Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Ramparts of 2011

Post # 84

I don't know if this year has been one of adversity, opportunity or possibility, but for me this year has been one of hectic activity! A lot has happened and has happened fast. Certainly, this has been a very quick year outpacing almost all of its predecessors.

Inundated with work, I have been a wee bit negligent of my blogs, often visiting here in fleeting moments yet drawing a great deal of comfort and satisfaction from here and fellow-bloggers.

As is the case with every year, there are new learnings in life that grow in dimension with the passage of age - and this year has been a great teacher. It has taught me to focus on the inner strength to stay grounded and counter hardship and I definitely am a stronger person owing to the experiences that I have lived through this year.

In the true sense, all of us are headed forward in life and that each passing day delivers us into the future for the better, I have no doubt of. I have learnt that life isn't all about myself but largely about ourselves, and that togetherness in harmony is perhaps the best one can ask for at all times.

I'd like to sincerely thank all of you, my dear fellow-bloggers, my friends, family members, colleagues and associates for being kind and considerate and unconditional in your support and encouragement.

So, as this year draws to a close, I wish all of you a very safe, fun-filled holiday season and a truly happy, prosperous, healthy and blessed New Year.

This is my last post for 2011 and I will see you all in 2012 with a renewed sense of hope, happiness and peace, which I wish all of you and your families.


The Ramparts of 2010

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Merry Christmas, folks. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season! 


John Lenon's 1971 masterpiece Imagine continues to be listed among the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Posts of the Past - A Tag

Its been a long while since I did a tag and when DI, of Destination Infinity tagged me to do an interestingly different one, I felt elated.

The tag is about listing my favourite posts so far falling in seven different categories. Apart from the good-feel of doing this, I naturally enjoyed revisiting some of my posts of and from a very different time, often reliving the time and frame of mind when I originally made them.

My Most Beautiful Post(s) - Normally there should be one listing under each head, but this one time, I chose to make an exception, for writing about childhood and those wonderful yester-years are easily the very best, evoking a great sense of nostalgia and cheer. The Flowing Brook and Idyll's Dream are a two-part series, I wrote about on the recollections of childhood, at the insistence of fellow blogger Vimmuuu of V-Lokam. They will remain my most beautiful posts for all time to come.

My Most Popular Post - Darfur, among places, torn in strife and war, has always been very close to me. Its longstanding pain enduring a sea of humanitarian crisis is difficult to be escaped by anyone. On Wednesday, April 08, 2009, I wrote a post titled Living Darfur, outlining some statistics of this ravaged nation. To date, this has been my most popular post, and also the most visited. I continue to receive visitors from many countries, landing up on this post and quietly assimilating some very disturbing facts outlined therein.

My Most Controversial Post - Sometime in September 2009, Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram reiterated a well-known fact about how rude people from Delhi were. Having lived there myself and experienced the trait first hand, I wrote Republic of Rudness, the message of which I still maintain today. Needless to say, some parts of the blog-world took offense and termed my post biased, while I was only repeating what the world already knew very well!

My Most Helpful Post - There's nothing like giving and being witness to another's growth. So, when I got a chance to do some very little of that on the blog, I jumped at the opportunity. And, "when on the morning of 30th June 2010, Elizabeth Sholtys, Co-founder and Chief Executive of an non-profit organization called the Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC), wrote me an email introducing herself and her organization and what they do, along with a request to show support for their efforts, I decided to feature them on my blog, knowing fully well that such a noble cause requires marathon effort, courage, persistence and above all a sense of dedication that cannot for once be compromised."

A Post whose success surprised me - Everyone has a Superhero, a dream icon, who has been a source of deep inspiration. For me that icon came from Krypton as Superman. One can imagine therefore the collision of ideology with a fellow-blogger who happens to an ardent fan of the spider, er, Spiderman, I mean. The wrangling with Vimmuu, on a post about who reigns supreme, soon caught on like wildfire and quite surprised me for the children we became in the process and also for the way in which it was received.

A Post, I feel, didn't get the attention it deserved - Having written close to some 400 posts now, over a period of 7 years, I have been very fortunate that a good deal of them have been appreciated. I don't think I could single out any one post as being one that hasn't quite gotten the attention it deserved. That, much of my writing has been taking in good stride and earned some bit of recognition in the blog-world, I'm certainly very happy and humbled. No complaints!

A Post that I am most proud of - I'm deeply reverent of my family and the wonderful things they have done for me. I don't find an occasion not to remember them for all the good in me and I believe that my strength comes from them in innumerable proportions. I wrote Praying Hands as a tribute to my Father, whose "remarkable resilience and his patience which has furthered my upbringing in the most positive manner. But for his toil and unconditional dedication, the wonderful side of me would never have been possible!" This remains the post that I am most proud of, and will be for all time to come. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011: Year in Review

Found quite an interesting video doing the rounds made by Google. Thought it good to make a post of it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Vijay Divas

40 years come to pass since India's victory over Pakistan following the war of 1971.

This post is to honour all those martyrs who ensured India's victory and also to pay rich tribute to all those who unconditionally continue to do just that - specifically, a certain someone who continues to be 'out-there' braving all odds for the saintly cause of national sovereignty.

Unsung hero, almost a star on the wall - Redefining Oblivion remembers you in gratitude and goodwill. Fare well and long may you live. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Keralà Carte

Its walkways hold memories of many lifetimes, embedded in deep recesses within the confines of the mind's coziness and the heart's warmth. They have seen many of us grow up and step in the realities of life.

Every pillar, every wall, every passage ....... has a story to tell of the lives we lived and the times we joyously shared, in togetherness or by ourselves. Its permanence and enormity in spirit will warm the cockles of even the coldest of hearts and lift the spirits of the most fallen.

This magnificent edifice has in it us, as much as we have within us it's gracious omnipresence, and so we are in the real sense one - of the same, as we will always be, forever and ever, always and all ways. 

Friday, December 09, 2011


1100 odd miles, 3 states, 9 days later and having met a 100 odd people, I write in awe of my trip of the tri-states as being among the most memorable journeys in life so far.

Taking a well-deserved break from regular life, and travelling through the vastness of nature's brilliance of epic proportions, there was a real sense of disconnect from the ordinary and a passage into the amazing.

A new-found sense of belonging enveloped within, reassuring me that I felt right and well there and not here, reiterating the fact that life is also about the choices we make.


Picture taken by me en-route to Kerala

Monday, December 05, 2011

Remembering Akroyd

Perhaps the name Aurobindo Ghosh wouldn't resonate as much in the ear until one drops the second part of the name and pre-fixes the honorific Indian title of Sri against the remainder.

From being a staunch nationalist and freedom fighter, transformed in due course of time as a philosopher, guru of yoga and a poet of eminence, this man's words that "Man is a transitional being. He is not final. The step from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner spirit and the logic of nature's process" hold immense significance.

For me Auroville in Pondicherry has been a calling for a long time now and I hope to realize that dream, should the 'will' permit.

Redefining Oblivion pays respectful homage to this exalted soul. It was on this day in 1950 that he attained immortality.


Dr. Ghosh, Aurobindo's father, chose the middle name Akroyd, for his son, to honour his friend Annette Akroyd. 

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Great Melt

Sir David Attenborough's voice and narration unequivocally lend credence and effort to any conservation attempt, world-over. As much as nature fascinates us, Attenborough's mannerism and style of conveying the message with elaborate detail aided by painstakingly thorough research make his presentation extremely enjoyable and wholly involving.

Something in the manner in which he talks makes one feel instantly closer to nature and understand the nuances of an otherwise seemingly complex world.


A video-grab from Nature's Greatest Events courtesy BBC One