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

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

A Walk in Mylapore


(Reminiscence - Poem) 

(To Mylapore and all of Chennai)



"
At 7’o clock, the day has already begun in the city,
And I start the walk, a ritual pleasure with a lot of piety.
The wise old Thiru-Valluvar watches, as he always does,
I walk, past the Madras Sanskrit College, the main road now all abuzz.

The Aroma of the freshly brewed coffee seduces me forthwith,
And the ruckus of last evening’s traffic pollution seems only a myth
Small shops, buying banter, Idli Sambhar, Idiappam, The Rising Sun,
The Hindu, metro busses, busy lives – the city’s trademarks each one.

Then there’s the mighty MRTS ‘Thirumylai’ station, with commuters to and fro,
Now, off to the holy ‘Maada’ street, winking at the Saravana Bhavan, like a foodie - pro.
Crossing the Old & New, Past & Present, without a tremble
Over past the tank, right towards the famed Kapaleeswarar Temple.

With total respects to the 7th Century Dravidian architecture,
All the Nayanar Saint-Poets exist proudly inside this structure.
Worshipping the Goddess Karpagambal and the Lord himself,
On a board outside, I now know that ‘Mayil’ means Pea-Fowl, all by myself!

That next to the other ‘Maada’ street, where a celebration goes on…
Fragrance of Flowers, Chants and chats – all go on and on…
Walking straight like a batsmen out for a duck,
It’s time for Lord Saibaba’s temple, beside a wrongly parked truck.

A rewarding wait in queue for prasadam, after the prayer -
Chakra-Pongal, Kattu Pongal, Sambhar Rice – all flair.
Time to return now, but after a stop at Mylapore Bakery,
The people of the great city are now in a visible hurry.

Didn’t I miss the katchery, the SanThome Chruch, The Ramakrishna Muth
And the Gandhi beach, and other wonderful places here – this’s the truth.
Alas, I am just a boy walking, but I’d live to tell that tale some other day.
The sun seems shining, and all is fine, so on this promise, I'll make hay!

But, as the cyclones ravage with a repeated fury, I salute…
The fighting spirit of the people of Mylapore and all of Chennai.
Very soon, another man will walk in the city, and tell the tale…
Of how it flourished despite the nature's furious gale!      
"


References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - # 16-7-16, Bhramara (Ground Floor), Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh - 534 260.
On -13th of December, 2016

2. Subject - "A Walk in Mylapore" (Reminiscence - Poem)
I had a brief stay at Mylapore, a neighbourhood in Chennai during May - September 2012. This place had a certain old charm attached to it, and the above poem is based on one of my morning walks from my room at Valluvar Selai to Kapaleeswarar Temple and Saibaba Temple, all along and accross the Madras Sanskrit College, Valluvar Selai Bus-stop, Santhome Junction Road, ThiruMylai MRTS Station, Maada Streets.

Today Mylapore and, obviously  Chennai incur the wrath of another devastating cyclone - "Vardah", a consequence of nature's unpredictable fury and a bit of man's folly. Hoping that everything gets back to normal, and dedicating this to the never say die spirit of Chennai!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mylapore

Picture on top - Mylapore Temple tank at dawn, credits to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapaleeshwarar_Temple#/media/File:Mylapore_tank_at_dawn_panorama.jpg CC-by-sa PlaneMad/Wikimedia 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Castro - A Complex Legacy

(Tribute - Prose)

"

The first time I got to know about Castro, it was through my X class Social text book. That was, well over ten years ago. The world, from the view point of a 16 year old, was just simple and straightforward. There are the good people and there are the bad ones, you could simply categorize and get on with it. As I grew, I realized how wrong I was, and how unrelentingly the good and the bad co-exist, how inevitable and all-pervading the “grey” area in between is. Fidel Castro is one such enigma. 

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, the “Maximo Lider” of Cuba, passed away on 25th of November, 2016. How will this man be remembered? What would be his legacy? A leading figure of the third world nationalism, who stood up to the big brother’s ugly machinations? The leader of arguably one of the last citadels of Marxism, with a never say die attitude? A benevolent dictator of the masses, who withstood the stiffest economic sanctions? Or as the so called ‘political refugees’ celebrated his death -a stubborn president, who resisted the impending wave of globalization and indulged in mass executions and deportations? A political opportunist who played a key role in the Cuban Missile Crisis which brought the world almost to the brink of a nuclear war, at the dawn of the Cold war.

According to the now declassified documents (2007), it is no longer a secret, that the CIA made many attempts on Castro’s life. Along with Ernsesto Che Guvera, he is admired by student politicians throughout the world. Swimming against the current with all the odds stacked against, is a natural ability of Castro. But how did the citizen (let’s say, Cuban equivalent of India’s Aam Admi) fare under Castro’s rule? The quest for this question’s answer would be at best misguided and dubious, what with the biased media torn between worshiping him and demonizing him.     

And thus the question of Castro’s legacy haunts. The reverential silence in Havana and the celebrations in Miami, the messages of many condolences and few comforts uttered throughout the world, the Affordable Health-Care, the Cuban Cigar, the Missile Crisis, an icon of defiance – they all form a part of his legacy now!

And to India and Indians, Castro had always been a truthful friend. There had been many Indian Prime Ministers who had been overwhelmed by the awe and warmth of Fidel Castro. Those were the days when the Non-Aligned Movement was still relevant. Although times change, old friends don't! Respects from India, "Maximo Lider" Castro! Whatever be your legacy,  We remember you, with warmth!

  "










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 November, 2016

2. Subject - Fidel Castro - "Castro - A Complex Legacy' (Tribute - Prose)"
( Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (1926 - 2016 CE) was a Cuban Politician and Revolutionary, governing Republic of Cuba as Prime Minister and subsequently as President for 47 years (1959 - 2006 CE). He was an iconic political figure of the twentieth century, well known around the world as a Marxist-Leninist and his Anti-American Stance.

The above is a tribute to him, and his complex legacy.  
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Castro)

3. Picture - Fidel Castro - "Castro - A Complex Legacy' (Tribute - Prose)"
All credits to en.wikipedia.org

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Indian Demonetization - Version 3.0

(Tribute - Poem/Opinion) 

On India's Demonetization of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 Currency Notes 



"
The hazy smog in the capital did little to cloud our judgement,  
But, the shock winds of change called for a massive monetary adjustment.
The public's panic accompanied with a passionate relief towards reform.
Speak of hit & run, shock & awe, and this is something that did set a norm.

Fare thee well, old notes, you did your job, and let the new ones take over.
Let the hoarders fear and suffer, for living in a state of narcissistic doomed hangover.
A setback to those few within and beyond the borders, a current halt for fake currency.
Over the mistaken skill of tax evasion, let honesty and scrupulous planning prevail, without uncertainty.  

Inside those stitched beds and locked cupboards, and within the dark corners of 'hawala' networks,
stashed notes, some fake, some corrupt, all unaccounted- burn them along with the crackers.
But there are those among the honest who suffer temporarily, despite the exemptions to note,
We endure, for the nation to benefit, and now, let this sacrifice be a glorious footnote to quote.

A sinister mockery of the system is expected to end now,
The Pride and Prejudice of the patrons of the parallel economy shall break now.
Into this gentle night, we go uncertain, but the dawn is not far behind,
Is it a good decision? Only time shall say, but let fair play be fair play again!
"




References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - # 16-7-16, Bhramara (Ground Floor), Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh - 534 260.
On -10th of November, 2016

2. Subject - "Indian Demonetization - Version 3.0" (Tribute/Opinion - Poem)
(On India's Demonetization of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 Currency Notes)
8th of November, 2016 will forever be etched in the minds of Indians as well as in the annals of Indian History, not just for the fact of demonetization of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 Currency notes, but in the way the entire process was carried. The Prime Minister, Shri.Narendra Modi, in a televised address had declared that from 12 AM, 9th of November, 2016, except a few notable exceptions of 72 hours (Hospitals, Railway Counters etc) Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes cease to be legal tender money. Immediately the Reserve Bank of India, in a meeting headed by it's governer, Shri.Urjit Patel, had introduced Rs.500 and Rs.2000 notes (effective from 11th of November, 2016).

The reaction of the public and the events that took place the next day were unprecedented and spontaneous. Serpentine ques of vehicles stranded on national highways as toll operators refused to take the currency notes in question, hardships for travelers and people caught in journey, heated arguments and debates in Railway ticket counters, few middlemen resorting to exchanging currency notes for hefty commission (Rs.100 notes of 2 for Rs.500 note), minor scuffles at petrol bunks, Impact on marriages and other function etc. But, there was support from all quarters for this decision, despite the hardships faced and the feeling that "this could have been timed better".

A few simple facts would suffice, to understand the context and need for this decision -

  • This is the third time, India resorted to Demonetization after the British (1946) and the Janata Government (1978). But, the surprise element (a mere 3 hours time) is unprecedented.
  • According to a study done by Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, at any point of time in 2015, India had an estimated fake currency in circulation of Rs.400 Crores .
  • India's Cash to GDP ratio stands at 12.42% (2014), higher than many similar countries. This represents the fact that Indians mostly prefer cash for transactions, ignoring the many sided benefits of cashless society.
  • According to the Transparency Index's Corruption Perception Index, India stands at a dismal 76th place out of 168 Countries (2015).
  • India' tax policy is obviously regressive, and Direct Taxes to Indirect Taxes ratio stands at 35:65. This means, Revenue from India's Indirect taxes is higher than that of the Direct Taxes. Moreover, only 1% of the Population pays Income Tax.
  • The scourge of Black money, a problem which successive governments are loathe to take any action on, had a crippling impact, boosting a parallel economy (Terror Financing etc,.).
  • From the vantage of principles of natural justice, for two consecutive years, an undisclosed income declaration scheme with rather lenient provisions had been introduced (the last one incidentally ended on 30eth of September, 2016)
  • A periodic demonetization and subsequent re-introduction of high currency notes (Rs.500 and above) would go a long away in severely impairing fake currency networks and currency hoarding tactics of the corrupt. 

At the end, this is a laudable decision! Only time would decide the success of the bold initiative. But, it is a welcome step in the right direction, however small and troublesome it may seem. 


Saturday, 10 September 2016

The "Special" Question - Anatomy of Andhra's Anguish

(Political Satire - Prose - Soliloquy)



'Special Category status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh, for a period of Five years.' 
-Dr Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister.
“Oral”(?) Assurance given in the Rajya Sabha,
20eth of February, 2014

'We promise to ‘hand hold’ (how very romantic!) the revenue deficit state of Andhra Pradesh.'
 -Shri Arun Jaitley,
Minister of Finance,
Completely dodging the Special Category Status issue in the Rajyasabha,
29th of July, 2016.

"
                        (A collective soliloquy by the people of Andhra Pradesh)

To seek Special status or be satisfied with the special assistance,
That is the question now.
Whether it is any good to fight renewed, against hope and take what is rightfully ours,
Or be satisfied with the center’s less than magnanimous gesture! Ah, therein lays the problem!
When in the temple of democracy, this division was made, most foul, most opaque!
But we welcome the new state, our brothers and sisters of the Telangana.
The Politician’s selfish folly, the biased media’s frenzy, the inaction of the lot of us,
The binding event of elections imminent, whipped up passions of caste and region…
All these made the pain even more unbearable!
To seek special or be satisfied with special…so laughable our predicament is! What’s in “Special”?
Blinded by Hallow promises made in the corridors of power,
Betrayed by everyone expertly and willingly,
Alas, we are too loyal to pelt stones against our own establishments!
We lay here in a crisis. Forget special, but do we exist?
Or only our Past does exist, in the form of the mighty Satavahanas and the Proud Chalukyas?
And in the lion roar of Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu Garu who fought the British.
Are not our votes, votes to count?
Are not our feelings, feelings?
Or our lives are just an appendage to the glorious balancing act of the Union and the State budgets,
Or invisible footnotes crushed beneath the provisions of the AP Reorganization Act?
To seek special or be satisfied with special…a seamlessly unending question.
And what of our own state, a grandiose new capital and frighteningly high expenditure
But, dear leaders of the state - should not our feet be more grounded?
Should not we have a disciplined caution towards the money spent?
Is blind copying of Singapore and Japan the answer to our self made goals?
To seek special or be satisfied with special…a quagmire of desolation
And the center that played hide and seek so effortlessly, a circus made out of a critical issue,
Everyone’s a Master Gireesam, Everyone’s a Brutus, and we were all made collectively a Ceaser.
To seek special or be satisfied with special…the question alone remains, The Question -  
That haunts the dusty dry lands of Rayalaseema,
That echoes through the twin deltas of the Krishna and the Godavari
That rages throughtout Palnadu, Sikkolu, Ongole, Nellore and Vizianagaram, 
That sweeps through the houses of Bezawada, and the beaches of Vizag.
The Iron will of the Telugu People is tested time and again; it’s a long way out of this predicament.
In the misfortune of us all and in the selfishness of the select few, till then,
Let all our troubles be remembered!

"






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 -10th of September, 2016

2. Subject - "The "Special" Question - Anatomy of Andhra's Anguish" (Political Satire - Prose - Soliloquy)
Should Andhra Pradesh deserve a special category status (SCS)? As things stand presently, and purely from a theoretical point of view, the answer would be “NO”. Because, Andhra Pradesh does not has either geographical or historical disadvantage, unlike the North Eastern States, an essential criteria to satisfy the definition of a State requiring SCS. Moreover, there is no legal provision regarding that in the AP Reorganization act, 2014. But, the ground realities starkly contrast this fact. With a revenue deficit of around Rs.15,000 Crores in the Fiscal year 2014-15, without the major revenue-churning former capital city (Hyderabad), with reduced assistance from Center not helped by the State Government’s rather opulent plans for a new capital, - Andhra Pradesh suffers, financially and psychologically. At least, the former or the present central government could have modified SCS criteria and could have included Andhra Pradesh, what with the terrific majority of numbers they had and continue to have in the parliament.
But if SCS is not possible, the Central assistance at least should have been more prompt and enhanced than the present package. Meanwhile, unnecessarily political issues are made out of this logical economic matter, whipping up passions. Bandhs are called by the opposition regularly, the media is hopelessly biased, supporting this party or that party, the state government is in a dilemma as to what to do, and the Centre seems to be enjoying the indecision and disunity.

And a small but silent truth - "People are always intelligent, than they are assumed to be by their leaders!"

Provisions of the AP Reorganization Act, 2014 -
www.indiacode.nic.in/acts2014/6%20of%202014.pdf
New Central Assistance issued to Andhra Pradesh on 7th of September, 2016 -
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=149631

3. Inspirations and Acknowledgements -
- Inspired by Prince Hamlet's Soliloquy "To be or not to be" from the nunnery scene of Sir William Shakespeare's drama "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark".
- Image of Andhra Pradesh, subject to the copyright of the Andhra Pradesh Government (dtcp.ap.gov.in)

4. Further Notes -
Master Gireesam (28th line of the soliloquy) – Lead character of Sri Gurajada Apparao Pantulu Gari Telugu Drama “Kanya Sulkam”, an entertainingly resourceful yet unscrupulous man. Name is used to describe anyone behaving as such.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

A Flicker of Fame - Tricolor at Rio

(Tribute - Poem) 

On India's Campaign at Rio De Janeiro Olympics, 2016 &   dedicated to the Indian Olympians, especially the medal winners - PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik





"
We sleep in cricket & wake up once in every four years,
The Olympics are on, this time at Rio & we get ready, full of pride so fierce,
We Hype instead of Hope, We shout instead of support, we chide when we must admire,
And when everything is over we bemoan at the perceived quagmire.

Is winning everything, or does a decent fight matter ?
This huge nation demands a medal, & did we expect a dozen on a platter ?
Misspell names, misplaced pride, mistaken notions or misuse of freedom of speech?
Those who went there tried daringly, before halting with a screech .

No budgets, a Himalayan institutional apathy? or just a matter of lack of luck?
But still, look at them, fighting lonely, garnering respect, surely a medal's a hard thing to pluck.
Lost but won, the Beijing Gold lad (Abhinav Bindra) & the Proud "Produnova" belle (Dipa Karmakar)
If we still believe winning's everything, we surely do live in a shell.

And from the patriarchal, hollow 'akharas' of Haryana, women fought,
A bronze to one among them is an 'evidence' for the success she sought, (Sakshi Malik)
Remember, life is so unfair, and the world is so diverse,
If we forget this, we are bound to be unrealistically perverse.

He lost as a fighter, head held high, (K Srikanth)
but then, what about her (PV Sindhu), for once she made the Tricolor fly so high,
Goosebumps & pride, joy & ecstasy, a cocktail of glory without a sigh,
A personal triumph, kudos to her & the team, this nation signs off with a neigh.

Before we take on the great nations in sports, Let us look inwards & have a change in mindset,
Let long term planning & execution rule over emotions, let hype be displaced by hope,
The road is long & the luck is short,till then let's be proud about what they did at Rio,
Win or lose, there was a flicker of fame & thus the tale of Tricolor at Rio ends.
"  






References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - # 2-175, Near Muthyalamma - Bhoolokamma Temple, Sagarnagar, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh - 530 045
On -19th of August, 2016

2. Subject - "A Flicker of Fame - Tricolor at Rio" (Tribute - Poem)
(On India's Campaign at Rio De Janiero Olympics, 2016 & dedicated to the Indian Olympians, especially the medal winners - PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik)
India's struggle to garner medals at Olympics is well documented. Although, winning an Olympic medal cannot be a criteria on any scale, it is a sad fact and calls for a sea change in the way we perceive & prepare for games & sports' competitions. With only a few days to closing ceremony at Rio, we witnessed some terrific close finishes by Indian Olympians, (Abhinav Bindra, Dipa Karmakar, K Srikanth to name a few).
Hearty congratulations to the winners - PV Sindhu (Silver Medal - Women's Singles Badminton) and Sakshi Malik (Bronze Medal - Women's Wrestling Freestyle 58 Kg).

To their epic individual struggles, this poem is dedicated.  

Monday, 4 July 2016

Something Called 'COURAGE'


(Tribute - Prose)


"
{c.1924 CE, Manyam Agency areas (Now Part of Northern Coastal Andhra Pradesh), Madras Presidency, British India.}

His battle-cry was heard. It echoed village after village, raising a glimmer of hope among the native tribes. From across the teak trees of Srikakulam to the coast of the Godavari River there was a sudden surge of optimism and zeal. Legends told in his name & folks of men, women and children rallied to his call, cherished his words. To them, he was a hero, always called as ‘Raju’ (Literally – a King).

But to the empire on which the Sun never sets, he was just a popular fugitive and a minor headache. They always had a way with the people. The brilliance of imperialism lays in the fact that tyranny could be concealed by legislature and their commercial interests clothed in the name of welfare. They needed the forests of Manyam in Andhra. The animals and birds for hunting sport, the large trees for timber, and the land for commercial farming – long live the empire at the cost of its colony! A few tribal communities stood in their way; they could neither be reasoned with nor browbeaten into submission.

So, the empire responds – The passing of the Madras Forests Act, 1882 – a brilliant law which had simply illegalized the very existence of Forest based-tribal communities of the entire Madras Presidency region. Their traditional cultivation (Shifting Cultivation – Podu System) was now an illegal activity, and people of all tribes were completely prohibited from free moment among forests. Conquer, Crush and let them crumble seemed the motto. But then, this popular fugitive comes along and he educates those who need not be educated.

And for two years, the forest-lands of Manyam burned. With Guerrilla-warfare techniques and inspired by Bengal revolutionaries, People revolted, ably led by Raju. The newly laid lines of communication were cut, Police stations were raided, munitions depots were looted and the panic that had begun inside these forests had traveled through the Saint George fort of Madras and reached the Durbars of Delhi.   
  
The empire did respond again – On the one hand, a new humanitarian collector assigned, who wooed the people with the talk of co-operation (Rutherford). On the other hand, a company of troops (Assam Rifles) deployed; a ruthless Major was given the task of settling Raju’s question forever. (Major Goodall).

The rebels lost.  There was no doubt in that, it was going to happen. How can bows and Arrows fight Muskets and Cannons? How can the scantily clad tribes withstand the assault of perhaps the world’s most ruthless army of that time? All his sub-commanders were swiftly executed on sight, or arrested for life (Gam Mallu Dora, Gantam Dora, Aggiraju). Their beloved leader Raju, Caught, tied to a tree and shot.


The empire, as always won. But the lessons were learnt. They could never risk another rebellion. To their credit, they did focus on a more humanitarian and development oriented approach. Alluri  Sita Ramaraju became a martyr, sacrificing a better life, for the sake of his fellow countrymen. He knew he had no chance against the empire and yet never betrayed his follower’s confidence. He had something. A surge of fervor crept in among the people, and they now had that same thing, a thought – something called ‘COURAGE’.  
"






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 -4th of July, 2016

2. Subject - Alluri Sita RamaRaju - "Something called 'COURAGE' (Tribute - Prose)"
( Alluri Sita RamaRaju [c. 1897 - 1924 CE]  was a Revolutionary, Freedom Fighter and a Tribal Leader. He organized the 'Rampa Rebellion' against the then British Government's Oppression of native forest based tribals.His name and fame are well celebrated across Andhra Pradesh, especially in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari. Today i.e, 4th of July, 2016 is his 119th birth anniversary. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Twenty Trillion Tons of Pride…and still counting…

(Tribute - Poem) 





" The name is ISRO, and let’s remember the count, for it is now one by twenty,
For a nation of an ambitious Billion, it is a symbolic source of Pride aplenty.
The launch was a success, beyond a doubt, as heavily expected,
And this moment, for Indians & for everyone, is to be forever cherished.

Yesterday was history, a troubled past wherein we struggled and struggled,
But we tried daringly, took a leap of faith and science, but many times stumbled.
'Please provide us GPS', we asked the Big Brother then, and he laughed mockingly,
Across the Himalayas, the Red Dragon was marching ahead, quite singularly.

Many brilliant & great nations of the world, that believe in might is right -
Silently Whispered, - why doesn’t this country first feed its poor, and stay quiet….
And, but today is a present, we enjoy the gift, a day of celebration and privilege,
To all those dreamy visionaries and sacrificing scientists, we forever pay homage.

Those nations of the world respect us now, we are happy and at ease…
For our ambition is not a show of strength, only progress and peace.
To those critics and haters, let them all live long and we just have a saying –
We now have twenty trillion tons of pride, and please keep on counting…it’s just a beginning…."


References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Home Sweet Home - #16-7-16, Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu (West Godavari), Andhra Pradesh - 534 260
On -24th of June, 2016

2. Subject - ISRO's single lauch of 20 satellites in PSLV-C34  (Tribute - Poem)
On Wednesday, 22nd of June, 2016, India's ISRO (Indian Space Reseach Organisation) scripted history by sending 20 satellites in a single lauch of PSLV-C34 at Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, PottiSriramulu Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh. These satellites belong to various countries and organisations (USA, Germany, Canada, Indonesia, Terra Bella Inc, Satyabhama University etc..). The poem is a tribute to ISRO's success, contrasted with it's humble beginnings.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Ramblings of a Summer Palace

(Historical/Fictional Short Life Story - Prose)



I'm always jealous, I really am, of that city that everyone calls as "Srirangapatnam". It is the Sultan's First Capital and his true love. I'm just an appendix, and everyone remembers me only during Summer. Emasculated by and within the Bengaluru Fort, I'm just a recreational house, nothing more than an old fable, in this city established by the benevolent Nandaprabhu Kempegowda. I'm just all pillars and gardens, and very few inner quarters, of course.

It was in 1791 CE, and the race for the Carnatic Supremacy was settled once and for all in the favor of the British Company. It was in 1791 CE, that the Third Anglo Mysore war was in full swing. And it was in that fateful year, that I came into existence. A few thousand men of the Company, armed with matchlocks and muskets, embellished with cannons, supported by cavalry were staring at Srirangapatnam, our beloved capital. Between that army and our city stood our Sultan.  


No one knew truly about the Sultan. He was a maverick. He was on the one hand, a great administrator, a military innovator renowned for his artillery (Tipu's Guns), and a dreamer who wished to meet and ally with the legendary Napoleon I Bonaparte of France! But on the other hand, he was alleged to be a religious bigot and a short tempered man. How would I judge him? I'm just bricks and mortar.

It was in these troubled times, that I lived. These were even testing times for a Palace, I do not know If I could make it to tomorrow. I'm afraid that somehow, a cannon ball shall hit me during the dead of the night. But, that did not happen. The menfolk at the Palace, decorated my gardens regularly. My rooms became comfort houses for the nobility and a favorite escapade for the Sultan. My Pillars were painted anew. Floral motifs were made on my Palace walls, inside Zenana Quarters. Somehow I flourished. A time of Peace, indeed!

The short lived peace was done and War visited our people again. This time there was no escape. Srirangapatnam had fallen for one last time, and the Sultan was dead. This time, I felt really sorry for the Capital. My heart sank looking at the Company men! But, I did not meet destruction. The British admired me, and made me their administrative Secretariat for sixty nine years. Only a poor copy of the Sultan's Tiger was allowed to be kept with me. My Opulence was reduced, and my functional purposes were only accepted. But, I lived with equal, if not more patronage under the British. And, I exist even now....

In case if you ever visit me today, don't expect anything grandiose.
I'm Summer Palace of Bengaluru, and the Sultan that I referred was, is and remains to be Tipu.










References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Tipu Sultan Summer Palace, (Near Kalasipalya), Albert Victor Road, Chamarajpet, Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560018
On -18th of January, 2015

2. Subject - Tipu Sultan Summer Palace - "Ramblings of a Summer Palace"
( Tipu Sultan Summer Palace was a summer residence of the Nawab of Mysore, it was commissioned by Hyder Ali, and the construction was completed in c.1791 CE. After Tipu Sultan was killed in the Fourth Mysore War in c.1799 CE, the Palace was converted into an Administrative Secretariat by the occupying British. For further details, please refer-

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Cotton

Cotton 
(Tribute - Poem) 



" The Ships from the West bring only disaster and death,
Skilled Traders and Traitors, hell bent on loot and lust.
In the deltas of the twin rivers, where Goddess Annapoorna roamed,
Floods and Famines raved and ravaged and everything was doomed.

The Ryot and the Zamindar - in quandary and equally effected,
The Cow and the Child - listless, lifeless and dead.  
The cries for hunger grew louder, with no one to heed,
The thoughts of desperation were heavier, in deed.

Then fighting against his own men, came Sir Cotton,
An Engineer and a General, but more a human being.
In the city of Rajamahendri, a wonder was conceived and done,
A tale of sacrifice and ingenuity, and it was the people who won.

A network of canals and aqueducts, and the Rice bowl became Rice bowl again,
Every family in the region offers the great man a Pinda, his sacrifice is not in vain.
And, in the annals of history, let this inspiring tale be gently told,
Of this engineer and general - but more a human being - the Modern Bhagiratha - Sir Arthur Cotton."





References (If any)

1. Place and Date -
@ - Home Sweet Home - #16-7-16, Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu (West Godavari), Andhra Pradesh - 534 260
On -15th of May, 2016

2. Subject - Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton- Cotton (Tribute - Poem)
World Famous British Irrigation Engineer and General, responsible for the construction of Dowleswaram Barrage and many canals and aqueducts in the Godavari - Krishna Region of Andhra Pradesh. He is well venerated in my region. Today is his 213th Birth Anniversary.