Thursday, July 17, 2008


Hi Little Buddies! Welcome to Spin A Story once more.

This time you have a funny little story called the tricky clock.Read through, laugh aloud and let me know if you agree with what naughty Bunty did.Go on--have fun!

Bunty stayed home one day, pretending to be sick.Much to his dislike his mother gave him a high dose of bitter medicine and putting him to sleep, went out shopping.

But no sooner she was gone, Bunty sprang out of the bed and rushed to the forbidden attic where he decided to spend the next couple of hours fishing out scraps and junk from old trunks and boxes.Out flew broken saucers and jugs, tins and spoons, pieces of wood and china but hey! What was that hidden in the bottom corner of the chest?

It was an old time piece which was still working—tick-tock-tick-tock.

“Lovely!” Bunty exclaimed in excitement as he pocketed the clock and climbed down the attic.I shall not tell about this to Mom, he decided.”She is sure to hand it over to the junk collector.”

But little did Bunty know that it was a Tricky Clock which made it’s owner invisible everytime it struck twelve.It was just 11.30 when he got down from the attic and proceeded to invade the kitchen.He wanted to gobble as much as possible before his mother returned back.He began eating and drinking his fill and then suddenly he began hearing voices in the living room.

“Probably mom was back with one of her friends.”he decided quickly swallowing the last bite and tiptoed silently towards the living room.But to his shock he found instead two strange men, huge and burly with bags over their shoulders.

“Burglars!” Bunty told himself getting scared.”I should somehow slip out and raise an alarm.”but as he attempted to escape from the spot, he accidently slipped over the dining chair and went rolling over straight to where the burglars stood in action.

Little did Bunty realize that the very moment the tricky clock inside his pocket had struck twelve and he had become invisible.The burglars could see only the chair rolling towards them and it was their turn to get startled.

“Did you see that?” asked one of them to the other.

“Yes, but who could have pushed the chair ?”

“I see nobody, hello, is there anyone inside?”

Now Bunty began to realize there was something funny going on.He was standing right infront of the thieves and they were not able to see him.Probably he had become invisible by some magic just like one of the movie heroes he had seen recently and now he could do whatever he liked to.

Bunty got into a playful mood.He slapped the men one by one and as they swirled and twirled like a top, he began throwing plates and saucepans next.The burglars were so frightened , they flung their bags were about to run for their lives, just when Bunty got a rope and tied them instead into one rolling bundle.

He then sealed their mouths with an adhesive tape and pasted a sticker over their fore-head which read ‘We are burglars.Please call the Police.’

Bunty then jumped out of the open window, climbed his bicycle and went riding down the lane.People on the road rubbed their eyes in disbelief when they spotted the cycle moving all by itself.

“Am I seeing things?” Mrs. Pinto gasped, letting go of her fruit basket.

“I fear, we are getting possessed.” Mrs. Bhendi replied and the two plump ladies fell dump to the ground.

Bunty was having all the fun as he zoomed down the lane ringing the bell continuously.Next he stopped by his school and drifted to his classroom. Standing over the diaz was the most boring teacher, Mr. Borde, forcing the kids to sing as usual.

“Listen carefully as to how I modulate the pitch” he yelled.”Now repeat after me….
‘Old Macdonald had a farm
Yeeya Yeeya Yo…..
And on that farm he had some ducks

This was when Bunty decided to cheer up the drooling class.He climbed on to a stool next to his singing master and held his nostrils tight.
And all that emerged out of Borde’s voice was just a lengthy shrill “Yeee….yeee…..yeee………..”

The entire class went into giggles.The teacher snorted in anger.

“What the hell was happening to him?” He cleared his throat and resumed and once again Bunty held his nostrils tight and this time it was just a “Ol…..Maaee…maaaaeee….maaaaaeeee………..…..”

The students broke into peals of laughter and as the startled master walked out of the classroom in a huff, Bunty followed him outside and rang the school bell.The entire school came running out.

Having created a chaos at school, the naughty boy decided to return back to check on the housebreakers. By then his mother was home already and got the shock of her life to be welcomed by bungled up burglars.She instantly called the police who had just one sensible question to ask.

“If you were out all the time, then who bound the burglars neatly like a bunch of bananas?”

“Could it be Bunty? the puzzled lady looked skeptical.”But then the lad is been sick since morning and fast asleep by now.

“Hmm…We see…Lead us to him !” The police ordered .

Bunty quickly rushed back to his room and cuddled himself beneath the blanket, praying franctically to becoming visible once again.Lucky for him, the clock inside his pocket struck one just when his mother drew aside the quilt to expose her poor, ailing boy.

“What’s the matter Mom? And why are the police here?” Bunty acted innocent .
“Nothing my dear, you don’t worry.” And mother kissed his forehead and pushed everybody out of the room with a wound up grunt.

Bunty couldn’t help giggling but then he wondered as to what made him invisible in the first place and and then visible all of a sudden?

Could it have been something he had eaten from his mother’s kitchen that morning?

Or something that he drank –did it have a magic potion?

Or…or…could it have been the old clock that he discovered in the attic?

The more he thought about it, the more Bunty became sure of his assumption.He brought out the clock from his pocket and touched it affectionately.

So, that was it. His magic little tricky clock.!

His eyes twinkled and he waited impatiently for it to strike twelve once again!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Hi young buddies! Welcome back to Spin a story.This time I have a cute little story about two kids who learn to ride a tonga when they go to their Grndpa's house.Doen't that sound exciting? Well if you can't manage to ride one, atleast whenever you get a chance, sit in a Tonga and go Tuk-Tuking all around the town.N-joy the ride with Toofan, the horse!

As Akash and Aditi boarded the train to their Grandpa’s village they were wondering as to what the old man had in store for them this vacation.

“Do you remember last year we learnt how to milk the cows?”Aditi pointed in excitement.

“Yes,”her brother’s eyes twinkled.”And the year before that we learnt to swim in the well.”

“Yeah, and the year before that in the fields we were……”and the brother sister duo carried on their recollections.

In no time the train chugged into the simple Station of Chandrapur and there he was standing akimbo over the platform,with a whip in his hand—The Tongawala sent by their Grandfather to receive them.

He lead the kids outside the station where his Tonga stood harnessed to a brown horse busy munching the hay laid before him.

“Here,this is your horse, Toofan.” The Tongawala introduced.”You can climb on to the seat behind him and hold the reins.

The kids were too excited to speak.”Are you sure?” they hesitated.”That we can ride the Tonga?”

“Well, ofcourse.It’s not at all difficult.” The Tongawala assured with a smile.”More-ever don’t worry I’ll be sitting right behind and guiding you.”

The children mounted the front seat and took the reins.

“Huoy!Chal..Chal…”the tongawala yelled from behind as Toofan got on to his fours.

Tuk-Tuk-Tuk-Tuk he trotted along the street and down the alley.

“Huoy! Huoy!”Akash yelled, imitating the Tongawala.

“Chal..Chal..Toofan…”Aditi added, pulling at the reins.

Hearing the kids yell, Toofan got even more excited.From a mere trot, he slowly began to gallop and by the time they had reached the open, with fields and farms on either side, Toofan was on to his Olympic best.

The kids held on to the reins screeching and screaming and to add on to their fright they found that the Tongawala was no longer seated behind them.

He probably had jumped out long ago.
Oh God!They just shut their eyes and let the crazy horse take them wherever.

When the Tonga finally slowed down and they slowly opened their eyes, the kids had a pleasant surprise.They were standing right before their Grandpa’s House.

“So, children,how did you like Toofan?” the old man asked, stroking the horse’s mane.”Not to worry, he’s a well trained chap and when you ride him you are in safe hands.”

“Oh, Grandpa, you are simply wonderful.”Akash and Aditi expressed clinging on to the old man.”We thoroughly enjoyed the ride expect when Toofan began galloping all of a sudden.”

“’ll get used to him in no time.”Grandpa assured.”You’ll both learn to ride a Tonga before the vacation is over.But right now let’s go into the House and you’re your Grandma’s delicacies while Toofan tuk-tuk- to the fields to graze.”

“Huoy! Huoy!” the children yelled stroking Toofan fondly as the Tuk-Tuk-Horse nodded his head in accordance.

Ah! wasn't that an interesting ride? And Toofan was simply superb, wasn't he? So till next time keep tuk-tuking with Toofan and his wonderful Tonga.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Saviour Spectacles

Hi little men and little women! Welcome back to Spin a Story. This time I have a cute little tale about this girl in spectacles. This again appeared as a comic strip but here you can read the story in it's original form. Here goes the Saviour Spectacles!

“I don’t want to wear spectacles.” Shubrata protested as she walked out of the Optician’s chamber.”Everybody at school will make fun of me.”

“But you’ll have to, dear.” Her mother cajoled.”It’s a matter of your eyes, you see.If you don’t, you might even end up losing your eyesight forever.”

And Shubrata had no choice but to accept the foreigner perched over her tiny nose.

As expected, she was teased by the boys and girls at School.

“Hey, look, Shubrata has four eyes.” some commented.

“Doesn’t she look old all of a sudden?” some debated.

“Here comes Buddi Amma (old mother) some sneered.

“Watch out, she may step on your toes.”the others giggled.

Shubrata swallowed the tantalizes, in painful gulps and cursed the pair of specs.

“Why did you have to sit over my nose itself?” she complained in disgust.”Why didn’t you find someone else?

But little did this girl realize how the un-invited guest stationed over the ridge of her pretty little nose was going to help her very soon.

That evening when Shubrata was waiting for the School bus, along with her mocking mates, a sudden gust of wind blew past by, carrying with it hot sand gravels and tiny burning splinters.

While the merciless granules attacked all the beautiful eyes stationed there, Shubrata’s were saved by the glasses that sheltered them.

She was the only one there who could open her eyes and take in the condition while the rest of them were screaming in pain, as they rubbed their burning pupils.

At that moment Shubrata thought of nothing else but helping her howling mates.

She immediately halted a Taxi and hauled them into it and rushed to the nearest hospital.

Instant medication and care saved many a beautiful eyes that day and all because of a good deed from a good hearted girl.

From that day onwards Shubrata was looked upon with pride from her class-mates and friends while her Saviour Spectacles became the essential talk of her School.

Value:- Never make fun of other’s inabilities.
Remember, nobody is perfect in this world.

With this little message I take leave till I come back with another interesting tale to tell.
Till then Chao!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pattu's Sixer

Welcome to Spin a story.This time I have a little tale for all you cricket frenzy out there.This again appeared as a comic strip but here I have the original version for you all to enjoy.Come and join the protagonist Pattu and see what happens to his sixer ultimately.

Pattu was crazy of one game and that was Cricket. And whenever he lifted his bat it always went for a sixer.No singles, no boundries and always a sixer.But unlike Sachin’s sixers, Pattu’s sixers came with a cost— the glass panes of the neighbouring windows ???

Whenever he hit a sixer, it would straight away smash some window or the other.The Aunties and Uncles then came running out and usually ended up bashing the entire team playing in their gully.

“Dare you boys play here again.” They warned but eventually when they got to realize that it was always Pattu’s sixer that created the havoc, they went with a huge complaint list to his Mother.

That day onwards, Pattu was banned from playing Cricket and that dejected him a lot.
“I promise, I won’t hit sixers any more ” he pleaded but his friends didn’t pay heed.

“You always promise and then put everyone of us in trouble” they concluded.”You just sit there and watch or better still pick the ball at the boundary line.”

Pattu decided to field rather than sit and watch aimlessly.But once into the game his hand began itching for the coveted bat.
“Can I face just one ball?” he pleaded his best friend at the bowling end.

“Okay,”his friend took some pity.”But this time you hit a sixer and you are out of our team for-ever and ever.”

Pattu grabbed the bat and faced the googly.But how much ever he tried to keep his pace low, his wrists automatically twisted upwards and BANG! flew the sixer!

The boys closed their eyes and so did Pattu wondering which Auntie would come out flying ,with her broom-stick.

But to their utter surprise, instead of any Auntie or Uncle, they saw a thief with a gunny bag come charging at them with a huge grunt.He seemed so ferocious that the boys were startled and became still with fright.

But the next minute he went woobly on his knees, began seeing stars all around and fell flat to the ground, senseless.There was a purple bump on his fore-head where the ball had knocked him down.

Pattu’s sixer had atlast found it’s right mark.

When the neighbourhood got to know, they were all praises for Pattu.The numerous complaints were forgotten for the time being and all they talked about was Pattu’s Smashing Sixers.

Was it a reward well payed or played? Comment on this with your Howzaatt!!!

And till then keep smashing!!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Miss Unlucky

It's human tendency to feel that others are always luckier than us. In the bargain we tend to forget the good things we possess and end up pining in misery. This is one such story which was published by Eves Times.Let's read and see what happens in the end.

“I’m the unluckiest female in the whole world.”Rani repeated a hundred times each day.
In the morning when it was time to go to school she hated climbing on to the cycle-rickshaw which her mother had arranged for.

“Why not an auto or the school-bus instead?”she argued.”It’s so awful wheeling down the roads in that open , roofless rut.The entire town keeps gaping at me—the poor unlucky girl!”

“There’s no point arguing with you”her mother sighed helplessly.”You know we don’t have money to throw about and…….”

“And what?”Rani raged.”I’m not asking you for the sky.No money! No money! When will we ever get rich like others!”

“We are rich within our limits.”her mother clarified.”Now stop these silly accusations and get going to school.”

Rani stomped around, created a scene,before climbing on to the cycle-rickshaw, in reluctance.She pulled a long face all along the way to school and as she neared, she asked the rickshawala to stop a certain distance away from the gate so that her friends who came in chauffer driven cars didn’t spot her.
“How lucky they are?” she mumbled, gaping in awe at the posh cars that came one after the other down the road.”It’s just that God is unfair.I’ll never thank him again.”

Cycle-rickshaw on one side, worse still was the weekend scooter ride.
Rani loathed the idea of their family of four zooming down the streets of the city, packed over one ramshackle of a scooter.It had been her father’s favourite vehicle for ages and he never thought of buying anything better.

“But he has to buy himself a car now.”Rani argued with her mother.”If he doesn’t I’m not going out with you people again.”

“But Rani, cars don’t come cheap.”her mother tried to reason with a pinch in her throat.”And you very well know that your father can’t afford to buy one now.”

“But everybody has a car these days.”Rani angered.”Except us.”

“But there are many who don’t even have a scooter,have you noticed that?”her mother retorted firmly.”We must be happy for what we have rather than crib about what we don’t.”

“You might be happy, but I’m not.”Rani blurted out.”Other than a rich name you people have given me nothing.Rani—the Queen, hunh!”

Her mother shook her head in desperation.Feeling lost, she quietly prayed God for a solution.Her prayers were more or less heard the following week-end when her husband decided to take the family to the beach.
“Get ready everybody!” he announced as soon as he came back from his office.”Let’s go to the beach and have fun.”

“I want to buy balloons!”his three year old son demanded.”And swing on the Merry-Go-Round.”

“Okay.wish granted.”father said with a smile as he lifted the cheerful boy.”Papa has some money today which he intends to spend on the family.”
“So, Rani, tell me what would you like to buy?”he asked turning to his daughter.”I know you love bhelpuri but you can buy the other chats, icecreams, whatever you wish to.Today it’s your day.”

“Hunnh!”Rani herself ”My Day! Have I ever eaten anywhere else other than the streets and beach-side?” and then in a louder tone she announced.”I don’t want to go.I’m down with a head-ache.”
“A stroll over the beach will do a lot of good for your head-ache.”her mother almost dragged her out.”Don’t make a fuss and just get on to the scooter

Without a choice left, grumpily,Rani placed one leg over the pedal and lifted the other across the seat so that she was positioned right behind her Dad.Her mother sat next, sandwiched between her and the stephny.Her little brother stood at the front like a flag post and off went the family of four zooming down the busy streets on their week-end outing.

The more Rani tried to hide her face from public, the more she found herself being stared at—especially at the traffic signals.Her father’s scooter was one of it’s kind amongst a stream of polished cars wherein girls of her age were dressed up in skirts and high heels,stretching their buttery bodies in the coolness of the A.C. She could spot them glancing at her and pitying probably as they continued to sip tall glasses of chilled coke.

“Lucky they!”Rani gasped.”Even their dogs are lucky.See the way they are pampered inside those Opels and Esteems and Hondas.Only if we lucky enough! Only if we also had a car….!”

“My Scooter is better anytime.”her father cut her off with reason.”Don’t you think we are lucky enough to be much more closer to Nature, riding in a open vehicle with so much fresh air around us?.”

“Lucky, hunh…Rani grumbled and mumbled and the more she complained, the more she sulked and the more she sulked, the more she became dejected.
In one of these miserable moods, she reached the beach and as the family alighted from the trotting two-wheeler, Rani walked a certain distance away to be to herself for a while.It was then that she happened to spot a beautiful face peeping out of a brand new Mercedes Benz parked close by.The girl’s parents had got down and were searching for something inside the dickie.

Rani gazed intently at the girl and began envying her.
How lucky !”she muttered, her regular statement.”So much to boast!And what’s that?Looks like diamonds punched into her earlobes and there’s one twinkling over her neck too.!Looks like she’s the only daughter. Pampered probably.Spoilt . Treated like a princess.Hunh! Some people have everything under the sun, not like me.” and she cursed as she threw a glance at her meager family advancing towards a reduced Chat-Stall.

She was about to turn her back in desperation and follow her family, when she spotted the back-seat door of the silver Benz open suddenly.The parents of the girl who were near the dickie, came rushing over in a sort of panic.Probably the beautiful girl had jammed her heels or something.Rani walked a few steps closer and what she saw there next, transfixed her entire self for sometime.

The pretty lucky girl rolling in diamonds was being carefully lifted up by four tender hands , as they placed her on to a wheel-chair taken out of the dickie, and after having strapped her tilting head and arms to keep them in position , the agonized parents walked down the silver sands, wheeling their special child towards Nature’s temperament.

Rani stood rooted to the spot, gaping at what she had just witnessed.
“How foolish I’ve been so far!” she told herself.”I kept running after a mirage which never existed and in doing so I forgot to notice the little stream flowing next to me.I have been blessed with so many boons and yet I kept thinking I was unlucky all the time!”

She turned to where her family was stationed and ran towards them.
“Hey chat wallah!” she hailed to the rundown chap.”Get me a bhel puri, A sev papdi, A pav bhaji, A channa masala, and and…everything that you have in your stall.I feel like a glutton today.Afterall it’s my day, isn’t it Papa?” and she turned to her father with a genuine smile.
Just like Rani realised her folly and welcomed destiny with a smile, let's also count our blessings and be happy forever. So, till my next post, keep smiling.

The liitle tremor that shook the planet

It was rather unusual for me to wake up at 6 on a Sunday morning.But then I felt my cot trembling from all sides.
Initially I thought something was wrong with me, a head reel perhaps but when I heard the sound of vessels falling off the shelf in the kitchen, I knew it was the initiation of an earth quake.
But little did I realise that this was going to be much bigger than an earthquake.
However, I quickly shook everybody out of bed and just taking the house keys, a small purse with some money and credit cards and the cellphone ofcourse, and not forgetting to turning off the gas cylinder and the electric mains(remember to do this in any calamity) we all rushed down the staircase(Tip:- never ever use an elevator in any calamity).

We stood a furlong away from the multi-storied apartment and then called up friends and relatives who were unaware of the situation and still in a deep slumber.In no time the entire building was evacuvated and we waited for nearly and hour and a half before heaving a sigh of relief.

But who would think that the joy would be short lived.Suddenly we spotted pigeons and stray dogs scattering like crazy and a few minutes later there was screeching of people and honking of vehicles from all around the place.
"Kadal vandhirkhu(the floods have come!), Kadal vandhirku!" I heard the maids and servants panic as they all rushed out of the building, running towards the nearby Marina beach.

I immediately climbed upto the terrace of my building and what I saw next was something I'd never forget all my life.There was so much chaos all over the beach with fear and devastation as seen never before.
By then the massive waves had already receeded leaving behind a vast expanse of destruction. It was the Tsunami of 2006 which errupted as a little tremor and went on to drag millions to their death.I wish I had a camera handy with me but then when I felt the quake all I was interested was to run down to safety.

The next morning it was all in papers and T.V. and people had woken yp to thos new word called Tsunami. By then many had lost their lives and property and the ones who survived miraculously were bereaved, having lost one or more of their friends and relatives and shell shocked.

It would take them ages before they recovered.
The entire world joined hands and came forward to help the victims and millions who were not affected also took advantage of the situation. The funds collected and distributed were so massive in scale that the families of the victims who had lost their lives due to other circumstances like road accidents or famine, wished they'd have got struck by Tsunami.

However, I had a feature published in Young World(Hindu) about this unknown devil called Tsunami. Here's the article:-
Young World
Be sensitive to the signs from nature
Tsunami was unknown to the sub-continent until a year ago. And then suddenly after the disaster of 2004, it became the most talked about subject. A tsunami is a series of great sea-waves caused usually by an underwater earthquake of sufficient force, or a landslide, or volcanic eruption.

It is not a single wave but a series of waves, also known as a wave train.
The first wave in a tsunami is not necessarily the most destructive. They are not tidal waves. The waves can be very long (as much as 60 miles, or 100 kilometres) and be as far as one hour apart. They are able to cross entire oceans without great loss of energy.

The Indian Ocean tsunami travelled as far as 3,000 miles (nearly 5,000 kilometres) to Africa, arriving with sufficient force to kill people and destroy property. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami could rank as the most devastating on record. News reports so far suggest that more than 1,50,000 people may have lost their lives, many of them swept into the sea.

Warning signs
An earthquake is a natural tsunami warning. If you feel a strong quake, do not stay in a place where you are exposed to a tsunami. If you hear of an earthquake, be aware of the possibility of a tsunami and listen for additional information. Remember that an earthquake can trigger killer waves thousands of miles across the ocean many hours after the event generated a tsunami.

Witnesses have reported that an approaching tsunami is sometimes preceded by a noticeable fall or rise in the water level. If you see the ocean receding unusually rapidly or far it's a sign that a big wave is on its way. Go to high ground immediately.

Because Tsunamis can approach the shore as fast as 100 miles per hour (160 kilometres per hour) it is often too late to get away if you see one. Survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami reported that the sea surged out as fast and as powerfully as it came ashore. Many people were seen being swept out to sea when the ocean retreated.

A Tsunami surge may be small at one point of the shore and large at another point a short distance away. Do not assume that because there is minimal sign of a tsunami in one place it will be like that everywhere else.

Tsunamis can travel up rivers and streams that lead to the ocean. Stay away from rivers and streams that lead to the ocean, as you would stay away from the beach and ocean if there is a Tsunami.

It's always a good idea to keep a store of emergency supplies that include sufficient medications, water, and other essentials sufficient for at least 72 hours.

Natural disasters strike unawares but many times there is a slight variation in the surrounding atmosphere, before a disaster like an earthquake, a volcano, a cyclone or a tsunami. Especially, birds and animals begin to show signs of disturbances. Whenever you notice these signs, instantly vacate the spot.

Note:- It is believed that the city of Dwaraka was hit by Tsunami and so was a city called Poompuhar in coastal Tamilnadu. Next in line they say is Angkhor Wat in Cambodia.So, better visit this architectural wonder before Nature gobbles her up one fine day.

I'm sure you enjoyed the feature aswell as the facts as much as I enjoyed writing them. Will catch up soon with some other tale to tell.

Till then Chao!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The seconds that click

Hi all! Welcome back.This post is more of an info than a story, interesting though. Read on.

Every second that clicks is precious. They are tiny particles of time which change into minutes, into hours, into days and nights.And then come the weeks, the months , seasons , years, decades and eons.

They remain the same year by year, doing their duty as has to be done.But one thing that changes every new year and if I pose it as a question, then a thousand and one answers will pop up. But one genuine answer could be "The Calendar".

Let's get on to the history and mystery of this useful item hanging on our walls.(this article was published in "The Young World"(Hindu).

The two most important astronomical objects on which the Calendars are based are the sun and the moon. Their cycles are important in the construction and understanding of calendars. Our concept of a year is based on the earth's movement around the sun. The time from one fixed point, such as a solstice or equinox, to the next is called a tropical year.

Most of the oldest calendars were lunar calendars, based on the time interval from one new moon to the next. The ancient Egyptians used a calendar with 12 months of 30 days each, for a total of 360 days per year. About 4000 B.C. they added five extra days at the end of every year to bring it more into line with the solar year. These five days became a festival because it was thought to be unlucky to work during that time.

When Rome emerged as a world power, the difficulties of making a calendar were well known, but the Romans complicated their lives because of their superstition that even numbers were unlucky. Hence their months were 29 or 31 days long, with the exception of February, which had 28 days. However, four months of 31 days, seven months of 29 days, and one month of 28 days added up to only 355 days. Therefore the Romans invented an extra month called Mercedonius of 22 or 23 days. It was added every second year.

But Julius Caesar brought the calendar back in step with the seasons by compensating a year with 445 days. Caesar decreed the year began with the first of January. This calendar was named the Julian calendar, and it continues to be the calendar of the Eastern Orthodox churches to this day.

Gregorian Reform
By the 15th century the Julian calendar had drifted behind the solar calendar by about a week. Then in 1545, the Council of Trent authorised Pope Paul III to revise the calendar once more. Most of the mathematical and astronomical work was done and a formula suggested that every fourth year is a leap year unless it is a century year like 1700 or 1800. Century years can be leap years only when they are divisible by 400 (e.g., 1600 and 2000). This rule eliminates three leap years in four centuries, making the calendar sufficiently accurate.

In India, in the mid-1950s, when the Calendar Reform Committee made its survey, there were about 30 calendars in use for marking religious festivals for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Early allusions to a lunisolar calendar with intercalated months are found in the hymns from the Rig Veda, dating from the second millennium B.C.E. Literature from 1300 B.C.E. to C.E. 300, provides information of a more specific nature.

Indian astronomy underwent a general reform in the first few centuries C.E., as advances in Babylonian and Greek astronomy became known. New astronomical constants and models for the motion of the moon and sun were adapted to traditional calendric practices.
This was conveyed in astronomical treatises of this period known as Siddhantas, many of which have not survived. The Surya Siddhanta, which originated in the fourth century but was updated over the following centuries, influenced Indian calendrics up to and even after the calendar reform of C.E. 1957.

Finally, the calendar has a powerful hold on our lives and our imaginations. It is the human attempt to choreograph the eternal dance of the sun, moon and earth.

So, the next time the seconds click, or the calenders flap, or seasons change, just enjoy this eternal dance of Nature and her forces. Meet you again at my next post. Bye!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chicken Little or More?

Hi one and all! Welcome to Spin a Story. I start off the blog with a small tale which appeared first as a comic strip in G.C.C comics.But here I have the full version. N-joy!

Everybody had seen Chicken Little except Kunju Mani. When he brought out the topic before his mother one day, read what happened.

“Chicken, Chicken, Amma! Chicken, Chicken,”Kunju Mani yelled, pulling at his mother’s saree.

“What Chicken?”Amma rapped.”Can’t you think of anything else for once?”

“Chicken Little Amma, Chicken Little!” Kunju Mani yelled once again.

“Little or more, you won’t get any Chicken here.”Amma rapped back.”Remember this is a theatre and not a meat stall.

“Oh, Amma!Come over with me,”Kunju Mani held his mother’s hand and directed her to the corner of a theatre where a huge dummy of the bird stood with the illuminated hoarding behind it.

“Don’t tell me it’s a movie.” Amma snapped again in disgust.”First they brought in the Dogs(Dalmatians), then came the Mouse(Stuart Little) and now the Chick eh!”

“Oh, Amma, promise that you’ll bring me to watch Chicken Little,next.”Kunju Mani insisted as he fondled with the dummy feathers.”Look how cute he is!”

“Yes, yes, they are all cute no doubt but heavy on the pockets.” Amma pointed.”Let’s wait till a couple of them see the movie and give a feed back.”Till then you better forget this chicken and think of your examination instead.”

Kunju Mani became a little upset.He felt that the other mothers of the world were so much better.They took their kids to watch so many good movies.Most of his friends had seen first day first shows several times.But here was his mother bothered about nothing but exams.Infact she didn’t even know who Chicken Little was.She had mistaken it for the barbecued version on the plate.

Kunjumani hulked and sulked for the next few days.Come exams and he spat his worst, cursing his mother all the while.All that mattered to him was that he was the only one in the entire class who hadn’t seen Chicken Little.And to his bad luck, by the time his last paper got over, the movie was no longer running in the theatre.What a dejection!

He huffed and puffed at the sight of his mother.However Amma had a simple solution for the entire deflation. The next day she took her son to a farm on the out-skirts of the town where there was --
No T.V.
No Computers.
No Movies.
All that Kunju Mani had for company was cows and buffaloes and sheep and horses and pigs and goats and ducks and lots and lots of Chicken Littles who kept flapping their tiny wings and kept fluttering all around the place.

“Now, haven't you found your Chicken Little atlast?" Amma asked gazing amusedly at her son as he held the baby bird in his palm.

“This is amazing Amma!” Kunju mani’s eyes twinkled.”I never imagined I would be clasping a Chicken Little live! I bet none of my friends at school would have done this.”and he ran chasing the cheeky nestlings as they scurried hither-tither,chirping in delight.

Let's also head for a farm this weekend and try holding some chicken littles live!
Till then and till my next post keep chickening!