That’s Greek To Me

(Click on image for a larger version)

This graph was inspired by a comment by a reader on the blog Language Log:

When an English speaker doesn’t understand a word one says, it’s “Greek to me”. When a Hebrew speaker encounters this difficulty, it “sounds like Chinese”.
I’ve been told the Korean equivalent is “sounds like Hebrew”.
Has there been a study of this phrase phenomenon, relating different languages on some kind of Directed Graph?

The most interesting observation was made by commentator Rachel Fulton:

It’s fascinating that when the Chinese find something unintelligible, they assume it is a product of Heaven while everyone else (according to the graph) assumes that it is another human language they can’t understand.

I wonder why the author has forgotten to put an arrow from Hindi to Farsi…

I find this graph very interesting – I didn’t know mutual incomprehension could be mapped…Also, I didn’t know that for Arabs the proverbial unintelligible language is Hindi and for the French – Javanese…Where and when did the French hear and learn about the existence of Javanese?
(The data for the graph has been taken from Wikipedia and Omniglot)


Gaza – The Closed Zone

Below is an Israeli short film detailing the plight of a Palestinian trapped in Gaza…

This is what Joe Klein of Time magazine has to say:

For a great many of us – Jews who support Israel, but not these policies – this government is an embarrassment. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted for the liberal group J Street, 60% of American Jews oppose the expansion of settlements [which are all illegal] and 69% oppose Lieberman’s [an anti-Arab bigot who is the Foreign Minister] participation in the government. According to that same poll, 72% believed the US should exert pressure on both sides to move toward a deal–a policy one hopes Barack Obama will have the courage to pursue.

For more information, go to Closed Zone

Down Memory Lane – The Golden Age Of Doordarshan

I’m definitely getting old because over the past few days I’ve been reminiscing at lot…Last night while I was surfing through the channels on TV, I realized that I didn’t watch even one Hindi serial…Kind of sad because I was a great fan of them in the 80s…

Humlog (1984)
The mother of all shows, Humlog started the craze for serials in India…It told the story of a family, a family that a large number of people could identify with…

Humlog revolved around the everyday life of a north Indian lower middle class family, with each episode focusing on the triumphs and tribulations of one or more of the central cast members…At the end of each episode, Ashok Kumar (Dadamoni) would appear to give a speech and summarize the serial…

The following were the main characters of the serial:

Basesar Ram: The alcoholic father played by Vinod Nagpal
Bhagwanti: The long-suffering mother and housewife played by Jayshri Arora
Lallu (Lalit Prasad): The unemployed eldest son played by Rajesh Puri
Nanhe: The younger son played by Abhinav Chaturvedi
Badki: The eldest daughter played by Seema Bhargava
Majhli: The second daughter played by Divya Seth
Chutki: The youngest daughter played by Loveleen Mishra
Dadaji: The grandfather (a retired teacher) played by Lahiri Singh
Dadi: The grandmother played by Sushma Seth

Buniyaad (1986)
Written by Manohar Shyam Joshi (who incidentally wrote Humlog too) and directed by Ramesh Sippy, Buniyaad was a mega serial based on the theme of Partition and its repercussions…It follows the story of Master Haveliram (a dedicated teacher) and his wife Lajoji and their children and their struggle as refugees in post-partition India…

Master Haveliram – Played by Alok Nath
Lajoji – Haveliram’s wife played by Anita Kanwar
Veeravali – Haveliram’s sister played by Kiran Juneja
Dalip Tahil – Master Haveliram elder son
Lala Gainmal – Played by Sudhir Pandey
Vrushbhaan – Veeravali’s love interest played by Vijendra Ghatge
Satbir – Vrushbhaan’s illegitimate son played by Kanwaljit Singh
Haveliram’s elder son – Played by Dalip Tahil
Sulochana / Lochan – Haveliram’s elder daughter-in-law played by Soni Razdan
Jay – Vrushbhaan’s legitimate son played by Abhinav Chaturvedi

The first soap-type family entertainer that actually ended! I don’t think many watched it as I couldn’t find anything substantial on the net…I was an avid viewer and from what I remember, it was about big business and big ambitions with a few twists and turns…

Actors included: Neena Gupta, Dr. Shreeram Lagoo, Mohan Bhandari, Jayant Kriplani

Rajini (1985)
Basu Chatterjee’s first foray into television, Rajini (played by Priya Tendulkar) quickly became everybody’s favourite crusader…

Yeah Jo Hai Zindagi (1984)
This was the first really funny sitcom on Indian television…The episodes revolved around funny incidents in the lives of Ranjit Verma (Shafi Inamdar), Renu Verma (Swaroop Sampat) and Renu’s unmarried and unemployed younger brother Raja (Rakesh Bedi)…In each episode, actor Satish Shah played a different character who came into contact with the Vermas…

Kachchi Dhoop (1987)
I don’t know if anybody remembers this serial but I loved it…The title Kachchi Dhoop is a metaphor for young and impressionable minds…Written and directed by Amol Palekar, it was loosely based on ‘Little Women’…This fun and clean serial marked the debut of Bhagyashree as an actress…

Malgudi Days (1987)
Ta-na-na tana tane-naa…
Based on R.K.Narayan’s book (a collection of short stories) and directed by Shankar Nag, Malgudi was an imaginary town inhabited by timeless characters who could have been living anywhere in the world…

There were many more serials like Udaan and Fauji… If I write about all of them, this post would become very long and unreadable (I think it already is!)…I’ve not included Ramayana and Mahabharata because I didn’t like them…

Flashback – Music Of The 80s

I hope I’m not that old to be the only one who remembers music from the 80s…Back then, I was an Anglecized prude and only listened to English numbers (does anybody use the word ‘numbers’ anymore’?) I looked down on people who watched Hindi movies and listened to Hindi film songs…Needless to say, things have changed since then…Anyway, my older sister was the one who ‘brought’ the music into our household (my parents being true-blue Bengalis listened to Rabindra Sangeet which I can’t stand and also Cliff Richards and the Beatles – the latter I adore and thankfully my husband does too)…

Some of the songs my sister listened to (older, naturally) and therefore I listened to (since she had the control of the 2-in-1) were:
1) Call Me – Blondie
2) Another Brick In The Wall – Pink Floyd (I forced her to listen to this…She didn’t like it…Still my favourite)
3) Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen (one of my all time favs…My friend (who was in a band and who still plays) sang it for me at the SRCC (Shriram College of Commerce, Delhi) annual festival in the 90s
4) Funkytown – Lipps Inc. – I’ve been looking for this on the web to download bit can’t find it…One of the best…
5) Working My Way Back To You-Forgive Me Girl – Spinners – What happened to them?
6) Celebrations – Kool & the gang
7) Physical _ Olivia Newton John (Gosh! Those were the days!)
8) AbraCaDabra – Steve Miller Band (I can’t forgive myself for listening to this…Didi’s fault!)
9) You can do the music – America (still like the song)
10) Down Under – Men At Work (chorus: Do you come from a land down under? Where women glow and men plunder? Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?You better run, you better take cover
11) Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart (my husband hates it…According to him, this is the ultimate ‘chick’ song)
12) Take a look at me now – Phil Collins
13) Footloose – Kenny Loggins (who can forget this!!!!)
14) The heart of Roch ‘N’ roll – Huey Lewis and the News
15) Careless Whispers – Wham! (who can forget them…I had all their albums…Now I wonder why)
16) Everybody wants to rule the world – Tears for fear
17) Take on me – A-Ha (what happened to them?)
18) View to a kill – Duran Duran (my sister’s favourite…She still loves Duran Duran)
19) Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams (my second concert was a Bryan Adams one in Bombay (Brabourne) in the early 90s…My first was a Bon Jovi concert in Sydney in 1989…Album name : New Jersey)
20) Into the groove – Madonna
21) Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins
22) Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer
23) Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel
24) Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles (my sis and I were supposed to go for their concert in Sydney but it got cancelled and we went for the Bon ovi one – Thank god!)
25) Manic Monday – The Bangles
26) I still haven’t found what I’m looking for – U2 (Needless to say, I didn’t get tickets)
27) Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
28) Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby BcFerrin
29) Father Figure – George Michael
30) Kokomo – Beach Boys (wasn’t Tom Cruise a dream in ‘Cocktail’? Then he started Jumping on Oprah’s couch – hmmm…Scientology kills)
31) Candle In The Wind – Elton John
32) Red Red Wine – UB40
33) Eternal Flame – Bangles
34) Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics
35) Veronica – Elvis Costello
36) Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx

Nostalgic For Online ’90s?

Then take a look at some web pages from then…

If you are still nostalgic, go to and

(Source: WaybackMachine)

Edited to Add:

I first went online in 1996…Netscape Navigator was the most popular browser then and Hotmail was the ‘in’ free e-mailing system…The web designs then were quite basic and static…

This Norwegian web page is an example of what e-commerce sites looked like back then…The clutter dazzles the eyes…For some reason, it still looks like this today…