Friday, July 29, 2005

Forces of Nature

Every other TV channel that I viewed yesterday showed Mumbai's rains over and over again with an increasing count of the number of people deceased. But it is strange that I did not get to see any channel ask, "Where was our weather department?". Couldn't they have forecasted something before the misery started? Or don't we have the technology?
Even discussing this seems quite clich├ęd. When Chennai was hit by the Tsunami, I wrote on the Tsunami-prevention systems that were to be installed by the government. I appreciated that they had taken a positive step though late. But then, do we need to wait for every single misery to happen before investing in the appropriate technologies? I believe that we need to be more proactive in looking at preventing losses to human life caused by the forces of nature.

It is quite ironic that I'm reading the use of the 4 forces - earth, fire, wind and water - for destruction in the book "Angels and Demons". In Mumbai people have died in the past few days due to land slides (Earth), Heavy rains and flood (Water) and fire at ONGC platform (Fire). Is Air awaiting its turn or was it a part of the rain itself? I do hope the worst is over and things can only improve from here on.

In India we believe in 5 forces - the Sky making the 5th force. I have used 4 forces only in reference to the book "Angels and Demons".
The 5 forces are called "Panchabootham" in Tamil. Panchabootham means 5 demons. I have always wondered why the goodness of nature has been termed as demons. But now I get to see the demonish side of the forces.


Blogger Jayan said...

I am just thinking if it is the effect of the 'Mars to come to itz closest from Earth' thing

29 July, 2005 10:53  
Anonymous Manoj said...

Oops buddy, bootham doesn't mean demons - it is Sanskrit for 'Elements'. Though I loathe to turn to movies for reference, I would like to point out to the Kamal hassan movie Salangai Oli where the young dancer (SP Shylaja?)makes the same mistake in her performance and is chastised by Kamalhassan in his newspaper column, a la Subbudu.

(I didn't expect _you_ to make this slip.)

29 July, 2005 11:32  
Blogger Jammy said...

May be

Yes, you are right about bootham being elements. But my question is as to why the elements are called boothams which definitely mean demons in Tamil. Or is it that we started using bootham in a different way after the initial meaning of elements?

31 July, 2005 23:41  
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