Saturday, 1 September 2012


The culture with which we are bought up, the traditional art, dance and folk songs which we would have enjoyed from heart and nodded our head and danced in childhood days and the patriotic for our own land and sports event, everything is so admired and respected. This is true especially in India though there are diverse followers, philosophic path, food pattern, festivals and celebrations and this could also be appreciated by the dressed up style. The affection, adoration for such rich culture across one nation is not only in India but it is true for every cultural and ethnic group existent worldwide. 

To name few are like South Africa known for oldest art objects in world, for wine brewers and for tribal group speaking Khosian language, they are also know for sports (Rugby, soccer and cricket) next to United states. The history of king’s dynasty, their thirst for ruling other edge kingdom took over the historical concept in India. Even though every national group has their individual perception, all happen to unite when it comes to celebrate culture via dance and music, whether it is Australia, India, China, Spain, Italy, California or any other nation to name. What if somebody is given an opportunity to learn and know so many cultural affections on a single platform? Many universities in United states, Malaysia, Australia, London provide a life time opportunity to relish different cultural groups, to know how culture have evolved over time and understand its importance. I had in my geography text books explaining the history of formation of continents, how humans evolve over millions of years and what type of foodstuff and land practices were adapted initially. Now when I got a chance to personally experience and learn about individuals of every continent, I did not miss the opportunity rather, it was a memorable day in my timeline.

I will be sharing my 1st overseas experience and meet up with diverse cultural backgrounds. This blog write up is about CU International festival held at Boulder, CO in 2012. I had never met anyone outside India and was hopping to attend this festival when I heard about it. This was just after 25 days of my arrival in Boulder. We know festivals are just like how in India we see during durga, ganesha, shivratri, depavali, Krishna festivals, and such celebrations end up with sacred prayers, sweets (prasadam) and food. Though CU festival was eventually different, food was the commonly found entity which attracted me 10 fold times. CU festival is an event, conducted every year in very few universities which would encourage and promote students to celebrate diversity and represent their culture on a single platform. In 2012 international festival, I could see more than 500 students at one place either standing behind tables, or rushing to practice dance or music or skit and few were representing their own cultural food, explaining how it is special in their country and its nutritious value. When I was tasting each and every food over there, I did not miss Chole and Naan special combo from North Indian states while a lady came and asked me “are you an Indian?”. I nodded my head and she was happily praising Taj Mahal and its sculpture. I also exchanged my view about her country (South Part of United States), atmosphere, disciplines and friendly look. Not to forget, I enjoyed International cuisine from approx. 24 ethnic countries serving rice (Africa),  Jiaozi (China), Natilla Colombiana (Colombia),Chole with naan (India), Aloo ka bharta ( Pakistan), Christmas Borscht (Russia), Kabsa (Oman), Flautas (Mexico) and Victorica sponge cake (united kingdom) and many many more tasteful, delicious dishes. Few cuisines were very special to me as it was my first try and even today I remember the unique flavor. Food also represented their cultural value and respect together with their friendly gesture. 

On the other side students were also found performing traditional dance, music, and act on a stage. To name few were Cultural caravan belly dance, Saudi Arabia dance students’ performance, Arcinda gamelon orchestra, Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu- lion dance (this was my favorite), Performances by Persian and Indian students association, Samurai Japan, Poppin dance, Heer musical band and many more. Here we not only enjoy music but also a fortuitous occasion to meet people and know, for example, I had never seen the lion dance before and it is performed with so delightful and admiration. The day was looking like whole world under one roof. I also enjoyed the dressing pattern of all ethnic group and happy to see Indian pyjama and saree as well. At the end of the festival there was an opening to share their national special event or to share about the dress code which is followed from ancestral time. I am happy to share few pictures that I took on that day and waiting for another event where I can participate and share my words here again.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Cross Connections

 B A N G A L O R E, once upon a time, was known for its beautiful, mystique green cover and a heavenly weather.But, is it the same now? Naah.. A trillion thanks to the dearest urbanization, which monstrously manifested itself to rapidly dissolve the plush green canopy to make way for the cancerous concrete structures to stand up, both vertically and horizontally. A big round of applause for the city's traffic as well, for it is becoming a worst possible nightmare ever ruining the peace that once upon a time flourished. Cities, are you choking yourselves to becoming 'unlivable'? Answer us!

I'm so hesitant to walk around the area where I was brought up. I miss those days where I, as a kid, used to cycle around the 'green' roads and enjoy my rides. And now, I wouldn't feel to do the same. And, this is the case not just with me. This is historical.

The funny thing to look at is some people moaning and grumbling to clean their own surroundings where trees shed some leaves and twigs on the ground, and hence planning to chopping off the trees owing to their laziness.Well, is urbanization a necessary evil, or have we made it necessary?

My house stands in a street where there used to be a lot of trees before. Slowly, the trees were one by one chopped off to fall prey to the malignant thoughts of people which meandered around the real estate market. 
Three stout coconut trees stood beside a house immediate next to mine. It was a delight watching these coconut trees becoming silhouettes as the sun set in. But, the poor owner wanted to accommodate a few 'wandering' families and hence planned for a further construction of the house. The tall, majestic, giving coconut trees fell for the agenda of making more and more bucks. 

 But while they stood, they dropped coconuts, and apart from the owner, even we, the neighbors made use of them when they fell in our place. Also, there was a landline telephone pole beside one of the trees, and all our landlines ran through it. Every summer, the trees shed a few dried fronds, and some poor telephone lines fell apart. This happened on a regular basis, and we literally were fed up with the lines getting cut. We used to call the line man to fix them, but his gradual irregularity led us to fix'em ourselves. At that time, the internet accessories like Skype, Yahoo,Google Video chatting weren't so popular, so we'd to rely on our landline phones to make and receive overseas calls. This went on for quite sometime.

Once, about 3-4 fronds fell making heavy noise and we wondered if the pole itself fell on the ground. But, only about 4-5 lines were cut, and one of the lines was ours. At that time, there was a power cut as well. Standing still, I was just gaping around. My neighbor, whose telephone line had also cut, came running with a torch, and few repair accessories. Keeping a knife, a blade, an insulation tape roll, we went searching for the cut lines focusing the torch light as we crawled on. We somehow found 2 lines running towards the right of the pole and figuring out that was ours', we patched them up with all the adventures behind the patching process and made sure the telephones behaved well.

I do not know whether it is a coincidence, but both of us were expecting an overseas call at the same time. Again, for the coincidental records, my cousin's name and my neighbor's daughters name happens to be the same!  No sooner we fixed the lines, cursed the trees, discussed about this and got back to our places, than the phones started ringing. My grandmother rushed to hear her grand-daughter's voice, who was calling us after a long time. She picked the receiver and the voice at the other end spoke -
"Dad, I've posted the documents to you. Acknowledge me once you receive them. How's Mom doing? Did you plan the Holenarsipur trip yet?" It seemed the voice spoke continuously and my grandmother was giving a puzzled look at me. But, after a long pause, the voice seemed like shouting "hello...hello...hello..." from the other end. My grandmother spoke and tried to know who it was. Finally, after a few cross questioning, my grandmother found out it was neighbor's daughter speaking.We then realized and burst out laughing at the chaos that had happened. I went running to my neighbor's house and told about the issue. Rushing back to the lines again, we sorted out the mismatched lines and fixed them again, tested by calling each other's phone and ensured things were okay. 

Nowadays, the usage of the landline phones to make and receive local,outstation and overseas calls has come   to a gradual decrease with people relying more on their mobile phones and internet accessories for communication. I do not know how many times I, my family and some of my neighbors have cursed these trees, which gave us good shade, swayed across to make us feel the breeze and occasionally dropped some coconuts which we made use of, but, they just disappeared one fine day. I felt so sorry for those trees which fell bowing to the owner's thoughts about further construction of his house, also budging to some of our curses. At that point, I realized how a man's thoughts caring only about himself for his profit and not any other living being on this planet result in such a ghastly action. Like this, day by day, the rich green cover is simply vanishing from this earth to satisfy a man's greed, but the greed for more doesn't seem to end. Why aren't  we people satisfied with whatever we have? Why are we made to think more on a paradoxical way in which mass destruction happens in the name of development? 

Would this 'never seems like ending' process of urbanization lead to a complete loss of Biodiversity? I wish I wouldn't see that happen..

11 July 2012.

Monday, 2 July 2012


Trips, traveling or could call it as expeditions have always been fascinated me to visit many places in India. People, culture, food, heritage place, buildings and many more refreshes and adds-up excitement to travel. A periodic betterment in transportation via automobile connects cities making it easier expedition to any part of the country you like to see whether it’s few kilometers of it could be miles together.
In my childhood traveling in carts (Jatka gaadi in kannada) was the most joyful ride I ever had in villages. If I am not wrong, most of our school life has spent in enjoying auto rickshaw (three-wheeler) from school to home. As the time advanced and IT, BT software days are here (not to forget) a sophisticated life style moved us to modern day cars and buses. Modern day bus facilities have changed my view about buses in India. If you surf through many websites of metropolitan city for example, Bangalore’s local transport, we see beautiful pictures of red, blue, green, brown, blue, pink bus. Each color and bus size symbolize a name- Vayu Vajra for airport service bus, BIG10 – travel with Rs 10, pink bus for women special service, pushpak bus and metro station service. An A/c VOLVO offers day dreaming ride. My aversion towards bus travel has been taken away by these big, long colorful buses. The special seat reservation for women, handicapped, senior citizens allow people feel gratify in traveling.

A New Direction

As an additional, traveling experience in Colorado, US using local county bus service was amazing. Bus seem to be like a splendid bus with facilities such as park and ride, call ride- make a call and fix a ride, sky ride (for airport), stop at door facility, lost and found and preference for handicap/disable, online schedule on mobile, late night service and fabulous is Mall Ride - a shuttle bus to visit restaurants, shops, theater, galleries, tourist attractions, and businesses up and down the mall. Senior ride will provide pickup facility and a discount on tickets for senior citizens; they also have special mechanism where the door steps will be flattened to foot level for their easy walk into bus and foldable seats for disabled people. I have never seen before anywhere but in U.S, how travelers conveying a HELLO & THANKS to bus drivers. This is really a lesson to learn and thank even those people who helped us in small to small help. Amazing discipline.   
Being a nature lover I or anybody would like to keep your environment clean. This was one more positive of bus service at Colorado. There are waste bags kept, to discard food wrappers, drink containers and also to throw invalid tickets and other papers.
Bird watching
While I was waiting for bus at one of the stop, I saw 2-3 colorful birds; I was thinking which birds are these. My friend told me to do Bus birding!!! Bird watching was not much fascinating before at a bus stop until I saw a Bird watching guide board. Picturized and designed by Brian D. Collier, a new art-science-transportation project created for JUMP bus route in Boulder, Colarado, U. S. This educates bird watching community and beginners and encourages initiating riding the bus to their bird watching sites.  The bird watching guide includes local birds’ name that could be seen in the bus stops. A bird watching event will also be conducted in August and interested bird watchers can schedule their timings to ride a bus. Isn’t it amazing?
The proverb in Kannada “Desha suttu kosha oodu” translation in English says “travel places and read books” definitely true!!! Reading books at library is equal to learning by visiting 2-3 places. I learnt many things just by riding a bus. To have this facility in India too, the fellow travelers should also take active part in maintaining bus regulations and by no mishandling/misuse of bus facility and learning how to utilize this. How about even Indian government provide bird watching facility at bird sanctuaries to start with and Bird watching boards at all picnic spots. We should definitely think about it.  

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Row, row, row the boat!

"Oh the oarsman! Where do you take me to?"

 Row, row, row the boat,
On the waters, here we float!

Looking around to catch the image
And translate it to the mind's page.
How beautiful is the nature around,
In a trance, I am and dumb-found!

Feeling the green all the way,
Come to this world, if I may,
I'm lost in here, in the green bay,
I 'm muted! I've got nothing at all to say!

Oh, the oarsman, where are you taking me to?
I don't want to get back to yesterlife, what do I do?
Would I get a boat, to ferry around, round and round?
I'm wanting this, so peaceful it does sound!

Catching the oars, oh boy!
Let's get on to the other end, ahoy!
Leap and jump, celebrate with joy,
For the oar became our toy!

Oars talk to all the rivers everywhere,
Swindling across the waters here and there,
Here I go, row, row, rowing the boat,
On the waters, I float, float and float!