Diwali Lights

Online shopping websites are stocked to the brim with decorative lights for this year’s Diwali. From serial lights to lanterns and wall light, we bring you unique lights from the online world.

Antique Style Lanterns:

Hanwood has a full range of glass and metal antique style lanterns on sale in flipkart. This yellow lantern with wrought iron leaf ornaments are eye-catching. Prices range below INR 500.

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Paper Quilling Diya:

Hand made paper shilling fits a look like a platter with an ethnic clay diya surrounded by colourful paper shilling patterns. They come in bright colours, cost low and look great on table tips and as Rangoon center pieces. This colourful diya is from suni handicrafts. They are sold online at Shopclues.com

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Golden Colour String Lights (battery operated):

Fancy string lights that throw a rich hue and are battery operated for ease of use. These lights are sold by multiple sellers across many online shopping sites. Magideal at E bay lists them at INR 700.

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OM Wall Bracket:

This OM wall bracket will lighten up your house, and bring in a spiritual aura to your Diwali celebrations. It is on sale at Amazon.com by Inglow. It is priced at the steeper end at INR 1500.

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Ganesh Diya Lamp:

These lamps are hot sellers this Diwali season. The are metal diya tea light holders that throw a beautiful shadow of Lord Ganesh. They are available all over the internet with many shopping sites. There are also versions with Lakshmi Ma. This one is sold by Divya TantraDivya Tantra at Shop Clues with a good discount.

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We wish readers a happy diwali, with loads of fun filled shopping.

 

 

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Caught between State and Central

I live in Tamil Nadu, famous for its temples, culinary delights, classical art forms, political drama… and industries. The state is dotted with small and large industrial clusters, with every district having it’s own specializations. Step into one of these industries, you will see migrant labourers from other states. Most of the workers in Tamil Nadu’s industries are from other states like Bihar and Assam.

Tamil Nadu has a long history of intolerance towards the hindi  language. But industries here rely on migrant Hindi speaking labourers. Number of local workers are fast decreasing. Why has this happened? Is it because Tamil Nadu has no working population left?

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No… it is because local workers in Tamil Nadu do not take up  regular jobs. They prefer vocational jobs that give them the luxury of working when they need money and staying at home when they prefer.

Daily life in Tamil Nadu is made easy by government welfare schemes. Government run schools, hospitals, hotels, liquor shops, purified bottled water, free groceries, free rice, free electricity, free grinder, free mixie blenders, financial assistance for building houses, etc etc has made it possible to live without a full time job.

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The central government funded NREGA scheme ensures free salary for most families in villages. There is no work needed or done by NREGA members here. Yet, families enrolled in this scheme get a regular income.

But, the state also depends heavily on economically backward families for money. Government run alcohol shops generate a huge income for the state government, and daily wage earners are the main customers for these shops. Alcohol shops are crowded from dawn to dusk.

Government has taken little notice of the increasing number of jobless local population or their social problems. Present generation of politicians in the state turn a blind eye to the enterprising spirit of the state, and the woes of its industrial sector.

In addition, Central government’s recent slew of well intended measures have had their impact on these industries.

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Micro and small scale industries are the backbone for states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Majority of the industries here operate at low margins, beat competition by earning a good reputation, increase profits by increasing production numbers. There is very less scope to hoard black money or do unaccounted transactions. Black money here is synonymous with real estate, politicians, wealthy landlords etc.

Measures like demonetization and high tax rates under GST have hit the manufacturing sector adversely. Post demonetization, cash strapped industries fought to pay daily wage migrant labourers. Daily operations came to a stop as the supply chain froze and banks were overloaded with delays and money shortage.

Things were slowly returning back to normalcy, when it was time for GST. High tax rates, sudden increase in working capital, confusions and technical problems in filing returns are now taking a toll.

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In western states where money flow comes from wealthy traders, demonetization and GST will have a positive impact. There is scope for success as it may return back money to the government’s coffers. But in southern states where money flow comes from cottage industries and small scale manufacturers, these measures have a negative impact. Industries are fighting for survival due to these measures.

It is high time the central government understands the difference between wealthy hoarders and middle class industry owners. Policies and schemes that consider people as wealth hoarding cheaters should also have the means to protect industries operating at marginal profit.

In short, the state government of Tamil Nadu is driving workers away from jobs, making it difficult for industries to survive. In addition, Central government brings out schemes that confuse and penalize industries.

Caught between these two governments, survival is difficult for small industries. We wait hoping to see light at one or both ends of the long dark tunnel.

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Right age to start education

We are living in a fast paced world. Gone are the days when a fresh graduate started his career as an apprentice, worked his way up the ladder, saved money to buy a car, then his dream home, etc. Now fresh graduates start work with fancy salaries, take up certifications / jump jobs to move up the ladder, buy a car and house using bank loans and pay back the loan for the most part of his life.

This style of moving ahead quickly has trickled down every where, even to raising children and educating them.

Fast paced early starters:

New born kids are encouraged to reach development milestones earlier than expected. A B C D flash cards are brought for one year old children. The recommended age to start would be 3 years.

Kids are sent to (pre) schools as early as 2 years. At 2 years, kids do not have ability to understand happenings at school or outside.

So, are early starters better achievers than other kids? Yes.., and No. Results of this early start varies from child to child. It helps children learn alphabets and numbers one or two years earlier.., but affect their over all development in the long run.

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Consider an ideal setting:

Imagine a slower and normal lifestyle. New born kids should be cherished and treated as “new born” children till their first birthday. The new mother deserves relaxed life for a year to recuperate from child birth and get her hormones to work properly while feeding her new born.

From the age of 1 to 5 years, focus on physical development of the child is essential. A stable caretaker (parent) is needed for every child. Rolling over, crawling, sitting, standing and walking antics enjoyed by the whole family.

Early years:

One to five years is a crucial time for the child to explore and understand the world. This is the age when they learn about men and women, family, social structures, feelings, owning and sharing things, animals, life, nature etc. Neuro sciences say that every new experience in this early age develops the child’s brain.

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This experience can be given only through a daily life with ample opportunity to explore the society. A closed class room,cute and colourful, is not the perfect place for early social understanding.

 

6 years and above:

Around 6 years of age, every child has the natural instinct to understand numbers and written language. A 6 year old’s brain is bigger and more capable. Physical co-ordination between the brain and other body parts is well developed. The child can now draw, write, read and count with confidence. Irrespective of schools and teaching methodology, he has the physical and mental strength to understand and absorb the knowledge he needs.

Early starter vs Normal starter:

Imagine a 3 year old being taught to write alphabets in pre school. His brain is busy exploring feelings and owning things. He cannot understand why alphabets and languages exist. His hands are not fully developed to handle a pencil and write letters.

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To overcome these difficulties and get him started early, we devise creative methods of teaching like alphabet songs, cartoons, teaching tools, flash cards etc. There are also schools that give assignments of writing an alphabet multiple times to fill pages.

The child will master alphabets early in pre school. But, the time and energy spent in mastering letters should not compromise his effort to understand the social world around and develop psychologically.

A child learning the same alphabets around 5 – 6 years of age will find it easier and more interesting. He can remember alphabets quickly. Identify the learnt alphabets while looking at his story books, mobile games and cartoon names. His hands would find it easier to write letters as they have better co-ordination with the brain.

Less time and energy spent in learning the same alphabets when taught at the right age. The late (err… normal) starter has the added advantage that he had spent enough time exploring and understanding the world at 3 years of age.

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Early class room education is not needed. It does not guarantee a successful future. Good exposure to family and social life in the early years is important. It gives children a fair chance at becoming balanced and sensible adults.

Academic enrollment should not be at the expense of physical and mental development. It is important that children build a good attitude at the right age. They should start their education as self learners.

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Easy tips to cook for your family

Cooking for family can be a challenge for many. Heirloom recipes might not satisfy your family’s tastebuds unless it is modified to suit their preferences. Here are a few tips that make cooking easier for a family.

1. Understand personal taste preferences of the family.

Some people prefer subtle foods, many prefer spicy and tangy foods, other might prefer healthier low fat foods, while a few others prefer classic traditional dishes. So, understand what kind of food is preferred by your family.

2. Striking a balance if individual tastes clash.

Often, in large families, individual tastes clash. One person might prefer red meat while the other cannot have it daily. One might have a craving for rice or pasta while the other might prefer juice and salads. The solution here is to strike a balance in the daily menu. Introducing new dishes on a regular basis would encourage family members to appreciate and accept a wide variety of tastes.

3. Plan your menu the previous day.

Planning your menu the previous day gives ample time to make sure all ingredients are available without frenzy last minute shopping.

4. Adapt your cooking to suit digestion problems of your family.

Ensure your cooking is adapted to suit your family’s digestion problems, if any. Choosing the right kind of oil, meat and vegetables will help ease digestion problems and take care of your family’s health.

5. Change recipes to suit personal taste preferences.

Remember that recipes are only guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Change recipes and ingredients to make it your family’s favourite.

6. A generous hand and mind make your dish taste good.

A common mistake of newbies is to follow measurements given in recipes and cookbooks to the letter. Trust your eyes and mouth more than the recipe. Add oil, toppings and sauces after frequent tasting of the dish. Trust your tasting during cooking instead of strictly following recipes.

7. Serve in style to make every day dinner enjoyable.

A clean table, simple menu and generous helpings make family dinners fun and enjoyable. Many dishes but moderate or limited in quantity will remind the family of formal dinner outings. Simple menu with personal favourites and generous quantity is the mark of family dinners.

Regardless of what you cook, how you cook and serve matters when it comes to cooking at home for your cherished family. Happy cooking!

Taramani – A Review

The film starts with a monotone narrative about Taramani, farmers, fishermen, cricket, etc and says about unrelated connections.

Then starts the film… a rocky journey that shows many social problems like – vulnerability of Anglo Indian women, theft, corruption, fake love, difficulties in the life of a single mother, flirting boss, the director’s misunderstanding of the integrity of men and women in the IT sector, dangers of party culture, live – in, problems faced by women who wear short dresses, dangers of online dating via facebook and whatsapp, and the personal lives of corrupt policemen. This movie is a mix of all extreme negative things in the society. An IT employee or normal family living in Taramani would never see or experience the happenings mentioned in this movie.

Finally, the viewer is happy to see the film end! Real life seems safer than the film. The 2 hour rocky journey has ended, and it feels good to return to the safety of the real world.

Very difficult to watch the whole film in one sitting. I do not have the heart to plan for a second time viewing.

 

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