Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Join Our New Preferred Writers Home Site

Preferredwriters.enjin.com All current Preferred Writers as well as those seeking invite are asked to register at our newly opened home site at http://preferredwriters.enjin.com. Registration is free and more features and tweaks are provided there to help you refine, source, link, share and connect! All writers/readers are welcome and you can start writing upon registration. We still have plenty of openings for talented writers on paid writing staff! Come visit and get signed up!
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Glory of India: The Muslim pir in Mumbai

The Muslim Pir in Mumbai: a Man with Uncanny Powers.

The Pir who is no more
The Pir who is no more

The Pir with Supernatural Powers

Mohamedali Road is part of old Bombay. It has an old world charm and is a predominant Muslim populated area. There is an old mosque and around it some buildings which are old and popularly referred to as chawls. One such chawl referred to as Mauchi chawl is under the aegis of the Maharashtra Housing board who are carrying out repairs.
The Pir on Mohamedali Road
In this building on the first floor is a small two room set. As you enter the outer room the strong sense of incense will greet you and you can surmise that you are entering an abode of a holy man. You won’t be wide of the mark as this apartment is the place where a holy man called a Pir gives his darshan to believers. What will surprise you is that this Muslim Pir has equal numbers of Hindu followers as well who thong to the place. This man is Sayyed Nasiruddin Basdshaimiya Qadri Nakshbandi. He belongs to a long line of hereditary Pirs from Kutch where his ancestors originally resided. But what will strike you is the uncanny power the Pir exhibits. He has ESP and powers of divination that have to be experienced, for no amount of description can do justice to this Pir. He is now old and has to be helped to his place where he sits listening and advising thousands about their problems.
Meeting the Pir
The Pir normally sits in the evening when his meetings start and continue late into the early hours of the morning. People wait in a queue for hours to meet the Pir who listens to their problem and then will give a solution. Sometimes the Pir will himself tell you why you have come and that is a wonder by itself.
Last Word
The Pir has a small porciline plate and that has a magical power. This is the plate where you have to put your thumb and then lo and behold the Pir tells you everything, why you have come and what your problem is. He will then prescribe a remedy which consists of certain rituals and I have been told by believers that these rituals work. Rituals that involve burning Taviz( holy relic) and the like. It’s uncanny and no science can explain this phenomena. I myself have met the Pir a number of times and his uncanny power has been a source of wonder. This is the mystery of the east and in the field of spiritualism India is way ahead of the west.
Last month Pir Mohammed Nasiruddin Badshamiya Nakshbandi( His full and complete Title) passed away. Everybody is mortal and so was the Pir. His passing away is a matter of great sorrow. As I have written this is a hereditary Pirship, which has been going on for many centuries. Now his position is taken by his elder son Pir Raza.
I have met Pir Raza and I am unable to explain how Pir Raza also has Extra Sensory Powers. I will however confess that his father had greater spiritual acumne. Perhaps Pir Raza will also mature with age. He must be about 40 years old.
People like the Pir are the wonder of India
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Friday, January 22, 2016

The Chamar Regiment of the Indian Army

The Chamar’s are classified as a backward community. They constitute about 50 million Indians and have a history of being warlike. Basically Chamar’s are cobblers and belong to the lower castes. The Indian army, in particular the Infantry battalions are mostly caste based. Thus we have the Sikh, Jat, Gurkha, Rajput, Dogra, Maratha, Mahar and Punjab regiments. All the regiments are from the higher castes except the Sikh Light Infantry regiments which are the scheduled caste Sikhs often referred to as Mazhabi Sikhs.
Caste Based Regiments
The Caste based Armies have the stamp of the British rulers and were created during the hey day of British rule and conform to the British interpretation of the Martial races. But that is beside the point as the British who were a shrewd judge of Character also created a fighting regiment from the lower castes. This is the Chamar regiment.
During the Second World War the British were looking to expand their recruitment policy as more men were needed to fight the Japanese Imperial Army. At the same time they kept the concept of the Martial race in the backdrop.
The Chamar Regiment
The British High command opted to have a Chamar regiment and history records that the 1st Chamar regiment was created in 1943. Among the Officers who became famous from this regiment are General Joginder Singh and Field Marshal Ayub Khan. It must be understood that the officer cadre of the regiments was not exclusive to that cast and could be from any caste and religion. This is followed even now.
Chamar Regiment in World War II
The Chamar regiment was thrown into battle as a part of 15 Corps which was commanded by lieutenant General Alexander Frank Christison. The Chamar regiment fought well and was part of the Japanese defeat in the battles of Kohima and the Arakan campaign. The Chamar regiment was part of the 268 Indian brigade which was commanded by Brigadier Dyer.
The Chamar regiment along with 15 Corps helped lift the siege of Kohima and followed up with battles with the Imperial army in the 2nd and 3rd Arakan. The 3rd Arakan campaign led to the capture of Rangoon in May 1945. The roll of honor at the War Memorial in Rangoon lists the Chamar regiment. No greater honor can be more than this, as it is an acknowledgement that the Chamar regiment fought bravely and helped drive the Imperial army from Rangoon.
However after the dropping of the Atomic bombs and the surrender of Japan many troops became redundant and were demobilized. In 1946 the Chamar regiment was disbanded due to economic reasons.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Snake Charmer in India : an Old Relic

Snakes and Charmers: Indian speciality

For centuries during the days of the British Raj, India was known as the land of snake charmers and sadhus who performed the proverbial rope trick. One reason for this was the abundance of snakes especially the deadly cobra, which incidentally is revered in Hinduism and thus not to be killed. It was important to trap the cobra and not kill it, thus snake charmers came in handy. These snake charmers had special conch shells which they blew and enticed the snakes to come out of their den. The snakes were then skillfully caught by the snake charmer and put in a basket.

A snake charmer is a specialist person and his conch shell has a peculiar vibration that entices the snake to come out. He is also a sort of snake doctor. The snake charmer had the ability to draw out the poison from a human who had been bitten by a snake. Thus most villagers rushed to a snake charmer whenever any one of them was bitten by a snake. Generally the snake charmer made an incision in the body and drained out the poison. It was a painful, but effective method. India still abounds in snakes and is home to the deadliest of their variety the King Cobra. This has not changed.

Snake charmers are now a dying breed though one can see them in village fairs, but they are very few now. If one wants to see a snake charmer now in India one will have to go to the remote countryside and maybe you will be able to see one. Presently the old reference to India as a land of snake charmers and magical rope trick is no longer valid. But I will say it gives a great thrill to read about snake charmers even now, though the breed is almost extinct.

Many western scientists have tried to duplicate the conch shell of the snake charmer, but failed. This is hard to explain as the snake charmers make their conch shells at home. But they emit a particular frequency of vibration that is ‘ heard’ by the snake and so the snake comes out of its den. I saw a snake charmer once on a trip to Rajasthan. It was at a fair in Barmer and it was a great thrill to see the cobra come out from its abode towards the snake charmer who would catch it by the neck. However killing snakes or the Cobras is taboo in Hinduism and many tribal sects worship the snake as a god. The snake god Visaka is also part of Hindu mythology.

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

driving a Bike in the Himalayas

My Enfield and the Himalayas and a Girl behind you

I love Long Drives Through Mountains on my Enfield Bike

The Royal Enfield “Bullet” is my favorite motor bike. I prefer the 500cc, 4 stroke model and I find it is the slickest bike available in India. The bike is now manufactured at Chennai as the English company has folded up and sold its logo and assets to an Indian company. The Royal Enfield is now an Indian bike and exported under the old brand name.
My bike is fairly old now, but its never given any trouble. It is part and parcel of my life and I love to go on it, riding the hill roads and lanes. The bike handles the mountain roads with aplomb and even hitting a pothole at 60 MPH has no effect on me or the bike.
The bike has been used by me in the Himalayas and I have traversed the mountain roads in the Easten Himalayas to Darjeeling and Gangtok. Many time I have driven the bike wearing my uniform and cross belt with my revolver. It gives a kick to drive so attired and people watching me on the road side are impressed.
A greater pleasure is taking my girl friend for a spin in the mountains and then steal furitive kisses in the thick jungles.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Memory of Visiting the Artillery Centre at Nashik Road

The Arty Centre

As a bachelor I was posted to Artillery Centre at Nashik Road. I was part of the Air Force element of the helicopter units attached to the Artillery Centre. The Artillery centre in Nashik Road is over a 125 years old and was set up by the British Indian army to train gunners. Earlier it was a British cantonment and was much liked by the English soldiers. At one time it also housed the Staff College. It is in short the home of the Artillery which remains one of the most important arms of the Indian army. The Artillery centre also has its own airfield from which Air Observation Posts take off to help direct gun fire on the enemy. Presently the AOP's are equipped with the Chetak Mark II helicopters, which are a derivative of the French Allouettechoppers.

The artillery centre trains recruits to handle and fire guns. It has long ranges that are used for long range firing practice and that includes heavy guns like the 155 mm cannons. The latest radar controlled guns and rockets fired from launchersare also tested here. In fact when as part of the staff college team we came to Nashik , the commandant organized a live firing demonstration of rockets on to the distant hills, some 10 miles away.

The Mini Museum

The officers mess has a mini musem and is decorated with wall paintings that bring out the history of the Arty regiments of the Indian arrmy. Over a period of time some of the paintings need a touch up and I hope some experts can be drafted for the same. The paintings show Sikh gunners and later I learnt that during the days of the Raj, the Sikhs and Punjabi Muslims were preferred for these arty regiments.The paintings are all by British painters who were with the artillery regiments

The artillery centre is part of folklore of the Indian army and and traces a long history. It is very well kept and worth a visit. Civilian visitors can also visit after taking permission from the Commandant. .Nashik Road can be easily reached by rail from Mumbai and lies on the Mumbai- Nagpur/ Allahabad route.

Lastly, I remember dances at the Temple Hills club with a lovely Anglo Girl who was a teacher at St Barnes High School as well as long rides with her on my Enfield through the mountains of the Ghats.

Both photos of paintings in Officers Mess are uploaded by me
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Seekyt Goes Off the Deep End on Payment -- Unfair to Writers

I know this PWG blog is defunct, but since I posted here several times about Seekyt, I have to report the admin has made a decision about payment I not only disagree with, but it has made my previous articles false advertising.

Seekyt has now hit upon the terrible and unfair idea of rewarding their top 10-20 (or 30 depending on how you read the past couple of correspondences) for the revenue on ALL their articles. That means if, like me, you are taking a hiatus from writing to pursue much more lucrative work, rather than me earning my residuals or ad sales from my hard work, someone else will get paid.

As soon as I have time (whenever that will be because business is booming!) I plan to move my entire Seekyt library to my own blog or to Examiner if appropriate, but in the meantime I hope Seekyt changes this terrible and unfair policy. I enjoyed writing for them in the past, but giving my earnings -- no matter how large or small -- to someone else is certainly a deal breaker. I believe their referral program is also dead in the water.

Make up your own mind if you followed me to Seekyt, but be aware of the changes there and make an informed decision.

Best wishes and happy writing!

Earning Money Writing for Seekyt.com
Earning Money Writing for Seekyt.com 
Referrals: Another Reason I Like Writing for Seekyt
Earning Money Writing for Examiner.com 

Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing the link to this article with others. This article is © Kathryn Darden, all rights reserved,  and is not available to repost on websites, blogs, discussion boards, Facebook, or to translate and post elsewhere without written permission.

Post ID KD214

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Modi is Cornered by Patel Agitation and better approve OROP

What Next in the OROP ? *

The Modi government is under siege and one  cant help feeling that its it own creation. The agitation of teh ex servicemen for a legitimates demand has been stalled by Modi, but now the birds have come home to roost with the agitation of the Patels in Gujarat  for reservation. This demand in contrast to the Es servicemen's demand is unholy as the Patels   are the dominant community in Gujarat and among all Gujaratis. Yet the Modi government is held to  ransom by lumpen elements of the Patel community. Till last reports the army is called out and about 7 or 8 Patels and their ilk have died.

The Modi government by sanctioning a legitimate demand for OROP, could have faced the Patel agitation squarely. But a short sighted approach and failure to recognise  the reality has brought the Modi government face to face with a monster. The ex servicemen and the army were his best bet , but he scorned them and now his own vote bank has rebelled against him. Mind you this is just  the beginning  but a precursor to many more agitations of a similar nature. It should not appear to onlookers that Modi government only talks and acts at the point a gun. The Patels have unleashed the gun and now Modi is reacting.

What a contrast to the agitation of the ex servicemen, so dignified and sans violence, yet Modi sat tight on the demand. This shows that in reality the Indian PM is a hollow man, more adept at rhetoric than substance. If modi has some sense he will sanction OROP and build his credibility. He must not show that he acts only when a bayonet is thrust into him, This calls for statesmanship. Is Modi up to it ? In another a day or two we will see where Modi stands.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

The Mystery of How to Lie on a Bed of Nails: Proverbial Indian Trick

.Herbert Ponting took a photograph of a Hindu fakir or sadhu in 1907. This man was a yogi who had perfected the control of mind over body and as such could withstand pain to his body as a routine. The Fakir sat on a bed of nails completely oblivious to any pain the nails might cause him. The question that must be answered is whether the fakir was doing something extraordinary or it was something which could be done by others. The practice of lying on a bed of nails and meditating has perhaps originated from India. The practice however has a perfect scientific explanation and with a little bit of practice can be done by anyone. It is advisable to have a look at Newton's third law of motion and the principle of pressure in physics. Newton's third law states that to any action there is a reaction.

 Thus when a man lies on a bed of nails he exerts a pressure on the nails, which in turn exert a pressure back on the man. The principle of pressure brings out that nails exert a pressure proportional to the area. Thus a single nail when pressed by a foot is likely to pierce the skin and enter the body. This is because the pressure of the nail is concentrated at one point on the human body. But when there are a large number of nails and an entire body lies down on them, the pressure is distributed and the nails do not enter the body. There is a well known equation which is derived from Newton's laws which states that pressure is equal to force divided by area. 

If all the nails are uniformly placed the force will get distributed, but even if one nail is not synchronized than it will pierce the skin as the entire pressure of the body comes down on that one nail. The clue to sleeping or lying down on a bed of nails is to distribute the pressure evenly. In such a case the act of the Hindu sadhu will not` be an enigma. An interesting way is to check the pressure exerted by a nail. In case it can be wired to a gauge one can work out how much pressure a nail exerts. The trick is to press your finger on the nail up to point where it does not puncture your skin. In case the pressure exerted by one nail is one pound, then 200 nails will exert a pressure of 200 pounds. 

Thus for a man weighing 200 pounds, 200 nails evenly spread on a board will not pierce the skin and the man can safely lie on the board with the nails. The nails must however have a uniform surface and be similar to each other. No nail must protrude out as then the laws of physics will not apply. The clue to emulating the feat of the Hindu fakir is to ensure that a man's weight is evenly distributed on the bed of nails.
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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Narendra Modi is a Narcissist; Can he Lead India Forward , No

When I heard and read as well as saw photographs that Narendra Modi wore a a Rs 9 lakh suit to receive Obama, the US president , it struck me that here is  man who is not only vain, but more in love with himself. The US President commented that Modi was like a Mumbai film star. We have not seen or read of such costly dresses being worn by simple plebian leaders of people , though royalty is an exception. One can associate such a dress with the pomp and show of a king or empress, but certainly not with a plebeian leader.

Modi has some serious identity problems. He claims he is a backward caste to win  votes, but again his antics and to use the words in hindi " Harkat" , are not of a man belonging to a lower strata of society. Could be, he uses his back ward caste origin only for votes and has no real empathy for the downtrodden and destitute. In case he was really concerned would he give 3 billion dollars gratis to nations like Bangladesh and Mongolia, from we may get nothing in return.?

Modi has lead the party, the BJP on some glib slogans. These slogans are what they are, simply hollow and meaningless. A look at his slogans and speeches and the promises he has mad will make a man die laughing on a bed of nails. A few choice ones are brought out  below

>  I will not allow corruption, nor will I allow anybody else to benefit from corruption
>  I will ensure that One Rank One Pension is sanctioned forthwith
>  I will ensure that proprietary is maintained in Public life

There are many more, which Modi has only mouthed, because it suited him. Perhaps that is the game of all politicians , but certainly not the stuff which leaders who make a name in history indulge in. Obviously Modi will not be a mover or shaker in world history and his aim seems to be to just live life in a regal manner and look sombre and serious. It's a mask and those who  wear a mask are always seen for their true worth later on.

Let me advice Mr Modi that he has Saturn in his 12th house, showing meteoric rise and precipitous fall. It's known as the house of Napoleon and we all know what happened to Napoleon. So the future and God may yet cut Modi to size.
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