Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Decades of misrule and harassment, how and when will this end?

If an A-MLA abuses and slaps an A-MLA in A-Legislative Assembly, it is a non-issue, the episode is excused, and the scuffle is not telecast, not condemned, not subjected to debates and harsh comments by A-politicians, A-political analysts and wicked A-Media. And if T-MLAs insist on being heard in A-Assembly, they are mercilessly condemned, suspended and thrown out of the house. And when T-MLAs or T-Agitators or T-Students raise slogans or stage demonstrations in favor of T-State, the A-Politicians and the A-TV Channels project them as Naxalites, Goondas, criminals, murderers and as uncivilized persons. They are fired at, beaten and put behind bars.
I pray for liberation from this disturbing, disgusting and dirty partisan A-rule.
P.S. To read the text in the above photograph, please click on it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

“If you can’t ride a bicycle and climb trees you are not a boy!” – My childhood adage.

During my childhood, riding a bicycle and climbing trees was a daily recreation for us. Climbing trees came naturally to me and for riding a bicycle I went through various stages of learning. I used to run with the bicycle and then jump on to one pedal to learn balancing as the bicycle is freewheeling and a little later I learnt to ride a kid’s bicycle. When it came to regular size bicycle I was not able to mount on to the seat so there was a method called “Kainchi (Scissor)” by which I was able to enjoy bicycle rides. “Kainchi” is not a very comfortable way of riding a bicycle but was popular those days among children as they cannot reach the seat. It involves pedaling the cycle by resting the left leg on left pedal and the right leg from under the crossbar/top tube on the right pedal and cycling with entire body weight distributed on limbs with no place to sit! This was until I grew tall to mount the bicycle.
When it came to climbing trees, as I said before, it came naturally to me. There were sixteen huge trees in our house where I grew up. We had Mango trees, Guava trees, Neem trees and a Black plum tree on which I knew how to reach any part of a tree to pluck fruits or to play “Jaad Ka Bandhar”. Apart from this we had two Lemon trees and one Narinja tree which we could not climb due to thorns on the trees and two coconut trees which we cannot climb without the help of a rope. And there were another six trees in front of our house, outside our compound.
“Jaad Ka Bandhar” is the name of the game we played on these trees. In this game; all the players collect near a small circle drawn amidst the trees with a stick at the center. A seeker is selected by a draw and then the stick is picked by one of the other players and thrown far away. The seeker will have to run, pickup the stick and put it back in the circle. In the meantime the other players have to climb on to the trees. The seeker will then try to catch one of them to make him a seeker, he may have to climb a tree to do this, jump up to reach someone on the branches or wait and catch the other players who are constantly trying to reach the stick in the circle. If the seeker is successful in catching one of the other players, that player will become the next seeker and if one of the players on the trees manages to touch the stick the seeker once again becomes a seeker. It is just like Hide-and-seek but with a difference, involving tree climbing and jumping from trees. Even my sister was very good at climbing trees and doing some gymnastics on the branches! However she could not learn to ride a bicycle! And my wife learnt to ride a bicycle but not climbing trees! So when it comes to my family, my childhood adage – “If you can’t ride a bicycle and climb trees you are not a boy!”, still holds good!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Money won is twice as sweet as money earned!

Yesterday’s “Cricket World Cup 2011” Quarter-Final Match between World Champions Australia and India was a keenly fought, very interesting Match that was finally won by India. It was a very important Match, as losing it meant getting out of the competition. Australia is now out of the World Cup and India would progress into the Semi-Finals and meet Pakistan in its next Match on 30th March at Mohali.
As it was a Day-Night Match, everyone tried and reached home as early as possible in the evening to watch the Match on Television. This was obvious from the lean traffic on the roads of Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It is beyond doubt that many have watched and enjoyed the Match and rejoiced as India won.
Though everyone had faith in the excellent form of Indian Team, Australia’s record of World Cup victories was looming in the background as a threat. This led some people to speculate Australian victory and large scale betting. It is reported in Newspapers that there was large scale betting on ball by ball individual performances and final result of the Match amounting to several Crores of Rupees. This may have made the Match; much more interesting to the gamblers.
When any challenge between two equals in a game or sport that is close to tossing a coin; for guessing head or tails takes place, the spectators are bound to make the event more interesting among themselves by promising a prize, a treat or a cash reward to one who guesses the winner or performer correctly. We play such games at home. The above photograph is of Lalitha receiving a cash reward for supporting and predicting Indian Victory, from her friendly, loving, mock opponent. Her opponent in this challenge who had to give away the reward is shy of posing in this photograph so he has asked Sudhiksha to give away the reward on his behalf. This event has made the Indian Victory much more enjoyable to the family! Money won is twice as sweet as money earned! And the smiles that you see in the above photograph are just two, but there were many more around, beyond the reach of the Camera lens!
Good Luck India! in your next match, and Good Luck Lalitha!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is a committee of fools, constituted by fools to fool the people struggling and suffering since decades.

What more can you expect from rogue committees, constituted by rogue politicians, in a country drowning in corruption. What is it they have been asked to do and what is it they have done. They have created utter confusion. And they have joined the insensitive, selfish, corrupt and power hungry politicians most of whom are puppets in the hands of a dumb foreigner or a backstabbing, two tongued and dual vision manipulator who are bent on deceiving the suffering and struggling people. There seems to be no end to the problems of my people. May be someday soon GOD or the UNO would come to our rescue!   
This, and the ‘facebook status comments’ below; are my immediate reaction to today’s sad and harsh news.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Holi Celebrations! - 2011.

The above photographs are of our “Holi festival” celebrations, this morning. This year, there was confusion on the exact date of the festival. Some calendars have indicated that the festival is on 19th and the rest as 20th March.
Holi is celebrated on Phalguni Pournami (Full Moon day of the Lunar month called Phalguni). This year the occurrence of   Full Moon was at midnight of 19th March giving rise to this confusion, on burning of Holika on the night before Holi and the celebration of the festival.
We were prepared to play colors yesterday, 19th March, and made arrangements for a festive lunch. Then we came to know that majority of our neighbors had decided to celebrate the festival tomorrow, on 20th, so we postponed playing of colors but went ahead with a festive Non-veg. lunch. And today we played colors and are once again having a good spread for lunch and dinner. So, this year Holi celebrations started for us on 19th March and are continuing for the second day today!  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Holi Greetings!

To view the animation in the above “Holi Greeting Card” and listen to the appended Holi song, please click on the following link: http://srisrilara.glogster.com/happy-holi/. You may then click on each of the photographs to zoom in.
Holi day; is a great day, full of fun and festivity. Remember to play colors carefully. I know that it is difficult to procure herbal and safe colors as in the long past, but try your best to procure and play with them. Majority of the synthetic colors available in the market have chemicals which may be harmful to eyes and skin so use them cautiously. Do not throw colors stealthily at ones face or use force while applying colors to the face. You may ask the friend to shut his eyes and then pour color water over his head! or apply color to his face! But in the excitement of playing colors do not cause any injury to a person or yourself by being careless. Have a bucket of fresh water close by, to wash eyes or mouth in case color gets in. Take care, wet floors and roads become slippery!  
Sorry for being a little pessimistic. I want you to enjoy the festival full blast, with SAFETY in mind always. Once again, WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY & SAFE HOLI.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

“Irani Chai” is a Cup of Life! for Lakhs of people! in Hyderabad.

Irani Chai (Irani Tea) is very popular in the Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Several Lakhs of cups of Irani Chai are sold every day, starting from early morning till late in the night. Though I do not go for Irani Chai, I am a big witness to the demand and popularity of this beverage. I stay very close to Paradise Multi Cuisine Restaurant Complex in Secunderabad; it has two Irani Chai outlets in the building. One outlet is along Prenderghast Road, this is over 60 years old, it opens by 5:00 AM and closes well past midnight. The other adjoining outlet which is about two decades old is along Sarojini Devi Road; it opens at 6:00 AM and closes by midnight. Right from the time the outlets open; till the time of closing, there is a mad rush for Irani Chai. And so is the rush at every Café selling Irani Chai in the Twin Cities. Though all Cafés are popular in their respective areas, some of them like Paradise, Garden Restaurant, Alpha Hotel, Blue Sea, Blue Bird, Shadab, Bahaar, Alhamdulillah, Adarsh, Saarvi and many more such hotels are well known throughout the Twin Cities.
At the top of this article is a video, shot at Garden Restaurant, Secunderabad, where around ten thousand cups of Irani Chai are sold every day. The history of Irani Chai and the process of  making the Chai are explained in this video.
I think Irani Chai is an addiction among the regulars to the Irani Cafés. They love it and have a number of cups every day, treating every cup as a precious potion, because it enriches their physical and mental condition.
I like home brewed Tea, Lemon Tea in the morning, soon after returning from my morning walk, and Tea with milk some time after breakfast and again in the evening. I too love Tea, and I totally agree with what William E. Gladstone said in 1865! …..
If you are cold, Tea will warm you;
If you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Tribute to Japan.

I feel very sad about what is happening in Japan right now. The news and visuals of the destruction and suffering are heartrending. First the massive earthquake that destroyed life and extensive property followed by a gigantic tsunami that has devoured over 10,000 lives and rendered thousands homeless and now the risk from nuclear power plant explosions. There cannot be a bigger tragedy than this, a very sorrowful state indeed. There is personal resonance for me because I was in Japan for 6 months during two of my visits, I have a number of acquaintances there, and I have always had affection for this country and its people. It is very unfortunate that nature has struck Japan and its polite and peace loving people so violently causing immeasurable loss and suffering.
I am posting this article as my tribute to the Japanese; sisters and brothers. And in this hour of grief I pray for them and appeal to them to gather courage from the melodious and touching; Japanese song - “Prayer for Peace” from their 1954  movie, “Godzilla”, the lyrics of which say: “May we Outlive Destruction, May we Look to Tomorrow with Hope, May Peace and Light Return to Us”. GOD bless. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hyderabad is among “The 41 PLACES to GO in 2011” – The New York Times.

The New York Times has included my city, Hyderabad, in its list of “The 41 Places to go in 2011”. This recommendation was published in New York Times on 7th January, but I came across it just now. The news has made me happy; it is great news from a great Newspaper. I like to read the New York Times – internet edition; for all important news. The New York Times is the largest metropolitan Newspaper in the United States of America. It is being continuously published in New York City since 1851. It has won 104 Pulitzer Prizes and it is regarded as the “National Newspaper of Record”. The New York Times is different from almost every Newspaper published from Hyderabad. While NYT stands for what a Newspaper should be, the Hyderabad Newspapers in comparison are trash, they are substandard, characterless, biased, politically motivated, sensation based, tools in the control of powerful crooks at the helm of affairs.
You may read the above NYT Newspaper clips for information on Hyderabad; which is listed at Sl. No. 19 of their recommendation. For information on the other 40 places that NYT has recommended; you may read the NYT Newspaper by clicking on the following link:
Visit HYDERABAD and enjoy the hospitality of TELANGANA.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Parade Grounds of Secunderabad; is the barometer for “Cricket Mania” in India!

We are halfway through the ongoing “Cricket World Cup 2011”. Today is the 19th day of the tournament and the Final Match of the World Cup is 19 days from today that is on 2nd April; at Mumbai. Despite the year ending examinations for students and hectic work schedule of grownups, everyone is managing to find time to watch Cricket Matches on TV, hear to scores, hear to cricket news, and discuss performances, results and records. In India, we get excited even if a cricket match is being played between children of one locality with another. We love watching cricket matches being played by film stars most of whom do not know how to hold the bat and bowl over arm. If we are so enthusiastic of such ordinary, roadside cricket matches, it is beyond description to define the ecstasy one derives from World Cup Matches, not just in the Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad but in every village, town and city in India. This ecstasy gets a further boost with extraordinary, bold and loud coverage of the Matches by the Print and Electronic media and the extensive ball by ball, pre-match and post match commentaries, discussions and debates.
So excited are children with Cricket nowadays; that you find them playing the game at parks, playgrounds and in lanes. The Parade Grounds of Secunderabad are an indication of this frenzy. Quite early in the morning; when it is still dark, children and even grown-ups come to the Parade Grounds to occupy pitches and every available place to play cricket. The rush to play cricket on holidays and Sundays at Parade Grounds is so huge that we who go there for regular morning walks cannot go straight along the walkways and have to oblige the players by fielding for them, as they shout “uncle ball, uncle ball!”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Winners of Nokia N Series Fusion Challenge - Hyderabad.

And the Winners of the Nokia N Series Fusion Challenge (Treasure Hunt)! are my son, Srikanth and his friends, Ashwin (Team leader), Sohail and Krishna!!
Each of them won a “Nokia - Bluetooth Stereo Headset” and the team leader a latest “Nokia N Series Mobile Phone”. The prizes were given away by Ranvijay, the famous VJ of MTV’s popular programs "Splitsvilla" and "Roadies". They thoroughly enjoyed the day and rejoiced as they won the event. Incidentally it was also Ashwin’s birthday, so it called for a double celebration.
The event was held at Ramada / Tulip Manohar Hotel at Begumpet. Seven teams participated in the event. They were asked to find outlets that deal with some specific merchandise anywhere in the Twin cities and return with photographic evidence of their sightings. A Nokia official accompanied each team. The sights to hunt and visit were:
A Tattoo shop.
A Restaurant that cooks (some foods) at your table.
A shop that displays and sells old Movie Posters.
A custom-made, Leather–shoe shop.
A Vintage-Cars garage.
A shop selling Gramophone Records.
A shop that sells Camping Tents.
A shop that sells Eco-friendly Furniture.  
Despite it being a Sunday; with most shops closed, they could reach out the best places in the specified categories and return with the most convincing evidence to win the event.
When children are happy it makes parents happy. Even if they had not won, their interest to participate, the desire to perform well and their excitement would have made us equally happy.   

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What makes guests happy at a Wedding?

What makes guests happy at a wedding? I think it is a warm welcome and good quality food. Food should be well laid out in a buffet, served well in calm and neat environment, without guests having to wait for food and jostling among the diners, and worse still, insufficient food. In the good old days it was believed and often said that the success of a marriage and the strong bond of relationship between the two families and their friends depended to a great extent on the good quality of food served during the marriage functions. Many hosts are aware of these facts but somehow at most functions things go wrong and guests leave dissatisfied with the arrangements.
I am writing this article in context with a recent wedding I have attended at Hyderabad. Each and every aspect of the marriage was superlative including the buffet menu. The number of guests who attended the marriage was close to ten thousand. The food and serving stations for the guests were insufficient. There were crowds jostling all around the buffet tables and live cooking stations. Mid way, items on the menu began to vanish from the tables. The hosts were missing from the dining area as there is nothing they could do at this stage to improve the situation. There was inconvenience to the majority of the guests and most of them left dissatisfied with the dinner arrangements. When there was such a large guest list, the arrangements should have been on a much larger scale. Somehow this aspect was overlooked by the hosts or they were misguided by the event managers and caterers.
Unfortunately even when the guest list is fewer than one thousand, things go wrong at some functions. This is mostly because of the carelessness or greed of the caterers. A few or all the preparations are not up to the mark, they do not arrange sufficient serving stations leading to crowding and waiting by the guests and towards the end most of the items would not be available even to the most important family members of the hosts.
Fortunately such unpleasant situations have not risen in any of the functions in our family. And I hope this happy trend would continue in the future. In the past, for all the marriages in our family there was a cook by name Yashodhamma and her team which did excellent work for us. Today we engage a popular caterer, select a moderate menu, discuss about the quality of each item and about the dinner arrangements in detail, give the caterer the correct figure of expected guests and finally ensure that all guests are happy and have something nice to comment on the food, the arrangements and our hospitality. I am sure you too would agree with my observations on what makes guests happy at a wedding? 

Incredible Coincidence!

784533 - This is a number known to our family since 1980. It is a number we all had to remember then and even today, with of cou...