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Friday, September 21, 2018

Puthen palace and Puthen Bungalow temple

Puthen palace and Puthen Bungalow temple in Thripunithura
Thripunithura was the home of the royals who ruled Cochin kingdom ,
Rama Varma II otherwise called Midhuna masathil theepeta thampuran ( As there were succesive Rama Varmas most were known by this addition in thier title which told which month they passed away )who ruled between 1864 and 1888 built the Puthen bungalow as his palace ,
this was well before the Hill palace was built .
The temple adjacent was connected to the palace and had most deities of nearby temples in it .
One of the main deities along with Sree Poornathrayeesa is the Palliyarakaavil Bhagavathy idol similar to the one in the temple in Mattancherry Dutch palace given as a gift by the Dutch colonizers to the Cochin Maharajah ,
It was added here as the Maharajah found it difficult to go to Mattacnherry for praying .
The temple also has kodungaloor Bhagavathy, Thiruvanchikulam Mahadevan . ,Ganapathy , Koodalmanickam Bharatan .etc
The temple is still well preserved unlike the palace because the temple is still in the hands of the royal family .
Unfortunately the Puthen bungalow palace was handed over to the Kerala Government in 1982 and that was like handing over a garland to a monkey !!
Some of the most callous ignorant morons should be inhabiting the offices of the Governments that ruled and are still ruling in Kerala to have such an attitude to our priceless heritage .
The palace was built of the finest of materials imported from Europe and built with taste and style ,
the old timers say it was a glorious and beautiful place ,
initially the Radha lakshmi vilasam college of music or RLV College of music was housed in it and one teacher who taught in those days says it was still a grand old building with lot of ambience but with time and neglect it has now crumbled down, with all its costly artifacts swindled ,and the whole place full of thick weeds and heavy undergrowth πŸ˜ͺ
Its now a place of rust and decay and the Governments are solely responsible for this state of affairs and this is one more reason that such heritage sites and temples should not be forcibly taken over by these inefficient people from its rightful owners .
I earnestly hope some one litigates against this and the palace is returned to the owners and with participation of corporate sponsorship and public assistance the palace is rebuilt by experts in conservation .
I would like to acknowledge the photos of the palace taken from online sources and if subject to copyright iam willing to delete if needed ,
the temple photos are my own

Monday, September 17, 2018

60 th milestone

The milestone..i turn 60 today sep 12 th

There are some milestones in your age which are significant
When i became 16 i had only one ache
  to get into a medical college .
I knew it wasnt easy for a fatherless boy not remarkable in his studies .

Actually that hardly counted in karunanidhi ruled Tamilnadu .
Entrance exams were yet to begin and medical admissions were based on whims of those in power .
Your PUC marks mattered but it was the all important interview that did the trick and with a malayalee fathers name of Narayanan nair I was sure to be ticked off the list as those days they would remark
 oh  malayalathaana
 as they  werent  great favourites  with the powers that ruled ,
but serendipity was in my favour as Indira Gandhi then PM kicked out the DMK Govt and presidents rule was brought to Tamilnadu .

Medical admissions would be strictly based on PUC aggregrate with double marks for biology zoology and botany they decided .

With 84 % aggregrate i started smiling though it was a long haul ,with 3 months of doubts studying Bsc zoology in  Presidency college but spending time in the beach and eating Buhari samosas with gals and finally joining Kilpauk medical college.

I would become a doctor after all !

In final year I became love mohan and managed to pass too πŸ˜‚

The next milestone was in1983 the year i got married .

26 years too was important as I had my first child ,our Shilpa though not perfect I will  still give a star to that year .

Eleven years later at 37 I lost my child
But  had 2 children more ....all by 38 years .

And at 48 years I went abroad for 12 years and now the 60 is appearing fast and furious and Iam back to GOC

I have changed
of course
Have i mellowed ?

Dont think so.

On introspection I feel I have become a bit bitter and grumpy .
Thats what the family feels πŸ˜₯

Somehow couldnt stand unfairness any time  and my trigger posts have irked many though I had been as sincere as possible .

I love food and learnt to cook and serve and enjoy .

And I love to write though many fear to read my long posts 😁

I hadnt fallen to any isms , though Iam highly politically aware .

I prefer individuals rather than parties and Abdul kalam sir stands only next to Mahatma Gandhiji  to me .
Mother teresa was someone I admired till I wondered about agendas behind ,even then she was a great soul .

E .Sreedharan.kurien.Alponse kanamthaanam Krishna iyer are all my idols .

I love good actors like kamalahassan .mohanlal.
mamooty.sivaji ganesan .rajesh khanna .Amitabh bhachan
Rekha asha parekh .

To singers Iam partial
 I love them all
of course lataji asha ji rafi saab dasettan jayachandran p susheela vani jairam s janaki

Rehman ilayaraja laxmikant pyarelal viswanathan ramamoorthy Salida
Onv kurup sir vayalar sir kannadasan sir

Even Arundhati roy and Sashi tharoor I like  for thier talents though not thier politics .

I admire many of my coleagues who have achieved so much in health

My mentors are VPG sir ,
Ahmed ali sir ,Alizadeh hussain my hematologist friend ,Amar lal and pawan kumar ,and masood ,nazish Aurangazeb my seniors and my  coleagues.

I was grateful to study under Rajagopal sir to work with coleagues learn a lot to get friends from several nationalities .

My children have turned good on thier own ,which is a grace of God and my 59 th year was another milestone in celebrating my daughters wedding and getting another son our Achyuth .

So all in all not bad  .

Future unknown .

In south india they celebrate 60 th birthday as sastithapoorthi they call it 60 aam kalyanam that means 60 th wedding 😁

For sure I was looking ahead to 59 more weddings but not when i heard it cant be with  different wives πŸ˜‚

And so 60 is coming

There are advantages

As senior citizen I get some perks...

 lower berths in trains ,concessions in flights ,maybe shorter ques , maybe an youngster will give me his seat in a bus , and I will be forgiven for upstart thoughts in FB and debates as after all they may think ..
Poor  old man let him talk !!

I may be excused if I fart in public with just a guffaw πŸ˜‚

 But I dont feel old at all and still want to  be a back bencher ,laugh with friends, hitting backs ,do dubsmash ,get high on cocktails , and watch porn ...oops !

Now iam being confessional

Confession isnt a good word these days can never be sure of our backs with section 377 diluted by those horrible sorry  honble judges .

I may get an enlarged prostate as a bonus or a stroke and grin loppishly

Well not worth much then .

Again dont know how long I will last if I stretch maximum it cant be more than 40 years ,since our DNA never lasted so long .

And I wouldnt want that long too which wud just be kiddy care by me ,later home care for me !!

I wud love to go with a bang listening to my sruthi singing me a lullaby .

my Shyam wishing me ....have fun acha or dad wherever u r going

 and wife tellng me ..... so long till we meet again !!


Kailas tribulations

A trip to mount kailas is a mix of NCC camps when one is woken at predawn to ready the  duffel bags with your head torch .

Use toilet available ,in places luxurious with warm closet covers, in others hole in the ground ,or cold mountain sides in still others ,neat but indian toilets

Bathing after reaching Tibet was only where hot water existed ,which was not in all places.

Food wasnt bad at all with excellent caterers from Rajasthan and mallu crowd were happy to tuck in kanji or porridge , to me rice with rasam was a better option
At some places like Drachen shopping was a great pastime so it was in keywrung where even beuaty parlours and bars were open but in Manasarovar on the banks of the lapping blue lake it was nature with its golden swans to keep us immersed and the etheral mount kailas standing in solitary serenity.

Kailas parikrama or circumambulation

Whats it that makes one complete the circumambulation of the most sacred mount Kailas ?
Its 52 km over rugged plains ,steep stoned elevations ,up mountains to reach Dolma pass ,approximately 18600 ft ASL .

Jets fly in those altitudes upto 30000 ft and we are in pressurised cabins in them , but here exposed to the elements , the harsh winds ,the biting cold ,the icy glaciers ,the huge stones, the thin air ,where every movement is an effort .

Even horses used for climbing up to the pass are at a 45 degree incline and falling down was not at all uncommon.

Though I wasnt man enough to go after day one in Dera pukh where we halted a cold breathless night in a lodge ,with the majesty of the north face of Mount Kailas looming at us deceptively close ,but far enough for a steep walk to reach its foot .

But my wife premila was determined to do it ,not as a challenge ,but as a surrender to the supreme .

76 year old jayachechi of our group did it, all by walk which was a stunning feat of total faith .

12 year old Ivan ,and 82 yr old Clara chechi too completed it .

They are superhumans .

So are the other 36 of the 52 who completed the parikrama .

Our swamiji did it again the 18th time !

His feat is not only that ,but having taken so many yatris to holy kailas over the years safely .

We are indebted to him for this .

After reaching Dolma pass one needs to climb down steeply on foot as horseback would be perilious .
 One would see the crystal clear Gowrikund lake from the pass where Godess Parvati was said to have had her bath gaurded bu son Ganesha .

After about 4 hrs one could go in horse back till second day night to rest in Zuthulpukh .

The third day was an easy trek back to Drachen but to me after day one its all hearsay .

Kailas parikrama is not anything physical though physical fitness helps a lot .

Its the mental trust ,faith ,determination and something beyond description .

Hindu philosophy says every human being does things when his destiny is ripe for him to do it .

I think its just that too.

Your time has to come

Like in the famous malayalam film actor Sreenivasan  tells his friend Mohanlal
Everything has its time Daasa

(Daasa oraninnum adhindaathaya samayam undu monne )

Everything has its time.

The people who completed parikrama had it in thier time they would complete it .

Thats the Hindu belief in karma not fatality or belief in futility .

Its exotic ,a truth difficult to accept for the west where hard work achieves anything .

Of course hard work and determination are essential for this magic to work too.

The magic of maya
The ultimate trek
The Parikrama of Mount Kailas

60 th birthday tributes

From wife
A man whom I have been with almost my entire life (met him when I was sweet sixteen πŸ’ƒ ) is turning sixty today !!! We have been lucky to have had a fulfilling life with a satisfying career , great friends and relatives and above all to have had the most loving parents siblings and children and I thank the Almighty for all that he has given us abundantly till date and pray it stays like this forever !!! I also hope we both stop our silly fights and behave more mature ( remember our children asking us when we are arguing to grow up and stop behaving like kids πŸ˜„ ) especially now as you turn senior citizen today So no more kids play my mighty senior 😜 Happy birthday mateπŸŽ‚

From my son Shyam and daughter Sruthi

A letter to my father on his 60th Birthday :-

Hi Acha,

It has been 60 years in your tortuous, but satisfying journey of life. You have achieved so much professionally and personally in this time. Life has not been a piece of cake for you, but that has not deterred you : Whether it was the loss of a father at the age of 12 ; having a mentally handicapped first child( Shilpa chechi) early in your married life ; or losing her at a young age. But it was these hardships that shaped your trajectory, by working hard in school to get into a medical college , or if it was starting a school for the mentally handicapped with amma. Life has thrown at you the toughest bouncers, but you knocked it out of the park in Dhoni style everytime.

For that we will always respect you

As a parent you have provided everything that as children chechi and I can ask for. Whether it is the best education possible in the best schools, or building our overall personality with different training classes be it in dancing, singing or football. You had even managed to keep us alive in the one year amma had gone to Hyderabad for a diploma course (although that was the year I was my naughtiest ). The time you spent in Dubai and Brunei working hard, living alone in a foreign country so that we can have a good education and standard of living. These are all just examples of sacrifices you and amma have made to ensure we have a comfortable life. I can never forget those days in my childhood, when at night I used to crave for jalebis, and you used to go out on your scooter and get me hot jalebis from a far away shop that closes late. For all these unconditional sacrifices you made and continue to make for us, sacrifices we can never comprehend.

For that we will always love you.

As a person you are the wittiest and fun loving person that I know of. Be it in your uncanny ability to make any situation humorous, allowing us to keep smiling. The voracious reading that you do(or maybe used to do) , has had an effect on us intellectually, be it the monthly national geographic and readers digest magazines that you used to make us read, or the myriad of books that we had at home. Your love for Kishore Kumar and AR Rahman songs has reciprocated in my taste in music , with my friends shocked at my perfect knowledge of the lyrics of old hindi songs. The biannual trips to various tourist destinations in India will always be in my memory. All these memories you have given us, and the skills you have inculcated in us:-

For that we will always be indebted to you.

Now it is your 60th birthday, where the central government classifies you a "senior citizen". The stereotypical senior citizen sits on his reclining chair with a hot chai and a grumpy look on his face. But my father is no stereotypical person. So go on enjoy this phase of your life - travel , read, write and have a few drinks. For you have had enough of a tough life full of responsibilities . It is time now for you to sit on a reclining chair on the beaches of Goa, enjoying the sun , while we as your children try to give back at least 10% of how much you have done for us.

The only difference is that I won't be bringing hot jalebis for you, but rather a cold glass of Malibu rum  , because as Ernest Hemingway once said:- " the only regret in my life was that I did not drink enough wine" .   πŸ˜œπŸ˜œπŸ˜œ

A happy birthday to you Acha.  😁

Your loving children
Shyam and Sruthi

Wedding planning

The fine art of planning an aesthetic traditional kerala wedding involves hard work of several professionals .
It needed the creative inputs of Sruthi and Premila mainly and succesfully completed by the main designer event manager of Bhaskareeyam convention center
sri Pramodh .
It was he who built on the temple theme with mural background and multiple lighted lamps .
Mr Kaimal and his able asst arranged the stage essentials the the thaalam ladies were organised in neat lines and every single thing to be done explained in steps with no stress.
The welcoming of the groom with washing
 his foot by Shyam and the entry of the bride in resplendent spotlit brilliance with a lotus umbrella ably held by Shyam .
The retinue walked gracefully as i held on to one  hand and premila the other .
The rituals of the wedding itself was step by step meticulous to a fault .
During all this there were two things that filled it
Sopana sangeetham by Satyan marar from chottanikara temple and udayans nadaswaram were the highlights

The melodious voice of my niece Archana followed after the main ritual and during the blessings of elders as

The lunch too wasnt left to caterers
We had by turns gatecrashed three weddings on the invit of center as taste making trials and found out subtle changes to be made .
Of course it wudnt have worked if not fir shyam and preethis fance coaching pramodh s logistic listings of room allocations picks and drops and priyas overall support
Shyams classmates were willing for anything from thier side thier youthful energies ever ready
Sruthis classmates looked after her grooming etc
Finally it was Gods grace all went well

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Koodalmanickam temple

Koodalmanickham Temple

Is  in Irinjalakuda in  Kerala
It  had always fascinated me by its antiquity its architecture and landscaping .

Every time I used to come down on leave to indiaI plan to go there but somehow it never worked out .
Finally for this years monsoon period the famous habit of the naalambhalam visit or going to 4 temples of Rama.Bharata.Lakshmana and Shatrugna in one morining made me realise it .

After completing Thriprayaar on the flowing periyar which appeared elegant in the drizzling rain our next stop was to be Koodalmanickam temple .
Irinjalakuda is 22km from  Thriprayar both in Thrissur dt .18km west of Chalakudy 9km from Moonupeedika 23km from Thrissur and 16 km from Kodungaloor .
Connected by good roads .

We sped on the black wet roads through moonu peedika when we turned left to Irinjalakuda
The fields were all full of water as the monsoon was in full form .
The rains were heavy this year and most of kerala was wet and green and dripping but a most pleasant sight indeed .
So was the Koodalmanickam temple a huge one with four large ponds one inside rest outside .
The outer wall led to a huge football ground like interior with an emerald green lawn on one corner one could see the black coperplated roof of the famous koothambhalam with its pyramidal shape .

These places are used for temple dances like the ancient koodiyaatam nangiar koothu,chakiar koothu,otaam thulal,kathakali etc .
The earliest historical record of the temple is in 854 AD where its mentioned of  Sthanu Ravi varman the Chera king donating huge tracts of land to the temple .

In fact most land in Irinjalakuda belonged to the temple and its rightful caretakers were the family of the  Thachudaya kaimal the titular head by right .
Unfortunately by a strange quirk of unfair exploitation in our secular country the Government in form of dewaswoms have usurped all rights of most temples in kerala and with its political appointees who have no piety are swindling its coffers leaving them as shells of thier former glory .
If temples had to face religiously bigoted invaders in past it has to bear the pillage of political rats today .
Koodalmanickam is one of the rare temples dedicated to Bharatha brother of Sree Rama who feeling very sad that his noble brother was ordered to spend 12 years in the forest by his father Dasaratha under pressure from his mother kaikeyi .
He is upset at its unfairness and though made the king by his father goes to forest meets Rama and says he would rule till Rama returns as his servant and carries back Ramas footwear which he symbolically keeps on throne telling his subjects its still Rama who will rule you .
This temple is to this great soul Bharata .

The idol though is of Sangameswara or Vishnu said to represent Bharatha .
Its countenance is happy .
Another story tells of a namboodhiri who used to collect the divinity and powers of many idols from many temples in his conch came to koodalmanickam temple but his conch fell broke transferring all its saved powers to its idol .
Once upon a time two rivers joined in confluence in irinjalakuda and sangameswara is lord of confluence .
The temple does not have usual 5 pujas but only 3
Theres no deepararadhana or evening lamp pooja .
Sivelis or ceremonial parading of idol on capraisoned elephants are only during annual festivals .
At that time one difference from other temples is baby elephants are also used .
The temple offerings are also different .
Lotus garlands made of minimum 101 lotus flowers are offered .
Brinjal or vazhudineenga is offered as nivedhiya which is not seen anywhere else and the offering is said to cure all skin diseases .
The offering post harvest or mukidi is very famous and waited for by devotees .
Of the four ponds 3 outside kuttan kullam is largest with kulipeeni theertham the pond inside temple used for puja purposes .
The other two ponds are padinjare and thekke kulams or west and east ponds  respectively .
Long back in this forested area lot of Rishis or sanyasis did an yagna and in its end the pleased lord appeaerd to them asking what they needed.
The rishis asked for presence of God there .
Years later vakkayil kaimal o resident had a dreamthat 4 idols had washed in the coast .
They were found and said to be of Rama ,bharata,lakshmana and Shatrugna and idols were installed in Thriprayar,koodalmanickam for Bharata ,moozhikulam laksmanaswami temple ,and payammal shatrugna temple .
Every year during monsoon month of karkidakam its the habit of devotees to visit all the four temples in one stretch otherwise called nalambhala darshan .
There is a story behind the name koodal manickam .
One day there was a very bright efflugence emanating from idol and the Kayamkulam Rajas quartz or manikyam was brought to compare brightness,suddenly the precious stone slipped from the bearer and got attracted to and stuck to the idols manickyam
Koodal is merging in malayalam .
Koodalmanikam temple is well known for its artistic marvels .
The koothambalam with its black pyramid roof of copper plates is an example of the taste and skills of temple builders in kerala .
Today the temple its fine buildings its abundant mural arts are study matireal for architecture students .
The koothambalam over the ages has hosted several celebrities in it like the legendary  Ammanur chakiyar family .

Unnai warrier an ardent devotee of Sangameswar composed Nalacharitram and a poem Sree Rama pancha sthithi an abridged version of Ramayana

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Thrikaakara Temple

Thrikaakara temple .
The only temple where the main deity is Vamana avatar of lord Vishnu .
Vamana is a dwarf brahmin who comes to meet king Mahabali the demon king who ruled kerala once justly and with great honesty and sincerity but the Gods were jealous of his growing powers and Lord Vishnu comes as Vamana to curtail his powers but since lord knows Mahabali has no ego he actually comes to earth to facilitate deliverance of Mahabali from his earthly life to eternal bliss or
 moksha .
The story goes that the dwarf asks the king for three feet of land which the king laughingly asks him to take it as a dwarfs feet is tiny but Lord Vishnu grows to his celestial self and he is so huge that one foot covers earth another heaven hell and rest .
He then asks the king where will i put my third foot for which the king bows pointing to his head and vamana placing it on his head gives him moksha or salvation .king Mahabali requests the Lord that once a year he would love to see his land and people which the lord agrees and thus every Onam its presumed King Mahabali returns to his land dines with his people hence onam is famous for its feasts or sadya .
Thrikakkara temple is only temple in kerala dedicated to Vamana murthy and is said to be the place where Lord Vishnu as dwarf Vamana placed his foot on Mahabalis head .
This temple is ancient mentioned 5000 years back by nammalwar and one of the 108 divya deshams .
There is a Shiva temple nearby whose antiquity some say is older but with no evidence .
Both temples are very ancient .
On Onam day its very crowded so today it was a lovely visit in the rains the temple serene peaceful .
Children learn chenda or temple drums in the temple too .

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