Showing posts from May, 2012

Coffee, anybody?

The story of Cuppa Joe and the old chicks

I heard it first on the radio and then read a more detailed article which stated that according to research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who drank four or five cups of coffee a day tended to live longer than those who drank only a cup or less. Coffee-drinking men cut their risk for death by 12 percent after four to five cups of coffee, according to the study. Women who drank the same amount had the risk of death reduced by 16 percent. I nodded my head as the reporter was droning on with the details, and imagined the scene in Madras, the octogenarian Iyer mama with his stainless steel glass and dovarah pouring the coffee back and forth, as the Hindu paper lay open at Page 2, whipping up the foam and muttering “Of course, that is what I have been saying, soon they are going to say the same about betel leaves and arecanuts…. Alamelu, ithe paru…naan enna sonnen? Used to tell my son the same thing years ago, that d…

Himalayan secrets…

The tale of two Cameras

It all started a long time ago, some 150 million years as experts opine, when the Southern world was one continent, that is, when the mass comprising India, Africa, Australia & South Africa was one land mass named Pangea. This mass later split into India, Africa, South America & Antarctica. Perhaps that was when our affinity towards the northern hemisphere started, and since some 60 million years ago, the Indian mass started to move rapidly across the equator @ 6”per annum, eventually closing up the ocean between them named Tethys. And then the masses collided. Post collision, the momentum continues to push the Indian mass, even now. The Indian plate then slid under the Tibetan plateau some 25 million years ago, and though the movement slowed, it continues in slow motion. The light fragments or minerals like quartz from the surface or the scum as they term it started to rise up forming the mountain range we know today as the Himalayas. The Everest Mount…

The Kohinoor Diamond

The Jewel in the Queen’s Crown

The story of the Kohinoor diamond, if legends are to be believed, starts with the Syamanthaka Mani or Karna’s talisman. From there it starts its incredible journey through various locales, Golconda or Kollur to Malwa and Gwalior, then to Agra, Agra to Persia, Persia to Golconda, Golconda to Agra, Agra to Persia, Persia to Afghanistan, Afghanistan to Lahore and finally Lahore to London..Let us try and traverse through legends and time to the final phases and track the course of this jewel which was never sold, but always taken by force or gifted.
In those days prior to the popularity and development of South African Diamond mines, the only place where one could find diamonds was in India. Almost all the big diamonds came out of some mine in India, mainly around Golconda and wound their way through the hands of various Indian rulers to now rest with Western or Russian owners. This then is the story of a stone that started out as a chunky lusterless lump, g…