Friday, 6 December 2013


Nelson Mandela,(born on July 18, 1918) was a man who made the world a better place. He didn’t have to do what he did, he could have given up anytime when it got hard but he kept pushing and pushing in his stand against apartheid. He was the first black South African to hold the office of the President. He was an international hero.
The great man died on December  5, 2013 at the age of 95. He died with the twinkle still in his eye, the spirit of strength still in him. He is among those few we grew up learning about and will continue learning. He might be dead, but his story will remain forever.

 "Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end."
-Nelson Mandela

Taken from Nelson Mandela facts

Africa's Greatest Freedom Symbol

Son of a chief, Nelson Mandela studied law and became one of South Africa's first black lawyers. Early in the 1950s he was elected leader of the youth wing of the ANC (African National Congress) liberation movement. When the country's white minority government prohibited the ANC in 1960, Mandela became convinced that armed struggle was inevitable. Inspired by the guerrilla wars in Algeria and Cuba, he organized a military underground movement that engaged in sabotage. In 1962 he was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for high treason and conspiracy against the state.

From 1964 to 1982 he was confined to the notorious prison island Robben Island, together with several other resistance leaders. He was then moved to prison on the mainland until his release in 1990. During his imprisonment, Mandela became a rallying point for South Africa's oppressed, and the world's most famous political prisoner.

Nelson Mandela shared the Peace Prize with the man who had released him, President Frederik Willem de Klerk, because they had agreed on a peaceful transition to majority rule.

Sunday, 24 November 2013


The chattering in the hall came down immediately when the centre stage light came on. I shifted in my seat to look at the bearded man next to me. Salin, my guide in this foreign country, gave me a small smile. I returned my gaze back to the stage. The music was yet to play, but the dancer was already in her position. She was seated gracefully on the floor in a dance position, her face looking down. I was close enough to the stage to pick out every detail. The thickly eye-lined eyes were shut as if in meditation. Her traditional white sari’s folds lay fanner across her thighs.  Mohiniyattam literally translates to the dance of the enchantress, Salin told me. The music was yet to start. The crowd was getting restless, the indications starting with shuffling of the feet, or subtle whispers. I didn’t mind the wait. It gave me time to look at the still girl under the limelight. Jasmine flowers adored her hair and I fantasized being able to smell them.  Salin pointed out the Ghungroo, the dancing bells, that the dancer wore on her legs.

              I was about to ask him more about the attire but the music began, playing a song in a language I couldn’t decipher. But I didn’t need the lyrics. Her expressions alone told the story.  I have watched many ballets that have left me at the edge of the seat. The strength in the ballet dancers that romanticized everything.  Here I was witnessing something wholly different. How do I describe the feeling without using any wrong words? The movement of the leaves swaying in the spring breeze, the stillness in the backwaters of the land, the petrichor- I saw it all in her dance. As if nature had channeled her flow into the dancer. The jingle of the dancing bells gave off a unique effect to her steps. I felt myself being drawn to the whole beauty of it. The dancer was a female fatale, only she was not leading me to my doom but rather a union with something bigger than us.  Her eyes truly were reflection of emotions, named and nameless, swirling inside fragile human hearts. The expressions were tantalizing, edging us to find answers for the mysteries of the world.  I was experiencing benevolence for the world and for me. What benediction was this?

                    Salin later explained to me the classical ballet was on the story of Lord Krishna, told through the eyes of his lover Radha.  But I had already grasped the concept of the story through the Mohiniyattam. The lover’s ecstasy, her worship for the one she loved,  her struggle, her pain, her loss – it had all been in the eyes. The human  eye isn’t complete without its eye brows, and this dance form  clutches onto that reality.

            When the dance ended, the hall erupted into applause that was defending. But I remained seated in my place, not wanting to break the communication I felt between the world and me.  My heart was swaying to the echos of the music of the dance I had just witnessed. It reminded me that my white skin wasn’t out of place here, but just another part of the existence. I had been immersed and brought out of something I couldn’t completely comprehend. Right then, that moment, the world felt alright.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Manisha's Alphabet- C

What is Calvin's monstor snowman called?
The Torment Of Existance Weighed Against The Horror Of Nonbeing.


Letter C belongs to my most favorite comic character Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes!
Calvin, named after theologian John Calvin, is the main protagonist of Calvin and Hobbes. He is a perpetually six-year-old boy with a vivid imagination and a habit of getting into trouble. The comic centers around Calvin's life, his troubles, and his adventures, with Hobbes alongside all the while.
Calvin is characterized by his imagination, philosophy, extensive vocabulary, social awkwardness, and mischievous behavior. His first piece of dialogue was the first line of the strip and his last line of dialogue was also the strip's final line.

Calvin in his first appearance                             Calvin in his last appearance.

We all know Calvin hates baths! He has tried several tactics to avoid bathing, up to decoys, and when finally in the tub, he complains about his ordeal. And television is Calvin’s favorite past time.  Calvin is generally misanthropic, and only feels significant sympathy for non-human animals. He has a significant admiration for tigers, instituted as a result of his friendship with Hobbes. Once, he even (unsuccessfully) tried to adopt the lifestyle of tigers
. Calvin is a little too intelligent for his age, coming up with very deep and profound philosophies which he himself fails to understand.
Calvin is always getting into trouble with his parents. He is a difficult kid and his parents have a tough time handling him.

Calvin’s best friend HOBBES!
Hobbes, named for philosopher Thomas Hobbes, is the deuteragonist of the comics. He is Calvin's stuffed tiger and best friend, who, from Calvin's perspective, is a live tiger and real as anyone else. 

And there is Susie!

Susie Derkins, Calvin’s classmate is another important character in the comic strip. Calvin is always up to something to trouble Susie and the two are seen locking their antlers many a times. Hobbes often openly expresses romantic feelings for Susie, much to Calvin's disgust. Calvin starts a "club" (of which he and Hobbes are the only members) that he calls G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid Of Slimy GirlS), and while holding "meetings" in Calvin's tree house or in the "box of secrecy" in Calvin's room, they usually come up with some way to annoy or socially maim Susie, most of which backfire on them completely.

Calvin isn’t very fond of school and is seen often complaining about how he is too evolved to go to school. At school, he has built up, in his principal's words, quite a file owing to his bad behavior.

Maybe Calvin ended in 1995, but he continues to make us smile or laugh with his continued appearance over the daily newspaper, comics, or over the net.
Calvin, I love you!Thank you for your awesomeness!