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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Long Weekend Getaway: Part 9: Shivamogga and Bhadravathi

And here is the concluding edition of that weekend trip: the final leg of Shivamogga and Bhadravathi, continuing on from the last edition of Keladi and Ikkeri:

We left the historical town of Keladi and reached Shivamogga by noon, and had our lunch and set out to visit St. Thomas Church, which was supposedly the second largest Church in India. But we realized after speaking to the local folks that there was indeed a St. Thomas Church in Shivamogga, and the second largest Church in India was also present in the city, but they were two different churches. The huge Cathedral was in fact the Sacred Heart Church, right at the heart of the city, constructed in early 1990s. The architecture is extremely beautiful for such a new building, and would attract any visitor from a distance. The symmetry and the solitude one gets inside is inexplicable.

After this, we made our way to the Shivappa Nayaka Palace, which is again, inside the city, but is now converted into a museum, where centuries and millenniums old scriptures, sculptures and historical artifacts are placed for display. Of particular interest for me were the lost sculptures of 8th to 12th century Karnataka empires, telling stories of the Panchatantra and the powerful influence of Jainism.

Next stop was supposed to be the Bhadra River Project Dam as we bid good bye to Anurag, who left to Pune from Shivamogga. Karthik, Thomas and myself went to Bhadravathi, the industrial buzz town of yesteryear, and as we reached there, realized that the bus that was supposed to take us to the dam had broken down and there was no easy way to reach there and the sun was setting soon. We decided to complete the Bhadravathi trip by visiting the 13th Century Hoysala Temple of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha, and could tick this off easily as we wandered through the wonderful inner streets of the old township.

We were back at Shivamogga in no time, and following a sumptuous dinner, got onto the next bus back to Bangalore, and there ended a wonderful unplanned three and a half day journey through the districts of Shivamogga and Chikkamagalur.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Long Weekend Getaway: Part 8: Keladi and Ikkeri

So, here's an attempt to finish off the pending episodes of our Jog-Agumbe trip three months back before the year ends. So, continuing on from part 7 here:

We returned from the Jog Falls that evening and stayed at Sagara, and the next day, before our trip back to Shivamogga, went on a trip to the nearby historical places of Keladi and Ikkeri, both located within 10 km radius of Sagara.

First stop was Ikkeri, the one time capital of the Keladi Nayakas. This small town is now identified by the beautiful Aghoreshwara Temple, built in a combination of Vijayanagara, Hoysala and Chalukya styles, almost entirely using granite stones. Light drizzle and a big beautifully carved Nandi statue invited us, and we went around the temple exploring its geometrical perfection. Here are a few pictures from Ikkeri:

Up next was Keladi, famous as the first capital of the Nayakas who ruled the region, after the disintegration of the Vijayanagara empire. The Nayakas later moved to Ikkeri as that became their capital. The kingdom is famous for proud rulers like Shivappa Nayaka and Keladi Chennamma. Now, the most notable aspect of Keladi is the Hoysala-Dravida style Rameshwara Temple, which  is a 16th century temple built mainly out of green schist stone and wooden extensions. There are stories about how Keladi Chennamma faced up to the invaders, and we can even see the modern day Karnataka emblem, Gandaberunda carved on the ceilings of the temple. Here are some pictures from this trip:

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Kannada Translation: Robert Frost's "The Pasture"

Here is an attempt to translate Robert Frost's 1915 poem "The Pasture" to Kannada:

The Pasture

I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear, I may):
I shan't be gone long. -- You come too. 

I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young,
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I shan't be gone long. -- You come too. 

- Robert Frost

ಬಾ ನೀನೂ ನನ್ನೊಡನೆ

ಗೋಮಾಳ ಹಸನಾಗಿಸಲೆಂದು ಹೊರಟಿಹೆನು;
ಚೆಲ್ಲಿರುವ ತರಗುಗಳ ಗುಡಿಸೆತ್ತಿ ಮರಳುವೆನು
ತಿಳಿ ನೀರ ಚಿಲುಮೆ ಕಂಡರೆಕ್ಷಣವೆ ನಿಂತೇನು
ಹೊತ್ತು ಮಾಡದೆ ಬರುವೆ. - ಬಾ ನೀನೂ ನನ್ನೊಡನೆ.

ಪುಟ್ಟ ಕರುವನು ಮನೆಗೆ ಕರೆತರಲು ಹೊರಟಿಹೆನು;
ಹಸುಳೆಯದು, ತಾಯಿಗೊರಗಿಯೇ ನಿಂತಿಹುದು
ಮಮತೆ ವಾತ್ಸಲ್ಯದಿಂ ನೆಕ್ಕಲದು ನಲುಗುವುದು
ಹೊತ್ತು ಮಾಡದೆ ಬರುವೆ. - ಬಾ ನೀನೂ ನನ್ನೊಡನೆ.

- ವೆಂಕಟೇಶಪ್ರಸನ್ನ

Sunday, 15 December 2013

ಮಾಸ್ತರರ ಪಾಠ

An attempt, again, of about a couple of years ago, to bring out the seriousness of Global Warming through a Teacher's lecture to his little students. A "Shishu Kavya":

ನಮ್ಮಯ ಮಾಸ್ತರು ಬಂದರು ಮತ್ತೆ
ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ ತರಗತಿ ಸಮಯದಲಿ
ಕೈಯಲಿ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ಹೆಗಲಲಿ ನಕ್ಷೆ
ಕಾಳಜಿಯಿತ್ತು ಮುಖದಲ್ಲಿ

ನಮ್ಮಗಳೆಲ್ಲರ ಕುರಿತು ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳ
ಸುರಿಮಳೆಯನ್ನೇ ಸುರಿಸಿಹರು
ಇವುಗಳಿಗುತ್ತರ ಗೊತ್ತೇ ನಿಮಗೆ
ಎಂದು ಸವಾಲನು ಹಾಕಿಹರು

ಉತ್ತರ ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಧ್ರುವಗಳ ಮಂಜು
ಏಕೋ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಗೆ ಕರಗಿಹುದು?
ಸಾಗರದಾಳದ ನೀರಿನ ಮಟ್ಟ
ಏಕೋ ಈಚೆಗೆ ಏರಿಹುದು?

ಕರಾವಳಿಯಲಿ ಕಡಲ್ಗೊರೆತಕೆ
ಮನೆಗಳು ಏಕೆ ಮುಳುಗಿಹವು?
ಕಲಬುರ್ಗಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆರೆಗಳು ಏಕೆ
ವಸಂತದಲ್ಲೇ ಒಣಗಿಹವು?

ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳೆಲ್ಲಾ ಅರ್ಥವಾದರೂ
ಉತ್ತರ ಮಾತ್ರ ಹೊಳೆದಿಲ್ಲ
ದಿನವೂ ವಿಚಾರ ಕೇಳುತಲಿದ್ದರೂ
ಕಾರಣ ಮಾತ್ರ ತಿಳಿದಿಲ್ಲ

ಉತ್ತರ ನಾನೇ ಹೇಳುವೆನೆಂದು
ಮಾಸ್ತರು ನಕ್ಷೆಯ ಬಿಡಿಸಿಹರು
ಗಮನವನಿತ್ತ ಹರಿಸಿರಿ ಮಕ್ಕಳೇ,
ವಿಷಯ ಗಂಭೀರವೆಂದಿಹರು

ಕೇಳಿರಿ ಮಕ್ಕಳಾ, ವಾತಾವರಣದ
ಚಕ್ರವು ಮತ್ತೆ ಉರುಳಿಹುದು
ಶೀತೋಷ್ಣ ಯುಗಗಳ ವಲಯಗಳಲ್ಲಿ
ವ್ಯತ್ಯಾಸವೀಚೆಗೆ ಕಂಡಿಹುದು

ಭುವಿಯೊಳಗಿರುತಿಹ ಸಂಪನ್ಮೂಲವ
ಮಾನವನೆಂದೂ ಬಳಸಿಹನು
ಈಚೆಗೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿದ ಬೇಡಿಕೆಯಿಂದ
ಮತ್ತೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚನು ಸೆಳೆದಿಹನು

ಕಲ್ಲಿದ್ದಲು ಮರ ಖನಿಜ ತೈಲಗಳ
ಬಳಕೆಯ ದಿನವೂ ಮಾಡಿಹನು
ಮನುಕುಲವನ್ನು ಬೆಳೆಸುವೆನೆನ್ನುತ
ವಾತಾವರಣವ ಕೆಡೆಸಿಹನು

ಕೊಡುತಿಹಳೆಮಗೆ ಭೂಮಿತಾಯಿಯು
ಕೇಳಿದ್ದೆಲ್ಲವ ಒಲ್ಲೆನದೇ
ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದ್ದೆಲ್ಲವ ಸವೆಸಿರೆ ಮಾನವ

ನಮ್ಮದೆ ಭುವಿಯಿದು ನಮ್ಮದೆ ಆಗಸ
ನಮ್ಮದೆ ನೀರು ನಮ್ಮದೆ ಗಾಳಿ
ಕೇವಲ ನಮ್ಮದೆ ಅಲ್ಲವೊ ಚಿಣ್ಣರಾ
ಇನ್ನೂ ಹಲವಿವೆ ಜೀವಪ್ರಜಾತಿ

ಎಲ್ಲವ ಹಂಚುತ ಮಿತಿಯಲ್ಲಿರಿಸುತ
ಬಳಸಿದರಷ್ಟೇ ನಮಗುಳಿವು
ಇರಲಿ ಮಕ್ಕಳು, ಮರಿಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೂ
ಜೀವಸಂಕುಲದ ಕೆಲ ಸುಳಿವು


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

ಪುಣ್ಯವಂತರು ನಾವು...

My attempt at writing a Kannada Poem / Song from a couple of years ago:

ಪುಣ್ಯವಂತರು ನಾವು ಕನ್ನಡಾಂಬೆಯ ಜನರು
ಗಣ್ಯರುದಿಸಿದ ನಾಡೊಳಿನ್ನೊಮ್ಮೆ ಜನಿಸಿಹೆವು
ರನ್ನ ಪಂಪರ ಕಾವ್ಯ ಅಣ್ಣ ಬಸವರ ಭಾಗ್ಯ
ಹೊನ್ನ ಹೃದಯವ ಹೊತ್ತ ಅನ್ನದಾತರ ತವರು

ಹರಿದಾಸ ರಚನೆಗಳ ಭರವಸೆಯ ವಚನಗಳ
ಭರತೇಶ ವೈಭವದ ವರಕವಿಯ ಸಾಲುಗಳ
ಬರೆದೋದಿ ನಲಿದಾಡಿ ನಿರುತ ನೆನೆದನುಭವಿಸಿ
ಸರಸತಿಯನರ್ಚಿಸುವ ಕರುನಾಡಲಿಹೆವು

ಕೊಡಗಲುದಿಸಿರ್ಪ ನದಿ ಪಡುವಣದ ಘಟ್ಟಗಳು
ಕಡೆದ ಗೊಮ್ಮಟ ಮೂರ್ತಿ ಸಿಡಿದೆದ್ದ ಚೆನ್ನಮ್ಮ
ತಡೆವಣೆಯ ಕಟ್ಟೆಗಳ ಬಿಡದೆ ಕಟ್ಟಿದ ಶಿಲ್ಪಿ
ಹಡೆದಿವರ ತಾಯ್ಗೆ ನಮಿಸುವೊಡಹುಟ್ಟಿದವರು

ಅಂದಿನಿಂದಿದ್ದವರು ಇಂದು ಬಂದಿಹ ಜನರ
ಬಂಧುಗಳೆಂಬಂತೆಣಿಸಿ ಚಂದನದ ಮಣೆ ಹಾಸಿ
ಬೆಂದ ಕಾಳಲಿ ಪಾಲು ಕುಂದಾಗದಂತಿತ್ತು
ಅಂಧಕಾರವ ಕಳೆವ ಗಂಧಗುಡಿಯೊಳಗಿಹೆವು

ಮಸ್ತಿಷ್ಕದಲಿ ಮುಂದು ಶಿಸ್ತು ಸಂಯಮವುಂಟು
ತ್ರಸ್ತರಿಗೆ ನೆಲೆ ನೀಳ್ಪ ವಿಸ್ತಾರದೆದೆಯುಂಟು
ಕ್ರೈಸ್ತ ಮುಸ್ಲಿಮ ಹಿಂದು ಕಷ್ಟ ಸುಖಗಳಲೆಂದೂ
ಹಸ್ತ ಜೋಡಿಸಿ ನಡೆವ ಕಸ್ತೂರಿನುಡಿಯವರು

ಆಳೆನ್ನದರಸೆನದೆ ಬಾಳ ಬೆಳಗುವ ಹಲರು
ತಳಿರು ತೋರಣದಂತೆ ನಳನಳಿಸುತಿರಲು
ಅಳಿವಿಲ್ಲ ಕನ್ನಡಕೆ ಬೆಳೆಯುವುದು ಕರುನಾಡು
ಇಳೆಯಣುಗಿಯೊಡಲಿಗರು ಬೆಳಕಾಗಿ ನಿಂತಿರಲು

ಪುಣ್ಯವಂತರು ನಾವು ಕನ್ನಡಾಂಬೆಯ ಜನರು,
ಪುಣ್ಯವಂತರು ನಾವು ಕನ್ನಡಾಂಬೆಯ ಜನರು...

- ವೆಂಕಟೇಶಪ್ರಸನ್ನ

Some explanations for the difficult parts:
  • ಭರತೇಶ ವೈಭವ = An epic work of Ratnakaravarni
  • ಸರಸತಿ = Tadbhava of Saraswati
  • ಕೊಡಗಲುದಿಸಿರ್ಪ ನದಿ = River Kaveri
  • ತಡೆವಣೆಯ ಕಟ್ಟೆಗಳ ಬಿಡದೆ ಕಟ್ಟಿದ ಶಿಲ್ಪಿ = The architect who built dams - Sir M. Visvesvaraya
  • ತ್ರಸ್ತ = Frightened one, used here to mean the Tibetans who have found refuge in the safety of Karnataka (Bailukuppe)
  • ಹಲರು = ಹಲರು
  • ಇಳೆಯಣುಗಿಯೊಡಲಿಗರು = ಇಳೆ (Earth) ಣುಗಿ (Daughter)ಡಲಿಗರು (Children) - KannaDambe, who is the daughter of mother earth, is protected by the Kannadigas, her children.

ಚಿತ್ರ: ಬಿ. ಕೆ. ಎಸ್. ವರ್ಮರ ತಾಯಿ ಭುವನೇಶ್ವರಿಯ ಕಲಾಕೃತಿ

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Sindhu Bhairavi: Connecting India

It seems Sindhu Bhairavi is in the soul of India. Indian classical music would be incomplete without this absorbing Raga which has the ability to take you to the innermost tranquility. With the name Bhairavi in Hindustani classical music and Sindhu Bhairavi as its Carnatic counterpart, there seems to be absolutely no language barrier, with all of the Indian languages having embraced the raga as their own. Some of the most devotional compositions in each of the Indian languages have been set to this Raga, and one can never get tired of listening to its soothing and soulful renditions for hours together. Here is an attempt to bring together some of the most well known renditions of the Raga, from across multiple languages (one per language for the time being):

1. The most famous composition ever in the Raga has to be the Sanskrit composition "Venkatachala Nilayam" by Saint Purandara Dasa, known as the Pitamaha of Carnatic Music, sung here by the legendary Smt. M. L. Vasantha Kumari:

2. Saint Purandara Dasa must have been a great patron of Raga Sindhu Bhairavi, as he has set many of his compositions in this raga. Probably even the second most famous rendition in this Raga would have to be his  composition, the Kannada song "Tamburi Meetidava", rendered here by Smt. Sudha Raghunathan:

3. Up next in my list is the Tamil composition by Anai Vaidyanatha Iyer, "Chandrashekhara Eesha", sung by Nityashree Mahadevan here:

4. Maharastra has had its own set of great saints and one of the most well known ones among them was Samartha Ramadas. Here is his Marathi composition "Kalyan Kari Ramaraya":

5. When you move onto Hindi, Surdas Bhajans, Bharat Ratna M. S. Subbulakshmi and Sindhu Bhairavi become inseparable:

6. And here is a powerful Bengali Durga Stuti sung by Aruna Sairam, "Jago Tumi Jago":

7. And the well known Punjabi anga "Bhavani Dayani" sung by Parvin Sultana:

8. So, it is no surprise that the iconic video of national unity created by Doordarshan years ago, "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara", was mostly tuned to Bhairavi and Sindhu Bharavi:

Well, that is it for now, and I hope to come back and share more renditions of this raga, including my personal favorite, "Govinda Gopala Gopika Vallabha"...

Saturday, 16 November 2013

A Tribute Through Sanskrit Verses: Sachin, The Sun God?

Here is an amateurish attempt to write shleshartha shlokas (carrying multiple meanings) in praise of the Cricketing God, newly crowned Bharat Ratna and freshly retired Sachin Tendulkar. There would be incorrectness here and there in these verses as this is one of my early attempts to write in Sanskrit, but want to share it on my blog nonetheless, as a tribute to arguably the best cricketer the country has seen.

So here are the verses:

वन्देऽहम् जगदाधारम्
वल्लभारोहितम् सुरम् ।
राहुलाञ्छनविक्रमम् ॥

शतानिलम् पिङ्गलाद्यम्
लक्ष्मणार्ककुलाश्रयम् ।
सचिन्तम् प्रणमाम्यहम् ॥

Meaning: Version 1:
These verses carry two meanings, one version obviously praises Sachin, so, here's what I have tried bringing in. Every line below corresponds to the English translation of the corresponding line in the Shlokas:

  • I bow to him, the "God" (जगदाधार:)
  • The idol who likes a heavy (भारः) bat (वल्ल),
  • The one who taught (all about batting) to Saurav (Ganguly) and others (प्रवक्तार:),
  • The one who set / stretched (आञ्छन) World Records (विक्रम:) for Rahul (Dravid to aim at)

  • The first one with 49 (ODI) and 51 (Test) hundreds (Anila = 49; Pingala is the 51st of the 60 Samvatsaras of the Hindu calendar),
  • The one who was prior (अर्क) to Laxman (in the batting order) and on whom the whole (Indian cricket followers') community depended (for wins),
  • The one who obtained leadership (Captaincy of the Indian team) during a time it was composed of impurities and danger (match fixing scandals),
  • Sachin, to him, I bow. (सचिन् तम्)

Meaning: Version 2:
The other version praises the Sun God, worshiped as the one responsible for ensuring sustenance of life on Earth:

  • I bow to him, the one who support the entire world,
  • The Sun God, who rides on (the chariot of) horses (वल्लभ आरोहितम्),
  • The one who comes announcing (प्रवक्तार:) divinity (सौर) and wisdom (वादि) (every day during sunrise),
  • The one who overcomes the stain / mark of ignominy of Rahu (eclipse) (राहु-लाञ्छन),

  • The one who is made of many a gases and has a golden (पिङ्गल) beginning (during the sunrise),
  • The one who is seen as the source of the lineage of Lakshmana's elder brother (अर्क) (Rama - Suryavamsha),
  • The one who removes (अपनेतॄ) all the sins one has collected through many births,
  • To that thoughtful being (सचिन्तम्), I bow.

Even before I started thinking about these verses, I wanted to implement a bit of Dattapadi in this. For the uninitiated, Dattapadi is an art in Avadhana where given a few words, a verse is to be created using them. Usually, those words will not have any connection to the topic on which the verse must be created. In this case, I have tried using the names of Sachin and other legendary cricketers of his generation: Saurav, Rahul, Anil and Laxman. Also present is the pretender to the throne, the newest Mumbaikar in the Indian test team, Rohit.

I have used all but Rohit and Anil with their original meanings in the Sachin version of the verses and in completely different meanings in the Sun version.

For those interested in the gory details, it took about 6 hours to come up with these verses.

Finally, today is about Tendulkar, so, here's wishing him a great life outside of cricket too, and congratulations to him on winning the Bharat Ratna.


The above verses were tuned to Raga Charukesi and sung by my colleague Mekhala Hiriyanna as part of her concert on 31st December 2013, at the School of Ancient Wisdom, Banglaore. Here is a video collage:

VandEham JagadAdhAram from hmvprasanna on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Long Weekend Getaway: Part 7: Jog Falls Under Heavy Rainfall

The main destination of the four day trip was the Jog Falls, which got us thinking about this long weekend getaway in the first place, and with a genius of a plan, we had delayed our Jog trip by a day to avoid the long weekend crowd. Leaving Sringeri after breakfast, we came back to Shivamogga and from there took a bus to Sagara, closest city to Jog Falls. We got a bus right away at Sagara too, to go to Jog Falls, and after a journey of about six and a half hours in broad daylight through roads piercing dense forests and fresh rains, we reached Jog by around 4:30 in the evening. The journey through Koppa, Narasimharajapura, Sagara and Talaguppa was extremely picturesque, green, and filled with fresh pollution free air.

But from the moment we stepped down from the bus at Jog, and till we came back to Sagara for the night stay, it was raining cats and dogs, but we managed to steal more than a view of the majestic waterfalls that has inspired poets of the caliber of Prof. K. S. Nissar Ahmed and engineering maestros of the stature of Sir M. Visvesvaraya alike.

Water at the falls was less during that week, compared to what we had expected, and the roaring waterfalls were playing hide and seek with the help of heavy rains and the mist. We stood our ground, and made sure we filled ourselves with the view, and vowed to comeback during slightly drier times before summer hits the town again, and returned with a feeling of accomplishment.

Here are a set of photos and a video of the falls during our visit:

A macaque can't find a place to hide from the heavy rains, and hopes that its fur can save it from getting drenched, curls itself up to retain its body heat

Thomas and I are posing in front of Jog Falls, supposedly

And look closely, Anurag and Thomas are pointing towards the natural wonder :)

Karthik and me this time, no good view of RRRR yet...

And finally, a roaring milky section of the Jog, from the top view point

A section of the Mahatma Gandhi Hydro Electric Power Station

Karthik and Thomas in front of the well known view point of Jog

All four sections of the falls in view

One last look at the falls before mist covers up and rains pelt down again

The video:

Friday, 20 September 2013

Long Weekend Getaway: Part 6: The Sringeri Stay

Continuing on from the 5th part:

After the Kundadri exploration, it was time to plan the night stay for day 1, and since we had decided not to go back to Agumbe as that would have costed us a lot of time the next day in our travel towards Jog Falls, we had decided to go to Sringeri and stay there. Ashok, the auto driver dropped us at Bidaregudi, a town 15 kilometers away from Sringeri, and guided us about the bus timings to reach Sringeri. By the time we had a hot cup of coffee at Bidaregudi, the bus was there, and we ended up at Sringeri at 7:30 in the evening. We visited the Sharadamba Temple right away, and had the Prasadam at the temple as our dinner and proceeded to take rest at the lodge we had booked on arrival.

The next day early in the morning, Karthik and myself payed another visit to this serene place of Bhakti, witnessed the Puja offered to Sharadamba and Vidyashankara and various other deities in the temple complex, and soaked in the atmosphere of sacredness that one gets at the very first moment of stepping into the complex. Even as many families brought their little kids for their initiation of studies through "Aksharabhyasa", other devotees bathed at River Tunga, at her ferocious best, but appearing somewhat tempered by the early morning calmness.

This visit was more for the mind and soul, and no words or pictures can explain the tranquility it brings. And we had our breakfast in Sringeri and started towards Sagara, to catch a bus to Jog from there.

Some images of the Vidyashankara Temple

The Sharadamba Temple

The Tunga River early in the morning

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Long Weekend Getaway: Part 5: Kundadri Hill Greenery and the Jain Temple

Continuing on from the 4th part:

We had the option of going to the other famous waterfalls near Agumbe, the Onake Abbi Falls, but the Dodda Mane folks were quick to let us know that the number of leeches we would encounter there would be ten times of what we saw at Barkana Falls. We thought we had seen enough waterfalls for the day, and decided to have lunch at Dodda Mane, take rest for about an hour and head towards Sringeri where we had planned to stay overnight.

The Dodda Mane lunch served by Kasturi Akka was heavenly, and having trekked along in incessant rain and braved the leech attacks, we definitely needed that. But just as we were planning a slow evening after coming back from Barkana, the auto driver Ashok had planted the seed of taking us to the Kundadri Hillock, where we could witness the evening mist, enjoy the ride to the top, visit the 17th century Parshwanatha Tirthankara's temple, and be amongst more greenery. This is one of the potential sunset points by the looks of it, but the Sun had decided to not show up throughout our trip anyway.

So, we went there in his auto with dangerously low levels of brake oil that ensured his drive back was mostly in careful first gear (as if we were not having enough fun already), and witnessed some really cool breeze and algae covered slippery slopes.

The priest gave a good overview of the ancient Parshwanatha temple, and we enjoyed about an hour there as nature played hide and seek with thick mountain mist covering all around the region.

Here are some pictures from the trip to Kundadri:

Anurag climbs the last few steps to the Kundadri hilltop

The 80 feet deep pond that neither dries up nor overflows throughout the year!

Foggy and Green. All around

An inscription describing the construction details of the Parshwanatha Jain temple 

Adinatha, the first Tirthankara, on the right side of the temple entrance

Chandranatha, the eighth Tirthankara, on the left hand side of the entrance

The main deity, Parshwanatha, inside the temple

The temple in the fog

More of green everywhere...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Google Doodle on the 97th Birthday of M. S. Subbulakshmi

Google came out with this doodle on the 97th Birth Anniversary of Carnatic Music Legend M. S. Subbulakshmi:

Surely, they could have done better.

First thing that turned me off was the Sari in the MSS depiction in letter 'g'. The caricature is nice, but that gray dull Sari is not what you associate MSS with. She was graceful and humble and was personification of great Bhakti in her simple, yet colourful Silk Saris.

And the Tabla, as my friend pointed out, was probably a very rare accompaniment in MSS concerts. Tabla is more of a Hindustani percussion accompaniment, but we can consider it as indicative of the Meera Bhajan recitals of MSS. But Tabla is a pair of drums, not one. The two of them would have perfectly fitted the "oo" part of the word Google. Ghatam could have become the final 'e'. By the way, what are those meaningless concentric circles representing 'G' and 'e'?

How can one forget "Bharat Ratna", which would have fitted into the letter 'G' perfectly?

Here is my 'wireframe' attempt towards this:

And, Happy Birthday MSS :)