Saturday, July 30, 2011

Journey of a Pilgrim - By Nethianathan Krishna Kutty

This post is about my experiences while I traveled to some beautiful temples in South India.

Balaji Temple, Tirupathy - Andra Pradesh

Reached Tirupathy last night from Chennai. Took some rest and got up early for my first temple visit. At 7.15 am, from Alipiri, I started my journey to receive Lord Balaji's Darshan.

 It took about few hours to reach first stop. The journey was through a forest but the stairs were well built and well covered. There were many things on the way up, mainly deity statues. Every 500 metres, there are many shops and  food stalls and open space to rest. At these stall you can get tea/soda and bread. At some points, people arranged bricks (pic below) maybe to depict Lord Vengkat, not very sure about this.

At this point, there is a place where everyone is given a biometric token.This is to keep track on the number of people going up.
On the way up, there are also people carrying gas cylinders, and raw materials for cooking. They maybe the suppliers for the stalls.

 Here, there are a lot more shops and bigger ones too. They sell food items like thosai and idli. From that point there were no more steps but more like road with steps many metres apart.

Mid journey, there is a big Anjenaya statue. After praying, had some tea and bread and continued. All throughout the journey there were toilet facilities. At this point, we were able to see the main temple which looked like its situated in another mountain across the mountain that we were on. The journey is still a long way to go.

At the last Dome before reaching the main temple, there were many people climbing the stairs on their knees. I rested here for a while and continued the journey till the 3550th step. From here, we can walk to the temple. Took the token, and saw people selling items to be put in the 'undiyal'. The things were miniature items to resemble your wish, for example a house, a cradle and also body parts (for health reason).
To be in the fast lane, it costs about 300 Rs and that too took about 2 hours before I could see Lord Balaji. As you get nearer, the rush became worse and security was tight. I got about 1 minute to get Lord Balaji's Darshan and it was well worth it. He stands tall at 1.5 metres and grand; covered in gold. The vibration was strong and I was satisfied with the Dharshan.
Getting to the 'undiyal' was another task. Somehow managed to reach there and delivered my items into the 'undiyal'. Just before coming out, there is a room where all the money received by the temple is counted. It is said that in a day, the temple receives about 22.5 Million Rs and 10 kg of gold.
As you exit the temple, you'll be given prasadam (ponggal). Laddu is distributed in another complex about 200 meters from the main temple. The laddu's are distributed to the complex from the 'kitchen' through a conveyor system. You show your receipt and collect your laddu.

Alamelu Temple & Kalahasthi Temple, Andra Pradesh

Early morning, the next day, we went to the Alamelu Temple, who is said to be Lord Vengkat's wife. Here also, laddu's were given.
Then we left to some 40 kms away from Tirupathi to Kalahasti Temple. This is a Fire Lingam Temple where he stands straight and tall.

Tiruthani Murugan Temple, Thiruthani, Tamil Nadu

I had a 'special' blessings in this temple. First, after praying, the first pandit gave me a garland, then the same thing happened at the second place and at the third place the pandit did a special prayers for me and handed the prasad to me. Glad to get this special blessing from Lord Murugan.

Egambaram Temple & Kanchi Kamakshi Temple, Kanchipuram , Tamil Nadu

Egambaram temple is a Sivan Temple. Under the Sivalingam, is the 'Mann Sivan'; Sivan which was created by  earth by Goddess Parvathi, 3500 years back.

After visiting Kanchi Kamakshi, the driver took us to shop for Kanchipuram sarees. Manage to shop some good sarees here.

Later that day, we decided to drive to Rameswaram which is about 560 km from Kanchipuram. We left Kanchipuram at 10pm.

Ramanathapuram Temple, Rameshwaran , Tamil Nadu

The 560km journey took us about 10 hours. We reached at 8am next morning.

Rameswaram is an island by itself - more of a fishing village. Most of the area is barren but the area near the temple is crowded.

At the temple, I was told to bring extra clothes to change. Then I was brought to an open area, to change my clothes. I just wore a 'dhoti' that I bought at the temple. First, I took a dip at the beach , then I did some prayers at the beach side.

 After that, I went into the temple to pray.  Then a guide took me around to 21 wells and I bath in all the wells as well as tasting the water.

Water from each well tasted differently.There was also a 22nd well, where we dont get to bath in the water. The water is just splashed at everyone. After that, I changed back to dry clothes, had the darshan and left the temple.

Madurai Meenakshi Temple, Madurai, Tamil Nadu

It is said that this temple is huge that you can get lost inside. Yes, it is huge but I do not agree with getting lost part. There are 5 Main Domes, one for each North, East, West and 2 at the South and 9 smaller Dome. The two in the south are for Siva and Parvathy.
We had ample time to pray here and it was satisfying. Goddess Meenakshi is beautiful, adorned with shiny earrings and nose ring.
Around 8pm, we decided to leave to Velor. Very tiring journey,  as I took over the wheels after I noticed the driver dozing off. Driving in India was an experience indeed! I slowly learnt when and where to use the horn. We reached to a small town and decided to put up there as everyone was tired.

Velor Golden Temple, Velor, Tamil Nadu
Pic - Google Image

In the morning, when we reached Velor town, we noticed that the town was quite posh. There were boutiques - Adidas, Nike and other branded shops.After breakfast,  Thiagu took over the wheels as driver was still sleepy. &#%@???

Pic - Google Image

We went to the Velor Golden Temple. A very well organised temple. No pushing, no crowd, peaceful. The main deity is Goddess Laksmi Narayani.
You get to pray as your heart wishes as your not scurried away by 'temple wardens'. The temple is clean, all around the temple you see quotes by famous sages. The wonderful landscape adds beauty to this temple.
Every afternoon, Anathanam is served at this temple, again hassle free. First course of rice and dhal , second course of rice and rasam and third course of rice and buttermilk. Food here is delicious but as Malaysians you are full after the first course. So if you want to really experience this ananthanam, dont stuff yourself before coming here.

Arunachaleswara Temple, Tiruvanamalai, Tamil Nadu

This is a Sivan Temple. As we were leaving the temple, a lot of devotees were coming in carrying 'kavadi'. Streams and streams of people like "Thaipusam".
 That was the end of my journey. Glad to complete my South Indian Pilgrimage as planned.

There was another half a day to spend the next day, before leaving to KL. Managed to move around Chennai, experience watching movie at Sathyam Theater, take a look at 'hot' Marina Beach.

If Aarsyan can post in this blog, so can I.
- Nethianathan Krishna Kutty -

Annoying Facebookers- Are you one of them?

Nothing annoys me actually, as I can easily turn a blind eye just like I turn a deaf ear to things I dont need to know. Well, you can do the same to me if I annoy you on Facebook. I have gathered a general list of Facebook annoyers. Are you one of them?
There are things that most of us do, which are labeled "Normal". Those that are extreme are known to be "Annoying".

Normal : Its ok to post something that you did today that is unusual. Example - " I mistakenly went into my neighbor's house as it looks the same as mine . *Embarrassed*"
Annoying:  These are the ones who has to continuously give you this updates every day - I just got up. I had a bath. I ate my breakfast. I am driving now. right up to I am going to ZZZZ now. These people need to get out and meet more people. If you want to jot down things you do because you are afraid you will forget, please get a diary.

Playing host
Normal: You just play your game! You invite only once!
Annoying: Its OK that you score at all the games you play, but seriously, you need not invite the world multiple times. After a few times of inviting and I don't accept, please stop inviting me, else I'll become a Mafia, hunt you down in your Farmville and send the Zombies of Zombie Lane to eat your fishes at FishVille.

Archie the Achiever
 Normal: Yes, occasionally, we do achieve something or receive something that we have been dreaming of or buy something expensive. We always want to share good news when we are happy.
 Annoying: Hourly updates of your game scores ? That's nuisance.

The Shadow
Normal: Well , we do have close friends who comments very fast on our status updates and also likes our post.
Annoying: The Shadow is the one who comments on every single photo of yours and likes every single status update.We can always easily guess who has a CRUSH on you or if you have a CRUSH on someone. Gone were the days where people send flowers signed "Admirer". Dont try this as you have already given a whole load of signals out there.

Facebook Video 'Joke'y
Normal: We want to share some music that brings back memories, or some that just gets our day going.
Annoying: The one who only shares songs / videos the whole day. Like as if we need a VJ on Facebook to play songs from morning till we go to bed. Please, stop!

Application Monster
Normal : You use the application for yourself. Example:- "What my birthdate means"
Annoying : You use ALL the applications not only on yourself , but on your friends on facebook and answer questions about your friends. They did not ask for it, so please dont!

The falling-in&-out-of love teenager
Normal : NA
Annoying : "There's no life without A",  "I miss A". " I Love A",  "till death do us part" "Bla - Bla -  Bla" then you start seeing " A is a jerk",  " I hate A" "A, get out of my life". Next thing you know "There no life without B". And the person who is posting this will only be about 16 years old. SIGH!

The Abusive one
Normal: Yes, there are days when you get angry with your boss, colleagues, best fren etc.
Annoying : EVERY SINGLE DAY, this person has to post verbal abusive updates. Instead of thinking that he / she has a problem with the world..., wouldn't the world stop to think (maybe, just maybe) that person is problematic?

Garbage Can
Normal: Cant think of any. Maybe some post pic of their bandaged knee after an accident.
Annoying : Those who have to post the most disgusting things you can think of. "I just puked on my fren" " I have not washed my cup since last week" - plus a photo of cup with murky coffee for evidence. YUKSSS. "We are gonna have it in bathtub today" - Not disgusting for you, but it is for the rest of us. Please keep this private comments to yourself.

Ok, thats all I can think of. If you think I annoy you with useless posts on FB or on my blog, please dont read. I NEVER spammed your wall, so I am still tolerable. Muahaha

Blouse Design - Interlink Chain

This is my second blouse post.
I bought an interlinked chain separately and used the chain to be inserted to the blouse. I showed the tailor how i wanted the cloth to be woven into each hole in the chain and sew both the ends.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Extinct items that our kids will never experience

The tech world is moving faster than us humans. I think by the time my baby goes to school, my Iphone would be trash. Many things that we used when we were kids are nowhere to be seen now. I have listed few items below just to rekindle our memories. These are the things our kids wont get to see or experience:

1) Floppy Disk for the old CPUs
Forget about the 3 inch floppy... we still used it in Uni, but remember the 8 inch Floppy? Classic.

2) Walkman
We used to play cassettes in this to listen to songs when we studied

We used to insert VHS tapes into VCR to watch movies.

4) Game & Watch
Remember this thing? I still have mine - Donkey Kong II, just to show my son one day.
 5) Snail Mail
Why do they need this when they have email, sms , Facebook n What not?

6) Film Camera
I am still keeping one, to show my son. Haha.... he's surely gonna laugh.

7) Typewriters
I remember i loved to type on this and simply go back to type again on that word... for the fun of it.

8) TV Antenna
I remember standing on the balcony trying to move it to the right position so that we can watch tv properly.

9) TV without remote control
Now, all of us at home have to run after Aarsyan and grab the remote control from him. If we still used old tv's without remote, Aarsyan would have been the remote control... hehe

 10) Encyclopedia
All of us had at least one. Our kids will be browsing the net for anything and everything !

     That's all I can think of right now. Anymore, I'll add on.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Peribahasa Terkini

Some funny ways to look at our peribahasa:

- Lembu punya susu, Dutch Lady dapat nama

- Sepandai - pandai tupai melompat, belum ade yang masuk Olimpik

- Biar lambat, asalkan gaya macam celebrity

- Rambut sama hitam, hairdye je berbeza

- Hidung tak mancung, tak perlulah lagak cam Mat Salleh

- Tiada rotan, terajang pun berguna

- Jauh di mata, dekat lagi kat Facebook

- Bercakap siang, mahal... bertukarla ke DIGI - smarter plans for smarter phones (anyway, I am not a subscriber, yukkss... its just that their advertisements are all over the place)

- Bersatu kita teguh, berempat kita Fantastic Four

- Sedikit demi sedikit, lama- lama jadi bosanla, so I better stop here

One final one, my favourite, no changes in words just mixture of English & pelat Kedah
- Ayaq cleaq, jangan sangka no boya nooo

Oh, another of my favourite :
Keja biaq lepaq, gaji biaq gempaq....                                                                                                                                                                  

Blouse Design - Diamond X

I thought I would start a Saree Blouse Design post. I do not have any fantastic designs, but just thought of sharing my interest. I design all my saree blouses on paper, but of course the tailor sews it for me..  hehe.  I may not only post my designs, I may post other nice ones I find outside or on the net. I will post one by one ,whenever I have the time.

Here goes the first:

Diamond X

Friday, July 8, 2011

Signs you're addicted to your smartphone

Nowadays, everywhere you look, people are on the phone and most of them have smartphones. Are we all addicted to our phones?
"We already know that the Internet and certain forms of computer use are addictive," says David Greenfield, PhD, a West Hartford, Connecticut, based psychologist and author of Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. "And while we're not seeing actual PDA addictions now, the potential is certainly there."

These are the sign's of addiction:
1) In the morning, even before you open up your eyes, you reach for your phone. For some, it is the only alarm clock.
2) When you have your bath, you play music (LOUD) on your phone. God knows wheter you can hear it while you shower.
3) Before you leave home, you check whether you have taken your phone, before you look for keys, wallet etc. You may even go out without your wallet, but NEVER without your phone.
4) You dont wear a watch and always check your phone to see the time
5) At the traffic lights or stuck in jam, you have to flip through your phone, be it Facebook, morning news, SMS, email, whatever.
6) If you are on public transport, you use the time to blog or play games.
7) You are sensitive of the notifications on your phone and attend to it as if it is your baby crying.
8) You send SMS to people in the same house
9)  If you dont get an email for two hours, you think the network is down.
10) The only book you read are E-books and you dont buy newspapers anymore.
11) You are shocked when your phone rings... because you are engrossed with your tapping on the phone
12) You check the last minute emails / updates on Facebook before you sleep.

The above is still OK, the below are SIGNS THAT YOU NEED A LIFE!!!

1) You hug your phone to sleep... like a teddy bear
2) You kiss your phone goodnight before your partner
3) You are waiting for new apps that can help you with bathing your pet, feeding your baby and brushing your teeth.
4) You dont go back to your hometown cause there is no proper signal there and that would cut you off from your net world
5) You dont travel VERY far anymore because there's just a certain amount of time you can control yourself from being "not connected" on the flight. After that period you are just like any other drug addict.
6) You actually attend to your phone every MINUTE during your meal, even though you have company.
7) Your phone alarm rings to remind you to drink water or to go to toilet.
8) You keep checking your own location on Google map
9) You wonder how people lived before "smartphones"
10) You would be traumatised to find out that your phone is lost/stolen/dead.

We need to look at ourselves and dont let our smartphones take over our lives:
1) Check with your family members whether your use of smartphone around them is bothering them. Trust me, this question will get them to open up and let you know how they feel.
2) Ensure your quality time with family and friends is not disrupted by your smartphone. The world is not gonna end if you do not reply that email at once, unless you are the President of the United States.

Remember a time when work was only at work and never when you are at home or vacation. Now, even when you are on holiday, you seem to be working just by replying emails.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

ROSE in any otha name will still smell as sweet...

Whats in a name... Eswari Murugan or Vimily Murugan or just Vimly... they are all my names. Many people who cant find me on Facebook, wonder why I created a name "Vimily Murugan". Haha... Let me tell you the real story.....

..... Back in 1981:
My mom gave Vimily as my name, but my grandma (mom's mom - May her soul rest in peace ), didnt like the name. So she asked to put a Goddess name , Eswari. Thats how I got my official name. Although that's the name in my BC, my mom continued to call me Vimily. So, all my relatives also called me Vimily, including my grandma and after all these years, many of my relatives dont know the existence of  the name "Eswari".

Official Use : Eswari Murugan
Since I have both names, I decided to let Eswari continue as official name... started with my BC,  it will remain in all official documents. At the same time,  people who know me through school, university, workplace and all that involves formal and official meetings will know me as Eswari Murugan.

Family & Social Use: Vimily Murugan
As my relatives only know me as Vimily Murugan, I left it like that. Also, all those i meet socially (outside of school/work) or on social network sites will know me as Vimily Murugan. Nowadays, I also use Vimly, for short.

That's all folks... You did think I created "Vimily" for glamour right? You are sooooo wrong...