Sunday, February 07, 2016

What to do when a NEFT Transfer fails?

I think National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) is one of the most commonly services used in Internet Banking in India. Started more than 10 years ago in 2005, NEFT has become an integral part our daily lives. Quick and reliable, it has slowly replaced payments through cheques as the transfer gets done within two hours nowadays.

Though rare, a NEFT transfer may fail due to some technical glitch. It may happen at the time of heavy load of payments during the last day of the month or so. Here’s what you need to do, in case your NEFT transfer fails i.e remitter account is debited but the beneficiary account is not credited with the amount!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Night of Bhuta Kola

You can also read this article in Kannada here.

I witnessed a Bhuta Kola recently in Puttur, Dakshina Kannada district. Performed during the night, Bhuta Kola or Bhoota Kola is a predominant form of worship of the Holy Spirits in Tulu Nadu (comprising of Mangalore, Udupi districts of Karnataka and Kasaragod district of Kerala). Though I am a native of Mangalore, it was the first time I watched the full ritual, which runs from dusk to dawn. Bhutas are worshiped as a divine forms or Ganas of deities like Lord Shiva or Mother Goddess. They are also worshiped as Rajan Daiva(royal spirit). Also, local heroes like Koti Chennaya, who stood for truth and dharma are given the status of Daiva after their death.
Bhuta Sthana or Bhuta Gudi
Bhuta Sthana or Bhuta Gudi
Season of Bhuta Kola : Also called Dharma Nema, Bhuta Kola is performed anytime from Deepavali day(during October) till Pattanaje or the 10th day of the Hindu month of Vrishabha (falls around the 25th of May). Bhuta (the Holy Spirit) is also called Daiva and the worship of Bhuta is known as Bhutaraadhane or Daivaraadhane. Bhuta, when worshipped by a group of families spread over various villages and towns, is called Kutumba Daiva. A shrine or a temple is built for the Daiva by the family. It is called a Bhuta Sthaana or Bhuta Gudi. On the other hand, Daiva's are also worshiped by all the people of a village or town.

About Bhuta Kola : The ritual explained here is about Jumaadi-Banta Daiva. Ritual may vary with the Bhuta and the place where the Kola is performed. Jumadi is a form of Mother Goddess (or Devi). Kola is performed by invoking the Holy Spirits. Jumadi is a name in Tulu languagae. Sanskritized name of Jumadi is Dhumavati. Invoker of the spirits is known as Darshana Paathri or simply Paathri. Paathri does the Kola performance and acts as a medium between the devotees and Daiva. I have used the terms performer and invoker interchangeably for Paathri in this article.
Bhuta Kola Ritual Site with Bhandaara of Daiva kept on the altar
Ritual Site with Bhandaara of Daiva kept on the altar
Preparations : Early in the evening, Bhandaara or paraphernalia of Bhuta is taken out of the shrine and kept at the ritual site, which is decorated with flowers and plantain leaves. In case the Bhuta is a Kutumba Daiva or family diety, Bhandaara would be taken out of the room in Taravadu House(First Home) where the paraphernalia of the Bhuta would have been kept. The ritual site contains an altar and it is an enclosure formed by coconut palm leaves and tender banana plants. Bhandaara of Bhuta consists of metal masks, sword, trident, Chaamara(hand-held fan) and bells. Some people are involved in the making of Siri or Chiri(skirt made of tender palm leaves) and Ani, a semi-circular structure containing silver arch, bamboo sticks and cloth. Ani is decorated with flowers and is tied to the back of the performer of Kola.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Buddhist Monastery in the heart of Bangalore

Buddha's teachings are relevant in today's world which is driven by conflicts, more than ever. I believe many of us, though not Buddhists, got influenced by Buddha's thoughts. Buddhist monasteries are perfect places for meditation with their peaceful surroundings. But did you know that there is a Buddhist monastery in the heart of bustling Bangalore city?
Mahabodhi Loka Shanti Buddha Vihara, Kalidasa Road, Bangalore
Mahabodhi Loka Shanti Buddha Vihara, Bangalore
Yes, near the Freedom Park, you can find this Buddhist monastery or Buddha vihara. If you are going from Anand Rao circle towards the Freedom Park, before the park, if you take a right turn onto Kalidasa road, immediately you can find it!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hyderabad Trip : Fun at Ramoji Film City

On the last day of our visit to Hyderabad, we planned to go to Ramoji film city and leave for Bangalore after that. Ramoji film city is an hour drive from the city and is around 30 kms away. We reached the place at around 10 in the morning.

Guided Tour : After entry into the film city, a bus took us to the actual destination(the film city!), from where the tour began. Huge fountains, beautiful sculptures greeted us along the way. The bus dropped us to the point called Eureka, from where we had to catch one more bus painted red and which looked like it was from a fairy tale. A guided tour began from the time we boarded this bus. A guide explained the various sets made of plaster of Paris and its significance like which movie was shot there etc. It was a great feeling when we came to know that our favorite movies were shot in those locations.
Set of Mahabharatha, Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
Set of Mahabharatha, Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad
Sets : First set we saw was that of Mahabharatha. Then we went to see the railway station shooting location. To our surprise, the station name was Mangalore Central in Kannada!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hyderabad Trip : Char Minar, Mecca Masjid, Birla Mandir, Chilkur Balaji Temple

We visited some of the iconic places in Hyderabad during our second day in the city.

Char Minar : Built at the center of the city in 1591 AD, to commemorate the eradication of plague, Char Minar is a global icon of Hyderabad. It is located in old city of Hyderabad known for chaotic traffic. So, the best way to visit the place is take an auto from MGBS(Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station), after parking your vehicle. Arriving at the place, through one of the minarets, visitors are allowed to have a glimpse of the interiors of the historical monument. The stairway through the minaret is narrow and cramped. So, one needs to be cautious while climbing. Once inside, you can have a look at the Indo-Islamic architecture drawing elements from Persian architecture. One of the delighting views here is the sunset which can be seen in backdrop of Mecca Masjid, which is close to Char Minar.
Char Minar, Hyderabad
Char Minar, Hyderabad
Bhagya Lakshmi Temple : One of the minarets at Char Minar houses the Bhagya Lakshmi temple. Carved in white marble and decorated with jewels, idol of Goddess Bhaya Lakshmi catches the attention of devotees.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hyderabad Trip : Kurnool, Golconda Fort, Shilparamam

It was a last minute trip to Hyderabad. Eight of us left Bangalore early in the morning at 5 30 on new year day, quickly cruising along the butter smooth National Highway 7. After crossing the first toll plaza near airport, we were nearing Chikballapur. That's when we faced first hurdle in our 600 km long journey, foggy roads. Switching on the parking lights, we continued our journey to stop briefly at strategic locations to witness the refreshing sunrise. Needless to say, it was an opportunity to take those album/profile photos for the social media :)
Foggy Roads near Chikballapur en-route Hyderabad
Foggy Roads en route Hyderabad
Kurnool : At around 10 30 we reached Kurnool with a craving for breakfast. Getting up early in the morning and a five hour journey till then had taken its toll. Surprisingly till Kurnool, you don't find good restaurants along the way.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Lepakshi : An Ideal Weekend Getaway from Bangalore

Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh makes an ideal weekend getaway from Bangalore. It is just over a two hour drive from Bangalore. An architectural wonder, it makes a perfect destination for photography enthusiasts too.
Nandi Statue : First thing you notice entering Lepakshi is the huge monolithic Nandi statue. The sculpture is 10 meter in length and 6 meter in height. Nandi is decorated with a necklace, muvvahara and a garland of bells and has short horns. You can also find the emblem of Karnataka Government, Gandaberunda, a two-headed mythological bird on the necklace of Nandi.
Nandi Statue, Lepakshi
Nandi Statue, Lepakshi
Veerabhadra Temple : Moving ahead you will find Veerabhadra temple. 16th century Veerabhadra temple embodies the famed Vijayanagara architecture. As you enter, you find that the gopuram of the temple is not completed. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Why I cancelled my Airtel 4G connection?

It was two years ago in 2013, I bought Airtel 4G connection with wifi router. That was much before the pretty girl from Airtel challenged all other internet service providers in India claiming Airtel 4G is the fastest internet network in India.

Initial Postpaid Plan : My initial post paid plan was 4G LTE 2000 - 40 GB of 4G LTE data(after 40gb,100% free with lesser bandwidth). I used to get a bill of Rs.2000 + Taxes.

Enter CPE Lock Plan : In December 2014, Airtel quietly withdrew the above plan and replaced it with CPE Lock Plan 1999 30GB. In this plan, rental amount is 1999 and one would get 30GB data at 4G speed. Post completion of 30GB the data will be charged 0.2Ps/10KB till the limit of 3995. That is user would be paying Rs.1995 for 10 GB between 30 to 40 GB. So, according to this plan, if you happen to cross the data limit of 30 GB and reach 40 GB, you will be paying nearly double the rent. I smelt a rat but did not worry much as my usual usage was around 25 GB.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Indian Passport Renewal Procedure and Tips

You might have heard from your friends about the quick and easier renewal of passports these days in India. I got my passport renewed recently. What my friends told about the renewal process was right. But even then one needs to take care of few points during renewal. Here are those.

Passport Renewal Appointment : Online appointment is mandatory for renewal of passports. To schedule the appointment, you need to create an id for yourself at Indian Passport website. System will automatically book a slot for you. If you want to cancel/reschedule, you can do so. But this can be done only twice within a year of first appointment date.

Proofs : Once you have scheduled the appointment, it is time to gather proofs for submission. Though the passport website document adviser will give you a list of indicative proofs, they may not be complete. So, it is better you go through the list of documents listed in the online appointment receipt as per your case. Definitely, you do not want to make a trip to passport office in case some proof is missing. Some tips here.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dennana Dennana Lyrics Translated to English

Dennana Dennana is a hugely popular song from the blockbuster Kannada movie RangiTaranga. Lyrics of the song is in Tulu language. First line of the song - Dennana Dennana Dena Denna Dennana is based on Tulu folk songs called PaaD dana's. Sadananda Suvarna, maker of yesteryear TV serial Guddada Bhoota, had penned the lyrics for the song. Dennana Dennana was also the title song for the serial Guddda Bhoota.

Dennana Dennanaa Dennana Dennanaa Dennana Dennaeeeyeeeeeeee

Tulu Nada Seemed Kamarottu Graamodu
Guddeda Bhootha unduyeeeee
English Translation : In Kamarottu village of Tulu Nadu, resides a ghost named Guddeda Bhoota(ghost of the hills)

Maamalla Bhootada 
Kaarnika Thuleye
English Translation : Look at the miracles performed by the powerful ghost.

Gudded Bhootha unduyeeeee 
English Translation : There is a ghost in the hills

Tulu Nada Seemedu
Kamarottu Graamodu
Guddeda Bhootha unduyeeeee
English Translation : In Kamarottu village of Tulu Nadu, resides a ghost named Guddeda Bhoota(ghost of the hills)

You can listen to the song in the below youtube link.


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