Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas time.

Ganesha chathurti is supposed to be the most prominent festival in Goa. Diwali with its ‘Aakaash kandils’, ‘Diyas’ and ‘Lakshmi pooja’ in business establishments, makes its presence felt. But nothing like Christmas to fill the air with festival atmosphere. Went out for a stroll in the evening to get the Christmas feel and brought back a bit through these pictures.

My neighbour Mendonca's apartment

Ponda church

'Nativity' scene created by the local catholic youth.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Samrat vs Sunburn

Samrat Sangeet Sammelan
16. 12. 2011 to 18. 12. 2011
Location : Aguiar Grounds, Tisk, Ponda , Goa.
Three sessions of classical music every day.
Vidwan Hari Kumar - Violin
Pandit Yogiraj naik - Sitar
Pandit Vijay karapurkar - Vocal
Ustaad Arshad li khan - Vocal, so on and so forth.
Entry to sammelan - Free
Arrangements - to seat five hundred
If you feel hungry - Batatawada and tea available on payment.
Average attendance noticed per session - one hundred.

Sunburn Music festival
27.12.2011 to 29.12.2011
Location : Candolim beach, Goa
Never ending session of senseless music and mindless dancing starting 9 Pm daily.
DJs - Ma faiza, Funk agenda, Jalebi cartel, Pearl , so on and so forth.
Entry to festival - Rupees Seven thousand + taxes. (Up to twenty thousands in black market.)
VVIP table - 3,43,850 (six people, three days)
Arrangements - to accommodate twenty five thousand.
To quench your never ending thirst - whisky, vodka, Wine and champagne (two bottles each- free for VVIP table)
Average attendance last year - per session- fifty thousand
Expected this year - eighty thousand.

Just an observation. I am not trying to say anything. Infact, I do not know what to say. Can you?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pondadalli Manju - Fog In Ponda

This year winter just peeped in for a few days during mid November and disappeared giving way to a very humid and cloudy weather which lasted nearly two weeks. Since the last three days there were some signs of winter returning to Goa and I eagerly awaited its return. I feel happy and relieved when the seasons arrive on time. The way we are abusing the nature, I am always worried that the natural elements may one day decide to teach us a lesson and totally desert us.

There was some fog yesterday and I saw dew drops on the leaves in the morning. The weather was not very cool but not hot either. There was some hope. Today when I opened the door early in the morning, there was dense fog and the outside felt so good that I just could not stay indoors to carry on with my exercises. As soon as it was light enough, I stepped out with the camera in hand. I was not sure that this weather would be there the next day and wanted to make the best of it when it lasted.

As I turned round the corner, I saw my neighbour’s house, which I see dozens of times every day (wishing he had painted it something more pleasant than bright yellow) looking cooler and better, its brightness subdued by the fog in spite of being in the direct focus of the bright street light.

I headed for the hill side on the out skirts expecting the usually pleasant surroundings to be even better and I was not disappointed. I walked along enjoying the tingling feel of the fog on my face and taking in the new look of the old sights stopping now and then to appreciate nature’s magic. Bushes and trees which I see day in and day out appeared to have changed themselves for the better and clouds seemed to have come down to rest on the tree tops.

If this was the feeling, I wondered, the presence of a little fog on the drab country side of Ponda brought about in a person like me, what could have been the effect of the sight of real dense fog over the bountiful nature around Madikeri on a poet like Sri Rajaratnam? No wonder Sri Rajaratnam’s poetic heart came out with ‘Madikerili Manju’ on beholding the sight of clouds hugging the earth in Madikeri. Please, have no fear. I have no intentions of trying to imitate the great man and composing ‘Pondadalli manju’ for my next post.

Sri Rajaratnam is one of my favourites and his ‘Madikerili manju’, beautifully sung by Sri. Mysore Anantaswamy is always at the tip of my tongue. Remind me about it if and when you meet me next and I can sing it for you on the spot making you wish that Sri Rajaratnam had never visited Madikeri.

I continued my walk looking here and there and caught the sight of the usually invisible spider webs decorated with minute dew drops. Poor spider, it cannot come out and enjoy the sight. But I could and I even got some pictures. The spider remained immobile at the center of its web, hungry and waiting for its pray unmindful of the excitement it had created in me. A ‘Sthitapragnya’. I mean the spider. Not me.

I walked around the place, incidentally a hill side which is being cut and converted into housing plots and was turning back after my knees made their presence felt when I caught sight of this migratory egrets which visit Goa every year. I do not know where they come from or where they are going. I only know that they like to land here for some time during mornings and evenings to rest on the trees and search for some insects on the ground. I am glad that they visit us every year but feel sorry that they will have to rest on Syntex tanks on rooftops and search for insects in the garbage bins if they decide to land here in the coming years.My camera managed to get few pictures in which one can recognize the birds and as I moved a bit closer for a better frame, one of them took wing and the next second all of them were gone.

The fog was clearing and the sun was coming up making the weather hot and taking off the magic of the fog. I could see everything clearly in the harsh sunlight and I realized that I was in the same old dirty world that we have created and not in some piece of paradise as it momentarily appeared to be and I returned home feeling like the lame boy in Bommanahalliya kindarijogi who had a glimpse of the paradise inside the mountain but had to return because the cave doors closed before he entered.

Note: Madikerili manju , meaning fog in Madikeri, is one of the poems in the collection ‘Ratnana Padagalu’ by Sri G P Rajaratnam. Sri Rajaratnam is said to have composed the poem inspired by the sight of thick fog in Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka. It has been put into music and sung beautifully by Sri Mysore Anantaswamy.

Bommanahalliya Kindarijogi is a classic poetic work by Sri K V Puttappa. He is said to have been inspired by Browming’s ‘Pied Piper of Hamlin’ and written this poem.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Corruption wins

Sri Sriramulu won the ‘Bellary rural’ assembly seat with a very wide margin. I felt very sad. I have nothing personal against Sriramulu. I feel sad because his win is the thumbs up sign for everything that is wrong with us today. Thumbs up for political and social degradation. He is a close associate of Reddy brothers. He has been indicted in mining scandals. It took a lot of effort for BJP to make a show that it is against corruption and push Sriramulu out of cabinet. But the society has hoisted him up on its shoulders. A slap in the face for people trying to cleanse the system.

This shows that in the fight between money and morals, money wins. In Bellary if Reddy brothers made thousands of crores by illegal activities, there were lakhs of other people who made between them hundreds of crores, tens of crores, crores, lakhs, thousands and hundreds etc etc depending up on their position and capabilities. All by the same illegal activities. And these lakhs of people are the voters. Unfortunately, for majority of these voters the illegal activities are the livelihood. They had to decide between anti corruption and empty stomach or pro corruption and full stomach. They decided for a full stomach.

Very unfortunate but that is how it is.