Friday, July 14, 2017

Kotilingeshwara Temple - The temple with many Lingas

When you are taking a trip with your family, especially the elderly you tend to look to go to a place which would accommodate all their needs. Most elderly tend towards visiting a temple more than anything so were we when when we decided to go to Kotilingeaswara Temple which is only around 100km. (approximately) from Bangalore. We started in early after (packing our lunch and snacks ofcourse) as we were travelling with our 2 year old kid and our 60 over mother-in-law. This is a place where there are no stairs to climb or distances to walk so its ideal for a whole family, When you are travelling with kids it is always advisable to carry a few eatables since you cannot be sure of hygienic food. It took us more than three hours to reach the temple and it is not because of the road not being good but the opposite. The NH75 makes for a smooth ride, uninterrupted except for the occasional trucks and container lorries that we could see on the road. The road snakes between rocky hills that offer picture perfect vistas. The boulders on these tiny hills look like a gaint's baby has been playing marbles and heapead them up in little piles. We had to stop to take in the scenery.





When we finally arrived at the temple we found that it was not as deserted as one would expect a temple in a tiny little village to be. In fact the whole area was bustling with activity, they had a huge parking area that could accommodate atleast 50 four-wheeler easily which tells us that the temple expects huge crowds. There were colorful little stalls aligned on either side of the pathway to the temple selling an array of items including earthen lamps with ghee, apparently it is good to light a Ghee lamp in the presence of the Lord. We bought one and were on our way. There is a 20/- ticket for adults and a 50/- charge for the cameras. Its a good thing they allowed cameras because I love clicking pics and when I go to places where they do not allow them I feel like I am missing something. (That is how much the camera means to me now, my husband keeps telling me I should put it down for a minute and enjoy the scenery for once, but my mind always wants to get back behind the lens and capture every moment, that is why we have great shots of my kid praying to every Lingam in the place. It was ADORABLE.)


The sight that welcomed us on entering the gate was a court yard full of multicolored platforms covered with Siva limgams of all shapes and sizes. To a common viewer the sight is delightful, but to a devotee of Shiva this will your heart with joy. There are hundreds of Shiva lingams everywhere you see, arranged in rows and rows, adorned with kumkuma, pasupu and flowers.


There are a group of temples dedicated to different Gods and Godesses including the famous Sri Manjunatha temple where we offered our obeisance and the lit the ghee lamp. Then we open up in to a huge court yard that spreads around a few acers filled with more and more Shiva Lingams.

 This is where we find the huge granite Lingam reaching for the sky. Although we find that the Nandi standing in the Lord's presence is not up tot the mark, it does have the desired effect when you look it as a whole.




The different kinds of Lingams we find here are quiet variable and facinating.



Right outside the premisis of the Kotilingeshwara temple is the temple of the local deity with a idol fierce and awe inspiring and a bed of marigold crop in-front of the temple.


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Monday, July 3, 2017

The Rise of Sivagami - a book review

Since the success of Bahubali many have tried to piggy-back on its fame and here I find a book series owing to reveal the history of the most popular Matriarch of Indian Cinema today. When I first saw the book cover I was not impressed but when I found out that it was written by Anand Neelakantan I became a little interested cause I have already read 'Asura' and quiet frankly was impressed by his writing. So I bought the book and started reading, though it started of with a promise of adventure, but soon I found out it was just a matchstick sparking to flame put out very soon. There were some familiar characters and many unfamiliar ones thrown in but the thing that irked me the most is how tacky and raunchy the author made the characters to be. When I read the fore word by SS Rajamouli I was looking forward to an exciting prelude to the Bahubali series but I was very much disappointed to find that the author has to use such lewd scenes to keep his readers interested. If we remove those distasteful pages from the book what it all boils to is a story  which is a most common and uninteresting one. Frankly the book has given me a bad taste and I am not looking forward to buying the next in the series.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

This is my Review of Bahubali (both movies)

Let me tell you first and foremost that Bahubali is a truly amazing movie that you have to see in a theatre to soak in the full vision of the director. But what makes the movie so truly amazing? Is it the actors, the graphics, the stunts performed the huge cast or is it the one true vision of the director who had the immense self restraint and self confidence to produce a film to his true vision not succumbing to any industry standards and giving too much credit to characters where they did not deserve. True hero worship is a huge thing in Cinema these days but S.S Rajamoli gave equal credit to all characters as and how the plot required. The thing that I liked the most is the strong female characters portrayed in the film, making the heroine word valid again to the female leads in the movies ( Most movies these days show females in movies are just a little more than dancing girls and the only dialogues they get to say are peons of the Hero who does everything in the movies). Its refreshing to see that a director is given lease to make a film his way and the heroes are villains stick to their roles, like in the old days, and let the director bring out the best in them. When I used to watch the old movies, I used to observe that it was the character that was given importance not the man who was portraying the character and so the movies were honest and had a good story to tell, entertaining and worth watching. After a long time that is what I felt watching Bahubali.

The story: The story of Bahubali, moved everyone, because it is an age old story that we all know and understand all too well, it is a story that has been imbibed in our blood as Indians as it is told and retold many times, in many places, by hundreds of people, in many different ways. Don't believe me? Then let me narrate it to you this way... A physically challenged person is passed from the throne that is rightfully his, to his younger brother, who unfortunately dies leaving the throne in the care of his brother and a council of elders. The big brother only wishes that his son could claim the throne in his stead but his brothers son is offered the throne which turns him and his son both bitter and longing for the throne. The elder brother's son makes the younger brother's son leave his throne and go to exile by shaming his wife in the presence of court and then plots to kill him. May be  the similarities end here but you might have already got the idea, it is the story of Mahabharata narrated in the writers own unique way, may be that is the reason the the story appealed to all Indians cause its not South Indian or North Indian it was the story of India.

The Characters : The characters in the movie are not complicated, they were as outright that even a child could figure them out. there were no layers to the characters, no complicated mind boggling reasons for why they did the things they did.
The hero was our quintessential good guy - Kind, Clever, Charming, Brave, Loyal, Loving.
The heroine - Beautiful, Strong, Independent, Outspoken.
The villan - Mean, Cunning, Evil, Ambitious
The mother - Loving towards her kids, unforgiving towards her daughter-in-law.
The slave - Loyal, bound by duty, yet human.

All the other characters were also not too distant and  work towards the ultimate fight between good and evil.

The Computer Graphics: Here I stop ... take a breath and continue... The graphics in the more were Amazing, I would not say realistic but they did come real close to it. And that's a great thing because in all the movies I have seen so far they either went too far or lacked the refinement when it came to Graphics but this is another of S.S Rajamouli's Movie that I like for his restraint and lease in the Graphics department. No where has the graphics been overly used but, only to the point where the story requires it.

Although during the fight scenes I felt the stunts were totally unrealistic but my husband, on the other hand enjoyed them a lot. May be all the Action Jacks out there won't mind that if people catapult from trees and land on their feet they are bound to break so many bones in the body that they would not even be able to get up let alone fight with vigour. But hey! as long as it is exciting and keeps them on the edge of their feet, who am I to douse their fun.

The Music : An important part of any Indian Cinema is up to the mark. The songs melt into the movie so well they are not a distraction to the story line but seemed like an integral part.

Bahubali is a Well Planned and Well Excecuted movie in Indian Cinema that it must be considered a Landmark in Indian Cinema, It already has a dedicated and passionate cult following catapulting it to the status of Cult Classic. Well done!!!  Well done Bahubali Team.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Nritya Gram - Dancers Village

The entrance to Nritya Gram
The first sight to greet us on entering the premises that promises Dance at its heart and soul

When we started for Nritya Gram I was excited to see a thriving community of dancers, an ode to dance and I was hugely disappointed that there were barely a dozen dancers in the place and the whole are is left in neglect covered in fallen dried leaves everywhere. Though a few who are still dedicated to the art are still there trying hard to maintain a respectful disposition, but there is not much that they can do without proper patrons.


The unique flora found in this place

When we talked of going to this place to the aged people in out apartments they were reminiscing of the good old times when there were spectacular performances that went on all through night and jubiliant events performed in this place. This made me feel even worse that I was unable to see it in its hay days. But now there is not a hint of the once talked of splendour.






The amphitheatre, which must have hosted exclusive dance performances lay silent, haunted by its own memories, waiting for anklets bound feet to once again perform. This here is symbolic enough to let us know that how fine arts have been neglected in the recent years.


 The view from the stage of the Amphitheatre.


 Art found on the walls of this place



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World is full of Beautiful things...

Here's a song with beautiful lyrics I loved so much...
I heard it in Etihad Airways Ad and instantly fell in love with it.
People think Music is so important and that music makes the song a hit but to me Lyrics are important too. Lyrics give the song a Character. If you like the lyrics you will love the song too here go to the link in YouTube and enjoy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGaaPJAfxD8


The world is full of beautiful things
 Butterfly wings, fairy tale kings
 And each new day undoubtedly brings
 Still more beautiful things

The world abounds with many delights
 Magical sights, fanciful flights
 And those who dream on beautiful nights
 Dream of beautiful things

Beautiful days for sunshine lazin'
 Beautiful skies and shores
 Beautiful days when I can gaze
 In beautiful eyes like yours

You wonder why the nightingale sings
 Lovers have wings, people wear rings
 The world is full of beautiful things
 Beautiful people, too
 Beautiful people like you
Beautiful days of sun kissed showers
 Beautiful sea kissed breeze
 Beautiful nights of moon kissed hours
 Beautiful dreams like these
Our lives tick by like pendulum swings
 Delicate things, butterfly wings
 Life is full of beautiful things
 Beautiful people, too
 Beautiful people like you
Like you, just like you, people like you
 Beautiful people like you

Read more: Bobby Darin - Beautiful Things Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Coorg - the exploited paradise

It had been 7 years since I last went to Madekeri, in Coorg district of Karnataka. Back then it was beautifully natural, mostly untouched by the harsh hands of civilization. Now that gorgeous wilderness has been bruatally mauled by tourism and has been tamed to submission. No longer the hike into the jungle to watch those cascading falls a peaceful and tranquail experience but a very fussy and crowded one. This time when I went to Abby falls I could see plastic garbage everywhere and it made me really sad.
Abbey Falls, Coorg, Karnataka
I wish the tourists wouldn't do such harm to the very environ they are here to admire. Also I wish the tourism department along with developing the area restrict the sale of non-degradable items near such natural resourses and keep the serenity of the place in tact. Even after such ill teatment by its adorers the place still proudly lays bear its beauty for everyone to enjoy. I only wish that it is not completly spoiled like another tourist spot that I have recently.

Talakaveri, Coorg, Karnataka



see Kodugu...


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Monday, November 28, 2016

Sanchari Mahotsava 2016



Yesterday was an amazingly refreshing day spent in Indiranagar Sangeet sabha. We were  to witness some of the young people in banglore showcase their talent in Sanchari Mahotsava 2016.



 The program started of with a 'Tilana' by giggling little school girls all decked up in glittering jewelry, it was cute to watch. They enjoyed their performance and so did we. 





Then came the vocals, where six kids performed two songs each, some were divine and some needed more practice but I was really amazed at the talent of these kids who could sing so beautifully at such an young age. 

The whole event was was carried out quiet professionally which showed that these kids meant business. 



There was also a mesmerizing performance by one of the teachers, her voice soothing, her countenance pleasing and her songs filled the whole auditorium with a serenity. It was a pleasant experience, for those few moments I was transformed to my happy place. I was there with my husband and 2 year old kid and neither gave me trouble during the show, (you know how husbands are if its not sports or action movies, they get bored), infact my 2 year old was so moved by the music that he too tried a few ragas (not the crying kind mind you), it was so cute to watch, well that's what good music does, it moves people.  




The program ended with three spirited performances of Bharatanatyam by Prardhana, Rohit and Aishwarya although Rohit's performance was my favourite. I say this because I have seen grace and vigour in his performance, his facial expression matched his steps and his steps were in tune withe music, I am no expert in Bharatanatyam, but his was my clear favorite because I enjoyed watching it, and in the end isn't it all that counts. 



The day ended with a display of some spectacular paintings by Surya Natarajan from her studio Zilpa. She also offers art classes for Adults & kids in Tanjore painting, Glass paintings, reverse glass paintings, oil and acrylics.