26 May 2008

WHO WON?

Karnataka has voted for a stable Govt. this time. It has voted against the family politics, it has voted against opportunistic politics, it has voted against the babudoms, it has voted against the Long time no see kind of politics, it has voted against “You say what you say, I do what I do” kind of politics, Karnataka has voted against any logical caste equations, Karnataka has broken the barriers of regional politics. It has dismantled the taken for granted peoples’ hopes, aspirations and has left them in a vehemence of heart broken condition.

Bangarappa and his two sons losing the elections outright in ‘their own’ backyard is a straight rejection of family and babuism politics by the so called leaders. Bangarappa losing in his own backyard means that one can not ‘rule’ the land, but just has to serve the people.

Devegowda and his party have been beaten up cats and dogs this time. People had vested on them a responsible key to the governance last time, and they had chosen to mishandle it for their greed and purposes. The election results this time is a direct slap on the face of Devegowda and his kind of politics. All Muslim JDS candidates losing means that it is not enough to speak about the upliftment, people need results.

Congress spoke against BJP and its ‘communal’ colours, when it self couldn’t get over the terror attacks and the growth of terror camps in Karnataka.

BJP, on the other hand, got over the hangover of all their traditional issues, like the communal clashes along the coast of Karnataka, Datta peeta in Chikkamagaloor, and spoke only about a stable government. Congress leaders were upset about party not giving tickets to their ‘heirs’. This showed a great deal of a team broken by personal interests. So, the voter had no option but to choose the ‘communal’ party.

So, did BJP Win at all? No!

They just got sufficient numbers to form the Govt., and people have allowed them to form Govt., without the support any cheaters this time. This is a test time for them; they are here to be tested. If their leaders were charismatic, if their manifesto was great, people would've supported them with more numbers. That has not happened, Karnataka has not voted for BJP's politics too!! It has just voted for a change, a change that was in the making and took 10 years to come!

Dharam Singh failed as a chief minister; so did Krishna before him, and Kharge didn’t pose to be a great leader either. Siddaramaiah's talk-only thoughts were a failure as well. Ambharish wanted to be a leader based on his charismatic movie presence, without doing anything for the people who supported him, he didn’t even bother to spearhead the Kaveri protest against Tamilnadu snatching Karnataka farmers’ share of water. He was out rightly and rightly rejected. Congress asked votes with these failed faces, and that made the voter to be frustrated of their kind of politics, and voting for a change.

So, the big question is….WHO WON? It’s the people!

Yes, it’s the democracy that won; the voter has cleverly chosen his stable Govt., but keeping the key to the governance in his own hands! What a wonderful mandate.

Three cheers to the Karnataka voter, intelligent, brilliant, conditional, presidential and democratic!

Update: This blog was featured on CNN-IBN, mfirst writeup to be published at the National level! Click here to read the same.

Historical, Mythological, Magical Kolar

Taking a cue from Rahul Gandhi’s discover India, I did a Discover Kolar trip last Saturday. It was a homecoming for me, as well as discovering my neighbourhood with a different out look. I was there in search of the real Kolar, the historical Kolar, the mythological Kolar.

Places I visited on my last week’s ride to my homeland.
1. Antharagange beTTa - An ancient Shiva temple is built around Antharagange (water that flows from mountain under heavy rocks, it is visible in only two places in the hill). The hill range is known as shataShrunga parvatha shrENi, since there are 100 peaks of this hill range. To reach Antharagange temple and water body, we need to hike up about 150 steps, and If we trek up the hill, further from the temple, we will get to 7 villages, ancient and beautiful.

We hiked to find about three villages, one of which was tEru haLLi, where an ancient temple, of Gangadhareshwara was an amazing site; I was not expecting all these, since I never had a chance before to go up the hill, after Antharagange. The temple, in ruins today, was a surprise and prize find for me, for the reasons that I dint know there existed a history for this hilly area. Another surprise that was in store for me, was a summer camp for small children in drama and light art, like painting, singing, folk dances etc.. The camp was named 'chukki mELa', to find such an activity, that too in kOlAr...an unexplainable joyful experience!

We trekked down the hill, on a road that has been constructed over the hill, for easier transport purposes of villagers, about 4 years ago, and reached Antharagange foothills, where the bike was parked. I completed my LIC work which was the sole purpose of my planning this trip. The office work was over in just about a 30 mins time, and the sun was as sharp as always in a rocky mountain area, but the grace was the humidity was at its low best.

We had lunch and had some time left to port our next part of the itinerary.

2. We moved to the foot of another mysterious hill called AvaNi beTTa. A very little known, yet, highly spiritual mountain stands hiding a million stories from the past. Unfortunately, no historian has documented the place, nor the archeological department has done any research on here... But a very nice place to research about is this.

It is said that the great daNDakAraNya, from where sage vAlmiki wrote rAmAyaNa in trEtAyuga, that avanthikaa puri is this. Avanthika also finds a mention in the seven moksha daayaka places, in Hindu puranas.
To quote the shloka,
'AyOdhyaa mathuraa maaya kaashi kaanchi avanthika
purii dwaaravathi cha eva sapthaite mOkshadaayakah'!
Such an important place pauranically, and it really sounds as mysterious as it has been projected by locals. The hill contains all the places that are explained in uttara raamayana. where Lakshmana drops off seethe, a pregnant woman, there is dhanushkOti, a small pond on rocks, that resembles an arrow in structure; and it is said that Lakshmana created this pond, by pushing an arrow on the rock when seethe asked for water.

There is a small cave, where it is said that seethe gave birth to lava and kusha, after finding out that it was an ashram, inhabited by none other than the Brahmarshi, Vaalmiki. The cave, which has a very small entrance, is as mysterious and real as the story is. Newly married ladies get a handful of mud from this cave, which is considered as sacred, and drink with milk every morning for a week, and get healthy babies, as the locals describe!

There is another place, which is called kudure kallu, where it is said that lava-kusha trapped the horse of Sree Rama, stopping the unprecedented march of the royal horse for the great ashwamedha yaaga of Sree Rama. This act of the children calls for a war between the brothers and the royal army of ayodhya. In this great war of uttara ramayana, the royal army is defeated and that calls for the emperor Sree Rama himself to get into the war with children, when Hauman finds out who the children were, by spotting Seethe on the hills, he gets her to the war zone, where she sees her husband in war with her children, she cries with joy over the heroics of her children, with milk in one eye, and cries with blood, since the children were fighting her husband, with blood in another eye, all the spectacles are there for one to watch!!

The hill top temple of Seetha Parvathi is said to be the place where Seetha was gobbled by Mother Earth, by proving her purity once again, after the great Earth quake at the end of the Uttar Ramayana.

Though Ramayana finds the major connection with this hill, highlight of the hill is not mythological, but a huge rock, called horaLu baMDe, (Rock to whirl down), a huge rock that sits on another boulder, on top of the hill, leaving a small cleavage, that seems pretty small, but where one can whirl down to the other end of the rock! Its kiddish, but derives to a great joy, when one does that. At the first glance one finds it to be not possible, for him to roll down in that small cleaves, but as he ventures in, it seems easy. And people here attribute the successful passage to the good things one has done in past incarnations!! Whatsoever, a great refreshment, to end the hike with!

The village has an age-old temple, that is built next to a kalyaani, a huge temple, that of RamaLingeshwara swamy. There are so many lingas in the temple complex, and around that, as villagers put, it adds to make a number of lingas to 101. Each member of the royal army, established and worshipped a shiv linga each, for the sin they had committed by fighting the war. Ramalingeshwara is a linga that incorporates Rama (Vishnu) and Shiva in one, Seetha Parvathi on the hill is a deity that incorporates Seetha and Parvathi in one.

A very peculiar pattern and a strange mystery behind all the stories that is told in the place. Avanthika puri became Aahavaniya, place were aahavaniya yaaga was performed by a sage in later era, and aahavaniya became Aavani, as that is today.

Though there is no documented history of this place, the people have managed to maintain these mythological stories as historical ones, and one can not deny their faith of the place, That’s the real India for you!

3. Kurudumale temple, an extraordinary Ganesha temple, about which I have talked time and again, also was put on the itinerary at the last moment that made our journey back to Bangalore inevitably a night ride.

We reached back Bengalooru at 9:00 PM, leaving Kolar at 7:30 PM. It was an endearing journey, but an exhausting one. I made some startling and exciting discoveries of my homeland, Kolar, in this great journey. Exhausting because of the ride and hike of two hills, in search of our ancient pride!

NOTE : Please do come back tomorrow for the snaps from this trip!

19 May 2008

The great IPL

An Auction….. 1….2…..3….. Kolkata goes to Sharukh.

Now… Bangalore…. 1….2…..3….. Mallya gets it!

Mohali….Priety bags it….


Nope…it has nothing to do with the city, but the Cricket team representing the city.

More to be noted is… the local boys are very minimal in the team that is filled with ‘outsiders’…

Many more things to note … The players are auctioned as well… And each team gets to call their top bid for their players… One gets 6 Crores… One gets 5 Crores (You read it right, Crore Rupees)…and so on.

Ponting complains that he was opted for a lesser money! And Dhoni says he is just about satisfied with his bid amount! What’s happening here is …. Whole world goes crazy in cheering these auctioned ‘local’ lads, and they name it all as CRICKET. J

Cricket that was called a Gentleman’s game, once, has now become a businessman’s paradise to invest. People like Mallya, Ambani, and the league who held a lot of money and doesn’t know where to invest have all found a nice way of spending their fortune, and the foolish people like me, you and them return them in multiples of about what they spend!!

It is an absolute CRAZY item as that sounds. We have an illegible record of iconisation and worshipping the stars in all known means, and this crazy cricket is all adding on to what is already an absolute crack of the game that was.

This barbeques for cricket is named IPL, the Indian Premier League!

All said and done, I am a no saint for not getting hooked to this killer game…. Now since the Royal Challengers are gone in the buckets, I’ve shifted my loyalty to Delhi daredevils, the Sehwag’s team and Mumbai Indians, Sachin’s team.
Log in IPL, Good Bye Cricket!!

15 May 2008

Sunfeast World 10K in Bangalore - RUN FOR PfA

Dear Friend,
RUN ON THE WILD SIDE at the Sunfeast World 10K in Bangalore on the 18th of May 2008.

Organized by PROCAM, this marathon promises to bring Bangalore together as one and gives you an opportunity to join hundreds of others and show you truly care.

Pfa Bangalore, committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of urban wild life, and through its wild life shelter at Kengeri, has given more than seven thousand avians, mammals, and reptiles a new lease on life. Be the voice of the voiceless through your participation and commitment.

PFA is an officially listed NGO in the marathon. You can choose to run as an Individual or in a corporate team. There is also a special category for teams from the IT and ITES sectorRegister Online at www.sunfeastworld10k.indiatimes.comForms are also available at various points in the city like Standard Chartered Branches, Manipal Cure and Care outlets, Nike Outlets, Sree kanteerava Stadium, Radio Mirchi, The Windsor Bangalore.

Please remember to select PfA(People for Animals) in the registration form as the NGO you support.

If you need more information please feel free to contact Ranjan at 98452-09623 or email me at ranjanchacko@rediffmail.com or the event helpline 080-23161416

And please do pass this mail to your friends Be a champion and run on the Wild Side!
Regards,
Ranjan and all of us at Pfa.