Tuesday, December 26, 2006 Vishaal 1 Comments

Date:26 Dec 2004
Local Time:7:58:53
Earthquake on Richter Scale: 9.1 - 9.3
Location: West of Sumatra coast
Lost: 2,29,866
Dead: 1,86,983
Nationalities: 43
Toll In Indonesia:1,30,736
Injured: 1,25,000
Missing: 42,883
Displaced: 16.9 lakhs
Countries affected on 3 Continents: 15-18
Women victims compared to men: 4 times

From Vijaytimes Bangalore


This Christmas Bedecking with Paper

Saturday, December 16, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Gold money cli...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
With Christmas around the corner it is time to get decorative in attire. And, what better than natural jewellery, that is amazingly eye-catching in prettiness?

The trinkets in question are of modest paper, made by Ms Juliet Neussl a Siolim resident settled for long in far-away Austria. Down for a small stay, the lady dropped in at office, obviously to publicise her wares prior to a 10-day long exhibition. But, nobody minded because she had something really original to offer.

Capable of drawing admiring gasps, the ornaments looked nothing like nondescript paper. On the contrary, the gold and silver neck pieces in the cache, shone as if they were in precious metals. While, the long and dangling earrings were equally bold in making a fashion statement. Quite a smart way to cut down expenditure in jewellery, these recessionary times, we all exclaimed.

Apparently, this is not the first time that Goans are being treated to the talented artist's line. There has been an exhibition before, one learns- in November 2007- which received "a very good response."

Eager to explain her work, Ms Neussl says, "I make art out of nothing. My jewellery is made from pieces of broken pots, glass or waste material." Further, "they are well-crafted, finished pieces sold in the European market with Greece as the biggest buyer," we are informed.

So, how did she land in Austria, a place with relatively few Indians? "In the eighties there were plenty of my friends migrating abroad. I wanted to be different and go somewhere unusual. So, coming across an advert for a gold-smith course, decided to opt for it," is the reply. In the course of time, marriage to a resident Austrian followed and now there is a family of three kids to go back to.

What about Goa, does she miss it? "Of course!" is the fervent response.What you have in Goa you can never get anywhere else in the world, says Ms Neussl before adding "it is the place where I feel most at home."

Thus like all expatriate Goans, our lady gold smith carries bottles of rechaddo masala in the suitcases for everybody in Austria which is polished off in no time. About her jewellery, our visitor signs off with, The ornaments on display are all made in my factory in Austria. In the future, I plan to spend more time in Goa. Perhaps, I may start manufacturing them here although there are no plans to start stocking them with local outlets for the moment."
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Hockey In Doldrums

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 Vishaal 1 Comments

What is becoming of the great Kapil Dev? He has now joined the bandwagon of those who are bemoaning the dismal performance of the Indian cricket team. He says that this team can never expect to win the World Cup. Remember Kapil: Our World Cup winning team were never the favourites to win the Cup in 1983. Why are you blaming only Chappell for the stalemate? Remember not many teams, captains or coaches can take credit for the success against South Africa. This sort of discouragement and criticism are unwarranted prior to the World Cup.

The sad news is that India are out of medal contention in the Asian Games hockey for the first time in 48 years and that is not breaking news.


Creamy Drama

Friday, December 08, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Reservations were meant to be a stop-gap measure. But the stop-gap has attained permanancy. Each party is trying to outdo the next in wooing the weak. Paradoxically they want the weak to remain weak. Taking a cue from their leaders, the weak call themselves weak, even though they have become strong.

Reservation is a dope. The more they get, the more persistent will be the cry for more, yet more. It is a game whose end is near . In spite of its sacredness, our Constitution has been amended many times to appease minorities in lots of cases and all the successive governments have perpetuated this farce for nearly six decades.

The harsh reality is: reservationists will never become part of the mainstream unless they discard the label.

It is time these people call a halt to th politicians game. They can take a leaf from the history of Parsis and bluntly refuse the quota that comes their way . This will ease social pressures, and help them gain respectability from power groups.

The only people who capitalise on reservations are fairly well-to-do Dalits and OBCs. They exploit the opportunities available and don’t even allow the government to look for alternatives to raise the downtrodden. They simply refuse to give up their privileges but shed crocodile tears for the Dalits and the dispossessed.


Karkala & Lord Venkataramana

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 Vishaal 3 Comments

Karkala is a place in Udupi district, Karnataka, India and is located about 40 km from the city Udupi and about 450 km from Bangalore. The name Karkala has been derived from the Kannada word karikallu, meaning black stones.

Karkala is a town of historical importance and a famous pilgrim centre for Jains. The famous single stone 42-foot (13 m) statue Gomateshwara is located about 1 km from the center of the town. There are about 18 Jain basadis here. The statue is the second tallest in the State.

Each year, thousands flock Lord Venkatramana temple in Karkala with the firm belief in the deity's power to grant wishes. Better known as 'Padu Tirupathi' , Lord Venkatramana temple is considered the main deity of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins.

Legend has it that a family of Gowda Saraswat Brahmins brought Lord Venkatramana's statue along with them while migrating from Goa. As they decided to settle down in Karkala, the family built a temple for the Lord and started worshipping him here.

When the rulers of Mangalore attacked the temple, the priests saved the main idol and other valuables by throwing them down a well in Mulki. As things cooled down, they could retrieve the belongings of the temple except for the main deity. However, a person in Mulki found the statue in the well, which was taken as an indication that the Lord wanted to stay there, instead of in Karkala.

It's said that the Lord appeared in people’s dreams and asked them to leave his statue with residents of Mulki. He seemed to have reassured them that a hermit would present them his statue in which he resides.

As told by him, a hermit, who was a staunch devotee of Lord Venkatramana from Tirupathi, came to Karkala and presented the Lord's statue with the condition that the proceeds of the temple be given to Tirupathi. Heeding to the condition, people of Karkala undertake a pilgrimage to Tirupathi each year to present the temple's proceeds.

Since the rites and rituals at the Karkala temple are similar to that of Tirupathi, it is regarded as Tirupathi in the West (while the original shrine is located in the east). So, it's called Padu (or West) Tirupathi. A ritual called Vanabhojan is conducted each year, when the deity is taken to Lake Ramasamudra and is kept facing Tirupathi.

This is done as the deity can't be taken to Tirupathi itself, to comply with the hermit's condition. Presenting the offerings to Tirupathi at Karkala itself had been an old custom. In the past, these proceeds were also given to Tirupathi once in 12 years. Although this is no longer in practice, it is said that people still present their offerings to Tirupathi here. In front of Lord Venkatramana's shrine lies a Hanuman temple, whose statue towers over 15 feet.

It's said that this statue was found under the grounds of Annekere (near Karkala), when it was dug. Tippu Sultan was among the ardent devotees of this Hanuman; the silver ornament he had offered to the Lord is still seen around his neck.

Several legends illustrate Lord Venkatramana's power to grant wishes. One of them happened in 1912, when the British government at Madras decided to make Moodbidri instead of Karkala the taluk head quarters, which disappointed people here. They prayed to the deity. When a British officer was on his way to Karkala for re-inspection of the place, as he crossed Moodbidri, all of a sudden his horse collapsed and died on the spot. Somehow he managed to reach Karkala.

On reaching there, he paid a visit to Lord Venkatramana’s temple. After the visit, the British officer dropped the idea of making Moodbidri the taluk headquarters and decided on Karkala. Such are the miracles of the Lord. Right outside the sanctum-sanctorum (garba-griha) of the temple, there are four massive stone pillars decorated with exquisite carvings.

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Tags: karkala, , Venkataramana, , Gomateshwara,


Mass Meditation

Monday, December 04, 2006 Vishaal 0 Comments

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi claims that-

"simultaneous mass meditation creates a wave effect that calms the world, influences stock markets, decreases crime rates and prompts other positive societal behavior." (Link)