Travel and Culture

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

By Somali K Chakrabarti “And here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in stone the word which is to be my beacon and my banner. The word which will not die should we all perish in battle..” –  Ayn Rand, The sacred word Taking on from my last post on Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan – Pictures from the 19th century  Part I, here I continue further with the imaginary leap back in time, and present pictures and photographs from the 19th century of the historic forts and palaces of Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bundi, Jodhpur, Bikaner  and Jaisalmer.  . Palace of Bheem and Padmini, Chittorgarh, ca 1885 Engraving of Padmini’s Palace in Chittorgarh, by Edward Francis Finden and Patrick Young Waugh, ca 1829

Travel and Culture

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

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. . 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.

Mixed Bag

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

 By Somali K Chakrabarti  The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.  – Gustave Flaubert I couldn’t agree more with these words of the influential French writer, Gustave Flaubert. Since I started blogging consistently, I have discovered that blogging is about Being You. It is about defining yourself and saying what you believe in. The potential of blogging, however, is not limited only to expressing ones thoughts. Blogging is also a powerful medium to establish ones brand presence. I am happy to be connected with some extremely talented bloggers, who share their experiences and a wealth of information through their blogs. One such person is Jatin Adlakha, who describes himself as ‘an IT guy on the loose for newer experiences through travel‘.

Personal Effectiveness

8 Theories of Motivation that underscore the drivers of behaviour

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. 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:


4 Lessons from the Life of Louis Zamperini

 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. Louis went on to participate in the 5000 metres race in 1936 Olympics, where he finished the final lap so fast (in 56 seconds…

Social Awareness

Celebrate diversity and break cultural stereotypes

 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. 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.

Mixed Bag

2014 in review

The 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.

Travel and Culture

Chennai in the 19th century – Vintage Pictures

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 .

Personal Effectiveness

Dare to be different to create your own space

 By Somali K Chakrabarti  If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.            -Jack Welch In a tough market crowded with multiple sellers, only those with a distinct competitive advantage can survive. This holds good not only for businesses, but also for individuals. What renders you a competitive advantage is your ability to be different than others in a way that you stand out of the crowd.

Mixed Bag

5 Reasons to Use Dettol Multi-Use wipes

By Somali K Chakrabarti Any good habit starts with personal measures. With ‘Cleanliness drive’ gaining traction all over India, ‘Personal hygiene’ also comes to the fore. Tiny measures to keep yourself clean will help you to keep diseases’ at bay and go a long way in ensuring that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Good personal hygiene habits go beyond smelling nice and looking clean; proper hygiene also prevents the spread of germs that lead to bacterial skin infections. ~ Why You Can’t Overlook the Importance of Personal Hygiene   To up your hygiene levels and satisfy the germophobes 😉 (I admit being one), Dettol introduces Dettol Multi-Use Wipes ( Since the last 5 years, Dettol Hand-wash has been a permanent feature in my house. So, I was more than happy to try out a new product from Dettol – a trusted brand and a name that is synonymous with cleanliness and hygiene.

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