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Dr.ARUNACHALAM KUMAR

 

 
.in Mangalore, India lives a Prof. Arunachalam Kumar.
he is India's most eccentric genius. even has a name in the limca book of records.
 
 
 
A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME  sulekha.com
 
Some twentyfive and more years ago, when I had just moved into a
quaint tile roof house in the monsoon drenched coastal city on western
fringes of Karnataka, I saw hanging from the entrance door post, an odd
looking mess of webs and bric a brac, which I assumed to be a nest of a
kind. I requested the masons, carpenters and plumbers, who were
attending to getting the house working, to leave the hanging nest alone. I left
for work, but upon returning for lunch, shocked to note that the nest
was missing. I queried the motley crew around, all denying any knowledge
about the hanging nest. I was a trifle upset at the turn of events.
After a short interlude, having a few minutes to spare before return to
work, I sat down on the verandah floor, there being no furniture yet in
the house. I was interrupted by a to and fro sortie of a bird, that
appeared agitated, uttering, on wing a continuous chirr-chirr alarm call. I
watched the bird for a few minutes before returning to my crossword
puzzle of the newspaper. But the bird was determined, and continued
flying all around, even diving close to my head. I understand the
agitation to be of message potential, and observed the behavior of the bird,
which seemed to fly towards a particular pillar on the northeast of the
porch. I walked up and ferreted the area, and found nothing. I resumed
my crossword, but no way could I proceed. The infernal bird was back,
zipping in circles near the pillar, again and again. I called my wife to
the scene, she too was quite perplexed at the oddity of it all. I
walked up to the pillar once again, where lined along the bottom were some
cloth bags belonging to the carpenters, who had gone for their luncheon
break, and despite her cautionary word, reached out for a bag, which
had adzes and saws peeping out from it’s knotted end. I opened the
satchel, and lo, within it I found a polythene bag, into which I found,
stuffed, was the missing nest. I quickly emptied the contents, finding to my
amazement, one live chick, the other dead. I walked up to my compound
edge, where I placed the near adult fledgling, which then quite
promptly hopped away into the thickets and shrubbery beyond, under the
watchful eye and guiding chirrups of the mother bird.

The events were extraordinary in nature, but what struck me, was
not that the bird was telling me something repeatedly, but that it
reasoned that I would comprehend what information she was conveying. The
bird, I later gathered was a purple sunbird. The incident got me interested
enough in bird ethology to take birdwatching as a hobby. In fact so
serious that for my PG dissertation in my specialization too, I chose
avian embryology. I have since written more than one hundred articles in
the press on birds and their ilk, conducted talks and nature camps,
published about 18 articles in the Newsletter for Birdwatchers…. And to cap
it all, the little purple sunbird led me to apply for, and receive, the
plum post of Executive Director of BNHS in 1992, when Mr. Daniel
retired (due to some other reasons I didn’t take up the assignment). I have
met with hundreds of very nice people in the field whose knowledge and
courtesy humble me. Who knew, 25 years ago, that one little bird would
open so many hearts and doors; suffice to remember, that the language
and lexicon of emotions, pains, sorrows, love, transcend beyond
biological and evolutionary chasms and spans, and but are be understood by all
creations

 
WHY DO PRETTY GIRLS END UP MARRYING ORDINARY GUYS
sulekha.com

Ever wondered how, the more pretty girls are always hitched up with the less handsome men? My own survey of the odd scenario reveals that eight out of ten beautiful women, actually hook up with or get married to men who are just passably handsome, and in many instances, very plain looking. The ‘Adonis’ types end up with Venuses only on movie and cinema screens; In real life, the princesses invariably pair with toads.

I myself am counted a toad, and am nicknamed ‘cockroach’. Mainly because of my average in height, weight, colour and below average in looks department. Maybe too, because I am really an amphibian or arthropod in anthropomorphic form. Either way, the point is, much to the utter amazement (and often, utter consternation), the ‘crow’ look-alikes of my college end up with the ‘swans’ of the campus. The population of the bevy of beautiful belles that hover round plainsmen, amazes.

I have a possible explanation for dichotomous crow-swan coupling.

You see, the crows, know they are crows and the cockroaches know they are just that, insects; vermin and overlooked: They have nothing to lose anyway, so, they dare to send the valentine card, or the bunch of roses or tinkle a bell - to the prettiest in the city. Rejection they can take, they know they probably will be, but they never give up trying.

Now the swans, all decked and dolled up, enveloped in a cloud of perfume, eyelashes aflutter, stand in vain for the never-forthcoming Lochinvars in shining armour. Instead, they have a bunch of Sancho Panzas, strewing petals at their feet, making them feel heady. The crows are born courtiers and wooers. They will boldly walk up to Aishwarya, sitting alone yonder, to ask for a dance: all the while, the handsome smooth shaven Gallahads, reeking of after-shave and dripping in gold necklace and bracelets, wait at the other end of the dance floor, and hesitate; Afraid of asking, for fear of being rebuffed. That is the key. They cannot take no for an answer, these macho types: their egos won’t permit them to take risks. But the cockroach, he is ready in approach, open in his admiration and genuine in his motive-and lo! The crows get the crown.

Next time you see an ill-matched married pair, the male Corvus splendens (common crow) with arms of the female Pavo cristatis (pea fowl) draped around him, don’t rant, just rationalize, and rue: it could have been you and her, instead it is her and ‘it’. The hare always loses the race to the tortoise. So said Aesop.
And so say all of us, the Periplaneta americanas (the roaches).
Amen

 

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

Name: ARUNACHALAM KUMAR

 

Sex:  Male       Age: 56     Date of Birth:  27. 04. 1949   

Qualification:  M.B.B.S., M.S. (Mysore University)             

Post: Professor & Head, Dept. of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore

Visiting Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait, 2002 & 2003.

 

Academic & Administrative

 

Chairman, Board of Studies, M.A.H.E, 2003 -

Member, Board of Studies, Mangalore University, 1990 - 1992

Deputy Registrar, M.A.H.E, 1994 -1998

Chairman, Malpractice Committee, M.A.H.E, 1994 -

Warden, KMC Hostels, 1984 - 1994,

Secretary, Research Committee, 1992 - 1996

Chief Superintendent of Examinations for M.A.H.E. Examinations at many centers

MAHE Flying Squad member for Allahabad, Tirupati and Cudappah

Examiner for MBBS, MS, MD, MSc, BDS, BPT & BNYS courses 

Recognized Guide for Ph.D.  for M.A.H.E

27 years (1979 - 2004) teaching experience UG & PG students for medical, dental, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medical laboratory courses

Associate Editor for M.A.H.E in-house quarterly, Manipal Linq, since 1994

Vice-Chancellor’s nominee on Technical Staff Selection Board of MAHE.

Member, Manipal Marketing Council, Manipal Enterprises, Bangalore

MAHE Representative at GHEDEX in Muscat, Oman, 2005

 

Awards

 

 1.  Roll of Honor, KMC Students’ Association, Manipal, 1969

 2.  Best Public Speaker Award from Indian Jaycees, 1977

 3.  Jaycees ‘Outstanding Young Person Award’, 1983

 4.  Rotary ‘Professional Competence Recognition’, 1984

 5.  Dr. T. M. A. Pai Gold Medal for Medical Research, 1984

 6.  Rotary Foundation ‘GSE Award’ for study tour of U.S.A, 1984

 7.  Rotary Foundation ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ recognition, 1985

 8.  Best Paper, State Conference of Community Medicine, Mangalore, 1989

 9.  Commendable Service Award from D.K. District Scouts & Guides, 1990

10. Distinguished Alumnus Award, K.M.C, 1992

11. Elected Fellow, International Medical Science Academy, 1996

12. Best Paper, National Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Manipal 1998

13. Intel Award ‘Best Computer Science Project’ at Zonal & National, 2001

14. Karnataka Rajyotsava Award, for Medical Service, 2002

15. Air India - Deccan Herald, B.O.L.T. Award 1st Place for teaching, 2003

16. Certificate of Appreciation, for contribution to Medical Literature, K.M.C, 2004

 

Credits

 

Over a hundred and fifty scientific research papers published or presented at state, zonal, national & international conferences and journals & thirty-one other scientific publications or presentations. Cited in Limca Book of Indian Records, 1994, for having the maximum range of scientific research papers in India. Subjects researched on include Anatomy, Paediatrics, Urology, Medicine, Surgery, Orthopaedics, Forensic Medicine, Dermatology, Community Medicine, ENT, Ophthalmology, Biomedical Engineering, Sports Medicine, Dentistry, Ornithology, Computer Science, Political Science, Environmental Science, Entomology, and Sociology. Included among ‘Scientists - Karnataka’ in Leading Indian Personalities (www.lip2000.com). Addressed over 400 plus organizations in India, Middle East & U.SA.

 

Authorship

 

Books: (1) Crossword Decoder, (2) Footprints (3) Americana  (4) ABC Handbook of Human Embryology. Over 130 plus articles in newspapers & magazines in India and abroad and around 450 articles on the web / internet specialty sites.

 

Memberships

 

Life Member, Bombay Natural History Society

Life Member, Worldwide Fund for Nature

Life Member, Andhra Pradesh Birdwatchers Society

Member, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Life Member, Ornithological Society of India

Fellow, Academy of Higher Education

Fellow, International Academy of Medical Sciences

Advisory Committee, Lead Referral Center

Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International

Member, Pilikula Nisarga Dhama Wildlife Advisory Wing

Listed in Anthropology Review Board, Buffalo University, U.S.A.

 

Formerly

 

President, All College Union of SK 1972

President, K M C Students Association at Manipal & Mangalore, 1969, 1972

State Committee Member, WWF-India, Karnataka

Asst. District Commissioner, DK Scouts & Guides

Organizing Secretary, IX State Jamborette, Scouts & Guides, Suratkal,1989

 

Articles on the Internet

 

www.DCRegistry.com / www.krishsrikkanth.com/ nathistory-india@Princeton.Edu/ www.bngbirds/www.meditimes.com/www.adbhut.com/www.bbc.co.uk/www.sulekha.com/www.indianjungles.com/www.humanracearchives/www.birdsofdelhi/www.rediffblogs.com/www.bmj.com/www.birdersworld.com/

 

1.Pax Anglo Americana. 2.Christ in India. 3.Crucible of History. 4.The Church of Nativity. 5.Must the two-legged mum cry? 6.Doctors. 7.Thumb position in the obese. 8.Birds of a feather. 9.Two great birds. 10.One last bow. 11.Hopping in birds. 12.Last call of the flycatcher. 13.Flamigos in Kuwait. 14.Birds of Kuwait. 15.Kuwaiti bulbuls. 16.Repaired dog’s tale. 17.Dolphins in duel. 18.Geneva Convention. 19. Pigeon Story. 20.Bull-dog from Mangalore. 22.Auto-biography 23.Sparrows chirrup no more. 24.Spider web pharmacology. 25.Beehive and fullerine. 26.We are lucky aren’t we? 27.More football coaches please! 28.Level playing field. 29.The blue numbers. 30.Dog story 31.Thank God they’re human! 32.Sachin’s on drive 33.Frozen moments in cricket. 34.Innovations in stroke-play. 35.Sachin’s medical problem. 36.The bouncers are back. 37.Not alone, Shane.  38.Shame on you, Shane.  39.Level Playing Field. 40.Hopping in birds. 41.Electrocution in bats. 42.ReflectionsI. 43.Reflections II.  44.Rope tricks. 45.Shooting snakes.  46.Scanning snakes.  47.Hyderabad blues. 48. Parthenium growth. 49.Sunbird diet. 50.Cobweb soot as clotting factor. 51.Indian elephant anatomy. 52.Morphometrics of Elephas maximus. 53.Snake in bathroom. 54.Paradise flycatcher.55.Mongoose cat frolic. 56.Koel frog interaction. 57.Rajaji elephants. 58.Wildlife conversations.  59.Pitta kill.  60.Magpie robin on attack mode. 61.Giant snails. 62.New species of frogs. 63.Crow-magnon. 64.Murder of crows. 65.Crooning crows. 66.Crow wing pattern. 67.Scare crows. 68.Butterfly migration. 69.Blue tigers and common crows. 70.Vision in birds. 71.Raining owls. 72.Atlas moths. 73.Muthodi. 74.Trunk call. 75.The Bandipur Tiger. 76.Kaalikeshwaran the jumbo. 77.Urban wildlife. 78.Mama kite knows best. 79.Clay in kite nest. 80.Hornbills of Mysore. 81.Jumbo top. 82.Egg heads. 83.Wolf snake. 84.Witness to a carnage.  85.Kite-pigeon interface. 86.Crow colour. 87.Pride of India. 88.Botanist medico 89.Silk story. 90.The kurunji. 91.Bear gait. 92.Bandipur tiger. 93.Bhadra elephant. 94.The Anamalai elephant. 95.Lacrimal function. 96.Westwards ho! 97.The river Merrimack. 98.Live free.  99.John Wells R I P. 100.Cheever and his garden 101.Keene & Karakorams 102.Chikkappa Rai & chickens. 103.John Shepherd and his computer. 104.Great Bear. 105.Bush & the Blue Star. 106.The Blue Numbers. 107.Pathogen free 108. The country doctor 109. Indophillia & authors 110. Rainy days. 111. Taj & all that. 112.Enola Gay. 113.Mayflower downwards 114.The final lesson. 115. No entry. 116.Risus sardonicus. 117.Heartbeat of the dead 118.The horologist. 119.The ethical orthopaedician. 120.Situs inversus. 121.Bus ride to evolution. 122.Hemmings and Headingly. 123.The dentist’s story. 124.The medical library. 125.Garden lizards. 126.The sparrows chirrup. 128.Squirrel-babbler interaction. 129.Boa rescue. 130.Pigeon’s tale. 131.Barn owls. 132.The western-ghat train. 133.Freddie the frog. 134.Repaired dog tale. 135. Mona Lisa.  136.The eyes of Jesus.  137.JAMA cover.  138.Looking for Denise.  139.Hildene. 140.Your slip is showing.  141.Butterfly migration in the Deccan. 142.Concorde from Siberia. 143.Monkey-kite interaction.  144.Sunbirds & webs. 145.Owl season in Mangalore. 146. The Greek Restaurant.  147. Bovine Wisdom. 148. Hildene. 149. Lessons from a chessboard.  150.Night Watch.  151.Risus sardonicus.  152.Ode to a silent angel.  153.The bottled specimen.  154.Bull-dog from Mangalore.  155.Ayoni.  156. Level playing field. 157.Rainy days. 158.Mona Lisa.  159.JAMA Cover.  160.Looking for Denise. 161.Squatting facets as markers. 162.Fossil finds in India. 163.Was brachiation the first step? 164.The yeti may yet be. 165.Index finger biomechanics. 165.Was the first hominid Indian? 166.Thumb sign in the obese. 167.A tear shed for bipedalism.  168.Another tear shed for bipedalism. 169.Must the two-legged mum need to cry? 170.Human origins: predictions. 171.Flamingos in Kuwait.  172.Birds of Kuwait.  173.No crows in Kuwait. 174.Kuwaiti bulbuls.  175.Last call of the paradise flycatcher.  176.Lacrimal glands-revisited.  177.My daughter Eva.  178.Stop! leech!  179.Jumbo top. 180.Two great birds, one last bow. 181.The Concorde from Siberia. 182.Kalyani’s story. 183.The school head-master. 184.Darwin’s point 185.Clay lumps as nesting material. 186.Witness to a carnage.  187.Sustainable development.  188.The pride of India. 189.The Blue Mormons.  190. Spider-sunbird nexus. 191.Eggheads. 192.Paradise flycatcher. 193.Birdwatcher, forever. 194.Ayoni in a wide world.  195.Scarce sparrows. 196.Paradise Flycatcher. 197.Last call of the sparrow. 198.Eggheads. 199.Birdwatcher forever. 200. Concorde from Siberia.   201.Christ, in India  202.The Church of Nativity.  203.Mona Lisa Smile.  204.Pax Anglo-Americana.   205.Christ & Christians in India.  206.More football coaches please.  207.Two great birds, one last bow.  208.Level playing field. 209. Kalyani’s story.  210.The Bandipur Tiger. 211.The story of Kaali.  212.Mum to be.  213.Knuckle walking bio-mechanics.  214.Mona Lisa smile.  215.Thumb sign in obesity.  216.We’re lucky aren’t we mum?  217.Azhar, please come back.  218.Sex & only sex.  219.Sparrows, sparrow, quo vadis?  220.The dog that God returned.  221.Cure for hiccups.  222.Evolution of a birdwatcher. 223.The 46th tiger of Bandipur.  224.The brat elephant, Kaali.  225.Christ, in India.  226.The church at Bethlehem.  227.Christianity & India.  228.Gorilla gait.  229.Daft dads: membership.  230. Libido and libel.  231.Snake-scan.  232.Freedom at midnight.  233.Lowly leech trick.  234.Paradise flycatcher.  235.Egg heads. 236.The Siberian Concord.  237. Birdwatcher, forever.  238.Autobiography.  239.Nagaland scores again & again.  240. Daft husbands: membership open.  241.An auto-biography.  242.Choli ke peechey: revisited.  243.Herbs & Humbug.  244.Arbor vitae. 245.Why my friend Keith cried?  246. Circadian rhythms and malaria.  247.Orofacial response: atavism.  248.The steel bars. 249.The snake that got away.  250.Mona Lisa. Syndrome.  251.Knuckle walking and bipedalism.  252.Forelimb axial position & obesity.  253.Oro-facial muscle response & atavism.  254.New theory on evolution.  255.Freed from Veerappan.  256. Bear & camel gait. 257.The Kumar hypothesis on evolution.  258.Birth & baptism, by fire.  259.Kalyani’s story.  260.Two birds, one bow.  261.Mudhols & Rajapalayams.  262.Atavistic orofacial response.  263.Human fossils in India.  264.Knuckle walking as precursor for bipedalism.   265.Mum to be: beware.   266.Humanized Hounds.  267. Snakes aslither.  268.Goodbye Sachin.  269.Why the boy adores Saurav.  270.The mysterious carton.  271.The K 9 Brigade.  272.Training dogs.  273.Hand position in obesity.  274.The Kumar Hypothesis.  275.Squatting facets on femora.  276.New species: Human fossils.  277.Egging my life forward.  278.The resident shrew.  279. The yellow flowers. 280.Death of romance.  281.The hot girl in hipster sari.  282.Pax Americana.  283.Wildlife conversations.  284.Identification confusion.  285.One-legged pigeon.  286.Dolphins in duel.   287.The prisoners of war.  288.Pardon, your slip.  289.No crows in Kuwait.  290.The spider web material.  291.Beehive architecture.  292.Level playing field.  293.The South African fiasco.  294.The faded blue numerals.  295.Last flight of the Concorde.  296.Beware, mum to be.  297.The watchful doctor.  298.Sustainable development.  299.How women handle handling.  300.Why do pretty girls marry?  301.Eclipse & elephants.  302.Birds of Kuwait.  303.Flamingos in Kuwait. 304.The crimson patch.  305.Two headed snakes & teas  306.Snakes a-slither.  307.Looking for Denise.  308.Birds of a feather.  309.Doctors.  310.To ‘a girl’, on tackling  311.Final frontier.  312.Away from it all.  313.Scarce sparrows: quo vadis?  314.Identification confusion. 315. By any other name 316.Birds of a feather.  317.Mum to be, beware.  318.The Mona Lisa Syndrome.  319.New species of frog.  320.Tigers and woods.  321.Prostitutes of my town.  322.Lessons from a chessboard. 323.Busride to evolution.  324.Sachin’s form   325.Tyson.  326.Viagra world.  327.Bye, for now!  328.God! How I wish I was. 329.Walk, pedal, ride, drive, walk.  330.New arsenals in Sachin’s armory.  331. Memorable innovations in stroke-play.  332. Ominous portents on the field.  333.Pants down situations.  334.First love.  335. The bullfrog, Freddie.  336.Whale breaching and earthquakes.  337. Vagina-less in a viagra world.  338.The Iraq War.  339.The Greek restaurant  340.Dolly, for two good reasons.  341.Forwarded from Zoolekha.com  342.  A Christmas tale.  343.Bar on the border.  344.The birth of Shaalu’s baby.  345.Jumbo tale.  346.A bit of India in Vermont.  347.Who says size doesn’t count?  348. M. S. Subbalakshmi, Suprapaadam, Stereophonic.  349.How I nearly became.  350.Should I have ?  351. Should I have ? II  352. I should have III  353. Predictions and premonitions.  354. Prediction an earthquake.  355. Story of silk.  356.Another silk story.  357.Hair combing techniques.  358.Thanks, a hundredfold.  359. A tribal story.  360. Smile the year in.  361.100 Days, 101 blogs.  362. 101 Blogs; prelude 1.  362. 101 Blogs; prelude II.  363. 101 Blogs; prelude. III  364. She of intimidating fingernails.  365.Back to where I belong. 366.My India. 367.The Weighing Scale. 368.American Waterloo. 369.The Ebony Pamela. 370.The Hands of Time. 371.Hair today, Gone Tomorrow. 372.The Earthquake Revisited. 373.Requiem for the Mudhol Hound. 374.The Prince of Calcutta. 375.Elephant Sub Species. 376.A Simple Test for Breast cancer. 377.Non-invasive Treatment for Chronic Backache. 378.Parental Choice. 379.Cure for Hiccups. 380.Farewell Freddie. 381.Insanity & HIV.  382.Moxibustion Branding. 383. On Today, yesterday. 384.Farewell, Freddie.  385.How Silk & Sachin. 386. Today, On my Birthday. 387. Yesterday, on my Birthday.  388. Boomerang Brando. 389. Shedding Tears.  390.The World Forgot Her.  391.The Rolex. 392.Personal View. 393.Hindustan hamara.  394.Mangos and maxim.  395.Wheeler dealers.  396.Cranio-caudal shifts.  397.Evolution: a new theory.  398. Last battle.  399. Most bizarre. 400. Star Crossed.  401.Cops & Robbers.  402.Four Hundred Friends.  403. Happy wife.  404. The Ideal Woman.  405. The Ideal Woman II.  406. Anthology.  407. The last battle.  408. Robert Frost.  409.Coming of age (II).  410. ab Moti ki kya.  411. Institutionalized infidelity. 412. The two Rekhas. 413. How a petticoat. 414. A love story.  415. Alpha male or omega man? 416. Fertility symbol. 417. Core of feminity.  418. Five star mess.  419. Carthikeyan.  420. Sexual harassment.  421.For Devassy.  422. A love story, another kind.  423. Passing of an era.  424.HIV & Insanity.  425.Chronic backache.  426.Prevention not proof.  427.Moxibustion scarring.  428. A simple test.  429. Passing the buck.  430. Elasticity of ethics.  431.The rains, the children.  432.Why is this girl?  433.Lessons from geography.  434. Migration of talent.  435. Journals and pharma industry.  436. Arrival & departure.  437. My vote goes to.  438. Be human.  439.The surveillance report. 440.Fairy Tale, Retold.  441.My last write.  442. Orange peel as biofuel  

 

 

ARTICLES IN LAY PRESS

 

1.The Hindu / 2.Times of India / 3. The Observer / 4.The Week / 5.The Canara Times / 6. Coastal Times /7. Morning News / 8. Hindustan Times / 9. India Journal / 10. Manipal Record / 11.Manipal Linq / 12. WWF Quarterly / 13. Nature News / 14. India Magazine / 15.Biz Mag / 16. Metronews 

 

1.The parakeets  2.The hoopoes  3.The bulbuls  4.Kites 5.Kingfishers  6.Lapwings 7.Lapwings. 8.Houbara hunt 9.Green Bee-eaters 10.Blue Rock Pigeon 11.Racket-tailed drongo 12.Owls 13.Barn owls 14.Caring two hoots 15.Paradise flycatcher 16.Orioles 17.Barbets 18.Green barbets 19.Magpie Robin 20.Magpie Robins 21.Tailor birds 22.Tailor birds 23.Kingfishers 24.Green Bee-eaters 25.Lapwing 26.The last ninja 27.Forest cane turtle 28.Urban wildlife 29.Environmental awareness 30.City wildlife 31.Green vine snake 32.Pollution 33.SK Environment 34.Trunk-call from Bhadra  35.The real hero 36.The tigers collared 37.The Bandipur tiger 38.Fortysixth tiger 39.Bhadra elephant 40.Yakshagana puppetry 41.Tendulkar’s left knee 42.Footwork flaws 43.Harbhajan Singh  44.Ominous portends 45.The writing on Azhar’s wall  46.Urvashi 47.Bangkok Buddha  48.An ode to Silk Smitha  49.Memories of Dr. T.M.A. Pai  50.Rangoli 51.Rangoli, Indian art 52.The egg   53.The colour purple  54.Giant Atlas Moth  55.Muthodi 56.Turtle  57.Short story 58.Short story  59.Short story  60.Miracle Man  61.Private medical colleges 62.Better teachers  63.School bag weight  64.Satchel science  65.Rainy days again 66.Jurrasic park and Jupiter  67.Cartography  68.Beehive and buckyballs  69.Proof of the pudding  70.The Fibonacci numbers  71.Clouds  72.Origin of man  73.The biomechanics of pace bowling  74.Déjà vu  75.Black death  76.Short cut  77.The Ganesha psyche  78. The Ganesha worship 79.Incredible, but true  80.Incredible II  81.The specter of unemployment  82.Mangalore history  83.History of DK  84.Urban wildlife  86.S.K, I weep for you  87.The sphenoid sir  88.Kaprigoodays  89.Kaprigoodays  90.Lecturer talk  91.Voice of silence  92.The leper  93.Heartbeat  94.Eaten by the Japanese  95.Crasta raasta to moksha   96.Kingfishers  97.Chuck the law  98.Auto-biography  99.Woman of substance  100.Risus sardonicus  101.City wildlife 102.Magpie Robins 103.The paradise flycatchers 104.Kingfishers 105. The eyes of Jesus Christ 106.Mona Lisa 107.The flying jewels 108.The bulbuls 109.Camping at Muthodi 110.Urban pythons  111.Eaten by the Japanese 112.Rainy days 113.Index finger biomechanics 114.Yeti may yet be 115.The ‘Kumar Hypothesis’ on human evolution 116.Predictions:fossil finds in India 117.A tear shed for bipedalism 118.Another tear for bipedalism 119. Was brachiation the first step forwards?  120.Thumb sign in the obese  121.Fossil finds in India  122.Squatters and facets 123.Sesamoid fracture for Tendulkar  124.Fortnight in focus 125.Houbara hunt  126.Kingfishers  127.Ganesha worship  128.The dentist who loved cricket  129.Risus sardonicus

 

RADIO

 

www.globalradio2020.com

 

1.Why I do not vote?  2. The year 2004 reviewed (politics) 3. The year 2004 reviewed (sports) 4.The year 2004 reviewed (religion) 5. Radio Interview with Bobby Aloysius, Olympian

 

PRESS

 

The following newspapers and magazines have featured articles on me.

The Indian Express, The Deccan Herald, Observer, Mid day, The Hindu, The Times of India, The Telegraph, The Tribune, The Independent, New Zealand Herald, Udayavani, Mungaru, Hosa Digantha, Vijaya Karnataka, Vijaya Times, Outlook, India Today, Linq, Cetacean, Rotarian, WWF News, Nature India, India Journal, India Magazine, Panorama, The Tribune, The Singapore Times, Rutland Herald, Concord Reporter, Sanctuary, Eesanje, Eenaadu, Mangalore Today, Metro News, The Sun, Rakhno, Mangala, The Week, Vanitha, The Cetacean     

 

 

CONTACT

 

Office:
Professor & Head, Department of Anatomy

Center for Basic Science, Kasturba Medical College, Bejai,

Mangalore – 575004

 

Residence:

‘Set-In’, Opposite Shanti Cathedral, YMCA Road, Falnir, Mangalore 575002

 

Phones:                              

(0824)2211746 (office) 2432239 (residence)  9880530539 (mobile) Fax: 2428183

E-mail: ixedoc@hotmail.com

 

 PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS (1983-2005)

 

120.Kumar A

Witness to a birth

Canadian Medical Association Journal, Oct 2005

 

119.Kumar J C, Sharma V K & Kumar A

Jetlag & malaria susceptibility

Medical Hypothesis 65, 2005.

 

118.Kumar A & Kumar J C

Moringa oleifera: for non-chemical water prifiucation

BMJ 2005 (letters)

 

117.Kumar J C, Kumar E A & Kumar A

The functional anatomy of coronary arteries

Annual State Conference of the Cardiological Society of India, 2005, Mangalore

 

116.Kumar A

Career Focus: Why is this lifeless girl killing me?

BMJ 2005 (in press)

 

115.Kumar A

Anatomy for the bird brained

BMJ 2005 Filler (in press)

 

114. Kumar A

Very patient me

BMJ 2005 Filler (in press)

 

113.Kumar A

Crying wolf

BMJ 2005 July 2005

 

112.Kumar A

Aspirin for everyone over 50? The buck stops in the consulting room

BMJ 2005, 5 JUL 16; 331 (7509): 161

 

111.Deokar A, Kumar J C & Kumar A

Why does the contracting heart produce an impact on the chest wall?

Student-BMJ, 2005 (in press)

 

110.Kumar A

Gag reflex for arrest of intractable hiccups

Medical Hypotheses, 65; 2005 (in press)

 

109.Ashwini Kumar E, Vyas B V, Kumar J C, Chitkara G, Mishra N & Kumar A

The spectral analysis of resonant sounds of chest percussion as a non-invasive diagnostic- prognostic tool. Proceedings of the National Conference on Devices, Intelligent Systems & Communication, 2005, Manipal

 

108.Kumar J C, Ashwini Kumar E, Chitkara G, Mishra N & Kumar A

Abdomino-electrography. Proceedings of the National Conference on Devices, Intelligent Systems & Communications, 2005, Manipal

 

107.Kumar J C & Kumar A

Atavistic facial grimace in pain

Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 2005, (in press)

 

106.Kumar J C, Kumar A, Ashwini Kumar E & Ashoka B

Sudomotor Dysfunction: A New Bedside Diagnostic Aid

BMJ (S. Asia) 21 June 2005

 

105.Kumar J C & Kumar A

Magnetic Forces for Bone Lengthening

Medical Hypotheses, 65: 2005, (in press)

 

104.Kumar J C & Kumar A

Magnetic Attraction as Maintenance Force in Fractures

Medical Hypothesis, 65: 2: 418, 2005

 

103.Kumar A & Kumar J C

Atavistic Orofacial Response to Manually Dexterous Activity

Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 65: 161, 2005

 

102.Ashwin K & Kumar A

Sports Injuries: Newer Perspectives on Muscle Action

National Conference of Sports Medicine, Chennai, 2005

 

101.Ashwin K & Kumar A

Pronation, Supination and Biomechanics of Spin Bowling

National Conference of Sports Medicine, Chennai, 2005

 

100.Kumar J C & Kumar A

Coronary Arterial Array Geometry & Haemodynamics: A New Biophysical Perspective

Indo-Australian Seminar on Biotechnology, Manipal, 2005

 

99. Kumar J C & Kumar A

Nail Growth in Diabetes Mellitus

International Colloquium on Diabetes, Chennai, 2004

 

98. Vasudha S, Kumar A & Prabhu L V

Morphometry of Middle Ear Ossicles

Indian Journal of Otology, Vol. 10 2004 (in press)

 

97. Nayak S, Bhat S & Kumar A

Analysis of Plantar Prints in Tree-climbing Communities

National Conference, A.S.I., Hyderabad, 2004

 

96. Nayak S, Narayana K, Walid R & Kumar A

Styloid Process Elongation: Case Report & Discussion

National Conference, A.S.I., Hyderabad, 2004

 

95. Kumar J C & Kumar A

Chaotic Plantar Weight Distribution in Bipeds

National Conference, A.S.I., Hyderabad, 2004

 

94. Kumar J C & Kumar A

The Biophysical Mechanisms of Phonation

National Conference, A.S.I, Hyderabad, 2004

 

93. Kumar J C & Kumar A

View Point: The Physiodynamics and Biomechanics of the Cardiac Apex

BMJ (Asian Ed.), Vol. 20: No.3: 19-20, 2004

 

92. Kumar J C & Kumar A

The Biophysics & Physiology of Phonation

Indo-Australian Symposium on Biomaterials & Biotechnology, Manipal 2004

 

91. Kumar J C & Kumar A

The Physiological Dynamics of Cardiac Apex Beat

Indo-Australian Symposium on Biomaterials & Biotechnology, Manipal 2004

 

90. Kumar A

The Fibula as Graft, Workshop on Cadaveric Dissection of Facial Nerve

Dept of Maxillofacial Surgery, C.O.D.S, Mangalore, 2003

 

89. Kumar A

Paleopathology & the World of Medical Art

Workshop on Medical Art & Photography, Mangalore 2003

 

88. Kumar A

The Thumb Sign in the Overweight

British Medical Journal, (Asian Ed.) Vol.19:  No.3: 16-17: 2003

 

87. Manou J & Kumar A

Ellis van Creveld Syndrome in Adult Female

Journal of the Indian Association of Oral Medicine & Radiology, Vol.15: No.1: 2003

 

86. Kumar A

ABC Pocketbook of Human Embryology

JP Brothers, ISBN 81-8061-165-5, New Delhi, 2003

 

85. Bhat S & Kumar A

The Medial Longitudinal Arch in Professional Tree Climbers

Indian Journal of Public Health (in press)

 

84. Prabhu L V & Kumar A

The Functional Anatomy of the Lacrimal Sac

Karnataka Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol.20, No.2, 26-27, 2003

 

83. Kumar A

Unilateral Anophthalmia in Chick Embryos due to Vincristine Sulphate Toxicity

Karnataka Journal of Ophthalmology 2003, (in press)

 

82. Manou J & Kumar A

Mayer Rokintansky Custer Hauser Syndrome: Palmar Dermatoglyphics

Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology (in press)

 

81. Feroz K & Kumar A

Fingerprint Profile in Female Arabs of Kuwait

49th A.S.I. National Conference, Gulbarga, 2002

 

80. Latha V P & Kumar A

The Classification of Branches of the Internal Iliac Artery

Acta Karnataka, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2002

 

79. Feroz K & Kumar A

Palmar Dermatoglyhics in Kuwaiti Female Medical Students

Karnataka Chapter of Anatomists, Hubli, 2002

 

78. Kumar A

The ‘Thumb Sign’ in Obesity

Human Races Monthly, Vol.1, No.10, 2002

 

77. Kumar A

An Osteological Clue to Bipedalism

Human Races Monthly, Vol.1, No. 9, 2002

 

76. Kumar A

A Tear Shed, Again, for Bipedalism

Human Races Monthly, Vol.1, No. 9, 2002

 

75. Kumar A

Shedding a Tear for Bipedalism

Human Races Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 9, 2002

 

74. Kumar A

The Index digit rotation and opposition evolution

Human Races Monthly, Vol. 1, No.9, 2002

 

73. Kumar A

Hominid Fossils in India: Some Predictions

Human Races Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 9, 2002

 

72. Kumar A

Was Brachiation ‘One Small Step’ for Mankind?

Human Races Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 9, 2002

 

71. Kumar A

The Kumar Hypothesis on Hominid Fossil Finds in India

Human Races Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 9, 2002

 

70. Kumar A

Fossil Finds in India: Early Hominids

Human Races Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 9, 2002

 

69. Manou J & Kumar A

Palmar Dermatoglyphics as a Diagnostic Tool in MRKH Syndrome

State Conference of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, Bangalore, 2002

 

68. Manou J & Kumar A

Mathematical Analysis of Flexion-Extension of Index Finger

48th A.S.I. National Conference, Manipal, 2001

 

67. Manou J & Kumar A

The Rotational Kinetics of Index-Pollex in Opposition Exercise

48th A.S.I. National Conference, Manipal, 2001

 

66. Vasudha S & Kumar A

Morphometrical Analysis of Middle Ear Ossicles

48th A.S.I. National Conference, Manipal, 2001

 

65. Prabhu L V & Kumar A

The Functional Anatomy of the Lacrimal Sac: A Reassessment

48th A.S.I. National Conference, Manipal, 2001

 

64. Anuradha, Jaijesh & Kumar A

The Brachial Artery: Anomalies & Applied Anatomy

47th A.S.I. National Conference, Dehradun, 2001

 

63. Prabhu L V & Kumar A

Osteometry of the Nasal Septum

47th A.S.I. National Conference, Dehradun, 2001

 

62. Prabhu L V, Minnie P & Kumar A

Branching Pattern of the Internal Iliac Artery: Classification

47th A.S.I. National Conference, Dehradun, 2001

 

61. Kumar A

Combing Techniques

Journal of Irreproducible Results, Vol. 45: No. 4: 13: 2000

 

60. Thota B, Sonia R, Radhika M, Rao A & Kumar A

Eagle’s Syndrome & Anatomy of the Styloid Process

Indian Journal of Dental Research, XI 2: 65-70, 2000

 

59. Mehboob S & Kumar A

The Kinetics of Spin Bowling; Off-spin, Supination & Pronation

National Conference on Sports Medicine, N.I.S., New Delhi, 1999

 

58. Mehboob S & Kumar A

Biomechanically Produced Sports Injuries

National Conference on Sports Medicine, N.I.S., New Delhi, 1999

 

57. Kumar A

Medical Research in Third World Scenarios

45th Annual Conference, International College of Surgeons, Mysore, 1999

 

56. Rao A & Kumar A

Styloid Process Osteometry & Eagle’s Syndrome

S. Zone E.N.T. Conference, Mangalore, 1999

 

55. Rao A & Kumar A

Osteometry of the Nasal Septum

S. Zone E.N.T. Conference, Mangalore, 1999

 

54. Rao K P S & Kumar A

A Biomechanical Study of Sachin Tendulkar’s On-drive

46th A.S.I. National Conference, Karad, 1998

 

53. D’Souza A & Kumar A

Styloid Process Osteometry & Eagle’s Syndrome

46th A.S.I. National Conference, Karad, 1998

 

52. Minnie P, Prabhu L V & Kumar A

The Branching Pattern of Ulnar Nerve in the Tunnel of Guyon

46th. A.S.I. National Conference, Karad, 1998

 

51. Anuradha & Kumar A

Observations on the Tibial Collateral Ligament

46th. A.S.I. National Conference, Karad, MH 1998

 

50. Prabhu L V & Kumar A

The Functional Morphology of Palmaris Longus Muscle

19th National Conference of the I.A.B.S, Mangalore, 1998

 

49. Rao A & Kumar A

Flexion-Extension of the Index Digit: A Kinesiological Analysis

19th National Conference of the I.A.B.S, Mangalore, 1998

 

48. Rao A & Kumar A

Linearity or Chaos? An electro-cardiographic perspective

19th National Conference of the I.A.B.S, Mangalore, 1998

 

47. Ahmad K, Susheel Chandra S & Kumar A

The Kinetics of Pace Bowling

19th National Conference of the I.A.B.S, Mangalore, 1998

 

46. Rao A & Kumar A

Opposition Mechanics of the Favoured Index-Pollex Complex: A Community Study

Proceedings of the N.C.B.E., Ed. U C Niranjan, VIII 19, 1998

 

45. Rao A & Kumar A

Opposition Biomechanics: A Community Study

National Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Manipal, 1998

 

43. Rao A & Kumar A

Mathematical Analysis of Flexion-Extension of Index Digit

Proceedings of the N.C.B.E., Ed. U C Niranjan, VIII 21, 1998

 

42. Rao A & Kumar A

Mathematical Analysis of Flexion-Extension of Index Digit

Proceedings of the N.C.B.E., Ed. U C Niranjan, 1998

 

41. Rao A & Kumar A

Intrinsic Cardiac Randomness & Diagnostic Pitfalls

National Conference of Biomedical Engineering, Manipal 1998

 

40. Rao A & Kumar A

Intrinsic Cardiac Randomness & Diagnostic Pitfalls in Electrocardiography

Proceedings of the N.C.B.E., Ed. U C Niranjan 1998

 

39. Kumar A

Non-metric Analysis of Post-cranial Skeleton

Journal of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology Vol. 14 (2) No 29 1997

 

38. Kumar A & Bose K V

Moxibustion Scarring: An Aid to Identity Establishment

Journal of the Karnataka Medico-legal Society Vol. 6 (2) No 25 1997

 

37. Kumar A

State of the Union: Health & Medicine

IV S. Zone Conference, Urological Society of India, Mangalore 1997

 

36. Kumar A

Despite a Busy Medical Practice

Merck Oration, IX State Conference, Indian Medical Association, Goa 1997

 

35. Bhat P & Kumar A

A Simple Technique for Malaria Control

Ross Centenary National Conference on Malaria & Tropical Diseases, Bangalore, 1997

 

34. Kumar A

Itching & Immunity

The Lancet, Vol. 348, No. 9038, 1382, 1996

 

33. Prabhu S P, Kumar A & Hegde B M

Electrocardiography & Chaos: A Closer Look

National Seminar on Chaos Theory, Haridas Foundation, Bangalore, 1996

 

32. Kumar A

Cerebral Dominance, Handedness & Paper Shredding

Journal of the Karnataka Medico-legal Society, Vol. 4 No. 1 15 1995

 

31. Ramakrishna A & Kumar A

Vincristine Sulphate Induced Sperm Shape Abnormalities

Journal of the International Medical Sciences Academy, Vol. 7 No.1 9 1993

 

30. Savita S & Kumar A

The Unco-vertebral Joints of Luschka

XVI State Conference, Karnataka Orthopaedic Association, Belgaum 1993

 

29. Kumar A

Embryology & Anomalies in the Development of Heart

Seminar on Paediatrics & Neonatology, Mangalore 1993

 

28. Kumar A & Savita S

Morphometry of the Bony Palate & its Asymmetry

Journal of the Indian Dental Association, Vol. 63, No. 7, 277 1992

 

27. Bose K V & Kumar A

The Physical load on Primary Schoolers in Mangalore City

Karnataka Paediatric Journal.  Vol. 6, No. 4, 19 1991

 

26. Sanyal A K & Kumar A

Comparative Analysis of Evaluation Methodologies Under Three Universities

Annual Conference of the A.S.I., Imphal 1991

 

25. Kumar A

Ethical Considerations in Medical Research

IV State Conference, Kerala State Urological Society, Mangalore, 1990

 

24. Savita S & Kumar A

The Ulnar Nerve & the Tunnel of Guyon

XIV Conference of Indian Society of Hand Surgeons, Manipal, 1990

 

23. Savita S & Kumar A

The Thumb-Index Complex Biomechanics in Opposition

XIV Conference of Indian Society of Hand Surgeons, Manipal, 1990

 

22. Savita S & Kumar A

The Tibial Collateral Ligament: Morphology & Variations

XIC State Conference, Karnataka Orthopaedics Society, Mangalore, 1990

 

21. Savita S, Vivek S R & Kumar A

Paediatric E.N.T Profile & Southwest Monsoons

Journal of Karnataka Association of Community Health, Vol. 6, 1990

 

20. Savita S, Vivek S R, Ballal R & Kumar A

Paediatric E.N.T Profile & Southwest Monsoons

IV State Conference, Karnataka Association of Community Health, Mangalore, 1989

 

19. Sanyal A K & Kumar A

Syllabus Rationalization & Preclinical Course

46th Conference of Anatomical Society of India, Calcutta, 1989

 

18. Kumar A

Advantages of Private Professional Education

Journal of Maharashtra State Dental Association Vol. 14 No. 2, 39, 1989

 

17. Kumar A & Agarwal A

Diabetes Mellitus & Nail Growth Rate

Bulletin of the Voluntary Health Association, 1988

 

16. Kumar A & Pai M L

Foramen Magnum Index for Sexing Adult Indian Crania

Anatomical Adjuncts, Vol. 1 No. 7, 1988

 

15. Kumar A

Branchial Cysts, Sinuses & Fistulae

Karnataka Paediatric Journal, Vol. 2, No.1, 9, 1986

 

14. Ravikumar R & Kumar A

Broad Toe, Mental Retardation & Unusual Facies: A Report on Five Cases of Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, Karnataka Paediatric Journal, Vol. 1 No. 7, 1986

 

13. Kumar A & Agarwal A

Gingivo-labial Sulcus Abrasions & Faulty Toothbrush Anatomy

Karnataka Dental Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1, 20, 1985

 

12. Baliga B S, Kumar A & Krishnamurthy P N

Intra-oral Anomalies in Ellis van Creveld Syndrome

Karnataka Dental Journal, Vol. 3, No. 4, 115, 1985

 

11. Kumar A

Complementary Rotation of Index in Thumb-Index Opposition

Proceedings of the International Conference of Biomechanics & Clinical Kinesiology of Hand & Foot, Eds. Patil K M & Srinivasan H, IIT Madras, 1985

 

10. Kumar A

Complementary Rotation of Index in Thumb Index Opposition

International Conference on Biomechanics of Hand & Foot, I.I.T., Madras, 1985

 

09. Kumar A

Developmental defects of the Skeletal System

South Kanara Homoeopaths Association Seminar, Mangalore, 1985

 

08. Das R, Pai M L & Kumar A

Foramen Magnum Index for Sexing Adult Indian Crania

1st World Conference of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology, Bhopal, 1984

 

07. Kumar A

Vincristine Sulphate Induced Ectodermal Dysplasias in Chick Embryos

Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology, Vol. 50, No. 1, 42, 1984

 

06. Kumar A

Adductor Pollicis Test for Ulnar Nerve Lesions

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Vol. 78, No. 3, 420, 1983

 

05. Kumar A

Vincristine Sulphate Induced Neural Tube Malformations in Chick Embryos

IV S. Zone Conference, Association of Physicians of India, Mangalore, 1983

 

04. Kumar A & Koranne S P

Squatting Facet on Femora in the West Coastal Indian Population

Forensic Science International, Vol. 21 No. 2, 19, 1983

 

03. Kumar A

Vincristine Sulphate Induced Neuro-ectodermal Dysplasias in Chick Embryos

Dissertation for award of M.S. (Anat.), Mysore University, 1982

 

02. Kumar A

More Nose Blowing for Foreign Body Removal

Canadian Family Physician, Vol. 28, No. 2, 198, 1982

 

01. Kumar A & Pai M L

Greater Sciatic Notch Angle: An Additional Parameter for Sexing Adult Hip Bones

IV National Conference, Indian Academy of Forensic Sciences, Hyderabad, 1982

 

E - Journal Publications

 

17.Arunachalam Kumar

Choosing the of gender of the unborn

Bmj.bmjjournals.com, June 2005

 

16.Arunachalam Kumar

Needlessly alarmist

Bmj.bmjjournals.com, Aug 2005

 

15.Arunachalam Kumar

Three problems & three solutions

Bmj.bmjjournals.com, Aug. 2005

 

 

14.Arunachalam Kumar & Kumar J C

Mental instability, vitamin C & common colds

PloS Medicine, Aug 2005

 

12.Arunachalam Kumar

Simpler self-diagnostic test for breast cancer

Bmj.bmjjournals.com, 2005

 

11.Arunachalam Kumar

Non-manipulative relief for chronic backache

Bmj.bmjjournals.com 2005

 

10.Arunachalam Kumar & Kumar J C

Branding and moxibustion: diagnostic aids?

Bmj.bmj.journals.com 2005

 

9. Arunachalam Kumar

Journals and pharma industry

PloS Medicine 2005

 

8. Arunachalam Kumar

A telling comment on mass migration

PloS Medicine 2005

 

7. Arunachalam Kumar

Bell’s palsy: aetiology should include iatrogenic too

Bmj.bmjjournals.com 2005

 

6. Arunachalam Kumar & Kumar J C

Medical ethics & prenatal sex determination

Bmj.bmjjournals.com 2005

 

5. Arunachalam Kumar

Prevention, not proof, is the answer

Bmj.bmjjournals.com 2005

 

4. Arunachalam Kumar

Does insanity confer immunity to AIDS?

Bmj.bmjjournals.com 2005

 

3.Arunachalam Kumar

Aspirin for everyone over 50? The buck stops in the consulting room

Bmj.bmjjournals.com 2005

 

2.Arunachalam Kumar

Walk, ride, drive & walk again

Bmj.bmjjournals.com 2005

 

1.Arunachalam Kumar & Kumar J C

G Forces and fracture – falls

Bmj.bmjjournals.com 2005

 

 

M.S / M.D. Dissertations & PhD Thesis

 

1. Avadhani R: Vincristine sulfate induced sperm shape abnormalities in mice, (M.S.)

 

2. Shivarama Bhat: The medial longitudinal arch in professional tree climbers, (M.S.)

 

3. Ganesh: Morphology and variations of the middle ear ossicles, (M.D.)

 

4. Jaijesh P: Effect of certain plant derivatives on osteo-arthritis, (Ph.D.)

 

5. Bincy R: A Community Study of Medial Longitudinal Arch in Feet (Ph. D)

 

 

PUBLICATIONS IN OTHER SUBJECTS:

 

1. Kumar A

Hopping in Birds: Is it Vision Based?

Blackbuck Vol. 14, No 1 (in press) 2004

 2. Kumar A & Bose K V

Checklist of Birds of Mangalore City

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 1989

 3. Kumar A & Bose K V

Checklist of Birds of Mangalore

WWF-India Rotary Publication, 1990

 4. Kumar A

Techniques in Birdwatching

Workshop on Avifauna, WWF-Rotary Club, Mangalore 1990

 5. Kumar A

Observations in Sholur Valley

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 32: 12: 1992

6. Kumar A

The Nilgiris Magpie Robin

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 33:  6:  1993

 7. Kumar A

Rehabilitation of Birds; Some Experiences

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 34:  6:  1994

 8. Kumar A

Comments on the NLBW Index

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 33: 2: 1993

 9. Kumar A

Munia Nest in Mangalore

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 34: 2: 1994

 10. Kumar A

Scimitar Babbler in Mangalore

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 34: 4: 1994

 11. Kumar A

Nest Material Foraging in Kites

Newsletter for Birdwatchers,

 12. Kumar A

Clay as Kite Nest Material

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 41: 3: 2001

 13. Kumar A

The White-throated Ground Thrush in Mangalore

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 40: 2: 2000

 14. Kumar A

Koel-Frog Interaction

Newsletter for Birdwatchers,

 15. Kumar A

Kingfisher Hunting in a Well

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 39: 4: 1999

 16. Kumar A

The Last call of the Paradise Flycatcher

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 42: 2: 2002

 17. Kumar A

An All-Black Coucal

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 42: 4: 2002

 18. Kumar A

Audio Cassette Tape as Avian Deterrent

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 42: 4: 2002

 19. Kumar A

Evolution of a Birdwatcher

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 40: 1: 2000

 20. Kumar A

Rehabilitation of Maimed Birds: Experiences

Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 40: 1: 2000

 21. Kumar A

Philosophy of Scientific Research: A Western Ghats Perspective

Proceedings of the UGC - DST Seminar. Eds. Hussain S A & Achar P K, 1994

 22. Kumar A

Beehive Architecture & Fullerin Formula

Insect Environment, Vol. 1 No. 4 1997

 23. Kumar A

Tutorials on Environment Awareness Syllabus

UGC Mangalore University Seminar on Tutorials. Ed. Madhav Rao

 24. Bucelo L, D’Souza L & Kumar A

A Cost Effective, Re-usable, User-friendly Aid to Windows ’98 PC Operator

Intel International Science Fair, Bangalore & Mumbai, 2002

 25. Kumar A

Philosophy of Scientific Research & Chick Embryology

BNHS Seminar for Senior Scientists, 1991, Bombay

 26. Kumar A

Research Philosophy & Social Sciences

National Conference Indian Association of Sociology National Conference 2002,

Mangalore

 27. Kumar A

Cerebration; The Central Nervous System

S. Zone UGC - Mangalore University Zoology Teachers Seminar, Mangalore

 28. Kumar A

The Ecology & Biodiversity of Western Ghats

Seminar for Bioscience Faculty, Mangalore University

 29. Kumar A

Research Methodologies & Motivation

S. Zone DST - UGC Mangalore University Seminar for Zoology Faculty, Mangalore

 30. Kumar A

IC 816: The Hijacking of Indian Airlines: Perspectives on Terrorism

Karnataka Journal of Politics Vol. 1, No.1, 2000

 31. Kumar A

Techniques and tips on field-notes

Workshop on Ornithology, Rotary – WWF Project, Mangalore 1988

 32. Kumar A

Wildlife and the urban scenario

WWF-India Seminar on Environment Day, Karkala,

 33. Kumar A

Visual representation of wild-life and art

WWF- India Seminar on Environment day, Karkala

 34. Kumar A

Crossword Decoder, Sridurga Agencies, Mangalore, ISBN, 1994

 35. Kumar A

Footnotes, Sridurga Agencies, Mangalore, ISBN, 1996

 36. Kumar A

Americana, Sharada Press, Mangalore, 1984

 

Is sesamoid fracture Sachin's problem?

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
[ THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 06, 2001 12:44:58 AM ]

Citibank NRI Offer
Mngalore: is Schin's sesamoid really fractured? or is it a natural status often found wherein each sesamoid is double? prof arunachalam kumar, professor, department of anatomy, kasturba medical college here, says if sesamoids are to blame, why then does sachin manifest these injuries now? after all, he has played right from the schoolboy days. why didn't these problems surface earlier? why when he is 28? the only response kumar gives anatomically is that sesamoids of the lower limb ossify (formation of bone) during the late teens. if the fracture is along the long axis or transverse axis of the first metatarsal shaft, the problem could indeed be more serious. it could pose a recurring problem, he says, adding that in bipeds, the foot is as finetuned as a swiss watch. "once gone awry, it is never the same again."
 

Mother Theresa. Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. ... Bobby Aloysius. Arunachalam Kumar. Prof.
more hits from: http://www.karnataka2020.net/ohmother/pray%20for%20us/nv1.dsp 
 
ixedoc · asiananthropologist
INDIA AS CENTER OF HUMAN EVOLUTION
 
The news item on the unearthing of fossil evidence of an extinct
human species, Homo floresiensis from a remote island in the
Indonesian archipelago confirms the `spontaneous evolution' theory
(The Hindu, 28th Oct.2004). The long held opinion among western
anthropologists, that humans evolved and dispersed from Africa
(the `out-of-Africa Hypothesis), now needs re-assessment. My own
research publications on human origins had long predicted the finding
of distinctly native fossils of early man in disjointed and isolated
sites along an swathe of land mass straddling East Africa,
Madagascar, Northwest and Northeast India, Andamans, Southeast Asia,
more specifically Indonesia.

Support to this theory was found in a recent research confirms
that a part of the genetic pool in Andaman Islanders is uniquely
insular, confirming my theory that man must have originated,
independent of the African crucible, in many other parts of the world.

In simple terms, the my hypothesis demarcates the specific
locales where fossils maybe found, and is based on the extrapolation
of maps showing ape and gibbon population to locales of fossil find,
the two maps in turn fused into another of the original land mass
Pangaea, and its splinter mass, Gondwana. The data derived from this
exercise reveals that the genetic pool that spawned man's pongid and
pithecoid ancestors, and maybe early man himself, arose from a single
arc of land passing across middle Gondwana. Continental drifts and
realignment of land mass and seas, has, over the millions of years,
fragmented the cresentric strip of land into isolated zones dispersed
worldwide, across Africa, South America and Asia. My theory was
covered as a news item by The Hindu (20th Dec 2001). I am positive
that, in the near future, much more evidence supporting `spontaneous
evolution' will emerge.
 
 
THE MONA LISA SMILE
 
Interest in paleopathology has me looking deep into the works of art and sculpture. One of the observations made over two decades ago, concerns the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, la Guiconda (Mona Lisa). Her enigmatic smile has always been a source of endless speculation. I add my theory for debate. I published this view in my medical college annual newsletter.Note the mid facial hypoplasia, the long philtrum, the hypotrichosis, the scant eyebrows. Note too, the left hand- the webbing between the fourth and fifth finger is obvious. Are we looking at a patient with Meyer-Schwikkerath Syndrome? A rare oculo-dento-digital congenital presentation, where poor dentition is adjunct. Is the enigmatic smile actually hiding a poor dentition? The more I look, the more I am convinced, Mona Lisa, has much to hide.Bad teeeth !? I am unable though, to spot spherophakia (small lens), another finding in the syndrome, but who knows, Leonardo may have improved on the features, or maybe the syndrome has common partial signs,and some absent ones(many syndromes do) 
 
 
Subject: Early hominids in India?  

In a controversial theory, Prof. Arunachalam Kumar of the Department
of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, has predicted
unearthing of fossils from the northern ridges of the Western Ghats
and the adjoining regions of the upper Deccan and the Rann
of Kutch.

The theory, according to Prof. Kumar, is a product of six years of
study and is based on the break-up of Gondwanaland, the subsequent
continental drift, the realignment of land masses of the
world and the associated species distribution along the land masses.

In a book titled, Biodiversity of the Western Ghats, edited by
biologists, including Mr. S. A. Hussain and Mr. K. A. Achar, Prof.
Kumar says: ``Species-specific locales of early primates and
pongids, as seen today, lie in equatorial South America, South
Central Africa, Madagascar, India and Indonesia.''

The theory, he says, is based on the assumption that ``all early
prehensile primates and the later evolved gorillas and chimpanzees of
Africa, the gibbons of north India and the orangutans of Sumatra and
Borneo are seen localised along a single arc of land that spreads
across South America, Africa to South-East Asia and then to upper
Australia.''

The presence of these animals, on different continents or land masses
separated by oceans, if transposed on the map of Gondwanaland, shows
that gene pools that supposedly spawned all these
species are restricted to a single crescent of land running south-
west to north to south-east on the original land mass.

Prof. Kumar is certain that anthropologists will unearth a new
addition to the human evolution tree, possibly in the form of bipedal
fossils from India. Prof. Uttangi, a senior biologist, backs Prof.
Kumar's views as is evident from his letter to the latter. The letter
suggests that it is possible to unearth missing links of hominids
from the regions adjoining the Western Ghats.
This view is based on a study made by him on intestinal parasites
found in frogs.

In 1948, Prof. Uttangi is said to have discovered the presence of bi-
nucleated opalinid protozoa, a seemingly rare species that is
predominantly found in Antarctica, in the intestines of frogs
and some other species such as the microhylids living close to the
Western Ghats in Dharwad region. The sightings confirmed that there
were land connections between Gondwanaland and Madagascar, and the
then ocean islands, and southern tip of the American continent. In
addition to this is the recent discovery of dinosaur bones and
skeletal fragments in the North-east and in the Hyderabad region. The
discovery made in the early Fifties suggests that till 70 million
years ago, vertebrates from the Jurassic era were
roaming on the Indian subcontinent.

Prof. Kumar says: Since almost 95 per cent of the human genes are
present in the apes, it is probable that the pithecoid gene pool
evolved sporadically as mutations from the pongid pool in
disjointed locales across Gondwanaland.

Supporting this theory is the finding of early preconsul and giant
ape fossils that pre-dated hominids in the Siwaliks, indicating that
the genetic material required for the mutation (genetic, environment-
induced or spontaneous) into better evolved higher bipeds and
hominids can be found in India.

Prof. Kumar is of the opinion that reports of sightings of Yeti in
Bhutan and the giant apes in Vietnam may not be figments of
imagination. The Ramapithecus and Sivapethecus or their ape-like
cousins may indeed have survived in the inaccessible locales of Asia.

Early bipedal human fossils have been uncovered in geographically-
disjointed locales across the globe, which proves that their origins
could have been from a single area or strip of land that
eventually got separated by continental-shelf drifts caused by
tectonic plate movements.

From primates such as chimpanzees to Mesopithecus, Dryopithecus,
Pithecanthropus, Pliopithecus, Ramapithecus, Sivapithecus, and
Gigantopithecus, (all proconsuls and giant Protohominid bipeds)
into Paranthropous and Australiopithicines (probably the ancestor of
humankind), the genetic pool remains static and concentrated along
the crescent land mass of early Gondwanaland, he says.

Source: The Hindu & The Times of India
Subject: The 'Kumar Theory on Evolution'
 

How will a new theory on evolution be accepted or rejected, or
debated? What could be the outcome of a newer look in the content and
impact on current stands on evolutionary biology? Here is a very
simplistic model on evolution, a purely hypothetical one, that may
set the debate rolling.
On a hypothetical basis, imagine just an individual with a very
limited number of genetic characteristics in its chromosomal make-up.
Say 1 & 2. If this pool finds fusion with another of its ilk, another
3 & 4, the results could be 13,14, 23, 24, 31, 41, 32 or 42; put
simply, any random combination of any two of the four original
genetic traits drawn from two individuals. Now if the offspring
unite, say 13 with any other, the results should be yet another
random combination of the original traits of the eight sets of
uniting genes. Let us go on thus, each duo combining, at every
generation with every other duo in the pool. The population growth is
exponential.
Now that we know that only 1,2, 3, and 4 are the originals and all
other generations are combinations of the four, soon enough,
mathematically at least, all possible permutations and combinations
will be reached within a given span of time, dependent on the rate,
age and frequency of multiplication of the particular species.
That is, within a certain finite time frame, all possible
combinations are exhausted, and by inference, any new offspring now
spawned, will be a repeat or replica or clone of any one of the
existing or extant members of the species. Soon enough, a point will
b reached whence every other member of the particular species will be
replicas, either in genotype or phenotype, and in extreme, both, to
every other individual in the pool. A critical `gene-saturation'
stage is attained. The particular species, say crow, becomes all
black. Every crow becomes black. And all crows look alike; If the
original gene pool was just 1,2,3 and 4 in crows, then all crows
would not only look alike, but also behave and react alike. They
simply do not, because the original pool is much wider in gamut, and
despite the phenotype reaching the `gene saturation' point, the
genotype for behavior and other traits have yet to exhaust their
combination inputs. The crow population survives and grows, but a
time will come when all crows become clones of all others. The
species is then doomed. A single virus, or illness could wipe out the
entire species. This has happened, and does quite frequently (as
evidenced in phyto-clonal monocultures). And how does nature
countenance the early onset of `saturation'? It just induces
mutation. Not random, or accidental, but selective and incidental
mutation. Just a single mutation of a single characteristic in one
chromosome of the offspring pool, now opens up an entire new range of
permutations and combinations. The species survives, and possibly
forms sub-species, or newer ones too in the process. A crow with a
white patch is not an odd ornithological specimen; it probably
represents a mutant bearing bird trying to introduce a new set of
phenotype into the population for its own survival against the a
looming `saturation' stage.
Everything in nature and life is finite, for it is mathematical. If
nature fails in its attempt to engineer mutation at the appropriate
juncture, annihilation and extinction are results. Dinosaurs or
dodos, not only lost, but were considered too stupid to survive too.
The mutations required to keep them alive, were either too late in
their introduction, or too weak in their potency.
At first glance, do not all Japanese and Chinese look alike? Is not
most of Africa black and Asia brown? A phenotype saturation stage is
operating here. Don't all lemmings commit mass suicide? Does not one
sheep follow another? A `behaviour saturation' stage? Maybe?
Evolution may not just be a sequentially programmed survival of
species, it may yet be a case of simple mathematics applied in the
right proportion, at the right time.

THE DYNAMICS OF HOPPING IN BIRDS

Dr.Arunachalam Kumar, Professor & Head, Dept. of Anatomy
Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 575001

Some months ago, following a query on the status of hopping among birds, and a reference thereon for some comments from me on modulations (if any) in gait and hopping techniques among our feathered friends, I have spent some time on the issue. Inter alia the matter on the hop and it's absence in Kingfishers prompted by a million dollar question on national KBC quiz, was posted on a natural history discussion list by a interested reader. The query,' Do Kingfishers hop, on ground or from twig to twig ? If not, why not?' The correct answer shown on the quiz programme was, the bird does not.
The debate is, why cannot,(if indeed it is true) the kingfisher hop? As an anatomist (albeit of the human kind) with a diehard interest in bipedalism and it's evolution, a the senior biologist Mr S A Hussain of BNHS, wanted me  to throw some light on the issue. Seeking time, I delved into material, and increased my observation hours. The upshot of the exercise, I am no wiser. However the intense focus did throw up some areas worth a further look:
a) raptors (kites, owls and their ilk) or such other birds hop and strut far less than their arboreal and more terrestrial cousins, the passerines.
b) arboreal and terrestrial, or low flying birds ground hop and walk more than the hi-fliers or nocturnal cousins
c) birds that are endowed with a a better degree of cervical (neck)
vertebral rotation hop less. That is, birds that have limited swivel of neck (upto 180 degree or less) can hop more efficiently and more frequently than  the birds that can rotate their heads through much wider arc. Birds like owls,  kites & storks are gifted with nearly 300 degree range of side to side swivel of neck vertebrae. In anatomical terms, the intervertebral cervical joints have wider articular surfaces of the plane / condlylar type in birds that soar, hover, or
nocturnal. These birds, hypothetically at least, being gifted with a wider eye view and range of vision, thanks to an efficient cervical mobility,  require less need to hop, twist and turn their whole bodies to visualize a wider field, and end up have to use their legs, for hopping, or walking and thereby to continuously change the perimetric range of their eyes.
d)The natural processes of adaptation has perhaps given birds that strut and hop less with better cervical articular vertebral inputs, and vice versa, birds that can better hop, jump, strut and perch, need less efficiency in head rotation & mobility - the range and axis of movement of the cervical intervertebral joints accentuating or diminishing range of field of vision.
As these observation and conclusions derived are conjenctural,
speculative and hypothetical, the entire question of biomechanics and of neck as having bearing on bipedal kinetics may require a much deeper probe.
Perimetrical visual analysis and collation of data on orbital fields in
passerines, perchers, raptors and predators should aid in clarifying issues to some extent. I welcome comments from enthusiasts interested in these nebulous areas of avian science.
 
THE DECCAN HERALD
 
Dr Arunachalam Kumar, a professor in the KMC. Considered to be one of the fastest solvers of the cryptic crossword in India, Dr Kumar is also the author of a best seller ‘How to solve crosswords,’ a book on deciphering crossword clues.
 
THE STRANGE FRIENDSHIP (by ixedoc on sulekha.com)
“There, they are again, papa,” my eight-year-old daughter chuckles. Once again I see them, the cosy twosome, treading along in the noonday sun, on the road edge. Where to, where from? A stray black brahminy type bull, short and hefty, with a truncated tail and tiny legs, taking small, measured steps, balancing his enormous weight on his spindly knees. And scampering behind him, in a trot, a srawny brown mongrel -- another stray. Best of friends, these two animals were. Sun, wind or rain, at least once a day I would spot them at a garbage bin or the street corner, hardly a yard or two separating between them. I would espy the skinny dog, shivering and trembling in the monsoon deluge, whilst his pal, the bull, oblivious and thick-skinned, complacently chose a spot smack in the open cataract to chew his cud and ruminate over life and its dimensions. I would see the bull waiting patiently on one side of the road while his friend took off to chase another of his ilk that had scampered too much into his ken. And so it was -- an odd relationship. An unlikely camaraderie. One for the other, forever. I planned to write about this strange camaraderie, sometime. A few months later, I saw the bull no more. Only the lonely dog, now and then, yelping and running away from well-aimed stones pelted by urchins. I wondered where his friend was, as did my small daughter. One day, I knew, and I broke the news gently to her. It is quite common in smaller towns such as mine for mean men to take midnight prowls in the streets in mini vans. They look for stray cows and abandoned bulls. Then, in a posse, they lasso such animals and shove them into their vehicles, and scoot. The fate of the missing bull was certain. It was destined to become another freely procured mass of muscle and bone for the local slaughterhouse. My small girl was too distraught at the tidings, but I, being rational, felt the need to expose life in all its forms, the ugly too, to a growing child. Then one evening, I saw the cur again. Sitting on his haunches, waiting and waiting: behind and beyond the compound wall was the local slaughterhouse and the butcher stall. The dog had seen his friend being motored in. He was sitting, waiting for his dear chum to come out. Everyday, every night, sun, wind or rain, I see the dog...waiting, inert and attentive. For any sign from his friend, who would he didd'nt know would never return. I feel sick every time I see that emaciated dog. I feel like taking a stone and hurling it at the beast. Scat...go away, my mind screams. You idiot, your pal will not come back, now, get on with your life. My heart breaks for the sentimental fool. And I silently rage at the cruelty of my kind. Just for a few kilograms of protein and a new pair of leather shoes, a bull dies. And a dear friend, and not knowing much about humankind or its hues - man's 'best friend', the dog, waits...and waits....
Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive! - Vol. XIV No. 1 - January 2005


Cetacean Strandings


And then there was Dr. Arunachalam Kumar's prediction of the tsunami in Asia ...

In early December he posted the following message to a Natural History list pertaining to India: "It is my observation, confirmed over the years, that mass suicides of whales and dolphins that occur sporadically all over the world, are in someway related to change and disturbances in the electromagnetic field coordinates and possible realignments of geotectonic plates thereof. Tracking the dates and plotting the locales of tremors and earthquakes, I am reasonably certain, that major earthquakes usually follow within a week or two of mass beaching of cetaceans. I have noted with alarm, the last week report of such mass deaths of marine mammals in an Australian beachside. I will not be surprised if within a few days a massive hit hits some part of the globe. The interrelationship between the unusual `death-wish' of pods of whales and its inevitable aftermath, the earthquake, may need a further impassioned and unbiased looking into."

While Dr. Kumar's timing was unbeatable, and ignoring his unlikely assumptions about suicide and "death wish" as motives for the strandings, and "electromagnetic field coordinates" as well, what is known about precursory signals to earthquakes that might be sensed by marine organisms? There is ample evidence that terrestrial vertebrates sense low frequency signals well before a quake, and that underwater earthquakes produce powerful noises, but does anyone really know enough to be certain that cetaceans would not be made aware of an impending quake, or suffer the aftermath?

NATURE SYNC.COM

Some scientists believe that strange animal behaviour or 'mass suicide' is indicative of approaching disaster. On November 29, before the tsunami, an inexplicable mass beaching of over a 150 whales and dolphins was witnessed in Tasmania, an island on the southern coast of Australia and in New Zealand. On December 4, Dr. Arunachalam Kumar from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India posted a message on a natural history server that mass suicides of whales and dolphins that occur sporadically are in some way related to disturbances in the electromagnetic field and possible realignments of geotectonic plates thereof.

On Dec.4, 2004, Dr. Kumar from Mangalore, India warned of an impending earthquake after noticing mass breaching of whales and dolphins!

He remarked that tracking the dates and plotting the locales of tremors and earthquakes, it has been found that major earthquakes usually follow within a week or two of mass beaching of cetaceans. He also wrote that he will not be surprised if within a few days a massive quake hits some part of the globe. Dr. Kumar explained that whales and dolphins migrate thousands of miles along the geomagnetic wave, using it to align themselves. If they're beaching, it means their direction-finding capacity has gone wrong, perhaps due to seismic activity. His words proved prophetic.



Disaster warning: a whale of a tale

By Michael McCarthy

On the Internet, it is already a spreading legend: did the mass stranding and deaths of whales and dolphins on an Australian beach signal the advent of the earthquake that caused the Boxing Day tsunami?
And did an Indian professor, as a result of the first event, warn of the second? You might think it’s a pretty wacky idea. But it’s got currency.
Yet is it true? Now, that’s a different, and rather more complicated, matter.
What is true is that on December 4, three weeks before the earthquake off Indonesia, an Indian academic, Dr Arunachalam Kumar, Professor of Anatomy at Kasturba Medical College at Mangalore in Karnataka, posted a note about a recent whale-stranding in Tasmania, and its possible implications, on a “listserve”, an email distributor, hosted by Princeton University.
Kumar is a well-known figure in India. An amateur naturalist of some repute and a prolific author, he is a larger-than-life character who is frequently written up in the press.

“It is my observation, confirmed over the years, that mass suicides of whales and dolphins that occur sporadically all over the world are in some way related to change and disturbances in the electromagnetic field co-ordinates and possible realignments of geotectonic plates thereof,” he wrote.
Tracking the data and plotting the locales of tremors and earthquakes, I am reasonably certain that major earthquakes usually follow within a week or two of mass beaching of cetacians (sic). I have noted with alarm last week’s report of such mass deaths of marine mammals on an Australian beachside. I will not be surprised if, within a few days, a massive quake hits some part of the globe. The inter-relationship between the unusual ‘death-wish’ of pods of whales and its inevitable aftermath, the earthquake, may need a further impassioned and unbiased looking into.”
There’s no doubt that he posted his note on December 4; if you want to read it in chronological order in the listserve itself, then you can go to it at
new-lists.princeton.edu/listserv/nathistory-india.html and click on “December 2004”.
And there’s no doubt either that, in reading it, many people are likely to experience a certain rising of the hair on the back of the neck.
But the story hasn’t remained there. It has been widely reported across India and across the Net. And, in the telling, the story has grown. On January 10, it surfaced on the discussion board of the electronic version of the British Medical Journal. There, in response to an earlier article on “Medical Emergency Alerts in Natural Disasters”, a letter from one Jairaj Kumar Chinthamani, a research fellow in Mangalore, said the professor had predicted the earthquake “almost to the day”.
He actually said “within a week or two” and “within a few days”. The quake took place three weeks later.
Chinthamani said the professor “wrote that he had made a five-year record of dates and locales of whale strandings, plotted their locales, and correlated them to occurrences of upheavals on land or undersea, and had observed a remarkable connection between the events”.
Kumar never mentioned anything as precise as a five-year record; in fact, he never mentioned five years at all.
Chinthamani continued, “The larger the pod of mammals that beach, the more certain and powerful the quake will be, Dr Kumar adds”.
He doesn’t. But never mind. It would not be surprising if the legend continued to grow until eventually Kumar was regarded as having signalled the beaching on shore of the tsunami itself to the very minute.
It remains the case, though, that his original message is intriguing enough. Yet does it have any substance? The answer is that it may have some.
Scientists are aware of the possible connection between the behaviour of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and the Earth’s magnetic field.
“There is thought to be a correlation between some whale strandings and geomagnetic anomalies,” says Dr Simon Northridge, of the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews University, Britain’s principal whale and dolphin research centre. “It’s certainly out there as a hypothesis.”
In fact, the idea was put forward in a series of papers in the late 1980s by Margaret Klinowska, from the University of Cambridge. Klinowska argued that whales navigated partly by following geomagnetic contours, and that in certain circumstances, such as when the contours ran at right angles to the coastline (that is, into it rather than parallel to it) they could run themselves aground.
The theory is still discussed, and it is a respectable one.

But could it be taken a step further? Are stranded whales precursors of earthquakes? You won’t find a lot of backing for that.
Mark Simmonds is the director of science at Britain’s Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. He has studied strandings in detail because one of the questions most frequently asked of him and the society is why they happen.
The main answer is, he says, that most whales are intensely social animals, and act together: if one heads into the beach, the others follow. It may be an accident; sometimes human agency may be partly to blame; sometimes the Earth’s magnetic field may play a role.
"But nobody has shown any correlation between whale strandings and earthquakes,” he says. “If you’re saying there is, you would have to present the data to prove your case.”

Over to Kumar. His original email strongly implies that he is in possession of just such data. But, reached by phone at his office in Mangalore, he was unable to provide any. Did he have a list of the correlations between previous whale strandings and earthquakes?

"I don’t have a lot of these things,” he said. “I’m just an avid reader. I watch with particular interest. As a science man, I don’t want to put these things on paper,” he replied. “It would take me a long time to put it right.”
So Kumar appears to have no evidence at all for backing up his core assertion that cetacean strandings and earthquakes are linked. Yet he undoubtedly did post his solemn warning of a huge event, just three weeks before the biggest earthquake of the past 40 years. Chance? Luck? Science? Spooky prophecy? Make of it what you will. Plenty of other people already are. – Tribune Foreign Service

  • This article was originally published on page 19 of The Sunday Tribune on February 06, 2005

Tribune

Published on the Web by IOL on 2005-02-06 11:07:00


© Independent Online 2005. All rights reserved. IOL publishes this article in good faith but is not liable for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information it contains.

  BLOGS / Sulekha.com/ixedoc

Pants-down situations, and face saving tips
Posted by
ixedoc on Nov 30, 2004

...Traveling long distance by car is exasperating, and when it has to be done with three ladies, it becomes exhaustingly exasperating. Some years ago, I found myself in such a pickle. Two girls, medical students, and the missus. All of us to drive all the way to Nilgiris. The Kurunji was in its ‘once in twelve years’ bloom, and quickly drafted myself in as member of the tour party. The mandatory half hour intervals, for a soft drink, for a stretch, for some fresh air, interrupted every sixty miles of road. Anon, a more urgent call for a stop for a more pressing call of nature followed the liberal doses of coke and pepsi. In the parts we were driving through, just at the fringes of the blue mountain biosphere, washrooms and toilets are unknown. One just has to pull up at the kerb, look hither and thither, dash into some shrubbery or behind a bole, and do your ‘minor irrigation’ job. But the ladies have very particular tastes on habitat and environ, even for such mundane chores as micturation, so we cruised along, till all three yelled – hey hold it, this nook looks pretty!... ...The ladies scouted around for a few yards off the road, till they found a spot, they pronounced urea-friendly. Then waving a crooked finger at me at the driving wheel, to keep a lookout for trespassers and voyeurs, they disappeared beyond a massive banyan trunk. I hummed a Tamil Sivaji film number to while away time… ...unai solli kutram illai, ...ennai solli kutram illai-...kaalam sayida kolamaddi, ...kadavul sayida kutramadi’... ...Suddenly I spot a cyclist meandering with a lazy pedaling routine, down the road, then he leaves the road taking a detour, across to wherever he needs to go, and his short cut appears too precariously close to the banyan tree. I raised the decibel of my hum, hoping that the shrill raise of timbre in tempo, would alert the unwary threesome. All of a sudden I heard a muted shriek, then, surprisingly stifled giggles. I also saw the cyclist pedaling off in some haste from the arena. Now, I fancy my powers of observation and deduction, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the cause or role of the uncontrollable and hysterical laughter that soon ensued. ...The ladies emerged, from their hideout, all toothy and grinning. Allowing a few minutes to lapse, I curiously queried on the cause for the mysterious mirth. The final year medical lass, then told me, that despite my hi-fi effort to alert them musically, they had been shocked on spotting the cyclist weave right towards their chosen haven. With no reaction time, as it was too late to interrupt the micturation reflex, which as most of you will know, can result in uncomfortable strangury, she, a fiesty Punjabi kudi had quickly suggested that all three quickly raise their dupattas and cover their faces. Instinctively the others had obeyed. And all three had then proceeded with their task of minor irrigation, with considerable ease and palpable relief....I was somewhat perplexed - why cover up your head and face? I thought there were more hide-able exposed areas of their anatomy the cyclist could find more riveting? Ha ha sir, the medic chortled, “It is not which or how much of what’s exposed that the public is curious about sir, it who’s how much of what”. The minute the identity of the individual is obliterated by covering the cranial half, the interest in pelvic anatomy gets watered down. “All women look the same sir…hee hee at their base-wise, they look different only facewise”. Then all three ladies went into another paroxysm of guffaws.... ...Inscrutable feminine logic this. I am, years later, still ruminating over the profundity of the Punjabi philosophy. Flash a pic of an anonymous faceless nude on the net, and you may have a dozen logging in, but morph the pic into carrying, say Shilpa Shetty’s face, and boy you have a zillion clicks. ...Not the base pal, it’s the face. That’s where sex really is: I have taught much anatomy for three decades, but I still remember the merits of post-pelvic infra-umbilical versus thoraco-abdominal-cervico-cranial anatomy lesson the young medical student taught me that log faraway day, along the Mysore-Ooty highway.

Hindustan Hamaara

He was fifteen or less. A cheerful mess hand, doing odd jobs in our mess. Wiping tables, serving water. One among the many such, who worked in the medical college hostels. On weekends or when he had some little time off, he’d ask if he could wash our motorbikes or scooters. A fiver or less, some hostelite or other would give him for his labors. Surprised that he said a polite thank you sir after his tip, I asked whether he’d been to school. Up to seventh class sir. Why don’t you study more? How sir, we are six, and I’m the eldest, and there isn’t enough around for all of us. My two brothers go to school, but I…....A few of us seniors, met up in our room. We would send this chap to school. So we worked out a schedule, he’d work eight hours a day, but be off by five, no night duty. He would have to go to some evening or night school in the city. We’d help. So, the boy enlisted. He passed his eighth class, and then the ninth too, and finally he was taking his school final certificate examination....One afternoon he knocked on my hostel door. Sir, can you come to our school and talk to the children. Our headmaster asked me to find out if you could come. Me? OK, I will, when tomorrow at seven P.M....So next day, I was in a small narrow street, bustling with vendors, auto-rickshaws, pedestrians and honking cars. The din was incredible. Smack amidst this chaos, was the tiny night school. ...The headmaster was on the pavement, a broad smile, and deferentially jointed palms, namaskara, namskara, banni doctor. Just a step, and we were in a single classroom. A tiny space with eight or nine rows of dilapidated desks and creaking benches. A faded blackboard, and peeling walls. We entered through a door and exited to the other door on the opposite wall. A small stepped staircase, enough breadth to walk single file, we went upstairs into another identical classroom. These two classrooms one atop the other was the complete night school. Two rooms, suffocating and amidst the street din, sat eighty children, forty in the classroom on ground level and forty on the first floor. I was still in a state of disbelief, when, all of a sudden, the headmaster went to the front of the class, bidding me to follow....Here students we have a friend of this school. I have invited him to advise you all on what to study and how to, so listen carefully and ask him questions too. He then sat himself on the front row along with a row of grimy working children from poverty stricken sections of the city. I stood up, not before asking the headmaster, what about the other forty kids sir? Won’t they be attending this talk? They are attending doctor, they will listen to you from downstairs, only talk a little loudly please. We have no space here. This is a charitable set up, and we make do....Now students, we will all sing our school song. Eighty voices chorused and crooned a chosen song* ...And so I spoke, passionately and powerfully. With a huge lump in my throat. Imagining how the forty kids, sitting with rapt attention, trying to hear amid a thousand car honks, and street peddlers, and without even seeing the spokesman....I returned to my room, quite upset. How could this be? I was teaching here in an air-conditioned lecture hall in my medical college. With OHP and LCD and PA systems to help the students understand the lessons. Yet within a few miles was another teaching spot, where children half the age of my students, sat on broken benches, and listened to a lecture given by an unseen man, twelve feet above their head....The mess boy walked in with a broom to sweep the room. I could hardly look him in the face. He told me all the boys downstairs liked the speech very much, and it was far better than hearing lessons from their single teacher who droned on and on, unseen, upstairs. I shook my head, this school had a single teacher, who taught all students, up and downstairs, from one room only....The next day, I bought a public address system with a collection from my classmates, and sent it across to the school, which trained the future generations of the real India. Not much, you could say, but at least the kids downstairs from today, may at least hear their teacher better, or their guest lecture with more clarity, even though they may not ever be able to see either them delivering their lessons or homilies....The mess worker passed high school, went on to finish pre university from an evening college, then qualified for a degree, went on to complete his post-graduation. And yes, he still wishes me, everyday. He works with me, as a Senior Technician in my own Department of Anatomy, of which I am now Professor & Head.. A friend who was with him there is bank manager, and another is….the list is impressive.... ...We who know only public schools and debate over weight of school bags and burden of homework. To those who gripe about lack of sports, or play ground, or library, or transport, or clean toilets for our kids in posh schools – I just have this to say, come over sir, to the night school in Mangalore, and just see for yourself what the other half of India, has and has not.... ...Saara jahan se accha, hindustan hamaara...Hum bulbulen hai uski, yeh gulsitan hamaara, hamaara...

*The lilting tune and killing words of Iqbal torment. This was the song the children of the night school had chosen to sing on that faraway day when I was invited to speak to them

 

 

The Carthikeyan I Married
Posted by
ixedoc on Jun 3, 2005

There she was driving at 120, along the Mysore-Bangalore Highway. me, a nervous wreck beside her. Feet stamping on make believe brakes. Hand clutching onto the front seat edges. Agreed, she was a damn good driver, she could swish and slither through the narrowest of sinuous alleys, and calculatedly miss the oncoming truck by the proverbial whisker. ...Agreed she knew her car like the back of her palm. Okay, agreed, she could, if she so desired give Karthikeyan a run for his money - but, I felt my insides jiggle like jelly. This wasn't any deserted road, this corridor of asphalt connected the two busiest cities in the state, and vehicles whizzed this way and that at a fair clip. ...But who am I to whine. I had to shut up, and pray. I didn’t know car driving, and she did. The moral of the story is 'what can't be cured, must be endured'....So I sat mum, while she bobbed her head up and down, in sync with the number 'Who let the dog's out'. I, just shook mine sideways, eyes shut. Screech, honk, screech, squish. The smell of burnt rubber assailed my senses. I had to go through this annual ordeal. Part of my commitment to family welfare, you could say. ...Zip, zap, zoom in and out of twenty towns at breakneck pace, pit stops for cokes and chips. Some holiday. But I kind of liked the outing, for once a while the route was through Bandipur or Mudumalai sanctuaries: and I'd give anything to have a look at the magnificent peafowls, the majestic jumbos, and the darting deer herds. Though the visual contact with these faunal specimens was in split seconds only, thanks to the hi-octane streak of the car, it was worth for me. I love jungles....Somewhere past Hunsur, on a village outskirt I felt the car swerve , and re-swerve. Bang bang, rattle rattle, jangle jangle. Strange loud sounds emanated from right under my seat. The car slowed down, with the jangle jangles petering down their staccato racket.... ...What happened ?...Nothing really, let me see. So she goes out of the car and shakes her head, sideways this time. Uhoo, we have a problem. I get down too, and see the mess. The two wheels on the left side of the car, I distinctly recall had rims that were circular: now they were heart shaped. She had gone rumble tumble over a huge crater of a pot hole, and the wheel metal had dented. ...She looks around. Anyone around. the afternoon heat is at its peak. Just then we spot a few men walking towards us, in fact walking past us, animatedly discussing the damage. One man stops, looks at me, as I sat under the banyan tree with a smoke...Thale sari illava saar, familyna ittkondu heege hutchunaagi drive maduvada?...(off your rocker sir, to drive like a madman, that too with the family in the car?)...I was fuming, but kept shut. The missus winks at me, and gestures through her eyebrowsd, she can handle these to get her car moving. So the men sit down beside the wheel, and remove them, and un-dent the rims. For the next half hour, the missus put on a sad countenance, the import of expression was meant to convey her helplessness in being married to a speed maniac. To add effect she walks up to the car and pats my little five year old daughter's cheek...Allubeda, allabeda magu, ivatthinda appa slowagi car biddthare anthe......(Tut tut child, dad's promised to drive slowly from today)...The gall. Grrr. But highway etiquette demands I keep shut, at least until the sweating men are done with their job....I heard the men clucking sympathetically, and give me dirty looks. ...Well the car moved after the repair, and the men were thanked. Then in a final coup de grace, she says to me, loud enough for all the men around to hear....'Eega naan drive maaduthini ree, neevu maguna nodikolli'...(Please, I drive from now, you just look after the baby)...Then she slides into the cock pit and inches off from the spot very, very slowly. The men watch the car lumber forwards, like a snail, and nod their heads approvingly....In ten minutes she is doing 120 and as if on cue my head starts shaking sideways again.

BUSRIDE TO EVOLUTION

Like rats. Scurrying and hurrying. Hither and thither. This infernal city bus. Crowded, jostling elbows, stamping toes, hanging onto sweat-wet leather straps. Shoved and pushed. The banshee whistle blowing conductor & his tinnitus friendly toy. I hated it all. This ride, this life. A junior doctor, an intern, a 'rotating houseman', a nobody. The lowest rung in the medical ladder, the doormat. Just apron wearing errand boys. It is crack of dawn now, and I was returning to my small one room hovel. To shower, maybe snatch a bite…then run again in an hour, back into another jerry can of a bus to work…like helots. All night long, case sheet writing, lab investigations, urine tests and blood counts. Twenty three ward admissions. Hell on earth, medicine ward was. Internship sucks.

In two hours, I have to be running back after my whole-night shift to pay homage to the unit boss who will be on his rounds, checking entries, cross checking diagnosis, like a presiding deity trampling over us minions like lord almighty. Dapper and smart. Reeking of after-shave, these professors just warmed their air-conditioned plush leather chairs for a living…and hunted us bonded-labour interns for entertainment.

Another elbow ploughed into my ribs, another foot stamped my toes and another shrill toot pierced my eardrum…a bus stop, a few in, a few out. The standees in the aisle surged fore and aft. I spotted a vacant spot on the third row, and furrowed my way forward. “Excuse me.” Whatever be the station of the intern, the visible symbol of status dangling from my shoulders, my stethoscope, did have some plus points. And in poverty stricken town like mine here, white coats still commanded reverence. The 'excuse me' password had an 'open sesame' effect when uttered by a steth-sporting medico. I almost sat down on the empty aisle-side seat, when I looked askance at my fellow passenger. Seated on the window side was a gargoyle. A grotesque caricature. Sunken nasal bridge, leonine features, stubby worn digits, pustule skin, a leper. Leprosy. Hansen's disease. The biblical curse. The lepra bacillus ate one up, inside out, outside in. No wonder this seat was still un-occupied, even in this sardine-packed bus. Leprosy is a universal taboo. Lepers are shunned.

This one was holding a cheap tabloid in its hands, head was buried in rapt concentration within the pages. For a second the page moved downwards, and the leper glanced at me, standing on the aisle, dangling from the overhead strap. His eyes looked askance at the empty seat beside him. I saw him shake his head ever so slightly. Then, back he went to reading his tabloid.

Boy, not me! I wasn't going to sit here, not beside this cartoon. Toot toot, a few in, a few out, the bus stops come and go. My eyes scanned the headline on the tabloid the leper was holding up. A sex scandal, in lurid detail, in lusty colour too. Some 'Profumo' like big wig, exposed through a sting scoop…caught pants down. Hmmmm! I craned my sights to focus on the item, the intimate details and style of reporting were worth this bumpy ride. Boy, I was beginning to enjoy this tabloid story. Toot toot - that blighted banshee whistle again. A few in, a few out. Suddenly I saw the leper move. He stood up unsteadily. Lepra doesn't spare the toes or foot you know. It erodes them too, to pitiable stumps. God, what punishment is this, just when I was at the part where the sting was stung…this cussed creature decides to get off the bus. I hated the bacillus, and I loathed its victims even more now. Damn you, I muttered under my breath.

Quickly I side-stepped to allow the pachyderm to shuffle out. Just as he was passing me, I saw the leper look up to my face. Straight. The sunken moist eyes hovered for a wee moment over my shining stethoscope and starched white apron. They moved up again to look into eyes, and oscillated ever so slightly in a nystagmus like tremor. The leper shifted his gaze at the twin empty seats now, and gestured to me to sit down.

As a punch right into my ribs, the leper removed the neatly folded tabloid he had tucked under his arm and dusted the vacated seat, then in a coup de grace, he left the tabloid, its front page bold red font crowing about the scandal.

Then he was gone. Now read on doctor, his eyes had said. Read on, uninterrupted, about the sex escapades. Read on, divorced from pathos and pain, read on, cocooned from suffering and sickness. In sterile comfort. With a mollified conscience. In a sanitized environ. Hiding yourself from life and truth, behind a white apron, shielding your soul from truth, hunger, poverty and illness. In one single moment, through a singular gesture, this man had taught me what five years at the medical school had not. Kinship with the ailing, empathy for the afflicted, solace for the suffering were as powerful therapeutic regimens as drugs and doctors for those in throes of disease.

That bus ride taught me that though it had taken two and half million years of life on earth for man to evolve, few of us really had. Into human beings, may be. As humane ones? No. Only a chosen few among us have reached that plane of evolution to become Homo sapiens sapiens - true Man. I haven't. But that faceless lepra infested passenger on a crowded bus surely had.

 

ORANGE PEEL BIOFUEL

In a series of experiments I have found that the fine spray squirted out by squeezing fresh orange peels is very inflammable. The spurt of small quantities of hi combustion, easily ignitable medium from peels can be used as a hi-efficiency biofuel. Presently, I am in the process of extracting the small quantities of peel juice from fruits, to produce a larger volume of fluid to increase the range of experiments.
That millions of pounds of hydrogen rich natural produce is today wasted, especially in a world so depended on fossil and nuclear fuel, appears to defy common sense.
I welcome suggestions and inputs from readers of this site on this project.

To: nathistory-india@Princeton.EDU
Subject: EVOLUTION: A NEW HYPOTHESIS
 Some time ago, a
                           nat - history contributor raised a question or two on the discovery or possible alternate theory to Darwin’s. How will
                           a new theory be accepted or rejected, or debated? What could be the outcome of a newer look in the content and impact on current
                           stands on evolutionary biology? Here is a very simplistic model on evolution, a purely hypothetical one, that may set the
                           debate rolling.On a hypothetical basis, imagine just an individual
                           with a very limited number of genetic characteristics in its chromosomal make-up. Say 1 & 2. If this pool finds fusion
                           with another of its ilk, another 3 & 4, the results could be 13,14, 23, 24, 31, 41, 32 or 42; put simply, any random
combination of any two of the four original genetic traits drawn from two individuals.
                           Now if the offspring unite, say 13 with any other, the results should be yet another random combination of the original traits
                           of the eight sets of uniting genes. Let us go on thus, each duo combining, at every generation with every other duo in the
                           pool. The population growth is exponential.
Now
                           that we know that only 1,2, 3, and 4 are the originals and all other generations are combinations of the four, soon enough,
                           mathematically at least, all possible permutations and combinations will be reached within a given span of time, dependent
                           on the rate, age and frequency of multiplication of the particular species.
That is, within a certain finite time frame, all possible combinations are exhausted, and by inference,
                           any new offspring now spawned, will be a repeat or replica or clone of any one of the existing or extant members of the species.
                           Soon enough, a point will b reached whence every other member of the particular species will be replicas, either in genotype
                           or phenotype, and in extreme, both, to every other individual in the pool. A critical gene-saturation stage is attained. The
                           particular species, say crow, becomes all black. Every crow becomes black. And all
crows look alike; If the original gene pool was just 1,2,3 and 4 in crows, then all
                           crows would not only look alike, but also behave and react alike. They simply do not, because the original pool is much wider
                           in gamut, and despite the phenotype reaching the gene saturation point, the genotype for behavior and other traits have yet
                           to exhaust their combination inputs. The crow population survives and grows, but a time will come when all crows become clones
                           of all others.
The species is then doomed.
                           A single virus, or illness could wipe out the entire species. This has happened, and does quite frequently (as evidenced in
                           phyto - clonal monocultures). And how does nature countenance the early onset of saturation? It just induces mutation. Not
                           random, or accidental, but selective and incidental mutation. Just a single mutation of a single characteristic in one chromosome
                           of the offspring pool, now opens up an entire new range of permutations and
combinations. The species survives, and possibly forms sub-species, or newer ones too in the process.
                           A crow with a white patch is not an odd ornithological specimen; it probably represents a mutant bearing bird trying to introduce
                           a new set of phenotype into the population for its own survival against the a looming saturation stage.
Everything in nature and life is finite, for it is mathematical. If nature fails in
                           its attempt to engineer mutation at the appropriate juncture, annihilation and extinction are results. Dinosaurs or dodos,
not only lost, but were considered too stupid to survive too. The mutations required
                           to keep them alive, were either too late in their introduction, or too weak in their potency.
At first glance, do not all Japanese and Chinese look alike? Is not most of Africa
                           black and Asia brown? A phenotype saturation stage is operating here. Don’t all lemmings commit mass suicide? Does not
                           one sheep follow another? A  behavior saturation stage? Maybe.Evolution may not just be a sequentially programmed survival of species, it
                           may yet be a case of simple mathematics applied in the right proportion, at the right time
The Lessons From A Chess Board

Dr. Arunachalam Kumar
LESSONS FROM A CHESSBOARD
LESSONS FROM A CHESSBOARD

Accessed 2127 Times

This is absolutely harrowing. A nightmare. I mean, exactly how does one go about teaching a six-year-old, and a girl at that, to play chess? Yes, that infernally exasperating board game, sixty-four squares, and a zillion combinations of play. Thirty-two chessmen, pawns, bishops, castles, knights… I mean, to a six-year-old in pigtails! I had to call them camels and horses and elephants -- sacrilege, if you ask me. The little one had coaxed and cajoled threatened and tantrum-med till I gave in. And she had a full six-second attention-span to boot. Helpless, hopeless. I was trapped. Where do I start, eh? You tell me…

“Well, this fellow, is a pawn, a soldier; he jumps one square at one time, but he can leap a square ahead diagonally too, when he wants to cut down another, and hey! hold it, he, the soldier, the pawn, I mean can jump on and on till he reaches the far end of the board, when presto, he can become a camel, a rook, no castle, er elephant, knight, horse remember, or even a queen.”

“How can a soldier become a horse, papa?”

“He can, in chess,” I said, “Remember, in real life too sometimes some housewives become queens… like your mother… like that. Now let's get on lady. And this fellow, the horse, knight to be right, is an odd chap. He can jump in angular motion… like this, in a 'L shape' loop. Got it, front or back or sideways too, the horse can leap.”
“Horses cannot jump backwards, pa.”

“Ok, horses can't; that's why I call them knights. Ok, now let's go on. Now watch this, I can take this camel who, as you can see, can jog along like a sidewinder across the squares, and watch how he now bumps into the soldier, a pawn, and boom, he knocks him over…” and in a flourish I rapped the head of the black pawn till he went tumbling… chuckle, giggle, she liked that stuff. Frankly, I was not up to it… this coaching was getting nowhere. I wish I could get hold of a real elephant now, and trample the works, the horses, knights, camels et al.

And my student was showing more enthusiasm in toppling rooks with horses than learning the subtle nuances of the king of games. Damn you, Humpy, and Swathi and Bhagyashree and Mrinalini too. If only you had stuck to tic-tac-toe or knitting socks, I wouldn't be where I was now, doing what I am, teaching this confounded, complicated, complex mind game to this pig-tailed piglet…

Just as I was about to call finis to the tutelage, I saw the mess. I had set the board orientation askew. “Now, now, before we start, we must make sure that the right corner of the board is, well, in the right corner, not like this, on the other side.” So saying I levo-rotated the board, the right inner corner square now white.

“You set the board, papa!”

My fists clenched at the inflection and tone and most importantly the content of that remark.

“I did. Ok, I did, but, er, that's it. Enough for now. We'll continue the lessons tomorrow,” I said, folding the board and picking up the pawn… without looking at her. I tried not to.

There she was, a cherub in yellow frock, sitting like some divine apparition, cross-legged, with two pigtails, which ran straight down, exactly parallel to two large tear drops that now cascaded down her two chubby cheeks. Hurt, she was; and hurt I was too. Teaching chess was not my forte or fancy. The large bovine eyes, brim with lachrymal output, killed me. Softly, in slow motion. But I had to say no. No chess, not today. In fact, not ever again. She bent down, and picked up each piece and laid them in neat rows inside the plastic tray, and slowly stood up, looking all the time at me with pathos. Then she turned, equipment in hands, and mumbled something.

“Uh-uh, what did you say?” I asked.

“Nothing,” she says.

“You mumbled something, I heard it.

What was it?” “Nothing, papa. I just told myself, someone, somewhere must have taught you to play chess, just like you were trying to teach me…” She walked away.

I didn't sleep well that night. Watching the angel asleep, the dried up tracks of saline on her cheeks visible, seen in the dim glow of the night lamp. What she mumbled, nagged me. And ate me up. True, someone, somewhere had taught me chess. With infinite patience, when or where I don't even remember. Taught me well enough for me to become a chess player of some standing. Who was the unnamed soul, who with generosity and benevolence, and genuine empathy, that had sat across a checkered board decades ago, teaching a wide-eyed boy of six, the travels of the camels, the prance of horses and trumpets of elephants… across the sixty four black and white squares? Tears welled in my eyes. I woke early next day, and waited at the breakfast table for my moppet to rise. And she did, and sleepy-eyed plodded up to nuzzle her button-nose against my shoulder… and there in front of me I had a set chessboard, all thirty-two pieces, neatly arrayed, the right corner of the board aligned… I was ready.

“Come,” I said, “I'll teach you chess.” She looked wide-eyed, and planted a wet smooch on my chin, and then I taught her chess. All through the day... the gambits, the King's defence, the end game, the finishing touch, the works… She, the pigtails, may never become another Mrinalini, Humpy or Bhagyshree… she may never notch up enough FIDE points to give the likes of Judith Polgar the jitters… but someday, long after I am gone, she may sit down across a board, in front of another small, cross-legged squatting moppet, a small girl, her daughter maybe, and teach her chess. The baton must move on, hand to hand, across the generations, across the checkered board. I owe this much, to the anonymous benefactor, who long ago, very long ago, pressed a cold wooden chess man, and breathed life into the inert piece, telling me, “This fellow here is a soldier, or a pawn, and he jumps one square ahead, one at a time, and he can, if he so wants, move in an angle diagonally, to knock down another fellow… like this,” and maybe I chuckled and giggled too, at the toppling piece. But unlike me, my unknown coach, had re-arranged the pieces, and started all over again… and again… till one little boy could play chess. And maybe teach another little one, another day

professor in the KMC. Considered to be one of the fastest solvers of the cryptic crossword in India, Dr Kumar is also the author of a best seller ‘How to solve crosswords,’ a book on deciphering crossword clues.

 

 

Hindustan hamaara
Posted by
ixedoc on May 8, 2005

He was fifteen or less. A cheerful mess hand, doing odd jobs in our mess. Wiping tables, serving water. One among the many such, who worked in the medical college hostels. On weekends or when he had some little time off, he’d ask if he could wash our motorbikes or scooters. A fiver or less, some hostelite or other would give him for his labors. Surprised that he said a polite thank you sir after his tip, I asked whether he’d been to school. Up to seventh class sir. Why don’t you study more? How sir, we are six, and I’m the eldest, and there isn’t enough around for all of us. My two brothers go to school, but I…....A few of us seniors, met up in our room. We would send this chap to school. So we worked out a schedule, he’d work eight hours a day, but be off by five, no night duty. He would have to go to some evening or night school in the city. We’d help. So, the boy enlisted. He passed his eighth class, and then the ninth too, and finally he was taking his school final certificate examination....One afternoon he knocked on my hostel door. Sir, can you come to our school and talk to the children. Our headmaster asked me to find out if you could come. Me? OK, I will, when tomorrow at seven P.M....So next day, I was in a small narrow street, bustling with vendors, auto-rickshaws, pedestrians and honking cars. The din was incredible. Smack amidst this chaos, was the tiny night school. ...The headmaster was on the pavement, a broad smile, and deferentially jointed palms, namaskara, namskara, banni doctor. Just a step, and we were in a single classroom. A tiny space with eight or nine rows of dilapidated desks and creaking benches. A faded blackboard, and peeling walls. We entered through a door and exited to the other door on the opposite wall. A small stepped staircase, enough breadth to walk single file, we went upstairs into another identical classroom. These two classrooms one atop the other was the complete night school. Two rooms, suffocating and amidst the street din, sat eighty children, forty in the classroom on ground level and forty on the first floor. I was still in a state of disbelief, when, all of a sudden, the headmaster went to the front of the class, bidding me to follow....Here students we have a friend of this school. I have invited him to advise you all on what to study and how to, so listen carefully and ask him questions too. He then sat himself on the front row along with a row of grimy working children from poverty stricken sections of the city. I stood up, not before asking the headmaster, what about the other forty kids sir? Won’t they be attending this talk? They are attending doctor, they will listen to you from downstairs, only talk a little loudly please. We have no space here. This is a charitable set up, and we make do....Now students, we will all sing our school song. Eighty voices chorused and crooned a chosen song* ...And so I spoke, passionately and powerfully. With a huge lump in my throat. Imagining how the forty kids, sitting with rapt attention, trying to hear amid a thousand car honks, and street peddlers, and without even seeing the spokesman....I returned to my room, quite upset. How could this be? I was teaching here in an air-conditioned lecture hall in my medical college. With OHP and LCD and PA systems to help the students understand the lessons. Yet within a few miles was another teaching spot, where children half the age of my students, sat on broken benches, and listened to a lecture given by an unseen man, twelve feet above their head....The mess boy walked in with a broom to sweep the room. I could hardly look him in the face. He told me all the boys downstairs liked the speech very much, and it was far better than hearing lessons from their single teacher who droned on and on, unseen, upstairs. I shook my head, this school had a single teacher, who taught all students, up and downstairs, from one room only....The next day, I bought a public address system with a collection from my classmates, and sent it across to the school, which trained the future generations of the real India. Not much, you could say, but at least the kids downstairs from today, may at least hear their teacher better, or their guest lecture with more clarity, even though they may not ever be able to see either them delivering their lessons or homilies....The mess worker passed high school, went on to finish pre university from an evening college, then qualified for a degree, went on to complete his post-graduation. And yes, he still wishes me, everyday. He works with me, as a Senior Technician in my own Department of Anatomy, of which I am now Professor & Head.. A friend who was with him there is bank manager, and another is….the list is impressive.... ...We who know only public schools and debate over weight of school bags and burden of homework. To those who gripe about lack of sports, or play ground, or library, or transport, or clean toilets for our kids in posh schools – I just have this to say, come over sir, to the night school in Mangalore, and just see for yourself what the other half of India, has and has not.... ...Saara jahan se accha, hindustan hamaara...Hum bulbulen hai uski, yeh gulsitan hamaara, hamaara...

*The lilting tune and killing words of Iqbal torment. This was the song the children of the night school had chosen to sing on that faraway day when I was invited to speak to them

 

 

The Carthikeyan I Married
Posted by
ixedoc on Jun 3, 2005

There she was driving at 120, along the Mysore-Bangalore Highway. me, a nervous wreck beside her. Feet stamping on make believe brakes. Hand clutching onto the front seat edges. Agreed, she was a damn good driver, she could swish and slither through the narrowest of sinuous alleys, and calculatedly miss the oncoming truck by the proverbial whisker. ...Agreed she knew her car like the back of her palm. Okay, agreed, she could, if she so desired give Karthikeyan a run for his money - but, I felt my insides jiggle like jelly. This wasn't any deserted road, this corridor of asphalt connected the two busiest cities in the state, and vehicles whizzed this way and that at a fair clip. ...But who am I to whine. I had to shut up, and pray. I didn’t know car driving, and she did. The moral of the story is 'what can't be cured, must be endured'....So I sat mum, while she bobbed her head up and down, in sync with the number 'Who let the dog's out'. I, just shook mine sideways, eyes shut. Screech, honk, screech, squish. The smell of burnt rubber assailed my senses. I had to go through this annual ordeal. Part of my commitment to family welfare, you could say. ...Zip, zap, zoom in and out of twenty towns at breakneck pace, pit stops for cokes and chips. Some holiday. But I kind of liked the outing, for once a while the route was through Bandipur or Mudumalai sanctuaries: and I'd give anything to have a look at the magnificent peafowls, the majestic jumbos, and the darting deer herds. Though the visual contact with these faunal specimens was in split seconds only, thanks to the hi-octane streak of the car, it was worth for me. I love jungles....Somewhere past Hunsur, on a village outskirt I felt the car swerve , and re-swerve. Bang bang, rattle rattle, jangle jangle. Strange loud sounds emanated from right under my seat. The car slowed down, with the jangle jangles petering down their staccato racket.... ...What happened ?...Nothing really, let me see. So she goes out of the car and shakes her head, sideways this time. Uhoo, we have a problem. I get down too, and see the mess. The two wheels on the left side of the car, I distinctly recall had rims that were circular: now they were heart shaped. She had gone rumble tumble over a huge crater of a pot hole, and the wheel metal had dented. ...She looks around. Anyone around. the afternoon heat is at its peak. Just then we spot a few men walking towards us, in fact walking past us, animatedly discussing the damage. One man stops, looks at me, as I sat under the banyan tree with a smoke...Thale sari illava saar, familyna ittkondu heege hutchunaagi drive maduvada?...(off your rocker sir, to drive like a madman, that too with the family in the car?)...I was fuming, but kept shut. The missus winks at me, and gestures through her eyebrowsd, she can handle these to get her car moving. So the men sit down beside the wheel, and remove them, and un-dent the rims. For the next half hour, the missus put on a sad countenance, the import of expression was meant to convey her helplessness in being married to a speed maniac. To add effect she walks up to the car and pats my little five year old daughter's cheek...Allubeda, allabeda magu, ivatthinda appa slowagi car biddthare anthe......(Tut tut child, dad's promised to drive slowly from today)...The gall. Grrr. But highway etiquette demands I keep shut, at least until the sweating men are done with their job....I heard the men clucking sympathetically, and give me dirty looks. ...Well the car moved after the repair, and the men were thanked. Then in a final coup de grace, she says to me, loud enough for all the men around to hear....'Eega naan drive maaduthini ree, neevu maguna nodikolli'...(Please, I drive from now, you just look after the baby)...Then she slides into the cock pit and inches off from the spot very, very slowly. The men watch the car lumber forwards, like a snail, and nod their heads approvingly....In ten minutes she is doing 120 and as if on cue my head starts shaking sideways again.

 

'Train'ing to be an Indian
Posted by
ixedoc on May 28, 2005

I was young, maybe fifteen or less then; a weakling too. Pint sized and unimpressive (I still am, both!) A backbencher who merged into the décor: not wanting to stand out, just wanting to be left alone. I doubt more than a dozen classmates knew my name. All this changed though much later, when the mistreatment I got from seniors in the medical college as anew student (euphemistically called ragging now), snapped something in me, and mutated me into an aggressive and extroverted individual.... ...Back then, as I said, it was snail like existence, withdraw at the first sign of change. One summer, I had to travel all the way to Amritsar from Madras. Alone. I was quite scared at the prospect. I managed to board the train, and some how events moved rather smoothly. I just sat reading a book or two the whole while, night and day, not communicating with the garrulous bunch of villagers and, men women and children who made the most of along distanced journey. They cooked chappatis, cut vegetables, pumped kerosene primus stoves into life, and ate what appeared to be the most delicious smelling and looking fare I had ever chanced upon. They gestured, asking if wanted some. I shook my head. No, and went back into my pages. As I mentioned, I was uncomfortable in company....The journey was eternally long in the sixties, and trains were notoriously slow too. The longer the sojourn, the more merriment the crowd in my compartment was having. Singing, playing cards. And, eating non-stop. About halfway during the trip, a ticket collector comes in, chewing betel nut. He looked quite mean. And he reserved his special quota of nastiness for me. He checked my ticket, then asked to see the details of my student concession form, and shook his head and clucked. This wont do.... ...Yeh nahi chalega....What nahi chalega? He just chewed his cud, and started scribbling notes behind the paper form and ticket I had given him. As if on cue, the train slows down to a grinding halt. A tiny railway station at the Andhra border. All of a sudden the meanie says ‘yahin uttaro’. Get down here. You are traveling ticketless with false papers. And very unceremoniously, takes my small handbag and me, and ousts me and my baggage out of the compartment. The two minute halt at the remote outpost railway station is over. The whistle blows, and the train starts to strenuously chug life into the wheels. I looked around. Desolate and silent, and except for the mean TC who stood a few feet away, chewing cud, there was not a soul in the darkness of the platform. Puff, puff, the steam engine splutters, billowing clouds of choking smoke, creak, squeek, the wheels find purchase and the train; my train. My eyes brimmed with tears. I was lost, and being very insular by nature, didn’t know what to do. I looked as the train chugged slowly past, and read the yellow name-board on the platform. Sirpur Kagaznagar....The TC gestured to me to follow him, and walked away quite quickly, spewing out a jet of blood red salivated betel juice. Then, in an amazing turn of events. two of the sturdy turbaned villagers who were in the compartment of mine, leapt down from the train, one grabbed me by my arms, the other clutched my suitcase, and in one swift motion and action, had me back into the bogie. The train was moving a fair pace now, and before the stunned TC could summon nerve and breath, Sirpur Kagaznagar faded into a twinkling specks of linear lights on the inky black horizon....Laughter and mirth filled the cubicles, the whole compartment load of common folk, a microcosm of India joined in the merry making that followed the daring ‘rescue and restore’ mission of the two unlettered men, who grinned showing their stained teeth. ...I did not open my book the remaining part of the train trip. I sat with the family of twenty or more, and ate piping hot chappatis made oven fresh and served with ‘sarson ka saag’ and chutney, all ground and pureed on the spot. The six women too, joked and laughed with us, and I could hear their wrist-load of metal bangles and heavy silver anklets jiggle with their spasms of uncontrollable mirth....Saala, uska chehra dehka? They chortled, picturizing the visage of the hapless TC, who they had conned, he was furiously chewing leaves.. and grinding molars......This is India, where fellow travelers become brothers, where fellow men become Samaritans. Where all live as one large content happy family. Sans language, sans religion, sans caste, sans creed or gender prejudices and divisions. ...Late in the night, the train stopped interminably long at a wayside station. Somewhere beyond Itarsi I think. I was half-fast asleep. The day’s adventures and escapades had unnerved me and made me somnolent. I woke up early, and noticed the cubicle was empty. My companions and the family had got down. Yes, gone. I felt marooned. There presence, laughter and warmth had me made me secure. Now I was alone again. I got down from the top berth I was occupying, and something caught my eye at the foot end of the plank that doubled as bed in those days. ...A neatly wrapped cloth bag, inside which were six chappatis and some curry……...all still warm. Warm with the love of my fellow Indians.

 

 
Subject:[bngbirds]
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
   Date: 19 Aug 2000 14:23:49 -0000
   From: "arunachalam kumar"
Subject: Morphology of Asiatic Elephants
scan0041.jpg

The Asiatic Elephant:Observations On Morphometry

          The Asian elephant,E maximus, is apart from it's African counterpart E loxodonta, only one of two representatives of the once diverse species. Clear anatomical differences mark out these two present day species from one another. Every now and then, an ocassional report does trickle in claiming sighting of an odd herd or two, especially from the west coast of the southern Deccan peninsular India, of elephant members exhibiting a shorter stature, these unconfirmed sporadic  sightings, have even led to many believing that a  new , hitherto unrecorded subspecies  of the asian elephant could exist in India. Local observers of these elephants aver to their shortness, and christen the her members as "Kalyani". Despite much effort and expertise no scientific  records have  confirmed  these odd sighting reports.

       But is the Indian elephant a completely unitary species, or are there inbred mutations, that could,theoretically at least, produce genetically
distinct subspecies like characteristics, with identifiable phenotypes ? The presence of large herds in souther India of Tuskless (makhnas) Bull elephants is certainly one such environment (or mutation?) induced change. Assuming that there is scope for further study  in these nebulous areas, I have made a brief study of the elphants in southern India, to delineate visible or gross morhological differences or features between various herds, within known sanctuaries. Though I claim no expertise in field studies involving
large mammals such as elephants, I have at least, some level of competence in the science of anatomy, with some knowledge of comparative anatomy, as part of my postgraduate studies in the medical faculty. I have spent some two to three weeks a year in camp, visiting most national parks and sanctuaries in south India. Apart from fairly close observation of  other animals and birds, I have particularly looked for and noted elephants in their natural habitats. I have also dropped in into Zoological Parks withing bigger cities, and had a look at Temple elephants, wherever possible. I have collected hundreds of photographs and pictures of elephants from various parts of India, either from friends or from natural history magazines.All with view to look beyond the larger picture. Are all asiatic elephants,more particularly, Indian elephants, alike morphologically ? My own observations perplex me, and put a strain on my scientific grooming., for the answer to the question is,no. No indeed, not all Indian elephants are uniform in their adult features. That is eliminating nutrition , habitat, and stock influenced changes in size,shape or strength, some elephant herds do show slight but discernable morphometric variations to regularly and too widely to be dismissed as possibly caused by the aforementioned factors.

      I have observed that the trunks and their dimensions  distinctly in some elephant herds from the Periyar region compared to herds from other more dital areas. The difference is obvious to any trained eye even in photographs. The trunk of these elephants do not taper down to tip from a broad  cranial  end, but taper abruptly at head ends, then proceed to tip, as a cylindrical appendage, with the right and left sides of any single trunk running almost parallel. The elephants from other parts of south India have trunks that taper gradually, that is they appear more conical. This conicality
pronounced even in the females and tuskless ones, showing the abutting of tusk base or its rudiments against the trunk base at the oral end could possible apparently appear to broaden it. In fact so identifiable are the herdswith this peculiar morphological variation that, it takes only a few minutes of photograph scanning by even amatuer naturalists, to separate pictures of elephants from Periyar froma whole range of pictures of jumbos from other zones or areas. Are the elephant herds of this region more endemic and less prone to long migrations and inter-population interaction and mating ? Is the narrow non-tapering trunk a unique phenotype ? Is the sub-population in Southern India undergoing morphometrically identifiable change ? It would be worth trying a genetic study, and compare karyotypes between various south based populations.

       I claim no field knowledge,I reiterate, none whatsoever. My sole purpose for writing this note is to stimulate naturalists who have deep understanding and wherewithal ,both in terms of scientific biological grooming and funds. It may not be out of context to mention that, maybe I am not alonein this inference. Most calender artists of the south, protraying the elephant-headed Ganesha, invariably paint the trunks more cylindruical than conical.,but artisans, scultors and painters of north, north-east and west show a more broad-base narrow tipped trunk in their artistic  reproductions.

Are these Periyar home range herd elephants, the elusive Kalyanis ?

Prof Arunachalam Kumar
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
MUST THE TWO-LEGGED MUM-TO-BE NEED TO CRY? www.dcregistry.com

Watch the ‘mum to be’ walk. Ungainly, tipping over gait, with the third trimester foetus pushing against her anterior abdominal wall, stretching the muscles to tautness. Look at her as she carefully weaves her way in that insanely narrow aisle at the supermarket, careful mum, that shopper yonder seems to be in haste as she careens ahead erratically towards her. Then just in the nick of time, a collision is averted, a deft sidestep….and the oncoming peril is averted. It is not the evasive side-stepping maneuver of the mum to be that gets me curious, it is another instinctive action she takes to protect her unborn baby. She has hastily removed both her hands from the shopping cart, and folded her elbows defensively on her abdomen, her wrists flex and digits curl.
Flexion is a natural mechanism, the first line of defense against perceived dangers. Watch how the caterpillar curls itself, or that pangolin. Or any quadruped for that matter. Universal flexion, every joint in flexion, is used to protect every vital organ in the abdomen, pelvis, or thorax, against assault. Why even the growing foetus in that mums womb, is in a position of universal flexion. But our ‘mum to be’ just has to make do with just two forearms flexed against her abdomen as her only line of defence. Ever wondered why?
The answer is evolution. With the emergence of Homo erectus, the additional flexion-induced protective shield available from the two lower limbs has been lost to the bipedal human. Were she still a quadruped, sighting the oncoming peril at the mall, our mum would have squatted, or crouched, and drawn her knees up close, in complete flexion along with the hip, the vertebral column itself would have flexed through contraction of the abdominal recti…but now, she just has to stand erect, the product of seven months of gestation, exposed to any, or all elements that threaten frontally.
In another article, written for this site (‘Shedding a tear for bipedalism’) I had discussed how I felt that the human lacrimal gland, and more particularly the apparatus appended to it, was slowly becoming functionally insignificant thanks to erect posture and our two- legged mobility attribute. The question I raise now is, could not the partial loss of protective flexion, with specific reference to the ‘mum to be’ analogy cited, be wholly attributed to the acquisition of bipedal gait and erect posture? Is the modern Mrs. Eve paying the price for a decision her ancestor, Mrs.Lucy took three million years ago, to move on in life, and up the evolutionary ladder, on two, not four limbs?
Should another tear ready to be shed for ‘bipedalism’? Is the time tested reflex of ‘universal flexion’ being shoved out of our lives? Evolution took away my appendix, my platysma, my pyramidalis, and my auricular muscles.. It docked my tail. It has compromised the capabilities and range of flexion in the gravid human female…what next? Pardon me mate, I must shed some tears, right away, for turning biped and erect. Pass another tissue please, quick, before evolution deletes my even that tear shedding function of my lacrimals, totally.

 



Theory predicts fossil finds in Western Ghats
By K. C. Vikas Kumar

MANGALORE, DEC. 19. In a controversial theory, Prof. Arunachalam Kumar of the Department of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, has predicted unearthing of fossils from the northern ridges of the Western Ghats and the adjoining regions of the upper Deccan and the Rann of Kutch.

The theory, according to Prof. Kumar, is a product of six years of study and is based on the break-up of Gondwanaland, the subsequent continental drift, the realignment of land masses of the world and the associated species distribution along the land masses.

In a book titled, Biodiversity of the Western Ghats, edited by biologists, including Mr. S. A. Hussain and Mr. K. A. Achar, Prof. Kumar says: ``Species-specific locales of early primates and pongids, as seen today, lie in equatorial South America, South Central Africa, Madagascar, India and Indonesia.''

The theory, he says, is based on the assumption that ``all early prehensile primates and the later evolved gorillas and chimpanzees of Africa, the gibbons of north India and the orangutans of Sumatra and Borneo are seen localised along a single arc of land that spreads across South America, Africa to South-East Asia and then to upper Australia.''

The presence of these animals, on different continents or land masses separated by oceans, if transposed on the map of Gondwanaland, shows that gene pools that supposedly spawned all these species are restricted to a single crescent of land running south-west to north to south-east on the original land mass.

Prof. Kumar is certain that anthropologists will unearth a new addition to the human evolution tree, possibly in the form of bipedal fossils from India. Prof. Uttangi, a senior biologist, backs Prof. Kumar's views as is evident from his letter to the latter. The letter suggests that it is possible to unearth missing links of hominids from the regions adjoining the Western Ghats. This view is based on a study made by him on intestinal parasites found in frogs.

In 1948, Prof. Uttangi is said to have discovered the presence of bi-nucleated opalinid protozoa, a seemingly rare species that is predominantly found in Antarctica, in the intestines of frogs and some other species such as the microhylids living close to the Western Ghats in Dharwad region. The sightings confirmed that there were land connections between Gondwanaland and Madagascar, and the then ocean islands. In addition to this is the recent discovery of dinosaur bones and skeletal fragments in the North-east and in the Hyderabad region. The discovery made in the early Fifties suggests that till 70 million years ago, vertebrates from the Jurassic era were roaming on the Indian subcontinent.

Prof. Kumar says: ``Since almost 95 per cent of the human genes are present in the apes, it is probable that the pithecoid gene pool evolved sporadically as mutations from the pongid pool in disjointed locales across Gondwanaland.

Supporting this theory is the finding of early preconsul and giant ape fossils that pre-dated hominids in the Siwaliks, indicating that the genetic material required for the mutation (genetic, environment-induced or spontaneous) into better evolved higher bipeds and hominids can be found in India.

Prof. Kumar is of the opinion that reports of sightings of Yeti in Bhutan and the giant apes in Vietnam may not be figments of imagination. The Ramapithecus and Sivapethecus or their ape-like cousins may indeed have survived in the inaccessible locales of Asia.

Early bipedal human fossils have been uncovered in geographically-disjointed locales across the globe, which proves that their origins could have been from a single area or strip of land that eventually got separated by continental-shelf drifts caused by tectonic plate movements.

From primates such as chimpanzees to Mesopithecus, Dryopithecus, Pithecanthropus, Pliopithecus, Ramapithecus, Sivapithecus, and Gigantopithecus, (all proconsuls and giant Protohominid bipeds) into Paranthropous and Australiopithicines (probably the ancestor of humankind), the genetic pool remains static and concentrated along the crescent land mass of early Gondwanaland, he says.

WESTERN GHATS / Ameen Ahmed

Among the highlights of the trips was the meet with Prof. Arunachalam Kumar. Getting to learn about observing wildlife and more importantly writing these observations in a way which the common man likes.

Copyright © 2004-2005
www.bird-center.net

 

The Rangoli / kolam (sulekha.com/expressions/comments)

The humble kolam and its refined cousin the rangoli, have commonality with sand art of the native Indians of Americas too. Moreover, the art form has more than just symbolic or ritualistic conotations. My own research into rangoli had shown that the figures sketched in powder dropped from above, are actually akin to the 'chreod' concept and the pleated graphic forms that constitute the 'phenotype cusp catstrophe cube'. A very complex physical and mathematical three dimensional exercise in bifurcation curve is involved in kolam composition, though it is unknown to the artist, the art form is highly evolved physics

References:
1.An expert in rangoli-Dr Kumar Arunachalam
The Hindu 1984
2.Kumar Arunachalam The ancient Indian art of rangoli
India Journal USA, 1986
3.KUmar Arunachalam:The mathematical enigma of rangoli
Canara Times, 1995
4.Kumar Arunachalam:The Rangoli-art or expression of the phenotype cube?
Morning News, 1998

 

TEEN TORNADO: The Sachin Tendulkar Site / members.trpod.com

Is Tendulkar's problem here to stay?

 

At the 46th National Conference of the Anatomical Society of India held late last year, a medical research paper presented by a senior professor and his colleague from the Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, created quite a stir. The paper dwelt on a novel area of research - cricket.

Titled A Biomechanical Analysis Of Tendulkar's On-Drive the paper prophesied that in the not-too-distant future, Sachin Tendulkar, India's start batsman, would suffer from a hip or knee injury brought about by any one r all of the following three factors . . .

  • A faulty footwork in the execution of his favourite lofted on-drive
  • A preference for a very heavy bat
  • The ballooning body weight of Tendulkar

The inferences were drawn by the researchers after close and repeated studies of the opening batsman's stroke play and stance.

This is a typical lofted shot played by Sachin Tendulkar. From this picture it can be seen that as Sachin executes his shot, his torso and hip move in the anti-clockwise direction whereas his left-knee remains locked and his left foot remains anchored on the ground.

Faulty footwork?

The warning was ignored : The authors contended that improper transmission of torsional forces and torque (couple) induced by the body pivot on moored left ankle during the performance of Sachin's most productive lofted shots, could lead to the stretching and rupture of his left iliofemoral ligament at hip, or more damagingly, a bucket handle type avulsion of the left knee's medial meniscular ligament.

It was then, for the first time ever, at a national level medical science congress, a research paper on biomechanics and kinesiology of cricket, was being presented and discussed. Apart from delegates at the venue, Karad in Maharashtra, none, either from the sports administration arena, or from the press, as much as glanced at the unique research and its ominous warning. Six months before that, the public and cricket mandarins at BCCI got a clue about Sachin's physical status, wherein he limped and bent over his bat at Sharjah and Chennai. Professor Arunachalam Kumar, the medical anatomist, had written exhaustively on the high odds in favour of the batsman being crippled and compromised before the end of 1999.

In an earlier article on the same topic, which appeared in the local press, the author had highlighted the oncoming doom. That had been six months before Sachin flew to England for treatment of a nagging loin-groin incapacitation.

Were these just flippant comments made by amateur cricket lovers or were the findings those deduced from serious and sustained study?

Past predictions : In the past Dr Kumar had categorically declared that any off-spinner bowling a faster ball, would perforce have to bend his elbow - a fact proved by the spate of no-balling. Chauhan, Harbhajan and Muralitharan - and the tactic confession of Sonny Ramadhin, an off-spinner of the yester-year from the West Indies, that he chucked every faster delivery. Dr Kumar, after kinetically studying pace bowling had predicted five years ago that a paceman could deliver faster were he to strap a wristwatch on his bowling arm. Today, Darren Gough sports one, on his right wrist, and is England's fastest bowler.

The problem : Dr Kumar's colleague, Dr K P Seetarama Rao, a doctorate in anatomy, who jointly presented the Tendulkar papaer at Karad, is of the opinion that a timely intervention, rest and recuperation in Tendulkar's crowded cricket calender would have probably led to full recovery and health of the cricketer. "No one ever listens to professionals any more, nor ever did" he says sadly. "Astrologers and match-fixers are having a field day at the cost and health of our match-winning sportsmen."

Alarming Prognosis

What Sachin should do?

 

 

The doctor predicts : "Sachin will be unable to play more than a couple of matches at the World Cup without aggravating his joint injury. In my opinion he should be rested totally from playing at Sharjah and other tournaments scheduled from now to the World Cup".

Further, according to the doctor-professor, "Sachin's cricket career at Test-level is as good as over". A strong statement coming from a man who claims to know. And care. But is anyone listening?

Dr Kumar advises what Tendulkar should do with immediate effect

  • Reduce weight
  • Switch to a lighter bat
  • Change his stance to a more open one
  • Eliminate his inclination to play the lofted on-drive

Deaf ears? A popular weekly published from Kerala had in fact contacted Dr Kumar three months ago asking for all details of the prophetic diagnosis, much before the calamity actually unfolded. However, they did not follow it up. The silence has cost India dearly.

"In a larger context, being based in smaller towns and districts, media coverage and dissemination of information is handicapped. Scientists from capital cities and prestigious centres sometimes get undue media coverage for lesser work while outstanding research resulting from interior India remain largely ignored" say the researchers.

Says Dr Kumar "I'm not angry, just disappointed. i am not just an anatomist with a die-hard interest in the game. I happen to be a qualified referee for the Amateur Body Builders Federation Of India, knowing something about physique and fitness". incidentally, he is also a registered umpire for the Karnataka State Cricket Association.

 

 

Who is Dr Kumar? With a finding like this, naturally the credentials of the professor have come into reckoning. Here they are . .

  • Dr Kumar has 20 years of teaching and research to his credit, being associated with one of the best medical institutions in India at Manipal / Mangalore.
  • He is listed in the Limca Book Of Records as India's most prolific research scientist.
  • He is Dr T M A Pai Gold medal winner for medical reseach in 1984

His papers, more than 50 in number, are cited in Current Contents, Science Citation Index, Index Medicus and Biological Abstracts
With research inputs in Orthopaedics, Surgery, Medicine, Dentistry, Paediatrics, Forensic Science, Dermatology, Anatomy, Community Medicine, Environmental Science, Ornithology and Entomology, Dr Kumar ahs done pioneering work in the Biomechanics of Sports.

THE TRIBUNE

How faulty technique can bring on an injury has been highlighteby the debate on the cause of Tendulkar’s back problem.

Mr Arunachalam Kumar, a medical anatomist, and Dr K.P. Seetarama Rao of Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, had prophesied in a research paper that Tendulkar would suffer a hip or knee injury caused possibly by faulty footwork in execution of his favourite lofted on-drive.

The paper, titled ‘A Bio-Mechanical Analysis of Tendulkar’s On-Drive’, presented at the 46th National Conference of the Anatomical Society of India late last year, said Tendulkar’s heavy bat and increasing body weight could also contribute to the injury

 

Sixth sense? Media coverage of Dr. Arunachalam Kumar

 

INDIA TODAY: Dr. Kumar’s research on Tendulkar shows a ‘remarkable prescience’

MANGALORE TODAY:  His predictions are based on his ESP?

THE SUN: Anatomist or astrologer?

THE INDEPENDENT (UK): His prediction makes hair on the nape of your neck stand

THE HINDU: Anatomist predicts fossil find in India

NRI PULSE: The professor who predicted the earthquake

THE OUTLOOK: How could you predict the injury?

 

The Tribune, Hindustan Times, Times of India, The Indian Express, Deccan Herald, The Cetacean, The New Zealand Herald, The South African Tribune, Straits Times, The Panorama, National Geographic, BMJ, Manipal Linq, and over 150 websites have carried the professors unusual and uncanny ability to forecast and foresee events


ELBOWING HIS WAY: SHOAIB AKHTER  krissrikkanth.com 

When Shoaib Akhtar, the new kid in the block from Pakistan, ran in and sent down his express delivery, the world of cricket looked up, and shook itself awake. The ball was timed at ninety -seven plus miles per hour speed! No freak delivery this; again and again, he bowled at a 90 plus m.p.h. pace. Shoaib was bowling faster than any other paceman in contemporary cricket, faster than Brett Lee, the new Aussie sensation. Only one bowler, 'Thommo' of the famed Lillee-Jeff Thomson duo of the seventies had bowled a faster ball. Suddenly knocking on the doors of the 100 mph clubhouse (no members yet!)..was an unknown short, slightly built, spry Asian. Not surprisingly, what happened next was predictable. The 'white-coats' cried foul. 'No Ball' was the call. 'Suspect action' was the verdict.. the 'brown-blitzkrieg', was sent packing .for analysis and correction of his 'chucking' action. Another nascent career truncated in it's infancy. In Pakistan, cricket mandarins, however reckoned otherwise. Too long they had let the ICC middlemen to call the shots. The Harbhajans, Chauhans and Muralitharans had taken the blows on their chins, and baulked . These officials were not, this time at least, ready to let Shoaib turn the other cheek. Thus it came about that the tear-away speedster was sent for investigation. What really is the truth? Was the 'Rawalpindi Express' actually chucking ?

Slow-mo camerawork, freeze action photography, video replays, kinetics of motion and biomechanical studies are complete now ..and the inference? Shoaib has an odd upper limb skeletal anatomy, that gives him an extra edge in his delivery speed. His elbow can 'hyper-extend'. The bowler was not chucking at all, only taking full advantage of an anomalous articulation. To understand this condition, it is best we catch up with some base data on the elbow joint's anatomy, the physiology , kinetics, and on the physical postulates on motion.

Anatomy:
The human elbow is anatomically classified as, a 'simple-synovial-uniaxial hinge' joint. It flexes or extends the forearm. The medial edge of the lower end of the arm bone, humerus, articulates with the upper end of the inner forearm bone, the ulna, to form the humero-ulnar or elbow joint. The olecranon of the ulna forms a hook shaped upward and forward projection, that fits into a 'pulley-like' troclea of the lower humeral end. The bones acting through this 'door hinge' like articulation, allow us to move our forearm upward or downward. The range of movement from full flexion to complete extension is about 165 plus. While the forearm can be straightened to lie in line with the humerus , extension beyond 180 degrees, the maximum range is limited by abutment of bone against bone. The ulnar olecranon's upper anterior protuberance, after it's sortie on the humeral trochlea, comes to fit snugly into a hollow fossa on the posterior surface of the lower end of humerus. This impaction disallows any further movement. In Shoaib's elbow, however, either one, or both, of the following two oddities are found: (a) the olecranon protuberance is smaller than normal, and, or (b) the olecranon recipient fossa on the posterior humeral surface is deeper than usual. In some bones, this fossa may be deep enough to form a complete opening in the lower end of the humerus.

When any one of these osteological oddities is present, the outer limit for extension is increased beyond the 180 degree range limit by 10 to 20 degrees. This extra movement is known as 'hyper-extension'. The condition is not rare, and can be observed in most women, every child, and many males. In an outstretched limb, the front of the elbow in these people, shows a anterior bulge, or forward bend in the outstretched limbs. In Shoaib, the hyper-extended elbow gives him an additional exploitable arc in his overhead bowling arc, the extra input, allows the ball to be delivered with a 'whip-lash' or catapult effect- the same effect every schoolboy playing marbles employs when his bends the marble holding index digit as far back as possible, before releasing the tension abruptly, to send the marble scooting.

Physiology:
'The force of a muscle's contraction is directly proportional to the initial length of the muscle fibre'. Put simply, the longer the individual fibers are stretched, the stronger will be their contractile potential. The marble shooter applies uses this law in stretching his index digit flexors. In the hyperextended elbow, the long flexors of the wrist and hand, originating from the lower end of the humerus, are stretched a little further by their passage across the obtuse angularity created in the outstretched bowling arm. Almost every extrinsic muscle that flexes the wrist or digits, originates from the humerus; the odd elbow also lengthens the biceps, which though rendered ineffective in the outstretched elbow, transfers it's contractile force onto the shoulder joint- not surprisingly, in Shoaib, each one of the muscles, endowed with a larger in situ initial length- and contractile potential- the outcome, a faster ball. His actions are too rapid for the naked eye; it cannot discern the 'catapult' effect .The umpire interprets the oddity in action as foul. Unfortunately, cricket laws and umpires are not schooled enough to discriminate the subtle nuances between bowling, illegally with a suspect action and bowling legally exploiting one's congenital skeletal anomalies. Our legendary leggie, Chandra's bowling wrist was structurally quirky, so is Muralitharan's arm, as are most women.all anatomically peculiar, or different. None of them contravene any ICC cricketing law, but have gone through the grind of close scrutiny, and the ensuing ignomy. Luckily, today's hi-gizmo technology has saved many from oblivion. Modern techniques and technology has saved Shoaib.

Kinetics:
In a research paper presented some years ago at the National Conference of Biomedical Scientists entitled "The Biomechanics of Pace Bowling", I had touched on the kinesiology of pace bowling. The ball's pace is combination of speed of bowler's movements along multiple radii, placed transverse, horizontal and vertical. The physics laws of Tangential Velocity (TV), Radius(R) and Angular Velocity (AV) determine the actual speed of the ball. The delivery pace (TV) is the product of (AV) times (R). In simple terms,a bowler could bowl faster by increasing, either his Angular Velocity (run up speed ) or the Radius (arc) of his bowling action. Watch any fast bowler - the run-up is usually curved or angular. The back bends backward, the shoulder girdle pivots, the arm circumducts, and the wrist extends.all actions are inputs to the total Radius ( R ) .In Shoaib's case, he has one additional input: no, not to the Radius total , but to his Angular Velocity .remember the extra 10 to 20 degrees 'catapulting' edge his hyper-extended elbow has ? Any wonder he can bowl ninety plus ?

Can one artificially increase this range of the elbow hinge? Yes indeed ! All that a medium pacer is required to do, is get an orthopaedician to scoop out some bone tissue from the olecranon fossa of the humerus, or alternately, chip a few millimeters off the ulnar olecranon's forward projection; either one(or both) surgical interventions will cause hyperextension at elbow..and convert a medium pacer to a genuine quicky.

Irony though, for, whatever nature endows as gift, it exacts a heavy exchange price. every natural reward comes with a rider: elbow joints that are hyperextendable, are unfortunately, unstable too. The Pakistani cricket 'think-tank' will be well advised were they to shield their star anatomical freak from on-field mishaps. Shoaib is best fielded in the long-off or long-on positions, never in the slips or short cover, short square leg or gully. He just cannot afford to tumble.not if he ever hopes to become the first, and perhaps the only member of the super-exclusive '100 mph Club'!

A worthy Recipient of the T. M. A. Pai Gold Medal for research into the embryology of birds and the Jaycees outstanding personality award. This prodigious personality has won the Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow medal, The distinguished Alumnus award, The commendable service award for scouts, The Rotary's G.S.E. award for study tour of U.S.A., Besides, a whole lot of trophies in chess, bridge and art decorate his home.

The magazine "India Today" refers to him as "polymath, master of six languages", Tamil, Kannada, Tulu, Telugu, Hindi and English.

Dr. Kumar's paper on Tendulkar's back injury presented at Karad in Maharastra, foretold of the batsman's injury weeks before it manifested. This original paper was cited in India Today, Outlook, Udayavani, Times of India & Asian Age besides a number of other news papers and magazines.

He was on the Board of Studies, Mangalore University and was the the Deputy Registrar of  Manipal Academy of Higher Education, a deemed University. An examiner to a number of universities, he is a doctoral guide, and serves as Board of Studies member in the Nursing faculty and is perhaps the only medical teacher who is a visiting professor in creative writing at a leading communications institute.

Elected Fellow of the International Medical Sciences Academy, and Fellow of the Academy of the general Education, Dr. Kumar is a qualified referee in the Amateur Body Builder's Federation of India, and Dy. Dt. Commissioner of scouts and guides.

Twice elected president of college students union at K.M.C. Manipal& Mangalore and founder president of the All College students union of South Kanara. 

Dr. Kumar as an artist is viewed through the sketches that adorn many a home in India and abroad. Dr. Kumar's Rangolis have graced many festive occasions in South Kanara and they truly depict his unending talent.

Dr. Kumar Married to  Sujata, a tea planter has a daughter Eva. He resides in Highlands amidst his dogs, Rajapalayams , a breed he has a special respect for.

Hope ensues a lot lot more of this dynamic & multifaceted personality gifted with an incredulous talent that seems to know not where the end lies.

US laps up Indian doctor's malaria cure theory www.healthlibrary.com/news/8-13Jan2001/times-malaria1.htm
 

Yes, says Mangalore-based medical professor Dr Arunachalam Kumar. His hypothesis on `Insect-bite immunity' has been proved right by American immunologists. These immunologists who are working with the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), in a research report published in the journal Science, recently, confirmed the hypothesis put forth by Dr Kumar. Four years ago, Dr Kumar had, published in the medical journal, The Lancet from England, a brief report, `Insect-bite immunity' which the Americans now claim as their `original work'. Dr Kumar, in his report, explained the possibility of the `immunity' hypothesis. ``When the insect-saliva (and its constituent foreign proteins) are transfered into a human host through a mosquito bite, an allergic reaction takes place which in turn, confers immunity against the malarial parasite borne by the vector, that is, the mosquito,'' the hypothesis added. His inference has been proved right by the American research team. The team was working on sand-flies, an insect common in the tropics, that transfer the `leishmaniasis' parasite in human beings through their bite. The work showed that a human being's immune response mechanism reacts against `leishmania'. The Science paper, says immunogens transfered through bite and sand-fly saliva, trigger a T-cell mediated immune response to the foreign immunogen-proteins. Further research, they hope, will enable scientists to produce vaccines against many tropical insect vector borne diseases. Professor Kumar told The Times of India, he was delighted that his research had found takers. ``More analysis in this area will help in finding a permanent solution to malaria.'' A cure could also be found for filariasis, dengue, Japanese encaphalitis or even the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), all carried and transmitted by insect vectors. They could be eradicated through saliva produced vaccines, he added. Incidentally, Dr Kumar's insect-bite immune hypothesis was tested in a survey by college students of his medical institute, and found to be a true indicator of host immunity status. Their findings were presented at a state-level Community and Preventive Medicine Conference at Hubli in 1998. Prof Kumar, however, expressed surprise that the American team was claiming the work done there was their own. ``Citation, reference and credit should be given to researchers in the third world, who with little funding and lesser infrastructure, produce research work worthy of publication in journals such as The Lancet, a physician's Bible of sorts," he added.


 


 

When Shoaib Akhtar, the new kid in the block from Pakistan, ran in and sent down his express delivery, the world of cricket looked up, and shook itself awake. The ball was timed at ninety -seven plus miles per hour speed! No freak delivery this; again and again, he bowled at a 90 plus m.p.h. pace. Shoaib was bowling faster than any other paceman in contemporary cricket, faster than Brett Lee, the new Aussie sensation. Only one bowler, 'Thommo' of the famed Lillee-Jeff Thomson duo of the seventies had bowled a faster ball. Suddenly knocking on the doors of the 100 mph clubhouse (no members yet!)..was an unknown short, slightly built, spry Asian. Not surprisingly, what happened next was predictable. The 'white-coats' cried foul. 'No Ball' was the call. 'Suspect action' was the verdict.. the 'brown-blitzkrieg', was sent packing .for analysis and correction of his 'chucking' action. Another nascent career truncated in it's infancy. In Pakistan, cricket mandarins, however reckoned otherwise. Too long they had let the ICC middlemen to call the shots. The Harbhajans, Chauhans and Muralitharans had taken the blows on their chins, and baulked . These officials were not, this time at least, ready to let Shoaib turn the other cheek. Thus it came about that the tear-away speedster was sent for investigation. What really is the truth? Was the 'Rawalpindi Express' actually chucking ?

Slow-mo camerawork, freeze action photography, video replays, kinetics of motion and biomechanical studies are complete now ..and the inference? Shoaib has an odd upper limb skeletal anatomy, that gives him an extra edge in his delivery speed. His elbow can 'hyper-extend'. The bowler was not chucking at all, only taking full advantage of an anomalous articulation. To understand this condition, it is best we catch up with some base data on the elbow joint's anatomy, the physiology , kinetics, and on the physical postulates on motion.

Anatomy:
The human elbow is anatomically classified as, a 'simple-synovial-uniaxial hinge' joint. It flexes or extends the forearm. The medial edge of the lower end of the arm bone, humerus, articulates with the upper end of the inner forearm bone, the ulna, to form the humero-ulnar or elbow joint. The olecranon of the ulna forms a hook shaped upward and forward projection, that fits into a 'pulley-like' troclea of the lower humeral end. The bones acting through this 'door hinge' like articulation, allow us to move our forearm upward or downward. The range of movement from full flexion to complete extension is about 165 plus. While the forearm can be straightened to lie in line with the humerus , extension beyond 180 degrees, the maximum range is limited by abutment of bone against bone. The ulnar olecranon's upper anterior protuberance, after it's sortie on the humeral trochlea, comes to fit snugly into a hollow fossa on the posterior surface of the lower end of humerus. This impaction disallows any further movement. In Shoaib's elbow, however, either one, or both, of the following two oddities are found: (a) the olecranon protuberance is smaller than normal, and, or (b) the olecranon recipient fossa on the posterior humeral surface is deeper than usual. In some bones, this fossa may be deep enough to form a complete opening in the lower end of the humerus.

When any one of these osteological oddities is present, the outer limit for extension is increased beyond the 180 degree range limit by 10 to 20 degrees. This extra movement is known as 'hyper-extension'. The condition is not rare, and can be observed in most women, every child, and many males. In an outstretched limb, the front of the elbow in these people, shows a anterior bulge, or forward bend in the outstretched limbs. In Shoaib, the hyper-extended elbow gives him an additional exploitable arc in his overhead bowling arc, the extra input, allows the ball to be delivered with a 'whip-lash' or catapult effect- the same effect every schoolboy playing marbles employs when his bends the marble holding index digit as far back as possible, before releasing the tension abruptly, to send the marble scooting.

Physiology:
'The force of a muscle's contraction is directly proportional to the initial length of the muscle fibre'. Put simply, the longer the individual fibers are stretched, the stronger will be their contractile potential. The marble shooter applies uses this law in stretching his index digit flexors. In the hyperextended elbow, the long flexors of the wrist and hand, originating from the lower end of the humerus, are stretched a little further by their passage across the obtuse angularity created in the outstretched bowling arm. Almost every extrinsic muscle that flexes the wrist or digits, originates from the humerus; the odd elbow also lengthens the biceps, which though rendered ineffective in the outstretched elbow, transfers it's contractile force onto the shoulder joint- not surprisingly, in Shoaib, each one of the muscles, endowed with a larger in situ initial length- and contractile potential- the outcome, a faster ball. His actions are too rapid for the naked eye; it cannot discern the 'catapult' effect .The umpire interprets the oddity in action as foul. Unfortunately, cricket laws and umpires are not schooled enough to discriminate the subtle nuances between bowling, illegally with a suspect action and bowling legally exploiting one's congenital skeletal anomalies. Our legendary leggie, Chandra's bowling wrist was structurally quirky, so is Muralitharan's arm, as are most women.all anatomically peculiar, or different. None of them contravene any ICC cricketing law, but have gone through the grind of close scrutiny, and the ensuing ignomy. Luckily, today's hi-gizmo technology has saved many from oblivion. Modern techniques and technology has saved Shoaib.

Kinetics:
In a research paper presented some years ago at the National Conference of Biomedical Scientists entitled "The Biomechanics of Pace Bowling", I had touched on the kinesiology of pace bowling. The ball's pace is combination of speed of bowler's movements along multiple radii, placed transverse, horizontal and vertical. The physics laws of Tangential Velocity (TV), Radius(R) and Angular Velocity (AV) determine the actual speed of the ball. The delivery pace (TV) is the product of (AV) times (R). In simple terms,a bowler could bowl faster by increasing, either his Angular Velocity (run up speed ) or the Radius (arc) of his bowling action. Watch any fast bowler - the run-up is usually curved or angular. The back bends backward, the shoulder girdle pivots, the arerextendable, are unfortunately, unstable too. The Pakistani cricket 'think-tank' will be well advised were they to shield their star anatomical freak from on-field mishaps. Shoaib is best fielded in the long-off or long-on positions, never in the slips or short cover, short square leg or gully. He just cannot afford to tumble.not if he ever hopes to become the first, and perhaps the only member of the super-exclusive '100 mph Club'
!

New Arsenals in sachin's armoury


Prof. Arunachalam Kumar

Just two years ago, when the Australians were last touring India, much hype was raised over the 'battle royale' expected between two master craftsmen of cricket, one from each team. From 'down under' the world's best leg spinner, Shane Warne, and from the home team, Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest wielder of the willow the post war world has seen. At tour's end, Warne returned home, crestfallen and beaten, played out of his team itself by the class of Sachin's batsmanship. But the Indian master had to pay a price too. In trying to out-maneuver the Aussie's wile, he was perforce to incorporate some technical modulations in his game.one of which cost Sachin his very place in his side. Yes, by standing wider outside his leg stump than normally does, the Indian smasher, could easier negotiate the vicious turn Warne could purchase from the spin-friendly sub-continental tracks. And he found too, that from his new stance, he could quite easily sidle and step up the pitch, reach out the delivery at half volley, and send it soaring over long on, the lofted on-drive. The productive stroke not only brought India six runs every time it was executed, but also served to dent the psyche and confidence of the legendary leg spinner. But in it's wake, the stroke also brought about an unexpected and unwanted spin-off. The torque and torsion required in lofting the ball over long on, strained the master batsman's back and lower lumbar vertebral joints so severely, that Sachin was forced to seek medical attention and aid, losing his place in the India eleven, for being 'physically' unfit.

In the just concluded tour, the Australians met another Sachin. Gone from his arsenal was the leg stick guard, gone too was the lofted on drive. A wiser batsman was facing them now, and this time, to counter Warne, Sachin had another weapon in his armoury. Instead of stepping out, he stayed back in the crease, and swept Warne's outside the leg stump pitching leg spinning deliveries.no not the usual sweep with the horizontal bat to square leg, but the paddle sweep. Bringing his heavy willow like a perpendicular oar, Sachin 'back-swept' the ball, hastening it past a bewildered wicket keeper. Just a gently nudge, adding momentum to the pace, to send the ball scurrying to the deep. Again and again, the back-sweep was employed, forcing Warne to change approach and style.a change of style that cost the spinner much. Once again, Warne was sent to the cleaners, and his position, in the post Indian tour Aussie squad is at stake. Thanks to the Indian Bonzo, the likes of Shane will no longer hold batsmen from the world over mesmerized and flummoxed.

The art of success at the level of play required in cricket today, calls for constant physical fitness, and more importantly, a spirit of enterprise and willingness to experiment and explore. This thirst, for improvement, is what makes Sachin, in a class by himself. Discard the old methods, when found obsolete, and adopt newer ones. The paddle sweep is a new arrow in the batsman's quiver now; as will be another stroke I saw Sachin recently execute. I am certain, in the coming months, many will observe the new stroke he has perfected, but till now, not used by him at any international level of the game. The stroke ?...A 'reverse sweep'!

A couple of weeks ago, playing in a novel, but odd, Right-handers versus Left-handers one-day benefit testimonial match at Mumbai ( in aid of a Ranji team-mate Kulkarni), Sachin put up a splendid and spirited ton, in good time too, against the lefties, (led by the ageless wonder of India, Robin Singh). In the course of this innings, one could see Sachin try out the reverse sweep, for perhaps the first time in his illustrious career, the Indian maestro, stood in the crease, and swept the ball, from the front of his legs to the off side past gully. What amazed me, a die hard cricket buff, was the patience with which Sachin practiced his stroke during his time at the crease. Two times in a single over, he tried the reverse sweep, failing to connect both times. and in his third attempt, again in the same over, the timing was perfect, the ball middling the weighty willow. The cherry sped to the square third man boundary for a four. With this boundary, the master crafter had perfected yet another technique. I am certain, Sachin, who has scored hundreds of boundary hits towards the deep gully, deep third man, and point ropes with his conventionally executed square drives and late cuts, must have been mightily pleased with this one unusual boundary hit ..for it was his first four with the reverse sweep. To get this one additional four, in an inconsequental exhibition tie where scores were not recorded as even of First Class match level, Sachin had put in such a concentrated effort. This 'try, try and try again' attitude is what makes Tendulkar what he is.the world's best.

The motivation to excel and do better, despite holding a world record, ten thousand One Day International runs, with twenty five centuries to boot.so evident in this young icon should serve as a beacon to the smaller fries in the national eleven. To overcome.. Innovate! To perfect - practice, and to conquer - concentrate.


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Mangalore: Expert's predictions on hobbit-like fossils come true Print this article  Send this article to a friend

MANGALORE, Nov 1: Prof. Arunachalam Kumar is ecstatic. Much of it has to do with the discovery of hobbit-like skeletons - 13,000-year-old species called Homo floresienis - in Indonesia's Flores Island.

As early as in 1998, Dr. Kumar, researcher and teacher of anatomy in Kasturba Medical College, had predicted that `independent sites of human origin' would be found along a swathe of `crescentric land' running across South East Africa, South Europe, North Iran, Andamans, Western Ghats, North East India and Indonesia.

Now that the researchers have stumbled on the fossils in Indonesia, the extreme ends of the crescent, Kumar is sure they will also unearth another species _ possibly bipedal fossils in India, particularly in the Western Ghats.

The discovery of Homo floresienis validates the `spontaneous evolution theory' of some researchers and scientists, asserts Kumar. Elaborating, he says that the discovery of fossils in Ethiopia and South Africa had strengthened a theory that 'Homo erectus' was the first man evolved in Africa.

"A few anthropologists like me, like Prof. Uttangi in Gadag, had backed the spontaneous theory that human origins were located in independent locales around the world,'' he adds. ``Unfortunately, there was little evidence to back it.''

Kumar, who has authored over 25 research papers, says he backed the `spontaneous evolution' school of thought after a decade of observation and work. Based on locales of genetic pool, spawning gibbons, great apes and continental drifts, he began to believe that the remnants of early man would be found in disparate parts of the globe.

On how he predicts fossil finds accurately in the Western Ghats, Dr. Kumar says: ``The prediction is based on the assumption that all early primates and those which evolved later - gorillas, chimpanzees of Africa, gibbons of North India, Orangutans of Sumatra and Borneo - are localised along a single arc of land that spreads across South America, Africa to South East Asia and then to Upper Australia.''

The presence of these animals on different continents or landmasses separated by oceans if transposed on the map of `Gondwanaland' (a map of the world before the continental drift), shows that gene pools are restricted to a single crescent of land running southwest on the original land mass.

Kumar is confident that in the distant future, India will throw up indisputable evidence of it being the seat of hominid evolution.

-New Ind Press

THE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD OF CRICKET
Dr.Arunachalam Kumar

What irony, what a devious throw of the dice of fate…the country which once rigged an electronic ear-piece in it’s captain’s auricle so that he could be updated on info and data, whilst on the field….today finds nemesis catch up with it. Like all of us mere mortals, Boje the messenger boy jogs to the batsmen on the pitch with a piece of paper….scribed with statistics- and like all of us mere humans, pardon me, Shaun , your ‘slip is showing’.
Who would have believed the land of electronic gizmo, the one that first introduced the ‘third umpire’ with the flashing red-green signals, the country that had it’s coach lounged around the dressing room in a peafowl strut, his digits flying over a portable lap-top computer (containing every nuance and detail of every player on the opposing side), the land which gave the cricket world, the art of combining biomechanics and kinetics with fielding (a la Rhodes), and the incredible reverse sweep….(Rhodes again!)…taught the wicket keeper to collect the return throw in front of his sticks, not behind, so that one nano second is saved, and a quicker run-out effected….the team that produced robot performers, all schooled by techno-savvy mandarins…. Kirstens, Hudsons and Hansies….
Who in the right mind will ever believe that this Task Force, given the brief to perform the ‘mission impossible’ would fail, and fall flat on its face? No. Not because of its over dependence on hi-tech science, but by it’s ignorance of basics. While lap tops and computers can spew out a zillion combinations and permutations of the Duckworth-Lewis equation, even a kindergarten school kid in the third world, minus his abacus, can hold up his hands to count his digits, six to equal and one more, seven to win. And yet the South Africans, wrapped so smug in their air of complacency and uppity-ness, strutted with their hands in their pockets…if only they had held their palms in front of their faces, they could have added the single digit run they needed to win. But as I said, nemesis has its way of giving back to those who gave. For every bouncer the ‘greased lightning’ aimed at a hapless tail-ender, the avenging goddess of retribution, left him stranded mid-pitch unable to run the final single that would have given his team victory in the last world cup, and left him once again bowling at Robin Singh pace in this present tourney.
For every aerial sortie the gully Jonty made, grabbing flying cherries and plucking catches off mid-air, with his puffed up, post catch smirk and self adulatory applause, nemesis obviously made notes…for she dealt her sentence, the cruelest she could, when she broke his hand, yes the very ones that had, on innumerable occasions clapped at an opponents demise. And Jonty was out of the World Cup XI, even before he started.
And the muse dealt her final blow at arrogance and swagger when she got the gum chewing, venom spewing Gibbs bowled by a turning beauty that rattled the timbers…..and so nonplussed and flummoxed was the chosen one- who once received a pay-off for non-performing, that he actually waited for the umpire to declare him out-clean bowled.
How strange and surreal are the games Nemesis plays. It severs the larger than life images of super-heroes (with a little nudge from Atropos, I presume)- the Pollocks, the Donalds, the Akrams, the Inzys, the Laras, the Kluesners…al cast aside like jetsam. New and vibrant gladiators now don the mantle, Yuvarajs, Davisons, Blignauts.
Yet it spares the likes of Tendulkar, the DeSilvas, and Gangulis. They did not spout wisdom, or pontificate like Shoaib, they did not flinch when mouthed racial slurs…they just took guard and waved their bats, like magical wands they spun webs around the witless. Bewarned be those that strut. Like Ozymandias, fallen emperors, the Jontys, Gibbs and Bouchers lie. Recall too, how heartlessly Nemesis bring down (literally) the hi-flying Hansie? Shorn off their pedestals. Interred with epitaphs which read “as you sow, so you reap”.
This World Cup may not have produced great matches, or heroic statistics-but is certainly has delivered justice. “Scepter and crown must tumble down…” and how they did!

[edit] [graphic editor] [Delete

[09/03/2003 06:17:12] | [rubicon02@rediffmail.com ]

KALYANI’S BABY

The obstetrics ward was dilapidated. Crumbling. Plaster fell in layers all over the floor. The tiled roof was as porous as a sieve, letting in rainwater in cascades during the monsoons. In the dinghy Labor Theatre, where lay at least two or three women at a time, all moaning and groaning, in adjacent beds, we had our hands full. First stage here, gripes there. Primies were a nightmare, the first time deliverers. They screamed and writhed. Third stage was hell, all gore, and the unavoidable episiotomies. The women were all scrawny, anemic and malnourished, drawn from the dregs of lower class impoverished India. In this hell- hole twelve or more new Indians were born each night. Oftentimes I’ve been witness to pathos and pain. Rarely a beaming mother. The poor in India has nothing to smile about. Theirs is a life of misery and hopelessness.
This night I assisted delivering Kalyani’s first baby, a girl. The patient herself was an absolute kid, barely sixteen, herself a babe, now on way to motherhood. Something went horribly wrong in Kalyani’s post-partum period. In three days she hovered between life and death, sepsis. No IVs, no antibiotic drips saved her from the waiting hands of Atropos. On the morning of day four she died. Sixteen, and dead. Died even before she learnt to live. The three pound baby girl, now motherless, after some injections and drops, and after a flurry of papers were thumb impressed, as read and understood, was handed over to an aunt. One thing I remember distinctly about that night Kalyani delivered. The howling wind and rain had snapped off the power lines…a common phenomenon in rural India. More often it was the mandated power cuts and shut downs and outs, mandated by the state electricity boards to conserve energy, to divert every watt to the agricultural sector to generate pumps and irrigation. When these blackouts happen, we the junior doctors are usually well prepared, we quickly pull out a matchbox, and light a broad full page of a newspaper, which then held aloft, casts sufficient glow…an eerie one though, but sufficient enough for a quick handed medico to put in the last sutures on the ruptured perineum or to ease out the placenta.
Well, all this was when I was an Intern, a trainee medico in the seventies. Kalyani was a faded memory now. Only her mournful visage, unsmiling and stoic remained in the recesses of my mind. Last week, I was in the Labor Theatre again, as I have been all these years, as an obstetrician in this very hospital after my post-graduation in Ob & Gyn. Today I preside over the ward, six students posted under me. I am their mentor, and I school them into the modes and mores of the healing arts. As I peered over the shoulders of a young medical graduate, learning his ropes, assisting in the mother through the paces of the third stage…I glanced up at the mother. All wincing and in the vicious throes of oxytocin induced spasms. The face was starkly familiar. It was the face of Kalyani. Every feature, the nose, the moist large black eyes, the oiled bun of scrawny hair, the single glass bead nose ring, the plastic ear-clips, the teeth, all pearly white. This was Kalyani. Eerie and weird. I moved closer to her head, then whispered to her…” What is your name child ?”(for just a child she was, maybe 18 or around)
“Mali”, she says, “for Mahalaxmi” she sputters amidst gasps
“What is your mother’s name, Mali?”
“No mother…” she says, between gasps “she died the day I was born”
“What was her name, Mali?”
“Kalyani”

Then the electricity shuts down, plunging the place in inky darkness. And as if on cue, cigarette lighters are whipped out, clicked into ignition…and in a trice, an eerie glow pervades the room, newspapers all alit and held aloft. Déjà vu. The scene is hauntingly familiar. Another Indian is born …in darkness, not knowing how much darker it will be in the world outside.
In the last two decades, the only thing I have witnessed as progress in this part of India is, not the elimination or mitigation of poverty or hunger, no, not the readier availability of health care for the have-nots, no, not the burgeoning of free schools…not even a slight improvement in the total output in electricity generation….the only thing of any difference is that instead of whipping out matchsticks from Sivakasi made matchboxes, like we did decades ago, today’s interns use electronic cigarette lighters to ignite their overhead torches. What future does the poor Indian have against these odds, I know not. I have stopped even ruminating over these conundrums. For me, if I can help, light up one Kalyani’s face, aglow in the eerie glow of the burning newspaper, light up with a toothy smile….and beam at the tidings of becoming a first time mother…that is contentment enough.

Dr.Arunachalam Kumar
Rubicon02@rediffmail.com

Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore 575001, India


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[09/03/2003 06:13:08] | [rubicon02@rediffmail.com ]

THE LEVEL PLAYING FIELD OF CRICKET
Dr.Arunachalam Kumar

What irony, what a devious throw of the dice of fate…the country which once rigged an electronic ear-piece in it’s captain’s auricle so that he could be updated on info and data, whilst on the field….today finds nemesis catch up with it. Like all of us mere mortals, Boje the messenger boy jogs to the batsmen on the pitch with a piece of paper….scribed with statistics- and like all of us mere humans, pardon me, Shaun , your ‘slip is showing’.
Who would have believed the land of electronic gizmo, the one that first introduced the ‘third umpire’ with the flashing red-green signals, the country that had it’s coach lounged around the dressing room in a peafowl strut, his digits flying over a portable lap-top computer (containing every nuance and detail of every player on the opposing side), the land which gave the cricket world, the art of combining biomechanics and kinetics with fielding (a la Rhodes), and the incredible reverse sweep….(Rhodes again!)…taught the wicket keeper to collect the return throw in front of his sticks, not behind, so that one nano second is saved, and a quicker run-out effected….the team that produced robot performers, all schooled by techno-savvy mandarins…. Kirstens, Hudsons and Hansies….
Who in the right mind will ever believe that this Task Force, given the brief to perform the ‘mission impossible’ would fail, and fall flat on its face? No. Not because of its over dependence on hi-tech science, but by it’s ignorance of basics. While lap tops and computers can spew out a zillion combinations and permutations of the Duckworth-Lewis equation, even a kindergarten school kid in the third world, minus his abacus, can hold up his hands to count his digits, six to equal and one more, seven to win. And yet the South Africans, wrapped so smug in their air of complacency and uppity-ness, strutted with their hands in their pockets…if only they had held their palms in front of their faces, they could have added the single digit run they needed to win. But as I said, nemesis has its way of giving back to those who gave. For every bouncer the ‘greased lightning’ aimed at a hapless tail-ender, the avenging goddess of retribution, left him stranded mid-pitch unable to run the final single that would have given his team victory in the last world cup, and left him once again bowling at Robin Singh pace in this present tourney.
For every aerial sortie the gully Jonty made, grabbing flying cherries and plucking catches off mid-air, with his puffed up, post catch smirk and self adulatory applause, nemesis obviously made notes…for she dealt her sentence, the cruelest she could, when she broke his hand, yes the very ones that had, on innumerable occasions clapped at an opponents demise. And Jonty was out of the World Cup XI, even before he started.
And the muse dealt her final blow at arrogance and swagger when she got the gum chewing, venom spewing Gibbs bowled by a turning beauty that rattled the timbers…..and so nonplussed and flummoxed was the chosen one- who once received a pay-off for non-performing, that he actually waited for the umpire to declare him out-clean bowled.
How strange and surreal are the games Nemesis plays. It severs the larger than life images of super-heroes (with a little nudge from Atropos, I presume)- the Pollocks, the Donalds, the Akrams, the Inzys, the Laras, the Kluesners…al cast aside like jetsam. New and vibrant gladiators now don the mantle, Yuvarajs, Davisons, Blignauts.
Yet it spares the likes of Tendulkar, the DeSilvas, and Gangulis. They did not spout wisdom, or pontificate like Shoaib, they did not flinch when mouthed racial slurs…they just took guard and waved their bats, like magical wands they spun webs around the witless. Bewarned be those that strut. Like Ozymandias, fallen emperors, the Jontys, Gibbs and Bouchers lie. Recall too, how heartlessly Nemesis bring down (literally) the hi-flying Hansie? Shorn off their pedestals. Interred with epitaphs which read “as you sow, so you reap”.
This World Cup may not have produced great matches, or heroic statistics-but is certainly has delivered justice. “Scepter and crown must tumble down…” and how they did!



SCIENCE SIMPLIFIED

In our desperate need to find answers we often rely on skeletal remains to tell their tales of origin and fate. Physical anthropologists have too long concentrated on ostoelogical factors to draw conclusions or propose newer theories on the origins of the man.
Today, science, delving deep into genetics and other nascent specialties, has made anthropological studies easier, and perhaps more reliable. Yet, one often wonders, whether we are ignoring any telltale evidences of evolution, often manifest in us and around us. In my line of work, as a teacher of human anatomy to medical students, I have often stumbled upon an odd anatomical feature or two, that seemed quite out of place in the utopian functional design and efficiency of the highest form of evolution, man. Take for example, the lachrymal(lacrimal) apparatus...
Some years ago, observing my pet dog, attempt to dislodge a foreign body from it's own eye, I saw, fascinated, a unique manouvre that promptly expelled the offending alien particle.The dog, just used its front paw to shut the edge of one side of its nose and nostril, and induced a sneeze, which in turn, expelled the foreign body. Intrigued, I experimented again and again with the animal, and in some others too, then on my friends ( all medical students). In every case, shutting of the contralateral nostril (the left, if the foreign body is in the right eye), and inducting a sneeze, dislodged any superficially located particle. So effective and noninvasive was the procedure, that I even reported it in a medical journal as a simple first aid procedure (1)
Over the years I have off and on recommended the procedure even in patients with chronic dachrocystitis, and epiphora. The manouvre repeated over a time, clears the lacrimal ducts and restores their patency, often non surgically. Now what has all this got to do with evolution you may wonder? It does,I think.
I have since dissected the lachrymal sac in a number of human cadavers, and studied them grossly as well as microscopically. The apparatus consists of two minute canals, which originate at the upper and lower lid's medial edge. Each canal then takes an abrupt angulation,to converge towards its fellow duct. Here they open into a fusiform sac, which in turn, open ended (bottomless, except for a flap of mucous membrane))caudally to open directly into the lateral wall of the nasal cavity. The ducts convey secretions produced by the lacrimal gland, which bathes the corneal surface of our eye. The secretion, is a oil-watery saline, which acts as a moisturiser and sterilizes the exposed eye surface. Physiologically, in man at least, the gland has little other function, excepting as an ineffective aid to excretion of salts. The question is, why would nature design such a complicated apparatus for something which performs so little, function wise. Nature does not condone waste in investment. Is the lacrimal sac performing some other role in man? For that, the answer is found in the quadrupeds, as I found in my dog.
So what is the role of the sac?
A dilated ballon, made up of fibro-elastic tissue (elastic?!! Why !!!??) Why should the sac wanna recoil? from what? for what?
The spent secretions of the eye are transported by the canals into the sac where it pools up, wherefrom it percolates into the nose to dry up with the warmth of the inspired air. But why is nature storing this waste? A few droplets of lacrimal secretion is held within each sac, which has a simple flap valve at its lower end (an ineffective valve at that!) Now let me assume I am a dog ( or a donkey maybe, as many of you would be tempted to suggest!). I have this irritating particle that flew into my eye, so, I presto, shut my left nostril, sneeze....and in the rpocess increase my intranasal presssure, whic increase flips open the valve at the caudal end of the sac, which then is subject to some intense reverse pressure, reacting to the stress by violently contracting its elastic components. This contraction shuts the valve, and forces the sac stored lacrimal fluid back along the ducts, in a reverse flow. The fluid now jets out off the punctae at the medial edges of the eyelid...the jet stream of saline washes across the cornea like a widscreen wiper, and flushes out the foreign body from the eye. Aha! So thats the function of the lacrimal apparatus. Then why isnt man using the manouvre himself? Hmmm.. Thats because he's turned biped pal!! ( now it's my turn to call you names!)
Hold it buddy, what's bipedalism doing here?
The lacrimal apparatus's efficiency is severely compromised by our erect posture and the reverse pressure required by man to flush back fluid from his sac up the eye is enormous and strenuous. But in a quadriped, a cinch. The sac lies an easy sloping antigravity level, a small siff or sneeze does the trick; in us, we need to try harder, but it works.Try sniffing some snuff, and watch how forcefully you sneeze, and how so much fluid gushes and brims your eye. Try with one nostril shut if you must.
So what does all this show? That maybe, bipedalism has not only changed the way eye things foreign, but has also changed the way we deal with foreign bodies in the eye.In our evolutionary hurry to go biped, we have lost out a very important and useful function of one of our old friends, the lacrimal sac. Now the poor sac, is just used to fill excess tears of a sobbing session.
What is the fate of the gland and sac now? Will it regress or become atavistic in years to come and go the way of our appendix or caudal appendage? I sincerely hope that we rediscover the potential of the lacrimal gland and its original function, and use a sneeze to expel any foreign body...and thus pay our dues to the machinations of evolutionary compromise. If not, R.I.P. Lacrimal Apparatus Sac & Gland, I will miss you. Sob sob, sniff sniff.
If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.


Watch the ‘mum to be’ walk. Ungainly, tipping over gait, with the third trimester foetus pushing against her anterior abdominal wall, stretching the muscles to tautness. Look at her as she carefully weaves her way in that insanely narrow aisle at the supermarket, careful mum, that shopper yonder seems to be in haste as she careens ahead erratically towards her. Then just in the nick of time, a collision is averted, a deft sidestep….and the oncoming peril is averted. It is not the evasive side-stepping maneuver of the mum to be that gets me curious, it is another instinctive action she takes to protect her unborn baby. She has hastily removed both her hands from the shopping cart, and folded her elbows defensively on her abdomen, her wrists flex and digits curl.
Flexion is a natural mechanism, the first line of defense against perceived dangers. Watch how the caterpillar curls itself, or that pangolin. Or any quadruped for that matter. Universal flexion, every joint in flexion, is used to protect every vital organ in the abdomen, pelvis, or thorax, against assault. Why even the growing foetus in that mums womb, is in a position of universal flexion. But our ‘mum to be’ just has to make do with just two forearms flexed against her abdomen as her only line of defence. Ever wondered why?
The answer is evolution. With the emergence of Homo erectus, the additional flexion-induced protective shield available from the two lower limbs has been lost to the bipedal human. Were she still a quadruped, sighting the oncoming peril at the mall, our mum would have squatted, or crouched, and drawn her knees up close, in complete flexion along with the hip, the vertebral column itself would have flexed through contraction of the abdominal recti…but now, she just has to stand erect, the product of seven months of gestation, exposed to any, or all elements that threaten frontally.
In another article, written for this site (‘Shedding a tear for bipedalism’) I had discussed how I felt that the human lacrimal gland, and more particularly the apparatus appended to it, was slowly becoming functionally insignificant thanks to erect posture and our two- legged mobility attribute. The question I raise now is, could not the partial loss of protective flexion, with specific reference to the ‘mum to be’ analogy cited, be wholly attributed to the acquisition of bipedal gait and erect posture? Is the modern Mrs. Eve paying the price for a decision her ancestor, Mrs.Lucy took three million years ago, to move on in life, and up the evolutionary ladder, on two, not four limbs?
Should another tear ready to be shed for ‘bipedalism’? Is the time tested reflex of ‘universal flexion’ being shoved out of our lives? Evolution took away my appendix, my platysma, my pyramidalis, and my auricular muscles.. It docked my tail. It has compromised the capabilities and range of flexion in the gravid human female…what next? Pardon me mate, I must shed some tears, right away, for turning biped and erect. Pass another tissue please, quick, before evolution deletes my even that tear shedding function of my lacrimals, totally.


Erect postore and bipedalism as a prefered mode for life and locomotion are uniquely human traits. Much debate has centered around the origins, time and sequence of the hindlimb weight support and propulsion characteristic,a hominid attribute. In my line of work, anatomy, I have probed a little bit on the biomechanics of the pollex-index 'opposition' ( it must be recalled here that the liberation of the pollex (thumb) and the conversion of the first carpometacarpal joint from a condylar into a a saddle, enabled the thumb to be opposed to the index). The free-ing of the forelimbs into performance of higher, more compulsive, and educated tasks from its hitherto chore of supporting body weight and mobility, is claimed to be the cornerstone of bipedalism, and thencefrom into the explosion of cerebration that led to the genesis of bipeds into rational homos.
What yet remains unprobed is, why or how the forelimb skeletal architecture modified into a need and functionally related instrument. Going further back into the world of higher apes, the gorillas, one notes that locomotion is essentially a four limbed activity, but oddly, the forelimb in gorilla, is not held paw down, but reversed. That is, the animal is a brachiator, supporting its weight on the knuckles of the front legs. The digits are flexed and curled inwards, the paw (palmar) pads are held protected with the limb terminating into the a fisted handpaw. Why so? And so abruptly, did the forelimb turn inwards into a clenched fist. Why, when every quadruped walked on paw pads, did the gorilla decide to walk on knuckles?
The change in kinematics and biomechanics of the forelimb does engender debate. Did the phalanges elongate and lengthen? did the digits become arachnoid? was walking on the front paw now more hazardous and maiming to the now elongated spindly digits? Waas the hand becoming too injury prone compromising the efficiency of non-locomotory functions
Was the higher ape perforceto find the need to flex its finger tips to protect them from injuries (avulsion of nail, pulp infections etc) Flexion is a universally acknowledged action for protection. Every animal, including an invertebrate curls itself intoa posture of complete flexion when sensing danger. Man too does so, even in his foetal in-utero existence.That being so, with the fore digital phalanges lengthening, and becoming more prone to kocks and injury, the gorilla and other brachiators, sought to protect their new anatomically modified appendages, and protect their evolutionary acquisitions-they perhaps did- by flexing them inwards. Now walking had to be done, on knuckles, not on the foot pads.
The question now arises, did this shift over to palmar flexion, and the biomechanics of opposition evolution go hand in hand, or not? If not, and brachiation was prelude to opposition, then brachiators indeed form a vital link in evolution of human erect posture and gait, and brachiation should form the first link in the chain that led to bipedalism. Were the gorilla and great ape front paw evolving into a more complex and kinetically efficient structure? Is this the prelude to the liberation of the thumb? Is knuckle walking the key to understanding the sequences and events leading to cerebral growth?
Whatever the debate, the fact remains, brachiation as a prefered mode of weight bearing and locomotion has too long been looked at as a purely biomechanical means of propulsion: it is time physical anthropologists, kinesiologists and evolutionary biologists reviewed the signal and heraldic role brachiation has played in the final evolution of man into an opposable thumbed efficient biped.


As a professional human anatomist my work involves close handling and interface with osteology. One day, as I squatted to reach for a specimen from the bottom shelf of the departmental museum cupboard, it struck me that the postion I was in, was uncannily stable. That an 'unlocked' knee, could support or transmit the entire human weight, without fatigue, over long periods of time is against the dictates of biomechanical efficiency. Yet Asians can squat, oblivious to time, with nary a sweat bead of tiredness. How come?
Text books of anatomy describing kinetics of joints do metion some details on movement limitation in joints, but fail to cite that a very vital component of joint mobility range is the physical abutment of bone against bone (soft tissue is only a secondary factor). That is, the elbow cannot be hyperextended only because the olecranon of the ulna, fits so completely and fully into its eponymous fossa on the back of the humerus, that no further movement is possible. This juxtapositioning of articulating bones limits hypermobility in joints.Now if a similar case is made out for the knee, complete flexion, as done during squatting, should lead to a bone to bone impaction of the femur with tibia. This alone will relieve the muscles from acting their potential out in holding up their antigravity activity and tiring out. Then we, Asiantics should have some osteological marker on the involved bones, tibia and femur, exactly at the point where these two bones grind to a halt against each other during complete flexion.
And there it was, a small depression above the adductor tubercle of the femur that fitted perfectly with the posterior rim of the medial condyle of the tibia. The squatting facet of the femur!
Probably common to most squatters, but absent in non-squatters the femoral facet could aid in physical anthropological studies especially in forensic medicine, and in skeletal identifications during mass disasters.
A spin off from this observation was a theory that I have often mulled over, but have no scholarship or confidence to back up. Primitive man was a squatter, and squatting, that is sitting on ones haunches, is a purely bipedal trait. Quadrupeds cannot sqaut, they need to support their ischial tuberosities on the ground to complete the kinematic chain that now distributes their own body weight along four points, two ischia and two feet (hind legs)If my premise is reasonable, then we arrive at another interesting deduction. If habitual squatters , and only bipeds have the femoral sqautting facet, then logically the first bipeds, the nonbrachiating protohominids or australopithecines should show the femoral facet. Do they?
I would look for such evidence to support any contention that Lucy stood on two legs and propelled herself bipedally. Ofcourse, changes do occur in bipeds in the shape and tilt of the pelvis, and in various other skeletal features that support bipedal propulsion, but the presence or absence of the femoral squatting facet should be an adjunct piece of evidence to support such a view. Does the A.gracilis femur have such a facet? I wonder? If it has, Lucy walked, if not maybe she could not.

Physical anthropology is not just the study of human osteology or morphology. It is a living science too; all one has to do, is observe life. A recent observation of mine, which when discussed in professional circles produced much comment (apart from merriment, I must add), was one made in overweight individuals.
In 'normal weight for age' and height people, the upper limbs are held dangling down the sides of the body (in a position of rest), with the palms facing or held adjacent to the the thigh. In other words, the free limb is held in a semi-pronated forearm positus, the thumbs facing forwards or (anteriorly).
Now shift focus to the obese: the palm is held facing backwards (posteriorly), the semi-pronated forearm now over-rides a medially rotated humerus. The thumbs, do not point anteriorly (forwards) but medially (inwards towards the femur)and the back of the hand(the dorsum of the palm) faces the onlooker.
How, or why, forelimb anatomy is altered in the overweight is beyond my comprehension. The questions now raised by this 'thumb sign' are –
(a) at what precise step in the weight gain graph does the medial rotation start?
(b) Is the rotation reversible in dieters? What happens to the thumb sign in those yo-yo-ing between bulimea and anorhexia?
The human form holds an amazingly maze of cryptic, and as yet undiscovered biomechanisms. That in-situ rotation dynamics of the upper limb, along it's vertical axis,is a kinetically quantifiable external marker to weight fluctuation in man, is to say the least, quite an extraordinary (and flummoxing!)finding in physical anthropology.

The 46th Tiger of Bandipur


I was on the road, cruising along the state highway That connects Mysore to Ooty. The strip winds through one of the most fecund and pristine wildlife parks in the subcontinent. Motoring at a measured pace, lapping up the breathtaking vistas the Bandipur-Mudumalai belt opens to sore eyed travelers, or die hard naturalists like myself. A granite monolith that suddenly metamorphoses into a giant jumbo, another rustle in the undergrowth that magically transforms into a thousand eyed peafowl, static teak trunks that sway a wee bit to reveal a cryptic herd of spotted deer, ears pricked in alertness. The day was hot and humid, and just beyond a bend in the road, I spotted a weary, withered, weather beaten tracker, his bare feet footsore. I eased my car to a halt and signalled the tired man in. The khaki clad tracker, in baggy half pants, raised his calloused palm to his forehead, as a mark of gratitude. He tucked himself into the nether end of the front seat beside me, muttering a profusion of salaams. Trackers are the menials in the forest department’s pecking order. The bottom rung of officialdom. Cranking levers at check posts, clearing forest fire lanes of undergrowth, de-shrubbing, parthenium de-weeding, first line defence and whistle blowers against poachers and their ilk. Theirs is getting the nitty gritty chores done. His job keeps bureaucracy creaking, running errands on foot, operating wireless batteries, pushing stalled jeeps, readying the linen in the Inspection Bungalows for the imminent descent of brass- buckled officers…or at times arranging for a succulent leg of prime jungle fowl for some men in khaki or some other ‘leader of men’ in khadi. Jeep or Contessa ferried. Beads of sweat on the man’s forehead, and the cracks on his soles, told of the un-numbered years of silent service and servitude to the department. Unnamed, unrecognized and unsung, that is who trackers are. The the cool confines of the air-conditioned car and the steady chug of the engine warmed my passenger’s tongue. What a garrulous chap he turned out to be, this tracker Mahadevappa. With native wit, inborn charm and earthy ethnicity he churned out one anecdote after another: tales of dipsomaniacal officers, often diplopic too after one peg too many. Of men and animals. Of the legendary poacher-smuggler Veerappan, of other rogues and tuskers, of shikar lore and haunted trees…. The dialogue (monologue!?) was sheer drama. Mahadeva was in his elements, here, in his own ecosphere. The highway stretch meanders through one of the most successful areas of Project Tiger, the nature park itself a symbol of the acme in a planned conservation strategy come good. Not surprisingly, soon, Mahadeva veered into ‘tiger territory’, soliloquy-wise I mean. “Tiger saar” he drawls, with a reverence he had scarce shown whilst talking about his senior officers, “ very brainy”, tapping his temple, for effect, with a forefinger. And on he went, ceaselessly, singing paeans and praises for the real jungle raja, the tiger. Adjectives after adverbs, extolling the I.Q. of the big cats. “It just happened here saar”, he gesticulates pointing to a roadside ditch we were driving past. I brought the car to a stop, and got down, Mahadeva ambled over to the rim of a ‘nulla’ a twenty five foot long five foot deep natural hollow. He sat himself on the edge of the trench, and lit himself a beedi. Letting out a lungful of fetid smoke, and peering deep into the depth of the nulla, he shook his head, taking another deep drag of his tobacco, he sighed audibly. “It was just here sar, the most monstrous male tiger one ever set eyes upon. Just lying here sar, as if in deep slumber”. I sat down beside the tracker, untying my shoe laces to let my feet breathe. He then narrated this extraordinary tale. “It was early morning sar, the eastern sun was just lighting up yonder horizon over the Nilgiris, and I was trotting along this very road to relay a message I had received on my check-post wireless, to the DFO sa’ab in the Bandipur quarters. It was then that I saw him sar, this ogre. Big as a tusker, and stronger than any jumbo too, not five feet from my feet in this nulla. My legs went jelly and I scooted as fast as my wobbly knees could move, all four miles, all the way to the DFO’s office. Trembling all over, I fair sputtered the words ‘ Tiger dorai.This big dorai’ I stretching my arms out to convey the magnitude of the problem. Between pants and puffs, in garbled tongue, I told the DFO what I had seen been through.” “Not drinking again are you, Mahadeva?” yawns the bleary eyed DFO. “No dorai, not ever after my Muniyamma died” Mahadeva reverentially uttered, pinching his throat as he said so, a native gesture that betokens ‘truth’ is being spoke. “It was real sahab, the biggest and meanest yellow creation of God, not more than a hands-breadth from me.” In ten minutes, the DFO and his posse was ready. All booted And loaded, they disbelievingly followed an edgy Mahadevappa to the spot where he claimed he had met with a tiger ‘bigger than a dinosaur’. The Foursome trudged to the fourth milestone. They came upon the trench, just as the sun’s orange orb bathed the forest ablaze. Mahadevappa tiptoed to a stop. “He is there sahib” he mutters under his breath, pointing a finger into the ditch. Motioning the foursome to stay put, the jaunty DFO, strode up to the nulla’s rim. His mouth went agape. By God ! the rogue Mahadevappa was indeed right ! Lying in the nulla, not eight feet from his feet, was a magnificent male tiger, a good thirteen feet, tip to tail. And the DFO had seen a few monstrous striped ones in his days, but this cat was something else. The dawn sun played against the perfect orange red coat, lighting it up like fire. Gesturing his men to keep close, and shut, the DFO inched his way to the trench, and in one agile leap, went into it. He ran his palm on the flanks of the inert feline, still wet with dew. Icy cold. He then stood up on his feet, so that his posse could see him. He stuck his tongue out and tilted his head, pointing his right hand to the heavens. The message is universal. The beast is a goner. Dead. Just then, as if from the blue, all hell broke loose. Even before the import of the DFO’s signals had sunk home to the rangers… commotion, chaos and calamity. In a bizarre and shocking twist to the tale, the seemingly dead tiger sprang to life, and in a frenzied and frenetic savage attack, tore the hapless DFO to ribbons. Within sight and earshot of his men, the DFO was being mauled to shreds, Yet they stood, shell shocked and speechless (loudmouth Mahadevappa too !). Then the youngest of them all, Raju, jolted to senses, cocked his rifle to life, and pointed an oscillating barrel at the duo duelling in the ditch: finger on trigger, ready to fire at the ‘shaitan’, the first chance. Then, as if from somewhere afar, they all heard a screaming voice, a familiar one, their beloved DFO’s. “Don’t shoot, Raju, don’t shoot.” At the garbled command, Raju instinctively lowered his gun. Presto, as suddenly as it all began, it all went silent. Maybe the tiger had had enough, maybe the human voice from up close disconcerted it. Whatever be it, it let go of the limp officer, and in one practiced leap cleared the nulla edge, gave one piercing stare at the foursome, gave vent to a murderous snarl with it’s bloodied mouth, and disappeared, like a ghost from a nightmare, into the thickets. It was some minutes before the men got their moorings back. Then in a body they ran towards the trench and their DFO. They retrieved a delirious, blood bathed mangled mess from the depths. Mercifully, he was still breathing; more mercifully, he was ‘out for the count’. A hundred ugly gashes criss-crossed the writhing form. Tracker Mahadeva, waved down a passing truck, and bundling the inert DFO into the lorry, they sped the driver towards Gundlupet, and its small hospital, a fair half hours motoring away. Here after first aid, the little that a small town governmental hospital could provide, the DFO was carted to Mysore, in a serious state. Rattled and shaken, Mahadevappa returned with his foresters to Bandipur in the same truck. Officialdom makes many demands, the least of which was to file reports, three copies of each, of incidents, events, the aftermath, the whys, hows and why nots, all in bureaucratic legalese. Filed, thumbs impressed and forwarded. It was some three weeks before the forest trackers from the Bandipur range could hitch hike a free ride to Mysore. Here they trooped in, heads bowed and in silence into the district hospital’s special room their DFO was being treated in. Swathed in bandages and plaster of Paris, hooked up, and drips flowing lay their proud DFO. His once aquiline features were distorted, obliterated by oedema. Ugly scars and raw lacerations tracked his arms. The DFO, raised his plastered arm in recognition, his visage breaking into a toothless grin, courtesy the tiger. Mahadevappa could take no more. He broke down, sobbing uncontrollably at the foot end of the steel cot, “Why sahib, oh why indeed, did you not let Raju kill the satan ?” Tears streaming down his wrinkled cheeks, he went on “Raju had him in his sight sar, just one single goli, and the devil would have gone…yet you…boo hoo boo hoo” his body jerked with spasmodically. Raju, standing beside Mahadevappa, gently tapped the latter’s shoulder, “Why, you fool, why I was ordered not to shoot? You imbecile, can’t you see, accidentally my aim, in that chaos could have gone amiss, and instead of the wretched tiger, got our beloved DFO sahib. That’s why, you fool, now stop sobbing like a drunk baby.” Oho! Now it all made sense to Mahadevappa. Yes indeed, in the Utter confusion and conflict, Raju may have well shot the DFO by accident. God forbid. Mahadevappa wiped his tears and stood up. Then they heard the familiar voice; Their DFO’s. “No Raju. I asked you not to shoot, not because you could have shot me instead of the tiger.” The motley group stared, mouths agape and eyes wide. What was the DFO saying ? They could not understand anything. Was he all right ? The officer continued, “My fear was just the opposite, Raju. You are one of the best marksmen in the range, and you surely would have felled the yellow cat with one single bullet, just like Mahadeva said” Raju stood transfixed and perplexed. All others in that room appeared flummoxed too. Why then the order to lower arms? None could make any sense of all this. The DFO sat up on the bed, pained and groaning at the physical effort. “Project Tiger and Bandipur are in my blood. My life and livelihood is here amidst all this in this jungle. Had you Raju, shot me instead of the tiger, India perhaps would have had one DFO less amongst thousands or more in the forest cadre, but had you got the tiger, which, as I mentioned you certainly would have, Bandipur and Project Tiger would have had just forty five, not forty six of these majestic animals. One King less. Thanks to you, Raju, and you my men for your implicit faith in me and response to my orders, the forty-sixth tiger will continue to lord over his territory and roar in defiance in this favourite jungle for years to come…” So ended Mahadevappa’s roadside ditch story, narrated with the aid of half a dozen beedies. An epic tale, full of holes, hyperbole and hysteria, you could add. So would I. But for one truth. The story Mahadevappa related to me, perched on the nulla edge on the road to Bandipur one humid hot morning was factual. I had heard of this incident from other sources. I knew the DFO too. He still toils for the department and forest service at another remote posting. His arms and face still bear railway-track like suture trails, and he still limps too. His once Grecian face is just passably handsome now. Yet, thanks to the brave men of Project Tiger, men like the Committed and unsung DFO, and Raju, and Mahadevappa and his ilk of barefoot trackers, the jungles of Southern India, still reverberate and echo with the fearsome roars of the fiery felines…all forty-six of them! Note: This is a quasi-fictionalised account of actual events which Took place happened in the very locales cited. Mahadevappa, the tracker, still trots everyday, on his cracked feet, in his tattered khaki shirt and baggy short pants, in the steaming noon-day heat, eight kilometers a shift, along the grassy edges of the Mudumalai-Bandipur National Park’s interstate highway.


THE STRANGE STORY OF KAALI

The only epithet that she, Ponnamma could think of to
describe the petulance was 'elephantine tantrums'; just two and a half and
the jumbo brat was already a handful. The juvenile fretted and fumed, and
stamped his tiny feet at every entreaty. And this, the latest drama was for
one simple reason; Ponnuswamy, her houseman, had left home for on an urgent
chore, and he had left without bidding the junior a proper adieu.

So what? you may well ask What's odd about a spoilt kid
throwing tantrums? Every pampered child is delinquent too, and quite a few
in many a home you and I know, would react the same way as the junior,
Kaali, at Ponnusamy household did. Fair enough, I say to that, except that
this Kaali, is no ordinary run-of-the mill child. Kaali is a thirty month old
baby elephant! And Ponnusamy and his devoted wife, are his foster parents.
But let us start right at the beginning of the extraordinary tale, of Kaali
and his amazing life.

A herd of wild elephants were peacefully browsing
in the bamboo thickets of a sanctuary in the interior of Tamilnadu, a state
in the south India. The herd leader, a wizened matriarch paused and looked
apprehensively at the yonder somber gray canopy beyond the treetops. A
swirling mass of black clouds was rapidly closing in, thanks to a depression
in the Bay of Bengal. Peals of thunder reverberated in the jungle, and
tongues of lightning lit up the darkening environ. A thunderstorm was
imminent, a cloudburst on course. The wise cow, nudged and cajoled the herd
members into a trot, leading them onto higher ground along the west hillside
edge of the forest core. Faster, she muttered, her glances upwards
becoming more forbidding. And the herd broke into a melee, a stampede up
along the narrow, and now slippery tracks. Her newborn calf, hardly able to
walk, let alone jog, was supported and pushed by trunks and legs, "move;
move it!" the mother and aunts exhorted in one voice. Cataracts of water had
already come pouring down. Quick, before the rising torrents filled the
rivulets and cut off retreat and safe haven, the agitated guided the baby
pachyderm, step, by step, over and on the mossy pebbles and rocky edges that
lined the once gentle stream. Eddies and swirling muddy waters now rose to a
roar, and the current was fast accelerating too. "Careful now, now over this
rock, watch it baby", the concerned mother jumbo gushed in anxiety. Then
fumble, tumble, twist and totter, baby elephant trunk and tail, legs and
ears all entwined, junior lost his footing. Rapidly the waters washed over
his frenetic form, "Oh mummy, mummy"' the kid wailed in fright. The current and
tide was too strong for the juvenile to handle, floundering and flailing the
baby elephant was being washed away. The others in the herd heard the
squeals of terror too, and came rushing back; frantically they tried to
reach out, but the baby was being borne by elemental forces too strong for
even elephants to challenge or counter. The screaming mother^s laments were
soon piercing the dark confines of the sanctuary. All evening and nightlong
the herd stood with her, on the inundated banks of the swollen rivulet,
agonizing in anguish.

Dawn is greeted by azure skies. Along the now silently
flowing currents, stands a lone sentinel, waiting and wailing for her lost
child. The morning sunrays light up the alluvial green paddy fields
downstream too, where a clutch of simple villagers are on route to their
meager patches of sustenance. God! What is this? Lying prostrate on the edge
of their holding is a gray granite- like lump. A baby elephant!? a cry
rings out. Barely breathing too. Limp, and nearly lifeless. Errand carriers
and messengers are drafted in double quick time. Scamper to the Forest
Office, and inform the Ranger there, there is a 'jumbo afoot'.

In a few minutes, jeeploads of khaki clad
officers descend on the village. Amidst a crowd of onlookers, the foresters
wrap the elephant in warm blankets and jute sacks, the vet is at hand too,
running his warm hands over the flanks of the inert animal in a vain bid to
transfer some heat across the thick hairy shivering pachyderm^s coat.
Willing hands lift the jumbo onto the waiting vehicle, and pronto the motor
chugs into life in a puff of diesel fume. The elephant is now on way to
headquarters, where senior vets and experts will step in and take over. At
Anamalai, where the jumbo was brought to, the officialdom at the Thanacadavu
Elephant camp swung into action. Saline and glucose drips were tapped in.
Woolen rugs were piled on. The baby was too weak, and looked a goner. Except
for a laboured gurgling breathing sound, nary a movement or response had the
baby shown since early morning. Hushed whispers and low decibel exchanges
are telltale evidence of sagging hopes. This elephant is doomed. Feeding
bottles and warm milk are tried and discarded. The baby jumbo is too
emaciated and weak to even suckle or swallow. The milk trickled out of his
red mouth, un-tasted. The tribals and foresters stood in a circle watching
the scene with increasing trepidation and tension. Crisis was the word.
Clueless, as well.

It was then that the fifty something Ponnusamy,
a tribal tracker doing odd jobs on part-time wages from the department
stepped up. Through tear brimming eyes the crowd watched Ponnu push past the
vets and officers, and reach out for the bucket of warm milk. Without a
gesture or word, Ponnu dipped his bare palm into the milk, and scooped out a
small quantity of the nourishing fluid with his cupped fist. He then
squatted on his haunches next to the inert animal, and pushed his fist deep
into the open mouth, way back into the gullet. Soothing words and gentle
palm massage, and lo, the elephants throat purrs into life and it swallows
the milk in reflex deglutition. Open mouthed the gaped the onlookers while
Ponnu again and once again dipped his hand into the pail and fed nearly half
of its contents to the junior jumbo, who by now appeared to be cooperating
in his recuperation efforts. The staff was galvanized into action. Wireless
messages crackled in the static. Telephones to senior DFOs and CCFs . The
message was cryptic 'orphaned baby elephant saved'. The morrow sees more
jeeps and vets and medical supplies too. Bottles of Vitamins and tins of
baby food are unloaded. Through the following weeks the baby pachyderm is
steady enough to stand on his own feet and stumble a few steps behind his
savior, Ponnusamy and his wife Ponnamma, his little trunk curled in
anticipation of some goodies. Nourished and stronger by the day, his baby
squeals and shrill shrieks rent the air. Kaalikesavan, Kaali for short, as
the calf was christened now by the Ponnusamy couple, was allowed a free run
of the small hut Ponnusamy had on the fringes of the campsite. Here he was
moored with a tether, but most often he ran amok, toppling pans and pots
placed on the porch. The baby took to the couple as if born to them, and
they in turn adored him, as one of theirs. Such was their bonding that even
at night, the rascal would insist that Ponnamma draw up her straw mat next
to his hay-lined floor bed. And she often did so. Kaali screamed in rage
should one of his parents move out his ken and visual range. And the
Ponnuswamy pair stayed close, within his eyesight. Only a baby saar, a
motherless one saar, he explained to his officers.

The governmental agencies running the camp put in their
two pennies worth. Special diet allowance for the kid, ten tins of infant
cereal tinned gruel per day, and one bottle of ABDEC vitamin supplements.
All was fine, until one fine day, a fax message received at the campsite
office from headquarters came in. It read, as of today, Kaali would be put
through "training". He was to be schooled into falling in line, some
discipline and some duties. Camp elephants earn their keep ferrying
tourists, toting logs and such things. Kaali would now have to be broken in.
No more juvenile jaunts, and truant escapades. Kaali, in three months would
have to kneel, squat, salute and trumpet, on command. Inter alia the
tutelage involved some rigourous routines, including caning and prodding
with spikes. Reluctant and recalcitrant beasts were often reminded who their
boss was.

Ponnusami and Ponnamma were shocked into
silence. What? They wailed. Kaali, their beloved son Kalli would be taught
to kneel and caned for not doing so? Not over our dead bodies, they hissed
in chorus. No schooling for this one. Imagine poor Kaali, going down on his
for knees, and curling his proud trunk in a gesture of deference to some
khaki clad (and probably drunk) officer! No sir, no way. But orders were
orders, and bureaucracy brooks no dissent. And Kaali, as if he knew what it
was all about, screamed shrilly, and stomped his tiny feet in indignation,
- no school for me - the demonstration meant, in pachyderm slang. Okay
then, the couple now pleaded with officialdom, if training must need be
given, we ourselves will give it to Kaali. Permit us, saar, to teach our kid
ourselves. Thus it came about that the Ponnusamy couple put their jumbo
through his paces. In three months flat, the baby knave had mastered all the
nuances and subtleties of scholarship. Not only could he kneel, on one or
both knees, he could also trumpet, roll over, and most importantly do a jig
while blowing on a harmonica held at his trunk tip! When the forest minister
came visiting, the little scoundrel showed his mettle, only, his salute
appeared a bit contemptuous and contrived.

So Kaali lives on, merry and footloose, scampering all
over the campsite. A darling too, having a free run of the Ponnusamy
settlement. Many anecdotes and tales are heard of the mischief and menace
the jumbo causes. One instance, when Ponnu and his wife had left early to
attend a relatives wedding at Topslip, a few kilometers off, the racket and
din Kaali raised at being left alone was incredible. He tugged at his chains
and rocked in rage, and wailed. Even the patient foresters at the camp had
had enough. They sent word through a tracker to Topslip. So Ponnusamy came
trotting back, and unleashed the rogue, who like a puppy dog, then trotted
back all the way behind Ponnusamy, to Topslip, and the wedding, his tail
held aflutter in a sign of victory.

Today Kaali is a full thirty months old. A black mop of
hair fringes his knitted forehead. His beady eyes eternally courting
mischief. He still lives in the hut verandah, within earshot and eyesight of
his human parents. If you are visiting the campsite, do say hi to Kaali. He
is always delighted to meet people. For goodwill and camaraderie, do buy a
stick of sugarcane or two on your way up the winding road. Offer a chop to
Kaali, and watch him chew the juice out of the cane. If Kaali is happy with
the cane's sucrose content, he will raise his little trunk in a salute, in
an expression of thanks, (even without Ponnusamy bidding him to!)

 

National seminar on ‘Research perspectives in eco-conservation’ at St Agnes College


Submitted by : Gulf Varthe Reporter - Submitted on : 2005-09-10

Source : TOI

 

Mangalore: “The National Bio-Diversity Bill must be accepted, fine-tuned and implemented by all with fullest consideration it deserves,” said S A Hussain, ornithologist and former principal scientist of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai, here on Friday.

He was presiding over the UGC-sponsored national seminar on ‘Research perspectives in eco-conservation’ at the St Agnes College here.

Hussain lamented that the major player for managing resources (eco-conservation), the government, was adopting a ‘top down’ approach with very little or no inputs from scientific community and the stake holders at the bottom level.

“Fortunately the acceptance and ratification of the Bio-Diversity Convention will encourage a much practical ‘bottom up’ approach in policy planning procedure in which all stakeholders will definitely play effective role in managing and conserving the resources,’’ he opined.

Observing that management of natural resources involves multi-sectoral approach and close co-ordination between the government, scientific community and stake holders, Hussain rued that considering the rapid environmental degradation these days, the co-ordination aspect looks inadequate.

Hussain noted that while a few major issues get noticed, like rapid decline of tiger population in India, by and large a great deal of research findings are confined to scientific journals which finally end on library shelves or dusty official archives.

Hussain said the major player, the government, should feed the findings of its national institutes into policy planning and governance of the resources.

“Unfortunately, in spite of the best of efforts conservation issues get bogged down by politico-social, economic, sectoral, regional and many other pressures, often pitted against and at logger heads with each other’’ he said, adding that one needs to keep a balance in approaching the problems in a pragmatic way without giving into emotional and/or other narrow considerations.

He said the scientific community must be unbiased in reporting scientific facts, based on their findings and conclusions, and on the other hand the activists and other fringe groups must draw upon facts and temper their actions with rationality and reason in any issues they set out to advocate.

Dr Arunachalam Kumar, professor and head, department of anatomy, Kasturba Medical College (KMC), delivering the key note address said urbanites need not fret about the lack of wildlife, saying that city dwellers should concentrate on ‘urban wildlife biology’ which could be a topic for serious subject for higher research.

He said it is often naively assumed that wildlife conservation science is limited to field observations and garnered information from studies performed in the field.

The inaugural function was attended by Sr M Carmel Rita, principal of the college, Sr M Olivia, province co-ordinator for higher education, Karnataka province, Nagaveni, convener of the workshop among others.

 

 

Gulf Varthe News

Reporter : Gulf Varthe Reporter

Submitted on : 2005-09-10