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Showing posts from October, 2009

When Martin Luther King Jr visited Kerala

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It was I think around the year 1953, that MLK discovered the light in the teachings of the Gandhi. Many years later he recounted thus – ‘The inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi began to exert its influence. I had come to see early that the Christian doctrine of love operating through the Gandhi method of non violence was one of the most potent weapons available to the Negro in this struggle for freedom’. He also explained in his works about how Juliett Morgan first compared the Indian and the Negro struggle, writing about the bus protest to the editor of the Montgomery Advertiser. She did not survive the furious public onslaught and died soon after, in 1957. But she brought the name of the little brown saint, the Mahatma to the American lips. And later MLK accounted his struggle in simple terms ‘Christ furnished the spirit and motivation, Gandhi furnished the method’. Interestingly King Jr was also one of the few who observed another Gandhi technique, as he observed “Mahatma Gandhi never ha…

Two facets of Krishna Menon

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Some times I feel sad, seeing how people react, especially towards people they do not know at all or are even dead and gone since ages. Just look at this guy who was searching on Google. His search line on Google search is ‘Krishna Menon was a*&shole’. He lands up on my site since I had written about VKKM and he leaves after 5 minutes of reading. Fine, hopefully he knows more about VKKM, hopefully he changed his mind, but what kind of a mindset made him feel like this about a person who passed ages ago?

Anyway that reminded me of another nasty man which of course resulted in this article. In the meantime, let our ‘searcher’ continue his search and get what he wants.

Recently I was in Calicut, the birthplace of VK Krishna Menon. Menon was one who left his home town early in his life and maintained little contact with the place and people, and after his sister with whom he was very close with, expired, he had nothing more to do with the town. He lived off and on either in Delhi or Mad…

The story of a nut

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I think only Malayalee’s and Goan’s would really enjoy the taste of a cashew fruit though everybody would know of and like the taste of the ever popular cashew nut. But the fruit, if chosen well from the bunch, is a revelation to the uninitiated - As you bite into the succulent juicy orange yellow colored fruit, you get that special sweet taste with that small raw & unripe ‘pull on the side’, like when you bite a raw mango.

At the base of the fruit hangs the popular kidney shaped nut, and this is one of those rare fruits with the seed outside - or is it a fruit in the first place? No it is not!! This good looking fruit is not technically a fruit at all but a swollen stalk. I am sure many of you would have tried fenny from Goa which is a beverage (with a solid kick, like one you get from an Arabian hose - when properly fermented & drunk – now don’t ask me if I got kicked by an Arabian horse, it is only my well thought out metaphor) made from this fruit. Many people state that th…

The ‘Bell Thieves’ of Cochin

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The history of the Cochin Jews is indeed quite interesting and it is also interesting to note that Cochin was probably the only place in the world where Jews had an uninterrupted stay, not unduly troubled by any kind of religious persecution, till they themselves decided to leave for Israel on ‘Aliyah’ (Holy immigration to Israel). I would recommend the reader to see the Malayalam movie ‘Gramophone’ to get a brief insight into this very interesting Diaspora of Cochin.

Two books I read recently, gave me details of this very interesting historical anecdote. I am sure the real story has been well massaged by time, to become a highly interesting tale today, with salacious additions by various grandmothers and uncles. I am recounting the present version for those interested about those times and am sure readers from Cochin can add much more insight. This version of the story comes from Ruby’s accounts, but slightly corrected with more aspects from Prof Jussay’s account.

This story comes from…