Friday, December 22, 2006

Wishing You Merry X-MAS


Let me wish all my dear blog readers a happy Christmas and prosperous new year.

The birth of the lord in Jerusalem was first witnessed by cattle, followed by shepherds and three wise men from the east. God always gave preference to simplicity through out history and the birth of the King of the Kings reassured simplicity.

MAG Photo Exhibition (MindTree’s Artistic Guild)

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Along with MindTree’s tech fest – Osmosis, a photo exhibition was held on behalf of MAG (MindTree’s Artistic Guild) promoted by Subroto Bagchi. From among 1200 photos and art pieces, 100 were selected for the photo exhibition. Happy to share with you all that the above two photographs were selected for the final exhibition.

Well known photographer Mahesh Bhatt and journalist Vinita Shetty judged the exhibits and they put star rating for each art works. The winner got a three star rating, who took the photograph of a fast moving cyclist through a busy market.

Let me proudly share that the first photo published above got a star rating of one; a monkey watching the valley down from a tress projected out from the peak of Nandi hills. Both these photos are already published in my blog.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Nellu Koythu – The Harvesting of Paddy in Wayanad


I made a promise to my dear readers when I published the article Njattumkandam that I would be back with the photos of the harvest season. See Njattumkandam here ==> Njattumkandam



Finally the time of paddy harvest for the farmers of Wayanad is arrived, December; the season of fog, the season of beautiful clear sky, the season of Christmas, the season of happiness, the season of waiting for the new year and so on. The slanted sun rays during this winter season, fog, happiness in the hearts of people - everything makes Wayanad's beauty tenfold during December.


The night time too turns beautiful with a clearer sky with more starts visible than during the other eleven months. Off course the decorations of cities and individual houses for Christmas adds to the peak.


In most of the paddy fields, harvest will be over before Christmas, making the cattle farms filled with hay ready for the rebirth of Jesus. For the tribal people who alone have the expertise of harvesting the paddy, it is the end of “Pathambu”. The word Pathambu means a whole cycle of the paddy cultivation. A group of tribes will take the responsibility of cultivation of paddy from Individual land owners starting from growing the seeds till the paddy is harvested. The profit for the above process for the tribes was given to them as a share of the result of the cultivation.


Katta

“Nellu” as the paddy seeds reaped are called has become the name of a very famous old time Malayalam movie, which mainly described the story of a race of tribe in Wayanad. The famous song from this movie “Kadhali Chenkathali” sung by Lata Mangeshkar will be in the heart of every true Keralite.


Katta

On tenth of December, I woke very early in the morning and reached the paddy field owned by us at 6:00 am. The harvest in this field was about to start the same day. I enjoyed the wonderful morning before sunrise with dew drops hanging from the paddy plants and the spider web created on them, making it astounding.


The sun slowly peeped through the fog covered sky on the top of some coconut trees in distance. The golden rays of the sun made the paddy field also golden as well as the fog turned golden. Wav! Such a nice chance for photography! After taking a few more snaps I returned home to have my morning tea and breakfast.


Later around noon time I went again to the field and got some more photographs. The hay with the seeds in them is made as a bunch and carried on head by tribes to the ground where the seed will be separated from the hay. This hay bunch is called “Katta” and the process of separating the seeds from the hay is called “Okkal”. In olden days this was done by hand manually by beating a bunch of hay on the ground repeatedly of with the help of OX pulling a stone above the hay spread on the ground.


When technology progressed most of the work is done using a tractor. It starts right from ploughing the field to harvesting the rice crop and separation of the crop from the hay.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Picnic to BanasuraSagar – Wayanad

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18th of November was a cloudy day. I was there in Payyampally to Sajith’s engagement with Shymol. After attending the betrothal, we four planned to visit this wonderful place – BanasuraSagar.

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Along with my mother, Baby chettan and Unni chettan (Bennison – Texas Computers, Mananthavady) I started towards Manchoora and BanasuraSagar. We stopped in-between for coffee and reached the location within one hour from Payyampally.

I could not believe my eyes. I was not ready to believe Bennison’s words when he said that we have such a beautiful location in Wayanad. I never expected such a beautiful place in the midst of Wayanad where most of the places are hilly.

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We reached Manchoora first and got a good view of the storage area of the dam. There has been a lot of protest from the people of Wayanad against the construction of this dam. Yes, a dam causes a lot of places to be swallowed by the water making the living creatures naturally inhabited to move on to find some other place or they just die and disappear.

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The blue-green mountains visible behind the dam are an ideal location for trekking and mountaineering but with risks of animal attacks. I am researching about how to do that, I mean where to start, which all paths are available for trekking up the mountain, how safe it is, how long it will take etc…

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dragonfly Up above the Clouds

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The dragonfly was caught accidentally while taking this photograph. I was trying to take the golden line over the border of the clouds. What if we could fly like a falcon? We could have taken amazing photographs and do many more wonderful things.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A parish priest expired

Here I am publishing a story written by my late father Mr. T M Varkey. I found this story from one of his very old diary and the scripts are dated on December 26th of 1986.



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My Beloved Father Mr. T M Varkey



My father was headmaster of St. Catherine’s HSS Payyampally while he retired from the school. The school was St. Catherine’s HS during his retirement, and recently Plus Two also got added to the school and the name changed as St. Catherine’s HSS. I am imagining that he was writing this story during the 10 day’s Christmas holiday which my father use to enjoy a lot in doing interesting activities and spending lot of time with all of us (my brothers and me and my beloved mother).

I am publishing here the scripts as it is (photographed from the diary) and I have appended a rough English translation of the same at the bottom. You can click the pages given below and get the enlarged view to read the Malayalam scripts.

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The English Translation

One parish priest expired. Soul reached in front of almighty God. Waited for Heaven of Hell to be approved by God. Started describing about his life in the earth.

In order to retain Church’s-Catholic church’s monopoly he somehow finished the mass service every Sunday. To retain his position from being spoiled he completed the same during all the days of the week.

He gave ear to some of the parish member’s conspiracy and rumors he barked at the parish members during the next Sunday mass services.

He wasted his as much as possible in drinking and gambling. He made sure that liquor was served non stop while he attended feasts.

In order to rule the parish members by threat, he barked as loudly as possible.

He implicitly advised the parish members that he should be respected.

He classified the people of God on the basis of percentage and grade and churn out the maximum from them.

By constructing the post modern buildings he made the foundation of the monopoly of the church more strengthened.

Spent his most valuable time in gambling, drinking, in lust, spreading rumors, exploiting others and showering his anger on others… A parasite….

When God called him and was trying to complete the final sentence of the verdict, the priest’s shadow became larger and larger and vanished from the heaven.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sunset or Sunrise?

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I am leaving the question to the readers.
Note: Friends participated in Tagore Hostel Meet at Denkinikotta are not eligible for this competition.

Another Mysore Wayanad Car Ride

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Spotting a wild animal in the Sulthan Bathery – Mysore road is a common thing. The thick jungle in-between Gundalpettu and Sulthan Bathery is the habitat of many wild animals. I have already posted some pictures of wild animals from this place, especially the one picture of a wild bear crossing the road.

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The pictures you are seeing here were taken on 2nd of November 2006 while I was returning from Mysore to Wayanad via Sulthan Bathery along with my mother. Inadequate lighting conditions and vibrations of the car in engine running state made it difficult to take good quality photographs without shakes. It is dangerous to turn of the vehicle and get out of it in the jungle, since a wild elephant or a panther can attack us at any time. Otherwise I should have another guy ready in the driver seat so that I can get out and take photographs.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Calvary

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[The picture was taken on 23rd October 2006 from a temple situated on the hill just near Devagowda Petrol pump (Kittur Rani Chennamma Circle), Banashankari 3rd Stage, Bangalore. It was a holiday for me on behalf of Ramzan and I was waiting there on the top of the hill to take the snap of the first moon after new moon. The sighting of the moon is the end of fasting for Muslims and the starting of Ramzan celebration. But clouds disappointed me and I was not able to see the moon. To my surprise, when the image of the sun was about to touch the distant hill, situated some where near Rajarajeshwari Nagar, the cross on the hill top which you are seeing in the picture above came visible. I used the full zoom of 648mm plus some digital zoom to get this picture. {Thanks to Remya for writing the scripts in Malayalam.}]

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Experience Makes the Man

Are you working sitting in front of a computer with 24 hours internet access, or at least email access? How long have you been doing it? Let me ask you something. How many times have you got the same forwarded email, perhaps a slightly modified one, or how many times have you got the same forwarded sms message from different contacts? I am sure you have got many, in fact countless. If you have been watching how people behave to internet access, you may notice that, when ever a new one gets the net access, he forms a different friends circle which exists only in the web, and the guy will start getting some forwards which he/she will eventually forwards to his/her own friendship circle. The more experienced the guy with the internet, the more possibility of getting the same forwards again.

If you start a discussion with all the new internet joiners about the impact of sending forward mails, you are going to fail. Still you know that it is absolute waste to send forwards. The forum will come up with a hundred different points about the use of forwarded emails and forwarded sms. You may watch later that the same set of people getting retired from these kinds of habits after a year or two, and speaking about the bad effects of the same.

This is not just the case of sending emails forwards or sms. When experienced people say something others always resist to understand those facts even if they know the fact that their personal life proved many thousand times that experience makes a lot of difference. The younger generation believes about the veterans that they are old and thinks in the old fashioned way, but at the same time they are not able to refine what they did and when they grow older they also pursue the same paths followed by their parents and grand parents.

When the young generation use the common insults to the older like “Why can’t you sit and read the Ramayana instead of making nuisance to us?” they never thinks of their older ages yet to come, and they also receive the same insults. Regardless of culture, nationalities and religions, people when they grow old, tend to spend more of their time in religious activities. Most of the younger generation will have a time in their life when they think that what done by old people is utter useless, and they believe that what they do is more refined, abstract and meaningful. Throughout the entire human history humans are never able to change or create a new culture or refine the way of living and thinking. Those who think that they are correct are never able to bring up their next generation better; the same life cycle will be followed by the next generation also.

Here I am not saying that humans have not developed in technology and way of living in the entire history. What I am saying is that regardless of the experience of others, we won’t be ready to accept some facts until unless we go through the same experience that make us think or behave differently. The saying “Experience makes’ the man” is absolutely true in all respects. Here what I write may be written by many others during their life, and this is not a discovery. Out of all these, should I believe that the entire planet or the world is having a cycle which everybody will go through and must go through, which cannot be changed even we know the truth? No, not at all.

Miles to go before I Sleep

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The picture is taken on an evening, while traveling with my mother towards Mysore by car, just before reaching H.D Kotte. This road to Mysore starting from Mananthavady and which touches Kartikulam, Bavali, Antharasante and HD Kotte lengths almost 110 kms, with 25 kilometers of thick forest in-between, where you are sure to spot at least one wild animal. 30 kilometers of distance starting from the Karnataka border towards Mysore is in a pretty bad condition but all the other stretches are extremely good and enjoyable to ride so that you won’t remember the 30 kms bad stretch.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Alumni Inauguration of St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri – Bangalore Chapter

I welcome every one who from St. Joseph’s College, Devagiri to give your valuable comments about the Alumni and request to be a member of the Bangalore Chapter of Devagiri Alumni.

Hearty welcome to all of you to complete this article by sharing your Devagiri stories here in the comments section.

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Waiting eagerly for your Devagiri stories unleashed as comments below.