Thursday, November 22, 2012

Scam of understanding Power - Noam Chomsky

Avram Noam Chomsky, born in December 7, 1928 is an American linguistphilosopher,cognitive scientistlogician,historianpolitical critic, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor (Emeritus) in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years.
In addition to his work in linguistics, he has written on warpolitics, and mass media, and is the author of over 100 books.According to the Arts and Humanities Citation Index in 1992, Chomsky was cited as a source more often than any other living scholar from 1980 to 1992, and was the eighth most cited source overall.
He has been described as a prominent cultural figure, and he was voted the "world's top public intellectual" in a 2005 poll.
Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and a major figure of analytic philosophy. His work has influenced fields such as computer science, mathematics, and psychology.
After the publication of his first books on linguistics, Chomsky became a prominent critic of the Vietnam War, and since then has continued to publish books of political criticism. He has become well known for his critiques of U.S. foreign policy and the mainstream news media. (source wikipedia)

I read one of his very interesting interviews. I am reproducing it here :

Man: Mr. Chomsky, I’m wondering what specific qualifications you have to be able to speak all around the country about world affairs?

Noam: None whatsoever. I mean, the qualifications that I have to speak on world affairs are exactly the same ones Henry Kissinger has, and Walt Rostow has, or anybody in the Political Science Department, professional historians — none, none that you don’t have. The
 only difference is, I don’t pretend to have qualifications, nor do I pretend that qualifications are needed. I mean, if somebody were to ask me to give a talk on quantum physics, I’d refuse — because I don’t understand enough. But world affairs are trivial: there’s nothing in the social sciences or history or whatever that is beyond the intellectual capacities of an ordinary 15 year-old. You have to do a little work, you have to do some reading, you have to be able to think but there’s nothing deep — if there are any theories around that require some special kind of training to understand, then they’ve been kept a carefully guarded secret.

In fact, I think the idea that you’re supposed to have special qualifications to talk about world affairs is just another scam — it’s kind of like Leninism [position that socialist revolution should be led by a “vanguard” party]: it’s just another technique for making the population feel that they don’t know anything, and they’d better just stay out of it and let us smart guys run it. In order to do that, what you pretend is that there’s some esoteric discipline, and you’ve got to have some letters after your name before you can say anything about it. The fact is, that’s a joke.

Man: But don’t you also use that system too, because of your name-recognition and the fact that you’re a famous linguist? I mean, would I be invited to go somewhere and give talks?

Noam: You think I was invited here because people know me as a linguist? Okay, if that was the reason, then it was a bad mistake. But there are plenty of other linguists around, and they aren’t getting invited to places like this — so I don’t really think that can be the reason. I assumed that the reason is that these are topics that I’ve written a lot about, and I’ve spoken a lot about, and I’ve demonstrated a lot about, and I’ve gone to jail about, and so on and so forth — I assumed that’s the reason. If it’s not, well, then it’s a bad mistake. If anybody thinks you should listen to me because I’m a professor at M.I.T., that’s nonsense. You should decide whether something makes sense by its content, not by the letters after the name of the person who says it. And the idea that you’re supposed to have special qualifications to talk about things that are common sense, that’s just another scam — it’s another way to try to marginalize people, and you shouldn’t fall for it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Name of Indian Spices,Pulses and vegetables etc in English

I am a foodie and part time chef. But whenever I want to learn any new dish, the English names of various ingredients always play a spoilsport. This is a compilation of Indian names of spices,vegetables,fruitsetc.

Pictures of Vegetables, Fruits, Spices, Lentils, Legumes, Nuts, Wholegrains

Fruits and Vegetables English to Hindi names
Apple, apricot, Asparagus, Colocassia, Arbi, banana, beet root, Bathua, Bengal gram, Bitter gourd, Cardamom, Carom seeds, Lobia, Chukander, Custard Apple, Pattagobhi, Bandhgobhi, Brussels Sprout, Broccoli, Bottle Gourd, Blueberries , Kharbuja, Cantaloupek, Green Berry, Flash (Frash) Beans, French Beans, Shitaphal, Saripa, Phoolgobhi, Bhutta/Macca, Kheera, Shitaphal, Baigan, Anjeer,Lahsun, Adrak, Angoor, Amrud,Guchi, Kukurmutta, Bhindi, Narangi, Ananas, Anaar, Prun, Kashiphal, Kismis, Mooli, Papita,Turaii, Palak, Salad Patta, Kasmisaag, Shakarkand, Singhara, Shatwar, Sootmooli, Musli, Tamater, Haldi, Tarbooz, Tori, Turai, Turmeric, ber,White goose-foot, Water Chestnut, Zizyphus, Zucchini.

Chick Peas, Chhole, Corn/Maiz Mackka,Green Gram Dal,(Mung Dal), Mung Dhuli (Skinned),Dal- Bengal Gram Chana Dal,Dal- Black Gram Whole, Urad Sabut, Dal- Black Gram, Split Urad Dal Chhilka, Black Eye Beans, Lobia, Kidney (Red) Beans, Rajmah, Oats.

Butter Milk, Mattha, Chhach , Milk, Dudh, Clairified Butter, Ghee, Cheese, yogurt, curd.

Asafoetida, Bay Leaf Tej Patta, Black Pepper, Kali Mirch, Carom Seeds, Ajwaiin,Chillies-Red Lal Mirch, Cinnamon Dalchini,Coriander Powder, Dhania Powder, Cumin Jeera, Hing, Curry Leaves Kadipatta, Cloves Laung, Cardamom, Elaichi,Fenugreek Seeds, Dana Methi, Nutmeg, Jaiphal, Poppy seeds, Khus Khus, Saffron Keshar, Turmeric Powder,Haldi Powder.

Walnut Akhrot Almond Badam Cashews Kaaju Pea Nuts in Shell Mungphali Pea Nuts Mungphali Pistachio Pista.

Vermicelli, Seveian, Vinegar, Sirka, Semolina, Sooji, Sesame Seeds, Til, Suga,r Chini, Mustard ,Sarason, Refined flour, Maida, Aniseed, Saunf, Honey, Shahad, Jaggery, Gud, Saffron, Kesha,r, phitkari, alum.

Aam, Aamchur, Adrak, Ajwain, Akhrot, Aloo, Alubhukhara, Amla, Amrood, Anaar, Ananaas, Angoor,Anjeer, Arbi, Badam, Baingan, Bajra, Besan,Bhindi, Chironji, Dalchini, Elaichi, Heeng Imli, Jaiphal, J avitri, Kaddu, Kesar, Kishmish Lauki, Masoor dal, Moong dal, Panee, Pista, Pyaaz, Rajma, Shakarkand, Urad dal ,Torai, apple, apricot, Colocassia, Arbi, banana, beet root,Asafoetida,Bengal gram, Bitter gourd, Cardamom, Carom seeds, Lobia, Chukande, Pattagobhi/Bandhgobhi,Kharbuja, Cantaloupek, Phoolgobhi, Bhutta/ Macca, Kheera, Shitaphal, Baigan, Anjeer, Lahsun, Adrak, Angoor, Amrud, Guchi/Kukurmutta, Bhindi, Narangi, Ananas, Anaar, Prun, Kashiphal, Kismis, Mooli, Papita,Turaii, Palak, Shakarkand,Tamater, Haldi, Tarbooz,Tori/Turai,Turmeric, Zucchin



Glossary Of Pulses:
English NameIndian / Hindi Name
Beaten RicePoha
Bengal GramChana
Black Gram SabutUrad Dal / Kaali Dal
Black Eyed BeansChawli / Lobhia
Broken WheatDalia
Chickpeas (brown)Chana
Chickpeas (green)Cholia / Hara Chana
Chickpeas (white)Kabuli Chana
Gram FlourBesan / Chane Ka Atta
Green GramMoong
Horse GramKulthi
Maize FlourMakai Ka Atta
Puffed RiceKurmura
Red Kidney BeansRajma
Red LentilMasoor
Refined FlourMaida
SemolinaRava / Suji
Split Bengal GramChana Dal
Split Black GramUrad Dal / Kaali Dal
Split Green GramMoong Dal
Split Red GramTuvar Dal / Arhar Dal
Split Red LentilMasoor Dal
Wheat FlourGehun Ka Atta

Indian Names For Spices, Fruits, Dairy Products and Their Categories:
Common Indian NamesEnglish NamesCategory
Adrak / SonthGingerSpices
AjwainCarom Seeds / ThymeSpices
AmchoorDried Mango PowderMasala
Anaar Dana (Powder)Pomegranate Seeds (Dried)Masala
AttaWheat FlourFlour
BadamAlmondDry Fruit
BesanGram FlourFlour
BhuttaCorn CobsVegetable
ChanaBengal GramPulses
Chana DalGram DalPulses
ChhuaraDates (Dried)Dry Fruit
DahiCurdDairy Product
Dhania PattaCoriander LeavesVegetable
Dhania PowderCoriander PowderMasala
Elaichi (Chhoti)Green CardamomSpices
Elaichi (Moti)Brown CardamomSpices
GheeClarified ButterDairy Product
Hari MirchGreen ChillyVegetable
JeeraCumin SeedSeeds
KajuCashew NutDry Fruit
Kala Jeera / Black Cumin SeedsCaraway SeedsSeeds
Kala NamakRock SaltMasala
Kali MirchBlack PepperSpices
Kari PattaCurry LeavesHerb
Khoya, MawaDried Whole Milk/Thickened MilkDairy Product
KishmishCurrantsDry Fruit
Lasan / LahsunGarlicSpices
MaidaFine Wheat FlourCereal
MalaiCreamMilk Fat
Mattha (Chhaach)Butter MilkDairy Product
MethiFenugreek SeedsSeeds
Moong FaliGroundnutDry Fruits
Nimboo ka SatCitric AcidAcid
PaneerCottage CheeseDairy Product
Patta GobiCabbageVegetable
Paav / Pav / PaoBunCereal
Phool GobiCauliflowerVegetable
Poha, ChiwdaFlaked, Beaten riceCereal
Pudina LeavesMint LeavesVegetables
Raai / RaeeMustard Seeds (Small)Spices
Saboodana / SabudanaSagoGeneral
SarsonMustard Seeds (Moti)Spices
Shimla MirchCapsicumVegetable
TadkaSeasoningCooking Process
Tej PattaBay LeafHerb
Urad DalHorse BeanPulses
Thyme = Ajwain
Leek = spring onion type


There are some other nice sites also :


Friday, November 9, 2012

How market analysts differ on perception of same company within 3 days from the same Research house

I read this funny article recently in Economic Times. It shows how market analysts differ on perception of the same company within 3 days, from the same house. It shows how important it is to have independent understanding and views and not blindly follow the recommndations

Kotak Units not on Same Page on GCPL Rating , RAJESH MASCARENHAS MUMBAI 

Even as brokerages rue the fall in retail participation in equity market, two divisions of a leading broking house have come out with contradictory recommendations on the share of the same company for its retail and institutional clients within a space of just three days.The broking house is Kotal Securities while the company in question is Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL).

The first report was published on Friday (November 2) by Kotak Institutional Equities,which retained its Add rating with a price target of.760.GCPL shares gained 0.6% to.724 on that day.An Add rating,according to Kotak Institutional Equities,forecasts a 5-15 % return by the stock over the next 12 months.

On Monday November 5,a report from another unit Kotak Securities Private Client Research downgraded the GCPL stock to Sell with a target price of.600.The stock fell 5% to.688 on the day.

When contacted,Dipen Shah,head of Kotak Securities private client research,said such a contradiction,while not a usual occurrence,was not an anomaly since analysts from both divisions didnt discuss their recommendations and both cater for a different class of investors whose views on certain aspects of a companys performance were not necessarily similar.A pretty strong Chinese Wall exists between both groups which cater for different sets of clients,institutional and non-institutional, said Shah.While not too much difference exists on financial parameters available to analysts from one-on-ones and concalls with management,etc,we feel markets have discounted the positives (on GCPL) too fast and that it could be due for a correction. However,that does not mean we are perennially negative on the stock.If there is a correction,but the fundamentals continue to remain robust we could well be positive on the stock, Shah clarified.

In a report for its institutional clients,Kotak Securities said: We increase FY2014E earnings by ~2% as GCPL reported a good quarter with strong volume growth in all segments,the launch of new products,marketshare gains and cross pollination of products across geographies, the report added.For its private clients,Kotak Securities said: We believe that GCPL is trading at expensive valuations,and likelihood of earnings disappointment is rising,given a less favourable base (high growth in Q3FY12,as well as less favourable forex position from Q4FY12 onward. 

However,a few market experts doubted the existence of a Chinese Wall in the capital market.There is always a doubt whether a Chinese Wall exists in the capital market, said Arun Kejriwal,CEO,Kris Research.The fact that two different client servicing arms of the same organisation have made opposite recommendations three days apart and stock prices have moved as suggested indicate that no such wall exists.It also indicates that probably the price target of the second report came after the first failed to achieve its objective


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 15:30

Exit Bajaj Auto: Sukhani

Sudarshan Sukhani, is of the view that one can exit Bajaj Auto. ......
Sukhani told CNBC-TV18, “......
I am very gratified because when Bajaj Auto  was Rs 1,800, we had given repeated buy signals and suggested it is likely to cross Rs 2,000. Once the stock hits the target then it should go out of the radar because then the only effort we are making is to exit at the maximum highest possible price, we do not want to add to our positions now.
So those who have it, should be looking to exit now either below today’s low or make some strategy for exiting the stock. There is no further buying till new patterns come.”

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 16:01

Buy Bajaj Auto with a target of Rs 2400: Sekhar

Phani Sekhar, Angel Broking is of the view that one can buy Bajaj Auto with a target of Rs 2400...He told CNBC-TV18, “For Bajaj Auto good times have just begun because this two-wheeler market has reached such a steady state with muted volumes and very low ability for OEMs to increase prices. Anyone with innovative products like Bajaj Auto is bound to do well and that is something that you have already seen with both Discover 125ST and Pulsar 200NS. The market share in the executive segment has increased in the last six months from 17 percent to 23 percent, which is no mean achievement. Moreover the three-wheelers which are a very high operating margin business for Bajaj Auto have started doing well.”

He further added, “So with 40,000 new permits coming from Delhi government expect domestic three-wheeler volumes to increase meaningfully. The export volumes of three-wheelers which had fallen to about 14,000 units per month have also increased to about 24,000 units per month. So expect a steady 10-11 percent volume growth in three-wheelers. What it does to the earnings profile of Bajaj Auto next year is earnings will increase by minimum of 20 percent and might go all the way to 25 percent and valuations today at 15 times are not very demanding. So the investor can hold on to Bajaj Auto and maybe buy on more declines for the target of Rs 2,400 over a one year timeframe

Friday, November 2, 2012

TRAVEL TIPS: Best Strategies to Exchange Money into Local Currencies - Lash

This article is written by blogger Lash. This is very important for travelling outside own country.....

I’ve been traveling more or less continuously since 1998. During these 14 years I’ve been regularly moving between different countries, each with their own currency. Each time I arrive in another country I need to get local cash as quickly as possible so I can function- to get transport from the airport or station, eat, get a room, and so on.
When I first started traveling internationally back in the 1980s, I used to exchange my money at US banks into my destination country’s currency before leaving on my trips. That was handy because I already had local currency when I arrived.
Since then I’ve learned quite a lot about exchanging money! Nowadays, I most definitely recommend against exchanging money in your home country. You’ll get much better rates in the destination country than in the US, Europe or UK. In addition, with the widespread use of ATM machines, it’s generally not necessary to exchange cash anyhow. You can withdraw local currency from the ATM machines after arrival in almost every country in the world.
On the other hand, it’s a good policy to carry some cash in a major currency for times when you can’t withdraw money from an ATM. As I noted in my post Back-up Plans for Accessing Money When ATMs Problems Strike a lot can go wrong with ATM withdrawals.
Here are my tips, amassed over more than 20 years of international travel, for exchanging money into local currency.
exchange money - Euros

Pre-trip preparations:

1. Before you head to a new country, become familiar with their currency, particularly the current exchange rates. You can easily find that information online at various websites. My favorite is Yahoo’s finance pages, which have a currency exchange page. You just plug in the two currencies you want to check and their table gives the prevailing rates.
2. Figure out how much local currency you’ll need upon arrive to get started.
3. As I mentioned above, I personally recommend against exchanging money in your home country, where exchange rates for foreign currencies are generally quite bad and banks charge fees on top of poor rates. UK is the worst I’ve come across in my travels. UK exchange booths and banks give absolutely horrible rates with high fees on top. You’ll get much better rates after you arrive in your destination country, whether it’s through an ATM or cash exchange.
US 100 dollar bill
US 100 dollar bill
4. Before leaving for your trip, get some cash in $US, € or £ British at a bank. Make sure you get clean, crisp new bills since some exchange shops overseas are picky about which bills they will take. Make sure the bills are not creased or crumpled and have no rips, tears, tape, or writing on them. Get a variety of denominations to use in different situations. I usually get a mix of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 bills. I might need to just exchange a small amount of money at some point, for example upon arrival at an airport, during an airport lay-over or just before leaving a country.
5. I also generally advise against traveler’s checks. They might have been very useful back in the days before ATM machines, but even then they had their drawbacks. Basically, they cost a lot more than using cash or ATMs. First off, you have to buy them. Secondly, when you exchange them for local currency, you’ll get a worse rate than you would for cash. So you’ve already lost money at both ends. On top of that, you can only use them in major cities, tourist destinations, and banks. Forget about trying to use them in small towns, rural areas and off-the-track destinations.
The advantage of traveler’s checks, in fact the whole purpose of them, is that if they are lost or stolen you can get back your money. They’re a kind of cash insurance. However, getting your money back is a long drawn-out process. You wont’ be reimbursed immediately, which in turn, doesn’t help you at the moment they’re lost, while you’re traveling. 
red ATM machines
red ATMs
 Upon arrival in a new country you’ll need some local currency before you can do anything at all. You’ll need local cash for transportation from the airport or station, to eat, to get a room, and any other miscellaneous things you might need to purchase.
I generally follow one of two strategies for getting local cash when I arrive in a new country.
1. If I can use an ATM at the airport, I generally withdraw enough cash for one week.
2. If I have to exchange cash into local currency, then I exchange the smallest amount possible at the airport. That’s because airport / station money exchange booths have the absolute worst rates. Get as little as possible then visit another exchange shop once you’re in town.
I exchange just enough for transportation from the airport/station, 1 or 2 meals, and bit extra. Basically, I exchange what I estimate I’ll need until later that day or the following day when I can visit a money exchange shop or ATM.

international currencies 

In the destination country:

Here are tips to keep in mind whenever you have to exchange cash overseas.
1. Be familiar with the current internet exchange rate on a regular basis. Rates do fluctuate from day to day. Use the internet rates as a basis to judge exchange rates you find at money exchange shops and to determine how much local cash to get.
2. ATMs usually give better rates than exchanging cash. If you can use ATMs, do that instead of exchanging cash. I generally use ATMs as much as possible, keeping my spare cash for emergencies or times when I just need a small about of local currency.
British pounds
British pounds
3. Use real money changers, not those down back alleys. Be careful of shops that claim to be ‘official exchange shops’ via a sign. Don’t necessarily believe those signs! Check out the shop to determine if it really is an official shop or not. Official exchange shops are located on major streets, in shopping malls, stations and airports. They also usually look ‘official’ – clean and modern with a list of exchange rates displayed on the wall or even a digital sign board.
4.  If a shop offers rates better than the current internet rate, stay away! They’ve got some trick or other up their sleeves.
5.  Some countries / exchange booths only accept bills that are in excellent condition- no rips, taping, holes, ink. Be sure to get new clean bills from a bank in your home country before leaving on your trip.
6. In some countries, like Indonesia, exchange shops give higher rates for higher denomination US $ bills and lower rates for smaller denominations. Ie $100 US bills will get a better rate than $10 and $20 bills. I’ve only experienced this in Asia in Indonesia, but perhaps other countries are the same.
7. You cannot exchange coins, only bills.
8. You’ll find the best rates at exchange booths / shops in major cities and tourist destinations. Try to exchange money there and be sure to get enough to cover you while traveling in rural / off-track areas. If you run out in a rural area, you’ll end up paying more to exchange money later.
9. You’ll find worse rates in small towns, on islands, at resorts and hotels, and in upscale shopping malls
10. Each country has different policies about where you can exchange money. In some countries, you can only exchange money in major banks. Other countries have privately owned money exchange shops. Some countries also have ‘black market’ exchange options, whereby locals exchange money UN-officially. In countries where it’s possible to exchange money either at banks or exchange shops, generally the exchange shops offer better rates. But it’s worth checking since sometimes banks offer equal rates. You can usually find out this information from major guidebooks like Lonely Planet.
Singapore tips- Little India colorful shops
Singapore- Little India’s colorful shops before the crowds arrive

Country specific information:

Thailand. Exchange money at banks.
- Malaysia has many exchange booths in places with large numbers of travelers – KL, Penang, Langkawi. In KL the best exchange booths are in Chinatown, Little India and minor shopping malls. Be sure to shop around since rates vary remarkably from shop to shop! Exchange booths at KL’s Sentral Station and major upscale shopping malls like KLCC have worse rates. Banks also have poor rates.
Singapore also has many exchange shops in Little India, Chinatown and along Orchard Road. The exchange booths in Little India offer excellent rates, close to internet rates. They’re located inside small shops along Little India’s main streets. Banks have poor rates.
Bali, Indonesia. Be sure to use real official money changers in Bali! You’ll get the best rates in Sanur and the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak sprawls. Shops are located on the major roads. Banks have poor rates.
- Laos. At the time I visited, it was only possible to exchange money at major banks in Laos’ major towns and cities, particularly Vientianne and Luang Prabang.
Myanmar. At the time I visited the only place to officially exchange money was at major banks. Howver the rates were terrible. Black market exchange could be found in local markets that sold art, handicrafts and souvenirs to travelers. It was easy to find them and the rates were much better. They only accepted $US.

- Cambodia - Dollar is the defacto currency.You dont need to change local currency.(My note)
England, Europe and USA have much worse rates. Better to take your UK £, € or $US overseas and exchange it there

Monday, October 8, 2012

Madhubani Art - birthplace of Sita

    • Friday, October 5, 2012
    • Triangular Park
      Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    • Sealdah Railway Station (3:40 pm)
      Beliaghata, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
      Sudipta and I met at Park Street and left for Sealdah to catch Ganga Sagar Express (3.40 pm departure).
    • Saturday, October 6, 2012
    • Madhubani, Bihar
      Madhubani, Bihar, India
      We are received by Sudipta of at Madhubani station and we went to the hotel in Madhubani (some of the people attending this festival are put up) for a cup of tea and left for Simri region by Sumo.

      Mithila is an ancient cultural region of South Nepal and North India lying between the lower ranges of the Himalayas and the Ganges River.

      The Gandak and Kosi River are in two sides of Mithila.

      The Ramayana records a marriage between Ram of Ayodhya and Sita, the daughter of Raja Janak of Mithila.

      Mithila region consists of the following districts:

      Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, East Champaran, Khagaria, Madhepura, Madhubani, Munger, Muzaffarpur, Saharsa, Samastipur, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Supaul, Vaishali and West Champaran.

      The name of the district Darbhanga has been derived from its principal town Darbhanga, which is said to have been founded by Darbhangi Khan. It is also said that the name Darbhanga was derived from Dwar-Banga or Dar-e-Bang meaning The gateway to Bengal.

      The district of Madhubani was carved out of the old Darbhanga district in the year 1972 as a result of reorganisation of the districts in the State. It consists of 21 Development Blocks. Bounded on the north by a hill region of Nepal and extending to the border of its parent district Darbhanga in the south, Sitamarhi in the west and Supaul in the east, Madhubani fairly represents the centre of the territory once known as Mithila and the district has maintained a distinct individuality of its own.

      Sitamari has a past that pre-dates history. When Sita was going to Ayodhya, She stayed and rested here.
    • Simari, Bihar
      Simari, Bihar, India
      We stayed in one of the houses (roof) of the villagers (dadaji - grandfatther of Jyoti Kumari ??) , sort of vilalge chieftain of Simri.

      We were told that maachh ,makhan and paan - these are the identities of mithila : fish is the most popular food habit in mithila ; people like fish as a main dish in any occasion. Chuda ,dahi and chini is also most important cuisine of mithila. People like paan , in every occasion.

      The origins of Madhubani painting or Mithala Painting are shrouded in antiquity and mythology. Madhubani painting has been done traditionally by the women of villages around the present town of Madhubani (the literal meaning of which is forests of honey) and other areas of Mithila.

      The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, but now they are also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas.

      Madhubani painting has remained confined to a compact geographical area and the skills have been passed on through centuries, the content and the style have largely remained the same. And that is the reason for Madhubani painting being accorded the coveted GI (geographical Indication) status.

      Madhubani paintings also use two dimensional imagery, and the colors used are derived from plants. The colors used were traditionally derived from natural sources like plants, charcoal soot, ochre etc. Black colour is obtained by mixing soot with cow dung.Yellow colour is obtained from turmeric or pollen or lime and the milk of banyan leaves. Blue from Indigo. Red from Kusum flower juice, red sandalwood or rose. Green from the leaves of apple trees, White from rice powder, Orange from palasha flowers.

      Madhubani paintings mostly depict the nature & deity from the ancient epics. Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings. Generally no space is left empty; the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs.

      Objects depicted in the walls of kohabar ghar (where newly wed couple see each other in the first night) are symbols of sexual pleasure and procreation.

      Traditionally, painting was one of the skills that was passed down from generation to generation in the families of the Mithila Region, mainly by women.

      After taking our breakfast we attended the work shop of Vidyanath Jha and Chaturang Jha. I was taught by Vidyanath Jha, senior and respected artists of the village, how to draw the Madhubani style of painting.

      After lunch we left to see the palace of King of Darbhanga. We were quite amazed to see that such exquisite palace exists in such a remote place like this. Later we got to know many things about the King of Mithila.

      In the evening we attended the programme organized by We heard the song of Bauls (of Bengal,) drummers of Bajashol of Orissa and some local artists also sang. It was jam packed. However there was no commotion.
    • Sunday, October 7, 2012
    • Simari, Bihar
      Simari, Bihar, India
      In the morning we went for Prabhat feri or singing around the villages by the Bauls.

      Then after breakfast we went to the house of the artists. We went to the house of Vidyanth Jha, K Jha Devi and Chaturang Jha.

      In fact they are extremely warm and offered tea. In one of the houses were offered a special type of black coloured Roti. We got to know that is doing great work for the artists. After chatting some time we went to the mela ground to finish our art work - we did yesterday. I bought many paintings today.

      Then after taking our lunch we left for station. There we met a person and got to know that Darbhanga Raj, also known as Raj Darbhanga and the Royal Family of Darbhanga, were a family of Zamindars and rulers of territories that are now part of Mithila and Darbhanga district, Bihar, India. Their seat was at the city of Darbhanga. The estate of Darbhanga Raj was estimated to cover an area of 2,410 square miles (6,200 km2), incorporating 4,495 villages within 18 circles in Bihar and Bengal and employing over 7,500 officers to manage the estate. It was the largest zamindari in India and was the best managed estate at the time of abolition of Zamindari. The Raj Darbhanga trace their origin to kayastha at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

      To know more see
    • Sealdah, Raja Bazar, Kolkata, West Bengal
      Sealdah, Raja Bazar, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Eco tourism tour in Shillong and Cherrapunjee - short tour diary

To know more click the one above : Eco tourism tour in Shillong and Cherrapunjee on Tripline

Eco tourism tour in Shillong and Cherrapunjee

Sat, Sep 29, 2012
·         1
6:10 am  Kolkata, West Bengal, India
By plane , thanx to didi !

7:20 am Guwahati, Assam
I took the Air conditioned bus service from Guwahati airport (having recently begun between the airport and the city) to reach Paltan Bazar. The bus leaves at 7.40 am (fixed time) and reached Paltan Bazar at around 8.30 am. The buses wait just outside the airport and can be seen once you come out of the airport. The fare is Rs 100 and travelling time is approx 50 minutes. Or one can take taxi. Then take combination of transport given below. I have not mentioned the helicopter service for want of safety.

By bus

Very next to the Guwahati Railway Station on the Paltan Bazar side you have the State Transport Bus Station from where you can catch Assam State or Meghalaya State Transport buses to Shillong. Buses run by Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) and Meghalaya Transport Corporation (MTC), ply every half an hour from Guwahati to Shillong. The ticket fares vary between Rs.30 to 100 approx, depending upon bus class (ordinary, semi-deluxe and deluxe). 

Many private companies also run buses between two cities but they leave from Paltan Bazar area and cost around Rs. 70. Private buses might be better built but are occasionally crowded and have more stops enroute.

Buses usually take around 4 hours with a mid-way stop at Nong-poh to freshen up and get some refreshments. Nongpoh is also a good place to pick up bamboo pickles and other condiments. But momo in the shady restaurant is Rs 100 ! and bamboo pickles are far too expensive at Rs 150. Obviously I did not buy anything from there.

By Shared Taxi from Guwahati

Shared taxis are available from Paltan Bazar,Guwahati all the way to Police Bazaar in Shillong for Rs 400 per person. Alternatively, rent the whole taxi for Rs1600 from right outside the station. Guwahati to Shillong takes about 3 hours including a food stop.

By SUV- Sumo
(from Guwahati from Hotel Tibet at Guwahati,Paltan Bazar)

These are generally SUV sized vehicles (Tata Sumo & Mahindra Bolero) shared between 10 people( they are the main form of transport around Meghalaya) from Paltan Bazar in Guwahati which is adjacent to the railway station. They take around 3 hours to reach Shillong from Guwahati. The cost for a SUV vehicle is Rs.150. 
I took the SUV. After waiting for more than 30 minutes, the SUV left at around 9.10 am

While traveling from Guwahati , you can see the majestic Umiam Lake (Barapani) surrounded by sylvan hills. Umiam Lake , 17 km from Shillong, offers water sports facilities including sailing, water skiing, water scooter. Umiam Lake or Barapani - is the biggest artificial lake in Meghalaya.

Shillong, Meghalaya

Sightseeing in Shillong (Meghalaya)

Enroute to Cherrapujee/Mawlynnong, you can see Elephant falls and Shillong Peak: An ideal picnic spot, 10 km. from the city, 1965 m above sea level, offers a panoramic view of the scenic country side, and is also the highest point in the State. Obeisance is paid to U Shulong at the sanctum sanctorum at the peak's summit every springtime, by the religious priest of Mylliem State. In the evening the city lights below appear like a star-studded show. The genesis of the name of the city of Shillong is this peak

Ward's Lake: Located in the heart of the city, popular for short garden walks and boating, celebrated its centenary recently. 

Botanical Garden :A secluded but captivating spot with plethora of indigenous and exotic plants and is located just below the Ward's Lake. 

Lady Hydari Park :A popular charming tourist draw, the adjacent mini zoo is an added attraction. 

Cathedral of Mary Help of Christian at Laitumkhrah, it attracts devotees and visitors alike. 

From Shillong one can hire Tourist Taxies from the Taxi Stand at Police Bazar, Shillong. 

One can also catch the Shuttle Sumos to Sohra/Mawlynnong from Bara Bazaar. Presently they charge Rs.70/= per person to Mawlynnong. Since today is the Market day in Pynursla, only Sumos upto Pynursla is available. That turned out to be a big problem for me.

Pynursla, Meghalaya, India

I reached there at around 2.30 pm . The SUV left at around 1 pm from Shillong.

When I reached Pynursla, I quickly had my lunch and got to know that the next Sumo will leave at 4.30 pm ! In fact the connecting Sumos from here are infrequent. There I met a local guy Sukher - He is also waiting for connecting Sumo to go to his village Mawlynnong. 

He showed me around the market of Pynursla. Here I was treated like a foreigner. Normally nobody comes here ! I have noticed everybody here chews bettle nut. Yes everybody. He showed me some of the items are coming from Bangladesh (Syhelt) . One of the being Danu or Danon Milk ! There I tried something like catterpillar like creature on his insistence !! It looks blackish ! Apparently it is burnt. Later I learnt it is called Khniang phlang in Khasi worm, which is actually a grassworm !

Then we tried the famous local dish called Jadoh (Jadoh is the generic name for the Khasi rice steamed with pork). Then it is time to go to Mawlynnong.

Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India

When we reached there it was already dark(6 pm). The condition of road is very bad, since they are making the road wider which goes upto Bangladesh border (Sylhet) via Dawki.

Allen arranged for my stay at the homestay of Mr. Lursahi. Although he was not there, his two daughters were there. All of them knows good English. Given the remoteness of the village, it was quite unusual. Actually later I got to know that they learn Khasi (in Roman script) and English (first language), even in Govt schools.

Sukher showed me around the place even though it was dark. In fact we went to meet the newly built sky view and met the owner of the hotel. In fact we went to the top of the sky view.

I had some long discussion with Sukher about various problems they are facing. I got to know there is no bank here. He however uses internet through mobile ! One has to travel a long distance (to be precise pay Rs 100 to and fro), just to withdraw money. However one person (BC) comes there every Sunday to collect money. I told him the importance of mobile money in a remote place like this. (There is no Airtel network here! ).

I had my dinner at the homestay - which is almost a typical Bengali dish ! The daughters of Mr Lurshai is really nice and all speaks good English, which makes everything so simple. From the homestay you can hear the prayers from the local church. There are two churches in this small village. One is a Presbyterian church and other one is owned by CNI (Church of North India ). There around 80 families in this vallage.

It has been crowned as the cleanest village in Asia. One cannot help appreciate the neatness of the village and it has influenced the adjoining the villages like Riwai. One can see the basket (made of cane) all around the village - used as garbage bin. They even fine tourists who litters this place !

·        Sun, Sep 30, 2012   

Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India

I left early in the morning to see one of the living root bridges. One is one the way to Pontung. It takes about 15-20 min. walk to reach the village Riwai ( on the main road) from Mawlynnong. The walk towards the bridge is almost nature study class. I saw many types of butterfly.

From Riwai village you have go down for almost 10-15 minutes to reach the root bridge. 
Firstly there are two types of living root bridges 
1. single decker and 2. the double decker 

Both these types are there in the Nongriat Village. There are in fact 3 single decker and 1 double decker bridge in the Nongriat village.
There are 2 living root bridges here in Riwail/Mawlynnong. The other one is on the way to Bangladesh. There is a road which goes up to Bangladesh. You have to walk around 1.5 hours to go there. I had to skip the plan for want of time.

The bridge is really very strong and quite amazing to say the least. A gigantic rubber tree (Ficus elastica tree) rests on a boulder on one side of the stream. This tree produces a series of secondary roots from higher up its trunk and can comfortably perch atop huge boulders along the riverbanks.They have been trained by the villagers to span across the stream and have penetrated the earth on the other side. The roots take the place of steel ropes. Rocks placed between roots have embedded themselves to form a solid footing for the bridge.In order to make a rubber tree's roots grow in the right direction (over a river), the Khasis use betel nut trunks, sliced down the middle and hollowed out, to create root-guidance systems.The thin, tender roots of the rubber tree, prevented from fanning out by the betel nut trunks, grow straight . When they reach the other side of the river, they're allowed to take root in the soil. It takes around 20-25 years to make this bridge! After spending some time I decided to go back to see the sky view and walk around the village.
Then I saw the sky view - which is nothing but a watchtower made of bamboo,made by the locals, and one can go up to the top to have a wonderful panoramic view of the village and also the Sylhet,Bangladesh. Apparently it is 85 ft high. I did not think it was that high. There are two at the moment in the village.The workmanship is really very very impressive and interestingly no synthetic rope is used to tie the bamboos. Bamboos are tied together with the help of cane ropes to make a sky pathway.Not even a single iron nail is used her ! From Kavita's blog I got to know that this structure is designed by a 45years old school teacher named Rishop Khongthongreh . Though the structure looked rickety it is very strong but it needs renovation every year. ( )

The older one charges Rs 20 as entry fee. I did not get up the new one today (since I went up yesterday). Then I walked around the village with the son of Mr Lurshai, Ronald. We went to see the famous Pitcher Plant tree. 

Rahul Dravid came to this village in April 2012.


I was given lift from Mawlynnong by a senior judge of Supreme (?) court, since it was Sunday and none of the cars/Sumos were available, by his pilot car ! On Sunday everybody goes to the church ! That is why there is no vehicle ! He was kind enough to give me the lift after listening to my passion for travel !I got down here and took a sumo go to Mawjrong.

Mawjrong, Meghalaya, India

Today being Sunday none of the cars were available. This is the place to go to Kong Thong.
I took a car to get down at Sohra-rin village. From there I was picked up by Heprit ( by his famous scooter - owner of the guest house.

In fact rather than staying in Shillong one can relax the entire week or most of your days in Sohra (Cherrapunjee) or Mawlynnong

My personal suggestion is 2 nights Cherrapunjee, 1 Night Mawlynnong, 1 night at Shillong.

Cherrapunji‎, Meghalaya

Cherrapunjee (Sohra) 56 km from Shillong, situated in one of the rainiest rain-belt in the world, 1,300 m above sea level. It is a very pleasant drive to see roaring water falls leaping into deep gorges, including the famed Nohsngithiang Falls (Seven sister falls). 

The beautiful waterfall-Noh ka likai is at Cherrapunjee (not on the route). The lovely town is also famous for its limestone caves and orange honey in and around Cherrapunjee.

In fact Mawyram has beaten Sohra as the rainiest place in India. The rainiest place in The world is in Colombia.

On the way to Cherrapunjee, I saw one falls and had some tea with Heprit at that place.When we reached sohra it is already quite late at 6.00 pm. I kept my luggage in his guest house cum residence.

I had some beef curry in one of the tea stalls near his guest house. Herprit took me to the tea stall with his scooter.

Today I met one of his friends who used to stay near Kong Thong and decided that we have to skip the singing tune village at Kong Thong, since the earliest Sumo to Kong Thong leaves only at 2 pm from Mawjrong. So by the time we reach there ( 2 hrs by car 1 hr by trek ) it will be dark and unless we catch the first Sumo at 6 am tomorrow, I am going to miss my flight. 

I have talked to Allen that we are skipping it for want of time and we will go there next time. He promised that he will make plan for us next time when we come.

·         Mon, Oct 01, 20120

Tyrna, Meghalaya, India

The living root bridge at Tyrna needs trek from Cherrapujee, for which you can also stay at Laitkynsew (where the Cherra Holiday Resort is located. ) which is 15 km from Cherra centre.

After having my breakfast at the Tea stall , my frined Heprit took to me to this place (around 9.30 am) with his scooter. The going rate is around Rs 300 by auto rickshaw. We took some pictures along this picturesque route and finally I got down at Tyrna for onward journey to Living Root bridge or Jinking Jri in Khasi.

Nongriat - home to Living root bridges

To get to this village you have to be in contact with a guide who normally charges you around Rs 800 for both up and down treks. I however went alone without any guides!

Initially ask a villager to get the right direction. Once you reach the falls will see two long root bridge (single decker) will take around 1 hr to reach there. You may assume that this is the only living root bridge there. Somebody needs to guide you at this stage to go to the double decker bridge .

However for double decker bridge you have to trek another hour , passing through 2 scary hanging wire bridges, to finally reach double decker bridge. In fact, I found that the root bridge is much more stable than the rope bridges we crossed earlier. I took the lunch (maggi and omlette - bcoz that is all you can get ) at that place. There is an entry fee to enter the bridge. I did go to the guest house on the other side of the bridge. In the whole trek I saw the only one trekker, from Bangalore who came with a guide.

So firstly you have to get to shillong and then from Shillong to Cherrapunjee preferebly by shared taxi to have more glipmse of the Hills . Its however better if you hire the vehicle yourself where you can stop click and go wherever you want.

From cherrapunjee go to tyrna village by taxi or auto rickshaw (Rs 300 *2) and then u have to trek all the way down to the living root bridges mind you from my experience to trek up and down to the living root bridges is a hell of a lot of and effort and sweat .You have to climb down 2 hrs straight pass the 3000 stairs, the rugged footpath then the 2 scary hanging wire bridges. There is a guest house on the other side of the bridge. If no rooms are available then locals are hospitable and may host at a very nominal rate - if you plan to stay there one day. 

You can explore the awesome areas , waterfalls, natural swimming pools etc. 

Then climb back up in the afternoon where it will take u at least 2 and half hour . So the timing has to be calculated nicely for a good trek otherwise you'll end up being miserable.You have to take rest in between.

So try to Cherrapunjee by 10am or so then Reach Tyrna village by 11 pm then trek down to Nongriat you should be reaching back to Tyrna by around 4 pm and make sure you carry lots of water.

Cherrapunjee Holiday Resorts

Laitkynsew, Cherrapunjee, Cherrapunji‎, 793003, India  •  03637 264218  •  

On the way back to Cherrapunjee I saw that one of the roads going towards the most fmous resort of Cherrapunjee.3

Cherrapunji‎, Meghalaya

After reaching Cherrapunjee we had some tea from one the tea houses there and chatted some time with the local. I realized it is class less society unlike rest of India. The Khasi society is divided by castes. 

Then we went to Mawsmai Caves (limestone cave - Stalagmite and Stalactite - like the one near Araku valley,Andhra Pradesh - but its height is very low and you to be very fit to enter this cave and it was a bit claustophobic ) by paying entry fee of Rs 15 each.

After that we went to see the beautiful seven sister falls. We skipped the Nakalikhai falls since it is bit further away from that place and it is already becoming dark. According to my friend it is similar to the seven sister falls.

After coming back to the guest house I chatted with Heprit's brother who works in Deptt of Post in Shillong. I got to know the Garos have a completely different language and they are asking for a separate state, unlike Jaintia (they also have a different language). But the population of Jaintia is very low. The population of Garo people is around 12 lakh. The total population of Meghalaya is around 29 lakh. There are some Bengalis, Assamese,Nepali and also Biharis in Meghalaya). There are some Bengali families in Cherrapunjee. He said during peak monsoon season people do nothing , since it rains continuously. It is bad for business. That is why I found many vacant land in Cherrapunjee. There is a Ramakrishna Mission school here which is the best in Cherrapunjee and they have in fact studied there and they(RKM) are also into lot of humanitarian work.

I also got to know that role of man in Meghalaya is bit dicey. Herprit says they(man) are neither here, nor there . He tells me if he marries the youngest daughter in her family and then he is destined to live with her parents until she inherits the family house. 

According to him things are slowly changing and the prevailing system is somewhere in between patriarchy and matriarchy. They generally follow matriarchy. Timothy Allen writes 'Here a matrilineal system operates with property names and wealth passing from mother to daughter rather than father to son - but some men are campaigning for change....If you want to know how much the Khasis favour women just take a trip to the labour ward at the hospital.....If it's a girl, there will be great cheers from the family outside. If it's a boy, you will hear them mutter politely that, 'Whatever God gives us is quite all right.'

Herprit tells me rather sadly that people in Delhi thinks we are junglee . It appeared to me it is actually the opposite. I was saddened by his remark since I thought it is racist on the part of North Indians to do that. Khasis seemed to be a modern society. Had they been in the middle of India, it probably evolved into a very modern society.

I had some sumptuous dinner today. I went to sleep early since I will take early morning jeep to go to Shillong.

Kongthong - Khat-ar-Shnong Rd, Mawjrong,

I had to skip this village for want of time, instead I went straight to Shillong (2 hrs) .

·         Tue, Oct 02, 2012
·         Shillong, Meghalaya
I reached in 2 hours time and immediately got a running Sumo to go to Guwahati.6

3:40 pm  Guwahati, Assam, India
I reached Paltan Bazar,Guwahati in 3 hours time and got the AC bus to go to the airport. However getting the AC Bus was not easy, as it does not pass through Paltan Bazar.

·         7
6:50 pm  Kolkata, West Bengal, India
To see the route click here

See this documentary :

Chronological order