Resuming my seat?

1. Yesterday, one of my students raised her eyebrows at the following usage in the chapter ‘The Snake and The Mirror,’ English NCERT reader for class ninth:

“…Then I resumed my seat…”

2. Instead of going at length to search through engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to find out further examples which allow such usages: I told her based on my better judgement that it was an unusual and creative usage since it was rare.

3. The thing with language, culture, literature and life is: there are laws and there are exceptions to laws. There are laws governing exceptions decipherable by few of us but they’re there. In general: if you’re accepted by community at large and become popular: your usages and exceptional behaviour is accepted and then becomes a trend.

4. The logic might go like this: if they‘re doing this it must be something BIG. The usage upthread would make an examiner deduct marks of students. As a matter of fact: in our school days we were supposed to reproduce answers as verbatim as possible. If you took exceptions even in subjects like maths and science: you had to pay heavy prices. Even today: the prestigious school where we studied has teachers who dictate randomly structured answers which don’t follow strict standards of Grammar and they’re supposed to copy and paste those in exams. Grammar, syntax, laws, culture and their evolution are strange- therefore let me resume my seat and I hope you would resume yours until we can.

Theka, thela and aap!

1. One of my earliest childhood memories is related to my great grandfather reading a newspaper one morning. I must have started learning Hindi reading for he decided to test my skills. He was wearing glasses and reading it in the drawing room of our grandparents’ house where we used to live. Since he chose to test my skills for reading the title of the newspaper: it’s obvious that such tests hadn’t been conducted before. There’s no way to produce any corroboration for what my exact age was.

2. I read it aloud using the image on the front page, just below the title . I had only begin to read when I saw that image and thought it was an easy way out. It wasn’t. I read ‘Naav Bharat.’ Naav is a synonym for boat in Hindi which was there in the image. He immediately corrected me saying “Nav not Naav.” Nav in Hindi means new and Bharat is for India. In my very first test of reading I was cheating. Using an easy way out with the imagery available. The late old man was barely literate used dialect of Hindi prevalent in his region.

3. In another such event my parents were residing besides the aforementioned house in a rented room and I once visited my grandfather. He took me in the house and then as I was talking about my father he used a word which was new to me. To indicate that he didn’t feel responsible for my father- he said “Hamne tumhaare baap ka THEKA nahi liya hai.” It was obviously used only to tease a young child.

4. Theka was too much to interpret. I had heard thela. Thela was a moving vehicle with six wheels. Biggest vehicle on road. Thela is also used for wooden four wheelers pushed by peddlers. As soon as he uttered the word- an image of a truck was created in my mind. It stayed as one confusing word thela/theka, until I knew better.

5. Thela or thelo is also used as a verb which means: to push. That’s why hand pulled or pushed wooden vehicles are called by that name.

6. I sing a poem for my kindergarten student. This was learned a very long ago by heart. The story in the verse has to do with an old woman who buys a big pot to trick lions and tigers on path:

Image courtesy: Twitter and Google.

7. As soon as I speak the 11th line: “Usme baithee budhiya aap,” the kid gets confused about the usage of word aap. It means by herself here. He has only been accustomed to the usage of word as second person pronoun used with respect. He asks: “are you insinuating that I am the old lady who sat in the pot?”

8. Abruptly ending a post which was about language:

Twilights and Ferrymen!

1. Twilights are almost always beautiful. Birds returning to nests; calls for rest and sleep after a hard day of work. Some dusks are more dusky than others. All founders of major religions were people on path which advocates freedom from the clutches of delusions. The regimens in their times and following their times use bones left afterwards for controlling the masses to prove that they’re indeed divinely ordained rulers of the land because they’ve the most authentic version of the message. People lose sight of how religion grew up and had no shape at once.

2. The latest cafe in the chain of cafes I have frequented this year is the first one I visited after the lockdown phase. Full circle. Was it more than a coincidence that on the eve of elections here I got this coin released in 2012: celebrating 60 years of Parliament of India? I had to return it the very next morning.


3. The fish market outside Baburam Chaturvedi Stadium Chhatarpur has let the police lines entrance stay open in the last two weeks. It’s a change and an improvement. Something which allows visitors easier access to this playground. As for badminton hall: the upgrades were due before the elections but despite the predictions of the staff I felt it was going to be later than sooner and it indeed let the elections go before it. Pits, garbage, dirt and a lot of money is out there for newly elected assembly here. Stay tuned!

Global variables in Python!

1. Global variables are variables used within and without the functions: reference: W3schools: Python tutorial.

2. In this case: unless you run the program using ‘Desktop Site’ on smartphone: the code would run into ‘indentation error’ during compilation. Works fine on desktop.

3. Note: since function is being called only after the first print command: it first prints ‘awesome’ and then ‘fantastic.'( global keyword)

A Subtlety About Retrograde Saturn Past Saadhe Saati!

1. Saturn’s transit through the houses adjacent to natal Moon and natal Moon in any nativity takes about seven and half years of time.

2. When Saturn has moved onto the third house from the natal Moon: it’s considered as the end of the Saadhe Saati.

3. Astrological literature is full of articles about it. Saturn is the slowest moving planet in the transit relative to Earth. Its impact on world events can be studied if you go through historical transits using some standard ephemeris in sidereal zodiac such as Lahiri or Raman Ayanamsa.

4. Though delineation of astrological remedies, effects and causation for nativities is trickier than in the case of collectives since Karmic Soup is palpable in the cases of masses and very subtle in case of individuals: still–impact of Saadhe Saati in most nativities is felt like churning of causal ocean of psyche. It’s akin to crushing of persona and out of it comes another individual after renewal of all cells of body.

5. However, this article doesn’t intend to go deeply into the heart of the subject matter. It merely addresses an idea about why Saturn’s retrograde motion past the seven and half years mark isn’t considered threatening like Saadhe Saati.

6. It’s merely an opinion but worth being considered as a suggestion for further delineation. Technically: Saturn returning into the house next to natal Moon by virtue of retrograde motion should be considered as critical as the Saadhe Saati duration. But in reality: it’s merely a revision of lessons already learnt during the previous phase hence without crushing effects. Moreover: even the last phases are relieving or comforting in certain nativities based on the placement of other planets supporting the natal Moon.



1. This song was written in 1940s. Its title has a compound word. It’s a funny little Disney song. The song is in AFI’s 100 years 100 songs list.

2. As I said: lyrics is funny: for example:

One night I said it to me girls and now me girls me wife.


3. I invented the verse form Tohu. I have published many such verses over the years. These verses contain compound words similar to the word in the title song with the exception of being much lengthier compared to them. And meaning? Yes: the meaning is as good as you want it to be. It’s compound of all of the words used and much more since sum is always greater than its parts. Here’s a fresh Tohu. Needless to say: copyright or no copyright it’s one of the longest compound words, similar to other Tohu verses published online in English unrecognised by lexicographers:


Note: If you can recognise the Eiffel tower in the featured image it’s a bonus.

Unsuspecting masses!

Sanchalit or Sanlalit?

1. Big poster. Big cutouts. What for? Education. Distance education. Just below the name: in-your-face SANLALIT course is the Hindi heading for courses offered in distance learning :

There are five categories offered. These courses help you advance your career in education business.

2. Elementary education offered in Hindi is enough to teach the difference between Sanchalit and Sanlalit. It’s a typo. The question arises: an institute offering these courses mounts a poster worth 15000 rupees at many locations: why do they leave such errors?

3. What actually happens in such institutions is not hidden from anyone. Why did the editors team let this poster go out? Is it being careless or smug or following the trend set by today’s Hindi newspapers and political leaders?

4. Below the image of director: Sanchalak which means Conductor or Director. Why not Sanlalak for Sanlalit courses?

5. Here’s a song to celebrate:


Chaska Chai Ka!

Another cafe located nearby. Machine is there but never used. The boy took holiday recently. It’s relatively quiet. Only place where elaichi tea is offered for ten rupees. Coffee is for fifteen rupees per serving. They also hesitate to serve an individual, obviously for time and effort put doesn’t give good returns. Mint tea is there on the menu without actually being given out. Manpower lacking. Machine shut down.

7. I was struggling with machinery for a while recently. Dogs were howling the night before yesterday and someone died recently. Howling of dogs usually is not a good omen. Now candidates for elections for local wards are out from all major political parties. Some of these people are going to become richer by virtue of rich gets richer principle without there really being any change in the shape of events or current state-of-affairs. You should feel fortunate to see their exalted faces in their humblest of days, afterwards they rarely descend down from their utility vehicles.

8. One of my friends: a positive thinker who appreciates the world at large for obvious reasons went as far ahead to say that current DM was letting the wild expansion (hijacking) of his bungalow go back to what it used to be. I thought he might be true because he’s in the circle where people often get to hear ethical discourses from his excellency. The result actually was: broadening of highway on the other side of divider without giving upon the expansion by his excellency. I was dead right in my assumption: as usual my positive thinker friend was using gossip mode in hyperactive imagination. These people, when they’re two or three of them start appreciating eachother with terms like cultural icon, maharaj, dau, this or that: obviously because life is good for nothing and we should continue to add value by being poetic for people around us.

9. If politicians have taught them anything: it’s to never discuss ideas where they had spoken something which was grossly inadequate. Loudly speak on issues where you can and leave the rest to unsuspecting masses.


I think I heard it in Sita Sings Blues couple of years ago.

A Tohu:


Of Names!

1. This article is inspired by Dainik Bhaskar’s article about village names in Madhya Pradesh state in India. Images are also courtesy of Dainik Bhaskar- Hindi daily. Links are given below:

Bhainsa: Ashok Nagar, Ishagarh.

2. The village above is named Bhainsa. It actually means a buffalo: a male buffalo. It immediately reminded me of Buffalo, New York State, name of which surprised me at first when I heard in a movie.

2443: Saali: Badwaani: Rajpur

3. It’s written as SALI which is pronounced as sully but the Hindi name transcription should be SAALI. Saali is female version of Saala: brother and sister-in-law. Actually these are rarely used in their proper context: most of the times they’re used as swear words. The whole business revolves around this mentality:

Since women are a burden who are grown to be married off to another clan to help them grow and don't really contribute much into the family of birth: the family of marriage of women always has an upper hand on the other family from which they take the loan they owned. Thus Saala and Saali are actually swear curse words often used lightly over hard swear words which have reference to male and female reproductive organs. 
Hastinapur: Gwalior

4. There’s a Hastinapur in Gwalior Madhya Pradesh India. Hastinapur name in itself is a very popular place name since it’s been used as the capital of India in the epic of Mahabharata and usually points to Delhi India.

Hastinapur literally means City of Elephants. Elephants symbolise giants or persons of renown: in the context of epic they’re Kauravas and Pandavas or royal people.

5. The article also details names like Hathnee(female elephant), Galti(Mistake), Maafipura(The place where maafias reside), Udaypur and Gorakhpur(In Chhatarpur district in Madhya Pradesh ( you might already be aware of Chhatarpur in Bihar and Delhi states)), Vrindavan and Hastinapur in Guna district. Nagpur and Agra in Indore district and Ramgarh of Sholay movie fame is in Burhanpur of Madhya Pradesh though actual Ramgarh where shooting for the movie took place is located in Karnataka near Bangalore. The article details many other peculiar names but some of them stand out with: Langoti(loincloth) and Choli(blouse) for example. Haldi(Turmeric), Soda, Chaumau, Azgar(python), Sandal, Charkha, Makdi(spider) and Atoot Bhikhari ( Unbreakable beggar!)

6. Luvkushnagar in the Chhatarpur district was renamed to have names of sons of Rama from epic of Ramayana. Previously it was named: Laundi: it simply means a lady or girl or their reproductive organ. Singular.

7. Chhatarpur Madhya Pradesh India got its name from the root Chhatra which symbolises an umbrella or protective shield wielded by warriors like Chhatrasal the ancient king of this place. It’s similar to the shied of captain America!

8. Bugmau is a village name which can be expanded to mean: bug Mau. Like bugbear.

9. The article in Dainik Bhaskar also states that there are 55000 villages in 52 districts in Madhya Pradesh India.


Margie’s grandfather once said that when he was a little boy his grandfather told him that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper.

Issac Asimov, The Fun They Had, 1.12.1951

1. As I was narrating this story to my student Sumit- it occurred to me that this sentence, in the very first paragraph, was unusually long for a children’s story.

2. Was it written for children or for adults as a fiction was my first doubt.

3. The quoted sentence is in the reported speech format. I recalled how I used to wonder if narration portion of English grammar which was practiced in the standards eighth and ninth of our school curriculum of English really mattered all that much. After all: you’re supposed to tell your story. What difference does it make if narration uses the first person or third person for the subject?

4. Margie’s father once said “When I was a little boy my grandfather told me that there was a time when all stories were printed on paper.”

The Fun They Had, Issac Asimov.

5. It’s difficult to convey meaning of sentences for students like Sumit who never had good help with English which is a second language for them. Despite being a standard ninth student his reading and writing abilities place him somewhere at standard fourth or fifth of academic achievement. Consider narrating this sentence to such students. They seem inextricably elaborate and complex.

6. For Sumit:

6.1: Margie’s great grandfather told her grandfather about a time when all stories were printed on paper.

6.2: It was in his boyhood.

7. It’s obvious that narration loses all imagination with cut-and-dry approach of explanation used in 6.1 and 6.2.

8. It’s where you need to understand that this story was originally penned to be published in a children’s newspaper in the United States of America.

9. Now look at the layers of narration subjects within this one sentence:

Sumit being the listener of this story hears his teacher. Issac Asimov tells it to his teacher that Margie was listening to her grandfather who was listening to his grandfather.

10. There are seven subjects already involved in the elaborate scheme of things as you read this. Otherwise there are only two or only one: you!

11. In mythology of Bhagvata Purana there are many such exercises for imagination with multiple layers of narration and storytellers accompanying listeners. I didn’t appreciate it fully until I watched some movies like Rashomon/Inception/Suraj Ka Saatvaan Ghoda etc.

12. Asimov is credited with the invention of robots and compact disc in his stories much before the technology arrived on scene. It so happened that when I first taught this lesson to a CBSE student in 2020 it was during Covid lockdown. She had to attend classes online. It was almost the future author imagined in his fantasy in 2157 AD.

13. I stressed on how 2157 was exactly 300 years after mutiny of 1857 against British empire in Bundelkhand in India. After about a century republic of India was established with constitution elected assembly in operation for making law and executing it. Two centuries after that(actually 200 years after Asimov published this story : he imagined appearance of fully computerized education system.)

14. As with simulation hypothesis arguments related to AI and emerging threat to humanity similar to depicted in the 1990s movie Matrix: it’s true that in many ways the third decade of this century proved that Asimov placed such technological advancements much far ahead in time in his imagination than they actually happened. I think he would have been surprised by it if he was alive.

15. Asimov was founder of MENSA: a non profit organization which promoted education for highly gifted. Asimov himself reportedly had an intelligence quotient in the excess of 200.

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