Sunday, May 15, 2011

My favourites from around the world

I find it interesting to read the adages and proverbs of different lands. Here are a few that I like from around the world.

Irish definitions:

of a gossiper:

She has a tongue that would clip a hedge.

of a coarse, ill-mannered person using poor language:

What would you expect out of a pig but a grunt?

on trying to change a stubborn person's mind:

You might as well be whistling jigs to a milestone.

of very bad music:

Aw, that's the tune the old cow died of.

of one who overstays their welcome:

If that man went to a wedding, he'd stay for the christening.

of a talkative person:

That man would talk the teeth out of a saw.

in praise of strong whiskey:

I felt it like a torchlight procession going down my throat.

said of a woman who had made a bad marriage:

She burnt her coal and did not warm herself.

of an unfortunate one:

He is always in the field when luck is on the road.

of very wet weather:

It's a fine day for young ducks.

of someone who always plans carefully:

If he's not fishing he's mending his nets.

Pearls from Africa:

A low-class man will just talk; deeds are the hallmark of a gentleman. (Swahili)

God is our neighbour when our brother is absent. - (Swahili)

A donkey knows no gratitude. - (Swahili)

The good looks of a moron do not stay that way for long. - (Ethiopia)

The haughty blind person picks a fight with his guide. - (Ethiopia)

Do not vacillate or you will be left in between doing something, having something and being nothing. - (Ethiopia)

It is foolhardy to climb two trees at once just because one has two feet. - (Ethiopia)

Though the lion and the antelope happen to live in the same forest, the antelope still has time to grow up. - (Ghana)

When you are at home, your troubles can never defeat you. - (Ghana)

Israeli sayings:

A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return.

A mother understands what a child does not say.

A slave shows his true character, not while he is enslaved, but when he becomes a master.

Commit a sin twice and it will not seem a crime.

Don't approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side.

Don't be too sweet lest you be eaten up; don't be too bitter lest you be spewed out

Never trust the man who tells you all his troubles but keeps from you all his joys.

One of life's greatest mysteries is how the boy who wasn't good enough to marry your daughter can be the father of the smartest grandchild in the world.

Time heals old pain, while it creates new ones.

From India, sayings of the Buddha:

Men give up one thing to take up another, but in spite of numerous changes they do not find peace. They are no better than monkeys who let go one bough to take hold of another, only to let it go again.

Silence is an empty space, space is the home of the awakened mind.

Flower and thorn are in the same stem.

He who slings mud loses ground.

He who lives by the sword eats with bloody hands.

What's done to the children is done to society.

A truly wise man does not play leapfrog with a unicorn.

To light a candle is to cast a shadow.

A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.

Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.

A few from Scotland:

Fools look to tomorrow; wise men use tonight.

Friends are lost by calling often and calling seldom.

Give you an inch and you'll tak an ell. (An ell was a Scottish yard of 37 inches).

He goes long barefoot that waits for dead men's shoes.

He's the slave of all slaves who serve's none but himself.

He that teaches himself has a fool for a master.

Money is flat and was meant to be piled up.

Whisky may not cure the common cold, but it fails more agreeably than most other things.

Willful waste makes woeful want.

Wink at small faults - your own are muckle (great)

Ye canna make a silk purse of a sow's lug (a pig's ear).

You may as well keep your breath to cool your porridge.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are you heading for Alzheimer's ?

After reading my post ‘Did I say losing it?’ a friend sent this to me so I could check and reassure myself once again that all was fine with me.

Anyways I didn’t want to save it all to myself, so here it comes for you. Remember no cheating, follow instructions honestly. Your time 2 minutes for question 1,2 & 3.

Short Neurological Test

1 - Find the C below, Please do not use any cursor help.


2 - If you already found the C, now find the 6 below.


3 - Now find the N below. It's a little more difficult.


This is NOT a joke. If you were able to pass these 3 tests, in less than two minutes, without can cancel your annual visit to your neurologist. Your brain is great and you're far from having a close relationship with Alzheimer.



eonvrye that can raed this rsaie your hnad.

To my 'selected' strange-minded friends:

If you can read the following paragraph, forward it on to your friends and the person that sent it to you with 'yes' in the subject line

Only great minds can read this. This is weird, but interesting!

If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid too

Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.

I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can raed this forwrad it.

Pat yourself on the back if you read it through smoothly, without hesitation and hemming and hawing!!!

Now look down and check if one leg is a wee bit longer than the other. Trust me, mine was after I went through this test!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Some Mornings....

Yesterday I woke up to an overcast sky and a cool breeze. I heard the harmonious choir of winged creatures as they flitted among the trees and garden bushes. I espied sparrows, a group of seven sisters, mynahs, honey suckles, bulbuls and though I couldn't see them I heard the distinguishable call of the koel and a peacock.

I closed my eyes and breathed in the peace and tranquillity. I was Eve in Eden......and then the Adam next door shattered the illusion and brought me down to earth as he leaned over the balcony and yelled, "Oye Ram Singh, paani nahin hai, motor chala do..."

Soon the cacaphony of the world drowned out the sounds of my winged friends.' Good Morning world,' I said as I carried on walking to a hot breakfast and Breakfast news!

"Oye Ram Singh, paani nahin hai, motor chala do".....
Oye Ram Singh there's no water, turn on the motor (water pump)

Seven Sisters: Jungle Babblers. Commonly called seven sisters because of their tendency to forage in groups of seven to ten.

Koel/koyal: You can hear this bird at this link:

Bulbul: Bulbuls are of different kinds. The one that i see regularly is a bird with a black pointy hood, a red patch behind his eye and a red bottom, also called the red vented bulbul. Here is a link:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Whimsical Little Mind

Watching Alyssa as she went about her day, dancing, prancing, laughing, crying, demanding, deciding, manipulating, teasing, remonstrating; being as unpredictable as a fourteen month old can be, set the whirligig of time spinning and I found myself at different time zones with my boys.

I was with Tintin aged five, who had just returned from a school fete. It was the first time he had attended a fete in school. He was happy, I could tell from the way his eyes glowed and by his non-stop chatter about his day.

“I bought poha for you because you like it,” he said handing me his plastic tiffin box. I was pleased. I opened it and saw a lot of chopped green chilli, carefully collected in one corner.

“Wow! That’s a lot of chilli,” I exclaimed.

“Yes, that’s why I picked them out. You don’t like too much chilli, na?” My heart melted.

“So where is the poha, beta?” I asked looking at the few turmeric yellow grains of rice sticking to the sides.

“Oh, I ate it.”

He didn’t see the broad grin on my face because he had already turned his attention to something else.

“You are so thoughtful about Mama,” I said.

I knew I was not going to forget the day my little boy thought of buying me something I liked, on his first fete. Well, that he picked out the chillies was also so thoughtful. That he ate it up is the whimsical part!

The whirligig spins again and I go further back in time. Tintin is one and a half. I have tutored him about not putting things from the floor into his mouth, because they were “dirty.” “Dhirty,” he had repeated bobbing his head. I was pleased as Punch.

I had left him sitting on a small stool on the balcony. He was munching on almonds, cashewnuts and raisins from a bowl. Then I heard it, a low chant in a monotone; Dhirty...dhirty..dhirty...

I went to see what was so ‘dhirty’ and there he was, meticulously picking up the spilled nuts and raisins from the floor and pitching them over the wall, having pronounced each as dirty! I tried to stop him but the look he gave me as he held one up to me and said dhirty, left no room for retrieval. He insisted on throwing each dhirty, not to mention expensive, nut out.

I wondered if it would be a good idea to teach him about ‘not so dirty.’ After all weren’t almonds supposed to be brain food? However I chucked the idea along with the few remaining almonds. There was much more the brain could feed on. Tintin found books, the best food for thought!

When Tintin was three, we were on our first ever trip to his father’s home town. It was as new for me as it was for him. The people, the language, the culture, everything was new and had a different tone and nuance. Our first lunch with the family found Tintin sitting between an older cousin, much older by about twenty-two years, and one of his father’s college pals.

He was a picture of decorum and good table manners and I puffed up like a mother hen, as my mother-in-law praised him. However, I noticed he was leaning away from the man on his right, the college pal. Thinking he had some sort of discomfort with the chair, I made the big mistake of asking out loud, why he was sitting that way. He nodded his head and kept quiet. So the cousin whispered a query. That was it.

He leaned further away from the pal and said in a stage whisper, “This man is dangerous.”

Nothing could be more far removed from the image of “dangerous” than this thin, meek man sitting bent over his plate.

Given the cultural setting we were in this could be construed as a big insult especially, coming from someone so young. It could also be reflective of the manner of upbringing, thus bringing our parenting skills into question. All of a sudden there was a clash of emotions between the inflated mother hen and the mother. The former deflated and the latter burst out laughing. Thankfully, everyone found it not just funny but charmingly funny; even the pal.

I guess he had no option given the cheerful scenario.


Poha....a light dish made of beaten rice and spices.