Sunday, August 15, 2010


It's one of the most amazing sights in South India. The mornings are abuzz with women folk out on the streets decorating the entrance to their homes or their courtyards with kolams or rangoli. They draw this kolam  with a white powder called as kola podi. Not only are these kolams artistic and a delight to the eyes they are also considered as an auspicious beginning for a new day.Such is the importance of these kolams that any house not having a kolam is usually either vacant or in mourning. People here widely believe that kolam bestows prosperity on the homes and it becomes a daily ritual.

These creations are in various forms---- free running of lines, with dots and an array of mind boggling geometrical shapes. From simple and small figures to very big and interesting designs, these kolams also act as an ice breaker and bring people closer

And to be born in to auch rich culture and not creating these wonders is blasphemous!!!!! I promise myself that before i leave trichy, i will learn to draw atleast one or two of the complex wonders.!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Civic Sense

I came across an article in NDTV web page on the success story of Delhi Metros. The message was loud and clear that if its success has to be replicated in other parts of India, the civic sense of people in general has to undergo a mammoth change. My parents who are currently visiting my sister in Swiss tell me how impeccable the country is. More importantly the attitude of people in keeping their city neat and clean is amazing they said. This set me thinking. While we Indians keep our homes clean, we do not think twice before spitting/ defecating on the roads. A sense of callousness and general apathy are truly the hallmarks of our people here.

How can we bring a change----??
a) Better Infrastructure and diligent maintenance. For example more sanitary/toilet facilities on roads with adequate maintenance regularly. This will help in slowly curbing the vice of treating roads as personal lavatories.Innovative lavatories without use of water like waterless composting toilets can be slowly and steadily introduced.

b)Even an educated person is guilty of lack of civic sense. So widespread awareness among people is the only way out. Print and electronic media can be positively used to bring out change.

c)Fines are Fine---- Charge fine if people do not adhere to basic decency. Spitting/shitting on roads is not acceptable and that must be adhered regularly. Offenders can be punished in a novel manner by asking them to clean their own shit/spit. This can be initially started in a few places and will sure put off people from doing in future.

Lastly like every drop of water adds to the ocean, every person's commitment in making the country a cleaner, better place will definitely pack a punch

Poles Apart!!!!

This morning i saw a lady instructor on the road mentoring car driving. Couple of grown ups, men mostly were also behind the driver' s seat. On the hot seat itself was a burly college kid getting a hang of the roads. She deftly manoeuvred the bumps and pits on the road and was simply a treat to watch. I felt a thrill that ladies who are always written off as bad drivers are today teaching how to drive. It's nothing new, but i am in Trichy which still is not that metropolitan as compared to other cities.So i felt very kicked about it, as if i myself were tutoring those people. Now let me tell u a contrasting side to the woman folk in our country.....

A magazine had a detailed write up on the sorry state of woman folk in certain villages in our country.Places far and wide in India have still not woken up to the Incredible India!!!! . Women in those places are being brutally tortured physically and mentally branding them as witches. can u believe it??? It is totally humiliating when i read that women are tainted as witches by powerful people just to settle some scores or because they may have rebuffed sexual advances!!!! On one hand we have women venturing in all areas that were so far thought as men's only domain , and on the other such brutal practices exist.

Education alone can to a great extent alleviate us of such misery. Not only that empowering people in general and women in particular is the need of hour. More cooperative jobs in villages can be the start. Also, living in cities we need to give back our knowledge and resources to uplift the less fortunate.

Is this justice enough????

Today the verdict on the accused of Union Carbide aka the Bhopal Tragedy was given by a local court. The eight accused in that fateful industrial disaster are convicted though the former chairman of the plant is still absconding. The sentence that is expected is a maximum of two years in prison along with a fine of Rs 5000/-.
The verdict is after an agonizing 26 years and is an absolute hogwash and makes a complete mockery of our judicial system. There is a hue and cry over the sentence given and the victims are expected to move High Court. I am sure you will all agree that the quantum of punishment for such a disaster is not enough. More than eight lakh people were exposed to the gas leakage. While an estimated 15000 died a lot more have suffered in numerous ways and of course the effects of the leakage passed on genetically cannot be ignored
In such a scenario how much is enough. Years back the supreme court had brokered an out of court settlement with Union carbide absolving it of all criminal and civic liabilities. The amount received has not been doled out effectively and what has already been given is hardly any compensation for the mental and physical agony the victims and the family endure.

various other cases come to my mind where the justice served has really not kept in pace with the hurt, angst and desperation of the people concerned. One that immediately calls for attention is the Ruchika Molestation case. After years of seeking justice, the family could only ensure a 6 months jail for the accused in question. Just imagine the sheer agony ruchika must have undergone before she took the extreme step of taking away her life. Her family had to endure misery untold.Other charges on the DGP like abetment to suicide are also being investigated but i am sure there will be equally some appalling loop holes which will help him evade law. Merely stripping him of the President's medal can in no way ease out the harassment the family faced.

Likewise the Jessica lal case can be quoted. After years of toiling the accused Manu Sharma gets a life sentence by the Supreme Court.From 1999 when jessica was shot till 2010 the case went through several dormant, passive and active stages with various key witnesses turning hostile. Now that the sentence has been granted the family must indeed heave a sigh of relief that frantic appearances in court, threats from accused family notwithstanding they have got justice.

Such cases are few and far between . Even as i talk about justice being delayed and being inappropriate to the misery, i cannot ignore the popularity status than can be used and tweaked by the celebrities and practically get away with murder. Salman Khan's jeep ran over some pavement dwellers killing one and injuring three. Also his involvement in Black Buck shooting also cannot be forgotten. These cases bring to light the apathy that is our judicial system

Common man is slowly losing his faith on the system , sporadic cases of justice served not withstanding. The system needs to get more transparent and accountability is the key word. Also speedy dispersal's of the case can give the whole system of justice a shot in the arm

Brahmapureeshwar Temple--- where the Destroyer Resuurected the Creator !

I heard about the immense power of the temple for Lord Brahma in Tirupattur. Like we all know there are a very few temples for Brahma in India.But this temple has a very interesting mythological tale to it. More on that shortly. We left for Tirupattur from Woraiyur, Trichy. The journey was about 30 kms and the fresh morning breeze made our drive very enjoyable.The NH-45 to chennai was scarecely with any traffic and we reached the toll gate before samayapuram very easily. After paying the toll amount, the man in the booth directed us to stick on the highway till the next place siruganur. 8-10 kms on the road saw us reach siruganur. A government school was on the left of the road and a small road in left directed us to Tirupattur. There was a board indicating 5 kms more to the temples. The road was quite narrow and the place was littered with dirt and dust. There was also a graveyard and we saw a body still burning. We reached the temple shortly and place was abuzz with quite a crowd. There were a few shops at the entrance selling lamps, flowers and other pooja stuff. The lamp stall had a board asking the devotees to light lamps according to their wish. Armed with flowers, archanai thattu and lamps we entered the sanctum. 

The main deity was Lord Shiva as Brahmapureeshwarar. The story goes that Lord Brahma had 5 heads and and started acting superior. This angered Lord Shiva and he destroyed one head and also rendered him powerless. Lord Brahma realised his folly and prayed in this place by installing 12 lingas. Shiva in turn blessed Brahma and gave him back his lost powers of creation.He also blessed Brahma with changing the fortunes of people who come praying to Him in Tirupattur. So the Brahma shrine is considered as a fortune turner and people of this place genuinely believe that there will be a turning point if any devotee has a darshan.
In the temple we immediately were drawn to the crowd thronging the Brahma Idol. An abhishegam was just getting started and the place was packed. We managed to light the lamps and get a foothold before the idol and witnessed the entire abishegam. Lord Brahma was bathed in Milk, curd , sandalpaste. We took a quick round of the temple while waiting for the gurukal to decorate the Lord. We saw 2 more shiv lingas other than the Brahmapureeshwara himself. We came just in time for the gurukal to collect our archanai plates. He made everone sit on the floor and explained the facts about the place and the Lord Himself. He also asked everyone to have a darshan of the Lord eye to eye and not sideways. This he said was to get proper blessings of the Lord. Then admidst the chanting of mantras and the tolling of bells Lord Brahma was unveiled after the Alangaram. It was a sight to behold. Lord BRahma with his four heads in a sitting postrurewas completely smeared with turmeric powder and decorated with garlands . After the grand aarthi prasadam of the turmeric paste from his body was distributed. We sought blessings from the lord and did'nt want to leave his arresting presence. With a promise to come back again soon we came out of his sanctum and proceeded to the shrine for Brahmanayagi where another one of the 12 lingas was there. After her darshan we took a pradakshina of the temple compound which was scattered with the rest of the 12 lingas. The lingas are:-
Sri Bhramapureeswara,
sri pazamalainathar,
sri pathala eswarar,
sri sudharaneeswarar,
sri thayumannar,
sri sabthagereswarar,
sri kalathinathar,
sri jambukeswarar,
sri kailasanathar,
sri arunachaleeswarar,
sri ekambreswarar,
sri manduganathar

Each and every linga was inside a small structure and looked very deserted and wornout.
Some devotees were distributing Chakarai pongal and puliyodharai which we devoured .

The temple also has a meditation area which doubles up as the samathi of Pathanjali Munivar. Even after coming out of the temple the images are still fresh in memory and i am resolved to go there as soon as possible