Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wish You All A Very Happy Deepavali / Diwali.

Dear All,
Wish you all a very Happy Deepavali. May the year ahead and times ahead bring you immense happiness & prosperity. Please be careful with Crackers and have a very safe Deepavali.
You may see my earlier exhaustive photo-blog posts and videos on our celebration of Deepavali festival over the years; covering traditions like ‘Harathulu’, ‘Bommala Koluvu’, ‘Crackers/Fireworks’ and ‘Festive Foods’, by clicking on the links below. I hope you will find them interesting and informative:
Deepavali Harathulu:
Deepavali Bommala Koluvu:
The Joy of Crackers & Sparklers:
Telangana’s quintessential sweets of Deepavali are Garijalu and Pheni:
Our Deepavali Celebration Pictures – 2014:
Deepavali Bommala Koluvu at Srilekha; over the years!
Deepavali Bommala Koluvu and Fireworks! - 2013.
Deepavali Harathulu - 2013.
Our Deepavali Festival Pictures - 2014.
A glimpse of our Diwali celebration! - 2012.
Deepavali Greetings:
Deepavali commentary and songs by our granddaughter, Sudhiksha:
You may click on the following link / URL to see a Greeting Card come to life with heavy animation of diyas, sparklers, crackers and the melodious commentary and songs by our granddaughter, Sudhiksha:
You may click on the ‘Pink Play/Pause Button’ available on the Greeting Card to listen to Sudhiksha once again.
Regards,

N. Raghu.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Incessant rains in Hyderabad! Bring happiness and distress!

Rain,
RAIN,
On all days,
Since 15 days!
Some are enjoying!
Some are suffering,
Due to inundations,
And traffic complications.
But Rains intent is magnanimous,
To keep our world productive and prosperous,
Forever;
And ever.
Blame yourself for the suffering,
And thank God; as it is still raining.
And blame the civic administration,
And strive for permanent correction.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

It is Pumpkin season here, around the year!

It is Pumpkin season here,
Around the year!
Speaks of our fertile lands,
And our love for pumpkins,
Grown on large scale,
In fields,
And in kitchen gardens!
And relished!
In every possible way,
By preparing curries,
Sweet or spicy,
And in everyday Sambar,
And as fried;
Crunchy Vadiyalu!
And occasionally,
In trying out exotic preparations,
Like pumpkin soups,
And pumpkin pies!
As you see in these pictures,
And they are popularly used,
By one and all in India,
Especially in South India,
At religious ceremonies,
For the Gods,
The living,
And the departed!
And used,
To ward off evil,
By displaying at entrances,
Or breaking them down,
In front of our dear possessions!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Attention World! Great News! From New Delhi!

Starting from Diwali Festival Day this year, Delhi – National Capital Region is going to have the highest Oxygen level among cities in our Country (20.95%) and perhaps in the World! Now nobody will be sick here because of air pollution.
I thought firecrackers with minimum air and noise polluting content and weighing approximately 125 to 250 grams would be made available at cost to all Aadhaar Card holders or alternatively Community Fireworks at few places in the City would be encouraged. But surprisingly a much wiser decision has been taken to ban sale of crackers in NCR area.  
For those disappointed with this ban I have a suggestion, please seek permission from local authorities and enjoy Diwali by lighting a matchstick in front of your house and with it a tiny Agarbatti.
HAPPY DIWALI! To You! A pollution-free one! Happily celebrate with your family and friends, with lots of sweets, dry fruits and nuts, but no crackers.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Cell phone related deaths are on the rise: Be cautious and alert to risks and dangers linked to Cell phones.

In the past few years I have written articles cautioning people about the dangers linked to careless use of Cell phones. I wrote about the rules and laws prohibiting use of Cell phones while driving and related dangers. Cell phone User Manuals caution people from using the instruments not only while driving but even while walking on roads and at risky places, but unfortunately many people do not follow these instructions.
Not just me but many others write to caution people, especially after Cell phone related accidents and deaths.  In spite of the laws and regular news of tragedies, many people continue to ignore safety and cause harm to themselves, their families and others.
Nowadays Cell phones have become more dangerous with the ‘Selfie’ feature and are adding to the death toll. The latest news is that India suffered the highest number of Selfie-related deaths.  According to these reports, 60 percent of all Selfie-deaths, where a person dies while trying to take a picture of self, occurred in our country.
Something which started with fun objective to derive pleasure of sorts and create a lasting memory of amusing moments of self, with people and places, is now taking away precious lives. People are dying taking Selfies in front of approaching trains, in front of wild animals, on top of high and dangerous places like cliffs and roof tops, on boats, at riverfronts and at various dangerous places and under risky situations. This Selfie obsession is spreading like an epidemic. This fad, this madness has to end. Life is precious for the individual, his family, his friends and all his loved ones; one should not risk it for a Selfie.
Please be very cautious and alert to risks and dangers linked to Cell phones. You may read my articles on misuse and dangers of Cell phones and watch some informative videos by clicking on the links below:
Beware of Cell Phone - Part I
Beware of Cell Phone - Part II
Regarding Cell Phone addiction:
Regarding Cell Phone Elbow / Cubital Tunnel Syndrome:
Regarding Cell Phone Radiation dangers:

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A Short Story in Five Sentences!


Video:

Two teenagers, the sister of the bride and the brother of the bridegroom were introduced at the pre-wedding ceremonies of their older siblings and after the wedding providence brought these two teenagers closer and as days, weeks and months passed their courtship continued unknown to the elders and the society around them, for four years!
After four years, soon after the young man completed his graduation and got employed and as the girl’s parents were seeking a marriage alliance for her, the youngsters expressed their intent to get married.
Surprised and shocked initially, the elders discussed and happily agreed to their marriage but within days they went back on their decision as some persons influenced them stating that two sisters cannot be married into the same family as it would bring bad luck to their families.
After almost two years of turmoil between these two families and anguish of the youngsters, providence prevailed and brought happiness to all of them and united the young couple in marriage.
Thereafter, touch wood…the couple is leading a blissful life spreading happiness around them with their two sons and is today going to be grandparents! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thank God for the cats, dogs and sardines!

For the past few days,
It has rained cats and dogs,
In our twin cities,
Inundating some areas.
That flooding apart,
And associated tribulations,
There is good news,
All tanks and lakes are full,
So no more water shortage!
And these water bodies,
Will have plenty of fish,
Especially Sardines!
And sardines are so good,
In whichever way prepared,
Very tasty,
And very healthy.
The health benefits;
Are enormous!
Richest in Omega-3 fats,
And other nutrients!
They prevent heart diseases,
Certain types of cancers,
Age-related degeneration,
Help in bone strengthening,
Immune system building,
Rejuvenation of the skin,
And more health benefits.
Yesterday we turned,
Some sardines into a delicacy,
Which you can see in attached pictures,
Sardines in spicy gravy!
We thank the Gods for the rains,
And the sardines,
And pray for more sardines,
For you; and us :-)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Wish You All A Very Happy Dasara!

Greetings and best wishes to you on this auspicious day of Dasara; which symbolizes the triumph of good and truth over evil. It is a festival celebrated all over India with much enthusiasm and fanfare, with Kolkata and Mysore topping the list. People visit friends and relatives, exchange greetings and seek the blessings of elders. Yesterday it has rained at Hyderabad, almost the whole day. Hope the weather would be good today; especially in the evening when we have to go to the Temple and later visit my sister’s family for exchanging Dasara greetings and seek their blessings.
It is little early in the morning and we are already getting busy; exchanging Dasara greetings with friends and relatives. Some time before lunch we will be carrying out Vahana Pooja. And for the ‘Festival Lunch’ we would be having special Non-veg. dishes. Dasara, Sankranti, Holi, Mahankali Jatara are festivals for which we can have Non-veg. food but for Deepavali, Ugadhi, Vinayaka Chavithi, Rakhi Punnami and many other festivals and occasions it is strictly sweets and vegetarian food. In the evening we put on new clothes and at about 5:00 P.M. we will be visiting the Anjaneyaswamy Temple close to our house. The main shrine here is of Anjaneyaswamy but there are other shrines in this Temple, of Vinayaka, Shiva, Venkateshwaraswamy, Santosha Laxmi and Navagrahalu. After we return home from the temple; we place the Jammi tree leaves in front of the pictures and idols of Gods in our Pooja room and worship. These leaves are called Bangaram (Gold). We place Bangaram in the hands of elders and prostrate before them and seek their blessings. If it is friends or relatives of the same age group we place a few Jammi leaves in their hands, exchange greetings and hug them. A few friends and relatives normally visit us in the evening to exchange Dasara greetings. Later; after dinner we visit my sister’s family and seek blessings from my brother-in-law and sister.
As one cannot manage to meet all near and dear ones in few hours of today evening; these meetings continue tomorrow, popularly called as ‘Mulaqat day’ – meeting day. Worship, celebration, new clothes and most importantly the renewing and deepening of friendships and relationships makes this festival a unique one.
Dhairyam
Aishwaryam
Santosham
Arogyam
Rajasamu
Ayushu:
Durga Devi Meeku Prasadinchalani Korukuntunnanu,
Vijayadashami Shubhakankshalu!

Friday, September 29, 2017

WORLD HEART DAY: A healthy lifestyle leads to a healthy heart.

The World Heart Foundation organizes World Heart Day, an international campaign held annually on 29th September to inform people about cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which are the biggest cause of death. The day promotes preventive measures to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
On the occasion of “World Heart Day 2017” I wish you a healthy Heart with good habits, regular exercise, good diet and regular health checks. You may please see the attached posters on “Healthy Life”.
Please take care of your heart…you are precious to all of us and the society. 
You may click on the above poster to zoom in.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Bathukamma Festival Celebrations – 2017.


మీకు, మీ కుటుంబ సభ్యులకు బతుకమ్మ శుభాకాంక్షలు!

Wish You All A Very Happy Bathukamma Festival!















Tuesday, September 26, 2017

WORLD TOURISM DAY – 2017

This article is about the World Tourism Day today, the 27th of September 2017 and also about an Essay Writing Contest held by Telangana Tourism Department and The Hindu Newspaper for some chosen school students. 
World Tourism Day (WTD) is held annually on this day. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.
It was at its third session at Torremolinos, Spain, in September 1979, that the General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) decided to establish World Tourism Day, beginning from 1980. This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.
WTD is celebrated by events around the themes selected by the UNWTO General Assembly, on the recommendation of the UNWTO Executive Council. 
While UNWTO invites people of all ages and backgrounds to hold and take part in celebrations in their respective country or holiday destination, official WTD celebrations take place in a UNWTO Member State, on the basis of geographic rotation.
The theme chosen by UNWTO for this year is “Sustainable Tourism – a tool for development”. I have listed all the themes chosen since 1980 towards the end of this article.
The Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation is conducting a number of programs, especially at tourist places to celebrate World Tourism Day. In association with the Hindu Newspaper it has conducted an Essay writing contest between few students from some selected schools.  The topic is “My favorite tourist place in Telangana State”. My granddaughter studying in 7th Class was selected to participate in the contest. Here is her essay, the results are awaited. Below is the manuscript in three pages, followed by the typed text:   
My favourite tourist place in Telangana State.
My favourite tourist place in Telangana State is the temple town of Bhadrachalam and the historical and beautiful places around it. We go there often, because of our family’s long association with this area and love for it.
Secunderabad is our ancestral native place and my great-grandfather too was initially living in Secunderabad. Later, for better opportunities he sought a job at Kothagudem town which is very close to Bhadrachalam and resided there for 25 years. During those years, apart from frequent pilgrimage to Sri Sita Ramachandraswamy Temple at Bhadrachalam they enjoyed visiting several places around this temple town mostly along the two rivers here, Godavari and Kinnerasani. My great-grandfather owned a five-acre Mango groove en-route to Bhadrachalam and there were weekly picnics to this place. My grandfather and great-uncle have fond memories of this place so it has become a tradition in our family to visit Bhadrachalam and places near it often.
Bhadrachalam is one of the most famous pilgrimage places in Telangana State. It has the ancient temple of Sri Sita Ramachandraswamy (Lord Sri Rama). It is 320 kms from Hyderabad. It is on the fringes of the largest forest in our country, the Dhandakaranya, and on the left bank of the mighty and sacred River Godavari, the second longest river in our country. This entire area is very beautiful. The temple was developed in the 17th century by Kancharla Gopanna (Baktha Ramadasu) the Tehasildhar (Revenue Officer) of that area by using the local taxes for which he was imprisoned by Tana Shah, the Sultan of Golconda kingdom. After few years of imprisonment he was released as it is believed that Lord Rama along with his brother Lakshmana visited the Sultan and paid back the money spent by Ramadasu.
Thirty kilometers away is Parnashala, where Sita Devi, Lord Rama and Lakshmana lived for few years, during the last phase of their Vanavasam - 14 years exile from their kingdom, Ayodhya. The drive to this place along River Godavari is along the dense Dhandkaranya forest, full of greenery, forest trees and fertile lands. This area is a feast to the eyes. Many interesting signs of Sri Sita and Rama’s livelihood here are still in existence. This is also the place from where King Ravana in the disguise of a beggar; abducted Sita Devi to his kingdom, Lanka.
There are other places around Bhadrachalam which are all very interesting. There is this place called Yetapaka located 2 km from Bhadrachalam where the bird Jatayuvu, an ardent devotee of Rama tried to obstruct Ravana from abducting Sita Devi. There is a place called Dummugudem where Lord Rama is said to have killed 14,000 demons. And there is this place where River Sabari joins River Godavari. It is at this place that a devotee Sabari gave shelter to Sita, Rama and Lakshmana on their way to Parnashala and offered fruits to Rama after tasting them out of affection towards Rama. This River is named after her.
I have enjoyed short boat rides on Godavari at Bhadrachalam but many members of my family have enjoyed daylong cruises more than once on motorized ferries on River Godavari. They have explained to me how they have enjoyed the scenic beauty of Papikondalu and the river on these large ferries passing amidst a very long stretch of serpentine hills on either side of the mighty River Godavari.   
And not far from Bhadrachalam is the Kinnerasani Dam. Kinnerasani River is a tributary of River Godavari. The construction of the Dam has resulted in Kinnerasani’s catchment area becoming a huge and beautiful lake with hills and trees all around making it a very popular picnic spot for local people and tourists. At almost the center of the Lake is a huge island filled with trees, adding beauty to this place. And there is huge Deer Park here, which is a big attraction.
During this journey we get to see the largest Thermal Power Generating Plant of Telangana State in Paloncha and the Coal Mines at Kothagudem which are within 30 km form Bhadrachalam.
We visit Bhadrachalam once in few years and I have always enjoyed my visits as much as my elders, who are very strongly connected with this place.  
THEMES OF WORLD TOURISM DAY
The theme of 1980 was “Tourism’s contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage and to peace and mutual understanding”.
The theme of 1981 was “Tourism and the quality of life”.
The theme of 1982 was “Pride in travel: good guests and good hosts”.
The theme of 1983 was “Travel and holidays are a right but also a responsibility for all”.
The theme of 1984 was “Tourism for international understanding, peace and cooperation”.
The theme of 1985 was “Youth Tourism: cultural and historical heritage for peace and friendship”.
The theme of 1986 was “Tourism: a vital force for world peace”.
The theme of 1987 was “Tourism for development”.
The theme of 1988 was “Tourism: education for all”.
The theme of 1989 was “The free movement of tourists creates one world”.
The theme of 1990 was “Tourism: an unrecognized industry, a service to be released”.
The theme of 1991 was “Communication, information and education: powerlines of tourism development”.
The theme of 1992 was “Tourism: a factor of growing social and economic solidarity and of encounter between people”.
The theme of 1993 was “Tourism development and environmental protection: towards a lasting harmony”.
The theme of 1994 was “Quality staff, quality tourism”.
The theme of 1995 was “WTO: serving world tourism for twenty years”.
The theme of 1996 was “Tourism: a factor of tolerance and peace”.
The theme of 1997 was “Tourism: a leading activity of the twenty-first century for job creation and environmental protection”.
The theme of 1998 was “Public-private sector partnership: the key to tourism development and promotion”.
The theme of 1999 was “Tourism: preserving world heritage for the new millennium”.
The theme of 2000 was “Technology and nature: two challenges for tourism at the dawn of the twenty-first century”.
The theme of 2001 was “Tourism: a toll for peace and dialogue among civilizations”.
The theme of 2002 was “Ecotourism, the key to sustainable development”.
The theme of 2003 was “Tourism: a driving force for poverty alleviation, job creation and social harmony”.
The theme of 2004 was “Sport and tourism: two living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of societies”.
The theme of 2005 was “Travel and transport: from imaginary of Jules Verne to the reality of the 21st century”.
The theme of 2006 was “Tourism Enriches”.
The theme of 2007 was “Tourism opens doors for women”.
The theme of 2008 was “Tourism Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change and global warming”.
The theme of 2009 was “Tourism – Celebrating Diversity”.
The theme of 2010 was “Tourism & Biodiversity”.
The theme of 2011 was “Tourism Linking Cultures”.
The theme of 2012 was “Tourism and Energetic Sustainability”.
The theme of 2013 was “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”.
The theme of 2014 was “Tourism and Community Development”.
The theme of 2015 was “Millions of tourists, millions of opportunities”.
The theme of 2016 was “Tourism for All – promoting universal accessibility”.
The theme of 2017 will be “Sustainable Tourism – a tool for development”.

Wish You All A Very Happy Deepavali / Diwali.

Dear All, Wish you all a very Happy Deepavali. May the year ahead and times ahead bring you immense happiness & prosperity....