Valentines day, an alternative story of origin.

A wooden rolling pin
“Velan” via Wikipedia

Got a mail forward from my sis Anu. Enjoy!

In spite of what you have been told by everyone, the truth is that Valentine’s Day originated hundreds of years ago, in India, and to top it all, in Gujarat!!

It is a well known fact that Gujarati men, specially the Patels, continually mistreat and disrespect their wives (Patelianis) . One fine day, it happened to be the 14th day of February, one brave Pateliani, having had enough “torture” by her husband, finally chose to rebel by beating him up with a Velan (rolling pin).

Yes…the same Velan which she used daily, to make chapattis for him….only this time, instead of the dough, it was the husband who was flattened.

This was a momentous occasion for all Gujarati women and a revolt soon spread, like wild fire, with thousands of housewives beating up their husbands with the Velan.

There was an outburst of moaning “chapatti-ed” husbands all over Anand and Ahmadabad. The Patel men-folk quickly learned their lesson and started to behave more respectfully with their Patelianis.

Thereafter, on 14th February, every year, the womenfolk of Gujarat would beat up their husbands, to commemorate that eventful day.The wives having the satisfaction of beating up their husbands with the Velan and the men having the supreme joy of submitting to the will of the women they loved.
Soon The Gujju men realised that in order to avoid this ordeal they need to present gifts to their wives….they brought flowers and sweetmeats.
Hence the tradition began.

As Gujarat fell under the influence of Western culture, that day was called ‘Velan time‘ day.

The ritual soon spread to Britain and many other Western countries, specifically, the catch words ‘Velan time!’. Of course in their foreign tongues, it was first anglosised to ‘Velantime’ and then to ‘Valentine’. And thereafter, 14th of February, came to be known as Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentines day everyone! 🙂

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Art of storytelling

At the center of every culture is a group of people seated around a fire telling of the heroes whose struggles transformed and remade their world. That’s true whether the fire is the burning embers of a cooking fire in the Amazon basin or the flickering pixels of a cathode ray tube in upper Manhattan. It’s true whether the hero is White Buffalo Calf Woman, whose gift of the sacred pipe gave birth to the Sioux nation, or Neal Armstrong, whose view of the world from the moon unleashed in an era of globalization. These stories do more than define a culture; they shape and move it, making a living thing.

As human beings, we communicate primarily through the telling of stories. We are bombarded by hundreds of stories each day –stories about which toothpaste is best, about terrorists lurking in the shadows, about new scientific miracles and eternal spiritual truths.

Over at TED, Storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy spins a funny, wise and luminous tale of parents and kids, starring her Cuban mother. Settle in and enjoy the ride — Mama’s driving! A great storytelling style worth taking a look.

Deedy is a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s Weekend All Things Considered and Latino USA. Her audio collection of twelve short stories originally heard on NPR, Growing up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia, [Peachtree Publishers (January 31, 2004)] was named Publishers Weekly 1995 Best Audiobook–Adult Storytelling and received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award 1996.

Why did the Chicken cross the road?

[ Just to break the non-blogging cycle, copy-pasting a chain mail, please pardon my procrastination]

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One! that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where’s my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can’t you people see the plain truth? That’s why they call it the other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay, too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like the other side. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It’s as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be rebooted.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Leo Coffee TV Advertisement : Then and Now

2 versions of Leo Coffee’s TV Spot, one from early 90’s and the other one from 2006. Why I am blogging this? There are multiple reasons.

First, this is one of the jingle composed by Legendary A.R. Rahman.

Second, Arvind Swamy is one of the cast in the ’90s version, with a thin and geek look.

Third… oh well, why don’t you watch both first.

’90’s Version

2006 Version

I liked the fact the commercial kept the original music score and starting point. But it ends with a twist. Husband brings coffee for the culturally ‘Indian’ but with a ‘modern’ outlook (can use laptop!) wife. Cool!

Do you think the situation really changed from ’90’s?

The Ig® Nobel Prizes!

ignobel_thinker

Do you know about Ig Nobel Prizes? They are a parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October (around the time the recipients of the genuine Nobel Prizes are announced) for the ridiculous-most achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think.” 😉

Organized by the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), they are presented by a group that includes genuine Nobel Laureates at a ceremony at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater.

How ridiculous the “achievements” are? Here goes the list of the Ig Nobel ‘winners’ of 2007.

  • Aviation: Patricia V. Agostino, Santiago A. Plano and Diego A. Golombek, for discovering that hamsters recover from jetlag more quickly when given Viagra!! 😯
  • Biology: Johanna E.M.H. van Bronswijk, for taking a census of all the mites and other life forms that live in people’s beds.
  • Chemistry: Mayu Yamamoto for extracting vanilla flavour from cow dung. Yak!! 😛 Vanilla milkshake anyone? :mrgreen:
  • Economics: Kuo Cheng Hsieh, for patenting a device to catch bank robbers by ensnaring them in a net. Duh!
  • Linguistics: Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Nuria Sebastian-Galles, for determining that rats sometimes can’t distinguish between Japanese, played backward, and Dutch, played backward. (How did they came up with the idea in first place? ❓ )
  • Literature: Glenda Browne, for her study of the word “the”. Now, that’s what I call “THE” Research! 😀
  • Medicine: Dan Meyer and Brian Witcombe, for investigating the side-effects of swallowing swords.
    Nutrition: Brian Wansink, for investigating people’s appetite for mindless eating by secretly feeding them a self-refilling bowl of soup. Eh? 😕
  • Peace: The Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, for suggesting the research and development of a “gay bomb,” which would cause enemy troops to become sexually attracted to each other. (Dropping that in India might solve the population problem)
  • Physics: L. Mahadevan and Enrique Cerda Villablanca for their theoretical study of how sheets become wrinkled.

So where the name (Ig Nobel) came from? The official pronunciation used during the ceremony is “ig no-BELL”.

In Swedish, IG is short for “icke godkänt”, a grade in school similar to F, or fail.

In Russian, the name is usually translated as “Шнобелевская премия” (Shnobel Prize). Shnobel is a slang term for a large nose, evoking an image of Pinocchio.

Singing Condoms to solve India’s Overpopulation problem

A lighter dose after the last ‘heavy’ post.  Birth control and STD prevention are serious issues. That’s why hilarious ads with few dudes singing and dancing in colorful condom costumes are sometimes the only way to sufficiently get the “Safe Sex” message out to the people. It’s in Telugu, but with proper subtitle!

From YoutTube description : This is an entertaining and educational video in Telugu on Condom usage, to prevent from sexually transmitted infections and HIV, from Nrityanjali Academy, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.

 

Enjoy! 😀