Friday, February 6, 2015

Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach


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An extremely short novel with a good message,'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' was written by an American author,Richard Bach..It depicts the life of ambitious bird,Jonathan Livingston Seagull,who resembles all those special individuals who strive to attain perfection in whatever they do..The story was told using metaphors like birds,flight,sky and flock etc and it has some beautiful pictures fitting the narration.
Image from google
Completely dissatisfied with his routine life,Jonathan Seagull tries to reach perfection in flying..(Here 'flying' was used as a metaphor for the thing which is most important in a person's life)..In that process,the bird practices various methods in flying which seems almost impossible for any ordinary seagull..Thus considering his actions as inappropriate and rebellious,all the seagulls in the flock outcasts him..Outcast by the flock Jonathan still keeps his practice on..After learning every pleasure in flying,kindness and love in another world,he returns with his newly found abilities along with his few companions to teach his methods to his own flock on earth..Though,initially,the seagulls restrain Jonathan and company,they slowly spellbound by his flying techniques and join him to learn his perfect ways of flight..After some time,when Jonathan moves to another place leaving his companions (he treats them as equals) back to train his flock,the story takes a new turn..The flock slowly avoid concentrating on the flight techniques and starts praising Jonathan as God..They show utmost interest in learning about smaller to smaller details about him and his appearance and all..Creating a virtual image of Jonathan,they spend their time worshiping him and singing songs of his glory..Thus the flock remains ordinary without knowing any special ways of living..Thus they miss real joy of living (flying)..They left struck at the outer layer of Jonathan's life.

This story reveals the actual reality that we seldom follow/learn the great ways of ideal lives,instead we worship their Godly image..Thus we form rules and limitations and start living in those closed circles not knowing the significance of Freedom..Jonathan's story reveals this very fact that freedom is the foremost thing in anyone's life..Setting limitations and living within  boundaries take us nowhere and we truly miss the joy of living.

Here are few lines from the book..

Is there no such place as heaven?” “No, Jonathan, there is no such place. Heaven is not a place, and it is not a time. Heaven is being perfect.

It always works, when you know what you’re doing.

He spoke of very simple things—that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form..

“The only answer I can see, Jonathan, is that you are pretty well a one-in-a-million bird. Most of us came along ever so slowly. We went from one world into another that was almost exactly like it, forgetting right away where we had come from, not caring where we were headed, living for the moment. Do you have any idea how many lives we must have gone through before we even got the first idea that there is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the Flock? A thousand lives, Jon, ten thousand! And then another hundred lives until we began to learn that there is such a thing as perfection, and another hundred again to get the idea that our purpose for living is to find that perfection and show it forth.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Sringeri : Sarada peetam - Sringeri Mutt

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Our starting point to reach Sringeri was Horanadu..We started at 8.30 am and reached Sringeri at around 11.30 am..On the way we stopped at two points,one is Kalasa where there is a Swayambhoolinga temple and another one is Rambapuri where there is a Rukmini Acharya ashram ..It is the first Veerasaiva kshetra among five kshetras...(Srisailam,Ujjain,Kedarnatha and Kasi) I felt this ashram was not having great significance when compared to the remaining places..
Our schedule did not allow us to meet the present Jagadguru Shankaracharya,Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji..Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada established the first of the four Amnaya Peethams at Sringeri around twelve centuries ago to foster the sacred tradition of Sanatana Dharma.
Here are the few pics from Sringeri Mutt..

The entrance of the temple..

Sringeri Sarada peetam

Sculptural beauty.. 






Sri Saradamba temple in the temple complex.. 


This is the place my kid loved the most..The pond was filled with plenty of fish


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chennai Book Fair - 2015 : Kid's Special


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I deliberately missed last year's Chennai book fair as the number of books I'm reading is considerably less than the books that are piling up in my shelves...Being mother of a single child I've many more responsibilities and duties other than being a 'book worm'..Thus I'm dragging myself to household duties and most importantly to fulfill my primary duties as a mother...

I always try to keep 'reading' as a hobby,but you never know when it will take the form of an obsession...Anyways,my kiddoo always complain about my blog posts that I'm very partial,and I always post pics about my books but not his books..So this year I promised him that I'll post few pics of his books here..Though he already have some books like Akbar Birbal,Tenali Rama,Panchatantra,Jathaka tales,Vikram-Bethal etc etc..(There is a huge list you know)..This year I added few more to his reading list..Among them maximum are story books (He love them) for his age group besides a couple of activity and puzzle books..Among 700 plus stalls Chinmaya mission stall was really good for kids books.







I couldn't stop buying few more books for myself as I'm already there :P..I found some very rare books for very low prices at the road side book sellers in front of the Book Fair..We spent a whole tiresome day (after our vacation) in the Book Fair..My kid got so exhausted,that he asked his Dad if he would take him home,he would give him hundred rupees.:))

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Udupi : Srikrishna temple : Karnataka

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Udupi was famous for Srikrishna temple or Srikrishna Matt...We reached Udupi from Gokarna around 9.30 pm...It is 178 km from Gokarna and it took approximately 3 and half hours to reach there via cab...Without any difficulty we easily found the accommodation in the temple guest house even it was night time..Our stay,Srinivasa residency was very comfortable hotel with tidy rooms and good service..After the tiresome journey we took rest for the day and the next morning we went for darshan..Regarding darshan,It was a blissful experience and just beyond words..

The unique feature of Sri Krishna Mutt is that the God is worshipped only through a window with nine holes called the Navagraha Kitiki.The window is exquisitely carved and silver - plated. It has been a tradition in this temple to worship the Lord only through this window. There was a story regarding this tradition..(from Wiki)Once Kanakadasa, a pious worshiper and devotee of Lord Krishna, was staying in a makeshift hermitage in front of Krishna mutt. There was an earthquake in the night and the outer temple wall cracked such a way that there was a wide enough opening for Kanakadasa to have darshana of the idol. Till today, devotees still worship Lord Krishna by praying through the same window where kanakadasa was seeing the offerings/Pooja from outside.It is known as Kanakanakhindi, and is decorated by an arch named after him. A statue has also been erected. A similar window covers the immediate front of the Idol and is called Navagraha kindi.

The entrance of the Udupi Srikrishna temple....


The temple tank...

The Chariots in front of the temple





Goshala


Monday, January 5, 2015

New treasures..

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आज कल पाँव जमींपर नही पड़ते मेरे
बोलो देखा है कभी तुमने मुझे उड़ते हुए.. :)
Yes..Have you seen me flying ?? :P...Now you guys would ask me,what's the silly reason after all ?? (As always)..Cause,this new year I found some new 'treasures'.Yes, Plenty of books..:) :) I'm pretty excited that I'm going to read some of the legendary authors this year..

Earlier 'reading' was just a time pass for me..Then slowly it turned in to a hobby..Later an addiction...Then Passion...Now it's pure obsession..:)

Here I would like to share my joy with you all..These are few among them which I would be waiting to read since long time..Wish me all the best friends..Wish me "Happy reading"..:)


The pleasure of owning books is priceless..

Needless to say this in particular..But like many other book lovers,I'm also mad about Penguins..Though I own many of them,I wish to own more..read more..These are like very special 'Gems'..

The Penguin Gems..Among all Oscar's complete short fiction is something special...I loved it..

Also reading an e-book is an additional pleasure..

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Giver - Lois Lowry

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We humans always dream for an Ideal society where there wouldn't be any traces of hunger,war or pain..If we observe the process of  human evolution,slowly are heading towards a comfortable,nearly Utopian society where we seldom have to take risks,pain or pressures..If something aches inside our body we can afford to take a simple  antibiotic or pill to get rid of the pain instantly..Our modern culture and life style bestow us with such sort of comfort..Ofcourse it is much necessary to some extent but,what if loneliness,depression,pressure,love and passion like emotions could also be kept under control with the help of a small pill ?? What if we can avoid the war in advance by providing every human being equal facilities and opportunities,in the sense making their lives so similar ?? What if we can set rules and control everything from birth to death ?? Just imagine a community where everything is so organized that there wouldn't be a single problem..Also such society wouldn't have any colours,not even differences..Even people don't have to make choices...Peace is there everywhere..If people sense something might cause some problem,then they would instantly 'Release' that cause or them from the community...Seems like an Utopian Society right !! Now the question is "Do we really enjoy the happiness without sensing sorrow."? Without choices are we 'actually living' or getting operated just like Robots..Among all,what is being in the world without 'love' ?

Image from Google
Well,briefly this is the plot of the dystopian novel 'The Giver', written by Lois Lowry..This is the story of Jonas,an eleven year old boy from such community where his life was so peaceful and organized..There is neither pain nor choices in that life...Usually all the members in the community were assigned to different roles at the 12th year ceremony,conducted every year in December..Eventually Jonas was chosen as a rare honourable role as a "Receiver" and this new role would bring enormous changes in his peaceful life where he experiences true meaning of life in the Annex room in Giver's company..In the Giver's quarters Jonas was introduced to memories and books..With that he experiences the real colours of world with all emotions..The story further unfolds,how Jonas cope with his newly found wisdom and felt deceived and lonely in the society he was living till then..

Here are few lines from the book..
The community life was described here...
"The life where nothing was ever unexpected. Or inconvenient. Or unusual. The life without colour, pain or past.”

The Giver's Words..
"The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.”

Now he was [starving]. If he had stayed in the community, he would not be. It was as simple as that. Once he had yearned for choice.Then, when he had had a choice,he had made the wrong one: the choice to leave. And now he was starving. But if he had stayed…
His thoughts continued. If he had stayed, he would have starved in other ways. He would have lived a life hungry for feelings, for color, for love.”

Jonas hesitated. He wasn’t certain, really, what he had meant. He could feel that there was risk involved, though he wasn’t sure how. “Well,” he said finally, grasping for an explanation, “they had fire right there in that room. There was a fire burning in the fireplace. And there were candles on a table. I can certainly see why those things were outlawed.
 “Still,” he said slowly, almost to himself, “I did like the light they made. And the warmth.

'The Giver' won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has made in to a movie under same title.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram )

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Mahabalipuram also known as Mamallapuram is a historical place near Chennai..It's just 45 minutes drive from the city,located in the East Coast Road..Mahabalipuram is very famous for its rock-cut shore temples..This was built in 7th century by the Pallava king Narasihma Varma..A lone lighthouse on a hill watches over a group of temples below...You will see some breathtaking rock carvings on the roadside..The craftsmanship is simply amazing...Here we go with few pictures of this wonderful place...

The shore temple-The famous Shore Temple being actually a complex of three temples : 
West facing: Rajasimhesvara
East facing : Kshatriyasimesvara
 and the smaller one facing East : Nrupatisimhesvara..

Copyright A Homemaker's Utopia
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The sea view from the shore temple...
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The Arjuna's penance
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The below is the Group of monuments - It is one among the fifteen world heritage sites of India declared by UNESCO...
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The balancing rock...
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Pearls and coloured stones for sale
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You'll see some beautiful stone carvings of Hindu gods on the roadside...
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Below : The Pancha Pandava rathas or the Five Chariots..It is one of the best monolithic temples i.e. each temple built in a single rock..


Copyright A Homemaker's Utopia
Copyright A Homemaker's Utopia
Copyright A Homemaker's Utopia