Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Have you heard of Good Riddance Day!?

“Good Riddance Day – Shred, Dump and Pulverize Bad Memories from 2010.”
Yesterday, 28th December was the fourth annual “Good Riddance Day” but strangely I heard of it for the first time today! Good Riddance Day shreds bad events. On Good Riddance Day, members of the public are invited to jot down their least favorite moments and memories, then stuff the paper into a giant shredder set up at Times Square, New York City.
Good Riddance Day seems like a wonderful idea. Perhaps it should spread from New York City to all over the world. Letting go of bad memories, problems, regrets, habits, vices and negativity at the end of the year seems a much better idea than trying to make and keep impossible resolutions at the beginning of the New Year. After all many people hold onto negative thoughts, feelings and old hurts for too long and suffer a great deal. It is a very practical way of saying goodbye, once for all, with the support of many people around, to all the bad memories and experiences.  
This practice, on such a large scale seems to be an effective way to end the year and clear the decks for a peaceful and happy New Year ahead. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Pictures of “Beloved New Entrants” into our family circle in 2010.

The above pictures are of babies born in our family circle this year.
The topmost picture is of Ch. Yashas, son of my nephew Dubbaka Kalyan Chakravarthy and Smt. Archana. He was born on 1st March 2010.
The next picture is of Ch. Sai Harsha, son of my nephew Dubbaka Kamal Nayan and Smt. Madhuri. He was born on 13th August 2010.
The bottommost picture is of Ch. Vikyath, son of my niece Usha Rani and Sri. Anagurti Karthik. He was born on 15th November 2010.
My blog has pictures of almost every member of our family and friends circle. So I thought it appropriate to add here the pictures of our newest members who arrived in 2010, as the year is coming to a close.
I am sure you would enjoy the photos of our new family members. Please bless them richly…..thank you. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Photographs of this year’s Christmas Eve celebrations at our house:
You may see photographs of earlier Christmas Celebrations at our house by clicking on the following links:
Wish you all a very Happy Christmas! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Long live! a Great Opposition Leader.

N. Chandrababu Naidu, Opposition Leader of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly is in the news forever, constantly taking up some public issue or other and fighting for one cause or another. He is perhaps the best Opposition Leader in the entire country. He is on a fasting spree now and today is the seventh day of his indefinite fast. He is demanding a better compensation to the farmers who have suffered heavy crop and property damage in the recent past due to heavy rains and flooding. As per the news bulletins his health is deteriorating by the hour. I wish that the already bankrupt State Government would somehow work out a formula to resolve the farmer’s issue and bring an end to the fast. Naidu’s life is very important to his party and the media which is busy covering his fights. Long live, a great Opposition Leader.
He lost in the last two General Elections in spite of all the support from his electoral alliances, Maha Kutamies, Film fraternity, Vision 2020 and assuring fanciest freebies worth Crores of Rupees. People say he is a great manipulator, a power monger and that he has dethroned his father-in-law, Late Sri N.T. Rama Rao Garu, to come to power. God alone knows the truth and God has done what I think suits Naidu best, to be a busy and noisy Opposition Leader. May God keep him away from Telangana and bless him for life as Opposition Leader of any other State other than Telangana State. Long live Chandrababu Naidu. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A rare cosmic coincidence occurred last night, for only the second time in 2010 years!

Last night’s lunar eclipse coincided with the northern winter solstice or the shortest day of the year, for only the second time in two thousand and ten years. The first time these events coincided since the year 1 A.D. was on 21st December 1638 that is 372 years ago. And it is projected that the next coincidence would be after 84 years on 21st December 2094. This of course would be long after I have gone.
Eclipses are considered inauspicious in India, not only the duration of the eclipse but the day of the eclipse. Several purification ceremonies and rituals are practiced as a process of purification after an eclipse. In spite of such superstitions few of us in India enjoy watching eclipses by taking necessary precautions. So last night’s eclipse was a disappointment as it was not visible in India.
The purpose of my writing on this event is not only to share the above interesting information but to express my surprise at the superstitions of some communities in the western world too; regarding last night’s celestial coincidence. I understand that some people see it as a sign from God, a sign for something good or bad to happen. Some see it as an indication of chaos in the near future. People all over the world seem to be superstitious and have very wild imagination. In India we overcome these fears through some religious purification ceremonies, the simplest being a head bath followed by praying.
We should just think and watch an eclipse as a beautiful and extremely rare occurrence without going into the possibilities of anything bad. That is the best and happiest way to see and enjoy the world above us and around us. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

The operation was successful, but the patient died.

A Cricket Test Match between India and South Africa has just concluded. India’s Sachin Tendulkar has scored a century in this match, his 50th Test century and a world record that will keep on improving until Tendulkar is tired of making centuries or if he ever decides to retire. He is a great cricketer and India and the whole world admire his talent. May he play for India for many more years, concentrate on record making, breaking records, and improving his records.  
The Indian media has covered this historic achievement in all its glory and will continue to do so for the next few weeks, months and forever and as and when a chance arises. The media and the cricket commentators have ensured that this news reaches everyone in India - all great lovers of cricket and admirers of records and statistics. I can see that the whole country is happy with this great achievement.
This Test Match was played at Super Sport Park, Centurion, South Africa from 16th December to today, 20th December. South Africa won the toss and chose to field. Batting first, India scored 136 Runs at the loss of all wickets. In reply South Africa scored 624 Runs for the loss of 4 wickets. In the Second Innings India scored 459 Runs and were all out. Sachin scored 111 runs and remained not out. The gist of the match is, India scored 595 Runs for the loss of 20 wickets and South Africa scored 624 Runs for the loss of 4 wickets with 2 of its players scoring centuries and another a double century! But the ultimate outcome and highlight of the match is Sachin’s “Operation 50th Century”. Congrats Sachin, Congrats Indian Team, what if the patient is dead – India has lost the Match by an Innings.
P.S. We have played 414 Test Matches so far, we have won 93, lost 134 and have drawn 187 matches, that is a winning percentage of 22.5. But our greatness lies more in setting individual best performances and records which sometimes help us in winning matches.

Unusual cold weather at Hyderabad.

Since last few days the night temperature at Hyderabad is hovering around 11 degrees Celsius, and last night it touched 9.8. This is rather unusually low temperature, as you can see in the above newspaper report. The forecast for the next few days is also much less than the normal winter temperature of Hyderabad.
Elsewhere in India and other countries which get to see much lower temperatures and snow this is surely a comfortable weather but not for us in Hyderabad, specially the elders. This is obvious from the fact that most roads of the Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad which are normally busy until well after 11 P.M are now looking deserted at 8 P.M.
Long unused winter clothing has come out. People are looking different and attractive in colorful sweaters, jackets, shawls, scarves, mufflers and headgear! 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Srikanth’s fourth Vaikunta Ekadashi at Tirumala!

Today, 17th December, is Vaikunta Ekadashi, a very auspicious day for us.  Vaikunta Ekadashi is an important festival dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnations. The festival is celebrated with great devotion at all Vaishnava Temples and is a day of great significance at Sri Venkateshwaraswamy Temple - Tirumala, Sri Sitaramachandraswamy Temple - Bhadrachalam and Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple - Srirangam. Having the Lord’s Darshan on this day and passing through the Vaikunta Dwaram of the Temple is considered very auspicious. Right from early morning today, till late in the night you will find large number of devotees at all Temples in South India.
My son Srikanth along with his friends Venu, Praveen and Ravi had Darshan of Sri Venkateshwaraswamy at Tirumala today morning and passed through the Vaikunta Dwaram. Thanks to the initiative of his friend - Venu, my son could be at Tirumala on Vaikunta Ekadashi for the fourth year in a row and have Darshan of the Lord and pass through the Vaikunta Dwaram five times (two Darshans during his first Vaikunta Ekadashi visit). This is the only time in a year when the Vaikunta Dwaram is opened. It is kept open on Ekadashi day and the next day - Dwadashi but passing through this gate on Ekadashi is of great significance. ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ means ‘Door to Heaven’. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord. It is believed that the gates to heaven open today and that anyone who passes through Vaikunta Dwaram at these important Temples on Vaikunta Ekadashi is richly blessed and attains salvation.
My son and his friends, Venu, Praveen and Ravi, started from Secunderabad by car yesterday morning and reached Tirumala in the evening. They got into the queue complex at about 11:30 PM and had a comfortable and convincing Darshan of the Lord in the early morning hours of today. I said, a comfortable Darshan because since morning we have been watching news about Tirumala on TV reporting heavy rush of thousands of pilgrims leading to problems and very long wait in the queue and even of a stampede in which some persons including children were injured. They started back a little later in the morning and reached home today night. It is God’s will and Venu’s influence at Tirumala that has helped them to seek the blessings of Sri Venkateshwaraswamy at Tirumala more than once, on such an important day. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chowmahalla Palace.

My previous article was on Falaknuma Palace and its conversion into a Luxury Hotel. Visiting the Falaknuma Palace would not be possible for everyone due to the high costs involved.  As an alternative one can visit another historical Palace at Hyderabad, a much older Palace, the Chowmahalla Palace near Charminar. The Palace was restored by the Royal Family and opened to public in January 2005. The Palace is open to visitors on all days except Fridays for a very nominal fee.
Chowmahalla Palace was the official residence of the Nizam. All ceremonial functions used to be held here. The official guests and the royal visitors were entertained here. Chowmahalla Palace means a place of four Palaces or Mahals. The above photographs indicate the grandeur of the place. While at Hyderabad one should certainly visit this Palace.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Life returns to Falaknuma Palace.

It is a month since the Falaknuma Palace has opened its doors, in its new refurbished and restored form as “Taj Falaknuma Palace” Luxury Hotel. Falaknuma Palace is considered to be the grandest of the 32 palaces in Hyderabad and one of the finest in the country. The opening of the Hotel has brought to the fore the history and splendor of the Palace and bygone era of Hyderabad, enthralling the local people. Though the Luxury Hotel is not affordable to the multitudes; a grand place amidst them makes one proud of his city. Falaknuma has once again become the pride of Hyderabad.
The Royal Family of Hyderabad / Nizam’s Trust has given away the 110 year old Falaknuma Palace to the Taj Group of Hotels, Resorts and Palaces; in the year 2000, for a 99 year lease. The Taj group took ten years to carefully carryout exhaustive restoration work and to convert the royal residence into a Luxury Hotel consisting of 60 rooms including 15 Suites. The above photographs are an indication of the grandeur of the restored Palace.
For more details on the Palace you may click on this link: Falaknuma Palace.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ch. Vikyath’s party on ‘Hussain Sagar’ lake.

My “facebook - news feed entries” at the top; explain about the party we enjoyed last night on ‘Bhagmati’, a launch, over Hussain Sagar Lake. You may click on the top two pictures to zoom in and read the entries. For my detailed article on the beautiful Hussain Sagar Lake and more photographs; you may click on the link below:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Generations of characterless and shameless betrayers of Telangana.

Last year on this day as Telangana was celebrating the decision and announcement of the Central Government of India on formation of Telangana State, the betrayers staged dramas to sabotage the process of State formation and kill the celebrations. The decision of the Central Government on Telangana was based on the consent of all political parties and the ultimate realization of years of injustices done to Telangana, broken promises, and non-implementation of agreements, injustices in employment, irrigation projects and in every field of development. These political parties that have betrayed Telangana this day have won General elections in 2004 and 2009 by promising separate Statehood for Telangana, or by stating that they shall support the move, or that they would go by the decision of Madam Sonia Gandhi. But finally when Madam Sonia Gandhi and the Central Government announced their decision in favor of Telangana, these characterless and shameless rogues showed their true colors of betrayal like generations of their predecessors. The unity shown by these rogue chameleons was not there among the Telangana leaders, so as to oppose the saboteurs. They lacked will and courage to fight for justice that the Central Government has willed to implement. What justice can you expect from characterless politicians whose background is chamchagiri, goondagiri, land grabbing, corruption, lust for power and craze to become ministers and loot. May God never pardon the sins of all these rogues and see that they rot in hell. And may God soon bless us with a separate Telangana State without any further hurdles. And may God bless the new State to be governed by good leaders and prosper rapidly.
I am very sorry for my choice of harsh words in this article. But these crooks and their deceitful actions deserve to be called in whichever way one likes. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lawless ‘Auto Rickshaw Walas’ of Hyderabad.

Auto Rickshaw drivers of Hyderabad were, are, and unchecked; continue to grow into more and more notorious and arrogant stature. At Railway Stations and Bus Stations it is virtually impossible to find an Auto Rickshaw that would take you to your destination by the Meter. They choose passengers who have to travel longer distances and demand hefty amount. They normally do not entertain passengers whose destination is close by as they cannot demand   much. And in any case what they desire is to earn much higher than the actual fare. And if they find out that a customer is new to Hyderabad they may accept to go by the Meter and then take him around in circles and get an exorbitant fare. And coming to the Meters, most of them are tampered. If you are traveling to the same place to and fro a number of times you will find the fare varying each time and by a large amount sometimes, clearly indicating tampered Meters. Same is the situation with the Autos at other places in the city. As you waive for an Auto they do not care to stop. And finally when an Auto stops for you, he would ask you where you want to go and then without a word he would move away from you. We simply have to live with this rude behavior and when finally someone accepts to take you it would be at some extra amount over the Meter reading or a fancy price quoted by the driver and bargained by you.
Their driving is very rash when they are carrying passengers. And when there are no passengers they park their vehicles at wrong places like street corners blocking traffic or move on the roads very slowly in a zigzag fashion looking for prospective passengers, always causing problems for the traffic on the road.
During school hours you will find a number of Auto Rickshaws carrying children to School. You will find as many as 10 children in one Auto with their School bags dangerously hanging on the outside of the Auto Rickshaw. This is not at all comfortable or safe for the children. In this case the parents of the children are also to be blamed along with the Auto drivers who are breaking the law and the authorities who turn a blind eye to this offence.
The news in the above two pictures is from today’s ‘Hindu’ and ‘The Times of India’ newspapers. You may click on the pictures to enlarge the view and read the news. I am glad that both the newspapers have covered the news on Auto Rickshaw problems on the same day, indicating the seriousness of the situation. As of now very few people complain to the authorities on the extortion and faulty meters as they feel it is a waste of time. Most individuals do not even try to reason out and correct the Auto drivers as it would be of no use for individuals to reform these lawless, ill-mannered, arrogant goons. And the people of Hyderabad especially of Telangana can never unite to fight against injustices done to them. And if there are more such reports appearing in responsible newspapers, authorities may ask a commission like the Justice Sri Krishna Commission to inquire whether the complaints against Auto Rickshaw Drivers is true and submit a report within a year or two and suggest means to curb this menace. Till then we have to suffer and lead life as if nothing is wrong, hoping that someday a solution would be found to this helpless and lawless problem that can be experienced every few feet in the city. 

On a breezy morning…

On a breezy morning, Amidst plants and flowers, As the Sun was rising, The feeling was joyous! Happily as we strolled, Pic...