Saturday, July 16, 2005

After posting the photo from Tiruvannamalai, I wanted to write what I know about Lord Shiva being present as the five elements - air, water, fire, sky and land also known as the Pancha Bhoothams.

Starting with Tiruvannamalai, Shiva is present as fire (Agni). The lingam in the temple emanates heat or warmth if you go near it. This temple has nine gopurams in total and it is a long way from the main gopuram to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. People take the girivalam, walking around the hill near the temple very seriously and do it usually at night. The temple is also known as the Arunachaleswarar temple. The decorations on the lingam are so beautiful that I felt that I just stand there and keep watching the lingam forever. The hill behind the temple is believed to a manifestation of Shiva. The height of the main gopuram is nearly 215 ft. The world famous Ramanashram of Ramana Maharishi is just 2 km from the temple.

The next one is Kaalahasthi near Tirupathi. The temple is located on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi. Devotees going to Tirupathi make it a point to visit Kalahasthi and ward off the effects of Raagu and Kethu in their horoscope. This temple is the place where Shiva is present as Air (Vaayu). Shiva is believed to have provided salvation to a spider, an elephant and a snake who were pious devotees and were fighting with each other to see who is the most devout of the three. One can see the lamps inside the sanctorum dancing in the air and there is not a small inlet inside that place to allow air.

Next we go on to the Ekaambareswarar temple in Kancheepuram, famous for its silk sarees. There is no liquid offering (abhishekam) performed on the lingam in this temple as it represents Earth. Legend has it that Goddess Parvathi made a prithvi lingam out of Earth and worshipped it and hence there are no abhishekams done at this temple. Parvathi embraced the lingam when the nearby river Vegavati was about to overflow its banks and Shiva touched by Parvathi's gesture, married her. A short drive from the temple would take you the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, recently in the news for all the wrong reasons. But as my uncle said, do not find fault with the institution, for the mistakes of the individual.

More in the next post.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Main gopuram

This snap was taken at nearly 40 C heat. This structure is the main gopuram in the Tiruvannamalai temple complex.

Tiruvannamalai Gopurams

A good view of the Tiruvannamalai gopurams from the Girivalam route.

Shortcut fan

I have always been looking out for shortcuts associated with any software that I have used in my life, and it has really helped me to some extent, I was even touted as the fastest typist in the Telstra team last year. I was reading J Murali's article in the Business section of The Hindu after a very long time where he writes about Yubnub. It is a worthwhile site to visit if you are a fan of shortcuts just like me.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Home Shopping

I was with my friend Amit looking for properties to buy in the Hoppers Crossing suburb yesterday afternoon, a day when it was raining cats and dogs in Melbourne all along the nearly 40 kms to that suburb. Couple of pointers - the land agents expect us to be prepared with all the loans and securities assured and the formalities completed from the banks. Otherwise, there is no point in talking dollars with them.

The first house that we visited had three bedrooms with built in robes (wardrobes), three bathrooms and a comfortably spacious kitchen and backyard with a barbeque as well. The asking price was $200,000 - $209,000. An ancient looking microwave was also provided in the kitchen. Amit did not like the pink colour painted on the walls. Apart from them the wooden floor had sort of a sinking feeling to it like when you step in slush. When asked, the agent replied that they had relaid the floor over carpet. And followed it up with 'They (the previous owners) have done a lot of stupid things with this house'. I could not beleive my ears. What kind of property agent with refer as such to the property that he is trying to sell ? Beats me.

Namma ooru brokers ellam veedu vikkarathai paarthaal ithu onnumae illai. Chumma English la 'Thats it mate, if you come through here you will find the ensuite, mate'. This is all there is to it, and for that the agent gets paid atleast $7000 - $10,000 per property from the sellers (vendors).

The second house that we inspected was just across the first one, being privately sold by the owner himself. He is a German who gave us an excellent tour of all the rooms. The kitchen had a newly furnished gas stove, with a microwave and Indian slate tiles as the floor. And, the master bathroom had a jacuzzi in it. The price tag $230,000 - $240,000. The current owner also mentioned that he wanted to avoid the agents so that he does not pay them another $9000 to them just for showing the potential customers around.

Why did I embark on such an exercise ? Testing the waters, literally, due to the rain.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Some more Q's

The questions continue -

Song(s) I hum very often:
1. Anbe Sivam Anbe Sivam ...
2. Coming home now by Boyzone.
3. Manmathane Nee from Manmathan.

Books that I am reading:
1. Doctors by Erich Segal, yet another time.
2. Fist of God by Frederick Forysth.

Recent sitcom that I watched:
Fresh Prince of Bel Air starring Will Smith.

Things that I hate:
1. Teen movies on Channel 7 and Channel 9 during the weekend, don't bother to check listings now. Hence, will be setting up Foxtel at home.
2. Drunk people on weekend late night transport, thankfully, I am working 8 to 4.30 for the next two months.
3. Desi people saying 'Hows it going mate?' on the phone and imitating the Aussie accent very badly. Get a life, people.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Random Qs

I was tagged by Mona for the following list of questions, these are my replies.

I. Total number of films owned on DVD / Video:
None on VHS, but lots on DVD including Hindi, English and Tamil.

II. The last film I bought:
Chandramukhi starring Rajinikanth and Jyotika.

III. The last film I watched:

IV. Three names you go by:
Deepak, DP and Sreeni.

V. Three screen names you have had:

VI. Three physical things you like about yourself:
Totally unsure, will get back on that.

VII. Three physical things you don't like about yourself:
My stomach, my belly and my pot belly. :-(

VIII. Three parts of your heritage:
Rings and my wallet.

IX: Three things that scare you:
Snakes and nightmares (have had a lot of those in the recent past) and dependence.

X: Three of your everyday essentials:
Water, Coffee and Music.

XI: Three things you are wearing now:
T shirt, bermudas and my watch.

XII: Three things you want in a relationship:
Committment, affection and trust.

XIII: Three things that you want to do badly now:
Go to India for another quick trip, not go to work tomorrow, sleep and keep sleeping.

XIV: Three careers that you are considering:
1. Become a comedian.
2. Become a writer.
3. Practise the art of doing nothing. :-)

XV: Three places you want to go for a vacation:
1. Pondicherry.
2. Any place in Kerala.
3. Tuscany.

XVI: Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Earn enough money to set up a trust fund in memory of my grandfathers.
2. Be an anonymous benefactor.
3. Develop the virtue to forgive.

XVII: Three things that I miss the most:
1. My family.
2. My undergraduate years at CIT.
3. Quiz, Dumbcharades and 20 questions competitions during school years.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Photo updates Part III

A view of the Melbourne Arts centre down the St Kilda Road near the Flinders St station.

Photo updates Part II

People visiting Melbourne should not miss the Shrine of Rememberance also known as the War Memorial on the St Kilda Boulevard. This memorial has been created for those Victorian soldiers who laid down their lives in the first world war. Every year on ANZAC day, this memorial is filled with those people who have lost a dear one due to those wars.

Photo updates Part I

It has been a really long time since I posted any photos to my blog, some of you might even remember that I have a 'Photo Avatar' as well. Now nearly 4 months down the line, I have transferred the snaps from my camera to the computer (Phew !!), and these are some of them ...

This snap of the Lord at Tirumala and his consort was taken at night on the way to Tirumala in Mar 2005.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

A journey for life

I am back in Melbourne after the journey of my life - travelling nearly 25,000 kms in five days, going through flight delays and one cancellation as well. To start with, the only flight that left on time and landed on time was the Melbourne - Sydney (QF 10). Everything else was delayed, QF 123 from Sydney to Mumbai was delayed because the flight engineers were changing a component in one of the left engines which took nearly one hour to fix. The pilot kept repeating that this was necessary because Qantas' main priority was safety. I could not agree more.

This flight delay meant that I had only 2 hrs to change flights at Mumbai. I cleared customs and immigration without any problem and then there was this inter-terminal shuttle between the international and the domestic terminals, driven by the most ignorant of all drivers I have ever come across. My connecting flight to Madras was 19.10 and it was 18.05, I was sitting in this bus shouting, begging at him to move, but to no avail. Ultimately, it was 18.35 before I landed in the domestic terminal only to find that my ticket had been cancelled due to no show. Then I had to tell my story again to the Air Sahara people and then it was another 10-15 mins before they approved my ticket again, security check done and in the end the flight was late for takeoff by 10 mins all because of me. To be frank, that made me feel like a VIP, I can never forget the look on the passengers faces. If only looks could kill.

The view of Madras city from air is breathtaking, I was able to identify Kathipara Junction, Mount road, Beach road (obviously). All the more I had the journey of my life, tired but happy inspite of all the rain delays at Mumbai and as well as at Sydney.