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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Manoj's LiveJournal:

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Friday, January 8th, 2016
7:55 am
Seaplane channel in Bangalore
Yes. there WAS a seaplane channel, according to a photo from the "HAL museum". I was happy to see that the museum is in open air, calm and has a well maintained landscape, all in the middle of busy and polluting roads. The "calmness" was except for the voice of a helicopter which started flying from the next door airbase, but I can excuse that as I took that as part of the show. There was display and a simulation chamber for the public [with a cost] inside the building as well.

Pic: 5MIG's

Seaplane channel
Thursday, July 30th, 2015
1:19 pm
The "operation"
There was pain in my abdomen for about 6 months. It increased as time passed. The pre-tests for diagnosis are painful and irritating for my body which practiced its fixed routine. The syringes in my arm, revolving scan chamber and some alien fluid roaring into my veins heating them up made me shout. Then the journey of a snake fitted with camera inside my larger intestine made my brain cry. But I went with doctor's opinion. A huge metallic chamber appeared, having the anastasian with a prick on my spine. I lost sense of my legs and abdomen. My eyes filled with tears because someone else is controlling my body. I felt only some movements in my abdomen. Something has been removed and something else is being added. I felt the same agony of my father who underwent a cardiac surgery, which might have been more painful. I was awake, but immobile. My brain resisted any attempt to stand up by blocking the eyes and cutting the senses. After a day it came back normal. Then happened the routine checkups. I realized on thing. I can withstand the change in my body. It need not be on a routine. May be I am not exercising the concept enough?
Friday, March 20th, 2015
8:55 pm
The watch doctor
There sits an old man repairing wrist-watchs behind a busy bus stop. I saw him several times as my bus stops in that shelter for picking up people. The only work place he has is a desk behind the bus shelter and a big suitecase kept opened where he keeps all his watch, parts, batteries, tools, etc. His suitecase-wall becomes the only showroom cupboard. Several types of old watches with steel, gold, plastic straps are hanging from the suitecase wall. Most of them half repaired and dusty. His tools are dirty and his desk is wet owing to previous night's rain. He keeps himself busy with a watch's steel band. The watches he possess have been abandoned long back. But the old man still repairs it and decorates it in his showroom. He has an uncut and unclean mushtash and beard. His eyes have gone deep inside his heavily wrinkled face with a huge nose with dark moles. His hands shiver when he eats a cup of meat-rice given as charity from a nearby shop. But when he picks up his tweezer and point to the object of focus, his hands are stable as commanded by his brain and eyes are sharp at the piece. He uses an aluminium single-piece lense fitted on his eyes.

Once from my bus, my eyes met his lense-fitted eye. I saw his eye balls are huge and it invited me to his past. In the past, he was a busy repairer in a shop near the bus stop with glittering lights and glass cupboards full of watches. Wealthy customers come with expensive watches needing precision work. He got praise making things work and became famous as "watch-doctor". He had to employ a few more people because of the crowd. Watches with precious gems inside costing more than 20000 rupees and having complex mechanical parts were his common playground. But gradually the crowd came down. The watches became common man's piece. People started wearing less expensive plastic watches. The battories costed half the price of watch. So once the battery exhausted, people started buying new pieces and doesn't bother repairing. Though he started selling watches along with repair and service, only a few were sold. The wealthy crowd, though they are having expensive pieces, always went to the big malls with dedicated customer service.

One day, his shop was burgled. He lost many of the expensive watches which were given by his loyal customers for repair. He had to sell the shop to take care of the debt. He started his second career with a lonely suitecase behind the bus stop. Initially there were customers because everyone has a watch and repair shops were a few. The mobile-phone revolution changed the world again. Very few wears watch now. Whoever has watches doesn't goto street repairers. And now, they have watches for mobiles. They are fully electronic sans the possibility of wearing-out or repair. A mobile-phone repair centre with sim sales ran by some kids has replaced his old shop. He is aged, but still knows and does in the best way, what he learnt. But there are few takers! He literally struggles to meet his needs and lives on charity. But not giving up. He still keeps his suitecase showroom and repairs some watch from his collection.

I suddenly woke up from the dream when he took his lens-eye away from me. When I looked around, I shocked to see the expensive Apple Watch advertisement. May be the old-man was cursing it. My bus continued the journey.
Saturday, January 10th, 2015
8:36 pm
2014 was a great year! But looks like I need to write more. I saw many movies this year. Some worth mentioning in malayalam are "Drushyam", "How old are you" and "north 24 kaatham". I liked songs in "ivan megharoopan", "oru indian prayanakatha", "thomson villa", "Om Shanthi Oshana", etc. Several of the movies are "re-made" to other languages [like Hindi/Kannada/Tamil etc] and an interesting thought was that, "who would be the best to perform the key role in the re-make?".
Among the english movies, I liked "12 angry men", "ship of theseus", "A perfect world", "Patch Adams", "lifeboat", and several animation movies. I saw the Hindi movie "The Lunchbox" partially over the flight to SFO. Though I was not a "reader-on-the-move", the increase in time I am spending on the bus to my office made me an active reader in the bus. In that way, I can spend 1.5 hours to 4 hours a day, both direction. Though it is stressful for me to read while the bus is on the move [hitting gutters and speed-breakers] the long signals and "jams" made me relaxed. In such manner, I completed "Autobiography of a Yogi", "Edward de Bono - Lateral thinking", and several articles. I started liking the advertisements in the TV, though some of the themes have no relation with the product.
We went to ISKCON Bangalore after a long time. Nearby, there was a Srinivasa temple and as part of it, there is a building with six floors containing the sculptures of characteris in the stories relating to Lord Srinivasa. Sculptures are arranged in the sequence of stories starting from sixth floor. Entry fee was Rs 20, but there were hardly anyone inside. The place was clean, with the sculptures look lively with natural colours.
Thursday, July 31st, 2014
10:20 pm
It has been more than a year since I wrote something here. In between I tried to update, but several factors in life prevented me posting it. So, let me start with where I left. We lost my father. He fought 4th stage lung cancer for over a year [possibly more than that because we came to know about it late] and passed away in October. A month before, while checking the scan results, the doctor told that the disease has come back strongly.  "We have only two options: either try another cycle of Chemo/radiation [the pain and tiredness which my father might not be able to tolerate] or leaving him to an NGO-home for his peaceful final days." But we choose yet another option to have him at home and treating him as possible as we can, while the family is around. On those days, I learnt several things from him. In fact I strongly believed that he will come back, seeing the way he behaved and sought help when wanted, but in a tired way. And on his last day, he was happy, as if he knew about it. He lived a pretty peaceful life except for the last week of his life.

None of the books or movies I read was able to lead me to such an experience I had with my father on his last week. Nor my friends with their experience. And mere reading and passing by never substitute the real life experience. [quote: Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle: Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.  .... it [life] would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.] As an emotional outbreak, I stopped reading books due to the same reason. Rather I found my painful end in all the books I read in the past, possibly influenced by my father's illness. Anyway, I have a long way to go through the path lead by my father and similar experiences I had. I realized that, when the mind becomes a brittle rock by accumulating its own theories, the life hammers and breaks it revealing those theories just baseless. 

Current Mood: moody
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
10:15 pm
In my childhood, asuras were portried in stories as well as books as dark and huge fellows with horns on the forehead and teeth stemming out from the mouth. They are bloodsucking, doing all bad things, steal the nice things which the brahmana's possess, and disrupt the brahmana's rituals. I often asked, why are they doing it? Do they have their own "Asuraayana" like Deva's "Ramayana"? What do the asura children get taught? no one answered me until some time in my teen-hood when I got an expression about the Asura's as the ones who do every sort of things to come into power., to conquer the world, etc. Sometime I tried to compare our ministers in the parliament as asuras. But the soft appearances of several ministers made me think otherwise. Though Sita was "born" out of the earth, was she abandoned by her parents? if so who were they? Why Ravana was so interested in Sita?
"Asura: Tale of the vanquished" was a good read, answering several of my questions. Though it is mentioned that, "The content of this book is the sole expression and opinion of its author and a work of his imagination and does not claim scriptual authenticity", the author Anand Neelakantan from Thripoonothura, narrated the events, almost in parallel to the Raamayana. He portried the story of common men who were inspired, led, used and betrayed by the villian's and hero's of the great epic. In this book, Devas and Brahmanas are treated with contempt and are cunning by nature.  They followed the "Dharma" & complicated rituals drawn upon by themselves without allowing competition. And asuras were the competition. So asuras were treated as "against the Dharma" and considered to be banished and eliminated. Devas and Brahmanas tried to expand their reach by conquering the "non-devas" and "non-brahmanas". Asuras resisted that move in a healthy manner. After Mahabali, the initiative of uniting Asuras came from Ravana. Ravana's knowledge and skills were well accepted and the common Asuras treated him as king. Though able and strong, several of Ravana's victories were attributed to the initiatives of common men, like Bhadra. I treat the figure "Bhadra" as not a single person, becasue there were a lot who was fed up by the raids of Deva's and castism. They saw no way of improvement in such a life. The asura men loved material things. Asuras too has caste system, but it is not based on birth or skin color. Anyone could reach a position of power through hard work and luck.
Why Ravana is called "Dashamukha" is also narrated in Ravana's own words. Ravana has to defeat Kubera and then Varuna to setup his kingdom in Srilanka. Like any ruler, Ravana also tried to expand his kingdom and on the way got blows from others kings Karthiveeraarjuna and Vaanara king Baali. But at the same time, he conquered Yama. Ravana was a devotee of Shiva. Shiva is treated as the Asura god. Though Shiva is termed as "destroyer" in the scriptures, he has given boons to the asuras who then built beautiful kingdoms like Srilanka. With his worship, Ravana achieved boons which made him so strong and knowledgeable that, he was able to capture all the nine planets and made all of them to be in lagna bhava in the birth time of Meghanatha, his son, the greatest of all. Ravana had a daughter, which he loses and this is the first book that I am finding her mention.
Rama is shown as the keeper of Dharma, which means he is also a slave of dharma. This is clear when Rama agrees for Sita's purity test after the war and also when Rama kills Shambuka, a shudra practising brahmin-rituals. Rama gets in war without ethics. This is well shown when he killed Baali from behind. Rama used several of Ravana's resources to defeat Ravana. Rama called Ravana "Mahabrahmin" after the war, which implicitly means that Rama was tightly tied to his dharma and was a slave of dharmic rituals while Ravana was a free thinker and explorer. Though several of the Raamayana books I read end with either the war or later after Sita's "Bhoomi pravesha", the cycle of life in Srilanka or Ayodhya and elsewhere continues.
I see several similarities of the present ruling system, competition and the life that we are going through, via Bhadra. Though a person is capable of proceeding with his life with his strengths, the surroundings are capable of making good or bad impact. And the impact could be too little to notice for a short term, but will be strong in the long run, which might change his life altogether.

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
3:19 pm
aero india 2013
Jayadev and myself went to watch "Aero-india-2013" at Airforce station, Yelahanka on 9 Feb. We wanted to see the aircrafts in a hands distance. We carried minimal items to eat and my camera due to the "restrictions" on items which the visitors can carry. But on reaching there I saw people carrying food baskets to cater for the whole day, umbrellas, mats for sitting on the red-sanded ground and all such items. There were children from some schools in uniform. The whole place was crowded in such a ways that, it is very difficult to see the flights taxiing on the runway. Adding to our confusion, we went to the gate 1 for "ADVA parking" [taking a left turn on the airport road, as indicated by the signs] which turned out to be for Rs 500 tickets. But I had taken Rs 1000 ticket which included entry to exhibition as well, for which I should have gone to gate-5. Meantime, the show was started promptly at 10AM, so we decided to watch it from outside for sometime before going to gate-5. We saw small helicopters, the debuting Rudra helicopters  Tejas, etc flying. Jayadev was really excited about the giant fighter jets with ear-breaking noise, performance of various Red-bulls which left colored smoke behind. The performances of pilots demonstrating the capability to control the red-bulls in all possible directions was breathtaking. The main bird Jayadev liked was the US-Airforce C-17, the fat and fast carrier. Despite its size, the bird took off from a small runway, leaving a cloud of red-dust behind on the ground.
We left the "ADVA" area and went to Gate-5 in the category of "more-expensive" tickets. On the way, via the outskirts of Yelahanka, driving through some gated-plantain-grove [where the runway ends] we saw several people flocked to see the show "free-of-charge"!!. The sky-play was seen even from a distance very clearly. We returned to the airport road, and drove to Gate-5. Both the sides of the ring-road were occupied by thousands of people. After reaching gate-5, we had to drive another mile to reach the parking. We saw an ocean of cars and it was struggle to find a good parking spot in the dusty red sand. we had to walk a lot to reach the registration counters, further to which a BMTC-free-shuttle took us to the exhibition area. After 2 levels of security checks we reached the stalls. The "Rudra", "USAF C-17", "Indian Airforce-Hercules C130J", the small nishant on a huge truck, "Tejas" were a few of the ones we saw in a hand's reach. While we were checking out the birds on the ground, the Russian knights team were busy with the fire performances in the sky. There were people running mad to take photographs of the planes and the show. I felt, there were more cameras than people.
We returned at around 4PM fearing that, the ocean of cars in the parking might become a tsunami for the traffic. But it was not too bad while we started back, in my car covered with red coloured dust. I heard Sunday was very bad for traffic in airport road due to the "ticket-less" viewers on the road side. But it was amazing to watch the birds, pilots and the people doing all things to watch the show.

An album here:

Friday, January 6th, 2012
12:04 am
New year trip
We visited T.Narsipura "Sangama" [place where 3 rivers join] and Somanathapura during the new-year weekend. We started at 7AM in the morning, went through mysore road to have good break fast at Kamat Lokaruchi. At Maddur, we took a left turn for Malavalli. After Malavalli, we came across huge, blue "Marehalli Kere", fields cultivating paddy, raggi and sugarcane and enjoyed the smell of hay. We saw bullock carts all over our way, being used as "taxies"-to transport people, "trucks"-to carry load of sugarcane, "school-bus" to carry children, etc. My son shouted with joy when he saw a line of around 30 carts passing our way carrying sugarcane. We kept asking people for right way at junctions, not to miss the route. After around 3.5 hours we reached the sangama, and we had to go over two narrow, but long bridges to reach "Tirumakudalu Narasipura" Gunja Narasimha Swami temple. The place was not crowded much. On the way in, we saw some people climbing over a ladder on a piller to touch something on the roof-bottom. After "Darsana" we come to know that, there is a carved-lizard on the roof near the piller. The legend is that, whoever touches the carved-lizard gets freed up from the fear/attack of lizards.

We took a ride in a metal-coracle to cross Kapila-river. My son was very happy playing in water.

The coracle riders

The coracle-"driver" lead us to Agastheshwara temple, which looked very old and deserted, smelling the old, but somewhat neat and peaceful.

Agasteswara temple

We further moved on to the same coracle to reach the rocky-piller placed in the middle of the river. That is supposed to be the sangama of 3 rivers Kapila [Kabini], Kaveri and Guptha gamini. Then we moved further, and saw a rock having a natural-shivalinga, in the middle of the river. We took a turn around and returned. People were taking bath on the banks of the river. Cows were crossing the river with no fear, as the river was only a few feet of water.

We moved on to Somanathapura chanakesava temple, built by the commander named Soma in 1268AD. The place is now managed by the Archeological Survey of India. The temple has 3 sanctums, with dieties Kesava, Venugopala and Janardhana.

Venugopala, Kesava, Janardhana

The cells are surrounded with carvings everywhere. Huge cylindrical pillers and rocky flowers on the roof are amazing. The sculpturers have made sure to fill every inch with their stamp.

Govardhana giridhaari, Krishna kills the snake-daemon, and Bheema's Baka vadha carvings

Happy face

Outer wall is decorated with elephants, soldiers, scenes from epics like Bhagavatha and Mahabharata on the bottom layers. The top part was full of gods and goddesses in various shapes and forms.

Lakshmi Narasimha & Prahlaada

The Lakshmi Narasimha statue made me travel back to the deep-past when the art was made.  My ears filled with the sculpturers' thuds and tinks on the naked rock. Slowly the dark, lifeless rock got draped by the artist, to become the deity brimming with life. The artists made sure that every one should get amazed by their creation. I came back to the present, leaving my humble tributes to them, back in the past. we took some round abouts to the temple, with lotus-base.

Temple : rear view

While we are about to leave, I felt that the dieties inside the sanctum are kind of imprisoned, without any offerings. Usually, the sanctum is treated as holi-place, where no one except the priest is allowed. Even the priest has to follow strict discipline before entering. But here, people entering the sanctum in flocks, are just making noise without any respect. What will be your feeling if you are forced to do your daily work for 2 days in a cage being watched by the world? I bowed apologetically for a moment in front of the temple.

We started back to Bangalore and decided to go via Kanakapura road. Soon, we realized that it was a bad decision. There were no good restaurants to have lunch. The towns we passed had BAR attached hotels, but no good vegetarian hotels are present on the main road. We had lunch from kanakapura.
Road to bangalore via Kanakapura was good but not wide. At the same time, it was not crowded compared to Mysore road. we saw pipelines from TKHalli conveying water to our city on the way. We reached banalore at 5.30 PM after a nice trip covering ~300KM.

Friday, December 9th, 2011
1:16 am
A vacation
We had a wonderful trip to Kerala. We started by train on 18th and reached Kanhangad [near Kasaragod] at around 10.30 AM next morning. My son was impatient after he woke up early in the morning and wanted to move out of train. We stayed at my Aunt's place.

Where's my destination??!!


On 19th, we took a round to the ashrams [Nityananda Ashram and Ananda Ashram]. The cave like structure at Nityananda Ashram is like a maze.
On 20th, we went to Ananthapuram temple near Kumbla. The Road leading to the temple was narrow and shattered. Our omni-van has to jump into several gutters breaking our bones, before reaching this calm place. This temple stood in the middle of a green lake. The lake is home for a "vegetarian crocodile" named "Babbiya". Though this temple is the "Moolasthaana" [root] of Sri Padmanabhaswami temple in Trivandrum, we did not see any crowd.  The temple-Priests were narrating stories about the idols, temple and the crocodile. Inside the temple, I felt like I am standing in a small boat.
The crocodile has moved to another small pond around 100 meters from temple pond. No one knows how the crocodile travels between these pond and whether it eats anything other than what is given by the priest. We went to the other small pond and saw a huge crocodile sleeping on a side. We also visited small temples and a huge banyan tree on the same temple-compound.

The lake temple with Five elements:
" On the top is the infinite blue sky.
The bottom limit is dark-rocky-earth.
Just above the earth is the green lush water.
Just below the sky is the green breathing vegetation.
In between the water and the breath is the fire!
The fire of divine worship and life!


Banyan's root

See.. this is a big butterfly!! Will it fly??!!

We left early from there to visit Madhur [Sri Madanantheshwara] temple. The deity is Ganesha, and is drawn by a kid. History also has mentions about Tipu Sultan who wanted to destroy the temple, but got sick. When he drank water from temple-well, his sickness went away. But to make a mark of his attack, he made a cut on the roof of the temple-well-enclosure. It is still preserved.
We had feast ["Prasaada ootta"] from the temple. We had planned for Bakel, but the sun was buring our calories.

We had a picturesque evening near my Aunt's home. Several kinds of grass including fountain-grass were grown on the street side. They became melting golden in colour while seen through the setting-sun.


The burning gold - fountain grass

The golden bath

We visited Irinjalakkuda next. I was disappointed on our futile trip to watch a movie. The theater was on strike, thanks to some fight between film distributers and theater owners. So we went to the "Grand Central Circus" playing at the temple-grounds. The event took me 20 years back. I felt there is NO change in the circus-industry. It is the same tent, same band-stand, similar tricks and sweating professionals. And the circus-tent was at least half full due to the theater strike. Another thing I observed is that, there were very little claps from the audience to encourage the artists. We enjoyed for around 2 hours.

"Specially" abled plantain [വേണമെങ്കില്‍ വാഴ വേരിലും കായ്ക്കും??!!]

Red-beads from Red beadtree [മഞ്ചാടിപ്പയ്യന്‍]

We visited Alappuzha and it was starting day of festival in the temple. We had a "Samaradhana" [feast] before we left for Kochi and further to Irinjalakuda. We returned to Bangalore on 26th.

Current Mood: awake
Saturday, November 12th, 2011
8:10 pm
"99 thoughts on Ganesha" & "7 Secrets from Hindu calendar Art"
"Within infinite myths lies the Eternal Truth. Who sees it all? Varuna has but a thousand eyes. Indra, a hundred. You and I, only two!!"
I liked the way Mr. Devdutt Pattanaik wrote. I am becoming a fan of his books. Not because there are several repetitive sentences, and not because the way facts & stories are mingled with philosophy. But I am enjoying the facts/myths in a different way compared to how I conceived them 20 years ago.

His books are an effort to reason the myths through facts, a mix of scriptures and life! I recalled several stories heard only from my mother and some of the Harikatha tellers at temples. It was really a refreshing experience. The illustrations are done by Mr. Pattanaik himself and are simple and fabulous.  I took almost 3 months to finish the "... thoughts on Ganesha".
More details at http://devdutt.com/ and http://www.flipkart.com/author/devdutt-pattanaik

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, September 17th, 2011
12:01 am
Bad becoming worse
  1. Petrol price is increased and it is now 75Rs/Litre.
  2. My car used to take me 480KM on 30L of petrol approx, till 2 months back.
  3. Thanks to 3 flyover constructions on my way to office and evil-treated roads, my car takes me only ~450KM now on same fuel.
  4. WHY should I still pay road-taxes/check for "smoke-test"?
  5. I felt pity for a traffic constable drenched in rain struggling to control vehicles all around. On top of that, seeing a truck driver's destructive acts, I called up 100 and 103 out of frustration. The "network" was either busy or no body was picking up the call. I am praying now, "oh! God, Please dont create a situation to call those numbers again!"
  6. Unplanned construction and under-estimated traffic makes life irritating even after 10PM at night, on the road. Roads are becoming funnels.
  7. Because of 3 hours spent on the road daily, I am treating everything as "bullet points" to count on! Everything else is dissolved in the brain.
  8. I am often feeling to kidnap either the sleeping ministers or enjoying commissioners. I want to take them around the fly-over construction places at peak-traffic hours, and give a free ride over the gutters [especially Kadubisnahalli] to break their backs. They are still cowards sans the guts to ride on such roads.
  9. I agree, we need roads and water pipes. But we have to be alive to enjoy such amenities. If the construction starts killing, we better stop construction, or find another way to make it. 
  10. Am I living in a Metro??!!

Current Mood: frustrated
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
11:28 pm
My daily trek

There were very little problems when I was walking to office. I made some friends on my way. A cat sitting on a wall murmured while I pass-by. Doody, the-stray-dog comes waving his tail, and a lonely Peeku, the parrot-in-the-cage said "Good-morning". Things changed when I started using BMTC bus, as my office went far from my home. Though, the bus-conductor smiled at me because I was the only passenger till the last stop of the bus. My not-so-planned office hours and broken-bus-service along with long waiting time made me irritated. Fed up with the auto drivers, I bought my car. Problems were solved for then. I had a smooth journey for almost 2 years. Once a week, I travelled in the bus. But now, not sure if I am getting aged, I always get irritated on the road while driving. Sometime my blood pressure raises. Hope I don't need to stop eating salt soon. Over a period of time, I was able to form an A2Z trail on the road. I don't mean to hurt anybody because I also have to play my life as a driver, pedestrian, or sometimes a violator. But I am dissolving my frustration out of my mind. Also I may be the cause of irritation to somebody else. For fun's sake I've included some google maps to chalk out irritating points. I often thought to catch pictures or videos of these irritations, but I don't want to have any accidents because of such attempts from driver's seat.

Full Trek Map


a) I start my journey from B.Chennasandra by car, via RamaMurthy Nagar ring road junction. From Chennasandra Main road, there is a left turn towards RamaMurthy Nagar. I have to be careful there because, a bus might jump suddenly from my left side. Sometimes, this has caused jams[shown as point1 in the following map]. It looks like a wrong way, but it is the only way with slight adjustment. A weived-off traffic-rule-violation of "drive on your left", to make it "drive on your right". Otherwise the police man standing at the junction will shout. Waited on the ramp to catch ring road. Often, the way leading to R.M.Nagar Main road jams up [shown as point2]. This irritates me because, I can see the empty road on the other side, not even 25 meters far, but reaching which might take 10 minutes. This happens because, a bus would have stopped picking up passengers and parked there for more than 5 minutes, leaving the road a kind of one-way, piling up honking vehicles behind. And I am amazed to see the way vehicles crisscrossed the junction.

Start [a]




b) Got the Green! Took a turn over the bridge and joined the ring road. Peaceful! Sometimes, a tipper used to park on the road side. Do you know what??!! it causes traffic jams, closing one lane, leading to slow moving traffic. People traveling on that "tipper"-lane slows down, try to overtake it, slowing down other lane also. My joy was short lived.. I can see vehicles piling up in KRPuram railway bridge. oh! god!! Jumped over 2 humps, to join the "infamous" jam. I call it "infamous" because I have to swim over it almost everyday. I have no other way.[shown as 3] The bridge is full of piled up vehicles!

map [b]

c) It is fun to watch the vehicles go in the jam. two-wheelers go in such a way that, they deserve each inch of the road. my car often got scratched by such squeezing-in drivers. I am very scared of trucks, because at the elevation, before they move forward, they slightly reverse, almost hitting my car's bonnet. Traffic is stand-still for several minutes, so I switched off my car engine. Slowly others also, leading to a perfect silence. Now comes the fun part. A train passes under the bridge. The bridge starts shivering!! I can see the sand [filled in the gaps of bridge-deck], breaking clearly with the shivering. Just imagine what happens if the bridge collapses due to the vehicle pile-up!! Scenes from Movies Inception/2012 went into my veins making my feet hot.

d) Sometimes one lane gets slow and pure luck decides which lane it is. I desperately watch many vehicles zoom past me on the very next line, while I can't move an inch for more than 5 minutes.

e) After several halts and moves, I am near the end of the bridge. [approaching point5] oh! Here is the great Indian circus of merging and crossing. From RingRoad many people and trucks move to NH4, while several buses/cars move from OldMadrasRoad to Whitefield direction making a perfect cross of competition. At point 5, everyday, a long truck or several private buses park, creating traffic which lead to point4, sometimes well beyond point3.

f) Point6 has a famous temple and several cars stop there for Pooja, especially on Friday, leading to the same "infamous" jam. Point6 is also a huge junction of NH4/RingRoad/Old-Madras-Road/Whitefield-road. There are 2 bus-stands right in the middle of junction. I see policemen bathing in sweat trying to control the traffic. But no one including the government does anything to clear the cross or junctions here. BMTC buses try to stop in the middle of the road to pick-up passengers. People try to cross the road running, as if they found free gold on the other side. Cab drivers try to zoom in overtaking every other vehicle and end up in front of me almost hitting my car. I call this as HOLE-1, because, the hole leading to Whitefield, can't bear the traffic flowing into it, because of the bus-stand. Few meters beyond point6 towards whitefield has some metal/bricks go-down on the left side. Long trucks carrying heavy-metal or huge lorries carrying cement used to turn left, **in the peak traffic time**, creating the "infamous jam". They don't have any other time to bring material to the go-down. Funny part is that, those poor drivers get confused about where and how to park always, leaving the truck in the middle of traffic for more than 5 minutes. This is the same case with the earth-movers and bulldozers moving around slowly in the middle of peak traffic, creating a long trail of vehicles behind. Tractors carrying “Drinking water” are not different, by they are slightly faster.

g) Few feet in front is a petrol pump, where vehicles leave the road slowly and re-join after drinking petrol. Left most lane is faster here, [towards point7] though slightly dangerous, because everyone try to squeeze in. A tractor collecting debris often blocks this lane. Most irritating moment is when 2-wheelers/auto-rikshaws with the headlamp lit, coming against you, as if it is their birth-right to violate traffic rules. At those moment, I try to put-on myself in their seat. They are trying to avoid a travel of 1KM to reach their neighbor, living just few meters away, because the road is a one-way!! So they save petrol and time.

h) point8 is the second HOLE under KRPuram-Hanging bridge, near the railway station. This is the next place with 2 bus-stands right on the junction. Commuters to/from the railway station run across the road scaring me almost every time. I remember that, when I return by train, I run carefully, but scared of vehicles.

i) Point9 is the starting of relief. A battle between vehicles going to Whitefield on the left and RingRoad on the right still takes place, but irritating factor is an autorikshaw trying to take a u-turn to come back to Old-Madras road. Otherwise the Auto has to travel 1 KM to take a u-turn. We make our own reason to violate the rules here!!

j) I travel via the second ORR bridge towards Marathahalli. The bridge has severely uneven tarring at several places shaking my vehicle and my spinal-chord everyday. Pont10 is a smooth ride.

k) Point11 near Mahadevapura again pains me due to the recent fly-over construction. [FlyOVER-1] The road has become narrow and bad. The construction people bothers just to create holes on the road and they do not bother to put at least some tar to fill it in. Day-by-day, I feel like the support-materials and metal bars occupy the very-busy-road. 3 lanes has squeezed to one and ALAS!! there is a bus-stand also!! AGAIN! One bus has stopped means the traffic is stopped. Trucks stop at one lane to unload/load causing further irritation.

pic [k]

l) My car joined back to ring road, But the service road on the left side is dug up for installing huge pipes. So one half-lane is full of mud and sand. I remember once, a heavy-truck carrying sand overtook my car on the right side and suddenly took left turn to stop at construction-site on the left. I ended up on the left-most lane which was uneven with sand. I break-ed the vehicle, but I felt flying with the dry-sand beneath my wheels. It took almost 5 meters to stop. The truck stopped and the driver went out like nothing happened.

m) Now, at this stretch sometimes I see a "traffic-interceptor" stopped to monitor speeds of vehicles. People who know abt this place slows down to 55-60Kmph, from 80Kmph after seeing a Qualis with its back-door opened from a distance.

n) EMC2 junction or Dodanakundi junction or now "Target junction" is another place of competition. recently they have installed traffic lights. Each junction like this is actually NOT a cross. It is a complicated maths puzzle with 2 service roads on both the sides.


o) Now, a railway lane going on top and further ISRO junction. There is a contention between vehicles coming from Marathahalli taking u-turn and the ones going towards Marathahalli. Soon a huge unnecessary hump welcomes my car with its bottom touching the hump's peek.

p) Now comes Marathahalli bridge, followed by Marathahalli junction. Again a mix of vehicles trying to turn left, right and u-turn. Usually a BMTC bus tries to take a u-turn blocking both the sides of ring road. I often felt, There is no other place where the BMTC buses can turn back and go. Or they need to take back from the bridge itself.

q) Now the traffic is smooth, until the "e-zone junction" where a BMTC bus stops and blocks a lane. Further down is another place where "traffic interceptors" stop for watching speed. Another irritation here is about some drivers smoking, and throw up the ashes through the window. Once My front glass got a sparkling fire-work when a cigarette slipped out from a stupid driver running fast in front of me.

r) I can see again vehicles piling up for Kadubisnahalli [Cisco junction] fly-over construction. [FLYOVER-2] The classic problem of a heavy-traffic-serving 3-lanes converging into 1.5-lanes, with a turn/diversion. I am going through this for past 1 year. 300 meters like this and I join back to ring road.

s) At the "New horizon college" junction there are lot of cab drivers and techies taking the road to all directions. This is the place where I see a lot of slow-moving cab drivers. why are they slow moving? Usually cab-drivers drive too fast. They slow down while they talk in their mobile phone. Though it is illegal, I see this at least 3 times a day.

t) The Intel junction is with another flyover [FLYOVER-3] construction. I usually take the service road towards my office, but I have to be careful for vehicles stopping suddenly to turn left towards their office. I am well “beware” of the humps/ponds on the road. But I get irritated when another vehicle is stopped near the hump or pond, so that, I have to run over it with the world going upside down. Especially the road in front of "Brindavan techpark" has a huge pond. Last week, somebody has erected a signboard in the middle of the pond, but nobody cared to fill the pond. So it is like a pole in the pond, with vehicles struggling to go on either side, still felling into the pond. The cabs and buses overtake without any mercy, creating the service road just a one way, leaving both sides jammed. Often I felt that, there should be a divider for the service road as well. I get jammed there switching off my car for more than 15 minutes, when I can see my manager on 5th floor office clearly from my car.

u) The road near my office, and often inside the office gets muddy due to the trucks ply with mud. Their huge wheels are covered with dark mud, and when the lorry speed up, [they are without mud-guards] throw the mud out which travel several meters behind them. I saw several instances when two wheelers struggle avoiding them, but their helmet covered with mud. The mud gets settled on the road making the journey really shaky, leaving our wheels bad. And once the mud get dried, the place gets full of dust. I remember in Singapore, before the truck leaves a construction site, the wheels are cleaned, so that, the roads are not spoiled.

v) I felt it irritating when the buses ply on the service road to drop passengers, and creating jams. They could just be on the main road, but not sure if somebody request them to go on the service road. Now, jumping 3 bridges, 2 underpasses and 3 flyover-construction-sites, I am in my office. The google maps says I can reach office in 20 minutes, but it takes 45 minutes to 1.25 hours to reach office.

w) The way from my house to office is still better for rainy days. The other way clogs down with few feet worth water on rainy days, because the water has nowhere to go! I pity the pedestrians and two wheelers who struggle with these issues.

x) On the way back what I can remember is an "S" like turn where I waste close to 500meters worth petrol. I imagine about everyday how many vehicles follow this plight wasting fuel, mind and health, getting irritated, suffocated and lost! Adding agony, I have to avoid big-bricks fallen on the road from the median, because, two wheelers and trucks go over the median to avoid a long way back. This phenomena is there at places where a construction activity is in place.

y) KR Puram is still the bottleneck for me to go back, because vehicles from ITPL and ring-road gets joined at a narrow passage. Further it goes near the hanging-bridge, and then the main Tin-factory junction where Old-Madras road also joins. It is like 3 vehicle-streams joining, and explode their way to either ring-road for Hebbal or continue to old-Madras road towards the city.

z) It was always fun traveling in Bangalore. I take bus once a week, to understand the plight as a pedestrian or a passenger. But I felt, it has no difference compared to my car. I still get irritated when the bus gets delayed or canceled altogether, or when the bus driver does a violation. But I feel it is still better for health, money and mind.



Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, December 26th, 2010
10:38 pm
The white-man
Back to year 1991: [rough guess] At TD-high school Alappuzha. Inauguration of some event is going to happen. As planned, some selected good-looking girls in the school are dressed in neat-uniform, standing in 2 rough, careless lines, talking to each other, with "taalappoli". Police jeeps were parked inside the school compound with a few policemen roaming around. A few were deployed near the gates and corners. Several people sat on the fold-able iron-chairs, in front of a temporary stage. The stage has a few of cushioned chairs and rest all ordinary chairs. All the teachers were running around, tying a round badge with ribbon to showcase the event and their part in it. Some teachers along with a few girls were standing near the gate. They were probably discussing about who will welcome the guest first by garlanding him. Several fellows, not from the school are gathered in white-and-white attire, with the tricolor in their hands. A few minutes passed by, and the number of people whom I never saw in the school increased near the school gate. In another 10 - 15 minutes, I saw everybody running towards the main gate. The "taalappoli" girls ran to form 2 strict lines preparing for the welcome. I heard some "Sindaabad" slogans, and after a few moments I saw a small man with full white attire, with white head, white mustache and a big smile, walking very fast  in between the 2 lines, along with a flock of teachers, several unknown people and policemen. I amused seeing this guest "white-man" and his speady walk. The flock went to the teachers room. An announcement came regarding arrival of the guest and that "the event will start in a few moments". When I turned, I saw that there was no place to sit. People started climbing on the wall. I tried to get a place to watchthe front stage, but ended up near the teachers room door. Suddenly the guest "white-man" came out on the way to the stage, and in some push from the behind, I ended up in front of the guest. I smiled at him, when he looked at me and patted on my shoulders and cheak. This was the first [and last, so far] chief-minister-touch I got. The white-man was Sri. K.Karunakaran. I never felt anything special, but my friends were amused telling that "Eda, mukhyamanthri ninne tottteda..." ["the chief minister touched you"] The white-man went to the stage and programme started, but my feelings were around the "touch". I think he did a nice speech, because I head a thunderous clap after his speech. The only thing struck my mind then was "kuttikale, ningalaanu naale keralathinte manthrimaaraakendatu., ividem bharikkendatu.. ningalaanu ividathe doctormaar, engineernumar, teachermar"... ["kids, it's you who will be the ministers of Kerala, and should rule here., you are our future doctors, engineers and teachers"]. I was bored of this sentence as it was used by every speech in the school for many years. But I liked the way he put it. I don't remember anything else from his speech. After his speech, he bowed everybody and walked fast with the flock and went away in his short convoy.
Today: For past 2 days, all the TV channels are showing live news about the veteran leader's death. Despite the frictions inside the party, everybody [including the Prime minister, several INC leaders] paid their last tributes. I was astonished at the way people standing in the queue to see their leader for the last time. Anyway, I feel slightly depressed that I was not able to completely fulfill what he said 19 years ago, and I inherit same words to my kids now. He was indeed a Leader.

Current Mood: determined
Sunday, December 5th, 2010
8:30 pm
Kollur to Kozhikode
We decided to combine my cousin brother Mahesh's marriage, with a trip to Kollur Mookambika temple. We started on 25th night 8.15 PM to Kundapura [by Karnataka RTC, via Hassan, Shakleshpura, Mangalore, Udupi] After journey through bad roads, bus reached at 8AM toKundapura. Luckly there was another KSRTC bus to Kollur at 8:15 AM which took another hour to reach Kollur. We took a room in "Chitramoola" lodge in front of the temple for 200 Rs. There are several other loadges which charged much higher rates, but we were interested to finish the morning jobs, than staying overnight. The temple has same properties of Guruvayur temple in terms of spirituality, size, shops and lodges nearby. A small stream was flowing in front of the temple.
We got Darshana very quickly and we got out around 11AM. The "prasada-ootta" [daily holy-feast] in the temple starts only at 12 noon. So, we decided to do some shopping and to check the buses to Kozhikode to attend the marriage. We missed our breakfast, visit to Souparnika and Shankaracharya's temple with cave because of the running around. We have excellent
feast in the temple. Also has the luck to witness the "Pallakku pooja".
 We caught a private-bus to Mangalore at 2.30 PM, which took 4 tiresome hours through NH17. Later I found that, there is a railway station in "Mookambika road" as well as in Kundapur, and trains travel faster compared to buses. Our aim was to reach Kanhangad, but it was around 7.30 when we reached Mangalore. So, we stayed overnight at Mangalore and next morning took Coimbatore passenger [7.40AM] from Mangalore to Kozhikode.
The train reached Kozhikode at 12:00 noon, and we were welcomed by an autoriksha strike. Luckly Aradhana lodge, where our accommodation was planned, was just-10-minutes-walk away from the station. We visited the "Mithai teruvu" ["Sweet street" :-) ] and got some "Kozhikodan Halwa" as well. We celebrated Mahesh's marriage on Sunday and got back to Bangalore on Sunday evening.

Pallakku pooja

Jayadev riding the chariot
Sunday, November 7th, 2010
11:05 pm
Journey to BangaraTirupathi and Kotilingeshwara

I took my car for a day trip to Bangara-Tirupathi and Kotilingeshwara temple on Sunday at 7.30 AM with my family. The places are around 90KM east of Bangalore, via Hoskote. Passing several under-construction flyovers on NH4, we reached Kolar from where we took Bangarapet road towards right. An unexpected rain was accompanying us all over the journey. Around 9Am, we reached SN Veg Restaurant. The place was quite and cold with not many people around. But they served us with very good breakfast of Idli/Vada, Masala dosa and Masala tea.

The road from Kolar to Bangarapet is great with several straight stretches, moderate greenery and with a little traffic. After reaching Bangarpet, we took left turn towards Bethamangala. We passed by the BEML, and Kotilingeshwara temple [we thought of stopping there while returning] we reached Bethamangala. The ride further, taking a left turn after a small sign indicating Bangaru-Tirupathi, was lonely without many people on the way. In an occasion, I thought we lost the way, but the temple appeared suddenly from solitude. It was a small place with rocks, with a few shops and temple.

Temple was not at all crowded. The welcome signs inside the main Gopura are the Pushkarani [almost one-fourth size of that in Tirupathi] and a photo showing the head-shaving provision. After second Gopura and Navagraha mandapa, steps to the hill-top Sanctum start. It was not steep, but there are around 50 steps, wet due to rain, but not slippery. The deity, Lord Venkateshwara blesses everybody through a small window with 6 holes. After coming down from the hill and surviving a beggar-flock, we visited temple dedicated to Godess Padmavati, situated on top of another nearby hill.

We returned from that place and reached Kotilingeshwara temple. There was paid car parking, and place was crowded despite the rain. The place was well constructed and guided unlike Bangaru-Tirupathi. Several shops selling toys, pooja items and dolls are present on all sides of the temple. After entering the temple, I felt like I am in the middle of ocean of Shivalingas. Temples dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara, Venkiteswara, Parvati, Ganesha, etc stood in that ocean. A huge Shivalinga and Nandikesha were the main attractions. The Annadaana hall has prasada-lunch every day from 12.00 noon till 2PM. The food [comprised of sweet-pongal, curd-rice, pulao and rasam-rice] was simple but tasty.

Ocean of Shivalingas


We started back at around 1.30PM. I decided to drive back via Tekal/Malur/Hoskote. This was appeared to be bad with full of potholes. The incessant rain added to my agony. But I enjoyed the drive, especially the Tekal stretch. At one point of time I felt like the road has come to an end with the huge hillocks and rocks in front of the car. It was just a dream though!! I was not able to photograph several parts due to the rain hitting hard on my glasses, but when it subsided a little I took a snap. I have edited the same to show my dream. In another occasion, I got scared as there was not a human-being around for miles and just vacant land and rocks staring us, with the pot-holed road in the middle! We reached back Bangalore at 5PM. I wanted to visit Antharagange and Kolaramma temple/lake at Kolar, but the rain washed my dreams away.

Tekal: Edited/imaginative


Thanks to Mr. B.V. Prakash for suggesting this place as a weekend getaway. Following blogs also helped

Current Mood: awake
Friday, October 15th, 2010
9:04 pm
Delhi CWG

There was shit all-around, but, for the people who want to see *just* the shit. The hard-core critics and media were wasting lives by swallowing water from the  so-mentioned "dirty toilets", looking for stains on beds and counting number of condoms which clogged the CWG games village. Every critic was preaching only bad stuff about the event.

-"why to Delhi, why nowhere else in India, why to screw Delhi's peace and infrastructure just for this event"!

-"Crores for Kalmadi for putting India to shame"!

-"oh!!.. a bridge came down ,,..What will happen to games"!

-"oh!! Rain poured down.. How the games will go on"!!

-"it is organized bad, for reaching the stadium we need to walk kilometers"!

At one point in time I went mad reading all the news about CWG. But the opening ceremony was enough to put Boforce 40mm into critic's mouths and more fire into their eyes. I watched the event L-I-V-E in DD1. It was so great, to just give a blink about what is India and the diversity it has. It was INCOMPARABLE, diminishing the performances at last Olympic opening/closing ceremony. CWG opening ceremony was colorful and each event was so different that the time passed in just a few flicks.

But even after that, I heard the media panting like dogs looking at imperfections in the ceremony and criticizing the events. Now with the breathtaking closing ceremony, organizers proved the slogan- “multifariously we brought up, but united we stand”! This was clear, not only in the ground, with the sweat-rising performances of thousands of performers, but included the barking media also. I liked it anyway, except its continuous beats and westernization of Indian music. But I feel the audience received with WOWs.

Now, looks like the corruption case against Kalmadi is about to start, the media is waiting for the feast. And I am waiting in a corner, for the cabaret by various media. Of course, that also accounts into the tax money I am paying annually. Anyway, this is clear - the perceptions each one of us build about anything around is based on pure egos. The opinions are just the mirror of not only what we own, but it includes what we don't own and what we wanted to own [which others own!!] whatever it is, Mera Bhaarat Mahaan!

Current Mood: artistic
Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
12:49 am
Srinarayanapuram [Melukote]

It was a quick plan to go someplace which can be covered in a day. I thought of several places among which Melukote [Tirunarayanapuram] was selected. We started at 6.30am in the morning by car and used mysore road [SH17]. On the way, we stopped by "Kamat Loka ruchi" near Ramanagaram to have breakfast. The place was filled with cars, vans and crowd. Traffic from both sides were managed by private cops. We had an expensive [Rs 70 per plate], but different-kind-of breakfast in the form of a buffet, to have "miniatures" of some variety dishes. It included a sweet obbattu [holige], roti, kara pongal, uppma, "hittu", and masala-dosa. My son enjoyed the sight of some ducks from neighboring "JanapadaJatre" campus.

We reached Mandya, took right to catch Melukote road. SH47 was mostly decorated with huge trees and green paddy/jaggery fields on both sides of the road. It gave me memories of Alleppey-Chenganassery road, but not as beautiful. But the road was managed well. There was very less traffic except for some motor-cyclists, tractors, occassional autos and rare StateTransport/private busses. At some stretches with several trees planted randomly in dry land, with road going zig-zag, I was not able to spot any animal or human being for a few kilometers. Though, for every few kilometers "mile-stones" to Melukote and Sravanabelagola are seen. Going past a few jagerry making houses, green-umbrella-looking mango-trees, a few small villages, a huge lake and a few hairpins, we reached Melukote. We had to pay 10 Rs for parking inside the town. I was able to see Yoga Narasimha temple on left side on top of the hill. We drove stright to reach "Seluva [Cheluva] Naaraayanaswaami temple". my odometer read 152 KM from my home.

We saw several people with heads shaved and "Tir naama" on forehead. The sanctum was closed for some pooja. We turn around and saw the sub-shrines of Sri. Raamanujaachaarya, and Anjaneya. On one side of the temple, I felt I was standing at Trichy Srirangam temple. The pillers are fine carved with none spared as plain. At several occassions, my hands went to the camera, to take the Geethopadesha and Anantha shayana carvings. But some part of my brain was telling me, "leave the carvings inside the temple. Carry them in your mind. The feeling you have now won't be achieved by looking at the pictures you have taken in the camera". I respected that thought. As we came back to the main deity, we saw that, sanctum was opened and small crowd was formed. Though the crowd was small, everyone is trying to push. To add frustration, some people in front of diety were doing special pooja, so they are not moving forward. After darsana we got out of the temple quickly.

We walked for the next destination, a big pond named Kalyani. On the way we saw another small pond on the right side with the sparkling green water, but nose-burning-stink. On the middle of the pond a half-demolished mandapa stood like an aged crane. A building was getting formed on the pond-side, destroying the natural beauty.

After walking past the street-sellers and a saadhu, we reached Kalyani. Its four sides have different mandapas. People were offering poojas, glowing karpoora/agarbayhi's and dipping pooja-items in the pond. A fish-flock was always on the banks searching for eatables. The temple-management were so kind to collect the debris of all karmas of the people and maintain the pond still keep its green and glitter. The Yoga Narasimha temple was seen on the hill from the Kalyani. I tried to see the reflection of the temple in the pond, but was disappointed as the people and fish were moving in the pond all the time.

There was a venketeswara temple on the pond-side. Another temple beneath the hill just opposite to the entrance for the steps-to-top has a deity with white and smiling face, as if it cures all the sorrows. The temple has a well which reached very deep and has an old styled pulley.

After putting our footwear at the entrance, we started climbing the hill. The steps were formed using rocky blocks. Huge trees stood on both the sides and some carvings of holy-feet at several places. There were mandapas, every 25 meters or so, for taking rest, though anybody can take a break anywhere, thanks to the trees. Some mandapas carried the carvings of some deity, especially Anjaneya. After reaching almost one-third, I saw some cars standing there and got to know that, people can come till that place by vehicle. There was another pond on the side with water colored gray, containing some urban-debris. I got tired after carrying my son for a distance, as he cribbed that the rocks were hot. For some stretch, the sun was so harsh to penetrate the trees and heat up the rocks.

We saw that, aged people are taking several breaks and continuing to climb. My wife felt that, the climb was not as tiring as the one at "Malaikkotte" at Trichy. For one second I got blinked thinking similarity of "malaikkotte" and "Melukote". As we reached the top, we got blessed by the mother earth that showed us the greenish-beauty of the kalyani, nearby hills, rocky formations and never lasting dry-fields. If there was some rain, she would have been covered by the greens too.

I started counting the steps from the bottom, but lost the count and the attempt in between. But I think there could be 150 steps easily, at the final stretch it become steep.

There were not many people at the sanctum. We offered prayers and took a small round-about. When I saw through a tiny crack between two rock-blocks beneath my feet, my eyes nearly popped out. we are standing many hundreds of meters above the earth, just on those blocks. Just a mind-stream passed by thinking about the people who made the temple would have done it. We climbed down, passing several beggers and saadhu's. When we were down the hill, it was 1.30 in the noon. I thought of having some puliogare as lunch [after seeing the funny looking "Ganapathy mess" board], but, soon decided to have it in Mysore road. The sun was turning all our sweat-out and we decided to move back, missing the raya Gopura and Akka-Tangi kola. We had a nice lunch at Maddur Tiffany's and reached home at around 6.30PM.

Some facts about the temple/place:

1) Cheluva Narayanaswamy temple: It was believed that, the "Utsava Moorthy" [metallic idol] in the temple was worshipped by Lord Rama and his son Kusha. So it is also known as Ramapriya. The place is called "Jnaana Mantapam" (House of Knowledge) as the main deity radiates knowledge. When visiting Thondanur, Sri Ramanujacharya [born 1017AD] has a dream of Cheluvanarayana, about the buried idol. Acharya, with the help of King Vishnuvardhana, unearthed the idol and installed it at Thondannur. Over the years, due to incessant wars between native Hindu kings and invading Muslims, the idol got buried again. It was subsequently restored, in about 1460, by Thimmanna Dannayaka, a chief of Nagamangala, who was an army commander of the Vijayanagar king Mallikarjuna or Immadi Prudhadeva Raya at Melukote. "Cheluva Narayanan" was also name of Ramanujaachaarya's son ["Sella pillai" or beloved son].
The temple is famous for "Vairamudi Utsav" [it was just over on 25 March 2010]. This is the annual day when an auspicious "vairamudi" or crown-with-jewels is worn by the Utsava Moorthy.

 2) Legends on Vairamudi: The vairamudi was worn by Lord Narayana at Paalaazhi. It was stolen by Virochana [Prahlada's son] when the lord was sleeping. Later, Gurada fought with Virochana and recovered the Vairamudi. Vairamudi lost its blue gem while Guruda was bringing it. The gem fell down, turning into a stream called Manimuttaaru flowing near Tanjavoor. On the way back Garuda saw infant Krishna playing under the hot sun, sweating and tired. Garuda spread his wings over little Krishna to provide shade and then placed the Vaira Mudi on Krishna's head. Later, when Krishna came to Tirunarayanapuram, he presented the crown to Cheluva Narayana.
Nobody is supposed to look at vairamudi when it is NOT worn by the lord. [Legend is that, crown is invisible when it is not worn by the Lord] Also, it is not to be seen in day light. Currently it is kept at locker at Mandya, tightly shielded in a sun-proof box. On the auspicious day, it is brought to Melukote, in the evening. At around 9PM, the priest covers his eyes with a garment, and places it on the lord's head. The procession goes around in Melukote until early morning, when the vairamudi is taken back safely. Thousands of people assemble there for the procession and it is believed that, gods or their representatives arrive there for getting blessed by the Lord. Next day of Vairamudi-utsava, another crown studded with precious stones called "Rajamudi" is adorned on the Lord for procession.

3) Yoga Narasimha temple: The installation was done by Bhakta Prahlaada. The mandapas were constructed and trees were planted by the kings so that, everybody could have convenient Narasimha Darshana.

4) Melukote is famous for sweet Melukote Manoharam, Puliogere and ulundurai [variant of pongal]

5) References:

a) http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/cgi-bin/kbase/Melkote_Vairamudi

b) http://www.karnataka.com/festivals/vairamudi.html

c) http://travel.paintedstork.com/blog/2007/11/eventful-trip-to-melukote.html

d) Wikipedia and some people.

Saturday, February 6th, 2010
4:08 am
new year
New year has started and a month got dissolved without any resolution!! But I came across a "lateral thinking" article fwd by a friend.

now, why did I bought by car? bcos of computer!!

Current Mood: awake
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
1:53 am
I thought, I'll keep my malayaalam entries over here. http://mannangatta.blogspot.com/

Current Mood: crazy
Sunday, November 22nd, 2009
7:59 pm
Sundarikalum Sundaranmaarum
I had a goal 10 months ago., that, I will not write an entry here, until I finish the malayalam novel "Sundarikalum Sundaranmaarum" [1958, meaning "Beautiful women and Handsome men"] by Uroob [P.C.Kuttikrishnan]. I started in February, but lost somewhere in between. So restarted again, and finished the book during my flight to San Francisco. In the 10 months gap, I have read several other magazines, including the novels in "Oonappatippu" published by Mathrubhoomi and Maadhyamam. But the life depicted in "Sundarikalum Sundaranmaarum" stayed apart from all of them. Uroob has captured a glimpse of life in malabar, between 2 world wars. The flow is so perfect that, it even addresses the present questions. Instead of just seeing the life and leaving the book, I tried to understand the answers given in the book, which lead me to further questions. Yea.. Uroob has just asked questions in the book. Finding the answers is upto the reader, as the answers will be so intertwined to the reader's life. It is almost 51 years since the novel is written. But the fact that, -cyclicity of life was existing in the past, runs the present and will play in future,- makes the work still relavant. Changing for survival, catalyzed by situations is also illustrated, which makes this work immortal. There are no heroes or heroins here. As the name suggests, everyone is beautiful. That's why, the focal characters are illustrated using the stories of their surrounding characters initially. I personally liked the character played by Sulaimaan, whom I treat as the central one from the start till the end of the novel. Generations pass by as the stories go forward but the quest for wealth, and underlying egos remains as it is. Both goes till "bhoomiyude attam" [edge of earth] as sought by Vishwam.

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