28 December 2007

Kho na jaye yeh………………Taare Zameen Par!


Yes… Aamir Khan has brought down lots of stars to earth. He has in fact created stars out of young and unknown people, stars out of unknown characters of Ishaan Awasthi Ramshankar Nikumbh… Yes., ‘stars are born, but can be made too’….seems to be the motto of the movie.

I am glad that Indian cinema is growing beyond the fantasy of teen-age romantic enterprises, it is growing beyond to think about the realities of crores of people, to interpret the lives of disabled, differently abled, deficiently abled!!

The captivating sequence of a train journey to a village in UP, as described in Swades…. A rage against the negligence and least respect for a champion’s life…as shown in Rang De Basanti, An intriguing experience of a physically challenged girl’s life in Black, uniting the nation against the regonal spirits, as in Chak De! India….

Bollywood has grown to these levels, and Aamir Khan’s debut as a director Tare Zameen Par has actually promissed that bollywood will grow beyond these new found values too!

Yes., from an amazing plot to packed performances by literally unknowns, from inane cuteness to the matte of knowledge….. from a childhood to parenting…. from Propheting to Teaching…TZP has it all.

Plot starts with a naughty school going third standard boy, Ishaan Awasti, turning blank and terrified when he is given a sentence to read, when he is given a sum to calculate.

He always seem to be busy reading the footsteps of fishes in the pond, nature of birds on trees, the authenticity of a wall painter, scourge of a haying sea, a drop of rain, a lash of wind…in dream world. He is amazed with these things found around him.

But he seem to have a problem when it comes to studies, He is terrified of his father’s overt expectations of him, he is afraid of the punishments meted out to him at school, he is irritated by his not-so-friendly, always crittering friends!

He is failed in third standard and the principal suspects an abnormalcy in the child. She wants him to be moved to a school teaching the mentally challenged children! Father is furious to hear this about his son.

He gets him admitted to a strict boarding school, as a punishment to the naughty and ignorant child. In the boarding school Ishaan gets dull, and he becomes a “Moooorkh ShiromaNi”, as a teacher scolds him. He loses all his versatility, he stops painting, observing the nature.

And then comes a teacher, as a temporary replacement to a retired art teacher, Ramshankar Nikumbh. Nikumbh immediately gets interested in Ishaan. He discovers that Ishaan is suffering from Dyslexia. And when neither his teachers nor his parents come to rescue the child, Nikumbh himself takes the mantle of helping the child overcome his deficiency. And that comes without making the child aware that he is not normal. Ishaan is shown to be an above average wonder kid.

The story apart, the movie gets a wonderful treatment from both the script writer and the director. Ably supported by superlative music and power packed performances, this movie takes one back to the school, back to the childhood.

Darsheel Safray and Aamir Khan puts up a great show as Ishaan and Nikumbh respectively. Sachet, Visca and Vipin as the family excell in their roles. One can feel empathised with the plot, and characters.

But what is missing here is that one can not relate to something in the movie.

No doubt that this movie is technically excellent, with its gripping scenes, and a dreamy touch. Aamir Khan has come out with a bang on debut.

But yet, you miss the aura of simplicity of Ashutosh Gowariker, melodrama of Bhansali, Shimit Aamin’s gutsy plot.

However, Aamir surpasses your expectations as a director at places, and leaves you with a feeling of could’ve done better at times. Whatever it is, here comes a new thinking director, Aamir Khan. I never liked Aamir like this, before.

I think I will give this movie an 80% marks ;)

Happy new year!!

Enjoy the Holidays and have a blast on the new year's day.


This picture is from Pondicherry which I visited recently, log is coming up shortly!

13 December 2007

Ninnindale!!

This song has been bugging me for quiet some time now...

Once I felt relieved that I was introduced to this song pretty late, I mean after a few months of the release of the movie....but I have no way to get out of the hangover this song has created :'(

Again, for records, the team trio of Mano Murthy - Jayanth Kaikini and Sonu Nigam has produced an extremely diligent and a stupendous song for Kannadigas... Hats off!!

The lyrics follows (In Kannada font) :


Lyrics in English :


Ninnindale Ninnindale Kanasondu shuruvaagide ||
Ninnindale Ninnindale Manasindu kuNidaadide ||

ee edeyalli sihiyaada kOlAhala
nanneduralli nee heege bandaagale |
ninna tuTiyalli naguvaaguvaa hambala
Naa nintalle haaDaade ninnindale||

Ninnindale Ninnindale Kanasondu shuruvaagide||
Ninnindale Ninnindale Manasindu kuNidaadide ||

iruLalli jwaradante kaaDi eega
Haayaagi nintiruve sariyeenu?
bEkantale maadi eno mODi
innello nODuva pariyenu?

ee maayege ee maruLige ninninda kaLe bandide|
Ninnindale Ninnindale Kanasondu shuruvaagide||

hodalli bandalli ellaa ninna
sompaada cheluvina guNagaana|
kEdage gariyanta ninnaa nOTa
nanagEno andante anumaana||

Ninnindale saddillade muddaada kare bandide|
Ninnindale Ninnindale Kanasondu shuruvaagide||

ee edeyalli sihiyaada kolahala
nanneduralli nee heege bandaagale |
ninna tuTiyalli naguvaaguvaa hambala
Naa nintalle haaDaade ninnindale||

Ninnindale Ninnindale Kanasondu shuruvaagide||
Ninnindale Ninnindale Manasindu kuNidaadide ||

30 November 2007

Animal Rights - Be aware of them.

“panjaradoLu nookabahudu giLiyanu….
nUki suridarEnu rAshi kALanu….
tinnuvudoMdE guriye bALige….?
adara bALu baliye namma lIlege!!”

- N S Lakshminarayana Bhatta
(meaning : We cage and feed a parrot stomach-full. Is that all its purpose, eating stomach-full? Its life is ruined for our happiness)!!

“The truth is I love being alive. And I love feeling free. So if I can't have those things then I feel like a caged animal and I'd rather not be in a cage. I'd rather be dead. And it's real simple. And I think it's not that uncommon.”

- Angelina Jolie
(Can we stay an hour in a cage? Ask a criminal in jail)!!

“Contrary to what most people say, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It's a shark riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see.”

- Jack Handy
(Anything explains better?)


“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”

- Anatole France
(We need to get that Animals are a part of God's own creation, just like us)

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

- Mahatma Gandhi
(Greatest quotation from a great man)


Now….. You might ask me ‘WHY this post’.
Because, I came across the following today morning.



I was just thinking what purpose are these snakes served, their jaws are snatches, they are made puppets, raise hoods when the master(ess) wants, and withdraw when they don’t want!! I strongly oppose using animals for our purpose. It becomes everyone’s responsibility to educate these snake charmers about the animal rights and provide them a rehabilitation that will call them to stop harming the animal.

“Animal-rights advocates remind us of this admonition: The ways in which people treat animals will be reflected in how people relate to one another.”
- William Greider

22 November 2007

Video Journey continued..

Most popular
1. Nagamma's tryst with Lord

"Nagamma....My name is Nagamma. Aakashavaanili haadidini"


2. Western Ghats at Sunrise :

A documentary that was recieved well


3. Nyingmapa monastery :

Nyingmapa monastery at Bayalakuppe in Kodagu



My favourites :
1. Lazybums Rocks :

Lazybumsrocks, my college group, after 10 years, the love story continues...


2. Yeldur lit up for Ramanavami :

Yeldur, the place where I grew up, celebrates its existance during Ramanavami celebrations..


3. Shatavadhani R Ganesh :

Shatavadhani R Ganesh lecturing on why worshipping God as Mother is meaningful.


4. Mallalli falls :

Kumaradhara river forming a magnificient visual


5. Kuduremukha clouds :

Clouds dangling over Kuduremukha range


6. Gopalaswami betta :

Another encounter with clouds!

A backbencher's video journey!

March 15, 2007, was the day when I created a youtube account. I never thought I would publish 38 videos in about 8 months time…and widely viewed too! As of today, number of my video views stand at 17,000!!

It has been an amazing journey, I must admit. My N72 helped me create a space for myself over there, and sometimes I get elevated to a 10th world when I get some message/comment from a different city/country, this is because I have never published about my profile there to anyone.

It was created only as an experiment, and to share my encounters with world wide web, especially with you guys here, on the backbencher’s page. But that has grown over the last half year as a self-sufficient place in itself.

I thus, welcome you all to visit my profile on youtube here.

Here are some of the videos from backbencher…
I categorise them as follows

  1. Most viewed
  2. Most popular
  3. My favourites

I am attaching a few videos from each category for you to lessen the trouble of going there to get it right.

Most viewed



1. Medha Suktha with over 4300 views

Medha Suktha being recited at a welcoem ceremony for Sringeri Shankaracharya Swamiji



Another video of Sri Bharati Theertha Swamiji has hit over a thousand views!

2. Dabbe falls coverage with over 3600 views

Dabbe falls in the heart of the Sharavathi valley



3. Jog falls as seen from the British bunglow with no of views of near 1000

Jog falls, the pride of Karnataka



Another Jog falls shot also has a hit of near 1000!

15 November 2007

Backbencher is Back

It had been an un planned, and un announced hiatus for me. For now, I am back.

There are two reasons for my unnoticed break,
1. Hectic schedules at office.
2. Jinx that couldnt be undone.

I appologise for going away without infromation.

Now, I am back with my complete traits, to get back in touch with you all, and to read all of your posts, give updates on whats happening etc.

To start with, let me share about a solo ride that I ventured on last Sunday. Here I go.

One Day….. Visiting Five Protected Ancient Monuments

I was on my bike….and fully prepared to ride long…I didn’t know how long. Started from home at about 8-20 in the morning, after a light break-fast. I was thinking of a ride on the ring road of Bengalooru, starting from home and back to home with a full 360 degree ride…


But as I started venturing on the ring road towards Marath Halli, had a wee feeling of a longer ride, on one of the National Highways… Suddenly remembered reading a coupla days ago about a Markandeshwara betta situated near Kolar. Being ashamed of the fact that having grown in Kolar, and not knowing about this hill… I felt a chill to conquer it right away. Instantly called Mother to inform about it, and amidst her strong protests, succeeded in getting a green signal to venture further.

And my bike turned to right from K R Puram…

The young rays of Sun had magical touch on my body, as I rode past KR Puram to reach Hoskote. As the Sunday morning crowd was lazily waking into existance, I was on my way to Arabhikottanur from where I had to take a right to reach Vakkaleri, where exists the Markandeshwara hill.
As I was riding I started making my itinerary… Included Kolaramma temple and Kurudumale to the destination list for the day. And I started calculating…this temple would be open till this time, so, I must make it fast there and such things..

Finally, when I looked at my watch it was showing 9:30AM when I reached Arabhikottanur. So, my pulsar turned right towards Vakkaleri. A ride that was mesmerising…amidst huge rocks, on a small neatly laid road…Wonderful ride. Fact that I was alone in the visinity added the thrilling masala to my feel. In no time I reached Vakkaleri village, stopeed to enquire, and to my luck found that the temple would be open, since there was a marriage that was scheduled for the day there. And I headed to the hill rightaway. Otherwise, since it was a Sunday, I had to take along the priest on my bike to worship in the temple. Mondays the temple would be open till the dusk, it seems. The Markandeshwara beTTa is just 2Kms from Vakkaleri, and a road is laid till atop the hill, steps are also there for the people who preferred walking.
Markandeshwara temple atop the Markandeshwara hill is a 15th Century Ganga monument, that stands on a beautiful hill top. It is said that the great sage Markandeya meditated to escape the strong clutches of Yama(death) with great devotion to Lord Shiva, here. A temple stands as a testimony to it.

And strangely enough, here is a well that has a black striped mark inside, which is said to be a mark of Yama paasha(God of death) that is extended till the Shiva linga inside the Garbhagriha. The temple also has intricate carvings on all the pillars with stories from Hindu mythology. Durga, Ganesha and Kartikeya temples are around the main temple of Shiva. Linga inside the Garbhagriha is made of Saligram stone, and is worshipped every Monday, with abhishekha.

It was crowded, thanks to a marriage that was going on in the temple. The temple also has a dining hall adjoining, and a couple of guest rooms.

I didn’t spend much time since the marriage was underway, and the crowd would otherwise be disturbed by my presence ;), so soon after the pooje I started heading down. People there, friendly them, asked me to have the marriage feast before leaving, I promptly refused and wished them all the best.

In no moment, I was zooming on the Malur-Koalr highway, towards Kolar. Oh! My Kolar, it looks the same, ‘Let the zamana change, I don’t change’ is its mantra. You leave a dust particle next time you go, and go back after a year, you can find it exactly where you placed it! Thats my Kolar for you.

Yeah there is a change only in the state of roads, they were good earlier.
I ran straight to Kolaramma temple, Goddess in the form of a scorpion is worshipped here, from ages unknown. A temple is constructed around the diety, that dates back to 12th Century Ganga rulers’ times. The temple was originally built by Cholas, and later enhanced by the Gangas, as the historians put it.
This is a mysterious, an interesting and a beautiful temple. As seen in the picture, outer walls has stone inscriptions that dates to 11th century of Chola times. Inside the temple, we can find some idols that are real huge in size, made by mud, some carved out of stone, all locked up in a room where a utsava murthi of the Mother is placed for darshan. There is one small cleavage in the floor of that passage where another idol of Kolaramma is placed, and they say one can hear the passing of a scorpion thru that opening. Very very mysterious in deed. Here, Along with Kolaramma, there are Sapta matrikes being worshipped.

Someshwara temple, another masterly built monument, located just about 200 mts from Kolaramma temple. This is a Vijayanagara styled monument with ranga mantapa, huge outer space, intricate stone carvings, big raja dwara(main entrance). It is a structure that dates back to 16th Centrury as identified. This is again of a strange existance since there is no other clue of Vijayanagara styled architecture, that is found in Hampi, around this place. Someshwara linga is a swayambhu made of saligrma stone.

I stopped nowhere else on my way to Kurudumale.
Visited two temples, viz., Someshwara and Varasiddhi Vinayaka(popularly Kurudumale Ganesha) temples. Strangely enough, these temples were crowded, first signs of the place getting commercialised, for Good? For bad? Time will answer.

Brief of these two temples : Someshwara temple in Kurudumale. This is a 17th Century Hoysala styled temple, destroyed, re built, and re-rebuilt to the final existance as of today. As written by me in one of the articles earlier, this temple has two kinds of carvings on its outer walls, one half is said to have been worked by Jakkanachari, and the other half by his son Dakkana.. No evidence to prove it though. off late this temple is getting very famous and I could find some visitors coming here on the Sunday.

Ganesha temple in Kurudumale, situated on the same road as that of Someshwara temple, but here a huge Ganesha idol is being worshipped from ages unknown. It is said that the Ganesha statue was being worshipped in a open field, until Krishnadevaraya built a temple around it. Its too huge to imagine(14ft in all), bigger than the Dodda Ganesha of Basavanagudi.
You can read more about Kurudumale here.

And after all the adventures, I came back to Kolar, had my lunch, and spent some time in my ancestral house where no one stays as of today, and was back in Bengalooru by 5:45 PM.

An approx. 250KMs ride that started without an intension of one. A Sunday that was well spent.

NOTE: One can include Antharagange betta(2KMs from Kolar) and Avani betta(Kolar-Mulabagal highway) to the itinerary, if they have time. If you have another day's time, you can also include Kotilingeshwara temple(near KGF), Bangaru Thirupathi temple(KGF-Mulabagal highway) and Chikka Thirupathi(near Malur) and Yeldur.

Route and estimates :
Bengalooru(South) -> BTM Layout -> Marath halli -> KR Puram -> Hoskote -> Narasapura lake -> Arabhikottanur(55 KMs - NH4)

Deviation 1 : Take a right
Arabhikottanur -> Vakkaleri(10 KMs)

Deviation 2 : Take a left inside the pointing arch right in the middle of the village.
Vakkaleri -> Markandeshwara betta(2 KMs)
Markandeshwara betta -> Vakkaleri

Deviation 3 : Take a right on the Malur-Kolar highway
Vakkaleri -> Kolar(14 Kms)
Kolar -> Mulabagal (23 KMs, NH4)

Deviation 4 : Take a left to Srinivasapura highway, just before Mulabagal town starts
Mulabagal -> Kurudumale gate (12 KMs)

Deviation 5 : Take a right inside the arch pointing the Ganesha temple.
Kurudumale gate -> Kurudumale (3 KMs)

05 November 2007

Schmooze blogger!!

Now.... Before you people forget the corner of this backbencher, let me accept my award that is pending for a long time now. I am a Schmooze blogger!!





Mee.......... :D :D :D


Yeah.. . I don't believe, but thats what Bellur tells me!


OKOK ..... Schmooze means Talking in a friendly manner....


And, Bellur, thanks for considering my tone as friendly :)


As I accept the award, I am not supposed to keep it also... So, it must be distributed among five more schmooze bloggers, Here they go....


  1. Anand Balaji, He ceased to exist as a blogger couple of months ago, but still I'd consider giving the award to him, since I know this great unknown as a
  2. Rajesh Naik, a hard core nomad, lives his dream of visiting all the places in Karnataka. He has travelled length and breadth of the state, from holy sites to the natural wonders. He has made a lot of friends in the process, and I am proud to have him read and comment on my posts. Here is your award Naik sir.
  3. Neela, a Teacher she may be, but she never tries to teach you, but puts her views in such a way that you will appreciate her to be the best teacher you ever had. Whats more, a friendly teacher, and that should qualify her for the award.
  4. Mohan, The Fundoo project manager, a financial expert, very knowledgeable in the Indian traditions, culture and heritage things. You talk to him for a few minutes, you will understand why he deserves this award...
  5. Bengalooru huDuga.... Naren. He is relatively a new entrant on my blogroll, but with what little we've interacted, he is proven to be one schmooze fellow!! So, this award to him. One secret let me make public. I have the honour of sharing the birthday with him!

26 October 2007

Kannada....going miles??

What is this?
Its a ad in a swedish magazine, about job openings in ABB

What does it say?
Is your future in Bejing(written in chinese), Västerås(sewdish city) or BENGALOORU


Got this in an e-mail... dont know the authenticity of it, but how does that sound??
Kannada is traveling miles....on par with Mandarin???

A gift to Kannadigas on the eve of Kannada Rajyotsava..... really!


UPDATE :

ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ,

ನವೆಂಬರ್ ಒಂದರಂದು ಆಂಗ್ಲ ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯ ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲ ತಾಣವನ್ನು ವೀಕ್ಷಿಸಲು ಮರೆಯದಿರಿ.
"ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ" ಲೇಖನವು ಅಂದು ಆ ತಾಣದ ಮುಖಪುಟದಲ್ಲಿ ವಿಶೇಷ ಲೇಖನವಾಗಿ ("Featured Article") ಪ್ರಕಟಗೊಳ್ಳಲಿದೆ.
ಇದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ವಿವರವಾದ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಇಂದಿನ thatskannada.com ನಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದಿದೆ.

ಇದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನಿಮ್ಮೆಲ್ಲ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತರಿಗೂ ತಿಳಿಸಿ, ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಈ ಶುಭಸಂದರ್ಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾಗಿಯಾಗಲಿ!

Here is the article that would be featured on November first : wiki-link

Wah re wah!

28 September 2007

Blogs and me!

Answering a tag takes something....and I have now forgone something to answer this tag of DS.

DS, I appologise for the delay!

Q1. Are you happy/ satisfied with your blog, with its content and look?

Kabhi haa… kabhi naa.

Q2. Does your family know about your blog?

Yes.

Q3. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog or you just consider it as a private thing?


Not at all.. I am not an annonymous blogger, BTW.

Q4. Did blogs cause positive changes in your thoughts?

Yes.

Q5. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or you love to go and discover more by yourself?

I like descovering blogs, but I do it rarely though.

Q6. What does visitors counter mean to you? Do you care about putting it in your blog?

Nothing. I don’t put it on my blog. I haven’t

Q7. Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?

Yes. Have failed to give real pictures most of the times.

Q8. Do you think there is a real benefit for blogging?

Yes.

Q9. Do you think that bloggers’ society is isolated from real world or interacts with events?

Crazy question. Blog is a reflection of one’s real world.

Q10. Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it’s a normal thing?

At times they do. Usually I take them as they are.

Q11. Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?

No. I don’t know any political blogs.

Q12. Did you get shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?

I don’t know any such incidents.

Q13. Did you think about what will happen to your blog after you die?

Silly question.

Q14. What do you like to hear? What’s the song you might like to put a link to, in your blog?



King Khan at his best. I love the song being played in the background


I am passing it to........ Three people...

1. Common Man Sanjay

2. Rambler Bellur

and .......

3. Payaniga Prashanth

100 years of a revolution

I always have shared a regret….for not having born 80 years ahead in time. And the reason…Bhagat Singh.

I must admit that Bhagat Singh had a great impact on my ability to think for over years. I might disapprove some of his theories, but he remains one Hero for me who has touched my intellect for a life time.

My regret has a faith in the fact that I would be with him to bring about a revolution that would see a bright India from the day 1.

Well… I now believe…there lives a Bhagat Singh in each one of us…in every young heart today that can ignite a new revolution that can free India from the clutches of hypocrisy, dread and the corruption.

I salute this legend with the following visual tribute. These are some of the clippings of famous movies made on this legendary man.

1.

Ay Watan song from the movie Shaheed



2.

Rang de Basati Chola song from the latest movie The Legend of Bhagat Singh



3.

Rang de Basati Chola song from the movie Shaheed

Birth Centenary of a legend

One evening a boy of three was out for a walk with his father.

There was also an elderly man with the father. Chatting they walked on and went beyond the village. Green crop delighted the eyes. The elders were walking along the edge of a field. Not hearing the footsteps of the boy, the father looked back.

The boy was sitting on the ground and seemed to be planting some thing. The father became curious."What are you doing?" said he."Look, father, I shall grow guns all over the field" was the innocent reply of the boy.

His eyes shone with the strong faith that guns would grow in the field. Both the elders were struck with wonder at the little boy's words.

The boy was Bhagat Singh who later fought like a hero for India's freedom and sacrificed his life.


BORN: Sept. 28, 1907, Punjab, India

1930: Threw bombs in Central Assembly Hall, protesting on imposing severe measures like the Trades Disputes Bill by the Britishers.

1930: Went on hunger strike to protest the inhuman treatment of fellow-political prisoners by jail authorities.

1930: Sukh Dev and Raj Guru, he was awarded the death sentence.
Died: Hanged in the early hours of March 23, 1931.
Cremated at: Ferozepur, Punjab.

25 September 2007

Twenty Twenty that mesmerised

Three Indian moments that defined the cource of just concluded T20 World cup are as follows.

1. The defining ball of the tournament :

Ball of a lifetime for Joginder Sharma and the catch of a lifetime for Sreeshanth!!



2. Yuvraj Singh's scintillating knock against England :

Yuvraj Singh lambasting Stuart Brad



3. The first ever Bowl Out to put Cricket along side the Soccer :

The Bowl out against Pakistan in the league match

Hats off to the Indian team aptly lead by Dhoni for pulling out a sensational victory to bring home the coveted Cup of glory. Three cheers to the team for a brilliant effort on field.

14 September 2007

Festivals and more...

An Indian calendar is full of festive seasons.. Yes, barely two weeks ago we celebrated the birth of Krishna, and now we are all set to welcome the Mother-Son duo Gowri and Ganesha. An amazing happening life we are exposed to here! Let me ponder over all the major festivals that make an appearance on an Indian calendar.

In April, we celebrated Ugadi, the Hindu new year’s day, following which comes Ramanavami, a happy moment of Rama’s arrival on our planet. Ugadi is celebrated as Bihu in some parts, and as something else in Punjab. But the spirit of welcoming the spring is the same.

Ramanavami is followed by Budha Pournami with only a month between them. This marks the auspicious day when Siddartha attained Budha hood!

Between Ramanavami and Budha Pournami there comes a day which displays importance of Love and devotion over monetary richess. It is said that a hungry Krishna was satisfied with only one gram of rice, offered with devotion and love by Droupadi. This day is known as Akshaya Thrithiya.

After this, there is a gap of two months for the observation of a major festival. But in the meanwhile, people observe different worshipping for their favourite deities. For example, Tamilians celebrate a festival called Kavadi as a means of worshipping towards their favourite Muruga, the snake God, son of Shiva and Parvathi, the celestial parents of the whole universe. And the worshippers of Goddess Durga wait for Fridays of the month Ashada to offer their prayers. Worshipping God is a daily matter, and on special occasions, it gets better. Other important festival in this season is Onam, celebrated by Malayalis. Also, there is one Guru Pournami, the graduation day for students in the Vedic era.

Somewhere around mid-July there comes a unique festive season called Naga Panchami. This is the day of offering prayers to the snake God. People offer milk to snakes to mark this festival. In certain parts this is preceded by Bhimana Amavasya, day with darkest night in the year. Un married girls offer prayers to Bhimeshwara for a better marital alliance, on this day.

Then comes a Friday when Mahalakshmi, considered as one who allots all wishes of a devotee, is worshipped. She is the consort of Vishnu, the Supreme Being. She is the Goddess of money. And people love her for everything that she brings them.

Nagapanchami is followed by Raksha bandhan, a festival of bondage. Bond I am speaking about here is that of a strong relationship among siblings. Brothers and sisters all get together on this day and spend some quality time remembering the days of their childhood. In Karnataka, this is observed on Nagapanchami itself, as snake is often related to the umbellar cord or the family tree.

Rakshabandhan is followed by Sree Krishna Janmashtami that marks the night when Sree Krishna was born. People put up a cradle right in the middle of their houses and put in it, an idol of infant Krishna with butter in his hands. It is said that little Krishna loved milk, butter and milk products.

Twelve days later comes home the most admired daughter, Gowri. Goddess Durga, mother of universe, is considered as a daughter of the house, being married to Shiva. She makes an annual trip back home. And on this day, whole family gets together and welcomes her with an affectionate warmth that is obvious. Next day comes Ganesha, her son, to take her away to her house. People ask them to stay back for a while and treats them with all that they can afford. Gowri and Ganesha go back happy and with a promise of making a trip back here, next year, same time!

With the dullness of sending off daughter to her husband’s house not vanished yet, people get ready to worship Anantha Padmanabha, one who has no beginning, no end…..and one who is the cause of this universe!

Immediately follows a fortnight when people remember their ancestors, parents, grandparents and ….and worship God to ask for peace for the ancestors in their afterlife. This season culminates on Mahalaya Amavasya. And thus ends half a year.

After satisfying daughter, her family, elders of the family who are in heaven, then comes time for the spiritual growth of one self. Thus arrives Navaratri. This includes a nine-day of continuous spiritual observation, which ends on Vijayadashami, with a declaration of burning of the egoistic “I”. Navaratri is observed with a different fervour in different parts of India. Some worship Goddess Durga, some worship Lord Vishnu, some…some other God… but all converge to one point called spiritual attainment of the self. Bengalis call this as Durga Pooja, and celebrate it with an ecstatic aura.

Exactly 20 days later comes Deepavali. In the heart of the winter, this is celebrated with joy and spirits across the country. This is the day when Rama returned to Ayodhya, completing his victory over the evil called Ravana. This is the day when Vishnu relieved the world of a selfish king called Balindra. This is the day when Krishna relieved the world of a notorious king called Naraka… Basically, this is the day of victory of good over bad, divine over evil, truth over the untruth, light over the darkness. Thus it is celebrated by lighting the house, mind and souls of each person.

10 days from Deepavali comes a day when Tulsi(Ocimum tenuifolium, known as Holy basil) plant is worshipped. Tulsi plant is usually planted in the backyard of each and every Hindu house. Scientifically, Tulsi has a medicinal value that is unmatchable. And, Tulsi is held, installed and worshipped as the Goddess by Indians. This shows the importance given to Health...

Winter gives a break to the festivals. In the meantime, there comes Christmas and the English New Year to fill the people with joy and spirit.

As the winter fades away, then comes the harvesting season across the country. Around Jan15th, the crop is ready to be consumed. This is also an auspicious day when Sun starts his movement towards North. As a mark of respect to Sun God who helped the crops grow, there is an observation of another festival called Makara Sankranti. Again, this is called by different names across this country of diversity. Tamilians call this as Pongal.

In February, there comes a special day of offering prayers to Lord Shiva. This is called Shivaratri. This is the only festival that is celebrated during and thru the night. People are up all night to pray at the feet of Shankara, the one who graces one with only joy.

Following Shivaratri comes a day of burning the deadly shivers of winter and welcome summer. This is known as Holi. Celebration pattern differs in different parts of India as usual, but at the end, spirit of the festival remains same.

Apart from the above, we also celebrate with an emotional aura the national festivals, namely, The Independence Day and The Republic Day.

Amidst all these, there comes a festival season of Universal brotherhood...Ramzan, which is celebrated across the country with as much importance.

Two things that are common among the festivals in India is the divine spiritual obedience before God and the feast that lingers in one’s culinary buds.

Even though there is a different fervour that goes with observing festivals among different cultures of the country, we can observe a similarity in them. Some of the observations I am listing here :
1. Sesame seeds(eLLU) are had as feast in all parts of the country on Makara Sankranti/Pongal. Similarly Neem leaves are consumed on Ugadi.
2. Ganesh and Parvathi are always sent off, i.e. Gowri is considered as a daughter in all parts of the country. (ex. Durga idols are immersed in water after Durga pooja in Bengal)
3. The fortnight before Navaratri is reserved for the remembrance of the departed souls in the family.
4. Navaratri marks the beginning of the second half of the year.
5. Deepavali is observed by consuming more sweets(reason being the winter, probably!)
6. Everywhere there is a special day reserved for worshipping the snakes.
7. Heavy oily stuffs are consumed during Ganesh festive season, may be because of the small break between the rains.

Thinking about these, I am always amazed at the level of understanding of nature that is required in formulating a system like this. We can see that every festival is thought of as a step up for the spiritual growth of the mankind, and most importantly, each is placed at an appropriate time of the year.

And to add to this note, each festival is linked with a particular dish that helps the body get control over the climatic changes of the season.

Note : I might have missed to mention about some of the festive seasons in this note. Please enlighten me about them. I take this opportunity to wish you a great Gowri-Ganesha festive season. Check out the details of festivities at your nearest Ganesha pendal and feel blessed.

Related links :
1. Trip to Kurudumale Ganesha temple
2. Krishna Janmashtami
3. Real essence of India
4. Festival of lights
5. Rakshabandhan
6. Guru Pournami
7. Independence day
8. Akshaya Thrithiya

12 September 2007

Say yes to the corrupt and transform them!!



Next time when someone demands a bribe to complete your work, dont say No, instead say Yes, and yet come out clean.... read the passage above to learn how! Believe me...it works...and works wonders!

04 September 2007

Sree Krishna Janmashtami today

Wishing you a happy Sri Krishna Janmashtami
Krishna is India's peerless avatar(incarnation). He was born in a prison and died in solitude in a forest. He gave the world the Bhagavad- Gita. He is the architect of Dharma and lives forever in the hearts of the people of India and the whole world.
From Book X

Learn from me, Son of Kunti! also this,
How one, attaining perfect peace, attains
Brahm, the supreme, the highest height of all!
Devoted-with a heart grown pure, restrained
In lordly self-control, foregoing wiles
Of song and senses, freed from love and hate,

Dwelling 'mid solitudes, in diet spare,
With body, speech, and will tamed to obey,
Ever to holy meditation vowed,
From passions liberate, quit of the Self,
Of arrogance, impatience, anger, pride;
Freed from surroundings, quiet, lacking nought

Such an one grows to oneness with the Brahm;
Such an one, growing one with Brahm, serene,
Sorrows no more, desires no more; his soul,
Equally loving all that lives, loves well Me,
Who have made them, and attains to Me.
By this same love and worship doth he know

Me as I am, how high and wonderful,
And knowing, straightway enters into Me.
And whatsoever deeds he doeth-fixed
In Me, as in his refuge - he hath won
For ever and for ever by My grace Th' Eternal Rest!So win thou! In thy thoughts

Do all thou dost for Me! Renounce for Me!
Sacrifice heart and mind and will to Me!
Live in the faith of Me!
In faith of Me All dangers thou shalt vanquish, by My grace,
But, trusting to thyself and heeding not,
Thou can'st but perish!

If this day thou say'st
Relying on thyself, "I will not fight!"
Vain will the purpose prove! thy qualities
Would spur thee to the war.
What thou dost shun,
Misled by fair illusions, thou wouldst seek

Against thy will, when the task comes to thee
Waking the promptings in thy nature set.
There lives a Master in the hearts of men
Maketh their deeds, by subtle pulling-strings,
Dance to what tune He will.
With all thy soul Trust Him, and take

Him for thy succor, Prince! So-only so,
Arjuna!-shall thou gain
By grace of Him-the uttermost repose,
The Eternal Place!
- From: The Bhagavad Gita (translated by E.Arnold)

31 August 2007

I have a passion....The rise of a Great Nation.

Its everyone’s dream to live in a developed India. Our Ex. Prez Dr. kalam even compiled a 10-point vision for the country to be achieved in coming 12 years
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Global competitiveness for any nation is indeed a big challenge. For achieving such a competitive edge for a nation, it is essential to have a vision. I would like to share with you my visualisation of such a nation.

1. A nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.
2. A nation where there is an equitable distribution and access to energy and quality water.
3. A nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony, absorbing technology thereby resulting in sustained wealth-generation leading to greater high value employment opportunities.
4. A nation where education is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination or because of constraints of rules.
5. A nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars, scientists, and investors from all over the world.
6. A nation where the best of healthcare is available to all and the communicable diseases like AIDS/TB, water and vector borne diseases and other stress diseases, cardiac diseases, cancer and diabetes are brought down.
7. A nation where the governance uses the best of the technologies to be responsive, transparent, fully connected in a high bandwidth e-governance grid, easily accessible and also simple in rules, thereby corruption free.
8. A nation where poverty has been totally eradicated, illiteracy removed and crimes against women are absent and none in the society feels unalienated.
9. A nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy and continues with a sustainable growth path.
10. A nation that is one of the best places to live in on the earth and brings smiles on the one billion-plus faces.
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Dr. Kalam doesn’t stop at this point. He provides us an integrated action plan as well.
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Integrated action: To meet the need of one billion people, we have the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. We have identified five areas where India has a core competence for integrated action:
1. Agriculture and food processing;
2. Reliable and quality electric power; surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country;
3. Education and healthcare;
4. Information and communication technology (ICT); and
5. Strategic sectors.

These five areas are closely inter-related and if properly implemented, will lead to food, economic and national security of our country. In each of these areas, there is a wealth of opportunities awaiting nations who would like to work together for mutual benefits in a win-win situation.

Each of these missions comprise many projects, investments, innovations, marketing and therefore many partnerships are possible. Those who seek out will find a new opportunity. Let us remember the adage, 'early bird catches the worm.'
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Fellow blogger Gurudev comes up with a superb compilation of goals and requirements to achieve this fete.

What impressed me in the compilation was the importance given to very Indian nature of facts and considerations.

Let me put forth some of my favourite points from that article.
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Education:
Every child in the country will get a compulsory free and quality primary education (education, not literacy)
No reservations in the education system.
All discrepancies in the current education system will be corrected including wrongly attributing many of the ancient Indian discoveries and inventions to western scientists (ex: Pythagorean theorem, calculus, etc)
History will be presented as it is. The students will have access to a variety of sources of history rather to that of a particular ideology.
The education system has to make a student social centric not self centric.

Employment:
Employment will be a basic fundamental right
Employment should be based only on capability and merit.

Health:
Health Insurance is free for any and every type of ailment and covered by the tax a person pays.
Yoga classes will be introduced in all schools.

Agriculture:
Farming of Genetically modified crops will be banned
Farming will be one of the self employments providing great returns to the farmer
It will be illegal to convert agricultural land for any other purpose.

Defense:
All defense material are indigenously manufactured

Judiciary
No general public case will be delayed by more than a few months
Since all the youth are employed, crime rate will be very minimal zero in the country.

Economy:
Tax on income will be 30% but this will guarantee free medical care, health insurance, accident insurance, quality motorable roads, free telephone calls within the country, free broadband, free primary education, free minimum electricity, protection of heritage sites, maintenance of gardens, playgrounds, public libraries etc.

Stronger Rupee = Stronger India

Nature
30% of the land area will be dedicated to natural and protected forests
Rain water harvesting systems will be set up all over the country and deep borewells will be banned except in exceptional situations

General
There will be a mandatory public library of latest and up to date digital books
Students will be encouraged more towards basic science than at technological implementations
Air travel within the country is cheap.
Travel all over the country is free for retired personnel by bus, air and trains.
Election Commission, Intelligence agencies, Reserve Bank, Research Organizations, Police forces, etc will be politically independent systems.

Culture:
All cultural heritage sites of the country will be well preserved.
Every school will also have lessons on various art forms for students. Indian dance forms, ancient Indian martial arts, painting, music, etc will be the available options for students.
There will be a compulsory annual cultural educational tour in every school to at least one of the cultural sites listed by the government.

Administration:
No person convicted of murder, attempt to murder, rape, corruption, fraud, poaching, misuse of public office will be allowed to stand for an election
If in an election, people of a constituency cast majority negative votes (i.e vote against all candidates in the list), then there will be a re-election in the constituency and none of the existing candidates will be allowed to contest in the re-election.
Government will not favor any religion nor will fund any religious activities.Public will have the right to recall their representative by filing a petition with the election commission, if they feel that the representative is under performing.
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There are many more such interesting points that will definitely help India transform into a super power. Gurudev, Thanks for providing us this list. Click here to read the complete article.

20 August 2007

Folklore - a measure of our cultural heritage

Folk singers are a treasure for the society.


Nagamma, a local female singing for me, in praise of Madeshwara, the God.

I cant just explain my joy when I come across such people. I just congratulate them for all the art they possess. Just listen to that amazing voice. She is an ignored woman, and unfortunately, her art is on the extinct way today. Can there be some solace to at least the art she possesses?

She is Nagamma, and today she begs at Talakadu, a historical place near Bengalooru.

P.S. I am more concerned about the huge collection of such folk songs she possesses. Will she be passing them on to the gen next?

16 August 2007

Power of One - Independence day rating

Madame Sonia makes it to the elite list of great Indian architects that too in the list of Power of one, which is the list containing Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, Mother Teresa, Subhash Chandra Bose, Salim Ali and Kiran Bedi, Dhirubhai Ambani among others.

Is this list justified? Hmmmm Kiran Bedi might suit in for her courage of taking an un-dwelled path. Dhiru bhai Ambani, for building an empire out of nothing. And Salim Ali for scripting a different dictionary for biological sciences. But Sonia Gandhi….?!!

May be for powerfully handling the country from behind the screens? Or does she have any hands in this rating?? Oh! Man…after all she has a Prime Minister and a Pressident those who obey her with utmost respect. Why not a journalist, who just publishes a rating?!

And one question… Do we need such surveys or ratings that seem to be biased and un-real?

Here goes my list (10 great Indians) of Power of One.
  1. Mahatma Gandhi
  2. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel
  3. B R Ambedkar
  4. M S Subbalakshmi
  5. Vikram Sarabhai / Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam
  6. Lal Bahadur Shasthri
  7. J R D Tata
  8. R K Narayan
  9. Mother Teresa
  10. Rakesh Sharma / Kalpana Chavla

Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and A B Vajapayee might make it in, but not in top 10 though.

Update : This list contains only those Indians who lived in Independent India.

08 August 2007

Thought for the day - Subhashitam

मनस्यॆकम वचस्यॆकम कर्मण्यॆकम महात्मनः ।
मनस्यॆकम वचस्यॆकम कर्मण्यॆकम दुरात्मनः ।।

ಮನಸ್ಯೇಕಂ ವಚಸ್ಯೇಕಂ ಕರ್ಮಣ್ಯೇಕಂ ಮಹಾತ್ಮನಃ
ಮನಸ್ಯೇಕಂ ವಚಸ್ಯೇಕಂ ಕರ್ಮಣ್ಯೇಕಂ ದುರಾತ್ಮನಃ

ಭಾವಾರ್ಥ : ಮಹಾತ್ಮರಿಗೆ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲೂ ಒಂದೇ, ಮಾತಿನಲ್ಲೂ ಒಂದೇ, ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲೂ ಒಂದೇ ರೀತಿ.
ದುಷ್ಟರಿಗೆ ಮನಸ್ಸಿನಲ್ಲೊಂದು, ಮಾತಿನಲ್ಲೊಂದು, ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲೊಂದು ರೀತಿ.

Manasyekam Vachasyekam Karmanyekam Mahaatmanah
Manasyekam Vachasyekam Karmanyekam Duraatmanah

Meaning : Noble ones are those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect harmony.Wicked are those whose thoughts, words and deeds are in perfect disharmony!!

01 August 2007

On a warring path!!

Last weekend, Pradeep, Raghavendra, Raghu, Vikram, Prashanth and myself planned for a monsoon trek to Kumara Parvatha in the heartland of amazing evergreen forests in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. As the word have gone, Vikram caught fever on the day of journey and dropped out to see that we are not troubled(!). He had developed chickenpox, we came to know this upon our return. He asked me how the journey was and trek in rains. I replied him thru an email which I am pasting further.

Experience :

Road to Pushpagiri

Yes, It was a fantastic experience, to trek in rains..amidst water and leeches.

The forest guard who was at the entrance didn’t allow us to enter the forest. After sufficient pleading, and assuring him that we would not venture further to Kukke Subramanya, he agreed. He charged Rs. 100/- each without giving us any receipt. However, we ventured with our luggage, tents and other stuffs.

Our initial plan was to trek from Somavarpet side(Bidahalli) -> camp at the peak -> trek further to Kukke to end the trek.

Lichen infected ground

But it was not to be, since the forest guard didn’t permit us to do so. So, we had change of plans, to trek till and camp at the peak and return back to Bidahalli. Since all we wanted was a monsoon trek, we went ahead in search of the peak.

If you have done KP(Kumara Parvatha) earlier, you'd know that there are two places in the jungle where water flows across the road and you have no other means to cross it, but to walk on it. In monsoon, these places would be usually flooded. Flow was tremendous, so, we had to be careful in crossing the stream. And once you cross, you are sure to encounter numrous such places where water would be rushing its way dissecting your way. This was exactly the scene we encountered.

The mistic appearance
This apart, it was raining heavily, we had good amount of food and other items with us, along with tent, which was heavy as well. So, cut down in pace, we thought; but least we knew that we had to run for our lives, to escape the leeches. oh! leeches!! I have never come across such a huge stock of them, it was as if they had waged a war against us... rains from above, heavy luggage on our back and leeches from the ground...all were against us.

An encounter with rain

To note, we had already de-paced hearing to the villagers that no amount of assurance would enable the guard to permit us in. Thus, we were running against time as well. We trekked for about three hours to reach the first viewpoint. It was a viewpoint, from where we could see nothing. owing to the clouds that covered the whole region. There was absolutely no distinction between the valley, hill, drop or anything else. Everything was misty, un-real and un-clear.

Tommy, a local dog that trekked all the way, just to accompany us!

It was 5:30 PM already and it was getting late as well. Venturing further, we searched for a sufficiently feasible place for the stay. We found none...the whole place was already occupied by the leeches. Villagers had warned us that the place b/n the view point and the peak was a haunt of elephants. Getting wary of this fact, we decided to head back for a village stay thru the night.

We ran down from here, but it was only by 9PM we could find a village suitable for our stay. We stayed at a hospitable villager's house that night. Village was named Heggadamane. Next morning we started trekking back to the bus stop at BidahaLLi 3KMs down the valley.

A beautiful view from the house of our stay

We missed the bus, but fortunately there was a chap with a jeep that could be hired in that village. We enquired and he agreed. On the way, he took us to a breath-taking waterfall called the Mallalli falls. Spending an hour there, we got back to Somavarapet in time to take the 1PM Rajahamsa. We were back in the city by 8PM.

We couldn’t conquer the peak, but had we some 2 more hours, we could well have done that as well. But I must admit, at the end we were happy to have daringly faced the leeches and their distructive war practices.

A dreamy view in the morning

Pradeep, Raghu and Raghavendra on a privileged walk

Next time, I am sure we can find our blood stains in the hills there, flowing inside some leechs' body!!

What an experience!!
Srik.

P.S. If you are planning for this route in monsoon, keep the luggage to a bare minimum, and do not miss the 7.20AM bus at Somavarapet. If you miss this, then, you might end up caught between the rain, leech and the setting sun in the heart of the jungle, exactly what happened to us!!

I told Vikram that he missed a great oppotunity of spreading the chickenpox among the leeches!!

Leech bitten Srik

A war over the leeches, rain Gods and the dipping Sun....we won?? They won?? I cant say.

Update: Many are asking me for the means to reach this place. Please read this link, my post on Mallalli falls to know about the road to take, the distance, and bus facilities...etc.

31 July 2007

muMgaru maLeye yEnu ninna hanigaLa leele!!

Some one has written the following song. This is hilarious, at the same time soooo apt to Indian cities. Just read and enjoy!

No credits since I dont know the author or owner of this poem.



27 July 2007

23 July 2007

Mallalli Abby - Mallalli falls

Nature keeps us occupied always. We are as small as we can count on, in front of the mighty nature. An unheard off corner in the world throws you out of gear, when you are in there.

Would you think of a visit to some waterfall after a day’s hard trek amidst rains and leeches, not possible or tiresome??

Just rethink.

Well.. now see the video….

Mallalli Abby.



That’s why I say, a visit to a water fall freshens you, makes you forget all the past, and fragrances you with a freshness that will last for ages.

I LOVE WATERFALLs…!!
We all came out fresh and energetic, from here.

Now see this video to learn more about the falls……. A local man explains the fall’s stories…..

Mallalli Abby.



If you can not understand Kannada, here is what he says :
Kumaradhara river rushes down from a 175ft boulder forming this wonderful waterfall. Monsoon is the best time to savour its might. River flows down to Mangalore from here, thru Subrahmanya Kukke.

He adds, visitors are not provided with any facilities here, and the authorities must work in this direction.

How to reach there.

There are two buses to this falls from Somavarapet. First bus leaves Somavarapet at 7.20AM and reaches here at about 8:30AM. The second bus starts from Somavarapet at 2PM and reaches here at 3:30PM. There is no other transport facility. You can try with some local jeep fellows. Friendly them, will offer you a drop, by taking a handsome amount of cash.

Direct bus from Bangalore to Somavarapet that runs every night is the means to reach there without having to undergo any hardship.

After you get down from the bus at Hanchinalli, it takes a walk of around 2.5Kms to reach the falls. This it to reach the view point. If you want to venture to the river, it is again an hour and a half’s trek down the valley. It is highly adviced not to trek during the raining season, for the road is slippery and leeches….My God!!

You can come back to Hanchinalli, to catch the 4 o’ clock bus to Somavarapet. Have some food again and take the night service bus to Bengalooru.

If you are traveling by a private vehicle, then here is the route map.

Bangalore -> Nelamangala -> Kunigal ->Chennarayapattana -> Holenarasipura -> Arakalagud -> Krishnapura -> Shanivarasanthe -> Somavarapete. (240KMs)

Somavarapete -> Shanthalli -> Kannakatte -> Hanchinalli -> Mallalli(22KMs)

Other famous places in the vicinity : Kukke Subrahmanya(50KMs), Dharmasthala(further from Kukke), Pushpagiri(More popularly Kumara Parvatha- 7KMs trek only), Madikeri(60Kms) and Kushalanagara(50KMs).

To end with, here is a snap shot of this stunning waterfall :

18 July 2007

Beware!!

I have taken a cue from Bachodi in subscribing to weird ratings and surveys.

Well... My blog is rated as follows, in a latest survey :


Online Dating
And you people, get your parents and go thru further ;)

I was stuck

In...........

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A traffic Jam



13 July 2007

Madikeri diary

Jinx could not be undone!

Yes, I was unable to bring to you any new write-ups, be it “The English Teacher” or any other story. It has been quiet long since I could manage to pen down some thoughts. But this idea stuck me when I went thru an old diary that I wrote long back, in 2001, when I was a student.

The diary made me go back to a distinct land of Kodavas, colourful crescent of the oranges, the homeland of Kaveri. Madikeri is a pleasant place that relishes one with its soft bizarre memorabilia. I present you back the diary content as it is. Jinx is still undone, and I could only manage to type in what I had penned on that far back in time.

Here goes it, the story. Read and enzzzzzzoy.

Also, Pictures posted here are from the recent trips to the same place, doesn’t much tell you the original story. Please adjust madkoLi.

Oct 8 2001

11:30 PM
Talakaveri is a sacred place, a place worth of its name. No wonder it is here that female is born, who gives life to crores of people all over the south further. My respects towards her grew two folds as I felt the sacredness at her birth and birth place.

We trekked Brahmabetta, a sacred hill where, it is said that here Saptharishis had performed meditation. This is standing amidst the lush green hills and wonderfully mangled mountains. As I enjoyed the cool breeze on top of this hill, a feeling of “Gods must be roaming here” erupted in me. I was touched by the calmness of the place.

Kaveri is a special daughter of Karnataka of whom the whole state is proud of, and this place tells you why she’s so precious!!

Atop the hill, which is around 6500ft above the ground level, we were having the time of our lives. We were being kissed by the clouds then. Few cows were also there, mazing, making the place look more sacred. I saw them as Dev-dooths(Prophets) at that moment.

I ascended an antenna which was standing alone atop the hills.

Then suddenly started, the downpour. We were there, only two, on top the hills, clouds covered the whole place. It was soon getting to be dark. We could not see any thing, There was no shelter also. We started walking downwards. It was difficult for me to see the way, ‘coz clouds were there everywhere. We couldn’t distinguish the cliff, the mountain, the valley, the path. Somehow we managed to reach the steps from where we could take a guess on the next one to descend the mountain. Came down, had darshan of Mother Kaveri yet again and came out.

Hats off to you Talakaveri. Your holiness is untouched. God must be so intelligent to have kept you there, in the midst of worldly beauty and above that, putting on your head, the crown of un-worldly holiness.

1:30 PM
And we waited for bus in the rains.

4:15 PM
We reached Madikeri and instantly decided to trek to Abby falls down the road. It was a wonderful decision, according to us, but the people there thought us to be fools. We damned them and left for a wild experience of our lives.

We were un-aware of the route to be taken to reach the falls. And started walking towards Kushalanagar, where, after a few kilo meters, we remembered seeing a board directing towards Abby falls. This would be around 12 KMs to Abby, where Kaveri runs amock in search of the sea. Ask whoever, he said, “Are you mad to be walking till Abby?” “Why are you going to Abby now?”…..

One uncle dropped us till some point by his jeep, making short our journey by 2Kms, I suppose. He too asked us not to take risk at that time, “OK”, we told him. But since we had already made our minds to venture further, we went onn.

On both the sides of our walk, we were amazed to see varieties of trees, ever green forest, heard deadly voices from within…and there was coffee estate all over.

At one point of time, from an estate, there came out a gang of dogs barking on us. I couldn’t count how many were there, there must be at least six of them. We some how managed to escape from them, with the help of a stick from forest I was holding in my hands. This is just an example of the frightful atmosphere we were exposed to that evening. There might be snakes and other deadly insects, we found none, fortunately.

Then suddenly there came the dead end of the road, where many vehicles were standing. It was dusk already. Checked the signs over there, and found that it was the place that we were searching all along. We felt sad for having made it at a time when one was supposed to get out of. For having made it till there, and going back to Madikeri without witnessing it would be disappointing, we felt and rushed down towards the water fall. Every one, waling up, asked us whether we were searching for some one. We replied that we were there to see and enjoy the place. Waited for no response from them and madly rushed towards the fall.

We were amazed at the beauty of it. It was 6:30, my watch showed me. I was hysteric at the site of this nature’s beauty spot. Water was flowing, rather, rushing down like a mad drunkard, in no particular direction. A green pitch was standing there on the rock, segregating the flow into two parts, left one wider than the right portion.

We played in the water for about 20-25 mins, I was saddened by the fact that I was unable to bathe in the flowing river water, for it was already dark and it would be risky to stay and play in water at that hour of the day. But the joy of trekking all the way, for such a long distance, in the twilight, made for it. Sadly, the snaps taken here couldn’t come neat as it was as dark as it could be. We walked back to Madikeri, taking the smallest route of over 5Kms this time. Both of us were tired with our 15 KMs trek in this Kodava land.

Thus ended one memorable day.

P.S. Here, We = me + my friend Bapi. Only two of us!!

03 July 2007

Sharavathi......and mother of all waterfalls in India!!


Clipped from Mungaru maLe?? Noooooooooooo. I went there to capture it live, Jog falls, last summer.

Now since it is raining, I think Jog is back to its majestic normal. Wish I go there to witness it in monsoooooooooooooooon!!

Update : Some videos of the same are uploaded in youtube. You can view them @
4. Jog falls from the top, disturbance when a stone is thrown from the top.

29 June 2007

Hundred

When on Ninety-nine, one doesn’t feel all that good. I know, and have that experience. For that 'One' run makes all that difference. Hundred is a relief, and a great feeling.

Frustrating Ninety-nine usually fools people off. Some batsmen get out meekly at this score. Some old people die at Ninety-nine.

For people who cross 100, they care little for further things, either hit or get hurt. The world starts from one for them, then.

And from today, I will be in that league too. I will start afresh, with a feeling of getting past a milestone, with loads of experience and good amount of learning.

Nope...I'm not turning 100 yet, but the backbencher's page is getting to be 100 posts older now...

Well.. I complete a HUNDRED with a beautiful poem written by my friend. A poem that speaks out my heart felt feeling, that is straight from heart for that special person..for that special ingenuity!!

This poem was published in a Hindi magazine some time ago. I am glad that this is making its presence on backbencher's page also!

Rakesh... Thanks buddy!
- Srik.

" मै क्यो लिखू ? "

क्या __
जरूरी है, लिखना तुम्है समझाने को
इतने नादान भी नही तुम कि
बुझ ना सको मेरे पैमाने को ।

क्या __
माँ ममत्व लिखकर दर्शाती है,
नही _ वो तो कलापों से ममत्व झलकाती है ।

क्या __
भंवरा लिखता है अपने अफसाने को,
नही _ वो तो केवल गुनगुनाता है प्रॆम दर्शाने को।

क्या __
पतंगा लिखता है अपना प्रॆम किसी परवाने को,
नही _ वो तो सहर्ष जल जाता है अपना प्रॆम दर्शाने को।

तो मै क्यो
लिखूँ तुम्हें बतलाने को
तुम भी तो इतने नादान नही कि
बुझ ना सको मेरे पैमाने को ।

28 June 2007

Godavari

I never thought I would some day write about a Telugu movie. But here I am..since I liked it a lot!!

The movie is aptly titled ‘Godavari’.

A melodrama that slowly unravels before you with a fascinating back drop.

It is a usual love story, threaded with emotions, effervescent comedy, a hero with a purpose, modern day lady, a cynical depiction of politicians, a criminal amidst good people, and many more masala…

But this also has a fathoming beauty about it that wins one’s heart. Yes, I mean this is a movie for one’s heart, not to the mind. You will feel satisfied and happy at the end of it all.

Plot of Godavari is..

An MS from USA, wants to get on to social service in India. He treis at some political parties. As predictable, a politician resume needs more things, than just interest, and the parties ignore him. But he is hopeful of a turnaround, and continues with his local servicing acts. He is our hero here.

He has a friend in his uncle’s daughter Raji. Her marriage is now fixed with some Ravindra, an IPS officer. Our hero, Raam wants to marry Raji, and Raji has not arrived at a decission in this regard. She is such a character that she cant decide any thing on her own. She always has a dual mind over anything.

In a parallel depiction, a modern day adventurous lady is growing in an other part of the city. She wants to be a self-sufficient lady, doesn’t want to settle down easily in life. She is of that flair that she would like to see her as a mature woman, unlike the work-draw salary-make home kind of.

Out of her parent’s pressure, she zeros in on a guy, who has only one request to get the marriage done in Bhadrachalam. But the guy rejects her. She however wants to take a Bhadrachalam trip, over Godavari river on a boat.

Co-incidence here is the family of Raji with Raam and others are also on the move in the same boat towards Bhadrachalam for her marriage. And the real fun starts here.

Daily lives of the locals in and around the boat has gotten realistic presence in it. Their attitudes has been shown with their local language. Direction and screen play gets gripping from this point.
Raam is broken heart as his sweetheart is getting married to a different person. At this juncture, Seethamalakshmi, the heroin gives him good company. Both of them get closer as the journey progresses… Seetha gets attracted towards the mannerisms and attitude of Raam, that matches brilliantly with hers own. As and when she would go forward in expressing her feelings, a twist occurs and that breaks her heart.
Twist is..Rajy approaches Raam and declares that she wanted to marry him, to his surprise. And appearantly he seems to have agreed to this proposal, as he always wanted to marry her. He leaves the boat at a place and asks Rajy to wait for him in the next stop, where they could get married. With some strange turn of events, Seetha gets involved in this affair. She has a feeling that Raji is not suitable for her hero, by any means!

However, they all wait at the next stop, Raam never turns up. But the boat arrives with worried parents and people about the safety of the missing bride. Rajy at this moment, changes her mind and asks Seetha to forget what happened. Seetha, though happy that Raam and Rajy are not coming together, develops a sad feeling that Raam has betrayed her by accepting to marry Rajy and not turning up there.

They all reach Bhadrachalam, and Seetha returns to Hyderabad in a bus this time, gives no chance for Raam to explain the matters.

However, Raam finds a dairy of Seetha in the boat, gets to her house on return to Hyd, and declares to her all that he had to… and they unite at the end, as a victory of true love.

Though simple is the plot, the melodramatic narration and a different romantic feel will take you to a fantacy world. The slow paced narration makes you feel as if we are traveling along the boat…
An attractive movie. If you can get your hands on it, try to watch and get asorbed in a different romantic world of Godavari.