Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Story of a ride to Alamparai fort

(A candid account of the ride on 25th morning to Alamparai Fort in Kadapakkam village near Cheyur in Tamilnadu as told my friend and co-rider, Jam. I am sure you're going to enjoy this lucid narrative. - Prasad)

A superposition of strokes of icy cirrus, splendid and dark heap of cumulus, and the rhythmic rhyme of bell from a nearby church marked the beginning of my Christmas day. The joyous cycle ride from my hostel to the Institute's main gate in cold and crisp air bring in some soothing experience that ended up with a cup of "hot" chips coffee. It was while having my coffee that I self-assessed my health condition - "Should I go for it?". Its only a couple of days back that I caught cold and I have been on medication which had drained all the energy that was left in my body.

"I still can stop all this", I told myself, "by calling Prasad and come up with an excuse". "Sorry yaar, my cycle tyre got punctured...I overslept and just got up...my brother is coming to meet me..."and so many such excuses came to my mind while I aimlessly browsed for an application on my mobile. "Why not I facebook one more time?, or I can check the weather forecast for today", thinking this I opened my application folder from the menu. Something odd caught my eye that time, ya... it was the application I downloaded previous night, but din't install and configure as I slept while the downloading was in progress. What is it? Nimbu or something? No...Nimbuzz. Is it from Google (because it has "buzz" on it)? No! It seems to be a chat application.

Well, its asking me for a tag line! What shall I type here? What's coming in my mind at this moment? Concentrate...Think hard...
I think my inner voice told "Let's do it"! Is this a tag line? Or is there a hidden message that tells me what I should decide upon that moment? Ok...here we go, "Hello Prasad! This is Jam, I just reached main gate. I'll catch bus to Tiruvanmiyur now. I'll call you once I reach the bus stand. Please guide me to reach your place from there on".

No...it's not about visiting my friend's place. Its a different thing. Its a thing that sounds like "motorcycle diaries" of Che. It was decided a week ago that me and my friend Prasad will go on a motorcycle drive in his Bullet to Alamparai Fort and the date was fixed to be on the Christmas day. I didn't ask Santa Claus for a gift, but little did I expect that time that there was indeed a gift awaiting for me to come and pick it up! My confused beginning soon started to evaporate like mist on grass in a sunlight and soon the enthu of the drive overwhelmed me completely. And thus we started our drive, from the periphery of Neelangarai, a drive that will last for a little less than 2 hours with a break in between for breakfast and tea. A drive that would take you to the road that is frequently traveled; the East Coast Road drive to Muttukad and Mahabalipuram; the road with a view of silvery reflection of the rising sun on the tropical waters in front of Nithyakalyana Perumal temple, the road that is used to frequent between Chennai and Pondicherry, the road which is simply used to exploit the pleasure of driving. It requires a different level of enthu to search and find a location such as Alamparai fort through the road that is less traveled by, and such is the enthu my friend Prasad posses, who had frequented to this fort a number of times in the past.

 The entrance

Once a magnificent fort, but now its nothing but ruins, Alamparai fort is located in a village called Kadapakkam, about 50km down south from Mamallapuram. The fort was used during war time and also as a port, thus I came to know from the numerous sources on the internet. When I heard the name for the first time, I thought its "Alam (banyan) + Parai (rocks)", meaning the fort with a banyan tree. We did spot some banyan tree rooted on the dilapidated walls which, once upon a time served as the walls of the fort.

Prasad (left) and myself (right) with Prasad's Bullet

Set in a typical village background, the village of Alamparai fort is a scenic beauty with lush greeneries on one side, and backwater fisheries on the other. The people here are found to be either at the fish market bargaining for the catch, or playing cards under a shady banyan tree. We reached the entrance of the fort, parked our Rajdoot in front of a modern day structure that housed a village family, asked them to take care of our helmets while we are on for the venturing. I should mention the hospitality of those village people here, for only they can not only agree to take care of our helmets, but also asked if we were coming on a long drive without having our lunch. In none of my world would I offer a stranger a meal and hospitality that we experienced!

 The ruined remains

After taking photos of the ruined fort from various positions, we went on a boating trip to the beach through the backwaters. The view of fort from the backwaters tell us how the fort would have looked like once upon a time. In fact, the highlight of this trip is the boat ride through the backwaters, which has got us two new friends, the boat drivers Ranjith and Kumaran, both localites who survives on fishing and taking the fort visitors on a boating trip.

A portion of ruined fort wall lying on backwaters

It's not the "road less travelled" thing, nor the fort or the backwaters, nor the hospitality shown by the village people, nor the drive on long stretches of the traffic less road on which you could not spot even a single bumpy drive or potholes, nor the scenic beauty on both sides of the drive that highlighted our trip, but a simple and extraordinary experience of having a siesta in a temple premises in some remote village located on the ECR road! The nap refreshed both of us and we both could feel the reborn much needed enthu in us that helped us to complete the trip. As my friend said, "If you aren't enthusiastic enough, you can't enjoy the ride".

Srinivasa Ramanujam aka Jam


Saturday, November 06, 2010

'Why not study ethnobotany' by Clem Starck

Poetry by Clem Starck, photo credit by Carla Perry.

“Why not study ethnobotany,
or practice juggling?
I could learn to read Chinese, and start in
on the ten thousand poems extant
of Lou You.
It’s unlikely I’ll take up blacksmithing,
or become a backhoe operator.
For the time being
I think I’ll just concentrate
on finding the words
for the mist that rises from
the fields in the morning,
or the moon
as seen once from Joel’s truck
on the way home from a job in Corvallis.”
- Clem Starck

Weather - Cycle JAL hitting Tamilnadu coast on Sunday evening

Cyclone JAL will cross Indian coast on Sunday evening. It is expected to hit coastal line around state capital, Chennai, within two to three hours after 11.30 pm on Sunday (07/11/2010). Before reaching the coastline, if it follows the path predicted by IMD, it would have traveled around 500 km of ground distance or 270 knots. The above snapshot shows the predicted path. The cyclone is expected to slow down and shed its severity after travelling a few hundred kilometers in-land.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Google's diplomacy over India's political map

This is a snapshot of Google Analytics page for this blog. There is has been an increased visitors' activity due to Diwali time. Most visits are coming from the google search for diwali greetings. But real point of this post is a little different. Analytics shows two different maps for India! Map of Southern Asia has India's map in the 'American way' whereas map of India alone (after zooming in) shows the map in 'Indian way' at least from India. I would like to know if it is the same from locations outside India. I will be thankful if somebody stationed abroad can throw some light on this.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Downloadable Diwali Greeting

Click on the image to download the original (3872 x 2592). Please type additional text on the image and send this Diwali Greeting (Dipavali Greeting) to your loved ones. You are free to crop the watermark on the right side edge with mention of my name. Happy Diwali!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hi vaat door jaate sung by Asha Bhosale

A beautiful song written by poetess Shanta Shelake equally beautifully composed by Pt. Hridaynath Mangeshkar and sung in serene and dreamy voice of ever favorite Asha Bhosale.

ही वाट दूर जाते स्वप्नामधील गांवा
                                      माझ्या मनातला ग तेथे असेल रावा

जेथे मिळे धरेला आभाळ वाकलेले
अस्ताचलास जेथे रविबिंब टेकलेले
जेथे खुळ्या ढगांनी रंगीन साज ल्यावा
                                     माझ्या मनातला ग तेथे असेल रावा

स्वप्नामधील गांवा स्वप्नामधून जावे
स्वप्नातल्या प्रियाला मन मुक्त गीत गावे
स्वप्नातल्या सुखाचा स्वप्नीच वेध घ्यावा
                                       माझ्या मनातला ग तेथे असेल रावा...

*** ***
गीत: शांता शेळके
संगीत: हृदयनाथ मंगेशकर
स्वर: आशा भोसले
*** ***

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Musings over law studies

In last few days I am pondering over my ignorance for law studies I have had in the past. It is such a wonderful domain to study if one prepares himself to make the reading a habit. Although I am fond of reading, Law as the subject of study had never appealed me until very recent. I was always told by my friends in this field that they had to remember innumerable clauses and sub-clauses all the time and reproduce the 'right' clause at any time. Most of their energy was consumed in that activity and many of them were completely possessed by the fear of forgetting a clause or two. It was horrible! By that exclamation, I mean, I felt that the exercise of testing my memory, in case I were in their shoes, could be nothing less than a horrible experience! Whole prospect sounded unattractive. But then, in last few years, as I was growing up (read my brain) and when I read a few pieces in the constitution of India, a realization dawned upon me that studying law was interesting, rather damn interesting exercise. Myself being an ardent science follower, it was not going to be the mainstream activity for me. It will never be in future either. But today I have realized that some basic knowledge of the law and judiciary system is must for me as an element of the society. Similarly, in my opinion, it is necessary for all of us to understand this system.

I feel, studying law will become easier if one considers that law is driven by logic, kind of a rational logic. 'viveka', pronounced as विवेक in Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi and also in probably a few other Sanskrit-derivatives. It will immensely help the student of law if he decides not to be driven by impulses of swaying mind. This impulse, I think, is different from intuitiveness of the mind. Intuition gives the mind a direction, logical and desired during those circumstances, without going through the elaborate process of decision making. In the following paragraphs, I will try to analyze how in normal circumstances decisions are arrived at. I will also try to list the steps in order to elaborate this point.  And in the end, I will try to relate the usefulness of being good at decision making to study law.

The process of the brain's decision making follows the course of the steps listed below.
  • Searching the data in form of information held by the brain,
  • Collating relevant pieces,
  • Forming and comparing alternatives,
  • Applying best of the available criterion, and
  • Finally making a choice.
The above steps can be elaborated with a more comprehensive structure of sub-steps. I have not ventured into that for the sake of brevity. As I have mentioned earlier, the decisions are not merely taken via this process, but they are arrived at through a carefully formulated methodology. In the present context, we can safely consider this methodology as the logic. Coming back to the intuition, I would like to mention that the intuition can bypass one or more steps in the above list. At times it can lead to the final step straight away. It also helps when none of the bits and pieces of information available is concerned with the circumstances leading to non-existence of the foundation on which the decision is to be arrived at. Intuition leads the mind in such uncertainty. A stable but brave mind can adapt the thought suggested by intuition and also can start following it. But this is where the real danger lies. Such following will yield disastrous results if the path directed by the intuition-led decision turns out to be a wrong one at a later stage. On the other hand, if the intuition-led course is followed with utmost caution and the new circumstances are continuously examined and correctness of the course is verified, we are safely lead to the desired destination more likely than not. Impulsive mind lacks these qualities, caution and the analytical quality of intuitive mind, and often leads to disappointing results.

Student of law can not rely upon intuitive thinking alone. He has to master the decision making process. He will be greatly benefited by intuition of the right kind if the results of the meticulously arrived decision and his intuition coincide. Such occurrence surely has huge potential to boost his confidence. This quality can be of vital importance to the lawyers, judges, law-makers and the law enforcement agencies; not to forget the curious students like you and me.

'viveka' of the law student plays an important role in this process. It helps while working on almost all the steps. It is worth noting here that this quality does not have alternative especially in deciding which of the pieces of information are relevant and also in deciding the criterion for evaluating different alternatives or possibilities found plausible. The student whose mind is occupied with the continuous quest for finding the truth is certain to have this quality. In other words, this quality comes naturally with the desire for the quest for truth.

Having discussed about the basic qualities to study law I will briefly touch upon how law is looked upon in the real world. Law is considered to be a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. Law shapes almost every sphere of life like politics, economics and society in numerous ways. It serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people. I have borrowed this definition of law from wikipedia originally phrased by legal philosopher H.L.A. Hart. This also prompts the student to have fundamental knowledge of the various spheres of life like a few listed above. This is where the mention of first quality, the habit of reading, comes into picture. It also helps in studying various cases and verdicts delivered in the past. Basic element of the society is a human being. Thus being a good observer of people and events also becomes essential for the student of law. Today being up to date about latest happenings has no longer remained difficult due to advanced print and electronic media and also due to widespread world wide web.

To sum the things up, I would like to say that studying law is an interesting and pleasant challenge for any curious intellectual. Events and their repercussions in society are good triggers for invoking interest in law studies. Also these studies have become a necessity for the professionals not as a part of acquiring general knowledge but to actually set up a regulatory framework for various transactions in their own organizations. Thus the student of law, how ever part time his studies could be, need to have a few qualities namely: liking for reading, logical and analytical ability, 'viveka', methodical decision making ability coupled with intuitiveness, hunger for knowledge, an urge to find truth and last but not the least, a lot of patience. Here I will conclude with a hope that every thing that I have tried to tell myself till this word will motivate myself to spend more time studying law.

*** ***

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hum hain raahi pyaar ke by Kishore Kumar

This is one of my most favorite Kishore songs. Full of meaning.

हम हैं राही प्यार के, हम से कुछ ना बोलिए
जो भी प्यार से मिला, हम उसी के हो लिए ||

दर्द भी हमें कबूल, चैन भी हमें कबूल
हम ने हर तरह के फूल, हार में पिरो लिए ||

धूप थी नसीब में, धूप में लिया हैं दम
चांदनी मिली तो हम, चांदनी में सो लिए ||

दिल पे आसरा किये, हम तो बस यूं ही जिये
एक कदम पे हंस लिए, एक कदम पे रो लिये ||

राह में पड़े हैं हम, कब से आप की कसम
देखिये तो कम से कम, बोलिये ना बोलिये ||

*** ***
चित्रपट: नौ दो ग्याराह (१९५७)
गीत: मजरूह सुलतानपुरी
स्वर: किशोर कुमार
संगीत: सचिन देव बर्मन
*** ***
Nau Do Gyarah, Mahrooh Sultanpuri, Kishore Kumar, Sachin Dev S D Burman

Monday, September 27, 2010

Guru Govind Sinh as remembered by Veer Savarkar

कोणत्या गोष्टीपासून प्रेरणा घ्यायची, अथवा कोणत्या व्यक्तिच्या जीवन चरित्रामुळे आपल्या मनावर सकारात्मक परिणाम होईल हे मुख्यत: आपल्या त्या त्या वेळच्या परिस्थितीवर व गत अनुभवांवर अवलंबून राहते. इतिहासातील कोणती तरी यशोगाथा एखाद्या व्यक्तीला प्राप्त परिस्थितीशी टक्कर देण्यास प्रवृत्त करेल. परंतु कदाचीत एखाद्या संवेदनशील मनास तीच यशोगाथा निराशेच्या गर्तेतही ढकलून देईल. प्रत्येक व्यक्तीची मानसीकता वेगळी असते, तसेच प्रत्येक व्यक्तीची परिस्थिती वेगळी असते. वीर सावरकर मुंबई मधील डोंगरीच्या कारागृहामध्ये होते. वेळ आहे सन १९१० ची. नुकत्याच त्यांना दोन वेगवेगळ्या खटल्यांसाठी आजन्म कारावासाच्या दोन शिक्षा सुनावल्या गेल्या आहेत. याचा अर्थ असा की सुटका होणार १९६० मध्ये. सावरकरांचा लहानपणापासूनचा एक मानस - एक महाकाव्य लिहीणे. हाताशी ना लेखणी आहे, ना कागदाचा चिटोरा. कारण या गोष्टी कारागृहात बाळगणेही गुन्हा आहे. दुसरा कोणताही मार्ग दृष्टिक्षेपात नाही. आहे तो फक्त पुढील ५० वर्षांमधील दिसणारा अंधार. या परिस्थितीत त्यांना आठवतात ते श्री गुरू गोविंद सिंह. त्यांच्या 'माझी जन्मठेप' या पुस्तकातील संबंधीत उतारा.

गोविंदसिंहाचे चरित्र

... प्रत्यही कमीत कमी दहा ते वीस कविता नव्या रचून आणि जुन्यावर आवृत्ति देऊन पाठ करण्याचा जर प्रघात ठेवला तर एक वा अर्ध लक्ष (ओळींचे) महाकाव्य रचणे संभवनीय आहे तर मग आजच प्रारंभ. प्रथम श्रीगुरूगोविंदसिंहाचे चरित्र गावयाचे.

कारण गोविंदसिंह हुतात्म्यांचा मुकुटमणी होता. थोर यशाने मंडित झालेले थोर पुरुष राजप्रासादांच्या सुवर्णकलशाप्रमाणे तेज:पुंज दिसतातच. पण आज मला त्यांच्या चरित्रवर्णनाने, त्यांची ती यशोगीतें गाईल्याने, तितकी शांति न मिळता उलट माझ्या कपाळी आलेल्या अपयाशाची तीव्रता मात्र अधिक जाचू शकण्याचा संभव आहे. आज मला त्या यशाच्या राजप्रासादाच्या पायाखाली खोल दडपून गेलेल्या अपयशाच्या पायाचे चिंतन हे ध्येय आहे. म्हणून 'चमकोर' दुर्गातून निसटताना ज्याचा संपूर्ण पराभव झालेला आहे, ज्याचे मातापत्नीपुत्र वाताहात होऊन संसाराची राखरांगोळी उडाली आहे, ज्याच्या शिष्यांनीही त्याच्यावर शपथपूर्वक ठेवलेल्या निष्ठेचे त्यागपत्र देऊन आयत्या वेळेस त्यास सोडून त्या पराभवाचे व अपयशाचे खापर त्याच्याच डोक्यावर फोडलेले आहे आणि तरीहि जो सिंह ते अपयशाचे व दु:खाचे हलाहल एकाद्या रुद्रासारखा अवतार धारण करून पचविता झाला, त्या गोविंदसिंहाचे ते अपयशच आज मला गेय आहे! या माझ्या भयंकर दु:खास व अपजयास ते मेरुदंडाप्रमाणे आधार होईल. माझ्या पिढीच्या अपयशाच्या, दु:खाच्या पराजयाच्या खोल पायावर भावी पिढ्यांचे यश:प्रासाद ते उभवील!

भावनांच्या मनो-यावर चढून माझे मन दूरवरची दृश्‍ये पाहण्यात रंगून गेले असता इकडे माझे हात ते काथ्याचे कठीण नाडे व च-हाटे तोडण्यात, कुटण्यात, उकलण्यात गुंतलेले होते. प्रत्यहींच्या म्हणून ठरलेल्या दहा पंधरा आर्या रचून झाल्या, काथ्या उलगडणेहि संपले! पण हातहि सोलून निघाले, फोड उठले, रक्त गळू लागले.

डोंगरीच्या बंदीगृहात, हेगच्या निकालानंतर किती दिवस होतो आठवत नाही. प्रात:काळी उठावे, व्यायामासाठी फिरताना योगसूत्रे मुखोद्गत म्हणावीत त्यावरील एकेकावर अनुक्रमे विचार करावा; मग सक्त श्रमाचे म्हणून कठीण काम दिलेले असेल ते करावे आणि ते करतानाच मनात दहाबारा नवीन कविता रचून व जुन्या पाठ झालेल्या आवृत्ति देऊन संध्याकाळी जेवण झाल्यावर तुरुंग बंद करून सर्व सामसूम झाली असता ध्यानधारणेचा काही अभ्यास साधावा व रात्री नऊ वाजण्याचे आतच निजावे. झोप मात्र गाढ लागे. एकलकोंडीतील हा कार्यक्रम चालला असता कधी कधी 'प्रवृत्तिचिये राजबिंदी | पुढा बोधाचिये प्रतिपदी | विवेकदृश्याची मांदी' (ज्ञानेश्वरी: अध्याय १८: ओव्या १०६९-७०) सारीत राहण्याची अटोकाट खटपट करीत असतानाहि चिंतेची व उद्वेगाची धाड एकाएकी कोसळून जसा काही गळा चेपला जावा, जीव कासावीस होऊ पाहावा. वाटे, आपल्यामागे कार्याचे काय होईल..... जर..... मग हेहि कष्ट..... पण क्षणभरात चमनाचा तोल पुन: संभाळला जावा.

- माझी जन्मठेप, लेखक: विनायक दामोदर सावरकर (१८८३-१९६६)

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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Some misconceptions needing to be clarified

A friend of mine posted a news article stating Julia Roberts, an actress in the west, started following Hinduism. Well, that was nice. Each one has a right to follow his or her beliefs. There was a mixed response from netizens to Ms Robert's decision.  At least that's what it is reported till the date. I read through initial few comments below the articile. I found one interesting query. It was apperant that the author was trying to ridicule Hinduism on some counts. His comment read,
Please, can Julia or someone else tell me what I need to believe to become a Hindu. I am interesed. Also, tell me what caste I will be designated to, which god I should follow, can I marry more women if I chose to follow Krishna, is it possible to please god by giving them sweets...
There was response from others for this comment. And I can't say that it was all kind. Anyway, I thought that this is a person who represents a whole world which is trying to understand Hinduism but is not giving its best shot and, in the end, is getting confused. A confused person can never talk sense however honest his or her intentions be. Effectively, such person points fingers at 'the flaws'. Half baked cookies - I'd rather say half-baked wisdom! The above comment falls precisely in this category. Such a person needs to be taken into confidence and told, re baba, there are things in Hindu way of life which need thinking, which need application of rational thoughts; and at the same time there is a world, which is trying to ridicule Hinduism out of sheer ignorance, and it deserves an explaination.

An explaination which has some simple answers to the questions hurled like those in the above comment. Those simple answers could be the following.
  • You need to believe that you can think and you can 'think and act' constructively. This religion allows you to think.
  • Your caste will depend upon which work you will take up as your jeevan dharma hereafter.
  • You may be asked to follow even your parents as elements of the God. And you may have to do that.
  • If you choose to follow Krishna, you'll be asked to study his life and deeds. And you yourself will change your mind and will decide to marry only one good woman. Even otherwise, Law won't allow you to marry more than one woman. You're following Krishna; so what?
  • You may not be able to please God/Gods by giving him/them sweet, nor meat!
Pleasing Gods is not so easy. It doesn't take any doctrine to prove this. Look how this gentleman's harmless but mindful comment has offended many. It makes me think how can he even think of pleasing the God!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shri Gajanan Stotra composed by my Baba

In early eighties a group of devotees of Shri Gajanan Maharaj approached my father and requested him to compose something about Maharaj. After some research and meditation Baba composed a stotra and a few bhajan in Marathi. Out of that, I am reproducing stotra below. Initial shloka narrate different ways in which Maharaj brought out changes in people around him. Last few shloka tell the reasoning behind the changes in life and the outlook. Maharaj, who was troubled by many earlier, was eventually revered by masses. Today he has literally millions of followers.

श्री गजानन महाराज स्तोत्र

ॐ नमोजी गजानना | गणिगणगणात दयाघना
कृपानिधे, तवचरणा | वंदुनि स्तवन करितसे ||१||

तूचि विठ्ठल, तूचि अनंता | ओंकारेश्वर, परमहंसा
रामदास, अवधूता | विकल्पदहना, सद्गुरो ||२||

माघ वाद्य सप्तमीशी | प्रगटुनि शेगावाशी
अज्ञान तिमिराच्या राशी | नष्ट तूची केल्यास ||३||

भास्कराच्या विहिरीला | स्पर्श जेंव्हा तुझा झाला
जीवनझरा उसळला | सकल जनांच्या तृषेस्तव ||४||

भक्त पितांबराच्यासाठी | झालास तू चैतन्य राशी
वठलेल्या आम्रवृक्षासी | नवपालवी फुटतसे ||५||

पोरांनी जरी मारिले | सारे तुवा सहन केले
प्रेम रसाचे पाट वाहिले | तूचि माउली गजानना ||६||

बंकटलालाच्या मळ्यात | मधमाशांना उठविलेत
कोणी न धावती संकटात | हेच पटविले त्या समयी ||७||

वासूदेवानंद सरस्वती | येता तव आश्रमाप्रती
त्रिमार्गातील मुक्ती | समान हे त्वा दाविले ||८||

माघ-वद्य नवमीला | रामदास तुम्ही बनला
विठ्ठल बनुनी बापुनाला | देवभेटी घडविली ||९||

लोक म्हणती चमत्कार | हे तर कृतियुक्त आचार
भक्ताशी केले साक्षर | अध्यात्माचे मार्गावर ||१०||

जेथे श्रद्धा आणि भक्ती | तेथे येतसे उदात्त शक्ती
सद्भावाची येई प्रचीती | हेच ठसवले गजानने ||११||

ब्रह्मगिरी गोसाव्याला | खरा ज्ञानी तुम्ही केला
कोरड्या त्याच्या पांडित्याला | तुम्ही सश्रद्ध बनविले ||१२||

लोकमान्य टिळकाशी | प्रेरणा दिव्य तूची देशी
कैदेत असता मंडाल्याशी | गीतारहस्य निर्मियले ||१३||

सामान्यासी तू सामान्य | पंडितांना असामान्य
भक्तजनांना तूचि धन्य | धन्य बनविले गजानना ||१४||

दिनांचा तुम्ही आधार | सुशिक्षितांना दिलात धीर
मोक्षमार्गाचा उद्धार | केलात पुन्हा कलियुगी ||१५||

तुमच्या चरित्राचे सार | नाम महिमा अपार
एकचि आहे ईश्वर | रूपे जरी वेगळाली ||१६||

नुसती विद्वत्ता न ये कामी | संपत्ती जरी असे धामी
जनहितास्तव ये जे कामी | त्याच सत्कृति या जगती ||१७||

गजाननाचे आचार | साक्षात असति सदाचार
मुखाने करावा उच्चार | उच्चार तुम्हा तारतील ||१८||

नामभक्तीचा हा ठेवा | सत्कृति आचरणी आणाव्या
तरीच गजानन-मार्गा | आचरण आपले मानावे ||१९||

या स्तोत्राचा पाठ | चालेल ज्याच्या घरात
गजाननाचा वरदहस्त | सदैव पाठीशी राहील ||२०||

एकवीस श्लोकांची ही माला | आदरे अर्पिली गजाननाला
समर्थ बनवील भक्ताला | हीच फलश्रुति नि:संशय ||२१||

||श्री गजाननार्पणमस्तु ||

गजानन महाराज स्तोत्राची ही रचना नामभक्ती बरोबर कुतियुक्त आचरणासाठी गजानन महाराजांनी दिलेली प्रेरणा संप्रेरित करणारी आहे. त्यांच्या सत्कृतीच्या आठवणीतून आपणही कृतीप्रवण होत जावे व कर्तबगार बनावे ह्या अपेक्षा या स्तोत्राच्या नित्य पठणातून साकार होतील.

वि. मो. दुधगांवकर
(प्रस्तावने मधील एक परिच्छेद)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ha Rusava Sod Sakhe

रफ़ीचं एक सदाबहार गाणं

हा रुसवा सोड सखे
पुरे हा बहाणा, सोड ना अबोला
झुरतो तुझ्या विना, घडला काय गुन्हा
बनलो निशाणा, सोड ना अबोला |

इश्काची दौलत उधळी तुझा हा नखरा
मुखचंद्रा भवती कितीक फिरती नजरा
फसवा राग तुझा, अलबेला नशीला
करी मदहोश मला
नुरले भान आता, जाहला जीव खुळा
पुरे हा बहाणा, सोड ना अबोला |

तुझे फितूर डोळे, गाती भलत्या गजला
मदनाने केले मुश्कील जगणे मजला
पाहुनी मस्त अदा, फुले अंगार असा
सावरू तोल कसा?
नको छळवाद आता, झालो कुर्बान तुला
पुरे हा बहाणा, सोड ना अबोला |

गीत: वंदना विटणकर
संगीत: श्रीकांत ठाकरे
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Friday, May 21, 2010


I received this message as a good morning message from my cousin. I couldn't agree with it more!
Courage doesn't always roar. 
Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. 

Excellent image. But source unknown.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I found a poem in an email forwarded by Rohan. He also told me that this poem was partly or fully recited by Federar and Nadal in a ceremony at Wimbledon. I started reading it. Soon I realized the weightage of each line. Although it appeared mostly as a verse but its rythm was unmistakable, pleasant with recurring rhyming. It ended, as if it was addressed to a child, as a set of qualities a man should possess in order to be called as a virtuous man. It remained unclear if the eloquence was made by a father or a mother or a guru. A brief search on google told me that the poem was titled 'IF' and was composed by none other than Rudyard Kipling. What a master piece of poetry this poem is!

In this poem, the words 'you'll be a man, my son' make the identity of the audience clear albeit literally. But on a second thought, it also makes us admit that the mantra given in the poem is essentially meant for all men and all women alike - a guide to become a virtuous human being.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream, and not make dreams your master,
If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them, "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings, nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And, which is more, you'll be a Man, my son!

- Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Naresh - a guy like you and me

There is this interesting email in circulation for the last couple of years. Truly it is inspirational to all. The mail is not about the lack of certain ability but it is about how Naresh has overcome it. No doubt while achieving this feat his family and friends have stood by him. Naresh is blessed with one of the most wonderful family, comprising of his parents and his sister, one will ever get. You will find their mention in the text of the mail I am going to copy below my thoughts.

As you read the text, you will realize that he would not be what he is physically today if sensitivity towards emergency care was there in place and humanity was alive at the time of his accident. This makes the accident a social disaster out of simple ignorance about the eventualities. The society WAS responsible and we are the society. Then who knows lives of how many people get affected permanantly because they did not get medical aid in that golden hour.

Any way some people from the society are there with Naresh doing something for him which is much less than what ought to have been done when it was needed. Please note that while writing so, I do not have a slightest intention to belittle their contribution and sense of social responsibility. But in my opinion, they have done what was required to be done. Somebody had to do that. I must also say that they have confirmed a fact that humanity is present in the society even though it is not uniformly spread in each dimension. There are several nulls with regard to this quality. Today Naresh is an idependent professional supporting his parents, having seen his sister Sirisha married off happily last year. He is discharging his duties towards his family probably better than many including me! But, without something that was his own. So. Our responsibility is not over yet.

a Guy who got into Google

Naga Naresh Karuturi has just passed out of IIT Madras in Computer Science and has joined Google in Bangalore. You may ask, what's so special about this 21-year-old when there are hundreds of students passing out from various IITs and joining big companies like Google?

Naresh is special. His parents are illiterate. He has no legs and moves around in his powered wheel chair. (In fact, when I could not locate his lab, he told me over the mobile phone, 'I will come and pick you up'. And in no time, he was there to guide me)

Ever smiling, optimistic and full of spirit; that is Naresh. He says, "God has always been planning things for me. That is why I feel I am lucky." Read why Naresh feels he is lucky.

Childhood in a village

I spent the first seven years of my life in Teeparru, a small village in Andhra Pradesh, on the banks of the river Godavari. My father Prasad was a lorry driver and my mother Kumari, a house wife. Though they were illiterate, my parents instilled in me and my elder sister (Sirisha) the importance of studying.

Looking back, one thing that surprises me now is the way my father taught me when I was in the 1st and 2nd standards. My father would ask me questions from the text book, and I would answer them. At that time, I didn't know he could not read or write but to make me happy, he helped me in my studies!

Another memory that doesn't go away is the floods in the village and how I was carried on top of a buffalo by my uncle. I also remember plucking fruits from a tree that was full of thorns.

I used to be very naughty, running around and playing all the time with my friends.. I used to get a lot of scolding for disturbing the elders who slept in the afternoon. The moment they started scolding, I would run away to the fields!

I also remember finishing my school work fast in class and sleeping on the teacher's lap!

January 11, 1993, the fateful day

On the January 11, 1993 when we had the sankranti holidays, my mother took my sister and me to a nearby village for a family function. From there we were to go with our grandmother to our native place. But my grandmother did not come there. As there were no buses that day, my mother took a lift in my father's friend's lorry. As there were many people in the lorry, he made me sit next to him, close to the door.

It was my fault; I fiddled with the door latch and it opened wide throwing me out. As I fell, my legs got cut by the iron rods protruding from the lorry. Nothing happened to me except scratches on my legs.

The accident had happened just in front of a big private hospital but they refused to treat me saying it was an accident case. Then a police constable who was passing by took us to a government hospital.

First I underwent an operation as my small intestine got twisted. The doctors also bandaged my legs. I was there for a week. When the doctors found that gangrene had developed and it had reached up to my knees, they asked my father to take me to a district hospital. There, the doctors scolded my parents a lot for neglecting the wounds and allowing the gangrene to develop. But what could my ignorant parents do?

In no time, both my legs were amputated up to the hips. I remember waking up and asking my mother, where are my legs? I also remember that my mother cried when I asked the question. I was in the hospital for three months.

Life without legs

I don't think my life changed dramatically after I lost both my legs. Because all at home were doting on me, I was enjoying all the attention rather than pitying myself. I was happy that I got a lot of fruits and biscuits.

'I never wallowed in self-pity'

The day I reached my village, my house was flooded with curious people; all of them wanted to know how a boy without legs looked. But I was not bothered; I was happy to see so many of them coming to see me, especially my friends!
All my friends saw to it that I was part of all the games they played; they carried me everywhere.

God's hand

I believe in God. I believe in destiny. I feel he plans everything for you. If not for the accident, we would not have moved from the village to Tanuku, a town. There I joined a missionary school, and my father built a house next to the school. Till the tenth standard, I studied in that school.

If I had continued in Teeparu, I may not have studied after the 10th. I may have started working as a farmer or someone like that after my studies. I am sure God had other plans for me.

My sister, my friend

When the school was about to reopen, my parents moved from Teeparu to Tanuku, a town, and admitted both of us in a Missionary school. They decided to put my sister also in the same class though she is two years older. They thought she could take care of me if both of us were in the same class. My sister never complained.

She would be there for everything. Many of my friends used to tell me, you are so lucky to have such a loving sister. There are many who do not care for their siblings. She carried me in the school for a few years and after a while, my friends took over the task. When I got the tricycle, my sister used to push me around in the school. My life, I would say, was normal, as everyone treated me like a normal kid. I never wallowed in self-pity. I was a happy boy and competed with others to be on top and the others also looked at me as a competitor.


I was inspired by two people when in school; my Maths teacher Pramod Lal who encouraged me to participate in various local talent tests, and a brilliant boy called Chowdhary, who was my senior. When I came to know that he had joined Gowtham Junior College to prepare for IIT-JEE, it became my dream too. I was school first in 10th scoring 542/600. Because I topped in the state exams, Gowtham Junior College waived the fee for me. Pramod Sir's recommendation also helped. The fee was around Rs 50,000 per year, which my parents could never afford.

Living in a residential school was a big change for me because till then my life centred around home and school and I had my parents and sister to take care of all my needs. It was the first time that I was interacting with society. It took one year for me to adjust to the new life.

There, my inspiration was a boy called K K S Bhaskar who was in the top 10 in IIT-JEE exams. He used to come to our school to encourage us. Though my parents didn't know anything about Gowtham Junior School or IIT, they always saw to it that I was encouraged in whatever I wanted to do.. If the results were good, they would praise me to the skies and if bad, they would try to see something good in that. They did not want me to feel bad. They are such wonderful supportive parents.

Life at IIT Madras

Though my overall rank in the IIT-JEE was not that great (992), I was 4th in the physically handicapped category. So, I joined IIT, Madras to study Computer Science. Here, my role model was Karthik who was also my senior in school. I looked up to him during my years at IIT- Madras. He had asked for attached bathrooms for those with special needs before I came here itself. So, when I came here, the room had attached bath. He used to help me and guide me a lot when I was here.

I evolved as a person in these four years, both academically and personally. It has been a great experience studying here. The people I was interacting with were so brilliant that I felt privileged to sit along with them in the class. Just by speaking to my lab mates, I gained a lot..

'There are more good people in society than bad ones'

Words are inadequate to express my gratitude to Prof Pandurangan and all my lab mates; all were simply great. I was sent to Boston along with four others for our internship by Prof Pandurangan. It was a great experience.

Joining Google R&D

I did not want to pursue PhD as I wanted my parents to take rest now. Morgan Stanley selected me first but I preferred Google because I wanted to work in pure computer science, algorithms and game theory. I am lucky

Do you know why I say I am lucky?

I get help from total strangers without me asking for it. Once after my second year at IIT, I with some of my friends was travelling in a train for a conference. We met a kind gentleman called Sundar in the train, and he has been taking care of my hostel fees from then on.

I have to mention about Jaipur foot. I had Jaipur foot when I was in 3rd standard. After two years, I stopped using them. As I had almost no stems on my legs, it was very tough to tie them to the body. I found walking with Jaipur foot very, very slow. Sitting also was a problem. I found my tricycle faster because I am one guy who wants to do things faster.

One great thing about the hospital is, they don't think their role ends by just fixing the Jaipur foot; they arrange for livelihood for all. They asked me what help I needed from them. I told them at that time, if I got into an IIT, I needed financial help from them. So, from the day I joined IIT, Madras, my fees were taken care of by them. So, my education at the IIT was never a burden on my parents and they could take care of my sister's Nursing studies.

Surprise awaited me at IIT

After my first year, when I went home, two things happened here at the Institute without my knowledge. I got a letter from my department that they had arranged a lift and ramps at the department for me. It also said that if I came a bit early and checked whether it met with my requirements, it would be good.

Second surprise was, the Dean, Prof Idichandy and our Students General Secretary had located a place that sold powered wheel chairs. The cost was Rs 55,000. What they did was, they did not buy the wheel chair; they gave me the money so that the wheel chair belonged to me and not the institute. My life changed after that. I felt free and independent.

That's why I say I am lucky. God has planned things for me and takes care of me at every step.

The world is full of good people.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Hidden treasure

Dew drops on the grass blades on the bank of River Panchaganga

Travelling teaches us a number of things. One among them is finding joy in those thing which are at your immediate disposal but you have taken them for granted and have ignored. Sometimes interesting places to travel to are found just next to your neighbourhood. You only have to look for them. When you find and visit these places, you are left spellbound.

Curiously enough, the life too is not much different than this. The things you are searching for a long while are floating around you. And suddenly on one fine morning (or on evening or on, possibly, night), you identify them with their utility to you or a relation which was earlier hidden to you. And realise that that was what you had been looking for since so long! Morale of the paragraph is "look around with curious eyes" and "keep looking".

Friday, January 15, 2010

Solar Eclipse on 15th January 2010

Photos taken at Ichalkaranji, M.S., INDIA (16°41'21"N, 74°28'14"E)