Body Worlds

Mind-bending, controversial, thought-provoking, insane … Body Worlds evokes a stream of descriptions, all of which fail to convey how truly unique this exhibition is.

Body Worlds

Part art exhibit, part anatomy lesson, Gunther von Hagens uses real human bodies, donated specifically for his exhibition, to intrigue and instruct museum visitors. The displays are as mesmerizing as they are challenging. Preserved using his self-developed plastination process, the entire collection is shockingly Continue…

3,18,38,619 People

Just a little bit of trivia, 3,18,38,619 is the population of Kerala as of the official 2001 census.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, what on earth is going on with Tony’s commas? What kind of number is that? Well, the above number highlights a rather bizarre aspect of Indian English. 3,18,38,619 is read three crore 18 lakh thirty-eight thousand six hundred and nineteen.

Native English speakers are often shocked to discover Continue…

A Different Kind of Ice Plant

When we left our campground early in the morning walking towards the next pass, we noticed all these bizarre ice formations.

There seems to be a connection between a particular plant (which, at this time of year, looks completely dry) and the icy curls growing around it. Continue…

Treasure Hunt

While hiking along the narrow paths through the deserted landscape of Spiti Valley, Amit, Tony and I became totally obsessed with all the bits and pieces of marine fossil littering the hiking trails, a testament to a prehistoric sea covering this area.

Of course, we each wanted to discover our own perfectly preserved fossil. After a while, we could not walk past a single black, egg-shaped rock without cracking it open to possibly reveal some extinct ocean-dwelling arthropod or mollusk.

I soon was in gold rush mode, constantly scanning the path for likely treasures. It was a compulsion I couldn’t resist. My eyes were so fixed to the ground that the landscape passed by without me noticing any of its beauty. But I wasn’t the only victim. Continue…

Big Bang Experiment Gone Wrong?

We’ve been following the news about the CERN particle collider and found this article in the Times of India. The article claims that a 16-year old girl died after swallowing insecticide because she was incredibly scared about what would happen to the world if the experiment went wrong.

Sounds like a cover-up to me. Every day there are articles in the news and newspapers about people killing themselves because of societal pressure – the cast differences, school problems, university exams, molestation in the workplace, and on and on and on.

It’s extremely sad that for many people this is the only way out of a hopeless situation. It’s all about not loosing face and not bringing shame over your family even if they, as in some cases, treat you like an animal.

Where it all Began – Kurukshetra

On our way north, our train stopped for a few minutes in Kurukshetra. Perhaps, you don’t immediately recognize the name, but you should. What seems to be a rather unspectacular rural Indian town at first glance is actually the birthplace of the entire universe. As if that weren’t enough, it is the place where good triumphed over evil. Now, that’s a claim to fame.

It appears that Brahma created man and the universe in Kurukshetra. (Don’t ask me how you create the universe in a particular town. It just is so.) Sometime later, Krishna delivered his epic Baghavad Ghita sermon advising Arjuna before he fought the epic Mahabharata battle here, ultimately triumphing over evil.

Hmmm, perhaps, we should have spent more than three minutes there.

Flora or Fauna?

Caterpillar Fungus (Cordyceps Sinensis)

“What are those?” I asked myself when I noticed the brown, shriveled-up things being sold in the market in Yushu. I’m always curious when it comes to food, and I was hoping to have discovered some exciting new fruit or vegetable. After talking to the local vendors, I quickly opted for the bananas instead – I was just not willing to pay $1,000 for a pound of dry, knobby things. Continue…