Month: March 2012
ഇരിങ്ങാലക്കുട: വരണമാല്യം അണിയാന് ദിവസങ്ങള് ബാക്കിനില്ക്കെ ദേവദാസ് നടന്നു കയറിയത് മരണത്തിലേക്ക്. 12ദിവസം ദേവദാസിന്റെ വിവാഹദിനമായിരുന്നു. നിരന്തരം പ്രശ്നങ്ങളുണ്ടാക്കുന്ന മേഘാര്ജ്ജുനന്റെ പാപ്പാനായി ഏഴുമാസം മുന്പാണ് ചുമതലയേറ്റത്. 18 വയസ്സ് പ്രായമുണ്ടെങ്കിലും ആനക്ക് നീര് ഒലിച്ചിരുന്നില്ല. ദേവദാസിന്റെ പരിചരണമൂലം നീര് ഒലിച്ചുവെന്നും ആനയെ നല്ല രീതയിലാണ് ദേവദാസ് ആനയെ പരിചരിക്കുന്നതെന്നും ദേവസ്വം അധികൃതര് പറയുന്നു. നീരിനുശേഷം കഴിഞ്ഞ 1ന് ആനയെ അഴിച്ചപ്പോള് ഇടഞ്ഞിരുന്നുവെങ്കിലും തുടര്ന്നും ആനയെ ക്ഷേത്രത്തിന്റെ വിവിധ ഭാഗങ്ങളിലേക്ക് മാറ്റി മാറ്റി കെട്ടി ഒരുവിധത്തില് ആനയെ അനുസരണയിലാക്കിവരികയായിരുന്നുവെന്നും പറയുന്നു. ആനയുടെ പുറകില് നടന്നിരുന്ന ദേവദാസിനോട് രണ്ടാംപാപ്പാന് മുന്നിലേക്ക് കയറി നടക്കാന് ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടതിനെ തുടര്ന്നായിരുന്നു ദേവദാസ് വിശ്വാസപൂര്വ്വം ആനയുടെ അരികുചേര്ന്ന് മുന്നിലേക്ക് നടന്നു കയറിയത്. എന്നാല് ആന യാതൊരു പ്രകോപനവുമില്ലാതെ ആന കൊമ്പുകൊണ്ട് മതിലിനോട് ചേര്ത്ത് കുത്തി കോര്ത്തെടുത്ത് ഉയര്ത്തുന്നതിനിടെ ഊര്ന്നു വീണ ദേവദാസ് വിശ്വസിച്ച് ഊട്ടിയ ആനയോട് എന്താ ആനെ കാണിക്കുന്നതെന്ന ചോദ്യത്തോടെയായിരുന്നു ജീവിതത്തോട് വിടപറഞ്ഞത്.
Distracted on the road – My Letters – GULF NEWS – Dt 26.03.2012
Distracted on the road
During one of my drives from Abu Dhabi to Dubai I noticed many drivers using their mobile phones to talk or send text messages. I also noticed that many of them drive luxury cars and many are female drivers. In one case, I saw a woman driving with a small child sitting between her and the door, while talking on the phone to someone. I have a feeling that the number of middle class residents using their phones while driving has decreased due to heavy fines. So why don’t the authorities implement a pro rata-based percentage surcharge on top of the regular fine that is based on the type of car the motorist drives, his or her employment or salary? Those who drive such expensive cars are supposed to be educated and should project themselves to the society as an example in terms of being safe on the roads. I am writing this after seeing many drivers either talking or sending text messages while driving.
To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS online.
From Mr Ramesh Menon
Dear Reader(s) from Mountain View, California,
I am curious, when I see every day, the following message.
Confusing crossing – GULF NEWS – Community Report Dt 25.03.2012
- By Ramesh Menon, Gulf News Reader
- Published: 00:00 March 25, 2012
Right: The pedestrian crossing is for handicapped only but the sign escapes the attention of residents who are at risk of being fined.
The area around Abu Dhabi Mall is one of the busiest places in the emirate, especially during the early mornings and evenings. There is always a constant flow of visitors to the numerous embassies, shops and offices situated there.
The group of artistes were from different parts of the world and the performance was harmoniously blended with the artistes complementing each other on traditional Indian and Spanish musical instruments and melody.
The theme Traveller turned out to be perfect as the rhythm and mood created a “gypsy feeling” in the audience’s mind.
What made the concert more interesting was the way they took off from one style to another using musical instruments that were non-conventional to those styles they attempted.
Pin-drop silence was what we experienced at the huge auditorium of Emirates Palace, except for the magical sounds coming out from them.
It is true that music has no boundaries.
I could relate this pride of watching her perform live at Abu Dhabi when after the programme some guests leaving the auditorium mentioned, “I watched her dad perform 40 years ago in New York and now her in Abu Dhabi. Both bring the same sweet smile, calmness and ease of quality music out when they sit to perform.”
To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online.
Rousing start to Abu Dhabi Festival – My Letters – GULF NEWS Dt. 21 March 2012
- Staff Report
- Published: 00:00 March 21, 2012
Abu Dhabi: The seventh edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival was inaugurated at a special ceremony at the Emirates Palace Hotel attended by dignitaries, guests and members of the public, on Monday.
Iraqi artist Hassan Massoudy’s specially commissioned calligraphy exhibition ‘Gestures of Light’ was the highlight of the evening’s programme along with a performance by internationally renowned musician Anoushka Shankar, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading sitar players, and the only artist to be trained exclusively by her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar.
“Every year we aim to showcase the diversity of the world’s artists and genres by bringing a taste of global music and performances to the nation’s capital. With Anoushka’s involvement in this year’s festival, we broke new ground with her mesmerising young talent renowned the world over and set a new bar for future performances,” said Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, founder and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival.
Additionally, outstanding Emirati students from the UAE University, Zayed University and the Higher Colleges of Technology were recognised for their participation in initiatives supported by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation.
They included the Young Media Leaders programme, which provides training for careers in the media and the Theatre-in-Education (Tie) programme, a series of workshops led by the City University of New York’s creative arts team.
The festival also presented a lifetime achievement award posthumously to Dr Walid Gholmieh, a prominent conductor, composer, scholar and activist for western classical music in the Middle East, and a defining influence in Lebanon’s classical landscape.
The 27-day event, which will end on April 6, includes 168 cultural and artistic events across the UAE.
My comments as follows:
Contesting as a candidate for a literary post, I realised I had to be more socio-politically conscious along with my literary abilities if I have to venture again.
Although, the election was done by voting of members.
I realised that there were only very few who opted to utilise their voting rights. It made me think about our general cry for voting rights to be part of national constitutional formations.
What will happen, if majority refrain from their civic rights to elect a candidate by way of a vote.
My share of advice after this interesting event is, if given a choice to participate in such an activity, do not miss it and vote it right.
Also as a candidate, one should keep a winning attitude and strategy to see the race through with smiles.
Indian federal budget fails to impress the majority – My letters – Gulf News 16 March 2012
Indian federal budget fails to impress the majority
Analysts said the budget did not make a serious effort to rein in subsidies. The Finance Minister announced that from 2012-13 while subsidies related to food and for administering the Food Security Act will be fully provided for, all other subsidies would be funded to the extent that they can be borne by the economy without any adverse implications. He said that the government will endeavour to restrict the expenditure on central subsidies under 2 per cent of GDP in 2012-13and over the next three years, it would be further brought down to 1.75 per cent of GDP.
“The market was hoping for a lower deficit for the next financial year, so disappointing from that perspective. India continues to have the largest fiscal deficit within emerging Asia, hence expect this to weigh on the rupee,” said Jonathan Cavenagh, foreign exchange strategist, Westpack, Singapore.
In the budget estimates for 2012-13, the gross tax receipts are estimated at 10, 7.76 trillion which is an increase of 15.6 per cent over the Budget Estimates and 19.5 per cent over the revised estimates for 2011-12. After devolution to States, the net tax to the central government in 2012-13 is estimated at Rs 77 trillion. The Non Tax Revenue Receipts are estimated at Rs16.46 trillion and Non-debt Capital Receipts at Rs 4.16 trillion. The total expenditure for 2012-13 is budgeted at Rs149 trillion. Of this Rs52 trillion is the Plan Expenditure while Rs96.9 trillion is budgeted as Non Plan Expenditure.
The tax proposals are guided by the need to move towards the Direct Tax Code (DTC) in the case of direct taxes and Goods & Services Tax (GST) in the case of indirect taxes. For now it appears that the DTC has been deferred from the planned implementation from April 1, 2012.
Individual income upto Rs200,000 will be free from income tax; income upto Rs 180,000 was exempt in 2011-12. Income above Rs500,000 and upto Rs 1 million now carries tax at the rate of 20 per cent; the 20 per cent tax slab was from Rs500,000 to Rs800,000 in 2011-12. A deduction of up to Rs10,000 is now available for interest from savings bank accounts.
The budget made an attempt to widen the service tax base. All services will now attract service tax, except those in the negative list. The negative list has 17 heads and includes specified services provided by the government or local authorities, and services in the fields of education, renting of residential dwellings, entertainment and amusement, public transportation, agriculture and animal husbandry. Service tax rate is being increased from 10 per cent to 12 per cent, with consequential change in rates for services that have individual tax rates. The standard rate of excise duty for non-petroleum goods is also being raised from 10 per cent to 12 per cent. No change is proposed in peak rate of customs duty of 10 per cent on non-agricultural goods.
The direct tax proposals in the budget will result in a net revenue loss of Rs 450 billion and the raising of indirect taxes will result in a net revenue gain of Rs 4.6 trillion resulting in a net gain of Rs 4.1 trillion.
“The finance minister is looking to collect large sums of money through indirect taxes, probably to mitigate the fiscal situation, but this could have an impact on consumption,” said Deven Choksey, managing director of K R Choksey shares & Securities, Mumbai.
My comments as follows:
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