Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This is the River where Human Civilisation began

The Saraswati River begins in the Himalayas ( This portion known as Baspa)
It seems that the human species appeared on the planet a couple of hundred thousand years ago but they did not behave in a manner that was very different from other animals species up until the last glacial period, popularly known as the Ice Age some 12000 years ago. Perhaps evolution to the modern human as we know now was not yet complete and a few more genes needed to be inserted to make humans substantially distinct from other animals.

A few genes are all that is required to change a species. There is hardly any uniqueness to the human genes. They are akin to 99 percent of the chimpanzees, and 70 percent of rats  :). ( A blogger friend Vincent will vehemently oppose this - we are not from rats! ) I have an entire blog on how these changes take place here that an interested reader may look up. Evolution is an ongoing process and mankind does not know where evolution will take it next, although that hardly matters to us, because substantial changes take place over periods much longer than a lifetime (or if sooner, only through reincarnation as those with an eastern spiritual beliefs think).

Between three and four thousand BC, three great river valley civilizations with planned urban areas sprang up in three different parts of the world - Indus Valley, Sumeria and Nile valley in Egypt.  Recent archeological findings at Bhirrana near Delhi push back the origins of the Indus valley civilization to 7500 BC i.e. the oldest of the three. Thus it was from here that organized human civilization spread first to Sumeria then Egypt and later Athens, Rome, Europe and most recently the new world. Each new quanta of civilization was more advanced than the last, at least as far as technology was concerned but perhaps not as regards values of love, truth and simplicity. Therefore it is questionable if humans have become happier as civilization has advanced and become more comfortable physically, except for brief periods when leading lights such as Jesus and Buddha appeared to get humans back to these fundamental values over brief sections of time and space. Instead, the more advanced humans have become at least materially, the more stressed out they are.

The Indus civilization has been named incorrectly because from archeological evidence this civilization was centered along another nearby river that was mightier called the Saraswati River. This last river has now more or less disappeared except for patches. The latest scientific research proves conclusively that some few thousand years ago this river was fed by Himalayan rivers that now pour into the rivers Sutlej and Yamuna to west and east because of tectonic and other geological events. Beginning from smaller streams in the Himalayas from near the Tibetan border and from the Saraswati Mountain Ranges (the Bunderpoonch) the Saraswati River became a mighty river by the time it reached the plains. Some portions fill up during monsoon months revealing parts of the contours of the ancient river now known as the Ghaggar-Hakra. It does not flow in dry seasons anymore because it has become disconnected from its glacial origins due to either tectonic shifts or just plain old mud sildes in the Himalayas. The glacial rivers - the Baspa and the Tons - that fed it some five thousand years ago have now shifted and pour into rivers to the west and east (the Sutlej and the Yamuna). Nevertheless high up in the Himalayas one may still see initial portions of the Saraswati river, as shown in the picture with the post. The sight is so beautiful that one does not fail to remark – yes, this is it, this is where it all began

For more details of all this I have a detailed blog with dates, maps, references etc. at http://alienaccount.blogspot.com
The Saraswati River flows as Baspa near Chitkul

The picture above is not a creation by artist for a canvas or picture post card. it is a real photo by:
Sanyam Bahga
Baspa River flowing near Chitkul
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Upper Baspa River Photo courtesy
A memorable walk amidst flowers, at Raksham. And, the Baspa river. Photo: Rishad Saam Mehta

Some modifications effected to photos before posting here

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Singing Children

Over the past few months, moved by distress of large numbers of children in different parts of the world, I have written furiously, more actively towards the cause than ever before from children on the the American borders to most recently those in Gaza, in this blog as well as much elsewhere on Facebook, Twitter and various other places online. The hope has been to win a few hearts and minds to come forward and contribute in any way they can to help relieve the distress of a child or even a few children, or in the very least to stop making it more difficult for them by branding them as illegals, human shields etc and whatever else increases the distress of these sweet innocent yet traumatized children. Many of my communications have been addressed to world leaders, world organizations and to ordinary folks like you and me. In the process it goes without saying that it upsets some vested interests deriving benefits, howsoever misguided, from the situation and one also faces criticism in any such endeavor aside from appreciation by others who share the concern.

Nevertheless, if all the effort has saved the life on even one child, brought laughter and a smile in the lives of a few more, the long hours spent have been worth it, even though it is certain that the impact has been much wider. Therefore readers come forth and join the song that brings joy in the lives of children.

Since this note was written, while the distress of children in Gaza and American borders have eased a bit, a new one has begun in Yemen, South Sudan and with Syrian Refugees. It is most heart breaking to see scenes of children starving in Yemen or little toddlers of three or four making their way as refugees through Europe in cold and rain. What has come over our world that it has become so impotent to do something for these sweet children even. Has greed, selfishness and pride blinded it completely? The world  spares no efforts to ever supply arms and bombs for these conflicts but does little to bring peace. If it continues on this course, it will surely cause the Universe that gave birth to all life to intervene and bring about the last days to a new beginning when much of civilization as we know of shall be no more. All good humans of the Earth, please pray for our children and never hesitate to make your voice heard for them, in whatever way you can.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Rose is a thing of Beauty

A white rose bush at home
While our planet has numerous pretty flowers, the rose somehow has a very special place. The sight of a rose never fails to gladden the heart despite the fact that it has thorns underneath, perhaps as a warning to life that beauty must be treated with delicacy and care or it will bite. The home in which I have stayed most in the past quarter century was built by me bit by bit in a rather dry and hot part of the country. As a result rose bushes do not come up as well as in cooler northern parts that I have lived in too from time to time in this quarter century. Nevertheless rose bushes may be grown and they do bloom well for a part of the year with a little care for the plant. 

White roses
My favorites are the yellow and white varieties but these bloom with less profusion here than reds and pinks. Therefore in the first fifteen years or so the yellow and white varieties died off quickly. However a change has taken place in the last seven years and now the other colors have dried off and only white remains. My understanding is that flowering plants, especially the sensitive ones sense the inner emotional state of the owner and choose their locations according to emotional compatibility. The change of colors signifies this. An earlier post in this blog has gone into the meaning of rose colors (see here).

Therefore, when I wrote a novel some years ago that included the creation of a  new town in the Himalayas (see The Babaji Affair and Nude besides the lake) it is not surprising that I made the town into the rose capital of the Himalayas. The story has a nude mystic, something that some eastern mystics do and people of this town are forever trying to garland him with roses to hide his willy for a photo shoot :)

This summer was a hot one and the rose bushes had stopped blooming but with a good monsoon and cooler temperatures they have burst forth once again.There are enough to make a garland in case a Himalayan Mystic drops in, dressed in nothing but the sky. LOL :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Peace in Iraq and Syria was and still is easily possible

And Gaza too

Dark Clouds over Iraq and Syria - oil on canvas by ashok

While much of the world watches the turmoil in Iraq and Syria with anguish, it is not that easy solutions to the problem were not possible. They are possible even now if what follows is heeded but there is someone who would lose - The Arms industry. How tragic it is that the world has seen such tragic scenes in Gaza, Iraq and Syria for so long, especially when far easier, far less violent solutions to the issues have been in the public domain for years now, some as indicated and linked in this post.  These solutions are not just in hindsight but have been in the public domain for years.  An old Facebook note is copied here verbatim with the latest update as below. Years ago, I wrote my views on the crisis in Iraq and because of my concern for the country, I even communicated my views to the White House and Downing street, for within my note was a suggestion for a peaceful future for that country. However, my suggestions were disregarded as is often the case for voices from the wilderness or wisdom.  My familiarity with that country arose because I had been a Professor for four years in one of the leading universities of the country, having gone there on a foreign assignment program between the Iraq and Indian government. As reports of violence continue in Iraq, I revisited that note today. Thanks to Google, old notes can be searched out in seconds. It is copied and repeated here. Perhaps it is too late now to consider the suggestions afresh but in any case it is repeated here for whatever it is worth now, when tragically many lives continue to be lost on a daily basis at the time of writing this note. An old reference on the matter: http://www.pressbox.co.uk/detailed/International/A_Perspective_on_Iraq_89371.html

A Perspective on Iraq 

Added: (Fri Nov 17, 2006)

Pressbox (Press Release) - My introduction to Iraq began in 1986 when I joined the University of Mosul as a Professor of Engineering. At that time Saddam Hussein was aggressively recruiting foreign nationals to improve higher education in the country. My stay was comfortable and I continued to stay in Iraq for four years. It was widely believed at the time that criticism of Saddam was not permitted. However, one could debate policies and except for this restriction as well as that on travel for Iraqi nationals there was relative peace and prosperity in Iraq. During this period I learned the Arabic language and made many close friends from amongst the Iraqis. It was believed by many intellectuals including myself at the time that although a restriction on freedoms was regrettable it was an unavoidable necessity in Iraq because without it there was a strong possibility that Iraqis would begin killing each other. There were very deep historical factors that would lead to disturbance unless controlled by a strict hand. Subsequent events have proved that this assumption was a correct one.

Some years ago, when Saddam was removed as a result of military action by US lead coalition forces I sent emails to the White house as well as 10 Downing Street in the UK explaining my perception of the situation. My suggestion was that if Iraq could be divided along ethnic lines including some smaller communities to create six or seven provinces in a federal set up then the possibility of peace was greater. The occupying forces could have organized such a division in the heat of victory relatively easily. However that was not done at the time. Recently it appears that a federal set up for Iraq is being considered for three communities the Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs and Kurds. In my view a division into three entities would also spell problems and lead to the break up of Iraq into three separate countries. Two can gang up against one. A better proposition is to include some other ethnic groups as well; three other groups in Iraq are the Assyrians, Yezhidis and Turkman. Two of them are non-Muslim communities and the third is non-Arab. These three extra communities are minorities but have significant populations that too can be allocated small geographical regions within a new Iraq. A rotating president-ship of the federation by rotation or election by the six presidents may then be possible.

My present knowledge of what is happening in Iraq comes from the media but two concepts being tossed around are beyond my comprehension.

The first is that the coalition forces are training Iraqis for security. That to my mind is a totally ridiculous concept. If it was said that Iraqis are training coalition forces for security that would be more understandable, not the reverse. The Iraqis themselves know far better how to handle the security in Iraq then any outsider. They have done so for five thousand years

The second concept that is beyond my understanding is the US refrain that they have to win. What do they want to win? There is nothing to win or loose in Iraq. Is the reference to winning peace and stability? If so, then the only way is for the coalition forces to move out since that appears to be one of the causes of instability. Iraq has never been more deprived and unstable in its five thousand year long history than in recent times, after US interference began. It should be stopped immediately. Iraqi parents and children are just as sweet as American ones and deserve to live just as much.

Submitted by:Ashok Malhotra

As regards Syria: 
Closing thought: Based on the Iraq experience and perhaps also the Afghanistan one, the world is currently showing a great reluctance to intervene in Syria. In the view of this author while the earlier intervention may have been a mistake, the present approach of not intervening in Syria may yet be another one as explained  - http://ashokmalhotra.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/need-for-a-new-international-law-to-save-humans-syria/

UPDATE August 2014

Whenever a note such as this is written it is based on an assessment of the situation and no one including the author can ever be hundred percent sure if the suggestions are correct. However time does reveal the extent of their validity. The turmoil that has continued in Iraq as well those of communities like Yezidis and Christians would now seem to validate the main thrust of this old note.

One may have disagreed with some of the specifics but even those are being validated now - for example the worthlessness of American security training in the region was mentioned . That too could not have been more clearly validated when the American trained security forces in Iraq deserted Mosul despite their modern American weapons while the locally trained Kurdish Peshmarga fighters held their ground much better even with primitive weapons.

A second point made in this note that not intervening in Syria as suggested could be a big mistake is also coming true. The birth of ISIS is a direct consequence of this non-intervention.

Violence leads its practitioners and supporters to Hell.

The insights of this author about the region arose because he spent four years in the region as a Professor, learning the languages of the region and intermingling closely with that culture in order to acquire an understanding of their inner motivations..
Notes on the ancient origins of Iraqi and Syrian civilisation can be found in another blog by the author at http://alienaccount.blogspot.in/

 As regards Gaza

While this note has been about Iraq and Syria this author has not been unconcerned about the violence in Gaza and written about that too recently, while having written several years ago too with possible solutions to the violence. The misery inflicted particularly on children has been heart breaking. An old note from 2006 - Violence in Gaza is deplorable - here http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Violence-in-Ghaza-is-Deplorable&id=1862471


While this note points out many errors the world may have made in the Middle east, ONE NEW ONE IS PERHAPS UNFOLDING. The world is going after ISIL without dealing with the cause that gave birth to it - The government of Assad. The world must grant him safe asylum and amnesty and access to his funds elsewhere. This view is identical to that with many in Turkey who understand the region and its problem from close at hand


The situation has now changed in Syria and it is too late for attempting to focus on  Assad leaving. Now the only way out is either for US and Syria to sit together and work out a solution or for US, UK and rest to leave the region and let Russia work towards peace with Iran.

In Conclusion may an ancient truth be pointed out most humbly, Righteous Wars may bring peace but wars for preservation of self interest alone shall bring pain and disaster, for violence begets violence.

Photo above from https://www.facebook.com/ClimateChangeGuide/photos/a.220106464729858.53038.209071469166691/722176571189509/?type=1&theater

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why is depression more common in richer countries?

The unfortunate suicide and demise of Robin Williams has renewed a debate on depression in the social media. In an earlier post in this blog – The Joy of a rustic life –  it was described how the poor seem to be far happier than the rich. Yes there are times of devastation when the poor have no support or buffer, such as a poor farmer in debt and drought who is driven to suicide but in the main I have found this conclusion to hold most times.

This phenomenon appears to apply not just to the rich and poor but also between rich and poor countries. Levels of stress and depression are much higher in the richer countries of the world than the poor who seem to laugh much more after saying Manyahna with a banana for lunch. I have experienced this at close quarters after having lived in both types of countries for several years. When a poor country or even a rich one is mentioned here, the reference is to those that are not disturbed by an internal or external war, even an internal drug war, or a brutal dictator because living conditions in these are often close to hell. Those who are past sixty could test this proposition with a comparison with their own countries some fifty-sixty years ago when the country was perhaps not as rich.

The answer to our title question is not far to seek. Although things like physical exercise, sunshine, communing with nature, living a natural life with natural food and medicines etc. can contribute towards decreasing stress and depression what contributes most is  a control on things like greed, selfishness and being overly concerned with one self and ones goals, success etc. Lending a helping hand or thought to others in need or distress is the finest tonic for this condition, for depression that persists is nothing but a signal from the soul that it is sinking in the eyes of the universe, that its real worth is reducing, even though it may be succeeding in the eyes of the world while happiness the reverse. Taking a drug to help alleviate the situation may be the worst possible solution because after its temporary relief the condition is likely to return with greater force if changes have not been made in the very conditions that caused it in the first place. If the drug is continued its side effects may kill sooner than the depression will. Perhaps a glass of wine would be safer in many cases, in the very least it is a natural product and not a chemical from a lab.

It is a common observation that the poor are far more generous than the rich with whatever little they have and that as humans get more they get even greedier so that the compensations and bonuses of bankers and top executives who have the controlling strings in their hands sky rocket, unless controlled by law or tax as in happier Scandinavian countries, and still do not seem to be enough.

This same point has been expressed through an interpretation of yoga in an earlier post on entropy yoga and high and low entropy countries (here). What has been described is that although order and discipline are prerequisites to evolution and development, something that the rich and developed nations have cultivated in  great abundance, by itself, they do not suffice and have to be followed up by inculcating the principles of love, truth and simplicity something that the poor seem to have in greater abundance.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Will the World end in 2030 or 2050?

Humans as well as plants and animals live comfortably in the temperature range of 10 to 30 degree centigrade. When temperatures fall below 10 or rise above 30 it begins to get uncomfortable. Below zero or above 40 it sure is like hell. There are very few parts of the world where temperature remains in the range of 10 to 30 and therefore most humans do suffer a bit of hellish or hell-like conditions for at least a part of the year, unless they have implemented man-made measures to mitigate the discomfort.. Aside from these hot and cold hells there are also dry and wet hells on earth. The dry ones are near desert areas and the wet ones are those that are prone to floods almost every year such as in the Philippines and Bangladesh. Aside from what the climate gives, humans can do a lot to improve their living. Thus while some in Canada have made life comfortable through things like central heating, some other parts of the world have made living worse and closer to hell due to corruption, disorderly life (opposite of entropy yoga) and poor governance.

Those who are spiritually inclined and trust deeply in the doings of the Universal intelligence believe that all life gets exactly the conditions it deserves and that there is no error in this universal law. If that be the case one may then question what is it that the majority of humans have done to deserve their less than desirable settings. That is not a very difficult question to answer. Very many humans are prone to the practice of greed, physical or verbal violence and the use of lies for personal benefit and the destruction of the environment such as forests.

A second relevant question to ask, assuming once again that the law is true is that if humans changed and became good persons in the main. protecting environment and the forests, shunning violence, greed and lies, would they be able to attain heaven like living conditions? The population of earth has reached seven billion and is increasing every year. There is hardly any room in the climatically pleasant parts of the world to house so many. Rather the reverse is happening as humans are being increasingly pushed into more and more crowded cities and dwellings due to a rapidly rising population, many compelled to live in homes like those of insects, stacked to the left, right, above and below as in a beehive, unless they become homeless and can freeze on an open street.

However the Universal intelligence is also infinitely powerful. If a time comes that humans in the main turn to a new leaf or as is happening most become evil beyond sustainable levels, it is within its easy reach to prune the population down in a hurry. There are comets that can be ordered to change their course for example and collide with the earth bringing an end to over population just as the dinosaurs were once ended in the past, leaving just a few chosen souls to enjoy the planet later.

Saintly persons and advanced yogis who are tuned in to the Universal consciousness know some of the future. That is why they are called prophets too. Many of them including Jesus and Baba Haidakhan (read about him here) have predicted that such a time shall come soon. What their soon means is however a different matter because when one tunes in to the Universal consciousness time scales can vary vastly. One might make a guess that this time would be preceded by a time of a rapid increase of population to reach its sustainable limit of around ten billion. Some fairly reliable predictions place that point at 2050. So will the world as we know, a world in which thousands of children are killed or millions including the aged displaced from their homes on a routine basis, while some of the world claps at it and much of the world remains unconcerned, worrying more about trivia, come to an end in 2050? Personally this author thinks that the sustainable limit of our planet is more nearly 9 billion rather than ten billion. If that be the case the world as we know it may end in 2030 or 2040 depending on the prediction one refers to.

Yet the world is not without hope. Perhaps all in not lost yet. Perhaps the words of the prophets have not been understood fully. The world could still turn a new leaf and begin to uphold values of love, justice and truth rather than just self interest, greed, pride sans compassion. Things could change then. Modern communications can be a great aid in this direction because lies and evil prosper in the dark and get exposed and controlled when information flows freely. It would then not be necessary for the Universal consciousness to overhaul a planet gone astray on a massive scale. The change would have to begin from the top, from the leaders of the most powerful and richest countries of our planet, because when a fire starts from within and reaches the top, the flames have to be doused beginning from the top, when a cancer begins within and engulfs a body to reach the surface, the cure has to begin at the surface.

Individuals free of excessive greed, lies and evil need not worry in either case. As regards individuals, nothing stops them from pursuing the path of love, truth and simplicity and the same prophets that have foretold the end of the world have also foretold that these latter shall be saved and personally protected by the Universal hand, assuring them a future filled with joy, beauty, peace and divine bliss. Small numbers of deserving humans already live in that state in places such as shown in the picture with this note and the eternally sweet divine music already plays for them. 

For a prediction with more precise dates read more here:

Reports on a Hazardous Comets/Asteroid



Friday, August 8, 2014

Lives of Children are not getting any Better

You brought us to the world, now we belong; If you keep us safe, we'll sing  you a song

A painting of children at play by Karen Arnold
While childhood is supposed to be the happiest and loveliest part of life for humans, it is very tragic that large parts of the world have become increasingly unsafe for large numbers of children. Despite much progress in other areas of life, humans appear to be failing when it comes to children. Unless this trend is reversed it will not augur well for the future of mankind. While poverty due to economic greed, exploitation, corruption etc. is a serious cause for hunger and malnutrition amongst children, the present note is not about that since that is not a problem specific to the modern age, even though some of it has returned to the most developed parts of the world too as economies have returned to their historic trickle up mode after a brief lull of around fifty years and wealth inequalities have increased. There are other articles on that issue in this blog. This one is about causes that have little to do with poverty.

As humans urbanize and cities grow, playgrounds are disappearing and children are becoming exposed to crime that thrives in urban anonymity. Increased traffic and pollution is affecting health and safety adversely and a lack of green and outdoors, especially in apartment living is compromising emotional health. Earlier posts in this blog have advocated greener living and proposed new designs for cities (AM Cities) that incorporate planned green spaces within the cities. Children would be the greatest beneficiaries of such living.

I can say without hesitation that childhood was much better when I was a child than it is now. Few women worked and mother was always around when needed. We walked or ran to school without any danger of predators or traffic and open spaces were in close vicinity of homes to improvise as a cricket or football field whenever a group of children so desired. Outdoor play is without doubt far healthier than one on a computer console or in front of a TV screen. However while all this is unfortunate, something much more tragic is taking place.

Wars are causing children to flee their homes even without their parents in many cases. This is happening due to drug wars in Central American countries, ethnic and tribal wars in Africa, and other wars in places like Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. While in Syria it seems to be because a brutal dictator will just not step aside, in Iraq it is because of ancient differences between ethno-religious factions uncontrolled by an effective government. In Palestine it arises because land belonging to its original inhabitants has been occupied or blockaded so that they are not able to live with freedom and dignity anymore. Their protests, not always peaceful as Gandhi advocated, is leading to the occupiers not being allowed to occupy peacefully and live without dangers of attack to their population. They have responded to the danger to lives and discomfort by a gruesome slaughter of hundreds of children in response to two of their own civilians killed, while damaging several thousand more along with their homes, just over the last one month, with the help of weapons and support from some of the leading powers of our world (see here).

Why the leading powers do it is not fully clear to this author. They say it is in their strategic interest but one wonders if it is a misplaced economic interest that revolves around their arms industry. It is misplaced because if economic activity in production of weapons is disrupted, investments would automatically move to another more peaceful area leading to alternative economic activity. From the beginning of civilization very many humans have not been averse to causing even extreme misery to other humans when it comes to satisfying their greed, and as mentioned elsewhere in this blog greed has no automatic safety valve to limit and put a stop to it as lust has. Using a different set of human values for one's own and others is not uncommon. That this should continue to happen in the modern age is a severe indictment on human progress. It does seem that exposure through modern open flow of information will first expose then chip away this evil.  However, old habits die hard and it will take time. That time has not yet come. The democratic part of the world looks up to America as the leading democracy to uphold human values most especially when it comes to children. However, whenever it finds that some other political or economic agenda has interfered in this objective it is disappointed.

Whenever there is war and upheaval, unscrupulous vested interests develop to take advantage of the situation and make a profit. They make resolution difficult. They offer all sorts of arguments covered in blatant lies to defend the status quo. It is really is up to the world that is still at relative peace to do whatever they can at an individual, organizational, national and international level to help improve the situation in any way they can.

Painting by Karen Arnold

One could also ignore all this, why get involved? However, when it comes to children, if not from compassion, it is the duty of adults to work towards making their lives better, first their own if they have any, and then those elsewhere too. Then there is karma for those who are spiritually inclined and what better karma can one earn than helping other vulnerable humans in need, children being the most vulnerable of them all, and what worst karma could a human accumulate than ignoring the heartbreaking cries of a child in deep pain and suffering.

May all the the children of our world play free of fear and sleep in peace.

Child images adapted from http://publicdomainpictures.net

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An Appeal to Gaza, Israel and America

A humanitarian appeal for a part of the world that has seen one of the worst tragedies that mankind and little children have seen in recent times, for the sake of the loveliest amongst humans- little children:

Now that a ceasefire has come this author hopes that Gaza and Israel would both work hard to let bygones be bygones and work towards a better, safer and brighter future for their children. Americans could atone for any inadvertent errors of the past in ensuring that this happens while contributing in a major way towards the rebuilding of Gaza that lies in ruins because it is primarily American support, vetoes, money and weapons that have made this havoc possible. The money for this reconstruction will not place any additional burden on the American people if simply the aid America gives to Israel is redirected for a few years towards this reconstruction. It would be in the best of American values and tradition where even in the past it has helped countries like Germany and Japan to recover from the devastation of war. Lives lost cannot be recovered but at least homes and infrastructure to improve the lives of children that remain can be restored.
Gaza, Israel and America and the Children of Gaza
Note: A spelling error occurred in the hurriedly produced poster, by=be, but would just let that stay now as something that the Lord ordained

The following suggestion for Israel about rockets from Gaza has been in the public domain for more than five years now  

PS: Links to this post were communicated to concerned parties via twitter so that they may reach some while peace talks are on in Cairo. The talks appear to be a great beginning and one tweet said that Israel has agreed to lift blockade. That is a great start, the rest is as in this post

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Curry Leaf tree

Curry leaf plant
We have talked of several trees in this blog but one important one has been missed so far – The curry leaf tree. It can grow as a small bush and if given enough space develop into trees that are even twenty feet tall. It is a lovely addition to any garden, especially because its leaves are an aromatic and delicious herb that will enrich many recipes from omelets to lentil soups, fish and much more. The interested reader may find its use in many recipes by a google search. We just added some to a delicious dish of spinach puree and chickpea flour dumplings (Besan gatta sag). It is still simmering on the kitchen stove as I write this post.

The tree will grow in any area that does not have sub zero temperature winters. The nice thing about it is that it produces healthy leaves round the years and is available to perk up a recipe at home any time. A small tree of this as well as several other smaller ones has been growing in my backyard for decades. A photo of some that I snapped a few minutes ago is included with this post. As with any tree leaf food, it is the new tender leaves that are most delicious and aromatic. If you live in a area that does not have snowy winters, consider planting one right away and if an apartment it will even grow in a pot. The tree does well in a forest too and is a good addition to one if you live near one. Beginning with a couple its seeds will spread and there will be curry leaf trees all over the forest in times to come. It is not invasive and will let other trees grow too in brotherly companionship.

The curry leaf has numerous health benefits from helping blood, heart, diabetes to liver and much more. It is a good thing to eat. There are several well documented studies on these benefits. If you wish you can read about one here

Saturday, August 2, 2014

How a three month old baby saved a whole family

Three month old Rudra of Malin Village

A few days ago at a place called Malin Village in Pune, India, a landslide brought an entire hillside crashing down and wiped out over 40 homes. Tens of bodies have been found and the count is rising; 150 are still missing. Earlier in the year the hillside above had been cleared of trees for farming and the hillside that had held solid for hundreds of years came crashing down in the rain because there was nothing to hold the soil together now.

In a small home a mother was feeding her three month old baby Rudra when the crash happened. All around them their home came crashing down and they were trapped in tons of rubble. She screamed for help but none heard and she eventually fainted as did the grandparents of Rudra in another corner of the same home.

But Rudra continued to cry and yell from time to time. His cries were picked up by listening instruments of a rescue team. The rubble was cleared carefully and underneath was Rudra who smiled in thanks and shook his tiny clenched fist in joy at the rescuers. His mother and grandparents were rescued soon after too.

Rudra's grandmother Shakuntala said, "I still don't know how we survived." All four are now at a government hospital. Doctors say they are not hurt badly, just shocked at finding most of their neighbors dead. But God saved them and God appears in little kids at the time of need.

When little babies are slaughtered or maimed with their parents after destruction of their homes by shelling and bombs, such as those in Syria and Gaza; humans must realize what it is that they are slaughtering and destroying. It is an attempt to destroy God and everything He implies, but men may come and men may go, and angels on earth that appear as babies may be slaughtered back to heaven for the profits of the industrial military complex and the mansions of the leaders its funds, to suffer the smell of death and wail of ghosts of children killed, for a while before the universe perchance throws them into bottomless pit, He shall survive as long as the universe does and ever after for He is the Universe and the creator of the Universe.