ayaskantam.com: Trivikram Srinivas – 6
ayaskantam.com: Trivikram Srinivas – 5
Ganex Improves ..: Warren Buffett’s Advice to Budding Freelancers and Entrepreneurs
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: You are mine, only....
You are mine only....
Nysa smiled at me beautifully and ran towards the swings. She was so excited to be in the play ground of the school. I was there with her to talk about Nysa's school admission. I watched her playing for some time. "Come Nysa, let's go the teacher'. I called her. "Yes, Mamma, I am coming". She rushed to me cheerfully.
That was a play school. We walked into the room of the admission in charge. "I am Sneha, she is Nysa, now two and a half years old. I wanted to discuss about her admissions here". I said politely. She asked me to fill the form. I took the form in my hand and gave a cursory look to the questions. Nysa was happily observing the fishes in the small aquarium placed there. I took some time to complete the form...the form was very simple...but ....
She looked at the form....So, you are her local gurdian?
"No...Yes...No..." My reply was more confusing to her.
She looked at me, and asked, "Her parents are abroad?"
"No, I am her only relative now"...I said while hiding my tears.
My Sister, Swati's, last words were echoing in my ears..."I know that, you will look after Nysa very well....She is your daughter now....I know, you will never let her miss her mamma........" I took her hands strongly. Tears were flowing from my eyes. Swati was breathing fast....Her eyes were closing....She was surrendring herself to death, which came in the form of blood cancer. The little Nysa was sleeping on my shoulder peacefully. Death took Swati in two weeks time......I informed Nikhil's parents....but nobody turned up....I am not sure, whether they informed Nikhil or not.....
Swati suffered a lot....Nikhil had left Swati when she was three month's pregnant....That was three year's after their marriage. He was insisting for an abortion....but Swati refused....there started the fights....later, he left her, without even telling a word....He had started his new life....he was into an affair, much before the break up. He often used to have night outs. Swati believed his words...and thought that all were office trips....she was cheated miserably....She came back to me....I was like father and mother to her....We had lost our parents one year after Swati's marriage in a road accident....I was ten years elder to her....She was quite upset in the beginning...but she never tried to approach Nikhil...I found out his new residence and all....many times, I felt that, I should talk to him and tharsh him and that 'bloody' lady who ruined my sister's life. But Swati, always made me to calm down....
I never gave Nysa an occassion to think that, I am not her real mother....Only once she asked about 'Papa', may be after seeing other parents...She was satisfied with my answer that, 'he is in heaven'.
Now, her birth certificate, made the teacher know the truth. I discussed her the whole story.
"I hope, there must be something in our legal system...which can now make you as her mother...I mean you can legally adopt her....other wise it will be very embarassing in future.... If situation demands, you can tell her every thing when she grows up....but now, she should be only yours...."The teacher said very firmly.
I felt as if I got a new life....Yes, I should do so very soon....I lived all these years with a single status, only to become Nysa's mother.....She is destinied to be my daughter. "Of course ma'm....you are right...." She assured me of Nysa's admission there. I was in some other world....I took Nysa on my hands so frantically and kissed on her cheeks, as if I am meeting her after many years....
Mom - Am I grown up now?: Disgruntled Employee of the Month...that 'was' me.
Aur Ek Sapna: AP’s disastrous irrigation schemes slow down
Jalayagnam comes to a virtual halt
NM Satheesh Indian Express 3 Nov 2009
HYDERABAD: Jalayagnam, the favourite scheme of former chief minister the late YS Rajasekhara Reddy, seems to have slided down in the list of priorities of the present government.
Leave alone the progress of the programme at the field level, even a review of it by the government has become rare in the last two months.
According to sources in the irrigation department, funding of the programme has come to a halt and the pending bills are piling up with the government.
It seems that the government is not going to spend the allocated budget Rs 18,000 crore in this financial year. The government has not released even Rs 1,000 crore for the projects in the last two months. It was decided by the regime of Rajasekhara Reddy that the government should release about Rs 1,400 crore every month to keep the projects going.
According to officials, the government has already halted payment of Rs 4,000 crore which was spent by the contractors and the construction of projects like Pulichintala which has been completed to an extent of 70 per cent is not progressing as per the schedule.
Irrigation officials say that the time table fixed by the government for the completion of 82 major and medium irrigation projects under Jalayagnam will go awry.
The YSR government had contemplated Jalayagnam to bring about one crore acres of land under irrigation facility. Under the scheme 82 projects are to be constructed at a cost of Rs 1.50 lakh crore.
Since the 20050-06 financial year the government has been spending about Rs 10,000 crore every year and has spent about Rs 50,000 crore till now. In the last five years 11 projects have been completed providing about 16 lakh acres of land with irrigation facilities.
Major projects like Polavaram, Pranahita-Chevella, Pulichintala, Ellampally, Dummugudem, Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanti and Galeru-Nagari Srujala Sravanti, which need more than Rs 20,000 crore, are yet to take off. The government is trying to secure the national project status to the Polavaram project.
As of now, about 60 projects are in various stages of construction and need about Rs 3,000 crore every month if they are to be completed in time. But the cash-strapped government is unable to release adequate funds, thus jeopardising their timely completion.
The government is now getting a revenue of about Rs 5,000 crore every month and has to spend most of the amount on salaries, maintenance, schemes like Rs 2 a kg rice, reimbursement of students’ fees, Arogya Sri, subsidy on power and seeds to farmers, subsidy to self-help groups and on the mid-day meal scheme.
Weighed down by the enormous burden the government is finding it virtually impossible to fund the irrigation projects. Hence non-release of funds in time.
Maruti: Microsoft Surface - The Possibilities
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: Beirut - The Capital of Lebanon
Beirut – Capital of Lebanon
Located on the extreme east of Mediterranean is a small country Lebanon. Lebanon is a country where Muslim and Christian cultures are intermingled. By spending a day in Beirut one can easily say that the Muslims have adapted themselves to the liberated west.
Lebanon has a population of about 4.5 million. There are more Lebanese in
Brazil than Lebanon itself. About 25 years back, the population comprised
of 50 % each of Christian and Muslims. Now Muslims are 60%, and Christians are 40% only. Shia and Sunni sects are equal in number.
Having a border with Israel has added many troubles to Lebanon, as those
against Israel have used this small country for their gains, and so have
the nations who are sympathizers of Israel.
War raged in Lebanon between 1975 to 1990 for 15 years. The war was
between Lebanese Christians and Muslims from Lebanon, Syria, and
Palestine. War left over 200,000 dead people. Several sites can be
observed which are dedicated to martyrs. Now politics is more than
religious problem. There are groups between Christian+Shia against
Christians+Sunni. As per their agreements when the ratios of Christians,
Shias and Sunnis were different than today, president is always a
Christian, prime minister is always Sunni, and prime deputy – always Shia.
However, today with the percentage of population changed, there is strain
to change the representation. Shia people comprise of the Hezbollah. They
are considered more powerful than Lebanese army is. They get money and
weapon from Iran & Syria.
Lebanon has been in news recently when its president Rafik Hariri was
assassinated by a blast on 14th February 2005. Further, it was under
attack from Israel when Hezbollah abducted its two soldiers. About 50,000 people were killed in Israeli bombings.
I went to Beirut several times, in different months of years, and strolled
on the streets, had local food such as Mankhush, Chewarma, Kebabs, and
Hamos with beans & oil. In addition, relished sweets like Baklawa and
Crepes. I found them to be fond of eating, drinking, and smoking Argile
(Hukka). Unlike other times this time, I had a camera and I thought to get
enough pictures to make you too see Beirut as it was seen from my eyes.
Hope you enjoy.....................
View of Beirut when approaching by ship in the months of summers.
A view of port and downtown from the ship
You can see several UN peacekeeping ships in the port. They are stationed
to protect against Israel and also to prevent illegal arm smuggling by
A view of the larger mall by the sea as seen from the ship
Nice and well-planned roads in the downtown
A view of city while traveling. Due to friendly import rules, second hand
cars are cheaply available here. Hence, you will see abundant numbers of
second hand luxury cars like BMW, Mercedes, and Audi etc.
The sculptures indicate that the squares have been nicely planned. This
area is one of the best in the city. These are Shohada (Martyrs) Statues.
You will find these signs at many locations across the city. They are
symbolically indicating to help those who don’t have anyone to take care
One of the most famous mosques of the city located close to port. This
mosque is names after Rafiq Hariri
Same mosque by night
Interiors of the mosque. The laptops are used in conjuction with PA
systems for prayers.
Another mosque at night. It is decorated in the months of Ramadan. The
prayer timings are displaced electronically, and start almot every hour in
the month of Ramadan.
Rafiq Hariri was laid to rest here.
The last remains of the others, who were killed along with him, are
located in the same premises.
Al Fateha – Extracts of Quran – Prayer
Dora area. Indian can be found in this street. If you like cheap shopping,
you can get Chinese duplicates of many products in the shops in this
Local Food. Does it look any different from Indian food? I don’t think so.
They also make delicious milk shakes and fruit juices.
Mankhush – Zatar. One the most popular food.
Some special oil is painted on the “Roti,” and then stuffed with salad or
meat depending of the choice. Available in market for less than half a
These are like ours rolls. They call it kebab. It can be of different
meats and vegetables.
Crepes- Another local dish. It is sweet.
The Holiday Inn hotel was bombed during 1975-1976 war.
The famous Manara Street. Just on this street behind is where Rafiq Hariri was killed. The locals come here in the morning and evening to walk on this street. It is something like walking by the sea at Nariman Point.
Area of Rawche “Ramle Biada.” It means White Sand. This is the most
expensive area of Lebanon
Turkish coffee sold on the streets. It is black coffee with different
types of flavours. This particular is with cardamom flavour. You can tell
him to add sugar to your taste but no milk.
One of the restaurants in the Rawche area. This was the month of Ramadan. All restaurants are open all night and are full. People are fond of eating out in the months of Ramadan. Many restaurants close after the months of Ramadan.
These are the food, which the posh restaurants keep outside for the
chauffeurs of the people who are their customer. Unique – isn’t it.
It is 70 m high rock in the sea. The sea is not very deep. They say that
earlier people used to commit suicide from here. Now people climb up and
jump for fun.
Peacock Rock during dusk.
Military or Roman Bath is over 400 years old, and has a lot of historical
importance. You can see the church on the right. Behind this road are few
Sahat Al Nijmi – Star area
Does this look like a mall? Greenery nicely used to make the mall nice and
natural. Though the mall isn’t much different from the malls of ours.
Painter painting in the mall.
This is made of matchstick by a crippled person. He uses it for getting
A souvenir shop
Another souvenir shop specializing in selling Cedar items. Cutting cedar
wood is not allowed, hence make them to be rare item. When the braches dry and dead ones fall especially when snows on the mountains in winters,
these branches are brought and the souvenirs made out of them.
Aqua massage – 10 USD for 10 mins. Freshness without getting wet.
And the journey continues..........................
"ఒక ప్రపంచ పౌరుడు": మన పోలీసులు
Lokabhiramam: Maharajapuram Santanam - Radio Concert
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: Pulse of London
Cheers(as the English people say)
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: Toppai Maamee
Indrakanti karthikeya: You shall reap What you sow!!
Lokabhiramam: Sumati Satakam 11
Aur Ek Sapna: Truth of Displacement & Rehabilitation: GoM’s confidential Report
The Hindu /Opinion 17 April 2006
GoM’s confidential report
|This is the text, obtained exclusively by The Hindu, of “A Brief Note on the Assessment of Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R & R) Sites and Submergence of Villages of the Sardar Sarovar Project.” The note marked confidential and dated April 9, 2006, was signed by Union Minister of Water Resources, Saifuddin Soz, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar, and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chauhan.|
The Group of Ministers (GoM) comprising Prof. Saifuddin Soz, Minister of Water Resources, Smt. Meira Kumar, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment and Shri Prithviraj Chavan, MOS in the PMO, deputed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister to Madhya Pradesh, arrived Indore late in the evening on April 6, 2006.
Soon after arrival in Indore, a meeting was held with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan and some of his Cabinet colleagues and officers.
The Madhya Pradesh Government made a presentation and wanted the GoM to appreciate that the Madhya Pradesh Government had taken concrete steps to rehabilitate Project Affected Families (PAFs) and that Rehabilitation and Resettlement would be completed by 30th June, 2006. In that connection, the GoM was requested to visit some sites such as Khalghat, Dharampuri, Lakhangaon and Borlai etc.
When asked as to how many SC/ST families were affected, the Government could not provide any information.
Early in the morning of April 7, 2006, the GoM left for a visit to Rehabilitation and Submergence sites.
The GoM visited Khalghat, Dharampuri, Lakhangaon, Borlai 1, 2 and 3, Awalda, Piplud and Nisarpur. The GoM was stopped at other places including Picchodi where people narrated their tales of woe. The representatives of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) had insisted in Delhi in their memorandum that a visit to Borlai, Awalda, Piplud and Nisarpur would be necessary to find out whether the claim of the Government of Madhya Pradesh that the PAFs had been rehabilitated was correct.
The GoM visited Khalghat site where Madhya Pradesh Government had offered land to 407 families. Only 2 families had accepted the land. The top soil there is black. The people say that they have to dig 10 feet deep to find the cultivable land. The Government had not succeeded in persuading the oustees to accept the land. Hundreds of people on the spot complained before the GoM that the Government had not conducted a proper survey and offered the land without consulting the oustees. Shri Mohan Lal Sharma (resident of Gazipur, District Dharampuri) who spoke on behalf of oustees, complained before the members of the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) that the Madhya Pradesh Government had acted in haste and allotted the land which was totally uncultivable. The members of the NVDA did not contradict Shri Mohan Lal.
It was for the first time that the GoM heard from Shri Mohan Lal that the Income Tax Department deducted Rupees One lakh from every unit of 10 lakhs that was paid to the oustees by way of compensation and for purchase of land. It was Shri Mohan Lal again who said that people were pressurized to accept cash. He said that a bribe of Rs.20,000/- had to be paid for receipt of every cheque that was given to the oustees. The crowd present on the spot gave full-throated support to the Shri Mohan Lal who they said had represented their grievances correctly.
From Khalghat, the GoM went to Dharampuri. It is the largest area selected by the Madhya Pradesh Government for settlement of oustees and 4,000 PAFs are slated to be settled there (No, they are shown to have been settled there already). Not a single plot of land has been occupied by any PAF.
Approximately 2,000 people, who had gathered there, explained through their representatives (about a dozen people explained their grievances) in detail and said that it was not possible for anybody to settle there as no infrastructure had been built. In official papers, it has been indicated that the PAFs have been settled. The GoM was amazed that no sanitation, no drinking water, no system of sewage, no roads, much less the facilities like hospital, water reservoir, school, post office etc., have been provided there. There is no hope that such infrastructure will be built there soon. The officials presented a status report in respect of R & R sites at Dharampuri indicating that facilities that need to be provided by way of infrastructure would be provided and certain facilities were in progress, whereas the GoM saw nothing happening around.
In any case, the PAFs, under no circumstances, can be settled there before first of July, 2006 when the monsoon sets in.
Dharampuri had been shown to the GoM as a success story by the Madhya Pradesh Government and it turned out to be the worst example of not doing anything by way of settlement when there was apparently no difficulty in respect of resources. The people there showed to the GoM two dry water pumps and a heap of stones that had been dumped there a day before the GoM’s arrival indicating that roads would be built soon.
Lakhangaon and Borlai 1-3
From Dharampuri, the GoM proceeded to visit R & R sites at Lakhangaon, Borlai 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The GoM saw some stray dwellings without any infrastructure such as drinking water, sewage system, electricity and roads etc.
As per the status report of the Madhya Pradesh Government, 18,965 PAFs were indicated to have been settled, whereas the GoM could see, at the most 80 incomplete dwellings in Lakhangaon, Borlai 1-3 (including the dwellings shown to the GoM at Picchodi). The GoM found that there were no amenities of life like drinking water, roads and electricity etc. anywhere. The only water reservoir in Borlai 3 was not operational. In Borlai 1-3, the GoM could not see any semblance of infrastructural facilities. In Lakhangaon, of course, some structures by way of hospital and a primary school (not functional) and three hand pumps showed the fact that a determined leadership can settle the oustees. One can see that PAFs (18 of them) here can be settled properly at Lakhangaon within next six months, provided effective effort is directed towards that goal.
Visit to Piplud, Awalda and Nisarpur
The members of Narmada Bachao Andolan had, among other things, urged the Minister for Water Resources that the GoM should visit Piplud, Awalda and Nisarpur so that GoM could ascertain properly whether the oustees from these submergence villages had been settled or not.
Nearly 2,000 people had gathered at Piplud to state their tales of woe. They pointed out that not a single PAF had been offered cultivable agricultural land anywhere in Madhya Pradesh as per the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) Award. At this place, 10 representatives explained in detail that the NWDT Award had been flouted and even land acquisition proceedings had not been completed. They narrated that many of the oustees had not been offered compensation for their houses. They also said that many of those who had been pressurized to accept cash compensation, had been given amounts of money with which they could not purchase even 2 acres of land, let alone 5 acres of land to which they were entitled. A tribal named Kailash from Bhikheda explained that more than 300 persons from Manavar Tehsil had been shown in records to have been offered one plot of land measuring 7 hectares in Borgaon and strangely enough, the land was not cultivable. The representatives of these oustees gave details how people were pressurised to accept cash compensation and how people had to pay bribes for receipt of cheques.
The GoM next proceeded to Awalda, a far flung village inhabited mostly by adivasis and tribals. The GoM felt that, by any standards, the entire population in the village lived below the poverty line. A group of 1,500 people met the GoM there and the youth there were restive and narrated their tales of woes in a very emotional manner. It was here that people said that they had not been given land for land and that they had been pressurized to accept cash and an oustee Shri Motilal Patidar of village Chhota Barde said that he had been given Rs.5,53,000/- whereas he needed to purchase 5 acres of land for Rs.13 lakhs and this cash award was not adequate at all and he was forced to accept it. The entire crowd raised slogans against cash compensation and they said it was a fraud and officers insisted on this because they received bribes. It was in this crowd, that a woman Sajan Bhai Yadav, who had come from Pipri Gaon, narrated most pathetically how they (the oustees) had lost their home and hearth, their Khaliyan and Shamshan and they were now on the roadside. The crowd said that the Gram Sabha was never consulted and every thing was happening “Zabardasti”. The crowd said that they had no money to travel to Bhopal and seek redressal of their grievances. The people at Piplud and Awalda had categorically stated that no member of R & R Sub-committee or the Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) ever visited these villages. It was stated in good detail that Chairman of the Redressal Authority was headquartered at Bhopal and he once in a while visited Indore and never did Justice Sohani, Chairman of the Grievance Authority visit these villages.
The GoM finally came to Nisarpur where a crowd of 4,000 people voiced its grievances through 18 representatives which included four women. The administration had succeeded in telling the crowd that they must allow the representatives to present their case in an orderly manner.
So, M/s Parasmat Kanawat (having been Sarpanch of Nisarpur for 30 years) Pradeep Kumar, Bagirath Rathore, Mangti Bhai & others narrated pathetic tales of extreme high-handedness on the part of Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA). They categorically stated that not a single family of the PAFs in Nisarpur had been settled as per orders of the Supreme Court. They said in one voice that until they were rehabilitated, there was no question of allowing the height of the dam to be raised. They said that the R & R sites at Nisarpur which is supposed to settle 700 families of oustees did not have any infrastructure and the house plots for building their houses were located at the depressed land which gets water logged and one of the essential needs of the site was drainage, which was missing. The people said that NVDA officials claimed that R & R sites would be ready by 30th of June, 2006 and it was a rude joke to the oustees. The oustees said that these claims were absolutely false. They claimed that R & R sub-group and the GRA had never visited the Narmada Valley for the last six years. They rejected cash payments as a fraudulent practice. The crowd vociferously demanded that their Rehabilitation & Resettlement should be a pre-condition for raising the height of the dam.
1. The complaints from various quarters that the Rehabilitation and Resettlement of oustees of Sardar Sarovar Dam has not taken place in consonance with the orders of the Supreme Court have been found to be correct.
2. In spite of the extreme shortcomings in respect of Rehabilitation and Resettlement of oustees, the Madhya Pradesh Government can organize proper effort for rehabilitation, say, within a year from now. The leadership there has to show its political will to accomplish this gigantic task.
3. The Chief Minister of Gujarat had assured the Water Resources Ministry, in a recent letter, that Rehabilitation and Resettlement in Madhya Pradesh could be fully ensured in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court. It will have to be ascertained as to how Gujarat Government could come to the rescue of the Madhya Pradesh Government in this behalf.
4. The outcry against the SRP (cash award) must be responded by stopping this practice as it has bred corruption and thousands of people the GoM met in the valley, have rejected the same as a practice breeding corruption. Besides, this practice has been adopted by the State Government with the approval of the GRA. It is yet to be seen whether the Supreme Court would find this practice to be in line with its specific instruction which said: “every displaced family whose more than 25% of agricultural landholding was acquired would be entitled to be allotted irrigable land of its choice to the extent of land acquired subject to the prescribed ceiling with a minimum of two hectares land and that project-affected families (PAFs) would be allotted a house/plot free of cost”.
5. The GoM found that there was no moral and legal justification for deducting Rupees One lakh by way of Income Tax for every unit of Rupees Ten lakhs that is to be given to an oustee as a settlement under SRP.
6. In due course of time, the Government must explore a better system of redressal of grievances than what is sought under the present GRA. It is a fact that 5000 petitions for redressal of grievance are pending before the GRA. The Chairman of the GRA is headquartered at Bhopal and his visits even to Indore are few and far between which has meant a great hardship for the oustees.
7. The position of the adivasis (oustees), particularly in the areas like Kakrana and Kharia Bhadal, which the GoM could not visit, is reportedly very bad. The GoM will pay a visit there if required, in due course of time.
8. The Ministry of Water Resources had been insisting that Madhya Pradesh Government should adopt the mechanism of referring ATRs to Gram Panchayats according to the previous Government’s assurance given in the then Chief Minister’s letter of 29th August, 2003. Since the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister has finally responded positively on this issue recently, the ATRs will now be sent to Gram Panchayats, as stated by the Chief Minister in his meeting with us on April 7, 2006. That will, however, not have any effect on the problems at hand.
9. The GoM felt concerned about SCs & STs for whom there doesn’t seem to be any special provision in respect of Rehabilitation and Resettlement.
10. The reports of the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Sub Group and the GRA on the basis of which Narmada Control Authority (NCA) granted permission for raising the height has been largely paperwork and it has no relevance with the situation on the ground.
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: Getting The Entrance Right!!
Ooops!! I put my foot in the mouth again
The ritual of transfers in a govt job does bring in its wake the day-to-day reality of ephemeral change and its resulting consequences. As the marching orders arrive, its response is always a mixed one—some sadness as well as excitement. But, the mind as usual remains conscious of the hassles, the uncertainty of the situation, the duration of postings and the unsettling phase of the family.
We had just moved into our new apartment in Delhi. And this was the first time I had moved into a flat........It was again a beginning of a new life, and I got busy with the cumbersome task of unpacking; placing my furniture etc. My pot plants normally travel with me all the time along with my kit, so this time again I had about fifty to sixty pot plants. I kept a few in my balconies and placed the rest of them in front of the main door on our landing. My neighbour was generous enough in offering her little space to me...so; I arranged all the different varieties of philodendrons in the common area. A sense of camaraderie prevailed and there was apparently no tension between the neighbours and all of us felt virtuous and contented.
But one morning as I opened the door, I discovered that everything had changed.A convoy of sadhus dressed in saffron with white ash smeared on their faces with firce looking eyes lugubriously settled on the dhurries in place of those plants. I was bewildered!! They were all chanting 'Hari Om' and 'Jai Hos'; I could make no sense of it. Sounds of the mantras and laughter kept percolating in from the window, the smell of roses and marigolds overflowed, and I did not know where to go; where to start. I was terribly worried about my plants...
I could see Mrs Dube, my neighbour, sitting on a carved chair in a colourful silk sari and she was looking gorgeous. I tried to smile at her; but she ignored me royally. She was rather engrossed in a conversation with a sanyasi who was reading her other hand. While caressing her plump fingers, I overheard the old man asking Mrs Dube to exercise caution in dealing with someone who lived very close to her..Who could have been closer than me!!
I ran towards the balcony which was on Mrs Dube's side and peered out of the tiny window. I was trying to locate my plants. And I spotted another sadhu kneeling down by the sofa and showing Mr Dube a piece of paper while he was attentively looking at it with wide eyes. I tried to listen and I could faintly hear,”a small family who has a white motor car, dogs and a gudiya [girl]..." Now, I was sanguine that he was referring to us.....and I clenched my fists in anger and wanted to pull his tongue out...! A war was brewing across the border and I could almost hear the gunfire....
There was a long silence during which I tried hard to think of an opening line that could lead to a patient conversation. I waited for a moment, changed my mind and then walked slowly down the stairs. Briskly made a circular trip to reach the other side of the building. Sweat was dribbling down my face and I stumbled over Mrs Dube's maid. I asked her about my plants. Taking hold of my elbow she led me to the enclosure owned by the horticulture dept and said," Look... they are all here". My heart sank at the way they were carelessly dumped; it was absolutely unfair and wrong I felt... I argued with her maid back and forth, and finally, asked my peon to bring all the plants back to my balconies and took back their custody.
Throughout the episode my husband maintained his usual stoic calmness and endurance. My efforts are evidently looked upon as a minor act of sacrilege to penetrate the solitude of a man...Sigh!
I was prepared to stay all day in this strange environment. Suddenly he said," we should have no enmity in our hearts with our neighbours....Ignore...ignore...or, if you have the guts encounter her"...
‘Here and now'... my brain-wave suggested revealing my grotesquely swollen nose... I thought, I must get the anger out of my system. I stood near the door. I could see Mrs Dube smiling at me and wanting to say something, but, I silenced her with a gesture.
And I started screaming , “We need to get out of this Mrs Dube. Your panditjis (turning my head towards them), who are giving all sorts of distraught and puzzled suggestion actually know nothing!!! I personally have no belief in the efficacy of magic spells, and have very little trust on their abilities. As for astrology, I know from experience that accuracy of the ‘predictions’ weighs ambiguity which naturally confuses a troubled mind....”.
With inflamed nostrils I was still blabbering...when suddenly my eyes met with my husband’s eyes who were smiling broadly now, his excitement was infectious and I started laughing too....He clutched my arm and steered me to the sofa , I could feel my whole body awakening at his touch.....
I actually didn’t have the courage to open the door and say all that to Dubes..I was screaming aloud behind closed doors . Oh,the incorrigible me:-)
DEVIL'S WORKSHOP: DEMISE OF THE DEVIL
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Lokabhiramam: Dwaram Narasinga Rao - Violin
Telugu Media News: టి.ఆర్పి రేటింగులో రాకెట్ లాదూచుకెలుతున్న...Tv5
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: Diwali in San Diego
The spectacular Diwali celebrations in San Diego brought in large crowds of Indians and curious American spectators too. The Park was transformed into a colorful venue with ethnic, traditional apparel vying in their richness and styles. People representing all the states of India got together to partake in the festival of lights, adding a festive atmosphere reminding one of India during the festival season. A procession of participants representing different states in India snaked through the Balboa Park. Mingei International Museum and the San Diego Indian American Society in association with the San Diego Museum of Art, presented the second annual Diwali Festival.
Photos from the Celebrations:
C.K. Prahlad & his wife Gayathrie
Consul General, SFO, Sushmita Thomas previoulsy Ambassador to Chile & Carribean , Guest of Honor
Colorful outfits of the dancers
A lively Garba dance took center stage in front of the museums on the street and several people joined in.
Everybody joined in...
50 lamps specially made from India-Poom Puhar were lit
Artists playing the Ramayan all dressed up..
Ramayana was enacted in a dance drama style...at night
The highlight of the festival was the traditional lighting of the lamps, 50 of them which were made in India and brought to San Diego for this special event. In addition, 1008 small lamps, arranged in patterns were lighted by representatives of each state dressed in their traditional bests.
( Not a contest entry...since the article/photos was published here ..)
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: Movie World, Australia - A Glimpse
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: DUSSHERA OF MY CHILDHOOD
The Kolu of 2008! Observe the dolls made of beads in the last row
Festivals! Festivals make me nostalgic year after year, because they were celebrated with more seriousness, pious feelings and devotion when we were children. Dusshera is a festival which adds colour to the entire city.
I like this festival as it gives ample scope for people to exhibit their skills in all forms of visual and performing arts. In the State of Gujarat, people celebrate Navarathri by organizing Garbha dance festivals through the nine nights. Mysore is very famous for its Dusshera celebrations. The ruling King of Mysore celebrated this festival with great devotion and glory as his prayers to Goddess Chamundeshwari, who was his family deity. The entire city of Mysore gets decked up and every household considers this festival as a very important event. Many households have been preserving the paintings and artifacts gifted to them by the Maharaja of Mysore with care till today and exhibiting them during Dusshera with pomp and glory. Thus celebration of Dusshera in Karnataka follows the traditions of the historic city of Mysore. There are many traditional songs sung in praise of the Maharaja, the dolls of Mysore and Channapatna. People get nostalgic and remember the grandier and glory of the yesteryears. The Government of Karnataka till today celebrates the festival as a heritage festival. The descendents of the Maharaja perform the customary Pujas at the various temples in the Palace premises, conduct a mock Darbar and exhibit the royal throne for public viewing. Lakhs of tourists from around the world visit this heritage city during Dusshera. Music, dance, drama and other performing arts as well as all forms of visual arts and sports were well patronized by the Maharaja and events conducted all over the city during the nine days. The tradition is carried on even today though under the patronage of the Government of Karnataka. On the tenth day, a grand procession carrying the Maharaja on an elephant used to go around the main streets of Mysore. Even now the procession is conducted but an idol of Devi Bhuvaneshwari is carried on the elephant instead of the King. Dolls depicting scenes of the epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha and various Puranas as well as contemporary themes were displayed at the palace and every household of Mysore. Doll display is not a haphazard arrangement of random dolls. There is a certain custom followed. Nine steps are arranged and dolls of Gods, Godesses, Devathas, human figures, animals, etc. are all displayed in a certain order of evolutionary cycle. Thus the idols of Gods and Godesses occupy the topmost step.
Kolu - 2009
The traditional Shetty couple with their wares!
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Telugu Media News: అనితా..ఓ అనితా...జీ 24 గంటల ప్రయత్నం అవసరమా..?
Telugu Media News: రేటింగ్..పెంచుకొవడంలో...ఓ చానల్ ఏమిచేస్తొంది
Lokabhiramam: Ostrich Head in Sand
Coffee mug and snack's Blog: Blue Movie Review
Movie Rating: 2.5/5
Audience Expression: Not upto the mark!
Runtime: 1 hr 57 mins
Cast:Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif, Lara Dutta, Rahul Dev, Zayed Khan
Music: A. R. Rahman
Action Director:James Bomalick
Under-water cinematographer: Pete Zuccarini
Direction: Anthony D Souza
Producer: Dhilin Mehta
Release Date: Oct 16, 2009
Sanjay Dutt and Akshay kumar are good friends settled in the Bahamas. Akshay is a rich business man and Sanjay dutt, a fisher man/diver is a not so ambitious guy. Lara dutta plays the glamorous wife of Sanjay.
Zayed khan , younger brother of sanjay gets in trouble in bangkok after messing with some goons and returns to sanjay in bahamas for hiding leaving his new found love – katrina kaif .Meanwhile there are some references to Dutt’s memory of a sunken ship when akshay tries to instigate him for a treasure hunt of a long lost ‘Lady in the blue’ ship.
The goons come searching for Zayed in Bahamas and threaten to kill him if they do not get $50 millon. Akshay and Zayed try to convince Sanajy to go for the missing treasure but Sanjay is unperturbed and is reluctant to go for treasure hunt. The goons kidnap Lara dutta and Sanjay is forced to go for the treasure.
Sanjay , Akshay and Zayed spot the treasure and how they get rid of the baddies and the real reason for why Akshay is hell bent on going for treasure from the beginning forms the rest of the story line.
AkshayAkshay kumar is good in the role of a rich business man with a hidden agenda. He is at ease playing the character.
Sanjay Dutt looks old and tired in the movie.
Lara Dutta is uber hot and exposes liberally. She is spectacular in Bikini.
Rahul Dev impresses in his role as a bad guy and leader of the bangkok goon gang. Zayed khan has lifted his performance a bit from his previous dud acting.
Katrina kaif is wasted and her special appearance does not amuse the audience much.
THE TECHNICAL DEPARTMENT:
Action sequences by James Bomalik ( Die Hard 4, Mr and Mrs Smith) both on the ground and under water are stunning.
The Songs are visually good but the much anticipated number ‘Chiggy wiggy’ in which pop singer Kylie Minogue makes a special appearance is not at all impressive and she is wasted.
The under water sequences by Peter Zuccharini (Pirates of the Caribbean) are spectacular and visually appealing.
ANALYSIS AND VERDICT:
The Plot of the movie is pretty weak and appears to be a run of the mill beaten track. Of course, the movie boasts of stunning underwater photography and Lara dutta’s bikini show but that’s all it has got.Sanjay Dutt’s acting could have been better .The surreal world of Ducatti Bikes and Yachts is cool.It would have really helped the movie if the twists and turns are interesting but they become predictable.The climax is weak and unappealing.
On the whole ,You may watch the movie in leisure for the Stunning underwater photography, Lara Dutta’s Bikini and well shot action sequences. But you are at your own risk if you are expecting more.Posted in Movie Posts Tagged: A.R.Rahman, Akshay kumar, Anthony d souza, bahamas, Blue, Blue movie, Blue movie review, blue review, chiggy wiggy, Dhilin mehta, Duccatti bikes, Hindi, Hindi movie, Indian movie, James bomalik, Katrina kaif, kylie minogue, lady in the blue, Lara dutta, Peter zuccharini, Rahman, Rahul Dev, Sanjay dutt, sunken ship, under water, underwater photography, Yachts, Zayed khan
Ravi Prakash: Desamante matti kaadoyi, desamante manushuloyi
Legendary telugu poet Gurajada Venkata Apparao’s famous patriot song written in 1910 – Desamunu Preminchumanna inspired me in many ways. The lyrics – Desamante matti kaadoyi, desamante manushuloyi ( A country is not made of land; a country is made of its people) – motivated me to look beyond the news business. That is one of the reasons why the punch line of TV9 is for better society.
These days I am receiving many emails, messages and even calls from people wanting to know about my political aspiration. TV9 AP Flood Relief campaign – is one of the biggest relief campaign launched by any media house in the country. It was well applauded and appreciated by the people. Perhaps this made people think that I am venturing into politics.
Political arena is not my forte. Let the people concerned venture and do good work in politics while I continue to be a newsman with a mission towards better society.
When other systems fail – Tv9 will raise voice and ensure that the government machinery is on track and accountability is established whenever and wherever required.
Link for the song: Desamunu Preminchumanna
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Sulekha: Featured Blogs: Memorable South!!
This is not a travelogue.... a random collection of thoughts, perhaps, incoherent at times.
Just a short visit to Tirupati and Chennai this weekend has made me so rich. It has given me a sense of ownership..a sense of belongingness!! A few momentous moments were absolutely swallowed up by the blasts of warm grace and love.
How vast my world became all of a sudden, when I was linked to Lord Balaji spiritually in a prosaic environment. What made Him more intriguing was His voluminous glittering all-powerful image that keeps ensuring peace and composure to every pilgrim who fixes his gaze at Him. I have just come back today from this holy and rich temple of Balaji..... The Sri Venkateshwar temple, which is located 860 meters above the sea level atop a hill called Venkatdri. Every person that meets Him from poor to a millionaire magnate---finds new enthusiasm, new hope and receives a golden sin-free life.
The first time when I was standing in front of the deity...I was baffled...Was it hypnotism? There was some inexplicable magic ...a presence of a force, something alien; and, finally, something incredible remained in my possession which I am unable to describe today.
Blessed abundantly in His awe-inspiring presence, I left His place with a hope and prayers to meet Him once again in future. ...
Only a few people touch our lives as we pick up allegiance of millions of people. A fine feature will always remain sketched in my memory for a long time from now. Her amiable and kindly face with soft, silky texture of hair did impress me a lot. I am normally at my freakiest nervous best ( or worst?) when I meet strangers especially from the unchartered territory of cyber space. But I always maintain, blogdom is also an enhanced matured community where one gives oneself up totally...it is not so easy to keep the true self veiled for long...
We are all familiar with Usha Suryamani here--- We all enjoy reading her amazing stories, recipes and articles. I met her in Chennai this time. She turned out to be exactly as I had imagined. Usha and her husband were gracious enough to call on me at the place where I stayed. Their company in Chennai that evening was perhaps the next best thing that happened in this trip!
We had long chats and soon a mere acquaintance transcended into bonhomie shredding all unnecessary formalities. Thank you so much Usha for the good time, good energy and unforgettable band of friendship!!
Let me share a few photographs that I clicked on way to Tirupati and Tirumala.....
Lokabhiramam: Chembai Old LP
Sulekha: Featured Blogs: My County Diwali
Aarthi, as all children sang the prayer songs
One of Woking's dance group presented a few lovely dances - totally brilliant
This is a wonderful way of encouraging unity, and also provides a platform to show case many talents. Unfortunately, my camera let me down yesterday, and many pictures turned out to be quite dark. Also, due to the late hour, we had to miss some of the dances including one done by the Malayalee association. It was encouraging to see a good turn-out inspite of the cold evening. The kids no doubt, had a field day, watching the dances and running around the stalls, that promoted their region and staying up late of course.
I think our Indian spirit to celebrate and bond with our friends and family will never tire...
Lokabhiramam: Ramnad Krishnan - Mummoortlu - Athana
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Lokabhiramam: A page from the diary
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"ఒక ప్రపంచ పౌరుడు": నీటి వరద--
Lokabhiramam: Chinta Deekshitulu - Children's Literature
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Lokabhiramam: Balamurali - Swati Tirunal Concert
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