Theyyam -The Enigmatic Ritual

Meaning God, Theyyam is God’s dance rich with piety, rituals, and folklores. Believed to have been originated more than 1500 years ago, it is rooted in ancient Dravidian culture. Native to the northern parts of Kerala, Theyyam is still a predominant practice of piety in those regions. Theyyam is a religiously ritual art and simultaneously a Godly dance form. Men (mostly) from specific cast groups of the region assume the form of God and become Theyyam. The tradition is handed down from generations after generations in those families. Even from a very young age grooming begins to be a Theyyam.

For an outsider it is difficult to comprehend the meaning and depth of Theyyam. Yet, the trance of Theyyam astounds you to the core. What a normal spectator perceives as a colorful art form, a believer embraces as tangible God in trance. One such anciently mythical and divinely flamboyant religious ritual form is Theyyam.

Onam Festival

A 10-days festival of colors, flowers and happiness! Onam is the principal festival of the people of Kerala, a state in South India. Onam is the harvesting festival of Kerala. It is also the commemoration of the home coming of mythical demon King Mahabali who is believed to have ruled Kerala. The ten days of festivity is celebrated with several games, cultural activities, flower carpets, special foods and gifts. Irrespective of the religion or background, everyone celebrates Onam in Kerala.

Today is the first day of Onam Festival

Ad sense

Advertisements are all around us today and have been for a long time; advertising-free “good old days” just don’t exist. Advertising as the word suggests is needed to popularize and sell your product and to leave a lasting impression on the minds of the general public. It aims to persuade viewers/readers to buy something for the first time or to switch brands. Ultimately, of course, commercial advertising aims to win sales, but some advertisements seek to inspire and motivate and at times to get across messages of harmony, peace, sharing and such. On the other hand, repetitive ads for familiar products often aim to short-circuit the conscious consideration of purchase decisions. They try to stimulate the consumer to pick up the soft drink or the toothpaste or the detergent as you moves down the shopping aisles. There is an automatic impulsion
instilled in you to work in their favor. Whether it is good or bad, you have to decide after you have used the product.

Irrespective of the quality and worth of a product, what we remember maybe the great ads some companies have produced.

We have grown up watching, purchasing and loving product ads such as Nirma, Liril, Amul, Dairy Milk, Vodafone, Mirinda,, Camlin, Idea 3G, Airtel. The most popular ad that is doing rounds like crazy maybe the latest Airtel Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota hai ad.

all that glitters is gold

It is not just fuel that’s hitting the news for the wrong reasons; there is the yellow metal that’s quietly making inroads in our pockets big time. Besides, increased consumption of gold in India and China following downgrading of US´ credit rating is the other reason behind rise in gold prices,”. The yellow metal has become dearer by Rs 3,000 per tola in the domestic market in a week´s span. Continuous surge in gold prices,
meanwhile, has caused daily transaction of gold to drop by more than 25 percent.

Look at the way the price has shot up since jan 1st

1st Jan,2009
13662, 13670, 13664

31st Dec,2009
16657, 16652, 16683, 16665

31st Aug,2010
18939, 18955, 18946, 18951, 18949, 18950, 18927, 18934, 18942, 18994, 19089, 19080, 19097, 19126, 19133
31st Dec,2010
20769, 20720, 20698, 20683, 20689, 20687, 20685, 20665, 20688

30th Jun,2011
22149, 22140, 22173, 22142, 22090, 22078, 22087, 22068, 22100, 22071

21st Aug,2011

People are planning their wedding purchases in advance because they feel that prices may go to 30,000 (rupees). they are using that to buy,” said Sunil Kashyap, head of Asia, Scotia Mocatta. Gold prices have gained more than 25 percent so far in the year to peak at 27,989 rupees per 10
grams on Saturday, continuing its rising trend for eight years in a row.

shoker once again

Just when everyone thought all is well and the sound of terror will be heard no more, Mumbai blasts have jolted the nation. Sending shock waves across the cities, the blasts happened at places one least expected to happen. Crowded Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar Kabootarkhana were the hotspots this time killing 10 and injuring at least 100 people. The Mumbai crowd once again came to a stand still at a time when people were on their way back to home after work. The incident would have been fatal had it been a while when the school kids were on roads after the school.

These blasts once again bring memories of terror and infiltration and the need to act in a manner that befits the safety and security of common people of this country. They have once again successfully proved that they can just do it anywhere and anytime they want. If it is that city today, tomorrow it can be ours.

Treasure hunt

Time is up for a Mahmud Ghazni or an East India Company to get rooted in Kerala. The invaluable assets unearthed from Sri Padmanabhaswami Temple in Thiruvanathapuram should awaken all the modern Ghazni’s from deep slumber. We have read and studies about greedy kings who led their army all the way into the heart of India to loot and fill their belly. Maybe this temple in Kerala wasn’t an easy prey in their eye though much of what is discovered now must have been hidden during that time as well.

In any case, now, what matters is a treasure worth more than 1 lakh crore is out there. As soon as the news spread, the curiosity to know the details is skyrocketing and so is the anxiety of the temple authorities and the local government to safeguard the invaluable assets. Whatever is in there, worth more than the face value of the material given the fact that they belong to different centuries and have religious have.

However, what remains to be seen now is how are and how long are they going to keep such things protected! Different arguments have already come up and the one that seems to win is that all what is there is to be there only. In other words, the existence of this treasure is to be considered nonexistent in effect. So?

The Struggle is still on

Corruption has become almost synonymous with politics. There is hardly any government in any Indian state that’s free of this curse. After decades of struggles and protests Republic of India was born, a new nation that suppose to rise above every vice and stand tall as a country. Nevertheless, time proved that there is no dearth to the  greedy rulers amongst Indians either. Year after year, the list of corrupt politicians only continue to grow with bigger amounts to outdo the previous a** *****.

Of course you just cant let go this insanity to screw up this country of ours.  Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare with many other big names like Retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi and social reformist Swami Agnivesh are doing whats possible to restore some order. There is a struggle shaping up to enact a comprehensive law like the Jan Lokpal Bill to tackle the menace.

Hazare lamented that the views of eminent persons like Justice (Retd) Santosh Hegde, advocate Prashant Bhushan and Agnivesh were not considered important by the government and a minister like Sharad Pawar, who is known for possessing large amounts of land in Maharashtra, is heading a committee that will draft the bill.

Bedi said just like the nation united during the cricket world cup to boost India to victory, people, activists and media have to create a non-stop movement till the Jan Lokpal Bill is adopted by the parliament. Since the fast started on Tuesday, people from all walks of life including students, senior citizens, actors, executives and activists are converging at the Jantar Mantar, the hotspot of protests in the capital, to lend support to the movement.

However, some politicians like Ajit Singh, Uma Bharti and O P Chautala who wanted to make common cause with the social activist and share the dais with him were shouted out by his supporters and had to make a hasty retreat. Hazare said the indefinite hunger strike does not have a political tone.

Costing dear

This should be a bad beginning. Of course hike in petrol price is not anything new now. But in its steepest hike so far, the price of petrol per liter will leak additional Rs 5 from your pocket. Yes, this is getting worse and that day wont be very far away when we have to pay 100 bucks per litter. Anyways, it is time we spent a silent moment before we turn the ignition on.

The last price hike was in January, when oil companies had raised the price by four to two percent. Thus, in the last nine months, the price of petrol has increased from Rs.47.93 per litre to Rs.68.33 – through nine revisions.

The price increases were needed due to rising global crude oil prices. In the last two decades fuel prices have escalated, in keeping with variables such as sales tax revisions, effective retail price of crude and increase in local levies.

Following are the revisions since 1989 in the retail prices of four key petroleum products in the national capital.

On April 1, 1989, petrol prices were at 8.50, kerosene at 2.25, diesel 3.50 and LPG 57.60. Within five years (Februry 2, 1994), both petrol and diesel prices almost doubled to 16.78 and 6.98.

The year 2000 saw a huge jump in LPG prices from Rs 146 to Rs 196.55 the tune of almost Rs 50 followed by a Rs 36 hike in five months to Rs 232.25.

The next five years saw a gradual hike in Petrol and diesel prices. The diesel price rise followed a steeper pattern than that of petrol. In 2005 fuel prices were increased twice with both petrol and diesel prices revised at 43.49 and 30.45 in September.

The next five years marked a steep rise in LPG prices which touched 346.30, rolled back in January 2009 to 279.70. LPG prices were raised again in April 2010 followed by a hike in June 2010 revised at 345.35. From 2005 to 2010 petrol prices were raised by Rs 15 and diesel roughly by Rs 9.03.

In June 2010 the pro-reform government deregulated petrol prices and even though it retained control over diesel, prices are hiked more than expected.

The price increases could bring indirect benefits to the government. The oil ministry calculated higher prices will more than halve the losses of state-run oil marketing firms to about $ 11.4 billion in the year ending March 31, 2011.

From July 1 – Sept 21 a series of gentle increments by companies brought petrol prices to 51.83 rupees per litre by Sept. 1, up less than 1 percent since the jump at June deregulation.

In December, 2010 the biggest hike since deregulation, of 5.6 percent, propelled petrol prices over 53 rupees per litre, as global oil prices hover around $ 90 per barrel.

Another five months in 2011 saw the petrol price nearly touching Rs 70 mark!

Obama Vs Osama

Ever since the 9/11 shocked the US and the rest of the world, the name of Osama bin laden was as notorious as the name of US president’s is popular. US have been doing everything to hunt this man down since then. Osama being the prime culprit behind the mayhem, finding him was huge military priority. Osama bin Laden put Islamist ‘holy’ war on the global agenda and became a household name after the Saudi-born zealot masterminded the deadliest terror attacks in history before the world’s most wanted terrorist was finally brought down in the largest and longest manhunt ever.

“The world is safer. It is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden,” declared President Barack Obama, hours after U.S. forces killed the al-Qaida leader.

However, the question remains is, is it all over? Does world minus this man mean end to terrorism? Anyway, death of Osama means a big relief for Obama led US.


Just a few months back the killer pesticide Endosulfan wasn’t even in the news. We had hardly heard such a word. Of course, how could we, if we aren’t the makers or users or last but not least the affected. People, especially the poor farmers have been falling prey to the ill effects of this deadly substance for years together. No questions asked, no picketing, no fasting, no hartal, no news, the dead were buried and the alive lived half dead life.

This time, it’s the LDF calling for a Kerala bandh to protest against the Centre’s stand on the killer pesticide. The protest coincided with the last day of the current round of meeting of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in Geneva, where the question of global ban on endosulfan has figured prominently.

Be it a political tactic or a superficial trick to call for vote or to show the opposing government in bad light, whatever maybe the reason, as for this, if the end is good, all is good. Banning this pesticide would mean life and hope to generations to come.