The new generation is changing the conventional formulas of success including a good night’s sleep and a wholesome meal that were thought to make people healthy and intelligent! You would be surprised at the sheer multitude of successful professionals in the IT segment in Kerala who have perfectly adjusted to the US time zones. They not only work all night and sleep only for a few hours a day, but they thrive on fast food and make the most of their time line with the deft art of multitasking. However, studies have shown that less than 8 hrs of sleep time can reduce the lifespan of people and eating junk food could be the starting point of all maladies.
As far as multi tasking is concerned, studies have proved that multitasking can bring down your IQ by up to 10 points temporarily . Information overload will make you burnt out and less efficient and will hinder the smooth thinking process. So the best thing is to concentrate just on one thing and set a tight dead line to finish it; this will not only enhance your efficiency but also keeps you happy and away from mood swings- opines the scientists.
Though we like to believe that multitasking makes us more efficient, the truth is that when we switch between tasks, the pace and efficiency drops considerably. The highly fragmented working hours with many activities, meetings, and discussions will reduce the thinking capacity as we jump around quickly from one thought to another, which will compromise the coherent thinking in a way!
Above all, multitasking is addictive and that is the reason why you cannot control the urge to check the smart phone when it vibrates, even when you are in the middle of something more important! The worst thing is that it could influence your family members or peer groups also to behave the same way. The next generation gadgets have doped this habit into its users. So, clear your heads where many tasks jostle for space and stay focused to get the best results.
So, that is a tight spot that leaves you with not many choices. Either challenge your limits in the hope of coming up to the top in what you do or go by the conventional formulas and enjoy a relaxed and happy life. The choice is yours!
Like all cultures Kerala too has had great love stories like Changampuzha’s ‘Ramanan’ or Basheer’s tales or Madhavikutty’s novels which have all idealized love. But, if the same love is spurned it can be a tragedy, and even lead to a suicide out of deep sorrow. However, recently love turned villainous with a shocking incident that happened in Chengannur. A crime, a murder most foul, happened in broad daylight in all its audacity shocking the whole state.
All this just because the girl denied the love of the man with whom she had a brief affair. Rejection turned into fury for the scorned lover. The fury turned into revenge. He stabbed her thrice and knifed her father to death at Mazhukeer, near Chengannur.
The Incident in brief…
According to the police, Rahul, a final year engineering student at Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, was in love with Varsha, an MBA student of Mar Athanasius College for Advanced Studies, Tiruvalla. However, Varsha jilted Rahul for another man. Unable to bear Rahul’s repeated advances, Varsha’s father had lodged a complaint with the Chengannur CI who had warned Rahul that he would be arrested if he disturbed Varsha again. Rahul, who was livid with rage at Varsha for continuing her affair, knocked down the motorcycle on which she and her father were travelling around 6 am on Tuesday and stabbed Varsha in the back three times. Father, who came to the aid of his daughter, was stabbed twice. Varsha is still battling for life in a private hospital at Thiruvalla. Rahul is now under police custody.
What has happened to this love? I have heard that love makes one go mad, is this incident so? No, love is still the same feeling as it was. What happened is that, the people who were in love have changed the way they see love. Love can’t be grabbed and this is something that most lovers realise once they don’t feel the love is being reciprocated.
Kerala is a state rich with many films, poems and stories of love and love failures. Most films show that the hero and the heroine staying strong till the end for love despite all barriers and difficulties. The love, this boy felt towards this girl is not something wrong. But it was a one-way love. Without realising this fact, the love blinded him to do such a brutal act. What did he gain?
Is it our education system or lifestyle or is it the family atmosphere that has gone wrong? What one learns and receives from the home is what makes one good or bad. The media has influenced our family atmosphere so strongly and so has cinema. The morals that old movies gave out is no more existing in these new generation movies. The Chengannur incident is one good example of how wrong thinking affects the generation of today. Where is our world leading us to? Has love, the emotion, lost its meaning, has the same emotions that poets of Kerala sang couplets about gone?
Few questions: Will crimes of passion, revenge and murder happen more in Kerala now? What do you think? Are you worried the youth of the state will make such drastic steps so openly?
Today, Kochi is playing host to Twestival 2011, the largest social media event in Kerala. It will be held at the Cochin Gymkhana near Toc-H school Vytila from 5.30 pm and around 150 tweeters are expected to participate in the event. Twestival is a global event that happens in over 175 cities all over the world simultaneously. Considering the fact that social media like twitter and Facebook has set off the sparks of revolution in Egypt and later in Libya and the Arab world, the reach and viral effect of social media is well illustrated all around the world.
The power of social media will be highlighted in the festival, which is held for a charity cause every year. Twestival 2011, Kochi has already collected Rs. 50,000 through its online campaign alone and the proceeds will go to Adarsh charitable Trust, which strives for the rehabilitation of differently- abled children. Twitter is a powerful communicative tool and a public forum for causes and a brilliant opportunity to meet like minded people and to enhance your social and friends circle.
With the ever increasing number of Indians who use twitter to exchange ideas and communicate, the importance of festivals like Twestival is on the rise. Instead of a mere tool for micro blogging, twitter has evolved to be a perfect platform for responsible social messages and causes. The main attraction of today’s event is the music shows by the bands KAAV and Frozen Flames in addition to fun events and games. So make sure that your opinion is heard all over the world by the active participation in this unique festival in Kochi, which is a great place to see people and to be seen!
No matter whether you are here in Kochi on a weekend or any other day , the startling silence after dusk, will surely turn you off. Though Kochi is an IT hub and home to many prestigious business establishments including the international container terminal, the fact is that Kochi still prefers to sleep early, even on weekends! Save for the buzzing transport bus stand and a handful of shops in its vicinity, the city will be fully cloaked in silence at night.
However, there is an unseen nightlife facade for this city, which most of us may not be even aware of! So, before you tag this city of Kochi as dull and mundane, just hop into a lounge bar on a weekend to get smitten by the high voltage party milieu. The young and the trendy crowd grooving to racy mixes and plunging into a whirlpool of fun and fiesta would make you feel that you are in a bustling metropolis.
Come weekends and these night owls throng a few city lounge bars with passion and fervour. They waltz well into the wee hours and soak up the party fun at its best, topped off with fast music and the choicest cocktails. The lounge bar of Dream Hotel, the Ava Lounge is one such hot night spot. Flaunting a loyal clientele that drop in to make the most of the peppy DJ music and its glitzy ambiance, Ava remains open from 4 pm, though the music starts only at 10 pm. The eves in the city can have the fun of an exclusive ladies night on Thursdays. It caters to a mixed crowd of all possible types of party animals though a major chunk of its clientele is made up of business people and the deep pocketed NRIs.
So, if you want to let your hair down and to have some great fun to the accompaniment of waltz, wine and music, then hit the roads that lead to these party hubs. Though Kochi is still in its nascent stage as far as its nightlife is concerned, this city would outsmart many other bigger metros like Bangalore or Delhi for being safe for women who wish to party alone. So, it is party time for all those in the XX genre; grab your dancing shoes and hit the tiles tonight! Kochi is calling you!
Kerala tourism is well poised to make 10 percent growth in tourist inflow this year. To add impetus to its growth chart, Kerala tourism has launched a new campaign in which non-resident Keralites (NRKs) are being offered special discounts through accredited tour operators for bringing home friends as tourists.
“The campaign, which started only a few weeks back has stirred up a lot of interest already. Under this novel concept, the NRKs can invite friends from abroad and within the country to visit the state and they will be rewarded depending on the number of friends who visit Kerala. The best part is that the tourism department is planning to involve Malayalee associations abroad too in this venture for promoting tourism. It is expected that this new promotional scheme will ensure a 10 percent increase in the number of tourists coming to the state.
The state recorded an 8.6 per cent rise to 85.9 lakh in the domestic tourist inflow in 2010, as compared to 79.1 lakh in 2009. The international tourists saw a rise of 18.3 per cent rise to 6.59 lakh in 2010 from 5.57 lakh in 2009. The state has earmarked about Rs.25,000 crores for tourism promotion in its annual budget and these innovative sales promotional techniques are expected to increase the number of domestic and international tourists by 10 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
The innovative measures taken by Kerala to promote tourism are likely to become trendsetters for other Indian states as well in the coming days. So, in case you are a non resident Keralaite, all you need to do is to bring in your friend on a Kerala holiday to grab great deals and bargain offers. Well, does that sounds too good to be true
How we spent a rather lazy evening and some money at Fort Kochi…
It was a rather dull and dreary evening last week. Sharaz and Sooraj our php programmers at Karmakerala, Vinish our designer and I made a quick plan, to go to Fort Kochi.
Sharaz has his roots there; he had spent his childhood there and has had his schooling there. So we thought we’d spend a lazy evening there, by the backwaters or at the beach.
It was a half an hour ride to Fort Kochi, on our bikes. We had no plan, no agenda for the trip.
All through the way I kept bugging Sharaz to stop to have a cup of tea, from some Thattukada, for these wayside eateries always caught my fancy. The tea that they’d brew, given in glasses than in use-and-throw plastic cups, always appealed to me. But my plans to have a cup of tea didn’t materialize.
On the way, at least at a couple of places, we were asked to stop by ‘vigilant’ cops, who wanted us to breathe into their breath analysers, to make sure we are not drunk.
At last, we reached there. It was almost dark.
As soon as we alighted and parked our motorcycles, my thought, as usual was about having a cup of tea. God seemed to have answered my wish; there comes a guy selling tea from his cycle. I inquired if it was the tea-bag one, which I usually won’t like. He nodded in the affirmative; but there was no other go. We looked all around, no tea-shop. We decided to be his customers. But for the first time, I liked the taste of tea made with tea-bags. In fact, such tea supplied on the trains had made me a sworn enemy of tea-bags.
I did say it aloud that the tea was good. As we finished drinking tea, the vendor showed us a bag tied to the back of his cycle and asked us to put the cups there so that it’s not strewn around. Sharaz and Vinish were impressed with the civic-sense that the guy displayed.
“Hope people do this everywhere”
… exclaimed Sooraj. We moved ahead. There were some attempts to take some photographs, but things didn’t go well. Sharaz meanwhile explained that there are shops from where we could buy fish, which they would cook for us on the spot. I suggested trying it out if it was OK with others. Everyone seemed to agree. Vinish, who had given up eating meat and fish since a few years, didn’t have an opinion, though he enjoyed it all.
We went to the nearby shop. There were fishes of all sizes and with names that were rather unfamiliar to Sooraj (who hails from Kasargode) and me (I hail from Thiruvananthapuram district). Sharaz was for us the ‘expert’. We made a choice after ascertaining the prices.
It was a fish that weighted around 1.2 kilogrammes.
A young chap, representing a wayside restaurant, had already approached us, saying that they’d get it prepared for us. We asked him the rates; he said Rs.120 per Kg for getting it fried. So the fish we bought cost us Rs. 210 and another 120 would have to be shelled out for getting it cooked. The young chap assured us that it will take 15 to 20 minutes. We moved ahead, following the young fellow. He led us, to a wayside restaurant. We had plans to buy some rice or chapathis and some vegetarian dish for Vinish. Sharaz told us that it could be a bit more expensive.
The wayside eatery, which was situated among some such other eateries, seemed good for spending an evening. We handed over the fish and got seated.
And then began the wait, which seemed to go on and on. The guy who had led us to the shop has vanished, the others who were there- to serve, to cook etc. – seemed to be bent on making us wait. All that we had to depend on to pass time was our conversation, which of course was always one of our favourite pastimes and the menu-cards, which simply shocked us beyond all imagination. Vegetable dishes, available at costs varying from 25 rupees to 50 or 60 have their prices starting at Rs.200. A plate of beef-fry, which would cost around 50 rupees at a hotel in Ernakulam, would cost us Rs. 300. We could see no justification, except that the tourists who visit Fort Kochi would have no other go but to buy food at this price.
We were concerned that there were no local bodies or government agencies to make sure these hotel people don’t fleece local day trippers like us.
We too were rendered hapless and helpless. Kochi’s own mosquitoes were buzzing, the enthusiasm to talk was yielding to hunger and our desire to have some ‘fresh’ fish and food and it was getting a bit late too. After an hour’s wait, we were told that we’d get it in five minutes. The fish came; we had ordered two plates of rice and some chapathis. Vinish was against the idea of spending Rs. 200 for a vegetable dish which we usually have at Rs. 40 or 50. We knew he was right.
So, it was ‘Get, set go!’. The wait seemed fruitful, the fish was tasty. We had our fill, relishing the taste of the fish along with the rice. Though there were delays in between in serving the food, the bill was delivered, in true ‘Kerala style’, with no delay at all. We shelled out the money and walked out of the eatery.
The walk back to where we had parked our motorbikes was rather pleasant. The streets gave us the feel that we were somewhere far away from Kerala. Sharaz wanted us to take a snap of his against a big, colonial styled bungalow saying, he’d publish the photograph with the caption…
“When I’m sad, I go to Europe”
We took the snaps. Then there was a Benz parked nearby and Vinish wanted to be photographed with it.
And then, it was the ride back. Sharaz showed us his ancestral house, invited us to pay a visit to his grandma. But we were late and put that off for some other day. Then he showed us the school where he, his father and grandfather had studied. We made fun of him, saying,
“So, this is a school that’s historically important”.
He smiled his usual friendly smile and then we set off, on our trip back.
Though the prices were a bit too high and something had to be done from the side of the authorities, we felt, we decided that we have to visit the place once again, without much delay and maybe with more of our friends.
As I am typing out this piece, we do have plans to pay a visit to Fort Kochi again, today or tomorrow…Hope it works out…
Kerala probably is one of the very few places on earth where politics is so deep rooted that even the common man passionately follows and participates in the political activities with zeal. The euphoria of elections in Kerala and the feverish pitch of electioneering that hits its crescendo in the last lap of electioneering is something that has to be seen to believe. This stunning sight has become the backdrop of many movies and novels and now Kerala is planning to introduce the innovative concept in tourist trails in the form of Election tourism, which could be promoted in the next two months when the state gets ready to face the election heat yet again!
Imagine the scene where a stereotype politician clad in crisp white – khadi coming up with his customary ear to ear grin and folded hands to the wide-eyed tourist:) The KTDC chairman Cheriyan Philip finds good scope in this niche area of election tourism . “Election tourism can help to bring some additional revenue to the tourism industry during off season. A discount package for two weeks from April 1 to April 15 is a really marketable idea. ” says the KTDC chief.
The innovative tour operators can wrap up the sights and sounds of a typical Kerala electioneering campaign in a package that combines some of the regular tourist spots in the state with the frenzied door-to-door campaigning and the high decibel street corner meetings that goes into the making of a typical day for a candidate. The tourists from the UK, US and Europe will be truly surprised by the highly charged up mood of celebration that goes hand in hand with the elections in India, which is in striking contrast to the sober poll activities in that part of the world.
The field is quite open as no tour operator in the state has so far come forward to experiment with the innovative idea of election tourism . In fact not many travel agents are keen on the proposal as they feel that only academicians or political science students come here for the sole purpose of watching the election and to compile data for their research projects. But the popularity and ease of online and social media have made it all very easy these days, which makes travel redundant.
As the political parties in the fray are working overtime to come out with plans to woo the vote bank, the tourists who reach Kerala might get a rare chance to experience the thrills and spills election tourism at its best in Kerala if this novel concept gets any takers!
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Keralites (and Sri Lankans) venerate their traditional coconut derived alcohol drink: toddy, even if contemporary keralites seem to prefer whisky or Kingfisher. A recent article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper had a peculiarly apt description for Toddy which might ring a chord with readers.
For me it tastes like a delicious homemade lemonade that was inadvertently left overnight in a pair of your grandfather’s underpants.
Agree, or disagree?
The proverb that taught us ‘eat while you eat, play while you play ‘ seems to have no takers these days. The new generation youth who finds 24 hours a day insufficient for all their chores, have mastered the art of multitasking to make the most of their time.
As we race against increasing expectations and moving up target lines, we are forced to squeeze in as many tasks into our day. There is simply no other way out as it is a do or die situation. Thanks to the modern gadgets like android phones that keep the modern man well entertained and informed all the time, multi tasking has become fairly easy these days. Now you can check your mails, reply to the clients, enjoy your favorite songs, watch a movie and get on with your work – all with these tiny and super smart gadgets as you wheel around to your office to be in time!
Multitasking has taken the tiny state of Kerala too by storm! Even small kids juggle too many tasks at the same time these days. Be it the students who learn listening to the favorite songs in their ipod all the while munching grubs or the new generation moms who work from home tend to their babies all the while pattering away on the keyboard and keep an eye on the kitchen gadgets that are at work around her, multitasking seems to be the norm of life in Kerala today. How good are you at doing multiple tasks at the same time? If you think you cannot juggle too many tasks, make sure you fine hone that skill as that is what is going to take you to professional excellence in the coming days! At least that is what the trends suggest
Is that the modern man has learned to utilize the brain power in a much more efficient way than his forefathers or is it that the prevailing economic conditions force him to work well beyond his optimum speed? Either way, the fact is that life is moving at a much higher speed than it was a decade back. In the process the older generation is increasingly being pushed into oblivion as they stand isolated, bewildered and helpless amidst the break neck speed of life around.
The story was about the bond between a kid and an apple tree, which grew stronger with time. But when the boy grows up into an adult his needs far exceeded than what the tree could offer. Apart from the shade and the luscious apples that the tree gave, he set his eyes on its branches and the trunk, which he wanted to construct a home. The greediness in him made the tree into just a stump. The man spend all his youth , chasing worldly pleasures and fortunes and when he became old he too became an unwanted guest in his own home, which made him at par with the apple tree. He realised his mistakes and came back to be once again with the tree stump. The story winds up with a motto that every parent is like an apple tree who spends all their life for the welfare of their kids only to be trashed at the twilight of their life.
Now to come back to the fact from the fable; an aged lady in her eighties got into a transport bus to go to a hospital nearby. She struggled to find a seat and was very weak. When the conductor came, she showed the free transport pass left for her by her hubby , who was in the army. She proudly told the passengers nearby that she gets a handsome family pension , which she distributes among her two sons, though they seldom bother about her welfare . She was on a routine health check up to the hospital – all alone with no one to help her. When she got down with a helping hand from the fellow passengers, and melt into the crowd outside, I felt that the tale of the apple tree is not just a bedtime fable but the expressions of stark realities in our society.
The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 specifies that it is the moral responsibility and duty of the children to take care of their aged parents. In the Indian tradition, the aged are held in high esteem and respect but it is sad to know that only a few fortunate ones do live and die in glory these days. Most of them are left alone to perish by the new generation who is too busy for all these!