Sunday, February 28, 2010

India of the Maharajas and British

Lord Maculuay's statement in the British Parliament.

The daughter of an Indian Maharaja celebrates her Panther Shoot


Just read what INDIA was as per LORD MACAULAY on his statement on 2nd February 1835 in the British Parliament. Please read it carefully it will really shock you. please Read the article Carefully.

******** My Comments*************

These photos and Lord Macaulay's address to the British parliament seems to be quite factual. I have seen in an erstwhile aristocratic family's house in Andhra a family tree tracing their ancestors to about the twelfth century. It is full of photos and remarks that so and so Raj Kumar(i) shot their first tiger at the age of 8 or 10 or that another one of them shot 10 tigers in four hours. For one thing they decimated our wildlife and it was considered not just macho but the norm.

After the break up of the Moghul empire there were several small chieftens and India did not exist politically but as a loose conglomeration of local Rajahs and a common thread of Hinduism.

It wa the British through the East India Company which annexed territory by waging modern wars against aristocratic and under prepared Rajahs and their armies. The British also signed treaties with pliable Rahas and created a political India. There were Rajas at every nook and cranny, for example there was and still is a Raja of Venkatgiri (200 Kms from Madras) the palace is rundown and a shame to preservtion of heritage buildings ( I have a photograph which I can share to those interested, A Raja of Cuddapah (150 KMs from Madras), one at Mylavaram (400 KMs) and so on so forth. They were given rights to ownership of the lands and to collect taxes on behalf of the British.

It is surprising that most of them have not been able to develop their properties and the second/third generation are howering around poverty levels. A case in point is the Raja of Venkatgiri. They owned large tracts of property in Mount Road, Saidapet etc. The Satyam Multiplex complex property belonged to them and they started the group of theatres. Today the family does not know how they lost the (Satyam) property as well as other prime locations in Madras. If you go to Gymkhana Club you will see a large portrait of the Maharajah of Venkatgiri in the lobby stating that he donated the land to the club. Today let me assure you with authority none of the original family are members of the club or even if any one of them them have stepped into its domain in the few decades.

I have some more information about the aristocratic lifestyle and if anyone is interested I can share it

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happiness Formula Equation

My school yahoom group is pretty active. Everyday there is a constant stream of mails with jokes (all kinds), news, snippets and friendly and sometimes not so friendly banter. Initially it started out quite naughtily and many years later has sobered down into quite an informative forum.
Recently there was a mail forward from the group about happiness and Kushwant Singh's prescription for being happy. Iam reproducing below the mail forward and my response to it. Please read on.

reasonably contented life, I was musing over what a person should strive for to
achieve happiness. I drew up a list of a few essentials which I put forward for
the readers' appraisal.
1. First and foremost is GOOD HEALTH. If you do
not enjoy good health you can never be happy. Any ailment, however trivial, will
deduct from your happiness.
2. Second, a HEALTHY BANK BALANCE. It need
not run into crores but should be enough to provide for creature comforts and
something to spare for recreation, like eating out, going to the pictures,
travelling or going on holidays on the hills or by the sea. Shortage of money
can be only demoralizing. Living on credit or borrowing is demeaning and lowers
one in one's own eyes.
3. Third, a HOME OF YOUR OWN. Rented premises can
never give you the snug feeling of a nest which is yours for keeps that a home
provides: if it has a garden space, all the better. Plant your own trees and
flowers, see them grow and blossom, cultivate a sense of kinship with
4. Fourth, an UNDERSTANDING COMPANION, be it your spouse or a
friend. If there are too many misunderstandings, they will rob you of your peace
of mind. It is better to be divorced than to bicker all the time.
5. Fifth, LACK OF ENVY towards those who have done better than you in life; risen
higher, made more money, or earned more fame. Envy can be very corroding; avoid
comparing yourself with others.
descend on you for gup-shup. By the time you get rid of them, you will feel
exhausted and poisoned by their gossip-mongering.
7. Seventh, CULTIVATE SOME HOBBIES which can bring you a sense of fulfilment, such as gardening, reading, writing, painting, playing or listening to music. Going to clubs or parties to get free drinks or to meet celebrities is criminal waste of
8. Eighth, every morning and evening, devote 15 minutes to INTROSPECTION.
In the morning, 10 minutes should be spent on stilling the mind
and then five in listing things you have to do that day. In the evening, five
minutes to still the mind again, and ten to go over what you had undertaken to

I have a simpler philosophy. Its actually an equation.

"Happiness is when Reality meets Expectations"

Kushwant Singh has given his list. Obviously all his expectations have been met. He is happy.

If one is able to list and quantify one's expectations be it wealth, fame, partner, hobby etc and if it has been achieved one will be very happy. The real problem happens when one is not sure of one's expectations and keeps chasing moving targets/goals.