All that glitters is not as worth as gold

The yellow metal denoted as Au (Aurum in the periodic table) is commonly known as gold: admired and adorned by the ladies of all ages from many ages. Be it 24 carat, 22 carat or even 18 carat; gold in the form of jewelery or even a biscuit drags everyone's attention. The 916 KDM gold occupies the highest rank in this category. This metal being a good conductor is considered to be most stable, when compared to metals like silver, during all seasons. Hence, most preferred :)

In an experiment in Chemistry: Rutherford Model of an atom, gold foil was used to determine and prove the atomic structure namely: the nucleus, electrons and protons.

During the earlier times when Kings ruled, gold coins were in currency circulation. People invested on gold, silver and other stones like diamond, topaz, emerald, ruby etc... Gold is also considered a sign of wealth and most of them prefer buying it on auspicious days like Akshaya Tritiya.

Even fifty years ago, when there weren't any stock market or shares, electronic gadgets, cars and hi-fi bikes, or any insurance for that matter, elders always considered it to be a WISE investing on gold. And yes, why not? If you see the current situation: banking sector is hit, stock market and shares are down, the software MNC companies are laying off, real estate is down, even then the gold price remains as high as possible .i.e. Rs 13,410 ten grams today. Aren't our elders the witty people? ;)

Last thursday, my mother wanted to buy a gram or two of gold. When I enquired the gold rate from a goldsmith on the very same day, I was told Rs 1175 per gram. Today, when I check, it has reached Rs 13,410 for 10 grams :O

Though, we spend too much on the junk jewelery like an imitation of gold or earrings/bangles/chains made of jute or clay; nothing can beat when compared to gold jewelery.

Whenever we want to sell off old electronic devices like TV or even a laptop, it doesn't fetch us half the amount we invested on them. But it is a different case while selling off the gold (Be it an obsolete design or the latest design) which has been used for ages together.

What would you consider a wise investment? ;)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Blog addiction and subscription

I have been using Google Reader for a long time. In fact, I have been reading more and more of blogs: be it tech blogs, foodies, designers, humorous ....  Many of them are on my google reader and a few which I subscribed via email from Feedburner. To be frank, I am reading blogs than I read a book or magazines or even news paper.

Past a month, I've subscribed to so many RSS feeds that my google reader has lost the exact count and shows 1000 +. Due to the lack of time, I have been unable to read many. But I'm sure I can read them all one fine day :) Earlier, I had a blog roll on this blog. But now, its hard to fit in all the blogs in a single blog roll. Hence, I've chosen to stick to the google reader and feedburner :)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Love me for a reason, let the reason be love

I am tagged by Reema and Arvind. The tag is a LOVE tag. *wink*

Currently listening to "Jaane kyon log pyar karte hain" from Dil Chahta Hai.

RULE #1 People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs and replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

RULE #2 Tag 6 people to do this quiz and they cannot refuse. These people must state who they were tagged by and cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by continue this game by sending it to other people.

01. If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
      I will find someone better than him :))

02. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
      Apna Sapna Money Money ;)

03. Whose butt would you like to kick?
      Oh.. That's a long list.......

04. What would you do with a billion dollars?
      Of course, shopping, shopping and shopping till I'm tired of buying; and a big house to accomodate  those  stuffs :D

05. Will you fall in love with your best friend?
      Why not? 

06. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
      Both. It hurts if you don't love the person who loves you.

07. How long do you intend to wait for someone you really love?
      Till my last breath. Hope I meet him soon ;)

08. If the person you secretly like is already attached, what would you do?
      It makes things more easier ;)

09. If you like to act with someone, who will it be? Your gf/bf or an actress/actor?
      Rahul Bose :D

10. What takes you down the fastest?

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
      May be a pucca home maker cribbing that hubby doesn't help in households, tutoring kid/s :D

12. What’s your fear?
       Losing or hurting loved ones.  

13. What kind of persons do you think the persons who tagged you is are?
      Smart :)

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?
       Married and rich.

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
      See the time and say --"ooh, its already late."

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
      Yes, of course!

17. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, who would you pick?
      The person who loves me most.  

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
      I may forgive. It hurts. But only loved ones can take you for granted.

19. The one thing you can never forgive in love?
      Betrayal of trust.

20. List 6 people to tag:
  1.       Sudipta
  2.       Chakoli
  3.       Mampi
  4.       Maverick
  5.       Manoj
  6.       ~nm 
If anyone likes to write this tag, you are most welcome. Write it and leave a comment here to your post :)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Me cartooned


On 16th Sep, Tuesday, there were several stalls put at office. One of them was caricature. I was so amused seeing the cartoons by the caricaturist that I just couldn't stop from getting mine done. Meanwhile, I dragged my friend and in less than ten minutes, our cartoons were ready on the cardboard and laminated. :) We don't look exactly the same but it was fun seeing us-"cartooned".

Click on the image to view enlarged version

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Think before you copy

In my earlier post: Copyright Infringement, I had mentioned that my blog-post was stolen and published on his blog without my prior permission. The person has now apologized and removed the post from his blog.

Today morning, he commented:

Hi Manasa...... Sorry for the belated response.I apologize U for copying your article without your prior permission. But I have mentioned clearly that it is copied from your blog.... I copied your article just to share good things.. I believe sharing the good things is the purpose of any blog... I have deleted the article of you( Its a matter of Trust)....

Once again sorry for that....
Take Care..
To be clear:
  1. All that is available on the internet is not free. Respect the copyrights, patents and IPRs.
  2. When you want to use photo or article by someone, please respect the person's effort and ask if you can use it or not; then go ahead. 
  3. Sharing your views is different from sharing someone's work by stealing.
  4. If you cannot write on your own, then better be off. But never steal someone's work and take credit.
To the copyright holders:
If you find someone taking an advantage of your work without your knowledge, don't hesitate to fight back. It's your hard work.

Edited to add the most important note (comment by Sudipta):
5. The point is that one can quote a para or two at most to say something. Re-posting an entire post is copying -- if you like a post so much, write a small two liner post about that post and redirect people there -- you don't need to copy paste it all. That's copyright infringement.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Rock On-Jhankaar Beats

Rock On: The latest movie on the box office produced by Farhan Akhtar, who also plays the lead along with Arjun Rampal, Luke Kenny and Purab Kohli. This is the first time I am watching the person behind the screen-Farhan Akhtar: director of the hits like Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya, on screen.

The movie kicks of with Farhan's wife, Prachi Desai, unhappy that her husband isn't paying enough attention to her. She discovers the fact that her workaholic husband was a music freak a decade ago, during his college days had were a band of four- Farhan(Aditya Shroff) singer and lyricist, Arjun(Joe) as guitarist, Purab(Kedar Zaveri aka KD, Killer Drummer) as drummer and Luke(Rob Nancy) on keyboard. The band was called--Magik since the tunes played by Rob and lyrics by Aditya had a magical effect. The band had broken up long time. Her efforts not only re-unites the four buddies but also heals their relationship.

The story is not only about rock music, it is also about the bonding, the trust and faith among them. How the four of them re-unite for a concert and win, after a long span of ten years. Though, the music (by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) is completely rock with Hindi lyrics, the movie is definitely a worth watch. Two songs which I liked: title track-Rock On and the remix of Saason ki zaroorat hai jaise, sung during Dandiya. Needless to say, Farhan's curly hair with hair band and Arjun's long hair drove me crazy :D

This movie also reminds me of the famous Jhankaar Beats which was released in the year 2004. If you've seen Jhankaar Beats, you will notice the similarities and differences between the two movies.

If you liked Jhankaar Beats, I am sure, you will like Rock On, too :)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Sepia Leaves

It was by mistake, I bought this book: Sepia Leaves by Amandeep Sandhu, instead of Sepia Tones. Having bought this book, I decided to read it just for the sake that I had bought it.

The first fifty pages were damn boring and one may keep it aside. Later, the story picks up a steady phase and I just couldn't keep the book down.

A young 9 year old boy, Appu, grew up seeing his parents constant quarrel. His mother whom he calls-Mamman, had been suffering from the disease-Schizophrenia and thus, the root cause of causing problems and frequent fights with not only his father, whom he calls-Baba, and others too. The arrival of his surrogate mother make matters much worse. He had never seen his parents talking to each other with calmness or affection. The whole town of Rourkela having knew about his mother's disease and the entire family matter. His neighbours and the whole town pity this young boy. He could neither stand others pitying him nor calling his mother-pagli or mad.

When his mother's quarrelling due to her illness became intolerable, his father admits Appu to the hostel for studies and Appu mother at her father's place. Soon, Appu is ragged by his hostelmates and dislikes being there... and the trio unite as a family :)

Overrall, the book is a good read. Fights among parents affect a child's mindset tremendously. This book is all about a child who missed his mother's love due to her illness and fights. As a child, he had never seen their parents together in any circumstances. Though, they stayed together under a single roof, the distances were miles apart.

A child not only needs parents care; their love and affection; a child also wants the parents together as a family.

Cost: Rs 195/-
Publisher: Rupa and Co.
ISBN: 9788129113702

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Copyright Infringement

How do you feel when the content published on your blog is stolen by somebody without your prior permission? One of my blog post was stolen and published by this person on his blog without my permission.
Snap shot of post stolen
The comment made by me 
Though, I commented on the blog, I haven't received any response so far nor my blog-post has been removed. Hence, I'm publishing it here.

I hold the copyright of both the textual and non-textual contents published on my blog. I even have the Creative Commons License below which clearly mentions that Non-Commercial No Derivative Works. I guess, the terms like Copyrights, Patents and IPR have no weight-age in our country and valid only in US or European countries.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

The Secret Annex

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I was unable to step out of the house for four continuous days due to cold, cough and fever. Staying at home, lying down the whole day and eating the food served for patients. To get rid of this boredom, I completed reading: The Diary of a young girl by Anne Frank.

Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl is an autobiography of Anne Frank during the Nazi occupation in Netherlands. The Diary was originally written in Dutch and was later translated to several languages after her death. Anne was born on June 12, 1929, to Otto Frank(Anne's Father) and Edith Hollander(Anne's Mother) in Frankfurt, Germany. She had an elder sister: Margot. Anne was gifted a diary on her 12th birthday and she begins to record her life in her diary. Three to Four weeks later, the entire family of four go into hiding in Otto Frank(Anne's Father's) office building. Another family of three: van Pels also join them along with a dentist.

                                                                      Anne Frank

Anne thinks: "Paper has more patience than people", and hence she writes all her experiences in her diary, whom she addresses "Kitty", in the hidden building about the tension that prevailed of getting caught by the Nazi's, the fear of the typewriter getting stolen, listening to the radio which was their only source of media, the hope of being freed and going back to school someday..etc. Like any other teenager girl she too had differences and fights with her mother. Her style of writing is unique. Nobody can ever think a teenage girl can pen down such inner thoughts.

In her diary she brings the amount of suffering faced by the Jews during the Nazi rule. Thousands of people went into hiding due to the fear of being caught and put into camps or prison. Few helpers who brought in the necessary items like the vegetables, books, clothes for the survival of eight people in hiding were Miep Gies, Jan Gies, Johannes Kleiman, Victor Kugler, Bep Voskuijl and Johannes Hendrik Voskuijl(Bep's father).

The way to annex was behind the bookshelf

I was deeply moved after I completed reading her diary. Being at home for four continuos days was boring. But these 8 people spent two years in hiding, thir existence was unknown to the world. Even while using the lights, the restrooms, and while talking-they had to polite such that nobody else could figure out.

Anne's diary ends on August 1st, 1944. On August 4th, all the 8 people were arrested along with the helpers--Mr. Kugler and Mr. Kleiman were arrested. Miep preserved Anne's diary along with the few papers which Anne had edited

The 8 people in hiding were sent to the camps and the 2 helps were put to prison. Peter's father was unable to work in the camp and hence was sent to the gas chamber and killed. Anne's mother dies due to starvation. She had preserved the food given to her for her daughters. But she couldn't find them at all. Dur to the spread of epidemic disease, Margot and Anne die.

Otto Frank was the only survivor among the eight. After the people from the camps were released, he learns from Miep, that his wife and both his daughters were no more. Miep, who had preserved the diary with utmost care, hands over to Mr. Frank.

Otto Frank struggles to get his daughter's diary published. The hiding place was converted to Anne Frank House: a museum. Otta Frank dies in 1980.

The suffering caused by a bad dictator was intolerable. The disgusting ruler who made the innocent lives die in the Gas Chamber. History has a record of good monarchs who served selflessly and the dictators like Hitler, Mussuloni, under whom people suffered. During the World War, the worle world was shaken. Each and every nation suffered.

While I type this post, it brings tears in my eyes.

***Few excerpts from her diary which I couldn't stop from posting here.

Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I've never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I feel like writing, and I have an even greater need to get all kinds of things off my chest.

"Paper has more patience than people." I thought of this saying on one of those days when I was feeling a little depressed and was sitting at home with my chin in my hands, bored and listless, wondering whether to stay in or go out. I finally stayed where I was, brooding. Yes, paper does have more patience, and since I'm not planning to let anyone else read this stiff-backed notebook grandly referred to as a "diary," unless I should ever find a real friend, it probably won't make a bit of difference.

Now I'm back to the point that prompted me to keep a diary in the first place: I don't have a friend.

Let me put it more clearly, since no one will believe that a thirteen year-old girl is completely alone in the world. And I'm not. I have loving parents and a sixteen-year-old sister, and there are about thirty people I can call friends. I have a throng of admirers who can't keep their adoring eyes off me and who sometimes have to resort to using a broken pocket mirror to try and catch a glimpse of me in the classroom. I have a family, loving aunts and a good home. No, on the surface I seem to have everything, except my one true friend. All I think about when I'm with friends is having a good time. I can't bring myself to talk about anything but ordinary everyday things. We don't seem to be able to get any closer, and that's the problem. Maybe it's my fault that we don't confide in each other. In any case, that's just how things are, and unfortunately they're not liable to change. This is why I've started the diary.

To enhance the image of this long-awaited friend in my imagination, I don't want to jot down the facts in this diary the way most people would do, but I want the diary to be my friend, and I'm going to call this friend Kitty.

Since no one would understand a word of my stories to Kitty if I were to plunge right in, I'd better provide a brief sketch of my life, much as I dislike doing so.
My father, the most adorable father I've ever seen, didn't marry my mother until he was thirty-six and she was twenty-five. My sister Margot was born in Frankfurt am Main in Germany in 1926. I was born on June 12, 1929. I lived in Frankfurt until I was four. Because we're Jewish, my father immigrated to Holland in 1933, when he became the Managing Director of the Dutch Opekta Company, which manufactures products used in making jam. My mother, Edith Hollander Frank, went with him to Holland in September, while Margot and I were sent to Aachen to stay with our grandmother. Margot went to Holland in December, and I followed in February, when I was plunked down on the table as a birthday present for Margot.

I started right away at the Montessori nursery school. I stayed there until I was six, at which time I started first grade. In sixth grade my teacher was Mrs. Kuperus, the principal. At the end of the year we were both in tears as we said a heartbreaking farewell, because I'd been accepted at the Jewish Lyceum, where Margot also went to school.

Our lives were not without anxiety, since our relatives in Germany were suffering under Hitler's anti-Jewish laws. After the pogroms in 1938 my two uncles (my mother's brothers) fled Germany, finding safe refuge in North America. My elderly grandmother came to live with us. She was seventy-three years old at the time.

After May 1940 the good times were few and far between: first there was the war, then the capitulation and then the arrival of the Germans, which is when the trouble started for the Jews. Our freedom was severely restricted by a series of anti-Jewish decrees: Jews were required to wear a yellow star; Jews were required to turn in their bicycles; Jews were forbidden to use street-cars; Jews were forbidden to ride in cars, even their own; Jews were required to do their shopping between 3 and 5 P.M.; Jews were required to frequent only Jewish-owned barbershops and beauty parlors; Jews were forbidden to be out on the streets between 8 P.M. and 6 A.M.; Jews were forbidden to attend theaters, movies or any other forms of entertainment; Jews were forbidden to use swimming pools, tennis courts, hockey fields or any other athletic fields; Jews were forbidden to go rowing; Jews were forbidden to take part in any athletic activity in public; Jews were forbidden to sit in their gardens or those of their friends after 8 P.M.; Jews were forbidden to visit Christians in their homes; Jews were required to attend Jewish schools, etc. You couldn't do this and you couldn't do that, but life went on. Jacque always said to me, "I don't dare do anything anymore, 'cause I'm afraid it's not allowed."

In the summer of 1941 Grandma got sick and had to have an operation, so my birthday passed with little celebration. In the summer of 1940 we didn't do much for my birthday either, since the fighting had just ended in Holland. Grandma died in January 1942. No one knows how often I think of her and still love her. This birthday celebration in 1942 was intended to make up for the others, and Grandma's candle was lit along with the rest.

The four of us are still doing well, and that brings me to the present date of June 20, 1942, and the solemn dedication of my diary.
  The radio was the only source of information to them:

Last night the four of us went down to the private office and listened to England on the radio. I was so scared someone might hear it that I literally begged Father to take me back upstairs. Mother understood my anxiety and went with me. Whatever we do, we're very afraid the neighbors might hear or see us. We started off immediately the first day sewing curtains. Actually, you can hardly call them that, since they're nothing but scraps of fabric, varying greatly in shape, quality and pattern, which Father and I stitched crookedly together with unskilled fingers. These works of art were tacked to the windows, where they'll stay until we come out of hiding.
On March, 29th, 1944, Anne listens to the radio that the diaries and letters of the people would be col lected and publishes after war. Hence, she re-writes the diary adding comments on the separate sheets of papers wherever necessary.

Dearest Kitty,
Mr. Bolkestein, the Cabinet Minister, speaking on the Dutch broadcast from London, said that after the war a collection would be made of diaries and letters dealing with the war. Of course, everyone pounced on my diary. Just imagine how interesting it would be if I were to publish a novel about the Secret Annex. The title alone would make people think it was a detective story.

Seriously, though, ten years after the war people would find it very amusing to read how we lived, what we ate and what we talked about as Jews in hiding. Although I tell you a great deal about our lives, you still know very little about us. How frightened the women are during air raids; last Sunday, for instance, when 350 British planes dropped 550 tons of bombs , so that the houses trembled like blades of grass in the wind. Or how many epidemics are raging here.

You know nothing of these matters, and it would take me all day to describe everything down to the last detail. People have to stand in line to buy vegetables and all kinds of goods; doctors can't visit their patients, since their cars and bikes are stolen the moment they turn their backs; burglaries and thefts are so common that you ask yourself what's suddenly gotten into the Dutch to make them so light-fingered. Little children, eight- and eleven year- olds, smash the windows of people's homes and steal whatever they can lay their hands on. People don't dare leave
the house for even five minutes, since they're liable to come back and find all their belongings gone. Every day the newspapers are filled with reward notices for the return of stolen typewriters, Persian rugs, electric clocks, fabrics, etc. The electric clocks on street corners are dismantled, public phones are stripped down to the last wire.

Morale among the Dutch can't be good. Everyone's hungry; except for the ersatz coffee, a week's food ration doesn't last two days. The invasion's long in coming, the men are being shipped off to Germany, the children are sick or undernourished, everyone's wearing worn-out clothes and run-down shoes. A new sole costs 7.50 guil- ders on the black market. Besides, few shoemakers will do repairs, or if they do, you have to wait four months for your shoes, which might very well have disappeared in the meantime.
One good thing has come out of this: as the food gets worse and the decrees more severe, the acts of sabotage against the authorities are increasing. The ration board, the police, the officials-they're all either helping their fellow citizens or denouncing them and sending them off to prison. Fortunately, only a small percentage of Dutch people are on the wrong side.

Yours, Anne
She laments over the loss of her fountain pen with which she had written pages together.
Dearest Kitty,
I have a good title for this chapter: Ode to My Fountain Pen In Memoriam
My fountain pen was always one of my most prized possessions; I valued it highly, especially because it had a thick nib, and I can only write neatly with thick nibs. It has led a long and interesting fountain-pen life, which I will summarize below.

When I was nine, my fountain pen (packed in cotton) arrived as a "sample of no commercial value" all the way from Aachen, where my grandmother (the kindly donor) used to live. I lay in bed with the flu, while the February winds howled around the apartment house. This splendid fountain pen came in a red leather case, and I showed it to my girlfriends the first chance I got. Me, Anne Frank, the proud owner of a fountain pen.

When I was ten, I was allowed to take the pen to school, and to my surprise, the teacher even let me write with it. When I was eleven, however, my treasure had to be tucked away again, because my sixth-grade teacher allowed us to use only school pens and inkpots. When I was twelve, I started at the Jewish Lyceum and my fountain pen was given a new case in honor of the occasion. Not only did it have room for a pencil, it also had a zipper, which was much more impressive. When I was thirteen, the fountain pen went with me to the Annex, and together we've raced through countless diaries and compositions. I'd turned fourteen and my fountain pen was enjoying the last year of its life with me when . . .

It was just after five on Friday afternoon. I came out of my room and was about to sit down at the table to write when I was roughly pushed to one side to make room for Margot and Father, who wanted to practice their Latin. The fountain pen remained unused on the table, while its owner, sighing, was forced to make do with a very tiny corner of the table, where she began rubbing beans. That's how we remove mold from the beans and restore them to their original state. At a quarter to six I swept the floor, dumped the dirt into a news paper, along with the rotten beans, and tossed it into the stove. A giant flame shot up, and I thought it was wonderful that the stove, which had been gasping its last breath, had made such a miraculous recovery.

All was quiet again. The Latin students had left, and I sat down at the table to pick up where I'd left off. But no matter where I looked, my fountain pen was nowhere in sight. I took another look. Margot looked, Mother looked, Father looked, Dussel looked. But it had vanished.

"Maybe it fell in the stove, along with the beans!" Margot suggested.

"No, it couldn't have!" I replied.

But that evening, when my fountain pen still hadn't turned up, we all assumed it had been burned, especially because celluloid is highly inflammable. Our darkest fears were confirmed the next day when Father went to empty the stove and discovered the clip, used to fasten it to a pocket, among the ashes. Not a trace of the gold nib was left. "It must have melted into stone," Father conjectured.

I'm left with one consolation, small though it may be: my fountain pen was cremated, just as I would like to be someday!

Yours, Anne
The helpers who provided them all the essential day-to-day stuffs like vegetables, clothes, books... never ever revealed of their diffulties:
Dearest Kitty,
This morning I was wondering whether you ever felt like a cow, having to chew my stale news over and over again until you're so fed up with the monotonous fare that you yawn and secretly wish Anne would dig up something new.

Sorry, I know you find it dull as ditchwater, but imagine how sick and tired I am of hearing the same old stuff. If the talk at mealtime isn't about politics or good food, then Mother or Mrs. van D. trot out stories about their childhood that we've heard a thousand times before, or Dussel goes on and on about beautiful racehorses, his Charlotte's extensive wardrobe, leaky rowboats, boys who can swim at the age of four, aching muscles and frightened patients. It all boils down to this: whenever one of the eight of us opens his mouth, the other seven can finish the story for him. We know the punch line of every joke before it gets told, so that whoever's telling it is left to laugh alone. The various milkmen, grocers and butchers of the two former housewives have been praised to the skies or run into the ground so many times that in our imaginations they've grown as old as Methuselah; there's absolutely no chance of anything new or fresh being brought up for discussion in the Annex.

Still, all this might be bearable if only the grown-ups weren't in the habit of repeating the stories we hear from Mr. Kleiman, jan or Miep, each time embellishing them with a few details of their own, so that I often have to pinch my arm under the table to keep myself from setting the enthusiastic storyteller on the right track.

Little children, such as Anne, must never, ever correct their elders, no matter how many blunders they make or how often they let their imaginations run away with them. Jan and Mr. Kleiman love talking about people who have gone underground or into hiding; they know we're eager to hear about others in our situation and that we truly sympathize with the sorrow of those who've been arrested as well as the joy of prisoners who've been freed.

Going underground or into hiding has become as routine as the proverbial pipe and slippers that used to await the man of the house after a long day at work. There are many resistance groups, such as Free Netherlands, that forge identity cards, provide financial support to those in hiding, organize hiding places and find work for young Christians who go underground. It's amazing how much these generous and unselfish people do, risking their own lives to help and save others.

The best example of this is our own helpers, who have managed to pull us through so far and will hopefully bring us safely to shore, because otherwise they'll find themselves sharing the fate of those they're trying to protect. Never have they uttered a single word about the burden we must be, never have they complained that we're too much trouble. They come upstairs every day and talk to the men about business and politics, to the women about food and wartime difficulties and to the children about books and newspapers. They put on their most cheerful expressions, bring flowers and gifts for birthdays and holidays and are always ready to do what they can. That's something we should never forget; while others display their heroism in battle or against the Germans, our helpers prove theirs every day by their good spirits and affection.

The most bizarre stories are making the rounds, yet most of them are really true. For instance, Mr. Kleiman reported this week that a soccer match was held in the province of Gelderland; one team consisted entirely of men who had gone underground, and the other of eleven Military Policemen. In Hilversum, new registration cards were issued. In order for the many people in hiding to get their rations (you have to show this card to obtain your ration book or else pay 60 guilders a book), the registrar asked all those hiding in that district to pick up their cards at a specified hour, when the documents could be collected at a separate table.

All the same, you have to be careful that stunts like these don't reach the ears of the Germans.

Yours, Anne

Anne falls in love with Peter who lives with them in hiding. She finds a new friend in him.

Love, what is love? I don't think you can really put it into words. Love is understanding someone, caring for him, sharing his joys and sorrows. This eventually includes physical love. You've shared something, given something away and received something in return, whether or not you're married, whether or not you have a baby. Losing your virtue doesn't matter, as long as you know that for as long as you live you'll have someone at your side who understands you,
and who doesn't have to be shared with anyone else!
They also suffer the shortage of food and Anne calls it: Food Cycle.


My dearest Kitty,

Contrary to my usual practice, I'm going to write you a detailed description of the food situation, since it's become a matter of some difficulty and importance, not only here in the Annex, but in all of Holland, all of Europe and even beyond. In the twenty-one months we've lived here, we've been through a good many "food cycles" -- you'll understand what that means in a moment. A "food cycle" is a period in which we have only one particular dish or type of vegetable to eat.
For a long time we ate nothing but endive. Endive with sand, endive without sand, endive with mashed potatoes, endive-and-mashed potato casserole. Then it was spinach, followed by kohlrabi, salsify, cucumbers, tomatoes, sauerkraut, etc., etc.

It's not much fun when you have to eat, say, sauer- kraut every day for lunch and dinner, but when you're hungry enough, you do a lot of things. Now, however, we're going through the most delightful period so far, because there are no vegetables at all.

Our weekly lunch menu consists of brown beans, split-pea soup, potatoes with dumplings, potato kugel and, by the grace of God, turnip greens or rotten carrots, and then it's back to brown beans. Because of the bread shortage, we eat potatoes at every meal, starting with breakfast, but then we fry them a little. To make soup we use brown beans, navy beans, potatoes, packages of vege- table soup, packages of chicken soup and packages of bean soup. There are brown beans in everything, including the bread. For dinner we always have potatoes with imitation gravy and -- thank goodness we've still got it -- beet salad. I must tell you about the dumplings. We make them with government-issue flour, water and yeast. They're so gluey and tough that it feels as if you had rocks in your stomach, but oh well!

The high point is our weekly slice of liverwurst, and the jam on our unbuttered bread. But we're still alive, and much of the time it still tastes good too!
Like any other girl, she, too, has dreams:
I'm my best and harshest critic. I know what's good and what isn't. Unless you write yourself, you can't know how wonderful it is; I always used to bemoan the fact that I couldn't draw, but now I'm overjoyed that at least I can write. And if I don't have the talent to write books or
newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can't imagine having to live like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that's inside me!

When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?

I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.
In their annex, there were two cats which roamed around all the time and kept the rats away. Thus, safeguarding their belongings. One of the cat: Boche, goes missing and was never found again.

Have I told you that our Boche has disappeared? We haven't seen hide nor hair of her since last Thursday. She's probably already in cat heaven, while some animal lover has turned her into a tasty dish. Perhaps some girl who can afford it will be wearing a cap made of Boche's fur. Peter is heartbroken.
Her take on women's position:
TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 1944
One of many questions that have often bothered me is why women have been, and still are, thought to be so inferior to men. It's easy to say it's unfair, but that's not enough for me; I'd really like to know the reason for this great injustice!

Men presumably dominated women from the very beginning because of their greater physical strength; it's men who earn a living, beget children and do as they please. . . Until recently, women silently went along willing this, which was stupid, since the longer it's kept up, the more deeply entrenched it becomes. Fortunately, education, work and progress have opened  women's eyes. In many countries they've been granted equal rights; many people, mainly women, but also men, now realize how wrong it was to tolerate this state of affairs for so long. Modern women want the right to be completely independent!

But that's not all. Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts ofthe world, so why shouldn't women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?

In the book Soldiers on the Home Front I was greatly struck by the fact that in childbirth alone, women commonly suffer more pain, illness and misery than any war hero ever does. And what's her reward for enduring all that pain? She gets pushed aside when she's disfigured by birth, her
children soon leave, her beauty is gone. Women, who struggle and suffer pain to ensure the con- tinuation of the human race, make much tougher and more courageous soldiers than all those big-mouthed freedom-fighting heroes put together!

I don't mean to imply that women should stop having children; on the contrary, nature intended them to, and that's the way it should be. What I condemn are our system of values and the men who don't acknowledge how great, difficult, but ultimately beautiful women's share in society
I agree completely with Paul de Kruif, the author of this book, when he says that men must learn that birth is no longer thought of as inevitable and unavoidable in those parts of the world we consider civthzed. It's easy for men to talk -- they don't and never will have to bear the woes that women do!

I believe that in the course of the next century the notion that it's a woman's duty to have children will change and make way for the respect and admiration of all women, who bear their burdens without complaint or a lot of pompous words!

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Google Chrome

Google, the god, sent one more messenger: Google Chrome. For people like me, who always relied on Google for my engineering projects and even for the smallest source of information, I have trusted and worshiped Google more than God :D

Google officially launched the web browser on 2nd Sep. I have downloaded the browser and exploring its features. Like all other google applications, Chrome is also in beta version.

Snapshot of Google browser
For the past few years, I have been using Firefox, another open source browser, which provides the needful and most preferred compared to Internet Explorer, Opera. Though, I downloaded Safari from Apple, AOL, I vote for Firefox when compared to the features it provides. Flock is another browser which promised to provide such features, but nothing can beat Firefox.

The Chrome browser does not support the Adobe Flashplayer and lacks many features, hence in beta stage. Add-ons are not yet available.

It can be downloaded from here . Google developers have shared their experiences on their blog. Also, try to access gmail on Chrome.

Scott McCloud, the famous cartoonist, came up with comics on this. Read the comics here and here

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


The schedule was so hectic that I did not browse for three long days. I have loads to write and read all your blogs and comment :)

And how do you like this footer at the end of the post?

Secret Ingredient

I watched the movie: Kung Fu Panda today. The movie is an animation with perfection. The story is all about a panda: Po, dreaming of being a Kung Fu warrior by defeating Tai Lung(another Kung Fu warrior). Po is an expert noodle cook like his father.

One fine day, Po is selected as  Dragon Warrior and his journey begins in learning Kung Fu. His master, Shifu, dislikes Po like the other students and want Po to quit. But, Po doesn't give up so easily. He is constantly bullied as fat bellied, stinking...

Shifu's master dies and as a new master, he is left with no other choice rather than supporting the Kung Fu fanatic, Po, as the successor. Shifu teaches his best to him. Having learnt a good deal of the martial art, Dragon scroll is handed to Po in which he finds his reflection and nothing as he expects. Disheartened Po, now comes to his father. His father reveals that there was no special ingredient added in the noodle soup. It was the way he presumed that made it special. Having realized the ultimate truth, Po runs to rescue his master and defeats Tai Lung(a well learnt Kung Fu warrior who once loast the chance of being Dragon Warrior).

The ending was awesome. Po holds his enemy's paws just the way his master-Shifu once held his paws threatening him to quit or else he would see the end. When Tai Lung, the tiger, asks him if Shifu taught this? Po says: "No". Likewise, there are several things which wouldn't have been taught by our teachers at school or parents at home. Few are learnt only by careful observation and analysis. Just the way few students score high marks in the toughest question papers during exams. Many answer to the direct quests but correct answer to the trickiest question make them unique which others wouldn't have answered or even tried to just because they weren't taught in the class.

Apart from being portrayed as an animation movie, it has a moral, too :)