Sunday, 16 December 2018

Vaikunta Ekadasi and Tholi Ekadasi - a brief note

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What is Ekadasi (also Ekādaśī' "Eleven")?  It is the eleventh lunar day (tithi) of each of the two lunar phases which occur in a Hindu calendar month - the Sukla Paksha (the waxing phase of the moon) and the Krishna Paksha (the period of  fading- moon-waning phase). Though there are 26 Ekadasiw in a calendar year, Vaikunta Ekadasi assumes the greatest religious significance  and is the most important festival at all temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu.  Presiding deity is Kesava - another name of Sri Vishnu. The Margashirsha Shukla Paksha Ekadasi in the Lunar calendar is known as a 'Mokshada Ekadasi. It falls in the  Tamil month of Margazhi (''Margashirsha'' - Agrahayana-December to January). 

The Shaiva sect observes the day as Trikoti Ekadashi, a religious observance where all the deities in the Hindu pantheon pay obeisance to Lord Sri Shiva at once

 In Hinduism and also in Jainism, Ekadasi is believed to be  a spiritual day and is usually observed by partial fast (vratham). As for the Hindus, it is the most auspicious festival and, particularly, Vaishnavites observe it by way of prayers, chanting and fasting. No non-vegetarian food is taken by devout Hindus who mostly consume  vegetarian food during this time  Normally the period of abstinence from food, etc starts from sunrise on the day of Ekadasi to sunset on the following day. The are no age restrictions,  and the sick and unhealthy people are exempted from  fasting. Ekadasi Tithi-Shukla Ekādaśī) is also known as Hari Vasara because it is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.  According to Garuda Purana: Fasting on Ekadasi days (eleventh day) in both halves of the month when observed removes sins and wards off evil thoughts and enables one to attain  the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu in Vishnuloka.

Celebration of Ekadasi and also observance of fasting (vratham) varies across India. At temples in Ujjain in MP, Ekadasi (every 11th Tithi as per Hindu lunar calendar) fasting  is for three days. Devotees take single meal in the afternoon a day before fasting day  They follow strict vratham-fasting on Ekadasi day and break the fast on the following day only after sunrise. Eating of all type of grains and cereals is prohibited during Ekadasi fasting. There are two Ekadasi fastings in a month one in Suklapaksha and another in Krishnapaksha.

"Tholi Ekadashi" or "Shayan Ekadashi" marks the sleeping period of deities (night for them) and the day when Lord Maha Vishnu falls asleep in Ksheersagar - cosmic ocean of milk. The belief is Sri Vishnu brings divinity to all water bodies on earth during this period. It is observed on Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) in Ashadam Masam (June-July) known as Tholi Ekadashi when Lord Vishnu goes to sleep on this day and wakes up after four months on Prabodhini Ekadashi - eleventh day of bright fortnight in the Hindu month Kartik Masam (October–November). This  period is known as "Chaturmas'' ("four months") which coincides with the rainy season. Thus,Tholi Ekadashi, is the beginning of Chaturmas. Devotees start observing the Chaturmas Vrata (vow) to please Vishnu on this day.

The Tholi Ekadashi comes just after famous Jagannath Rathyatra in Puri, Odhisa which currently falls in month of June or July (as per English calendar). Chaturmas, is a holy period of four months in Hindu calendar, which starts from this day. Tholi Ekadasi is of great significance to the farmer's as they begin to sow seeds after the first rains on Tholi Ekadasi day. It is also known as Padma Ekadashi, Ashadi Ekadashi, Devshayani Ekadashi, Maha Ekadashi and Hari Shayani Ekadashi. Note our one day Dhakshinayanam is equal to six months of day for celestial and our night Uttarayanam is equal to six months of night

Srirangam Paramapada vasal. It will open on Ekadasi day tamil.sampspeak.in
As for as Vaikunta Ekadasi, among  Sri Vishnu temples in India, Sri Ranganathar temple at Srirangam (Tiruchirapalli), TN, it is celebrated  with passion and devotion as a long-drawn festival with countless centuries-old rituals which are observed as per Vedic tradition. However, in Kerala at Guruvayoor, the Vrishchika Ekadasi (Sukla paksha) called as Guruvayur Ekadasi assumes much importance. Vaikunta Ekadasi fall on the 18th of Dec, 2018 in Tamil Nadu. The great event is opening of Sorga vasal -Paramapada vasal from where Lord Ranganathar  will emerge to bless the devotees.
https://columbuslost.com/temples/Tholi-Ekadashi-Hindu-Festival-of-Lord-Vishnu/info
 https://www.drikpanchang.com/vrats/ekadashidates.html

Vaikunta Ekadesi festival, 2018 at Srirangam Ranganathar temple - the most important annual temple event!!

Lord Ranganathar emerging out of Paramapada vasal, Srirangam The Hindu



:Srirangam rajagopuram.Wikimedia Commons

Vaikunta Ekadasi is the most important temple festival at Sri Vishnu temples across South India and in particular, in Tamil Nadu. All Vaishnava temples in this state wear a festive look during the festival time with crowds of Bhakta thronging the temples to get blessed by the main deity. It is the most important festival at the famous Srirangam Sri Ranganatha temple, the largest functional temple in the world.  Here, the festival is  celebrated for twenty one days during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December - January). This year the opening of Paramapadavasal scheduled on the 18th of December is a great event and this colorful festival that is conducted with religious fervor and avidity attracts devotees across Tamil Nadu and other places. Previous day 17th Dec. Mohini Alangaram is a great event as part of this festival. The temple management and the local civic body had already begun the arrangement for the smooth conduct of the long-drawn festival. Earlier, Panthakal naduthal, a ritual prelude to this annual  festival was held in the 3rd week of October, 2018. Senior temple priests set the Panthakal (wooden pole) near the 1000 pillar mandapam after conducting specified puja; it is the beginning of the festive mood in this temple town. Additional buses will be made available for the devotees to arrive at the venue and depart without any hassle. Mobile medical teams and dispensaries will be working round the clock between Dec. 17th and 19th for medical emergency.


Deities kept in the Kannadi (mirror) maligai, Srirangam Ekadasifestival. DTNext.in


Srirangam Ranganatha SwamiPinterest
This  Vaikunta Ekadesi festival is divided into two halves of  ten days each as "Pagal pathu" and then ten days (actually ten nights) as "Ra pathu".  It is a set of centuries-old rituals associated with this temple and the elaborate tradition is not broken. This long festival will  commence with Thiruneduthandakam (it was held on 7th Dec.) and would continue till  28th December, the final day on which the festival will come to an end with Namazhawar Motcham (the saint reaching the heavens). On Vaikunta Ekadesi day (18th December) in the early morning hours, Lord Ranganatha will proceed in a procession through Paramapada Vasal (commonly called opening of Paramapada vasal or Sorga vasal) and arrive at Thirumamani Mandapam in the thousand pillared hall. This is the major event among all festivals conducted in the Temple.

Sri Ranganatha is referred as Sri Rangaraja during the occasion. He conducts his Divine Durbar in that huge hall. Nalayira Dhivyaprabandham (the sacred collection of 4000 verses in Tamil) is recited throughout the day.  The Lord gets back to the temple late in the night. Devotees observe fast throughout the day and keep vigil during the whole night. Considered as the foremost among the 108 Divyadesam temples patronized by the Tamil  Vaishvavite saints/poets Azhwars, the Ekadasi festivities, during the long-drawn 22 days attract roughly 3  to 4 lakh pilgrims and the number goes up every year.

This year the major event - opening of paramapadavasal is to  be held on December 18.


https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/trichy/vaikunta-ekadasi-festival-begins-at-srirangam-temple/articleshow/66369924.cms


Cancer-causing asbestos in Johnson and Johnson Co's Baby Talcum powder - revelations in the USA

Misleading ad by J&J Co. Sydney Morning Herald
Naturally occurring talk or soapstone. usian.org
Talc is a common silicate mineral and is known for its extreme softness (it has the lowest rating  on the Mohs' scale of hardness). Soapstone is yet another name because of its  greasy feel. It refers to aggregates of talc and other rock-forming minerals. Dense aggregates of high-purity talc are called steatite.

Talc is associated with metamorphic rocks, in foliated masses, and in certain rocks. It occurs along with with serpentine, tremolite, forsterite, and almost always with carbonates (calcite, dolomite, or magnesite) in the lower metamorphic facies. It also occurs as an alteration product, as from tremolite or forsterite. Talc is magnesium silicate  and has a simple constant chemical composition - Mg3Si4O10(OH)2.
Hence it is often found in the ground in close proximity to asbestos minerals - Serpentine group or Amphibole group.

Unlike talcum face and body powder for men, baby talcum powder needs special care and attention as the baby is sensitive to certain unknown chemicals. In the past several months incriminating media reports are appearing in the US about Baby Talcum powder  made by the world famous Johnson and Johnson Company about the safety of their talcum  powder products that are tested positive for  small amounts of cancer-causing asbestos. The expose was made by Reuters which claim that from 1971 to the early 2000s
the company’s executives, mine managers, doctors and lawyers were aware that raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos and failed to disclose the information for various obvious reasons. However, J&J refused to comment on the media reports. What surprised the US public was a responsible company like J&J, for more than two months,  turned down repeated requests for an interview with its executives.

A large section of the American public panicked and some went to court to sue the company for lack of transparency on the product and utter disregard for talcum powder user's safety. Responding to public outcry, a jury in St Louis, Missouri initially awarded £418 million in compensation and added £ 3.1billion in punitive damages in the latest court case against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. Mind you,  the payout amount is just  6.17 per cent of the firm's £58.35billion annual revenue; just imagine the mark-up on J&J's products. Since Reuters story on J&J's Talcum Powder products,  some 9,000 legal cases have been in the court involving its signature baby powder. In July J&J was ordered by the court to shell out £3.6 billion to 22 women after asbestos in its products gave them ovarian cancer. During the six-week trial, the women and their families  claimed  that they developed ovarian cancer only after using baby powder and other talc products for a long period. Their lawyers impressed on the jury that  the company had been aware of asbestos contamination in the powder  since the 1970s but failed to warn buyers about the risks. At health risk were its innocent regular customers who were hoodwinked by the company.
The firm maintains that several studies have concluded its talc is safe and insisted the verdict was a “fundamentally unfair process”.
A study commissioned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after testing  a variety of talc samples, including J&J, from 2009 to 2010, found no asbestos in any of them. However, the prosecution lawyer told the court that FDA  and Johnson & Johnson, had used flawed testing methods.
Naturally occuring asbestos Wikipedia
 Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals in the earth.   In 1899, Montague Murray first noted the negative health effects of asbestos. The first documented death related to asbestos was in 1906. In the later years, it was found out that asbestos related products were dangerous to human health and might case cancer when tiny particles make their way into the body.  The most commonly found  type of  cancer with asbestos  is called mesothelioma. This type of cancer  mainly affects the lining of the lungs, although it can also affect the lining of the tummy, heart or testicles. Though the use of asbestos was completely banned in 1999, in countries like India awareness about dangers of asbestos is poor. 

IndiaMART
 As for the J&J Co's Talcum Powder products in India we have to wait and see what the Indian government is going to do with them. The Indian Government must ask for a through analysis of this company's products, in particular, Baby Talcum  Powder as millions of
J&J CO Headquarters, USA glassdoor.com
households in India use them blindly for the babies without ever knowing the chemical contents of their products and the risk factors. Doctors also recommend Baby Johnson oil, Johnson soap and talcum powder!! For any Pharma company operating in India, transparency with respect to their products is a must  as it involves public health.


In the wake of this revelation by Reuters months ago,  in the middle of December this year J&J's shares plunged considerably. Reuters made their investigation public after scrutinizing thousands of company documents related to talcum powder. Reuters claimed that the executives and others were aware of a small amount of asbestos in Talcum powder and they failed to alert the authorities  about the possible risk. The company accused Reuters of publishing a false,  and biased report to sully its name. Reuters also reported that the company failed to block the federal regulation further to reduce the asbestos level in the talc-based consumer products.
 https://www.thesun.ie/news/3517347/johnson-johnson-knew-for-decades-there-was-cancer-causing-asbestos-in-its-talcum-powder/

https://edmontonsun.com/news/world/johnson-johnson-hammered-by-report-it-knew-of-asbestos-in-baby-powder/wcm/23d40712-7dc3-47c4-aaf3-59ec0dbe2da7

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Bedtime Aspirin may reduce acute heart events - heart attack or stroke!!

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Chanakya's inspirational quote. Motivate Amaze Be GREAT
In my previous post I covered ''Aspirin'' therapy recommended by doctors for the people at the risk of stroke or heart attack. This practice has been  common in western counties for more than three decades, particularly in the US. As mentioned in the post, it is not recommended for people who  have stomach ulcer problems and other medical disorders. Though latest studies come-up with different views and the benefit of aspirin therapy - daily dosage for senior citizens is still a subject of debate and a common consensus is not yet arrived.
SparkPeople
 Way back in 2013 an interesting research on the positive effects of aspirin was done by a group of doctors at a Netherlands hospital and it was  presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.   According to this well-researched study, taking aspirin at bedtime instead of in the morning might reduce acute heart events. The study recommended  low-dose daily aspirin  for people at high risk of heart disease and for reducing the risk of recurrent heart events. As you may be aware and is proven medically that Aspirin thins the blood and makes it less likely to clot. Further, it is mentioned that the  tendency for platelets (blood's clotting cells) activity is found to be higher  in the morning.
nobleworkscards.com
Aspirin co's ad gimmick!! CartoonStock
 The Aspirin in Reduction of Tension II trial is the first unique study to explore the timing of aspirin intake among cardiovascular disease patients. A randomized, open-label study was done on  290 patients who took either 100 mg of aspirin upon waking or at bedtime during two 3-month periods. At the end of each period, blood pressure and platelet activity was measured to understand the impact of aspirin intake on blood and clotting. It was found out that blood pressure was not reduced; however, bedtime aspirin platelet activity was reduced by 22 units in the case of a group that took aspirin as recommended by the researchers. 
Diabetes Odyssey - WordPress.com
 "Because higher platelet activity contributes to a higher risk of acute heart events, this simple intervention just  switching aspirin intake from morning to bedtime  could be beneficial for the millions of patients with heart disease who take aspirin on a daily basis," said Tobias Bonten, M.D., Ph.D student at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands (Nov. 13, 1013).

If you think of ''Aspirin'' therapy to reduce heart events in the future, it is a must to consult your cardiologist or family doctor because the major side effect of aspirin is it may aggravate internal stomach bleeding in the case of ulcer patients.
Story Source: 
The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association.    

Daily aspirin therapy - does it prevent heart attack and stroke?

PicturesOf.net

Askideas.com

It is medically proven that daily intake of aspirin therapy may lower your risk of heart attack, but it should be borne in mind  that  it is not for everyone. Many people ask the doctor whether they can take aspirin on a daily basis to prevent heart attack. Doctors normally recommend aspirin if a person had  a heart attack or stroke provided he had no  serious allergic problem  or history of bleeding, besides he  would also weigh  the risks and benefits. It is common knowledge that you should not  take aspirin  without doctor's advice.

Though occasional use of aspirin by adults  for headache, body pain  or fever is acceptable you shouldn't take  aspirin therapy regularly  on your own because  daily use of aspirin may  have serious side effects, including internal bleeding. You may be tempted to ask "How come aspirin is good for prevention of stroke and heart attack?'' The unique  therapeutic property of aspirin is it interferes with your blood's clotting action. When you bleed, your blood's clotting cells, called platelets, build up at the site of your wound. The platelets help form a plug that seals the opening in your blood vessel to stop bleeding.

Randy Glasbergen
www.glasbergen.com
Clotting can may occur within the vessels that supply your heart with blood. If your blood vessels are  already narrow due to  atherosclerosis — the buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries over a period of time may have a cumulative  effect on your vessel lining causing  burst.The blood clot will form a block and prevent the free flow of blood to the heart.  The advantage of aspirin therapy is it  reduces the clumping action of platelets a possible prevention of  a heart attack.


 Aspirin therapy is recommended for the following:
 01. If a person had a heart attack, 02. If a stent is placed in a coronary artery, though  the person had no heart attack, 03. If a person  had a bypass surgery or chest pain (Angina), 04. If the person is older than 50 or 60 and has one of the risk factors - BP or diabetes

The use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks in people with diabetes but no other risk factor is a contentious issue and researchers  come up with many theories. Though considerable research is done, a clear picture is not yet arrived at as to the exact benefits and risks of daily aspirin intake.  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends daily aspirin therapy if you're  50 years old and above 70 unless you 're not at increased bleeding risk.

 Before recommendation can be made for or against aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease and colo-rectal cancer for the age group above 60 it is a must to get your doctor's opinion on it.  Many experts believe that the benefits of aspirin outweigh its potential risks involved. It is to be pointed out that in the USA, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn't recommend aspirin  for the people who have no cardiac history earlier. 

 Before taking aspirin your doctor may look into your certain disorders: A bleeding or clotting disorder (bleeding easily),
 aspirin allergy, which can include asthma caused by aspirin
 Bleeding stomach ulcers. Recommended dosage 
of aspirin is  75 to 150 mg, but most commonly 81 mg can be effective. If a person had a heart attack,  aspirin or any blood-thinning drug is essential.
Both aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen when used on a regular basis can increase your bleeding risk. Gastrointestinal bleeding (stomach ulcer), allergic reaction, etc. If you drink alcohol, it may aggravate stomach internal bleeding disorders. So is  anticoagulant if you take it regularly; the latter may cause bleeding complications.   So, taking aspirin daily is a life-saving option, but it is not for every body. 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/daily-aspirin-therapy/art-20046797

Monday, 10 December 2018

Lord Curzon - flamboyant and efficient Viceroy of India


Statue of Curzon in front of  Victoria Memorial,Calcutta en wikipedia. org
Lord Curzon of Kedlestonen.wikipedia.org
Among the Viceroys of colonial India, Lord Curzon of Kedleston (1898 and 1911 and also as Earl Curzon of Kedleston between 1911 and 1921)  was the most charismatic and flamboyant British Conservative statesman. Commonly referred to as Lord Curzon, he  served as Viceroy of India, from 1899 to 1905, during which time he introduced many commissions, reforms and departments for smooth and efficient administration. 

Eldest son and second of eleven children of Alfred Curzon, the 4th Baron Scarsdale (1831–1916), Rector of Kedleston in Derbyshire, and his wife Blanche (1837–1875), Curzon was  born at Kedleston Hall, where his  family of Norman ancestry had lived since the 12th century. George lost his mother when he was barely 16 and was taken care by a brutal, sadistic governess. As his father paid least attention to him, his governess'  tyranny and intimidation  in the nursery helped him develop his combative qualities and encouraged the obsessional side of his nature which stood in good stead in the later years. Educated at Wixenford School,  Eton College, and Balliol College, Oxford, a spinal injury  incurred, during his adolescence, while  riding, left Curzon in lifelong pain. This made him quite uncomfortable  as it caused  insomnia, and required him to wear a metal corset for the rest of his life. In 1895 he married Mary Victoria Leiter, the daughter of Levi Ziegler Leiter, an American millionaire of German Mennonite origin and co-founder of the Chicago department store Field & Leiter (later Marshall Field) in July 1906. Unfortunately,  she died pretty soon and it was a great personal loss in his early life.

en eikipedia. orgl
Above image: Curzon and Madho Rao Scindia, Maharaja of Gwalior, pose with hunted tigers, 1901........................

 In 1898 it was announced that George  would succeed Lord Elgin as viceroy of India, and, in September of that year, he was created a peer - Baron Curzon of Kedleston. In January 1899 he was appointed Viceroy of India and  was the youngest Viceroy in history,  The peerage would help him re-enter the House of Commons on his return to Britain. Curzon was quite happy about his highest appointment in India as it  was an office filled with the pomp and ceremony  which he  loved very much. He  remarked soon after the pageantry of his arrival in Calcutta on January 3, 1899 that India is  the most-treasured jewel in Queen Victoria’s crown. 
Lord Curzon served India successfully  as Governor General and Viceroy of India from 6 January 1899 to 18 November 1905. During his tenure in the subcontinent  he tackled with remarkable aplomb countless problems relating to governance, natural calamity, etc with skill and tactics. 

The following are some of his great achievements during his tenure in India, then a vast populous land with many languages and cultures

01. After the suppression of the frontier (now in Pakistan)  risings of 1897–98,  Curzon gave due importance to  the independent tribes of the north-west frontier. He formed  a new province called the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and pursued a policy of forceful control mixed  with conciliation. 

 02. Curzon  diligently argued for an exclusive British presence in the Gulf, a policy originally proposed by John Malcolm, but ignored by many. Further, he had convinced his government to establish Britain as the unofficial protector of Kuwait with the Anglo-Kuwaiti Agreement of 1899.

 03. The Famine of 1899-1900 in Bengal and other places  caused the death of more than  four million people. Undaunted Curzon immediatly took action and his appointment of Famine Commission under Sir Anthony McDonnell  to alleviate the sufferings of the people  was praise-worthy. He introduced a variety of measures, including opening up famine relief works that fed between 3 and 5 million people, reducing taxes and spending vast amounts of money on irrigation works. Indeed a remarkable achievement on the part of Curzon who had a pathetic childhood.

04. To improve the administration in India and  to serve the people well he appointed many commissions: Commission on  Police Commission under Andrew Frazer to take care of civil security etc., Irrigation under Colin Scott Moncrieff for agriculture, Education Commission (Raleigh Commission), enactment of Indian Universities Act, 1904, Land Resolution of 1902, Punjab Land Alienation Act 1900, Establishment of Imperial Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, Industry. The other commissions include Indian Coinage and Paper Currency Act, 1899; establishment of a training college for army officers at Quetta; Calcutta Corporation Act, 1899, etc.  

Viceroy Curzon's bronze lamp in the Taj. taj-mahal.net
05. Being a great lover of ancient arts and monuments of India, Lord Curzon  very particular about their protection for the progeny. He introduced Ancient Monuments Protection Act, 1904. But for his sincere and dedicated care, we would have lost countless ancient monuments spread across India. A remarkable marble edifice, Victoria Memorial at Kolkata was the brain child of Lord Curzon.  The foundation was laid by the Prince of Wales (later King George V) in 1921. Curzon proposed the building in 1901 soon after the death of Queen Victoria.

Lord Curzon's brass lamp, The taj Mahal. imgpic.org 
05. During his tenure he restored the Taj back to old glory; earlier, it was in bad shape.  During the 1857 rebellion by the Indian soldiers against the East India company's atrocities, the British soldiers not only damaged the Taj but also removed countless gemstones impregnated on the outer wall of this great monument at Delhi. Curzon also donated a fine bronze lamp hanging  in the original tomb of the Taj. The inscription on the lamp says “Presented to the Tomb of Mumtaz Mahal by Lord Curzon, Viceroy 1906

06. To avoid Russian invasion of Tibet, he sent a Military expedition to Tibet in 1903 to control the region - occupation of Chumby Valley. A treaty was signed at Lhasa in September 1904. This frustrated Russian ambition. Here, his amazing  knowledge of strategic military operation in a vulnerable, rugged terrain  was in full play. 

07. Reappointed Governor-General in August 1904, he presided over the 1905 partition of Bengal  on the basis of religion; later,  he faced a barrage of criticisms from various quarters. Though his explanation that he did it for better administrative efficiency, partition of Bengal was a  blot on his political career. As his policy  caused  deep discontent  among Indians and the upsurge of a revolutionary movement in the country  from 1919 to 1924. 

08. Partition of Bengal, a wrong administrative policy   overshadowed all the good deeds he had done in India  and he was tagged as the most unpopular Viceroy of India. After bitter opposition among the people of the province it was later revoked (1911). He created the territory of Eastern Bengal and Assam,when he was  Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

09. Curzon also took a keen interest in military matters. In 1901, he founded the Imperial Cadet Corps, or ICC. It was a corps d'elite, designed to give Indian princes and aristocrats military training, after which a few would be given officer commissions in the Indian Army. But these commissions were "special commissions" which did not empower their holders to command any troops. Later it was withdrawn. 

10. The Delhi Durbar (meaning "Court of Delhi) of 1903 was tagged as the greatest show on earth. Also called Imperial Durbar,  it was held three times, in 1877, 1903, and 1911; the venue was Coronation park, Delhi. The durbar in Imperial-Indian style was held to celebrate the succession of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark as Emperor and Empress of India. What is so special about it?  Lord Curzon, with meticulous care, arranged for the success of the Durbar, which was a a dazzling display of pomp, power and pageantry that lasted two full weeks. The other Durbars were no match for this one well organized by Curzon. He created a vast tented town complete with temporary light railway to bring crowds of spectators out from Delhi, a post office with its own stamp, telephone and telegraphic facilities, a variety of stores, a Police force with specially designed uniform. The royal couple were showered with valuable gifts, jewelry, etc. Of course, a large section of India's freedom fighters hated this pomp and show which was meant to further promote British interest in India.
Lord and Lady Curzon at the Delhi Durbar, 1903.en.wikipedia org
 In 1905 Curzon returned to England where he suffered the greatest personal loss of his life. Mary died in 1906. In 1908, Curzon was elected a representative peer for Ireland, and thus relinquished any idea of returning to the House of Commons. He played an active role in British politics. After a long courtship with a rich American lady and novelist Elinor Glyn ( Grace Elvina Hinds), Curzon married her in January 1917. 

In March 1925 Curzon suffered a severe hemorrhage of the bladder and after an  unsuccessful Surgery, he died in London on 20 March 1925 at the age of 66.

Tit-bits:

Highest and oldest Golf Course,Naldehra,HM, India.topyaps.com
Naldehra. Holiday cottages. www.swantour.com
01. An interesting fact about Curzon is he was fond of Shimla, then the summer capital of the Raj and used to frequent the place and the surrounding areas. Being an avid Golfer, he was instrumental in establishing a golf course at Naldehra in the foot hills of the Himalayas. It was the one of a few highest golf courses in the world (2044 meter above msl) . He was so mesmerized by the beauty of this place, he named his third daughter Alexandra Naldehra  after Naldehra. It is 23 Km from the capital city of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. It used to be a  9 - hole  challenging course.

 02.Yet another interesting fact about Curzon is though he had differences with the then Dewan of Mysore Sir Seshadri Aiyar regarding administrative matters, he had deep respect for him. He was the one who recommended  the establishment of a memorial  in honor of Aiyar when some controversy came up about a memorial for Sir Seshadri Aiyar. 

03. Likewise Lord Curzon, who had a good rapport with Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, a legal luminary recognized the legal heir to the throne of the Travancore Royal family upon Sir C. P's intervention  and requested  him to act as Dewan of Travancore Princely state.
So Lord Curzon was good at recognizing Indian talents and encouraged them to hold positions of eminence without any bias. 
 https://www.quora.com/Who-is-Lord-Curzon

 https://thebioscope.net/2011/12/11/the-delhi-durbar/
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Curzon,_1st_Marques
http://www.india.com/travel/articles/5-facts-about-the-taj-mahal-you-probably-didnt-know-of/












Water conservation tips for Chennai households to face looming water crisis in the near future!!

Indian voter and neta (politician) kushalbhattacharya.wordpress.com
Hand washing.  capeandislands.org
 After the recent Madras High Court order on the ban of exploitation of ground water for commercial use,  the water tanker owners who supply water to most homes, factories, hotels, etc., went on a strike in Chennai and now  the consumers were left in the lurch, presumably high and dry . GMWSSB (Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board daily supplies 4.30 crore liter of potable water for distribution across the city and the private water suppliers supply twice that  supplied by the metro. It is a mind-boggling figure and it points out how carelessly ground water is being over- exploited by us to meet the city's water demand that is ever growing faster than the predictions. Chennai's vast stretches of high-rise apartment complexes, gated communities do not get assured piped water supply. Water being elixir of life, too much dependence on water tankers in a city like Chennai is not good but the state Government which does not possess a fleet of water tanks has to depend on private suppliers. It is a piquant situation in the city . People belonging to weaker sections are heavily dependent on piped Metro water supply which is available for a short  duration only. Roughly  80 per cent of the city, which is heavily dependent on water cans, will bear the brunt of this development in the wake of court orders and  strike by the water tanker owners. More than 4000 water tankers were off the road.

  It is likely that  water crisis  may be looming over the city in the coming months  as two of its major reservoirs that supply  drinking water to the city have gone bone dry. At Poondi and Cholavaram reservoirs, the situation is dismal  with low storage level -14mcft as of August, 2018 (according to the Metro Water website in the 3rd week of August). The NW Monsoon failed to provide adequate water for the city's reservoirs.

As the present volume of all four prime drinking water sources to the city is merely 11% of its total capacity, officials  warn that  this will cater to the city’s needs only for the next two and a half months. The combined capacity of lakes at Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam was 2.43tmcft in June. In a month’s time the storage levels had dipped to 1.79tmcft with current level standing at 1.25tmcft as of 3rd week of August. 


World over, potable water situation is grim.  With climate change becoming a big global issue before the countries world over and consequent water scarcity problems looming large in populous countries like India, water management is very important, Equally essentials are proper conservation plans, public awareness and commitment. If people do not cooperate and fail to follow the government guide lines, water conservation won't yield the anticipated results. water conservation offers a cost-effective and environmentally easy way to address these challenges as opposed to capturing, transporting, and treating new supplies that need adequate funds. Water conservation starts at home. This will save water usage, money on water bill and minimize their environmental footprint. A small town's concerted efforts will have cumulative impact and result in better contribution goals during the times of shortage.

 To curb  water use in American households, people are advised to follow some suggestions. Among them are  making simple changes to your daily routine and installing a few water-efficient appliances, reducing shower times and toilet flushes, doing only full loads of laundry, and installing Water Sense and ENERGY STAR labelled products, just to name a few.
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 To tide over the impending water crisis, the following Tap water tips may be of help to the general house holders of Chennai:

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01. The toilet is one of the most water-intensive fixtures in the house. Do you need to flush every time? Use low-flush toilet in your house. 

02. Reduce your shower or bathing time to five minutes to 10 minutes. Shower heads use as much as 15 yo 20 liters  of water
 per minute.
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 03. Use energy /water saving washing machine. Several models are available on the Indian market. Use the washing machine  a few times a week and don not fill up the tank. This way you can save lots of water.

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 04. Many people, when cleaning dishes, run the water from the tap/faucet continuously. With adequate water stored in a vessel, you can do all the basic scrubbing, cleaning, etc and at last run the tap water to do the final cleaning. Lots of liters
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ers or gallons of water can be saved this way. 


 05. If you have leaky taps/faucets or pipe joints in the water supply line, see to it they are fixed. Do not delay repairing leaky pipes, taps, etc.
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06. In the western toilet, see whether the water tank is working properly. If the flushing mechanism is faulty, slowly water will drain through the tank into the closet. If unchecked, a fairly big overhead water tank may become empty over night. 

 07. In the case of Western closet, after urination, do not flush till the tank is empty, Instead hold the water tank lever down for  a few seconds and then push it up. This way you can complete the flushing and at the same time save more than half the tank.

08.  In India, in particular in Tamil Nadu, people wash the drive way, garage, balcony, open stairway built outside the house and terrace almost daily with water. If you do it thrice a week in the summer when the water table goes down, you can save a fair amount of water. 
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09. While brushing your teeth turn the water off. Use minimum water to wash your hands.

10. Building an efficient water harvesting system to collect rainwater falling on the terrace, roof, etc will improve the ground water.

This way the average household can reduce their indoor water use by up to 45% (70 gallons (roughly 300 liters  per household per day).
Ref: 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/chennai-stares-at-invented-water-crisis/articleshow/66256969.cms
Materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2018/aug/26/reservoirs-go-dry-chennai-stares-at-water-crisis-1862833.html


Benjamin D. Inskeep, Shahzeen Z. Attari. The Water Short List: The Most Effective Actions U.S. Households Can Take to Curb Water Use. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 2014; 56 (4): 4 DOI: 10.1080/00139157.2014.922375