Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I AMSTERDAM Prasanna Venkatesh Rangadurai

This is the official tourist logo of Amsterdam.
I reached there by InterContinental Express ICE 224.
Boarded the train at Oberhausen which is 10 minutes
from my home in Mulheim. The journey took 2.5 hours at
an average speed of 130 km/hr and reached Amsterdam
Central by 7pm on Friday 19 OCT 2007.

First Impression

The city is a typical tourist spot and is also maintained so. The tourists also help a lot in the maintenance process by littering. Gives a home coming feeling!! The temperature was around 12 degrees in the daytime and 4 degrees in the night and no breeze at all. So you don’t feel chilly. The sun was out and no clouds.
It’s a night city. Things start after 8pm and when the darkness begins, the lights are on! The streets are flooded with local and tourists and roadside music bands. Noisy I would say.

City layout – Architecture

Amsterdam means city on the river Amstel.
The city is around 8 feet below the sea level
and the water is drained through the extensive
canals. You can use the water ways to navigate
and get to any place in the city. The central station
is the landmark that one should use to recognise
Amsterdam in the movies. The style is a blend
of Gothic and Renaissance built in the 1800’s
by Cuypers. The other very famous landmark is
the Rijksmuseum build by the same architect. Unfortunately I could not make it to the museum due to time/money crunch. I need to make another trip just to visit the museums in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is also called the Venice of North. It has many beautiful bridges, even wooden ones from the 16th century.


Amsterdam goes hand in hand with diamonds. I went to a diamond
cutting industry where the famous Kohinoor diamond from India
was cut for the Queen. Well, diamonds are cheap if you have a salary
of 10,000 Euros per month!! There are several shops which sell
diamonds and they are tax free.

Van Gogh

The Van Gogh museum is one place I need to visit again.
I had to see it quickly in just 2 hours time while more than
that is needed to capture Van Gogh’s master pieces mentally
as no photography is allowed. It has more than 200 of his
originals and also the letters he wrote to his brother Theo.
I don’t think there was blood flowing through Van Gogh’s veins. It was paint and emotions. His paintings capture the raw emotions, mainly of the farmers and his colours reflect them too.


I took this one day tour of Holland to see the famous Windmills and the capital city of Hague. It was a very nice trip to learn about the evolution of Holland the way they are utilising the resources. They are actually building a whole new neighbourhood by draining out water bodies. These are done over years
using windmills and windmills are every where
in Holland. There are several pastures for the
rearing of cows and Holland’s diary products
are yum!
The city of Hague is very beautiful.
It the economic centre of Holland
and houses all the embassies, ministries and
commercial giants. The architecture is a
blend of Modern, Renaissance, Gothic and
Dutch Classism.

There is a small village called Delft before Hague. It is an artisans village and famous for the Dutch clay artefacts.

The next place is the Madurodam. It is actually a war monument built 1952. It is an architecture park of miniature Holland and having the world’s biggest miniature railways.

Amsterdam and sex

Amsterdam is also designated as the sex capital of Europe.
This is a place where prostitution is legal and so are the drugs.
A big board says that pimping is illegal in Amsterdam.
As if people need them here. The girls stand in the most skimpy
clad dress and beckon the people with erotic gestures and language while the niggers ask if you want straw filled with quality marijuana and Viagra pills. I walked through the streets with pity for the body sellers and thinking about the mind set of the people who sleep with them.
There is also a sex museum which I visited. There are pornographic pictures from the late 18th century and paintings and some bizarre stuff. There is an Ivory sex toy in display which was made in India. The designs around them indicate it was from the Mugal period. Interesting!!

Travel and Food

There are a lot of Indian restaurants in Amsterdam and
many joints that have pure vegetarian stuff. Salads, French
fries and Falafel are the hottest selling items. Food is
available in all the varieties as Amsterdam is flocked by
millions around the world. Heineken is the trademark beer here.
The city has a network of trams and metro trains.
The waterways are used only for tourism.


The people in Amsterdam are very tolerant and friendly. They have a liking for Indians. There was a Dutch guy who was speaking to on the tram. He spoke in Tamil! He was there in Pondycherry and Thiruvanamalai for sometime and he picked up Tamil. There were also a lot of people who enquired about India. The main language spoken here is Dutch and almost everyone knows English. Dutch is similar to Germany and people understand it too. The population here enjoys Discotheques and casinos.


I returned back to Mulheim by ICE 125 that was from
Amsterdam central to Frankfurt. Got down at Oberhausen at
6.30pm on Sunday 21 OCT 2007.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I love you

I wouldnt have spoken about me, i would have spoken about you.

I wouldnt have told her i miss her, for i dont, i would have told her i miss you, for i do.

I wouldnt have asked her how she was, I would have told her how I am, with you.

I wouldnt have asked her about her happiness, I would have told her about you, my happiness.

I wouldnt have talked about the past, I would have spoken about you, my present, my future.

I love you.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hindus... A Forgotten Definition

What was India before India? It was Hindustan. Place of Hindus. Why did they change it ? The change of name has led to the loss of definition of Hindus and the rupture of the religion too.

December 6 1992 saw a big riot. The demolishing of the Babri Masjid. The discussion here is not about who is right and who is wrong in doing that. But the discussion is on preserving the belief. The Muslims fought for theirs and the Hindus for theirs. The funniest part is co existence and yet all the blood. The most funniest part is that the government has been celebrating December 6th as Babari Masjid anniversary and is reminding the people of all the differences.

A non Hindu sect was able to establish itself in a country called Hindustan. Its about secularism and at the same time not demeaning the existing religions. Every religion has the right to defend itself when it is threatened. Only that we should in a more civilized manner. The country needs more than fights due to religion.

But the country does not seem to realize that. The Rama Sethu project us emerging as a potential threat to Hinduism and the saddest part is that people have forgotten who a Hindu is. A Hindu is a native of Hindustan. Any citizen of Hindustan is a Hindu. Unfortunately now, people have started associating only Brahmins as Hindus. This has arisen from the political scenarios and the reservation systems.

A temple is a monument of belief. This holds good for structures that are considered to be sacred. The Ramar bridge is supposed to be destroyed to make way between India and Srilanka. Or is it being made so that LTTE can be benefited?! I was shocked at the remarks made by the CM of TN on this issue. He questions the existence of Lord Rama and he asks for proof of Srilankas burning by Lord Hanuman. What does the so called Kalaingar think about himself? He does not believe in God, we all know that. But he is forgetting that he is a Hindu. He is questioning the very base upon which India has been built and has insulted the Hindu population.

What is necessary is not proof, but belief. And the stronghold of tradition and religion in our country is only through epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata and upon this Hinduism is built. Already our country is being torn apart by the caste and now religious disputes? The CM of TN must think twice before speaking such things. I hope he realizes the meaning the Hindu and the need to preserve something that people consider sacred.

Yet again, I am astonished that there is no resistance from the people regarding this. This is a matter of religious belief and the government is planning to destroy the Bridge that is believed to be built by Lord Rama. This is a national issue and Kalaignar is trying to make it into a Brahmin issue! It feels very repulsive, sitting here and thinking about this issue.

When are the politicians going to stop dividing people? Its high time India becomes Hindustan again.