Thursday, January 31, 2013

Please stop causing deaths with your dirty politics.

Disturbed with suicides in the last two days of three heart- broken youngsters of Telangana due to unfair politicians, I posted the following appeal on facebook. And I am repeating it here with fervent hope that these suicides would end immediately:
"Promises and priority assurances by politicians may mean anything other than promises and priority. In case of Telangana they always seem to be vulgar deceit or perennial postponement. Similarly their definition of a week, a month and as soon as possible may mean infinity. Please don't torment yourself over such politicians and their statements and end your lives. Let us live and strive for Telangana State."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dharma upholds both this-worldly and other-worldly affairs...sooner or later.

Plundering power mongers more wicked than King Kamsa / Kans and King Herod are scheming and running helter-skelter to thwart the liberation of a province from their ill-gotten control. These fools do not realise that ultimately it is righteousness that will be victorious, if not today; someday soon.
In Mahabharata, Lord Krishna defines “Dharma – that is virtue, righteousness and the principle of cosmic order” as: “Dhaaranaad dharma ity aahur dharmena vidhrtaah prajaah, Yat syaad dhaarana sanyuktam sa dharma iti nishchayah.” Which means – Dharma upholds both this-worldly and other-worldly affairs...sooner or later.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Hug Day!

Hope the foreign Hug Day Celebrations on 21st January come to India in a big way to revive Telangana’s once common Gale Milna / Kagalinchukonudu tradition – that is hugging three times by holding one another behind the upper arms/upper back while their chins relax briefly on opposite shoulders as they swing their shoulders right, left and then right again each time with their faces coming across as they switch from one side to another. Nowadays we see this traditional greeting being observed only with the Groom at weddings. And once very popular among women relatives, this has almost become extinct.
National Hug Day or Hugging Day is celebrated widely in USA, UK, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Poland, Russia and Iran. It is a holiday in some of these countries! The holiday was founded on 29th March 1986 in Caro, Michigan. And gradually it spread to other countries. Kevin Zaborney and Adam Olis are credited for creating the holiday. The date of 21st January was chosen as it falls exactly between two grand celebrations, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. The purpose being, to keep camaraderie between people over a longer period and to promote hugs, as they establish much warmer relationships than handshakes or high-fives.
Research has shown that human contact has many health benefits. It is proved that human contact improves both psychological and physical development. And in this context, hugging has been found to be beneficial, it is said to build a good immune system, decrease the risk of heart disease, and decrease levels of the stress hormone.
So do not be shy to hug someone as a greeting, of course only your ‘near and dear’ if they have no objection. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thousand Pillar Temple turns 850 years, TODAY!

The famous Thousand Pillar Temple at Hanamkonda, Warangal, turns 850 years, today!
According to stone inscriptions at the Temple, the Temple was consecrated on ‘Magha Shuddha Thrayodashi (Thursday) in the year named Chitrabanu of Shalivahanashakam, which according to the Gregorian calendar is 19th January 1163. Exactly 850 years ago!
For more information and number of photographs of the Temple, you may reach my blog-post by clicking on the following link: Raghu's column - Thousand Pillar Temple.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wish You All a Very Happy Sankranti!

Wish you all a very happy Sankranti.
The above photographs are of Sankranti Muggu / Rangoli, drawn by my wife today morning, to be precise at dawn. The Sankranti festivities start for us with this activity. And as the day progresses there is lot of entertainment through Kite flying, Bhogi Pandlu, exchange of greetings, festive snacks and sumptuous lunch & dinner. Regarding the festival and our customs I have posted few articles to my blog earlier with a number of photographs and a video. Here are the links to those articles. I am sure you would enjoy seeing them.    
Sankranti Musical Greetings!

Since last midnight, that is in the past ten hours, page views of my Sankranti related blog posts has crossed 700!:

P.S. Photographs of today’s Bhogi Pandlu:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cranky Politician, Padayatra / Walkathon is not a Mantra for victory in elections.

Cranky Politician, ‘Padayatra + Venomous speeches + Everything free’ is not a ‘Mantra’ for victory in elections.  Your character, your honesty, your sincerity, your ability and a record of your past performance and fulfilment of past promises is very important. 
This is what a common man has to say about a Politician’s Padayatra:
“All my life; I & many like me have been walking for work, water and every errand and this doesn't make us feel sorry or great. But when a politician begins a Padayatra; obviously making impossible promises and begging for Votes, a huge cacophony is raised about the greatness of the politician’s walk. Every step, kilometre and day is celebrated and presented as a record. I for one will not be fooled by this drama”.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A tragic picture symbolising the status of Telangana.

This tragic picture of a baby amidst thorns symbolises the status of Telangana. The thorns represent various political parties and politicians responsible for its state and preventing its liberation, very bad politicians indeed – greedy, selfish, looters, deceivers, betrayers, double-crossers, hypocrites, bluffers, power mongers and traitors.
Telangana, Your destiny seems sealed in this turmoil. Only a miracle can bring you out of this chaos. Helpless, I pray for this miracle.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

About ‘Srivari Laddu’! The most revered and relished ‘Prasadam’!

Srivari Laddu or Tirupati Laddu is revered and loved as much as Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy! It is the most cherished and relished Laddu and Prasadam in the world. Its flavour is unique and extraordinary. Every devotee who visits Tirumala loves to receive Srivari Laddu Prasadam, which is said to be Sri Venkateshwaraswamy’s favourite Naivedyam. It is said that by consuming Laddu Prasadam a devotee forgets all the sorrow and hardships he may have suffered in travelling from his home and in climbing the seven hills to reach Tirumala and have the Darshan of Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy. And this Prasadam would also enable him to get back to his destination in a pleasant and joyful manner remembering his Darshan and wishing for a return journey to Tirumala at the earliest. Devotees also try to carry home as many Laddus as possible for themselves and to distribute among relatives, friends and colleagues as Prasadam, which is customary after any pilgrimage. Friends, relatives and colleagues are very pleased to receive Tirupati Laddu Prasadam even if it is in a very small quantity.
After Darshanam of Lord Sri Venkateshwaraswamy a small quantity of Prasadam is distributed within the main Temple premises to each pilgrim free of cost, it could be a very small Laddu or any other Prasadam like Pulihora, Daddhojanam, Pongal or Chakkari Pongali. Devotees who perform Arjitha  Sevas are required to go to the Laddu counter complex adjacent to the Temple and collect Laddus as per the Seva they have performed by surrendering their Seva Ticket. For most Sevas, 2 Nos. - Small Laddus each weighing 180 gms. are given but for those who perform Kalyanotsavam,  2 Nos. - Big Laddus each weighing 700 gms., 5 Nos. – Small Laddus and two Vadas are given. The pictures attached to this article are of Kalyanotsavam Laddu and Vada. The weight of the Laddu in the above picture is 623 gms. because we have eaten a few peripheral Cashew nuts and Almonds! and then some of the Laddu got trimmed into the bag! And for those who go for Sarvadarshanam and Sudarshana Chakra darshanam I am told that they get one free Laddu-Small and can additionally buy two small Laddus at Rs. 10/- each.  
The demand for this delicious Laddu Prasadam is so high, that about 150,000 Laddus are made every day at Tirumala.  What makes it so special is a 300 year old rich recipe, consisting of Besan flour, Sugar, Ghee, Sugar candy, Cashew nuts, Almonds, Cardamom and Raisins. 

P.S. Prasadam literally means a gracious gift. Anything, and at Temples it is usually food that is first offered to God, the presiding deity as ‘Naivedyam’ and then distributed to the devotees in the name of God or Goddess as a blessing. It is said and universally believed that God’s blessing resides in the Prasadam. The two major motivations of pilgrimage and visits to Temples are to have Darshanam of the presiding God and seek blessings and then obtain his divine Prasadam for themselves, family, friends and relatives.

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...