Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Jorasanko.. Aruna chakravarty

  This story is in two books and it’s about Tagore family, Brahm samaj and culture and traditions at that time in late 18th century.

These two books are important for me for reason.. because my young law got them for me signed by the author. But I feel sad to say that I didn’t find them very interesting for multiple reasons. There are so many characters and big families that it was mighty difficult for me to remember the names and relations. Then I found that Rabindranath Tagore , so adulated and all was not so great as a man or husband or father, only as a poet. And in his family girls were married at a young age of 10 or 12 and got kids at 14 or May be 13. They were kept inside and couldn’t be out in sunshine even. I felt really sad to see their plight.

All in all those times were very regressive 

400 Days… Chetan Bhagat

When he started writing, I loved his books but slowly i started getting bored and now instead of going up his writing is coming down. This one is a cheap thriller where all characters are more or less murky.. so much so that even hero heroine have no character, and for it’s very important to see protagonists behaving sensibly.

People sleeping together easily without any hesitation or thought are not my cup of tea, I may be old fashioned but married women sleeping with others is not done.. even if marriage is not working, first get out of it and then look for green pastures and same for single men .. sleeping with married women is not ok, it’s not love only lust. Here a young beautiful model is dated, feted and persued by a wealthy man and she is happy.But she is not able to adjust to his family and later she adjusts even with her husband having affairs with his employees .

No good.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Varanasi .day 3

 We started with BHU temple of Mahadev, it is also very important there and I wanted to see BHU also. It is a huge campus, infact a mini city with all amenities, and hospitals even. In centre of temple is main deity Mahadev shivling  and then there are all others like Ganeshji, Durgaji and Saraswatiji.From the first floor one can have an air view of campus and city..  All around gardens are there and at one place there are 5 trees good for environment like Pakar, Goolar mango, peepal Bargad 

Next we went to Sarnath, there is one Stupa , Dhanek Stupa on the way And next is Buddhist monastery, there god Buddha gave his first sermon to his first  5 desciples who went all around to spread his teachings. We can see Buddha in different mudras like giving blessing, teaching etc. In the area some ethnic people stay and Pali and Sanskrit are taught there and they are taught skills to earn.The tree behind Buddha has grown from the seeds of the same tree Buddha disciples planted in srilanka.

Then there is Combodian  monastery, Thai monastery and sarnath shiv temple.

Next day we visited Markandey Mahadev , it’s 30 km in Kaithi. Another ancient temple, where people come and pray for long life and children.

I have a few suggestions here

If one wants to just have darshan of Vishwanathji, one can go either through VIP( if you have contacts)..then u can have any day any time, otherwise go in the morning and take a ticket for sugar darshan and spend sometime there..It will be memorable for u, and try to avoid weekends and festivals and Monday.One May opt for abhishekam also.Morning Arti at 3 AM is best if one can manage early mornings 

BHU temple, sankat Mochan and Tulsimanas can be seen in2-3 hrs ,they are in same line and then one can go to Assi ghat.. and spend the whole evening there just walking,sitting or eating.. it’s ethereal to watch the lights coming up.. absolute delight.In the evening Ganga Arti should also be seen.

Stay in the city and take local  E Rickshaw to go around, we stayed in cantt and waisted lot of time in commuting.

Food is available everywhere, try tamatar chaat, pehalwan lassi, and all street food, it is good there.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Varanasi- day2

 Second day we started with Sankat Mochan temple, there also one has to deposit

mobile outside, and then we went inside , it’s Hanumanji temple built in a very big area and good landscaping, beautiful area.

In the same line at a little distance is Tulsi Manas temple. It is said that tulsidasji wrote Ramayana here. Whole  Ramayana is written on the walls there and on first floor, whole Ramayana is depicted through tableau of all the main incidents in Ramayana and Krishna Leela, it’s beautiful to see.

From here we went to Vindhyachal.. Shakti peeth, it’s one and half our journey . Temple is situated at the hilltop..not really , just a little higher and car goes almost all the way. It’s more crowded on festivals and holidays, we were so happy that we could have darshan there, someone local helped us also.

Then we returned around 3.30 and had lunch on the way, there was nothing very good available in dhabas or restaurants.In the evening we did some shopping at Suvidha sarees, Peetambri and Dhunka at Sigra, Suvidha is most reasonable and good.

I think one should do Sankat Mochan, Tulsimanas and BHU mahadev temple together and the Assi ghat as they are in one line or nearby. It will save time.

Trip to varanasi

 Once I read a book by Pankaj Tripathi and his descriptions about just walking on varanasi ghats and having a divine feeling , and from that time it was on my bucket list. And I loved it

We started from Lucknow around 6.30 by cab and reached varanasi around 12.30. Since we went via Jaunpur , we didn’t find any good place for tea or washrooms even. We had booked ourselves in India Benares in Cantt. So after check in we went to Kashi Vishwanath temple for darshan, there either one can stand in a general queue or take a ticket of Rs 300/- to make it quicker. Being a Sunday it was very crowded, so it’s better to plan it avowing Sunday Monday and any other holiday. Mobile and eatables are not allowed inside, so keep them out in lockers and go inside. There they allowed us only 1 minutes to darshan and then we were out. But now it’s a big place called corridor  and one can walk around and see various other temples and sit and enjoy. Once outside we went to kaal bhairav temple by rickshaw, there are all small lanes, so only rickshaw can go, and there was a very long que for darshan in a small conjugated place , I felt suffocated, so we came back and had a walk in Vishwanath Gali, tried some street food and then went to Dashashvmedh ghat.. there vehicles are not allowed, so either one can walk or take manual rickshaw , wheelchairs are also available. It’s a walk on crowded street with hawkers of local products and eateries, once we reach the end of road, there are 100..150 stairs  to reach Ganges, we went down and took a boat just for our family.. four adults .. for 2500/-, he showed us all main ghats .. harishanchandra and Manikarnika, both ghats are meant for burning pyres and all, there are total 60-80 ghats, all beautifully lighted, in the end he parked us in front of Ganga Nidhi Sadan area for ganga Arti. It is a beautiful ritual performed at 6. .. 6.30 pm in a grand way. One can watch either from the ghats or from the boat. 5-7 priests do it with shlokas and and music. 

Though two adjoining ghats were performing Arti but not together, separately and it was jarring to the ears, wish they could do it together, it would be a very melodious experience then. 

Then we got down at Maanmandir ghat as there were less stairs to climb and being all senior citizens we were dead tired, we saw Dolphin restaurant and anyhow reached there and had dinner there only. It’s location is perfect.. one can watch Arti sitting there, they have a guest house too, so good for staying too. After that we came out of serpentine lanes and took a riksha and came back to hotel.

My takeaway.. better to plan darshan in week days and if possible early mornings 

Stay in the city and go around in with rickshaw or walk as city has very narrow lanes and too much is plenty and available everywhere and very reasonably priced.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Hanuman dhaam

 It is a beautiful religious place, though most of the people go with a feeling of picnic and enjoyment. There it was clearly written . No photo and selfi and even one attendant kept telling people but nobody listened, kids were playing inside and young and old were all the time interested in making videos and taking selfies. Seeing such crowd totally spoiled my mood. People don’t want to maintain the sanctity of the place  It’s in Ramnagar .and constructed beautifully . There are around 30 stairs which may be difficult for some but they are constructing ramp for wheel chair. Temple is closed from 1 pm to 2 PM only.

They have shown many different statues of Hanumanji.. panchmukhi, with Anjana mai and other gods too. All in marble and dressed beautifully.

In UP people are so immersed in enjoying everything that you will find food items everywhere. I just hope that once it starts in full swing there won’t be heaps of trash and disposables.And people come here for praying and finding peace here and then enjoy the food and area, instead of coming here to enjoy and see the temple.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Musings of a disillusioned soul

 Now a days I am in my hometown, and meeting lot of people here and I observed that now a days people maintain relationships only for fun or for sake of fun. There is no depth or any social protocol about it.

Personally I am a person who has no facade and I can’t maintain sweetness for the sake of it. I may be friendly with only few persons but that will be real and in all conditions and situations  I will be there,

But I see many people young and old, who are always extra sweet and show niceties today and gone tomorrow, or when you want them to ask your whereabouts or welfare, you wouldn’t find them anywhere. But again they will appear at their own convenience and with an attitude that there is no difference as if nothing happened..

And all this irritates me a lot and I get stressed a lot and not able to reconcile my self with this way of living..

For me all relationships, be it friends or relations should be genuine, specially at my age I don’t want and need to suffer such fakes, can’t understand how could someone be happy with this way of living. But I think this is new world where instant enjoyment, satisfaction and fun are only important thing in life, not ethics, honesty or integrity. Today every one wants money at any cost and then they want better houses , cars , travels all materialistic pleasure, not much thought is given to finer aspects of life. A life lived with values is more important and brings infinite satisfaction, but alas, not many people want to think in this direction.

People are respected for their monetary acquisitions not for their character , education or intellect.

Sad state of affairs today!


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Srisailam .. ll & lll day

 Next day we had breakfast of dosa Idly on the roadside stalls just outside our lodge and that person served us with so much love that I felt so content. And then our first point was Patal Ganga..  here it is believed that if you take bath there it cures skin diseases.and it is advised not to use soap or shampoo there but people were using it there and water was getting dirty. They have changing rooms for women. First we took ropeway to reach down at the bottom there. Ropeway ticket is 65/- adult and available every 10 minutes from 10-5 pm.It’s only 5 minutes journey but very enjoyable to see the place from there. Once we reached there we just saw the bathing place and offered diya and Prasad to Krishna river.

Then we took the ticket for Akka mahadevi caves. It is 400/ - per adult for to and fro. Total trip takes 3-4 hrs, one hour each for going and coming. Our motor boat started around 10.30. Must be 20-25 people in the trip.we were all asked to wear life jackets all the time and not move here to there much.whenever someone tried to take off the jacket tour driver insisted upon wearing it. One more instruction.he said.. don’t drop anything, any plastic bottle, wrapper in water , even by mistake because tourism department is very strict and always watching, they come immediately and charge heavily and don’t listen to any excuse.

On way we can see some hutments, power houses 🏠 n is said that Akka mahadevi did penance there and then mahadev appeared in the form of swayambhoo. Shivling. It’s naturally offered water 365 days in a year.It but s 13th century place. After one hour we reached there and then it’s 10 minutes trek to the main place. It’s rocky but has railings, so manageable. Once I reached there I was stupefied to see the nature’s wonder, it’s all rocks, such big ones, one can see with awe only, our culture and history both are so grand.Then there is a 5 minute climb to the real place. It’s dark, rocky uneven and with slush and in the end it’s height is only 3 ft, so one has to bend and May be squatting, and there is shortage on f oxygen too, so I didn’t go but my husband did.. it was tough. And then one more small trek for ganpati darshan and we came back., took the ropeway back..and then we looked for change of hotel and now found a room in Haritha resort ( govt one ) and thank god it’s a good one for 2150/- with complimentary breakfast.

Now lunchtime was gone, so we headed for some hot snacks and tea and then went to see shivaji spoorty stadium.. here shivaji meditated and then goddess gave him a sword. Here we find all memorabilia of Shivaji maharaj. 

Next was Rudra vanam near to this only.. it’s a big park well maintained with few stone sculptures . Beautiful place for nature lovers and one could see whole town also, for children there were swing slides, infact for kids they were there in all parks like Vasav vanam too, that is also a big park with landscaping and stone carved pillars and all but in all this area there were lots of locusts flying over all the time, so I didn’t feel like sitting and enjoying.Nearby is tribal museum too, we were tired so didn’t go inside.

Ill day… we packed up.. time to cherish the memories and go home. Coming back we saw Sakshi Ganpati temple, here it is said that pilgrims is complete only when you visit ganpati and tell him your gotra, so that he will tell his father shiva and will be a Salzgitter to your visit.

Next stop was Paldhara panchdhara.. here five streams are coming and it is believed that it is coming from Pal. Head of shiva.. again it’s 160 steps down and then coming back is little tiring for us.

All done and now lessons learned from this trip..

1-Always book your accommodation in advance.


are always crowded, so if you want to enjoy leisurely go in midweek only

3-When you go to Akka Mahadevi caves, take some water and snacks with you, in that trip of 3-4 hrs you will not find anything.

4- For main darshan take a dhoti with you.

5..Tiger reserve is a half day trip and you have to book in advance and it opens in October only , so we missed it.

Jorasanko.. Aruna chakravarty

  This story is in two books and it’s about Tagore family, Brahm samaj and culture and traditions at that time in late 18th century. These t...