#Mytravels

My travels is all about... My views on random places of interest, persons, things, events & issues etc,.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Rock cut cave temple of Undavalli

"
As a passenger of APSRTC, I consider myself duly punished for my lack of attentiveness. I was supposed to get down at Undavalli, but skipped the stop and got down only at the next village, Penumaka. New route for me but most of the passengers in the bus are employees of the State Government, commuting towards our new capital, Amaravati. But, my destination was the famous Rock-Cut Cave temple at Undavalli. Well, a good 2 kilometers walk-back never did any harm, especially on a cloud kissed sunny day.

After the false start, it was a good visit. As I climbed the steps towards the main cave temple, surrounded by lush green paddy fields atop a hill with the distant Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station in the vicinity, I was struck by the history of the cave(s). They belong to early 4th or 5th Century, originally Jain structures, but were later converted into a Buddhist Bhikku Monastry. Much later still, probably during the era of the Ikshvakus or Reddy Kings, a part of the cave(s) were rechristened for Hindu deities. The monoliths are amazing, what with the carvings and all, considered as 'Vishwakarma Stapathis' i.e, designed by the celestial engineer Vishwakarma himself.
An inner chamber consisting of a large statue of Sri Maha Vishnu in a reclining state (Ananatasayana posture) is all that's left and protected now. Watching the intricately carved monolith statue reminded me of the famous poem by Bammera Potana  in 'Gajendra Moksham', -

అల  వైకుoఠపురం లో  నగరిలో  నాముల  సౌధంబుదా 
పల  మందారవానాంతరామృతసర :  ప్రాంతేందుకాంతోపలో
త్పలపర్యం కరమావినోదియగునాపన్న ప్రసన్నుoడు వి  
హ్వల నాగేంద్రము పాహి పాహి యన గుయ్యాలించి సంరంభియై !

There were two other caves, intricately carved, yet unfinished. Later, I returned to the city of Victory, along with many of the shuttling employees from the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. 
"


References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Undavalli, CRDA - Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
On -31st of August, 2017

2. Subject - "Rock cut cave temple of Undavalli"
Undavalli caves, or more popularly the rock cut cave temple of Undavalli in the district of Guntur is located exactly 6 kms from Vijayawada in the new Vijayawada - Amaravati State highway. It is a popular destination, and a monument of national importance, although crying for major potential as a historical and tourist spot. Pictured above in order - A side view full hill, Lord Sri maha Vishnu in anantasayana stance, and the main cave temple entrance. 





Saturday, 29 July 2017

Lucky

(Poem - On our Pet, Lucky {2004-2015}) 


"
When I was in 9th class, my father brought a pup home, and we were all very happy.
A fluffy little female Pomeranian, we named her 'Lucky'.    
A loyal and lovable creature we had, a bright bragging right before relatives and friends -
It was a great joy to watch Lucky, that's where all the tension ends.

A cheeky constant in my mother's kitchen and a companion to my father's walking, 
A playful knight of my brother, and welcoming me always with eyes so shining!
With a fearsome bark, she acts funnily as if to protect us from dangerous cats,  
One egg and a cup of milk for one day - she cared for diet unlike other dogs!

Always so disciplined yet full of fun, she was one of life's big joys.
Wonder how dogs are so selfless, there's music in their barks even if it's just noise.
Even if it was midnight when I reached my home after long trips from office,
She greets me with infectious bliss - all just for a gentle pat and rub - maybe a dog's solace. 

And so for 11 long years, it was a picture perfect joy...
But all great things do come to an end, O boy...! 
Farewell my canine companion, what did we do to deserve you?
As is said - 'Don't be sad that it's over, Be happy, it has happened'.  Bark and Smile, wherever be you!
"


References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Palakollu, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh.
On -29th of July, 2017

2. Subject - "Lucky" (Poem)
Lucky (c.2004-2015) was our pet dog - she was a female Pomeranian and a bundle of joy for our family members. After 11 long and memorable years, she passed away due to old-age, exactly on this day, 29th of July, two years ago (2015). 
Picture on top - Lucky in 2014, taken by me.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Always the People's President

(Reminiscence/Memory - APJ Abdul Kalam)


"
One of my greatest bragging right is that I have seen him. I had the pleasure of listening him speak inspiring words. It was during the 93rd National Children's Science Congress, held in January, 2006 at Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad. And he was his excellency, the then President, Sri APJ Abdul Kalam. As a 16 year old kid, I was enthralled as he spoke endearingly to us all, eagerly taking questions, very humble and patient.

Sample this question. Someone asked him why he had chosen Science over other subjects. He explained how one day, he asked his Science teacher about how birds fly and the later took him to a beach, elucidating the principle of aerodynamics and practically showing him birds in flight. Then he said, quite famously, to a roaring audience, slowly , - 'And, then I fell in Love with Science'. 

Dubbed as the 'Missile Man of India', this Scientist turned Statesman is a classic & rare role model for the youth of the country. And, as I read his 'Wings of Fire', I understood and admired great qualities of the man himself, mostly his respect of elders & seniors (Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan), the way he dealt with failure (SLV-3 Launch). And as President of India, I remember with awe the way he reacted during the infamous Indian Ocean Tsumani of 26th of December, 2004 (defining them as 'Shock Embedded Tidal Waves'), and his principled opposition to the Office of Profit bill during the first term of UPA rule. And who would not remember his inspiring speeches (like the one at the European Parliament, where he quoted extensively from 'Tirukkuraal'.)

It is not an irony that one of India's greatest sons is remembered as People's President!   
"


References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Home Sweet Home, # 16-7-16, Sree Bhramara, Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh - 534 260
On -27th of July, 2017

2. Subject - "Always the People's President"- Remniscense/Memory - APJ Abdul Kalam
Two years ago this day, his excellency, the 11th President of India, Sri APJ Abdul Kalam passed away. He was  a towering personality in his own right - a great, patriotic Indian, a scientist and brain behind India's 2nd nuclear tests, the man who made 'Agni missile' possible, and a true and never before/never after kind of People's President of the Republic of India. 
Wherever you are sir, rest in peace!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

They spilt their blood so that...

(Tribute - Poem -18th Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas) 


"
A shepherd brought a shuddering news - another silent betrayal by the neighbour,
We forgot to verify the trust, and time now to pay the price of this backstabbing saber.   
As men descend with blessings from Rawalpindi, towards the valley of Kashmir,
And an Asian giant is drawn into an unwilling battle, there was always a chance of nuclear threat, damn here.

Slowly but surely, plans were drawn to beat the repeated intruders untamed,
Because of the sacrifice of the brave, the territorial sovereignty was reclaimed .
An aggrieved nation rose in fury, for once all petty differences were ditched.
But battles were won by strategy and sacrifice, not by passion or propaganda stitched.

As the Gurkhas sang 'Ayo Gurkhali', and the Howitzers fired tirelessly,
The National Highway to Srinagar was targeted by the foes, most dastardly.
As we waited in bated breadth, the select few made us hold our heads high,
The fighting was fierce, death was imminent to many, but they never said 'Nahi'. 

And the armed forces fought, for every inch, like every time...
The Tricolor flew high - At Dras and Kargil, On the peaks of Tiger Hill and Tolo-Ling. 
That just meant another decisive victory attained within two months.
Every year this day, we salute the heroes of Kargil....
They spilt their blood so that we may have tears of joy, and not sorrow.
"





References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Palakollu, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh.
On -26th of July, 2017

2. Subject - "They Spilt their blood so that...!" (Tribute - Poem - 18th Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas)
26th of July, 2017 marks the 18th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, which commemorates India's famous and decisive victory in the Kargil War (May-July 1999). Facing International diplomatic pressure and the capable strategy and tactics employed by the Indian Army (Operation Vijay, more popularly affiliated with the entire Kargil Operations) and Indian Air-Force (Operation Safed Sagar), Pakistani paramilitary forces and insurgents withdrew from Kargil and other occupied areas.

The war was anxiously observed all the world over, because, perhaps, for the first time in Human History, two nuclear-armed countries were engaged in a conventional war, and thankfully, the conflict did not escalate.

However, a terrible price had to be paid by India, in the form of loss of lives of brave soldiers (c. 527 causalities). To them, this poem is dedicated. Jai Hind!


For further details  -
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kargil_War


Picture on top - Indian soldiers during the war at Batalik Sector https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37865373
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kargil_War

Sunday, 2 July 2017

For the Scape-Goat, At the Least!

(Tribute - Poem) 

 


"
At the turn of the 90s, the double digit inflation was a persistent reality, 
The nadir of macro-mismanagement evident as the economy's an amputee.
Even before the Sickle and Hammer fell, a minority government's in order,
Will the reforms be a reality, that is the question, more hard than the word 'harder'.

Then in the Durbar of Delhi, one man organized a team of mis-fits,
To borrow from IMF and join the global village, the beginning was just in bits.
Amidst the dust of political bickering, the wheels of the Indian Economy started moving,
The License Raj was slayed as the doomsday pundits of India stopped mocking.

Let there be competition, however small the beginning, 
Let there be fair play and celebration of private innovation, but no skimming. 
The Great west took notice, as the Elephant marched on,
Alas, the one man responsible was forgotten, seems the nation moved on.

He was neither a messiah, nor incorruptible, But when an old dynasty...
needed a scape-goat, he was the answer, a perfect mis-match finally!
A few words of respect and a few moments of remembrance....
A few acknowledgements and a few thank yous....
Would suffice for the scape-goat, At the least! 
"





References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Vijayawada, Krishna, Andhra Pradesh.
On -28th of June, 2017

2. Subject - "For the Scape-Goat, At the Least!" (Tribute - Poem)
Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao (28 June 1921 – 23 December 2004) (Telugu: పి.వి.నరసింహ రావు) was an Indian lawyer and politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of India, from 1991–1996.[3] His ascendancy to the prime ministership was politically significant in that he was the first holder of this office from a non-Hindi-speaking region, belonging to the southern part of India. He led an important administration, overseeing a major economic transformation and several home incidents affecting national security of India.[4] Rao, who held the Industries portfolio, was personally responsible for the dismantling of the Licence Raj, as this came under the purview of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.[5] He is often referred to as the "Father of Indian Economic Reforms".

Today is his birth anniversary (Jayanthi), and his role and legacy is often understated in the context of Indian Politics and Indian Economy. However, it is rather reassuring to note that things have started to change, at least now. This Poem is a tribute to him,especially during the famous Macro-Economic reforms in 1991, when India was forced to go for a conditional loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and grudgingly accept Globalisation, Liberalisation and Privatisation in the wake of the notorious License & Inspector Raj, Double Digit Inflation and overall mismanagement. And on top of it, the sad reality that he is remembered for all the wrong reasons, as a scape-goat.

For further details and due credit to the first para supra in 'subject' -
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._V._Narasimha_Rao


Picture on top - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._V._Narasimha_Rao

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Elementary or Singularly Grotesque....


(On Sherlock Holmes)


"
Long before I understood the true meaning of the words 'Detective Fiction', 'Genre', I read a book whose protagonist is a lanky British fictional detective. He had an air of superior ego and perceived selfishness so much so that, Prima Facie, one can't help but be helplessly resigned and confused like his faithful companion and partner in crime, Dr.John Watson. But when his intellect comes into play, solving many crimes, with abundant powers of deduction, Sherlock Holmes is suddenly a wonderful and lovable character.    

I'm happy to be one among the many fans of Sherlock Holmes to have read every book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on his best creation (aptly called 'Canon' by loyal fans). It was a treat to read about how the greatest plans of crime (fictionally, of course) were frustrated by an unlikely duo from a humble room at 221B Baker Street, London. Without Sherlock Holmes, surely the world of detective fiction is incomplete! Although there are many TV and Film adaptions based on Sherlock Holmes, I find reading the best as it has an additional pleasure of pacing at my own time.    

All works of Sir Arthur involving Sherlock Holmes are terrific tales of suspense, literally inventing the word 'UNPUTDOWNABLE'. Whether involving secret societies and revenge ('Valley of Fear', 'A Study in Scarlet'), treasure and betrayal ('A Sign of Four'), a hound and criminal lust for richness ('Hound of the Baskerville') - the detective & doctor duo's exploits are legendary and continue to command great following, to this day.                  

As we celebrate International Sherlock Holmes day (22nd of May - Birth anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), What would be Sherlock Holmes reply if he were real and alive today when Doctor Watson explains to him about his fan following in different parts of the world & various spin offs and TV, Film adaptions based on him?
Would he say - 'Elementary, my dear Watson!' (which despite popularity was not used by Sherlock Holmes)...
Or would it be - 'I find this singularly grotesque, Watson!' 
"


References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Home Sweet Home, # 16-7-16, Sree Bhramara, Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh - 534 260
On -23rd of May, 2017

2. Subject - Sherlock Holmes- "Elementary of Singularly Grotesque..."
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the world famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes was born on 22nd of May, 1859. Consequently, 22nd of May is celebrated as International Sherlock Holmes day.
The name, Sherlock Holmes, does not need any introduction for fans of detective fiction. There may be comparisons with another towering fictional detective, Hercule Poirot (created by Agatha Christie), but Holmes has his own special niche.
Obviously, it's all elementary,...
Please click - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes

3. Picture -Sherlock Holmes- "Elementary of Singularly Grotesque..."
Credits to me, a part of my Sherlock Holmes canon. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Scorched in Summer

(On Summer Season) 



"
There's no escape from the heat, even before the Ides of March,
But when it's May, we are just sitting ducks being so out marched.  
When the blazing Sun sizzles and scorches in his terrific might, 
The People of the East bow down, and make up a miserable sight!

Long before the clock strikes 9 AM, Temperatures flare and flame,
Alas, steaming hot main roads being empty, for every soul is so tame!
Is it Global Warming or are we just losing touch with reality?
Whatever be the reason, it's Summer, and helplessly let it be...

Sweaty days so profuse, Sultry is everything that moves...
There's no respite even during evening -a logic of weather, all by itself, disapproves! 
Every new day another deadly wave of Heat Stroke rears it's ugly head, 
May the season be over soon, we pray every night before going to the bed.

But, not everything's bad - consider the Mangoes - such yummy summer fruits!
Only two weeks for the Monsoon rain which brings forth many happy attributes!
As yet another brutal day of heat comes to an end, 
In the words 'Wait' and 'Hope", do all our thoughts depend!
"




References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - # 16-7-16, Bhramara (Ground Floor), Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh - 534 260.
On -20eth of May, 2017


2. Subject - "Scorched in Summer" (On Summer Season)
Once again the month of May resulted in record of sorts regarding Temperature in Andhra Pradesh. 43 Degrees Celcius is being routinely breached, and, well, this poem is about the ferocity of the scorching Summer season.