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Showing posts from August, 2013

meeting the curator of live museum..

"See if you can get some traditional seeds of paddy during your visit to Mysore", said the Sister from the Ulundurpet Ashram over phone when I spoke to her the day before leaving for my treatment, Ananthoo with whom I was in a Irula village at that time, immediately gave me the phone no. of  Syed   Ghani   Khan , saying "see if you can meet him and get something". Thus I landed in  Ghani   Khan 's village on the 4th day of my treatment with permission from the vaidya.. 35 kms from the city of Mysore is this small village, predominantly agriculture and  Ghani  starts to tell his story like most converted organic farmers..."i was studying archaeology and wanted to become a curator of a museum, fate struck,  my father died and as eldest son, i was called to take his place and take care of the family farm, i was 22 then and my four brothers were all in their teens.", this region was bequeathed to the families by the great king Tippu Sultan and known

Encounters on an Independence Day...

It was a rare honour to be invited to hoist the national flag on the Independence Day at the JSN School of Management.. I was initially meant to join the faculty and few more from other nearby colleges for the launch of the 'knowledge network' among such rural management schools that would eventually be able to supplement each other through networking and sharing of resources, projects and knowledge. However, later Mr. Pravin, the faculty member who invited confessed that I was also supposed to hoist the flag and deliver a lecture to the students and faculty. JSN School of Management  is a rare management school started in a rural atmosphere by a courageous academician who dreamed of it becoming an institution that can shape the enterprise spirit and management capacity of rural youth in the Kancheepuram area. Prof. Nandakumar, had quit his corporate job to join the Sankara University B-School earlier as faculty in Kancheepuram itself. After a few years, he launch

Tenth Samanvaya Freedom Lecture

A big thanks to all the friends who made it to the 10th Samanvaya Freedom Lecture (FL10) and many others who sent their greetings and wishes. It was a wonderful evening and the lecture by  Swami Vimurtananda  was full of insights and thought provoking.  His presentation on the 'compartmentalized' education and 'over education' of our students leading them to 'sa-ksha-ra' which has to be only be flipped and read in reverse for accomplishing a negative role in society was well received. His presentation on the core ideas of Swami Vivekananda on how India lost its swaraj only due to the ignorance of its knowledge and spiritual core was wonderful.  For those who missed the lecture, we will soon try and put it up online. The Samanvaya Freedom Lecture each year is accompanied by a Quote and a Theme Song. Though we don't make an announcement about this, every invitation so far has been accompanied by a theme that sets the tone for that year's le

Ratnam Pens, Rajahmundry...

Ratnam Pens, Rajahmundry started making pens in 1932! The jeweler brothers started to manufacture pens in response Gandhiji's 'swadeshi' policy to ensure that there are local pens of good quality available as a replacement to the foreign ones that were available in the market then. Ratnam Pens continue to make pens of a very high quality till date! Their high quality ink pens (and ball pens) come with wonderful craftsmanship and in very simple colours and forms. It is sheer writing pleasure to use these ink pens.  In what may be considered a remarkable honour for any product manufacturer in India, the company has got a hand written note by Gandhiji himself (and he got the Ratnam pen given to him by none other than Kupurappa!) stating that the pen writes very well!! Not many use pens these as writing seems to have gone down altogether. However, for those who still seek pleasure in using pens and are happy to have a good pen, an ink pen at that. Here is an

10th Samanvaya Freedom Lecture - 10th Aug, 2013

The 10th Samanvaya Freedom Lecture will be delivered by Swami. Vimurthanandaji, Editor of Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai. Swamiji is the Editor of the Tamil monthly magazine brought out by the Math, "Sri Ramakrishna Vijayam", that has a printed circulation order of 1.5 lakhs per month. It is the spiritual - cultural magazine with the largest circulation in Tamilnadu. He has over the last decade created and sustained an annual students /youth essay writing competition across tamil speaking communities across the world in which this year over 12 lakh youth are participating. From its earlier days of 'competition' this essay writing opportunity has increasingly become a non-competitive event where recognition is given for original thought and ideas. He had introduced in the magazine very poplar student question - answer column which boldly addresses contemporary student issues. He has also constantly highlighted issues on environment, waste management, safe food and s