Monday, June 30, 2008

To queue or not to queue

Home > Society > Eating out > The Solar Kitchen > Solar Kitchen seating analysis

Seating patterns
The seating layout of the Kitchen over the years has developed a pattern based more on intermixing discreet sub-sets of all diners (on any given day) occupying clearly definable areas or habit-zones. Medium table-groups fluctuate in content but come from larger identifiable separate pool-sets and are focused around small relatively fixed-in-content groups or units (say 2-3, sometimes family-based around a parent with young children, or groups of 2-3 young men mostly) who move freely only within a definable area, rarely straying beyond invisible habitual boundaries.
Long-time diners find they tend towards one part of the dining area more than another, dining on rare occasions in other areas when asked by a member from that area to meet for some reason.
To queue or not to queue
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines 'Queue' as 'a waiting line, esp of persons or vehicles'. Based on this definition the following analysis can be made of the Solar Kitchen lunch queue:
Participants divide into X categories:
Conventional queuers
Those who upon arrival stand at the end of the queue at that time, allowing all previous arrivals precedence.
Unconventional queuers
Upon arrival at the queue this category of diner tends to wander normally about one third of the queue's length towards the front, and then either strike up a trivial conversation with someone they would otherwise not normally converse with, for purposes of convincing themselves they have successfully reduced their waiting time by a third (assuming the queue travels at a constant speed) but without incurring the wrath of the conventional queuers they have come in front of.
In the eyes of the unconventional queuer, their strategy is a win-win situation: they have reduced waiting time without repercussion from those in front of whom they stand. This, of course, is delusion. Many focus-group based studies of community kitchen social dynamics, including Schlumberg & Moonaswami's Evolved Social Protocols in Condensed Intentional Communities Solar Kitchen case study1 show despite the absence of perceivable reaction, the majority of diners react negatively to "cutting-in"2 . Consequences for the "cutter-in"3 are usually negligible in the short term, says Geneva's 4th Dimensional Research head, John Pertwee , but long-term repercussions, while difficult to gauge, have been shown to exist5 . Long-term reactions range from diminished inclusion of the offending individual in social activities to actual vocal confrontation and in some rare cases expulsion from the larger community6 .

1. SCHLUMBERG & MOONASWAMI, Evolved Social Protocols in Condensed Intentional Communities; A Solar Kitchen case study, 2000, Chennai E-City Press, p.965-1599
2. LALVANI, J.K., Interviews With Disgruntled People, 1998, Majorcan Community Press, p. 133. Ibid4. PERTWEE, J., I'll Get You Later; Studies in Silent Rage, 1987, Mumbai Elite Academic Special Fancy Press.5. Ibid, p. 10036. PHIERRY, Z., Quit Notice For Cutting-in,
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Sunday, June 29, 2008

'Swakīyā Prīti', one’s love for own wife only

Upendra Bhanja: The Great Poet of Orissa
from Dr. Harekrishna Meher by Dr. Harekrishna Meher

Upendra’s poems are mostly dominated by Eros, the first among the nine sentiments of literature. Some narrations of the sensuous erotic dealings are seen in his poems. So his works have suffered a lot in the pens of some modern critics. Great poets like Vyāsa, Kālidāsa, Māgha, Śrīharsha of Sanskrit, and Ādikabi Sāraļā Dās, Dānakrushna Dās, Kabisūrya Baļadeba Rath and others of Oriya literature have unhesitatingly delineated the contextual erotic dalliance in their poems. In Oriya literature, all such erotic depictions, though indicative of so-called obscenity and lack of some refined taste, are due to the influence of Sanskrit literature. Such descriptions may be poetic lapses; but are not detrimental to the poetic genius. Several instances of eroticism can be found in modern literatures also.

In all his epical compositions, Upendra has not only shown the ornate style, but also distinctly portrayed the emotions, feelings and sentiments of mankind. So his writings are not simply crammed with poetic imaginations. His poetic pen has also recorded the reality of life, psychological analysis and various facets of worldly experiences. Several data of socio-cultural, historical, geographical, religious and like conditions of his age are also diffused in his works. Both imagination and truth are mingled charmingly.

Love in Upendra’s pen is seen very sensuous, alluring and romantic. He has preached 'Swakīyā Prīti', one’s love for own wife only or for an unmarried loving maiden, the would-be wife. He has never supported or depicted 'Parakīyā Prīti', one’s love for the wives of others. Such attitude strengthens the social discipline by preserving the ethical value of mankind, especially in Indian culture.

An illustration of the heart-touching love is cited here from his work. As the context goes on, in ‘Prema-Sudhānidhi’ kāvya (Chapter-XIV), the young lover and the beloved maiden both pine for each other during their separation. The prince passionately writes a love-letter to his sweetheart princess, consoling their hearts, bearing the pangs of separation and preserving their lively love... ( Compiled in the English Book “UPENDRA BHANJA”Published by : Kalinga Bharati, Dagarpara, Cuttack, Orissa, 1990.)

Dr. Harekrishna Meher
Address: Dr. Harekrishna Meher, Reader & Head, Department of Sanskrit, Govt. Autonomous College, BHAWANIPATNA-766001, Orissa (India). * Phone : +91-6670-231591 * Mobile: +91-94373-62962 *** Email : * * * * URL :

The genesis started from the sexual intercourse of the Creator and a cow

Sunday, October 15, 2006 (Sculpture of the goddess LAJJA GOURI) SEXUALITY AND SPIRITUALISM IN INDIAN LITERATURE (1) Sarojini Sahoo
Location: Orissa, India View my complete profile

Generally in Greco-Semitic family, God is described in masculine terms.but in the Indic family, we find God is considered as both masculine and feminine form. In Taoism, Yin and Yang and in Hinduism Prakriti and Purusha are considered feminine and masculine .The concept of Ardhanariswar form of Lord Shiva in Hinduism is also considered as the major factor of gender equality and for this in ancient India we find evidence of homosexuality, bisexuality, androgyny, multiple sex partners and open representation of sexual pleasures in artworks like the Konark, Khajuraho temples, being accepted within prevalent social frameworks.

In Samkhya Philosophy, the concept of Prakriti and Purusha was later accepted in buddhism and Bhagwat gita. We may define the Prakruti as ‘female’ or negative charge and purusha as ‘male’ positive charge. This Prakriti is all pervasive but complex primal substance, which is transformed into multifarious nature. The primal entity is not perceived in its original form, for then it is in a state of equilibrium, and as such remains non-modified. This eternal and infinite principle is insentient and consists of three interdependent and interchangeable elements called the gunas. These are sattva, rajas, and tamas. These gunas are not the qualities but the constituent parts of Prakriti. They give complexity to Mula (original) Prakriti. But Purusha is inactive and passive, but sentient and also infinite and eternal.

Under the inscrutable influence of Purusha; the equilibrium in Prakriti is disturbed and the whole universe of unlimited permutations and combinations comes into existence. The first modification of Prakriti - primordial nature - is called as Mahat or Cosmic Intelligence. It further involutes into two forces, 1) Akasha, the primal matter, and 2) Prana, the primal energy. Akasha forms the material basis, and Prana the energy basis of creation. From the interaction between Akasha and Prana are formed five subtle elements, crudely translated as Ether, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. In various proportions, these are the constituents of all the material existence in the universe. As can be seen, even Mahat or Intelligence is matter consisting of three gunas, and five elements.In Physics also we find an atom is made up of proton and electron..Proton is a positive charged particle and electron is negatively charged particle .The attraction between Proton and Electron made the existence of an atom possible.

Later, this concept laid to the Shiva and Shakti dual theory of creation. Adi Shankaracharya, the founder of non-dualistic philosophy (Advaita – ‘not two’) in Hindu thought says in his ‘Saundaryalaairi’ –“ Shivah Shaktayaa yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum na che devum devona khalu kushalah spanditam api” i.e. It is only when Shiva is united with Shakti that He acquires the capability of becoming the Lord of the Universe. In the absence of Shakti, He is not even able to stir.

In Vrihadaranyakopanishad, it is stated that the genesis started from the sexual intercourse of the Creator and a cow. the cow was running from the Creator with a fear to being raped and ‘she’ was transforming ‘herself’ in different forms and but the Creator was finding out ‘her’ and every time from the sexual intercourse (or we may describe it as a ‘rape’) the genesis started. I don’t find any reason why we the Indian people get so much worried about Wendy Doniger. I do admit that the western thinkers portray Hinduism inappropriately through Greco-Semitic concepts and categories. I often find my western Philosophers examine Bhagwat Gita as a negative terms of Arjuna killing his relatives because of his Hindu outlook. But as Hindus, we are also very much sensitive regarding sexuality, especially when it is quoted with our religion and spiritualism. But we have to admit that sexuality is often described in our myths, Puranas and in our religious text, above all in our literatures from medieval age to this post modern age. In this serial essay, I will try to justify the role of sexuality from different angle and also try to compared it with the European/American concept of sexuality. (To be continued) posted by Sarojini Sahoo at 8:58 AM

Born in 1956, Dr Sarojini Sahoo has an MA and PhD degrees in Oriya Literature, and a Bachelor of Law, from Utkal University. She now teaches at a Degree college in Belpahar, Jharsuguda, of Orissa... She has published seven anthologies of short stories and five novels.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Auroville is situated in an area where sex tourism is fairly common. Western women and children have been sexually abused by local Tamils

Home > Response to BBC broadcast - Janet Fearn
May 26 th 2008

I wish to register my deep disappointment at the shockingly biased and unresearched reportage about Auroville which appeared on your programmes Newsnight and From Our Own Correspondent. I never thought that the BBC would resort to a level of sensational journalism, which may do serious harm to the children and teachers of the Auroville schools for village children, about whom it appears to be so concerned. I wish to make the following points:

You accepted the word of someone with a deep grudge against Auroville, instead of finding an unbiased observer. Raj Batra was never a resident of Auroville. He was a tourist who hung around the area for a couple of years. When his views on a wide range of topics were not given the importance he wanted, he became extremely angry, and spent his time spreading gossip and rumours. His style of revenge is characteristic, but I would have expected a cheap tabloid and not the BBC to give him a platform.

Your reporter, Rachel Wright was not straight with the people she interviewed in Auroville. Never did she intimate that she was doing a report on sexual abuse. Aurovilians cooperated with her because she seemed like a reasonable person, and because she came from the BBC, which had a reputation for unbiased reporting. If Aurovilians had known what she was after, we might have advised her to look at the subject of sex tourism in context. Auroville is geographically situated in an area where sex tourism is fairly common, and the authorities don't do much about it. But in Auroville itself there is zero tolerance for the abuse of children, and the fact that we haven't caught every offender, who spends time in our community as quickly as we would have liked, is not because we have a tolerant view on the matter, as you have strongly implied. Also, as an additional point of information,n several Western women and children, both Aurovilian and guests of Auroville, have been sexually abused by local Tamils.

In the program "From Our Own Correspondent", your reporter said she found it strange for Indians to be shown around by a Westerner, showing that she didn't understand fully that Auroville is an international community, and positions are not based on a person's nationality, but on their capacity and experience. I wonder if she would have found it strange if she had been shown around the UN Headquarters in New York by someone from Ethiopia, or around Findhorn community in Scotland by someone from Germany .

It's too easy to compare the lifestyles of Aurovilians with those of the poorest Tamils around. We cannot possibly be responsible for uplifting the lives of the several hundred thousand people who live in our general area. However it might be interesting to compare the lives of people who have been associated with Auroville since the beginning, with those of people outside our geographical area. Many of the former have their own businesses and are doing very well economically, and their children are studying in Auroville, Pondicherry, or abroad. It also might be interesting for you to know that when Auroville started 40 years ago the people of our area were subsistance farmers, who ate two meals a day, if they were lucky, and they couldn't read or write.

Tagging a response from a member of our Working Committee to the end of the programme was not an effective way to balance your report, even if you have technically covered yourself against possible accusations of slander.
Yours sincerely,
Janet Fearn
Resident of Auroville since 1968
Home > Response to BBC broadcast - Janet Fearn