'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Friday, January 06, 2012

New Year Snippets

If you thought Mallus (and some Gujjus) are the only ones confusing 'cot' with 'coat', check out this exchange from 'Mind your language', the BBC Rom-Com.

"What is a comma?" asks the very stiff and sterm Brit schoolmarm.

And her Italian student answers: "It is-er .... you are er... unconscious-er"


A bit of Narcissism. A quote from the intro to Italian Renaissance Man Girolamo Cardano's Autobiography (Thanks, Gyani!):

"The story of Narcissus is an allegory - of a writer who gets so obsessed with his own work that he keeps editing and polishing it to the exclusion of every other study"


Cochin, a city spread over several islands, has absurdly priced ferries - a trip from Ernakulam to Fort Cochin aboard a very comfortable and large 'vaporetto' costs Rupees 2.50. Comparison: the Belur Math to Dakshineshwar ferry in Calcutta, reputedly India's cheapest city, cost 7 bucks last year - and the boats are small and rickety and one has to squat on rough planks (the distances are about the same).

And here is the sublime height of it: if you buy a ticket to Vypeen via Fort Cochin, it costs a princely two rupees!


I have just discovered that the history of Cochin packs more action, drama and intrigue than that of any other Indian city, with the possible exception of Delhi.
More on that later!

In the last post here, I quoted an eminent politician who said he "had a viewpoint but no standpoint" on a burning issue. Just remembered this business of having a viewpoint without a standpoint has a precedent of sorts in (where else but) the Mahabharata! Arjuna's son and brave young warrior Iravan (Aravan) got killed at Kurukshetra but as he had previously arranged with Krishna, his severed head stayed alive for a few more days, hovered high over the battlefield and saw the entire action to the finish!

There is yet another version of this story. The head is not that of Aravan but of another warrior (whose name I can't recollect). This hero does not get killed at Kurukshetra - instead he was put to death by Krishna *before the battle* for the following reason: he was simply the best warrior around. Krishna had planned for the total destruction of *both* armies in the war and Hero, if he had participated on either side, would have annihilated the other side in hours - and thus spoiled the plan. So the lord finishes him off by trickery. Before dying, he asks Krishna for a chance to watch the war.

For more info on the Aravan phenomenon, one could read the Wikipedia ("Iravan") or look up a very interesting article in the Pakistani daily 'Dawn' about how "transgenders wed a Hindu God".


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