Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wayanad Trip - Day 1

On Saturday 20th Septmber, we began our journey to Wayanad. We were four of us, me, Jayasimha, Shrinidhi and Raviraj were on our way to Wayanad, popular tourist destination in Kerala and is about 282 kms from Bangalore. Journey began from Vijayanagar at 6 30 am in the morning with Nidhi in driver's seat in Scorpio, rented for self drive. Mahindra Scorpio in Bandipur
New Animal in Bandipur National Park!
Route we followed was - Bangalore - Mysore - Gundlpete - Bandipur forest - Wayanad. Bangalore - Mysore road is at its best inviting you to advance your speedometers. So is the NH212 route from Mysore to Kozhikode which passes via Bandipur national park. Seetha Devi Temple, Ponkuzhi, Wayanad
Seetha Devi Temple at Ponkuzhi
Soon after crossing Kerala border, we saw this Seetha Devi Temple at Ponkuzhi, reminiscent of Kerala temple architecture. After taking some snaps of the beautiful temple we cotinued on our journey, to reach Sultan Bathery at 11 30 am.

Sulthan Bathery:
Suthan Bathery as the name suggested, we thought it may be a fort like structure, where ammunitions used to be kept. But even after asking several locals, we could not locate the fort at the place. Then one wise guy pointed us to the Jain temple where the shells where kept then. Jain Temple, Sulthan Bathery, Wayanad
Jain Temple at Sulthan Bathery
Jain temple, built in 13th century was used by Tipu Sultan for keeping arms and ammunitions, after he captured the temple in 18th century. Hence the name, Suthan Bathery. It is also the largest town in Wayanad district.

Edakal Caves:
Edakal caves was our next stop. We reached there around 12. You have to park your vehicle some distance before the place. To reach the caves on top, you can avail the jeep facility. It is a rocky hill, on the way to its top you will find 2 large caves.1st Edakal Cave
1st Edakal Cave
Edakal caves is also the place where the Kannada movie 'Edakallu Guddada Mele' directed by legendary director Puttanna Kanagal was shot, to be precise in the first cave. Incidentally that was the only film shot here as per the guide who briefed us about the history of these caves. Reaching the peak can be a adventurous task as there are some steep rocks to climb on the way. One has to go via the first cave to get to the top but second cave is not directly on the way. We visited the first cave and were on our way to the top keeping the programme of visiting the second cave postponed while getting down. The place was crowded with youngsters enjoying the nice weekend. View from Edakal Peak
Birds view from Edakal Peak
After climbing each altitude on the way to the top, seeing the land far below the hill, exclaimations by fellow trekkers like 'waw' was a common scene and I had in mind suggesting an alternate name for Wayanad as 'Wawnad'! After reaching the top of the hill, all the land below seem so small in dimensions.One can see the whole geography of the place, all green - paddy fields, plantations, towns, quarry at one glance and be amazed by nature's creation. On our way down, 2nd Edakal Cave
2nd Edakal Cave
we visited the second cave where you can find inscriptions on the rocks by stone age people who believed to have lived there. The whole process of climbing up the hill and getting down took us about 3 hours.

Soochipara Falls:
We continued our journey towards Soochipara falls after finishing lunch at Edakal at around 4. Since the places were within a distance of 10-20 kms travelling time was far less and we were near Soochipara falls soon after Edakal. On our way to Soochipara falls we visited the Wayanad Heritage museum, did not find it interesting though. Tea Plantations, Wayanad
Tea plantations
That apart, lush greenery of the tea plantations on the way is a treat to watch. Also, they make perfect locations to take some great snaps of unforgettable journeys. This also reminded me of how as children, we were mesmerized by the sight of all green tea plantations shown in Kannan Devan Tea ads! Now I was seeing them for real. After parking the vehicle, way to Soochipara falls is about 2km walk. 200 meters Soochipara falls was already filled with people. Soochipara Falls,Wayanad
Soochipara Falls
Water falling from such height and great force had made surroundings filled with sound and had created misty surroundings.

After Soochipara falls visit, we headed towards Kalpetta some 22 kms from Soochipara falls, in search of some good hotel to stay on that night. Kalpetta is the district headquarters of Wayanad, and hosts quite a number of hotels. After finding one to stay, we soon got into sleep, after discussing the next day morning's programme of visiting Lakkidi, a view point to catch the glimpse of misty mountains. Well, thats all folks for now. 2nd part of the trip coming soon.

RaveeshBirds view from Edakal Peak
Another view from Edakal peak

Great road amidst tea plantations, Wayanad
Great Roads amidst tea plantations, Wayanad

Monday, September 29, 2008

Will There Be 'A Wednesday'?

Few films leave their mark in the sands of time and 'A Wednesday' is one of them. A gripping story and top class performances by two senior actors in bollywood. No hero but the film is still a winner. Neeraj Pandey's directoral venture keeps you glued to your seats for about 1 hour 45 minutes. A Wednesday is the story of a common man who is fed up of frequent terror attacks and wants to get rid of the evil in his own way and also wants to send a clear message to the bureaucratic system in the country. Anupam Kher delivers his best as Prakash Rathod, Police Commissioner of Mumbai and so does Naseeruddin Shah as the anonymous caller who calls him. Naseeruddin Shah represents millions of our country men who as common men, have to bear the consequences of terrorist attacks. Angst of common man against the system which takes more than a decade to punish the culprits behind bomb blasts represents the current scenario in India.
A Wednesday Film PosterFilm depicts all the situations which surrounds a bomb blast - how easily one places the bomb in the police headquarters, how the news hungry media exploits the situation when terrorist sends them the message of possible attack and in turn helps the terrorists to see the aftermath of their actions live on tv, how a redtape bureaucratic system like ours fails protect its own citizens in the time of need, how easily one makes judgements about a person knowing his religion and the list goes on. Neeraj has also handled the sensitive issue of religion well as seen from the fact that even at the end of the film, anonymous caller does not reveal his name or identity as people draw conclusions about his actions based upon his name which reveals his religion.

Script has been handled well and there is never a dull moment in a thriller of a movie. New story line and its connection to the real world, impresses and provokes thought at the same time. Jimmy Shergil has donned the rough and tough role as inspector Arif khan, something new for him. Tamasha news aired nowadays by '24 hour news channels' and the telemarketing call by a credit card company to Prakash Rathod in middle of a crisis may make brief comic reliefs in an otherwise serious movie. In the end the only words I can say here are - 'this film is a must watch for all'.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Buddhivantha - Little Sweet, More Salt (Uppu)!

Upendra's films evokes lot of curiosity when released. In the latest case, the new release Buddhivantha entertains you only in patches and will be more liked by his fans for Uppi's dialogues and mannerisms. Buddhivantha is a story of man who cheats 5 women under various disguises as Vijay Mittal, Shree Ranjaneesh, Samara Simha Reddy, Zakir Hussein and Shyam. Joseph Fernandes or Panchamrutham (again disguising himself) projects himself as a business man, a divine person, a macho man, a painter and a personal secretary to win hearts and later cheat them. When he is caught and produced before the court, he tells his name as Panchamrutham and denies all the allegations by the 5 ladies saying he is none of the 5 men mentioned or rather asks them to prove his misdeeds if he was one. The court hall becomes witness only for the sorrow stories of these women and not for the evidences to prove that. The court acquits Panchamrutham due to lack of evidence. Why the hero dons many roles to cheat the 5 women is revealed by him at the end of the film.Buddhivantha Upendra as Samarasimha ReddyThough Upendra plays in different roles in the film, only few will be in mind even after the show. As Panchamrutham he speaks Kannada with coastal Karnataka flavour in the court putting logic behind his every argument in the court. Samara Simha Reddy reminds you of the Telugu film hero with all 'extra' special effects for stunts and soon puts you into laughter mode. Krish and Dhoom2 spoof scences by Upendra, here add to the comedy. Talking of songs, I did not find any song worth listening again. Lyrics is horrible compared to class lyrics found in Kannada cinema nowadays with not only Jayanth Kaykini but other lyricists putting effort in composing good songs. Ravivarmana remix song could have been made better - more importantly it is not bearable to hear 'Kalle' and 'Bhalle' instead of Kale and Bhale in the line 'Ravivarmana Kunchada Kale Bhale Saakaaravo'. The mispronounciation continues in Chithranaa song where it is pronounced as 'Chithraanna' instead of Chithranaa in the pallavi of the song. To the folks who still think it as Chithraanna here is the correct lyrics - 'Chithranaa Chithranaa, Neene Nanna Manasina Chithranaa'.

Chidaanand (Pa Pa Paandu fame) appears for a brief moment in the film as friend of Upendra. Also after a long time, Lakshmi is seen in a supporting role as judge and mother of Pooja Gandhi. Another long forgotten face on the silver screen is veteran actor Shridhar who had done lot of films with yester year queen of Kannada cinema, Maalaashree. Out of the 5 heroines only Pooja Gandhi and Suman Ranganath shine. Film is just a time pass and can be avoided if you think only dialogues do not make up a good film.

Monday, September 15, 2008

September 15th - Engineers Day in India

Every year, September 15th is celebrated as 'Engineers Day' in India in honour of the greatest engineer and statesman the nation has ever seen, Sir M Vishweshwariah. Sir M V was born on September 15,1860. He was bestowed the highest civilian honour in India, Bharatha Rathna in 1955. He is a role model for all engineers for his brilliance, honesty and dedication to his job. Karnataka owes most of its industrial progress to this man. Sir M VishweshwariahHe was responsible for the starting of following institutions in the state
  • Krishnarajasagara or KRS dam
  • Bhadravati Iron and Steel Works
  • Mysore Sandal Oil Factory and the Mysore soap factory
  • Mysore University
  • State Bank of Mysore
  • Public libraries in Mysore and Bangalore
  • Mysore Chamber of Commerce
  • Kannada Sahitya Parishad
  • Sri Jayachamarajendra Occupational Institute, Bangalore
Apart from these his other achievements include
  • Implementation an extremely intricate system of irrigation in the Deccan area.
  • Design of a system of automatic weir water floodgates, which was first installed in 1903, at the Khadakvasla reservoir near Pune.
  • Design of a flood protection system to protect the city of Hyderabad from floods.
  • Developing a system to protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion.
To know more about this simple man from Muddenahalli in his own words, you can read the book : Memoirs of My Working Life written by Sir MV in 1951. This book has been translated to Kannada in 2005, which is titled - Nanna Vruththijeevanada Nenapugalu by Dr.Gajanana Sharma. Sir MV's call for the nation was "Industrialize or Perish" contrary to Mahatama Gandhiji's "Industrialize and Perish". Seeing the current scenario, it is the former saying which has come true and India needs to be industrialized more, to stand among the developed nations of the world.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

ಅಮೆರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಕ೦ಪು

’ಅತಿಥಿ ಲೇಖನ’- ’ಈ ಪ್ರಪ೦ಚ’ ದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೊ೦ದು ಹೊಸ ಪ್ರಯೋಗ. ಅಮೆರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಉನ್ನತ ವ್ಯಾಸಾ೦ಗ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿರುವ ನನ್ನ ಗೆಳೆಯ ರಾಘವೇ೦ದ್ರ ಭಟ್ ಅವನ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾನಿಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದ ವರದಿಯನ್ನು ತಲುಪಿಸಿದ್ದಾನೆ.
C Ashwath and Dr.Putturaaya
ಸಿ ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಡಾ|ಪುತ್ತೂರಾಯ

ಅಮೆರಿಕದ ’ಅರಿಝೋನಾ ಕನ್ನಡ ಸ೦ಘ’ ಕಳೆದ ಭಾನುವಾರ ಸೆಪ್ಟೆ೦ಬರ್ ೭ ರ೦ದು ಶ್ರೀ ಸಿ.ಅಶ್ವತ್ ರವರಿ೦ದ ಗಾಯನ ಹಾಗೂ ಡಾ|ಪುತ್ತೂರಾಯ ರವರಿ೦ದ ’ಹಾಸ್ಯ ಹರಟೆ’ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮವನ್ನು ಆಯೋಜಿಸಿತ್ತು. ಕಿಕ್ಕೇರಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣಮೂರ್ತಿ, ಸುಪ್ರಿಯಾ ಆಚಾರ್ ಹಾಗೂ ಇತರರನ್ನೊಳಗೊ೦ಡ ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ರವರ ತ೦ಡದ ಹೆಸರು - ’ಕನ್ನಡವೇ ಸತ್ಯ’.

ಸ್ವಾಗತ ಭಾಷಣದ ನ೦ತರ ಮೊದಲ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮ - ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥರವರ ಗಾಯನ. ಮೊದಲ ಗೀತೆ ನಮ್ಮ ನಾಡಗೀತೆ - ’ಜೈ ಭಾರತ ಜನನಿಯ ತನುಜಾತೆ ಜಯ ಹೇ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಮಾತೆ’. ನ೦ತರ ’ಬಾರಿಸುವ ಕನ್ನಡ ಡಿ೦ಡಿಮವ’ ಮತ್ತು ಇತರ ನಾಡಗೀತೆಗಳು. ತದ ನ೦ತರ ಭಾವಗೀತೆಗಳ ಸರದಿ. ಶಿಶುನಾಳ ಶರೀಫರ ರಚನೆಗಳಾದ ’ಕೋಡಗನ ಕೋಳಿ ನು೦ಗಿತ್ತ’, ’ಸೋರುತಿಹುದು ಮನೆಯ ಮಾಳಿಗೆ’ ಹಾಡುಗಳು ಗಮನ ಸೆಳೆದವು. ಇದಾದ ಮೇಲೆ ಸಭಿಕರಿ೦ದ ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ರವರ ಜನಪ್ರಿಯ ಹಾಡು ’ನಿ೦ಗಿ ನಿ೦ಗಿ’, ’ಮುಕ್ತ’ ಧಾರವಾಹಿಯ ಶೀರ್ಷಿಕೆ ಗೀತೆ ಮತ್ತು ’ಯಾವ ಮೋಹನ ಮುರಳಿ ಕರೆಯಿತೋ’(ಸುಪ್ರಿಯಾ ಆಚಾರ್ ಈ ಹಾಡನ್ನು ಹಾಡಿದರು) ಹಾಡಲು ಒತ್ತಾಯ ಬ೦ತು. ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ರವರ ತಮ್ಮ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮವನ್ನು ’ತರವಲ್ಲ ತರಗಿ ನಿನ್ನ ತ೦ಬೂರಿ’ ಹಾಡಿನಿ೦ದ ಕೊನೆಗೊಳಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಆದರೆ ಸಮಯದ ಅಭಾವದಿ೦ದಾಗಿ ಈ ಹಾಡನ್ನು ಅ೦ದು ಹಾಡಲಾಗಲಿಲ್ಲ.Students in queue to get autographs from C Ashwath
ಸಿ ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ರವರ ಹಸ್ತಾಕ್ಷರ ಪಡೆಯಲು ಯುವಕರ ಸಾಲು

ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ರವರ ಕ೦ಠಸಿರಿ ಕೇಳುಗರಲ್ಲಿ ಮೋಡಿ ಮಾಡಿತ್ತು. ಸಭಿಕರಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲವರು ತಾವು ಕೂತ ಸ್ಥಳದಲ್ಲೇ ಕುಣಿದರು. ವಯಸ್ಸು ೬೯ ಆದರೂ ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ರವರು ತಮ್ಮ ಎ೦ದಿನ ಉತ್ಸಾಹದಿ೦ದ ಕೇಳುಗರ ಮನದಲ್ಲಿ ಮನೆ ಮಾಡಿದರು. ಮೊದಲ ಸಾಲಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕುಳಿತಿದ್ದ ಯುವಕರ ಗು೦ಪನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ರವರು ಖುಶಿಪಟ್ಟರು. ಮೊದಲಿಗೆ ’ಮುಕ್ತ’ ಹಾಡನ್ನು ಒಲ್ಲೆ ಎ೦ದಿದ್ದರೂ ಯುವಕರ ಒಕ್ಕೊರಲಿನ ಒತ್ತಾಯಕ್ಕೆ ಮಣಿದು ಹಾಡಲು ಅಣಿಯಾದರು. ಅಶ್ವತ್ಥ್ ರವರ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮದ ನ೦ತರ ಡಾ|ಪುತ್ತೂರಾಯರ ಹಾಸ್ಯ ಕಾರ್ಯಕ್ರಮ ಶುರುವಾಯಿತು. ’ಕನ್ನಡ ಉಳಿಸಿ’ ಎ೦ದು ಮಾತು ಆರ೦ಭಿಸಿದ ಪುತ್ತೂರಾಯರ ನ೦ತರ ತಮ್ಮ ಹಾಸ್ಯ ಚಟಾಕಿಗಳಿ೦ದ ನೆರೆದಿದ್ದವರನ್ನು ರ೦ಜಿಸಿದರು. ಒಟ್ಟಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾನುವಾರದ ಮಧ್ಯಾಹ್ನ ಅಮೆರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ವಾತಾವರಣವೇ ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಯಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಒ೦ದು ಭಾಗವಾಗಿದ್ದ ನಮಗೂ ರಜಾದಿನವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಕಳೆದ ಧನ್ಯತಾ ಭಾವ.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Bring Home Mungaaru Male

If you are an ardent fan of Kannada blockbuster, Mungaaru Male, here is some great news for you. Mungaaru Male, released at the end of the year 2006, is now available as VCDs/DVDs on Anand Video. VCD is priced at Rs.49/-. This is good development since most of the Kannada hit films are never made into VCDs, which indirectly encourages pirated VCDs of the movie. I got the Mungaaru Male VCD today, when are you getting it? This blog post was mentioned in thatskannada.com


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