Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kannada and its uniqueness

Few weeks ago I saw a video on Facebook that was meant for promoting usage of Kannada in daily life by telling us Kannada names for vegetables and fruits that we use on a daily basis like Tomato, Beets, Carrot and so on. When I learned from the video that the common Tomato is called Goodhe hannu (ಗೂಧೆ ಹಣ್ಣು) in Kannada, I was super elated, I was proud of the fact that while present day scientists were debating till recently whether to qualify Tomato as a fruit or a vegetable, we kannadigas had already done the classification long long time ago and called it a fruit. 

Then came the hard hitting realization, in the language of Kannada, no fruit or vegetable has just names in 1 part (barring a few exceptions), they always have 2 part names. The first part is what we in other languages call their names and second part determines status of the fruit of vegetable like its ripeness (ಹಣ್ಣು , ಕಾಯಿ ) or whether it grows above of below ground (ಗೆಡ್ಡೆ , ಗೆಣಸು ) or its status of lentil (ಕಾಳು ) and so on. Examples are numerous to name a few ಬಾಳೆ ಹಣ್ಣು  (banana), ಬದನೆ ಕಾಯಿ (eggplant or brinjal), ಆಲೂ ಗೆಡ್ಡೆ  (potato),    

Why is such a big deal, it is some what because other languages like English or for that matter our own Indian language Hindi doesn’t follow this rule.

Let me demonstrate with an example, take the fruit Banana 
English: banana it usually means a ripe banana 
Hindi: kela, still means a ripe banana 
Kannada: if you want ripe banana you will have to say bale hannu (ಬಾಳೆ ಹಣ್ಣು)
Unripe bale kayi (ಬಾಳೆ ಕಾಯಿ)
Leaf bale yele (ಬಾಳೆ ಎಲೆ)
Simply saying bale (ಬಾಳೆ) doesn’t mean a thing for a true Kannadiga. 

I am sure the closely related languages of Telugu and Tamil probably follow the same rules. Wonder if there are other languages which follow same rules.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Frozen vegetables

A while ago we had a discussion in our friends group on frozen stuff. We all were unanimous on prepared frozen food and the vote was a no. 

The votes divided when it came to frozen vegetables, some of us were all fresh and some others were arguing that if they are properly packed then they contain all the nutrients and hence what is the harm?. The discussion ended with Ayurveda says fresh is good. 

After all the time that has passed, couple of days ago I realized that when a fresh vegetable is frozen it is essentially dead. On the other hand when a fruit, vegetable or a green is plucked from the plant, it still has some life which is evident from the veggies ripening after being plucked or the evident fact that greens are able to fight off bacteria and other microbes for a couple of days after being plucked. 

Now my question or dilemma is, how important is for the plant to have some form of life left in it for our consumption? or rather does it make a difference apart from the taste? 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Pragathi and the slip ups :)

Yesterday I was attending a charity event of Pragathi a non profit organization that spear heads providing education in underprivileged areas of state of Karnataka. 

All great, hats off to their efforts and the scale of their work is just mind blowing, all was  good till they started talking about their new initiative. The initiative to teach English to underprivileged children along with Kannada and math is definitely an appreciative incentive. 

The narrator for this new initiative started with his and his partners journey to India and they visited a village near T. Narasipura in Mysore district and they visited a colony of “untouchables”, he  translated to Kannada "ಹೊಲೆಯರಗೇರಿ", the narrator mentioned that it was not all dirty but pretty clean, in that location lived the winner of the scholarship who is the daughter of a child bride whose dad passed away while she was young. The presentation narrated the hardships the mother faced after her husbands death and despite all odds how she has managed to bring up 2 well educated children.  The narrator ended the story with how the essay winner girl in question cannot achieve her full potential and that is solely because she lacks knowledge of English language and we can make a difference in lives of such people. 

Wonderful, I am all for this initiative and I have heard time and again from my dad about one of our own village boys who is unable to secure a job despite being an under graduate degree holder himself and reason being he cannot communicate in English.

The question I have is, what impact the presentation would have had if the presenter hadn’t mentioned the girls caste? The funny part is that the narrator failed to name the girls village or her name but was first to highlight untouchability.

Considering we are in 21st century India and we have had freedom for last 60 years and enough government sops in the name of caste, including but not limited to cement roads in their neighborhoods and affordable housing under different government schemes, are they really truly still untouchables?

To top it all, the girls brother holds an under graduate degree and is currently unemployed (I don’t understand how is it even possible, but that’s a different topic). Where and how did he study? or for that matter the girl who wrote the essay. is she being discriminated for being an “untouchable”? if yes how did she even write an award winning essay?

Considering the presentation was made here in USA in a 3rd country and mostly to Kannada people, could they have not used better words?

Is Pragati for all its forward and progressive thinking wants to go backwards by naming the caste of the person who is smart and intelligent?

Maybe I am over reacting but considering I have lived in USA for last 18 years and have attended multiple such charity events be it from AID or ASHA or Art of Living among others, I have always heard words like underprivileged and economically backwards but never the blatant mention of ones religion let alone caste. I always look at politicians from India specially from Congress party and call them pseudo secular's but this small incident yesterday made me realize such people are not 24 hours by flight away but much closer than I imagine.

I am hoping it was just a slip and no special intent behind mentioning those words.

Printer Cartridge update 2

Remember my post on refilled cartridges back over a year ago, shortly after I published the post the ink went dry and this time in month of August I went ahead and bought new cartridges. 

I am happy to say, they lasted almost 14 months, they went dry couple of days ago. In the end of this experiment, my conclusion is refilling a cartridge is worth while once, twice or max thrice beyond that one is better off buying new cartridges. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten . . . .

No, not me saying but my daughter’s class sang in their end of year graduation party. Yes it was a sweet and sour moment, sweet for the 22 kids spent almost 10 months of their lives, 5 days a week and 7 hours of their day together as part of a class with the very wonderful Ms. Andrea Bredl (Ms. Bredl for short) and they are ready to move on to next level. 

I am amazed at the transformation Avni has gone through the school year, besides academics (reading, writing and math), she made lots of new friends, performed science experiments, attended field trips and plays, performed in a play, played in Kinder Rodeo and so much more. Oh did I tell you, she pulled off a very successful surprise mothers day party in 2017? and more importantly it was meticulously planned over a 3 week period.

I am thankful to Ms. Bredl for making my daughter a science enthusiast and more importantly a gardener. Evidence, here is the crystal she grew using borax powder and the lima bean plant she grew from seed at school and now thriving in our backyard.

Congratulations Avni on your graduation.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kejriwal and EVM tampering

For the elections in UP among other states, AAP claims the polls were rigged with the EVM (electronic voting machines) and they even had one of their nerdy MLA to build up a mock EVM and demonstrate in the Delhi assembly as to how it can be hacked. I was very keen to understand the modus operandi and did watch the video on NDTV. For starters media got it wrong, he never said swap the motherboard. His contention is “there is a code that can be programmed to any EVM that will make sure all votes balloted will be counted in favor of one party only and no others”, he further goes to say “depending on where in the ballot list the party to be favored is listed the code will be different” and to quote his own words “tampering happens on election day after 10:00am and code will be entered by one of the party workers and not 2 days before when the EVM’s are mock tested in front of all contesting parties” .

I appreciate the MLA taking his time to build a mock EVM (sad, he didn’t get a loaner from election commission) and his effort and eloquence with which he explained the whole process. I am sure this is just a hoax and here is my data to prove it.

Assuming all above said is true, let’s take UP elections there were 403 seats and close to 2095 candidates from 20 odd parties contesting. For the whole of UP, there were 306 polling HQ’s and each had an average 400 or so polling booths and if I assume 5 EVM per polling booth it would be a total of 612,000 EVM to be tampered with.

So, I would need at a minimum 500000 (assuming some will vote multiple times) men/women (registered to vote) who are extremely disciplined, trusted and can be handed the code to enter to each EVM to be tampered. Again from the MLA’s own words the code is different depending on the serial order of your party on the ballot box and hence I cannot blanket distribute a code for all of them. So, we would need a minimum of 100-200 different numbers to be circulated among these folks.

For sake of argument, any party needs to win half the seats to be in majority. That could cut down the requirement to 310,000 add to that the collusion with the election officers in each polling booths and the hierarchy needed to maintain this many people in line and to expect not a single one of them come out to the media or threaten to come out on media. 

Are we kidding ourselves, even the Indian army cannot handle this kind of massive effort stealthily. One can argue the election happened in phases even then the number of people required to pull off a scam like this is truly mind boggling, I don’t understand why no one in the media is raising this question? 

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Parking and parking

The Indian store on William C near Walgreens in setup in a real tight and heavy traffic area. Good for them for they seem to be getting great business and at the same time bad for us for the parking limited and those available are meant for extreme compacts let alone minivans. But that tight parking doesn't seem to bother lot of us for more than once I have witnessed a minivan trying to fit into a compact space, one time some guy parked his Odyssey so close to my sedan that there was literally 4 inches between the cars.

Yesterday was the peak when a lady squeezed her minivan between 2 cars hoping to avoid hitting one car but in the process got herself jammed with the car on the other side. She got so badly stuck that there was no way for her to getout without causing considerable damage to either her car or the other parked car.

I think the problem is 2 fold, one is our in built greed to park right in front of the store and walk the minimal distance to get in and out of the store. Second is the banning of one time use carry bags by the City of Austin. More than likely people forget their multi use carry-bags (like I do 100% of time) and our local Indian stores unlike HEB doesn't sell either.

So, solution to the cars getting damaged is for the Indian stores to start selling multi use carry bags :).