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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Gurkha Temple in Serria Brunei

Ghurkhas are born soldiers .hailing from Nepal they are known for their prowess in the fighting arts and also for their fearlessness ,the knives they carry known as Kukri are their symbols .
From the times that Britain ruled India they have been part of the British army and the English could always rely on their loyalty .
The Gurkha Reserve Unit  is a special guard force in the Sultanate of Brunei.
 Unit members are all British Army veterans.
There are two temples in Brunei both in the Ghurkha army camps ,one  in the capital and the other in Serria around 70km from Bandar Seri Begawan
Serria is also famous for being an oil town
,it was here that oil was discovered first in Brunei and the town has a lot of oil derricks nodding its heads day and night along with offshore installations .
The town also has lovely cottages some built in Canadian fashion with imported Canadian logs mostly for the Shell employees .
The temple itself was quite and serene
.one entered into a small corridor of hanging bells on the left was the famous Dollar Ganapati known because so because devotees believed that praying to him with a dollar would grant their wishes and there were lot of Brunei one dollar bills on his feet !
then there were the navagrahas under a nice tree
there was a Shiva lingha next
The main hall had a collection of deities  the central one  goddess Durga .
The big hall had nice seats to rest and pray ,on the other end was a Buddhist corner with flower bedecked photos of the Bodhisattva .
The whole place was kept neat and pristine and many Indians visited the temple
there also was a big Supaa save mall nearby with a wide collection of shopping solace

after the spiritual solace

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bukit ( hill ) Shahbandar ....

Brunei Darussalam is in Borneo island ,it is known for its pristine equatorial rainforests with its rich flora and fauna .
The capital city Bandar seri Begawan itself is a group of small cities with great swathes of green interludes there are trekking paths and hills in and around the city itself !
very close to where we stay in Jerudong adjacent to the Tutong muara highway is Bukit Shahbandar ,this is a veritable forest with seven hills in a semicircle and a popular trekking path for many .
The entry to the area is off the highway and is free ,one parks the vehicles and starts the trek .
for a long distance an excellent synthetic walkway ,open gym and a pressure walkway  and small picnic tables are laid out ,monkeys frisk around this place a lot .
Then the climb begins up  a reasonably steep path ,both sides of the trail there are huge trees and is thickly vegetated that one can see only the path winding up tortuously ,
by the end of this one would have had a couple of stops to gain breath and the top is a small mound with a view of the distant city ,
the trail goes on up and down full of roots and huge stones and a bit difficult , at times slippery too ,one could turn back by the shorter route and make a return .
 easier said than done for it is also long and difficult and there are steep climbs and steeper climb downs
For an unfit me the only pleasure was the stops and photo sessions
we saw insect catching flowers thorn filled trees shallow streams and thick forests on our way down strangely fauna was missing
,Borneo by itself has mostly smaller animals like monkeys squirrels many birds and they say a pygmy elephant one doesn't hear about tigers cheetah deer etc.
an exhausted me decided that enough was enough and from now  I would only trek on plain grounds or stick to my swimming to reduce my personal hill ( belly )
The post climb dinner at a Pakistani speciality restaurant was a sure reward we had this day .

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Salusaritha syndrome

Kerala today is afflicted with S Syndrome
Syndrome in medical parlance is a type of illness with unique symptoms and signs
This  recently discovered sickness has as its aetiopathogenesis ( cause ) neither an infective nor an autoimmune cause .
The  pathognomnic feutures includes scandals revolving around names starting with S .
Of course this does not imply that the said syndrome includes all those with names that start with S .
Three prominent S in this endemic  are saritha shalu menon and of course sreesanth .
Sreesanths  signs and symptoms are in a state of  spontaneous remission ( self curing ) .
kerala state and its inhabitants are particulary prone to this type of endemic as its subjects are known to always fall for short cuts ( manchiyam ,goat ,teak ,solar and so many quick money making methods are examples ) to become rich ,just like they keep voting for the same bunch of cheats even though literate they successively fall for recurrent scams
The immediate  consequences of the S syndrome is  diversion of attention from normaly addictive habits of the Mallu like standing for hours in beverage supply shops patiently or tucking into beef parottta in early morning hours to crying zindabad without knowing the reason to an almost zombie like  maniacal addiction to the small screen where the main causative agents of the syndrome are often seen
The recurrent scrolling of dialled and recieved calls in all male mobile phones of Kerala to see whether they had been   called or  had    recieved calls from the two S s are also inherent to this syndrome
this syndrome is highly photosensitive
 solar power gives shine to this syndrome
The humble elected representatives of the humble Kerala assembly  are all in an S mode they either say yes to the question did u call saritha or shalu or say
 yes I never did that

There is no particular antidote at present known to S syndrome but time is a great healer of such syndromes

All will be back to normal so will sarita and salu menon and beverage ques will go long again

so much for the s syndrome 

Monday, July 01, 2013

Kuyil Raju Kathas ( stories )

Koel or nightingale is Kuyil in Malayalam and Tamil .
Generally good singers are given that name like Lata Mangeskar ji or Chitra of the south .

This story is about someone who was a bad singer but who loved to sing and hence called cynically as Kuyil Raju .
Raju was never known to me for he was my uncles close buddy part of the gang who were upto all sort of things in my  village  Parappanangadi
My ancestral village is in Malappuram district ,on the coast and on route to Calicut from Shoranur by rail .
Most of my holidays of childhood was spent in the greenly corridors called edozhis or small ways of this village and diving into the green ponds or eating green mangoes with stolen chilly powder ,in the evenings we would powder ourselves and stand near the gate combing our hairs to gawk at our favourite damsels going to the temple with the boiling hormones of the young .

Raju unlike me and my cousins who only came here on holidays was born and brought up here .
He and his friends were in their twenties and grown men with more mature pleasures like stealing coconuts drinking toddy and whisky singing like rascals fooling around in the temple festivals etc.
these men were also the first to join the annual cleaning of the temple tank which was a nocturnal picnic with men of all ages and sizes jumping into the shallow pond as most of its water would have been pumped out  to  remove the mud in swathes and throw it into the adjacent paddy fields ,so that the pond was fresh to receive the monsoon rains .
by midnight most of the married men would have returned to their scowling wives and kuyils gang would then bring out their hidden beverages and dig deep for camouflaged fishes for a deep fry side dish .
Legends grew around Kuyil Rajus escapades specially on his acting debacles .
Kuyil prized himself as an entertainer and he was always in an important role in the amateur dramas staged for the annual vayanasala or local library annual day .
this was a big event in the village and the gaily lit stage glittered on the side of the Railway line while the whole village in their evening best gathered on the sands in front to watch the fun .
One time our kuyil was Socrates and his bearded countenance was at his histrionic best while he swallowed the hemlock with a grimness unsurpassed ,he never knew to make it more authentic the brew concocted by his friends  had some strong arrack with a couple of valiums thrown in for good measure .our Kuyil promptly sunk to the stage with a deep gasp that got a  lot of applause at its exactness ,his friends carried him backstage and he wouldn't wake up for hours slowly they started getting worried and rushed him to the local hospital for a stomach wash and a resurrected Kuyil Raju  opened his eyes .
on another time he again acted as a dying man for which he was getting a real name by then as the applause grew our peoples actor got up and fell dead once more listening to the audience demand only to be hooted away .
once as a bearded character he was in the green room fuming at the long lecture by the local politician  who was also his long time drinking partner and as the night grew and the beard produced uncontrollable itching kuyil dragged him back from the stage with the big mike in tow .
The magnum opus of the great Kuyil was his notorious role as Draupadi
the mythical wife of the pandavas was disrobed by a villainous Dushashan and ogled by the kauravas in the Mahabharatha  while Draupadi cried to lord Krishna to save her
Lord Krishna  did save Draupadi but not poor kuyil Raju on that day when he acted as  Draupadi

The inside story was that  the Dushashan guy got his signal to stop disrobing at the 6th saree as there were only 7 but he being a real actor and specially after his extra petrol he did not stop at 6 or even 7 and suddenly there was Draupadi in lined long underwear with a stupid grin on his face .

this effectively retired Kuyil from the field and he was seen moaning Manasa mayile varru and such sad songs under lonely trees
and later he got married and that was the end of Kuyil Raju !!as we know him


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