Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan – Pictures from the 19th century Part1

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

“Sublime wonders lie in store,
I am shown a regal residence;
a mighty kingdom, an empire
with more grandeur than before …”  

– E.A. Bucchianeri, Poetry for the Phantom of the Opera

Forts and palaces never fail to fascinate me. These rare examples of architecture offer a glimpse into the past grandeurs and reveal many a story of kings and their kingdoms, the wars they fought, the courts they held, and the way they lived.

Here are some pictures and photographs from the 19th century that capture the oriental magnificence of the historic forts and palaces of Rajasthan.

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Amber Fort, ca 1860

Amber Fort, ca 1860

Amber Fort, part of Raj Mahal & Maota Lake, watercolours by William Simpson ca.1860

Eleven kilometres to the north of Jaipur is the town of Amber.

The impressive fort and the palace complex, on a hill overlooking the Maota Lake, was built at Amber, in the late 16th century by Akbar’s famous general, Raja Man Singh (ruled 1592- 1614). Alterations and additions to the palace structures continued throughout the 17th century and beyond until the fort was finally abandoned in 1727.

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8 Theories of Motivation that underscore the drivers of behaviour

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By Bhudeb Chakrabarti

Good leadership consists of motivating people to the highest levels by   offering them opportunities, not obligations.  ~ Lao Tzu 

Nature of Motivation

Motives are expressions of a person’s needs and personality.

Even though you may find it comforting to believe that all your actions are a result of conscious deliberation, but at times, unconscious motivations may lead to actions without your complete awareness or understanding. Your behaviour is controlled on many occasions by external forces, though on many other occasions you may do things based on your discretion, for their intrinsic value.

Motivations are not static in nature. A person may be motivated for one job but when he or she is put for some other job, the same person may not feel motivated. The levels of motivation also vary from person to person.

A leader must understand what gives people the impetus to act in a particular manner to achieve alignment of their goals with his/her own goals.

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If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams

 

Different theories help us to understand better the concept of motivation:

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4 Lessons from the Life of Louis Zamperini

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.

– Bern William

The life of Louis Zamperini, is a tale of unbroken human spirit.

Louis Zamperini, a US Olympic runner, who became a fighter in the World War II, was marooned in the Pacific ocean for 46 days, survived the ordeal of a Prisoner Of War (POW) in Japanese camps, and later turned into an inspirational speaker, exemplifies resilience.

A wayward child, Louis had taken to smoking and drinking, early on in life, and was often picked up by the local police for getting into brawls. His parents were first generation Italian immigrants who had moved to Torrance, California, in 1919. Their repeated efforts to discipline Louis were discounted by the defiant kid; but the constant encouragement of his brother Pete, influenced Louis and he started taking an interest in sports.

His racing abilities soon came to be noticed, as he started improving and winning races, including the national high school race, in which he broke the record set during World War I.

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Louis Zamperini   Image Source : veteransadvantage.com

Louis went on to participate in the 5000 metres race in 1936 Olympics, where he finished the final lap so fast (in 56 seconds beating the previous Olympic record of 69.2 seconds) that it caught the eye of Adolf Hitler, who personally came up to Zamperini and shook his hand.

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Celebrate diversity and break cultural stereotypes

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 “There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combination of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.

There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted.”

― Sun Tzu

India being a large country, the culture and tradition of a part at one end of the country are distinctly different from another part at the other end. The vast multitude of art, music, dance, food and traditions add to the cultural diversity and enliven the country with shades and hues of different colors, but not without presenting their own set of challenges.

Cultural diversity

We are, often, so oriented to our customs and traditions that most of us tend to judge others solely by the values and standards of our own culture. We don’t desist from complaining about how foreigners perceive us, but then we Indians have our own yardsticks for judging people from other states. Deeply ingrained in our psyche are the cultural prejudices that we have grown up with.

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2014 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Chennai in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

A city with a curious blend of tradition and modernity, Chennai has a rich historical legacy.

Formerly known as Madras, Chennai was a leading urban location and naval base, at the time of the British rule. Madras derives its name from Madrasapattnam, a fishing village located on the Coromandel Coast, where the British East India Company had first built a trading post in 1639, and followed it up with the construction of Fort St. George.

At that time, the weaving of Cotton fabrics was a local industry and the English invited
the weavers and native merchants to settle near the Fort. Businesses flourished on the crowded streets of the province known as George Town.

Here are a few pictures from the yore.

Outskirts of Madras, ca 1851

Outskirts of Madras, 1851

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