Friday, July 31, 2009

Trip to ‘Tokyo Disneyland’.
























I went to ‘Tokyo Disneyland’ during my first trip to Japan. I went to Japan twice, the first trip was of two and half months and three years later I went there again for three months. These visits to Japan were in connection with my Company–Praga Tools Limited’s technical collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-Japan, for the manufacture of five different models of ‘Mitsubishi designed - CNC Horizontal Machining Centers’ in India. These long visits gave me an opportunity to visit Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagoya, Osaka, Fujiyoshida and neighboring places a number of times on official works combined with sightseeing and shopping.
Tokyo Disneyland is truly called as the Kingdom of Dreams and Magic. It takes less than 20 minutes by train from Tokyo station to reach Disneyland. We have to get down at Maihama station which is adjacent to Disneyland. Tokyo Disneyland was started as a replica of the Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland in California. It is a wonderful place to enjoy and see the American and Japanese culture mingle. It is very clean and run with excellent Japanese courtesy and efficiency. Some say that it supersedes the American amusement parks.
I was there for one full day, starting from the first hour till late in the evening. I visited as many places as possible. It is not possible to see everything because of long queues at some places, time constraints or fear of some amusements like the roller coaster. I am told that the layout of this park is just as its counterpart in America. It has seven themed areas named as World Bazaar, Adventureland, Westernland, Critter country, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland. The entertainment was plenty and one day was too short for all this. I felt bad as my family was not with me on such a beautiful day at this wonderful place.
At the entrance of Disneyland is the World Bazaar, with shops, restaurants and shows. The shops sell a variety of items and many Disneyland mementos. Adventureland is home to several classic Disney attractions like the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Tiki Room. Westernland is the ‘American Old West’ with a frontier town, steam boats, shooting gallery, an American fort, wooden walkway along the river and cowboys. Critter country - as you paddle around the rivers of America here, you get to see beautiful views of Tom Sawyer Island, Critter country and the Splash Mountain. Fantasyland is the most attractive area for children with several true Disney related characters like the Peter Pan’s flight, Snow White’s adventures, Pinocchio’s daring journey, Dumbo the flying elephant, Castle Carrousel, Haunted mansion, It’s a small world, Alice’s tea party and Pooh’s Hunny hunt. Toontown attractions are, Minnie’s house, Mickey’s house, Roger rabbit’s Car toon spin, Chip ‘n Dale’s treehouse, Gadget’s Go coaster, Donald’s boat, Goofy’s bounce house and Toon Park. And the Tomorrowland’s attractions are, Star tours, Space Mountain, Micro adventure, Star jets, Grand circuit raceway, Astro blasters, Ride & Go seek and the Magic Live on Show.
The above pictures are of me, at some of these theme parks.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Visit to England.


I went to England for training at the Warner and Swasey Turning Machines Company. The training was originally scheduled at the Halifax factory in West Yorkshire. But after our ticketing and few days before our departure from India the Company was taken over by Bendix Automation Limited and shifted to Telford in Shropshire. Our team on this visit consisted of three members. We flew from Bombay to London via Dubai. At Dubai our aircraft landed for over two and half hours so we made some purchases at the airport and mostly enjoyed the window shopping. And from London we flew to Leeds/Bradford airport as per the original travel arrangements though Birmingham is the nearest airport to Telford. We were received at the Leeds/Bradford airport by the Chief Marketing Manager of the company, who took us in his car to our Hotel in Telford, by covering a distance of about 175 Kms.
The training was on Operations and Maintenance of a W & S Universal 315 CNC Lathe which we have procured from this Company. The machine was ready for dispatch and apart from the training we also had to inspect the machine and witness the job trials on it. Being winter we had a short daytime of about 7 hours. Every evening after training we used to go out for shopping or nearby sightseeing. There are a number of Indian restaurants in the close by town of Wolverhampton, some of which we visited. During two evenings we were invited for dinner by the company personnel. During two weekends we went to London travelling by train from Wolverhampton. We went on sightseeing for the first time by bus and then on subsequent days and trips we went for shopping and sightseeing on our own mostly travelling by London Underground/Tube trains.
Surprisingly my son Srinath is now connected with all these far off places from Hyderabad to which I have been. He is in England since September ’08. He was initially residing in Wolverhampton but he is now staying in Birmingham and pursuing Post-graduation studies at Telford.
On our return journey we flew from Birmingham to London. We stayed in London for a day. As Government of India employees our Hotel accommodation between connecting flights is taken care by Air India and on all flights we are seated in the comfortable ‘Club Class’. The next day we flew non-stop to Delhi and from there to Hyderabad. The above pictures are from this trip.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Remembering Hiroshima.


Yesterday on 26th July; INS Arihant, India’s first indigenously built nuclear-powered Submarine was launched by the Prime Minister at Visakhapatnam. With this achievement India has now the ability to fire Nukes from land, air and sea. India is a peace loving country and has a strict policy of “No first use of Nuclear Weapons”. And these achievements are to safeguard the country from the threats it foresees and to keep pace with the technological advancements worldwide. All this is to be happy about and to be proud of but with the sincere hope that such weaponry will never have to be deployed by any country or a group of people.
Atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have taught lessons to the world to be very careful with nuclear weapons. Some countries have heavy stocks of nuclear weapons but all countries are sticking to the policy of – ‘No first use’ and this caution has lasted for 64 years now. May this wisdom prevail forever.
In ten days from now; on 6th August a ‘Peace Memorial Ceremony’ will be observed at the Peace Park in Hiroshima. This will be the 64th anniversary of the Atom bomb dropped there, which killed about 90,000 people instantaneously and the number reached 140,000 by the end of 1945. Later many more persons died over the years due to the ill-effects of radiation.
I visited the Peace Memorial Park at Hiroshima. It is built in memory of all those people who have died due to the Atom bomb which was exploded exactly over this area. Today Hiroshima looks modern and as grand as any other city in the world but it is only when you visit the Peace Memorial Museum that your mood would change to sadness. The museum has a number of exhibits in the form of pictures, articles and posters giving the details of the Atom bomb, its effects on the people and the destruction it caused. As you enter the museum you can pick up a cassette player of the language of your choice and as you listen to it you will be directed to various exhibits and get an explanation about them. The temperature generated by the explosion was so high that it burnt buildings and persons in the vicinity of 2 Kms. This Memorial Park has come up in Hiroshima’s erstwhile downtown area which got reduced to a barren land after the explosion. The top photograph is of the Peace Memorial Museum.
The other two photographs are of the Memorial Cenotaph and the Atomic Bomb Dome. The Cenotaph is at the center of the Peace Park, it is a concrete saddle-shaped monument. It contains the names of people killed by the bomb on 6th August 1945, those missing and also those who have died in the subsequent months and years. The epitaph on the Cenotaph reads: “Rest in Peace, for the error shall not be repeated”. The last photograph is of the Atomic Bomb Dome which is also in the vicinity of the Peace Park. The building is the skeletal remains of a Government Office above which the Atomic explosion has taken place. It is left as it is, in memory of the causalities and to this a sense of sacredness is attributed. This structure is on UNESCO World heritage list.
Japan is striving for eradication of nuclear weapons all over the world. Japanese firms in India do not supply items to any weapons manufacturing units. May the efforts of Japan and all countries and leaders who are striving for a nuclear-weapon-free world become true.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shravana Masam.


Today is the first Friday of Shravana Masam. The Telugu Lunar month of Shravana Masam started yesterday; 23rd July, and it would end on 20th August. This is a very auspicious month for us and specially Fridays – Sharavana Shukravaralu. Today my wife would be preoccupied until late afternoon with religious activity. As I am writing this blog she is busy in the pooja room performing Gowridevi pooja and reciting Lalitha Sahasranamam. Earlier she had prepared Naivedhyam – especially payasam (food offerings) for the Gods along with her daily chores of breakfast and lunch for us. Soon, the invitees, her sisters, sister-in-law, few neighbors and her Kitty party friends would be arriving when Lalitha Sahasranamam would be recited followed by Pasupu-bottu (Haldi kumkum in North India) and Lunch. My sister is unable to attend this function because of a minor eye-operation my brother-in-law is undergoing this morning. This and few more such religious traditions are for seeking the blessings of the almighty for all round well-being of the family.
This entire month one would find many people visiting temples, especially ladies. Just as my wife has invited friends and relatives for Pasupu-bottu, pooja and Lunch almost all Telugu families practice this tradition.
These are centuries old practices in the family and we have great belief and respect for these rituals and traditions. My mother who is 89 years old is happy with us on this count and I hope our children would continue this, though I leave it entirely to their willingness and convenience.
On this occasion I would like conclude with the following ‘Peace Prayer’:
Om Sahana Vavathu Sahanav bhunakthu
Saha Viryam karawavahai
Tejasvinavadhithamasthu
Ma Vidvishavahai
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.
This means:
Together may we be protected
Together may we be nourished
Together may we work with great energy
May our journey together be brilliant and effective
May there be no bad feelings between us
Peace, peace, peace.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Lunar eclipse caused the Crescent mark on my forehead!!!


On 22nd July morning (today); starting from 6:24 AM there was a total eclipse of the Sun along a corridor of India. Starting from Surat, the solar eclipse could be seen in and around Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna, Darjeeling and Dibrugarh. Along this corridor a bright morning turned into night for almost four minutes. From rest of India the eclipse appeared as; close to total and partial eclipse. However it was not visible in Hyderabad and many more places due to dark rain carrying clouds. This long duration; total eclipse was of great scientific and historic importance because the next one is going to occur only after 123 years!
There are many common traditions and superstitions followed by millions of Indians during and after an eclipse. We should not eat during an eclipse. Food prepared before an eclipse should be discarded or if it is to be compulsorily preserved the food should be covered with a lid and on it fine short grass called ‘Garkha’ in Telugu should be placed. During the eclipse, pregnant women are not to go out. They should not hold sharp items like scissors, knives, needles, keys etc., because of the fear of children being born with cleft lips and deformities. They are to lie down and remain still during the duration of the eclipse. After the eclipse; the flooring in the house is washed, everyone takes bath, Pooja room is cleaned, all the photos and idols of Gods are washed, decorated and lamps lit before the images of Gods. Lakhs of people who may find it convenient go and take a dip in holy rivers to cleanse themselves from the ill effects of the eclipse. Only after bathing and pooja, fresh food is prepared for the day.
All the temples in the area of the eclipse are closed. After the eclipse the temple premises are cleaned and special poojas are performed for the well being of everyone. In case the eclipse coincides with the school and office commencement timings, the reporting time is rescheduled to suit the fulfillment of eclipse related traditions and superstitions.
Interestingly, most elders in the family believe that a Lunar eclipse left a physical mark on me. I was born by Caesarean operation and with a pink Crescent mark on my forehead. When my maternal grandmother saw this she began to weep and quarrel with the doctors and staff stating that they have injured the baby. The doctors convinced her and everyone that it has nothing to do with the operation. They said that it is neither a bleeding cut nor a superficial scar but a fine soft Crescent-shape growth and it is a sort of birthmark. Then my grandmother started blaming my mother for this mark. I was born on November 16th and three months prior to my birth in August there was a Lunar eclipse when my mother was asked to lie still as per superstitions explained above. Even as my grandmother was protesting my brother who is elder to me by 4 years went to my mother crying and asked her to make a Train using empty match boxes like the one in the above picture. My mother made a Train by arranging the match boxes on her stomach. So my grandmother believed that this mark on my forehead is because of my mother’s Train making activity during the eclipse. My grandmother totally believed in this theory and told everyone in the family and outside about it for decades. So everyone in the family thought so! This is a prominent Crescent mark, 60mm long and similar to a two days old waxing moon! It was much more prominent during my younger days. It is my birthmark in all known records.
Hope this blog post doesn't catch the attention of Indian TV channels or non-believers of these eclipse related traditions and superstitions, there would be infinite debates, condemnations and assents!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yet another ‘Karthika Masam, Vanabhojanala- Birthday party’ of mine!


This is in continuation of my blog of yesterday-19th July: ‘Karthika Masam, Vanabhojanalu and my birthday parties’. In yesterday’s blog I explained the meaning of Karthika Masam, Vanabhojanalu and how I celebrate my birthday-16th November outdoors in orchards and farms in case it coincides with the Telugu month of Karthika Masam.
This blog is of another such birthday party which was well attended by many family members in 2003. This day-long picnic was at the mango grove of our neighbor a High Court Judge and a family friend. The mango grove is about 40 Kms. from our house and about 10 Kms. beyond the famous Keesaragutta Shiva Temple.
Just as we were packing for the picnic and relatives began to assemble at our house we received news of my brother’s youngest son Uday Bhaskar’s selection to M.D.S. Course at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. So it turned out to be a day for double celebration. In addition to the Birthday greetings extended to me everyone was happy about Uday’s achievement and congratulated and wished him the best.
The Picnic was attended by the families of my brother, sister, my niece and my wife’s brother and sister. We all started from our house by 8:00 AM in five Cars, carrying with us snacks, soft drinks, breakfast and lunch. Soon after reaching the mango grove we had breakfast. Then we explored the huge mango grove. Children played cricket for sometime as we sat chit chatting. Later in the afternoon we had a sumptuous lunch sitting under the shade of a number of coconut trees. After some good rest under the trees we played two rounds of Tambola. We remained in the farm up to 5:30 PM and as we were leaving we took a group photograph, which is in the top row of the above panoramic picture.
This is how I have been celebrating my birthday every time it falls in Karthika Masam to everyone’s happiness. And I am glad that everyone is able to participate on this occasion. Hope this will continue in future too. God bless us.

Karthika Masam, Vanabhojanalu & my birthday parties.


I have celebrated a few of my birthdays in orchards or in fields; under trees, especially when it falls in ‘Karthika Masam’. My birthday is on 16th November and this date sometimes coincides with the Telugu month called Karthika Masam. Karthika Masam is considered very auspicious; it starts a day after the major festival of Deepavali. A popular ritual practiced in this month is ‘Vanabhojanalu’ literally meaning having food in gardens. Most families in Andhra Pradesh; as a group of relatives or as members of a large association go on picnics in this month and spend the whole day in a garden or in the wilderness. While my father was working in Singareni Collieries at Kothagudem, persons of our community used to organize ‘Karthika Vana Samaradhana’ on a large scale in our 5-acre mango grove. This tradition continued for over 15 years until my father retired from service and sold away the garden before shifting back to Secunderabad. This experience and tradition has prompted me to host my birthday parties outdoors when it falls in Karthika Masam.
The above photos are of my recent birthday party in a Mango grove 60 Kms. away from Secunderabad on National highway 7. It is also considered very auspicious to have food under a Gooseberry tree (Usiri/Amla tree), which you can see in these photographs.
The families of my brother, sister, my two nieces and the families of my wife’s brother & sister joined us in this celebration. Everyone assembled at our house by 8:00 AM, and after breakfast we started for the picnic, at the mango grove of my friend. We travelled in four cars and on our way we first went to Sri Narasimhaswamy Temple at Nacharam. To reach the Temple we have to take a diversion, a right turn on NH 7 after travelling about 48 Kms. and from there the Temple is at a distance of 6 Kms. All of us performed Archana and had a good darshanam. Then we returned to NH 7 and proceeded to the Mango grove which I had visited on few occasions with my family.
The weather was very good for a long drive and a picnic. Being winter it was cool and more so as it was very cloudy. There was also a light drizzle on and off but it did not affect our activities. It is a huge field of 20 acres with most part of it for the mango trees and some area for paddy cultivation and some area for sugarcane plantation. We strolled around in the mango grove and the fields, had a sumptuous lunch under the trees, played a few games and returned home late in the evening. Everyone enjoyed the outing.


You may see two more blog-posts, related with our Vanabhojanalu-outings by clicking on the following links:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hyderabadi Limericks!

A famous explorer once reckoned
She’d visit Hyderabad in the Deccan
After just one week there
She was heard to declare
“I find the rest of the world, a poor second.”
Minars, Palaces and Nawabs
Double-ka-meetha, Biryani & Kababs
Pearls and bangles too
Lakes of shimmering blue
“Ah Hyderabad – Tera kya jawab!”
Hyderabad, the Pearl of the Deccan
Is a paradise on earth I reckon
Its jewellery, its pearls
Sumptuous food, lovely girls
Each of these independently beckon.
Boti Kabab and Double-ka-meetha
Better than Gajar-ka-halwa & Agra-ka-petha
Biryani sublime, Haleem divine
Shorbha supreme, Murgh Saleem
Whatever anyone serves, we can serve better!
Some seekers come to Hyderabad for pearls
Prospective grooms for marriageable girls
Gourmets flock for food
Far renowned, so good
Small wonder, the traffic here swirls.
Synonymous with Hyderabad, is cuisine
Its Biryanis, Kababs & Haleem
The list is unending
With no end to spending
Add to these, the desserts and the cream.
You can hear the ‘Yemandi’ in Telugu
And the saying ‘Kya hai miya’ in Urdu
The Gujrati ‘Kemchi’
The Sindhi ‘Vadi Saayi’
The word ‘Cosmopolitan’ is perfectly true.
I love Hyderabad from Charminar to Monda
From Moula-Ali right up to Golconda
Of each nook and cranny
Of which there are many
I’m growing fonder & fonder & fonder.
To Visit the beautiful Charminar
And the tempting gullies of Laad bazar
More often we’d go
If only, we’d know
We would find place to park our Car.
Built on the Naubath Pahad is Birla Mandir
There are no words to speak of its grandeur
Lord Venkateshwara’s holy Shrine
Conspicuous from any area in line
Every devotee is granted his wish here.
Hyderabadis are always late
Loosely defining both time and date
You may say, “Oh, please hurry”
But it’s useless to worry
Things will just move at a leisurely rate.
A wonderful city is Hyderabad
A place where few ever work too hard
There is always tomorrow
Today let us borrow
And have fun, for we hold that in high regard.
Hyderabad hai bas ek kahani
Once you have come here & sampled Biryani
You can’t stay away
You’re drawn day by day
By its people, its Khana & pani.
Menus in Hyderabad are unending
On food everyone is over-spending
Be it meats or baghara
Meetha or khara
To one’s palate one is always attending.
When the beautiful bride of Saleem
Made Mirchi-ka-salan & Haleem
He said, “You look good
But this food that you cook
Really makes me want to scream.
Hyderabadi Cuisine is divine
Cause it’s cooked without count of the time
Marinated at leisure
Hand-pounded with pleasure
Ingredients are at their prime.
When you ride in an auto in Hyderabad
It’s like being in a storm or a blizzard
Your bones go clutter clatter
Your teeth they do chatter
If you arrive in one piece you’re quite glad!
On the day when it starts to rain
In a narrow Doodh-Bowli lane
You can swallow a fish
With that magical wish
From Asthma never to complain!
Quli built Charminar in Hyderabad
Everyone thought the King was mad
They didn’t know why
He built it so high
But we are proud of it, Char sau saal baadh!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our names are etched in the beach-sand forever!


We love the Sea, we love the beach, we love the waves, we love the sound of waves, we love holding hands and walking into the waves, we love the strong sea breeze, we love watching the Sun rise, we love the glittering morning sky, we love walking on the beach, we love playing in the fine beach-sand, we love writing our names in the sand but we do not like our names getting washed away by the waves.
There is nothing we can do to prevent this. So we took the above photographs to preserve our names on the beach! For God knows how many years!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Uday Bhaskar's pranks!


My nephew Uday Bhaskar is a Dental Surgeon and is presently working in Al Dammam, Saudi Arabia. He has completed a year’s service there and he is now here on a two and a half months vacation. Since about two months we were aware of his long vacation but were not sure of the date of his arrival. Then since about three weeks he began to inform us that he would be arriving on 13th July. When I spoke to him on 8th July night, he told me of his flight schedules and confirmed that he would be reaching Hyderabad at 10:30 AM on 13th July. We did not believe him initially because ever since he left home in August 1996 for studying B.D.S. at Pune, M.D.S. at AIIMS, New Delhi, and then a job at Lucknow, he has always surprised us by reaching home earlier than indicated. There was also a surprise element in his mode of travel. He used to state that he is traveling by train and suddenly arrive by flight and always when we were least expecting him.
We were more or less convinced this time by his sincere talk but my son Srikanth did not believe him. But eventually Uday Bhaskar convinced my son too; about the date of his arrival. Then suddenly he appeared at home on 10th July afternoon, three days prior to the date virtually promised to us. We were once again surprised and especially happy as it was the day of my father’s ceremony and he could partake in it. There were also some close relatives in the house for the ceremony who were also happy to see him.
Somehow playing these pranks has become a habit with him and we continue to believe him. When he went to Saudi Arabia for the first time on 14th July’08 (that is exactly a year ago) we were thinking that he would be able to come home only after a year and at the most after 6 or 8 months. But he and Hina his wife maintained total secrecy and suddenly arrived at Hyderabad within two months in mid-September ’08. They were here for a fortnight as Ramzan holidays were declared at the College where he is working.
He has a partner in Hyderabad in playing these pranks on us and it is my other nephew Sridhar, my sister’s son. Uday is my brother’s son. Sridhar maintains total secrecy over Uday’s travel plans; he takes care of him if he is arriving by late trains or flights and brings him home at the most appropriate time to surprise us.
On 12th July I made the following comment in facebook on Uday’s pranks: A surprise homecoming as usual! His umpteen homecoming pranks, starting from the times of Pune, Delhi, Lucknow and now Saudi Arabia continue to astonish us!
To this Hina replied: hehe..chacha i tell him that soon all of u will be surprised only when he reaches on the said day!!!...not very far away!

"Ramappa Temple", Palampet, Telangana.


Ancient Temples all over the country are named after one of the several names of the presiding deity and sometimes in conjunction with the name of that place. But Ramappa Temple, situated in Palampet village; 77 Kms. from Warangal town, is an exception. Here Lord Shiva’s; Sri Ramalingeshwara Temple is named after its chief sculptor Ramappa a Vishwakarma Brahmin Stapathi. The name ‘Ramappa Temple’ has been in existence for eight centuries and is a great honour for this artisan and his community. The Vishwakarma Brahmins are a community of five castes, who have adopted engineering, art and architecture professions, they comprise of Goldsmiths, Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Sculptors and Metal (Brass) craftsmen. Lord Vishwakarma is the presiding deity of these craftsmen and architects. Vishwakarma is the Son of Brahma, and is the divine craftsman of the whole universe. He is the official builder of all Gods palaces and he is also the designer of all the chariots of the Gods, and their weapons.
Ramappa temple is now in the care and control of Archeological Survey of India (ASI). The ‘Board of introduction’ put up by ASI at the entrance of the Temple and reproduced by me in the above photographs reads as follows: “This is one of the beautiful Temples of Kakatiya period built by Racherla Rudra, a General of Kakatiya Ganapati Deva. According to a contemporary record this Temple was built in 1213 A.D. The Temple stands on a raised platform with the Garbhagriha, an Antarala, and Maha Mandapa with lateral porched entrances on three sides. The main entrance faces east. The Garbhagriha contains a black basalt Shiva Linga installed on a high pedestal. Inside, over the ceiling of the central Ankana one finds a magnificent display of sculptures depicting scenes from Ramayana, Shiva Purana and other mythological narratives. The striking peculiarity of the building lies in the arrangement of bracket figures above the Kakshasana level decorated with slender, graceful Madanikas, Nagins etc., in different poses. The other units within the Prakara are an imposing Nandi Mandapa, Kameswara and Kateswara Shrines”.
This huge and beautiful Temple stands on a six feet high platform. And the height of the Temple might be around fifty feet. The imposing Shiva Lingam inside the Temple is nine feet high. Some bricks used in the construction are said to be so light that they can float on water. As can be seen in the above photographs the Nandi of nine feet height outside the main temple and the pillars and other sculptures / carvings inside the temple are intact. The outer side of the Temple which is exposed to Sun and rain for almost 800 years looks slightly worn out.
Daily Poojas are performed here and Maha Shivarathri is celebrated over three days. Few devotees from nearby places and some tourists visiting the Badra Kali temple and the Thousand pillars temple at Warangal visit the Ramappa temple and the nearby Ramappa Tank.
We are thrilled and happy with our visit to the Ramappa Temple. I wish this ancient and grand Temple is made popular by the State tourism department so that more people may come and see it and feel proud of our history and the caliber of our ancestors in constructing such a marvelous Temple, 796 years ago!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Never forget another Birthday or a Marriage Anniversary.


HBD = Happy Birthday HMA = Happy Marriage Anniversary
Next week, starting from Monday there are three Birthdays in the family. These Birthdays fall between 13th and 17th July. It will be a week of opportunities to renew relations and exchange pleasantries.
The above list of family members is not complete, so I may please be excused for the few omissions.
I am posting this blog for all those family members who are out of touch with some of these dates.
I hope the above list of Birthday and Marriage Anniversary particulars will serve its purpose – to share love & affection and convey best wishes and blessings to every member in the family on the most important dates and stages of their life.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

“Family, Name-search” Puzzle!


In the above Alphabet-Matrix; the names of 26 members of our family and 4 surnames are present in a horizontal, vertical and diagonal pattern. All the names are typed to be read in left to right or top to bottom direction and not backwards. You are to find the names and circle them as shown in the case of ‘SRILEKHA’ which is inserted twice in the matrix for the purpose of illustration. Click on the image to enlarge view and those interested to play the game will have to Save/Copy the above image and take a printout.
To help you further, all the 30 names to be identified in the matrix are listed below:
AKHIL
ALEKYA
DUBBAKA
GOPI
HEMALATHA
KASOJI
KALYAN
KAMAL
KARTHIK
LAKSHMINARSU
LALITHA
LAVANYA
MOHAN
NIRANJAN
NARAYANARAOPETA
PADMA
RAGHU
RAVI
SUDHIR
SRIDHAR
SRIKANTH
SRINATH
SUNITHA
SRAVANTHI
SUDHIKSHA
UMA
UDHAY
USHA
VIJAYA
YERROJU

Saturday, July 4, 2009

About Paradise Circle.


Paradise Circle is an important landmark of the twin cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad. And it is the most prominent place in Secunderabad. We are proud to be very close to this place. Our house is just half a kilometer from Paradise circle, on Prenderghast Road.
There was a very popular Cinema hall called Paradise at the entrance of Prenderghast Road and adjacent to a Crossroad junction. The Crossroad junction is the intersection of Mahatma Gandhi Road and Sarojini Devi Road. Paradise Theater was the first Air cooled theater in the State with very grand interiors. Only the best movies used to be screened here, movies like Mughal-e-Azam. After the demise of Anjaiah the owner in a major train accident, the theater was referred as Anjaiah’s Paradise.
As in the case of many Cinema halls in the city there was Paradise Café attached to the Paradise Theater catering to the Tea and Snack requirements of the Cine goers. This café was owned by persons from Iran and it gradually developed into a typical Biryani and Non-veg. restaurant with separate cabins for families and then a deluxe section and a Garden section. Paradise Theater, along with many other theaters in the twin cities shut down in late eighties due to exorbitant rise in entertainment & other taxes. While this was the fate of the theater, Paradise Restaurant grew in size. They procured the adjacent Akbar restaurant and renovated the whole place into a huge complex of eateries. The main restaurants are ‘Persis Gold’, ‘Persis Heights’, ‘Persis Roof Garden’, ‘Paradise Take away’ for Kababs, Biryanis and other restaurant specialties and ‘Paradise Quick Service’ for Bakery items, Tea, Cool drinks and Juices. All these outlets are always crowded and the most sought after item here is Chicken and Mutton Biryani.
In the place where the popular Paradise Cinema hall stood, Sunshine Hospital and a shopping complex has come up. The adjacent Crossroad junction is called ‘PARADISE CIRCLE’ and the adjoining places have a common name - ‘Paradise Area’.
From Paradise Circle, the Secunderabad Railway Station and till recently the city’s Airport – Begumpet are just 2.5 & 1.5 Kms. away. The State Road Transport’s - Jubilee bus Stand is only 2 Km. away. Private buses to all major cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune, Tirupati and many other towns ply from a Fire Station next to Paradise Circle. Lodgings can be found all around in Paradise area and similarly many restaurants within walking distance. It is also a good shopping area with many bargain shops of ready-made garments, shoes, luggage, furniture, handicrafts and other novelty items. A recent addition is a mall called ‘Coupon’ selling apparel, perfumes, gift items and shoes. There are many banks, ATMs all over this place. Other main areas of the city and industrial areas are easily accessible from here. Tourists and businessmen visiting the city prefer to stay at Paradise Circle.
We are happy to be in such a prominent and centrally located area but our main inconvenience and complaint is about the heavy traffic during peak hours. I sincerely hope the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and other concerned departments would find a way out to this problem.

Jagannath Temple, Puri.

The most significant of Lord Jagannath’s many shrines in India is the one in Puri...