Tuesday, September 30, 2008

walnut rushdie

'In Kashmir, your birth-tree is a financial investment of sort. When a child comes of age, the grown walnut is comparable to a matured insurance policy; it's a valuable tree, it can be sold, to pay for weddings, or a start in life. The adult chips down his childhood to help his grown-up self. The sentimentality is appealing, don't you think?'
 The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie

(Aside: In 1988, sixty people were injured and one died in protest held in Kashmir against the book. There were protest in Kashmir when he was granted Knighthood)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Patent Pashmina

Famous Pashmina of Kashmir finally gets patent under the Geographical Indications (GI) Act. A GI patent gives exclusive rights over a label to a specified product produced in a specified geographical region.

According to a report in The Hindu:
The patent came after an agreement among Kashmir Handmade Pashmina Promotion Trust (KHPPT), Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), Crafts Development Institute (CDI) and the Tahafuz, a society of diverse Kashmiri handicraft artisans - on September 12 actively brokered by the Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh.
In a longer run, in addition to checking the sale of fake Pashmina, this is a step towards giving Pashmina from the valley an international edge over the Pashmina from POK.

Pakistan wants to share GI on Pashmina with India. But Kashmiri traders want them first to give proof of quality as Pashmina from valley is widely believed to be the finest. These traders from Kashmir do not want brand Pashmina to suffer in long run by sharing the GI with pakistan.

Further links and read:

More on Pashmina Wars going on between Pakistan and India.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Glimpse of Kashmir

Glimpse of people, streets and sounds of Kashmir.


I do think that some of the shots are not of Kashmir, and yes, music is great.
Courtesy of GlobalCafe

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kashmiri folk Soundtracks from Tahaan

I had previously written about Santosh Sivan's Tahaan at my other blog.

For me the best part of the movie was listing its two Kashmiri folk songs.

The song are Ha Faqeero and Mastaan Mastaan (Lyrics by  A.G. Madhosh and Fazil Kashmiri respectively)

The songs are sung by veteran kashmiri singer Gulzar Ganai and the music is by renowned percussionist Taufique Qureshi. Not so incidentally, brother of Tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Husain, Taufique Qureshi is also of kashmiri origin. There are times in song when you can listen to his personal touch to these songs. Also, the recording is top notch.


This must be a first when authentic Kashmiri music has been used in a mainstream Indian film.
And for that credit must go to Santosh Sivan.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Big Bang Experiment and Jammu University

"Tracing connection between mythology and science, Governor Lt. General (Retd) S K Sinha today said that the latter cannot totally ignore the former.

Inaugurating an international workshop on physics and analysis of hot and dense matter at University of Jammu this morning, the Governor while referring to mythological belief said that emergence of the Himalayas from the ocean. Scientists were today studying the Big Bang concept which led to the creation of the universe. They may find an element of commonality between their scientific findings and some mythological beliefs. He said that Homer's Idiyad describing the Trojan War used to be dismissed as mythology and poetic fantasy till recent archaeological excavations have established the historicity of that war, which over centuries had got embellished with mythology."
 - from Daily Excelsior, Jammu, Feb 12, 2008

Governor (he was not yet ex) was inaugurating a workshop on 'A Large Ion Collider Experiment' (ALICE)'.

Indian teams are contributing to two of the experiment in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Experiments that aims to re- create conditions that existed immediately (in a billionth of a second sense) after the Big bang. These two experiments are CMS experiment and  ALICE . Starting on 10 September 2008, it is the single biggest experiment conducted in the world since NASA's mission to space.

The team from Jammu University worked for ALICE under Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre Kolkata.
Photon Multiplicity Detector (PMD) for the LHC to be used in ALICE was built by Indian experts and the team from Jammu contributed to its creation.

Back to the (ex) Governor. I think it would have been understandable had he been quoting Frijof Capra. It would have been a nice ruse to talk about Amarnath.
But, taking about Homer's Iliad (Idiyad?) at a physics workshop! He sure was a curious fellow and it's a funny world.

Anyway, here is a little funny something to see:
Google search results for Big Bang India
and Google search results for Big Bang Pakistan

Saturday, September 6, 2008

genetics, Kashmiri Pandits, Kashmiri Muslims

The biggest analysis of Indian genes has not been able to get a clear answer on whether there is any genetic foundation behind caste or religion.


After analysing 75 genes from 1,871 individuals belonging to 55 caste, tribe and religious groups for the last three years, the Indian Genome Variation Consortium could not identify definitive genetic links to these groups.


The same is true with religious groups. The research shows Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims are genetically close and both share genetic similarities with Dravidians.
Read the complete report at Deccan Herald (26th April, 2008)

Also, my previous post about historical ties between South Indian and Kashmir
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