Friday, April 29, 2011

About my visit to "Swaminarayan Akshardham", New Delhi.

On the day of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s demise, 24th April - Easter Sunday, I was at New Delhi, on business. As I was having breakfast and watching TV at my Hotel – Signature Grand, I heard of Baba’s demise. The news upset me. I was following his health reports ever since he became ill on 28th March and got admitted into his super speciality hospital at Puttaparthi. His failing health was causing anxiety but I was very hopeful that he would recover. I called home to share the news and the pain it was causing me. A few family members and close relatives who know of my devotion to Sri Sathya Sai Baba called me to enquire how I was taking the sad news and to comfort me.  I kept watching various TV channels as information on Baba’s life kept pouring in. All this was causing more depression so I decided to go to a Temple and spend some time there in prayer. Then I remembered “Swaminarayan Akshardham” which I had not visited before.
I entered “Swaminarayan Akshardham” at 5 P.M. and I was there up to 8.20 P.M. This pilgrimage; to this sacred centre of our culture, traditions, wisdom, art, heritage, history and values brought about a soothing affect. I wondered why I had not visited "Akshardham" before. The attached photographs and the video immediately below this article will give you an impression of this lovely, grand and peaceful place. And for detailed information on "Swaminarayan Akshardham" you may click on the following link:
http://www.akshardham.com/


P.S. One should not miss Yagnapurush kund, a fascinating combination of Vedic Yagna Kund with 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines and the lovely Musical Fountain Show there at 7.45 PM depicting the deities of earth, water, fire, air and changing cycles of life from creation, sustenance through to destruction and eternal life with excellent music and commentary. Towards the end of this post you can see particulars of Swaminarayan Akshardham Timings, various Ticket Rates for exhibitions and Location Map. Please note that Monday is a holiday and the timings furnished below are subject to change. 
video

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I am grateful to Sri Sathya Sai Baba, my devotion and thanksgiving is perpetual.

OM SAI RAM
Sri Sathya Sai Baba is laid to rest today morning. He needs no introduction; all Indians and many people all over the world know him. His life and greatness is known to me to some extent; but there is no need for me to write about it as so much literature written by his followers, most of them very prominent persons and spiritual experts from all corners of the world is already available. I am writing this article today to express my gratitude to Sri Sathya Sai Baba for guiding and blessing me over the past thirty-eight years. I am ever grateful to him for his help and blessings. I have and I shall continue to follow his teachings and pray him for his support and blessings for all of us.
My wish is that those who do not know much about Sri Sathya Sai Baba should make an attempt to read about him and understand his immense contribution to society. He has endeared himself to millions of people through his life, his teachings, his service to society by blessing good health to the sick and by helping those with problems and by extending large scale help during turmoil and calamities all over the world through thousands of his “Sathya Sai Seva Samithi” (Service) Organizations spread across the Globe, and by promoting standard education, best medical services, housing and drinking water facilities. Knowing about such a person would be helpful and add to one’s knowledge.
I hope all the good work started and run by Sri Sathya Sai Baba will continue and grow for the benefit of the needy. May he guide and bless his devotees in this respect.  
Sri Sathya Sai Baba will be remembered and revered forever, as long as there is life on earth and he will always take care of us. My faith may baffle some and they may have doubts; but I as a beneficiary of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s kindness am sure that I shall remain his devotee forever.
OM SAI RAM

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today we celebrate Earth Day! Let us unite to prevent further destruction of Earth, let’s SAVE Mother Earth!

I made the above poster, an ugly one with dangerous litter everywhere and parts of a felled fruit bearing tree. To make it much uglier and sorrowful I could have put images of all those birds and animals we have killed and which can no longer be seen on Earth. And I could have put pictures of the dirty canals and ponds of Hyderabad and charts showing the dangerous noise and air pollution levels. And on a global level the projections of Earth abuse would be more menacing like Global warming / Climate change, Nuclear fallout, depletion of forests and natural resources and what not, the list would be quite long. With such graphic presentation here, it would give an impression that Mother Earth is beyond repair. My intention of this poster and article is not that, it is to remind of the abuse done so far and to request everyone to take up the responsibility of saving Mother Earth from further destruction.
It is 40 years since the world community started observing Earth Day to protect Earth’s natural environment. I understand that this movement brought about a lot of awareness and commitment among many people and Governments to protect environment, at many places in the world. But here, around me I see nothing being done. In the name of a useless ‘Road widening’ in front of our house, five trees in our house and several along the Road have been felled. This is a constant; everyday ongoing process in the Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad in the name of a new colony or a new road but we rarely hear of planting trees. It is just a microscopic number of people here who seem to be concerned about the well being of Earth and its future. I am sure you are one among them.
There are many things that people around us have to do; to safeguard environment. Plant trees in the house or along the Road, if possible. Save water - use cautiously. Save energy in every possible way, electricity, petrol, cooking gas. Use plastics and bags that can be recycled. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and stop littering. And the local Civic bodies and the Government have much to do to take care of Mother Earth, I hope they realize this at the earliest.
Finally, imagine the above poster without the litter and logs; but with more plants, more flowers, a few butterflies, a few birds and it will get transformed into a lovely scene. And that is how Mother Earth should be; Bright, Beautiful, Bountiful, filled with Happy and Healthy Life. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Watermelons! Watermelons!! The Food of Angels!!! Are Everywhere! At Hyderabad.

Hyderabad is flooded with Watermelons; you can find them everywhere, in malls, fruit markets, roadside carts and temporary stalls. Earlier, Watermelons were available exclusively during summer. But nowadays they are available over longer periods and in abundance in summer.
Large scale demand and availability speaks for itself about the popularity of Watermelons among the people of Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. There is no doubt that it is everybody’s favorite summer fruit, from toothless children to toothless elderly persons. Its color is appealing and every bite soft and crispy with great taste and flavor, filled with ample juice is very refreshing.
The simple carving of a Watermelon-vendor you see at the top of this article is by our 5-year old granddaughter; Sudhiksha, with some help from us.
P.S. I called Watermelons as “The Food of Angels” based on what Mark Twain once said: “When one has tasted Watermelon he knows what the Angels eat”. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hyderabad rejoices! As their home team – “Deccan Chargers” finally wins at home!

video
video
Yesterday’s Indian Premier League-2011 Cricket Match between Hyderabad’s Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore was nowhere close to the Finals but it was cause for wild rejoicing at Hyderabad. Though Deccan Chargers have won the IPL 2009 - Season 2 Championship; they have not won a single Match at Hyderabad since 2008. It took them three years, eight IPL Matches and two Champions League Matches to finally break the annoying record of perennially losing at home.
Last night Deccan Chargers won against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad amidst wild cheering and applause. And all over the city and among all followers of IPL tournament there was happiness and relief as the Team finally won at Hyderabad. It was a very impressive victory. Batting first, DC scored 175 runs for 5 wickets and in reply RCB could score only 142 runs for 9 wickets. Hope such performances and trend would continue with DC and they would once again win the IPL Championship this year.
The Videos and Photos in this article are of the cheering at the stadium yesterday, and of some Match Souvenirs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

HAPPY SRI RAMA NAVAMI!

Today is the festival of Sri Rama Navami. On this happy and auspicious day of Chaitra Shukla Navami; the Birthday and Wedding day of Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy, I wish you all a Very Happy Festival. And I wish and pray for the blessings of Sri Sita Ramachandraswamy; to be upon us all, always”. I am an ardent devotee of Sri Rama; I have a special affinity for him as I am named after him and his dynasty (Raghu Rama), and as we lived at his footsteps close to his abode ‘Bhadrachalam’ for almost 30 years.
I have posted a few photo-articles earlier on Sri Rama Navami and Bhadrachalam. You may read these articles by clicking on the following links:
video
(News of Sri Sita Rama Kalyanaotsavam at Bhadrachalam)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Congratulations! for controlling Food Rates at Parliament House Canteen.

Dear Members of Parliament,
Congratulations! on controlling food prices at your Canteen. They are surprisingly very low. It certainly is the cheapest restaurant in whole of India. Congratulations! once again on your achievement.
Could you please step out and strive to extend the same or near about prices to people who have elected you. Hope you know that the prices all over the country are rising and that the majority of Indians do not earn like you, a Tax free income of Rs. 80,001 per month. And for them nothing comes free or subsidized like house, electricity, water, cooking gas, telephone, daily conveyance, all India travel, top class medical care, international holidays and what not. Of course, as great leaders of people you deserve whatever you think you deserve and you can make rules and laws to earn them. I have no complaints against your perks and freebies but after seeing the Menu Card of your Canteen, I thought I should inform you that the prices outside Parliament are different and you should do something about food prices. It will make people happy.
And to do this you must first destroy all the vicious means, methods, schemes, scams and corruption which are a part of our politics and governance. I am making this request with some hope, but I know you would not care to listen to a commoner like me. That is why almost every well wisher and responsible citizen of the country is supporting Anna Hazare! Listen to him, bring in strongest measures to eradicate corruption and work sincerely for the welfare of the people. Otherwise, after next elections you will not be able to enter the country’s cheapest restaurant you have established in Parliament House. And most importantly you would lose your beloved Power which earns you whatever you want and protects you from everything? So Take Care!
P.S. Followers of my blog and visitors, please study the above poster to appreciate “Parliament House Canteen Food Rates”.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Yet another Cricket Tamasha in the offing! / IPL 2011 / IPL Season 4.

It is hardly a week since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Tournament has come to an end, and it is now time for another Cricket extravaganza! - The IPL, Indian Premier League Twenty20 Overs Tamasha. 
The ICC Cricket World Cup Championship (50-50 Limited Over Matches) commenced on 19th February and after 49 Matches in 43 days it came to an end on 2nd April 2011. And from tomorrow, 8th April India is going to witness another 74 Matches in 51 days that is until 28th May 2011. Over three months of Cricket! Over 120 Matches! What more does India want!
Thanks to BCCI, ICC, IPL, Hero Honda, Vodafone, Samsung and scores of other sponsors who are conducting Cricket Matches in a row year after year between two countries or three countries or between any number of countries that they can rope in for some Cup or the other. Wish more countries would start playing cricket, especially Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar, so that we can enjoy Cricket round the clock and discuss Team and Player performances and mind boggling Cricket statistics with some help from Cricket analysts and commentators available in plenty with every TV channel.
Someone said “Test and County Cricket is like Scotch and Irish Whisky, One day (50-50 Over) Matches are like IMFL-Indian made foreign liquor and Twenty-20 Matches are like country liquor”. To him I would like to say; that many people I know love intoxication to such an extent that they will enjoy consuming any liquor unmindful of its quality. God save them and God save Cricket.
Now coming back to the IPL-IV Matches, there are 2 Groups playing, each consisting of 5 Teams. As I said earlier, they will be playing 74 Matches in total over 51 days, starting from tomorrow, to decide the Winner on 28th May. The 2 Groups and Teams are as follows:
GROUP “A”
Deccan Chargers
Delhi Daredevils
Kings XI Punjab
Mumbai Indians
Pune Warriors
GROUP “B”
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kochi Tuskers Kerala
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Rajasthan Royals
Chennai Super Kings
And the Schedule of the Matches is as follows:


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dear Sri Sathya Sai Baba, please get well soon.

There is only one religion, the religion of Love;
There is only one caste, the caste of Humanity;
There is only one language, the language of the Heart;
There is only one God, He is Omnipresent.
                                      -Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, India’s most popular spiritual leader, was rushed to the Super Specialty Hospital – “Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences” at Puttaparthy, on 28th March when he suffered a bout of pneumonia and respiratory problems. Since then he has developed further medical complications and is keeping bad health, causing anxiety and agony to millions of his followers in India and abroad.
Baba’s heart condition, lung congestion and other problems are treated but there is concern over the functioning of kidneys. According to the latest news bulletin on Baba’s health, there are signs of improvement in the functioning of his kidneys. However Baba is still on dialysis and is on ventilator to help him breathe properly.
I am a beneficiary of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s help and blessings since 1973, on countless occasions. Though I did not get to talk to him, I had the opportunity of being in his presence four times and I look forward to more such occasions. I pray for his speedy recovery.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ugadi Greetings!

Today is “Ugadi” festival, the first day of the Telugu New Year. On this happy occasion, I sincerely wish you and your family a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. You may please click on the following link to see and hear my greetings, accompanied by the auspicious “Gnana Vinayaka, Gambeeranatai Raga - Nadhaswaram”:
And to know about the festival in detail, you may read an article I wrote on “Ugadi” last year, by clicking on the link below:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cricket World Cup - Victory Celebrations @ home and Hyderabad.

video
After a long wait; a gap of 27 years, India has won the Cricket World Cup by beating Sri Lanka in the finals today. It called for a celebration at home and then we witnessed and enjoyed massive victory rallies in the city. The above photographs and the video will give you an idea of the joy and celebrations at Hyderabad. As the Match was in progress and people were glued to their TV sets; the traffic on all Roads was near-empty for almost eight hours. But soon after winning the Match, people poured on to the streets bursting crackers, waving flags, distributing sweets, blowing horns, and shouting in joy; in praise of India. Reveling and the frenzy of Hyderabadis was at its peak, as never before. Thank you Indian Cricket Team for winning this great honor for our country and bringing us so much joy.
The photographs below are of the cash awards Lalitha has won in connection with some good performances of our Cricket Team during various stages of this World Cup Championship. To know about cricket rewards at our house; you may read the following blog-posts of mine, by clicking on these links:

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...