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.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Kinds of Coffee: More than one flavour to relish your coffee!!! A Cuppa to your Valentine

COFFEE is the buzz word on a busy day!!! Oh! I got a headache! Oh! I need to get all these done by today! And, there you go with a cup of coffee from the cafeteria to keep you going till you end the day. Did you know? There are nearly 59 ways to prepare a CUPPA!!!

Ristretto: This is highly concentrated espresso having 0.75 ounce of espresso with very less water to pass through the coffee ground.

Espresso: This is strong black coffee prepared by using dark roasted coffee beans and hot steam in an espresso coffee machine, thus leaving a thick golden foam on the top. One may add sugar to taste and could have it as “short” (concentrated) or “long”.

Doppio: Double shot espresso for those who can take it.

Lungo: A 2 to 3 shots of espresso that passes through coffee grounds more number of times.

Cafe crema: Also called long black this coffee preparation is prepared by brewing for longer period using nearly 180 ml to 240 ml of water using manual pressure.

Espressino: A combination of Italian coffee drink prepared with equal parts of espressino and steamed milk.

Affogato: A scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream with a shot of hot espresso.

Cafe con Hielo: A cup of hot coffee – white or black – with desired amount of sugar added is poured over a glass of ice.

Cafe Cubano: Cuban coffee is mixing few drops of espresso with sweet natural brown sugar and slowly adding the remaining espresso to a light brown foamy layer.

Espresso Romano: A single shot of espresso topped with a fresh peel of lemon.

Macchiato: This is of two types: Caffe Macchiato in which a shot of espresso is added with a small amount of foamed milk; and is also called espressino macchiato; and in Latte Macchiato in which half a shot of espresso is added to foamed milk.

Caramel Machiato: A combination of espresso, caramel and foamed milk or hot milk with vanilla essence to add flavour makes this as one of the addictive coffee drink to give you the perfect experience of the java beans.

Cafe con leche: A Spanish white coffee drink prepared by adding a shot of espresso to scalded milk.

Cortado: This Spanish coffee preparation of espresso with warm milk to reduce acidity in proportions of 1:1 to 1:2.

Cortadito: This is Cuban coffee version of Cortado that is served in a special glass with metal base and metal handle. Cortado condensada or bombon is a variation in which milk is replaced with condensed milk and leche y leche in which the condensed milk is topped with cream.

Piccolo Latte: This is ristretto shot served in a small latte glass topped with warm and silky milk sans cream.

Cappuccino: A combination in equal parts od espresso, steamed milk and milk froth complemented with unsweetened with cocoa powder and grated dark chocolate.

Flat White: A black coffee with milk.

Cafe au lait: This is French coffee prepared in brewed coffee and hot milk in equal parts. Thus is much weaker than caffe latte.

Breve: A milk-based espresso drink prepared with steamed milk and cream in half-and-half ratio.

Red Eye: Fortified coffee drink in which espresso is mixed with a shot of drip or filter coffee.

Black Eye: A cup of coffee that has black marking caused by pouring out a shot of espresso on a scoop of cream.

Americano: This is a single shot of espresso added to a cup of hot water with or without milk. However, this famous drink of Americans is best preferred with minimum quantity of milk added.

Vienna: A creamy cup of coffee prepared by mixing two shots of espresso with whipped cream until the standard cup is full and twirled with cream and sprinkled with chocolate chips.

Mocha: Also called Mocaccino is a chocolate flavoured caffe latte. This is prepared with a shot of espresso and hot milk with chocolate – dark or milk chocolate.

Borgia: Borgia is a delicious coffee made using equal proportions of hot chocolate and espresso and topped with whipped cream and grated orange peels.

Caffe Latte: A caffe latte is combination of single shot of espresso and three parts of hot milk.

Ca Phe Sua Da: A cup containing sweetened condensed milk is mixed with Vietnam grown roasted dark coffee beans which is brewed using a French metal drip filter over ice.

Galao: This is a Portugal hot coffee prepared by mixing espresso with foamed milk in 1:3 ratio.

Frappe: Cold espresso prepared with 1 – 2 teaspoons of instant coffee with sugar, water and ice, which is placed in ice in a long glass and milk to prepare coffee milkshake.

Mazagran: Cold sweetened coffee beverage of Portuguese combining espresso ,lemon and rum.

Irish Coffee: An alcoholic coffee drink that is prepared with a shot of Irish whiskey in a whiskey glass and three cubes of sugar filled with strong black coffee and topped with heavy cream.

Schiumatto: This is a coffee preparation with one shot of espresso topped with frothy milk.

Decaffeinato: The use of decaf coffee for preparation of a cuppa is decaffeinato.

Espresso Con Panno: Topping a cuppa espresso with whipped cream.

Espresso Corretto: Espresso with a splash of grappa, cognac or sambuca (liquor or brandy). This is an Italian preparation.

Espresso Macchiato: Espresso with a dollop of steamed milk decored artistically.

Caffe Americano: A shot of espresso diluted to the strength of drip coffee by adding hot water.

Cafe Mocha (Mochachino): This is cappucino or caffe latte complemented with chocolate syrup or powder and garnished with whipped cream.

Cafe Breva: Cappucino with half and half milk instead of whole milk to give a more richer and creamier flavour.

Cafe Macchiato: A shot of espresso with steamed milk in 4:1 ratio.

Cafe Latte Fredo: This is Cafe Latte prepared in cold milk and shook with ice in a cocktail shaker.

Espresso Granita: A cocktail coffee combining a shot of epsresso, splash of brandy and a teaspoon of brown sugar. This is frozen and crushed to prepare a drink in parfait glass with whipped cream.

Turkish Coffee or Greek Coffee: A thicker coffee prepared in a special long-handed, open brass or copper pot called ‘cezve’. finely ground fresh coffee beans is boiled in water to prepare muddy coffee that is thick and served on ‘Demitasse’ cups with sugar and cardamom pods (Turkish) or Arabic spices or chicory (Greek).

Indian (Madras) Filter Coffee: Freshly ground coffee beans is drip filtered using a traditional metal coffee filter and mixed with milk in 1:3 ratio.

Cafe Melange: A black coffee mixed or topped with whipped cream.

Carajillo: A Spanish coffee drink prepared by mixing coffee with brandy or rum or by heating the poured spirit and adding lemon, sugar and cinnamon.

Eiskaffee: German preparation of ice coffee prepared combining strong and chilled coffee, milk and ice cream (vanilla) with chocolate chip toppings.

Bicerin: This is a good combination of coffee (espresso), chocolate and whole milk in small rounded glasses.

Yuanyang: A Hong Kong coffee with tea which is prepared by mixing coffee with Hong Kong style milk tea as cold or hot.

Indian Herbal Coffee: A simple decoction of coffee prepared with few medicinal herbs of India like dry ginger, coriander seeds, pepper, cumin seeds and palm sugar or jaggery. Some people add more flavour using basil or omam leaves.

So isn’t the best time to take your Valentine for a cup of coffee!!!

Monday, 2 February 2015


How am I known? I am also known as dung chafer or tumblebug. What I am known for is my dark black body with a metallic lustre that is copper or green in colour.

Why am I popular? I eat dung and am a farmer’s friend! Yes, I chew dung to “nothing” that is easy to digest for other organisms that share my habitat. I am also popular through the movie “MUMMY” where you see me as “scarab” that is a terror attacking in multitude showing that I am symbol of Egyptian Civilization.

Where do I live? Cold or dry weather like desert, prairies, farms, forests and grass lands. These are the habitats and they are omnipresent all over the world except for the continent of Antarctica. They feed on excreta of herbivores, in particular, and omnivores, and also on mushrooms, decaying leaves and fruits. There is a carnivore dung beetle, Deltochilum valgum, in South America that feeds on millipedes.

Dung beetles sense the presence of dung, capture the dung in small balls and take the dung ball to their burrow in a straight line and bury them inside the ground. They prefer carrying the dung ball in a straight path across all obstacles on the way and the possibility of getting stolen by other dung beetles. They maintain the path of travel in accordance with the moonlight.

Do you know the weight of dung carried by the dung beetle? They carry dung that weighs 50 times their own body weight. What’s more? A male Onthophagus taurus dung beetle carries dung that is 1,141 times more than its body weight ≡ a normal person pulling a double decker bus full of people.

Why do they carry these dung to their burrows? Stores food or Mating! If the beetle is going to store food you will find a single beetle struggling with the dung ball and if you find two beetles carrying across a dung ball, one being a male and other being a female, then is part of the mating process – “rolling process”. Later they use these dung balls to mate underground, work on preparing brooding ball and lays eggs to breed larvae. The larvae feeds on the nutrients from this brooding ball and thrives until independent.

There are two more varieties of dung beetle than the rollers: Tunnelers, jump into the dung and dig a ball right down into the ground and Dwellers, jump onto the top of a dung and make themselves comfy.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Display of Diverse Indian Culture – Indian Breads in Indian Cuisine

Indian Breads are those prepared from batter prepared using powdered grains with water in appropriate proportions. They could be steamed, baked, fried or grilled. There are different kinds of Indian bread preparations and each standing evident for the state and culture of the people suiting their agro-climatic zones. They could spicy, sweet or sour preparations made from fermented or unfermented batter.
Briefed below are a gist of various kinds of Indian breads prepared at Indian homes and food services that are broadly classified into flatbreads and crepes:appam
Appam (Kerala): This is a delicacy from South India prepared with rice batter in a special tava over steam using fermented rice batter and coconut milk. The most common side dish for this preparation are sweetened coconut milk and goat leg soup (paya) preparation. This is a typical desi pancake from India for breakfast or dinner. Idiyappam is an extension of the same batter that is prepared with rice flour dough moulded into strings, steamed and served with a range of side dishes from lentils to chicken gravy.
appemNei appam (Tamil Nadu): These are also prepared using rice batter with jaggery that could either be steamed or fried. This is a food of Goddess served in many temples as “Prasadham”. They are usually cooked in ghee when served to Goddess and thus the name nei appam. This is more common food found in TamilNadu.paniyaram
Kuzhi Paniyaram: This a delicacy in Tamil Nadu made during special occasions in the rural parts of the state by steaming a batter made from black lentils and rice. They are served either sweet or spicy with jaggery or sauted green chillies and onions.They are made on special pans and stir fried in gingely oil or ghee. There are many varieites that could be made with this dish like adding fruits and pepper and vegetables.
Idli_SambarIdli: These are traditional breakfast of South India that are prepared for regular and daily consumption for breakfast or dinner from the fermented batter of black lentils and rice. The batter is steam cooked into cakes of two to three inches and served hot with colourful chutneys and lentil soup (sambar). Other vraiotions of this food are sambar idli (soaked and served in sambar), mini idlis (soaked in sambar, rasam or buttermilk), tatte idli (Karnataka), sannas (Goan variation), rava idli and muday idli (Mangalorean variety). They are also served with dry spice powder mixed with gingely oil.baqer khani
Bakarkhani: Baqerkhani or bakar khan roti are thick and flat spicy bread made with a batter of flour, semolina, sugar, molasses soaked in saffron, poppy or nigella seeds, salt and ghee. They have a hard crust that could be eaten like a biscuit. The food is usually cooked in Kashmir and some parts of India near Bangladesh.
bhaturaBhatoora: This is a fluffy, deep-fried leavened bred made in North India and is usually served with channa or chole making the infamous, Chole bhature combination. The bhature is made of knead made from white flour, yoghurt, ghee or oil and baking powder or yeast and allowed to raise. The flattened dough is cooked in hot oil and deep fried to form the fluffy, light browned and chewy bread. kulcha
Kulcha: This is an alternate form of the dough baked on direct heat in earthen clay oven until they are golden brown without oil. This is a typical Punjabi recipe that is eaten by both Punjabis of India and Pakistan. They are served with butter and chole or channa cooked spicy hot. Amristar is famous for these kind of breads and they are served in the Golden Temple.
Chapathi-2Chapati: These are unleavened flatbread prepared in many countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan that are prepared with wheat flour dough knead with slat, oil and milk. They are cooked on both the sides of the pan. In South India people usually apply oil or ghee at the time of cooking while in North India oil or ghee or butter is applied at the time of serving. Chapati is served with a number of side dishes ranging from spicy and hot pickle to lentils or curd or raita to spicy vegetarian and non-vegetarian gravy preparationrotis.
Roti: Roti is a typical resemblance of flatbread made like chapati but the difference lies in the flour, stone-ground whole meal flour and therefore the dough will be much coarser. They are cooked on flat or slightly concave iron tawa using unleavened dough. They are normally eaten with curries and vegetable gravy. These rotis are the ones that are used to make the modern wraps with tasty and healthy stuffing.
tandoori rotiTandoori Roti: Tandoori roti is a popular unleavened bread made from whole wheat flour on clay oven or tandoor and is possible to cook them over pressure pan. They are served with spicy and gravy dishes of meat and vegetables.dosa
Dosa: These are fermented crepe prepared from batter of black lentils and rice. This is a delicacy of South India and is no les popular in other neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore and Malaysia. Dosa went under transformation with time – softer and thicker (kaldosai) to thinner and crispier dosa (paper dosa) of this new world. Dosa is served with side dishes similar to idly, sambar and chutney. There are nearly 200 variations in dosa and many parts of Tamil Nadu host Dosa Festival as a treat to winter.
uttappamUttapam: These are also crepe preparation made from the same batter prepared for dosa but the thicker pancake is crispier on the outer surface and softer in the inner layers like idli. The crepe is usually coked on one side and is topped with a range of toppings like onions, pepper, green chillies, mixed vegetables and sometimes even meat.

Luchi: This is a flatbread native to Odisha, Bengal and Assam that are deep-fried flat bread made of white flour. They are very small in size and served usually with dum aloo or aloo matter. These breads though crispy are never brown in colour. When stuffed, luchi are called kochuri. Puri are made with whole wheat flour and turns brown on deep-fry.
phulkhaPhulka: This is a soft flatbread preparation cooked over dry heat with dough made with a mixture of soya flour and wheat flour and served hot with vegetable curries. For the making of phulka on direct flame or heat they have a special griddle made on which the flattened dough could be placed. The bread is turned over using tongs. naan
Naan: This is a oven-baked leavened flat bread that is typically made in South Asia which is prepared from white flour with salt, yeast and yogurt. The preparation is soft though elastic and is cooked in a number of forms using butter or ghee and flavoured. They are served with dal (lentil soup), vegetable curries and non-vegetarian curries.
theplaThepla (Gujarati): These are spicy flattened semi - soft bread with the main proportion of flour being made from whole wheat flour mixed with spices and curd, and cooked over a tawa or griddle using little oil. They are served with chunda or sweet mango pickle. paratha
Paratha: This is a typical Punjabi bread and is the most popular unleavened flat bread eaten in Punjab. The bread is also called parantha and could be prepared in differing shapes. They are prepared using whole wheat flour kneaded with hot oil, raised and cooked over tava or direct heat to puff into layers without oil or ghee. The oil or ghee is usually applied to hot paratha that is served immediately with dal, raita, vegetable curries or non-vegetarian gravies. Parathas could be cooked with fillings or stuffing and cooked to make a number of varieties.
parottaParotta: Better known as Barotta is a flattened multi - layered unleavened bread made of white flour with egg oil or ghee and water. The bread is beaten to a number of times and usually served with vegetable kuruma or chicken or beef or mutton stew. Parotta comes in a number of variations and diced variations are chilli and kothu parotta.puran poli
Puran Poli: Known in different names is popularly known in Tamil as boli and is a sweet flatbread of India that is prepared in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Goa. The stuffing for the poli is made of grated coconut mixed with jaggery and roasted condiments like nutmeg or cardamom. This is usually golden yellow in colour and is cooked with ghee on a hot griddle. The range of stuffing could also include lentils and nuts.
PathiriPathiri (Kerala): This is a pancake made mostly by Muslims in Kerala using rice flour dough and baked on oadu pans. They are later served with coconut milk that increases the flavour and retains the softness of the dish. Pathiri varieties will include ghee battered, fried pathiri and fish or meat stuffed pathiri. They are regular delicacy of the month of Ramdan. dondiyala-khakhra
Dondiyala-Khakhra: These are left over rotis that are turned into crispy khakhras by grilling on dying charcoal fire using tongs and served with hot pickles and vegetables. They carry a smoky and sweet flavour of burnt roti. These khakhras are served hot with pickles and vegetables.

Is there any better evidence that anyone can tie up the diverse culture of India with food?