How Clinical India tamed tamed Australia to claim ICC Under 19 World Cup …

http://bit.ly/2DYZ2AR

Source….www.rediff.com

Natarajan

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World’s busiest air route is right here in India!…

In 2017 only the Jeju-Seoul Gimpo route (with over 64,991 flights) and Melbourne-Sydney (54,519 departures and arrivals) were busier than Mumbai-Delhi.

It is the third-busiest air route in the world, with as many as 47,500 departures and landings last year.

Yet despite reaching this position, the Mumbai-Delhi route could face serious challenges in sustaining or improving it this year.

The reason? Hardly any additional capacity is now available at Mumbai airport to deploy more flights on this route.

But with the demand growing by 10-12 per cent annually, and with no possibility of adding more flights, flyers will soon face a hike in air fares this year.

According to OAG, an air travel intelligence firm based in the UK, the Mumbai-Delhi air route was the third-busiest in the world last year, with an average of 130 flights between the two cities every day.

In 2016, India was number six in the pecking order of the busiest routes, and this calculation was based on the capacity deployed on the route one way.

In 2017 only the Jeju-Seoul Gimpo route (with over 64,991 flights) and Melbourne-Sydney (54,519 departures and arrivals) were busier than Mumbai-Delhi.

Airlines say the route makes up about 10 per cent of their capacity and revenues, making it by far the biggest market.

And, at an average passenger load factor on this route of 80-90 per cent, this is a lucrative route, on which the demand is growing.

It also reflects the skew that these two markets have in the aviation business in the country as it constitutes more than 35 per cent of the domestic traffic.

Over 10,000 passengers depart every day from Mumbai for Delhi and vice versa and 70 per cent of them are corporate travellers, and this makes the situation even worse as they travel only during the peak hours (6am-8am and 5pm to 7pm).

That is why IndiGo and Jet Airways, each of which has 17 departures from Mumbai, top the list, followed by Air India (11), Vistara (10), GoAir (7), and SpiceJet (4). Yet the writing is on the wall. While most airlines are pushing for more capacity on the route, none is available.

Says a senior executive of a leading airline: “If slots are available, we can achieve a growth rate of 10-12 per cent on this route every year.

“But as slots are not available, the only possibility is to deploy bigger planes. But everyone does not have that flexibility, especially the LCCs. What you will see is fare increases”.

Last year, for instance, only Vistara and IndiGo were given additional slots on the route.

According to estimates of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, the airport, which has a maximum capacity of 50-52 million per annum, is handling 46-50 departures an hour, which pretty close to the global best of around 55.

Currently the airport handles over 45 million passengers a year.

The agency says that the airport would reach its full capacity either by FY18 and surely by 2019, which makes the development of the new airport in Navi Mumbai so important.

Source…www.rediff.com

Natarajan

India”s Most unusual Post Offices….Our Country Celebrates National Postal Day today…

E-mails may have overshadowed the concept of snail mail, yet post offices still hold a special place in the Indian way of life. Having long had a presence in local communities, they have served as exchange posts for news, gossip and much more.

As the country celebrates the National Postal Day today, here’s a look at three of India’s most unusual post offices.

Send a postcard from any of these unique spots, and you are sure to score some travel bragging rights!

1. The Post Office at Hikkim

 

 

 

Perched at 15,500 ft above sea level in Himachal Pradesh’s strikingly beautiful Spiti Valley, the hamlet of Hikkim is reputedly home to the world’s highest post office.

A small hut with whitewashed walls and a red postbox hanging outside, the quaint post office is 23 km from the town of Kaza and has been functioning since November 5, 1983. With no internet and patchy cell phone signal, the facility is the only conduit to the world for Hikkim’s residents.

This inconspicuous little post office is single-handedly managed by Rinchen Chhering, who has been the branch postmaster for over 20 years. He was chosen for the post when he was just 22 because he could run fast and owned a bicycle!

Every day, two runners take turns hiking to Kaza on foot to deliver mail that is then taken by bus to Reckong Peo, onward to Shimla, further by train to Kalka, from where it is taken to Delhi and sent to its final destination. In winter, everything in the valley freezes – the rivers, the lakes, the mountains. As the snow cover cuts off Hikkim from the rest of the world, the village’s post office also shuts down for six months.

2. The Post Office at Antarctica

Dakshin Gangotri Station                                                                                                                                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located in Dakshin Gangotri, India’s first scientific base in Antarctica, this post office first became operational on February 24, 1984, after it was established during the third Indian expedition to the frigid ‘White Continent.’ It was a part of the base’s multi-support systems that also included including ice-melting plants, laboratories, storage and recreational facilities.

The Dakshin Gangotri PO was brought under the Department of Post at Goa on January 26, 1988. Scientist G. Sudhakar Rao, who went to Antarctica as a member of the Seventh Indian Scientific Expedition in 1987, was appointed as its first honorary postmaster. Interestingly, in its first year of establishment, nearly 10000 letters were posted and cancelled at this post office.

However, in 1990, Dakshin Gangotri PO in Antarctica was decommissioned after it got half buried in ice. The post office was then shifted to the new permanent research base, Maitri.

Over the years, the unusual spot has become a favourite stop-off for tourists from cruise ships who came to explore the frozen continent and learn about its unique ecosystem. They send out postcards and letters that take between two and six weeks to reach their destinations via Hobart (in Australia).

3. The Post Office on Dal Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Built on an intricately carved houseboat, the Srinagar’s Floating Post Office claims to be the only one of its kind in the world. Here you can avail all regular postal services while being afloat on the Dal Lake. A heritage post office that has existed since colonial times, it was called Nehru Park post office before it was renamed by the then chief postmaster John Samuel in 2011.

After a pretty little philately museum and souvenir shop were added to it, the Floating Post Office was formally relaunched in August 2011. Interestingly, the seal used on everything posted from the this is unique, and tourist-friendly post office bears a special design — of a boatman rowing a shikara on the Dal Lake — along with the date and address.

While enthusiastic tourists row to the post office every day to send postcards back home, for the locals, the post office is more than an object of fascination. The islets in Dal Lake are home to over 50000 people (farmers, labourers, artisans and shikaraowners) for whom this state-run facility is the nearest source of postal and banking services.

Source…SanchariPal in http://www.thebetterindia.com

Natarajan

 

A Garden In A Sinkhole…

The region in the southeast of South Australia, near Mount Gambier, is littered with many volcanic and karst features such as volcanic craters, lakes, limestone caves, water-filled caves and sinkholes. One particular sinkhole, located just off Jubilee Highway East, is particularly worth visiting. What was once a typical limestone cave formed by the corrosion of limestone rocks by seawater, and the subsequent collapse of the chamber’s roof, has been transformed into a beautiful garden.

The Sunken Garden in the Umpherston Sinkhole was built by James Umpherston in the 1880s, after he purchased the property about twenty years prior. Being retired, Umpherson wanted to create a place where the people of Mount Gambier could come to relax and escape the heat of summer. He carved a path in the side of the rock and erected a set of wooden steps so people could descend into the sinkhole and to his sunken garden, where he planted all sorts of ferns, shrubs and flowers. The sinkhole even had a small lake within where visitors could take boat rides.

The garden became an immediate success and very popular among the residents of Mount Gambier. After James Umpherston died in 1900, his garden fell into disrepair, and it was only about forty years ago that the garden was rescued from a rubbish dump that it had become. The garden was restored by the employees of the South Australian Woods and Forests Department in 1976. They removed the rubbish and cleared the weeds, and planted hydrangeas and other species along the terraces.

Once again, the garden has become a popular recreation spot. In 1995, the garden was added to the South Australian Heritage Register.

Source….kaushik in http://www.amusingplanet.com

Natarajan

Hiding in plain sight; Rangoli, Kolam designs and what they mean…

 

Every day, my mother religiously performed a ritual. Rain or shine, she never skipped this ritual even for a day. Every day, she drew enchanting kolam patterns using rice flour.

On special occasions, the white kolam designs were made with wet rice flour paste accompanied by thick strips of earth colored borders made with red sand mixed with water.

My mother is proud of her kolam design skills. She is not alone. It seems no self-respecting South Indian woman will tolerate anyone questioning her ability to conjure up kolam designs at will.

Millions of women from different communities in South India practice this art form every day.

For over 38 years, I considered Kolam to be just another ritual among the long list of rituals Indian women seem to follow. However, when I decided to dig deeper to understand the significance of kolam designs, I was surprised at what I discovered.

The threshold is a key concept in Tamilian culture. Even historical Tamil literature such as the Sangam literature (Tamil literature in the period spanning 300BC to 300 CE) is divided into the akam (inner field) and the puram (outer field).

That’s not all.

In one of Nammalvar’s (the fifth among the 12 Alwar saints who espoused Vaishnavism) hymns, the God in the poem is the God of the threshold. Of course, every newly married bride formally becomes a part of the household when she steps overs the threshold.

Should we then conclude that kolam designs are a celebration of the threshold?

Different interpretations of the significance of kolam designs

Here are a few explanations I came across in my quest to unearth the real significance of the kolam ritual.

The most common understanding has been that the idea of using rice flour is to provide food to ants, insects and small birds.

If that is the case, what’s stopping men from participating in this noble deed?

While I did not find an answer, a common sense reasoning is that women have traditionally carried the burden of maintaining the home and the kolam ritual automatically became a part of the woman’s domain.

That’s also a reason why my mother and my aunts believe that women see it as a key ritual that helps them improve their concentration and patience, two key components needed to run a household!

Here is another interpretation recorded in Lance Nelson’s study of Kolam.

“Bhumi Devi [earth goddess] is our mother. She is everyone’s source of existence. Nothing would exist without her. The entire world depends on her for sustenance and life. So, we draw the kolam first to remind ourselves of her. All day we walk on Bhumi Devi. All night we sleep on her. We spit on her. We poke her. We burden her. We do everything on her. We expect her to bear us and all the activities we do on her with endless patience. That is why we do the kolam.”

According to Devdutt Pattnaik, author and mythologist –

“A downward pointing triangle represented woman; an upward pointing triangle represented man. A circle represented nature while a square represented culture. A lotus represented the womb. A pentagram represented Venus and the five elements.”

Kolams connects the dots in more than one way.

Cultural practices are common across the length and breadth of India. They also transcend regions.

The concept of Kolam is definitely not unique to Tamil speaking community in India. For example, in the Telugu language, it is called ‘Muggulu’, and it’s known as ‘Rangoli’ in the Kannada language.

But the idea of drawing patterns on the ground transcends India and can be found in other cultures as well!

Anil Menon, a computer scientist, and a speculative novelist has compiled findings from his research on similar practices among cultures separated by oceans. Here are some tidbits from Menon’s work.

British anthropologist, John Layard, found that the patterns drawn on the sand by the tribal population of Malekula (an island that’s a part of The Republic of Vanuatu, situated 1000 miles east of Australia) are similar to the kolam patterns popular in Tamil Nadu!

Here is the proof.

 

 

 

 

 

There is also a possibility that kolam designs were an early form of pictorial language!

Dr Gift Siromani, through his path-breaking work, has proved that it is possible to create any kolam pattern using a combination of strokes.

Rituals and cultural practices are to be cherished

I did not think much of the kolam designs my mom drew every day. But a sudden spark of curiosity led me to unexpected findings and the joy of discovering human beings are connected to each other in more ways than we can imagine.

Physical boundaries, cultural differences, and racial definitions are just imaginary barriers we have erected over a period of time. Our lives are always connected just like the dots of the kolam my mom draws.

SOURCE….Srinivas Krishnaswamy in http://www.the betterindia.com

Natarajan

Image of the Day… Amazing Photo of Super Moon on 14th Nov 2016 !!!

 

The lights around the moon are street lights and there is a tree in front of the moon like veins on moon….!!!

Photo Credit  by Senthil Natarajan , Brisbane , Australia

Photograph taken by him on the night of Super Moon Day …14 Nov 2016

Source…Facebook post of Senthil Natarajan

Natarajan

 

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