Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cooking Stove That Saves Fuel!

A cooking stove that not only cooks faster, saves fuel but also reduces harmful emissions by 80%. This is the promise of the stoves manufactured by Envirofit India Pvt. Ltd, part of the Shell Group. And they have already found 50,000 takers in the southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
Eliminating the dependence of poor people on gas and electricity, both of which are expensive and hard to come by in rural areas, the Envirofit stoves work on wood which is easier to collect. By working on a fuller combustion model and using heat insulating material, they reduce cooking time by as much as 40% as compared to traditional three stone stoves. However, at a retail price of a minimum of Rs.700 for a single pot burner, they might still be a little unaffordable for the large population living below poverty line. Envirofit aims to bring down this price to Rs. 500 in order to cater to this segment as well.
Poornima Mohandas reports in Mint:
The retail channel in south India sure seems ready. Sadathulla, a home appliances retailer in Gundalpet, says he sells more Envirofit stoves in a month than kerosene, electric or gas stoves.
With a reported 1.6 million deaths globally due to the use of solid biomass fuels, 400,000 of which are in India itself, it appears that the Envirofit stove could not have arrived sooner.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shammi Kapoor Gets Phalke Award

This is one of those awards which carry a lot of weight. We are talking about the Dadasaheb Phalke awards, which are conferred by the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy. This year’s recipient will include veterans Manoj Kumar and Shammi Kapoor. According to reports, an award function will be organised on May 4, which will also commemorate the 140th birth anniversary of Dadasaheb Phalke. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt will be the chife guest on the occasion.
The academy is also planning to honour the late Prithviraj Kapoor as well and he will be presented with the Phalke Kalpatru Award and it is being expected that his children and grandchildren will be present on the occasion to accept the honour. Manoj Kumar will be conferred the Phalke Ratna Award, Shammi Kapoor the Phalke Legend Actor Award, and playback singer of yesteryears, Shamshad Begum with the Phalke Golden Singer Award. Among contemporary directors, Ashutosh Gowariker will receive the Phalke Memorable Commercial Film Award. The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy is an all India body which consists of 38 cine associations, which has so honoured more than 55 film personalities, including Sunil Dutt, Dilip Kumar and BR Chopra since 2000.

Sanskrit Tattoos....Should They Be Correct?

Hinduism pro livid over stars’ misspelled Sanskrit tattoos

April 21st, 2009 - 5:25 pm ICT by ANI

London, April 21 (ANI): A Hinduism expert has urged tattoo artists all over the world to get elementary training in Sanskrit and its culture before making tattoos based on the ancient language.
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, is insisting celebrities who carry tattoos in the ancient language to go “beyond the fashion statement and indulge in serious study of rich philosophical thought”, reports the Sun.
The plea comes in wake of growing number of misspelled Sanskrit tattoos, especially in the cases of celebrities such as Rihanna and David Beckham.
Expert Mark Fielden had previously claimed Rihanna’s latest tattoo, inspired by the holy text of Gita, was “incorrectly written”.
Similarly, Beckham’s tattoo which is meant to say Victoria in Sanskrit is also spelled wrong. (ANI)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Getting Better at Sanskrit

Here's an easy way to get better at Sanskrit. Why not subscribe to the world's most fascinating Sanskrit magazine? It has news about what is going on in the world of Sanskrit all over the world. Even over on this side of the pond in a section called America Vaartaa. No where else will you find such riveting and entertaining ways to keep in touch with your culture.

Here is the cover of an issue.
Here is the link to order now. Try it for one year. Even if you don't read it, you can sleep at nights, knowing you are supporting the home country in its efforts to keep Sanskrit.
Try it, you'll like it!
And here's a short video of what your kids will be able to do with Sanskrit classes. Email me to start them in your area today!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Samskrit in the Modern World

Shri Chamu Krishna Shastry is currently in the USA giving this lecture.
Please go to to see details of his itinerary for this visit which ends on April 14, 2009.

Why Samskrit in the Modern World?
As the world enters a space age, what is the relevence of a language from pre-historic times?
Please join us for a talk by Sri Krishna Shastry, one of the founders of famed educational institute Samskrit Bharati, on relevence of Sanskrit in 21st century.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Many people have different ideas about Shri Ram and the Ramayanam. Shri Ram had a difficult life. The day he was to be coronated as king, he was told he had to go live in the forest for 14 years. He never got angry at his fate for one moment. Every difficulty was an opportunity to realize his spiritual Self.

He did get a lot of wisdom from visiting sages in the forest during that time. Of course the last 2 years of the 14 were the most trying. The worst person in the world captured his wife Sita. Rama had to get to his place which was difficult to get to over large bodies of water. Then, he had to defeat someone who used sorcery as his main weapon. Rama did in fact defeat the demon and release Sita from what was the worst 10 months in both of their lives. Yet they came out of it.

Being a good king was his next task. It is often difficult to weigh personal dharma and the collective right of the society. Society is of course full of idiots with their own personal idiotic opinions. Unfortunately, kings have to deal with this. As do we all. Doing the "right" thing is often difficult to determine. Searching within is the only answer. Still you might end up doing the wrong thing. The only way out of this is prayer.

As Shri Ram's birthday is here, let us all offer a prayer every day to help us proceed in line with our conscious. Don't do anything that you have to hide!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Shri Ram

Arun Govil did a great job of representing Shri Ram. So as we get closer to Shri Ramanavami or the birthday of Shri Ram, it is nice to watch this great representation of him. In fact, I have always found that paintings of Shri Ram always do an injustice to him. They usually paint him as a little on the effeminate side. But he was a muscular man like Arun Govil, I think. That seems more reasonable for a guy that has to walk through the forest and suffer the toughness of forest life, right?

Here is a photo that seems to be a better representation: