Saturday 29 June 2024

What is an ideal home?


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What is an ideal home?

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An ideal home is one that satisfies your needs and offers a comfortable ambience for you and your family. A home gives you an opportunity to relax and enjoy a lifestyle that you have always envisioned for yourself. A beautiful home plays with nuances to show a more profound sense of individuality.

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An ideal home is one that is cozy, comfortable, and homely. Every person wishes to go home to relax and chill after a hard day's work or outing. Home offers comfort, shelter, and peace, rejuvenating the mind and body. Have you noticed that when you enter some homes, it emits positive vibes, and in some homes, you feel not so comfortable or stuffy? As you enter an ideal home, you feel homely, comfortable, and happy. Why does this happen? Some call it good vasthu. Yes and no, there's more to it.

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What's an ideal home? a home with a pleasant entrance and welcoming doorway. It's the first sign of a good home; gives a warm and friendly feeling, and an attraction towards the place. Choose a house or construct one with spacious and well-ventilated rooms so that it does not cause congestion nor appear stuffy. The quality of the construction and materials used is another significant factor to consider. An ideal home is one that needs little maintenance and is sturdy enough to last a lifetime. Remember home is nurtured with love and care. This is the basic for an ideal home.

An ideal home is one that satisfies your needs and offers a comfortable ambience for you and your family. A home gives you an opportunity to relax and enjoy a lifestyle that you have always envisioned for yourself. A beautiful home plays with nuances to show a more profound sense of individuality. And one of the most important ways to create these nuances is through furniture, furnishing, arranging, and lighting. Good lighting has the power to transform a space and set the mood. It can make a room look bigger, brighter, and more inviting. These are the requisites of a happy home.

Characteristics of a good home: This helps in making the home friendly, comfortable, and brings in positive vibes. The home should be airy and well-ventilated. The design of the interiors should be ergonomic. The material used in construction should be of good quality. The height of the ceilings should be between 10-12 feet. Quality fittings for lighting and plumbing must be used. No need to spend extravagantly, spend keeping in mind utility, basic necessities, amenities, and comfort.

House styles everyone should know: Ideally, one should choose a style or theme you want the house to feel and appear in. This helps in planning and designing a home. Styles or themes like the contemporary style have become ubiquitous in architectural and interior design. Modern, Classical Revival, Countryside Homes, Japanese, Georgian, Victorian, Gothic Revival, and Mediterranean Style are some of the themes you can think of. To put it simply, an ideal home should have the following:

Should preferably have a sit out for visitors and people who come for a brief chat or to handover something or convey some message and leave in a brief time or even chat with technicians who come for some repair work. Here, light furniture like chairs for 2-4 persons and a small center table are ideal depending on the space available. This avoids just anyone entering and sitting in the living room.

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And a sit-in in the hall or living room, spacious and with well laid out furniture, a decent wooden sofa set with center table, artifacts, and show pieces, photo frames, wall hanging properly arranged and displayed add to the look. And with natural light all over the room, it's welcome. Indoor potted plants add to the d├ęcor. This is the place where you chat and entertain guests, relatives, and close friends, and spend quality time over tea or a drink. The arrangement of the hall tells about you and your family and the outlook you have about everything. A well arranged hall gives a positive vibe. Avoid dark colours and especially black, go for pastel shades for walls and furnishing. Always go for wooden furniture, its natural.

It's a plus point to have many windows, if possible big windows, to let in natural light and air. Ventilation makes the home airy. If the design, safety, and layout permit, French windows add to the ambience. It helps in air circulation, throwing out the stale air and letting fresh air in. A stuffy place is always uncomfortable. The windows should have decent curtains or drapes matching the walls and atmosphere of your home. It adds to the look. The electrical fittings too should match the colour of the wall to create a proper ambience.

Many people don't pay much attention to this space. This room should be well laid out to relax and eat comfortably. A dining area or a dining room with a table for four, six, or more persons depending on the space and your need is always good where one can chill and comfortably have your lunch and dinner with healthy conversation among the family members and guests. It's said that a family that eats together, stays together and lives a happy life.

This is another neglected area. A prayer area or a room is a place where family members can pray, meditate, and be one with God. Care should be taken to select the right spot, ideally facing east or west and where there's no constant movement. As per Vashu, the north-east is considered good.

The sleeping or resting area should emit peace and calmness. A master bedroom for the inmates with an attached toilet and a guest bedroom for guests who visit you and spend a few days with you. You can have an attached toilet or a common toilet here. If you have kids, then you need a bedroom for the kids. Double beds and a full-size mirror make the stay comfortable. And if required a cooler or air condition will help to beat the heat during summer.

A spacious kitchen with a neat gas stove or kitchen hob and chimney is ideal. Additionally, a water filter, an oven and refrigerator, and neat wall-mounted shelves for storage are essential. If you can manage to fit in a small table with stools for two or three, it will be great. You can have breakfast, snack, or a light meal here.

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Bathrooms with a commode, a shower with provision for hot and cold water, and a washbasin with a mirror make it compact. And a small standing shelf under the wash basin or on the wall helps to store toiletries and other items.

If space permits a small outdoor garden in open space or in the balcony with plants, flower plants and cactus, or even a small kitchen garden growing small essentials makes your home look cool and complete. 

As you might have heard, four walls don’t make a happy home, it’s the people living there make it a happy home. With the basic needs of a good home listed above, the family residing in it makes it an ideal home. I am sure you must have found the answer to the question of an ideal. Go ahead and rearrange your home to make it more inviting, attractive, and comfortable.

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Also read:

Guardians of the sky! 

The Facts of Dal Lake

Do you know about Sealand?



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Hunt for Saraswati

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Saraswati is a mythologized and deified ancient river first mentioned in the Rigveda and later in Vedic and post-Vedic texts. It played an important role in the Vedic religion, appearing in all but the fourth book of the Rigveda. The river Saraswati reflects such a fascinating history, supported by geological, hydrological, and archaeological evidence as well as the records of the most modern tools, such as remote sensing and GIS. With the aid of remote sensing through orbiting satellites, the mystery of the river is more or less solved.

In school, we studied geography about the great Indian rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati. The earlier NDA government wanted to trace and even revive the mythical and ancient rivers of India, the Saraswati; nearly 5000 years after they dried up and disappeared. Some others argue, Saraswati was not a myth and that scientific evidence is now available to prove its existence.

The discovery of a river system in the 1990s by French scientists and then by the Indian Space Research Centre’s Jodhpur remote sensing service center does match the attributes of the river as mentioned in the Vedas.

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Kadri Temple, Mangalore,
Karnataka
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Friday 31 May 2024

Guardians of the sky!


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Guardians of the sky!

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Below: Revamped Tejas Mk 1A, ready for takeoff

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The Indian Air Force, with highly trained crews, pilots, and access to modern military assets provides India with the capacity to provide rapid response, evacuation, search-and-rescue (SAR) operations, and delivery of relief supplies to affected areas via cargo aircraft. The IAF provided extensive assistance to relief operations during natural calamities such as the Gujarat cyclone in 1998, the tsunami in 2004, and the North India floods in 2013......

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The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its primary mission is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during armed conflicts. India salutes the mighty guardians of the sky who keep vigil throughout the day and night to keep our nation safe from any danger or enemy attack from the sky. Here are some interesting and fascinating facts about the Indian Air Force.

October 8 is celebrated as Air Force Day because on this day in 1932, India’s Air Force was officially raised as the supporting force of the British Royal Air Force. India’s first operational squadron came into being in April 1933. After India gained independence from United Kingdom in 1947, the name Royal Indian Air Force was kept, and served in the name of the Dominion of India. With the transition to a republic in 1950, the prefix Royal was removed.

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From 6 RAF-trained officers and 19 Havai Sepoys (air soldiers) back in 1933, IAF is ranked fourth largest operational air force in the world with a strength of around 1,70,000 personnel and over 1,500 aircraft. Only the USA, China, and Russia are ahead of India. Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force in the world. The motto of IAF is Nabha Sparsham Deeptam, which translates from Sanskrit, meaning Touch the sky with Glory. The motto has been taken from the 11th chapter of the Bhagvad Gita and the force tries to live up to this motto.

Air Marshal Padmavathy Bandopadhyay became the first Indian woman to be Air Marshal of the IAF and the second military servicewoman to rise to the three-star rank. She has written a book about her service years called The Lady in Blue: The Memoirs of India’s First Lady Air Marshal. Presently women are seen in different departments, including  women fighter pilots.

IAF landed the C-130J Super Hercules plane at Daulat Beg Oldie airstrip in Ladakh, which is the world’s highest airstrip. With this, IAF created the record for the highest landing by an aircraft of this class at a height of 16,614 feet above sea level.

IAF achieved another feat by airlifting a record number of around 20,000 civilians during Operation Rahat, during the floods in Uttarakhand in 2013. In a matter of 65 days, the IAF airlifted 23,892 civilians and carried 797.589 T of valuable relief material. Apart from this the air force has participated in rescue mission, helped in disasters and provided relief in remote areas.

The Tajik Connection: Gissar Military Aerodrome (GMA) is India’s first overseas base and is located west of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe. It is jointly managed by India and Tajikistan. The airbase was recently used by the IAF to evacuate Indian and Nepalese nationals from Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover of Kabul. This is a strategic air base for India.

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Since 1950, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus, and Operation Poomalai. The IAF's mission expands beyond engagement with hostile forces, with the IAF participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions. Here one should remember that Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon is the only IAF officer to receive the Param Vir Chakra, the highest military bravery award. He was posthumously awarded for the bravery and valor that he portrayed while defending the Srinagar Air Base during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. He was martyred at the age of 28.

The President of India holds the rank of Supreme Commander of the IAF. As of July 1, 2017, 1,70,576 personnel are in service with the Indian Air Force. The Chief of the Air Staff, an air chief marshal, is a four-star officer and is responsible for the bulk of operational command for the Air Force. There is never more than one serving ACM at any given time in the IAF. The rank of Marshal of the Air Force has been conferred by the President of India on one occasion in history, to Arjan Singh. On January 26, 2002, Singh became the first and, so far, only five-star rank officer of the IAF.

The Indian Air Force, with highly trained crews, pilots, and access to modern military assets provides India with the capacity to provide rapid response, evacuation, search-and-rescue (SAR) operations, and delivery of relief supplies to affected areas via cargo aircraft. The IAF provided extensive assistance to relief operations during natural calamities such as the Gujarat cyclone in 1998, the tsunami in 2004, and the North India floods in 2013. The IAF has also undertaken relief missions such as Operation Rainbow in Sri Lanka.

IAF bears the responsibility of safeguarding Indian airspace and thus furthering national interests in conjunction with the other branches of the armed forces. The IAF provides close air support to the Indian Army troops on the battlefield as well as strategic and tactical airlift capabilities. The Integrated Space Cell is operated by the Indian Armed Forces, the civilian Department of Space, and the Indian Space Research Organisation. By uniting the civilian run space exploration organizations and the military faculty under a single Integrated Space Cell, the military is able to efficiently benefit from innovation in the civilian sector of space exploration, and the civilian departments benefit as well.

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Revamped Tejas Mk 1A, ready for takeoff

Tejas is in the news again. First batch of 16 revamped Tejas to serve IAF. The Tejas Mark-1A Fighter Aircraft takes flight from the Hindustan Aeronautics facility in Bengaluru to protect the nation.

 With the Indian Air Force (IAF) having placed a Rs 48,000 crore order for 83 indigenous Tejas Mark 1A light combat aircraft (LCA) from Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) in February 2021, the Bengaluru-headquartered aerospace manufacturer is gearing up to deliver the first improved variant of the fighter this year.

With the first Tejas Mark 1A fighter having successfully test-flown in March, HAL’s chief says the first delivery will be completed "in the next few months." Thereafter, the production of 180 Tejas Mark 1A fighters and successive variants will generate the bulk of HAL’s income for the foreseeable future. Finally, we will get to see Tejas in action. A made-in-India fighter in the sky!

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Taj Mahal, Agra, India
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Saturday 18 May 2024

Do you know about Sealand?



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Do you know about Sealand?

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Below: Humour

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In 1975, Bates introduced a constitution for Sealand, followed by a national flag, a national anthem, a currency, passports, and an immigration stamp, all the features of an independent country.....

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I bet most of you have not heard about Sealand. It’s considered to be the tiniest country on Earth. The Principality of Sealand is a micronation on HM Fort Roughs, an offshore platform in the North Sea approximately 12 kilometers off the coast of Suffolk, England. Roughs Tower was occupied in February and August 1965 by Jack Moore and his daughter Jane, squatting on behalf of the pirate station Wonderful Radio London.

On 2 September 1967, the fort was occupied by Major Paddy Roy Bates, a British citizen who was the owner of a pirate radio, who ejected the competing group of pirate broadcasters. Bates intended to broadcast his pirate radio station, called Radio Essex, from the platform. Despite having the necessary equipment, he never began broadcasting. Bates declared the independence of Roughs Tower and deemed it the Principality of Sealand, an independent entity.

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In 1968, British workmen entered what Bates claimed to be his territorial waters to service a navigational buoy near the platform. Michael Bates (son of Paddy Roy Bates) tried to scare the workmen off by firing warning shots from the fort. As Bates was a British subject at the time, he was summoned to court in England on firearms charges following the incident. The court ruled that the platform (which Bates was now calling Sealand) was outside British territorial limits, being beyond the 3-nautical-mile (6 km) limit which then applied to the country's waters. As a result, the case could not proceed as it was not within British jurisdiction. Bates considers this Sealand's first instance of de facto recognition.

In 1975, Bates introduced a constitution for Sealand, followed by a national flag, a national anthem, a currency, passports, and an immigration stamp, all the features required for an independent country. Sealand, is the smallest nation in the world. It is located 12 kilometers off the eastern shore of Britain. As the name suggests, this platform nation is surrounded by water on all sides. Officially known as the Principality of Sealand, the nation is spread across 550 square meters and home to merely 27 people.

During World War II, the British government built several fortress islands in the North Sea to defend its coasts from German invaders, and among these islands was Roughs Tower, now known as the Principality of Sealand. In the early 1960s, a British army official, Roy Bates, established a radio station, situated offshore on an abandoned ex-naval fort named Knock John, in an attempt to bypass the broadcasting restrictions of the BBC. However, he was soon embroiled in a legal battle with the UK government that questioned the legality of the occupation of the fort. Bates lost the case against the British government, as it was ruled that Knock John fell under UK jurisdiction.

Learning from the ruling, Bates occupied Roughs Tower, which was identical to Knock John, but fell outside of the 3-mile limit to which the UK jurisdiction extended. He then declared it an independent state of Sealand. The statehood of the smallest nation has faced challenges posed by the UK forces, the Germans, and even the Dutch, but the small nation has emerged victorious in protecting itself each time. In 1975, Prince Roy proclaimed the Constitution of the Principality of Sealand. Gradually, other national treasures were also developed, like its national anthem, stamps, and gold and silver coins. Principality of Sealand passports were also produced and issued to many of those who contributed to the formation of the nation.

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Sealand claims to have achieved the status of being one of the most environmentally friendly countries on Earth. It states that 99.9% of its electricity is from renewables, using a combination of wind turbines and solar panels. It was more or less self-sufficient and they believed in being an independent principality. Bates and his associates have repelled incursions from vessels from rival pirate radio stations and the U.K.'s royal navy using firearms and petrol bombs. In 1987, the United Kingdom extended its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, which places the platform in British territory.

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 Goan Humour!

Oil found in Goa?

I went to meet my friend Gomes, whom we in fun would call - Go Patrao. He was enjoying his evening peg, feni as usual. He invited me to join. Didn't want to disappoint him, and agreed for a peg.

During our casual talk about mundane subjects, the talk veered to politics and rain. I told him, Goa is still riddled with potholes and some areas have been dug up since long. He immediately smiled and said, it's a sign of progress and prosperity.

I didn't understand, he quickly added, Goa will be richer than Dubai. You and me will be richer. Everyone knows it, how come you're not aware. I gave him a surprised look. He said, some time ago, an expert said, underneath Goa there's oil. So, you have holes and potholes with people desperately looking for the oil.

Another expert said, there's a lost civilization underneath. Hence all the digging to find them. All want to know who were those guys who taught Goans, take it easy and chalta hai!

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Malyalees are everywhere?

During Apollo Mission:

Just as Neil Armstrong landed on the surface of the moon. As he stepped out, he curiously looked around. He heard, 'chai, chai.'

He looked the other side. He heard,’tyre puncture repair.’

Armstrong turned around & asked, 'who r u?'

He replied, I from God's own country!

 'We from Kerala, we simbly came here!'

Armstrong was dejected, his dream of being the first man to step on moon was lost.

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