Weekend Dhamaka and Disappointment!!

I have been feeling so jealous lately!! While browsing through some of the blogs on my blogroll, I happened to ‘bump into’ some very wonderful blogs written by women…just the regular stuff really…about life, love, food, books etc etc. That was what I wanted to do…that was the intention for me to start this blog and  either my adopter gets screwed on a timely basis or I am too lazy to switch on the computer and write.

Well anyways, coming to the events of the last weekend….it was ROCKING!!! I was off the Shef for the weekend and it was also the weekend when the cultural evening of the Uni of Shef was being held. I studied for my undergraduate course there and I simply love university life. Shef Students Union is one of the best (if not the best) unions’ in UK with students from various walks of life, cultures and religions. It has a very strong student community. The last time I went to the cultural evening was back in 2004 with S before we were married. Four years later, I was back there to get a taste of Uni life…as in the late night partying n stuff 😉

All dressed up, we girls left our place in the cold. I am sure it was freezing temp outside. One of our frnds’ was in the fashion show and the other was dancing for the Indian Society. The job myself and this other frnd was to shout and support the indian society when ever they came on stage; the duty which I gladly obliged :D. The Indian society went onto with the second prize that night for the best performance which I think was totally not worth it! There were other societies like the Srilankan, Tibetan Chinese Society, The Chinese Society, Afro-Carribean Society and the Japanese society who performed exceptionally well. Over the years, I have always watched the Indian Society and the Hindu Students Forum dance for bollywood songs. Apparently, that is what they consider Indian culture to be.

When my parents studied abroad many many years ago, they tell me that Indian students would play traditional instruments like the tabla, veena etc and perform our traditional dances like the Bharatanaytam, Kathakali etc to showcase our culture. Now, showcasing our (Indian) culture means dancing on a couple fo bollywood songs…and that too the likes of Aaja Nachlay and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. As a devout Indian…I will support the society by yelling and jumping in my seat whenever then come on stage…but deep inside my heart, I know I am disappointed about the narrow view of ‘India’ they are showing to the people around them who wouldn’t have been to India atall. The only opinion they will make of India is what what they see in the songs…probably the bright colour of the clothes, the jumps and twists and the bhangra!

After the night came to an end, I told my friends what I thought and they simply said…’this is what sells today…this is what people want to see…and that is what we gave them’. I asked them why the Indian society cannot do more to showcase what comes from the south aswell…like Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi or Kathakali. Why does it always have to start and end with Bhangra or the jhatak mataks of a Bollywood song? Why is not the culture of the south shown to the world as much as of the north and they did not have an answer. I am sure some of them thought I was crazy to think of all this after a night of fun and dance. I am sure they wondered why I was thinking about this so seriously…I was just supposed to watch, clap, yell, jump, dance and then leave. But the thoughts still linger with me. Some of our foreign friends who came upto us and to chat said ‘oh…..your bollywood society did really well and we had to tell them that it was actually Indian and not Bollywood’.

I am scared when I think that in 20 years time the only culture India will end up with is the ‘Bollywood Culture’. We have so much more to offer. What will happen to our traditional musicians and classical dancers if we don’t learn to appreciate what they do? Most of them are arleady living in poverty…not having enough food to eat. The youth of India these days has the money to buy a cd of Eminem or Rhianna when they do not even give a second look for a M S Subbalakshmi, Balamurali Krishna or a Zakir Hussain cd. Remember, the names mentioned above were lucky to be recognised by the public and the government alike…but there are many classical musicians, dancers who have equally good talent but are given a ‘blind eye’ by our society.

I don’t blame globalisation for all this. Being a young Indian woman, if I can appreciate what my country has…why cant others?? Where are we going wrong?

Neelakurinji

PS: Click on the image for its full size

|I took this picture when we went on a tour of a ‘Spice Garden’ near Munnar in Kerala.

Below is some fascinating information for those interested about the flowe in the picture.

The Neelakurinji or Kurinji is a unique shrub species that blooms in Munnar and the hills across Western Ghats. Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) belongs to the family of Acanthaceae. The species name Kunthiana has been derived from the River Kunthi. The genus has around 300 species, of which at least 46 occur in India.

Apart from its beauty, is that it blooms only once in 12 years. The mass flowering and subsequent death of the Kurinji is the subject of hill folklore.

Neela means blue in Malayalam language and Kurinji is the local name of the flower. For those in Munnar, the blooming of Kurinji flower is a reminder that their lives have gone past another twelve years and for those from far off places it maybe once in a life time opportunity to witness the Kurinji flowers covering the hills of Munnar in a blanket of blue.

More about the flower here.

Happy Ugadi

Here’s Wishing all my readers a Very Happy Ugadi 🙂

For those who are wondering what I am on about….here’s further information on Ugadi. Let’s pray for Love and Happiness to all 🙂

I visited the Venkateshwara Temple in Birmingham yesterday and how beautiful it was. I first visited the temple when it was no more than a couple of concrete buildings. It now looks like a proper temple, as if it were in India. I’d suggest everyone to visit it … even if you are not a religious person… simply because it’s peaceful and beautiful. The place makes you forget all wordly matters and lets you unwind.

Here’s just some shots I took yesterday

The Main Temple

Is it Italy or Switzerland?!

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I was showing random pictures to my parents and asked them if they thought this picture was taken during my trip to Switzerland or Italy. They said together ‘Switzerland!!!’. They were surprised when I told them it was taken in Munnar (Kerala) 😀

Doesn’t the place look beautiful. S and I went on a high-speed boat ride on the lake (and we both don’t swim).

Boy King Tutankhamun on Public Display

One of the most amazing news that has come out in the last few months has been this! The boy king Tutankhamun’s mummified body has been displayed for public in The Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt.

Tutankhamun. Image borrowed from dancewithshadows.com

I have always wanted to visit Egypt and now my desire has grown even stronger.

We are so caught up with things happening around us that we tend to ignore some very amazing discoveries taking place. After 3000 yrs, public can now be face to face with the boy king. It is amazing that the mummified body has been preserved so well over the centuries with almost no technology or hi-tech machines available to our ancestors. The only threat the body now has is from you & me (i.e., tourists). Due to excessive public viewings, there is a fear that the humidity and the heat they bring into the room could be harful to the body. But Dr. Zahi Hawass who unearthed the body and placed it in a glass chamber is confident that no harm will be done.

You can read more about it here.

Today is AP Formation Day

November 1st is Andhra Pradesh formation day. So here goes a crash course in history about the state I hail from.

Andhra Pradesh,  is the fourth largest state in India by area. It is also called the ‘Rice Bowl of India’ for the extensive area involved in farming. Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh. The state is divided into three regions, Telangana, Costa and Rayalseema. After India gained Independence from the British Empire, the Nizam of Hyderabad wanted Hyderabad to remain under his power but was later forced to give up arms and become a part of India. I am especially proud since my grand parents were involved in the struggle to fight against the Nizam and were also imprisoned for their actions.

Andhra Pradesh was the first state to be formed on the basis of language due to the efforts of Amarajeevi Potti Sriramulu.

On 1st November 1956, Andhra State merged with the Telangana region of Hyderabad State to form the state of Andhra Pradesh, which would be mainly Telugu-speaking. Hyderabad, the former capital of the Hyderabad State, was made the capital of the new state Andhra Pradesh.

Be proud of your heritage, Be proud of where you’ve come from and Never forget what our ancestors did for us.

Telugu Talli

maa telugu talliki mallepoodanDa
maa kanna talliki mangaLaaratulu
kaDupulO bangaaru, kanuchoopulO karuNa
chirunavvulO sirulu doralinchu maa talli
maa telugu …
gala galaa gOdaari kadali pOtunTaenu
bira biraa kRshNamma paruguliDutunTaenu
bangaaru panTalE panDutaayi
muripaala mutyaalu doralutaayi
maa telugu …
amaraavateenagari apuroopa Silpaalu
tyaagayya gontulO taaraaDu naadaalu
tikkayya kalamulO tiyyandanaalu
nityamai nikhilamai nilichiyunDEdaaka
rudramma bhujaSakti, mallamma patibhakti
timmarusu dheeyukti, kRshNaraayala keerti
maa chevula ringumani maaru mrOgEdaaka
nee paaTalE paaDutaam, nee aaTalE aaDutaam
jai telugutalli, jai telugu talli!

PS: Please…no separate telangana etc etc…We are all Andhrites….Let’s live together. Divide and Rule was the motto of Britishers…They have been kicked out but why are we still following in their foot steps?