Despite the fact that I spent my childhood in Rameswaram – Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam

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“Despite the fact that I spent my childhood in Rameswaram, an isolated island in the south of India, I could get educated, find a job and overcome many obstacles to become the President of my country. If I could overcome all the hardships and achieve what I have, so can you or anyone else. It does not matter where you start from or what you have achieved till date, the important thing is that from this point onwards, you decide what you want and work towards creating your own future. This is the message I want to convey through this book and if it can inspire even one young person to achieve his or her dream, I will feel that my effort has been truly worth it.

In the last fifteen years I have interacted with more than 16 million youth, in face-to face meetings, through emails and over Facebook, and wherever I go I am asked questions. Everyday I receive about 300 emails and spend two hours reading and answering them. This book is based on the questions that I have been asked over the years. In their questions, people are mostly seeking solutions to problems that they are facing in their lives. Answering these questions, I realized that what we call problems may probably be a result of the way we ‘process’ events and situations in our lives and everything that happens in our world. ‘Process’ means the way we perceive and think about them. If we could change the way we ‘process’, then we could possibly change the way we think about our problems and hence also about their solutions. I believe it is possible to do so and that is the underlying theme in my answers.

My answers are based on what I have learnt from my own experiences of life, and from reading books and my interactions with political and spiritual leaders. The replies in my book are presented in a way that they provide a generic message for any one who may be undergoing a similar problem in his or her life.

Your life should be a manifestation of your dreams. That is why I always call upon the youth to dream lofty dreams and invoke in them a vision of their future. And in achieving your dreams, you are bound to face difficulties and obstacles, but with determination and discipline you can always overcome them, just as I have been able to do.” -From the Introduction of the book

It is remarkable that how, APJ Abdul Kalam, the 11th president of India continues to be such a popular public figure even seven years after demitting office. Much sought, much admired, he is an inspiration for the Indian youth and they turn to him for advice, guidance, inspiration, or simply just seeking to be in touch with him. The mentoring, the solutions, the direction, the philosophy he provides are based on the wisdom of his own experiences, as he knows well the trials and tribulations of the hard rocky road of life that he has walked from Rameswaram to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. This book is like a roadmap for life which one can to turn to when needed, and come away reassured that there is always a way out of any situation and that we will be able reach our dream destination. Inspiring and intimate, it provides an insight into the mind and heart of one of the most remarkable leaders of contemporary India. A leader, who at the age of 84 continues to inspire young Indians towards living the life of their dreams.

 

– Amazon , on Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam’s New Upcoming Book.

 

You Can Pre Order Your Book of Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam Online on Amazon on the given link Below :

 

http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/9350642794/ref=amb_link_183049087_3?pf_rd_m=A1VBAL9TL5WCBF&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=165B20A35462W4VQ0PJN&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=526142807&pf_rd_i=1000825283

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Road Workers Found This Mysterious Box Underground. They Decided To Look Inside And…

Road workers in the eastern China were given the task of widening a road in the city of Taizhou, in the Jiangsu Province. They were digging about 6 feet below the surface when they came across something completely by chance that no one was expecting to find. They hit something solid while digging and after a bit of research they realized that they had actually hit buried tomb. It was time to call in professional archeologists to unearth and reveal this mystery. They found that the chamber was over 700 years old.

Here is the tomb after it was unearthed. A team worked together to open the box without disturbing the contents.

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Here the team prepares to see what was inside for the first time after 700 years.

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Encased in the stone tomb was a wooden box.

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After opening the box they found that the contents were rare silks and linens lying in some sort of brown liquid.

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They discovered a mummy of a woman under the layers of fabric.

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They were amazed to see the body and contents in near perfect shape for being underground for over 700 years.

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They think the mummy was a high ranking member of the Ming Dynasty.

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She was adorned with beautiful jewelry from the time period.

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The team carefully moved the woman out of her tomb for the first time.

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She was wrapped in many rare layers of fabric that would have been common for a high ranking member of the Ming Dynasty.

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Whatever she was preserved in was remarkable. She even had her eyebrows still attached.

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This close up of her shoes shows how well preserved her corpse was.

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This is a rare find and with advancements in archeology today she will stay preserved in a museum.

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What an incredible find to just stumble upon. This find will answer many questions about the Ming Dynasty and the forbidden city in China. After excavating the site, archeologists found 2 other coffins that they are researching now. Im sure we will see more on this story as time passes and data is analyzed. Only time will unearth the beautiful secrets from the past.

Mona Lisa – Leonardo Da Vinci

mona-lisa

Leonardo’s three great portraits of women all have a strange air of wistfulness. This is at its most engaging in Lady with the Ermine, brooding in the Female Portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci and undeniably enigmatic in the Mona Lisa. Unarguably the most famous painting in history, it is also the only portrait by Leonardo whose authorship remains unquestioned. Though neither signed nor dated it is universally accepted to be by Leonardo. But who was the subject, when was it painted and what is the story behind the mystical smile?

Historians agree that Leonardo commenced the painting of Mona Lisa in 1503, working on it for approximately four years and keeping it himself for some years after. Supposedly this was because Mona Lisa was Leonardo’s favourite painting and he was loathe to part with it, however it may also have been because the painting was unfinished. Whatever the reason, much later it was sold to the King of France for four thousand gold crowns. The world has talked about it ever since. After the revolution in France the painting was transferred to the Louvre. Napoleon took possession of it using the panel to decorate his bedroom. Upon his banishment from France Mona Lisa once more returned to the care of the Louvre. What is certain is that the painting was never passed onto the rightful owner, that being the man who originally commissioned and presumably paid for it. .

The first written reference to the painting appears in the diary of Antonio de’ Beatis who visited Leonardo on the 10th October 1517. He was shown three paintings by the master, who was aged sixty-five at the time. These three consisted of one of the Madonna and Child in the lap of St. Anne, one of a young St. John the Baptist and a third of a Florentine lady. 

Who was the lady in question? At this time researchers remain uncertain of the sitter’s identity with some claiming she was Isabella of Aragon — the widowed Duchess of Milan; they point out the ‘widows veil’ on her head as supporting evidence. Others conclude she was the mistress of Giuliano de’ Medici, but the veil on her head may well be a symbol of chastity, commonly shown at the time in portraits of married women. The path shown may also be the ‘path of virtue’, a reference to the story ‘Hercules choice’; this was frequently referred to in Renaissance art and would be unlikely to appear in a painting of a mistress. It is probable that she was Mona Lisa Gherardini, the third wife of wealthy silk merchant Francesco di Bartolommeo di Zanobi del Giocondo. At this stage Lisa would have been over twenty-four years of age, by the standards of the time she was not in any way considered particularly beautiful, though Leonardo saw certain qualities which have now made her the most heavily insured woman in history.

The smile has become a hallmark of Leonardo’s style. It is most obvious in the painting of the Mona Lisa, but also to be seen in most of his other works. There is no mistaking the same smile — and upturn of the left side of the mouth — on the face of St. Anne in the Burlington House Cartoon. That drawing dates from a bit earlier than theMona Lisa, somewhere around 1498. Speculation exists that the smile originated from his mother, Caterina. A less romantic suggestion is that the painter merely  “concerned himself with certain arrangements of lines and volumes, with new and curious schemes of blues and greens.”

Various other suggestions have also been made as to the reason behind the smile including the simple idea that during this period in history women were instructed to smile only with one side of their mouths so as to add an air of mystery and elegance. An Italian doctor’s answer was that the woman suffered from bruxism; this is an unconscious habit of grinding the teeth during sleep or times of great stress. The long months of sitting for the portrait could well have triggered an attack of teeth grinding. Leonardo did attempt to keep his subject relaxed and entertained with the use of music; he had six musicians to play for her plus and installed a musical fountain invented by himself. Different, beautiful works were read out loud and a white Persian cat and a greyhound bitch were there for playing with. 

The most unusual suggestion is that Mona Lisa was really a man in disguise, perhaps being a form of self-portrait and the face of Leonardo himself. Computer tests show some of the facial features match well that of another(?)self-portrait of Leonardo. Some copies of the Mona Lisa also show the sitter as a male. 

The truth is that this style of smile was not invented by Leonardo da Vinci. It can be found in a number of sculptures from the fifteenth century, one of these being Antonio Rossellino’s Virgin; it is somewhat reminiscent of Greek funerary statues and Gothic statues in medieval cathedrals. The mysterious smile can also be found very widely in the works of Leonardo’s master, Verrocchio and Leonardo used the same smile in a number of his paintings.  

Much has also been made about the Mona Lisa’s ‘uncommonly thick’ eyebrows, a belief which came about after Vasari wrote a description of the painting. A close examination of the above detail shows there aren’t any eyebrows; women of the time commonly shaved these off. Vasari had never seen the Mona Lisa and though it is popular to quote his text on the painting it must be realised he wrote his treatise based entirely upon hearsay. Despite this, he was totally accurate in stating that, “On looking at the pit of the throat one could swear that the pulses were beating.”

The most expressive parts of the human face are the outer points of the lips and eyes. Leonardo has deliberately left these areas in shadow which creates the effect of causing different people to read different emotions on the face of the sitter, whomever she may be.

Mona Lisa is distinguished by her complete absence of jewellery whereas the norm for the day was to present subjects with elaborate decoration as can be seen in the painting done by Titan of Caterina Cornaro, Queen Of Cyprus. Mona Lisa’s hair is smooth with only the covering of a black veil, hands are free of rings or bracelets and nothing adorns her neck. There are small intricate loops across the neckline of her dress; such was Leonardo’s interest in codes that many people have searched in vain for a message in these loops. This painting went against all the trends of the time and is a perfect example of how Leonardo never followed traditions. He abandoned the usual poses, which had subjects shown as stiff and upright, replacing this with a relaxed sitter, her beautifully painted hands resting easily on the arm of her chair. 

While most people are aware the Mona Lisa is also called La Gioconda by the Italians (translation: “a light-hearted woman.”), fewer know the French refer to it as La Joconde. Done in oils on poplar wood it was originally much larger than it is today. Two columns on either side of Mona Lisa have been cut off making it difficult to recognise she was seated on a terrace. The bases of these columns can just be seen on the very edges of the painting which now measures only 77 x 53 cms.

At the time Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa he was also doing some of his finest sketches of plant life and nature. This can be clearly seen in the background of the panel and it is very elaborate, perhaps the finest he ever did. The bridge shown has now been identified as being at Buriano (Arezzo).

The painting of Mona Lisa has had an interesting history being stolen on the 21st August 1911 from an Italian thief who had taken the painting to Italy. The loss of the painting was not reported for twenty-four hours as most employees assumed it had been removed by the official museum photographer. It then took a week to search the 49-acre Louvre with the only find being the painting’s frame, which was located in a staircase. It resurfaced some two years later in Florence, when an Italian named Vincenzo Perugia offered to sell the painting to the Uffizi Gallery for US$100,000. It was exhibited for a time and then returned to Paris.   

To steal the painting Perugia had spent a night hiding in a little-used room at the Louvre. While the museum was closed he simply walked into the room where the Mona Lisa was hung, removed it from the wall then cut it from the frame once he reached the staircase. He then exited the building breaking out through a ‘locked’ door by unscrewing the doorknob. Ten months prior to the theft the Louvre had made the decision to begin having their masterpieces placed under glass. Perugia was one of four men assigned to the job and so in a position to get to know the Louvre well enough to pull off the crime. 

In 1956 acid was thrown on the lower half of the painting with the required restoration taking some years.    

The situation today is that the Mona Lisa has become so well-known that it may only be viewed behind thick protective glass after battling through a large crowd of sightseers. The cover of triplex glass which protects the painting was gifted by the Japanese during the Mona Lisa’s 1974 visit to Japan — that being the last time it left the museum. By international agreement the painting will no longer be displayed in other countries but will stay safely on display at the Louvre in Paris where it may be properly protected against further damage, theft or attack. The bulletproof box is kept at a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 55 percent; a built-in air conditioner and nine pounds of silica gel ensure no change in the air condition. Once a year the box is opened to check the painting and for maintenance on the air conditioning system.

Time may have cracked and crazed the paintwork of the Mona Lisa, but the air of mystery remains. It has been endlessly reproduced, has inspired numerous writers, poets and musicians, yet remains little understood. The same style can be seen used by other masters such as Raphael (Maddalena Doni) and Carot (Dame à la Perle). Many naked women have been painted or drawn in the attitude of the Mona Lisa and these were a favourite on the occasions when artists were called on to portray royals in their baths. The Carrara Academy in Bergamo has just one of many nude versions, this one having been painted in the 17th century. Copying of the Mona Lisa style started even before the painting was finished.

By far the most controversial version of the Mona Lisa is in the Vernon collection in the U.S. This painting clearly shows the columns on either side of the sitter which have been cut off the Louvre example. The owners consider the artwork to be authentic and value it at $2.5 million. 

The last work done on the panel was in the 1950’s when age spots were removed during a cleaning. Suggestions that the painting should experience a thorough facelift involving the removal of layers of resin, lacquer and varnish from the past 500 years have received a firm thumbs down from the Louvre. Computer restoration shows that the colours of the painting may be quite different without the grime that presently covers it. Rosy cheeks instead of sickly yellow, pale blue skies instead of the present green glow. On the downside, any attempt to clean the painting may result in irreparable damage from the various solvents required to remove the varnish and there is no guarantee the suspected bright colours exist below the coatings which have been applied over the years as a protectant.  For those lucky enough to have viewed the work under natural light state there is still a surprising amount of colour evident to the eye, maybe more is below the grime, but no one dares to clean her. X-rays have shown there are three different versions of the Mona Lisa hidden under the present one.

A Poem By Adolf Hitler

From John Toland’s biography of Hitler Vol 1 page 140  Written in 1923.


When your mother has grown older.
And you have grown older,
When what was formerly easy and effortless
Now becomes a burden,
When her dear loyal eyes
Do not look out into life like before,
When her legs have grown tired
And do not want to carry her any more-
Then give her her your arm for support,
Accompany her with gladness and joy.
The hour will come when, weeping, you
Will accompany her on her last journey!
And if she asks you, answer her.
And if she asks again, speak also.
And if she asks another time, speak to her
Not stormily, but in gentle peace!
And if she cannot understand you well,
Explain everything joyfully;
The hour will come, the bitter hour
When her mouth will ask no more!


– Adolf Hitler , 1923

 

Richard Wagner's daughter-in-law escorts Adolf Hitler during the Bayreuth festival

Hitler was the perfect boss: Former maid breaks her silence on the ‘charming’ dictator

History has condemned him as the megalomaniac who brought death and misery to millions.
But for one woman, the name Adolf Hitler evokes a smile not a shudder.
She is Rosa Mitterer, who worked as a maid for the Fuhrer at his mountain retreat in Bavaria in the 1930s.
Rosa is 91 and until now has kept a vow of silence about her experiences. She has chosen to break it after realising she is the last survivor of the circle who served the tyrant in the years before he launched the Second World War.

Rosa Mitterer

91-year-old Rosa Mitterer is the sole survivor of those who served Adolf Hitler in the years before the Second World War

And her verdict on her former master: ‘He was a charming man, someone who was only ever nice to me, a great boss to work for. You can say what you like, but he was a good man to us.’
Rosa’s remembrances of life at the court of the tyrant make gripping reading. She saw leading Nazis come and go. Himmler, the evil party secretary; Bormann, whom she described as a ‘dirty pig’; and the club-footed, sexually-obsessed propaganda minister Goebbels.
Rosa went into Hitler’s service at the age of 15 in 1932 when she was Rosa Krautenbacher. Her sister Anni had worked as a cook at Hitler’s Berchtesgaden retreat since the late 1920s.
‘She said he needed a housemaid and I would fit the bill,’ Rosa recalled. ‘I remember so clearly the first day I spoke to him in the kitchen. I said I was Anni’s sister and that made him smile, because Anni was his favourite. I only ever knew Hitler as a kindly man who was good to me.’

At the wedding of her sister (top row, far left)

A photo taken at Rosa’s sister’s wedding, which Hitler attended

His former housekeeper was Geli Raubal, with whom it was rumoured he had a love affair. ‘She shot herself in September 1931 and I was told as soon as I went to work for him that he was not to be approached on the anniversary of that day,’ said Rosa.
‘My sister and I shared a room that was directly over Hitler’s. We could hear him crying.’
For a long time she and Anni were the only servants in the home, known as Berghof.
Recalling her first direct request from her master, she said she was drying some porcelain cups when he came down the stairs.
‘Hello,’ he said softly. ‘Sorry to trouble you, but could you make me some coffee and bring some gingerbread biscuits to my study?’
Coming into such close proximity to Hitler made her feel faint, she said, but she soon became accustomed to life at Berghof.
‘I rose at 6am every day and put on a red-green dirndl with a white apron. My first task was to feed his dogs – he had three German shepherds at the beginning called Wolf, Muck and Blondi.

‘In those days, Hitler slept in his study. In it was an iron bed, one wardrobe, one table, two chairs and a shoebox. It was very modestly furnished. Beside the bed hung a picture of his mother.’
She added: ‘I didn’t have to be a Nazi party member or anything. After a while I relaxed a bit. Apparently it was Hitler’s orders that Anni and I be taken to church every Sunday because he thought this would be “good for us”.
‘Another time he came into the kitchen, saw me and said, “Ahh, I see our little one has grown a little plumper!”.’
Part of her duties involved sorting out the fan letters and presents that were delivered in their thousands to the house.
‘There were cigars, jars of jam, flowers, pictures,’ she recalled. ‘We gave most of them away to poorer peasant families nearby on Hitler’s orders.’
Her time in service also allowed her to see at close quarters the woman Hitler kept secret from his people throughout his rule – Eva Braun. ‘She was not so pretty close up,’ Rosa recalled.
‘Himmler was always there too, thinner than what he looked like in the photos, and Goebbels.
‘And Bormann, I didn’t like him at all. He was a dirty pig.’ By the end of 1934, the house was surrounded by minefields and SS checkpoints. Rosa said. ‘I felt like a prisoner instead of an employee.’
In 1935 she fell in love with local businessman Josef Amorts and handed in her notice. She was told she could leave immediately..
‘I only met Hitler once more, on December 10, 1936, when Anni married Herbert Doehring, manager of the Berghof. He came to the wedding and was nice to me, saying he missed me.’
Rosa married in 1939 and had three daughters. She later remarried. A great-grandmother, she now lives in Munich. After the war she had to confront the reality of the man for whom she had worked so willingly. And in particular the reality of the Holocaust.
‘That he had ordered such terrible things, I just couldn’t believe it,’ she said. ‘Even now, I prefer to remember the charming facets of his personality.’

adolf hitler

Charmer: Adolf Hitler, ‘the perfect boss’

100-yr-old photos of British India found in shoebox

The most interesting discoveries are indeed made in the most unlikely of places: a treasure-trove of photographs, documenting life in India over 100 years ago during the British Raj, has recently been found in a shoebox in Edinburgh.A total of 178 negatives were found in a shoebox for a pair of grey, size 9, Peter Lord slip-on shoes by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). The stunning negatives were stored in 5” by 8” plate boxes and had been wrapped in copies of The Statesman newspaper of 1914.Nothing is yet known about the photographer of these historic images, although efforts are on to find out his or her identity.Among the images are some that depict the celebrations for the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Calcutta in 1912 with the city’s buildings all lit up. Others show pilgrims gathered for a religious festival; merchants selling their wares outside the Jagannath temple in Orissa; labourers pulling carts loaded with crates at (probably) the Howrah station, while another shows a woman standing outside a house, most likely, in Darjeeling.Take a look at these amazing photographs from a bygone era and marvel at what life was like for the common Indian during the British rule.