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The 'in thing' !

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Looks as if brand 'INDIA' is the in thing nowadays.

A visit to Landmark in Sterling Road revealed books titled 'INDIA' by dozens of authors wrestling it out for shelf space ! Wonder of wonders ! The most popular/authentic book on India by a western scholar (The Wonder that was India, by A.L.Basham, a book on India which remained topseller for nearly 6 decades) got pushed to the back shelves !

Much more voluminous stuff is now available on sections like (Indian) Art, Indian Culture, Tourism India, Philosophy, Yoga and what not.

One TV commercial shows a group of foreigners practicing Indian dance , with a punch line "...getting ready for India ?"

I have just started reading 'The Argumentative Indian' by Amartya Sen. Extremely dense collection of essays by the scholar. Hope someone can give its gyst for shallow readers like me !

When did we last hear of '3.5 %' hindu rate of growth ?
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I was wondering where I can post the following and finally decided on this thread to park it!

How ‘friends of men’ 'love to co-exist'!!
Tuesday April 22 2008 08:52 IST
V E Venkataramani

A temple elephant in Madurai carrying water from Vaigai river for abhishekam of the deity got panicked on witnessing two street dogs fighting on the way and entered unwittingly into a hotel and scared pilgrims having their breakfast there.

It was something odd that an elephant, so humongous a creature, got scared by street dog fights. However, it cannot be gainsaid that dogs are so docile domestic animals that are endeared by men as their best friends. People with churlish dispositions are ironically alleged to possess canine qualities — an unkind testimony indeed to the “Best friends of men” — forgetting the noble qualities innate in them.

It is a common sight, particularly in slums to see these creatures hobnobbing one another with skirmishes, pricks and pranks in a playful mood. If ‘dog-fearing’ men avoid slums and criss-cross circumventing the distances, dogs are not at fault.

Gregarious by nature, the homogeneity they display in driving out strangers has earned them the nomenclature ‘Sentinel’. The clarion howl given by one and systematically followed by the rest around small hours besides sending blood curdling waves to unwary thieves, who enter into our domain, alerts the natives of the locality to switch on the lights to drive them away.However, the sickening part that matters is although endowed with sensitive olfactory nerves, they lack a sense of discrimination and fail to distinguish between an innocent man and a thief who skulk away with our belongings.

Their capability to decipher any offender thanks to their sensitive smelling organs is ingeniously exploited by mankind to bring to book thieves and criminal offenders like murderers, marauders and 0ther culprits.

Once on my appearance at the doors of my friend’s house an Alsatian of a calf ’s size came menacingly towards me and firmly resting its hind legs on the ground threw the front legs on my shoulder. Its fierce teeth and long tongue handing down from its mouth beneath its damp nose very close in front of my face, injected into my veins a horror that caused tremor all over my body and rendered me speechless. Right then came a command from its master to subdue when I was almost on the verge of collapse. The animal proved its worthiness by its implicit obedience.

Unlike us, the mundane beings, they believe in co-existence. Men have to bow down their heads for their lack of adjustments within themselves whereas these creatures find no limitations and care for other mute creatures not belonging to their own tribe. To vouch this here is a news item under the caption “Canine care” which appeared sometime back. “A dog parted with all its pubs numbering five, nurtured two suckling lambs that were orphaned, and also trained them to nocturnal wanderings.”

Once on my journey I found at Arakkonam Junction, one bitch and a monkey merrily moving together — an uncommon sight. The commuters in the train exploded the myth in their great laughter! It was that these two animals by sheer coincidence of their coming together developed among them amorous relationship which subsequently blossomed into conjugal bondage!!

Certain actualities must be seen to believe. Our best friends sometimes suffer hostility from persons who little understand their noble qualities.
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