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    April 18th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Dr. K Sankaranarayanan

    Dr. K Sankaranarayanan

    Tiruvempavai and Tirupalliezhuchi sung by Saivite minstrel Manickavasagar can be the last religious works one will associate with Srivilliputhur, one of the 108 Vaishnavite shrines, and the birth place of Periyazhwar and his DAUGHTER, Andal.

    But late K. Sankaranarayanan, a physician by training and who lived all his life in Srivilliputhur, effortlessly crossed the barrier between Saivite and Vaishnavite literature. A self-taught man when it came to Carnatic music, he set tunes to Tiruvempavai and Tirupalliezhuchi with the help of noted vocalist late T.M. Thyagarajan way back in 1957. Now, the hymns, rendered by vocalist Sangeetha Sivakumar, will be released as a new ALBUM on April 19.

    “On the one hand, we see it as an opportunity to pay our respect to our FATHER and on the other we as Saivites would like to popularise Tiruvempavai and Tiruapalliezhuchi ,” said K.S. Subramanian, son of Sankaranarayanan, who died in 1974.

    Sankaranarayanan, a close FRIEND of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and G.N.Balasubramaniam, kept T.M. Thyagarajan as a guest at his house-cum-clinic in Srivilliputhur and they together completed the task. “He embarked on the work as desired by late Chandrasekara Swamy of the Kanchi Sankara Mutt,” said Mr. Subramanian.

    Even though late M.L. Vasanthakumari, who had rendered all the 30 Tiruppavai SONGS, set to music by Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, had also released a disc containing Tiruvempavai and Tirupalliezhuchi , the Saivite hymns packed with highly metaphysical ideas could not gain popularity on a par with Andal’s bhakti -laden poetry on the concert platforms.

    “Ramanuja Iyengar not only set tunes for Tiruppavai , but also performed as a main item in his concerts. He would sing raga varali , followed by a azhi mazhai kanna and swarams . His student Palghat Narayanasamy took it to the next level through his style of singing. When MLV cut the disc, it reached the masses and one IMPORTANT aspect is all of them stuck to the same raga pattern,” said Ms. Sivakumar.

    Historian V. Sriram said unlike the Vaishnavite Brahmins, who attached enormous importance to Tiruppavai and renditions of other Azhwars , saivites did not take any special effort to promote their religious literature in concert platforms.

    “Of COURSE Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, who learnt Thevaram and Thiruvachagam from M.M. Dhandapani Desikar, included some songs in his concerts, he said. It was he who set the tunes for MLV’s rendition of Tiruvempavai and Tirupalliezhuchi ,” and it was published by Tamil Nadu Sangeetha Nataka Sangam, now known as Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram, in 1965.

    Thevaram and Thiruvachagam , which include Tiruvembavai and Tirupalliezhuchi , are traditionally rendered by Oduvars in a particular style and they stick to Tamil puns, an equivalent to Carnatic raga. Deviations are NORMALLY looked down and even M.S. Viswanathan who scored music for some of these saivite hymns and released them as Annamalai Kaithozha and Ilayaraja’s Thiurvachagam symphony failed to make the desired impact.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by B. Kolappan / Chennai –  April 18th, 2015

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    April 16th, 2015adminSports, World Opinion

    Coimbatore :

    Ten-year-old city girl, Sai Kunthavi, won the silver medal at the USA Open & Junior International Cup that was held in Las Vegas from April 2 to April 5 by the USA National Karate-do Federation. Sai Kunthavi has represented the country in five other international Karate events and three other national events.

    At the age of seven when Kunthavi started learning Karate just for self-defence, her master recognized her talent and asked her if she would participate in an event that was just three months away. “When she took part and won the top spot we thought we should encourage her further and she underwent professional training. She has won three GOLD medals representing the state and six at the district level since then,” said Senthil Kumar, her father who runs a logistics company.

    Her masters Sensei Shanmugam and Muthuraj enrolled her for quite a few national and international events and she has always won medals in all events. “They are very sincere and dedicated which helped me pick up the art quickly,” said Kunthavi.

    “Earlier I was very scared and used to cry over trivial matters. Karate has made me stronger and instilled a sense of discipline in me,” she said. Her dream is to win the GOLD at the World Karate Federation event.

    “Everytime I go for these international tournaments, I learn a lot. Winners have better speed and stamina which I will work on to win the GOLD,” she said. Academically quite bright, Kunthavi wants to be a space scientist when she grows up. “I am fascinated with science and I do not miss school for anything apart from some tournaments.”

    “Even though on some days we want her to miss school thinking she must be too tired, we end her dropping her to school as she gets very upset,” said S Radha, her mother.

    Apart from Karate, Kunthavi has also represented the district in horse riding, swimming and aero modeling. She also learns magic, drawing and Bharatnatyam. “I love sports and I want to learn shooting and archery as well,” she said. “My role models are my Karate masters and IPS officer C Sylendra Babu.

    Every time she achieves something, she asks her father for a gift. If she wins GOLD at the WKF tournament, she has requested her father to take her to the Shaolin temple in China. “I want to go to that temple and taste the water there as it is the land of Karate,” she said.

    A clearly multi-talented girl, her parents said that they were proud of her and always supported her interests. “We never differentiate between her and our son and try to provide as many opportunities as possible for her to shine in life,” said Senthil Kumar.

    source://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Coimbatore / by Komal Gautham, TNN / April 12th, 2015

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    Several innovative and eco-friendly measures are being adopted at the compost yard in Musiri.— Photo: B.Velankanni Raj

    Several innovative and eco-friendly measures are being adopted at the compost yard in Musiri.— Photo: B.Velankanni Raj

    60 to 70 tonnes of compost generated at yard every month

    The Musiri town panchayat has adopted several innovative solid waste management measures at its compost yard in the town. Operation of eco-san toilet, planting thorn-less bamboo around the sprawling 4.17-acre yard, segregation of bio-degradable and non-degradable waste, and generation of vermicompost from waste are some of the salient features of the yard.

    The town, with 18 wards, accounts for a daily collection of 10.75 tonnes of garbage of which nine tonnes is segregated as biodegradable waste. “We have mobilised the support of women self-help groups in collecting and segregating the garbage,” says B.Gunalan, executive officer of the town panchayat.

    About 60 to 70 tonnes of compost is generated from the yard every month. There is good demand for the manure from the banana cultivators and betel vine growers of Musiri, he said.

    The thorn-less bamboo planted on the yard serves to demarcate the boundary of the facility and acts as its compound.

    Further, the plant species has the ability to absorb large volume of carbondioxide and hence helps in limiting the odour generated from the yard, he said.

    The eco-san toilet at the yard helps in preparing compost, minimising use of water, and preventing pollution of groundwater, he said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by Special Corrrespondent / Tiruchirapalli – April 15th, 2015

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    by K R A Narasiah

    I recently had a chance meet ing with Durailingam who told me the story of his father, Subedar Subramanian of the Madras Sappers regiment. Subramanian lost his life trying to protect others during mine clearing operations in Italy in World War II. Subedar Subramanian was awarded the then instituted George Cross; the first Indian to get the bravery award for noncombatants.

    India was drawn into the Second World War without its ond World War without its consent and in spite of stout protests from the national leaders. Madras SapParis pers’ 4th division was put into operation in the Italian campaign landing in Taranto in December 1943. Two companies of the Madras Sappers joined action 100 miles south of Rome where they were mainly engaged in clearing the mines. In all, about 50,000 Indian troops fought in Italy. Half of them were injured and one in ten lost their lives.

    The Madras Sappers were sent there after the allies invaded on September 3, 1943 the Italian mainland, with the invasion coinciding with the armistice made with the Italians who then joined the allies’ side. The objective of the attack was to draw the German troops from France, where an offensive was planned. The allies were facing the Gustav line (German winter defensive position) which extended from the river Garigliono in the west to Sangro in the east. Very soon the allies had occupied the ridge overlooking the river.

    The Sangro River Cremation Memorial near Torino di Sangro is one of the memorials erected in Italy to officers and men of the Indian forces whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith. In that memorial Subedar Subramanian’s name is inscribed.

    The details recorded in the Sangro river memorial reads, “Subramanian, son of Kannayiram and Thangammal holding the rank of Subedar, with official Number 14069 from the unit Queen Victoria’s Own Madras Sapper and Miners and husband of Shanbgammal of Keelvodivakkam, Chengalpet, India.”

    The details show that while Sub Subramanian was operating the mine detector, with Lance Naik Sigamani behind him marking his path with a white tape, there was a small explosion. The subedar realized immediately that the Lance Naik had stepped on an anti-personal mine and within the next four seconds the canister would be thrown into the air and explode causing great damage. Without the slightest hesitation and knowing that this would be fatal, Subramanian hurled himself over the mine knocking the Lance Naik aside. The force of the explosion was neutralized by the Subedar’s body which caused his death. With this action he saved the lives of his comrades, especially Lt Young, who was next to him.

    In a rare gesture of gratitude, touching tributes were paid to 5,782 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives fighting for Italy against the fascist forces, on Oct 5, 2007 in Rome. The Memorial Gates in London have been constructed in the Constitution Hill, to pay tribute to the brave men of WW II. Sub Subramanian’s name is included in the memorial list.

    Durailingam who did well for himself in his business wanted to perpetuate his father’s memory by giving the ancestral home in his village Keelottivakkam in Kanchipuram district to the Army to run an Ex Servicemen Health Service (ECHS) polyclinic. Durailingam has erected a statue (bust) of his father at the site with a cenotaph. Unfortunately, stating no reasons, the Army has withdrawn from this place after using the same for seven years in 2013. Durailingam says he has no idea why the Army withdrew. He says since he is getting older his only wish is to donate this land of over 700 sq yards to the Army so that the polyclinic can be set up.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / TNN / April 15th, 2015

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    April 16th, 2015adminEducation, Science & Technologies

    Chennai :

    Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, will launch the N R Narayana Murthy Distinguished Chair in Computational Brain Research on April 18. The Chair will be launched by Kris Gopalakrishnan, member, Board of Governors, IIT -Madras, and co-founder of Infosys Technologies, along with professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras, at DoMS Auditorium on the campus.

    Gopalakrishnan has set up three Chairs in computational brain research at IIT-Madras with an endowment of `10 crore each. The Chairs will complement a Brain Research Center that will come up in Bengaluru, as well as Chairs created in IISc., Bengaluru and postdoctoral fellows sponsored at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. While the first Chair has been named after Gopalakrishnan’s professor, H N Mahabala, retired faculty of IIT-Madras CSE Department, the second Chair has been named after the co-founder of Infosys Technologies, NR Narayana Murthy.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express News Service / April 16th, 2015

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    April 16th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Purampokku Engira Podhuvudamai’ is likely to release on May 1 —Photo: Special Arrangement

    Purampokku Engira Podhuvudamai’ is likely to release on May 1 —Photo: Special Arrangement

    A long-time activist friend of writer D. Jayakantan’s has been roped in by filmmaker S.P. Jhananathan to write a song set in jail for his yet-to-be released film, Purampokku Engira Podhuvudamai .

    The song — written by lyricist Parinamam — conceived as a mild dig on the Indian judicial system has been picturised on inmates celebrating their annual day inside the jail.

    “It is satire. I was told by the filmmaker that the song has to be unique in reflecting life inside jail,” says Parinamam, who has written in earlier films made by the filmmaker.

    As someone who spent around 60 days in Madurai jail as a ‘political prisoner’, Parinamam says he has used his experiences to write the song.

    “I went to jail after I participated in the ‘Land to the tiller’ protest in the 70s. The song is being sung by the inmates and as you know, some of the greatest of men have been in jail in history. Jails often offer much-needed space and time for reflection about the state of things,” he says.

    Asked what kind of insights he had incorporated into the song, Parinamam says he wanted to focus on how the system incarcerates people on the basis of laws written by the British.

    “There is a line about how all inmates are united because of the Indian Penal Code, which was written by Thomas Macaulay, an Englishman,” he says.

    Parinamam, who is in his 60s, says though he is not into active party politics, he still sings songs about the ills of private property. The album has been composed by debut composer Varshan. The film is likely to release on May 1.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Udhav Naig / Chennai – April 16th, 2015

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    April 14th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Chennai :

    Tamil Sangams at Navi Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram have been chosen for the TN Government’s ‘Thamizh Thai’ award for the years 2014 and 2015 respectively. The awards carry a shield, certificate of appreciation and `5 lakh.

    The announcement was made on Monday along with other awards instituted after Tamil scholars and poets as well as the Chief Minister’s Computer Tamil award.

    For the year 2014, the following scholars have been chosen for the awards: A Lalithaa Sundaram (Kapilar award), Marudhu Azhagu Raja (U.Ve.Sa award), SV Shanmugam (Kambar award), Sudha Seshaiyyan (Sollin Selvar award), J Narayanasamy (GU Pope award) and SM Mohammed Ali (Umaruppulavar award).

    2015 awardees : Poet Pirasoodan (Kapilar award), Kudavayil Subramanian ( U.Ve.Sa award), G Selvam (Kambar award), S Sathiyaseelan (Sollin Selvar award), Madurai Ilangavin (M Arokiasamy – GU Pope award), M Sayabu Maraikkayar (Umaruppulavar award) and Nirmala Mohan (Elangovadigal award). Prof.N Deivasundaram has been chosen for the Computer Tamil award for the year 2013 while Virubha Valartamil Nigandu T Kumaresan has bagged it for 2014. All these awardees will be presented with a GOLD medal, certificate of appreciation, a shawl and `1 lakh.

    Jaya’s Greetings

    AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa on Monday greeted the Tamils, living across the globe on the eve of Tamil New Year celebrations. Jayalalithaa said, “Let this New Year be a very prosperous one for the people of Tamil Nadu. Let this year bring health and wealth to you all.” She added, “In this new year, let us all vow to work unitedly to thwart all roadblocks and make Tamil Nadu a prosperous State.”

    Governor K Rosaiah said “On the occasion of Tamil New Year, Vaisaki, Baisakhi and Vishu, I extend my best wishes to the people.”

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express News Service / April 14th, 2015

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    Chennai, 12/04/2015. For City: Shanti movie poster.Photo:Handout_E_Mail / The Hindu

    Chennai, 12/04/2015. For City: Shanti movie poster.Photo:Handout_E_Mail / The Hindu

    Fifty years ago, Sivaji Ganesan’s film, Santhi, marked the end of a popular combination in Tamil cinema.

    It was the last film in which Sivaji and M.R. Radha shared space on the silver screen.

    This snippet was shared by T. Murali of Nadikar Thilakam Films Appreciation Association which organised a function on Sunday to the mark the 50 year of Santhi.

    The film that was to be released on April 10 in 1965 was delayed by 12 days as the makers wanted a ‘U’ certificate instead of an ‘A’.

    “Earlier, the Central Board of Film Certification thought of giving it an ‘A’. The makers thought such a certificate for those times would deter people from bringing their families to the film. So, it took them a little while to get a ‘U’ certificate,” he said.

    Jayanthi Kannappan, daughter-in-law of A.L. Srinivasan who produced Santhi, brought the camera using which the film was shot 50 years ago.

    “My father-in-law had the privilege of paying salaries to four Chief Ministers, including M. Karunanidhi, Jayalalithaa, M.G. Ramachandran and N.T. Rama Rao, for various films. Not just that, he also introduced five directors, including A. Bhim Singh and K.S. Gopalakrishnan,” she said.

    The programme was followed by the screening of the film. The film’s cast included Sivaji, C.R. Vijayakumari, Devika and S.S. Rajendran, and was directed by Bhim Singh.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – April 13th, 2015

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    The symbols discovered at the Shiva temple in Alundur | Express

    The symbols discovered at the Shiva temple in Alundur | Express

    Tiruchy : 

    Rare symbols have been discovered at the Lord Shiva temple at Alundur in Srirangam taluk in the district recently denoting the Brahmadarshana symbol, Manduka Diagram and Sulastone with plinth.

    According to research team scholars headed by T L Subash Chandra Bose, the symbols were found at Shiva temple in Alundur as well as in some of the surrounding areas.

    The scholars claimed they also found a trident with a base with the Tamil letter ‘Ka’ inscribed on the right side of one of the pillars in the temple. The symbols could date back to the 16th century BC, they said. Elaborating the significance of the Tamil letter ‘Ka,’ Subash Chandra Bose said that the alphabet refers the first true letter and also the first numerical number ‘one’. The root of letter ‘Ka’ is a cross between vertical and horizontal lines referred to as the ‘causation’.

    “Ka represents Lord Param or Brahman (not Brahma). Lord Param is also symbolically indicated as an oblong with a cross at the center. It is a four square matrix (Pecaka diagram) which you can see in the Sulastone at Keezhakuruchi village stating about the Siva Temple — Jambukeswarar Akhilandeswari — in Thiruvanaikoil near Srirangam where the tree, the spider and an elephent attained moksha,” he said.

    The Mayamata — the temple architectural manual — says the centermost four square in the 64 square matrix is the heart zone, where the Ka — Lord Param or Brahmam dwells. An interesting reference found in Chaandogya Upanishad (verses 4.10.4-5). Ka and Kha is Brahman. Below is the explanation or interpretation of it, he  said.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service / April 04th, 2015

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    April 6th, 2015adminGreen Initiatives/ Environment, Nature

    Madurai :

    The food habits of the modern society are decided by companies that manufacture and process food. However, it is crucial to bring back some of our traditional food varieties back, including the nutrition-rich millet.

    Nowadays, millets are included in bakery products like bread and bun to ensure healthier consumption of food. Millet varieties like Kuthiraivali, Varagu and Samai are used to prepare noodles. Consumption to millets is believed to help reduce chances of cancer and diabetes, and also controls obesity since it contains good amounts of fiber, protein and minerals.

    S Kanchana, head of the food science and nutrition department at Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU), said, “We conducted a training programme two months back for entrepreneurs to teach them about the millets that can be used in bakery products. Millets like Varagu, Thenai and Kuthiraivali has good amount of fibre and protein. Moroever, people who consume millets are 20% to 30% less likely to develop insulin resistance and diabetes-related diseases.”

    Health mixes containing millets are sold at the Uzhavan Unavagam, or farmers canteen. Small millets like Thenai, Samai, Kuthiraivali and Varagu are low in glycemic index, which helps maintain blood sugar levels.

    V K Balaji, 43, a farmer who runs a snack stall at Uzhavan Unavagam said, “We prepare noodles and snack items using small millets. Children and old alike enjoy consuming snacks made of these millets. It helps to maintain blood sugar levels and hence it is advisable to consume millets”.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Madurai / by Karishma Ravindran, TNN / April 01st, 2015

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