Sunday, May 30, 2010

Times of Disturbia

There are times wherein, the more you think of what to do next, the more you go into spiral thought process. Moving things around is actually the toughest part. When everything seems against you, you kind of stay determined for the time and then find a way out of the situation. Sometimes you find the easy way out, sometimes it is the tough way out. Till today, I have always been taking the easy way out.

Easy way seems like the best for the short term. But looking at the future with a wide angle lens, it seems to be a stupid decision. This time I choose the tough way out. Choose the tough way and you have to be prepared for the things that come along. It is very difficult to hold yourself at these times. Some times I start doubting myself, in the way I do things. That is actually the most difficult mental state to handle.

The recent past have not been the best of times both personally and professionally. Broken, dejected, forlorn are some of the words to refer to my mental state of affairs. The renaissance to topple all this from my head has began, but it is taking a lot of time to defy the power within. Proving some of my critics wrong, is not going to be easy, unless battle from within is won.

Mental state contributes a lot to your daily chores. I have been sidelined badly with thoughts questioning my future. The enthusiasm, zest, zeal and hope seem to have dropped quiet a bit. Getting them up online needs application, determination and most importantly belief. Lacking some small percentage of any of these, will not make a good recipe for success. The next few months are going to be really jolt me around. I feel, I come out of it with bright colours. Hoping to look down upon this post in the future and have a bright smile on my face. "Yes you did it"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Raigad Fort

Along the Mumbai-Goa highway comes this dilapidated fort of Raigad. Chatrapathi Shivaji's fort still stands till this day on the hills of Raigad. The western ghats stands tall and looks gigantic. It is around 1500 steps to reach the top of the hill. Shivaji and his army must have been really fit to reach that almost everyday.

An Overview of the Rope-way we took to reach the top.

Taken from the Rope-car. It was an amazing site: The ride took 4 mins at a slow pace.


Up the hill near the fort now.

An overview of the Upper Station:

After you reach the top, the entrance to the fort is from the back side, which the queens used to use before. The steps to reach the top is on the other side of the hill, from which you can enter the direct darbar. A story of British general goes like this. He climbed the hill to reach the top almost 1500 steps. He was totally exhausted. When he came to the gates of the darbar, he was amazed to see two elephants throwing flowers at him. For a guy with 2 feet it is so difficult to reach the top. How did Shivaji manage to bring these hefty elephants so far up the hill.
The trick was, Shivaji brought these elephants when they were just calf. They grew here in the top of the hill for the rest of their life. 7 queens, 7 rooms....Shivaji's bath tub, his Chathrapathi Simhasana, His samadhi and the samadhi of his faithful dog, had a lot of historic importance.

Shivaji's Bath Tub:


The place where he was crowned Chatrapathi Shivaji


Samadhi of Chatrapathi Shivaji:

The samadhi of his faithful dog.


Just adjacent to his samadhi is the Temple. It looks like a mosque from a distance. It was a camouflage so that the Muslim rulers thought it was a Muslim place and never came to attack it. Being at the top of the hill it looks like mosque for sure from a distance.



The lady who made lunch for us and her house below. Jowar roti was really tasty for a tiring tour. Take lots of water if you are travelling in the summer. The winds on the top are good.
I also happen to see the shiv jothi. The person who lites this jothi will take it to his village on his legs. He walks all the way to his home. May it be 400-500 kms. The hard thing is he will wear no shoes. Amazing these people have so much faith and dedication even in the 20th century.


Shiv jothi:


The motor that moves the rope way car. I tired some photography tricks, here the wheel seems like it is moving. Slow shutter speed. :) :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Russians with Krishna consciousness

I was totally blown and undoubtedly surprised when a Russian the speaker asked a question to a crowd of Russians seated for a talk on Vedas and Purana. The question was who wrote the Vedas..... I knew the answer, but before there the question could sink into my mind, an Russian replied with the answer, "Vedavyasya". I was knowledge level of these guys was not what I expected it to be.

I did not know a story of how Vedavyasya wrote the Vedas. They explained a story of how the Vedas was written by Lord Ganesh as narrated by Vedavyasa. I was impressed, totally. Their knowledge I thought was totally different. I have heard about foreigners and Krishna moment, but this was the first time I was among them. Me and my friend went there and thought we would leave in an hour or so. We did not. We stayed back there for almost 3 hours.

Firstly there was a series of bajans on Krishna and Rama. Then there was a lecture on Bhagawat Gita. They took a verse for a day and elaborated on it. Explained the meaning of it. By this time I was totally blown away. Then came the questionnaire wherein you can ask doubts in Gita. The guru there would explain you what it means in a correct way. Some of the questions were on "belief in god", "what is athma?" and "What is the meaning of life?" On that lines. The guru could not answer some questions too. He said it is beyond his level of knowledge.

Then came the best dinner I had in whole of my Israel trip. We had water with Pudina (mint), it was awesome (totally). Dal, rice, potato bhaji, pakoda, the items kept on coming. The dedication they showed makes me rethink my dedication and faith in god. Looking back, I feel I should involve myself more into spiritually awakening things. After all it is one form of finding peace from within after a rough day at work.

That is Lord Jaganatha.

Monday, May 3, 2010

ARK

ARK means, Art of Random Kindness, from the movie Bruce Almighty. I was just reaching my parking lot to get my bike, that I remembered something not so nice. Some days back, when I was maneuvering through the traffic, I hit the side mirror of a car. It was not a big thing as it was just a slight scratch to the mirror. I was hardly moving. The owner of the car looked at me.

Before he could even say something I was away. In that jam packed traffic there was no way in the world he could have chased me down. The last chance of getting me was by noting down my bike number. That was also not possible as the number plate of my bike was so badly maintained that he could have hardly noticed the number from a distance.


After I rode away, I felt guilty. By then there was nothing I could do. It was a very rich guy in the car, probably the scratch was not that big a deal to him. This was on my mind as I reached my bike in the parking lot. This time I did feel guilty, but not that much as that day. I told myself to stay alert while driving. As soon as I started my bike and went out of the parking lot for around 500 m, I heard someone shooting for a lift. He was carrying something heavy. It was a man in his 45s.

Usually I never give a lift to total strangers. But this time, I felt different. I felt like helping this poor guy out. I rode past him. After around 20 m, I stopped my bike, only to see delight on his face. He came running towards the bike and climbed up with a "Thank you". He wanted to go to a place which was not where I was going. A small detour I thought. He said, his sister is waiting for him somewhere on the way. As it was a very short distance, autos would strictly say no; as if it is below their dignity to come. So he would have carried the heavy thing all the way.

During the small ride, he asked me my name. He said, "We will pray for you". Sounded like a typical Christian. May be he would not even remember me after the ride; or may be he will. My guilt feeling had taken a turn for good during this whole incident. Finally I dropped him where he wanted to go. As soon as he got down, he said again "We will pray for you" and "God bless you!!"

One glance at him would tell you that, he was not that rich a guy. He was an ordinary middle class guy. Act of Random Kindness can heal many things. All it takes is a kind heart to make someone's day pleasant and also change your mood. "Not bad at all man" I said to myself.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

CSK time has started

Dhoni has come of age. Cannot take anything away from this man. Cometh the hour,Cometh the man!! His single-handed effort got CSK into the semis. I was doubting them even making it to semis. Just an effort that can lift the entire team up. Two huge sixes when it mattered under spine chilling pressure. Captain Cool as they call him, took the game to an totally new level on that day. For a start they had to win 6 out of their 7 games to reach to semis. That itself defines that this team has something, out of ordinary. They beat the so called the best team of IPL 2010 Mumbai Indians in the second round encounter.

Semi-Finals with the defending champions was no easy opposition. The Deccan chargers had come from behind on many occasions. This time it was not to be. It looked like a lost game with a very poultry total on the board. But CSK defended a very small target.The roaring steam of CSK rolled them over and it was much an one sided affair there on. CSK-- into the finals they go. Listen to the roar of the crowd. Not even a bunch of people turned up for this game.

Next stop, The one and only. The Godly team, could not be beaten, best bowling in IPL 2010, Sachin Tendulkar's leadership, best best best Mumbai Indians. Playing infront of the no supporters or very less supporters is not a great feeling. The were just a bunch of yellow jersey in the crowd. Sachin's doubtful split web, heal miraculously in just 2 days. He is on pain killers, but he will play the game. The crowd go berserk on seeing him for the toss.

The toss goes Dhoni's way and Mumbai for their disappointment have to bowl first. This many feel is the turning point of the match. If Mumbai bat first, they would score so fast that they would require only 10 overs to reach the target they want to set. And they would have bowled out CSK in the next 10 overs as all the MI players have to catch the Local train before the game ends. If MI could batted first, even an Ant can drive an aeroplane. All those if this then that supporters of MI are still thinking like this.

CSK batted first. It looked like a slow start from Murali Vijay and Hayden. The innings got in progress when Suresh Raina came into his own. Scored in such a pace that, Sachin could not spot the ball. It was flying all over the place. Catches win matches. Mumbai Indians ka "Dil hara" saw a high shot from Suresh Raina's bat fly up and then fall on the ground. Even I could have done that sitting at home watching the game. God's knows why he is paid so much to watch a ball sail up and drop before him. MI missed the dolly. Raina thought, let me give another chance, these guys are too battered.

Another ball goes high high, and comes down bye bye. Zak drops it this time. Raina thinks, what a waste these guys are. I could have taken that catch with 2 fingers. Then Comes Dhoni, who yet again blasts few lusty blows, after that Srikkanth Anirudh comes in the last over. Son of Kris Srikkanth. Last over Lasith Malinga kisses and bowls. I just saw Sachin rub that ball near his groin. How can this guy kiss the ball. Coming back to cricket, 3 dot balls in a go. All looks like a fantastic last over. Then make shift Wicket Keeper Ambati Rayadu plays musical chairs and lets one go for 5 wides. Then a last ball four makes it 13 of the over. I hope Mr. Malinga will wash his mouth with sanitizer after the game.

Then comes the batting of the great Mumbai Indians. Shikar Dhawan takes gaurd. What does he do, plays so hard. I think he has memory issues, he must have forgotten that he is playing a T20. For a moment, I felt like I was watching a Test match. First over maiden, can you believe it. Next over, he went packing home. IPL is over for him. Sachin and Nayar where playing like they did not know how to run between wickets. CSK missed lot of run outs here. Finally Dhoni took charge and got one. Nayar gone. We are all expecting Kevin Pollard to come in. You know who walks in. The best batsman of Mumbai Indians team, Harbajan Singh. What a waste!!

He was the pinch hitter. Before the time I could pinch myself he was in the pavilion licking his wounds. Now we are waiting for KP to come. Tan ta dan, Ambati Rayadu walks in. What the!! Sachin tries to play all the shot in the book to get some respectability to the score line. Now he gets out. Now we are waiting again for KP. The crowd goes KP KP KP. Tan ta dan Saurab Tiwary walks in. Common you got to be kidding me. He goes bang bang and Raina takes a stunner of a catch. The crowd again go KP KP KP...... Tan ta dan......JP Duminy walks in. Dhoni the clever fox brings Muralitharan. Gets JP for nothing. Finally when they require 17 runs per over, walks in KP. The crowd goes KP KP KP...... Bowlinger has the ball, KP has the bat. The balls goes all directions he scores 22 of that over.

Mumbai Indians supporters think it is tense moment in the match. Oh man!! a nail bitter. I look at the required run rate. it is 15 runs per over. Nail biting my foot. KP and Rayadu have a CEO pep talk in the middle. KP says I will take care of everything. Then next ball, gets Rayadu run out. Rayadu must be thinking, "Saala Ghanta Take care"....... Dhoni keeps a mid off and a long off. He must be a fool, I say. Next ball KP goes bang straight to Hayden. Plucks a catch out of no where and says "KP take care". (Rayadu must be giving some bad words in telugu by now) The Mumbai Indians heart sink!! It was such a close game. Yes ofcourse CSK win by 22 runs!!

Dhoni lifts the IPL trophy and the crowd roars. No one in the crowd all coward Mumbai Indian supports have gone home. It was the most silent prize distribution function I have ever seen. Next day everybody are quiet, no one speaks a word about the game. All the Mumbai Indian supporters close all their openings!! Now that is like CSK saying Shut Up now All you Rascals!!