Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Traditional Old Style Hand Made Bridge


        In the villages of Kerala, we can find these kinds of hand made brides here and there across small streams. Generally, these bridges are made out of bamboos, but the supporting poles that erect the bridge may be some other tree trunks. A scene such a bridge always reminds me about my childhood holidays in my mother’s house. The house is situated near Nadavayal in Wayanad. A paddy field and a steam separated the land from the forest. One of the events of our holidays, we always loved to remember was picnic to the nearby stream as well as the adjacent forest. There was a handmade bridge across the river, which was rarely used, since except during the rainy season, we were able to cross the river without a bridge. The creaking sound of the bamboos when we walk through such a hand made bridge gives us a different feeling. Even though the bridge may be swinging both sides as well as shaky, the bridge will be strong enough to carry many persons at a time. It is a funny scene when people who are not used to such bridges try to cross it. Similarly many, who lives in cities finds it difficult to walk easily through the narrow-high paths in paddy fields.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Valliyoorkavu Temple and Festival


Valliyoorkavu Temple



Valliyoorkavu temple and the Valliyoorkavu festival hold an important role in the history of the Wayanad. The temple is situated 3 kilometers away from Mananthavady, on the way to Koileri-Panamaram route. The temple is situated near the bank of the river Kabani. The vast green ground on either side of the main road nearby the temple and the Kabani river adds to the exotic beauty of the location, and is the perfect stage for the big festival of Wayanad.

The Valliyoorkavu starts on the 1st of ‘Meenam’ month and ends on 14th of Meenam month. This time spans around 14th March to 28th March according to the Gregorian calendar. The goddess of the temple is Bhagavathy.

In the older eras; slaves were exchanged by landlords during this festival, and the slave exchange was one of the main event of the festival, even though the slaves were given a very little freedom to celebrate the festival. Almost all of the slaves belonged to the different tribes in Wayanad and the near by locations.

When slavery saw its sunset and freedom became reality, the mode of the festival changed a lot. At present, Valliyoorkavu or ‘Kavu’ as people in Wayanad call the festival is the main yearly event of various tribes in Wayanad. To make the festival more colorful, Wayanad exhibition & trade fair is conducted along with the festival. When the consumerism changed the face of the festival, the importance of the role of tribal people in the festival started diminishing. Then also we can see a great lot difference in the way the tribes of Wayanad celebrate this festival when compared to others.

When I say there is a difference between the way tribes celebrates Valliyoorkavu from others, it is evident that this festival is not only for tribes. The festival is important event for almost all of the people in Wayanad, regardless of caste and religion. For tribal people, who mainly earn for thier life by working on farming or any other kind of labor, the festival is the end of the old-one year contract of labor and starting of a new contract. The termination of contract may happen with the same employer, or let us call, the landlord, or a new contract starts with a different land lord.

The way the renewal of contract happening is the part of the life of the tribes. The labors will be asking for the arrears in wages for the last one year from their landlord. They may ask for some advance amount from the landlord on behalf of a promise made, like ‘we will work for you for the next one year’. Some times they may not be willing to work with the same landlord, so they may avail their pending wages and get advance from some other landlords, which ends the current contract and starts the new one.

The difference between the older ages and the present is that, now the tribal people are able to bargain, get advance and they are free to choose the landlord, the work etc. In the older ages, the landlords decided the future of the slaves or ‘Adima’ and the deal happened between landlords. In a way, the old labour exchange is happening in a more complex way.

What ever the way the job is changed, there will be a good amount of money with the tribes in the form of the arrears and advantages. The tribal family celebrates the Valliyoorkavu festival with this money. They will go with their entire family to the festival, and may spend two or three days or more in the festival ground and they just sleep in the open festival ground, on mats made of grass.

One of the special food items sold in huge lot is the so called ‘Pori’ which we can consider as the basic form of the popcorn. The sad thing about this festival is that the tribe will spend what ever money the acquired in the last one year, and there will not be anything in their hands when they go back to their home or ‘kudi’ except the happiness and prosperity they celebrated during their festival days. Some social evils like huge amount of alcohol flow during the festival spoils the financial background of these tribes a lot. Instead of celebrating the festival with their family, at present a major amount of the money they saved in the last one year goes towards buying alcohol, where children and women are deprived from the real celebration.

After decades and centuries, the festival still holds it purpose in the same or some other way. The various religious rites and events happening along with the festival make it unique. The festival gives a good opportunity for the traditional arts of tribes, as well as Wayanad as a whole to be staged. Sadly, interests of people towards the different folklore arts diminished and common events like orchestra, mimmics parade, cinematic dance etc are getting staged at present

Friday, July 21, 2006

Big Threat to Democracy in India

Recent initiatives by the government of India, including the ban of web-logs or blogs as it is called, have imposed a huge threat to the democracy of India. Our country is known as the largest democracy in the world. We can always defend our actions by saying that we need not care what others say about us, we are what we do. But we should take into consideration, the fact that what others say upon us largely depends on what we do and what we expose to the world outside.

When the government is not ready to make the citizens felt that the government is for the people, and by the people, then people will turn against the government. The extreme conditions will be formation of terrorists group whom will be a serious threat to the country. The government should be able to make the people feel better and safe under it, then only obligations towards the country will develop in the minds of people. When the actions done by government make the people feel that the government is a burden, the country will be divided on various parameters.

Unfortunately, the face of Indian government is the face of the ruling party. Now in India, friction from the opposition party rise only on the basis of political interests. Public interests are never coming up as a major issue. The current situation is going towards a very bad direction, which makes anybody to do anything against the public or the society. Unless there is a supreme power, which should be our government, are vigilant take up those issues which are against public, any particular individual or group will always dare to take a move which is against the interest of the India as whole. It turns to be very sad, when often, this group turns to be our government itself.

In India, when ever a citizen or a group of citizens or anybody turn against the people or take actions that harms the public, they know that nobody will stop them. The only times when they are stopped is when somebody who really cares for the public takes up the issue to the court and gets a stay or a verdict against such group or individual. The same thing is happening with the actions taken up by the government. The current tendency is that the government silently carries such action, without having an approval which should come from analysis and study of the matters.

When such issues are noticed by public, and when it turns to be the hottest issue in the media, government always keeps mum, and we are always getting the answer that somebody else is responsible for that. When the concern government department is asked for a satisfactory reason for carrying out any of these actions, they always point to the government as a whole, or escape by saying that we are asked to do so. When we follow up the path pointed up by the concerned department, they always says that the official announcement came from a ministry, and when the particular Cabinet minister is asked for a reason, he either puts the blame on some other minister who took the decision, or he just says that he has to carry out the decision which came from the government, and he/she has got nothing to do with it.

Here I am not only focusing on Mr. Arjun Singh, who came up with the matter of reservations in higher educational institutions. The same drama happened when active bloggers as well as the media ran behind the concerned minister of India to get a satisfactory answer. Either the ministers turned to be non-available through phone, email or for a direct interview, of they blamed on somebody, of they acted as a loyal man who carries and make sure the orders passed to them are satisfied.

Regardless of the protest against and supporting these issues, the government just carried out their actions silently, declaring once again that they don’t care for the voice of the citizens of India. Luckily the bloggers of India quickly reacted and filed and RTI against these recent developments. But when we look at many other controversial actions by the government, we can see that the silent agenda actually won against the voice of India, because there was nobody who grouped against these activities and filed a case in any of the courts in India. The ministers always escapes by saying that it has not been come into my notice and if somebody tells me what is the problem, then I can take action. What are theses government servants supposed to do? Are they trying to make us fool by saying that they are not aware of the hottest debates and problems of our country? Do we require some other people notifying them on the incidents happening in India? What are they busy with, that makes them not see the issues of the public?

When things are taken up by the judiciary, then also the feel free, since they are very well aware of the infinite loop holes present in the laws; which are actually made by the government; and the time it takes to be resolved. So if they do want to implement something against the country, enough time is assured where there will be no stoppage by any one.

We can say that we are living in India when we can be assured that the government will act against or the people obliged to keep the law and order in the country will take up actions against any issues which is a threaten to the country. When government themselves are among those who act against the public interest, then its high time we should thing about how well are we using our democratic power of vote, and we should think about a whole renaissance.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blogspot.com banned In India

For those who can read my blog unblocked:-

A big percentage of hatred between people, organizations as well as countries or allies arises from the lack of understanding and confusion. Confusion arises when facts are not presented as it is or when facts are not allowed to be said in public. Some of the bloggers from Mumbai came up with helpline members immediately after the blasts happened. Now they also are included in the blocked lists by the Indian government.

Bloggers are asked to keep quiet by the Indian government on behalf of the Mumbai 7/11 blasts. The organization or group of people who committed the crime still hides. The government was never able to assure us; the citizens of India; that incidents like this will not happen. The government will not be able to assure the same safety in the future by just blocking some kinds of public addressing system.

Some emails reached the media claiming the responsibility of the recent blasts, and those emails were tracked to the level of the location, and the exact person and he is arrested. If emails can be tracked to that level, then why blog can’t be tracked so that if some anti national postings or comments appear in the blog, the culprit can be tracked and arrested?

There were some funny questions raised by some Indian bloggers who were hurt by the act of the government. It goes like this. Will the government ban all petrol bunks because of the fact that terrorists are using transport system to commute themselves as well as arms and explosives? Let me extend these questions. Will the government close the telecommunication department and ban all the telephone and mobile service providers in fear of terrorists using telephones to communicate? Will the government be able to shut the mouth of each individual in fear of terrorists spreading their ideas & plans orally? Will the government be making us blind in fear of people seeing some terrorists’ activities? Will the government block all the news papers and TV channels in fear of terrorism spreading through these media?

So banning some kind of common addressing system and media is not at all a solution to the problem, and it will add more to the problem. Do we really like our Country to be listed among those, who are not allowed to speak publicly, work according to their own will, follow their own religious belief and so on?

In India we believe that we have RTI (Right to Information). But the government authorities are not willing to say a clear reason why the blogspot.com domain is completely blocked. The strange thing is that the blogspot.com domain is only blocked by some of the ISPs in India. More over blogspot.com domain is accessible through the BSNL; said some of the bloggers. Some of the internet service providers who blocked the blogspt.com domain revealed that they got an official communication from the ministry asking them to block some of the domains. But the ISPs are not ready to reveal which all are the domains blocked. The government is not ready to reveal whether they have send out an official communication to ISPs in India to block the blogger.com. So I can say that the government has not done justice towards the RTI. One of the blogger has filed over RTI. Please read the news here. http://ndtv.com/template/template.asp?template=RTI&callid=1&id=90384 Government has not made any public statement regarding this, as well as nobody knows whether this ban is for ever or a temporary one. Why can’t the blogs which spread anti national sentiments and ideas be found out and blocked, instead of making a disappointment to the entire blogging community? Some interesting facts we can realize about our government is that, when ever they want to do something which is against the public interest, the Indian government always do it silently and they never will give an answer supporting their actions. The same thing happened when the government was about to introduce the reservation in higher education system. The most responsible person, Mr. Arjun Sing said a lot of “don’t know” answers, or he answered that it is not yet decided, yet to be decided, cannot be disclosed now, etc. None of those answers where satisfactory.

When ever the government tries to do something against the public interest, bloggers turned up with a voice against it and conducting polls and discussions open to all. In every country during the entire history, there was a move from the ruling people to tame or make the media or public shut down. These kinds of moves were prominent during our fight for our freedom. Once again, India government is going in the wrong direction by trying to block the public’s right to speak.

The number of bloggers in India has grown to a very huge number. Blogging is a hobby to some of us; it is a media to publish articles as well as art works like photography, poems etc for some one else; it is a media to react to some hot topics & happenings for somebody else; and some one do blogging to sell electronic gadgets and the purpose goes on like that. Major search engines have come up with tools to search in blogs. (E.g. http://blogsearch.google.com)


Another interesting fact is that, regardless of the domain blocking, any blogs can be viewed through some indirect way, like kproxy.com or pkblogs.com. These sites are directly asking the users whether your blog is blocked in Saudi or Pakistan or China or Iran or India, then access it through our site. Once again I feel ashamed when our country is listed among those. Are we going back in cultural development? Are we becoming more orthodox?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Mumbai 7/11

Once again innocent people are killed; nobody knows how many lost their life. No one has accepted the responsibility of the blasts, but by default the terrorists are already targeted by the media as well as by the Indian government. As usual, Pakistan declined any relationship with the event.

The title of the posts itself is a creation by the media. Media tries to compare with the 9/11 event happened in US. The case is entirely different. The way it happened, the shock it generated among the US citizens, the blast it made to the world economy, the way US reacted back; an entirely different scenario. Media said Mumbai shocked, but later there were emails and SMS circulating which declared Mumbai is unshaken. Without any shame the media published that also. Some mobile companies made profit out of this event also by offering their users to send SMS to their near and dear ones, to tell that they are safe. In reality no mobile service providers were able to withstand the huge mobile traffic that erupted by the panic people.

In India, many innocent citizens lost their life. The government offered huge sum for the affected families. But in reality, nobody really cares for those martyrs. All those 500 peoples or more who lost their life and thousands of other people who rely on them directly or indirectly are lost in the media fight. If the government really cares for the feelings of the citizens, then the peace process should be completed, and measures should be taken so that nobody can repeat the challenge again.

After one or two days of the blasts, we have seen the tightened security in places like India gate, near Rashtrapathi bhavan, and its premises. What about the countless citizens of India who goes to the market and other public places daily for making their life?

I would like to focus on some other aspects of the incidence. After the blasts in Mumbai, the Prime Minister of India declared that nobody can make India kneel down. In the next three four days he again made statements like “the peace process has been bombed” and “the blasts is linked with people outside Indian border” etc. When our PM says, the peace process has been bombed, we have blamed Pakistan for the bombing. The peace process has been happening between India and Pakistan for many decades. If we really want peace between India & Pakistan, then we should go ahead with it, regardless of the blasts.


These kinds of blasts happen repeatedly in Indian history after the Independence. I believe that who ever do the killings really like the peace process to be stopped. And when we declare that the peace process is stopped, they have won, and we really have kneeled down before them. Once peace is established between Pakistan and India, there is no more the question of terrorism. In fact, I believe that neither Pakistani citizens nor Indian citizens support terrorism. Terrorists make others support them by force and if they are not willing, then they kill.

There were some other declarations that the blasts sequences were done by other groups whose real intentions – unknown. If it is true, then who is the real culprit, who is reaping by killing innocent people? How can the ultimate truth be found?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lamp Posts




I took these photos from near by the India Gate - Delhi. For many of the gardens, or similar places, lamp posts plays an important in beautifying the place. The purpose of lamp posts is to provide light but these kinds of lamp posts add much more value by just their shapes. Some of these lamp posts are beautiful when they are lighted, but some are awesome just as it is. The traditional kind of lamp posts with an oil lamp inside is very rare ,but we may find those in some hotels.



Thursday, July 13, 2006

Safest Place to Construct House

I found this place to build a nest for after a long expedition. No other birds will be disturbing me here. There is no place for another family to build their nest here. Am I so selfish? This place is guarded very well, I can always see police roaming around, and I have never seen a plane flying over the sky here. So I am took the accurate decision in choosing this place. Do you want to know where this place is? I would rather not disclose since there will be a huge rush of other families to this place to build nests in the remaining lamp posts. Actually there is lot of lamp posts left here; well maintained with no lights inside. I am sure that the government will never send any guys to repair these, and even if they sent, I don’t worry. After all it is a government job. It will take a lot of time to just procure new lights, new employees to fit the lights and so on. So I am safe.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

NOAH'S ARC

People were always in search of Noah's arc. Many claim that they have found where it is. Many people justifies there finding with satellite pictures. Still people are not sure whether Noah's arc is a historic reality or not. See some details ==>    Noah's arc   Noah's arc - The truth


Fortunately, day before yesterday I found the real one. See the picture below. I found it near the Rajpath Margh - New Delhi, near Rashtrapathi Bhavan. As you see above, it is so small; hooked up at the top of a pillar, so that satellites were not able to photograph it. We should keep in mind that the area is a no fly zone, so no aircrafts can also take photographs. Only pedestrians like me can have a photograph of it.

I request everybody not to rush to the location for you may get into trouble, because there will be a high security alert around the place after the bomb blasts happened in Mumbai.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I do not want to talk to you.


"I am not going to talk to you. You always hurt me a lot."

Or is it saying "I am handsome; see the stripes on my back."?


The real answer may be something else; left to the reader.