Friday, 20 March 2015


Rhinoceros have been one of the oldest species and are endangered in the grim of extinction. There are five extant species of rhino available in the wild, which are:

1. Asian Rhino: a. Javan Rhinoceros (Critically Endangered); b. Sumatran Rhinoceros (Critically Endangered); and c. One-horned or Indian Rhinoceros (Vulnerable)

2. African Rhino: a. White Rhinoceros (Near Threatened) ; and b. Black Rhinoceros (Critically Endangered)

The difference between the Asian and the African Rhino is the absence of teeth in the African Rhino which pluck the leaves (food) using lips. Other food will include fruits, grass and farm crops. The ones that stand out are the Sumatran Rhinos, the smallest of all of them that are dark-red brown with short, stiff and dark-coloured hair.

indian rhino      javan-rhinoceros      sumatran rhino
             Indian Rhinoceros                                      Javan Rhinoceros                                                        Sumatran Rhinoceros

southern white rhino                                                                  black rhino
             White Rhinoceros                                                                                                                            Black Rhinoceros

A general description of any species of the rhinoceros that interests us are their stumpy legs, barrel body with one or two dermal horns (not of bones). Rhinoceros do not attack humans unless instigated and their eyesight is of no use in a fight; however, they have very good sense of smell and hearing. These semi-nocturnal animals sleep by standing or by sitting and love playing in muddy pools and sandy river beds.

What makes Rhino the talk of the town of smugglers especially when banned are their medicinal values and dagger handles. Moreover, Rhino are facing threat to survival for want of habitat, the forests. Thus WWF does their part to conserve Rhino through different programmes like AREAS (Asian Rhino and Elephant Strategy), African Rhino Programme and Wildlife Trade Campaign to create awareness and financial support required for conservation of habitats and the animals.

African Rhinos live for about 35 to 40 years in the grasslands and savannahs with humans as the only predators. They are fast runners galloping at a speed of 30 miles per hour and are strictly herbivores. These thick skinned and small brained animals loves to eat leafy food that could ferment even the usually excreted fibrous materials.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

CyberBullying - A New Leash of Life Thereafter

The increase in the use of technology in today's world has resulted in development of new applications and softwares that could be used for the wellbeing of human kind. However, there is another side in the misuse of technology by nerds. They in pursuit of knowledge and wealth, develop technological applications and softwares for teasing, for fun and for stealing other’s time, knowledge and wealth. All these activities could be grouped as cyberbullying. This has necessitated the need to create awareness against cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying impacts the life of an individual, their family, society and their work life. As an individual, this is very difficult to manage emotions to overcome the cyberbully leading to frustration and affecting the normal work life of the individual. Performance of individuals at work decreases with increasing impact of cyberbullying. Family members who may not be aware and understand cyberbullying will express varying emotions and are prone to fall prey to the temptations of cyberbullies leading to misconceptions and disengagement in family life. This in turn affects the individual leading to disconnected social life like social isolation.

Cyberbullying is a punishable offence across the globe. While this is not legally acceptable as is affecting the normal life of the individual harming them; cyberbully could also lead to criminal activities like personal identity theft of passwords and bank balance. Cyberbully is also against human ethics as is violating the privacy of the individual and disrespecting their emotions by not gaining consent from the concerned individual who are targeted. When a cyber-activity is harming the individual and one's well-being in the society, then cyberbullying turns socially unacceptable as well.

Thus awareness is necessitated to create awareness amongst public from falling prey to cyberbullying and to prevent them from becoming cyberbullies due to ignorance. Owing to the the pacing speed in technological developments the craving for need of power, lust and money, thus increases the chance of cybercrimes and cyberbullies. Cyberbullying thus has the potential to turn into the buzz word in cybercrimes.

PS: This was a short essay prepared for an online course of academic writing from University of Reading, UK

Friday, 20 February 2015

Bharathanatyam Accessories or Jewels–How do I ask?

The classical dance of Tamil Nadu is Bharathanatyam. This elegant dance of various postures which requires the dancers to balance against gravity comes with lot of vivid and bright colours and expensive glittering ornaments. Here is a list of ornaments that a Bharathanatyam dancer will wear;
1. Waist Belt; These are ornaments worn around the waist region and is called ottiyanam. The various varieties are Golden Lakshmi or Temple Lakshmi or Temple round belt.
2. Bangles; These are ornaments worn around the wrist and when they are not of fixed size and is of a constant length is called a bracelet. But for dancers they only wear bangles that are usually gold or gold-plated and studded with stones, gems and pearls.
3. Arm Band; These are ornaments worn on the arms and could be worn directly or is tied around the arms. They come in metal which is much more traditional and stiff than the pearl studded ones that are generally tied around the arms. They are also called vanki  or bajuband.
4. Neck Ornaments; Generally there are two types of neck ornaments – long chain and choker or necklaces. The long chain usually comes with a pendant and is a chain or is a kaasu mala or other such mala in which many small pendants like gold coins or other designs are threaded together on a gold or silver thread.
5. Ear Ornaments: There are two things worn by dancers in their ears. They are the chain that lifts and bears the weight of the ear droppings or stud. The ear droppings or stud is usually made of colourful stones, gems or pearls and is either flat (mattal) or round (jimikki).
6. Nose Rings and Nose Studs: Nose rings and nose studs are small ornaments worn in the nose together by the dancers. Generally dancers will prefer two nose rings than a nose stud (mukutthi). Nose rings could be worn in the side (valayam) or in the center (nath bullaku, which is more commonly worn).
7. Hair and Head Ornaments: The various ornaments of the hair will include the set braid adorned with ornaments. The end of the braid is tied with a decorative bun called kunjalam, which is heavier and keeps the hair and head straight and a wave while dancing. The braid is decored with braid billai, a circular to different shaped ornaments of varying size (big to small from the top to bottom).
Head ornaments will include those that decorate the forehead and the front of the head. the come as a single strand with a pendant or with many pendants (called step) or in three chains (one to the back of the head, two to both the sides) with a pendant in the front. This ornament is called netrichudi or head band (Indian). This ornament comes with a pair of head pins that could be worn in the gaps of the front head, nearly seven inches apart – one in circular head pin called the chandra, worn on the right and the other a semi circular head pin called the surya, worn on the left.
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The final piece of head ornament is the bun ornament called rakodi. These are big round stone or gem studded grandly designed bun pins that cover the tangles and holds the bun tight.
8. Ankle Bell: These are ornaments adorned in the legs that makes noise because of the big brass bells stitched to clothe or velvet pad or a leather pad. They make noises in synchronisation to the music and rhythm of the dancer’s movements. They are called gunghroo or salangai.
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Thus these are the various ornaments that are adorned by Bharathanatyam dancers and find below a display of antique piece of bharathanatyam ornamental set.