Saturday, October 19, 2019

A past memory coming to surface again

It was a terrible day. I had met with an accident. I was driving the car and the family was with me. Not sure what had happened in those unlucky few seconds, I had lost control of the car and the whole car got dragged off the road, hit a 5 feet high stone pillar, turned over and flipped. Damage to the car was severe but the we the occupants came out with minor injuries. Though I recovered from the shock quickly my family was not. It was difficult for them to digest what had happened in a matter of few seconds. My son, who was three years old at that time, was in a complete shock and was crying non-stop. While I was thinking what to do next and how to come out of the mess, I saw few people rushing to help us. They helped us remove the luggage and some even asking if we needed a drop somewhere. Then to my surprise, I saw few 'Jogamma' (third gender eunuchs) coming forward to help us. They took my crying son to a nearby house they were living in, offered water, helped him come out of the shock. They gave my family a place to sit and think and keep our luggage for the time being. They assured everything will be alright and reminded that it is only car out of shape and we the family are safe. I arranged a cab for my family to go back to Bangalore. I stayed back at the place and made arrangements to tow the car. After that I visited a Police station to lodge a complaint and the procedures took till evening and then headed back to Bangalore.

It was an unusual day, a tiring one. I had not met with any accident until that day. And that experience had drained energy out of me to do anything. Late evening when I reached home, I logged on to my computer and there was an email which caught my notice. It was from Milaap (a social service lending platform) showing I had a repayment for the interest free loan I had given through them a couple of months ago to a Devadasi, a Jogamma. My loan was supposed to help her gain independence by buying buffalo's for livelihood. I could not understand if the events of 'Jogamma' helping me recover from the shock of accident in the morning and the repayment with thanks I had received the same day had a relation. Coincidence or not, I was already tired for the day and slept off.

The accident took more than an year for me to come out from it. I refused to drive for almost an year after that incident. As the emotions settled in, when we are going the same way, I asked my driver to stop there for a while, got down and went around the place of accident. Also visited the house where Jogamma  had offered a place to sit and relax. But the inmates were all different now and I could not recognize any of them. I found a small temple outside the house, offered prayers there and left the place. Afterwards that place did not haunt or scare me anymore.

It appeared like that accident was due to spell of an evil spirit to me sometimes as I was facing one or the other unusual, awkward experiences while driving that car. This is while there were no strong evidences to believe so and I did not believe in super natural things anyway. An astrologer we had consulted had suggested to abandon the car and said the accident was supposed to end our lives but it is God's grace and the place it happened had things in our favor. I did not want to analyze it further, sold the car and took the event as a moment of bad luck and moved on with life. Five years rolled.

When I read the book 'Nine Lives' through the last week, it's two chapters, one on the lives of Devadasi's and their God and another chapter on those who live on the cremation ground and use the skulls of those who died prematurely to please those spirits to take advantage in their sadhana, all my past memories came to surface again. For a moment, it appeared like whatever I went through on the day of my accident was not coincidence but it was cause and effect. Again, I do not want to believe  in the super natural things but this time I could put my past experience into writing with ease. What had remained in the deep recesses of my memory is out of me now and should not bother me in the future.

Now I am looking forward for new experiences and what the life has to offer.

Book Review: Nine Lives by William Dalrymple

As the book title denotes it is an account of lives of nine different beings whose lives are dedicated to spirituality and the religion they believe in. They are not fictional characters but the real one's living across across length and breadth of India.

The first biography is that of a Jain nun (The Nun's tale). It captures how an young girl, gets attracted to Jain religion practices and goes on to become a Jain Muni. She finds a companion with another Nun who has a similar background of her's. Together they spend couple of decades following the rituals and tradition of Jainism wandering around all the places in India. When her companion Nun leaves the world embracing 'Sallekhana' (a procedure through which one leaves the body by fasting in a gradual manner and giving up all the food items one by one and finally water too). After this Nun feels lonely and finds home at a Jain Ashram in Shravana Belagola, a south Indian town. While she narrates her life events, this author learns that she too has embraced 'Sallekhana'.

The second one (The Dancer of Kannur) is about dancers at 'Theyyan', a festival event in Kerala. These dancers belonging to Dalit community become gods by dressing up and dancing during Theyyan season for three months in a year. People from all religions respect these Gods in human form, offer prayers during the event. Some of these dances and performances are aimed at showing how Dalits are ill-treated by upper caste religions and these dancers see this event as an opportunity to seek reforms and social equality. After the season, these dancers take up jobs as well-diggers, work as labors and take up other menial jobs. This tradition has been going on for centuries but will the next generations continue this tradition needs to be seen.

Third one (The Daugher of Yellamma) has Rani Bai as protagonist. She is a Devadasi who lives with fellow Devadasi's near Belgaum in Karnataka. At the young age of 6, she was dedicated to Yellamma goddess. And her life's way forward was cast in stone. After puberty, she has to accept the oldest profession on this world but in the name of goddess. All of her clients are not going to be nice to her. But she has a community to support her. And the greatest danger is in the form of getting the diseases. Rani Bai has seen her fellow Devadasi's losing their lives to these diseases. She later loses two of her daughters to the same. While she has an aspiration to retire from this profession by buying agriculture land and buffalo's, this author learns that she has been tested HIV positive. Overall, this  chapter does more than telling a tale of a Devadasi. It offers research into how the poverty puts so many into this vicious cycle and how the lives of those involved in this is short lived. It also involves the tale of goddess of Yellamma and how Devadasi's find solace in her and draw energy from her life.

There are six more tales on the similar lines about sufi saints, singers of Rajasthan, a Tibetan Monk who fled to India and wanted to liberate his country taking gun into his hands and the Tantriks in West Bengal who live in the cremation ground.

Reading this book was an eye-opener for me as this unraveled lives of people whom we don't find in the regular neighborhood but of those who live intensely with the sole aim of realizing the God they believe in through their chosen paths.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

New age traffic solutions. Creative and cheaper !

Living in Bangalore, I can't stop complaining about traffic. It has been part and parcel of those who live here. A decade ago, when the commute times were getting longer, we had tried few things like starting early to avoid the peak hour or working in shifts. Or taking alternate routes, longer in distance but shorter by time. But all of them offered relief only for shorter duration's as the traffic soon caught up and spoiled all of our alternate arrangements. Finally and completely fed-up, I had to change my job to reduce my commute hours to acceptable limits.

While giving up few hours of my life on roads everyday, I was always looking whether any solid solutions would appear on the horizon. And Metro appeared. Traveling at an elevation (or underground) beating the air pollution, not worried about the traffic signals or pots on the road, traveling at a reliable speed with an assurance of reaching in time felt like God's answer from heaven to all of our humble requests. Though it is getting crowded these days, it is yet tolerable than hitting the road ourselves.

Other than Metro, I saw that car pooling was catching up. And soon came Ola and Uber. Though it did not cut down the commute time, efforts and pain of driving were passed on to some one else (at some cost, of course). While some one drives for you, you can get lost in the virtual world created on your smartphone. Or listen to your favorite music. Or continue reading that book you had half-read. Won't it be good to have fewer vehicles on road which can take you anywhere? Who needs car of their own? While all of the media is discussing auto sector slowdown, I was wondering where was the place on the roads for those newer cars if they were sold in the usual numbers to the anticipation of their makers?

Though Metro made the commute tolerable for those who live on its routes, there was the last mile problem. I mean, reaching Metro station from your home and getting to office from the drop-off station. Again newer solutions like two-wheeler renting like Bounce and battery operated bicycle like Yulu appeared. I hope they will survive and become sustainable businesses. Another one which I liked (it also motivated me to write this post) was Loca. It is a cab service for shorter distances to pick and drop from Metro stations. From my office on Domlur Inner ring road to Indiranagar Metro station drop-off, I was charged only Rs.20. And the wait time to ride the cab is only 2-3 mins. You would know how convinced I am with this service. On my second trip, Innova vehicle picked me and other 5 co-passengers who all have booked and waiting in line to ride. This effectively reduces the number of vehicles on the vicinity of Metro. I wish and hope this too will become a sustainable business too!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Happiness is ability to eat right and sleep well

I used to think happiness is something we experience when we achieve something significant. That understanding was slowly changing in me in the recent past. Now I think happiness is being able to eat right and sleep well. That’s all. After my experiences in the last two months, this understanding has become even more concrete.

It was third week of last month (May'2019). Schedules were hectic in the office as we had some executives were visiting us. It was a tiring week and I was waiting for the weekend to begin. At last, came the Friday evening. That day, I reached home with an intention to unwind. But destiny had something else for me. My wife was on phone when I was stepping into home and she told there is a medical emergency for her father and we need to reach the hospital at the earliest. I was not in that mood. Whole of my body did not want to go anywhere, but this was an exception and need of the hour. Though I had no energy left to drive the car, I did take it out and set on the journey to hospital. We had almost reached the hospital, my phone ringed and it was a shocking news. My mother had died. Though devastated, I had my hands on the steering wheel, managed to drive the car to hospital we needed to go, parked it in the hospital premises, gave away the keys to my brother-in-law asking him to take care of the situation. Then left to bus station to reach my native.

The days which were waiting for me had nothing pleasant. Pain of separation and the situation I got into ensured I could not eat or sleep well. Luckily, I did not fall sick. But dampening of life energy and the confrontation with death (which is certain and unpredictable too), killed me partially. I survived but did not come out strong.

After coming back from native to Bangalore, hospital visits continued as my father-in-law had got admitted to hospital for a surgery. After a week, he got discharged. But he was not feeling easy at home. Within 2 days, he had to go back to hospital and so my visits to hospital continued as well. Ability to eat right and sleep well were compromised again.

Everything will pass. My father-in-law got discharged again. That whole weekend, I did nothing else than sleeping. And then Monday came, I got back to work. I thought normalcy of life got restored. That evening, I wanted to reach home early to have a relaxed evening. While I was on the way, my wife called me to report that our son is sick and asked me to reach a hospital nearby directly. I told myself, hell with happiness, get used to new norms. But my son’s sickness was not a sickness and there was nothing to worry. I felt God is kind. After reaching home, though I wanted to go to bed early, I thought of finishing few email communications and opened the office laptop. There were couple of emails needing my urgent action. By the time I was done with them, it was already past mid-night. My idea of sleeping well got compromised again.

Now, having food on time and sleeping peacefully for eight hours a day appears to be the best luxury I would get. I wish and hope that I am not asking for too much from the God.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

"ಕವಲು ದಾರಿ" ಮತ್ತು "ಬೆಲ್ ಬಾಟಮ್": ಮನ ತಣಿಸುವ ಪತ್ತೇದಾರಿ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳು

ಕಳೆದ ಎರಡು ತಿಂಗಳ ಅವಧಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನೋಡಿದ ಕೆಲವು ಚಿತ್ರಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಎರಡು ಚಿತ್ರಗಳು ನನ್ನ ಮನ ಸೆಳೆದವು. ಇವೆರಡು ಪತ್ತೇದಾರಿ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಹೊಸ ಮುಖಗಳನ್ನು ಚಿತ್ರರಂಗಕ್ಕೆ ಪರಿಚಯಿಸಿದ, ಹಾಗೆ ಉತ್ತಮ ನಿರೂಪಣೆ ಮೂಲಕ ಪ್ರೇಕ್ಷಕರಕನ್ನು ಹಿಡಿದಿಡುವ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳು.

"ಕವಲು ದಾರಿ"ಯ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಕಥೆ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ ನಡೆದ ಕೊಲೆಯೊಂದರ ಜಾಡು ಹಿಡಿದು, ಕೊಲೆಗಾರನನ್ನು ಪತ್ತೆ ಹಚ್ಚುವುದು. ಸಹಜತೆಗೆ ಸಾಕಷ್ಟು ಹತ್ತಿರ ಎನ್ನಿಸುವ ಅಭಿನಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾಗಿದ ನಟ ಅನಂತ್ ನಾಗ್ ಚಿತ್ರವನ್ನು ಸುಲಭದಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಂದೆ ಸಾಗಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ನಾಯಕ ನಟನಾಗಿ ರಿಷಿ ಕೂಡ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಅಭಿನಯ ನೀಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಇದರ ಖಳ ನಾಯಕನ ಒಂದು ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆ "ಸರಿ-ತಪ್ಪು ಅನ್ನೋ ಚೌಕಟ್ಟಿನಿಂದ ಆಚೆ ಬಂದ ಮೇಲೆ, ಅದರಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಮನುಷ್ಯರನ್ನು ಆಡಿಸುವುದು ಎಷ್ಟು ಸುಲಭ" ಎನ್ನುವ ಮಾತು ನನಗೆ ಮನಶಾಸ್ತ್ರದ ಅರಿವೆಲ್ಲ ಒಂದೇ ಮಾತಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕೇಳಿಸಿ ಕೊಂಡ ಹಾಗಾಯಿತು.

 "ಬೆಲ್ ಬಾಟಮ್" ನಾನು ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣ ಆನಂದಿಸಿದ ಚಿತ್ರ. ಇದು ನಡೆಯುವುದು ಕೆಲವು ದಶಕಗಳ ಹಿಂದೆ  "ಬೆಲ್ ಬಾಟಮ್" ಗಳು ಚಾಲ್ತಿ ಇದ್ದ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ. ಇದು ಪೊಲೀಸ್ ಸ್ಟೇಷನ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಯುವ ಒಂದು ಕಳ್ಳತನದ ಜಾಡು ಹಿಡಿದು ಸಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಅದು ಹೇಗಾಯಿತು, ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು ಯಾರು ಮತ್ತು ಅವರ ನಿಜ ಉದ್ದೇಶ ಏನಿತ್ತು ಎನ್ನುವುದರ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶಗಳನ್ನು ಅನಾವರಣಗೊಳಿಸುತ್ತ ಚಿತ್ರ ಸಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಇದರಲ್ಲಿ ಎಲ್ಲ ಪಾತ್ರಗಳ ಅಭಿನಯ, ಪೂರಕ ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆ, ಹಳೆ ಕಾಲದ ವೇಷ-ಭೂಷಣಗಳು, ಚಿತ್ರದ ನಿರೂಪಣೆ ಎಲ್ಲವೂ ಮನ ಮುಟ್ಟುವಂತಿವೆ. ಬಹಳ ದಿನದ ನಂತರ ಒಂದು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಚಿತ್ರ ನೋಡಿದ ಅನುಭವ ಈ ಚಿತ್ರ ಕೊಟ್ಟಿತು.

ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳೇ ಅಪರೂಪ ಎನ್ನುವ ಈ ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ, ಈ ಎರಡು ಚಿತ್ರಗಳು ಆ ಮಾತು ಸುಳ್ಳು ಎನ್ನುವ ಖುಷಿ ಕೊಡುತ್ತವೆ.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Well done Voters !

It is satisfying to see that voters gave a clear mandate during general elections. While they did so, they did so many other things which needs an applause.

First of all, those candidates who spent money to the tune of few crores to couple of hundred crore rupees, they lost out badly. Much hyped Mandya constituency comes to my mind where the fight was between son of a sitting CM and an independent candidate. All the money, political power, caste politics, bureaucratic support could not help CM's son win the elections. Voters have sent out a strong message, a formidable one. It has shaken the belief of political parties. The basement on which they had built their kingdom is shaken. What worked for them until now, does not work any more. Voters cannot be manipulated, not all the times. They have made their choice. The case is rested.

Second, majority of the goons, extremists, corrupt politicians who won by force earlier have lost this time. Look at incidents happened in the states of UP, Bihar and everywhere else. When a goon becomes MP, his son would become a even bigger mischief. That cycle is broken. When a candidate without evil background wins, you can expect that at least he and his family does not misbehave with citizens. That is a message to the goons to reform themselves if they want to fight elections again.

Third, winning streams are broken. Mallikarjun Kharge who had won 11 consecutive elections, had to accept defeat this time. Rahul Gandhi who was winning in Amethi (for what reasons I am not sure of) has to face voter's ire this time. Deve Gowda, an expert politician has to acknowledge that his experience did not help him this time. Mandate is clear and no one wins forever.

Though the path ahead is a longer one, the journey has begun on a firmer foot. There would more candidates who would win in future elections because of their credibility and not because of money, caste or muscle power. If money is not used during elections, there is lesser pressure on candidates to make money through illegal means, so we can expect them to deliver cleaner results. Vicious circle of corruption had to break somewhere, and it is a great thing that voters made the first move.

I have a stronger hope now that my India will progress with giant leaps now.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Life without mother is no more the same

Mother taught me the basics of everyday life - from the mother tongue to food habits, dressing sense to how to talk to anyone. She was not a highly educated woman, but had a wisdom and philosophy of her own. That became a guiding principle for the family she raised or at least for me.  She taught me how to be independent in life, take little responsibilities for the family, to be helpful to others in need and not be a bothersome person for people around me. Looking back I can see that it has become a guiding principle for me through times thick and thin.

As I grew up, I and she had lots of differences in how we see and judge people around both of us. While being less emotional I could see through hidden  intent of people quite easily, she struggled at it and was prone to consistent manipulations by others. That would tire me and my efforts to reason with her never produced any useful results. Despite such differences, our relationship as mother and son didn't see troubles as she believed in me blindly too at times like how she did for others.

Just a fortnight ago, we had gone out as a family to vote in general elections. While I don't know how many times she has voted in her life but I am sure she had never ignored her social responsibilities. Now that she is separated from me physically, life doesn't not look the same anymore. I don't think there would be any other person than your mother who would be as happy and proud of you. Though she has taught me from beginning to be independent, even from her, I never intended to loose her. Now I have became an orphan. It is a painful experience to lose the person who brought you into this world and taught it's ways. Though she would not have agreed with me, she would have given me a patient hearing for all the complaints I had. While she departed, she had made me mute partially. This lesson is not an easy one and can't be avoided by anyone either.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

All dynasties come to an end (Why not political dynasties?)

All dynasties, small to large, little control to very powerful one's, they all had a start, peak and an end.

Take the case of mighty Mogul dynasty who ruled over a larger portion of Northern India. They had a beginning with Babur. Their real growth came with Akbar at the helm. The kingdom saw a peak with Taj Mahal being built in the times of Shah Jahan. After Aurangzeb, it began to lose out steadily and came to end.

Look at Vijayanagar empire who ruled entire South India. It had a humble beginning with Hakka-Bukka. To reach its peak, it had to wait till its 19th king Sri Krishnadeveraya. Their 21st king was their last king as they lost out in a war and their capital got ransacked and burnt.

Glancing though pages of history, you will see many kingdoms getting born, rising and coming to an end to give way for another. Though the time periods they lasted were different, the underlying reasons for the change in direction are very much common for all of them. There has to be need for a change and an opportunity at the moment for a new kingdom to be born. A king is a product of the times he represents. And then to build on it and expand the kingdom, it requires different skills. An able king can expand its solid base already built and take its glory to new heights. That is when the problems begin to arise, bigger the kingdom larger the share of problems too. It would take smart and able king to be at helm to keep the kingdom intact. A weaker prince coming to power, who neither has the foresight of those built the kingdom nor the burning ambition and skills to keep it going, will find the problems he has to face are beyond his capacity. Then the events will take drastic turns. The loyalty base for the current king shrinks rapidly. Enemies rise and become powerful. A new kingdom arises on the ashes of the old one.

Let us take a look at political dynasty ruling India. Nehru who discovered modern India and ruled it as PM for a longer period, trained and promoted his daughter Indira into politics. Indira had grit and a strong determination to rule. Though she wanted her other son to come into politics, by luck and accident, it was Rajiv who became the next PM after her. Rajiv's death had almost brought their political dynasty to an end but Sonia took charge of the party and she was the reason behind Narasimha Rao and Man Mohan Singh becoming PM's. Now Sonia promotes her son Rahul as apparent political heir. Rahul is neither a pundit like his great grandfather, nor has the courage of his grandmother and does not possess the pleasing personality or dreams for India like his father. He resembles those princes who helped mighty kingdoms come to an end. Look at what happened during last general elections. Their loyalty base was at its lowest and their enemy took charge putting Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty into dust. Though INC won couple of state elections later, it was the effort of the local leaders and they did it for themselves and not for the dynasty.

In the midst of general elections again, it is clearly a time for change for the old dynasty. For those who do not learn from history, they help repeating it. INC may survive only if an able administrator takes charge. Else they certainly can become history too.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

ಮೈಸೂರಿನ ಮೃಗಾಲಯದ ಸೆಳೆತ

"ಆಲಯ ಮೃಗಾಲಯ,
ಬಾನಾಡಿಗಳ ನಿಲಯ"

ಈ ಹಾಡಿನಲ್ಲಿ ನಾನು ಮೈಸೂರಿನ ಮೃಗಾಲಯವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಥಮ ಬಾರಿಗೆ ನೋಡಿದ್ದು. ೪ ನೇ ತರಗತಿಯಲ್ಲಿರುವಾಗ ಶಾಲೆ ಮಕ್ಕಳೆಲ್ಲ ಒಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಈ ಹಾಡನ್ನು ಮತ್ತು ಚಿತ್ರವನ್ನು ಬೆಳ್ಳಿ ಪರದೆಯ ಅಗಾಧತತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಆನಂದಿಸಿದ್ದು ನನ್ನ ನೆನಪಲ್ಲಿ ಹಚ್ಚು ಹಸಿರಾಗಿದೆ. ಅದಾಗಿ ಕೆಲ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಗೆ ಅಂದರೆ ೭ ನೇ ತರಗತಿಯಲ್ಲಿರುವಾಗ ಶಾಲಾ ಪ್ರವಾಸದ ಮೂಲಕ ಮೈಸೂರಿನ ಮೃಗಾಲಯ ನೋಡುವ ಸೌಭಾಗ್ಯ ಒದಗಿ ಬಂತು. ಆ ಬಳಿಕ ಪ್ರಾಣಿ ಪಕ್ಷಿಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಕುತೂಹಲ ಕಡಿಮೆಯಾಗಿ ಮೃಗಾಲಯದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಒಲವು ಕ್ಷೀಣಿಸಿ ಹೋಯ್ತು.

ಹಾಗೆ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ವರುಷಗಳು ಉರುಳಿ ಹೋದವು. ನನ್ನ ಓದು ಮುಗಿದು, ಉದ್ಯೋಗ ಕಂಡು ಕೊಂಡು, ಮದುವೆಯಾಗಿ, ಮಗು ಹುಟ್ಟಿ, ಆ ಮಗು ಪ್ರಾಣಿ, ಪಕ್ಷಿಗಳ ಹಿಡಿಯಲು ಆರಂಭಿಸಿದಾಗ ಮತ್ತೆ ನೆನಪಿಗೆ ಬಂದಿದ್ದು ಮೈಸೂರಿನ ಮೃಗಾಲಯ. ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡುವ ಬೆಂಗ ಳೂರಿನಿಂದ ಮೈಸೂರಿಗೆ ಯಾವ ಮಹಾ ದೂರ? ಹಾಗೆ ಒಂದು ಶನಿವಾರ ಬಿಡುವು ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು ಕಾರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಹೊರಟೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟೆವು. ನಾವು ನೋಡುವ ಆನಂದಕ್ಕಿಂತ, ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ತೋರಿಸಿ ಅವರು ಖುಷಿ ಪಡುವುದಿದೆಯಲ್ಲ ಆ ಆನಂದವೇ ಹೆಚ್ಛೆನಿಸಿತು. ನನ್ನ ಮಗನಿಗೆ ತುಂಬಾ ಇಷ್ಟವಾಗಿ ಹೋಯಿತು ಈ ಮೃಗಾಲಯ. ಪ್ರತಿ ವರುಷ ರಜೆಗೆ ಒಂದು ಸಲ ಭೇಟಿ ನೀಡದೆ ಇದ್ದರೆ ಅವನಿಗೆ ಎಲ್ಲಿಯ ಸಮಾಧಾನ? ಮೈಸೂರು ಊರು ಮುಟ್ಟಿದ ತಕ್ಷಣವೇ ಈಗಲೇ 'zoo' ಗೆ ಹೊಗುವುದೇ ಎಂದು ಕೇಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದ.

ಅವನು ಬೆಳೆಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಹಾಗೆಯೇ, ನಮ್ಮ ಕುಟುಂಬಕ್ಕೆ ಹೊಸ ಸೇರ್ಪಡೆಯಾಯಿತು. ಎರಡನೇ ಮಗನಿಗೂ ಪ್ರಾಣಿ ಪಕ್ಷಿಗಳೆಂದರೆ ಬಲು ಇಷ್ಟ. ಅವನಿಗೆ ಬರಿ ನಾಯಿ, ಬೆಕ್ಕು, ಆಕಳು ತೋರಿಸದುವುದೆಂತು? ನವಿಲು, ಗೊರಿಲ್ಲಾ, ಚಿರತೆಗಳನ್ನು ಬರೀ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳಷ್ಟೇ ತೋರಿಸಬೇಕೇ? ಸರಿ ಹೇಗಾದರೂ ಬಂತಲ್ಲ ಬೇಸಿಗೆ ರಜೆ ಎಂದು ಮತ್ತೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಪಯಣ ಸಾಗಿತು ಮೈಸೂರು ಕಡೆಗೆ.

ಸುಮಾರು ೫ ಕಿ. ಮೀ. ನಡೆದು ನೋಡಬೇಕಾದ ಈ ಮೃಗಾಲಯ ಸುತ್ತುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ನಾವು ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡದ್ದು ಸುಮಾರು ಮೂರು ಘಂಟೆ. ನೋಡಿದ್ದು ನೂರಾರು ಪ್ರಾಣಿ ಪಕ್ಷಿಗಳು. ಕಲಿತು ಕೊಂಡ ವಿಷಯಗಳು ಹಲವಾರು. ಮೈಸೂರಿನ ಮೃಗಾಲಯದ ಸೆಳೆತದಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಕಾಲುಗಳು ಸೆಳೆಯತೊಡಗಿದ್ದು ಅನುಭವಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದಿದ್ದು ಹೋಟೆಲಿನ ಕೋಣೆಗೆ ಬಂದು ಕುಳಿತ ಮೇಲೆ. ಮತ್ತೆ ಮುಂದಿನ ರಜೆಗೆ ಬಂದರಾಯಿತು ಎಂದುಕೊಂಡೇ ಊರು ಖಾಲಿ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು. ನಮ್ಮ ಖುಷಿ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಜೊತೆಗೂ ವಸಿ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಂಡರಾಯಿತು ಎಂದು ಇದನ್ನು ಬರೆದದ್ದಾಯಿತು.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Visit to Ilkal

ಶ್ರೀ ವಿಜಯ ಮಹಾಂತ ಸ್ವಾಮಿಗಳ ಗದ್ದುಗೆ
ಚಿತ್ತರಗಿಯ ಚರತಾತ 
ಇಳಕಲ್ಲ ಪುರ ವಿರತ 
ಆದಿ ಅಂತ್ಯ ರಹಿತ 
ಶ್ರೀ ವಿಜಯ ಮಹಾಂತ

ಉತ್ತರ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ನೆಲದಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಜ ಮಹಾರಾಜರುಗಳು ಸಾಧಿಸಿದ್ದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಸಾಧನೆ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಸಾಧು-ಸಂತರು. ಇವರು ಕಟ್ಟಿದ್ದು ಕೋಟೆ-ಅರಮನೆಗಳಲ್ಲ. ಬದಲಿಗೆ ಸಮಾಜದ ಹಸಿವು ನೀಗಿಸುತ್ತ, ಬಡವರ ವಿದ್ಯೆ- ಶಿಕ್ಷಣದ ಅಗತ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಪೂರೈಸುತ್ತಾ, ಬದುಕಿಗೆ ಮಾರ್ಗದರ್ಶನ ನೀಡುವ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳನ್ನು. ಹಾಗಾಗಿಯೇ ಇವು ರಾಜ ಮನೆತನಗಳಂತೆ ಕಾಲನ ವಿನಾಶಕ್ಕೊಳಗಾಗದೆ, ಇಂದಿಗೂ ಜೀವಂತವಾಗಿವೆ. ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಇಳಕಲ್ ಸಂಸ್ಥಾನ ಒಂದು ಉದಾಹರಣೆ. ಬಸವ ತತ್ವ ಸಾರುವ ಈ ವಾಕ್ಯ ಇಂಥ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳ ತಳಹದಿ ಎಷ್ಟು ಭದ್ರವಾಗಿದೆ ಎಂಬುದರ ಸಂಕೇತ.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Who is responsible for Mirage crash?

In the last week, a trainer Mirage Aircraft crashed at HAL Airport in Bangalore killing its two pilots. (Link:

This Aircraft was on a test ride out of the factory after its upgrade. It failed to take off properly. What went wrong is not known yet.  Though the newspapers report that a detailed inquiry is ordered, I wonder why neither HAL nor Indian Air Force took responsibility and apologize to the society for failing in their duty? Are they waiting for final report to fix a blame on one party?

Though they will formally make someone a scapegoat, this incident raises more questions. Is HAL doing the right job of inspecting before they let the aircraft hit the runway? Why IAF is not furious for losing both Aircraft and its finest men? Why does not defense ministry pay attention to this?

If we let this pass as one-off situation, it is going to haunt us again and again. Tax payers fund the Govt. to take care of country's defense. And when an expensive aircraft, worth a few hundred crores crashes and two of bright young dedicated men lose lives, no one comes forward accepting the responsibility and promising to correct the mistake. Will it motivate the new generation to join IAF? What kind of credibility HAL sports? Why does Govt. remain tolerant of both? If no one pays for it, how things will change? Mera Bharat Mahan.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್ ಫೋನ್ ವ್ಯಸನಿ: ಕಲ್ಪನಾ ಜೀವಿ ಮನುಷ್ಯ

ನಾವು ಸಿನೆಮಾಗೆ ಏಕೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತೇವೆ ಹೇಳಿ? ಮೂರು ತಾಸು ಮೈ ಮರೆತು, ಕಾಲ್ಪನಿಕ ಕಥೆಯಲ್ಲಿ, ಅದರ ಪಾತ್ರಗಳ ಜೊತೆ ಬೆರೆತು, ಭಾವನೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಳುಗಿ, ವಾಸ್ತವಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಮರೆಯುವುದೋಸ್ಕರ ಅಲ್ಲವೇ? ಹಾಗೆಯೇ ಪ್ರವಾಸ ಮಾಡುವುದೇತಕ್ಕೆ ಹೇಳಿ? ಒಂದೇ ಊರಿನ, ಪ್ರತಿನಿತ್ಯದ ವಾಡಿಕೆ ಬದುಕಿನಿಂದ ಹೊರ ಬಂದು, ಹೊಸ ಹೊಸ ಅನುಭವಗಳು ಹೊಂದುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ತಾನೇ? ದಿನ ನಿತ್ಯದ ಸಂಗತಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ, ಹಾಗು-ಹೋಗುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ, ಮನುಷ್ಯನಿಗೆ ಹೊಸತೇನು ಕಾಣ ಸಿಗದು. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಅವನು ಕಲ್ಪನಾ ಲೋಕದ ಸೆಳೆತಕ್ಕೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕುತ್ತಾನೆ. ಯಾವಾಗ ಸಾಧ್ಯವೋ ಆವಾಗ, ವಾಸ್ತವಿಕತೆಗೆ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಒತ್ತು ಕೊಟ್ಟು, ತನ್ನ ಸುತ್ತ ಇರಲಾರದ ಜಗತ್ತಿಗೆ, ಬದುಕಿಗೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಮಹತ್ವ ಕೊಡತೊಡಗುತ್ತಾನೆ.

ಬಹುಶ ಜ್ಯೋತಿಷ್ಯ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ ಜನಪ್ರಿಯತೆಗೆ ಬಂದದ್ದು ಇದೇ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಏನೋ? ಮುಂದೆ ಬರಲಿರುವ ದಿನಗಳು ತರುವ ಆಶಾದಾಯಕತೆ, ಈ ಕ್ಷಣದ ಬದುಕಿಗೆಲ್ಲಿದೆ? ಧನ ಲಾಭ ಎಂದು ಜ್ಯೋತಿಷ್ಯ ಹೇಳಿದರೆ  ಅಥವಾ ಗಿಳಿ ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ ಉಲಿದರೆ, ಅದು ಎಂಥ ಬಡವನಲ್ಲಿಯಾದರು ಅರೆ ಕ್ಷಣದ ಉಲ್ಲಾಸ ಮೂಡಿಸದೆ ಇರದು. ಇದು ಮನುಷ್ಯನು ವಾಸ್ತವದಲ್ಲಿ ಬದುಕುವದಕ್ಕಿಂತ, ಭವಿಷ್ಯ ತರುವ ಕಲ್ಪನೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಇಷ್ಟ ಪಡುವದನ್ನು ಸಾಬೀತು ಪಡಿಸುತ್ತದೆ.

ಜ್ಯೋತಿಷ್ಯ ಕೆಲ ಕ್ಷಣ ಮೈ ಮರೆಸಿದರೆ, ಸಿನೆಮಾ ಅದನ್ನು ಕೆಲವು ತಾಸುಗಳವರೆಗೆ ಮಾಡಬಲ್ಲದು. ಒಂದು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಪ್ರವಾಸ ಕೆಲ ದಿನಗಳಿಗೆ ನಿಮ್ಮನ್ನು ಉಲ್ಲಾಸಮಯ ಭಾವನೆಯಲ್ಲಿಡಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ಹೊಸ ವಿಷಯ, ಹೊಸ ಹೊಸ ಅನುಭವಗಳು, ನಿಮಗೆ ಬೇಕೆಂದ ತಕ್ಷಣ ಸಿಗುವುವಂತಾದರೆ, ನೀವು ಅದರ ಉಪಯೋಗ ಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು ಖಂಡಿತ ತಾನೇ?

ಅದು ಸಾಧ್ಯವಾಗಿದ್ದು ಮೂರು ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನದ ಮಿಲನಗಳಿಂದ. ಒಂದು ಇಂಟರ್ನೆಟ್ ಆವಿಷ್ಕಾರ. ಎರಡನೆಯದ್ದು ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್ ಫೋನ್. ಮೂರನೆಯದ್ದು ಅದರಲ್ಲಿನ ವಾಟ್ಸ್ ಆಪ್, ಫೇಸ್ ಬುಕ್ ಮುಂತಾದ ಆಪ್ ಗಳಿಂದ. ದೂರದ ಊರಿನ ಆತ್ಮೀಯ ಗೆಳೆಯ ಇಂದು ದೂರದವನು ಅಲ್ಲವೇ ಅಲ್ಲ. ಬೆರಳ ತುದಿಯ ಮೆಸೇಜ್ ಸಾಕು. ಹಾಗೆಯೇ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಎಲ್ಲ ಮೂಲೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಯುವ ವರ್ತಮಾನ, ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಜನರ ಸ್ಪಂದನೆ ಎಲ್ಲ ಟ್ವಿಟ್ಟರ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಉಂಟು.

ಹೀಗಿರುವಾಗ ಪಕ್ಕದ ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಯುವ ಅದೇ ಹಳೆ ಜಗಳ ಎಷ್ಟು ದಿನ ಕುತೂಹಲ ಉಳಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿತು ಹೇಳಿ? ಕೈಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುವ ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್ ಫೋನ್ ಅದನ್ನೆಲ್ಲ ಬದಲು ಮಾಡಿತು. ಬೇಸರ ತರುವ ಪಕ್ಕದ ಜನರಿಗಿಂತ, ನಾವು ಕಂಡರಿಯದ, ಎಲ್ಲೋ ನಡೆಯುವ ಸಂಗತಿಗಳು ಆಸಕ್ತಿ ಮೂಡಿಸುವುದಿಲ್ಲವೇ? ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಈ ಪೀಳಿಗೆಯ ಜನ ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್ ಫೋನ್ ಜೊತೆ, ತಮ್ಮ ಸುತ್ತ ಮುತ್ತಲಿನ ಜನರಿನ ಜೊತೆ ಕಳೆಯುವ ವೇಳೆಗಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಸಮಯವನ್ನು ಕಳೆಯುತ್ತಾರೆ.

ಅವರನ್ನು ದೂರುವ ಮುಂಚೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ವಿಚಾರ ಮಾಡಿ ನೋಡಿ. ಮನುಷ್ಯ ಸ್ವಭಾವತಃ ಕಲ್ಪನಾ ಜೀವಿ. ಅವನ ಕಲ್ಪನೆಯ ಸಾಮರ್ಥ್ಯವೇ, ಅವನನ್ನು ಮಂಗಗಳಿಂದ ಮನುಷ್ಯನಾಗಿ ವಿಕಾಸ ಹೊಂದುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದು. ಈ ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್ ಫೋನ್ ಅವನನ್ನು ದಿನದ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಸಮಯ ವಾಸವಿಕತೆಯಿಂದ ದೂರ ಇರುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡಿದೆ. ಅದು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದು ಅಥವಾ ಕೆಟ್ಟದು ಎನ್ನುವುದರ ವಿವೇಚನೆ ಈ ಬರಹದ್ದಲ್ಲ. ಬದಲಿಗೆ ಇಂತಹ ನಡವಳಿಕೆ ಮನುಷ್ಯನ ಸ್ವಭಾವದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಸು ಹೊಕ್ಕಾಗಿರುವುದನ್ನು ತೋರಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಇದರದ್ದು. ಬರಿ ಈ ಪೀಳಿಗೆಯ ಜನರಲ್ಲ, ಗುಡ್ಡ, ಗವಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ವಾಸ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಸಾವಿರಾರು ವರ್ಷ ಹಿಂದೆ ಬದುಕಿದ್ದ ಪೀಳಿಗೆ ಕೂಡ ಸ್ಮಾರ್ಟ್ ಫೋನ್ ದೊರಕಿದ್ದರೆ, ಅವರ ಜೀವನ ಶೈಲಿ ಕೂಡ ಇಂದಿನ ಪೀಳಿಗೆಯವರಿಗಿಂತ ಬೇರೆ ಇರುತ್ತಿರಲಿಲ್ಲವೇನೋ?