From urbanites view point art is viewed as a secluded activities of people and vision is from the standpont of Gallery de art. But for indigenous people like Naga, art and culture are inseparable from their daily milieu. And their art is functional within their ambience. In order to research and depict the Naga life Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts(IGNCA) has recreated their life through Milada Ganguli’s rare collection of Naga Art at Mati Ghar IGNCA which can be seen from Monday the 6th October,l997.
Milada Ganguli, 90 year old , a connoisure of Indian art is the connection between the past and present. A native of Czechoslovakia, came to India way back in l939 after her marriage to Mohonlal Ganguli, a writer and a close relative of Rabindranath Tagore. She developed a special interest in the hills of North-East India and was specially attracted towards Naga culture. She has visited these people around 18 times and collected artefacets of rare kind. Today, one part of her collection is the holding of National Museum, Calcutta and second part has come to the IGNCA which are being displayed at theexposition titled "SUNGKONG"--call of the Log Drum.
The exhibition is studded with rare artefacets and photographs placed within the context of beautifully created panorama of Naga life ,the aura of bamboo and grass work interplayed with symbolic motifs of tiger,lion,cross-bow to the votary symbol of potency.
The exposition revolves around the theme of ‘Sonakong’ or the call of Log drum of Naga people. Symbolically it reflects the major part of the extinct Naga Art forms which are no objective articulation of aesthetics but a display of functional art of bygone era. The entrance is the roof of the Morung or dormitary which is decorated with long tassels of thatching grass. Then one walks over the dried grass reaching out to the Morung. This Morung is the epic centre of the Naga life. Here youth and elders meet to share their oral traditions,heritage and functions as a platform of folk cultural demonstration. At night this is the watch post to keep a watch over the enemies. Then comes the unique log drum which is another functional symbolism of this tribe. The interrelatedness of Morung--the dormitary and use of Log drum for community communications is the high point of this exposition. Dr. Malla, Art Historian coordinating the exhibition explained that Log drum has again coming to play a major role in Naga life as one can hear the rythm in festivals like Moatsu etc. ‘this is a new beginning for the symbolic retention of old values.’
The exposition on the one hand subtly deals with myths and megaliths of Naga people on the otherhand analyses the patriarchal norms,values, power potency and social hiearchial order. From the status of chieftain to the dialects and population concentration of different naga groups are also displayed.
Coursing through the fertility and fetish beliefs of Naga the rituals and symbolic human skull are the points of display.The micro life style and the traditional stone oven hemmed with thatching grass and the concept of angan bordered with bamboo boundary is played to display the artefacts. There are around l00 display artefacts which covers from common serving bowl to dao,from basket cane work to the sacred human wood carving called ‘Instead of Me’. Explaining this rare art piece Dr. Das an expert on Naga art said that ‘Amongst Naga people, there is a tradition when the Chief is out of the village then a woodcarving depicting a man is placed in his seat and called "Instead of Me". This sacred piece of art and heritage is very rare and this collection is of Chang Naga of the Tuensang Distt. of Indo Burma border.’
Amongst the rare art pieces one can find the Head Hunter locket made of brass with a human face on it. This locket is symbolically sported by Naga people while on head hunting spree. Incidentally this locket is created be Kachins tribe of Burma from whom Naga people used to buy through butter tread.
Another rare specimen is the cross bow which has a mechanism of triggering the arrow. The bow and arrow are made of wood and bamboo and the cord is of burk fiber. After walking through the earthly creation of Naga people one comes to the tail of the exhibition which is tailored with the textile section to show some of the unique collections of traditional attires through photographs and cloth. Apart from bright colour temperatures of the naga attire one come accross the Kauri Shell work on black texture where upon human body is created to bringforth the contrast of design and texture.
Like wise, the exposition ,though small, creates a window to get rare glimpses of Naga culture which is almost extinct and modern revivalism is mere symbolic in character and cosmetic in vision.
From the stand point of History of Indian art Ajanta caves ventilate the most powerful combine of paintings, archiceture, sculptures, which were created from 100 B.C. to A.D.600. Art Historian Sheilal Weiner wrote "The Ajanta caves were once a Buddhist monastic centre. Sculpted in imitation of structural prototypes, the doors, windows,columns and walls of the rock-cut kass were adorned with carved and painting figures....The site is a key to an understanding of the development of Buddhist Art. The oldest caves were excavated during the earliest phases ...and the most recent carvings were sculpted just before the incrusion of Hindu elements. The caves contains old form front at early Hinayana site, traditional form occurring only at Ajanta and Mahayana forms that appears for the first time in the monistic halls and areas of worship. "Thus we see Ajanta caves became the canvas for recording the development of Buddhism from the moral and Philosophical perspective to the icon studded Mahayana Buddhism. These caves are embodiment of Gupta era’s golden age which took Indian aesthetics to a new height.
In seventh century A.D. Hieuen Tsang wrote about this caves which will be our entry point to the subject. "In the east of this country(Mohalach’a= Maharashtra) was a mountain range, ridges are above another in succession, tries of peaks and sheer summits.Here was a monastery the base of which was in dark defile and its lofty halls and deep chambers were quarried in the cliff and rested on those track and faced the ravine. The monestry had been built by A-Che-lo of West India. Within the establishment was a large temple above 100 ft height in which was a stone image of the Buddha above seventy feet high.The image was surmounted by a tier of seven canopies unattached and unsupported, each canopy, separated from one above... the walls of this temple had depicted on them the, incidents of Bhuddha’s bodi and small omens attending all great and swmall were here delinated...’. This is one of the earliest descriptions of Ajanta cave .However this world heritage was accidently re-discovered by Madras Army in 1819 and initial works were carried out by archeologist James Burgess and Major William Gill, who exhibited their work in 1866. Since then much has been written on Ajanta and volumes of reports and monographs have surfaced over the century. Thus today we would only touch upon the aesthetic punctuations of Ajanta Fresco to refresh some of our lost memory.
Whether Ajanta paintings are really fresco? The explanations are found in the words of Benjamin Rowland who wrote about the fresco elements and making of surface for Ajanta cave paintings.In the book AJANTA CAVES he recorded "fresco in its true sense implies the application of colors to a layer of moist lime plaster, Indian and all other Asian murals were painted on a dry wall. At Ajanta the rough surface of the rock wall was covered with a layer of earth or cow dung mixed with chopped straw of animal hair as a binding medium to a thickness of an inch or an inch and a half. When this surface has been completely smoothed off, it was covered with a thin layer of finely sieved gypsum or lime plaster, and it was upon this surface that actual painting was done".
In one of the celebrated analysis of Ajanta Paintings Nalini Bhagwat wrote "It is very significant that the available space at the disposal of Ajanta painter is not restricted like that of Sanchi, Bharut or Amravati sculptures, but is comperatively extensive. The complete wall is at the disposal of the Ajanta artist. There is no limit of frame work except the break up of the area by the doom looms often the wall is fully covered with the composition and sometime when the whole wall is covered, the painting continues at right angle on adjoining wall too" . Thus we see the canvas for Ajanta painters were wide open and the continuance remained the key word of inter-connectivity from theme to theme and then to the culture temperatures. On this given wide unrestricted wall ‘canvas’ painter worked out variety of arrangements mainly horizontal band and differentiation came to the fore with weavy lines. The movement of themes ran from left to right and otherwise as well. Sheilal Weiner observed that "... the paintings, on the otherhand, appear overwheliming, it is due to their close proximity. The slender and elongated figures and the painted Jatakas scenes present no more of a contrast to the colossal and weighty qualities of the principal sculpted deities that do the minor carved deities to the principle shrine images."
The No.10 Ajanta cave is said to be oldest and dates back to first century A.D. In this one can see the depiction of Jataka stories which are indication of previous births of Buddha before attaining Nirvana. The paintings are so arranged in the form of a long freize and theme to theme are linked with frame to frame. However, in some frame the Boddhisattva played the axis which are encircled with various motifs without the classical element of harmonising, nervertheless,the motif and decoration are so placed that one explores one detail to another in an interrelated fashion, without compromising at the axis prominance.
The composition generally confine to single band of ornamentation though in later years paintings overspread the entire surface of the rock canvas. Benjumin Rowland wrote "These paintings overspread the entire surface with human beings in the enactment of Indian Aesop’s fables, have the same sense of teeming life and vitality we encounter in the densely crowded relief of the famous gateways of Sanchi".
At the level of composition, the ‘eye’ of human compassion is almost universal and motifs like human being to animal are punctuated in a manner without loosing its balance or character. Ornamentation and hemming with flower and foliage are depicted with ‘dancing rhythm’ .Vartana or shading on the leaf are uniquly copy-book of ancient aesthetic dictum.
The famous queen depiction in palace (cave I) is one of the unique example lavanya or grace one of the six elements of art mentioned in Kama Sutra. In this composition one finds the lyrical eyes looking downword with compassion. Though the painting has faded but the highlight and shades stands out prominently. Jewels and ornamentations from necklace to arm-band are prominently placed without undermining the flow and movement of the gesture. If we compare this posture with the cave XVII where Indra and his celestial nymphs are shown one can find the contrast. Though both are in their ‘grace’but colour temperature changes rapidly. Indra is given a movement with the puffing air like white and blue shades. The detail of ornaments are given a secondary treatment. But the bhava of compassion is never lost.
In the cave XVII we find a depiction of Jataka "Visvavantra". Here the queen and her associates seen in the palace garden.T he tree with powerful stem and longish leaves are the reliefs. But the window, from where two females are peeping makes it an interesting as if those are wall hanging! The intricacies of any character is not neglected, but again the queen with her standing posture becomes an axis. This is the uniqueness, as none of the character is diluted to enchance one depiction. All are in those isolation got enough highlight without defeating the theme.
If you analyse the eyes of Ajanta fresco, its really unique. The eyes of the princess, kings and celestial gods are drawin with weavy eye-lid of meditative nature to depict the sulime look of grace and compassion. Similarly the eyes of the beggers(Cave XVII) are ‘soothing’ but has an element of pain and suffering. Then in the same cave where a Brahman receiving ‘alms’ is shown with anxious ‘eyes’with the addendums of creases and twitchings. Again in the same cave the eyes of the maid is seen with the ‘element’of action. So the essence of resemblance true to the mind and nature stood prominently in those fresco.
These are some punctuations. But delving deep into the figures, the ‘compsit’compositions and the posture swings with the character and theme of the frame which differed to create style within style, and at times set out trends of super imposition in a tier system .of characters without howerver loosing the sublime purpose of aesthetic compositions.
Banarasi SAREE In the world of fashion ‘Banarasi Saree’ remains the Indian ‘SUN’ and has been a subject of great inspiration and appreciation for world-wide costume connoisseurs. These proposed episodes would try to fathom its historical continuance, record its traditions which goes from generation to generation and unveil the intricacies which goes towards making this Banarasi Saree an art and aesthetics. In short it would enter the subject from the raw materials and show the process to the final product and packaging.
It was in the Mughal era Baranasi saree came into popularity and got fashion currency. Today these sarees are being exported world-wide. Around 125 km of Varanasi this art of making Banarai saree is surviving since olden days. It was during the mughal times when all arts be it persian, rajasthan or other indian school got amalgamated to create a fusion of aesthetics. Same goes for costume as well. The persian motifs and Indian designs on silk texture studded with gold and silver remained the cue of Mughal patronage. Elaborate pure gold and silver designs are today rare still the zari has rightfully taken its position as an apt replacement.
Today there are mainly four varieties of Banarasi saree available. Those are Pure Silk (Katan); Shattir, Organza which is fine kora with zari and silk works and finally the Georgette . If you go to varanasi you would find some 10,000 shops selling Banarai Saree which is more a cottage industry for several million people around Varanasi which includes Gorakpur and Azamgarh as well. Around 60 percent of artisans are Muslim for whom weaving this art is their tradition. Ramzan Ali,an old traditional weaver said ‘After the partition of India people tried to take up this art ‘Banarasi Saree’ in distant land but could not produce an equivocal quality….there is something in this earth which makes the creation of Varanasi Saree possible’.
During mughal era the raw material i.e. silk used to come from China and today those are replaced with Bangalore silks where sericulture is an unique industry. The fineness of silk is gauged Daeonir and quality varies from 16-18 Daning to 20-22 Daning. Still today silk from Chinese powerloom is in great demand which comes via Nepal. Resham cotton and zari also come from Surat which remains the cotton belt for over several centuries.
The process of making Banarasi saree with the colourful dying of the Silk. Those silks are then sold by weight. And powerloom people take them to weave the basic texture of the saree. In the weaving warp they create the base which runs into 24 to 26 mts. And there are around 56 00 thread wires with 45 inch width. Two person tie a rope in their waist to hold the form and other is grounded. In an elaborate process every inch, which contains 120 silk wires, is created. Its art to be seen only.
At the weaving loom three people work one weaves,one dye and other work at the Revolving to create lacchis. At this juncture another important process is initiated. This is designing the motifs. There are several traditional artistis available in Varanasi who might not be educated but can create wonder designs for Saree.
To create ‘Naksha Patta’ the artist first draw on the graph paper with colour concepts. Now those designs are of varying kind .But most universal kinds are Caixg(Kalka), Buti and flower and foliage. There scene of village, fairs ,cloud ,dancing-monkey design. And even one can see temple and mosque design. However, it was matter of experience that in one Bride saree there were designs of ‘Grave-yard’ as well. This became the functional aspect of art which is not far off from the people life cycle. In modern days one can see geometrical designs have come in, but it lacks appreciation. As traditional folk design remains the base appeal for Banarasi Saree.
Once design is selected then small punch cards are created those are guides for particular which colour thread has to pass through which card at what stage. One Haquim Ali says for one small design one requires to create hundreds of perforated cards to implement the concept.
Once those perforated cards are prepared those are knitted with different threads and colours on the loom and according to design those are paddled in a systematic manner that the main weaving picks up right colour and pattern to create the design and weave as well.
In yesteryears Banarasi Sarees used used to have designs with original gold and silver thread and one manufacturer used to take even an year to create one saree. Yet, those saress could fetch several lakhs for the weaver. However it all depended on the intricacy of designs and pattern A normal saree takes around 15 days to 1 month and the time limit stretches even unto 6 months.
Once the saree is created those come to Gol Garj and Kunj Gali where Banarasi sarees are sold in wholesale rates. There several hundred shops where every morning people from different villages come to deliver ‘created’ sarees to the market. There are some 10 shops whose turn over they say even cross 80 crores in toto.
Thus we see for creation of Banarasi Saree one requires different experts right from the gauging the quality of Resham until marketing. All these goes towards creation of the unique saree which is envied by saree weavers from all over. Its no simple weaving rather those are functional art of India which is going on for centuries within a great fabric of Indian traditional weavers.
'Benaras is older than history, older than tradition, even older than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together' Thus spake Mark Twain. Today Varanasi remains one of the most sacred center for ‘Spiritual Tourism’. Taking a hind side view of this sacred city one can also traverse back to the natural world of pre-historic era. This natural world is just 113 Kms away from Varanasi and provides you a rare view of natural interplay like water falls, rare tree rock fossils and historic and pre-historic rock arts in cave and rock shelters in Eastern Vindhya range.
Destination Robert Ganj; Start your journey at early hour. Enjoying the morning breeze one passes through Adal Hat where the famous sculpturers who built Chunar fort resided. Little ahead one finds a valley Ahraur Ghati. Those road-side hamlet within the puncturation of greenary one finds small hillock. Important occupation is querrying and manufacturing Sil Bhatta or hand operated Grinding Stone which is very special in every Indian ktchen. After some more kilometer Adwa Bandh is another hamlets within the hillocks. It is said there were some ancient quila has submerged and some portion is visible.
Just after travelling 55 Kms from Varanasi one reaches the Lakhania Dari or a water fall. Soothing Water falls emerges from Vindhya and runs through pebbles and stone mounds. The unique sound of gushing water flows beneath the bridge and on the otherside silence befall. If you are adventerous then you can walk upto the caves nearby where one can find ancient rock paintings of historic times.T he aesthetic autobiography of ancient people about their life style and the then world would make an awe feelings for the onlookers. Another 24 Kms of motoring would take you to Sonbhadra. This is a belt of traditional people like Kol Koewa, Panika,Gonr etc. tribes. Farming rice is one of the major agricultural activities of this area.
From the world of traditional people one reaches chowk Mohani or Robert Ganj,the center of Natural World of Eastern Vindhya. From Chowk Mohani a 25 minutes drive one reaches the Awai Gram or Village. On the road side Dhaba Ragunath Prasad can be your guide who would take you to this pride of the Vindhya hills. One has to walk for twenty minutes across the field to reach a hill-top where an amaging natural beauty awaits you. ‘Patthare ke Perh’ Stone Trees as local people refer it. Local aboriginals narrates people (perhaps Geologists)do come from the city and say ‘these are precious treasure of India’.
An old signboard of Forest Department declares it is ‘Pride of Salankhan’ which is akin to the US Yellow park,fossils of trees found in this area dated to be 1100 million year old. There are some thousands of trees turned into rock fossils reminds us of our rich natural heritage.
There are numerous trunk of black colours can be seen all around,but when you touch them you would realise those are hard stones. You can see the stub with rings within which tell the age of the trees. Thus unique remnants of yesteryears would remind us that once our earth was full of green vegetation.
From era of million years one can come to the era of c. 10,000 to 25,000 when early man used to live in caves and rock shelters. And those primitive people while resting in those shelters created various drawings on the walls of those shelters/caves. Those rock arts interestingly contain the record of ‘pre-historic’ to ‘historic’ times and today we get an unification at some level which creates confustion to ascertain the date.
Dr Arjun Das Kesri,a local well respected teacher of Robert Ganj actually found these sites some twenty years back and written a book as well. Though he remains ‘silent’ about not getting recognistion said that these palces are treasure hills. He found out many pre-historic stone age tools of early years of human origin. I found a friend and a reserach scholar of immense potentiality who took me around various rock shelters of the area.
There are hundreds of such rock art sites in eastern Vindhyachal region. One can have a quick glimpse if one travels to Panchmukhi rock art sites which is some eight kms south of Robertganj town. There is a small village road which is the landmark of this elegant natural rock shelters of yester years.
There is a very ancient Panchmukhi Temple of Shiva. The dates cannot be ascertained however the bricks do indicate that it might have been part of some ancient Baudh Vihar. There are some unique sculptures which are lying uncared for leaning on those historic stones. Some 200 mt southern side of this temple one can find the ‘rock art’ where Rhino, Camel, Goat and Pigs are found. There are some human hunting figures available. This indicate once upon a time here Rhino and Camels were found which cannot be traced today. Just 25 mts towards south from this site there is another cave. Here also one can find various drawings of hunter gatheres’ era. Around it there are four five sites can be seen even ‘unknown’ script is found on the walls and on the surface rocks. There are scenes of entertainment such as drumming, dancing and coupling as well. There are all kinds of superimposed motifs available starting from animal hunting to the world of Gods and Demigods. This site has references of domestication of animal, war fare techniques, rhino huntint to agriculture in short.
Thus Panchmukhi is a natural library of ancient world and provides an unique peeping opptortunity to have an hind side view of the gone by era. If one is interested in the ‘Natural World’ then this is a nice hide out from the hustle bustle of the city.
Whose hands fashioned these vibrant images on rock surfaces ages ago, and why? Perhaps we may never fully discover the unknown artist’s identity or the impulse behind his art. Perhaps he was a great hunter, a chieftain or just the prehistoric man. Rock art are mixture of aesthetics, the then records and philosophy! Thus in unraveling mankind’s evolution from homo errect us to homo sapiens, these early images offer vital but very perplexing clues. Rock art is universal heritage which is an in-built logical relevancy of this art by a method, explained by a noted Anthropologist Prof. Saraswati, ‘diachronic hermeneutics which is threefold. First, enter into the present context of traditional arts; second, move backward in time to rock art; and third, construct a dialogical frame in which the visual text and the traditional context are compared...all these go for making a pluralistic world view to realize the cosmic dimension of rock art’.
Early man started drawing on the walls some 40000 years ago B. P. (Before Present) during the Upper Paleolithic era. Nevertheless cultural traits perhaps continued even into the following Mesolithic Age 12,000 to 10000 B.P.In this era ancient man domesticated animals and expanded his activities. In the Neolithic Age (8000-6000 BP) The final prehistoric phase dawned with the discovery of copper during the Chalcolithic era(6000-5000 BP). These are the broad prehistoric periods during which rock arts are found in abundance worldwide.
There are three kinds of rock arts--rock paintings, rock engravinga and rock brushings. Noted Rock Art expert Erwin Neumayer wrote ‘The touch glass surface of the quartizite, whose colours range from white shades to red, depending on the mineral context, in the best canvas for pictures in the mineral pigments’.
India has the third largest concentration of rock art, after Australia and Africa. Prof.S.Malik a Cultural Anthoropologist said ‘Of the over one million motifs,animals are the most frequent,humans come next, and symbols and designs third in their order of occurrence.’
The search of Indian Rock Art sites started in 1856 when the first Petroglyphs were reportedly discovered in Almora. In Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh Archibald Carlleyle, First Assistant in the Archeological Office of British Indian Government discovered rock art sites. However, the present map of rock art sites were mainly discovered in the late 20th century. However, there are many rock art sites available in remotest places hidden beneath dense of woods or inaccessible mountainous terrain.
V.S.Wakankar recorded that there are some 754 rock shelters in and around Bhimbetka. In the Betwa region some 157 rock shelters are found which are recorded by ‘Rock Art in India’ by K.K. Chakravarty and Shankar Tiwari. In Mrizapur there are around 250 rock shelters. Prof. Mathpal found many sites in Uttarakhand especially in the Kumaon areas.There are around sixty-eight sites have been found in this region. In Orissa in the western districts of Sambalpur,S undergarh etc. one can find rock art sites which is found in extension in the Chottanagpur and Chhattisgarh.
Prof Mirta in Prehistoric India said that in Bihar, rock paintings were reported in the Kaimur range, Patesar, Jhania Pahar etc. Rock engravings are found in Singhbhum district.
In the western India Gujarat remains the rich in rock art sites. The sites are hemmed in Baroda, Bhavnagar districts and alongside the Aravalli range. In Maharastra Inamgaon, Chandrapur and in Nasik one can find rock art sites. In deep south one can find rock art sites in various places in Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka.
Even rock art sites are reported in the north-eastern belt of Garo hills of Assam, Bengal, Manipur etc. Similarly in the northern most India rock art sites and petroglyphs are found in Leh, Kargil, Dras in Ladak. Thus we find with a pessimistic survey the whole India is carrying the heritage of rock arts which are a rare book of knowledge of the days of antiquity.
The primitive artist primarily used mineral and vegetable colour. Moreover various pigments were used like hematite and other oxide to derive red, yellow orange and brown. In some rock arts one can find deeper colours which were obtained from oxides of magnesium. Prof. Malik referred that in the Bhimbetka Rock Art sites one can find some twenty one colours namely white, ashy white, creamy white, yellow, yellow ochre, raw sienna, raw umber, orange, dark orange, vermilion, scarlet, burnt sienna, emerald green, black crimson , crimson lake and purple etc.
Human artistry heritage since hoary past remained a parallel endeavour beyond time and space. The most primitive men of even today carry out their endeavour around their shelters. If one has a close look at the Worli houses one finds the motifs of sun and moon and also the stick man concepts which we find in historic and pre-historic rock art sites.
Similarly, most primitive culture kept their aesthetic talent intact without allowing any interference from the so called ‘progressive world’.
Prof. Malik in an article explained the context of cultural proximity between ancient rock art sites and traditional people of the present era. He said ‘...the fundamental art tradition persists by way of contemporary ‘folk’ and ‘tribal’ in oral ways, such as amongst the Warlis, Santhals, the Gonds and so on. In short Rock art may be seen as a part of a living tradition, in terms of local histories and in the understanding of the psychology and history of humankind. It is the universality of the medium and the message within this global creative urge that holistic thinking and alternate methodologies may emerge’.
After understanding the ‘cultural proximity and continuum’ let us try to delve into the motifs of rock art sites which not only gives a pictorial reference of the then times but also tries to record ‘the thought of the upper mind’ as well.
For prehistoric man, existence was marked by a struggle for survival in a largely hostile world. During the Ice Age, the animal population was greater and men were forced to live together in small groups. Life was conditioned by the search for food, entailed a daily struggle against the little known and largely controllable aspects of nature. Archaeological findings about pre-historic man, do tell us the then world of animals and human endeavour be it hunting or attacking some animal etc. Apart from hunting, there are evidences of dancing alongside with symbolic musical instruments etc.
In Indian rock art one can see spiritual movements of triangles, circles and Suns and Moons. The symbolism of ‘Shakti’ or mother concept is also found in the Paleolithic shelters of 10000 year old. Moreover, the cosmic context is explained in a Jaora rock art where fish, lotus stems, flying birds etc are see.
On the human angle one can seat Karnataka the courting human being, men at war or a procession or ceremonial walk etc. In Chatraubhujanath Nala,in Madhya pradesh one can find bullock-carts or chariots are found.
Another dominating motif of Indian rock art is deer which are drawn mainly X ray style. Yet, most portrayals did not reveal perfect anatomical positions. However according to Neumayer, the most accurate X ray painting is in Kathoti a where the deer’s digestive tract contains fodder in the stomach. Yet, deer with beautiful geometrical body decorations are also abundant. Rock art in Mrzapur, depicts the deer in a non-naturalistic style, in different postures and scenes.
Indian Rock art, thus, give tremendous clues to understand the then era be it their life-style, entertainment or the mysticism. The detailed concepts of animals from ‘filled’ types to ‘stick’ and ‘x-ray’ types are found in abundance which are some time parallel to the universal movement of rock arts. One can find animal motifs of different kind which are today extinct. I recall, having seen rhino in the Rock Art sites of Son Bhadra which cannot be found today. There are ample references of weapons and head-gears including ‘hunting’masks of animal kind. These are drawn in varied colour temperatures and depict various horizons of aesthetic endeavour. There are many motifs which are overlapped with other era drawings. Thus finding and accurately dating each motif or symbol is not possible. But they remain a vibrant collage of the then era. Rock Art heritage of India, remains an infant as per recording and ‘rediscovery’ of sites go. Yet, they project, an ample scope to invite tourists from world over to witness the then era of prehistoric kind. Sordidly enough none of the Rock Art sites have been incorporated into the Tourist Map of India but if those sites are maintained and preserved as ‘ heritage parks’ then the world would be able to read the open aesthetically created ‘dossiers’ of our ancestors!
Generally speaking, every person has at least ‘two selves’ one is ‘a self’ without any ‘guise’ and another is a ‘non-self’ which may not be a pretention always but an ‘alternate self’! To fathom self and the ‘other’(non-self) is a subject of psychology especially the behavioural one! But for common man the search for ‘self’ and to find out its reflective imaginations sometime in ‘disguise’ or otherwise has remained a very essential social exercise since the dawn of our civilization. In this process he discovered the ‘mask’ codified scores of ‘guise’ which were miles away from self but very close to the mind! But those masks were not simple ‘covering’ but a vehicle for ‘imaginations’ of mind of the mankind which remained a powerful object of reverence for all especially amongst aboriginals and traditional people.
The Mask-culture which dates back to the pre-historic rock-paintings of c.30,000 B.C has travelled down the ages and got expressed some time as ‘magico-religion’, "sacred enactments in Monasteries" or at folk theatrical levels and even through epic depictions, or in carnivals with a touch of festivity. Thus we see mask remained an integral part of universal culture surviving in its own way with every face around us.
In recent past, an International Mask Festival was organised at New Delhi jointly by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Sangeet Natak Academy and National School of Drama. This unique festival was conceived by Dr. Kapila Vatsayayan, the living legend of multi-disciplinary study and an Indologist of rare credentials who once said that this mask-festival is to relate the ‘cosmic-man’ or Purusha to the micro-cosmic man with and without ‘mask’!To explore its dynamism Dr. Vatsayayan has initiated collection of masks from world over under IGNCA’s ethnographic collections.The festival started its rhythm with ‘mask-dances’ from India and abroad which finally culminated into the IGNCA’s exhibition of Rupa and Pratirupa (Man and Mask) which displayed around 400 masks from 21 countries of the world . The Mask dance, the exhibition were finally linked with a seminar ‘Mind, Man and Mask’. All these provided us with the entry point to fathom the mask in its unique dimensions whose pulses are discussed below to uphold an holistic view of Mask and its universality.
The first record of Mask we find in the pre-historic rock arts from different sites of the world which includes the cave engravings of Caverne du Volp, France; Altamira Cave of Spain, Kundusi of Tanzania, Niger, Algeria, Lybia, Russian Kazakistan, New Mexico, Sweden, Siberia, Canada, Peru and Bhimbetka in India etc. Thus we see almost from every part of the world the reference of mask is found. Scholars from Italy Emmanuel Anati and Ariela Fradkin Anati said "Luckily our early ancestors, modestly named as Homo sapiens, had the gift of producing art and among the subjects they have depicted in the walls of rocks and caves there are depictions of masks. From that we learn that since 40,000 to 50,000 years ago our ancestors used to make and wear masks."
The logo of the festival with a masked-stick man is from the Bhimbetka Rock art sites. This figure shows a ‘shield’like face with elaborate semi-circular ornamental necklaces and feather like head-gear with a movement oriented figure. Thus so lyrical was mask for the ancient man! One find various references of world-rock art analysis from the "World Archives of Rock Art" This WARA has documented around 2 lakh photograps and drawings from various sites of 100 countires.
Dr. M. Leaky analysed four figures from Tanzanian rock art of Kundusi said "Four beings with hidden faces,all have a distinctive oblique line on their head. They seem to make a team for dance or some other performance"(WARA Archives 94-95) Similarly one find a typical herd of ‘deer and bison’ in France being followed by a man who is sporting animal head and ‘playing the musical bow’. Does it not enthuse the Indian psyche where Krishna playing the flute while following the cow-herd?
Another powerful observation is hunting animals with a ‘disguised’mask which is found in Algeria. Thus we see in the pre-historic era the early man almost got besmeared with the world of animals and used mask to ‘hunt’ ‘tame’ and again ‘dance’. Thus mask has always remained very ‘dear’ and ‘loveable’as the self!
From the Mohenjodaro excavations one finds the terracota mask namely Pasupati seal which dates back to 2500 B.C. which in later years manifested and got dimensions from the standpoint of shape to the materials of mask. In Africa one find mask as divine heritage encoded in Mummy Mask of Trebes c.1295-1069 B.C. Furthermore, we find the Roman Mask of golden touch with a pair of eyes but without lips which dates back to 2nd century A.D. The comic mask from Greece and Rome enthused a ‘laughter’ within. The Mexican masks of 900 B.C. of rod shape is also unique which touch the other aspect of human mood namely ‘pain and agony’. Thus mask remained a functional symbol beyond the face and the mind encompassing the mood. Does it mean mask has a relationship with the ‘mind and mood’? Let us try to understand it!
Our faces are the index of mind and function as mirror to ventilate emotions or state of mind in varied dimensions! What are those hidden recesses of our psyche? Those are love, anger, hate, fury, joy, fear and disgust, the sadness and depressions etc. These emotional lines are universal in actions and feelings which encompass all caste, creed and nationality.
Those body languages are adopted in and displayed as ‘abhinaya’to give a emotive punctuation to a particular character in a play in theatrical dimensions or in real life endeavour. Those moods give a varied kind of reflections come out on the face in real or unreal manner. So the man created ‘masks’for all moods. Some of the very powerful emotive sadness is seen in the Korean masks, similarly the laughter in Sri Lankan or in Mexican, and Goanese Masks are some other the examples. Similarly the Greek mask’ comical expressions are some pointer. According to Dr.A.K. Das, an Anthropologist referred that in North Eastern India the clownish mask are seen like the dummy Yak made in bamboo frame enveloped with black cloth and two person manipulate the Yak-mask which evokes ‘laughter’. The image of anger and fury is really widespread world over. The ‘spirit-fox’ of Japan the mythological power masks of Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia are few which enthuse fury and fear when accompanied by traditional music. So we see there are hordes of masks which are perfect aesthetic expressions of human mind’s hidden recess. Another aspect is the world of animal in the mask which loomed large since ancient times.
The faces of animal their power and fury kept a close proximity with man since prehistoric era so is today. And those animals mythological or otherwise remained a ‘powerful’ component of ‘folk religion’ and occupied a ‘sacred space’ in the mind and endeavour of indigenous people. In Nepalese mask dance we see the ‘Jangali Dance’ which comes from the world of tribes knittting the ‘spirit’ and ‘power’ of the other world and on depiction we find scores of mythlogical animals and birds. Same goes in the Himalayan Kingdom --Bhutan where we find ‘fearful’mask of animal spirits which are codified with very high aesthetic connotations of colour and shape. In India the Lion mask of Purulia and Jackal from Gambhira, West Bengal linked the world around in simplistic tradition of masks with dull colour temperatures.
Elaborating the Mask tradition amongst the tribal people in North-Eastern India Dr.A. K. Das said " Most of the myths connected with these pantomime give impetus for secular mask tradition in this pocket. In Ajilimu dance among the Sherdukpen, the masks representing Nyapa and Nyaro, the two demons, with terrific facial expression and flowing hair are very striking". Thus we see the encoding of demonic power in mask-dance away from modern theater, but within the mind-scope of traditional people lives as heritage with connection from the other world.
The role of world of animals, is very prominent amongst the wooden masks of traditional people of Madhya Pradesh. Here on the ‘face of mask’we find carved out images of animal world, snakes, insects and even the cosmos is depicted. The ‘balance’of judgement is found on the chin of a mask as if to depict the natural balance and deliverance of justice.
However, mask remained an integral part of mankinds’ eternal search for ‘macro and micro cosmos’ through the concept of ‘spirit’ and linkage is established between ‘seen and unseen’. The practice of sporting masks to invite spiritual powers namely ‘ancestors’ to cure an ailing, to evade ill effect of evil spirits or to bless an occasion or a newly born. Thus invoking spirit through the mask is a continuous tradition world wide. Talking to mask-dancers of Zimbabwe it was gathered that people of varied ethnic origin believe that ancestor soul do come down through mask and play the role of philosopher and guide. Lucky Mayo said that "senior people nurture the concept of family spirit mask and contribute to protect the culture. Generally, grandfather sport this mask to imbibe the ‘family spirit’ so that the whole family can be taken care of....this is surviving despite of technological development and it (mask dance) functions mostly as a pleasant retreat from the techno-dynamics" .In Zimbabwe itself there are around 17 groups who believe in this concept of ‘mask spirit’. Lucky Mayo further said that through this mask one can communicate with dead people and that ‘spirit’ do visit people and dream as well. Those masks are very sacred and those are made of wood, natural fibre, seeds, cane, jute .Those masks are of natural colour. In Zimbabwe, masks are created after invocation with sacred songs etc.
The renowned scholar Balan Nambiar traced the ritualistic dance of Western coast of India from Gokarna to Kanyakumari . He said that that mask dances such as Patayani, Teyyam, Bhuta,Tira and Kummatti are in vogue. Amongst rural population there is a strong belief of ‘masks apparently to these souls of ancestors’ which is quite near to the African experience we have observed above. Balan Nambiar said "Mask dancers, who propitiate the spirit and in a state of trance give manifold blessings to the gathered devotees, both heal the sick and entertain the spectators. Within their context, mask-wearers are auxiliary spirits which, when aroused, lead in a trance to the world of spirits."
Similar belief system is in vogue in Sri Lanka where the healing spirit mask is an unique example. The mask known as Dahaata Sanniya or ‘eighteen disease’ is studded with 18 diseased faces atop a pair of their gods and two spirits one the spreader of pain through disease and other the saviour is placed vertically apart. Prof. M.H. Goonatilleka explained that in folk religion this is in vogue. He explained that "Pritiatory magical and therapeutic effects of mask and attendant rituals of Sri Lanka are still not forgotten in the remote parts of the country. The dancer donning demon masks may not be aware of the significance of ritual transformation and the assumption of the role of the disease-causing demon."
Those eight masks are :
1. Buta Sanniya which is associated with derangement, distortion and listlesness of limbs; 2. Jala Sanniya relates with vomitting, dysentry etc; 3. Gulma sannya refers to lack of appetite, swelling of the abdomen ; 4. Kana Sanniya relates with blindness; 5. Kora Sanniya and 6. Bihiri Sanniya relate with Lameness and Deafness respectively; 7. Vata Sanniya is related with Flatulence provoked by aerial humour; 8. Slesma Sannya is associated with Phlegmatic diseases; 9. Pneumonia is represented with mask Kola Sanniya; 10. Maru Sanniya is wallowing and contortions in the eyes etc. 11. Amukku Sanniya relates with running with the head tilted to the left trembling of the limbs; 12. Golu is Dumbness; 13. Vevulum Sanniya is associated with shivering and feats; 14. Gini Jala Sanniya is about burning sensation,headache and fatigue; 15. Pissu or Kapala Sanniya is related with madness and delirium; 16. Demala Sanniya is also related with madness with distortion of the body; 17. The Naga Mask is related with swelling of the faces and peeling of skins and 18. Deva Mask is related with epidemics and infectious diseases
(For further details read ‘Sanni Yakuma:Its mythical dimensions and religious interaction’,By Goonitilleka printed in Ananda,Essays in honour of Ananda W.P.Guruge,Srilanka 1990.)
Prof.Goonatilleka traced the Sri Lankan Mask tradition and said "A ritual, I believe, is a network of beliefs, a set of rigid procedures which are normally conventionally sanctified, popularly accepted, and collectively adhered to by a community of people. In Sri Lanka, these are partly the result of the ethos, temperament and value orientation of the rural populace." Thus we see the concept of spirit and mask kept close proximity with any region of the world and slowly they attracted a wider act to play the role of ‘sacred-mask’amidst the changing religio-cultural nuances.
Mask a reflective identity of ‘folk religion’ coursed its way in universal religion like Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. The birth of Christ remained a source of inspiration for mask performers. Historically speaking soon after the Spanish conquered the Aztec empire in the 16th century Spanish Monks tried to inculcate Christian belief through the use of religious plays, frequently using masks. And people of Micha can have evolved a particularly lively festival by incorporating mask. Today those masks encapsulate the European and American world on the score of festivity and celebrations.
However, prior to the Christian era we find in ancient Greek drama the use of masks.
Mexican rod shape mask which depicts pain is as old as 900-600B.C.Roman Mask of gold colour temperature dates back to 2nd century B.C. The Rain God of Aztec with four teeth with skull like look dates around 1200-1590 A.D. Similarly, the radiance Gold mask of Columbia C. 500-1500 A.D. is the eye catching example. All these age-old tradition continue in modern world as well. In northern America we find masks of man and animal with the inter-play of hand movements. Sometime two faces are found in single masks as we see in Sri Lanka or in Bhutan. Even one mask depicting two identities or two moods namely sadness and happiness is created with otherwise lip movement.
Mask and carnivals are almost synonymous today as we see festival masks in Germany,
"VOLTO" Masks and Belgium masks are seen with goggles. Modern Mexican mask are simple realistic and become powerful socially with beards of modern times. Thus we see masks entered the life of the West with the concept of ‘natural god’ and then transformed itself in the mainstream religious phonetics which later took the shape of ‘festivity’ which is in currency! After having a cursory look at the occidental worlds of Mask let us retreat to the oriental world to arrest the pulses of its ‘religious and sacred’ masks!
In oriental world the masks hover around the ‘icon’ of any level from the concept of ‘protective deity’ to the ‘demonic identity to undo evil world’. Those concepts of power are encoded in the masks which are records of ongoing ‘belief system’ within the ambience of religious codes be it ‘folk religion’, ‘devi and devas or demi gods of Hinduism’ to the ‘Buddhist’concepts contextually incorporated within their traditions.
Masks of Siva and Durga and her manifestive look in the form of ‘shakti’ remained one of the powerful iconic masks in India. Three eyed ‘shakti’ in the Shape of Durga and Kali is very common on the eastern belt of India .The narrative ‘play’ to kill the ‘demon’ is the centrestage of these performances of Mask Dance. In Andhra Pradesh, the Narasimha icon in the Bhagavata -mala is very popular. Masks on the one side depicts the power of ‘deity’and alongside depicts the pet or ‘vahana’ of the respective god. Like in Bengal one sees the lion and Durga in coupled depiction wherein ‘asura’the devil is killed by Shakti.
Thus mask is linked with natural power with ritualistic connotations to strike a harmonious balance with the forces of nature and spirit of the world.
Apart from Shakti one finds the Ramayana theme which is a living tradition in India, Thailand, Indonesia, South East and Central Asia, Mogolian, Iran, China, Japan etc. Wherever Ramayana went it arrested the inner psyche of people and masked depiction of character even away from ritual but within the social ambience the encactment continues either through Ramlila procession or a theatrical enactment. A research scholar from France Anne Vergati had worked in the Himalayan region to fathom the interplay of mask and said "Today, at certain festivals, inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley hold theatrical performances which are of a popular character. In Nepal, in certain areas of Tibetan culture, masks are, of course, worn by participants in Tibetan masked dance (cham), which used to be known in the west as ‘devil dances’ and are performed by monks wearing masks which instruct the faithful concerning the deities they will meet after their death in the Bardo, the intermediate state before their next re-birth."
The tradition of Nepal to another Himalayan kingdom Bhutan would create an awe for the search of masks. Masks are studded in the life and rituals of all monasteris in the Himalayan range starting from Tibet, Ladak, Bhutan to Sikkim. The cham dance of Tibetan monks is sacred one. Interestingly in Indian and Tibetan dance the amalgamation of theme like the wild pantheon of fierce protector to the local spirits with elements of comic character shows the unification of culture. The Cham can take many forms but one of its most popular theme is commemoration of the last guru Padmasambhu. It is believed that He descends as representative incarnate of all the Buddhas to bestow grace and improve the condition of living. The mask dance usually consists of two parts; the first honours and pays homage to the eight aspects of Padmabhava. The second part of the performance shows Maha Dongcren,a horned masked figure slaying and putting an end to the demonic force.
Interestingly enough the Mahayana tradition of Buddhism survives only in Bhutan. Historical tracing would tell us that by the middle of 15th century Bhutan had developed its own sacred dance traditions associated with great saint Pema Lingpa, the ancestor of the present royal family. His autobiography gives a good account of this living tradition of Bhutan wherein he describes the dances performed in Padmasambhava’s heaven.
Today many Pema Lingpa’s compositions portray different sets of divine attendants and acrobats, who prepare the path to heaven. Dasho Sangay Tenzin said that mask dance are the part of religious cultural traditions and the holy scripts which dates back to the 8th century A.D. codified the ritualistic colour of these dances which are hereditarily followed till date. He further explained that some masks which are used in the courtyard of religion are never re-used and monasteries have today very old masks known as ‘kathrup’. Mask tradition in Bhutan lies deep in the social fabrics and those traditions are also surviving within the frame work of state patronage. Thus mask is surviving within the powerful conotation of Buddhism in Bhutan which is however missing in Sri Lanka and Japan which are predominantly have Buddhist tradition.
Apart from Himalayan tradition the mask thrives with vigour in Indonesia wherein the Hindu tradition still thrives in the forum of ‘religious’ and ‘secular’ dance. The sacred masks are created on ‘auspicious’ day and finished on ‘auspicious’ hour only. Those manufacturers of ‘sacred masks’ perform rituals and lead a pious life especially while creating those masks. On the other hand ‘secular’masks are created by all and performed and participated by all without any dictum of religion or ritual. Interstingly the sharp edged face with intricate lacquer work on the ornamentation of headgear are functional punctuations of aesthetic mask-tradition of Indonesia which surpasses the artistic trend of any given country of the world.
In modern India mask dances at theatrical and ritualistic level are thriving well. The Krishnattam the ritualistic dance-drama of Kerala is a great eye-catcher today. In Krishna temple of Guruvayoor, Kerala a cycle of eight plays tend to depict the Krishna-lore from his birth to death. This Krishnattam is based on 17th century Krishnageethi. The Krishnattam troupe today belongs to the Guruvayoor temple.
Similarly Seraikella Chhau dance of Bihar is another powerful centre of modern Mask dance. The sophisticated masks made of paper- mache with awe inspiring headgear adds to the folk tune and steppings of mask dancers. The dance motifs and themes are interrelated with of myths and history covering animates and inaimates as well to depict the sentiments. It is said the technique of this dance was evolved from the shield and sword dance of Pharikhanda.
Purulia Chhau of West Bengal is the symbol of Sun God worship through masks. The central theme of this dance is to depict how evil is punished based on mythological stories. This is performed especially during the Chaitra Parva festival.
During the festival of Mask the performance of Thanatomorphia by Astad Deboo and Dadi Pudumjee of Ishara Puppet Theatre evoked tremendous response. The central idea was to depict the many faces of Death within the light and shade of hide and seek. It showed that Death as seductive dancer, a passionate lover, the liberator and finally joyous celebration. Thus is the vividnes of ‘self’ and ‘mask’ in the world of performance.
Barring Islamic world, mask has always remained a second identity of the world and academic people often tried to define this ‘guise’ phenomenon but mostly in vain. However, modern mask maker Michael Meschke and Maria Oona Meschke tried to give an analysis which goes "a mask is not a photography, a portrait. Agood mask is an extraction of essence, a selection of expressions which have undergone a purification, meaning both exaggeration and simplification. We call that procedure stylisation .It means to give a style, as opposed to nature. Such masks correspond with the myths, they too have this purified structure. Myths could be called strylised narration".
This explanation goes well with the global context and concept of Mask which can be sported and removed at will.
But modern days’ mask has taken further shape closer to the face and manipulation within that face gives a newer identity. Imagine a middle aged beautiful lady before retiring to bed washes her face to remove those extra layers of cosmetics and takes off her coloured contact lenses and removes those lyrical eye-lashes and wigs to become natural to the self at least while resting away from social world of ‘self’ and the other ‘self’. Are these part of modern masks? It’s a question to be answered by ourselves! Nevertheless, the art aesthetics and imaginations to create the ‘new’within the ‘self’ has remained a close encounter of mankind in the past so it would be in the future!
Krishna the most popular Godhead of Hindus today is widely worshipped in India as a complete incarnation of Narayana (Purna Avathara). Krishna as a concept has attracted many abroad also as the focus of Bhakti, personal devotion and as the anchor of Dvaitha philosophy (Dualism). Krishna devotion takes different forms in different parts of India. In Karnataka Krishna is worshipped as a child God (Bala Gopala) giving importance to maternal love (Vathsalya); in Tamil Iyer community the adolescent love of Radha and Krishna is exalted and Bhajans are held. For Maharashtrians Krishna and his first queen Rukmani (Vittala-Rukmayi) are important God couple. Up in Gujarat, Dwarakanath, king of Dwaraka is primary for worship. In Kerala the youthful Krishna (Guruvayurappan) becomes the beloved deity. In Orissa and Bengal Krishna (Jagannatha) is worshipped along with his brother Balarama and sister Subhadra. Krishna’s consorts have no place there. In the Oriya saint poet Jayadeva’s Sanskrit lyrics, detailed portrayal of romantic rendezvous of the flutist Krishna (Venugopala) with the cowherd girls (Gopies) forms the expression of devotion. These Ashtapati (eight stepped rhythm) songs take a central place in South Indian bhajans. The divine love of Radha and Krishna also takes the centre stage in Bengal’s Gouranga cult (of Chaithanya) and its western adaptation ISKCON. In the Hindi heartland (Bihar and UP) Krishna is worshipped as the universal Guru who helped Pandavas in the Mahabharata war. Githopadesa iconography is in focus. Krishna and his second important wife Sathyabama come to be worshipped in the South Indian Deepavali festival. Such a diversity of Krishna worship must have had a historical back ground. Though it is very difficult to pinpoint the historicity of Krishna worship, some attempt can be made with the available information from the works of some historians.
Spiritual vs. historical explanation
Krishna worship is explained by spiritualists as follows :
In Bhagavata purana Narada says to Yudishtira, “Through the passion of love, hatred, fear or affection as through loving devotion, many concentrated their mind on the Supreme Being…and got rid of their sins…The women of Gopas through love, Kamsa through fear, Sisupala and other kings through hatred, the people of Vrishni clan through their relationship, you (Yudishtira) through affection and friendship, and we through devotion, O, King, (have attained His grace).” While this gives an emotional explanation for the diversity and popularity of Krishna worship we may see a rationale behind such a phenomenon in the sociological back ground discussed below.
In ancient Vedic hymns Krishna as a divinity does not appear. Taking by the generic meaning of ‘krishna’ as black, Vedic hymns only refer to 50,000 Krishnas (black rakshasas or aborigines) having been killed in battles. According to John Dowson’s classical dictionary of Hindu mythology, a hero by the name Krishna might have lived in the so called Epic age (a millennium before Christ) when the movement of the Vedic tribes was limited to North West India (Aryavarta). This hero took a prominent place in the original Mahabharata version called ‘Jaya’ orally composed by one Krishna Dvaipayana in which certain degree of mysticism was invested in him. Chandokya Upanishad refers to Krishna as a scholar. Krishna’s divinity was progressively enhanced in later additions and interpolations to the great Epic by the re-editing of ‘Jaya’ by poets such as Vaishampayana, Lomaharshana and Ugrashvaras in the middle first millennium BC (ref: A.L.Basham and A.K.Warder). The number of verses in the Epic itself had multiplied from 24,000 to more than 100,000. By the addition of Bhagavad-Gita in early first millennium AD and by later compositions of Harivamsa and Bhagavata purana some time in the 9th century AD, the divinity of Krishna was further enhanced to a very high degree. Much local folk lore were modified and added as episodes to the Epic to make it appealing to the diverse regional communities. We should not forget that in early India classical literature were employed in religious preaching. While common people could not distinguish the difference between literature and religion, learned wise men imputed philosophical and spiritual meanings to the unexplainable episodes. The Bhakti movement which started in the South and spread to the North in early second millennium AD and the cultural competition between the Shaiva and Vaishnava bards in composing many hymns in vernacular gave a big push to the Krishna consciousness all over India. The medieval temple culture promoted by the kings and lords provided the infrastructure for this effect.
According to the renowned historian P.T.Srinivasa Iyengar (erstwhile reader of Indian History, Madras university), ancient Tamil people, much before the Vedic culture permeated to South, had divided the land into five eco-regions viz. desert land (palai), mountainous region (Kurinji), forest tracts (Mullai), lower river valley (Marudam) and the littoral region (Neydal). Each of these eco-regions had their own life style, culture, God and insignia (flower). These people were called Maravar, Kuravar, Ayar, Ulavar and Paradavar respectively. Their professions were marauding, hunting, cattle keeping/grazing, irrigation/cultivation and fishing/salt collecting respectively. Among these, Ayar community had Kannan or Mayon as their god. Srinivasa Iyengar speculated that the God ‘Kannan’ could have been adopted later by post-Vedic Hinduism in puranic times, calling Kannan as ‘Kanha’ or Krishna. As and when Mahabharata, Harivamsa and Bhagavatha purana were refined and modified these folk practices of dancing and merry making way of worship of the Ayar communities found their place as Krishna’s childhood stories. R.G.Bhandarkar, another renowned historian opined that ‘Abhira’ tribe which had migrated from the Middle East to South India in ancient times, who had cherished the saga of a boy hero of dark complexion, had relocated to Mathura region in the first century AD. So when Mahabharata was finally edited, the southern Ayar cult of Kannan or Mayon found its place in the great Epic with Vrindavan as the theatre. However the disjoint between the early life style of Krishna in the pastoral set up and his political life in Mahabharata episodes is subtly indicated in the fact that Krishna’s flute playing is confined to his early life. In the final edition this fault line is ingeniously explained off by the episode of Krishna’s giving up his flute to Radha with a promise not to play it thereafter, as he leaves to Mathura from Gokula.
While describing the cultural developments between 800 and 1300 AD in her recent book on History of Early India, Romila Thaper brings to focus the religious mutations taken place in Northern India as follows :
"The multiple Upapuranas gave even greater flexibility to incorporating local custom into ritual and belief. …The perception of deities became more complex. Krishna for example, regarded as an incarnation of Vishnu, was viewed as a pastoral deity…This became the source of intense devotional worship, celebrated in poetry from which the erotic was not always absent. The name Krishna literally means ‘dark’ and he has been associated with the Tamil Mayon, ‘the black one’ also a herder of cattle. A number of traditions are reflected in the various manifestations of Vishnu, which may be one of the reasons for his popularity. However the connection between the topography of modern Vrindavan near Mathura and the life of Krishna was introduced by sects of a later period, such as the followers of Chithanya from eastern India."
The above passage by a popular historian of our times sums up the idea that Krishna’s popularity may well have some historical base. No doubt Krishna as a personal God appeals to many for various reasons of one’s own liking. I for one am an ardent fan of Krishna for my own reasons though not a believer as such of all that is attributed to him.
Holi or 'Phagwah' is the most colourful festival celebrated by followers of the Vedic Religion. It is celebrated as harvest festival as well as welcome-festival for the spring season in India.
What is 'Phagwah'?
'Phagwah' is derived from the name of the Hindu month 'Phalgun', because it is on the full moon in the month of Phalgun that Holi is celebrated. The month of Phalgun ushers India in Spring when seeds sprout, flowers bloom and the country rises from winter's slumber.
Meaning of 'Holi'
'Holi' comes from the word 'hola', meaning to offer oblation or prayer to the Almighty as Thanksgiving for good harvest. Holi is celebrated every year to remind people that those who love God shall be saved and they who torture the devotee of God shall be reduced to ashes a la the mythical character Holika.
The Legend of Holika
Holi is also associated with the Puranic story of Holika, the sister of demon-king Hiranyakashipu. The demon-king punished his son, Prahlad in a variety of ways to denounce Lord Narayana. He failed in all his attempts. Finally, he asked his sister Holika to take Prahlad in her lap and enter a blazing fire. Holika had a boon to remain unburned even inside fire. Holika did her brother's bidding. However, Holika's boon ended by this act of supreme sin against the Lord's devotee and was burnt to ashes. But Prahlad came out unharmed.
The Krishna Connection
Holi is also associated with the Divine Dance known as Raaslila staged by Lord Krishna for the benefit of his devotees of Vrindavan commonly known as Gopis.
The Colors of Unity & Brotherhood
Whatever the origin of Holi or Phagwah, it has traditionally been celebrated in high spirit without any distinction of cast, creed, color, race, status or sex. It is one occasion when sprinkling colored powder ('gulal') or colored water on each other breaks all barriers of discrimination so that everyone looks the same and universal brotherhood is reaffirmed.
Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity - more so management. Sound mental health is that state of mind which can maintain a calm, positive poise, or regain it when unsettled, in the midst of all the external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal constancy and peace are the pre-requisites for a healthy stress-free mind.
Some of the impediments to sound mental health are :
* Greed - for power, position, prestige and money. * Envy - regarding others' achievements, success, rewards. * Egotism - about one's own accomplishments. * Suspicion, anger and frustration. * Anguish through comparisons.
The driving forces in today's businesses are speed and competition. There is a distinct danger that these forces cause erosion of the moral fiber, that in seeking the end, one permits oneself immoral means - tax evasion, illegitimate financial holdings, being "economical with the truth", deliberate oversight in the audit, too-clever financial reporting and so on. This phenomenon may be called as "yayati syndrome".
In the book, the Mahabharata, we come across a king by the name of Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for a thousand years. However, he found the pursuit of sensual enjoyments ultimately unsatisfying and came back to his son pleading him to take back his youth. This "yayati syndrome" shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions (extrinsic motivation) and inner value and conscience (intrinsic motivation.)
Management needs those who practice what they preach
"Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow," says Sri Krishna in the Gita. The visionary leader must be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others. "I am the strength of those who are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the legitimate desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness," says Sri Krishna in the 10th Chapter of the Gita.
The despondency of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita is typically human. Sri Krishna, by sheer power of his inspiring words, changes Arjuna's mind from a state of inertia to one of righteous action, from the state of what the French philosophers call "anomie" or even alienation, to a state of self-confidence in the ultimate victory of "dharma" (ethical action.)
When Arjuna got over his despondency and stood ready to fight, Sri Krishna reminded him of the purpose of his new-found spirit of intense action - not for his own benefit, not for satisfying his own greed and desire, but for the good of many, with faith in the ultimate victory of ethics over unethical actions and of truth over untruth.
Sri Krishna's advice with regard to temporary failures is, "No doer of good ever ends in misery." Every action should produce results. Good action produces good results and evil begets nothing but evil. Therefore, always act well and be rewarded.
My purport is not to suggest discarding of the Western model of efficiency, dynamism and striving for excellence but to tune these ideals to India's holistic attitude of " lokasangraha" - for the welfare of many, for the good of many. There is indeed a moral dimension to business life. What we do in business is no different, in this regard, to what we do in our personal lives. The means do not justify the ends. Pursuit of results for their own sake, is ultimately self-defeating. ("Profit," said Matsushita-san in another tradition, "is the reward of correct behavior." – ed.)
A note on the word "yoga".
Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is "a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings.
Let us go through what scholars say about Holy Gita.
"No work in all Indian literature is more quoted, because none is better loved, in the West, than the Bhagavad-gita. Translation of such a work demands not only knowledge of Sanskrit, but an inward sympathy with the theme and a verbal artistry. For the poem is a symphony in which God is seen in all things. . . . The Swami does a real service for students by investing the beloved Indian epic with fresh meaning. Whatever our outlook may be, we should all be grateful for the labor that has lead to this illuminating work." Dr. Geddes MacGregor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy University of Southern California
"The Gita can be seen as the main literary support for the great religious civilization of India, the oldest surviving culture in the world. The present translation and commentary is another manifestation of the permanent living importance of the Gita." Thomas Merton, Theologian
"I am most impressed with A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's scholarly and authoritative edition of Bhagavad-gita. It is a most valuable work for the scholar as well as the layman and is of great utility as a reference book as well as a textbook. I promptly recommend this edition to my students. It is a beautifully done book." Dr. Samuel D. Atkins Professor of Sanskrit, Princeton University
"As a successor in direct line from Caitanya, the author of Bhagavad-gita As It Is is entitled, according to Indian custom, to the majestic title of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The great interest that his reading of the Bhagavad-gita holds for us is that it offers us an authorized interpretation according to the principles of the Caitanya tradition." Olivier Lacombe Professor of Sanskrit and Indology, Sorbonne University, Paris
"I have had the opportunity of examining several volumes published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust and have found them to be of excellent quality and of great value for use in college classes on Indian religions. This is particularly true of the BBT edition and translation of the Bhagavad-gita." Dr. Frederick B. Underwood Professor of Religion, Columbia University
"If truth is what works, as Pierce and the pragmatists insist, there must be a kind of truth in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, since those who follow its teachings display a joyous serenity usually missing in the bleak and strident lives of contemporary people." Dr. Elwin H. Powell Professor of Sociology State University of New York, Buffalo
"There is little question that this edition is one of the best books available on the Gita and devotion. Prabhupada's translation is an ideal blend of literal accuracy and religious insight." Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins Professor of Religion, Franklin and Marshall College
"The Bhagavad-gita, one of the great spiritual texts, is not as yet a common part of our cultural milieu. This is probably less because it is alien per se than because we have lacked just the kind of close interpretative commentary upon it that Swami Bhaktivedanta has here provided, a commentary written from not only a scholar's but a practitioner's, a dedicated lifelong devotee's point of view." Denise Levertov, Poet
"The increasing numbers of Western readers interested in classical Vedic thought have been done a service by Swami Bhaktivedanta. By bringing us a new and living interpretation of a text already known to many, he has increased our understanding manyfold." Dr. Edward C Dimock, Jr. Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization University of Chicago
"The scholarly world is again indebted to A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although Bhagavad-gita has been translated many times, Prabhupada adds a translation of singular importance with his commentary." Dr. J. Stillson Judah, Professor of the History of Religions and Director of Libraries Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California
"Srila Prabhupada's edition thus fills a sensitive gap in France, where many hope to become familiar with traditional Indian thought, beyond the commercial East-West hodgepodge that has arisen since the time Europeans first penetrated India. "Whether the reader be an adept of Indian spiritualism or not, a reading of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is will be extremely profitable. For many this will be the first contact with the true India, the ancient India, the eternal India." Francois Chenique, Professor of Religious Sciences Institute of Political Studies, Paris, France
"It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us" Emerson's reaction to the Gita
"As a native of India now living in the West, it has given me much grief to see so many of my fellow countrymen coming to the West in the role of gurus and spiritual leaders. For this reason, I am very excited to see the publication of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It will help to stop the terrible cheating of false and unauthorized 'gurus' and 'yogis' and will give an opportunity to all people to understand the actual meaning of Oriental culture." Dr. Kailash Vajpeye, Director of Indian Studies Center for Oriental Studies, The University of Mexico
"The Gita is one of the clearest and most comprehensive one, of the summaries and systematic spiritual statements of the perennial philosophy ever to have been done" __________________________________________Aldous Huxley
"It is a deeply felt, powerfully conceived and beautifully explained work. I don't know whether to praise more this translation of the Bhagavad-gita, its daring method of explanation, or the endless fertility of its ideas. I have never seen any other work on the Gita with such an important voice and style. . . . It will occupy a significant place in the intellectual and ethical life of modern man for a long time to come." Dr. Shaligram Shukla Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University
"I can say that in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is I have found explanations and answers to questions I had always posed regarding the interpretations of this sacred work, whose spiritual discipline I greatly admire. If the aesceticism and ideal of the apostles which form the message of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is were more widespread and more respected, the world in which we live would be transformed into a better, more fraternal place." Dr. Paul Lesourd, Author Professeur Honoraire, Catholic University of Paris
"When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous." Albert Einstein
"When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day." Mahatma Gandhi
"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial." Henry David Thoreau
"The Bhagavad-Gita has a profound influence on the spirit of mankind by its devotion to God which is manifested by actions." Dr. Albert Schweitzer
"The Bhagavad-Gita is a true scripture of the human race a living creation rather than a book, with a new message for every age and a new meaning for every civilization." Sri Aurobindo
"The idea that man is like unto an inverted tree seems to have been current in by gone ages. The link with Vedic conceptions is provided by Plato in his Timaeus in which it states 'behold we are not an earthly but a heavenly plant.' This correlation can be discerned by what Krishna expresses in chapter 15 of Bhagavad-Gita." Carl Jung
"The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe." Prime Minister Nehru
"The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion." Herman Hesse
"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us." Ralph Waldo Emerson
"In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it." Rudolph Steiner
"From a clear knowledge of the Bhagavad-Gita all the goals of human existence become fulfilled. Bhagavad-Gita is the manifest quintessence of all the teachings of the Vedic scriptures." Adi Shankara
"The Bhagavad-Gita is the most systematic statement of spiritual evolution of endowing value to mankind. It is one of the most clear and comprehensive summaries of perennial philosophy ever revealed; hence its enduring value is subject not only to India but to all of humanity." Aldous Huxley
"The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken by Lord Krishna to reveal the science of devotion to God which is the essence of all spiritual knowledge. The Supreme Lord Krishna's primary purpose for descending and incarnating is relieve the world of any demoniac and negative, undesirable influences that are opposed to spiritual development, yet simultaneously it is His incomparable intention to be perpetually within reach of all humanity." Ramanuja
The Bhagavad-Gita is not seperate from the Vaishnava philosophy and the Srimad Bhagavatam fully reveals the true import of this doctrine which is transmigation of the soul. On perusal of the first chapter of Bhagavad-Gita one may think that they are advised to engage in warfare. When the second chapter has been read it can be clearly understood that knowledge and the soul is the ultimate goal to be attained. On studying the third chapter it is apparent that acts of righteousness are also of high priority. If we continue and patiently take the time to complete the Bhagavad-Gita and try to ascertain the truth of its closing chapter we can see that the ultimate conclusion is to relinquish all the conceptualized ideas of religion which we possess and fully surrender directly unto the Supreme Lord. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati
"The Mahabharata has all the essential ingredients necessary to evolve and protect humanity and that within it the Bhagavad-Gita is the epitome of the Mahabharata just as ghee is the essence of milk and pollen is the essence of flowers." Madhvacarya
Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is "a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings. Lord Krishna is real Yogi who can maintain a peaceful mind in the midst of any crisis." Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.
Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana are but three paths to this end. And common to all the three is renunciation. Renounce the desires, even of going to heaven, for every desire related with body and mind creates bondage. Our focus of action is neither to save the humanity nor to engage in social reforms, not to seek personal gains, but to realize the indwelling Self itself. Swami Vivekananda (England, London; 1895-96)
"Science describes the structures and processess; philosophy attempts at their explaination.----- When such a perfect combination of both science and philosophy is sung to perfection that Krishna was, we have in this piece of work an appeal both to the head annd heart. " ____________Swamy Chinmayanand on Gita
I seek that Divine Knowledge by knowing which nothing remains to be known!' For such a person knowledge and ignorance has only one meaning: Have you knowledge of God? If yes, you a Jnani! If not, you are ignorant.As said in the Gita, chapter XIII/11, knowledge of Self, observing everywhere the object of true Knowledge i.e. God, all this is declared to be true Knowledge (wisdom); what is contrary to this is ignorance." Sri Ramakrishna
Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to practical life. It provides "all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level." Maharishi reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs and aspirations of everyone. Maharshi Mahesh Yogi
The Gita was preached as a preparatory lesson for living worldly life with an eye to Release, Nirvana. My last prayer to everyone, therefore, is that one should not fail to thoroughly understand this ancient science of worldly life as early as possible in one's life. --- Lokmanya Tilak
I believe that in all the living languages of the world, there is no book so full of true knowledge, and yet so handy. It teaches self-control, austerity, non-violence, compassion, obedience to the call of duty for the sake of duty, and putting up a fight against unrighteousness (Adharma). To my knowledge, there is no book in the whole range of the world's literature so high above as the Bhagavad-Gita, which is the treasure-house of Dharma nor only for the Hindus but foe all mankind. --- M. M. Malaviya
Nalagarh, en route to Simla, is located 60 km north of Chandigarh. It is a semi-hilly town that boasts of the title of 'Gateway to Himachal Pradesh'.
Nurtured by hillocks on all sides and adorned with lush greenery, it is a perfect destination to escape the scorching heat of Delhi. It provides both the feel of a sabbatical and a pleasure trip.
The famous Mughal Gardens at Pinjore are only 35 km away. Also, fishing enthusiasts have plenty of opportunity for a good catch at the Gobind Sagar Lake, Gambar River(22 km) and the Sutlej Barrage(22 km). The Naina Devi Temple beckons from only 60 kms away, and of course, Simla is only 135 km away.
The most interesting place to put up at is the Nalagarh Fort, located on a hillock at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas. It was built during the reign of Raja Bikram Chand in 1421 and is now a hotel, which provides great lodging facilities. In addition, one can go for Ayurvedic oil treatment, golf and swimming. If you've visited the Neemrana Fort, you can relive the experience at Nalagarh Fort. The Fort affords a breathtaking view of the surrounding towns of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh at night.
21 km north of Nalagarh stands the Ramgarh Fort, at a height of 4000 feet. The fort ramparts command a panoramic view of the snow clad Himalayan peaks. Ramgarh is an important landmark of the famous Gurkha Wars of the mid-nineteenth century.
Nalagarh is also home to a textile factory (GPI Textiles Limited), a footwear company and not to forget a Kwality Walls production plant. These manufacturing units not only provide employment to the local folk but also drive the town towards necessary development.
Nalagarh can be reached by road via Ambala and Pinjore and by air and rail via Chandigarh.
If you're looking at a long vacation, stay at Nalagarh and check out all the surrounding places one by one. You'll love it.
India is known as a country that finds unity in diversity. It is an accumulation of varied beliefs and culture where people following different religions and faith come together in the spirit of unity. One such binding religion and faith in India is the game of cricket. Indian cricket has evolved far beyond the gentlemen’s game to create a place for itself in the hearts of millions of fans. However, in India it is a different ball game altogether. The cricketers have achieved the status of idols, which can be praised when performing well or rebuked after a dismal performance. Much of our waking life is guided by the schedule of a live cricket match. If there is match between India and a popular opponent then chances are that the roads will be empty and the schools and offices will have an unusually low attendance.
Indian cricket has also set many precedents and among a few of them, you also have schools scheduling their exams based on the schedule of a match. If a match is being played on Indian grounds, then chances are that the stadium will be jam-packed. All those fans who are unlucky enough to be far removed from their television sets during a game of Indian cricket, have discovered various other ways to observe the match proceedings. The radio had been one of the most favored mediums of following up the commentary of an ongoing match. The arrival and omnipotent presence of the internet has turned the tables. Now no matter where you are, you can never be too far away from a cricket game.
Many cricket portals on the internet are a database of information on Indian cricket and the game as a whole. Live updates on the progress of every match are provided on these sites and a user can even request for regular updates on their mobile phones in the unfortunate event that they need to be away from their computers and televisions at a particular point of time. So now, you can be in touch with the game even while you are working at your desk and this is a highly popular method of tracking the game among the cricket fans across the globe.
Indian cricket has also become an important marketing tool for many corporate and they fully exploit the popularity of the Indian cricketers among their fans to promote their goods and services. The fans also like to keep track of their favorite players’ performance over the years and here again the cricket portals play a crucial role. Therefore, whether you need the latest statistics on your cricket icon or want to download wallpapers of your favorite cricket star, you simply need to surf the internet and discover a cricket related site that fulfills all your needs of regular updates on Indian and world cricket. Active participation in the discussion forums on these sites also show the deep involvement of the cricket fans and provide the best platform to get across your views to the world.
Is it history or Puranas (mythology) that help a nation to achieve progress? Perhaps only an Indian would swear by Puranas. Unlike westerners, we have neglected to document historical facts. This has lead to a strange situation. The westerners see in our vedic literature the great civilisation of India. The Central Asians see the glory of mathematics, geography and medical science as our culture. But we see our culture as being only in the Ramayana and are prepared to boast about it to the whole world.
Propagandists of Puranic culture indulge in loud propaganda that the Ramayana has everything that is meant for our daily lives. Unfortunately, we hardly tend to learn from history. Whoever says that our future depends on the Ramayana!
What is more amusing, we do not leave scriptures to themselves but tamper with them exaggerating anything to our convenience. For example, in the Ramayana that is considered the epitome of our culture, events like Sita's marriage, the story of Lava and Kusa have been given distorted over-emphasis. Similarly, events not to our taste have been misrepresented. Guha, who is considered friend of Rama is transformed into a bhakta of Rama. Sabari is made another devotee. Rama who occasionally reveals his common human weaknesses suddenly becomes a God to cover them up.
Even though the ancient culture is the basis of our present culture, we should, for political reasons, understand history better. But when we run into unpalatable facts of history we resort to the same tampering we do to the Puranas. Historical facts are straitjacketed to suit puranic accounts of the same events leaving no differences between them.
Various experiments are being undertaken to reduce the obscurity in history. Archaeology and Anthropology are so helpful in this attempt. Scientists are searching answers for questions like 'who were the Aryans?' and 'how were the Aryans related to the Indus Valley Civilisation?' In these attempts, the scientists are using Puranas also as sources of information. Puranas are not completely idle imaginary accounts. There are possibilities of finding some historical facts or clues about our past. If archaeological findings conform to the puranic accounts, these can be accepted as historical facts.
There are differences between the scientific approach and the puranic approach. The trouble with the latter is that it boils down to announcing huge monetary awards to those who discover the site where Arjuna is supposed to have made a bed of arrows for Bhishma or the site where Krishna delivered his Bhagavad Gita. But it does not even occur to the people that the Gita could still be hidden somewhere. Perhaps they could only scoff at Kosambi, who has analysed our history scientifically, even if they have read him at all.
The historical understanding of our political pundits is quite farcical. It is the same in the case of the artists. No wonder the commoners ape the rulers. We do not seem to know the direction from which we came and the direction in which we have to move. We cannot have any goal if we do not know even the direction in which we have to progress. Understanding of the past is important for a clear direction into the future. But the culture of mythology very often misleads people. We believe that there were seven-storied buildings in the age of the Ramayana. And we know we never had such structures even after a thousand years after the Harappan civilisation disappeared. Even assuming that such structures existed in the past (and now hidden), can we certainly say that they belonged to the Ramayana's period? We may see Sita in our cinemas wearing nylon saris. But does it mean there were nylon clothes in the days of the Ramayana?
The attitude of traditionalist culture is quite different. They argue that there was everything in those golden days. We had, they say, tractors, atom bombs, transistors and even radar during the period of our mythological epics.
Historically speaking, mankind is progressing day by day. The common man of today has facilities like good highways, fast moving vehicles, cinemas and radios which even the kings and queens did not possess three or four centuries ago. Queen Victoria is reported to have said, "Not so fast, Guard, Not so fast!" as the first train in which she was travelling reached the speed of 15MPH. In less than a century, things have changed so much that her present successor, Queen Elizabeth, can move a hundred times faster.
There was a time when ten acres of land could sustain only a single person. Today, just an acre can yield subsistence to several hundreds. The average life expectancy is on the increase. We have dependable medicines even for diseases considered deadly and incurable a few decades ago. Doctors are in a position to consider TB no more fatal than an ordinary fever.
But the traditionalists insist that the modern age can hardly be compared with the good old days. For them, life was unquestionably better in the Kritayuga and mankind has been deteriorating since then.
Even assuming that this is a fact, what we cannot forget is that we are the children of an earlier generation and need to live and struggle with our problems in our own circumstances. We are not the children of the fabled Saptarishis of the past. This is quite clear. Anybody who loses contact with the techniques of development will have to restart from the scratch. The culture of mythology can only keep repeating that whatever is there today was already there in the Kritayuga. There is no point in waxing eloquent on the so-called luxuries of our forefathers. We should come down to the realities of our day and see how best we can eke out a living.
Whatever was achieved through the efforts of people with an historical sense was lost in the irrationality of the mythological culture. Archaeological findings have proved that the cities of Mohenjodaro civilisation had no parallels in their day. In the days of the prosperity of Patna, there was no such city elsewhere on earth. Ashoka's palace was so magnificent that travellers wondered if it was made not by mortals, but by divine beings. Mauryan and Gupta dynasties took the Indian culture to very high levels. Today, none of this exists. Only Ramayana and trashy Ramabhajans, which do not even qualify as good mythology, survive. After all, the traditionalists believe that mankind has been continually degrading and so we are in a mental frame ready for further deterioration.
Where did human evolution start? Most will say Africa. But there are many pointers showing otherwise. Some anthropologists think that humans evolved in Asia first. In fact, the latest widely accepted opinion is that the progress of evolution towards humankind was alternating between Asia and Africa a few times. Let us see some of these opinions first.
1. "Long back in the year 1900 Henry Fairfield Osborn, the head of the American Museum of Natural History, New York wrote in an article in 'Science' journal predicting that Asia must be the source of fourteen orders and countless species of mammals. He argued that the uplift of Himalayan Mountains to the south of Asia would have caused periods of desiccation in central Asia. Such environmental change, Osborn reasoned, would have forced the higher primates to adapt to unaccustomed habitats and the biological stress imposed by the changes would have channelled evolution towards the development of fitter and better-adapted species, ending in the origin of man."
2. In the year 1910, Grey Pilgrim of Geological Survey of India discovered two parts of a lower jaw in the Sivalik Hills of northern India. In the year 1932, G. Edward Lewis discovered the upper jaw of a hominidae dated 15 million years ago. These findings led to a speculation that a pre-human species named ‘Rama Pithecus’ was found. However, later research proved this false. It was an ancestor of the ape Orang-utan of South East Asia and not humans.
3. Many anthropologists were biased on African origin of humans. Therefore, they discounted Asia as a possible origin of modern humans. They based their argument on the fact that stone hand axe was found only in Europe (in the western and southern India as well) whereas only pebble tools were found in Asia. An imaginary line was drawn on the map connecting Caspian Sea and Bengal called ‘Movius Line’. Left side of this line was considered as that of better-developed ‘Hand Axe’ culture and the right side as that of under developed ‘Chopper chopping’ culture (using pebble tools). Eurocentric bias favouring Neanderthals as superior toolmakers of the past strengthened this idea.
4. In later part of the 20th century Russell Ciochon pointed out that east of the Movius Line was the bamboo region and early man could have used perishable bamboo tools instead of stone for hunting. This could have helped him to develop his evolving brain as stone tools did in Africa. He went further to suggest that the mysterious, better equipped Homo sapiens who moved into Europe 40,000 years back and caused the extinction of Neanderthals, could have been these developed men from the east. They were called Cro-Magnon people who created the cave art of France. The famous writer Isaac Asimov, in one of his essays speculated that Cro-Magnons could have used bows and arrows to decimate Neanderthals (bows and arrows could have naturally originated from the bamboo region).
5. Russell Ciochon, John Olsen, & J. Jones, in their book of 1990 describe how they came across fossils of Homo erectus and Gigantopithecus side by side in Vietnam. Giganto jawbone was also found in India at Bilaspur (Himachal Pradesh) and Amphipithecus jaw was found in Burma. Both of these are dated as 45 million years old. They opined that archaic Homo orders could have evolved in Vietnam who coexisted with Gigantos, even as late as 800,000 years back. Giganto’s main diet was bamboo shoots like Giant Panda of today.
6. Richard Dawkins in his recent book (2004), “The Ancestor’s Tale” refers to a family tree depicting that
a) 25 million years back the ape line and monkey lines branched off in Africa,
b) About 20 million years back the advancing ape line changed its venue to Asia till about 10 million years during which time Asian apes Orang-Utans, Gibbon and Siamangs evolved,
c) After 10 million years before present, the theatre again shifted to Africa from where Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Australopithecus and humans evolved.
I started taking interest in the human evolution twenty years back. Since then I had a common sense doubt that Asia and Indian Himalayas must have played a role in the human evolution. My line of reasoning was like this: There is only one species of humans and four species of apes (five if you count Bonobo as separate from chimps). Out of the four ape families Gorilla and Chimpanzee are found in Africa, not in Asia, Orang-utan and Gibbon are found in South East Asia and not in Africa. If the four ape families had a common ancestry, such a creature should have lived only in Himalayas if we see the world map notwithstanding credence to the ‘Yeti’ legend. As I started searching for evidence for my theory, I found the above references in US libraries.
Projecting my common sense logic and assembling different bits of evidence available in scientific writings, I am tempted to conclude a story as follows :
Around 65 million years ago (Ma), catastrophic showers of asteroids caused huge dust storms, shutting out sun’s rays for months. Consequently, photosynthesis ceased. Eco-systems and food chains collapsed. All big dinosaurs died out. Small winged dinosaurs slowly evolved into birds. When dust cleared, small scurrying mammals gained ground and started evolving into many new mammalian species. This included "Euprimates" (Ancestor of prosimians, monkeys, apes and humans) which is said to have evolved somewhere in the tropical forests of South East Asia.
Between 35 Ma and 15 Ma, when the first phase of Himalayan upliftment was over, the great Himalayan river systems (Ganges, Yamuna, Indus, and Brahmaputra) evolved and caused forestation of the southern slopes in Greater Himalayas (Himadri). Prosimians (Loris, lemur etc.) had branched off from Euprimates, leaving the rest to evolve into “Amphipithacus” (Ancestor of monkeys, apes and humans) somewhere in China. Then monkeys branched off, diversified and spread all over the old world. Monkeys dominated the treetops. Heavier primates, “Euhominoids” (ancestor of apes and man) occupied lower tree branches. Himalayan slopes could have had some of these advanced primates. One such identified species could have been Sivapithecus. Living on trees helped primates acquire depth vision, gripping hands with opposing thumb, and hand-eye coordination. Their brains enlarged and advanced.
Between 15 Ma and 7 Ma the second phase of Himalayan upliftment (Central Himalayas or Himachal was formed) occurred causing great disturbances in the habitat of these early primates. One group of Euhominoids migrated to South East Asia to evolve into Gibbon (on treetops) and Orangutan (at lower levels) apes. Another group moved to Africa, as by this time the intervening Tethys Sea between Africa, India and the southern ridge of Eurasia had shrunk into Mediterranean Sea connecting the adjoining landmasses. These primates in Africa evolved into Chimpanzee (on treetops) and Gorilla (at lower levels). The remaining Euhominoids in East Africa advanced in evolution as “Australopithecines” (ancestor of Humans), as they started to compete with carnivores on the ground for meat. In the third phase of Himalayan upliftment (2 million years back), the Sivalik slopes were formed (Naimisaranya). No ape family remained in India during this period.
As and when more facts that are scientific are revealed, the picture will become clearer. Until then these will remain as informed speculations only. As Roger Lewin, author of many books said, in Pale-anthropology, myths sometimes play a part. Myth is not fiction but a method of transmitting collective thoughts. It may contain some truth. Paleontology is like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle without the box lid showing the picture.
Just when the aircraft carrier ‘Virat’ led Indian naval armada was fighting a furious mock battle with the worlds largest aircraft career USS ‘Kitty Hawk’ led US, Japan, Australia and Singapore naval ships force outside Vishakhapatnam Sea Coast recently as part of Indian Navy’s biggest multinational naval exercise Malabar –7, the streets of Vishakhapatnam were littered with red banners which screamed “stop joint military exercise with US imperialism” and “US hands off with the Bay of Bengal,” kind courtesy Indian Communist parties.Commisar Karat the head honcho of the Left took this opportunity to once again remind the UPA Government in a press conference in Vishkahpatnam, of the dire consequences for the Government if they operationalise the 123 Indo-US Nuclear Deal. All this of course in the in the name of Independent foreign policy and for the country’s national interest. Point is whose national interest?
Our Indian comrades in India feel that US imperialism will impinge on our conduct of independent foreign policy. May be our commissars, political featherweights at the best are mistaking us for a banana republic and are still living in cold war mindset. They are unmindful of the fact that USSR has disintegrated and China is the biggest beneficiary of America. Even Vietnam is doing a roaring business with the US.
In the last 60 years of Independence the great ugly America is our biggest trading partner. The maximum FDI in India is again from US. More than a million Indians have settled down in US and are being counted as well healed community with big purse strings there. Thousands of Indian Students head for America every year for higher studies. By contrast hardly any Indian has settled down in China or Russia and not very many students go there for higher studies. So whether our armchair comrades like it or not, people to people contact between US and India, the two great democracies, has picked up its own momentum that no sloganeering can reverse.
America does not occupy an inch of India’s territory but China, for whose avocation CPM was raised in Sixtees, occupies 40000 sq kilometers of Indian Territory in Aksai chin in Jammu and Kashmir State. In addition it is claiming 90000 sq kilometers of territory in Arunachal Pradesh.China has been propping up Pakistan to the extent of giving it nuclear bomb technology and missiles against India. Needless to say, so far as India is concerned China is a hegemonistic power that has fought a war with India in 1962.The joint Indian Parliament resolution of 1962, pledging to retake every inch of Indian Territory from China still stands. If national interest is the driving force as claimed by the comrades, then the Left parties should have agitated against the naval exercise which India had with China or for that matter Indian Army had with Chinese Army last year.
China, which was silent for all of the two years that it took 123 Indo-US Nuclear Deal to take shape, has of late become vocal against the deal when it is almost done. The Chinese official news organ the ‘Peoples Daily’ some time back commented that the purpose of the US to sign this deal with India is to enclose India in its Global partnership to balance the forces of Asia. Its is a strange coincidence that this very reason is being sited by Comrade Karat and his fellow Communists in India to scuttle this deal in India only. What is astonishing is the timing. The Indian comrades vehement opposition to the deal has come up just when the deal goes for approval in the 45-nation Nuclear Supplier Group of nations where China is also a votary. China currently is under great world pressure not to vote against the deal.
Apart from catering to India’s deficit energy needs, this deal will end the high-end dual use technology apartheid of which India is at the receiving end for last 33 years. India will get a big boost in Defence, Space research, Pharmacetucals and biotechnology fields. This is necessary if we want to overtake China in the time to come, as predicted by world economic pundits.
Today china has emerged as sole power in Asia on the way to become a super power. India with fourth largest world market, a fast growing economy, an Information Technology and Knowledge Based Services power house, second largest regional military power after China in Asia and 300 billion dollars of foreign exchange reserve in its kitty is the only contender of China in Asia. US has realized this and that is why in their national interest they want to help India, a co democracy, to become a super power. China knows it and is trying its best to scuttle this deal. Our comrades in India also know it and they are doing what their master’s voice from abroad tells them to do. If the the UPA Government accepts the demand of comrades of not operationalising the 123 Indo-US Nuclear deal, than the deal will die its own death and India will be forced to become a number two power to China in Asia in perpetuity.
It is lucky that in war against terror we are on the side of US. With china propping up Pakistan against India and emerging as the biggest arms supplier to Bangladesh, the two countries that harbor all the jehadis operating against India, India stands vulnerable. Whether we like it or not China is not going to change its anti India policies unless we decide to tow its line and accept its hegemony on us. Only way we can counter it is by forming a loose alliance of democracies of US, Japan, Australia and India in Asia, Pacific region. Our Comrades are again vehemently opposed to this.
So now we know what their hidden agenda is.
It is time Indian public should ask Commissar Karat and his henchmen, what is their alternative to Indo –US Nuclear Deal and how they want India to counter the rising might of China in Asia. Besides they claim to be a party catering to the needs of “Aam Adami”. So how an Aam Adami in India is concerned with Indo-US Nuclear Deal or Indian Navy Exercises when hundreds of Indian citizens are dying in terrorist attacks every month and there are any numbers of farmers committing suicides?
In every democracy including Indian, to bring in accountability in governance the Constitution stands supreme. Question is what happens in a democracy where the elected representative of the people start giving short shift to the constitution itself, as is currently happening in India?
Indian Constitution lays down that before any policy is formulated, all matters of state having long term implications on the well being of the country and its people, will be discussed in both houses of Parliament threadbare. Today the stage has come when these houses of Parliament are being used more as a venue for sloganeering and rabble rousing by both the Treasury benches and the opposition then for any meaningful discussion. The recent comments by no les a person than the Speaker of Parliament Mr. Somnath Chatterjee that the worthy members of Parliament should burn the rule book outside the Parliament if they can not follow the decorum of the house or the other one that these members take the working of the Parliament as a joke, should be an eye opener to all.
The proceeding of the house gets stalled with the drop of a hat. All of course at the cost of tax payer’s money. Things have reached such a nadir that discussions even when they do take place are mostly pedestrian in nature with the worthy members hardly having burnt any midnight oil in preparing for the issues involved. Very recently some distinguished members of Parliament were caught in a sting operation taking money for asking questions in the house.
At the time of Indian Independence, while giving final touches to the Constitution, our founding fathers did not put down any thing in writing against politicians with criminal background coming to power because it was beyond the realm of imagination in those days of clean politics that any criminal will be given ticket by any party. Within 60 years of Independence in India, things have come to such a pass that in the current Parliament, every fifth MP out of a total of approximately 550 MPs, have a criminal background. Our Constitutional makers did not also lay down any educational qualification yardstick for these worthies because it was assumed that parliament itself will frame necessary rules for them, a thing which has not happened till date. Not only MPs, there are number of tainted ministers also in the current Cabinet of the Prime Minister against whom formal charge sheets have been framed by courts of law. Basic tenets of leadership demand that to be an effective leader and a public figure a person must set his own personal examples. What examples these tainted leaders are setting are anybody’s guess. However it does not auger well for the future of the nation.
It is also revealing that maximum number of these tainted politician’s hail from the two most populous and educationally as also economically the most backward states of India, UP and Bihar. These two states alone contribute 145 MPs to Indian Parliament. The biggest paradox is that these very states are best endowed in the country in terms of irrigation capable land, water and raw materials. What they lack are education and industry the two basic elements on which a successful democracy functions and what they suffer is bad governance.
Out side the Parliament also the current lot of Indian Politicians have not earned many laurels for themselves. Hundreds of corers of tax payer’s money is spent in bringing these netas to power by means of elections in each state. Once the elections are over, then instead of the majority single party or a coalition quickly forming the Government for the good of the people, every possible trick in the trade is used by the party, which has lost at the hustings to stall the Government formation. Cases in point are the pangs of government formation the states of Goa,Jharkhand, Bihar in the past and Karnataka in the recent past had to suffer.
Witch hunting and lack of continuation of the previous Government policies even if they were good by the next Government is a comparatively new phenomenon which has now emerged. Opposition for opposing sake, even if the issue opposed is good for the country, is another tragic development which is making mockery of our current state of democracy. Case in point is Indo-US Nuclear Deal. On their own, Indian politicians will not like to bring about any change in this murky scenario. Unfortunately for them, the fast spread of Information technology, TV and mobile phone culture in India and the rise of the youth power with about 74 percent literacy which will be voting in full strength in elections due next year, the current Indian polity has become politically very savvy. They are fast realizing that if they want their leaders to deliver they will have to elect capable people and make them accountable. The thrust on cast and religion is giving way to better jobs, better living conditions, better education, better health care and corruption free governance. Electronic and print media also is doing a yeo man service in exposing the corrupt.
Maybe the political parties in India will now give it a cool thought and set their houses in order before it is too late. If things do not improve and feel good effect does not reach the common man it will not take long for things to slide into state of anarchy leading to insurgency. People are getting impatient and they will not wait till the cows come home for their lot to improve. The example is the current breakdown of law and order in North Eastern states and the Naxalite movement gaining ground in the country. The time is running out.
Both houses of Parliament must also function with optimum efficiency.The pay and perks of these politicians should not be fixed by they themselves. A separate autonomous body must be created for the same. Similarly those members of parliament and state assemblies who willfully stall the proceedings of the house must be imposed upon monitory fines. Why should public play for their misdemeanor. In today’s world of Information Technology and globalistion of economy, not only the country but the whole world is watching them. Independence of India had been won too dearly to be sacrificed at the alter of political expediency. Politicians must become more accountable and deliver to people who elected them, instead of making politics a money making industry.
Operation ‘Duryodhan’ and Operation ‘Chkravuyh’, two back to back sting operations conducted by electronic media channels last year, showing eleven Members Of Parliament in the first, taking bribe for asking questions in the House and seven Members Of Parliament in second demanding cuts ranging from 5% to 45% from the two crore annual MP Local Area Development Grant which each MP gets for welfare of his constituency, speaks a lot to the levels politics in India in general and the politicians in particular have fallen. It is not for nothing that Transparency International in its Corruption Study 2005 has listed India as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In their estimates Indian public pays Rs 21068 crores annually in corruption. Question is where do we go from here?
Biggest irony is that in last 60 years of Indian Independence, hardly any election has been fought where removal of corruption from Indian governance has not been one of the issues in every political parties election manifesto. Nevertheless the loot continues. With Netas indulging in this hobby in a big way the bureaucracy is not far behind. Their logic is that it is they who facilitate their bosses in cornering the moolah so why should they also not dip into it. No wonder each political party has their own favorites in bureaucracy.
Article 105 of the Indian Constitution provides immunity to MPs from any legal action for any act done in discharge of their duties even if it is wrong. In the famous JMM bribery case of 1993, when it came to light that several MPs’ were bribed to save the Government in power, these MPs’took shelter under this Article to save their hide. In 2002 The Constitution Review Committee recommended this provision to be amended but our political leaders stood as one to negate this.
Every political party laments the criminalisation of politics in this country but when allotting tickets to the candidates in elections the criminals rule the roost. As per a recent survey more than 200 serving MPs and 700 state legislatures have criminal cases registered against them.
In the name of Secularism, all political parties are practicing castism and vote bank policies in the country. In eighties the Indian polity was just about showing signs of rising above the cast and religious considerations. Suddenly the politicians adept in divide and rule policy, brought in Mandalistion.This resulted in India regressing back to worst state of polarization on cast lines.
Indian Constitution had allowed reservations in the country only up to 1960 and it was expected of the politicians that by this time they would have provided sufficient facilities to the down trodden in education and other fields to enable them to come at par with others. Instead, to garner votes our politicians both in states and center have taken the reservation quota policy to ridiculous levels of almost 60% to 70% reservations in total disregard of Supreme Court ruling that reservations should not be in excess of 50%.
Some time back the Congress party led Andhra Pradesh Government had extended 5% reservation to Muslim community, well knowing that Indian Constitution debars any such reservation on religious grounds. Courts finally struck this down. Game being to draw the political mileage from this and paint courts as villain in peace in the mistaken belief that Indian voting public is so knave that they will not see through the facade. Recently the Government in Center has introduced a bill to have reservations in unaided private educational institutions but has exempted the minority private institutions, an apt example of double standards.
Having ruined the public sector now there is a talk by our Netas of forcing reservations in private sector also. To gain some votes our leaders are not bothered as to what damage this ill-advised policy will cause to Indian productivity and economy. Our reservation loving Netas become very chary when these reservations affect their own turf. Case in point is the Women’s Reservation Bill that plans to provide 33% reservation to Indian Women in Parliament and state assemblies. This bill has not seen the light of day despite it being there for almost twelve years. The male Netas do not want to give up seats in favor of females.Chivalery is dead here.
The only silver lining in otherwise a gloomy sky is the tremendous reach of the electronic media, the mobile phones and the power of SMS culture which is now rural friendly. Indian polity is much more aware today of its rights, is politically savvy and most important of all is young. India with 74 percent of its population below the age of 30 is the youngest country in the World. This youth, which will be voting in great numbers for the first time in 2009 elections, has already reached the literacy level of 62 percent. In addition they are energetic and are impatetant for progress. The, current status quo concept of Indian political class will not do. This youth wants to move ahead and take the lead. It will be increasingly difficult for Indian Netas to continue with their old ways. Sooner than later people in India will demand accountability from them.
It is time that Article 105 of the constitution is amended to allow the politicians to be dealt with legally for their any act of purposeful omission in discharge of their duties. They should be brought under the preview of Lok Pal Bill, which must be passed. Centarl Vigilance Commission Must be made autonomous like Election Commission with C.B.I. coming under it. This along with proactive media will be enough to bring in accountability in our politics.
Have you changed more jobs than you care to remember?
Do you tend to leave jobs for the smallest of reasons?
If yes, you are definitely not alone.
Time For A Reality Check!
The trend of moving from one job to another was quite uncommon say 10 - 15 years back. Employees would spend their entire career span if not most of it working for the same Company.
That was then. Today, things are different and rends have changed in the Corporate world. Opportunities for expansion, more lucrative offers and greater choices within the same industry are attracting candidates and enticing them to shift jobs more frequently.
Experts are of the opinion that switching from one job to another is acceptable if done sensibly and for understandable / justifiable reasons.
For eg. Recruiters may have reservations about hiring a person who has changed as many as 4-5 jobs in the past 1 and a half years!
This is because
* Every Company wants to hire someone who will stay with them and grow with them over the years. If your resume shows too frequent job switches, it is a sign that tells prospective recruiters that you lack stability.
* It will be a waste of their resources to hire and train you, only to find that you are ready to quit in just a few months for some of the most insignificant reasons.
* Moreover, such career moves leaves employers wondering if you were sacked frequently by your previous employers.
Hence, if you must change your job and move to another Company, do it for acceptable and appreciable reasons such as -
1. Better Growth prospects 2. Better / Higher designation 3. Wider role and responsibilities 4. Good salary hike 5. Relocating to a different city
Be clear about your reasons for changing jobs an be honest about it in your next interview. Never lie during the interview because sooner or later the truth will unfold leaving you in a worse position.
"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen". Frank Lloyd Wright
It is everybody's dream to communicate in English, even though we do not agree with it, however writing communications in English is very essential in today’s work place, especially in the present era of globalization. Speaking and writing make or break your career, peculiarly when you are working on a position, where you have to interact with a lot of people internally and externally regularly and if you are not communicating well, there will always be communication problems, mis-communications etc.
Here are some tips which may help you to effectively communicate in English.
Speak and Write Without Fear :
The biggest problem most people face in learning a new language is their own fear, like Stage Fear – we know everything, however doubt on our own ability as to whether we can. They worry that they won’t say things correctly or that they will look stupid so they don’t talk at all. Don’t do this.
The fastest way to learn anything is to do it – again and again until you get it right. Like anything, learning English requires practice. Don’t let a little fear stop you from getting what you want.
Practice Makes Man Perfect :
It is easy to write than to speak publicly, we can write privately whatever we want, first translation type of writing, i.e. try to translate little sentences into English, like stories, ideas etc. try to re-read it and then make it final. For this we have to put a lot of efforts, it is crucial to avoid spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, correct punctuations etc. and if you put a lot of concentration you can correct your language perfect, to a great extent.
To Have Enough Vocabulary :
If you put efforts your grammatical and other mistakes can be corrected, however you need to have a vast resources of vocabulary, since it is also a part of writing, hence try to have more and more assemblage of vocabulary, for this you can keep a electronic dictionary on your computer (or try to see the synonyms of the word by right clicking for synonyms) and whenever you come across with new words, try to know what does it mean and also try to use in your writing. Share the words among others also helps you to understand it better and help others to learn it.
Use Various Resources : Even if you study English at a language school it doesn’t mean you can’t learn outside of class. Using as many as different sources, methods and tools as possible, will allow you to learn faster. There are many different ways you can improve your English, don’t limit yourself to only one or two. The electronic media like internet is a fantastic resource for virtually anything, but for the language learner it's perfect.
Surround Yourself With English :
The absolute best way to learn English is to surround you with it. Take notes in English, put English books around your room, listen to English language radio broadcasts, watch English news, movies and television. Speak English with your friends whenever you can. The more English material that you have around you, the faster you will learn and the more likely it is that you will begin "thinking in English."
Listen to Experts as Much as Possible :
You can hear from various speakers from the news channels, various deshi news channels and pakka English news channel like BBC, though their tones and accents are different, however it is not our aim to know word to word meaning, but to familiarize with the English. But if possible try to hear from native English speakers, one of the reasons for this is that native speakers have a natural flow to their tone and style are totally different than the English speaking people.
Watch English Films and Television :
We can also watch movies and serials on TV, this is not only a fun way to learn but it is also very effective. By watching English films (especially those with English subtitles) you can expand your vocabulary and hear the flow of speech from the actors. If you listen to the news you can also hear different accents.
Listen to English Music :
Music can be a very effective method of learning English. In fact, it is often used as a way of improving our knowledge base. The best way to learn is to get the lyrics to the songs you are listening to and try to read them as the artist sings. There are several good internet sites where one can find the words for most songs. This way you can practice your listening and reading at the same time. And if you like to sing, fine.
Study as Often as Possible :
Only by studying things like grammar and vocabulary and doing exercises, can you really improve your knowledge of any language. There are a lot of e-book resources on the internet like www.gutenberg.org where you can have thousands of e-books, mostly classic (absolutely free) it can be downloaded and saved and when you get the time, you can read the classic books, this will help you to improve your English to great extent.
Do Exercises and Take Tests :
Many people think that exercises and tests aren't much fun. However, by completing exercises and taking tests you can really improve your English. One of the best reasons for doing lots of exercises and tests is that they give you a benchmark to compare your future results with. Often, it is by comparing your score on a test you took yesterday with one you took a month or six months ago that you realize just how much you have learned. If you never test yourself, you will never know how much you are progressing.
Review Yourself :
Nobody likes to review his progress, but it is good and necessary to review your progress from time to time. You may be so impressed with the progress you are making, hence you have test your ability most often to know the progress and to find out new resources to further improve.
Listen to English :
By this, we mean, speak on the phone or listen to radio broadcasts, audio books or CDs in English. We can have cheap sources of audio books and CDs from the market with a cheap dictionary. This is different than watching the television or films because you can’t see the person that is speaking to you. Many people could observe that speaking on the phone is one of the most difficult things that they do and the only way to improve is to practice.
The above are the ways and means to learn, however if you shy away from all the activities, will not make you an expert, there needs practices and hardwork, but above all it is mental attitude help you to learn, you have to have the correct attitude to avoid procrastinating the things, which will not lead you to become an expert in the field.
So, why you are hesitating, start now. Start now by doing as many as exercises and tests whenever you can, and you can see a lot of differences after some days. Keep doing practices and one day you really will make progress with English.
"Finding the right work can influence your emotions, your physical well being, your energy levels, indeed your whole way of life..."
As a psychologist who specialises in career consultancy, this quote caught my eye some eight years ago. It continues to resonate as I meet with clients and engage with stories of their lives and work.
Of particular interest has been the increasing volume of younger lawyers who have made their way to my office. It is striking how the threads of their stories echo similar refrains disillusionment, dissatisfaction and exhaustion. It followed that many were struggling with psychological and physical symptoms of ill health.
Long before visiting with me, they had begun to engage with the idea of identity, "If not a lawyer then who am I? Who do I want to be and further, what do I want my life to look like?" It takes resolve to excavate uncertainty and to honestly explore aspects of life supporting nagging dissatisfaction. Themes appeared of work not sitting comfortably with personal values and principles; for example discovering that their chosen vocation (law) was not focused on helping people in the way they had imagined. For other practitioners, disrespectful communication and behaviour create toxic working environments, a strong part of the picture related to their unhappiness.
Stories come forward of traditional ways of working that have contributed to compromising health, relationships and confidence. Clients speak of high volumes of work and overlong work days, a regular feature of their week. The prospect of a fifty to sixty hour week would not be uncommon for many lawyers. Accounts of giving up life-generating activities (creative and physical), of having little or no time to catch-up with friends as well as fractious personal relationships. Others want to start a family but find it difficult to imagine how these responsibilities can fit with the demands of their profession. Once clients begin to acknowledge that they are grappling with realities that may not be able to shift, these realisations become compelling motivations for change.
Clearly the profession of law is not the only one where difficult and sometimes unhealthy work practices survive. Indeed for some clients rather than questionable work practices, requirements of a profession or vocation just don’t fit with the qualities, skills and personalities of many individuals. With sustained effort clients begin to see how other careers and options are more compatible. Regardless of work history, all clients speak of wanting satisfying work, work that fits with who they are and with their identified priorities.
Most clients come through the door saying, “I know what I don’t want to do, but I don’t know what I do want to do with my work life”. So the prospect of change often begins with the acceptance of not knowing. Changing a career, finding work that works for you, can be a major life transition, one that requires thought, planning and action. Giving ourselves permission to question our lives and explore the roots of disappointment include examining the prevailing notions of success and achievement, as well as noticing how our ideas may differ from the work culture with which we are aligned.
The option is not simply will I stay or go but includes some thoughts around what you want to let go of and what might be really important to you in life. It’s often about finding the courage to execute decisions that will chart the path to better health, to balance in the way that you need it and to a sense of fulfillment that drives you. A law degree is a valuable achievement and solid foundation from which to survey other possibilities. Taking that first step, having conversations about how life is for you and how it can be different, are actions that can support your efforts to reclaim the ways you value your life.
Consider some of these activities and ideas...
• Purchase a binder/book that can accommodate your career research/notes/information/advertisements. You could also carry a small pocket notebook of ideas, recording ideas and thoughts without evaluating them…just yet.
• Review in writing "pros and cons" of leaving current employment.
• Think about how you can alter the way you work to leave space for other activities of high priority to you?
• Look for strategies to manage your current employer/supervising partner more skillfully. Focus on how you're thinking? ... what you are doing/saying? ... how do your current habits contribute to dissatisfaction? How can you shift even 1 or 2 of these? Notice what difference even small changes make.
• Give yourself permission to leave your work and as a consequence become more alert to other career directions of interest. Review the Careers section of the newspaper (local and interstate), cut out and keep a log of interesting advertisements.
• Consciously have conversations with people who cross your path about the work they do... really allow yourself to take an interest.
• Browse the internet, large career sites, small professional sites, etc.
• Notice your intuition and allow yourself to act on it, even when these actions seem strange or really different for you.
• Look at volunteer possibilities in areas of interest – even though you may be unready to commit to these, even researching them is a good beginning. Allow yourself to consider those that generate energy, are enjoyable and get you to loosen up your thinking....
It is important to understand what is written non-verbally. Therefore, rather than simply going through what is written verbally (which means only understanding the meaning of the words), you should try to look at what is being said, which means have a direct perception of it. There is a difference between the two. Verbal comprehension, which is intellectual comprehension, is limited.
Now, first of all do please bear in mind that the description is not the described, so don't be caught by the description, by the words. The word, the description, is merely a means of communicating. But if you are held by the word you cannot go very far. One has to be aware not only of the meaning of the word, but also one has to realize that the word is not actually the thing. The Word, which is a label given to a thing - objective or subjective, is meant for communication. But the word is not the thing it refers to. The word “apple”, A-P-P-L-E is not the actual apple. This must be understood very clearly. This is not something abstract or theoretical but a fact, which one can observe oneself, if one goes into it a little deeply.
I have observed that most of us do not listen. If we don't listen, then we won't understand. Its a simple fact. Therefore, for understanding, listening is the first requisite.
I wonder if you've noticed, when something is being said by someone, when we read an email, an article, a book, we are too quick to respond, like machines. We are too ready to form opinions, judgments, conclusions and identify what is being said with what we already know. We never simply listen without conclusions, opinions, evaluations or identification of any kind. As long as you listen with evaluation, conclusions, identification, you are not actually listening.
We never simply listen, without trying to do something with what we are hearing or seeing. We are too quick to react, to form an opinion, rather than waiting to be completely aware of what is being said and paying complete attention. We want to form an opinion quickly, explain the thing away and move on to something else. We are always in a hurry, mentally. We want to make an opinion, come to a conclusion, justify it , explain the thing to ourselves; or we simply wish to show the other person how clever we are - and how quick thinking people we are and start thinking of clever responses.
So, we have to ask this question - do we actually listen? and What does it mean to actually listen?
Listening itself is a complete act; the very act of listening brings its own understanding. When you actually listen, it mean you are listening not only with your ears, but with your mind, heart, with all your being. Listening is not free when it is blocked by the imposition of the environment or your ideas. Words confuse; they are only the outward means of communication. What is important is to go beyond the words and understand the significance, the inward content of what is being communicated.
To listen to something demands that your mind be quiet. Only out of quietness, can listening and perception take place. I am telling you something, and to listen to me you have to be quiet, not have all kinds of ideas buzzing in your mind. It is only when you listen without the idea, without thought, that you are directly in contact; and being in contact, you will understand whether what I or anybody else is saying is true or false. Then you do not have to discuss it.
So, do I listen, actually? Or do I think that I listen? There is a difference between the two.
How to do it? When you ask "how" , then automatically you are destroying all chances of ever understanding that thing (except in case of something technical or operational). The question of `how', the manner of achieving a certain state, becomes still another problem. You wish to follow a system, a method, like in all the books these days, but that prevents understanding by giving psychological comfort. You can only learn to listen by understanding what listening is, without any effort, by being aware of your "not listening". Awareness of inattention itself is attention.
It is not something theoretical, or something you need to cultivate or put an effort into, because effort in itself will bring distraction.
Simply being aware of it will do.
About J. Krishnamurti : JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI was born May 12, 1895, in Madanapalle, south India. From 1929 until his death in 1986 he traveled all over the world speaking spontaneously to large audiences. He engaged in dialogues with religious leaders, scientists, professors, authors, psychologists, computer experts, and people from many different backgrounds deeply questioning their daily life. His talks and dialogues have been compiled and published in more than fifty books and translated into as many different languages. His books include Think on These Things, Education and the Significance of Life, The Awakening of Intelligence, and The First and Last Freedom.
This is not a complete and exhaustive list of all employees that bring lawsuits against their employers, but merely a summary of the kinds of things that I have observed that prompted employees to file a lawsuit. These are some common reasons for why employees sought to sue their employer or actually sued their employers :
1. Lack of Clarity on what is expected from the employee. Many employees quit and then sue their employers, because of a lack of clarity of what is expected from the employee. Employees seek legal advice when the hours, the pay, the tasks, or other terms are unclear. They apparently feel exploited when the scope of their duties exceeds the expectations that were established during the orientation.
Employers should be clear as to what is expected of employees from the very beginning when the employment relationship is established. For some reason or other employees often feel exploited when their expectations and actual duties are conflicting. Employee's quitting or contemplating quitting often seek legal advise when they feel they have been exploited, and even though there might not be a basis for a lawsuit on the grounds that the employee feels exploited, a skilled attorney will know what questions to ask and a lawsuit may result.
2. Terminating a Long Term Employee. Long term employees often seek legal advice when they are terminated, regardless of what the reason is or even if there is no reason. Long term employee's often feel the employer owes them for their long term commitment to the employer, and often they feel they have a right to the job. Generally there is no actionable cause of action against the employer, when the employee is terminated, but if the employer failed to comply with all rules especially rest periods, meal breaks, and over time pay, the employee would have a viable lawsuit. Termination of long term employees should be done with great caution, and the employer should make an effort to end the relationship on good terms.
3. Money Hungry Employees. Employers should be very careful when selecting new employees that give the impression they are money hungry. Employees asking for raises, advances, or filing bankruptcy, or otherwise indicating they are in need of money, often seek legal counsel shortly after they quit.
These are often the same type of employees that have a drinking problem or drug addiction. If the employer failed to document everything pertaining to meal breaks, rest periods, and actual hours worked a viable lawsuit might result. Money hungry employees often look to the legal system as a means of obtaining money.
4. Hiring Employees as Independent Contractors. Most independent contractor agreements are not valid, because they lack something or because the employer is acting as an employer and the contractor acts as en employee. Employees should not use independent contractor agreements to hire employees. Independent contractors should be independent contractors and employees should be employees.
Using an independent contractor's agreement is a problem that come back to hurt the employer. Depending on the circumstances the employer is not safe for about four years after the fact.
There are also many disadvantages to the employee hired as independent contractor and as they try to remedy the disadvantages they often seek legal counsel.
5. Over Religious Employees. Some over religious employees often seek to advance their religious beliefs at every opportunity. This leads to problems for employers, because religion necessarily involves potential liability for religious discrimination, it could be the religious advocate or it could be other employees. Employer's should address the issue of religion and make inquiry as to whether there is a need to accommodate religious beliefs or practices.
This should be done very early on and there should be clarity so as to avoid conflict among employees. The employer should be sensitive as to religious views of all its employees and be certain to avoid any type of discrimination or perhaps even refrain from commenting on religion in the workplace to avoid any type of conflict that could result in a lawsuit.
6. Mistreating Employees. No one likes to be mistreated and mistreated employees often seek legal counsel. Such things as bounced payroll checks, late payroll checks, bank fees on for cashing payroll checks, unauthorized payroll deductions, and other such things irritate employees and often the employee is right and the $5 dollar fee to cash a payroll check at the employer's bank can turn into a $30,000 judgment against the employer.
Employers are not required to be generous, but they are required to be fair. The Labor Code imposes many requirements pertaining to fairness and at the minimal employer's should adhere to the law to minimize the number of potential lawsuits.
These are six reasons that why employees are prompted to seek legal counsel from my firm which often leads to viable lawsuits. No one is immune from a lawsuit, but employers should be sensitive to their actions and employee needs. The reason for the call to an attorney is usually not the basis of a lawsuit, but is what initiates the contact with an attorney that often results in a lawsuit.
The fear of the unknown is all pervasive and present in each one of us. This is probably the reason why many of us prefer to continue doing what we have been doing professionally even if we are unhappy and miserable doing it!
When was the last time you sat down and acknowledged the fact that your present job is not keeping you as happy and satisfied as your would like to be?
The tendency to avoid change often pushes us into a vicious cycle in which we continue to deal with a career full of monotony, unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
If you are finding your present job boring, restrictive and monotonous, it is time to consider a job change or a career move. It has been seen that a lack of happiness and contentment can tremendously bring down your overall performance and motivation to excel. This can eventually lead to job loss. Isn't it wise to consider a career change while you still have a job in hand?
First Things First -
* Analyze your level of satisfaction in your present job and cite possible reasons for your dissatisfaction.
* Consider a career move - find out what it is that you would prefer to do or how would you like to improve what you are doing right now?
* Talk to people in different fields and find out what they consider positive and negative in their respective careers.
* Brush up your present skills and consider further studies if that can help you in expanding your horizons.
If you are unhappy in the way your career is progressing, take steps to improve it now!
The Resume, also called the Bio Data or the Curriculum Vitae is perhaps the most important document that assists you in your job search. It is this document that represents your skills, accomplishments and experience to the prospective employer. The most important role of the Resume is to create an interest in the employer to meet you and discuss the job opening face to face through an interview.
Your resume should be able to land you that crucial job interview that is the next and most crucial step towards getting the job. A lot of job seekers fail to reach the interview stage because their resume fails to impress the employer. If you are planning to begin your search for the right job, make sure that your resume is well drafted and capable of taking your search to the next stage - ie, meeting the prospective employer and proving that you are perfect for the job.
Here are some of the common types of Resumes / CV's -
Chronological CV - This kind of a resume lists down the job seeker's recent as well as past experience in terms of the various positions that the candidate may have successfully held recently. The candidate gets the opportunity to show how he / she has grown through each position held over a period of time.
Functional CV - The Functional CV lists down the candidate's work experience and achievements over a period of time based on the functions handled. Attention is not given to any chronological listing.
Performance CV - This kind of a resume highlights the job seeker's performance merits and achievements on the basis of the position being applied for.
Every prospective candidate must work towards creating and drafting a Winning CV - one that is able to create a positive impression on the employer in the absense of face to face meeting. This kind of a well balanced and effective resume is successful in showing one's ability to handle the position applied for.
Here are some of the main heads included in a Good CV
* Name, Address and correct Contact Information
* Opening statement summarizing professional capabilities
* Summary of Experience: Name and details of Companies Worked for in the past, duration of employment, Job Designation
The interview is one of the most important and crucial forms of face to face communication and is usually the deciding factor when it comes to getting a job. The Interviewer is able to analyze and test the candidate's interpersonal communication skills, confidence and personality through the interview.
The job applicant is given a chance to present himself and his achievements, personality and career goals to the prospective employer. The interviewer may conduct the interview either in the initial stages or at the final stage of hiring the candidate.
Different Types of Interviews :
- In depth Interview
- Stress Interview
- Structured Interview
Here are some simple tips for a good interview :
* Be Prepared : Research the Company / Organization through its website or other journals etc and read up as much as possible about the Company's services, people, history and future plans.
* Be On Time : Reach the Interview Venue well ahead of time.
* Be Cool, Calm & Collected : Most people are apprehensive about being interviewed. Try to remain calm and have confidence in your abilities.
* Maintain Good Eye Contact : Your ability to maintain good eye contact with the person talking to you projects your confidence level.
* Look Good, Feel Great : First impression is always the last impression so dress well for the interview. Refrain from being too casually dressed and pay attention on your clothes, nails, hair etc. Look clean and tidy.
* Prepare your self for some obvious questions which are generally asked in an interview.
These include -
- Are you willing to relocate?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- List down your strengths and weaknesses.
- What has been your biggest success and failure?
- Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
- Tell us about a situation in which you helped your team mates through your forward thinking?
All work and no play can make anyone dull, unhealthy and stressed out. But what would you call a person who chooses to be that way? You guessed it - a Workaholic!
Who is a Workaholic? To put it simply, a workaholic is someone who is obsessed with and addicted to work. Such a person tends to spend too many hours at work and feels odd when he/she is not able to do so. With the increase of stress in our lives, most of us showcase obvious traits of being a workaholic without even being aware of it.
Go through the following common traits of workaholics and find out if you are one or not -
Work, Work and More Work : Is work constantly on your mind? Do you spend extra hours in the office in an attempt to get more done? Do you carry work back home and start following up on your mails and other pending work even at home?
Workaholics find it impossible to get work off their minds and often miss out on other important aspects of their lives such spending time with family, socializing etc.
No One But Me : Do you feel as though you are the only one who can handle the job really well? The need to complete every job themselves often makes workaholics slog over time, allowing them little time for themselves and an over busy work schedule.
What More Can I do? : Do you find yourself constantly thinking about what more it is that you can do? Maybe start a new business, collaborate with someone and expand your work? Workaholics often don't know where to draw the line.
Such addiction to work can have serious consequences on a person's health and well being. Such people suffer from headaches, anxiety and experience difficulty in sleeping. If you feel that you to are a workaholic, its time to step back and take it easy. Learn to relax and take care of your self.
Remember : You have only one lifetime and it is your responsibility to live it well.
The search for the right job is often a long and arduous task and more so, if you are unaware of the steps that must be followed to find a job that works for you. Whether you are a fresh graduate just stepping into the professional arena or a somewhat experienced worker, it is essential for you to plan your career moves carefully!
Here are some simple tips that can help you get started and plan wisely -
Understand Your Skills & Talents Well : To choose a career path that is rewarding and satisfying, you must first know what you are good at. Ask yourself what it is that you enjoy doing and what are your skills that you are most confident about? Self discovery and self analysis are important tools that can help you to create a good career chart.
Do Sufficient Research : Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to career planning! Find out all that you possibly can about the various career fields and choice available that match your skills set. Read up and research factors such as possibilities of career growth, pay scale etc.
Analyze Your Interest Levels : It has been observed that people have the tendency to excel in jobs that they feel passionately about. If you are not excited about a position, there are chances that you will lose interest soon. Therefore, it is a must to look for a job and build such a career that allows you to do what you do best. That way, you will enjoy your work and make a success of yourself!
Keep Your Career Options Open : Based on your research and analysis, apply to a variety of different Companies that offer a position of interest. Oh and don't forget to pay extra attention to building a good Cover Letter, an effective Resume and giving your best in an Interview!
If there is one thing we all complain about irrespective of our status, caste or nationality, it is most definitely the shortage of time and the difficulty we all face in using it effectively. Time Management is one of the most important skills that each one of us must develop in order to accomplish our goals and improve our productivity on a daily basis.
Often, we find that it is hard to complete even half of the tasks on our agenda due to our failure to use time efficiently. Since the number of hours in a day won't increase for you, it is solely your responsibility to manage yourself properly thus, handling time properly.
Here are a few simple tips that can help you to increase your productivity levels at work and enable you to practice the skills of essential time management -
Prioritize : Learn to assign value and urgency to every task you must finish everyday. It is often beneficial to complete the most important task first. Sure, there may be some urgent jobs you must get done too. Develop the skills to understand the difference between important tasks and tasks that are urgent.
Maintain and Follow a To-Do List : Based on your prioritization of tasks to b accomplished, create a list of jobs that need to be completed in a day. Once you complete a task, strike it off from your list. Maintaining and following such a task list can help you to complete important jobs on time and also assist you in judging your progress.
Keep Lines of Communication Clear and Open : In our regular day at work, we use many different forms of communication, email being one of the most common for interacting with people and coordinating work efforts. In order to improve your productivity and streamline work, get in the habit of replying to emails as you see them. Pushing tasks to a later date or time can prove to be detrimental to your progress.
Share Your Work : Are you addicted to work? Workaholics believe in doing every job themselves and find it hard to trust someone else to do a good job. If you are a workaholic, practice the art of delegation. This way, you can concentrate on what you do best and also make sure that other jobs are also being done.
Improve Your Concentration Power : It is been noticed that those of us who have a low concentration power get less done on an average day as compared to others who can concentrate well on the job at hand. Work towards increasing you and improving your concentration by playing mind games etc.
The art of getting your message across effectively is a vital part of being a successful manager. Everybody communicates in one way or another but few managers deliver their messages as well, as they can.
Remember good communication make much better managers.
1. Always match your medium to your message with great care.
2. Know which questions to ask it will help you get the right answer.
3. Misunderstandings are caused by wishful listening - hearing only what you want to hear.
4. Keep an open mind about what people say - think about the words you hear not the person saying them.
5. Speak in as natural a tone as possible to create a warm environment.
6. A satisfactory end to an encounter can never be guaranteed, but a good start is always possible. Use welcoming words to help start all proceedings on a positive note.
7. When giving positive feedback, state reasons for your praise.
8. Keep a clock on your desk to monitor the time you spend on calls. Use features like call waiting to increase your effectiveness.
9. Make letters effective by thinking before you write and always writing what you think. Avoid using complicated un-usual words or abstracts terms-they may obscure your meaning.
10. Speak for 20-45 minutes maximum; this is the length of the average person’s attention.
11. While compiling reports be ruthless: cut out all unnecessary words in your report. Avoid making any unsupported assertions or conclusions.
12. If you meet a hostile journalist keep your cool; say nothing that could damage good PR.
13. If bad news breaks, admit the reality to everyone-especially you.
Remember there is only one reliable source of information on perceptions; the receipt of the messages. Talk honestly to staff if you want to get honest answers in return. If more than one or two make the same complaint, it may be widespread.
The Travel and Tourism Industry is one of the largest and most profitable industries in most developed countries. Increased work related stress is forcing most working professionals to take regular breaks and holidays throughout the year. There has also been a marked improvement / rise in income levels followed by increased spending power of people that has given a major boost to the tourism industry as a whole.
Countries such as USA, UK, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Bangkok feature high on the list of favourite tourist destinations. Which leads to the million dollar question -
Where does India stand among other Preferred Holiday Destinations?
Despite the fact that India is a large and beautiful country with many tourist attractions and places to see as well as a mix of cultures and traditions to experience, the Tourism Industry in India fails to keep up with relatively smaller countries like Singapore.
Tourist Destinations in India - Places to visit in India
From contemporary cities to ancient monuments, religious places and holiday destinations, India offers a lot of variety to the foreign tourist.
Some of the must-sees in India include - Kashmir with its beautiful gardens, lakes and snow, Gateway of India and Haji Ali at Mumbai, the Taj Mahal in Agra, Kerala - the Venice of India, The Dilwara temple at Mt. Abu, The Charminar at Hyderad, the rustic beauty of Rajasthan, the varied colors of Gujarat, the rural charm of villages in Punjab and Haryana and the various hill stations like Darjelling, Ooty, Nainital and Shimla etc - the list is long and very colorful.
What is Lacking in India's Tourism Industry?
Despite the fact that India has a wealth of amazing places waiting to be seen and appreciated and an unbeatable tourism potential, India receives far lesser tourists compared to other relatively smaller countries.
Most foreigners who visit India for the first time are heard complaining about
* over priced Hotel rooms
* corrupt autos and taxi drivers waiting to take them for a ride, literally!
* lack of proper infrastructure
* confusion and chaos at the airport
* unhygienic conditions etc
Considering the fact that the Tourism Industry contributes largely to the countries total GDP, isn't it time that the Government and authorities pay attention to the problems that tourists and travelers face in India?
The need of the hour is to go on an overdrive to remove corrupt middlemen who take foreigners and tourists for a ride, improve infrastructure and create hygienic conditions in the country so that the next time a foreigner visits India, he goes back praising and promoting us to his friends and family.
New Delhi is the capital city of India with a beautiful conglomeration of people from different religions, cultures and stratas of society. Immensely popular for its shopping, food, sight seeing opportunities and social activities, New Delhi is truly the hub of India.
There was a time when Delhi was known more for its myriad monuments that stand tall as a symbol and reminder of India's rich history. However, over the years, Delhi has acquired the reputation of being an extremely notorious city known more for its killer blue line buses, Meter-Not-Working Autos rickshaws and ogling men.
If you venture out to explore Delhi, you will be surprised to see stark contrasts between the lifestyles of the rich vs. poor, educated and uneducated. Delhi is home to a plethora of 5 star hotels as well as JJ colonies, people living in palatial bungalows and those sustaining themselves on the roads, bearing the brunt of harsh and ever changing weather.
Temperatures in Delhi sore during the summers with massive humidity and drop considerably during winters making the weather highly oppressive and extreme for most part of the year.
One of the best things that could ever happen to New Delhi is the Delhi Metro that has revolutionized the way the common man travels. After all, who wouldn't want to travel in a cool, air conditioned train - also a perfect way to avoid running after and traveling in those killer buses of Delhi.
It is said that there is always a strong connection between people and their birth place. This unexplainable and highly emotional bond can create a blind eye, preventing a person from seeing and acknowledging certain less-likeable aspects of their favourite city.
I decided to write down things that I like and dislike about Delhi in an attempt to break this myth and check if I was up to the challenge of looking at Delhi from an unbiased perspective.
Here are some things I like about New Delhi
* Broad roads and greenery
* The Delhi Metro
* Large variety of food available and all kinds of eating joints
* Speed checking at various points by the Traffic Police
* Large choice in Educational Institutions
What I hugely dislike about New Delhi
* Lack of safety for women
* Chaotic traffic, road rage, speeding vehicles - it seems like everyone wants to be ahead of everyone else!
* Killer Blue Line Buses
* Stinking road sides
* Roads full of pot holes.
* Corrupt Auto drivers who sometimes don't even announce that their meter is not working. They simply refuse to turn it on - no questions asked!
* Ogling men wherever you go!
I think I have been able to state why we love to hate Delhi!
Kerala is among the 50 must see destinations suggested by the National Geographic Magazine.
Tourism is a global phenomenon. It is an expression of man's natural instinct to move from one place to another and to appreciate the handiwork of the Great Creative Original Artist!
India with her naturally beautiful lakes, backwaters, beaches, hills and forests is one of the best tourist attractions in the world. If a tourist wants trekking and mountaineering, which mountains in the world can compete with the Himalayas ? If he wants exposure to the sea and the sun, where else would he find thousands of miles of virgin beaches against the background of swaying coconut palms ? If he wants to visit ancient ruins or sites, which country can match the monuments of the Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Sikh and Christian faiths ? If he wants to move far from the Madding Crowd, away from modern Civilization, where else can he find such natural beauties like the Andamans with their thick rain forest and the Lakshadweep islands with their sparkling clear waters ? If he wants to study and research Ayurveda and Yoga, where else can be find Ayurvedic and Yogic retreats run by bona fide Yogis and Ayurvedic Doctors?
Kerala and Kashmir are two outstanding states known for their intrinsic natural beauty. While Kashmir resembles the beauty of a cine actress, Kerala on the other hand resembles an aristocratic damsel. Strategically located at the South Western tip of India, Kerala has unique geographic features which make her one of the most sought after tourist destination spots in Asia. This puny state is a breathtakingly ravishing greenland. Excellent investment opportunities in Tourism Industry is bestowed by this state with her natural endowments like tranquil beaches, exhilarating hill stations, soothing backwaters, spectacular art forms, historic monuments, rejuvenating health packages, year round festivals & exotic wildlife.
The tourist is enriched by a unique experience, having tasted a strikingly beautiful land as the Lord made it, and this enchants him throughout his life.
Kochi, the Queen of the Arabian Sea, will be donning the robe of the industrial hub of South India, in terms of development & infrastructure, within a couple of years. IT, BT, Service Sector Companies & owners of hotels & resorts will make a beeline for space in this city and she will become the home of thousands of well trained professionals.
An investment of almost 30000 crores is in the offing with 20000 crores coming from the Central Government and this investment will favour IT, BT, Eductiona and Tourism sectors. Here are some projects in the pipeline
GAIL Petro Project 7000 crores, ICTT, Vallarpadam 2118 Petronet LNG 2200, KRL Single Buoy Mooring KRL- BPCL City Gasification, Subsea Pipeline, Kochi Kayamkulam NTPC Phase, Boating Marina, Internaltional Bunkering Terminal Real Estate & Hangar Expansion of CIAL, Smart City, Fashion City
Tourists do not complain about the lack of infrastructure. On the other hand the absence of such facilities such as phone, TV, AC etc is the USP of Kerala. Nature in her pristine purity is preserved and it is upto the tourist traveller to enjoy it. Does not Naturopathy advocate living in harmony with Nature ? Modern Civilization has moved away from Nature, with its emphasis on Fast food and the Digital Era. " Back to the Wisdom of Nature" seems to be the motto of Kerala. Does not Kerala echo Wordsworth ? ("Nature never did betray the heart that loved her"!)
The modern term luxury means 'opulence of the built up space' but should be redefined as the ' enriching quality of the experience '. If one can commune with Nature at her original best, cant that experience be called " luxury"? Wordsworth, a Nature lover, remarked
With bliss ineffable, I felt The sentiment of Being spread around Over all that liveth and all that moveth still ! Such Cosmic Consciousness is possible only in a Nature blessed land!
Innovations in Tourism like Farm Tourism & Monsoon Tourism have paid rich dividends. The success in Farm Tourism was illustrated by Philip Kutty's example - the entire rural landscape is transformed by its adaptations. The erstwhile poachers of the Periyar Tiger Reserve have changed into guides . Tourism has reinvigorated and put new life into a rather dolorific rural & agri economy. Farm stays, home stays & tourist visits are increasing, thus transforming the state's core sector
Kerala, despite her economic backwardness, is the most egalitarian & literate state. To quote Burton Stein, 'Not only did Kerala launch an exemplary land reform programme, but it also devoted relatively large expenditures to basic education and health care, making the state the most egalitarian, best educated and healthiest in the Indian Union, though it remained among the poorest.' National Geographic defined Kerala as a 'Mount Everest of social development' and a must see in a life time destination ! Lack of industrial infrastructure may have drawn criticism from many quarters.
But it has saved Kerala from pollution and the modern fast food culture and made her achieve much in the social sector and get a relatively pristine environment, which has made a her a powerful must see in the tourist map of Incredible India! The agri sector is reinvigorated by the surging demand for organic food, especially with the tourism inducted markets. Kerala's agri & knowledge base, based more or less in Ayurveda & Naturopathy, enable her to emerge as one of the largest producers of organic foods, including spices, rice and tropical fruits.
Statistical Research carried out by Peter Aderhold revealed that there are two types of travelles. The ' Sun-Sand-Surf"(SSS) and the other the " Alert Independent Traveller "(AIT). While SSS is the mass market and AIT the newly emerging niche, AIT is the rising star, according to the latest research.
The SSS category traveller will prefer Goa with her beaches while the AIT will favour "God's Own Country", Kerala!
Dwelling in the panoramic location, Lansdowne is a small pretty hill station at the height of the 600 km above the sea level. Lansdowne is favorite haunt among the peace lovers who escape the urban chaos to spend some time in the lapse of the hills. The place gives you the opportunity to bask in the glory of the snow capped hills and have some light refreshment.
This exotic hill station is situated 45 km from Kotdwar en route Kotdwar Pauri road in the district of Pauri Garhwal.
Lansdowne was founded in1887 by Lord Lansdowne. The hill station is named after him only. Attracted by its natural beauty, earlier the Britishers used to come here to spend some time and made it the cantonment center. Today the famous Garhwal rifles of the Indian Army has its command office here.
The region enjoys the salubrious climate all through the year. It is cold in winters and pleasant in the summers. During the winter the tourists can enjoy the snowfall. Bewitched in the midst of the oak and blue pine forests, it is the charming holiday destination for all sort of travelers.
Adventures at Lansdowne :
The best adventure activity that the tourists can enjoy here is trekking. The trekking trials are through the lovely surroundings passing through the forests which are dark and deep. If you are fit enough you can also go for hiking. There are simple and tougher climbs to choose from. Than you can go for the pleasurable nature walk, which can never bore you. Other activities at Lansdowne include camping, snow viewing and forest walk.
Kalagarh Wild Life Sanctuary :
Apart from the adventure sports you can make a visit to the Kalagarh Wildlife Sanctuary, famous for the species of the Asian elephants. It is simply the ideal place for the nature lovers. The dam across the Ram Ganga river is must visit destination.
Famous Excursions :
Kotdwar : Kotdwar is the gateway to the hills. It is one of the rail terminus for the Garhwal. The nearby places of interest include the ancient Karnva Ashram, where Shakuntala (on of the main actress of the great epic Mahabharata) gave birth to the price Bharat, Sidhbali temple and the Charaik hills. It is the important place from the historical point of view.
Jwalpadevi : Dedicated to the Goddess Durga, it is the popular religious places in the entire Garhwal and the pilgrims folk to this place in large number all round the year. Everday during the navratras, a special religious festival is held at this this temple.
Tarkeshwar Temple : Tucked in between the thick forests of deodar and pine, Tarkeshwar temple is known for the ancient Siddhpeethas. The temple is dediocated to the Lord Shiva and is at the height of 2092 meters. During the festival of Shivrati, a special worshiop is held at the temple. The temple was set up by the Aaadi Sankaracharya.
Darjeeling is a hill station that falls in the North Western side of the state of West Bengal. It is one of the most popular and frequently visited hill resorts of India and is rightly known as the Queen of Hill Stations in India.
Where is Darjeeling Located?
Darjeeling is situated in the Himalayan region at an average elevation of 2134m or 6982 ft. People who have visited Darjeeling several times over in a span of 15-20 years are of the opinion that despite growth and modernity, Darjeeling hasn't lost its old world charm and is still as beautiful and mesmerizing today as it was many years back!
First 5 Things You Would Associate With Darjeeling
1. Darjeeling Tea Industry & Tea Plantations
2. Darjeeling's Toy Train
3. Beautiful breathtaking views and greenery
4. The view of the Kanchen Junga
5. Handicraft items.
Spending a vacation in Darjeeling can be a truly enriching experience.
Darjeeling's Tea Industry
What was started many years back by the British as a part of development plans for this area has reached great heights today - yes we are talking about the Tea plantations and the flourishing tea industry that forms a major part of the tea industry of India.
Tourist Spots in Darjeeling : Must-sees
Famous Toy Train in Darjeeling
A visit to Darjeeling is incomplete without a fun trip on Darjeeling's Himalayan Railway popularly known as the "Toy Train". Your journey aboard Darjeeling's famous Toy Train will give you a unique opportunity to discover Darjeeling in its myriad shades.
Batasia Loop & The War Memorial
As you travel through the toy train's path, you will witness a railway loop through which the train passes, called the Batasia Loop. As you move forward, the train stops for a few minutes at the War Memorial allowing you to pay homage to the brave Gorkha soldiers who sacrificed their lives in wars since the time India became independent. This memorial was built in their memory. The highest point of the journey is Ghoom at 7407 ft.
Tiger Hills, Darjeeling
To enjoy a breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga peaks, you must visit the Tiger Hills located at about 11 kms from Darjeeling.
The Mall & Chowrasta
Tourists love to visit the Mall at Darjeeling to indulge in some real time shopping. The items on sale here include almost anything and everything that a tourist may wish to buy including shoes, clothes, stoles, gadgets, purses, leather items, bags etc. The chowrasta is a must-visit to pick out some exciting souvenirs including trinkets, handicrafts items etc. A walk through the mall road will astound you with the choices in shopping as you see locals selling a host of interesting items tempting you to stop and have a look. From purses to bags, sweaters, shawls and caps, jewelry etc.
Hungry after all that shopping? Pop into Glenary's - a very well known confectioners chain in the North East states of India!
Other places of interest include The Ghoom Monastery, The Pagoda Temple and the Tenzing Norgay Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.
Getting There - Darjeeling
By Air : Various airlines run flights to Darjeeling, the closest airport being Bagdogra, near Siliguri.
By Rail : The closest major Railway Station near Darjeeling is in New Jalpaiguri.
By Road : Most people enjoy getting to Darjeeling by road on large cars such as Land Rovers that can navigate well through the difficult paths. If you are traveling during the monsoons, there are chances of landslides and blocked roads. Hiring a taxi is also a good option to reach Darjeeling.
Whichever mode of transport you may select to reach Darjeeling, you can be rest assured of awe inspiring natural beauty.
From Mumbai : (1) By road Tarkarli is approx 520 kms from Mumbai, go upto panvel and take right turn to NH17 wihich leads all the way to Kudal, from there take the SH and pass through Malvan you will reach Tarkarli, from Kudal, Tarkarli is approx 34 kms, from Malvan, Tarkarli is approx 6 kms.
(2) By Train Alight at Kudal Station, there you have 2 choices one is you could hire an autorickshaw and proceed to Tarkarli the charges are about Rs 300.00 – 350.00, the second and best option is to hire an autorickshaw for Rs 20.00 and get down at Kudal Bus Depot, from here there are many ST buses that ply between Malvan and Kudal the distance is covered in approx 1hour and 20 minutes, once at Kudal Bus Terminal board a bus for Deobaugh, the conductors know the area and are very helpful.
Advice : if you are traveling by road please keep the digicam at hand, there are some scenic spots worth taking pictures.
Accommodation : The tourist has various options of accommodation, but depending on season one should opt for a suitable accommodation do not go by hearsay, judge for yourself, I was told that it was burning hot in October, but to my surprise the weather was absolutely pleasant, it tends to get hot from mid afternoon to around 4 in the evening, therefore decide accordingly, yes in the summer months the entire konkan belt tends to get sticky and hot due to the proximity of the sea.
MTDC has a resort adjacent to the Tarkarli beach they have Konkani houses both AC and Non-Ac their bookings are available online at mtdc.com, there are various hotels that offer accommodation at Tarkarli, but the value for money I would recommend SAAGAR Beach Resort run by Ghanshyam Kubal 9422584154/9420209495, this place is bang near the beach, has a private access to the beach, he has six rooms to let out all Non AC, but you could bet your bottom dollar on the hospitality that this guy shows his customers, probably put a many class hotels to shame, personal attention is given to each of the guest.
The Houseboat : Lesser known, but MTDC has two houseboats at Tarkarli, anchored in the creek, about 3 km from the Resort. Excellent for a one-day (overnight) stay. As expected, you need to make your own arrangements to get there (no transfers by MTDC).. The houseboat takes you for a 2-hour round of the creek in the evening, and another in the morning. Overnight, you’re anchored at the Deobaug Jetty, a nice place with lots of greenery around. The two rooms of the houseboat (with a viewing deck) costs Rs. 7,100 each (including taxes) and each extra guest paid Rs. 1,000 extra. Another option is the houseboat without the deck, at about Rs. 6,300 per room, all inclusive.
The other places to stay are Sagar kinara, soham resorts, manali resorts etc
Caution : Please confirm with the so called beach resorts they tell on phone its just 2 minutes …but once there the 2 minutes could be by car, to walk to the beach takes a good 6 – 7 minutes, in my opinion there are only 5 beach resorts that are actually at the beach MTDC, Sagar Kinara, Sagar Beach resort are few of those.
If you are on a holiday and want to stay at a beach then the best option would be to stay at Tarkarli, but if the idea is to visit places and just visit the beach then probably the ideal place to stay is Malvan city.
Eating Out : The entire konkan region is a fish lovers and non-vegeterian diet zone, so finding a good place to dine should not be a problem in Tarkarli or Malvan.
During our 3 day stay we kept enquiring with the local people of places where we could find authentic Malvani cuisine and we would advice to surely try out these places Hotel Chaitanya, Hotel Ruchira, Hotel Bamboo, Hotel Sunitha, the last one is for sure the best place to eat, the place is very small but the food served is delicious home cooked food, of course at Tarkarli all the hotels and beach resort do serve food. Sorry Vegeterian diet tourists you may have to do a little bit of hunting to find exclusively vegetarian hotel, but I guess that too should be surely good, I wonder what makes this Malvani food so special…I ate, ate, and ate without suffering any acidity or stomach problems, and remember vegetarian or non-vegetarian no meal should be complete without a glass of Sol Kadhi.
Places To See :
Deobaug Beach : The local villagers state that this place is special to them, there is a story that this place was in ancient times had a lot of storm and would be battered by strong sea waves, however this place survived all the odds and remained intact that is why Deobaugh (abode of Gods), if you observe very carefully you will observe that this stretch ends into the open sea or rather the confluence of River Karli and the Arabian Sea , the locals call it the sangam.
Tarkarli Beach : this stretch of pristine beach rightly called the queen of beaches runs for a few kms with not many people around, this beach is famous for its white sands, clean waters and saddled all along with Carijuana (Suru) trees, you will find a few fishing boats that are anchored on the shore that’s because the local villagers houses are just away from the beach, it’s a beautiful place to take a walk around however to go across to the MTDC part of the beach you will have to cross a small river (the link between River karli and the sea) during low tide you could easily walk across, I have not seen the place at high tide so just be on the lookout) however on my enquiry with the local villagers they told me that the safest place to take a bath is the beach towards deobaugh, the MTDC beach is not very safe though for children, please check out with the local villagers there.
Dolphin Point : There are various boating points along the Karli river where for Rs 800.00 per boat you will be taken about 7 kms into the sea to see the school of dolphins ( Not all tourists are luck to have spotted them, just in case you want to see them I would recommend you board the boat at 7:00 am thereafter it gets crowded and with so much of engine noise you are surely not going to see any ) we were very lucky to have seen a school of about 8 dolphins feeding on fish, the reason being since this place is a confluence of the River Karli and the sea the fish coming into the sea from the river become easy food due to the strong ocean current and that’s the reason the dolphins are there to feed on them.
Note : Please do not forget to ask your boat operator that you want to have a bath in the island, they call it the island bhet, very safe surrounded on all sides with the sea and you could easily wade in knee deep water and enjoy the caress of the sea waves onto your chest or shoulder, you will clearly see the seabed here very clear transparent water.
Ganpati Temple : Malvan: For those who are familiar with the kalnirnay magazine will know the editor Mr. Jaywant Salgaonkar he has built a beautiful temple at Meda, Malvan in honor of Lord Ganesha, the idol is built of pure gold, the temple is maintained and kept very clean, highly recommended for those devout hindus, to pay homage to lord Ganesh.
Sindhudurg Fort : I will not dwelve on the historical part of the fort, please refer to your encyclopaedias or other magazine, but what amazed me most was the sheer size of the fort built into the sea and the farsightedness of the people who built it, there is a well that has sweet potable water right in the middle of the sea in the fort, there used to be a coconut tree with two branches which was a tourist attraction, however due to a bolt of lightning some years back the tree has now been reduced to only a burnt stump. As soon as you enter the fort you will come to a temple which has the image of Shivaji and the sword, if you look at the ceiling just before you enter in you will notice a beautiful picture of Bal Ganesh in a loving embrace of the Shivling, this picture is rarely found elsewhere out, so do not forget to take a picture of this, there are other pictures hung around which are also good. Within its precincts are temples holding the shrines of Maruti, Bhavani, Mahadeo, Jarimai, Mahapurush .A co-operative society organizes the boat trip to the fort from Malvan Jetty, per ticket costs Rs 25.00
Snorkelling : undoubtedly this should be the highlight of anyones trip to Malvan, MTDC has of late started snorkeling trips around sindhudurg fort, for Rs 250.00 per person you will be taken by a boat just to the left of the sindhudurg fort and the boat will anchor in about 20 feet of crystal clear water, you will be given a float a mask and a tube for breathing and will be taken on a 20 minute tour of the coral reef around the place, this place is rich in coral and marine life, the guides here are very courteous and a knowledgeable lot they explain to you the various types of fish found and their survival there, watch out for different species of angel fish, zebra fish and lobsters, the beautiful part is fish feeding on the coral reef. Again if you have children please keep the digicam ready and take pictures of them with the gear on, again take pictures when they are back in the boat they will be completely ecstatic of the experience.
Note : Please do not forget to write your feedback and drop it in the box placed in the boat. MTDC advices that all persons above the age of 45 provide medical fitness certificate if you want to undertake the snorkeling trip, so go well prepared, and yes….important part you do not need to be a swimmer to go snorkeling. MTDC are in the process of starting Scuba Diving, I reckon this will take a few more months as the infrastructure is being readied at the moment.
Dhamapur Lake : This place is around 13 kms from Malvan. And is situated between Are and katta village This is the biggest lake in the district and has beautiful scenic hill ranges on its two sides. The water is crystal clear and has dense plantation.MTDC has made boating facility available in the lake and walk surrounding the lake the forest depth has also constructed beautiful huts on the bank to enable the tourist staying here to enjoy the panoramic view from their cottages.
Chivala Beach : Lovely beach bordering Malvan town from the north – west
Devgad Fort : Devgad is a natural harbor and well guarded port town. It derives its name from Devgad fort laying at the confluence of Arabian Sea and Devgad Creek. The great Maratha Admiral Kanoji Angre was instrumental in erecting this fort. In ancient times Devgad's coast was the center of maritime activity, naval battles and cultural interaction with foreign countries. Big ships use to enter directly at the port. Now it has become the hub of fishermen's. The attraction of Devgad is windmill situated near government circuit house and small beach at the rear side of the fort.
Shopping : Make sure you visit the Malvan market place it is abuzz with life, local villagers selling fresh fruits and vegetables and spices. Fresh Fish is available at auction in the evening, you could carry the basket of fish and ask your resort owner to cook it the way you want.
There are shops selling cashew nuts in the market place, the zantye’s have their outlets spread across the area, you could even visit their factory or visit Mangaonkars cashew factory at Malvan and purchase it from there. Fresh Kokum is available at very cheap rates and juice too.
Word Diu is derived from Sanskrit word ‘dweep’ which means ’island’. The historical Portuguese fort, churches, the golden sand beaches, blue sea water, latest water sports, clean environment and colorful culture consist of Kathiawadi customs blended with Portuguese legacy make Diu a perfect gateway for all seasons.
The Island of Diu has chaptered History, having been under the possession of and ruled by many Kings and Dynasties; beginning with the Pauranic period and the last being Portuguese from whom it was liberated along with Goa and Daman on 19th December, 1961.
Now it is a Union Territory separated from Goa in 1987 with an area of 38.8sq.km. and a coastline of 21km. The island of Diu is separated from coast by a narrow channel on the north. The climate of Diu is pleasant throughout the year. It has sunny weather throughout the year and annual rainfall is only 60cms.
Diu offers you undisturbed peace and an unusual holiday. Diu is a beautiful place with its splendid beaches. These beaches are Nagwa, Chakratirth, Ghoghla, Gomtimala, Jalandhar and The Sunset Point.
Nagwa Beach is the main attraction which is located near the village of Gujarwada. The beach is exceptionally beautiful and quiet. It is of semicircle shape offers you a wide range of pleasures, ideal for a family to visit as well. The branching palms popularly known as Hoka trees introduced from Africa by the Portuguese and coconut palms swaying and whispering in the gentle intoxicating sea breeze extend a fascinating welcome to the visitors in Diu.
Gangeshwar Temple is also a tourist attraction point in the Diu. There are five Shiv Lingas in the midst of the rocks of the seashore, washed by the tidal waves of the sea.
A famous Portuguese colony of the past, its ancient architectural relics (fortresses and cathedrals) still has a strong Portuguese aura in the Diu.
Along with its six beautiful beaches, architectural grandeur and picturesque beauty, Diu is also known for its array of exotic liquors, rich wines with their distinctive flavor & aroma. The place is equally captivating for the solitude loving as well as the adventure seeking tourist.
An lazy evening in Diu, contemplating your own self or enjoying the sunset by the sea shore with the loved ones; languidly relaxing in the wet sand and sipping a glass of red wines or a mug of a foamy beer with the cool breeze kissing your face.....
Getting There :
Being a major tourist destination, a number of good hotels, restaurants and eating houses are available.
Diu is well connected by railways, roadways and airways. For airways; there is a regular direct flight to and from Mumbai. Veraval is the nearest railway station which is connected with some of the major cities of western India. Veraval is also well connected to all the major cities of India through its well built highways.
The key to good health & happiness is Vegetarianism. The Vedic perspective, which is multidimensional, includes the medical, ecological & spiritual viewpoints. These are the major reasons
I) The Ethical Law of Reason Love in Action is Non-violence & because of this noble passion, ethically one desists from killing animals. Inflciting pain is Sin.
II) The Consequences of the Law of Karma The Law of Cause & Effect, of Action & Reaction & the Grand Law of Causation is known as the Law of Karma.
Divine Merit & Sin have been defined in transcendental literature thus.
Helping others is divine merit. Inflicting pain is sin. All actions have reactions, physical & karmic. By involving in inflicting pain to others ( animals included ), one must in the future, experience an equal measure of the suffering caused.
III) Medical Reason Fruits and vegetables are alkaline by nature and by consuming them we keep our 80-20 percent ratio of alkalinity & acidity.
Vegetarian diet is easier to digest, imposes fewer toxins on the body & provides a wide range of nutrients. Vegetarians are less susceptible to major diseases ( because they are more alkaline than acidic ) and thus live longer. They have smaller medical bills, fewer physical complaints & less frequent visits to the doctor. Their immune system is stronger, bodies purer & skin more glamorous because of natural foods.
IV) The Spiritual Reason While the Occidental perspective is to consume food which will bring out aggression & dynamism, the Oriental perspective is to consume food which will bring out the latent divinity in man.
Food is the source of the body's chemistry & the subtle essence of food becomes the mind. What we ingest, affects our Consciousness, emotions and experiential patterns. One should abstain from meat, fish & eggs if one wants to live in higher states of Consciousness. By ingesting the grosser characteristics of animal foods, one introduces in to the mind lust, greed, anger, jealousy, anxiety, suspicion, fear etc all of which are locked into the flesh of the butchered animals. For these reasons, vegetarians live in higher consciousness & non-vegetarians abide in lower states of Consciousness.
V) The Ecological Reason As our Mother Earth is suffering, we have to understand that Meat is the cause of the escalating loss of species, destruction of ancient rain foreststo create pasture lands for livestock, loss of topsoils and the consequent increase of water impurities and air pollution. Hence by renouncing meat, we save our Planet Earth.
Here we give below foods for the tripod of Body, Mind & Self
Food for Self Ghee ( Indian Clarified Butter ) & Water energized with Mantra
Food For for Mind Fruits ( sweet ), Green Vegetables, Coconut, Yogurt, Sugar, Walnuts. Rice ( basmati)
Food For Body Fruits (citric), Vegetables which grow under the earth, Milk, Proteins, Wheat, Corn, Barley etc Lentils & Spices
Foods to be generally avoided Eggs ( Can cause ulcers, Heart & kidney problems ) Coffee ( Can cause BP, Arthritis, Nervousness ) Red Meat ( Can cause Cholesterol related diseases ) Old Chocolate ( Can cause Leukemia ) Pound Cakes ( Stagnation of digestive system) Refrigerated Food.
May I finish my article with a quotation from the Philosopher-King Parikshith " The animal killer cannot relish the message of Absolute Truth "!
Each year, more than 2 million Americans are given powerful prescription painkillers that contain opiods (sometimes called narcotics) for the relief of pain and discomfort brought on by injury, surgery, menstrual cramps, and even headaches. But a growing number of people taking these medications are becoming addicted to them. And it's not hard to understand why.
Drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet, and Methadone block pain all the way from the nerve endings in the skin to the spinal cord to the brain. Once these drugs reach the brain, they open the floodgates for the chemical dopamine, which triggers feelings of well-being. Dopamine, in effect, rewires the brain to become accustomed to those pleasant feelings. So when you stop taking the pain-killer, your body will still have a strong craving for the dopamine. This is what makes it so hard to quit. Symptoms of withdrawal can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps (which is the origin of the term "cold turkey"), and involuntary leg movements. Better to avoid getting hooked in the first place.
Chemical dependency can happen to anyone, and it can easily sneak up on you. Here are 10 things you should look out for if you or someone you know is currently taking prescription painkillers :
1. An increase in usage As time goes by, the effects of the initial dose will lessen, prompting a desire for stronger or more frequent doses of the prescribed medication. This is a clear indication that whatever amount they have been taking is no longer providing the same level of relief.
2. Personality changes Changes in a person's normal behavior can be a sign of dependency. Shifts in energy, mood, and concentration may occur as every day responsibilities become secondary to the need for the relief the prescription provides.
3. Withdrawing socially This is one of the clearest signs of a dependency problem. Spending more time alone and away from friends and family and social gatherings is a cause for concern.
4. Continuing meds too long Extending the prescription beyond the initial period, especially after the condition has improved, can be the beginning of an endless cycle. The patient may even believe he or she is still in pain and simply needs to stay on the meds for a few more weeks or months. He or she might even express anger toward a doctor who questions the need to renew the prescription.
5. Too much time spent getting meds There are no lengths to which a chemically dependent person will not go to obtain the drugs they think they need. This can become an all-consuming obsession, including traveling long distances and visiting many doctors. When getting the drugs seems to be the number one priority, the situation is getting out of hand.
6. Habits and appearance changes A deterioration in physical appearance and grooming-including not bathing or shaving regularly-is a common result of drug addiction. There may be a general look of unhealthiness, such as persistent coughing and red eyes. Sleeping and eating patterns often become irregular.
7. Failure to meet responsibilities Sudden changes in work or school attendance and a decline in quality of work or grades are common, as well as forgetting to pay bills and missing appointments.
8. Becoming oversensitive One consequence of using potent drugs is that the body's response to any sort of stimulation is heightened. For example, a person may have an overly emotional reaction to traffic noise or bright lights-possibly including hallucinations.
9. Forgetfulness and blacking out A person who is suffering from chemical dependency will forget things that have happened and may even experience memory gaps of several hours.
10. Denial and becoming defensive Presented with even a hint that they may be addicted, those hooked on drugs will vehemently deny it. The harder you push, the more defensive they are like to get. They might even react to simple questions with an angry outburst.
Additional signs of chemical dependency include an inability to relax or have fun, talking incoherently or making inappropriate remarks, and expressing feelings of exhaustion, depression, and hopelessness.
Remember that painkillers are a blessing that can turn into a curse. And that it is a lot easier to avoid becoming addicted than it is to recover from drug addiction. As long as you follow your doctor's instructions (and you have others around you to make sure you do), these prescription medications will what they were designed to do-and nothing more.
This is very common dish in Tamil Nadu. Its easy, healthy and delicious. There are so many varieties in this dish. Each family prepares it in their way, even though the basic ingredients are the same, they make few changes in preparation.
Ingredients Quantities Mix Vegetables 500gm Boiled Potatoes 4-5 (medium size) Onion 200 gm Ginger-garlic paste Two-teaspoon Tomatoes 150 gm Butter 100 gm Paobhaji Masala 2-3 teaspoon Green chilies Four A handful of coriander leaves
Mash the boiled potatoes and knead them well.
Cut all the vegetables into small pieces. Grate the carrots.
Boil all the vegetables adding little bit of salt.
Heat butter in the pan , add ginger-garlic paste and fry.
Add cut onions and again fry.
Then mince the tomatoes in a mixer and add to it and fry for two minutes. Then add Paobhaji Masala.
Simmer it for two minutes. Then add smashed potatoes and boiled vegetables (with the water).
Mix well with the back of a ladle. Add salt to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves and green chilies.
From the start, let me inform you that I am no specialist in this field but what is presented here is an outcome of my trying to record some of my experiences and experimentations in this regard.
I felt that I should pass on this knowledge that I have gained through my own personal experience.
“To diet or not to diet?”, is a dilemma faced by many health freaks. Dieting is often misinterpreted as cutting down on your food. But in reality it isn’t so!
Let me explain what I just said in the form of a dialogue between two friends :
A: I am gaining a lot of weight. I need to do something. Any ideas/tips? B: I have seen your eating habits. I suggest you stop eating rice and cut down on your rotis. A: I tend to have heavy meals at night. B: In that case I suggest that you skip breakfast. A: Anything else you think I should do? B: Well just try this out for a month and see the difference. A: Thanks buddy!
In the above dialogue ‘B’ pretends to be a dietician just because his friend asks him for advice. All of us like to give advice, don’t we? ‘A’ should not follow what his friend advised him to do – he should use his own mind and visit a dietician or a nutritionist.
Dieting is not just about cutting your food – it is all about eating the right proportion of food combined with regular exercise.
So What Exactly Is Dieting?
Dieting is healthy intake of food as per your weight combined with a regular exercise. The basic aim is to reduce your weight and maintain it. There is this funda about your BMI (body-mass-index) – I won’t get into this funda because I have no knowledge on that.
How Does One Diet Effectively?
Following are some basic Dos and Don’ts on dieting.
1) Never skip your breakfast even though you have had a heavy meal the previous night. 2) Never eat more than your capacity. 3) Avoid fattening food like mayonnaise, cheese, deep fried stuff and red meat if possible. 4) Avoid over-eating or under-eating.
1) Exercise regularly – at least thrice a week. If that is not possible then go for jogs or brisk walks. 2) Have fresh fruit juices everyday. 3) Maintain a balanced diet.
The exact ratio for toning down your body is 30% exercise and 70% dieting. Again, by dieting I do not mean cutting down on your food but a proper and balanced diet.
I Wish to Start Dieting From Today – What Should I Do?
Welcome to the world of physical fitness and dieting – contact your nearest nutritionist or dietician and get the ball rolling.
Please note that you need a lot of patience and perseverance to reduce weight – these two qualities are extremely essential and will pay off in the long run.
I can recommend you my own dietician – Dr. Pallavi Patwardhan. She is good and will definitely see to it that you reduce your weight and live a healthy life. If you wish to get her details feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org Here’s wishing you a healthy and happy life ahead!
I have been meaning to put down my thoughts on this for quite sometime. It comes out of my own personal experiences and study of the effects and properties of Neem.
It is also my conviction that Neem is a wonderful cure for diseases and gives much to humans including shade, good air, health and overall well-being. I also think it important that people become aware of the values of Neem.
Among all the plants on this planet that have proved useful for humanity, a few are distinguished by their astonishing versatility. Among these, the Neem tree is one of the most important one. Every part of this fascinating tree has been used, from ancient to modern times, to treat hundreds of different diseases and for many other purposes. It probably has far wider array of uses than any other herb on the planet.
Neem (Azadirachta indica, syn. Melia azadirachta L., Antelaea azadirachta (L.) Adelb.) is a tree commonly found in India and some other neighbouring tropical countries and in Africa. In India alone, there are more than 20 million Neem trees. It is known as neeb in Arabic, neem in Hindi and Urdu, azad dirakht in Persian, and nimba in Sanskrit. In the villages of India, it is a part of daily life. A large Neem tree usually stands in the centre of each village, providing shade and cool underneath its branches - it is said that the temperature under a Neem tree is always two or three degrees cooler than in any other shade. In local tradition, Neem trees are planted near the home to ensure good health to those that live there and it is considered that easy access to the tree would facilitate provision of the many and varied uses of the fruits, seeds, leaves, bark, oil and roots.
It is rarely leafless, and the shade it gives throughout the year is one of the major reason why it is prized in India. Since ancient times, it has been used for medicinal and health purposes. It has been called a wonder drug and its use dates as far back as 4500 years. The lifespan of the Neem tree is described to be anywhere between 150 to 300 years.
In India, it is variously known as "Divine Tree", "Life giving tree", "Nature's Drugstore", "Village Pharmacy" and "Panacea for all diseases". It is one of the major components in Ayurvedic medicine, which has been practiced in India since many centuries.
In Indian religion and mythology, it is considered as a "divine tree" and is deeply imbued with spiritual meaning. Its curative properties were attributed to the fact that a few drops of heavenly nectar fell upon it. The Brihat Samhita of Varahamihira, dated about 6th century AD, contains a chapter of verses on plant medicines, where it recommends that the Neem tree be planted near dwellings.
In the late 1950s, scientists began to systematically research this tree. They discovered and confirmed numerous natural medicinal and repellent properties useful to humans and animals. All parts of the tree have been studied extensively in Neem research. Today, Neem has reached western shores and can be found in supplements, medicines, body care products, cosmetics, repellants, and pesticides.
Let’s see what is it that makes it so wonderful. Here's some info on its properties and usage :
Properties & Usage of Neem
*Neem is strongly antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.
*Neem's bitter principles was also said to counteract the excess sugar in the blood.
*The potential of Neem tree is so great as to encompass the treatment of a white spectrum of physical ailments including sexually transmitted disease, blood disorders, chronic ulcers, digestive and nervous disorders, diseases caused by parasites such as malaria and diabetes.
*More commonly, it is considered effective in skin infection, rashes & pimples, and is a blood purifier.
*It is also Anti obesity, Anti diabetic, Anti viral and Immunity booster.
Neem has been used as
*an insecticide, insect repellent, oral dentifrice, and in traditional medicine to treat malaria, diabetes, worms, and cardiovascular and skin diseases.
*It reportedly has contraceptive, anti-ulcer, and fungicidal potential.
One can hardly dispute the Sanskrit tag given to Neem for its properties - Sarva Roga Nivarini - the curer of all ailments.
A good body building diet and nutrition is the key success to your body building programme. Here is a special diet for body builders which composes of proteins and carbohydrates and little fat upto 2 % is recommendable.
There are basic rules for diet for body builders, that diet should not be very heavy ,there should be small amount of feedings in the entire day, one should not starve in order to achieve good figure.
The basic bodybuilding diet can compose of oats combined with milk and some dry fruits like almonds, and other nuts. The diet should also include carbohydrates like rice with baked potatoes, green vegetables like broccoli, beans.
Dietary supplements should only be taken when they are requires, unnecessary consumption of supplements can lead to many severe health problems. The intake of saturates fats like alcohol, salt, excess sugar foods must be avoided. One should increase the intake of water and should exercise regularly. Maintaning normal weight is also necessary.
Body builders should consume the food according to their exercise. Greater expenditure of energy will require more intake of food to keep the body healthy. In case for weight loss programmes ,where the amount of energy consumed should be less than the amount of energy release in form of exercise. Creating 20-25 % decrease in energy balance will result in weight loss.
People who want to build their body according to weight lifting ,they are required to build more muscle than fat. To increase muscle mass one should increase the intake of food and increase the exercise. The diet for such bodybuilders includes high dairy product intake like milk and cheese.
Overeating is not recommended, one should consume food according to the energy burnt daily in form of exercises. As the weight training will increase the body will require more of protein , but intake of protein should be checked as more protein intake can affect kidneys adversely.
For a healthy body building it is recommended that one should eat cooked food and not eat precooked or processed food. Fresh vegetables and home cooked food is ideal for body building diet as it will contain less salt and sugar.
Potassium is a very important mineral that helps us feel and be healthy every day. Potassium is found inside the human body cells (also found outside the body cells in very small quantity of about 2-3% of total Potassium contents of the body). Potassium plays an important role in smooth muscular and cellular functioning, cardiovascular functioning, muscle contractions, nerve transmission, in conversion of glucose into glycogen and muscle building etc. Potassium in body is necessary to monitor and regulate aldosterone (hormone found in human body).
It also plays an important role of a catalyst for many types of enzymes inside the human body, in other terms; it helps in spawning many important chemical reactions inside human body. It is believed by many people (doctors) that Potassium helps in improving ATP hydrolysis.
Causes of Potassium Deficiency
Some known causes of potassium deficiency include excessive diarrhea and vomiting. The treatment in these cases should be for the diarrhea and vomiting, and ensuring there continues to be sufficient potassium in the diet. Mineral supplements may also be necessary. If the vomiting is self-induced, as in bulimia, psychiatric treatment may be indicated.
Hyperthyroidism, an illness of the thyroid, the main hormone producing gland, is also known to cause potassium deficiency. It, in turn, may be caused by an imbalance in other minerals similar to potassium such as magnesium, sodium and calcium. There are numerous treatments available for hyperthyroidism, all requiring some level of medical supervision.
Medications known to increase the likelihood of potassium deficiency include diuretics, cortisones and drugs for controlling high blood pressure. Alternate medications and/or treatments can be explored with a medical professional. If changing medications is not feasible, it may be necessary to supplement with potassium or mineral tablets.
It has been suggested that potassium deficiency may be a side effect of malfunctioning kidneys that contributes to rheumatoidal arthritis.
However, hyperkalemia, or excessive potassium in the blood, has been linked to kidney problems.
Health : According to the definition set by the WHO: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary : the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit.
Whole : According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:: free of wound or injury, unhurt; free of defect or impairment, intact; physically sound and healthy; free of disease or deformity; mentally or emotionally sound.
We can see that these two words : "health" and "whole" are quite similar in their meaning. To be healthy also means to be whole.
Human being is a psychosomatic organism. It is one unit - interrelated and intertwined. What affects the mind also affects the body and vice versa. Health cannot be said to be exclusively of the mind or of the body. To divide the mind and body as two separate units would be wrong. You are the body and you are the mind.
Health is becoming a problem for most of us because of our daily lifestyle and the physical environment around us. Pollution, population and poverty are on the rise. Stress has become a common thing among both the young and the old. There are prevalent not only many physical illnesses and diseases but also psychological. In the big cities, the exposure to television and other artificial media, pollution and a mechanical way of life are one of the major causes of ill health.
Human beings are a part of this planet and whatever happens in the world, economically, sociologically, and environmentally does affect every human being. Human beings whether they live in America or India are basically, constitutionally same - both physically and psychologically. If one observes a little closely one would find that psychologically, basically consciousness is shared by all human beings. There are all kinds of influences, both visible and invisible around us - not spiritually, but environmentally, biologically and psychologically which have an effect on the overall organism.
Human beings, as other life forms function on energy. To work you need energy, to think you need energy, to eat and digest you need energy and so on. This energy is mostly wasted due various forms of psychological conflicts, stress, daily problems, habits and overindulgence. When there is a lack of energy, there is a lack of health. When energy is wasted or blocked or suppressed, there manifest various forms of illnesses and diseases.
To be healthy means to be whole - psychologically and physically - a total human being. However, we are fragmented individuals. We divide life and living into compartments - personal and professional life, religious and everyday life - and we also divide ourselves through giving ourselves and psychologically sticking to various labels - Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Indian, American, Egyptian and so on.
Again, we have lost that relationship, that touch, that contact with nature. In our daily pursuits and problems we have isolated ourselves as different, separate individuals each seeking his own security. We may go for a walk on a beach or go to a hill station on a holiday and say “how nice’, “how beautiful” but that is just a verbalization, a superficial response. We do not feel related to nature, even though one may profess to be a “nature lover”, as though one is outside of and separate from nature. To have that relationship with nature, to be related and to be sensitive towards it brings about a healthy state in itself.
Health also implies simplicity and balance. Simplicity, is not merely outward simplicity but more so an inward simplicity of being. We have made our minds complicated; we have cultivated knowledge and the intellect, thereby bringing about an imbalance. Intellect, is only a part of our being and has its own place. Whereas the human structure also includes observation, perception and the senses. When senses operate as a whole then the intellect has its right place. To be simple means to be free from accumulation in terms of knowledge, experiences and various repetitive pleasures and habits.
The body has its own intelligence. If left to itself, it has a tremendous capacity to heal itself. But the mind imposes its own pursuits and desires on it thereby making it insensitive and lacking of energy. When the mind is not imposing itself on the body, then the body, left to itself, given rest and not abused, can function most healthily and efficiently.
The most important thing in all this is awareness. One needs to aware of oneself - one's reactions, responses and sensations. One has to be sensitive. One has to be aware of one’s own body, its demands, and pursuits and the sensations, the feelings. To know about your mind or body by reading about it or by accumulating information is different from being aware of it. Information is merely words and is not the direct experiencing of one’s own total mechanism. When you are aware, sensitive, then you take care of yourself, then you do not overindulge or eat the wrong foods - not because you have read that it should or should not be done - but because you are aware. Then you have the feeling of responsibility. Then you eat the right foods, take the right amount of exercise, sleep and so on. Without awareness of how one’s body and mind operate, being healthy or whole is not possible. When one is sensitive, aware of oneself - then out of that awareness and sensitivity, the body and mind, as a whole unit can function most simply and intelligently.
Plenty of disorders haunt children and their childhood in many ways, of which Asperger syndrome (AS) is one. Today most of the children suffer from such a syndrome.
What Is AS?
AS is a development and autism spectrum disorder related to the neurological conditions characterised by a greater or a lesser degree of impairment and communication skills, as well as repetitive or restrictive patterns of thought. Unlike children with autism, children with AS develop early language skills.
Symptoms of AS
The prominent symptom of AS is their obsessive interest towards a single topic or object and their earnest in knowing everything about that topic.
Their expertise in language and high level of vocabulary make them seem like little professors. Other characteristics of AS include repetitive routines or rituals; peculiarities in speech and language; socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and inability to interact successfully with peers; problems with non-verbal communication; and clumsy and uncoordinated motor movements.
Children with AS are always isolated because of their inability to converse normally because of their eccentric behaviour or by talking only about their topic of interest. They even face the problem of delayed motor skills in their history and are often troubled by awkward and poorly coordinated walk that can appear either stilted or bouncy.
Treatment of Asperger Syndrome
Earlier treatment for such a disorder is of great help. An effective treatment program builds on the child’s interests, offers a predictable schedule, teaches tasks as a series of simple steps, actively engages the child’s attention in highly structured activities, and provides regular reinforcement of behavior. It may include social skills training, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication for co-existing conditions, and other measures.
Prognosis Though children with AS can cope up with their disabilities, they may still find social situations and personal relationships challenging. Adults with AS can be successful in their mainstream job, but they still need moral support to maintain a independent life.
Research Many of the Institutes at the NIH, including the NINDS, are sponsoring research to understand what causes AS and how it can be effectively treated.
Two days in a row I got up with a terrible headache. Like many people I had an occasional headache and popped a pill to relieve the pain. But recently the headaches were getting more frequent and less relenting. Even my tried and tested pain killer could not alleviate the pain. I was beginning to fear the worse until my father recommended Almonds.
Read on if you are also struggling with frequent headaches and are tired of popping pills.
Getting up in the morning with a headache is the worst feeling in the world. Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. For many of us headache is a stark reality. When it strikes everything comes to a halt. You can not put your mind into any thing until you are relieved from it. Also you have no idea when, where or why it strikes. You can be a friend’s party, in middle of an important meeting, tending to your child, or at the end of a stressful day. Worse, unlike migraine it is not a documented disease. People do not go to doctor for treatment of a headache, even if it causes them as much distress and handicap as say, a migraine.
For the working population it is difficult to get a day off for headache. “It’s just a headache for god’s sake”! How do you respond to that? Don’t we all just take an over the counter drug and get on with it? While it gives immediate relief, taking un-prescribed drugs frequently has its pitfalls.
The danger also lies in the fact that popping the pill too frequently might make you resistant to it. A disprin used to suffice as a pain reliever before, but now I have to take a much stronger pill or increase the dosage to 2. Scary isn’t it?
Lot of theories go around regarding the reasons of headache. Some of them are :
• Poor diet • Stress and anxiety • Lack of sleep • Poor posture • Not drinking enough water • Depression • Eyestrain • Excessive caffeine consumption • Artificial sweeteners • Consuming something that one is allergic to Etc.
None of them made any sense to me. Then my father recommended almonds, which according to him helped him to get rid of his headaches.
I was willing to lay my hands on any thing that could help. So I started to soak 5 almonds overnight and eat them in the morning, as my father suggested. Only after 2-3 weeks of regularly eating almonds, my headaches began to subside. They became less severe and less frequent.
It has been two months now that I have not had a headache. I do not have to live in constant fear of a headache. After getting relief from this perennial problem I decided to find out the reason behind the almond’s pain relieving properties.
To my surprise I found ample material online that substantiates my belief in almond’s ability to relieve headache.
Following are some important facts about almond’s pain relieving qualities :
• Almonds contain a natural pain-killing agent called salicin. This agent is also contained in over the counter pain killers like asprin.
• Almonds offer other health benefits such as the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels and to regulate blood pressure.
• Almonds contain high level of magnesium, that helps in muscle relaxation and minimizing nerve excitability therefore, it helps to reduce headaches due to stress and anxiety.
Almond is used as a pain reliever in traditional medicines because of these qualities. They can be eaten in any way. They can be soaked overnight, or just popped during meals, or munched as a between meals heath snack. 10-12 almonds should be eaten daily for relieving and preventing headaches.
Apart from this some life style changes like good sleep, healthy diet, regular exercise, and drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day are important for a healthy and fulfilling life.
Personal trainers and gym owners across the country have BIG smiles on their faces right now. Why?
Because they know they’re about to get flooded with average folk making New Year’s Resolutions to drop that extra 20 pounds and finally get fit.
And they ALSO know that the vast majority of these new signups will show up for about a month and then disappear forever. Or at least until next year.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love goal-setting (when it works) and I like the idea of making plans to get in shape for the new year if it gives you a boost of energy and motivation.
So how can we set fitness goals for the year and actually stick to them? And ACCOMPLISH them?
Here’s 5 things successful goal-setters do that quitters don’t do :
1. Keep your goals PRIVATE The last thing you want is for the wrong person to find out that you want to improve your diet or take a few inches off your waistline. Because he or she will try to bring you down with negativity and get in the way of you developing new and good habits. Don’t even give them the chance.
2. Figure out WHY you want to accomplish your goal If you want to drop 20 extra pounds…think about why. And don’t think this is obvious stuff either. What you need to know is what personally motivates you and gets you emotionally involved. Is it because you want to look better? Have more energy? Attract a new mate? Re-attract and old one? Figure it out.
3. Use this reason to keep you going when things get rough Whenever you feel like giving up or taking it easy after a couple months have gone by and your goals lose their luster, remember your reason for making the resolution in the first place. Focus on that and your fire will reignite.
4. Get around likeminded people. This means avoiding your friends who overeat if you want to clean up your diet. And getting around active people if you want to exercise more. Like it or not, it’s a lot harder to accomplish something alone.
5. If you stumble a bit, shrug it off. Don’t worry if you fall back into your old habits for a week. If you miss a couple workout sessions, don’t waste time feeling bad. Just get started again and treat it as a learning experience. If you eat bad for a week or two, pouting won’t do any good. Just laugh it off and get started again.
Arm yourself with these five strategies and you’ll get halfway through 2009, look back, and realize you’ve transformed your body for the better.
Back in high school I lifted weights a few times per week with a friend of mine. One day a third friend named Jason joined us. But it would only be for a single session.
“I just can’t motivate myself to work out,” Jason told us. “The only way I can is if I listen to the music from Rocky.” My friend had a good laugh at his expense, but my first thought was: So what?
If he needed to listen to Eye Of The Tiger or Hearts On Fire EVERY time he trained, then why not just listen to those songs every time?
If it works, do it. I work out in the morning. Always. And I usually recommend the same for everyone else. But if you find you can only get rolling in the evening – go for it.
Some people need to eat a little before training, and some can only go on an empty stomach. Some of my best workouts were when I was feeling hunger pangs.
I also hate any kind of gym where the air conditioning’s cranked to the max. Some people love it.
I like to cover myself up when I work out, lots of people prefer spandex – including some who really shouldn’t have the privilege.
The key point here is to stop thinking, “I can only do such and such” in a BAD way. Whatever conditions allow for you to succeed – make sure you follow them. If you need air conditioning, loud music, and heavy sweat pants to get a great workout at night, do that every time. If you prefer to sweat in lycra with dead silence in the morning air, stick to that. And of course listen to some Gonna Fly Now too.
All of us are familiar with a typical office scene, with the Oh! so familiar sounds of the printers and copiers working at full throttle and everyone furiously typing on the keyboards in a frenzied trance-like state. A good office environment in my opinion is one conducive to personal and professional growth.
Certain practices are not looked upon kindly in an office -
A Time & Place For Everything : I am sure you have met certain personalities in any office you may happen to visit who are not only loud but also don’t seem to be able to put an end to their ramblings about the latest episode of Desperate Housewives or the latest fashion in boots that she has to have!! While we are not under the control of a Communist regime, talking about non work related topics should be kept to a minimum. I always believe that there is a time and place for everything. It is best to hold such long winded discussions about topics that may be uninteresting and distracting to others, during lunch time or preferably in the lunch room.
While In Office, Work : Making personal phone calls and having insignificant conversations that are not urgent in an open office are also a big distraction and a waste of company revenue. We are after all paid to be in the office working for the enhancement of our company. Besides, no one really cares to hear about their colleagues’ personal lives!!
Do Not Disturb : Listening to music loudly on a speaker in the office is an absolute no-no!! Some people take undue advantage of the absence of business rules being outlined and enforced strictly by their company. You may think I am kidding when I say this, but since I work in a non-corporate office environment, the woman sitting right across from me has loud music and podcasts playing on her speaker about topics I find offensive and crass. I feel it is best to bring it to your boss’ attention and if that doesn’t work, you should approach your Human Resources department.
Mind Your Own Business : It is sensible to refrain from making any comments to people about their clothes or anything about their personality. Not only can you get a soft nudge from HR, but also may get into more serious trouble such as harassment of some kind! While it is certainly acceptable to have an opinion about something or someone, it is not always tactful to voice it.
Avoid Getting Involved In Office Politics : I personally like to stay away from all office politics and cliques. We are not here to “hang out with the girls” but to work and contribute in our own way to the growth and advancement of our employer. While it is very important to have a good working relation with your boss, it is petty to stoop to bootlicking and fake compliments.
Surfing The Net : Using the internet for personal use depends on discretion of the employer. But it amazes me when I see people around me who seem to be coming to work to check their personal emails (in case they don’t have any internet access outside of work) and catching up with friends all day on gmail chat!!
Despite the culture in your office in general, I feel there is a certain amount of decorum that we must uphold while in the office.
Back in October 2004 I launched a series of articles outlining the ten crucial steps to a well optimized website. The steps were :
1.Keyword Selection 2.Content Creation 3.Site Structure 4.Optimization 5.Internal Linking 6.Human Testing 7.Submissions 8.Link Building 9.Monitoring 10.The Extras (all those things that didn’t fit in the first 9 steps)
Well in case you’ve been asleep for the last few years on in case you’ve just recently joined us in the SEO-realm, I – along with some of my good friends in the web marketing world – have decided to re-write the series with new information and new perspectives.
The New Series
In our updated series we’ll be dropping some of the articles and adding others to account for changes in the industry. Another major change in this series is that we’re going to compliment it with a weekly segment on Webmaster Radio’s Webcology (http://www.webmasterradio.fm/Search-Engine-Optimization/Webcology/) on Thursday afternoon at 2PM EST where we’ll be conducting interviews and discussing tools with their manufacturers to help our readers and listeners make the most of this information. If you miss the show, you can always download the podcast free of charge afterwards.
The 10 steps covered in this series will be :
1.Keyword Research & Selection 2.Competition Analysis 3.Site Structure 4.Content Optimization 5.Link Building 6.Social Media 7.PPC 8.Statistics Analysis 9.Conversion Optimization 10.Keeping It Up
Step One: Keyword Research & Selection There are two times in a site’s life when keyword research is conducted – when researching a site to rank in the organic results on the search engines and when researching keywords for a PPC campaign. In our article today we’re going to focus on the former and save the research involved with PPC campaigns for step seven in this series.
So we’ve got the topic down to “just” keyword research and selection for organic SEO campaigns – from there the topic once again gets split into a variety of areas. Those that we will cover here are :
The raw data Studying those who’ve gone before Understanding your choices
The Raw Data
The raw data is the raw estimated searches/day that you can expect a phrase to get on the major search engines. There are a number of tools you can use to compile this information. Here are some of the more commonly used :
Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool (http://inventory.overture.com/) Yahoo!’s keyword suggestion tool. It’s fast and it’s free but it has some serious drawbacks. The tool often mixes singular, plural and common misspellings into one so it could lead you astray (admittedly it’s gotten much better lately but still far from perfect).
Is a bed and breakfast in Banff, BC better to target “banff accommodation” or “banff accommodations”. How about the very common misspelling “Banff accomodations”? That said, it’s based on easily the largest pool of search data made available in this way which gives it a huge edge in accuracy based on the pool of data it’s collecting from.
WordTracker (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/resources/recommended/wordtracker.htm) WordTracker is easily one of the most popular of the paid keyword research tools. It solves the problem with the singular vs plural vs misspellings however the data it accesses is from a few meta engines and is not as comprehensive as one might like.
They offer a free trial and have options to pay for just a day or up to a year so they provide options for people who simply need it for a quick round of research on one site to SEO firms who need it on a daily bases. It sells for $59/mth.
Keyword Discovery (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/resources/recommended/keyword-discovery.htm) This tool is very similar to WordTracker in the advantages/disadvantages category. Better specification of keywords, lower pool of data to base them on. I personally prefer Keyword Discovery simply for some of the features and the ability to export data for clients to view easily. Of course, that could well be due to my increased experience with it.
They have a free trial as well and it sells for $69/mth.
Aaron Wall’s Summary (http://www.seobook.com/archives/001013.shtml) Noted above are some of the most popular tools and the ones I’ve used the most. There are some other tools definitely worth taking a peek at. Aaron Wall did a great summary on his site of the major tools, their pros and cons, etc. Definitely worth taking a peek at. Admittedly it’s a couple years old so some of the features have changed a bit but most of it is still valid and accurate.
Now What ...
Now that we’ve looked at the tools, let’s take a look at what we’re supposed to do with them. As noted, we'll cover how to use these tools when launching or updating a PPC campaign in a future article, however there are still a few areas and considerations that we need to consider here.
So let's get started ...
In case no one told you – size doesn't matter. It's not how big it is, it's who's using it. Let's use as an example a phrase we at Beanstalk targetted and that's the phrases “search engine positioning”. At first this was our big phrase which now gets 7,689 estimated searches/mth (a bit higher than it was back then). “search engine positioning services” gets a lowly 2,636 searches/mth. Of course we should be targeting the one with the higher number of searches (or so I thought).
Once we have attained top 3 rankings for both I started looking through my stats and setting up filters for conversion (forms filled out and visits to our contact page). People who entered “search engine positioning” were sure interested in our blog and articles but only those who added the word “services” contacted us. And so the big phrase was abandoned as a target and we began focusing on what I refer to as “buy phrases”. So bigger isn't better if the people you want are searching using phrases with a lower search volume.
There's another time when bigger isn't better. Which of those two phrases do you suppose we ranked for first? If you guessed the services phrase then you're right. When you launch a new website (which we had) you're likely up against sites that have been around for a while, have some solid backlinks and a good number of pages. You're not going to want to go up against them for the top phrases out of the gate. Choosing to go with phrases that are lower in search volume and lower in competition will almost always result in higher rankings faster, put some money back in your pocket and ready you to go for the bigger phrases.
It's here that the model we followed works well. When you're selecting your short term and long term targets it's wise to choose phrases with the same root keywords (“search engine positioning” and “search engine positioning services” for example). This basically enables you to work towards your long term goals during link building for your short term targets. And who doesn't like to kill two birds with one stone? Or perhaps you have all the time in the world and you're one of those people who likes nothing more than working on developing incoming links.
Which brings us to …
Studying Those Who’ve Gone Before
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let's just hang onto that thought while we research what those who are successful in your industry are targeting in order to glean some insight into what works.
I've recently discovered (much to my pleasure) a very cool tool that, while a bit pricey for some, simplified MANY of the processes of keyword research, tracking and competitor keyword dissection. A company called AdGooroo (http://www.adgooroo.com/) has created what I've now discovered to be an awesome keyword tracking tool (I'd call it keyword research but it does a lot more than list off search phrases). The tool allows you to do the generic keyword research that we're all used to with the same limitations as the tools above (i.e. Google doesn't hand out their search keyphrase volumes) but that's just the first step.
They then take a look at your competitors on both the organic and PPC results, figure out what they're ranking for and bidding on and provides some great reports on saturation levels, competition levels, and a lot more. With this in hand you can then begin to analyze how they're ranking (that'll be covered next week in our article on competition analysis).
The folks at AdGooroo also store historical information so you can look back over trends in the past and compare that to what you see now. As noted, a bit pricey for some but worth it for those who can afford to know this level of information on who's doing what and what you should be doing.
I should also note that I’m experienced in their SEM Insight product which costs $399/mth. They also do offer AdGooroo Express which has a lot of the same feature (but missing a lot of the ones I personally feel can give a researcher a HUGE jump on their competitors). The Express version however sells at $89/mth so far more affordable for some. And like all my favorite tools, they provide a free trial. :)
But if you can't afford that level of information you'll want to run ranking reports on all your top competitors (you likely know who these are but if you don't – they're the ones who rank in the top 10 for the most competitive phrases). You can either do this manually or use a reporting tool such as WebPosition Gold (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/resources/recommended/webposition.htm - again, has a free trail).
If you find weaker sites ranking for large numbers of phrases, you know who to watch (again, we'll get into this more next week). The only problem with this method is that you can only think of what you can think of. The site might be ranking for phrases you never thought to look into and which, in knowing, might provide some great insight into additional targets and tactics. Of course, you might well be from an industry with very obvious and defined keywords.
Understanding Your Choices
So now you've got choices to make. You've got a list of perhaps hundreds of keywords and you need to shorten that list down. The number of phrase you target will only be limited by your site and the amount of time you have to dedicate to it.
You will likely need to pare down your choices to those that will produce the fastest and highest ROI possible. This will likely be the phrases that provide the lowest competition levels for the highest searched “buy phrases”. Once you have attained these rankings you can move on.
The alternative is to go for the gold and target the biggest phrases in your industry. This will take longer (99% of the time) but might be necessary if there are no suitable secondary phrases. In this event you have to ready yourself for a slow rise to the top and a longer period of stagnant traffic with a big return (hopefully) at the end.
Another major choice you'll have to make (especially if you have a large number of potential phrases) is whether to start out with a PPC campaign for the traffic or to test keyword phrases for an organic promotion. While these will be covered in more detail in part 7, if you just can't wait you can find a past article on the subject titled “Using PPC To Maximize Your Search Engine Positioning ROI” (http://www.beanstalk-inc.com/articles/ppc/4roi.htm).
More Info On This Series
As noted but worth mentioning again, this article series is being supplemented with a weekly show on WebmasterRadio.fm. Be sure to tune in or download the podcast to get the full information and hear some great interviews with the tool makers and experts.
Next week the topic will be competition analysis and will be written by StepForth, Inc. author and owner Ross Dunn. Ross will of course be on the show with us next Thursday along with some great guests.
Writing insecure code is easy. Everybody does it. Sometimes we do it accidentally because we don’t realize that the security issue exists, and sometimes we do it on purpose because we suspect the bad guys won’t notice one little vulnerability. Secure programming is often overlooked because of ignorance, time constraints, or any number of other factors. Since security isn’t flashy until something goes wrong, it is often easy put it off.
Once your application is compromised, you will realize there’s nothing more important. The best case scenario is that you lose days of productivity and suffer downtime while you fix what was damaged. The worst case scenario &em; your data is compromised and you have no idea if it is correct, much less what the hackers managed to copy and read. Did you expose usernames and passwords to the world? Did you happen to release the credit card information for thousands into the den of identity thieves? You’ll never really be able to know. It’s best to practice secure programming so you never need to ask yourself these questions.
With this in mind, let’s examine three different classes of secure programming "no-noes," storage risks, system risks, and exposure risks and discuss how we can prevent each of them. Server configuration and data transmission security are beyond the scope of this article, but the reader should be aware that they also play a major role in securing a web application.
Storage risks are those risks involved in the storing data and interacting with a database server or file system. The most widely known of these in the infamous SQL injection attack. SQL injection is when you allow the user to input data into a query, and instead of a value he adds his own SQL into the query. The easiest way to prevent this type of attack is to escape every user variable that could touch your queries. Luckily, PHP has several build in functions for handling this, such as mysql_escape_string(). Essentially, this works by escaping characters in a string that could conceivably be used to terminate your query and run a user specified query.
When should you escape user data? It all depends on who you talk to. Some programmers prefer to escape as soon as it enters the application, while others prefer to wait until just before it is placed into the query. Personally, I prefer to escape right before it is inserted into the query. I do this because I can always look at the code, see the database interaction, and see that the data was escaped before it was being used. I don’t need to search the entire source to make sure something was escaped.
The second storage risk we’ll talk about is storing passwords as plain text (hereafter referred to as clear text). I know you guys do it; I’ve seen too many open source applications and too many in-house applications to believe that it doesn’t go on. Simply put, there is never any reason to store a password in clear text. It doesn’t matter if you’re storing the password in a database or a flat file, always store passwords as a hash. You can accomplish this simply enough by using PHP’s md5() function to transform the password before you insert it into your storage medium. Since md5 is repeatable, you can validate a password by simply using
When should you transform the password to a hash? You should do it as soon as possible. Don’t let the password variable float around your application at all. As soon as you grab the password input, convert it into a hash. I prefer to do this by setting the password variable to its own hash, this avoids the chance of using the wrong variable in later code.
Next, let’s talk about the usernames and passwords your program needs in order to interact with other applications (like database servers). You should always separate these out into a different PHP file than the rest of your code, and reference them as constants or variables. This not only makes your code easier to maintain (if you need to change a password, you know exactly where to look), it the event that your source gets released, you know that the password isn’t in that file. While it’s certainly true that they could grab your password file, it does reduce the risk considerably.
Before we leave usernames behind, I want to touch on the concept of division of power. We’re not talking about the government in this case, but about database users. The database user accounts your program uses should have the minimum level of access they need in order to function correctly.
If your application only reads from a database, then the database account it uses should only have SELECT permission on that particular database, and no access to any other database.
To take this concept a step further, I prefer to create multiple database accounts for my web applications. Typically I create one account that only has INSERT permissions for the particular tables the software needs to write to, and a completely separate account that only has SELECT access. This makes sure that no INSERT queries are accidentally performed and mitigates the possible damage done by SQL injections.
Of course, multiple accounts work best when there’s a clear separation between those who can write to a database and those who can read it (such as a CMS). In theory, you could use multiple accounts in any application but you run into problems with the number of open connections to the database. This is simply something that should be considered as a possibility during the design phase of your software.
I’m a big advocate, as are most programmers, of breaking source code down into multiple files at every logical opportunity. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of PHP programmers have a nasty habit of naming PHP files they intend to use as libraries or other include types with the extension .inc, or .config, or some other non .php extension. This is a horrible idea because the server its running on might not be setup to parse these extensions as PHP files, so anyone loading the file would be exposing their source code (and potentially passwords, usernames, and other protected information) to the world. I prefer to prefix filenames myself, using inc_ or class_ when needed.
While we’re discussing included files, I would like to talk about to other security precautions. If you have a PHP file that you intend to use only as part of a larger PHP application, add this line to the beginning of the file (__FILE__, $_SERVER['PHP_SELF']).
This will cause the file to immediately terminate is someone tries to run it directly. A well written include or class file shouldn’t do anything when loaded on its own, but you can never be too careful &em; especially when a one line cut and paste can potentially save you so much heartache.
The other include-related item I’d like to talk about is the difference between include() and readfile(). Include will tell the server to parse the file as PHP, while readfile tells the server to output the file as straight text. You should never use include on a file that is publicly writable (for example, if you have an application that appends user submitted data to end in order to simulate a graffiti wall or guest book) or on a file that you don’t control (files on other servers, or that others can edit). A malicious user could easily inject his own PHP into your system, causing untold amounts of havoc. At the same time, you should never execute readfile on a file that ends in .php. On a misconfigured system, this runs the risk of exposing your source code to the world. To summarize, use readfile() on html, txt, and remote files. Use include on local files with php code you want to execute.
Now let’s talk about system risks. I think of system risks as those things related to the way code executes. The primary system risk in any application is invalid data. You can never valid data enough. As soon as user data enters the system, you should immediately verify it exists and that it is what you want it to be, if not your program should halt and prompt the user for better input.
When validating data, you should use the tightest filter possible. For example, if your program is expecting a percentage, you should not simply verify that they entered something. Your program should verify that it is numeric and between 0 and 100.
You should also validate at every level. Every time a function accepts input, verify that the data is what you expected it to be and react accordingly if the data is bad. This will make it more likely that you will catch bad data due a programming oversight, it also has the added advantage of catching logic errors in your software.
Next, I’d like to talk about eval(), exec(), and their ilk (shell_exec(),system(), passthru(), and pcntl-exec()). Visit their respective php pages to find out more about them, but in actuality there is very rarely any reason to use them. Eval will run any php code passed to it as a variable. This is inherently dangerous because you no longer have absolute control over what code is executed. If you must use eval(), don’t ever run it with a variable that has been derived from a user determined value, otherwise you run the risk of a hacker injecting his code. Exec() and the like pose similar threats, allowing your script to interact with the command line is a level of power you should rarely, if ever, need.
Finally, let’s talk about a couple of exposure risks. Usually, you don’t want to show your error messages to the world. For one, they freak people out. Secondly, they give hackers a wealth of information about potential bugs in your code. On production systems, always turn your error reporting off and use PHP’s errorlog() function instead.
The last risk we’ll talk about is using session IDs. Simply put, try not to ever send the session id to the user. Sessions aren’t secure, but if you transmit the session ID you run an even greater risk of someone other than the expected user to act as a "man in the middle" (to steal an analogy) and piggy-back off of the legitimate user’s session. An example of this would be using a session id to hijack someone’s shopping cart and change a delivery address, get credit card information, or do something even more malicious depending on the system.
We’ve discussed many security risks involved with programming in PHP, but they boil down to a few simple concepts.
* Never trust the user &em; don’t let them run code on your sever and always validate any data they send you.
* Don’t give the user, or your software, any level of access greater than the absolute minimum needed to successfully accomplish their tasks.
* Don’t tell the user more than they need to know &em; don’t let them see your code, the session id, or any error messages that you didn’t create specifically for them,.
Welcome to part two in this ten part SEO series. The ten parts of the SEO process we will be covering are :
Keyword Research & Selection Competitor Analysis Site Structure Content Optimization Link Building Social Media PPC Statistics Analysis Conversion Optimization Keeping It Up
What is a Competitor Analysis?
Have you ever wondered how a particular competitor always does so much better than you do in the search engines or online overall? A competitor analysis is one very effective method of deconstructing their online marketing strategy to discover how they are doing so well.
What Exactly Can a Competitor Analysis Reveal?
This is a very common question because many site owners don't know the lengths that a competitor may have gone to obtain top rankings. The following examples are some of the discoveries I have uncovered in a typical competitor analysis :
By examining a competitor's link structure I have found that many of the links with the most credibility came from websites the competitor actually owned. (Determining the ownership of the domain names required some sleuthing because the whois information was 'private' but ultimately the info became available.) In a couple of cases several of these domains had legitimate websites and this prompted some great ideas for my client to attain more traffic.
While researching a competitor I noticed that although the competitor's website was very similar to my client's, there was one major difference; the competitor's website structure was far better optimized. By outlining the structure the competitor used and improving on it with my own expertise our client had the information he needed to apply changes to his own site.
In another instance I provided a client the list of all the pay per click keywords and organic keywords that each competitor was currently using. The client was flabbergasted when she realized just how many keywords she had missed promoting for her own comparable services.
The Basics of Conducting Your Own Competitor Analysis
Now that you have seen some examples of what can be gleaned from a competitor analysis you might want to conduct one of your own. For the purpose of this tutorial I am assuming that you are fairly new to SEO so I created a basic plan that works for most users; but even this will require a little preparative reading. The following is a list of essential reading material :
Is Your Website Search Engine Friendly? Your Personal Checklist
This article will show you what elements of a website make it search engine friendly and this will help you see which optimizations your competitor used.
The 10 Minute Search Engine Optimization (Updated in 2007 from 2004)
A refresher on the proper elements of optimization.
15 Shades of Spam
Jim Hedger wrote this back in 2006 to increase awareness of the types of Spam that can get webmasters into hot water. It is an excellent refresher to help you identify them.
Many more free SEO tutorials are available if you find yourself needing more information. The following is an outline of the most revealing steps with the least amount of technical expertise required. Please keep in mind that the objective of this competitor analysis is to compare what you find to your own website later on. What you find may not seem earth shattering (or it might) but this analysis is meant to show you what you might be missing :
Grab a piece of paper and a pen and while you walk through your competitor's website look for any particularly obvious search engine optimization techniques. Here are some elements you should check :
Does the title tag appear well written and if so is there a common syntax used throughout the website?
Look at the source code of the home page and search for "H1", "H2" or "H3". Do any of these tags show up? If so that means the competitor is using heading tags within the page. Now try identifying the text they used in the heading. Likely you will find the competitor's Keyphrase is found within the tag.
Check if the navigation is search engine friendly. Sometimes the navigation is a drop-down menu; make sure it is a type that is search engine friendly. If not, check the footer of the page and see if a text menu is placed there.
Keep an eye out for a pattern of keywords being used in text links. Certain words are likely to appear more often and these are likely some of the target phrases your competitor has decided to focus on.
Look for nofollow tags. No follow tags are often used to channel Page Rank efficiently throughout a website. This is called a themed structure and it can have incredible ranking benefits. If you see a pattern of nofollow tag use then you can be relatively certain your competitor has/had a well-informed SEO firm on hire.
While you roam through the site look for pages that have particularly high Google PageRank and try to identify why. In most cases these pages have information that visitors decided to link to. Perhaps this will give you some ideas for creating similar quality content for your website.
Check the site for the presence of an XML sitemap. Usually it will reside at the root of the website so try typing in the basic URL of the competitor's website and add (minus the quotes) "\sitemap.xml" on the end. The details within the sitemap might be a little confusing to you but just acknowledging that the competitor has one is noteworthy.
Have you found any incidences of spam throughout the site? Take note, I have lost count how many competitors succeeded using shady tactics. This doesn't mean you copy them, however, but it may at least give you yet another indication of what helped the competitor attain rankings. Believe me, in most cases these sites will get caught with their hands in the cookie jar at which point you won't want to be associated with the same tactics.
I can't possibly list everything you need to keep an eye out for when walking through a competitor's website; at least not in an article format. Just keep an eye out for anything that looks particularly purposeful in the site and linking structure as well as the content of the website. If you find something you can't be sure is worth noting, then try researching it online; chances are someone has written about the topic/concept or can provide you advice in a forum.
This portion of the analysis will require that you use one of the following link analysis tools: OptiLink (not free but my first choice) or Backlink Analyzer from SEO Book (free). In each case these tools have excellent help files that I suggest reading in order to get the best results from the data they generate.
In this particular stage you are going to use your new tool to analyze the first 1000 backlinks of your competitor's domain.
Program Setup Note: Be certain to set up the software to acquire Google Rank and Alexa Rank information for each backlink and filter out any rel=nofollow links. The setting is easily found on the front of both applications with the exception of the rel=nofollow which is an option in Optilink but automatically checked in Backlink Analyzer.
When the report is completed sort the backlinks by both PageRank and then Alexa Rank; examine each sorting separately.
Why Are Both PageRank and Alexa Rank Used?
The reason both are used is because they each have notable disadvantages and advantages. PageRank is notoriously unreliable especially lately since Google now penalizes the PageRank of any site with any relation to link buying. As a result, sites with low PR could be missed as a quality site. Furthermore Alexa Rank is a decent indicator of a site's popularity but I can't rely on it since it is not an established indicator of how well a site is regarded in Google. Between the two stats, however, we can glean a good indication of the sites that have the best reputation for link building.
Creating a List of Authority Competitor Backlinks
Using Excel or another spreadsheet application copy and paste the data you received from OptiLink or Backlink Analyzer into a worksheet. Then create a copy of the sheet so that you have an exact copy of all the data on a single sheet. Now follow these steps :
On the first worksheet sort the data by Google PageRank (PR) from highest numbers to lowest. Now remove all of the pages that had less than a PageRank of 4 so you are left with the best sites according to this data. OR just separate the lower PageRanked sites so they don't get in the way.
On the second worksheet sort the data first by Alexa Ranking (sort lowest to highest numbers) and then do a secondary sort by the Google PageRank (highest to lowest numbers). Delete or remove all sites that have a negative Alexa Ranking ("nm" is how it shows in OptiLink) or otherwise partition them from your other more valuable data.
Now you have two excellent worksheets that provide lists of authority pages that have links pointing to your competitor.
How to Use the Backlink Data
Take some time now to filter the links by domain and you will see just how many links per domain each competitor has. If you see a website that appears to be linking to a website a lot it is usually because either the competitor owns the website or has purchased a link on the website. To find out if your competitor owns the website try running a Whois on the domain.
Also check the content of the link data for how many pages listed are from the competitors own website. If you see a great deal from their own website then you can be relatively assured they have good content which is important to note; perhaps you need to focus on better content on your own website OR how to get others to notice your good content.
Now the most logical step is to figure out which links are worth getting for yourself. Chances are a decent number of the links you found are from pages that would be willing to link to you as well.
Don't Lose Focus on Your Own Website
So now you have a few tools to conduct a cursory competitor analysis. You will likely find some very useful data that you can act on but is this all you need to do? Is a competitor analysis going to be the golden key to increased profits? No. I have a great deal of faith in competitor analysis because I know determining what a competitor is doing successfully can improve a marketing plan dramatically. That said, you also have to pay close attention to your own website and the quality information that can be gained from using free tools like Google Analytics or handy paid tools like ClickTracks Professional.
Using a quality analytics program will allow you to get as granular as monitoring the success of each page in your website with details such as: where did visitors come from (somewhere in your site or from another?), how long on average visitors stayed at a particular page, what keywords led visitors to the page (if any), and much more.
With proper analytics you can actually compare and contrast the effects of minor edits to a page's content; this is called multivariate testing. For example you can run tests to see if you can improve the retention of visitors by adding a better image or a better tag line because you noticed that many visitors were entering at a page deep within your site that was not originally designed as an entry page.
Truly, the sky is the limit with analytics and it would be irresponsible for me to state that competitor analysis is more important than making your own website run smoothly. Do yourself a favour, if you haven't already got an analytics program running on your site, get it done now or learn how to use the one you have; it will pay off in the long run. Especially when you want to monitor the success of the tactics you applied to your site from your competitor analysis findings.
The key to a successful Website is content. Content alone will drive visitors to your site, and compel your prospects or customers to form a valuable opinion about your company. With over 7 million Websites being added every month, how will your site stand out? The way to get your Web site noticed by search engines and then to get those prospects to stay and keep coming back comes from the content on your Website alone. There are no two ways around this fact.
Enterprise Website owners have entire teams in place that can manually update and refresh content on a regular basis; small Website owners simply don't. In a world where information changes rapidly, Websites need to be constantly updated and monitored. This is extremely crucial as users - and even search engines such as Google - pass over stale Websites. Manual configuration and updating of Websites takes time and can be messy too, involving integration with multiple systems like campaign management or CRM. With a skimpy IT staff and shrinking budgets, most small Website owners find it challenging to ensure that their sites reflect their dynamic business needs.
Web Content Management Systems (CMS) – a must-have for small Websites
Content Management Systems (CMS) have emerged to address these issues. In simple words, a CMS is a tool that eases creation, maintenance and management of the content a Website. The biggest advantage is that it allows non-technical Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to manage different aspects of a Website such as the general content as well as the navigation, page layout and links without any knowledge of programming tools.
Web content management is as necessary for small companies as it is for large organizations. Small Websites may not have mass popularity, but they have a simple advantage over large Websites: they are more focused and targeted. But still, that committed user community, though small in size, presents significant challenges for the small Website owner. Adding news items, making design changes or launching new products via separate Web pages is not a simple affair.
A CMS gives small Website owners the power to easily modify and change text, design and layout of their Website through well defined templates. It also becomes simple to quickly insert, delete or update anything from images galleries, forms, tables, styles or formatted lists.
Traditionally, most small Website owners have relied on independent software consultants or vendors to keep their sites updated. However, as our experience shows us, multiple small changes conveyed for text or design is frustrating and wasteful. A CMS can ease these difficulties, providing users with a simple and non-technical way of managing the content and not the technology.
Key benefits include :
• Improved speed and ease of publishing content
Small Website owners can accelerate content publishing by giving SMEs tools that are simple to use. Content specialists can focus more on creating content and not worrying about publishing, approval processes and formatting changes--so the site still has the same look and feel.
• Maintaining consistency and link integrity
A content management system helps organizations maintain consistency across all pages of their Website (with style sheets, templates, etc.) so that branding and design are controlled to the level desired, regardless of who is responsible for the actual content. As a result, visitors have a consistent and professional experience. The CMS even helps to maintain link integrity –significantly reducing the chance of users reporting a missing link. This is critical, as a missing link in the Internet world means a missed business opportunity.
• Full control
Features like complete system auditing and reporting provide organizations the ability to manage and track history of all work, facilitating regulatory compliance. Files can be given a full document lifecycle, including check-in, check-out, versioning, rollback, approvals, and scheduling. A CMS has intelligent workflow automation, ensuring that content passes through appropriate quality gates before being published. Additionally, completely configurable workflows enable organizations to assign tasks to any person, with provisions to escalate in case defined thresholds are crossed. For example, e-mail alerts can be sent to content owners of specific sections on a Website, if these sections are not updated after a specific time period. This is difficult to do in a manual system.
In a digital world where content can creatively be used in a variety of forms such as whitepapers, podcasts or articles, effectively managing and using this content is critical for competitive advantage. A CMS can help in a huge way, by centralizing and streamlining the process of managing and publishing content. This centralized control medium also means that an organization, no matter what size, can effectively measure the success of various online marketing initiatives.
The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) angle
While a CMS helps business users manage content more effectively, organizations must also understand that content management systems can be expensive to procure, complex to implement and configure, and even more difficult to maintain.
To address these issues, organizations can consider using a CMS delivered as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). With this software model, organizations are spared the high initial cost of purchasing the license. Also since the software is hosted, so there is no hardware to buy, no software to install and no infrastructure to manage. As a customer, an organization just pays on a fixed monthly or quarterly basis and leaves the task of managing, maintaining and upgrading the software to the vendor.
Organizations also save costs, as they do not have to budget for a developer who tweaks HTML code, or a Webmaster who actually takes care of hosting. Players such as CrownPeak even provide a dedicated account manager, as part of their Lifelong Active Support. By using a SaaS model, organizations can also minimize risk and choose different functionalities as they grow. Further, as billing is on a monthly or quarterly basis, costs are spread across the lifetime of a product’s usage. This is an extremely attractive value proposition when compared to the traditional software model, where costs are paid upfront and the risk of product implementation and adoption is totally on the customer.
If you have an online presence, you need a CMS
The Internet is a great equalizer – and a user will not forgive an organization because of its size, if it has missing, incomplete or old content on its Website. In a scenario where millions of Websites jostle for attention simultaneously, a small Website owner needs the guiding hand of a CMS solution to increase its value for a niche audience. The difference between being seen as a pearl or as flotsam on the internet is too great – it is up to the small Website owner to make the right choices.
This article takes a look at the top 10 web design tips for users at any level. It will give you 10 complete different points to contemplate when you next begin a site design or when talking to your web design consultant/employee.
Design is never straight forward and web design has the additional unpredictable complication of technology thrown in. This means that you need to consider the consequences of your design decisions and how it will effect the most important people who see your site, the users themselves. The following tips should help you consider this and have a positive effect on your site and its users.
1. Navigation & Functionality
You should never sacrifice overall functionality for artistic extravagance. It is highly unlikely your site will ever achieve its purpose if the people who visit it cannot clearly and easily navigate around it.
Your site should look good but first and foremost consider how someone who knows nothing about the site would think when they landed there.
Something occurring in website frequently these days is Mystery Meat Navigation. This is a term coined by Vincent Flanders and it is used to describe site where navigation structures are so obscure and difficult to process that users cannot identify them at all and end up running there mouse across whole sections of a screen just to identify hyperlinks.
People say images are worth a 1000 words and in web design that’s true in 2 ways. Firstly an image can do a lot more than text in some situation but secondly they are much, much bigger files with a higher download time.
It is widely accepted users will click away from a page that takes longer than 5-10 seconds to load and every time you put an image in a page you are increasing the likelihood of this happening. Additionally each image you imbed into a page design activates an additional HTTP request to your server so dividing an image into smaller ones or using lots of small images across a page does not solve the problem.
ALT tags should also be factored into the code of a website. They are a huge help to people who have either images turned off in a browse, mobile broswers that can’t read the images or a random error preventing the image from showing. They also hold a small SEO benefit.
It is advised that you use CSS and not tables to format a document but in some cases tables can be necessary. Remember one thing however, a table cannot be displayed until it has fully loaded. This can potentially cause a huge problem for users as they wait for the page to load, nothing appears then out of nowhere the whole page is done.
Someone is much more likely to click away when nothing is loading than when they can see progress.
Don’t design sites to use fonts only you have, chances are they will be converted into some dull font and ruin the effect you were trying to achieve. Save special fonts for specific headers and convert them to images. Make the rest of your site in standard fonts so that as many browsers as possible will see it in the way you meant it to be. Recommended fonts for high scale compatibility are Arial, Verdana, Courier, Tahoma and Helvetica.
Plug-ins hold a lot of potential for both users and designers but it can easily be misused and misguided.
Plug-ins have a many forms and uses, the most popular being Java and Flash Player. I have heard a lot of people say that these plug-ins are “safe” and that everyone has them but this is simply not true. Every plug-in has a stack of different versions and connects differently depending on the browser the user is surfing with.
Think if your users will really want to browse to other sites to download a plug-in, restart the browser then navigate back. If the answer is no use other tricks at your disposal to make your page unique and save the big guns that are Flash and Java for times where it is essential.
The “tags” I am referring to hear are meta keywords and description, title, alt and h1 tags. Together these tags help manage your sites search engine optimisation (SEO) potential and this is defiantly something not to overlook. Helping people find your site will bring more traffic in and more conversion if you are a retail site.
The higher search engines rank you the more traffic will filter down and the more successful your site will be. Try to keep a constant theme running through all your tags but do so in a subtle way. Splashing the same word 1000 times on your page will only have negative effects so make sure you strike the correct balance between informative and spammy.
In a perfect world everyone would use the same browser and your website would look the same on everyone’s screen but unfortunately this is not the case. Every browser has its own specific functions and styles and learning to make you code cooperate with both can present some serious problems.
The three you really need to concern yourself with are Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. These make up a good 95% of the browser market at the very least and while there are some additional popular browser I would not recommend you spend time optimising code for the rest.
The only thing you can do is do your best and stay away from browser specific functions, you’ll never make someone get a new browser.
8. Pop Ups
Something that is very important to remember is that the user should be in control of their browser and desktop. Do not place unnecessary pop ups and window opening links everywhere and the user will feel they have lost control of the site, become annoyed and close the windows.
There are some exceptions to using the (_blank) attribute but I would steer clear whenever possible.
9. Text Layout
Text is part of your design to and positioning it correctly on the page is very important. Try to get all the copy you need as early in the design process as possible. This means you will be able to design around the copy instead of trying to cram it into smaller spaces because someone wrote twice as much copy as they said they were going to.
Use the right alignment for the right situation, remember 99% of people will prefer left align and while justified look aesthetically better it can be very difficult to read in longer bouts.
10. Site Search
In this day and age finding what you want on a website in paramount. After you have followed the first tip on navigation you should also provide a search bar on your site so that a visitor who cannot immediately see what they are looking for can search. Many internet studies have seen the success of these smaller additions to your site and free ones are available from Google and many other SE operators.
Taking these 10 tips into account will help you design a more user-friendly and successful website, sometime it may seem like they are hindering your grand design but failing to take notice may result in your site being a very pretty stop sign for browsers. Just because you can find your way around your Flash menu system that takes 6 minutes to load doesn’t mean Mrs Smith who needs the product can.
After you've opened your website and purchased unique domain, you want to be found by the potential users. Since the web space contains millions of websites , there is a constant struggle between websites over the first places in search engine results for competitive words.
Getting to the highest places in search results of Google or Yahoo is a very long and tricky process involving loads of work on your website and outside it. In this article I'll list some information about how Search Engines determine relevancy, a short preview on search engine optimization.
First of all, let's review two most important algorithms Google uses to determine page relevancy – Page Rank and Hilltop.
The basic concept of Page rank is : the more incoming links your page has, the more important it is. Page ranking is given per page and not per website so don’t be surprised if your website shows different ranking on different pages. Page Rank is calculated as follows :
PR(A) = log10((1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + ... + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))) when : 0http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html
As mentioned in previous articles, Page Rank is one of the familiar variables in determining appearance in SE results. Although today the importance of page rank has been descended, and sometimes we see pages of PR 3 or 4 getting to first places in Google, Page Rank is one of the variables SEO's often deal with because this is the variable we know a lot about and can approach sensibly. The second good reason to learn about PR is using it to emphasize important pages of your website, like the Homepage ( you know how annoying it is when SE presents some negligible page of your website higher than the Homepage)
What is PR?
PR ranges from 1-10 and indicates the number and quality of page incoming links.
Page Rank is calculated as follows :
PR(A) = log10((1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + ... + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))) when :
0 PR(T1) – Page rank of page T1 linking to page A. T1, ….,Tn
C(T1) – number of outbound links in page T
Notice that the 1-10 scale is accepted because of logarithmization of the equation. Therefore , each group of page rank ( PR1,… PR10) is not equal in size and getting to higher PR group is getting harder with every step.
This article deals with page rank maximization techniques :
PR0 – Page rank zero
This rank is usually given to :
pages with very few incoming links
websites being caught using Black Hat Strategies to promote their website.
Webpages with PR0 can harm your website in case that one of your pages links to PR0 page. Although, if PR0 page links to your page , your pages is not hurt nor benefited because Google assumes you don't have absolute control over your incoming links. Even so , you may exchange links with PR0 page in case that
The PR0 page doesn't contain hidden text or other forbidden elements of black hat SEO
The page is new and therefore gets zero ranking.
Although PR depends on your incoming links, linking to other websites can cause you PR leakage, therefore use only necessary links to other websites.
Linking to pages inside your website does not cost you PR therefore you can do it freely.
Make sure every page in your website links to other important pages since every link has its contribution. Leaving Dead end pages wastes this contribution.
Use PR to emphasize important pages :
Creating links smartly to most important pages of your website, like Homepage, gives it PR boost and helps emphasizing its importance in front of less important pages in the website.
This is the most popular and beneficial link scheme emphasizing your homepage :
All pages in the website link to Homepage (first priority page)
Page of x priority is not linked to other pages of x priority but only to Homepage, page of x+1 , and X-1 priority. (for example, categories are not linked between them).
No jumping between pages in non hierarchic order : for example Page priority 1 doesn’t link to page priority 3 , and page of same priority are not interlinked.
If we count the relative distribution of PR between all the pages, in this scheme, Homepage gets the highest rank.
If we link the categories , Homepage rank descends and category PR raises a little.
If we link all the pages at the website to each other, all of them get the same but low PR.
To get the highest Homepage PR we must link all the pages to Homepage only and Homepage must link to all the pages.
Exchanging/ Purchasing Links
Incoming link is more effective if it comes from high PR page.
Page with few links is better contributor than page with lots of links (in case they are of same PR)
Exchange links only with well ranked websites because exchanging links cause PR leakage. This leakage must be weaker than link contribution otherwise the exchange is not beneficial.
Don't exchange pages with PR0 pages because in best case scenario it doesn’t help you. (Unless you expect this page to be very popular in short period).
Index is a website which contains details and links to millions of websites divided to categories and topics. Indexes can have multiple purposes.
Local Business Index – like Yellow pages. This kind of indexes apply to people who are searching for services in their town or area. It is a good idea to sign your company into few such indexes in case your business is locally oriented like flower shop or electrician. Inclusion in these indexes , at least the most popular of them , is usually quite expensive but also useful from the point of view of customers seeking local service and search engines, since you can include your site URL and earn a strong incoming link.
Global Business Index – like Hoovers.com or business.com. These indexes usually contain data about large companies with turnover of few millions of dollars a year. Not everyone is able to enter such index, although some of them allow small companies listing in exchange for reciprocal link or inclusion fee . Inclusion in these indexes is important to large companies who apply to customers worldwide , and they also give a good incoming link in terms of SEO.
The third type of indexes is Internet indexes which main purpose is to provide incoming links to websites. Usually these indexes are manually edited which means it can take months before the editor approves your link. Some indexes like yahoo require inclusion fee , some are free, like DMOZ and some require fee or reciprocal link. Website promoters largely use indexes to provide the new built websites with incoming links, although , not all indexes are usefull and important in terms of link strength and website promotion. Therefore I suggest to submit your website to as much as possible free indexes but be careful before paying for listing or exchanging links with nameless indexes.
In this article I will list some of the most important indexes to be included in.
General Guidelines to submitting your website to index :
Make sure your website has no pages "Under construction" or "Not exist" (Error 404) , since some indexes might disqualify your website because of that.
Wright down a short profile of your website which includes :
Site Name , Full URL, 10-15 key words and phrases, short description (200-500) characters. Site name should not include many keywords, it might cause rejection by the editor.
Open an excel file dedicated to indexes and directories where you keep all the passwords and usernames since you will probably need to come back to these websites few times to follow up your registration.
Place your website in the most suitable category, in order to improve your chances to be indexed and later to improve the impact of the indexing on your page listing in search engines.
Indexing takes a lot of time because index editors are volunteers and the demand is huge, so be patient and do not submit your website more than once , since it makes you look dummy and may cause your website be rejected.
DMOZ Open Directory Project
This is the most important and appreciated index on the web. It is edited by volunteers , and has more than half million categories and around five million websites.
The main importance of DMOZ is its influence on major search engines like Google , Yahoo and etc. which derive information from DMOZ and ascribe large importance to links incoming from there to your website.
To include your website in DMOZ go to www.dmoz.org , find the most appropriate category to your website, press Add URL and follow the orders. Take few minutes to read DMOZ terms of submission in order not to mess up your application.
DMOZ will reject your website If it is placed under wrong category, mainly under construction, has no value to public or is poorly described. Description must be objective otherwise most chances it will be excluded.
DMOZ will not notify you about reception or rejection. If you can't find your website, don't hurry to submit it again , try asking at DMOZ forums what is the status of your application.
Entering DMOZ index is the only way to enter Google website directory.
Yahoo is the most popular website in the world and US. Inclusion in its index might be worth the huge fee of 299$. Wright a short description (10-25 words ) , make it objective and fluent , include 2-3 keywords but do not exaggerate.
Make sure your website is in a good condition (no 404 pages and under construction pages) Yahoo is not condemned to include your website even if you pay the fee , but they are supposed to review your listing in about 7 workdays. In yahoo index you don’t need to pick a category , one of the editors does it. Must say, most of the websites are included. Business sites must pay the fee every year while non-profit sites must pay only once.
Reading a website is not similar to reading a book or a newspaper, therefore before you start spilling money on campaigns be sure your site is built in accordance with internet writing standards. Lets talk about few simple rules you don't want to break when building a website :
Don't waste your visitors time
Time is money. Most people decide whether they are interested in what the website has to offer in just to seconds. Therefore make sure your landing page provides the most crucial and appealing information about your business.
Number one time waster is a heavy loading pages with lot's of flash animations and pictures. Make sure your web pages are not too heavy otherwise you might loose your visitors before they entered your website.
Most of the visitors need to find what they are looking for fast, otherwise they look for it elsewhere. As a webmaster you must make sure your data is well categorizes and divided to relevant pages , categories, headlines and sub-titles. A visitor must be able to navigate your website easily and successfully.
Avoid too much "Special affects"
By this I mean don't include too much flash movies and avoid using music if you don't have to. As we mentioned earlier, Flash has a large loading time which damages viewer experience, besides too much flash may be annoying and search engines can't read it.
Music is a great thing, but somehow music and websites do not fit too well. If you want to put some background tune anyway, make sure a user can silence it quickly and easily. Or in contrary , let the user click "Play" and begin the music when he decides.
Pop-ups and new pages
If you have links in your site , I strongly advise you not to use the pop-up option and not to open these links in new window. Seemingly pop-ups and new windows are a very good idea if we don't want the visitor to navigate from our website but many years of experience shows that users prefer to click "Back" buttons. As to pop-ups , most of browsers tend to block them , and you don't want to waste your viewer time on enabling pop-ups.
Use standard fonts which are supported by all browsers, like Arial and Times New Roman. You don't want your viewers to get gibberish and go away from your website. Don't use very small or very large fonts . You don't want your pages to smear for miles and you don't want to scare away people with poor vision.
Color is a very important aspect of design and website in general. Picking the wrong colors may repel your costumers in subconscious level and make your website and business look amateurish and unreliable. Many things have been said about colors and what they represent. In this article I will explain some basic rules in choosing website color.
Colors are connected to certain associations, this is something to keep in mind. Red is a color associated with danger and it is very intensive, therefore you shouldn't make it the dominant color if you want to create calm, reliable atmosphere. Pink is a very feminine color so you better use it in websites related to children and women. Blue is the most popular color when it comes to website design because it represents calmness and reliability. White is the most popular color for a background, although many websites use black and dark backgrounds.
The problem with black color is its intensiveness and that it is sometimes represents darkness and evil. Combination of black background with very bright colors may result in very unbalanced ,really bad looking website. Although, there are some cases when designer can create quite a good looking website despite the demand for black background. If you considering making your website black I suggest you take a very good designer because black emphasize all the other objects of the website, specially if they are bright.
Combining colors in your website can be a hard task. There are number of free websites which may help you matching website colors, like http://www.colormatch.dk/ . I suggest you don't use more than three or four colors in your website so it won't look amateurish. If you want to add a picture to the header , select the website colors from the picture
Be reasonable in color choosing. If you own a beauty shop , don't color your website gray or black. If you have a law firm, don't make a pink or orange website.
Be aware that some people are color blind , and some people have vision problems so make sure to have enough contrast between the text and the background so everyone will be able to distinguish between them.
Caution , Copyright! Finding beautiful images is very easy today, all you have to do is enter Google Image or one of the large image banks. Unfortunately for the website owners, most of the pictures are copyright protected, and using them can cause you thousands of dollars. You may think , since your website is small and relatively anonymous no one will find out. You should not count on it , today, technology allows finding content on the net very easily, so I suggest you don't take risks, pay for your pictures or use the pictures from your Website Building Provider.
Congratulation, you finely decided to upgrade your business with a website. This is really important step which can take your business to a new level structurally and financially.
1. Well built and properly advertised website can bring you hundreds of new customers who wouldn't have heard about your business otherwise.
2. Most of people do not search for services on yellow pages no more but open Google , Yahoo, MSN, etc. Therefore your presence on the net is a very important strategy to earn new clients.
3. Website is your face when it comes to clients who arrive to you via the net. If your website is well built, even if you are a small business owner, clients will be more willing to work with you.
Now that we understand the importance of a good, reliable website for a business, let's go over some basic steps to make sure your website will be a success story :
Determine your budget :
Website building can cost you nothing or cost you thousands of dollars. I think that the best site is the one which benefit will excel its cost. Therefore every business owner must determine his appropriate budget.
Some companies offer absolutely free websites. There are some advantages and some disadvantages in such a website. The first and the biggest advantage is the zero cost. If your website turns out useless , you don't lose any money. The main disadvantages of free websites are usually the limited storage space (which means you can't build a large website) and limited bandwidth (if many users enter your site at once, it might become slow or even unavailable).
If you have a large sum of money to put on your web site, you may go to a custom Web Design firm. They will usually offer you two or three unique design sketches which they embed in their Content Management System and a directions about how to enter your content into it. The problem about this option is it's high cost.
There is no second chance to create a first impression :
Design is naturally one of the most important aspects in website success. Website design must represent your business as a prosperous, impressive and trustworthy therefore there is no place to disregard it.
Quality content :
In order to be found in search engines and attract serious visitors you must fill your website with high quality content. We suggest you enter information about yourself , your business and products. Professional articles and further information from your field of interest might add more value to the website and present you as an expert in your field.
Keeping in touch :
Once you have earned clients you better keep in touch with them. There are number of fast and cost effective ways to do so :
1.By mail. Today spam mail is a felony, but once a customer signed up at your website and gave his agreement to receive your e-mails, you should keep in touch with him , informing him about new products, services and sales.
2. By SMS. If your business is very dynamic you might use the SMS technology to keep in touch with your clients at real time.
3. Keep in touch with your clients by blogs and forums where you can offer them technical support.
Nothing is as invaluable as a website when it comes to airing your ideas, authoring opinion pieces, distributing photos, or marketing your business products. Having your very own website can be a boon to you, but there are a few things you should know first before setting out to create your own website (http://www.buildyoursite.com/).
Decide why you want to create your own website. Do you want to let others know of your political leanings, do you want to write fiction, or are you looking for an online store? Each of these will lead to a different kind of website, and each will have a different audience.
Next step is to determine how comfortable you are with web page creation. If you are not proficient in computers, try to hire a professional. If, on the other hand, you enjoy learning how to do new things on the Internet, then using a free or inexpensive do-it-yourself type of hosting should be enjoyable.
You need to determine what level of control you desire. Utilizing the free hosting will provide you with a few different background colors and styles. If you have further needs or wants, you may have to pay additional fees, or even use the services of a professional.
Another thing to consider when you create your own website is to choose a template. Many free hosting vendors have a variety of templates that you can choose from. You can decide which colors and style will be most attractive to your future audience. You will probably be able to alter the template in minor ways, but the overall style will remain the same.
You will want to think about obtaining a domain name. There are many companies that sell domain names. If you want to make a website, you will need software. This software will help you design your website, and it is important if you want to control a lot of different areas of your site. It is possible that you will need some knowledge if you want to make a webpage from software.
If you don't know what to do first, choose one of the free step-by-step instructional guides found on the Internet outlining how to create a website. For other ways to learn about how to create a website (http://www.buildyoursite.com/), many e-books are offered that incorporate free HTML tutorials, website software, information of registering domain names, guides to website design, and more.
There are many reasons for you to make your own website. You may want to sell a product or service, or you may want to share your thoughts and dreams with the world. No matter what you want to do online, you can design a website (http://www.buildyoursite.com/) to do it. When you are thinking of making a site on your own, there are a few things to think about.
The first thing you will want to decide before you make your own website is what you want to accomplish by doing so. This is the most important thing you can do when you are ready to make a website (http://www.buildyoursite.com/). Knowing the purpose will allow you to make any other decisions more clearly.
After you have completed these stages, you need to locate the company that will be your web host. This company will provide several important pieces for you. At a minimum, they will be responsible for registering your name and associating it with an appropriate web address. In general, you will be running your service from their space, so the host takes over administrative and physical security responsibilities. If you choose to use their equipment, you must sign an agreement concerning additional charges should you need more bandwidth or disk space than the minimums.
Dedicated web space is space that you paid for. There are no advertisements on dedicated web space unless you want there to be. Unlike free hosts, paid hosts will not insert ads onto your site. If you make your own website (http://www.buildyoursite.com/) and pay for the hosting, therefore, you have more control. Choosing your own domain name allows you to personalize the site even further.
There is a ton of information about website building online. Some companies offer website building tools, while others only use HTML code. You will be able to find lots of HTML tutorials online if you are interested in learning. Doing a quick search in your favorite search engine will find hundreds of links to websites that offer these tutorials.
The sky is the limit from here. You will be able to create a personalized and snazzy site. How it ends up is up to you. You can put as much time into the project as you want. Either way, when you make your own website, you will end up with something that is entirely your own. This is almost a form of art.
Before you embark upon the process involved when you design your own website, you must select and register a domain name. That is your site's brand name and contact name. In order to be given a domain name of your very own, you must make a yearly payment to the appropriate registering entity to obtain the exclusive right to it.
Obtaining a domain name doesn't mean you have a web site or anything close. All you have is a name. It is similar to getting yourself set up with a name for your business is the "real" world - just obtaining exclusive rights to a name doesn't mean you are totally in business. You just have a name.
A web host commonly implements numerous computers that are all linked to the Internet to allow a very large number of web pages to be broadcast all over the world. The first step in making your new web page visible is to use a reputable web host that will give your personalized website a virtual home.
Thinking of a domain name is very much like thinking of a name for your company in the physical world. Similarly, a web hosting account is the equivalent of renting an office for your company. After you have come up with a domain name and signed on with a web host, you will then need to design your own website (http://www.buildyoursite.com/) to attract visitors.
As a beginning web designer, you first need to design your own website in a attractive, and appealing manner. After you have got your basic web page posted you will be able to make any adjustments that you feel are needed. There are free web editors and commercial versions that are widely available.
When you choose to use free software, you can also learn more from a complete tutorial on the web. The step-by-step tutorial will guide you in the process of making your own web page, site map, and comment forms. It will also give you tips on the basic aspects of the software so you can continue to update and improve the site in the future.
A crucial aspect of web development is optimizing your site for search engines. This should be undertaken from the very start of the design process. In addition, there are a number of other concerns involved in developing web pages.
There are a few critical places in building a web page (http://www.buildyoursite.com/) where you must make the right decision, or you'll have to repeat this task again and again until you get it right. The better you grasp these essential points, the better your web page will work and the happier camper you'll be.
As a website builder, make sure you know what the project can do for you. If you are the owner of a business, you want to maximize your business opportunities. But if you are an employee who just has to get the job done, you may want to stick to something basic that will please the boss and not cause any headaches. And if your a volunteer, you may want to use this as a chance to increase your skills and do a good deed.
Make sure the needs of the business or organization are met when you build web page (http://www.buildyoursite.com/). Develop a brand identity and help potential clients and customers to find out who you are and what you do. An online brochure is a good way to start.
You're trying to enhance your brand or organization image. But this is very legitimate for some kinds of companies, especially local businesses or organizations that aren't trying to conduct national or international commerce. You want people to know who you are, what you do, where to find you, and how to contact you.
A good strategy is to provide product information that will improve local sales of your goods and services. Car sites are a good example. Car companies don't often sell their cars through the internet, but they guide people to local dealers. You can also sell advertising, but right now, there is more space than ads to fill it.
Though the industry is improving, internet advertising is rather under-priced. Sites that are portals for many other sites may be able to sell some advertising space, but this should not be a counted on form of revenue. Instead, view the revenue from advertisement space sales as a bonus.
Construct a web page and become an Internet direct seller of products or services. You want to engage in e-commerce and sell to a domestic or worldwide market. You will have a system for ordering one or more products, or maybe you will feature an in-depth online catalog. Your online service may offer delivery over the Internet, or it may be initiated online.
Build web page (http://www.buildyoursite.com/) and earn affiliate commissions for sales and leads generated through links on your web page. Savvy marketers are building micro sites designed to generate search engine traffic for a particular hot product or service. When a visitor clicks on one of their links, he is referred to an e-commerce site, and, if a sale results, the affiliate gets a commission. Perhaps a form on your site generates leads or subscriptions for another company.
These days in a world ruled by technology, virtually anyone can build a website, but few have the skills to build a website that functions. Even though there are plenty of low cost tools and services out there, far too many web sites are virtually useless, gathering virtual dust on their virtual shelves.
You can design and build your website with a lot of effort. But that alone does not guarantee that your website will be a success. You have to give importance to factors that will encourage people to visit your website. You can market your website in many ways, to increase traffic to your website. However, online marketing is quite expensive.
When you are operating on a small budget it is essential that you build a website that is optimize for search engines. You will save a lot of advertising dollars by ensuring that all your web pages have quality keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that the world uses to find what they are looking for in the web.
If you want to make your web page appear live for the world to view, you simply need to research a hosting company with experience, register your domain name, create your account, build your personal site, and then publish it. It is a very simple process! The important part is finding a hosting company that provides you with a domain name (your personal website name) registration, site builder tools, and hosting.
Some site builder tools require you to be proficient in HTML (Hyper Tex Mark up Language). Otherwise look for site builder tool that does not require you to learn the language. To build a website (http://www.buildyoursite.com/) that works require upfront planning. After deciding on what niche you want to pursue, you will need to come up with a name for your website, build a keyword list, register your website name, sign up with a hosting company, and submit your website to the search engines. All this can end up costing you quite a bit.
In summary, building a Website that works is going to cost you. But, you have control over how much it costs you financial and emotionally. All you have to do is to figure out exactly what you want the website to do, identify the resources that you will need, establish a budget, then go build your site. It is that simple.
Sales pages, to be effective, must immediately catch the attention of even a casual web surfer. The sales message contained in the sales page needs to be both easy to read and understand. If the content-display styling is well-crafted, the sales message can be absorbed with just a rapid page scan. An interested reader will re-read the page for the details.
Sales copy provides the content which entices the reader to move deeper into the page towards the "Order Now" button.
The job of a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), is to
* facilitate page navigation,
* improve readability, and
* call attention to important content.
There are lots of articles and ebooks available on the Web about "writing" profitable sales copy. You can easily find them with a quick search. This article focuses on "styling" the sales page and its content with CSS.
There are several advantages to using CSS for display styling. One of the best reasons is that it frees the copywriter from initial concerns about page formatting. Using very basic HTML code, such as that allowed for submissions to ezinearticles, the page content can be written with any basic text editor without concern for special content formatting.
Before any CSS styling has been applied, the sales page would not convert any prospects. At this stage, the HTML document contains all of the "content" that will be used. Text and images will typically be positioned on the page in roughly the order these elements will be used in the final sales page. CSS will make everything "pop" and "sizzle" when it is applied to the page.
After the sales copy is written, important page elements (identified through HTML tags) and content (information between HTML tags) can be identified and linked to the appropriate CSS formatting code, contained in separate CSS text file, for browser display. A previous article of mine, published at ezinearticles, explains how the HTML content gets linked to the CSS file. Briefly, the HTML-CSS link is done through the HTML "link" meta tag and content is identified through class and id tag attributes and through the use of the HTML span tag.
Content-specific styling includes special text formatting, such as highlighting and quotations, and the placement of items such as images and forms within the page.
I like to display the content in roughly the middle half of the monitor display and use a line length of about 60 characters. I also like to use a large enough font size to make blocks of text easy to read.
Because the page layout is so important, I use a fixed table design for the content: the content is placed in the center of the display and is framed in by wide right and left margins and narrow top and bottom margins. If the width of the browser page is narrowed by the reader, the right and left margins will narrow equally but the content area will remain the same width, and thus the content layout remains the way it was designed (i.e., not "liquid").
Essentially, my basic page layout consists of 4 nested "boxes:"
* HTML Box -- demarcated by html tags and contains all other boxes.
* BODY Box -- demarcated by body tags and contains the table and main-content boxes.
* Table Box -- demarcated by table tags and contains the main-content box.
* Main-Content Box -- demarcated by div tags and contains the sales-page content.
The HTML box includes the entire HTML document (except for the document-type declaration). The Body box contains everything visible to the reader. The Table box contains the sales page. The Main-Content box, as the name implies, includes all of the visible content of the sales page.
A sales page requires both global and content-specific CSS styling. Global styling includes such considerations as the page background, default font and line attributes, and page margins. Here is the global code I include in my CSS text file for sales pages :
font-size : 1.6em; /* this sets the default font size for the sales page and will display at 16px */
margin : 5%;
font-size : 2.25em; /* will display at 36px */
font-size : 1.5em; /* will display at 24px */
font-size : 1.25em; /* will display at 20px */
font-size : 1.125em; /* will display at 18px */
width : 60em;
margin-left : auto;
margin-right : auto;
table-layout : fixed;
background : #ffffff;
The body code above sets the default for the document's font size to 62.5% of 16px or 10px (px = pixels). This is too small for my sales page, and I adjust it in the #main_content section. The CSS body code also sets the font color to black, the line spacing to normal, the font family to sans-serif (with Verdana as the first choice), and specifies a blue background image used for the body background.
I use the #main_content code to set the actual base font size I use for the sales page text. All other font sizes in the sales page are sized relative to this base. Unless otherwise specified, all text in the sales page will be 1.6em or 16px. I use the margin attribute to provide content spacing between the content and borders around content.
The "Hn" tags set the basic header sizes and are calculated based on the font size I specified for the #main_content. As an example, since I will be using a default font size of 16px for the sales-page content, the H1 font size would be 2.25x16px or 36px. The "Hn" tags can later be modified with additional attributes, such as color and centering.
The CSS table attributes I use place the sales page in roughly the middle half of the full-size display page (1024 x 768 pixels). The width of the table, 600px, is just right for the line length I want to use. Since the table-layout attribute is "fixed," the table layout in the browser will be preserved at all times.
Since all of the font sizes are relative to the font size I set in the #main_content section, all sizes can be made larger or smaller by changing just the one value. For more information about the use of ems for sizing, I would suggest a visit to a blog post by Richard Rutter.
After the global formatting is applied page now has some nice-appearing structure.The content now lies between attractive borders and the content is contained on a "page" with adequate margins and on a background of choice.
Below are 12 additional tips, including the CSS code, you can use to stylize specific elements and text in your sales pages.
(1) I want my headline to be big, bold, red, and centered. Here is the CSS code I use :
line-height : 1.5;
color : #cc0000;
text-align : center;
(2) I use a smaller, blue, bold, and centered sub-headline.
line-height : 1.5;
color : #1b356e;
text-align : center;
(3) I use a small font size for the spider text and copyright. I position the spider text at the top of the page for the benefit of search engines.
font-size : 1.2em;
(4) I use CSS code to position my photo so that it "floats" to the right and any text to the left flows around the photo.
float : right;
display : inline;
(5) If you want to center section headings and color the text red or blue, here is usable code :
line-height : 1.5;
color : #cc0000;
text-align : center;
line-height : 1.5;
color : #1b356e;
text-align : center;
(6) I change the font type for quotations. Using Courier New sets the quotes apart from normal body text.
font-family : "Courier New", Courier, monospace;
(7) I use an unnumbered list for my benefits list. The list can be customized to use a custom bullet and extra space between list elements. The CSS code to accomplish my custom list formatting is as follows :
list-style-image: Specify the image URL here;
(8) You can highlight important text with a yellow background.
background-color : yellow;
(9) You can emphasize text by making it bold.
font-weight : bold;
font-weight : bold;
color : #cc0000;
font-weight : bold;
color : #0000ff;
(10) I like to make sales-page testimonials special by framing them and using a pastel background for the text.
display : block;
margin-left : auto;
margin-right : auto;
background : #fffacc;
padding : 1em;
border : double;
border-width : thick;
border-color : #999999;
(11) The purchase form is a very important component of the sales page. I use a red-dashed border for the form.
padding : 1.5em;
border : dashed;
border-color : #FF0000 ;
background : #fffac6;
(12) If you use an image and associate a link with it, you will want to turn off the border or you will get a distracting blue border around the image.
border : 0;
After all CSS styling has been applied, the sales page now has some "snap" and "pop". The colorful headline immediately catches the attention of even a casual web surfer. The sales message contained in the sales page is now easy to read and much easier to understand. The well-crafted content-display makes it possible for the sales message to be absorbed with just a rapid page scan. After a preliminary scan, an interested reader will more than likely re-read the page for the details.
Writing your quality articles using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) will insure that your articles will be both easy to read and aesthetically pleasing to the viewer.
A CSS style sheet allows the HTML code for your articles to be cleaner, table-less, easily customizable, and "liquid."
Removing the display attributes of your articles from the HTML code allows you to concentrate on using the HTML for organizing your document's content.
When you use CSS, a new approach is possible to writing your articles for the Web :
* First, you write your article in a very basic HTML document, using simple HTML code. At this stage, use only the most common HTML tags. Focus on organizing your article's content first.
* Next, you identify parts of your document for special display formatting.
* Finally, you define the formatting in the CSS file.
Once you work through this process, you can reuse both the HTML document and the CSS file as templates for your future, quality articles.
This article will provide the tips, tricks, and sample code to give you a head start in creating your own quality articles and templates using CSS. If this all seems complex and intimidating at first, don't despair--read on. I will explain the basic HTML and CSS terminology throughout the article.
THE BASIC HTML DOCUMENT
The basic HTML document is devided into several sections: html, head, and body.
Tags are used to demarcate document sections, or "elements." Content lies between the tags. For example, the article you are now reading lies between the body tags of an html document.
Tags usually exist in pairs, a start tag and and end tag. The start tag is surrounded by less-than and greater-than angle brackets. An end tag is bracketed with the same symbols but the first character of the tag is a forward slash (/). For example, HTML code for a paragraph element would include the start and end "p" tags with the content sandwiched between the two.
The basic tag pairs found in web pages are :
* html -- These tags tell a browser that this is an HTML document and define the start and end of the document.
* head -- The head element can contain information about the document. Although the browser does not present the information to a viewer, the information can be "seen" and used by search engines.
* title -- The title tags define the title element that will be used by a browser for the document's title.
* body -- The document's content is placed between the body tags.
In HTML 4.01, not all tags exist in pairs. The "!DOCTYPE" and "meta" tags do not use an end tag, for instance.
The first line of code in the basic document is the Document Type Definition (DTD). The !DOCTYPE tag tells the browser which HTML or XHTML specification the document uses. HTML 4.01 specifies three document types: Strict, Transitional, and Frameset.
The first meta tag in the basic HTML document provides information about how the page-content characters are encoded so that a browser can interpret them correctly.
If you want your articles to be widely seen on the Internet, you need to be particularly interested in the meta tags for keywords and description. These can be seen and used by search engines.
Use the "keyword name" and its related "content" in a meta tag to list your keywords or keyword phrases.
Keywords ought to be appropriate for the article content. They should also reflect what internet surfers actually type into a search engine's query box when hunting for the information you are offering.
Keyword research is a study in itself. Freeware is available on the Internet that can help you determine the best keywords to use in your article and keyword list. Keywords or keyword phrases within the meta tag need to be separated from each other with a comma.
Although not all search engines will utilize the description meta tag for their search results, you still need to include a good description for those that do.
If you had just a few characters to describe your article, or to entice a surfer to select yours from the results of a search, what would you write? What you would write is what should go into the description.
USING CASCADING STYLE SHEETS (CSS)
I have already suggested several reasons why today's preferred method of creating web pages is to separate a page's content from it's display properties. It's time for a demonstration of how this can be accomplished.
In the past, HTML tags included attributes to define how the content was to be displayed by a browser.
Today, CSS is used to concentrate these attributes in a single, separate file. Simple HTML code specifies "what" content is to be displayed; the CSS code defines "how" the content is to be displayed.
Before CSS can be used to format an HTML document, the name and location of the CSS file must be known to the browser. The browser gets this information through the HTML "link" tag that is coded between the head tags.
Once the CSS file is linked, the browser will check the CSS file for display attributes. For example, if the browser encounters an "h1" tag in the HTML code, it will check the CSS file for "h1" formatting. Here is the "h1" formatting information I included in the article.css file I use for my article titles :
When a browser encounters an "h1" tag in the HTML code, it would display the title centered and maroon.
SELECTING CONTENT FOR FORMATTING
Content formatting can be applied to an HTML document only after the content to be formatted has been identified to the browser. An easy way to do this is to place a "class" or "id" attribute within a start tag. The same class name can be used many times on a web page; each id name should be used just once per page.
Once content is identified, the class or id name can be referred to in the CSS file and the browser will apply any formatting attributes found there.
Selections Using Class Names
As an example of using the class name, I used the following CSS for in an article about writing ad headlines. In the HTML code, I used divisions tags with a class name of "headline" to demarcate the headline text. I added the following code to the CSS file :
In the CSS file, I specified the font-size, color, font-weight, and text-align attributes. The class name was added to the CSS file by preceeding the name with a period. I used a semicolon to separate attributes in the list. The HTML and CSS code combine to produce a bold, 24px, red headline centered in the HTML page.
It should be noted that there are some basic HTML tags that are their own class names and do not require a preceding period in the CSS file. These include p, h, body, li, and others. That being said, these tags can be modified by appending an additional class name to them. For example, if I wanted to make the next paragraph blue, I could add a "blue" class attribute to the opening HTML "p" tag and then add this code to the CSS file :
This would be a blue paragraph if this HTML were displayed in color.
Selections Using ID Names
The CSS syntax for an ID is a little different from that used for a class. In the CSS file, ID names are proceeded with a pound sign (#). The example below "floats" my 288px by 59px logo image to the left of the following paragraph: the text flows around the image. I added an ID attribute with a name of "logo" to the HTML "div" start tag I used to demarcate the image information. Here is the CSS code I used :
The HTML and CSS code would combine to produce the following results :
~~~LOGO WOULD FLOAT HERE~~ Text here would flow around the logo.
Selections Using Span Tags
If you want to format just a bit of content, you can use span tags
In the article.css file, I defined a background-color attribute for a "highlight" class that will put a yellow background behind selected text. For the next paragraph, I used span tags to bracket the text, "separate attributes." Here is the CSS code :
As a result, and if this were in color, the phrase "separate attributes" would be highlighted with a yellow background.
LOOKS AND LAYOUT
A careful selection of the "global" characteristics used for the body element of your web page will insure that your articles will be both easy to read and aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. These characteristics include font, font color, page background color, and page margins.
I use the "body" code in the CSS file to define the default body display attributes. Here is the CSS body code from the article.css file :
margin: 3% 25% 3% 25%;
In the CSS body code, I specify the font family I want to use. The first font listed, Verdana, will be used by a browser if it exists on a viewer's PC. If Verdana is not available, the other fonts will be checked, in order. If none of the specific fonts are available, the browser will default to any available sans-serif font.
If you use a commonly available font/font-family for your articles, the chances are good that a reader will see the article as expected. Otherwise, your article might not look the way it should.
Verdana was designed for easy readability on computer monitors and, for this reason, is my font of choice. Since Verdana is commonly available on PCs, using this as the default font will also increase the likelihood that my article text will be displayed as I intended.
I set the background color to a light color, the font color to black, and the line height, or spacing between lines, to normal. The background color I like to use (#fffef2) shows colored text and graphics to good advantage.
I like to adjust the article on my page to show content in roughly the middle half of the page. I think it is easier for the eye to process than content that goes edge to edge. I use the CSS margin attribute to adjust this. The margin attribute defines the top, right, bottom, and left margins respectively (margin: top right bottom left).
In the CSS body code above, I set the left and right margins to 25% of the available display width. Using 25% places about 60 characters per line of text on my 1024x768 pixel full-screen display. I also set a small 3% margin above and below the content.
If you use a list in your article, you can use the CSS file to customize the way your list looks. Two important considerations of list design are the list bullet and the spacing between list elements. The example below shows how to change the bullet graphic and element spacing of an unordered list :
Some characters have special meaning in HTML documents. When you want to use these characters in your text, you can use their "entity names" to prevent browsers from misinterpreting them for HTML code. I used entity names extensively for my web version of this article to display many symbols, particularly in the code samples.
Most commonly, I use entity names in my HTML code for quote marks. By doing this, I get the look and feel I want in my text when I use quotes. For example, when I want to use distinctly different left and right quote-marks in my web-based titles and headlines, I use specific entity names to do so.
Careful attention to the entity names you use can add "that extra touch of class" to your articles.
For HTML 4.01, there are entity names for both ASCII and extended characters and symbols. I use an entity name to insert a copyright symbol at the bottom of all of my web pages. You can find a complete list of entity names at w3schools.
I use Dreamweaver 8 for my HTML and CSS editing. With Dreamweaver, I can validate my code as I write it. I have optioned the validator to warn me when entity name substitution might be appropriate.
Validating Your HTML and CSS Code
I like to write valid HTML code for the "!DOCTYPE" version I use. If you click on the w3 validation icon at the bottom of my full-color, web-site version of this article, you will see that the HTML code for the article is valid and error free. You can use the validator accessible through w3schools to check your code, too.
When you separate your article's content from the code browsers use to display your article, you can focus on using simple, basic HTML code to organize your content. A Cascading Style Sheets(CSS) can accomplish the separation.
A CSS style sheet allows the HTML code for your articles to be cleaner, table-less, easily customizable, and "liquid."
You can look at one of my recently published articles to see the results of using the techniques outlined in this article. The article is "Profitable Ads: How to Write Ads that Pull."
Every business needs a website. It is an absolute MUST! Nowadays, it’s like not being in the phone book. The Internet is a digitally-indexed database that is searchable. Whenever anyone wants to know more about anything, they look it up on the Internet, in their own time, 24/7, without the pressure of a sales person. With search engines, such as Google.com or Yahoo.com, the information they are looking for can be found in seconds.
If you aren’t where people are looking, you CAN’T get the sale.
Even if you aren’t planning on selling anything online, you still need to have an Internet presence, telling your story and being a 24/7 sales person for you. The Internet is information. So, even if you just have an informational website, people can find out more about you, your company, what you have to offer, and why they should choose you over your competition. A website gives you the opportunity to get all of that across to your potential customer.
Following, are proven components of a website and why you will need them in yours.
A Home Page is the window into your website and should be short, sweat, and to the point. Statistically, it has been proven that you get about 3 seconds, once a person arrives at your website, to get them interested enough to click for more information. If you can get them to click, then you have them! If you try to give them all of the information at once, then you will lose them.
Some websites try to give you their inventory on the home page, or write a story that scrolls forever. This is not good. A home page should not scroll. This is a big “No No”. When people get to a home page and see paragraphs, trust me, they go on to the next website. It needs graphics that represent the services, happy pictures, happy customers, and a quick sales pitch. Remember, people are lazy and won’t read large amounts of text, unless they have a need to. And included on the home page, needs to be quickly gotten across, why someone should use you over your competitor.
The About Us page sometimes gets left off, in favor of making the home page the About Us page. You will want to have an About Us page that explains in detail what you have to offer, your history, your mission statement, and a good reason that a potential customer should use buy from you over your competitor. This can be seen as the detailed version of the home page. However, it is a mistake to forgo the About Us page in exchange for a detailed home page. Again, this will just push people away who do not want to read all of the details to find out who you are and what you have to offer. This information should be available for those who wish to see more information after they are intrigued by the home page.
Design rules. For uniformity and good design, websites (any marketing piece) should have rules for graphic elements and text. For example, all headings should be the same size/style/color, etc. All subheads should have their own size/style/color, etc. This helps the eye make sense of what it is looking at. Guide your visitor with well-placed graphics and text.
Make sure that your website has good navigation, with buttons/links for all main sections of your website. And be sure to keep these navigation buttons/links visible on ANY page. There is nothing more frustrating than to not be able to find your way while browsing a website. People will leave before becoming too frustrated. Don’t let this happen on your website!
The constant, flashing email (or other) button/advertisement is a "No No" these days. In the old days, flashing and blinking graphics were used. As websites became more graphically sophisticated, these types of elements were not used any more. It can be annoying to see something flashing just off your vision, when you are trying to read the web page.
Text links at the bottom are rarely used any more. They were implemented back in the day of the text-based websites, when they were just starting out. This was for the dial-up users who had the option to turn off graphics for faster web page loading. When this happened, there were no links for navigation, unless a webmaster placed text links at the bottom. Nowadays, most people have broadband connections, and this just isn't necessary any more.
The biggest problem I see with websites these days is that a person has to read quite a bit to see what, exactly, a website is selling. When people show up at your website, you get about 3 seconds to peak their interest. Get it across very quickly, with icons/graphics/bullet points that are easy to understand. Tell them why they should choose you over your competition. And then tell them where to go to get started.
Another very important element is testimonials. More important than telling them why a potential customer should use your services over your competitions’, is a customer of yours saying the same thing. Not only is a testimonial someone who used your services, but they can say "how" you were able to help them. This gives new potential customers ideas on how your services will help “them”. Testimonials are also sales pitches from your happy customers, people just like them. They are people who were in the same position as they are right now and they got through it, so they can too. They also build credibility. When you are endorsed by other people, you have credibility and that you can do what you say you can do. And even though they may be saying the same thing that you are saying, it is coming from someone just like them, and not someone who is trying to sell them anything. They have nothing to gain by saying this. You do. So they need to hear from them. You absolutely MUST have endorsements for your business; otherwise, you are just blowing your own horn!
The next best thing to a testimonial page is an FAQ page. An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page answers questions for your company 24/7, when you can't be at the phone to answer, and for people who would rather look over your information than speak to someone who might try to sell them something. FAQs also help to give scenarios of how they can be helped, by answering questions that other potential customers have asked, and they might not have thought of themselves. This gets them thinking and gives them answers in a risk-free environment. It is VERY important to have an FAQ working for you 24/7. It's like having a free sales person working for you around the clock, fielding all questions that might come up! It's a MUST-have for ANY website!
Your website should also have a clear "call to action". A lot of websites say that “we are here and we do this”, but they don't tell them how to get started, or tell them where to go to get started right now... no call to action. Now that they have the information, now what? People are like sheep. They must be led. You must lead them to the next level; otherwise, they probably won't get there. You should have calls to action by all services, and on your home page. You should sprinkle testimonials throughout, as well, leading them back to the full testimonials and then to the call to action, which should be placed on the testimonials page, as well. You could offer a FREE Consultation by calling right now… or click HERE now to email us 24/7 for a FREE Consultation… something that tells them where to go from here and a reason to get started right now and how.
There also needs to be graphics to help tell the story; high-end icons that help draw the eye to the item of interest, to get them to read it. Having a text-only page usually does not get read. People are lazy and will not usually read paragraphs of information in hopes of getting the information they are looking for. They would have to first be extremely interested before reading the “fine print”. And to get them interested, it should be broken up with graphics that represent each section. They will see the related graphic first, and then move to that area if interested. But to give them a page of information usually doesn't work.
You also need meta tags. This is very important to search engines. These are hidden key words and phrases that describe what you offer, but also your location, etc. Search engines rely heavily on key words and phrases in order to give your website as a result in a search done for your type of business. In fact, it is also good to have misspelled keywords that people might type in order to find you. Obviously, you won’t want to have misspelled words or phrases on your page, since this will give the wrong impression of who you are. With meta tags, misspelled words are hidden in the code of the website, but can be used to bring people to your website who may not be able to correctly spell some your services. Even putting your competitions’ names and products in your meta tags can help get traffic to your site, so that they can compare your products and services to your competitors’.
Another item that puts you high on the search engine results listing is having articles about your type of business, both on your website, and other websites that link back to yours for more information on the subject. Offering free information makes you an authority on the subject, not just someone trying to sell their wares. This plays heavily in search results, along with one-way links back to your website. When you get one-way links back to your site for more information, this gives you much credibility and definitely helps to make you an authority that other sites rely on. So when someone looks up your type of product or service for more information, obviously the search engine will give a site that has the most helpful and free information (and one that other sites rely on for more information on this subject) a higher rating and puts them higher on the search results list.
A FREE Tips & Tricks or Hints page is also a good way to get relevant traffic. People are always looking for How-To's and DIY information on all types of subjects. On my site I have FREE Tech Tips that get hits all the time, which pertain to my services. Again, a percentage of these hits click on my services. And the only way I got them there was because of the FREE How-To's that I offer. So, you have to entice people to your site, by offering more than your competitor's website. This is where these types of pages come in handy.
A Guarantee page is also a good idea. Again, this gives credibility and will give you an edge over your competitor, who may not offer a guarantee. A website that has a guarantee, but is hard to find, makes a potential customer feel like they have something to hide and may not purchase from that website. However, if you have an easy-to-find Guarantee that you put right in their face (whether you dedicate a page to it, or you put it right on the Home page), it eases potential customers into a buying position.
You may want to have a form that allows a customer to request more information about your product or service, and which also lets the customer type in their personal information and what they are looking for. This not only helps you by getting their contact information, it also helps by prompting the potential customer into thinking about other aspects. By doing it this way, you will also get all of the information needed to correctly quote a product or service more effectively, without having to make additional phone calls to the customer. The more common way of requesting information is just by posting an INFO email address and hope that the person requesting the info knows enough about what he is looking for to provide all of the info to get a good quote. This is not usually the case. Most of the time they need a form to fill out. In most cases, there is info that is left out. A form ensures that you get everything needed to quote the product or service accurately. And, also, by offering a form to request more info, leads will be generating 24-7 for you. All you have to do is the quote and give them a call. This reduces the need for cold-calling, and gives you an excuse to call and close the deal.
If you incorporate all of the above pages, along with the “way” these pages should be shown, your website will have a higher ranking in the search engines, which puts your website higher in the search results, thus significantly increasing the traffic to your website!
The above categories aren't the only things you can do to increase traffic to your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) should also be done, as well as swapping links with relevant websites, and posting articles and links back to your website from online article and content websites.
The internet has revolutionized business all around the globe. Almost every competent new or existing business wishes to exploit the incredible potential of the internet, and the first step is to have a web site designed done and maintained by a professional web site design service or build and maintain it yourself. One of the first things to consider is your computer ability. If you despise computers and software and find them confusing and frustrating then building your own website can be quite a task. One that you may not want to undertake. However, if you enjoy working with computers and learning new things or if you just have the patience to stick with it, then building a website is within your grasp. You may also decide to do it yourself to save cost. If you still feel that you want to build your own site you should choose software that is easy to use and user friendly.
Your website should be as unique as you and your business. You should select the website that is specialized in what will meet all your needs, both now and in the future. Custom based websites are for those who already have a website but are looking for those special finishing touches that quality custom graphics can provide. Designer graphics can make your website stand out above the rest and a custom website specializes in taking your original graphic or photo and turning it into a unique work of art. Quality graphics make an incredible difference in the visual appeal of your website.
Actual site "content" continues to be essential to the success of a website. More often than not though, visual appeal is the determining factor as to whether or not a client or customer will remain on a website long enough, to actually see the product or service the business is providing. Custom websites are for those who don’t have the time to design or create, but want to get things mush better and fast with a nice graphics.
Web site builders are online tools which anyone can use to build a professional looking Web site without programming and have it hosted instantly. No software to buy, no code to learn, all you need is to be a little Internet savvy and know how to click your mouse.
Most business owners today know that having a web site is an essential component of marketing. In the past, the choices were to hire a professional web designer, hire a local teenager to create a site for mall money, or learn to do it yourself. The last two options, are the least expensive, and were the preferred method for small businesses. The results are often not what businesses need to grow, reach, and impress new potential customers, however. They seem good at the start but quickly become limiting.
If you operate or manage a business, you surely must realize the increase in e-commerce taking place today. Many businesses find themselves searching for the best way to increase their exposure on the internet, and for most a website is the first course of action. As most businesses operate on firm budgets, finding cost effective solutions are usually one of the first thoughts when looking to make new purchases. When it comes to creating a website there are many affordable software programs that can produce professional results. Business software should be capable of handling your needs today and in the future. Business are always changing, adding new products, changing or removing old products, offering specials, having sales, etc. By choosing a business website builder over a professional web designer you will be able to make changes to your website whenever you want to. Another benefit is that you will be avoiding the high costs associated with developing the website and costs for making any necessary changes.
Website Builder tools advantages to you are increased revenue, cost control, caters to the large demand existing for web designing in the SME sector and can increase the client base without adding to your overhead. The advantage that your customers gets is a professional quality website, up and running in minutes and a User friendly and easily customizable interfaces that gives a complete website with all its frills and features and a nice attractive design. The downside is that you are limited to the look and functions of the tool and the templates or designs they provide.
On of the advantage of a custom website design is that the web site will look and function exactly as you want. A custom made web site can promote your brand and increase sales. The functionality and design of your website is important, because the images and text on the screen can make an indifferent visitor turn into a keen client, and the goal is to optimize your site to evolve maximum traffic conversion.
As more and more people are starting their own small home business many are finding that having a website is an important factor to consider. When one starts to consider building a website, especially the novice, many questions arise including…. can I create a website myself or should I hire a professional?
Hiring a professional is a great way to go if you can afford it. Although there are several things to keep in mind: how much will it cost? How much will ongoing maintenance cost? What will changes cost? How long will changes take? etc. As a result, many people opt to build their own website and begin searching for software that can easily help them.
As you start searching for an easy web site builder, there are some factors that you should take into consideration so that your new software will serve you now and the future.
There is quite a variety of easy web site building software and content management(CMS) based websites on the market today. In addition, some of the software available today is very expensive, geared more for the professional web designer, and come with a huge learning curve.
The options for small businesses to get a site developed have changed from the past. There are now sophisticated "site builder" tools available to small business owners, bundled with many web hosting packages. By using templates, and a content management system to manage updates to the site, it became easier to set up and maintain a web site, and many development companies have canned this functionality, for a fee. Hosting providers are increasingly offering tools to automate the web site building process, and with good reason. This new option has many benefits, as long as the business owner recognizes that there are trade offs and limitations to getting a web site this way. Some of the downsides are…the design is limited to their predefined templates. The functionality is limited to the tool. Also, in most website builder tools it is hard to perform search engine optimization, which is essential for a site to be found in the major search engines.
One of the biggest attractions for site building tools is the cost. It won't necessarily cost less to get your site this way, but it does provide a way to spread the cost over time. The cost for a custom website varies as per the feature and function it carries with itself.
Many people are concerned with building their own website, fearing boring designs and complexity. However, it is now becoming apparent that there are many custom web site builder software products on the market that promise dynamic layouts, professional templates, and user friendly web design tools. The professional web designers know there are a few more things to know, but sometimes they find some irony in the fact that web developers, in their quest to improve and better the web, have made themselves "optional". Most site building tools today are very robust, making it simple to add forms, searching, maps, guest books, calendars, and a whole variety of elements to a web site. Even better, the hosting company sometimes offers an entire suite of services - the site builder, email marketing, search engine optimization and statistics, all in one package along with the hosting.
There is also a possibility that the service will require you to keep some branding on the site telling people that you used their website designs and tools. This is more common with the free site builders - which pay for themselves by putting ads on your site. If your goal is to build a business web site, it's really not worth sacrificing your professional image by getting something free, which screams CHEAP.
Low quality websites sometimes attempt to sell expensive products or services. These websites cannot succeed. Studies reveals people spend more time on a well designed web page than on a low quality web page. There is a comparative relationship between the amount of time that an average visitor will spend on a web page and the amount of time that was spent building the web page.
Websites are an important aspect of online businesses. They are the first face of interaction between the user and the business. The website creates the first impression on the user and hence needs to be effective and impressive too. It is the job of web design services to make the website user friendly and search engine friendly too, so that it can serve the purpose of both effectively.
A tool can make things happen - but if you don't know what to make happen, it is either a useless tool or a dangerous one. There is a learning curve in knowing how to present information online (called information architecture in the profession), as well as for using the site builder. In other word, the fuller featured the tool; the more there is to learn. If you aren't familiar with color theory, use of typography, information architecture, navigation and interface design, and page layout and design, you can potentially make something that will hurt your business more than help it. So, unless you are already computer and web savvy, figuring out all the features within your web hosting and site builder package can be time consuming and frustrating.
In the end there are ways that a business can take advantage of these new options and still create a functional and professional web site. One way is simply take your time and research the available website templates, and find the one that has the most features and flexibility, that meet your functional requirements. In other words, spend the time to learn the things a seasoned pro would bring to the table. The internet is a massive library of "how to" information, where you can literally teach yourself anything - and with enough time spent, you could potentially learn how to layout information, what colors and fonts work well together, how to conduct your marketing online and optimize the site for search engines. The second is choosing the best suitable custom website design company and work with them to build a professional website that meets your needs get your imaginations carried and make business a greta success.
When we study the lives of great and successful people, we find certain qualities are common, no matter which country, which profession they embarked upon or which period of time they lived in. If we could identify these qualities and try to implement it in our lives don’t you think we shall also be successful.
When we study the lives of great and successful people, we find certain qualities are common, no matter which country, which profession they embarked upon or which period of time they lived in. If we could identify these qualities and try to implement it in our lives don’t you think we shall also be successful. They say leaders are born and not made I don’t believe in that! Contrary to it a strong will, little confidence and a burning desire can evoke success in our lives whatever is our endeavor. I have engaged all my life in search for a mysterious, intangible success. Everybody seeks it I suppose, because it’s the key to greatness. A lot of research has gone into the subject of this ever eluding word success, the best and the easiest way, is to learn from history.
Let me list the characteristics that are fundamental for success in whatever we seek in life.
Burning desire : its said that a little fire cannot give much heat similarly a weak desire cannot produce great results. You must have a burning desire, this is the starting point of all successes.
Positive attitude : This is the foundation of every successful person. Success regardless of your chosen field is positive attitude. There’s a short story of two shoe salesmen sent to Africa by a company, to check the possibility of doing business in a province. While one salesman said that there is absolutely no possibility of doing business as nobody there wears shoes, the other surprisingly said that this is the best province as we have tremendous potential to do business as we can sell our product to each and everyone out there as nobody has it.
Energy : You must be able to work harder, concentrate longer, face that extra danger, carry the extra burden, go that extra mile. You must be willing to do everything. This energy comes from within if u believe yourself.
Perseverance : This is the most important and essential ingredient for success which is actually needed to be developed. Let me tell you in brief someone’s life history to explain this trait.
This man lost heavily in business at the age of 20. Got defeated in a legislative race at the age of 22. Failed again in business at the age of 24. Overcame the death of his wife at the age of 26. Suffered nervous breakdown at the age of27. Lost Congressional race at the age of 34. Lost senatorial race at the age of 45. Failed in an effort to become the Vice President at the age of 47. Lost a senatorial race at the age of 49. Was elected as the President of United States at the age of 52. This is none other than Abraham Lincoln for you my friend.
Can we call his life a failure? Failure is the highway to success. If we study the history of great personalities those are also the stories of great failures. Remember the famous quotation of Vivekananda --- Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached.
Vision : we all need to have a clear vision for success. If you ask most of the people what their one major objective in life is, they would mostly give you a vague answer such as “I want to be very rich or I want to buy a house”. They are wishes and none of tem are clear goals. Goals must be smart with a clear vision. By smart goals I mean that they are specific, measurable, achievable, reviewable and time bound. Once the are goals defined then the vision comes automatically.
Leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less, as said by a leadership expert. In other words, leadership is a process by which a leader with his leadership attributes influences others to accomplish an objective and directs an organization in a way that makes it well integrated and rational. It’s about getting things done through people to reach certain goals.
To have the ability to lead, one needs to be a good leader and the basis of a good leadership is indigenous character and selfless service. Honored leaders concentrate on what they are, what they know and what they do. As they know that it is the followers and not the leader who decides whether the leader is a successful leader or not. If the followers don’t have trust in their leader they will remain uninspired. So to achieve success you have to convince your followers.
The question that arises here is, How to develop leadership skills in one’s self to have effective leadership. People want somebody to guide them who has a clear direction. There are no rules for leadership but there are certain skills that every good leader should have. You might be searching these skills but you never know you might have these locked inside you. You just need to explore these.
#1 One of the basic skills is to have a sense of responsibility. Being a leader you should be responsible to get the task or the job done. You should not feel that being a leader your job is just of honor; instead it’s more than that. The others take you responsible for the job being done. So, if you lead them, they will do the job but if you don’t then they may expect you to do the job or task all by your self.
#2 The second important feature is communication. Communicating seems to be such a simple thing, yet the process of learning how to communicate effectively can take a lifetime.
Communication involves two ends and it’s hard enough to get your end right. You should communicate in such a way that being a leader the message sent by you should be received on the other end in the same meaning as sent by you and not in the wrong meaning. This is because being the sender you don’t have a direct control over the making of the meaning by the receiver. So, you can just observe the manner in which the message has been taken and can adjust the next time. This is the reason effective communication plays important role.
# 3 The third skill is of relationship building. It takes a long time to understand, develop and maintain relationships. Paying attention towards your colleagues and listen to what they have to say can do this. Interacting in a powerful and positive language can also help in building cordial relationships. This can even create a comfort level among the colleagues towards you. Also praise them if you like a certain piece of work done by them. The foundation of this successful relationship is the leader’s ability to make people feel important
Therefore, sense of responsibility, communication and relationship building are the keys to a successful leadership. They play a vital role in successfully leading the people.
The eminent leadership relationship can inspire people to become more than they might have been without the relationship.
Career in India is no more a distant mirage it is very much lucrative. It used to be all about medicine or engineering. Then there was the IT frenzy and the management mania. The corporate scene however is changing, rapidly. India is becoming the hotbed of never-before opportunities. Young people never had it so good.
Career in India is no more a distant mirage it is very much lucrative. It used to be all about medicine or engineering. Then there was the IT frenzy and the management mania. The corporate scene however is changing, rapidly. India is becoming the hotbed of never-before opportunities. Young people never had it so good. Gone are those days when the common refrain was explicit in ambitions of becoming either a doctor or an engineer. There was also a tendency to gravitate towards the Government jobs, since it was considered the most safest and secure option. If you are a student looking for a career, cut above the class- we at bharatwaves.com traced some of the career paths that are bursting with opportunity in India.
But before we go into these opportunities the students need to understand as to what career they have to choose, how to plan and embark upon the quest for a prospective career that suits their own strengths, skill and aptitude. Here are some important tips that could guide students and also their parents, through the crucial educational and career planning and decision phase.
The First Step
If you have just come out of your school and are ready to take the next big step to college, it is very important that you decide on your future educational and career pursuits. This is when, from a broader knowledge base you have to choose a specific course to pursue. This is also a takeoff point where you have to consolidate, improvise and hone your inherent and inculcated knowledge, skill and talent. This is the first step towards choosing your educational career, which also gives foundation for a career of your choice and self-evaluation.
Identify your strengths
If you are not conscious about your own strengths, self-evaluation could be real revelation and in fact helps you to understand yourself.
You may be weak in Science and strong in Mathematics or you are strong in both the subjects and maybe weak in both.
Your fascination is more for the creative arts and dramatics.
You are a good communicator and have come out with flying colors in elocution competitions.
You have a way with figure.
You have this strong probing and questioning mind with a yearning to unravel the mysteries of life, nature and the universe.
You have an irresistible temptation to understand all kinds of gadgets and machinery.
These are the criteria for identifying your strengths.
Choosing an Academic Option
After evaluating your strengths from the above criteria, you can make choice of the streams to be chosen at the intermediate level. You can also opt for vocational courses. Schooling is the stage where you conceptualize your future career pursuits based on your strengths and aptitudes. Intermediate is the stage of consolidation for gaining entry into Medicine, Engineering, Architecture, and Agriculture disciplines. At the Degree level you can choose, depending upon your aptitude and skills, from diverse disciplines ranging from computer sciences and astronomy to commerce, management, fine arts etc..
It is here that you hone your strengths, skills, which facilitate you to fully equip to take the next step to enter the area of super specialization i.e. Post Graduation. It is here that you have to plan a career.
There are scores of options in India now beginning with Information Technology, Biotechnology, Pharmacy, Advertisement, Hotel Management, Insurance, Fashion Designing, Architecture, Banking, Finance, Public Relation you also have Human Resources Development, Teaching and not to forget Business Process Outsourcing. All the above-mentioned sectors of career will be dealt in detail in the coming articles.
State-run Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) on Saturday said it has launched a close ended guaranteed addition money back plan Jeevan Varsha and expects healthy response.
“After the success of Jeevan Astha which closed recently, the corporation has launched another guaranteed product. This is a regular premium policy and money back plan,” LIC zonal manager (east) R R Dash said in Kolkata on Saturday.
The plan would be made available for sale only between 16 February and 31 March.
Dash said the corporation was aiming to collect Rs1,500 crore premium from this new policy.
“The corporation in east collected Rs1,190 crore from sale of 2.64 lakh policies from recently closed Jeevan Astha,” he said.
Jeevan varsha plan is available with two policy terms of 9 and 12 years. The policy will offer Rs65 per Rs1,000 sum assured and Rs70 for a 12 year term.
“For the first time survival benefit are payable every three years,” a LIC statement said.
LIC officials said though guaranteed addition in Jeevan Varsha is lower than Jeevan Astha, the internal rate of return will be similar to it taking into consideration all factors.
DHL expects India to become an important exporting country to Europe, with its growth driven largely by the apparels, engineering and manufactured goods sectors.
The company on Tuesday launched the ‘DHL Fashion and Apparel Center for Excellence´ based in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, to facilitate trade within the region, as well as overseas in Europe and North America.
The center will comprise of a core team of industry experts and be responsible for developing products and solutions and also provide consultancy services to customers.
The ‘DHL Fashion and Apparel Center for Excellence´ in India will comprise of a core team of industry professionals who will undergo extensive training with DHL fashion experts based in Europe and North America.
The location is strategic as Tirupur is known as the ‘Knitwear Capital’ of India and caters to some of the worlds best-known brands and retailers.
With in-depth understanding of the fashion and apparel logistics requirements in Europe and North America, the center will develop customised solutions at origin and enable customers to better manage the product flow.
The rupee dropped the most in three months on speculation the nation’s current-account deficit will swell as a global recession hurts exports.
The currency slid to a two-month low after the benchmark stock index, the Sensex, posted the biggest two-day slide in more than a month on concern the government’s plan to borrow record amounts will drive up borrowing costs for businesses and consumers.
Commerce minister Kamal Nath said on 13 February that overseas sales may increase 15% in the year ending 31 March, compared with an earlier target of 23%.
The rupee will continue to have a weak undertone because of the deterioration of the current-account balance, said Krishnamurthy Harihar, treasurer at Development Credit Bank Ltd in Mumbai. Exports are slowing because of the poor global economic climate and imports are growing.
The rupee fell 1.7% to 49.67 per dollar in Mumbai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the biggest decline since 12 November and the lowest closing level since 4 December.
The median estimate of 25 strategists and economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for the rupee to end the current quarter at 49.06.
The current-account deficit, a broad measure of trade flows, widened to a record $12.5 billion (Rs61,500 crore) in the last quarter, according to the central bank.
The Mumbai stock market index, the Sensex, fell 2.9%, extending Monday’s 3.4% loss.
Prime minister Manmohan Singh’s government is borrowing more to fund spending to revive Asia’s third largest economy. Growth may slow to 7.1% in the year ending 31 March, the weakest in six years, according to government estimates. Singh, bracing for a general election due by May, announced a 21% pay increase for about five million government employees and waived $17 billion of farm loans this fiscal year.
Spending will rise 6% to Rs9.53 trillion in the next fiscal year, foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament on Monday.
That will result in a budget gap of 5.5% of gross domestic product by 31 March 2010, compared with a 3% target, he said. Borrowing in the year starting 1 April will be Rs3.62 trillion.
“We expect the rupee to depreciate,” said K. Ramanathan, who helps manage the equivalent of $500 million at ING Investment Management in Mumbai. “Exports have dwindled. Capital flows are not positive. The only saviour is the foreign direct investment (FDI). We need to see if the good FDI number is sustainable going forward. We doubt so.”
Offshore contracts indicate traders bet the rupee will trade at 50.12 to the dollar in a month, compared with expectations for a rate of 49.00 on Monday. Forwards are agreements in which assets are bought and sold at current prices for future delivery. Non-deliverable contracts are settled in dollars rather than the local currency.
India’s overseas shipments fell 22% in January from a year earlier, declining for the fourth month in a row, according to trade secretary G.K. Pillai.
The slump may continue for several months, Pillai had said in a 28 January interview.
The Indian government is studying a proposal to allow foreign carriers to buy stakes in domestic airlines, the civil aviation minister said on Friday, to help companies facing a cash crunch. “The consultation process is still on and we can’t give a time line for it,” Praful Patel said.
Indian carriers can have foreign holdings of up to 49%, including portfolio and direct investment, but foreign airlines are not allowed to invest.
A global credit crunch has made fund raising difficult for Indian carriers and analysts have forecast them to collectively post losses of Rs80 billion ($1.6 billion) for the financial year ending in March.
“I don’t think at this point giving direct financial concessions or assistance is possible. Short of writing a cheque, anything which can be done in terms of policy measures, we will do,” Patel said.
Kingfisher Airlines, controlled by Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya, has requested the government to let foreign airlines to pick up stakes of up to 25% in Indian carriers.
“We would certainly want to help the industry,” Patel said, adding that allowing foreign direct investment by foreign carriers was an option under consideration of the government.
The minister also said the government would take action if there was evidence of a cartel, adding that watchdog Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission was investigating a fare increase by airlines last week.
“Cartelisation will not be allowed and we will come down heavily on it,” Patel said.
Civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had written to the airlines on the matter, and some of them had replied, he said. “If there is an issue DGCA will take appropriate action.”
Domestic carriers such as SpiceJet, Kingfisher Airlines, Jet Airways and Air-India have since rolled back the increase.
India is the most appealing investment region in Asia after China and Hong Kong because of its size and the general quality of its companies, according to a survey of investment managers by Thomson-Reuters Corp., a provider of financial data and information.
The firm asked 32 fund managers, who collectively manage about $1 trillion in equity assets, for their feedback on nine Asian regions, including Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey and Korea.
A fourth of these investment managers said India has more investment appeal than the other Asian regions, in variance with the trend of foreign portfolio disinvestments in the country in recent times.
Foreign fund mangers have pulled out some $6.5 billion net from Indian stocks after the mid-September collapse of American investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. that triggered alarm bells throughout the global financial system.
Others such as Fund tracker EPFR Global say investors are pulling out of safe havens such as US money-market funds and moving to emerging-market equities, high-yield bonds and US growth funds. While India’s growth prospects have been pared, the $1-trillion economy is still expected to grow by at least 5%, depending on various estimates.
About half the fund managers surveyed favoured China for its promising growth prospects and resources for fiscal stimulus. Hong Kong was the favourite of about 28% of the investment managers because of its stable capital structure and growth rates, the survey said.
Korea was the least favourite with as many as 35% of investors saying it was vulnerable to cyclicality and its over-reliance on exports.
As for the most appealing sectors in Asia, infrastructure emerged as the favourite pick for nearly 40% of the investment professionals, while a third plumped for consumer goods because of their ability to resist financial obstacles.
The 32 investment managers who participated in the survey were interviewed in December 2008 and January 2009, the agency said in an emailed statement.
Barcelona, Spain: Not content with offering calls, texts and Internet access, the mobile phone industry is convinced it can help save lives and offer health services to millions worldwide.
The idea of a phone serving as a “doctor in your pocket” has gained traction at the industry’s biggest trade show, the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona.
Among a slew of possible applications in poor countries, insiders stressed the potential for the mobile phone to remind people to get vaccinations, take medicine, or undergo HIV tests.
Doctors and nurses working at distance from hospitals or clinics can also use mobile connections to relay information on local patients or report disease outbreaks.
“When you consider that there are 2.2 billion mobile phones in the developing world, 305 million computers but only 11 million hospital beds you can instantly see how mobiles can creat effective solutions to address healthcare challenges,” said Terry Kramer, strategy director at British operator Vodafone.
The Rockefeller Foundation, the UN Foundation and The Vodafone Foundation announced the Mobile Health (mHealth) alliance this week, a partnership to advance the use of mobile technology in healthcare.
The UN and Vodafone also released a study, “mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World,” detailing 51 programmes in 26 countries.
The biggest adopters are India with 11 projects and South Africa and Uganda with six each.
“Innovative technology could reduce the pressure on public healthcare systems,” Daniel Carucci, vice-president of health at the UN Foundation, told delagates here.
In Uganda, for example, a multiple choice quiz about HIV/AIDS was sent to 15,000 subscribers on the Celtel network in a rural region, inviting them to answer questions and seek tests.
Users who completed the quiz were given free airtime and each time they answered a question wrong they received a message informing them of the correct response.
At the end of the quiz, a final SMS was sent to motivate participants to go for voluntary testing and counseling at a local health centre.
Slightly less than one in five responded and the number of people who went for testing at the centre increased from 1,000 to 1,400 during a six-week period, the report said.
In another example given in the report, health workers in the Amazonas state of Brazil began filling in surveys last October on their mobile phones on incidences of the mosquito-borne dengue fever.
“The devices are providing us with precision (and) the information we need to develop (effective responses) in the areas where the infection levels are high,” Luzia de Melo Mustafa, an Amazonas health agent is quoted as saying.
In Mexico, a medical hotline called MedicallHome was launched in 1998 to provide for people without access to a doctor. They can ring or send an SMS to ask for advice.
“Sixty percent of the time, you can replace the doctor,” Pedro Yrigoyen, co-founder of MedicallHome told delegates here, highlighting the fact that mobile phones outnumber fixed lines in Mexico by five-to-one.
“Public healthcare is overwhelmed... people wait for hours just to see the doctor.”
Elizabeth Boehm, an analyst at research group Forrester, sees the potential for mobile phones to help in public health information campaigns, but also points out limitations.
“One of the main challenges, in mobile health, is that people who are most in need of healthcare are usually more aged, so they don’t use the mobile or they’re not comfortable with it,” she told AFP.
In the developed world, researchers are also looking for ways to harness mobile technology.
In several countries, diabetes sufferers can measure their blood sugar level with a device connected to a mobile phone which sends the data to doctors to verify.
Other applications are seen for monitoring people with heart problems or Alzheimer’s disease.
In the United States, a service called “Foodphone” enables a user to take a photo of his or her food before a meal and send it to an expert who replies with information about the nutritional value.
Leading commercial notebook brand HP India on Thursday announced the launch of its business rugged ‘HP Elite Noteboook PC’ series designed to withstand dust, vibration, altitude, and high temperature.
The series comprising six business notebooks -- 2530p, 2730p, 6930p, 8530p, 8730w and 8530w -- encompassing the professional (p) and mobile workstation (w) class notebook series, brings alive minimalist design and maximum durability.
“HP has incorporated the right amalgam of hardware and software features to deliver dependable business notebook that delivers enhanced security and improve ease of use in a stylish new package,” HP country manager (Business Notebooks, Personal System Group) Anurag Arora said.
The shock-resistant hard drive and spill resistant keyboards helps protect confidential data residing in the notebooks against bumps, drops and spills. Frequent travellers can take the advantage of the optional ultra slim battery accessory that offers up to 15 combined hours of battery life.
HP Duracase is a brushed anodized aluminum exterior casing, combined with magnesium alloy chassis, which ensures the notebook continues to look new.
The series incorporates Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processors, solid state hard drives and the latest Qualcomm’s Gobi technology. The series is available within a price range of Rs75,000 to Rs1,00,000 plus taxes.
Mumbai: Their parents are in deep trouble, with respective governments owning significant stakes in many, courtesy bailout packages, and as a result, the local operations of foreign banks may have to curb growth aspirations, even consider fire sales, say analysts.
On Wednesday, The Economic Times reported, citing unnamed sources, that Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. (RBS) may consider selling its Indian assets.
RBS, now 70% owned by the UK government, announced in January that it had lost up to £28 billion (about Rs2 trillion today) in 2008.
The India chief executives of most foreign banks say capital is not a concern and that their growth will be fuelled by profits from the local operations that they will retain, but the numbers show that in the past year, their business here has slowed.
The growth, in terms of loans issued, for 30 foreign banks slowed to 16.9% in the year to 2 January, against 30.7% a year ago, according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data. And their year-on-year deposit growth shrunk to 12.1%, from 34.1%.
In contrast, the growth of public sector banks, in terms of loans issued, was 28.6%, up from 19.8%, and their deposit growth remained stable at 24.2%, RBI said.
In the year ended 31 March, foreign banks accounted for about 7.5% of banking assets in India. A slowdown in growth will see them lose market share, though all of them consider India as a growth market.
RBS led a consortium that acquired for €71 billion (Rs4.5 trillion today) Dutch bank ABN Amro Bank NV in 2007.
Citigroup Inc. reported a $8.29 billion (Rs40,372 crore today) loss in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2008. Deutsche Bank AG expects to make an estimated loss of €4.8 billion in Q4 of last year. The German bank’s Q4 and full year earnings will be released later this week.
Among other foreign banks operating in India, Bank of America Corp. has posted a net loss of $1.79 billion in Q4 of 2008, but ended the year with a profit of $4.01 billion.
HSBC Holdings Plc.’s profit before tax was down 28% in the first half of 2008. It will announce its annual earnings in the first week March. Standard Chartered Bank Plc., which made profits in the first half of 2008, will announce its annual earnings at around the same time.
Another British bank, Barclays Plc., has stuck to its forecast that its 2008 pretax profit will be “well ahead” of £5.3 billion, but international rating agency Moody’s Investors Service recently cut the long-term ratings on the lender by two notches on expectation that losses would rise due to credit related write-downs and rising impairments.
Anticipating pressure on capital, foreign banks have sought RBI’s permission to tap the local debt market for their so-called tier II capital, in line with Indian banks. Tier II capital consists of hybrid debt-equity instruments and long-term debt, while tier I is the core capital—a bank’s equity and reserves.
When you finally decided to start your own business, and you built your website for the purpose of developing your business, your goal was clear. You wanted to make lots of money and to be in business for a very long time.
Who can blame you? The thought of going to a job everyday for the rest of my life kills me too.
THE BASIC CHALLENGES OF INTERNET MARKETING
Links, links and more links.
Whether we are talking search engine results, ezines, articles, classified advertising, or other types of advertising, the link is the method used to bring your targeted customer on the Internet to your website. They click the link and visit your website to learn more.
Placing the link is often the simple part of the equation. The eyes seeing your link and the mouse clicking your link is the real challenge in this Internet promotion game.
See, it is possible through FFA link sites and the such to get your link posted on hundreds or thousands of pages on the Internet. But, just because your link appears on these pages does not mean that anyone will actually see your link.
The same applies to search engines. Your site might be listed in Google, AlltheWeb, AltaVista, ExactSeek, WhatUSeek, or dozens of other search engines. But just because your site is listed in their database, does not mean that the searcher will use the right keyword combination or click through the results deep enough to actually see your links.
The first challenge is to get your link seen. The second challenge is to get your link clicked.
You know as well as I do that not every link provides the proper enticement to get you to click the link. Why should you believe that everyone else is different from you? You shouldn't. The challenge for you is to properly entice your potential visitors to click your link and visit your website.
SECOND CHALLENGE, FIRST --- The Lure
Getting people to click your link is as simple as writing good copy.
Depending on the placement location of your actual ad copy, you may have only ten words, seventy words, or one thousand words to seduce people to visit your website.
Let me make one point very clear. Even if you have one thousand words to make your plea, the first ten words are always the most important words you will write.
Press releases should always have the information top-loaded --- you must place your most important information in the first couple of paragraphs.
With straight advertising copy, you should expend a great deal of time and thought to your first ten words. Those ten words are the ones that will draw people into your actual copy. Unless you can lure people into reading your copy, the value of the copy itself serves no useful purpose.
Just as it was with this article, you were drawn into the actual copy by the first ten words of the article, aka. the title of the article.
Note that I have used the words *entice*, *seduce* and *lure* in this article. These words are essential to writing good copy. You must be able to touch on the desires of the reader, to peak their interest, and then you must leave them wanting more. In order to get more of what they want, the reader must visit your website. Master this paragraph, and you will master the art of writing good copy.
FIRST CHALLENGE, SECOND --- Geting Seen
Let me say this again. FFA submissions are worthless. Don't waste your time. One of the most common deceptions on the web is the promise to have your site submitted to thousands of search engines. Most of these so-called search engines are actually FFA sites! Yahoo! only lists 262 search engines. At one time, I had read on About.com that there were fewer than 500 search engines. Beware the fox in sheep's clothing.
Many people utilize Search Engine Optimization for use with the real search engines. But, keep in mind, the search companies are always changing and tweaking the algorythms used to produce their results. You might use SEO now and get a top 10 ranking, but there is no assurance that your top listing will stand the long-term. I have often impressed upon people to do the basics well, and the results will fall into place just fine.
Sponsor ads on websites do very well when the site caters specifically to people in your target market.
Ezine publishing and advertising has always been touted as the best way of drawing traffic and sales to your website. There is a lot of truth in this statement.
IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT EZINE PUBLISHING AND ADVERTISING
As a publisher, the road is a long and hard one. It takes a lot of time, effort and hard work, in addition to a certain amount of effective advertising to build the ezine list. Of course, when it is done well, the rewards of ezine publishing can be phenomenal in the long-term.
As an advertiser, you can employ the publisher who has already done the hard work, to help you to promote your business.
For the creative marketer, writing free-reprint articles and getting them into the hands of ezine publishers can be an exceptional method of developing more long-term traffic and sales for their website. Publishers and webmasters are always looking for good, informative content to share with their readers. Some of these ezines are archived on the Internet giving rise to the long-term effectiveness of the articles that have been published.
For the creative marketer who is using free-reprint articles to promote their business, the resource box which appears at the end of every article, is the ad copy and link that will take the reader directly to the writer's site. The article itself often serves as the greatest lure to bring the reader to the writer's website. The article creates the desire to learn more about the writer, and the resource box tells the reader what to expect when they get there.
The neat thing about free-reprint articles is that between archived ezines and websites who publish your articles, it becomes fairly easy to get your copy and links on hundreds or thousands of websites, and those links will likely remain there for years to come.
If you are paying for link placement, you need to track your click through's (CTR's) from those links. If the links are not generating traffic for you, examine the reasons why. Maybe the reason is your copy and maybe it is the link location. Make the changes necessary to permit the link to pay for itself or get rid of it.
If you are writing articles for reprint, track those links also and look at their total success rate over the long-haul. Figure out which articles provided you the best results, and make a determination as to why. Once you know why a particular article or ad is successful, then you can make good decisions about how to get the best results from your future efforts.
ISO 9001:2000 is a standard for Quality Management System.
Today, when customer is the king and business environment dynamic, the organisation needs to have a well defined, robust and results oriented management system to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the market place.
Thus, ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System is the best tool available to increase productivity, streamline operations, increase customer satisfaction and improve profit margins through superior quality.
Benefit of ISO 9001:2000 Certification for Construction Industry?
When Indian economy is being opened up and with government of India deciding to allow foreign direct investment in the real estate development sector, importance of an international system certification like ISO 9001:2000 increases manifold for the Indian construction companies.
ISO 9001:2000 offers a variety of benefits to the construction industry. These benefits range from better resource planning to effective monitoring, and control of the project--from improved employee efficiency to reduced customer complaints, and from increased productivity to enhanced market image.
The ISO 9001: 2000 standard places greater emphasis on customer needs, expectations and improving business performance through delighting the customers.
ISO 9000 certification will drive continual improvement and contribute to: - Consistent and effective control of key processes and project management. - Promotion and standardization of good working practices - Provision of a vehicle for training new employees. - Effective management of risk and reducing crisis management. - More effective data analysis, generation of key performance metrics and continual improvement objectives. - Greater emphasis on communication, leadership, change management and adequacy of training - A planning and review process which ensures the system in place remains suitable, effective and capable of identifying new opportunities - Effective remote site management, accountability and contractual control - Promoting control of suppliers and subcontractors and the development of effective supply chain management - World-wide recognition and improved market image.
Steps for Achieving ISO 9001:2000 Certification :-
- Awareness training on ISO 9001 and quality management system for all the employees of the organization. - Gap Analysis to find out degree of gap between your existing system of working and requirement of ISO 9001 standard. - Development and finalization of quality policy and objectives to provide a growth roadmap for the organization. - Documentation design, development and implementation. - Monitoring of the new implemented system. - Internal audit training and conduct of the internal audit. - Management Review Meeting to assess effectiveness of the quality management system. - Shadow audit to ensure that the system is implemented as per the requirements of ISO 9001:2000 and the organization is ready for final certification audit. - Final Certification Audit and the organization are awarded ISO 9001:2000 certification.
Time Required for achieving ISO 9001:2000 certification :-
Time required for implementing and achieving ISO 9001:2000 certificate varies from company to company depending upon size of the organization, complexity of the processes and urgency of the certificate for the organization.
Normally, the project can be completed from 2 months to 4 months working at a normal pace. But this period can be reduced or increased as per the requirement of the organization.
Expenses incurred for achieving ISO 9001:2000 Certification :-
There is an absolute wrong perception amongst the organizations that achieving ISO 9001:2000 certification is very expensive, which is not so.
Investment made in ISO 9001:2000 implementation and certification is much lower than the benefits derived from it.
Expenses for achieving ISO 9001:2000 certificate vary from company to company depending on size of the organization, number of employees working and nature of operations the company is into.
On an average, ISO 9001:2000 implementation that includes cost for consultancy and certification will vary between Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 for a small to medium size organization.
Lakshy Management Consultant Pvt. Ltd. Offers consultancy and certification services to the construction industry for achieving ISO 9001:2000 certification.
"Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people, dispenser of India's destiny. The name rouses the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha, of the Dravid and Orissa and Bengal. It echoes in the hills of the Vindhyas and Himalayas, mingles in the music of the Yamuna and Ganga and is chanted by the waves of the Indian Sea. They pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise. The salvation of all people is in thy hand, thou dispenser of India's destiny. Victory, victory, victory to thee."
Nokia’s poise in the telecommunication market is second to none. Despite, so many mobile phone manufacturer, it still remains one of the most trusted names in the mobile phone industry. Its key features are innovation, durability, user friendliness and constant effort to excel. It is one of mobile phones, included in the business category. It operates on 2G GSM network technology. It is a user friendly, compact mobile phone device with a wide range of ultimate mobile phone features. The dimensions of the Nokia 3600 mobile phone are 103 by 44 by 20 mm and weigh just 97 g. the active TFT screen of the Nokia 3600 slide phone displays 65 K colours with 128 by 128 pixels resolution. With the pocket friendly contract deals, it makes mobile telephony a manageable affair. Let us get to know more about the Nokia 3600 T mobile phone device.
The Nokia 3600 slide mobile phone handset is enables with class 10 GPRS, EDGE, HSCSD and offers high speed data transfers. It comes with very many messaging options like SMS, MMS, instant messaging and Email. The VGA camera offers fine picture quality with 640 by 480 pixels resolution and can record video, as well. Apart from this, there is FM radio, MP3 and video player. It has WAP 2.0, which offers browsing capabilities to the mobile phone users. Then there is calendar, calculator, voice command JAVA and many more. Explore online sources for the most nominal rate of the Nokia 3600 mobile phone. Drawing comparisons among the various deals can help you to find the most ostensible rate of the Nokia 3600 contract mobile phone.
It was a holiday. But before I would enjoy the mood, I was disturbed by an inexplicable wave of thought.I could not make out what it was. Sudddenly I remembered Rahul, my bosom frend; also my philosopher and guide. I placed my problem in front of him and waited earnestly for his reaction. Instead of helping me out and counselling me on my situation he laughed at me and coolly added that it is nothing but a invitation from Nature; that I can feel but not hear! Invitation for what? You might be asking me. I mean the Inspiration from Nature which induces me to create literature. It is amazing, of course! I asked myself itf I can be a creative artist. When I was a student I used to wonder at the works of great writers. How do they manage to do it when I casnnot write a single sentence without making errors.
It was then that I really started nurturing the desire withing my mind, to becoem a writer. As I returened from my friend's place my mind was preoccupied with this thought. Images of great writers around the world flashed across my mind and I dreamt as if I join their band. Being bent upon becoming one the next question in my mind was what to write? - This is indeed a geneuine problem. I went to my teacher who taught me in the school. I expressed my desire to him for which he said that the subject chooice should be mine; that it cannot be suggested. However he hinted at referring to books. My next halt was at a liobrary where I could get books of all kinds. The library wore a more or lesds dilapitated look. I found books bedecked with dust; nbooks scattered here and there on the shelf. There were students napping on the pretext of referring to books; for some, books helped them for a good sleep. I went into a deep thought. This was the condition of the books written by great men who had spent sleepless nights to creat great written works. And I'm here to become one among them, without even the slightest idea of what to write. Once again Rahul came to my rescue. He agreed that writers and their works, whatever the subject or their value to be are least recognised. The first thing to be understood is that neither they fiind a writer to suit their taste and nedd; evcen if they found one they don't go deep into the idea presented on the book.
Questions start flooding myu brain. Donm't writers have any value in today's world? Has literature reached its end? Will my writings prove to be a waste? All mtheses made me shudder that creativity is now in danger. ..perhaps the reason might be that youngster find reading books to be a waste of time, while indeed they waste their time by idle talks. Creativity has almost reached the brink of its life in today's world. Will I then be a successful writer? Should I become a writer? Will there be any value for my ideas?
Thinking all these I went to bed hoping for another new day to begin.
Ayurveda originated in India long back in pre-vedic period. Rigveda and Atharva-veda ( 5000 years B.C.), the earliest documented ancient Indian knowledge have references on health and diseases.
Ayurved texts like Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita were documented about 1000 years B.C. The term Ayurveda means ‘Science of Life’. It deals elaborately with measures for healthful living during the entire span of life and its various phases. Besides, dealing with principles for maintenance of health, it has also developed a wide range of therapeutic measures to combat illness. These principles of positive health and therapeutic measures relate to physical, mental, social and spiritual welfare of human beings. Thus Ayurveda becomes one of the oldest systems of health care dealing with both the preventive and curative aspects of life in a most comprehensive way and presents a close similarity to the WHO’s concept of health propounded in the modern era. A perusal of its several classical treatises indicate presence of two schools of Physicians and Surgeons and eight specialities. These eight disciplines are generally called "Ashtanga Ayurveda" and are :- Internal Medicine(Kaya Chikitsa) Paediatrics(Kaumar Bhritya) Psychiatry( Bhoot Vidya) Otorhinolaryngology and Ophthalmology(Shalakya) Surgery( Shalya) Toxicology( Agad Tantra) Geriatrics(Rasayana) Eugenics and aphrodisiacs(Vajikarana) Compendia on these subjects like Charak Samihta, Sushruta Samhita etc. were written by the ancient scholars during B.C. period. These were used for teaching of Ayurveda in the ancient universities of Takshashila and Nalanda.
The Early Beginning During its early period, it was perhaps the only system of overall healthcare and medicine which served well the people in such crucial areas as health, sickness, life and death. It enjoyed the unquestioned patronage and support of the people and their rulers. This situation promoted maximally the growth of this system. Practically all the systematic ground work of laying down its basic concepts, principles and medicaments took place during this period of Indian history.
The Medieval Period Then followed a long period of medieval history marked by unsettled political conditions and several invasions from outside the country when Ayurveda faced utter neglect. Its growth was stunted, its teaching and training were stopped from being spread and its monopoly in practice or utilization was eroded greatly by the officially supported systems. Ayurveda barely survived because of its native roots and also because the official systems of medicine could not reach everywhere particularly in widely scattered and difficult rural areas.
The Present Era The political situation of the country was destined to change in favour of freedom from foreign rule. With the awakening of nationalism and movement for freedom the Indian cultural values and way of life (including health care and sickness cure systems) surfaced again. The patriotic zeal of the people, their leaders and benevolence of the rulers of princely States initiated the revival of Ayurvedic system of medicine even before the country got its freedom. In 1916, the Members of Imperial Legislative Councils pressed the Government to accept this ancient and indigenous system of Ayurveda for developing it on scientific basis and for increasing its usefulness. In 1920, the Indian National Congress demanded Government patronage for Ayurveda and Provincial Governments began to grant assistance. The State and Central Governments appointed several committees to suggest ways and means of rehabilitating this time tested system in the service of the people and promote its further growth following modern scientific parameters and methods. As a result, several States started schools and colleges for training of competent Ayurvedic practitioners with working knowledge of modern medicine.
After, the country became free in 1947, the movement for revival gained additional momentum. The first Health Ministers’ Conference resolved that Ayurveda should be developed and put to use for providing medicare to the people. In due course of time this system got official recognition and became a part of the National Health network of the country. In several ways, the official health policies, national plans and programmes accorded to it the same status as enjoyed by the dominant Allopathic system. At present the system is well set to re-orient itself to modern scientific parameters. Simultaneously, it is well poised for much greater, effective utilization so as to enable the country to reach its goals of Health for all and regulate population growth. In the present situation, Medical Scientists are researching Ayurveda remedies for lifestyle related diseases, degenerative and psychosomatic disorders.
Love is holding hands in the street. Marriage is holding arguments in the street. Love is cuddling on a sofa. Marriage is deciding on a sofa. Love is talking about having children. Marriage is talking about getting away from children. Love is going to bed early. Marriage is going to sleep early. Love is a romantic drive. Marriage is a tarmac drive. Love is losing your appetite. Marriage is losing your figure. Love is sweet nothing in the ear. Marriage is sweet nothing in the bank. Love is a flickering flame. Marriage is a flickering television. Love is 1 drink and 2 straws. Marriage is "Don't you think you've had enough!". In short, Love is blind, Marriage is an eye opener!!!
Link building can be defined as collection of links for your site from other web sites which helps you in getting direct traffic and improve search engine ranking of your web site.
Link building business has grown in many folds in last two and three year as search engine changing its algorithm and giving more importance to inbound links for search engine ranking.
In Indian there is tremendous growth in this business in last two year. Most of web solution provider has diversified there business into link building. Even SEO mainly into search engine optimization and position business now concentrate on link building job for major SEO in US and UK. There is tremendous increase in link building outsourcing business.
Why the link building business increasing in Indian. It has few strong reason firstly the qualified worker are available at low cost even with long working hours. The average cost per day or wage package per day for link builder staff is not more than 10 USD for 8 hours. Secondly increase in link building outsourcing from SEO in USA and UK because of low cost offered to customers. Thirdly Customer in USA still prefer to assign SEO job to established SEO in USA & UK and link building is one of process of SEO which established SEO get it done from India. Last but not the least link building prices at bottom low average for PR2 price is just 5 USD.
Lot of young generation studied in various streams i.e science, arts, management, civil, engineering and information technology are now joining link building jobs. Link building jobs are easy to learn and handle as compare to software development. The basis requirement is to have good communication skill and good English which average student in bachelor degree in India have. So there is lot of staff available for linking business at completive rate in India.
Link building business is either carried out by companies or freelancer in India. The companies registered under various laws provide secure and legal services as they have to take various approvals from Indian Government to carry on export business or receipt of money in foreign currency. Where as there is also another section freelancer operating from home without any legal approvals or permission to carry on link building business and offering low cost services which may some time result into loss of money. Registered link building firm as preferred in India.So registered link building outsourcing companies can provide better link hunters.
Future of link building in India is quite bright keeping in view the Indian Government incentive to software export industry, development of new IT Park, and increase in standard of education and off course big popularity of Google and other search engines. The discouraging factor for all It business is India is Indian rupee exchange rate against US dollar which is falling and rupee is getting more strong.
Outsourcing is the transference to third-parties, the performance of functions once administered in-house. Outsourcing is really two types of service: ITO - IT Outsourcing, involves a third party who is contracted to manage a particular application, including all related servers, networks, and software upgrades. BPO - Business Process Outsourcing, features a third party who manages the entire business process, such as accounting, procurement, or human resources.
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Below are the important top keyword relating to outsourcing which can be used by webmaster while making pay per click bids or search engine optimization of outsourcing site. The Keyword can be useful for SEO, PPC management groups and webmaster..
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Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia says the global financial crisis would slow down India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to just 6.5 per cent in the second half of this fiscal.
"India will see 6.5 per cent growth in second half of this fiscal. Growth has been targeted at seven per cent in financial year 2010 as the global economy will revive in the second half of 2010 on the back of various stimulus measures," Montek said in Mumbai on Saturday.
"Probably in the second half of the current fiscal year 08-09, the growth rate was 6.5 per cent or something like that. Many people think that the economy will get better in the second of the next fiscal year. so then maybe we can hope for atleast seven," he added.
Montek's statement indicates the government is scaling down its growth projections. The government had earlier said that the Indian economy will grow by 7.1 per cent this year, despite the global economic slowdown,
The GDP growth last year was nine per cent and the slowdown is largely due to a fall in industrial and agricultural sectors.
Agriculture grew by 2.6 per cent this year, compared to 4.9 per cent in the previous year while industrial growth nearly dropped to half slipping to 4.8 per cent from last year's 8.1 per cent.
Growth rate in the service sector have also fallen.
We live in a world where stress and an unbalanced materialistic focus make the quest for spirituality grow in urgency. The culture of India, its people, its infrastructure, and indeed its very soil, encourage and breed Spiritualism, allowing spiritual traditions to thrive, flourish and prosper. Ancient philosophies like sciences of yoga, ayurveda, vastu, (Indias counterpart of chinese Feng Shui) are all worldy recognised, practiced and respected. A recent study in the US showed that 20 million americans practiced some form of yoga on a regular basis. That shows the thirst for spiritual inquiry and holistic wellbeing westerners are seeking.
Indian culture is very different from any other culture in the world so a visit to this sacred land is promised to be filled with new experiences.
India is a "must" for the explorer of ancient cultures, sacred places and the Spiritual Traditions associated to each of these cultures of Ancient India. You may also want to visit some of the many ashrams in India.
Travelling in India is an adventure in itself and nothing like what you have experienced in any country.
When it comes to getting a job, who you know does matter. Let former co-workers, colleagues and mentors know you're job hunting and ask them to connect you with prospective employers.
Join professional associations; attend seminars and classes in your area of interest; or volunteer to expand your professional network and community.
Use the Internet to connect and create opportunity. Meet someone at a local seminar? Send them an email to thank them for the chat and ask them to let you know of relevant job openings. Better still, ask them to introduce you to people in their network that may have a job lead or could open doors at prospective employers.
Expand your social network and you expand your employment potential!
Even at the beginning of this century it was believed that the first Indian cities of any importance developed only during the first millennium B.C. The discovery of the immense ruins of two cities at Mohenjadaro and Harappa in 1925 necessitated the rewriting of early Indian history. The cities were located on the banks of the Indus and the Ravi respectively and flourished during the third millennium B.C. No mention of these cities ismade in the ancient literature, and their script has not been deciphered to this day.
The houses of these cities were solidly built of bricks and many were multi-storied and equipped with bathrooms and lavatories. The high quality of the pottery, along with hoards of gold and silver found at Indus Valley sites, suggests great the accumulation of great wealth. The city was amazingly well planned with broad main streets and good secondary streets. There were enormous granaries which served as store-houses for the entire community. Finds in excavations of the Mesopotamian civilization indicate that trade flourished between the two civilizations. What is interesting, though, is the total lack of public monuments, obelisks or statues. Moreover, there was no single house which served as a palace, which can be construed as meaning that there were no great inequities in that society, and that a certain democratic spirit prevailed. It appears that merchants might have been individually responsible for safeguarding their wealth from marauding brigands.
The Indus valley civilization belongs to the Bronze Age. Excellent tools made of bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) have been discovered. They also exported copper, along with peacocks, ivory and cotton textiles in return for silver and other commodities. However, the inhabitants of the various towns and cities in the Indus Valley were essentially farmers, and depended on the periodic floods to irrigate their land. The grain would be collected and distributed at the temple, of which the granary formed a part. Adjacent to the finest group of houses and raised on a 10 metre high platforms are the "citadel" mounds. The Mohenjadaro citadel was a many- roomed building built around a large rectangular tank. This seems to have been used for ritual baths.
The twin cities of Harappa and Mohenjadaro, which are the two most famous of the Indian Valley civilization sites, are now in Pakistan; both seem to have been built fully planned, and have identical layouts. Neither changed till near the end of the period. Though there was a long period of gradual decay towards 1750 B.C., the actual end was sudden, and remains unexplained though the evidence suggests that the Indus may have changed its course and floods might have followed. Some cataclysmic event, in any case, appears to have struck Harappa, and the cities and town were emptied of their inhabitants. At Mohenjadaro, the city was burnt and the inhabitants killed, and people who were far less advanced than the inhabitants of the Indus Valley seem to have taken possession of the towns. Thus it is possible to argue that the way was paved for the Aryans by the victory of barbarism over an older and more advanced urban culture.
In spite of both China and India being neighboring country, Chinese food and Indian food are quite different. The Chinese food is more popular in the United States than Indian food whereas Indian food is more popular in the United Kingdom. In India, like any other countries, there are many Chinese restaurants where Chinese food is served.
Beside these Chinese restaurants, there are many local restaurants serving Indian versions or inspiration of Chinese food. Even China and India do not share much culinary background together, there are many restaurants who serve Indian Chinese food. In this section, we would present you with some of the popular recipe of Indian Chinese foods.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) will meet on Monday in an attempt to end a dispute between the Indian board and an unofficial Twenty20 league.
The ICC president David Morgan confirmed he and chief executive Haroon Lorgat would meet Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian Cricket League (ICL) officials.
"I've long regarded it as a priority to bring together the BCCI and the owners of the ICL and I'm pleased to say we have fixed a meeting to take place in Johannesburg on Monday," he said in a statement.
"I hope we might be successful in coming to a mutually acceptable conclusion. I can't be certain that will be the case but I hope we can at least make a start in bringing about a settlement.
"I think this is significant because experience tells me that the best opportunity to solve a dispute is to have the parties face-to-face."
The ICL, bankrolled by one of India's largest media firms, launched the league following India's triumph in the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007.
It roped in overseas players, particularly from Pakistan and New Zealand and Bangladesh, but the BCCI, concerned it would undermine its position, refused to recognise it and persuaded other national boards to ban players who signed up.
The ICL petitioned the ruling body last year for recognition and subsequently held a meeting with the Indian board in October, which ended in failure.
Informal efforts to solve the issue have since continued. Domestic media reports say the global financial downturn could soften the Indian board's stance and accord some kind of recognition to the league.
It has been sometime since we saw Akshay Kumar in a leading man's role sans any traces of comedy. Agreed that he conquered the favour of the film lovers through his high-impact humour roles coupled with his brilliant comic timing starting his ascend to the top rank with 'Hera Pheri'
But it's high time the hunk did a role having the same effect as his wonderfully written character in Tanuja Chandra's 'Sangrash' which was highly appreciated.
The trashing of 'Chandni Chowk To China' by the critics as well as film lovers due to mundane and clichéd scenes seems to have happened for good. The debacle of the movie at the box office brought back the spotlight on some of the earlier works of Akshay like in 'Dhadkan', and all of his 'Khiladi' movies.
It is told that every downfall is in fact a path leading to an even bigger success than previously experienced. The time has not yet come to really decide whether the forthcoming 'Tasveer' canned by Nagesh Kukunoor is going to be a surprise winner.
Going by the released promo videos and the nucleus of the psychological thriller, there is a feeling that it is going to keep the viewers on the edge of the seats. In 'Tasveer' Akshay plays a man capable of unearthing others heavily guarded secrets. The supernatural thriller even after having Akshay in the lead role has not evoked any expectations or hype till now. This may be because the entire feel and content of the flick is totally different from all the previous movies done by Akshay.
The whole world knows that 'Tasveer' will be releasing in theatres on March 3 and still there s not much hype for 'Tasveer' as the promotional tactics have still not been flagged off. It seems that film buffs have forgotten that the action star is not only an expert in doing the most risky action sequences and tickling the funny bones, but also can do complete justice to a very somber character.
So folks get ready to watch Akshay in a new avtar as 'Tasveer' will be unveiled in a couple of weeks from now!
"The LTTE chief and his son are still living among the civilians in Puthukkudiriruppu and are engaged in making more and more terror plans to reverse the military victories," the state-run Sunday Observer reported quoting two Black Tigers, who were arrested last month.
It’s a war of propaganda. While the Lanka militia going after Tamil Tigers wanted to tell the world that the duo left the country, LTTE fought back by sacrificing two patsies.
The duo live in Tamil Nadu for many years. LTTE is getting ready for a massive counter offensive that Lanaka militia will be fighting.
Unfazed by Tamil Tigers'' military setbacks, LTTE chief V Prabhakaran is still in Sri Lanka and living among the civilians in rebel dominated Wanni to launch counter attacks against the army, two arrested Black Tigers have revealed.
"The LTTE chief and his son are still living among the civilians in Puthukkudiriruppu and are engaged in making more and more terror plans to reverse the military victories," the state-run Sunday Observer reported quoting two Black Tigers, who were arrested last month.
Singapore Airlines Ltd. said it plans to reduce flights and ground more than a dozen planes as people travel less amid the global economic slowdown.
The carrier said it will reduce capacity by 11 percent between April and March 2010 from the previous twelve months and decommission 17 aircraft after air cargo shipments fell 20 percent recently.
"The drop in air transportation has been sharp and swift," the company said in a statement Monday. "We have to face the reality that 2009 is going to be a very difficult year."
Singapore Airlines said last month that it planned to cut flights to the U.S., Europe and Asia as demand dried up. The airline said last week its October-December profit fell 43 percent as it flew 4.2 percent fewer passengers.
The airline said it met with worker unions Monday to discuss voluntary leave without pay, voluntary early retirement and shorter work months. Managers will cut their salaries first if necessary, the carrier said.
"We will contemplate retrenchment only as a last resort, but we do not have the luxury of time," the company said. "We need to agree and act on some measures quickly so that we can push back the point of retrenchment as far as possible."
Singapore is facing its worst recession since splitting from Malaysia in 1965 as exports plummet. Gross domestic product shrank a seasonally adjusted, annualized 16.9 percent in the fourth quarter, and the government expects GDP in 2009 to contract as much as 5 percent.
The Indian economy is expected to grow at least 7 per cent in the next financial year on the back of stimulus measures taken by the Government, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said today.
"The world economy expects a recovery in the second half of the next fiscal... In the coming year, India's growth will be at least seven per cent," Ahluwalia told reporters here on the sidelines of a seminar.
"Compared to other countries, we are doing reasonably well... We are growing below our potential... Many sectors are feeling the pain. Right now, the foremost challenge is to restore the growth momentum of the economy," he said.
In the second-half of the current fiscal, the economy would have grown at around 6.5 per cent and the growth is likely to be better next year, he added.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama ordered the U.S. Treasury on Saturday to implement tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans, fulfilling a campaign pledge he hopes will help jolt the economy out of recession.
The tax cuts are part of a $787 billion economic recovery plan passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress over Republican opposition. The aim is to put more money in the pockets of Americans and stimulate the economy by increasing consumer spending.
"I'm pleased to announce that this morning the Treasury Department began directing employers to reduce the amount of taxes withheld from paychecks, meaning that by April 1st, a typical family will begin taking home at least $65 more every month," Obama said in his weekly radio address.
"Never before in our history has a tax cut taken effect faster or gone to so many hard-working Americans," he said.
With tens of thousands of Americans losing their jobs in the midst of a global economic meltdown, Obama has said fixing the U.S. economy is his top priority. He has acknowledged that his success or failure in that will define his presidency.
Obama campaigned for the White House last year on a pledge to roll back his predecessor George W. Bush's tax cuts on the wealthy few and implement a cut for 95 percent of Americans.
His announcement came a day after one of his top economic advisers, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, said the global economy may be deteriorating even faster than during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Since being sworn into office on January 20, Obama has sought to reassure Americans that his government is tackling the economic crisis boldly and swiftly -- holding near-daily events to announce measures to stem mortgage foreclosures, prop up failing banks, rescue the ailing auto industry and drive his stimulus package through Congress.
The measures have received a mixed early reaction from gloomy financial markets uncertain whether they will succeed in arresting the downward economic spiral.
The package includes $282 billion in tax cuts -- the Republicans pushed unsuccessfully for more -- and $120 billion for public works projects including highway and rail projects.
'HAZARDOUS ROAD AHEAD'
"But as important as it was that I was able to sign this plan into law, it is only a first step on the road to economic recovery," Obama said in his address.
"None of this will be easy. The road ahead will be long and full of hazards. But I'm confident that we, as a people, have the strength and wisdom to carry out this strategy and overcome this crisis," he said.
His announcement on the tax cuts capped a week that saw him sign the stimulus package into law and announce new measures to help families facing foreclosure and those struggling to make mortgage payments.
He will step up the pace next week when he holds a summit at the White House on Monday to look at how to rein in the country's ballooning deficit and bring government spending under control as the economy starts to recover.