Nature has been a perennial source of inspiration for many! Artists, architects, designers imitate the design patterns of nature; poets describe its beauty and scientists try to unravel the mysteries of nature. A deep look into nature unlocks imagination and inspires creativity.
Nature paints the most wonderful pictures that can take your breath away and engulf you in their majestic beauty.One can not stop marveling at the designs of nature. The spiral of the sea- shells, the swirl of rose petals, and the arrangement of sunflower seeds, air vortex created by the flapping of wings of insects, the galaxy spirals and even the eye of a hurricane follow a geometrical pattern that is represented by the Fibonacci series.
Here is a collection of quotes that highlight the connection between nature and creativity and the creative inspiration that you can draw from Nature.
What is Art, monsieur, but Nature concentrated? ~ Honore de Balzac
There is no better designer than nature. ~ Alexander McQueen
Some of nature’s most exquisite handiwork is on a miniature scale, as anyone knows who has applied a magnifying glass to a snowflake. ~ Rachel Carson
It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Nature is a powerful teacher
Nature teaches us many valuable lessons of life. As we discover our connection with nature, it renews our senses, rejuvenates and revitalizes us. Nature never hurries and yet it accomplishes everything.
Through its repeated patterns, nature reminds us of the things that remain constant over time, while also teaching us to be optimistic and to remain open to the unknown.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~ Albert Einstein
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~ John Burroughs
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~ John Muir
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. ~ Rachel Carson
Trees are the Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. ~ Rabindranath Tagore
I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life. ~ Mirza Ghalib
An excerpt from Delhi : A Novel, by Khushwant Singh.
Delhi, a city with a rapidly changing skyline, has been a part of India’s ancient history.
Indraprastha, the legendary capital of Pandavas, is described in the epic Mahabharatand it is believed to have existed where the present day New Delhi is.
The city that has witnessed the rule of many dynasties over centuries, has been plundered, destroyed and rebuilt several times.
Hindu kings from the dynasties of the Maurya, Kushan, Gupta, Tomar Rajputs and Chauhan Rajputs ruled Delhi till the 12th century. The end of the 12th century saw the onset of the Delhi Sultanate, and marked the beginning of the rule of Islamic rulers including Ghori, rulers from the Mamluk (Slave) dynasty, Khiljis, Tughlaks, Lodi, and later on the Mughals.
Delhi passed into the direct control of British Government in 1857 after the First War of Indian Independence, and became the capital of British India in 1911.
Here is a collection of Vintage Pictures of Delhi from the 19th century. The pictures are mostly of the architectural structures of the British and Mughal period, most of which exist till date.
New Delhi, designed by Edwin Lutyen and some other brilliant architects such as Robert Tor Russell, E. Montague Thomas, Herbert Baker, did not exist in the 19th century and was inaugurated in 1931.
VIEW OF QUTB – DELHI , ca 1850
Watercolours, painted on ivory plaques with the views of Qutb, Delhii by unknown artist ca.1850
Qutb Minar, the world’s tallest brick minaret at 72.5 metres, was built in 1193 by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi. Qutab-ud-din Aibak commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey.
Anger is that powerful internal force that blows out the light of reason. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Anger, we know, is a powerful emotion that is difficult to repress and finds expression in the most destructive ways.
At some point or the other in your life, you would have witnessed rampant incidences of violence on the street, in the neighborhood, at office, or maybe even at home. There could be occasions when you would have reverted to aggressive behavior, wanting to teach someone a lesson, or to show that who is the boss.
All such incidents are a direct consequence of our unbridled expression of anger in a destructive manner.
However, when channelized in a constructive manner, anger can produce incredible results. Many mass movements, freedom struggles, civil rights movements etc. were founded on anger against injustice.
Here are some quotes that urge us not to be destructive in the expression of our anger.
Anyone can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not within everyone’s power and that is not easy. ~ Aristotle
“Frugal innovation is about creating advantage out of constraint.”
~ Kirsten Bound, Head International Innovation Research, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta).
The ‘Grassroot to Global’ (G2G) approach for innovation, propagated by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) of India, is set to change the way the world looks at the creativity and innovations at grassroots.
It subscribes to the concept of ‘frugal innovation‘, which involves use of local resources to come up with affordable, functional products that provide value for money and good user experience. The G2G model is developed to take creativity and knowledge that exists at the grassroots level and transform it into valuable innovation for the global marketplace.
The origin of the term ‘frugal engineering‘ is credited to Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 2006, who coined the term after he was impressed by the ability of Indian engineers’ to innovate cost-effectively and quickly under severe resource constraints.
With businesses wanting to “do more with less resources”, firms such as Renault-Nissan, Siemens, and Unilever have embraced the concept of frugal innovation.
Festivals to commemorate ancient maritime traditions in South East Asia
Baliyatra, meaning a ‘Voyage to Bali‘, is a festival celebrated every year in coastal Orissa on Karthika purnima, the Full moon day of October-November to commemorate Orissa’s glorious maritime history.
Masakapan Ke Tukad, is a Balinese festival where toy boats are floated in memory of maritime ancestors.
Loy Brah Prahdip or LoyKrathong, meaning ‘the floating of lamps at night’, is a festival of Thailand that is celebrated in December (twelfth month of Kartika). During this festival, little rafts, made of plantain stems and decorated with flags, paper umbrellas, incense sticks, and lighted candles, with offerings of food and flowers, are set adrift on the river by people living near its banks.
Three festivals, with similar celebrations consisting of ritualistic floating of toy boats, are celebrated in three different countries, in memory of ancient mariners, who undertook trans-oceanic voyages from Orissa to South East Asian countries including Indonesia and Thailand.
Past cultural and commercial connections between Orissa and South East Asia
Amitabh Bachchan had declared in his characteristic style in ‘Mard’, one of the memorable Bollywood blockbusters from the 1980s. Translated in English it means ‘A real man does not feel pain’.
This stereotypical projection of men in India, has time and again been exemplified by the society, perpetrated through the movies, and reinforced by many parents while raising their children.
In a thought provoking show ‘When Masculinity Harms Men’ in Satyamev Jayate’, Aamir Khan took a step towards busting the myth of manliness that exists in the Indian society.
Here is what Mr Bachchan said on the show.
To forcefully instill values in the male child to constantly act like a man or to behave violently is wrong. ~Amitabh Bachchan
A far cry from his iconic dialogue!
Power, aggression, control are classified as ‘masculine’ traits, while caring, sharing, expressing emotions or crying are the typically seen as ‘feminine’ traits.
These notions are instilled in the mind of male children right from their childhood. Any small boy, who cries, is consoled saying he shouldn’t cry like a girl, since he is physically stronger. Mothers urge their sons to beat up other children rather than get bullied or beaten up. The image of a ‘Macho‘ man endowed with enormous physical strength, gets so imprinted in the mind of male children that it often leads them to believe that “masculinity“ is about demonstration of power rather than about human consideration or sensitivity. As such, they value aggression more than reason, and at times they tend to believe that they will be more admired and can get away with whatever they do if they are more aggressive or violent.
has been a long standing adage for airlines marketers.
People do not fly the plane just for the sake of it, they take a plane to reach a destination. The adage holds true for hotels as much as for airlines.
So far, digital marketing by hotels in India has been all about their properties and services; destination finds little mention in digital marketing strategy as of now.
This, however, is likely to change !
As tourism industry matures in India, destination should become the centerpiece of the strategy for hotels that want to push up their direct sales. In future, mobile concierge services may emerge as an essential component of the destination centric digital strategy for hotels.
The Gateway Hotels (a brand of the Taj group of hotels), for instance, has taken a lead over other hotel chains by adopting a mobile concierge for their hotel in Agra.
Smart devices are now powerful machines that can be harnessed to deliver traveller experience that is not possible on the web. An interactive mobile concierge with engaging destination information can be a dynamic customer engagement tool having the longest interface with the customer. Using a mobile concierge, a hotel can engage the customer right from the time of booking to much after their stay.
If you are a wired traveller with a mobile concierge, here’s how hassle- free, travel will be you.
Tata Power claims to charge lowest tariff in Mumbai
The above article appeared in The Economic Times, on 27th Jan, 2014. Here is an excerpt:
As the demand to reduce power tariff is gaining momentum in Maharashtra, private utility Tata Power today claimed that its tariff is the lowest in the metropolis.
The company, which has a residential consumer base of 4.5 lakh in the city, charges a tariff of Rs 2.13 per unit from customers consuming power up to 100 units with a fixed charge of Rs 40 and Rs 3.62 per unit and fixed charge of Rs 75 for up to 300 units, the Tata Power Company (TPC) said in a statement issued here today.
It said that while Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) charges an average Rs 5.68 per unit within 250 units, BEST charges Rs 4.52.
Shortly after, Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) also claimed that their customers can expect power bills to drop by 22% in the suburbs in the next 2 years.
‘A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time.’ is how Rabindranath Tagore described the Taj Mahal. The beautiful mausoleum on the bank of river Yamuna in Agra, made by emperor Shah Jahan, in 1631, in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal has a dreamlike quality, and showcases the art and culture of the Mughal times.
Though much has been written about the splendor of Taj Mahal on moonlit nights, tourists no longer have the privilege to visit the Taj Mahal at night.
Even so, early in the morning, the Taj Mahal, with its shadow on water, almost appears like a floating pearl and presents an intriguing picture.
The opulence and grandeur of the marble wonder is so mesmerizing that it is difficult to take your eyes off it. The finesse of the carvings on marble is captivating, as are the symmetrical arches.
Due to the timelessness of its beauty and its ethereal quality, nearly four centuries after it was constructed, Taj Mahal still attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world, thus bringing up a relevant question:
What is the Economic Value of Taj Mahal?
It is said that it took 22 years and more than 20000 workmen to build the Taj Mahal at a cost of Rs 3.2 cr approxiately. The cost of gold, in that period, was Rs 1.25 /gm approx (derived from Rs 15/tola, where 1 tola = 12 gms), as compared to Rs 2700/ gm today. That amounts to an increase in the price of gold by 2160 times from the mid 17th century upto the present times.
Using the rise in the price of gold as a yardstick, the bare cost of construction of the monument would be minimum of 2160 times the original cost of construction.
However, it is not really meaningful to calculate the value of Taj Mahal only in terms of its cost of construction or cost of building materials, using an inflation scale of 2160, as one must take into account the massive heritage value associated with the monument.
A more pertinent means of valuing the monument would be to answer the question –
What is the revenue generated due to the existence of the monument, or
What would be the loss of national revenue if the monument not existed in first place?
Though measuring the economic value of cultural monuments such as Taj Mahal is a complex exercise (involving mathematical modelling and econometric techniques), yet it is easy to say that the key driver for economic value of the monument is the revenue generated from cultural tourism attributable to the monument.
Earnings of local inhabitants at Agra are driven by the tourists – both local as well as foreign. More than 58 lakh visitors came to see Taj Mahal in 2013. This year, 42.5 lakh visitors came to see the Taj Mahal till September. On the Diwali weekend around 1.5 lakh tourists visited the Taj Mahal, causing a chaotic situation. As per a Press Information Bureau report of Ministry of Culture of Govt of India, the tourist revenue generated through the entry ticket fees amounts to Rs 21.84 cr for 2013-2014.
Hotels, rest and recreation areas in the vicinity of the monument benefit from tourism. Guides, who speak multiple languages take you around the monument, and are willing to double up as photographers whenever you need them to click snaps with your cell. Photographers click you on the coveted seat in front of Taj. Horse carts ferry you to Meena Bazar and other short distances.
Tourism also gives a boost to the sale of local handicrafts including clothes, leather goods, curios made of marble, stone carving and inlay work. Handicrafts made by prisoners are sold in emporiums.
Though Taj Mahal is the main nodal point for tourist travel, some of the other monuments such as Agra Fort, Itmad-ud-daula’s tomb, Sikandara, Fatehpur Sikri etc play a crucial role in contributing towards the economic activities of Agra.
State patronage made possible the creation of such monuments that showcase the countries art and culture and have been a source of value for years or centuries together.
In the present times too, state and corporate patronage can be used to promote India’s art and culture in a way that has a long bearing effect on the country’s economy. Investments in cultural development would also include construction of access highways, hotels and recreation facilities. The financial viability of investments in cultural development can be evaluated by quantitative techniques to determine the revenue generation capacity and debt service capacity of the projects.
Whether Shahjahan would have envisaged the long lasting economic impact of Taj Mahal when he ordered for building the monument, is hard to tell.