் பிறப்பதால் !
புதிய ரத்தம் என்னுள்ளே புது வேகத்தில் சுரப்பதால் !
புதிய ஓட்டம் ஓடும் நான் ஒரு வட்டத்துக்குள் சுற்றவில்லை
குட்டிப் பயல்  என்னை கட்டிப் போடவும் இல்லை !
நான் ஓடிக் கொண்டே இருப்பேன் அவன் பின்னால் !
என் ஓட்டம்  நிற்காது அந்த சுட்டிப் பயல் ஒரு
சிகரத்தை எட்டி தொடும் வரையில் !
My Tamil Kavithai in  dated 1st Oct 2017

The Stockholm Telephone Tower….


By the late 19th century, the miracle device called the telephone had been invented but the simple concept of undergrounding telephone cables had eluded engineers. Clumps of telephone wires strung from monstrous towers hung above the heads of pedestrians in all major cities with a sizable number of subscribers.

Telephone service was expensive at that time, and only the wealthy could afford it. In Sweden, the first public telephone exchange was opened in the capital city Stockholm, in 1880, by the Bell Telephone Company. It originally had only 121 subscribers. The telephone company charged subscribers between 160 and 280 Swedish Krona, depending on the subscriber’s location and distance to the exchange. This was equivalent to paying a subscription fee of 9,000 to 16,000 Krona (USD 1,100 to USD 1,966) in today’s value, which was a very high rate.

The Bell Telephone Company with their high rates soon got a competitor in Stockholm General Telephone Company (SAT), which was founded in 1883 by the engineer and businessman Henrik Tore Cedergren. His mission was to put a telephone in every household. Cedergren’s charged very low fees for a connection and monthly subscription, and the number of subscribers increased rapidly. By 1886, Stockholm had more telephones than any of the major cities in the world, with 4,832 subscribers, including about 1,600 at Bell Telephone Company. In 1887, SAT became the world’s largest telephone company, large enough to buy out Bell Company’s business in Stockholm in 1888.

In this early days of telephony, there were no substations and every subscriber was physically connected to the central exchange with an overhead wire. The Stockholm telephone exchange had thousands of wires converging in from every direction. A massive tower held these wires together.

This iconic Phone Tower, or Telefontornet, was opened in 1887, and had over 5,500 telephone lines whose collective length came to around 5,000 kilometers. As you can see from these pictures, it was quite a mess, and the network was extremely vulnerable to the elements. The locals thought the tower looked hideous and even complained that it darkened out the sun.

With the public and the press lambasting the tower at every opportunity, the telephone company decided that the tower needed a makeover. A decoration competition was announced, and in 1890 the tower got the four corner turrets. At all major events in Stockholm, the city’s flags were hoisted there.

However, by the turn of the 19th century, the tower was already on its path to obsolescence. The telephone company realized that laying cables underground was a far more elegant solution than stringing them from towers. By 1913, the entire network had gone underground and the Telefontornet lost its function. The remaining shell stood as a landmark for the several decades. At one point, the telephone company hung advertisement banners from the tower. In 1952, the tower caught fire which weakened the structure, and was demolished the following year on safety grounds.

Source….Kaushik in


“மிகவும் தொன்மை வாய்ந்த வாய்ஸ் ரெக்கார்டர் எது தெரியுமா …? “


விஷ்ணு சஹஸ்ரநாமம் நமக்கு எப்படி கிடைத்தது…

1950-களில் ஒருநாள் ஒரு வானொலி நிருபர் ஸ்ரீமஹாபெரியவாளை பேட்டிகண்டு அதனை டேப்ரிகார்டரில் பதிவு செய்துகொண்டிருந்தார்.

திடீரென்று பெரியவா அவரிடமும்,அங்கு இருந்தவர்களிடமும்,”மிகவும் பழைய காலத்து வாய்ஸ் ரிகார்டர் எதுவென்று யாருக்காவது தெரியுமா” என்று கேட்டார்.

யாரும் பதில் சொல்லவில்லை.

பெரியவா மற்றொரு கேள்வியைக் கேட்டார், ”விஷ்ணு சஹஸ்ரநாமம் நமக்கு எப்படி கிடைத்தது?”

யாரோ ஒருவர்,”விஷ்ணு சஹஸ்ரநாமத்தை பீஷ்மர் நமக்குத் தந்தார்” என்றார்.

அனைவரும் “ஆம்” என்று ஒப்புக்கொண்டனர்.

பெரியவா சிரித்துக்கொண்டே தலையசைத்து விட்டு, மற்றொரு கேள்வியை வீசினார்,

”குருக்ஷேத்திரத்தில் அனைவரும் பீஷ்மர் சொன்ன விஷ்ணு சஹஸ்ரநாமத்தை பக்தியோடு கேட்டுக் கொண்டிருந்தபோது, அதனை குறிப்பெடுத்ததோ, எழுதிக்கொண்டதோ யார்?” மீண்டும் அமைதி.

ஸ்ரீசரணர் புன்னகையுடன் சொல்ல ஆரம்பி த்தார்

“பீஷ்மர், ஸ்ரீகிருஷணரின் புகழையும், பெருமைகளையும் விஷ்ணு சஹஸ்ரநாமத்தால் விளக்கிக் கொண்டிருந்தபோது, ஸ்ரீகிருஷணரும், வியாசரும் உட்பட அனைவரும் வேறு எந்த நினைப்புமின்றி அவரையே உன்னிப்பாக கவனித்துக்கொண்டிருந்தனர்.

பிதாமகர் பீஷ்மர் ஆயிரம் நாமங்களையும் சொல்லி முடித்தபின்பு அனைவரும் விழிப்படைந்தனர்.

முதலில் யுதிஷ்ட்டிரர் பேசினார்,

”பிதாமகர், ஸ்ரீவாசுதேவரின் ஒப்பற்ற பெருமை வாய்ந்த ஆயிரம் புனித நாமாக்களை சொன்னார். அவற்றைக் கேட்பதில் கவனமாக இருந்த நாம் அனைவரும் அவற்றை குறிப்பெடுக்கவோ, எழுதிக்கொள்ளவோ தவறிவிட்டோம்.

நாம் அற்புதமான விஷயத்தை இழந்து நிற்கின்றோம்” என்றார்.

அப்போதுதான் அனைவரும் எப்படிப்பட்ட தவறு நேர்ந்துவிட்டதென்று உணர்ந்து திகைத்தனர்.

பிறகு யுதிஷ்டிரர் ஸ்ரீகிருஷணரிடம் திரும்பி,”ஆயிரம் புனித நாமாக்களை மீட்டுத்தர தாங்களாவது உதவக்கூடாதா” என்று கேட்டார்.

ஸ்ரீகிருஷ்ணர் வழக்கம்போல், “என்னால் மட்டும் என்ன செய்ய முடியும்? உங்கள் எல்லோரையும் போல நானும் ஆச்சார்யர் பீஷ்மரைத்தான் பார்த்துக்கொண்டிருந்தேன் என்றார்.

அனைவரும் சேர்ந்து ஸ்ரீகிருஷ்ணரிடம், “ஹே.. வாசுதேவா, நீ ஆனைத்தும் அறிந்தவர். உம்மால் இயலாததென்பது எதுவுமே இல்லை. தாங்கள் தயைகூர்ந்து எங்களுக்கு உதவ வேண்டும்.

அந்த ஒப்புயர்வற்ற பெருமைவாய்ந்த பரந்தாமனின் ஆயிரம் புனித நாமாக்களை மீட்டுத்தர வேணடும். அது தங்களால் மட்டுமே முடியும்” என்று வேண்டினர்.

அதற்கு ஸ்ரீகிருஷ்ணர்,”இதனை செய்ய முடிந்த ஒருவர் உங்களுக்குள்ளேயே இருக்கின்றார்” என்றார்.

எவருக்கும் ஒன்றும் புரியவில்லை.

ஸ்ரீவாசுதேவர் தொடர்ந்தார்,”சகாதேவன் அதனை மீட்டு சொல்ல, வியாசர் எழுதுவார்” என்றார்.

அனைவரும் சகாதேவனால் எப்படி சஹஸ்ர நாமத்தை மீட்க முடியும் என்பதை அறிய ஆவலாக இருந்தனர்.

ஸ்ரீவாசுதேவர் கூறினார்,”உங்கள் அனைவருள்ளும் சகாதேவன் மட்டுமே ‘சுத்த ஸ்படிக’ மாலை அணிந்திருந்தான்.

சகாதேவன் சிவபெருமானை பிரார்த்தனை செய்து தியானித்து ‘சுத்த ஸ்படிகம்’ உள்வாங்கியுள்ள சஹஸ்ரநாமத்தை சப்த அலைகளாக மாற்ற, அதனை வியாசர் எழுதிக்கொள்ளுவார்” என்றார்.

‘சுத்த ஸ்படிகம்’ அமைதியான சூழ்நிலையில் எழும் சப்தங்களை கிரகித்துக்கொள்ளும்.

இது ஸ்படிகத்தின் குணம், தன்மை.

‘ஸ்வதம்பரராகவும்’ ‘ஸ்படிகமாகவும்’ இருக்கும் சிவபெருமானை தியானித்து அந்த சப்தங்களை மீட்க முடியும்.

உடனே சகாதேவனும் வியாசரும், பீஷ்மர் சஹஸ்ரநாமம் சொல்லிய அதே இடத்தில் அமர்ந்தனர்.

சகாதேவன் மஹாதேவரை பிரார்த்தித்து, தியானம் செய்து சஹஸ்ரநாமத்தை மீட்கத் துவங்கினர்.

அந்த ‘சுத்த ஸ்படிக’ மாலையே உலகின் முதல் ‘வாய்ஸ் ரிகார்டராக’, அற்புதமான விஷ்ணு சஹஸ்ரநாமத்தை நமக்குத் தந்தது………..”

என்று சொல்லி குழந்தைபோல சிரித்தார் ஸ்ரீசரணர்.

ஹர ஹர சங்கர, ஜய ஜய சங்கர.

Source….FB input from Mohan Krishnaswamy and Subramanian Thanappa


Puzzling Gravestones….

When Canadian doctor Samuel Bean lost his first two wives, Henrietta and Susanna, within 20 months of each other, he decided that the was best way to honor them would be to create a tombstone dedicated to a hobby they both enjoyed —solving puzzles. The doctor had them buried side by side in Rushes Cemetery near Crosshill, Wellesley Township, Ontario, and a single gravestone was placed over their graves. The gravestone bore a puzzle, one that had kept historians stumped and amateur cryptologists busy for the next eighty years.

A replica of the gravestone can still be seen in Rushes Cemetery. The original stone was badly weathered and was replaced with this durable granite replica in 1982. The stone is about 3 feet high, and features a finger pointed skyward with the words “Gone Home” above the two women’s names. Underneath the names is a grid carved with 225 seemingly random numbers and letters.

Without doubt, Dr. Samuel Bean must have received many requests to reveal the meaning of the cryptic message, but he would have none. Then in 1904, while holidaying in Cuba, Dr. Bean fell overboard from a sailboat and drowned. The secret of the coded gravestone was forever lost.

It was in 1947, some eighty years after Dr. Bean’s wives were buried, that the puzzle was first deciphered by the cemetery caretaker John L. Hammond, whose own grave is nearby. Hammond had copied the inscription, took it home and over the course of several months figured it out.

To solve the puzzle, start at the seventh column from the left and at the seventh letter from the top and read in a zig-zag way. If solved correctly, it should read:


However, the puzzle appears to have a few errors, as observes:

There is a single letter-discrepancy between the two stones. In line 7, column 8, the original’s “D” became an “E” on the replica — as it should be. However, there remains one seeming error: in line 8, column 14, each stone shows “B” but this has no place in the puzzle. If made an “O” it completes the word “SO” in the puzzle’s final phrase. I like to think that Samuel had these false letters engraved into the original marble to have the last laugh on his township neighbours.

Photo credit: Mac Armstrong/Flickr

Dr. Bean wasn’t the first to incorporate puzzles into headstones.

At the eastern end of the churchyard of St Mary’s Priory Church, in Monmouth, Wales, there is the gravestone of John Renie, a house painter who died in 1832. Renie’s gravestone comprises a rectangular carved 285-letter acrostic puzzle. From the larger H on the center square the sentence “Here lies John Renie” may be read in any direction. It is claimed that the sentence may be read a total of 46,000 different ways. It is believed that Renie carved the stone himself, possibly in a bid to confuse the Devil, so ensuring Renie a safe passage to heaven.

Source….Kaushik in