Saturday, December 18, 2010

MATTUR -A Distinguished village

     My Father  was frequently changing places due to transfers associated with bank posting and as a child,I enjoyed visiting new places and exploring the culture and traditions associated with those places.When I was in 2 nd grade ,(long back-20 yrs )we were staying in a place called Mattur,as a part of my Dad's rural posting.So just recalling those old days ,I thought I must write this note on the village.
         Mattur ,a small village with nearly 5000 odd people living ,is situated on the banks of Tunga river in Shimoga  district ,Karnataka.It is hardly 8 to 10 kms from the heart of Shimoga city. So what's so distinguished in this village ?Well ,this village have had many well known Sanskrit scholars since ages ,and also have been following 'vedic' traditions since many many years and also passed the legacy to the future generations.In 1982,when 'Pejavara mutt' pontiff /swamiji visited this place for a programme ,he was impressed by the way some of the residents conducted the entire programme in 'Sanskrit' language,including the welcome speech,thanks giving speech,songs etc.He expressed his wish to see the entire village nurture this language and use it as their regular language for communication and also further develop the Vedic tradition.So since then, there has been constant efforts to promote Sanskrit language ,and almost all the residents here have mastered the language .So their day to day life conversations happens in 'Sanskrit'.Sanskrit being a very ancient language ,is considered one of the toughest languages, due to its pronunciation.It is usually used only by priests for rituals and also in schools and colleges as a language for study purpose;but not as a spoken language.This village has Brahman residents mostly ,but even the people of other castes(including a few Muslims and Harijans /scheduled caste) are well versed in the language and also recite some shlokas/proses in Sanskrit and Mantras.They have a 'Vedic school 'which  teaches the 'vedas '/traditional texts of ancient India written in  Sanskrit language,and also a Sanskrit  school which exclusively teaches the Sanskrit language.The foundation to Vedas and Sanskrit is established right from the preschool age to the children.Many foreigners have also visited this place with their enthusiasm to learn the traditional language and also for research purpose.They have short crash courses to teach Sanskrit here.This village has been termed "Sanskrit village".
        The village had well organized homes built in an ethnic manner , and very traditionally dressed scholars and pundits .At those times,the kids wore the traditional long skirts,and the ladies in Saree,and gents ,the traditional Dhotis.The village has many temples which includes Ram Mandir,Shiva temple and many others.My faint memory tells me that there were seven temples there.There was one huge Ashvatha tree/sacred fig /'ficus religiosa' in the center of the village ,just in front of my house where my mother used to go for worship along with lot of other people.The people in Mattur follow rituals and traditions very well ,and do not forget to visit the temple regularly every day for poojas ,chant the vedic mantras in the evening,follow all the traditions for festivals special occasions,fasts etc.Oh ! it was so lovely everyday to visit the temple after school and also sit on the center rock at the banks of the river Tunga and have our evening snacks with friends. Such mannerisms and cultural extravaganza everyday, is rarely witnessed in these days anywhere.The colonies were Brahman's live ,are slightly isolated from the other houses.I remember there was a separate colony for 'Harijans'/scheduled caste and I used to go there to play with my school friends  ,and my Mother  used to warn me not to enter their houses,as it was not allowed in the village.Well ,I do not know about the situation today though!
          I read a lot of articles and found out that Mattur  has a few BPO organisations and around 150 software engineers produced from the village ,who are presently serving the silicon city of India and also living abroad.A well known software engineer named Dhruv Mattur,also has his own software firm in Bangalore.'Padmashree' awarded ,Mathoor Krishnamurti,famous scholar ,novelist,writer ,former director  of "Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavana"Bangalore,and also London branch,has also his origins from Mattur.I wish I had some photographs of the beautiful village;may be next time I happen to visit ,will definitely post it.


Some of the links giving facts about Mattur:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DHpDa6eERo&feature=related
watch this video to listen to a resident speaking in Sanskrit.

































Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Mownam sarvatra sadhanam"

"Mownam sarvatra sadhanam":This is a famous sanskrit language  saying popular even now.I know few of my friends may think"look who is saying what"Lol..But philosophies can be narrated and sometimes after lots of efforts ,can be followed too.So it's  'self reflection' and  self realization here!.Any ways ,this saying elaborates as"Silence  conquers everywhere".We have heard a lot of other quotes  related to this;for instance, 'Silence can speak a thousand words';'words are like silver ;whilst silence is golden'and so on..But do you guys really feel this 'funda 'really works?
         Several situations in life demand us to 'vomit out our words' and we may usually end up in mere' shit ' the same.Our elders would have preached  us their golden line  "Do not get into an argument ,since that comes with a package of  a chain of  other complexities and difficulties".Sometimes ,we feel this really works!We actually need not speak up to express our disagreement /dislike towards any views/issues.There need not be a 'battle field 'scenario to resolve a simple issue.Silence can speak a lot and express even the unexpressed,and  the opposite person would be able to comprehend what you meant.Imagine a situation with an intense argument between two people and we do not agree with the situation and  respond in an stringent manner and the situation is more like an act of vengeance; the end result would be a disturbed mood or ambiance created there.Usually , the words may create more nuisance than solving an issue,either by hurting a person's sentiments or hurting your own sentiments .Well,makes us repent and  realize the worthiness of the  quote"spoken words and broken glass are both un-repairable'!
                Also , there is an another proverb  contrary to the above saying, which  says:"mownam sammati lakshanam",which means "silence indicates consent": when a person is silent , it indirectly signifies that the person is contended or agreed to the decision. So this seems a very sensitive issue and needs to be balanced according to the situation.Friends ,what do you feel ?Is silence really' golden 'always?Will this principle work out in today's age and generation?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Most memorable memory and treasurable asset!!

Memories are always an eternal part of one and all and we are incomplete without these memoirs.These memories keep us going and brings back smiles /tears on our faces .Memories right from our baby days ,childhood days ,school days ,college days and till date.Some of the sweet and bitter  memories that we cherish:
" First day at school"
"First performance on stage at school"
"First prize you won"
First appreciation from your parents
First day at college
First love
The  marriage day moments.
The mixed reactions we had on the day we had our child :a little tears and lot of smiles!
"The First scolding ,beating from your parents"
First humiliation/embarrassment you faced.
The day when you got severely wounded /hurt.
"Your First failure "which made you cry.
The day you lost someone very close to you.
The day you departed from someone very close to you.
These are just a few and the list can go on and on.
     Though I have a lot of memoirs in my list; I can relate mostly to that moment when my Dad consoled me and was assertive about me and praised me and said that he was happy about me ,to a relative of ours.  This  relative had in fact criticised me for scoring less in my 12 th grade and said I could not achieve anything with those scores as it was very crucial those days to score a 90%and above to get inti a professional course.
     Another important event which I would cherish forever is the day when my child,who was just 9 months old had a health problem and I couldn't understand what it was and was helpless and held him in my arms and rushed to the hospital with a common friend of ours .So  that moment could be  "the most memorable memory".
     And also to add on we also have certain assets which we are very possessive about, and would treasure it with us life long.Like for instance ,I treasure my Dad's first gift which was an simple steel  titan watch , I received when I was in 8th grade ,and treasure  it even now; in spite of having so many other watches after that.So friends, I thought of keeping this as an open platform for recalling and sharing your thoughts about your "most memorable memory"and your "treasurable asset"if you have one.Go ahead and feel free to put forth your views.

scorching bug

 Firstly, I am sorry to all my blogger friends to be aloof  for some time ;but I was helpless .Initially it was a nice vacation to Los Angeles and San Diego which kept me engaged and then ,there was this  "bug"which kept bugging me.I have literally spent 5 successive sleepless nights due to this demon troubling me and scorching  my intestines and diaphragm ,squeezing  out not only my muscles and energy  but also my senses.The worst part is the demon would leave me free in the morning ;but  I would be haunted  with the after affects and literally end up dozing  the next day also to compensate; and every time I would sit in front of the laptop, would turn up blank!So till I regain my senses and till the bug "debugs"me ,see you all ..!!keep blogging.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why did the president pardon the turkey?

Well to start with ,here in the USA ,the fourth Thursday of November every year is celebrated as "Thanks giving day"and the consequent day as"Black Friday".Thanks giving day is all about revering the  assets we have and be thankful to god for what he rendered ,our family, friends ,relationships and all possessions .This is also celebrated as the 'harvest festival'.The festival is celebrated here by having a family get together and a grand feast , where a 'roasted Turkey' is the main course for the dinner accompanied with a variety of dishes which includes lobsters ,fishes , cranberries pumpkin pie apples ,baked potatoes ,and a lot of other dishes.This tradition of having turkey was inherited from the  history of the Plymouth colony  having this dinner menu in around 1621 as a celebration of their harvest festival!
             Thanks to Mr Abraham Lincoln who reemphasised the 'thanks giving day' and nationalised the Holiday and influenced the people to feast on more and more turkeys:)It was a customary practise to present the president with a turkey each year on the thanks giving day at the white house and it was purely the president's decision to feast it or not.So the first turkey which proved lucky was probably in 1963,which was spared  by Mr John .F. Kennedy and he said"let him live";for he must not have been in a mood to feast on the turkey that day or may be he had some serious digestive system  ailment!whatsoever, from then on , evolved the practise of the "presidential pardon"of the turkeys,and each year they chose 2 turkeys to live ,and then surrendered  it to the Kid well farm in Frying pan park ,Virginia ,a petting zoo or to Disney land ,CA.Some presidents pardoned  and some did not pardon these turkeys offered to them.Last year ,our dearest president Mr .Obama too reprieved  a turkey from its last  moment slaughtering;cheers! I think it's just a 'prestige issue' or  passing on customs/traditions  through successors;for he  wouldn't have felt from the heart for the poor turkey. But I really wonder, of all the millions of turkeys being killed on Thanks giving day ,will the poor 2 little spared turkeys  make some difference at all?

References:wikipedia,infoplease.com and some other web sites .

Friday, November 12, 2010

why say "no"when you want to say "yes"

I am not speaking about  the famous book "don't say yes when you want to say no"written by Herbert and Jean .well, this title is contrary to that.Have I confused you?well that was not my intention though! We  would have read a lot of books inspiring or motivating us for 'optimism',strategies to overcome the 'inferiority complex' within us and transform us into an " ideal figure" to be an  example to the aspiring .It's always good to develop confidence within us and have a sense of assertiveness;but have you all noticed that there would be times when the 'assertiveness' could be just for the sake of it ;or 'confidence' could be just 'over  confidence '.
                 There may be several situations in life where we tend not to give up at any cost even  though we may not be in the right path.A sense of unbound confidence tends to envelope us and also dominate our senses.We wouldn't agree to the circumstance even though  the situation would demand that.Our "ego"seems to overrule our "instinct";and the consequence would be "no"to a "yes".Humility would never  humiliate us!But we sometimes seem to forget this, and so I quote here"do not say' no'when you want to say 'yes'.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why is "Alpana"done?



'Alpana ' as it is commonly called in Bengal ,'Kolam'in some parts of south India,'Aripana' in Bihar, and 'Rangoli'as it is commonly called in most parts of India,is a very auspicious art form portrayed in most of the houses.'Rangoli 'is derived from the words -'rang'=colors and 'avalli'=rows ;Sanskrit words,and is an art form where colors are used in an organized manner in rows to create some pattern or design.
          Rangoli used grounded dried rice floor traditionally for drawing the designs and was later replaced  by dried lime stone /chalk powder .colors were created traditionally by the natural colors like 'kumkum',a red powder made from the traditional 'crocus sativus /'kesar' plant;yellow'haldi'or turmeric powder derived from 'circum longa plant ;black  color  from ashes from the burnt wood /charcoal ,brown color fron the wood saw dust,green from dried leaves ,and so on.;but gradually these colors were replaced by the chemicals and have a variety of colors like red ,green ,black ,orange yellow available now.
       Rangoli is drawn in most parts of the south India,everyday at the door step using a plain white powder,as a symbolism of 'good luck 'and prosperity and it is said that the rangoli has a power to ward off the evil spirits and  purify the houses and welcome only the 'good'.In most parts of India ,'rangoli'is done with a lot of colors and decorations during a festival /function as a symbolism to  invite/welcome  the guests in a colorful way ,with a theme'athiti Devo bhava' /guests are  equivalent to god .Some important occasions like the Diwali,Laxmi pooja ,navratri or certain pooja/worships, have rangoli drawn near the god's room as ritual to welcome the god/goddess to the house to incorporate wealth /prosperity in the house and shower blessings on the house members.They also create various designs of god /goddess in the art form or also have some holy auspicious symbols like 'om','swastik','kalash','lighting lamp'etc during these occasions.A traditional house warming ceremony or 'ganesh homa'/sacrificial fire to god would have rangolis having some specific colors and designs created by the priest doing these ceremony.They also use grains,lentils ,pulses,glitters ,flowers and lamps to decorate and add a charm to the rangoli.
      Now ,the funniest part is that I do not know to draw a rangoli and my constant strenuous efforts have often been in vain!so what I do is, get some ready made mould designs, and splatter some powder over them with an intended pattern and at a jiffy, 'rangoli's are made!:)The one in the picture was my Gujarati neighbor's design for Diwali.good one right?
   

Friday, November 5, 2010

What do you call it as?

Today's occasion reminded me of the good old days of my 'pre-marriage' and thought of penning down a few words.I was doing my college near Mangalore and had a common relative at the same place who was a mediator between the 2 families  for our marriage.I had not still completed my studies and had 8 months to finish my final exams .Inspite of this,the social obligations and parental pressure had  compelled me to agree to the marriage ;with a "condition" imposed to the guy's family that they had to wait for 8 months for me to complete my studies.Amidst the agreements and talks regarding the proposal ,we were in the process of acquaintance with each other.Slowly time passed on and we grew close to each other ,my "proposed to be hubby"used to come to the hostel to meet me ,we used to hang  out ,meet at restaurants,parks ,and also had long long telephone conversations.The funny part was that my fiance who was a "very silent introvert guy" ,had 1 hour to 2 hour  dedicated time everyday exclusively for me,and all his relatives and friends were amazed with the perception of him calling to a girl and  having such long chats.There  was a strange bond and feeling of compassion,possession  between us . 
             We were  having a discussion on this matter with our mutual friends yesterday night ;and for a coincidence,even they had a similar story  to share .They too had seen each other at a common friend's place with an intention of marriage proposal ,and then the marriage was kept on "hold" for 2 years due to some personal reasons.Despite this, they used to meet ,have telephone conversations and "feelings" of a true'Romeo Juliet ' love story.Then they married and are a happy couple now.So ,as we were in the process of reminiscence,we all got into a 'sweet argument 'questioning the tag to be associated with such marriages.would it be tagged as"love" or "arranged"marriage?Well ,"arranged love marriage " or "love cum arranged marriage" seems little absurd for me.Meanwhile,the occasion  for this argument was our " 7th marriage anniversary".
          

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"PILI VESHA" TO HALLOWEEN



 Hailing from the coastal city of Mangalore,I have experienced one of the most diverse cultural and traditional traits with a lot of communities living together including Tulu,Kannada,Konkani,Christians,Malayalam.'Navaratri' festival season is filled with a lot of celebrations,and one of the main fascinating events in Mangalore is the "Pili vesha kunita"(tiger attire dance).Tulu community ,especially the "koraga "communities have specially trained dancers performing this interesting act and their dance group would include dancers and drummers playing the "chende" /traditional drum.The dancers paint their entire body with the character they want to portray (like the Tiger,Lion ,Bear ,Tribal man,Clown)and wear a mask suiting the character,and go dancing from door step to door step paying tribute to the goddess and also entertaining the people and earn a few bucks.They would continue dancing on the door step with the loud volume drum beats until the house owners would be  give them their reward.The dancers would range from age 5 to 60  and would dance rhythmically to the tunes of the "chende"and would exhibit their talents displaying all sorts of gymnastics and circus, leaping and bending their bodies in different angles and also showing the aggression and expressions of the Tiger.They would  have this dance form running in their veins and would be blended with their soul wile performing.As a kid, I remember me and my brother waiting for these dancers during the Navratri season and rushing out to the gates hearing the drum beats from a distance ,with a curiosity to see the costume they are dressed in. Some kids would wet their pants seeing them and I even remember my neighbor's daughter being scared by her mother saying"If you do not listen to me ,I will ask the' pili vesha' to come and carry you away".It was fun watching them dance.
      After so many years ,I remembered this dance form ;all credits to "Halloween"season.I could see some sort of similarities between both these forms.Halloween could be called "festival of ghosts".It was believed  many years ago that  the evil spirits would visit the houses on the night of "Halloween"(which is almost at the end of summer and harvest season)and would demand for food ,and the house owners would provide them with food and nuts .If the ghosts were dissatisfied ,then they would end up spying an evil cast at them and playing some sort of mischief.That attributes to the "trick or treat"which the kids practice these days.The kids dress up as tiny ghosts, devils ,witches or some sort of characters which they like ,and go from house to house demanding for a treat /or threaten to play a trick!Some believed that by dressing themselves as ghosts or witches ,they would mimic these evil spirits ,and could escape their tortures;that's where the concept of "disguise"started on Halloween day.The houses are decorated with pumpkins carved with niches which are lit with lamps.It was predicted that this would ward off the evil spirits entering the houses.Some houses are even decorated as "ghost houses/haunted houses"and have ghost/skeleton figures hanging on the patio.It was fun watching my kid participating in the Halloween parade along with all other tiny demons ,witches skeletons,fairies,robots,pilots doctors,and all sorts of characters.Today is "Halloween day"and I am waiting for the fun to night."Happy Halloween"to all those who celebrate.


P.S: HERE IS A VERY GOOD LINK OF THE "TIGER DANCE".
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8wa4L7NZJM


These are the halloween pictures.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Emotional Blend





    It's raining in the area where i live, since past 1 week and the the past 2 days have been really cloudy and rainy. Rain  always instills a peculiar zeal in me and so I thought of dedicating my post to it.Though rainy season lasting for long may be annoying for many of us," first rains" are always impressive .

            First drops always carry an array of feelings in us;right from the stage when the grey cloud starts forming ,till the touch of the droplets to the soil,to the ceasing  gloomy stage ;we are always carried away into "roller coaster ride of emotions".The aroma of the drenched soil soothing our senses,the sight of the blowing trees and swaying droplets soothing our eyes ,the harmonious melody of the down pour soothing our ears,they all  leave us mesmerised.We  may be in a "nostalgic world "filled with sweet /bitter memories form the past .For some it may be an expression of euphoria; hearts would be intrigued by  passion and romance.On the contrary ,it may also carry a sense of tranquility ,bore dome or indolence .With a sense of desolation within us ,we would be constantly gazing at the foggy sky.We would sleep for hours even if  we are not stressed;we would have an increased appetite to specific foods,even if the body doesn't demand.So strange and wonderful are these rainy days.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When the limits are crossed!!!

Hello readers.You may be wondering "what limits are crossed??"Well ..i will explain..yesterday afternoon, I finished my lunch  and started wondering "what do i do next?"other than the usual television and laptop stuff.So then I remembered the ice cream boxes in my fridge .I just got them the previous day and they were missing me so much.I thought let me taste how  they are ,and started with one flavor,the"raspberry" and found it a little sour..but still manageable.Then i thought i should taste the other flavor,that is the snicker's cream and fudge.Hm...that was delicious.I had 3 scoops and then felt it was too sweet ,so again i switched to the raspberry to neutralise that affect.So then my scoops went on increasing ;believe me I had a total of 8 scoops !
         That time i just thought of writing this post ,"why do we eat beyond our limits?"we would have finished our full fledged meal ,still we would have an extra "self created space for a dessert".We would know we are full,still we continue on and on with that extra heap of potato chips /french fries/or we Indians on the "golgappas".We would not have had anything else as a substitute for  those particular food stuff we ate;I mean, that could not have been covered up by the regular meal .Have you all noticed that when we are sitting idle and donot have any work/when bored or we are in front of the television,we start eating some stuff beyond limits without  our knowledge.The "Hunger "quench is fulfilled ,this quench is something beyond that.Its so strange.Is it that our taste buds have a control  over our mind/is it some sort of a hormonal reflex?We are aware that those extra "carb's and fats" are bad for us ;still we go on and on.....crazy right?

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Dramatic teen"...why so weird???

We all have experienced the nostalgic childhood days with different memories for each one of us.But of all those years ,i feel my teenage(especially 12 to 15) was the most dramatic one in  life with so many vivid thoughts and imaginations.As a gal hailing from a traditional Brahman family (though grown in a city),I was prohibited from hanging around with friends after school ,movies ,late night returns to home,etc.It was home to school and back to home.But the time in between at school used to be fun.I had one friend who was very dear to me and we used to hang out together even though it used to be during school hours or during our dance/music classes after school.We used to discuss so many fascinating topics for teenagers , have fun in our own way by throwing our lunch boxes and having a banana leaf served meal for lunch at our favorite restaurant at Mangalore.(i forgot the name)and also the "ragada patiese"a famous chat served at a small chat corner.And my finance was from my pocket money and if that fell short,then it used to be stolen money from my mom's purse.
                  My friend and me had strange attractions towards the opposite sex then ,her choice of guys kept changing ,once it was this guy from our boys school guy who used to play flute (she was crazy for flutes),and then it was the restaurant  guy ,who was fair,charming and  was"blue eyed",which mesmerised her.Even i had one crush at those times ,a paint shop cashier!oh my...I remember ,everyday when i used to travel on my dad's motorcycle on the way to school ,we used to exchange a unexplainable look : it seemed as if our eyes exchanged a lot of thoughts and words.
         We also had these bizarre thoughts crossing our minds about the "world end"which was assumed to be in 2000 and had our own" forecasts ", imagined the sequel later .My friend even had this idea of eloping with the restaurant guy on the last day of the world if both survived.There was one more drama sequence which we had imagined in our real lives:this happened when i was annoyed and hurt for some matter by my parents .We thought of being "free birds" just eloping away ,and having our own lives and not relying on our parents for anything ,depending on each other and being friends forever. But then the question arouse"what if one among us fell in love ?"Then we had to be in a contract as to not get married!because things would change if one of us get married.We imagined and floated in our self created "fantasy world".Now after so many years ,when i rewind and picture those days ,i feel ..why was i so weird then?I know this is pretty much common to most of us and everyone have a story to share ,don't you?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A contagious phenomenon




Have  you all noticed that every morning we wake up by either stretching ourselves wide or having a huge splurge in and splurge out of air.We are sitting idle just gaping at the sky ,and are lonely ;or are too busy with loads of work and need to stay awake ,then too we have this wide yawn and stretch.Some of the common situations ,where you and me would have experienced a loud /silent yawn:  A  lecture  session is going on at college classroom  and we have our involuntary reflex yawn and consequently end up going out of the classroom .Ur friend/wife is talking some "so called interesting topic ,or narrating a story /gossip",and your yawn makes her frown:)So your yawning would signify the opponent person that you are "bored". Even a very persistent strenuous effort to avoid this would be in vain,because this phenomenon is so involuntary!My grandma always used to say that somebody is trying to remember me ,when I was yawning too many times ;so this was a very common myth i heard from lot of people later too.There may be a lot of other myths associated with it too.Also, if you noticed ,if we see someone yawning,we too catch up that yawn ,feels as is it was some "contagious disease" to catch up!If you are sitting with a group of friends and having a talk,aDoctor's waiting room or a reception area where lot of people are waiting you have a yawn ,and all other too!or imagine the scene of a meeting at a conference hall,where one ignorant person yawns and then the whole bunch of people repeats this as if it was a hierarchy to be passed on!Some people may even have a yawn with just the thought or discussion of yawn ,no wonder if some of my readers catch up a yawn!he he. And as a dentist ,i have one small piece of advise to all my readers :Donot yawn too wide ,because who knows?you may tend to fix your jaws or have a dislocation of your jaw joint next to the ears(we call it as Temperomandibular joint/TMJ) .I am serious!      
           The question:why do we yawn? I went through a few articles and found out that' yawning' had lot of theories to explain its evolution.The one which i felt most suitable was that we yawn to incorporate a lot of oxygen within our body.When we are sleepy ,and we need to stay awake ,we need to get rid of the excess CO2 and stuff in as as much of o2 into our body.So a yawn can help us achieve this;that's because when we yawn ,our lungs expand and pushes our diaphragm down ,and we breathe in lots of oxygen ,and breathe out the excess co2 in our body.so how's the logic?sounds gud right? But then this theory was not approved by all the scientists and researchers and they felt  lot of possible reasons.Wickipedia narrates the possibility of some neurotransmitters like dopamine,serotonin,nitric oxide being activated as the prime cause of yawning.Also wickepedia states that the "imitation of yawning ";that is when" one person yawns ,the other too does"can be related to showing some sort of "empathetic behaviour".I can explain this :We humans have a tendency to always relate ourselves to another individuals situations and experiences ;same happens when a person "yawns",we would be trying to relate  and experience that person's bore dome and thus involuntarily we would also yawn!strange but true.Also it is also implicated that some "mirror neurons " present at the frontal cortex in brain may also be responsible for this imitation act.)

Reference:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yawn
                   http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/human-nature/behavior/question572.htm
             

Friday, October 8, 2010

WHEN THE TURMOIL STRIKES....

Have you all wondered many a times in life "why only me of all?".yes this is what we question most of the times when we are succumbed to some critical situations in life.I used  to feel once that its only me who is always in trouble ,but then it's a coincidence that I have acquainted/witnessed  some real life stories which have inspired me to face the challenges in life.
    
      This is a story of a gal who lived her life like a princess with all the royalties and pleasures in life ;and why not ?she was the daughter of a person who himself lived  a life of a " king "and was respected by the entire society .Hailing from a traditional Brahman family ,she had to get married early and there was a hurdle to the process of looking for a right mate.Every proposal she received would be deceived from her through a family enemy ;and so eventually she was forcefully married to a guy with an unappealing education ,position ,status and also appearance and attitude.She tried to be as compatible and accommodated herself to the new environment ;but fate had a bad game for her in treasure. Time moved on and she had 2 kids in her hand and managed both work and home ;but poor husband had no time for her and her kids.He was too busy with his college lectures,tuition's and his own commitments;the zest for money overruled emotions and there was turbulence at home.Finally the person reached up to the point of physical violence and asking for a share of his belongings from the home;he wanted a separation,an unofficial divorce.This stage went on for a few years;meanwhile the lady  had to find ways to mange her 2 kids ,their education and well being.She moved to a different city requesting for a transfer and also a higher wage ,and managed to achieve that.Eventually over the years she had a divorce from the person ,and he was also least bothered about the kids.She achieved new horizons in life from the career perspective now,manged to even buy a flat through a loan and also give good education to the kids in a very good school.Her parents ,brother were only there for moral support,and she was aware of the fact that internally they were not pleased with her.These situations are pretty much common in the USA ,but Indian society is still way behind all these;the blame game would only be towards the lady and the society would not accept this. Some people would even cook up stories and also reason out that she had betrayed her husband and moved to the city and questions aroused about her character also.At times even she would be pressurised for a remarriage from her parents due to the social pressures,but she would ignore all these because the kids needed all her affection ,and also she needed time to come out of the previous circumstances.
            The kids grew up and it was already 5 years since all this happened ,and elder kid was in class 10 and younger in class 8.Now the kids were so understanding and loving ,that they too started to plead their mom to get married ,since they were bothered about her secure future in their absence when they grow up ans settle down with their jobs.The younger kid was particularly insistent on his mother getting married and was requesting her that he too had a wish to live in a ambiance of a" complete family".With not much of difficulty,a right match was found ,and the person she married had also 2 kids and was betrayed from his wife.He was understanding and caring ,the way she had dreamt her life mate should have been.Everyone where happy and they lived happily thereafter.
                        But wait, the story doesn't end here;as if god envied her happiness ,she had another disaster waiting.They had been to the picnic to a beach one fine day and when both the kids (younger one of the lady,and the younger one of the second husband)where playing ,her dearest child was engulfed and carried away into the ocean in fraction of seconds .the other kid who was also present there almost in par with him was safe.It was just bad fate.She was helpless and there was nobody who could fight the ocean and save him then ,because the tides were bad that day ,and they were not aware of the fact.So this is her present tense,and the story continues...
         2)  This is one of the instances of my husband's close friend who had a secure family life with mother and his brother staying at Bangalore at their own house,and they (wife and son)staying at USA .Life was going on smoothly and suddenly a bad news struck him regarding his brother's loss in his share marketing company ,and that all the loan lenders were pestering him to return their loans.As an elder brother and eldest in the family it was his duty to settle his brother's loans ,and so he had to spend all his life time savings on his brother;it was huge amount (1 .5 crores).He had also spent the previous year on his own house construction at Bangalore and also as a very helpful person, had spent 1000 's of dollars helping his friends in need.This was a huge financial hurdle for  him.Meanwhile, his son also was going through some sort of disturbance ,and was constantly complaining of stomach pains ,and one fine day while bathing him,his wife noticed a bulge on his stomach and felt there was something wrong .They took him to a doctor and after all the necessary diagnosis ,he was diagnosed with "cancer of the kidney" .The kid was just 4 years old and had to go through the process of surgical biopsy and then chemotherapy on  a weekly basis.Now that he was left helpless  financially ,he started requesting his money back from his friends ,and couldn't even get it back when needed;but somehow managed to receive the help from some other friends.His insurance limits had already crossed ,and he was spending thousands of dollars now,through the period of one year.  Chemotherapy proved successful and the child was recovered and even started going to school one month back.Now recently again we heard a news that the child had been for his regular check up,when the doctor noticed a "black radio dense circle" in the radio graph ,and suspected it to be some sort of infection ,and kept it under observation for 6 weeks.We tried convincing the parents ,and told them to have a positive approach ,and be affirmative that it could be an infection,and would subside.But after the painful 6 weeks wait on"bed of thorns" the parents came back from the doctor's visit ,with a diagnosis of "cancer in the lungs"and the scar which they saw ,had now started growing and  was 1 cm wide from 0.2 cm. Now the child is scheduled for another surgical biopsy on Monday,and then the story continues....
       These are few stories which I witnessed and there are few others which leave me very disturbed and I keep wondering "Life can have unexpected drastic uncertanities and twists in treasure "We have no control on life when the turmoil strikes. I recently happened to see a movie which had lines"Live each day as if it is your last day". I truely feel at times that this is true;having  a secure future is good,but bothering too much about future ,makes no sense.Enjoy your life at present as a  god's gift.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"PROUD TO BE INDIAN"?!!



  This is ironical;but true.All those people criticising CWG at delhi are now in full praise after the grand opening.Now all of a sudden i can see all praises everywhere;media ,social networking sites,news and common man,and also patriotism overflowing .Inspite of millions of rupees spent and goofed by politicians and organisers ,amidst all the controversies ,amidst the negative demotivative statements by many ,including mr .Chetan Bhagat  in Times of India ,this event opening went on in full zoom.(Pleading the youth not to support the event in a intention to moralise the politicians and corruption was infact ridiculous from mr Bhagat's side.) I needn't be a news reporter by repeating all those happening news from there(like the spectacular event opening, cultural diversities displayed ,the largest helium baloon in the world ,huge support extended by the indians ,etc etc.)Let's wait and see for more masala happening news ahead,once the games begin.And friends, following the crowd, akin those messages all around , why not even I  claim " proud to be an Indian":)So funny but true: people realise now that they are proud to be INDIANS!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

THE FAIRER AND THE DARKER SIDE OF CWG




NOTHING MUCH TO SPEAK ..THESE PICTURES SAY IT ALL .ARE WE REALLY TO BE THAT HUMILIATED AS IS SHOWN IN THE MEDIA?

PLEASE NOTE: THESE PHOTOS ARE NOT MY OWN AND I OWE CREDITS TO   http://www.oyeindia.net/commonwealth-games-village-in-delhi-photos/ YOU CAN VIEW MORE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THIS LINK .


ALSO CHECK OUT THE OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWING UNFINISHED PREPERATIONS/SO CALLED"FILTHY UNLIVABLE CONDITIONS" PHOTOGRAPHS ALSO ;OBSERVE CLOSELY ON TO WHAT THEY HAVE FOCUSED (unfinished cement and dirt crapson sinks and toilets;tobacco stains ,construction workers..are construction workers not needed to construct something?;a dog walking in cwg premises!;flood in delhi...so they mean we should be holding a control over the natural calamity also?and do they think we would just leave those water and floods without adressing them? )

YES AGREED THERE ARE SO MANY SHORT COMINGS ..BUT HAS ANYONE GONE INTO THE DEPTH OF THE PAST ;HOW PATHETIC THE CONDITIONS WERE IN THE PREVIOUS HOST COUNTRIES ;HOW WAS THE ACCOMODATION FACILITIES (MANCHESTER HAD A HOSTEL FOR ACCOMODATION).
I JUST PONDERED WITH SO MANY THOUGHTS;SO JUST FELT LIKE PUBLISHING THIS.

 






Monday, September 27, 2010

Reality shows no more a reality ,but still love watching them why...?

I remember those days when we all were waiting for the Friday evening to watch our favorite Antakshari hosted by Annu kappor on Zee television or Saregama by Sonu nigam .Those days were dominated by only such entertainement shows.
                And then came an era loaded with so many entertainment shows ;initially occcupied with singing shows ,which was later modified as "reality singing shows"with audience interactions and voting; continued by  shows like "Kaun banega crorepati "were even a megastar like Amitabh Bacchan came into scene and later replaced  by every every possible superstar in Bollywood.It was so fascinating to watch these favorite superstars on Television screen.But this was also a diminishing facade.Every channel had to survive the war for the fittest in the" reality world"and prove their hierarchy!.They strived hard ;tried imitating and mimicking so many foreign channel shows and succeeded also .We had "Big boss",Indian version of "Bigbrother";we had Indian idol" ,again Indian version of "American idol" ;we had "Khatron ka khilady hosted by Akshay kumar , inspired by  some other famous shows...the list goes on .
        Now it is a rage of all possible singing and dancing reality shows with "3 idiots",i mean 3 celebrity judges usually(no hard feelings for anyone particular..love them all)with their profound advices for the contestant. Ironically,it seems like the whole world is filled with singers and dancers alone.Every single channel has a singing /dancing show hosted!And each show have film stars every week publicising and promoting their movies and giving their valued opinions .At times ,even the channel promotes its next upcoming serials /shows on this particular reality show.Most of the times you can see all these judges with weird facial expressions for their favorite singers and strange actions .You can see them dancing ,singing ,fighting with the contestant's parents ,getting into arguments with each other,and what not! We have very humorous scenes, love proposals,emotional dramas,goofed up family sentimental stories from the judge's and contestant's side.Its a" full pack masala movie",.directed by an intelligent director.We know that it's all a facade ,but still enjoy watching them .why ?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A peek into the tedious 41 days ritual of "shabarimala"

Shabarimala is the famous shrine located at the summits of western ghats surrounded by 18 hills of Kerala in pathanamthitta district in India.Millions of devotees visit this temple every year ,after following the strict 41 days "vrata" or customary ritual to have a glance of their favorite lord "Ayyappa"Some people who cannot observe this vrata for that duration,practise it for a minimum of 3 days to 1 week and visit the temple.It is considered that observing the 41 days vrata purifies the body and soul of the devotee and helps him achieve the heavenly abode ,by washing away the previous sins of the present and past incarnation. A strange customary practise of this temple is that ,only men visit this temple mostly and the girls before puberty or women who have crossed menopause.The logic behind this is related to a historical story.
Traditional attire of the devotees
          Let me highlight a few rules to be followed in the ritual :
  • "Vrata "begins by wearing a holy garland of"rudraksha" beads ,which is delivered by the temple priest or guruswami.A person who wears this is considered to be a  strict bachelor /"sanyasi"/"or a "swami".
  • Get up early in the morning  before sunrise and  have a bath with cold water and also in the evening before prayer.
  • Do the regular prayers to lord "ayyapan" by having a 108 chants of lord ayyappa ,and perform the "aarthi" twice a day ,morning before sunrise and evening after sunset.If  possible visit temple of lord ayyappa.
  • Eat only after your prayers in the morning.Food should be perfect vegetarian and also should contain rice only once a day/partial fasting. The food should not include the previous day items and also should be freshly prepared after a bath.Some people even observe fasting throughout the day and eat only at the end of the day.
  • Strictly speaking some people do not shave or cut their hair/nails throughout the vrata period.
  • The costume to be worn is a black /dark blue "mundu" /"dhoti"or approx 4 feet long cloth to be wrapped around the waist.and a black shawl to be worn over shoulders,with the holy "bhasma "or charcoal powder to be applied over forehead and arms. (but today we have short cuts for everything and people wear black pants and then wear a black shawl over the shirt )
  • People do not wear footwear throughout the vrata period.
  • Sleep should be least comforted ;they should be sleeping on bare floor or on a mat ,and not on a mattress.
  • Sacrifice all wordly pleasures ,quit smoking ,alcohol ,tobacco.
  • And most of all ,married people should remain perfect bachelors and maintain distance from woman or  have a sex free life during these day.
  • Perform a pooja and "annadana"or food offering to people at the end of 41 day period.





The devotees dancing their tunes to devotional songs on the way to the temple .





Shabarimala premises





  These are the few rules which a person under"vrata "has to abide on..I learnt from my husband ,the reasons to follow these. In fact most of the traditional rituals have some logic behind them;and so is with shabarimala vratam.The black/dark blue robe is to signify that these people are following the" shabarimala vrata"and all unhygienic people /ladies having their menstrual cycles have to stay away from them,whilst the ritual followed would be disrupted. In the olden days and in fact even now many of the travellers take the strenuous approximately 48 km walk to the shrine ,which involves forests ,hills and terrains.A person cannot walk these tough path with his footwear on and would find it better to cover these routes bare footed;and additional to this ,it is also considered auspicious to walk barefooted .That is why a person prepares himself prior itself by walking barefooted during the "vrata "period.The stringent rules which they follow ;like bathing with cold water ,sleeping on the floor,fasting ,all these are done  to condition the body to the toughest of the situations during their walk to the shrine and make themselves " resistant "to all obstacles.The journey would take them 4 to 5 days and they would have to shelter themselves by either camping or taking shelter under forest tree houses;bathe in the river each day even under extremities of weather;availability of food is also unpredictable .This is how the tough rituals of the vratam originated and is actually a "preparatory test"for the real exam.Even today all these rituals are followed through generations ,and even though science and technology has advanced so much ,people still have to walk around 6 miles trekking all the way to the divine temple of shabarimala situated at the hill top, from the pampa river ,as there is no acess to vehicles till the temple door step.All these are considered heartfelt offering to god from our side and there have been no manipulations on these.
This is a mosque which the devotees visit on the way to shabarimala temple.(India which has Hinduism as a dominant religion ,portrays unity in diversity )

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Riddle solved

I am extremely sorry to keep you all waiting .I had a nice weekend trip to "Yosemite national park"(lol).I really appreciate all your views and most of them suit this well .But what i had in my mind when i wrote this was different.
                If you replace the first word of all the lines with the word "Tears"then you will see that it will suit well .I can explain this ."tears "are an integral part of you..it has its evolution from the tear glands!Tears are sometimes very meaningless...yes we sometimes tend to cry unexpectedly,just for very silly or almost no reason,and sometimes very meaningful(suited for the occasion).
  They are associated with most of the circumstances of life may it be sorrows ,sadness,happiness..etc.They are always there with you throughout life , like your true friends to console you whenever you need them.There can be no best remedy for your sorrows than your own tears ,because tears tend to relieve you when you are stressed.Theories have proven that "Tears "are nothing but compounds of salt and also contain Hormone "prolactin" and these hormones tend to relive stress.Also ..if these tears weren't there then we would really go to a "depression"or a sort of "insane" condition as i mentioned .That is the reason that most of our elders and friends ask us to "cry out "during a sad mourning occasion.My next line of the prose"they are there when you are depressed and also overwhelmed"is also understood ,because most of us have tears in our eyes when we are laughing heartily for a joke or when we are extremely happy;we have "tears of joy"also.Tears also help you protect against dust  and any other foreign particles and act as a shield to your eyes.So now tell me aren't tears really a "boon"to us?

Friday, September 17, 2010

can you name ?

I just felt like penning down a few words about these "X"and just thought of expressing them in the form of a riddle .Let me give a hint "it's not a living thing".

These are an integral part  of our existence.
They sometimes seem meaningless ;and at times filled with so much sense!
They are the  best buddies who stay with us throughout our life.
They are associated with almost all the circumstances in life.
They are there with you when you are depressed and also when you are overwhelmed.
Their presence is like a" boon" and we would be literally "insane"without them
They are always there and appear before you whenever you need them ,like a true companion.
So ..what are they ,can you name them?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Now Face book ...next what?!

I remember those days in Internet a year back when i used to log on every day at least 2 to 3 times to".www.orkut.com " keep checking the scraps and photos . Now almost a year later i stand here ..almost checking orkut once in a new moon, or not even that much and also least bothered to upload my photos there,or check scraps from my friends.Its such a human tendency to keep changing and demand for innovations.Now its the turn of"www.facebook.com" !We all have this one week point of just going with the crowd and "trend", may it be for gud or for bad.Sometimes i really wonder the reason for logging on to  these social networking sites;especially this facebook which shows news and updates not only from your friends to you personally ,but from them to their other friends ,who are not at all personally linked with you!Yes.. ..i know you would say "that's how the social networking sites work.we like"socialising",knowing friends of friends ,etc etc.But in this busy practical world,when its really hard to maintain a handful of friends we know ,is there a point in expanding and just having them in your "friend list",when you really don't personally know them?Also one page loaded fully with so many links ,posts ,messages ,games ,internet sites ,photographs ,and what not!uff ,its like a "full meal at kamat's",pretty hard to digest..But its a nice way of interacting with friends you know ;also to rediscover your old lost school /childhood/college friends.Also i have found a nice way to publicise my blog, so i like it :).But sometimes ,i sit and wonder .."first orkut ,then facebook ,next what? what would be the latest innovation from another 'genius' to let the crowd catch up the trend?



PLEASE NOTE:NO COMMENTS ON THE FACEBOOK BADGE NEXT TO THE POST!:)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Google's instant cafe

This is a new revolution in Google's trends.As always google has proved itself as "trend setters"and are of course unique also. With so many search engines being in tough competition;Google still has maintained its monopoly and is still aiming high!So what's so different about "Google instant"?
                Google claims that people take 300 milliseconds to type and take only 30 milliseconds to glance throughout the page searched for. So by introducing google instant ,they are trying to reduce the time taken for typing and making it much faster. We type just a letter of the word to be searched ,and it gives us lots of options related, which would obviously be most appropriate.Just start  typing and you can see predictions right in front of you,just at a click.Its like a  Hindi saying"chutki bajake'.Similar to how the kids say A for "apple" ,B for ball..,..this says .."Amazon';AOL,Apple,etc..''I typed my name 'rajashr' and wow! it was at the first few  in the list showing as "Rajashree prasad' with face book details and blogger details!
                                                               Introduced on September 8th, this is now available to users in USA ,UK ,France ,Germany ,Italy and Russia and will  soon be extended.It has some additional features like "safety guard" for violated contents ,which could be turned on while usage ;getting automatically' turned off' ,when the Internet is slow .The guided predictions help you find out what is needed ,when you don't exactly know what you are searching for ;and also the most related search item is highlighted .Also the related matter appears only with 2 or 3 letters of the word and you can stop typing as soon as your related matter appears. They would soon introduce this feature to be accessed through cell phones also.            
             
           

Monday, September 6, 2010

Grandma tales of "Bells and Pradakshina"

I always remember my grandma telling me some captivating  mythological stories and answering my unlimited questions realted to certain rituals .I felt like sharing these few views from my grandmom's excerpts.


We Hindus have a customary practice of ringing bells at temple. This custom is also followed at homes in the worship place /’pooja room’. Of the several logics behind this tradition, the most appropriate one would be to awaken the god “.does that mean god is sleeping? Well, obviously the answer is “no”. We all are aware that god is omniscient and may not need to be woken up. But what the people believe is that, act of ringing a bell after our prayers, creates alertness and invokes attention of god towards us, and that our prayers have reached his ears. We also ring bells during an” arthi” pooja /worship of god. This also again signifies the same .Also some mythologies claim that these bells drive the evil spirits or any bad omen away .There has also been claims that ringing bells would drive away all the distractions of human mind and reassure their presence of mind during the prayer and creates a positve "aura".Aarthi is almost the concluding part of the worship and we want to make sure that lord has heard all our prayers.


‘Pradakshina’ -This is a customary practice of moving around the temple outer “ankana” or premise with the almighty as the centre point of “reference”. This signifies that lord is the “CENTER OF ORIGIN “, everything revolves round him; just like how the planets revolve around sun ,with sun as center. Our lives are associated with the lord’s blessings; our sorrows, our joys are related to him; he is the force behind all the drives. This ritual is a way of cannaughting gratitude to the lord. Also while revolving around the statue of god, with god at center; a communication is aroused between the person and lord through the positive vibes /energy channelized from god to us. We also circumambulate 3 times to ourselves in front of the lord; sometimes with a recital of a “mantra” that says”yaanikani cha papani ,janmantara kritani, taani kaani vinaashanti pradakshine padepade”.This “mantra” translates that whatever sins we have committed in our life and also in the previous lives,are washed awayor demolished by the repeated “pradakshina”.