காஞ்சி வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் கோயிலின் ஆதி மூர்த்தம் எங்கே இருக்கிறார் தெரியுமா? – அத்தி வரதரின் திருக்கதை!

காஞ்சிபுரம் வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் கோயில் திருக்குளத்தில் வாசம் செய்யும் அத்தி வரதரைப் பற்றி ஒரு தகவல் வாட்ஸ்ஆப்பில் பரவி வருகிறது. அடுத்த வருடம் ஜூலை மாதம் 15-ம் தேதி திருக்குளத்தில் வாசம் செய்யும் அத்தி வரதர், வெளியே எழுந்தருளி பக்தர்களுக்குத் திருக்காட்சி தரவிருக்கிறார் என்பதுதான் அந்தத் தகவல். காஞ்சிபுரம் வரதராஜப் பெருமாளின் ஆதி மூர்த்தம்தான் அத்தி வரதர். தற்போது நாம் கருவறையில் தரிசிப்பது வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் என்று சொல்லப்பட்டாலும், உண்மையில் அவர் பழைய சீவரம் பகுதியிலிருந்து கொண்டுவரப்பட்ட தேவராஜப் பெருமாள்தான். இந்தக் கோயிலின் ஆதி மூர்த்தியான அத்தி வரதர் பிரம்ம தேவரால் உருவாக்கப்பட்டவர். அவர்தான் திருக்குளத்தில் வாசம் செய்வதுடன், 40 வருடங்களுக்கு ஒருமுறை வெளியில் எழுந்தருளி பக்தர்களுக்குக் காட்சி தருகிறார். அத்தி வரதரின் புராண வரலாற்றை இங்கே தெரிந்துகொள்ளலாமே…

திருவரங்கம், திருப்பதிக்கு எல்லாம் முந்தைய புராணச் சிறப்பு கொண்டது காஞ்சி வரதராஜப் பெருமாள் கோயில் தலவரலாறு. ஆதியில் சிருஷ்டியை மேற்கொண்ட பிரம்மதேவர், தனது காரியம் செவ்வனே நடைபெற காஞ்சியில் ஒரு யாகம் செய்தார். தன்னை அழைக்காமல் யாகம் செய்த பிரம்மதேவரிடம் கோபம் கொண்ட சரஸ்வதி தேவி, யாகத்துக்கு வரவில்லை. சரஸ்வதி தேவி இல்லாமல் பிரம்மதேவரால் யாகத்தைப் பூர்த்தி செய்ய முடியாது. எனவே, பிரம்ம தேவர் சரஸ்வதி தேவிக்குப் பதிலாக காயத்ரி, சாவித்திரி ஆகியோரின் துணையுடன் யாகத்தைத் தொடங்கினார். சினம் கொண்ட சரஸ்வதி தேவி, பிரம்மதேவரின் யாகசாலையை அழிக்க வேகவதி ஆறாக மாறி வெள்ளப்பெருக்கெடுத்து வந்தாள். பிரம்மதேவரின் யாகத்தைக் காக்கத் திருவுள்ளம் கொண்ட திருமால், நதிக்கு நடுவில் சயனக் கோலம் கொண்டார். வெட்கிய சரஸ்வதி தேவி தன் பாதையை மாற்றிக்கொண்டாள். பிரம்மதேவரின் யாகமும் நிறைவு பெற்றது. தனக்காக வந்து யாகத்தைக் காத்த பெருமாளின் கருணையை எண்ணி நெகிழ்ந்த பிரம்மதேவர், பெருமாளைப் பணிந்து தொழுதார். தேவர்களும் பெருமாளை வணங்கி வரங்களைக் கேட்டனர். அவர்கள் விரும்பிய எல்லா வரங்களையும் கொடுத்ததால், பெருமாள், `வரதர்’ என்ற திருப்பெயர் கொண்டார்.

ஒரு சித்திரை மாதம் திருவோண நட்சத்திரத்தில் பெருமாள் தேவர்கள் அனைவருக்கும் புண்ணியகோடி விமானத்தில் சங்கு, சக்கரம், கதை தாங்கிய திருக்கோலத்தில் காட்சி தந்தார். எனவே, அதே நாளில் பிரம்ம தேவர், தனக்கு தரிசனம் தந்த பெருமாளின் திருவடிவத்தை அத்தி மரத்தில் வடித்து வழிபட்டார். இப்படித்தான் அத்தி வரதர் மண்ணுலகில் எழுந்தருளினார். பிரம்மதேவரால் உருவான அத்திமர வரதராஜரை தேவலோக யானையான ஐராவதம் தனது முதுகில் சுமந்தது. பின்னர் ஐராவதம் சிறு குன்றாக உருமாறி அத்தி (யானை)கிரி, வேழமலை என்று பெயர் பெற்றது. அத்திகிரியில் எழுந்தருளிய பெருமாள் ஞானியர்களுக்கும் தேவர்களுக்கும் வேண்டும் வரங்களை வேண்டியபடியே அருள்புரிந்து வந்தார்.

பின்னர் ஒருமுறை பிரம்மதேவர் அத்தி வரதரை முன்னிருத்தி ஒரு யாகம் செய்தார். யாகத் தீயின் காரணமாக அத்தி வரதர் பின்னப்பட்டுவிட்டார். பிரம்மதேவர் பதறிப் போனார். வேறு எந்த வடிவத்திலும் பெருமாளை உருவாக்க முடியாத சூழலில், பிரம்மா திருமாலை வேண்டினார். அவருடைய ஆலோசனையின்படி, அத்தி வரதரை, கோயிலிலுள்ள நூற்றுக் கால் மண்டபத்துக்கு வடக்கிலுள்ள இரண்டு திருக்குளங்களில் தென் திசையிலுள்ள நீராழி மண்டபத்துக்குக் கீழே உள்ள மற்றொரு மண்டபத்தில் வெள்ளிப் பேழையில் சயனக் கோலத்தில் வைத்தார். யாகத்தீயில் உஷ்ணமான பெருமான், கலியுகம் முழுக்க இந்த அமிர்தசரஸ் எனும் ஆனந்த புஷ்கரணி திருக்குளத்தில் குளிர்ந்த நிலையில் இருப்பார் என்றும், இதனால் எந்தக் காலத்திலும் இந்தத் திருக்குளம் வற்றாது என்றும் பிரம்மதேவருக்குச் சொல்லப்பட்டது. அத்தி வரதர் திருக்குளத்துக்கு அடியே சென்றதும், பழைய சீவரம் என்ற ஊரில் இருந்த தேவராஜப் பெருமாள் அத்திகிரிக்கு அருள வந்தார்.

 

 

 

 

 

ஆதியில் தோன்றிய அத்தி வரதர் நீருக்கடியே அறிதுயிலில் இருக்கிறார். பிரம்மதேவருக்குப் பெருமாள் கட்டளையிட்டபடி, 40 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு ஒருமுறை குளத்து நீரை எல்லாம் இறைத்து விட்டு பெருமாள் மேலே எழுந்தருளுவார். சயன மற்றும் நின்ற கோலமாக 48 நாள்கள் பக்தர்களுக்கு வரதர் சேவை சாதிப்பார். 40 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு ஒருமுறையே இவரைத் தரிசிக்க முடியும் என்பதால் அப்போது பக்தர்கள் கூட்டம் அலைமோதும். வாழ்வில் ஒருமுறையேனும் இவரை தரிசிப்பது மோட்சத்தை அளிக்கும் என்பார்கள். இரண்டாவது முறை யாரேனும் தரிசித்தால் வைகுந்த பதவி பெறுவார்கள் என்பதும் ஐதீகம். மூன்று முறை தரிசித்த மகா பாக்கியவான்களும் சிலருண்டு. 1939 மற்றும் 1979-ம் ஆண்டுகளில் வெளியான அத்தி வரதர் அடுத்த ஆண்டு வெளிப்பட இருக்கிறார்.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40 வருடங்களுக்கு ஒருமுறை வெளியே எழுந்தருளி பக்தர்களுக்குச் சேவை சாதிக்கும் அத்தி வரதர், அடுத்த வருடம் ஜூலை மாதம் 15-ம் தேதி வெளியே வரப்போகிறார்  என்று தற்போது வாட்ஸ் அப்பில் பரவி வரும் தகவல் பற்றி கோயில் நிர்வாகத்திடம் கேட்டோம். “2019-ம் வருடம் வைகாசி மாதம் நடைபெறும் பிரம்மோற்சவத்தின்போதுதான் அத்தி வரதரை வெளியில் எழுந்தருளச் செய்யும் நாள்கள் குறித்து முடிவு செய்யப்படும். மற்றபடி தற்போது வெளிவரும் தகவல்கள் வதந்திதான்” என்று கூறினார்கள்.

நாளும் கிழமையும் எதுவாக இருந்தால் என்ன? அடுத்த வருடம் அத்தி வரதர் நமக்கெல்லாம் அருள்புரிவதற்காக திருக்குளத்திலிருந்து வெளியே எழுந்தருளவேண்டும்; நாம் கண்கள் குளிரக் குளிர அவரை தரிசித்து அருள்பெறவேண்டும் என்பதே பக்தர்கள் அனைவரின் விருப்பமுமாகும்.

Source…. Mu.HariKamaraj  in .www.vikatan.com

Natarajan

 

 

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A Woman of Many Firsts: Meet India’s First And Oldest Cardiologist!…


Stent, heart bypass surgery, heart attack…all of us have heard these painful terms amongst our loved ones at one time or another. But these were uncommon a generation ago.

So, what happened? How did we reach here?

In an attempt to understand the status of heart disease in India, Priyamvada Chugh reached out to India’s first and oldest cardiologist.

Meet Dr Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavati, who turns 101 this month, and still goes to the National Heart Institute in Delhi every day,which she founded in 1977.

Dr Padmavati is India’s first and oldest cardiologist. Photo

Born in 1917, Dr Padmavati fled with her family from Burma to Coimbatore in 1941 during World War II. With the passion to make a difference, she studied medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Harvard Medical College in the USA with cardiology pioneers Dr Helen Taussig and Dr Paul Dudley White, respectively.

While returning to India in 1952 was a personal decision, it was the turning point for cardiology in India.

She has been the face behind several firsts:

  • The establishment of the first cardiac clinic and cath lab at the Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi.
  • The initiation of India’s first Doctorate of Medicine in Cardiology.
  • Setting up cardiology departments at the prestigious Maulana Azad Medical College, GB Pant Hospital, etc.
  • Founding the All India Heart Foundation, Delhi.

The list goes on. She accomplished all this in an era when cardiology was an unknown territory for most Indians, let alone for a woman.

To this Dr Padmavati says, “I pursued cardiology because there were very few courses available to women when I went to college, unlike today.” She was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1967 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1992 for her contributions to the field.

Having witnessed drastic changes in the incidence of heart disease in India over the last century, she says “Things were different earlier. Physical activity and a healthy diet were the norms. Now, times have changed.”

Burgers, fast food, and buttered paranthas, with eight hours of sitting in front of a computer, aren’t making things any better. As we move towards a machine-driven lifestyle characterised by increasing levels of stress, we invariably embrace unhealthy nutritional habits where heart diseases will only be on the rise.

Diseases of the heart have become the biggest killers of the modern times. According to reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO), heart diseases kill 17 million people around the world every year, and this figure is expected to rise to 23 million by 2030. The numbers are as horrific in India where 32% of all adult deaths are due to heart diseases.

Worryingly, heart disease in Indian youth is increasing rapidly, with 50% of all heart attacks occurring under 50 years of age and 25% occurring under 40 years of age.

So, what causes heart disease? Dr Padmavati answers, “The biggest reasons for heart disease are obesity, hypertension, diabetes and tobacco abuse.” High level of blood cholesterol is a common sign among obese people. Being a bad fat, cholesterol tends to get deposited in blood vessels, making them thinner and causing an increase in blood pressure, which weakens the heart.

Similarly, high salt intake also leads to increased blood pressure and eventually heart failure. Guidelines from the WHO recommend getting no more than 2.3 g of sodium a day, which is just one teaspoon of salt! As Indians, we are consuming almost twice that amount per day!

Another red flag for heart disease is high blood sugar, which gets converted to fat by the liver, raising the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests that we should consume less than 36 g of sugar per day, which is equivalent to just a single serving of a Rasgulla!

Can you imagine how many times the daily requirement of salt and sugar you have already consumed today? Studies show that exercising as little as 30 minutes every day decreases the risk of heart disease by up to 30%.

Limiting the intake of sugar and salt and increasing physical activity is the only way forward.

Another recommended strategy to strengthen our heart is by having at least 500 g of antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, pomegranates, spinach, grapes, etc. daily.

Several campaigns across the globe have been fighting these risk factors to reduce the incidence of heart disease. For instance, the Daily Mile Scheme, initiated in Scotland, is ensuring 15 minutes of morning run for school students across Europe. Norway has hiked the tax on sugar by 83% at the start of 2018, with products like candies and chocolates being taxed at almost $5 per kilo. In Finland, low-salt food options in the supermarket carry a “better choice” logo, and high salt foods have a mandatory warning sign.

In India, we neither have a sugar tax, nor a policy on salt consumption. So, for us Indians who worship food and love after-meal naps, it is time that we adopt something like Namak Cheeni Kam aur Exercize Zyada, karo apne Heart se ye Vaada (cut down your intake of sugar and salt and increase your exercise, make this promise for your heart).

Source….Health Heroes – This article is part of a series to celebrate some of India’s most amazing doctors and to understand the incredible work they are doing.  http://www.the betterindia.com

Natarajan

 

 

 

The Meteorite That Crashed Into A Car…..

 

The Peekskill meteorite car sitting at a collector’s garage in Peekskill. Photo credit: Ryan Thompson/Flickr 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On October 9, 1992, a brilliant fireball flashed across the evening sky over eastern United States startling thousands of spectators attending the weekly high school football matches being played across the East Coast. The fireball, that witnesses described as being brighter than the full moon, was travelling almost horizontally and heading northeast. In just forty seconds, the meteorite had crossed four states travelling 700 kilometers through the atmosphere. The intense heat and friction broke the space rock into more than 70 pieces, several of which were large and fast enough to produce their own glowing trails. A considerably weighty chunk of the meteorite, about the size of a bowling ball, eventually touched ground at Peekskill, New York, with a loud boom.

17-year-old high-school student Michelle Knapp was watching television in her parents’ living room when she heard a thunderous crash outside. Knapp ran outside to investigate the noise. There she found, standing on the driveway, her 1980 Chevy Malibu. The Malibu’s trunk was twisted and battered with a hole through it. A sizeable rock over 12 kilograms in weight lay under the car, embedded in the asphalt. It was still smoking and smelled of rotten eggs. The rock had narrowly missed the fuel tank.

Understandably, Michelle was not happy; she had recently bought the car for $400 and now it was totaled. Michelle did what anybody else would have done—she called the cops and reported an act of vandalism. It was a neighbor who reasoned that vandals can’t throw rocks through cars and surmised that the rock was from outer space. The suspicion proved correct when the very next day, a curator from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City confirmed that the object was indeed a meteorite, the same one that streaked across the northeastern sky distracting coaches and parents from their kid,s football games.

Michelle Knapp in the driveway with her Malibu taken only days after the historic impact. Photo credit: John Bortle

It was this impeccable timing of the Peekskill meteorite that made it one of the most witnessed and most recorded meteorite events in history. Dozens of spectators to the high school football games had brought camcorders with them, and when the meteorite flashed over their heads many of these cameras turned skywards, towards the brief but more exciting event. As many as 16 different observers from various locations recorded the event on tape—a record that was not broken until 2013 when a meteor exploded over Russia. The sixteen videos of the fireball taken from multiple perspectives made it possible for scientists to determine the exact trajectory of the meteorite. Indeed, Peekskill is one of the few meteorites whose orbit is precisely known.

As for the car, Michelle spent no time securing a deal with a renowned meteorite collector for an amount that was nearly two orders of magnitude more than what Michelle had paid. Since then, the car has been on display in numerous cities throughout the world, including Paris, Tokyo, Munich and more.

Source……Kaushik in http://www.amusing planet .com

Natarajan

 

 

The Pigeons who took Photos ….

At the turn of the last century, when aviation was still in its infancy, a German named Julius Neubronner submitted a patent for a new invention—a miniature camera that could be strapped to the breast of a pigeon so that the bird could take flight and snap pictures from the air.

Julius Neubronner was an apothecary who employed pigeons to deliver medications to a sanatorium located near his hometown Kronberg, near Frankfurt. An apothecary is one who makes medicines. A pharmacist is a more modern word, but in many German speaking countries, such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, pharmacies are still called apothecaries.                                                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apothecary was Julius Neubronner’s family profession. His father was an apothecary, and so was his grandfather. In those days, homing pigeons were used extensively to carry messages and small supplies. It was Julius’s father’s idea to use pigeons to receive prescriptions from the sanatorium and send out medicinal supplies in a hurry—a practice that continued for more than half a century until the sanatorium closed.

One day, Neubronner let out a pigeon on an urgent errand but it didn’t return. When several days passed and there was still no sign of the bird, Neubronner assumed the pigeon was lost, or it got caught and killed by predators. A month later, the lost messenger showed up unexpectedly at Neubronner’s place. The bird appeared well fed, which got Neubronner into thinking. Where had he gone? Who had fed him?

Neubronner decided that he would start tracking his pigeons’ future travels.

 

Julius Neubronner with one of his pigeons.

Being a passionate do-it-yourself amateur photographer, it didn’t take long for Neubronner to fashion a miniature wooden camera which he fitted to the pigeon’s breast by means of a harness and an aluminum cuirass. A pneumatic system in the camera opened the shutter at predetermined intervals and the roll of film, which moved along with the shutter, took as many as thirty exposures in a single flight. The entire rig weighed no more than 75 grams—the maximum load the pigeons were trained to carry.

The pictures turned out so good that Neubronner started making different models. One system, for instance, was fitted with two lenses pointing in opposite directions. Another one took stereoscopic images. Eventually, Neubronner applied for a patent, but the patent office threw out his application citing that such a device was impossible as they believed a pigeon could not carry the weight of a camera. But when Neubronner presented photographs taken by his pigeons, the patent was granted in 1908.

 

 

 

 

 

Aerial photograph of Frankfurt.

Neubronner exhibited his photographs in several international photographic exhibition gaining him accolades. In one such exhibition in Dresden, spectators watched as the camera-equipped carrier pigeons arrived at the venue, and the photos were immediately developed and turned into postcards which they could purchase.

The technology was soon adapted for use during the First World War, despite the availability of surveillance aircraft then. Pigeons drew less attention, could photograph enemy locations from a lower height, and were visibly indifferent to explosions on a battlefield.

Neubronner’s avian technology saw use in the Second World War too. The German army developed a pigeon camera capable of taking 200 exposures per flight. The French too claimed they had cameras for pigeons and a method to deploy them behind enemy lines by trained dogs. Around this time, Swiss clockmaker Christian Adrian Michel perfected a panoramic camera and an improved mechanism to control the shutter. Pigeon photography was in use as late as the 1970s, when the CIA developed a battery-powered pigeon camera, though the details of the camera’s use are still classified.

Today, aerial photography has been replaced by aircrafts, satellites, and more recently, by affordable drones. But the legacy of Julius Neubronner’s pigeon photography lives on in these images which are among the very early photos taken of Earth from above.

Bonus fact: So what happened to Neubronner’s pigeon who stayed away from the owner for a month and returned fattened up? It had flown away to Wiesbaden, some twenty kilometers away, and was taken care of by a restaurant chef.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Natarajan

 

 

 

The Theater That Shakespeare Stole ….!!!

On a cold, snowy December night in 1598, about a dozen men armed with swords, daggers and axes quietly broke into a recently vacated theater in Shoreditch, located just outside the city of London. With the aid of what modest light their lanterns could throw, the men worked tirelessly all throughout the night, dismantling the theater beam by beam and nail by nail, and loading the stripped timber onto wagons. By the time the darkness of the night gave way to the first light of dawn, the theater was gone.

The vandals in question were the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the theatrical troupe to which William Shakespeare belonged. For the past several years, the Chamberlain’s Men had been playing at Shoreditch’s Theatre. This theater, built in 1576, was the second permanent theater ever built in England, and the first successful one to be built for the sole purpose of theatrical productions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare’s Globe theater in London. Photo credit: Diego Delso/Wikimedia

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men was founded in 1594, and within a short period of time it became one of the leading theatrical companies in London. Shoreditch’s Theatre was their home, and over the years, the Chamberlain’s Men played many of Shakespeare’s most famous plays on this stage.

In 1596 the lease for the property on which the Theatre was built expired, and the Chamberlain’s Men tried hard to negotiate an extension with the stubborn owner, Giles Allen. Not only Allen refused to renew the lease, he threatened to take possession of the theater as well. The dispute dragged on for two years, during which time the company performed at the nearby Curtain playhouse. It was at Curtain Theatre that Shakespeare debuted what is arguably his most famous play, Romeo and Juliet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Theatre of Shoreditch, the one that Shakespeare’s men dismantled.

When it became clear that Giles Allen wasn’t going to give back the land, the Chamberlain’s Men leased a new plot by the Thames, and on 28 December 1598, while Allen was celebrating Christmas at his country home, the men stole into the Theatre and carefully tore it down. A talented carpenter named Peter Street, who would later build another historic London theater named Fortune Playhouse, recycled the old pieces of wood into an astonishing new theatre—the Globe, capable of holding up to 3,000 spectators.

The romanticized version of the story holds that the Theatre was dismantled during the course of a single night, but historians believe the job could not have been completed in such a short time. Also, there is no proof that Shakespeare was present during the night, although he most certainly would have been following the proceedings closely, for he did have a tremendous interest in having this job done right.

Initially the timber was stored in a warehouse near Bridewell, until the following spring, when the materials were ferried over the Thames and used to construct the much larger Globe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reconstruction of the Globe theatre based on archeological and documentary evidence.

The Globe was up and running by early 1599, and for the next 14 years it presented many of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. In 1613, during a performance of Henry VIII, a misfired stage cannon ignited the thatched roof and the theatre burned to the ground. Although the theatre was quickly rebuilt, Shakespeare probably never wrote for the second Globe. Eventually, like all the other theaters in London, the Globe was closed down by the Puritans in 1642.

A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named “Shakespeare’s Globe”, now stands on the Thames approximately 750 feet from the site of the original theater. It was built in 1997, based on an approximation of the original design, but with only half the capacity.

The new theater was designed to be as authentic as possible to Shakespeare’s 16th century theater. The structure is made of timber alone without any steel support, and it is the only building in London with a thatched roof, since that material was banned after the Great Fire of 1666. Seats are simple benches, although spectators can request cushions during shows. No spotlights, microphones or any kind of modern audio equipment are used. All music is performed live, most often on period instruments, just like it was in the 16th century. Only recently, the Globe began experimenting with lighting and sound rig.

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

Natarajan

 

At the age of 7 , He is the youngest to scale the Mountain Kilimanjaro …

He just wanted to see some snow. But he got much more than that.
Samanyu, all of 7, scaled Africa’s loftiest peak and proved that no dream is impossible.
And that age is just a number.
Rediff.com‘s Divya Nair speaks to the mini mountaineer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMAGE: Samanyu Pothuraju at Uhuru peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
All photographs: Kind courtesy Samanyu Pothuraju/Boots and Crampons

On April 2, 2018, when Samanyu Pothuraju, 7, from Hyderabad, was woken up at 3 am by his expedition leader Bharat Taminneni, he didn’t want to wake up.

He begged, “It’s too cold outside. I don’t want to go. Please let me sleep.”

It was the very last leg of their ascent to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro so Bharat would not give in.

Recalls Lavanya Krishna, Samanyu’s mother, “Finally, Bharat told him that if he reached the summit, his favourite (Telugu film) hero Pawan Kalyan would (surely want to) meet him.”

Mention of Pawan Kalyan did the magic.

Samanyu woke up with a start.

Eight odd hours later that day, at 11.52 am, to be precise, little Samanyu made it to the top of Uhuru, the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. And clinched a world record.

At 7, Samanyu is the youngest person in history to scale this peak, 5,895 metres above sea level.

But the Class 3 student, who “loves karate, computers and math,” did not have the faintest idea about the significance of his journey.

“I was wearing a thick jacket and gloves. My legs were paining, but I was happy,” Samanyu tells Rediff.com from Hyderabad.

Last year he was one of the youngest to reach the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal.

What inspired him to go to Africa?

Mount Everest actually.

Says Lavanya, who accompanied Samanyu till Kilimanjaro’s second base camp and not beyond, “When we reached the base camp of Mount Everest, some months ago, he (Samanyu) was disappointed that he couldn’t see much snow.”

“When I told him about Kilimanjaro, he asked me if there would be snow and if he could touch it. I said yes. He said he wanted to go and see the snow.”

For Lavanya, a bank employee who quit her job to take care of her children (Samanyu’s elder sister is 13), sending her seven year old to the top of Kilimanjaro wasn’t an emotional decision.

It was about letting Samanyu have his dream.

She consulted Raji Thammineni of Boots and Crampons, a Hyderabad-based adventure logistics company, to find out how safe the journey was.

“Raji is a friend and she advised I first send Samanyu to a training camp to see if he was fit to go.”

Samanyu passed the camp last year with with flying colours.

“He could climb 50 steps up and down with ease, trek to mountains and even made it to the Everest base camp in October 2017,” says Lavanya.

In November, Samanyu signed up with Boots and Crampons to prepare to scale Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.

In addition to his training, Lavanya helped her son get mountain ready by showing him a video of the terrain daily.

“He saw how people climbed it in different situations — rain, sun, snow, etc.”

Samanyu was keen to see snow. But he also wanted to see East Africa’s famous blue monkeys.”

“He saw three blue monkeys,” Lavanya says.

Lavanya and Samanyu flew to Tanzania on March 27.

“It was supposed to be summer. When we reached it was raining and snowing. My head was paining on reaching the second base camp, so I was asked to rest,” says Lavanya.

The next climb, from the second base camp to the last camp, took approximately 10 hours.

The final stretch from the last camp to the summit was equally long. But Samanyu finished it like a pro, says Lavanya.

‘It required meticulous planning to achieve this mission. We took all the care and precautions to keep the child safe and help him realise (the importance) of his mission to the summit of one of the most challenging mountains in the world,’ Bharat and Raji posted on Facebook about Samanyu’s achievement.

‘Master Samanyu fought bravely with different terrains — rainforest, moorland-rocky landscape, Alpine desert and crater rim — before summiting this wonder of the world. We are extremely proud to support Master Samanyu’s achievement which brought laurels to our country,’ the post added.

The sacrifices

To prepare for Africa, Samanyu had to wake up early and religiously maintain a schedule so he could balance school, extracurricular activities and mountaineering.

“He’d wake up at 5 am and go for his karate classes followed by cycling. After school, he’d train for mountaineering,” says Lavanya.

Samanyu had to follow a strict diet. Not too much sugar. No ice cream.

“I had to eat canned food,” Samanyu tells Rediff.com. “It was tasty though.”

“After we climbed down, they gave me ice cream. I was very happy.”

What’s next

His next challenge?

“I want to do the 10 peaks challenge in Australia.”

Turns out none of this has affected his academic performance: Samanyu, who studies at the Bolton School in Hyderabad, scored over 95 per cent in his last examination.           

IMAGE: Samanyu holds up a printout with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s image at Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro.

Lavanya and Krishna spent Rs 15 lakhs funding their son’s expedition, but they feel helping Samanyu attain his dreams was their most important mission.

Here’s their message to parents: “Never stop your child from dreaming big. You can guide her /him on what is right and wrong. But support their dreams as much as you can.”

Samanyu is now waiting to meet Pawan Kalyan, as promised. His parents have tweeted the Telugu superstar about their son’s wish to meet him.

Hey, Pawan, if you are reading this feature, please do give lil’ Samanyu a call.

http://www.rediff.com

Natarajan

 

 

Why Do Many Historic Buildings in The UK Have Bricked Up Windows?…!!!

There was a time in Great Britain when having windows in homes and buildings were prohibitively expensive.

That time began in 1696 with the introduction of the much-despised window tax, that levied tax on property owners based on the number of windows or window-like openings the property had. The details of the tax kept changing with time, but the basic premise was that the more windows the house had, the more tax the owner had to pay.

In the eyes of the legislature the window tax was a brilliant way to put the burden of tax on the shoulder of the upper class. The rich usually had larger houses with more windows, and so were liable to pay more taxes. Poor people, on the other hand, lived in smaller houses and so paid less. To make the system even more attractive to the poorer class, those houses with fewer than ten windows were exempted from the window tax altogether.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A building with bricked up windows in Bath. Photo credit: Jo Folkes/Flickr

But the tax was not nearly as progressive as it first seemed. In towns and cities, many poor families lived in large tenement buildings with many windows, and were therefore subject to heavy window tax assessments. The tax was paid by the landlord but the costs of the window tax were passed on to the residents in heavier rents.

But the most fundamental error was the assumption that people wouldn’t respond in creative ways to avoid tax. Many people with a lot of windows started bricking up windows instead of just paying the tax. And often when new buildings were built, the number of windows were reduced, and at times, completely eliminated to avoid tax.

So not only tenants had to pay higher rents, they now had to live with inadequate light and ventilation

The legislation also failed to define a window, allowing tax collectors to charge anything that remotely resembled one including perforated grates in larders, leading to much resentment among all section of the society. It was novelist Charles Dickens who gave voice to these dissatisfaction.

In 1850, Dickens wrote about the window tax in Household Words, a magazine that he published for a number of years:

A building with bricked up windows in Bath. Photo credit: Jo Folkes/Flickr

But the tax was not nearly as progressive as it first seemed. In towns and cities, many poor families lived in large tenement buildings with many windows, and were therefore subject to heavy window tax assessments. The tax was paid by the landlord but the costs of the window tax were passed on to the residents in heavier rents.

But the most fundamental error was the assumption that people wouldn’t respond in creative ways to avoid tax. Many people with a lot of windows started bricking up windows instead of just paying the tax. And often when new buildings were built, the number of windows were reduced, and at times, completely eliminated to avoid tax.

So not only tenants had to pay higher rents, they now had to live with inadequate light and ventilation

The legislation also failed to define a window, allowing tax collectors to charge anything that remotely resembled one including perforated grates in larders, leading to much resentment among all section of the society. It was novelist Charles Dickens who gave voice to these dissatisfaction.

In 1850, Dickens wrote about the window tax in Household Words, a magazine that he published for a number of years:

The adage ‘free as air’ has become obsolete by Act of Parliament. Neither air nor light have been free since the imposition of the window-tax. We are obliged to pay for what nature lavishly supplies to all, at so much per window per year; and the poor who cannot afford the expense are stinted in two of the most urgent necessities of life.

One year later, in 1851, the window tax was repealed—156 years after first being introduced.

The window tax was just one of scores of absurd taxes designed by the British government to raise money. Another one was the brick tax introduced in 1784, during the reign of King George III, to help pay for the wars in the American Colonies. Again the people responded by increasing the size of the bricks so that fewer bricks are needed to raise a house. Many buildings built with oversized bricks still stand in Measham, Leicestershire.

Similarly, between 1662 and 1689, tax was levied on the number of hearths or fireplace in a dwelling, encouraging people to crowd into smaller dwellings and go without fire in some cases to avoid the tax. But the window tax was by far the longest lasting and the most hated.

Even today, the legacy of the window tax can seen be seen in the bricked-up windows in many historic buildings across Britain.

Bonus fact: The term “daylight robbery” is believed to have stemmed from window tax since it essentially amounted to robbing people of daylight through an unfair mean. However, the first printed use of the phrase didn’t occur until 1916, and even then the context didn’t explicitly link it to unfair overcharging. It was only after 1949 that the phrase was firmly associated with “unfairness”. Because of this disconnect—both in time and in meaning—between window tax and the phrase, some etymologistbelieve that the relation between the two is a myth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A satirical cartoon titled ‘The Revolution of the Planets Against the Tax Upon Light’ in response to the window tax introduced in 1696.                                                                                 A family looking forward to seeing more of the Sun when the Window Tax would be repealed. Cartoon by Richard Doyle, 1754.

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

Natarajam