Monday, March 28, 2016

Trip to serene Sarnath, A Buddhist Site

I believe not many are aware that Sarnath, the place where Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon is very close to Varanasi. Neither we were aware of this, when we visited Varanasi in August 2013. We came to know that Sarnath is just 13 km away, when we were returning back to our hotel after visiting Kashi Vishwanath Temple in the morning. Ganga Aarti, a must watch spectacle in Varanasi was later in the evening. So, we made a quick decision to visit Sarnath, with a resolve to come back before Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat at 6 pm!

Tranquility : We hired the same auto rickshaw to drop us to Sarnath. First impression of Sarnath was of a serene place, quite a contrast to chaotic Varanasi! Only thing which was preventing us from enjoying the tranquility of the place was the scorching heat! Giant statue of standing Buddha caught our attention immediately. It was the statue of Buddha at the Thai Temple in Sarnath.
Archaeological Museum(ASI Museum), Sarnath
Archaeological Museum(ASI Museum), Sarnath

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Visiting Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi

'No leather items inside the temple including belt and wallet. Of course, no cameras and cell phones' - hotel staff had instructed us before visiting the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi(also called Banaras or Benares). So, I don’t have any photos of the temple, clicked by me. Just outside the hotel we stayed, we enquired a taxi guy to drop us to the Kashi temple. But the rent he said would charge was too high – Rs.400 for a journey of 5 kms and the year was 2013. We walked ahead to catch an auto rickshaw. The driver agreed to take us to the temple and drop us back to the hotel for Rs.200.

Getting Inside The Temple :- I was expecting a spectacular entrance to one of the most visited Hindu temples in the world. But when the auto guy dropped us in front of a petty shop, I was totally taken aback. He instructed us to go through the narrow alley passing through the row of shops and told to get hold of any Pandit(priest), who will get the Darshan(glimpse of the sanctum of the temple) done quickly! We followed his instructions to reach the entrance, which looked like of a small shrine. We removed our footwear and kept inside a shop nearby. Shop keeper asked us whether we wanted prashad(or prasada/prasadam in south India) to offer and milk for abhishek(or abhishekam) to Lord Vishwanath. We were surprised as in most south Indian temples, devotees are offered prasadam from the temple after darshan. Also, if we pay for the seva, prasadam will be provided at the temple itself. But it was different here, explained the shop keeper. We bought the prashad and milk for abhishek. After the security check, we were let inside the temple.

Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu Movie Review

Tejaswi - When I started reading Poornachandra Tejaswi's works few years ago, first culture shock to me was the use of cuss words. I felt like blasphemy of the holy literary space! I was about to stop reading. But then I thought something greater must be in store because Tejaswi has a big fan following! To this day, I have not regretted my decision and I remain one of staunch fans of Kuvempu's son! In the movie, cuss words have been reduced drastically not because they have been used sparingly. The censor board has already heard them and muted them for general public. This certainly has impacted the rhythm of the movie! Ironically, you can hear worst(or best!!) of cuss words in your neighborhood in Bengaluru during fights involving owner and tenant or even during minor accidents on road!

What is it about? Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu is a novella by Tejaswi, which brilliantly depicts the life of people of Malnad region with high dose of humor! Rustic women of Kiragooru have to deal with a lot of issues due to drunkard husbands and village politics and sometimes, they quarrel among themselves! In spite of these problems, they are united. They continue to strive and manage the household.  How these women get rid of their life's problems form the crux of the story. Caste politics in Kiragooru mimics the politics in Vidhana Soudha, where fortunes are made or broken solely because of caste equations. Tejaswi had written the story more than two decades ago. So, I also felt that the film adaption could have made few changes in the story to depict the latest scenario.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Simple Aag Innondh Love Story Review

Crisp dialogues, double entendre and parodies of popular ads/movie scenes continue to be the key ingredients in Suni's latest offering Simple Aag Innondh Love Story too! Praveen and Meghana Gaonkar's chemistry recreates the magic Rakshit Shetty and Shwetha Srivatsav did three years ago in Simple Aag Ondh Love Story. More importantly, the movie makes us laugh our heart out just like its prequel!

What's the film about : It is a road movie, where the lead characters fall in love through the journey! Never mind the story, because one should never look for it either Suni's Simple Love Story series or Yogaraj Bhat's recent films. Because they are for the Whatsapp generation - i.e You should be able to message the story in a single line. But for the dialogues, it is like a Whatsapp group conversation - pouring non-stop from everyone and if you miss one, you cannot follow the conversation!

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Visit to Triveni Sangam, Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Triveni Sangam is the place where three rivers confluence. It is considered as a very holy spot in Sanatana Dharma(Eternal Dharma) as a dip in the Triveni Sangam is believed to wash way all sins. Prayag(also known as Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh where three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati(invisible river as locals say woh dikhta nahi saab in Hindi) meet is such a pilgrimage center for devout Hindus.

My visit to Prayag was a short one but it was vibrant within that short duration. On my official visit to Allahabad, with my colleagues I jotted down a plan to visit Prayag. Prayag is the place, where one of the biggest congregations in the world happens during the Maha Kumbh Mela, which is held every 12 years.
Triveni Sangam, Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
Triveni Sangam, Prayag, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
Long bridge over River Ganga : First thing I noticed when I reached Prayag, is the long bridge over River Yamuna. That is the longest bridge(which is 1510 meters in length) I had ever seen in my life and I was amazed to see the width of the holy river. This sight for me was frightening too imagining the wrath of the natural forces when it unleashes. You will also feel so small in front of the gigantic nature.


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