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Lights Camera Action!

Celebrations and ceremonies are an integral part of our lives that form the dynamics of socializing, shaping minds and memories that we take home and cherish.

With the advent of science and technology and of course the social media, today, memories are no more, that merely something to be carried in our hearts or treasured in our secret troves but something to be worn on our sleeves and flaunted on our social media walls! Not that we at any point of time would be very comfortable putting up our personal pictures on concrete compound walls but somehow our perception of a memory or a memorable event has certainly evolved over times.

Capturing candid moments of our life in a camera have certainly charmed us by making memories more memorable. It has converted every small occasion into a grandiose affair but perhaps the evolution of the ways of capturing a memory has definitely altered the perspective of living the moment itself and has in many ways diminished the very idea of a ritual or celebration today, as it has become more about coverage by the cameraman than the connection with the moment!

From the black and white wedding pictures or gothic frames of graduation galleries hung like winning trophies in yester years, that were captured in weaponry like traditional roll cameras, where the camera man literally struck his head beneath a black sheet of cloth, we have come a long way in today’s digital world. It is just that today, the cameraman sticks his butt out on all auspicious occasions for all stage performances that too right in the center of the stage like a constant creative backdrop raging and kindling everyone’s imaginative fervors high as they struggle to get a sneak peek of what really is going on the stage!

People have always endured with enthusiasm and believed in reliving those assurances of cherished clicks of print and digital memories that one may mostly never look up a second time! Nevertheless a few shots or even some extra indulgence doesn’t really hurt but I cannot fathom the idea of buttcentering in this age of drone cameras and candid photography! And I can only hope there will be some buttless cameramen just like wireless, cordless or perhaps a Buttfree recording just like hands free gadgets!

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Anything but no center stage butt ery blocking please!

I very enthusiastically attended an annual day fest recently, in spite of the elaborate stage arrangements, I was struggling to get a glimpse of the performers all along as the performers were mostly drowned and camouflaged in colors by the glaring LED screens and covered behind the omnipresent cameraman whose debatable butt catapulted many thoughts in me finally prompting a post on the futility of his butt and our bizarre obsession for the same from decades together!

But it is time, that truth be told!

photographer1People have silently borne the brutality of these butts for far too long ever since the onset of video cameras and camcorders.  People have been forced to witness more pairs of butts than the actual married pair sipping Coca Cola from the same bottle.

These obnoxious camera butts have been the melting pot of makeup where people have often paid with their sweat and synthetic smiles and have even postured like plastic bunnies as per his schizophrenic whims and fancies.

Perhaps the silhouette of these opaque butts are the very inspiration that keeps  overly dressed and decked up people motivated enough in marriage halls to stand endlessly and pointlessly in long queues to pass the parcel(gift) that they received in their previously punished posturing affairs!

Even those long rails and tails of shouldered camera equipment do not help much as they are again assembled on top of a towering grid where the indispensable butts block the audience view yet again!

The last time I saw some meaningful gathering was at a cousin’s wedding reception where she personally greeted every guest and mingled freely with the crowds, the couple strolled away from the dais, taking blessings from the aged and elderly who sat gleefully in their respective places enjoying their soups as the candid photographers clicked without interrupting those real moments she could cherish for a life. That was the best wedding I witnessed where she had taken the wedding oaths at home in a traditional way with just the close circles that mattered most and with just those members who were interested in the rituals and threw a five star party for the rest of us.

I do not know if I am growing old or is it increasingly becoming an obnoxiously synthetic society with each passing day where social events, celebrations or ceremonies are fast losing its intended aspects of living and celebrating the moment but then as the cameraman walks in gloriously like a gladiator with all his celebrated paraphernalia, we cannot help but adjust our sarees and hairstyles, waiting for him to proclaim his takes and retakes with some Lights, Camera and Lots of Fake Action!

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Pattadakal and Aihole

We started from Badami to Mahakuta, a group of Shiva temples which is 12kms from Badami.

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Mahakuta is sacred place for Veerashaivas(Lingayats), it is an ancient temple which has Shiva Linga in the Pushkarani itself. We spent some 20minutes here and continued to Pattadakal.

Mahakuta to Pattadakal is a short ride of 10kms.

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Pattadakal means place where the kings were coroneted, it is a UNESCO world heritage site with a group of 10temples. The masterpiece architecture is built expansively with exemplary forms of Dravidian and Nagara styles and was a flourishing and important town of the Chalukyan times during 500-750AD. Though much of the previous glamor as quoted by locals is lost to vandalism and nature, what remains is simply awe inspiring.

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Pattadakal in ancient times was known as “”Pattada Kisuvolal” or “Rakthapura”which means valley of red soil.

The Western Chalukya dynasty founded by Pulakeshi I in the 6th century was a powerful dynasty that ruled for nearly 2 centuries where there was all round development. Those were peaceful and prosperous times that people excelled in the fields of art, architecture, literature, administration, socio-religious and economics.

img_5053There are no decent hotels in the vicinity and the only source of food was from the street vendors who sold North Karnataka variety of Jolada Roti and Curry.

We were forced to live on tender coconuts and soft drinks.

If you are planning to visit Mahakuta,

Pattadakal and Aihole in one go, it is strongly

advisable that you carry your own food(get it

packed from your Badami hotel) as there is

literally nothing here in Pattadakal and Aihole.

Next in the list was Aihole, the much awaited place for me, Pattadakal to Aihole is some 25kms which is a one hour drive on the dusty lanes by the Jowar fields.

Previously these fields were considered for construction purposes but the ASI has intervened and stopped any construction near the proximity of the ancient monuments.

jowar-and-onion-on-roads onionsBleating flocks of sheep, open scape of fields as far as your eyes could see welcomed us on the dusty lanes with Jowar and onions harvests spread out by the roadsides to dry in the scorching sun.

Aihole is an ancient rustic town on the banks of the Malaprabha River in the dusty abode of Bagalkot district.

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Aihole is derived originally from the term “Ayyavole” or “Ayyagala Hole”, Ayya means learned one and Hole means stream, so Ayyahole literally means a place of Brahmins. In fact the word ‘Ayyavole” is a corrupted version of the Sanskrit word “Aryapura”, Arya means Pundit and Pura means a place or town.

There is a legendary story behind the origin of the name Aihole, the story goes like this….

Aryapura was ruled by a mighty king named Kartaviryarjun, once on his expedition to the forest, Sage Jamadagni invited the king for extending his hospitality as it was customary in those days to for hermits in the jungles to host and serve the king when he passed by the forests, the king was very pleased and equally surprised at the swift service extended, upon enquiring the sage revealed that it was due to the divine powers of the God sent cow “Kaamadhenu”. The king demanded that the divine cow be handed over to him but the sage refused, Kartaviryarjun in his fury killed Jamadagni. Parashurama who was the son of Jamadagni was furious on hearing this and set out to avenge his father’s death, also those were the days when the tyranny of the Kshtriyas on the sages had become rampant hence Parashurama decided to cleanse the world by destroying the whole of Kshatriya race. After the killings, he came to Malaprabha river to clean his bloodstained axe upon which the entire river had turned red and he exclaimed _ Ayyi Holi”.

Another angle is “Ai or Aiyoo is an exclamation and Holi in Kannada means stream/river”, thus the town got its name.img_5085

Aihole was the cradle of temple architecture during the prosperous rule of the Chalukyas between the 4th and 8th century. It was an important educational and religious capital that housed many scholars and saints. Varaha(Boar avatar) was the emblem of the Chalukyas, which bears similarity to the Vijayanagara emblem.

The Chalukyan empire extended across today’s Karnataka, AndraPradesh and Maharastra and Karnataka was called as Kuntala Desha as it was a flourishing trade center, the inscriptions in Aihole bear testimony to it.

Aihole is a town full of temples however the main attraction is the Durga temple complex that houses several little architectural wonders. Although the sanctum deities are mostly Shiva Lingas, some mutilated, some missing, the inside of the temple porches/entrances have a sculpture of Garuda with folded hands which is a symbolic trait of Vishnu temples, meaning that these were originally Vishnu temples. No deities are there and the ones remaining are disturbingly destroyed.

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The Indian Parliament design was inspired from this ancient architectural marvel of the Durga temple.

The apsidal shaped monument is clearly one of the finest structures of the 7th century. The pillars have carved figurines of Mahishasuramardhini, Varaha, Vishnu, Shiva and Ardhnarishwara sculptures, some figures are plucked out from the pillar and even the dilapidated sign boards and information boards need a facelift.

Some of the other temples surrounding the main monument mostly have low ceilings and they are unfortunately named after shepherds and nomads who occupied the place before the place was taken over by ASI. Not much study seems to be done on these sandstone marvels that lie in a pitiable environment. There is also a ASI museum within the temple complex.

Another interesting stone carving that I came across here is the MAKARA carving or the Makara Torana

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Makara is a strange beast with a crocodile’s face, lion’s feet and a body bigger than an elephant with snakes emerging from its mouth, whatever it indicated I could not get any information about this strange depiction of art form which may even be mythological or symbolic to the spirits and lifestyles in those reigning times.

If you are a first timer then you have to hire a guide lest you don’t understand a thing and might miss out on some important aspects but since this was my second visit we were content pretending to be amateur historians with our own deciphering and interpretations.

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Next we headed to Ravanaphadi, which is a unique and very interesting rock cut cave. It is also a 6th century marvel, with a hall and pillars and a deity chamber inside. It has large sculptures of ten armed Shiva in a dancing pose on one side and Harihara on the other side.

You can get a good view of Aihole Durga temple from here. There are some 28-30 ASI recognized temples around but most of them are in a deplorable condition.

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Even in the immediate vicinity of the main monuments things are not very inspiring,

the irony is that although the cluster is maintained by ASI, the surroundings are shockingly filthy with no food or facilities for tourists, also many squalid shants are lined up dangerously close to the monument. The roads are horrendously dusty and except for couple of main tourist attractions the rest of the hundreds of temples lay in filth with narrow connecting roads where pigs soaked in slushy swamps welcome you and one cannot even think of getting down to enter the temple premises.

After a hectic day we headed back from Aihole to Badami which is 36kms and could not wait to have some delicious food at 5pm.

After which, we visited the Banashankari temple which is 5kms from Badami.

Banashankari temple

Banashankari temple

Located by the side of the

Harishchandra Thirtha the temple

is dedicated to ‘Banashankari’ or

‘the deity of forest’.

Bana or Vana means forest.

 

The goddess is also known as ‘Shaakaambari’ meaning the one who wears a garland of vegetables.

This goddess of nature and vegetation is offered 108 vegetables by the local devotees who regard her as their Kula Devi as she had emerged from the Yagna Kunda and saved

Dried up Harishchandra Thirtha

Dried up Harishchandra Thirtha

them from the demon Durgamaasura.

She was the revered deity of Rastrakutas and Chalukyas. But after the white man came here to explore he engaged in his quest of lies and tirade against intrinsic beliefs and values of Hinduism. Today in the several branches of Banashankari temples, the devotees no more offer vegetables but sacrifice animals as they have no knowledge of the very meaning of Shaaka Ambari. We took blessings from the eight armed Devi seated resplendently on a lion and called it a day.

That was the end of our 4day architectural extravaganza in Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal.

The next morning we were driving back to Bengaluru.

 

 

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Badami Caves and Bhootnath Temples

Nothing is more fascinating than the architectural marvels of Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole. An entire township filled with the glorious stone pillars, pathways, stepwells, Mahals, temples with towering gateways laden with carved intricacies in awe inspiring precision is what makes the arid towns of Hosapete and Bagalkot an enchanting experience where one gets to explore the rich heritage and lifestyles of our glorious kings. Watching the rusty radiance of these sandstone structures on a moderately sunny day is something I can do endlessly.

Our trip to Hampi a few years back was very enriching so this time, we spent time only in Badami and Aihole.

We set off driving on a lazy afternoon from Bengaluru via Tumkur on NH47 road up to Chitradurga and NH50 up to Hospet route to reach Hampi is 375kms and a 7hours long drive without taking breaks.

After a day’s halt at Hampi we resumed our journey to Badami by 5pm in the evening.

Hampi to Badami is 160kms and a drive of 2.45 hours on NH397 _ Bevoor_ Gadag road. While we were still enamored by the seamless visionaries that the Vijayanagar kings were for having chosen to establish their erstwhile capital by putting their natural surroundings to best use amidst enclaves of rocky dunes that served as a natural security barricade while the Tunga River satiated their water needs, but what stood in store on the NH397 was quite the opposite as the highway was laden with not just highway men but also women, defecating in the open! It was as if a whole town was out there congregating in a mass-relieving exercise and that too while chatting away to glory on their mobile phones with little plastic mugs of water beside them. The headlights of the zipping vehicles served as a torch perhaps.

The water scarce, arid zones of northern Karnataka are really appalling and a grim reminder of today’s callous administration!

As we zoomed past pictures of rural reality, we could only pray that our resort booking in Badami had enough waters for our basic rituals because the more we traversed the lesser were our hopes of even getting a decent accommodation, on the dusty uneven roads(ditches) of Bagalkot until we reached what looked like a tar road but with several beauty spots in the form of pot holes.

Fortunately our hotel ‘Heritage Resorts’ in Badami was a nice and clean, decent place with a vegetarian kitchen, cozy comfortable beds and we could not have asked for more.

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Badami in Kannada means almond, due to its almond colored sandstone architectures the city was called Badami. Badami was earlier known as Vatapi owing to the legend of demon Vatapi and sage Agasthya.

“Vatapi and Ilvaku were two demons who hounded sages with their tricks. They would lure the sages into a feasting meal, where Vatapi would take the form of food and be served by Ilvaku to the sages, once the sages had feasted then Ilvaku would call out Vatapi to return. Vatapi would emerge from the sage’s stomach thereby killing them. But when Agasthya rishi was served this tricky lunch, he immediately said “Vatapi Jeerno Bhava” meaning let Vatapi be digested, that was the end of the demons.

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Badami, was the capital of the Chalukya kings who ruled from the 450AD to 757AD, Jayasimha was the founder of the Chalukya dynasty. These rock cut caves were undertaken during King Pulakeshi’s time and completed by King Mangalesha. After the Chalukyas, Badami was ruled by Pallavas, Rastrakutas, Hoysalas followed by the Vijayanagara kings, Adil Shahis, Marathas, Odeyars, Hyder Ali and British. The Pallavas who invaded Chalukyas, took away a statue of Lord Ganapathi (flat stomached idol, the only idol of Ganapathi in his flat tummy) as booty and placed it in Thiruvarur. The 17th century poet Muthusamy Dikshitaar praises this idol in his song ‘Vatapi Ganapathim Baje’ as the idol was from Vatapi(Badami).

badami-mobile-picThe Cave temples located beside the Agastya Theertha is the main attraction, the sandstone structure with 2000 steps is a steep summit of gigantic rocks that houses four caves(a fifth one is discovered recently).

img_4921The 1st cave depicts Shaivism with Shiva as Nataraja in his dancing form with 18 hands.

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img_4933badami5The second cave is dedicated to Lord Vishnu with panels of Vamana-Trivikrama and Bhoovaraha. The ceilings have Swastika symbols carved and MatsyaChakra(fish wheel), Puranic episodes of SamudraManthana and Krishna’s tales can be seen.

Cave 3 is again dedicated to MahaVishnu, it is the largest and most ornate caves of all, it was completed by King Mangalesha.

Cave 4 is a Jaina cave temple, the smallest of all, you can get an excellent view of the Agastya Theertha in the backdrop of Bhootnath temples and the scenic range of sandstone rocks.

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badami6badami3After descending from the caves we headed to the Badami Museum which is just some 200meters away. A narrow and dirty path ridden with pigs, open gutters and small dingy houses in all its filth surrounds this UNESCO World Heritage Site in the immediate vicinity. A mosque is also built in the same sandstone material right next to the caves, like in most of all our heritage sites/temples. This one was perhaps from the Adil Shahi’s times. But the overall filth surrounding the monumental wonder is acrimonious apathy of successive governments. However the locals told me that the Modi government has already undertaken to make things better.

img_4929As of now whether it is in Hampi, Badami or AIhole there are no strict safety or security measures for the upkeep. If you go to the Taj Mahal or the Red Fort or Humayun Tomb in the north one can see the kind of elaborate security measures, CCTV screening and numerous guards at every point but the Hampi, Badami, Aihole are sites where the whole town is a monumental wonder with numerous breath taking structures, all of them without much security deployed and with unapologetic tourists with no regard for the grandeur of the heritage site as they call it ruins.

If this kind of extravaganza were to be in any other Western country it would perhaps arrange guided digital tours with Walkie talkies aiding tourist to re-live this ancient history. If it is maintained and propagated even today its rich heritage can make Karnataka synonymous with Hampi. But today most North Indians are not even aware of this glorious place called Hampi, Badami and Aihole as it is not given the importance like other Mughal monuments.

Most sites are at the mercy of the tourist guides who demand img_4950anything like Rs.500 for two hours when you need a whole day to cover just 8-10 places. Hampi has some 550 places where some 54 are UNESCO recognized heritage sites and Badami takes 2full days.

We spent some 30-40minutes at the museum and then took a stroll along the Agastya Theertha. Walking beside the serene holy waters enclaved by gigantic sandstone rocks amidst green patches feels blissful.

This route leads to the Bhootnath temples, a place that was once filled with scents of flowers, bells clanging and Vedic Mantras, the Kalyani where holy baths were taken is today devoid of the main idol itself, as we neared the Bhootnath temples, we could see groups of ladies washing utensils and clothes in the Agastya Theertha polluting it with detergents and soaps.

 

img_5000The Bhootnath temples are a group of Shiva temples located on the far end of the Agastya lake, with both Nagara style and Dravidian style architecture. One can sit here in eternal solace watching those majestic almond reflections in the gleaming waters calmly.

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A little away from the Bhoothnath temples on the left side is the Mallikarjuna temples, a plainer version of Shiva temples of Kadamba times.

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A whole lot of temples but no prayers offered anywhere here as it is customary in Hindu temples that once a Vigraha or idol is broken even if partly then no Pooja is offered. Today it is a much sought after place for cinema shootings and adventure enthusiasts for rock climbing as Badami has its own rock climbing camps.

We completely missed out the Shivalay temples, the fort and the Vatapi temple where once the unique idol of Lord Ganesha with a flat tummy was worshipped here before being taken away as booty by the Pallava kings.

Badami has mostly budget hotels and very few luxury hotels, it is well connected by rail, bus and ideal to visit from October to January.

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Navabrundavan _ By The Tunga River

Navabrundavana is a sacred place for Madhwacharya’s followers, it is located near the ancient town of Hampi, Karnataka. While the heritage town of Hampi is filled with tourists across the year for its rich sand stone temples and glorious sculptures that stand tall in spite of those ruining invasions, Navabrundavana is a  quiet and calm abode of the 9 holy saints of Dwaita Siddantha who meditated here in this pristine and picturesque rocky island amidst the Tunga river.

Madhwacharya was a Vedanta philosopher who was a proponent of philosophy of reality_’Tattvavada’.

People refer to this place as the ‘Jeeva Brundavanas’, as a Brundavana is a fortification around the revered saints when they entered penance when alive. It is unlike the concept of a tomb hence the word Samadhi is avoided.

Navabrundavana has two routes, one is from Anagundi which is a long drive of 30kms from Hampi and the other one from Hospet is a shorter (6kms from Malligi hotel) one near the banks of the Tunga River which is not a popular route.

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We took the shorter one and reached a dead end near the river bank, we had to take a ferry to reach the island temple but could not find a single soul. Some faded graffiti on the wall slab beside the waters, revealed a mobile number. Upon calling the number we were asked to call out loudly and look for one Ramzan Bi, who would probably be asleep somewhere in the surrounding farms. So chances were that if Ramzan Bi was in a deep slumber then we would miss seeing the place however we cried out as best as we could and finally Ramzan Bi turned up from across the other side, speedily rowing a large caracole.

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This is Ramzan Bi at 60+years she has a family of 7 members and makes a living by rowing Hindu pilgrims to their sacred place, this is real India! As she rows amidst the scenic splendor of nature surrounded by rocky dunes and lush green Jowar farms against the gleaming Tunga waters in the hot Sun, she tells us about the peak seasons and good days to visit it here.

After this brief ride amidst nature, we had to walk some 200meters in between tall blades of grass and rocky enclaves to reach the temple.

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Navabrundavana is an absolutely quiet place without any elaborate architecture, it is for the spiritually inclined with only the sounds of nature and few religious chantings. It is perhaps because of such calmness and serenity that the sages chose to meditate here.

 

After the darshan, we headed to the Virupaaksha temple, had lunch at Mango tree which is now shifted behind the market area in the Virupaksha temple vicinity.

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Then we walked up the Rathna Beedhi(Street of gems), the pillared avenues where diamonds, pearls, rubies and emeralds were once sold like vegetables in open trays, such was the Vijayanagar economic splendor and architectural vibrancy that in spite of sabotage and loot these monuments stand tall attracting lakhs of tourists across the year. In spite of the beheaded and broken sculptures I refuse to call it ruins! You can view my earlier Hampi post here.

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We walked by the Tunga rivers that is picketed by rocky boulders, an early morning or early evening walk here is the best thing to do, the rocky paths leads to Kodandarama temple and Yantrodharaka temple(Hanuman temple) which is said to be consecrated by Vyasa Raja, the Raja Guru of the Vijayanagar empire, who set up 732 Hanuman temples, he was the teacher of Purandara dasa.

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The story goes like this “Vyasa Raja usually took bath in Chakratheertha, the TungaRiver banks where Kodandarama temple is located. As he meditated and prayed on the rocky hills of Chakratheertha, the Charcoal image he had drawn, symbolic of Lord Hanuman would disappear into the rock. The incident occurred several times, Vyasa then composed the Yanthrodharaka Hanuman Sthothra and encircled the image with Shatkona yantra (Hexagonal star) or the Vaayu Yantra, thereafter the image of the lord stayed. It is also believed that it was here in this ancient town of Kishkinda that Rama met Hanuman in during his search for Sita. Hampi is full of footprints from our Ramayana epic as it is the oldest town in the civilization as per scientist who have carbon dated some rocks here.

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As luck would have it, the Mandir was closed(this is the second time I tried to visit) so we just sat down for a while, enjoying the picturesque view of the Tunga River from the mountain top.

This was the end of our Navabrundavan trip, we then resumed our journey to Badami in the evening.

Do read my upcoming post on Aihole and Badami.

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Rape of Humanitarianism with Identity Politics

Soumya, the 23 year old who protested a rape was brutally assaulted and thrown out of a moving train in the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train in February 2011. After pushing her out of the train, the one armed handicapped beggar Charly Thomas alias Govindachamy had brutally raped a bleeding Soumya, who died 5days later.

 

wiki-charly-2(Here is a Wikipedia screen shot about his alias names)

There would have been a huge media outrage if the victim, instead of the perpetuator, was a Christian minority.

The trial courts had awarded death penalty to the accused but Charly Thomas or Govindachamy as the main stream media has conveniently rehinduised him, appealed in the Supreme Court that has now quashed his death sentence and awarded a 7years jail term as they could not find any substantial evidence to prove that he had pushed her from the moving train or that he had pushed her with an intent to cause death.

It is to be noted that all the legal and judicial procedures from investigations to arrest to trial and the final judgement was completed in record time.

The Supreme Court is law but amidst luminous legal arguments, tyranny of political correctness and robust rapist representations can we ignore the fact that it was the sinister circumstances or intents that had led to Soumya’s fall which reduced her into a vegetative state? It is perhaps immaterial or still irrelevant in the naked world of judicial emperors against whose new clothes the common man cannot speak about.

But who is this Charly Thomas or Govindachamy?

Is he really an ordinary unstable beggar as claimed by his lawyers?

There are records that state that this 30 year old Charly is a habitual offender who has in the past been convicted and wanted in several robbery, rape and murder cases.

As per a report in The Hindu, he was convicted in the following cases:

2004: Tindivanam Court sentenced him to imprisonment for three months under Sections 457 and 511 of IPC;

2005: Kadalur Court (for 45 days under Sections 457 and 511 of IPC); Palani Court (for eight months under Section 379 of IPC);

2006: Erode Court (for seven months under Section 379 of IPC);

2007: Tambaram Court (for five months under Section 380 of IPC); Thiruvallur Court (for three months under Section 379 of IPC);

2008: Salem Court (for six months under Section 379 of IPC)

But this petty beggar as his lawyer claims could afford a high profile lawyer like Biju Anthony Aloor who charged 15lakhs for this case.

Incidentally Biju Anthony Aloor has represented another rape accused in the Nayana Poojari gang rape case, he had also offered to fight Pakistani Terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s case.

It is another thing that people representing rapists, thugs, political thieves, the corrupt and the morally naked are often termed as high profile these days.

It reminds of an ad slogan _ Dekho Bhai Yeisa Hai Ki Sabse Bada Paisa Hai!

But in the Indian scenario, beyond money or political power there is an invisible identity cult dominating all public discourses under the white man’s gaze that restricts, regulates and controls the native orientalists(as they refer to us) for the sake of human and economic exploitation and for global supremacy.

Today we Indians often refer to US as a global power; their supremacy is normalized without a question! While they have made their mark technologically and economically that we all today concede with, what we don’t read is that there is a parallel attempt to mark their cultural and ideological supremacy that sinisterly compromises ours. And this happens by accentuating our shortcomings and reiterating their efforts on humanitarian causes to make us look like a vandalized inhuman lot. Not that the change in the name will make the brutality any less.

But it is for this reason that a Charly Thomas is guarded by humanitarian boundaries while a Govindachamy is vilified.

Today anybody who understands this western identity based supremacist agenda will be alarmed at words like humanitarian, charity, benevolence, love and compassion!

Philanthropy is an old garb of proselytization!

Today it is very common in Kerala or Tamil Nadu, Andra or Karnataka where you come across many orphanages or care homes  and various other words of hope

These organizations often seek support and solicit financial donations on online portals for a humanitarian cause putting up pictures of destitution to churn sympathy and funds.

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A study reveals that at least 25 million orphan children are under the care of these kinds of care foundations who volunteer to help and adopt the poor and needy.

This large figure could be a result of overall poverty, health issues, financial instability to sustain large families because of illiteracy affecting family welfare, death of breadwinners, Abandonment due to poverty or illegitimacy, alcoholism, abductions.

While it is true that a developing nation like India has to do lot more for child rights but that does not mean we should let a free run for the menacing beggary mafia which exploits all of the above mentioned concerns!

The humanitarian cadets take it over from the inhuman beggary agents to rehabilitate them in their homes of hope.

Soul harvesting becomes easier when the prey is innocent, ignorant or illiterate, poor, destitute or a child.

Child converts prove very valuable as they can be easily molded.

The Christian missionaries are actively dominant amongst economically lower strata people like pourkaarmikas, maid servants, drivers, farmers, beggars, ragpickers or any ground level helpers.

It is alleged that Charly Thomas, the brutal beggar is one such evangelical activist who works with Akasha Parvakal(Birds In The Sky), an evangelic missionary group that targets to convert beggars and ragpickers into Christianity that propagates prevention of abortion under a cool name called pro-life theme.

(Source of Information pgurus.com)

Perhaps Charly with his handicap was an epitome of destitution who met his target numbers, religiously emerging as a Robinhood for conversion activities in TN, Kerala and Andra hence the political and state weightage behind a ruthless inhuman beast of a person.

A Malayalam newspaper reported that he was not only an evangelist but also a political pawn who raised funds from the beggary racket and finished many unwanted rivals as he is alleged to be the henchman of the CPIMas that openly stood by him.

Dr.Unmesh who conducted the post mortem initially and provided many valid points was sidelined and another Dr.Sherly Vasu was inducted into the team. It is reported that apparently both the lawyer Biju Antony and Dr.Sherly Vasu are Christian evangelist activists who are part of the same ‘Birds In The Sky’ missionary group. This possibility of blatant interference of the church in matters of judicial prudence to the extent of supporting anti-socials and brutal criminals and influencing cases to favor the cross is a dangerous Chimera brewing in our backyard.

The current state of affairs where humanitarianism is sold at the hands of soul harvesters certainly does not empower women nor inspire faith in the legal, judicial systems prevailing in our country. And this case strongly makes for a revisit and relook at the conversion laws in our country as the Soumya murder case is not just about brutal rape but about the growing audacity of lawlessness and rape of humanitarianism with identity politics!

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The Nationalism Debate: Is Humanism the new word to replace secularism??!!

Picture from Google Images

 

Free India turned 70 yesterday amidst a jubilant nationalistic fervor! it is another thing that our Independence was just a convenient well crafted handover of power batons from the white master to his brown apprentice until recently where it took us almost seven decades to elect a common man to represent India and the idea of India.

 

The social media was abuzz with ‘Happy Independence Day’ wishes and Whatsapp groups soaked itself in tricolor.

Not to be left behind the print media too made some tricolor pitches with blown up product advertisements leaning on a dash of patriotism while some media channels paid tributes to its soldiers and martyrs who laid down their lives for this country but there was this one program on CNN IBN18 hosted by Bhupendra Chaubey that caught my attention!

When the whole of India was busy celebrating its freedom and when our soldiers were being shot from across the borders and stoned from within, interestingly enough this program was debating about how much of nationalism was too much for this nation and if the very idea of nationalism was dividing the country!

Like all debates there was a nationalistic narrative and then there was an anti that narrative, I do not know if I should call that anti-national narrative because it was something more than that so I chose to anyway hear out their version of the alleged dangers of overt nationalism to see if the discourse made any real cuts about the problems faced by India and how we could move forward with integrity and unity.

But the debate was less about India or its independence and audaciously more about why any Indian should pride himself about India’s independence or its tricolor where the anchor Mr.Bhupendra Chaubey vehemently tried to prove in vain that there was nothing nationalistic about holding a 8feet long tricolor flag and that people didn’t have to wear patriotism on their shoulders to prove their patriotic penchant.

Although other panelists like Tejasvi Surya argued that just like a man sporting a beard is proud to flaunt it as a religious symbol, it was only spontaneous and natural for a sportsperson representing India internationally or any other Indian to splurge in the tricolor as it is symbolic of national pride.

Although the debate hovered between a sympathetic secular tone and the usual penchant for anything anti-majority where panelists like Mr.Saad Bin Jung made unconnected remarks on a national platform that today’s nationalists divided people using those very symbols of pride like the Bindi(Hindu Tilak) and the Thali(mangalsutra)!

Whatever secularism and tolerance meant?! Whatever respect for other faiths and symbolisms meant! Weather the debate weaved together the non-believers or witch-hunted the believers of nationalism in an open debate on a national news channel but certainly yet subtly the whole debate disguisedly emphasized on one aspect _ that the strong card of secularism(read pseudo) has given rise to overt nationalism and that it has forced the erstwhile secularists to downplay or even discard the Secular serendipity and come up with an alternative term or perhaps coin a new word called Humanism for an inclusive India.

Yes, Humanism is the new catch word of the liberals!

Humanism has always been an essential part of our inclusive indigenous dharma so much that we have often extended it to other forms of life as well and needs no reintroduction to its netizens.

Yes, humanism is a welcome gesture as long as it is extended in sync with the ambit of our constitution and is not lost into the contours of many political isms at the hands of fake human rights activists where one human is made out to be superior because he is a sympathized victim over the other human being who might be a simple law abiding citizen rightfully discharging his duties.

Humanism is relative when it is subject at the hands of leftists, socialists, capitalists or communists however the nationalism debate ended with a dream of a developed and integrated India bereft of any caste divisions and communal chaos 30years down the lane when India completes her 100th Independent year.

But the bigger question is will the media and its masters make a sincere attempt to merit its own monologue and let go of caste and all its political embellishments in their future course of discourses. I did not know that there existed a lingayat votebank or a Vokkaliga votebank until the media highlighted it, hence I find that the media is equally guilty of sculpting divisive mindsets sometimes with over emphasized caste card and sometimes with misinformation overload and many times with half information offloaded!

The fact that there was a nationalism debate on one of our national news channels that too on our Independence Day about why it is not so cool to wear patriotism on your sleeves where a panel gets to decide as to how patriotic can one be or not be and whether it is really important or irrelevant to qualify as a nationalist in today’s scenario, should compel the editorials of these media houses to introspect and analyze themselves if they can ever castigate caste away from their narratives and if they in their quest to score over and suppress an ideology are desperately disgruntled so much that they have to resort to an anti-national pitch to counter the growing dominance of an alternative narrative!

 

 

 

 

An Ode To An Adonis

suicide

She might have been extremely cautious while cropping his tender nails, making amply sure that he is not hurt the least bit, she might have tip toed into the room lest she disturb her angelic toddler who was fast asleep. Like you and I she might have dipped her hand into the hot water tub just before bathing him, to make sure if the heat was just right, she might have blown the boiling smoke away from the hot porridge bowl and even burnt her tongue making sure that the food she fed was warm enough!

Then she would have waited eagerly for her child to return from school every single day, making his favorite dishes!

Perhaps her whole world revolved around him tending and attending to all his needs so much that she had perhaps started living her dreams through him.

Today he had chosen to call it quits!

He had quietly returned home from school and jumped off from the top floors of the high rise building leaving a note saying that he didn’t deserve to be their son!

What could have been raging in his mind, what were those lone regressive battles he fought in his young little mind? Was it humiliation versus helplessness or inability versus indifference, self-worthiness versus social sanctity or was it simply because of all that incessant physical tending and aesthetic attending in the due course of which a corroborative connection with the mind and the heart was lost?

Sometimes kids hurt themselves physically or even exaggerate about a certain physical ailment in order to get our attention as we have, with or without our knowledge led them to believe that only a physical damage can get our attention, by rushing only when the wound is visible!

I have never met this mother nor the unfortunate child but the fact that this incident has happened in the close proximity of my vicinity brings sleepless nights and indescribable uneasiness that continues to seep in and haunt me.

A tender young life who could have had a promising life has been lost! And I feel really very helpless too!

This forces me to ponder and reflect upon myself as a mother and wonder if I have done enough or am I over doing it?

There are no perfect parenting tips in this world. Neither can anyone advocate a certain style as a conventional doctrine of parenting, as individual is different and most often the upbringing of a child is directly proportional with various factors ranging from the very parent’s upbringing, financial and social circumstances, the societal expectations, mental well-being, status symbolism and of course the very system around us where the merited are suffocated to emerge more meritorious in the limited space of academia coupled with the hypocrisy of our Governmental organizations that systematically wedge a social divide into the society with various socialist reservations and quotas threatening the very idea of social egalitarianism bleeding large sections of the society that are getting stressed and depressed by the private educational institutions that preach us parents with paid parental orientation sessions about avoiding parental pressures on children when they themselves proclaim that it cannot be anything less than a 97% to board their bus!

The biggest irony is that schools and colleges openly set cut off points rendering all career counseling sessions as a mockery. Today, only a 9 pointer or above can opt for science, those above 8 can opt for commerce and the rest can go for other left out options.

Isn’t this blatantly suggesting that Science alone is above everything else? No wonder opting for Science has become symbolic with false prestige and intelligentsia status as nobody wants to be called a dimwit or lesser intelligent!

And that is the reason there is a mad rush for opting science alone even at the cost of paying donations thereby encouraging systematic corruption leading into a shortage of scope for those who seriously want to pursue a particular stream. This precedent also belittles other professions so much that today there is a dearth of awareness about the importance and availability of various other career options.

Our Indian children are perhaps the only ones who have so far braved against all the academic and aesthetic pressures so resiliently because they are required to excel in English, learn Hindi as it is our national language, learn the regional language for the love of the land, if possible also take up Computers and a foreign language to increase one’s chances of global opportunities, you should be a wizard in Science and a topper in Maths to qualify your grey matter amidst peers and parents yet kick the football high amidst the dust and strike a chord on the guitar to establish your cool dude image lest you are a nerd, you should also be socially sensitive species who will spend extended hours on compulsory social activity project and also finish those additional online assignments and various other Olympiads and value addition programs just before hurrying up to the private tuitions without which one is a deemed to be doomed!

Yes, you cannot classify all that supposed vibrancy that these private schools are trying to inculcate in our children as an obnoxious burden but then the larger question is whether this systematic loop of elite eloquence about specific education streams alone enable our children to be resilient enough, of which even parents play a huge part in!

Children repose enormous faith and confidence in us parents, so much that I can never be wrong for my child! I am kind of an encyclopedia for him throughout his growing years. And my opinions and demonstrations form a large part of his outlook that goes on to shape his mind and idea of himself and the society at large.

My opinions will always mirror in his imaginations, thought process and self-worth.

But as he grows up it is important for me to shed my strict parental cap and reiterate back to him that like him even I am human and that whatever I say or do is largely as per my beliefs and principles that I have acquired over the years with many failed and many successful attempts and achievements and that even I can err or be wrong or become angry at times for which I will need his support as well.

There are times when I express to my teenage son that I am tired and feeling very low because I lost a writing contest or was unable to do a certain project on time and get enough readership and that I would love it if he made some tea for me, not that I cannot make it for myself but only to demonstrate that he can relate and reciprocate like this when he is feeling low as well.

Now who does not yell and scream or itch to raise your hand or punish in ways that we believe can reform our children, I guess it is only instinctive at times as it is extremely difficult to make our children focus and put in efforts which has never been imparted from day one as schools today hardly give any homework only to face the blues later. But it is most important that we do not drag on our ego or grudge and instead choose to patch up almost immediately by sitting down and talking things out calmly with our children.

When you are angry just remember that your child is some 25 30 years younger than you!

Our teenaged children may not be mature enough to understand our views, thus it is upon us adults to balance things out but this reiteration that you care and are willing to share and discuss his grievances or try to ease them will certainly enable them to think freely beyond the standard conventions and aid in them with self-esteem and confidence to explain their position and believe in themselves.

I know it is indeed easily said than done more so if it is a boy that you are raising, as a mother of 2 boys I see that when they grow up they don’t easily connect with you or share things with you, so it is important that while we chase them like werewolves we also connect with them, listen to them and honor their little decisions that makes them feel that they are heard and taken seriously as well.

When I was a child my mother let me make my decisions in life, in fact she even banked on my opinions for matters that concerned all her household affairs and financial matters at my early age of 12, which in a way has empowered me with such confidence that it not only helped me decide independently and enabled me to pick the right against the wrong but also kind of bonded me to be honest with her no matter what and never let her down.

Remember you had patted and petted your child all along when they were little and today, your sudden spurted spurious behavior at the helm of their teens will confuse and send them into a cocoon. Some children may react by rebelling wildly and some others may mildly go mute. And it is these muted symptoms that parents have to be wary of!

Unlike our childhood days where we were punished black and blue and were trained to be rugged from the initial days, our children have not been exposed to any kind of harshness or hardships because of our own ceremonious pampering and yielding to all their demands after letting them footloose until their 10th grades. But here is a tricky situation where suddenly you gear up and start chiding him cutting down his play time, restricting him in all ways possible pushing him to the study table which when not sustained by your child you resort to aggressive and repulsive rile rants without your knowledge, without realizing that you had not trained your child to be rugged like you, without realizing that there can be no lush green vegetation under the dominant shadow of a banyan tree.

Every child needs acknowledgement, sometimes verbally, sometimes with a small physical touch of care and love in subtle forms like a little pat on the back or a small considerate hug or just some oiling of the hair or even stroking the hair gently or tucking them in their sheets before bed, remember you did all this and much more when you cuddled them obsessively in their younger days and now suddenly are shying away but it is a proven fact that a physical touch of care and concern by parents reassures an adolescent child and strengthens them emotionally, no matter how big they are.

And talking about the limited stream of opportunities, believe me there is no dearth for them and no, one, stream is above another, as every finger in the fist has a role to play. You can be anything from a biotechnologist to an economist to a media person to a writer to an artist to a digital animator to a voice artist to an advertisement creator or a cartoonist to a lawyer to an army person to a photographer to a travelling archeologist to a historian to an anthropologist to teacher to an RTI activist to a politician to a TV anchor to a sportsman or a businessman or an entrepreneur or even go on to become a Steve Irwin!

There are many doctors, chartered accountants and engineers who have become film actors and movie directors today, so essentially a stereotype science subject or an Engineering stream or an American scholarship alone does not necessarily make you successful.

In fact when in school I was often called to silence another teacher-less class through my ridiculous extempore stories, I was always interesting in essays and debates and dance but I could not figure out my strengths or interests so I ended up taking up commerce. Numbers and statistics scared me off in college and I seriously thought it was below dignity to be attending a dry commerce class that I could never relate to and always found myself participating in a whole lot of cultural events or would prefer sitting alone under a tree.

People around thought I was only good at cooking useless stories and indulged in nonstop chattering! But as life had it, I later found myself in staunch marketing roles and counseling and hiring jobs that required talking all day and today, yes, I do what I always did best, cooking up stories and articulating my views for the world to read.

Success is only when you emerge out of a trying situation with confidence and conviction and this confidence is churned only with constant care and a lot of connection with your child on a daily basis.

A precious life is lost in a hurry without ever knowing how and when those days of merry transformed into a sudden unceremonious melancholy. No amount of words or wishes can ever come remotely close to compensate for the loss and guilt with which the parents may have to lead their lives and in my opinion it is totally insensitive and unproductive to blame the parents for this ill-fated short destiny.

The least we could do to pay an ode to this Adonis is to stop, and take time to reflect upon ourselves.

 

 

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The Fear Factor

US-Terror-CampsIt has been a bloody Ramadan this year with mass killings at Orlando, Paris, Lebanon, Yemen, Baghdad, Istanbul and Dhaka, today one can say that terms like ISIS and terrorism can be used interchangeably!

As a child I remember watching the movie ‘Kaabuliwaala’, the story of a friendly Afghan man selling sundry articles to make a living back home but I do not know when the destitute Kaabuliwaalas turned into dreaded Talibans running for the trophy of Khilafat.

Did they change jobs? Or did they suddenly excel in the economic, educational, technological and military spheres? Or did the futility of their meagre earnings redefine their rigidity?

Well the very definition of Terrorism goes like this

Terrorism is the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes”.

So it is important to understand who is ISIS (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria)?

The Middle East or the Arab countries is a cradle of Abrahamic religions. The Gnostic and Iranian religions were replaced by Judaism, later Judaism split up into Christianity and Islam. The Jews and Christians pride themselves as superior to Islamists and mostly use them as pawns in any given crisis.

The desert clan was a savage community that fought amongst each other for power and mostly sought to meet its basic requirements, either by conquest or conceit or simply conniving with power masters.

Around 1902 due to an oil spillage incident it was found that the Arabian Peninsula might be a great resource for oil. During the First World War, the need for oil reserves was strongly felt. Both America and the Soviet Union invested in the Arab land for further digging of oil.

A pipeline network of 3200kms of sea route in the Suez Canal was built to facilitate large scale supply of oil in alliance with King AbdlAziz.

Since Soviet Union and America the super powers with robust military and technological advancements, the duo constantly compete with each other by cutting down each other’s power abettors. But sometimes they shake hands and make up and share the loot at the end.

Ever since America set its eye on the oil reserves in the Arabian countries, it has carefully pitted every king, every little country and every tribe against each other so that the Americans can continue to rule them.

In the 1970s the CIA used the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt to disrupt the Soviet expansion and prevent the spread of Marxist ideology.

A former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of Western intelligence agencies and that the CIA nurtured Osama Bin Laden. Mr. Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means an abbreviation of “the database” in Arabic, was originally the computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists, who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis, in order to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan. (Ref link)

Al Queda was actually a carefully planned foreign policy of the US.

Later when Saddam Hussain’s power was growing, initially the Americans used him to wage a war on Iran and later when he refused to be a dummy for them and showed signs of independent ambitions, the Americans together with the Britain and France spread rumours of fear across the world that Iraq had undeclared piles of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and that Saddam Hussain might perpetrate a chemical, biological, bacterial and even zoological war perhaps:)!

war-on-terrorA bloody war was declared on Iraq in 2003 and in a short time Saddam was ousted and plucked out by public hanging.

The Iraq oil belt had temporarily quenched the oil thirst of the US and in 2005 the US intelligence terminated the search efforts for any unconventional weaponry in Iraq.

The Iraq Intelligence commission concluded that the judgements of the US Intelligence about any existence of weapons of mass destruction was misconstrued and wrong.

But the Western agencies will never be blamed for their inhuman interference upon other nations.

It reminds me of Yamadharmaraya’s story, the story goes like this:

Once Yama’s mother was upset that the whole world would curse and accuse her son for causing death and regard him abhorrently as the death giver, Yama then calmly showed a glimpse of the affected families and friends…

At one home, the inmates cried that their beloved son died in an accident, they blamed the truck that hit their dear son. In another home the wretched Cancer had caused the death, in yet another house a murder, so on and so forth…. Yama smiled reassuringly at his mother and told her…See nobody ever curses your son, in fact I am revered as the Lord of death”

While Yama is diligently doing his dharmic duties, the West continues its dubious adharmic quest for the greed of global power without anybody pointing fingers at them!

In an interview with Fern Britton on a TV program, Tony Blair the then prime minister of UK claimed that even if he knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq he would have still waged a war on Iraq.

Clearly winners get to write history, the other side is often a victim of vilification.

Remember Muammar Gaddafi of Libya? Oh my god, he was a real bad bad guy! Another dictator, Isn’t it?

The propagandists employed at their hands through various media houses were deployed in the task of vilification of Saddam Hussein as a dictator, a ruthless and a wretched leader. They blew up the theory of a biological bacterial war telling the world how it was the need of the hour for America to intervene and play the super protector in their sincere humanitarian effort to save the world from terror when they are the manufacturers/co-producers of terror.

Much later the American citizens realised that George Bush and Bin Laden’s families were long time partners in many dubious businesses.

The fact is that today with no evidence on the WMD, Iraq is reduced into a lawless, leaderless land seized by looters and stooges of the imperial west to reap their opportunistic fortunes amidst the distressed and unsettled communities.

Today the CIA claim that as per their intelligence reports Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction are hidden buried somewhere in Syria hence their humanitarian urge yet again to intercede and bomb Syria.

Syria’s Shia president Bashar Al Assad is a Soviet sympathiser and an ally of Iran. After Israel and Egypt, Iran is the next growing country with nuclear ambitions, a Shia dominant state which is a threat to Jewish Israel. Also Iran lies between Syria and Iraq, now that Iraq is a fallen state, Syria is the next target to weaken Iran for their idealism of global domination.

The US, UK and France are unable to push their agenda of going for a war in their favorite battleground _ the middle east through UN approvals as China and Russia will veto down their aspirations. Hence the trio can either go to NATO or play their usual humanitarian and world protector card because they want only Israel to remain powerful in the Arab region as it fits their power equations.

As to why the US and Israel act like conjoined twins can be largely attributed to the political Zionism lobby and their shared intelligence and military interests.

(Zionism is overt and covert methods for a pro Jewish policy across the world).

The CIA in its bid for its WMD theory has deployed its media houses to prove to the world how much they care for humanity even while they are supplying arsenal, recruiting and funding rebels in 62nations across the world.

This is the advantage of popularising a common lingo _ the English education to your subordinates, your mind is easily enslaved to their ideology as you can never read or comprehend an Iraqi or Iran’s point of view because of the language barriers.

But after Bush and Bin Laden’s secrets were out how can they still run their foreign policy in the same name hence they have now scripted a new name called ISIS with an invigorated focus on Iraq and Syria, as if to tell the world and Iran in particular that first it was Iraq then, and now it is Syria, next it will be you!

Although Syria is a sympathizer of the Soviet, the Russians and the Americans might shake hands and share power consensually in their common quest for oil and power.

It is  upon every other nation to challenge the western foreign policy instead of being mute spectators because today it is Syria, tomorrow it might just be anybody who dreams of growing big.

Syria is bound to fall if the soviet and the other powerful nations of the world are simply going to watch.

The US army does not like to shed much Christian and Jew blood of their soldiers across foreign soils hence they do local recruitment by misleading the youth of the newly sieged country in the name of Islamic Jihad.

Interestingly ISIS never messes up in China or Russia or North Korea or Japan for that matter, it is only in countries that might grow to be a potential threat and who are Soviet sympathisers or neighbours of powerful nations.

Today the new bad boy in town is the North Korean leader Kim-Jong-Un, he is ambitious ruthless wretched and a hard core dictator as projected by the media. Whether or not the Koreans think so who cares, we think so because we will believe what we are being led to believe and yes his growing nuclear aspirations are a threat to US and UK and Russia too.

Today the Imperial West is pumping crores of rupees into India for establishing Wahhabi Universities across India.

Wahhabiism is an extremely conservative form of Islam that propounds the theory of hatred, violence and injustice against non-Muslims and their own creed of Shias and modern Sunnis and women who don’t subscribe to the rigid theory of Sharia.

Wikipedia suggest that it might be the British Secret Service that set up and strengthened the arm of Wahhabi Islam along with their dummy puppet sheiks in Saudi Arabia. Interestingly these Saudi sheiks have all Jewish/Christian wives and Saudi as a state is just a glorified dictatorial family business of the west and less of a nation as people do not enjoy any rights or freedom.

As per an India Tv report Rs.1700crores was pumped into India recently for establishing Wahhabi centres of preaching, Rs.800crores have been allocated to set up Wahhabi institutes.

The equation for India is clear, with Pakistan on the west and now Bangladesh on the East and a treacherous China and a whole chunk of Wahhabism pumped into India with poster child faces like Owaisis and Zakir Naiks, the new catchword is ISIS and one can see it surrounding us in Kerala, Kashmir, UP, West Bengal, Hyderabad and parts of Karnataka with their fear mongering strategy because like the Mountain Mist slogan Darr ke aage jeeth hai if this fear is extinguished then they will be unable to rule us.

(Here is a video of ISIS fake beheading)

In the wake of such serious scenario at our door steps, it is a right step if the centre axes the root by stopping Saudi funding and banning faces of terror in totality.

If the US is serious about its War On Terror then it could simply stop aiding financial and military supplies to the ISIS, why ISIS, it could stop its arms supply to Pakistan first of all. It could contain them by blocking Youtube channels and other social media sites of ISIS across the globe, it could cut their food supplies but if they did all of this how can they remain powerful? So it is quintessential for them to keep the diplomacy of divide and rule and continue to spread fear through fake money and fake terror but with real blood!

Our media is going berserk covering the innuendos of the Islamic terror and eagerly showing smiling pictures of youth sporting guns like Vandom, and then we cry it is because of Islam! No I am certainly not saying unrealistic things like ‘terror has no religion”. Yes, today rigid Muslims have become synonymous with the face of terror. The conservative concept of Islam and their heinous crimes in history has besieged and drawn India backward by many yard miles but what are these Islamic terrorists worth without the western military and financial backing? Why the hell should Indian media call any Owaisi or Naik or a rigid mullah on a national debate unnecessarily glorifying him? Nobody would today care a damn if they were arrested and imprisoned or executed but for the unnecessary limelight and secular sympathy!

Why is the west together with their Indian media houses pitching only an Islamic face for terror? It is because the desert clan has already made its savage mark in history through its various invasions and inhuman acts. If it has worked in the past why change the game now when they can easily flare up a communal angle to anything and everything.

Also the first and second world wars have reflected poorly on the humanitarian image of the imperial West and today they have set up many councils for the cause of World Humanity and other fallacious foundations which will come out as farce if they blatantly began another world war hence the new strategy is religious terror and cold wars.

The vehement attempt of the West in keeping the turbulent history alive has been a huge success in India so far and if it goes any further, India will never be able to stand up and resolve its issues on its own. India should neither rely on Russia nor US as they are both like Pepsi and Coke with not much difference in their ill effects and dependability for good health.

The Mossad, the CIA, the British Secret Service have their own dedicated illegal and unscrupulous banks and printing machineries to run a dual and dubious economy so that they keep their recruited rebels that includes not just terrorists but also politico, activists, journalists, NGOs warm and running.

Maybe the Indian ministry at the centre today, should focus on similar tactics and buy out these glorified pseudo intellectuals and gruesome goons within, by compensating them as much as their western counterparts with the same dubious mechanisms and completely confiscate their Foreign incomes and cut contacts or deal with them with iron hands lest millions of rupees will be wasted in the futility of endless meaningless debates in and outside the parliament on a farcical fear mongering called freedom of faith.

Dar Ke Definitely Jeeth Hai if the central government really wishes to curb this foolery of fear once and for all from the roots lest you never know tomorrow the CIA and MI might say that Saddam had shipped his weapons of mass destruction to India!

Hallelujah!

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Gods Must Be Crazy

thanksgiving

The thanksgiving ad in the Thursday newspaper left me wondering if Gods really read newspapers! How sure are we that they read only English dailies? And being the supernatural omnipresent power that he is what if he was updated with the latest technologies and read by just swiping and scrolling the clouds aside, what if he also had an Instagram or Facebook account and never read from the superseded print media at all?

All these questions amused me about the immense faith people still repose in expressing gratitude so superficially that too at an advertising expense of Rs.1600 per box and how relevant is it in the Indian context?

thanksgiving1

So here is a brief about how the whole idea of thanksgiving started.

In the month of September 1620 the Pilgrims(religious reformists of the Church) from Europe set sail across the Atlantic ocean and reached the rocky shores of the new world that was inhabited by the native American tribes called Wampanoags.

The Pilgrims were welcomed by the local red Indians with open arms and shared their food supply with the Pilgrims as it was their custom to help the visitors and be courteous to them.

(They were called Indians because the initial voyagers of Europe had assumed this new land to be India.)

The wheat that the Pilgrims had got did not grow on the rocky soil and they survived only by the kindness and accommodative nature of the local tribals _ the Wampa no ags.

In 1621 the Pilgrims met a tribal called Samoset who could speak English and were thrilled when he entered their Plymouth colony and said ‘welcome’ in English!

Soon Samoset got another tribal named Squanto who could speak better English and he was regarded as an instrument sent by god by the Pilgrims.

Squanto taught them the many ways of survival in the new world as these European Pilgrims mostly lived in dirt, short supply of food, medicines and did not know how to survive the cold winters. Squanto brought them dear meat, beaver skin, taught them how to cultivate corn and other vegetables and build new homes like the red Indians.

He explained how to dig and cook clam, showed them medicinal plants and pointed out poisonous plants to stay away from, he told them how to use sap from maple trees and how to use fish for fertilizer and dozens of other skills that improved the lifestyle of the Pilgrims.

In order to celebrate this good fortune the pilgrims initially invited Samoset, Squanto and Massasoit (leader of the Wampanoags) and their families for a thanksgiving feast but when the tribals arrived in overwhelming numbers the pilgrims were unable to feed them, for which the tribals themselves arranged for all the food once again!

Soon as the number of Pilgrims increased, they began to disrespect the local faith and became intolerant which led to a deterioration of their relationships. Any Indian who came near their vicinity was looted, enslaved or murdered. Soon enough they constructed cannons and prepared for the military destruction of the locals, they even beheaded some Wampanoags and displayed their heads on wooden spikes in their colonies. By mid 1630s a new group of 700 more Europeans who called themselves Puritans arrived in the new world and settled in Boston, only increasing their attacks on the Native American Indians.

Perhaps the Pilgrims regarded their voyage quests of expansion and invasion as a pilgrimage and the Puritans’ regarded their baptizing  efforts of cleansing the native faith and ethnicity as purification.

Squanto was taken as a prisoner and  taken as a slave to Spain after baptizing him as a Catholic!

In 1637, some 700 Pequot Indian tribes were trapped and killed by the whites after which the governor of Massachusetts Bay colony declared “a day of thanksgiving’ because 700 innocent unarmed civilians were killed.

By 1675, the Massachusetts Englishmen were in a full- fledged war with the Wampanoags who were now reduced from some 24000 to just 750 in number after many a genocides and their lifestyle and culture steadily eroding after various European imposed laws and values.

In 1676 the Wampanoags leader Metacomet was killed and his different severed body parts were displayed in different parts, his head was struck on a pole in Plymouth on the real first ‘day of public thanksgiving for the beginning of revenge upon the enemy’

Thus after a brutal holocaust of hunting down the friendly redskins the then declaring a thanksgiving day as an honorary day to celebrate not the brotherhood of man but the deceitful defeat of natives was introduced.

With more and more frenzied killing of the natives who were either enslaved or exterminated, the thanksgiving became synonymous with a feast after each massacre.

The brutal history of ‘thanksgiving’ and all that killing of the natives 350years ago, is today sweet coated with testimonies of veneration and words of nationalistic fervour extending gratitude to the lord for the bounties and blessings for all their unkindness.

Yes, today, America is an evolved nation with very many races, however their(read white invading Europeans) flagship methods of seeking, securing and finally seizing power after a sumptuous loot is still the same which is time and again carried out under names like #BREXIT or immigration of Syrian refugees to Germany and various other ethnic cleansing methods but it is really outright hilarious and interesting to note that we in India, blindly follow this Western practice which no way has any relevance in the Indian scenario, whatever ‘Thanksgiving’ meant but thanks to the indomitable spirits of secularism we are abound with, one can never fathom the idea of questioning the farce of any faith whatsoever! Isn’t it?

References from Dr.Habib Siddiqui’s material on Islamicity website

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PATHI PATHNI AUR WHATSAPP

If B.R.Chopra were to remake the bollywood flick ‘Pathi Pathni Aur Woh’ today, he would name it Pathi Pathni Aur Whatsapp!

emoticons

Unlike the reel flick where ‘woh _the other woman” steals the husband’s attention, today the other instant messaging client called whatsapp has stolen away Pathis from Pathnis and vice versa, with such captivating charm and cheer that they instantly engross and enslave you while clenching in its fibre clutch _ your uninterrupted attention!

Such is the fervour of this instant fever that good looks and good food are left cringing for attention!

Anniversaries and birthdays have become cost and time effective as you can now bestow bouquets, bells and cakes from the clouds quite literally and even make up for a belated wish with excessive bouquets and smileys!

Whatsapp messages not only educate you but also make you witty and wise; they can turn you karmic, liberal and even philosophical in life!

emoticon zip

You can smile your best, giggle or guffaw your arse out at the hint of a joke without worrying about that eerie incisors. You can lift any finger except one to applaud and aplomb and even turn red with rage _ it is a pit that helps you identify your true emotions and relieve them all in one funky go!

emot folded hands

You will turn a positive person with a penchant for spirited quotes by the morning and send so many roses and good morning messages that your friends will turn red like those roses, after some positive doses you then go on to philosophically become a wife analyser by the noon with the latest husband/wife jokes in town and say all those things with ease that you normally cannot say at home. You can reap the benefits of Karma by endorsing something holy and noble with the folded hands emoticon or by simply forwarding it further!

At the office, in the little time that you get from your busy whatsapp schedule you will probably complete few meetings and send out some emails even while you wink or shed tears of ecstatic joy with your left hand at some ‘thodu’ message in the client meetings!

At tea time you become a quizmaster putting your groups IQ level to test with mind boggling and blood boiling puzzles like these

Guess-the-English-Idioms

By evening you have blossomed into a social activist forwarding messages of social sobriety and political prosperity even when your partner is struck up in the bathroom without water.

By the night it’s time for all those videos that you could not play during office hours because of pretential risks and it is the perfect family time to indulge in a whatsapp jugalbandi with your partner’s latest forwards!

Such is the wonder of whatsapp that you can perform yoga, plant trees, save water, stop rapes and educate them all lifting various fingers on whatsapp even while we don’t lift our little finger on ground.

And finally when your partner is on the verge of breaking your mobile screen, you can still dare to console her quoting an old whatsapp joke!

Share this whatsapp pravachan if you enjoyed it!

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Brewing of a new cult called Saiism?

thomas babington macaulayThomas Babington Macaulay a radical historian posted in the East India Company, the catalyst behind abolishing Sanskrit and Persian and introducing English education in native schools to further the imperial legacy to culturally contain the native Indians, in his minutes of Feb 1835 on the Indian Education Act quoted thus……

I accept catholic beyond the across and across of India and I accept not apparent one getting who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such abundance I accept apparent in this country, such top moral values, humans of such caliber, that I do not anticipate we would anytime beat this country, unless we breach the actual courage of this nation, which is her airy and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I adduce that we alter her old and age-old apprenticeship system, her culture, for if the Indians anticipate that all that is adopted and English is acceptable and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their built-in self-culture and they will become what we ambition them, an absolutely bedevilled nation.” –

http://planningcommission.gov.in/reports/genrep/pl_vsn2020.pdf (Read page 17)

Even Max Mueller whom Swami Vivekananda revered as a scholar was a Jackal in sheep’s hide, in one of his letters to his wife in 1886, Mas Mueller writes……..

I hope, I shall finish that work (translating the Rigveda).  It(Veda) is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung up from it during the last three thousand years.” 

And on 16th December, 1868 he wrote to the Duke of Argyll, the then Secretary of State for India – “The ancient religion of India is doomed, now if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?”

In their quest to contain and create sublimely submissive masses the modus operandi was to establish their superiority by belittling other faiths, their first and foremost tool of oppression was to thrust their language on us by which they could sow their beliefs on the Indian civilization and hoped to produce a brown breed of English speaking and English thinking natives, which they did succeed to a large extent but could not tear apart the religious beliefs successfully because in spite of the natives speaking multiple languages and worshipping multiple forms of Gods and Goddesses, most philosophies often concurred that Brahma Vishnu Maheshwara were the supreme trinity who formed the basis for this entire cosmos to exist.

The British had realized and witnessed that Indians by and large revered Gurus and saints to seek the path of spirituality and they also knew that they would get debunked if they got some Christian saint to do the preaching and tried direct penetration amidst the already initiated, so they resorted to its disintegration first.

 “When you cannot convince, Confuse them……..” was their mantra…

So the white man promoted everything that was adverse to the majority beliefs and customs, he inflicted various Godmen, venerated them in writings, propagated and pilloried them so much that they became new Gods in the 19th century and enjoyed instant fame with a curiously quick propaganda.

Such propaganda that it is today a multimillion dollar industry!

One such industry is called the Sai business industry.

saibaba original pics

The story goes like this….. In the early 19th century ie…just 90years back there came a Fakir amidst the farming community in a small village called Shirdi, who lived in a dilapidated mosque wearing white robes and head gear who is believed to have preached ‘sabka mallik ek’ while he blessed everyone with the words “Allah Mallik”!

Sri-Sai-Samadhi-Mandir

Mazar of Shirdi Saibaba

He died in 1918 due to old age and sufferings like any other mortal being. A few reports suggest that after his death his body was buried in a nearby Krishna temple after removing the idol and then a Mazar(an Islamic tomb) was built which today the devotees call as Samaadhi!

Saibaba's Mazar in 1950s

Saibaba’s Mazar in 1950s

In the Hindu customs a Samaadhi is built for saints who could choose death at will while in penance, in a sitting posture not when they die of old age like ordinary mortals.

Abdul baba, devotee of Saibaba

For some time a Muslim devotee Abdul baba was in charge of the Mazar but later in 1922 it was taken over by a lawyer Hari Sitaram Dixit after winning a petition and a Sansthan trust was formed.

saibaba sculptor

In 1952, a marble Sai statue was built on a silver throne with Lord Shri Rama’s picture in the backdrop it was now called Samaadhi Mandir. This marble was donated from Italy!

We love Italian marble isn’t it?

Even some scriptures were produced after lifting from the biographies of other saints and endorsing it as Saibaba’s teachings.

Govind Dabholkar alias Hemadpant (1856-1929) wrote a devotional biography “Shri Sai Satcharitha” in Marathi, he had begun only two chapters in 1916 and in 1918 Saibaba died but he resumed the work again in 1923 after he became a member of the Sai Sansthan Trust. Later the book gained a new English adaptation by N.V.Gunaji who cleverly omitted Baba’s Muslim context and fixated a Vedantic edge to it, Gunaji ignored frequent use of Urdu words and Muslim practices of baba like Namaz and Sufi teachings, goat slaughter practices endorsed by Shirdi Sai and ascribed many alleged miracles to Saibaba’s credentials, this version was widely propagated and read.

Dr.Marianne Warren urged that an overlay occurred in much reporting about Saibaba, tending to obscure the Sufi dimensions of his profile with an evident attempt to Hinduize his teachings.

The academic commentator described the same book thus:

“A detailed presentation of alleged miraculous phenomena…. the intent of the work is clearly hagiographic, aiming at the expansion of Sai Baba’s popularity among the public at large.” (19)

A lie repeated a hundred times goes on to become the truth and it doesn’t take much time to blow up beliefs over bigotry that too with a thesis in miracles!

Image from shirdisaibabaexperiences.org

Image from shirdisaibabaexperiences.org

Those white robes have turned saffron today!

Today you can see SaiBaba’s pictures mostly in the backdrop of Shiva or Ram or Krishna!

saibaba iwth krishna and ramasaibaba iwth ganeshasaibaba with shiva

Why this coalition religiotics!

sai-baba-durga-devi

saibaba as krisna

Why this ardent insistence on this Hindu theme?

And not to forget, there will be Saibaba I, II and III, the latest being Aniruddha Baba who claims he is the reincarnation of Saibaba in this 21st century!

But the Oscar goes to this picture below:

None of our Saptarishis enjoy this kind of fame or power and the Hindu temples today are all hypothecated to the Murzai trusts. Moneys from Hindu Hundis are siphoned off for proselytizing activities, subsidy for Haj and upliftment of backward vote banks.

Today the Shirdi Saibaba temple is one of the richest temples owning over 380kg gold with an annual turnover of Rs.350crores with an autonomous control by a selected few trustees.

Earlier the temple trust was run by a 15-17 member committee which constituted of mostly Congress clan, but in March 2012 the Bombay High Court disbanded the committee and has appointed a three member panel after a PIL by two Shirdi residents.

The court had also banned the temple committee from auctioning the gold, silver and diamond articles which the temple had received from devotees after a petition argued that the valuable were offered to the god, not to the temple for raising money from them. Today the Modi government is baiting them with an interest of 1.25crores for depositing their gold in Gold Monetizing scheme but there is a HC ban on melting of temple gold offerings.

“Sai “simply means saint in Islam and Saibaba didn’t utter a single Sanskrit word but Wikipedia deciphers the origin of the word ‘Sai’ thus:

However, Sāī may also be an acronym of the Sanskrit term “Sakshat Eshwar”, a reference to God.[citation needed] Sakshat means incarnate and Eshwar ( Ishvar) means God’.

This is how seeds of provincial prowess are sown to contain the masses through mass submissions with tools of religion and linguistic similarity.

There have been many saints in the past who are still revered amongst us because they equipped us with the prudence to distinguish between the divine and the dubious by not elevating the messengers of Gods as Gods themselves.

Yes it is true that people can choose their faith by all means but a faith that is founded by lifting scriptures of an already prevalent faith only reiterates the fact that there is a constant attempt to vehemently dilute and deviate people’s beliefs to create more cults. Yes it is also true that these religious model business houses are doing their bit to provide food, education and medical facilities and employment to various people but even the Christian Missionaries do the same with a hidden agenda of keeping minds under subservience for global political-power one-upmanship!

A few thousand years back Buddhism and Jainism propped out as offshoots of Hinduism, a few hundred years back Sikhism was born out of Hinduism as people carved out a new cult and today confuse and claim that Buddha is the 9th Avatar and not Balarama! One other theory by the Tamils is that Murugan is the 9th Avatara!

Today there is a similar attempt to create another cult called Saiism that is soon brewing rapidly altering our religious identity and the religious scientists are trying their best to inflict Saibaba into our scriptures, into our hymns, they are turning “Jai Shri Ram” into “Om Sai Ram”! If I contest this, my own clan will team up against me! The white man’s dream is achieved!

200years from now somebody might even argue that he was one of the Dashaavataras and slowly denigrate the original texts. 200 years from now you never know even the followers of triple Sri or Sadguru might accredit some miracles to their beloved seers and proclaim newer Avataras like the canonization theory of the Church!

Yes in a country where even Jayalalitha, Khusboo, Sonia and Rajanikant have temples built, it would come as no surprise if tomorrow there is a temple built for triple Sri or Sadguru and their likes. It is in this context that I say, belief is an obligation and truth your choice, by not succumbing to the ballistics of propaganda politics as you owe to the future generation the knowledge of the original dharma and truth in its real sense and expose them to our ancient scriptures.

I do not know if Saibaba and his likes performed any miracles, I do not know if he really preached with the absolute knowledge and enlightenment that is credited to him but surely the Macaulays who dreamt of breaking this country’s culture have miraculously succeeded to a large extent with their tremendous foresight and vicious agendas and this new trap of cultism is a potentially becoming fatal tools of disintegration!

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Devdutt Patnaik: The Myth Behind The Mythology

devdutt 6_2Watching Television for entertainment or enlightenment is a huge risk nowadays. While news channels have turned into high decibel zones, serials have turned into venom breweries and comedy is reduced to its lowest crass with obscene debauchery to tickle your nerves, sports is all about IPL and swerving shiny bottoms so I was left with only travel and history.

The first time I watched this channel called EPIC TV I was quite impressed and I started watching more of it! With program topics ranging from travel, history, ancient lifestyles, kings and famous personalities, wars, pre-independence era, religion, spirituality, politics, sports together with cuisines and their origin, films, art and culture and all our gory filled as well as glorious pasts told from an Indian perspective, it has become the talk of the town!.

I was instantly fascinated with this channel and particularly the sketching stories with crisp narrations in the ‘culture machine’, the “Stories of Rabindranath Tagore”, although they are mostly stories of debauchery and extra marital affairs of the rigid Bengalis in the pre-independence era, the stories, the depiction and narrative somewhat touches you especially when their crew cast with artistically relatable big eyed white-saried seductive actresses showcase and portray a women’s perspective along with the spectacled men with coats and dhotis taking you into an Eastman era.

The main attraction seemingly is the narratives and interpretations of Devdutt Patnaik, a self-declared mythologist, although I admire his explanations and interpretations that keeps the uninitiated curious the fact that he calls the Vedic history as a myth is something I cannot agree with.

Interestingly the channel also hosts programs anchored by people like ‘Nasir-Uddin Shah’ and ‘Mahesh Bhatt’, whose anti-national left leaning credentials and outright support for terrorists is no secret. So I mused as to what, an impressive speaker like Mr.Patnaik was doing amidst this crew and this only intrigued me further into reading more about him and his other works on his website and Facebook page and twitter as well.

I enthusiastically began following him on Twitter and was surprised to see that his Dharmic tweets are mostly politically angled to suit today’s Indian political scenario and of course with an unseen subtle judgemental pitch oscillating between Modi and his strategies.

He also says when he interviewed Wendy Doniger that “Anyone who is serious about studying Hinduism needs to study the works of Wendy Doniger (b.1940), who for over 40 years has been researching, translating, and commenting on Hindu scriptures and stories. Had it not been for her, I would not have had access to so many tales hidden in our scriptures”.

Most of the people he follows on twitter are the same enigmatic brigade who cried intolerance a while ago. I know that Retweets and one’s choice of whom they follow on social media are not categorical endorsements of any ideology as such but I would mostly follow people whom I can relate to or I am curious about!

I also read his article on the Scroll.in where he attempts a Dharmic narrative with a seeming obsession with Narendra Modi’s past and future like most twitterattis he follows!

I shall quote a particular interesting line from that article

Only the asura, says Krishna, thinks he created the wave. He assumes he controls nature. He assumes the world exists for him, or should exist for him.

A deva submits to a world where there are forces at work that are beyond his control. He gracefully accepts the fruit that comes to him.

Remember the author is giving a dharmic discourse in comparison with Modi’s political past and future, although he claims the write up is not about Modi!

Whoever the Asura here is in our political context that Mr.Devdutt Patnaik refers to who he thinks created a wave, but in writer’s lexicon this kind of writing is called subtle ideological baptism or in short “subtle agenda poison” where the writer cleverly downplays or degrades someone yet he projects as if he does not take a stand but compares and contrasts leading the audience into a compulsive conclusion!

It is not a new concept that spiritual gurus and Dharmic discourses quote political contexts for better explanations, but unlike today in earlier times spiritual gurus made their affiliations clear to their followers by endorsing certain ideologies but the threat today is the disguised propaganda and hidden agendas of our own people who use religious discourses to influence political decision making or culture bending. Art and literary work have often been seized for cultural makeovers, as they are portrayed subtly but have the potential to mesmerize the moron and the mastermind! Loud messages are often sent in the most muted forms!

It’s a smart world out there today where wars are no longer fought with violence but with agenda based propagandas, inflicting cultural terrorism by diluting beliefs and misleading masses with sweet words where the biggest tool to bond or break people always has and is religion.

False propaganda or cultural terrorism is more lethal than violent wars today as it has become the modern artillery of western nations vying to climb the power ladder.

The Puranas and Vedas can be best understood by individual interpretations if attempted with the same detachment and humility of our ancient sages but it is important that these epics, their scientific and spiritual significance be passed on in the same original form without distortions or forcing other’s interpretations as truth.

In today’s scenario where religion is a rage and Dharmic gurus and amateur historians are sprouting up from all corners of the world, you need to first enlighten yourself about the reliability and genuineness of the author/guru and ascertain his credentials of integrity before you seek the real enlightenment!

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Siddha in a secular jam…

As the grand old party’s symbolic hand gets murkier by the day with a plethora of scams and lies unfolding each day, the more it tugs at weeding out the lotus bloom, the deeper it is sucked into its own corrupt slushy marsh accumulated over the years. The hypocrisy of secular/pro-poor/pro-farmer rants is fast evaporating into thin air as the people now see through their farce. The veteran party is left with few states under its iconic hands and hence few political strategies left! It is in this context that when all promises of progress and development have fallen flat and the party is exposed more than it could dare to bare, that the Congress crew is now desperate to retain its power bases and make the most during its current reign in states like Karnataka and is explicitly playing its caste card and vote bank politics to retain its secular passengers.

minority

I saw this big ad on DH today and wondered how much more divisively explicit can a party chest beating about secularism get?

minority3

Whatever welfare of all people under Indian constitution meant, the Siddaramaiah government’s unapologetic obsession with Ahinda politics and minority appeasement is only growing!

minority1

We the salaried, private school educated middleclass majority are the new Dalits in the bizarre system of socialistic equal opportunities where the prices of our essential commodities, services and education facilities are sky-rocketing by the day because of the appeasement policies to subsidize and provide everything free to the Muslims, Christians, SCs, STs and backwards.

The Anna Bhagya scheme gives free rice, palm oil at Rs.25, salt at Rs.2 and sugar at Rs.13.50 per kg. Then there is Ksheera Bhagya and Ksheera Dhaare. As if the BPL schemes were not enough now there is also an APL (above poverty line) scheme in the form of Rajiv Arogya Bhagya and Hut-Free housing scheme where the beneficiary pays 30% and the rest of the 70% medical and housing expenses are paid by the government. That’s not all, there is also another unique bhagya called Runamukt Bhagya which waives off the loan taken by SCs, STs, backwards, Muslims, Christians and after that they are again eligible to get fresh loans to take newer economic activities.

Under this scheme 395crores of SC’s loans, 69crores of ST’s loans, 514crores of BC’s loans, 363crores of minority loans were waived off!

Loans these days make you more secular if not secure!

While on one hand we are bogged by the Karnataka state’s many sprucing Bhagyas squeezing the middleclass Hindus, on the other hand the center wants us to empathize with some more poor people and forcibly surrender our gas subsidy! It is another thing that I have to pay another Rs.20 to the poor gas delivery boy as an extended corrupt compulsive responsibility!

While the minorities and backwards are backed with free education, reservation quotas and schemes like Vidya Siri Bhagya, the middleclass are naively shouldering the burden of RTE quotas as the schools now stealthily pass on this additional cost to the middleclass parents by hiking their already exorbitant fees.

hitler's quote

In Bengaluru, schools are charging anything between Rs.73000-Rs.90000/- for even a class I student and the bus fees is Rs.20000-Rs.65000/- irrespective of the distance. Three years back when the RTE quota were not yet introduced the school fees was considerably lesser but unfortunately in India the very poor are exempt from tax and the very rich evade the tax, it is the gullible middleclass who is a superficial citizen of India paying up all taxes, following all the rules and regulations, paying penalties and interests but with no obligation from the administration whatsoever.

All moral values, hard work, fables of truth and honor, good manners, etiquettes, discipline, niceties are for the middle class morons while the power mongers have always flexed their muscles and thrust their hegemony.

With a state government that is too busy audaciously appeasing only non-Hindus _ the middleclass can only hope that the center devices some schemes of respite for the tax paying middleclass as well, since removing the evil of reservation politics is a distant dream, the least it could do to bring about a balance is perhaps include more and more merit and middleclass into the reservation list thereby diluting this acrimonious divide with dual economies in a caste thrust secular society or will they ask the creamy third generation reservation candidates to forgo their quota and pass on this social status accruing subsidy to the others?!

 

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“BJPWalker” Rocking Kerala Election

Kerala, the spice capital of the world, the land where many ancient civilizations flourished, once renowned for its culture and traditional values is today less about culture and more about communism and their communal violence with the advent of communism post India’s independence,, yet Kerala is often seamlessly promulgated as the state with the highest literacy rates, but the insidious truth remains that even with a literacy rate of 93.91% as against the national average of 74% the state of Kerala tops the unemployment rate at 7.4% which is almost 3times the national level of 2.3%.

So where did the state go wrong?

Before understanding where it went wrong, the people of Kerala need to shun their prejudiced pseudo secular filters and understand why it went wrong? The answer lies hidden in an ideology that was adopted six decades ago!

Communism _ an idea of a classless society where society shares all property and wealth in common, in simple terms somebody else who may or may not have worked hard enough, shares profits of your labor. In short Communism is a slow poison that harvests lethargy, kills the spirit of competition and learning, disintegrates the idea of a robust economy and completely disregards merit leaving the strings of decision making with a powerful few.

The economic inequality during post Independence led to the hope of an equal distribution of uneven wealth accumulations amongst the peasants who were overwhelmed when Land Reforms and Ordinance Bills and Education Bills were passed, reversing everything as they went on to become the land owners overnight but the sad truth is that even after 60 years of Communist/Congress rule in the God’s own country, the manufacturing activities are almost nil, the unemployment graph is only surging, industrial progress is bleak, today the multinational companies are reluctant to invest or set up new business in the state of Kerala owing to the lack of infrastructural development, fear of industrial unrest by communist aggressors who do not allow the benefits of globalization to be passed on to their people. Hence there is a dangerous trend of skilled and unskilled labour drifting away from Kerala to distant shores for greener pastures that leaves the economy dented and dependent only on NRI remittances, tourism and trade to some extent!

NRI remittances are good but can an economy depend only on remittances alone which can be at stake in the adversity of a war or political disturbance?

Even tourism is a lack-lustre business in Kerala as most tourists dread about the safety aspects and lack of good hotels and good food especially vegetarian food except for a few posh unaffordable resorts.

Also communism by far claims to be Godless and pro people but on a closer look it is just a vicious combination of pseudo secular and power mongering brokers that has changed the demographics of free thinking and peaceful living.

It is in this context that the people of Kerala need to thwart down the pseudo secular rhetoric and leverage their voting rights in large numbers giving BJP a fair chance to prove them self in the larger interest of the state’s development.

The BJP candidate Kummannam Rajasekharan has been playing a pivotal role in stirring a nationalistic conscience amongst Keralites.

Mr.K.Rajasekharan has been a journalist, editor in various publishing houses who after working at Food Corporation Of India, quit his job to become a social activist. He has led the Nilakkal movement in 1983 against encroachment of temple lands when a church priest claimed that a stone cross established by Jesus’ apostle Saint Thomas in 57 CE was unearthed from near the Mahadeva temple at Nilakkal near Sabarimala, and proposed to build a church on the site, Hindus mounted a protest that lasted for six months and finally resulted in the relocation of the proposed church. In the Marad massacre incident in 2003 where Hindus were attacked with swords and the killers escaped into the local Juma Masjid, police were prevented from entering the mosque by Muslim women, as the General-Secretary of Hindu Aikya Vedi, Kummanam Rajasekharan played a tremendous role in this movement for justice and fair trial. He has also led agitation against the Aranmula International Airport project which was a detrimental to the fragile ecosystems and had various environmental violations. He has also led movements against Elavoor Thookam and Palazhi untouchable practices. He had earlier contested in 1987.

The communal and divisive vote bank politics prevalent from the last 6 decades has let down the people of Kerala with only a secular jargon coined time and again but with no visible development or opportunities whatsoever.

In the past many BJP/RSS candidates and workers have been ruthlessly murdered or eliminated through violent methods from the political corridors but in spite of the constant communal violence from the communists and Congress and all their allies, strangely it is the BJP that is termed as hardliners who involve in communal politics.

But this time around the BJP has made its presence felt remarkably, connecting and reaching out to the common man, thereby instilling confidence amongst people who had lost faith in democracy.

bjpwalker1

“The #BJPWalker rocking Kerala elections” program was an exciting experience for the voters of Vattiyoorkavu constituency in Kerala as they indulged in the festival of democracy, witnessing a glittery march with people carrying illuminated portraits of Sri.Kummananam Rajasekharan the President of BJP, Kerala State and a candidate for the assembly elections due on May 16.

bjpwalker2

The BJPWalker created with the portraits of Sri.Kummanam and Prime Minister Modi ji were carried as a light weight back packs by volunteers. They were also wearing three dimensional masks of Modi ji and Kummanam Ji. The pedestrians, commuters and bystanders witnessed such glittering fervour first time in their life and they seemed to simply love it as they took selfies and sent them to friends, BJP is connecting well with voters and ensuring that they read the content published on BJPWalkers , they are taking feedback from different section of voters and involving low cost interactive communication system with high Return of Investment says Buddha Chandrasekhar @buddhabjp creator of BJPwalker.

In addition to the bjpwalker they are using Hydraulic moving display of Modiji and Kummanamji, large balloons and models of electronic voting machines in training voters, says Buddha Chandrasekhar

bjpwalker3

The election for Kerala Assembly is picking up speed and heat as BJP is using unique campaigning techniques to reach out to the voters. BJPWalker was inaugurated by Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri.Ananthakumar and covered by major local Kerala channels.

The Communist ideology that swept with quick succession, the gullible minds of the peasants six decades ago seems to be fading away as a farce into thin air as the people now realize that hard work and a legitimate developmental plan with an earnest will to implement it alone can take a state forward!

http://www.bjp.org/

 

 

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Puthravathi Bava!

putravaathiAs the perfectionist walks in like a queen bee, the hullaballoo of the lesser mortals is quickly hushed into chronic whispers! She is the master chef who will roll her sleeves to prescribe the finest recipes, she is the nutritionist who will add five portions of lentils and vegetables and seven varieties of fruits in her child’s diet, she could be the next brand ambassador for Scorch Brite who will scrub and sterilize everything around the house sparklingly clean with disinfectants, she is an omnipresent mother with eyes and ears everywhere, never letting that Cerelac drip anywhere beyond the bib, she is the Cindrella who will jump at the stroke of the next feeding hour lest her child’s growth goes haywire, she will panic if the milk powder is 0.001mg lesser and will wait for the calcium to dissolve and integrate into the body and shoot up as little nails on the finger so that she can file them on time! She will starve for chocolates herself lest her child should pick up that habit, she will keep her child away from violent visuals, teach when to say excuse me and when to say thank you. With an only child to care for, a single child parent leaves no stone unturned brandishing the baby with branded products the baby’s bum is spic and span on time and the skin is supple and soaked in one or the other cream. A single child parent can emerge as the messiah of logic and the counsel all with mindboggling parenting tips that can actually make you go weak in the knee feeling like a serial punitive parent caught red handed. To cut the story short, a single child mother is the personification of motherhood and can be nominated for the Oscars in the world’s best mom category or so she thinks!

I was all of this and much more until I was mom, yet another time!

While parenting a single child is no child’s play, the addition of one more child into the family tree is like a drop of nirvana in the ocean of parental saga as it teaches you to be super pragmatic in life and turns you into a new leaf. You will quickly learn how to suddenly multiply your hands to tend to hungry mouths and meet the messy challenge of how to put on the oxygen mask first and then go about saving other’s lives! But there are some common salient features of a second pregnancy:

The moment you announce your second pregnancy, the fleet of supporters at home that you were flaunting until recently will suddenly fall sick or go into a spiritual deluge and go on a pilgrimage unattached from your new attachments, at office your manager will suddenly talk of gender equality and levy more loads of work on you. At a personal level _ with the nostalgia of your first baby still showering in your bed and that stench still fresh in your and everybody else’s minds, baby shower will be a taboo word, and since there is already a downsizing threat in the corporate corridors, your hubby might suddenly turn romantic and get you only a beautiful red rose instead!

At social gatherings, family and friends will bless you stressing on the ‘Putravathi bava’ phrase even if they know that you already have a boy, and by chance if your blood is boiling with those women rights activism, save that energy as you have not quiet deciphered the hidden meaning when elderly women bless you that way! It secretly means ‘why should you have all the fun when I have toiled tons to bring up my sons only to be my daughter-in-law’s husbands’!

As a mother of two boys, I can now somewhat relate as to what it is to bring up sons and keep consoling myself _All is well_ I am only a facilitator! No this post is not about sons versus daughters it’s just about first time parents versus experience!

Once you are promoted as a parent of two kids you are now more envisioned and research oriented, perhaps the previous experiments are driving you close to the god particle and now that recipe, that nutrition you researched earlier will radiate resplendently on your belly, the discipline, the time table and all that perfect parenting instincts will circle around your eyes like freshly laid kohl, slowly the staunch timetable of calculated healthy portions will be tossed and wrapped over like masala dosa as they now appear obsolete, hyper rigid and monotonous, not that your family is turning squint and famished, it’s just that you will bite and binge on anything that looks like food. Sleep and piping hot food were never so pricelessly precious perhaps!

Also you will suddenly want your spoon fed first child to become terribly independent at once now so that you can go back to square one with your second stint at parenting but since that is a distant dream now, you can only fancy a whimsical wish that there were more than 24hours in a day or perhaps a school/baby care that runs in night shifts!

With the elasticity of the tummy comes the flexibility and adaptability in your approach, your ideas and insights will change like candidates jumping into new political outfits. The clean scrubbing, finicky freak that you were, will now feel, immunity is something that kids should develop naturally, the earlier the better! You will suddenly start appreciating your child’s choice and independence and not fret when he does not finish a portion. Soon it will dawn upon you that being overtly vigilant about your child is more about over protectiveness and less about caring hence it is best to let them test the waters and learn to handle their little problems themselves at the playground while you enjoy an evening walk.

Earlier the worries revolved around how the hell can I make him polish the bowl? Now it is ‘how the hell do I meet their never ending demands’? The younger siblings usually learn quickly from the older ones making your life lot easier when it comes to eating habits or personal hygiene or reading for that matter. Earlier I was obsessed with time but today time seems to be obsessed with me, setting new deadlines and newer targets each day!

Today the branded products sit at the shelf and expire unperturbed as I now know that the shine and suppleness on the face is not because of those creams anymore, it’s more about the spunk in your mind that you stride with and a sparkle in the eye with that acquired patience, perseverance and learning that comes only with parenting, more so if you are a proud parent of two notorious kids!!

The worst fears of single child parents that they will end up with additional responsibilities and less time for them is half baked, yes the initial years are demanding but as children grow up slightly the siblings learn to appreciate each other’s presence leasing you with a lot of leisure time.

The idea of this post propped up to me when I walked past a single child mother diligently run behind her cycle happy kid, with portions of fruits and nuts crying hysterically “it is energy time beta”, the bête noire of “Hum do Humare Do” that she was, her penetrating grimaces clearly indicating her dissent for the uncaring or careless parent that I was to leave my kids on their own as I swung my arms in Yogic fervor wielding more power as against her but I smiled candidly, secretly blessing her with another “Putravathi Bava” hoping that a drop of parental nirvana drops on her too!

This Article Was Originally Published in mycity4kids.com

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Reading The Upanishads

I am trying to read the Upanishads but it is more difficult than any religious texts, as spirituality and religion are two different aspects altogether. I would have read two or three novels in the time I took to read just 40 pages so far. But it is certainly intriguing and inspiring!

Reading about metaphysical phenomena and getting initiated philosophically is more difficult than I had perceived, as it requires acute concentration and dedication to decipher the real meanings! But you don’t need to be sceptical and resolutely reserve it to be read only by retirement, because there is no point chest beating about our spiritual heritage without once trying to read them. So for the beginners here is a brief about what really are Upanishads.

The Upanishads have represented philosophy, spirituality and life for thousands of years and have influenced in the past many nations far beyond the boundaries of India, Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, Ceylon, Malay and even the westerners as many ancient Indian texts were found buried under the sands of the west.

The Upanishads are a philosophical quest that inspires and helps one to understand life in the right perspective without any rigidity and rise above the glamour of fleshly life, by aiding philosophical answers to the material problems and spiritual questions of life.

The connotation Upa(near) ni(down) shad(sit)  means sitting down near knowledge. (In ancient times, pupils sat down by the river banks to seek knowledge from their Gurus).

The root sadh means ‘to loosen’, ‘to destroy’, ‘to reach’

Essentially Upanishads are Bramhagyan or Bramha knowledge by which ignorance is loosened or destroyed and it is intelligible only to the initiated. In short it is a spiritual vision with philosophical arguments.

Gordon Milburn, an evangelist who studied Upanishads said “Christianity in India needs Vedantha. A very useful step would be recognition of certain books or passages in the Vedantha as constituting what might be called Ethnic Old Testament”.

Popularly there are 108 Upanishads, the Latin version of Upanishads_ Oupnekhat has 50 Upanishads but of all, the principal ones are:

Eesha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Maitreyaneya, Taithreya, Aithreya, Chandogya, Bhrad Aranyaka and Svethasvatara.

The Upanishads were not written by any one person or with any one philosophy, they were teachings that developed over parishads or spiritual retreats where teachers and students discussed and defined different views.

The Upanishads are Sanaathana _timeless!

Some of the sages who wrote the Upanishads are Aaruni, Yaghnavaalkhya, Baalakhi, Svethakethu and Shandilya…..

108 chapters to give solutions to the problems of life, maybe this is the reason we have 108 as the emergency number.

The Vedas and Upanishads are the history of the world and India in particular. They hold the authoritarian influence the world over, because of their inspirational values as they are vehicles of spiritual illumination and a treasure-trove of wisdom and knowledge. Earlier they were orally passed on from generation to generation but with time people found it difficult to comprehend and remember hence it was written down.

The Rig-Veda is the oldest literary monument of the world which reveals the high civilization that existed in pre-historic India whose borders extended far beyond today’s geographical boundaries.

The Rig Veda deals with hymns and prayers of praise,

The Yajur Veda deals with sacrificial formalities,

The Saama Veda deals with melodies,

The Atharva Veda deals with magic formulas.

Each Veda consists of

  1. Samhithas are a collection of mantras or hymns, prayers, benedictions, sacrificial formulas and litanies.
  2. Brahmanaas are the prose essays that explain mantras from Samhitas in simpler ways, for better understanding and discuss the significance of sacrificial rituals and ceremonies.
  3. Aranyakaas or forest texts were evolved when hermits did not have enough resources to follow conventional sacrifices or rituals, the Aranyakaas focus on meditative thinking. The word Aranya originates from Arana, in Vedic age those who continued their studies without marrying were called Aranas or Aranamaanas, they lived in hermitages or forests. The forests where the aranas lived were called Aranya.
  4. Upanishads deals with solutions to the problems in life, they are difficult to comprehend hence they are taught in the end of the Vedas, hence the word Vedantha meaning Vedasya Antha _ that which is taught at the end of the Vedas. Some scholars use Vedantha and Upanishads interchangeably while some argue that they are different.The Vedic civilization extended far beyond the middle east, when Iran was known as Iriya, Palestine was known as Pali sthan(the land where Paali was spoken).Ahura Mazda is the fire god of Zoroastrians, Avesta is their scripture and Avestan is an Iranian religion pre-dating the Islam. The lines “despised and persecuted remnants moved to Yezd and Kirman” reveal that the Yezidis have a Vedic past and worship many Hindu symbols like the peacock which is the vehicle of Murugan, it is perhaps for this reason that they are being exterminated today.

The Samhitas and the Brahmanas represent the Karma-Kanda or ritual portion of the Vedas while the Upanishads represent the Gnana-Kanda or knowledge portion of the Vedas.

The Vedic civilization extended far beyond the middle east, when Iran was known as Iriya, Palestine was known as Pali sthan(the land where Paali was spoken).

Prof.E.G.Browne writes “when in the 7th century, the warlike followers of the Arabian prophet swept across Iran overwhelming in their tumultuous onslaught, an ancient dynasty and a venerable religion, a change apparently almost unparalleled in history was in the course of a few years brought over the land where for centuries the ancient hymns of Avesta were chanted and sacred fires had burned, the cry of the Mu ezzin summoning the faithful to prayers rang from minarets reared on the ruins of temples at Ahura Mazda. The priests of Zoroaster fell by swords, the ancient books perished in the flames and soon none were left to represent a once mighty faith but a handful of exiles flying towards the shores of India and a despised and persecuted remnant in solitary Yezd and remote Kirman”.

But in spite of centuries of Islam, the Vedic thoughts are not totally effaced from some passages of the Quran as it still has mystic interpretations echoing their past religious beliefs.

Ahura Mazda is the fire god of Zoroastrians, Avesta is their scripture and Avestan is an Iranian religion pre-dating the Islam.

The lines “a handful of exiles flying towards India” does not reiterate any Aryan invasion theory because the Vedic civilization was not limited to the boundaries of today’s India alone, it extended wide across the middle east and far west as well. The Zoroastrians who fled to India are today called Paarsees.

Some astounding similarities between the Indo-Iran(Persian) terminologies are:

In India, we refer to Varuna as the water god and lord of rta In Iran, Ahura is the water god and lord of aasa
Varuna is allied with Mitra, the Sun God Ahura is allied with Mithra, the Sun God, in fact Iran had a religion called Mithraism that pre-dated Christianity and was in rivalry with Christianity.
Dyaus means sky in Sanskrit Zeus is the sky god in Greek and Avesta.
Vrthrahan is slayer of Vrthra, sometimes regarded Vishn. Verethragna is an Zoroastran god in the Avestan times
Apamnaapat is a deity which in Sanskrit means ‘sons of cosmic water’ which is a form of Agni. Apa means water and Napat means grandson Apam Napat, in Avestan means sons of water. Apa means water, napat means grandson.
Yajna or Yagnya means worship or oblation through fire Yasna means worship or oblation through water.
Gandharvas are celestial beings in Vedic beliefs. Gandharewa are celestial beings in Zoroastrianism.
Yama is the God of death Yima is the God of death
Hotr or Atharva, is a priest Zoatr or Athravan, is the priest
Vaayu is wind Vayu is wind
Krsaanu Keresaani

Both the Zoroastrians and Hindus revere the Sun and involve use of fire in their oblations but while Hindus revere and worship the Devas, the Zoroastrians regard them as demons and vice versa, perhaps the Zoroastrianism was established rebelling against its predecessor, that has unmistakable similarities with Vedic systems.

Zoroastrianism was founded by the prince Zarathusthra, which sounds very similar to “Dhritharasthra” to me, maybe their race continued somewhere in the AryaVartha or Airiya or Iriya or Iran but there is no evidence anywhere whatsoever.

But the larger point is that most beliefs that exist today are offshoots of the Vedic practices, where some got corroded while some colluded and rebelled against its roots forming newer faiths and followers. And it is in this context that some faiths follow the stark opposite of the other, just to prove its upmanship over the other.

And it is in this scenario of the society that spirituality outdoes religion, to enlighten and inspire us for the everyday obligations of life.

References from “The Principal Upanishads” by S.Radhakrishnan.

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Have we lost our responsiveness?

There was a time when we would do things at the first instance of being told, responsiveness came like an inbuilt trait, those days! I do not know if it was the pattern of participation in the family affairs or perhaps the diligence we were wired with, that ensured we did things the way it were expected. But somehow today there is a growing trend of people all around who have grown thick skinned to this important interactive credential, as people just don’t think it is important anymore to heed to, at the first instance.

Although responsiveness has always furthered knowledgeable folks to be in the epicentre of good work and good will keeping the others in the periphery, oftentimes I find that responsiveness is becoming rationed and people take niceties for granted and respond only when nefariously yelled at or sarcastically nudged in public!

A travel website recently duplicated my content without seeking my permissions, I refuted several times politely asking them to remove the post but was able to get a response and get them to act only when I resorted to threatening them to naming and shaming them publicly on social media sites.

At an other time an arrogant muscly neighbor, mellowed down only when his reputation was at stake in public, it is indeed intriguing how people no more respect good words in good faith and succumb only when the defaming whip is lashed!

It is an unconscientiously hypo critic world out there where fear of a reduced reputation rules over responsiveness or rightfulness. A few other replace credible moral reputation with money and yes men, with whom yelling or ridiculing is an easy option to extract responses and actions but short lived as it ruins our mental peace and reflects poorly upon us but how do you handle the many occasions in life where you have to deal with the not so nice people with absolute niceties and still get your work done?

I often resort to pathetic humour to make a point, sometimes at my cost and even force myself into a metaphysical trance to counter the insensitivities! Because some viewpoints and mind sets deserve only a befitting laugh than logic and when you cannot please everyone, just tease them!! What do you think?

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The Bed Bugs Of Journalism

The release of the accused JNU student leader #KannaiyaKumar on interim bail is being jubilantly celebrated, not just in the JNU campus but across the pro Congress, pro Marxist media channels.

I was casually surfing channels to ascertain how each channel brings out this news, it was indeed entertaining to see white lies and biased opinions aired so benevolently without the slightest remorse of being dishonest to one’s own conscience.

ravishkumar

However one such channel that caught my attention was the NDTV, the news anchor Ravish Kumar was chatting up with a few JNU students trying his best to down play a serious sedition charge and converting the coverage into an image makeover session.

For those who are clouded with confusion about freedom of speech and use the jargons like sedition and dissent as interchangeable words, it is important to know that 5 of our policemen gave up their lives to protect and uphold the honour of our parliament_ that parliament which is the sacred sanctum of  building and developing this nation called India. And an attack on India’s parliament is a blatant challenge to her very sovereignty and honour. If not for those brave cops who died fighting the gun wielding terrorists encircling our parliament house, our thick skinned politicians would not be here to make these tall rhetoric speeches about freedom of speech.

Kannaiya Kumar the student leader who organised a commemoration day for the terrorist Afzal Guru, the mastermind behind the Parliament attacks is unfortunately being made a hero when he was very much channelizing and coordinating anti-India sloganeering like “Bharat tere tukde honge and Bharath ke barbaadi thak”. The Supreme Court of India ordered the judicial execution of Afzal Guru but the fops of free speech will continue with their agenda of dividing this nation and show their contempt for court decisions by celebrating and organising Martyrdoms for terrorists and Maoists.

What Kind of Azzadi do they really want _another attack on the parliament??

Well in this case, Kannaiah is only released on interim bail and the matter is still subjudice in courts but Kannaiah’s speech was scripted no less than a Bollywood flick, he hinges largely on an anti Modi pitch but fails to make a point. He mixes up things and takes a complete U turn on the famous Azaadi mania, he now cries Azaadi from corruption and Manuvaad and RSS. Whatever secularism meant!! But Manuvaad and Brahmanvaad are very fashionable terms these days and the speech is incomplete without a reference to farmer suicides! He goes on to say that the backward people are forced to take up jobs in the police and builds up a link to the farmer issue by saying “and these poor people who take up the jobs in the police force are sons of poor farmers and that nobody cares for the suicides of farmers”

Ironically most farmer suicides occurred during the Congress regime and the Modi government is only trying to ease out things for them at the cost of once again burdening the general category by levying taxes on EPF and removing the subsidy on cylinders but a speech is a speech and it has to compulsively have some peculiar if not secular stuff in it.

He rants that the poor police cop in the Tihar Jail does not get to study in JNU like him and cries foul that private education is expensive!

Some 60years back my father studied in a Government college that had the best professors, and yes they were general merit category professors who taught in Government schools and colleges, there were no private educational institutions then nor any reservations, he didn’t pay a dime but got the best of education. Today if anybody is to blame for the pathetic state of affairs in the founding years of primary education _ it is the vicious policy of reservation as all the teaching jobs are today occupied by reservation quota candidates who are ill equipped and unqualified to teach.

Today the Manuvaadis and Brahmanvaadis and all general category merit classes are classically castigated aside in the name of reservation quotas to make way for minorities and backward classes even if they didn’t deserve it. It is for this reason that general merit candidates are almost devoid of any posts in the Government jobs and not otherwise. As a result of which corruption has grown multifold with undeserving candidates without the ability or qualifications occupying posts that they cannot handle and do justice to.

A Government job today is seen as the goose that lays golden eggs, and people pay lakhs of bribe money even to get into the post of a Hawaldar, such is the scope for looting the stupid common man, with whose tax money people like Kannaiah get to hold the mike to massacre the society with hatred and divide.

93% of our educational institutes are run by the Government and only 7% by the private players that too with an RTE prick, how else can this 7% sustain if they didn’t make their courses expensive after paying those fat bribes for all those approvals and sanctions by the government babus!

But the enthusiasm on Ravish Kumar’s face resplendently revealed how much he wanted to say “Mere Rago Mein Khoon Ab Baara Guna Zyada Daud Raha Hai….. Aap Ko Ab Kaisa Lag Raha Hai” but he did not stop there!

Mr. Ravish Kumar, a senior journalist of NDTV proudly broke the investigated news to us on national TV that Kannaiah did chase away the bed bugs from the JNU hostels!

But the larger question is who will chase away these bed bugs in the nasty world of journalism? Who will stop the Kannaiahs who blatantly instigate a social divide amongst the youth in the name of backward and forwardness which is very dangerous to the integrity and unity of our nation? Who will fumigate the bed bugs of divisive rabble rousing news channels that are setting a dangerous precedent of showcasing to the youth of this nation that it’s cool to be anti-nationalistic in the name of free speech?

 

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Brahminical Tyranny! Really??!

Braminical tyranny, they cry! “Brahmmanvaad ke kilaph ladenge, nahi sahenge……whatever” they cried. They hyperventilate about being suppressed by Brahmans from time immemorial but ironically Babasahaeb Ambedkar was raised and educated by a Brahmin who also gave him the name Ambedkar! We worship a Cow herd and venerate a non-brahman Valmiki who went on to become a Brahman!

The population of Brahmins today has come down drastically their literacy rate is above 85% and mostly excel in the fields of education, law, medicine and legal systems without any reservation systems because of honesty and hard work.

Brahmanism is more about following a particular life style than about just being born into a caste.
The one who knows the Brahman _ the supreme self, the ones who live a life of simplicity and dedicate their life in pursuit of knowledge, the one who does not harm or cause blood shed of any emotional beings, the one who believes in his mental strength than any violent physical strength and the one who is against all dark evils and stands by a fair justice system, it is in this context that in Indian mythology all the bad Asuras and demons who spread evil are portrayed as dark and the one who destroys the evil is the seeker of a fair justice whether this evil destroyer is dark or white is immaterial and our Vedic puranas are proof enough to this.
In the South Indian temples you will see that all deities and idols are carved in black stones, the Krishna idol in Udupi is in black while the Krishna idol in Vrindavan is made of white marble!
Krishna means black in Sanskrit. Rama, Krishna and Shiva, Durga or Kali, the Hindu Gods are always depicted in blue which is symbolic of being extremely dark in complexion! But unfortunately our historical mythologies have been hijacked by the non-believers and twisted to suit these agendas.

A sect worshipping Mahishasura, the evil demon! Really! The pseudo secular reign in the past has seen the addition of many new Jayanthis in their overwhelming zeal to commemorate the Dalits. Our sages and spiritual leaders were also not spared their castes were deliberately flaunted to create an artificial dissent among fellow Hindus. Revered sages like Valmiki, poets like Kanakadasa were leveraged to inflict a casteist divide, but they forget the very definition of a Brahmin _ “The one who knows Brahman” and it is for this reason that the Brahmin community never opposed or played into any of these moves as they believe in respecting knowledge no matter where it comes from and this has been amply demonstrated all along and stood the test of time.

We have been hearing from our births that there is a social oppression of lower castes by the hegemony of Brahmanism, I do not know when really the Brahmins got a chance to oppress amidst the last 800 years of sabotage and invasions but this is what the Joshua project says
“Brahmins are a key community in India who uphold Hinduism. Please pray that the light of the gospel breaks through the veil that blinds this community.
Pray that the true God will reveal Himself to this community and use Brahmins to preach and teach about Jesus Christ”.
The white man is hard at work to erase Sanathan Dharma by wily deploying Brown British moles across the length and breadth of India who are often disguised as rights activists or Green brigadiers or evangelists of freedom, creativity and liberalisation and not to forget “senior journalists” and “rational thinkers”!

My converted Christian colleague at office could not stop himself from piquing at me about my staunch vegetarian habits. He would say “Din mein teeka, raath ko chicken tikka” meaning a Tilak in the morning and chicken sticks at night! I was dazed at his guts and unprovoked shot at piquing me but was equally amused at the disrespectful ignorance and the hatred that was inflicted in him.

Truly a new convert is more religious than the preacher himself!

An IAS officer Uma Shankar in Tamil Nadu in the recent years openly propagated, preached Christianity and ridiculed other faiths, he also advised his followers to retain their Dalit Hindu status to avail the benefits of reservations but become a Christian at heart! Such is the hypocrisy of freedom of speech and beliefs in our country.

En route to the Manjunatha Swamy temple in Dharmastala, in Karnataka, there is a  large Dhwaja Stamba topped with a golden cross in the front yard of a church. I am talking about this here is to simply reiterate the fact that our symbols, scriptures and sacredness has been time and again manipulated and meddled with in a hush-hush way in the country sides, hill regions, amidst the untouched tribal areas, amongst naïve farmers and poor artisans who know not the evils of World’s religion based-power politics, while our media is busy blaring about the how narrow minded we Hindus are!!

But with the current day obsession with worshipping anybody and anything that is derogatory to the majority community’s belief where Mahishasura is elevated as a Dalit pawn deployed to denigrate the supreme Durga as a white skinned Aryan prostitute, which is one among the various atrocious attempts of the white man to vilify the Hindu mythology through their brown skinned commies, the Brahmin haters will never miss an opportunity to denigrate Brahmins, because when all logical reasoning ends, begins violence and vilification of the sober cult that is long shown the door out of its country by inflicting caste based reservations. Because that is the only way the white man can consume this nation and burp out his misgivings and stand tall as a super power.

If you have to appear big, cut the other person down to size!

Unfortunately Ravana and Shurpanaka were Brahmins hence no Jayanthis in their honor! Else we could have expected some Jayanthis on their name as well!

Even Ravana and all other demons are depicted as dark, symbolizing the darkness of the evil thoughts that is associated with them but the propagandists of equality will selectively cry hoarse when Mohammed the prophet is called a gay and cite freedom of speech and belief when Goddess Durga is denigrated.

They will not stop there, but shout that all Brahmins are white skinned and SC/ST are dark skinned as they have tall stakes in the divisive dividends of India. People living in tropical and extremely hot climates are bound to have higher amounts of melanin pigment and people in colder regions have less melanin which makes them fair skinned. Now the obsolete Aryan-Dravidian theory cannot be applied here anymore because going by the leftist and Maoist ideologues, all Kashmiri Muslims are fair skinned Brahmins! Isn’t?

It is Baba Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary this year, the architect of our constitution, the mascot of Dalits, who proposed the reservation policy only for 10years, so as to bring about a social equality, but ironically even after 70years of this policy, we remain divided and continue to fill the census forms with castes and sub castes defeating the very purpose of devising this policy of reservation.

But polity thrives on this division and they will not let go of it any soon.

Dalit Scholar Commits Suicide” was the headline a month ago, now it is “Privilege Motion Against Smrithi?” Ever since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi in his 45th year is attending more colleges than perhaps he ever did during his 20s, so the catch is clear! Smrithi Irani might have been late in asking Rohit Vemula, the dalit student as to why he was wasting time indulging in politics than focusing on his academics and education, the seat that he secured via the reservation quota, denying many a meritorious students what they rightfully deserved but the prince charming is never late for any of those staged campus furores.

There are several thousands of other students who commit suicide as they cannot make it to the premium institutes in spite of decent scores that fails them to scramble up the thin 40% left for the General category students with a 90+% cut off. But our secular media will pique on Dalits, minorities! Whether the Dalit students died of an over burdening load of academia or because of social inequality or was done off with, by those very people he stood with, we do not know but people will continue to come forward, not to join the forward posts on the border but for the celebrated posts of backwardness.
The union budgets will continue to appease the backward classes, time and again allocating crores of rupees(today’s budget allotted 500crores for Stand Up India Scheme _entrepreneurship scheme for SC/ST), sanctioning for more and more schemes for the welfare and upliftment of minorities and SC/STs by breaking the backs of the middle class (a large number of cunning Brahmins included!) who donkey the political loads of income tax burden entrusted upon them as a moral virtue from time immemorial. They do not make any ruckus for reservations, they never complain or file a case in courts when their clan is denigrated every time at the altar of secularism but will read some more scriptures, gulp it down and continue to shoulder it all and contribute more only in the hope that someday India will be a super power when merit alone will triumph.

I do not have anything against anybody’s religious choice but if you interfere with mine and think it is rational to masquerade as one amongst us and indulge in spewing venom against us then your divisive agenda is out in the open and calls for corrective actions from our end by participating profusely in the political and administrative decisions of the nation.
“Brahmins are non-violent and peace loving people but never tyrannical, in fact they have been systematically oppressed in an organized way today so stop using words like Brahmanvaad!”

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Nidar Nirbheek and Nirbhaya

Impact of The Make In India concept has been roaring ever since the Modi Government launched it in September 2014 with an aim to renew our manufacturing sector and play a key role in the global supply chain, and why not after decades of a slumped image, if today India is making eyeballs roll and is being acknowledged the world over for its technological prowess and its striding pace of economy, it is only natural for every Indian to indulge and take pride in the Swadeshi fervour! Having said that the recent Make In India week caught my attention for two wrong reasons, one the devastating fire, whether it was an accident or designed to its fine execution, only time will tell, two the launch of the lightest revolver ‘Nidar’!

The manufacturers of Nidar claim that it is the lightest Indian make gun weighing only 250gms and that this palm sized beauty can empower and ensure women safety by aiding them in adverse situations and that it costs only Rs.35000 which is better than its previous version, Nirbheek which weighs 500gms that costs 1,22,000!

Yes 35k might be peanuts in today’s cosmopolitan world where people do not hesitate to splurge half a lakh for fanciful accessories like watches and smart phones but then if arming people with guns were to empower them and ensure their safety why then do we need any courts of justice at all?

If guns were to reduce rapes and other social crimes against women why then was Jessica Lal shot down, why then was Sunanda Pushkar killed, why then was Geetika, an airhostess driven to commit suicide by a minister called Gopal Khanda? They were all elite women sharing proximity with powerful people. If that is the state of people who can afford Rs.35000 then what speak of people in the lower ranks of the society?

A domestic help in a minister’s house was murdered, would she feel empowered with a gun? Would she be saved if she had a gun? Or could the Barduan sisters who were raped and hanged in public saved themselves from the evil clutches of political hegemony and social atrocity? If grabbing a gun makes one feel safe then UP-Bihar would be the safest place in India!

If only our police constables and patrol police were armed with guns and a little bit of social sensitivity then the hands that preyed upon Nirbhaya would not have dared to think of such heinous acts.

Our western counterparts, mainly the US realise that they have already messed up infesting their own courtyards with the gun culture and are today struck knee deep in a society of violent crimes as a result of their own superficial constitutional rights. Successive presidents have stood mute and succumbed to the heckling between the bankers and the pro-gun brigade but have not legislated anything meaningful to its citizens

“You are 15 times more likely to be shot dead in the US than in Australia” said the Australian deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer. The US witnessed 350 mass killings in a single year recently.

The United States of America harvests foreign souls on its shores to reap global reigning power for the few non-native aristocrats who rule them all, who weigh their success with the weight of their weaponry, so civil rights and individual safety and all that hammed up solidarity extended to the victims of shootout is just a foolery of the masses who surprisingly still believe that those very law makers who masqueraded a violent gun culture as a constitutional right will someday soon save them from this horror!

In the Indian context, in our gusto to keep pace with our western counterparts it is imperative that we do not lose focus on real development and overlook the disguised perils that come as destructive freebies which bear direct repercussions on our culture and is capable of wreaking havoc if implemented casually.

The recent launch of Nider revolver with all its aplomb about women safety measure with an assurance from the home ministry to amend Indian Arms Act to make gun procuring more easy and affordable to Indians is a sinister option given to an already lawless and corrupt society where issuance of fake degree certificates, fake Khatas, fake ration cards and even fake passports can be done in a jiffy. In a country where even land allotments can be faked right under the nose of the government, in a country where we are still recuperating from the adversity of Aadhar card issuance where Voter IDs bear wrong spellings and wrong date of birth information with mismatching photographs!

With the home ministry softly signalling to harvest a crop of gun wielding violent citizens in the name of empowerment, who will be accountable for lawlessness that looms large at us in the near future?

While the awkward exhibition of power in some recent political fervours where party men were seen flaunting their illegal guns and muscle power by shooting bullets in the air itself sends shivers to a layman the fact that the Government is talking of making it officially affordable and easier to procure a gun is quiet disturbing and definitely not what the people of this country voted them for.

Women don’t feel safe by just carrying a gun, you feel lot safer only when you know that nobody roams down the street with weapons in their hand bags! Also the acts of violence on women in India are mostly out of sick mind sets that are born out of social and educational inequalities and regional/urban/rural disconnect which can only be countered effectively by imposing visibly stricter punishments and giving faster justice.

If one compares US and Saudi Arab, two starkly opposites in their approach towards individual rights and freedom it is ironic that the violent crime rate of America, a free thinking country far excels that of Saudi Arabia.

Even with the utmost strict law impositions the violent crime rate of America is 68% more than India, their gun crimes are 21times more than us and their rape rate is 15times more than India in its current status where fear of law among Indians is lot lesser when compared to the US citizens’ fear of crime , that being the case, where India is better off without the gun culture to contain crimes India certainly does not need to wear the talismans of the pro-gun Zionist hailing brigade!

We did not follow their path on our mission to Mars we did it indigenously from our perspectives that struck the world in awe of our scientific prowess! India does not want to and should never tread on the paths of America especially when it comes to culture and values because that is what sets us apart, and we are proud of our values!

Nider and Nirbheek cannot save the Nirbhayas, it is the moral conscience that has to be empowered and ensure strict implementation of laws with harsher punishments thereby renewing the faith and fear among the citizens.

Their rightful place is in the hands of the law keeping forces and never in hands of the common man!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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Are Moral Values A Scarcity Today?

Navigating through the hostile glaciers, they march with hearts of gold on days and nights that are always ice cold! Armed with armours of unconquerable will, packed with patriotic fervour, spiritedly they secure our borders and follow order after orders.
Away from their dear families, away from the puerility of polity and all its profane political correctness and insinuating innuendoes of vicious verbatim _ they stand guard in the gruesome glacial garrisons _ not for the love of fame, not for the love of the ugly warring game _ but for the love of his country and to sustain his dependants. He knows not, all that creative rhetoric _ he knows not, the frenzy of fan following because all they know is that, they are here to fight with all their might for the honour of his country.
The white icy sheets shimmer serenely hiding beneath her belly, that twinkle of hope of our brave men who stood the fury of these glaciers so sharp, only to contain the shrewd enemy who might harp, on an opportunity to disintegrate and dissect us apart!
If only they were to steer into the heart of the nation, the very nation they stood guard for, they would encounter an even more spine chilling hostility _ they would be sunken in the avalanche of lies that were and are still being peddled as truth. They would realise the harsh truth that the real threat is not from our external enemies but the deadly ones sitting in the sanctified sanctorum of elite educational institutions and plush political bungalows that are funded by tax payer’s money, with such elitism that they will shoot you only with eloquent English, infiltrate and hijack our vulnerable youth with an ideology of hatred and divide. They are adequately armoured with the audacity to sensationalise and derail our country in the name of freedom of speech and misconceived struggles.
From the last sixty years of overtly secular storming to this day when we have steered this gigantic Noah’s boat called India that sailed against all odds with its all species of castes and creeds, the tidal waves of communalism and pseudo secularisms have finally calmed down as the ship was anchored by the robust strings of statesmanship and is now gripped with a mast of vision and compass of development that has largely changed the crest in the formation of waves.
But politics is all about race for captaincy of this ship. And in this blinkered lunacy to oppose everything and anything just to derail a ruling government chosen by popular choice, have the politicians and all their student winglets lost the ethos of polity itself, has the urge to remain powerful drowned moral values itself? Has polity stooped so low that the passengers themselves make holes in the ship to sink it down just because they did not get to lay their hands on the steering wheel?
In the context of the recent developments at JNU, it is appalling to see the youth of this country being inflicted with the inability to distinguish between right and wrong. Are the youth enrolled in such prestigious institutes, deliberately misaligned without any patriotism or nationalistic integrity? If so what has led them so far away, so much that they seem disconnected from that very land that is sheltering them?
People form opinions based on visual representations and tend to believe in what is constantly blared out at them. A loud lie told repeatedly might sound like a truth for the gullible. It is in this context that a strong moral foundation among youth of this country is foremost for integrating nationalistic and meaningful healthy politics for the betterment of this country.
Many countries in the world have a conscription policy where all its citizens are compulsorily enlisted in some kind of national service mostly military service. Citizens are required to compulsorily spend 1-3years of their early lives (after 18 years) in the military services. While many free thinkers and activists argue that it is blatant slavery and involuntary servitude that does not in any way portray patriotism, but the fact remains that people who have been in the defence and military services have always held their nation in high regard. It is true that in case of an unfavourable government formation or a war like situation where you do not endorse the policies, it would suffocate people and may even force them to think of leaving the country.
But in our country where people proclaim to leave the country without any provocation, it is only imperative to embed some moral values amongst the masses from early stages itself so that people at the decision making and opinion building levels differentiate between the gravity of the role of opposition with the role of opposing the country itself thereby botching up its integrity and image.
If not for all citizens this concept of conscription should be made mandatory for those contesting political elections, those seeking party tickets, those candidates in the central and state level Government services and perhaps even aspiring journalists to compulsorily spend 3years of their lives in military services before joining any Government services.
This would ensure a real connect and a deep understanding of the worth of securing freedom for our nation, it would also ignite strong feelings of nationalism to truly understand the value of freedom!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

 

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The White Maid

F A N T A S T I C O… Dieser Dufft! “, she exclaimed as she walked in to my little studio apartment. She was my only acquaint in the whole vicinity, she was my only respite for some social conversation with a fellow human as most of the counters, shops and streets were manned by machines in the neighborhood. Spotting a human was a rarity and even when spotted they were often sunken in their pails of ales. Being a black eyed Asian felt like an alien amidst a stream of blue and green eyes!

My two white maids had deep blue eyes too and I was initially overwhelmed at having those white maids work for me. I felt a quenching relief when these white women washed our pots, but soon we became friends and I realized that they were Russians!

The two of us could neither understand each other’s languages nor body languages but we still spoke with our eyes, trying varied signs and symbols.

She had once asked me as to why I was wearing rings on my toes. I had employed the most artistic sign language and tried very hard telling her that married women in India wore these 5 accessories that were symbolic of being married _ “The red vermillion, bangles, nose ring, toe ring and the Mangala sutra”.

After all that dramatics, she exclaimed in her broken English………”Foive Hoosbands _ Funf Mann”!

The next few days I had chosen to only listen.

Hubby dear was posted here on a short term project in this land called Germany where not many lived! And I was at the mercy of machines and signboards that blared out cryptic texts at me. Although the script was in English, they used strange phonics and appended unnecessary suffixing and prefixing letters that seemed like anagram puzzles to me!

I had committed the grave mistake of not taking with me a translating lexicon.

Also back then the internet had not yet penetrated homes the way it has done today and nobody spoke English here. With no internet and no mobile phone or even a calling card I once spent almost 45 minutes looking for a packet of salt, on my first visit to a local store. I bit my lips till I got a saline taste of my own blood in that utter helplessness until I found a fellow Indian on the street, it was and still is an unforgettable Eureka moment for me!

(I later learnt that Salt was spelt as ‘Salx’ or ‘Salz’ packaged in a dashing red opaque carton box and pronounced as ‘zaituz’!)

After my precious procurement, cursing all the Nazis who killed the Indian soldiers in the 2nd world war, I dashed some asafoetida(Hing) into the hot oil for some aromatic seasoning for my debutant Rasam, just as the aroma filled the room, Olga and Galina, the two Russian housekeeping maids entered the room with a little knock.

F A N T A S T I C O…..dieser dufft she said…….once again!

(Fantastic!……This fragrance! In German, although fantastico is basically Spanish)

My reverse racism had somewhat diminished by now and I looked forward to talk to them as I had been encountering only steely faces who refused to make an eye contact. Being an Indian, it was really hard to make conscious and consistent efforts not to look someone in the eye unless I needed to talk to them. Be it in the lifts, or in the lobby or in the tubes, I taught myself to look away into the wilderness of etiquettes.

I shrugged and gestured to Olga that I didn’t understand what “Dieser Dufft” meant, Galina had pitched in and exclaimed “A R O M A…”! I was amused as I had till then thought it was just a greeting.

It must be the Hing in the Rasam I thought and offered Olga to taste some. She delightfully accepted the offer and jumped to savour the combo of Rice Rasam!

2 spoons into it, she was now jumping literally, her face red and her eyes rolling with tears! I was horrified and panicked if she would choke, my hands were trembling!

I dashed and offered her water, sugar, jam, apple and everything sweet that I could lay my hands on but the frenzy of the spices lingered on, I took a spoonful of Rasam myself but it was rather bland for our standards. But here, she was leapfrogging across the room shrieking hysterically! I tried my last resort and forced some ghee into her mouth, which she wouldn’t take for the fear of calories. It was only after gulping down the spoonful of ghee that she came back to her senses.

The next day onwards she seemed like Tenali Rama’s cat and never said “Dieser Dufft”, but often I would tease her if she wanted Rasam and she would exclaim in horror…..”The Chilly Draacculae…..Neeyat nikogda” meaning “no never” in Russian! Eventually we had become good friends and she aided me with little bit of German basics that was just enough for the day. A few days before we started back home, she came and gestured to me “Indion wumen _ one married lady _foive accessories” and smiled a sunny smile, I had smiled my best smile that day till my eyes were wet, unable to believe she had deciphered my body language!

I do not know if she still remembers me but the experience was memorable and just exposed me to a whole new set of traits, food habits, emotions and etiquettes and most importantly the fact that language, ethnicity and status are no barriers for friendship and that there is no communication gap as long as we have passed on the message!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

 

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Sound Of Music!

Music is to the mind what taste is to a foodie, Music is to the heart what laughter is to life!

But more often in life we are surrounded by sounds. Some natural and some man made, some set us in joyous glee but some put us in grievous melancholy but they are often reminiscent reminders of the bustling life around us! Yet these sounds are integral for socialising and we humans are the most social beings on the planet.

Each day we are witness to myriad tones of sound waves that splash and soak us in its varied wavelengths. Some strike a chord with us and many go amiss!

If natural outdoor sounds can make you a poet, there is poetry within the four walls too!

The chirping sounds of the birds, the gentle whisper of the whizzing winds with whose every caress, those wind chimes cling, to compose a fresh tune! the Tunes that compete with the gurgling teapot and the sizzle of the yeasty batter on the smoky hissing pan! The whimsical doorbell rings casting a spiritual spell into the house and the maid walks in with jingling bangles and anklets with a fervent conviction to bang those pots and pans cramming the eerie cacophony of calmness as if to pace up our mornings!

Actions have a language and sounds are their syllables. Sounds can convey expressions; sounds can talk without words; weep without tears and plead without proclaiming. Sounds can annoy, antagonise or address, even silence has a sound _ the sound of your soul! And these sounds often make or break our moods!

Amidst blaring debates on TV and those beeping Whatsapp notifications on your phone that are as powerful as nuclear weapons of mass destruction, a feeble voice sunken in the daily din, waves you a good bye, the faint warmth of which is soon shrunken on the streets as you plunge into the deafening odyssey of the honking vehicles, rattling engines and screeching brakes echoing unfamiliar voices that clouds all logical thinking!

You enter a state of spell

And float outside of all this hell!

You try to seek some solace in music

Waiting for the Radio Jockey to play some classic;

But they are still playing Talking Tom

As if it were some soothing balm;

The back of the goods carrier read “Sound Horn Ok”!

I say _Not okay! A nasty loud horn makes you scorn!

Remember sounds can talk, plead, annoy, antagonise make or break your moods!

So slipping further into the spell, deep into the well of thoughts I ponder _ can we turn these sounds into music? What if there were to be a government rule tomorrow that all vehicles are to be embedded with low decibel musical hooters only, to create a symphony of melodious sounds to match the dynamics of the traffic stricken streets! And that too only classical ones!

The boards would not read “Sound Horn Ok” anymore instead it would now read “Sing along teek hai”!

Hallelujah! All the buses would hoot a low decibel flute tune instead of an ear splitting honk! All trucks and matadors would strike the lowest note of the violin holding back their road rage between the chin and the shoulder, all Autorikshaws would bellow like a Surpeti or Shruthi box droning and moving in sync with the melody of all other vehicular music instead of swarming and buzzing like intoxicated bees. Ambulance sirens could be replaced with Tabla beats to beat away the inching metal mortals. The police van sirens can be fitted with a Shehnayi , as they descend like Baraathis! Two wheelers can be allotted and awarded the prestigious rhythm of the Thaala to correspond with the metre of the traffic pattern. Cabs/taxis can be fitted with a Ghattam metre since they have a reasonably fat belly after stomaching the Autorikshaw’s metre! All political babus and ministers sporting red beacons could adopt the static Tamboori raga plucking unaffectedly at the strings off the mortal melee! The Fire engine siren can switch to a prolonged Aalaapan to pave way instantly and the Aeroplanes  could go on airplane mode. All pedestrians, stray cows and dogs, jaywalking at all crossroads can dangle a bell around their collars to alert the caravan of musicians orchestrating this daily dose of music!

But remember the statutory warning _Sounds can talk, plead, annoy, antagonise make or break your moods!

Music may or may not appeal to all at all times but I am sure it is still better than incessant honking! What do you think?!!

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

 

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Make And Take In India

Impact of innovative mantras like Digital India, 100 Smart cities, Skill India and Make in India has boosted the morale of Indians across the globe. India is rapidly growing in her economic stature in the global market and today India is the most sought after destination for investment and technological innovations!

With the concept of Make in India revolving around facilitating and fostering investment and innovation we have been quite successful appealing to the global citizens at large with our make in India surge and are pacing up on the growth, innovation and leadership index but the bigger challenge lies back home in India to make the Make in India impact more successful! Although we take pride in these wonderful initiatives outwardly the ground reality is somewhat different.
A recent encounter with a medical counselor at a renowned eye hospital revealed how we Indians are engineered to believe that everything that is of a foreign make is superior to a product manufactured in the Indian subcontinent.

The lady gave us 3options before the cataract surgery _ first a German made lens _ the most expensive one, second an American make _ the best sold lens in the market she exclaimed confidently and lastly the Indian lens which she meekly offered and admitted that very less people sought them. When I enquired if the qualities were at par she said they were all equally good, then I asked her if the imported ones were better in any way she said she was not quite sure and that the general public sought the imported ones and so far there were no negative feedbacks about them.

By now, we were half convinced that we better go with the audience poll, even without looking for any data if the people had really sought them!

But I enquired again if the Indian ones had any negative feedback, she smiled and told me that there were none. I then prodded her as to why the others were more expensive? Because it is imported came the reply!

I came back home wondering which one to choose, just then a detergent Ad screamed out on TV _ “power boosters with German technology”!

At the furniture shop, the salesman exclaimed that it was Malaysian Mango wooden frame with Srilankan leather and Indonesian legs, hence expensive! I turned the radio on and the RJ yelled that the hottest property in town was some blablabla brand with Italian marble with latest German fittings! I am not implying that all Indian stuff _ even those incompetent ones should become as expensive as its foreign counterparts but I am only trying to understand why we still have this kind of colonial hangover!

I recently went to an export house sale and discovered a heap of waste tags of an expensive foreign brand apparel company which is a prestigious rage in India, but the apparel and even its ‘Made in XX’ tags are manufactured here in India but interestingly we do not stop short of flaunting that Made in Japan, Germany tag, wait! our foreign fetish does not end there; a distant relative in the family wants only a US/UK based NRI for a husband! Hanging out at Tacobell is somehow more trendy as against polishing an IdleeVada plate at a fast food joint as it is a little unsophisticated claim my teen friends! A domestic travel experience is far too primitive and below dignity to be shared and our Bolly/Tolly/Sandalwood numbers are incomplete and even obsolete without the white skin baring junior artistes!

Anyways succumbing to the Junta Ka Vote and our apprehensions that God has blessed us with only one pair of eyes and that we cannot risk it, we finally chose the American lens and now after 3 months realise that the vision is still little blurred and the eyes feel slimy.

When we sought an advice from the hospital we were told that it was a normal symptom!
It is another thing that we read in the newspaper, a little later after my mom’s surgery that the famous surgeon who operated upon my mom had to undergo a cataract procedure himself from a German doctor who was specially summoned to India for the surgery!!

I am not averse to the wide choices available today but certainly amused at our glorious myths of take outside of India and all that mind engineering that goes into it! The word risk still rings in my ears and wonder why we think anything Indian is risky and anything beyond that is fantastic with eyes closed!

The day we start believing in our systems, our machinery and management, the day when the Government body delivers and aids us to believe and take pride in everything Indian, that day the Make In India mission will be fully accomplished!

India will be a stronger economy only if we make up the Indian minds to make and take in India!

 

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When Rama became a Refugee in his own land!

The Ram Mandir debate is back on the forefront, but it was indeed refreshing to see a sane debate between Dr.Subramanya Swami and Mr.Owaisi with ample time for each of the parties to put across facts and truths at hand without making it another hysterical shouting match!

There were 4 things that were being reiterated time and again by Mr.Owaisi, one that the Modi Government has deviated itself from the promise of development to religion politics yet again, two that the Mandir issue is raised only during elections, three that the building of the temple would trigger communal split and tensions and four, that the Supreme Court’s decision will prevail upon all, to which Dr.Swamy rebuts point to point in his usual best!

However, firstly we need to understand that every nation is built with an ideology with inferences from its past, aspirations of the present and futuristic ambitions, where geo-political, social, cultural and religious aspects are inter connected and go hand in hand in shaping a country’s overall outlook. And this is true for all nations in the world! Whether we like it or not ethnicity, religion, politics and culture are closely knitted and decisively have a hand in defining a nation’s identity!

If religious conviction has divided people, the spiritual essence of a religion has also united people, it has influenced their thinking, their priorities their do s and don’ts as most religions have been identified based on an ideology, that ideology which has sprung out from the basket of traditions, customs and beliefs! That belief which has risen out of history that went on to become habits. Essentially religion is an ideology that has evolved from the history of our habits!

Habits that become moral values and some of these time tested moral codes went on to become laws of a society!

Every nation reflects upon its history in its social, political and cultural scenarios as societies are made of individuals and individuals are driven by beliefs and experiences they imbibe and inculcate in their paths of pursuit. In most Western nations the state policies are largely influenced by the church, in Saudi Arabia the laws and policies are clearly governed by religious decrees of the Sharia, whereas India, even with a tolerant Hindu majority that is today racing with the world, is a pluralistic democracy, and in our pursuit to develop and integrate everyone in modern India, it is really immaterial as to what core faith is applied to draft its policies as long as it is for common good and in the spirit of the constitution, because faith, laws and politics have always been interconnected from time immemorial that will continue to be so as the paths of religion are not as ineffective as it is tapered and tailored out at news hour debates because laws are an extension of moral teachings found in one or the other religious scriptures.

While Modi, known for his explicit religious inclinations has displayed a mature and balanced statesmanship with his hands full, with developmental projects and proposals for the larger good and has done pretty well taking along all sectors of the society, the yellow eyed are still struck with the C (read communal) word and question him and his counterparts on the issue of terrorism which itself is an over hyped religious bigotry in the aftermath of an ugly concoction of politics, power and religion induced by the west along with the radicals.

Ironically Owaisi questions Modi on containing terror but Hyderabadi youth get caught while escaping to join ISIS!!

While Owaisi declares that he is not an invader’s son but a Hindustani, he inadvertently or knowingly well defends the actions of an invader (Babur), who demolished the holy sites of Hindus. He says that BJP is polarising the issue and propagating communal divisions in the country but if he is really secular then why can’t he respect history, agree and affirm to his Hindu brothers, the fact that Ayodhya is indeed one of the sacred sanctums of Hindus! And the debate can never be Invader Vs God!

With the arrest of Qasmi, another mullah in Bengaluru, for alleged links with terror outfits, the Muslim groups have claimed that they will support him. Will Owaisi condemn this act and advise Muslim bodies to stay out and not polarise matters at the cost of the nation’s security? Will he condemn those supporting Afzal Guru? Or has he ever condemned his own brother for making defamatory and infuriating speech?

He suggests that the Modi government should focus on achieving economic prowess and take the country forward but will he first grow beyond the petty religious Votebank politics and establish his secular credentials in all his earnestness!?

An Owaisi supporter was all charged up amidst the debate who berated that the construction of a mosque or the Muslim community at large needs no support and does not accept any donations from Hindus in whatever form, but does the Muslim community even realize that Crores of tax payers(Largely Hindus) money are being expended into the Haj subsidy and minority welfare schemes! It is this fanatic bigotry pushed with fallacy of facts that is pedaled amongst uneducated gullible masses to keep the torch of communal fire burning eternally, and it is this ignorance that the bearded pseudo mascots of Islam are cashing and thriving upon for their votebank interests that has to dealt with iron hands!

He offered to forgo the Haj subsidy and proposes to divert it towards minority girl child education, if he is really affected and genuine about his concerns then can he talk of some women emancipation asking fellow Muslims to shun bigamy/polygamy and include their women in the mainstream and give them their basic rights?

Today, religion has shunned compassion and got into competition, inner peace is split into pieces and Lord Rama has become a refugee in his own land,!

I have not visited Ayodhya, but want to visit and worship at peace without getting a feel of being choked in the neck like in Mathura or Kashi!

Whatever the outcome, it was indeed heartening to see a mellowed down Owaisi sharpening his grace to match the wits and acumen of Dr.Swamy!

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Tears of Irony!

The president of USA, one of the world’s most powerful countries today and the largest manufacturers and suppliers of weapons of mass destruction whose expenditure on the arms and ammunition industry exceeds more than 3% of the world’s GDP, cried in public, remembering the shootout at schools, addressing his institutional inabilities to contain their own home grown germs of gun culture germinating into their playgrounds!

Ironically the US thrives on the arsenal industry for its economic prowess and global supremacy, with this muscle power it monopolizes the middle east throwing bullets like biscuits to control the oil reserve and anybody who does not comply or opposes its hegemonic diktats face the ramification of being found guilty of nurturing nuclear interests or labeled as an autocratic dictator and a series of other esoteric lies that are organically spewed in the minds of million through a behemoth network of its enslaved media. And then there are tools like peace keeping, human rights issues, secularism, liberalism and global warming issues, world health et al that are either plagued or piped periodically to pack the situation.

They talk of peace with India but pump Pakistan with arms against us, they talk of human rights but include countries that chop and flog out free thinking bodies into their UNHRC body, they condemn terrorism but aid the ISIS with arms and ammunition but with the advent of the social media it is no secret anymore that the carcinogenic growth of religious radicalization and global terrorism are just pastime toys in the hands of uncle Sam to contain and keep a tab on third world and developing countries that pose a threat to excel independently and leave behind the so called developed nations far behind!

If religion is a means to divide people and weapons are the ends to rule people in which money and hegemony alone are declared winners! In today’s scenario where US troops are carrying out drone attacks and aiding groups that pump guns and bullets in the hands of young kids, it is indeed an irony that Obama chooses to shed a tear amidst a fun fare of gun-fare!

But the larger question is who will really bell this cat!?

 

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Go Goa!

After a historic trek in the Chitradurga fort, we headed to Goa!

Chitradurga to Goa is 385kms on NH4, after driving on NH4 for an hour we took the Haveri Yellapura Karwar route on SH 6 via Bannikatte. There are couple of Kamat Upachar hotels to break for if you take the Hubli Dharwad route else there is literally nothing on this stretch, except expansive wheat and paddy fields under the scorching sun.

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We took the Haveri route amidst the countryside avenues, with lush green fields and coconut trees lined up as if to extend a civil salute to the passing passengers on this desolate stretch with absolutely no sign of people or shops! It was Eid and most roads seemed to be heavily decked in green flags and hoardings and our hopes of finding a vegetarian hotel here had almost diminished and died down until we found Hotel Shanbhag(veg) in Yellapura which came as a respite and life saver for us!

We reached our destination Blue Planet Café in Canacona, South Goa around 7pm after 8 hours of driving (lunch break included)! A month ago when I tried to reach out to this place the bookings were full, but life is all about hope isn’t it? So I tried my luck card yet again on the previous day of our travel and bingo, somebody had a last minute cancellation, fortunately for us, just for us!

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Blue planet café is a quiet vegan and vegetarian hangout in nature’s backyard run with a theme of staying close to nature by redeeming its natural goodness and refurbishing a mutually beneficial eco-friendly environment.

A series of steps led us to our wooden cottage that lay embedded in earthen aromas surrounded densely by holy basil plants and chirpy birds!

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The place has a yoga hall opening into the façade of nature that overlooks you beseechingly. It is a perfect place for book lovers, couples and people who love the beaches of Goa but want to cuddle back into the calmness away from the chaotic nightlife of Goa.

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The food here is different from the routine spicy Indian food, with loads of health drinks to choose from organically grown vegetables and fruits to smoothies to nourishing healthy platters of freshly cooked homemade food, it is a great way to cleanse those toxins that you have accumulated in your hectic routine.

We explored most options and found each meal to be a healthy and nourishing one with a range of exotic vegetables and cereals but I must confess that for Indian standards the food is rather bland but the hosts Pradeep and Urmila an enthusiastic duo who dedicatedly persevere to serve the best, are indeed skilled and passionate chefs who genuinely accommodated our every request  and customized the meal course to suit the Indian palate.

The kids had a good time cycling around and playing with their dog Jolie, I fondly called her Angelina Jolie!

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The place is close to Agonda beach which is just 2kms away and Pallollem beach at 3.5kms. During my innumerable visits to Goa previously I have always stayed in North Goa(mostly Goan Heritage) shuttling between Calungute and Vagator beaches but South Goa is definitely more serene and less commercialized.

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The next day we headed to the Agonda beach, a flat white sand beach that seemed like a sun bathing den of foreign tourists. Small beach side restaurants lined up the shore along with many wooden shacks and stilts that overlook the untiring waves sweeping against the swatches of golden sand!

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Although Goa is today known in the light of the calendar years of Vijay Mallya, the real India is a lot different from the celluloid India because the sight of sunburnt bare bodies on Indian shores is as gross for Indians as much as the westerners find it gross to spot a fully clad Indian in a swimming pool, because you can’t be a Roman in India!

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But interestingly Goa, the city of cosmopolitan cultures, gets its name from the Mahabharatha times when it was called ‘Gomantha’ or ‘Govapuri’ which means ‘the land of cows’, even today you will find lot of humped Desi cows in Goa, don’t be amused if you find them on the beach as well! They are slightly luckier than their metropolitan counterparts to be spending time at the beaches than at the busy traffic signals!

After our tryst with massaging waves, it was time for some real massage and that too in our own resort!

Yes, just above the café, there is a little pool on the hill that reads ‘Aquatic bodyworks with Fluid Symmetry’! At first I thought it was just another spa kind of a thing, but curiosity got the better of me and I am glad I ventured in!

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Daniel with his trainee Martha

I spoke to Daniel Aber, the brain behind Fluid Symmetry and expressed my apprehensions about water and wondered how it could really benefit me, it was then that he suggested that I was the best person to try and experience it to believe it as this therapy works on trust!

Fluid symmetry is a form of massage to the mind and body in the waters that takes you into a trance of thoughtless state of mind. A gentle tune of flute plays in the backdrop amidst the bamboo stitched walls as you dip yourself in the warmth of the waters that matches the body temperature, Daniel takes you by your hands as he checks for the receptiveness of your muscles to water, assuring you with his reassuring words ‘Trust the water’ _’The water is there is hold you up’ , he sets you afloat planting his palm on your forehead, gripping mildly at the back of your neck to let go of all that is boggling on your mind as you are gently swayed above and beneath the warm waters for an invigorating experience immersing yourself into a subconscious embryonic state with no worries or stress!

It really felt like I was levitating somewhere in space with absolute nothingness! The set -up is predominantly eco- friendly, a solar mat is used for heating the water, and the waters from the pool are let out to the surrounding vegetation while refilling the pool with fresh water.

Water is a vital element for existence of life yet we fear water even when 71% of our planet is covered in water, if water can destruct and destroy, it can also cure, heal and raise your spirits, making you fall in love with the whole watery experience. So next time you head to Goa don’t forget to check out this new fluid Asana in town!

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The following day we headed to Anjuna beach in North Goa which was a 2hours drive of 80kms for some water sports, we did some parasailing but felt that we were really taken for a ride! Each person is charged Rs.700 for a parasailing ride, suspending you at 60feet that lasts only for a couple of minutes, if you choose to dip in the waters then you are charged an additional Rs.200 and will hang up there one extra minute else you will land even before your pictures were clicked!

The last time I tried parasailing some ten years ago, I was suspended at 200feet for good 20minutes on the Coco beach but this time it was a little disappointing and wondered if the 2hours drive was any worth! But if you tried piquing this fishermen community, you will perhaps be left black and blue matching the twilight waters as they are a big group of locals who will stick together no matter what, this we witnessed as a fellow tourist was thrashed mercilessly with no sight of any policemen or security guards around.

After our little adventure at the Anjuna beach we grabbed a quick bite at Sita veg restaurant and headed for the Saturday Night Market near Baga beach!

 

The concept of Saturday Night Flea Market was started in the pre-independence era where European goods were sold but today it is a mix of Indian and international goods that you could grab at interesting prices.

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A beeline of kiosks with little trinkets, jewellery, apparel, artefacts, spices, carpets, decorative lights, leathers, bags, belts and more importantly the amount of bargain that goes on here will enthral you., There were beer bars, tangy cuisines to tether every tongue and a live concert of rock and classical music went on till 11pm and you can shop till your partner dropz! We reached our resort at 1.30am!

The next day we lazed around till 11am and then visited the Pallollem beach which is another flat beach ideal to play with kids, we walked almost some 10-15 meters into the waters and it was great fun to be tossed in the gentle December tides! There were some shacks available here and we were tempted to extend our stay for another day but could not stand the poor hygiene and loud music in the restaurants around here.

Bengaluru was calling and it was time to say good adieu to Goa and we were soon driving home!

It was a relaxed and refreshing holiday and time well spent with family!

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The Chitradurga Fort

IMG_4575Bengaluru to Chitradurga is 204kms, a 3.5hours drive on NH4. We started at 4.30pm from Bengaluru and reached Chitradurga at 8pm. We halted at a hotel called Amogh International which is an average hotel and about 1km from the fort.

The next day morning we started around 7.am to visit the historic Chitradurga fort in the arid and dusty narrow lanes of the old town.

IMG_4684Spread over 2500 acres, the massive Chitradurga fort is a reminiscing trek back into the lives of the brave Palegaara Nayakaas who built this magnificent fort.

Until the 15th century the Vijayanagara kings ruled the entire southern India, they had delegated powers to smaller group leaders like the Palegaras or the Nayakas who acted as subordinate kings under the direct control of Vijayanagara kings.

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After the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire, the Nayakas established an independent provincial status. The Nayakas were fierce warriors who constantly fought with neighbouring kingdoms and successfully reigned over central Karnataka until they finally succumbed to Hyder Ali’s ploy of consecutive besieges in 1779.

Chitradurga gets its name from the many unusually shaped stones found here in the fort. Its original name was Chitra kal durga, chitra means artistic, kallu means stone and durga refers to fort. Chitradurga essentially means a fort of illusive forms, where the stones and rocks take the shape of one’s imagination. Allegorically many temples have been built and named in accordance to the stone shape.

It is also known as the yelusutthina kote meaning the fort with seven gates, 3 lines of concentric ramparts are located on the ground and other 4 ramparts are on the slopes of the hillfort.

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Today, we can enter the fort from the 3rd gate itself. At the entrance you can find the emblem of a coiled snake which is actually depictive of the zigzag route leading into the fort, this kind of cryptic patterns were used to aid the soldiers swiftly in times of enemy attacks.

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As soon as you enter the fort, on your left side you find the Asthtabhuja Baawi or Kaamana baawi where the new king would undergo the coronation baths and do his rituals. The moat around this well was crafted as water reserves to hold the excess rain waters flowing down from the fort. It is believed that many crocodiles and venomous snakes were reared in these water pits at the entrance of the forts to keep check on trespassing enemies.

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You can also see the large flour grinding stones here adjacent to which lie stones that was used to pound concrete mixtures to strengthen the fort.

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The fort has many granaries, oil pits, water tanks, secret entrances and has around 2000 watch towers it is home to many parrots and squirrels.

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A few steps into the fort and you can find large boulders these gigantic rocks have storage like caved pits that were used to store oil. The fort also has a ghee tank. The folklore has it that when an enemy attack was expected oil was poured on the outer walls of the fort so that no enemy could climb the forts, even the soldiers smeared themselves in oil to avoid being caught by the enemy.

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It is believed that swords and other sharp weaponry were kept immersed in ghee tanks to avoid corrosion.

Rekha chitra of the Aadhimanavas

Rekha chitra of the Aadhimanavas

We also found this Rekhachitra carved on the rocks that hint that the Aadhimanavas might have inhabited this place!

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Every gate is nested in the zigzag paths with little space for any kind of forced breakage. In those days fort gates were fitted with robust metallic doors and hinges and only an elephant or a battery of soldiers with wooden logs could break it open that too by garnering enough speed to dash against it. Since the fort gates were cleverly nested beneath the concentric walls, with absolutely no space to break open, and with a scientifically plastered stone fortification, even canons fired by Hyder Ali’s army failed to break the fort walls, there was no way the fort could be captured. Hence Hyder Ali’s army had to crawl like creepy cockroaches from a drainage hole.

Hinges those days

Hinges those days

Marks of cannon firing by Hyder Ali's army

Marks of cannon firing by Hyder Ali’s army

Bombe chavdi

Bombe chavdi

Bomebe Chawdi is another small mantapa with idols of elephants and horses, this structure erected in memory of the war steeds and elephants who fought bravely goes on to show the love and respect the Nayaka rulers had even for animals.

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As you walk up the fort you can find Aane bande, a rock that resembles an elephant hence a Ganesha temple has been built there.

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A few steps on its right you can witness the stone cutting techniques employed then which is still in use. Series of small spaced holes were drilled into the rocks, by gently tapping iron pegs into these holes the masons could slice the rock exactly where they wanted.

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As you enter the last gate you can see the Deepa stamba and the Uyyale(swing) stamba where many religious rituals were performed.

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There are several temples here, the Hidamba ratha and Bheema ratha temples are built in the shape of a chariot. You can get a good view of the fort from atop these temple hills.

 

Then there is the Mudralaay or minting place in the durbar square which is today a barren expanse with gushing winds that bring an air of the bygone era.

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IMG_20151224_092823  Rain water harvesting methods were deployed carefully in the fort and the water stored would suffice the inhabitants for 12years even if there were no rains and all the excess waters were let out to the nearby villages.

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Kallinarasappa nayakaa betrayed Rajaveera Madakari Nayaka and eventually Madakari Nayaka was taken prisoner by Hyder Ali to Srirangapattinam, his two wives who were sisters, committed suicide by jumping into the water reservoirs, which is today called as Akka Tangi Honda.

Tanneeroo dhoni

Tanneeroo dhoni

A series of steps to your right leads you to Tanneroo Doni meaning cold water storage, this is the place where the brave Obavva came to fetch water for her husband.

Obavva was the wife of a soldier who was a guard at one of the watch towers, when MaddaHanumappa, the guard broke for lunch there was no water at home, so Obavva, his wife came out to fetch water, on her way she heard murmuring sounds near the drainage hole, on a closer look she saw the enemy soldier trying to creep out from the hole. She immediately grabbed a rice pounding stone pestle that lay nearby and smashed the soldier’s head and dragged the body aside. She stood there courageously striking the enemy with all her might. Soldier after soldier she dragged aside stacking a mound of slayed soldiers who lay soaked in blood. After some time her husband came looking for her and upon sighting this hair rising scene he stood there in disbelief even as she signalled to him to blow the war trumpet. Thus an ordinary woman with extra ordinary courage had saved the fort that day.

The place is today called as Onake Obavvana kindi(Onake means pestle, kindi means window)in honour of the brave woman.

IMG_20151224_091658 The place was crowded with enthusiastic school children and curious tourists as I struggled for some space to take position and pose to smash somebody’s head!

Chitradurga is famous for 3 things _ Onakke Obavvana kindi, Avarekaalu(hyacinth beans) and the upcoming uranium nuclear hub.

We had breakfast at Laxmi tiffins and were heading to Goa next!

 

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Mysuru, A Traveler’s Gateway!

The Bengaluru Mysuru SH17 is a 4 lane carriageway which is a  red treesmooth drive of 2 and half hours with decent restaurants en route. The city of Mysuru is better planned than Bengaluru and has a radial and gridiron pattern road network with arterial roads originating from the city center where the inner and outer ring roads nest the city roads parallel within. The city has 5 arterial roads which are State Highways connecting Bangalore and Ooty, Bannur and Kanakapura, Hunsur and Mangalore, H.D.Kote and Manvantvady but in spite of this the city still grapples with the lack of public transport facilities and insufficient tourism shuttles due to the excessive round the year tourism inflow that has increased the private vehicular population multi fold congesting the otherwise broad streets of Mysuru.

Also in the aftermath of the exploding hub of IT and real estate in Bengaluru, people are now slowly stretching and eyeing this heritage city as an alternate option but even as Mysure, the culture capital of Karnataka grapples bracing up to the ever expansionist urbane culture, it is still a culturally rich heritage haven for rigid tourists like me who still throng the city to soak in its antique splendor.mahishaasura

Mysore was once ruled by the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura as per Hindu puranas, hence the city was called as Mahishana Ooru(Mahisha’s town) which came to be known as Mahishooru which got corrupted into Maishooru , that was later christened as Maisore or Mysore by the British. It is believed that Goddess Chamundeshwari killed Mahishasura atop the Mahabaladri hills, which was then named after the goddess as Chamundi Hills and to commemorate the victory of good over the evil the world famous Dusherra festival is celebrated with grandiosity and festivity in honour of goddess Chamundeshwari.

Image from holidaytourism.com

Image from holidaytourism.com

During the Vijayanagar reign, the entire region of Karnataka was referred as Maisooru but post-independence India was linguistically divided and Mysooru went on to become a city in the state of Karnataka.palace1b

This quaint old town of Mysuru that has stood testimony to the rich sagas of royalty and grandeur still exuberate a flavour of flamboyance with its ancient architecture and craftsmanship on its traditional and wide streets that are today abuzz with transport vehicles and tourists from across the world.

Mysuru is a traveller’s den and one of my favorite inlay work teapoyplaces to go on a weekend drive from Bengaluru anytime of the year. This humble town of friendly people has a cool and equable temperature and is certainly an all in one stop, travel destination as it is one place that has it all, be it art, craft, artifacts, historical architecture, monuments, temples, palaces, great food, a large zoo, the Krishnarajasagar Dam, Brindavan gardens, St.Philomena’s Church, Balmuri falls, great shopping dens especially the silk sarees, teak and rose wood artefacts with inlay work, sandalwood oil, facepacks, lovely culture and cuisine _ don’t forget to melt some Mysuru Paks into your mouth and don’t miss the Masala Dosa at Mylari hotel but the best part is, the city borders with Bramhagiri hills on the western ghats leading into the Bandipur national park, Nagarhole National park. In fact Mysuru is a compulsory and comprehensive travel gateway that branches out into several tourist destinations as it borders with Tamil Nadu, Coorg giving you a wide range of choices from falls to forests and from historic monuments to hills.

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It is the land of geniuses like Sir M.Vishveshwaraiah, the Indian scholar, engineer, statesman and Diwan of Mysore who was responsible for the construction of the Krishnarajasagar dam, who architected the flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad. Although the KRS dam and Brindavan gardens with its musical fountains is a must visit place, the place is very unsafe for women especially if you are a small group or travelling solo as the place is infested with eve teasers and audacious anti social elements, so it is best to travel here in big groups or be geared with metal fasteners to counter any insolent groping! Also it is an expansive area requiring at least 2 hours of walking around but its a tragedy that the toilets here are totally defunct and in a pitiable and nauseating condition.

birds2En route to Mysuru you can also visit the birds1Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangapattinam in the Mandhya district which is just 15 kms from Mysuru, it was the capital of Tippu Sultan and has some structures ruminating around his rule, just 3kms from Srirangapattinam is Ranganathittu, also called the Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka as it is the largest bird sanctuary of Karnataka.

 

A boat ride is a must here to capture the winged beauties on your camera but beware of the crocs underneath in the Kaveri basin here. It is definitely a mystic ride into nature amidst the myriad migrators in the most exotic hues on this islet especially if you are visiting in the peak migratory season from June to November.

somnathpuraSomanathapura is another hidden treasure with its intricate carvings reminiscent of the Hoysala rulers, just before this temple you can enjoy boating and kayaking at another place called Amblee.

There are at least 200 structures in and around  Mysuru that have a heritage tag and each one is worth the visit.

Some of my favourite spots in Mysuru are the Mysuru Maharaja Palace or the Amba Vilas Palace that is located on the Sayyaji road in the old fort that I compulsorily visit each time I travel to Mysore, I love the wide roads and the expanse of the architecture here, the silhouette of the palace makes for a breath taking view when illuminated with 98260 Mysuru Lamp bulbs against a dark sky, It has become the culture identity of Mysuru and is synonymous with the splendour and grandeur of the erstwhile Wodeyar rulers.

Diagonally opposite to the palace is a ground where there is always some kind of an exhibition fair put up and I love to hang around here venturing on the roller coaster rides.

Next best place is the Mylari hotel on the narrow lanes of Nazarbad road, which is close to the zoo. The masala dosas here are so tasty that you just can’t stop at one!

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The Mysuru zoo is another star attraction of the city and a favourite spot for my kids so much that the animals here might actually recognise us! Remember Friday is a holiday for the zoo!

You can reach Mysuru by air, road or rail, for local transport you can take a cab, auto or even a traditional tonga(horse cart) to get a rustic feel but buses are off course the cheapest mode of transport. Mysuru has a small airport with modest connectivity and the railway connectivity is being drastically upgraded and extended by introducing many cross country and intercity express trains to Mysuru and the best part is almost every major town has a bus plying to Mysuru.

 

For me a trip to our own local Mysuru, is essentially a reassertion and recap of the greats and grandiose that once governed us and an opportunity to relive the authentic flavour of kannadigas to its fullest.

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And then I watched SPECTRE

james bondThe sanskaari hashtags trending on twitter about the new Bond flick that made long headlines for cutting short its kissing scenes, with such hullaballoo made out as if the movie Spectre was reduced into a local version of Byomkesh Bakshi episode, thanking Mr.Pahlaj Nihalani, the censor board chief, I decided to watch it with my entire family as it was no big deal after all now. Incidentally we had some free tickets and Spectre was the unanimous choice and why not when journalists turn salesmen and scream their lungs out with all that pulsating fervor on the newshour debates almost instigating even a not so fond of bond movies person to actually go watch it, but for all that hyped bonding of the media with James Bond and the numerous intolerant bashing sessions of unilateral liberalism, the movie however proved utterly disastrous and disappointing.

Spectre turned out like a Farah Khan movie where bits and pieces from old flicks are lifted and implanted onto a new canvas in as is condition, the movie revolves around Daniel Craig uncovering the existence of a secret organization called SPECTRE and in this process amidst various jumps and falls he constantly needs revival doses of CPRs to recover from the obsolete asphyxiation of the storyline and hence ends up kissing all and sundry no matter how unconnected the scene is, but no, it’s not sexism or objectification of women it’s just creativity and more empowerment of women around the world! You simply can’t stick your sanskaari nose everywhere mind you! This Hollywood flick was more desi than you could ever imagine because it was all so relatable when the dashboard screen displayed ‘Ammunition not loaded’ and it could not get any better when James Bond discovers that the villain is none other than his own ‘mele mein bhichida huvaa bhaai’, our Shaakaal and Mogambo could go green eyed seeing Christoph Waltz, the villain bhai drilling a needle into Bond’s skull and delivering lengthy dialogues allowing Bond ample time to trick him and escape in true Bollywood istyle, and in the end Bond does not kill him but hands him over to the cops _ ‘kaanoon kabhi haath mein nai lena chahiye’ (never take the law into hands) perhaps it is for this reason that the Indian media got all touchy about this movie as it was way too desi to let go!

The 007 series that usually banks on a strong storyline, stunts, suspense and sensuality suddenly seems to saddle everything on its brand name but with the former 3 elements missing this time around and the latter element not working anymore in the current scenario where Bollywood items are more sleazier by the day than the Bond girls and people seeing more value for money in the Bollywood Tumkaas and Latkaas than the never ending crisis stricken chases and gun battles and not to forget the advent and rise of our own machos in the form of Akshay Kumars and Ajay Devguns has actually laid down the grim picture of 007 bare or is it really time to say ‘Will James Bond Ever Return’??

 

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Trips of Polity, then and now…..

During the Sino-Indian war of 1962 when the Chinese army first intruded into India in the Thagla area in September, Nehru, the then Prime Minister of independent India was attending the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Conference in London, he did not return back immediately to take charge as the head of the Defence committee of the cabinet during the Chinese incursion but what was even more startling was the fact that Nehru proceeded further from London to Lagos, Nigeria in the hour of crisis and returned home only on 2nd October when the war was irreversible, to make matters worse he appointed BM Kaul his cousin as the General and instead of leading the country he left for Colombo, Ceylon on 12th October absenting himself from the helm of affairs when the country was in dire straits and needed him most. Fifty years have passed and that very dynastic regiment now sits in the opposition pondering on the effectiveness of foreign trips.

Ever since the May 2014 Lok sabha elections the numerous foreign trips of Prime Minister Modi has been the talk of the town with rumours doing the rounds on social media often questioning and quashing the purpose and benefits it has brought back to the nation irrespective of the billions of business and global image makeover that it has given Indians, not that the previous prime ministers did not travel enough but the intentions and aspirations are out in the open for all to judge. Back then the Prime ministers of post independent India travelled reckoning and receding to the western benefits accepting and accommodating their diktats, whose travel or treachery nor travesty ever made for any headlines but today here is an Indian prime minister whose trip to US or UK creates nostalgic history, whose aura augers well with his audience, the charismatic connect that he brings with the common man and more importantly  his striding pace of dedication to deliver on his words is what has kept the limelight fixed on him throughout, with or without foreign trips!

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Learning To Unlearn….

Life, is like a game of treasure hunt, knotted in a maze of unpredictable pathways, encountering unfamiliar walls of people against whom you lean in the twists of joy and turns of sorrow, the deeper you delve into this jungle of logic the deeper you are struck in a societal dogma but when you believe in your inner self and walk the unknown corridors in solitude with the algorithm of patience, there comes an intersection that aids you to stop by and introspect as to what really is this treasure that you are truly seeking, pondering upon which leads you to the direction of wisdom to seek this treasure called learning, an eternal process in life where each day unfolds newer experiences and each new interaction brings in a whole new perspective.

She is not normal”, he had said mildly, at that time it really did not matter much to me nor had I encountered the word autism then, because for me! Abnormal was still better than a normal obnoxious sister in law and I had readily consented.

My sister in law was quite spontaneous, independent, was able to comprehend most things around her most of the times and seemed perfectly normal to me. She spoke cheerfully and listened intently but on the few occasions when the topics were beyond her comprehension it was indeed amazing to see how my mother in law pitched in subtly involving her, drawing her attention sublimely, telling her every little detail, ranging from the price of onions to a street’s name to where a particular bus or train headed, to who our home minister was. Whether or not she listened or understood, my mother in law kept narrating things around us for her. And I wondered how she could do it so untiringly and if it was of any help at all?

While I was still at the crossroads of life struggling to transform into a new leaf of a good daughter in law, accepting newer responsibilities and newer people in life, my sister in law turned out to be the ice breaker on many occasions which sometimes eased me out and many times made things more awkward. She followed me everywhere like a little child till I could take it no more but then I was her newfound  buddy and she made it a point to keep me entertained and informed about my new surroundings which was a welcome gesture but one thing that perplexed me was this frequent question which she asked at least 8-10 times a day …”when will the Mehendi on your hands fade” and would check my hands each day. Once when I had adorned myself with my favourite Kohl she heartily gave me the world’s wildest compliment that I had ever received saying “Bhabhiji you look like Komalikaa(the seductive vampire of the Kyunki saas bhi kabi bahu thi fame)”!! I was quite annoyed and didn’t know where to bury my head and almost became an ascetic giving up on cosmetics for some time for the fear of receiving such vile compliments in public! But it did not stop there, every time she stayed back with me on occasions when my mom in law stepped out, she would stalk me back and neck and narrate even the minutest detail of every minute that she spent with me in great detail starting from how long I watched the TV or how long I chatted on the phone and what the hell I spoke on phone, at which my mother in law would just remain calm and mute while I fumed at why my mom in law never instructed her otherwise. A few days later when the Mehendi did fade away I almost got choked in disbelief when I heard her say “Now you can take up all the household chores full-fledged”.  I was really dumb struck at her thought process and equally amused at her ability to score perfect fours like this! Even before I had recovered from the jolt she hit another six this time when she innocently enquired my mom in law ….”When are you going to hand over the keys (almaari ki chaabi) to bhabhi”?!

We had all burst out laughing together for the first time! Thanks to the many stereo type Saas-Bahu serials on air but this incident made it amply clear that she simply absorbed everything around her. The TV might have enabled her with shrewdness to say harsh truths in the most raw and unpolished forms but the confidence with which she interacted with people or lovingly made a hot cup of tea or reminded my father in law’s medicine time, her ability to respect elders and love the younger ones, an aptitude to clearly distinguish between the right and the wrong, all these are definitely qualities and habits that my mother in law has meticulously engrained into her over the years with absolute faith and conviction to even out the odds that life has mercilessly posed upon her without any fault of hers.

For some time like many others even I was critical of my mother in law for not encouraging her child to further her studies or pursue any kind of skills at all but my mother in law is a self-driven power house of energy who in the oddities of unavailable facilities for special education then, had somehow geared up to take it upon herself and move forward striding past the doldrums of a demanding life.

It is such a relief to see my mother in law engrossed in matters of current affairs, cookery, latest movies, recipes or reading today, in fact she is the official tweeter handle of the house as she stays updated on all matters and energetically tweets verbally all day on all possible issues, it is probably a regime she has practiced all along to keep her child and herself abreast and never indulges in futile talks or ugly gossips nor cribs or complains about life.

After many years now, after reading a little bit about autism, today I understand that, too many instructions would leave an autistic child confused, it was perhaps for this reason that she never stopped her child from narrating every little detail of what happens during her absence as things might backfire in the hour of need, if my mother in law were to instruct her to stop sharing then she would perhaps apply the same rule even if she witnessed a thievery or any other kind of abuse, so in a way it was a safety measure.

My mother in law’s unchanging calm expressions and the happy go lucky attitude towards life with a no nonsense aura that she carries without a bit of regret in her ever cheerful eyes, hosting a host of never ending list of guests sends me reeling beneath this toughness, with thoughts of those traumatic days that she must have dealt with at the initial shock of knowing that her child would not be what she dreamt of, the sadness and grief of knowing that it had to be her child of all the people out there, the anger and helplessness at the hands of destiny, an urge to deny the truth and yell at the whole world in a destitution of loneliness mixed with bouts of frustrations yet forbearing the tears and pain within, fighting coldly against all those gaping eyes around telling them that its not embarrassing to have her in the party! But then, perhaps, she was made of steel! Soon enough she had risen from this negative hangover and boldly chosen to accept it and face it and keep pace with life.

Truly our life runs on the tracks of experience adding newer bogeys of learning discarding the unpleasant and obsolete ones, I have learnt a lot of tough lessons from her that aids me to handle life better, there might a zillion things that we do not agree upon but I see her as an inspiration, an iron lady whose only motto in life is to keep her family happy and intact.

I have never seen her show any kind of frustration or insecurity or inferiority about her daughter’s disability in front of even the most accomplished peers, I have never seen my mother in law scream or ignore the silliest of child’s questions even on the most exhaustive days or at disturbing times, it is this untiring and enduring dedication of hers to keep her child informed and updated on all matters around her that not only makes room for others to respect and treat her equally without any indifference but also creates a conducive environment for her to feel completely very normal.

It is never easy to accept even a minor defect in your child because we all want the best for our children, recently my son had a fatal fall due to which his nasal septum was slightly deviated, although it is only an aesthetic implication our grievances were unbearable and took me a lot of time to come to terms with it, so susceptible are we to the societal pressures of living up to the mad race that we find it hard to accept even when you are a runner up or when your child has secured just a participation certificate but every time I am unnerved by such utter mindless helplessness, every time I itch to compare my child with others, every time I complain about life I make sure I look back and think of this pillar of emotional strength, my mother in law who is indeed #madeofgreat, whose courage to accept and come to terms with life’s harsh realities has redefined the benchmark of patience and strengthened my belief in this unconditional support system of love and care that cannot be measured or altered by the dynamics of superficial success in the society because happiness and positive thoughts coupled with an urge for learning and unlearning are the authentic ingredients that churn out a successful recipe for life.

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Bihar, A Bygone Bonanza…?

A decade ago when I was in the marketing team of an educational institute selling IT courses, the foremost thing we were taught is never de-sell another brand, never show them down but instead talk about what best you can offer and equip them amply with enough information and allowing the customer to completely comprehend and analyse the pros and cons of the different options available in the market, because to convince is marketing and to confuse is sales and there are no shortcuts for marketing, it is an ongoing process.

In the context of BJP’s Bihar debacle whether the voters were well informed or ill informed, irrespective of the education levels and backgrounds and the caste factor it was imperative that the PM was over used, when all that the citizens expected was a local connect with an acute understanding of the ground reality(not that the PM lacks an understanding of the developmental scenario in Bihar) but with a local face missing the BJP certainly missed out on catching up with local mind sets. Modi was a hit in Gujarat because he was a local who knew the inside out there, of course his seamless administrative ability and statesmanship led to his rise in the Loksabha elections but during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the people voted decisively because they could connect with the man, they knew for sure was the right prime ministerial candidate, the man who would rule the country and take it forward plus a clear manifesto of development was largely visible in the backdrop of a successful Gujarat milestone against the corrupt stage the Congress left behind.

But in Delhi and now in Bihar, a local face was strongly missing!

It was evident that banking only on the Modi factor and not establishing a strong and charismatic local face to connect with the local people and dismissing some dismayed differences amongst cadres as minor sparks blew the fumes of the big fall setting a posthumous pyre for the BJP. Of course loose canons like Shatrugan Sinha should either have been tightly hugged or shown the door initially itself. The Manji mantra was as bad as the timing of the cow tantra as the people of Bihar seem to have chewed down the fodder(chara) kutantra.

While the over use of Modi in all the campaigns was not only too relegating for his stature but also implicitly elevated the corrupt trio as developmental messiahs amidst the politically illiterate masses of Bihar who chose the lantern in the age of LEDs. Plus the negative election campaigning and the acerbic jibe war was too unsophisticated to be drafted for a person of Modi’s calibre. Maybe it’s time Modi stayed away from election campaigns as he is now the PM of the country and Amit Shah should realise this and delegate work appropriately. The premature stances by Amit Shah and Ravi Shankar Prasad that Nitish Kumar will resign and walk out at 2pm on 8th Nov was the last nail in the chest of arrogance and over confidence. Remember Amit Shah’s invitation to Arvind Kejriwal for the swearing in ceremony during Delhi elections!

Maybe team BJP should introspect and introspect hard as to why they have failed both in Delhi and Bihar. Perhaps it is the ‘Yuddhakaale Shastraabhyas’ anecdote that the BJP needs to shed along with a few kilos of ego and gear up on the ground as the election season will soon blossom yet again on the murky grounds of UP and Karnataka.

Elections are not won with starry auras and magic wands nor is brand loyalty earned by mere superficial logos but by establishing a strong connect which can be done by creating awareness consistently and continuously in consumable doses because people will only believe in what they see and hear every day. Whether the rationalist was eliminated by the seculars or the pseudo seculars nobody knows but the communal monkey is often saddled upon the ideological ogres, made out by a malevolent media blowing the bugle of intolerance day in and day out until the cryptology of political equations are finally settled, now that the Bihar elections are over and a conducive mandate given to the solemnised seculars hopefully there will be more tolerance across media houses on the intolerance debate.

Nevertheless, team BJP must pull its socks and concentrate on some hard core reforms like Swatcha Media and clean up the media houses by acquiring them and relieving it from the banality of their foreign masters thereby reiterating the ‘Make In India’ concept and also investigate the bank accounts and assets of all the journalists and stamp them clean because like the black money there is a black intelligence that is peddled and embedded in young minds today.

But with the meagre political clout in the Rajya Sabha, the least BJP can do is  identify the Mir Jafars within and contain its internal and external enemies without fanning fanaticisms of any kind and stay focused on endearing the common man of India with some tough and quick delivery on the promises, the benefit of which should be passed on quickly to be felt and remembered by the common man across India because elections might be over but the electorate is waiting and watching!

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Rameshwaram and Dhanushkodi Trip

On day 2 we started off from Madurai to Rameshwaram which is a 3.30hours drive of 170kms on NH49, Rameshwaram is 620kms from Bengaluru.

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We reached Raameshwaram around 4 in the evening, parking our car outside the barricaded area in the narrow lanes around the Raamanathaswamy temple we headed straight for the darshan of Rameshwara linga, the presiding deity here. This early evening hour is perhaps the best time for the darshan as the crowds are lot thinner and we had an easy and comfortable darshan.

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Raamanathaswamy temple is the 7th Jyothirlinga and part of the char dham yatra, it is the main attraction in the Ramanathapuram town in the Pamban island apart from the Ramapadam, RamaKunda, Laxmana theertham, Agni theertham and Dhanushkodi.

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After vanquishing Ravana and returning victorious from the battle in Lanka, Lord Rama installed a Shivalinga here on the shores of Rameshwaram to invoke Shiva and rid himself from the Bramhahatya dosha of killing the scholarly brahmana(the one who has attained Bramhagyana) Ravana,.as Ravana was well versed in Vedas and a devout worshipper of Shiva.

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We took a hotel that was just in front of the temple and went around walking in the vicinity that was lined with tiny shops selling a host of sea shells of all sizes and shapes. We walked up to Agni theertham that is just 100 metres from the temple, I was expecting a well, but the sea shore area on the eastern side of the temple, behind this arch is called Agni theertham.

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It is believed that the lord of fire, Agni took a dip here to cleanse himself of the sin of enveloping Seetha devi in flames when she had plunged herself into the fires to prove her chastity to the people after her stay with demon Ravana.IMG_20151022_190603994

We had dinner at a place called Gujarat bhavan that served explicit vegetarian food with no onion or garlic, the food was just okay but was hygienic in comparison to the other hotels in the locality! One other decent hotel to stay somewhat near the temple would be hotel Tamilnadu, it has a good vegetarian restaurant and the hotel is a 15 minute walk from the temple but is close to Agni theertham however we didn’t get a booking here and ended up staying in hotel Ambika.

If you want to stay close to the temple then choices of very good(3star type) hotels are fewer.

The next day morning we woke up to a picturesque sight, we were lucky to capture the sunrise in the backdrop of the sea.

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I had only seen paintings like this earlier but to see the scintillating golden rays of the sun paint vivid shades of crimson on the horizon adding gleam to the holy waters was a precious moment.

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Devotees with metal sticks inserted into their mouths a religious custom

When we stepped out of the hotel the multi layered queue was snaking up to our hotel doors and it began to rain, the surrounding gutters overflowed immersing us in deeper spirituality.  I am deeply saddened to see our holiest places surrounded by filthy unplanned infrastructures and poor administrative works.

 

Agni theertham

Agni theertham

Before entering the temple one is supposed to take a dip at the Agni Theertham(the sea) and then proceed for the other theerthams inside the temple but since the place around Agni theertham had a vile stench of pollution and felt miserable to take a dip we simply sprinkled it on our heads.

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You are required to deposit all your mobiles, cameras outside and purchase a ticket for the teerthasnaan(holy water bathing), you are also required to carry a set of dry clothes to change as you are not allowed to enter the inner sanctum with wet clothes as per Vedic practices. There are changing zones allocated within the temple.

The temple is as old as Ramayana but the structure was expanded in the 12th century over 350years under various rulers.

It is a massive maze of architectural wonder with thousands of pillars and shivalingas with various sculptures of gods and deities depicting different stories and has the longest pillared corridors measuring upto 4000feet. It has 22 fresh water wells, bathing with which expiates one’s sins.

The Theerthams inside the temple are Mahalaxmi theerta, Savithri, Gayathri, Saraswathi, Sethumaadhava theertha, Gandhamadana theertha, Kavatcha theertham, Gavaka theertham, Nala and Neela theerthams, Shanku and Chakkara theerthams, Bramhahathathi Vimochana theertham, Surya and Chandra theertham, Ganga, Yamuna, Gaya theerthams, Siva, Sathyatmatheertha, Sarva and Kodi theerthams.

There is another legend that says that originally sage Pathanjali created 112 theerthams to rid people of their sins by bathing in them, but some say it is only 64 theerthams spread out across the town of Rameshwaram out of which 22 are within the temple precincts itself and the rest are slowly being lost to encroachments and urbanization outside in the temple town.

IMG_20151023_122225327But one nice thing here is, it is plastic bag free and the locals use cloth bags or wrap articles with paper when you buy a trinket, but still we get to see mounds of plastic wrappers and bottles, maybe somebody will soon introduce a metered drinking water kiosk to refill bottles to reduce the wrath of plastics.

We had got into the queue by 8am and finished the darshan only by 11.30am after all the theertha snaan.

We had booked a jeep at 1pm to Dhanushkodi through our hotel.

We quickly finished our lunch and at 1 o’ clock when the sun was at his raging best we boarded our rugged jeep and headed to the ghost town of Dhanushkodi.

It was here that Rama pointed his bow to Nala the vanara who with his army of monkeys built this bridge at Rama’s command to reach Lanka.

When lord Rama prayed to Varuna to pave way in the ocean, the Samudra Deva appeared and with folded hands requested Rama to commission his powerful and talented vanara(monkey) Nala to build this bridge as he was the son of the Vishwakarma, the architect of the universe, and that if he paved way now he might be compelled in future to pave way for others as well. The Samudra deva went on to say that even if Nala threw any of grass, stick or stone into the sea it would float. Hence the Vanara army of Rama built the bridge with floating stones which is today called as Ramasethu or Nalasethu. It was 100 yojanas long and 10 yojanas wide  when constructed as per the Ramayana but today after 1.7million years it is 30kms long and 3kms wide.

Floating stone at Dhanushkodi

Floating stone at Dhanushkodi

A radio carbon dating of this beach testified that it is 1.7million years old which dates around the Tretha Yuga.

Until the 1480AD people used this route but after a devastating cyclone, it was submerged under sea.

One cannot see the Ramasethu with naked eyes from the Indian shores today however it can be seen in the satellite image. From Dhanushkodi, Srilanka is only 30kms by sea.

Although many scientists, historians argue that it is just science, that limestone shoals float because of low density and air bubbles trapped inside the stone, which after some years when the air inside the shoal is released slowly with water seeping in, it sinks and that the whole theory of Rama building floating stone bridge is rubbished but strangely enough the scientists in India have found that there are many black and dense floating stones in Raameshwaram whose physical and chemical properties are like any other huge rock.

Lime stones or pumice are generally spongy, white and light and are found in Volcanic zones but no volcano has been recorded so far in this zone.

NASA image of Ramsethu

NASA image of Ramsethu

In 1966 the Gemini IX space mission had released an image that showed the ancient land connection between the two countries.

NASA released the satellite images of Ramasethu in 2002, and opined that it could be floating coral reefs but it is proven that coral reefs are dense calcium carbonate formations and cannot float.

Many ridicule the belief that monkeys built this masterpiece engineering piece and question how could monkeys build, but don’t we acknowledge Neanderthals or Darwin’s theory of evolution and endorse the fact that man did evolve from the monkeys? Don’t we keep excavating gigantic skeletons from pre historic times?

Today we use cloud computing technologies, I am able to store my weblog writings on air on an American server but what if the world submerges under water tomorrow, how will the future gen know about our technological sophistication? Couldn’t it be that, that in those days Nala and Neela had indeed mastered some exceptional engineering skills to architect the floating bridge 1.7million years ago whose exact proof was washed off with time. There are thousands of sacred Sanskrit texts telling us about Ramayana and Mahabharatha, millions of Indians today have their names after Rama, Krishna and Shiva but I have not found anybody by the name ‘Kamsa’ or ‘Shakuni’ or ‘Ravana’ except Sharukh Khan’s movies! We have millions of Laxmi, Saraswathi, Parvathis amongst us but have you met anybody by the name Shoorpanaka or Tataki or Puthini? There are numerous manuscripts that reiterate that Ramayana and the Ramasethu is our proud history and not mythology.

But then just because I cant read  Chinese can I say that all the Chinese scriptures are bogus?

If Ramasethu is mythology then why did the British cartographer in 1804 name this as Adam’s Bridge? Adam, another mythical character in Islam!!

The reality is that Ramasethu was first mentioned in puranic verses of Valmiki’s Ramayana, the westerners heard about it only in the 9th century when traveler Ibn Kordadbeh referred to Ramasethu as Set Bandhai in his work ‘Book of Roads and Kingdoms’. But in 18th century the British called named it as ‘Adam’s Bridge’! It is well known that during the 18th century India was under the British, who thought that all our scriptures, traditions and practices were inferior and worked against us with the single motto of  divide and rule, so it is evident that the British cartographer chose to name it after Adam, another mythical character in Islam and formally named it Adam’s bridge to pit the Hindus against the Muslims and erase our glorious past

Ironically the UPA government sanctioned the ‘Sethusamudram Project’ that involved dredging of Ramsethu, the historical and sacred bridge in order to establish shorter sea routes for the ships plying between eastern and western coasts of India that have to circle Srilanka. Dredgers worth crores of rupees were procured which strangely broke in the process, the project was a threat to the marine life and the valuable thorium deposits found in the area, dredging this route would throw open the route to international waters creating a security threat and additional burden to the defense forces of India, it might even increase the risk of Tsunamis, since it is not viable economically and ecologically,the project been stalled by the courts after a petition to reconsider the alternative 4 routes that were initially proposed and restore this significant historical and spiritual monument heeding to the sentiments of millions of Hindus.IMG_20151022_154420842

Now back to our trip, we headed to Dhanushkodi, the tip of Pamban island connecting the Mannar island of Srilanka. Dhanush means bow and kodi means end, it is some 18kms from the Rameshwaram temple.

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Sand tracks in the backwaters of Dhanushkodi

Sand tracks in the backwaters of Dhanushkodi

Only jeeps and buses with 4/4 gears can ply here on the bumpy trails of sandy backwaters of Bay of Bengal. It is an 8km drive from the check point. The buses charge Rs.150 per head and allows you to spend 30minutes but the jeep that we took charged 1500 for 3hours from our hotel in Rameshwaram it included the to and fro drive time as well, so more or less we only got an additional 60minutes than the bus passengers. During the 2004 Tsunami, the locals reported that minutes before the Tsunami the waters in Dhanushkodi had receded some 1600feet revealing the submerged areas just before the violent wave came dashing. Earlier there was a train from Madras to Dhanushkodi called the ‘Boat Mail’ that was destroyed in the cyclone.

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The sangam point, where the calm blue waters of Bay of Bengal meets the furious green Indian Ocean is some 4kms walk from here where one can see the tip of the land with an endless expanse of blue green waters is believed to be the exact point where Rama’s army built the bridge.

Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean

In 1964 a devastating cyclone struck the little town of Dhanushkodi and washed away 1800 people along with a passenger train uprooting even the railway tracks. Schools, hospital, post office and the entire village was buried under water, since then the area is identified to be prone to such calamities and is declared a ghost town.

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However the fishermen community still brave it out here and live in thatched settlements amidst the ruins selling a range of sea shell products.

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I had already bought a Spatika linga, some conches in the lanes of Rameshwaram. Spatika is a gemstone made of silicon and oxygen, wearing it is said to bring an electro chemical balance in the body and has positive healing properties on the body. Even conches are of different varieties, I bought a Ganesha Shanka and Mahalaxmi Shanka.

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We could not walk up to the tip of the land as it was a 4kms walk that didn’t seem achievable in the hot sun with kids and the time constraint as we were supposed to come out of the place before 5pm. However we were happy to be on the shores(Dhanushkodi Theertham) where Lord Rama had set his foot

IMG_20151022_151103916We spent some time playing in the blue waters and walked along the serene white shores as the mighty Indian Ocean roared thumping and thwarting furiously against the white sands.

IMG_20151022_151616106You have to come here in the morning and strike a deal with the driver that you spend 3hours exclusively here on the beach else taking a jeep doesn’t make much sense unless you are a big group.

You can see ruins everywhere and spot some broken remains of the railway track.

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Crystal clear Backwater beds en route our drive

But the good news is that the Indian Government is now building a road upto the shores of Dhanushkodi connecting mainland India to its southern east tip so that tourists and pilgrims don’t have to take the tedious bumpy ride on the jeeps.

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On the way back we also visited the Kodanda Rama temple, it is the place where Veebheeshana the brother of demon king Ravana surrendered to Rama. IMG_20151022_162059335

And later he was named the sovereign of the demons of Lanka after Ravana’s killing and crowned the king by Lakshmana at the behest of Rama.

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We had dinner at hotel Tamilnadu, the food was decent.

Gandhamadana hill, Rama Padam found here

Gandhamadana hill, Rama Padam found here

The next day we visited the Gandhamantana Parvata, a small hill where Rama’s foot steps are preserved on a circular rock.

Rama Kunda

Rama Kunda

 Floating Stone

Floating Stone

We then visited Rama Kunda, where Rama took bath after the bloody war. There was a fisherman who was selling the floating stone that he claimed had got it from the Srilankan side. I ended up buying a chunk of it for 200 bucks.

This local site seeing is not much of a distance and can be covered in your own vehicle, the auto guy was demanding Rs.700 for the same but when we drove ourselves it was all very close within a short radius.

Next we visited Laxmana theertham and also visited the temple here

Temple at Laxman thirtha

Temple at Laxman thirtha

We then headed back to our hotel and checked out , had lunch in the vicinity and bid goodbye to Raameshwaram.

Villoondi theertham

Villoondi theertham

En route we saw Viloondi theertham, the place where Rama shot his arrow and dug a sweet water well in the salty sea to quench Seetha’s thirst.

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By 3pm we were driving on the Indira Gandhi road Bridge along the Pamban railway bridge, India’s first sea link.

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We were lucky to see the train cross the bridge, the shore here is bordered by many Shivling like rocks and the spot is worth a stop by.

The craze to view the train run on the sea amongst fellow tourists had led to a mini traffic jam as many stopped by the bridge for some customary photography. The rocks lining these shores look like Shivlings

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That was the end of our Rameshwaram trip and we were then off to Tanjavore.

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Road Trip To Madurai

Come October and the travel syndrome steers you involuntarily but this time the school announced that there would be no Dussera vacation and the extra coaching classes began in full swing, life became distressingly monotonous with the 5.30am alarm teasing and taunting my dabbawali demeanour yet again, friends and relatives with teenaged kids welcomed me warmly into their house-arrested havens and enlightened me that the next few years would be like this with a tinge of sadistic smile but the drive_bug itched in the tummy, the camera craved, the kitbag crooned and the sunglasses gaped wondering if I would flinch and clinch to home sweet home. And suddenly there came an SMS saying the school would shut down for now and resume only a week later that left us in an indescribable travel nirvana.

At 9am we planned for a quick tour towards Shimoga, by 10am we thought of Wayanad but by 10.40am we were driving on NH7 to Madurai!

We took the Bangalore- Hosur- Dharmapuri- Salem- Karur- Dhindigul- Madurai route which is a 7hour drive, Bengaluru to Madurai is 450kms and the entire route through NH7 is a splendid experience.

En route Madurai on NH7

En route Madurai on NH7

Unlike Karnataka’s uneven patchy bumpy toll roads the Tamil Nadu highways are a pleasure to drive.

Lined with picturesque lush green fields and thick coconut grooves on the sides the entire stretch is a smooth drift with not even one patchy surface area anywhere from start to end.

We reached late in the evening by 7 ish when the temple town was blurred amidst heavy downpours, with our 4G network down we scrambled through the knotted boards in Tamil and finally managed to get a room in a hotel called Metropole.

Although Madurai is known as the temple town, sadly finding a vegetarian hotel with decent hygienic vegetarian food is a great challenge here.

The next day morning we tied up with an autorickshaw to visit in and around Madurai as parking is a choking hazard in most of the ancient narrow lanes.

North gate view, Meenakshi temple

North gate view, Meenakshi temple

First we headed to the Meenakshi temple which was around 8kms from our hotel and entered from the North gate, technically you are supposed to enter from the eastern gate as it is customary here.

Madurai, is famous for Meenakshi temple, its smooth soft idlis and cotton sarees.

Madurai, the ancient temple town located on the banks of Vaigai river which was the epicentre of culture and art is believed to be more than 3600years old, legend has it that once Indra in order to rid himself of the Bramhahathi dosha came to Kadamba forest in the Pandya kingdom and worshipped the Adi Swayambuhu linga, the powers of which relieved him of his curse of becoming a wanderer. Indra built the Astagaja mantapa by raising an elevated vimaana like structure around the linga to commemorate and show his gratitude, after which the Devas began to worship here.

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Once a trader named Dhananjaya came here to take rest en route his trading expedition, while he was asleep he heard the sounds of clanking bells and saw the Devas worshipping the Adi Swayambuhu Linga. He narrated this to his King Kulashekara Pandya who then built the temple and a town around this lotus shaped mantapa hence the city came to be known as the temple town of Madurai. The current day architecture of 12gopurams was built over by 64 generations in 800years.

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Kulashekara’s son Malayadwaja Pandya, was childless for a long time and besought a heir by performing many yagnas but in vain, then Indra advised him to perform Putrakameshti yaga here in order to be seek a son but during the yagna a little girl with a splendid radiance of virtuousness with 3breasts whose eyes were fish shaped emerged from the yagna kunda, when the king was anxious at the turn of events there was a divine interception from the skies saying that the little girl was an embodiment of Shakthi with the power of 10men and was here to rule. And the man before whom she surrendered in coy and bent her head, seeing whom her 3rd breast would disappear would be her divine consort Shiva himself.

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Meenakshi, the goddess with fish shaped eyes douses all your problems and blesses with her eyes, as she was born from fire she was named ‘Thadaa Dagai Prateur’ she grew up to be a powerful princess who proved to be a valiant ruler and an able administrator of the Pandyan Kingdom,IMG_20151020_113136028  she conquered the three worlds in all eight directions and after conquering Sathyaloka, Vaikunta, Amaravathi she aspired to conquer Shiva’s abode ‘Kailasa’, during the conquest in Kailasa she was mesmerised on seeing Shiva and her 3rd breast vanished,

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she knew at once that he was her divine consort. After marriage they ruled over the Pandya kingdom and are believed to be living here in the Kadamba vana in the form of Meenakshi and Sundareshwar, hence Meenakshi devi is also called Kadambavana Vaasini.

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As you walk through the 1000 pillared mantapa you can see the story of Meenakshi devi depicted in colourful art form across the walls and ceilings, besieged amidst the pillars with puranic engravings lies the Lotus Pond or the Hondavare Kola, the pond from where Indra plucked golden lotuses for worshipping the Shiva Linga. Scholarly writings were tested here by immersing the scriptures in this pond, the meagre quality ones sank and the good ones floated establishing their scholarships.

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The Meenakshi deity is made of emerald and has a diamond nose ring adorned in a gold crown, Meenakshi devi holds a parrot in her hand, it seems that during earlier times the parrots here recited verses praising Meenakshi devi, the parrot is perhaps symbolic of knowledge transfer.

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In the stretch between the Meenakshi and the Sundareshwar sanctum you will find an ancient 3D painting of a Shiva linga on the ceiling, the base spout of the linga will turn towards you from whichever direction you view it.

Golden kalasha of Astagaja matapa

Golden kalasha of Astagaja matapa

The inner sanctum or the garba gudi of Sundareshwar is also called Indra Vimaana as it has 8 elephants, 32 lions and 64 Bhoothaganas and is built as if it is being carried.

The inner sanctum is illuminated only with oil lamps hence viewing the entire figurine is difficult in the mad rush which is ever prevalent here.

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Velliambinataraja: The silver Nataraja is located inside the Sundareshwara sanctum at the entrance of to the main Linga.

The dancing Nataraja here is unique as it stands on the left feet throwing the right foot in the air. King Rajashekaran Pandya who was an expert in 63 out of 64 forms of art was unable to master the art of dance but due to his devotion to the lord he attempted to learn it and realised how painful it was to stand on the right leg hence he requested lord Shiva to shift to his left leg, but the lord didn’t budge, it was when he attempted to offer his head that the lord agreed and shifted on to his left leg.

Mukkurini Ganesha/Pillaiyar/Vinayakar

This 8feet tall Ganapathi idol was found while Thirumalai Nayaka was getting a temple tank dug, ‘Mu-Kkuruni’ means 3 measures, during Ganesh chaturthi the elephant lord is offered a single large Modaka(sweet dish) made with 3 measures of rice(rice sacks).

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Panchamuki Gayathri Devi

Panchamuki Gayathri Devi

There are various mantapas in the temple, In the Kambatthadi mantapa you can see various sculptures depicting stories of Shiva, the monolithic Nandi,

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the dwajastamba, the sculpture depicting Lord Vishnu giving the hand of Meenakshi in marriage to Sundareshwar(Shiva) is marvellous as it depicts different expressions and moods.

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On one side you can also see idols of Agni Veerabhadra and Agora Veerabhadra the two demon commanders of Shiva who fought Daksha while on the other side of the entrance you can see Shiva doing his Tandava.

IMG_20151020_123006140 Even Gods and Goddesses had fights:

Shiva in Oordhva Tandava poseParvathi in Chandekeshwari formOnce Shiva and Parvathi had a dance challenge, while dancing Shiva’s earrings fell on the ground but he didn’t stop dancing instead he lifted the earring with his toes and put it on performing the Oordhva tandava step swinging his leg in 180 degrees posture which is normally not possible for women to perform hence Parvathi was annoyed and took up her Chandikeshwari form, in order to soothe her burning anger the devotees burn lamps in front of her and seek her blessings.

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The temple is spread across 15 acres with 12 gopurams, the colourful outer towers with 9 storeys each form the land marks of Madurai amongst them the southern tower is the tallest at 170feet with 1511 stucco dolls each tower has many magnificent idols depicting different tales. There are totally some 6825 pillars in this temple.

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It is terribly hot in the morning so if you looking for some good shots of the external architecture it is best to visit the temple in the evening. You will need to spend a minimum of 2hours here.

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We had hired a guide for the temple tour for Rs.300 but most of the information he gave was incorrect and half-baked but it still helps as the temple is vast and you will not know where and what to see but if you have ample time then you could read through the story and leisurely count the number of pillars and ascertain the numbersJ.

Thiruvalai Nayakaar's Palace

Thiruvalai Nayakaar’s Palace

After lunch we visited the Nayakar’s Palace which is built in an Indo-Italian style but it was a big disappointment to see the plain sober architecture buried in pigeon poop and unkempt ambience after a splendid architectural extravaganza at the Meenakshi shrine.

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An artist at the Nayakar palace

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Artist’s work at Nayakar palace

By 3 o clock in the afternoon we reached the Tirupurukundrum Muruga temple, pronouncing which was like pronuncing ‘Albuquerque ‘.

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The temple opened only by 4pm, the whole vicinity was crowded with locals and many Aiyappa devotees thronging the place and sleeping all over the outer temple premises hence we chose to while away time in the auto itself.

It is a huge temple with Muruga as the main deity, Muruga or Karthikeya who married Indra’s daughter Deivamaaye, gave darshan to his devotees in his bridegroom’s avatar here.

Thirukundrum Muruga temple Madurai

Thirukundrum Muruga temple Madurai

The government employed priests here are an embarrassment to spirituality.

By now the kids were growing restless with our overdose of religiousity hence we skipped the Alaigar Kovil temple and Maariyamman teppukoolam.

Gandhi Museum, Madurai

Gandhi Museum, Madurai

Lastly we visited the Gandhi museum which houses many rare pictures of Gandhi and some of his belongings and letters. The complete revolting scenario that existed during the pre-independence era is exhumed in detail with various pictures.

Writings at the museum

Writings at the museum

The museum also displays the blood stained loin cloth of Gandhiji because it was in Madurai that Gandhiji adopted the loin cloth after seeing the peasants.

By now we were exhausted and also it was closing time for the museum, the auto guy dropped us at the hotel and by default demanded extra as the time was a little extended because of the wait at the temple.  This was end of day2.

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Inspired by Nayantara Sehgal MAN RETURNS RETURN GIFT AFTER 25 YEARS

Inspired by Nayantara Sehgal, who returned her Sahitya Academy Award as a mark of protest in the wake of growing secularism in India a man on Monday decided to return a return gift given to him 25 years ago. The man has tweeted that he had silently tolerated the hangover of the ugly birthday party and brooded over the cheap return gift that was shoved upon him 25years ago that didn’t add any value to his shelf today. On being contacted he related and relived the horror of having to eat only horribly healthy food that was served in the birthday party by the host, who once upon a time used to splurge his guests in a juniper of junkies, but now that the party is over and the palate of patriarchal prowess has become puny he is forced to take this extreme step of returning the return gift as it is the one and only way left to grab eyeballs for some extra cake.

Taking cue from the ex-cake eater, kids in a neighbouring birthday party staged a protest by returning the return gifts to mark the end of boring birthdays where the host had not served their favourite pasta and pizza but instead simply forced them to have veg spring rolls and fresh orange fruit juice. Tinku a class 2 student, shared with us that he is now contemplating to return the return gifts as he now realises that it was given to compensate for the bad food served.

The kids were also quick to express their dissent at the bizarre choice of cheap plastic stuffed in a silly goodie bag and given away gloriously. This uproar has taken the country by storm so much that more and more children across the country are inspired and instigated to return the return gifts. Parents and party organisers are devising newer means to attract the uprising young minds while Doreamon sticker sellers and Chinese Crayons companies are now keeping tight lipped on the turn of events even as rumours suggest that they are meticulously exploring newer options to sustain the failing markets. The opposition was quick to demand that the Government give compensation for such boring birthday bashes in order to take stock of trending hashtag #ReturningReturnGifts.

This post was also published on Firstpostfakingnews

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Rhythm of Rationalism

Whenever a debate brews on the importance of freedom of speech, each time it conclusively boils down to classifying some as radicals and some as rationalists when the point of contention is who decides who is rational or radical?

Often times, those who advocate their beliefs in their choicest abuses in the name of freedom of speech are endorsed as rationalists and those who disagree and refuse to acclaim the same are termed radicals.

As per the Indian constitution of India under section 153(A) and section 295(A) of the penal code, any expression written or spoken, by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or commits any act which is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, and which disturbs or is likely to disturb the public tranquility and under section 295(A) of the Indian penal code whoever insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of any class of citizens of India, . . . shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

The murder of MM.Kalburgi is definitely sad and deserves criticism but to project him as a rationalist is perhaps irrational as most of his advocacies were open blasphemy, here is a link

in which the noted literati mindlessly goes on to say that it is superstitious to worship an idol and casually jokes that another Kannada writer who is also a Jnanapeetha awardee, Dr.U.R.Ananthamurthy had once urinated on an idol of God but no adversarial affects had harmed him, Mr.Kalburgi almost uses Anathamurthy’s atheistic and outrageous expressions as a proven theorem to justify his belief that idol worship is superstitious and meaningless.

Incidentally or co-incidentally these literary laureates are also awarded the most prestigious literary awards of the nation.

Isn’t it communal or hate brewing to ridicule others beliefs pointblank? Would Kalburgi or his likes ever question the custom of stoning the shaitaan or the circumcision or will they advocate English education in Madrasas? Will they poke their nose in Christian customs like thanks giving or the very concept of an altar when they don’t believe in idolatry? Will the gods read newspapers? Will they question the likes of Benny Hinns that are breeding rampantly everywhere in India today?

Obama receiving the pope becomes glorious breaking news and protocol but our PM is branded as communal.

In modern day India, a hateful expression is often packaged by the literati as unconventionally bold and creative, such creative fodder is often pushed in main stream media as liberalism and modern thinking. One such staunch example of contemporary times is the MF Hussain case, where his paintings glared with disrespectful travesty to ridicule and belittle Hinduism but our media termed M.F.Hussain as creative, free thinking, often such superlative adjectives are coined to honour the brave crusaders of creativity who are often in quest for free thinking and pick on dharma ironically only Hindu dharma at large.

Below are MF Hussain’s creativity, wonder why he didn’t choose his faith for inspiration!!

Nude Sita sitting on Ravana

Nude Sita sitting on Ravana

Goddess Parvathi in the nude

Goddess Parvathi in the nude

A nude bramin with a fully clothed muslim king

A nude bramin with a fully clothed muslim king

Nude Goddess Laxmi sitting on Ganesha

Nude Goddess Laxmi sitting on Ganesha

A pen is mightier than the sword they say, so it is inherently important that a writer/jounalist who plays a vital role in shaping mind sets and streaming opinions in a society be sensitive to that very society’s beliefs yet bring out the truth from all perspectives without any prejudice.

There is an uproar that freedom of speech is threatened and intolerance to rationalism is growing but what really is rationalism? Who really is a rationalist?

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In this news debate video Arnab is clearly allowing more time to the so called activists and rationalists but interrupts and cuts down Rahul Eashwar and Indira’s time but when Indira is forced to resort to the same tactics as Arnab to make herself heard he accuses her of interrupting when in the first case he never gave her a chance to completely express her views.

This is the kind of rationalism that exists today and it is almost fashionable to witch hunt Hindus beliefs. I am amazed why Arnab didn’t call the Owaisis for a rational debate!!

Although India is a Hindu majority, our constitution says we a secular country where there is equal respect for people of all faiths and beliefs but how rational is this tweet from this rational journo nikhil wagle's tweets

It is because of such consistent and sustained maliciousness that today Indian communities remain divided with hatred for each other, on one hand the dalits in the country get reservation and all hell breaks loose for achieving social equality but on the other hand they merrily vilify the merit class in their free run for freedom of speech, ironically all those who spew venom against the merit class are self proclaimed rationalists. In fact liberalism today is synonymous with hating the Bramins community and demeaning Hinduism.

We have all heard of Narendra Dabholkar, an atheist who asked for the anti superstition bill, he was acclaimed as a rationalist again, he was also awarded Padmashri posthumously for his social activism but nobody knows about Sanal Edamaruku who also fought against superstitions prevailing in the Church, his investigated report about a crucifix at ‘Our Lady of Velankanni’ church in Mumbai dripping with water from the feet, indicated that the dripping was caused by capillary action from a clogged drain but in April 2012 the Catholic Church in Mumbai filed a blasphemy complaint under Section 295(A) of the Indian Penal Code in several police stations around the city against him and he was forced to flee to Finland to avoid arrests but interestingly the Indian media never uttered a word about this incident.

Ideally rationalism is the theory of believing with logical reasoning without any prejudices or favoritisms but in this quest for intellectual reasoning it is also imperative to keep in mind the fact that my truth and my logic could be different from yours, it is important to respect others faiths and beliefs, because when you cross this thin line and cannot differentiate between a hate speech and free speech and resort to judgmental accusations, derogatory statements, degradation of other beliefs then there is no more reasoning left to qualify one as a rationalist, in fact he ceases to be one and is actually a hard core radical fringe element disguised and glorified as a liberal.

But thanks to the social media as it often blows up these volatile rhythms of rationalism loud and clear.

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Mumbai’s hens and goats file petition in change.org

Enamoured by the hashtags of the meat ban Mumbai’s hens, goats and cows are contemplating to file a petition against KFC in change.org, the leader of the Gau sena cried foul against the continuous racism and step motherly treatment extended towards them and questioned the explicit favouritism shown towards the ‘save tiger’ campaigns when their kith and kin were being executed day in and day out.

They demanded that the Government set up a hen rights department as a measure to officially address their grievances throughout the year and thanked Arnab Goswami for raising this issue after almost 40years and hinted that they would send a hen right activist on the panel next time if invited.

Since they come from the weakest strata of the animal society and are also often ill-treated, the cattle class is now demanding a reservation quota wherein they will not be culled for the next 50years until they establish themselves and multiply in millions and are treated at par with creamy status animals like dogs, tigers and spiders for whom even using harsh terms amounts to cruelty and attracts harsh penalties. A few young rebels questioned our team as to how would Mary go to school if there were no lambs and what would our children sing in school?

Taking cue from this even the buffaloes of Bihar have condemned the incident and expressed deep outrage at the decades of malnutrition prevailing among them because of the missing case of the fodder.

Inside reports suggest that they are also contemplating to file a case on the PETA activists for all their pseudo sympathies towards animal rights when in reality they are being ethnically cleansed.

This post was also published in Faking news

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From Bapu to Asaram Bapu

Whether or not Asaram Bapu is guilty or a victim of vilification I do not know, but surely his case has been going on in the courts from the last 2years without any conclusive evidence even after our enthusiastic media picked up his files before the courts did but today we easily see him as a bogus baba who, disguised in his Karmic attributes secretly sought and exploited carnal favours from his bewildered bhakts.

Asaram Bapu claims that he is not guilty and that he is made to pay a price for voicing out against the Gandhis, but in today’s world where the loudest loathe becomes truth we tend to believe everything instantly at face value in the current context of a dissipated scenario that surrounds us, where if you spoke for him you are branded a right winger and if you spoke against him you are a leftist but in all this furore of the left vs the right is there really any scope for a rationale debate?

The words Bapu and all this fuss about ashrams takes me back in time but will we ever dare introspect the truth behind our tall legacies or lie gacies of hypocrisies?

In India and elsewhere the very term ‘Gandhiji’ is seen as synonymous with honesty and truthfulness, a portrait of the Mahatma is always hung in all police stations, legal and educational institutions, in fact a whole nation is taught early in life to inculcate and exude the Gandhian way of non-violence and truthfulness, he is still the star in all our freedom struggle commemorations and our academics.

In that very spirit of Gandhiji to seek truth and divulge some rationale objective views in order to understand the father of our nation I delved deep and read his biographies, scanned many journals and read various bits and bytes about the Mahatma, who with his penchant for experiments be it with life or non-violence, vegetarianism, truth or with celibacy itself Gandhiji comes out as a split personality to me.

We have all read about Gandhi for his ideals, for his Ahimsa or non-violence but what we did not know was that it was the same Ahimsavaadi who pledged to become a recruiting agent and rain Indian soldiers upon the British royal empire acknowledging their sovereignty over us in bargain for a little triumph card of goodwill and was instrumental in extending our unconditional support to the British masters during the World War where at least 2lakh Indian soldiers died in the bloody battlefield.

While his Quit India movement and his satyagrahas are seen as robust facades of freedom struggle, most written communications sent by Gandhiji during this period are seeming reassurances of his loyalty to the British empire and fragile appeals often in bargain for our compromise on one thing or the other, his Dandi march, his anti-apartheid stands, we have read his merrier sides but the murkier side that is darker than the many conundrums of sexual abuse that we hear today left me wondering if Bapu was any different from what Asaram Bapu is made out to be today?

Image from Indiatoday.in

Image from Indiatoday.in

In his ‘experiments of truth’ he writes that he regrets not being by his ailing father’s side because of his intense carnal desires to be with Kasturba that night when his father breathed his last, he later tries diets that reduces such desires, he advocates to practice celibacy even while he is married to Kasturba but strangely after her death he sets newer goals and admits in his writing that he is experimenting with young girls by sleeping naked with them to arrest his carnal desires.

Abha and Manuben the two grandnieces who were regarded as Gandhi’s walking sticks to whom Gandhiji often clung to in all his freedom marches, were in reality guinea pigs or course material for his self-proclaimed experiments of Bramacharya. He writes about bathing together with his secretary’s attractive sister Sushila Naayar and claims that he shut his eyes while she bathed and also talks about sleeping with women of his ashram who often vied with each other for this bedside honorarium.

If at all our constitution was written a little early then I wonder what criminal sedition charges, articles and sections these experiments would attract. For a moment I shuddered to think …what if Arnab Goswami was a contemporary of Gandhiji then!

In ancient times when the sages wanted to conquer their minds over their bodies they meditated under harsh hostile conditions of the Himalayas or in some forests renouncing all worldly pleasures but Gandhi wrote his own rules for Bramacharya, in his quest to seek an unconventional spirituality behind closed doors in the afterhours of a socially and politically over active life did Gandhi not physically, emotionally and psychologically abuse those vulnerable young girls?

In one of the diaries of Manuben Gandhi, discovered recently, it reveals that she came to him an orphan at the age of 12 and ever since then he is like a mother to her, at the age of 18 Manuben was sleeping naked with the 77year old Gandhi for all his bramacharya experiments. Although she says that she sees it as a pious experiment she also notes that her diaries were signed by Gandhi personally each night.

Rhonda Brynes’s “The Secret” says that thoughts make a person, if you keep saying I should not spill the milk, you are invariably attracting that thought of spilling the milk and will end up spilling the milk.

It is hard to digress that a great personality like Gandhi did not realise this simple truth and in his quest for experiments he had knowingly or unknowingly jeopardized innocent lives around him.

Gandhi’s secretary, Pyarelal mentions that Gandhi cared for Manuben’s education, food, dress and sleep so much that he supervised her every aspect and even shared his bed with her, if a girl’s mind is innocent then she will not be embarrassed to sleep with her mother.

This is same as saying a rape victim invites the rapists with her dressing sense!

But the contentious point here is no mother would ever ask her 18 year old to sleep naked next to her and bathe and massage her body.

Now if Gandhi was reading and signing her personal diary notes each night then there is little scope to believe that she dared to write the truth. She died at the age of 40 silently somewhere without making any furore on Newhour, without the aid of any women empowerment clout but my fears are what if the Bapus of today claim to follow these Gandhian path and experiments? Will we just brush it aside saying every great man has some kind of kink or will we extend the same motherly theory and make Mahatmas out of the current day Bapus or will we question what it takes to be a real Mahatma?

Digging up history will often leave you branded as a right wing or left winger today in India but a wise quote by Voltaire says “To learn who rules over you simply try to find out who you are not allowed to criticize”!

Attaching a few online reference links

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/mahatma-gandhi-experiment-sexuality-manuben-discovered-diaries/1/278990.html

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/excerpts-from-manuben-diaries-mahatma-gandhi/1/278953.html

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/excerpts-from-manuben-diaries-bapu-mahatma-gandhi/1/278974.html

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/excerpts-from-manuben-diaries-mahatma-gandhi-pyarelalji/1/278969.html

writingcave

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The Mukerjees Saga……

The Indrani Mukerjee case has been running successfully all over the Indian media ever since its release from the past one week, even as the audience are still trying to decipher where really would this investigative needle point to, whose horse shit will the media really scathe out and to whom will it be a major blow to in the end this multi starrer mega movie is only getting more and more speculative by the day which seems to have sent Ekta Kapoor into a tizzy and Kapil’s comedy now looks like a horror show. Jasleen Kaur and Hardik Patel are biting their nails in a corner wondering how their trending hash tags were consumed off so soon by the Mukerjees.

While a leading daily reported “ Indrani is being served Chai Poa for breakfast in jail”, Radhe maa heaved a sigh of relief and the FTII students decided to draw an inspiration or two and infer from this Mega movie making skills which seems to be playing as if there is nothing beyond this for Indians to watch and all Indians are more or less as immoral as it is programmed to be. The Bihar and Bengaluru polls can go to hell, who cares if the Nifty fell or if the onion prices rose, who cares if POK wants to be part of India or if Palmyra is razed out, who cares if US funded the ISIS or if Bihar is ruled by Laalu or Pappu but isn’t Sheena such a pretty face??

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BBMP Results Bhagya

Bengaluru has been gaping with potholed corridors of corruption, stinking in the mounds of garbage piles and pending rat eaten files, our hard earned money was pitched into vote bank bhagyas while we suffered the Durbhagya of a never ending metro rail work convoluting into myriad and terrible traffic woes, the arrogance in the fair investigation of the mysterious death of an honest IAS officer DK Ravi was perhaps the death knell the Congress chose to ignore, the secularly casteist census strategy to divide us further, the BBMP’s notorious building demolition spree, farmers suicides, froth filled inflammable lakes, harassing the non-congress electorates without Kaveri water and non-issuance of Katha forgetting that it was that very electorate that had swapped the BJP with Congress remorselessly a few years back coupled with all that negative anti national pyjama politics in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have driven the people to give a responsible mandate which should keep the Congress on their toes for the 2017 elections and do some ground work.

The BBMP polls might have decisively ended with people vociferously voicing their choice but some people will never learn….

This was the secular tone on today’s socialist newspaper

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This is the age of social media, superfast with intelligent inference, gone are the days of rigid hero worships and brand loyalty, ye public hai ye sab jaanthi hai gone are the ‘karenge ya marenge’ times….it is ‘Karo ya maro’ time now and also  an auspicious time for some hard core introspection on your secular credentials instead of refusing to see that the emperor is really stark naked. All play and no work makes Jack a really dull dud head!

 

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CASTEing Couch

Japan recently commemorated its 70years of the Hiroshima incident, lakhs of people were killed, their economy crashed and the developmental works of many decades was decimated but today Japan is the second largest developed economy and the third largest in the world in terms of nominal GDP, a world leader in electronics and the fourth largest purchasing power, a member of G7 and has steered ahead with competitiveness and innovation even with no natural resources and an aged population. Now contrast this with India, like Japan even we celebrated and commemorated the 70 years of freedom but our parliamentarians are still struck with pyjama politics and struggle to pass a GST bill.

We are the only country in the world that castigates itself with caste and take pride in reeking with reservation quotas, 90% of our schools are Government run since last 70years but reservation rules over resourcefulness so much that even the 10% of private schools left are sucked up to for another 25% charity (RTE) to elite socialism that we garlanded ourselves with in the guise of seeking equality. Professional courses, public sector jobs are inflicted with reservations not on financial backwardness but social backwardness, but who decides who is social backward and how can politicos ascertain the benefits of rationing resources when majority of them and their brethren seek medical aid and education abroad? Who decides social backwardness when majority of merit students are socially ostracised from the country’s main stream education and employment sectors? Who decides backwardness when food growing farmers are evicted into cities to wash dishes at Pizza hut? Our intellectuals are forced to boot polish western economies while the socialists’ chest beat about secularism and continue to castigate and dissect the society into various castes and sub castes. The diversity that we were once proud of is vilified out of proportion and a bane today with meaningless reservations and conservations.

Reservation is all about rationing availability with employability they say but all that has been rationed is the country’s economic and developmental prospects.

The Bollywood might be suffering with casting-couch but our socialists and even our constitution suffer from caste-couch, When skills have no values why not all the secularists and socialists and those seeking reservations take an austere pledge of parity that they will only employ and seek services from the most backward reservation candidates, they will send their children to Government schools and also get married to the most backward and oppressed tribal folks of the country and go under the knife with the lowest calibre medicos to promote egalitarianism.

The Vernas or the Castes were defined by the nature of the job a person did but today the job is defined by the caste you belong to. With the new caste of socialism clogging the clouds of reasoning, will the Government have the guts to evict this rut called reservation?

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Kavade Aata, traditional games of India

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As a child I always wanted to grow up very fast but now I yearn for a little hallucination of those wonderful times of innocent bliss that still lingers fresh on my mind and secretly somewhere in the heart of hearts I refuse to grow up.

It still feels like yesterday that I prayed and waited for the evening power cuts which served as a bonus playtime adding a furore of fun in the dark, playing catching the thief under the moonlight. The venue for this sport was a bewildering under construction house in the neighbourhood that worked like a Takeshi’s castle for us with no doors or windows, and just below the uncovered balcony of the first floor was a large mound of sand that was a perfect ground for our adventurous high jumps. No it was not as scary as it sounds today! It was truly fun filled when half a dozen of us jumped on to the sand mounds burying ourselves knee deep to catch the thief. This game was the vice versa of ‘running and catching’ where all and sundry chased one person instead of one person catching all others. So, the thief had to be a good runner _alert, flexible and really quick to trick all and escape but yet follow the boundary limits.

There was another game called four corners that required a minimum of 5 players, we drew 4 circles in four corners to form a large illusory square with a 8feet distance between one circle to another. Each corner is a home to one player, if there is an extra player, two people can stand as one team in one home/circle, but if this team gets out others will have a tough time swapping homes with two dens chasing them. The den is required to stand in the centre and wait for players to swap homes, while they try to swap and are out of their homes, the den has to catch them, the one who is caught first is the new den.

Structured classes had not monopolised our little lives then, toys and gizmos were unheard of, and the evenings were completely at our disposal to explore. Those were the days when natural clay was available in sand heaps and we accumulated our own playdoh and felt as if we had earned it, those were the days when  trees were also part of our games, in fact we played ‘mud or stone’ as ‘mud or tree’, the moment the den said ‘tree’ we quickly clung to the nearest tree around and hung their like monkeys, many houses had their own swings with a rope tied to the tallest tree in their courtyards, parents didn’t have to queue up like guinea pigs with their latest smart phones to swing their little ones high in the air.

Rush hour was quite an unceremonious term then as the only place we rushed to was the bathrooms lest waters would be emptied, heading to school was another sport, kicking a stone the farthest was the goal, as we raced to strike such goals we would have reached school in no time, of course with a brutal bruise on the shoes which often left my mother wondering how could the shoes wear off so fast! Unaware as she was, that we were only perfecting the leg eye coordination by playing golf with our legs!

Fortunately for us, life skills and motor development skills were imbibed naturally in simple everyday interactions with life directly. We were never forced into any classes that didn’t interest us. In fact it was the other way round where we had to pester our parents to put us into a particular class if we so desired. Discarded cigarette packs were our pokemon cards and Giant Robot on Doordarshan was the coolest thing on TV.

Without any structured classes and without meticulous parental pokes we were unknowingly empowered to be imaginative and empathetic, we connected and interacted and most importantly we learnt to take decisions and became more responsible as we relied more on the biological alarm instead of any digital alarm or parental reminders.

Not that life is any lacklustre for children today, in fact they are more smart, bold and inquisitive than we were but certainly they lack the free space and free time to ponder about the different facets of life.

One thing kids are missing out is the fun that traditional games offer in the simplest form, knowingly or unknowingly we pressurise our kids to play only those games that we think adds value ignoring how thoughtfully and cost effectively our traditional games were designed.

One game that I would like to rediscover, reconnect with and pass it on to my kids is the ‘Kavade Aata’ or the game of cowrie shells. It is looked upon as an old fashioned game but it is the most fascinating and fun-filled game that combines interaction, concentration, dexterity of fingers and hand eye coordination.

kavade5

It is an indoor game that can be played across all ages be it rain or shine. This game is already endangered and will soon become extinct hence I shall quickly run you through the game and its nitty-gritties.

You need 4 kavades or cowrie shells of the same size.

kavade2

Take them in a fist and toss all four in the air and quickly turn your palm backside up and manoeuvre your hand quickly to have all 4 shells land on the back of your palm.

Kavade

You might get one, two or three shells on your hand, now toss it in the air again and catch them back intact, each shell caught adds 4points to your score, if you caught all 4, then you have got 16points in one go. Each shell caught is referred to as ‘gicchhi’.

If you drop them while you toss, the turn passes to the next player, if you have caught at least one of them then you continue the game by tossing the shells on the floor.

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If you get a ‘chauka’ where all 4 shells open up like this above, then all the players should quickly try to grab as many shells as they can, each shell grabbed gives 4points.

Then the player pitches again.

If you get all 4 shells closing on their back then you score 12 points at one go, it is called ‘Bhaara’.

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If you get two shells open and two closed, you have to move aside the open ones without disturbing the other shells. Now strike one shell against the other like in carom, if you strike, you score a point, if you miss, the turn passes to the others.

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If one shell opens up and the rest of the three closes on the back then you have to identify and strike the nearest pairs without touching the other shells, one point for every right strike.

If three shells open up and one is closed, then it is called a ‘mooshi’ and you now pass the turn to the other. If you get a mooshi initially itself, then you are duckout!

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If you drop the shells while you are tossing them in the air at the beginning of the game then the turn passes to the next player. This is how I played with my grandmother of course there are many other versions to it.

This simple game of sea shells is a soul scintillating one when played with near and dear ones amidst gleeful cackles and the clanking sounds of the cowrie.

This post is written for the #BachpanWithFlinto blogger contest in association with Women’s Web.

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Will Indians ever learn to wait in a queue?

You are soaring over the skies at 35000feet drifting amidst the expanse of loosely knit bales of clouds, there is empty space all around you making you feel you are the only one beaming beneath the golden rays and then suddenly there is an announcement from your captain that the flight will shortly land, and within minutes you experience a tumultuous uproar around you not because of any external roughage but the internal rage and urge of fellow passengers to get out first, especially if it is a flight full of joyous explicitly emotional Indians.

A few years back I was the privileged one to encounter such overwhelming gestures of hurried frenzy which turned out to be quiet a horrid one for me _ I had just dozed off at the end of a weary flight with a sick child with me, just then suddenly a heavy hand bag crashed on my head almost breaking my neck as a fellow passenger was in a great hurry to unload and get set even when the plane was still moving.

This is a killer instinct embedded in most Indians _ it’s called the “me first, no matter what!” syndrome.

You head to the conveyor belt your luggage is not doing ringa ringa roses yet and you almost want to choke that moron who put your bag last, then you head to the taxi stand, your irk factor gets rising and you wish you could have had the first taxi at your disposal. So far so good, then you head on to the road that is raging with rebellious road revelers who are all smitten by the fury of great hurry and seem to say ‘me first’ so much that one can be inspired to make a new video game on surviving the Indian road rage.

You head to a restaurant and you will find many glorious well-dressed hungry beggars who will gape and inch towards you with every spoonful that you empty eyeing to lay siege to your seat, this is because we don’t trust the queue system as all that we are left with now is the push and rush system.

At the bus stop and in the bus you have to apply Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest, sweaty armpits, elbowing passengers, constipated bottoms, lusty bosoms and abdomens welcome you but you have to fight the brutes and fight them hard until you get back the change from the conductor who usually absconds to the far end just before you have to get down first! survival you know!

At the billing counter, people will click their tongues and curse you for making a detailed shopping list and say ‘arre bhaiya hamara sirf dhohi item hai’!

At the parent teacher meeting you will get shoved sophisticatedly by educated brutes who otherwise share all possible moral values and positivity in their virtual social worlds.

At the wedding reception too, the more important ones bypass this trivial tail of travesty that the whole event has reduced you to and all you can do is stand tall on your stilettoes and curse your luck while your eyes scan if you knew somebody ahead in the queue.

At the park, at the clinic, at the result announcement, at the traffic signal, at the air show, at the cinema ticket counter, at the railway station, hotel, metros you name it and we know how to simply mob it up, we know how to get there first.

If you have climbed a local train in Mumbai, if you have driven on Avenue road in Bengaluru and walked without getting hit on Agra’s subhash market road then you can even trick death or drive in hell and still be first in the line!

Any those silly westerners think they will issue driving licenses to us Indians who can zip zap zoom whichever way we want?

Now of all these queue breakers the most outrageous and offensive are the devotional geeks who seem convinced that the more they push the more devotional you get, the more you elbow the closer the salvation, the harder the Darshan … the more Paapa Parihaara it is! Bigger the mad rush higher is the spiritual significance, time and again we hear about stampedes in religious places but neither the shrine administrations nor the government neither the religious heads nor the devotees at large give any thought about it because we are never taught and will never learn to wait in a queue.

Maybe the religious heads should really make earnest appeals to pilgrims to follow this basic need to wait in a queue patiently! The government should simply get rid of the Hundi system as it is because of the greed to fill these Hundis controlled by state governments that unsuspecting and uncontrolled numbers of devotees are sandwiched into a stuffy wait! The significance of an auspicious day should be explained and perhaps could be extended to the whole month so that people don’t end up rushing at the same time.

Customs are made in context to contemporary situations, 50 years back people in South India donated the Nava Dhaanyaas and some goodies to the married ladies all packed in a wooden winnowing tray(marada baagina) but today when no woman uses this traditional method of winnowing and in this age where we buy cleaned and packed stuff, how relevant is a wooden tray?

I am certainly not questioning the ritual but the obsolete mode of practice?

I live in an apartment that houses a 1200 houses but only with one swimming pool now imagine if all 1200 with their families adding up to some 3000 were to come and jump into the pool at the same time, there is bound to be confusion and chaos, so it is about rationing and making optimal utility of a facility available with utmost regard for everyone in stake.

But today in spite of most shrine administrations earning crores of rupees there is little regard for the sanity of spiritual sanctity or sanitation and almost no hope for crowd management techniques.

With no proper regulations, where all rules are relaxed for the rich and powerful,commoners are stuffed like petty fillings in the swelling columns of overflowing devotion to brim up the pots of offerings.

With no stipulated control on the total number of people a place can hold and no limitations set, are we really reminiscing the spirituality in us for real?

Back then a south Indian would be more than happy if he visited Rameshwaram in his lifetime but today with the ease of connectivity and affordability the list is only getting longer.

The last time I went to Tirupathi, Nathadwaara, Vrindaavan or Amritsar, with my little one clinging on to me these thresholds of spirituality meant to evoke the humaneness in us thrust me into an endless wait amidst unruly harrowing push systems the crowds resorted to where the decency to decipher spirituality is thrown into thin air as if only the robust and dreadful could make it to the finishing line, such was the insane pulling and pushing that I only hoped and prayed to god that I got back home intact in one piece with family and with a little bit of spirituality still left in me because following a queue system is a distant dream for Indians to accomplish unless there is some very stringent law adopted to control crowds and heavy penalties levied on the administration who mindlessly allow lakhs to gather when the place cannot even hold thousands.

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A Thank You Letter To Kareena Kapoor

When the country is raging with writing open letters how can I lag behind so I decided I will write but a thank you letter, that too to somebody distant from the word-ly and worldly affairs but distinguished as a sizzling hot item number.

Disclaimer: The term item number here does not in any way mean a listicle number of the provisional items that you need to buy while getting back home!

Dear Bebo,

Recently my heart skipped a beat when my hubby declared that we would be watching a Salman Khan movie alongside Kareena! Now since most reviews did not reveal to me how much you had revealed yourself and I could not afford to watch a movie twice to decide if it is appropriate for kids or not because nowadays a person carrying outsourced popcorn into a cinema theatre is seen as someone smuggling gold into a mall which if confiscated will be deported to the dustbins and will cost me a bomb if I have to buy them from the mall, then what say about the tickets!

Okay now coming back to the topic, in the current worldwide scenario where Indian Cinema is rated as the most sexist against women where our liberals have raised the bar of sex appeal for Indian women in the name of creativity and freedom, an ‘under parental guidance’ tag in the Indian scenario is still under-defined and unheard of. So for a parent like me who has to worry even when kids watch a news program, sports or cartoon channel that are usually packed with many obscene anchors and ads playing content unsuitable for kids, your characterization in those beautiful salwar-kameezs was very relatable and refreshing for a change.

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I thank you from the bottom of my heart for wearing decent clothes covering all your valuable assets, we never got curious about your body throughout the movie of Bhajarangi Bhaijaan we were only curious about the story thankfully.

I thank you from my soul as I did not have to hang my head in shame or embarrassment while watching it with kids and family at any point of time in this movie.

I thank you for believing in yourself that you can actually carry yourself extremely well even while you are fully clad.

I thank you for believing in your acting skills than body flaunting skills.

I thank you for choosing a sensitive role and not a glamorous role.

For a word buff like me, glamour means just a style quotient but today it is deceptively  used for packaging obscenity as a cool commodity.

And finally I thank you for believing in equality in its true sense and covering yourself entirely in such cold snowy mountains at par with your male counterparts.

All in all we enjoyed watching this movie and you did make an impact even with your short presence if not with short and hot pants.

With Love

An affected parent

 

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Stung by Shashi’s speech

Shashi Tharoor’s speech at the Oxford Union with all his sophistication went viral and even got congratulatory gestures from the Prime Minister Modi, it was almost like Akshay Kumar gunning the villain down at point blank range

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but what is new about all that he said? Even Rajiv Dixit, an IITian turned social activist said the same thing in Hindi but he was ignored by the main stream media, perhaps he did not feed into the spunk quotient which is a prerequisite for the TRPs or perhaps we still believe only when endorsed by westerners and in polished accented English. Did we not know that the diamond that the queen wears is stolen from India? Did we not know that our economy is still recuperating from the treacherous loot and divisive politics they inflicted upon us even after independence?

If at all they were to compensate even an iota of that grand loot they took away with them we could probably have 1000 smart cities by now but the point is _ if seeking reparations and apologies for all the vile invasions were to ease and endorse a good bilateral relation today in an international debate then why is it that even a mention of the Mandir in Ayodhya, Kashi or Mathura always seen as stirring a communal pot by our own media houses, will we ever shun all vote bank secularism and seek reparations for the Moghul invasions too? Do we have the guts to acknowledge history rightfully?

Whether the queen feels ashamed to wear a stolen Kohinoor diamond on her tiara or not the fact, that Shashi Tharoor with his overwhelming qualifications of elite English integrity is of late leaning to charm the Bhakts and their Gods, reminds me of this scene from the Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Holiday’!

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where he aids the corrupt officer with two guns to choose from for a respectable remembrance.

In the gruesome context of Sunanda’s death mystery, whichever way the elite man chooses we all know that behind every successful man there is always a woman!

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My WordUp Experience

When I first received this invite for the wordup meet from Indiblogger all that struck me was that this event was all about words and it was so much like me that I could not help but register for the event!

But I was a little taken aback when I saw the venue _ it said “At the Big Pitcher on Sunday At 9AM” _ I mean hanging out with sots on a Sunday morning leaving behind your family!

But then the buzz of words and the very mention of some amazing bloggers and speakers really hooked me up and there I was dot on time.

A pitch dark ambience welcomed me and I walked up a little apprehensively to the 4th floor where the event was scheduled, the genial spirit and warmth of Indiblogger and BigRock team lit up the place and put me at ease, I was quickly chatting up with fellow bloggers.

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The event was sponsored by BigRock the domain, website providers in association with .Me and hosted by Indiblogger for me! Err…people like me … perhaps!

After a quick breakfast the event kick started at around 10 with Sruthjith, the editor of Huffington Post giving some really cool bites about the importance of the raging social media and how we bloggers could become the stakeholders making ourselves more visible sailing with this trending tide by simply leveraging on little things around us that could aid us in making it big and aptly said that this is the era of vertical videos where linking up is the currency and a button is the engine of social sharing, it all depends on how best we employ this engine to our advantage.

Next we had Dheeraj Sharma, a travel blogger and a Himalayan travelling enthusiast who shared with us his candid experiences and a few tips on ethical and relatable blogging.

While the program was definitely engaging, the organisers additionally ensured that we weren’t bored so it was time for some Desi rapping by Abhishek Dhusia or Ace as he loved to call himself, we did shake a head and tapped our foot for a while before the stage was soon taken over by Mr.Prasanna Revan, a Graphics man who spoke about the robust role of visual information and how it aids in creating your own brand value because remember 83% of human learning is visual!

Rakhi who freaked out and won with the selfie contest

Rakhi who freaked out and won with the selfie contest

He elaborated on the minute details like the typography of a header text or the importance of white space in your brand logo/design and how a conventional thought could be creatively designed to define your niche all by simply communicating effectively via a visible language with the use of a powerful palette by rightly picking the base and accent colours.

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After a sumptuous lunch we had Jhanavi Achrekar, the author of ‘Wanderers’ talk about the hardship of being a consistent writer in her soft voice and about the art of storytelling which is quintessence for any piece of writing because we all cater to a vast audience who consume stories when well told but if you have to be remembered it is the narrative and the depth that’s going to make the mark.

We then had Kirthaath, a standup comedian who was a bundle of energy but I personally thought it was a little low on humour but anyways he made a sincere attempt to bring a smile on our faces and bringing out the best humour is no joke!

The next speaker was Mr.Prashant Naidu of the Lighthouse Insights fame, who made a lot of sense to us bloggers and connected and touched upon many aspects of driving traffic to your blog and struck us with some hard hitting and reality checking questions so as to introspect and empathise why should my readers read me?

After this engaging session we were really shifting our legs and straightening our backs but the last speaker simply jerked us up and boomed on the subject of marketing quotient of a blog by taking over the stage and the audience completely with his brisk and crisp talk emphasizing on creating regular useful content that has a long shelf life thereby understanding what the reader wants to read and not what you want innately explaining the skill of reader engagement and effective monetization strategies.

The session ended with announcing the day’s contest winners and some grand give aways but alas! luck just swept beside me and my fellow bloggers just next to me walked home with trendy gadgets.

I am still J…….

All in all it was a wonderful and informative session with loads of fun, food and many new friends.

Because blogging is all about people and I was glad I met many of my genres.

Thank you Indiblogger and thank you Big Rock! You really rock!

The best part of this whole event is that there was no pushy promotion and that’s why I am inspired to do this post but would love it if somebody shared with me the pros and cons of adopting a .me domain….

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Relook Into The Sino-Indian Ties

China is and has always been an expansionist and aggressive neighbour whose growing military ambitions and close proximity with Pakistan and warming up to Russia and Srilanka cannot be wished away by India anymore.

Back then the British had cleverly made Tibet a buffer zone to safeguard the northern frontiers of British India by signing the Anglo Tibetan Treaty in 1904 with Dalai Lama thereby restricting concessions to other foreign powers and gaining direct influence over the foreign policy of Tibet.

In 1910, China invaded Tibet and Dalai Lama fled to India but returned back in 1912 and drove out the Chinese garrisons after the Chinese Revolution had weakened China’s power politics.

In the 1914 pact of Simla Convention Tibet refused to acclaim China as its authority and forced China to accept an autonomous Tibet with fixed frontiers but China did not ratify this agreement and did not accept the inner outer Tibet boundaries and never endorsed the Mc.Mahon Line.

From 1912-1950 there were no more Chinese attacks on Tibet as at that time the British dominated the world politics and China was weak and hence did not confront.

In World War II Tibet chose to remain neutral and resisted Chinese pressure to open up Tibet for war communications.

Effectively Tibet never accepted the suzerainty of China but was time and again grabbed by conquest. For centuries India and Tibet lived peacefully without any defined land demarcations but with a hostile neighbour like China the British had smelt danger and hence they made Tibet as a buffer zone to protect the northern frontiers which we naturally inherited after independence.

Post-independence India was busy trumpeting her new found freedom and laden with formulating her constitution, while Nehru championed against colonialism but gave our manes in UN’s grip by messing up Kashmir, China declared to annex Tibet in 1950. Tibet sought our help but we refused to intervene as we were a peace loving nation ready to risk our strategic defence fronts the British had created on the northern borders altering our geo-political balance. Tibet appealed the matter to the UN, on 23rd November 1950 when the Tibetan appeal came for discussion in the UN general assembly; the Indian delegate opposed the inclusion of the question on the agenda and insisted that the matter be settled peacefully between Tibet and China as they were historically associated.

The matter was dropped!

Contrast this with India’s appeal to the UN today about Lakhvi’s release, China has openly supported Pakistan _ this surely does not come as an aftershock because China is known for its treachery and Pakistan for its imperial slavery whose power politics take birth and die in the queen’s abode.

In 1950 we advocated our own disaster by supporting China’s cause in the UN which they wilfully justified that their action was only a measure to contain the western plots to turn Tibet into an American base and prevent imperialism from invading an inch of their territory.

After the 1947 war of India and Pakistan, Pakistan confronted us yet again in 1951 only to realise that they were no match for India after which it did some serious thinking in order to free themselves from any kind of future intimidations from India, hence in 1953 Pakistan signed the Mutual-Aid treaty with USA and joined its security pacts of CENTO and SEATO. Pakistan traded its military bases in exchange for military aid as Pakistan on the southern boundaries of Russia was an invaluable base for the US troops too. Pakistan’s military coffers were filled with American aid _ money, construction of military accommodation, Patton Tanks, F-86 fighter aircrafts, radar equipment, medium and heavy artillery guns and latest weapons.

When the US and Pakistan scratched each other’s back Nehru used his ultimate weapon _ he expressed dissent over this, America offered aid to us without any strings but we refused it as we were a peace loving country and philosophically thought that we could be free from power politics of the world.

Pakistan is a crucial ally for America to keep Russia at bay and to keep India from overriding them hence we can almost forget resolving the Kashmir issue with a UN support unless India really builds up as a military and economic superpower.

While India was just scrambling with ineffective and indecisive policies and resources, burning with the Kashmir issue, seeking the UN mediation and the world’s sympathy _ China was silently patrolling and building roads and airfields in Tibet, educating and indoctrinating bright young Tibetans in China who came back to be more communist than the Chinese themselves in key administrative roles in Tibet, by 1953 all important towns were connected by telegraph and by 1954 China had been linked with Tibet by two major roads, opposite to NEFA they had built a 3ton road and a railway line was also contemplated.

In 1954 we signed the Panch Sheel agreement with China and recognised China’s control and formally wrote off Tibet in return for China’s good behaviour by voluntarily giving up our military, communication and postal rights in Tibet but failed to get a reciprocal benefit of settling the border agreement because the Indian diplomacy and political acumen was on its deathbed.

Nehru visited China in 1954 and came back impressed with a grand reception thinking that Chinese noodles were indeed tasty and healthy and even advocated her name in the world body. But just after the Panch Sheel agreement there was a border incident when China claimed Bara-Hoti was Chinese territory, this warning, India had failed to read!

It was only in 1956 when China refused to accept the Mc.Mahon Line we first conceded that China was a threat to us but still did nothing. We neither prepared or resisted nor made concessions. We did not debate or discuss seeking public opinion, did not build or ready or strengthen the military forces and refused to realise that History Politics Policies and Strategy are interlinked. We were napping with un-readiness to counter a first class ruthless power with love, peace and hopes. Yet Nehru chose to extoll Sino-Indian friendship of 2000years while China was slyly surveying routes to Aksai Chin at that time and we remained ignoramus until in 1957 when China announced that they had built roads on the Indian Territory and would soon open these routes for trade. We sent an investigating team of which one was arrested by the Chinese but Nehru did not reveal this humiliating incident in the parliament as he thought that the time was not right.

We had fearfully or foolishly or both seemed to meekly accept and build a national policy of China appeasement to hide our political incompetence, diplomatic oversight and military negligence by simply singing ‘Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai’ banking on hopes and Chinese assertions that they would not attack us.

Perhaps it was the mind slavery that Indians suffered that led us to such a low self-esteem then, because although Tibet was a much smaller state they did retaliate, when China invaded Tibet and compelled Dalai Lama to accept the 17 point agreement breaking its pledge to respect Tibet’s autonomy, the Dalai Lama government rejected this agreement on 11th March 1959 provoking a full scale military assault by the Chinese, during this time of crisis Tibet sought India’s help and intervention but we refused and counselled them to adopt slavery and subservience in the name of peace. Then, Dalai Lama had this to say about Nehru “ The worldly wise who by their lack of courage and faith block the progress of human race not towards the moon but towards humanity itself, these persons have a myopic view and forget that nothing stands still in history, not even the Chinese Empire”…

On 8th September 1962 China intruded India into the Thagla River area but we dismissed it as minor border incident. Still we did not carry staff studies or reorganise our field formations nor studied the pattern of weapons or communication equipment nor were any mountain warfare orientations initiated for the army staff because our heads never anticipated anything like this.

At 5am on 20th October 1962, the Chinese army stormed and swept the Namka Chu Valley and intruded a good 160miles inside India and struck terror for 30 lightening days completely checkmating an unprepared and disoriented India that thrust its un-acclimatized, untrained and ill equipped army in front of a massive trained and well equipped army who outnumbered us in numbers and weapons who cleared the route to Assam in just 3hours.

In spite of visionary warnings from General Joe Lentaigne, Shyama Prasad Mukerjee, Sardar Patel and General Kulwant Singh who clearly foresaw a draconian disaster from the dragon state and came up with detailed reports on this mounting threat from the Chinese to our Northern frontiers it was ignored by the then governing trio Pandit Nehru, V.K.Krishna Menon and B.M.Kaul the commanding army general who overlooked the gravity of the military situation which snowballed and consumed our national pride and international status, buried and stalled our economic progress almost nullifying a decade’s developments.

As Brig.Dalvi points out in his book ‘Himalayan Blunder’ that a powerful China has always been an expansionist and ambitious China which India still does not seem to understand.

What is the use of past if we don’t learn from history?

If you look at the Chinese strategy then and now it remains the same, even after Modi’s pompous visit to China recently there was a military line-up _ a show of strength by the Chinese army to nudge India, and now they have sided Pakistan in the UN against Lakhvi’s release. In the wake of current developments where China is blatantly siding Pakistan and wilfully militarizing airstrips in South China sea http://t.co/LDUO1Dgwkw and even proclaiming that Indian ocean cannot be India’s backyard http://t.co/QcrTdfj4wJ and keeps publishing wrong maps of Arunachal Pradesh indicating to India at every possible instance the military language of might it is only imperative that India keep its mitrathaa aside and practice diligently China’s policy of heavy self-reliance and self-strengthening strategies as we can never make the mistake of blindly banking on American goodwill or UN sympathy or even trust any long associated foreign power to bail it out in a growing hostile scenario of power race.

(Large references from J.P.Dalvi’s Himalayan Blunder’)

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Honey Sweet Home!

As a content writer I was recently required to do a write up for an artificial power drink that claims to hasten fat metabolism and build muscles by pumping high quality ripped protein into the body that carves your muscles like any celebrity in just a couple of months.

While doing this write up I researched several diet charts and health prescriptions but by the end of the day I could only conclude that it is the natural and healthy diet along with ample physical activities that always aids and enhances one’s fitness attributes and not any artificial or quick yo yo diets that crash your inside health along with those crash diets.

Starvation is never the answer to losing weight!

In short there are no short cuts to a healthy and fit body you simply have to earn it by practicing a healthy regimen every day. A healthy regimen includes frequent portions of nutritious food, exercise, yoga, good sleep and a healthy mind.

Being Indians we always believed in fresh healthy cooking with variety of spices and sweets to seduce our palates but of late it is surprising to see that we are adopting anything and everything that promises to sculpt you into shape without giving a second thought about the damage that these crash diets do to our bodies.

When we have the fittest answers to all the fitness freaks in our own backyard in our own ancient Ayurvedic recipes, do we really need to fall trap to these quick money missions who are least interested in our long run health?

The first thing a crash diet does even with any number of artificial protein supplements is alter your fat fall and muscle build up drastically which is disastrous for the heart.

The Leptin hormone in your brain controls hunger, modulates metabolism and promotes fat burning, when fat levels fall drastically in a crash diet even the Leptin hormone falls triggering a starvation signal to your brain that is when your cravings get the better of you resulting in weight gain. In a crash diet you lose your energy and also lose out on your muscles.

Instead it is always safe and long lasting to choose a healthy natural diet!

A healthy diet in a simplest way is to start your day with a spoonful of natural honey with some warm water because honey can cleanse the body inside out with its natural disease fighting ability with loads of antibiotic properties in it, the daily consumption of honey pumps antioxidants into our blood streams killing the oxidative stress that causes many chronic conditions.

Honey has the ability to mobilize unused fat in the body, it has natural valuable vitamins, proteins and Folate and also aids in increasing the good cholesterol in the body, it reduces cardiovascular strain in the body which means you are going to be fit and energetic throughout the day by just adding two spoons of natural goodness of honey in your routine.

At the Zuri Hotel, Dabur Honey Diet Bloggers Meet

At the Zuri Hotel, Dabur Honey Diet Bloggers Meet

See! Honey can really shrink the kids!

The kid of wild cravings! by supplementing natural sugar to your body.

This does not mean that you have a spoon of honey and then continue to abuse your body with all fatty food fervor for the rest of the day, it is just that honey aids you to be healthier you along with a healthy lifestyle.

Along with Honey Diet a nutritious and healthy homemade food with lots of vegetables, legumes, milk, fruits and cereals in frequent little portions make for a great health recipe.

I heavily bank on honey for all the household remedies like coughs, cold, constipation and skin irritations and resist using allopathic antibiotics that are prescribed and available just like that unless it is really needed.

Let’s bring honey into our lives back and say Honey Sweet Home!

Did you know?

Honey is used to cure chronic conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s, psoriasis. It can also be used on burns as an antifungal and antiseptic cream.

http://www.daburhoney.com/

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India-Pak: A Cock Fighting Match?

Cock fighting is a bloody sport where two roosters raised and trained to fight to become gamecocks to slash each other’s flesh until one succumbs with defeat or death. Their legs are strapped with metal spurs to make the wounds they inflict upon each other more deadly and are released in a fighting ring called cockpit. If these roosters are calm and are not frenzied with each other then, their cockers pick them up, blow on their backs or yank their beaks or hold them beak to beak to reignite their frenzy. Every time they are pitted against each other like this the roosters jump and kick and parry till the cockers fill their pockets and till the cocks pay with life and blood.

Pic credit: Alasdair Baverstock

Pic credit: Alasdair Baverstock

Cock fighting is a favourite sport of the British and one such cock fighting match happened in 1947.

The two roosters were India and Pakistan and the cockpit was Kashmir, the cockers were of course the British and the match was called India Pakistan Kashmir War. The metallic spurs were the loads of arms and ammunition that the British aided both countries.

I reproduce a few lines from the Book ‘The Himalayan Blunder’ by Brig.John.P.Dalvi..

The Kashmir War was a strange war. The two sides were led by British Commanders-in-chief, General Boucher of the Indian Army and General Gracey of the Pakistan Army. They had access to each other and were reported to have held talks every evening to discuss the day’s events”.

Yes, the Hindus and Muslims have a long dreadful history but the very purpose of partition of Bharat was to have a separate state for Muslims called Pakistan and a separate state for Hindus called India, but when a few instigated tribals on the bordering lines of Pakistan attacked Kashmir, Kashmir sought to be acceded with India and eventually India did take control of the situation by overpowering them militarily but unfortunately Nehru chose to refer the matter to UN for a ceasefire even when we had clearly taken stock of the matter and when there was no evidence that Pakistan had indeed participated in those attacks.

But when the betting stakes are high there has to be a match and there have to be some odious opponents, whether India and Pakistan are gamecocks till today I leave it to you for your scrutiny!

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