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These magnificient Classic Dances captured the essence of the 5 seasons …

Spring {Odissi}, Summer {Bharatnatyam}, Monsoon {Kathak}, Autumn {Manipuri & Mohiniyattam} and Winter {Kuchipudi}

 

 

Seven year-old disabled Pakistan girl, Laiba adjusts her artificial foot as she sits in a wheelchair in the street outside her house at Hayatabad in Peshawar. – AFP

Laiba is only seven years old, but she’s a poster girl for thousands of Pakistanis who have lost limbs in the war between the militants and the armed forces.

The girl, whose name means “Fairy of the Heavens”, was shopping in Peshawar with her uncle for a new pair of socks for the Muslim festival of Eid in November 2008 when tragedy struck. Their car was travelling alongside a convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary. Mistaking them for potential suicide bombers, her father says, troops raked the vehicle with gunfire, shattering Laiba’s left leg. Doctors could not save her foot and her leg was amputated mid-shin. Her right leg, despite five major operations, is still embedded with shrapnel. Now, Laiba lies in bed at her grandfather’s house in Peshawar, capital of North West Frontier Province, playing with an artificial foot, shy and silent after her trauma. 

“It is strange to be scared in our own country of our own people,” said her mother, Razia Khan. “If we escape from suicide attacks, our own forces fire shots on us. I get afraid when any of my relatives leave the house.”

 Although the government does not keep statistics, doctors estimate thousands of people have lost limbs in a wave of attacks and suicide bombings blamed mostly on Taliban militants that have swept the country since July 2007…..

Read on {the remaining part of this article}

I remained numb with some unexplained sadness for a while….what are they trying to create ?

This is a video from Ukraine‘s Got Talent. Sand animation is an abstract art form in which an artist creates a series of images using sand, a process which is achieved by applying sand to a surface and then rendering images by drawing lines and figures in the sand with one’s hands. 

 A truly inspiring performance!

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Some more glimpses. Sent by him, who, occasionally, smirks and grumbles!    🙂

obama I felt for a moment, “I wish I were an American”, after hearing Obama’s victory speech. Reproducing here the text of his speech from BBC website. 

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

PARTNERS IN THE JOURNEY

A little bit earlier this evening I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him, I congratulate Governor Palin, for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the vice-president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.

And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure. To my sister Maya, my sister Auma, all my other brothers and sisters – thank you so much for all the support you have given me. I am grateful to them.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best political campaign in the history of the United States of America. My chief strategist David Axelrod, who has been a partner with me every step of the way, and to the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

VICTORY FOR THE PEOPLE

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; it grew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organised, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

THE TASK AHEAD

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for their child’s college education. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair. speech-1

REMAKING THE NATION

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.

And above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand. speech-2

ONE NATION, ONE PEOPLE

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. speech-3

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity.

Those are values that we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours: “We are not enemies, but friends… though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.

AMERICA IN THE WORLD

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those who would tear the world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you.

And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

A HISTORY OF STRUGGLE

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the colour of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes, we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes, we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes, we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbour and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes, we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “we shall overcome”. Yes, we can.

A man touched down on the Moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes, we can.

THIS IS OUR MOMENT

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.

This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: yes, we can.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

bhutto_prayer.jpg

….When you live a life of tragedies, deception and power plays, you become FEARLESS. This life chose me, my death will choose me too. Being a woman in politics, you need to be FEARLESS….

{link :Charismatic, striking and a canny political operator, Benazir Bhutto, 54, was reared amid the privileges of Pakistan’s aristocracy and the ordeals of its turbulent politics. Smart, ambitious and resilient, she endured her father’s execution and her own imprisonment at the hands of a military dictator to become the country’s — and the Muslim world’s — first female leader…}

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 {Image Courtesy Outlook India}

There is a deep and understated poignancy in these Silent Marchers, which could render each one of us silent and motionless…. 
 

“The rain continues to pour,
silently,
drenching them to the core,
– nameless wild flowers 
shivered somewhere
in light mountain breeze”


{Link:It’s hard to describe the startling exotic beauty of the Saffron-robed monks or lamas that walk Myanmar’s streets, says Myra Yellin Outwater}.
“I feel so sorry to see the monks walking in heavy rain and taking such trouble on behalf of the people. I feel so grateful as well,”, said a 50-year-old woman with tears rolling down her face….{Link :Do read more about this} The Economist says, 20070929issuecovus160.jpg{link:If the world acts in concert, the violence should be the last spasm of a vicious regime in its death throes….}

“We do not wear it in sacred amulets on our chests.
we do not compose hysterical poems about it.
It does not disturb our bitter dream-sleep.
It does not seem to be the promised paradise.
we do not make of it a soul
object for sale and barter,
and we being sick, poverty-stricken, unable to utter a word
do not even remember about it….”  {
Our Own Land – Anna Akhmatova}

{listen to the Title track: bharat_ek_khoj.mp3

Bharat Ek KhojDiscovery of India) is a 53 episode television series that dramatically unfolds the 5000 year history of India from its beginnings to the coming of independence in 1947. It is a series of explorations into the different periods of Indian history and was made in 1988 by the writer, director and producer Shyam Benegal. The serial is based on a book written by the historian and the first Prime Minister of independent India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, titled The Discovery of India.

Thanking Tanveer  for sharing the recitations of Nasadiya sukta and Hiranyagarbha sukta, Hymn – Rig Veda, with the world. {Courtesy : Tanveer : http://www.baawara.blogspot.com/}  

Indian Independence Day

And Only Google, the iconic brand can appropriate this mood in such a vibrant way!   

nāsadāsīn no sadāsīt tadānī nāsīd rajo no vyomāparo yat |
kimāvarīva
kuha kasya śarmannambha kimāsīd ghahana ghabhīram ||

(Hindi adaptation Rig Veda 10.129.1)
srishti se pehaley sat nahi thaa, asat bhi nahi
antariksh bhi nahi, aakaash bhi nahi thaa
chipa tha kya, kahan, kisney dhaka thaa
us pal to agam atal jal bhi kahan thaa

(Hindi adaptation Rig Veda 10.129.7)
srishti ka kaun hai karta, karta hai va akarta
oonche aakaash mey rehta, sada adhyaksh bana rehta
vahi such-much mey jaanta, ya nahi bhi jaanta
hai kisi ko nahi pata, nahi pata, nahi hai pataa, nahi hai pataa

Indian civilization is more than 8000 years old and its philosophy is many years ahead of all preceding cultures and civilizations…..

Nasadiya – The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda

There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.
What stirred?
Where?
In whose protection?
Was there water, bottlemlessly deep?

There was neither death nor immortality then.
There was no distinguishing sign of night nor of day.
That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse.
Other than that there was nothing beyond.

Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning,
with no distinguishing sign, all this was water.
The life force that was covered with emptiness,
that One arose through the power of heat.

Desire came upon that One in the beginning,
that was the first seed of mind.
Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom
found the bond of existence and non-existence.

Their cord was extended across.
Was there below?
Was there above?
There were seed-placers, there were powers.
There was impulse beneath, there was giving forth above.

Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced?
Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?

Whence this creation has arisen
– perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not –
the One who looks down on it,
in the highest heaven, only He knows
or perhaps He does not know.
      

{Translation by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty. From the Book “The Rig Veda – Anthology”}

So what my India turns 60, she is getting sexier moment by moment (certainly, there are many facets of economic development of the country left unaddressed, or addressed for a brief time with full zest and fervor only to be lapsed out of them….)….The Popular Culture – Movies in the Indian mainstream  reflects the upbeat mood, the ever-ramping across optimism….a few of my favs from movies of recent times!

India Upbeat 1   {Rang De Basanti – Hindi}

India Upbeat 2  {Dil Chahta Hai – Hindi}

India Upbeat 3  {Bunty Aur Babli – Hindi} Success stories from Small towns of India

India Upbeat 4 {Dhoom – Hindi}

India Upbeat 5  {My choice : Kaaka Kaaka-  Tamil Uyirin Uyire}………

essentially, I considered the multi-hued fast beats as the key factor……if you are beaten by this choice, do feel free to add your favs! 

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