The Lakes of Killarney – Ireland’s Crown Jewels

The good people of Ireland’s County Kerry call their land “The Kingdom,” and if that’s so, then the Lakes of Killarney must be the Crown Jewels. Killarneys lovely lakes have long been immortalized in song and story for their breathtaking beauty. Indeed, Queen Victoria and her court were so mesmerized by the panoramic vista from a hilltop overlooking the lakes, that the scene was named for all time “The Ladies’ View.” Continue reading [...]

Fast and Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for 2015

As the winter thaw slowly sets in, people consider warmer days and time spent outdoors. As the sun gets stronger, the increase natural light reminds us it is time to consider fast and easy spring cleaning tips for 2015. Now is the time to wipe away the winter dust and get ready for a fresher environment – indoors and outside. Continue reading [...]

“New Politics” of India’s common man’s party

Shiv Vishwanathan seems to have got it right. For those who do not know him, he is a social scientist and an intellectual of repute, who generally comments on matters of of random interest, politics and society. Writing in The Hindu a few days before the Delhi Election results came out, he could see the “Return of the AAP” – AAP standing for the AAM Admi Party, the party of the common man. Despite the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) having become that “majoritarian phenomenon”, Vishwanathan saw the AAP becoming a formidable prospect for the Delhi elections. In the current environment, it was courageous of him to go on record about it. He saw even BJP’s electoral super-strategist Amit Shah being outplayed by AAP despite the several electoral victories that the former notched up for the BJP. Shah wanted as many as 60 seats out of 70 for the BJP. In a dramatic reversal, however, his party won only measly 3 in one of the worst performances of his Party. While Viswanathan was spot-on, the joke on Twitter was “Nano had more seats than the BJP in the Delhi Assembly”. Continue reading [...]


Srinagar   From Qazigund it took around 2 hours to be in Srinagar. In doing so we travelled through some idyllic country in the Valley. The green fields were bathed in brilliant morning sunshine with distant blue hills in the background made the whole Valley very seductive. No wonder Kashmir became for many years the favourite location for Hindi film shoots. In Srinagar the bus took us to the new elegantly constructed Tourists Reception Centre. It served the tourists for more than forty years before it was burnt down in 2005 by terrorists. That was a day before the Friendship Bus was to be flagged off by Indian Premier Dr Manmohan Singh in 2005 for Muzaffarabad in Pak-Occupied Kashmir as a measure friendly gesture in the midst of the generall unfriendly environment between the two countries. Continue reading [...]

A Review of TTU’s “Sound Encounters”

Last night’s concert at Texas Tech University was a montage of sounds and ensembles ranging from a Romantic symphony to a Mariachi band.  The evening began with the Texas Tech University Symphonic Wind Ensemble performing ‘Sinfonia#3 “La Salsa,” I. Tumbao’ with a dance-like beat.   The instrumental ensemble was followed by the Texas Tech University (TTU) Women’s Chorale singing “Cantate Domino” in the back of the recital hall behind the audience, a reverent sixteenth century religious piece.  Next, our focus went to the organ loft, center, where the TTU Graduate String Quartet performed a Baroque string quartet, “String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13, III. Intermezzo:  Allegretto con moto.”  The cello and viola started in with a pizzicato background for the violin’s melodic bowed harmonies.  A TTU Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble followed performing “Lux Arumque” a twentieth century piece with traditional western theory harmonies.  Following this instrumental ensemble was “Knowee”, a polyphonic twentieth century piece performed by the TTU University Choir with two soprano soloists, Michaela Hardin and Rebecca Tann, positioned on either side of the recital hall.  The soloist followed one another in a stereo phonic round, as the choir hummed quartal harmony, for the most part.  Quartal harmony is [...]

Maroon 5 coming to Texas in February

The popular music group from Los Angeles, California  Maroon 5 is coming to Texas in February. along with Magic!, and Rozzi Krane.   They will be in Dallas, Texas on February 16, 2015, and in Houston on February 17, 2015 as a part of their World Tour. Continue reading [...]

Britain’s Paedophile Elite to be investigated by NZ Judge

Britain has appointed A New Zealand judge to lead an inquiry into historic child sex abuse allegations. High Court  Judge Lowell Goddard was chosen from 150 candidates because she has no connections to the British establishment. The problem in Britain is so widespread that it proved difficult to find a suitable senior judge in the country without links to people involved in the inquiry itself. The first two nominees quit following criticism of their close association with parties who may fall under the perimeters of the investigation. Continue reading [...]

Still endangered despite rise in their numbers

A lot of cheer has been brought to tiger and wildlife lovers by the latest Tiger Census conducted in late 2014. There seems to have been a revival in its numbers after the dismal count of 2006 when it had registered 1411 tigers. A marginal increase to 1706 was registered in 2011. In 2014, however, the growth was robust of around 30 per cent taking the tiger tally up to 2226. Singing paeans for the conservation efforts undertaken between the last two censuses, there is apparently an environment of backslapping among the tiger bureaucracy, the tiger NGOs as well as conservationists in general. Continue reading [...]


BANIHAL – THE GATEWAY In the summer of 1957 my father suddenly decided to take a trip to Kashmir. My (late) second brother was posted there and, more importantly, he had s spacious house. My mother was very excited and naturally so. She had not stirred out of Gwalior since father relocated there in 1935. For all of 22 years, she stayed cooped up in that small town. Continue reading [...]
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