Monday, January 31, 2011

Surgical fears.

In an emergency surgery there is not much scope for surgical fears but in the case of an elective surgery the anxiety levels are certainly there, ranging from a small degree to a large extent. Years ago I have undergone an appendectomy and my wife a major emergency operation. In our cases we were rushed to the hospitals at Manipal and Secunderabad with complaints of pain and after investigations we were immediately shifted into operation theatres. There was no scope for any anxiety. Doctor’s instructions and hospital procedures had to be followed with no other thoughts in our minds or that of family members and we were relieved of our pain after the surgeries. In this context I have always referred to surgeons as next to Gods and the operations as the ‘kind acts of the surgeon’s knives’. I have written a detailed article on my appendectomy operation which you may find interesting; you may read it by clicking on this link:
Another surgery has now come up in the family. It is not an emergency. The treatment commenced some months ago to overcome the problem but as it has been recurring it was decided to conduct an operation. After getting admitted into the hospital and several tests and investigations the operation was slated for this morning. Hours before the operation, based on a result of some routine tests the surgery has been postponed by about a fortnight. Getting discharged from the hospital later this morning was a big relief but as the date for the operation is fixed once again our fears and anxiety would resurface. This is despite being in the care of a team of senior and well experienced doctors.  
P.S. I have not named the surgery or the person. It is a major but common surgery and the person involved is bold, it is those around who are worried. You, please do not worry…thank you for your prayers and wishing us the best.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Amidakuji.

While abroad, we learn quite a lot even from very young children. When foreign colleagues invite us to their houses we get to talk to their children. With grown up children it is always two way communications. I ask about their school and education, their future plans, their hobbies etc. They too have a number of questions to ask like why I do not eat beef, why I am a teetotaler, do Indian youth fall in love and so on. With smaller children who are as shy as Indian children it takes some time to befriend them by offering some sort of entertainment, with their parents as interpreters. And it is through the small Japanese children you see in the topmost picture I learnt about some games like “Amidakuji”, “Jan-Ken-Pon” and “Chopsticks”.
I have found “Amidakuji” very interesting, it is a sort of lottery purely based on luck and it is played on a piece of paper. It is impossible to manipulate the results! As you can see in Fig.1 above, a paper is folded vertically and opened up to form creases equivalent to the number of players or instead light vertical lines are drawn. At the bottom of each line a ranking, a gift, a reward or a winner/winners and losers are indicated. As a sample; in Fig.2 above, I have indicated rankings 1 to 5 in some random order.
With the rankings or gifts portion kept folded and hidden from the players / participants, each player is then asked to choose a vertical line and write his name or initials at the top of the line as show in Fig.3.
Then each player, one after another is asked to draw horizontal lines connecting any adjacent vertical lines. Each player can add any number of horizontal lines as per his choice between any two vertical lines. For clarity, I have asked the players in this sample game as shown in Fig.4 to use different colored pens to mark their horizontal lines. Usage of color pens is not required, any pen would do.
Then you may unfold the rewards section and start determining the winners as follows. Starting from the vertical line originating from the name of the player trace down the path with a pen until you reach a horizontal line, then move along the horizontal line and when you reach the end of the horizontal line move down along the vertical line there, until you reach the reward location. Follow this procedure for each participant as shown in the sample Figures 5,6,7,8 and 9, below:
Intriguing pairing! that will never go wrong! "Amidakuji" is simple, but with astonishing results. Try it, you will like and appreciate it. Thanks to the lovely children who taught me the game.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Glog, on the plight of Telangana.

Please follow the link below to see the above poster with the animation in it and listen to a Telugu song titled; ‘Gaaradi chesthunru, gadibidi chesthunru…’ from the Telugu movie – “Jai bolo Telangana”. The poster and the song reflect the disgrace, deprivation and deceit being inflicted on the people of Telangana.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Deepa Pooja.

The above photographs are of the “Deepa Pooja Festival” held this morning at “The Zoroastrian Club”, which is behind our house. More than a thousand ladies participated in this well organized and successful Pooja.
One important form of worship is prayer to a Deepam that is a Jyothi, a Lamp or the Flame. In the absence of a Deity, an Idol or a Picture of a God or Goddess, worshipping the Lamp as a form of Deity of one’s choice that is Ishta Devatha is normal. Vedas say that God exists in five elements that is Pancha Boothalu that is Earth, Water, Air, Fire and the Sky. People may worship God through any of these elements.  Light or fire, the Deepam or Jyothi represents one of these five elements and is a manifestation of God. Many people perform prayer rituals to the lamp every day. Before any Pooja the oil lamps in front of the deities are well decorated, lit and maintained till well after the Pooja. In my childhood and for many years later we had the tradition of respectfully offering a Namaskaram / Namasthe to the first lamp, lit at dusk, oil or electrical!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One of my first Glogs…

Please click on the link below to see and listen to one of my first Glogs. I hope you will enjoy the poster and the song:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sankranti Greetings!


WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A VERY HAPPY SANKRANTI.
Last January I wrote three articles on Sankranti Festival. These Photo-Blog-Posts are on Sankranti Festival, Bhogi Pandlu, Muggu / Rangoli and Kite Flying. You may see them by clicking on the links below:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

God’s “Operation Dirty Chowkidhar” liberated the people of “Adhistan’istan”.

N.B. All characters and places appearing in this article are fictitious. Any resemblance to real places or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
There is a country by the name Adhistan’istan of which many would not have heard. It is called a democratic country but a strange twist here is that it was mostly in the control of one dynasty, a sort of monarchy. The dynasty is called Adhistan so the country which runs according to the whims and fancies of Adhistan and its coterie is called Adhistan’istan. This country is known as a peace loving country as it maintains good relations with all its neighbors. But unfortunately it has several internal problems, like corruption, poor infrastructure, unemployment, under development, inflation, strife and demands for justice in some provinces.
Controlling law and order in Adhistan’istan is the responsibility of a department called the Chowkidhar Department. This country imported the word Chowkidhar from India. Chowkidhar means Watchman in many parts of India. This article is about a cruel and cunning Chowkidhar of Adhistan’istan. He rose from lower ranks of the Chowkidhar Department to higher positions by licking the boots of Adhistan and its coterie. He did everything possible, mostly evil to protect the misdeeds of those governing the corrupt Adhistan’istan. So when this Chowkidhar retired from service, the Adhistan felt that the services of such a loyal one should be used to benefit them. His lifelong loyalty earned him the post of being in charge of any Province that has people fighting for rights and justice (this post is equivalent to that of a State-Governor in India). He was extremely happy with his employment and the power and comforts he got from it. He moved from one Province to another earning a bad name among the people. As a Chowkidhar, he led most of his life amidst criminals so his wisdom and knowledge was restricted to think and act like criminals. He always felt that wielding his baton and gun would suppress any demand of the suffering people. He could do nothing to prevent the growing corruption and inflation. He was not bothered about the shortages and sufferings of the people. He was not bothered about the outright looting, cheating and fooling by one powerful section of people. He could do nothing to ensure and keep up the promises, agreements and assurances made to people. The civic amenities were at the worst and he did not bother about them. Any complaint and protest by the general public was silenced with his baton or gun. He became a dictator in whichever Province he was posted and curtailed the freedom of the people and the press. However he regularly sent reports to the Adhistan that everything in his province is under control, peaceful, bright and shining.
This went on for quite a long time. Then the common people and their immediate leaders united as never before and rebelled against the Chowkidhar and Adhistan in a big way. Without the support of local leaders and politicians the dictatorial rule of the Adhistan became unstable. General Elections were conducted and due to the overall misrule of the Adhistan and the ways of the cunning Chowkidhar, the Adhistan lost miserably. A new set of people came to power, hopefully good people. The Country’s Adhistan members, a few of them foreigners, sneaked out of the country. The Chowkidhar was put in prison for his misdeeds and murders. And the country’s name was changed to something relevant to the history, culture and dialect of the people.
All this happened suddenly because of one villain, the cruel; cunning and bootlicking Chowkidhar, all for the good of the people. And fortunately in this process the inefficient and corrupt, behind the scenes decades of dynastic rule came to an end.
Moral: God has many interesting ways to end the suffering of people. God through his “Operation Dirty Chowkidhar” liberated the people of “Adhistan’istan”.
Disclaimer: All characters and places appearing in this article are fictitious. Any resemblance to real places or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sanghi Temple Complex, Sanghi Nagar.

There are hundreds of Temples in and around the Twin Cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad. I have recently read that there are over 700 Temples of Sri Anjaneya Swamy alone in the City. Some of them are centuries old and some of recent origin - especially those that have come up in new colonies of the ever-growing City. Among the new temples, the most beautiful ones have also become tourist spots like the Birla Mandir on Naubhat Pahad in the heart of the city, the Sanghi Temple Complex and Ratnalayam Temple in the outskirts of the city.
Today I am writing about the Sanghi Temple Complex that has come up in 1992. It is so beautiful that a large number of Telugu movies have scenes of this Temple. The Temple Complex has also become a big tourist attraction.
The Sanghi Temple Complex is located 30 Kms. from our house along National Highway No. 9 beyond Dilshuknagar, in Sanghi Nagar. The Temple Complex is constructed and maintained by the Sanghi family, a family of prominent businessmen and industrialists. The Temple is constructed on a hillock called Paramanand Giri. The Temple construction was carried out by and under the supervision of an internationally acclaimed sculptor Padmashri awardee, Sri Ganapathy Sthapathy. It is built in the style of South Indian Temple architecture taking into consideration all the religious rules. The presiding deity of the Temple Complex is Sri Venkateshwara Swamy. The imposing and beautiful idol of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy is 9-1/2 feet tall. Other Temples in the complex are also equally beautiful. The other Temples are of Padmavathy Devi, Lord Shiva and Parvati, Ashta Lakshmi, Lord Sri Rama, Sri Vijaya Ganapathi, Lord Kartikeya, Sri Durga Devi, Sri Anjaneya Swamy and the Temple of Navagraha deities. There is a Kalyana Mandapam in the Temple Compex and a Goshala with over 400 cattle. And there is also a beautiful garden called Pavitra Vanam, here. The tall and beautiful Raja Gopuram can be seen from several kilometers away. Every inch of this Temple Complex is beautiful as you may notice in the above photographs.  
It is a place the residents and visitors of Hyderabad would admire and love to visit frequently for enjoying the beautiful atmosphere, offering prayers and seek divine blessings.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Nacharam, Medak District.

The above photographs are of us at Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Nacharam, and the River Haridra adjacent to the Temple. This Temple is situated along National Highway 7, and it is exactly 54 Kms. from our house at Secunderabad.
Sri Narasimha Swamy is our “Family Deity” that is “Kuladhaivam”. Though we visit Temples of all Gods with great reverence, somehow a visit to Sri Narasimha Swamy Temple anywhere becomes a little more significant and satisfying; perhaps due to generations of ancestral bonding. I have written in this column earlier of two ancient and popular Temples of Sri Narasimha Swamy, not far from Secunderabad, which we visit as often as possible. They are Sri Nampally Narasimha Swamy Temple at Nampally, close to Vemulawada and Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at Yadagirigutta. You may click on the links below to read about Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy and these two places of pilgrimage:
Coming back to Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Nacharam, it is the closest to our house compared to the Temples at Yadagirigutta and Nampally, with an excellent Six Lane Road. Just after we cross the Toll Gate (before Toopran Town) which is about 46 Kms. from our house we have to get off NH7 and drive to the right for 8 Kms. to reach Nacharam and the Temple Complex. Of course it is not that the other two Temple Towns are far off, Yadagirigutta is 64 Kms. and Nampally 140 Kms. from our house.
The Temple at Nacharam is a very ancient one. It is said that; after Sri Vishnu in the incarnation of Sri Narasimha Swamy killed the Asura King Hiranyakashipu; he was in a very angry mood and roamed into this area, as no one was able to stop and pacify him. Sri Lakshmi Devi met him at this place and after seeing her Sri Narasimha Swamy calmed down and regained his original form of Sri Maha Vishnu. The sculptured idols in this Cave Temple signify this episode. This place got its name as Nacharam from a local devotee named Nachar. It is also known as Nacharam Gutta and Yeluru Nacharam. In ancient times it was known as Swethagiri and also as Gargeva Thapovanam. The Temple is along River Haridra across which there is a dam now. There are few other Temples around the sanctum sanctorum, that of Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy, Sri Anjaneyaswamy, Lord Shiva, Sri Dattatreya and Navagrahalu.
There are a number of Sevas conducted here every day and Utsavas from time to time in a very orthodox manner. Sri Sathyanarayana Swamy Vrathams are performed here every day by a large number of pilgrims.

We love visiting this Temple often and of course the to and fro drive and the food en route at Dhabas!   

Kamadhenu – the sacred cow which grants all wishes and desires!

Universally it is a well known fact that Hindus venerate and worship cows.  Cows are considered as eternal sustainer...