Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Beware of this slayer.

A massive heat wave struck our country a week back on 19th May and is still continuing with great intensity. The forecast is that it would last for another couple of days. You can see the States and area most affected with this heat wave in the above map. In these regions, the monster heat wave has killed over 750 people. The maximum loss of life has been in our Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh, where 186 and 182 people have died so far. The maximum temperature in all these areas is over 42 degrees Celsius and in some places of Khammam District like Kothagudem – TS, with which we were associated for 27 years, that is until 1979, the temperature touched 48C. It was a hot place then too but with many huge trees in our house providing shade and by keeping all windows and doors shut from sunrise to well after sunset we remained comfortable.
The deaths are mostly among the elderly and the working class who are exposed to the sun directly. Using an Umbrella, a cap, consuming frequent and huge quantity of liquids like water, lemon juice, cool drinks and buttermilk may have saved them. And if possible, the best would have been to stay indoors during the peak temperature hours that is from 10 am to 5 pm.
Since 19th May, the temperature in our city – Hyderabad is hovering between 42 and 44C. Similarly, other States - Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal are also affected and in many regions of these States the temperatures are close to 48C. And in a lighter vein it is said, humans “boil in their own skin” at 48C. And the Medical version for laymen says that long exposure to extreme heat raises human body temperature to such levels that protein cells start to boil like egg whites, a case of internal combustion that leads to many complications and eventually shuts down the brain.
In Hyderabad people do not seem to have realized the ill effects of such weather. Today Hyderabad touched 43C. Except for two days when the temperature reached 44C, the rush on the roads is heavy as usual with traffic snarls, dangerously exposing people; specially bikers and pedestrians for long durations to sun and high temperatures.
The purpose of this post is to caution such people directly or through their friends and acquaintances who may read this article. I wish to tell through this post that people venturing into such weather should be very cautious. As I said above, they should plan their outdoor activities to the extent possible during the cooler part of the day, before 10 am and after 5 pm. They must wear lightweight clothes, loose and light-colored clothing as they do not absorb much of the Sun’s rays. Pedestrians should carry umbrellas and those on bikes should put on comfortable helmets and they should not risk traveling over long distances. They must avoid dehydration problems by having plenty of liquids. Children and the aged people, those above 50 and those afflicted with diabetes, high blood pressure and other ailments should avoid moving out during peak heat hours.  
If any symptoms of sunstroke are noticed (however mild) like exhaustion, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, excessive sweating, fever, nausea or vomiting one should seek medical attention immediately.
Please take good care of Yourself.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Statistical and Pictorial Summary of My 900 Blog Posts!

I am happy to announce that I have just completed posting 'My 900th article' to my blog – Raghu’s column! After I posted my first article to this blog site on 20th April 2009, I sent an email to my family, friends and relatives as follows: “Hi! Everyone, I have just started blogging under the title: ‘Raghu’s column!’ I strongly wish and hope I would find time to contribute regularly to this column on wide ranging topics: My views, memoirs, parties, forthcoming events, local issues / news, family announcements and many more topics. Please visit http://srisrilara.blogspot.in/ from time to time, please read my articles and post your comment for me and other’s to benefit”.
At the time when I began blogging, I never thought I would reach a figure of 900 blog posts. As events came up and ideas, thoughts and memories sprang to my mind I kept writing as and when possible and in these 6 years, to be precise 73 months, I have posted 900 articles with well over 7,000 photographs.
My youngest son, Srinath is abroad in UK since six years, my eldest son, Srikanth is in Bangalore since three years and my nephew, Dr. Uday Bhasker is away from home since several years in Pune, Delhi, Lucknow and in Saudi Arabia for six years and now in New Zealand and similarly a number of my friends, relatives and ex-colleagues who are all far away are very happy to read my posts on current events of Hyderabad and those concerning me and our family. And the blog is serving as a ready reckoner for me, our family and friends over various subjects related to us and I presume it is helping a large number of other visitors reaching my blog in search of information.
I wish to continue blogging as long as possible, as I am thoroughly enjoying this hobby.
With a modest number of registered followers but a very large number of unregistered regular followers and hundreds of random visitors to my blog there have been 995,337 pageviews so far, from every nook and corner of the world, as you can see in the blogger statistics I have provided below. Actual pageviews are more than double of 995,337…that means over 2 million pageviews! because many computers these days have complex firewall protection which do not allow Blogger to register their pageviews.
Here are pictorial glimpses of my blog statistics and my 900-blog posts:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blog Post No. 900: A divine, delicious and delightful, traditional fare of this season.

This is my 900th blog post! As I was nearing this milestone I was anxious to make this post significant, something personal and interesting from my life, like my 800th blog post (which was about our 68 years old Kodak Brownie Six-20 camera of 1947). I had few ideas in mind, but then suddenly today’s food, a traditional summer favorite overtook other ideas and prompted me to write on this sweet subject, a short photo-blog post to be embossed in my blog for as long as my blog lasts.
I have given the title “A divine, delicious and delightful, traditional fare of this season” to this article because this food loved by our family since generations and similarly by perhaps countless households in our country is really divine. It is based on God’s greatest gift among fruits, the king of fruits, the Mango. And this fare I am talking about is called Mamidi Pandu Paanakam or Aamras with Poori/Puri and Bhajji/Pakora. Paanakam or Aamras is the delicious pulp of Rasaalu Mango - the juicy type Mango, squeezed, smoothened, sieved and sweetened with sugar and enriched with additives like nuts, cardamom etc. At our house the following additives are added to sweetened Paanakam - powdered Cardamom, pieces of Cashew nuts, Almond, Chironji (Sara Palukulu/Pappu) and sometimes grated dry Coconut. Paanakam is a dessert we enjoy frequently in summer. And having Poori and Bhajji with Paanakam is a traditional ritual which we must have a few times every summer. And when relatives visit us during summer, offering this menu is a pleasure. Another combination we like to have with Paanakam or bits of sugared Mango slices is Dosa.
Such is the popularity of this food in our house! I hope this is your favourite summer food too. And if you haven’t tried it yet, you must, I insist! I guarantee your admiration!
You may now see photographs of this traditional summer fare:

Monday, May 18, 2015

We are safe for now from ‘1999 FN53’.

Thank the Universe and Gods; we are safe for now from asteroid 1999 FN53 and its likes. Since a fortnight there was news of an asteroid named 1999 FN53 – sized about an eighth of Mount Everest and 1.6 kilometres across, hurtling towards earth at a speed of 14 kilometres per second that is over 50, 000 kilometres per hour! NASA discovered this asteroid in March 1999 and hence its name 1999 FN53. This is the largest object currently being tracked on NASA’s Near Earth Object Radar. It was predicted from the beginning that it would pass terrifyingly close to earth - on 14th May, that is last Thursday. And fortunately it behaved that way, it moved away from earth at a distance of 9.6 million kilometres, which is not a great distance astronomically. But all through the approach of the asteroid there was the fear of a collision with earth in case of even the slightest deviation from its projected path. A fraction of a degree’s deviation from a great distance would have offset the 9.6 million kilometres distance from earth, causing unimaginable destruction to earth. Astronomers were worried due to this uncertainty. A collision would be catastrophic, triggering an explosion similar to millions of megatons of TNT, giving rise to earthquakes, mass destruction and global extinction of most living creatures and 1.5 billion people.
This happening was not widely covered by news sources locally, so many have not heard of this danger and lived in peace. When I came to know about it over internet I got worried. The recent series of earthquakes in Nepal and India added to this asteroid fear. It was a relief to hear that it moved away from earth and its next course closest to earth would be after 119 years and that too would not affect our planet in any way.
Hope our planet remains safe forever from asteroids, meteorites and comets. And in case there is still a threat, I am sure the scientists of our world would soon find means and methods to defend our planet from these monsters. 

How a Meteor will crash with Earth - NASA:

Top 10 Biggest Meteor/Asteroid Strikes in History:

Friday, May 15, 2015

International Day of Families.

Today 15th May is the International Day of Families. 15th May has been proclaimed for this important occasion by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993 and the first such day was observed on 15th May, 1994. The day reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. It is an occasion to celebrate the importance of families to people, societies and cultures around the world. It is to promote the importance of a healthy and well-balanced family.
Every year, the UN Secretary-General makes to the particular applicable motto attention, and this was from 1996 as follows:
2018 - "Families and inclusive societies"
2017 - "Families, education and well-being"
2016 - "Families, healthy lives and sustainable future"
2015 - "Men in charge? Gender equality and children's rights in contemporary families"
2014 - "Families Matter for the Achievement of Development Goals; International Year of the Family”
2013 - "Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity"
2012 - "Ensuring work family balance"
2011 - "Confronting Family Poverty and Social Exclusion"
2010 - "The impact of migration on families around the world"
2009 - "Mothers and Families: Challenges in a Changing World"
2008 - "Fathers and Families: Responsibilities and Challenges"
2007 - "Families and Persons with Disabilities"
2006 - "Changing Families: Challenges and Opportunities"
2005 - "HIV/AIDS and Family Well-being"
2004 - "The Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family: A Framework for Action"
2003 - "Preparations for the observance of the Tenth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2004"
2002 - "Families and Ageing: Opportunities and Challenges"
2001 - "Families and Volunteers: Building Social Cohesion "
2000 - "Families: Agents and Beneficiaries of Development"
1999 - "Families for all ages"
1998 - "Families: Educators and Providers of Human Rights"
1997 - "Building Families Based on Partnership"
1996 - "Families: First Victims of Poverty and Homelessness"
On this International Day of Families, I wish everyone to be loving and supportive to their families and spread happiness as they nurture the young and care for the old. May they foster strong communities built on tolerance and dignity for all, and create a healthier world for all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

THINDI BEEDI is a street to SEE, FEAST and ENJOY in Bangalore!

Thindi Beedi aka Food Street in V.V. Puram of Bangalore is certainly a place to visit for a variety of street foods which are popular all over India and specialties of Karnataka and some very exclusive creations of Thindi Beedi. We went there last Sunday evening, 10th May 2015. The photographs of our visit are attached. From the crowds you see in the pictures you would know for sure how popular it is among the locals and visitors like us. It is a street about 300 metres long with about 30 larger stalls and another 30 smaller ones and all of them popular and crowded. Thindi Beedi is open from 5 pm to 10 pm.  Some of the most popular foods available here start with the legendary VB Bakery which is at the entrance of Thindi Beedi. This bakery is popular for a variety of snacks like honey-cakes, cream puffs, apple cakes and so on. And as you walk further along the street, on either side you will find rows of eateries serving a variety of Dosas, Bhajjis, Bondas, Rice items, Idlis, Vadas, Akki Rotis, Paddu, Avarekalu, Curd Kodu Bale, Pav Bhaji, Dabeli, Manchuria, Manchuria in Rumali Roti, Pani Puri, Chaats, Mango Corn Masala, Ubbattu, Coconut Holige, hot and crispy Jalebis, Rasgulla Chaat, Malpua, Rabdi, Gulkandh with fruits and ice cream and many many more savories. You may find the street a little lacking in neatness but you will find it very lively and interesting…the site of the large variety of food, their colorful presentation and aromas are very appealing. Any food there is excellent. Now I will let the photographs do the talking:

Assorted Bhajjis, Capsicum Bhajji, Banana Bhajji & Chilli Bhajji
 Avarekalu Dosa & Curd Kodu Bale
Paddu, Masala Vada, Dosa & Chutneys
Akki Rotti_Rice Rotti & Ubbattu
Ramu Tiffin Center
Pav Bhaji, Dabeli, Pani Puri & Floating Pani Puri
Coconut Holige_Ubbattu_Puran Poli
 Gobi Manchria, Tomato Chaat, Manchuria Rolls & Mango Corn Masala
Corn on cob, Rumali Roti, Curd Kodu Bale & Masala Vada
Gulkandh with fruits and ice cream, Malpua and Rabri, Rasgulla Chaat & Jalebi

Incredible Coincidence!

784533 - This is a number known to our family since 1980. It is a number we all had to remember then and even today, with of cou...